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Mark Moore
01-18-2015, 05:43 AM
In the fantasy world that I'm developing, three goddesses created the world, but they're at war with some other gods, who have contaminated the world with diseases and influence the humans to create false religions and worship them.

The royal family of the first (and originally only) kingdom of the world is in direct communication with the goddesses, who let the royals know their will, so they can pass it along to the common people.

One thing that might be a problem at some point would be if anyone in the royal family ever asked the goddesses, "So...why, exactly, did you create this world in the first place? If you wanted company, why not just create us as spiritual beings that could dwell with you?"

In the real world, it's easy to say "Well, we're in the physical realm, so God obviously must have created it...for some private reason...that we're not meant to know...yet."

Has any real-world religion ever addressed this?

How could I go about this in my fantasy world, where the rulers can just talk (or think) with the goddesses?

thothguard51
01-18-2015, 05:48 AM
One of my main characters questions a goddess about why they can not stop the evil.

Balance...

Rufus Coppertop
01-18-2015, 05:52 AM
They didn't do it for company is one possible answer. They wanted a kind of personal garden with sentient beings who have initiative and can increase their understanding.

Watching it all unfold fascinates them. Keeps them busy on those rainy afternoons in eternity.

Mr Flibble
01-18-2015, 05:57 AM
Only about a billion answers to that

Because they could

Because they wanted to see what would happen

Because it seemed like a good idea at the time

Because Supreme God told them to

Because they were lonely

Because whatever thing you think up

Shirokirie
01-18-2015, 06:03 AM
To the topic of Real-world Religion-y answers...

Jehovah's Witnesses believe their God created the earth because he wanted it to be inhabited by humans that would appreciate, love, and worship him.

As valid a reason as any, right? :)

kuwisdelu
01-18-2015, 06:05 AM
When humans have children, why don't they pop out as fully-grown adults?

thothguard51
01-18-2015, 06:24 AM
Answer = the pain...

jjdebenedictis
01-18-2015, 07:19 AM
Why are we trying to create robots and artificial intelligence?

Because it's freaking cool.

Might our enthusiastic curiosity and lack of forethought sentence those beings to enormous suffering, as well as giving them life?

Maybe...

Brightdreamer
01-18-2015, 07:52 AM
"Dude, it's Saturday. Wanna watch some TV?"

"Nah, nothin's on."

"Well, how about a board game? I got Candyland, Clue, Stratego..."

"Board games? Dude, those are 'bored' games!"

"Oh, ha, ha... it was funny the first five zillion times. Now, come on, we gotta do something! Our dates fell through, it's rainy..."

"Hey, what about that model kit your aunt sent you for your birthday? Why don't we start on that?"

"What, that Planet kit? I think it's used or something - some of the pieces are missing, and it smells weird."

"Well, we can improvise."

"And what are you supposed to do with it when it's done? It's kinda big and clunky."

"Well, we can take it apart and put it back together."

"Really? That's lame."

"Come on, dude, let's just give it a try. I gotta do something or I'll go nuts, here."

"Oh, what the hey... got any glue?"

"Nah, just duct tape."

"Eh, that'll work..."

Helix
01-18-2015, 08:00 AM
OP, are you familiar with Magrathea (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Places_in_The_Hitchhiker%27s_Guide_to_the_Galaxy#M agrathea)?

kuwisdelu
01-18-2015, 09:34 AM
Has any real-world religion ever addressed this?

In many world religions, the gods aren't directly responsible for creating the world at all.

frimble3
01-18-2015, 11:22 AM
They didn't do it for company is one possible answer. They wanted a kind of personal garden with sentient beings who have initiative and can increase their understanding.

Watching it all unfold fascinates them. Keeps them busy on those rainy afternoons in eternity.
^This. It's like gardening. Or a fish-tank. It can be active, it can be contemplative. Or like a video-game set to 'Automatic'. You set it up, and watch your settings play out. Sometimes you have to tweak something, or add a new element, but in general, the level of interaction is up to you.

blacbird
01-18-2015, 11:27 AM
Dammit, Flibble, stop beating me to it.

caw

frimble3
01-18-2015, 11:35 AM
One thing that might be a problem at some point would be if anyone in the royal family ever asked the goddesses, "So...why, exactly, did you create this world in the first place? If you wanted company, why not just create us as spiritual beings that could dwell with you?"

In the real world, it's easy to say "Well, we're in the physical realm, so God obviously must have created it...for some private reason...that we're not meant to know...yet."


How could I go about this in my fantasy world, where the rulers can just talk (or think) with the goddesses?
It might be that this sort of question is just generally taboo. People may discuss it among themselves, but not directly to the goddesses. It would be like asking your mother why your birthdate is so soon after her wedding. Or never asking what happened to poor Cousin Bob. Etc.
Possibly the first few times anyone asked, there was an earthquake or a famine, and people figured out that they didn't really need to know that badly.

