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space_kitten
27-05-2008, 14:44
What exactly are they? Are they just old AIs that the Imperium ascribe supernatural powers to since they do not understand them, or are they actually spirits in the sense of souls?

How much of the machine cult is actually true, and how much is superstition? Has this actually been formally stated anywhere?

DapperAnarchist
27-05-2008, 15:38
They are various things - simple animalistic AI, old AI, something vaguely spiritual, metaphors...

Brother_Chaplian Raimo
27-05-2008, 19:09
The AdMech is actually quite capable, technologically- however, all that knowledge is buried under millennia of superstition, ritual, and religious dogma. The AdMech is quite capable of creating genuine, sentient AI, but prefer to stick with mind-wiped animal brain-matter as a basis for simple, nonsentient AI*. Machine Spirits are more prevalent than one would assume (I recall reading somewhere that even Asteres boltguns have a simple machine spirit), but truly advanced ones are rarer- represented by the "Machine Spirit" upgrade, where available.

*Of course, a certain Land Raider named Jack is a notable exception.

Emperor's Grace
27-05-2008, 19:18
Search Function?

This topic comes up a lot.

It generally boils down to personal opinion and mulitple possibilities.

Mechanicus
27-05-2008, 19:41
To add very quickly to the above - we don't know. In a galaxy of Gods, daemons and psychic powers, the machine cult is likely at least part true, and circumstantial evidence (Mettle and Execution Hour are prime examples) points to machine spirits existing in some form.

I find it likely that the core of the machine spirit is a catch-all term for the Mechanicus belief in a conscience to a machine. Some are supposedly blessed with data output (IE, the autopilot on the Land Raider, which seems to be similar to a computer program rather than AI; cogitators, Titans), others are not (Boltguns, etc, which I have my own, non-canon thoughts here (freewebs.com/mechanicus/adeptusmechanicus.htm)).

biggreengribbly
27-05-2008, 19:47
One thing I'm curious about, would be the interplay between the Machine Spirits, and the programming of the Legio Cybernetica Robots. I'm still trying to rack up whatever fluff for them exists, but considering it's age, I don't imagine it would be covered in any detail.

Faustburg
27-05-2008, 20:31
The Legio cybernetica and their Robots have been pushed out of the light and not mentioned since 3rd edition. Not that they were in any list during 2nd edition either, but they existed in the contemporary Epic rules at least, it wasn't until 3rd edition it was noted that there had been some kind of Butlerian Jihad in the Imperiums pre-history that had put a notion of "thou shalt not make machine in the image of man" kind of a deal...

The Raider articles threw a wrench in the definitions, calling the AI of the vehicle the "machine spirit", and it has muddied the waters since, but the machine spirits as imagined by the imperials do not exist, they are just how things are explained to work.

If you, in the real world, have your computer crashing or freezing up in front of you, you might get mad, but no matter how technically un-skilled you are, you know it is something wrong with the hard- or software, and it is nothing magical about it.

An Imperial logic engine operator would see the crash being caused not by that, but through him having angered the machine's spirit in some way.

Mechanicus
27-05-2008, 21:00
The Legio Cybernetica was not a free-thinking AI - it was pretty much just a computer program. The whole AI thing is about machines thinking for themselves - if they are incapable of it, then there is no problem with Imperial, and Mechanicus, law.

Your best bet for Legio Cybernetica background is still going to be the White Dwarf Compendium from 1989; I don't think anything has really been added since then. I can check anyway, but I can't think of anything.


The Raider articles threw a wrench in the definitions, calling the AI of the vehicle the "machine spirit", and it has muddied the waters since, but the machine spirits as imagined by the imperials do not exist, they are just how things are explained to work.

If you, in the real world, have your computer crashing or freezing up in front of you, you might get mad, but no matter how technically un-skilled you are, you know it is something wrong with the hard- or software, and it is nothing magical about it.

