Rahadoum - Not atheistic, but dystheistic


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion

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Voin_AFOL wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Blackvial wrote:
Voin_AFOL wrote:
A "ruler" who dares to silence criticism embarrasses themselves by acting like a tantrum-throwing toddler. That's no way for a real, adult human being to act in any era or society.
kind of reminds me of that one family that has run North Korea for three generations
Or the royal families of nearly every country in the world for hundreds of years.

That's what happens when you get the maturity of a toddler in the body of an adult, with an army at their back. Worse yet, the other adults around them allowed this kind of behavior to go on on instead of putting a sword or bullet in them.

This sort of thing ought to be an embarrassment to us as a species - if we wouldn't allow our own children to act out like this, why has humanity allowed itself to be ruled by immature sociopaths throughout the history of our civilization?

A ruler who murders a person for so much as looking him in the eye does not show himself to be "strong", let alone acting like a grown man. All he demonstrates is that he's an insecure coward, afraid to make eye contact for fear that it'll erode his charlatan "divine-emperor" act and clearly overcompensating for something.

Respect is never deserved by one who is not willing to show it in return. This is true in personal relationships, and on a larger scale. If your government doesn't respect you - then it's not worthy of your respect.

And just because "that's the way it's always been done" is no excuse. Something being common doesn't make it "okay".

Because it works.

It's not just childish rulers. It was policy. Banning criticism of the king or the government isn't about the king's feelings getting hurt, it's about clamping down on any possible unrest. And looking at history, it works pretty well, assuming you want to rule as a tyrant. And when it's as culturally deep-seated as the divine emperor/god-king/divine right of kings stuff was, it's hard to overcome. Even in cases of rebellion, often the king's tax collectors and evil ministers were hanged but the rebels didn't dare touch the king. That wasn't just a crime, it was a sin.

Generally applied more to peasant revolts than to palace coups, of course.


Being able to criticize your government without being imprisoned/tortured/killed for it is a relatively recent development in most cultures, and not the case in broad stretches of the world.


^It is pretty shaky even in those parts of the world where it is established -- just look at things here ranging from the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 through the Red Scare and the McCarthy era and "free speech zones" and persecution of whistleblowers in recent times, and similar Infernal perversions of law in countries other than the US that advertise themselves as democratic.

Although I have not seen anything official stated to this effect, I suspect that the government of Rahadoum would react with extreme hostility even to critics whose complaints had nothing to do with religion or the lack thereof.


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UnArcaneElection wrote:

^It is pretty shaky even in those parts of the world where it is established -- just look at things here ranging from the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 through the Red Scare and the McCarthy era and "free speech zones" and persecution of whistleblowers in recent times, and similar Infernal perversions of law in countries other than the US that advertise themselves as democratic.

Although I have not seen anything official stated to this effect, I suspect that the government of Rahadoum would react with extreme hostility even to critics whose complaints had nothing to do with religion or the lack thereof.

well, that's one way of looking at it, with the Pure Legion effectively acting as the Gestapo, supporting a vile ruling caste of slavers, intent on suppressing religious thoughts/movements which could threaten their rule.

Might actually make for a pretty good origin story for a Moses type figure. ;-)

Personally, I think that Rahadoum's government is much more benign, but it's an interesting take on the situation.

Sovereign Court

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James Sutter wrote:

Also, while I agree 100% with the semantic arguments around the term "atheist," it's important to remember that in a world where the gods are *objectively real,* the refusal to believe that they exist is likely held by so few people that it would be viewed as a mental disorder rather than a theological position. So perhaps it's not surprising that the Rahadoumis read "no gods" as meaning "WORSHIP no gods" rather than "THERE ARE no gods."

** spoiler omitted **

While the elite may know full well of the presence of gods, a case could be made that if the elite control the information (i.e. elite = the media) then they could go one further and attempt to convince the general population that there are no gods. It's easier to enforce no worship of gods if you convince the 99% that there are no gods (and thus they see all foreigners with holy symbols as yes, foreign religious terrorists...)

:P

I'm surprised they haven't allied with Alkenstar and developed a SCIENCE i say, SCIENCE!!! only agenda... :)


Burn the heathens!!!!!

Grand Lodge

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Voin_AFOL wrote:

It seems they learned from the mistakes of their Soviet neighbor's downfall that actually sticking to communism/socialism grinds your economy into stagnation because if everyone gets paid the same 2 Rubles at the Hammer & Sickle factory regardless of whether they're "Hero of People's Labor" or just sod off to the back room and drink vodka all day, 99%+ of your workforce is going to have no motivation to do anything.

The actual problem with Russia AND the Soviet Union is that the economy isn't and never was Communist. What it remains is essentially a centrally controlled version of crony capitalism, within a country that has always been fundamentally poor for it's size. You can call something a cat, but when it walks and swims like a duck, the name means nothing.

