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  1. - Top - End - #31
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: The power and faith of science

    Quote Originally Posted by Snowbluff View Post
    Well here's this. You have to trust something at one point. Any and all information can be falsified.

    Let's take this to a comparison. Mr. Obama is the President of the United States. You know he is the president. What does he do? Unless you work closely with him, you have no idea at all. Seriously, all of the information that get's from what he does that gets to you can be changed at any point by any one down the line.

    Thinking the gods of DnD are not gods is thinking that the President is not the President. Whether or not they did their deeds is not important, since those are easily faked/lies, but they carry the traits that, in their universe, define them as deities. If you don't believe so, you would be the DnD equivalent of an insane Conspiracy Theorist.
    These two examples aren't really equivalent. One (godhood) is an objective trait which its owner would possess whether or not the fact was observed or known. The other (presidency of a nation) is a subjective concept which exists solely in the minds of sentient beings. If the concept of 'godhood' was suddenly erased from the memories of every human, a real god (or at least, one not solely dependent on worship) would continue to exist; But if the concept of 'presidency' was forgotten, then Obama would no longer be President.

  2. - Top - End - #32
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    Default Re: The power and faith of science

    Quote Originally Posted by nyjastul69 View Post
    We can't be certain about that. The more precisely we know what his alignment is on one axis, the less precisely we know what his alignment is on the other axis.
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  3. - Top - End - #33
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    Default Re: The power and faith of science

    Quote Originally Posted by Anyr View Post
    These two examples aren't really equivalent. One (godhood) is an objective trait which its owner would possess whether or not the fact was observed or known. The other (presidency of a nation) is a subjective concept which exists solely in the minds of sentient beings. If the concept of 'godhood' was suddenly erased from the memories of every human, a real god (or at least, one not solely dependent on worship) would continue to exist; But if the concept of 'presidency' was forgotten, then Obama would no longer be President.
    This is not a point in this argument. If the idea of gods does not exist, gods are still gods. If presidency did not exist, the president would still have the traits that got him elected.

    Perhaps the sun then. If the sun existed, you would not know. It has light, but it might not be yellow because government moonbeasts have lobotomized you into thinking the trees were being epileptic that day.

    The point is perception. The doubter has to perceive that the god is not a god to doubt it. This is not the norm in the world of DnD, which is why I am putting the concept into question. Sure, it could happen, but would it work well enough to produce a working cabal? Keep in mind this is in a world were god existing is as a much as a rule as the sun existing in ours.
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  4. - Top - End - #34
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    Default Re: The power and faith of science

    Quote Originally Posted by Snowbluff View Post
    Keep in mind this is in a world were god existing is as a much as a rule as the sun existing in ours.
    This also depends on setting. Eberron, for example.

    And of course the gods exist. They will definitely, truly, undeniably exist to a believer.

    In fact, a believer in an idea will believe in crazy things. I have had actual arguments with people that believe that matter isn't real and that eighty foot tall demons exist and sometimes attack major cities. People will believe crazy things, especially so if believing in that thing grants them super powers. The idea that "those guys claiming to be gods? Totally just powerful mage con artists" isn't that far fetched. Especially when you can acquire the same kinds of powers the gods' followers do by believing that.

  5. - Top - End - #35
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    Default Re: The power and faith of science

    Quote Originally Posted by CarpeGuitarrem View Post
    No...Nikola Tesla is CN.

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    Schroedinger doesn't kill the cats, you do by opening the box. Cat killer.
    Quote Originally Posted by hiryuu View Post
    This is fun and all, but now I'm putting serious thought into this.

    I think an atheist in a D&D setting is feasible, and all it takes is doubting that "gods" are what they claim to be. Corellon can't offer up anything that's direct proof or evidence that he created elves. All we have is hearsay and apocryphal stories, for example, and strong belief in any philosophy appears to be able to create the same effects as worship of these entities.
    Not only doable, but cannon.

    They're called the Athar, and they were introduced along with the city of sigil in the planescape setting in 2E. The organization (and the city of Sigil) was updated to 3e in the planar handbook.

    Their premise is that the gods, while unquestionably powerful, magical beings, didn't make squat. They just started claiming they did and noone's still around to say they were there before the gods (except maybe the aboleths, but they don't tend to join organizations founded by humanoids and outsiders.)

