Social Science and Fiction Part 6: It’s Time For Some Game Theory

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4 Responses

  1. Avatar Jaybird says:

    If you have a god of murder, there should be politicians who put Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, and Kissinger to shame.

    Looks like meat’s back on the menu, boys!

    The problem with the existence of gods is that they imply a meta-morality that includes good and evil.

    And people who follow this god are “good” and people who follow that god are “evil”. And, presumably, the people on this side of the divide are allowed to harm the people on that side of it. (Maybe good people will make a token attempt to convert Gruumsh followers to Bahamut first… but, hey. Some people you just can’t reach. Gruumsh followers who make it to the tip of the spear aren’t likely to be particularly convertable.)Report

  2. Avatar dragonfrog says:

    This is a really interesting question – would the daily verifiable existence of interventionist gods increase the level of fanaticism, or diminish it?

    Like, people used to sacrifice livestock they could ill afford, sometimes even humans, to have the gods protect them from disease. Now we just have to pop down to the clinic to get a powerful talisman against disease injected in our upper arms on the way home from work, and it’s kind of a pain because the parking is always crap and then I’d be home at least half an hour later than usual and have to rush dinner to get the kids to gymnastics on time.

    We get really threatened by blasphemy because we know their blasphemy is not inherently more credible than our divine truth. They might steal people away from our own faith. They might even steal us.

    Someone who doesn’t believe in something we can all verify with our senses – we’re not threatened by that. We understand that they suffer some delusion, and hope they get better. But their disbelief in the existence of the escalator to the second floor of the mall is not threatening the way someone’s disbelief in the heavenly escalator to the good afterlife is threatening.Report

  3. Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

    If you haven’t read the Craft Sequence by Max Gladstone, you need to.Report

  4. Avatar pillsy says:

    Just wrapping up the second book.

    Ridiculously good stuff.Report

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