Grand Lodge

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Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
James Sutter wrote:

Also, while I agree 100% with the semantic arguments around the term "atheist," it's important to remember that in a world where the gods are *objectively real,* the refusal to believe that they exist is likely held by so few people that it would be viewed as a mental disorder rather than a theological position. So perhaps it's not surprising that the Rahadoumis read "no gods" as meaning "WORSHIP no gods" rather than "THERE ARE no gods."

** spoiler omitted **

While the elite may know full well of the presence of gods, a case could be made that if the elite control the information (i.e. elite = the media) then they could go one further and attempt to convince the general population that there are no gods. It's easier to enforce no worship of gods if you convince the 99% that there are no gods (and thus they see all foreigners with holy symbols as yes, foreign religious terrorists...)

:P

I'm surprised they haven't allied with Alkenstar and developed a SCIENCE i say, SCIENCE!!! only agenda... :)

The manufacture of guns does not by itself imply a science agenda. Mankind invented engineering BEFORE it got around to science.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber

Alkenstar = engineering

Rahadoum = marketing, PR and R&D?

:)


LazarX wrote:
Voin_AFOL wrote:

It seems they learned from the mistakes of their Soviet neighbor's downfall that actually sticking to communism/socialism grinds your economy into stagnation because if everyone gets paid the same 2 Rubles at the Hammer & Sickle factory regardless of whether they're "Hero of People's Labor" or just sod off to the back room and drink vodka all day, 99%+ of your workforce is going to have no motivation to do anything.

The actual problem with Russia AND the Soviet Union is that the economy isn't and never was Communist. What it remains is essentially a centrally controlled version of crony capitalism, within a country that has always been fundamentally poor for it's size. You can call something a cat, but when it walks and swims like a duck, the name means nothing.

Nice, except for one problem: The Soviet Union/Soviet Bloc and China both were on such a massive scale taking the name Communism, with the help of the US and its allies (very useful for their propaganda purposes as well) that I would argue that they successfully redefined Communism to be state-controlled crony capitalism.

It is a disturbingly plausible hypothesis that their sympathisizers (working in conjunction with FOX News and the allies and masters thereof) may have succeeded in doing the same thing to socialism; however, we have a bit of countervailing help here in that some western European countries have run successful (despite current problems) democratic socialist governments (while NOT buying into delusions about Communism), thus keeping the fake Socialists from getting a monopoly on Socialism.

Too bad Golarion apparently has no corresponding large anti-religious nations or organizations that have not gone over to the tyranny exemplified by the nations of Bachuan, Rahadoum, or Touvette, and by whatever organizations are set up by or at least of like mind to Diemvigga Devils.


Zhangar wrote:
Being able to criticize your government without being imprisoned/tortured/killed for it is a relatively recent development in most cultures, and not the case in broad stretches of the world.

Speaking freely is simply the natural state of being. Censorship of speech is an unnatural agenda imposed on us by an outside force. It had to be invented.

Just like life is the natural state of being for a living thing, and murder is a disruption of that imposed by an outside force.

America didn't "invent" freedom. It didn't invent life, liberty, or the pursuit of happiness. It didn't invent the ability to speak, think, worship, or love freely, or the right to protect oneself, or to not be enslaved.

Those are simply the natural states of human life that have always been inherent in our species from the very beginning. No government has the power to "give" them to us - they are ours from the start. And no government should ever have the power to take them from us unjustly.

What the U.S. Constitution was intended to do was to keep a government from taking away those things. That's what the warlords of old "invented" - cruel ways to take away what had always been ours, so that their reign of bullying and lies of legitimacy could continue.

These aren't new ideas. Sure, putting them into treatises and declarations of independence might be, but as George Orwell said,
"We have now sunk to a depth at which restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men."

How low of a state of affairs is it when we have to actually say that no government has the right to persecute someone just for criticizing them? That anyone in a political position who cannot handle criticism is an insecure coward unfit for the job? These are obvious things.


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Voin_AFOL wrote:
Zhangar wrote:
Being able to criticize your government without being imprisoned/tortured/killed for it is a relatively recent development in most cultures, and not the case in broad stretches of the world.

Speaking freely is simply the natural state of being. Censorship of speech is an unnatural agenda imposed on us by an outside force. It had to be invented.

Just like life is the natural state of being for a living thing, and murder is a disruption of that imposed by an outside force.

America didn't "invent" freedom. It didn't invent life, liberty, or the pursuit of happiness. It didn't invent the ability to speak, think, worship, or love freely, or the right to protect oneself, or to not be enslaved.

Those are simply the natural states of human life that have always been inherent in our species from the very beginning. No government has the power to "give" them to us - they are ours from the start. And no government should ever have the power to take them from us unjustly.

What the U.S. Constitution was intended to do was to keep a government from taking away those things. That's what the warlords of old "invented" - cruel ways to take away what had always been ours, so that their reign of bullying and lies of legitimacy could continue.

These aren't new ideas. Sure, putting them into treatises and declarations of independence might be, but as George Orwell said,
"We have now sunk to a depth at which restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men."

How low of a state of affairs is it when we have to actually say that no government has the right to persecute someone just for criticizing them? That anyone in a political position who cannot handle criticism is an insecure coward unfit for the job? These are obvious things.

