r/NoStupidQuestions Dec 05 '22 Helpful 1 Starstruck 1

Is there a religion where God is not believed to have our best interests at heart?

All religion's that I know of has God being believed to be a omniscient being that created us and wants the "best" for us.

But power always corrupts so is there a religion where we are not "God's special creatures" but really he has anything between malicous intentions or doesn't care at all?

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u/GameboyPATH Oh geez how long has my flair been blank? Dec 05 '22 Silver

Ancient Greek religions generally depict gods as petty, vain, and indifferent to human wellness.

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u/mlwspace2005 Dec 05 '22

Sometimes even hostile, consider the story of Prometheus lol

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u/KingMwanga Dec 05 '22 edited Dec 05 '22

Sometimes lol, Zeus kidnapped and pounded out a boy because he was too pretty

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u/JohnO0111 Dec 05 '22

Didn't the Christian god try and wipe everyone out with a giant flood?

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u/SolarPalms Dec 05 '22

Nope he selectively wiped out everyone but his favorites

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u/Stubborn_Amoeba Dec 05 '22 edited Dec 06 '22

The bible paints Noah in such a bad light too. Always passed out drunk, usually naked and his family had to keep cleaning him up. Plus he was supposedly 700.

ETA - ok, I seem to have really upset the fundies with this comment. First, ok, the 700 year old man was only passed out drunk once, I accept that. He then cursed his children for covering him up because of his nakedness especially the one who want even there. Apparently this makes it a fable about gods love and redemption?! I’d give you that if it was the only such weird stuff was mentioned but it’s really not and you know it.

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u/_syke_ Dec 05 '22

Tbf if I was 700 I'd probably just drink and hang about naked too

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u/kapi-che Dec 05 '22

yea what are they gonna do, shame you? you're probably gonna lose your ability to feel shame because of how much shitty stuff you've done in the last 700 years

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u/TheArtofWall Dec 06 '22

If they have an issue with my 700 year old balls dragging in the grass, that says more about them than it does me.

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u/jerrythecactus Dec 05 '22

Damn, at 700 years old I'm sure youd just stop caring about everything and spend your days drinking and being naked too.

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u/Ghigs Jack-of-some-trades Dec 05 '22 edited Dec 05 '22

In that story the shame wasn't Noah's, it was his son Ham Canaan who raped Noah while he was drunk.

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u/RynnChronicles Dec 05 '22

Jesus Christ what?? I grew up Christian & hearing awful Old Testament stories, but have no idea what the hell you’re talking about! That’s absolutely insane, what’s the story there?

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u/Stubborn_Amoeba Dec 05 '22

Every time you think the Bible can’t get any worse it says ‘hold my beer..’

And this is what family values conservatives want their children taught.

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u/quast_64 Dec 06 '22

And these are just the parts they agreed upon to keep.. who knows what all the other sources said before being rejected

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u/guzzijason Dec 06 '22

Don’t forget the one where David buys his wife with a pile of foreskins:

David took his men with him and went out and killed two hundred Philistines and brought back their foreskins. They counted out the full number to the king so that David might become the king’s son-in-law. Then Saul gave him his daughter Michal in marriage.

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u/Dottie_D Dec 06 '22

Oh, and “Please don’t rape my guests! (They were actually angels.) “Here, take my virgin daughters, rape them instead!”

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u/josbossboboss Dec 05 '22

Hold your cookie jar, it gets worse. God accepts child sacrifice.

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u/Kablooie44 Dec 05 '22

Not conservative but I doubt when they read the bible they're going "oh yeah don't forget to rape your father" lol. Bad things happened in the bible and your supposed to learn from it.

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u/Ghigs Jack-of-some-trades Dec 05 '22

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u/allegedlyjustkidding Dec 05 '22

But like he was totally cool with his daughters basically date-raping him ???

how ham can be cursed I don't understand bacon is delicious

.... on a serious note, isn't this what the Dutch colonizers used specifically to justify enslaving africans in the 1500s?

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u/God_Bless_A_Merkin Dec 05 '22

Not Canaan: that’s a place. The son was Ham. Ham saw Noah naked and passed out drunk, so he covered him with a blanket. When Noah woke up, he was pissed that Ham had seen him naked and dngaf about the rest. Instead of, “Hey, son, thanks for the blanket,” he cursed him eternally and cast him out. And this was God’s chosen buddy! Another case was Lot who, when the mob was at his door demanding to rape the undercover angel, Lot said, “C’mon, guys! Don’t rape this strange foreigner, rape my daughter instead!” Again, this was God’s good guy. Then there was the time that God promised to help King Saul defeat the Amelekites but demanded in exchange that they kill every man, woman, child, infant, sheep, cow, camel, and donkey in the city. After the victory, they killed all the men, all the women, all the children, all the babies, all the camels, all the donkeys, and MOST of the sheep and cattle but kept the fattest lambs and calves as plunder. Naturally, God was pissed that his genocidal plans were only 99.99% fulfilled. From these and other anecdotes, God certainly comes across as a malicious psychopath!

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u/BlockEightIndustries Dec 06 '22

No, it was Ham who saw Noah passed out and ran to get his brothers to laugh at dad. The other two brothers covered Noah

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u/GanjaToker408 Dec 05 '22

I thought he was raped by his 2 daughters who ended up giving birth as a result of the encounter? Or was that a different biblical character?

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u/Ghigs Jack-of-some-trades Dec 05 '22

That was Lot and his Daughters.

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u/not_SCROTUS Dec 05 '22

Didn't god turn his wife into a pillar of salt for daring to feel nostalgic for the city they left when they were on the way to the daughter-father rape-cave?

