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Main Story, an atheist cliche?


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the game specific notes that people believed in gods before the fake gods were created.  nothing 'bout created gods sudden invalidated the potential for a higher power even if a particular dead culture were convinced that no genuine gods actual existed.  

 

and again, an "actual deity" is antithetical to questions o' faith.  if an actual deity were offered in poe, you would once again remove faith as a thematic option.  are you missing the point?

 

HA! Good Fun!

 

It also specifically says that even those gods very false.........

 

Why would I remove faith as a thematic option, if an actual deity were offered in the game? Faith is the basis of all religions of the world specially the 3 dominant Abrahamic religeons .... 

 

you aren't making any sense.  honest.  

 

the existence o' manifest gods precludes the need for faith, so the developers transformed the current poe gods into human constructs.  multiple gods and faiths existed before the created gods were constructed. those religions, like real world religions, were dependant 'pon faith.

 

once the secret o' the gods is revealed, will people lose faith in the constructs?  we would guess that some folks will have their belief system tested. so what happens in game 2?  will folks search for and create new avenues for their faith?  we expect so.  

 

is an interesting and unique situation for a crpg.  

 

regardless, you have misapprehensions 'bout poe that we doubt is genuine.  

 

HA! Good Fun!

 

 

You my friend are the one who is not making any sense .... you wrote words but said absolutely nothing......

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To be fair to Brimsurfer. The lead designer is an atheist with an interest in religion (specifically medieval christianity). I'm sure the writing staff included both believers and sceptics.....

 

Just as I suspected, thank you very much..........

 

I have had extensive encounters with atheists and the way last act of the game unfolded, it was screaming write in my face what you just confirmed.......

Edited by Brimsurfer
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Most of Buddhist religions/philosophies believe in existence of souls but not existence of god(s). In their belief there is no divine entity nor there ever has been one. There is just samsara (continual repetitive cycle of birth and death) and karma which is force (like gravity) that decides next body that soul will inhabit according to certain rules.

 

So to me PoE is seem closest to be Buddhist propaganda instead of Atheist. 

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To be fair to Brimsurfer. The lead designer is an atheist with an interest in religion (specifically medieval christianity). I'm sure the writing staff included both believers and sceptics.....

Just as I suspected, thank you very much..........

 

I have had extensive encounters with atheists and the way last act unfolded, it was screaming write in my face what you just confirmed.......

You seem to get a kick out of conspiracy theories.

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To be fair to Brimsurfer. The lead designer is an atheist with an interest in religion (specifically medieval christianity). I'm sure the writing staff included both believers and sceptics.....

 

Just as I suspected, thank you very much..........

 

I have had extensive encounters with atheists and the way last act unfolded, it was screaming write in my face what you just confirmed.......

 

If the gods had turned out to be "real," would you have said that was unoriginal? I'm just curious.

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To be fair to Brimsurfer. The lead designer is an atheist with an interest in religion (specifically medieval christianity). I'm sure the writing staff included both believers and sceptics.....

Just as I suspected, thank you very much..........

 

I have had extensive encounters with atheists and the way last act unfolded, it was screaming write in my face what you just confirmed.......

You seem to get a kick out of conspiracy theories.

 

No conspiracy here, its all very clear :p

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To be fair to Brimsurfer. The lead designer is an atheist with an interest in religion (specifically medieval christianity). I'm sure the writing staff included both believers and sceptics.....

 

Just as I suspected, thank you very much..........

 

I have had extensive encounters with atheists and the way last act of the game unfolded, it was screaming write in my face what you just confirmed.......

 

 

But in PoE's world western Atheist can't exist, because it is know that souls exist and samsara cycle exist and karma like rules that determine souls next body exists. So in PoE's world Buddhist beliefs from our world are reality. So it is quite clear that your extensive encounters with atheists have not taught you anything about atheism at least not its most known form in Earth.

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To be fair to Brimsurfer. The lead designer is an atheist with an interest in religion (specifically medieval christianity). I'm sure the writing staff included both believers and sceptics.....

 

Just as I suspected, thank you very much..........

 

I have had extensive encounters with atheists and the way last act unfolded, it was screaming write in my face what you just confirmed.......

 

If the gods had turned out to be "real," would you have said that was unoriginal? I'm just curious.

 

 

Then the story would have taken another direction, i can't say what I would have felt then....

 

I am only saying what I felt after playing the game.

 

Games like BG and PST, they had great fantasy and the part of the reason those games were so grand, is that they never tried to push a radical idea to their audience........

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To be fair to Brimsurfer. The lead designer is an atheist with an interest in religion (specifically medieval christianity). I'm sure the writing staff included both believers and sceptics.....

 

Just as I suspected, thank you very much..........

