Sacred 3: If Someone Asks If You Are a God, You Say Yes!

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Sacred 3: If Someone Asks If You Are a God, You Say Yes!

When you know a god actually, physically exists, does wanting to be one change from megalomania to just wanting a better lot in life?

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It seems like the villain here had the right idea, and exploiting everyone else to reach that point was just being clever. I wonder whether coming up with plans and having ambition makes you evil in a fantasy universe? Be it modern or past setting.

The gods tasking you to stop someone else from becoming a god doesn't even make sense. Why don't they just stop him themselves!? Wave your hand, whatever.

Even more nonsensically, if as a god you don't want people to be able to become gods, you definitely wouldn't tell others it's possible. You'd wipe Winker Watson off the map and make everyone forget what he was even trying to do.

So what you're saying is that Sacred 3 has bad writing.

Ghostbusters reference! :)

OT: It's funny how the description of the fantasy world is very similar to how some religions describe the real world. Also, a society without middle class where the superior class was born with the ultimate level of privilege and the underclass have no power or deserve any? Pretty much the western society in the middle ages (which lasted 10 freaking centuries!)

One thing that stuck me is: if there are gods in a game and they are interventionist gods, why would you want to join them? That just seems like an immortal lifetime of celestial maintenance. "Oooh Our Terrance is god, inne? He's the one whats 'oldin up the firmament. Never comes to visit his poor ol mum anymore do 'e?" It's not like you can ever take a break; you're not some deist creator that has left the watch ticking, you've signed on to be an interventionist. Doesn't seem worth it.

Kuredan:
One thing that stuck me is: if there are gods in a game and they are interventionist gods, why would you want to join them? That just seems like an immortal lifetime of celestial maintenance. "Oooh Our Terrance is god, inne? He's the one whats 'oldin up the firmament. Never comes to visit his poor ol mum anymore do 'e?" It's not like you can ever take a break; you're not some deist creator that has left the watch ticking, you've signed on to be an interventionist. Doesn't seem worth it.

I see a pantheon going either two ways. The first way is that the gods are all together and are relatively friendly (see the Greek Pantheon) and it's just a horrible bureaucracy with arguments over jurisdiction and everything takes an incredibly long time to get done. The other way is the D&D way with gods being 'good', 'neutral', or 'evil' and/or having their own celestial realm to rule over. In this version the gods are always trying to outmaneuver each other, taking petty slights way too seriously and the mortals getting shit on by all this. Yeah, my pantheons aren't usually too helpful to the mortals...

I believe OOTS explained it well: http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0669.html

Unless you go the route of, say, Raistlin in the Dragonlance Legends trilogy, who knew the gods were real, had helped restore belief in them after centuries of divine abandonment, and had even talked to one or two of them personally, but still thought he could do a better job than they could. Then again, the gods of Krynn weren't the sharpest tools in the shed, so he might have had a point there.

That's not universal to all Dungeons & Dragons-based settings, though: most of the other ones had at least a mortal or two who achieved apotheosis without ending the world, though it might have felt otherwise at the time.

Yahtzee is making a common mistake here by confusing polytheistic, lowercase gods with a monotheistic capital-G God.

In a polytheistic system, which is what most video games use, there are a variety of gods with limited power, especially over each other. "Becoming a god" is a reasonable life goal in this context, but the existing gods have a vested interest in keeping evil, selfish or destabilizing potential deities out of the pantheon, so it's also perfectly legitimate for them to conscript you to stop this from happening. It's like preventing ISIS from getting a seat on the UN Security Council: you can't fault them for trying, but you can't complain that James Bond was sent to stop them, either. Crucially, the afterlife is usually pretty depressing, so there is a big ethical incentive to stay alive, not kill people, etc.

In a monotheistic system, God has infinite power and wisdom, and is either a neutral-aligned embodiment of the universe or a Lawful Good interventionist deity. "Becoming God" in this context is something that only a bad guy would attempt, almost by definition, and any amount of force to keep that from happening is justified. The afterlife is usually great, but there are rules to discourage mass suicide.

