what did the ancients think god was

Thales, who first inquired into this sort of matter, believed God to be a Spirit that made all things of water;

Anaximander, that the gods were always dying and entering into life again; and that there were an infinite number of worlds;

Anaximines, that the air was God, that he was procreate and immense, always moving

Anaxagoras the first, was of opinion that the description and manner of all things were conducted by the power and reason of an infinite spirit.

Alcmon gave divinity to the sun, moon, and stars, and to the soul.

Pythagoras made God a spirit, spread over the nature of all things, whence our souls are extracted

Parmenides, a circle surrounding the heaven, and supporting the world by the ardour of light.

Empedocles pronounced the four elements, of which all things are composed, to be gods;

Protagoras had nothing to say, whether they were or were not, or what they were

Democritus was one while of opinion that the images and their circuitions were gods; another while, the nature that darts out those images; and then, our science and intelligence.

Speusippus, the nephew of Plato, makes God a certain power governing all things, and that he has a soul.

Zeno says ’tis the law of nature, commanding good and prohibiting evil; which law is an animal; and takes away the accustomed gods, Jupiter, Juno, and Vesta

Diogenes Apolloniates, that ’tis air. Zenophanes makes God round, seeing and hearing, not breathing, and having nothing in common with human nature.

Aristo thinks the form of God to be incomprehensible, deprives him of sense, and knows not whether he be an animal or something else

Diagoras and Theodoras flatly denied that there were any gods at all

Sir Isaac Newton He is called the Lord God, the Universal Emperor–that the word God is relative, and relates itself with slaves–and that the Deity is the dominion or the sovereignty of God, not over his own body, as those think who look upon God as the soul of the world, but over slaves

Hart makes god the ground of being

And you still a find a believer calling an igtheist arrogant for saying god is a word that hasn’t been coherently defined and thus talk of its or their existence, is really a chasing after the wind!

Note: The above are taken from the Apology for Raymond Sebond except Isaac Newton and Hart’s conception of god[s]

About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

106 thoughts on “what did the ancients think god was

  1. Love this. But thank Jeebus for creationists who have revealed the TRUE god to us…..Or, is that the Muslims? No. Wait. It’s the Hindus. No. Wait. It’s the Jews. No. Oh, fuck it already. Great post, my friend.


    • makagutu says:

      as the last prophet, I will gladly admit that, until I can be told what god is in a way that the definition doesn’t involve a contradiction, there are no gods


      • Have a theist friend who claims there’s only one “god” and all the religions that exist just have different ways of worshiping this one “god.” Of course, most religions would say this is bullshit and that it is THEIR god that is real and THEIR way of worshiping it is the ONLY way to worship it. Thus leaving “god” an undefined, human construct that is meaningless as it is without any sort of cohesive description. It’s an ever morphing word that means whatever people want it to mean whenever they need it to mean what they want it to mean.


        • makagutu says:

          what god is changes with the person describing it. A philosopher and a fraud like Chopra makes god a quantum field, my ignorant grandmother makes god a person, just a bigger person


  2. Allah was the Arabian moon god and his temple was in Mecca. Coincidence?


  3. How dare you not believe in any of their Gods. It’s obvious they exist. You can see it everywhere.


  4. But, but, but, the Bible says except you ask Jesus to come inside you, and receive the Holy Ghost, you will never know (in the biblical sense) the true Gods, nor understand what it feels like to be fucked by the Holy Ghost and feel Jesus come inside you.

    Sheesh, some people just can’t get it through their thick skull that the Christian gods are the true Gods, and their horniness is clearly defined right there in the Bible.

    “Behold, I come quickly.” Rev. 22:12


  5. A Guy Without Boxers says:

    Now can we summon a deity council of all the believers to sort out all this chaos? Great point, my Nairobi friend. Now you may take a much-deserved rest! 😉


  6. john zande says:

    This is brilliant! I’d love to hear more of this.


  7. What many of these ancient descriptions of god(s) have in common is the natural human desire to explain things that aren’t completely understood. Before we knew that the sun is just a concentration of ordinary matter which reached sufficient mass to ignite nuclear fusion (like every other star), many of us thought it was an all-powerful god.


  8. carmen says:

    For such a serious fellow, Mak, you sure attract some comedians! 🙂

    But of course, THEY are the true gods!!


  9. shelldigger says:

    So many gods! How do I know which one is the one true? Oh, wait, not supposed to ask any questions. How sure are they about their one true god, if they supress any intelligent inquiry? Oh, wait, that was another question. I’m just not cut out for this god stuff.


  10. Sonel says:

    I for one would love to know who thought out those Greek names. I can’t even pronounce half of them. No wonder they thought there was a god. Mistaken identities it seems. 😆


  11. ejwinner says:

    Look, we’ve already settled this – the divine almighty is my Dog – born of a virgin to save all canines! The people you quote were born before the Great Revelations found in the Book of Lhasa Apso.

    We lesser mortals cannot expect an afterlife in the Canine Heaven, but we can live a better life here on earth if we just treat Dogs as they demand. Join the pack!

    Now I gotta go – Dog insists on grooming – I hear and obey!


  12. […] help his cause. To Aristotle, the number of gods could be 47 or 55. This is not all for Diagoras and Theodoras flatly denied that there were any gods at all and many other ancient philosophers did not agree on the nature of […]


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