I am really in the animated series of Avatar the Airbender and i am playing with world idea where these people and normal people will be born next to each other.

Scenario: Classic Earth 20th century (2 World Wars, Cold War, a bit xenophobic, just a normal Earth like ours).

Till 1950 Homo Sapiens is in Majority, after 1950 in minority.


How will the most common religions like Islam, Christianity, Buddhism react on the very existence of people like Benders from Avatar?

My opinion:

There is option that Europe can colide to the Witch hunts from the beginning, but i think that modern Europe can accept them. China on the other hand can suppress them. Japan will be stronger on their religion since they are already under the influence of cult of the Sun God. Africa will be shifted somewhere to: These are godschildren = we have new shamans. Islam will be supressed.

Is this possible to happen like i wrote?

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    $\begingroup$ Can you clarify how this comes to be? Does everyone just wake up one day and find two worlds mushed together? It would also help if you are more specific about your question - just what do you want to know? $\endgroup$ – Tim B Oct 22 '15 at 8:58
  • $\begingroup$ I'm not certain if there really is one answer for this. The answer depends heavily on how each religion acts. In a general handwave, I'd say "every religion will claim that theirs will remain unchanged while the others are swept away." Beyond that, trying to predict what would happen from any perspective besides that of a single religion, the answer really depends on what you believe religions are, and how you believe they behave. This can be a touchy subject for many, so it can be very tricky to answer on WB.SE $\endgroup$ – Cort Ammon Oct 22 '15 at 15:21
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    $\begingroup$ And it's insanely broad. Christianity has many sub-sects. Unitarian Universalists will have a wildly different perspective from Southern Baptists....like day and night. $\endgroup$ – Green Oct 22 '15 at 15:25
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    $\begingroup$ The "Airbenders" in Avatar always seemed to be heavily based off Buddhism to me. "Water bender" society always seemed to be based off spiritual cultures such as the Inuits. "Fire Benders" seemed to be more heavily focused on Chinese Imperial culture. "Earth Benders" seemed to represent the Germanic cultures to me in some ways, or maybe more "western" Europe cultures - but Chinese culture overall played a very heavy role in influencing all four cultures. The Avatar world borrows heavily from Earth, and note that many people in Avatar actually are not benders. $\endgroup$ – DoubleDouble Oct 22 '15 at 17:22
  • $\begingroup$ In addition to narrowing the question, please add a description of what benders are -- don't assume that people know. Thanks. $\endgroup$ – Monica Cellio Oct 23 '15 at 0:43

I'm afraid, it won't be as simple as "Europe accepts, Asia rejects".
The results would mostly depend on economics, interests of governments and churches, and on culture; not on the religions themselves. Religions are mostly used to regulate the society, and it would be incredibly naive to base the opinion of people you rule solely on "what does The Book say about mages".

What influences the opinion on benders:
- How useful the benders are thought to be
- How threatening they are thought to be to society and to the government
If the benders are assumed to have bigger profit/risk ratio than non-magic people, they'd be declared "blessed"; if smaller - "wicked"; if the same - "all are equal". I suppose any holy book contains something convenient for any case.
If the authorities propagate the chosen image of benders in media well enough, people would accept it (we believe what we prefer to believe, after all.)

So, maybe a country would benefit on benders' productivity, and bending would be considered "a gift of gods". Or maybe a country would be cautious about dangers of bending, so it would be known as "inner demons to be tamed". And I won't exclude genocidal "witch hunts", even for the last century Europe.

After the switch to a mostly-bender society, the same things would apply, except now the governments would evaluate us useless non-magical people, and shape the religion accordingly.

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  • $\begingroup$ Agreed. And from what I understand of the Airbender series, Asia may actually be substantially more accepting than Europe, because much of what the benders do fits well with traditional Asian philsophy, but is decidedly conflicting with European philosophy. So not only will it not be simple, as you say, but if one did decide it needed to be simple, it might actually be the polar opposite of what was expected. $\endgroup$ – Cort Ammon Oct 22 '15 at 16:56
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks boys for giving me direction. This satisfies me as an answer, even it is not simple and giving me more questions. $\endgroup$ – Ernedar Oct 23 '15 at 7:20

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