History AlternativeCharacterInterpretation / ReligionAndMythology

31st May '17 3:11:46 AM Jappus
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* 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 runes 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.
31st May '17 2:39:39 AM Jappus
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* There are about six different versions of the Taking of Hippolyta's Girdle ''alone'', never mind the amount of times someone goes all [[SchrodingersCat Shrodinger]] and is either dead or living on a different continent which later comes to be named after them.

to:

* There are about six different versions of the Taking of Hippolyta's Girdle ''alone'', never mind the amount of times someone goes all [[SchrodingersCat Shrodinger]] Schrödinger]] and is either dead or living on a different continent which later comes to be named after them.
13th May '17 2:57:50 AM Nakuyabi
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* The whole Cain and Abel story. Was God being arbitrary? Was Cain unfairly treated? Did Cain have some [[AssholeVictim further reason for his grudge against Abel]] that was never recorded? Did Abel actually earn the prize? Was it some kind of SecretTestOfCharacter Cain failed miserably? Was Cain denied the prize for the evil in his heart? Did he even understand how horrible what he had done was before it was too late? Did he repent afterward?

to:

* The whole Cain and Abel story. Abel
**
Was God being arbitrary? Was Cain unfairly treated? Did Cain have some [[AssholeVictim further reason for his grudge against Abel]] that was never recorded? Did Abel actually earn the prize? Was it some kind of SecretTestOfCharacter Cain failed miserably? Was Cain denied the prize for the evil in his heart? Did he even understand how horrible what he had done was before it was too late? Did he repent afterward?



** In the Book of Job, God lets {{Satan}} destroy Job's possessions and wipe out his family (though Satan leaves Job's nagging wife alive to torment him further) and then give him some really painful disease to maximize his suffering, all as part of a ''bet'' with Satan. Job's friends turn up to mourn all his losses with him, and then start tormenting him by insisting he must have done something to deserve all this suffering and he needs to repent. Job pleads his innocence and curses the day he was born, but holds out hope that if he can just plead his case to God personally, that should clear up any misunderstandings. God turns up and pulls the OmniscientMoralityLicense on Job, refusing to answer any of Job's questions and declaring him unfit to critique his Creator's decisions. When Job agrees to stop asking questions about these things beyond his understanding, God then turns to his ''accusers'' and declares "You have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job has." He then makes them beg Job's pardon and help them out and restores Job's fortunes. One question this raises: does God mean Job's pleas of innocence with his friends and desire to bring his case before God were right, or that he was right to shut up and stop asking God any more questions, or both? Various critics also differ on what exactly this book tells us about God's personality, and what moral lessons we should draw from it, if any.

to:

** In the Book of Job, God lets {{Satan}} destroy Job's possessions and wipe out his family (though Satan leaves Job's nagging wife alive to torment him further) and then give him some really painful disease to maximize his suffering, all as part of a ''bet'' with Satan. Job's friends turn up to mourn all his losses with him, and then start tormenting him by insisting he must have done something to deserve all this suffering and he needs to repent. Job pleads his innocence and curses the day he was born, but holds out hope that if he can just plead his case to God personally, that should clear up any misunderstandings. God turns up and pulls the OmniscientMoralityLicense on Job, refusing to answer any of Job's questions and declaring him unfit to critique his Creator's decisions. When Job agrees to stop asking questions about these things beyond his understanding, God then turns to his ''accusers'' and declares "You have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job has." He then makes them beg Job's pardon and help them him out and restores Job's fortunes. One question this raises: does God mean Job's pleas of innocence with his friends and desire to bring his case before God were right, or that he was right to shut up and stop asking God any more questions, or both? Various critics also differ on what exactly this book tells us about God's personality, and what moral lessons we should draw from it, if any.
13th May '17 2:54:54 AM Nakuyabi
Is there an issue? Send a Message


** To be fair to Lot's daughters, they were being pragmatic, not lustful. They were cut off from Abraham's family (possibly not even aware he was still around), afraid to go back to Zoar (probably because the people there were hostile to them), and just about any other male roaming through the devestation of their former civilization who caught them alone without a man to defend them would likely just rape and murder them or (at best) make them his sex slaves and thereby end their family line for good. Once they had sons and those sons had grown up a bit, they presumably were able to go out under those sons' protection to get the boys some wives to carry on the family's line, but Lot's daughters couldn't count on anyone else to protect them until then once their father was gone.

to:

** To be fair to Lot's daughters, they were being pragmatic, not lustful. They were cut off from Abraham's family (possibly not even aware he was still around), afraid to go back to Zoar (probably because the people there were hostile to them), and just about any other male roaming through the devestation devastation of their former civilization who caught them alone without a man to defend them would likely just rape and murder them or (at best) make them his sex slaves and thereby end their family line for good. Once they had sons and those sons had grown up a bit, they presumably were able to go out under those sons' protection to get the boys some wives to carry on the family's line, but Lot's daughters couldn't count on anyone else to protect them until then once their father was gone.
13th May '17 2:54:00 AM Nakuyabi
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* Myth/EgyptianMythology: Set. He might be the heroic guardian of Ra, a jealous brother, or a chaotic god of evil. The darker interpretations were the result of politics and not reflected by all Egyptians. Unfortunately for Set, the latter two are the more well-known in popular culture, and his place as the Egyptian god of evil is used in many modern sources, such as the ForgottenRealms. There are also some interpretations who view him as...sort of evil but nothing compared to Apep/Apophis.
* God in Literature/TheBible.
** 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.
** Almost every major atheist author has done a critique of the Bible which treats God as an evil, ego-maniacal tyrant and murderer. It's required. Consider the familiar Exodus story, where God kills the firstborn sons of all Egypt in the 10th Plague, but passes over the Jews. It's laughably easy to treat the story as an example of GodIsEvil. Those sons hadn't enslaved His chosen people. Their fathers had. Instead, He sent His angel to murder males whose only sin was being the firstborn son of an Egyptian (first born sons could have been adults as well, it was about birth order, not age). And as to some justifications for god slaughtering them: We are supposed to believe he's all-powerful and some interpretations even outright say that god "hardened the heart of the Pharaoh" making the whole "convincing" a bad excuse at best (even though according to Midrash, this is meant to be a statement of the Pharaoh being hardheaded from birth and not some kind of direct action from God).Even though the death of those Egyptian boys can be seen as a retribution for the many Israelite boys, who had been killed when Moses was a baby. And later on in the Bible, it is made clear that God didn't see this as a light matter, but a necessary evil to free his chosen people from slavery.
** Creator/MarkTwain in ''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.
** One defense, at least grounded in certain reformist sects of Judaism, is that Ancient Hebrew is a very allusive language with slippage between literal and metaphoric meaning (i.e. a given passage can be simultaneously literal and metaphorical, and true meaning is to be derived from percieving both at the same time) and that this subtlety lost value in the translation from Hebrew to Ancient Greek (the Septuagint was translated during the Ptolemaic era). According to this, we are not supposed to interpret the God of the Old Testament as a personal god, but merely a personification of the laws of nature and the universe, given human characteristics as a result of limitations of language. The argument for this is God stating to Abraham that "I am that I am" (YHVH), meaning that God simply "is" (existence, universe, the air we breathe and so on). As such God punishing the Pharoahs and commanding the deaths of children is merely a disease that affects the highborn and spares the Israelites, who as a result of their survival of this and many travails should consider themselves a "chosen people" (as is clear in the name Is-ra-el, He-Who-Fights-God, bestowed on Jacob after he apparently wrestled an angel (literal) or resolved existential questions within himself (metaphorical) ). In this view, applying a character interpretation to God makes as much as sense as asking the "Meaning of Life", and hence justifies the existence of Literature/TheTalmud.
** One of the issues with alternate character interpretation is whether or not humans have the right to judge God's actions. Those who believe that take a literalist approach, citing the first action a human ever took of her own volition: The eating of the fruit. God explicitly states that humans became like him/them: Knowing good and evil, presumably on the same level. This can be interpreted to mean that God is just as beholden to human morals as man is to God's, just we don't have as much firepower to back it up. Complicating this, is the first action undertaken by Adam and Eve after tasting the fruit, is putting on clothes when before they were happy naked and engaging in sex without shame with God's approval, which casts a different light on what is implied by "original sin", since one could see it as God's disapproval of people feeling they need to be ashamed and cover themselves in his garden, and it is the ''awareness of shame'' that is the true sin rather than the actions itself, i.e. God was a hippie peacenik who envisioned Paradise as a free-love nudist colony and regarded humans as SellOut for RefusingParadise and putting on clothes and going out in the world to find a real job.
** This interpretation have been around [[OlderThanTheyThink pretty much as long as there have been Christians]]. Notably the 1st-to-2nd century bishop Marcion of Sinope dedicated most of his career to prove the Old Testament/Traditional Jewish God to be incompatible with the God Jesus speaks of. God admittedly claims Himself to be the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: His chosen people are the Israelites. Hence, salvation is possible only for them in the Old Testament, for his Covenant was with the Hebrews. Then came the New Testament: the Old Covenant gave way for Jesus, the New Covenant, opening the possibility of salvation to all.
** According to some Gnostic interpretations, suffering is required for whatever the ultimate state of the universe is. From there, it goes that God lived and suffered as a human as a way of saying "Hey, I'm not just torturing you guys for my own jollies. I'm willing to pay the price as well."

