History AlternativeCharacterInterpretation / ReligionAndMythology

2nd Dec '16 5:09:23 PM Furienna
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* Lot and his family: the only righteous people in Sodom and Gomorrah? Or perhaps simply the least degenerate? He and his family do stuff like attempt to whore out his daughters to protect his guests and his daughters in blind panic liquor him up and screw him while drunk to bear him children (the wife didn't seem to do much wrong). Maybe it's telling on the kind of places [[WretchedHive Sodom and Gomorrah]] were that these were the only people worth saving ([[ValuesDissonance they did things we consider horrible]], but on some basic level [[SacredHospitality they were trying]], unlike the others in the town, who upon hearing about newcomers, their first reaction was to round up a rape-posse). If [[ParentalIncest raping your own father to have children]] is considered the "least degenerate", [[FridgeHorror try not to think of what Sodom and Gomorrah would consider bad]].
* Anyone in the ''Literature/TheMahabharata'' and the ''Literature/{{Ramayana}}'' has had alternative character interpretations attached to them and it is not just in modern times. Kamban Ramayana, the first regional translation of the ''Ramayana'' in something like the seventh century portrays Ravana from being the BigBad to sympathetic AntiHero whose one moral flaw was women and similarly, the Orissan interpretation of the ''Mahabharata'' portrays the protagonist RoyalPrince Pandavas as essentially JerkAss for participating in the Kurushetra War. Region, gender and class/caste all influence one's interpretation of both these epics.
** [[http://www.boloji.com/index.cfm?md=Content&sd=Articles&ArticleID=12338 Professor Roychowdhury]] interprets Amba as a {{Yandere}} whose murder of Bheeshma was motivated by his refusal to marry her. The main evidence for this theory is that Amba devotes years and years to getting revenge on Bheeshma specifically...not Salva (her ex-lover, who cast Amba out and called her a whore) or her dad (who offered Amba's hand in marriage even though she liked someone already). And she only does that after trying every possible option to get Bheeshma to marry her. Vyasa explicitly states that the two loved each other, but couldn't be together because of honor.
*** Ramesh Menon interprets Amba's story as one of GreyAndGreyMorality which had to happen because destiny said so. (Bheeshma shouldn't have abducted Amba, Salva should have accepted Amba back, and Amba herself should have been brave enough to speak up before Bheeshma's chariot reached Hastinapura or compassionate enough not to blame Bheeshma- who was only following Kshatriya tradition- to the extent that she devotes her life to getting revenge on him.) In Menon's translation, Bheeshma's death is a MercyKill which he recognizes as such and accepts.

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* Lot and his family: the only righteous people in Sodom and Gomorrah? Or perhaps simply the least degenerate? He and his family do stuff like attempt Lot attempted to whore out his daughters to protect his guests and his guests. His daughters in blind panic liquor liquored him up and screw had sex with him while drunk to bear him children (the wife didn't doesn't seem to do have done much wrong). Maybe it's telling on it says a lot about the kind of places [[WretchedHive Sodom and Gomorrah]] were were, that these people were the only people ones worth saving saving. ([[ValuesDissonance they They did things a few things, which we consider horrible]], but on some basic level they at least [[SacredHospitality they were trying]], unlike while the others other men in the town, who upon hearing about two newcomers, their first reaction was to round up a rape-posse). If [[ParentalIncest raping getting your own father drunk to have children]] children by him]] is considered the "least degenerate", [[FridgeHorror try it is probably best not to think of what Sodom and Gomorrah would consider bad]].
** To be fair to Lot's daughters, they seemed to really believe that they and their father were the only three people left on Earth. So that is why they thought that they needed to get pregnant by him: they believed that they had no other choice if the human race was to survive! Of course, they must have realized very soon how wrong they had been. But they did it in a panic and out of ignorance rather than out of some creepy lust for their own father.
* Anyone in the ''Literature/TheMahabharata'' and the ''Literature/{{Ramayana}}'' has had alternative character interpretations attached to them and it is not just in modern times. Kamban Ramayana, the first regional translation of the ''Ramayana'' in something like the seventh century portrays Ravana from being the BigBad to sympathetic AntiHero whose one moral flaw was women and similarly, the Orissan interpretation of the ''Mahabharata'' portrays the protagonist RoyalPrince Pandavas protagonist, Prince Pandavas, as essentially an JerkAss for participating in the Kurushetra War. Region, gender and class/caste all influence one's interpretation of both these epics.
** [[http://www.boloji.com/index.cfm?md=Content&sd=Articles&ArticleID=12338 Professor Roychowdhury]] interprets Amba as a {{Yandere}} whose murder of Bheeshma was motivated by his refusal to marry her. The main evidence for this theory is that Amba devotes years and years to getting revenge on Bheeshma specifically... not Salva (her ex-lover, who cast Amba out and called her a whore) or her dad (who offered Amba's hand in marriage even though she liked someone already). And she only does that after trying every possible option to get Bheeshma to marry her. Vyasa explicitly states that the two loved each other, but couldn't be together because of honor.
*** Ramesh Menon interprets Amba's story as one of GreyAndGreyMorality which had to happen because destiny said so. (Bheeshma shouldn't have abducted Amba, Salva should have accepted Amba back, and Amba herself should have been brave enough to speak up before Bheeshma's chariot reached Hastinapura or compassionate enough not to blame Bheeshma- Bheeshma - who was only following Kshatriya tradition- tradition - to the extent that she devotes her life to getting revenge on him.) In Menon's translation, Bheeshma's death is a MercyKill which he recognizes as such and accepts.