    Add to this the fact that at least one god (Vecna) has shown prescedent of mortal ascention in living memory, and the idea that the "gods" are just posers isn't so far-fetched.
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  6. - Top - End - #36
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    Default Re: The power and faith of science

    The problem is that gods do operate in different ways than we are used to thinking about them. In our world, gods are typically the monotheistic "fiat lux" type. In DnD, ascension is a valid way of becoming a god. In DnD you get the status of a "god" not for creating the world or making elves, but for granting spells and carrying divine ranks.

    Which brings us to the point of whether or not you can believe in gods if Wizards exist with the same powers. The problem is that those Wizards are on the upper percentile of the living, and are likely to become gods anyway. Those "Wizard con men" were probably just that before they became gods.
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    All gaming systems should be terribly flawed and exploitable if you want everyone to be happy with them. This allows for a wide variety of power levels for games for different levels of players.
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  7. - Top - End - #37
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    Default Re: The power and faith of science

    Quote Originally Posted by Snowbluff View Post
    The problem is that gods do operate in different ways than we are used to thinking about them. In our world, gods are typically the monotheistic "fiat lux" type. In DnD, ascension is a valid way of becoming a god. In DnD you get the status of a "god" not for creating the world or making elves, but for granting spells and carrying divine ranks.

    Which brings us to the point of whether or not you can believe in gods if Wizards exist with the same powers. The problem is that those Wizards are on the upper percentile of the living, and are likely to become gods anyway. Those "Wizard con men" were probably just that before they became gods.
    That's the whole point. Here's how a defiant (a member of the Athar) might phrase the answer to this:

    "Yes, they're worthy of respect, or at least caution, they've earned more power than virtually anyone else in the multiverse and have lived longer than anyone can remember.

    That doesn't mean they're worthy of the adulation and worship of the masses. The fact that they would lie* about creating the world and its peoples should cut against their credibility and the respect they gain, but instead it's taken as the cannon truth by the masses of simple berks all across the cosmos.

    Worse, they seem to actually gain in power by decieving us mortals into giving up our own divine energy through this propaganda and clap-trap. It's dastardly I tell you!"


    *Whether it's actually a lie or not is irrelevant to whether some people believe it to be so. I've met people who believed gravity was a hoax.
    Last edited by Kelb_Panthera; 2012-11-19 at 11:31 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThiagoMartell View Post
    Kelb, recently it looks like you're the Avatar of Reason in these forums, man.
    Quote Originally Posted by LTwerewolf View Post
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  8. - Top - End - #38
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    Default Re: The power and faith of science

    Quote Originally Posted by Snowbluff
    The point is perception. The doubter has to perceive that the god is not a god to doubt it. This is not the norm in the world of DnD, which is why I am putting the concept into question. Sure, it could happen, but would it work well enough to produce a working cabal? Keep in mind this is in a world were god existing is as a much as a rule as the sun existing in ours.
    No, in D&D powerful beings exist that claim to be gods. Absolutely anything a god can do that is observable to any mortal can be accomplished by a sufficiently powerful mortal spellcaster, from killing someone undetectably to creating new species to being immune to tons of stuff to knowing the future and more. The existence of deity-less divine casters shows that gods aren't the source of divine power, since it's possible to access it without them. The existence of non-divine Powers such as archdevils and demon princes that are on a par with the gods further undercuts the idea of gods--Yeenoghu is the "patron deity" of gnolls despite having no godlike powers, yet gnoll clerics are indistinguishable from other deities' clerics.

    That Pelor exists is not in doubt. Whether there is something about him that makes him different from, better than, or more worthy of worship than any epic-level creature is what's in doubt. To continue the president analogy, the President of the United States of America has no intrinsic power. Anything the president can do can be done by anyone else. When a new president is elected, he doesn't have to go through some magical ceremony to be able to hold the veto pen, make speeches, and so on--someone who wasn't elected doesn't have the legal authority to do any of that, but he has all the same physical capabilities of the president. So anyone who can convince someone that they're the president (say, by having guys in suits follow him around and do a very good Obama impression) has all of the power of the president until the charade is pierced.