LOTLOF
01-18-2015, 03:44 PM
The world is a dream.
It's a test.
It's a game, especially if there are multiple sentient races.
The gods were lonely.
The gods wanted children.
The gods wanted to make a garden they could play in.
The world was created by accident.
The world was the result of a challenge between gods.
The world is a prison for a fallen god.

Just take a look at some of the actual creation myths different cultures had and you'll find no shortage of possibilities.

Mr Flibble
01-18-2015, 04:37 PM
They were drunk, one of them bet the other one they wouldn't....

Rabulder
01-18-2015, 07:11 PM
Maybe its just me, but I think it could be interesting if the point of conflict of the novel was related genuinely to that question.

What if the goddesses created the world as a prison for these whispering waylaying gods and the people are their unknowing jailers? Why can't the goddesses to that job? Because they themselves would be trapped by it of course. And the other nasty gods warring against the three are looking to get their buddies back.
This is something they naturally avoid talking about. Imagine if you caught wind that all you ever amounted to was a glorified lock.

WriteMinded
01-18-2015, 07:45 PM
I kinda think we are like video games to the gods.

Before I arrived at this conclusion, I imagined several gods who exist somewhere beyond the clouds. Each one created a race of people and placed them in the part of the world over which it ruled. They place bets. Which group of people will first make fire. Which people will invent the wheel. Who will first commit genocide. Who will be kindest, cleverest, most evil. Who will first travel through wormholes.

I do worry what will happen when they tire of the game. Or when one of them wins all the chips.

emax100
01-19-2015, 12:06 AM
The gods wanted to create a sort of playground where those who live in it could be directed towards glorifying them. A key aspect of Gods in world religions is they need to be glorified; that doesn't really happen when they are operating in a pure vacuum of empty space.

I think doing research on this should include visits to local synagogues, temples, mosques and churches of various denominations. Ask those who've devoted a large portion of their lives to studying this why they think God/s felt motivated to create such worlds.

Roxxsmom
01-19-2015, 01:35 AM
Plenty of reasons for this, as explained by a myriad of real-world religions and cultures in their creation stories.

Who knows if any or all are true? What mortal can get inside the mind of a god?

The answer, really, is that their reasons can be whatever you need them to be to serve your story.

But is this something that even has to be answered definitively in your novel? It's not like we've answered these questions (or arrived at anything like a consensus) in our own world. Unless the gods are actually going to appear as pov characters (or unless the underlying true answer to this question drives the plot in some way), it probably doesn't matter why they created the world/universe, or whether they even did at all. What matters (possibly) is the various explanations, internal inconsistencies, and disagreements the people in your world have about this and how it impacts the development of your characters and the plot elements that drive your story (like, if there's a struggle between two theologies, or one of your characters has a crisis of faith or changes religion).

But I kind of like it when there's a story where different religions and branches of religions are quibbling, and we readers never actually know which one (if any) is most correct (or we choose the one we like best).

Underdawg47
01-19-2015, 02:03 AM
I think in the physical world a god could experience what is was like to be separate from other beings and to know loneliness and pain. You can learn humility and compassion. Perhaps the physical world is the training ground for the gods.

Capability
01-19-2015, 02:32 AM
I think some (all?) variations on Gnosticism believe the material world is the product of a kind secondary god-- the demiurge, who tries to ape God, but is imperfect. So materiality (rather than word/mind/spirit) belongs to a second, corrupt order of existence. In which case, "the world" exists in part because of envy of the purer, immaterial creation. Or something. It's been a while since I read up on the gnostics.

caracy
01-19-2015, 02:42 AM
Why do writers create new worlds? Why do parents create dollhouses or grandmothers bake cookies? Some people enjoy creating something that is uniquely their own.

williemeikle
01-19-2015, 02:48 AM
You know Lego? Same concept.

frimble3
01-19-2015, 03:48 AM
Maybe its just me, but I think it could be interesting if the point of conflict of the novel was related genuinely to that question.

What if the goddesses created the world as a prison for these whispering waylaying gods and the people are their unknowing jailers? Why can't the goddesses to that job? Because they themselves would be trapped by it of course. And the other nasty gods warring against the three are looking to get their buddies back.
This is something they naturally avoid talking about. Imagine if you caught wind that all you ever amounted to was a glorified lock.
I like this. Maybe something about all those human minds, all thinking different thoughts, distracts the gods, sort of buzzing in their heads, like tinnitus, so they can't focus their powers. (Fun to look at us from a distance, but if they get too close, they're trapped.)
So, 'religion' with the prayers or chants or hymns, is an effort to get a mass of people to think the same thing, at the same time, so the gods can act?

Jacob_Wallace
01-19-2015, 09:50 AM
Is it a plot point?

