This is a world with an intelligent species of animal with a quadruped (somewhat like that of a large feline) body plan, which have evolved from pack-living apex-predator carnivores. (If you need a real-life Earth comparison, try wolves. These creatures did not evolve from wolves, but it's close enough for a first-order approximation.)

Despite (or because of; it could even be both!) having evolved a high level (approximately that of humans) of intelligence, one thing that these creatures have retained in their culture is a strong preference for various aspects of physical fitness. It's been a long time since they actually needed to hunt for their food as they have learned how to keep herds of prey animals not unlike how humans keep livestock, but many at least occasionally still choose the thrill of the hunt in the way their ancestors did, and many of their interactions among their own kind (including games and interactions surrounding territorial claims) have a basis in the ancient behaviors of the hunt, including tracking, pursuit and grappling or wrestling.

With the background out of the way:

  • What kind of morals might such a species have, and how would those morals connect with their current lifestyle as well as their evolutionary past?
  • Bonus question: Likewise, what might their religious beliefs be?

While I'm not tagging this science-based let alone hard-science, I'm willing to hand out imaginary bonus points to any answers backed by real-world scientific citations.

And please, no "that's not plausible" answers. In this particular world, these creatures exist.

  • $\begingroup$ Note: This is not a duplicate of What kind of society and morals would an alien species evolved from solitary carnivores have?, as that question is about solitary carnivores. Some of the same reasoning may apply in answers, but the answers are likely to be different because the premise of the question is different. $\endgroup$
    – user
    Commented Feb 17, 2017 at 20:30
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    $\begingroup$ Did you realize that all of your criteria are true of humans? Strong preference for ... physical fitness; keep herds, ... [but] occasionally choose the thrill of the hunt; games... have a basis in... the hunt. Sounds like body building, deer camp, and the Olympics to me. $\endgroup$
    – cobaltduck
    Commented Feb 17, 2017 at 20:57
  • $\begingroup$ @cobaltduck In a way, yes, you've got the idea. Except humans aren't carnivores, for starters. $\endgroup$
    – user
    Commented Feb 17, 2017 at 21:05
  • $\begingroup$ Inspired by @ShadoCat, I think that a lot of your answer is here: Kipling's Law of the Jungle. One of my favorite poems (and I hate poetry in general). $\endgroup$
    – cobaltduck
    Commented Feb 17, 2017 at 21:16
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Humans are omnivores. Until we coold make tools we weren't very powerful hunters. Since we learned to make weapons we became apex predators. Where there is little alternative, humans can live as carnivores (for example, the traditional Inuit). Hunter-gatherer is more efficient where there is anyhing to gather, and may have caused human sexual dimorphism to evolve. Incidentally wolves eat a surprisingly high amount of vegetable food where and when they can, and might also be called hunter-gatherers. $\endgroup$
    – nigel222
    Commented Feb 17, 2017 at 23:14

6 Answers 6


Intelligent apex predators that hunt in packs? Sounds a lot like these creatures: early humans hunting a mammoth

Hunting is no longer a major part of our lifestyle, but it was probably key to our evolution (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hunting_hypothesis). As @ShadoCat suggests, intelligent pack hunters would likely have moral and social structures based heavily around family/friend groups, as humans do. Some humans still take part in recreational hunting as well as simulated hunting in the form of video games, shopping, and sports.

Overall, the structure of such a society would depend heavily on the environment it developed in, but would likely bear a significant resemblance to a human society.

  • $\begingroup$ @cobaltduck beat me to it! $\endgroup$
    – mindoftea
    Commented Feb 17, 2017 at 21:05
  • $\begingroup$ Hands down the best answer. An advanced enought society would have delegated violence to a small segment of population and just keep on eating meat (just like us). I just would add some degree of nomadism/multiple house owning $\endgroup$
    – Sxubach
    Commented Nov 24, 2020 at 16:58


On your question, there are two basic descriptors for your race (henceforth called just Wolves): "carnivores" and "pack-living" ("intelligent" is a given, since morality and religion pressupose intelligence).

Therefore, I think the culture of the Wolves would be permeated by two main axes: The Hunt and The Pack. Let's examine those to see how they could influence your race's moral codes and religion.

