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31

"There's no point believing in things that exist" - Terry Pratchett. Belief has always come first. Humans believe in all kinds of things that don't exist, then they act as if they did exist. We seem to be hard-wired to paint agency onto the world where none exists, a tendency that has led to all manner of superstitions and religions. A lonely shepherd ...


30

Look at the real world. We have stories about werewolves, vampires, zombies, yeti, leprachauns and hundreds of other beings that don't actually exist. If things start existing because people believe in them, all of them would have been around by now. What usually happens with these creatures, at least earlier in history, is that people encounter something ...


30

That's pretty simple - kill the believers. At some point the number of surviving believers will drop below critical mass and the god will be no more. And that works just fine for medieval technology. See the Albigensian Crusade as an example of the suppression of a religion (or at least a religious sect).


8

I propose that an idea that such a being is dead would kill the idea. If everyone believes such a being is dead the being would be dead. Alternatively in Egypt great effort was spent to erase the name of former rulers from existence to wipe them from memory. Alternatively again if an idea is changed is it still the same idea. If such a being is forced to ...


8

I would say the way to do it is to make a more compelling, relevant story that supplants the target meme. Throw in some military and politics, and you can consider it eradicated, for practical purposes. If the idea needs a critical mass to support its corresponding god, then you don't have to kill or convert everyone-- just the majority. In Europe and ...


6

This is an active question in the real world, in the sense that political ideas have great power, and can't be physically harmed. Many people have at various times wished to kill ideas like communism, manifest destiny, Christianity, the comparison between sovereign debt and credit cards... it's notoriously difficult. It's a bit like trying not to think of ...


5

Ideas may be bullet proof but they're not above corruption Ideas like gods are held by a group of people, accept them, welcome them in, consider their ideas and absorb them, but corrupt them. Take their god and make it an aspect of your own. Take their religion and make it a subsect of your own. Their god dies and is replaced by your god, their festivals ...


5

One of the finest weapons of ideological combat is the word, "And". If you take any fundamentally legitimate belief and bond it to other, less defend-able ideas within the popular media, the strength and integrity of the original idea is lessened by the union. As the additions mount up, the idea begins to dissolve, transforming under the weight of all the ...


4

Atheists tend to value honesty, curiosity, intelligence, and self reliance or community cooperation instead of reliance on gods. Many gods may respect this far more than devotion. In Pratchett's Discworld the "god" of the dwarves is referred to with this line. "Tak does not ask that we think of him, merely that we think." Any god who values other ...


4

Comments have referenced Hogfather by Terry Pratchett, where a deity is deliberately killed (or at least an attempt was made, which would have been successful without outside assistance). A deliberate attack on belief in that deity was made, so that the deity would die due to a lack of believers. A more interesting alternative from Pratchett is Small Gods. ...


3

Take the current catholic church and the old testament Jewish religion as examples. Both have/had a "direct access to God" kind of leader, and both are too large for all to meet with or learn under that one person. So they create a layered structure, where everything trickles down from the top, and the average follower has multiple layers of clergy between ...


2

Accidents happen! One answer is always that the act of believing causes them to exist, in which case they exist in your mind and in realty in the same moment. Another interesting option could be that belief is a precursor to existence. A person can believe in a supernatural entity that does not actually exist, but a supernatural being cannot exist without ...


2

You have your gods coming from somewhere, where they already exist because of belief and then infecting our world and creating belief in order to exist more strongly here. That's not a bad model. It means that gods are "conquering" one multiverse at a time. But there is an issue. Where did they come from the first time? That is how did they originally ...


2

Hard to answer. Let's say that it is about belief. Some people believe that any god exists and may help them - and some people do not believe that any god exists. And some people may accept that any god exists - but they do not believe that it may help them. For the first group of people god exists and miracles are evidence of god's being - and nothing ...


