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While I don't believe in any gods in this world, I don't really see much point in any hardcore atheist options in a world where supernatural abilities and agents are an obvious part of the world.

 

And how do you know there's anything supernatural in this setting? How do you know that that which you describe as "supernatural" is not subject to the laws of nature and above nature? Gods and magic are not necessarily supernatural. It is fully possible for them to exist in a materialistic universe.

 

I see no reason not to include materialism as a philosophy.

Edited by Gulliver

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If it's available in my first playthrough my Monk will be quite antagonistic towards the gods, believing them to be neither omnipotent, omniscient or divine, seeing them as crutches that weaken a souls ascent to perfection.

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Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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Perhaps, since you know Gods exist, there should be a choice not to worship them. You see the Gods as flawed or outdated and (optional) choose to believe humans together are superior to the Gods, thus worshiping none of them. Not sure what you would call this kind of belief though. It would be something new I imagine. But it could make sense in a world with Gods and be interesting to stand apart from them.

 

Or another way could be you know Gods exist and believe them powerful and good in most cases but you'd rather achieve your ambitions on your own with no help from them, so you don't worship any of them.

Edited by Grimlorn

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...

 

nihilism is misunderstood and misrepresented... particularly by those who supposedly embrace. nietzsche would be saddened.

 

btw, bleak cabal is the planescape faction that embraces nihilism.

 

HA! Good Fun!

 

I loved the Bleakers. One of my favorite factions.

 

Anyway I think being atheistic in a setting like this is asking a little much, we cannot expect them to include large variations of theological philosophy here, but surely you can not actively be religious/worship any particular God?

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Kingdoms of Amalur had an option like that. You could select a god to follow which entailed a bonus to a certain skill, damage, or resistence. Or you could pick the option of "beholden to no god. your self sufficiency yields its own rewards" and get a flat xp bonus.

 

I agree that atheism would be very difficult to work into a fantasy setting. You could go the route simliar to what HeedlessHorseman and Grimlorn were talking about above: you acknowledge the gods existence, but you don't believe them to be actual gods, instead that they're simply entities of a different order of existence than humans/orks/elves/whatever races are available. Their power, age, and intelligence are such that they are beyond mortal comprehension, and the term 'god' is the closest mortal language and thought can come to understanding them. They're forces to be reckoned with for sure, but they're not divine. To me that's kind of like how H.P. Lovecraft approached the elder things like Cthulhu.

Edited by Jflotrogdor

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I am worried because in upcoming Dragon Age 3 developers already stated that there will be no option to be atheistic.

 

As an atheist I would love to have the option to create a character who also doesn't believe in any deity.

 

Respectfully, this seems like asking to be pandered to. Being a fictional world with magic, the context of religion in P:E is naturally going to be completely different from our own, whereas "atheism" (as opposed to agnosticism, faithlessness, or a general lack of piety) is really quite specific and quite modern and therefore not a natural thing to import into the completely different metaphysical context of a different world. RPGs can't really get away with forcing you to play your character as a pious member of his/her culture's faith - and I've never seen one try, and therefore don't understand why it is such a burning issue to the melodramatic soapbox crowd at BSN - and it really is quite simple just to not pick zealous dialogue options if you don't want to portray a zealous character. And if you just want to establish that your character isn't religiously inclined, avoiding the appropriate dialogue options really does the job. Requiring the option for your character to endorse actual atheism, and to have dialogue options that amount to getting on a soapbox to bash the general idea of religion, is misguided.

 

You say respectfully... Then proceed to toss insults such as "asking to be pandered to" (really?, I thought I was just asking for an option, I wasn't asking for the game to revolve around being an atheist or anything), "melodramatic soapbox crowd at BSN" (I don't go to the BSN for the record, and I don't see what I or the OP said as melodramatic at all. You exaggerate, we weren't throwing ourselves around in despair. I also don't see why you're so preoccupied with boxes of soap), "amount to getting on a soapbox to bash the general idea of religion" (nowhere did I bash religion or mention bashing religion, let alone wanting the options to bash religion in the game. I find it insulting that you assume atheism equals bashing religion). I think your definition of 'respectful' may be a little skewed.

 

Atheism is the rejection of the belief in deities or believing in no deities, right? So if a character didn't see/acknowledge the gods as deities, but some incredibly powerful creature/being instead, would that count as atheism? Or perhaps you have a character who only believes what they see right in front of their eyes. Magic isn't proof of gods, and they've never seen a god in person (I doubt many people in the setting would have), so they don't believe they actually exist (after all magic can be used to explain a lot of things in some settings, especially mysterious and open worlds where there are still things undiscovered). Of course I don't expect to have a huge and detailed range of non-religious choices to choose from, but just one faithless option like you had in NWN2 would probably work in covering it. And who knows, maybe they'll feel like putting in some dialogue that lets you specify what you do/don't believe in more precisely. PS:T was certainly able to fit a lot of text in.

