How is Rahadoum GE neutral?


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion

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So the whole thing with Rahadoum is that they banned the worship of gods. This seems irreconcileable with not being evil. It puts considerable limits on freedom of speech and even freedom of thought, in ways that simply are not inherently harmful. You can be fined simply for owning certain books or symbols (one wonders what happens to said books immediately afterwards). While the state has performed some good works, specifically the developement of non-magical healing, I cannot believe that that justifies the oppresion of it's people.

Additionally, I cannot believe either that the forcing out of religion was accepted unilaterally when it was brought in. Certainly, in any nation there is bound to be disagreement on such matters, and it is not an unreasonable assumption that when this decision was made there was a considerable number of people who dissented, or were worshippers, even if they didn't constitute a majority. I also don't believe that Rahadoum was a nation founded on those principles. If you look through history I don't believe that you will ever find record of a nation founded on an ideal that managed to survive without bloody conquest. Edit, having read the wiki: I now know that they did it to stop a holy war, but there are many better ways to deal with this sort of thing than just to ban worship. It reminds me of the japanese sakoku.

I recognise that Rahadoum is against human servitude to gods etc. but what about people who are quietly living their lives and giving thanks to their god of choice that they weren't born in Cheliax or Nidal. They are harming no-one, but the government has made their actions illegal and punishable.

In short, the country is built on the pure legion, who are literally thought police, and yet this is not considered evil. Please explain.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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I hesitate to weigh in on what's essentially looking like it'll be an alignment debate... but the act of not wanting to worship a deity is not itself an evil act. HOW you go about that is what makes it evil.

Rahadoum skirts the line there, I think, but stops just short of full-blown witch hunting persecutions without trials type things against those they suspect of being clerics or worshiping deities, and make no attempt to hide these anti-faith laws. That, to me, is pretty solid Lawful Neutral behavior.

That said, I also 100% feel that Rahadoum is best served not as a "Home nation" to a standard group but as a place to fight against. Not every antagonist in the world is evil, and lawful neutral allows for some intriguing non-evil antagonism. As such, I'd put Rahadoum in the same category as places like Razmiran or Geb or Mediogalti Island, where the assumption is that an adventuring group is going there to adventure, not to live there or to help the place out and be allies with it UNLESS the story is specifically about that, in which case it will have hard limits on PC choices—be it no deity worshipers for Rahadoum, must be evil and Red Mantis friendly for Mediogalti, etc. Which CAN be interesting campaigns to run (I'm still eager to do an evil AP where the PCs are members of the Red Mantis), but it's far off the expected norm for most Pathfinder games so it's a tricky one to pull off in print.

Silver Crusade

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notXanathar wrote:
So the whole thing with Rahadoum is that they banned the worship of gods. This seems irreconcileable with not being evil.

So nations that just ban the worship of evil deities are also evil?


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I wasn't intending to start an alignment debate, only that the anti-faith laws seem oppressive, and couldn't help but harm people in the nation whether or not it has good intentions. While I understand that they don't hide their laws, neither does Cheliax lie about having slaves. Wouldn't that kind of dishonesty, and similarly witch hunting mobs be more of a neutral or even chaotic evil thing using the facade of law. I know that this looks a little like an alignment debate, but it just felt very off to me personally, and I wanted to say my piece.

edit: Also, on the subject on the subject of banning evil gods, yes, I would say it's evil unless their doctrine specifically incites people to commit crime, and even then I'd draw the line at only putting limits on preaching and associated crimes, like kuthites performing torture on some non member as part of worship. This is perhaps a personal thing, but I can totally see some beauracrat worshipping asmodeus just in hopes of career advancement or a midwife who pays homage to lamashtu just to hope she doesn't visit, and I don't think that a state should infringe on that.

Shadow Lodge

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Quote:
Edit, having read the wiki: I now know that they did it to stop a holy war, but there are many better ways to deal with this sort of thing than just to ban worship.

