Saturday, September 17, 2011

Human Black Box: Interlude 1

So, I just recently finished the first arc of Human Black Box, and as I gear up to move into the second, I decided to make use of the various possibilities that an Internet-based story allows me.

The Religious Make up of the Solar System as of the 10 years post Fall is ... complicated. Because the setting itself isn't all that clear (it makes references too, but nothing clear cut), I'll take this opportunity to fill some of it in myself.

Christianity: Orthodox Christianity, Catholic Christianity, the more right-wing Evangelical Christianity-types, and numerous conservative branches have simply stopped existing in most parts of the solar system. This is partially due to the technology and the fall (the Orthodox church), and partially due to the fact that they no longer get the attention (right-wing Protestants), or had the political pull, that they once had (right-wing Protestants, some elements of Catholicism). Thus, the only real place one finds conservative branches of Christianity are among bioconservative cults and groups, which make up a very small fraction of the religious population of the solar system. Catholicism took a vicious hit during the Fall, as Rome stopped existing and along with it, most of the organization of the Catholic Church. Already on its way out by the time of the Fall, the Fall just helped boot them into the annals of history.

Left-wing Christianity is a different beast. Disorganized and displaced, left-wing Christians (including some "mainline" Christians, with a few left-wing Catholics who follow the traditions but no longer respond to Rome) do exist. However, they're as scattered an entity as they are today, but they make up the majority of the modern Christian population.

Judaism: In the same boat as Christianity. The Reform movements are fairly strong, but the Orthodox, Hasidic, and some Conservative branches are pretty much extinct. The sole exception to this is a small, S-type aten asteroid called Horeb. It's a small colony with a large legacy - it's home to the Israeli government in-exile, along with the Zionist movement. It's staunchly bioconservative, and fund Earth Reclamation efforts, because they desperately want to resettle the Holy Land. 

Jews of the atheistic and reformation branches are scattered throughout the solar system, and they make up a fairly small percentage of the total population. "Jewishness" has always been a profoundly difficult thing to define; most agree it's both a religion and an ethnicity. Mind-uploading has all but eliminated genetic and physical ethnic appearances and ties, although Jewishness as a Clade, much like other movements (such as Anarchism, Venusian, Lunar, etc) is beginning to replace Jewishness as an ethnicity. It goes without saying a great many of these Jews are reform or atheistic.

Islam: Islam managed to morph into a more humanistic strain. It was helped by the fact that a lot of the first countries into space were Muslim countries. Sunni Islam is the most widespread of any Abrahamic faith, being more tolerant (in some ways) than the other forms of Islam. The more humanistic bend of Islam reflects the technology on hand, but that doesn't mean the more staunchly conservative branches have ceased to exist; they just represent an extreme minority.

Hinduism: Experienced a surge in popularity, probably in no small part due to the fact that India was a large player in the early colonization efforts. The religion has undergone a few changes to reflect the technology; the belief in controlled reincarnation (represented by the ability to mind-upload and reinstate yourself after death) has become an important feature. Ganesh is a popular god on Luna, which is almost completely Indian due to the fact that India settled it first.

Buddhism: The reflective nature of Buddhism has made it probably the most wide-spread of the religions (but not philosophies) in the solar system. Buddhism's myriad forms (Mahayana is the most popular) transcend the clades, and has pretty much become the defining religion of Transhumanity.

Eclectic and Indigenous Religions: The sad fact is that most indigenous natives aren't around anymore. The number of Africans and Indigenous people who escaped the Fall was, according to the book, "criminally low," and with them went their religions. Vodun is still practiced in some out of the way places, as are certain South Asian and African animist traditions, but the depressing truth is that almost all types of animism, ancestor worship, and other African, South American, and North American indigenous religions are footnotes to history.

Paganism: The setting is actually mute on paganism and neo-paganism, which is a shame. Paganism, neo-paganism (For sake of convenience, I classify Wicca as a Pagan movement.) have adapted, although one would (or perhaps wouldn't) be surprised to learn there are a fair number of pagan and neo-pagan bioconservatives. Pagans/neo-pagans are a small religious section, probably totaling less than 1%, with bioconservative pagans/neo-pagans totaling less than that.

Areligion: The largest religion of all is those who claim no religious affiliation. This includes atheists, agnostics, apatheists, deists, and others. One can assume that an individual is areligious and be fairly correct - most of the time.

New Religions: The fall birthed a whole collective of new religions, ranging from those who worship the TITANs as agents of God or God(s) themselves, to individuals who, for lack of a better description, were voted in their High School year book "Most Likely To Sell Their Souls To Cthulhu." A few are given and described, but as a whole, they are not large groups.

My personal take on the religious break down is something like this:

Areligion 45% (atheists 15%, agnostics 30%, apatheists 10%, Deists 4%, other 1%)
Buddhism 25% (Mahayana 60%, other 40%)
Hinduism 10% (various)
Islam 10% (Sunni Islam 55%, Shi'ite 30%, Sufi 10%, other 5%)
Christianity 5% (Catholics 60%, Protestant 20%, other 10%)
Judaism 2% (Reform 90%, other 10%)
Paganism 1% (various)
New Religions 1% (various)

This is important, because the next arc sees something interesting happen on the religious front...

Also, totally unrelated to religion, I was goofing around in my 3d rendering program (I use Daz3d, if anyone is curious) and managed to create an rendering of Chloe that I was happy with. Here's something close to how I envision the heroine of this story looking (at least, in general. Antares said that he would keep her in a body that looked close to what she had before because she had difficulty adjusting to new bodies. This is easily accomplished thanks to skinflex).

I consciously modeled the costume off of Major Motoko Kusanagi, from GiTS and GiTS:SAC. All she was missing was the jacket, and I left that off so that the tattoos would be visible on the arms.

Anyway, the next Black Box post will be the start of the new act - "Sacraments and Lies."

1 comment:

  1. Catholic Christianity the more right-wing Evangelical Christianity-types

    Should have a comma between the second and third words.

    Already on it's way out


    Sunni Islam is the most wide spread

    "Widespread" shouldn't have a space.

    indigenous religions are foot notes to history

    Neither should "footnotes".

    their High School year book

    Nor "yearbook".

    probably totally less than 1%, with bioconservative pagans/neo-pagans totally less than that.

    Both the "totally"s should be either "total" or "totaling" (with your American dialect).

    or God themselves

    Probably should be plural "gods". Or are they considered by the worshippers in question to all be aspects of the same being?

    A few are give and described


    the next arc seems something interesting



    "Jewishness" has always been a profoundly difficult thing to define; most agree it's both a religion and an ethnicity.

    Never understood the ethnicity thing myself. Maybe I'd get it if I grew up somewhere where Jews huddled for social warmth against the Christian hegemony, but in my childhood home of Cherry Hill, NJ, Judaism and Christianity share the title of dominant religion.
    I'm white. This is not in any way mutually exclusive with being Jewish.