World of Banished

Conversations => Fan Fiction => Topic started by: Chon Waen on March 13, 2015, 03:23:36 PM

Title: Banishim Gods
Post by: Chon Waen on March 13, 2015, 03:23:36 PM
Author's Note:  I have read a bit on the proposed Banishim god RNG.  Although a compelling god, and one that plausibly exists within the realm, I believe there to be a total of three plausible gods within the realm, though only one is actively worshipped.  I hope this is an enlightening, and perhaps entertaining, read.  I will add more to this as time goes on.

A lecture recorded in the year 87 B.E. at a school of the town of Wolleford:

Today, we will learn some things about our beliefs, and perhaps explain why we do the things we do in our lives here.  Lets start off with our gods.

The first and original god is The Creator of the Realm.  The Creator conceived the Banishim's realm from pure thought, wishing to create a world that was both fulfilling and challenging for all.  He planned so the river would nourish us and the mountains would isolate.  He planned that all things living would be fertile, and planned that we may have abundant resources available for our use.  He ensured that in order to thrive, we must work our lands, and toil.  This entire realm, was planned, from the start, for our use.  He then planned the Banishim.

We Banishim were planned to be made in the Creator's image, however, he was either unable, or unwilling to imbue us with all attributes that would make us godlike ourselves.  Instead, He gave us great strengths, along with great weaknesses.

First and greatest of our strengths is our inate productivity and working ability.  We can build or create most things within a reasonably short time, and the quality of what we produce is extremely consistent.  This iron tool I hold in my hands is almost identical to one our original founders carried when they arrived long ago.  Our greatest weakness, however, is our natural despondency.  We do not naturally think to be productive, and if given a choice, we would do nothing productive at all, even if it means our own demise.  Another strength is our versatility.  Any of us can do any task, at any time, and remain a viable worker of that task for our entire lives.  The balancing weakness to this is an inability to create anything our founders did not already know how to do.  Finally, we have both a strength and a weakness rolled into one,  our determination.  Once we set our minds on a task, we will do our utmost to complete it, even if it means we die trying.

As I said before, the Creator wanted us to have challenging lives.  He could have set forth for us a set of specific tasks to accomplish, and then seen if we were up to the challenge.  While this may have succeeded, the Creator also did not want to have to manage every little detail in this realm for all eternity, and searched until he found two divine agents who would manage these details for him.  The first divine agent the Creator enlisted was the daemon RNG.
Title: Re: Banishim Gods
Post by: Chon Waen on March 13, 2015, 04:26:28 PM
RNG is an incredibly powerful daemon that consists almost entirely of pure chaos.  If allowed complete sway over the realm, RNG can cause nearly unsupported spires of land to rise to the heavens while creating pits to the abyss to form right next to them.  If allowed absolute power, RNG is able to cause massive changes  to the weather making the world freeze solid, then broil, then to freeze once again almost instantaneously.  An unfettered RNG would have the power to fell all with plagues, level all with fires and tornadoes, or just make everything, everywhere, just stop.  An unlimited RNG can do all of these things, or RNG could do nothing, all in the blink of an eye.  To top it off, RNG has no compassion, no mercy, and no conscience whatsoever.  As you may well imagine, RNG is a very dangerous god, and one not to be invoked or prayed to by the likes of us, if we know what is good for us.

The Creator knew that to have a completely unfettered RNG running amok within the realm was no better than having no realm at all.  However, the Creator, in his wisdom knew how to constrain RNG to only perform its chaos when certain conditions were met, and also to limit the chaos to a pre-determined range.  Using these constraints, our realm could be made to have overall predictable trends, but the day to day happenings within the realm had the variety needed to create both challenge and fulfillment.  One of the most obvious manifestations of the interface between RNG and the Creator's restraints are in our weather and seasons.  Winter is cold, and summer is hot, and the Creator made the seasons this way, but exactly how cold and how hot is determined by RNG who will decide this.  Not even the Creator himself can tell you exactly what temperature it will be tomorrow, only that it will be "somewhere between this and that".

