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Hi, I’m Shady Daze. Hmm? Am I related to the other Shady? I don’t think so. What other Shady? Just ignore it? Alright, if you say so. As I was saying, my name is Shady Daze and I’m the older brother to Sunny Daze, whom you’ve already interviewed. There isn’t really much more to me, really. Both my parents and Miss Cheerilee say I’m a child prodigy and I guess I am a little smart, but really the only reason I do so well on tests is because I have photographic memory. I think I might be the only other pony in Ponyville, besides Miss Pinkie Pie, who has that. Anyway, a really good memory doesn’t always equal genius. I once memorized an entire tome on advanced earth pony magic and I still have trouble understanding it. And sometimes when I’m taking a test I feel like I’m cheating, but if were to tell Miss Cheerilee ‘I cheated because I copied everything from memory’ then that would make me seem like an idiot. I mainly play the smart know-it-all pony because that’s what everypony expects me to do. That's not to say that I'm an idiot. On the contrary, I'm a huge supporter of science, and I like things to be proven to me for me to believe it. If I’m so gifted then why don’t I have my cutie mark? Everypony asks that. I usually tell them it’s because I’m just not in a hurry to get it, but the truth is I’m actually scared of getting a cutie mark. Yeah, I know, a pony who’s afraid of getting his cutie mark. Ridiculous, isn’t it? But the thing is I don’t like the idea of a mark that’s supposed to decide my destiny. But you guys don’t want to hear about that, you want to know what happened to me during the day of chaos, don’t you?
****
I was sleeping in late like I usually do, when all of a sudden I heard my sister scream. I bolted up to see what was going on, and when I trotted outside I saw my sister running from some sort of death ray or something like that. Then I saw the rest of Ponyville, and I couldn’t believe my eyes. I won’t bore you with the details since you probably already heard others talk about it or perhaps experienced it yourselves. Then I noticed my mom watering her cacti as if nothing was happening.

“Mom?” I asked, “What’s going on?”

“Oh, it’s nothing, dear.” she said in a voice that obviously wasn’t hers. Then she turned around and when I saw her face my blood ran cold. She had two mismatched yellow eyes and a single fang on one side of her face. “It’s just the beginning of my reign of chaos.” the creature, who obviously wasn’t my mother, said.

“Who are you? What have you done with my mom?” I asked the thing in front of me.

“Oh, she’s around.” he said as he brought out a basketball with my mother’s face on it, and started dribbling it with his or rather my mom’s hoof.

I was horrified by this, and tried to focus my attention elsewhere. I looked at all the chaos that Ponyville was in. “Why are you doing this?” I asked him, “It isn’t right.”

“It isn’t right?” the chaos monster mocked me, “You ponies are always so obsessed with morals. Tell me, what would you say if I told you that the only reason ponies do good is because they have an innate fear of going to Pony Hell where they will be endlessly tortured by my father?”

“I would say that’s a ridiculous notion. I don’t believe in a Pony Hell or even a Pony Heaven for that matter. And I don't believe in any sort of god either, so long as we're on this subject.”

The chaos creature started laughing really hard at that, “You have got to be kidding me! You’re telling me that even though you live in a country that’s ruled by two goddesses that you don’t believe in a god?”

“If you’re talking about the princesses, then I admit they’re powerful and have been around for a long time but I don’t believe that they’re goddesses.”

“So, tell me, if you don’t believe in a Pony Heaven or Pony Hell, then why do you do good? Without any fear of eternal damnation you should be able to commit whatever atrocities you please.”

“Because of one reason.Just because I don’t believe in an afterlife doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t do good. As far as I’m concerned, we’re all alone on this planet and we need to look after one another during our brief time we still have with one another.” Okay, I confess that I copied that last sentence from a book I read, but I still meant it.

“Kid, you’re sounding like a public service announcement. So, do you plan on trying to help other ponies get through their trauma or something stupid like that?”

I looked around again and gave him my answer, “Yes”.

“Sorry, not going to happen.” he said as he tapped me on the head and his eyes became swirls.