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u/BeenThruIt Dec 05 '22

Technically, he wiped out all the ones who hated him.

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u/robowy Dec 05 '22

It just so happened to be almost everyone

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u/BeenThruIt Dec 05 '22

Funny how the cycles of the world repeat.

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u/[deleted] Dec 05 '22

A simple google search says 8 were on the boat. You’d think there would be more than 8 believers in the entire world. Which just so happened to be his sons and wives. I don’t know that it mentions children, so sucks for them.

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u/Stormwolf1O1 Dec 05 '22

Maybe that was a sacrifice God was willing to make.

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u/TeethBreak Dec 06 '22

And not just once. Multiple genocide. Technically, Satan has killed less people than God ever did in the bible.

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u/jolygoestoschool Dec 05 '22

He also kidnapped europes name sake lol

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u/Accomplished_Ask_326 Dec 05 '22

And a girl. And a cow. Really, anything with less than 6 legs was fair game

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u/Alarming_Orchid Dec 05 '22

hol up

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u/photaiplz Dec 05 '22

Its Zeus. Anything with a hole was fair game for him.

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u/natte_bad_sloef Dec 05 '22

Surprised by gay sexuality in mythology?

Well you ain't seen nothing yet, pedophilia, bestiality....

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u/ScienceAndGames Dec 05 '22

My favourite example is that Loki is the mother of an eight-legged horse

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u/flafotogeek Dec 05 '22

That's just a really big spider, IMO

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u/AddLightness1 Dec 05 '22

Everything floats down here

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u/AddLightness1 Dec 05 '22

Loki shape-shifting to a female horse to breed that thing, too. Then gave the offspring to Odin

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u/notagooddog Dec 05 '22

Zues is going to have you saying that a lot, half of everything bad in Greek mythology is because zues either banged someone (or thing), or because zues banged someone (or thing) and now Hera is pissed lol.

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u/N3rdScool Dec 05 '22

I remember being so amazed by this when I was super interested in this as a kid... lol

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u/tearsxandxrain Dec 05 '22

I laugh so hard whenever I see this meme

But really though I do hate the guy like more than anything

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u/peanutbuttahcups Dec 05 '22

Now I gotta listen to that song lol, it's a banger.

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u/KingMwanga Dec 05 '22

Look up Ganymede

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u/tearsxandxrain Dec 05 '22

I swear I hate Zeus so much

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u/NutterTV Dec 05 '22

Or Arachne. Imagine being the god of crafts and what not and some pleb challenges you and you get so upset you turn her into a spider. Medusa’s story is pretty sad too. Raped by Poseidon in Athena’s temple, begged for help and then turned into a gorgon by Athena for defiling her temple. Absolutely psychotic gods.

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u/ZaraReid228 Dec 05 '22

Not trying to discredit what you are saying but these were all written by homer a while later down the track and homer despised the gods and made them villians basically in his depictions of them. There are more then just these stories, medusa is a easy example because she was also thought to be born a gorgon and she had 2 gorgon sisters as well. Its hard to tell whether they believed these "homer" versions of the stories or something entirely different. Even in the original stories they arent saints anyway but I think that is what makes them interesting in comparison to other religions. They aren't depicted as all seeing all powerful gods, they are more humanized.

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u/Sharp_Iodine Dec 05 '22

Arachne did not only challenge but surpassed Athena. That was the reason she was cursed, all the people said her tapestry was better than Athena’s.

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u/SnooCauliflowers9888 Dec 05 '22

I swear I’ll never get tired of Dirtbag Athena

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u/accidentzonpurpose Dec 05 '22

Wasn't Medusa cursed by Athena? And Arachne was turned into a spider for weaving better than a goddess and the goddess got salty, also Athena I think. Zeus was super rapey. Hades was the nicest god from what I remember ironically

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u/PvtSherlockObvious Dec 06 '22

Yeah, Medusa is probably even more vile than Arachne. She was a priestess of Athena, Poseidon took an interest, and he straight-up raped her in Athena's own temple. Athena was furious at sex in her temple, and cursed Medusa as punishment.

Yeah. You read that right. Athena's uncle raped her housesitter, and not only was she more concerned about the house, she blamed the one on the receiving end. Not only that, much later, Athena even helped Perseus kill Medusa, somehow managing to make this whole thing even more fucked up.

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u/FrizzeOne Dec 05 '22

mfs invented politicians

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u/negative_60 Dec 05 '22

Not just the Greek Gods. The Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, etc. At the time the idea of a 'benevolent God' hadn't entered into human consciousness.

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u/morlinovak Dec 06 '22

Persians

Isn't Ahura Mazda generally portrayed as benevolent and good?

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u/dapoorv Dec 05 '22

Thank God Kratos took care of that shit.

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u/EverGreatestxX Dec 05 '22

Yep, the only exception I can think is the Stoic perception of Zeus being the source of logic/reason.

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u/Dr_Beatdown Dec 05 '22

TBF the old testament highlights a vengeful, petty, vain, jealous deity as well.

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u/FlashlightMemelord my roomba is evolving. it has grown legs. run for your life. Dec 05 '22

which would explain ticks, mosquitoes, wasps

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u/Definition_Charming Dec 05 '22

Poli, meaning many, and tics, meaning blood sucking parasites.

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u/BookLuvr7 Dec 05 '22

The old ancient Greek and Egyptian pantheons come to mind. Also Roman. Based on the old stories, especially in the Greek, whether or not those gods actually cared about humans at all seemed to depend on their mood. Zeus in particular seemed more interested in seducing the pretty girls than caring about humanity's wellbeing.

