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Author Topic: Kahless as a religious figure?  (Read 11570 times)
naQ
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« on: 04 11, 2007, 04:18: AM »

Hi!
I'm new to these forums, and to klingon-ism itself. I am begining to affiliate myself with the "Klingon lifestyle" (as I like to call it) and I have a Question about religion.

Now, I know that the First klingon (in my symbology, the first to take up the lifestyle) killed the folk deities. I feel this represents the supression of supersticious religion that twarted the empire's evolution.

On to Kahless:
I don't think of him as a god, nor as an actual being, but as a symbol for the perfect worrior, that is within the burning heart of every Klingon. While learning about and venerating him I, almost subconsciouly, started to foward his symbol past (but also including) the personal symbol to symbolize the active Principle/Energy/Nature of the universe, which is like the Nature of a worrior, which is the factor of balance=change, change=adaption, adaption=becoming better, evolving, rectifying, and creating.

So my question is: Is it very Klingon-like to believe that Kahless represents this cosmic Nature I say governs the Universe?

On the side: Does anyone here worship Kahless (not that I want to)

I'll take any answers or hints on this.   
Thanks Thumbs up!
naQ, the Complete

[Edit -- clarified punctuation]
« Last Edit: 04 13, 2007, 02:10: AM by Kesvirit » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: 04 11, 2007, 05:00: AM »

I don't think of him as a god, nor as an actual being, but as a symbol for the perfect worrior, that is within the burning heart of every Klingon. While learning about and venerating him I, almost subconsciouly, started to foward his symbol past (but also including) the personal symbol to symbolize the active Principle/Energy/Nature of the universe, which is like the Nature of a worrior, which is the factor of balance=change, change=adaption, adaption=becoming better, evolving, rectifying, and creating.

I can't comment on this as I havent got a clue what you mean.  However, the word you use - venerating - does imply worship.  Kahless was however not just a symbol - in the Star Trek universe he did exist - he lived, he loved, he fought battle and eventually died and passed into legend.


On the side: Does anyone here worship Kahless (not that I want to)

Do I worship Kahless?  No!  He is a fictional character in a fictional TV show that I happen to like alot (ie, am probably obsessed with, lol)

does my character Kehlan worship Kahless?  Again no.  with the Star Trek universe, Kahless was a man - a klingon male - who led the Empire to greatness at the time of its greatest need.  He (to my mind anyway) could be considered a prophet like character in that he taught the Klingon people the way of Honour.  but he is is not a god or any sort of godlike being.

I suspect that alot of people mistake him for the Klingon equivalent of Jesus.  The difference between them is that to the Christian people (of whom I am one) Jesus is the son of God.  I wonder if a closer equivalent would not be Mohammed - who also changed the lives of a vast number of people, yet never ever claimed to be God or godlike.  (I mean no offence to anyone of the Moslem faith in this comparison)

anyway, I know that alot of klingons say things like "Thank Kahless" or "In the name of Kahless" But showing honour and respect to the man who changed the lives of Klingons is not the same as worshiping him.

As for the stories of Kahless - they are all true - even the ones that contradict each other.  Like the parables in the Christian bible they are not meant to be taken literally, word for word - they are there to teach Klingons something of importance.

Well, thats my opinion, for what its worth.  Feel free to disagree with me.

Kehlan
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« Reply #2 on: 04 11, 2007, 05:52: AM »

In responce to Kehlan:
I will make this clear, as I made it merky in the before post: I believe in the values that correspond to the fictional culture and beliefs that are present in the fictional Klingon people.

Hence, my feelings towards Kahless are symbolic. I see him as a symbol of the Worrior: which is the upholder of Honour, the fighter of that which is internal and external and, to a more broader and generalised extent, a bringer of Order out of the stagnant status quo. These are done through activity.

In this idea, I also see the Universe, the real universe, as doing the same thing, i.e. everything is in momentum, and all action has a reaction. And so where there is stagnation, order is rectified by some change happening in the stagnant whatever, and so it continues in momentum. This is supported by my real life philosophy, Modern Satanism

So basically, I just put two and two together, i.e. the Worrior is a "killer" or "fighter" of stagnation, bringing order through change. The universe does that through the constant momentum and interaction of matter, anti-matter, energy, dark matter, dark energy, and so forth. So I think that Kahless, as a symbol, represents what I am/aspire to be, and also the "laws" of the universe. I am asking for people who think similarly about the Klingons as I do to put there thoughts about this on this thread.

Hope that clears things up Smiley

naQ, the complete


 
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« Reply #3 on: 04 12, 2007, 01:38: AM »

In responce to Kehlan:
I will make this clear, as I made it merky in the before post: I believe in the values that correspond to the fictional culture and beliefs that are present in the fictional Klingon people..

You believe in the values of Kahless and yet say your a satanist?  Thata a contraadiction if ever I've seen one


I am asking for people who think similarly about the Klingons as I do to put there thoughts about this on this thread.

