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Perk89
01-11-2015, 01:53 AM
Some minor spoilers follow, obviously.

I just finished ACU last night and I have to say that I took issue with some things Arno said in his closing monologue. I should say, to give this post some context, that I am a Christian, and it was, naturally, his comments on God that have left me with a poor taste in my mouth. Let me say additionally that I have no qualms with a character who shares Arno's belief system. You will find, afterall, that I have no issue with Altair, whose codex entries in AC2 made it abundantly clear where he stood.

The reason I have a problem with one and not the other is simple-one is well done, and one is not.

Whereas Altair's codex entries show a man of who attained his philosophical panderings through personal growth and revelation in a time where he would've been in a small minority, Arno's feel extremely forced, not doing anything to separate him from his fellow citizens who were, as ACU pointed out, upset with the Catholic church and it's corruption. Naturally, I'm not saying that one has to be "against the grain" in terms of ideology for their beliefs to held in higher regard, but there was a natural progression in Altair's philosophy becoming what it was, whereas Arno's was well.... Pretty random.He does attempt to connect his commentary on religion to his commentary on the Creed (no, not the three tenet one, the other Creed) but ultimately, I think that's what bothers me most of all.

Arno tries to paint the Creed "Nothing Is True, Everything Is Permitted" as some kind of philosophical opposition to religion, and paint religion as nothing more than a "God waiting in the afterlife to judge you all you've done so so wrong!" This is such a shallow, incorrect, surface view of religion that it was honestly kind of disappointing that Ubisoft had it in the game after all the work they have done throughout the series to paint everyone in a correct, well thought-out, in depth light. It was such a shallow oversimplification that it was, quite frankly a bit offensive. It felt like a writer at Ubisoft grinding his own personal axe rather than an Assassin who had gone through life changing experiences and learned a lot about himself and the world as we saw with Ezio's Embers monologue and Connor's cut AC3 bit (which were both incredible.)

Nothing is true, everything is permitted as a warning (to use Arno's own words) is, in a manner of speaking, a fundamental principle of religion. To try and paint it as some opposing ideology is a misunderstanding of what religion is, and by extension, seems to make the whole series stand against it as well (which would be an extreme violation of the Assassin's acceptance doctrine as it is.)


I like this series. I've been here for the up's and down's. It's probably my favorite gaming series behind Fallout (seriously Bethesda it's time to announce FO4). My convictions as a man though, stand before my personal interests, and while I'm not threatening to quit, if the series takes this stance, I'm gonna have to leave it be.

Anyways, I don't intend to sound super dee duper serious. This is just something that's been on my mind and I wanted to share, in hopes that Ubi may see it. If there is any discussion, let's keep it civil, as this thread was never intended to stir up controversy, simply me sharing something that has irked me and put a bad taste in my mouth on the series (and Arno, whom I thought was an okay character until that moment of well.... ignorance, tbh.)


Anyways, if you feel like I misunderstood the ending or such, I am totally open to hearing it.

Altair1789
01-11-2015, 02:07 AM
You have a point, but in the end they're not trying to impose religious beliefs on you. After all, every game there's that "multicultural team of various religious faiths and beliefs" notification. It definitely stood out in my mind though, and I kinda thought that was strange/ unrelated to say, even though I know all this first civ stuff proves atheism in the AC Universe. The context of this speech isn't very fresh in my mind though

Assassin_M
01-11-2015, 02:27 AM
As a Muslim, I can see where you're coming from and how it would feel forced. I have to say, though that Altair's atheism (or at least non-religiousness) was tackled a couple of times in AC I. The first time was when Al-Mualim asks him what is the truth (Which I think is one of the finest pieces of dialogue ever). Altair states that truth is placing faith in one's self and then goes on to state the meaning of transcendence. Which he continues to mean that laws arise not from divinity but reason. Arno reaches a very similar conclusion. I suppose Altair's arc is much clearer and more concise, since it's about wisdom and that's its only focus. Arno's resolution sort of comes out of nowhere because there's no set up for it.

When people sometimes criticize AC II for its allegedly blasphemous retorts against the church, I laugh because AC I did it WAAAAAY worse. AC I was SO much about religion that I hardly recognize the franchise sometimes in later games. The theme of religion and god was so ingrained in the story of AC I that it represented a lot of things and looking at Arno's speech in comparison to AC I, it seems so mild.

I suppose one could say that the writer used Arno's dependence. He always needed someone to depend on to function properly. That ties in with the notion that a lot of atheists think that religious people are weak and so cling to the idea of a creator and sustainer to feel safe and good about ourselves. This monologue serves to hammer the point that Arno no longer depends on others for safety, he's become his own man. Sure, he shows no religious allegiance in the game (Which again makes this feel forced) but it relates to the point about dependence. I didn't mind it.

wvstolzing
01-11-2015, 03:48 AM
I'm not going to lie -- as a committed atheist, that bit of the monologue made me smile, possibly for the second time during my entire playthrough.

But it was somewhat uncharacteristically blunt, and I can see why someone might be offended by it.

HDinHB
01-11-2015, 04:23 AM
M is right. As bad as punching the Pope in the face was (even a corrupt Templar pope), I was researching some of the old cutscenes from AC1 and, though I might have raised an eyebrow during the game, taken out of context they were--well, I didn't remember some of the things they said. I think that might be part of what you're experiencing, the rest of the game didn't give a lot of context to Arno's final speech. His talk about dogma could just as easily apply to the Templars and the Assassin's Brotherhood. For those that don't remember it.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZWKR9eInfo


It will be interesting to see if they expand on this in Dead Kings.

SixKeys
01-11-2015, 05:09 AM
Nothing is true, everything is permitted as a warning (to use Arno's own words) is, in a manner of speaking, a fundamental principle of religion. To try and paint it as some opposing ideology is a misunderstanding of what religion is, and by extension, seems to make the whole series stand against it as well (which would be an extreme violation of the Assassin's acceptance doctrine as it is.)

Um, no. That's completely backwards. Almost ALL religions claim they have the ultimate truth and they ALL have a metric ton of rules about what is not permitted. Religion is the antithesis of the Creed. The Creed says there IS no ultimate truth, therefore no-one can claim it, and there ARE no rules saying what is permitted. The only limitations on humanity are the ones we place upon ourselves. The assassins' doctrine isn't acceptance, it's freedom. We're not meant to accept everything (that would mean the assassins accepting Templar actions, after all), but we are free to make our own choices and should strive to protect others' freedoms.

I'm surprised it's taken you this long to get offended at the anti-religious messages in AC. The early games were far more obvious about it. In AC1, Al Mualim flat-out states that Jesus and Moses were charlatans. "The Red Sea was never parted, water never turned to wine. Illusions, all of them!" In one of the e-mails Desmond finds on Vidic's computer, it talks about a number of possible Pieces of Eden, including the Holy Grail, which just so happens to be the only one Abstergo rules out as "purely mythical".
In AC2, the Pope has a whole speech about how blind the masses are to believe in God and that the things he has seen have convinced him there's no such thing. In his Codex, Altaïr calls gods "invisible monsters" and hopes humanity will one day move past such notions. Minerva and Juno explain that all the gods humanity has worshipped throughout its entire existence were basically legends based on TWCB. Both Altaïr and Ezio's explanations of the Creed are humanist in nature, talking about the importance of personal responsibility precisely because there is no higher authority watching over us and no ultimate morality to adhere to. The newer games have actually shied away from such obvious controversies, which I think is a shame.

Perk89
01-11-2015, 05:29 AM
Um, no. That's completely backwards. Almost ALL religions claim they have the ultimate truth and they ALL have a metric ton of rules about what is not permitted. Religion is the antithesis of the Creed. The Creed says there IS no ultimate truth, therefore no-one can claim it, and there ARE no rules saying what is permitted. The only limitations on humanity are the ones we place upon ourselves. The assassins' doctrine isn't acceptance, it's freedom. We're not meant to accept everything (that would mean the assassins accepting Templar actions, after all), but we are free to make our own choices and should strive to protect others' freedoms.


with all due respect, this is a horrid new-age understanding of what religion is. Your perception that it's merely a black/white morality code demonstrates an extremely limited understanding of religion as a whole. To try and paint them as opposing ideologies to one another is clear misunderstanding of religion-and the morality within it.


and I had no problem with it in previous games because, as I stated above, it made sense within the narrative and the character's motivations/response to their culture. This isn't the case in Unity, which pretty explicitly and extremely spontaneously portrays Arno as some prejudice/ignorant religious detractor for no other reason than an attempt to toss out some "super awesome, deeply philosophical" spill in spite of the fact that there were no readily apparent reasons for these beliefs.

SixKeys
01-11-2015, 06:03 AM
with all due respect, this is a horrid new-age understanding of what religion is. Your perception that it's merely a black/white morality code demonstrates an extremely limited understanding of religion as a whole. To try and paint them as opposing ideologies to one another is clear misunderstanding of religion-and the morality within it.


and I had no problem with it in previous games because, as I stated above, it made sense within the narrative and the character's motivations/response to their culture. This isn't the case in Unity, which pretty explicitly and extremely spontaneously portrays Arno as some prejudice/ignorant religious detractor for no other reason than an attempt to toss out some "super awesome, deeply philosophical" spill in spite of the fact that there were no readily apparent reasons for these beliefs.

I agree that Arno's monologue was extremely out of the blue and the religion stuff felt very out of place. I didn't care for it.

I don't understand why you think my view on religion is "new-agey" though. Please tell me exactly what I said that was so wrong. Do religions generally NOT claim to have some form of ultimate truth? Do they NOT have rules about what is and isn't permitted?

Altair1789
01-11-2015, 06:08 AM
This whole game has a lot of atheistic ideas, but they usually aren't too aggressive. Well, not since AC1. In the end, it's just a game

VestigialLlama4
01-11-2015, 07:40 AM
The closing monologue should bother people because it is APPALLINGLY BAD WRITING, just like the rest of the game. Arno is a TERRIBLE one-dimensional character unworthy of insight or serious reflection. There's no reason to get into hurt religious feelings because it is aesthetically offensive anyway.


As for the religion stuff. What he says is "There's no Supreme Being to guide us". The Supreme Being refers specifically to an incident we see in the game, Robespierre's "Festival of the Supreme Being" a Civic Deism festival. What Arno was making fun was that after having a Revolution, people came up with another idea of God to follow rather than following their own instincts. The revolution attacked the Catholic Church and ended up creating something not very different from it. That's the point of view of the game and Arno's take on it.

Historically, civic deism and the Festival itself wasn't as simple a thing as its made out here, since Robespierre's deism was common among the Founding Fathers and even his critic Thomas Paine (who after being released started Deist temples in Paris, and he was the author of the first anti-Christian book, The Age of Reason, which is a Deist pamphlet at the end of the day).


Do religions generally NOT claim to have some form of ultimate truth? Do they NOT have rules about what is and isn't permitted?

Religions claim that the world and universe is vast that the Gods are powerful and unknowable and every human being is equal before its authority. It asserts moral values on tolerance, compassion, forgiveness and humility. Not that different from western liberal sentiments(which is essentially a secular variation on the same set of ethics). And it's more or less the same as the Assassin's Creed, remember the moral of AC1 and Altair's entire life journey is "He who increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow" that comes from the Ecclesiastes.

wvstolzing
01-11-2015, 08:04 AM
Religions claim that the world and universe is vast that the Gods are powerful and unknowable and every human being is equal before its authority. It asserts moral values on tolerance, compassion, forgiveness and humility. Not that different from western liberal sentiments(which is essentially a secular variation on the same set of ethics).

This isn't the best place to start a discussion of this, but just two points:

i) I'm not sure about the plural at the end of 'religion(s)', which signals an unwarranted universal claim; you can pinpoint this or that variation of practically any religion that fits the criteria you list, but someone else would come up with an equal number of counterexamples. Let's not go into the example of the 'Christianity' of people who bomb abortion clinics, and the 'Islam' of the people who carried out the Charlie Hebdo attack.

ii) About the roots of 'western liberal' notions of freedom & equality in Christian teaching ... well, another huge topic, about which I'm inclined to say that the Enlightenment represents a complete transformation of certain ideals definitely inherited from Christianity. But insofar as that 'transformation' involves radically relocating the very *source* of the *justification* of normative claims from god to man's freedom as an *end in itself*, I'd say that there's a definite break. I'm hugely sympathetic to Christian ideals of compassion, humility, and equality; but when 'secularized', these notions don't contain a trace of the extra-human 'judge'.

Hans684
01-11-2015, 11:39 AM
He's talking about

http://assassinscreed.wikia.com/wiki/Those_Who_Came_Before

Their the Supreme Being, the higher power he talks about. There is no god in AC, simply a civilization that came before.

avk111
01-11-2015, 02:03 PM
To the original Poster,

Was Arno religious ? I dont remember any scene saying so.

It true that his monolgue seems out of place for Arno, but I think if you connect it to the creed of the assassins , then he is right, assassins have a cult like hatered towards templars, this does not make it justifiable to start killing every templar, even if your idealogies are not the same.

Biggest example is Connor and Haytham , Connor realized Haytham was an ok fella thus he tried his best to stay at peace with him , however Haytham insisted on having Charles Lee as a leader instead of Washington, so it seems Haytham is the idealist / fanatic.