The next thing I knew I was completely blind. Now, before I go on, I think I should mention something called blindsight.  Blindsight is when the brain is incapable of processing visual information, resulting in people who are technically still able to see but don‘t realize it. The reason I bring it up is because I didn’t have blind sight, I was in total darkness. However, I knew I had to get away from the thing in front of me so I started running in a random direction. It was about then that my photographic memory started working against me. You see, even though I couldn’t see, I could still hear everything. And all those voices became stuck in my head, and started to mix in with my own thoughts. I was beginning to forget who I was! Was I some mare with a propeller hat flying around admiring the chaos or was I a filly running from a beam of light that was trying to kill me? No, that’s my sister, not me! Come on, Shady, get a hold of yourself! Suddenly I found myself hitting something really hard and I lost consciousness.
****
I couldn't tell where I was. I could see my hooves in front of my face, but I couldn't see anything else. All of a sudden I heard a voice speak.

  “Shady Daze, a cutie mark is nothing to be afraid of. cutie marks don’t decide one’s destiny. It is a guideline to help you choose what your path will be, but it does not choose that path for you. You need to decide for yourself what you want to be.”
 "What?" I said, looking up to see an earth pony mare with a red coat and blonde mane with five sunglasses as her cutie mark.

"I was telling you that a cutie mark isn't something to be afraid of." she answered, "I'm sorry, I guess I should have introduced myself first. I'm Shady."

"Oh well,thanks, I guess. Wait a minute, how can you be Shady? I'm Shady."

"It's not impossible for two ponies to share the same name. Besides, I lived and died centuries before you were born."

"You died? Does that mean you're a ghost?"

"I guess you could say that. Right now, we're in a sort of in-between zone between the living world and Pony Heaven. Not that you'd believe that, of course."

"You're right, I don't believe you. No offense, of course."

"That's all right. I'm not here to force you to believe in anything."

"So, you're name is also Shady and you lived centuries ago? Are you my ancestor or something?"

"There does seem to be a precedent for ponies sharing names with their ancestors, but I can assure you that we aren't related. Our identical names seem to just be a coincidence."

"So, why am I here? I'm not dead, am I?"

"No, you're merely unconscious. You hit that brick wall pretty hard. You're here because we share a lot more than just a name.

"Like what?"

"Well, there's the fact that you kind of have a low self-esteem, no offense. I was also like that when I was younger. I had a confidence issue a mile long, if not longer. Then there's your love of science; I don't mean to brag, but I've dabbled in alchemy a few times, so I can understand your interest in the subject."

"So, basically you wanted to teach me that I'm not alone and that I should do something about my self-esteem issue? Not that I'm not grateful, but was now really the best time? There's a chaos monster running around in Ponyville.

"Don't worry, time has no meaning in this place. And I'm sorry for the trouble my son has been causing. I swear, he used to be much sweeter in his youth."

My mouth dropped open, "Son? That thing is your son!? What, did you sleep with Grogar or something!?"

"How rude. Also, I'm surprised you know who Grogar is."

"Of course, I know who he is. I've read a whole bunch of mythology books with him in it."

"Mythology? I can assure you that Grogar is quite real, and for your sake I hope you're not around when he finally breaks free of his other dimensional prison."

"Is that liable to happen?"

"Yes, but I'm not sure when. I've honestly lost track of time in this place. Anyway, it looks like it's almost time for you to go. Just remember what I said about getting your cutie mark."

"I'll try to, but I'm still a little nervous about it. Don't cutie marks just kind of tie you down? I don't like the idea of being told by anything what to do in life."

"Okay, you obviously weren't paying attention. I was telling you that cutie marks are guidelines for what to do with your life. They don't dictate every waking moment of it. Anyway, looks like you're about to go. Bye Shady, it was nice meeting you."

"Wait, already? But..." Before I could finish, I found myself fading away.
****

“Shady! Shady, wake up!”

I woke up to find my mom shaking me, “huh?”

My mom hugged me as soon as she saw that I was awake, “I’m so glad your safe.” I looked at her and saw that she was crying.

“I’m sorry I worried you, mom.” I said as I hugged her back.

