Author Topic: Are the mechanicus heretics?  (Read 7315 times)

Offline Myriad

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Are the mechanicus heretics?
« on: November 24, 2009, 01:54:18 PM »
I find myself pondering this question, which I'm sure has arisen before but not that I recall.

They seem to talk about the machine god or omnissiah alot and not much about his emperorship.  They're clearly very secretive about the details of their creed.  Life on a forgeworld seems to involve their own take on citizenship though.

Obviously, they're crucial to the imperium, since they not only command huge industrial and no few military resources but have a monopoly on higher technology.  That aside, are they due a good purging (or even on course for civil war)?
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Offline DapperAnarchist

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Re: Are the mechanicus heretics?
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2009, 03:01:55 PM »
Well... Yes and no. See, while the Imperium is Monotheistic, it is not Mono-religious. There are in fact a multiplicity of faiths and religions, however, they all must worship the same figure, the Emperor. However, there are differing ways of viewing the Emperor. The standard for civilised worlds is that of worship of the Emperor Deified, Enthroned, etc. The feral worlds more often worship the Sky Warriors and their master. Ship-board, worship of the Emperor may emphasize his position as the source of the Astronomicon, seeing Him as a guide or protector. The Marine Chapters worship Him as their source, and as the greatest of all humans. Certain intellectual circles worship him as the Nu-Man, the pattern for Humanity's future. And the Mechanicus worship him as the Omnissiah and Machine God, source of all wisdom... though at times he is the Omnissiah of the Machine God... which is a bit more tricky....

Now... the Mechanicus is riven through with heresy, like the rest of the Imperium, with worship of Thinking Machines, Xenos technology, and the C'Tan being found at various levels. But the tenets of the Cult Mechanicus are not heretical in themselves.
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Offline Vladimir

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Re: Are the mechanicus heretics?
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2009, 07:27:09 PM »
On the contrary, I would say that they most certainly *are* heretics. Powerful, and accepted heretics, but still heretics.
As I understand it, the Cult Mechanicus predates the foundation of the imperium. Now, when the Imperium begain to emerge, the ADMech were already well established across some parts of the galaxy. The imperium (unusually) decided to ally with this rival, and over time the AdMech have become integrated into the Imperium's structure. It is worth noting that the AdMech have a very distinct culture, religion and set of philosophys to the Eclesiarchy, and so I would class them as a seperate religion to the Imperial Cult, and therefore Technically Heretical.
In my understanding the Omnisiah/Emperor thing was added later in order to placate the somewhate fervant Eclesiarchy, however the Mechanicus's worship has always been (and always will be, in all probability) directed towards the Machine God. Even if they also worship the Emperor as the Omnisiah, he is still a secondary diety to the Machine God proper (think Jesus/God as an analogy), which is still heretical to the Imperium.
IMHO, the combination of the degree that the Imperium relies on the AdMech is what protects them. The AdMech knows that they would not be tolerated by the Imperium if they were not vital to it's survival, which is why they shroud themselves in secrecy to such a great ammount. It means that they, and they alone, have access to technological knowledge, so they are irreplacable to the Imperium. Secondly, of course, it stops individuals like inquisitors and the Echlesiarchy poking their noses into matters that the AdMech would prefer they didn't know about.

Oh, and as for the Void Dragon thing... who knows...
But what if the Emperor could be granted a body that does not wither and die, that could be his vessel for all eternity to come? I believe that such a thing is possible, that the Emperor yet waits for his new body to be found or created. In essence, a new Emperor will be created to lead Mankind to i

Offline Kaled

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Re: Are the mechanicus heretics?
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2009, 08:03:19 PM »
In my understanding the Omnisiah/Emperor thing was added later in order to placate the somewhate fervant Eclesiarchy
Well, if we're to believe the events in Mechanicum, the Emperor manipulated events such that the AdMech would be formed and He would be proclaimed Omnissiah and thus reunite Terra and Mars well before the Ecclesiarchy was formed.

The relationship between the Omnissiah and Machine God is a complicated one and is different depending on which source you believe and how you choose to argue it.  Different sects within the Mechanicus view it in a multitude of different ways too - there are some who believe the Emperor is the Machine God personified, others that the Omnissiah is sort of secondary deity, and yet others that the Emperor attempted to supplant the Machine God in order to control the Mechanicum (and no doubt more besides).

