The Cylons have left Colonial space and formed their own organized society. Yet, there are several moments when we see one of them killing another. Of course murder can be considered less of a crime with Cylons, who have comfort of resurrection, but it's still known to inflict some trauma and as such, it could still be considered a crime.

Yet, no Cylon seems to answer for that. The way Cylons are governed also seems to be very vague and nondescript, which amazes me in a society that was created by sentient AIs. For the most part, senior Cylons seem to just act however they please.

Is this subject touched anywhere in the series - or related material?

  • 1
    “it's still known to institute some trauma and as such, it would still be considered a crime” — that’s not how crime works, son. Commented Dec 12, 2017 at 14:01
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    IIRC, the Cylons believed in God, and by all appearances their God was equivalent to the Christian God. Setting aside questions about how a cybernetic race millennia in the past could follow the same faith as modern day Christians do today (that's a whole other conversation), I think that pretty clearly implies they at least have the concept of God's Law (ie: the ten commandments, etc.) Obviously, having the concept of law does not prevent individuals from breaking it, though.
    – Steve-O
    Commented Dec 12, 2017 at 14:23

2 Answers 2


The Cylons use some form of democracy via the mass-production Numbers. We know this because there's a episode where there's a contentious vote and Boomer (a Number Eight model) votes against her fellow Eights, thus breaking what would have been a stalemate.

Cavil insists the Raiders should undergo a procedure to remove or at least reduce their sentience, and he enlists Boomer's aid when the Cylons become deadlocked over the matter. While her fellow Eights vote as a group against the procedure, Boomer decides to vote yes in order to make the Raiders effective fighters once again. In so doing, she becomes the first Cylon to ever vote against her own model (meaning that in a six-vote bloc, she casts an unheard-of seventh vote).

It's also clear than not everyone is on board with Cavill and his quest to exterminate humanity.

When the Resurrection Hub is destroyed, Cavil and Boomer demand Ellen help them redevelop the technology. Cavil threatens to cut open Ellen's brain in order to access her knowledge, but Boomer spirits her away in a Raptor, telling Ellen she is forgiving her.

It appeared that things became considerably less democratic after the Resurrection Hub was destroyed. Of course, by this time, we learn that Cavill has commited other crimes against Cylons, most notably he destroyed the Daniel line out of jealousy

One of the plot points was that the human cylons wrestled with the morality of their decisions (most notably Boomer regrets kidnapping Hera and dies after rescuing her). Given the Cylon civil war, it's also clear that Cavill was losing his hold as leader, and this eventually pushes Cavill over the edge, repulsing the other models.


It's not the clearest answer but I'd say "Sort of" - their society seems to have been largely harmonious, operating on a principle of consensus between the model lines prior to the events of the series but gets less so as the series progresses (A Number Three claims that her "death" at the hands of Caprica Six in Downloaded is the first act of Cylon-on-Cylon violence in their history but it's certainly far from the last we see.)

It appears that "crime" in Cylon society translates into going against the consensus - When D'Anna (and the other Threes) act against the consensus of the other models in Rapture the entire Number Three model line is then "boxed" (deactivated and placed in cold storage) by Cavill as a result, before boxing them Cavill explains that this has been decided and agreed upon by all the other models.

While Cavill ostensibly says this is because the line is "fundamentally flawed" it's not much of a stretch to see this as a form of punishment (being very close to execution) and in many ways it's a parallel to the way that "criminals" who act against the "consensus" (i.e. laws) in a human society are treated. While we don't see any instances it's implied that the "boxing" of individual cylons (as opposed to whole model lines) is an established practice and may well be how their society deals with such Cylon "criminals"

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