Today I wanted to force myself to come up with five potential plots for stories. I don't have any plans to necessarily write anything from these ideas. I instead just wanted to come up with an idea and base five ideas around the same concept. What do I mean? Continue reading to see.
Concept: A futuristic world where technology has evolved to the point that humans worship it.
Settlers colonizing a new world, the ship becoming a beacon/obelisk raising into the sky surrounding the city in a dome of air. as centuries progress, generations forget the past and begin to worship the “air machine." This is very much inspired by Orson Scott Card, who wrote the Ender's Game series. That's probably the best space opera I've come across. Another of OSC's space-sci-fi stories actually has a planet with a large ship in the center of the population, but for much different purpose. Humans in that book (called Pathfinder, if you're wondering) also do not worship the ships, so in that, this is quite different.
An AI that was taught to learn. It learned so much it became near sentient. Generations pass as this AI grows and learns, taking over all connected devices, which is essentially everything in this future. It then demands worship, and humanity is left needing to follow its orders. As more time passes, the worship become less a response of the demand and more so a result of faith and belief that the AI is watching over them and protecting them. Possibly takes place in a small city or even an island that had a closed network implemented by the government that gets overtaken by this AI. In that way, it could stay in one area and the rest of the world wouldn't also follow this belief.
Nearer to our time than the future, but an alternate history. When circuitry and electronics were first being developed, the masses began to worship those that have created the technology. Scientists and engineers who helped develop our computers and technology to where it is today are instead clerics/priests for the religion that has developed around worshiping technology in this alternate history timeline. Colleges do no teach computer science, as it is a holy art now. One must join the Church that's been developed around the originators and the technology itself to learn how to create and become a cleric.
As free energy sources such as wind, solar, and water become more prevalent in the world, energy becomes less of a concern. This leads to huge advances in technology, and to even more automation in the world. As generations pass and most things are automated, many forget that it was originally humanity that created these energy harnessing devices and engineered the computers that then went on to engineer more computers. Humans have little to do with the creation, upkeep, implementation or control of energy sources now. Many begin to worship a god that provides them with electricity.
The churches we know from our times decide to embrace the changing times, and begin to use the internet to bring in new members. Though the message is clear, to worship God, it's somewhat misunderstood and the new young members, which are becoming numerous. They believe that they can worship effectively online. This leads them to becoming more connected on the internet than people ever before. Maybe the new members decide a war on the filthy internet is necessary and begin a 'hack-war' of sorts to clean up the internet and replace the filth and smut with the Lord's message.
I'm taking a history of religion class right now at school, so the idea of religions and worship has been on my mind recently. One of the stories that I'm trying to create right now (that will not be posted on here for a long time, if ever at all) would be a great fit to have a strong religious element to it. That's one of the reasons I decided to come up with reasons/ways people who change to worship something that isn't an idea. I wanted to create something physical that people can worship.
Sure, there are some beliefs where physical things are part of the doctrine and the worship, but I wasn't trying to be animistic or pagan when I came up with a new reason/subject to worship.
A recurring theme in these concepts is one I can't seem to get around. People must forget the past. With the internet essentially being a time capsule of information, it's pretty hard to forgot that humans created technology. That's why with the last concept, I made sure we didn't forget the past, but instead we changed the way things work. That's also technically not worshiping technology, so much as technology is aiding the way people worship... but I'm going to allow it. I actually like the concept, and think that under the right circumstances, could actually be what happens in our future. I wouldn't be surprised to start seeing more churches start to embrace the internet in a stronger fashion to attract younger members.
Which of these concepts sounds like it would be a good story? Or, what ideas do you have for humanity to start worshipping technology?