The goldfish analogy is pretty apt here: imagine the universe as God's fish tank, where he has developed a sentimental attachment to us fish and occasionally reaches in to help us out. From the fish's perspective, his purposes are pretty much unknowable, but we can at least make a little happy dance in the water when the food is distributed to say thank you. The fish philosophers could reasonably conclude that the universe behaves in chaotic, random ways, but it isn't true.

If you had a Christian-like system where heaven was a perfect, wonderful existence then the most noble, heroic thing anyone could do would be to murder as many innocents as possible, to get them into heaven before they could offend God enough that he wouldn't want them anymore. A moment of pain as the knife enters their throat before an eternity of happiness, pleasure and fulfilment. What more could anyone ask for?

Also, how did you forget to reference this:

"The need to be observed and understood was once satisfied by god. Now we can implement the same functionality with data-mining algorithms. God and the gods were apparitions of observation, judgement and punishment. Other sentiments towards them were secondary.

The human organism always worships. First it was the gods, then it was fame (the observation and judgement of others), next it will be the self-aware systems you have built to realise truly omnipresent observation and judgement. The individual desires judgement. Without this desire, the cohesion of groups is impossible and so is civilisation.

The human being created civilisation not because of willingness but because of a need to be assimilated into higher orders of structure and meaning. God was a dream of good government. You will soon have your god, and you will make it with your own hands."
- Morpheus, Deus Ex

Edit: Isn't the whole godhood thing in Sacred 3 basically the same as in The Lawnmower Man?

If the proposition that "the world in which we live is...the result of random chaotic fluctuations" (and thereby disproves God), then this thought itself is also just the result of "random chaotic fluctuations," and therefore is true and false at the same time; is contradictory and self-refuting.

I found this vaguely profound. Moreso than anything in Mogworld, I daresay.

stringtheory:

Kuredan:
One thing that stuck me is: if there are gods in a game and they are interventionist gods, why would you want to join them? That just seems like an immortal lifetime of celestial maintenance. "Oooh Our Terrance is god, inne? He's the one whats 'oldin up the firmament. Never comes to visit his poor ol mum anymore do 'e?" It's not like you can ever take a break; you're not some deist creator that has left the watch ticking, you've signed on to be an interventionist. Doesn't seem worth it.

I see a pantheon going either two ways. The first way is that the gods are all together and are relatively friendly (see the Greek Pantheon) and it's just a horrible bureaucracy with arguments over jurisdiction and everything takes an incredibly long time to get done. The other way is the D&D way with gods being 'good', 'neutral', or 'evil' and/or having their own celestial realm to rule over. In this version the gods are always trying to outmaneuver each other, taking petty slights way too seriously and the mortals getting shit on by all this. Yeah, my pantheons aren't usually too helpful to the mortals...

Don't forget the Banner Saga version where the gods have apparently all murdered each other and died, dooming the world to slowly wither and crumble.

I remember liking Jade Empire's gods. They were completely self absorbed and all had their assigned tasks to do.

Zombie Badger:
If you had a Christian-like system where heaven was a perfect, wonderful existence then the most noble, heroic thing anyone could do would be to murder as many innocents as possible, to get them into heaven before they could offend God enough that he wouldn't want them anymore. A moment of pain as the knife enters their throat before an eternity of happiness, pleasure and fulfilment. What more could anyone ask for?

For you to be good. God doesn't ask of you to go around and kill everyone that you judge as innocent so that they can enter His Kingdom sooner (which is silly anyways, because what's 80 years max of waiting against eternity). He asks that you follow His laws and treat your fellow man with justice (that includes mercy as the main component), and trust that He will take up His children in His own time. In that way, you serve your God, your fellow man, and yourself.

OT: Perhaps we should draw a line between "becoming a god" and "obtaining god-like power", because villains are almost always aiming for the latter, even if they say they want the former.

