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If an 'atheist' is someone that does not believe in all deities with equal disbelief, what would you call someone that believed in 'all deities' equally?

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Polar theism, the proposition that all the gods are hiding at the N--wait, what was the question? – Jesse Millikan Jul 4 '14 at 1:32
I would suggest that atheism is in the disbelief in the existence of a theistic being. It usually subcategorised into either Agnostic atheism (those who don't claim to know of the non-existence of a God) or Gnostic atheism (those who claim to know that God does not exist). To say the opposite of this is therefore a somewhat undefined question since it really depends upon which position you're coming from. I would also add that Pantheism is really rather the belief that all exists as part of the Divine. plato.stanford.edu/entries/pantheism – user82980 Jul 4 '14 at 4:16
I know a number of people who consider themselves agnostic, but not atheistic. They believe that they don't know or that they can't know, and see that as a different position to atheism (which they equate with your gnostic atheism). Tangentially, the word "Gnosticism" was used for a particular form of religeous belief argued against in some of the New Testament letters in the Bible. – AndrewC Jul 4 '14 at 7:16
I'd say "insane" may be the best answer, as religions are more or less mutually exclusive. – Snakes and Coffee Jul 4 '14 at 8:26
If an 'atheist' is someone that does not believe in all deities This is not correct. an 'atheist' is someone that does not believe in ANY deities. – user13107 Jul 4 '14 at 8:56
up vote 19 down vote accepted

Pantheism :

the worship of all gods of different creeds, cults, or peoples indifferently ; also : toleration of worship of all gods.

So you could say he is "pantheist."

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I found the same definition in Merriam-Webster; could you please credit the source? – Nate Eldredge Jul 3 '14 at 19:02
It is from Merriam Webster's. – vickyace Jul 3 '14 at 19:04
Note that this word is more often used in a different sense, the notion that God is the totality of everything that exists. (The linked dictionary definition seems to be missing this sense, unless that's what they meant by sense 1; anyhow, see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pantheism ) – zwol Jul 4 '14 at 2:50
WP also suggests "omnism" as more closely corresponding to the word the OP wants, but it's not a word I had previously heard of. – zwol Jul 4 '14 at 2:50
Pantheism is acceptance of "all gods", not "all religions." Most major religions have contradictory beliefs entirely apart from their iconography or the names of their gods. – DougM Jul 4 '14 at 16:23

'Theism', in it's broadest sense is the belief that at least one deity exists. From that, I'd say that 'Theist' may be the most obvious opposite to 'Atheist'.


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"Theist" is to "atheist" what "pagan" and "gentile" are to "christian" and "jew". It's not so much an opposite as it is an indicator of religious disagreement. – DougM Jul 4 '14 at 16:21
Lexical semantics typically dictates that there are only some words that have direct, binary opposites. 'Atheist' isn't a word that makes up one of these binary pairs but for the ease of description I was loose with the term 'opposite'. simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheism – Thomas Jul 5 '14 at 17:20


the combination of different forms of belief or practice

It does not have the technical meaning that the OP was seeking, but in practical terms it may accurately describe a specific person's attitude, whereas "pantheism" could be confusing because the intended meaning is the less common usage.

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Wouldn't syncretism also describe an atheistic jew, or a neo-pagan who incorporates significant portions of Christianity into their beleifs? – DougM Jul 4 '14 at 16:25
@DougM: Yes, syncretism is broader than the requested definition, particularly since it applies to practices and not just affirmation of the existence of a god...but that does not mean it isn't the best word for it. Part of my point was that nobody believes in all gods, so we should consider words that describe actual behaviors and beliefs. Indeed, I think that "all gods" is itself a nonsensical concept. – adam.r Jul 4 '14 at 21:58

I'm not sure such a thing is possible, and hence there may not be a word for it.

Many religious systems gift their deities with exclusive rights over the universe - Christianity is a good example. Isiah 45:5 states: "I am the LORD, and there is no other, besides me there is no God." It would be impossible to reconcile the existence of this god (and still hold them as a god in the sense that their religion requires) with, for example, the Hindu pantheon of multiple gods, who co-exist together. The two are mutually exclusive, and hence a position that believes in both simultaneously is contradictory.

Given the religious impossibility of the belief, it's quite likely its advocates would not have a formal name. Formal names for these types of beliefs tend to come from a history of academic study into the ideas behind them, through theology and philosophy particularly. Given that these disciplines are more or less rigorous they tend to exclude positions that are obviously untenable, and don’t name them specifically but lump them together as nonsensical.

If there is a name for the belief in all gods simultaneously it will likely be informal – “new age” beliefs, for example, or "omnism" as suggested in a comment above.

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I think the nonsense is even worse than this -- how could a person believe in "all gods". Can he believe in gods that he's never heard of? Does is just mean that he believes in every god that anyone else tells him about? – adam.r Jul 4 '14 at 21:59
@adam.r mainly because of how I can work it into MY churches creedo... churchofthepaddedwall.org/blog/2013/08/29/… – randomblink Jul 11 '14 at 19:48

Polytheism is the belief in multiple gods but not necessarily all.

Pantheism - Pan (all) theism (god) can be interpreted to mean recognising all gods or it can mean all is God. In a modern context it is more suitably the former.

Either way, this would not treat all gods equally, however as some gods will be more or less plausible to different people, such as the Flying Spaghetti Monster which is made up as a joke/protest.

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'such as the Flying Spaghetti Monster which is made up' - as opposed to...? – DaveP Jul 4 '14 at 15:37
@DaveP I lol'd at your response... ahhhhhhh religion... – randomblink Jul 11 '14 at 19:49

protected by Kit Z. Fox Jul 4 '14 at 21:00

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