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Author Topic:   Money Isn't a False God
Straggler
Member (Idle past 65 days)
Posts: 10328
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 48 of 150 (615215)
05-11-2011 1:40 PM
Reply to: Message 47 by purpledawn
05-10-2011 2:16 PM


Re: Worship or Worship
PD writes:

For "money is a false god" to be a metaphor, there needs to be some likeness between money and false gods.

Beyond both inspiring an "adoring reverence or regard" (to use your own definitions of "worship") I don't think there is anything else on which to base the comparison.

But is a comparison beyond that being made when people say that money is worshiped as a false god? I might well describe someone as 'worshiping money' or as treating 'money as their god'. But I wouldn't mean anything more than the comparison stated above.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 47 by purpledawn, posted 05-10-2011 2:16 PM purpledawn has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 49 by purpledawn, posted 05-11-2011 2:26 PM Straggler has responded

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 65 days)
Posts: 10328
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 50 of 150 (615242)
05-11-2011 5:10 PM
Reply to: Message 49 by purpledawn
05-11-2011 2:26 PM


Re: Worship or Worship
PD writes:

How does currency inspire adoration?

I don't think that "currency"does inspire adoration as such. But people can be said to adore money and wealth in the sense of making the acquisition of it an end in itself and loving the acquisition and possession of it to the exclusion or detriment of other things. In that sense money can be adored, revered, worshiped etc. etc.

PD writes:

How does one treat currency like a deity?

Again I think you are being overly pedantic in your use of semantics.

Nobody is suggesting that those who can be said to "worship" money are going to setup their prayer mats outside the local branch of HSBC. In the sense of being directly comparable to a supernatural being worthy of appeasement through worship you are right that the two things are incomparable. But that isn't what people mean when they say money is a false god (IMHO).

We quite legitimately and meaningfully use words like "worship" or "idolise" and even "god" to mean things beyond their strict religiously related definition.

For example David Beckham is (or at least was) referred to as a football god. He is arguably idolised and worshiped in a genuine sense of the word that has everything to do with a devout following and nothing to do with being a supernatural entity that needs to be appeased. The use of these terms in such a context is kinda metaphorical and kinda literal in a non-religious sense of the terms being used.

Likewise the use of such terms and phrases when used to describe people's attitude to money and wealth. I think you are being overly literal and very narrow in your analysis.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 49 by purpledawn, posted 05-11-2011 2:26 PM purpledawn has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 51 by purpledawn, posted 05-11-2011 6:22 PM Straggler has responded
 Message 125 by Phat, posted 01-25-2021 11:09 AM Straggler has not yet responded

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 65 days)
Posts: 10328
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 52 of 150 (615250)
05-11-2011 6:48 PM
Reply to: Message 51 by purpledawn
05-11-2011 6:22 PM


Re: Worship or Worship
If by 'false god' you absolutely and exclusively mean something that is in direct competition with a supernatural being such as Yahweh in terms of being the object of religious devotion - Then you are inarguably correct that money cannot be described as a 'false god'.

If by "worship" you absolutely and exclusively mean "worship" in the purely religious sense of erecting temples, praying and generally seeking appeasement or favours from a supernatural entity - Then again money cannot be descibed as a 'false god' that is worshiped.

But in the same sense that I know what someone means when they say that something or someone is worshiped or idolised in a more general sense I also know exactly what they mean when they describe money being worshiped as a false god. In this sense the phrase is entirely meaningful.

In the overtly religious sense you seem intent on pursuing money is not worshiped and, on this entirely literal religious basis, cannot be described as a false god. But I am unconvinced that anybody other than you is claiming that such a position exists?

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 51 by purpledawn, posted 05-11-2011 6:22 PM purpledawn has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 53 by purpledawn, posted 05-11-2011 8:14 PM Straggler has responded

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 65 days)
Posts: 10328
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 62 of 150 (615314)
05-12-2011 8:05 AM
Reply to: Message 53 by purpledawn
05-11-2011 8:14 PM


Re: Worship or Worship
PD writes:

They say money, among other things, is a false god. IOW, people are choosing money, power, etc. in place of God. I disagree.

