Thought Experiment: A Cleric dedicated to Atheism


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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Perhaps we can think of it in another fashion. Instead of a Cleric that doesn't believe, say, Desna and Lamashtu exists, what if the Cleric is simply dedicated to the idea that the gods aren't some special unique existence, but are - in reality - just a bunch of humanoids who somehow achieved 30 levels of super-wizard and has some permanent Wish++ level buffs cast on them?

The Cleric could be sustained by isolated fragments of divine power somehow given to him by bitter (fallen?) outsiders who share his sympathies and want to kick the Gods down a notch. He goes around spreading this idea, and thinks that his divine power is proof that the universe agrees with him, while his secret patrons hope that he would spread significant amounts of mistrust in the Gods, which might perhaps weaken the Gods' power.


Non-Deific divine casting is available via Druid or Oracle.


so an oracle

Shadow Lodge

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The oracle's flavour is different from the cleric in a lot of ways, not just lack of a single deity - with the big ones being the curse and the idea that the oracle receives their power without asking for it. There's still a thematic niche for a character who deliberately follows and promotes a philosophy that is not centred around a deity

I think the cleric class can cover a lot more concepts than just monotheistic religion. My current campaign includes several religions that don't worship deities, including a sort of elemental animism and a hobgoblin religion with a Crom-like creator figure which preaches reliance on self and society rather than on divine interference.

Elemental animism (also known as "Four Houses") works like druidism but with a different focus. Priests typically are affiliated with one element ("House") in particular and select both a domain directly associated with that element and another domain that reflects a philosophical aspect of that element - for example Earth and Protection, Fire and Glory, Air and Liberation, Water and Healing, or Rivers (subdomain) and Travel.

Hobgoblinism offers Metal, Protection, Strength, War, and the Defense and Tactics subdomains. Where this power comes from is unclear - clerics claim to tap into the collective spirit of their people but it's possible they are accessing some sliver of power from their creator despite lack of actual worship.

Off-Topic on Saints:
The major deities also have "saints" - minor divinities, once mortal, whose areas of interest (and hence domains) differ somewhat from the parent church/deity. For example, the saint of vampires serves the goddess of death, and followers of the saint gain access to the darkness domain, which the death goddess does not normally grant.


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Set wrote:


{. . .} teaching the lesson that mankind is inherently selfish and could never be trusted to choose good (or eschew evil) without some sort of Pavlovian conditioning involving doggy treats for rolling over on command and electrical shocks for peeing on the carpet.
{. . .}

Whoa . . . Now I understand why Demons have Electricity Immunity!

Sovereign Court

Felyndiira wrote:

Perhaps we can think of it in another fashion. Instead of a Cleric that doesn't believe, say, Desna and Lamashtu exists, what if the Cleric is simply dedicated to the idea that the gods aren't some special unique existence, but are - in reality - just a bunch of humanoids who somehow achieved 30 levels of super-wizard and has some permanent Wish++ level buffs cast on them?

The Cleric could be sustained by isolated fragments of divine power somehow given to him by bitter (fallen?) outsiders who share his sympathies and want to kick the Gods down a notch. He goes around spreading this idea, and thinks that his divine power is proof that the universe agrees with him, while his secret patrons hope that he would spread significant amounts of mistrust in the Gods, which might perhaps weaken the Gods' power.

I don't think this would fly in Golarion. Read up on the Pure Legion and their classes to see how they achieved faithless healing and stuff... and for a really enlightening view on some people's hatred of the gods of Golarion read "Death's Heretic", the novel by James Sutter (nuff said! :) )


What if your atheist cleric is just convinced that all the other clerics are imagining that the gods grant them powers and thinks that the powers were inside them all along, like an alternate form of wizardry. Though the placebo effect, he gains such powers too.

Depending on how you want to play it, he could deny the gods, deny them god status, or just think that they don't loan their powers to mortals.