to:

!!Literature/TheBible.
* Myth/EgyptianMythology: Set. He might be The whole Cain and Abel story. Was God being arbitrary? Was Cain unfairly treated? Did Cain have some [[AssholeVictim further reason for his grudge against Abel]] that was never recorded? Did Abel actually earn the heroic guardian prize? Was it some kind of Ra, a jealous brother, or a chaotic god of evil. The darker interpretations were SecretTestOfCharacter Cain failed miserably? Was Cain denied the result of politics and not reflected by all Egyptians. Unfortunately prize for Set, the latter two are the more well-known in popular culture, and his place as the Egyptian god of evil is used in many modern sources, such as the ForgottenRealms. There are also some interpretations who view him as...sort of evil but nothing compared to Apep/Apophis.
his heart? Did he even understand how horrible what he had done was before it was too late? Did he repent afterward?
* God in Literature/TheBible.
God
** While it is common Christian dogma that God is a God of love and is all-caring, In the Book of Job, in which God screws over an innocent man's life by giving lets {{Satan}} free hands to maim destroy Job's possessions and kill any- wipe out his family (though Satan leaves Job's nagging wife alive to torment him further) and everyone related then give him some really painful disease to Job over ''a bet'' maximize his suffering, all as part of a ''bet'' with said incarnation of evil, can be seen as evidence for Satan. Job's friends turn up to mourn all his losses with him, and then start tormenting him by insisting he must have done something to deserve all this suffering and he needs to repent. Job pleads his innocence and curses the contrary. Making it even stranger is how the entire book is Job condemning God while his accusers tell him day he was born, but holds out hope that if he can just plead his case to God is all-loving - personally, that should clear up any misunderstandings. God turns up and then, at pulls the end, after lecturing Job OmniscientMoralityLicense on how he's not qualified Job, refusing to answer any of Job's questions and declaring him unfit to critique God, his Creator's decisions. When Job agrees to stop asking questions about these things beyond his understanding, God then turns around to his ''accusers'' and attacks his ''accusers'', saying that "you declares "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 He then makes them beg 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 pardon and help them out and restores Job's fortunes. One question this raises: does God mean Job's pleas of innocence with his friends are told by and desire to bring his case before God were right, or that good things he was right to shut up and bad things happen to good stop asking God any more questions, or both? Various critics also differ on what exactly this book tells us about God's personality, and bad people alike, and they what moral lessons we should stop judging others when things go bad for them.
draw from it, if any.
** Almost every major anti-Christian atheist author has done a critique of the Bible which treats God as an evil, [[GodIsEvil evil ego-maniacal tyrant and murderer. It's required. Consider the familiar Exodus story, where God kills the firstborn sons of all Egypt in the 10th Plague, but passes over the Jews. It's laughably easy to treat the story as an example of GodIsEvil. Those sons hadn't enslaved His chosen people. Their fathers had. Instead, He sent His angel to murder males whose only sin was being the firstborn son of an Egyptian (first born sons could have been adults as well, it was about birth order, not age). And as to some justifications for god slaughtering them: We are supposed to believe he's all-powerful and some interpretations even outright say that god "hardened the heart of the Pharaoh" making the whole "convincing" a bad excuse at best (even though according to Midrash, this is meant to be a statement of the Pharaoh being hardheaded from birth and not some kind of direct action from God).Even though the death of those Egyptian boys can be seen as a retribution mass murderer]], mainly for the many Israelite boys, who had been killed when Moses was a baby. And later on collective punishments (whole cities and nations of men, women, children, and sometimes even the animals wiped out in certain cases), certain arbitrary commands (death for blasphemy), and sufferings inflicted (e.g. Job in the Bible, it is made clear that God didn't see this as a light matter, but a necessary evil to free his chosen people from slavery.
** Creator/MarkTwain in ''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.
case above).
** One defense, at least grounded in certain reformist sects of Judaism, is that Ancient Hebrew is a very allusive language with slippage between literal and metaphoric meaning (i.e. a given passage can be simultaneously literal and metaphorical, and true meaning is to be derived from percieving both at the same time) and that this subtlety lost value in the translation from Hebrew to Ancient ancient Greek (the Septuagint was translated during the Ptolemaic era). According to this, we are not supposed to interpret the God of the Old Testament as a personal god, deity, but merely a personification of the laws of nature and the universe, given human characteristics as a result of limitations of language. The argument for this is God stating to Abraham that "I am that I am" (YHVH), (possible translation of YHWH), meaning that God simply "is" (existence, universe, the air we breathe and so on). As such such, God punishing Pharoah with the Pharoahs and commanding the deaths death of firstborn children is merely the outcome of a disease that affects the highborn and spares the Israelites, who as a result of their survival of this and many travails should consider themselves a "chosen people" (as is clear in the name Is-ra-el, He-Who-Fights-God, bestowed on Jacob after he apparently wrestled an angel (literal) or resolved existential questions within himself (metaphorical) ). (metaphorical). In this view, applying a character interpretation to God makes as much as sense as asking the "Meaning of Life", Life" and hence justifies the existence of Literature/TheTalmud.
Literature/TheTalmud.
** One of the issues with alternate character interpretation is whether or not humans have the right to judge God's actions. Those who believe that take a literalist more literal approach, citing the first action a human ever took of her own volition: The eating of the fruit. God explicitly states that humans ''have'' became like him/them: Knowing Him in one sense: knowing good and evil, presumably on the same level. This can be interpreted evil. Some interpret this to mean that God is just as beholden to human morals as man is to God's, just we don't have as much firepower to back it up. Complicating this, is the first action undertaken by Adam and Eve after tasting the fruit, is putting on clothes when before they were happy naked and engaging in sex without shame comfortable with their sexuality with God's approval, which casts a different light on what is implied by "original sin", since sin" as one could see it as God's disapproval of people feeling they need to be ashamed and cover themselves in his garden, and it is the ''awareness of shame'' that is the true sin rather than the actions itself, i.e. God was a hippie peacenik who envisioned Paradise as a free-love nudist colony and regarded humans as SellOut for RefusingParadise and putting on clothes and going out in the world to find a real job.
"real" job.
** This Why did God put the tree in the Garden of Eden in the first place? Was He following some [[EldritchAbomination ineffable plan, the mere attempt to comprehend which would destroy our puny minds]]? A [[GodIsEvil petty tyrant]] looking for an excuse to torture us? A genuinely compassionate being, foiled by an adversary? A [[TricksterMentor loving parent]], tricking us into developing our free will and responsibility? Maybe God was just demonstrating that divine sovereignty includes the power to allow some things and put others off limits, like a land-lord renting out the house but not the garage? Could it perhaps just be God's way of demonstrating that for mankind to love Him truly (by keeping His commands), we have to be given the option ''not'' to?
** Jewish Interpretation: before the knowledge of good and evil, Adam and Eve were static creatures unable to create things. They left because the garden, being perfect, was too small for them. they were subsequently given a broken world to fix together with God.
** One
interpretation of Genesis is that the first man Adam was split into male and female halves, neither having primacy (rather than thinking of Adam as "first" and Eve as "second" and thus God was ''not'' forgetful, nor was the same story told twice.
** Another common alternate interpretation is that God is above interpretation. Since humans are mortal creatures, and extremely limited, there's no way we could really begin to comprehend an infinite being such as God, and trying to apply our own views and interpretations is the height of arrogance.
** Is God a case of GoodIsNotNice or GoodIsNotSoft? Possibly both? For the "not nice" part, He does a lot of things which humanity will find [[JerkassGods cruel]], {{disproportionate|Retribution}}, and [[GodIsEvil evil]]; yet from God's perspective, these are fair and just. For the "not soft" part, God is often kind, loving, and merciful, but won't hesitate to punish those who have done evil, especially those who've been given specific instructions and are in a position to have known better. He also has the willingness to go to war to protect believers by slaughtering people in league with Satan. For both tropes to be in play, God ''appears'' to be a nice guy, but ''will'' punish persistent sinners very harshly for everything they've done, [[AllCrimesAreEqual including seemingly "minor" sins]], and that overly sentimental believers have overstated how ''nice'' God is as opposed to how ''just''.
** Some say God is an EldritchAbomination: just read some of the descriptions given in the text. [[YouCannotGraspTheTrueForm Looking at His true form is fatal.]] [[CouncilOfAngels His most powerful creations]] are [[EyesDoNotBelongThere quite]] [[AlienGeometries incomprehensible]] to the human mind. Even [[MessianicArchetype God's human manifestation]] [[HumanoidAbomination can be rather bizarre when he exerts his power]]. The one part of the CosmicHorror aspects YHWH subverts is not being so indifferent to us, [[DidYouJustHaveTeaWithCthulhu but personally concerned]]. [[GodIsGood Even assuming God loves us all]], [[BlueAndOrangeMorality His definition of love isn't necessarily going to be the same as ours.]]
** Questions of God's identity
have been around [[OlderThanTheyThink pretty much as long as there have been Christians]]. Notably the 1st-to-2nd century bishop heretic Marcion of Sinope dedicated most of his career to prove proving the Old Testament/Traditional Jewish God to be incompatible with and the New Testament God to whom Jesus speaks of. testified were two different gods. The Old Testament God admittedly specifically claims Himself to be the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: His chosen people are the Israelites. Hence, salvation is possible only for them in the Old Testament, for his original Covenant was with the Hebrews. Then came comes God of the New Testament: the Old old Covenant gave gives way for Jesus, the New to Jesus and a new Covenant, opening the possibility of salvation to all.
** According to some Gnostic interpretations, suffering is required for whatever the ultimate state of the universe is. From there, it goes that God lived and suffered as a human as a way of saying "Hey, I'm not just torturing you guys for my own jollies. I'm willing to pay the price as well."
all.