As for ACU, you guys have seen how Elise and her father were people looking for other people's interest although they were templars, Arno realised it and even promised Elise that he will do his best to bring them both together.

Hans684
01-11-2015, 02:08 PM
To the original Poster,

Was Arno religious ? I dont remember any scene saying so.

It true that his monolgue seems out of place for Arno, but I think if you connect it to the creed of the assassins , then he is right, assassins have a cult like hatered towards templars, this does not make it justifiable to start killing every templar, even if your idealogies are not the same.

Biggest example is Connor and Haytham , Connor realized Haytham was an ok fella thus he tried his best to stay at peace with him , however Haytham insisted on having Charles Lee as a leader instead of Washington, so it seems Haytham is the idealist / fanatic.

As for ACU, you guys have seen how Elise and her father were people looking for other people's interest although they were templars, Arno realised it and even promised Elise that he will do his best to bring them both together.

Connor ended their peace, he was the one who said they're done and if they indeed to follow of oppose him. Then he would kill them. Charles Lee isn't a big deal in the case, they had a truce but Connor broke it and it was not because of Haytham wanting Lee instead.

ParkTyGreen
01-11-2015, 02:57 PM
To be honest, I'm surprised the assassins and Templars don't complain about religion MORE, since they know the true origins of humanity in the AC universe.

D.I.D.
01-11-2015, 06:37 PM
Didn't seem that way to me. It was part of a speech about not accepting anyone's (i.e. human) authority over you, and he took that up to the level of gods. Can you believe in a god without feeling ruled by a god? I think people can, and many do.

It does seem like a sudden thing with no precedent in the story. I think perhaps there were things cut which would have made more sense of this speech. In terms of the setting, it's weird how few challenges to religion there are in Unity because it was such a big part of the Revolution. Throwing off the yoke of royal rule was intensely bound up in the rejection of the religion which supported the monarch's right to rule. This was the last gasp of the claim of European kings and queens to be ordained by the Christian god, and they were much more careful in the two centuries since then about how to describe and enforce power on that basis.

SixKeys
01-11-2015, 08:33 PM
Religions claim that the world and universe is vast that the Gods are powerful and unknowable and every human being is equal before its authority. It asserts moral values on tolerance, compassion, forgiveness and humility. Not that different from western liberal sentiments(which is essentially a secular variation on the same set of ethics). And it's more or less the same as the Assassin's Creed, remember the moral of AC1 and Altair's entire life journey is "He who increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow" that comes from the Ecclesiastes.

There are thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of religions in the world. Which ones are you referring to? Because I can think of several that at least at one point or another have claimed that Earth is the center of the universe (old Catholicism), that tolerance and compassion are for the weak (Satanism), that gods have limited and very specific powers (Greek mythology), that some races are superior to others (Mormonism), that women are subordinate to men (modern Christianity) etc. Not all religions hold the same beliefs they once did, but in Arno's time most of the ones about inequality were still very much alive.

That Ecclesiastes quote was used by Al Mualim. He was the one who lost himself to greed and gave up his once-noble principles. He lost hope for humanity, whereas Altaïr obviously retained his, otherwise he wouldn't have kept fighting for people's right to free will. It's true that Altaïr despaired the more he learned, but he also made some huge improvements to the assassin order in his lifetime and beyond. Thanks to his inventions the brotherhood was able to survive longer than they would have had they stuck to the old ways of life.

Jackdaw951
01-11-2015, 09:23 PM
Um, no. That's completely backwards. Almost ALL religions claim they have the ultimate truth and they ALL have a metric ton of rules about what is not permitted. Religion is the antithesis of the Creed. The Creed says there IS no ultimate truth, therefore no-one can claim it, and there ARE no rules saying what is permitted. The only limitations on humanity are the ones we place upon ourselves. The assassins' doctrine isn't acceptance, it's freedom. We're not meant to accept everything (that would mean the assassins accepting Templar actions, after all), but we are free to make our own choices and should strive to protect others' freedoms.


No, you misunderstand completely.

Since we're baring our souls here, let me start out by saying I'm agnostic, meaning I don't know the motive force behind the universe any better than the residents of an anthill know why they're being blasted by the exhaust of a rocket launch nearby. I don't know the source of creation, and neither does anyone else, regardless of what they believe.

But I was raised a Catholic. Catholicism, like other Christian faiths, teaches that we all have free will. Nothing is forbidden. Everything is permitted. But we will all be judged in the afterlife based on whether we used that free will for good or evil. So you see, the OP is absolutely correct.

SixKeys
01-11-2015, 11:23 PM
No, you misunderstand completely.

Since we're baring our souls here, let me start out by saying I'm agnostic, meaning I don't know the motive force behind the universe any better than the residents of an anthill know why they're being blasted by the exhaust of a rocket launch nearby. I don't know the source of creation, and neither does anyone else, regardless of what they believe.

But I was raised a Catholic. Catholicism, like other Christian faiths, teaches that we all have free will. Nothing is forbidden. Everything is permitted. But we will all be judged in the afterlife based on whether we used that free will for good or evil. So you see, the OP is absolutely correct.

If your "reward" for choosing freely is eternal torture, that's not free will. That's like a mafia boss showing up at your door saying "you can pay me up or I'll kill your whole family. The choice is yours". Sure, technically you have a choice there but in practice? Not really.

Assassin_M
01-12-2015, 02:03 AM
Sure, technically you have a choice there but in practice? Not really.
There are consequences to everything. Every single act. There's no one path in life that wont have harm. Self harm or harm on others. Saying that because consequences exist then free will is negated is quite wrong. Sure, to you, and every other atheist, nothing is worth eternal punishment but really, if you're believing in a creator and sustainer then you're agreeing that he knows everything and he knows what's worth it and what's not.

Arent you freely choosing not to believe? Do you have no free will? Of course you do. Yeah, you can say "Oh no, i have free will because he doesn't exist" but again, we'd be start over. We'll go in circles. Fact is, you can't expect not to have consequences for actions and beliefs and even IF you do admit that everything has consequence, you can't say that it negates free will because it doesn't.

SixKeys
01-12-2015, 02:15 AM
There are consequences to everything. Every single act. There's no one path in life that wont have harm. Self harm or harm on others. Saying that because consequences exist then free will is negated is quite wrong. Sure, to you, and every other atheist, nothing is worth eternal punishment but really, if you're believing in a creator and sustainer then you're agreeing that he knows everything and he knows what's worth it and what's not.

Arent you freely choosing not to believe? Do you have no free will? Of course you do. Yeah, you can say "Oh no, i have free will because he doesn't exist" but again, we'd be start over. We'll go in circles. Fact is, you can't expect not to have consequences for actions and beliefs and even IF you do admit that everything has consequence, you can't say that it negates free will because it doesn't.

IF we consider the idea that there is a creator who wants people to make choices rather than just being told what to do (which is a belief held by many believers), then threatening is hardly the right way to go about it. It's not free will if you give people one absolutely terrible option and one that basically forces you to comply with what the one with all the power wants. Especially when it comes to matters of faith and morality. It's not free will to force someone to believe in something. That's not something you CAN force. The best you can do is make them lie to you and others. Remember witch hunts or the Inquisition? People were told to confess evil deeds or be tortured. There was really no choice because they ended up being tortured either way. If they denied guilt, they were tortured until they lied. And once they got that false confession out of you, they were free to torture you some more.

That's exactly the problem with many religions' approach to having a "choice" to believe. Belief is not a matter of choice. You can't just will yourself to believe you can fly. But religions say "either you will yourself to believe you can fly, or we'll throw you off this building. Your choice." Either way you end up dead.

Assassin_M
01-12-2015, 03:30 AM
IF we consider the idea that there is a creator who wants people to make choices rather than just being told what to do (which is a belief held by many believers), then threatening is hardly the right way to go about it. It's not free will if you give people one absolutely terrible option and one that basically forces you to comply with what the one with all the power wants. Especially when it comes to matters of faith and morality. It's not free will to force someone to believe in something. That's not something you CAN force. The best you can do is make them lie to you and others. Remember witch hunts or the Inquisition? People were told to confess evil deeds or be tortured. There was really no choice because they ended up being tortured either way. If they denied guilt, they were tortured until they lied. And once they got that false confession out of you, they were free to torture you some more.

That's exactly the problem with many religions' approach to having a "choice" to believe. Belief is not a matter of choice. You can't just will yourself to believe you can fly. But religions say "either you will yourself to believe you can fly, or we'll throw you off this building. Your choice." Either way you end up dead.
What threat? Why are you not considering the reward? Eternal bliss? An equal opposite to eternal bliss is eternal torture, there can't be different scales. It's not a threat when there IS a reward, especially when you're not FORCED to make a choice right when you stand. As I said, the difference between the inquisition and the witch hunts and free will that's perfectly compatible with Religious belief is that the earlier is a present, a now. Believe RIGHT NOW or we'll torture you until you believe or we'll kill you. That's hardly the same as god's decree of reward and punishment. As I said, all paths in life have consequences.

If you were given a choice of life or death and then are told life threatens to be sad, miserable, tragic...etc, You choose life anyway. Were you not free in that choice? Are you not free now not believing? Are you somehow forced to believe? are you tortured? sure, there's the threat but NOW, what are you now? If the consequence was a threat and thus free will was negated, isn't that contradictory to what's happening now? You freely not believing? If the threat was so forceful, wouldn't EVERYONE believe? Geeyosh, that'd be so easy, wouldn't it?

Perk89
01-12-2015, 04:06 AM
No, you misunderstand completely.

Since we're baring our souls here, let me start out by saying I'm agnostic, meaning I don't know the motive force behind the universe any better than the residents of an anthill know why they're being blasted by the exhaust of a rocket launch nearby. I don't know the source of creation, and neither does anyone else, regardless of what they believe.

But I was raised a Catholic. Catholicism, like other Christian faiths, teaches that we all have free will. Nothing is forbidden. Everything is permitted. But we will all be judged in the afterlife based on whether we used that free will for good or evil. So you see, the OP is absolutely correct.


This is is exactly it. If we are to take the creed as Ezio, and now Arno, say it to mean, which is that man is free to choose his own path, to live his life as he sees it, the way he wants-but also has to understand the responsibilities, burdens, consequences, and overall accountability of his choices-then 'Everything is permitted' is the fundamental bedrock of Christian creationism and various other belief systems.

One could say "but how can everything be permitted if the consequences for my actions can lead to something bad?!" as a counter, but they would be missing the point-there can be no true freedom if there is no negative consequence for our choices. Freedom without the ability to fail isn't actual freedom, it's merely an illusion.In my case, as a Christian, this is the reasoning for the Tree of knowledge of good and evil in the first place-if there was no opportunity to err, no punishment to face, no choice to make and consequence to face, then there is no freedom. This is what the Creed is saying. We are free-free to live, free to mess up, and without that, free to face the consequences of those choices. Which is where Salvation from Jesus comes into play in the Christian doctrine-someone else took on the burden of the negative consequences in our place.

SixKeys
01-12-2015, 04:47 AM
What threat? Why are you not considering the reward? Eternal bliss? An equal opposite to eternal bliss is eternal torture, there can't be different scales. It's not a threat when there IS a reward, especially when you're not FORCED to make a choice right when you stand. As I said, the difference between the inquisition and the witch hunts and free will that's perfectly compatible with Religious belief is that the earlier is a present, a now. Believe RIGHT NOW or we'll torture you until you believe or we'll kill you. That's hardly the same as god's decree of reward and punishment. As I said, all paths in life have consequences.

But the reward is only available to those who force themselves to LIE. If God is all-powerful and all-knowing, wouldn't he already know who is and isn't going to turn out a believer way ahead of time? If he knows every person inside out, then he would know exactly what kind of evidence is necessary to turn that particular person into a believer. Instead, most religions rely on vague promises of rewards and threats of eternal punishment.

There should be consequences to our actions, but those consequences should be logical. If you use your brain to explore every path that you think is logical given what you know about the world, and you happen to arrive at the conclusion that there is no God, and at the end of your life God appears to you and says: "Sorry, I know you did your best to believe in me and did not find the evidence you were looking for. I know that if you could have believed, you would have. But them's the rules. You have to be a believer at the end of your life even if you couldn't figure out how. Too bad, you're going to Hell. Should've learned to lie better, kiddo."

How does that make sense? If a mafia boss shows up at my door and demand that I pay or be killed, at least there's likely to be a logical reason I got into that situation in the first place. I must have gotten myself into debt and made promises I couldn't keep, and now the mob has shown up demanding what's theirs. Their methods may be screwed up, but at least I can see the logical steps that led to me being in that position.

With faith, though? You have a thousand different denominations banging at your door, all of them with contradicting beliefs.
"Our god says you will go to Hell if you're a homosexual!"
"No, that's wrong! Our god says that would never happen! You only go to Hell if you get a divorce!"
"You fools, don't listen to them! My god says you go to Hell if you eat pork on a Sunday!"
So out of these thousands of beliefs I'm somehow supposed to intuitively pick the right one. Say I just go with whatever makes the most sense to me. I die, end up in Hell and the Devil shrugs and goes: "Yeah, I don't get it either. I was sure the Jews had it right. But I guess you just had to take a wild guess. Take it up with the big man upstairs."

