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Author Topic: Klingon Gods  (Read 67123 times)
Abbot_Kobol
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« Reply #25 on: 04 12, 2005, 02:14: AM »

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As I stated earlier..."the Klingon gods do exist, in some fashion, and a scattered few still believe and keep such tenants of faith alive."

I would be interested in attempting to catalog all references to Klingon gods in an attempt to further understand these concepts.

In the Day of Honor series, Armageddon Sky references tuq’mor – an ancient Klingon goddess, the mother of all curses.

The Left Hand of Destiny describes Martok creating a statue of Kar-tela, goddess of destiny.  The only god to escape the slaughter because no one can defeat destiny.  Kar-tela is represented by a lady dressed in ancient armor and flutter scraps of fabric, standing on one leg with an earthenware cup in one hand and an edged club held high within the other hand.

I disagree with Klythe that a pre-scientific society's needs must be fulfilled and/or explained by the presence of gods.  I just do not see Klingons in the era of Kahless being that superstitious.  While we may not have the timeline established, it was said the gods were destroyed a millenia ago, long before the time of Kahless.
It has always been, from the first emergence from the primordial ooze, that some look at the world and see dust and mud and mess, and some see wonder and order and magnificence.

The first group typify those who have said, loudly as if screaming at us will make their opinions into truth, that the Klingon Gods are dead.  The teranganpu have groups who venerate a "philosopher" (I believe this is the correct word in Terran) named Neitsche, something like that, who made a similar statement about one of their main gods, some relation of their "Dead God"(another concept and not quite a fit for this discussion, as "DG" is not Klin), and said "God is Dead".  Yet the teranganpu still have popes and lamas and moderators in their institutions of organized religious activity.

It is my belief that they copied the concept of the "Dead God" from other religions, far more ancient.  

The point is this - Those who do not believe the Gods have an active, daily place in the life of the Klin will never see the effects of the participation in life by the Gods.  Those who do believe in the Gods will never believe that a mere warrior could ever KILL a god.

I am Abbot of Tolar'tu, First Speaker for Durgath, Imperial Hand, and I believe in the Gods.
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« Reply #26 on: 04 12, 2005, 05:59: PM »

Well said Abbott,

Although I find it hard to think of  Klingon as a "mere warrior", I do get the point. Of course the qaptaQ hold the central belief that the gods were vanquished and not killed, and that leads to an interesting status.

The vanquished gods will still hold a place in the day to day lives of those who know of their existence, not a very active one, but thill a place. The cost of such knowledge is eternal vigilance. The hiers to that warrior who vanquished them are the meycha, it is part of our dual role. I for one am not sure that it is possible to kill a god. Since gods do not live (at least not in the same way we think of living) then they probabl;y don't die that way either.

The qaptaQ know that all resources are to be exploited for the good of the race, this is the basis for nal komerex khesterex. These resources were of course created for us as gifts from the gods. The Klingon race in claiming those gifts as thier prize, also claim stewardship over thier own existence and environment. This is why vanquishment was needed, in order to live up to the full potential that is being Klingon. The Klingons needed to devote all thier collective energy into being Klingon, thus we can fufil our manifest destiny of conquest.
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« Reply #27 on: 04 14, 2005, 02:41: PM »

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The stars are not constellations representing gods, historical figures, or anything else. Rather, clear nights are a rarity on the clouded Homeworld, and the starshine that lights up a clear night makes it much easier to see, to note the details of an event or transgression, by mortal Klinfolk of the mundane world. Images more clearly seen are easier to remember and to relate to others.


     The naked stars act in that way as a supernatural omniscient anthropomorphic personificiation.  They became a mythical entity assigned a personality and perceptions based on organic senses.  The naked stars are then just are another kind of god.  Just as you say, they are a god that goes not help, but still a god that remembers.  A god that remembers all from this life may very well prove helpful in the next.  And in doing so fulfils the sociological need I discussed earlier.

Quote
Over time as the Empire interacted with other races and was introduced to foreign ideas and concepts, it became more secularized.