    So the only reason anyone worships gods in D&D is that they believe that the god is worthy of worship; anything else, from receiving divine power for belief to having a church hierarchy to any other benefits, can be gained in any other way. A skeptic in D&D, then, is someone who believes that gods aren't worthy of worship if they provide zero benefit that you can't get from starting a book club with your buddies and worshiping the concept of literary criticism in your spare time.

    In DnD you get the status of a "god" not for creating the world or making elves, but for granting spells and carrying divine ranks.
    None of which is observable. A priest worshiping Pelor can have his power cut off if Pelor wants it to be, but he could just as easily be getting that power from somewhere else. We have at least one canonical example of this--Yeenoghu again, whose clerics' prayers are actually granted by Erythnul. Tell Yeenoghu to prove that he grants spells and he can do so, if Erythnul plays along. If that's the case, why not extend the chain? Why assume that Erythnul is the last link, when it could be that whatever the real source of divine power is (a "real" god, if you will) is just playing along?

    Which brings us to the point of whether or not you can believe in gods if Wizards exist with the same powers. The problem is that those Wizards are on the upper percentile of the living, and are likely to become gods anyway. Those "Wizard con men" were probably just that before they became gods.
    Bob the wizard leaves wizard academy at 1st level, bidding a tearful goodbye to his family. Bob comes back at 17th level and shows off godlike powers to much oohing and ahing of the villagers. Bob comes back at 21st level and shows off even more godlike powers beyond even the legends of powerful wizards in the area. Bob comes back again and says he's ascended to godhood. What changed?

    If gods could have started out as mere mortals (and we know some did), you have two cases. Either they're worthy of worship now, in which case why wasn't he worthy of worship when he was "merely" an epic caster? Why would Joe the farmer, Bob's neighbor, find Bob worthy of worship when he remembers Bob as a little kid falling out of haylofts, coming home from fishing with mud in his hair, and other ungodlike things? If he didn't start worshiping Bob the Epic Wizard, there's really no reason to start worshiping Bob the God; surely there are better role models than that, and if anyone can become a god, what's the point? If the new god isn't worthy of worship because he was a mortal before, why worship any of the other gods? If they can do the same thing but one is old enough that no one remembers if they were once mortal, you're just assuming that the old gods are more worthy for some unknown reason.
    Last edited by PairO'Dice Lost; 2012-11-19 at 11:40 PM.
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  9. - Top - End - #39
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    Default Re: The power and faith of science

    Quote Originally Posted by PairO'Dice Lost View Post
    The existence of deity-less divine casters shows that gods aren't the source of divine power, since it's possible to access it without them.
    Straight up incorrect. What you mean to say is that deities are not the sole source of divine casting.
    That Pelor exists is not in doubt.
    I am saying "Pelor exists, and he is whatever being a god means."

    It's not like Obama wasn't famous before he became president. He does has skills and abilities that set him apart from the average american, which is why he is president. Telling someone that he is not capable of leadership in any form, that would be more like saying that Pelor is not able to grant spells.

    So the only reason anyone worships gods in D&D is that they believe that the god is worthy of worship; anything else, from receiving divine power for belief to having a church hierarchy to any other benefits, can be gained in any other way. A skeptic in D&D, then, is someone who believes that gods aren't worthy of worship if they provide zero benefit that you can't get from starting a book club with your buddies and worshiping the concept of literary criticism in your spare time.
    I didn't say it was impossible, just not plausible. The premise is based on ignorance of the nature of the world in DnD. Gods exist, and they are a source of Divine power. Sure you have your book club, but every once in a while:

    One of the smarter members does the math, facepalms, walks out.
    A member bad mouths someone who is a member of the local church, and gets lynched.
    People argue over philosophy, and start feeding each other hemlock.
    The group is mistaken for Ur-Priests, gets killed.

    More off topic trivia. Whether or not they exist as gods or the source of divine power is best described by the word "Ur Priest", a title which implies that the first clerics/priests in the world of DnD were, in fact, spelling stealing anti-theists, rather than the typical devout worshippers you have today. The gods existed as a source of spells before people even worshiped them, it seems.
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    Default Re: The power and faith of science

    Any deity based on a scientist should be lawful. Scientists are ALL ABOUT discovering the rules that make the universe run the way it does.
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    Default Re: The power and faith of science

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashtagon View Post
    Any deity based on a scientist should be lawful. Scientists are ALL ABOUT discovering the rules that make the universe run the way it does.
    I was just thinking the same thing while reading. All Lawful all the way.