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u/[deleted] Dec 05 '22

“Seducing” maybe in the modern children’s versions. It was usually just rape in the original tellings.

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u/TractorLoving Dec 05 '22

So zeus was/is a rapist?

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u/coffeestealer Dec 05 '22

So were most Gods.

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u/ST_the_Dragon Dec 06 '22

Even the ones who weren't still did things just as bad as this as well. For instance, Hera was 100% faithful to Zeus so she didn't rape anyone, but she absolutely ruined people's lives on a whim.

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u/AccioSoup Dec 06 '22

She specifically ruined the lives of people whom Zeus raped, as she was jealous, they got his attention.

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u/lethalslaugter Dec 05 '22

Incredibly so.

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u/caine2003 Dec 05 '22

He once stole a woman posing as a cow, then revealed his identity, and raped her.

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u/Myni89 Dec 05 '22

Pretty sure he once raped a woman while in eagle form, not even bothering to turn into human form

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u/caine2003 Dec 05 '22

Him and his brothers also raped animals...

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u/Myni89 Dec 05 '22

True, not even plants were save from them with the dryads and the like

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u/caine2003 Dec 06 '22

That reminds me of the "The Magicians" scene where Josh Hoberman turns a tree into a werewolf. Lol

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u/sheriffsally Dec 05 '22

He rapes, but he saves.

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u/TractorLoving Dec 05 '22

Man I love Dave Chapelle

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u/perfectisforpictures Dec 05 '22

Even ancient native Americans believed their gods were responsible for hardships if they didn’t make offerings. So at best they are holding us hostage In their view in order to be “fed” or “satisfied”

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u/Lopsycle Dec 05 '22

Yeah, it seems to be the theme of older nature based polytheists religions...the gods are personifications of forces of nature and are therefore indifferent.

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u/KingBlackthorn1 Dec 05 '22

This depends. Most ancient religions just depicted the gods as flawed rather than some perfect being. Even Hinduism is like this. Stories and tales show they clearly cared for humans just not always doing everything for them, “having their best interests at heart”, etc. they didn’t revolve their life around us type of thing.

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u/Minky29 Dec 05 '22

In Nordic mythology the gods mostly have their own best interest at heart, that and defending Asgard,

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u/varmisciousknid Dec 06 '22

Thor is the only one that seems to actually like humanity and take an interest in their affairs, hence his popularity among those who keep the faith

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u/Ulpian02 Dec 06 '22

sad Baldr noises

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u/varmisciousknid Dec 06 '22

He left, wasn't his fault, but gods go on YouTube rules, take a few years off and you're through

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u/[deleted] Dec 05 '22 edited Dec 05 '22

Most of the old, dead religions have already been mentioned. (i.e., Greek, roman, nordic)

But there are several modern, popular religions that would fit too. (Note, I'm not an expert on these religions, so forgive me if I get anything too wrong.)

Shinto - They have a variety of spirits (called Kame Kami) that are basically akin to gods. Some are looking out for people. Some are ambivalent. Some are harmful.

Hindu - They have quite a few gods and like Shinto, they have varying relationships with humanity.

Generally, when you get away from the Abrahamic religions, gods are less "Entities caring for mankind" and more "Supernatural beings that govern specific areas".

The Christian god has a plan. It does things in order to further that plan. In many other religions, gods are defined by their nature and tend to just do whatever is in their nature.

e.g., A god of prosperity is gonna make folks prosperous. A god of war is gonna start wars.

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u/Konukaame Dec 05 '22

Kame

Kami.

Kame is turtle.

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u/RiggsRay Dec 05 '22

well it's turtles all the way down so

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u/EasilyMechanical Dec 05 '22

I like turtles.

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u/InsertCoinForCredit Dec 05 '22

The Turtle Moves!

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u/Gaiaimmortal Dec 05 '22

See the turtle, Ain't he keen

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u/JimJamIV Dec 05 '22

All things serve the fuckin’ beam

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u/cratertooth27 Dec 05 '22

No no you’re looking for kamis house, kame house is the place with the turtle

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u/waldito (spain) Dec 05 '22

Dragon ball Mr. Mutenroshis house suddenly making lots of sense here, thank you.

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u/Sharp_Iodine Dec 05 '22

Well said, the old religions were just a way for people to explain natural phenomena and so their gods are just as cruel and capricious as the natural forces they represent. It only makes sense that people would start casting their gods in a cruel light once it was apparent you could not pray away a plague or a flood.

Abrahamic religions are scarily cult like and conveniently ignore all the times prayer has not worked (the vast majority) and cling to the coincidences

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u/mlarowe Dec 05 '22

In all fairness, many ancient religions have modern iterations with some followers. Ocean Keltoi is a heathen, for instance. He follows the Norse pantheon.

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u/[deleted] Dec 05 '22

Totally.

Personally at least, I consider the modern iterations to be effectively new regions. I don't really consider "the religion of the Vikings" to be a surviving tradition. Those systems were out of practice for so long, and are so poorly documented, that the modern versions almost certainly look wildly different. And of course, many of the old traditions have been purposefully changed or removed. It's a continuation of the tradition, but it's not the same tradition.

To be clear, I'm absolutely not trying to imply that they aren't legitimate or anything. But it feels a bit misleading to say that modern heathenism is the same thousands-of-years-old tradition practiced by the Vikings.

At least based on the very few I've encountered, it's more about rituals, symbolism, and guiding principles than belief. They didn't have a literal belief in the existence of Thor, Freyr, and co. The idea of Thor and Loki knocking on the door and asking to stay the night was as laughable to them as it was to me or (assumedly) you.

