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Some time ago, I asked two questions about teaching people to not rely on gods (Teaching people not to ask gods for help and Why would gods decide to teach people to not rely on gods?).

And mostly the second one offers following question: How can gods say that something goes wrong? How can gods say that people should begin to not rely on gods.


Base is, that people should have chance to correct themselves before gods get to be raged - and begin to correct people with more or less vicious ways (like destroying of Sodoma and Gomora, confusing languages in Babylon, global flood or so - or as in my stories, killing selected people who refuse gods' plan).

I think that way of gods' warning that something goes wrong should be clear, not confusable with anything else that gods may want to say (for example that no sacrifice is wanted). And of course, in case that gods walk on world and speak with people directly, it can be easier to say it (or not?). But at this time, I cannot find anything.

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closed as unclear what you're asking by Bellerophon, L.Dutch, sphennings, MichaelK, Ash Sep 27 '17 at 12:01

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ Do you remember the first part of the Odyssey? Ulysses had had most of the major (and some not so major) Olympian gods against him; only Athena was on his side: yet he persevered in fighting the good fight, although he had been reduced to destitution. She maneuvers on Olympus for Zeus to allow Ulysses to return home, then she goes down to the mortals' world, disguised as various human characters, and gives advice and direct help to Telemachus, all without revealing her divinity. In the Odyssey, the gods are not united; they have factions, ranks, ... $\endgroup$ – AlexP Sep 26 '17 at 22:18
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    $\begingroup$ This sounds more like philosophy or religion that worldbuilding. $\endgroup$ – StephenG Sep 26 '17 at 23:46
  • $\begingroup$ I don't understand the question you asking why would a god not want people to rely on him or how he would communicate to them that he didn't want them to rely on them or how he would able to measure that they relied on him too much? $\endgroup$ – Bryan McClure Sep 27 '17 at 2:51
  • $\begingroup$ It seems historical gods have a fairly smooth range of options from watching a sparrow fall without catching it to washing the Earth clean or remaking the universe limited only by their judgement of what is appropriate. What exactly is the issue? $\endgroup$ – user25818 Sep 27 '17 at 4:37
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Have you tried setting a bush on fire? Also burning letters hanged in the thin air should do the trick. And later on, gods can just send the fax, an email or use telepathy.

And mostly, go full on communication. Don't communicate with only one guy. Send them info "Oi, fluckers, go to the stadium or some place. I will write in stone some things because I don't want you to end with 40 versions of it."

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I'll just leave this here (source)

“Come on, what fuckin’ good is comin’ out to the world gonna do?” Eridan asks. “You left em that little book of stories and morals before you all took your nap. You know how long it took for them to start arguin’ about it? Two fuckin’ days. We had two fuckin’ days of world peace before people started pickin’ your books apart, arguin’ over the fuckin’ wordin’, splittin’ into camps based on who did or didn’t believe that the Heir of Breath had a thing for the Thief of Light.”

“Spoiler alert; he tooooooootally did,” Vriska sing songs.

“Maybe we wouldn’t have had that problem if we stayed behind and corrected them when they started fucking up!” Karkat says defensively. “And if we come out today-“

“We’re just gonna give people more shit to argue about,” Eridan fires back. “Everythin’ is gonna get picked apart. Everythin’ you say or do or buy or wear; even the way you say things or how you fuckin’ stand.”

“You’re overreacting; as usual,” Karkat says, putting your own thoughts into words.

“Am I?” Eridan asks. “You see them fuckin’ tabloid magazines in the stores? Page after page of why Justin Whoeverthefuck is in love with Sally Whogivesashit because he wore a shirt once looked like a shirt that he wore in a picture with Ms. Whogivesashit back when they hosted last year’s Christmas special. Now picture that but with actual fuckin’ significance. They’ll go to war over how you part your hair and how you butter your toast and before you think they won’t I got two words for you; Spanish Inquisition.”

tl;dr - You don't have to be a god to know, that something will go wrong.

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    $\begingroup$ Things I never thought I'd see on StackExchange #217: Homestuck fanfiction being used to answer a question. $\endgroup$ – F1Krazy Sep 27 '17 at 11:00
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Consistency

You have two conflicting requirements here:

  1. The gods want people to know about their rules, and to follow their rules
  2. The gods do not want people to start pestering them for services

Positive reinforcement (rewards) or negative ditto (punishments, like flooding the place) becomes difficult because if the gods show up and display their Powers Of Awesomeness — by miraculously conjuring up these boons or calamities — then point 2 becomes impossible to achieve. But if they do not show up to speak directly to us, it is hard for mankind to find out what the rules are.

However...

Mankind has been able to figure out quite a few rules about the universe, without any divine figure telling us what they are. We have a tool for that. That tool is called science.

Science builds on two important things:

  • Being able to observe a behaviour of reality
  • Being able to consistently predict and reproduce a behaviour of reality

If we can do those two things, we can figure out the rules. Now the gods do not want to be observed here. But that is not actually needed. They just need mankind to realize that some actions result in good things for them, and some result in bad things.

So the gods will enforce their rules by anonymously providing rewards and/or punishments for certain behaviours, and they will do so in a consistent manner.

Like...

  • Drink alcohol, on a weekday and you will get a fantastic hang-over. But do it on Friday Evening until Sunday afternoon, and you will never suffer any ills.

  • Make a kitten purr, and you will inevitably experience good fortune within 24 hours. Make a kitten sad, and some kind of malady will happen within that same time-frame. No exceptions, no escape.

...and so on. As long as your gods are consistent and clear about these rewards and punishments, but stay anonymous, then mankind can soon enough figure out what behaviours are "good" and which ones are "bad" without actually knowing that there are any gods behind it.

By the way... if I was a god in this universe of yours, I would make any kind of prayer, grovelling, proselytising or trying to assert authority by reference to the divine punishable by an instant gential rash and tooth ache. That will teach people real quick to not try to call upon the divine.

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Two things are necessary - first of all a strong demonstration that the gods are actually present, otherwise there is no guarantee that any message or communication came from the gods: So it needs to be clear to a large section of the population that gods are saying something loud and clear.

Secondly, the gods must declare something that doesn't actually happen: this shows that what they say is unreliable.

They carry on saying stuff that unreliable until people get tired of it.

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Depends on how much they want to directly manipulate people into doing what they deem right, right? They are gods, so I assume they are omnipotent. So the clearest way would be if they could take over people's minds and make their bodies do the right thing while they are watching and getting a director's cut DVD extra about what and why and what inspired it. This is one of the most invasive possibilities. Could be as mild as people receiving direct revelations directly into their minds, or groups of people getting them delivered by a huge, shiny angel.

If they don't want to directly tell them what they are doing wrong and how to correct their behaviour, just that they are on the brink of getting their experiment scrapped, maybe a giant bluescreen in the sky? Red exclamation mark-shaped clouds? A hail of frogs and escargot? Post something mean on Twitter?

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