Sovereign Court

Goddity wrote:

What if your atheist cleric is just convinced that all the other clerics are imagining that the gods grant them powers and thinks that the powers were inside them all along, like an alternate form of wizardry. Though the placebo effect, he gains such powers too.

Depending on how you want to play it, he could deny the gods, deny them god status, or just think that they don't loan their powers to mortals.

As mentioned upthread this can work for a basic, non-setting specific cleric I think but not for clerics operating in the world/multiverse of Golarion.


By the way, Mythic Rules (*cough* *cough*) have a 3rd Tier Universal Path ability (Divine Source) that lets you grant divine spells of up to your Mythic Tier to followers, and when you get to 9th Tier, this goes all the way to 9th level spells, even though you are not actually a deity (and it doesn't say that you are obligated to require followers to worship you as a deity). Canonically, this does work in the Pathfinder Campaign Setting (as per Wrath of the Righteous, which, although I don't have it, from everything I have heard DIDN'T ban any parts of the Mythic Rules).

In Pathfinder Campaign Setting without Mythic Rules, I would expect that something approximating a Cleric without a deity would probably come up as some kind of prestige class that could be entered by spellcasters of all types that would use techniques similar to those of Razmiran Priests (and maybe even stolen from them) to cast spells on divine spell lists using arcane or psychic spellcasting or even Alchemy, or to re-power an ex-divine caster. Of course, some classes already approximate this to some extent:

Alchemists and Investigators can prepare some healing and bad status removal extracts, and in principle unlimited extracts known;
Bards and Skalds have some healing, but are rather lacking in bad status removal, and have limited spells known, except that Skalds eventually get Spell Kenning to snag a very limited number of Cleric spells per day (and I don't think this works with their Scribe Scroll bonus feat, unfortunately)
Oracles have within a hair of the whole Cleric spell list available, but limited actual spells known due to being spontaneous casters;
Some Psychic casters have decent sets of healing and bad status removal spells, although they all have limited spells known;
Witches have a pretty good set of healing (and Healing/Major Healing Hexes are pretty good too) and bad status removal spells and in principle unlimited spells known, but they have mysterious Patrons that might turn out to have attitudes uncannily similar to deities if they ever decide to come out of wasted RP space;
The Magambyan Arcanist and Pathfinder Savant prestige classes and a few archetypes of arcane spellcasting classes can snag a few divine spells, although these are all inefficient.

So the technical capability is there -- Pathfinder would just need an Ur-Priest-qequivalent prestige class that puts it all together. Then you just have to survive the combined efforts of Achaekek, Norgorber, and several other unfriendly deities, and probably several types of less powerful but much more numerous Outsiders that will see you as a threat to their status quo.


Alternatively, you could just have an ordinary cleric who believes that all deities are merely high tier mythic characters and receives spells from an unknown mythic character who shares these beliefs.

Grand Lodge

PIXIE DUST wrote:
Has everyone forgotten the Ur-priest... literally an athiest cleric lol

I don't recall it being a atheist, but more as a person who stole divinity from the gods.

Scarab Sages

Besides, the Ur-priest was from the Book of Vile Darkness, and there was a lot of backlash against that book.


From the little bit of the Book of Vile Darkness that I looked at, that book had other things to backlash against, although I don't remember the details. But then again, from the little bit of the Book of Exalted Deeds that I looked at, this also had things to backash against, and I DO remember some of those -- for instance torture enhanced interrogation techniques for getting confessions and conversions, including a gem that you could imprison the soul of an evil creature (including Outsider) in to force its conversion to (nominally) Good alignment. I think the CIA must have had a hand in the making of that book, and/or some who worked on it then went on to work for the CIA.


Yeah, as I recall the BoVD and BoED were mostly disliked for doing a whole lot with the alignment system, which has pretty much always been a lightning rod for spawning debates and fury. The actual prestige classes were fairly well received.


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BoVD was also incredibly silly. I still have it around somewhere, because some of the prestige classes where somewhat useful, but the whole "nipple rings of eeevil" made it sound like it was written by a 12-year old from a conservative family trying to be as edgy as possible.


In Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay there was a Chaos God called Necoho the Doubter. He was the patron God of those that don't believe in gods, granting powerful antimagic and nullification powers. However he only granted them to people who refused to worship him.


This is logically IMPOSSIBLE. You can say they aren't God till you're blue in the face, you can say "Oh, they are just powerful outsiders" or any other non-sense, but that IS what a God IS. A powerful freakin' outsider. Their type is outsider and their existence is literally provable.

Also, Ur-priest is NOT an Atheist.

From the Forgotten Realms Wiki "While the vast majority of divine spellcasters gain their powers from a deity, there are some who despise the gods. The ur-priests have learned to siphon off the divine or unholy energies granted by gods to their divine spellcasters, using it for their own needs without giving even lip-service to any god."


Can people please stop saying Atheists believe xxx. It is not true. Atheists DO NOT BELIEVE. There is a fundamental different between believing in a lack of something and not believing in the existence of something.

Now, you could have a Cleric of Atheism. It would be a cleric who does not believe there are gods, and instead believes that the powers clerics have comes from their own personal belief, rather than from an actual entity. Funny thing is, his (or her) divine powers act as all the proof said cleric needs that the gods do not exist. That their way of thinking of the universe is correct.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

My first thought -

Is this a fancy way of saying "I play a commoner"?


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Guys, I think you are missing the golden opportunity here of playing someone who is religiously atheistic, the walking hypocrisy, on a crusade to purge the evils of organised religions. Holy symbol fedora.

You see followers of a LG deity curing the sick and making the blind see? You call it brainwashing and tell the people to quit being sheeple. You then lay your hands on them while chanting "science, logic, science, logic" until you shout "EVOLVE!" to finish the spell that rids them of their ailments without the assistance of magic sky fairies.

Constantly spew off about science you don't understand as proof for both why your magic works and their gods don't exist. People who claim to see gods are either lying or hallucinating. Their evidence is anecdotal while your evidence is the one divine truth.

If someone claims to not have an opinion about the topics you are discussing, claim that they must default to your side because your beliefs aren't beliefs, they are either a lack of beliefs or FACTS.

GM willing, you'll run across sensible atheist in the D&D world like Xenophanes who you will proceed to hate for being a filthy enabler apologist and said atheist will grow frustrated at being associated with what he or she believed was only a strawman.


Alright folks.
I am staunchly against a cleric of Atheism, but above reasons cover why.
I still see people arguing for them, so there must be some validation I don't perceive.
So now, let's do an exercise instead.

Pretend I'm the GM.
Pitch me your Cleric of Atheism.

What domains do you have (Domains are the core essence of what a god is. What are the essences of non-belief?)?
Why?
Where does the power to cast spells come from for you (There are creatures that SPECIFICALLY cut off connections to divine sources. You have the same vulnerability as a divine caster. What is your source?)?
What is your holy symbol (which is an important component of many of your spells and your Channel Energy class feature)?
Do you spontaneously cast Cures or Inflicts?
Why?
What is your code of ethics (a cleric who grossly violates his deities code of ethics loses powers, after all. Pharasma would never allow an undead raiser to be one of her clergy, despite not caring if they are evil. You need to have the same vulnerability)?
Why?
What is your alignment and that of Atheism (normal clerics have to be within one step of their god)?
What alignments are forbidden for you (if you vary too far from your god's alignment, you lose your cleric powers until you atone)?
Why?

Give me solid answers to all these questions, as these are bare bones minimum for RULES regarding the class you want to take.
This is all assuming I let you play a religious class as a non-religious character, rather than direct you towards other options.

Side note: In Golarion, Razmir specifically does NOT have Clerics, and his "Priests" are a variety of other, non-cleric casters.


^Being a Cleric of Atheism is awfully vague, since Atheism covers an awful lot of different beliefs and lack thereof. But being a Cleric of a philosophy/social movement that happens to have (some variant of) Atheism as one of its tenets. For example, think of a Cleric of Communism . . . .