*** And naturally, alternative views to this abound, with many viewing his sacrifices as appropriate to what he gained (and he was the only one who sueffered from them anyway), and his desire to have an amazing army backing him when Ragnarok to be quite reasonable, considering [[ApocalypseHow what Ragnarok would be like]].
*** sounds like he only took in the second best warriors, maybe some first-rate ones. The best warriors are the ones who have gone through hell and survived it, and they get sent to Hel from dying of old or illness. What was the quote from Gaiden Senji from the elder scrolls games? "The best techniques are passed on by the survivors".
** Odin used the Valkyries[[labelnote:meaning]](roughly) "the Choosers of the Slain"[[/labelnote]] to select who was going to end up in Valhalla after a battle. Exactly how this worked is unclear, sometimes their mission seems to be to make cause someone to die in battle even if they were an unkillable badass; at other times they seem to have just collected the pick of the crops after the battle was over. Either way, this could be used by the skalds to explain why a great hero had fallen ("Odin sent for him") or to comfort the survivors ("your friends are probably feasting in Valhalla now"). In any case, the Valhalla myth seems to have provided motivation for courage in battle.
** Alternatively, Odin killing Loki's son may be more of Values Dissonance justice than morally suspect revenge. The Code of Hammurabi, which had the phrase "an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth" among other things, specifies that a house builder whose work fails and kills the owner will be killed, but if it kills the owner's son, the builder's son will be killed. The idea of justice being proportional to the crime rather than equal to the crime (perhaps adjusted for differences between the victim and perpetrator) is a relatively recent development.

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*** And naturally, alternative views to this abound, with many viewing his sacrifices as appropriate to what he gained (and he was the only one who sueffered suffered from them anyway), and his desire to have an amazing army backing him when Ragnarok to be quite reasonable, considering [[ApocalypseHow what Ragnarok would be like]].
*** It sounds like he only took in the second best warriors, maybe some first-rate ones. The best warriors are the ones who have gone through hell and survived it, and they get sent to Hel from dying of old or illness. What was the quote from Gaiden Senji from the elder scrolls games? "The best techniques are passed on by the survivors".
** Odin used the Valkyries[[labelnote:meaning]](roughly) Valkyries [[note]]meaning (roughly) "the Choosers of the Slain"[[/labelnote]] Slain"[[/note]] to select who was going to end up in Valhalla after a battle. Exactly how this worked is unclear, sometimes their mission seems to be to make cause someone to die in battle even if they were an unkillable badass; at other times they seem to have just collected the pick of the crops after the battle was over. Either way, this could be used by the skalds to explain why a great hero had fallen ("Odin sent for him") or to comfort the survivors ("your friends are probably feasting in Valhalla now"). In any case, the Valhalla myth seems to have provided motivation for courage in battle.
** Alternatively, Odin killing Loki's son may be more of Values Dissonance ValuesDissonance justice than morally suspect revenge. The Code of Hammurabi, which had the phrase "an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth" among other things, specifies that a house builder whose work fails and kills the owner will be killed, but if it kills the owner's son, the builder's son will be killed. The idea of justice being proportional to the crime rather than equal to the crime (perhaps adjusted for differences between the victim and perpetrator) is a relatively recent development.



** Satan comes from Ha-Satan, which translates to "opposer." This has are at many ways you can take it:

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** Satan comes from Ha-Satan, the Hebrew word "Ha-Satan", which translates to "opposer." This has There are at many ways you can take it:interpret that:
2nd Dec '16 12:11:41 AM Furienna
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** While it is common Christian dogma that God is a God of love and is all-caring, the Book of Job, in which God screws over an innocent man's life by giving {{Satan}} free hands to maim and kill any- and everyone related to Job over ''a bet'' with said incarnation of evil, can be seen as evidence for the contrary. Making it even stranger is how the entire book is Job condemning God while his accusers tell him that God is all-loving -- and then, at the end, after lecturing Job on how he's not qualified to critique God, God turns around and attacks his ''accusers'', saying that "you have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job has." One interpretation of Job is that Job wasn't speaking badly of God but was demanding an answer off him while Job's friends are telling him that he must be doing evil things since God only punishes the wicked. Job learns in the end that God doesn't have to tell him why bad things happen to good people (and vice versa) while Job's friends are told by God that good things and bad things happen to good and bad people alike, and they should stop judging others when things go bad for them.

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** While it is common Christian dogma that God is a God of love and is all-caring, the Book of Job, in which God screws over an innocent man's life by giving {{Satan}} free hands to maim and kill any- and everyone related to Job over ''a bet'' with said incarnation of evil, can be seen as evidence for the contrary. Making it even stranger is how the entire book is Job condemning God while his accusers tell him that God is all-loving -- - and then, at the end, after lecturing Job on how he's not qualified to critique God, God turns around and attacks his ''accusers'', saying that "you have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job has." One interpretation of Job is that Job wasn't speaking badly of God but was demanding an answer off him while Job's friends are telling him that he must be doing evil things since God only punishes the wicked. Job learns in the end that God doesn't have to tell him why bad things happen to good people (and vice versa) while Job's friends are told by God that good things and bad things happen to good and bad people alike, and they should stop judging others when things go bad for them.



** Creator/MarkTwain in ''Literature/LettersFromTheEarth'' gives us this treatment of a lot of events in the Bible. His depiction of the fate of the Midianites is brutal. The [[http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/ Skeptic's Annotated Bible]] does this to the entire Bible. UsefulNotes/RichardDawkins goes through many accounts of Biblical events and comes to the following conclusion: “The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it”. He goes on to say that while the Old Testament God was harsh and cruel, He did stop when those who angered Him were dead. The New Testament added in Hell. Creator/ChristopherHitchens gave similar interpretations of the character of God of the Bible many times. Sam Harris did it as well.

to:

** Creator/MarkTwain in ''Literature/LettersFromTheEarth'' ''Letters From The Earth'' gives us this treatment of a lot of events in the Bible. His depiction of the fate of the Midianites is brutal. The [[http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/ Skeptic's Annotated Bible]] does this to the entire Bible. UsefulNotes/RichardDawkins goes through many accounts of Biblical events and comes to the following conclusion: “The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it”. He goes on to say that while the Old Testament God was harsh and cruel, He did stop when those who angered Him were dead. The New Testament added in Hell. Creator/ChristopherHitchens gave similar interpretations of the character of God of the Bible many times. Sam Harris did it as well.