The Hunt

Sure, your Wolves do not need to hunt anymore. But long ago, they needed to hunt to survive. This means that The Hunt was the most basic building block of the Wolves' culture... and that influence has reached the Present, as you stated.

So, back in the day, The Hunt must have acquired a sort of sacred and ritualistic aspect to it. Almost like a mystical communion with the forces of Nature (we'll be right back on this when we discuss religion).

This must permeate their entire culture, so that they see The Hunt as an allegory of every instance of their present life. I'll describe this shortly.

For now, it must suffice to say that The Hunt has shaped the way they view the world. As you said, this manifests as respect/admiration towards physical strength. Maintaining your physical fitness is viewed as a social duty, and so they exercise a lot. They also have the best regards for sports of various kinds, particularly those that may resemble The Hunt (i.e. wrestling and games of tag or hide-and-seek).

Also, their culture must be based on some kind of Stoicism. Physical and existential wounds and suffering must be disregarded, for the benefit of all. Showing weakness is frowned upon. Are you in pain? We'll help you, but suck it up, buttercup! Don't be a crybaby!

This would also mean that their culture (and hence, system of morality) would be rough. Not necessarily cruel, but definitely tough.

Every able member of society (male or female) would have to participate in The Hunt, back in the day. So this means no different gender roles (maybe apart from leadership, since I think wolves and lions' leaders are always male).

Even though they don't need to hunt for a living anymore, I think they should participate in The Hunt regularly. That is allowed, as stated on your question, so I'll go along with this train of thought.

The Pack

Since the Wolves live in packs, they would have a communal culture. "All for the Pack, nothing against the Pack" is their motto.

Private property must be non-existent or heavily regulated. The herd of animals of prey belongs to all The Pack. The meals (either from sheperding or hunts) must be shared by all member of the community, with preferential treatment given to the cubs.

Since during a hunt, The Pack must act as one, individualism would be frowned upon. Each Wolf could ponder new strategies and conceive new ideas, but he/she should share them with The Pack first and ultimately it is The Pack that has the final saying on the matter.

Their views must be influenced by Pragmatism ("we must be practical on how to solve a problem!") and Utilitarianism ("the good of the many trumps the ills of the few").

Also, their morality system must be heavily influenced by concepts of Honour. In the Past, The Pack only survived if everyone followed the same set of rules... and the way to enforce that set of rules is by tying Honour to them. Eventually Honour transpired to their current culture.

This Honour could govern every aspect of everyday life, even hygiene. This is a remnant of the time when the Wolves had a nomadic existence and these aspects were important for survival of the individual and The Pack. Check Mosaic Laws of ritualistic purity, that prevented plagues during desert wandering, but that remained after the hebrews settled in Israel.

Finally, The Pack means that they must have a very tribalistic worldview: They view Wolves from other packs with suspicion and adhere to a "nationalistic" zeal to their own Pack. They frequently go to war with other packs, mainly for territory.

Since Honour is based on the rules that keep The Pack together, honourable treatment is not extended to members of other packs. Alliances with other packs must be acompanied by an exchange of ritualistic hostages or even forced marriages to "blend the blood of both packs".


Now, let's see how these two axes would influence their morals across the whole spectrum of their life cycle

Birth and infancy

Since the future of The Pack relies on reproduction, cub-bearing is heavily stimulated and highly regarded as the most noble of endeavors, besides The Hunt. Contraception and abortion are frowned upon, and punished as a betrayal to The Pack.

The cubs are heavily protected, especially during disaster and war. It is postulated that, when herds of Triceratops were under attack by predators, they would form a ring with the cubs on the center. The Wolves' culture must be designed on a similar pattern.

The cubs must be catechized from tender age on the morals and laws of The Pack. They are taught to share their food with their brothers. The litter is considered to be a mini-Pack, where they learn how to function socially. Their games must imitate the adults' hunting or sports.

As they grow old, they shall go from playing to incessant training, just like the young greeks' gymnasium.

Coming of age must be symbolized with a ritual where the cubs must prove their valor. The Masai adolescent must hunt a lion. In certain indian tribes they must climb a mountain and get a special feather or plant that only grows there. In other human tribes, the younglings must face some kind of self-inflicted suffering. You chose.


