Theism & existence of Gods

From: JeffJErwin <>
Date: Tue, 28 Apr 1998 18:34:08 EDT

Richard Develyn wrote:

<<Ah, ok. I'll take this point on. What I meant by Orlanth was _the_ Storm God. What I was proposing was that if a god owns a rune, or rather owns the basic force which has been classified into a rune (to answer an earlier point you made), then if he is destroyed then that basic force has to go. So if it's not Orlanth, it's whatever _the_ Storm God is. This is just the theist approach, though.

I figure the Runes are the magical characteristics of the Gods. If a god is no longer worshipped, that combination of Runes loses its personality and mythic detrius, but still exists and has effects. A Storm god thus need not exist, if one admits the existence of the Air Rune... (and there is still wind and storms and so on) but the manifestation of Air/Movement/Mastery called Orlanth would disappear (at least in the daily life of people) if he ceased being worshipped (or people forgot how to worship him).
The reliability of Orlanth being a fixed, personal god with human like emotions and concerns depends on him having human worshippers who expect these things. but the magical (not mythic) construct of his Runes would remain. It may even imply certain personality traits (I don't know). Sorcerers know that the Runes exist. Everyone admits they exist (or admits that wind exists, etc), so ipso facto: there is magical or natural (same thing, in Glorantha) phenomena that are immutable. If Orlanth dies... his Runes, even the combination of those Runes, still exist. One can posit a hypothetical god for each combination of Runes, but one should acknowledge that one set of runes can have more than one god as well. Anyway, the only way to kill a god for good is to eliminate the knowledge to construct the god, in runes, myth, etc. Only Kajabor could do that. That is not possible by HQ alone; as the myth of the death of the god would now exist... certainly death does nothing in and of itself to undermine the god's existence? Take RW gods as an example, where symbolic death is the centerpiece of the religion... I feel that if Orlanth is slain, his death and resurrection would be the focus of the recontructed cult!

Jeff Erwin

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