** Then there's the alternate interpretation that God is above interpretation. Since humans are mortal creatures, and extremely limited (barely removed from our tree-dwelling, poop-flinging ancestors), there's no way we could really begin to comprehend an infinite being such as God, and trying to apply our own views and interpretations is the height of arrogance.
** Is God either GoodIsNotNice or GoodIsNotSoft? Can He be both? For the "not nice" part, He does a lot of things which humanity will find [[JerkassGods cruel]], {{disproportionate|Retribution}}, and [[GodIsEvil evil]], but in God's mind, it's fair and just (not to mention that He has a ''very'' hot temper in dealing with his loved ones and He didn't have any qualms in ruining Job's life in order for him to prove his faith). For the "not soft" part, He is kind, loving, and merciful, but He won't hesitate to punish those who have done evil, especially if it's downright monstrous. He also has the willingness to protect humanity from the hands of Satan. For both tropes to be in play, He ''appears'' to be a nice guy, but He's mostly wrathful and downright vindictive to those who have committed a sin, [[AllCrimesAreEqual including minor ones]], and all of the brutal things He does doesn't really make Him a clear-cut nice guy others expect Him to be.
** God is an EldritchAbomination. [[YouCannotGraspTheTrueForm Looking at His true form KILLS you.]] [[CouncilOfAngels His most powerful creations]] are [[EyesDoNotBelongThere very]] [[AlienGeometries freakish.]] Even [[MessianicArchetype His human manifestation]] [[HumanoidAbomination proves bizarre when he exerts his power.]] The one part of the CosmicHorror aspects YHWH subverts is that He's not indifferent to us, [[DidYouJustHaveTeaWithCthulhu but concerned]]. [[GodIsGood Even if He loves us all]], [[BlueAndOrangeMorality His definition of love isn't going to be the same as ours.]]
** A simple explanation for the difference in God's behavior in the Old and New Testaments is that after he lived life through Jesus, He saw that things were not as perfect as he believed them to be for the humans. God apparently has to learn certain things, too.
** Of course morality varies widely throughout cultures. You can never satisfy everybody. For some people he could be acting perfectly 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.
* Any character in Myth/GreekMythology.
** There are about six different versions of the Taking of Hippolyta's Girdle ''alone'', never mind the amount of times someone goes all [[SchrodingersCat Shrodinger]] and is either dead or living on a different continent which later comes to be named after them.
** As war has becoming less accepted in the world modern interpretations of Ares make him increasingly evil, rather than just a force of nature. This is arguably also true of Hades, which is based on fear of death rather than the simple acceptance he commanded from the ancient peoples. This also applies to [[JerkassGods The Greek Gods]]: Are they [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold callous, but ultimately nice?]] [[GodIsEvil Are they outright malicious, seeing humans as toys?]] [[{{Jerkass}} Are they just plain dicks?]] Or maybe, like humans, [[HumansAreFlawed they're just complicated]]. Or are they merely forces of power beyond human comprehension and manifestations of a capricious formless universe that the ancients were better able to accept for what it is, rather than later attempts to make Gods relatable to humans?
** As for why they're dicks, is it because [[FreudianExcuse of Cronus screwing them up?]] [[WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity A consequence of their immense power?]] Or maybe [[HumansAreTheRealMonsters it shows what we are like]] [[KarmaHoudini without anything to restrain ourselves.]] According to some myths, When the titans ruled the Earth, it was a GoldenAge and since the Olympians took over, the world has been going downhill. TheBadGuyWins anyone?
** The Romans took this in the opposite direction, 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 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.
** The myth of Heracles is mostly known in the Theban version, where Hera appears as his inveterate enemy, but things probably looked very different in the unrecorded traditions of Hercules' native Peloponnesus, in particular his home town of Argos, where Hera was the most important deity. His name ("Glory of Hera") and episodes like Hera suckling the infant Heracles and eventually agreeing to him marrying her daughter Hebe have been seen as traces of a more positive portrayal of their relationship.
** The myth of Hippomenes and Atalanta. Did Aphrodite know that Atalanta would stop to pick up the golden apples, enchant the apples so Atalanta would pick them up, or did she know that Atalanta would [[ILetYouWin throw the race because she loved Hipponenes but was too proud to just admit it?]]
** Some scholars argue 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, 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 him and being unhappy in an ArrangedMarriage? Was she abducted? Was she brainwashed by Aphrodite who favors Paris? During the 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 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), while in ancient Zoroastrism Indra is an evil demon of drought and whirlwinds. It probably confused the Zoroastrians big time when they entered India.
* Jesus:
** Early Christian tradition was practically an exercise of Alternative Christology writ large. Each of Literature/TheFourGospels included in the Bible present a different version of the Jesus story, ranging from the very human Jesus of Mark, to the stoic Jesus of Luke, to the Word-Incarnate of John. Other non-canonical Gospels of the day presented Jesus as a full-human whom God adopted, a full-deity only pretending to suffer and die, a human who was possessed by the spirit of Christ, or even a fictional allegory for transcendence of a person's inner spirit over their bestial inclinations.
** Jesus is subject to several interpretations, either loving and preaching social justice and championing the little guy or issuing stark warning about end times and repentance. Just ask a socially conservative Republican and a Christian liberal about Jesus' character and how it applies to their personal philosophy. Either way, he isn't above flipping tables, scaring hypocrites out of temples, and yelling obscenities at political figures.
** [[http://www.authentic-christianity.org/ This website]] makes a case of Jesus being the son of Satan who came to lead people astray. The site is completely serious and relies heavily on textual analysis of the original Greek.
** Some Buddhist and New Age philosophers have theorized that Jesus was not God Incarnate, but rather a man who had a spiritual experience that his religious education could not account for (possibly something akin to ''samadhi''), and went around calling himself the Son of God because that was the closest analogue to his experience that Judaism could offer. Some have even theorized that at some point during the unrecorded years of his life, Jesus may have wandered eastward and studied the principles of Buddhism to try and gain a better understanding of what happened to him.

to:

