Jul 25, 2021 6:22 PM
in principle I think you should be able to guess the entire premise from the title
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"It does not affect their afterlife at all, they become a daeva if they summoned and go to Limbo if they didn't. They can sell their soul forty times and we can't even tell."

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"Huh. - where'd they get the idea that you can sell your soul, do they sometimes accidentally get actual devils -"

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"Not that I know of but I suppose it might have happened once or something. There's - they don't have gods like you do but they do have religions, just without real gods to have them about, and some of the corresponding mythology gives apsels a bad rap including the soul thing."

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"They have religions without gods? Like, they're trying to make a god? If there aren't any gods how did they even know that's a thing you can do?"

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"They're not trying to make one, they - this is very weird to explain, I'll have you know - human psychology likes to attribute phenomena to agents. Without any agents responsible for, like, sunrises, thunderstorms, earthquakes, diseases, what have you, they made some up, and tried to engage with reality on that level in addition to all the ones that actually work, and sometimes by coincidence if you beg your imaginary rain god for rain it will rain and then you go 'yay it worked thank you rain god' and if it doesn't you can still go 'the rain god must be mad, let's sacrifice a sheep to him and see if that helps'. And all these fantasies accumulate cultural cruft over a very very long period of time so it's far more complicated than that now."

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"- it's honestly very weird that there are free-will-having humans somewhere with no gods. How did they start. Were there originally very negligent gods that then got bored and left. - I guess you said already no one's claimed credit for - for the whole setup -"

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"They evolved! There's a fossil record and everything. Sort of like animal breeding only the breeder is 'the world'."

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"Why would the world give them free will."

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"I don't know what else they'd have."

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"So outsiders - devils and demons and angels and so on - they aren't broken in the way humans are. They - are the thing they are all the way through, instead of being full of conflicting impulses. There's a real answer to the question 'what do you want' and 'what are your priorities', instead of the way with humans we want lots of things some of which contradict and some of which we don't do even though we want them. And in Golarion this is because there was a particularly -" stupid, but Ihys was Chaotic Good so she shouldn't say that - "idealistic god who gave humans free will and made them less useful to gods and less like outsiders and less like - agents, less the kind of entity that acts on its desires in the world - for some reason - but I can't see why else it'd be the case, aside from someone doing it on purpose."

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"Well, humans on Earth evolved from animals. Would you say animals are agentic?"

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"....I haven't paid any very much attention, honestly. I assume they - eat and drink and run away from predators?"

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"Sure, and chase their tails, and play, and have social drama, and get emotional and frustrated over stuff. Humans specifically evolved from apes, would you like a book on apes? It'll be in an Earth language but you can do magic about it."

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"Maybe but I am not clear what I would get from the book on apes? Do you think they have free will as well?"

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"I'm not familiar with the concept as you use it! Earth philosophers sometimes talk about free will in contrast to, say, being physically deterministic such that all the preconditions determining what actions you would take were set long before you were born, but that seems like a different thing. I have never met an outsider unless you count being briefly horrified at the demon eviscerating your classmate. It might be interesting to see what your assessment is of a study on chimpanzees on the subject but you certainly don't have to."

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"Whether there's prophecy or not is a separate thing, and a feature of worlds not people I think - there's not prophecy, here. Maybe I'll look into it but - probably not right away unless it seems particularly important for our being allies?"

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"Probably not. Though I'm curious how - admiring agency - dovetails with the ideal of serving Asmodeus. Couldn't he just have some unagentic robots that didn't want things?"

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"Oh, He's supposed to! Free will was a terrible idea and it'd be better if humans were just constructs that serve Asmodeus, that's how He had us originally. And then Ihys gave us free will and we ran around doing stupid shit. Agency is - important - which is why you don't inflict it on every random thing around."

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"So you don't aspire to be an agent?"

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"Well, if I could be a god, that would be neat for me. I don't - expect that it serves any gods for me to be an agent, except insofar as they can benefit from resulting mistakes I make."

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"...your religious beliefs confuse me very much. I'm used to people who think that they ought to actually agree with their gods."

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"- I mean, on factual questions, if we disagree, they're probably right and I'm probably wrong, because they are far more intelligent than me. But lots of questions in life are perspectived. think that I ought to get to do whatever I want but no one else is going to find my argument for that, which is pretty much just 'it would serve my interests', compelling. Gods think they ought to get to do whatever they want and I can form an opinion on that if I want to but it's sort of pathetic, right, to imagine that they care at all what I think, or that what I think matters enough I should bother thinking on it. What Asmodeus thinks I should be shaped like matters, because He probably has remit over my immortal soul. What I think I should be shaped like doesn't, because I don't."

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"...so you might as well do whatever you want for now and then Asmodeus will do whatever he feels like no matter what?"

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"I think that's sort of what the paraduchess was saying. Or, that I might as well do whatever achieves my goals for this life. That is not exactly the conventional wisdom, which is that practicing the disciplines Asmodeus requires of us in Hell makes the transition easier, makes it - less lossy - which I care about, I want to mostly be compatible with what Asmodeus needs so I require less trimming to get there. And it seems probable that if more of me fits then there's more of me left afterwards and I'll be a smarter more interesting devil, which I care about."

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"Isn't that just doing your own trimming in advance?"

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