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Thread: Where babies come from

  1. #1
    Guild Artisan Aval Penworth's Avatar
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    Default Where babies come from

    Well my pc has a serious virus and may have to be put down. So I am not able to do any mapping at the moment. I am therefore doing some writing.

    I am considering including a culture where children can only be conceived if the parents pray for the child. This means the physical liasons would have no chance of preganancy unless both partners prayed for it. Also the gods would not grant a child to a couple who where unready parents.

    I am interested what others think this culture might be like. What would their attitude towords sex be? What might their values be?

    Of course there are many ways this could turn out, and I already have my own ideas. I thought I would open the topic for discussion to discover other opinions and ideas.

    Ps i'm typing this on my phone so sorry if it is a little disjointed. I can only see one line at a time 
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    Community Leader Gracious Donor ravells's Avatar
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    I like the irony. Most teenages pray that sex won't get them pregnant.

    Extrapoliting from the original idea, what you have is effectively a form of contraception which might mean recreational sex would be the norm (no unwanted pregnancies) so you might want to build in a brake (e.g. too much of it makes the gods think you're not worthy of having children) so if you want children eventually, you need to control the amount of non-procreative sex you have).

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    Guild Master Gracious Donor Midgardsormr's Avatar
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    If conception can only happen as a result of an answered prayer, then it is entirely possible that the perceived link between sex and babies will be broken. These people might not even realize that sex causes pregnancy, as casual sexual relationships will probably be the norm. Study up on the Trobriand Islanders for a culture where sex is not directly associated with pregnancy.

    On the other hand, if the association remains, it is possible that sex will be even more taboo, since it will now have a certain degree of ritual about it. If you know you have to do two things in order to have a baby, and one of those two things is religious, then the other will take on religious significance as well. How that might be expressed in the culture could vary greatly. I could even see a society in which only priestesses are considered holy enough to give birth, and all children are raised by the church until they are old enough to apprentice with their fathers. This could give rise to a matriarchal theocracy. You would then need to sort out how to deal with women who are not selected for the priesthood.
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    Community Leader Gracious Donor Jaxilon's Avatar
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    Sort of along the idea that Ravells had - I think it would depend on how the "god's" viewed it and the relationship the people had with them. If sex did not matter then yes, it would probably be an orgy filled society. However, if it meant something to the god's then it might be frowned upon and thus only done after prayer and with the purpose to conceive a child. There might well be heavy penalties for individuals who indulged in recreational sex. They might even develop a reputation and end up an outcast which would create anther culture for your world.

    This might not be all that far from our own world either. Some feel that sexual relations are meant only for marriage. This was common for a long time. Remember "The Scarlet Letter"? It used to be that sex outside of marriage was taboo, big time! Today that's not the case.

    [This next part is not a sermon - it's just some conjecture on what our own society might be like if certain things are true and other things took place]
    This got me wondering what a perfect person might be able to control within their own bodies. If you believe in creation as the Bible describes it then you would also believe that when Adam & Eve lost paradise and were thrown out of Eden they likewise became imperfect. The only other perfect person according to the Bible was Jesus. Now, he walked on water and all sorts of things but some of that was power beyond what a typical human would have but still, bottom line, we don't really know how much a perfect person can do. It may well be that if we were perfect we could control conception...well, at least I guess the woman could.

    That would make another interesting twist if the women determined whether or not conception took place. Then they would control who's line continued and who's died out. Of course, finding a willing partner probably would not be that difficult, especially if there was a big enough bribe involved. It would put an end to unwanted pregnancies.

    Also, sex worship is a part of Man's history so if you dig a little you can read about how those societies were.

    Alternatively it could be that sex isn't that big of a deal. It really is overblown in our world today. So it depends on how much you want that to be a part of the world you are creating.
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    Community Leader Facebook Connected tilt's Avatar
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    Concidering a culture like ancient Rome, where sex was normal and definitly not frowned opon, also nakedness was concidered quite normal, not that people didn't wear clothes, but a naked woman standing in her doorway shouting after her husband was normal, and public bath were usual as well.
    I can see a society where you have to pray to have several possible outcomes - all of them likely and probably all or some of them co-existing.

    1. Casual sex is normal and people have it when they want. The non-conception doesn't mean there is no STD's however.
    2. There is only sex within religious settings. This could be different depending on the gods view, some gods may disparage casual sex, some might encourage it.
    3. People might be grouped in more or less devout beings, a woman might turn out a man if she doesnt' get pregnant on base that he wasn't devout enough
    4. Maybe a group of people who doesn't believe in the gods teaching springs forth - and perhaps they find a way to concieve anyway (probably in a secluded society)
    5. Since children are a show of being devout to god, many children could show people that you are a holy person, blessed by god
    6. Holy men might travel the world impregnating women
    7. Prostitution might been seen as anything from evil (by some gods) and in other religions you might acutally have brothels sanctioned by god.

    well - that was my 2 cents for now, cause this devout gentleman have to go get my god given children out of the bath
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    Community Leader Facebook Connected Ascension's Avatar
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    I'm with Mid and Tilt mostly. I think a society like this would run amok for a while until an std plague broke out then they'd go the other way and get all devout on everyone. I can see a split society there, sort of like in America where one side does what they like for fun and the other side shouts at them from the rooftops only to do the same things behind closed doors...until they get caught for being hypocrites. I'm almost positive that this would be a theocracy if it were run by men, more wiccan if run by women. Of course that's all been done before so twist it up and have a bunch of self-righteous women run things while earthy men conspire in the forest to bring down "the woman". Religion and politics would be synonymous and I would rather live in a cave
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  7. #7
    Guild Artisan Aval Penworth's Avatar
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    Great ideas. In my scenario the people know that it is the act of sex combined with prayer that brings about conception, rather than being unaware of the connection. I don't want to go down a puritist road. So I was thinking that this was a society where there was no shame in sex( but not orgiastic and debauched.)

    But how about the psychological impact that every citizen knows that they were wanted by their parents and granted life by their god?
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  8. #8
    Community Leader Gracious Donor Jaxilon's Avatar
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    That is cool because it ensures that every person knows they are wanted and that they have a purpose in life to fulfill whatever it may be.
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    Community Leader Facebook Connected Ascension's Avatar
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    Very utopian and nice but not too much fun to base a story around...where's the intrigue and deceit and injustice and hypocrisy? Milquetoast is fine for a campaign but not so much for a book.
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  10. #10
    Community Leader Gandwarf's Avatar
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    So will each prayer result in a child or does the God have some guidelines and decide who can have a child? What if a couple is very devout, but infertile? Would the God still have the option to "grant" them a child? If it's a true God the answer would be yes I guess. It might be more interesting though for the setting to have something like infertility. In a society like this having no children as a couple would be a huge social stigma I think, as it could be interpreted that the couple is not devout enough. This opens the door to all kinds of stuff to spice up the setting. Think intolerance and jealousy.

    Like the others I think there would probably be a lot of healthy sex going on There would probably still be many rules governing it though. Even in ancient Rome there were a lot of rules concerning sex. Certainly not everything was acceptable.

    Knowing you have been granted life by a God would certainly make for a devout people. The society might be fully organised around the religion. There will probably still be non-believers though, unless there are other, more visible miracles.
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