Originally posted by Palynka
Why do theists dismiss other gods?
I can think of at least one possibility where disbelief in all religions but one is not inconsistent.
That is not an easy question to answer. Perhaps the closest I can get is to express my own concerns about religion in general.
Coherent and widely accepted religions do not spring up today as they did in mankind's infancy. Human fantasy created God, Gods and various other spiritual incarnations. These beings, through acts of their will alone, explained and influenced daily life and the happenings of chance.
Mankind desires control and understanding. Our spiritual youth was spent crafting religions and God's to exert control on our fellow man and attempt to explain a broader reality than these primitive cultures could test and grasp.
Is it any surprise that the horror of death and the miracle of child birth need some spiritual grounding to make them palatable to primitive man? The beauty and order of nature is equally worthy of a divine explanation. Not to mention the fact that how do you control people that have nothing to live for? Given the hand to mouth existance that plagues us still in many parts of the world, inventing an all seeing, all knowing God that will punish you eternally for your indiscretions seems like a pretty good approach don't you think? If there was nothing to live for, nothing but the emptyness of death to fear, what do you have to lose?
Pleading to this Divine Facilitator for blessings and good fortune also seems an attractive and understandable concept. All religions have prayer and sacrifice as a commonality. Having that edge over luck is a simple desire, but, as demonstrated by the relative success of casinos and other gambling establishments, prayer has little influence over our Mistress Chance.
I can imagine the ethical struggle that haunted the early priests of all religions. Balancing the the ethical and moral good of your society against your own personal gain must have been a difficult task.
It is my opinion that we must foresake religion, all religion. Give up that mystical and spiritual source of hope and fear which has endured in contaminating the growth of mankind. Until we do, we're not even a stones throw away from our primative ancestors grunting and rubbing sticks together to make fire. You wouldn't dress yourself in half tanned rotting hides, you've evolved. You're understanding has blossomed and the sum total of human knowledge grows exponentially. So why, I ask you, would you continue to clothe yourself in the rotting carcass notions of obsolete religions?
I know I haven't really answered your question, however, the very argument I've put forth here for the abolishment of all religion as pure fantasy is exactly the argument monotheists will put forth against other religions. Pure fantasy all the way around.