    Science is all about rules, measurements, reproduceable results, hard evidence. logical expansions from already known data.
    Last edited by TypoNinja; 2012-11-20 at 02:12 AM.
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    Default Re: The power and faith of science

    Quote Originally Posted by Snowbluff View Post
    Straight up incorrect. What you mean to say is that deities are not the sole source of divine casting.
    That's exactly what "the deities are not the source of divine casting" means. I never said they couldn't be a source of divine casting.

    I am saying "Pelor exists, and he is whatever being a god means."
    See, the problem here is that you're assuming that he is "whatever being a god means" without defining what that ineffable something is. The one does not logically follow from the other. It's the equivalent of saying "Joe Biden exists, and he is the 2016 Democratic nominee"--the first part is noncontroversial, and the second part is certainly possible, but (A) nothing in the first part implies the second part and (B) you're assuming the second part without evidence.

    I didn't say it was impossible, just not plausible. The premise is based on ignorance of the nature of the world in DnD. Gods exist, and they are a source of Divine power. Sure you have your book club, but every once in a while:

    One of the smarter members does the math, facepalms, walks out.
    A member bad mouths someone who is a member of the local church, and gets lynched.
    People argue over philosophy, and start feeding each other hemlock.
    The group is mistaken for Ur-Priests, gets killed.
    The same can happen with any church as well, particularly small and/or evil ones, the ones that would tend to be called "cults." The equivalents of your four examples are, respectively, "My life worshiping Hextor was a waste! Heironeans totally get a better afterlife!"/"Heironeous sucks. No, wait, I didn't mean it!"/"But if you read the Seventh Analect, Hextor clearly says..."/"No, I'm praying to Hextor! He's a real god!"

    More off topic trivia. Whether or not they exist as gods or the source of divine power is best described by the word "Ur Priest", a title which implies that the first clerics/priests in the world of DnD were, in fact, spelling stealing anti-theists, rather than the typical devout worshippers you have today. The gods existed as a source of spells before people even worshiped them, it seems.
    It implies, rather, that ur-priests using a source of divine power that existed before the gods--an ur-source, if you will. While ur-priests do currently steal power from gods because they're evil and dickish like that, there's nothing saying they couldn't siphon divine power directly.
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  13. - Top - End - #43
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    Default Re: The power and faith of science

    Quote Originally Posted by PairO'Dice Lost View Post
    See, the problem here is that you're assuming that he is "whatever being a god means" without defining what that ineffable something is. The one does not logically follow from the other. It's the equivalent of saying "Joe Biden exists, and he is the 2016 Democratic nominee"--the first part is noncontroversial, and the second part is certainly possible, but (A) nothing in the first part implies the second part and (B) you're assuming the second part without evidence.
    Pelor has divine ranks (and whatever that entails, I am not entirely versed since I don't own all of these books), and can be chosen as a deity to grant spells to a cleric.

    I'll look into this to give you the complete list of things they can do that a regular character can't, but that is for someone arguing this mechanically rather than by fluff as I am.

    The same can happen with any church as well, particularly small and/or evil ones, the ones that would tend to be called "cults." The equivalents of your four examples are, respectively, "My life worshiping Hextor was a waste! Heironeans totally get a better afterlife!"/"Heironeous sucks. No, wait, I didn't mean it!"/"But if you read the Seventh Analect, Hextor clearly says..."/"No, I'm praying to Hextor! He's a real god!"
    Except that a church of a certain deity can only piss off so many deities at once, as similarly aligned churches would likely ally with them. These small groups are in the unique position to get EVERYONE angry at them for denouncing every other groups' gods.



    It implies, rather, that ur-priests using a source of divine power that existed before the gods--an ur-source, if you will. While ur-priests do currently steal power from gods because they're evil and dickish like that, there's nothing saying they couldn't siphon divine power directly.
    Reread the entry for Ur Priest. It clearly states they siphon power from gods that is normally for the god's clerics. If they could siphon power from where-ever directly, they are really stupid for a group that requires 5 different skills to get into, since stealing from gods is a poor life choice. If they could, they would for their own well-being.
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    Default Re: The power and faith of science

    Quote Originally Posted by Snowbluff View Post
    Pelor has divine ranks (and whatever that entails, I am not entirely versed since I don't own all of these books), and can be chosen as a deity to grant spells to a cleric.
    This, like your level or HP are entirely OOC concept, from an in universe perspective there is little to separate your average Deity from your average 40-60 level PC.