   This I agree with.  The presence and pervasiveness of other cultures does tend to secularize a society.  It makes it far more difficult to accept that a omnipresent omniscient god exists when there are whole races of beings that have never even heard of your god.   But that is a far cry from 'killing' them.
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« Reply #28 on: 04 14, 2005, 10:43: PM »

I always took the poem about the Naked Stars to be exactly that, poetic. I never thought that the stars themselves were doing the literal watching but they were allowing the watching to be done by any and all who came upon the actions by way of illuminating the scene. The warning that the Naked Stars see all, is more of a warning that you never know who is watching so you had better act well.

One reason for this would be that even if the Naked Stars see something, they seldom if ever share thier secrets. If you lie and noone calls you on it, then noone knows of your lie. I suppose that all that the Naked Stars saw is kept until your death and that alone decides if you sail with the Black Fleet or not. If that is the case then there are no repercussions in this life, no matter what you do. I just don't see that being a widely held beliefe among Klingons. In a society that is known for wars, battles and more than it's share of household fueds, there are always repercussions in this life for what you do.

As for secularization killing the gods, I don't think it does that quite. Although I read a non-Klingon book once where that was the case. As a god stopped being worshiped they faded away, but so did thier powers. In this book, corporations would hire people to worship gods that had powers that were beneficial to that corporation and were in danger of fading away. Interesting concept.
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« Reply #29 on: 04 15, 2005, 04:10: PM »

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If you lie and noone calls you on it, then noone knows of your lie. I suppose that all that the Naked Stars saw is kept until your death and that alone decides if you sail with the Black Fleet or not......In a society that is known for wars, battles and more than it's share of household fueds, there are always repercussions in this life for what you do.


The battles and household fueds are over actions ( or whatever) that are known to those starting the fueds.   If noone knows of the actions (such as a lie) then noone will be able to start a fued over that.  

The reprocussions in this life are reprocussions for what is known by others.  The reprocussions by the Naked Stars after death, that will influence if you are worthy to sail with the Black Fleet,  have no bearing on the reprocussions taken by the living for the actions.  
 
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« Reply #30 on: 04 15, 2005, 08:19: PM »

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It has always been, from the first emergence from the primordial ooze, that some look at the world and see dust and mud and mess, and some see wonder and order and magnificence.

    Kai the Abbot!  You speak like a disruptor beam, direct and forceful.
 
    Furthermore, I would add that is exactly those who wonder that breathe the life into a culture.   Everyone is part of a culture, but precious few innovate and drive it.   Religion is the first and most enduring outlet for those who wonder.   While Science, a relative new alternative, has been growing quickly and often actively working to supplant religion as the haven of wonderers, explorers and mappers.   I see no reason why they should be at odds, in the same that different religions hold different beliefs, in the same way that Quantum Eletrodynamics and General Relativity make different predictions, Science and Religion are two different models of the universe each better at explaining a different things than the other.  

    Advocates of both systems think they have all the answers to the questions wonders ask.  Both build and accumulate knowledge based on previously accepted premises.   Both have been wrong.  Both have been right.  Both are tools for both great good and terrible evil.

 
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« Reply #31 on: 04 16, 2005, 12:46: AM »

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(SNIP)
Although I find it hard to think of  Klingon as a "mere warrior", I do get the point. (SNIP)
The key element to understanding religion and Deities is this - They do not see as we see.  Time is not linear, wine never goes bad, milk is always fresh, and the Children of Qo'NoS are ALWAYS "mere warriors" to them.  VavnI quaked not to face the Universe alone, nor did Durgath look at a Klingon warrior and fear for his existence.  To a God, those such as we ARE "mere" by definition.
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« Reply #32 on: 04 17, 2005, 05:26: PM »

That perception would of course be correct, in most cases. However in the case of the Klingon race we have evidence to the contrary. Starting with Dr. Tagore's works (FASA/TFR) where he revealed that the Klingons were to arogant to even conceive of a higher being. Then we have the quote from Worf (TNG) that "We killed our gods". I will even at the risk of being presumptuous include the works of my club that contain the story of the one warrior to go to the place of the gods and return victorious from battle there.

