StanLemon

Which Shard Was The Best God

42 posts in this topic

I do think this thread can be steered back to actually address StanLemon's question. Regardless of how godly you think the Shards are, you can still rate which is best for their people.

4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, it's worth mentioning that not all Shards are equal in terms of how well their Intents mash up with people. For example, I'd much rather have Cultivation, Preservation, or Endowment watching over my planet than Ruin, Odium, or Honor. In the cosmere, there is a part of the pantheon you respect but quietly wish to be as far from you as possible. 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, ScadrianTank said:

Also, it's worth mentioning that not all Shards are equal in terms of how well their Intents mash up with people. For example, I'd much rather have Cultivation, Preservation, or Endowment watching over my planet than Ruin, Odium, or Honor. In the cosmere, there is a part of the pantheon you respect but quietly wish to be as far from you as possible. 

And that pantheon is the many pantheons comprised wholly of Autonomy.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's a good question, and difficult to answer. I feel like one of the underlying themes of the cosmere is that having a pantheon of gods, each embodying an aspect of a broken, more complete god, and each ruling more or less independently and with those aspects remaining out of context from one another, is a greatly flawed system which drives most of the conflict. None of them can be great, because their answer to every question will be the same. Ruin wasn't inherently malevolent or evil, he was just the god of entropy, and as such was just trying to create some. I also believe him when he said that everything would be frozen in one perfect moment in time if left completely up to Preservation.

Having said all that, I like Harmony the most because he is closest to understanding humanity and the human plight, if only because he was part of it most recently. I expect that to change as time goes by, however.

4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Chaos said:

I do think this thread can be steered back to actually address StanLemon's question. Regardless of how godly you think the Shards are, you can still rate which is best for their people.

Thank you. While I generally don't mind threads veering this was starting to feel like it might get out of hand and very personal for people and I'm aware I wasn't helping in that. I had made this thread because I was interested in how those on here viewed the successes and failures of the Shards as the gods of their worlds and why. 

I understand that some don't think they even qualify to be gods and thus say they can't be effective gods because of that, but that seems to me to be a closed off approach. To the people of the Cosmere the Shards are gods. They are worshipped and their mere existence shapes the world and lives of those living on it. And that's not accounting for anything they choose to do with their knowledge and power. Whether or not one considers them gods or not, the Shards have taken up the roles of gods and they have varying levels of accomplishments as gods. 

My personal answer to this question would be Harmony. Unlike the other Shards he has a duel perspective and while his hands are tied in many respects he does appear to be working to make the world better while ensuring as much free will as possible and even seems to lament the more underhanded things he does. I had considered Endowment but decided against it for the same reason I don't think she's as much of a chess master as a lot of the others on the forum do. While she seems to have the best interest of her world and people in mind, it feels too much to me like she's taking a shotgun approach to problems. As a result she seems unnecessarily cruel in the process as she regularly Returns people who can't possibly fulfill their reason for Returning and with them not being able to remember why they Returned they end up running into or causing all sorts of problems even if they don't die in a week

Edited by StanLemon
3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, Frustration said:

I am aware that it is subjective.

But it is my opinion, and is the answer to how I would define God.

I understand you have a different outlook, and I will try to both keep that in mind, and be respectful of it

but I ask that you, and others keep in mind that to me, "God" is a sacred term and overuse or missaplication is forbidden, which is why I often have a more strict deffinition.

Yes, but isn't that the difference between capitalized God and lowercase g gods? OP simply is using title case and did not use capital-G God. It is extremely common parlance to still call Greek (or Norse, Egyptian, etc.) gods as... gods. That's fine if you don't want to, but it is extremely common in a huge variety of settings, including academic ones.