Perhaps, but it still was a radical concept. And one that even the US didn't fully implement for a long time, despite the Constitution.

And it has nothing to do with being an "insecure coward", though perhaps with being unfit. It's a very real threat to those in power.

You can talk about natural states and inherent rights all you want. If you claim it was "invented", it was invented back in prehistory and has been with us ever since.


LazarX wrote:
Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
James Sutter wrote:

Also, while I agree 100% with the semantic arguments around the term "atheist," it's important to remember that in a world where the gods are *objectively real,* the refusal to believe that they exist is likely held by so few people that it would be viewed as a mental disorder rather than a theological position. So perhaps it's not surprising that the Rahadoumis read "no gods" as meaning "WORSHIP no gods" rather than "THERE ARE no gods."

** spoiler omitted **

While the elite may know full well of the presence of gods, a case could be made that if the elite control the information (i.e. elite = the media) then they could go one further and attempt to convince the general population that there are no gods. It's easier to enforce no worship of gods if you convince the 99% that there are no gods (and thus they see all foreigners with holy symbols as yes, foreign religious terrorists...)

:P

I'm surprised they haven't allied with Alkenstar and developed a SCIENCE i say, SCIENCE!!! only agenda... :)

The manufacture of guns does not by itself imply a science agenda. Mankind invented engineering BEFORE it got around to science.

Engineering is applied science, so that statement is contradictory. During the middle ages, science was seen as the exploration of God's creation (in the West). In fact, for the West, science has its roots in the philosophers of Ancient Greece, like Socrates:

"I do not know what I do not know."
"All that I know is that I no nothing."

(two quotes that form some of the basis for science)

Now, if you are talking about science as something completely distinct from religion and philosophy, then, yes, that came later.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber
LazarX wrote:
Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
James Sutter wrote:

Also, while I agree 100% with the semantic arguments around the term "atheist," it's important to remember that in a world where the gods are *objectively real,* the refusal to believe that they exist is likely held by so few people that it would be viewed as a mental disorder rather than a theological position. So perhaps it's not surprising that the Rahadoumis read "no gods" as meaning "WORSHIP no gods" rather than "THERE ARE no gods."

** spoiler omitted **

While the elite may know full well of the presence of gods, a case could be made that if the elite control the information (i.e. elite = the media) then they could go one further and attempt to convince the general population that there are no gods. It's easier to enforce no worship of gods if you convince the 99% that there are no gods (and thus they see all foreigners with holy symbols as yes, foreign religious terrorists...)

:P

I'm surprised they haven't allied with Alkenstar and developed a SCIENCE i say, SCIENCE!!! only agenda... :)

The manufacture of guns does not by itself imply a science agenda. Mankind invented engineering BEFORE it got around to science.

I think you missed my point. I didn't use Alkenstar as an example because of their love of the gun. I used them as an example because the entire land is a magic dead area. Therefore, no wizards, no clerics... and on that basis could be a natural ally of Rahadoum very easily.


The Mana Wastes aren't entirely magic dead. Many stretches have wild magic areas, and other stretches work fine.

IIRC, magic works fine in about half of the actual city of Alkenstar.


thejeff wrote:
And it has nothing to do with being an "insecure coward", though perhaps with being unfit. It's a very real threat to those in power.

The threat is because the criticism is often very spot-on about how unfit they are to be in power, and the fear and insecurity is from the looming specter of losing that power, because they'd rather run the nation into the ground on their terms than do the honorable thing and step down with some dignity still remaining to let someone actually qualified take the helm.

So yes, cowardice, selfishness, paranoia, and insecurity are qualities that too many rulers (who have been sociopaths) have had in spades. This condition has been a leech on human civilization since the beginning.

Tyrants are little more than bullies on a large scale with pretenses to grandeur and legitimacy, but there is barely a thin veneer of that pomp to separate them from the street thug that extorts honest, hard-working people on a smaller scale. And bullies are cowards at heart.

A real man can look another man in the eye, speak plainly about the way things are, and accept criticism as a challenge to improve himself. He does not need endless empty flattery to get his ego off, nor is he so insecure that he overreacts to mere words.

I can understand wanting to protect the president from bullets, but there is no excuse ever for the Secret Service - or any government agency that works on taxpayer time and on taxpayer's dime - to herd protesters (taxpaying U.S. citizens) like cattle into a cage in an effort to protect him from criticisms and hurtful words. When he chose to run for office, he chose to be exposed to that. "Free Speech zones" are an egregious violation of 1st Amendment rights, and any president that allows this blasphemy against freedom to continue will not have my support.

Because there are 2 things that can be going on with any given president in regard to these censorship cages:

1) They can (like Baby-Bush and Obama demonstrated by the bills they signed in support and expansion of these awful things) be fully in favor of this violation of free speech because they clearly can't stand the heat that comes with the territory of the office they chose to run for. See "insecure coward", above. Obviously, elected officials not willing to listen to the people are unfit to be in office and need to be removed.

