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There is a world where gods exist—but they are just mighty beings. Not almighty and surely not omnipotent. However, far beyond any capabilities of any mortal beings (they're gods after all). Gods, however, can not directly manipulate mortal minds unless those mortals are in high faith with them.

There are "good" and "evil" gods, but the concept of "good" and "evil" exist only in the minds of mortals. Now, because they are gods, they will generally try to shape the mortal world according to what they are. Gods who prefer wars will try to create more wars, gods who enjoy pure nature will grow forests etc...

There's an "evil" god Y who is inherently "evil"—requiring sacrifices, demanding slaughtering any who don't believe in Y, etc. One of the thing Y finds most amusing is imposing itself to some others and shaping them to its "faith", i.e. following "evil deeds".

This Y laid eyes on the race C of beings who are perceived by mortals as "very, very good beings" and Y wants to convert them. So Y imposes itself on them, wishing to convert them to do evil deeds.

How can the people of race C remain "good" under any pressure Y can do on them?

Remember, Y can not just simply convert their minds because initially they do not believe in Y (as it is an "evil" god). But Y can do advanced trickery, threats and so on and use full arsenal of it superpowers.

Also, Y doesn't want to exterminate race C but is fine with killing some of them to "make an example." Race C are mortals so they will be generally afraid of superpowers of the god and the miracles ("good" or "evil") it can bring

(for the sake of personal preference - one can swap "good" and "evil" in the question and the meaning will remain same)

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    $\begingroup$ If the god's not omniscient, what's the barrier to just telling the god that everything is just as they want whilst lying through your teeth? If the god is omniscient, then there is no way. $\endgroup$ – We are Monica. Apr 5 at 12:05
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    $\begingroup$ Does race C have a god? They won't easily give up trust in it, or it can help them. $\endgroup$ – Infrisios Apr 5 at 12:16
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    $\begingroup$ You cannot swap good and evil and tell the same story. The path of virtue is narrow, precipitous and twisted, while the path of sin is wide and easily travelled... $\endgroup$ – AlexP Apr 5 at 12:26
  • $\begingroup$ @AlexP I see that red-rag, call me bull-boy. $\endgroup$ – We are Monica. Apr 5 at 12:33
  • $\begingroup$ Are you asking how they can resist Y or are you asking how they can be converted to Y while still keeping up the appearance of goodliness? $\endgroup$ – Muuski Apr 5 at 16:31
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"Also, Y doesn't want to exterminate race C but is fine with killing some of them to "show example" Race C are mortals so they will be generally afraid of superpowers of the god and the miracles("good" or "evil") it can bring"

They don't believe in any gods. Good gods, evil gods, they don't have what you call belief. They KNOW they exist, they fear their power. For them, the gods are a fact of life you go around, like wolves or bears. But they are not their believers. They don't have faith in them. No trappings of religion either, with prayers and services. Their relationship is akin to that between Captain Picard and Q: you know Qs are powerful things that exist, you are careful when handling them, but you do not believe in them and you certainly don't worship them.

Would you worship a tiger, a storm or an atomic bomb? You might admire it from a far but pray to it and believe in it, worship it? No.

Instead, the C beings follow their own ironclad moral code which most other people consider to be good.

To quote Terry Pratchett (via his character, Granny Weatherwax):

“I don't hold with paddlin' with the occult," said Granny firmly. "Once you start paddlin' with the occult you start believing in spirits, and when you start believing in spirits you start believing in demons, and then before you know where you are you're believing in gods. And then you're in trouble."

"But all them things exist," said Nanny Ogg.

"That's no call to go around believing in them. It only encourages 'em.”

― Terry Pratchett, Lords and Ladies

C's are against the god Y because it is antithetical to their moral code. Occasionally, some rebel, tortured or misguided C will fall under Y's onslaught of power and trickery (old trick of making them think they are doing good while they are actually doing evil is useful here) and break that code and turn "evil" but C overall remain good people.

Now, the beauty of this solution is that moral code that C follow can be anything. Even leading to something called blue and orange morality in extreme cases. (Warning: tvtropes link!) But it can't be too weird, else others wouldn't consider C beings to be very, very good.

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  • $\begingroup$ (I like how you have a warning on the tvtropes link :P) Im not sure ‘believing’ is the word you’re looking for, if Race C lives in a world where gods exist and their power is demonstrable, i don’t think there is a way you can logically not believe in them. You can absolutely reject them and not worship or revere them, but not believing in them is to say you are denying their existence, to say they are fictional. Logically, you can’t make this claim if they clearly do exist. $\endgroup$ – Liam Morris - Reinstate Monica Apr 5 at 15:11
  • $\begingroup$ To use your example, even if i do not believe tigers exist, that does not change the fact that one is standing infront of me ready to turn me into its meal. In the same way, even if i say i do not believe in the gods, that would not change the fact that their power is influencing the world. $\endgroup$ – Liam Morris - Reinstate Monica Apr 5 at 15:12
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, but you do not have your faith in tiger. You're not praying to it, you do not consider it a god. In ST:TNG, Q has demonstrated his power multiple times to Picard. Did Picard start worshiping him? We are talking about two different things here. Knowledge and belief. You don't need belief to have knowledge of something. You only need to believe that something is true and that it is knowable and explainable. And that is not true faith. For example: youtu.be/E4gbsBlJwo4?t=33 $\endgroup$ – jo1storm Apr 5 at 20:25
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    $\begingroup$ As I said, there is difference between knowing something exists, believing something exists without being certain and believing IN something, as in putting your faith in it. I know for a fact hamsters exist. I held multiple ones in my hands. I know for a fact otters exist, I saw multiple ones in zoo. I believe platypuses exist despite never seeing one irl. But I saw kangaroos irl and I saw pictures of platypuses so I assume and believe with quite a certainty they exist. Yet, I do not put my faith IN platypuses. I won't trust that in my time of need one will save my life or worship one. $\endgroup$ – jo1storm Apr 5 at 20:42
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    $\begingroup$ This sounds like the Book of Job from the Bible. Or, if you prefer Henlein's humor, its similar to Job: A Comedy of Justice. $\endgroup$ – Cort Ammon Apr 5 at 21:06
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"Good" people would consider such an "evil" being a demon, a plague or a trial for the virtue of their souls, but never as their God. They might think their good god is putting them on trial, but they will not start worshipping the evil being.

