'Are our gods better than Olaf's god?' Alfdis laughed. 'That's a silly question. Gods are gods. Our gods have been with us since the beginning of the world. We sacrifice to them, and they aid us when they see fit. Other people have their own gods and their own ways of dealing with them. That's their concern.'
Sadly enough, my young friends, it is a characteristic of our age that if people want any gods at all, they want them to be gods who do not demand much, comfortable gods, smooth gods who not only don't rock the boat but don't even row it, gods who pat us on the head, make us giggle, then tell us to run along and pick marigolds.
Jeffrey R. Holland
The gods have fled, I know. My sense is the gods have always been essentially absent. I do not believe human beings have played games or sports from the beginning merely to summon or to please or to appease the gods. If anthropologists and historians believe that, it is because they believe whatever they have been able to recover about what humankind told the gods humankind was doing. I believe we have played games, and watched games, to imitate the gods, to become godlike in our worship of eachother and, through those moments of transmutation, to know for an instant what the gods know.
A. Bartlett Giamatti
I don't believe in Him, and if He does exist, I don't like Him. His type of gods aren't gods who echo how mortals behave. They're gods who are held up as example of perfection to be emulated. They're not gods of the people. They're remote and inaccessible, they demand blind, unthinking obedience from their followers. They're dictators. We Aesir and Vanir, by contrast, are mirrors. Other gods rule. We reflect and magnify. We are you, only more so. We share your flaws and foibles. We are as humanlike as we are divine, and I think we are all the better for that.
And then this whole deal of new gods, old gods, " said his friend. "You ask me, I welcome new gods. Bring the on. The god of guns. The god of bombs. All the gods of ignorance and intolerance, of self-righteousness, idiocy and blame. All the stuff they try and land me with. Take a lot of the weight off my shoulders.
The gods wanted to create creatures who would worship them. First they made the animals, but they couldn't talk. Then the gods created people out of mud, but when it rained, they fell apart. Then the gods created people out of wood, but they had no feelings, so the gods washed them away in a big flood. Finally, the gods created people out of corn, and they turned out just right.
Gods? Don't let that impress you. Anyone can be a god if they have enough worshippers. You don't even have to have powers anymore. In my time I've seen theatre gods, gladiator gods, even storyteller gods - you people see gods everywhere. Gives you an excuse for not thinking for yourselves. God is just a word. Like Fury. like demon, Just words people use for things they don't understand. Reverse it and you get dog. It's just as appropriate.
Now the myths represent the Gods themselves and the goodness of the Gods subject always to the distinction of the speakable and the unspeakable, the revealed and the unrevealed, that which is clear and that which is hidden: since, just as the Gods have made the goods of sense common to all, but those of intellect only to the wise, so the myths state the existence of Gods to all, but who and what they are only to those who can understand.
The truth wears longer than all the gods; for it is only in the truth's service, and for love of it, that people have overthrown the gods and at last God himself. "The truth" outlasts the downfall of the world of gods, for it is the immortal soul of this transitory world of gods; it is Deity itself.
This is what I believe: That I am I. That my soul is a dark forest. That my known self will never be more than a little clearing in the forest. That gods, strange gods, come forth from the forest into the clearing of my known self, and then go back. That I must have the courage to let them come and go. That I will never let mankind put anything over me, but that I will try always to recognize and submit to the gods in me and the gods in other men and women. There is my creed.
D. H. Lawrence
There are new gods growing in America, clinging to growing knots of belief: gods of credit card and freeway, of Internet and telephone, of radio and hospital and television, gods of plastic and of beeper and of neon. Proud gods, fat and foolish creatures, puffed up with their own newness and importance. "They are aware of us, they fear us, and they hate us," said Odin. "You are fooling yourselves if you believe otherwise.
An irreligious man is not one who denies the gods of the majority, but one who applies to the gods the opinions of the majority. For what most men say about the gods are not ideas derived from sensation, but false opinions, according to which the greatest evils come to the wicked, and the greatest blessings come to the good from the gods.
We don't become gods because we think we are gods. That is only a sign of ego. We become gods when we realise that a part of the universal divinity lives within us; when we understand our role in this great world and when we strive to fulfil that role. That makes you a God. And remember, gods don't fail. You cannot fail.
All gods who receive homage are cruel. All gods dispense suffering without reason. Otherwise they would not be worshipped. Through indiscriminate suffering men know fear and fear is the most divine emotion. It is the stones for altars and the beginning of wisdom. Half gods are worshipped in wine and flowers. Real gods require blood.
Zora Neale Hurston
But if the gods do not exist at all - then we are lost, ' I said. On the contrary - we are found!' said Aesop. But when we are afraid, who can we turn to, if not the gods?' Ourselves. We turn to ourselves anyway. We only pretend there are gods and that they care about us. It is a comforting falsehood.
The ancients could communicate with the gods in two ways. First, it was (and is) possible to go into a trance and visit the gods in their celestial retreats, as the great shamans have always done. More easily, and less dangerously, they could let the gods speak through code, that is, divination, using dice, entrails, bird patterns, yarrow sticks, cards.
I see murky visions of other gods and rival magic." That REALLY didn't sound good. "What do you mean?" I asked. "what OTHER GODS?" "I don't know, Sadie. But Egypt has always faced challenges from outside - magicians from elsewhere, even gods from elsewhere. Just be vigilant." ~Ruby and Sadie Kane about... ? Possibly Greeks?