Only people who think similarly to you may reply to your posts?  Oh, so sorry!  And here I thought that this was a board for open discussion of Klingon stuff.

Kehlan


[Edit -- cleaned up BBC]
« Last Edit: 04 12, 2007, 07:05: PM by Kesvirit » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: 04 12, 2007, 03:50: AM »

Kahlen,
If you knew anything about satanism, the true kind, not the reversed christian kind, you would know that we are very hounorable and, to many people's dismay, LIFE-EXALTING people. We believe that Satan, not in the way you know it, is a Symbol, a metaphor, a ...figure of speach, that represents an AETHEISTIC philosophy that includes fighting against oppression to one's desire, and that change is part of the universe, and indeed a nessecity for not only human survival, but the continuity of the material universe as we know it. Some of us also say that there is a "force" or "enegy" in the universe that governs the universe in this way (which is an unconscious energy). So basically, we are our own Gods, so long as we take ourselves as such, but many also have faith in the Unknown, the Universe. We also take images, either second to, repacing, or on equal standing to Satan, that represent who we are, who we aspire to be, as well as how we see the universe, or simply the world around us.
Don't believe me? Go to www.churchofsatan.com


Futhermore, all I meant by the remark of that I wished for like-minded people was that I think people who view the Klingon thing like myself would have a whole lot more experience, not to mention interest and fun (something us satanists are quite adept at), in answering my question.

So in my defence, I wouldn't say things about christianity, as I do not not know any real eveidence to support what it is or is not. In the same way, you should not say things about satanism, as all you know about it (and, by your remark, I am sure about) is that which you heard of, or presumed of.
Due respects,
naQ
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« Reply #5 on: 04 12, 2007, 03:52: PM »


     Back on the topic of Kahless and Klingon religion...   Lahless may have been a man, but yeah, the actual person has passed beyond and is no longer pertainent to the mythological figure of Kahless.

    That being said, most of my characters don't subscribe to the Kahless mythos.   Klythe believes in the old gods that were popular in Klingon fandom before TNG.  Some of the Klingon whitefang wolf species I created have more primative animist beliefs.   For some Klingons the Feklhr/Kotar stories resonate more deeply within their hearts.    Personally I tend to avoid Kahless, not only because I'm more of an old-school fan, but also because it's a bit cliche' in the fandom.

    Actually, I would like to draw a distinction between religion, the teachings of an established religious institution, and mythology, which tends to be transmitted by other cultural usage.   It appears to me that the Klingon clerics at Barath were not particularly powerful or relevant to the bulk of Klingon society until they created the clone of the Emporer.   Particularly in politics, since the current government system replaced the Imperial throne with a High Council and a Chancellor.  Venerating an dead Emporer could be viewed as a threat to the government.

    I would say, it is not in the spirit of Kahless to talk of Force or Energy, instead of Strength, Honor, Duty, Heart and the Warrior's spirit.
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« Reply #6 on: 04 12, 2007, 06:39: PM »

I'll agree with you on that one.
Kahless (as well as Kotar and real figures to a larger degree) has always been a more personal figure, of which I aspire, rather than that of a cosmic figure. But when I looked at what I rationalized about the universe, I saw it wasn't unlike the worrior; so I guess I was just trying to manifest my philosophy in that way. Personal bias.
I guess this is not so much religion, more than personal understanding of my relationship with the universe.

Klythe believes in the old gods that were popular in Klingon fandom before TNG. 

Are they the "Ancient Uncaring Ones?"

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« Reply #7 on: 04 13, 2007, 02:04: AM »

I've never heard the term you use "Ancient uncaring ones" but I suspect that Klythe is referring to the gods mentioned in John Fords novel "The final Reflection.  I think it was Cymele and Durgath.  Another goddess was mentioned in JG Hertzler's novel "Left Hand of Destiny" in which despite Martok not really believing (or saying he doessnt) she guides him on his journey.

I recommend both books

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« Reply #8 on: 04 13, 2007, 02:09: AM »

Cymelene and Durgath first appear in Pawns and Symbols. While Ford does kick @$$, he does not name names in TFR.

-=- Kesvirit
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« Reply #9 on: 04 13, 2007, 02:12: AM »

oops. wrong book, obviously I need to read them again - thats another one I recommend by the way.

Kehlan
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« Reply #10 on: 04 14, 2007, 03:54: PM »

The term "Ancient Uncaring Ones" was created by another meycha of the qaptaQ when we were working on the original basis of our fictional Klingon religion. Yes they are the same gods Worf spoke of a having been killed. It is central to the qaptaQ theology, that to continue to refer to the vanquished as gods is to still afford them respect and power that is not rightfully theirs.

