There are many Gods, as many as you like, into the millions if you prefer, perhaps billions, one for every pair of human eyes. You may worship and adore all the Gods.
Admit many Gods, but you may only have time to devote yourself to one, and that’s okay because these are not self-doubting, jealous Gods.
Also acknowledge many Gods, but you should dedicate yourself to a single God at a time, moving from one God to another God at different periods of your life, perhaps the phases offered in As You Like It by Shakespeare’s intellectualist idler, Jaques, who espies seven stages of life, beginning with infancy and ending in the second childishness of old-aged senility, ‘sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.’ There are Gods aplenty for each stage.
Affirm one God but this God is to be worshiped and adored in three persons: Father, Son (Jesus), and Holy Ghost. To other monotheists like Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, Bahais and Caodais, and to polytheists and atheists too, Trinitarian math is elusive (1+1+1=1) and susceptible to being labelled a petite polytheism of three distinct Gods. Trinitarians vigorously defend the oneness of three.
Acknowledge two Gods, one very very Good and the other one very very Evil. The need for two rests upon the world’s oscillation between beauty and ugliness, delight and dread, kindness and cruelty, irises and ebola viruses. In a family of Dualists you may hear the following dialogue: Child: ‘Mommy, did our good, loving and compassionate God create the talon, the fang, the claw?’ Mom: ‘No, sweetie, the other God, the God of cruelty, made those.’ As if you needed to be told, you should adore the very very Good God.
Declare there has only ever been one good God to worship and adore. Several distinct and opposing monotheistic religions claim this God and define him in many different ways, with many different hues.
Say there’s one God who is not really all that good, given conspicuous evidence from our bloody red in tooth and claw, predator-prey natural world. Adore with caution.
State that God is identical to the many things of the physical, material world, and when you adore the many things of the material world you adore God.
Claim that God is within the many things of the material world but distinct from the many things of the material world. You may adore this God in your esteem for the material world, or adore this God as something above the material world.
Insist there is one God who created the universe but thereafter took no interest in it. You do not adore this God because this God cares nothing about you, either because he doesn’t know you exist, or because he cares about you as much as he cares about the life of an oyster or a gnat, with due apologies to The World Parliament of Insects, Mollusks, & Affiliated Clam Culture.
Maintain that God is not a person at all but an impersonal Force that pervades the universe and may be tapped-into by humans but requires no adoration. Cf. Yoda, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Rey of the Star Wars mythos.
Say that what humans have been calling ‘Gods’ are actually space-visiting galactic beings who used modest ingredients and measuring spoons to un-miraculously originate life on Earth and thereafter vacationed in rural New Mexico.
Proclaim there is only one item in existence: God. God is everything, everything is God, and everything is only one thing, God. Variety is a delusion, and all the words we have for the many existent things are superfluous. Thin the dictionary to the letter ‘g’ and the word ‘God.’ Pantheism is different in that it admits the existence of many things.
Say God cannot be rendered into any image or concept, because the God that can be imagined is not the real God. Our mystics proffer this deity and claim to adore God immediately, that is, without the mediation of holy saints, holy buildings, holy worship services, bells, books, candles, or even thoughts and words. Mystics often claim an ineffable experience and then write inch-thick books describing it.
Say all Gods were once humans who at some point achieved apotheosis, elevation to divinity. Adore the worthy ones. Some Buddhists may be here.
Follow Prometheus and hate all Gods because Gods are completely overbearing, pompous, fat-witted despots. Adoration is inapt.
Find no persuasive arguments for God, no convincing idea of God on offer in six thousand years, and therefore say there must be no Gods. Some Buddhists may be here.
Remain unconvinced by every argument for God’s existence but prefer to withhold judgment as to whether God exists. Agnostics are no kind of believer in God and do not ‘hedge their bet’ by attending religious services or by praying—just in case there’s a God.
Doubt not only avowals about God but also all claims to all knowledge. A Skeptic might say, ‘You you claim to know God exists and you don’t even know if Charlemagne existed!’
Advise us to give up the word ‘God,’ rub it from the world’s lexicons, and never utter it again. Why? Because it has been proved, over many thousands of years, that humans are utterly ignorant about what the word ‘God’ signifies, as indisputably established by our extensive disagreements concerning God, evinced in this very roster of twenty.
Featured image ‘Goddess Kring open gaze’ by Shannon Kringen via Flickr