Religion in the cluster – part 2

Mechanimism

Mechanimism is the belief that all things, including inanimate objects, are endowed with a spirit and a higher purpose. Literalist and figureist sects disagree on weather or not souls actually exist or are just handy metaphors, but all agree that the only difference between an inanimate object such as a rock, and complex lifeforms such as humans is a degree of complexity. All objects from rocks to animals to machine intelligence are defined by their behaviors which could be considered a divinely inspired purpose. A rock wishes to fall, and will be happier resting at the bottom of a hill. An animal wants to survive and pass on it’s genes and will be happy when it is accomplishing that task. a machine wants to preform the task it was designed for, and will be “Happy” when it is properly maintained and capable of Performing, it’s function. Humans may have more complex desires than rocks or animals, but they too can be reduced to the same framework of purpose and capability. If there is anything that makes man special, it is man’s ability to recognize purpose in others.

As a result of this belief system, Mechanimists do not make a distinction between natural and artificial, only functional and defective. In Mechanimism a person who’s purpose is to help others accomplish their purposes is a shaman. Shaman attempt to diagnose problems experienced by various people or things, and correct them in order to make the world a better place. All forms of Unhappiness are believed to be caused by an object/individual incapable of Performing it’s proper function. By identifying the source of the problem and correcting it, the shaman brings happiness. In order to accomplish this task, most shaman are trained as doctors, engineers, therapists or mechanics.

Because of it’s belief that all things have spirit, Mechanimists are more likely to support AI rights. In fact, Mechanimism is the most popular religion among AI who bother spending processor cycles on such things (most are programmed to either ignore metaphysical issues, or simply parrot the beliefs of their creators) Some AI even become Shamans themselves. Societies that wish to limit the power of Artificial Intelligence will consider the Mechanimists to be subversive and may attempt to outlaw or restrict it.

Mechanimists do not believe in an afterlife. They will adopt the funerary customs of other religions, or simply dispose of the body pragmatically, burying or recycling it. An entity dies when it can no longer accomplish it’s task. Some entities can be repaired, but humans sadly are not one of them. A corpse desires only to decay and become food for new life. On planets this is accomplished by burial, and on space habitats this is accomplished by tossing the body into a bio-reactor to make fertilizer. Many other religions find this to be somewhat shocking, but Mechanimists claim that when an entity has finished it’s task, it has no reason to fear death. In fact a warrior’s purpose is to die in the most advantageous way possible so that others may live. Societies which try to outlaw Mechanimism often find that these “terrorists” are fearless fighters ready to die for their cause.

Fractal Aspects

  • Ghost in the machine
  • Outlaw religion
  • Diagnose the problem
  • *x wants to y *
  • Death with purpose

Example characters

Shaman Stunts Aspects Gear
+3 Profession (Shaman) Shaman: Swap profession for engineering Machine shaman Coveralls with Goggles
+2 Medical , Repair I’ll fix it Spanner
+1 Close combat , Profession (Shaman) , Medical Diagnose the problem The F’ing Manual
Wealth : [][][] Health : [][][] Composure : [][][]
Machine rights activist Stunts Aspects Gear
+3 Profession (Software engineer) Military grade communications Heretic and terrorist Inconspicuous clothes
+2 Computer , Communications Just doing my job SMG
+1 Slug Thrower , Stealth , Resolve Death with purpose Stolen memory chips
Wealth : [][][] Health : [][][] Composure : [][][][]

Nulism

Nulism is a belief in nothing. This is not the same thing as atheism or nihilism. A Nihilist does not believe in anything, Nulists believe that nothing literally is a thing that exists, and make no claim to the existence or non existence of other things. While the existence of gods, other people, or physical reality could all be an illusion, nothing is the one thing that can be said to be self evident.

If this sounds confusing, that’s the point. Nulists claim that human language is insufficient to explain the concept of nothing, and instead use koans or nonsense stories to trick the mind into (not) understanding. Because a belief in nothing does not preclude a belief in anything else, many of these Koans feature the Queen Of Heaven as a stock character. Unlike traditional depictions of her however, in these stories she typically plays the fool. Many Nulist Koans feature the Queen of heaven attempting to do something logically impossible, even for an omnipotent entity such as herself, and hinge around the idea that somebody who has everything will still lack nothing, and how nothing will always escape the sight of somebody who can see everything. Because the Queen of heaven represents everything, nothing will always elude her.

The Conqueror also features in these stories as a much more tragic figure. In his quest to conquer the world, the conquer ultimately fears nothing and is undefeated, meeting his end after traveling nowhere and battling nobody. Just as the queen represents all that is, and the Conqueror represents all that could be, the nothing is everything that does not and cannot exist. Paradox and futility. Some Nulists even claim this is the reason behind the collapse cycle. After all, Nothing lasts forever.

Fractal Aspects

  • Nothing exists
  • Nothing lasts forever
  • She who has everything desires nothing
  • He who has no peer fears nothing
  • Nothing makes sense

Example characters

Nulist Monk Stunts Aspects Gear
+3 Resolve Fear of nothing: May use Resolve for Intimidation Thinking nothing Robes
+2 Micro-g , Brawling Doing nothing Empty Bowl
+1 Profession (nothing) , Stealth , Stamina Possessing nothing
Wealth : [][][] Health : [][][][] Composure : [][][][][]
Iconoclast Stunts Aspects Gear
+3 Demolitions Military grade slug thrower Nothing lasts forever Inconspicuous clothes
+2 Slug Thrower, Brawling He was such a quiet guy Assault rifle
+1 Stamina, Bureaucracy , Profession(Postal worker) Nothing is important Explosives
Wealth : [][][] Health : [][][][] Composure : [][][]

Inspirations

The Real life inspirations for these fictional religions.

Mechanimism
Shintoism, the modern tendency to anthropmorphisize machines.
Nulism
Zen Buddhism, Discordanism, random esoteric philosophy.
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