There's no logical step that leads from, say, the statement "I am a homosexual" to the logical conclusion that "therefore, I deserve eternal punishment". You need religion for that extra step. Which religion, though? How do you know which one's got it right? How can you know which consequences you can expect for your actions if every religion says something different?


This is is exactly it. If we are to take the creed as Ezio, and now Arno, say it to mean, which is that man is free to choose his own path, to live his life as he sees it, the way he wants-but also has to understand the responsibilities, burdens, consequences, and overall accountability of his choices-then 'Everything is permitted' is the fundamental bedrock of Christian creationism and various other belief systems.

One could say "but how can everything be permitted if the consequences for my actions can lead to something bad?!" as a counter, but they would be missing the point-there can be no true freedom if there is no negative consequence for our choices. Freedom without the ability to fail isn't actual freedom, it's merely an illusion.In my case, as a Christian, this is the reasoning for the Tree of knowledge of good and evil in the first place-if there was no opportunity to err, no punishment to face, no choice to make and consequence to face, then there is no freedom. This is what the Creed is saying. We are free-free to live, free to mess up, and without that, free to face the consequences of those choices. Which is where Salvation from Jesus comes into play in the Christian doctrine-someone else took on the burden of the negative consequences in our place.

The difference between the Creed and religion is that the Creed teaches that YOU are the one choosing what is morally right and wrong. Not a higher authority. We are supposed to figure out for ourselves what is the right action in every situation. In religion, we are TOLD what is supposedly the right action. We're told that if we do this, then we get this reward, or if we don't do this, we get this punishment. Our fate is decided by a higher power. That's why the Creed is the complete opposite of religion. The Templar ideology is much closer to religion. Order and peace that stems from control and obedience. They think there are some people who are natural born leaders and the rest of humanity is so weak they can't be allowed to fend for themselves. This is very much in line with the typical religious hierarchy of priests and clerics shepherding over the sinful, ignorant masses.

Altair1789
01-12-2015, 05:03 AM
Let's not delve into religious arguments. This is just a video game forum after all

How about we all just go back to peacefully and positively discussing the game. We've mostly agreed that the speech was out of the blue, and who knows, maybe Dead Kings will fill in the gap, but we don't need to start fighting and denouncing other people's beliefs (not saying that anyone was, but it might escalate to that)

SixKeys
01-12-2015, 05:11 AM
Let's not delve into religious arguments. This is just a video game forum after all

How about we all just go back to peacefully and positively discussing the game. We've mostly agreed that the speech was out of the blue, and who knows, maybe Dead Kings will fill in the gap, but we don't need to start fighting and denouncing other people's beliefs (not saying that anyone was, but it might escalate to that)

IMO the discussion was staying very civil, but yeah, there's probably not much point in getting too far into it.

avk111
01-12-2015, 02:09 PM
Connor ended their peace, he was the one who said they're done and if they indeed to follow of oppose him. Then he would kill them. Charles Lee isn't a big deal in the case, they had a truce but Connor broke it and it was not because of Haytham wanting Lee instead.


Nope,

Here is the evidence:



Connor: The tides of war are turning. The Loyalists fall back beneath the advancing Patriot army, their hold on this land weakening by the day. But the Templars only seem to grow stronger. Though fewer in number, the threat they pose appears undiminished. Making matters worse, Washington chose to spare the life of Charles Lee. I am told he has taken refuge inside Fort George, and so my days are spent searching for a way to breach its walls. Of my father, there is no trace. And I am glad of it. If I can be rid of Lee, there may still be a chance for reconciliation - and through it, peace.

RuNfAtBoYrUn740
01-12-2015, 02:46 PM
But the reward is only available to those who force themselves to LIE. If God is all-powerful and all-knowing, wouldn't he already know who is and isn't going to turn out a believer way ahead of time? If he knows every person inside out, then he would know exactly what kind of evidence is necessary to turn that particular person into a believer. Instead, most religions rely on vague promises of rewards and threats of eternal punishment.

There should be consequences to our actions, but those consequences should be logical. If you use your brain to explore every path that you think is logical given what you know about the world, and you happen to arrive at the conclusion that there is no God, and at the end of your life God appears to you and says: "Sorry, I know you did your best to believe in me and did not find the evidence you were looking for. I know that if you could have believed, you would have. But them's the rules. You have to be a believer at the end of your life even if you couldn't figure out how. Too bad, you're going to Hell. Should've learned to lie better, kiddo."

How does that make sense? If a mafia boss shows up at my door and demand that I pay or be killed, at least there's likely to be a logical reason I got into that situation in the first place. I must have gotten myself into debt and made promises I couldn't keep, and now the mob has shown up demanding what's theirs. Their methods may be screwed up, but at least I can see the logical steps that led to me being in that position.

With faith, though? You have a thousand different denominations banging at your door, all of them with contradicting beliefs.
"Our god says you will go to Hell if you're a homosexual!"
"No, that's wrong! Our god says that would never happen! You only go to Hell if you get a divorce!"
"You fools, don't listen to them! My god says you go to Hell if you eat pork on a Sunday!"
So out of these thousands of beliefs I'm somehow supposed to intuitively pick the right one. Say I just go with whatever makes the most sense to me. I die, end up in Hell and the Devil shrugs and goes: "Yeah, I don't get it either. I was sure the Jews had it right. But I guess you just had to take a wild guess. Take it up with the big man upstairs."

There's no logical step that leads from, say, the statement "I am a homosexual" to the logical conclusion that "therefore, I deserve eternal punishment". You need religion for that extra step. Which religion, though? How do you know which one's got it right? How can you know which consequences you can expect for your actions if every religion says something different?



The difference between the Creed and religion is that the Creed teaches that YOU are the one choosing what is morally right and wrong. Not a higher authority. We are supposed to figure out for ourselves what is the right action in every situation. In religion, we are TOLD what is supposedly the right action. We're told that if we do this, then we get this reward, or if we don't do this, we get this punishment. Our fate is decided by a higher power. That's why the Creed is the complete opposite of religion. The Templar ideology is much closer to religion. Order and peace that stems from control and obedience. They think there are some people who are natural born leaders and the rest of humanity is so weak they can't be allowed to fend for themselves. This is very much in line with the typical religious hierarchy of priests and clerics shepherding over the sinful, ignorant masses.

Couldn't have said it better myself.

As a pretty hardcore atheist and anti-theist for the past few decades I enjoy these types of debates. Always very interesting.

But to answer the OP, I did find it a bit surprising. It was definitely quite blunt, but I must admit I couldn't help but smile when he said that.

To be fair though is it really that hard to deal with? I've played a lot of games where religious institutions have been incorporated into the game itself. Doesn't really mean I threaten to quit the series. It's just a belief after-all.

RuNfAtBoYrUn740
01-12-2015, 02:49 PM
Let's not delve into religious arguments. This is just a video game forum after all

How about we all just go back to peacefully and positively discussing the game. We've mostly agreed that the speech was out of the blue, and who knows, maybe Dead Kings will fill in the gap, but we don't need to start fighting and denouncing other people's beliefs (not saying that anyone was, but it might escalate to that)

I didn't really think it was an argument. I thought it was a pretty interesting discussion.

As long as people don't resort to ad hominum and threats of hell like youtube commenters lol.

RuNfAtBoYrUn740
01-12-2015, 02:51 PM
Arno, whom I thought was an okay character until that moment of well.... ignorance, tbh.).

Are you trying to say that Arno is ignorant for being atheistic? If so... come on man.

VestigialLlama4
01-12-2015, 04:27 PM
Not all religions hold the same beliefs they once did, but in Arno's time most of the ones about inequality were still very much alive.

Actually in the French Revolution, quite a few priests were supportive of change. The game doesn't mention them of course (since its depiction of history is a total lie from beginning to end). The Bishop Henri Gregoire was one such, one of the most important abolitionists and anti-racists of that period (he also opposed Napoleon's plan to restore Church privileges), then Jacques Roux, an early anarchist, who the game maligns as a psycho-killer for no sane reason. The fact is that the vast majority of history was deeply influenced by religion and denying it or saying it was all bad, saying that some few token hypocrisies slander the entire thing isn't much of an argument.


That Ecclesiastes quote was used by Al Mualim.

It doesn't matter, the way the quote is used by the game, makes it applicable to Altair's entire story. It comes at the very end of AC1 (we don't see Al Mualim state it, and its delivered over Altair's movements) and we hear it again in ACR right before Altair dies.

Hans684
01-12-2015, 04:39 PM
Nope,

Here is the evidence:



Connor: The tides of war are turning. The Loyalists fall back beneath the advancing Patriot army, their hold on this land weakening by the day. But the Templars only seem to grow stronger. Though fewer in number, the threat they pose appears undiminished. Making matters worse, Washington chose to spare the life of Charles Lee. I am told he has taken refuge inside Fort George, and so my days are spent searching for a way to breach its walls. Of my father, there is no trace. And I am glad of it. If I can be rid of Lee, there may still be a chance for reconciliation - and through it, peace.


Don't, just don't.

http://assassinscreed.wikia.com/wiki/Broken_Trust

Connor: The British have recalled their men in Philadelphia. They march for New York.
George: Very well. I'll move our forces to Monmouth. If we can rout them, we'll have finally turned the tide.
Haytham: And what's this?
George: Private correspondence!
Haytham: Of course it is. Would you like to know what it says, Connor? It seems your good friend here has just ordered an attack on your village. Although attack might be putting it mildly. Tell him, Commander.
George: We've been receiving reports of allied natives working with the British. I've asked my men to put a stop to it.
Haytham: By burning their villages, and salting the land. By calling for their extermination, according to this letter. Not the first time either. Tell him what you did fourteen years ago.

Connor warning Washington and Haytham to not interfere

George: That was another time. The Seven Years' War.
Haytham: And so now you see what happens to this "great man" when under duress. He makes excuses, displaces blame. Does a great many things, in fact - except take responsibility.
Connor: Enough! Who did what and why must wait. My people come first.
Haytham: Then let's be off.
Connor: No. You and I are finished.
Haytham: Son...
Connor: Do you think me so soft that by calling me son I might change my mind? How long did you sit on this information? Or am I to believe you discovered it now? My mother's blood may stain another's hands, but Charles Lee is no less a monster, and all he does, he does by your command. A warning to you both - choose to follow me or oppose me and I will kill you.

Connor broke it. The quote you have is after the broken truce.

SteelCity999
01-12-2015, 04:41 PM
Arno's monologue actually makes sense given the context and backdrop of Untiy's story. It comes a bit out of nowhere because it's not addressed conspicuously during the game, but the undertones of his words are throughout the game.

Kings were supposedly given their power to rule by God - they were entitled. The French Revolution rejected these ideals, and thereby rejected the idea that God has a master plan. It gave rise to the idea of freewill of the people and the ability of man to govern themselves. However, in response to the rejection of the monarchy, the freewill ideals gave rise to other corruptible factions.

Arno also makes a point to mention how the decisions we make are ours alone. How those decisions can shape our history and how decisions, or actions (such as Arno's in the beginning), can shape events but never make it into the history books.

There should have been more in the story to flesh this out....

VestigialLlama4
01-12-2015, 05:06 PM
Arno's monologue actually makes sense given the context and backdrop of Untiy's story. It comes a bit out of nowhere because it's not addressed conspicuously during the game, but the undertones of his words are throughout the game.

Well if you look at the full quote, it doesn't make any sense at all. I mean if you want, you can read it that Arno is a self-decieving hypocrite who lies to himself.

The Creed of the Assassin Brotherhood teaches us that nothing is forbidden to us. Once, I thought that meant we were free to do as we would. To pursue our ideals, no matter the cost.

Actually, when was this? In the entire game, Arno is this bleeding heart softy who wants to take the path of least resistance. Here he's sounding like he used to be Sequence 1 Altair. Again a quote that does not come out of what we see in the character in the story and gameplay but imposed externally to form a phony moral.

I understand now. Not a grant of permission. The Creed is a warning. Ideals too easily give way to dogma. Dogma becomes fanaticism. No higher power sits in judgment of us. No supreme being watches to punish us for our sins. In the end, only we ourselves can guard against our obsessions.

In other words, I tried to save Elise but she was too obsessed with avenging her father, so she totes deserved to die. and I am alive not because I am a male and white, and so Franchise-Worthy but because I was the pragmatic, rational type. Women, amirite?

Only we can decide whether the road we walk carries too high a toll. We believe ourselves redeemers, avengers, saviors. We make war on those who oppose us, and they in turn make war on us.


Now from this insight you would think Arno is tired of the Assassins-Templar bulls--t and decides to call it quits. Or he's making a criticism about it.

We dream of leaving our stamp upon the word... even as we give our lives in a conflict that will be recorded in no history book. All that we do, all that we are, begins and ends with ourselves.

So even though I acknowledge that I am furthering a pointless, self-defeating conflict which ended up leading some of my friends to a self-destructive end, I am going to continue to do the same thing but somehow not be considered of the same cloth. What's the word for people who do the same thing over-and-over again and expect things to change?