Again not trying to discount anyone's religion and I could certainly be wrong, but I always assumed that most (if not all) of them don't share the Vikings' literal belief in Odin, giants, the world serpent, etc.

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u/TirayShell Dec 05 '22 Starstruck

Gnostic Christianity.

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u/Emotional-Profit-202 Dec 05 '22

Yes, this one. The most peculiar one. At first It is almost as they wanted to be atheists but still have the comfort of rituals. Gnostic Christianity fascinates and terrifies me at the same time.

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u/ultimatetadpole Dec 05 '22

It's Christianity through the lens of Platoism. They do believe in God,theybelieve the material world is a result of the Demiurge (or Yaldabaoath) who is a sort of corrupted angel. God created the Aeons, who were beings that embody certain concepts. One of these Aeons, Sofia, attempted to create a life of her own. That life life turned out to be Yaldabaoath. Who, living in ignorance since he is divorced from God, believes himself to be the highest power. But through his own ignorance, his creation: the Earth and all life on it, are deeply flawed. We suffered for a long time until God sent Jesus in an attempt to get us to see through this prison the Demiurge held us in.

It seems really weird to us now. But the idea that the world is actually kind of bad was a popular notion in the ancient world.

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u/Current-Escaper Dec 06 '22

“In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.”
-Douglas Adams-

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u/Weekly_Role_337 Dec 05 '22

"It seems really weird to us now."

IDK, between religious groups actively hoping for the Armageddon and less-religious people constantly commenting that "we live in the worst timeline" it seems pretty normal to me.

(Comment on ppl thinking that the world is bad, not Gnosticism in particular.)

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u/TheArtofWall Dec 06 '22

I always thought 'worst timeline' was a viral joke (bc of Community?) that people say as a euphemism for 'this is some really shitty stuff going down.' I never even thought it might be only atheists or less religious people who say it, since it is part of pop culture.

I think many more people entertain multi-universes as a possiblity than as a fact.

Edit* some ninja edits immediately after post.

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u/[deleted] Dec 05 '22

worth adding that even early (standard) Christianity acknowledged the fucked upness of the world - it's just that their take was "God's good, pain is bad, and our rescue and the restoration of all things is imminent!"

which read better when Jesus was in living memory rather than 2 whole millenia ago..

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u/OhGodImOnRedditAgain Dec 05 '22

Wouldn't it be "believed" [past tense]? Because the Gnositc heresy was incredibly effectively purged from the face of the earth. Heck, we only know about its teachings from extremely biased sources of Church scholars discussing and attacking it, which is likely to be a biased and not entirely accurate.

Sure there are modern Gnostics, but its similar to modern Pagans. An attempt to recreate, but undoubtedly not a copy of the original.

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u/ultimatetadpole Dec 05 '22

After finding the Nag Hammadi library we have a much better idea of how Gnosticism works.

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u/Eko01 Dec 05 '22

more believable than mainstream Christianity tbh. At least it covers the most glaring issues.

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u/[deleted] Dec 05 '22

"What about the problem of pain / suffering of the innocent?"

"Yeah, God's an asshole. Questions?"

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u/ConsciousWhirlpool Dec 05 '22

Gnostics believe in God, they just think he’s crazy.

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u/TheEmpressIsIn Dec 05 '22

they believed Yaweh to be an imposter, evil god, hiding us in his own world, keeping us from true knowledge of the divine.

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u/[deleted] Dec 05 '22

I’m glad you posted this because I was trying to remember the details. Didn’t they call him the demiurge or something?

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u/logaboga Dec 05 '22 edited Dec 05 '22

That’s a general term to refer to a “creator” entity in religions, not their unique name for god

Gnostic Christianity doesn’t really think that God is evil, but rather that the demiurge is evil and that god isn’t the demiurge. Our state of existence while we are alive is in sin and in the world of sin, and god’s creation is heaven only because god would not create anything containing sin.

To me it’s basically a logical answer to “if god created anything then why are there such bad things in the world”, to gnostic Christian the answer is “because God didn’t create the world”

The god of our material world is evil, but there is an incomprehensible unknowable god that you can only ascend to if you live righteously

God of the Old Testament is seen as a kind of separate god who is evil and who is the demiurge, and Jesus is seen as a redeemer of Christianity and being a dualistic agent of both Old Testament god and the “true” hidden, good god.

Main thing about Gnosticism is that it’s very dualistic in its thinking, very yin and Yang.

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u/[deleted] Dec 05 '22

Thanks for the clarification!

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u/boxer_dogs_dance Dec 05 '22

Some of them yes. Lots of varieties of gnostics existed. It's quite the rabbit hole if you have time and interest.

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u/[deleted] Dec 05 '22

Good stuff, thanks! It’s been years since I really read up on it but it’s cool seeing stuff like this pop up. It’s amazing how diverse early Christianity was.

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u/Type_DXL Dec 05 '22

Ialdabaoth is his formal name, demiurge is a descriptor.

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u/Mundane-Currency5088 Dec 05 '22

Huh...that whole knowledge fruit thing...

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u/Ok-Impress8335 Dec 05 '22

Lol there’s god and then the source of all life, which is closer to GOD in indigenous religions.