As for everything after that, well I pretty much dismissed the other Shady as a hallucination. I mean, she had to be. Come on, a ghost mare who just so happens to share my name? But I still took her words to heart. Especially what she said about cutie marks. I’m no longer afraid of getting one, but I still want to wait. As a blank flank I still have a lot of choice in what I want to be someday. I did go see a therapist, but I wasn’t as bad a case as other ponies. I saw Sunny and Peachy become friends again and that made me happy. I was briefly a typist for the Foalfree Express While Diamond Tiara was the editor. But then it was found out that she was abusing her power, and Feather Weight became the new editor in her place. I took over Feather Weight's old job of photographer. I've actually been enjoying myself. This was, of course, before Diamond Tiara mysteriously disappeared. Then there was the thing with Princess Gaia. I was home looking after my sick sister at the time. Then I heard strange singing, and found myself in a strange fantasy world where I was a respected reporter. I suppose I don’t blame Fluttershy for the incident, but I don’t feel like thanking her either. And that’s basically everything. Well, everything you’d be interested in anyway.
Finally the third part of the trilogy that no one knew I was trying to do is here! It took me a while for me to decide I wanted to write it. Hope you enjoy. The trilogy is based on the id, ego, and superego. Shady Daze represents the superego.

First part: Peachy Pie ([link])

Second part: Sunny Daze ([link])

Character Bio: I feel like I should explain Shady Daze's character. The reason why Shady Daze seems so bland is because he doesn't feel motivated by anything. he feels like his memory has more of a say in his actions then he himself does. The reason he doesn't believe in an afterlife or any sort of deity is because he has trouble believing in something that can't be physically proven. This isn't to say that he's amoral. On the contrary, he's aware that his belief (or lack thereof) is looked down on upon by others in a negative light, so he tries to as much good as possible. He does care about others (particularly his mom and sister), but has trouble showing how he feels. During the day of chaos, Discord used irony on him by taking his perceived lack of identity and caused him to have an identity crisis. After the day of chaos he gained an interest in journalism. The reason he doesn't have a journalism cutie mark is because he's still not sure if that's what he wants to be. At some point in his future (or a potential future anyway) he will be a successful reporter and married to Peachy Pie.

Edit:If anyone is offended by anything in this story, please let me know and I'll see what I can do to change it.

Edit 2:I became uncomfortable with some stuff in the story, so I changed it. The scene with the voice was originally a full on conversation with The Father of All Alicorns, but I ended up contradicting myself in some of his lines and it became too much of a theological debate. As for who the voice is; I'm going to leave it intentionally vague.

Edit 3:I decided to take out the line where Shady identifies as an atheist. I originally wrote it because I wanted to use the character to express my own beliefs (I'm an atheist), but i realized how stupid the idea of an atheist in this world would be.
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2013
 tortured by my father?”

tortured by My Father?”

“You have got to be kidding me! You’re telling me that even though you live in a country that’s ruled by two goddesses that you don’t believe in a god?”

The fact that he's talking with one also likely makes it funnier to Discord. IT's such nonsense that he's totally delighted.

Celestia, "You think of gods as queen of the ocean, or of rocks, or care taker of every flower or fire in the world . . . or just a fantasy invented by minds who can't grasp why something does or doesn't matter."

Just because I don’t believe in an afterlife doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t do good.

Ironically Sane Reality would be DELIGHTED to hear that what he's offering isn't what is motivating a pony into doing his will.

Discord isn't the type to do his tortures without SOME sense of irony or preying on their weak point or flaws. He only skipped right to the zapping with Blueblood because he got bored fast.

A cutie mark, a reflection of the soul, (which is why ponies who got insane like Screwball have their cutie mark TWISTED into something else in the Pony POV-Verse, their self image has become completely twisted! This is also why Nightmares' cutie marks have the colors inverted, since they are the 'reverse tarot' of that pony's inner self.)

more than just a name.
more than just a name."

And this ironically makes sense since Luna saw no reason to correct Zecora on reincarnation if it encouraged Zecora to live a good life.


"Yes, but I'm not sure when.

Happens every 500 years.

Thankfully those in the know are normally able to prepare a welcoming committee for him.

So I guess the little blue colt who flashes Diamond Tiara in the face at the end is Shady Daze? www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9CO_z...
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:iconsherlock-holmes18:
Sherlock-Holmes18 Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2013
"The fact that he's talking with one also likely makes it funnier to Discord. IT's such nonsense that he's totally delighted."

That's what I was going for.

"Ironically Sane Reality would be DELIGHTED to hear that what he's offering isn't what is motivating a pony into doing his will."

Well then, it looks like Shady Daze has nothing to worry about.