@Rhedyn: If we ever get a Rahadoum AP, you might get your wish.


Skaeren wrote:
Can people please stop saying Atheists believe xxx. It is not true. Atheists DO NOT BELIEVE. There is a fundamental different between believing in a lack of something and not believing in the existence of something.

What does Atheist mean?


The biggest problem is that people continuously pitch "atheist" as meaning something different on Golarion; Rahadoum is certainly a case for that point, but we then continue to use Earth's definition of atheism, the lack of belief in a deity or deities. Rahadoum is not an atheist nation; they are a misotheist nation. Claiming that the gods are merely powerful outsiders is, as many people have stated, just moving the goalposts. On Golarion, what is the definition of a god? Likely, something akin to "extremely powerful outsider". To be an atheist is to lack a belief in something that is very clearly playing a role in the everyday workings of the world. You lack a belief in extremely powerful outsiders, but the High Priest down the street offers to cast some spells to let you have tea with Saerenrae. What now?

The problem here is we are forgetting that Paizo writers are, much like the rest of us, human; one of them coined the Rahadoumi as "atheist", and it stuck, even though it's not actually the correct term.

Misotheism works fine as a character concept, but they can't be a cleric on Golarion. An oracle? Sure! Maybe the primordial power of the universe has decided it's time to make the gods suck it, and you're the first to be gifted that power. In another setting, misotheism works fine as a concept strong enough to gain power from it. I've met enough people like that in my lifetime that certainly adhere to it strongly enough.


Lord Twitchiopolis wrote:

Alright folks.

I am staunchly against a cleric of Atheism, but above reasons cover why.
I still see people arguing for them, so there must be some validation I don't perceive.
So now, let's do an exercise instead.

Pretend I'm the GM.
Pitch me your Cleric of Atheism.

What domains do you have (Domains are the core essence of what a god is. What are the essences of non-belief?)?
Why?
Where does the power to cast spells come from for you (There are creatures that SPECIFICALLY cut off connections to divine sources. You have the same vulnerability as a divine caster. What is your source?)?
What is your holy symbol (which is an important component of many of your spells and your Channel Energy class feature)?
Do you spontaneously cast Cures or Inflicts?
Why?
What is your code of ethics (a cleric who grossly violates his deities code of ethics loses powers, after all. Pharasma would never allow an undead raiser to be one of her clergy, despite not caring if they are evil. You need to have the same vulnerability)?
Why?
What is your alignment and that of Atheism (normal clerics have to be within one step of their god)?
What alignments are forbidden for you (if you vary too far from your god's alignment, you lose your cleric powers until you atone)?
Why?

Give me solid answers to all these questions, as these are bare bones minimum for RULES regarding the class you want to take.
This is all assuming I let you play a religious class as a non-religious character, rather than direct you towards other options.

Side note: In Golarion, Razmir specifically does NOT have Clerics, and his "Priests" are a variety of other, non-cleric casters.

Nature and Law for I am ruled by science and logic

Thermodynamics. As I disappear up my own a-hole endlessly, I siphon off energy to power my spells. Carno cycle. Look it up.

Fedora to represent my euphoric wisdom for all to bare witness.

Either. Its just science but my mechanisms are calibrated one way or the other because of spaghetti code.

Mine is true Atheism. Other atheist go to not hell while I go to not heaven. We must stand unified against organised religion by letting the light of our truth correct people's wrongness. Advance science, truth, and basic human empathy by not letting more people get brainwashed by religion.

True neutral. The alignment system is oppressive. I refuse to take part in it. All morals are relative anyways.


Rhedyn wrote:

{. . .}

Either. Its just science but my mechanisms are calibrated one way or the other because of spaghetti code.
{. . .}

Sounds Pastafarian to me . . . .


Rhedyn wrote:


Nature and Law for I am ruled by science and logic

Thermodynamics. As I disappear up my own a-hole endlessly, I siphon off energy to power my spells. Carno cycle. Look it up.

