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Renaissance Marine
05-11-2007, 05:11
Who did Humans worship before the Emperor came along? Did Humans even have Gods? Why are there chaos gods but no counter balance to them? The Eldar have Gods, did the Eldar create their own gods just like they created the chaos gods? Do good gods exist and they just aren't showing up for the party? Is the really powerful, but half dead psychic really all that Humanity has on it's side?

kris.sherriff
05-11-2007, 05:17
Humans before the Emperor worshiped lots of different gods on lots of different planets.
Some worshiped the chaos gods, some who had contact with the Eldar probably worshiped the eldar gods. Some worshiped Daemons as god some may have even worshiped some of the gods we worship today.

Thankfully the Emperor in his infinite wisdom brought illumination to mankind with the imperial truth and put an end to all such nonsense in the name of peace.
Of course the fact that he did this with a fething huge Bolter in no way diminished the fact that it was all in aid of peace and the betterment of mankind.

Kris

Champsguy
05-11-2007, 05:18
Nope. Humans never had gods before the Emperor came along. From the dawn of time, they were complete atheists. :rolleyes:

sabreu
05-11-2007, 05:20
A.) Any gods of today are forgotten by/around/at the onset of the Emperor's great crusade.

B.) There are many warp entities that have existed, and do exist, dependant on race. Gork and Mork exist in the warp for Orks, the Four Chaos gods feed off many races including humans, the Eldar's war god Khaine is still semi-present (and they had a whole pantheon that have been killed), not to mention their Laughing God who is very much alive and present in 40k (reference Harlequins).

C.) Some believe the Emperor is either becoming or has become a warp god to counter balance the Four Chaos powers. Also, the Eldar are actively working or plotting on creating a new Eldarin God, Ynnead, who if/when born will be the direct counterthesis to Slaanesh, though the means to this goal are pyrhic under one school of thought or will herald a new age for the Eldar by another.

D.) Dunno if the Emperor is the only helpful god/psyker for humanity as a whole, but with the multitude of supporting fluff it looks like it.

Hope that helps!

Renaissance Marine
05-11-2007, 05:29
It just seemsto me that there would have been some kind of counter balnace to the Chaos Gods that kept them in check. After all, my understanding is that the the CGs didn't have much of a presence until they got the jealousy/concern thing going with the Emperor's machincations with the primarchs. They were lulled by something during the time where Humans went out into the stars and actually created new technology instead of just scrapping togehter the old stuff. Otherwisethey would have come through much sooner.

sabreu
05-11-2007, 05:31
If you consider Tzeentch for a moment, it can make perfect sense their is no clear cut counter measure for the gods. He manipulates his own rise-and fail. And in this, he also keeps the others in check, because if the Chaos gods become all encomposing, he would by forfeit rise, and so he would have to keep himself, and the others, in check. Did that make sense :p

kris.sherriff
05-11-2007, 05:39
Chaos is in its very nature self-destructive.
It does not need something to keep it in check as the 4 grater powers do a good enough job of keeping each other down as it is.
Only when order was on the verge of being imposed upon the galaxy did they realise what that would mean for chaos and united against the Emperor.

Kris

Hellebore
05-11-2007, 06:11
And the thing about reality is that there is NO cosmic balance between 'good' and 'bad', and 40k is very much grounded in this.

Hellebore

Renaissance Marine
05-11-2007, 06:47
It just seems to me that there is a decided lack of "Good" gods, but 4 Chaos Gods. Maybe it is I just don't see the Emperor as a God, but more as a very powerful psychic. And, if this were true, then there is no gods for humanity outside of the chaos gods. Theological discussion really set in a fantasy universe, but I always seem to question Why are the "Good" gods decidedly absent. I think about this as the Warp is often charaterized like one would the idea of Hell, butthe thing is that the Warp is where the other gods lived. The eldar gods were destroyed by the Chaos Gods (Except Khaine and the Laughing God) in the warp, which, by estimation (and conjecture), would lead me to believe there would be more "Gods" in there.

mistformsquirrel
05-11-2007, 06:55
I think one thing you're missing here is simple:

The Chaos Gods are not *EVIL*. They are encompass all possibilities - Love, Hope, Honor, Resiliency in the face of suffering... They also encompass Rage, Lust, Despair, and Guile. And everything else.

