Religion in History: Monotheism vs Roman Polytheism

From the time man became a sedentary creature who organized himself around a society, the different cultures have revolved around religions, which monopolize laws and social convention as they channel man’s fear, fear of the unkown. There have been two kinds of religions; polytheistic and monotheistic. We are erroneously taught and we generally think that the former is a rudimentary religion, whereas the latter the “right evolved one” and represents the “logical” omnipresent “truth”, making us “righteous human beings”. But, is it?

The thee monotheistic religions that we know, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, originated in the Middle East; a region of patriarchal societies, ruled by tyrannic kings in ancient times. And these monotheistic, “more civilized”, religions portray in their religious books a tyrannic, intolerant and only god, who punishes human beings with floods, earthquakes, and diseases, when man dares to assert himself ontologically as a self-confident, rational being. Monotheistic teachings have implied that, to avoid the after-death, excruciating, endless suffering in the ovens of inferno, man has to give up his freedom of thoughts and of making decisions and submit to doctrines. From this point of view, the extortive characteristics of monotheism has been used by tyrants and governments world-wide as an instrument of thoughts control.

Monotheism crushes man’s self-esteem by stirring up inner fears and feeling of guilt, giving rise to an elephantiasic superego that diverts mental energies through destructive channels. Judaism: People are sinful (bad), but can be reconciled to God by making sacrifices for their sin, and they can only gain an eternal dwelling with God by following the laws of Moses. Christianity: man is sinful (bad) by nature and can only be saved and gain eternal life through faith in Jesus; to get forgiveness one has to forgive and turn the other cheek when one is attacked; Christian values are still deep-rooted nowadays, even in the mind of the intellectual agnostic; imagine the meek Christians standing in the line that led to the lions maws of the Roman Circus. Islam: people are saved by virtue of their deeds, a small deed is lying to conceal one’s intention, but the greatest deed that brings man straight to heaven is to kill the infidel, that is to say the Jew, the Christian, the agnostic, etc; at the beginning, long before the first crusade, Islam waged great wars of territorial expansion to kill the infidel; nowadays fundamentalists immolate themselves to kill tens, hundreds, thousands, maybe millions of human beings if they ever get radioactive materials.

In contrast to the monotheistic doctrines, Jupiter was not the only god in the pantheon; there were others, and none of them restricted man’s thinking and actions. His behavior was only regulated by his circumstances and the man-created laws that established order and synchronized individuals activities. In the Roman, Greek, as well as in the Scandinavian polytheistic religions, there was one god for every activity man performed, inspiring and helping man in every human action and enterprise he undertook. Not only there was a god of war, but also a god or goddess of science, trade, finance, love, pleasure, wisdom, etc. In Ancient Times, great civilizations arose under the aegis of polytheism, whereas monotheism arose in nomadic societies where men lapidated women to death. The Roman Civilization arose as a polytheistic society, but it fell and crumbled as a monotheistic society, after emperor Constantine I decreed that Christianity was the new official religion of Rome.

By Carlos Benito Camacho

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Thor is Carlos Benito Camacho, the manager and writer of this blog.