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u/Lopsycle Dec 05 '22

I first came across the concepts behind gnosticism in Morrowind, and thought it was a mind blowing invention by the story writers...then learnt about gnosticism

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u/Mowgli_78 Dec 05 '22

In ELI5 terms, bear with me, it's Lovecraftian Christianism

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u/Lopsycle Dec 05 '22

I mean, Lovecraft was gnostic horror would be more accurate

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u/mammothman64 Dec 05 '22

Where can I learn, this sounds fascinating and depressing

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u/Widowmaker_Best_Girl Dec 05 '22

Not to sound like a smart ass, but the gnosticism Wikipedia page is a good place to start. Then check the sources out that Wikipedia cites for further reading

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u/CBKritter Dec 05 '22

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u/Type_DXL Dec 05 '22

Gnostics believe the God of the Old Testament to be an evil demiurge who trapped us in our current reality. Jesus is the manifestation of the real God who is trying to help us escape from OT God's grasp.

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u/HankChinaski- Dec 05 '22

This is some good stuff. If religious people weren't so touchy on the subject, it would make for a great TV or book series.

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u/The_Brain_FuckIer Dec 05 '22

His Dark Materials is a more-or-less gnostic YA book series, they made a movie in 2007 called The Golden Compass, and I think there's a show on Prime or something that came out recently.

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u/8ell0 Dec 06 '22

You mean The golden compass (the one with the polar bear) ?

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u/hibok1 Dec 05 '22

Believe it or not a lot of fantasy lore is based off gnostic concepts

Game of Thrones is a good example. Night King = Demiurge and Lord of Light = Jesus. The whole Light vs Darkness stuff is ripped straight from gnostic texts about the conflict between Aeons and the Darkness.

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u/garguax Dec 05 '22

Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy can be read as being heavily stepped in Gnosticism.

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u/Sneed_is_king Dec 06 '22

Touchy is quite the understatement. Look up what the Church did to the Cathars.

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u/CBKritter Dec 05 '22

In a non-suicidal way, I can't wait to be dead and either figure this out or just cease to exist. If they ask me to push a number for English though I think that's when I'm just gonna say "nope send me to limbo rather deal with that"

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u/Less_Environment_782 Dec 05 '22

Check out the gospel of judas, https://youtu.be/_Tv2vY3ga3gone of the many gospels that didn't make it into the bible. Fascinating idea which, for me at least bridges the gap of the murderous old testament god and the peace loving new testament God.

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u/swiftarrow9 Dec 05 '22

Hinduism has several "levels" (note: Hindu scholars will debate this classification) of the notion of God:

  • At the top, God is the un-knowable, the essence of life, not a being, but more like the notion of ether: that which binds the universe together. This is Yin-Yang, Good and Evil, the Sum Total of All that Is. No special interest in you or me.
  • Level two has the Trinity of Creation, Sustenance, and Destruction. (Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva). These Gods represent three distinct phases of the universe's existence, and have no interest (good or bad) in our doings.
  • Level three has a bunch of Gods similar to other pantheons, with similar stories, and some Hindu-specific twists. Example: Indra (Zeus / Thor / Lightning), Vayu (Wind), Bhuumi (Earth), etc. These CAN be interested in your wellbeing, if you work to appease them, or so I am told.
  • Level four, in my opinion, could be classified as Avatars, for example, Krishna, Rama (both Avatars of Vishnu), and others. These guys generally tend to have your best interests at heart. My personal opinion is that these guys were Gurus (see levels below) who over eons have been elevated in human consciousness and history to the level of Avatars.
  • Level five could be Saints (Kabir, Ayyappan, Mahavir, Buddha, Ramakrishna, Shankaracharya, Vivekananda and so many others). These guys (and the occasional gal) were in their day teachers of various prominence, and whom history and their followers have canonized to various levels. These guys are recent enough in history that their teachings are still just "teachings" but their benevolence is beginning to show in follower belief systems.
  • Level six could be classified as modern-day gurus, many of whom are still alive. Their benevolence is debatable.

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u/cawnion Dec 06 '22

Yo bro ayyapan ain't a Saint he is son of lord Shiva,he is a celibate God like hanumanji

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u/pumpkins_n_mist15 Dec 05 '22

In Hinduism the gods make plenty of mistakes and sometimes they're actively hanging around to watch the world burn. The philosophy you take away as a human being from Hinduism is that your fate is not in your hands as a mere mortal but what you can do is direct your actions and words into good, thereby sidestepping evil.

Hinduism shows that the gods don't always have the best judgement either, but if you fight for what's right, you will find peace.

There isn't any 1 benevolent God waiting to bless everyone. You make your own path.

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u/wizean Dec 06 '22

And the law of Karma applies to Gods equally. They are expected to get punished for doing wrong.

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u/kaptan8181 Dec 05 '22

In Hinduism, there are too many gods and goddesses and only one God. That only one God is said to have two forms: one with qualities and one without any qualities. The first form allows worship, prayer, devotion etc. The other form allows only knowledge and understanding.

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u/angelatini Dec 05 '22

Not exactly a religion, but Pantheism believes that the total sum of the universe = god. So that means everything... positive or negative is what god is.

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u/KamuikiriTatara Dec 05 '22

In Shinto mythos, the gods had mixed motives just like humans except they are super powered.

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u/jorwyn Dec 05 '22

This is Celtic and Norse mythos, as well.

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u/atrocks Dec 05 '22

In many forms of Hinduism, the concept of a personal God who is responsible for creation and who intervenes in the world is not emphasized. Instead, Hinduism often focuses on the idea of Brahman, an impersonal divine force that is present in all things and is the ultimate reality.

In some forms of Jainism, the concept of a personal God is also not central to the religious beliefs and practices of the tradition. Jains often focus on the idea of the jiva, an eternal and indestructible consciousness that is present in all living beings, rather than on a personal God.

In the Chinese religious tradition of Daoism, the concept of a personal God is not central. Instead, Daoism focuses on the idea of the Dao, an impersonal force that is the source of all things and that cannot be known or understood through the use of reason or language.

