Today I had an idea about a novel, or at least a short story about a rather unusual scenario. It’s about an alternative history in which there actually is a real god called Dio who claims to have created the world.
Dio is an entity with godlike powers although he (for simplicity I refer to him as “he”, even though he can also appear as female) very rarely actually uses them. He does not interfere with the actions of humanity directly. What he does, though, is promising every human compensation for all suffering endured during life. Also, he appears within temples (he can be at all temples on Earth at once) where people can talk with him. Finally, people can call him directly, whether in prayer, or in more modern times per phone or email.
What Dio does is discuss with people about philosophical and psychological matters so as to further the personal development of every individual. He does not provide clear active moral guidance, though. He insists that everyone should find moral guidance in himself by reflecting about morality. The only thing he does to “punish” people, when they become too obnoxious, is simply disappearing and not heeding calls for him – temporarily.
Dio is an extremely patient and thoughtful, but also mysterious person. He claims to have superiors and to work for a community called “Exaltation”. What he provides is subtle philosophical and psychological support. He basically helps people to help themselves – not totally unlike the ancient philosopher Socrates.
Now what I am interested in is how that alternative history would have unfolded with the existence of such an approachable god. I think humanity would have made progress much faster, both technologically and societally. The existence of Dio makes it hard for rulers to control the populace with stories of false gods. And Dio helps people to train their rational reasoning skills, very much like a personal philosophy tutor.
What do you think would be different, too, in that world? What kind of questions do you have about the setting? What kind of questions would you ask Dio personally? Do you think most people would actually believe Dio? What reasons would people have to mistrust him?