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Ergh. I hate seeing "I don't believe in the blatantly obvious deities of this setting" tossed in.

 

Opposing the agendas of the gods or believing that they aren't divine but merely powerful creatures or whatever the ****? Fine. Cool. Go for it, if it fits the setting.

An atheist is convinced that no gods exist. Someone who thinks that gods are not worth worshipping, regardless of whether they exist or not, is an agnostic.

I... what? No. No! Jesus, man, no.


jcod0.png

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Give it a rest, ladies and gentlemen--deities are in. :deadhorse:

 

They'll be very much in the mold of the Greek and Norse pantheons in that they are active within the world and tend to involve themselves at cross-purposes to other deities. If you select a cleric (and I certainly will at some point), then you should anticipate getting caught up sooner or later in the machinations of your patron deity as it tries to advance its cause and thwart other opposed deities. This will make for a richer field of possibilities within the world.


http://cbrrescue.org/

 

Go afield with a good attitude, with respect for the wildlife you hunt and for the forests and fields in which you walk. Immerse yourself in the outdoors experience. It will cleanse your soul and make you a better person.----Fred Bear

 

http://michigansaf.org/

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Yes but both Greek and Norse mythology are rife with heroes who chose to spurn the gods for whatever reasons, such as when Egil Skallagrimssons son was taken from him in a sea voyage so the Poet and Warrior chose to renounce Odin forevermore. This can create quite a lively and enthralling adventure, with a protagonist bent on defying the false prophecies of tyrannous stars. Certainly I have nothing against real life religions, but the fertile ground between the devotion of faith and the stubborn fight for freedom outside the dictates of destiny can bear interesting fruit.

 

Obviously it's Obsidians decision, but it's not an idea without merit.

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Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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In a world where the gods manifestly do exist the priests are basically like car mechanics, they have parts, tools and procedures that yield consistent results every time. It's the atheist bum with a sign on the street that's the crazy one.

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For Firedorn all the Lads grieve

 

This Adam woke up next to Eve.

 

But beneath leaves of Fig,

 

He found Berries and Twig,

 

So Himself off a cliff he did heave.

 

 

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I am worried because in upcoming Dragon Age 3 developers already stated that there will be no option to be atheistic.

 

As an atheist I would love to have the option to create a character who also doesn't believe in any deity.

 

Respectfully, this seems like asking to be pandered to. Being a fictional world with magic, the context of religion in P:E is naturally going to be completely different from our own, whereas "atheism" (as opposed to agnosticism, faithlessness, or a general lack of piety) is really quite specific and quite modern and therefore not a natural thing to import into the completely different metaphysical context of a different world. RPGs can't really get away with forcing you to play your character as a pious member of his/her culture's faith - and I've never seen one try, and therefore don't understand why it is such a burning issue to the melodramatic soapbox crowd at BSN - and it really is quite simple just to not pick zealous dialogue options if you don't want to portray a zealous character. And if you just want to establish that your character isn't religiously inclined, avoiding the appropriate dialogue options really does the job. Requiring the option for your character to endorse actual atheism, and to have dialogue options that amount to getting on a soapbox to bash the general idea of religion, is misguided.

 

You say respectfully... Then proceed to toss insults such as "asking to be pandered to" (really?, I thought I was just asking for an option, I wasn't asking for the game to revolve around being an atheist or anything), "melodramatic soapbox crowd at BSN" (I don't go to the BSN for the record, and I don't see what I or the OP said as melodramatic at all. You exaggerate, we weren't throwing ourselves around in despair. I also don't see why you're so preoccupied with boxes of soap), "amount to getting on a soapbox to bash the general idea of religion" (nowhere did I bash religion or mention bashing religion, let alone wanting the options to bash religion in the game. I find it insulting that you assume atheism equals bashing religion). I think your definition of 'respectful' may be a little skewed.

 

Atheism is the rejection of the belief in deities or believing in no deities, right? So if a character didn't see/acknowledge the gods as deities, but some incredibly powerful creature/being instead, would that count as atheism? Or perhaps you have a character who only believes what they see right in front of their eyes. Magic isn't proof of gods, and they've never seen a god in person (I doubt many people in the setting would have), so they don't believe they actually exist (after all magic can be used to explain a lot of things in some settings, especially mysterious and open worlds where there are still things undiscovered). Of course I don't expect to have a huge and detailed range of non-religious choices to choose from, but just one faithless option like you had in NWN2 would probably work in covering it. And who knows, maybe they'll feel like putting in some dialogue that lets you specify what you do/don't believe in more precisely. PS:T was certainly able to fit a lot of text in.

 

See, the reason why I prefaced what I said as I did was exactly in the hopes that someone wouldn't go over-the-top hypersensitive in response to it. Please be a tad less fight-face.