Using the power of RNG combined with constraints, the Creator set about creating all of the realm, all of what exists in the realm, and all Banishim.  Yes, children, we are all made of the stuff of restrained chaos.  When you leave here today, many of you will go out and play, but exactly where you will go and what you will do, even you do not know, do you?  Do not worry overmuch about this, though.  I shall let you in on a little secret.  The rest of us don't entirely know for sure, either.   The Creator created us, and the realm using RNG.  When He was done with this, he finally enlisted the aid of the other divine agent, Our Guide.
Title: Re: Banishim Gods
Post by: irrelevant on March 14, 2015, 07:59:30 AM
Excellent! If only there were some way to make an offering to appease RNG. Unfortunately all we can do is to prepare, as best we can, for whatever the daemon sends our way. Our lives are a constant struggle to try to mitigate the effects of his whims.
Title: Re: Banishim Gods
Post by: Nilla on March 14, 2015, 01:03:05 PM
The creator - He? Are you sure it´s not She?  ;)
Title: Re: Banishim Gods
Post by: Chon Waen on March 14, 2015, 02:13:34 PM
Pretty sure. Though for the Banishim, The Guide may be a she.  The Creator, for some reason, is always referred to as a He.  However, the Banishim of any given settlement always refer to The Guide as Our Guide, with either He or She.  Even more strangely, the Banishim of any particular settlement are always particular about which gender they use to refer to thier Guide.  There is some speculation as to whether or not The Guide is actually one divine agent, or many.  But one thing seems clear. Only one Guide ever speaks to a Banishim in their dreams who lives in a settlement, and that same Guide is always heard by all who live there.  The presence of common dreams with a common voice proves the fact of divinity.  Furthermore, there is evidence that in most cases "Our Guide" actually listens to the prayers of the Banishim, and (mostly) works to the betterment of their communities.  This is why, of the three Banishim gods, "Our Guide" is the only one who is actively worshipped.  It is evident that The Creator has moved on, perhaps to create something else, and RNG has never cared, never listens, and is never swayed.
Title: Re: Banishim Gods
Post by: A Nonny Moose on March 14, 2015, 02:30:43 PM
It is unfortunate indeed to assign Banishim characteristics to the Almighty.  This is a serious sin of presumption, as we have no idea of the full extent of the characteristics nor the abilities of our deities. 

Beware, lest you be found wanting and sent packing to the netherworld where you will be devoured by tiny turtles for all eternity.
Title: Re: Banishim Gods
Post by: rkelly17 on March 16, 2015, 08:52:31 AM
@Chon Waen, as a retired theologian I can tell you that the most likely historical explanation is that the documents you have discovered are actually the product of a long process of oral tradition and the editing ("redacting" is the technical term) of at least three earlier documents: the R source, the N source and the G source. Through a method known as "source criticism" we can get beyond the literal interpretation and come to more scientific conclusions.

The original research into this religion was done by the 19th century German scholar, Prof. Dr. Dr. Heinrich Herman Hosenscheisser who referred to it as Zufallszahlengeneratorismus. It is his extensive analysis of currently lost documents which enables us to come to some conclusion about the content of the source documents which lie behind the documents of which we have exemplars. Your text appears to be a philosophical treatise by a later scholar of a Neo-Platonic bent who has taken the original stories as allegories, though no doubt the earlier story-tellers understood them in a more literal way. The research undertaken by @Nilla may well have a valid point. Early goddesses were often buried under layers of male patriarchy and so appear to us in later documents as male. I suspect that if documents or other records of the G source were found they would indicate that G was female. The evidence for this hypothesis is that G, which obviously once referred to "The Generator" with its female implications, has been replaced in the text at hand with "The Creator" with its male implications.

There is further evidence in the text that the author represented the ruling classes, given the use of "Realm" and the value placed on work and productivity. Thus, as we strip away the accretions of later material, we can come to the conclusion that the original "Banishim" were a N-worshiping tribe of wandering nomads whose presence was quite disturbing to the original R-worshiping settlers of the land, but who were slowly integrated into the towns and villages of the countryside. The G worshipers were in all likelihood a proto-feminist fringe group who lived among the Banishim and who unsettled followers of both R and N. On this evidence it is likely that the early history of the Banishim saw a basically matriarchal, primitive communism replaced by a patriarchal capitalist despotism.

 ;D  ;D  ;D

If you found this at all amusing, I recommend the book Motel of the Mysteries.

Title: Re: Banishim Gods
Post by: A Nonny Moose on March 16, 2015, 09:10:08 AM
Ah!  A not obfuscatory elucidation of the original mythos by one who is clearly eligible for exit as a semaxium.  However, we do come to the main issue that should affect the Banishim:  Are they a community of faith (answers that may not be questioned) or science (questions that may never be fully answered)?

If the former, is it worth much to pursue any enlightenment, or to simply accept the faith?
Title: Re: Banishim Gods
Post by: rkelly17 on March 16, 2015, 09:37:29 AM
Ah!  A not obfuscatory elucidation of the original mythos by one who is clearly eligible for exit as a semaxium.  However, we do come to the main issue that should affect the Banishim:  Are they a community of faith (answers that may not be questioned) or science (questions that may never be fully answered)?

If the former, is it worth much to pursue any enlightenment, or to simply accept the faith?

