How would you kill Religions?

edited March 2010 in Make Stuff!
There are several Gods. And each one of them has his very own henotheistic Religion.

Here's the thing. The Gods know that the mortals misinterpreted their Words, so the current Religions are corrupted bureaucratic caricatures with more paradigms and setbacks than virtues and advantages. And they are ruining the world. So the Gods sent you to destroy them. Permanently and in form, and not just in name. For the Greater Good.

The Gods are practical. What matters to them is the end result, not how you reach it. They are more concerned about ending Dogma, customs and what people do, rather than what people believe or think. And the means are entirely up to you.

Your success is practically warranted. Whatever you try, you'll succeed. It is more a matter of how will you do it, instead of whether you'd be able to or not.

So, with that in mind...

Phase A.

What would your big, ambitious, world-changing plan be?

How would you destroy Religion?

Phase B.

Break down your big plan in easy 10 steps. What would you do first? And then? And afterwards? What convoluted and machiavellic (or direct and practical) actions would you execute to reach your objective in the end? (Remember. You can assume anything goes the way you want it to.)

Comments

  • Phase A.

    Divide and Conquor which should be easy as they have no real ties binding them (being Henotheistic rather
    than polytheistic)



    Phase B.

    Step 1, Information is invaluable to planning and planning is the firs t step to doing so we start with
    information. Step 1 is to gather as much information about the religions as possible. As these are churches and
    not cults, it should be fairly easy. This information should focus on 4 main parts.

    A> Organization/Chain of Command/Hierarchies and Dependencies

    B> Infrastructure and outside resourcesC> Personnel D> Politics



    Step 2, To Strike effectively, we must have resources of our own. As the gods are sending us, I expect some
    firepower from them, but one should also look for addittional resources that may be leveraged. This step will
    identify people from B> Infrastructure and outside resources and D> Enemies from politics that have to gain
    from the churches loss. These people can either be converted and/or tricked/‘persuaded’ to betray the churches.



    Step 3, Obfuscation. Keeping the mission secret is the key to prevent banding together of the churches which is
    not what we want (unless we can control it). To that end the resources from Step 2, must be hidden and our
    existance and plans hidden. To do this we will rely on Asymetrical Warfare, front organizations, limtiing
    subordants knowledge, and other methods of deceit.



    Step 4, Placement. All of our resources must then be places where they may be most effective. This means that
    imposters and sabotours must be put in place, rabble rousers ready, fronts solid, and armies massed to
    warfooting while maintaining step 3’s results.



    Step 5 Monitoring and Repair.



    All the previous steps are now maintained. By keeping informed, training our resources, hiding our intentions
    and placing our assets we are ready to do the actual moves that will bring the enemy down. This is the default
    state and is designed to be upheld. Step 5 is the Cumenation of the previous steps and an ONGOING
    PROCESS.



    Step 6 Planning/Training



    Having a knowledge of our enemy, w ewill now plan harm to the enemy. If special troops need training and our
    resources must be gathered, this is when we do so. This is also where we coordinate to ensure the most effective
    and confusing strikes in line with all the previous steps. The Plan is Divide and Conquor targeting the weakest
    and/or the most isolated, driving wedged between allies and bringing enemies to blows to make way for our
    attack.



    Step 7 Execution ie We do the attacks


    Step 8 Evaluation



    We evaulate the success and ramifications of the attacks as impartially as required, recognizing the changing
    situation where required, promoting and empowering underlings where necessary, changing tactics and
    techniques when possible and keeping what works.



    Step 9 Repeat steps 5->9 as required



    Step 10 Profit
  • Divide and Conquor which should be easy as they have no real ties binding them (being Henotheistic rather than polytheistic)

    Uh huh. So, if my town fishes, and your town has a gold mine, and one year we don't get enough fish, what makes us come and take your gold with our fishing spears is our god?