On the one hand, the Wolves' concern for the future of The Pack means that they want to optimize reproduction. On the other hand, reproduction must be heavily regulated by their concept of Honour. Because you mustn't just breed them, but raise them too, if they are to become successful adults on The Pack.

I think they could resolve this tension by allowing poligamy, so that a male could impregnate several females... but this male and these females would be faithful between themselves. Adultery would be frowned upon.

Physical strength would be an atribute highly valued on a future companion. A marriage proposal could take the form of a duel. If the groom didn't find the bride strong enough, he could repudiate her (and vice-versa).

Back in the day, there were many Wolves that perished during The Hunts. Nowadays, there are many that die on wars with other packs. So there must be some kind of Levirate Law, by which a widow must marry someone from the deceased's kin, so as to raise the orphans and also secure the deceased's bloodline.


The concept of Pack, means that the Wolves are communal. All decisions are debated on an Council of the Pack, where every able adult member shares the decision-making. This means that everyone in the council is entitled to vote. However, the Wolves must also have a strict hyerarchy (alfas and betas) because, during The Hunt, someone should be the leader. I think the best model would be a kind of Constitutional Monarchy, where there was a King, Noblemen (those Wolves that distinguished themselves in acts of valor) and Commoners, but where every stract of society was represented on the King's Court.

Any male Wolf may become a King, if he beats the current king on a fair, singular battle. Since individualistic political ambitions are not well received (since they put the individual's interest in front of The Pack's benefit) there are only two instances where this is acceptable: 1) If the King is making bad decisions that put The Pack in danger and 2) if you really think you could be a better leader to The Pack than the current ruler.

I disagree with ShadoCat that being sneaky would be OK. Being sneaky is not honourable and shows individualistic ambition. If everyone wanted to be king, then political instability would endanger the future of The Pack. Sure, there may be packs that are in a state of moral decadence (as happens with every country or civilization eventually)... but even there sneakyness is shameful and political intrigue is done covertly and never ackowledged, not even when successful.

Crime and punishment

Since the two main axes of the Wolves' culture is The Hunt and The Pack, the two greatest crimes must be Cowardice and Individualism. Even sexual crimes, like adultery and contraception can be fit on one of these categories (for they puts the individuals' hedonistic interests in front of Honour, the glue that keeps The Pack together).

Cowardice: So, if someone shied away of a hunt or of a war, then the Wolves would feel entitled to do as modern soldiers do with deserters... and simply kill them as they flee. Or maybe they could use a more didactic approach. Once the hunt or the battle is over, the deserter has forfeited is right to survival and may be legally killed. The only way for the deserter to gain back his/her right to live is to engage on a honourable, singular battle with a champion. This way, the coward would be disincentivized to run for his/her life on the heat of the hunt/war... and could be taught bravery if he failed.

Individualism: Individualism would be another thing altogether. Since this is a communal society, the worst punishment you could get would be banishment. This would be the fate of traitors, those that broke the laws of Honour repeatedly and deliberately. These would be branded as pariah, not fit to be received not even in other packs.

Of course, for an involuntary breaking of the Honour code, or for someone truly repent of their sins, there could be some sort of Atonement ritual, always with The Hunt's theme in mind (since The Hunt is what restores balance to the universe, as we shall see on religion).

Old age and death

On one hand, the elderly and the sick would be a dead weight on The Pack's shoulders, acording to the Wolves' utilitarian views. On the other hand, their Honour would not let them starve their elders, from which they were fed when they were cubs and dependent.

This tension could be resolved through a kind of ritualistic killing. When an elderly or infirm found out that they were unable to help The Pack anymore, they would challenge a champion for a public, singular battle. They could, therefore, go down heroically on an honourable fight and everyone would cheer the elder's courage at the time of his/her death.

If you want to get gruesome (remember that you're seeing a rough culture in action), the Wolves could then feast on the deceased's flesh, on a kind of ritualistic canibalism found in many tribes. They would feel that they would gain the deceased's strength and experience by eating him/her. They would mourn by integrating the deceased's lifeforce into them. During this feast, they would celebrate and remember the deceased's actions of valor past and the deceased's deeds in hunting.