 

I have had extensive encounters with atheists and the way last act of the game unfolded, it was screaming write in my face what you just confirmed.......

 

 

But in PoE's world western Atheist can't exist, because it is know that souls exist and samsara cycle exist and karma like rules that determine souls next body exists. So in PoE's world Buddhist beliefs from our world are reality. So it is quite clear that your extensive encounters with atheists have not taught you anything about atheism at least not its most known form in Earth.

 

One radical aspect was put forth rest was ignored.......just trying to get the mind into the door without confusing it, thats what they call it.

Edited by Brimsurfer
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What radical ideas PoE is pushing to its audience?

I urge you to read previous posts again or play the final act again :p

 

The story could have gone anyway, but it specifically steered into this direction and the dialogue repeatedly mentioned, that Gods are lie, they are fabricated, accountability to higher power is an illusion created to keep the people in line etc etc........act 4 narrative is pitted with such phrases..........and as I was playing the game, I was like, WTF is this? 

 

For me how the story unfolded in the final act was a big disappointment, there was so much potential in this tale and yet it was somehow reduced to the same old cliche.....and it really felt like it was deliberate.........

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Never mind. This threat doesn't deserve the attention it gets.

am tending to believe that brim is disingenuous.  

 

HA! Good Fun!

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"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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To be fair to Brimsurfer. The lead designer is an atheist with an interest in religion (specifically medieval christianity). I'm sure the writing staff included both believers and sceptics.....

 

Just as I suspected, thank you very much..........

 

I have had extensive encounters with atheists and the way last act of the game unfolded, it was screaming write in my face what you just confirmed.......

 

 

But in PoE's world western Atheist can't exist, because it is know that souls exist and samsara cycle exist and karma like rules that determine souls next body exists. So in PoE's world Buddhist beliefs from our world are reality. So it is quite clear that your extensive encounters with atheists have not taught you anything about atheism at least not its most known form in Earth.

 

One radical aspect was put forth rest was ignored.......just trying to get the mind into the door without confusing it, thats what they called it.

 

 

Bible tells us how there were things that were created by men but were worshiped as gods and how God disliked Israels who also worshiped those gods made by men. Which is why there are commandments like this

 

You shall have no other gods before Me.

You shall not make idols.

You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.   

 

Man made gods in PoE are just clear example of vanity and sinful nature of men. They are product of people that couldn't live without proof about God(s) so they made ones themselves. It is very biblical story. 

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I didn't get any overt religious overtones from the plot, although I agree with Elerond's comments about the story having more to to with Buddhism than one of the Abrahamaic religions.

 

I think Op is reading a bit too much into it, honestly.  Sometimes a story is just a story, without any sort of nefarious agenda.     

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What radical ideas PoE is pushing to its audience?

I urge you to read previous posts again or play the final act again :p

 

The story could have gone anyway, but it specifically steered into this direction and the dialogue repeatedly mentioned, that Gods are lie, they are fabricated, accountability to higher power is an illusion created to keep the people in line etc etc........act 4 narrative is pitted with such phrases..........and as I was playing the game, I was like, WTF is this? 

 

For me how the story unfolded in the final act was a big disappointment, there was so much potential in this tale and yet it was somehow reduced to the same old cliche.....and it really felt like it was deliberate.........

You said you like the forgotten realms, and that is brimming with cliches. You're just calling PoE cliched because it conflicts with your view of the world. Instead of hiding behind critiques which you refuse to expound on, you need to grow a pair and realize that every story you consume is not going pat you on the back for your world view.

Edited by meowbeast
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I did demonstrate it, by drawing a correlation between the concept of a God and it's connection to the concept of a soul. 

 

You actually didn't make that argument, or at least not in response to my post. Even if you had, it wouldn't have mattered since it's a terrible argument. First, unless you very much blur the lines of what a god is, this correlation doesn't exist. Secondly, even if it did, what would that matter. If someone defines soul to be some immaterial essence of a being then isn't contingent on a God or gods. The only way it becomes so is when you start to claim that that isn't the definition of a soul, and that's exactly where you're claiming ownership of the word (whether it be for Christianity or religion in general).

 

 

 

I challenge you to prove your claim as well. Merely stating that lack of belief in a soul has nothing to do with Atheism doesn't make it so. Prove it.

 

There's no reason to assume that the two should be linked at all, hence the burden of proof lies on the party claiming that they are (you here). You haven't discharged that burden hence I have nothing to prove.