    From the point of view of your average commoner, its even worse, the power level between a 20th and a 40th level character is so far beyond his experience that they are effectively the same.


    I'll look into this to give you the complete list of things they can do that a regular character can't, but that is for someone arguing this mechanically rather than by fluff as I am.
    The Divine Salient abilities are about the only unique powers they have, most of the other stuff can be duplicated fairly easily by a wizard without access to epic magic. Once you give the wizard access to epic magic, the distinction becomes a matter of semantics rather than actual abilities.


    Reread the entry for Ur Priest. It clearly states they siphon power from gods that is normally for the god's clerics. If they could siphon power from where-ever directly, they are really stupid for a group that requires 5 different skills to get into, since stealing from gods is a poor life choice. If they could, they would for their own well-being.

    There however is a provision for clerics to dedicate themselves to ideals or even the elements instead of a deity and still get spells, the power of a humans own belief powers their magic in those cases.

    Darksun also explicitly has no Gods, and clerics there worship the Elementals.

    Worshipers of demon lords and Arch-devils also still gain spells, despite these creatures having no divine ranks.

    God are a source of power for divine magics, but by no means the only one.
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    Default Re: The power and faith of science

    Quote Originally Posted by Snowbluff View Post
    Pelor has divine ranks (and whatever that entails, I am not entirely versed since I don't own all of these books), and can be chosen as a deity to grant spells to a cleric.

    I'll look into this to give you the complete list of things they can do that a regular character can't, but that is for someone arguing this mechanically rather than by fluff as I am.
    As TypoNinja said, everything a god can do an epic caster can do as well, and the only in-universe response necessary to the claim of having divine ranks is "Prove it." There are class features and other abilities that will help you determine type, subtype, HD, CR, CL, SLAs, and other stats, but none for divine rank.

    Except that a church of a certain deity can only piss off so many deities at once, as similarly aligned churches would likely ally with them. These small groups are in the unique position to get EVERYONE angry at them for denouncing every other groups' gods.
    Considering evil cults and evil churches are a prime target for good churches' hired hit squads adventuring parties, I'd say it's the book clubs that are better off.

    Reread the entry for Ur Priest. It clearly states they siphon power from gods that is normally for the god's clerics. If they could siphon power from where-ever directly, they are really stupid for a group that requires 5 different skills to get into, since stealing from gods is a poor life choice. If they could, they would for their own well-being.
    I read the entry, thank you. I reiterate: ur-priests steal power from the gods, but there is nothing in the entry saying that they couldn't simply bypass the gods altogether and go right for the source, the way clerics of a cause do. In fact, you might want to reread the entry, since the reason they don't do just that is the very first sentence: "Ur-priests despise gods."

    Ur-priests are the opposite of clerics in more ways than one, then. You can worship a cause and get your power through meditation and personal strength, or you can worship a god and have to deal with all the baggage of doctrine, or you can steal from the gods and have to deal with the extra effort and the churches' hatred of you. They dedicate themselves to the cause of screwing over the gods just as clerics of gods devote themselves to advancing the cause of their religion, which again doesn't mean it's not possible to get the power without mucking around with the gods.
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    Quote Originally Posted by abadguy View Post
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    Default Re: The power and faith of science

    Quote Originally Posted by Ardantis View Post
    Edison was an engineer and a businessmen who primarily oversaw other scientists. Ruthless, but fair, and clearly LN.

    Here are a few more:

    Richard Feynman~ CG

    Charles Oppenheimer~ LG

    Stephen Hawking~ LE (clearly a villain)

    Jane Goodall~ NG

    Richard Dawkins~ CE

    And of course

    Edison~ LN
    Don't think you can call Richard Dawkin evil just because speaks out against religion, maximum chaotic, going against doctrine. And Hawking is clearly good.