The Laws of Mortality are not merely the policy of a despot, they were first instituted by the "folk of Azir" and had (and continue to have) a popular constituency. The Oath Wars and their resolution are probably best understood as a process of national consolidation based on the needs of the townsmen (literally burgherdom, but also their allied intellectuals, including wizards and engineers) of Azir, Botosani, and Malaket for a big, consolidated internal market free of foreign influence. The political division between the cities had been founded on their religious distinctiveness, and probably on a peace-of-Augsburg-like rule that the rulers of the cities determined their subjects' faith. As for the gods themselves, Norgorber is distinctly Chelish and in the third millenium AR the church of Sarenrae was straightforwardly an arm of the Kelesh state, which was on the march in Osirion at the time (and Rahadoum's territory had just come out from under Osirion occupation, so reconquest by Osirion's new imperial masters was a distinct possibility).

The political settlement of the Oath Wars centralized government in Azir but placed power in the hands of federal representatives. How the latter are chosen is not clear, but election is as likely as anything else. With respect to the Pure Legion, Rahadoum is not like Galt, where the secret police is the only real continuous element of government and center of power in the country.

It is true that the Laws of Mortality represent a violation of freedom of conscience. However, this can be a reasonable trade-off, especially in a discourse where rights-based ideology is weak or nonexistent (as it was in the third millenium AR - rights-based ideologies in Golarion seem to be an innovation of the fifth millenium and the revolutions in western Cheliax in the 4660s). It is helpful to remember that gods in the Lost Omens Campaign Setting are not merely spiritual concepts, the way they are in real life. They and their churches are very much temporal powers even when they are not explicitly allied with or in control of states (Sarenrae in Kelesh, Aroden and then Asmodeus in Cheliax, Zon-Kuthon in Nidal, etc.). Devotion to a god is a dual loyalty in the Lost Omens Campaign Setting in a way it isn't on modern Earth. For a state looking to consolidate itself from a chaotic base, banning god-worship might seem reasonable (and it is just god-worship; Rahadoum permits druidism, for instance).


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I recognise that the political situation at the time made the removal of specific religious institutions necessary to preserve peace. However, that doesn't make what they chose to do any less wrong. There would have been better solutions, where what they did reminds me of the Japanese policy of sakoku, which sealesealed it off completely from the rest of the world because the Catholic church was trying to dominate their culture: a response was needed, but the one they got was disproportionate, and led to years of oppression.

Also, whether or not rights based thinking was around then is irrelevant in terms of morality. There was no such thinking in Roman Times, yet their keeping of slaves or persecution of Christians was still evil.

On the subject of worship being a dual loyalty more so than on earth: this makes little sense to me. On earth, since any deities that might be present rarely exercise their power if at all, loyalty may easily turned to an institution. This would be considerably more difficult where gods are self evident, so loyalty would tend directly to the God, with anyone taking advantage of faith likely sent a swift smiting.

I feel that your argument misses the fact that as a defensive tactic is many millennia out of date, and also that the laws of mortality focus specifically on not allowing people to submit to gods. Why shouldn't people submit to, thank, or otherwise worship gods if that's what they're into, and why should the thought police come after them for doing so.

In any case, pragmatism does not make an act non-evil. The ends only justify the means if you include all the ends, specifically all the people you imprison on the way.


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"Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us, only sky
Imagine all the people
Livin' for today
Ah
Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion, too

Imagine all the people
Livin' life in peace
You
You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one
Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
"

The Rahadoumi dream. No countries of course means there is just one global Rahadoum. A brotherhood of man, governed by Laws of Man.

Silver Crusade

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notXanathar wrote:
edit: Also, on the subject on the subject of banning evil gods, yes, I would say it's evil unless their doctrine specifically incites people to commit crime,

Which would be most of them, depending on how you define "crime". Evil gods aren't Evil because they're nice and get along with everyone.

So in your opinion it would be Evil to stop followers of the demon lord of rape? That's not a faith you can be devout to and not, ya'know, evil as all f!$#. Your suggestions only apply after the fact, which isn't much use to the victims. Try spinning "I know followers of Socothbenoth have a bad rap but he hasn't raped anyone yet so let's give him a chance".