Fedora to represent my euphoric wisdom for all to bare witness.

Either. Its just science but my mechanisms are calibrated one way or the other because of spaghetti code.

Mine is true Atheism. Other atheist go to not hell while I go to not heaven. We must stand unified against organised religion by letting the light of our truth correct people's wrongness. Advance science, truth, and basic human empathy by not letting more people get brainwashed by religion.

True neutral. The alignment system is oppressive. I refuse to take part in it. All morals are relative anyways.

Keyboard as favored weapon?


Entryhazard wrote:
Rhedyn wrote:


Nature and Law for I am ruled by science and logic

Thermodynamics. As I disappear up my own a-hole endlessly, I siphon off energy to power my spells. Carno cycle. Look it up.

Fedora to represent my euphoric wisdom for all to bare witness.

Either. Its just science but my mechanisms are calibrated one way or the other because of spaghetti code.

Mine is true Atheism. Other atheist go to not hell while I go to not heaven. We must stand unified against organised religion by letting the light of our truth correct people's wrongness. Advance science, truth, and basic human empathy by not letting more people get brainwashed by religion.

True neutral. The alignment system is oppressive. I refuse to take part in it. All morals are relative anyways.

Keyboard as favored weapon?

I prefer my razor sharp wit.


Rhedyn wrote:
I prefer my razor sharp wit.

But it's a natural weapon and not everybody can use it

Maybe you can do like Apsu that has both Bite and Quarterstaff


Lord Twitchiopolis wrote:

Alright folks.

I am staunchly against a cleric of Atheism, but above reasons cover why.
I still see people arguing for them, so there must be some validation I don't perceive.
So now, let's do an exercise instead.

Pretend I'm the GM.
Pitch me your Cleric of Atheism.

What domains do you have (Domains are the core essence of what a god is. What are the essences of non-belief?)?
Why?
Where does the power to cast spells come from for you (There are creatures that SPECIFICALLY cut off connections to divine sources. You have the same vulnerability as a divine caster. What is your source?)?
What is your holy symbol (which is an important component of many of your spells and your Channel Energy class feature)?
Do you spontaneously cast Cures or Inflicts?
Why?
What is your code of ethics (a cleric who grossly violates his deities code of ethics loses powers, after all. Pharasma would never allow an undead raiser to be one of her clergy, despite not caring if they are evil. You need to have the same vulnerability)?
Why?
What is your alignment and that of Atheism (normal clerics have to be within one step of their god)?
What alignments are forbidden for you (if you vary too far from your god's alignment, you lose your cleric powers until you atone)?
Why?

Give me solid answers to all these questions, as these are bare bones minimum for RULES regarding the class you want to take.
This is all assuming I let you play a religious class as a non-religious character, rather than direct you towards other options.

Side note: In Golarion, Razmir specifically does NOT have Clerics, and his "Priests" are a variety of other, non-cleric casters.

You do realize that the rules say you can the cleric of a concept and do not have to follow a deity....?

So lets see:

Domains, I could see Artifice (we are creators not gods), Chaos (reality at it's most fundamanetal level is pure chaos, not controlled by gods), Destruction (removal of beings that say they are gods), Knowledge (trying to spread knowledge about the nature of divinity), Law (because of the laws that bind reality are not based on desires but physical laws), Liberation (to free people from the tyrany of gods), Luck (because the events that caused the present were merely causality and luck), Trickery (if you are trying to trick people into thinking gods aren't actually gods), War (if you are violent against theists).
Where does the power come from, it's a concept.
Holy symbol, I'd say dice personally.
Cure or Inflict, based on the cleric's alignment as it says in the class.
Code of Ethics, probably depends on how you promote and treat atheism.
Alignment, that does not apply to worshipping a concept.


Entryhazard wrote:
Rhedyn wrote:
I prefer my razor sharp wit.

