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Featured Fictional Religions

Discussion in 'Interfaith Discussion' started by Exaltist Ethan, Sep 28, 2022.

  1. Exaltist Ethan

    Exaltist Ethan Synverse Shaper

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    RF, Religious Fiction... I was wondering what Religious Forums thinks about fictional religions. Otherwise known as religions that everybody knows isn't reality. No, atheists, I'm not talking about any religion that's out there...

    I bring this topic up because I have altered my signature to now include a picture of the murals of the Nine Divines of Elder Scrolls lore. I am a huge fan of Elder Scrolls, especially Oblivion, Skyrim and ESO. I remember talking to my nurse and she told me her name is Mara, which is the name of the Goddess of Love as one of the deities in Elder Scrolls. I know this because in order to get married in Skyrim you need to wear the Amulet of Mara before and during the ceremony.

    There are the "culturally" religious - those who practice religion but don't necessarily believe its claims. They believe that the religion they practice is fictional but they find some value in practicing it anyways. But I find this to be odd, it would be similar to if you went to a hypnotist and said, "I don't believe in hypnotherapy and you won't be able to hypnotize me, but you can try anyways!" It seems like God only works for the believers.

    One of the reasons why my posts are so polished and focused is I feel the affect God has on me. My belief of the pantheist-syntheist God and becoming God always keeps me in check.

    However I do see importance in valuing what I would consider the subjective, metaphorical religions. The ones I would say are fictional but nonetheless add expression towards certain knowledge. The way that the Bible is written it appears obvious to me that is not meant to be taken literally. However there is still much value in that scripture and it should not be taken lightly.

    But I wanted to talk more about the religions everybody sees as fictional, not just the ones that the irreligious believe are. I am contemplating forcing myself to remember the Nine Divines and their role in Elder Scrolls lore. In fact, I would go so far to say that I want to be culturally-imbued into the lore of Elder Scrolls and the Nine Divines. I am fascinated by the games Bethesda has created.

    However, I am fully aware that these games are fantasy. I don't believe these Gods exist in reality, yet I play these games often enough that they are important to my development as a human being. I need to know what amulet to wear at what times, and the affect they have on the NPCs. I want to have a real in-depth knowledge of the lore and religions of Tamriel, even if it has no real significance outside the video games themselves.

    But I've talked about myself long enough - let's bring the discussion back to the reader.

    Discussion Questions: Do you find any importance on the knowledge and culture of fictional religions? Are there any religions you consider fictional but are still culturally aware of and attuned to? What are your opinions on those who are culturally, rather than literally, religious? And can you truly call yourself part of a religion even if you don't literally believe its claims? If not, is it at least worth noting that just understanding these false religions may change who you are as a person?

    Let us know what you think below.
     
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  2. crossfire

    crossfire Antinomian feminist heretic freak ☿
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    As an ordained minister of The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, of course I find value in fictional religions. They are excellent tools for the Sacred Clown Tradition that speaks Truth to Power!
     
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  3. The Sum of Awe

    The Sum of Awe Brought to you by the moment that spacetime began.

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    I used to be really interested in the Jedi and Sith religions in Star Wars. (And yes, I've heard of Jediism. In fact I was friends on facebook with the founder of the religion for a short time (Daniel something...) he seemed to grow more interested in making music than advocating his religion though)
     
  4. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    Why? If you are talking of fictional religions, why leave out some?
     
  5. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    Fiction is a powerful tool. It can very often inform us of a truth far better than the facts can. Especially when we humans are so easily able to ignore and discredit the facts. Fiction is harder to dismiss because it can play directly on the same innate fears and desires that our denial of truth relies on.
     
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  6. Exaltist Ethan

    Exaltist Ethan Synverse Shaper

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    I want to focus this discussion on the religions that are meant to viewed fictionally. It makes it easier to answer my discussion questions. So many religions will say things like this faith is real, seeking truth, believe in the truth, this faith is true and if you understand my discussion questions towards religions that aren't trying to provoke themselves as being true, it makes it easier and clarifies the questions I'm trying to purpose towards the reader.
     
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  7. Heyo

    Heyo Veteran Member

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    "The Jatravartids believe that the universe was sneezed out of the nose of the Great Green Arklseizure. They live in permanent fear of a time they call The Coming of the Great White Handkerchief." - The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
     
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  8. sun rise

    sun rise Śvāna Dharma
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    Don't forget Cthulhu who is by far the hungriest god around.
     
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  9. The Hammer

    The Hammer Wyrd Wide Web
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    I've actually thought about incorporating the Nine Divines and the Daedra into my worship practice. I don't think I'd consider anything "fictional". Everything is real to an extent.
     
  10. AlexanderG

    AlexanderG Active Member

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    I'm entirely an atheist, but I'm also a nerd. I've always thought that if many of the gods in the pantheon from Dungeons & Dragons were actually real, I could get on board.

    Divine relics with demonstrable powers, prayers of the faithful causing the instant healing of open wounds or pillars of fire to smite the wicked, and gods that spoke out loud or even appeared to their followers sometimes. Sign me up as a paladin to root out corruption and injustice!