"Discord isn't the type to do his tortures without SOME sense of irony or preying on their weak point or flaws. He only skipped right to the zapping with Blueblood because he got bored fast."

There is a reason for his torture on Shady Daze. Shady Daze is afraid of the idea of losing his identity, and Discord nearly made this happen by the simple act of making him blind.

"A cutie mark, a reflection of the soul, (which is why ponies who got insane like Screwball have their cutie mark TWISTED into something else in the Pony POV-Verse, their self image has become completely twisted! This is also why Nightmares' cutie marks have the colors inverted, since they are the 'reverse tarot' of that pony's inner self.) "

That's what I was trying to go for, but I'm not sure I did a good enough job. I might go back and do some edits to Shady and Shady Daze's conversation.


"So I guess the little blue colt who flashes Diamond Tiara in the face at the end is Shady Daze?"

Yes, that's him.
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2013
I'd say he's on Nightmare Diamond Tiara's list now . . .except Discord so thoroughly gutted her soul that Entropy might have more emotions than her now.  
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:iconsherlock-holmes18:
Sherlock-Holmes18 Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2013
Yeah, I'm sure Shady Daze is the least of her problems now.
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2013
"But the thing is I don’t like the idea of a mark that’s supposed to decide my destiny."

Sounds like the incomplete logic Discord used to crush Diamond Tiara. 
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:iconsherlock-holmes18:
Sherlock-Holmes18 Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2013
Well, it should be noted that as smart as he is, Shady Daze is still just a kid. His logic isn't guaranteed to be perfect.
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2013
Okay. :-)
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:iconitsfrompeople:
ItsfromPeople Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2013
Interesting that despite being a supporter of science and knowledge, it didn't turn out to become his cutie mark. I guess his fear of concentrating on one thing prevented him from getting a science-related cutie mark.

The funny thing is that I could actually understand atheists existing in this world. After all the Alicorns don't overuse their godly status, don't create religions to worship them and most mortals would hardly believe that a god would be satisfied with ruling one mere nation. The Alicorns (and also the Draconequui) act so different from what most mortals expect from a god, that it isn't that shocking that many are not able to recognise them as devine entities.

"Because of one reasons.Just because I don’t believe in an afterlife doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t do good." should be "Because of one reason. Just because I don’t believe in an afterlife doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t do good."

"As for everything after that, well I pretty much dismissed the voiceas a hallucination." should be "As for everything after that, well I pretty much dismissed the voice as a hallucination."
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:iconsherlock-holmes18:
Sherlock-Holmes18 Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2013
"Interesting that despite being a supporter of science and knowledge, it didn't turn out to become his cutie mark."

I'm a supporter of science too, but I suck at it.

"The funny thing is that I could actually understand atheists existing in this world. After all the Alicorns don't overuse their godly status, don't create religions to worship them and most mortals would hardly believe that a god would be satisfied with ruling one mere nation. The Alicorns (and also the Draconequui) act so different from what most mortals expect from a god, that it isn't that shocking that many are not able to recognise them as devine entities."

That was the main reason I originally had him say he was an atheist, but then I became unsure of myself if whether or not it would make sense for atheism to exist in this world or not.
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:iconitsfrompeople:
ItsfromPeople Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2013
"I'm a supporter of science too, but I suck at it."

Maybe Shady could have gotten a sciene lobbyist cutie mark? Or something to show the talent to stand up for an idea?

"That was the main reason I originally had him say he was an atheist, but then I became unsure of myself if whether or not it would make sense for atheism to exist in this world or not."

I think not believing in magic doesn't make any sense since evidence is everywhere but in a world where the weather itself is made by mortals, a pony guiding the sun and moon doesn't seem that strange.
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:iconsherlock-holmes18:
Sherlock-Holmes18 Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2013
"Maybe Shady could have gotten a sciene lobbyist cutie mark? Or something to show the talent to stand up for an idea?"

To once again use myself as an example (sorry, not trying to be an egotist here), I support science but I'm much more interested in being a writer. Shady Daze is meant to be the same way, he supports reasoning but has found that he enjoys journalism.

"I think not believing in magic doesn't make any sense since evidence is everywhere but in a world where the weather itself is made by mortals, a pony guiding the sun and moon doesn't seem that strange."