Regardless, as I have said, this is totally off-topic and not relevant. It's perfectly fine for you to not engage with the premise of the question, but is probably most respectful that if you have nothing relevant to say about the premise of the question, then maybe don't say it and discuss the divinity of Shards in a different thread, if that's what you'd like to discuss. This is like someone asking "What is the best video game of the last decade" and responding with "I don't like video games." That's fine, totally fair, but also totally irrelevant and doesn't answer the question posed in the thread at all, and is more appropriate about a thread on, say, the merits of video games. Does that make sense? I understand that is very much not a religious example, but I do think it adequately explains why I feel this entire tangent is totally irrelevant. 

Feel free to PM me if you'd like to discuss this, but we are getting this topic back on track, please.

8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Endowment seems like a fairly good deity that does not intervene much

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Odium! Great guy, very passionate about his position and people. I don’t even feel pain anymore thanks to him—well, I don’t even feel any of those pesky emotions anymore.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't really consider the shard's gods.

They themselves don't seem to have consciousness themselves, and even when they have vessels, it still grinds them with their intent.

 

You know that Frost quote about Odium?:

"He bears the weight of God's own divine hatred, separated from the virtues that gave it context."

That could be said of any shard. I could say this about any shard.

How can you be a God when you can only preserve? And only destroy? An average person can create an omelet and then eat it. And a shard can't? :P

They are pieces of a God. Large pieces, but still just a piece.

I see them more of forces of nature, like the wind, the tide, weather or a hurricane. A shard doesn't do what it does because it is good or bad, it is doing so because it is it's intent.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, apepi said:

I don't really consider the shard's gods.

They themselves don't seem to have consciousness themselves, and even when they have vessels, it still grinds them with their intent.

 

You know that Frost quote about Odium?:

"He bears the weight of God's own divine hatred, separated from the virtues that gave it context."

That could be said of any shard. I could say this about any shard.

How can you be a God when you can only preserve? And only destroy? An average person can create an omelet and then eat it. And a shard can't? :P

They are pieces of a God. Large pieces, but still just a piece.

I see them more of forces of nature, like the wind, the tide, weather or a hurricane. A shard doesn't do what it does because it is good or bad, it is doing so because it is it's intent.

It's a common theme in religions for gods to be the embodiment of something, though I see what you mean. Out of curiosity though, it's said any mass of Investiture if left alone long enough becomes conscious so if that happens to the Dor, would you consider that a god?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Sazed's relationship with North Scadrial is probably the best that you could hope for with a deity, though he royally messed up the South, and part of his benevolence is honestly tied up in his paralysis caused by the opposing shards.

The issue in judging them kind of comes down to whether you think the ends justify the means, or are created by the means. Pretty much every Shard that's well intended is comfortable with really harming a whole bunch of people to reach their goal and to a degree there's a question if Endowment, Preservation, or Cultivation's 4d chess with human lives is better than tOdium's desire to 'save them all'? And Honor was self-sacrificing, but bound two species into an almost eternal war that one way or another risks genocide.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The question to me comes down to how the Vessels handle the responsibility that comes with their position.  Whether or not they are "gods" is of lesser import, at least to me.  They all have immense power, and through their Investment on various worlds, they literally have the power of life and death over all beings that exist in those worlds.  That power comes with a responsibility, at least in my mind, to care for, or at least not harm those in their power.

I fully realize that some Shardic Intents are at odds with this.  Ruin, for example is bound by its Intent to promote entropy at all costs.  By doing so, it directly harms the beings under its care.  This is not inherently evil, but is a consequence of its Intent.  Odium, by extension, is in the same boat.  Whether its Intent is Rage or Passion, the end result is the same, as in many cases pure passion can be indistinguishable from rage, in that both are strong emotions that can and do override all other considerations.

