Can We Guess If You Would Be a Merciful or Merciless God?

By: Marie Hullett

Can We Guess If You Would Be a Merciful or Merciless God?
Image: MamiGibbs / Moment / Getty Images

About This Quiz

Mercy stems from the Medieval Latin merced-, merces-, which translates to "price paid" or "wages." When it comes to godly benevolence, though, it doesn't usually arrive in the form of doling out checks. Instead, it usually means the offering of forgiveness, kindness or some other form of generosity to followers. While the concept of a merciful God exists in several religions like Hinduism, Christianity, Islam and Judaism, some might dispute the clemency of the likes of Christ or Allah. How merciful are they, really, if you still get banished to hell or Jahannam for all eternity? That's up for some debate. 

Other deity-like figures, including Buddha, do not make people face sliced fingers, stoning or life in hell in punishment for their lack of faith or other "sins." Along with the likes of Jainism and Hinduism, Buddhism essentially teaches that karma will take care of things on its own.

So, what type of god will you be? Will you stone and smite or absolve and pardon? Unless you suddenly become a god sometime soon, the only way to know for sure is to take the following quiz. Let's pray you don't struggle too much to accept your divine destiny! 

Are you the only 'big human upstairs,' or are there are other gods like you?
I'm a "god," sure, but god also exists inside everyone. I have just happened to attain enlightenment.
There are more. We maintain pretty amicable relations.
No idea. I didn't really ask to be a god, you know.
They don't call me "all powerful" for nothing.

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Be honest. Do you consider yourself superior to all those humans out there?
No, in fact, I am just like them. I don't differentiate myself from the human realm. We are one.
Maybe a little ...
Nah.
I'm literally a SUPREME being, so I think that goes without saying.

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Whether you created the universe or heal people with your divine will, do you enjoy your godly duties?
I like being able to help people, at least.
It's a major responsibility, so a little overwhelming. Still, the benefits definitely outweigh the rest.
Not really. Work is work, though, am I right?
Yes! I especially like condemning people for all eternity.

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If you had to choose, what would be your absolute favorite part of being a god?
Spreading love and compassion
I do like the power. It makes me feel important!
I like helping people find their own way.
As I said, I love to punish people.

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It's time to talk about those sinners and unbelievers. Which one of these actions would you deem a mortal sin?
I wouldn't consider anything a mortal sin.
Maybe like, first-degree murder
I would consider hating hot sauce a mortal sin, but I'll get over it.
Stealing, whether it's millions of dollars from the bank or a handful of paperclips

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Will you forgive your faithful followers for their sins?
Sure, why not?
If they ask for forgiveness
I guess I can pardon them for hating hot sauce, OK.
No. They knew the rules.

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What about unpardonable or eternal sins? Are there any sinners out there you consider completely without redemption?
Again, I don't even recognize "sins."
I'd like to redeem everything except for willful persistence in extreme wickedness, even after instruction and admonition!
I don't think so. My children are just fine without eternal condemnation.
Yes, such as those who commit blasphemy against me

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What are your thoughts on unbelievers?
They are still my children.
They're OK. I don't see any reason to punish them unless they deliberately harm others.
I don't need believers.
To hell with them. Literally. Bye.

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Time for your followers to prove their faith! How should they do so?
They don't have to prove anything.
Just believing is good enough.
Maybe they could sing in the choir or reenact some biblical scenes? It gets boring being god, you know.
Recite prayers multiple times per day, fast regularly and obey scripture. At minimum. Also, donate to my church!

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Did you create the universe?
I certainly can't take all the credit, but I may have played some part in it.
I think so. Honestly, it was so long ago it's hard for me to remember clearly!
No, I didn't.
Of course I did.

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How do you encourage people to find their faith?
By making them feel loved
I send out missionaries to spread my divine message.
I subtly encourage them to look within.
I burn down homes, incite terror and break people down until they have no choice but to seek hope in someone like me.

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What are your thoughts on suffering?
Suffering is tragic and I try to lessen human pain as much as possible.
I kind of wish I didn't create suffering, after all.
Suffering is an inherent part of being alive. Through faith, though, these people will eventually find eternal liberation.
A little suffering never hurt anyone!

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On an average day, you probably receive tens of millions of prayers. How do you manage them all?
I take time to carefully listen to and answer each and every one.
I try my best, but I don't always get through them all.
I'm not magic. All I can do is help them find the answers they seek from deep inside themselves.
Honestly, I just ignore them. Do you know how many people ask for material and superficial things?

