Friday, December 17, 2010

On the implementation of '==' for deities

So the dude who did the documentary where he ate McDonald's every day for 30 days and ruined his body, well he got a reality TV deal for a show called 30 days.

I watched the first few episodes.  In one of them, a Christian dude spent 30 days living with a Muslim family in Detroit.  Upon visiting a mosque, he expressed the concern that the Muslims were praying to a different God than his, and he didn't want to engage in that.

How, exactly, might one evaluate that question?  If we grant:
  • Muslims pray to Allah
  • Christians pray to God
How do we know that Allah == God (or not)?

If we allowed the possibility of multi-theism, this would be simple enough.  If Apollo is the sun god and Aphrodite isn't, then we're probably talking about different deities.  There's a distinction in roles and genders.

But Allah and God pretty much have the same role: creator of heaven and earth, alpha and omega, &c.  They even have the same gender, which is either "male" or "undefined" depending on how much modernist revisionism you subscribe to.

Now, some of the things that Allah and God have said or done might contradict one another.  Like, if Allah said that there was no heaven and God said that there was, then maybe we'd be dealing with different deities.

Except: the Christian God said the thing about "eye for an eye" and then the other thing about "turning the other cheek."  Those are kinda hard to reconcile.  No easier anyway than it would be to reconcile the God of Abraham, Moses, Jesus and "Angels in the Outfield" also being the dude who spake to Muhammad that one time about that other thing.

Maybe this is one of those P vs NP things?

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