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Religion Is Right

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"Science, traditional enemy of mysticism and religion, has taken on a growing understanding that the model of the universe suggested by quantum physics differs very little from the universe that Taoists and other mystics have existed in for centuries."
Professor Milton Glass, Dr. Manhattan: Super-powers and the Superpowers, a Fictional Document in Watchmen

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.

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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.

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Examples:

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    Anime and Manga 

    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 
  • In Equestria: Across the Multiverse, Antiquity, a pony in the Lighting the Darkness Arc, is a follower of an ancient forgotten religion worshiping Queen Equinox, the Goddess of Light and Darkness, who sacrificed her physical body to save the world from an asteroid. She is aware that others may not take her beliefs seriously, so she invokes Twilight's name to perform Holy Burns Evil on demons, as Twilight is a newborn goddess because she's a deity they can see, but is capable of invoking Equinox herself to the same effect. Then Orangejack, Applejack's native self, definitively proves that the story is one hundred percent true by showing up with a piece of Thunderbolt Iron that was a piece of the asteroid and still contains some Equinox's essence and power, which is forged into a sword (by Twilight and Mothra Lea) capable of dealing mortal damage to Yomi. Upon ascending to Alicornhood, Sunny Days and Moonlight meet Queen Equinox in the spirit realm, proving the story is true and she declares them her heirs. Lord Yomi also recognizes things associated with Queen Equinox he sees it, as she sealed him away and her being forgotten was the entire reason he was able to take over in the first place.
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    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. Of course, the the corrupt corporation couldn't care less, they just want the Unobtainium.
  • 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 and the believers are proven right. However the film itself is more nuanced on the subject and questions that even if what they believe is true is it morally right?
  • Star Wars: Religion that deals with The Force is most certainly this: it does involve faith because, for example, Han Solo didn't believe in the 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.

    Literature 
  • Alpha and Omega: Unlike most examples of this trope, in this book, this ends up being true of all three Abrahamic religions, as is evidenced by Jesus taking both the Jewish Messiah and the Mahdi back to Heaven with him.
  • The Arts of Dark and Light: Amorran exorcists can (often, at least, if not altogether reliably) suppress Functional Magic through faith and prayer alone, which would be proof that there is at the very least something very powerful behind their religion. This shocks the elvish magical scientists who first encounter the phenomenon. (They then begin to scientifically analyze the Amorran religion to figure out how it "really" works.)
  • Babylon Rising: Evangelical Christianity is the only way to avoid an eternity in Hell.
  • Contact, by Carl Sagan, has an image of God's signature said to be contained in the digits of pi. It's one of the rare examples of an adamant agnostic playing this trope straight.
  • 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).
  • Dresden Files: Played With:
    • 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. (Part of his argument, in a discussion with Harry, is along the lines of "it could be also explained by aliens, I could be hallucinating parts of this, and whatever I think I could be wrong anyway". Harry ends up calling him the "Knight of Maybe".)
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Left Behind : This is the Aesop of the 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. In Kingdom Come, it's accept Jesus Christ and you'll get to live past 100 years of age and straight to the end of the Millennium; deny Him when you reach 100, and you'll die and go to Hell. The Other Light faction feels God Is Evil because of this and has prepared for that contingency by passing its teachings on to the next generation of its converts so that the generation that gets to confront God and Jesus at the end of the Millennium will be "assured victory" when Satan is released. Unfortunately for them, it didn't turn out as they hoped.
  • Philip K. Dick:
    • 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.
    • 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).
  • Robert J. Sawyer: Though an atheist himself who has shown atheism and religious skepticism positively, 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).
  • 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. Their goal is exercising a loophole to escape this fate; unfortunately, this involves an (almost) Final Solution for humanity.
  • Space Trilogy: Strictly speaking, 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.

    Live Action TV 
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: 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 whose 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. Furthermore, "Most theologians consider this argument a load of dingoes' kidneys."
  • Rowan Atkinson: One 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, even though hell is not a part of traditional Judaism).
  • Star Trek:

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons: The afterlife, existence of the gods and survival of and potential damnation of the soul are all real and fully observable parts of the setting. In order to explain why people still commit evil acts despite it being verifiable fact that evildoers spend their afterlives as pathetic larval spirits or quivering blobs of flesh, the lore says every wannabe dark lord looks at Hell and imagines they'll be running the place if ever they're defeated.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • The Tau are a relatively young race and are near-impervious to Warp influence, and for the most part follow the beats of a technically advanced and largely agnostic science fiction empire, 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).

    Video Games 
  • 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.
    • This 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.
  • Dead Space: Unitology 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 tenets are based on accounts of the effects of the original.
  • Pokémon: Especially the more recent games, this is often how the extremely powerful Legendary Pokemon are treated. They are described as having powers equivalent to gods (or in the case of Arceus, flat-out being gods, or at least primordial creator entities), and they are always shown as literally existing and possessing those powers.
  • 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.

    Webcomics 

    Western Animation 
  • 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). However, the episode specifically about Mormonism heavily implies that Joseph Smith made the origin for his holy texts up, making him Wrong for the Right Reasons.

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