Thunderous Cacophony:

Zombie Badger:
If you had a Christian-like system where heaven was a perfect, wonderful existence then the most noble, heroic thing anyone could do would be to murder as many innocents as possible, to get them into heaven before they could offend God enough that he wouldn't want them anymore. A moment of pain as the knife enters their throat before an eternity of happiness, pleasure and fulfilment. What more could anyone ask for?

For you to be good. God doesn't ask of you to go around and kill everyone that you judge as innocent so that they can enter His Kingdom sooner (which is silly anyways, because what's 80 years max of waiting against eternity). He asks that you follow His laws and treat your fellow man with justice (that includes mercy as the main component), and trust that He will take up His children in His own time. In that way, you serve your God, your fellow man, and yourself.

OT: Perhaps we should draw a line between "becoming a god" and "obtaining god-like power", because villains are almost always aiming for the latter, even if they say they want the former.

But if you went on a killing spree, wouldn't it be "their time"?

His point was that by letting them live, you risk them damning themselves sometime before their eventual death, and thus preventing that possibility could only be a good thing.

It's exploiting one of those things about religion that doesn't make any sense when you really think about it.

Thanatos2k:

Thunderous Cacophony:

Zombie Badger:
If you had a Christian-like system where heaven was a perfect, wonderful existence then the most noble, heroic thing anyone could do would be to murder as many innocents as possible, to get them into heaven before they could offend God enough that he wouldn't want them anymore. A moment of pain as the knife enters their throat before an eternity of happiness, pleasure and fulfilment. What more could anyone ask for?

For you to be good. God doesn't ask of you to go around and kill everyone that you judge as innocent so that they can enter His Kingdom sooner (which is silly anyways, because what's 80 years max of waiting against eternity). He asks that you follow His laws and treat your fellow man with justice (that includes mercy as the main component), and trust that He will take up His children in His own time. In that way, you serve your God, your fellow man, and yourself.

OT: Perhaps we should draw a line between "becoming a god" and "obtaining god-like power", because villains are almost always aiming for the latter, even if they say they want the former.

But if you went on a killing spree, wouldn't it be "their time"?

His point was that by letting them live, you risk them damning themselves sometime before their eventual death, and thus preventing that possibility could only be a good thing.

It's exploiting one of those things about religion that doesn't make any sense when you really think about it.

The thing is that by killing them you are assuming that you are a perfect judge of character, that you can tell when someone's soul is innocent and that you know the right time, when they are most pure in the Roman Catholic sense, to kill them. That's a massive amount of arrogance by declaring that your personal judgement is correct. Technically, whenever they die is their time, whether by your hand or by cancer, but you do not have the authority to do so. Instead, God gave you instructions to serve your fellow man and work with them to create the best society possible in which you can venerate Him, so disregarding those instructions (by declaring that God wants souls now, instead of realising that God is giving you the opportunity to worship Him and has the claim to all souls wherever they are) is selfish and blind.

Also, killing is wrong by the commandments of God, and by doing so you are damning yourself with your own hand rather than using that hand to help everyone, including yourself, be worthy of Him.

Brilliant analysis, Yahtzee!

Thunderous Cacophony:
Also, killing is wrong by the commandments of God, and by doing so you are damning yourself with your own hand rather than using that hand to help everyone, including yourself, be worthy of Him.

But isn't self-sacrifice to help others considered a good thing? I may burn for eternity, but so many others will have an eternal future of bliss assured for them.

Thunderous Cacophony:

Thanatos2k:

Thunderous Cacophony:

For you to be good. God doesn't ask of you to go around and kill everyone that you judge as innocent so that they can enter His Kingdom sooner (which is silly anyways, because what's 80 years max of waiting against eternity). He asks that you follow His laws and treat your fellow man with justice (that includes mercy as the main component), and trust that He will take up His children in His own time. In that way, you serve your God, your fellow man, and yourself.

OT: Perhaps we should draw a line between "becoming a god" and "obtaining god-like power", because villains are almost always aiming for the latter, even if they say they want the former.

But if you went on a killing spree, wouldn't it be "their time"?

His point was that by letting them live, you risk them damning themselves sometime before their eventual death, and thus preventing that possibility could only be a good thing.