Ever hear of the Tolerance of Intolerance paradox?


Rysky wrote:


Try spinning "I know followers of Socothbenoth have a bad rap but he hasn't raped anyone yet so let's give him a chance".

Ever hear of the Tolerance of Intolerance paradox?

Not to derail far here - but didn't they admit that was a mistake - and actually pulled product where possible to correct the issue (which - is a huge impossible cost for most small publishers) - can we give them a break already - there are 100 other 'totally evil' things to pick on.

On topic: Zealotry in any form trends towards evil - lawful or chaotic. The reason for the zealotry doesn't matter - the pure devotion to the thought that the 'non-whatevers' are wrong and need to be fixed results in excusing any and all abuses of the system.

Using the info we have and the alignment you could make the inference that the laws as written against religion are fair, not overly harsh, and try to allow for mistakes.

However you could use how the 'real world' works and certainly have a dynamic overthrow the laws, restore religion type campaign and focus it against oppression, political intrigue, appeal to the masses through use of miracles, and of course you *know* that in a world where demons and devils are real they are *infesting* a society that has no easy means of exorcism.

Silver Crusade

@Ckorik:
They pulled Folca, Socothbenoth and Koschei are still in the game. And I was just using an absolutely vile one as an example of why "It's evil to ban evil religions" is silly. They're evil for a reason.


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I seem to recall repressive laws, slavery, the Pure Legion arresting or disappearing people of faith or faith sympathies, and black flag operations.

How is that LN?


The NPC wrote:

I seem to recall repressive laws, slavery, the Pure Legion arresting or disappearing people of faith or faith sympathies, and black flag operations.

How is that LN?

@Rysky

Spoiler:
got it - I never read that book due to the blowback - so I'll admit it's not really something I'm current on. My biggest disagreement with JJ and his vision is on religion - although I get why 'complicated' can generate cool stories I just don't find the downsides to be worth it.

@The NPC - do you think in evil countries there is no kindness or organizations of do-gooders? Even in very oppressive regimes not every flame is snuffed out. The Alignment of a nation is how it's government and people mostly act - things that are out of bounds with that - are sources of adventure (plot hooks).


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It is entirely possible they have some kind of philosophical justification that makes it fine from their perspective to do all of this, and that there is no evil intent behind it.

It might be an incorrect or flawed philosophy, but their society may not realize that.

If you apply the standard applied by the OP that banning faiths makes a nation evil overall, then almost 100% of real world nations where of an evil alignment a few hundred years ago (and by that standard, many still would be!) - this is obviously a very unfair standard to apply.

The alignment of a nation in pathfinder is a broad generalization - a lawful neutral nation can have evil laws and people and good laws and people and chaotic laws and people. It is when it is all applied in aggregate and that intent is considered that you can arrive at an alignment for a nation.

Additionally, in a world where deities are 100% real and incredibly powerful, it would be reasonable to be skeptical of their benevolence and of whether they even have a right to interfere with society - I think it would be reasonable for a society to decide (as long as they do it legitimately through their legislature) whether they want to develop without interference from omniscient and incredibly powerful beings that cannot be held accountable in any way for their interference.


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A country could ban "wearing the color red" and that alone wouldn't make it evil.


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Ckorik wrote:
The NPC wrote:

I seem to recall repressive laws, slavery, the Pure Legion arresting or disappearing people of faith or faith sympathies, and black flag operations.

How is that LN?

@Rysky ** spoiler omitted **

@The NPC - do you think in evil countries there is no kindness or organizations of do-gooders? Even in very oppressive regimes not every flame is snuffed out. The Alignment of a nation is how it's government and people mostly act - things that are out of bounds with that - are sources of adventure (plot hooks).

And I am referring to how its government and people mostly act. These are not outliers, but staples of the Nation. So, I do not understand what you are trying to say here.

Liberty's Edge

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The NPC wrote:
And I am referring to how its government and people mostly act. These are not outliers, but staples of the Nation. So, I do not understand what you are trying to say here.

