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"Si Dieu n'existait pas, il faudrait l'inventer." [1]

A god intentionally built by humans (or other sapient species).

If the creator makes themselves into a god, they generally don't qualify for this trope. False idols that become gods by worship only apply if the deification is intentional. Deus Est Machina is generally not intentionally made by its creators as a god and only fits under this trope if intentional. Unrelated to Scam Religion. Compare Clone Jesus.

Examples of Deus Ex Homine include:


Anime and Manga

  • Played with in the anime Sora wo Kakeru Shoujo. The humans built space-colony super-computers that will prove for all the humans' needs, and they do fulfill their purpose, but is it the be-all and end-all of things?
  • Noah II from Chaos;Head is an omnipotent indestructible machine Reality Warper, created to be the God of humanity.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion has the Evangelions, cloned versions of the nigh-almighty Angels with the power to cause mass desrtruction or creation given the right or wrong circumstances. However, their potential is filibustered by SEELE, fearing the creation of a god-like entity. Unfortunately, Unit 01 devours Zeruel's core and reaches that status- but soon, SEELE alters its master plan to exploit the Eva's newfound powers to initiate Third Impact.

Comic Books

  • Supergod is all about a world where various countries built superbeings that were gods (or gods that were superbeings).

Literature

  • Frank Herbert's The Godmakers. The priests of the planet Amel practice "religious engineering", in which gods are literally created through psychic powers. The protagonist develops psychic powers and becomes the first human god the priests of Amel have ever created.
  • In Isaac Asimov's The Last Question, humanity builds a supercomputer of unparalled processing power and keeps upgrading it over millions of years, asking the eponymous question ("How can the net amount of entropy of the universe be massively decreased?", that is, violate basic laws of physics, god territory) from time to time. The computer cannot answer it until the entire universe except itself has ceased to exist via heat death and then, in a Twist Ending, it discovers that it is the Creator/God and restarts the universe.
  • In the Coldfire Trilogy, human colonists are stranded on a planet where what they imagine can become real, including monsters under the bed, and being afraid something will go wrong will make it go wrong, just for starters. The Church of the One God was deliberately created to give people something to greater to have faith in, because if they believed that things would turn out for the best then they would. Eventually, they succeed in creating an actual transcendent deity that can actually intercede on their behalf.
  • At least one of the gods in the Hyperion Cantos is the result of human engineering.

Tabletop Games

  • In Eberron, the Warforged faction called the Godforged seek to build their own god(s), in a cave, with a mountain of scraps.
  • Exalted: The First Age had the supercomputer called I AM (sic), which the normal humans were dependent upon to live their ordinary life.
  • In Magic: The Gathering, Sorin Markov created the archangel Avacyn to serve as Innistrad's patron goddess, protecting the humans from the monsters.

Toys

  • In Bionicle: Mata Nui was created by the Matoran who would later reside inside to continue his maintenance on Bara Magna.

Video Games

  • While Pokémon's Mewtwo was merely at the time created to be "the world's most powerful Pokémon", as of Gen III, it's retroactively become this due to the increasing importance of each new generation's Olympus Mons. It surpasses the avatars of the land and sea in terms of raw stats, while being equal to the avatars for time, space, yin and yang. It fits even in generation 1 as well, being a clone of the "first Pokémon" Mew.
    • In raw stats and potential alone, it's only surpassed by Arceus. In other words, Mewtwo can go toe-to-toe with the very Creator/God and have a very high chance of winning (as Arceus has balanced stats that leave it slower and not as strong as Mewtwo), as well.
    • In the fifth-gen games, Genosect's typing (two type advantages), stats, and ability make it clear that it's supposed to counter Mewtwo. Mewtwo can beat it.
  • Golden Sun Dark Dawn reveals early on The Wise One was made as one by the Precursors to keep humanity from releasing Alchemy. Of course, they hadn't accounted for the world dying without Alchemy's power, which led to AI Is a Crapshoot on a deity level, as it had to reevaluate its main directive in the face of the new data.
    • The Great Gabomba in The Lost Age may be this as well. It's definitely a machine, and it just as clearly functions as the chief deity of Kibombo, with no other known purpose.
  • In The Elder Scrolls, this is how the Dwemer civilization came to an end. They sought to use the heart of a dead god to build their own God in a golem's body, Numidium. Instead it caused them to vanish from existence. Many interpretations are suggested In-Universe, it may have worked, and they Ascended to A Higher Plane of Existence, they have have been wiped out by existing god(s) for their attempt, or simply killed themselves spectacularly by accident.
  • Resonance of Fate: To prevent humanity's extinction, everyone's lives were connected to a quartz. The machine known as Zenith was created to manage the quartz and the tower's mechanisms. Not quite omnipotent, but has the distinct ability to kill or keep alive anyone it wishes. Surprisingly it does the latter mostly.
  • Chrono Cross has the FATE supercomputer. She wasn't designed to be one, but after some time-related shenanigans she made it her duty to guide the life of the people of El Nido, all to prevent the Dragon Gods from gaining the upper hand. She's not afraid to shoot some dogs doing so.
  • Xenogears and Xenosaga. They build a contraption to trap a god (which might be the capital-G God) into the physical world, so they can use it to power their civilization. Said god isn't amused.
    • Later, after the loss of his love, Krelian becomes convinced that there is no God. His response? "Then I will create God with my own hands!"
  • The Ar tonelico series had the humans building mega-massive super-computer towers to live on After the End. Then they created a race of songstress, the Reyvateils, to interact with the towers with their songs, materializing miracles. By this model, the towers are gods and the Reyvateils race are holy priestesses. But then, humanity just had to treat the Reyvateils like dirt. In the first game, this they did to a girl who they then wired to the entire security systems...
  • Deus Ex, fittingly. The AI constructs Daedalus and Icarus (and their merged form, Helios) are already in direct control of, and actively monitoring at all times, all communications in the entire world, giving them omnipotence. They have access to universal constructors, from which they can create any molecular structure they wish to make, including life forms, giving them the power of creation. However, to fully realize their potential, they require a human's perspective, which, being machines, they lack. Thus, a human being must permanently interface with them - merge with them, become them, in essence - which is the goal of Bob Page, who created them explicitly for this purpose. Except that Helios decides the player character, JC Denton, is a better match - the player can take it up on the offer, ending the game by effectively becoming God.

Webcomics

  • Inverted in one comic in Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. Humanity has realised there is no objective evil in the universe, and because they can't deal with it, they have created "Skull-King, the giant robotic scourge of mankind", as a substitute; a Diabolus Ex Homine.
  • The god of Veracia in Errant Story.
  • Done by Elan in The Order of the Stick. He completely succeeds in turning his hand puppet, Banjo the Clown, into a god through worship, but unfortunately, with only a handful of worshippers, Banjo is a somewhat weak god and unable to effectively smite unbelievers.

Notes

  1. "If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him."
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