Are they heretics?  Yes and no.  It all depends on who you ask.  Some factions within the Ecclesiarchy would say yes, others tolerate the AdMech's beliefs on the grounds that they are still worshipping the Emperor and would say no.
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Offline DapperAnarchist

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Re: Are the mechanicus heretics?
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2009, 03:54:40 PM »
You could see the Mechanicus as analogous to various Christian sects that were brought under the wing of the Roman Church while maintaining some oddities. For example, worship of Mary in her own right was common in Ireland and France, but not so much in Rome, and led to the offshoot of Catholicism called Marianism. Course, this has happened again, with the Anglican Church being "brought in" (in part) by Catholicism, but maintaining various "un-Catholic" behaviours, like married and female priests (but no married or female bishops, apparently...).

SO... My point was the Mechanicus could have been a similar or related religion that was brought under the same overall system that includes the Ministorium, the Astartes Cults, and so on.

All through the Horus Heresy books (from what I have read), the Cult Mechanicus is real and powerful, but those who worship the Emperor as a God are suppressed, in favour of the "secular" (in the sense that a personality cult in a totalitarian state is secular) system of Compliance... So they may have an argument that the Ecclesiarchy are the heretics, while the Mechanicus have the true faith, as theirs was never legislated against by the Emperor.
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Offline Vladimir

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Re: Are the mechanicus heretics?
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2009, 01:31:25 PM »
Quote
... So they may have an argument that the Ecclesiarchy are the heretics, while the Mechanicus have the true faith, as theirs was never legislated against by the Emperor.

True. The Emperor wanted a completely secular state without any faith or superstition, in order to rob the chaos gods of a potential resource. It's quite ironic how things ended up (is that tzeench sniggering that I hear?).

Quote
Well, if we're to believe the events in Mechanicum
.
I've never read it, and TBH I've never taken the Black Library stuff as being cannonical. Mainly because there's SO MUCH of it, and some of it is quite self-contradictory.

Here's an interesting thought- we hear everything from the point of view of the Imperium, but we know how impartial they can be. Could it be more accurate to say that the Cult Mechanicus, rather than a part of the Imperium, is actually more powerful than the Imperials? Think about it, the AdMech could probably survive without the Imperium, but the Imperium certainly wouldn't last long without the AdMech. Might it be more accurate to think of the AdMech as tolorating (or even encouraging) the Imperium as patners because they are useful to the Quest for Knowledge?
But what if the Emperor could be granted a body that does not wither and die, that could be his vessel for all eternity to come? I believe that such a thing is possible, that the Emperor yet waits for his new body to be found or created. In essence, a new Emperor will be created to lead Mankind to i

Offline Myriad

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Re: Are the mechanicus heretics?
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2009, 02:39:36 PM »
While there's probably a degree of that, the imperium proper controls, in the shape of the IG & SM, as well as the imperial navy, considerably more armed forces than the ad-mech - certainly enough to ensure their tolerance.  However it seems fair to say that the mechanicus are mostly cooperative anyway - the imperium is certainly a useful resource to them.
I had better point out, that some of the clubs I represent are of a military bent.

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Offline Vladimir

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Re: Are the mechanicus heretics?
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2009, 06:29:56 PM »
Do you think your average imperial guardsman understands how a Plasma Gun works? Do you think imperial citezans could fix a broken plasma reacter? Do you think the imperium could invade, well, anywhere when their ship's Gellar fields no longer work? The point I'm making here is that the Adaptes Mechanicus are utterly vital to the Imperium, while the Imperium is merely Very Useful to the AdMech. The Imperium only exists by the AdMech's grace...
But what if the Emperor could be granted a body that does not wither and die, that could be his vessel for all eternity to come? I believe that such a thing is possible, that the Emperor yet waits for his new body to be found or created. In essence, a new Emperor will be created to lead Mankind to i

Offline Kaled

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Re: Are the mechanicus heretics?
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2009, 09:17:39 PM »
I've never read it, and TBH I've never taken the Black Library stuff as being cannonical. Mainly because there's SO MUCH of it, and some of it is quite self-contradictory.
But then there's plenty of contradictory stuff in the codices - the only reason there's more in the novels is because there's so much more material there in the first place.  But given that EYHBTIAL, quibbling about a few inconsistencies seems rather pointless...

Quote
The Imperium only exists by the AdMech's grace...
I'd say they're utterly co-dependent.  Sure, if the AdMech could suddenly withdraw their technical know-how without the Imperium doing anything about it, then the Imperium would fall into chaos.  But then the fall of the Imperium would be swiftly followed by that of the Mechanicus, which couldn't survive without the protection of it's bigger brother.  In any case, the Imperium has one thing that ensures the partnership of the AdMech - the Emperor/Omnissiah is on Holy Terra; and His millennia of planning bound the two inextricably to one another.
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Offline Tullio

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Re: Are the mechanicus heretics?
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2009, 09:18:44 PM »
Quote
But given that EYHBTIAL, quibbling about a few inconsistencies seems rather pointless...