It's not that he doesn't believe in magic, it's that he doesn't believe in any sort of god or deity. The princesses, to him, are just really powerful ponies who have been using some kind of magic to keep themselves alive for over 1000's of years.
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:iconitsfrompeople:
ItsfromPeople Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2013
"To once again use myself as an example (sorry, not trying to be an egotist here), I support science but I'm much more interested in being a writer. Shady Daze is meant to be the same way, he supports reasoning but has found that he enjoys journalism."

I think in a way journalism and science often share the aspect of searching for truth and new facts. Well at least that is how it should be. So Shady could still use scientific thinking while pursuing journalism.

"It's not that he doesn't believe in magic, it's that he doesn't believe in any sort of god or deity. The princesses, to him, are just really powerful ponies who have been using some kind of magic to keep themselves alive for over 1000's of years."

That is what I meant to say, I think I wasn’t clear enough. To believe in magic is not the same as believing in a deity. There are a many stories where magic exists without gods. Since all the special things Celestia, Luna and Cadence do could be explained with "normal" magic, him being an atheist is not that strange.
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2013
Starlight's 'trial' (done because her soul was in conflict) suggests neither Havoc nor Sane Reality care THAT much if the ponies acknowledges their existence itself and judge them based on their own actions.
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:iconsherlock-holmes18:
Sherlock-Holmes18 Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2013
I'll try to see if I can re-write the conversation with Sane Reality.
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2013
(Interviewer's notes: (Earth Pony) Silly pony, in this universe a cutie mark is a REFLECTION of you. If you don't have a cutie mark-)

(Interviewer's notes: (Earth Pony): It means there is nothing inside, or that you don't have enough Ego to have a self image, or don't have a goal or calling in life. This is why insane ponies like poor Golden Tiara and poor 'Barking Mad''s cutie marks twisted into something new from their originals. Their Egos were so damaged their cutie marks changed to reflect that.)
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:iconsherlock-holmes18:
Sherlock-Holmes18 Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2013
This is pretty much what I was going for with Shady Daze.
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:iconkendell2:
Kendell2 Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2013
I can agree with editing out that he calls himself an atheist and the rational for it (hard to not believe in Gods when your country is a world of magical ponies), though he does pretty much outright say it talking to Discord.

Going off that, I really have no problem that, though, since everyone has their own beliefs and I think it's logical some would have none. I am a Christian, but I still respect you're an atheist. I like his conversation with Discord and it makes sense. Don't change that, it still works.

On that note, I do agree with the one who mentioned the surprise waiting for him when he actually dies, but I personally think if he was a morally good person (he certainly appears to be one), he'd still get into Pony Heaven. I think the Father cares more about your deeds than your beliefs. Though, naturally, that would lead to an interesting situation when Pony God tells him he's earned a spot in an afterlife he doesn't believe existed.
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:iconsherlock-holmes18:
Sherlock-Holmes18 Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2013
"I can agree with editing out that he calls himself an atheist and the rational for it (hard to not believe in Gods when your country is a world of magical ponies), though he does pretty much outright say it talking to Discord."

The reason I originally had him as an atheist was because 1)I thought it would be nice bit of irony, and 2)I felt like it fit his character.

"I am a Christian, but I still respect you're an atheist."

Thank you, and I respect that you're a Christian.

Hopefully the next two stories I have planned for this series won't be as controversial with some people.
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:iconkendell2:
Kendell2 Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2013
I can understand that pretty well.

I'm glad you share my respect.

As do I.
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:iconsherlock-holmes18:
Sherlock-Holmes18 Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2013
"I'm glad you share my respect."

Besides me and my brother, most of my family is Christian, so for me to say that I hate Christians is like saying I hate most of my family, which I don't.

"As do I."

One of the stories I have planned has kind of a depressing ending, but I haven't started writing it yet so I might change it.
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:iconkendell2:
Kendell2 Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2013
Ah, I see. Well, that's a good way to think about it.

That's up to you, you're the author.
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:iconoraclemask:
OracleMask Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
...Actually, I'm going to have to say that I like the idea of Shady being an atheist. In this setting, it really is an interesting and unique viewpoint. 'Just because we see Celestia move the sun doesn't mean she IS the sun' is a reasonable thought. It's not Shady's fault that he doesn't know about Concepts, Alicorns, and Draconequi.