 

EDIT: by the way, to anyone not familiar with this move, what Zenbane did here is called burden shifting. He realised his argument, or lack thereof, wasn't having the desired effect so decided to go with the "yeah well you prove the opposite" tactic. It's kinda cute when you know to look out for it :)

 

 

Blur the lines of what God is? There is no line to be blurred since there is no proof any God has ever existed, and both the definition and purpose shift from culture-to-culture. I find it funny that you call what I'm doing a "burden shifting tactic" when all I did was ask you to affirm your own assertions. But since you are a self-proclaimed Atheist I do understand the mindset; Atheists find the burden of proof to be too cumbersome. It's easier for you to make a claim and then force the other person to prove it. That's what Atheism is based on afterall: deny the existence of God and force everyone else to prove you wrong. It's a lazy approach to critical thinking, and super cute to identify (and even cuter to counter).

 

I hold the argument that concept of a soul that carries memories (which is the context of soul's in PoE) does in fact come from the concept of a God.  Atheism is a lack of belief in gods; with that comes a lack of belief in all things made possible by gods, such as: divine intervention, reincarnation, and souls. You can say that I'm wrong but you certainly can't prove it.

 

One of the primary (and possibly only) tenets of Atheism is the desire to prove the difference in "a lack of belief in gods" vs "a belief system in the denial of gods."

https://atheists.org/activism/resources/what-is-atheism

 

It's a cute safety net, and an elaborate way to sell "laziness" under the guise of "lack of belief."

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What radical ideas PoE is pushing to its audience?

I urge you to read previous posts again or play the final act again :p

 

The story could have gone anyway, but it specifically steered into this direction and the dialogue repeatedly mentioned, that Gods are lie, they are fabricated, accountability to higher power is an illusion created to keep the people in line etc etc........act 4 narrative is pitted with such phrases..........and as I was playing the game, I was like, WTF is this? 

 

For me how the story unfolded in the final act was a big disappointment, there was so much potential in this tale and yet it was somehow reduced to the same old cliche.....and it really felt like it was deliberate.........

 

I don't know that there are so many fantasy stories where the gods of the setting turn out not to be real that it could be considered an "old cliche"

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"It's a cute safety net, and an elaborate way to sell "laziness" under the guise of "lack of belief.""

 

So Christians are lazy because they don't believe in Hindu gods (in other words they have lack of belief in Hindu gods)?

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"It's a cute safety net, and an elaborate way to sell "laziness" under the guise of "lack of belief.""

 

So Christians are lazy because they don't believe in Hindu gods (in other words they have lack of belief in Hindu gods)?

 

Christianity is a belief system, Atheism is a lack of belief.

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This thread is unbelievably stupid, but anyway, you have your answer from the man himself in the recent codex interview:

 

http://www.rpgcodex.net/content.php?id=10231

 

 

Part of the genesis of the Pillars story in particular was the observation that in most fantasy settings, the gods are taken for granted. You know they're up there on Olympus or in the heavens or wherever, and you have some idea of how your afterlife is going to look, and what steps you have to take to improve your standing in that regard. Characters in these worlds, on some level, aren't quite human if they don't have to wonder about these things. It's a romantic and appealing fantasy to have all of that figured out and to only need to worry about killing your enemies and pleasing your gods and boning other similarly carefree and attractive violet-eyed adventurers, and that's resulted in the prevalence of that kind of setting within the genre. But if you go that route you miss out on one of the best ways to test your characters and see what they are made out of, and you also miss out on a powerful source of relatability that just about every other genre has access to (and futuristic sci-fi often thrives on).
 
This wasn't an idea that came about immediately, even when writing what would become he final treatment, but when it did, it led to the game story as you see it now.
 
In early development, a big concern I had was that the player's story gets into a lot of talking about big ideas that are often not grounded in specific, relatable realities. That is, as a player, you don't have the same emotional hook that, for example, The Witcher 3 has with the main protagonist searching for essentially his adoptive daughter. It's a big challenge to solve with a silent, player-defined protagonist. BG II was able to draw on the preceding game and use Imoen (although, oh man did I want to let her rot in prison), which was another tool we did not have the luxury of. I made some attempts at solving the issue in reworking pieces of the player's backstory, but that only got me so far. The bigger thing we did to help develop an emotional core to the story, which I felt was more successful, was in working the themes into the designs of the companion arcs and quests. The degree of success varied from character to character, but when I did a full play-through of the game late in development, I found myself enjoying the game's story most when I was seeing the deeper layers of these characters exposed, and their worldviews challenged. Sagani's finale might be my favorite - I found that scene to be very moving.
 