 

As I discussed, there is a difference between wanting the game to accommodate you in not wanting to attach yourself to religion (represented in the OPs saying that he thinks "I don't care" would satisfy most people) and wanting the game to give you options to express a real world intellectual tradition that is deeply rooted in modern-era ideology and science. So there's a distinction. Sometimes people are unclear what they mean when they talk about atheism. Not wanting to be forced to play a religious character is entirely legitimate, but that's not really "atheist" and is easily accomplished in any RPG simply by virtue of not picking religious dialogue options. Wanting actual atheism, whereby you reject the notion of deity altogether and desire the dialogue options to outright renounce religion and religious institutions as a significant part of the narrative (which has became a common and peculiar demand by a vocal group of posters on the BSN, which I mentioned only because the OP alluded Bioware's stance on the issue, and I have absolutely no idea why you are taking offense to it if you don't associate with BSN)... that is a very different thing from not wanting to be forced to play a religious character, and it doesn't really fit in a supernatural setting.

 

Your point regarding that you can have magic and still reject the notion of deity is a bit counter-productive. Certainly, a mage or a powerful supernatural entity is not necessarily a god, and could trick others into thinking he is a god. But what definition of "god"? Characters in this fantasy world do not have our real life notions of religion to define their ideas of godhood. In P:E, a character's understanding of what a god is will be based entirely on the franchise's own metaphysics. This is what I meant by touching on different metaphysical contexts. If the world of P:E defines a god as a powerful supernatural being who is neither omnipotent nor omniscient and who meddles in the affairs of the world (which is the case, to my understanding) then there aren't grounds for mortals in the world to deny the gods *who define their very idea of godhood* as not being gods. That's not to say that it wouldn't be interesting to discover that the pantheon had deceived mortals into believing that they were more than they were, but discovering that you've been duped by a very real being is not atheism. The heart of atheism is about the rejection of faith in a being that you cannot perceive, and usually the rhetoric involves drawing no distinction between religious faith and superstition. If the entity can interact with the world directly, and if supernatural power is real rather than superstition, then what we define academically as "atheism" does not apply.

 

So it really depends on what a person means and understands when he asks for atheism to be in the game. If one wanted modern atheist ideas to be deliberately included in a non-modern context where they don't make sense, that would in essence be a question of pandering to real life demographics. But simply wanting to avoid being forced down certain dialogue choices is entirely legitimate.

Edited by Sarog
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I don't see any problem with this.

 

For an Atheist it could be as simple as the Atheist doesn't believe that the god(s) are worthy of being worshiped, or that they are realy all they are said to be.

 

After all "god" is just a label.

 

This would amount to denying, not their existence, but their godliness.

 

Saying that the Gods are not really Gods, amounts to saying that real Gods do not exist.

Edited by metacontent
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Any conflict among understandable motivations would work as a source of drama. However, I think there must be some conditions for a certain way of thinking to be established. It is impossible to make a world from scratch but, there must be a better compromise in making a believable, coherent world, while letting it more or less accessible from modern players. I do think "atheist" sounds more in modern monotheist culture than just meaning "unbelieving" in some other cultures. Also, I don't like some fantasy settings which carelessly mix modern factor and/or Si-Fi setting with magic world. That said, there can be a better way to slip a pseudo-modern thinker in the setting of the Medieval West like Eco did, for example.*

 

* Maybe, putting "Aristotle" in a pantheist setting can be more natural than putting "Ockham" into it, though. Then again, in D&D settings, usually, "pantheism" is just a Christianity under its cover. Not so many settings have tried to make a world with the difference between the eyes of the characters and that of the players in mind.

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The role of atheism in the game directly depends on whether or not religion will have a strong faith component (i.e. belief in something regardless of evidence to the contrary). In many of the typical D&D universes I can think of off the top of my head, there is no room for "faith" in the strict sense, since gods/supernatural have plenty of evidence as to their existence.

 

DA:O religions toyed with the theme of faith, I would have liked them to explore that further in the storyline.

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I still find it funny no one seems to think there is a middle ground. I almost always play a character who "follows no diety" in these types of games yet my character never "hates" religions, bashes the gods, actively works against them (unless they have to), or has some idiotic concept that they are "not worthy" of being worshiped. You can understand and respect something, understand why someone else follows it or worships it, but simply choose not to do so yourself. It doesn't always have to be some inane man vs god nonsense.

 

In other words, if the devs can't swing not worshiping a deity being left to player interpretation with enough open ground to take it in any direction you want.... then they shouldn't implement it in the first place. Not worshiping a deity should not auto equate to being a fanatic who hates the gods.