** Then there's the alternate interpretation that God is above interpretation. Since humans are mortal creatures, and extremely limited (barely removed from our tree-dwelling, poop-flinging ancestors), there's no way we could really begin to comprehend an infinite being such as God, and trying to apply our own views and interpretations is the height of arrogance.
** Is God either GoodIsNotNice or GoodIsNotSoft? Can He be both? For the "not nice" part, He does a lot of things which humanity will find [[JerkassGods cruel]], {{disproportionate|Retribution}}, and [[GodIsEvil evil]], but in God's mind, it's fair and just (not to mention that He has a ''very'' hot temper in dealing with his loved ones and He didn't have any qualms in ruining Job's life in order for him to prove his faith). For the "not soft" part, He is kind, loving, and merciful, but He won't hesitate to punish those who have done evil, especially if it's downright monstrous. He also has the willingness to protect humanity from the hands of Satan. For both tropes to be in play, He ''appears'' to be a nice guy, but He's mostly wrathful and downright vindictive to those who have committed a sin, [[AllCrimesAreEqual including minor ones]], and all of the brutal things He does doesn't really make Him a clear-cut nice guy others expect Him to be.
** God is an EldritchAbomination. [[YouCannotGraspTheTrueForm Looking at His true form KILLS you.]] [[CouncilOfAngels His most powerful creations]] are [[EyesDoNotBelongThere very]] [[AlienGeometries freakish.]] Even [[MessianicArchetype His human manifestation]] [[HumanoidAbomination proves bizarre when he exerts his power.]] The one part of the CosmicHorror aspects YHWH subverts is that He's not indifferent to us, [[DidYouJustHaveTeaWithCthulhu but concerned]]. [[GodIsGood Even if He loves us all]], [[BlueAndOrangeMorality His definition of love isn't going to be the same as ours.]]
** A simple
Another explanation for the difference in God's behavior in the Old and New Testaments is that after he lived life experiencing humanity through Jesus, He saw being Jesus considerably softened God's perspective on humanity. Knowing everything on an intellectual level is one kind of omniscience, but (as Job asked during one of his arguments with his friends), how can God understand us ''emotionally'' and ''personally'' without suffering as we suffer? Coming down to Earth as Jesus could certainly answer that things were question--for God, as well as for us.
** According to some Gnostic interpretations, suffering is required for whatever the ultimate state of the universe is. From there, it goes that God lived and suffered as a human as a way of saying "Hey, I'm
not as perfect as he believed them to be just torturing you guys for my own jollies. I'm willing to pay the humans. God apparently has to learn certain things, too.
price as well."
** Of course course, morality varies widely has always varied from culture to culture throughout cultures. You history, and nobody can never ever satisfy everybody. For To some people he could be acting (e.g. the true believers among the ancient Hebrews) everything God did in the Old Testament likely seemed perfectly reasonably, reasonable, but there will ValuesDissonance has always be ValuesDissonance. affected our views of previous cultures and assuredly always will. Then too, these differences of course there is the possibility of UnreliableNarrator, someone opinion could make anyone from a previous culture seem like an UnreliableNarrator to us, since he'd be exaggerating describing whatever God does in a way that makes sense to ''himself'', not necessarily us.
* Lot and his family:
** Were they the only righteous people in Sodom and Gomorrah? Were they merely the least degenerate? Lot's offer to sacrifice his daughters to the rape gang to protect his guests doesn't exactly strike most of us these days as a very "righteous" thing to do, though (in all fairness) he was just about completely out of options by that point.
** One point so many seem to have overlooked: before he offered to sacrifice his daughters, Genesis 19:6 says he went out to meet the mob and ''shut the door behind him''. If anyone was going to get gang-raped that night, he would surely have been the ''first'' sacrifice ahead of both his daughters and his guests.
** To carry on the family line, his daughters later liquored him up and had sex with him while he was passed-out drunk in order to get themselves some children (everyone else from their family being out of the picture, including his wife). Maybe it says a lot about the kind of places [[WretchedHive Sodom and Gomorrah]] were, that these people were the only ones worth saving. ([[ValuesDissonance They did a few things which we consider horrible]], but they at least [[SacredHospitality were trying to be decent hosts]], while the first reaction from the other men in the town upon hearing about the two handsome newcomers was to round up a rape-posse to besiege Lot's house.) If [[ParentalIncest getting your father drunk to have children by him]] is something the ''least'' degenerate people in Sodom would do, [[FridgeHorror one shudders to think
what happens the rest of Sodom and Gomorrah's citizens must have been like]].
** To be fair to Lot's daughters, they were being pragmatic, not lustful. They were cut off from Abraham's family (possibly not even aware he was still around), afraid to go back to Zoar (probably
because the people there were hostile to them), and just about any other male roaming through the devestation of their former civilization who caught them alone without a man to defend them would likely just rape and murder them or (at best) make them his sex slaves and thereby end their family line for good. Once they had sons and those sons had grown up a bit, they presumably were able to go out under those sons' protection to get the boys some wives to carry on the family's line, but Lot's daughters couldn't count on anyone else to protect them until then once their father was gone.
* Noah
** His getting drunk and naked: innocent mistake because the fermentation process was different after the Deluge? (Some cultures took ''centuries'' to perfect the distillation process in subsequent ages.) Simple drinking habit he'd always had that got worse after the Deluge? Maybe his attempt to [[DrowningMySorrows drown his sorrows]] after all the horrors he'd witnessed? Some combination thereof?
* Pontius Pilate.
** As the man who sentenced Jesus to death, you'd think the default interpretation among Christians would be that he was a HangingJudge; and for some,
it sounds better.
* Any
has been. Many others, however, see him as a PunchClockVillain and/or BeleagueredBureaucrat, sometimes even with SympathyForTheHero.
** Incidentally, the only extra-Biblical historical sources we have are Josephus (who rather disliked ''all'' Roman governers of Judea, including Pilate) who described him as "cruel and greedy" and the Jewish philosopher Philo who bitterly hated Pilate and described him as a vicious tyrant looking for any excuse (however flimsy) to crucify more Jews than necessary. One way to reconcile these accounts to the Gospel portrayals of him (as a fence-riding vacillating politician forced to convict and crucify Jesus under duress from the Sanhedrin) is to assume that Jesus simply ''looked'' so innocent in person that even with all these biases, Pilate was convinced of his innocence from the start.
** One common contention from skeptics is that the authors of the Gospels were whitewashing his
character in Myth/GreekMythology.
order to demonize the unbelieving Jews (though ''every one'' of those authors was Jewish himself).
** There are about six different versions Others have brought up that Pilate likely didn't get along too well with the Sanhedrin, and given his contempt for the contentious people he ruled was inclined to [[CommanderContrarian take up the contrary position]] against them just out of spite.
** Further historical analysis supports the BeleagueredBureaucrat view: Emperor Tiberius and his lackeys in Rome had instituted a reign of terror during which anyone accused of complicity with the treasonous consul Sejanus (whose ''entire family'' had been executed along with him) was almost certain to be convicted and executed as well. Since Sejanus had personally picked out Pilate to be the prefect in Judea, any complaint to Tiberius from the Jewish authorities that he was not "''Amicus Caesare''" ("a friend to Caesar") would surely get him recalled and executed for being another traitor in the style of his sponsor Sejanus. He was already under a threat from Tiberius over these Jewish authorities having protested his troops' standards and the hanging of some decorative shields in Jerusalem as idolatry, and now they were threatening to accuse him of supporting "King
of the Taking of Hippolyta's Girdle ''alone'', never mind Jews" in constructive treason against Rome. Whether or not he shared any anti-Semitic views with Sejanus (who hated the amount of times someone goes all [[SchrodingersCat Shrodinger]] and is either dead or living on a different continent which later comes Jews bitterly for opposing his rise to power in Rome), Pilate was certainly going to be named after them.
** As war has becoming
accused of doing so if he didn't do what the Jewish authorities wanted, and Tiberius would be even less accepted in likely to accept his defense if they did.
* The Serpent/Satan:
** Genesis,
the world modern first book of Literature/TheBible, depicts The Serpent as a simple talking snake. Later Christian interpretations in Revelation cast The Serpent as Satan (in disguise!), whereas the Gnostic texts of Ares the fourth and fifth centuries depict the snake as a teacher of humanity. These latter texts paints him as being similar to Prometheus from Greek mythology: defying God to make him increasingly evil, rather than humanity more intelligent and independent, and suffering damnation for his efforts.
** In ''Literature/AtlasShrugged'', John Galt's interpretation of Genesis is that eating the fruit gave humanity morality, and after that (when they had to begin working) productivity, main virtues in (the atheistic) Ayn Rand's worldview.
** An idea one sees a lot in Freudian and Jungian psychology is that Satan is a metaphor for sex and the loss of virginity.
** Did Satan ''teach'' Adam and Eve the ideas of Good and Evil, or did he merely convince them to eat the apple and watch them get filled up with sin? With Job, was he merely following orders, or was he secretly wishing to inflict pain on Job all along? After all, he was the one who brought it up in the first place and not once did he ever refuse to follow any of God's orders which, considering that Satan's supposed to be a rebel, one would think he would. For Satan rebelling against God, consider that life in Heaven was, according to most accounts, a paradise before Satan rebelled
just a force of nature. This is arguably also true of Hades, which is based on fear of death rather than like it was in Eden before the simple acceptance he commanded serpent screwed things up. Tempting Jesus certainly counts as another crime against God, because Satan was effectively saying "Hey, if you stick it to your old man right now, I'll give you whatever you want!"
** Satan comes
from the ancient peoples. Hebrew word ''ha-satan'' which translates to "the accuser" in most places. People have interpreted that a number of ways:
*** Satan is ''The'' Accuser as in [[BigBad our main enemy]]. He's actively antagonizing the human race and/or God. He's the UltimateEvil, who wants nothing more than to ruin us through [[TakeOverTheWorld conquest]], [[AGodAmI stealing our worship]], or getting us to do evil just [[ForTheEvulz so he can enjoy watching God punish us]] after he tattles on us for our sins. The reason he tempted Jesus is that he doesn't want humanity to have [[MessianicArchetype a savior]] to save us from him. [[CaptainObvious
This also applies is the interpretation]] most Christians generally tend to [[JerkassGods The Greek Gods]]: Are they [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold callous, but ultimately nice?]] believe.
*** Satan is the accuser as in [[HeroAntagonist the rebel]] accusing God to us. He's antagonising God because
[[GodIsEvil Are they outright malicious, seeing humans as toys?]] [[{{Jerkass}} Are they just plain dicks?]] Or maybe, like humans, [[HumansAreFlawed they're just complicated]]. Or are they merely forces of power beyond human comprehension and manifestations of a capricious formless universe he believes it to be the right thing to do]]; he's not corrupting us, [[SatanIsGood but trying to free us]]. The reason he tempts Jesus is that the ancients were better able he's trying to accept for what it is, rather than later attempts convince Jesus to make Gods relatable to humans?
** As for why they're dicks, is it
live his own life, because [[FreudianExcuse the path he's following leads to his rather painful death, following which a lot of Cronus screwing them up?]] [[WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity A consequence horrible things throughout history would be done in his name. This is the interpretation by Satanists and [[GodAndSatanAreBothJerks a great many]] atheists/{{Nay Theist}}s who assert that GodIsEvil.
*** Satan is The ''Accuser'' as in [[AmoralAttorney a prosecutor]]. He's the ultimate SecretTestOfCharacter, trying to corrupt humans to ferret out the righteous from the wicked. The reason he tempted Jesus was that he was testing whether Jesus was really the incorruptible Son
of their immense power?]] Or maybe God he was claiming to be. Some Messianic Jews tend to go with this interpretation, and other Jews often go with the claim that he was tempting Job for similar reasons. (He states right there in the text that surely Job will "curse God to [His] face" if he's allowed to take away everything good in Job's life and fill it with pain and misery, and Job ultimately passes the test by refusing to do so.)
*** Satan is The Accuser as in accusing us to ourselves of ''wanting'' to do various kinds of evil. ("Come on, you ''know'' you want to!") He's a MisanthropeSupreme, trying to corrupt humans to prove to God that
[[HumansAreTheRealMonsters it shows what we are like]] [[KarmaHoudini without anything to restrain ourselves.]] According to some myths, When the titans ruled the Earth, it was a GoldenAge and since the Olympians took over, the world has been going downhill. TheBadGuyWins anyone?
**
deserve damnation]]. The Romans took this in the opposite direction, 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 reason he tempted Jesus is 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 he wanted to warfare, one prove that tolerated great Jesus, and brutal violence (like by extension all the sack rest 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
humanity, are 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.]] as vile and twisted as he is.
**
There have are also been a few interpretations on the conventional treatment of it being a political marriage.
Satan as the BigBad concerning what kind of villain Satan is. Is he simply like the Joker, wanting to raise as much hell as possible for no earthly reason while knowing that he's headed to his ultimate ruin? Or is he causing all of the discord and mayhem even while knowing he's going to lose just because he knows it'll break God's heart to see us misbehaving and then suffering (both here and hereafter) for our sins?
* Immortality:
** The myth It's explicitly stated in Genesis 3:22-24 that God did not want Adam and Eve to eat of Heracles the Tree of Life and live forever. Since immortality is mostly known forever afterward seen as abnormal for humans, this would seem to indicate that when God created both humans and Eden, He included mortality in the Theban version, where Hera appears design plan:
--> And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become
as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his inveterate enemy, but things probably looked very different in hand, and take also of the unrecorded traditions tree of Hercules' native Peloponnesus, in particular his home town life, and eat, and live for ever; Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Argos, where Hera Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the most important deity. His name ("Glory of Hera") man; and episodes like Hera suckling he placed at the infant Heracles east of the garden of Eden Cherubim, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
** One interpretation: immortality was supposed to be the natural state of humanity, which Adam & Eve lost by sinning. Their punishment was to die, so allowing them to eat from a tree that would make them immortal would be allowing them to escape that punishment.
** Another interpretation: sinning left Adam & Eve (and all their descendents) in a state in which living forever would
eventually agreeing come to him marrying her daughter Hebe have been seen as traces be Hell right here on Earth. Revelation 9:6 speaks of a more positive portrayal of their relationship.
** The myth of Hippomenes and Atalanta. Did Aphrodite know
just such an arrangement occurring somewhere in the future, when conditions will be so terrible that Atalanta would stop to pick up the golden apples, enchant the apples so Atalanta would pick them up, or did she know that Atalanta would [[ILetYouWin throw the race because she loved Hipponenes but was too proud to just admit it?]]
** Some scholars argue on whether Sisyphus should be seen as a tragic figure punished by the gods with task he
people will never be allowed try 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 him
commit suicide and being unhappy in an ArrangedMarriage? Was she abducted? Was she brainwashed by Aphrodite who favors Paris? During the ten-years-long war, was she kept against her will or was she free ''not be able to''. Making us mortal therefore is a kind of delayed MercyKill, allowing us 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
leave this world before our depravity and the Iranian religion depravity of Zoroastrism: both derive from an older indo-iranian religion system mirrored their pantheon: in India, there are other sinners makes this place utterly intolerable to the good Devas (gods) righteous 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 big time when they entered India.
wicked alike.
* Jesus:
Jesus:
** Early Christian tradition was practically an exercise of Alternative Christology writ large. Each of Literature/TheFourGospels included in the Bible present a different version parts of the Jesus story, ranging from the very human tidy biographical account of ''Matthew'', to the action-oriented Jesus of Mark, ''Mark'', to the stoic human-interest-story Jesus of Luke, ''Luke'', to the Word-Incarnate religious polemic of John. Other non-canonical Gospels ''John''. Apocryphal gospels of the day presented Jesus as a full-human full human whom God adopted, a full-deity full deity only pretending to suffer and die, a human who was possessed by the spirit kind of Christ, half-and-half mixture of God and man, or even a bizarre fictional allegory for transcendence of a person's the inner spirit over their one's bestial inclinations.
** According to Literature/TheQuran, the Virgin Mary was a single mom (but still a virgin), and Jesus is subject uttered the whole [[TheReasonYouSuckSpeech "first stone" speech]] at a few days old, in the defense of his mother, and not the unnamed woman caught in adultery. He also ascended to several Heaven before he was crucified because Allah wanted to spare him from the a horrible painful death.
** Jesus' personality has been subjected to numerous
interpretations, either loving and preaching social justice reforms and championing the little guy or issuing stark warning warnings about end times an approaching apocalypse and the need for repentance. Just ask a socially conservative Republican any conservatives and a liberals professing to be Christian liberal about Jesus' character and how it applies to their personal philosophy. Either way, he isn't above flipping tables, scaring hypocrites out of temples, and yelling obscenities at political figures.
calling Herod Antipas a "fox" in the vernacular of the day (which could be taken as an insult or a compliment, considering that comparing politicians to foxes could be referring to their being politically astute, or being too clever by half with a severely overinflated estimate of their own importance).
** [[http://www.The website www.authentic-christianity.org/ This website]] org makes a case of that Jesus being was actually the son of Satan who came to lead people astray. The site is completely serious and relies heavily on a textual analysis of the original Greek.
** Some Buddhist and New Age philosophers have theorized that Jesus was not God Incarnate, but rather a man who had a spiritual experience that his religious education could not account for (possibly something akin to ''samadhi''), and went around calling himself the Son of God because that was the closest analogue to his experience that Judaism could offer. Some have even theorized that at some point during the unrecorded years of his life, Jesus may have wandered eastward and studied the principles of Buddhism to try and to gain a better understanding of what happened to him.