An Imperial logic engine operator would see the crash being caused not by that, but through him having angered the machine's spirit in some way.I don't think you can use examples from the real world. After all, does this mean you deny the existence of Chaos Gods, daemons and psychic powers in 40k just because there's no evidence of them in the real world?

PondaNagura
27-05-2008, 21:46
it's a catch-all as others have said, between genuine machine intelligence (AI), down into simple programs, machine presence (little computers used for simple tasks...like the biometrics in marine armor, or ammo counters), or just mechanical issues (nonstandard parts, mixing and matching incompatible parts).

basically everything has been ritualized over the last several millennia to ensure everything is remembered, common to a more precise oral traditions in storytelling (but in this case the story can't afford to change). like some techniques to improve memory by repetition or song.

heck some of the older fluff i remember seeing (don't remember if it was fanbased or some article i have forgotten) was about the opening line to the mechanicus' catechism
STOP. READ THIS BEFORE CONTINUING FURTHER
just a glorified instruction manual

pepe5454
27-05-2008, 22:26
I always thought of it as a branch off in how the admechs think. I had a theory they started out slightly or fully autistic (edit: or maybe OCD would be better). So a slight obsession with organization structure rules and laws got twisted over a 10's of thousands of years into a odd belief system. They know how the machine operates and that this wire goes here and does this and it will not work if you break this circuit they just now think the machine spirits will be angry unless things are in their proper order. It would explain the fierce resistance to deviating from STC's as well. This was just a personal theory though and I am sure there are also good examples of machines actually having some sort of spirit in the 40k verse as well.

Faustburg
27-05-2008, 22:40
I don't think you can use examples from the real world. After all, does this mean you deny the existence of Chaos Gods, daemons and psychic powers in 40k just because there's no evidence of them in the real world?

It is the paradigm of the Imperium. It is pretty obvious what is meant if you can read between the lines at a basic level...

In human history we have gone through different paradigms of explaining the world; Magic -> religion -> scientific. The Imperium have regressed to something more

It is still works as now, in the real world, only they don't see it like that.

If a machine squeeks and grinds a tech priest will light incense, pray and pour sacred oils on the gears, to appease the machines distraught spirit. The prayer and incese will not actually do anything, but the "sacred oil" will lubricate it.

To program a computer, you need to follow the syntax of the programming language, or you will get an error message; In the mind of the Tech priest, this is because you have not communed with the computers spirit in the proper, ritual terms.

There are no spirits in the machines (unless they are actually daemon engines and such, of course), but the Machine Cult believes it because it makes sense to them.

Mechanicus
28-05-2008, 07:59
It is the paradigm of the Imperium. It is pretty obvious what is meant if you can read between the lines at a basic level...

In human history we have gone through different paradigms of explaining the world; Magic -> religion -> scientific. The Imperium have regressed to something more

It is still works as now, in the real world, only they don't see it like that.

If a machine squeeks and grinds a tech priest will light incense, pray and pour sacred oils on the gears, to appease the machines distraught spirit. The prayer and incese will not actually do anything, but the "sacred oil" will lubricate it.

To program a computer, you need to follow the syntax of the programming language, or you will get an error message; In the mind of the Tech priest, this is because you have not communed with the computers spirit in the proper, ritual terms.

There are no spirits in the machines (unless they are actually daemon engines and such, of course), but the Machine Cult believes it because it makes sense to them.Reading between the lines is interpretation, and people have different interpretations; there's no single one that everyone *must* follow. I was just pointing out that holding 40k to the standards of the real world is, IMO, a little pointless.

I personally don't see where you'd get that impression of machine spirits from in 40k material. I wouldn't deny the Mechanicus having regressed, or the Mechanicus being conservative in technology development, or even that they worship a god who probably doesn't exist; but then, I remember reading the older material, where they sacrificed animals over machines and other such rites that reminded me of Chaos followers. I assumed the idea of the machine spirit being fake came from modern views of technology imposed on 40k technology. But that's just me.

Faustburg
28-05-2008, 08:40
Unless you can actually quote a source, never enter "I remember reading the older material" into a discussion...