Now, now, Nonny, don't be prejudiced. Both theologians and scientists without a sense of humor are a major pain in the behind. Some of us like both faith and science and try to maintain a balance. Some of us who see ourselves as people of faith question everything constantly. I got paid to do that for many years, but I would do it for free. What can be more majestic than the light from a galaxy which started heading on out direction only a billion or so years after the Big Bang? What inspires more that the thought of the evolution of life on earth? One hates to see religious fundamentalists square off against scientistic fundamentalists since that argument excludes most of us. Doubt is good in both faith and science and can lead to enlightenment in either. That's why I make fun of myself and my fellow theologians. I hate religious authoritarianism with a purple passion--unless, of course, I'm the authority.  ;D
Title: Re: Banishim Gods
Post by: A Nonny Moose on March 16, 2015, 03:58:45 PM
All very well, but I am not only amazed, but astonished at the wonder of it all.  Our limited intellect can never grasp the idea of a creator properly because such a being is beyond even our rampant imagination. 

Of course, I believe that one must accept the Big Bang (at the moment) because it seems to well modelled, but there is that early period when the laws of physics as we know them don't seem to have settled down.  Seems to be a matter of faith here.

At heart, though, I am a steady stater.  As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be.

Some scientists are even now asking if there was no-space, no-time before the big bang, what was there?
Title: Re: Banishim Gods
Post by: RedKetchup on March 16, 2015, 05:25:20 PM
big bang too like a religion depends if you are a believer ^^

personally i dont believe in big bangs. i love universe science and everything there is facinating me. but i dont believe it existed, nor their supposely black matters :)
Title: Re: Banishim Gods
Post by: A Nonny Moose on March 17, 2015, 08:35:18 AM
In my humble opinion some cosmologists have bitten a wooden leg and their teeth hurt.  They will do anything at the moment to try an justify their speculations on dark matter, big bangs, etc.

Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper.
Title: Re: Banishim Gods
Post by: Chon Waen on March 17, 2015, 03:41:51 PM
So how do shared and common dreams with the same voice over generations work?

Gestalt consciousness?
Peer pressure?
Divine intervention?

Or is the answer simply to reply, "Yes."?
Title: Re: Banishim Gods
Post by: A Nonny Moose on March 18, 2015, 06:34:29 AM
How about mass hysteria?
Title: Re: Banishim Gods
Post by: rkelly17 on March 18, 2015, 08:12:39 AM
Sorry to start a brouhaha and then disappear for a couple of days. Cities: Skylines came out and I've been gorging on city building.  ::)  I spent 40 years teaching theology and history to graduate students--and the occasional undergraduate class. My experience is that we are all pretty committed to what we think, which can be a good thing if we also are committed to respecting and honoring those who we find "different" and a bad thing if we aren't. I love an honest conversation with someone who disagrees with me--as long as that person doesn't assume that I'm an idiot or infidel--because that can be a chance for me to learn new things about the world and about myself. Like everyone, I find "the other" threatening, so there is some fear to overcome, but in the end isn't life about overcoming the fear of learning something new? One of the great things I love about "The World of Banished" is that we all learn and we all teach and treat each other with humorous respect.

Mass hysteria explains some things, when defined appropriately. I grew up in the USA in the 50s and we all lived in fear of "The Communists." This fear, we now know, was stoked by people who used it to gain money and power and probably qualifies as mass hysteria. It also make one wonder about some of our current fears. Historically something like mass hysteria partially explains several of the Medieval crusades--though there might be a better word than "hysteria." Clearly the mass fear over the Black Plague contributed to the horrible excesses of Anti-Semitism in the 14th and following centuries. So, mass "hysteria" is absolutely real. Not sure whether it gives a historical explanation for all forms of religion, though. That is a way too complex a phenomenon for a single explanation.

OK, class over. The professor is going back to playing computer games.  ;D 

As my favorite theologian, Popeye the Sailor, once said, "I am what I am and that's all what I am."   ;D

Title: Re: Banishim Gods
Post by: A Nonny Moose on March 18, 2015, 02:58:12 PM
I like a good argument as well as any, but theology is definitely not my bag.  A life of scientific pursuits is hard on a kid raised in a Roman Catholic family, and I'm afraid I've become a bit of an iconoclast.

I've been retired now for quite a long time and no longer have access to all the academic sources I had, so am captive of the daily BS to a great extent.  I do read between the lines, however.

I am rather hoping that when CERN fires up the LHC with its new oomph, they can actually get a handle not so much on the mythical dark matter, but gravitons and magnetons.  If we don't get better propulsion systems than Newtonian mechanics, we won't be going anywhere very quickly.

Meanwhile, I still like the idea of the universe existing forever in a steady state.  I will even concede there might be a few bumps and big bangs in the road.  I also have read and still read a lot of science fiction (not the scum fum you see on the media), and I also like the idea of a multiverse.  How may have read H. Beam Piper's Paratime novels?
Title: Re: Banishim Gods
Post by: Chon Waen on March 18, 2015, 03:49:02 PM
Isn't .10c about the max using newtonian as it stands?
Regardless, unless we have a better way to deflect mass at even that speed, our craft are going to be screwed up by any grain of sand we run into out there.