If Evil God Y killed some of them, the people of C would fear him, but ultimately, they would rationalize his evil deeds as a punishment for something they did or a random catastrophe. Compare that to medieval europeans who rationalized that the plague known as Black Death was the punishment of God, but ultimately God was still "good" and everyone who didn't believe in God was "bad".

From countless years of history and many different cultures we know that people aren't easily persuaded to honor a new god. Even if historically people never received any direct feedback from any god, they always tended to stick with their old gods as long as there was no reason for them to believe their old gods abandoned them or the new gods were significantly better.

The people of C will remember their virtuous life and their good god for generations to come, knowledge passed from generation to generation in stories, legends and myths. Some individuals might start accepting Y as their god if they can derive personal gain from it, but the majority will reject Y dispite (or rather for) all his evil doings.

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Its a Matter of Interpretation

Allow me to explain. In any religion, there are many interpretations of a religious text. To use a real world example, this is why there is not just Christianity, there is Catholicism, there is the Church of the Later Day Saints, there is the Church of England just to name a few. Each interpretation has its own beliefs and practices but they all generally share the same basic ideas. These differences can even be as wide as thoese between Judaism and Christianity. Even though both religions follow the same god, they have vastly different ways of worshiping them.

Applying this here, Race C’s religion could be a sect or denomination of The Church of Y. Their interpretations of religious text and their practices may differ drastically from the ‘mainstream’ church’s beliefs. For example, rather than making human sacrafices and slaughtering everyone who does not follow The Church of Y, they may donate their money (which is still a type of sacrafice) and attempt to convert people like Jehovah’s Witnesses do. This would allow them to remain ‘good’ but still follow a god that is seen as ‘evil’.

Alternatively, this could be flipped on its head. For example, if in a religious text i write “if you die in a war, you will go to the afterlife” this could mean that “people do not have to fear attackers because they will go to the afterlife if they die”. Or, it could be interpretted as “we can go to war with anyone we like as we are guaranteed to go to the afterlife”. One of these interpretations could be seen as good, comforting and peaceful where as the other is aggressive and war-like. This could mean people from a “good” religion can justify and commit “evil” deeds.

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Well if C aren't humans, maybe their biology makes "evil" really unappealing. Like if all members of C have low level telepathy and can feel the pain they cause others it's gonna be really really hard to make evil seem like a good idea. Or if they have everything they want already like an elven race that are perfectly designed to forest living and have no unfulfilled desires to exploit.

Alternatively maybe C was made by a "good" god and have some of its essence in them which makes them unable to do evil/able to resist temptation. Or just have a "good" god looking over them and its countering the evil gods attempt stealthily.

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The evil god does nothing to race C. His audience is the mortals.

The key here is that there are 3 players: the god, race C, and mortals who perceive race C as "very very good". The god presumably wants to change the opinion of the mortals, to then perceive race C as not so good, or evil. Race C, presumably nonmortals, are just the targets.

Consider:

From the perspective of the plants, the gardener might be considered evil. Many plants are killed and thrown on the ground. Plants are cut back, literally mercilessly. The gardener is managing the garden to achieve her end of beauty or productivity.

From the perspective of the chicken, the farmer is evil. The chickens want to run around, peck up bugs, fight, mate, have chicks. Instead they are kept in cages. The farmer bears the chicken no ill will. He is managing them to achieve his end of many robust chickens and lots of eggs.

Race C performs acts that are in accord with their views of order. They exert their influence on the environment (including mortals) to produce their desired outcome. Until now, the mortals have perceived these acts and the intentions of C as "very very good".

In this story, race C does nothing different. They continue as they are. The god does nothing to them whatsoever. Instead, the god works on the tractable mortals and their perceptions, showing them how race C does things which are against the apparent interest of the mortals; how race C does not have the interests of mortals at heart, How race C might even be in opposition to mortals. Best of all: the evil god does not lie, only selectively emphasizes certain actions of race C out of the context of their overall goals and intents.

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The easy, and most natural solution would be this: Race C already has a god G. And G is onto Y's attempts to turn his/her people around, actively working against his evil schemes.

The point is, as long as G values what C value (the environment in which C can live best, the relationships that are most healthy for C, etc.), and actively and visibly works to keep the good alive, the most natural response for anyone belonging to C will be to love G and give Y the finger...

I mean, if you have a nice partner that you want to spend your life with, would you leave him/her for a scheming bastard that only wants your money? Believing in a god can be very much like such a relationship: Once you have the one you love, all the others won't stand much of a chance.

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