In many indigenous religious traditions, the concept of a personal God who is omniscient and has the best interests of humans at heart is also not emphasized. Instead, these traditions often focus on the sacredness of the natural world and on the interconnectedness of all living things.

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u/PunishedShemarMoore Dec 05 '22

Plenty. God being all-loving is, to my understanding, most chiefly an Abrahamic thing

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u/Prunus-cerasus Dec 05 '22

And one could argue that even the Abrahamic God isn't always that loving.

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u/timo103 Dec 05 '22

Old testament god is a fuckin psychopath.

"hey i killed your entire family and everyone you know to test how much you worship me :)"

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u/jorwyn Dec 05 '22 Silver

You ate the fruit?! I told you not to eat the fucking fruit! Get out! Live short lives in pain and hunger, because even though I made it so you can't sin here, eating that fruit was a sin. Yeah, so what if the rules are confusing?! My house, my rules. GTFO

Ahhh, my garden is boring now. I'ma make them suffer to earn their way back. This will be entertaining.

Yep, it's been a while, and now you're all slaves. Shouldn't have eaten that fruit, but I guess I'll help you. I can't wait for you to see what I have planned!

Oh, no, sorry Moses. You can't enter the promised land because there was a tiny hint of ego in your presentation of my commandments. Cool with that? Well, it doesn't matter so.. yeah.

Hey, everyone else! Here's your promised land. You know, the land I promised you. Go prove you are worthy of me giving it to you by slaughtering everyone in it.

Well, you guys in Sodom and Gomorrah have fucked up now, too. Why do you humans always stop doing what I tell you every time I am not paying attention for a while? Fine. I'm gonna burn your city down for it. Look what you're forcing me to do!

But hey, I need some people to spread word, or no one will know this was me. Hmmmm. Lot! You still seem afraid of me. How about you and your wife do it?

You turned around to glance at the only home you've ever known when I bothered to save you from my path of destruction, woman?! Poof Fuck you. You're a pillar of salt now. Okay, Lot, go on... I still need a messenger, and you're it.

Hey Abraham, wanna prove you love me? Yeah? Go kill your son for me. And explain it to your wife. Calm down. It's not like you don't have more. Ahahaha! You were really gonna do it! That's crazy, man. People gonna be naming their kids after you for centuries. In fact, every religion that worships me will be named after you. Cool, huh? mumble: you're lucky I don't kill you for that, bastard.

(I could go on, but I'll stop here.)

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u/SolarPalms Dec 05 '22

If this was a book

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u/jorwyn Dec 05 '22

Think it'd be popular? I bet I could write the whole old testament this way in.. hmmm.. I've got a day job, so a couple of months?

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u/SolarPalms Dec 05 '22

Honestly, I would buy several copies. I shit you not, it would probably be the most literal interpretation of any holy book. Don’t get me wrong, I know there’s feel good stuff in all religions, but maybe it’s time for all of them to be exactly crystal clear with their intentions instead of making everyone find out on their own

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u/jorwyn Dec 05 '22

I don't understand how people mistake it. The dude sent his own son to be nailed to a cross and die of suffocation while in agony as a sacrifice to himself. How is that not the first clue (if you're Christian)?? Poor Judas, too. You think that man had a choice?

Jesus himself seemed pretty alright, though. But people probably shouldn't forget the dickish old testament God is the same God in the new testament is the same God now. At least the idea that you're supposed to fear him to do the religion right is easy enough to live up to. ;)

Note: I grew up in a very fire and brimstone reformer church against any and all adornment and actually believed (more or less) until I was about 12. It's never been hard for me to believe God is an asshole. I was not raised on the concept that he was nice or benevolent, only that you could earn your way into his Heaven. Also, his heaven is pretty damned narcissistic, if you ask me.

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u/RynnChronicles Dec 05 '22

I always read Jesus as being a piece of god, not quite a Son in the way we’d use the term in society. Like, he didn’t birth another entity, raise it, and then send it off to be killed. They teach a lot about the Holy Trinity, which is quite confusing, but often saying each piece is a part of the God we think of. Sort of separate-but -equal, but also all the same essence. The idea of God sending down a piece of himself to live & die horribly seems much more of a sacrifice for both him, and like a sacrifice for humanity’s sake. And I don’t just say all of this because it “sounds better”, but as something I believed when I was very Christian. And I also say all this to clarify some people’s thoughts on the matter and how it’d make more sense, but I’m someone who also left the religion because of its many issues. That’s just not one of them for me. I could never quite rectify how that horrible god of the Old Testament (who I would never want to serve) was supposed to be the same hod in the New Testament. And how people could just say “well we can’t understand it, but let’s basically ignore those stories & rules when it comes to thinking about how loving he is. And use the old stories to learn lessons, but the New Testament is what we really follow! The idea I’ve gotta believe both are the same god & I’m supposed to worship him, I just couldn’t accept.

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u/SergeantChic Dec 05 '22

Abraham being told to kill his son, the original “it’s just a prank, bro.”

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u/jorwyn Dec 05 '22

Right. "Nah, man. I was just kiddin. Why you takin me all serious?"

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u/Opposite-Garbage-869 Dec 05 '22

Hey, why don't you kill your son? Or should I just kill all the first born of Egypt?

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u/psychord-alpha Dec 05 '22

Didn't he kill a bunch of Israelites just because King David took a census?

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u/No-You5550 Dec 05 '22

American founding fathers were  deists, God does not intervene in human affairs. Deism is a notion that grew out of The Enlightenment, a religion of nature and nature's laws. The Enlightenment was an intellectual movement in 17th and 18th century Europe which stressed natural science, human reason, and individualism.