At least the mainstream secular Klingons that interact with the federation appear to have no gods in the sense that most religions have them. There does seem to be quite alot of ancestor worship, but little if any reference to gods. Thus at least from the Klingon point of view there are no gods to consider us "mere". I will agree that gods would perceive mortals as mere, but that Klingons have either by disbelief, killing, or vanquishing removed themselves from that category.

In order to be considered mere, one must be below those doing the considering. Since the Klingons do not place themselves below anything and there has been no great retribution for this self proclaimed placement, I would argue that Klingons are not "mere" anything to anyone (at least not anymore).
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« Reply #33 on: 04 22, 2005, 05:11: AM »

It has Taken Some time for me to Come Across this Particular Topic, (Not to Mention these Forums), And More is the Pity Because it Would Be Difficult and Tedious to Attempt to Answer Each Point that has Been So well Argued or Stated. So In Stead I Shall Simply add a Few of My Own Comments.

First I Would like to Point out, That What we do Not Know of Klingon Prehistory is Likely Far Vaster than that which we Know of Even the Shadowed Past Prior to the Hur'Q.

So If we were to Take A Historical (If Over Cited), Analogue of Cortez in the Early 1500's Conquering the Aztec People, We See that Alone with his 400 or so Soldiers, Cortez Could not have Easily Defeated Moctezuma II Without at Least Two Things in Particular Taking Place.

One: The help of the Tlaxcalan People Who were Enemies of The Aztecs,

AND

Two: That Moctezuma Unfortunately Had a Strong Religious Belief in a Prophecy that the God Quetzacoatl was Due to Make an Appearance at about the Time Cortez Showed up.

Had these Two Things Not Happened at Just the Right Time, Though Awed by Superior Technology, Moctezuma's Aztecs Might Not Have Been So Easily Overthrown.


So I Postulate, That it Could be Possible that Qo'noS Would have been Visited by Travelers Prior to Historical Documentation, that Were Technologically Interesting Enough to Define themselves as Being "Godlike" in Power... Had the Pre-historical Klingons Respected that Power, they might well have Taken them in and revered them as Gods...

Now Suppose that Those People Had Left a Contingent Behind When they Left, Perhaps to Study the Early Klingons, or Perhaps to Oversee Plans to Exploit them... Either way Eventually The Intelligent if as yet Undeveloped Klingons Would Have Discovered That the "Gods" Were Not as Immortal as They may have at First Presumed, Particularly if They had Been Mistreated, but Even if Not they May Have Been Angered to Have Been Decieved... Further if these "Visitors" Had Attempted to Impose Cultural Restraints, Perhaps on Such Things as Population Control... Well... You Get the Picture... (Nothing Can Oppose the Beating of Two Klingon Hearts).

Without an Immediate Support System Such as Cortez had with the Tlaxacan, (Not to Mention His Reputation, Since By The Time Moctezuma Recieved Cortez in His Court, Cortez Had Managed, Again with Help, To Kill Some 3000 or So Aztec Citizens), or Even the Potential Support of King Charles I, This Contingent Might have been Destroyed. Perhaps Even With their Own Weapons. (The Heavens Turning to Ash).


This Example Though Unsubstantiated, Could Easily Lead to Myth and Legend about Klingons Riseing Up and Killing The Gods. But It Alone Would Be Unlikely to Disuade "Every Klingon" From Fostering their Own Need to Believe in Something Greater than Themselves... The Current Example of that Being The Concept of Honor To The Empire, Before Ones Family, Or Even Oneself... The Opposite of the Human Standard, of Strength Being Garnered By Being True to Oneself First.

Since, (In "Primitive" Cultures), The Gods are Usually Constructs Associated Directly with the Needs and Fears of the Things which Touch the Daily Lives of the People, It Could be Natural to have More Than One Pantheon. Thus More than One Opinion about the Nature Of The Gods in Question.