As near as I can tell, legally speaking, the harshest penalty Rahadoum has for practicing a religion personally is exile from Rahadoum. Harsher penalties exist, but are exclusive to proselytizing a faith, not merely having one (though this does include doing things like holding religious services).

I don't think I've seen anything about the Pure Legion exceeding that standard, either. Nor is slavery in Rahadoum any worse than it is in several other Neutral countries like Katapesh or Qadira. Nor do I recall a single repressive law we know Rahadoum has aside from those specific to religion.

Now, is Rahadoum's attitude towards religion an Evil trait of the nation? Possibly. And tolerating slavery is most certainly an Evil trait. But those are pretty much it as far as I can tell in terms of 'Evil traits' and are probably less Evil than the traits we know to be true about, say, Katapesh (which is, as mentioned above, a Neutral nation).

Actual Lawful Evil nations are truly awful totalitarian nightmares in many cases. Rahadoum literally just lets you leave if you find faith in a God, and is a pretty decent place to live in most ways if you don't. It's no paradise, but calling it LN seems pretty reasonable to me.


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Rysky wrote:
notXanathar wrote:
edit: Also, on the subject on the subject of banning evil gods, yes, I would say it's evil unless their doctrine specifically incites people to commit crime,

Which would be most of them, depending on how you define "crime". Evil gods aren't Evil because they're nice and get along with everyone.

So in your opinion it would be Evil to stop followers of the demon lord of rape? That's not a faith you can be devout to and not, ya'know, evil as all f*@*. Your suggestions only apply after the fact, which isn't much use to the victims. Try spinning "I know followers of Socothbenoth have a bad rap but he hasn't raped anyone yet so let's give him a chance".

Ever hear of the Tolerance of Intolerance paradox?

Crime for my purpose is something that would be a crime even if it weren't associated with a God. Also, whether or not following socothbenoth makes you evil, it is not the place of any government or other force to make you do otherwise. In addition, a very important point of punishment of crime is to dissuade people from commiting it. It only applies after the fact in the case of normal crimes, and it shouldn't be changed just for religiously motivated crimes. Also, what is paradoxical about the tolerance of intolerance, more so than being intolerant of anything except 'tolerance'.

Tender Tendrils wrote:
If you apply the standard applied by the OP that banning faiths makes a nation evil overall, then almost 100% of real world nations where of an evil alignment a few hundred years ago (and by that standard, many still would be!) - this is obviously a very unfair standard to apply.

That doesn't make it any less evil, nor does the fact that up until a few hundred years ago most countries kept slaves, which is still absolutely evil, even though it was thought of as so at the time. Whether or not standards were contemporary, we should still hold the past to account, although leaving room for their accomplishments. Additionally, many countries did not place actual bans on religion. Across Europe for example, Jews and Muslims were allowed to practice. There were restrictions, which were evil, and there were few actuaactual bans. Mainly they had bans on other christian sects, such as Catholics. In any case, while these were nothing in comparison were you are a criminal for any faith of any kind, good or evil.

Finally, on the question of whether it would be evil of a state to ban wearing red shirts, yes, but faith is not like a shirt that one wears and can be discarded at a moment's notice. It is often a deep seated part of ones identity and to force a person to discard that is wrong at any level.

Finally, on the matter of designers pulling certain demon lords. It is the designers prerogative to decide that such things are inappropriate to allow players to do or that it could cause harm to others engaging with it. Preventing someone from creating a character who they plan to embody, and who is dedicated to such vile beings is not the same as requiring someone who has spent their life venerating this being because it is a part of their culture and identity to drop it because you dislike what that entity advocates is quite a different thing. People should be judged primarily on their actions, not their thoughts. In any case, it is certainly not a good act, and Rahadoum bans all faith in gods, whether good or otherwise. It would be equivalent to banning all Christianity on the basis that some interpretations (in my mind utter misinterpretations) would argue that homosexuality is wrong. Believing that is not an evil act, because it is not an act at all, but it is not unreasonable to introduce laws to stop them from discriminating on that basis. In any case the purpose of the law is not to prevent people from being evil, it is to protect people from other people.

