The Eternal Alchemy is not so much a religious belief in the traditional sense, but a study to understand how the “universe” works.
And if the humans do indeed have The Six, what do Asura think of the Human Gods?
The Asura consider the Human Gods, as well as the Norn Spirits and other racial deities, to be a part of the Eternal Alchemy. That’s not to say they are held above anything else. They are just another cog in the machine.
Do Asura have funerals, burials, religious buildings, entities, etc.?.
Asura cremate their dead. We have seen this in GW1 EOTN and in the book “Destiny’s Edge”.
(edited by Mif.3471)
The Eternal Alchemy is not a religious term at all, not by a long shot. Their belief in the Eternal Alchemy is not like the faith in some supernatural being, but rather like the belief a scientist has in the theory he is trying to prove.
So, it goes without saying that the closest thing the asura have to religious buildings are their colleges, laboratories and other hoards of knowledge. And I am quite sure that most asura would find the idea of a “priest of the Eternal Alchemy” offensive. If one asura wants to tell other asura anything about the Eternal Alchemy he is expected to bring scientific evidence.
Mif said it well. That’s the jist of it.
That’s why I think of the Eternal Alchemy as less than a “religion” and more of a “belief system” — although it features really prominently in asuran society (it permeates their greetings/idioms, it’s a major cornerstone in every single college, etc), it doesn’t involve any kind of worship, and there are no rituals attached to it.
Very interesting. I was wondering from a role-playing perspective and also curiosity. So it seems the Asura are by our human terminology very “religious”, but they do not treat it in the same sense we do. Rather, all science-based.
In addition, if all energy is connected in the Eternal Alchemy, in a sense, all beings which ever lived are sort of “still alive” or in existence through some small cog or means.
Yeah, totally. In fact, that sentiment reminds me of the scene in Guild Wars 1 where Vekk scatters his father’s ashes.
I wonder if you can describe the eternal alchemy as a pantheism. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pantheism
I suppose it could be seen as Pantheism, in a way.
Most modern day atheïsts put a lot of their faith in science. However, apart from the fact that there’s no god, there’s still a lot of asuming and theorizing going on, to the point where you could argue it’s a ‘thhought-through belief system’.
As for the Asura, I think they simply believe there’s some Law of All that, given enough time and research, can be researched (and used). Since Tyria houses magic, that per definition includes some more mystical stuff. But they don’t really distinguish between magical, mundane and divine. They’re all interconnected, and nothing stands above the rest, they’re more akin to unequal partners.
it is science proof included
an asura npc talking to a bookah
Fractal lvl 80 – 126 AR
Krixis is exactly right. The Eternal Alchemy is science, it’s not religion at all. The Asura do not have “religion”.
“Synergy is beautiful!”
Just because something is science doesn’t mean it’s not a belief. Especially the philosophical side of science, which is often percieved as factual because it’s grouped with already proven theories, consists of educated guesses at best, and pure fantasy at worst.
That video is showing an oposit view to many asuran merchands. Usually at least in the german language version they greet you with “There is no profit in the eternal alchemy” Which could be a blasphemy as well, but still.
(edited by Pirlipat.2479)
and yet a belief does not equal a religion.
a child can believe in Santa Claus but no one’s going to argue he belongs to a church of Saint Claus.
a religion is more then just a collection of beliefs, it is also a set of rituals, lifestyle, permissions and taboos that are also completely based in a religious belief – a set of morality that may be different to that of “general” public.
so no, asuras do not have a religion. there’s no reason for them to. and if i remember correctly from the lore – they don’t take human gods seriously.
How would you think their believe in the eternal Alchemy is not determining their lifestyle. They devote quite alot of their time to research it’s principles.
The word religion is sometimes used interchangeably with faith or belief system; however, in the words of Émile Durkheim, religion differs from private belief in that it is “something eminently social”.3 A global 2012 poll reports that 59% of the world’s population is religious, 23% are not religious, and 13% are atheists.4
(as a part from Wikipedia)
By that definition you can see it as a religion imo but not as an however hierarchical church or a ritualist cult or something.
