Inside an otherworldly home, ribbons cross in front of a door out of the building. A hero and their friend converse nearby.
Hero: Sometimes I wonder why going through doors is taboo.
Friend: That should be obvious! Only traveling through upper windows gives us the blessing of the gods.
The hero looks in alarm out a window.
Hero: Do you hear that? Enemy soldiers are coming!
Friend: I’m afraid we don’t have time to climb the stairs and descend down a rope ladder. Let’s just cower until they come kill us.
The hero points to the door while the friend stares in shock.
Hero: I have an idea. I know it’s radical, but what if we left through the door?
Friend: Wow, you’re such an edgy, innovative thinker!
The hero and friend sneak away from the building as the soldiers start climbing to the second floor windows.
Hero: Wait – why do we even have doors?
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Comments on Cultural Innovation
Desperate times call for desperate measures. Sometimes, that means getting rid of old taboos that no longer work.
Well, there could be plenty of reasons why there is a door.
Maybe the house is old, from a time before whatever religion they follow took hold.
Or maybe the religion believes in constant testing to prove piety.
There might also be some political reason for it. Like say, some of hero’s and friend’s enemies want to dispose of them and force them to break a taboo.
But not having the blessing of the gods isn’t taboo. A taboo is a punible transgression. So in fact by using the door they should be eaten by a monster or other horrible death (more horrible than whatever the enemy soldiers would do)
Cultural taboos are not something that will automatically be punished by a deity. They are punished when someone sees you breaking them. In this case, nobody but the two breaking the taboo saw it, so no punishment will happen.
If the conflation of Taboos with antitheist perspectives were ever illegitimate we probably wouldn’t have most of them.
My ending to this one would have been that she opens the door and a bucket of water falls on her head.
that would be a good one!!
I love how worried the friend looks that the gods will punish them!