Reader Theory: The Nature of God in BSG

Galacti-Geek AJ writes: “Throughout the first season, I often found myself wondering what the nature of God was in the BSG Universe. Faith— or lack thereof — in God had a significant effect on events within the show. The events surrounding the Olympic Carrier in 33, the Tylium refinery in Hand of God, and the whole Shelly Godfrey incident in Six Degrees… could not have just been coincidence. The theory came to me when thinking about one of my favourite books: Small Gods by Terry Pratchett.

“In the book, Gods exist because people believe in them so deeply. I theorise that the Cylon ‘God’ is a manifestation of the Cylon’s conscious belief in God and exists purely in their heads or central mainframe. Is it possible that ‘God’ is not a God at all but merely a collection of electrical signals fueled by the Cylon belieft in a deity?

“They believe that God loves all –not just them. This would explain why God sometimes seems to favor the humans. Perhaps Head-Six really is an ‘Angel’ from this God. Head-Six has maneuvered Baltar into power and out of trouble, all the while testing his faith. Could this God really have a plan for Baltar that the Cylons are not aware of? Perhaps Head-Six is so different and impartial because she is somehow a manifestation of this God in Baltar’s head. This would explain her knowledge of the Cylons and their actions and account for her neutrality in events such as the destruction of the tylium refinery in Hand of God.

“In Resurection Ship, Part 2, Head-Six displayed distress at the thought of the death of thousands of Cyclons, but could this simply be because it was counter to God\’s plan? Or perhaps she sees any loss of life as tragic?

“Being an atheist, I am eager to see a technological explanation — such as the half-baked one I have offered here –as an explanation of the the nature of God in the BSG universe because I believe that the genuine existence of a spiritual deity in the show would be too complicated and religious for my tastes. I hope that the issue is addressed at some point in the show’s future, but there again a little ambiguity never hurt anyone.”

8 Responses to "Reader Theory: The Nature of God in BSG"
  1. Arktis says:

    God is the collective effect of the Cylon race believing in him?

    The more I think about that, the more I like it. It’s very similar to a self-fulfilling prophecy, but with a neat twist due to the Cylons being kinda networked with each other. Very nice. Gets my vote.

  2. Pike says:

    Interesting. It’d be a neat twist on the Snow Crash-esque mental programmers that Chuck mentioned a bit ago.

  3. The 13th Cylon says:

    I hope we never get a defined answer to that, same with the reason why Baltar and Six are in one another’s heads. There’s also the other side, the Colonials and the Book of Pithia (“You know of the Book of Pithia?”… gee it’s the only frakkin’ book ya’ll talk about). Far too much has happened to be coincidence such as “The Hand of God” from Baltar’s head and all the Kobol and space map to Earth from the Book of Pithia. This is one part of the show that I’m always on the verge of going crosseyed over.

  4. Browncoat Bryan says:

    Yes, please, PLEASE no answer to this question. If there is, then there wouldn’t be any need for faith (which is the point of the humans’ and Cylons’ religions). Or else, have Morgan Freeman reprise his role as God.

  5. Pike says:

    From the BSWiki transcription of the commentary for Kobol’s Last Gleaming II:

    “In the first draft of “Kobol’s Last Gleaming”, he went into the temple and Six took him towards some subterranean passage, and it was very dark, and she said, “This is as far as I go.” And he says, “What?” And she makes him go further and he’s just finds himself walking in a void, a black void, and doesn’t know where it’s leading. And at the end of that he comes into a room and he hears music and it’s a recognizable Earth-tune, to the audience and to him. It was Jimi Hendrix was playing, actually, and he goes, “God, I recognize that.” And then somebody- or somebody s- a voice says, “You recognize that?” And he says, “Yes.” And he turns and it’s Dirk Benedict. (Laughs.) And Dirk Benedict said, “Hi. I’m God.” And you just cut. We just cut out on that.”

  6. Armando says:


    Thank God they didn’t go in that direction!

  7. Amy says:

    Hey guys, I’m new to posting but not to listening. Please forgive if this isn’t the right place/time/way.
    Audra commented in the 12/8 podcast that what some explain using mythology comes to have a rational explanation as our understanding grows. This observation was shown to be true in a fascinating way later. When Baltar gets grabbed by the hybrid and she says all that “Eye of the Cow” stuff, D’anna takes it as mystical religious content – “are our gods the same?” But interestingly, it is the human, with his more associative intelligence, who can see it as a scientific pointer cloaked in mythic language – “Cow-eyed Hera – wife of Jupiter – way to earth.” or whatever. The Cylon couldn’t make the intuitive leap required to understand the facts the language was pointing to.
    BTW, Hera, in Greek mythology, was the wife of Zeus, king of the gods. Jupiter was his Roman equivalent. Isis was an Egyptian goddess, sister and wife of Osiris, who … long story.

  8. Audra says:

    Amy, interesting point. Perhaps this is another indication that humans have something the Cylons don’t – and that the Cylons want.

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