I agree that it's certainly analogous to the concept of heaven in theistic religions, but that doesn't mean that it's a deity in itself. It is not a being. It has no sentience. Just like whale flukes and shrimp swimmerets are different structures that provide similar roles, nirvana and a deity are different things that provide a similar role within their respective belief . If we stretch the definition of "deity" to include nirvana, then what else falls under the definition? Is love a deity? People certainly can treat the concept of love with similar religious reverence to that of nirvana. I'd argue that such treatment of love would certainly fall under this definition. If so, would such a person cease to be an atheist,? I've seen almost religious, reverential treatment of the concept of science advancing human knowledge by some people. Is it a deity?
In short, calling nirvana a god is far too inclusive a definition in my eyes.
I never suggested that Nirvana was a personal deity, nor that it was a being, nor that it was sentient. I suggested that the analogous deification through dogma, is a shared characteristic between the religions, regardless of whether it's directed to a person, place or thing(concept) After all....some religions don't refer to God as a person but as a force or energy, which is also a state of being, which is also what Nirvana is. The fact that they deify Nirvana as some religions deify the force or energy they refer to as a 'god' means little to me, as I look at the process of deification as the principle measurement by which I measure certain religions of supernaturality such as Buddhism as being theistic in that context while acknowledging that they don't have the concept of a walking talking god.
If love was your god....yes, it would be your deity. Is love your or anyone else's god?
Pittsburgh Penguins - CDC GML
"My goal is to win the Stanley Cup, and after the offer I received from Buffalo, I believe this is the best place to make it happen." - Christian Ehrhoff