Having explored every aspect of their life cycle, it is time to see how this would translate on religious belief


I think that the Wolves, having come from a time where hunting was common and necessary, should have a kind of pantheism. They could worship The Circle of Life, just like we see on Disney's The Lion King.

By hunting, they would find their place on the food chain and, therefore, the Circle of Life. The Hunt would get its sacredness from here, for it was the way to restore balance to the universe. Nowadays, the Wolves don't need to hunt for a living, but they may do it as a part of a religious experience.

This doesn't mean that there are no gods. On Greek Mythology, you would have Artemis / Diana as the goddess of hunters. Trouble is, Artemis was a virgin and cub-bearing is a must for the Wolves... so Artemis should have some shared characteristics with Aphrodite / Venus (erotic love) and Demeter / Ceres (fertility).

Don't forget that you could also have Ares / Mars to preside over wars.

Other non-Wolf species (namely the prey animals) would have their own patron god. Before a hunt, the Wolves would present offerings to Artemis to bless their hunt and also to the god-patrons of the other animals, so as to appease them and be able to weaken their divine protection.

Other carnivorous animals, with a more solitary nature, would have their god as well, an enemy of Artemis (the goddess of communal hunting). This god of solitary carnivores could be hijacked by the Pariah, those that were banished due to their individualism. This god would be akin to Satan on the Wolves' main religion... which would increase the spite against the Pariah.


Since the Wolves are communal, their spirituality is also communal. They rely on a Church (ecclesia, from the greek "assembly") to tune themselves to the gods before a hunt (which may be a metaphor, now that they don't hunt for a living, to earning their daily bread).

The King and the Nobility have a priestly role of interpreting the wills of the gods, and derive their authority also from this priestly role. Religion has the purpose of enforcing morality, interpreting the Moral Code and strengthening social bonds. Apostasy and heresy is individualistic and may grant you banishment.

Prayer is also communal. Maybe howling could be their prayer... sending their concerns to the heavens. BTW, Artemis was also a goddess of the Moon, and wolves howl to the Moon... just sayin'.


There could be a god of death, like Hades, that would be cruel, but fair. Since, in ancient times, the Wolves killed their prey to make a living, it is only fair that the Circle of Life would find balance by sending a Grim Reaper that would hunt the Wolves down and reintegrate them into the lifestream.

However, there would be different ways to die. For spartans, only the men that died in battle and the women that died on childbirth were afforded state funerals. The same thing would apply to Wolves.

More, those that died honourably in combat (either hunt or war) would be awarded as some kind of Valhalla. Those that died as cowards and Pariah would be sent to Hell (check Dante's Inferno... you have the Cowards and the Traitors both at the gates and at the center of Hell, respectively). Those that died in a non-honourable way (i.e. not in combat) through no fault of their own would have to show their valor on a kind of Purgatory.

You could mix this with the Circle of Life. Since the flesh of dead carnivores becomes grass and grass is eaten by herbivores, then the Wolves may reincarnate after death. This could be their Purgatory or their Hell. Those that were sent to Valhalla achieved Nirvana, perfection, the ability to escape the reincarnation cycle.


This means that there would be some kind of Forefather's cult paralel to that of the Circle of Life and the gods.

Wolves that, by their feats, became famous in hunting or warring would achieve a status of demi-godhood, like Hercules (through strength), Odysseus (through cunning) and Theseus (through leadership). Their deeds would be celebrated in Church and immortalized on hymns, psalms and epics.

These honourable forefathers would be invoked prior to hunting or warring or even everyday life, as a kind of saintly intercession.

Also, the "nationalistic" view of one's Pack meant that there would be origin myths for every pack (see Romulus and Rome, or Cadmus and Thebes, but with packs instead of city-states).