Dark Archive

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notXanathar wrote:
Also, whether or not following socothbenoth makes you evil, it is not the place of any government or other force to make you do otherwise.

Real world medieval governments in western Europe used to fine people for not going to church every Sunday. They used the law to enforce what they considered to be moral behaviour. They would be incredulous if you argued that it wasn't their place to do so.

Similarly, Rahadoum is the land without gods. If you don't like it, move somewhere else. If you move to Rahadoum with the intent of breaking the law and also intend to persuade other people to break it as well, expect drastic action from the state. Rahadoum doesn't care what you think of the law, it expects the law to be obeyed. It's not intended to be oppressive - it is for your own good and the good of your neighbours.


amethal wrote:


Similarly, Rahadoum is the land without gods. If you don't like it, move somewhere else. If you move to Rahadoum with the intent of breaking the law and also intend to persuade other people to break it as well, expect drastic action from the state. Rahadoum doesn't care what you think of the law, it expects the law to be obeyed. It's not intended to be oppressive - it is for your own good and the good of your neighbours.

It's the HOA of governments :)

Silver Crusade

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Got it, banning the worship of the demon lord of rape = evil

Worshipping the demon lord of rape = not evil


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Rysky wrote:

Got it, banning the worship of the demon lord of rape = evil

Worshipping the demon lord of rape = not evil

On its face, it seems silly. However, if you don't commit any crimes in the course of your worship, then it shouldn't be illegal to worship. There are plenty of people who claim denomination to a faith but don't go to service or actually even follow the religion all that much. (Hey Nidal.)

That said, undoubtedly demon lord worship attracts certain kinds of people who might be into the full experience. And Golarion and D&D style settings offer actual superhuman abilities for devout worship.

A government that is interested in allowing people the freedom of religious expression might have some tough things to chew on with regards to this.

Rahadoum is not a government interested in religious freedom. Not sure if its Evil, but the government of Rahadoum strikes me as oppressive. Or Cult-ish. They just replaced religious worship with their Laws of Man philosophy. Its still a religion.

A Rahadoum AP where belief in the Laws of Man is creating clerics and oracles and the nation starts losing its mind would be great.

Silver Crusade

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There’s not really a way to be a faithful non-evil follower of the demon lord of rape.

And if that religion is outlawed they’re not being forced to follow it so those situations don’t interact.


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Rysky wrote:

Got it, banning the worship of the demon lord of rape = evil

Worshipping the demon lord of rape = not evil

I never said that it wasn't evil to worship such a god, just that it is wrong for a government to intervene. Equally, after the end of any evil regime, such as the soviets say, there will be people who want it back. It is not the states place to punish them for that veiwpoint, only to prevent them from damaging society if they work to bring down the government. There will always be evil people in society or those who hold evil veiwpoints. It would be impossible to prevent this, and the state shouldn't try. Only if by acting on those veiws a person becomes a danger either to society or those around them should the state intervene.

Conversely, a parent who steals to feed their starving children should be punished as any theif, even though that is a good act(though the state should take action to make that unnecessary, for example by the provision of aid).

In short, good or evil is not the place of the state. Only the balance of freedom and order.

Silver Crusade

notXanathar wrote:
I never said that it wasn't evil to worship such a god, just that it is wrong for a government to intervene.

Then when is it not wrong? Who’s acceptably allowed to intervene?

This isn’t a instance of someone having a differing opinion on what the afterlife is, this is someone who faithfully worships a being of pure evil, who wants people to do equally evil things. There’s no “but”.

“Yes I agree they’re completely evil and are probably going to do really evil things but shame on you if you try to stop them”


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Rysky wrote:
This isn’t a instance of someone having a differing opinion on what the afterlife is, this is someone who faithfully worships a being of pure evil, who wants people to do equally evil things. There’s no “but”.