** Of course morality varies widely throughout cultures. You can never satisfy everybody. For some people he could be acting perfectly reasonably but ValuesDissonance. Then of course there is the possibility of UnreliableNarrator, someone could be exaggerating what happens because it sounds better.

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** Of course morality varies widely throughout cultures. You can never satisfy everybody. For some people he could be acting perfectly reasonably reasonably, but there will always be ValuesDissonance. Then of course there is the possibility of UnreliableNarrator, someone could be exaggerating what happens because it sounds better.



* Judas, from Literature/TheBible, is frequently given a sympathetic AlternateCharacterInterpretation--usually because the narrative seems to imply that without his "betrayal" Jesus would never have been arrested, and hence could not be tried or executed, and without which, the greatest mysteries upon which the Church is founded would have never come to pass.

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* Judas, from Literature/TheBible, is frequently given a sympathetic AlternateCharacterInterpretation--usually AlternateCharacterInterpretation - usually because the narrative seems to imply that without his "betrayal" Jesus would never have been arrested, and hence could not be tried or executed, and without which, the greatest mysteries upon which the Church is founded would have never come to pass.



** Odin, dear gods, Odin. He's portrayed as a BigGood in modern times, but this is... arguable... for a number of reasons: first off, one of his nicknames is Oathbreaker, meaning that he is FAMOUS for committing one of the biggest sins in Norse Myth, breaking his word. Further, Odin sacrificed his eye to gain wisdom, and allowed himself to be hung by his neck from the World Tree for nine days to gain knowledge of runs and magic. This means he is capable of making any sacrifice for power, regardless of cost (case in point, when Loki was bound, on Odin's orders, Loki's son was murdered and his guts were turned into iron chains to bind him. Which means Odin had an innocent person murdered so he could get back at Loki, who admittedly did kill Odin's son Baldr). Also, Valhalla: the only real condition that you have to meet to get in is to die fighting. It doesn't really matter which side you were on, or what kind of person you were, you just had to die in battle, although there was still a limit -- murderers, adulterers and oath-breakers (the scum of the Earth as far as the Norse were concerned) were sent to Náströnd, the nastiest part of the underworld, regardless of how they died. If you were badass enough that no one could ever kill you and you died of old age or illness, then through no fault of your own you went to the cold, dreary and comparatively very boring Hel, although the Norse, as a people rich in reivers, pirates and warriors, had a very good chance of dying fighting, and would prefer to do so anyway. Odin wanted his paradise filled with the roughest, toughest, hardest bastards who ever lived, so that when Ragnarok came, he'd have an army of the best soldiers who ever died to fight for him -- although, in all fairness, he only got half of the honorable dead. The other went to Fólkvangr, where his wife Freya ruled.

to:

** Odin, dear gods, Odin. He's portrayed as a BigGood in modern times, but this is... arguable... for a number of reasons: first off, one of his nicknames is Oathbreaker, meaning that he is FAMOUS for committing one of the biggest sins in Norse Myth, breaking his word. Further, Odin sacrificed his eye to gain wisdom, and allowed himself to be hung by his neck from the World Tree for nine days to gain knowledge of runs and magic. This means he is capable of making any sacrifice for power, regardless of cost (case in point, when Loki was bound, on Odin's orders, Loki's son was murdered and his guts were turned into iron chains to bind him. Which means Odin had an innocent person murdered so he could get back at Loki, who admittedly did kill Odin's son Baldr). Also, Valhalla: the only real condition that you have to meet to get in is to die fighting. It doesn't really matter which side you were on, or what kind of person you were, you just had to die in battle, although there was still a limit -- - murderers, adulterers and oath-breakers (the scum of the Earth as far as the Norse were concerned) were sent to Náströnd, the nastiest part of the underworld, regardless of how they died. If you were badass enough that no one could ever kill you and you died of old age or illness, then through no fault of your own you went to the cold, dreary and comparatively very boring Hel, although the Norse, as a people rich in reivers, pirates and warriors, had a very good chance of dying fighting, and would prefer to do so anyway. Odin wanted his paradise filled with the roughest, toughest, hardest bastards who ever lived, so that when Ragnarok came, he'd have an army of the best soldiers who ever died to fight for him -- although, - although in all fairness, he only got half of the honorable dead. The other went to Fólkvangr, where his wife Freya ruled.
9th Nov '16 10:14:20 AM nombretomado
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** The musical ''JesusChristSuperstar'' is one of the most famous examples of the idea that Jesus was going to be arrested regardless of who betrayed him, or even ''if'' someone betrayed him. Judas, not Jesus, is the main character, and he betrays Jesus to the Romans not because he wanted the money, but because he was afraid; he believed that the crowds Jesus was drawing were becoming more and more radical, and he felt he needed to end things before large-scale violence broke out. The final scene consists of the entire cast, including Judas, in ''Heaven'', singing a reprise of the title song and wondering what the significance of Jesus's life and death actually was. However, various interpretations of the show have also had Judas reprise the song from Hell, including a 2000 film version which has Judas taunt and goad Jesus on as he carries his cross.

