Author Topic: Writing Prompts!  (Read 20695 times)

Necroben

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Re: Writing Prompts!
« Reply #15 on: August 16, 2008, 05:35:27 AM »
SturmKrähe:

I like it!  Though I must say that I'm not as up-to-date on my computer jargon as I should be.  As such I probly missed some of what you were trying to get across.
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Miyabi

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Re: Writing Prompts!
« Reply #16 on: August 16, 2008, 06:00:16 AM »
The thing here being.  In the entire existence of the human race everything we come up with has probably been done at one point.  Even if it was just by a small group of people.

オレは長超猿庁じゃ〜。

Necroben

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Re: Writing Prompts!
« Reply #17 on: August 16, 2008, 06:19:05 AM »
The thing here being.  In the entire existence of the human race everything we come up with has probably been done at one point.  Even if it was just by a small group of people.



That might be true, but the point I beleive is to make us think in a certain way.  See things in a different light maybe?  Many authors mistreat religion/spirtuality by not understanding where it is it comes from, and how to represent it correctly.  Although... I could be totaly wrong of course.
I don't suffer from insanity...  I enjoy every minuet of it!

It's ok to be strange, as long as it's on paper. :)

Miyabi

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Re: Writing Prompts!
« Reply #18 on: August 16, 2008, 06:55:17 AM »
Alright.  I'll give it a go I guess.

A hundred years from now a large mass of people begin to see humans as being deranged and not of nature.  They feel that we need to become more like the animals that roam freely and in harmony with nature rather than destroy it to make their life easier.

After a generation or so some of the more extremists within the sect start to modify their bodies through rugged surgical methods using chipped obsidian and things of the sort.  These body-mods make them look more like animals.  Ex:  Splitting tongue, placing smoothed stones (or even bone) under skin to emulate horns or spines,  cutting cheeks and lip to make them look like that of wild cats, etc., etc.

At first these people are seen as odd and are somewhat outcasted.  Then, after another couple generations the main body of the group moves into this phase.  Over time the mods become more extreme.  The people worshiping the malformation of the body, feeling they are more empowered the further they get from being human. 

Soon it becomes custom to start manipulations shortly after birth, tying flat leaves tightly around the body and using sticks and other various tools to control where and how the body grows, similar to bonzai growing. 

The people begin to choose their leader by the degree to which they appear to not be human and worship this person as they idol they want to become.

Ok. . . so I'm a bit weird. . . but I think it's very plausible.
オレは長超猿庁じゃ〜。

Fellfrosch

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Re: Writing Prompts!
« Reply #19 on: August 16, 2008, 07:28:54 AM »
So here's an awesome fact I learned yesterday about the Garifuna culture in Central America. When teh Europeans first started settling Central America en masse they wanted to remove the Garifuna Indians as a military threat, so they started targeting all of the men and killing them. The men quickly learned that if they dressed up in women's clothing, the stupid gringos couldn't tell the difference, so they were able to escape death and, in some cases, mount successful counterattacks. To this day, the ceremonial war uniform of many Garifuna tribes is a brightly-colored dress.

That's not really a religious thing, but I thought it was a cool example of something that starts out kind of silly and, through cultural forces, becomes very important and serious over time. Taking weird situations like the ones we're talking about in this thread can be a great starting point when building any aspect of a culture, religious or otherwise.
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Miyabi

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Re: Writing Prompts!
« Reply #20 on: August 16, 2008, 08:59:40 AM »
Drag queens FTW! (And I mean that in a good way. ha ha.)
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mbarker

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Re: Worshipping Pain
« Reply #21 on: August 17, 2008, 02:09:01 PM »

This religion focuses on the worship of pain. Early on in this culture's development it was noticed that the sensation of pain always accompanied important, formative events, such as danger or significant injury; sometimes it even warned of worse injury, as in when someone had their hand in a fire without noticing - the pain would warn him to pull it out before badly burning it. Pain thus began to be regarded as a gift from the gods; an important part of human experience, to be cherished rather than avoided and sought after as much as any other feeling.

