From: Julian Lord <jlord_at_free.fr>
Date: Thu, 19 Feb 2004 10:10:50 +0100

Andrew :

> Second, I'm trying to assertain the extent to which the immanence of
> religion (which may be equivalent to the immanence of magic) affects the
> behavior of Gloranthans. I do not think that Gloranthans are as quick to
> ignore their religions as are people historically in our world.

Most likely to have similar effects as in RW : immanent manifestations are simply taken for granted.

People could, for example, come to believe that gods, spirits, saints, etc are simply manifestations of collective natural magic (Runes etc), and embrace cynical, atheistic values as opposed to a proper religion.

Much like RW, really, with its scientific explanations ...

> 1. I agree that mass/communion is an example of real world magic, but it
> does not produce a visible blessing as does the Western sorcery church
> blessing (since all Gloranthan magic is noticeable). This our-world magic
> produces a blessing that one must believe in solely by faith, hope, or
> fellowship (which includes social pressure).

Actually, no. Some blessings, charismas, and miracles actually _are_ visible to the senses. Someone who is healed of cancer, to take a more blatant example, will be visibly healed.

> 2. In our world, there is no compelling religious/magic effect that can be
> sensed by anyone, to show that it is real.

This is not true, indeed we're literally swimming in them.

We just take them so much for granted that we usually refer to them as natural events (which doesn't invalidate the scientific explanations for them BTW).

> This leaves faith, hope, and
> fellowship as reasons to believe.

You're forgetting personal revelation, spiritual conversion, philosophical reasons, social/family reasons, political, etc etc etc. ALL of the possible reasons are in fact more or less valid, but valid anyway. Faith, hope, and fellowship are what work for you ? Why then should you expect God to provide you with any others ? Other reasons are provided for those who need them.

Ob-Glorantha, HeroQuest is a story telling game where Heroes' relationship with the Otherworld entities will be characterised as part of the narrative, and these things are likely to function in very similar ways.

To get back to the Broos at Moonbroth thingy, you should realise that the Broos are not otherworld entities, hence the spiritual pollution that can be derived from exploiting their violent & chaotic natures and being is far, far less than you appear to suggest.

Hiring a pack of broos to go and slaughter themselves fighting against other chaotics simply ISN'T like worshipping Thed. I'm sure the shamans have appropriate purification rituals, anyway (perhaps involving the ZF river and the cult of the Cleansed One).

> In Glorantha, non-believers can sense the
> efficacy of the blessing/magic. Denying it is denying the evidence of the
> senses.

No-one denies these things, but the religious explanations for the source(s) of the blessings/magic can quite easily be denied, just as in RW reports of miracles and blessings are routinely dismissed as superstition/propaganda/lies/myths by those of an atheist or hardcore agnostic mindset.

> There is no need for faith (and no Faith abilities for any Glorantha
> religion types, IIRC) in order to believe,

Patent oxymoronic nonsense !!

Belief and faith are functional synonyms.

Say someone were miraculously healed of cancer ; most today would think that there was a scientific explanation behind it.

But when the everyday miracles of life and existence are simply taken for granted and de-sacralised, as can and has happened in Glorantha (look at the GLs), natural explanations for supernatural events become a strong possibility (everything is derived from the Runes).

In Glorantha this is called RuneQuest Sight.

> though there are Piety abilities
> used to access the magic of the Gloranthan faiths. (In Lutheranism and
> Catholicism, there is salvation by faith, and blessings from the grace of
> God--no need for anything else, no piety required by the "liturgist," and
> no visible-to-all magic.) Do we agree on this ?

Not me, anyway.

I'll repeat the magic/blessings quibble : in Christianity, God does not
provide magic ;
in Malkionism, He does.

AFAIK Lutheranism is much as you describe it, but Catholicism is based on, BASED ON, the physical actuality of the miraculous.

> 4. Glorantha: One cannot rationally deny the reality and power of another
> religion,

The Brithini do exactly that.

> He cannot rationally be dismissed
> as not being real.

He can be, and some do exactly that.
You appear to have an incomplete understanding of the very nature of faith.

> I believe that there have always been
> people questioning the reality of religions.

People like you ... ;-)

> There is no need to assume that religion was the main
> reason for Reformation era wars between factions of different religions
> (political and commercial reasons suffice to explain why; religion can be
> relegated to a pretext).

But religion was in fact the main reason for the Reformation wars, despite any such revisionist posturing.

> 6. If any of the proceeding points are correct,

This hypothesis is far too black and white, and constitutes a rhetorical device.

You are misapplying the tools of rational, scientific investigation to a realm where they are pretty much useless. Socrates and his pupils & successors have definitively established that there is a qualitative difference between knowledge and belief. The immediate consequence of this, relative to your postings, is that matters of faith lie outside the domain of true vs. false, insofar that this is the foundation of rationalism.

ie you are barking up the wrong tree.

> I expect observant,
> rational Gloranthans to act differently toward their religions than has
> presently or historically been the case in our world.

This expectation cannot be demonstrated one way or the other, frankly.

> However, I expect Gloranthans
> to act with more religious fervor because to do otherwise is irrational.

No more than in RW.

> This is different from our world, where religious faith is more often
> tested by rational investigation (because it relies on faith, hope, and
> fellowship, not perceiving magic).

Balderdash, for reasons given above. Faith can be tested by faith alone, not rationalism which always depends on skepticism and a critical mindset. These are the opposite of faith (except when personal revelation occurs, imparting unfortunately non-transferable knowledge to certain individuals).

Julian Lord

"Hmmm, I've heard of other powers.
Can you tell me about ...

... Real Life ?"

Received on Fri 20 Feb 2004 - 06:57:04 EET

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