2) If the next president allows the practice to continue without explicitly supporting it, well then he's either a) incompetent or b) impotent to reign-in "loose-cannon" agencies. Either way, that's a weak leader, and unfit to be in the position.

There is never a reason for anyone to be in power if they can't do a good job of serving the people with that position. That is literally the only legitimate excuse any government has ever had to exist. A government that's not doing it's job as a servant is (as history has shown) just a pompous gang of racketeering thugs and murderers with delusions of "statehood".

A government is not a natural entity that has a reason to exist outside of it's function of serving the public trust. Think about it - even today, lone individuals can (with the proper survival skills) exist without government - but no government has ever existed for a single moment without people. It inherently needs us. We don't inherently need it. Sure, having the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh-water system, and public health, etc. is nice and all, but our ancestors survived for how long without all that stuff?

Our societies have come together since ancient times to create governments as investitures of individual power so that together we can achieve that which the individual needs, but cannot do on their own (infrastructure, services, national defense, etc). "A government" wasn't just "born" in a vacuum one day, and then popped out a bunch of people to boss around and feed money into it (though many of them imply that's essentially the view they'd like you to subscribe to). We're not meant to serve it, it's meant to serve us.

Anyway, to bring this back on topic, in regards to a "benevolent" Rahadoum... IMHO, that ship has long sailed (and been stolen into the collectivized state merchant fleet).

Well, the Pathfinder Chronicles Gazetteer states that there's rumors of a cult of Iomedae in Botosani that's getting support from the locals. it also says that if it's true, the Tribunal del Santo Oficio de la Inquisición Pure Legion may use "drastic measures" against the citizens who live there in their mad zeal to extinguish any sign of religion.

---

So what if we spread rumors of a cult worshiping the Gun-Kata Tetragrammaton Clerics Pure Legion? Will they all have to commit seppuku to remove themselves as "religious objects"?


"Hi, I'm from Alkenstar, and I'm a Gunpriest..."

...

No, no, wait, I'm a Tetragrammaton Cleric, you see. We don't actually cast spells, we just do wicked-awesome gun-kata...


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KahnyaGnorc wrote:
Engineering is applied science, so that statement is contradictory.

Engineering starts with building stuff. Putting something on top of something else to make a cairn or a wall, or digging a trench, isn't science. Nor, strictly speaking, is kinda eyeballing stuff to see if it works.

That's super-basic engineering. And it doesn't have anything to do with science.

The Druids weren't scientists. They built Stonehenge, which is a remarkable feat of engineering. Yes, they knew astronomy, but they weren't testing hypotheses or attempting to discern knowledge from observation.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Voin_AFOL wrote:
[I can understand wanting to protect the president from bullets, but there is no excuse ever for the Secret Service - or any government agency that works on taxpayer time and on taxpayer's dime - to herd protesters (taxpaying U.S. citizens) like cattle into a cage in an effort to protect him from criticisms and hurtful words. When he chose to run for office, he chose to be exposed to that. "Free Speech zones" are an egregious violation of 1st Amendment rights, and any president that allows this blasphemy against freedom to continue will not have my support.

It is not generally in the state's interest to allow it's leaders to be easily executed by any Tom, Dick, or Harriet with today's modern tech for assassination. In a democratic country, the citizens elect a leader, then it follows that they in masse have a vested interest in seeing that leader finish his term.


Yakman wrote:
KahnyaGnorc wrote:
Engineering is applied science, so that statement is contradictory.

Engineering starts with building stuff. Putting something on top of something else to make a cairn or a wall, or digging a trench, isn't science. Nor, strictly speaking, is kinda eyeballing stuff to see if it works.

That's super-basic engineering. And it doesn't have anything to do with science.

The Druids weren't scientists. They built Stonehenge, which is a remarkable feat of engineering. Yes, they knew astronomy, but they weren't testing hypotheses or attempting to discern knowledge from observation.

You still need a very basic sense of physics, gravitational effects, center of gravity vs the base, how to deal with winds in order for it not to be toppled, even if you don't know the names or formulae. It is not a formalized science, but it is still science nonetheless. Same thing with the Hanging Gardens, the Pyramids, the trebuchet, and a host of other engineering wonders.


You have to avoid getting too starry-eyed about nature and natural law, What we want with respect to government that serves the people is actually very UNNATURAL. The natural state of humans and other life forms is violence, tyranny, slavery, ignorance, greed, disease and other forms of parasitism, and other Evil things. This goes back before humanity -- you can find examples of genocide at the tribal scale in chimpanzees; you can find tyranny in packs of animals (with lions providing an easily visible example); you can find manipulation and slavery all the way down to the microbial level (look up plasmids that infect other hosts like viruses, and produce poisons to kill organisms that refuse to accept them -- sounds very familiar after seeing the phenomenon in different style but the same idea at the macroscopic level). The idea of a government that serves the people in lip service is not terribly new, but the idea of going much beyond lip service seems to have been mainly a propaganda tool until recent times, whereas an Infernal view of government goes all the way back to tribal times. In the Infernal view, nations, corporations, and religions exist primarrily for their own interests: They are superorganisms, and from their point of view, the individuals that they are composed of must serve them; individuals who do not are viewed as something akin to cancer cells, to be dealt with accordingly.