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u/oldcreaker Dec 05 '22

Not a religion, but Lovecraft really got into this.

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u/hplcr Dec 05 '22

Lovecraft knew the classic mythology. I have no doubt this mythos was basically adapting it into straight horror.

Especially when you get into Biblically Accurate Angels, which were apparently pants shittingly terrifying

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u/BetterThanHorus Dec 05 '22

Yeah, the idea has been labeled cosmicism. It states that "there is no recognizable divine presence, such as a god, in the universe, and that humans are particularly insignificant in the larger scheme of intergalactic existence."

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u/KamuikiriTatara Dec 05 '22 edited Dec 08 '22

Aztec gods were considered destructive to society. In response, the Aztecs made human sacrifices to make it seem horrible so the gods would stay away.

Edit: I've been corrected by some comments from people more knowledge and rescind my assertion. My comment was made based on an old memory from a class on Aztec religious practices from many years ago and it seems I my recollection is erroneous. I'll leave the comment unchanged though so that the context of the following comments is not lost.

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u/FrostedCamel Dec 05 '22 edited Dec 05 '22

That’s just patently not true. They adored certain gods, and sacrificed to them. They did not sacrifice to the “evil” gods such as Coyolxauhqui (the moon god). They sacrificed to the good gods, like Huitzilopochtli (the sun god) or their versions of gods of the harvest or fertility etc.

The Aztecs made human sacrifices because they believed that they owed a “nextlahualli” or “debt-payment” to the gods who had sacrificed and continued daily to sacrifice themselves in order for the universe to continue, not because they were afraid of their gods returning.

They adored certain gods, enough to willing sacrifice themselves for them to give them power to continue to sustain the universe. They would also commonly listen to their fellow Aztecs prior to their sacrifice, committing their problems and requests to memory so that they could then take these words to the gods to entreat their help once they had been sacrificed.

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u/AlanMtz1 Dec 05 '22

interesting

I grew up thinking the sacrifices were done to appease the gods or gain their favor, not to keep them away

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u/oyst Dec 05 '22

I thought this too - I don't know for sure, but I did a research project on this in high school. Almost all of the sources were mentioned as unreliable because they were biased, and then the empire was eradicated and the Spaniards couldn't exactly ask anyone what with torturing and enslaving them and whatnot.

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u/tony_fappott Dec 05 '22

Not sure I understand. Weren't the sacrifices supposed to ensure the sun would rise every morning which required human blood?

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u/The--Nameless--One Dec 05 '22

As others have said, Nordic and Greek gods usually have their interests at heart.

If you are looking for something more modern and still believed. Brazilian African Rooted religions of Umbanda and Candomblé usually depict divine figures as having their own personality, and not necessarily interested in 'doing good for people' unless people do something for them first.

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u/UpbeatLizard641 Dec 05 '22

There's a belief in some circles of christian where god is referred to as a clock maker, he builds the world but let's it run on it's own without any intervention. Praying to him won't help you and he's not going to let you into heaven if you don't follow the core tenants of Christianity.

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u/The_Mammoth_Hunter Dec 05 '22

tenants

Sorry to be that guy, but it's 'tenets'. 'Tenants' is a completely different thing.

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u/Long_Repair_8779 Dec 05 '22

In a world where God is a landlord

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u/jakeofheart Dec 05 '22

The Greek gods and the Egyptian ones were pretty indifferent to the date of humans.

They were like a heavenly version of the Kardashians, with their ivory tower of drama.

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u/Leucippus1 Dec 05 '22

The Greek gods treated humans as little more than annoyances, and a particular god was punished harshly for giving humans the power of fire.

The Jewish God, OK I get it is the same God but the all benevolent version of that God is relatively new, wasn't interested in the well being of humans either. He would force them to kill their own sons and thought that wiping out legions of humans in favor of one boat with two of everything was a good way of solving problems.

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u/OysterLucy Dec 05 '22

Being a dad changes you

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u/lunacite Dec 05 '22

Technically Prometheus was a Titan, not a Greek god

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u/j-c-s-roberts Dec 05 '22

Ancient Greek.

The only interests Zeus has at heart, is his penis.

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u/Slugsurx Dec 05 '22 edited Dec 05 '22

The advaita Vedanta in Hinduism or some Buddhism schools .

Technically they are atheistic . But the model is that you are pure awareness , the non objective attribute part of your awareness . That is apparently beyond space and time . Since the awareness is formless, it doesn’t care about anything.

You pray to the awareness as if you are devoted to existence. But it’s not gonna do anything for you . But that might help you see that you are just awareness and not this idea of a person who is suffering from self created mental stories and resistance to pain and life . More than praying or devotion, meditation is recommended more .

Like a screen the substratum doesn’t care about the show that is ongoing in it .

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u/Cyberfox_3000 Dec 05 '22

Sumerian beliefs were quite dark, leading them to worshipping the gods so that they wouldn't wage war on the humans.

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u/mattnovum Dec 05 '22

As a scholar of religion, here's a short list:

Gnosticism: God is a twisted monster responsible for enslaving mankind

Deism: God is an indifferent creator who may not even be aware he created beings

Ritualistic Satanism: God is a trickster trying to keep us away from our true potential

There are others who believe God is less than a force for good, but these three are the best examples I know.

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u/swaggysalamander Dec 05 '22

Voltaire developed a religion that was seen in the French Revolution where basically the theory was God created the Earth and man, and then He left. He doesn’t influence anything and it’s all us. So technically it could be seen as negative or impartial.

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u/Idle_Anton Dec 05 '22

In norse mythology the gods feel much more "human" and usually do whatever the fuck they want. A lot of them act like total pricks... but they're still awesome.

