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Competing Religions

So, my interest in the bronze age middle east is pretty narrow and outside of the timeline of the base game. However, I would like to discuss rival religions. For example, there were two early bronze age cities: Umma and Lagash. The patron god of Umma, Shara, was a minor war god; and the patron god of Lagash, Ningirsu, was a god of law, scribes, farming, and hunting. These two cities were so often at war that their two respective gods were considered to have hated each other and were held responsible for their city’s victories and defeats. Hence, they formed a mythological rivalry. Although these gods were much older than the early bronze age, it is only in the EBA that they came into major conflict; so, I don’t know if the same could have happened in neolithic times or not. However, it would seem to me that going to war with another tribe with a different religion to your own would make your citizens more intolerant of that religion by proxy.

Think of Civ VI. If you try to proselytize in another city with your missionaries and apostles and the ruler of that city tells you to stop, but you continue, then you receive a diplomatic penalty with that character. This system seems to work on the large scale, but on a city-building level, I think the mechanic would be too personal and not representative of a communal response to proselytizing. So, I think that hatred of rival cults would be an alternative, much like how the early followers of Seth in Prehistoric Egypt (game) hate Horus and result in inevitable conflict with that cult.

More exciting in this regard should be another question. When and why did the first homosapnia come to the conclusion that there must be a “higher power”. How did he come to the term “God”?
From this position to the levels of “faith” and on to “religion” it is certainly a piece of road.

Until the gods talked to the people, gave them laws, had sex with them, and generated demigods, demanded human sacrifices, and predestined them to massacre other peoples/nations and claim their land on their behalf, it needed this first moment.

(@Sargon - Pardon for your heavy life - I do my Best)

well, the formation of gods is easy to imagine, at least in Mesopotamia. You see, when the first farms sprung up on the banks of the Tigris and Euphrates, the people only had so much land to cultivate. So, in order to cultivate more land, they began to dig irrigation canals. To oversee the proper digging of these canals and the proper division of labor, a strong man/women emerged. He or she gained power from the people he or she oversaw and enforced his or her power by invoking the supernatural. By saying that an eternal God gave them the right to rule, he or she legitimize their right to rule by appealing to the human mind’s fear of the unknown. That is why Sumerian gods are vindictive, petty, and cruel and consider humans merely slaves to do their bidding - because that is exactly how these strong men/women (ensi/priests) saw their “citizens”. The gods eventually became symbolic of the might of the ruler who represented them and the cities they built…

But, in short, gods exist because of our natural fear of the unknown and the comfort humans feel when they think some supernatural sky-father is protecting them.

Btw, much better English this time. Good Job!

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That’s the benefit, right. But, when and how did the first man come to this thought. Animals do not orient themselves in this direction. (As far as I know)

In more northern regions, gods were more worshiped, which were associated with natural forces. Fertility, weather, sun, etc. The war gods followed later. Probably, the population density was so small that people could still do it alone …:grin:

I’m not sure what you mean by more worshiped… The gods of southern Mesopotamia such as Enlil of Nippur, Nana of Ur, and Inanna and Anu of Uruk were all very heavily worshiped and developed very early on. Not to mention that Inanna was a goddess of war… War gods are just as old as any other diety… though maybe “war” was more like raiding than what we think of as war.

“venerated” I meant. Google translator sometimes misunderstands me …

Gods like Dagon were amalgam deities… if that’s what you’re talking about. Storm Gods held considerable influence in Anatolia, the Levant and Syria. And many of these gods were also war gods, such as Dagon (originally fertility God but became more warlike). Fertility gods were just venerated in northern Mesopotamia as in the south (as far as I know) eg. Enki of Eridu. But, if we’re talking about Europe, then I have no clue about the gods and goddesses they worshiped other than Celtic, Greco-roman, and Norse gods of the iron age and classical age

Me with the Mesopothamic gods. Except for a few gods of the Bible, I have never heard of the gods, mentioned by you. I would not really call it “my specialty”:stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

There is only one God in the bible. :slight_smile: Religion is shown throughout the world and it usually centers around fertility, weather, conquest, celebration. Those are a few I can think of.

I speak English and it really does a number on me. I find no problem with how your English comes across. I do like your idea of more than one religion in the game and the rivalry would create an interesting dynamic.

(I hate Civ 6 religion aspect. Chasing around and the enemy priests to stop them or to get back your people from that evil :slight_smile: religion from China is boring. It is worse in the new patch.) I hope AC could come up with a better system.

There are others mentioned, I know for certain Baal is.

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Yes, sorry, without google-trans no contiguous sentence :smirk:

For the beginnings of religion, it is probably about food (hunting, weather, rain, etc.). With the emergence of peoples into nations, the connection of the respective ruler with the divine becomes of ever more central significance. The justification of unpopular decisions must be justified. So God spoke to me, do so, leave that. The ruler takes the role of a messenger of higher commands. The Prister caste is an imaginary auxiliary organization to sell the invisible and incomprehensible credible.Very important: she had to be strictly separate from rule. The supernatural had to be preserved.
Their “knowledge” and “faith” are displayed by the necessity of sacrifices. Only this group can do this, because only those know what God / the gods expect. This creates a sense of interpretation, which in turn allows the ruling class to define and dominate “common people”. The lower people must accept their insignificance, otherwise domination will not work.
Anxiety and violence is also an option, but much more expensive than “God” and not so sustainable.

What is interesting in this context is our present time. While Islam creates a homogeneous, submissive unity among the fundamental believers, the authority of the ruling class is increasingly questioned in democratic Christian nations.