As for Kahless being a historical figure, I think that in fictional terms this can not be disputed. Even those that subscribe to the idea that the clone is not Kahless but Morath, recognize that Kahless was a living breathing warrior at one point. Kahless spoke many truths and fought many battles and is revered for what he was, a great warrior and the unifying emperor of the Klingon homeworld. Some people in fandom take this a little far, but I think that Paraborg reinforced this idea that Kahless was somehow Christlike, if only as a way to put down organized religion.

Klingons have long fought against stagnancy, remember the philosophy of nal komerex khesterex, that which does not grow, withers and dies. Klingons must move forward, it is what they do. This is probably why so many of us enjoy playing at being Klingon. But with Klingons it is the physical being that does the fighting, not a supernatural force. It has been suggested that in killing the ancient uncaring ones, the Klingons assumed their duties and are now the custodians of their own destiny. If this is true it would reinforce the general lack of a universal force that guides the empire or the universe.

Those that use Kahless's name as a replacement of Christ's or even God's name or title in English sayings, looking to add Klingon flavor, are in my opinion being very uncreative and demonstrating a dull wit. Enough source material has been created over the years to come up with a few Klingon sayings and idioms that do a far better job of coloring our role playing than those poor attempts.

Also I have come across many names of Klingon gods mostly from non-canon or formerly canon sources. Since they are not really of much use to the qaptaQ, I don't have them readily available, but some have been posted here on the forums. It is my theory that all of these from that various sources, collectively make up the Klingon pantheon and that they were all vanquished (or as is the prevailing wisdom, killed). None of the names I have come across as gods are Kahless, and that more than anything supports him as a historical character more than a supernatural being.
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« Reply #11 on: 04 16, 2007, 01:21: AM »

   
     I hate it when I reread my stuff and realise I didn't finish my thought...


Quote
Actually, I would like to draw a distinction between religion, the teachings of an established religious institution, and mythology, which tends to be transmitted by other cultural usage.   It appears to me that the Klingon clerics at Barath were not particularly powerful or relevant to the bulk of Klingon society until they created the clone of the Emporer.   Particularly in politics, since the current government system replaced the Imperial throne with a High Council and a Chancellor.  Venerating an dead Emporer could be viewed as a threat to the government.

    As an example of the distinction between mythos and religion, I'd point to Ancient Egypt.   Everyone knew of the Egyptian Gods, but the day to day religion, the gods had far less to do with it than the pharoah (who was considered a living god), and the priests.   So the Kahless clone, would be more like a poltically powerless pharoah, ruling over the spirits of thes who accepted him.  While mythic Kahless would still have his place as the central figure in parables and cautionary tales about how klingons should like, and what happens to those that don't.

     So, Kahless as a religious figure would likely be largely limited to the monks on Borath up until the arrival of the clone Emporer at which time the living legend would expand the influence of the church which honors him.  On the other paw, Kahless as a mythical figure would always have been and continue to be accessible to all Klingons, and Kahless as an historal figure would really only be of interest to outsider historians, Klingons wishing to discredit the religion or clerics trying to 'prove' they are right.

   I did mean Durgath(dragon shaped, destroyer god) and Cymele(cloak wearing, grain/fertility goddess).  Are these the same Ancient Uncaring Ones?  I tend not to think so, if they were decided to have been vanquished then Kang's family including the Klingon Emporer(Before Rodenbarry decided the emporers were dead too) would not have given them any mind.    I tend to think that there was a faction outside the homeworld that rose to power some time before TOS and faded in power quickly abound the time of the first few movies. 

    The early sources list the Klingon homewold as Klinzai, os sometimes Kling(ick!).   Given that the NX-01 Enterprise was able to reach 'the klingon homeworld' in a scant 4 days, I'm rather of the opinion that during that time the Klingons set up a world named "Klinzai" as a fake homeworld for dealing with Alpha Quadran powers such as the Romulans, Terrans, etc.   This was a very useful deception (certainly the Klingons didn't want anyone inviding their real homeworld again) and eventually enough people in and out of the Empire believed the lie that for most intents and purposes it was true.   The beliefs of this other world took hold briefly, up until the point the deception no longer proved to be worth it politically and culturally at which time the Homeworld Klingons reclaimed the government and culture and steered them both back to Qo'noS where they belonged.  Admittedly that is my own little world, attempting to mix the old and the new. 

   Though that is popular sport, as qoSagh demonstrates invoking a line from "The Final Reflection" to bolster the idea of a dead pantheon.   Contrary to this and Kesvirit's assertion, I would point out that Ford's novel does name one supernatural  personification.   "The Naked Stars" are treated as an all knowing, all remembering power.   They are again, invoked mythologically, more cautionary tales and no obvious religious structure, but none-the-less belief is strong and provides the moral compass for the protagonist.   The Naked Stars myth orginated from world where the night sky was overcast with clouds more often than not, perhaps Klinzhai, Peneli or possibly though not likely Qo'noS.   