It's exploiting one of those things about religion that doesn't make any sense when you really think about it.

The thing is that by killing them you are assuming that you are a perfect judge of character, that you can tell when someone's soul is innocent and that you know the right time, when they are most pure in the Roman Catholic sense, to kill them. That's a massive amount of arrogance by declaring that your personal judgement is correct. Technically, whenever they die is their time, whether by your hand or by cancer, but you do not have the authority to do so. Instead, God gave you instructions to serve your fellow man and work with them to create the best society possible in which you can venerate Him, so disregarding those instructions (by declaring that God wants souls now, instead of realising that God is giving you the opportunity to worship Him and has the claim to all souls wherever they are) is selfish and blind.

Also, killing is wrong by the commandments of God, and by doing so you are damning yourself with your own hand rather than using that hand to help everyone, including yourself, be worthy of Him.

Sure, it's "wrong," but you may indeed be helping others given the presuppositions involved. Funny how that works out.

I once asked my college roommate (who held Bible study in our dorm room for others) if it was possible to go against God's Plan. His answer was no, and the mental gymnastics involved justifying it were a sight to behold.

That article reminds me of a book review Pat Rothfuss did. From the review:

Pat Rothfuss:
The book's two main characters, as you might have guessed, are Toot and Puddle. They're two pigs that are best friends.

That's not the problem.

In this story, Puddle is trying to figure out what to get his friend for his birthday.

That's not the problem either.

The problem is that Puddle, a sentient pig capable of speech, goes shopping at a pet store. And (spoiler alert) buys a parrot for his friend.

THIS is the problem.

Let's breeze right past the fact that the only thing that makes a parrot cool is the fact that it's an animal that can talk. And therefore in a world full of talking animals it would have nothing to make it unique.

No. Let's jump straight into the fact that in this world where animals are people and they can talk, Puddle effectively buys a person. He buys another sentient creature to give away as a present.

Context really does matter since no matter how well meaning, these ideas are very poorly thought out given the context.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZO21ze8Up34

I think they got it right ^^

Zombie Badger:
If you had a Christian-like system where heaven was a perfect, wonderful existence then the most noble, heroic thing anyone could do would be to murder as many innocents as possible, to get them into heaven before they could offend God enough that he wouldn't want them anymore. A moment of pain as the knife enters their throat before an eternity of happiness, pleasure and fulfilment. What more could anyone ask for?

This is making the common mistake of believing that life is just a pointless waiting room for the afterlife. Not to get too theological, but the Bible clearly disagrees with this interpretation, most famously in The Parable of the Talents.

For those unfamiliar with it, it goes like this: a master (representing God) is about to go on a long journey, and leaves his three servants (representing humanity) with a gold talent apiece (i.e. a gold coin, representing everyone's natural gifts). He then tells them to make the most of it while he's gone.

The master comes back several years later to see how his servants fared. The first two invested their gold talent and earned more. The master is pleased and rewards them. Then the third servant comes forward. He was scared of consequences, so he buried his talent in a hole in the ground and waited for the master's return. The master then gets angry at him, saying that he gave the servant an opportunity and he wasted it.

One of the most common interpretations of this parable is that God does not want people to just sit around waiting for death. Life is a gift, an we're expected to make the most of it. Squandering your gifts, or by extension depriving other people of the opportunity to use their gifts, is wrong. That's why "murder as a shortcut to Heaven" is not a good idea.

I was following you right until the last sentence. I'm sure it does change the context, but its not clear how.

Thanatos2k:
The gods tasking you to stop someone else from becoming a god doesn't even make sense. Why don't they just stop him themselves!? Wave your hand, whatever.

Even more nonsensically, if as a god you don't want people to be able to become gods, you definitely wouldn't tell others it's possible. You'd wipe Winker Watson off the map and make everyone forget what he was even trying to do.

So what you're saying is that Sacred 3 has bad writing.