The other thing worth mentioning with theme is that I think it's often best, in an RPG in particular, to look at themes as questions rather than as moral suggestions. In a novel, you might have a theme about injustice, for example, and the author's ultimate incarnation of the theme might boil down to "Everyone has a moral obligation to fight injustice, whether they are victimized by it or not." But in an interactive, branching medium, it's better to ask, "Are we obligated to fight injustice even when we are not personally involved?" And then you give the player the tools to make his or her own decision. You show them a variety of perspectives. Then you give them an opportunity to act on their own understanding of the matter, as influenced by everything they've seen so far in the game. I can't help but be amused by people who've expressed concerns that Pillars' story is nihilistic (and that's been a number of people), because that's much more a projection of how they've synthesized what they've seen than it is a reflection of some authorial message.

 

 

TL;DR: You're projecting.

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Theology student / Christian believer here. I thought that POE´s way of handling religions was pretty interesting, and was not offended by the game. Actually I mostly liked the twist where the gods were created by the Engwithans. This made the game feel different from usual fantasy tropes. The game evoked questions like "what really makes something a god worthy of worship?" The game also had nice discussion of how the themes of "how to handle uncertainty in making decisions" and "how to live with your mistakes". These to me felt like big themes in addition to religion, since they were present in a lot of the quests and dialogue with companions.

Some other random thoughts about POE and religion:
1. We are told that the Engwithans were able to establish that there is no theistic God who is interested in human affairs. Yet we don´t have a coherent cosmology or origin story of Eora which would make sense apart from the existence of God. Why does Eora exist at all, why is it ordered in such a way that life and the cycle of souls is possible, and so on? Some hints from the game even tell us that there is life after the souls themselves are ground to dust; for example if you decide to destroy the souls as Rymrgard wishes. I guess you could say that this all brings Eora close to Buddhism. For me the problem with this solution is that (in my opinion) Buddhism also does not have a credible cosmology. This has been a reason for some Buddhists like professor Paul Williams, Dr. of Buddhist studies from Oxford to convert to Christianity. I remain skeptical that the cosmology of Eora can become credible without God. But it will be nice to see what the writers do with the cosmology in the sequel!

2. The gods of Eora often seemed quite simplistic, being the embodiment of some quite specific ideas. Often they were even repugnant in their "the ends justify the means" kind of attitude. I wish they had been more complex. The god Eothas was perhaps the most well done in this respect, as well as Ondra and Abydon after the expansion.

3. About whether the "gods" created by men are real - I feel like Thaos was right that these gods are real in the sense that they have the power of gods (thought not the power of God with a capital G.) However, they were not real in the sense that they were not representative of the ultimate ground of being of all reality. Also, because they are created entities and morally ambiguous, it is hard to see why they would be worthy of worship and devotion in the same sense as a perfectly good creator God. I wish that there had been some dialogue option to tell Thaos from a religious perspective that no, the ends do not justify the means, and that true worship should not be built on lies.

4. Related to the last point, my problem with the end dialogues with Iovara and Thaos was that the options were basically to A) seek the truth, be moral and be atheist, or B) compromise in your morality and truth seeking for some reason (e.g. the "comfort" of lies) and continue to be a religious person. The option of being a religious person who seeks truth and despises Thaos´ evil was largely missing from the dialogue with both Iovara and Thaos. This may be the reason why some have felt that the game was anti-religious, and I have to confess that the end dialogues also made me think that maybe the writers had read too much of bad critiques of religious belief like Dawkins. But the game elsewhere did also have lots of examples of moral religious people, so in broader view I still have hope in the writer´s ability to portray religion.

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.........................

I think Op is reading a bit too much into it, honestly.  Sometimes a story is just a story, without any sort of nefarious agenda.     

 

I am not saying that this game represents a nefarious agenda.........but this is not just a story, because if it were it wouldn't have made such a specific point of Gods being a lie and the villain of the world is trying to hide that from the rest of the world......specific dialogues saying there wouldn't have been wars, if people were not misguided into believing deities................ and prosperity could have been achieved even without people believing in gods.....this is not a story, this is somebody relaying a specific message......not to mention all the dialogue choices for the protagonist in the whole final act implied all of the above I said, I specifically looked for a choice that would suggest otherwise but there was none.....

 

As I said this story could have gone in very many different directions, but it was disappointingly reduced to relay the same old cliche with no end, that people have been tricked into believing in Gods...

Edited by Brimsurfer
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Theology student / Christian believer here. I thought that POE´s way of handling religions was pretty interesting, and was not offended by the game. Actually I mostly liked the twist where the gods were created by the Engwithans. This made the game feel different from usual fantasy tropes...............................

 

There are no Gods of Eora, what you are referring to as Gods, are merely the creation of Ancient Engwithans...........what these beings are specifically, the game and the lore fails to say that, but these beings can be communicated with and they exist but they are not Gods, they are only referred to as Gods by the common folk of Eora who doesn't know the Secret as the game reveals........may be the next chapter will unfold what these beings are......but a God is not created by people, only the false gods are........

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