(edited by Pirlipat.2479)
Aye. And judging from what Vekk states when he spreads his father’s ashes, it becomes apparent that the Eternal Alchemy is more than just a set of rules that describe everyday life. It’s also contains an idea of an ‘afterlife’, or more reïncarnation this case.
I have never seen an asura attribute any kind of consciousness, let alone a will, to the Eternal Alchemy. It is just the name for how everything works and is connected to each other, “the greater equation” that no asura has yet been able to solve yet many devote their lives to. So, to be clear, any kind of “theism” is out of the window.
Also, you have to misunderstand the term “religion” if you want to call the belief in the Eternal Alchemy a religion. As with the quoted wikipedia article: “it is sometimes used interchangably with…” as in: “people who do not know better sometimes say ‘religion’ instead of…”. It is about as much a religion as the search for the Higgs boson was a religion among nuclear physicists until recently: they have a strong set of theories that imply it exists, there were several who claimed to be that close to uncovering it, but they haven’t quite found it yet. As with all unproven scientific theories it could all be bullkitten and eventually go the way of the geocentric universe and the aether, but until that happens the asura are certainly devoted to looking for proof.
But especially Higgs Boson is often refered to as the “god particle” Just to point out that there IS something religious about research too and what Asura do is a kind of dedication towards finding an explanation about the world as a whole.
Just because the media came up with the “clever” term god particle it does not mean that there is anything religous at particle physics…
Until that, I’ll play GW2.
exactly. it was just marketing. a clever marketing actually since that hype clearly helped to get the funding needed.
and higs boson has been found ^^
there’s nothing religious in anything physicists do, though some are quite fanatic about their research but that does not equal religion either.
religion is by definition believing in something without asking for any proof, science is believing/presuming in something while actively searching for proof or a lack there off.
religious rules and beliefs are rigid and set in stone, scientific beliefs are fluid. they change as new discoveries are made.
so again – no, asuras are not religious. they are purely scientific.
What I am talking about is a whole society not only dedicating themselfs towards science but researching a greater thing/principle which lies beyond perception and is explaining the world as a whole. In a world where gods really existed with proof this is a pretty strong believesystem, I would say.
The distinction between science and religion isn’t as black and white as you make it out to be. Sure, there’s the everyday practical application of science that’s pretty much non-religion, but there’s also the theoretical side of science which shares many of the same characteristics of a religion.
For example, the ‘if it can be proven it’s true’ requires the scientist to believe in the works of his peers and predecessors, if only because they don’t have the time to verify all the work that has been done before. Scientists also ‘believe’ that something is proven if the experiment can be replicated, but thus also rule out anything that might be true but can’t be repeated. They belief that truth is directly related to ‘being able to proof or disprove’, which again is a belief (a.k.a. I believe it when I see it => If I don’t see it, it doesn’t exist).
Religion at its core is trying to come up with an explanation of how the world works. Science is no different in that aspect. In fact, you could argue that NOT believing is in fact, a religion in itself (as you belief something is not true, as opposed to believing something is true).
Well, the Gods of Tyria, such as The Six, were at some point in history, proven as real. Therefore, in the Guild Wars 2 universe, no race is really “religious” by the real-world definition. Now, humans obviously worship The Six even after they “disappeared”…that I suppose could be religion in a traditional sense.
The Asura are purely scientific. However, I think to them, the Eternal Alchemy is more than just an ultimate, uniting physics principle. It’s a living, breathing scientific explanation for everything. In that sense, the Asura are religious. Not to a being per se, but an “energy”.
A followup question would be, do they Asura fear death? Obviously they believe everything has a place in the Eternal Alchemy, but the actual energy/cogs of different people is not explored explicitly.