    Anyway, here's what I'd do:

    1. Establish governments that operate based on the ritual of my god. My co-conspirators do likewise in their regions.
    2. Wage religious wars. The longer and more exhausting, the better. Ideally, they'd dribble on for centuries.
    3. Eventually, people everywhere would become revolted with the religions, decrying them dead, decreeing their god dead, and so forth.
    4. All they would be left with was the cultural forms in their cultures and government, which would be completely invisible to them.
    5. Note that, anytime they'd discover a religion, they'd decry it as superstition.
  • Unlike a polytheistic religion, if you go sack the temple of omac the disciples of zalos aren't necessarily going to give a fuck.

    You don't have a plan so much as a spirit of history, you have anything that works on the scale of decades rather than centuries
  • We are attacking the religion at its roots.... the gods themselves.

    We are in a game right now, where one continent/nation are "Godkillers" and have access to certain meteor metals that will kill a god. They've killed several in the pre-story. We've been playing several arcs in the 13 Cities, each city has its own god... and it is pretty benevolent "gods walk among mortals" setting. But now we are flipping over to the Occularae, the godkillers, because the moral, philosophical questions really got us jazzed. Right now, the Sorcerer-King of the 13 Cities has conquered about 1/2 of Occulum. He was thinking of ascending to godhood himself, becoming the 14th God, but actual gameplay persuaded him to pass his throne bloodlessly to his oldest..(I was his youngest progeny in that arc). So don't think of this guy has Sauron, much more measured and nuanced and hardly "evil".

    Anyway, having the Occularae as a counterbalance to the awesome divine and cultural might of the 13 Cities has brought up ideas like; why would you want to live under god's yokes. Humanity should stand on its own feet...and things like that. Very cool.

    And we have come up with all kinds of Occularae delivery systems for that StarMetal... musket ball, arrow, bolt, spear, ballista, garrote, sword, caltrops, grounded powder in the drink... and entire academy of assassins train to become godkillers.
  • I'd Matrix everyone. Hook their brains up to a simulation. Keep the bodies alive through simulated death. Everyone gets a smiulated afterlife based on their religion. In the afterlife, their god tells them they fucked up, sets them straight, and sends them "back" to try again. Repeat until everyone living is doing it right. Then unplug them.
  • I'd tell the Gods to stop being pussies and do it themselves. Don't like what your religion is doing? Tear down the temple, turn your priests into toads, and write "YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG" across the sky in mile high letters of fire.
  • The Prophet Mohammad, peace be upon him, was reasonably successful at killing several religions over a wide swath of the world, so "pick a sufficiently charismatic and determined prophet for a new revelation of worship" seems to work alright. His message was very much of the "you're doin' it wrong" variety, though obviously more emphasis on belief than the OP would like.
  • The Gods know that the mortals misinterpreted their Words

    The God source is like a river forever flowing meandering nourishing were ever it goes.
    Man has created dams, canals, and drainage systems to control the flow of this source.
    It’s just a case of plumbing rearrangement.

    Any DIY book would cover this in ten easy steps!!!! Better than I could.

    Or a simple test, which identifies
    A THE TRUE WORDS OF GOD
    B SOMEONE ELSES INTERPRITATION OF THE WORDS OF GOD
    C OR THATS YOU’RE EGO OR OTHER SPLIT PERSONALITY

    If what your saying is I am that test you better answer my questions correctly! MOohaha
  • I would systematically prove the nonexistence of Gods through endless assaults on the concept of God. Nature simply is, all of itself. I would get all sorts of experts to agree with me on the subject matter and verbally assault and character assassinate anyone who disagrees with me. I would correlate stupidity with religion. Most of the population is too simple minded to formulate their own opinions so they will go along with my campaign of propaganda.

    I would then create an opposing viewpoint (again with the nonexistence of Gods). I would then whip up the general populace into a frenzy fighting over these two contradictory viewpoints. I would then squelch the ability of any other viewpoint to be expressed.

    Or in other words, I would invent "Democrats" and "Republicans" for religion.
  • Zealous believers are very, very good at reconciling seeming contradictions and hypocrisy without breaking stride. So, a logic offensive or an attempt to expose the true nature of the religious institutions' leaders would be ineffective. Similarly, anything that could be perceived as a direct attack would harden the followers' resolve.

