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Jan
10th
2013

Oh Twilight Sparkle, who art in heaven.... · 2:28am Jan 10th, 2013

...hallowed be thy mane.

Gooood evening mares and gentlecolts. So here's a tricky question for you all. I was having a conversation with my younger brother (the brony who got me into the show) earlier about this, and to settle a minor disagreement on the issue, we'd like your input.

Suppose a religion sprung up based around the show. Its chief deities are Celestia and Luna, who are responsible for Night and Day, as well as various other spheres of influence. The religion centers around adherence to harmony, tolerance, and friendship. Beliefs concerning the afterlife are pretty simple in that if you die, you go to Equestria.

We're talking stained glass windows, statues, and tax exemption levels here folks. So, show hands here people, how many of you would join if this actually sprung up and whats your opinion of the idea?

Challenge Round: Celestia and Luna THEMSELVES descend from on high to save our miserable species from ourselves and take control of the night and day cycle. Same points as the above scenario, except the goddesses are here. What do?

DISCUSS!!

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Comments ( 45 )

No to the first question, but if Celestia and Luna actually show up I'm deleting this post and pretending I was totally on board with the idea from the get-go.

I'm not seeing what the advantage of becoming a religion would be versus the tight-knit little communities we have now

This sounds like a cult that worships a cartoon, it kinda is the way you're describing it, and it would kinda creep me out. I have to be convinced that it was superior to my whole life being a catholic, even if the actually existed they wouldn't be on the same level as the actual God.

Though at this point I kinda do worship Luna...

695316 Raised Catholic myself. And we worship a carpenter! From Nazareth of all places! :rainbowwild: Still better than Scientology.

Hence why I asked it as the double side question. Mostly this is to settle a point with my bro. So just to confirm, if Celestia and Luna, in the flesh were playing ping pong with the sun and moon infront of you, its still a no?

Easy. I would know it was based on a cartoon show. Whatever you may think of other religions, at least the major ones have better origin stories than this.

And, frankly, the ethics of this show is too shallow to really form the complete basis of a way of life. If anyone thinks the little maxims that appear in Twilight's letters at the end of an episode are deep or insightful, I'd suggest he needs to study some serious ethical thinkers, or perhaps he needs some churchin' up.

Now for the bonus round: That's a tougher one. I want to at least hear exactly what claims they're making for themselves before I tentatively decide they're real deities, some elaborate hoax, or something that needs blown away with a shotgun. At any rate, unless Celestia is claiming to be a self-sufficient uncaused cause whose essence equals her existence, I'd tell her she doesn't rank high enough to be the object of my adoration.

695321 Still no, because even though they're powerfull and live forever I still wouldn't call them gods, they aren't all knowing or all powerfull. Their description is actually a bit like angels in the bible, really powerfull beings that live for a long time, but still not on the level as God.

Hey, Jedi/Sith are legit religions in the USA. Just saying.

695339

....what if God was an alicorn? :pinkiehappy:

I'd follow it, no questions asked. Having been raised Catholic, but losing the faith, it would be nice to have two gods that we knew existed. That, and I've always wanted to worship Luna.

Either way, it's a win-win situation.

-SoI

695347 Wait, seriously?

695357 What do you mean? He was a human for a bit too.

695374

And, according to Christian theology, still human.

I once read a book by an important Catholic philosopher, Marie I. George, on the subject of Christianity and extraterrestrials (seriously), and she proposed the possibility that the incarnation does not preclude the possibility of incarnations as other species. That was highly speculative theology, however, and should be treated as such.

At any rate, if George were correct, and if there were such a thing as unicorns (I refuse to say "alicorn" . . . rats, I just said it), there would be the possibility of God incarnating as one. However, there's no such thing as unicorns.

Bonus: a white unicorn is a traditional symbol of Christ, and I'm reasonably sure someone working on this show knows it. Celestia sits in a white palace, surrounded by stained glass windows, on a golden throne from the base of which run fountains of water . . .

