I don't give a stuff about "most". Again, we return to the book definition. "Human or near human" forms no part of the definition of a god purely because there are so many examples of things that are unarguably gods that aren't human or near human. My argument is entirely about universality. And besides, you seem to be ignoring the huge number of gods that are the sun, the moon, mountains, rivers, and other natural features.
I'm actually not. I looked up a vast number of deities before I posted that just to make sure and everyone that I'd found that had a physical description was human in nature. If you would like to point me in the right direction for ones that are Gods that are only one of those things please do. :)
heh, can't count the number of times I've done the same thing.
Yay! I'm not alone! :)
Fine, all fine. But I ask again, what traits does a dragon have that makes you think these two (I'll allow you not to cover the North American one if you like) are the same thing. For example, books have pages with symbols on them. Nothing (within that definition which obviously includes magazines) that is like that isn't a book, nothing that is a book isn't like that. What do you think a dragon is? It seems to me that your definition is little more than "mythical reptile"
Because I grew up learning about different cultures at the same time, Dragons to me are Mythical creatures who are reptilian in nature, generally larger than a human, and have some form of magic attached to them. Really broad, yes, but it doesn't help that I grew up thinking of both Eastern Dragons and Western Dragons as dragons. To me, it's kinda like how Red Pandas are Weasels (which I just looked up to double check. Raccoon was an old definition...
). They don't look a like! But they are.
And yet, on the same time, how do you explain the cultures where evil is an act of a polytheistic deity? Zoroastrianism springs very readily to mind. Your definition fails there as well unless you're claiming Ahriman is a demon rather than a deity.
So even by an overbroad definition of Demon, your argument about universality fails.
I actually double checked Zoroastrianism and they actually put Ahriman on the same level as Lucifer/Satan, not it's own level. I believe this to be an argument in the theological world though, so I will still answer my thoughts on this.
In a past time, I believe that Lucifer/Satan would be put on the same level as Ahriman. But it depends on how equivalent the cultures find Evil and Good.
Most monotheistic cultures want their Benevolent Deities to be stronger than Malevolent lesser beings. In some polytheistic cases, Deities seem to be souped up humans with just supernatural powers (Zeus/ the Greek pantheon for instance). The Greek Gods were famous almost for how human they were. Jealousy and hate and human emotion seemed to drip from their stories. So it made sense in most cases that the deities were both good and bad since humans were both good and bad.
But then you look at cultures such as Hinduism where certain sects believe that all of the Gods are actually different aspects of the one God, representing a multifaceted God. Yet this isn't typical of a God that you'd see, because most monotheistic Deities are either malevolent or benevolent.
In my opinion, most evil deities are souped up demons. Or it's the other way, where demons are lesser versions of deities.
Unicorns/mythical beasts are different to me and I understand where you're coming from. But keep in mind, most places didn't have horses. So horses are a thing that came from Europe... where unicorns come from.
Creatures and God are also very different to me. God/Gods typically rule entire universes or worlds, not one area. Mythical creatures, to me, would evolve independently of each other and could therefore be extremely different. Also, some are specific to certain environments... Kappas for instance are only in Japan. It's not uncommon for certain species to be specific to a specific set of islands, especially without contact with others. Mythical creatures are much more... creature than supernatural in a lot of cases. And a lot of deities are either shapeshifters or look relatively human or don't appear on earth at all. So one could argue the existence or former existence of mythological creatures to me, even though I don't believe in them due to lack of evidence and because of how connected to earth they are they would leave some evidence.