** As a [[{{UsefulNotes/Deism}} Deist]], UsefulNotes/ThomasJefferson believed Jesus was an ordinary human and that all the miracles and stuff were added to the story later to make it more exciting or whatever. Nevertheless thinking that JesusWasWayCool, he created what's generally known as the "Jefferson Bible", which is basically the New Testament with all the supernatural elements removed.
* 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.
** In most of the Bible, InMysteriousWays suffices as an explanation, but when we're talking about one of Jesus' close personal friends, other explanations are equally interesting. In the 20th-21st Century, Judas is a subject of lively revisionist debate. If Jesus' crucifixion was part of God's plan, and if in the Gospel of John, Jesus tells Judas "[[GetItOverWith What you are about to do, do quickly]]", is Judas meant to be condemned for betraying Jesus anyway, even if he regretted it and punished himself for his actions, or should he be pitied and sympathized with for playing a no-win hopeless role that nonetheless leads to man's salvation.

to:

** As a [[{{UsefulNotes/Deism}} Deist]], UsefulNotes/ThomasJefferson believed Jesus was an ordinary human and that all the miracles and stuff were added to the story later to make it more exciting or whatever. something. Nevertheless thinking that JesusWasWayCool, [[JesusWasWayCool admiring him]], he created proceeded to publish what's generally known as the "Jefferson Bible", which is basically the New Testament with all the miracles and other supernatural elements removed.
events cut out.
* Judas, from Literature/TheBible, is Judas
** He has his defenders, who
frequently given give him 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.
** According to some interpretations, he's the ''willing'' collaborator and enabler to Christ's death and resurrection.
**
In most of the Bible, InMysteriousWays suffices as an is a common explanation, but when we're talking about one of Jesus' close personal friends, other explanations are equally interesting.also of interest. In the 20th-21st Century, Judas is a subject of lively revisionist debate. If Jesus' crucifixion was part of God's plan, and if in the Gospel of John, Jesus tells Judas "[[GetItOverWith What you are about to do, do quickly]]", quickly]]," is Judas meant to be condemned for betraying Jesus anyway, even if he regretted it and punished himself for his actions, or should he be pitied have our pity and sympathized with sympathy for playing a no-win hopeless role that nonetheless leads to man's salvation. salvation? Are these necessarily mutually exclusive interpretations?