But it's a natural weapon and not everybody can use it

Maybe you can do like Apsu that has both Bite and Quarterstaff

Do you dare question my followers?


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zerothbase wrote:
i've played various atheist characters (including clerics) since AD&D (home games mostly). I roleplay it as my character believes gods are just very high level magic users and/or powerful outsiders. So I still pick a patron or theme to have some coherence in picking domains and alignment. The feeling changes from worshiping a deity, to asking an older brother for a favor.

The funny thing is, this is essentially correct. Gods in D&D are just bigger outsiders or in many cases are actually really powerful spellcasters.


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Rynjin wrote:

A Cleric of Atheism doesn't make any sense. Atheism isn't a belief or an ideal. Atheism is literally defined by what you are NOT, rather than what you are.

It's like saying "I'm a Cleric devoted to the ideal of not being a dog. I believe very strongly that I'm not a dog.".

Amen.


It's always fun to see the lads and lasses rush out to claim, in rotation, the old trope of Atheism not being a belief.

Still at the OP, feel free to interpret the ideology as you'd like as people tend to do. If you hold that Atheism is not a belief and in instead defined by what you're not then you'd struggle to create a Cleric out of that. If you instead hold that Atheism is a belief system in of itself then it's easier to create a Cleric of that specific ideal.

Sure you'll most likely have people who claim your concept is faulty, but honestly it'd be a boring world if we all thought alike so go nuts.


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Well not believing in Bigfoot is neither a belief nor ideology. It's the same thing.
EDIT: Or the loch ness monster.
Or the tooth fairy.
Or Santa Clause.
Or Rumplestilzkin.
Or trolls.
Or dragons.
Or 99.99999999999999% of our hobby.

I now found the church of not believing in make believe?
I can be the pope of the church of not believing that dragons actually exist.

Disbelief does not an ideology make, good sir.


Just as much fun as seeing religious people keeping up their claim that atheism is "just another religion, so there".


Ashiel wrote:

Well not believing in Bigfoot is neither a belief nor ideology. It's the same thing.

EDIT: Or the loch ness monster.
Or the tooth fairy.
Or Santa Clause.
Or Rumplestilzkin.
Or trolls.
Or dragons.
Or 99.99999999999999% of our hobby.

I now found the church of not believing in make believe?
I can be the pope of the church of not believing that dragons actually exist.

Disbelief does not an ideology make, good sir.

There is a difference between not believing something exist and believing something does not exist.

The first is absence the second is positing a negative.

Furthermore Atheism is actually a very complicated belief system if you wish to deny all God-like entities. Are universals distinct entities or unneeded concepts? Universals in some form are very useful to answer metaphysical questions. Both metaphysical realist and metaphysical nominalist have tackled this question for a very long time. Universals have bothered many would be atheist philosopher. You either have to explain the world without them or explain how immaterial things do not conflict with an Atheistic viewpoint. Normally an atheist would have trouble accepting the immaterial as a cornerstone of their thought process and how they view the world.


Ashiel wrote:

Well not believing in Bigfoot is neither a belief nor ideology. It's the same thing.

EDIT: Or the loch ness monster.
Or the tooth fairy.
Or Santa Clause.
Or Rumplestilzkin.
Or trolls.
Or dragons.
Or 99.99999999999999% of our hobby.

I now found the church of not believing in make believe?
I can be the pope of the church of not believing that dragons actually exist.

Disbelief does not an ideology make, good sir.

'Preciate the example.

What we have here is, as I said, the notion of atheism as simple lack of belief, thus having no overarching ideology attached to it. If you hold that atheism is as thus then you'll struggle to make a concept out of it.

If however you argue that Atheism is, instead, the belief that these entities do not exist, then you have more leeway to construct a Cleric type character.

As demonstrated people will, apparently, disagree with said concept but there's enough of a discussion on the subject to give you means to interpret it either as an ideology or whatever you'd term the original example.


Sissyl wrote:
Just as much fun as seeing religious people keeping up their claim that atheism is "just another religion, so there".