Being evil isn't a crime though. Rape is. It is, in fact, already illegal. Wanting to do evil things and doing evil things are not in fact, the same thing.

In theory the system is already in place to handle people who break the law, specifically targeting religions that include things that society has deemed criminal is either redundant or seeking to suppress that religion.

If a government is interested in freedom of religious expression, provided a religion doesn't break any other laws, then that's a problem the religion has to solve if it wishes to operate openly/legally.

When is it appropriate to intervene? When someone has committed a crime or if you have probable cause that a crime is going to be committed.

Silver Crusade

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Kasoh wrote:
if you have probable cause that a crime is going to be committed.

”Oh I’m not going to rape anyone, I’m just a humble faithful follower of the demon lord of rape who wants me to rape people in faithful service to him.”

And you’ll say that’s perfectly fine with a straight face?


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Rysky wrote:
Kasoh wrote:
if you have probable cause that a crime is going to be committed.

”Oh I’m not going to rape anyone, I’m just a humble faithful follower of the demon lord of rape who wants me to rape people in faithful service to him.”

And you’ll say that’s perfectly fine with a straight face?

Its not fine. Its the demon lord of rape. There's nothing fine about it. Why couldn't we have killed him instead of Baphomet?

However, if the statement is credible then...its all you can do to accept it. The rule of law isn't there to make people comfortable, its to apply all laws fairly and evenly to the people under its jurisdiction.

But as long as all they do is talk about how much they love rape, then its not illegal. Its disgusting, but not illegal.

(I also don't think any society can uphold this standard for any length of time, especially with the multitudes of demon lords out there with their wide array of atrocities, but as a statement of how I think a government should function regulating religion, this works.)


I think the thing about Demon Lords is that there's probably one for every single awful thing you can imagine- the abyss just seems to spit these things out.

Paizo is not going to talk about the worst of the worst, or even multiple steps short of that (which is good) but there's all kinds of bad stuff in the Abyss nonetheless.


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Rysky wrote:
Kasoh wrote:
if you have probable cause that a crime is going to be committed.

”Oh I’m not going to rape anyone, I’m just a humble faithful follower of the demon lord of rape who wants me to rape people in faithful service to him.”

And you’ll say that’s perfectly fine with a straight face?

It doesn't matter whether or not it's said with a straight face. If they haven't done it then there is no case against them, and they innocent of such a crime until proven guilty of it. There is no way of banning such worship without becoming oppressive.

There will always be people who disagree with your definition of evil, as can be shown by the sheer quantity of alignment debates on the internet. In enforcing any one view those who simply disagree with you become oppressed.


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The church of Sarenrae was responsible for a war that nearly broke Rahadoum as an entity. The opinion of the state is that religious zealotry is inherently dangerous; worshippers of a Good god are just sleeper agents waiting for something to crusade against. Frankly if permitting slavery isn't enough for the country to be considered Evil on its own then protecting itself from influence from outside ideologies certainly doesn't either.

Kasoh wrote:
But as long as all they do is talk about how much they love rape, then its not illegal. Its disgusting, but not illegal.

Many modern, progressive societies have laws against supporting evil ideologies so that they can be stopped before they cause the harm they wish to cause.

Silver Crusade

Kasoh wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Kasoh wrote:
if you have probable cause that a crime is going to be committed.

”Oh I’m not going to rape anyone, I’m just a humble faithful follower of the demon lord of rape who wants me to rape people in faithful service to him.”

And you’ll say that’s perfectly fine with a straight face?

Its not fine. Its the demon lord of rape. There's nothing fine about it. Why couldn't we have killed him instead of Baphomet?

However, if the statement is credible then...its all you can do to accept it. The rule of law isn't there to make people comfortable, its to apply all laws fairly and evenly to the people under its jurisdiction.

But as long as all they do is talk about how much they love rape, then its not illegal. Its disgusting, but not illegal.

(I also don't think any society can uphold this standard for any length of time, especially with the multitudes of demon lords out there with their wide array of atrocities, but as a statement of how I think a government should function regulating religion, this works.)

