Sam Kingston kicks off the thread:
<< Eli left a while ago to wander the earth in an attempt to create something so worthwhile that God Himself would take notice. Whether this was to show that angels are as worthwhile as humans, or to draw His attention to the War that has got out of hand, is up to you.
I already rambled on in the other posts so I'll *try*(yeah, right) to be brief.
It's really cool. What's especially cool about it is you can use this idea whether you agree with it or not. God could care, or not care, or be really swell, or whatever, but it really wouldn't matter. What matters here is what Eli believes. And this idea develops Eli and makes him kinda cool whether he's right about God or not.
Nathaniel Eliot wonders about God...
He set up the angels and demons to take care of the whole housekeeping aspect of making sure human souls end up in Heaven or Hell and are reincarnated properly, and prevent the world from going too far towards Good or Bad - checks and balances, if you like. He's unaware that the War is going on - whenever he visits Heaven (which is very rarely) the Archangels and Demon Princes pretend nothing is going on.
Hermes Trismegistus (email@example.com) replies:
Or maybe he knows, but is of the opinion that angels are the ones that should be doing things, not him. The Fall did not suprise him, but was not of his planning; however, the only steps he takes against it are to sic angels on the demons.
Maybe God has a similar agenda to David, and he is testing the world in order to toughen everyone involved in the War. In this case Satan's Fall may have been preplanned to provide the right conditions to spark the War. Although whether this is to assist Celestials or Humans to evolve is unclear (hand me a pen and paper and I'll work it out - damn these paper-free offices).
Following is some stuff which may offend Christians and Americans (I hope not, but if so my apologies, but it is stuff which has sprung up in the way I see the IN world).
From reading some of the AA descriptions I am convinced that in the Celestial war God is Evil (although Lucifer doesn't really as good, I'd call him brutal, and nearly as evil, but a better alternative). After all Lucifer doesn't claim to be "Good".
Picture God with the face of (that FBI cross-dresser [I'm Australian, I shouldn't have to remember merkin names]). Satan makes a very attractive Fidel Castro. OK, so the analogy doesn't hold up perfectly, but you get my drift: Big hulking bullyboy attempts to squash anybody who doesn't conform to his ideals of how the world should be.
Lucifer stands for all of the people (and Celestials) who want to decide their own fate, without being watched over by the likes of Dominic and Laurence (straight laced, by-the-book, (possibly homophobic) dullards [OK, AA Beth may have a thing for Laurence, but he's about as exciting as a daytime talk show]). Lucifer has a reflection of these two in Asmodeus, but he doesn't dress himself up in such righteous terminology as "Judgement". He just goes out and kicks the sh!t out of demons who go against their bosses (who by and large are fairly autonomous, Satan just likes to knock any contenders down a peg). Every system needs some standards after all.
Of course, calling God Evil does not imply that all of his angels are evil. Novalis is probably as far from evil as you get, but put someone like Dominic in charge and everyone would be put to death to protect themselves ("This is for your own good. After all, if we kill you, then you can't commit any acts of heresy, can you?").
Alot of people probably have a problem with me seeing God as implicitly more evil than Satan when some of his Servitors are Death, War, and the media (spit), but I think that it is in the way that these two manifest themselves through their primary Superiors actions that is more important. God has a restrictive, conformist attitude, but Lucifer has a "go on, do whatever but just don't f*ck with me or you'll know about it" style to him. Plus he has the DP of Lust on his side :) (anyone got any good leering smileys?)
Alot of how the Big Two are perceived would come through in personal GMing styles and whether you are playing an Angelic or Demonic campaign (it's hard to run an angelic game when God is no better than those he is fighting against). Although I suspect it may all boil down to whether you prefer to be ruled by Darwin's Law (the big Red dude) or "Do what I say, not do what I do" (the grumpy old beard in a dress).
And whoever does win, I can't see it affecting Humans much either way. The track record of institutional religion does nothing to support the fact that all will be sweetness and light once heaven triumphs, and if the Hordes of Hell are victorious, the world will just become a little more fun and violent.
Points for Hell: no chance of another Inquisition (and the Catholic church as an institution [I'm not attacking Catholics personally]), TV, Drugs, Lust, Heavy Metal (and we all know those Bible bashing loonies have been calling it Satanic since AC/DC and JP) and we can probably credit them with alcohol too (the sixth food group).
Points for heaven: the world would be a safer place for animals (who deserve it much more than people anyway), no Lilim, (can't think of any others). Any others spring to mind??
Nathaniel Eliot wonders....:
Ummm - Thomas Aquinas wasn't very coherent, was he.
"He can't the impossible, but he still is omnipotent..."
Stacy Stroud (firstname.lastname@example.org) counters on Aquinas:
I think St. Thomas probably meant the *logically* impossible.
And I tend to agree with him.
We're not talking here about physical impossibilities like creating matter from nothing or giving life to the dead, but about things like making a square circle or causing 2+2 to equal seven.
The first group are "impossible" in that no one we know has enough power to accomplish them, but there is still nothing inherently contradictory in saying that such a thing *might* be done, given enough power. An omnipotent being presumably has the required level of power to accomplish any physical impossibility we can name.
The impossibility of the second group is not a matter of physical power, but of semantics. A square is defined by a certain set of criteria, a circle by another, and those two sets of criteria are mutually contradictory. By *definition* a square cannot also be a circle. (Oh, one could change the *words*, of course, but I'm referring to the concepts represented by the words.) Similarly, when we take the number of things signified by "two" and add the same number of things again, we are going to get four things, not seven. (Loaves-and-fishes miracles don't count here, since you're no longer really just adding two and two, but creating extra things from somewhere.)
See also my earlier post on the absurdity of asking whether God can make a rock He can't lift (and the equivalent question of what happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object).
Phrases like "square circle" are tricky, because we can *say* them, and it sounds like they *should* mean something. Similarly, we can ask the question about the irresistible force and the immovable object, and it sounds reasonable enough. But we're not really saying anything coherent in these cases. A "square circle" would have to be *both* a plane figure with four equal sides meeting in right angles, *and* a collection of points in a plane that are equidistant from a given center point. Presuming Euclidean geometry, there is *nothing* that meets both of these definitions simultaneously. Such a thing cannot exist without changing one of the definitions. In the case of the force/object question, we implicitly assume that a force *defined* as irresistible and an object *defined* as immovable exist in the same reality and can be pitted against one another. But if we have a *really* irresistible force, then by definition there *is no* immovable object, and vice versa.
Since no amount of raw power can make a logical impossibility possible, I side with St. Thomas in saying that it is no insult to God's omnipotence to say He cannot do the logically impossible.
John Karakash (email@example.com)
An idea that I haven't heard put forth is along the lines of 'The journey is the destination'. The Symphony is a work of art (whether strictly plotted or with a lot of improvisation is up to you). Eventually, perhaps, it will reach a creshendo and end... who knows?
Altenately we have God-as-Builder. God _can_ do anything, but some things are more convoluted than others. So He has some final product in mind but the _only_ way to do it is by having a Symphony to eventually produce it.
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