2

Exactly the same as they do in worlds where their god does not walk among them. Unless the god is able to be everywhere, all the time, and both able and willing to interact with its worshipers on a one-on-one basis, there is still value in having a class of people tasked with teaching everyone else what to believe and how to worship, and with transmitting ...


2

There could be multiple reasons, like: They are little lazy. So, helping atheist would refrain believers from believing. Eventually, everyone would be atheist or believe in something else. They are little crooked. They help atheist here and there to make them comfortable, and in the moment of dire need, just sit back and throw tornadoes at them. Just like ...


2

Humans are hot! Aphrodite and Adonis Humans are fun! The Youth of Bacchus


2

My best suggestion? Look at the staff that follows teen pop stars. It'd probably be very similar to that. They'd be less about belief and more about maintaining the deities image, I suspect, as well as managing mundane affairs for the deity.


2

I'd say fracture the religion. Many answers other than the genocide ones don't really kill those gods, but slowly merge or alter the god in some way. Sure, that same god doesn't exist anymore, but if one actually wants to kill a god instead of just getting rid of it that doesn't fit the bill. Say you have a religion that has 3 times the amount of belief ...


1

Hijack the religion. Religions are actually surprisingly flexible, providing that you can gather sufficient authority and support to lead them in the direction that you want. Gods do not seem to have much power over this, and there are plenty of examples of religions being manipulated and transformed into pretty much whatever is needed to justify any course ...


1

In the real world ideas are generally impossible to "kill", we have people who are convinced the world is flat, even today, and you could point to literally millions of discredited ideas that are still in circulation. However, the actual number of people who believe in these ideas are small, and generally not very influential. Even in terms of religion, you ...


1

I remember reading a sci-fi fantasy story decades ago about something similar. I forget the title, author, and details, but it involved prayer rods. Each god had a specific type of prayer rod that the believers used to pray to it. The strength of the god came from the number of prayer rods and the people using them. The evil human protagonist set about to ...


1

Take a look at Meme Theory (evolutionary theory applied to ideas.. originally by Dawkins). Memes can become extinct. I think the other answers here have probably arrived at the same type of answers you'd expect but the theory is much more broadly applicable and can be mined for the logical consequences of such a world, e.g. see the Red Queen Hypothesis.. ...


1

The idea exists and persists because of collective belief and constant reaffirmation. Attack—alter, distort, corrupt—the history, artifacts, stories, phenomena that are attributed to the deity and its creations, or certain groups' perceptions of them. Your protagonist engineers (or completes the final step of) the disintegration of a spiritually homogeneous ...


1

In the world of Quantum Physics, yes. An idea is information Is quantum mechanics messing with your memory? For all we know we may live in a world in which windows un-break and cold cups of coffee spontaneously heat up, we just don't remember. The explanation is quantum entanglement A hand wave, and send this entity to permanently and irreversibly ...


1

I would think that it would be interesting if the god were looking for someone he could build a friendship with. In a polytheistic pantheon such as the question suggests everyone he encounters would be either another god, or someone who worships the idea of gods, even if they are a member of his religion. It is likely that the gods would have some form of ...


1

I think there is a bit of a flaw in the premise of the question. It is based on the assumption that gods only help those that believe in them, however, most major religions today believe that God(s) help whomever regardless of belief. Under the concept of a single, all knowing, all powerful god, he(or she) helps everyone as need for that god's intended ...


1

It actually depends of your perception of God : Wiki POV "The concept of God, includes the attributes of omniscience (infinite knowledge), omnipotence (unlimited power), omnipresence (present everywhere), divine simplicity, and as having an eternal and necessary existence. ...as being omnibenevolent (perfectly good) and all loving." If this is your God (...


1

Strictly speaking a powerful being praying a less powerful being is a nonsense. It may be nice from the artistic perspective of a novel, but less meaningful under philosophic perspective. There are two flavours for your question: is this god one of a monotheistic religion, or is it one among many in a polytheistic system? Monotheistic religion All ...


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