The above is not the way I want things to be, but that is the way they are. Just because something doesn't work for us doesn't mean that it isn't working for somebody who has the power, treachery, and will to enforce it. As long as we stick our heads in the sand and proclaim that Evil doesn't work, we will always lose to it. The reason to be against Evil is because it is Evil, not because of any deficiency that it night (or might not) have in maintaining itself.


Do not forget that even the most ordered society cannot deny the influence of chaotic behavior...

Community Manager

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Remove some posts and their responses—be civil, please!


UnArcaneElection wrote:

You have to avoid getting too starry-eyed about nature and natural law, What we want with respect to government that serves the people is actually very UNNATURAL. The natural state of humans and other life forms is violence, tyranny, slavery, ignorance, greed, disease and other forms of parasitism, and other Evil things. This goes back before humanity -- you can find examples of genocide at the tribal scale in chimpanzees; you can find tyranny in packs of animals (with lions providing an easily visible example); you can find manipulation and slavery all the way down to the microbial level (look up plasmids that infect other hosts like viruses, and produce poisons to kill organisms that refuse to accept them -- sounds very familiar after seeing the phenomenon in different style but the same idea at the macroscopic level). The idea of a government that serves the people in lip service is not terribly new, but the idea of going much beyond lip service seems to have been mainly a propaganda tool until recent times, whereas an Infernal view of government goes all the way back to tribal times. In the Infernal view, nations, corporations, and religions exist primarrily for their own interests: They are superorganisms, and from their point of view, the individuals that they are composed of must serve them; individuals who do not are viewed as something akin to cancer cells, to be dealt with accordingly.

The above is not the way I want things to be, but that is the way they are. Just because something doesn't work for us doesn't mean that it isn't working for somebody who has the power, treachery, and will to enforce it. As long as we stick our heads in the sand and proclaim that Evil doesn't work, we will always lose to it. The reason to be against Evil is because it is Evil, not because of any deficiency that it night (or might not) have in maintaining itself.

Whether the basic nature of humankind is a tendency toward good, evil, or something in between is a whole other can of worms that has been debated since the invention of philosophy.

But basically the interplay between the binary possibilities and outcomes of government go something like this:

If humanity is basically good, then they will go about being basically good to each other and need no one to govern them.

If humanity is basically evil, then any government they create will be built upon a cornerstone of evil, and be intrinsically evil itself.

Of course, this is a very over-simplified illustration and one that I personally view as a false dichotomy (forcing a binary "A or B" choice, with no possibilities of other options).

From what I've experienced and observed, I believe humanity has great potential for good or evil acts, influenced by a great many factors, but is not inherently virtuous or villainous.

---

Now as to the cruelty of nature - are we not supposed to be better than that? Is that not one of the crucial things that separates us from the beasts? We do not dominate the planet merely by being the alpha predator (the only species with guns) - humankind is to be something nobler than a lion that mauls its young, an ant that enslaves others, or a duck that rapes to reproduce. Otherwise, what's the point of even having civilization and laws that separate us from the animals? If we are not a life-form morally, ethically, spiritually, etc on a level higher than the rest, what does it matter if one human rapes, kills, and eats another if animals do it all the time?

But it does matter. The very fact that we're having this conversation indicates that we are different from the other species. Regardless of one's faith (or lack thereof), if a person thinks their life has no more value than an ant, that's a very sad state of being. We are special. Whether through design, survival of the fittest, or some combination of these or other factors, humanity has come out on top of the primordial struggle, and we are the only terrestrial species to have reached beyond this world and into the frontier of the cosmos. We have transcended a threshold no other life-form on this planet ever came close to.

So regardless of title, position, wealth, or influence, throwbacks who choose to drag down our progress by acting like rabid dogs in the bodies of men ought to be treated like rabid dogs. After all, evildoers bring the verdict on their own heads through their actions.

---

Anyway, to bring this back on topic about Golarion and Rahadoum and the setting, I'd say from what we've seen in the artwork and backstories, the heroes (the ones of Good alignment, anyway) are operating on a level higher than the society around them not only by having higher stats and shinier hats, but by choosing to be morally/ethically better than a civilization that has gotten comfortable and complacent with enslaving sentient beings. We see the iconic characters and other heroes freeing slaves because it's the right thing to do, and bugger what's "commonly accepted" or "profitably expedient" in the decadent and corrupt world around them.

That's what makes them heroes.


Voin_AFOL wrote:

{. . .}

Whether the basic nature of humankind is a tendency toward good, evil, or something in between is a whole other can of worms that has been debated since the invention of philosophy.

But basically the interplay between the binary possibilities and outcomes of government go something like this:

If humanity is basically good, then they will go about being basically good to each other and need no one to govern them.

If humanity is basically evil, then any government they create will be built upon a cornerstone of evil, and be intrinsically evil itself. {. . .}

Funny you should mention that. This has been happening with distressing frequency.