Probably we are still in a development process. For many people, it is important to believe in a higher power that directs things. Others adhere to the explanatory contexts, which, although they produce admiration, do not allow a place for faith in the religious sense.

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In the war, faith in a higher power (which is, of course, on our side) helps morality. It will be a little problematic if the same God is fighting on both sides. So it was better to take another god into the battle, preferably a much stronger one. Or one had to declare the opponent to something low, a god unworthy.
If the victory did not work, the belief in a paradise was better than nothing. Glory and honor, o.k., but something more should be. How wonderful, then, that after the death one was again united with the family, met his comrades in the beyond, or even stayed with the gods. Then one dies equally much more relaxed, if the enemy 3: 1 is superior. :wink:

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Yes, they are called gods but not the true god. To note they involved a lot of sacrifice of children. Also, the true God is about him coming to us and not man coming to god. For example, https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Kings+18%3A25-39&version=NIV. :slight_smile: Enought of this time to get back to AC.

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1 Samuel 15:3-4 of Christian mythology states that every man, woman and child (of the Amalekites) should be murdered. =/ This is directed by the Christian god, not one of the other 50+ referenced in the bible.

"Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy[a] all that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.’”

(This is one of many examples)

One of the joys of being an atheist is I don’t need to worry about this stuff, but it is certainly interesting to read.

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“True God” is certainly in the eye of the respective viewer. Think, all believers are united. How would you represent in the game that a god comes to the NPC’s? Could be an exciting situation.

Well, at this time of “Christian” was not a long talk. From the viewpoint of the non-Hebrews, it was one of many war-gods who demanded his people to be particularly horrendous in dealing with defeated opponents. (This was certainly not uncommon) It was not very economic, because slaves would have more value for a nation, which must build up a realm.

Assuming that the excess is the facts, a player would have to deal with this people during the Bronze Age.

Could also well imagine that some want to play this people. After all, their roots extend to the Neolithic period (Esau hunters, Jakob farmer, lentil dish), although I have forgotten the time from which this family saga became a “people”. Think, that was only in Egypt, but I’m not sure.

A mod is worth it.

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The story of the Amalekites, as far as I can tell, occurs sometime between 500-1000 BC. The time the game is set is ~3000 BCE (per their twitter location marker). This means the game’s events are 2000-2500 years earlier than the Amalekites. In fact, the genocide of the Amalekites occurs about 4000-4500 before the pictures I post (which are early Neolithic).

Gods of the Neolithic people may have been quite different from the Omni present sky god worshiped by the Judeo-Christian religions. We simply don’t know and may never. You’ll note in ancient history gods are typically much more anthropomorphic. They tend to have a certain pettiness to them (they fight, e.g. Greek Gods), as well as often a theme (e.g. God of War). The ancient Jewish god, who would one day become the God of Abraham, was much more anthropomorphic and themed in his earlier descriptions. Yahweh appears to have been created by bronze age Canaanites. More interestingly, there has been debate that Yahweh may have had a wife named Asherah.
https://books.google.com/books?id=2xadCgAAQBAJ&lpg=PA49&dq=Kuntillet%20Ajrud%20Yahweh%20and%20his%20asherah&pg=PA49#v=onepage&q=Kuntillet%20Ajrud%20Yahweh%20and%20his%20asherah&f=false

If anyone has a background in this (not religious, but scholarly) it would be interesting to hear an informed opinion on Asherah.

The Bronze Age is of course not the Neolithic, but it’s certainly possible that Yahweh, probably previously to that called El, probably had some origin even before that. It gets a little tricky as the people Yahweh comes from appear to have been polytheistic, making Yahweh one of many gods. Perhaps that is why in the Ten Commandments mythos, Yahweh says thou shall have no other gods before me, which doesn’t really make sense unless you were speaking in polytheistic terms.

Being atheist does not preclude one from having an interest in such things LOL :slight_smile: I also like other mythologies, such as Greek mythology.

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Please, I do not know if you are serious or just doing it for provocation but either way it is no clever. I do not believe in any gods and I do not post or insist in my posts that there is no god. Religion/no Religion belief is personnal thing and must be repected, posts like the one you write do not contribute at all to the topic.
There no point to talk about “one god” religion in a period where religion itself was just a sum of beliefs and not well organize.

On the competing religions topic : I think it is a good idea but I do not think it must rely too much on violence, more like emerging/dying beliefs that your chaman/priest try to preserve or fight.

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I think, it is helpful to separate faith and religion. Believing is a personal thing. Religion is institutional, something that is required by what expectations are tied to. If faith and religion are in harmony with the individual, everything is o.k. To achieve this harmony is the endeavor of the Prister class. For only if the voluntary sub-arrangement functions under a foreign opinion can the exercise of power succeed. Interestingly, dependency / poverty always plays an important role in the mass of believers. The more independent an individual is, the harder the conviction work becomes. Deeply religious societies are usually not very well-stocked and often not well-educated (in the sense of general knowledge of the respective epoch). Religious upheavals had their origin always in the elites, never in the lower people. There was more the reverse of the phenomenon, the abundance, the occultism and the persistence of traditions until it was no longer possible through earthly / secular violence.

I also think that too much religion could paralyze the game. It would have to be too much thought, often the religious play is completely illogical and would hinder a continuous development. For players with today’s understanding very difficult to grasp.

Perhaps a “hardcore mode” that offers religion as an additional difficulty level?