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Old 08-03-2013, 10:28 PM   #61
Flyndaran
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Default Re: What a "god"?

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No person can definitely prove that he exists, either.
If you don't believe I exist even if I walk up to you and poke you in the chest, then you are insane. I loathe philosophical nonsense like that.
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Old 08-03-2013, 10:30 PM   #62
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Default Re: What a "god"?

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Every human culture has mythology, gods of some sort, religion, and so on....whatever you may call that.
:)
At the risk of sounding like one of those post-modern hipsters; if you are trying to reduce the concept of 'theft' to a brute fact instead of a cultural construct, I don't think it can be done.
Zeus is nothing like the Christian god at all. Calling them the same thing insults both their respective believers. I think it was you and/or others that defined religion to be uselessly broad.
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Old 08-03-2013, 11:19 PM   #63
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This IS a gaming oriented question; a spinoff from the Loki question. What can the gods be in a game?
Back to the main topic, I'd add that "the gods" might be computer programmers or AIs running a simulated reality sequence (our universe).
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Old 08-03-2013, 11:52 PM   #64
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Default Re: What a "god"?

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Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
If you don't believe I exist even if I walk up to you and poke you in the chest, then you are insane. I loathe philosophical nonsense like that.
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Then you are going to have a hard time arguing any of this stuff with Tantric, for sure.
:)
Riiiight.

'Nuff of that, guys. Let's keep the barrier between RPG-land and Reality a bit firmer, hm?
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Old 08-04-2013, 04:51 AM   #65
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Consider my part finished. I'll edit/delete.
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Old 08-05-2013, 09:05 AM   #66
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Default Re: What a "god"?

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Back to the main topic, I'd add that "the gods" might be computer programmers or AIs running a simulated reality sequence (our universe).
That is certainly relevant to making a game verse.
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Old 08-05-2013, 09:20 AM   #67
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Default Re: What a "god"?

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Zeus is nothing like the Christian god at all. Calling them the same thing insults both their respective believers. I think it was you and/or others that defined religion to be uselessly broad.
Really yeah, though Greek and Norse mythology are both so much a part of Western civilization that they are taken for granted even by the religious at least among the intelligentsia.

"Insults" is a little strong. However Zeus is obviously not trancendent. In point of fact I rather think he has a distasteful personality. My favorites of the Olympians were Athena and Hestia.

Attempts to make Hellenistic style paganism into an organized religion in the manner of Christianity or Zoroastrianism are a matter of historical record. I always thought Paul's "unknown god" in the sermon at the Areopagus was the God of Platonism. In this version, I believe the Olympians were made into avatars of a monotheistic or pantheistic God but it wasn't worked out before Christianity became more fashionable. Or if it was worked out it didn't matter; Platonism only appealed to philosophers.
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Old 08-05-2013, 09:29 AM   #68
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Fraser's Golden Bough posited a social evolution from magic to religion to science. Magic he defined as emphasizing pseudotechnology dependent on ritual, and religion he defined as attempts to commune with superhuman spirits. Of course similar rituals are used for the first two simply because ritualism is a type of art and follows patterns. But when used for religion they would be for a different purpose. Religion X lights lamps to remember how their fathers were delivered from the tyranny of the evil Whatevers. Magic Y lights lamps because dark spirits are afraid of light. On this reasoning, the silly DnD style fantasies with wizards looking like mad scientists may have a glimpse of the truth.

In practice of course the evolutionary model of culture is flawed and all three are found in any culture. Not every culture has science in the sense of the scientific method but every culture has technology. It is however useful as a model. In a culture that emphasizes the "magical" though, the gods have weaknesses to exploit. Egyptian priests thought they could enslave their gods by knowing their true names.
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Old 08-05-2013, 10:41 AM   #69
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Default Re: What a "god"?

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However Zeus is obviously not trancendent. In point of fact I rather think he has a distasteful personality.
Although there philosophers (Heracleitus, I think, and the neoplatonists) who speak of the 'common Zeus' that the people worship and the Zeus who is behind everything, the ground of all being.

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In a culture that emphasizes the "magical" though, the gods have weaknesses to exploit.
According to Kaufmann polytheists posit a meta-divine realm with powers beyond the gods' - you can force the gods' hands by certain sacrifices or rituals. There is no such system for a monotheistic religion.

ETA: Kaufmann's thoughts on Monotheism vs. Paganism.
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Old 08-05-2013, 12:25 PM   #70
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Default Re: What a "god"?

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Attempts to make Hellenistic style paganism into an organized religion in the manner of Christianity or Zoroastrianism are a matter of historical record. I always thought Paul's "unknown god" in the sermon at the Areopagus was the God of Platonism. In this version, I believe the Olympians were made into avatars of a monotheistic or pantheistic God but it wasn't worked out before Christianity became more fashionable. Or if it was worked out it didn't matter; Platonism only appealed to philosophers.
The questions of Platonism strongly affected early christianity. You can see it as influence, or you can see it as christianity answering the questions that were asked, but the schools of thought weren't just pushed out by Christianity, they were absorbed. (at least by my understanding)

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In a culture that emphasizes the "magical" though, the gods have weaknesses to exploit. Egyptian priests thought they could enslave their gods by knowing their true names.
That is an Awesome adventure idea: The quest for the true name of Zeus. Though Hades would be just as fun. Arguably the other gods will act to erase the name from your mind, but you can use their brother against them.
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