Voin_AFOL wrote:

{. . .}

Now as to the cruelty of nature - are we not supposed to be better than that? Is that not one of the crucial things that separates us from the beasts? We do not dominate the planet merely by being the alpha predator (the only species with guns) - humankind is to be something nobler than a lion that mauls its young, an ant that enslaves others, or a duck that rapes to reproduce. Otherwise, what's the point of even having civilization and laws that separate us from the animals? {. . .}

Exactly. But my point is that we shouldn't deceuve ourselves into thinking that rights and good laws are natural, as their proponents often do (inadvisably for the long run even if this gains them adherents in the short run).

Voin_AFOL wrote:

{. . .}

Anyway, to bring this back on topic about Golarion and Rahadoum and the setting, I'd say from what we've seen in the artwork and backstories, the heroes (the ones of Good alignment, anyway) are operating on a level higher than the society around them not only by having higher stats and shinier hats, but by choosing to be morally/ethically better than a civilization that has gotten comfortable and complacent with enslaving sentient beings. We see the iconic characters and other heroes freeing slaves because it's the right thing to do, and bugger what's "commonly accepted" or "profitably expedient" in the decadent and corrupt world around them.

That's what makes them heroes.

Now I can get on board with that. Although I would add: Do the right thing because it's the right thing and not because some deity told them to. And don't fool themselves into thinking they are doing the natural thing, because natural and Good often do not correspond, while natural and Evil often do.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
James Sutter wrote:

Also, while I agree 100% with the semantic arguments around the term "atheist," it's important to remember that in a world where the gods are *objectively real,* the refusal to believe that they exist is likely held by so few people that it would be viewed as a mental disorder rather than a theological position. So perhaps it's not surprising that the Rahadoumis read "no gods" as meaning "WORSHIP no gods" rather than "THERE ARE no gods."

** spoiler omitted **

While the elite may know full well of the presence of gods, a case could be made that if the elite control the information (i.e. elite = the media) then they could go one further and attempt to convince the general population that there are no gods. It's easier to enforce no worship of gods if you convince the 99% that there are no gods (and thus they see all foreigners with holy symbols as yes, foreign religious terrorists...)

:P

I'm surprised they haven't allied with Alkenstar and developed a SCIENCE i say, SCIENCE!!! only agenda... :)

The Rhadoumi have never denied the existence of gods. Nor as it been part of the propaganda, as you can see from the viewpoint of the title character in Death's Heretic. They simply want no part of them. The protagonist works for Pharasma, and spares no opportunity to insult her, her herald, and her clergy. The nation in general despises the practise of divine worship because of what they went through in the Oath Wars. The protagonists meets Shayka, one of the Eldest in the First World, and the encounter only reinforces the contempt he holds for the bulk of divinity in general.

Shadow Lodge

I haven't read Death's Heretic, so can't say too much on it, but I do know that it presents Rahadoum in ways that really contradict a lot of the published material for it in the past with the intent of shining a not-so-evil light on the nation. My understanding was that the point of Death's Heretic was not to reconcile the other published info as much as ignore it piled under the rug.

Other examples of the nation show members going out to murder and stir up trouble (outside the nation) amongst the faithful. Agents going after individuals that have renounced the Law of Man and fled the country to kill them, and all of the friends and family that would shelter them so that no one else gets the same idea. These are individuals that chose self exile rather than forsaking religion, and didn't buy into the Rahadoumi laws. And there is also. . .

Spoiled just because this does include a tiny bit of info that spoils the scenario:
The Pure Legion torturing and murdering a group of pirates they believe are harboring a pacifist Cleric that is sneaking in to cure the nation of a new plague that's devastating the land (the Cleric is jut trying to help his friends and noted as being the expert on this new plague). They don't try to get the information from him and use it to help their own people. Nope, they want to torture him for fun and then kill him to make a statement.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
DM Beckett wrote:

I haven't read Death's Heretic, so can't say too much on it, but I do know that it presents Rahadoum in ways that really contradict a lot of the published material for it in the past with the intent of shining a not-so-evil light on the nation. My understanding was that the point of Death's Heretic was not to reconcile the other published info as much as ignore it piled under the rug.

Other examples of the nation show members going out to murder and stir up trouble (outside the nation) amongst the faithful. Agents going after individuals that have renounced the Law of Man and fled the country to kill them, and all of the friends and family that would shelter them so that no one else gets the same idea. These are individuals that chose self exile rather than forsaking religion, and didn't buy into the Rahadoumi laws. And there is also. . . ** spoiler omitted **

What you're seeing is what happens with every major movement. Taking that incident and generalising it is the same as saying every policeman is a potential murderer because of what happened to Sandra Bland.

I have read the relevant material on Rahadoum in the Inner Sea World Guide. (to be quite frank, there really isn't that much). I do not see a contradiction between that material and Death's Heretic. What I do see is many people viewing Rahadoum (and much of Golarion) with a viewpoint based on modern America, making assumptions based on our modern, high tech, and most importantly, media drenched society.

