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*** Karsus, an archmage of ancient Netheril, probably came the closest to being a god without actually ascending. He created the spell Karsus' Avatar, which in in-game terms would be ''level 12'', meant to allow one to merge with a god for a short time, intending to use it to save his doomed homeland. It failed spectacularly. When merged with Karsus, Mystryl, goddess of magic, lost control, and magic went haywire. She had to sacrifice herself to separate from Karsus, causing magic to momentarily cease. Netheril, a civilization built on magic, did not survive. Particularily tragic is that Karsus survived for a short moment, and was able to see his beloved homeland crumble to dust because of his folly.

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*** Karsus, an archmage of ancient Netheril, probably came the closest to being a god without actually ascending. He created the spell Karsus' Avatar, which in in-game terms would be ''level 12'', meant to allow one to merge with a god for a short time, intending to use it to save his doomed homeland. It failed spectacularly. When merged with Karsus, Mystryl, goddess of magic, lost control, and magic went haywire. She had to sacrifice herself to separate from Karsus, causing magic to momentarily cease. Netheril, a civilization built on magic, did not survive. Particularily Particularly tragic is that Karsus survived for a short moment, and was able to see his beloved homeland crumble to dust because of his folly.


* Several Esoteric groups most commonly of the Left Hand Path variety do believe that a person can attain literal godness by reaching the highest extremes of Spiritual individuality, self-liberation and self-realization. This is mostly common among the variants of Theistic Luciferianism, Dragon Rouge, Temple of Set and some variants of Theistic Satanism, which is basically a re-interpretation of very old Gnostic, Rosicrucian, Alchimic, Buddhist, Taoist and Esoteric concepts mixed with some Jungian psychology (particularly the idea of Self and Individuation) and Crowleyan Thelema (which is what Crowley meant with “every man and every woman is a star” and “you should talk to your Holy Guardian Angel” (the Self). Basically what it says is that by using different Esoteric methods a person may liberated it true Self (whether is the mind, consciousness, spirit, soul, monad, etc. depends on the writer) to attain complete liberation from the boundaries of the physical and causal world, becoming basically acausal and thus eternal. Similar, as mentioned before, to the concept of illumination from Buddhism, Taoism, Western Esotericism and Gnosticism with the difference that this doctrines generally see the process to attain illumination to be done by devotion, discipline, self-sacrifice and general goodness whilst LHP practitioners tend to be more selfish and conceited in their pursuit, disregarding things like god or evil, compassion or self-sacrifice apart from the needed for self-discipline. Others are just ChaoticNeutral.

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* Several Esoteric groups most commonly of the Left Hand Path variety do believe that a person can attain literal godness by reaching the highest extremes of Spiritual individuality, self-liberation and self-realization. This is mostly common among the variants of Theistic Luciferianism, Dragon Rouge, Temple of Set and some variants of Theistic Satanism, which is basically a re-interpretation of very old Gnostic, Rosicrucian, Alchimic, Buddhist, Taoist and Esoteric concepts mixed with some Jungian psychology (particularly the idea of Self and Individuation) and Crowleyan Thelema (which is what Crowley meant with “every man and every woman is a star” and “you should talk to your Holy Guardian Angel” (the Self). Basically what it says is that by using different Esoteric methods a person may liberated it true Self (whether is the mind, consciousness, spirit, soul, monad, etc. depends on the writer) to attain complete liberation from the boundaries of the physical and causal world, becoming basically acausal and thus eternal. Similar, as mentioned before, to the concept of illumination from Buddhism, Taoism, Western Esotericism and Gnosticism with the difference that this doctrines generally see the process to attain illumination to be done by devotion, discipline, self-sacrifice and general goodness whilst LHP practitioners tend to be more selfish and conceited in their pursuit, disregarding things like god good or evil, compassion or self-sacrifice apart from the needed for self-discipline. Others are just ChaoticNeutral.

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* ''TabletopGame/LeviathanTheTempest:'' While all Leviathans ''are'' gods ([[SemiDivine or 1/3 god, to be technical]]), the School of the Sun are those Leviathans who embrace their divine status, working to enlarge their {{Cult}} and organize it into a true ReligionOfEvil, gathering temporal power and setting themselves above humanity.


Compare DevilComplex, when a character proclaims to be {{Satan}} instead, a behaviour that is usually just as narcissistic but also combined with the sign that the character in question [[CardCarryingVillain values depravity, sadism and suffering]]. Contrast with AGodIAmNot, where a genuinely godlike being refuses the label to avoid the implications; StopWorshippingMe, where a deity doesn't want to be venerated as such; ProHumanTranshuman, where a post human remains sympathetic to humanity; AGodIsYou, where you are cast as a god, or your PlayerCharacter is a god; and UnwantedFalseFaith, where a human (or transhuman, or other sapient) who ''is'' worshiped as a god would rather not be.