    So, my approach would be a smear campaign against the leaders of the institutions, fabricating evidence that paints the people at the top and the organisation in a bad light. Not necessarily smears targeted at their religion, but ones slung against other, more worldly matters. A reputation for violence against his family, rumours he carries the pox, evidence that the nunnery is in actuality a brothel for the higher tiers of the church, and so on. I'd intercept letters sent to the organisation so the supplicants would believe they were being ignored. The intention is to slowly make the followers disenchanted with their leaders, fostering splinter groups and a gradual move away from organised religion.

    Once the world is a sea of generalised irreligion, rather than a steely-hard pit of atheism, it would be fertile ground for the Gods to start anew.
  • So, if the gods are real, why aren't they doing something to change it themselves? Why aren't they communicating with the people? That would put some interesting limitations on them, making them omniscient, but not omnipotent, or even moderately potent. They're seemingly relying on an intermediary that can influence the world and is also powerful enough to cross whatever barriers the gods can't. So I'm that really powerful guy, who doesn't know everything, but can plane shift, and accomplish almost anything.

    Big Plan: Gift everyone with something that makes them forget religion and leave them aside.

    Detailed Plan: Look through the Civilisation video game, find every technological advancement, and make sure the population gets it, also spur scientific advancement. Keep pushing. Each new scientific answer will invalidate previous religious answers. There will be people who hang on, but it'll be progressively less each generation.

    That's roughly what's happening now. It's a slow process, but eventually it'll win out.
  • Easy answer... let mortals find physical proof of the existence of their Gods.
    Everyone of them.
    Let every single Religion have their sacred reliquia.
    Then incite holy wars and let them extinct.

    Free pop-corns and 3-D goggles for the Vangelos...
  • Form a pyramid scheme that makes people rich by turning their back on religion and establishing down-line members.
  • edited March 2010
    Posted By: migoSo, if the gods are real, why aren't they doing something to change it themselves? Why aren't they communicating with the people?
    Last time they tried, that didn't work at all.

    This is a problem about human nature. The gods are eternal and all-understanding. Men are not. They are unable to fully grasp the True and the meaning of the divine actions and words. That is simply not something their minds can really comprehend. So what happens? They misinterpret the communication and mold it to their needs, wants and believes. (Enter religions.)

    The gods say "Sky", the humans hear "blue".

    That's when you come in. More than humans, less than gods. Some sort of middle ground, more capable of "scaling things down" into a level the mortals can get.

    It is more a matter of perspective, instead of power.
  • Wait, so when you say,

    The Gods are practical. What matters is the end result, not how you reach it. They are more concerned about Dogma, customs and what people do, rather than what people believe or think. And the means are entirely up to you.

    Do you mean that (choose one):

    A) the gods want the people reciting dogma and adhering to particular customs

    or

    B) the gods want to abolish dogma and adherence to customs in favor of... something else

    ?

    Maybe you can give a concrete example of what the gods want people to do in the end?

  • If you want to destroy someone's dreams, grant their wishes. Move the gods to the earth. Impropriety becomes manifest without the possibility of cults starting up around the fringes.

    All other plans leave the possibility open for new misinterpretations, eh?

    :)
  • edited March 2010
    I mean B.

    That is, the Gods want "Dogma, customs and what people do" in general to be killed, and do not worry too much about "what people believe or think" in a personal level.

    They want people to try to be good because that is the right thing to do, and not because "that is what (and how) the Religion is telling me".

    They don't want organizations, prayer, moral "religious" judgment, bureaucratic stuff, religious leaders misusing political influence, people attacking each other with lame "faith" excuses...

    In the end, they want people to respect each other. To tolerate different believes, ideas, ways of living, customs. They want people to model their interactions with others based on individual worth and actions, not on what they believe or where do they belong. The greater good over power games.
  • I had the gods spell their own end (for different reasons) by coming to earth.
    Once they got there, religion was over. It was just politics for some, and big monsters (with lots of hps) for others.
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