Do people really feel like they have to do that?

They need to try using my system:
1. Do they believe in our Lord and savior Jesus?
2. Are they wrong? != answer to 1.
3. Don't be belligerent about your own rightness. Worst case scenario, more room in heaven for you.
4. Do not be so insecure of your beliefs that you feel like you need to be able to convert people with the reasoning behind your beliefs.

NOTE: System may not work for people who are wrong :P


God of Atheism wrote:

There is a difference between not believing something exist and believing something does not exist.

The first is absence the second is positing a negative.

Yes yes, whatever. I'm a 6.9 on the Dawkins scale; that is, you can construct hypotheticals that I'll have to be agnostic about, but when it comes to any entity that is part of an actual religion, those are obviously non-existent* man-made concepts.

Quote:
Furthermore Atheism is actually a very complicated belief system if you wish to deny all God-like entities.

Actually, no it isn't.

Quote:
Are universals distinct entities or unneeded concepts? Universals in some form are very useful to answer metaphysical questions.

"Useful concepts". Part of the toolset of thought and communication, but without concrete reality. Just like the entire field of "Metaphysics".

Quote:
Both metaphysical realist and metaphysical nominalist have tackled this question for a very long time.

Nominally smart people have spent a lot of time in pointless circle-jerks. Still do. Me included.

Quote:
Universals have bothered many would be atheist philosopher. You either have to explain the world without them or explain how immaterial things do not conflict with an Atheistic viewpoint. Normally an atheist would have trouble accepting the immaterial as a cornerstone of their thought process and how they view the world.

"Don't confuse the map with the territory".


I have met people who treat being atheist religiously. Most atheists (including myself) are not religious and simply do not believe in deific beings, but religious atheist do exist.

Also, I do not really see a reason why a religion that is based around "Your minds understanding and conviction is the true source of divinity, and that gods of other religions are just incorrect interpretations of that innate divine power that got attributed to not-existent beings." would be invalid in a fantasy setting. To me, that sounds like a reasonable religion in a fantasy setting that is Atheist.


Casual Viking wrote:
Quote:
Are universals distinct entities or unneeded concepts? Universals in some form are very useful to answer metaphysical questions.
"Useful concepts". Part of the toolset of thought and communication, but without concrete reality. Just like the entire field of "Metaphysics".

I find the parallel words theory more persuasive than Universals are merely mental constructs.

I do appreciate that you have the balls to deny metaphysics as a valid field of thought rather than relent an inch on inclinations or spend time tackling serious logical questions. Those kind of qualities should be useful for OP when trying to construct a cleric of atheism. Parallels can be drawn to certain clerics denying the whole field of evolutionary biology for being pointless speculation "without concrete in reality".


God of Atheism wrote:
I find the parallel words theory more persuasive than Universals are merely mental constructs.

Because you like magical thinking more than evidence or rigour. Universals in particular become very transparent once you get the perspective of a few different languages and apply it to the "problem".


Casual Viking wrote:
God of Atheism wrote:
I find the parallel words theory more persuasive than Universals are merely mental constructs.

Because you like magical thinking more than evidence or rigour. Universals in particular become very transparent once you get the perspective of a few different languages and apply it to the "problem".

You must be able totranslate communication into a version that uses only things not universals and things to convey the same meaning while not having access to things accrossed many worlds.

Bravo! That will surely convince everyone to devoutly not believe I exist.

Grand Lodge

I fundamentally believe that faith and belief are two different things. An atheist doesn't have faith, but might have belief. I can be a secular Humanist and believe in the inherent goodness of man, but I don't actually have to have faith. (Sorry for bringing in a real word example, I hope I didn't offend anyone, and I'm not being snarky.)

Here is a question that I'm not sure has been answered. Are there any clerics in the "Prophets of Kalistrad"? There is a belief system there, and I can actually see a cleric archetype based on them.


Corbynsonn wrote:

It's always fun to see the lads and lasses rush out to claim, in rotation, the old trope of Atheism not being a belief.