In the example given above, if the Cleric is intending on using divine magic to cure a plague, then yes, he's violating the Law of Man, he is imposing his own values on a country that wants none of them. If he was not going to use his magic, he could have done what he set out to do by leaving his divine trappings at the door. What you're presenting as an example is not the clear case of black and white you're making it out to be.

One thing that's very clear about the gods. If you accept divine aid, then they OWN you. While most people have decided to accept that ownership, the Rahadoumi do not.

Shadow Lodge

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LazarX wrote:

In the example given above, if the Cleric is intending on using divine magic to cure a plague, then yes, he's violating the Law of Man, he is imposing his own values on a country that wants none of them. If he was not going to use his magic, he could have done what he set out to do by leaving his divine trappings at the door. What you're presenting as an example is not the clear case of black and white you're making it out to be.

One thing that's very clear about the gods. If you accept divine...

Actually, he was requested for aid by a group of non-Rahadoumi experts trapped within the country, and irony of ironies, didn't want to get caught up in the nations' religious conflicts.

And whitewashing and pointing blame doesn't change the fact of the Rahadoumi's reaction to the situation. However, and this is basically the exact point I'm making, is I'm not basing Rahadoum off of anything EXCEPT the actual publish material on it. All of the above takes place within published adventures. And they are not extremists or the crazies of the country. That's the general view and attitude of the nation.

Think or believe differently leads to slavery, exile, or most often death. Decide this isn't a place you can live, they will come after you. These are not good people. I'm sure there are good people in the country, sure, but as a group, the nation is not at all. It was never intended to be.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
DM Beckett wrote:
LazarX wrote:

In the example given above, if the Cleric is intending on using divine magic to cure a plague, then yes, he's violating the Law of Man, he is imposing his own values on a country that wants none of them. If he was not going to use his magic, he could have done what he set out to do by leaving his divine trappings at the door. What you're presenting as an example is not the clear case of black and white you're making it out to be.

One thing that's very clear about the gods. If you accept divine...

Actually, he was requested for aid by a group of non-Rahadoumi experts trapped within the country, and irony of ironies, didn't want to get caught up in the nations' religious conflicts.

And whitewashing and pointing blame doesn't change the fact of the Rahadoumi's reaction to the situation. However, and this is basically the exact point I'm making, is I'm not basing Rahadoum off of anything EXCEPT the actual publish material on it. All of the above takes place within published adventures. And they are not extremists or the crazies of the country. That's the general view and attitude of the nation.

Think or believe differently leads to slavery, exile, or most often death. Decide this isn't a place you can live, they will come after you. These are not good people. I'm sure there are good people in the country, sure, but as a group, the nation is not at all. It was never intended to be.

I never said that it was a "Good" nation, but then again, if you eliminated all of the "non-good" nations from the planet, Golarion would be an empty globe. (they DO sell slaves in Absalom, you know, right next to Pathfinder Central Command, which keeps it's own batch of mutilated scribes.) When you are beset by deist agents trying to break in on all sides, you really can't be surprised that there's going to be blowback.


UnArcaneElection wrote:
Do the right thing because it's the right thing and not because some deity told them to.

Again though, the deities in Golarion function differntly from religion in our world. For one, they, and their alignment are objectively provable. A deity of good is going to lead their followers to do good because it's in their nature. Good isn't defined as "what one deity or another said goodness is" - the good deities are defined by being cosmic manifestations of the principle of goodness, therefore their ways, their teachings are naturally going to be good.

LazarX wrote:


The Rhadoumi have never denied the existence of gods.

Yeah. We know. We thoroughly covered this point 5 or 6 pages ago.

LazarX wrote:


I never said that it was a "Good" nation, but then again, if you eliminated all of the "non-good" nations from the planet, Golarion would be an empty globe.

So... the efforts of Andoran, Kyonin, Lastwall, Liberthane, Mendev, Nirmathas and others to not be wretched hives of scum and villainy count for nothing? [sarcasm] Yeah, let's everybody just abandon even trying to be better people or make the world a better place because those jerks over there are making money off selling innocent people like cattle.[/sarcasm]

Golarion is not quite so grimdark bleak as say... Ravenloft or Darksun. And where there's life there's hope.

LazarX wrote:
When you are beset by deist agents trying to break in on all sides, you really can't be surprised that there's going to be blowback.

Okay, Norgorber I can understand. His followers murder people and he has a dumb-sounding name (there, I said it). Even Nethys, since he can be a real bastard if he wakes up on the wrong side of the bed. But Sarenrae?

Inner Sea Gods wrote:


... the church's emphasis on kindness, healing, joy, and redemption makes it popular across the continents, and shrines to the Dawnflower dot countrysides in most nations.

