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How does our society's majority's conception of God compare with beliefs about...

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lcowan6 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Salutatorian

Posted April 18, 2013 at 2:36 AM via web

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How does our society's majority's conception of God compare with beliefs about supernatural beings in other religious systems? 

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted April 18, 2013 at 2:55 AM (Answer #1)

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This depends, of course, on which religious systems we are talking about.  Not all other religious systems are different from ours.

One major way in which our majority’s views about God differ from those of other people is that our system involves a belief that God cares about us personally.  There are many other religious systems in which people believe that the gods (or spirits, in the case of animistic religions) do not particularly care about us.  Instead, the supernatural beings are mostly interested in getting the things they want.  If we act in ways that honor them (like by giving sacrifices) they will help us, but they are giving us the help because it is part of a quid pro quo, not because they care about us personally.

Another difference is that we believe that God wants us to live a moral life.  There are other systems in which the gods do not really care if we behave in moral or ethical ways.  All they really care about is whether we behave towards them in the prescribed ways.

Thus, our beliefs about God are different from the ways in which people in some other religious systems think about supernatural beings.

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