    This would be so much cooler than our Earthly religions. Instead, when prayers always do nothing, we blame the person praying and invent ad hoc reasons for why they must not have had the right mindset or had some sin that impeded their request. Healing only ever seems to come for subjective, untestable ailments like back pain or chronic fatigue. The world itself is claimed as evidence for a god, who they claim created the world, which is evidence for the god, and around and around we go.

    So yeah, I could go with less fallacious philosophical speculation, and more actual divinity.
    [​IMG]
     
    #10 AlexanderG, Sep 28, 2022
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2022
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  11. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    Much the same thing that I think about "Exaltism/Omnism" save for the fact that they are, by their very nature, characterized by their transparency.
     
  12. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    I cannot recall reading any novels involving a fictional religion, with one exception. I read one of James Michener's very early historical novels called "The Source" about a fictional modern archeological dig the middle east, which involved his creating fictional stories about the various (mostly religious) artifacts being dug up: how they got there, and what they meant to the ancient people that once owned and used them.

    For those who don't know, James Michener is a very famous and popular writer that perfected the art of "fictional history". He wrote many long, elaborate, and wonderful historical novels about places and events like the Chesapeake Bay, Hawaii, Centennial (Colorado), Alaska, Poland, Texas, Mexico, the space program, WW2, and many others. He had a gift for conveying real historical places and events through fictional characters and circumstances. If you like the 'drama' of real history, I highly recommend his books.
     
  13. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    Oh, wait!

    There's a book called, "The Glass Bead Game" by Hermann Hesse that involves what seems to be a kind of religious obsession that takes place in the far future. But that is really a metaphor for the strange 'catch-22' that a lot of modern religions tend to trap their adherents in.

    There's probably others, too, if I sit and think about it long enough.
     
  14. Exaltist Ethan

    Exaltist Ethan Synverse Shaper

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    That would be neat, however, imagine how unstable a world like this would be. When you cast a fireball in Skyrim and fling it at a tree, the tree may burn for a few seconds, but it disappears quickly after. In reality that could cause a catastrophic forest fire. Environments in reality regenerate slowly, over hundreds, if not, thousands of years. If real life were Dungeons and Dragons everybody would end up dead eventually.

    @PureX

    The origins of the Syntheist type of religions come from the fictional religion, Earthseed, from the book Parable of the Sower, which declared "God is change." Syntheists took this and created a theology based on it, saying that "Our change is creating God." I took the Syntheist argument and elaborated it further, saying that "Our change is a development of Omnitheism." I agree with both the fledging syntheist standpoint, and its fictional religious counterpart, Earthseed. By the way, I wouldn't call Earthseed a fictional religion anymore. When the author of the book created Earthseed it was fictional but now a lot of people believe in such. Sometimes what was once fictional becomes real convictions.

    @Jayhawker Soule

    How do you define if it a religion is real or fictional? Sure, I may be one of a few Exaltists here and I have no proper place or way to worship, but that doesn't mean I don't believe in that religion. I know the Nine Divines isn't real, but I have a deep-rooted fascination that could be considered culturally part of the Imperial Pantheon. The creators of the lore, Bethesda, who designed this religion and never actually believed their own lore, outside of their own video games. That's how I detect the difference between the real and fictional when it comes to spirituality; Exaltism and Omnism are both in my heart, and I have strong convictions of both. To me that is more real than your religion of Judaism, even if you have 15 million adherences worldwide.

    @The Hammer

    Are you going to open the gates of oblivion? ;) If so, I hope to see you on the other side! :D
     
  15. The Hammer

    The Hammer Wyrd Wide Web
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    Just because those Deities can be real to a person, doesn't mean the game Magick is too. Real world Magick operates by different laws then Elder Scrolls Magick: as one is meant more for it's visuals, and the other it's actual worldly and practical impacts. :)
     
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  16. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    I think it's important to recognize the difference between creative representation, and ideological conviction. One of the things fiction is very good at is representing truths that lie deep within us by depicting them for us through fictional characters and events. And when this happens it's easy for people to confuse and conflate the fictional characters and events (the representations) with those deeply convicted ideological truths, within.

    Unfortunately, there will be a significant number of people that will not be able or willing to recognize and accept this difference: the representation from the ideal. And for them, the representations will become a new "religion". Because that's partly what religions are; what they do: provide fictional representations for deeply held ideals.
     
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  17. Sand Dancer

    Sand Dancer Crazy Cat Lady

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    I've always like belief in the Invisible Pink Unicorn. I have a pink unicorn stuffed animal because of her.
     
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  18. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    History and an estimation of the ratio of hubris to gravitas it reflects.
     
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  19. PearlSeeker

    PearlSeeker Well-Known Member

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    Tooth fairy, Santa, Easter Bunny...
     
  20. Viker

    Viker Spirit in Black

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    aquelarres federados en diabolismo, diabolatría, satanismo teísta, luciferismo
    Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!!!
     
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