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Lots of good ideas in there but also a strong human bias. Wolves (real ones on planet Earth) are matriarchal packs, not patriarchal. Also wolves have some sort of instinctive or pheromonal population control. Without this they would inevitably become too numerous, hunt prey to near extinction and then suffer death by famine themselves, in a fast repeating cycle. So I think there would be no opposition at all to contraception by intelligent wolves. Indeed it would probably be compulsory. Unlicensed breeding would be a crime of individualism. $\endgroup$
    – nigel222
    Commented Feb 19, 2017 at 10:54
  • $\begingroup$ I do admit that my bias was human, since you have to be biased towards either humans and wolves, given the differences between species. I'm more familiar with humans than wolves, so the bias shows. As for wolves being matriarchal, I apologize for my ignorance... but you can simply change everything said for a King into a Queen. I also admit that, given your information towards population control, there should be something akin to the chinese Sole Child Policy, where the Pack would determine the amount of cubs permissible for each female. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 19, 2017 at 11:00
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Pedro; I can't speak for @nigel222, but that's generally what comments are for: suggest or point out ways that a post can be improved. I generally try to credit people especially when the resulting changes are significant (since comments can be deleted for almost any reason, you shouldn't count on it remaining indefinitely), but I hardly get upset myself if someone takes a comment I make and use it to improve their post even without providing any attribution or naming me with a "thanks". (Incorporating significant amounts of material verbatim is another matter though, and falls under CC-BY.) $\endgroup$
    – user
    Commented Feb 19, 2017 at 12:20
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    $\begingroup$ This is a really thoughtful, thorough answer -- kudos. One thing that doesn't ring quite true for me is in the section on birth & infancy. Since the pack relies on everybody to protect & contribute to the pack, and since the culture is tough to begin with, I'd expect them to not "invest" in non-viable or sickly cubs. Instead of taking an adult out of circulation to provide extraordinary care, they might well decide that eh, there's nothing invested in this one yet so just try again. (That's different from caring for elders who are due honor as pack members.) . What do you think? $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 8, 2017 at 4:00
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @MonicaCellio: I do admit that that could be a possible alternative. Mind you, when I was talking about cub-raising, I was talking about healthy cubs. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 9, 2017 at 21:08

The Pack/family is the most important. Anything that benefits the pack would be moral. Anything that is a detriment to the pack is immoral.

Live for the pack, die for the pack. If you are valuable enough, you can provide children for the pack before you die.

The strongest/smartest leader should lead the pack. Being sneaky is OK, if it supports the pack.
Not sharing with the pack is a big no-no.

Being packless is the ultimate punishment (maybe their equivalent to hell).

  • $\begingroup$ If your reference to Kipling's "Law of the Pack" was intentional, then +1. If it was accidental, then +1. $\endgroup$
    – cobaltduck
    Commented Feb 17, 2017 at 20:53
  • $\begingroup$ It was accidental memory. Law of the Pack is floating around in there with all of the other flotsam and jetsam my brain stores. $\endgroup$
    – ShadoCat
    Commented Feb 18, 2017 at 0:24

First things first, I'd like to point out that it would be VERY HARD for your creatures to be culturally and technologically on the level with humans if they don't have opposable thumbs or any other way to easily and reliably interact with the world and create tools. Humans got so far as a species because of our ability to cooperate and create and use tools.

You said your creatures are hunters (not scavengers) so hunting will obviously be very important for their culture. Since tool-making will also be crucial for their ascent into a society, it should also play a large part in their culture.

Let's assume your creatures are evolved from Earth wolves for a moment. How much of wolf society would survive the transition into a human like society? I'll try to get an idea by analyzing the only other creature to ever reach human-like society ever heard of: humans.

I'm doing this analysis by comparing human and chimpanzee society (strictly speaking, humans did not evolved from chimps, they evolved from the thing that also evolved into chimps, but I guess this will have to do).

  • Chimpanzees form communities of multiple males and females. Humans do that too. Check.
  • The dominant chimp is always a male, but not the strongest one. Instead, the dominant male is the individual who has the most allies and influence within the community. The dominant male frequently intimidates rivals to keep them in place. Check, with the exception that the dominant human is not always a male (but very often it is).
  • Chimps hunt in packs. Check, humans did that.
  • Chimps can be very aggressive towards anyone who is not part of their community. It's very hard to define a human "community", but I'd say we're leaving this kind of behavior behind us.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chimpanzee

Everything being considered, I'd say we're actually very similar to chimpanzees, so your animals shouldn't be socially very different from wolves.