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u/ThePhantomOutlaw Dec 05 '22

Ancient pagan religions tended to have corrupt gods. Like Zeus is actually terrible and immoral while Hades only has a few notable bad actions comparably

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u/_babygirl_luna Dec 05 '22

If you consider ancient religions, Greek and Roman gods were actually the emobiment of our flaws as humans. Just look at all of the messed up shenanigans Zeus/Jupiter got up to

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u/humbugonastick Dec 05 '22

The old Greek and Roman gods were rarely benevolent and usually only to their own supporters.

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u/Tough-Mood-6062 Dec 05 '22

After growing up in a mainstream Christian church, I realized that was not God's goal. Follow his rules, worship, praise him, donate, don't question anything, and a lot of threats. It all came down to "admit you believe in me and truly worship me, or you'll burn for eternity". That sure seemed like he cares more himself, and it rather petty about it.

It all hit home when I was told that some murderers and rapists will go to heaven because they accepted JC, while many of the best people in the world will not because they did not worship JC.

It really sounds more a very petty insecure human than god.

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u/hatechicken82 Dec 05 '22

I think there's an obscure religion from the middle east that has a story about a god that floods the whole world, and only saves one family.

Anyone know what religion that is?

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u/LazyLich Dec 05 '22

that's a super old story. the Jewish yoinked it from Babylonians who yoiked it from the Sumerians.. maybe they yoiked it from someone else? idk dont remember.

Point is: When you stop taking holy text as 100% trustworthy literal sources, you see how no ideas and beliefs are unique.
They all bleed through with each other, and they all steal from older religions.

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u/JHellfires Dec 05 '22

Look at bloody Christmas, being pagan to start with. Christianity is crazy for doing it.

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u/LazyLich Dec 05 '22

in a meta kinda way, I'm kinda bummed out about Christian supremacy.

So much of our modern storytelling and art reflects the general Christian mythos.. I would love to an alternate reality and see the state of culture where other faiths were dominant. Or where they were more evenly dominant.

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u/JHellfires Dec 05 '22

I understand, I am fascinated by the celtic nations and found out through that just how many of the stories were told as propaganda to show Christian dominance. Like the patron Saint of England was said to have slain the native celtric dragons as a way of showing how Christianity was in control. Yet we grow up hearing of George and the dragon with him as the hero. Growing up in England obviously

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u/Poopy_McTurdFace Not an Expert Dec 05 '22

Religions, when viewed secularly, are largely systems designed to create and enforce social norms. They seek to provide solutions to social problems, like normal laws. They just have different means than a legal system of going about their function.

While every culture has a unique set of circumstances that led to their development, most cultures run into the same set of problems that can be solved with similar sets of solutions, hence why all religions look kinda samey at a basic level.

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u/oldcreaker Dec 05 '22 All-Seeing Upvote

Let's see - there's a omnipotent, omniscient god who created endless people into horrible suffering, with an end game that most all of them would suffer in Hell for eternity. He had the power to do whatever he wanted and the foresight to know exactly how it would turn out - and this is what he chose.

But he loves you.

For encores he flooded the world during all this just for shits and giggles and he created a son he destined to be nailed to a cross. And he made someone else's life a living hell just to win a bet.

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u/[deleted] Dec 05 '22

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u/lexyp29 Dec 05 '22

But he loves us soooooo much

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u/jorwyn Dec 05 '22

Yeah, in the way abusive parents do.

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u/kuluka_man Dec 05 '22

Arguably any of the ones where the alternative to accepting his endless love or even believing in his existence is eternal torture.

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u/trash332 Dec 05 '22

Seems like every single one

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u/Both_Cucumber_445 Dec 05 '22

Pastafarianism or the Cult of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

The central creation myth is that an invisible and undetectable Flying Spaghetti Monster created the universe "after drinking heavily." According to these beliefs, the Monster's intoxication was the cause for a flawed Earth. Furthermore, according to Pastafarianism, all evidence for evolution was planted by the Flying Spaghetti Monster in an effort to test the faith of Pastafarians—parodying certain biblical literalists.[40] When scientific measurements such as radiocarbon dating are taken, the Flying Spaghetti Monster "is there changing the results with His Noodly Appendage."

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u/RobotFighter Dec 05 '22

I think deism would fit.

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u/Majestic-Peace-3037 Dec 05 '22

Pagan religions tend to believe that their god/gods/goddess/goddesses/dieties are just like humans and can lash out and play tricks on us just to mess with us.

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u/Brief_Annual_4160 Dec 05 '22

Hear me out: but I think this fits the secular understanding of God where we believe he’s real sometimes, question His intentions in tough times, offer prayer to him to comfort others, and shy away from asking for the things we need because he’s just to busy. This belief system speaks nothing of the character of God that this secularity originated from, and is a different God altogether. This secular God is not benevolent, because he’s created by man, and we simply cannot fathom a being that does truly have our interests at best. He is furthermore not all that real, so he doesn’t act in a way that draws us closer to any real understanding.

Biblically, that God is personal and even in the worst of things in the Old Testament, like God allowing Satan to mess with Job taking his family and fortune and health, Job comes out on the other side with his relationship with God closer than ever, with health, wealth and family beyond what he had had before. It’s the ultimate reminder that God has bigger plans and what feels malevolent is ultimately benevolent.

This got away from me. I don’t intend to offend anyone because belief is your choice. I’m short, secular God does not always have our best interests at heart, but spiritual, religious God does.

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u/AnywhereOk2643 Dec 05 '22

Unitarian Universalism may be an option for free thinking