Not being a religious person myself I wouldn't have much interest in a new one popping up, but I'll be damned if the ideals of a religion based on love and tolerance of others - no matter their differences - wouldn't be damn refreshing in a world full of holy books that do nothing but shriek "BELIEVE IN US OR SUFFER ETERNAL". That's why I rather like Germanic Paganism, it's all about the rewards - die in battle and end up eating and fighting to your heart's content for all eternity. Now I just need to firmly believe that capping the flag counts...

As for the challenge round, what do? Get me some of dat ass. Doesn't matter which.

695326 While the morals of the stories are somewhat blunt-force-trauma, the ethos of the show is hardly shallow. It encourages us to be ourselves despite what others may think of us and to accept others for who they are as well. Equality and fairness in all things. Contrast that with, say, the bible OK'ing slavery and reinforcing the dominance of males in society...

695391

While the morals of the stories are somewhat blunt-force-trauma, the ethos of the show is hardly shallow. It encourages us to be ourselves despite what others may think of us and to accept others for who they are as well.

I honestly don't know how people get the mushy po-mo non-moral of "tolerance" out of this show. What I get from it are virtues like honesty, loyalty, kindness, etc., and all the other unmentioned virtues that those imply.

On the first scenario (not "real")

... what? FiM hits literal cult status? I think we have enough problems without pony cultists. Though I'd also say that brony cultism is most likely already a thing.

Second scenario (Deus Ex Machina): Assuming they did this 20 minutes from now and not before I was born? I'll admit that I've harbored a fantasy for killing a god, and I might be tempted to throw my life away attempting that, but otherwise I'd probably consider it similar to a hostile takeover. I don't think the transition would go over well at all.

A pony cult might eventually form, but I don't think it would be all love and friendship. More like "Look, we have proof of physical gods! Let's totally kill everyone who isn't on board with the somewhat vague idea of dedicating ourselves to them!"

695389 Right, it would be another form of the same God, but Celestia and Luna wouldn't be like him if they were real, they're limited. And they're cartoons, that would be a big problem.

I'm shuddering at the idea of fundamentalists doing to this show's ethos what they've done to Christ's teachings. I'll hold out for the bonus round--we'd need direct intervention to keep them in check.

695420

Well, yes. It's a cartoon. Frankly, I don't know how people become "Jedis" or how anyone could become a . . . whatever you call a pony-worshiper. Get a real religion. Or a real philosophy. Or something. But for crying out loud, don't worship a cartoon character.

695424

All the Fundamentalists I've ever known have been good, honest, intelligent, hard-working people who mostly wanted permission to mind their own business.

695428

cartoon, comic book character, literary character, story character

all fictional. Lets at least reduce this to "no worshiping fictional characters."

And let's be biased and add "especially the ones that we are sure were authored by people"

TDR

If a flying spaghetti monster can get its own religion so can bronies.:scootangel:

695428 Yeah, people know its fiction, fake stories written for kids. Its not a way of life, and no one in their right mind would devote their lives to flash animated unicorns. You don't need any point other than this.

Also if they did turn out to be real, would that make whoever started mlp some kind of religious figure too?

...Good question... I'd be tempted I suppose but that position is already filled for me.

As for the challenge round... I'd be too damn busy Squeeing to think about anything... but the answer remains the same.

695443 Someone give this man the key to the city! :twilightsmile: Finally, some light heartedness

695302 *saves a screenshot of his post* Like hell you are. When the lightning bolt comes from their horns to smite you, I intend to be standing WAAAAAAY over there. Lol.

695446

You know, that's a fan fiction that might not have been done yet . . . ah, who am I kidding? I'm sure it has been. Maybe we need a story about the ponies turning out to be real and the people who made the show flipping out about it because they had no idea. I'm pretty sure that violates this site's rules or something, though.

Instead of imagining ponies as religious figures for our world, I'm much more interested in depicting Megan from G1 becoming a religious figure for the ponies. But I watched G1 as a kid and still have a soft spot for that old show.

Part of the reason this topic is sour, too, is because of stuff like The Conversion Bureau, which has an absolutely awesome premise and deserves the cottage industry it generated for that reason alone, but which still beats the reader over the head with its "humans suxx0r" message, as if these ponyish ideas of being honest and kind and generous have never occurred to human beings before, ever.