Whether it's a belief or not isn't really the issue. It's just a concept that gets rather sketchy when you ask questions like . "Who do you pray to in order to get spells each day?" What are you channeling the power of when you heal your comrades or scorch the undead?" And anyone who tries to bring up Thomas Covenant is going to get smacked with the Rolled Up Newspaper of Justice.


Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Corbynsonn wrote:

It's always fun to see the lads and lasses rush out to claim, in rotation, the old trope of Atheism not being a belief.

Whether it's a belief or not isn't really the issue. It's just a concept that gets rather sketchy when you ask questions like . "Who do you pray to in order to get spells each day?" What are you channeling the power of when you heal your comrades or scorch the undead?" And anyone who tries to bring up Thomas Covenant is going to get smacked with the Rolled Up Newspaper of Justice.

There's already precedent for Clerics receiving power from certain ideals, the lack of belief in godhood may not itself grant the Cleric power, but perhaps the Cleric would be granted said power from other groups interested in arguing against the existence of gods?

Isn't there also an Evil outsider group who hold that the gods are either inferior to themselves or downright not actual gods? Wouldn't be too much of a stretch to argue a Cleric receiving powers from those groups.


Corbynsonn wrote:
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Corbynsonn wrote:

It's always fun to see the lads and lasses rush out to claim, in rotation, the old trope of Atheism not being a belief.

Whether it's a belief or not isn't really the issue. It's just a concept that gets rather sketchy when you ask questions like . "Who do you pray to in order to get spells each day?" What are you channeling the power of when you heal your comrades or scorch the undead?" And anyone who tries to bring up Thomas Covenant is going to get smacked with the Rolled Up Newspaper of Justice.

There's already precedent for Clerics receiving power from certain ideals, the lack of belief in godhood may not itself grant the Cleric power, but perhaps the Cleric would be granted said power from other groups interested in arguing against the existence of gods?

Isn't there also an Evil outsider group who hold that the gods are either inferior to themselves or downright not actual gods? Wouldn't be too much of a stretch to argue a Cleric receiving powers from those groups.

It's more of a rules precedent put in 3rd edition in a vain attempt to please Christian Fundamentalist mothers.. In actual game worlds like Greyhawk, Golarion,and the Realms, divine power still only is something granted by divine beings. And there certainly is no mandate from game related fiction.

And I don't quite understand how to parse your second paragraph, so I can't reply to it.


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Furthermore Atheism is actually a very complicated belief system if you wish to deny all God-like entities.

Not really. "I don't believe in god-like entities without plausible proof" isn't very complicated. In fact, neither is not believing in most any other supernatural thing that someone decides to attribute to anything.

Given that there is no tangible difference between belief in any deity and believing that Santa Clause brought those presents and not your mom, it's easy to see why many people simply don't.

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Isn't there also an Evil outsider group who hold that the gods are either inferior to themselves or downright not actual gods? Wouldn't be too much of a stretch to argue a Cleric receiving powers from those groups.

It might not even be an evil outsider group. Most deities are morally dubious, even the good ones. In Golarion, where you can get pissed drunk and go fumble around in a dungeon for a while and emerge a god, it's not really like being a deity means anything.


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Josh-o-Lantern wrote:
This is logically IMPOSSIBLE. You can say they aren't God till you're blue in the face, you can say "Oh, they are just powerful outsiders" or any other non-sense, but that IS what a God IS. A powerful freakin' outsider.

So, are planetars gods? If not, what in-world can be used to prove the difference? Is a mythic planetar that grants divine spells a god? If not, the same question applies.

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Also, Ur-priest is NOT an Atheist.

This can be very true, as the class doesn't mention it at all. Some ur-priests may be atheists, others not. Note that the forgotten realms wiki is a fan-made homepage for a single campaign setting, it's not a useful source for info on a class. For that, look in Complete Divine or the Book of Vile Darkness.

However, the Athar are as a faction and as a class atheists.

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