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I mean gods that are truly evil, not ones who are reflecting the social norms of the era they were worshiped in. (Zeus for example, he wasn't evil, his actions were seen as acceptable and normal at the time.)

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    Apart from the obvious answer that all gods ard evil because they promote hatred towards non-believers, this is a list question.
    – Chenmunka
    Mar 10, 2023 at 13:18

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In Zoroastrianism, the Angra Mainyu could be seen as an evil god.

Angra Mainyu...is the Avestan-language name of Zoroastrianism's hypostasis of the "destructive/evil spirit" and the main adversary in Zoroastrianism either of the Spenta Mainyu, the "holy/creative spirits/mentality", or directly of Ahura Mazda, the highest deity of Zoroastrianism. The Middle Persian equivalent is Ahriman.

I don't love Wikipedia's description, but it gets across the heart of the matter.

Also note that daevas are a whole host of malevolent gods. Interestingly, the evil daevas of Zoroastrianism battle Ahura, meanwhile the good devi in Hinduism battle the "less good" asuras. My contention, which I sadly never followed up on when I could have, is that this reflects actual hostility between India and Persia 3000+ years ago.

However, the devi in Hinduism aren't really evil, especially in early Hinduism. Some texts do treat them as totally corrupt though.

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  • I thought the daeva are a race of shadow demons in Zoroastrianism, not gods. I could be mistaken though
    – Orionixe
    Mar 10, 2023 at 5:37
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    You'll have to define "god" and define what separates "gods" from "demons". At some point you'll run up against arbitrary distinctions.
    – cmw
    Mar 10, 2023 at 5:38
  • I would define god as divine higher beings that have power over natural and human concepts. Demons (as not in the Abrahamic sense) I would define as evil spirits that are powerless compared to gods and often act as their servants/enforcers or spends time preying humans on earth
    – Orionixe
    Mar 10, 2023 at 5:45
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    @Orionixe Daevas definitely fall into the former category. First, etymologically, the word comes from the PIE root that means "god". Wikipedia notes that the Gathas literally calls them "gods to be rejected." Zoroastrianism is often understood as a dualistic religion in which two equal sets of gods fight each other, although getting a proper chronology for this can be tricky.
    – cmw
    Mar 10, 2023 at 6:11

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