From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Dystheism (Greek δύσ θεος "bad god"), is the belief that a god or God is not wholly good, and is possibly evil. Trickster gods found in polytheistic belief systems often have a dystheistic nature. One example is Eshu, a trickster god from Yoruba mythology who deliberately fostered violence between groups of people for his own amusement, saying that "causing strife is my greatest joy."

Dystheists may themselves be theists or atheists, and in the case of either, concerning the nature of the God of Abrahamic faiths, will assert that God is not good, and is possibly, although not necessarily, malevolent, particularly to those who do not wish to follow that faith.

Such attitudes have often stemmed from ideas similar to that of Mikhail Bakunin, who stated that "if God really existed, it would be necessary to abolish him" (an inversion of Voltaire's phrase "If God did not exist, it would be necessary for man to invent Him") in response to [God's] perceived antagonism to freedom.

See also[edit]