Quote
Another goddess was mentioned in JG Hertzler's novel "Left Hand of Destiny" in which despite Martok not really believing (or saying he doessnt) she guides him on his journey.

     I have not read this book, but from what I have been told it sounds like it is a fairly straight-forward adaptation of the Viking fate goddess...


     qoSaogh, I would really love to see what you have on any of the other olde school Klingon Gods.   Even for those that do believe the gods are vanquished or killed it still makes a good jumping off point for other myths and stories about what the Klingons who killed the gods and were forced to replace them are responsible for and what their specific duties are...   Many good stories could be told regardless of which Klingon mythology each of us(and our chraracters) may hold closest to our hearts and deepest in our minds.
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« Reply #12 on: 05 14, 2007, 07:27: AM »

On "Another Klingon Forum" someone was looking for a Klingon prayer that was used in a Voyager episode. When it was posted, it clearly elevates Kahless to godhood, in that it Implores Kahless to remember the deceased and guide them on their journey to Sto-vo-kor. Now I suppose a non-godlike being could serve as a supernatural tourguide of sorts, but I think given everything else that Paraborg has done, that they are clearly trying to make Kahless into Jesus Christ. Of course I also think this is more to show how the Federation is much better off without organized religion, and show how primitive the Klingons are for having such beliefs, and thus they can bash Christianity as a whole and call it creative writing, but that is a rant for another time.
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« Reply #13 on: 05 21, 2007, 01:19: PM »

naQ,

Great name BTW.

But onto your original question. I represent another "Religious" order, other than that of my esteemed collegue qoSagh. We (Those of the chIrgh) do not see Kahless as a litteral god-figure, but rather that he was a man. A great leader who had a vision and insight into the future of the Klingon heart. Others after him would formalize his role as prophet in the wake of his success in redirecting the Klingon focus.

We do not take his words, or the stories inspired by his words, in a fundamental way, as being supernatural. His existence was heroic and fateful to be sure, but not supernatural. Not devine. The power he wielded was physical, political and theological in a sense perhaps but he was mortal and subject tp the same physical laws that all of us are.

Your interpretation of the symbolic "Role" that Kahless might fulfill is an interesting one. And probably touches on several different principles really, but I do see the corallary you are drawing to the power of nature. In that estimation it does not really matter what one calls something, because the name is only a tool for focussing ones attention. Some names, likely due to historical or cultural bias, may be more potent for achieving certain ends then would be others. In particular they will have value in attracting or repulsing certain mindsets, thus gathering sympathies from like minded forces (political, social, or what have you) while establishing the boundries of ones influence in those who do not share common goals or ideologies.

From that perspective, a group of fictional Klingons might select a highly recognizeable historic figure to represent their own view of the universe. In this way Kahless becomes the symbol for their cause and belief system.

There is room for this in Fanon if not Canon circles, as there are many different fans with their own views on what Klingon Religion really is or could be. In Canon terms, this was really never explored. We know simply that Klingons are very spiritual, and that some of their rituals and ceremonies are very like religious "Rights"... But where that power comes from if not their deceased/vanquished gods we are left to wonder.

The tricky part in all of this, is when folks carry their real world religious views into a fictional universe. This can prove limiting, restrictive, and frustrating. And why is that? Well because this is first and foremost a hobby. It is meant to bring people together for the purpose of exploring common interest. In this case a highly specialized variant of Star Trek fandom. Star Trek, per Gene Roddenberry tackled many social concerns, but always tended to avoid exploring religion (Until after his death).

Many folks find it possible to be of ____________ religious conviction, and still be able to interact within fandom, even with folks of other faiths or convictions. But when we start to force our real world views on such incredibly profound topics as faith, it is very easy to lose sight of the common experience.

In this I am not saying that you are wrong to have a desire to "Klingonize" your real world beliefs. In fact I respect your interest in exploreing how those beliefs might manifest in different parts of your life. Instead I would point out, that not everyone is going to be open or receptive to the real world implications of comparing Kahless to any real world person or philosphical perspective, not the least being something as potentially inflamatory as Satanism.

It is the nature of such things to be dramatic and selfserving. (Both Klin-dom and Religion), but generally speaking Klin-dom makes a poor stage for educating the masses about their misconceptions when it comes to the "Truth" of any real world philosophy.

Just a friendly observation to be taken or ignored as you will. Regardless, real world religion tends to be one of the "Proceed with extreme caution" types of topics around here.

maj! {Good}...
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« Reply #14 on: 10 12, 2007, 02:22: AM »

Just so you know...
I've decided that I'm comfotable more or less revere as a figure embodying the "Klingon Philosophy"
The idea about the universe that I had I have now replaced with science.
If anyone wants to message me about the different "orders" I've been reading about in the above posts, that would be handy *hint hint*
Many thanks,
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« Reply #15 on: 04 14, 2009, 12:14: AM »

Hi!
I'm new to these forums, and to klingon-ism itself. I am begining to affiliate myself with the "Klingon lifestyle" (as I like to call it) and I have a Question about religion.