Let's take at some wolf behaviors and how they could translate into cultural values:

  • Wolves kill things all the time. This might mean your creatures have a very natural look on death and that murder is not such an horrendous crime. However, keep in mind that humans also killed stuff all the time (we're probably to blame for the extinction of the Neanderthal)
  • Wolves are monogamous. This is probably because while females are pregnant they can't hunt and their mates have to hunt for them (If a male wolf has impregnated one female, he must hunt twice as much. If he has impregnated two, he has to hunt three times as much, and so on). This will probably result in a society with strong marriage bonds.
  • A wolf pack typically consists in a father, a mother and children. This means your creatures will value family a lot more than humans do. The elderly will be very respected and feared and have a very privileged social standing.
  • Wolf pups leave the pack when they become sexually mature. After this they roam alone until they find a mate and form their own pack. This lends itself well to some kind of rite of passage.
  • Wolves are VERY territorial. A pack's territory is usually far bigger than it needs for hunting and is fiercely defended, both through territorial marking (scratching, urinating, defecating) and actively attacking transgressors. This means your creatures will highly value jobs such as soldier, guard or policeman. It also means they will be more bigoted than humans and might be very aggressive towards anyone outside the family. Maybe the very own concept of "friend" will be frowned upon, since those friends will be from outside the family.
  • Since a very early age, wolves physically fight for a higher place in the hierarchy of the pack. This might be turned into some sort of ritual or traditional for your creatures.
  • Wolves hunt very tactically. You mentioned yourself that your creatures greatly enjoy physical exercises, they probably will also enjoy tactical and strategical games, such as chess or Go.
  • Wolves tend to have very strict reproductive cycles. Females become fertile around the middle of winter and gestation lasts a little more than 2 months, meaning pups are almost always born in spring. This lends itself well for fertility rites and festivals your creatures might engage in.

There are many other interesting behaviors in wolves that you probably could use, but I'll refrain from mentioning them since they are strongly tied to wolf biology and I don't know how biologically close to wolves your creatures are. All of the info I used was from Wikipedia, so here's the link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gray_wolf

About Tool-Making

If your species is as advanced as humans are (or once were), they need to be able to create and use tools. This also implies that, very likely, they have evolved to have opposable thumbs, visual capabilities similar to the ones humans have and very strong collaboration instincts. Let's take a look at how those characteristics might affect their beliefs and behaviors:

  • Opposable thumbs and specialized hands and arms make it difficult to walk on all fours (or whatever number of limbs your creatures had before evolving), possibly affecting the process of hunting.
  • By it's very definition, technology is supposed to make survival easier. Man's first invention was arguably the hammer, soon followed by spears, which radically altered our hunting process. You mentioned your creatures love hunting "the old way", which probably means that, as soon as society was stable enough to allow it, they stopped hunting with the use of tools (spears, bows, guns, etc). Maybe they use tools when hunting for food but not when hunting for sport. That's up to you to decide.
  • Given the big reliance in tools those creatures will exhibit, they should value highly anyone capable of making tools, such as carpenters and ironsmiths. This used to be true in human society too, but then we invented machines capable of making tools for us. However, notice the recent boom in computations and how software engineers are respected today. That's because we still haven't invented a machine capable of coding.
  • The more numerous a community, more knowledge it's capable to generate. This means that at some point your animals had to start cooperating with individuals outside their pack, otherwise they wouldn't have gotten so far, technologically speaking.

There's another question you should consider: do your creatures wear clothes? If they have fur, there's no special reason to wear any clothes, something which might deeply affect their society. If humans wore no clothes, we probably wouldn't by so shy of sex in general. Clothes can be very important for reinforcing hierarchies and roles within a society.

One last thing: The more the species advances, the more it is forced to drift away from its roots. Take for example man's nomadic habits, left behind with the advent of agriculture.

Summarizing, those should be the central cultural points and morals of those creatures:

  • Great respect for the family and the pack, especially the elderly and the one who have some sort of tool-making knowledge.
  • Great respect for physical and personal boundaries.
  • Great enjoyment in playing games, hunting and other physical activities.
  • Monogamy.
  • Distrust towards strangers.
  • Rites of passage when an individual becomes apt to leave its family and start his own pack.
  • Disregard towards weaker creatures (they were hunters, they kill weaker animals all the time)
  • Fertility rites

About religion

It is arguable that, as soon as a society is advanced enough to have a definite idea of morals and ethics, they become monotheists and their God represents such morals. This means your creatures should be monotheists.