Obviously, the developers deluded as they were into making Arno an Ezio-Clone decided to give him his Bonfire-at-the-Vanities moment. Now personally, I thought the Bonfire moment was a tad overdone but it worked because it came out of the context of Ezio's friendship and camaraderie with the Assassins(to whom he sees in the Crowd). So it didn't feel pretentious but earnest(and like all earnest speeches it's awkward). In terms of insight, it doesn't come out of the character or insight, or his experiences at all.

To me the best quotes, in terms of representing the game or capturing the themes, comes from characters who are not Arno(in the final analysis a nonentity unworthy of insight). Since their insight comes from their characterization and decent writing.

Do you think it's the first time this has happened? The first time the Assassins have been forced to purge their leadership? The first time the Order has built itself back up from nothing to power? No. Masyaf, Monteriggioni, the American Colonies...it's all happened before, and we've risen anew, stronger than ever. But now...we've lost our purpose Arno. We mired ourselves in politics and revolutions. But we're not a nation. We're an army. And in an army, "making peace with the enemy" is called 'treason'.
- Pierre Bellec

La Touche: That's the thing with Assassins. Point them at a Templar conspiracy and they ask no questions. They go right for the killing. Predictable that way.


Mirabeau: For months, I have been wrangling the Brotherhood, the National Assembly and the King. Taken all together, they have the political acumen of an especially stupid village council.

Marquis de Sade: Ah, yes. Thank you, Arno. I take such pleasure imposing my will on others. Is that wrong?

SteelCity999
01-12-2015, 05:25 PM
^^
The problem with this thinking is that it assumes Arno cared about the assassins in the first place. Alex said it many times - that he used the order to accomplish his own ends. He has no allegiances and his only reason to be involved in he Assassin-Templar "war" was to further his own interests.

Jackdaw951
01-12-2015, 05:28 PM
I didn't really think it was an argument. I thought it was a pretty interesting discussion.

As long as people don't resort to ad hominum and threats of hell like youtube commenters lol.

Altair1789's post is perfectly placed in the thread. The discussion was staying completely civil, but then some judgmental rhetoric started filtering in. That's when things can get ugly. We should certainly keep the discussion centered on the thread's topic. We can't go wrong then.

Personally, I found Arno's interpretation of the Creed's tenets to make the most sense so far in the series. Up until then, they seemed too cryptic, as if intentionally obfuscated for mysterious effect. I had no issue with the monologue. In fact, I liked it. It was a good final touch.

Assassin_M
01-12-2015, 05:59 PM
But the reward is only available to those who force themselves to LIE. If God is all-powerful and all-knowing, wouldn't he already know who is and isn't going to turn out a believer way ahead of time? If he knows every person inside out, then he would know exactly what kind of evidence is necessary to turn that particular person into a believer. Instead, most religions rely on vague promises of rewards and threats of eternal punishment.

There should be consequences to our actions, but those consequences should be logical. If you use your brain to explore every path that you think is logical given what you know about the world, and you happen to arrive at the conclusion that there is no God, and at the end of your life God appears to you and says: "Sorry, I know you did your best to believe in me and did not find the evidence you were looking for. I know that if you could have believed, you would have. But them's the rules. You have to be a believer at the end of your life even if you couldn't figure out how. Too bad, you're going to Hell. Should've learned to lie better, kiddo."

How does that make sense? If a mafia boss shows up at my door and demand that I pay or be killed, at least there's likely to be a logical reason I got into that situation in the first place. I must have gotten myself into debt and made promises I couldn't keep, and now the mob has shown up demanding what's theirs. Their methods may be screwed up, but at least I can see the logical steps that led to me being in that position.

With faith, though? You have a thousand different denominations banging at your door, all of them with contradicting beliefs.
"Our god says you will go to Hell if you're a homosexual!"
"No, that's wrong! Our god says that would never happen! You only go to Hell if you get a divorce!"
"You fools, don't listen to them! My god says you go to Hell if you eat pork on a Sunday!"
So out of these thousands of beliefs I'm somehow supposed to intuitively pick the right one. Say I just go with whatever makes the most sense to me. I die, end up in Hell and the Devil shrugs and goes: "Yeah, I don't get it either. I was sure the Jews had it right. But I guess you just had to take a wild guess. Take it up with the big man upstairs."

There's no logical step that leads from, say, the statement "I am a homosexual" to the logical conclusion that "therefore, I deserve eternal punishment". You need religion for that extra step. Which religion, though? How do you know which one's got it right? How can you know which consequences you can expect for your actions if every religion says something different?
Again with the punishment. It's logical because it balances the reward. You can't say "If you believe, you'll have eternal bliss but if you don't believe, you'll uhh...be lectured a bit" THAT doesn't make sense. It's logical because of its opposite.

I wont speak for other religions, just mine and mine doesn't state that they just have to believe publicly, whether or not they ACTUALLY believe. That doesn't make any sense. It's far more complicated than "Oh, you believe? okay go to heaven" and "Oh you don't believe? okay go to hell" To ACTUALLY be judged for believing and not believing, you'd have to have been exposed to correct calling of the message (I don't think we should get into "oh but which is correct?" It's just as much of a dilemma for me as it is for you). For sake of debate, lets pretend that there's only one religion. If someone lived their entire lives away from civilization, for example and had no exposure to the concept of god. That person can't and wont be judged the same way as someone who's HAD exposure, who's had NO bad experience with the religion. in Islam, Muslims are the representation of Islam and god expects us to do good by everyone. If a Muslim subjugates someone to embrace Islam (i.e lie), then they'v destroyed the image of Islam for that person. It wouldn't be logical to naturally assume that the person is going to hell when their only experience with Islam is that masked maniac who held them at gun point and told them to say some Arabic phrases that they don't even understand. It's so complicated, we're not allowed to say who's going to heaven and who's going to hell, no one knows. The phrases in the Quran about people going to hell applies to a strict count of people who have FOUGHT and WARRED with god's prophets.

The problem of COMPLETE evidence is that it means the stakes would be higher. Like I just explained, it's possible for someone not believing in god to be judged differently. Now, imagine if god shows an immutable, utterly one COMPLETE evidence that he exists. Say, he revealed himself to the whole world at once and everybody saw it, EVERYONE. There'll will be NO excuses. none. The problem with no excuses is:
1) There would be no point to ANY of this. People would be equal because hey, everybody saw god, why should there be a reward for those who believe?
2) There will STILL be people who don't believe. I mean, come on. Even with the threat of hell, some people don't believe. Someone will come up with an excuse. "Hey, god, show us some miracles". "Hey, god, prove yourself capable by giving me so much money" and if god says no "Ahhh, see?? see? he's lying, he's not really god" it'd be a mess.

Again, I don't know who's going to hell and who's going to heaven. It'd be wild to assume, though that someone like Osama bin Laden would go to heaven just because he believed. It's more complicated than that. Equally, it's not right to assume that someone who was never exposed to the concept of god will go to hell. I don't know and no one else does. Sure, of course there're people who tell you that you're going to hell, even though there are verses in the Quran saying we should not be rude to people who don't believe and people of other religions, but hey, you know at the end of the day, everybody is just gonna do whatever the hell they want.

@Altair1789. I think this debate's going pretty well, so far. I agree with Sixkeys that there's no point in going deeper, though.

marvelfannumber
01-12-2015, 06:59 PM
Oh god, who thought it would be a good idea to create a thread about religious fiction......and why are we (including me) replying to it?

I am suprised this thread has not already erupted into sheer madness.

Assassin_M
01-12-2015, 07:01 PM
I am suprised this thread has not already erupted into sheer madness.
It's because all parties involved are rational adults who no qualms about discussing such matters in a civil manner.

marvelfannumber
01-12-2015, 07:14 PM
It's because all parties involved are rational adults who no qualms about discussing such matters in a civil manner.

What, like in real life? Oh my, I thought I was on the internet where no such thing may happen.

This is very surreal.

Assassin_M
01-12-2015, 07:20 PM
What, like in real life? Oh my, I thought I was on the internet where no such thing may happen.

This is very surreal.
I know, I know. Because this is the internet, it's natural to assume such things would happen. Any other place, you might have been right to worry but honestly, here is where I met some of the most intelligent and civil people since using the internet.

This isn't the first time Sixkeys and I have had a debate about religion either. It never descended into madness.

Farlander1991
01-12-2015, 09:25 PM
Again, I don't know who's going to hell and who's going to heaven.

I'm an atheist, but I absolutely don't mind faith (I do sometimes mind religion as an institution, but that's a different thing, just because some *** manipulated people to kill lots cause it's the will of God *ahem*1st Crusadde*ahem* doesn't mean that faith itself is bad). Though, I do try my best, even though sometimes I make mistakes or plainly bad things, I try to be the best person I can be, and not to repeat those mistakes. And I'm not the only one, there are lots of people like this. And the way I see it, if God exists, if he sees all the people who don't believe try to do their best (and some maybe being the best people ever) because they want to (at a time where there's quite a few of believers who do plainly ****ty things) but doesn't let them in heaven because they didn't believe, then quite frankly that God is an arrogant *******.

Though, regardless of truth of divine existence, I think it's important to realize that teachings were written by men, which means they're not necessarily a representation of God's will. If somebody wrote 'if you don't believe in this religion then you go to hell', that's probably more because the people responsible for writing that wanted more people of their religion or faith (and for those in power this means more control) rather than because it's what God would actually want.

Assassin_M
01-12-2015, 10:15 PM
I'm an atheist, but I absolutely don't mind faith (I do sometimes mind religion as an institution, but that's a different thing, just because some *** manipulated people to kill lots cause it's the will of God *ahem*1st Crusadde*ahem* doesn't mean that faith itself is bad). Though, I do try my best, even though sometimes I make mistakes or plainly bad things, I try to be the best person I can be, and not to repeat those mistakes. And I'm not the only one, there are lots of people like this. And the way I see it, if God exists, if he sees all the people who don't believe try to do their best (and some maybe being the best people ever) because they want to (at a time where there's quite a few of believers who do plainly ****ty things) but doesn't let them in heaven because they didn't believe, then quite frankly that God is an arrogant *******.

Though, regardless of truth of divine existence, I think it's important to realize that teachings were written by men, which means they're not necessarily a representation of God's will. If somebody wrote 'if you don't believe in this religion then you go to hell', that's probably more because the people responsible for writing that wanted more people of their religion or faith (and for those in power this means more control) rather than because it's what God would actually want.
No effort or striving to do good goes without note. I believe in god's absolute justice. I'v heard the argument bout religions being written by man thus they're not from god and i'v argued against it more times than I can remember. The message is for humans so it had to be relayed by humans because as i'v stated above, there can't be immutable, absolute evidence. Whoever believes, let them and who ever wants to disbelieve, let them. That's what my book says.

One thing I MUST reiterate, though is that there can't be similar scales to one who believes in god and one who doesn't. it's a simple equation, really. If you'v never believed in the existence of a god, why would you expect to be rewarded from someone you never believed in? Wouldn't that be unfair to every other person who spent their lives and time praying? If you're a foreigner to some country, you're not expected to get the same privileges as people who have lived, worked and invested in that country. If you look at it from this perspective, it's entirely fair but again, no one knows and no one should claim to know who's going to hell and who's going to heaven.

Farlander1991
01-12-2015, 11:34 PM
I'v heard the argument bout religions being written by man thus they're not from god and i'v argued against it more times than I can remember. The message is for humans so it had to be relayed by humans because as i'v stated above, there can't be immutable, absolute evidence.

I didn't say that messages being written by man means they're not from God. I said that man can't be necessarily trusted. That's two different things.


If you'v never believed in the existence of a god, why would you expect to be rewarded from someone you never believed in? Wouldn't that be unfair to every other person who spent their lives and time praying?

Well, personally, I don't expect anything. I do believe that after my death I won't even know I'm dead, just like I never knew I would be born before I was born.

But generally speaking, this line of questions opens up other counter-questions (also, keep in mind that I've spent most of my life in a very Orthodox country, therefore I'm not well-versed in Islam and am going to base the counter-questions on my experience).
Is it fair that a good person goes to hell on a basis that he didn't believe in God?
Is it fair that a person who prays and does all the 'requirements' for going to heaven but frequently does ****ty/negative things by abusing possible loopholes still goes to heaven?
Is it fair that a person who did something really-really bad but received God's forgiveness (from the authority of a priest) goes to heaven while a non-believer who never did something as bad (and if he had been a believer would never have to be forgiven) gets shafted?
If a non-believer did something really-really bad but tries to atone for his mistake (for example by completely changing his way of life and leading a life of helping, supporting people and making their lives as best as can be) is it fair that he wouldn't go to heaven simply because he didn't receive God's forgiveness from a respected authority?
Is it fair that a good person who prays every day but doesn't do anything remarkable goes to heaven while a non-believer who helps charities, goes to some recently war-torn country to help personally rebuild people's houses, and directly participates in some common cause that makes thousands of lives better gets a non-pass from heaven simply because he didn't pray?
Is it fair that a believer who had his life saved by a non-believer surgeon thanks the God instead of the surgeon and goes to heaven while the surgeon gets shafted from a reward even though he saved that person's life and dozens, if not hundreds, of others?
Would any of that and many more examples be fair to people?

