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Old 26th February 2013, 01:41 PM   #1
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Has there ever been a religion with a nice god?

Is there a religion where the god is nice, not some petty, violent deity who seems to enjoy the suffering of humanity?
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Old 26th February 2013, 01:44 PM   #2
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Pastafarianism, of course. That's about it.
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Old 26th February 2013, 01:47 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by timhau View Post
Pastafarianism, of course. That's about it.
But even he has his dark side. Too much and you will pack on the pounds.
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Old 26th February 2013, 02:03 PM   #4
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If there isn't (and I certainly can't think of one), it's because nature is capricious, cruel and random, and gods were invented to explain nature.
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Old 26th February 2013, 05:26 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Spindrift View Post
Is there a religion where the god is nice, not some petty, violent deity who seems to enjoy the suffering of humanity?
Lakshmi, Ganesha, Freya ( a little violent), Isis, and lost of others.
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Old 26th February 2013, 05:42 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Spindrift View Post
Is there a religion where the god is nice, not some petty, violent deity who seems to enjoy the suffering of humanity?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Winslow

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Last edited by Slowvehicle; 26th February 2013 at 05:44 PM.
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Old 26th February 2013, 05:44 PM   #7
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Quan Yin, or Kannon, often described as the Goddess of Compassion, from various Asian flavors of Buddhism.
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Old 26th February 2013, 09:44 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Hokulele View Post
Quan Yin, or Kannon, often described as the Goddess of Compassion, from various Asian flavors of Buddhism.
Technically, unless I'm mistaken, Quan Yin is a Bodhisattva, not a goddess.

Illustrious word-website dictionary.com defines Bodhisattva as

Originally Posted by dictionary.com
a person who has attained prajna, or Enlightenment, but who postpones Nirvana in order to help others to attain Enlightenment: individual Bodhisattvas are the subjects of devotion in certain sects and are often represented in painting and sculpture.
But in any case she seems very nice.
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Old 26th February 2013, 09:56 PM   #9
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The Egyptian god Bes.

In fact, there have been quite a few. The Reasonable Doubts podcast has a segment called "Polyatheism" where they give a description of yet another god worth not believing in. The latest one was Bes. I recommend it.
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Old 26th February 2013, 09:59 PM   #10
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Re: Has there ever been a religion with a nice god?

J. R. " bob" dobbs, he offers eternal salvation or triple your money back. Try to find a better deal anywhere.
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Old 26th February 2013, 11:02 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Warrior1461 View Post
J. R. " bob" dobbs, he offers eternal salvation or triple your money back. Try to find a better deal anywhere.
Frop!
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Old 27th February 2013, 12:01 AM   #12
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Bokononism. That's not actually true, but it'll make you feel better.
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Old 27th February 2013, 06:53 AM   #13
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Okay there are some good, nice gods in some religions, but is there a religion without any asshat gods?
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Old 27th February 2013, 07:00 AM   #14
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Yeah, I guess if you have to have a god, then you could do worse than Venus, the Roman god of love and sex.
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Old 27th February 2013, 07:58 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Spindrift View Post
Okay there are some good, nice gods in some religions, but is there a religion without any asshat gods?
That would be difficult since the world is an asshat kind of place and a religion has to have some nominal superficial relationship to the world we observe.
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Old 27th February 2013, 08:01 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by marksman View Post
That would be difficult since the world is an asshat kind of place and a religion has to have some nominal superficial relationship to the world we observe.

To be fair, Raelianism has no gods at all, so technically fits the requirements.