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Compare DevilComplex, when a character proclaims to be {{Satan}} instead, a behaviour that is usually just as narcissistic but also combined with the sign that the character in question [[CardCarryingVillain values depravity, sadism and suffering]]. Contrast with AGodIAmNot, where AGodIAmNot (where a genuinely godlike being refuses the label to avoid the implications; StopWorshippingMe, where implications), StopWorshippingMe (where a deity doesn't want to be venerated as such; ProHumanTranshuman, where such), ProHumanTranshuman (where a post human remains sympathetic to humanity; AGodIsYou, where humanity), AGodIsYou (where you are cast as a god, or your PlayerCharacter is a god; god) and UnwantedFalseFaith, where UnwantedFalseFaith (where a human (or transhuman, or other sapient) who ''is'' worshiped as a god would rather not be.be).


In fiction these characters tend to be [[HollywoodAtheist atheists]] "[[CreatingLifeIsBad playing god]]" while the heroes will be spiritual and "stay in their place" relative to God, likely as a jab on nonbelievers. This trend is often considered offensive to atheists. Not to mention in RealLife people that display this trope are usually religious, [[FridgeBrilliance which makes sense when you think about it]]. How can one consider themselves to be God if they don't think gods are real?

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* ''TabletopGame/{{Rifts}}'': Dr. Desmond Bradford is an extremely powerful, extremely intelligent scientist who is a master of genetic manipulation. He also literally believes he is a god, with power over the creation of life. The two combine to make him an extremely dangerous individual, as he feels being a god gives him the right to mess with genes in ways [[EvenEvilHasStandards even the Coalition States thinks is horrific]]. The only restraining factor is that he believes Emperor Prosek is ''also'' a god, which helps rein in his worst excesses.

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[[folder:Web Animation]]
* ''WebAnimation/OverSimplified'': At the height of his MotiveDecay, Robespierre shown dressing in a toga and giving long-winded sermons on the glory of his Republic while his former supporters worry he's setting himself up as a godlike figure.
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* AGodAmI/FanFic

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* AGodAmI/FanFicAGodAmI/FanWorks


* ''TabletopGame/VampireTheMasquerade'': Cappadocius was the learned, scholarly founder of the Clan of Death. At some point, Cappadocius got it in its head that the art of [[YourSoulIsMine diablerie]] could theoretically trace all the way back to the source of the vampiric condition. No, not Caine. ''God''. However, he was destroyed and diablerized himself before he could put this into practice, by none other than...

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* ''TabletopGame/VampireTheMasquerade'': Cappadocius was the learned, scholarly founder of the Clan of Death. At some point, Cappadocius got it in its head that the art of [[YourSoulIsMine diablerie]] could theoretically trace all the way back to the source of the vampiric condition.condition, and thus, this originator could also be diablerized. No, not Caine. ''God''. However, he was destroyed and diablerized himself before he could put this into practice, by none other than...

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* ''TabletopGame/VampireTheMasquerade'': Cappadocius was the learned, scholarly founder of the Clan of Death. At some point, Cappadocius got it in its head that the art of [[YourSoulIsMine diablerie]] could theoretically trace all the way back to the source of the vampiric condition. No, not Caine. ''God''. However, he was destroyed and diablerized himself before he could put this into practice, by none other than...
** Augustus Giovanni, who wants so desperately to become this. After the Giovanni became the new masters of necromancy in Kindred society, Augustus set into motion plans for the Ritual of the Endless Night, wherein the clan seeks to tear down the Shroud that separates the living from the dead so they can rule as gods. This requires gathering 100,000,000 souls - at one point, members of the clan planned to get half of these by acquiring the Fetters of wraiths, and the other half by triggering a global thermonuclear exchange.


-->-- '''[[Literature/BookOfEzekiel Ezekiel 28:2]]''', ''Literature/TheBible''

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-->-- '''[[Literature/BookOfEzekiel Ezekiel 28:2]]''', ''Literature/TheBible''Literature/TheBible


** Played straight with Lucifer in pop culture. Created as one of the greatest of the angels, [[BlasphemousBoast he declared himself "above the Most High"]] and [[FaceHeelTurn attempted to make himself the ruler of all creation]]. Needless to say, that [[FallenAngel did not turn out well]]. There is a Biblical source for this in Isaiah 14:12, but on the surface at least it was referring to the "King of Babylon". This may be a literal king, though is often taken to be a code word for earthly rulers who oppressed the nation of Israel, and some have attempted to interpret it in terms of spiritual rulers (hence the link to the devil). The term "Lucifer" is simply how the King James Version translated "morning star".

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** Played straight with Lucifer in pop culture. Created as one of the greatest of the angels, [[BlasphemousBoast he declared himself "above the Most High"]] and [[FaceHeelTurn attempted to make himself the ruler of all creation]]. Needless to say, that [[FallenAngel did not turn out well]]. There is a Biblical source for this in Isaiah 14:12, but on the surface at least it was referring to the "King of Babylon". This may be a literal king, though is often taken to be a code word for earthly rulers who oppressed the nation of Israel, and some have attempted to interpret traditionally it has usually been understood in terms of spiritual rulers (hence a spiritual, angelic ruler (that is, the link to the devil).Devil). The term "Lucifer" is simply how the King James Version translated "morning star".