Now, the same can be said of many, if not all of the Shards that we know.  They are all bound by their Intent so strongly as to exclude all other considerations, if not when the Vessels took up the Shards, but definitely over time as the Intent changed them.  So what do we have to go on?  The Intent that aligns best with preserving life?  That would seem to limit it to three: Preservation, Harmony, and Cultivation, with possibly Endowment or Devotion thrown in for good measure.  Of these, we dont really know much about Devotion, Endowment seems to be more about playing 3-D chess with the Cosmere, Harmony is conflicted and finds it hard to act, and Preservation did empower and aid the Lord Ruler.  Cultivation is about growth and change, but frankly, I think that she is more concerned with staying alive than actually caring for her people, same as how I perceive Honor was.

To me it is a question of who seemed to care the most for their people.  In this we only have two choices: Preservation, who took it upon himself to try and save his planet from destruction, and actively tried to console the spirits of those who died, and Harmony who seems to be actively trying to protect and promote his people from outside harm.  Both are deeply flawed, neither are ones that I would necessarily want as my "god," but in my mind they seem to be the best of bad choices.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, StanLemon said:

It's a common theme in religions for gods to be the embodiment of something, though I see what you mean. Out of curiosity though, it's said any mass of Investiture if left alone long enough becomes conscious so if that happens to the Dor, would you consider that a god?

Most likely not, because it having 'free will' isn't the thing that is prohibiting it being a god. Oddly it having an itent, is the thing that makes it not be godly to me. If it could actually decided to go against it's intent, then it might be able to be more godly in my eyes.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also agree that the question whether they truly can be considered gods is not important for this topic at all. Whether or not they are gods, they definitely act as god-like beings on their worlds, from the perspective of those that live in those worlds, and the question is how good a job they do under those circumstances. It's like asking who has been the best therapist in the Cosmere. As far as we know, Hoid and Syl are both no certified therapists, but they function as such to certain characters, so one can still think about who did it best. Saying "they are no therapists" may be a valid answer, but not a good one since it ignores the core of the question.

I expected people to be much more harsh with Harmony for what he did in Era 2. But I would still agree that he comes closest, along with Preservation. I'm sure Harmony would be the best if there was a way for him to overcome the conflict between the Shards. That might be a theme for Era 3, so I'd be curious to see how we'd answer this in 5 years!

3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would have to go with Harmony for best god, if only by process of elimination. 

Ruin and Odium are out for obvious reasons. Autonomy, Endowment, Honor and Cultivation are all out for being way too sketchy. Preservation is better, but in an ‘enemy of my enemy’ kind of way. Given his approval of the Lord Ruler, Preservation would probably have been an awful tyrant if Ruin hadn’t been in the picture.

That leaves Harmony as the least terrible god in the cosmere. I do take massive issue with what he did during Era 2 and I don’t think I can trust Sazed’s judgement again unless something huge changes, but at least he has his people’s best interests at heart, and he values their freedom to live their own lives. That makes him better than the other Shards we currently know about.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/14/2021 at 0:22 AM, Knight of Iron said:

Odium! Great guy, very passionate about his position and people. I don’t even feel pain anymore thanks to him—well, I don’t even feel any of those pesky emotions anymore.

I may have to rethink my position

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Harmony is the best. He may be hampering human progress a bit, but he had a great lush land in the north (Elendel Basin) and out of hardship, one of the most technologically advanced in the south (Alik's people.) His only mistake was making it a little too easygoing for people. On the other hand, most others are dead, destructive, or passive. The dead ones only supply magic, the destructive one (Odium) is going to shape up as the big baddy in the Cosmere-wide brawl that's coming up, and the not-very-much-known-of ones aren't doing much, and they strike me as either extreme or completely passive. Cultivation, Autonomy, and Stick are all pretty good but Cultivation hasn't done too much for Roshar, although her assistance in some cases should not be overlooked, Endowment is cool because she's not been interfering too much in her planet(s), but I can't really judge cuz I haven't read Sixth yet, and if Stick really is Survival/Wisdom Shard they automatically ascends to my favorite, but still not the one who did the most. Autonomy is okay, but she hasn't done much. 

Edited by Flaming Coinshoot
Forgot Endowment
1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.