The fact that Raelianism is also bat-poo crazy is a whole 'nother thing...
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Old 27th February 2013, 08:10 AM   #17
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I was going to suggest Ninkasi or Dionysus, but they sometimes take a terrible revenge...
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Old 27th February 2013, 08:21 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Hokulele View Post
To be fair, Raelianism has no gods at all, so technically fits the requirements.
On that basis, so does Scientology.
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Old 27th February 2013, 08:29 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Spindrift View Post
Okay there are some good, nice gods in some religions, but is there a religion without any asshat gods?
Bokononism. That's not actually true, but it'll make you feel better.
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Old 27th February 2013, 08:36 AM   #20
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Ahura Mazda. In Zoroastrianism, hell is only a temporary stay for the wicked. Punishments fit the crimes, and even the most evil will earn their place in Paradise after they have paid the price for the harm they have done to others.
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Old 27th February 2013, 08:54 AM   #21
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Nice gods finish last.
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Old 27th February 2013, 08:56 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by marksman View Post
That would be difficult since the world is an asshat kind of place and a religion has to have some nominal superficial relationship to the world we observe.
Yep, either your god lets crazy stuff happen to you because he's a jerk, or he's too weak to do anything about it. Neither are very attractive options.

I think a Greek philosopher made that same observation a few millenia ago.
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Old 27th February 2013, 09:06 AM   #23
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Thor is kinda nice for a God, all things considered.
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Old 27th February 2013, 09:09 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Damien Evans View Post
Thor is kinda nice for a God, all things considered.
Yeah...he could clobber everyone with that hammer, but he only clobbers a few people.

ETA: Plus, the good thing about being pummeled by Thor is that it feels so good when he stops!
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Old 27th February 2013, 09:13 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Spindrift View Post
Is there a religion where the god is nice, not some petty, violent deity who seems to enjoy the suffering of humanity?
Sex deities, feast deities, cat deities.
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Old 27th February 2013, 11:38 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Dog Breakfast View Post
Technically, unless I'm mistaken, Quan Yin is a Bodhisattva, not a goddess.

Illustrious word-website dictionary.com defines Bodhisattva as



But in any case she seems very nice.
She gets a little more goddess like in some forms of buddhism, the green Tara.

And Avalokiteshvara seems to change genders.
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Old 27th February 2013, 11:53 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Foster Zygote View Post
Ahura Mazda. In Zoroastrianism, hell is only a temporary stay for the wicked. Punishments fit the crimes, and even the most evil will earn their place in Paradise after they have paid the price for the harm they have done to others.
Sounds like what Christianity should have been, not the accept Jesus and escape and any all responsibility for you actions. Were they drunk when they came up with that. If you know a thing about ancient history YES. Zoroastrianism sounds sober compared to Christianity and Islam.
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Old 27th February 2013, 11:55 AM   #28
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I suppose any god that fits your world view, could be classed as nice.

There's plenty to choose from, How about Ul, from David Eddings' Belgariad, Generally a nice sort, took in all the monstrous creations when no other god would adopt them.
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Old 27th February 2013, 01:00 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Dancing David View Post
She gets a little more goddess like in some forms of buddhism, the green Tara.

And Avalokiteshvara seems to change genders.
You're right, it's definitely not back-and-white, and completely depends on what "goddess" means. A lot of powers and venerations are attributed to these people; eventually if enough is attributed, I guess the difference between bodhisattva and diety could easily end up as negligible semantic adventures.
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Old 27th February 2013, 01:13 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Warrior1461 View Post
Sounds like what Christianity should have been, not the accept Jesus and escape and any all responsibility for you actions. Were they drunk when they came up with that. If you know a thing about ancient history YES. Zoroastrianism sounds sober compared to Christianity and Islam.
Ironically, Christianity did borrow some aspects of Zoroastrianism as it developed. But the idea of a truly good god who will welcome all of its children into paradise wasn't one of them.
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Old 27th February 2013, 01:28 PM   #31
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One of the big problems with theism in general is the problem of where evil comes from. Polytheistic religions have it easy in this case since they can just claim an equally powerful yet evil being to counterbalance their warm, fuzzy deity. Monotheism kinda gets hosed and has to mutter things about ineffability and unknowable plans all while wondering if their deity is actually just a big jerk.
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Old 27th February 2013, 01:29 PM   #32
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Eris from Discordinaism, yet not her namesake from Greek traditional religion.