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Is there a sacred text for your followers to read?
No, my teachings were passed down orally and are always open to reinterpretation.
There are a few different texts.
Nope. No required reading
Yes, of course. And they better!

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What rules must your followers live by?
I would call them guidelines rather than rules.
They should avoid harming others, taking what is not theirs or engaging in harmful speech.
They should refrain from harming living creatures.
Um, there are kind of too many to count. Can you please reference my Sacred Text?

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Whether one uses your name in vain or breaks a holy tenet, how quick are you to anger?
I am very slow to anger.
I would say I'm average. I'm definitely not a hot-head.
I acknowledge my anger and let it pass through me quietly.
My anger sparks like fire in a drought and my wrath knows no bounds.

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Which one of these quotes from religious texts do you like best?
"Radiate boundless love towards the entire world—above, below, and across—unhindered, without ill will, without enmity."
"One who knows soul as pure oneself attains a pure self. But who contemplates the soul as having impure nature becomes himself impure."
"Bright but hidden, the Self dwells in the heart. Everything that moves, breathes, opens and closes Lives in the Self. He is the source of love and may be known through love but through thought. He is the goal of life."
"Now then let Me alone, and that My anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them; and I will make of you a great nation."

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As god, you will likely need to enlist some prophets to conduct your earthly business. How would you like them to serve you?
If they could simply spread my love, that would be wonderful.
They should devote their life to helping others find the light through conversion to my faith.
I don't think I need any prophets.
They may need to stone a few unbelievers.

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Which of these punishments would you like to bring forth upon one whom has done wrong?
They will have to think long and hard about their wrongdoings.
Their wrongdoing will come back to them in equivalent form.
They needn't be punished.
They shall be sentenced to death.

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What is one of your primary goals as god?
Helping people attain peace on earth and in their future lives
To promote my message
That's an excellent question! Maybe someone should have asked me that before they gave me this position ...
To provoke some chaos. Or a lo t...

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Now, let's talk about some ancient gods and goddesses. At least a thousand years before the Bible, the Gita or the Torah, Homer wrote "The Odyssey." Which of these Greek gods do you admire most?
Athena
Hera
Dionysus
Ares

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As god, you now have the power to declare some creatures as sacred (or not). What will you decide?
Yes, hear my decree: all animals are sacred henceforth.
All mammals shall be sacred from here forward.
I opt not to take a stance on this issue.
No animal (including human) is sacred. Only god is sacred.

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Which one of these actions do you believe should be punishable by death?
Death is never the answer.
Murdering another human unjustly
Being an infidel
Cursing one's mother or father

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Would you like any worldly depictions of your image on Earth?
Sure. As they wish.
As long as they're flattering! And perhaps forged in gold ...
Maybe? How will they even know what I look like, though?
Absolutely not. Anyone who attempts to recreate my image shall be stoned.

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So, god, what's up with all the bad stuff that happens in the world?
Unfortunately, I have nothing to do with it. It's all I can do to try to stop it.
Evil is inherent to humanity, but I ensure many people get their due.
I honestly have no idea.
Yeah, you noticed. I did that! And it wasn't easy.

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As a god, you have the opportunity to befriend deities and religious leaders from other faiths. Who do you want to be friends with?
Buddha
Shiva
The Horned God
Jesus Christ

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During a religious ceremony, how would you like your followers to honor you?
They could meditate quietly.
Make personal offerings of the likes of fruit, flowers and incense
They don't need to do anything special.
Rend their garments and maybe a bit of self-flagellation

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Let's talk about your holy text. Which new commandment would you like to introduce?
Thou shalt not harm any living creature.
Thou shalt only do harm upon those that have done harm unto you.
Thou shalt do as you please.
Thou shalt smite all unbelievers.

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Let's pick another religious quote. Which one speaks to you?
"Judge nothing, you will be happy. Forgive everything, you will be happier. Love everything, you will be happiest."
"Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous hand."
"You are what your deep driving desire is. As your desire is, so is your will. As your will is, so is your deed. As your deed is, so is your destiny."
"I shall cast terror into the hearts of the infidels. Strike off their heads, strike off the very tips of their fingers."

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You get to establish another holy commandment. What will you choose?
Thou shalt love unconditionally, even when your partner is being super annoying.
Thou shalt not fight with your neighbor over a parking spot.
Thou shalt eat pizza. And cake.
Thou shalt always live in fear of burning in hell.

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