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** The musical ''JesusChristSuperstar'' ''Theatre/JesusChristSuperstar'' is one of the most famous examples of the idea that Jesus was going to be arrested regardless of who betrayed him, or even ''if'' someone betrayed him. Judas, not Jesus, is the main character, and he betrays Jesus to the Romans not because he wanted the money, but because he was afraid; he believed that the crowds Jesus was drawing were becoming more and more radical, and he felt he needed to end things before large-scale violence broke out. The final scene consists of the entire cast, including Judas, in ''Heaven'', singing a reprise of the title song and wondering what the significance of Jesus's life and death actually was. However, various interpretations of the show have also had Judas reprise the song from Hell, including a 2000 film version which has Judas taunt and goad Jesus on as he carries his cross.
17th Oct '16 7:51:14 PM digiman619
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*** Satan is the opposer as in [[BigBad the enemy.]] He's actively antagonising the human race and/or God. He's the UltimateEvil, who wants nothing more but to ruin us by [[TakeOverTheWorld conquest]], [[AGodAmI worship]] or [[ForTheEvulz cruelty.]] [[CaptainObvious This is the interpreation]] that most Christians believe in.
*** Satan is the opposer as in [[HeroAntagonist the rebel.]] He's antagonising God because [[GodIsEvil he thinks its the right thing.]] Because he just wants to be free. He's not corrupting us, [[SatanIsGood he's freeing us.]] This is the interpretation by Satanists and [[GodAndSatanAreBothJerks most]] dysthiests/atheists who think GodIsEvil.
*** Satan is the opposer as in [[NecessaryEvil the accuser.]] He's the ultimate SecretTestOfCharacter, trying to corrupt humans to detect the righteous from the wicked. He never fell. This is the interpretation by most Jews.
*** Satan is the opposer as in [[AmoralAttorney the tempter.]] He's a MisanthropeSupreme, trying to corrupt humans to show that [[HumansAreTheRealMonsters we deserve damnation.]] [[TokenEvilTeammate Being fallen is debatable.]]

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*** Satan is the opposer as in [[BigBad the enemy.]] He's actively antagonising the human race and/or God. He's the UltimateEvil, who wants nothing more but to ruin us by [[TakeOverTheWorld conquest]], [[AGodAmI worship]] or [[ForTheEvulz cruelty.]] The reason he tempted Jesus is that he doesn't want humanity to have [[MessianicArchetype a savior.]] [[CaptainObvious This is the interpreation]] interpretation]] that most Christians believe in.
*** Satan is the opposer as in [[HeroAntagonist the rebel.]] He's antagonising God because [[GodIsEvil he thinks its the right thing.thing to do.]] Because he just wants to be free. He's not corrupting us, [[SatanIsGood he's freeing us.]] The reason he tempts Jesus is that he's trying to convince Jesus to live his own life, because the path he followed lead to his rather painful death and a lot of horrible things throughout history would be done in his name. This is the interpretation by Satanists and [[GodAndSatanAreBothJerks most]] dysthiests/atheists who think GodIsEvil.
*** Satan is the opposer as in [[NecessaryEvil the accuser.]] He's the ultimate SecretTestOfCharacter, trying to corrupt humans to detect the righteous from the wicked. He never fell. The reason he tempted Jesus was because it was a test to prove that Jesus was worthy to be God's prophet. This is the interpretation by most Jews.
*** Satan is the opposer as in [[AmoralAttorney the tempter.]] He's a MisanthropeSupreme, trying to corrupt humans to show that [[HumansAreTheRealMonsters we deserve damnation.]] The reason he tempted Jesus is that he wanted to prove that Jesus, and by extension all of humanity, are just as vile and twisted as he was. [[TokenEvilTeammate Being fallen is debatable.]]
17th Oct '16 7:37:10 PM digiman619
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*** Satan is the opposer as in [[NecessaryEvil the accuser.]] He's the ultimate SecretTestOfCharacter, trying to corrupt humans to detect the right for the wrong. He never fell. This is the interpretation by most Jews.

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*** Satan is the opposer as in [[NecessaryEvil the accuser.]] He's the ultimate SecretTestOfCharacter, trying to corrupt humans to detect the right for righteous from the wrong.wicked. He never fell. This is the interpretation by most Jews.
14th Sep '16 12:44:08 PM onetimo
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Added DiffLines:

*** sounds like he only took in the second best warriors, maybe some first-rate ones. The best warriors are the ones who have gone through hell and survived it, and they get sent to Hel from dying of old or illness. What was the quote from Gaiden Senji from the elder scrolls games? "The best techniques are passed on by the survivors".
9th Sep '16 7:06:06 PM Theriocephalus
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** Odin, dear gods, Odin. He's portrayed as a BigGood in modern times, but this is... arguable... for a number of reasons: first off, one of his nicknames is Oathbreaker, meaning that he is FAMOUS for committing one of the biggest sins in Norse Myth, breaking his word. Further, Odin sacrificed his eye to gain wisdom, and allowed himself to be hung by his neck from the World Tree for ten days to gain knowledge of runs and magic. This means he is capable of making any sacrifice for power, regardless of cost (case in point, when Loki was bound, on Odin's orders, Loki's son was murdered and his guts were turned into iron chains to bind him. Which means Odin had an innocent person murdered so he could get back at Loki, who admittedly did kill Odin's son Baldr). Also, Valhalla: the only real condition that you have to meet to get in is to die fighting. It doesn't really matter which side you were on, or what kind of person you were, you just had to die in battle, although there was still a limit -- murderers, adulterers and oath-breakers (the scum of the Earth as far as the Norse were concerned) were sent to Náströnd, the nastiest part of the underworld, regardless of how they died. If you were badass enough that no one could ever kill you and you died of old age or illness, then through no fault of your own you went to the cold, dreary and comparatively very boring Hel, although the Norse, as a people rich in reivers, pirates and warriors, had a very good chance of dying fighting, and would prefer to do so anyway. Odin wanted his paradise filled with the roughest, toughest, hardest bastards who ever lived, so that when Ragnarok came, he'd have an army of the best soldiers who ever died to fight for him -- although, in all fairness, he only got half of the honorable dead. The other went to Fólkvangr, where his wife Freya ruled.

to:

