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Thread: Mythology

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    Troll in the Playground
    Bohandas's Avatar

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    Feb 2016

    Default Mythology

    If mythology is going to be treated as an inappropriate topic of discussion could it please be given it's own bullet point in the list of inappropriate topics of discussion in the forum rules?

    It is not at all readily obvious from the rules as currently stated that this is a forbidden avenue of discussion. While it technically falls under the umbrella of real world religion, most people will naturally assume that the rule against discussing real world religion is to avoid controversy and to avoid flame wars stemming from people bashing extant faiths such as Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Wicca, Shinto, Jainism, Bahai, Theosophy, etc.

    Since it is apparently not limited to circumstances such as this I feel that this should be made clearer in the official statement of the rules

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    Gunslinger in the Playground Administrator
    Roland St. Jude's Avatar

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    Sep 2005

    Default Re: Mythology

    Sheriff: We've literally had this discussion before. There is zero chance that you were not on notice about this.

    This topic has been addressed repeatedly, consistently refusing to draw a line between mythology and religion, stating that the rule applies regardless of era, and noting that "controversy," "hostility," or other potential limitations are not relevant. What matters is whether it is real world religious (or political) content.

    Here's a thread in addition to the one above that, in turn, links two others.

    From a little further back in time:
    Quote Originally Posted by Roland St. Jude View Post
    Sheriff of Moddingham: The prohibition is on real world religion. The line is real world/not real world. It isn't a modern/ancient, mainstream/fringe, or whatever other distinction one might imagine. I don't think "mythology/religion" is a useful or viable distinction. Mythology of real world religions is out of bounds whether it's ancient mythology or modern mythology. Mythology of fictional deities are fine.

    So if you want to talk about obviously fictionalized Thor, as represented in the AD&D 2e Deities and Demigods or in the recent movie, for example, that's fine. But as soon as that discussion gets into real world Thor, that's a problem. Often a single post can be made that is clearly discussing the fictional, but it quickly turns real world, because the real world analog exists and speaking just from within the fiction is limiting. It's natural, but it's also prohibited.

    As always, I advise erring on the side of caution.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    Roland is absolutely right, but I just wanted to add that this is why it's OK to discuss Thor's actions in OOTS, but it's not OK to try to extrapolate traits of Durkon's religion based on how people worshipped Thor in the real world. Those details are not part of the work of fiction that's being shown here, they're part of someone's actual religious beliefs.

    So to elaborate on the specific question about Ragnarok: You can talk about how Ragnarok happens (or exists as a concept) within Wagner's Götterdämmerung, or in Marvel's The Mighty Thor comics, or the Thor movie, or Neil Gaiman's American Gods, or any edition's version of Deities and Demigods. You can even compare and contrast these different sources. What you can't do is compare them to the actual Poetic Edda and discuss the religious beliefs that may or may not have surrounded it.

    Yes, the authors of any work that includes fictionalized versions of real world deities are effectively crossing that line when they choose to write such a story—but let that crossing be on them, not on you. As long as you discuss works that no real human takes their actual religious beliefs from, you should be fine.
    Last edited by Roland St. Jude; 2018-04-19 at 02:00 AM.
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