Sure it is an interpretation, and sure you are free to have a different one, it is only that the one with machine spirits not being "real" and only a superstitious model of explaination happen to be the obviously correct one.

biggreengribbly
28-05-2008, 12:51
Unless you can actually quote a source, never enter "I remember reading the older material" into a discussion...

Sure it is an interpretation, and sure you are free to have a different one, it is only that the one with machine spirits not being "real" and only a superstitious model of explaination happen to be the obviously correct one.

'obviously correct one' .. arrogant much? :eyebrows:

Okay then, so lets presume you are correct.

Explain the Crimson Fists Land Raider who sealed it's own assault ramp and vented the contents of it's reactor into the interior to wipe out the Orks attempting to 'loot' it. I can't remember the exact reference, but when I'm not trying to relax before a Job Interview I can find it if you insist.

Explain away the well documented phenomena of the larger mechanical creations (Titans, space-going vessels) having distinct 'personalities' within their machine spirits, or even in the case of the Titan comics, if you are familiar with them containing the 'ghost's of fallen princeps that can communicate with those connected via the Mind Impulse link, and even with the outside world at Hecate's Court Marshal.

While I can accept that there is an element of applying Superstition to mechanical quirks contained within the concept of Machine Spirits, dismissing the concept Entirely and Dogmatically as being nothing but a construct of the Mechanicus lack of modern perspective on mechanical operation with no more evidence to support it than the people you are patronising with your claims is rather foolish to be honest.

Faustburg
28-05-2008, 13:35
Because they are AI's, of varying level of complexity and interactivity with the end user, but they are not the supernatural spirits believed by the Imperials.

Titans have, since their inception back in the 80's, had a "spirit" in the form of a digitalized mind of a predatory animal (Grizzly bear for the War Lord Class, large felines like cougars or leopards for Reavers and wolf or dog for the Warhound. The Imperator class wasn't around in the original fluff, so it was never established what animals would have been used for those...), in the graphic novels this was sort of moved away from and the protagonist met the representation of their Titans core system as more of a giant robot, but the basic idea still stands. It is not a supernatural spirit existing (as other spirits in the fictional universe of 40K does) in the Warp, it is merely a representation in the total immersion VR operating system of the machine.

The interface is a massively advanced cybernetic system, leaving the residue of former Princeps as "ghosts" in the system, as their consciousness have been so closely entwined with the core program of the, and later users seeing them even when "un-plugged" is merely feedback, as the systems of the Titan is influenced by it's users mind, so it goes the other way too.

As for being arrogant, sorry, but there is no other way to put it... it is obvious that the view I am representing is the correct interpretation of the fictional work here.


To the Imperials, every machine has a spirit, even if you cannot directly communicate with it. A computer will talk back to you, but even if a Lasgun or Toaster don't, it still has a spirit, and will have to be treated with the proper respect, or it will be angered and not work.

There is no spirits there, for "real", but the end effect is the same. You, in the real world, do not use a metal fork in a plugged in toaster if a slice of bread get stuck, because you are taught, or know from experience, that you might get an electric shock. An Imperial citizen would not do it, because he is told that poking around with a metal fork in the toaster is not how its spirit wants to be treated, and if it get angry it will punish the offender with a shock.

Same with a Lasgun; a current day, real world, soldier is taught how to field strip and clean his weapon. There is a specific order to do it, and you use gun oil and cloth to clean it.

For and Imperial guardsman, the procedure is taught as a ritual, the gun oil is blessed and if steps of the procedures are recanted as prayers to the weapons spirit. If you get dirt in the gun, the spirit will be angry because you have not paid it proper respect, and will punish you by misfiring.

The end result is the same, a jammed weapon if you do it wrong.

Lexington
28-05-2008, 14:48
What exactly are they? Are they just old AIs that the Imperium ascribe supernatural powers to since they do not understand them, or are they actually spirits in the sense of souls?
The former. Originally, back when there was more ironic humor built into the 40K universe, this was much more clear, and you'd have things like Inquisitors administering "a ritual blow" to the hull of a cogitator engine to jump-start it into working.