    Also, the Origin of species.. really? If anything, the great faith of science shouldn't be another "book religion" like the Abrahamic religions, if anything, it should have all its books instead of one main book. Also, calling the Origin of species atheism's main book is stereotypically American. No offence meant. :P

    More:

    Niels Bohr: CN, chaotic because: **** Einstein and the scientific community, my theory of quantum physics is better.

    James Prescott Joule: Neutral, should have electricity as domain.

    Alexander Graham bell:
    Telepathy, surely the telephone can only be regarded as telepathy. :O



    Also, why, if we conclude Edison was a engineer and not a scientist, would he be part of a divine group being centred around being scientists? Wouldn't that kinda disqualify him? xD
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    Default Re: The power and faith of science

    Okay wait, to all those arguing about whether atheism is feasible in the D&D universe, stop for a moment: The game has already established, both in Races of Destiny (pg. 20) in its discussion of deism, in the Planar Handbook (pg. 43) where it discusses the Athars (and entire Planar organization, with its own Prestige Class, devoted to an essentially atheistic belief), in Lords of Madness (pg. 27) where it describes Aboleths as an entire species of agnostics, and their rational for this (and that they were around before the "new gods"), and in the Fiend Folio (pg. 64) where it describes the Etherguants as a race of creatures that have "long ago rationalized divinity out of their racial philosophy".
    So, even if there are arguments to be made for and against the divinity of the gods in D&D, the point that there is enough reasonable doubt that there are multi-planar organizations, religions sects, and two entire species that doubt the gods as part of their species philosophy. It is clearly feasible.
    Now, I'm all for arguing such things. I rather enjoy it from time to time. But in this case, the game already established the room for doubt, so it is important to keep in mind that these same arguments are more likely happening in the game world already.\
    Now that this has been established, please continue from where you were.
    Last edited by Twilightwyrm; 2012-11-20 at 05:30 AM.
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    Default Re: The power and faith of science

    Quote Originally Posted by Snowbluff View Post
    Pelor has divine ranks (and whatever that entails, I am not entirely versed since I don't own all of these books), and can be chosen as a deity to grant spells to a cleric.
    If a cleric believes hard enough, he gets divine spells. Whether he believes in a god, a cause or idea, a demon prince or archduke of hell, or a handpuppet named banjo is completely irrelevant. The gods have impressive powers to be sure, but even a non-epic wizard or psion can make his very own world (genesis spell or power), and an epic caster can populate it (origin of species spell). If the biggest claim the gods make is something a non-god can do, its not a claim that holds much water, is it? Just about the only thing a god can do that a non-god can't is look a fair way into the future, and even then only if they have divine rank 15 or higher.

    I'll look into this to give you the complete list of things they can do that a regular character can't, but that is for someone arguing this mechanically rather than by fluff as I am.
    That's not necessary since anyone that's interested can see for themselves by going to http://www.d20srd.org and looking at the divine rules. The gods abilities are OGC even if the actual gods themselves aren't

    More importantly, there's nothing a god can do that a 21st level wizard can't replicate. It'll just take the wizard a bit longer to do it.



    Except that a church of a certain deity can only piss off so many deities at once, as similarly aligned churches would likely ally with them. These small groups are in the unique position to get EVERYONE angry at them for denouncing every other groups' gods.
    Since this has as much to do with politics and advertising as it does with faith, I really don't see how its relevant. Just because your "god" has a solid PR department and hit-squads that'll crush the competition, literally, doesn't mean he really helped create the world or a race of people.





    Reread the entry for Ur Priest. It clearly states they siphon power from gods that is normally for the god's clerics. If they could siphon power from where-ever directly, they are really stupid for a group that requires 5 different skills to get into, since stealing from gods is a poor life choice. If they could, they would for their own well-being.
    Except they do it out of hate. They don't siphon off of the gods because they can't get spells any other way, they do it because they want the gods to die and hope that between them they can pull more power off the god than he's taking in from his worshippers. They also siphon off of dead-gods according to the same entry. Also, accelerated casting can make the method very attractive to would-be mystic theurges. (the actual levels may be a game construct, but the fact that ur-priests advance from orisons to the height of divine magic noticeably faster than clerics isn't.)

