D&D General Nay-Theists Vs. Flat-Earth Atheists in D&D Worlds

Voadam

Legend
Okay, if someone asserts that "Oerth doesn't have any gods, we just have Immortals like Mystara, though many falsely believe them to be gods", is he a Nay-Theist or a Flat-Earth Atheist?
If you believe there are no gods you are an atheist.

If you believe there are gods you are a theist.

So even though the person believes Greyhawk and Mystara do not have gods, whether they are a theist or not depends on whether the person believes there are gods in other places like the Forgotten Realms. If there are gods somewhere, they are a theist.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

If you believe there are no gods you are an atheist.

If you believe there are gods you are a theist.

So even though the person believes Greyhawk and Mystara do not have gods, whether they are a theist or not depends on whether the person believes there are gods in other places like the Forgotten Realms. If there are gods somewhere, they are a theist.

I you believe gods can exists, but the beings that call themselves gods are false...then what constitutes a god? Is it nothing less than complete omniscience and omnipotence? Seems like they want Abrahamic goal posts. It takes a lot of spice out of pantheism and dispersed portfolios. (This is why I've never like Ao. I consider him a bad development in FR lore. I mean A-lpha, O-mega? C'mon).

The strain of "atheism" that is usually expressed by PCs in my games is that, essentially, gods are just powerful beings with good PR and only deserve worship in a transactional sense. At my most cynical I think those players just balk at the idea of any spiritual system where they are accountable to a being that has dominion over them. It stirs all sorts of emotions about institutional power, so they'd rather invalidate it though some carefully plucked determinism.

In most games they're right, since gods seem only to express their will through those they give spells to (does prayer benefit the commoner NPC? Can blasphemy spiritually endanger an atheist PC? Are holy cities actually protected by their patron gods?) Almost every player I've met also assumes the Gods Need Prayer Badly (TV tropes link) framework in fantasy unless it's been specifically stated otherwise. It's pervasive, human-centric and pretty egotistical. But it's an idea that makes atheism seem like a safe choice.
 

Sithlord

Adventurer
I you believe gods can exists, but the beings that call themselves gods are false...then what constitutes a god? Is it nothing less than complete omniscience and omnipotence? Seems like they want Abrahamic goal posts. It takes a lot of spice out of pantheism and dispersed portfolios. (This is why I've never like Ao. I consider him a bad development in FR lore. I mean A-lpha, O-mega? C'mon).

The strain of "atheism" that is usually expressed by PCs in my games is that, essentially, gods are just powerful beings with good PR and only deserve worship in a transactional sense. At my most cynical I think those players just balk at the idea of any spiritual system where they are accountable to a being that has dominion over them. It stirs all sorts of emotions about institutional power, so they'd rather invalidate it though some carefully plucked determinism.

In most games they're right, since gods seem only to express their will through those they give spells to (does prayer benefit the commoner NPC? Can blasphemy spiritually endanger an atheist PC? Are holy cities actually protected by their patron gods?) Almost every player I've met also assumes the Gods Need Prayer Badly (TV tropes link) framework in fantasy unless it's been specifically stated otherwise. It's pervasive, human-centric and pretty egotistical. But it's an idea that makes atheism seem like a safe choice.

yeah. I make it clear in my games that the gods are not all powerful and all knowing. And I like different types of gods and priests with respect to pantheism and animism and different theological philosophies.
 

Voadam

Legend
I you believe gods can exists, but the beings that call themselves gods are false...then what constitutes a god? Is it nothing less than complete omniscience and omnipotence? Seems like they want Abrahamic goal posts. It takes a lot of spice out of pantheism and dispersed portfolios.

This can vary a lot depending on the definitions used for gods and false gods.

It can be omniscience/omnipotence.

It can be divine/sacred nature of the being.

It can be specific divine powers of the being or that it can grant to others.

It can be a specific relationship to aspects of the universe.

It can be a specific relationship to worshipers.
 


AD6_gamerati_skyscraper

Upcoming Releases

Top