The monotheist model almost always includes a prophet. Examples of prophets are Mohammed, Jesus and Buddha. I'd say that, if you opt for monotheism, this is pretty much the only theology possible: an omniscient and omnipotent god and his prophet or prophets.

If you instead opt for a polytheistic approach, it should show many of the concepts discussed before. The central gods or "good guys" should be a family. Here are some of the things they might represent:

  • The hunt
  • The loyal husband/wife
  • The wise old man
  • The crafter
  • The strong and independent individual (important for younglings who just left the pack)
  • The smart one
  • Fertility

Here are some ideas for the "bad guys". These would probably be from another species, given your creatures distrust foreigners.

  • The trickster/deceitful one
  • Death
  • Famine

If you want some specific myth ideas:

  • The world begins with a rotting carcass and living things come out of it like vermin. Your creatures should be very familiar with this phenomenon, given they are hunters. (Norse mythology had something similar, I think)
  • The trickster god is expelled from the pack.
  • Enemies invade a pack's territory and are repelled.
  • Famine kidnaps fertility (winter) but the other gods win her back (spring).

If you want, tell me something more about your creatures in the comments and I'll try to edit this as to cover more traditions they could have.


Here are some of the morals.

1- Strength is virtue, weakness is sin

Simple and direct as that! Your strength determines your status in the group. It also determines how good or bad you are. Parents would intensely train their children for physical training, agility and aggressiveness towards members of the same gender.

2- Being docile is cowardly

Someone who does not bare their fangs on every little issue is a coward and much ridiculed by everyone in the group. It is expected from children from young ages to have to growl when requesting food from parents. Members who like to be nice are frowned upon by elders and rejected by members of opposite gender at courtship times. All males have a crush on that aggressive female ;)

3- Laziness is the ultimate crime

If you want to live, you have to earn your food. Be it through guarding the herds, standing guard at the borders or scouting in enemy territory. Any dilly-dally member will occasionally get a good thrashing by the elders and face a lot of growls and fangs of members of the same age group.

4- Shyness is stupidity

Yes. If you want something, get it. Be bold, be direct, be strong. Nobody likes emos and individuals with mood swing issues.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ "Being docile is cowardly" Why? Living in a group, especially a group where you absolutely have to be able to work together, means you need to get along with others. "It is expected from children from young ages to have to growl when requesting food from parents." seems to fit poorly with "Any dilly-dally member will ... face a lot of growls and fangs" because the same types of behavior would be both expected and encouraged as well as something to be avoided. Could you elaborate? $\endgroup$
    – user
    Commented Feb 17, 2017 at 21:50
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    $\begingroup$ It's about domination. Of course there are going to be cowards, members who cannot keep a dominating, aggressive profile. Saying that something is expected from children does not mean that all the children will fit in the perfect behavior frame. Being intelligent (and hence, complex), many children will have unique personality traits, several of them being shy and introverts. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 18, 2017 at 6:03

The nature of pack hunters would mean that as their society evolved it would likely tend toward strong monarchies, with high respect for authority. It is natural for pack hunters to follow a single strong leader, so any species evolved from pack hunters would likely take much longer to embrace ideas of democratic rights, if they ever did. Loyalty to ones leader would likely be the most important moral duty.

I'd imagine their society would be similar to feudal Japan. The natural tendencies of the pack rank system could easily evolve into a caste system. The leaders would likely be followed with fervent loyalty by the worry caste. They would also likely tend toward isolationism and nationalism, as other nation "packs" are competition.

As for what religious beliefs these aliens would have, it is totally unpredictable, and likely each nation would have its own god/gods. Just look at earth, one species managed to create thousands of creation myths through out its history, tens of thousands of gods and mythical creatures. One interesting aspect to incorporate though, what other animals exist around these creatures? Local fauna often has symbolic appearances in religions. I would also consider that these species may be more likely to deify leaders, like in ancient Egypt, or feudal Japan.


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