There's lots of easy outs. Don't mention it if it's not a plot point. Or have the goddesses be purposefully vague or outright refuse to answer. Or have the goddesses themselves not be sure.

Once!
01-19-2015, 01:59 PM
God knows. Literally.

If you're looking for the "right" answer, I can't help. None of us can. Cos we don't know. We might have religious or scientific answers to offer, but they won't all be the same.

So the question comes down to this - what do you need for your story? If you want your gods to fight, then they might decide to make a world of conflict where they can fight. If you want your gods to appreciate art then have them make a world where humans create art.

If Gods create worlds for a reason, then authors create world-creating Gods for reasons too. Make one up. It will be as good as anyone else's.

Introversion
01-19-2015, 09:40 PM
Maybe its just me, but I think it could be interesting if the point of conflict of the novel was related genuinely to that question.

What if the goddesses created the world as a prison for these whispering waylaying gods and the people are their unknowing jailers? Why can't the goddesses to that job? Because they themselves would be trapped by it of course. And the other nasty gods warring against the three are looking to get their buddies back.
This is something they naturally avoid talking about. Imagine if you caught wind that all you ever amounted to was a glorified lock.

That's a really interesting idea! And if you're not going to use it, I'd love to... ;)

LOTLOF
01-19-2015, 10:19 PM
This makes me think of the movie, 'Erik the Viking.'

A group of Vikings set out on a quest for Asgard to ask the gods why they hid the sun and forced men to constantly make war on each other. The main character assumes there has to be a reason and is determined to find out what it is.

When he and his companions finally reach Asgard and confront Odin and Thor he is shocked to see they are nothing but a bunch of petulant kids. They don't care about the world of men. Odin agrees to end the darkness and let the sun come out again, but explains that he doesn't force people to hate or love each other.

All religions assume there is some sort of purpose to the world and humanity. That the worshippers matter to the worshipped in some way.

What if the gods simply created the world by accident or because they were bored? And once it was made simply didn't care about it any more? Sort of like a child who gets bored with a new toy.

Just imagine what that knowledge would do to people, and how far the clergy would go to keep the information suppressed.

Smiling Ted
01-20-2015, 02:12 AM
Two reasons:

1. Sex.
2. Pizza.

caracy
01-20-2015, 02:13 AM
That's a really interesting idea! And if you're not going to use it, I'd love to... ;)

Why can't you both use it? Odds are when the stories were done, they would still be so unique as to draw different audiences.

LOTLOF
01-20-2015, 03:17 AM
Two reasons:

1. Sex.
2. Pizza.

No, you're thinking about why people will help you move.

Introversion
01-20-2015, 03:49 AM
Why can't you both use it? Odds are when the stories were done, they would still be so unique as to draw different audiences.

True, but it's polite to ask. ;)

jjdebenedictis
01-20-2015, 09:36 AM
I kinda think we are like video games to the gods. You know there are some scientists who think the whole universe is a type of hologram?

We're the Holodeck!

Damn it, Picard, you're telling me I exist just so Wesley fucking Crusher has somebody to build a snowman with?

GeoWriter
01-20-2015, 08:31 PM
I agree with others that a "right" answer isn't available, but it's such a fun question that I want to contribute.

My categories of reason:

Made it on a whim:
was bored
was creative
was capricious
etc

Wanted companionship:
a place to develop companions
a place to test worthiness of potential companions
a place to try to win followers/servants/worshippers (the egocentric god)
etc.

Innate being:
creation pre-existed god
creation is an intrinsic expression of god's being and character
etc

Purpose invisible within creation:
creation made as a sort of simulation-computer to test possible benefits/outcomes of different beliefs-approaches-actions
creation as a place for multiple gods to compete for something as in a game or contest
etc.

Infinity other possibilities:
creation doesn't actually exist, we just imagine that it does (Je pense, donc Je...well, maybe not)

What core reason creates the most interest or tension in your story?

Rabulder
01-20-2015, 10:44 PM
I like this. Maybe something about all those human minds, all thinking different thoughts, distracts the gods, sort of buzzing in their heads, like tinnitus, so they can't focus their powers. (Fun to look at us from a distance, but if they get too close, they're trapped.)
So, 'religion' with the prayers or chants or hymns, is an effort to get a mass of people to think the same thing, at the same time, so the gods can act?

Nice development. Essentially free will is a bid to create the most chaos and confusion to keep gods from focusing their powers, and religion here is an evil thing that allows the dark gods more freedoms with their powers. If all believe they are free.


That's a really interesting idea! And if you're not going to use it, I'd love to... ;)

Go for it. As said, even if I sometime might use something like it, it won't look anywhere near the same. Don't really need another idea for the pile. If you know what I mean? :P

Rufus Coppertop
01-21-2015, 02:27 AM
It's how gods reproduce.

Souls are god-larvae and bodies are .......I dunno........a kind of coccoony thing?