Now, I know that the First klingon (in my symbology, the first to take up the lifestyle) killed the folk deities. I feel this represents the supression of supersticious religion that twarted the empire's evolution.

On to Kahless:
I don't think of him as a god, nor as an actual being, but as a symbol for the perfect worrior, that is within the burning heart of every Klingon. While learning about and venerating him I, almost subconsciouly, started to foward his symbol past (but also including) the personal symbol to symbolize the active Principle/Energy/Nature of the universe, which is like the Nature of a worrior, which is the factor of balance=change, change=adaption, adaption=becoming better, evolving, rectifying, and creating.

So my question is: Is it very Klingon-like to believe that Kahless represents this cosmic Nature I say governs the Universe?

On the side: Does anyone here worship Kahless (not that I want to)

I'll take any answers or hints on this.   
Thanks Thumbs up!
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[Edit -- clarified punctuation]
I think of qeylIS (Kahless) as sort of a "guardian" that watches over tlhIngan warriors. In the second of season of Deep Space Nine, in the episode Blood Oath, one of the Klingons (I think it was Kang) says something like, "May Kahless guide us." or something. This implies that Kahless watches over people and gives them strength.

And, no, I may be pretty much obsessed with Star Trek and Klingons, but I'm not so out-of-my-mind-obsessed that I would worshipa fictional religious figure. I have my own Terran religious views, thank you.
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« Reply #16 on: 09 27, 2010, 07:24: PM »

I very much see Kahless as a religious figure. Klingons pray to him, invoke his name in praises and curses, see him as the most fitting example of what a Klingon should be and even have a religion set up around him that is based on Kahless being a messianic figure. Martok even claimed that Kahless is "divine." If that doesn't show that Klingons worship him, I'm not sure what does.
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« Reply #17 on: 09 27, 2010, 09:50: PM »

Kahless is not a religious figure. He didn't perform miracles and he didn't act in accordance to the will of a deity. He's a legendary character, like King Arthur or Beowulf.

I see Kahless as being on the same level as Buddha. Buddha, while being praised and often quoted, is not treated as being supernatural. He was a man, who followed a path, that lead to enlightenment. Any man can follow this path.

Kahless was a man, who followed a path, that united the Klingon Empire with honor. Any man can bring more honor to the Empire. This is a core philosophical belief of the Klingon people.

I'd say that Klingons meditate on the ideals of Kahless, invoke his opinions in praises and curses and see him as the most fitting example of what a Klingon should be. Smiley

Religions have gods. Klingons have no gods.

Quote
"May Kahless guide us." or something. This implies that Kahless watches over people and gives them strength.

I see this as a shortened form of "May the teachings of Kahless guide us". Klingon's don't need to include the "the teachings of" bit, because they know Kahless isn't omnipresent and has no ability to effect their reality. They do say it to give themselves strength, but it's strength in themselves and not in some outside force. Another core belief for Klingons is self-sufficiency. You can't be self-sufficient if you rely on a deity to have your back in a fight.

If you can't tell, I'm not a fan of deities. They are more trouble than they are worth.
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« Reply #18 on: 09 28, 2010, 07:07: PM »

I like that idea of the teachings of Kahless being shortened to Kahless. That makes a great deal of sense. Kahless is definitely more of a prophet than a god. However part of that is that he does not literally watch over us in a mystical sense. In keeping with the theme of Klingon shorthand, perhaps this is short for "may the society built by Kahless watch over us" or perhaps "may the teaching of Kahless allow me to watch over myself".
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« Reply #19 on: 09 29, 2010, 04:56: AM »

I would argue that all deities or divine heroes are simply elevated folk figures. But it is known that Klingons do have clerics. A cleric is someone authorized to perform sacraments for a church, temple; whatever. These Klingon priests oversee a religion. The person at the center of this religion is Kahless, whose teachings form its scripture (the grammatically questionably named Paq'batlh).

Kahless is not a religious figure. He didn't perform miracles and he didn't act in accordance to the will of a deity. He's a legendary character, like King Arthur or Beowulf.

Kahless made a sword by thrusting a lock of his own hair into lava, then cooling it in a river. He flooded an ocean with his tears. Kahless personally descended to the underworld to rescue his brother's soul, then came back from the dead still bearing a wound, proving to the Klingons that he did indeed break the laws of reality. He singlehandedly fought an entire army. He even speaks in parables. He then magically ascended to "Klingon Heaven" (as Quark calls it), saying he would return one day, making him a Messianic figure. Klingons go to Boreth to pray to him. They literally go there and ask his guidance. Since Kahless said he would return on Boreth, Boreth is considered the most "sacred" (as in "dedicated to or set apart for the worship of a deity; worthy of religious veneration") place in the empire. And Martok refers to Kahless as "divine" (as in "having the nature of or being a deity"). Now, I'm not saying Kahless is a deity, but he is certainly treated like one. At the very, very least, this is a hero cult, but if all of this doesn't indicate that he is worshiped, then I don't know what religion is. He is believed to have performed supernatural and superhumanKlingon feats, he is invoked in blessings and emulated by all in the society. You made mention of him being a legendary character. What do Thor, Jesus, Samson and Moses all have in common? They are legendary characters that are/were either worshiped as a deity or received abilities from a deity.

