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THE DECENTRALIZATION OF DEITY. If you believe in decentralized bottom-up organic systems, and make an opposition between naturalistic systems and organized hierarchical ones, then take a fresh look at ancient paganism, and compare it to both monotheism or atheism. Paganism is about the decentralization and diversification of deity; monotheism strives for some purity and concentration, getting rid of disorderly and incompatible tenets. Paganism is naturally tolerant and syncretist. Thus, monotheists and atheists are way too similar, especially in their intolerance of other religions (and each other). In that sense, atheism is to monotheism what monotheism is to paganism.

This said, Orthodox Christianity and Catholicism have retained quite a bit of pagan beliefs, though not the tolerance. Even monotheism was not that pure and only became so progressively: in the early centuries, before differenciation communities would use the same house as synagogue, church, and Baal-Jupiter-Other temple (evidence: Doura Europos). In Lebanon, people used to change religion to satisfy a vow.

(Thanks Vince Pomal for the idea about distributed deities)

via THE DECENTRALIZATION OF DEITY. If you… – Nassim Nicholas Taleb | Facebook.

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