[sarcasm]Oh man. That is just bad. How do these religious kooks think up this stuff? Kindness? Healing? Joy? Redemption? We can't have that! That flies in the face of everything we believe it! The Laws of Man clearly state that we have to be irredeemable knobgoblins to each other and no fun allowed, ever. It's outrageous, this "divine healing" they dare to impose on us! Will no one think of the children!?!? Nope, just gimme my plague-famine beetles served by a slave and burn those goody-two shoes at the stake like they deserve![/sarcasm]

* Have you seen the Rahadoum artwork in the Inner Sea World Guide? It does not look like a fun place to live.

---

Just my 2 copper's worth on discrepancies between "lore" and "fiction", with "lore" being stuff in the RPG sourcebooks, and "fiction" being the novels, comics, etc - until I hear otherwise from the Paizo team (or someone who can quote me an official statement from the Paizo team), the Lore seems "more canonical" to me. The way I see it, the lore is more "general info" for everybody's campaign's while the fiction is more that particular writers' interpretation of the setting, not unlike when a specific person GMs a game. That's just my opinion.

---

Moral of the story: Too many anti-theists (in Rahadoum and IRL) whining about people "shoving religion down their throats" are missing the irony about how much they're shoving their own lack of belief down other people's throats.

My political philosophy is basically that people should be free to do their thing (whether that thing is how they worship or don't worship, how they love, how they express themselves, whether they choose to own guns or not, etc) as long as that thing doesn't infringe on the rights of others. Only when it's crossed that threshold into violating someone else's rights should it be considered a crime. Punishing people before they've even done anything wrong makes the government the evildoer in the situation. And a government that does not respect or trust the citizens does not deserve to be kept secure.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber
LazarX wrote:


The Rhadoumi have never denied the existence of gods. Nor as it been part of the propaganda, as you can see from the viewpoint of the title character in Death's Heretic. They simply want no part of them. The protagonist works for Pharasma, and spares no opportunity to insult her, her herald, and her clergy. The nation in general despises the practise of divine worship because of what they went through in the Oath Wars. The protagonists meets Shayka, one of the Eldest in the First World, and the encounter only reinforces the contempt he holds for the bulk of divinity in general.

No argument here, but again, that wasn't my point. The end result of their despise is the same: a population with no real access to clerics, ergo less magic available to solve your problems. Not completely as self-sufficient as Alkenstar I'm sure, but there are similarities, and thus I still think the two nations would be a natural fit to lean on each other for support in various areas.

Community & Digital Content Director

Removed a couple posts and a reminder: let's keep the real world political and religious commentary out of the Campaign Setting forums.


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^If all real world politial and religious commentary is forbidden from the Campaign Setting forums, how are we supposed to compare worlds and world experiences?


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UnArcaneElection wrote:

^If all real world politial and religious commentary is forbidden from the Campaign Setting forums, how are we supposed to compare worlds and world experiences?

Call me crazy, but I think it's possible for rational people to discuss religion and politics and keep it civil.

Up to a point.

And then we duel.

Like civilized gentlemen.

;P

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Voin_AFOL wrote:
UnArcaneElection wrote:

^If all real world politial and religious commentary is forbidden from the Campaign Setting forums, how are we supposed to compare worlds and world experiences?

Call me crazy, but I think it's possible for rational people to discuss religion and politics and keep it civil.

Up to a point.

And then we duel.

Like civilized gentlemen.

;P

Women play this game, too.


Yes, of course, I didn't mean to be non-inclusive to the fairer sex. Or any hermaphrodites or etc. ;P

Rather, I was referring to the historical precedent of gentlemen (including several of America's founding fathers and early presidents) settling disagreements with swords or pistols on the field of honor back in the day when that was still acceptable.

We had men for presidents back in those days. Manly men that weren't afraid to shoot back at a would be-assassin or or beat them half to death with a hickory cane or to grow imposing facial hair. While some say that the U.S. political system is gender-biased in that it hasn't elected a woman for POTUS yet, I say there hasn't been a real man in the Oval Office for far too long either.

But I digress...

It's getting late here.... sleepy

We now return to your regularly scheduled Rah-ha-DOOM!

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

So, real men are the ones who revel in violence? A very American observation.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Gorbacz wrote:
So, real men are the ones who revel in violence? A very American observation.

I detected a fair whiff of sarcasm in that post you are commenting on...

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
MMCJawa wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
So, real men are the ones who revel in violence? A very American observation.
I detected a fair whiff of sarcasm in that post you are commenting on...

Seems pretty much truth to me. We ARE a culture that holds violence as an accepted first solution for problem solving. And we're the most gun happy people on the planet, as well as the country that invented the meme "road rage."

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Gorbacz wrote:
Voin_AFOL wrote:
UnArcaneElection wrote:

^If all real world politial and religious commentary is forbidden from the Campaign Setting forums, how are we supposed to compare worlds and world experiences?

Call me crazy, but I think it's possible for rational people to discuss religion and politics and keep it civil.

Up to a point.

And then we duel.

Like civilized gentlemen.

;P

Women play this game, too.

That's still a thing that has to register with the majority of gamers, Gorb.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
MMCJawa wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
So, real men are the ones who revel in violence? A very American observation.
I detected a fair whiff of sarcasm in that post you are commenting on...

Poe's Law.

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