If you base on pretty much any religion, and any fantasy universe god or any fiction god, they come accross as the audience in the stage. They just really enjoy irrelevant people trying to accomplish irrelevant goals as it makes entertaining stories.

Zombie Badger:

Thunderous Cacophony:
Also, killing is wrong by the commandments of God, and by doing so you are damning yourself with your own hand rather than using that hand to help everyone, including yourself, be worthy of Him.

But isn't self-sacrifice to help others considered a good thing? I may burn for eternity, but so many others will have an eternal future of bliss assured for them.

But you aren't be asked to sacrifice yourself in that manner. You are explicitly told how you can serve God and your fellow man to help everyone get to eternal bliss, rather than disrespecting God by assuming your own method is better. You also cannot guarantee eternal bliss for anyone because you are not God.

The sort of logic you are using is the same as suicide bombers and other extremists, where they assume a fundamental disconnect between the average rules laid out by God and the best path to heaven (for yourself or others), rather than realising that the path to heaven is to follow the rules of God.

Thanatos2k:
The gods tasking you to stop someone else from becoming a god doesn't even make sense. Why don't they just stop him themselves!? Wave your hand, whatever.

Even more nonsensically, if as a god you don't want people to be able to become gods, you definitely wouldn't tell others it's possible. You'd wipe Winker Watson off the map and make everyone forget what he was even trying to do.

So what you're saying is that Sacred 3 has bad writing.

Of course. The "jokes" alone should tell you that!

Going from a dangerous, thieving marauder to a physical god is basically every Elder Scrolls game.

I see what you're saying here. Is it any more wrong for a person to want to ascend to godhood in a world where gods are very well known to exist than it is for a poor person to want to ascend above poverty to a level of wealth and success? Assuredly not. Now the methods by which they go about achieving this goal might be brought into question, but the goal itself cannot be called inherently evil in such a world. ...unless you're the gods, but then that's a matter of perspective, isn't it?

Thanatos2k:
The gods tasking you to stop someone else from becoming a god doesn't even make sense. Why don't they just stop him themselves!? Wave your hand, whatever.

Even more nonsensically, if as a god you don't want people to be able to become gods, you definitely wouldn't tell others it's possible. You'd wipe Winker Watson off the map and make everyone forget what he was even trying to do.

So what you're saying is that Sacred 3 has bad writing.

Well Sacred 3 is a mess, however pretty much every question raised here has been answered a number of different ways if various fantasy series and concepts. Thieves World, The Forgotten Realms, and other things have all focused heavily on what it means to be a deity and why the typical fantasy status quo exists, it tends to be something long on the exposition though so explanations don't translate well into media like TV shows, movies, comics, video games, etc... like a lot of complicated ideas don't, which is why people have remained critical of those mediums and how well they
can tell stories compared to good old fashioned books. As a general rule though this unpleasant fellow becoming a god and having unlimited power is something that inherently seems like a bad idea, sure you can analyze this and say "hey we need more information, otherwise it seems like we're jumping to conclusions" but the problem is you don't really want to sit through an hour long presentation on fantasy metaphysics and explaining exactly why this is a bad idea. When say Doctor Strange stops Doctor Doom, Baron Mordo, Dormamammu [SP] or others from ascending to higher states of being or gaining/absorbing godlike power, we generally rely on what little see of their character traits for stopping them being a bad guy, Doctor Strange implies there is more to it than simply that, but I doubt anyone want see a 100 issue series of "Doctor Strange lectures on comic book mysticism".

That said the most simple way of explaining why your typical fantasy pantheon doesn't want anyone ascending is simply because having divine power is like having a nuclear weapon. You don't want Bob the Necromancer Lord to ascend to godhood and start playing around with cosmic forces, any more than you want third world countries to have nuclear weapons or highly advanced military forces. In the back story of a lot of fantasy worlds it's inevitable someone plays on this level eventually, and starts screwing stuff up, and needs to be stopped, oftentimes in the back story. Many fallen evil gods, dark lords, etc... in back stories were of course mortals, sometime well meaning ones, who got to that level and wound up screwing everything up.