Obviously they aren't treating money as a false god in the absolute and literal sense of it being a rival supernatural being vying with Yahew for their exclusive religious devotion. Nobody is claiming that money can be described as a false god in exactly the same sense that that Baal (for example) could be.

PD writes:

If money is a false god, then there should be similarities between the two for that metaphor.

The similarity and basis for comparison is the devotion, adoration, reverence and worship accorded to wealth and power and the pursuit of wealth and power.

PD writes:

We've already established there is no physical religious worship of money.

Did anyone ever suggest that the two were directly comparable in terms of physical ritualistic acts of religious worship?

PD writes:

The other idea left is that a person is choosing money in place of God as the Hebrews did when they went after other gods. I don't feel that people actually make that choice concerning money or power.

No money is not directly comparable to supernatural gods such as Baal. But has anyone actually made that direct comparison or is that just you making a very literal interpretation of the phrase 'false god'....?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 53 by purpledawn, posted 05-11-2011 8:14 PM purpledawn has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 63 by purpledawn, posted 05-12-2011 9:00 AM Straggler has responded

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 65 days)
Posts: 10328
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 64 of 150 (615332)
05-12-2011 10:08 AM
Reply to: Message 63 by purpledawn
05-12-2011 9:00 AM


Re: The Metaphor
PD writes:

To be a metaphor there needs to be a reason for the comparison.

The basis for comparison is the devotion, adoration, reverence and worship accorded to wealth and power and the pursuit of material gain. No?

PD writes:

The phrase is used to suggest that people replace god with money as the Hebrews replaced their god with foreign gods.

I don't think anyone is seriously suggesting that money is a false god in an absolutely comparable sense to Baal being a false god.

PD writes:

I don't see that people actually replace God with money or power.

When people say that money or the pursuit of material wealth is a false god they are talking about it being the focus of devotion at the expense of more spiritual or meaningful pursuits.

PD writes:

Worshiping money or love of money is a different issue, which is what I was trying to point out. (apparently ineffectively)

Well obviously when we talk about worshiping money as a false god we are not talking about an absolute and direct comparison with religious worship of supernatural beings. It is different, but remains meaningfully comparable nevertheless.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 63 by purpledawn, posted 05-12-2011 9:00 AM purpledawn has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 65 by purpledawn, posted 05-12-2011 11:46 AM Straggler has responded

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 65 days)
Posts: 10328
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 66 of 150 (615358)
05-12-2011 12:13 PM
Reply to: Message 65 by purpledawn
05-12-2011 11:46 AM


Re: The Metaphor
If your position in this thread is to point out that money isn't a god in the specific way that supernatural beings like Yahweh, Thor, Zeus, Baal etc. etc. are gods then you have an inarguable case. Money is obviously no more conceptually equivalent to a god in this sense than is my left shoe. In this incredibly literal sense money is not a god at all. False or otherwise.

PD writes:

Supposedly it is a substitute for God just as Baal was.

Well if anyone was genuinely claiming a like for like comparison between money and a supernatural entity such as Baal then they are an idiot.

But I still think you are taking the whole thing far too literally. Has anyone at all genuinely suggested that money is a god in the sense of being a supernatural entity directly comparable to, or in competitiopn with, Yahweh?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 65 by purpledawn, posted 05-12-2011 11:46 AM purpledawn has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 67 by purpledawn, posted 05-12-2011 1:31 PM Straggler has responded

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 65 days)
Posts: 10328
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 71 of 150 (615446)
05-13-2011 4:23 AM
Reply to: Message 67 by purpledawn
05-12-2011 1:31 PM


Re: The Metaphor
Can we agree that if I say "money is a false god"...

1) I am not making an absolute and like for like comparison of money with Thor, Zeus, Baal etc. etc.

2) That I am referring to a devotion towards money and the pursuit of material wealth at the expense of more meaningful endeavours

3) That this second less literal usage of the phrase is perectly legitimate and meaningful.