I'd say that Klingons meditate on the ideals of Kahless, invoke his opinions in praises and curses and see him as the most fitting example of what a Klingon should be. Smiley

Kinda like Jesus for 33% of humanity.

Religions have gods. Klingons have no gods.

Klingons had gods. But that doesn't really matter, since there are plenty of atheist religions, such as Buddhism, LeVeyan Satanism and Scientology.

Among the figures that the TNG writers (who fleshed out modern Kahless to the one we know today, passing his previous attributes to Molor) claimed inspired Kahless, they named Arthur Pendragon, Christ and Norse mythology figures such as Thor and Odin. To me, that seems like they were going for a figure who is as much a folk hero as a worshiped divine person.
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« Reply #20 on: 09 29, 2010, 08:52: AM »

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I would argue that all deities or divine heroes are simply elevated folk figures.

I would argue that all deities are simply personifications of the Sun or other natural phenominon that could not be explained at the time of the religions creation. If we lived in a binary star system then I would bet duotheisim would be the most popular religious model.

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since there are plenty of atheist religions, such as Buddhism, LeVeyan Satanism and Scientology.

Those are not religions, they are philosophies. Seeing as I've practiced two of those three, I have a pretty good idea how they work. Scientology, in my mind, isn't even a philosophy, it's a story written by a Sci-fi author who wanted to prove he could make people follow anything.

From the first line of the Wikipedia article on Religion:

Quote
Religion is the belief in and worship of a god or gods, or a set of beliefs concerning the origin and purpose of the universe.

Klingons do not have belief in, nor do they worship, gods. Kahless was not the mouth piece of a deity, nor did he give the people a belief concerning the origin and/or purpose of the universe. He is not a religious figure.

Kahless is like King Arthur. King Arthur did some crazy things, if you believe the legends. We know those legends are based on grains of truth but have become stories that aren't physically possible. This happens because of constant retelling and embellishment through the centuries.

Kahless's stories have also undergone embellishment (as is the Klingon way) over centuries of retelling. The Hurq invasion didn't help as it destroyed many records from that time, this is mentioned in the Sword of Kahless episode. While the Klingon people do have an aspect of spirituality, they don't ask Kahless to get them into Sto-vo-kor. They follow the path he took, hoping it will get them there.

As for the writers, I don't care what they used as a base for Kahless, all I can do is go by is what's on the screen, not what's in someone else's mind. Kahless is no more a religious figure than modern role-models are.

As for Klingon clerics, they help guide Klingons and spread the teachings, but they aren't relgious about Kahless... if they were they wouldn't have cloned him because they would have true belief that he would return one day. That's like the Pope coming out with a clone of Jesus and saying it's the second coming. If the people were to find out, they wouldn't believe anything the Catholic Church says.
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« Reply #21 on: 09 29, 2010, 01:28: PM »

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I would argue that all deities or divine heroes are simply elevated folk figures.
I would argue that all deities are simply personifications of the Sun or other natural phenominon...

    I would argue that not all deities have the same origins, some deities are directly traced to people, some are anthropomorphized animals, concepts and phenomena, some may have been vistors in disguise or maybe some really are gods. }}:P

Quote from: qurgh (From the first line of the Wikipedia article on Religion)
Religion is the belief in and worship of a god or gods, or a set of beliefs concerning the origin and purpose of the universe.

On the other paw, from the first line of Wikipedia article on Bhuddism: (emphasis added)
Quote
Buddhism (Pali/Sanskrit: बौद्ध धर्म Buddh Dharma) is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha (Pāli/Sanskrit "the awakened one")

    So Wikipedia, the source you use to defend your point says Bhuddism is a religion.  It's also listed in the list of world religions.  So apparently their definition does not reflect common usage or the distinction between mortality and godhood is negotiable...   

Klingons do not have belief in, nor do they worship, gods. Kahless was not the mouth piece of a deity, nor did he give the people a belief concerning the origin and/or purpose of the universe. He is not a religious figure.

As for the writers, I don't care what they used as a base for Kahless, all I can do is go by is what's on the screen, not what's in someone else's mind. Kahless is no more a religious figure than modern role-models are. [/quote]

   What you have on screen is Worf making that claim for all Klingons.  Worf at that point had only lived in the empire as a child of 5.  Which means he was exposed only to the points of view of his family and teachers.   Just like you did with Wikipedia, you can't pick and chose the context that favours your point and ignore the context that disagrees and try to spin one interpretation as unassailable fact.

