Daily Archives: February 14, 2009

Roman Religion

I’m reading about Roman religion and it seems like ancient religions are much more rational than modern, monotheistic religion. You act bad, the gods mess you up. You act virtuously, the gods reward you. The gods can be bargained with. Contrariwise, you can’t bargain with God. Plus, he does bad shit to good people all the time. Theodicy is pure nonsense. Modern religion, from this perspective, seems to make less sense than these ancient religions.

With certain ancient religions, the gods were believed because it was a matter of experience. (We now reject their superstitions, but you can see the effects gods would have.) I can understand if you believe in God because of your experience, but it makes little sense to have “faith.”

The alternative interpretation is to say, “Of course modern religion is more advanced than ancient religion.” Ancient religion is superstitious and distinctly human. Modern religion attempts to embrace something that is beyond human comprehension.

Our definition of God doesn’t make sense. You can argue that God is beyond definition, but that just seems to bolster the case that human definitions would be nonsensical.