Since it is possible that thou mayest depart from life this very moment, regulate every act and thought accordingly. But to go away from among men, if there are gods, is not a thing to be afraid of, for the gods will not involve thee in evil; but if indeed they do not exist, or if they have no concern about human affairs, what is it to me to live in a universe devoid of gods or devoid of Providence? But Gods there are, undoubtedly, and they regard human affairs; and have put it wholly in our power, that we should not fall into what is truly evil.
When gods die, self-respect buds', murmured Orland Fank. 'Gods and their examples are not needed by those who respect themselves and, consequently, respect others. Gods are for children, for little, fearful people, for those who would have no responsibility to themselves or their fellows.
I see murky visions of other gods and rival magic." That REALLY didn't sound good. "What do you mean?" I asked. "what OTHER GODS?" "I don't know, Sadie. But Egypt has always faced challenges from outside """" magicians from elsewhere, even gods from elsewhere. Just be vigilant." ~Ruby & Sadie Kane about...? Possibly Greeks?
There is one god, greatest among gods and men, who bears no similarity to humans either in shape or thought... but humans believe that the gods are born like themselves, and that the gods wear clothes and have bodies like humans and speak in the same way... but if cows and horses or lions had hands or could draw with the hands and manufacture the things humans can make, then horses would draw the forms of gods like horses, cows like cows, and they would make the gods' bodies resemble those which each kind of animal had itself.
I'm not going to get involved in a debate with you. Just remember this: the gods give, and the gods take away. Even if you are not aware of having been granted what you posses, the gods remember what they gave you. They don't forget a thing. You should use the abilities you have been granted with the utmost care.
Come now: Do we really think that the gods are everywhere called by the same names by which they are addressed by us? But the gods have as many names as there are languages among humans. For it is not with the gods as with you: you are Velleius wherever you go, but Vulcan is not Vulcan in Italy and in Africa and in Spain.
Marcus Tullius Cicero
My father once told me that there are no gods; only the cruel manipulations of evil people who pretended that their power was good and their exploitation was love. But if there are no gods; why are we so hungry to believe in them? Just because evil liars stand between us and the gods and block our view of them does not mean that the bright halo that surrounds each liar is not the outer edges of a god, waiting for us to find our way around the lie.
Orson Scott Card
Rincewind shivered. He was not, of course, an atheist; on the Disc the gods dealt severely with atheists. On the few occasions when he had some spare change he had always made a point of dropping a few coppers into a temple coffer, somewhere, on the principle that a man needed all the friends he could get. But usually he didn't bother the Gods, and he hoped the Gods wouldn't bother him. Life was quite complicated enough.
It is precisely that requirement of shared worship that has been the principal source of suffering for individual man and the human race since the beginning of history. In their efforts to impose universal worship, men have unsheathed their swords and killed one another. They have invented gods and challenged each other: "Discard your gods and worship mine or I will destroy both your gods and you!"
It is precisely that requirement of shared worship that has been the principal source of suffering for individual man and the human race since the beginning of history. In their efforts to impose universal worship, men have unsheathed their swords and killed one another. They have invented gods and challenged each other: "Discard your gods and worship mine or I will destroy both your gods and you!
Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.
Insensate cruelty to those you can whip, and grovelling submission to those you can't. Once having set up her idols and built altars to the, it was imevitable that she would worship there. It was inevitable that she would accept any inconsistency and cruelty from her deity as all good worshippers do from theirs. All gods who recieve homage are cruel. All gods dispense suffering without reason. Otherwise they would not be worshipped Though indiscriminate suffering men know fear and fear is the most divine emotion. It is the stones for altars and the beginning of wisdom. Half gods are worshipped in wine and flowers. Real gods require blood.
Zora Neale Hurston
Nothing feebler than a man does the earth raise up, of all the things which breathe and move on the earth, for he believes that he will never suffer evil in the future, as long as the gods give him success and he flourishes in his strength; but when the blessed gods bring sorrows too to pass, even these he bears, against his will, with steadfast spirit, for the thoughts of earthly men are like the day which the father of gods and men brings upon them.
It is useless saying that we do not accept the gods of the primitive world. In form, no; in essence, yes. The fact before us is that all ideas of gods can be traced to the earliest stages of human history.... There is an unbroken line of descent linking the gods of the most primitive peoples to those of modern man. We reject the world of the savage; but we still, in our churches, mosques, synagogues and temples, perpetuate the theories he built upon that world.
The Ethiops say that their gods are flat-nosed and black, While the Thracians say that theirs have blue eyes and red hair. Yet if cattle or horses or lions had hands and could draw, And could sculpt like men, then the horses would draw their gods Like horses, and cattle like cattle; and each they would shape Bodies of gods in the likeness, each kind, of their own.
The padres set great store by addressing prayer to personal gods: 'Genuine prayer exists only in religions in which there is a God as a person and a shape and endowed with a will.' That was stated by a famous Protestant. The anarch does not want to have anything to do with that conception. As for the One God: while he may be able to shape persons, he is not a person himself, and the he is already a patriarchal prejudice. A neuter One is beyond our grasp, while man converses ten with the Many Gods on equal terms, whether as their inventor or as their discoverer. In any case, it is man who named the gods. This is not to be confused with a high level soliloquy. Divinity must, without a doubt, be inside us and recognized as being inside us; otherwise we would have no concept of gods.