Religion Is Right

So, we have a Crystal Dragon Jesus cult which has something purely metaphysical as a Crystal Dragon. Let it be the Church of the Moon Goddess. Then we invent spaceships and fly to the moon to meet the Moon Goddess herself: she's very glad to see us and is exactly as beautiful and benevolent as we thought.

That's the trope: a correct scientific proof that the religion is right.

Done by a very large number of devout authors in response to Religion Is Wrong being so popular. However, the use of this trope does not necessarily illustrate the author's own beliefs the overall story is (usually) being sold as fiction, after all. The in-story religion may range anywhere from a symbolic version of the author's faith, to a nonbeliever's deconstruction of a real-world religion, to a simple thought experiment for its own sake without any theological ax to grind.

Note that the proof must be correct in-story, it doesn't have to make any sense in Real Life. Note also that merely having a Physical God doesn't qualify: You must have a faith-based religion prior to the divine encounter.

Compare Easy Evangelism and Science Is Wrong, All Myths Are True. Contrast Religion Is Wrong. This trope may not be as positive as the case described above if the religion that's right is a Religion of Evil.


Examples:

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    Meta 
  • This trope works in almost every single Cosmic Horror Story: if there is an evil cult worshipping an entity, the entity exists.

    Anime and Manga 

    Film 
  • Avatar: The Na'vi worship some nebulous Mother Nature-type goddess, and the humans scoff at this — until the scientists figure out that Pandoran life (especially trees) is actually connected into a Hive Mind, and the Na'vi goddess is quite real. They even explicitly say that they've basically found scientific proof that the goddess really exists.
  • Religion that deals with The Force in Star Wars is most certainly this: it does involve faith because, for example, Han Solo didn't believe in Force, but it is proven true.
    • There are different philosophies, but the only ones that aren't compatible are the ones that emphasize Light or Dark.
  • The Rapture: At first it seems like Sharon's beliefs are not only wrong, but delusional and destructive. By the end of the film, the rapture really does happen.

    Literature 
  • Ray Bradbury's Human short story.
  • Constantly used in Chick Tracts. "Big Daddy" is one of the most well-known, as well as among the most frequently remixed.
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
    • The Restaurant at the End of the Universe: The followers of Zarquon the prophet await his Second Coming, and they're gently chided/mocked for their belief. He finally arrives just before the End of the Universe.
    • There was also a famous philosopher in universe who managed to prove the existence of God. However, proving God existed logically proved him wrong, and he promptly ceased to exist. In So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish he did leave one final message behind for his creation though: WE APOLOGIZE FOR THE INCONVENIENCE.
    • The version in the BBC series is that God refused to prove he existed "because proof denies faith and without faith I am nothing". The existence of the Babelfish, which instantly translates any kind of language for it's user and who's evolution was frankly impossible, proved he existed; therefore, by his own argument, he doesn't.
      • Following which, "Man" proves that black is white, and is run over at the next zebra crossing.
      • "Most theologians consider this argument a load of dingoes' kidneys."
  • In Carl Sagan's novel Contact, an image of God's signature is said to be contained in the digits of pi.
    • One of the rare examples of an adamant agnostic playing this trope straight.
  • C. S. Lewis's work, especially (in the scientific proof bit) the Space Trilogy.
    • Or, rather, we can prove scientifically that angels (fallen and not) exist, and are suspiciously like the usual mythic pantheon personality-wise. We still only have their word on the matter that God exists, though.
  • Philip K. Dick's A Maze of Death describes a world where God and a Jesus-like manifestation of him are obviously real, and prayers are a commonplace way of solving problems, though they have to be transmitted by radio onto "god planets". There's a Flat-Earth Atheist who believes this "God" is just a Sufficiently Advanced Alien.
    • His Eye in the Sky contains, among others, a world where God is blatantly real (and quite ornery) and gives regular TV transmissions; meanwhile, bars are stocked with vending machines that materialize items from nothing for free, and medieval alchemy and superstitions work perfectly. (It's actually a Journey to the Center of the Mind of a fundamentalist old man).
  • In Robert A. Heinlein's Job: A Comedy of Justice there really is a Heaven, and God, and all that stuff. It's not the same as it is described in The Bible but it's there.
  • Arguably the Aesop of the Left Behind series. If you do not accept Christ as your Lord and Savior, you will be left behind to suffer the Tribulation on Earth, followed by an eternity of damnation if you die during the Tribulation without accepting Christ then.
  • As with the Left Behind series, Evangelical Christianity is the only way to avoid an eternity in Hell in another Tim LaHaye series, Babylon Rising.
  • Hilariously Played With in the Dresden Files:
    • First of all, magic has a large element of Clap Your Hands If You Believe, so this trope is tautologically true. But it gets good with how various characters run with it:
    • Harry Dresden himself knows of many deities, pagan gods and the Abrahamic Deity alike — he's fought some, worked for some, even killed a couple of their peers. He's fought fallen angels, and Uriel has become one of his patrons. Despite this, he isn't himself religious, in a Nay-Theist sort of way — he's aware that God exists, but doesn't see the religious life as cut out for him, largely because he doesn't believe himself moral enough for it.
    • Michael himself is a Knight of the Cross, and his schtick is the literal power of Faith, so he plays this trope quite straight; his way of operating outright relies on counting on Contrived Coincidences to get where he needs to be, which he acknowledges as being God sending him where he's needed, and can count on angelic help if worst comes to worst.
    • Sanya, an agnostic (he refers to himself as a fallen atheist) who is also a Knight of the Cross, refuses to acknowledge religion as being correct despite having an angel as a boss.
  • In Discworld, gods and anthropomorphic personifications exist explicitly because people believe in them, and often interact openly and directly with humanity. As well, anybody who claims to be an atheist often ends up promptly struck down by lightning from a clear sky, providing a statistical proof if nothing else (though Dorfl, an atheist free-willed golem who is immune to lightning strikes, does not consider it much of an argument).
  • The character Beneditx in Knowledge Of Angels THINKS that Thomas Aquinas's Five Arguments are definitive proof that God exists. Palinor, the atheist he's trying to convince, disagrees and rebuts all of them soundly.
  • R Scott Bakker's Second Apocalypse: the central conflict is based on the fact that the villains (star-trotting sex-monsters), have discovered that the damnation of their souls is a literal and objective fact. They're goal is exercising a loophole to escape this fate. Unfortunately, this involves almost completely wiping out humanity.
  • Though an atheist himself who has shown atheism and religious skepticism positively, Robert J. Sawyer also portrays religion as being true in some of his books. In The Terminal Experiment, scientific proof of the soul is found, uniting with God at death. Calculating God shows the universe was created, but not much about the creator(s).