    Our point isn't that the gods may or may not be what they are, just that they might be lying about the exact nature of what they are. If they decided to call themselves kerfuffles instead of gods, everyone would call them kerfuffles. The Athar and similar groups still wouldn't believe their claims that they created reality.
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    Default Re: The power and faith of science

    Quote Originally Posted by Twilightwyrm View Post
    Now, I'm all for arguing such things. I rather enjoy it from time to time. But in this case, the game already established the room for doubt, so it is important to keep in mind that these same arguments are more likely happening in the game world already.
    Good finds; I'd forgotten the Sigil factions made it into 3e since I never really use the planar handbook. The problem with citing those sources, of course, is that Snowbluff's position is that skepticism is wrong in D&D because the gods are real, so showing that in-game organizations and races are skeptical wouldn't prove anything, that would just mean more people are wrong about it. One has to show why they're justified to get anywhere. I've actually had this discussion before and brought up the ethergaunts, and the response was similar, "Sure they believe that but they're still wrong."
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    Default Re: The power and faith of science

    This thread's motivated me to sneak a cult of Benjamin Franklin, god of lightning and debauchery, into my Cascade Failure game.

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    Default Re: The power and faith of science

    Quote Originally Posted by PairO'Dice Lost View Post
    Good finds; I'd forgotten the Sigil factions made it into 3e since I never really use the planar handbook. The problem with citing those sources, of course, is that Snowbluff's position is that skepticism is wrong in D&D because the gods are real, so showing that in-game organizations and races are skeptical wouldn't prove anything, that would just mean more people are wrong about it. One has to show why they're justified to get anywhere. I've actually had this discussion before and brought up the ethergaunts, and the response was similar, "Sure they believe that but they're still wrong."
    The gods are real, nobody doubts their existence, the thing to doubt is their worthiness. That being of awesome power and ability is real, they show up and make public appearances from time to time. But his true nature is doubt-able. A party of high level PC's would have little trouble faking a new religion, In fact I'm part of a group doing so right now, I'm the new Deity.

    It works in part because after a certain powerlevel you are just doubling up on overkill, your average NPC civilian is going to have trouble distinguishing the difference between "God made you go away" and "disintegrate".

    If we look at Fareun as an example, we know the Gods are not divine of themselves, their power was granted by an outside source, that can and has revoked it in the past, calling it divinity might even be wrong.

    Somebody who doubts the existence of the gods would be wrong, somebody who doubts the nature of the gods might be on to something.
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    Default Re: The power and faith of science

    we used Tesla as a minor deity in our last game. he was asleep and very tired first time i met him because he didnt have many followers and there for not a lot of power. i was playing a warforged homebru bladed shield, defender who ofcourse had no premise on what religion really was but every time he prayed cause other people did it when bad things were happening he ended up in Tesla's house in his plane.(DM used a percentile when you prayed to see if your god was listening or not, and every time i rolled i rolled a 98 or above) so i just thought everyone went to visit there god when they prayed lol. long story short i became his chosen avatar and voice of tesla and ascended to his plane lol

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    Default Re: The power and faith of science

    Quote Originally Posted by TypoNinja View Post
    Somebody who doubts the existence of the gods would be wrong, somebody who doubts the nature of the gods might be on to something.
    Pretty much this. It's just a headache trying to get that across succinctly.

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    Default Re: The power and faith of science

    Here's a brief summary of some names already mentioned, plus a few of my own. I think we should start splitting them into groups of Greater, Intermediate and Lesser Deities and demigods.

    I've also suggested a group (Greater, lesser, or intermediate) for some of the deities.

    • Einstein
    • Oppenhiemer
    • Eddison
    • Tesla
    • Galileo (Greater or Intermediate Deity of Astronomy)
    • Neil deGrasse Tyson (One rank lower than Galileo deity of Astronomy)
    • Newton (Greater Deity of Physics)
    • Roger Bacon (as the father of the scientific method I think he should be one of the Greater Deities)
    • Alexander Grahm Bell
    • Charles Darwin (Greater Deity of Biology)
    • Gregor Mendel (Intermediate Deity of Biology)
    • Richard Dawkins (Lesser Deity of Biology)
    • Stepehn Hawking
    • Marie Currie: Good Chemist
    • Fritz Haber: Evil Chemist
    • Paul Erdos
    • John Nash
    • Leonardo Davinci
    • The Wright Brothers (Probably lesser deities or demigods)
    • Benjamin Franklin (Since both he and Tesla are lightning themed, he could be Tesla's Exarch?)

