In an Empire-sized kingdom with gods actively in society, what could go wrong?
The society I have designed is in a high-Fantasy setting with more or less direct maintenance by the Pantheon of Gods. Each has a structured and active Role in, as well as a selfish interest in, the continuance of an orderly society. A goddess of Nobility hand-picks the most qualified rulers, A goddess of Medicine runs temple hospices equal to modern clinics, A goddess of Charity runs self-sufficient poorhouses in every town larger than a hamlet, A goddess of commerce facilitates exchange and inflation, and a god of Justice (albeit a demented one) runs a court where the judge knows all the defendant's thoughts.
The practicum of the prior paragraph is that:
- Crime rates are abysmally low in most places, across the board. My justification being that the relatively normal life enjoyed by the poorest in society would prevent them from being tempted into crime, as well as the hanging axe of a criminal court who knows guilt beforehand.
- Medicinal treatment is better than modern hospitals, even pre-electricity. The temple doctors are bound with a literal and enforceable by divine smiting version of the Hippocratic oath, and trained by a goddess with complete and All-encompassing knowledge of the human body (she helped design it in the first place). When certain cases like cancers or viral infections arise, she personally has the magical know-how to eliminate them with unearthly and non-invasive precision.
- Political unrest is not feasible, as every part of the nobility takes enforceable-by-smiting oaths against rebellion, disobedience, and sedition, as well as being carefully handpicked by an impartial and un-influenceable divine figure. The society is unusually orderly, with a direct federal-feudal hierarchy (i.e. fiefdoms do not divide, unite, expand, or contract, merely are taken over by a different person.)
- Taxation and commerce is almost impregnable, with a (very) rules-lawyering goddess overseeing all of the economics. She handles the minting of coins, distribution of bullion, and actively micromanages inflation. She also runs what is essentially a bank, with extra-dimensional storage spaces for valuable and currency, and keeps obsessively perfect records of all account totals.
- There is also a goddess of the Afterlife, who manages the recycling and/or destruction of souls. Anyone who chooses not to reincarnate can allow themselves to be obliterated. reincarnated souls are stripped of all memories, but retain the core aspects of their personalities.
- A goddess of Agriculture manages Farming, and helps eliminate crop and herd pestilences, as well as occaisonally snagging rainclouds when it is too dry. Though she doesn't have a formal following, she only helps those who contribute some of their crops to her temple.
- A goddess of Hunting handles the Animal side of food production, as well as stepping in to aid fisherman and their like. Her temple members are foresters and wildlife wardens, stopping the depletion of forests and rivers.
All of these divine figures, though competing in a larger sense, cooperate to maintain their own prevalence in society and the volume of prayers and donations their respective temples receive. There is no religious conflict in the streets, as every sect has a very well defined place to fit, and actively needs/interacts with the others constructively. The average commoner, if not a doctor, merchant, noble, soldier, judicial officer, or undertaker, is free to worship whomsoever they please, none at all, even multiples at the same time. A banker will not be refused medical treatment, nor a Noble financial advice, purely due to their religious beliefs.
I believe I covered every base. I believe I have constructed a healthy and well-managed society. However, like every worldbuilder hoping to make a perfect system, I am incapable of seeing what faults are hidden within the wider picture.
- Cultural differences are minimal within the human population.
- Racial tensions are (for the most part) limited to an antagonism towards prior enemy powers.
- The infant mortality rate is next to zero (excellent pre- and ante-natal care)
- The mores and values of the society are more or less aligned with the system.
- The concept of a societal contract is in place. (i.e. Rule of Law applies)
- The Aristocracy is Meritocratic, though education is still better in noble circles
- All external kingdoms/places operate with more or less all of the above gods in place.(At least charity, medicine, death, and commerce) Nobility is less common, with Justice being the least common outside of the human empires.
- Assume all of these systems came to be because of a begrudging concord between the various gods and those affected by their domains. (i.e. Doctors benefit from Medicine's knowledge, but must swear to be fair and dedicated.)