* Over in the fanmade ''New World of Darkness'' game ''Genius/TheTransgression'', the [[MadScientist Inspired]] have an unfortunate tendency to fall into this. There's usually a few intermediate steps, like '[[IRejectYourReality I'm right and reality is wrong]]', '[[ScienceIsBad unethical experiments]] are right because I say so', and 'I'm a legendary monster', but the end result of JumpingOffTheSlipperySlope for most Geniuses (especially Hoffnung, who are more prone to narcissism) is 'I'm a MadGod and reality should bow to me'. One sample [[TheSoulless Illuminated]] believes that he's a devil figure called the Self-Eating Fire and thus it is his duty to destroy things and merge them with himself.

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* Over in the fanmade ''New World of Darkness'' game ''Genius/TheTransgression'', ''TabletopGame/GeniusTheTransgression'', the [[MadScientist Inspired]] have an unfortunate tendency to fall into this. There's usually a few intermediate steps, like '[[IRejectYourReality I'm right and reality is wrong]]', '[[ScienceIsBad unethical experiments]] are right because I say so', and 'I'm a legendary monster', but the end result of JumpingOffTheSlipperySlope for most Geniuses (especially Hoffnung, who are more prone to narcissism) is 'I'm a MadGod and reality should bow to me'. One sample [[TheSoulless Illuminated]] believes that he's a devil figure called the Self-Eating Fire and thus it is his duty to destroy things and merge them with himself.


* ''TabletopGame/ChangelingTheLost'' features an Eldritch Entitlement (a very powerful, very old [[PrestigeClass noble order]]) known as the Lost Pantheon, whose members believe that the ministrations of TheFairFolk have turned them into something more powerful and more primal, an aspect of forgotten divinity. One of their Entitlement benefits is the ability to draw [[{{Mana}} Glamour]] from worship by mortals. Most notably, one of the qualifications for the Entitlement is that the changeling's [[SanityMeter Clarity]] must be 6 ''or less'' -- meaning they're out of touch with reality and close to thinking like a True Fae.

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* ''TabletopGame/ChangelingTheLost'' features an Eldritch Entitlement (a very powerful, very old [[PrestigeClass noble order]]) known as the Lost Pantheon, whose members believe that the ministrations of TheFairFolk have turned them into something more powerful and more primal, an aspect of forgotten divinity. One of their Entitlement benefits is the ability to draw [[{{Mana}} Glamour]] from worship by mortals. Most notably, one of the qualifications for the Entitlement is that the changeling's [[SanityMeter Clarity]] must be 6 ''or less'' (On a scale of 1 to 10, with 7 being the normal starting point) -- meaning they're that even the sanest of them are at least a little out of touch with reality and close starting to thinking think like a the True Fae.



* Over in the fanmade ''New World of Darkness'' game ''Genius/TheTransgression'', the [[MadScientist Inspired]] have an unfortunate tendency to fall into this. There's usually a few intermediate steps, like '[[IRejectYourReality I'm right and reality is wrong]]', '[[ScienceIsBad unethical experiments]] are right because I say so', and 'I'm a legendary monster', but the end result of JumpingOffTheSlipperySlope for most Geniuses (especially Hoffnung, who are more prone to narcissism) is 'I'm a MadGod and reality should bow to me'. One sample [[TheSoulless Illuminated]] believes that he's a devil figure called the Self-Eating Fire and thus it is his duty to destroy things and merge them with himself.



** It's subverted with Magic's ArcVillain, Nicol Bolas: he doesn't ''believe'' he's a god, he knows full well that he used to be as ''powerful'' as one (and not one of the more limited Classical-style deities who occasionally appear in ''Magic'' sets, either), and is ''extremely'' pissed that the rules underpinning reality changed so that he couldn't be one any more. This didn't stop him from setting himself up as a god on Amonkhet, but that was just part of the plan.

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** It's subverted with Magic's ArcVillain, Nicol Bolas: he doesn't ''believe'' he's a god, he knows full well that he used to be as ''powerful'' as one (and not one of the more limited Classical-style deities who occasionally appear in ''Magic'' sets, either), and is ''extremely'' pissed that the rules underpinning reality changed so that he couldn't be one any more. This didn't stop him from setting himself up as a god on Amonkhet, but that was just part of the plan.so he could better manipulate them, not because he believed it himself.


Nevertheless, some examples of real-life atheists declaring themselves to be gods or god-like beings in place of a metaphysical deity are still notable, especially in the 20th and 21st century. Such examples include Pol Pot, Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong, Benito Mussolini (who declared himself infallible), and the leaders of the Kim Regime, specifically Kim Il-sung (who is viewed as still the unofficial leader of North Korea despite his death), Kim Jong-il and Kim Jong-un. While such individuals were fewer and farther in between than their religious counterparts, their rejection of gods did not impede their attempt to be seen as such by their own people, albeit with varying degrees of success.

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