The only downside to his being an atheist, since there really are physical gods here, is that us readers can't help but thing 'oh boy, Shady's in for a big surprise when he dies!', which is a little off-putting. No one wants to read about a likable character acting - as they see it - ignorant. And Shady IS a likable character.

You could get into a bigger discussion on the differences between a physical god and a omnipotent god of morals, maybe...even the Father Of All Alicorns, despite being Pony Heaven, is more the former than the latter. He, Fauna Luster, Entropy, and Havoc don't really have anything to do with morals, aside from providing an environment that creates moral thoughts and showing the consequences for choices made according to those morals. Clearly they LIKE the existence of morals, but they don't MAKE them or even USE them.

Like this: Fauna Luster provides empathy. Empathy for others lets you develop a moral framework 'do this because it is nice to others, and you want them to be nice to you too' and visa versa. Acting against this framework results in going to Pony Hell i.e. Havoc, and acting with it results in Pony Heaven i.e. the Father. Having no empathy all...you might end up in Entropy's realm instead, perhaps? But none of them are the SOURCE of the morals.

However, getting all this down is a bit complicated and meaty, so it's understandable if you don't want to go this route after all.

The bit about Shady actually meeting the Father was a bit awkward, though...it was a little too, I dunno, fast and casual for such a powerful being. Especially when there are plenty of alicorns (or even draconequi) to visit Shady instead. Although the only draconequi I think would be interested would be Anarchy...freedom from belief is freedom too.

And the mention of the Westboro ponies was kind of distasteful. Not because they shouldn't exist in Equestria (although it's more likely they'd spring up in a less tolerate country than Equestria), but because you had the Father outright dismiss their chances of getting into Pony Heaven. That's really cold, especially considering what His Concept is.

So, to summarize: I think Shady as an atheist works as long as you present it right, and while the Father wasn't the best choice to visit him, his getting a visit like that isn't that bad. Those're my thoughts.
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:iconsherlock-holmes18:
Sherlock-Holmes18 Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2013
Thank you for your analysis. I'm still on the fence on whether or not I should make Shady an atheist. Also, the idea of him meeting Anarchy sounds like an interesting idea. And I apologize for the Westboro reference, although I would like to say that we already know that racists exist in this universe (Onyx Tiara being the primary example before he got over it).
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:iconoraclemask:
OracleMask Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you for your analysis

No problem. Over-thinking things is my favorite pastime. ^^

we already know that racists exist in this universe (Onyx Tiara being the primary example before he got over it)

I agree can with that, but the idea of an organization that's as public about it as the real Westboro lasting long in Equestria is a bit harder to swallow. And when you name-drop Westboro, the funeral protesting is sadly what comes to mind first. :/
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:iconsherlock-holmes18:
Sherlock-Holmes18 Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2013
Once again, I want to apologize for the Westboro reference. My only intention was to make fun of them.
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:iconoraclemask:
OracleMask Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Believe me, I have no issues with a noble goal such as that! ^^
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:iconlz0291:
LZ0291 Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
...Yeah, I think you've botched this one, hard. A death penalty? Serious theological debate? Implying dumbasses like Westboro exist here?

That's going to rub people the wrong way all around, I think. I know it annoyed me.
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:iconsherlock-holmes18:
Sherlock-Holmes18 Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2013
Death penalty's have been implied in other recursive fanfics and the main story (Ithink), but I can change it if others disagree with it. I don't think the theological debate was that bad, but I can tone it down if you have any suggestions on how to do it. It's not like I treated Westboro like a good thing.

I'm sorry that it annoyed you.Please let me know if you have any suggestions on any changes I could make.
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:iconlz0291:
LZ0291 Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Quite frankly, if Alexwarlorn were to authorise a death penalty in this setting I'd be surprised given that Rarity and Rainbow Dash merely having made a choice to kill if they had to was treated as a surprising event in-universe. He even wasn't so sure about a number of ideas I'd had for the Shining Armor arc, such as use of lethal force. Generally, the guard see it as such a last resort only-choice deal, that I really don't see the judiciary system ever having a reason to execute anyone. Also, no pony has killed another pony in centuries in Equestria.

My simplest suggestion to fixing the debate? Don't have it. Hallucination or not, the way this setting works it most likely isn't. And if you do have it? Don't attach it to this guy.

