[Glorantha]Ancient atheists

From: Mittmann, Mike <Mike_Mittmann_at_affymetrix.com>
Date: Thu, 19 Feb 2004 08:37:26 -0800

Peter :
> Who in the middle ages didn't believe in the supernatural?

To which I bring out this quote again:

        From the monument of Marcus Antonius Enculpus:

	Do not pass by this epitaph, wayfarer,
	but stop, listen and learn, then go.
	There is no boat in Hades, no ferryman Charon,
	No caretaker Aecus, no Cerberus dog.
	All we dead below
	have become bones and ashes, nothing more.
	I have spoken you true, go now, wayfarer,
	Lest even though dead I seem to you garrulous.

So, maybe many people "knew" that gods existed, but at least one "knew" that they didn't.

(Yes, I am aware that first century Rome was not the middle ages, but it's such a good monument)
On the other hand Jane says:

>The difference is that the RW priest would have no
>defence. The Gloranthan priest could say "yeah?
>Disbelieve *this*, then!" And shoot the guy, there and
>then, with a lightning bolt from his hand (no, not
>from some possibly random thundercloud), killing him.
>I'm not aware of this level of unarguable objective
>evidence being common practise anywhere or anywhen in
>the RW. Could somebody please prove me wrong?

Well this happens all the time. (Admittedly, the "priest" is holding a holy symbol in his hand at the time, and is normally a worshipper of Glock, or Colt.)

If I had an argument with someone, and they then demonstrated the ability to shoot lightning from their fingers I would not assume the supernatural, I would just assume technology that I hadn't heard of yet. It also wouldn't make me listen to their statements on life after death with any more credulity (well no more than someone who demonstrated that they were very dangerous with a knife).

I guess my point is that I have difficulty conceiving of "unarguable objective evidence" that would lead me to believe in a deity. (OK, someone reshaping the sun to spell out messages, comes pretty close, I guess at that point I'll concede that I can't think of any way to distinguish between that person and someone who created the universe).

At the same time, I have to believe that most of the people who profess belief in a deity are sincere and really believe it, and have what they consider evidence for it.
So (In Glorantha) the local priest can do things, and says that there is a god behind them, but the local sorcerer can do similar things and says that there is no god behind them, and that the god that the priest worships isn't a god.

So in both worlds, the vast majority of people believe in deities, and people
can do things that people from the middle ages would consider miraculous, and some of those people doing miracles claim that there is a deity behind what they do, and some claim not.

OK. I'm rambling


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

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