Just wondering. Do worshippers follow the stoic path, refusing to react to their pain, or do they feel free to scream and cry? It seems as if the reaction would be a part of the experience, but I'm not sure how that would shape things. I suppose part of the question is whether worshippers are allowed to create their own pain (such as some of the festivals where people run nails through their bodies and such) or whether they are only supposed to accept pain when it comes "naturally." Which of course could result in some doubts as to whether someone had accidentally or deliberately put themselves into danger?

There's an interesting tie-in here to aging, since we tend to have more aches and pains as we get older. Clearly we are approaching the gods, and being blessed with increasing awareness of our own bodies. Oh, that works nicely.

Reaves

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Re: Writing Prompts!
« Reply #22 on: August 17, 2008, 04:47:33 PM »
on a related note to pain and worship i wanted to draw attention to the flagellants. In the European middle-ages many people believed the more hardship you went through the more you were accepted by God. For most this meant monks were supposed to live a simple life, ie prayer and meditation, fasting, cold stone floors instead of soft rugs. However, the flagellants took this one step further and began lashing themselves with whips to show their devotion. During the arrival of the Black Death they did it to try to avoid the Plague.
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Dangerbutton

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Re: Writing Prompts!
« Reply #23 on: August 18, 2008, 05:16:03 AM »
Okay, depending on your level of maturity, you may find this one either disgusting or silly. Hopefully not silly, because these things aren't supposed to be silly....

They worship the process of ingestion and digestion. Ingestion, eating, is revered because it is a way of sustaining life. The land is close to barren, and food is scarce. Whoever can get food has clearly been blessed by the gods. While the food is being digested, energy and life is given to the body, and they are sustained by the mercies of the gods. At the end, the bowel movements are a sign of purity. All that was good has been used by the body, and the refuse has been discarded. It does not end there. The gods were gracious, and provided a use for the waste. As a fertilizer, it helps more food grow. It is the cycle of life, watched over by the gods.

jjb

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Re: Writing Prompts!
« Reply #24 on: August 18, 2008, 08:41:05 AM »
@ Mr. Papers Head

Honestly, I hadn't thought about the history of the religion all that much. This will be cliché, but the start of the religion was when some random guy who loved paintings started "worshiping" the contrast, etc. of colors and he noticed how each color had a different affect on his emotions (red is tension, blue is calming, etc). When he told his friends of his discoveries, they started noticing how the colors affected their emotions as well. From there, it grew.
People called the random guy their prophet and started to believe that there were actual spirits inside of each color, each battling against the others and trying to become the greatest spirit of them all.

As to who started the assasinations/genocides, there was a group of fanatics  of the red spirit who took to believing that the only way their spirit would succeed was if the followers of all other spirits were dead. Eventually, the priests of other spirits defended themselves and started attacking other factions as well. After some time, the assasinations turned into a sort of ritual, not only killing off the other priests but also converting them to the service of your own spirit.


Eudaimoniac

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Re: Writing Prompts!
« Reply #25 on: August 18, 2008, 03:13:34 PM »
Writing about religion...

This is not too far away from many things done/researched today, so hope it qualifies.

By the thought that all our actions are the result of 2 major factors each decided into smaller factors the believers are trying in all aspects of their lives to understand those two factors.

1:  Genetics - We are the genetic result of the merging of to sets of genes. These genes determine, amongst other things, temperament, moods and other psychological mechanisms.
2:  Experience - Our past experience shape our reactions and perceptions today.
(3: The belief that these two factors are the sole factors deciding our reaction patterns and psychological patterns excludes free will)

It started out merely as a philosophical debate but the development in areas such as mathematics and psychology gave way to some advanced computational models describing human behavior. The idea that our actions could be quantified and described mathematically combined with increased understanding of the mechanics of genetics led to the belief that all our future could be computed based on our genes and all previous experiences.

If we get maimed by dogs as a child we will be afraid of dogs later in life. If we are raised in a certain way, we will act accordingly later in life. So understanding the previous experiences and the way they are weighed in the development of the human psyche we can determine future reaction patterns. When we can predict future reaction patterns, how can free will exist ? It cannot.

This has lead to two different 'ways' within the religion of determinism.