Quote
As for Klingon clerics, they help guide Klingons and spread the teachings, but they aren't relgious about Kahless... if they were they wouldn't have cloned him because they would have true belief that he would return one day. That's like the Pope coming out with a clone of Jesus and saying it's the second coming. If the people were to find out, they wouldn't believe anything the Catholic Church says.

    If you chose to live or die by canon alone, you have to take all of canon as it is.   The clerics thought they could get away with it and no one would find the truth, and even when the truth was told, many Klingons still continued to believe that he was Kahless returned with religious fervor.  I don't know if that is meant to be a bigger insult on religious believers than the claim that Klingons killed their gods, but it is canon even if it doesn't fit the model you are using. 
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« Reply #22 on: 09 29, 2010, 01:40: PM »

I would argue that all deities are simply personifications of the Sun or other natural phenominon that could not be explained at the time of the religions creation. If we lived in a binary star system then I would bet duotheisim would be the most popular religious model.

While that is true for the most part, it isn't universal for all religions. I had accidentaly neglected to mention the "explanation of natural phenomena" in my previous missive.

Those are not religions, they are philosophies. Seeing as I've practiced two of those three, I have a pretty good idea how they work. Scientology, in my mind, isn't even a philosophy, it's a story written by a Sci-fi author who wanted to prove he could make people follow anything.

From the first line of Wikipedia's Buddhism article: 

Quote
Buddhism... is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha.

It is even the first mentioned in the article "Nontheistic Religions." Technically, the Church of Satan is autotheist, and self-worship counts as worship. I am not a big Scientology fan, either, but they are just as much a religion as any other, no matter how false it may obviously be. If I write a book right now outlining a way of life and mode of worship of the wind, and ten to thirty people started reading, practicing and recruiting for it, it is a religion (or at least a cult, as "religion" seems to be reserved for cults with government recognition). To be honest, your description of Scientology is one I would use for pretty much any religion you'd care to name.


From the first line of the Wikipedia article on Religion:

Quote
Religion is the belief in and worship of a god or gods, or a set of beliefs concerning the origin and purpose of the universe.
That actually supports the notion that philosophies and belief systems do not need deities to qualify as religions.

Quote
Klingons do not have belief in, nor do they worship, gods. Kahless was not the mouth piece of a deity, nor did he give the people a belief concerning the origin and/or purpose of the universe. He is not a religious figure.
He is even more of a religious figure than the Emperor of Japan, who was considered descended from the gods and therefore one of them and divine. The historical Kahless serves as an analogue for Japan's past emperors, and the clone of Kahless serves as an analogue for Japan's current emperor.

Kahless is like King Arthur. King Arthur did some crazy things, if you believe the legends. We know those legends are based on grains of truth but have become stories that aren't physically possible. This happens because of constant retelling and embellishment through the centuries.

This is most certainly true. However, many religions start when these legends are seen as fact instead of grains of truth.

As for the writers, I don't care what they used as a base for Kahless, all I can do is go by is what's on the screen, not what's in someone else's mind. Kahless is no more a religious figure than modern role-models are.

I mentioned the writers only because they wrote everything we are arguing about. But I providing on-screen examples of what these writers wrote that clearly shows that what inspired them and they intended to evoke, they indeed did.

As for Klingon clerics, they help guide Klingons and spread the teachings, but they aren't relgious about Kahless... if they were they wouldn't have cloned him because they would have true belief that he would return one day. That's like the Pope coming out with a clone of Jesus and saying it's the second coming. If the people were to find out, they wouldn't believe anything the Catholic Church says.

That doesn't mean the Catholic Church wouldn't do it. I distrust organized religion as a rule (despite being in a hierarchy myself, but I'd rather not discuss it), and can easily see them scheming something like that. I have generally seen the Holy See as money obsessed interlopers, and throughout history, they have shown their self-interest dies hard and inspired the separation of church and state. The clerics of Boreth did what they did to boost belief, which was starting to falter. Many religions do this as a publicity stunt or program or whatever to keep the faith strong. The possibility that the clerics themselves aren't devout changes nothing.

But since there are no clerics without a religion to support, and everything you've stated so far says that a religion needs to be based on a god to be a religion, then what are the clerics religious for, if not Kahless? The warrior principle? That's not a deity. That would make them philosophers, not clerics. But they clearly are clerics. Kahless was elevated to his divine position, similar to Greek, Roman and Egyptian rulers who seen as divine or gods in their own right, be we modern folk believe to be obviously false.
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« Reply #23 on: 09 29, 2010, 02:23: PM »

    I would argue that not all deities have the same origins, some deities are directly traced to people, some are anthropomorphized animals, concepts and phenomena, some may have been vistors in disguise or maybe some really are gods. }}:P

I would include those in "other natural phenomena" category. Having studied many religions, including nature religions that worship animals, I have found that all these deities represent a force that was unexplainable at the time the religion was created. I look at religions as social and psychological devices. There are no gods, therefor every man-made god was created to serve a purpose or fulfill a role. Nearly all religions are related in some way, eg most monotheistic religions can trace their origins to Zoroastrianism.