** Odin, dear gods, Odin. He's portrayed as a BigGood in modern times, but this is... arguable... for a number of reasons: first off, one of his nicknames is Oathbreaker, meaning that he is FAMOUS for committing one of the biggest sins in Norse Myth, breaking his word. Further, Odin sacrificed his eye to gain wisdom, and allowed himself to be hung by his neck from the World Tree for ten nine days to gain knowledge of runs and magic. This means he is capable of making any sacrifice for power, regardless of cost (case in point, when Loki was bound, on Odin's orders, Loki's son was murdered and his guts were turned into iron chains to bind him. Which means Odin had an innocent person murdered so he could get back at Loki, who admittedly did kill Odin's son Baldr). Also, Valhalla: the only real condition that you have to meet to get in is to die fighting. It doesn't really matter which side you were on, or what kind of person you were, you just had to die in battle, although there was still a limit -- murderers, adulterers and oath-breakers (the scum of the Earth as far as the Norse were concerned) were sent to Náströnd, the nastiest part of the underworld, regardless of how they died. If you were badass enough that no one could ever kill you and you died of old age or illness, then through no fault of your own you went to the cold, dreary and comparatively very boring Hel, although the Norse, as a people rich in reivers, pirates and warriors, had a very good chance of dying fighting, and would prefer to do so anyway. Odin wanted his paradise filled with the roughest, toughest, hardest bastards who ever lived, so that when Ragnarok came, he'd have an army of the best soldiers who ever died to fight for him -- although, in all fairness, he only got half of the honorable dead. The other went to Fólkvangr, where his wife Freya ruled.
9th Sep '16 7:05:28 PM Theriocephalus
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** Creator/MarkTwain in LettersFromTheEarth gives us this treatment of a lot of events in the Bible. His depiction of the fate of the Midianites is brutal. The [[http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/ Skeptic's Annotated Bible]] does this to the entire Bible. UsefulNotes/RichardDawkins goes through many accounts of Biblical events and comes to the following conclusion: “The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it”. He goes on to say that while the Old Testament God was harsh and cruel, He did stop when those who angered Him were dead. The New Testament added in Hell. Creator/ChristopherHitchens gave similar interpretations of the character of God of the Bible many times. Sam Harris did it as well.

to:

** Creator/MarkTwain in LettersFromTheEarth ''Literature/LettersFromTheEarth'' gives us this treatment of a lot of events in the Bible. His depiction of the fate of the Midianites is brutal. The [[http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/ Skeptic's Annotated Bible]] does this to the entire Bible. UsefulNotes/RichardDawkins goes through many accounts of Biblical events and comes to the following conclusion: “The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it”. He goes on to say that while the Old Testament God was harsh and cruel, He did stop when those who angered Him were dead. The New Testament added in Hell. Creator/ChristopherHitchens gave similar interpretations of the character of God of the Bible many times. Sam Harris did it as well.



** Odin, oh dear sweet merciful heavens, Odin. He has often been made out as the BigGood in modern times, but let's go over a couple of things: First off, one of his nicknames is Oathbreaker, meaning that he is FAMOUS for committing one of the biggest sins in Norse Myth, breaking his word. Second, there are two forms of magic that are available in Norse myth, one exclusively male, one exclusively female. Odin learned both, one by sacrificing his eye, the other by allowing himself to be hung by his neck from the World Tree for 10 days. This means he is capable of making any sacrifice for power, regardless of cost (case in point, when Loki was bound, on Odin's orders, Loki's son was murdered and his guts were turned into iron chains to bind him. Which means Odin had an innocent person murdered so he could get back at Loki, who allegedly killed Odin's son Balder). Third, the whole Balder incident: let ask you, which is more likely, that Odin neglected one item in his list of things that could not hurt his son because he thought it was harmless, or because he didn't want a completely unkillable god with a legitimate claim to his throne who might try to overthrow him in the future? Leaving the Mistletoe off the list wasn't an oversight, it was an insurance policy. Loki was just unlucky. Fourth, Valhalla: the only real condition that you have to meet to get in is die fighting. It doesn't really matter which side you were on, whether you were a good person or not, you just had to die in battle. If you were badass enough that no one could ever kill you that you lived to an old age and died of illness, then through no fault of your own, you go to Hel, a very unpleasant person. Odin wanted his paradise filled with the roughest, toughest, hardest bastards who ever lived, so that when Ragnarok came, he'd have an army of the best soldiers who ever died to protect him. Honor was meaningless, he just wanted to win.\\
\\
Odin used the Valkyries[[labelnote:meaning]](roughly) "The Choosers of the Slain"[[/labelnote]] to select who was going to end up in Valhalla after a battle. Exactly how this worked is unclear, sometimes their mission seems to be to make cause someone to die in battle even if they were an unkillable badass; at other times they seem to have just collected the pick of the crops after the battle was over. Either way, this could be used by the skalds to explain why a great hero had fallen ("Odin sent for him") or to comfort the survivors ("your friends are probably feasting in Valhalla now"). In any case, the Valhalla myth seems to have provided motivation for courage in battle.
** Alternatively, Odin killing Loki's son may be more of Values Dissonance justice than morally suspect revenge. The Code of Hammurabi, which was the phrase "an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth" among other things, specifies that a house builder whose work fails and kills the owner will be killed, but if it kills the owner's son, the builder's son will be killed. The idea of justice being proportional to the crime rather than equal to the crime (perhaps adjusted for differences between the victim and perpetrator) is a relatively recent development.
*** Firstly, "exclusively male and female magic" is incorrect. There IS no "exclusively male" magic whatsoever in that lore. There's Seidr (which was charms and sorcery and the like) and there's Spa (the magic of prophecy) and there Galdr as well (spells, incantations blah blah). Men practiced magic just as women did, but they were laughed at and scorned from what I've read. Odin learned about runes from hanging himself- for NINE DAYS NOT TEN learn to Norse please -yes, but he DIDN'T learn magic from losing his eye. He wanted wisdom from a well, not magic. Secondly, it wasn't ODIN that asked everything to not harm Baldr, but FRIGG, his wife. Baldr's kind of a momma's boy. So you cannot blame him for that, because that wasn't HIS fault but HER'S. And I never heard anything about Odin fearing that his son would overpower him and take the throne either. Especially since, y'know, Baldr's the FAVORITE of the family. Thirdly, Hel herself. The one story she appears in from what I've seen is the Death of Baldr story. Helheim itself ISN'T unpleasant, actually, just more boring compared to Valhalla. A warrior society wouldn't really appreciate a peaceful afterlife. Do you know who Hel even is? HEL IS LOKI'S DAUGHTER. In the story, another one of Odin's sons rides down to Helheim to rescue Baldr on Sleipnir, and Hel tells him "Sure, I'll let him go... on one condition. Go back up and make sure EVERYTHING weeps for him." This task ultimately fails because Loki (disguised) refuses to weep for him and so down there he stays. You really think she WOULDN'T be moreso on her daddy's side than her uncle's? Fourthly, Valhalla. No mention of Folkvangr, nor that Odin only gets half of the slain while Freyja gets the other half? Again, they were a warrior society. Yes, to a modern Christian oriented worldview, this looks like an awful afterlife. But this person seems to forget that evil DOES have a price when death claims you, and it's name is Nastrond. Vikings are Norse pirates, so they aren't really EXPECTING to die peacefully in their sleep anyway, given their lifestyle of raiding and stuff. And if you're living in a warrior society, wouldn't you WANT to die fighting?