In The Above Example, There May Have Been Initial Uncertainty About the Recourse for Having Killed the Visitors/Invaders, And How that may be addressed By The "Gods" Who had Left them Behind...

However In Time, as No Retribution was Leveled Upon them (For Whatever Reason), Some Klingons May Have Adopted the Philosophy that Their Actions Were Deemed "Just" (If Their are Gods They Do Not Help/Care And Justice Belongs to the Strong)...

And It Might Even have Been Taken to Mean that Since the Killing of the Gods had Been Done Openly/ Honorably, That No Retribution was Necessary, But that Does Not Mean that Those Actions Went Unnoticed. (But Know, That All Things Done Beaneath The Naked Stars are Remembered)... implying that at Some Point We Shall all Be Judged For Our Actions...

Obviously this is a Highly Speculative Response to this Discussion, And Pluck at a Single Thread and Perhaps the Whole Concept Unravels, Since I Do Not Cite any Specifics to Uphold Such Arguments But Instead Supply Possible Examples of What Could Have Occured Pre-Historically... But Consider this at Least, Throughout the Trek Universe, There are Many Examples of Primitive Peoples Having been Visited and Influenced By "Superior" Beings With Their Own Agendas, And The Number Of Species Who Have "Out Grown" Their Mortal-like Days Of Adventure and Conquest are Significant Presumably Leaving Behind Many Myths and Legends in their Passing.

In Any Event, One Of The Reasons that the voqna' QeylISQun chIrgh Exists is to Reinforce the Spiritual Nature of What it Means to Be A Klingon. In This we Use The Emperor Kahless, and to a Lesser Degree Kahless II as Spiritual Icons of The Divine Within Each Klingon Rather than Being Themselves Gods. I Suppose in This Sense we are a Modern Order, Whose Roots Go Back to And Honor that which is Ancient, but Whose Practices are Contemporary...

And Their are Clergy even within the Order Who Have Different Personal Ways of Expressing that Spirituality and their Equaly Personal Relationships to that which They Feel Is Divine. This Is Encouraged Because What Unites us is Service to The Empire and Strong Passions about the Teachings Of QeylIS Who Does Not "Preach" any Particular Religious Dogma, But rather The Truth Of the Strength of All Klingons When United For The Greater Good of the Empire.

So Are the Gods Trully Dead? Have They Been Vanquished? Have They Ever In Fact Existed at All? These Are Questions Which Can Not be Answered Easily or By Mandate, But Rather are Deeply Personal To Each Klingon.

As To Kahless of TOS, I am Quite Satisfied by the Easy Answer which is that regardless of rather he Was "The" QeylIS, His Tactics were Apparently Note Worthy Enough to Be Covered at least to Some Degree at Starfleets Academy. Doubtless Their Own Short Sightedness, and That of the pataq Kirk, Led Him to Villanize that which is Klingon Simply because it was Klingon. While Glorifying Men Whose Own Accomplishments were Doubtlessly Overstated, And If Taken In Context of those Who Suffered Because of their Actions, May Well have Been seen as Just as "Evil" as General Kahless or Even The Hun Atilla Who was a Hero to His People if Not the Romans.
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« Reply #34 on: 04 24, 2005, 06:00: AM »

There are three kinds of sentients in the Universe - Those who believe in Gods and those who don't.

I have been stationed here in Sector 001 for many years.  I have watched political leaders of all stripes, and few ever speak clearly of their religious beliefs.  I have watched "sports" figures, and few ever speak of their beliefs (although you do see the occasional "boxer" making some sort of warding sign, to repell blows or demons is not clear).  

It is not necessary to speak endlessly of the Gods in order to have them.

It is not necessary to build great temples to the Gods in order to have them.

It is not necessary to shove my beliefs down your throat at the point of my twin meq'elth, in order for me to believe in my Gods.

The fact thatTime magazine and People magazine seldom show much devotion to anything except money and political power, does not mean that reporters are godless creatures.

Secular society ignores religious society, and religious society, unless one is a member of one of those religions from earth that is constantly proselytising, ignores secular society.  It works.

