In religious belief, a deity is either a natural or supernatural being, who is thought of as holy, divine, or sacred. Some religions have one supreme deity, while others have multiple deities. A male deity is a god (though "God" is used in a gender-neutral way in monotheistic religions), while a female deity is a goddess.
C. Scott Littleton's Gods, Goddesses, and Mythology defined a deity as "a being with powers greater than those of ordinary humans, but who interacts with humans, positively or negatively, in ways that carry humans to new levels of consciousness beyond the grounded preoccupations of ordinary life". Historically, various cultures have conceptualized a deity differently than a monotheistic God. A deity need not be almighty, omnipresent, omniscient, omnibenevolent or eternal. A monotheistic God is almighty, omnipresent, omniscient, omnibenevolent and eternal.
Deities are depicted in a variety of forms, but are also frequently expressed as having human form. Deities are often thought to be immortal, and are commonly assumed to have personalities and to possess consciousness, intellects, desires, and emotions comparable but usually superior to those of humans.
Historically, natural phenomena whose physical causes were not well understood, such as lightning, earthquakes, and floods, were attributed to deities. They were thought to be able to work supernatural miracles and to be the authorities and controllers of various aspects of huma . . . more