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  1. #1
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus b0rsuk's Avatar
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    The unthinkable religious tolerance in Machinarium



    In this picture, there's a temple. What religion ? All of them. Playing with levers lets you move the dials of the clock. It is soon revealed that all religions share the same temple, just go there at different times. You see Jews, Muslims and worshippers of Infinity going in or out at different times.

    Brilliant.

    It's easy to miss and most people won't give it a second thought. But have you heard about anything like that actually happening ? The closest thing I know is the All Religions Temple in Kazań, the capitol of Tatarstan. Even so, each religion seems to have a separate part of the temple dedicated to it.

    http://resobscura.blogspot.com/2010/...temple-in.html

    Sharing the same space looks much more impressive to me. It implies not just tolerance, but the ability to cooperate, compromise and focus on solving problems instead of creating them. The concept is incredibly simple, but good luck finding something like that in our world. It's not just regular sermons, it's also holidays, and we know how incredibly worked up can religious people become over those. Cooperation is much more difficult than competition.
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  2. #2
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus thegooseking's Avatar
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    I certainly missed that when I played the game. That's pretty awesome.

    I think there is a large adversarial "us and them" mentality inherent in some religions. That's basically the foundation of Satan in Christianity. The Jews compared their enemies to beasts, but when schisms started occurring in Judaism, Jews couldn't bring themselves to compare other Jews to beasts (they might have been enemies, but they were still Jews), so they compared them to the less pleasant angels. A lower-case-s satan was traditionally an angel that was sent by God to frustrate man's endeavours (the angel that the ass saw in Numbers was a satan, for example).

    At around the same time, the Persian religion of Zoroastrianism was gaining some influence (the three magi who visited Jesus were probably Zoroastrians, and Jesus' parable of the lost sheep is (with the exception of exchanging sheep for goats) exactly the same as a story about Zarathustra from the beginning of the Zend Avesta). That religion does have a distinctly adversarial mythology, between Ahura Mazda (or Ormuzd, the "good guy") and Ahriman (or Angra Mainyu, the "bad guy"). Put the Zoroastrian influence and the comparison of opposed Jews with the less pleasant angels, and you have a recipe for Auld Nick.

    So I guess my point is that the reason it's hard for some religions to get along is that adversarialism is built into the religion at some level.

  3. #3
    That's a great find b0rsuk. I've played through Machinarium twice and never actually noticed that. It stimulates thought so thanks for sharing.

  4. #4
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Tritagonist's Avatar
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    Nice find, and a nice detail to add to a game!

    While not a temple or church - or any place where religious services are held, the idea of sharing a space for (individual) prayer is quite common in places where people are not settled down (and thus have an incentive to have a place 'of their own'). The prime example being airports, which frequently have common prayer rooms:

    "He has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to
    the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free". ~
    Luke 4:18

  5. #5
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus DaftPunk's Avatar
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    Offtopic,but at the same time kinda on topic lol..Did they made anything else beside Machinarium ?

  6. #6
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus neema_t's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaftPunk View Post
    Offtopic,but at the same time kinda on topic lol..Did they made anything else beside Machinarium ?
    They being Amanita? Yes: Samorost, Samorost 2 and Botanicula. There are others but the latter two are the most well-known.

  7. #7
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus thegooseking's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaftPunk View Post
    Offtopic,but at the same time kinda on topic lol..Did they made anything else beside Machinarium ?
    Quite a few small things, but the only other "full-sized" project they've completed to date is Botanicula.

  8. #8
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus DaftPunk's Avatar
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    Wow Samorost looks amazing,same with Botanicula,really neat styles.

  9. #9
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    Quite a few areas have found that Judaism, Christianity, and Islam can share spaces pretty easily. For one thing, their holy days are Friday, Saturday, Sunday.

  10. #10
    Lesser Hivemind Node SirDavies's Avatar
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    McDonald's is the multi-religion church of our century

  11. #11
    Network Hub Donjo's Avatar
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    I didn't notice that either, thanks! Makes me wonder what else I missed.... maybe time to give it another go.

    Although I'd just like to point out that we're not shown what's happening inside......


  12. #12
    Lesser Hivemind Node internetonsetadd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tritagonist View Post
    Nice find, and a nice detail to add to a game!

    While not a temple or church - or any place where religious services are held, the idea of sharing a space for (individual) prayer is quite common in places where people are not settled down (and thus have an incentive to have a place 'of their own'). The prime example being airports, which frequently have common prayer rooms:
    Hmm, I've never seen one of these, but then I haven't been looking. I wonder if they exist in part to keep those who wish to pray out of sight of the semi- and non-religious, to help avoid making them anxious about their flights.

  13. #13
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus b0rsuk's Avatar
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    Then maybe it's just Poland, the country I live in, where other faiths are looked down upon. When you sign in children to a kindergarten, chances are they will be attending Catholic religion lessons by default. You have to opt-out, fight people, and make your kid feel alienated. Although nominally schools are expected to give a choice between Religion and Ethics lessons, the latter is almost unheard of.

    As for religion and tolerance, I think we should blame monotheism. I'm not familiar with other religions very much, but Catholicism teaches that there's only 1 God. I read a book by Simon James which claimed that antique Christians were persecuted because they didn't allow other religions to exist. At the time, the Rome had many religions living alongside each other. You had to make an offer to Jupiter twice a year, but otherwise were free to believe whatever. The emperors just made sure that no religion had control over state. According to the book, after becoming the dominant force Christians became persecutors themselves.

    We'll never know how it really was, because history is written by the victorious. That's why I don't rule out the possibility that they were right to persecute Christians. They never tell you why they were persecuted. My pet peeve is that the taught history of Poland starts with 966, which is the year a powerful prince accepted Christianity to defend himself from raids which used Christian religion as an excuse. It's as if NOTHING was there until Poland was baptized.