Astronomical odds seem to diminish significantly the faster one goes.
Title: Re: Banishim Gods
Post by: A Nonny Moose on March 19, 2015, 05:37:40 AM
The biggest problem with physically going very fast is that the vacuum of interstellar space isn't one.  It is full of junk and debris.  I like the idea of "warp" drive where you bend space enough to translate from one part of the field to another in some kind of no-space, no-time.  This is not exactly the Star Trek model, but sort of like constructing a worm hole.

Of course, the problem here is where do we get the horrendously huge amount of power for this?  Scotty, the dilithium crystals are not in the chamber!
Title: Re: Banishim Gods
Post by: rkelly17 on March 19, 2015, 08:06:54 AM
We could definitely do with better science reporting. Most of the time one reads articles in the newspaper and thinks, "This reporter has no idea what he is talking about!" I have subscribed to one or two amateur astronomy magazines to try and keep up. I let my subscriptions lapse, but I still get the weekly e-mail up date from Sky and Telescope. It's free and though it focuses on observing there are some links to more comprehensive studies. Nice pictures, too.
Title: Re: Banishim Gods
Post by: A Nonny Moose on March 19, 2015, 11:38:28 AM
Recently I opened a web identity on the NGS site, and it is getting to be a PITA.  But they did offer me some nice wallpapers today.
Title: Re: Banishim Gods
Post by: Chon Waen on March 19, 2015, 02:01:37 PM
Even if it were possible to generate enough power to open a wormhole, isn't it an even bigger problem to stabilize it? Something about needing exotic matter with a negative energy state. Needless to say, we haven't  observed this in nature, and although its been theoretically proposed, it may just be something as elusive (and as fictional) as the aether that was hunted for in our not-incredibly distant past.
Title: Re: Banishim Gods
Post by: A Nonny Moose on March 20, 2015, 06:55:49 AM
Is it not possible that the "dark matter" is the same kind of myth as the particulate aether?
Title: Re: Banishim Gods
Post by: salamander on March 20, 2015, 01:53:42 PM
As an instructor in the biology field, definitely a form of science, I can tell you that a large part of the problem I have in classes is getting students to 'unlearn' the incorrect concepts they've been taught.  I really don't understand what the problem is, other than the fact that many people, including teachers at all levels, don't want to admit they don't know something, so they make something up.  Whether it's correct or not doesn't seem to matter.  :o
Title: Re: Banishim Gods
Post by: A Nonny Moose on March 21, 2015, 06:01:44 AM
As an instructor in the biology field, definitely a form of science, I can tell you that a large part of the problem I have in classes is getting students to 'unlearn' the incorrect concepts they've been taught.  I really don't understand what the problem is, other than the fact that many people, including teachers at all levels, don't want to admit they don't know something, so they make something up.  Whether it's correct or not doesn't seem to matter.  :o
The worst part is that in the post-secondary world you get a lot of illiterate and innumerate students.  You often have to bring them to an acceptable level or drop them into bone-head English and Math courses.  And, of course, many of them have never learned the concept of critical thinking.
Title: Re: Banishim Gods
Post by: rkelly17 on March 23, 2015, 08:59:06 AM
The worst part is that in the post-secondary world you get a lot of illiterate and innumerate students.  You often have to bring them to an acceptable level or drop them into bone-head English and Math courses.  And, of course, many of them have never learned the concept of critical thinking.

Isn't that the truth! And it doesn't end at the undergraduate level. I can't tell you how many graduate students I've had who can't write a 1000 word essay or make a rational argument to save their lives. I once had an English major graduate from UC Berkeley who had gone through a four-year BA without ever once writing a paper! That was even back in the day when UCB was one of the best in the world and in the halcyon days before I became a cynical old fart.  ;D

Title: Re: Banishim Gods
Post by: A Nonny Moose on March 23, 2015, 09:43:01 AM
The worst part is that in the post-secondary world you get a lot of illiterate and innumerate students.  You often have to bring them to an acceptable level or drop them into bone-head English and Math courses.  And, of course, many of them have never learned the concept of critical thinking.

Isn't that the truth! And it doesn't end at the undergraduate level. I can't tell you how many graduate students I've had who can't write a 1000 word essay or make a rational argument to save their lives. I once had an English major graduate from UC Berkeley who had gone through a four-year BA without ever once writing a paper! That was even back in the day when UCB was one of the best in the world and in the halcyon days before I became a cynical old fart.  ;D

I am very glad that I have retired from that rat race.  However, you must admit you tend to learn more from your students than they from you.
Title: Re: Banishim Gods
Post by: rkelly17 on March 23, 2015, 09:44:44 AM
I am very glad that I have retired from that rat race.  However, you must admit you tend to learn more from your students than they from you.

True enough.