And while we're at it, how would it be fair that a person who, let's say, is a loving parent, works hard to keep family afloat, participates in raising wonderful children, and (s)he is just a well-mannered, hard-working, who tries really hard to make the life best not only for themselves, but for their close ones and other people too, doesn't get rewarded? Is Sunday morning spent in a church really that much more valuable than a Sunday morning spent cooking breakfast? You could argue that, 'oh, the believer family cooks breakfast too, they do more work', okay, maybe, but then that time could be spent for reading your kid a story he likes, cleaning up the apartment, going to buy a present 'just-because' for somebody while giving some money to a poor guy on the way, or countless of other things that aren't any less 'hard-working'. And if a person goes to church in the morning and then spends the rest of the day doing nothing, is it more valuable than a day when a person doesn't go to church but does a lot of things for his family?

And is it fair that a good person of one faith gets rewarded while a good person of another faith does not?

I don't believe that faith should be a condition for the reward, if such exists. Sure, let praying and church-goings give bonus points. Just like everything good and worthwhile a man can do should give bonus points. If a person manages to rackup ****tons of points because he was both especially devout AND really hard-working outside of the devotion factor that's great. Give him a special medal in heaven or something, I don't know. But don't shaft the really hard-working non-devout guy, because, really, there's very few of those medal-type guys and the hard-working guy deserves a reward. A lot of people I know who disbelieve don't deserve to get shafted or go to hell. I'm not talking about myself here, as I'm critical of myself (plus as I said I don't expect to go anywhere, be it heaven or hell), but I know a lot of people who are just amazing, and when some religious discussions come up I can't help but think, 'Man, that person is really awesome and (s)he gets to go to hell while this person who's okayish but simply not as awesome gets to heaven? That sucks!' (mind you, I'm not saying that there aren't really awesome believers :) )

If there's a judgement based on how good a person is, it should be judgement based on how good a person is. That's fair to everybody, of every faith.

Assassin_M
01-13-2015, 12:16 AM
I didn't say that messages being written by man means they're not from God. I said that man can't be necessarily trusted. That's two different things.
Sure then, that goes for all things.




Well, personally, I don't expect anything. I do believe that after my death I won't even know I'm dead, just like I never knew I would be born before I was born.

But generally speaking, this line of questions opens up other counter-questions (also, keep in mind that I've spent most of my life in a very Orthodox country, therefore I'm not well-versed in Islam and am going to base the counter-questions on my experience).
That's totally fair. I will reply strictly from my own Islamic knowledge.


Is it fair that a good person goes to hell on a basis that he didn't believe in God?
Is it fair that a person who prays and does all the 'requirements' for going to heaven but frequently does ****ty/negative things by abusing possible loopholes still goes to heaven?
There's no such things in Islam. As I said, every good deed will be accounted as god's judgement is absolute justice. As I'v also said, it's more complicated than just someone believing and going to heaven and another not believing and going to hell. There's a process, if a person's experiences with Islam range from complete lack of exposure to completely negative, then that would be noted. A person's life process, not JUST their belief, are what will be used for judgement.

As for a person believing, it's self explanatory. God teaches compassion, honesty and kindness. Those are important pillars in Islam. There's a saying by the prophet that if someone's prayer does not prevent them from doing wrong, then no prayer is accepted from them BUT there's the concept of repentance. in Islam, a person can renounce anything they did that went against the laws of Islam.

In the end, everyone will be judged promptly, not unfairly BUT belief is still a strong point.


Is it fair that a person who did something really-really bad but received God's forgiveness (from the authority of a priest) goes to heaven while a non-believer who never did something as bad (and if he had been a believer would never have to be forgiven) gets shafted?If a non-believer did something really-really bad but tries to atone for his mistake (for example by completely changing his way of life and leading a life of helping, supporting people and making their lives as best as can be) is it fair that he wouldn't go to heaven simply because he didn't receive God's forgiveness from a respected authority?
I can't speak for Orthodox Christianity and there's nothing of the sorts in Islam (You are the one to repent on your own, no Sheikh or authority can repent for you) but I must say that in my opinion, it's fair because renouncing such deeds implies regret. Of course, this is not to suggest that anyone can say "Oh, i'll just go to a priest or pray a couple of times and say that I repented so god would forgive me" That's an example of taking advantage of holes in the system and Islam, such things are noted as well.


Is it fair that a good person who prays every day but doesn't do anything remarkable goes to heaven while a non-believer who helps charities, goes to some recently war-torn country to help personally rebuild people's houses, and directly participates in some common cause that makes thousands of lives better gets a non-pass from heaven simply because he didn't pray?
Okay, this is vague. A good person who prays but does nothing remarkable might be because he's unable, not because he doesn't want to but anyways, 2 points to this.

1) You devalue prayer. You don't give it any credit whatsoever. Someone is taking time from their life and dedicate it to god every single day, 5 times. If you visit your mother, 5 times everyday...even if it's just a few steps from where you live and you have a brother who doesn't visit her AT ALL and lives at the same distance. Naturally, the mother would love the visiting child more. Sure, she loves her children equally but the visiting child certainly has a bonus. He takes time out of his busy schedule to visit his mother, even if she doesn't need anything. Of course, you can note the difference that a mother would not torture her child for eternity, the fact remains that prayer has a value.

2) There are more laws that god put than JUST doing good. Of course, you wont agree with such laws but it'd be wrong to think that JUST good acts could give you access to heaven. There's fasting, there's abstaining from drinking alcohol, having sex only to women you're married to. I wont get into why these are wrong and should not be done but you need to put these in mind. There's also what's in the heart. The intention. ALL these good acts may not be out of good will, just for boasting and publicity. Of course, that goes both ways for nonbelievers and believers and that's why no one can know who's going to hell and who's going to heaven.


Is it fair that a believer who had his life saved by a non-believer surgeon thanks the God instead of the surgeon and goes to heaven while the surgeon gets shafted from a reward even though he saved that person's life and dozens, if not hundreds, of others?
Ah, the dilemma of thanks that I see in a lot of movies and games with atheistic notions. I have never, not once in my life seen someone thank god without also thanking the person who saved them. Thanking god is important but that belief doesn't negate thanking the person who did the act. As for the rest, I'v explained above.


And while we're at it, how would it be fair that a person who, let's say, is a loving parent, works hard to keep family afloat, participates in raising wonderful children, and (s)he is just a well-mannered, hard-working, who tries really hard to make the life best not only for themselves, but for their close ones and other people too, doesn't get rewarded? Is Sunday morning spent in a church really that much more valuable than a Sunday morning spent cooking breakfast? You could argue that, 'oh, the believer family cooks breakfast too, they do more work', okay, maybe, but then that time could be spent for reading your kid a story he likes, cleaning up the apartment, going to buy a present 'just-because' for somebody while giving some money to a poor guy on the way, or countless of other things that aren't any less 'hard-working'. And if a person goes to church in the morning and then spends the rest of the day doing nothing, is it more valuable than a day when a person doesn't go to church but does a lot of things for his family?
What if a person does ALL of this AND prays and/or goes to church or a mosque? it's certainly possible, at least in Islam. prayer takes AT MOST about 15 - 20 minutes at the mosque and 5 minutes or less at home.


And is it fair that a good person of one faith gets rewarded while a good person of another faith does not?
Far more complicated than just that. As I said, no good dead goes without note and it's not JUST "Oh believer? go to heaven. Non believer? die in hell"


I don't believe that faith should be a condition for the reward, if such exists. Sure, let praying and church-goings give bonus points. Just like everything good and worthwhile a man can do should give bonus points. If a person manages to rackup ****tons of points because he was both especially devout AND really hard-working outside of the devotion factor that's great. Give him a special medal in heaven or something, I don't know. But don't shaft the really hard-working non-devout guy, because, really, there's very few of those medal-type guys and the hard-working guy deserves a reward. A lot of people I know who disbelieve don't deserve to get shafted or go to hell. I'm not talking about myself here, as I'm critical of myself (plus as I said I don't expect to go anywhere, be it heaven or hell), but I know a lot of people who are just amazing, and when some religious discussions come up I can't help but think, 'Man, that person is really awesome and (s)he gets to go to hell while this person who's okayish but simply not as awesome gets to heaven? That sucks!' (mind you, I'm not saying that there aren't really awesome believers :) )
But why should the non-devout guy get anything? He denied the reward's existence, he may have partaken in pleasures that are STILL against what god decreed such as alcohol and pre-marital sex. Why was the non-believer doing these good deeds? To make a better world, to make their kids happy, to see people happy. That will be noted BUT one shouldn't expect a reward they NEVER believed in. It's just common sense. They did this for this, sure then their kids were happy, their loved ones were happy as well and they helped make the world a better place, that's what they strove for and they got it. It seems like common sense to me.

Pardon this comment but why should a person who never believed I existed want to claim my reward which he never believed in? They're good and awesome, be that as it may but come on, you don't believe in the reward, you don't agree with god's laws, why SHOULD you be equated to someone who did EVERYTHING the non-believer did and on top of that, maintained the religious laws? It's fair because the reward equals the punishment. If there was no punishment, there's no point. Heck, even with the threat of punishment, people STILL don't believe, what do you think will happen if it was revealed that there would be no punishment? It's the whole point. People can claim that punishment is a threat and thus negates free will all they want, but the fact remains. Even with the threat of eternal torture, people STILL disbelieve.

About thinking that amazing people can go to hell, I don't have that problem because I don't know who's going to hell and who's going to heaven.


If there's a judgement based on how good a person is, it should be judgement based on how good a person is. That's fair to everybody, of every faith.
If you can bring me ultimate proof that if there was no punishment, people would believe, I'll agree with you.

Farlander1991
01-13-2015, 12:47 AM
1) You devalue prayer. You don't give it any credit whatsoever.

I do give it credit. But I don't necessarily agree with it being overvalued.


I have never, not once in my life seen someone thank god without also thanking the person who saved them.

My girlfriend studies in medical, there are lots of kinds of stories. There are people like that, and there are more than one could possibly think (and that's in a single city of a relatively small country, so in the whole world there's even more like that, though not necessarily a straight ratio, I think it would be logical that the ratio would decrease the more settlements and countries we add up).


That will be noted BUT one shouldn't expect a reward they NEVER believed in. It's just common sense.

Who says they should expect a reward they never believed in? In all my examples those people never expected a reward. But if there's a judgement system, why shouldn't they get it? Do they not deserve it through their own good deeds? If they've done all the good they did without actually expecting a reward, just because that's what they felt was right, doesn't that put them if not higher, then at least to equal value as the people who might do the same expecting a reward and/or fearing a punishment? (and though there are all kinds of believers, even the one who complies to the 'good' part of the religion without thinking too much of the reward, still more than likely has a little bit of that expectation in the subconscious).


If you can bring me ultimate proof that if there was no punishment, people would believe, I'll agree with you.

I think that's a slightly skewed way of looking at this. To me it's not about "if there was no punishment, people would believe", it's about "if there was no punishment and no reward, people would still do good things and try to make the world a better place". And they do. There are more than enough examples of this in the real world. I don't think belief is important. I think the "make the world a better place" is important. Some do it via faith, that's what helps them find the right path and make the world better. And that's great, seriously. I have nothing against it, all thumbs up. Awesome. But some do it without faith, based on the moral compass of their own making (influenced by other sources of course, more than likely including what different faiths teach). Which, let's face it, is also pretty great. I think "making the world a better place" is deserving a reward, regardless of one's expectations or faith. As long as people strive to somehow make lives better, does the specifics (for clarification - faith, otherwise we might get into a 'Templars want to make lives better' thing which is a totally different question and specific :D ) of how they achieve this really matter?

Perk89
01-13-2015, 01:13 AM
I'm an atheist, but I absolutely don't mind faith (I do sometimes mind religion as an institution, but that's a different thing, just because some *** manipulated people to kill lots cause it's the will of God *ahem*1st Crusadde*ahem* doesn't mean that faith itself is bad). Though, I do try my best, even though sometimes I make mistakes or plainly bad things, I try to be the best person I can be, and not to repeat those mistakes. And I'm not the only one, there are lots of people like this. And the way I see it, if God exists, if he sees all the people who don't believe try to do their best (and some maybe being the best people ever) because they want to (at a time where there's quite a few of believers who do plainly ****ty things) but doesn't let them in heaven because they didn't believe, then quite frankly that God is an arrogant *******..


This is is fairly common misinterpretation of Christian doctrine. You may have heard the saying that "God doesn't send anyone to hell, we do!" which is a horrifyingly simple interpretation of the base ideology. It isn't that God says "If you don't accept Christ, you can't come in!" Sin itself is separation from the perfection of God. By sinning, which all men will understandably do, you separate yourself from the ability to enter into that perfection by default, which is where the redemption of Jesus comes into play. Bible says that "He became sin" and therefore removing it from us, allowing us to enter back into that perfection. If Christ died so that we wouldn't have to be sent to hell, it wouldn't be saving us, it'd be sparing us, which is significantly different. It's a rescue, not a threat.

avk111
01-13-2015, 02:58 AM
Don't, just don't.

http://assassinscreed.wikia.com/wiki/Broken_Trust

Connor: The British have recalled their men in Philadelphia. They march for New York.
George: Very well. I'll move our forces to Monmouth. If we can rout them, we'll have finally turned the tide.
Haytham: And what's this?
George: Private correspondence!
Haytham: Of course it is. Would you like to know what it says, Connor? It seems your good friend here has just ordered an attack on your village. Although attack might be putting it mildly. Tell him, Commander.
George: We've been receiving reports of allied natives working with the British. I've asked my men to put a stop to it.
Haytham: By burning their villages, and salting the land. By calling for their extermination, according to this letter. Not the first time either. Tell him what you did fourteen years ago.