Yeah, she can be bitchy, but you generally deserve it, and she'll disolve into an asprin commercial to make up for it.
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Old 27th February 2013, 01:31 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Dancing David View Post
Lakshmi, Ganesha, Freya ( a little violent), Isis, and lost of others.
A LITTLE?! The lady was patron goddess of shield maidens (few as they were) and leader of the Valkyries/Those dead chicks that picks up dead warriors in the battlefield. The warrior aspect of Freya is a mostly overlooked part of the Norse mythology, but the signs are there that she was at one time just as important as Tyr(organised war) and Thor(chaotic war). Given what few records of the Norse legends we have from that age were mostly written by christian monks, Freya being relegated to the sidelines and sex,drugs and rock'n roll isn't too surprising.

You are also forgetting that in the original religion of asatrue, human sacrifice were a perfectly acceptable to all of the deities involved. The more modern, and government sanctioned, version have mellowed out a bit.

But the original Freya? Non-bloody and peaceful? Not likely.
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Old 27th February 2013, 01:34 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Aepervius View Post
cat deities.

You haven't met the cats I have.....
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Old 27th February 2013, 01:36 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by The_Fire View Post
A LITTLE?! The lady was patron goddess of shield maidens (few as they were) and leader of the Valkyries/Those dead chicks that picks up dead warriors in the battlefield. The warrior aspect of Freya is a mostly overlooked part of the Norse mythology, but the signs are there that she was at one time just as important as Tyr(organised war) and Thor(chaotic war). Given what few records of the Norse legends we have from that age were mostly written by christian monks, Freya being relegated to the sidelines and sex,drugs and rock'n roll isn't too surprising.

You are also forgetting that in the original religion of asatrue, human sacrifice were a perfectly acceptable to all of the deities involved. The more modern, and government sanctioned, version have mellowed out a bit.

But the original Freya? Non-bloody and peaceful? Not likely.
Let's face it, characterizing any of the Norse as "a little violent" is like saying that Jackson Pollok was "a little abstract". They're a group of gods who make Quentin Tarentino go, "isn't that a tad much gore?". C'mon, the Alfather plucked out his own eye (or had it plucked out) to learn the runes.

Monocular vision is his chosen path to literacy. This is not a gentle guy. And the rest of Aesir are just as bad.

But man, do they make good stories.
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Old 27th February 2013, 01:39 PM   #36
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I guess I don't know much about Budda - isn't he swell?
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Old 27th February 2013, 01:41 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by NoahFence View Post
I guess I don't know much about Budda - isn't he swell?
Some of them are. They aren't really deities as normally thought of, just travellers further down the path, as it were.
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Old 27th February 2013, 01:42 PM   #38
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Um, I thought he got the eye plucked out in exchange for some of the Salmon of Wisdom. He traded it to the keeper of the well where the salmon lived.

I think he got the Runes by tying himself to Yggdrasil with his own intestines for a week. Birds feeding on his entrails and whispering in his ears my have been involved.
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Old 27th February 2013, 01:46 PM   #39
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Old 27th February 2013, 01:47 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by Weak Kitten View Post
Um, I thought he got the eye plucked out in exchange for some of the Salmon of Wisdom. He traded it to the keeper of the well where the salmon lived.

I think he got the Runes by tying himself to Yggdrasil with his own intestines for a week. Birds feeding on his entrails and whispering in his ears my have been involved.
You may be right. I always have problems keeping all the various ways Odin abused himself straight. Either way, self-disembowelment is not a normal way toward literacy. At least not at my grammar school.


ETA: Back when I was pagan, I thought about having Odin as a main deity for a while. Then I realized that any god who was willing to do half of what Odin was reported to have done was probably going to demand a bit more than I was willing to give. A few years later I gave up gods all together.

Well, all gods except Eris, that is. Hail Eris. All Hail Discordia.
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Last edited by kmortis; 27th February 2013 at 01:49 PM.
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