1: The followers of this 'way' - 'the way of enlightenment' seek to understand themselves fully. To truly comprehend and understand each and every one of their actions in the light of past events. When then experience an emotion, they examine it and tries to determine where it came from and what past experiences has led to the feeling and the reactions in the first place. Only by truly knowing oneself, knowing why one act as one does will we be free. Only by truly knowing our past, and thus truly understanding the road we will travel in the future, will we be free to experience the way there. Absolved from the choices of the future by already knowing the outcomes of them we can partake in the enlightenment the journey will bring us.

2: These followers are perhaps not as much followers as they are opposition against Determinism. They have devoted their life and belief to randomness. The simple doctrine is that when true randomness is found it will prove that there is free will. If it cannot be predicted, there must be something else determining the outcome, and that is free will. Although they are opposite to Determinism, many of the same mechanics are involved in both. On their search for Random they have to find a way to see if something is Random or not, and in tat process all things not Random will fall into the realm of Determinism. Even though they use the same methods in their search for Random most of the time of these followers is spent on the search for Random in it's most pure form. A base Random.

This is a short description, but both can naturally be elaborated. As a religion this is fairly academic without wars or violence. the battlefield is the labs, the philosophical debates and the computer models.

Necroben

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Re: Writing Prompts!
« Reply #26 on: August 22, 2008, 02:34:47 AM »
1: The followers of this 'way' - 'the way of enlightenment' seek to understand themselves fully. To truly comprehend and understand each and every one of their actions in the light of past events. When then experience an emotion, they examine it and tries to determine where it came from and what past experiences has led to the feeling and the reactions in the first place. Only by truly knowing oneself, knowing why one act as one does will we be free. Only by truly knowing our past, and thus truly understanding the road we will travel in the future, will we be free to experience the way there. Absolved from the choices of the future by already knowing the outcomes of them we can partake in the enlightenment the journey will bring us.

That one part was rife with possibilities.  I love it: the thought of taking someone at birth and then molding him or her to ' determinist's' ideals, then shaping that person's experiences just to prove that they may predict someone’s possible future actions.
That was the one thing that jumped out at me: Telling the story in first person, kind of a Flowers for Algernon. (sp?)
I don't suffer from insanity...  I enjoy every minuet of it!

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Eudaimoniac

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Re: Writing Prompts!
« Reply #27 on: August 22, 2008, 12:47:14 PM »
Don't know Flower of Algernon, but have worked a bit on this deterministic approach, and might do a short story about it...

Necroben

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Re: Writing Prompts!
« Reply #28 on: August 22, 2008, 08:55:20 PM »
Flowers for Algernon was a story about someone who was severely retarded going through an experimental treatment to cure him.  The main point of the reference was that the reader followed along from the patients POV.  (The Dr. had him keep a journal.)  We got to see him as he progressed through the treatments, and get smarter as he went along.
I don't suffer from insanity...  I enjoy every minuet of it!

It's ok to be strange, as long as it's on paper. :)

Elmandr

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Re: Writing Prompts!
« Reply #29 on: September 13, 2008, 09:02:39 AM »
Quote
Develop a religion where people worship something that no one would ever worship in our world. And it can’t be silly.

The people of Anerea, they worship soil, dirt, or eath as they like to call it--sounds less demeaning. At the center of the tribe a large hole is dug into the ground. Large is enough to hold a priest and a handful of believers--this is where people came for forgiveness and prayer. They would pray to the dirt; the giver of plants and consequently food, and the wielder of trees that wall the outer lands of evil from them, it is also vast and stable--unless they upset it. Then it rages. It shakes them whenever displeased, it falls on them its mighty willows, and when it ceases, the villagers set out to look for the crack that has surely opened. It is here where they make their sacrafice--usually they slaughter a lamb or pig; they let the blood spill, and eventually drop it into the bottomless void. If famine occurs, and or the Rumbles do not stop--the sacrafices become more precious. The order of sacrafice goes like so; Lamb/pig, a sinner, a volunteer man, a volunteer women, a priest of the church, and finally a newborn baby. I'm really getting carried away--wow i make no sense.

Jumps into the Void.
"I love you."
"you dont. You just think you do because i'm all you know."
"Really? So whats this burning sensation i'm having in my stomach?"
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"I don't feel good."
"They do that to you."
"my legs, their numb."
"Hahaha!"
"haha!"