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** Odin, oh dear sweet merciful heavens, gods, Odin. He has often been made out He's portrayed as the a BigGood in modern times, but let's go over this is... arguable... for a couple number of things: First reasons: first off, one of his nicknames is Oathbreaker, meaning that he is FAMOUS for committing one of the biggest sins in Norse Myth, breaking his word. Second, there are two forms of magic that are available in Norse myth, one exclusively male, one exclusively female. Further, Odin learned both, one by sacrificing sacrificed his eye, the other by allowing eye to gain wisdom, and allowed himself to be hung by his neck from the World Tree for 10 days.ten days to gain knowledge of runs and magic. This means he is capable of making any sacrifice for power, regardless of cost (case in point, when Loki was bound, on Odin's orders, Loki's son was murdered and his guts were turned into iron chains to bind him. Which means Odin had an innocent person murdered so he could get back at Loki, who allegedly killed admittedly did kill Odin's son Balder). Third, the whole Balder incident: let ask you, which is more likely, that Odin neglected one item in his list of things that could not hurt his son because he thought it was harmless, or because he didn't want a completely unkillable god with a legitimate claim to his throne who might try to overthrow him in the future? Leaving the Mistletoe off the list wasn't an oversight, it was an insurance policy. Loki was just unlucky. Fourth, Baldr). Also, Valhalla: the only real condition that you have to meet to get in is to die fighting. It doesn't really matter which side you were on, whether you were a good or what kind of person or not, you were, you just had to die in battle. battle, although there was still a limit -- murderers, adulterers and oath-breakers (the scum of the Earth as far as the Norse were concerned) were sent to Náströnd, the nastiest part of the underworld, regardless of how they died. If you were badass enough that no one could ever kill you that and you lived to an died of old age and died of or illness, then through no fault of your own, own you go went to the cold, dreary and comparatively very boring Hel, although the Norse, as a people rich in reivers, pirates and warriors, had a very unpleasant person. good chance of dying fighting, and would prefer to do so anyway. Odin wanted his paradise filled with the roughest, toughest, hardest bastards who ever lived, so that when Ragnarok came, he'd have an army of the best soldiers who ever died to protect him. Honor fight for him -- although, in all fairness, he only got half of the honorable dead. The other went to Fólkvangr, where his wife Freya ruled.
*** And naturally, alternative views to this abound, with many viewing his sacrifices as appropriate to what he gained (and he
was meaningless, he just wanted the only one who sueffered from them anyway), and his desire to win.\\
\\
have an amazing army backing him when Ragnarok to be quite reasonable, considering [[ApocalypseHow what Ragnarok would be like]].
**
Odin used the Valkyries[[labelnote:meaning]](roughly) "The "the Choosers of the Slain"[[/labelnote]] to select who was going to end up in Valhalla after a battle. Exactly how this worked is unclear, sometimes their mission seems to be to make cause someone to die in battle even if they were an unkillable badass; at other times they seem to have just collected the pick of the crops after the battle was over. Either way, this could be used by the skalds to explain why a great hero had fallen ("Odin sent for him") or to comfort the survivors ("your friends are probably feasting in Valhalla now"). In any case, the Valhalla myth seems to have provided motivation for courage in battle.
** Alternatively, Odin killing Loki's son may be more of Values Dissonance justice than morally suspect revenge. The Code of Hammurabi, which was had the phrase "an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth" among other things, specifies that a house builder whose work fails and kills the owner will be killed, but if it kills the owner's son, the builder's son will be killed. The idea of justice being proportional to the crime rather than equal to the crime (perhaps adjusted for differences between the victim and perpetrator) is a relatively recent development.
*** Firstly, "exclusively male and female magic" is incorrect. There IS no "exclusively male" magic whatsoever in that lore. There's Seidr (which was charms and sorcery and the like) and there's Spa (the magic of prophecy) and there Galdr as well (spells, incantations blah blah). Men practiced magic just as women did, but they were laughed at and scorned from what I've read. Odin learned about runes from hanging himself- for NINE DAYS NOT TEN learn to Norse please -yes, but he DIDN'T learn magic from losing his eye. He wanted wisdom from a well, not magic. Secondly, it wasn't ODIN that asked everything to not harm Baldr, but FRIGG, his wife. Baldr's kind of a momma's boy. So you cannot blame him for that, because that wasn't HIS fault but HER'S. And I never heard anything about Odin fearing that his son would overpower him and take the throne either. Especially since, y'know, Baldr's the FAVORITE of the family. Thirdly, Hel herself. The one story she appears in from what I've seen is the Death of Baldr story. Helheim itself ISN'T unpleasant, actually, just more boring compared to Valhalla. A warrior society wouldn't really appreciate a peaceful afterlife. Do you know who Hel even is? HEL IS LOKI'S DAUGHTER. In the story, another one of Odin's sons rides down to Helheim to rescue Baldr on Sleipnir, and Hel tells him "Sure, I'll let him go... on one condition. Go back up and make sure EVERYTHING weeps for him." This task ultimately fails because Loki (disguised) refuses to weep for him and so down there he stays. You really think she WOULDN'T be moreso on her daddy's side than her uncle's? Fourthly, Valhalla. No mention of Folkvangr, nor that Odin only gets half of the slain while Freyja gets the other half? Again, they were a warrior society. Yes, to a modern Christian oriented worldview, this looks like an awful afterlife. But this person seems to forget that evil DOES have a price when death claims you, and it's name is Nastrond. Vikings are Norse pirates, so they aren't really EXPECTING to die peacefully in their sleep anyway, given their lifestyle of raiding and stuff. And if you're living in a warrior society, wouldn't you WANT to die fighting?
development.
9th Sep '16 6:34:33 PM Theriocephalus
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* KingArthur/ Arthurian mythos: Try this one: Morgan le Fay is supposed to be Arthur's archenemy. She supposedly hated him because he owed his birth to the fact that his father, Uther Pendragon, murdered her father, Gorlois, and raped her mother, Igraine. Now let's look at what she actually did to her half-brother: she exposed the fact that his wife, Guinevere, was cheating on him with Lancelot. She herself slept with Arthur and gave him the son and heir, Mordred, whom his wife never gave him. Then, after Arthur and Mordred go to war over a misunderstanding, and Arthur kills Mordred at Cammlann, receiving a mortal wound himself in the process, Morgan carries him to Avalon to be healed. So, her undying enmity for her half-brother was exposed by her exposing the fact that his wife was cheating on him, then sleeping with him and bearing him a son, and then, after he kills their son, forgiving him and healing him. Perhaps, far from hating him, Morgan loves her brother, albeit in an [[BrokenBird unhealthy way]], and is trying her best to be good to him.