** [[TruthInTelevision Real World Example]]: According to the Cainite and Gnostic interpretation in the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judas_gospel Gospel of Judas]], Judas Iscariot didn't betray Jesus out of greed for money, but acted on Jesus' secret orders, because Jesus believed that his crucifixion was a part of God's plan, which would make Judas an instrument of divine purpose. The translation sponsored by ''National Geographic'' is an extreme {{Macekre}} of the original text - to the point that it omits the word "not" from a couple passages, completely changing their meaning. *Sigh.*
** A secondary alternative character interpretation of Judas is that his "betrayal" was more of a {{Chessmaster}} ploy gone wrong. Judas wanted Jesus to stand trial and ''win''. It would push Jesus's ministry to the forefront of the Jerusalem scene, and ironically Jesus's worst enemies would help fund it. His subsequent dismay was completely predictable.
** A slightly modified version of the above would be that Judas fully believed in Jesus but was dismayed that, as the son of god, he wasn't forcibly casting the Romans out of Israel; merely quietly going around preaching and doing good works. By betraying him to the Romans, Judas hoped to bring it to a head so Jesus would have to show himself to be the Messiah, either turning the Romans to worship him or simply driving them out. When Jesus allows himself to be crucified, Judas is distraught as his plan has come to naught and commits suicide in shame and sorrow at the loss of both his friend and Messiah.
** In ''Literature/LambTheGospelAccordingToBiff'' has an alternate interpretation similar to ''The Last Temptation'' in Film examples. But with eastern magic and judo powers, pun included. Judas is left mostly to the reader's interpretation, but appears to have done what he did because Joshua asked and was one of his closest disciples after Mary and Biff. The original characters can have their own alternate character interpretations: Notable examples include the exact nature of Balthazar[[spoiler: 's feelings toward Joshua]], and whether Joy was a cold TheStoic [[spoiler: who snapped after the slaughter of her adoptive family]], or was the most affectionate but tried to hide it. One character, [[spoiler: the second wise man]] even intentionally made and [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] an alternate character interpretation of himself (two, if you count when they first meet him).

to:

** [[TruthInTelevision Real World Example]]: According to the Cainite and Gnostic interpretation in the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judas_gospel Gospel of Judas]], Judas Iscariot didn't betray Jesus out of greed for money, but acted on Jesus' secret orders, because Jesus believed that his crucifixion was a part of God's plan, which would make Judas an instrument of divine purpose. The translation sponsored by ''National Geographic'' is an extreme {{Macekre}} of the original text - to the point that it omits the word "not" from a couple passages, completely changing their meaning. *Sigh.*
(*Sigh.*)
** A secondary alternative character interpretation of Judas is that his "betrayal" was more of a {{Chessmaster}} ploy gone wrong. Judas wanted Jesus to stand trial and ''win''. It would push Jesus's Jesus' ministry to the forefront of the Jerusalem scene, and ironically Jesus's Jesus' worst enemies would help fund it. His subsequent dismay was completely predictable.
predictable and understandable.
** A slightly modified version of the above would be that Judas fully believed in Jesus but was dismayed that, as the son of god, God's Son, he wasn't forcibly casting the Romans out of Israel; merely quietly going around preaching and doing good works. By betraying him to the Romans, Judas hoped to bring it to a head so Jesus would have to show himself to be the Messiah, either turning forcing the Romans to worship him as well or simply driving them out. When Jesus allows allowed himself to be crucified, Judas is was distraught as his plan has had come to naught and commits committed suicide in shame and sorrow at the loss of both his friend and Messiah.
** In ''Literature/LambTheGospelAccordingToBiff'' has an alternate interpretation similar to ''The Last Temptation'' in Film examples. But with eastern magic and judo powers, pun included. Judas is left mostly to the reader's interpretation, but appears to have done what he did because Joshua asked and was one of his closest disciples after Mary and Biff. The original characters can have their own alternate character interpretations: Notable examples include the exact nature of Balthazar[[spoiler: 's feelings toward Joshua]], and whether Joy was a cold TheStoic [[spoiler: who snapped after the slaughter of her adoptive family]], or was the most affectionate but tried to hide it. One character, [[spoiler: the second wise man]] even intentionally made and [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] an alternate character interpretation of himself (two, if you count when they first meet him).
Messiah.



** Judas: Jesus's willing collaborator and enabler of Christ's death and resurrection.
* 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.
** Morgan as Mordred's mother is mostly a recent innovation - in older material, that's usually Morgause (or Anna, if we go back to when Arthur wasn't his father). Morgan in her earliest appearances is just a healer, then becomes an enemy of Lancelot and Guinevere but not too ill-disposed towards Arthur; it's only by the later Middle Ages that she's mostly evil, and really only in modern interpretations that she becomes the ArchNemesis - mostly because she's the only "bad guy" who's there right through the story, so if you ''want'' Arthur to ''have'' an archnemesis she fills the role better than anyone else. (In most versions, btw, she tries but fails to expose the adulterers - it's Mordred and Agravaine who succeed. This in itself has been subject to a bit of alternate character interpretation: modern versions often make Mordred an DiabolicalMastermind exposing them as part of his plot to bring down Camelot, whereas in earlier versions it seems to be a genuinely well-intentioned plan devised by Agravaine; things go south ''accidentally'', and Mordred seizing power afterwards is pure opportunism.)
* Lot and his family: the only righteous people in Sodom and Gomorrah? Or perhaps simply the least degenerate? Lot attempted to whore out his daughters to protect his guests. His daughters in blind panic liquored him up and had sex with him while drunk to bear him children (the wife doesn't seem to have done much wrong). Maybe it says a lot about the kind of places [[WretchedHive Sodom and Gomorrah]] were, that these people were the only ones worth saving. ([[ValuesDissonance They did a few things, which we consider horrible]], but they at least [[SacredHospitality were trying]], while the other men in the town, upon hearing about two newcomers, their first reaction was to round up a rape-posse). If [[ParentalIncest getting your father drunk to have children by him]] is considered the "least degenerate", [[FridgeHorror 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, Prince Pandavas, as an JerkAss for participating in the Kurushetra War. Region, gender and class/caste all influence one's interpretation of both these epics.

to:

** Judas: Jesus's willing collaborator !! Myth/EgyptianMythology:
* Set. He might be the heroic guardian of Ra, a jealous brother, or a chaotic god of evil. The darker interpretations were the result of politics
and enabler not reflected by all Egyptians. Unfortunately for Set, the latter two are the more well-known in popular culture, and his place as the Egyptian god of Christ's evil is used in many modern sources, such as the ForgottenRealms. There are also some interpretations who view him as...sort of evil but nothing compared to Apep/Apophis.
!! Myth/GreekMythology.
* There are about six different versions of the Taking of Hippolyta's Girdle ''alone'', never mind the amount of times someone goes all [[SchrodingersCat Shrodinger]] and is either dead or living on a different continent which later comes to be named after them.
* As war has becoming less accepted in the world modern interpretations of Ares make him increasingly evil, rather than just a force of nature. This is arguably also true of Hades, which is based on fear of
death rather than the simple acceptance he commanded from the ancient peoples. This also applies to [[JerkassGods The Greek Gods]]: Are they [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold callous, but ultimately nice?]] [[GodIsEvil Are they outright malicious, seeing humans as toys?]] [[{{Jerkass}} Are they just plain dicks?]] Or maybe, like humans, [[HumansAreFlawed they're just complicated]]. Or are they merely forces of power beyond human comprehension and resurrection.
manifestations of a capricious formless universe that the ancients were better able to accept for what it is, rather than later attempts to make Gods relatable to humans?
* Myth/KingArthur: As for why they're dicks, is it because [[FreudianExcuse of Cronus screwing them up?]] [[WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity A consequence of their immense power?]] Or maybe [[HumansAreTheRealMonsters it shows what we are like]] [[KarmaHoudini without anything to restrain ourselves.]] According to some myths, When the titans ruled the Earth, it was a GoldenAge and since the Olympians took over, the world has been going downhill. TheBadGuyWins anyone?
* The Romans took this in the opposite direction, 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 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.
* The myth of Heracles is mostly known in the Theban version, where Hera appears as his inveterate enemy, but things probably looked very different in the unrecorded traditions of Hercules' native Peloponnesus, in particular his home town of Argos, where Hera was the most important deity. His name ("Glory of Hera") and episodes like Hera suckling the infant Heracles and eventually agreeing to him marrying her daughter Hebe have been seen as traces of a more positive portrayal of their relationship.
* The myth of Hippomenes and Atalanta. Did Aphrodite know that Atalanta would stop to pick up the golden apples, enchant the apples so Atalanta would pick them up, or did she know that Atalanta would [[ILetYouWin throw the race because she loved Hipponenes but was too proud to just admit it?]]
* Some scholars argue 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, 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 him and being unhappy in an ArrangedMarriage? Was she abducted? Was she brainwashed by Aphrodite who favors Paris? During the 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 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), while in ancient Zoroastrism Indra is an evil demon of drought and whirlwinds. It probably confused the Zoroastrians big time when they entered India.
!! 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.
** * Morgan as Mordred's mother is mostly a recent innovation - in older material, that's usually Morgause (or Anna, if we go back to when Arthur wasn't his father). Morgan in her earliest appearances is just a healer, then becomes an enemy of Lancelot and Guinevere but not too ill-disposed towards Arthur; it's only by the later Middle Ages that she's mostly evil, and really only in modern interpretations that she becomes the ArchNemesis - mostly because she's the only "bad guy" who's there right through the story, so if you ''want'' Arthur to ''have'' an archnemesis she fills the role better than anyone else. (In most versions, btw, she tries but fails to expose the adulterers - it's Mordred and Agravaine who succeed. This in itself has been subject to a bit of alternate character interpretation: modern versions often make Mordred an DiabolicalMastermind exposing them as part of his plot to bring down Camelot, whereas in earlier versions it seems to be a genuinely well-intentioned plan devised by Agravaine; things go south ''accidentally'', and Mordred seizing power afterwards is pure opportunism.)
* Lot and his family: the only righteous people in Sodom and Gomorrah? Or perhaps simply the least degenerate? Lot attempted to whore out his daughters to protect his guests. His daughters in blind panic liquored him up and had sex with him while drunk to bear him children (the wife doesn't seem to have done much wrong). Maybe it says a lot about the kind of places [[WretchedHive Sodom and Gomorrah]] were, that these people were the only ones worth saving. ([[ValuesDissonance They did a few things, which we consider horrible]], but they at least [[SacredHospitality were trying]], while the other men in the town, upon hearing about two newcomers, their first reaction was to round up a rape-posse). If [[ParentalIncest getting your father drunk to have children by him]] is considered the "least degenerate", [[FridgeHorror 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 ''Literature/{{Ramayana}}'':
* Various characters in these works have
had alternative character interpretations attached to them 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, Prince Pandavas, as an 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.
* Noah's drinking: innocent mistake because the fermentation process was different after the flood, simple drinking habit he'd always had, or his way of dealing with all he had seen? Perhaps some combination thereof.
* Myth/NorseMythology:
** Loki. Should you casually make mention of him as a 'bad guy', you will be chastised by both his hurt/comfort-obsessed fangirls and mildly saner (if snootier) fans of the earlier Eddas, who'll point out that most of the versions of the myths in which he's a bastard date from relatively late in the game. Turn around and say he's a good guy, however, and numerous people will pat you on the head and say, "Awww, that's adorable. [[GreyAndGrayMorality You actually think there are good guys in these stories]]."
*** To be fair, even in the grimdark interpretation of Norse Mythology, Loki's penchant for "mischief" does set him apart on quite a few occasions for simply going too far for even the tastes of the most sadistic among the Asgardians.
** 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.
*** 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 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".

