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Old 07-24-2019, 07:20 PM   #21
David Johnston2
 
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Default Re: Need help to flesh out a religion

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Originally Posted by jason taylor View Post
Enough will. .
If the idea is a religion that is actually dominant in the setting, as opposed to just a minor fringe sect, then no, enough won't.
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Old 07-24-2019, 10:21 PM   #22
jason taylor
 
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Default Re: Need help to flesh out a religion

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Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
If the idea is a religion that is actually dominant in the setting, as opposed to just a minor fringe sect, then no, enough won't.
Sorry I misread that. Yes that is quite true. It is hard to think of examples something like Jains or Roman Mystery Cults having a dominance. On the other hand it is not necessary. Many of these types last for hundreds of years as minorities. There can be more than one religion in the OP's setting after all.
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Old 07-24-2019, 10:58 PM   #23
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Default Re: Need help to flesh out a religion

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Without his knowledge, he had a brother watching him.
Not just someone else but a "brother"? Did they have a mother and father?
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Old 07-25-2019, 03:38 AM   #24
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Default Re: Need help to flesh out a religion

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Very few people are going to follow a religion when following it gives them nothing but misery and deprivation.
Precisely - and that's great for the demons. They don't need to preach indulgence or excess or anything someone might independently poke holes in, all they need is to encourage people not to be unhappy and they've essentially trapped them in the mortal coil.
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Old 07-25-2019, 09:16 AM   #25
David Johnston2
 
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Default Re: Need help to flesh out a religion

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Precisely - and that's great for the demons. They don't need to preach indulgence or excess or anything someone might independently poke holes in, all they need is to encourage people not to be unhappy and they've essentially trapped them in the mortal coil.
But if they can do that, then they aren't actually all that bad anyway. The point of the religion is that the world is terrible by following the religion they can escape it. If the world is fine then the religion is just stupid.
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Old 07-25-2019, 09:41 AM   #26
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Default Re: Need help to flesh out a religion

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But if they can do that, then they aren't actually all that bad anyway. The point of the religion is that the world is terrible by following the religion they can escape it. If the world is fine then the religion is just stupid.
Except the world is observably never fine. It is doesn't take much convincing of the pessimist to go from saying the world is flawed to the world is evil. Furthermore, whether it is stupid or not, Gnosticism did survive for a time, and Buddhism survives now.
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Old 07-25-2019, 12:44 PM   #27
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Default Re: Need help to flesh out a religion

As others have noted, a religion that simply focuses on detachment from the world is unlikely to become very powerful. Establishing longterm projects - like creating a church and increasing its political power - seems like it would be discouraged. Having children also seems like it would be discouraged, and the vast majority of a typical religion's adherents are actually born into the religion in some way (this is actually a big part of the reason virginity cults tend not to last very long).

This doesn't mean you need to abandon the idea, however. It really just needs a few exceptions to the "detachment" aspect. First off, establishing longterm projects should be encouraged. Yes, such projects are going to struggle with the inherent corruption of the world, but their purpose is to save as many souls as possible. You may want to come up with a reason why (the believers think) the religious leaders are immune/resistant to corruption, allowing such to gain political power for the furthering of the religion. Additionally - and this is very important - having and raising children should be encouraged. You may want to take a page from modern Catholic doctrine, where sex is considered sinful unless it is between spouses and done in a manner that makes conception possible. The reincarnation aspect of the religion actually gives you a very good justification for having children - it's actually seen as a type of conversion, as you are taking in a lost soul and raising it up within the church, thus making it more likely to achieve salvation. Such a doctrine also strongly encourages adoption; if you'd rather it didn't, perhaps (it is believed that) when a child is actually conceived by a couple with bright souls, its own soul is automatically brightened. So, while a child who is adopted into the church will likely have its soul brightened, you get a lot more mileage out of conceiving a child yourself.
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Old 07-25-2019, 01:14 PM   #28
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Default Re: Need help to flesh out a religion

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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
As others have noted, a religion that simply focuses on detachment from the world is unlikely to become very powerful. Establishing longterm projects - like creating a church and increasing its political power - seems like it would be discouraged. Having children also seems like it would be discouraged, and the vast majority of a typical religion's adherents are actually born into the religion in some way (this is actually a big part of the reason virginity cults tend not to last very long).

This doesn't mean you need to abandon the idea, however. It really just needs a few exceptions to the "detachment" aspect. First off, establishing longterm projects should be encouraged. Yes, such projects are going to struggle with the inherent corruption of the world, but their purpose is to save as many souls as possible. You may want to come up with a reason why (the believers think) the religious leaders are immune/resistant to corruption, allowing such to gain political power for the furthering of the religion. Additionally - and this is very important - having and raising children should be encouraged. You may want to take a page from modern Catholic doctrine, where sex is considered sinful unless it is between spouses and done in a manner that makes conception possible. The reincarnation aspect of the religion actually gives you a very good justification for having children - it's actually seen as a type of conversion, as you are taking in a lost soul and raising it up within the church, thus making it more likely to achieve salvation. Such a doctrine also strongly encourages adoption; if you'd rather it didn't, perhaps (it is believed that) when a child is actually conceived by a couple with bright souls, its own soul is automatically brightened. So, while a child who is adopted into the church will likely have its soul brightened, you get a lot more mileage out of conceiving a child yourself.

Also you can have your cake and eat it too by having a bureaucratic church of princely robe-bedecked clerics, a scholarly class for studying texts, and obscure sects or orders (with or without official approval) that carry on extreme hairshirt-bedecked mysticism.
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Old 07-25-2019, 01:39 PM   #29
David Johnston2
 
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Default Re: Need help to flesh out a religion

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Except the world is observably never fine. It is doesn't take much convincing of the pessimist to go from saying the world is flawed to the world is evil. Furthermore, whether it is stupid or not, Gnosticism did survive for a time, and Buddhism survives now.
Mainstream Buddhism doesn't survive by preaching that contentment is demonic and so is any attempt to alleviate suffering.
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