The interpretation I get of his character is that he doesn't seem to be capable of actually thinking for himself all that much. All he seems to do is memorise. I've no idea if you're an atheist yourself or not, but this guy comes across as something of a straw atheist to me. It all seems to come from left field, there doesn't seem to be any reason or indeed purpose in his atheism. Nothing indicates how he could have come to the belief there's no gods.

He also came dangerously close to a rapid conversion. The "god" he spoke to showed zero proof what he's saying is true - and if he was stressed out, he seems to have not been showing it that well. Dismissing it as a hallucination was a logical choice, indeed.

This guy just comes off as "dull surprise", and a bit lazy overall. He doesn't even seem all that convinced about anything, and he doesn't seem all that committed to atheism... a problem compounded by the fact he doesn't really seem to have much of a reason for atheism. Agnosticism is perhaps more understandable to him, but again in his case he's not seeming to present much of an argument for it.

There's also a problem that you seem a bit contradictory. On one hand you're seemingly saying that you don't need religious guidance to have morality, and yet...
"Your Disbelief Of An Afterlife Or A Deity, But Continued Desire To Be A Good Pony Makes You Very Unique"
There goes an apparent god claiming otherwise. It may be a hallucination, but it probably isn't. Meaning that you're implying a classic error.

(Also, you can't really have very unique. It's either unique or it isn't.)

And on the Westboro pastiche, well:
"Believe Me, Those Idiots Are Definitely Scheduled For Pony Hell."
Problem: they believe otherwise. What the hallucination says seems to imply that your belief defines the afterlife...

Having something like westboro mentioned, portrayed good or bad, is still something that's sketchy. Implying a group with their style of beliefs exists and is well known enough to be mentioned by a colt, well, that's just one of those things that starts raising a lot of questions. What on earth do they possibly even believe, for starters? Celestia hates fags? Celestia hates Equestria?

Subjects like this often have to be taken seriously to some degree, both in presentation and in interpretation. And I'm sorry, but you don't seem to have taken it seriously enough. This is a complex matter, and in this setting, it's a matter that would be immensely complicated by in-universe matters. It certainly is far too complex to be presented like this IMO.

And the biggest issue I have is that this is literally a subject that people can't always pin down why it feels right or wrong on. Many people feel they know their own faith or lack thereof, and feel their reasons to be just, yet others cannot comprehend those causes, and those causes can be in direct contradiction to what makes another believe in their stance. Take the very nature of faith itself. For some, it's nothing more than "just knowing" one way or the other that God or gods do or do not exist. For others, that's not enough.

In short? Either go a lot more cautiously, or don't even go there at all. And I'm sorry, but think the latter is probably for the best.
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:iconsherlock-holmes18:
Sherlock-Holmes18 Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2013
I thought you might like to know that I edited out the line where Shady Daze says he's an atheist. I realized that atheism just doesn't work in this world.
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LZ0291 Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Alright. Atheism can still exist though, but here it seems more like agnostics, ignostics, apatheists, and other forms of irreligious <a href="[link]"Nay Theist may be more likely.

Plus, to be honest, I don't reckon most gods actually supply proof they're gods in this setting, not to mortals at least. Almost nothing they can do cannot be deemed sufficiently powerful mortal magic. Something of an ignostic or apatheistic approach could be easily justified: Discord says he's a god, but he could just be a very powerful being. What's the definition of god anyway, immortal? From mortal perspective it cannot be made to make sense, or has no relevance.

That's part of why I'm atheist myself. Too little in the concept of God makes sense to me. Too many handwaves and excuses because they don't actually have answers to problems in the theology.
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:iconsherlock-holmes18:
Sherlock-Holmes18 Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2013
Like, I said; the reason I made him an atheist was to reflect my own beliefs, but it ended up not being how I wanted it.
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:iconsherlock-holmes18:
Sherlock-Holmes18 Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2013
Alright, I changed it. I took out the scene with The Father of All Alicorns (although now I have to figure out who the mysterious voice is) and I edited out the line about a death sentence.
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:iconsherlock-holmes18:
Sherlock-Holmes18 Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2013
Thanks for your opinion. I guess I can cut out the scene with him meeting the father of all alicorns. And also, I am an atheist, so it's ironic that Shady Daze came across as a straw atheist. And once again, I'm sorry, I just wanted to use the character to show some of my own beliefs.
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