In the first case, my morals would prevent me from joining, but assuming that it would be a mostly ironic thing, I'd laugh along. I do oppose tax exemptions for ideological conglomerations in any case, be they religious, political or whatever.

In the second case, it is debatable if religion can exist with high-fidelity proof. That depends on if you consider faith to be a necessary prerequisite for religion.

I'd sign up on the spot. All hail Luna, Bringer of the Night!

Really? As if enough people don't think we're all nuts already.

Anyways I say no, I am a Pastafarian.

Not much for organized religion:ajbemused:

As for the challenge round, the Buddhists have an expression: If you meet the Buddha, you must kill Buddha.
(not literally, they mean one's assumptions will always be off from reality, so don't assume you know anything)

No one and nothing is beyond reproach, and if the Royal Pony Sisters showed up and asked to be worshiped (which is competely OOC) or even to wrest control of the heavens I would politely ask them not to. If they refused and did not utterly destroy me, I would continue to resist.

Don't ever meet your heroes.

695539 Not exactly "steal" the natural cycle, but moreso the universe changed to accommodate them. Instead of rising normally, if Celestia didn't raise the sun, then it wouldn't.

I doubt they'd destroy you. Or imprison you. Provided you didnt go terrorist on them, of course.

TDR

695465 Of course. Even in my more serious fics theres elements of humor. Sometimes too much.

695563 err no, not as such and likely never in this lifetime.
If the very functions of the universe were to change I have no idea how I'd feel, it would depend a great deal on all the minor details that stretch from here to there.

But in any case, violence is not the last resort of the incompetent, it's the first resort of the violent.
Why wouldn't one try every peaceful option, then exhaust every political option, and then wade through the passive aggressive options long before considering harm to another sentient?

I understand the concept you're trying to explore, so I won't interfere further, but sometimes it's the small details that make all the difference.

I kinda see the princesses as demigods, to be honest.

I'm atheist, so no.

And even in the show, Celestia is overwhelmed when people only treat her like a princess. Treating her like a god would only be worse for the poor mare, especially taking in account what certain people have done (and will do) in the future.

In short, they'd be cool, Celebrities even, but they definitely wouldn't want to be gods.

In the first case I would "join" the religion in the same way that folks become Pastafarians - I'd enjoy it as yet another fun pony-related activity to ramble on about. Unless I realized that the other adherents were actually serious, in which case I'd back away slowly while maintaining eye contact and a fake smile. I like to think I have a firm grip on reality.

In the second case, I would definitely go through a period wherein I doubted that grip on reality. If everything checks out, though, I still wouldn't worship Celestia and Luna because that's not the kind of guy I am (and not the kind of deities they are). I'd be glad that their godlike powers were held by hooves worthy of wielding it, and be cautiously respectful, but at most I'd accept them having a symbolic role when it came to actual governance or power. Sort of like the Queen. If the Queen could enter your dreams or move the Sun.

695728

Me: Queen Elizabeth, what the heck are you doing in my dream?

Queen Elizabeth: Oh you know, dearie. Just checking up to make sure your not having any nightmares or improper thoughts! I'll be out as soon as I've had a cup of tea and biscuits!

Me: ...I'm pretty sure there's something in the Constitution against this.
I'm sorry if anyone was offended by this.

Actually, that's is a horrifying thought. With this now being said, I'm gonna sleep in my tinfoil hat tonight...

695728 Thought police is best pony

Something similar to your idea is covered in the Book of Friendship (caution: not for children due to excessive violence involved!)

>hallowed be thy mane
I was going to say that! :twilightoops:

I am a hard evidence, science orientated person. However, I would totally join this just for the sheer awesomeness that would associated with a Luna Celestia religion. :yay:

Well, maybe if I wasn't a Christian first and foremost. I would definitely join then, no doubt. I think I already do Celestia's Witness thing, "Have accepted ponies into your life?" Oh and I think it should be called Ponytheism.

"She's not your Messiah! She's a very naughty mare!"

(Sorry, someone had to say it)

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