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The god of my world is malevolent. He loves manipulating people, destroying cities, and causing tragedies all around the globe. He thinks this is the best way to govern humans, and nothing can convince him otherwise. If the world could get rid of him, it would solve all problems. History would enter a period of peace and prosperity for millennia to come.

But the people can't realistically win a war against this god.

As an almighty being, his strength and intelligence far surpass that of humans. Not only is he cunning, but he is also very cautious and has many powerful subordinates under his service. Thus, winning by force is out of consideration. The people could try to intimidate him into leaving the world, but it would hardly have a chance to work. As for assassination, this god can die, but he's pretty much immune to poison, and it would take quite a lot of effort to even leave a scratch upon his body.

In this situation, how can humans end the world domination of the evil God?

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    $\begingroup$ I have the impression this is about your story, not your world. Kind of a reboot of the lord of the rings. $\endgroup$
    – L.Dutch
    Jun 5, 2020 at 12:08
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    $\begingroup$ History teach us that all it take is to kill the family of a person who have anger issues and off they go on god killing rampage. BOOOOOY! $\endgroup$ Jun 5, 2020 at 12:09
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    $\begingroup$ can they choose to worship another God? or is there other God? maybe try convince the God subordinate to do a coup to take over? $\endgroup$
    – Li Jun
    Jun 5, 2020 at 12:13
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    $\begingroup$ Zeus him, lure him in with a temptress and find out if he has any physical weaknesses, or have the temptress mess his head up if thats possible. $\endgroup$
    – user69935
    Jun 5, 2020 at 12:28
  • $\begingroup$ "Almighty'? If this is merely the god of the world in question, how can he be ALL mighty? $\endgroup$
    – Mary
    Jun 5, 2020 at 12:42

6 Answers 6

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From the inside.

God has "many powerful subordinates". That is a risky proposition for a powerful entity. Many dictators won't have it this way, because a powerful subordinate is a threat. But your god does. Use that.

These powerful subordinates are non-gods, or maybe godlings. Some are rational; more rational that this god who "cannot be convinced". It is a rational thing to ally yourself with the most powerful entity around. The fact that the god has subordinates means it is not all powerful; it needs boots on the ground.

You will work with subordinates chosen for their own reason and cunning. Implementing the whims of this god can be done in many ways. Cultivate the underlings that are themselves cunning... and ambitious. When the time comes for revolt, fall in behind chosen underling. This one will know more about the weaknesses of the god than you do, and being cunning will choose a time that is good for its overthrow.

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  • $\begingroup$ This. Just see this short list of coups in history to this that lot of dictators gain and loose power with a coup d'état. If you deleguate, you just give power to folks that can use it against you. $\endgroup$
    – Kepotx
    Jun 5, 2020 at 12:37
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Make him hate the job: If it is possible in your world, I would suggest out-thinking rather than out-fighting him. Your god clearly doesn't need love and faith. If it doesn't need people, then convince it to leave and go elsewhere.

  • Watchmen scenario: Your god somehow thrives off the fear-based worship of people. Convince them that their god will hurt them worse if they are faithful, and they will lose faith. It is better to be feared than loved, but if there is no benefit to fear, why serve at all? As the god punishes for disbelief, it reinforces with people that faith = punishment.
  • Poison pill: Why does your god want the job? Is it convinced ruling with an iron fist is good for people? Knowing is half the battle. If your god can be convinced that people aren't worthy of it's "affection," Hopefully it will move on and create a new people elsewhere. The risk is that it will wipe out your people to make room for new ones. It wouldn't be the first time in a story universe.
  • Competition: Every dualistic universe needs a Marduk to oppose Tiamat, so introduce a good version of Satan; ideally this could mesh with something like Willk's answer, or perhaps the focus of the story could be seeking out the lost ancient good diety, or your god's brother, cousin, etc. Even if your god isn't defeated, competition makes it unpleasant. The risk here is your god sounds pretty stubborn - my kids will oppose change to win, even past the point where they get no benefit. Your world could be destroyed in the conflict.
  • Fire ants: Well, of course you can't defeat God, but what does God hate? Maybe every graven image smashed causes pain. Every priest murdered causes fatigue. Immunity to poison doesn't mean things can't be unpleasant - like poison ivy. And if your god opens itself up to proofs of it's power, find out what causes your god suffering and have people do it OVER and OVER until there's no joy in your god's life.
  • Baldur the beautiful: Baldur was so beloved, ALMOST everything in the world promised never to harm him - except mistletoe. Of course, someone exploited this. Maybe your god is so feared, everything promised not to hurt it - except (fill in the blank). Your god could have a hidden weakness, and even the fear of it might convince him that there are healthier places to be than around here. You know the god has a weakness, but not what? Convince it that you learned the weakness. in For Love of Evil, the new devil convinces the demons to serve him by getting the secret that the Devil doesn't actually have any power over the demons - only the demon's faith that the Devil DOES have power. Just knowing the weakness might be enough.
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Create your own GOD.