The above statement was in no way credible, how can you think it is?

If we’re talking about shoulds then laws should keep people safe, not be bureaucracy for the sake of bureaucracy.

Liberty's Edge

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'Worship' is rather difficult to legislate, as are beliefs, and I'm personally a big believer in freedom of speech.

That said, shouting 'Fire!' in a crowded theater needs to be illegal, and in the same way espousing the virtues of a being who literally demands that his worshipers commit horrific crimes (like Socothbenoth) can easily be illegal without it being a huge violation of anyone's rights. I don't think that's an unreasonable line to draw.


I feel like the important thing is less that "religion has caused problems in Rahadoum in the past" and more that "because of this, the prevailing culture in Rahadoum has become 'we will respect no laws but the laws of mortality."

If you're a religious person in Rahadoum minding your own business, you'll most likely escape notice, but at the point where you start preaching to others you are saying that people in Rahadoum should respect laws beyond the laws of mortality.

It's not necessarily evil for a government to have rules against proselytizing against cherished cultural values (but it's certainly not good).


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Rysky wrote:

The above statement was in no way credible, how can you think it is?

If we’re talking about shoulds then laws should keep people safe, not be bureaucracy for the sake of bureaucracy.

Because its a statement that exists entirely in a vacuum without context. I have no way of knowing who said it, where they said it, and any number of things that make determining credibility of a statement impossible when looked at from this level. That's the realm of enforcement rather than legislature.

Anyway, I've had my fun. I'll stop derailing the topic.

Dark Archive

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Well uh, this thread went fast to all places alignment threads go.

Tolerance of intolerance is stupid concept though since its by definition intolerant :P If you tolerate people yelling hateful words at minorities, then you are supporting minorities being persecuted by
inaction. True tolerance is trying to create space where everyone feels safe, which means that tolerant people by definition must not allow intolerance.

Also by same logic, you should allow person who says they really want to kill everyone in their work to do that and do nothing about it because it restricts their "personal freedom". Prisons are all about restricting personal freedom :P Plus people saying horrible things ARE restricting other people's freedom by making them feel scared that they are going to be harmed.

On the other "conversation" uh...

Well imagine it like this: If worship of god means you are essentially stanning the god and cosplaying them hard, then even if you don't personally do other crimes than worshiping the god, you are still essentially saying "look at how cool god of murdering children to cook them to pies is, follow my example and also follow this god who tells you path to enlightenment is eating children! Oh, I haven't eaten children myself, just read these books about eating children!" They are actively promoting harmful ideas which is just as criminal as trying to instigate a murder


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

How real world governments do or do not (should or should not) act is pretty much the definition of "discussing politics".

Paizo has a rule against discussing politics on these boards.

Liberty's Edge

Feeling that something is wrong when done by the government but ok when done on an individual basis is actually a Chaotic view. And one that is using words like Evil when they are in fact talking about Lawful.


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This is why I don't use alignment...


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The thing about tolerance is that it is not a moral principle, it is a detente that allows a diverse set of groups of people to get along so that they can share communities for the benefit of all.

So requests for tolerance that would exclude or make unwelcome other groups of people who aren't the ones making the request should generally not be honored.

Which is to say that if you tolerate the demon cultists in your community, everybody else is going to leave so you end up with a bunch of demon cultists.

Dark Archive

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notXanathar wrote:
So the whole thing with Rahadoum is that they banned the worship of gods. This seems irreconcileable with not being evil. It puts considerable limits on freedom of speech and even freedom of thought, in ways that simply are not inherently harmful.

The notion that freedom of speech automatically equals good seems shaky, at best.

'Freedom to do X' itself, is more of a law vs. chaos thing, than a good vs. evil thing, IMO.

Following the logic of the game, there's nothing to prevent a system or creature or whatever from being 'good' despite restricting or forbidding some freedoms that we, here in America, consider to be basic human rights. They also allow some things we don't, like using divination to scry on people (which would violate some of our privacy laws), or healing spells to 'practice medicine without a license', etc.