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Hmm... I am all for excluding "atheism," and to a lesser degree "agnosticism" as part of game mechanics (although I am quite firmly an agnostic soft/implicit atheist, if not a downright theological noncognitivist for most religious propositions). The reason being, for me, is simple: I already spend all day discussing such things during my seminars and presentations, I don't really want to come home and have it be part of my game too. Though I will admit, this is a purely selfish reason for wanting it to be this way.

 

Nihilism, on the other hand, I think would fit quite nicely. Mind you, only in the vague and misappropriated sense that people seem to use the term; let's not worry about what we mean when we say we're a nihilist, whether it's a religious or moral or existential nihilism we're talking about... let's just agree to keep it vague and wave off any Nietzschean subtext.

 

Particularly, I like the idea attributed to the Dwemer (I don't remember reading that, but it sounds neat). I feel like that sort of attitude would fit the atmosphere of this setting, though it's really too hard to say at this early stage.

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I still find it funny no one seems to think there is a middle ground . . . Not worshiping a deity should not auto equate to being a fanatic who hates the gods.

 

Unfortunately most of the world also sees it this way :(

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Working against the gods should not only be an option in PE but the player ought to be able to deal with said gods as he/she sees fit. There's nothing wrong or extreme about it....just pure, flawless, poetic justice.

Edited by Darth Trethon

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The thing is would atheism even make sense in a world where the gods actively affect the world and possibly physically manifest themselves? Gann (MotB) was very unusual and probably doomingly stubborn, because he was STANDING IN FRONT OF KELEMVOR and he STILL wouldn't accept that gods are real. That didn't make any sense to me. I suppose in PE you can choose to not worship any gods, but if they are proven 100% to exist atheism wouldn't be a logical stance.

Edited by Christliar

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What could be fun of course would be to have one of the NPCs believing there are no gods and its all just coincidence etc. Lots of interesting story lines there as they defy the evidence that's scattered around the world. Could also be fun if that character believed they were a god instead of not believing in gods their magic is their godlike powers manifesting.

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The thing is would atheism even make sense in a world where the gods actively affect the world and possibly physically manifest themselves? Gann (MotB) was very unusual and probably doomingly stubborn, because he was STANDING IN FRONT OF KELEMVOR and he STILL wouldn't accept that gods are real. That didn't make any sense to me. I suppose in PE you can choose to not worship any gods, but if they are proven 100% to exist atheism wouldn't be a logical stance.

 

If I remember right, Gann knows that the gods are real, he just doesn't like them and don't think they are worthy of worship. I think it's the closest you can get to being an ateist in a world where gods are confirmed to exist. Real ateism would be difficult to portray, but I guess it could happen. For example, someone could think that the gods were really just highly evolved beings taking advantage of less deveoped beings, and toying with them for their amusement (kinda like the Goa'uld from Stargate). If someone believe in that kind of scenario, the gods are not really gods, and being an ateist makes sense.

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If I remember right, Gann knows that the gods are real, he just doesn't like them and don't think they are worthy of worship. I think it's the closest you can get to being an ateist in a world where gods are confirmed to exist. Real ateism would be difficult to portray, but I guess it could happen. For example, someone could think that the gods were really just highly evolved beings taking advantage of less deveoped beings, and toying with them for their amusement (kinda like the Goa'uld from Stargate). If someone believe in that kind of scenario, the gods are not really gods, and being an ateist makes sense.

 

Then that brings up the question of what exactly is a "god". Is a normal person who amasses absurd amounts of power a god? About Gann - maybe you are right, I haven't played MotB in a while and I might be misremembering.

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I think atheists would be fine to have as characters in PE. I find it hard to really imagine what the world would seem like from the point of view of someone in a medieval (or pseudo medieval fantasy) setting, but I imagine the distribution of information would make the world seem like a very different place than it does to me sat here in front of a computer, especially as they've said the game world doesn't feature any printing press. Unless there are literally gods running around performing divine feats all over the landscape, for 99% of the population I'd imagine the existence of gods was as much based on faith as it is in the real world.

 

A similar example would be The Others/wights/dragons in A Song of Ice and Fire - as the reader, we know they exist, but the majority of that world's population believes they don't anymore even if they once did.

Edited by Exile2k4

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A realistic inspiration for Atheism in the game would the Hindu Philosphy school of Samkhya.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samkhya

 

And yes unlike other forms of Hinduism Samkhya is Atheist, at least originally, although they believed in the soul, they did not believe in "God" and made arguements against the idea. They still believe in the Vedas.

 

As I've said before Hinduism makes for a much better source if philosphical ideas in PE then traditional midevil Christian ones and in,fact so far PE's religion resembles Hinduism far more then Christianity, but with European influences and technology and architecture.

 

Think about it, reincarnation did not appear in Christianity, Christianity did not have more then one diety. St. Waiden sounds more like,a European Krishna then a Jesus (Avatar vs. Son,of God type deal) to Eothos' Vishnu.

 

I also think Kabblah influences would fit as well.

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