For and Imperial guardsman, the procedure is taught as a ritual, the gun oil is blessed and if steps of the procedures are recanted as prayers to the weapons spirit. If you get dirt in the gun, the spirit will be angry because you have not paid it proper respect, and will punish you by misfiring.
Personally, I find this modern-day "religiousizing" of the entire Imperium to be pretty silly. The Mechanicus may ascribe a "machine spirit" to everything, but a lasgun is uncomplicated enough that you can toss its battery in a fire to recharge it. It seemed much more of a realistic universe to me when the men on the ground didn't, for the most part, buy into the pseudo-religious nonsense of the TechPriests, and knew that repairs to their lasgun were simply basic maintenance of an inert machine.

arch_inquisitor
28-05-2008, 14:57
I think in this case we need a chaos expert to weigh in on this one. I mean what about chaos engines?. If it does not have a soul to possess it would be merely a parasitic possession as opposed to a full possession. The difference between the two being that a possession allows 'control' of the vehicle by the daemon, whereas a parasitic possession changes the substance of the vehicle but it still requires an operator.

This is a fluff grey area plain and simple no one answer is correct. If this debate is to continue please, ante up and show us references, as 'logic' can be used to make anything sound correct.

I say this not because I disagree with anything, as I am of the school that machine spirits are
of a more prosaic nature. But the fluff continually contradicts itself, so saying that one answer is better than another one, is a tad arrogant.

We need references, not logic, as logic itself is a malleable thing.

Mechanicus
28-05-2008, 15:05
I'm somewhat amused that there is a 'correct interpretation' here - an interpretation is only strictly necessary when something isn't explicitly stated; whether you believe in an 'omniscient' viewpoint or not, if it isn't stated, I would assume they want people to take their own conclusions from it. If they want something to be known as 'correct', they wouldn't leave it quite so ambiguous. An interpretation is just that: a way of interpreting something. It isn't some sort of golden answer that is inherently superior to another's.

Besides, there's hardly a developer breathing down our necks and shouting "You're wrong! It means this, and you should all be ashamed for thinking anything different!"

Right, back onto the actual machine spirit discussion. You believe it is more to do with AI, I believe it is a catch-all term for some computer programs, warp presences, and religious beliefs.

The Rite of Prima Incubatoria:

While the massed congregation of the Order chant the Prima Incubatoria. a senior Tech-Priest sprinkles the Titan with sanctified oils. An honored apprentice swings a censer containing purifying herbs to ward off any evil influences. A slain Grox, chosen for its ferocity and strength, provides the Deathbringers first taste of blood. The spirit of the Titan is roused by the ritual. The will of the Emperor is done.

As the blood of the slain is laid upon you so may you lay the enemy’s blond at the feet of the Emperor.

Lay blood at the Emperors feet.

As the rune of protection is inscribed upon you, so may the litanies of protection ward your soul.

May your soul be guarded from impurity

As the warriors within you guide your weapons, may you, in your turn, guide their lives.

Stand true against the trials of war.I think this sounds like a warp ritual (wards, runes, chants, sacrifices, incense and other religious paraphernalia). You may think otherwise, and say it is just a bogus religious thing. That's just it - it's an interpretation, none are correct.

I refer you to Realms of Chaos: Slaves to Darkness:
““Daemons are brought into real space by hidden covens of Chaos worshippers who use ancient and arcane rituals to open a gateway into reality. Such rituals must be carefully prepared, are time consuming and dangerous, demand the services of many participants and often require a live sacrifice.”This seems similar to the Rite of Prima Incubatoria; and may be doing something similar, as I ruminated on in my link in my first post on the topic.

Anyway, some references on your side would be good too, now that we seem to be into the full swing of things.