to:

!! Myth/NativeAmericanMythology:
* 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.
!! Myth/NorseMythology:
* Noah's drinking: innocent mistake because the fermentation process was different after the flood, simple drinking habit he'd always had, or his way of dealing with all he had seen? Perhaps some combination thereof.
* Myth/NorseMythology:
**
Loki. Should you casually make mention of him as a 'bad guy', you will be chastised by both his hurt/comfort-obsessed fangirls and mildly saner (if snootier) fans of the earlier Eddas, who'll point out that most of the versions of the myths in which he's a bastard date from relatively late in the game. Turn around and say he's a good guy, however, and numerous people will pat you on the head and say, "Awww, that's adorable. [[GreyAndGrayMorality You actually think there are good guys in these stories]]."
*** ** To be fair, even in the grimdark interpretation of Norse Mythology, Loki's penchant for "mischief" does set him apart on quite a few occasions for simply going too far for even the tastes of the most sadistic among the Asgardians.
** * 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.
*** ** 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 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".



* Pontius Pilate.
** As the man who sentenced Jesus to death, you'd think the default interpretation would be HangingJudge, but it's not. Instead the default interpretation is more along the lines of PunchClockVillain and/or BeleagueredBureaucrat, sometimes even with SympathyForTheHero. Portraying Pilate as actually wanting Jesus dead would be a subversion at this point!
** Incidentally, contemporary historical sources describe Pilate as a typical iron-fisted Roman overlord, quite unlike his biblical portrayal as an ineffectual ruler who only sentenced Jesus because he was pressured. One way to reconcile this is to assume that Jesus was so awesome that even ''Pilate'' thought he was innocent. Another is that the authors of the Gospels were deliberately whitewashing the Romans and demonizing the Jews for propaganda reasons. Others have brought up that Pilate may have worked out that the religious leaders were trying to manipulate him, and given his hatred of the people he ruled under he would be inclined to go against them out of spite.
** And, of course, we must mention his ''Film/MontyPythonsLifeOfBrian'' depiction as a CampGay with ElmuhFuddSyndwome.
* Russian Folklore: Literature/BabaYaga - depending on the work, she's either the most common WickedWitch who EatsBabies and lives on a house on chicken legs, flying on a mortar and pestle. Other times; she may be a crone...but is sought out for her wisdom or has guided lost souls.
* The Serpent/Satan:
** Genesis, the first book of Literature/TheBible, depicts The Serpent as a simple talking snake. Later Christian interpretations cast The Serpent as Satan (in disguise!), whereas the Gnostic texts of the fourth and fifth centuries depict the snake as a teacher of humanity. One interpretation of the Serpent paints him similar to Prometheus from Greek mythology: defying God to make humanity more intelligent and independent, suffering damnation for his efforts.
** And Satan is the simple character compared to God, who put the tree there in the first place. Is he following a [[EldritchAbomination ineffable plan the mere attempt to comprehend which would destroy our puny minds]]? A [[GodIsEvil petty tyrant]] looking for a way to torture us and call it our fault? A genuinely compassionate being, foiled by an equally powerful adversary? A [[TricksterMentor loving parent]], leading but not pushing us into growing up, and developing free will and responsibility? Or maybe he just has the right to say what can and can't be done with his own stuff, like a land-lord renting the house but not the garage? Or perhaps it's an allegory meant to convey that God understands that for mankind to truly love him they have to be given the option not to. [[HolierThanThou Or is that just too reasonable?]]
** In ''Literature/AtlasShrugged'' John Galt's interpretation of Genesis is that after eating the fruit humanity gained morality and after that (when they had to begin working) productivity, main virtues.
** There's also the idea that he is metaphor for sex and the loss of virginity.
** There is also the idea that Adam and Eve left the Garden more or less voluntarily because once their eyes were opened they realized it was completely and utterly dull.
** Jewish Interpretation: before the knowledge of good and evil, Adam and Eve were static creatures unable to create things. They left because the garden, being perfect, was too small for them. they were subsequently given a broken world to fix together with God.
** One interpretation of Genesis is that the first man Adam was split into male (ish) and female (ishshah) halves, neither having primacy (rather than thinking of Adam as "first" and Eve as "second"). [And thus god was not forgetful, nor was the same story told twice]
** Satan, a truly evil heartless bastard out to get humanity simply because God loves them so much, as mentioned above God's former number one son seeing his master for the evil bastard and attempts to stop him from creating a truly tortured creature, man, yet fails and is sent to hell, OR a man jealous of how humanity is given free will and favor over god's fully devoted servants whom were there first and done much more for god than man could possibly dreamed of. The final straw was being forced to bow down to a being so undeserving.
** Consider, Satan doesn't ''do'' anything evil in the entire Bible. In Genesis, he teaches Adam & Eve good and evil and is cursed for it. In Job he's acting specifically with God's approval. He supposedly rebelled against God, along with 1/3 of the Angels, but what's wrong with rebelling against an oppressive ruler? He "tempts" Jesus by offering him wealth, power and prestige. Most of the worst acts in the Bible are done by God, on God's orders, or by humans acting of their own free will.
*** Ah but did Satan ''teach'' Adam and Eve the ideas of Good and Evil, or did he merely convince them to eat the apple and watch them become filled with sin? With Job, was he merely following orders, or was he secretly wishing to inflict pain on Job all along? After all, he was the one who brought it up in the first place and not once did he ever object to any of God's orders which, considering that satan's as rebellious as he is, doesn't make sense. For Satan rebelling against God consider how life in Heaven was, most accounts claim it was paradise before Satan rebelled, just like it was in Eden before the serpent screwed things up. Tempting Jesus was indeed a bad thing, because Satan was pretty much saying "Hey, if you stick it to your old man right now I'll give you whatever you want!"
** Satan comes from the Hebrew word "Ha-Satan", which translates to "opposer." There are many ways you can interpret that:
*** 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 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 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.]]
** There are also a few interpretations on what kind of monster Satan is. Is he simply like the Joker, wanting to cause as much hell as possible for no earthly reason while knowing that he's gonna go down? Or is he causing all of the hellfire and mayhem even while knowing he's gonna lose because he knows it'll break God's heart to see his people being tormented so.
* According to Literature/TheQuran, the Virgin Mary was a single mom (but still a virgin), and Jesus uttered the whole [[TheReasonYouSuckSpeech "first stone" speech]] at a few days old, in the defense of his mother, and not the unnamed woman caught in adultery. He also ascended to heaven before he was crucified because god wanted to spare him from the a horrible painful death.
* Immortality:
** It's explicitly stated in [[http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/gen/3.html Genesis 3:22-24]] that God was afraid that Adam and his as-yet-unnamed wife would eat of the Tree of Life and live forever, thus becoming like Himself. Since immortality is seen as abnormal for humans, this would seem to indicate that when God created both humans and Eden, He included mortality in the design plan:
--> And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever; Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubim, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
** Immortality was supposed to be the natural state of humanity, which Adam & Eve lost by sinning. Their punishment was to die, so allowing them to eat from a tree that would make them immortal would be allowing them to escape that punishment.
* The whole Cain and Abel story. Was God being arbitrary? Was Cain unfairly treated? Was Abel an asshole that was never recorded? Did Abel actually earn the prize? Was it a SecretTestOfCharacter Cain failed miserably? Or was Cain denied the prize for the evil in his heart? Or did he even understand what he had done before it was too late, or did he repent afterwards?