Depends on whether it's due to a case of Didn't Do The Research ... while reading Titanicus I found myself screaming things like "It's Magos Biologis! Do some damn reading of your own!". I don't mind regional difference popping up in Black LIbrary stuff, what bugs me is when the authors only have a vague idea about what they're writing about but go ahead and write anyway

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Offline Kaled

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Re: Are the mechanicus heretics?
« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2009, 05:16:22 PM »
Depends on whether it's due to a case of Didn't Do The Research ... while reading Titanicus I found myself screaming things like "It's Magos Biologis! Do some damn reading of your own!". I don't mind regional difference popping up in Black LIbrary stuff, what bugs me is when the authors only have a vague idea about what they're writing about but go ahead and write anyway
Having not read Titanicus, it's hard to comment properly and I don't know what he put instead of 'Magos Biologis' but in general I'd say that if he called them something else then I don't necessarily see that as a problem.  Maybe the Biologis do have an other name on some Forge Worlds, maybe whatever he was refering to another group that's similar to Biologis but subtly different in some way we don't understand and thus they have a different name, maybe there's some other explanation...
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Offline DapperAnarchist

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Re: Are the mechanicus heretics?
« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2009, 08:07:21 PM »
I've always assumed that various jobs and duties are covered by multiple "Colleges". Its like in Academia - if you want to do a masters on political theory, you can do an MA - Philosophy, an MA - Politics, an MA - Political Science, an MPhil, and perhaps even some odder things, like a social science MSci or a specific masters course like MPol or MPolSci (those may be normal in America, but I've never heard of them here).

So each course gives you a different slant, and a different name for the qualification, but you still study the EU, you still study Critical Theory, Marx, Adorno, Habermas, de Tocqueville, Rousseau, and the like....
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Offline Ynek

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Re: Are the mechanicus heretics?
« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2009, 09:56:36 PM »
Here's an interesting thought- we hear everything from the point of view of the Imperium, but we know how impartial they can be. Could it be more accurate to say that the Cult Mechanicus, rather than a part of the Imperium, is actually more powerful than the Imperials? Think about it, the AdMech could probably survive without the Imperium, but the Imperium certainly wouldn't last long without the AdMech. Might it be more accurate to think of the AdMech as tolorating (or even encouraging) the Imperium as patners because they are useful to the Quest for Knowledge?

There are hundreds of bodies who could make similar claims.
If the Inquisition suddenly decided to stop working with/for the Imperium, then there would be virtually no defense against the subtle threats that they monitor and combat.
If the Biologis suddenly decided to stop working with/for the Imperium, then everyone would suddenly have to go without their rejuvination treatments, and even the admech would have trouble keeping their 300 year old magi alive without their help.
If the ecclesiarchy decided to up sticks and stop working with/for the Imperium, then there would be no religious authority keeping the rank and file citizens unified in the name of the Emperor.

Long story short, the individual components of the Imperium are all equally important to the Imperium as a whole, and without any specific one of them, the Imperium would have difficulty surviving.
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Offline N01H3r3

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Re: Are the mechanicus heretics?
« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2009, 10:23:30 PM »
If the Biologis suddenly decided to stop working with/for the Imperium, then everyone would suddenly have to go without their rejuvination treatments, and even the admech would have trouble keeping their 300 year old magi alive without their help.
That's unlikely to bother the Adeptus Mechanicus, on account of all those Magos Biologis (and Genetors, so many people forget the Genetors - few ever remember that Magos is only one of the ruling ranks of Tech-Priests) who are part of that organisation. The Biologis is a group within the Adeptus Mechanicus, not a distinct entity in its own right.

What? Did you think there was a scientific discipline that the Mechanicus chose not to maintain their monopoly over? That an organisation so secretive would allow outsiders to advise them on the proper details of human biology?
« Last Edit: December 05, 2009, 10:25:08 PM by N01H3r3 »
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Offline DapperAnarchist

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Re: Are the mechanicus heretics?
« Reply #14 on: December 06, 2009, 01:42:18 AM »
Well, the Orders Hospitallier have a good knowledge - at least that of a modern doctor, probably much more among the higher ranks...
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