to:

* KingArthur/ Arthurian mythos: Myth/KingArthur: Try this one: Morgan le Fay is supposed to be Arthur's archenemy. She supposedly hated him because he owed his birth to the fact that his father, Uther Pendragon, murdered her father, Gorlois, and raped her mother, Igraine. Now let's look at what she actually did to her half-brother: she exposed the fact that his wife, Guinevere, was cheating on him with Lancelot. She herself slept with Arthur and gave him the son and heir, Mordred, whom his wife never gave him. Then, after Arthur and Mordred go to war over a misunderstanding, and Arthur kills Mordred at Cammlann, receiving a mortal wound himself in the process, Morgan carries him to Avalon to be healed. So, her undying enmity for her half-brother was exposed by her exposing the fact that his wife was cheating on him, then sleeping with him and bearing him a son, and then, after he kills their son, forgiving him and healing him. Perhaps, far from hating him, Morgan loves her brother, albeit in an [[BrokenBird unhealthy way]], and is trying her best to be good to him.



* Anyone in the ''Literature/TheMahabharata}}'' and the ''Literature/{{Ramayana}}'' has had alternative character interpretations attached to them and it is not just in modern times. Kamban Ramayana, the first regional translation of the ''Ramayana'' in something like the seventh century portrays Ravana from being the BigBad to sympathetic AntiHero whose one moral flaw was women and similarly, the Orissan interpretation of the ''Mahabharata'' portrays the protagonist RoyalPrince Pandavas as essentially JerkAss for participating in the Kurushetra War. Region, gender and class/caste all influence one's interpretation of both these epics.

to:

* Anyone in the ''Literature/TheMahabharata}}'' ''Literature/TheMahabharata'' and the ''Literature/{{Ramayana}}'' has had alternative character interpretations attached to them and it is not just in modern times. Kamban Ramayana, the first regional translation of the ''Ramayana'' in something like the seventh century portrays Ravana from being the BigBad to sympathetic AntiHero whose one moral flaw was women and similarly, the Orissan interpretation of the ''Mahabharata'' portrays the protagonist RoyalPrince Pandavas as essentially JerkAss for participating in the Kurushetra War. Region, gender and class/caste all influence one's interpretation of both these epics.



* Myth/NativeAmericanMythology Coyote. He's portrayed as everything from God's best friend, to a parallel to Satan. In some stories, he's the hero. In others, the villain. He is sometimes portrayed as an absolute badass, or as TheChewToy. In some stories, he creates the World out of kindness. In others, he does stuff like placing the stars by kicking over the table they were on because another of the Animal People wouldn't let him make a constellation of his own, or releasing the sun and moon into the sky because he was too curious to leave the box they were in closed. He can be a real {{Jerkass}}, or even TheWoobie.

to:

* Myth/NativeAmericanMythology Myth/NativeAmericanMythology: Coyote. He's portrayed as everything from God's best friend, friend to a parallel to Satan. In some stories, he's the hero. In others, the villain. He is sometimes portrayed as an absolute badass, or as TheChewToy. In some stories, he creates the World out of kindness. In others, he does stuff like placing the stars by kicking over the table they were on because another of the Animal People wouldn't let him make a constellation of his own, or releasing the sun and moon into the sky because he was too curious to leave the box they were in closed. He can be a real {{Jerkass}}, or even TheWoobie.