What this means - is that while we usually see in 40k, the "evil" side of Chaos, it is because we are seeing it through the lens of the Imperium *and* the focal point is always the Chaos Space Marines. Chaos Marines are just that - Space Marines; What are Marines? Living breathing death machines. A Chaos Marine is a 10,000 year old homocidal maniac with a vendetta miles long with a certain guy on a certain golden throne.

That's before you add Chaos into the mix.

There's nothing however, that says Chaos cultists are always evil, always predatory, always destructive - its portrayed that way since we see the militant side of Chaos more than anything else; and because we're watching most often from the Imperium's view.

The aspects of the gods we see are also very narrow compared to what they really encompass. Nurgle isn't just "Plague plague everywhere all the time!" - Nurgle is decay, resistance to change, and bearing up under harsh circumstances. A person turning to Nurgle does not necessarily become a bloated blighted mess. I'm even fairly sure I've read in places that Nurgle is, on some primitive worlds, turned to as a protect deity, who removes sicknesses from people. I'd have to find that particular quote however.

And that's just one god.

So I guess what I'm saying is - there don't need to be "good" gods, because there aren't necessarily "evil" gods - there are merely Chaos gods; who encompass vast spheres of human emotion.

And also remember - that because they are Chaotic, they intrinsically contradict themselves regularly. A perfect example would be Tzeentch - Tzeentch plots *endlessly* - with no goal other than plotting; sometimes he even plots to defeat himself just so he can go on plotting! <o.<> Ya see what I'm getting at?

>.< So yah

Hellebore
05-11-2007, 07:29
The Davinites were not overtly destructive and yet still worshipped the chaos gods.

The BL novel Pawns of Chaos has a backwater planet with people who worship an aspect of Tzeentch I think it is, and aren't super destructive.

The thing is we only ever see what are effectively religious crusades by extreme zealots - you 'average' chaos worshipper isn't a xenocidal maniac.

Hellebore

Quentin
05-11-2007, 10:16
Before newly discovered human planets are incorporated into the Imperial Creed, there is usually a dominant religion in place, which the Ecclesiarchy tends to assimilate and twist until the Emperor of Mankind is the object of worship.

However, there is no universal interpretation of the Imperial Creed besides the Emperor's place as the dominant diety, so there are as many variations of Emperor worship as there are worlds.

The Roman Empire is famous for using such methods.

Brother Siccarius
05-11-2007, 15:30
Before newly discovered human planets are incorporated into the Imperial Creed, there is usually a dominant religion in place, which the Ecclesiarchy tends to assimilate and twist until the Emperor of Mankind is the object of worship.

However, there is no universal interpretation of the Imperial Creed besides the Emperor's place as the dominant diety, so there are as many variations of Emperor worship as there are worlds.

The Roman Empire is famous for using such methods.

Actually thats...quite far from true. The Imperial Creed includes no gods, it's the creed used by the Emperor and was actually made to remove all gods in a culture, not supplant them. When the Emperor began his crusade he began by removing the religious aspects of human nature from the places he conquered. Except for Mars (probably because he had some inkling that the Machine God didn't have a warp manifestation). The Ecclesiarchy didn't really come around until some time after the Emperor already was placed on the golden throne, and hence, didn't really have any role in settling the majority of worlds or shaping their religious values until well after they were removed.

There were gods on other worlds and cultures before the Emperor forcibly removed their religious idols from the culture. As has been mentioned before, it was most likely the chaos gods or some various aspect of them that was worshiped. After all, with the galaxy crumbling around you, what better god to worship than a chaos god?

Renaissance Marine
05-11-2007, 15:56
Hmm...Interesting. A godless emperor that defends humanity and then a series of other people go and wrap it up in Dogma... Nice, Space Catholics.