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    Default Re: The power and faith of science

    If you want a twist, I can see more theoretical scientists as Greater, more distant deities, while practical scientists on the Lesser/Demigod scale, with a lot of interventions in the world.

    Gauss is definitely a Greater Deity, any way you can look at it.

    Greater: Einstein, Gauss, Euclid.
    Intermediate: Galileo, Kepler, Newton, Lavoisier, Linnaeus, Laplace, Mendeleev.
    Lesser: Fermi, Darwin, Franklin, Pasteur, Levi-Strauss, Archimedes.
    Demigods: Wright brothers, Bell/Marconi, Hubble, von Neumann.
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    Default Re: The power and faith of science

    I feel like there are two discussions going on in this thread:

    1) "Let's make scientist-themed deities!"

    2) "Are D&D gods truly gods, or just arbitrarily powerful outsiders?"

    And I have no idea which one the OP intended.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelb_Panthera View Post
    Also, accelerated casting can make the method very attractive to would-be mystic theurges. (the actual levels may be a game construct, but the fact that ur-priests advance from orisons to the height of divine magic noticeably faster than clerics isn't.)
    I doubt it's that simple. Sure, in a game mechanics sense, Ur-priests advance faster than clerics - but in an actual D&D world, such individuals would likely be spending most of their time hiding their powers than actively adventuring. Consider that they will likely be enemies of every major clergy in existence, and even most cults - they'd be like Binders on crack.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    First, please don't start threads with ideas you don't support just to see what reactions you get. That's almost the definition of trolling.

    Second, the whole "blue text" thing is not a forum rule or even a recommended procedure. If someone wants to do it in their own posts, fine, but everyone should stop telling people that they "need to" or "should have" posted in blue just because they're being sarcastic/ironic/whatever.

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    Default Re: The power and faith of science

    Quote Originally Posted by Randomguy View Post
    • ...
    • The Wright Brothers (Probably lesser deities or demigods)
    • ...
    Clearly they are ascended deities.
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    Default Re: The power and faith of science

    To the scientist-god question, obviously we have to say that Philo Farnsworth is the greatest god (for obvious reasons).
    To the skepticism over divine nature question, I would say that the question is absolutely unanswerable, seeing as how the nature of the divine is, by definition (it's divine, not human or mortal), unknowable. It is neither irrational nor rational to believe in gods, it's transrational. A belief that encompasses both rationality and irrationality, but is its own separate... thing... So smart people would tell you that belief in gods is ridiculous, which it is. But other really smart people would tell you that not believing in gods is ridiculous, which is also true. Both are true because it's unknowable, humans simply do not have the capacity to understand what constitutes divinity, and thus cannot say, with 100% certainty, that a being is divine. Although, 100% certainty is not necessarily necessary, because we can choose to have faith in something, even when we aren't sure as to whether or not it's true. This just brings the circle 'round, though, as then there will be people who demand certainty, which cannot be provided, meaning that it is an unanswerable question.
    Aside from that, every setting is different, the governing rules of the universe change depending on the world, so it's impossible to say what applies to every single world. The only way to understand the godhood of the divine, would be to become one. But, if mortals can ascend to divinity, then that would presuggest that gods aren't really gods at all. So, in other words, there is no specific definition of what separates man from gods, (although personally, I'd say sin would be the main partition; although in a D&D world where there are evil gods that are just as valid as good gods, the sin test would obviously not work for determining the godhood of that particular god).
    Last edited by Synvallius; 2012-11-21 at 01:24 AM.
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    Default Re: The power and faith of science

    Quote Originally Posted by thatclone View Post
    we used Tesla as a minor deity in our last game. he was asleep and very tired first time i met him because he didnt have many followers and there for not a lot of power. i was playing a warforged homebru bladed shield, defender who ofcourse had no premise on what religion really was but every time he prayed cause other people did it when bad things were happening he ended up in Tesla's house in his plane.(DM used a percentile when you prayed to see if your god was listening or not, and every time i rolled i rolled a 98 or above) so i just thought everyone went to visit there god when they prayed lol. long story short i became his chosen avatar and voice of tesla and ascended to his plane lol
    Surely Tesla of all people should have no problem with getting power?
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