Now, if I could just get those people with the magazines to stop knocking on MY door at 7AM.....
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« Reply #35 on: 04 24, 2005, 07:40: AM »

Discussions of complex topics are prone to the phenomenon of "topical drift". When one has judged that their reply-in-progress is sufficiently removed from the topic of the title post, I ask that they use their reply to start a new thread.

However, the above post has absolutely nothing to do with the topic under discussion: Klingon Gods Were they really killed or not?

I realize that everyone, whether Human, Klingon, or Other, brings their own  values and life experiences to the Forums in their posts. But no one can lay down absolutes to others when it comes to religion, spirituality, The Unprovable and/or The Unknowable. These boards are to encourage discussion and the thrust and parry of debate.

Let's get back to discussing the possible fates of Klingon deities.

-=- Kesvirit
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« Reply #36 on: 04 24, 2005, 09:17: PM »

Kesvirit,

So What Would be an "Appropriate" Topic Title for the Good Abbot Kobol to Share His/Her Wisdom? Is the Point that the Statement Is More In League With Rather The Gods Exist as opposed to If They are Dead? (Which Suggests That they Once Lived)?

Because it Seems to Me a Relevant Statement, or Series of Statements Which Poses the Opinion that The Gods are in Fact Alive Regardless of How Much or Little The Faith of the Individual...

Perhaps I am Missing Something But I Took the Abbots Words to Be a Resounding No! As in they have not been Killed, While Suggesting that the Discussion itself Can Not Change that, Nor can the Belief or Disbelief of Anyone Change The Nature of Faith or lack thereof...
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« Reply #37 on: 04 24, 2005, 10:35: PM »

The topic title it would need to be under would be out of place on the Klingon Imperial Forums.

    There is a fine line here between discussing Klingon Gods and discussing our opinions of human religion.   Obviously we can't have a discussion of Klingon Gods without comparing and contrasting to the gods of more accessible planets such as Sol III.

   However, making veiled references to specific terran religions and the actions of thier congregations can be considered an personal attack, hate speech, or possibly defamation.  All of these are strictly prohibited in the boards Terms of Service.  We all, myself included need to use more caution when discussing the specifics of terran religions.  Sometime we forget that Humans are not Klingons.   Terrans tend to be softer, have thinner skin and therefore bruise more easily. Cheesy Klingon Grin
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« Reply #38 on: 04 26, 2005, 11:58: AM »

Hmmm, although this crosses a line into dishonor and thus becomes un-Klingon. The Abbott has me thinking. If one does not need to speak of the gods to have them, does it not also follow that one does not need to speak of the gods to NOT have them?

When Worf states the the Klingons killed thier gods, might he be saying that not because the gods are in fact dead, but because he is trying to reassure himslef of a beliefe that may not be true? With Worfs advancement to Ambasador he becomes one of those politicians that may loudly proclaim a popular belief. Perhaps the Klingon gods are not dead, and perhaps Worf says what he says because he is affraid of not appearing Klingon enough to his human crewmates.

Of course this is all just a mad theory, that strays somewhat further off topic, but I was just wondering.
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« Reply #39 on: 07 28, 2005, 04:49: PM »

Perhaps the English word god is too vague for it too be used accurately without definition. The term "god" tends to assume a Creator, Immortality and Omnipotence. The Gods spoken of in Worf and Jadzia's wedding ceremony would fit the first definition, but it does not neccesarily follow that they fit the other two. This allows the gods who created the first Klingons to be killed, and may be taken as an allusion to lines of succession, where every mighty king or empire eventually gives way to a stronger one. A Terran comparison would be the Egyptian Creator-God, who received little or no worship (I cannot even recall its name), who created the likes of Ra and Osiris who are more familiar to modern Terrans.

The other side of this is the tendency to group local spirits and goblins as something approaching a "god". There are many local and specialised entities in Terran religions such as Hinduism and Bhuddism who are considered powerful and supernatural, but are not neccesarily Immortal, Omnipotent or requiring worship. After all, why fear the sea-god when you live several hundred clicks inland? The Klingon animal gods may be analagous, or a close as can be expected- Supernatural beings to be wary of or make use of. This doesn't contradict the killing of the Creator-gods.

