gods

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Blasphemy

Blasphemy Blasphemy is the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence to a deity, or sacred objects, or toward something considered sacred or inviolable. Some religions consider blasphemy to be a religious crime. As of 2012, anti-blasphemy laws existed in 32 countries, while 87 nations had hate speech laws that covered defamation of religion and...

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Agnostic Theism

Agnostic Theism Agnostic theism, agnostotheism or agnostitheism is the philosophical view that encompasses both theism and agnosticism. An agnostic theist believes in the existence of a God or gods, but regards the basis of this proposition as unknown or inherently unknowable. The agnostic theist may also or alternatively be agnostic regarding the properties of the...

Atheism

Atheist’s Wager

Atheist’s Wager The Atheist’s Wager, popularised by the philosopher Michael Martin and published in his 1990 book Atheism: A Philosophical Justification, is an atheistic response to Pascal’s Wager regarding the existence of God. One version of the Atheist’s Wager suggests that since a kind and loving god would reward good deeds – and that if no gods exist, good deeds...

Russell's Teapot

Russell’s Teapot

Russell’s Teapot Russell’s teapot is an analogy, formulated by the philosopher Bertrand Russell (1872–1970), to illustrate that the philosophic burden of proof lies upon a person making unfalsifiable claims, rather than shifting the burden of disproof to others. Russell specifically applied his analogy in the context of religion. He wrote that if he were to assert, without offering...

Eyguieres curse tablet

Curse Tablet

Curse Tablet A curse tablet (tabella defixionis, defixio; κατάδεσμος katadesmos) is a small tablet with a curse written on it from the Greco-Roman world. The tablets were used to ask the gods, place spirits, or the deceased to perform an action on a person or object, or otherwise compel the subject of the curse....

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Divine Law

What is Divine Law? Divine law comprises any body of law that is perceived as deriving from a transcendent source, such as the will of God or gods – in contrast to man-made law or to secular law. According with Angelos Chaniotis and Rudolph F. Peters, Divine laws are typically perceived as superior to man-made laws, sometimes due to an assumption that...

Bùi Hữu Nghĩa Shrine in Cần Thơ.

Vietnamese Folk Religion

Vietnamese Folk Religion Vietnamese folk religion or Vietnamese indigenous religion (tín ngưỡng dân gian Việt Nam, is the ethnic religion of the Vietnamese people. About 45.3% of the population in Vietnam are associated with this religion, making it dominant in Vietnam. Vietnamese folk religion is not an organized religious system, but a set of local...

Shaktism is a Goddess-centric tradition of Hinduism. From left: Parvati/Durga, Kali and Lakshmi

Hindu Denominations

Hindu Denominations Hindu denominations are traditions within Hinduism centered on one or more gods or goddesses, such as Shiva, Shakti, Vishnu, and Brahma. Sometimes the term is used for sampradayas led by a particular guru with a particular philosophy. Hinduism has no central doctrinal authority and many practising Hindus do not claim to belong to any...

A 10th century triad – Vishnu, Shiva and Brahma – from Bihar.

Hindu Deities

Hindu Deities Hindu deities are the gods and goddesses in Hinduism. The terms and epithets for deity within the diverse traditions of Hinduism vary, and include Deva, Devi, Ishvara, Ishvari, Bhagavān and Bhagavati. The deities of Hinduism have evolved from the Vedic era (2nd millennium BC) through the medieval era (1st millennium AD), regionally within Nepal, India and in Southeast Asia, and...

Nataraja Temple gopuram artwork in Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu

Shaktism

Shaktism Shaktism (Śāktaḥ, lit., “doctrine of energy, power, the eternal goddess“) is a major tradition of Hinduism, wherein the metaphysical reality is considered metaphorically a woman and Shakti is regarded as the supreme godhead. It includes many goddesses, all considered aspects of the same supreme goddess. Shaktism has different sub-traditions, ranging from those...

Mother Goddess sculpture from Madhya Pradesh or Rajasthan, India, 6th-7th century, in the National Museum of Korea, Seoul

Mother goddess

Mother goddess A mother goddess is a goddess who represents or is a personification of motherhood. When equated with the Earth or the natural world, such goddesses are sometimes referred to as Mother Earth or as the Earth Mother. The concept is complementary to a “Sky Father” or “Father Sky“. There is difference of opinion between...

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Maleficium (sorcery)

Maleficium (sorcery) Maleficium (plural: maleficia) as a Latin term, “An act of witchcraft performed with the intention of causing damage or injury; the resultant harm.” In general, the term applies to any magical act intended to cause harm or death to people or property. Its use in English comes from “Early 17th century; earliest...

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Nontheism

Nontheism Nontheism or non-theism is a range of both religious and nonreligious attitudes characterized by the absence of espoused belief in a God or gods. Nontheism has generally been used to describe apathy or silence towards the subject of God and differs from an antithetical, explicit atheism. Nontheism does not necessarily describe atheism or disbelief in God; it...

This panel by Bartolomeo di Giovann

Myth

Myth Myth is a folklore genre consisting of narratives or stories that play a fundamental role in a society, such as foundational tales or origin myths. The main characters in myths are usually gods, demigods or supernatural humans. Stories of everyday human beings, although often of leaders of some type,...

Atheism

Atheism

Atheism Atheism (“not believing in god“) refers in its broadest sense to a denial of theism (the belief in the existence of a single deity or deities). Atheism has many shades and types. Some atheists strongly deny the existence of God (or any form of deity) and attack theistic claims. Yet certainty as...

Greek gods

god (male deity)

god (male deity) A god is a male deity, in contrast with a goddess, a female deity. While the term “goddess” specifically refers to a female deity, the plural “gods” can be applied to deities collectively, regardless of gender. The Greek and Roman pantheons were ruled by Zeus, and Jupiter. When ancient Egyptian religion developed closer to monotheism, it was Amun, a male god,...

Reconstruction of a food offering after a Viking Age blót

Old Norse Religion

Old Norse Religion Old Norse religion is the most common name for a branch of Germanic religion which developed during the Proto-Norse period, when the North Germanic peoples separated into a distinct branch of the Germanic peoples. It was displaced by Christianity during the Christianization of Scandinavia. Scholars reconstruct aspects...

Theology

Theology

Theology Theology is the critical study of the nature of the divine. It is taught as an academic discipline, typically in universities and seminaries. Theology is basically the study of deities or their scriptures in order to discover what they have revealed about themselves. While theology has turned into a secular...

Ishvara temple in Arasikere, Hassan district, Karnataka state, India

Ishvara

Ishvara Ishvara (ईश्वर) is a concept in Hinduism, with a wide range of meanings that depend on the era and the school of Hinduism. In ancient texts of Indian philosophy, depending on the context, Ishvara can mean supreme soul, ruler, lord, king, queen or husband. In medieval era Hindu texts, depending on the...

Elohim

Elohim Elohim (אֱלֹהִים) in the Hebrew Bible refers to deities, and is one of the many names or titles for God in the Hebrew Bible.   The word is identical to the usual plural of el, meaning gods or magistrates, and is cognate to the ‘l-h-m found in Ugaritic, where it is used for the pantheon of Canaanite gods, the children of El,...

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