Noosphere, Part III: Polytheistic mythologies

This set of myths encompasses polytheism in all of its myriad forms and is symbolized by the mathematically invalid expression 0 = ∞. The number is zero because in this scheme there are exactly zero actual Gods. Here, 0 is very different from the previously discussed NULL state, which is the atheists’ strenuous denial and/or the experienced absence of all that is divine. Zero is also infinity since the number of lower-case gods, goddesses, and godlike beings is unconstrained by any principle. If you have a forest goddess, then why not a tree goddess, and bush goddess, a shrub goddess and a sapling goddess? Toss in a heaping handful of nymphs, trolls and goblins to round out the tableau.

Another distinction is that NULL appears to be a transient state indicative of a crisis whereas 0 = ∞ is a steady-state condition that Homo sapiens have experienced and will in all likelihood continue to experience over countless millennia. Various monotheistic religions and cults, symbolized by 1≠1, 1+1=1 and 1+1+1=1, which we will discuss later, occupy a middle position: they are not transient; neither are they permanent but tend to decay to 0 = ∞ over time.

Lower-case gods form a continuum from truly godlike entities that create and destroy worlds and can only be appeased through regularly scheduled human sacrifices, preferably of virgins, to deified humans whose mummified remains perpetually lie in state in mausoleums, to pop stars and celebrities and all the way to little idols—Chinese kitchen gods, for instance, which are statuettes one can properly appease by smearing them with lard once a year. Fetishes and talismans fit at the far end of this continuum. The existence of neolithic “Venus figurines” shows that this has been going on for at least a few thousand years, probably much longer, lending credence to the theory that the penchant for religious mythology is an evolved trait among Homo sapiens which scientific atheists are silly to try to fight: gods and godlike beings and things may be software but that software runs on dedicated, special-use hardware built right into the human cranium.

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