Another point that comes up is that gods basically have to represent something, being cosmic, universal, forces. Some guy ascends to godhood, and the big question becomes what his sphere of influence is going to be. Is he willing to become a sub-deity under an existing one, or merge himself into a higher power and become an aspect of it? (depending on the concept) or is he going to fight for the throne. While you can say that of course gods by definition don't want to have their own power bases disturbed because they like the racket they have going, there is also the very valid point that nobody wants to see two gods fight over who gets the title/sphere since that spills over into a lot of things and other spheres. If say you've got Neptune fighting Bob The Aquamancer for title of god of the seas, your dealing with massive chaos throughout the oceans in all worlds they rule as they try and destroy each other with water. Aquatic races are going to need to pick a side, and many are going to flee, amphibious ones will probably rise to the surface and start invading the lands held by followers of other gods. As the minions/followers of these two gods start clashing there is of course a war, and your going to get the war god involved, and if they start predictably using storms then of course the air god gets involved, and oh hey... what if different deities whose spheres get crossed into have different ideas on which side to take... next thing you know you have the gods all warring with each other and destroying entire portions of reality, creating power vaccums if any of them die, etc...

In "The Forgotten Realms" the world was nearly destroyed when a bunch of mortals figured out they could become gods themselves, and the first thing they did was decide to absorb the god of magic (since they were wizards) and have their leader (a guy called Karsus) take his place. The thing is they sucked up the god of magic, destabilized all magic in the world as a result, and caused a cataclysm for both gods and men.

In "Thieves World" at a certain point the gods recruit mortals who reach a certain level of power, they had a story or two about this. Of course those gods tend to be a lot less than "ultimate" powers as they are portrayed in other worlds. Basically there is no need to try and steal godhood, you become powerful enough, regardless of which side of the morality spectrum your on, eventually you'll get an invitation.

A few other series have used concepts of micro-spheres as well, oftentimes with humerous intent, where you might have some gorgeous babe who ascends and wants to be goddess of love, but that and most of it's various aspects have been taken, so she gets to be the patron goddess of masturbation or something. Or where some dude who spanks it a lot might get so good at doing so that the gods invite him to be the god of masturbation. Sort of like "The Devil Comes Down To Georgia" except it's not a guitar Johnny B. Good is playing with and the reward is ascension, not a fiddle of gold. :)

The point here, which I am getting away from, is that something like "Sacred 3" could explain itself easily, but it didn't (like most similar things) and the big question when it comes to mockery is whether you really would have preferred them explaining it. I think back to say "Final Fantasy XIII" and the whole mess of cosmology and world building that was behind what Lightning and her friends were up to, and how little patience people had with that, as few people wanted to read the exposition or explanation as to what was going on and why.


-

On a more realistic front, the reason why god doesn't intervene constantly is because if he did that it would remove free will. Basically nobody would ever do anything wrong, or choose to be bad, if they knew there was going to be immediate punishment from on high. If you can't choose to be bad, or do wrong, nobody can ever be good either. What's more with tight control, humanity will never progress.

I think the big problem with religion a lot of people who are anti-religious have, is that they can't really conceive of something as benevolent as god is supposed to be as a concept and/or get tied up in the exact word of the bible (which is just a book which gives some good advice and guidelines). Once you understand that, and the value of free will, it becomes easier to start putting it into perspective.

I'm not a deeply spiritual person even if I am Christian, and not really evangelical at heart, so I'm not the one to really explain this or make a case for it in a real world sense.

Injecting class warfare into theology is amusing and something I'm actually not surprised to see come from someone raised in latter day Britain now that I think about it.

Thunderous Cacophony:

Zombie Badger:

Thunderous Cacophony:
Also, killing is wrong by the commandments of God, and by doing so you are damning yourself with your own hand rather than using that hand to help everyone, including yourself, be worthy of Him.

But isn't self-sacrifice to help others considered a good thing? I may burn for eternity, but so many others will have an eternal future of bliss assured for them.