    Interesting information about airports. I never had a chance to fly, so it makes sense I haven't seen that.

    I just thought the temple thing in Machinarium is an amazing little detail. Amazing, because it's potentially very thought-provoking and it's just a short animation. Missing things are the hardest to spot.
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  14. #14
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus The JG Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tritagonist View Post
    While not a temple or church - or any place where religious services are held, the idea of sharing a space for (individual) prayer is quite common in places where people are not settled down (and thus have an incentive to have a place 'of their own'). The prime example being airports, which frequently have common prayer rooms
    Hospitals in England, whilst many had churches or chapels (and in the case of the latter, still do) will have multi-faith prayer rooms. That said, I don't imagine a scenario where an English hospital is featured that also doesn't include a population full of murderous zombies. And in a game, too.
    Powered by Steam. And biscuits. I'm also a twit and dabble in creative writing.

  15. #15
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus b0rsuk's Avatar
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    I wish this kind of thing was more common. Implicitly, it gives all religions equal status(until one group tries hogging the prayer room), which might lead to a change in thinking, more tolerance and people getting along better. Common prayer room not as a substitute, but as a goal.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by b0rsuk View Post
    Then maybe it's just Poland, the country I live in, where other faiths are looked down upon. When you sign in children to a kindergarten, chances are they will be attending Catholic religion lessons by default. You have to opt-out, fight people, and make your kid feel alienated. Although nominally schools are expected to give a choice between Religion and Ethics lessons, the latter is almost unheard of.
    I hate to say it, but yes, Poland is somewhat known for its intolerance. I've heard vague whisperings that John Paul II reaffirmation of the the Nostra Aetate in 2004 was directed at his homeland.

    Those things are more common in American political situations where space is limited (the Army particularly frequently has non-denominational chaplains). For all our many, many, many faults the US is making steady progress on creating and managing a multi-ethnic, multi-religious society with a degree of fairness.
    Last edited by Internet; 16-07-2013 at 02:09 PM.

  17. #17
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Tritagonist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by internetonsetadd View Post
    Hmm, I've never seen one of these, but then I haven't been looking. I wonder if they exist in part to keep those who wish to pray out of sight of the semi- and non-religious, to help avoid making them anxious about their flights.
    Hah, perhaps! But I think the main idea is to offer people a small space in which they can meditate or pray in a relatively calm and quiet environment. That's not exactly two words I associate with an airport lounge.

    Quote Originally Posted by b0rsuk View Post
    I'm not familiar with other religions very much, but Catholicism teaches that there's only 1 God.
    Ironically, the other Abrahamic religions - Judaism, Islam and some forms of Christianity - consider mainstream Christianity's Holy Trinity to be anything but monotheism.

    Quote Originally Posted by b0rsuk View Post
    That's why I don't rule out the possibility that they were right to persecute Christians. They never tell you why they were persecuted.
    The early history of Christian persecutions is badly documented. There's sporadic note of them in Roman state correspondence (the most famous being that between the governor of Bithynia-Pontus, Pliny the Younger, and Emperor Trajan around 112). The main persecutions didn't start until Emperor Decius issued an edict in 250 ordering every person in the empire to perform a sacrifice both to the Roman gods and for the Emperor, which a lot of Christians refused to do. It should be remembered that Roman emperors liked to style themselves as Son of God and employed other such claims to divinity. These would have sounded ridiculous, and indeed blasphemous, to Christians.

    Unfortunately you are right that those calling themselves Christians have done their own share of persecuting.
    Last edited by Tritagonist; 16-07-2013 at 02:22 PM.
    "He has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to
    the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free". ~
    Luke 4:18

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by b0rsuk View Post
    But have you heard about anything like that actually happening ? The closest thing I know is the All Religions Temple in Kazań, the capitol of Tatarstan.
    320433,xcitefun-lotus-temple-6.jpg
    Does this count? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lotus_temple

    Yet more proof of how amazing Machinarium is!
    Last edited by Rizlar; 16-07-2013 at 04:36 PM. Reason: added image.

  19. #19
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    My other half's Gran spent some time in hospital recently. My other half would visit her daily and, unlike anyone else in the family, took to taking her around the hospital/into the grounds in a wheelchair.

    Problem was, wheelchairs are hard to find in hospitals - but she realised there were wheelchairs available in the 'multi-faith' chapel - so she'd pop-in there to get one on her way in - and always returned it, of course.

    Then, one day, the 'minister' (it says on his badge) stops-her from getting to the chairs and asks where she's going.

    She explains and he says

    "is your Grandmother religious?".

    "Yes, she's a Baptist"

    "Does she worship here"

    "I often bring her here - it's quiet, she likes that"

    "But does she worship?"

    "I'm not sure of where you're..."

    "It's just that I've locked all the wheelchairs and I'm only going to release them to people of faith"

    I've said it before and I'll say it again, religion drives people fucking nuts - I'm actually surprised she didn't put him further into hospital :)

    I offered to lend her my boltcutters but she settled for taking all the pamphlets and burning them.

  20. #20
    Lesser Hivemind Node Drayk's Avatar
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    @TRJP

    i am an Atheist ... Most of the time, I am quite tolerant about other people beliefs. I understand it sometimes gives them strength, courage or relief. Faith is a powerful drug.

    But there are times where religions just drive me nuts. This is when religious folks refuse to take care of themself and their family because of religions beliefs, it's also when someone tries, even a little bit, amke religious beliefs anything more than a strictly private matter... which is the case here.

    So each time a US president says, God bless America, I die a little inside.

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    *Mostly* harmless

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