small gods

From: Lord Julian (
Date: Tue 05 May 1998 - 23:49:31 EEST

From: Julian Lord

(Thanks, Joerg, for cleaning up, and for a great read!)

Simon Hibbs:(To Jane Williams)

>You (J. Williams) seem to fall into the trap of assuming that the physic=
al =

>laws which pertain in glorantha - the 'physics' and 'genetics' studied =

>by atheists such as the brithini - must work in the same way that they d=
o =

>in our world. =

Why is this a trap? Why would the fields of Gloranthan physics,
genetics, or indeed any other field of scientific inquiry be
unlike their RW equivalents simply because there is magic in
Glorantha? I fail to see how this would affect the scientific =

approach in any way, and make it different to the one in the RW. =

How could it? when measuring the diameter of the planet Mars =

is an operation which is strictly equivalent to the measuring
of a ghost's Power, apart from the mechanical and intellectual tools, =

and the units of measure which would be used.

OK, lots and lots of the *details* would be _radically_ different.

So what?

>JW>On the Heroplane, only Mythic Law applies. Heroquesting consists of
>>using that to alter things in the HP, then convincing the mundane world=

>>tofollow suit.

>SH>This would imply that malkioni and brithini could not heroquest

No it wouldn't. =

The malkioni *definitely* not, or have you completely =

missed the fact that they have myths? =

Also, atheists *have* belief systems which are the =

functional equivalents of mythology. History. Science. Ethics.
Patriotism. Enough power in these for a million heroquests!

>SH>I do not believe there is any struggle in glorantha between two
>competing sets of natural laws. =

Well, neither do I actually.

>Gravity as it pertains in the real world
>is a meaningless concept in glorantha. =

Not true. Newton discovered NOT gravity, but the law
of universal attraction. It was a fairly well known fact
before his discoveries that weight existed, and that objects
fell down rather than up. This is "gravity". In which way
exactly do you propose that Gloranthan gravity is different
from RW gravity?

We could posit that the Red Moon is an =

object which doesn't have gravity because it defies our
definition: it doesn't fall. But why don't objects
on the Moon fall down to the surface of Glorantha?
Obviously because the gravity of these objects exists
in relation to the Moon. They still have it, though.

Even flying apples possess gravity. You will notice
that spell descriptions tell you exactly how much magic
is needed to hold an apple up in the air. As much
magic as the apple has weight. Does this remind =

you of Newton, perhaps? =

Hey! Maybe the Moon doesn't fall because of some magical =

force which counterbalances its gravity! And waitaminnit!
Objects on the Moon fall to the Moon's surface ...
Hmmm ... =

The Law of Universal Attraction, maybe?

>99.9% of the apparatus in a
>modern laboratory, if transported there, would be useless junk.

Nonsense. Scientific apparatus is a set of mechanical devices
which would work perfectly well in Glorantha. Or would you

suggest that machinery such as Mostali Assault Ladders,
and Leonardo's gyrocopter is impossible in Glorantha?
That machinery is somehow forbidden beyond some
arbitrary fantasy cliche cut-off point? ("Black powder? =

Well, OK 'cos it's in the sources; but lasers? Oh! No!
Can't have them! They're impossible in Glorantha!")

The apparatus you speak of may be inexistant; but it would certainly
not be inoperative if it were transported there.

>>John Murphy>I don't agree with everything Richard D has been advocating=
 in recent
>>posts, but the idea of worship creating Gods may have some merits?

>SH>If this is true, then it implies that all the theist cultures in
>glorantha are self-deluding fools. The Malkioni are right and the
>theists are wrong. Furthermore, all theist doctrine and spiritual
>philosophy is meaningless and has no moral force. For example, your
>humakti are self-deceiving nihilistic butchers. If you are right, no
>other objective assessment of their beliefs and religion is even
>possible because it is merely a self-created fantasy.

I really must agree with John here, and Richard too on this one point.

Perhaps, Simon, you are confusing gods with Divinity Itself.
Divinity exists before, beyond and within all gods and mortals.

The cults of the theists are like paradigms of worship.
This worship is directed towards the Divinity that is manifest
in their god, although only those with the best inner awareness
would recognise this event. =

As for the doctrine, it exists for the uninitiated to catch
a glimpse of Divinity and, perhaps, gain insight. And, of course, =

as a set of rules for the non-aware to follow so as to preserve
Goodness, as defined by culture. =

Lack or presence of moral force is not IMO an issue. Gloranthan religions=

are unlike anglicanism. Morality doesn't proceed from an =

understanding of fact, or of theory. It doesn't come from =

submission to the rules of society. It comes from a =

clear-sighted recognition of one's Self, a recognition
that the Other is both like and unlike oneself, but =

worthy of the respect due to the Divinity within, and an
understanding of the sources of Joy. Also from being a
nice person, but this doesn't always follow on =

self-awareness' heels.=


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