Connor warning Washington and Haytham to not interfere

George: That was another time. The Seven Years' War.
Haytham: And so now you see what happens to this "great man" when under duress. He makes excuses, displaces blame. Does a great many things, in fact - except take responsibility.
Connor: Enough! Who did what and why must wait. My people come first.
Haytham: Then let's be off.
Connor: No. You and I are finished.
Haytham: Son...
Connor: Do you think me so soft that by calling me son I might change my mind? How long did you sit on this information? Or am I to believe you discovered it now? My mother's blood may stain another's hands, but Charles Lee is no less a monster, and all he does, he does by your command. A warning to you both - choose to follow me or oppose me and I will kill you.

Connor broke it. The quote you have is after the broken truce.

“But we have an opportunity here,” I urged him. “Together we can break the cycle, and end this ancient war. I know it.”
I saw something in his eyes. Was it some spark of a long-abandoned desire, some unfulfilled dream remembered?
“I know it,” I repeated.
With the bloodied bandage between his teeth, he shook his head. Was he really that disillusioned? Had his heart hardened that much?
He finished tying the dressing. “No. You want to know it. You want it to be true.” His words were tinged with sadness. “Part of me once did as well. But it is an impossible dream.”
“We are in blood, you and I,” I urged him. “Please . . .”
For a moment I thought I might have got through to him.
“No, son. We are enemies. And one of us must die.”


Excerpt From: Bowden, Oliver. “Assassin's Creed: Forsaken.” Penguin Group, USA, 2012-10-29. iBooks.
This material may be protected by copyright.


Check out this book on the iBooks Store: https://itun.es/us/7nEmH.l

SixKeys
01-13-2015, 03:14 AM
This is is fairly common misinterpretation of Christian doctrine. You may have heard the saying that "God doesn't send anyone to hell, we do!" which is a horrifyingly simple interpretation of the base ideology. It isn't that God says "If you don't accept Christ, you can't come in!" Sin itself is separation from the perfection of God. By sinning, which all men will understandably do, you separate yourself from the ability to enter into that perfection by default, which is where the redemption of Jesus comes into play. Bible says that "He became sin" and therefore removing it from us, allowing us to enter back into that perfection. If Christ died so that we wouldn't have to be sent to hell, it wouldn't be saving us, it'd be sparing us, which is significantly different. It's a rescue, not a threat.

God is supposed to be all-powerful, according to Christian doctrine. Why did he create such a complex system for rescuing people from something HE created? (If God created everything, he must have also created sin.) Why not just snap his fingers and say to humans "okay, you're all saved. I've decided there's no such thing as sin anymore. Also, I'm hereby making it impossible for immorality to exist, therefore none of you can ever purposefully hurt each other again. Congrats!"

It's also kind of ridiculous to claim that Farlander's interpretation of Christian doctrine is misinformed, considering that interpretation is held by many, many Christians themselves. Ever heard of Jack Chick?

Assassin_M
01-13-2015, 04:08 AM
I do give it credit. But I don't necessarily agree with it being overvalued.
if you think it's overvalued, then that's my point. You don't give enough credit.


My girlfriend studies in medical, there are lots of kinds of stories. There are people like that, and there are more than one could possibly think (and that's in a single city of a relatively small country, so in the whole world there's even more like that, though not necessarily a straight ratio, I think it would be logical that the ratio would decrease the more settlements and countries we add up).
Well, then I must say that I never came across such a thing. My aunt is a physician, her husband is a surgeon and their son is a dentist. I'm not saying I don't believe you, i don't doubt what you're saying. I just never came across something like that or perhaps it HAS happened but they never really noticed it.



Who says they should expect a reward they never believed in? In all my examples those people never expected a reward. But if there's a judgement system, why shouldn't they get it?
Because they never believed in its existence. Because there are people who do EVERYTHING good a non-believer does AND they thank god, they pray, they don't drink, they don't have pre-marital sex and they fast. Thing is, even the Quran doesn't state that you JUST have to believe to enter heaven, no. It's always "those who believe AND...". Belief is not a one way ticket into heaven, that'd be highly unfair.


Do they not deserve it through their own good deeds? If they've done all the good they did without actually expecting a reward, just because that's what they felt was right, doesn't that put them if not higher, then at least to equal value as the people who might do the same expecting a reward and/or fearing a punishment? (and though there are all kinds of believers, even the one who complies to the 'good' part of the religion without thinking too much of the reward, still more than likely has a little bit of that expectation in the subconscious).
They're expecting SOMETHING, though, are they not? Making the world a better place is a reason. It's selfless, sure but what about the person who's doing all of this for something that's unseen, something that they'll never see the results of until death? Something that MAY not be true? Forget their belief, forget that they're so sure, it's still a HUGE gamble. you're making a gamble too BUT you're not doing the same things as one who believes. A believer may not have tasted alcohol ONCE in their life, never tried the blissful pleasures of recreational drugs, had to commit to a woman or man before having sex with them, wore a hijab every time she went out, fasted from dawn till dusk for 30 days every year, prayed 5 times a day everyday...etc. ALL of that and the fruits of their labor will not be seen except after death. At least with a non-believer, their fruits will be seen in life. A believer is dedicating their life to something with NO PROOF WHATSOEVER of its existence.

And again, as I'v said in the end. No good deed goes without note. Everything will be accounted for.



I think the "make the world a better place" is important. Some do it via faith, that's what helps them find the right path and make the world better. And that's great, seriously. I have nothing against it, all thumbs up. Awesome. But some do it without faith, based on the moral compass of their own making (influenced by other sources of course, more than likely including what different faiths teach). Which, let's face it, is also pretty great. I think "making the world a better place" is deserving a reward, regardless of one's expectations or faith. As long as people strive to somehow make lives better, does the specifics (for clarification - faith, otherwise we might get into a 'Templars want to make lives better' thing which is a totally different question and specific :D ) of how they achieve this really matter?
Sure, THAT is good manners. It's humanity. In the Quran, this is called "Fitrah". The god-embedded initiative and directive to do good and be good and is, as you have stated, no doubt influenced by what faiths teach. Cultivating a relationship with god, though is quite important and quite different from JUST having good manners. As I stated above, it's not just believing that'll grant you a ticket to heaven and it's not JUST good actions that will give you entry to heaven. Allow me to get spritiual for a moment, expanding on what i'v stated above. The correct conduct displayed by a non-believer is confined to this earthly world. Every goal for every action is worldly.

First, a non-believer thinks the moral compass for these good deeds comes from themselves entirely, giving god no credit whatsoever. A non-believer would say "I built this hospital for the people", a believer; however, would say "God guided my efforts to build this big hospital for the people, I was merely a means to the realization of this goodness". There's a huge difference. This humility that the believer shows. There's nothing wrong with what the non-believer said, he didn't lie at all. Yes, they'll give credit to the builders, designers..etc but it's not an unseen. You can see the workers, you'll share a drink or two with them later but the person who gives entire credit to god? He's got nothing until he's dead.

The whole point of prayer is humility. It's recognizing that this world is a dream, an illusion but in the end, as i'v stated, no one can know whether or not they'll go to hell or heaven. No one should say who's going and where but I need to make this point clear: Belief is not a free ticket to heaven and neither are good deeds. it's far more than just that. A believer's intentions may be just as worldly as a non-believer's but it's because people like the believer who built that hospital exist, because of that humility, is why a non-believer's good deeds CANNOT be seen in the same light as the believer's but then in the end, as I keep saying, no good deed will go without note. If a non-believer did good, they'll be judged for it justly.

SixKeys
01-13-2015, 04:19 AM
Wait, if this world is a dream or an illusion, why does it matter what you do in it? A dream is just a dream, it's not real. So why would you care about doing good things in a dream, and why would you be rewarded after you "wake up"?

Perk89
01-13-2015, 04:36 AM
God is supposed to be all-powerful, according to Christian doctrine. Why did he create such a complex system for rescuing people from something HE created? (If God created everything, he must have also created sin.) Why not just snap his fingers and say to humans "okay, you're all saved. I've decided there's no such thing as sin anymore. Also, I'm hereby making it impossible for immorality to exist, therefore none of you can ever purposefully hurt each other again. Congrats!"

It's also kind of ridiculous to claim that Farlander's interpretation of Christian doctrine is misinformed, considering that interpretation is held by many, many Christians themselves. Ever heard of Jack Chick?


You really don't see why that line of thinking doesn't work? To take away the ability to do wrong, to steal one's away ability to hurt another/themself undermines the very driving purpose behind Creation-that being that everything is permitted. To steal away that choice robs humanity of the freedom it was create to have. (He did not create sin, btw, that's what makes it what it is-a divergence from what was created. )


i don't find the system complicated at all. In fact, I find it quite ingenious truth be told. It may appear complicated because it couldn't be what you stated-that of simply deciding there is no wrong or forcefully preventing sin from being possible for the reasons I stated-that it had to offer redemption but simultaneously not force it on anyone. A multi-pronged maneuver, if you like. Yes, there is a possible negative consequence to the choice you ultimately make, but as I've stated earlier in the thread, freedom isn't true freedom if the negative consequence cannot be attained.

Assassin_M
01-13-2015, 04:41 AM
Wait, if this world is a dream or an illusion, why does it matter what you do in it? A dream is just a dream, it's not real. So why would you care about doing good things in a dream, and why would you be rewarded after you "wake up"?
Why indeed then? You answer me. You're the one claiming that this world is all there is and it's all that matters. We become dust after death, no one will judge us. A believer gets rewarded for not JUST doing good deeds, as I'v said. It's the realization that this world is worthless, it's the dedication towards an invisible entity. Why be rewarded? Because you managed to realize that it IS indeed a dream. If you were given a challenge. We'll somehow suck your memory, put you to sleep and then you have to realize that this is a dream. If you do, we'll give you a cookie. That's why. That's why there's a reward for this particular dream.

I-Like-Pie45
01-13-2015, 05:39 AM
I don't really like God but I think Jesus is pretty cool guy

RuNfAtBoYrUn740
01-13-2015, 06:10 AM
I don't really like God but I think Jesus is pretty cool guy

I don't believe either of them if they existed but if you've read the bible you know both of them are complete asswipes.

I-Like-Pie45
01-13-2015, 06:18 AM
but you see in my version of the bible - the extended lucas testament edition - jesus was actually saved from the cross but then got run over by an offal cart some time later while his specially bred descendants did some pretty bad stuff like try to kill a whole bunch of people cause god told them to. as for jesus himself he got reincarnated as a dreadlocked male of african descent after some more time and told god to go away and then after a unfortunate meeting with the LAPD jesus went to go hang out with the antichrist and drink beer so hes actually a pretty cool guy when not doing what his dad tells him to

everything that bad happens is gods fault

Perk89
01-13-2015, 06:42 AM
If the moderators would please be so kind as to clean up some of the recent immaturity outbursts so that we can continue what has frankly been an engaging and civil discussion, it'd be much appreciated. I'd hate to see a quality topic derailed by one person who struggles when confronted with people with differing views.

RuNfAtBoYrUn740
01-13-2015, 01:52 PM
but you see in my version of the bible - the extended lucas testament edition - jesus was actually saved from the cross but then got run over by an offal cart some time later while his specially bred descendants did some pretty bad stuff like try to kill a whole bunch of people cause god told them to. as for jesus himself he got reincarnated as a dreadlocked male of african descent after some more time and told god to go away and then after a unfortunate meeting with the LAPD jesus went to go hang out with the antichrist and drink beer so hes actually a pretty cool guy when not doing what his dad tells him to

everything that bad happens is gods fault

You do realise that Jesus spoke of hell with some fondness though. He supported the idea of eternal punishment and torture for simply not believing in a god.

RuNfAtBoYrUn740
01-13-2015, 01:53 PM
If the moderators would please be so kind as to clean up some of the recent immaturity outbursts so that we can continue what has frankly been an engaging and civil discussion, it'd be much appreciated. I'd hate to see a quality topic derailed by one person who struggles when confronted with people with differing views.

Who's that?

Fatal-Feit
01-13-2015, 02:10 PM
Dignified atheism is part of the reason why I endorse myself in Assassin's Creed.

That is all.

Oh, I'm also popping in here to say that I'm enjoying the mature debate between Sixkeys and _M. May it never end.

Assassin_M
01-13-2015, 02:28 PM
Oh, I'm also popping in here to say that I'm enjoying the mature debate between Sixkeys and _M. May it never end.
And Farlander.

Fatal-Feit
01-13-2015, 02:54 PM
And Farlander.

