View Full Version : Faith and emotion

15-08-2008, 19:41
Would any of you lot consider that faith and extreme devotion is an emotional state?

If so it raises intresting questions over the abilities of the Sisters of Battle and their "Living Saints"

Play nice.

15-08-2008, 19:51
well the whole reason the Emperor was obliterating faiths/superstitiouns in the Great Crusade and replacing them with secular "Imperial Truth" was to starve the daemon-gods, of the raw unchecked emotions that fed them. In the 40k universe if you don't believe or know of something it goes away.

i think it was less stressed in older editions that acts of faith probably just came down to technology or circumstantial-coincidence. but now with the fluff change, they might actually have effect on how the universe works; would also support the notion that the Emperor is evolving into a warp entity of sorts.

15-08-2008, 21:58
wow this is a dangerous subject and i suspect it will be eventually closed but for now ill respond. Faith in the 40k universe has a definite effect acts of faith give you true power and extreme devotion manifests itself in actual scenarios like euphrati keeler or the imperial saints for example. Take saint celestine because of her faith (and the power of the emperor) she basically came back from the dead and became rather powerful. The emperor seems to have become a warp entity after his ascension to the golden throne and i believe that the faith of the human masses gives him power and gives the faithful power in return just like commiting certain acts gives power to the chaos gods and fives the chaos devotee power if he earns their favor. It is my personal belief that when the faithful imperial citizens die their essence strengthens the emperors and their faith during life gives him power also. Once the emperors body dies i think he will become another powerful warp entity just like the chaos gods and the eldar gods.

15-08-2008, 22:28
Yes. As the previous posters have said.

And the only reason this thread could be derailed is if people manifest an unnecessary ignorance. We are talking about a fantasy setting, not discussing the rights and wrongs of religion in the 'real world'.

15-08-2008, 22:33
Yeah, I thought it may tie into the "Emperor becomes Warp God" theory.

My suggestion is that the Living Saint's are actually possessed by a daemon of this Warp God. Hence their unnatural strength, resilience and short life span.

Oh dear, I do hope this dosen't spark to many squabbles.

16-08-2008, 00:19
While I find the "warp entity Emperor" idea to be kind of a cop out, I do believe that extreme devotion could be an emotion. At the risk of sparking that flame war that was mentioned, if you've seen the people that visit those faith healers or tele-evangelists, that looks like an emotional state to me. What would it be called though? Rapture?

However, wouldn't that emotion fall under the purview of a chaos god? I always thought that, for example, anger, no matter the source, would feed Khorne. Say, if a Chaplain became enraged and killed an Ork, the emotion would feed Khorne and not the Emperor's "warp entity". I've actually always liked that idea for it's grim irony, making faith in the Emperor nothing but a lie. Alas, current fluff seems to contradict me.

It may be pertinent to find out exactly which emotions the Chaos God's have a monopoly on, and if any limitations apply. I might start another thread about that very topic actually.

16-08-2008, 15:23
Tzeentech - hope
Nurgle - despair
Khorne - rage
Slaneesh - lust

While I agree that an angry chaplin would proably count towards Khorne, I don't see why feverant belief couldn't be the exclusive purview of the Big Warp E.

Ironically, it may even mean that the Word Eater's fuel him more then the others.

16-08-2008, 16:56
I've always seen it as:
Tzeench: Change/Growth
Nurgle: Entropy
Khorne: War/Violence/Death
Slaanesh: Indulgence

Hmm. A Greater Demon of the Emperor? Well, Demon sounds a bit negative, so maybe Greater Avatar of the Emperor. A Living Saint is the equivalent of a Demon Prince?

Hmm, I wonder what a Greater Avatar would look like, and how hard it would be to make or convert one...

16-08-2008, 18:11
I dont think faith manifests a single emotion that can fuel a god in the same way as chaos gods are fed, but i do think faith is made up of alot of positive emotions such as pride, hope and love. A big mix of emotions make up faith. not just one, and so maybe...maybe....such a state of mixed emotions can fuel a god. Maybe just loving the Emperor is enough.

