Re: Two Gods or One God

From: Sandy Petersen (sandyp@idsoftware.com)
Date: Tue 27 May 1997 - 01:19:04 EEST


Alex Ferguson
>>Sandy gets non-two-valued on us:
>>["Are Elmal and Yelmalio the same diety?" Either they are, or they're not.]
> ()Sandy)Why? I can think of a number of different possibilities rin which
> they're neither the same god nor different gods.

(Alex)I have no idea what Sandy has in mind when he says this, but I can agree
>with the bald statement, at least. Even if one insists on having an
>Objectively Real Model of the gods, I don't think it follows that they're
>necessarily some sort of pseudo-Platonic finite domain, either of Ideals,
or >of Persons.
        Here's some examples of what I mean:
        1) Neither Elmal nor Yelmalio exist at all, and their worshipers are
deluded. The so-called magic from these deities is a product of (pick one)
(a) mass belief, in a kind of super-subjectivism; (b) some other deity who
is accidentally being tapped into; (c) lesser spirits who answer the
worship rituals.
        2) Elmal and Yelmalio are simply aspects of a greater Unity. Asking
whether they're One or Multiple is like asking whether there are Six Earths
or One Earth. Or whether light is a particle or a wave.
        3) The "two" gods are part of a continuum. Therefore, it's just a matter
of classification, like the whole foofaraw about whether birds are
dinosaurs. If you draw an imaginary line between Elmal and Yelmalio then
yes, they're two gods. But if you draw the line somewhere else, they're
not. All gods may well fit on this continuum, and there are no clear-cut
boundaries between the gods at all, except what we, as their worshipers,
enact for our convenience. Just look at Caladra & Aurelion -- these two
gods were very different, but the continuum has been bridged by a simple
change in belief.

Trotsky
>Are there any pro-Orlanthi out there who think that Lunar magic is
>better than the Sartarite sort, and if so, what (if anything) do they think
>it implies?
        You bet there are. If you define "better" as "more effective in combat."
What do they do about it? Well, Agrath emulates it.
James Frusetta
>What I meant is that a small nomadic tribe will be "pushed" away by the
>larger tribe
        This is inapplicable to Praxian tribal interdynamics. It is clans that
interact, not tribes. An Impala clan is no larger than a Bolo Lizard Clan,
and hence cannot "push" it away. For that matter, since Bolo Lizards and
Impalas eat different food, they don't really compete on a direct level.

        One of the ways that living things interfere with another is Competition.
Civilized states use Competition -- they use the same resources, have the
same needs. Therefore, they cannot coexist. This is why they are so
concerned over boundaries, territories, borders. Only one civilized state
can exist in a given area. But a bunch of bison can easily co-exist with a
group of antelope, because they don't compete.
        Neither do the Praxians compete. However, they do prey on one another. But
under normal circumstances, a predator is incapable of driving its prey to
extinction. Hence the Praxians keep on going. Sometimes one tribe
dominates, sometimes another, but all keep on surviving. In general.

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