If the many GODs across oh so many works of fiction depict that they take their power FROM followers....

Start worshiping an entity of protection, benevolence and every trait you want it to have. Focus on gaining more followers and sacrifices out of love and positive emotions.
When that worship reaches critical mass, you have your own supernatural entity!

I'm a Dungeon Master and the maxim of if it bleeds, it can die would apply as well.
Weaken it before attacking, search for forbidden and lost lore, such as each time on the equinox. Inherithed gold, that the strike must be from someone who was a believer.

The ritual and rarity lends higher weight to the action. Search in your history about how that Malevolent God was borne and search for banes.
Again, a sufficiently determined party of misfits can accomplish many a deed.

Want to have a dead God? Place some loot nearby and watch the fireworks.

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The answer depends a bit of exactly HOW almighty your god is.

From the point of view of the computer programs, programmers are effectively gods:

  1. They can do seemingly anything
  2. They seem to exist outside the world, yet they're seemingly omnipresent
  3. They clearly have some plan for how everything should behave, and will intervene if something or someone deviates from this plan

Now try explaining to any programmer you know how this implies that they are in complete power of what their code does and how their creations are always compliant and easy to manage. I wish you luck!

It is fairly common for people discussing deities to assume that you must be able to fully understand something to create it, but this assumption is wrong. I create things I don't understand all the time! The guy who invented Rubik's cube was surprised to find it would take him years to solve it the first time, and the people who invented chess probably had a very poor idea of just how complex the game is. The implication from someone being the creator of the world to that this entity actually understands it simply isn't there!

Now imagine that you create something which actively tries to make you leave it alone. With a computer program you can usually just shut it down, but there could be many reasons you can't do that with an entire world. Maybe the creation is literary the Universe, and destroying it would destroy your only place to live? Maybe it's like one of those computer programs which hang but refuses to terminate, and if you were to restart the computer you loose all your other projects? Or, leaving the computer metafor for a bit, maybe the world simply manages to drive you away by being too annoying, starting to smell so you want to throw up or something else? If you made a pond somewhere in the forest, and populated it with fish and plants, if it started to stink too bad to be near it, wouldn't you eventually just abandon it to try making another one some place else?

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You say the 'god' has a large number of subordinates. If some or all of them can be persuaded to go into rebellion against it on humanity's behalf, then you may have a chance. It depends on how reliant he is on them for actions in the world.

Warning, this did not work out well in the Old Testament.

A more subtle form of undermining would be if the subordinates simply start lying in their reports ("Yup, we nuked Sodom as you requested alright" when it's still standing) and secretly doing good for humanity rather than harm.

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Love and Lies:

Your god is smart, powerful, and petty. How do people deal with evil bosses in the real world? You distract them, gain their affection, and lie, lie, lie.

  • Delilah: If your god is anthropomorphic, perhaps he likes female company (like lots of gods in mythology). Offer up women who will manipulate him. If he falls in love, he may spare cities and lives to please the woman/women he's with. These same women can get close to him and gain information to help society. He's going to demolish Arcana City next week? Evacuate the city, leaving a token group to maintain the veneer of habitation. Does he have a secret weakness? How did those assassins guess I'm allergic to Sumac?
  • Deception: If your god is lazy in his evil, he may be guided into behaviors that protect people while not really controlling them. The Aztecs (and lots of religions) believed their sacrifices were to avert the gods from destroying the world. Make cities partly subterranean, and very small/bland on the surface. The people build big, wooden cities all painted pretty nearby filled with fake goods and materials. Maybe your god doesn't even care if the stuff is real - perhaps he just likes to watch it burn.
  • Lies: His servants aren't all that loyal - they want to please him, but do they care if they carry out the spirit of his wishes, or only the word? Perhaps he farms out retribution to them, and they burn one city a year. The locals know it's coming, and move out. The sick or even the dead are moved in, and the whole thing becomes a charade. The foundations are left, the undesirables (sick, criminal) of society are eliminated, and it becomes a weird urban renewal. Preserved bodies shipped in from all over are burnt, leaving the remains of thousands as testament to the punishments. Maybe the people even pray to the servants to intercede with the master. Again, The god might even be okay with it if he learns - after all, he's a "good" god (in his own mind), and eliminating the weak and bringing renewal are things he supports.
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