16-08-2008, 21:49
Belief is its own thing. The reasons we may choose to believe a specific thing - or perhaps feel we HAVE to believe a specific thing - is an entirely different matter.

But anyway, faith and belief are human constants, whether the faith is in a deity, in luck, in a political ideal, in the idea that our lives 'mean' something, in the idea that we are 'good' and that someone else is 'bad', in the idea that smoking won't affect us like it does other people or whatever.

Tha capacity and even need to create a virtual reality in our minds - a sort of narrative of meaning and purpose that informs our identities and justifies and encourages our actions - is indeed its 'own' thing and is fundamental to how human intelligence manifests itself, and so I think that in terms of 40K imagery that faith would have extreme power in and over the Warp - as indeed the imagery has already shown.

I don't think there would be a singular god of faith as such, but I do believe that faith or belief empower the 40K gods by further 'solidifying' their independent, self-aware and intelligent personalities. It seems to me that a Warp vortex of anger will exist regardless of whether it is self aware and has one coherent identity and purpose. Whether that vortex becomes an intelligent and self aware entity with desires and personality is, I think, informed by the faith/belief of mortals.

In the oldest books on Chaos we have references to 'prayer gangs' on daemon worlds where millions of mortals are forced to pray day and night to specific gods. We know the vortices-that-are-the-gods exist without these prayer gangs, but perhaps the prayer gangs and the faith of mortals help make the Chaos gods' identities more coherent and specific.

18-08-2008, 00:34
My take on the whole shebang is as suggested; the emperor never intended to be the 'living god', but was aware of the perils that unchecked belief could unleash in the 40k universe.

He was deified by the high lords in order to give humans a religion to follow; even in an atheist society, you would have individuals who needed a faith.

So it became everyone worship the guy in the chair, or else.

As a real world analogue, tendency toward religious fundamentalism/fervour increases in environments of constant exposure to and reinforcement of dogma, and/or where educational standards are very poor.
In individuals with an exceptional level of belief, we can see the manifestation of things like the 'fits' you see at evangelical services.
The individual's faith is so strong, and when correctly stirred up, the resulting mental overload has a physiological response.
The individual believes that this is their deity literally entering their body.

The imperium is the ultimate police state - far in excess of even the worst on this planet - where knowledge is considered a very dangerous thing and not believing in the god emperor can cause tangible problems.
People will believe, nay, know.

In such an environment, it's entirely possible that an individual could get so worked up in a state of religious frenzy that - say - they feel no pain. Or can harness latent abilities they've never been able to use.
Given that -whether you believe or not - in the 40k universe the deities are only too real, I'm surprised that we don't see more of this sort of thing occuring...

Joe Kutz
18-08-2008, 01:07
Focused faith seems to lend itself towards the creation of gods. Unfocused emotion tends to lend itself towards the creation of the various Chaos powers (whether you call them gods or not). I think the chaos powers utilize the prayer gains in order to retain their identity and become gods.

The old Realms of Chaos and the newer Liber Chaotica get into the nature of the chaos powers a bit more, and they also get into the creation of gods by people in the discussion on the Birth of Slaanesh (more specifically the time before that lead to Eldar dominance). The Eldar created their gods (presumably by focusing the minds of people into the task) as weapons to deal with the Necrons - but later they began to worship them instead of viewing them as they actually were...a creation of their own minds.

As far as Chaplains and what not - I wouldn't think they would be tied to any of the chaos powers. Since what they are doing is in the name of the Emperor - it wouldn't be much different than praying to him (only done with a weapon).

Same goes for the various other gods that exist/might exist. I would presume that since the Old Ones taught the Eldar and Orks how to manifest psychic weapons in the form of gods, other races from that time period and similar ties have their own gods.