Of course, him too. :p

It's so lovely I'm ganna cry.

pineal_gland
01-13-2015, 06:25 PM
Again with the punishment. It's logical because it balances the reward. You can't say "If you believe, you'll have eternal bliss but if you don't believe, you'll uhh...be lectured a bit" THAT doesn't make sense. It's logical because of its opposite.

Why doesn't it make sense? there could be so many alternative possibilities.
What about reincarnation? that's another possibility. if we make bad mistakes in life, or didn't learn the lessons we should learn, we reincarnate again and again on this earth until the lessons are learned...eternal torture after death is now out of the equation by this way of reasoning.
What if the godly power that made the universe possible isn't actually a narcistic being that wants us to worship him and has a special place for us full of fire and eternal torture if we don't..this doesn't sound like a god to me but very much like satan or powerful "leaders" who have bent the ancient sacred texts to their likings.

http://cdn.meme.am/instances/500x/55737924.jpg

Jackdaw951
01-13-2015, 06:52 PM
. . .

I can't speak for Orthodox Christianity and there's nothing of the sorts in Islam (You are the one to repent on your own, no Sheikh or authority can repent for you) but I must say that in my opinion, it's fair because renouncing such deeds implies regret. Of course, this is not to suggest that anyone can say "Oh, i'll just go to a priest or pray a couple of times and say that I repented so god would forgive me" That's an example of taking advantage of holes in the system and Islam, such things are noted as well.

. . .

Fascinating discussion. I picked this particular paragraph out as something I felt qualified to comment on. No priest can repent for you. When you confess your sins to him, you repent, you atone (through assigned penance), and he absolves you in the name of God. However, a false confession or feigned regret will not escape the eyes of God. This would be akin to perjury in court. You would only be digging yourself a deeper hole.

Assassin_M
01-13-2015, 07:43 PM
Why doesn't it make sense? there could be so many alternative possibilities.
I'm strictly speaking from the point of view i'v chosen. I already addressed this as a gamble. To me, no other possibility exists. The same goes for an atheist. No other possibilities exist but the ones they have chosen to believe.


What about reincarnation? that's another possibility. if we make bad mistakes in life, or didn't learn the lessons we should learn, we reincarnate again and again on this earth until the lessons are learned...eternal torture after death is now out of the equation by this way of reasoning.
If you think that works, then good for you. Why not and what about are questions that would take a long time to answer, especially seeing as how I discussed some of those in the thread already.


What if the godly power that made the universe possible isn't actually a narcistic being that wants us to worship him and has a special place for us full of fire and eternal torture if we don't..this doesn't sound like a god to me but very much like satan or powerful "leaders" who have bent the ancient sacred texts to their likings.
And then comes the opium argument. Sure, Religion has and is still used by tyrants and oppressors to continue their tyranny and oppression. Control of the masses, absolute delusion from the real world, get them to be distracted and we shall command them if we please. There's nothing more erroneous than describing Religion as an opium, though. In its essence, Religion implies a burden. injunctions and responsibilities. Religion is watchfulness, attentiveness, self questioning and alertness. It was never a tool to be exploited by money hoarders and oppressors. Islam expressly enjoined that wealth should never be monopolized and exchanged between the rich as they please. Humans, though, have found a way to twist it to their liking, as they have with ANYTHING they come across. Religion is no exclusive to such bending.

I simply cannot believe that the Quran was written by the Prophet Muhammed for various reasons. Chief reason being his illiteracy, other reasons include verses that contradict whatever he was doing or thinking and other times, a phrase would even admonish him. Heck, sometimes he would utter verses that have him basically say "I'm powerless, I have no idea what will happen to me or you" Surely, a very intelligent and shrewd man would realize that this would be folly. As people would scratch their heads at what this supposed prophet of god is saying. There are various linguistic reasons as well but I wont bore you with the details. The above should be sufficient as to why I believe what I believe.

As to the argument about god being a narcissistic and evil entity, I talked about this already here but it's always interesting that atheists ALWAYS talk about the punishment, ALWAYS. Why does no one talk about the reward? I don't understand this lol. God doesn't need us to worship him, it's us humans who need it. Don't you find excess pleasure when you drink after thirst? When you eat after hunger? Do water and food NEED you? No, it's YOU who needs. Man comes into the world and the first pleasure they know is a mother's tenderness, then we grow up and know the rest of our families, our community and the environment. We start exploiting the environment for our own use, garnering its successes with pleasure. We may then move on from the earth and into the heavens to explore the moon, planets and the cosmos.
Finally man would want to know themselves and thus go on a journey of self discovery but there's always the need for learning more and more and that's where knowledge of a creator comes from. But then you ask "Who created the creator" Of course, our puny minds WOULD think and suggest, as is our capacity of thinking, that a sustainer must be bound by the rules He created, that He too must have been created. If a string puppet is granted life, they'll say "We have creators? and those creators have no strings? That's preposterous" but then you may bring up evidence. That if a puppet simply looks up, they'll see their creators. Well what if that race of string puppets has a streak of pride? A sense of immortality and lack of humility?Some might believe if they look up but others, and that's a fact, wont. No matter what you tell them, they'll be skeptical. As i stated, even with the threat of eternal torture, unbelievers STILL don't believe.

Lack of evidence is a mercy. If there was immutable evidence, punishment would be FAR FAR more severe for those who don't believe. There will be no judgement, no excuses. If there are hardships in life, it's because thorns must bleed the fingers of the rose pluckers. You would never appreciate health if there was no illness. You'd never appreciate life if there was no death.
People who aspire to reach a summit of knowledge and realization of a creator must toil to attain it and after finally getting there, then there's ultimate pleasure. That is the sweetness of sincere worship but the creator is in no need of such worship, none whatsoever. I do not find humiliation in worshiping him but liberation and honor. Liberation from the materialistic enslavement of the world. From money, from lustful desires, from appetites..etc. When I fear god, I cower before no creature. My fear of god is my courage and my worshiping him is my freedom. If i'm deluding myself with such pleasure, I can just as easily claim that you're deluding yourself when you say you have no need of worshiping god, that you're perfectly content on your own. The thing is, though, you can't say that. Because the worldly pleasures that you claim can sustain you were created by god, so you can claim all you want. You're still indulging in the pleasure of his creation. If that's enough, then good for you, chap.

Such is the nature of worship. We harvest its pleasures. He created us so that he may give and not take. Slavery to god is the exact opposite of our human understanding of enslavement. In the latter, the master exploits the slave's powers but in the earlier, we're the ones reaping pleasures. Worldly pleasures or otherwise, there's always pleasures. I realize that all of this are just the ramblings of a deluded idiot to you and I don't blame you, I think nothing less of you for it. I'm simply explaining my view. If i'm wrong and nothing else exists and we will indeed just be dust, then eh, I tried and I still lived my life to the fullest. I have no regrets.

Altair1789
01-13-2015, 08:10 PM
Oh, I'm also popping in here to say that I'm enjoying the mature debate between Sixkeys and _M. May it never end.

As long as it doesn't turn into any negativity, it's fine with me. I just like to keep the peace :)

It's a very beneficial trading of knowledge between everyone involved, but when stuff like this turns it just gets really bad

SixKeys
01-13-2015, 10:08 PM
You really don't see why that line of thinking doesn't work? To take away the ability to do wrong, to steal one's away ability to hurt another/themself undermines the very driving purpose behind Creation-that being that everything is permitted. To steal away that choice robs humanity of the freedom it was create to have.

But everything is NOT permitted. The Bible is very clear on the things God disapproves of. Don't do this, don't do that. Don't eat shellfish, don't be gay, don't have a divorce, don't marry your sister. There are literally hundreds of rules about what is NOT permitted.

And removing the ability to do something doesn't necessarily impede upon one's freedoms. Humans don't have wings. We can't fly. You could postulate that maybe God did once plan to give us wings, but he didn't want us to fly, so he took them away before he finalized our design, so to speak. But the fact that we are not biologically predisposed to flying doesn't mean our rights have been impeded. We've simply found ways to circumvwent our limitations. We can build machines that are able to make us fly even though God made us biologically unable to.

Similarly, he could remove the concept of sin from this world and simply make us unable to have violent impulses. That wouldn't impede upon our rights to HAVE violent thoughts, we just wouldn't be able to hurt each other. We would have to find better, more diplomatic ways to deal with our anger, just like we found ways to make ourselves fly, and no-one's freedoms would be violated.


(He did not create sin, btw, that's what makes it what it is-a divergence from what was created. )

If God created everything, then he must have also created sin. There's simply no other option. The word "everything" literally encompasses everything. Everything that is, was, has always been and can ever be invented. God also created Satan and Hell. God knew ahead of time that Lucifer would betray him yet he didn't stop him. He knew even before Satan was BORN that he was going to turn out evil and he didn't prevent it.

If you knew something terrible was going to happen... not just something terrible, THE worst thing possibly imaginable, something that would doom the whole of humanity - every man, woman and child ever born from the beginning of time to the end of time.... and you could prevent it from happening, would you? Because that's what happened when God created Hell. He created a terrible place, made a bunch of rules about what kind of people would get sent there - including unbelievers, for example people living in remote locations who will never have the chance to hear about God and his law, and therefore are doomed to damnation - and KNEW ahead of time that Adam and Eve would sin, that there would be a Fall, that Satan would start tempting people to his side etc. He knew all of this and he chose not to stop it.

Even if I believed such a god existed, I would not want to worship him. I consider myself and all of my friends and family morally superior to such a god. That's not meant as an insult, BTW, it's just honestly how I feel.


i don't find the system complicated at all. In fact, I find it quite ingenious truth be told. It may appear complicated because it couldn't be what you stated-that of simply deciding there is no wrong or forcefully preventing sin from being possible for the reasons I stated-that it had to offer redemption but simultaneously not force it on anyone. A multi-pronged maneuver, if you like. Yes, there is a possible negative consequence to the choice you ultimately make, but as I've stated earlier in the thread, freedom isn't true freedom if the negative consequence cannot be attained.

Christian doctrine teaches that God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are at once separate and also the same. Jesus is at once a separate entity from God, whilst simultaneously BEING God himself.

That means that God, aka Jesus, created Hell as punishment for sinners. However, God/Jesus also knew ahead of time that there would come a time when he would want to forgive people and offer them a chance at redemption.
So God/Jesus devised a plan to rescue people from the place HE created, for committing deeds that HE decided were evil.
He did this by sending himself (Jesus) on Earth to be sacrificed to himself (God).
So basically God sacrificed himself to himself in order to save humans, whom he created, from a terrible place he also created.

And you don't find this complicated at all?


Why indeed then? You answer me. You're the one claiming that this world is all there is and it's all that matters. We become dust after death, no one will judge us. A believer gets rewarded for not JUST doing good deeds, as I'v said. It's the realization that this world is worthless, it's the dedication towards an invisible entity. Why be rewarded? Because you managed to realize that it IS indeed a dream. If you were given a challenge. We'll somehow suck your memory, put you to sleep and then you have to realize that this is a dream. If you do, we'll give you a cookie. That's why. That's why there's a reward for this particular dream.

There are some religions that say good deeds don't matter, that ALL that matters is faith. You can be a total a-hole your whole life and then go through a deathbed conversion, without ever having had the chance to make up for all your bad deeds, yet you're still going to be rewarded. How is that fair? According to these religions, Hitler went to Heaven because he claimed to have faith in God, and Gandhi went to Hell because he followed the wrong religion.

You're the one who claimed this world is just a dream, not me. I don't understand why one should be rewarded for having a dream. Dreams are uncontrollable, we do things in them that we don't mean to do. So if this world is a dream and you do bad things in it, then you can't be held accountable for your deeds after "waking up", right? Many religions say suicide is a sin, for example. You can have a dream in which you commit suicide even though you would never do such a thing outside of dreams. So if what we call reality is just another dream, and someone commits suicide in this world, it can't be claimed they've committed a sin because they shouldn't be held accountable for something they do in a dream. That's like cops busting into your house and arresting you on the charge that "we know you didn't do anything, but you were thinking it".


I'm strictly speaking from the point of view i'v chosen. I already addressed this as a gamble. To me, no other possibility exists. The same goes for an atheist. No other possibilities exist but the ones they have chosen to believe.


Not entirely true. Most atheists, even the staunchest ones, will admit there's a possibility they're wrong. They just find it very unlikely. Speaking for myself, I can't say with absolute certainty what will happen after I die, but all the evidence I've found and considered so far points towards nothing. If strong evidence to the contrary happens, I will readjust my position accordingly.

Assassin_M
01-14-2015, 02:09 AM
There are some religions that say good deeds don't matter, that ALL that matters is faith. You can be a total a-hole your whole life and then go through a deathbed conversion, without ever having had the chance to make up for all your bad deeds, yet you're still going to be rewarded. How is that fair? According to these religions, Hitler went to Heaven because he claimed to have faith in God, and Gandhi went to Hell because he followed the wrong religion.
Well, again i'm speaking strictly from my point of view of Islam. Which says that one cannot JUST proclaim that there exists only one god but they must also act on this proclamation. I don't disagree that what you stated is unfair, though.