If they are aliens, then they defiantly aren't Gods. If they exsist within the Universe, then they aren't Gods (the definition of God prevents that).

On the other paw, from the first line of Wikipedia article on Bhuddism: (emphasis added)
Quote
Buddhism (Pali/Sanskrit: बौद्ध धर्म Buddh Dharma) is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha (Pāli/Sanskrit "the awakened one")

    So Wikipedia, the source you use to defend your point says Bhuddism is a religion.  It's also listed in the list of world religions.  So apparently their definition does not reflect common usage or the distinction between mortality and godhood is negotiable...   

Yes, I noticed that too and was actually going to edit it, but thought better of it. Some Buddist sects have made it into a religion by worshiping Buddha. I practiced Zen buddism, which has many teachings that say you are not to do this because it goes against the basic concepts of Buddhism. My Zen masters would not agree with the religion statement, but they are enlightened so they also realize that it's irrelevant. Cheesy

Also, the average reader doesn't know the difference between a philosophy and a religion, so it's easier for the writers to use both terms and not confuse people or offend those that do worship the Buddha.

   What you have on screen is Worf making that claim for all Klingons.  Worf at that point had only lived in the empire as a child of 5.  Which means he was exposed only to the points of view of his family and teachers.   Just like you did with Wikipedia, you can't pick and chose the context that favours your point and ignore the context that disagrees and try to spin one interpretation as unassailable fact.

I try to avoid Worf as a credible source source for Klingon information for those exact reasons. I only go to Worf if there is no other Klingon source that covers the area. Worf is very un-Klingon at times, but his basic philosophy seems to meld with the majority of other Klingons seen on the show the majority of the time. He wasn't the only one to say that the Klingons don't have gods. The whole marriage "ritual" is based around the idea. Even Kang said in TOS, "We have no devil". That and Roddenberry was an agnostic/atheist.

    If you chose to live or die by canon alone, you have to take all of canon as it is.   The clerics thought they could get away with it and no one would find the truth, and even when the truth was told, many Klingons still continued to believe that he was Kahless returned with religious fervor.  I don't know if that is meant to be a bigger insult on religious believers than the claim that Klingons killed their gods, but it is canon even if it doesn't fit the model you are using. 

I do take all canon, and I understand that there would be fringe groups within the Empire who would probably believe all kinds of crazy things (see that one Voyager episode). I support and speak the viewpoint that the majority of Klingons would follow. I try and see it from the point of view of the Marteks and the Gowrons, not the random crew member who is depressed and seeks any kind of comfort in his life.

We also know, as the show's watchers, that Kahless wasn't reincarnated or resurrected. We know that those Klingons who are worshiping him are just plain wrong. They are misguided individuals that have been deceived by their supposed spiritual guides. To me, this shows even more that Kahless is not a religious figure, even if some Klingons perceive (perception is not truth) him to be. He is a regular biological creature who has DNA that can be copied to create another version of the same creature. That copy is, genetically, identical to the original, so unless that copy can make a batleth out of his hair it proves that the legends are just that, legends, with no miraculous aspects to them.

Some people have religious fervor over sports games. We could be said to be arguing with religious fervor in this thread (and I'm sure mundanes reading this would think we are bat-sh*t crazy for even arguing it). Cheesy We're doing this because we want to and we enjoy it (well, at least I enjoy arguing with other Trek fans about ridiculously tiny aspects of Trekdom, I hope you all do too). Maybe those people just worshiped Kahless because they wanted to and they enjoy it. It gave them something they couldn't get elsewhere. It doesn't mean they believe he's a God, just that they want to believe in something more than themselves and Kahless is a good target for that.
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« Reply #24 on: 09 29, 2010, 02:51: PM »

So basically: A man, to whom many supernatural feats are attributed, developed a philosophy that formed the basis of a religion administered by clerics, who teach his actions, parables and aphorisms. His people erect temples in his (and no other) name. He (and no one else) is prayed to for guidance and wisdom. He is seen as the highest source of morality and the worthiest source of emulation. His name is evoked in blessings, omens from him are sought in dreams, and his people see him as watching over them in a guiding role. He is considered divine and, according to belief held by nearly everyone, can travel between dimensions and states of being and return from the dead. Also according to belief, he physically transported under his own power to the afterlife of the honored, promising to return one day. His people maintain a firm belief in his values and deeds, seeing his word as the final authority on what is considered right or moral, and they still believe he will return from the afterlife one day, to lead them into glory.

But this man isn't a religious figure.
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