PD writes:

Not a deity, no. As I showed, they changed the definition of god to make it work.

OK so we both agree that nobody is referring to money or wealth as a divine being directly comparable to supernatural gods.

Is your complaint here that some theists intentionally conflate the literal and more metaphorical usage of the phrase "money is a false god"...?

Is that what you are getting at?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 67 by purpledawn, posted 05-12-2011 1:31 PM purpledawn has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 73 by purpledawn, posted 05-13-2011 7:51 AM Straggler has responded

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 65 days)
Posts: 10328
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 72 of 150 (615451)
05-13-2011 6:36 AM
Reply to: Message 68 by Admin
05-12-2011 2:41 PM


Re: Clarification Requested
Admin writes:

I understood Crash to be arguing that the worship of money made money into a divine entity like any other god, such as Jehovah, Allah, Thor or Zeus.

At the risk of confusing things - I don't think Crash is saying that. I think he also is talking about a more metaphorical usage.

Crash writes:

Nobody actually worships Mammon - there's no Mammon cult, there are no temples to Mammon*, there's no traditional Mammon scriptures - the "god" Mammon has only ever existed as a negative example, as a metaphor.

"Worshipping Mammon" as a term doesn't refer to anything but letting the pursuit of wealth get in the way of spiritual concerns. "Mammon" is precisely how money can be a "false god."

Boldening mine.

But I am honestly not sure exactly what point PD is trying to make.


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 Message 68 by Admin, posted 05-12-2011 2:41 PM Admin has acknowledged this reply

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 65 days)
Posts: 10328
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 74 of 150 (615459)
05-13-2011 9:04 AM
Reply to: Message 73 by purpledawn
05-13-2011 7:51 AM


Re: The Metaphor
PD writes:

I understand the metaphor, I'm saying I disagree with it.

OK. But I am still not sure why you disagree exactly?

PD writes:

I wanted Christians to explain how this manifests itself in reality.

The problem is that the phrase in question isn't exclusively used by Christians.

PD writes:

Looking at the way Christians responded here, the phrase is more of a way to lay guilt trip on people.

Whether used by Christians or others it certainly implies dissapproval at an unhealthy fixation with material gain at the expense of more meaningful pursuits.


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 Message 73 by purpledawn, posted 05-13-2011 7:51 AM purpledawn has acknowledged this reply

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 65 days)
Posts: 10328
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 82 of 150 (615546)
05-14-2011 8:27 AM
Reply to: Message 81 by purpledawn
05-14-2011 8:20 AM


Re: What Constitutes a False God
Do you agree that money and wealth can be idolised?

Wiki definition of "idol" writes:

An idol can be defined as an image or other material object representing a deity to which religious worship is addressed or any person or thing regarded with blind admiration, adoration, or devotion

Boldening mine.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 81 by purpledawn, posted 05-14-2011 8:20 AM purpledawn has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 85 by purpledawn, posted 05-14-2011 9:14 AM Straggler has responded

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 65 days)
Posts: 10328
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 86 of 150 (615555)
05-14-2011 9:31 AM
Reply to: Message 85 by purpledawn
05-14-2011 9:14 AM


Re: What Constitutes a False God
The problem here is that you seem to have shut the door on both a literal meaning of 'false god' and a metaphorical meaning of 'false god' as well. Thus I remain genuinely confused as to what you do mean....

PD writes:

Straggler writes:

Has anyone at all genuinely suggested that money is a god in the sense of being a supernatural entity directly comparable to, or in competition with, Yahweh?

Not a deity, no.

So you are not talking about a 'false god' in the literal sense of a supernatural entity such as a god or demon or whatever. Is that right?

PD writes:

Idolize has two meanings also just like worship. One deals with paying homage to the idol and the other is the figurative use that deals with excessive admiration. Again, it depends on how it is being used. The issues I've shown aren't talking about excessive admiration. How many times do I need to say that?

