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Influence of Belief upon con-Reality re afterlife etc.
Posted: Posted January 13th
Edited April 18th by chiarizio

This post might be a good candidate for Canon Critique, but I think it fits better here in World & Culture.

An oft-seen device in Fantasy literature and games is that whatever a character believes about the afterlife, will be true of their afterlife.

What if, instead, whatever the character believes about the afterlife, is the one thing guaranteed NOT to be true of their afterlife?

—————

Maybe a similar principle could be applied to supernatural spiritual beings of power, such as gods, angels, and demons.

An oft-seen trope is that the more believers a god has, and the stronger their faith, the more powerful the god is or becomes.

What if that were somehow turned on its head, or otherwise twisted?

There are 6 Replies

This post might be a good candidate for Canon Critique, but I think it fits better here in World & Culture.

An oft-seen device in Fantasy literature and games is that whatever a character believes about the afterlife, will be true of their afterlife.

What if, instead, whatever the character believes about the afterlife, is the one thing guaranteed NOT to be true of their afterlife?


If this were true but people didn't know that before getting there, then I don't think anyone would change what they expected. If people did know, then everyone would try to game it but believing the worst possible afterlife is the one they are sentenced to. That is assuming belief is something that ca be controlled at all. That or it would become a paradox since if you believe something will happen to you in the afterlife, it won't so you KNOW that it won't happen so you will believe something else would happen, etc etc.

Maybe a similar principle could be applied to supernatural spiritual beings of power, such as gods, angels, and demons.

An oft-seen trope is that the more believers a god has, and the stronger their faith, the more powerful the god is or becomes.

What if that were somehow turned on it’s head, or otherwise twisted?


I think in this case, gods would have cyclical existences as they grow in power, gain followers, lose power and then lose followers again. People might try to "find" or create gods that few others believed in as those would be the most powerful. And cults would be secretive and try to stay small.

Posted January 14th by bloodb4roses

I think you are doing a good job of working out the consequences, bb4r!

I hadn’t even considered whether pre-deceased mortals might know the negative correlation between their expectations and reality in re the afterlife!

I was thinking more along the lines of the joint and several afterlife adventures of a mixed-faith group.

—————

If you remember the game “Afterlife”**, there were a set of “tenets”.

The first split was between AAAAists and NAAAAists.
One group believed in Absolutely Always An Afterlife.
The other believed Never Any Afterlife At All.

There was also a split between the ALFists and the RALFists.
One group believes Afterlife Lasts Forever.
The other believes Reality Always Loops Fate; in other words, reincarnation.

ALFists had to be AAAAists, of course, but I’m not sure RALFists did.

There was another split that ANAICR was four-way;
HAHAists believed Heaven And Hell Await; a soul* spent time in Hell and then in Heaven.
HOHOists believed Heaven Or Hell Only; a soul* either went to Hell, or it went to Heaven.
OPRAists believed Only Pit Realms Await; there’s no Heaven, but there is a Hell, and that’s where everybody goes.
OCRAists believed Only Cloud Realms Await; there’s no Hell, but there is a Heaven, and that’s where everyone goes.

People* would wait in their last assigned spot in the Afterlife until they were reincarnated, or forever, depending.

*SEMBs living in the EMBU. Sentient Electro-Magnetic Beings living in the Electro-Magnetic Being Universe.

Also, in each game the Seven Cardinal Virtues were ranked randomly, and the Seven Capital Vices were also ranked randomly.

  • https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afterlife_%28video_game%29

    ——

    I remember reading something by James Branch Cabell in which every soul spent time in the afterlife they expected. ISTR no two of them expected the same thing.

  • Posted January 14th by chiarizio

    I think in this case, gods would have cyclical existences as they grow in power, gain followers, lose power and then lose followers again. People might try to "find" or create gods that few others believed in as those would be the most powerful. And cults would be secretive and try to stay small.




    I especially like the above quote.
    Thank you, @linguistcat:!


    Edited April 18th by chiarizio

    I wonder what James Branch Cabell would have said about the “Afterlife” computer game if only he’d ever had a chance to play it?

    Posted April 22nd by chiarizio

    What if, instead, whatever the character believes about the afterlife, is the one thing guaranteed NOT to be true of their afterlife?


    Oh god that sounds horrible. I can't tell whether it's worse if the characters know this principle or not.

    An oft-seen trope is that the more believers a god has, and the stronger their faith, the more powerful the god is or becomes.


    What if that were somehow turned on it’s head, or otherwise twisted?


    gods would invariably try to destroy their own religions, or keep them secret, or probably the best strategy is to just give everyone their own personal religion that can't be shared.




    Posted April 23rd by Xhin
    Xhin
    Nature is beautiful

    gods would invariably try to destroy their own religions, or keep them secret, or probably the best strategy is to just give everyone their own personal religion that can't be shared.


    I doubt the Uncyclopedia article about the goddess Athe is still there.
    Athe is a goddess who mortally punishes any believer who tries to tell people about their belief in her.
    So the article had three authors, because none of them survived writing their third of it.

    However it appears Athe-ism is gaining adherents anyway.

    Posted April 23rd by chiarizio
    Reply to: Influence of Belief upon con-Reality re afterlife etc.
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