    Live Action TV 
  • On Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the Bajoran religion is based on the godlike "Prophets" who reside in the "Celestial Temple." At the beginning of the series a wormhole is opened very close to the planet, and Sufficiently Advanced Aliens living within it admit that they are, in fact, the Prophets and have a continued interest in Bajor's future. The Federation prefers to call these beings "Wormhole Aliens," but as you can imagine, the Bajoran religious movement gets a nice boost after the Cardassian Occupation had caused many to doubt the Prophets' existence.
  • One Rowan Atkinson sketch has him as a devil sorting out new arrivals to Hell, such as pillagers, looters and thieves (and lawyers), the French, the Germans, the atheists ("you must be feeling a right bunch of nitwits"), and Christians (the Jews got it right, despite him citing the Bible as a source of info on Hell, though most Jews don't believe in this, and it's never mentioned in the Torah).

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • The Tau of are a relatively young race and are near-impervious to Warp influence, meaning they consider the whole sacrificing-people-to-Chaos as frankly insane and pointless. That is, until they see a Greater Daemon explode onto the battlefield.
    • The Imperial outlook on Chaos ranges from denial of its existence to a blanket ban on its discussion, hammering that Chaos is Bad. The problem being that those who aren't told about it end up completely defenseless against its temptations, and those who are... often end up seduced by the power it promises (and rarely gives).
    • The Emperor knew of Chaos and strived to starve them through a regime of galaxywide atheism. This backfired spectacularly when the Primarch Lorgar, humiliated for his worship of the Emperor, learned of some gods who were all too happy to receive prayer and infected the others (not that it would have worked anyway: the Chaos gods are the embodiments of rage, love/despair, lust and hope, the only way to be rid of them is to kill off all sentient life in the galaxy, aka which what the Necrons are trying to do).
  • Present in Dungeons & Dragons, and in order to explain why people still commit evil acts despite it being verifiable fact that evildoers spend their afterlives as pathetic larval spirits, the lore says every wannabe dark lord looks at Hell and imagines they'll be running the place if ever they're defeated.

    Video Games 
  • Played straight in Tales of Eternia. The Seyfert religion is based around faith and science, but there's still no actual evidence for Seyfert's existence. Turns out that he is very real and a really cool guy to boot. Heck, he even congratulates you for saving the world in the ending.
  • Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura:
    • Deconstructed with the Pantheon of Old Gods. They're all real, and their divine influence is easily demonstrated, but in a setting where the supernatural is so commonplace it's sometimes a nuisance, the average citizens don't care, and the measure of a religion's success isn't evidence but instead current trends.
    • Drives the Big Bad's plan: The afterlife is truly better in every way than life, so killing off the world's population will work out better for everyone.
  • Unitology in Dead Space offers, among other vague promises, to "transform the flesh" of its members after death as part of a higher purpose. This is in fact completely accurate, just horrifying in context. It helps that Unitology was founded after the discovery of a real alien artifact, so much of its tenants are based on accounts of the effects of the original.

    Webcomics 
  • Jack: Anna, after seeing a literal angel:
    - Well, I guess that's it for my athiest status.
  • Subverted in Misfile. While God, angels, and Lucifer exist, no religion on Earth has it right. Since God's on vacation, Deism is the closest real world religious view that's correct.
    Letter: What are your religious beliefs, if any?
    Ash: I used to be an atheist, but, well...

    Western Animation 
  • Hilariously parodied in the Futurama episode "Godfellas." Bender meets God (or a satellite that crashed into God), who is indeed benevolent in mysterious ways, and who tells him, "If you do things right, people won't be sure you've done anything at all."
  • South Park reveals that only the Mormons got it right, and thus only they go to Heaven, while everyone else goes to Hell regardless of their actions (hence Hitler and Gandhi both being there).


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ReligionIsRight