* Pontius Pilate

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\n\n\n* Pontius PilatePilate.
9th Sep '16 6:19:54 PM Theriocephalus
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** The Romans took this in the opposite direction, reveering their Mars as a hero, as opposed to the childish and violent Ares of Greek myth. Technically, Athenian myth - the rivalry between Athens and Sparta was represented in that of Athena and Ares. The Spartans undoubtedly had a more positive view of Ares. He still wouldn't have been a nice guy, though - the Spartans had no use for nice guys. And besides, the Spartans' most important gods were Artemis Orthia and Athena of the Brazen House. Likewise, Athena was also regarded as a war god, especially in Literature/TheIliad but she represented a more orderly approach to warfare, one that tolerated great and brutal violence (like the sack of Troy) for the greater goal of conquest/subjugation, rather than Ares who represented the spirit of battle, fighting and survival. So between Athena and Ares, it's more a question of degree rather than kind. The Romans took the tack of giving Mars jurisdiction over farming as well, and thus over soldiering for the defense of one's crops. In other words Mars was a god of soldiers(militiamen to be precise) and Ares was a god of war.
** Persephone and Hades. Did Hades, [[LonersAreFreaks friendless]] god of death abduct the helpless and protesting Persephone away from the world above, her natural home? Or maybe Persephone wasn't so helpless. Maybe it was a secret elopement with [[AllGirlsWantBadBoys a recluse, misunderstood god]] who [[MisunderstoodLonerWithAHeartOfGold just needed a friend]]... Or maybe Persephone saw a chance to be a Queen in her own right, [[MyBelovedSmother out from under her mother's thumb.]] There have also been interpretations of it being a political marriage.

to:

** The Romans took this in the opposite direction, reveering revering their Mars as a hero, as opposed to the childish and violent Ares of Greek myth. Technically, Athenian myth - the rivalry between Athens and Sparta was represented in that of Athena and Ares. The Spartans undoubtedly had a more positive view of Ares. He still wouldn't have been a nice guy, though - the Spartans had no use for nice guys. And besides, the Spartans' most important gods were Artemis Orthia and Athena of the Brazen House. Likewise, Athena was also regarded as a war god, especially in Literature/TheIliad but she represented a more orderly approach to warfare, one that tolerated great and brutal violence (like the sack of Troy) for the greater goal of conquest/subjugation, rather than Ares who represented the spirit of battle, fighting and survival. So between Athena and Ares, it's more a question of degree rather than kind. The Romans took the tack of giving Mars jurisdiction over farming as well, and thus over soldiering for the defense of one's crops. In other words Mars was a god of soldiers(militiamen soldiers (militiamen to be precise) and Ares was a god of war.
** Persephone and Hades. Did Hades, [[LonersAreFreaks friendless]] god of death death, abduct the helpless and protesting Persephone away from the world above, her natural home? Or maybe Persephone wasn't so helpless. Maybe it was a secret elopement with [[AllGirlsWantBadBoys a recluse, misunderstood god]] who [[MisunderstoodLonerWithAHeartOfGold just needed a friend]]... Or or maybe Persephone saw a chance to be a Queen in her own right, [[MyBelovedSmother out from under her mother's thumb.]] There have also been interpretations of it being a political marriage.



** Some scholars argue whenever Sisyphus should be seen as a tragic figure punished by the gods with task he will never be allowed to finish or a {{Determinator}} who never gives up, no matter how many times he fails.
** Helen who followed Paris to Troy then returned to her husband Menelaus during the fall of the city. Did she follow Paris of her own volition, falling in love (or in lust) with Paris and being unhappy in an ArrangedMarriage? Was she abducted? Was she brainwashed by Aphrodite who favors Paris? During the 10 years long war, was she kept against her will or was she free to surrender herself to her husband to avoid more killings? Her decision to return to Menealaus while Troy was burning: did she genuinely regret of having left him or did she calculate her best chance of survival? Depending on the interpretations, Helen is either a [[TheWoobie Woobie]] or a KarmaHoudini.
* The Hindu religions of India and the Iranian religion of Zoroastrism: Both derive from an older indo-iranian religion system mirrored their pantheon: In India, there are the good Devas (gods) and the bad Ashuras (demons), in Zoroastrism, there are/is the good Ahura and the bad Devas/Dehas/Deshas. For example, Indra is a powerful God of rain in India and once was one of the God Lords (before Vishnu and Shiva grew more popular), in ancient Zoroastrism Indra is an evil demon of drought and whirlwinds. It probably confused the Zoroastrians a big time when they entered India.

to:

** Some scholars argue whenever on whether Sisyphus should be seen as a tragic figure punished by the gods with task he will never be allowed to finish or a {{Determinator}} who never gives up, no matter how many times he fails.
** Helen who followed Paris to Troy Troy, then returned to her husband Menelaus during the fall of the city. Did she follow Paris of her own volition, falling in love (or in lust) with Paris him and being unhappy in an ArrangedMarriage? Was she abducted? Was she brainwashed by Aphrodite who favors Paris? During the 10 years long ten-years-long war, was she kept against her will or was she free to surrender herself to her husband to avoid more killings? Her decision to return to Menealaus while Troy was burning: did she genuinely regret of having left him or did she calculate her best chance of survival? Depending on the interpretations, Helen is either a [[TheWoobie Woobie]] or a KarmaHoudini.
* The Hindu religions of India and the Iranian religion of Zoroastrism: Both both derive from an older indo-iranian religion system mirrored their pantheon: In in India, there are the good Devas (gods) and the bad Ashuras (demons), in Zoroastrism, there are/is the good Ahura and the bad Devas/Dehas/Deshas. For example, Indra is a powerful God of rain in India and once was one of the God Lords (before Vishnu and Shiva grew more popular), while in ancient Zoroastrism Indra is an evil demon of drought and whirlwinds. It probably confused the Zoroastrians a big time when they entered India.
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