Also, other gods may be relics of ancient Klingon religions- Terrans are, after all, fond of the imagery of the Greek, Roman and other pantheons, though few profess any real belief in their existence. They are just highly stylised ancient symbols. Certainly, the idea of powerful dragon gods has a certain appeal to a full-blooded Klingon, but this in no way directly implies true belief.
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« Reply #40 on: 11 06, 2006, 02:26: AM »

Greetings.

I hate to be a sh*te - disturber here, but is all of this talk of the Klingon Gods - whether they exist or not, etc, simply an exercise of academic (or should I say ficticious academic) interest, or are there those who actually believe in such - beyond the fannish perspective of course?

I ask this out of curiosity because a very devout Elder I once knew ( a Native American) once told me that if there are enough who believe in something then that alone is sometimes enough....

Just curious about that and how it applies to Klindom.

Khoroth
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« Reply #41 on: 11 06, 2006, 07:58: AM »

II ask this out of curiosity because a very devout Elder I once knew ( a Native American) once told me that if there are enough who believe in something then that alone is sometimes enough....

I have come across that idea myself, in Ter[ry Pratchett's discworld novels and bearing in mind earlier conversations on this forum about the sock monster, its a little worrying.

Seriously though, Jedi is now an officially recognises religion so it wouldn't surprise me if somewhere, someone believed in the Klingon gods - the problem being of course, that Klingons have no gods - they killed them...  Certainly though, you pose an interesting question

When Worf states the the Klingons killed thier gods, might he be saying that not because the gods are in fact dead, but because he is trying to reassure himslef of a beliefe that may not be true? With Worfs advancement to Ambasador he becomes one of those politicians that may loudly proclaim a popular belief. Perhaps the Klingon gods are not dead, and perhaps Worf says what he says because he is affraid of not appearing Klingon enough to his human crewmates.

It could be argued that any belief may or may not be true - thats why it is belief/faith and not fact.  It has to be more than just Worf's opinion though as the concept of the gods dying is featured in the wedding ceremony.  However in an organisation as big as the Klingon empire, it is unlikely that there is only one religious belief system and other groups there probably have different beliefs.  In the novels, Martok seemed to have a definite belief in the goddess Kartela (sorry, not sure about the spelling there) so even within the main ruling group there are obvious differences of opinion.

[Edit-  Cleand up quotes - Klythe]
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« Reply #42 on: 11 06, 2006, 08:31: AM »

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It has to be more than just Worf's opinion though as the concept of the gods dying is featured in the wedding ceremony.

    In Worf's ceremony. I'm pretty sure they didn't make a point of it in Quark and Grilka's ceremony, which was more centered around the theme of Kahless and Lakura.  I could be wrong though.   The idea of the gods dying certainly wasn't part of Kang and Czerny's consortrite (TOS Novel "Pawns and Symbols", in which an offering to the old war god Durgath was mistaken as simply a spill.

    Think of how many kinds of wedding ceremonies there are on Earth a single planet.   You are wise to point out the size of the Empire and the diversity of the religious views.  Would there be any less diversity of Mariage ceremonies in an Empire consisting of perhaps hundreds of worlds?
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« Reply #43 on: 11 11, 2006, 08:14: PM »

Greetings.

is all of this talk of the Klingon Gods - whether they exist or not, etc, simply an exercise of academic (or should I say ficticious academic) interest, or are there those who actually believe in such - beyond the fannish perspective of course?

Just curious about that and how it applies to Klindom.

Khoroth

I suppose I should ask rather you are asking if this is seen as a "Real World" religious belief or as a Klingon Mythology only?