The former. Originally, back when there was more ironic humor built into the 40K universe, this was much more clear, and you'd have things like Inquisitors administering "a ritual blow" to the hull of a cogitator engine to jump-start it into working.I'm certainly not saying that all rituals are some sort of warp rite. A machine, after all the possible warpy stuff, is still a machine. A thump sometimes does it good. ;) I'm just saying that it's possible that some of the rites and associated religious mummery may have an effect on placating or securing a soul. We don't especially know.

Lexington
28-05-2008, 17:25
I'm just saying that it's possible that some of the rites and associated religious mummery may have an effect on placating or securing a soul. We don't especially know.
Well, to "know" here is a fairly gummy thing - after all, the 40K universe isn't real, and the minds in charge of what's what vary from year to year, and even from source to source.

We can infer intent from the original sources, though, and it's pretty clear (to me, anyway) that the Mechanicus was intended to be somewhat humorous in their religious reverence of basic machinery.

TheBigBadWolf
28-05-2008, 17:36
I always thought of it as a sentient OS, a kind of windows 40k :D

Mechanicus
28-05-2008, 17:42
Well, to "know" here is a fairly gummy thing - after all, the 40K universe isn't real, and the minds in charge of what's what vary from year to year, and even from source to source.

We can infer intent from the original sources, though, and it's pretty clear (to me, anyway) that the Mechanicus was intended to be somewhat humorous in their religious reverence of basic machinery.And the Genestealers were also intended to be unconnected to the Tyranids, and primarchs were intended to represent ordinary astartes heroes; I partially get around this mess by not counting intent as canon. It's not perfect, but it gets rid of quite a few problems like that. Still, that's just me. :) I do agree, however, that intent changed (and changes) a lot. In Rogue Trader, it's certainly possible that they originally intended for the Mechanicus to be slightly humorous in their reverence.

And Rogue Trader was very silly in parts. Zoatibix springs to mind... :rolleyes: Thank god things have changed! There's humorous, and then there's just cringe-worthy...

ChaosBeast
28-05-2008, 17:54
*Of course, a certain Land Raider named Jack is a notable exception.

who's jack

biggreengribbly
28-05-2008, 18:25
An Anthropomorphicised Land Raider from the Comedy Webcomic 'Turn Signals on a Land Raider'

Brother_Chaplian Raimo
28-05-2008, 18:51
I like to imagine that all Land Raiders are like Jack...


That Blood Claw squad the Land Raider took out put us over the edge- we won.

Frep: Yeah, about those Blood Claws...

Jack: They taste like chicken.

Frep: :eek:

Jack: I am being facetious.

Emperor's Grace
28-05-2008, 21:23
If you, in the real world, have your computer crashing or freezing up in front of you, you might get mad, but no matter how technically un-skilled you are, you know it is something wrong with the hard- or software, and it is nothing magical about it.

Yet, no matter how technically skilled you are, you’re still likely to refer to it as a person when complaining “it hates me”.


Explain the Crimson Fists Land Raider who sealed it's own assault ramp and vented the contents of it's reactor into the interior to wipe out the Orks attempting to 'loot' it. I can't remember the exact reference....

WD 250 was the big LR issue IIRC.


For and Imperial guardsman, the procedure is taught as a ritual, the gun oil is blessed and if steps of the procedures are recanted as prayers to the weapons spirit. If you get dirt in the gun, the spirit will be angry because you have not paid it proper respect, and will punish you by misfiring.

But then how do they modify it? (as in Gaunt’s Ghosts) Rote and Religion wouldn’t allow you to modify your weapon....


Personally, I find this modern-day "religiousizing" of the entire Imperium to be pretty silly. The Mechanicus may ascribe a "machine spirit" to everything, but a lasgun is uncomplicated enough that you can toss its battery in a fire to recharge it. It seemed much more of a realistic universe to me when the men on the ground didn't, for the most part, buy into the pseudo-religious nonsense of the TechPriests, and knew that repairs to their lasgun were simply basic maintenance of an inert machine.

