2 thoughts on “#ClericWeek”

  1. An interesting twist on this… if you consider religion as a cultural adaptation to material circumstances (which is what this article is basically suggesting), you have to also accept that some adaptations become dysfunctional. 

    Like, a traumatized child who represses memories or develops multiple personalities as an adaptation to seriously traumatic events or environments, and then those adaptations become crippling in adulthood.  Or someone sent to prison at 18, who learns adaptions for surviving on the inside (e.g. “don’t take no shit”) that are horribly maladaptive on the outside when trying to hold down a job.

    So… imagine a society who’s religion (and thus deity?) is born of horrible circumstances: global pestilence, demonic invasions, an ice age, brutal slavery in the hands of giants, etc.  Imagine what brutal, unflinching, dehumanizing tenents that religion will develop and the gods they will worship.

    Now remove the pressure, but keep the adaptations.  The chosen people find a lush green valley. The demons are defeated/banished/bound.  The thaw comes. They win their freedom.  But the practices that saw them through are now deeply ingrained and part of their culture and their heritage.  It’s part of who they are.  So they keep at it.

    Shit.  Is this where orcs come from?

  2. Ooh, I love this article. It even boils down the creation of a religion to a key question for the cleric in the party: “what is wrong with the world and how does your god try to fix this?”

    Another twist: consider Planescape’s factions where philosophies reign instead of religions.

    In a polytheistic world where gods rise and fall, are they really OOO (omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent) Gods? If not, what higher purpose do They follow? Why not follow that path instead of worshipping the prophet?

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