I do know of at least one group of Neo-pagans who claim to worship the veqlargh {Fek'lhr}, but I think for the most part we (Particuallarly those of us who Role-play members of the Klingon Clergy), discuss these things in order to fleshout our own knowledge of Klingon culture. It can be very helpful for research and the like to hear how others interpret the Canon and Non-Canon information out there on such esoteric debates. Not to mention that it forces one to consider what their opinions are about such things (Or if in fact you have one at all).

Does that help?
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« Reply #44 on: 11 11, 2006, 09:10: PM »

Interesting that anyone would worship the veqlargh, as our discussions on these forums have certainly lead to the idea that he is likely not a god but either a servant of the gods or the replacement of the gods. If we go with the theory that if one believes in something than it is, that would settle the veqlargh debate immediately. It would also settle the Santa Claus debate as well.

As for anyone actually believing in Klingon religion as a real faith, since we have little to work with and what we have seen has been inconsistent enough to hint at multiple religions, I would doubt that there is a "real" Klingon church out there. Within fandom, I have witnessed many different (usually pagan) beliefs called Klingon, but never anything based on fleshing out what canon we do have into reality. The qaptaQ has of course striven to flesh out canon and semi-canon into something entirely unreal, but that is a different matter.

I also agree that there is a line in the sand, so to speak, between the costumers and the linguists. I first noticed this when I saw some gathering of Klingon linguists on TV and only a few were in make up and those that were looked like it was a quick sloppy attempt at the make up. Looking back into my own fandom experiences, I realized the same was true of the costumers. I have seen many Klingons who really looked the part, snort and dismiss the random fan who walks up and tries speaking at them in tlhIngan Hol. I had always assumed that this was a way of dismissing humans in general, as that is certainly how I have role played it myself. Now I think it may be because the great looking Klingon does not really know what the fan is saying.

The internet has of course changed the face of klindom, and within klindom the face of roleplaying. Prior to Internet fans, usually the best roleplayers had better than average costumes. Since the linguists usually did not fall into this category, and there was little crossover, I wonder if anyone is really trying to study the anthropology of tlhIngan Hol. Every so often we have small debates on such topics here on the forums, but they usually don't last all that long. Perhaps we should argue these points in earnest, it might be fun.
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« Reply #45 on: 11 30, 2006, 12:26: AM »

Even though we know of Klingons woshiping animal gods, I have always though of the Klingon gods as humanoid or perhaps more acurately Klingonoid. This brings the idea of killing/vanquishing the gods into more of a personal combat concept. But after seeing a recent view of the Komerex Stella (the collection is linked to that thread) which was a skull and three horns, I started thinking of Klingon gods as animaloid. If the gods were animal based, even with godlike powers, that puts the killing / vanquishing onto more of a hunter / prey concept.

I was also thinking that if these animal gods could talk like people but looked like animals, that might go along way to explaining the concept of language seperating beings as opposed to function seperating beings.

Perhaps these Ancient Ones are akin to the multi-formed gods of the ancient terrans who resided along the Nile, or those found in the Northernmost regions of their planet--able to take many forms, or to represent themselves as having animal features while maintaining a bipedal form.
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« Reply #46 on: 04 19, 2012, 01:44: AM »

Maybe there was a God above the gods who punished the killer of the gods.  Like the difference between Eru and the Valar.
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"Klingon gods are dead, ancient warriors killed them a millenium ago, they were more trouble than they were worth."

I view this phrase not literally but figuratively.  It has always been my experience that religion complicates matters, the more elaborate the ritual, the less likely anything real is to be gained by it. 
As an Independent Baptist I'm inclined to Agree.
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« Reply #47 on: 04 20, 2012, 01:49: PM »

If your goal is to break all the rules and taboos, then yes religion does certainly complicate things. If your goal is to live within society then religion is a great comfort and compliment to most things. I think this is actually something where the Klingons have found a middle road of sorts. They seem to have purged themselves of the gods. They continue to follow rules, and when it suits them they are still quite ritualistic. As for what is accomplished by the ritual, well we have only seen this through two contradictory lenses and neither has been fleshed out all that much.

