Do Cyborgs pray to an Electronic God?

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Date: Fri, 22 Oct 1999 13:09:42 -0700
From: Mychal McCabe <>
Subject: Theory Submission

Do Cyborgs pray to an Electronic God?

Earlier speculation on the relevance and references contained in the word
'Halo', seem to keep clear of the obvious religious connotations of the
word.  I mean come on... Angels wear 'em. While organized religion does
trigger a nervous tic in my lower left eye lid, it seems as though there
are some heavy religious thematics in the available body of Halo-nalia.

The quotes taken from the dialogue that is the topic of Mark Levin's theory
contain language which evokes both passages in the bible and  various
poetic works of William Blake.  The following quotes and the analysis of
them are presented here for anyone who hasn't seen this discussion at
Marathon Story. Of those quotes which have been 'sourced' to the bible,
"... He says I came not to send Peace but a Sword ..."  seems the most
express biblical allusion thus far. Greg Downing tracked this down in
Matthew 10:34: Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not
to send peace, but a sword".  Rather than a direct allusion to a passage "I
have governed the unwilling. I have walked the edge of the Abyss" reads
like a pared down gloss of another passage nailed down by Greg Downing
Revelations (Chapter 20: 1-3):

  And I saw an angel descending from the heaven, having the key of the
  Abyss, and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold of the
  dragon, the ancient serpent who is the devil and Satan, and bound
  him a thousand years, and cast him into the Abyss, and shut it and
  sealed it over him, that he should not any more deceive the nations
  until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must
  be loosed for a little time.

The speaker of the Bungie line would seem to be the entombing angel,
having governed the unwilling Deciver Satan.  While there is no shortage of
references to 'The Abyss' in literature (and our man Greg mentioned one in
William Blake's 'The Marriage of heaven & Hell') this gloss reads
accurately to me. Couple such biblical referencing with a few nods to
William Blake's fraught Christian visions, and the particularly biblical
thematic of much of the available story becomes a given.

This sort of thing, future societies persisting in a more or christian
religious belief system isn't exactly new. The dire slant of the bible
quotes, a sort of plasma & brimstone, seems to jive with the mock deep
religious techno-theocracy of  Warhammer 40k's Imperial Space Marines
(although visually this group of Marines seems to have more in common with
the techno-buff bug squashers of the second "Alien's" movie). There have
been indications that the human race is now a unified earthling
Empire-minded entity as per this quote, "... the human race's fledgling
planetary empire..." (bungie press release 7.21.99).  Empires tend to
operate with a pronounced religious flavor, and I think that we are all
well versed enough in the various anti-social acts of certain religiously
sanctified undertakings i.e colonization of the New World that this won't
require any historical footnoting, killing 'heathens' and letting God sort
them out.  Does all of this necessarily mean that the humans and/or their
AI's are fundamentally (not Fundamentalist) religious?

They sure do talk the religiously themed talk. As do the Covenant aliens if
we can accept Mark Levin's shrewd interp of those cryptic & grim messages
from the olde Bungie Halo site (Blake spouting aliens have  been explained
elsewhere - I'm sure of it).  The soundtrack to the Trailer, which a Myth
order mate of mine identified as 'Monk Crap', factors into this discussion
also. Developments on the story which have seeped out present a fairly
bleak scenario for those empire minded humans: "As billions perish on
humanity's colonized planets", at the hands of the Covenant, "who are
sweeping their way through human space and destroying civilian worlds at
will".  So, if you didn't go out into the heavens with God at your back,
maybe getting smacked up by a diverse body of alien cultures could make you
remember to say your prayers the next time you have Scotty beam you down.

Hear say, right? Yes, but what drives a good chunk of the millenial angst
of current and past earth cultures, or even fin de siecle angst for that
matter, is a kind of encoded fear that IT WILL ALL END.  (Such anxiety has
persisted for thousands of years despite my best efforts at reasoning away
the relevance of peoples' belief in their chosen creation mythology) <--
edit as 'down on god' if ya like.  This with no earth shattering mayhem or
destruction at the hands of any God.  The Covenant is making IT ALL END for
billions of folks, and this alone might be enough to instill some zeal and

We know that the Covenant are bad guys because they are stomping out
non-military 'civilian' worlds indiscriminately or at least 'at will', also
because Covenant contains the word Coven and we've been socialized to know
that covens kill infants in the name of the Deceiver Satan (mentioned
above). The depictions & actions of the Covenant establish a conditional
reality that justifies our tooling on them with good ol' Earth Powa &
know how.  Does this mean humanity and their God is who we are rooting for?
The Bungie attitude, as revealed in Marathon, towards your average digetic
flesh and blood human seems a kind of whacky indifference. How will all of
this our experience with the game? I have next to no ideas. What this means
for what, as per Jospeh Haake's theory, seem to be a plucky band of cyborgs
is hard to say.  Cyborgs like games for the computer our nifty pieces of
technology confabulated by humans. In Marathon a cyborg saved the day
bunches of times over. There's a syllogistic point to be made here that
borders on cloying so I'll let it slide.

Brought to you by: Mychal aka Nomos o' Civil Order
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