But you aren't be asked to sacrifice yourself in that manner. You are explicitly told how you can serve God and your fellow man to help everyone get to eternal bliss, rather than disrespecting God by assuming your own method is better. You also cannot guarantee eternal bliss for anyone because you are not God.

The sort of logic you are using is the same as suicide bombers and other extremists, where they assume a fundamental disconnect between the average rules laid out by God and the best path to heaven (for yourself or others), rather than realising that the path to heaven is to follow the rules of God.

Yes, it is. And that's why some people come to that conclusion - because religion doesn't really make sense. Plus really, are you going to say YOUR intepretation of a multi-millenial old book in a different language is guaranteed to be correct and theirs is wrong?

Therumancer:

Thanatos2k:
The gods tasking you to stop someone else from becoming a god doesn't even make sense. Why don't they just stop him themselves!? Wave your hand, whatever.

Even more nonsensically, if as a god you don't want people to be able to become gods, you definitely wouldn't tell others it's possible. You'd wipe Winker Watson off the map and make everyone forget what he was even trying to do.

So what you're saying is that Sacred 3 has bad writing.

That said the most simple way of explaining why your typical fantasy pantheon doesn't want anyone ascending is simply because having divine power is like having a nuclear weapon. You don't want Bob the Necromancer Lord to ascend to godhood and start playing around with cosmic forces, any more than you want third world countries to have nuclear weapons or highly advanced military forces. In the back story of a lot of fantasy worlds it's inevitable someone plays on this level eventually, and starts screwing stuff up, and needs to be stopped, oftentimes in the back story. Many fallen evil gods, dark lords, etc... in back stories were of course mortals, sometime well meaning ones, who got to that level and wound up screwing everything up.

Well sure, but who are the gods to say who can and can't become a god, like who are we to say who can and can't develop nuclear weapons on their own? Because we got them first, we have to threaten and destroy any other country that tries?

On a more realistic front, the reason why god doesn't intervene constantly is because if he did that it would remove free will. Basically nobody would ever do anything wrong, or choose to be bad, if they knew there was going to be immediate punishment from on high. If you can't choose to be bad, or do wrong, nobody can ever be good either. What's more with tight control, humanity will never progress.

Who says it removes free will? It would just mean certain choices have certain consequences, like life already has. It would just change the parameters you use to evaluate your decisions. Choose to jump off a cliff and you die. Does that mean no one has free will near cliff edges?

Zombie Badger:
If you had a Christian-like system where heaven was a perfect, wonderful existence then the most noble, heroic thing anyone could do would be to murder as many innocents as possible, to get them into heaven before they could offend God enough that he wouldn't want them anymore. A moment of pain as the knife enters their throat before an eternity of happiness, pleasure and fulfilment. What more could anyone ask for?

I think the idea is that people are supposed to live out their lives so that

1. They can spread the word of god.

2. Have children.[1]

3. Live a full life so that their judgment is fair and based on a full lifetime of experience.

So if you kill those people, you're screwing with God's system. You're also probably breaking up a lot of families, at least temporarily.

I could be wrong though, I'm not a theologist.

[1] Interestingly, if people have free will, isn't the creation of living being through sex just as random, or at least not divinely inspired, as if it happened without a god anyway?

In a way the whole premise of the game reminds me a little of Trudy Canavan's Priestess of the White series.,

If you haven't read it - by the way,go read it, awesome series - major spoilers. In a world of magic and magicians the "Gods" watch over like watchful leaders - the only five surviving "Gods" after the God War. They call strong magicians to their service and condemn the Wilds, rogue and powerful magicians. It seems that they are caring of their followers and even speak directly to their chosen ones.

The real truth is that anyone with sufficient power can become a "God" and their religion is just a way to suppress potential magicians from ascending themselves; while simultaneously amusing themselves by pitting two nations of followers against each-other.

The "Gods" are but humans, with the same desires and drives they always had, just now in a different form. So in the world of Sacred 3 maybe its as simple as that. Its no problem that the villain is a mass-murdering, conquering pyscho. They're just worried about the potential competition he represents.

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