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Black Crow

Heresy 185

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1 hour ago, Tucu said:

R'hllor is not a Satan figure. It is the good/light/order god of a dualist religion. Think Ahura Mazda of Zoroastrianism or the light spirits in Manichaeism. The actions of the R'hllor followers of course are independent of the inaction of the absent deity.

That's the POV if Melisandra (the only POV character who follows that faith) - that's what she believes and wants you to believe. Don't take any GRRM POV at face value. If you believe their message as simply as that, I'm concerned that you're very suseptible to extremist religious propaganda.

And that's the thing Matthew - I'm still trying to work out what GRRM's religious beliefs are through reading his non-ASOIF works; but one thing is certain - he is strongly opposed to extremist, fundamentalist religion. I'm inclined to think that objectively none of the deities exist, but their believers certainly do and are motivated to act in certain ways that are mostly harmful. I've developed a theory elsewhere that stresses that the actual ultimate evil in this story is Men, and that what they mistakenly see as the antagonist to be defeated is the planet itself (which is primarily symbolised by the weirwood trees)

Thus LordImp is on the ball - R'hllor is a harmful - to the extent of evil faith; possibly so is the opposite (what they call the Great Other), as is the Drowned God and more.

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28 minutes ago, House Cambodia said:

That's the POV if Melisandra (the only POV character who follows that faith) - that's what she believes and wants you to believe. Don't take any GRRM POV at face value. If you believe their message as simply as that, I'm concerned that you're very suseptible to extremist religious propaganda.

GRRM has explicitly stated in interviews that the R'hllorist religion is inspired by real world dualistic religions, such as Zorastrianism. To that end, R'hllor is meant to represent absolute good: fire, life, light, summer, etc. R'hllor isn't good or evil, he doesn't exist, but Melisandre isn't being insincere when she perceives R'hllor as 'good,' there's no trick to the R'hllorist religion; they believe that R'hllor is the only way they can be saved from the absolute evil of the Great Other and his 'demon thralls.' Their 'evil' isn't that they serve an evil god, their evil is that they believe any price is worth paying in the name of what they perceive as good.

Blatantly, this is a criticism of religious fundamentalism, but it is still operating within GRRM's philosophy of everyone being the hero of their own story,

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That's the point of Points of View. All characters sincerely believe their own religions, ideas, ambitions, motivations. All believe they are good or are doing the right thing. But these POVs clash - that's the meat of the story.

So which side of the dualism does R'hllor represent? How can you be sure it's the good side? Let's look at the evidence - a myth based on a 'hero' murdering his wife to make a sword. Followers practising human sacrifices including burning children. Now championing a megalomaniac with 3 Weapons of Mass Destruction. When I look beyond the words to the actions what I see is not good - it is evil.

Now, you could claim that they god is good but all the devotees are misguided, but that leaves the god somewhat redundant, doesn't it? And a claim that is basically unfalsifiable and thus logically and philosophically meaningless.

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3 hours ago, Matthew. said:

GRRM has explicitly stated in interviews that the R'hllorist religion is inspired by real world dualistic religions, such as Zorastrianism. To that end, R'hllor is meant to represent absolute good: fire, life, light, summer, etc. R'hllor isn't good or evil, he doesn't exist, but Melisandre isn't being insincere when she perceives R'hllor as 'good,' there's no trick to the R'hllorist religion; they believe that R'hllor is the only way they can be saved from the absolute evil of the Great Other and his 'demon thralls.' Their 'evil' isn't that they serve an evil god, their evil is that they believe any price is worth paying in the name of what they perceive as good.
 

Hence the other Heretic joke that the reason why the name of the great Other may never be spoken is because it is R'hllor

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5 hours ago, House Cambodia said:

That's the POV if Melisandra (the only POV character who follows that faith) - that's what she believes and wants you to believe. Don't take any GRRM POV at face value. If you believe their message as simply as that, I'm concerned that you're very suseptible to extremist religious propaganda.

And that's the thing Matthew - I'm still trying to work out what GRRM's religious beliefs are through reading his non-ASOIF works; but one thing is certain - he is strongly opposed to extremist, fundamentalist religion. I'm inclined to think that objectively none of the deities exist, but their believers certainly do and are motivated to act in certain ways that are mostly harmful. I've developed a theory elsewhere that stresses that the actual ultimate evil in this story is Men, and that what they mistakenly see as the antagonist to be defeated is the planet itself (which is primarily symbolised by the weirwood trees)

Thus LordImp is on the ball - R'hllor is a harmful - to the extent of evil faith; possibly so is the opposite (what they call the Great Other), as is the Drowned God and more.

I don't take any religious reference at face value (in the books or real life).

But those are the beliefs of that religion. R'hllor=good/light/life; Great Other=evil/darkness/death. You can't compare R'hllor with Satan that is the evil entity of Christianity ( Christianity being a weird combination of monotheism and dualism). You would be accusing a non-existent/absent god of being evil.

Edit: We should probably continue on Heresy 187

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I don't believe in Satan either, but within the belief-systems of Christianity, Islam and Judaism (which I don't believe in either), he is believed to be evil.

Without the ability to empathise, it is hard to appreciate either religion or literature, so I'll just leave you to your own devices.

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