I still say most IG say “whatever” when the AM describes fixing it...


Explain away the well documented phenomena of the larger mechanical creations (Titans, space-going vessels) having distinct 'personalities' within their machine spirits, or even in the case of the Titan comics, if you are familiar with them containing the 'ghost's of fallen princeps that can communicate with those connected via the Mind Impulse link, and even with the outside world at Hecate's Court Marshal.


Because they are AI's, of varying level of complexity and interactivity with the end user, but they are not the supernatural spirits believed by the Imperials.

Titans have, since their inception back in the 80's, had a "spirit" in the form of a digitalized mind of a predatory animal (Grizzly bear for the War Lord Class, large felines like cougars or leopards for Reavers and wolf or dog for the Warhound.

Check the list below.

2005 - http://warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10049

2006 - http://warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=61469

2007 - http://warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=118896

2008 - http://warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=125876

2005 - http://warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=12621

And these are just the ones that I could find fast.... (and don't include the Portent discussions, obviously)

PondaNagura
28-05-2008, 23:00
some of the 'humor' in the rituals is portrayed in the white dwarf article covering the re-release of the rhinos. the rituals of activation in the back of the article. i'll quote the issue when i get time to dig out the boxes it's buried under and sort through all 200-something of them i possess.

edit:268 US WD, deals with the history of the rhinos, but it also includes some fundamentals to the mechanicus' philosophies.

gLOBS
29-05-2008, 00:05
Strike the first rune upon the engine's casing employing the chosen wrench. Its tip should be anointed with the oil of engineering using the proper incantation when the auspices are correct. Strike the second rune upon the engine's casing employing the arc-tip of the power-driver. If the second rune is not good, a third rune may be struck in like manner to the first. This is done according to the true ritual laid down by Scotti the Enginseer. A libation should be offered. If this sequence is properly observed the engines may be brought to full activation by depressing the large panel marked "ON".

Runic Spaceflight - An Introduction; Naval Flight Manual W110E

tez
29-05-2008, 10:22
Isn't there a theory that the machine is the void dragon

MvS
29-05-2008, 10:28
Tez: Here are a few links to Warseer discussions that look at that question and related ones

http://warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=121056&highlight=Void+Dragon

http://warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=115187&highlight=Void+Dragon

http://warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=66338&highlight=Void+Dragon

http://warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=33465&highlight=Void+Dragon

http://warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=9393&highlight=Void+Dragon

Lockjaw
29-05-2008, 14:15
The former. Originally, back when there was more ironic humor built into the 40K universe, this was much more clear, and you'd have things like Inquisitors administering "a ritual blow" to the hull of a cogitator engine to jump-start it into working.


Personally, I find this modern-day "religiousizing" of the entire Imperium to be pretty silly. The Mechanicus may ascribe a "machine spirit" to everything, but a lasgun is uncomplicated enough that you can toss its battery in a fire to recharge it. It seemed much more of a realistic universe to me when the men on the ground didn't, for the most part, buy into the pseudo-religious nonsense of the TechPriests, and knew that repairs to their lasgun were simply basic maintenance of an inert machine.

i always figured your average imperial didn't really go for all the 'machine spirit' stuff, they can see a gun is a gun, upkeep is important and all, but don't really pray to it or whatever. prolly don't see warp engines as being magical either, but since your average imperial wouldn't relly know how to repair a warp engin, they put up with the mechanicus and all their praying and incense

Misanthrope
29-05-2008, 16:04
The whole ordeal is probably a collection of irrational beliefs with some abstract basis in reality.