From the Klingon perspective, they do rituals because it is the only way to accomplish the goal. The goal seems to be supernatural in nature, but we really do not know. We have been told there are no Klingon gods, but I have always wondered who is on the receiving end, or at least stands witness to the various Klingon ceremonies? Who would know if you did not perform it, or if you performed it wrong?

From the Federation perspective, everything supernatural is primitive and must be eradicated. Anyone who believes in such things must be corrected, especially the Klingons. So we never get any answers to questions about ceremonies, because the answer might just be God, and the federation can not have that.

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« Reply #48 on: 04 20, 2012, 02:13: PM »

I once wrote a piece that tried to consider Klingon religion in naturalistic terms. "To encounter Kahles in your dreams", for example, was a metaphor for finding your own warrior spirit.  In that context, rituals were the way that your conscious mind communicated with (in some sense, "programmed") your subconscious, your "warrior's heart" within you. Rituals also serve the purpose of declaring your intent to society at large. A marriage ceremony would both declare to the world the couple's intent to be married, would be the agency by which they were recognized as married by society, and work an internal change on them both to make their hearts be united.

If you ask who is the witness to the ceremonies, if you don't want to invoke the (dead) gods, society and one's own warrior heart are the witnesses, and the entities that are benefitted by performing them or harmed by not.

Edited to add:

When you think about it, every ritual, Klingon, Human, whatever, has up to 3 purposes:
1. spiritual: to thank, appease, implore, etc. your deity.
2. social
3. individual

A Catholic Mass is a spiritual event honoring God, and also a social event that declares "We are a community that believes the ideas that form the basis of this ritual", and an individual one: "by participating in this ritual, you declare yourself a part of that community."  Society and the individual aren't just declaring their beliefs, either, but receiving reinforcement (and blessings?) from their participation.

If a ritual isn't explicitly religious, or if you or your culture don't believe there is a deity to be served, the other two purposes still remain in force. The opening day ceremonies at the ballpark have no obvious spiritual component, but they still serve the social and the individual purposes of expressing a bond and simultaneously strengthening it.
« Last Edit: 04 20, 2012, 05:06: PM by ter'eS » Logged
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« Reply #49 on: 04 22, 2012, 08:49: AM »

Quote
It has to be more than just Worf's opinion though as the concept of the gods dying is featured in the wedding ceremony.

    In Worf's ceremony. I'm pretty sure they didn't make a point of it in Quark and Grilka's ceremony, which was more centered around the theme of Kahless and Lakura.  I could be wrong though.   The idea of the gods dying certainly wasn't part of Kang and Czerny's consortrite (TOS Novel "Pawns and Symbols", in which an offering to the old war god Durgath was mistaken as simply a spill.

    Think of how many kinds of wedding ceremonies there are on Earth a single planet.   You are wise to point out the size of the Empire and the diversity of the religious views.  Would there be any less diversity of Mariage ceremonies in an Empire consisting of perhaps hundreds of worlds?

youre quite right, there are going to be more than one type of wedding ceremony in an empire big enough to span several planets.  I wonder actually, is there any evidence that there is a definitive ceremony?  By which I mean that in the western world, there is a commonality to the ceremony, we change the music and the readings, etc, but the basic words of bonding remain pretty much the same.
In the Klingon world however, every ceremony has been completely different, and going back to Worf again, his bonding with Kehleyr was also a form of wedding, just a very simple one.  What if the Klingons tailor eachc eremony to the couple getting married with the only commonality being that at some point the couple agree that they are married... 

Anyway, thats wandering off into a different area, so moving back on topic... I mentioned that Worf believed the gods had been killed.  while he is only one man, he would have got that belief from somewhere  He was desperate enough to be considered Klingon, and to be accepted as Klingon that I don't think he would invent such a beleif... its more likely he was parroting the beliefs of the group of people he wanted to be part of.

Its a story that has always interested me actually, what happened to the gods?  How did Kortar kill them and how did he end up piloting the barge... and what happened to the other klingon heart?  If the gods were dead, who had the power to send Kortar to the barge, did his wife go with him... loads of questions we dont have answers to....


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