Wednesday, October 04, 2006

What Makes a God?

There's a quiz that was posted on the social forum, and I think I've seen it a few other places, that rates gods. It's a severely flawed quiz, and it seems to use the omni-omni-omni style of defining a god.

Mine don't pass, but that doesn't make them any less gods to me. It is obvious, therefore, that I have different criteria for what makes a god a god.

For example, Old Dog doesn't know everything. (He thinks he does, but that's a different matter entirely) He isn't everywhere at once - sure, he can be a lot of places, or at least seem to, but even in legends he needs travel time. He gets things done, but he's definitely not omnipotent. He uses trickery and persuasion, he steals things when he needs them, he pretends to be other beings to get their followers co-operation. He lies.

Omnibenevolent? Forget it. He's not even always benevolent towards me, and I'm his. (or at least I assume I am, since he won't leave)

So, in this quiz he fails bigtime. BUT. He knows more than me. He is more powerful than me. And in the end, in spite of his trickeries, etc. he is more moral than me. So, he is a god. Not a deep, mysterious one, like my Ladies, but he has his mysteries too. It's enough. When I try to wrap my head around anything bigger, I get dizzy.

My question is: What sets our gods apart? What makes them Gods? We can almost all tell the difference when we encounter a god as opposed to when we encounter other sorts of beings. Where does the difference lie? Is it power? Sphere of influence? I can accept that some people would view Old Dog as an animal spirit rather than a deity, but since humans are more his concern than other animals I place him in the god category. Anthropocentric of me, I know.

So. Rate your gods. List your criteria. Give your reasons. It's okay if you don't have any. UPG is perfectly acceptable. But if this quiz is severely flawed, I'm wondering what would have made it better.

And just to throw a cat among the pigeons, what would take them off the god-rung of the entity ladder?

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