Throughout history man has attributed spirituality to things and processes he did not understand fully. Weather was thought to be attributed to the fancy of God/Gods/Angels, before science proved man otherwise. The Imperium, unfortunately, has a deep-rooted sense of ultra-conservatism which outright prevents the development of critical analysis and objective thought; things are what they are because that's the way they've been for quite a long time, and if you question this, we'll throw you into the sun. Even so, this sort of ignorance is not exclusive of actual knowledge; it is likely that the Imperium, particularly the Cult of the Machine God, know full well every nuance of technology and science attributed with the creation and usage of every machine, which would seem to logically do away with superstitious irrational beliefs, but I highly doubt such a monolithic civilisation whose very existence is inextricably linked with technology could survive any amount of time without the knowledge of how basic physics and engineering works. They know full well that turning a light on is due to electrons igniting phospherous materials. But in their minds, like the minds of many fundamentalists today, all action and reaction in the universe is the express intent of some higher intelligence; the rule of science becomes second to the omnipotence of some being. They know how a machine works, but they believe that all of the processes that allow that machine to work are "allowed" by the Machine Spirit and that without the Machine Spirit, those processes would not function. If a vehicle or piece of mechanical equipment breaks down or fails it is because the Machine Spirit for some reason willed it to, or at the very least didn't 'feel like' allowing it to run anymore; just like fundamentalists believe that common illnesses are the will of God/Allah/whoever and not simply a matter of science.

So I would say that yes, most imperial citizens do "go for" the Machine Spirit stuff, to varying degrees, similar to how most people today believe in some form of God to varying degrees; some believe that God controls everything and does so for a reason, while others believe God simply created the universe and is rather disconnected from it. Some Imperials believe that the Machine Spirit directly controls every piece of technology, while others simply believe the Machine Spirit birthed the existence of technology and Man is essentially on his own in manipulating that technology.

So again, the whole ordeal is a combination of irrational ignorance, traditions gone terribly awry, and the malicious intent of those who benefit from the status quo and whose livelihood relies upon the continuation of that belief.

Jictor89
29-05-2008, 21:54
Well, Lets look at the peices of info we have. The adeptus mechanicus treat machines as people, and see them as having personalities, and what not. The machine oil could either be aerco-type fix all liquid, or it really has a speical force to it. What really bother me is the fact they put things as an either or situation. Both the ideas of them having spirits or them interpeting "Beep boop beeP" as my hulls hurt or infact it really just the sound is programed to make when damaged. When reading the dark hearsy rpg, you see that the lower level techpriest are really taught Machine rites as mermory and non-understanding. You think really high magoses could just skip the step cause they would know what parts are just ritual and what parts really work. But it never gives case when they skip is and work or breaks. Really, until they give sitiutation when the machine spirit shows its self heavly, it will always be confusing, a double ended idea.

Jictor89
29-05-2008, 22:00
also, don't make this a religous argument, like you misanthrope, Paticully if you don't know what your talking about. But back to main point, Warhammer 40K DOES have gods, i.e. Chaos gods. They have some reason to relgiousfy stuff because it a dark time and there unatural things, like pykers, the biologically impossible tyranid, necrons, so on. ITs just how this world works.

MvS
30-05-2008, 09:44
It could be an extension of the sort of veneration of how a Samurai treated his sword and how certain religious groups venerate the statues of saints or deities.

In the first instance the Samurai knows on the one hand that his sword is a strip of metal, but on the other hand it also symbolises a lot more - like rank, honour, survival, culture and so on - so it is treated with utmost respect.

If you mix this with the veneration of statues/pictures (like the Black Madonna of Częstochowa), where the faithful know that the picture is just pigment on vellum, but it is also seen to be a sort of window to something more, perhaps you come close to the veneration of the Machine.

Tech Adepts don't have to believe that all their bone-rattling has a physical effect on the machine in question, it could just be a cocktail of what they deem to be appropriate veneration to the Machine God they believe the machine is a window to, but also a way of strengthening the soul of the machine - making it more lucky or something.

Just as you can get doctors and surgeons who know exactly how the human body functions as a biological machine yet who still believe in the soul as something more profound and intangible, I imagine you can get people in the 40K universe who feel the same about machinery. They know that changing oil is the most important thing for the good health of a machine, but on the other hand they also believe that praying for that machine may help lessen its general wear and tear or its misfortune in battle.