Wednesday, 31 October 2012
Judging The Gods
A fellow Philosophy graduate student who intended to train for the Presbyterian ministry, and who has since worked in that ministry, thought that Christians need to mount a moral defence of God's actions, not just say that whatever He does must be right. Rudolf Otto's idea was that some gods are awesome but not moral whereas the Biblical God is both, thus "holy."
I think that the gods are our projections and, even if they weren't, they would still be morally answerable. This brings me to Gratillonius assessing the Gods that are known to him in Poul and Karen Anderson's Gallicenae (London, 1988). He thought that:
the Olympians were dead;
the Ysan Gods "...were inhuman";
Christ "was a pallid stranger";
"Mithras alone stood fast, Mithras all alone." (p. 94)
The Olympians had been displaced by Christ. The Three of Ys are respectively feminine, masculine and elemental, thus personal and impersonal, human and inhuman. But Gratillonius perceives their demands on him as inhuman. Jesus would have been dark skinned, not "pallid," so that there is from the outset a difference between the man and the god. Gratillonius will later re-assess Mithras.