You're the one who claimed this world is just a dream, not me. I don't understand why one should be rewarded for having a dream. Dreams are uncontrollable, we do things in them that we don't mean to do. So if this world is a dream and you do bad things in it, then you can't be held accountable for your deeds after "waking up", right? Many religions say suicide is a sin, for example. You can have a dream in which you commit suicide even though you would never do such a thing outside of dreams. So if what we call reality is just another dream, and someone commits suicide in this world, it can't be claimed they've committed a sin because they shouldn't be held accountable for something they do in a dream. That's like cops busting into your house and arresting you on the charge that "we know you didn't do anything, but you were thinking it".
Oh man, now you're arguing semantics. I was speaking strictly in a symbolic and metaphorical sense. A dream is a state of sleep, a state of temporary euphoria and bliss. I could use another example. A drug. Life is a drug. Consuming a lot of it leads to temporary bliss. In Islam, worship and realization of a creator is the rejection of this temporary bliss and all of life's pleasures.

As for doing something and having no will, thus negating the punishment, let me address it again. Your deeds are foreknown to God in his record but they are not preordained for you against your will. They are only preordained in his prescience just as you may foresee, in the light of your knowledge, that your child will commit an act and they actually go on to do it. Have you compelled them to do it? Or was it, in fact, a foreknowledge which came true because of your founded comprehension of the situation? Sure, kids can surprise us sometimes but think about it. if us measly humans can predict our kids' actions MOST of time, heck, some people can predict and foresee other strangers' actions before they're done by analyzing situations, what make you of a creator? Who knows EVERYTHING about his creations?

That said, The sphere of accountability is the area of divine injunction. Within this area you are free and your argument should be confined inside its compass. You are free to repress your appetites, to bridle your rage, to resist the prompting of your ego, to deter your evil intentions, to enhance your benevolent tendencies. You can be generous with your money and self, you can tell the truth or lie, you can restrain your hand from forbidden gains, you can divert your eye from prying into sensitive spots of others, you can hold your tongue and refrain from cursing, back-biting, and slander. Man's freedom is within the sphere of injunction. This kind of freedom is real and the evidence for its reality is your innate, intuitive sense of it. We feel responsibility and contrition for our wrong-doing and we feel relief over our good deeds. We sense in every moment of our lives that we are involved in weighing and choosing from among several possibilities.

The primary function of our mind, indeed, is to choose and favor from among alternatives. This freedom is further affirmed by our experience that it is impossible under any pressure to compel the heart to accept anything it does not want to. You can force a woman with threats and beating to undress but no pressure whatsoever can make her love you with all her heart. This indicates that God has safeguarded our hearts from all forms of compulsion and duress and that he created them free. This is why God judges according to what the heart harbors and the intentions bear. If a believer is forced into polytheism, there's no responsibility on them. If a non-believer is forced by a believer to utter that there is only one god, then the believer has wronged them and will be punished. As for the non-believer, if that's their only experience with the belief, then there's no punishment on them. As the believer tarnished the image of Islam. God's judgment WILL be just.

A further element of confusion in connection with question of freedom of will is that some people understand human freedom as meaning of transcendence of divine will and a management of affairs independent of God. It is a mistaken conception; for human will does not transcend divine will. Man, in his freedom, may act contrary to what satisfies God, but he cannot do anything in contradiction to his will. God granted us freedom to transgress against His wishes (i.e we disobey Him) but he gave none the freedom to transcend his will. In fact, we encounter here another facet of relative nature of human freedom.


All our actions are within the sphere of divine will and are subservient to it even if they go against God's wishes. Our freedom itself is a divine gift that god willingly bestowed and it was not forcefully extorted from him. Indeed, our freedom is exactly what he willed. Our will is subservient to his; it is a grant from him, a gift of his kindness and generosity. It lies within his own will; there is no duality, opposition, or competition between our wills and God's will and judgment. Our freedom is precisely what he wills and decides.

A third point of confusion about the issue of freedom is that some people who tackled the question of fate and predestination or the controversy of determinism versus freedom have understood fate as a compelling of man to that which is contrary to his nature. God in the Quran has unequivocally denied that he resorts to compulsion when he said: "If we will, we can reveal to them a sign from heaven before which they will bow their heads in utter humility"
The meaning here is clear enough: God could have compelled humans to believe by revealing incontestable and immutable signs or miracles but he did not choose this path because compulsion is not one of his laws as he says: "There shall be no compulsion in religion. True guidance is now distinct from error" and "Had your Lord pleased, all the people of the earth would have believed in him. Would you then force faith upon men?"
Compulsion, it is plain, is not part of Divine Law. Fate and predestination should not be conceived as a forcing of people to what is against their natures; on the contrary, God destines each human being to a fate which corresponds to their intentions.

He wills them to what he himself really wills and He desires for them what he himself desires. There is no duality here. God's preordination is identical to a creature's freedom of choice because God predestines every man according to their own desires and intentions. He said in the Quran: "Whoever seeks the harvest of the world to come, to him we will give in great abundance; and whoever desires the harvest of this world, a share of it shall be his."

God preordains according to the intentions and heart of man. There is no duality or opposition; predestination is freedom of choice as God predestines us to what we choose with our hearts and intentions. There is no injustice, compulsion, or duress in this regard and there is no subjection to what is against our natures. Man has freedom of choice in relation to what he knows, he is preordained with regard to what he knows not. This means that the more knowledgeable man becomes the freer he is and this holds true whether the knowledge meant is objective (Worldly) or otherwise.

A "natural" fact uttered by people is "the inevitability of class conflict." According to scientific analysis, this is a fallacy since there are no inevitabilities in the human sphere but, at best, there are only probabilities and expectations, right? The distinction between man and all the prophecies of Karl Marx, for instance, have been proven wrong. Communism did not rise in an advanced country, as he predicted, but in a backward, by today's standards, one. The conflict between capitalism and communism did not intensify but both camps were led by rapprochement to a state of "peaceful co-existence". Communist countries have even gone so far as to open their doors before American capital.

Marx's calculations were mistaken in their entirety, proving the error of his deterministic system. The failure resulted from a basic fallacy: namely, the materialistic conception of man as a fly caught in a net of inevitabilities and the total disregard of the reality of man's freedom.

There are, still, the arguments about the conditioning of man by the environment, society, and circumstances. Man, it is claimed, does not live alone and his freedom is not practiced in a vacuum. In reply to these arguments, one can say that the influence of the environment, society, and circumstances as factors antagonistic to human freedom confirms the dialectic nature of that freedom and does not negate it. The freedom of the individual can only assert its existence in the face of an opposing force seeking to displace it. If man moves in a vacuum where no resistance of any kind exists, he will not be free in the logical meaning of the word since there will be no obstacles for him to overcome and thereby manifest and emphasize his freedom.


Not entirely true. Most atheists, even the staunchest ones, will admit there's a possibility they're wrong. They just find it very unlikely. Speaking for myself, I can't say with absolute certainty what will happen after I die, but all the evidence I've found and considered so far points towards nothing. If strong evidence to the contrary happens, I will readjust my position accordingly.
Oh come now. Unlikely, possibly, maybe. Aren't we talking about eternal torture here? lol, how can ANYONE be expected to supposedly embrace the claim that no creator or sustainer exists when its adherents are saying words such as "unlikely"?. You may say that shows how non-believers are more humble than believers but really, who's being more humble? Someone demanding strong evidence (Which is SO vague, i can't even begin to describe) from a creator to thank for waking up everyday? to bow your head in humility for? Or someone who needed no evidence but simply followed their hearts and bowed down to the creator? God cannot be worshiped except with knowledge <------ this is just for people who may say "Oh, but those who were born believers". NO ONE has a one way ticket to heaven. If they're believers but don't actually ACT in accordance to said belief, well then.

If one has a doubt, even if it's as meager as 0.001%, then there's really no base to their belief. They need to know more, learn more until there's complete certainty of a subject. If I had 0.001% doubt that what I believe is true, I would not be partaking in this debate.

Megas_Doux
01-14-2015, 02:18 AM
Too late for the party!
Meh....

SixKeys
01-14-2015, 10:49 AM
Well, again i'm speaking strictly from my point of view of Islam. Which says that one cannot JUST proclaim that there exists only one god but they must also act on this proclamation. I don't disagree that what you stated is unfair, though.

I don't think there's much point to continuing our discussion, since I don't know enough about Islam. My experiences and views stem mostly from Christianity (and its dozens of different branches). It's not always clear to me when you're using something as a metaphor and when it's a literal interpretation of your holy texts. In Christianity, there are those who think the story of Genesis is purely metaphorical and that it's absurd to view it as a literal, historical event, and those who say there's no way it's a metaphor, that it's blasphemy to even suggest it didn't happen exactly as described. So I'm used to even the most absurd claims being adopted as literal truth by some who follow a given religion, hence my confusion at your dream/illusion comparison.


Oh come now. Unlikely, possibly, maybe. Aren't we talking about eternal torture here? lol, how can ANYONE be expected to supposedly embrace the claim that no creator or sustainer exists when its adherents are saying words such as "unlikely"?. You may say that shows how non-believers are more humble than believers but really, who's being more humble? Someone demanding strong evidence (Which is SO vague, i can't even begin to describe) from a creator to thank for waking up everyday? to bow your head in humility for? Or someone who needed no evidence but simply followed their hearts and bowed down to the creator? God cannot be worshiped except with knowledge <------ this is just for people who may say "Oh, but those who were born believers". NO ONE has a one way ticket to heaven. If they're believers but don't actually ACT in accordance to said belief, well then.

If one has a doubt, even if it's as meager as 0.001%, then there's really no base to their belief. They need to know more, learn more until there's complete certainty of a subject. If I had 0.001% doubt that what I believe is true, I would not be partaking in this debate.

When I say "unlikely", it's basically like asking "do aliens exist?" Do I belive aliens have visited this earth? No. I have seen no evidence that convinces me they have, nor that they even exist. Does that mean no aliens could ever exist anywhere, given very specific parameters that qualify them as aliens, including on other planets that we have yet to discover, or alternate realities that we have no way of proving or disproving? No. There's a possibility, however slight, that aliens exist somewhere in this vast universe. Therefore one cannot ever say with 100% certainty that something is impossible. But it can be very, very, very, very, very, very unlikely given what we currently know. That's the way I feel about God.

It's been an interesting discussion. Peace out. :)

Charles_Phipps
05-17-2015, 09:18 PM
Speaking as a religious person:

I'm not overly concerned about the monologue or the fact Arno is an atheist. Atheists exist in real-life (plenty on these boards), there were atheists in the French Revolution, and so on. It's not a big deal to assign a character atheism anymore than to assign them a religious belief. However, the big issue for me on this was that it was unrelated to almost the entirety of the rest of the game. Arno is talking about how there's a big issue of there being no one to judge everyone and something he claims is profound but, really, has almost NOTHING to do with the rest of the game.

It's part of the problem I had with Arno's final confrontation with Germain where the "hero" of the game let's the villain monologue about changing the world--when Arno wasn't hunting him for his beliefs but for a very personal vendetta. It would have been supremely satisfying for Arno to say something like, "I don't give a crap about your motivations. You killed my foster father and my girlfriend--so I killed you. Enjoy nothingness/hell/irrelevance ******."

But no, that would be too cool for Arno.

Of course, the role of religion in the games has been an interesting point as well.

Assassin's Creed 1 and all subsequent games in the series have their introduction "made by a bunch of blah blah blah" because of the fact the game went out of its way to state religion existed purely as a form of social control. Which, of course, is a common atheist perspective but ends up hitting the problematic barrier of the fact plenty of religious people actually BELIEVE in the supernatural--which doesn't quite fit their theory.

They backed away from this, of course, in Assassin's Creed II and Brotherhood. Yes, you have a fistfight with the Pope but if you know anything about Catholicism and Christianity in general then you know conflicts between the masses and corrupt religious figures has been there from the very beginning. Hell, the French Revolution had a lot of motivation from the fact that for all the 'divine right of kings' things, the Bible talks about how God turned against Saul and later Kings ordained by him for their corruption.

Altair was an atheist and he's an important character in the Assassin's mythology while other Assassins have had religious beliefs (Agate, Teradora Contato, Connor). The issue of "nothing is true, everything is permitted" might argue that religion is inherently wrong. But, of course, the nature of the Creed is about questioning EVERYTHING. As Edward Kenway finally gets it in the end, "It is the beginning of wisdom rather than the end."

You might argue that the AC series is inherently atheistic due to its roots in AC1 and you might have a point but, hey, it's just a game and there's no reason to cater to me over any other fans out there. Despite this, though, I dislike the bad storytelling of Arno's character development more than anything else. It's not just the atheism issue which is dissonant in his final speech but also the fact he takes time to talk about how fanaticism is against the Creed. Indeed, that "Nothing is true, Everything is Permitted" is a guarding against zealotry--which is a FRIGGING STRETCH.

Which is out of nowhere since the Templars aren't fanatics. They're manipulative jerkasses but Arno never ENGAGES them on that level. The only fanatic in the game is Bellec and he plays a relatively minor role in the story. It's also ridiculous for Arno to claim that you can't change the world by killing people when HE'S AN ASSASSIN.

Yeesh.

Bad writing all around.