OK. I get it. But if 'false god' is neither figurative nor referring to an actual 'god' in the supernatural being sense of the word then what are we talking about here?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 85 by purpledawn, posted 05-14-2011 9:14 AM purpledawn has acknowledged this reply

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 65 days)
Posts: 10328
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 89 of 150 (615560)
05-14-2011 10:06 AM
Reply to: Message 88 by purpledawn
05-14-2011 10:01 AM


Re: What Constitutes a False God
PD writes:

Are all these things to be considered false gods?

In a literal sense of the word 'god' no they are not gods (false or otherwise)

In a more metaphorical sense I suppose any of them could be in the right context but some of the things in your list lend themselves better to that metaphor than others.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 88 by purpledawn, posted 05-14-2011 10:01 AM purpledawn has acknowledged this reply

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 65 days)
Posts: 10328
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 96 of 150 (615639)
05-15-2011 8:59 AM
Reply to: Message 95 by purpledawn
05-15-2011 8:07 AM


Metaphorical Gods Are Not Literally Worshiped
As far as I can work it out your complaint in this thread is that metaphorical 'false gods' (such as wealth) aren't worshiped or idolised in the literal religious sense that a deity would be.

Is this right? And if so why would you expect them to be?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 95 by purpledawn, posted 05-15-2011 8:07 AM purpledawn has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 97 by purpledawn, posted 05-15-2011 10:07 AM Straggler has responded

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 65 days)
Posts: 10328
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 98 of 150 (615642)
05-15-2011 10:38 AM
Reply to: Message 97 by purpledawn
05-15-2011 10:07 AM


Re: Metaphorical Gods Are Not Literally Worshiped
PD writes:

It doesn't work metaphorically. There is no real similarity IMO.

Are you talking about the term 'god' or the term 'worship' here?

Do you agree that it is perfectly legitimate to describe wealth as a metaphorical 'god' that is worshiped in a (metaphorical) non-religious sense?

PD writes:

It is the words worship and idolizing that have become figurative.

When talking about figurative gods - Yes.

PD writes:

People don't pay homage to money, sports, power, etc. the same way people paid homage to idols.

People don't turn to money, sports, power, etc. the same way the Hebrews turned to foreign gods.

People don't turn to figurative gods the same way they turn to literal gods. This much is true.

PD writes:

Straggler writes:

As far as I can work it out your complaint in this thread is that metaphorical 'false gods' (such as wealth) aren't worshiped or idolised in the literal religious sense that a deity would be.

Is this right? And if so why would you expect them to be?

No.

But your entire objection seems to be against a figurative use of terms like "worship" and "idolise" as applied to what you perceive as a literal use of the term 'god'.

Do you agree that it is perfectly legitimate to describe wealth as a metaphorical 'god' that is worshiped in a (metaphorical) non-religious sense?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 97 by purpledawn, posted 05-15-2011 10:07 AM purpledawn has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 101 by purpledawn, posted 05-15-2011 5:23 PM Straggler has responded

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 65 days)
Posts: 10328
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 105 of 150 (615741)
05-16-2011 8:25 AM
Reply to: Message 101 by purpledawn
05-15-2011 5:23 PM


Re: Metaphorical Gods Are Not Literally Worshiped
PD writes:

What gods are figurative?

The ones that aren't literally deities of any sort?

PD writes:

Straggler writes:

Has anyone at all genuinely suggested that money is a god in the sense of being a supernatural entity directly comparable to, or in competition with, Yahweh?

Not a deity, no.

So we are talking about a false god that isn't literally a god and that isn't figuratively a god either.

PD writes:

I'm talking about things that are deemed false gods by Christians.

When the Christians you are talking about describe money as a ‘false god’ do you think they are using the term ’god’ A) Figuratively B) Literally in the sense of referring to a supernatural being C) Something else (if so what?)

I don’t really see how this thread makes any sense without this being clarified.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 101 by purpledawn, posted 05-15-2011 5:23 PM purpledawn has acknowledged this reply

  
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