As the atheist says, 'You don't believe in Odin? Then you're an atheist too, I just believe in one less god than you...'

Most countries, even the good ones, ban *some* religions, such as to demon lords. Rahadoum just bans more religions than most.


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Set wrote:
Most countries, even the good ones, ban *some* religions, such as to demon lords. Rahadoum just bans more religions than most.

I wonder about that. It makes sense, but does it actually say anywhere that most demon-lord worship is banned in various places? Maybe in that demon worship sourcebook I don't own.

Rahadoum bans all worship.
Nidal bans all worship except for Zon-Kuthon (at least for citizens).
Cheliax bans chaotic religions and a few anti-Asmodean ones.

Those are the only countries that come to mind with explicit listed bans on worship. There probably are more, I'm just unaware of them.

Which leads to a generic ban on demon worship being assumed as part of standard codes of law in Golarion, which again, is possible--even probable--but I wonder where that notion comes from and I think it ends up being a table specific thing as different GMs have different thoughts on what code of law applies to their table.

Of course, Demon lord worship is often depicted as not happening public spaces--is it because of a ban or because their acts of worship are illegal? And Demon Lord worship is more of a cult operation than a religion--but open veneration of evil deities is also rare except in Evil nations. I don't know of any popular churches of Urgathoa or Lamashtu.(Again, likely exist, I'm just not aware of their location.)

Shadow Lodge

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Kasoh wrote:
Which leads to a generic ban on demon worship being assumed as part of standard codes of law in Golarion, which again, is possible--even probable--but I wonder where that notion comes from and I think it ends up being a table specific thing as different GMs have different thoughts on what code of law applies to their table.

Based on what adventurers are assumed to be able to get away with, it seems that most countries have placed demon worshippers under proscription. That is, not merely is the practice banned, anyone doing it is liable to be killed and to have their property seized by the first passerby that can manage it. This is significantly worse than how Rahadoum treats theists (the default punishment seems to be exile), and possibly even how Cheliax and Nidal treat Desnans (there you're liable to execution, but only if the state catches you - you probably won't be killed by just anybody).


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I feel like not only demon cults, but also things like "worship of Norgorber or Urgathoa" are not really accepted in most polite societies. But this might be less of a "there's a law against it" and more "out and proud Urgathoans will be shunned and nobody will let you build your plague church."


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I feel like not only demon cults, but also things like "worship of Norgorber or Urgathoa" are not really accepted in most polite societies. But this might be less of a "there's a law against it" and more "out and proud Urgathoans will be shunned and nobody will let you build your plague church."

I just saw in one of the griping about errata threads a quote from Eric Mona that the Absalom book that got delayed will have a temple for every core deity. (And visiting Absalom's temple of Norgorber is a part of the new Agents of Edgewatch adventure), so I'm now really curious to see how Absalom handles it.


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Kasoh wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
I feel like not only demon cults, but also things like "worship of Norgorber or Urgathoa" are not really accepted in most polite societies. But this might be less of a "there's a law against it" and more "out and proud Urgathoans will be shunned and nobody will let you build your plague church."
I just saw in one of the griping about errata threads a quote from Eric Mona that the Absalom book that got delayed will have a temple for every core deity. (And visiting Absalom's temple of Norgorber is a part of the new Agents of Edgewatch adventure), so I'm now really curious to see how Absalom handles it.

Absalom's Ascendant Court has always been kind of a special case and one of the main exceptions to non-lawful evil churches being shunned, banned, or hunted in the setting. The challenges of keeping the peace among so many conflicting faiths is definitely an interesting story that it would be interesting to learn more about, but we do already know at the very least the district is policed by a force of strictly irreligious guards, and that the peace is not always kept--on record we have an attempt to burn down the temple of Asmodeus by ex-Chelish nobility.

Oh, and speaking of whether there are other places where certain (namely evil) deities are expressly banned, I remember that Lamashtu is listed among the semi-prominent religions in Brevoy, but at the same time it is also illegal.

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