The Academy
Symbol Scroll
Home Plane Olympus
Alignment Neutral Good
Portfolio Good, Truth, Beauty
Worshipers Philosophers
Cleric Alignments LG, NG, CG
Domains Good, Knowledge
Favored Weapon Quarterstaff
Played by Admin

Continuing the heritage of an ancient philosopher, the Academy teaches a philosophical system focused on a single, impersonal deity called the Good, the True, the Beautiful, or any number of similar, abstract epithets. This philosophy grows out of a critique of Olympian religion: the Olympian gods are too human—fallible and sinful—to be true deities. What is divine, according to the Academy, must be purely good and perfect in every way.

A true deity, the Academy teaches, cannot be unjust, immoral, jealous, vindictive, and ignorant, as the Olympian deities often show themselves to be. Therefore, the Olympian deities—and any other deity who shows such traits—cannot be true deities. Philosophers who love wisdom and seek the truth propose the existence of a divine force that is superior to all other deities. In fact, other deities are but imperfect reflections of it. This impersonal force is the true god of the Academy. This is not just abstract speculation for the philosophers of the Academy, however. The goal of the philosophical life, as they express it, is “to become like a god, as far as this is possible.” This goal is not a despiritualized ideal, but a real possibility. Through the act of searching for the truth and contemplating the divine, philosophers hope to attain the ultimate mystical experience of union with the divine. As part of their quest, philosophers engage in personal editation, but their principal task is teaching. Philosophers of the Academy consider it their responsibility to defend against “superstition,” which means (to them) any characterization of a deity that does not do justice to the true nature of the divine. While they have little influence over what goes on outside their schools, vigilance is important within the schools to prevent superstition from creeping into the ranks. Further, some philosophers consider it important to allegorize myths—both the stories of the Olympian gods and those of other pantheons—to make them conform to “true religion.”

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