The Imperial Truth
Great actions have shaped our society. The greatest, intellectually, has been our casting off of that heavy mantle called religion. Religion damned our species for thousands of years, from the lowest superstition to the highest conclaves of spiritual faith. It drove us to madness, to war, to murder, it hung upon us like a disease, like a shackle ball. I’ll tell you what religion was… Ignorance. The greatest thing mankind ever did was to reinvent itself as a secular culture. – Kyril Sindermann"
The Imperial Truth is the name given to the current set of secular, rationalist philosophical and cultural beliefs promulgated by the Emperor of Mankind for the Great Crusade to reunite all the worlds of Mankind beneath the umbrella of the newborn Imperium of Man.
The Imperial Truth was pioneered by the Emperor on Terra even before the Great Crusade began, and is a collection of beliefs that upholds the core values of reason, science and secular progress over older traditions of religion, superstition and faith that had longed defined many of the human worlds that had fallen into darkness during the Age of Strife after the fall of humanity’s first interstellar civilisation.
The Emperor himself has declared that Mankind never will be free to progress and advance to its destined position as the pre-eminent intelligent species in the Milky Way Galaxy until “the last stone from the last church was cast down onto the last priest.” He purged ancient Terra of all its ancient religions and superstitious beliefs, even going so far as to personally witness the destruction of the final church on Terra’s ancient soil after engaging its resident holy man in a battle of ideas, wit and dogma.
“Religion is a byproduct of fear. For much of human history, it may have been a necessary evil, but why was it more evil than necessary? Isn’t killing people in the name of God a pretty good definition of insanity?” – Unknown, pre-Age of Strife
The Imperial Truth also holds that humanity is the species which shall rightfully rule the galaxy since. In addition, all of the other intelligent alien races, such as the Eldar, had already tried and failed to maintain galaxy-spanning civilisations. Now it is Mankind’s turn to find a place in the sun. The Imperial Truth needed to be brought to all the worlds of Mankind, peacefully at first but imposed by war if necessary, because the Emperor believes that unity is the only way for humanity to survive and prosper in the face of a very hostile universe.
If this required the unfortunate use of force against those who refused to understand this necessity, then so be it. While the Imperial Truth upholds the light of reason and science, it does have one proscription: men must never develop artificially intelligent machines. The Emperor remembered that it was the great war fought by Mankind against the thinking machines known as the Men of Iron that had helped to destroy humanity’s last united interstellar civilisation at the end of the Dark Age of Technology and he had no desire to see the human race repeat its past mistakes. As such, when the expeditionary fleets of the Great Crusade encounters advanced human civilisations in the dark of space that had developed artificial intelligence, these worlds’ populations are simply exterminated outright as potential dangers to the entire body politic of the newborn Imperium.