Anyway, I ask all this because I see the potential for a renaissance period coming in the future. The idea that the dogmatic and spiritual nature of all this is going to get to somebody and they are going to want to figure out the science in all of it. They are going to want to discover and create new technolgies, or at least figure out the way the old technolgies worked. The Techpreists seem to be more and more focused on the spirit that they lost more "how-to" then they have gained.

The imperium is ready for a Davinci or Galileo.

(How many SoB can dance on the head of a pin?)

sabreu
05-11-2007, 16:27
Actually thats...quite far from true. The Imperial Creed includes no gods, it's the creed used by the Emperor and was actually made to remove all gods in a culture, not supplant them. When the Emperor began his crusade he began by removing the religious aspects of human nature from the places he conquered. Except for Mars (probably because he had some inkling that the Machine God didn't have a warp manifestation). The Ecclesiarchy didn't really come around until some time after the Emperor already was placed on the golden throne, and hence, didn't really have any role in settling the majority of worlds or shaping their religious values until well after they were removed.

There were gods on other worlds and cultures before the Emperor forcibly removed their religious idols from the culture. As has been mentioned before, it was most likely the chaos gods or some various aspect of them that was worshiped. After all, with the galaxy crumbling around you, what better god to worship than a chaos god?

Except of course, that whole Imperial cult that Lorgar started during the Crusade, which would sew the seeds of belief for the Ecclesiarchy!

GR_Zombie
05-11-2007, 17:32
Actually thats...quite far from true. The Imperial Creed includes no gods, it's the creed used by the Emperor and was actually made to remove all gods in a culture, not supplant them.

Actually that would be the Imperial Truth, The Imperial Creed is the whole Emperor as God blah blah blah.

Alessander
05-11-2007, 18:21
In the Ragnar novel where he's stationed on Terra, he goes into the complex "underworld" beneath Terra of layers and layers of ruined cities (Terra is basically one massive hive). He finds a temple of sorts and is surprised to see depictions of angels that are not Sanguinius. Doesn't say how old the "church" though.

Brother Siccarius
05-11-2007, 18:56
Except of course, that whole Imperial cult that Lorgar started during the Crusade, which would sew the seeds of belief for the Ecclesiarchy!

Which was quickly bashed down by the Emperor because he didn't want worshipers. Which led to them turning their attention to other deities (chaos), which then led to the Horus Heresy. The Ecclisiarchy actually had other beginnings than Lorgar's belief as is chronicled in the Horus Heresy books. It had it's beginnings at the seat of the Emperor's power on Terra, and it's first saint in the Crusade.

I think Nietzsche wrote the Emperor's feelings best:
"Companions, the creator seeks, not corpses, not herds and believers. Fellow creators, the creator seeks -- those who write new values on new tablets. Companions, the creator seeks, and fellow harvesters; for everything about him is ripe for the harvest."
Then again, it's wholly possible (and quite probable) that the Emperor was Nietzsche.

sabreu
05-11-2007, 19:00
Yes yes. However, across the conquered lands, the seed which would allow the ecclesiarchy was sown by Lorgar. If he had started making those cult of the emperor, there may have been hope for the true imperial creed to hold out. (Irregardless of what happened to Lorgar and the Word Bearer's, the die was cast and the damage done). Or in other words...there were plenty of readily available fanbase by the time the ecclesiarchy became readily available to the public!

Kage2020
05-11-2007, 23:32
And the thing about reality is that there is NO cosmic balance between 'good' and 'bad', and 40k is very much grounded in this.
Except when it's not, of course, which is quite frequently. Well, at least when seen from the perspective of the people doing the describing... :D

Kage

Rodman49
06-11-2007, 07:37
I think Nietzsche wrote the Emperor's feelings best:
"Companions, the creator seeks, not corpses, not herds and believers. Fellow creators, the creator seeks -- those who write new values on new tablets. Companions, the creator seeks, and fellow harvesters; for everything about him is ripe for the harvest."
Then again, it's wholly possible (and quite probable) that the Emperor was Nietzsche.

http://www.lolcats.com/images/u/07/22/lolcatsdotcomii3o5tqyqzkqa4gb.jpg

Nietzsche was the freaking man. I like this conclusion.