to:

* Pontius Pilate.
** As the man who sentenced Jesus to death, you'd think the default interpretation would be HangingJudge, but it's not. Instead the default interpretation is more along the lines of PunchClockVillain and/or BeleagueredBureaucrat, sometimes even with SympathyForTheHero. Portraying Pilate as actually wanting Jesus dead would be a subversion at this point!
** Incidentally, contemporary historical sources describe Pilate as a typical iron-fisted Roman overlord, quite unlike his biblical portrayal as an ineffectual ruler who only sentenced Jesus because he was pressured. One way to reconcile this is to assume that Jesus was so awesome that even ''Pilate'' thought he was innocent. Another is that the authors of the Gospels were deliberately whitewashing the Romans and demonizing the Jews for propaganda reasons. Others have brought up that Pilate may have worked out that the religious leaders were trying to manipulate him, and given his hatred of the people he ruled under he would be inclined to go against them out of spite.
** And, of course, we must mention his ''Film/MontyPythonsLifeOfBrian'' depiction as a CampGay with ElmuhFuddSyndwome.
*
!! Russian Folklore: Folklore:
*
Literature/BabaYaga - depending on the work, she's either the most common WickedWitch who EatsBabies and lives on a house on chicken legs, flying on a mortar and pestle. Other times; she may be a crone... but is sought out for her wisdom or has guided lost souls.
* The Serpent/Satan:
** Genesis, the first book of Literature/TheBible, depicts The Serpent as a simple talking snake. Later Christian interpretations cast The Serpent as Satan (in disguise!), whereas the Gnostic texts of the fourth and fifth centuries depict the snake as a teacher of humanity. One interpretation of the Serpent paints him similar to Prometheus from Greek mythology: defying God to make humanity more intelligent and independent, suffering damnation for his efforts.
** And Satan is the simple character compared to God, who put the tree there in the first place. Is he following a [[EldritchAbomination ineffable plan the mere attempt to comprehend which would destroy our puny minds]]? A [[GodIsEvil petty tyrant]] looking for a way to torture us and call it our fault? A genuinely compassionate being, foiled by an equally powerful adversary? A [[TricksterMentor loving parent]], leading but not pushing us into growing up, and developing free will and responsibility? Or maybe he just has the right to say what can and can't be done with his own stuff, like a land-lord renting the house but not the garage? Or perhaps it's an allegory meant to convey that God understands that for mankind to truly love him they have to be given the option not to. [[HolierThanThou Or is that just too reasonable?]]
** In ''Literature/AtlasShrugged'' John Galt's interpretation of Genesis is that after eating the fruit humanity gained morality and after that (when they had to begin working) productivity, main virtues.
** There's also the idea that he is metaphor for sex and the loss of virginity.
** There is also the idea that Adam and Eve left the Garden more or less voluntarily because once their eyes were opened they realized it was completely and utterly dull.
** Jewish Interpretation: before the knowledge of good and evil, Adam and Eve were static creatures unable to create things. They left because the garden, being perfect, was too small for them. they were subsequently given a broken world to fix together with God.
** One interpretation of Genesis is that the first man Adam was split into male (ish) and female (ishshah) halves, neither having primacy (rather than thinking of Adam as "first" and Eve as "second"). [And thus god was not forgetful, nor was the same story told twice]
** Satan, a truly evil heartless bastard out to get humanity simply because God loves them so much, as mentioned above God's former number one son seeing his master for the evil bastard and attempts to stop him from creating a truly tortured creature, man, yet fails and is sent to hell, OR a man jealous of how humanity is given free will and favor over god's fully devoted servants whom were there first and done much more for god than man could possibly dreamed of. The final straw was being forced to bow down to a being so undeserving.
** Consider, Satan doesn't ''do'' anything evil in the entire Bible. In Genesis, he teaches Adam & Eve good and evil and is cursed for it. In Job he's acting specifically with God's approval. He supposedly rebelled against God, along with 1/3 of the Angels, but what's wrong with rebelling against an oppressive ruler? He "tempts" Jesus by offering him wealth, power and prestige. Most of the worst acts in the Bible are done by God, on God's orders, or by humans acting of their own free will.
*** Ah but did Satan ''teach'' Adam and Eve the ideas of Good and Evil, or did he merely convince them to eat the apple and watch them become filled with sin? With Job, was he merely following orders, or was he secretly wishing to inflict pain on Job all along? After all, he was the one who brought it up in the first place and not once did he ever object to any of God's orders which, considering that satan's as rebellious as he is, doesn't make sense. For Satan rebelling against God consider how life in Heaven was, most accounts claim it was paradise before Satan rebelled, just like it was in Eden before the serpent screwed things up. Tempting Jesus was indeed a bad thing, because Satan was pretty much saying "Hey, if you stick it to your old man right now I'll give you whatever you want!"
** Satan comes from the Hebrew word "Ha-Satan", which translates to "opposer." There are many ways you can interpret that:
*** 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 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 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.]]
** There are also a few interpretations on what kind of monster Satan is. Is he simply like the Joker, wanting to cause as much hell as possible for no earthly reason while knowing that he's gonna go down? Or is he causing all of the hellfire and mayhem even while knowing he's gonna lose because he knows it'll break God's heart to see his people being tormented so.
* According to Literature/TheQuran, the Virgin Mary was a single mom (but still a virgin), and Jesus uttered the whole [[TheReasonYouSuckSpeech "first stone" speech]] at a few days old, in the defense of his mother, and not the unnamed woman caught in adultery. He also ascended to heaven before he was crucified because god wanted to spare him from the a horrible painful death.
* Immortality:
** It's explicitly stated in [[http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/gen/3.html Genesis 3:22-24]] that God was afraid that Adam and his as-yet-unnamed wife would eat of the Tree of Life and live forever, thus becoming like Himself. Since immortality is seen as abnormal for humans, this would seem to indicate that when God created both humans and Eden, He included mortality in the design plan:
--> And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever; Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubim, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
** Immortality was supposed to be the natural state of humanity, which Adam & Eve lost by sinning. Their punishment was to die, so allowing them to eat from a tree that would make them immortal would be allowing them to escape that punishment.
* The whole Cain and Abel story. Was God being arbitrary? Was Cain unfairly treated? Was Abel an asshole that was never recorded? Did Abel actually earn the prize? Was it a SecretTestOfCharacter Cain failed miserably? Or was Cain denied the prize for the evil in his heart? Or did he even understand what he had done before it was too late, or did he repent afterwards?
souls.
30th Apr '17 4:54:03 PM TVRulezAgain
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* According to the Literature/{{Quran}}, the Virgin Mary was a single mom (but still a virgin), and Jesus uttered the whole [[TheReasonYouSuckSpeech "first stone" speech]] at a few days old, in the defense of his mother, and not the unnamed woman caught in adultery. He also ascended to heaven before he was crucified because god wanted to spare him from the a horrible painful death.

to:

* According to the Literature/{{Quran}}, Literature/TheQuran, the Virgin Mary was a single mom (but still a virgin), and Jesus uttered the whole [[TheReasonYouSuckSpeech "first stone" speech]] at a few days old, in the defense of his mother, and not the unnamed woman caught in adultery. He also ascended to heaven before he was crucified because god wanted to spare him from the a horrible painful death.
27th Feb '17 2:01:04 PM JulianLapostat
Is there an issue? Send a Message

Added DiffLines:

** The Asgardians are on the whole a bunch of preening narcissists. They are uncreative since many of their magical artifacts and technology were built by either Frost Giants (such as a Giant who they tricked into building a Wall around Asgard and then worming away from paying him back), or by the Dark Elves of Svartalfheim (Gungnir, Svarbaldnir the Ship, Mjolnir the Hammer). Their main skill is cunning, which they use to trick, abuse and exploit other people while they live in FluffyCloudHeaven drinking, feasting and whoring and ignoring all reality. They are total hypocrites who honor no oaths, submit to no laws but power, are totally incapable of compassion (such as when they trick and bind Fenrir by sacrificing Tyr's arm, without any attempt to befriend or make common cause with him) and more or less deserve ragnarok, because the world and everyone is better off without them.
2nd Dec '16 5:09:23 PM Furienna
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* 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.

to:

* 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.

to:

*** 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:

to:

** 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
Is there an issue? Send a Message


** 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.

to:

** 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.

to:

** 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.

to:

* 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
Is there an issue? Send a Message


** 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.

to:

** 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.
This list shows the last 10 events of 159. Show all.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=AlternativeCharacterInterpretation.ReligionAndMythology