Author Topic: Extremism in the Inquisition  (Read 7024 times)

Offline Kasthan

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Re: Extremism in the Inquisition
« Reply #15 on: September 07, 2009, 01:09:16 PM »
With characters that are called Radicals or Extermists they would most likely not see themselves as the name that is allocated to them. It is all shades of grey with no true black and white, for example at the end of Eisenhorn, Eisenhorn would be deamed a Radical (Daemon host, harbouring a pyshic being etc) yet does not see the actions he takes as radical, just needed and correct to defeat the enemies of the Imperium.

Destroying the Eye of Terror once and for all, ala Quixos, for example.
Quixos saw his actions as doing good for the Imperium, but others (majority of the Inqusition) disagreed. His actions were too Extreme for everyone else to follow. (An example of this is Kurtz's character in Apo Now!)

Also think to the quote through the start of the rule book (starting with) 'You accuse me of being a madman. What right do you have to judge what is sane and what is not?'

As Kaled and others have said Extremism and Radicalism is all from the viewer's POV. It is worth considering that the descriptions within the rule book are very vague and can not possibly cover all descriptions of belief.

(Sorry if not very well linked but topic is a wide and difficult one to disscus)

Offline Inquisitor Sargoth

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Re: Extremism in the Inquisition
« Reply #16 on: September 07, 2009, 04:37:51 PM »
It is all shades of grey with no true black and white, for example at the end of Eisenhorn, Eisenhorn would be deamed a Radical (Daemon host, harbouring a pyshic being etc) yet does not see the actions he takes as radical, just needed and correct to defeat the enemies of the Imperium.
Actually, he admits to himself and others that he is a radical now, after Rogue (and possibly Rouge, from his appearance) Trader Tobias Maxilla points it out.  He is fully aware that his actions are radical, but (like all Inquisitors) see his methods as necessary and even unavoidable.

Though frankly Eisenhorn is a poor choice for shades of grey morality - Almost every damn villain is irredeemably evil, insanely sanctimonious, motivated entirely by selfish greed or a hard-assed mercenary lacking in standards. The only exception were the group of insane shell-shocked veterans in the short story, which took most of its emotional punch from the fact that in the series they were unique in being the only enemies we could even remotely identify with.

My own take on philosophies is that they’re linked irrevocably to the Inquisitorial psyche. In my opinion, all Inquisitors are insane. In a very, narrow, specialised way. They have little to morals, total surety in their cause. They burn worlds. They torture people to death. They execute innocents who have witnessed the daemonic or alien. They wipe the memories of everyone too valuable to destroy. It is all necessary for the survival of the Imperial, and in a horrific way justified, but the person who does so has to be something of sociopath or malignant narcissist. They can be portrayed as nobly sacrificing their humanity for others (and think so themselves), but deep down if they didn’t get some twisted pleasure from their job they would all go insane.

All Inquisitors categorically believe their opinion is correct. If they didn’t, they’d never be able to do anything. Factions are of course not uniform – I suspect few Xanthites label themselves such, and that many Amalthians (or Istvaanians) fail to see eye-to-eye with one another. Extremism of every philosophy is an inevitability, as is extremism linked to none. It’s also why Inquisitors don’t often work together. They very, very rarely get on (and few every get past mutual respect), and of course you have to ‘share’ limitless authority when you’re working in a group, which an Inquisitor would very much dislike.

Though to be fair I seem to just be adding my own take on a point everyone is agreeing on.
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Offline Kaled

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Re: Extremism in the Inquisition
« Reply #17 on: September 07, 2009, 05:57:30 PM »
Factions are of course not uniform – I suspect few Xanthites label themselves such
I don't know - why wouldn't Xanthites label themselves as such?  Sometimes Xanthites may be regarded as arrogant and dangerous, but they are also said to include some of the most learned and powerful Inquisitors.  I'd say that it's only the more extreme members of the faction who have any reason to hide their beliefs; and in most cases it's more the extent to which they're prepared to take those beliefs, rather than the fact that they're a Xanthite, that they need to hide.
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Offline MarcoSkoll

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Re: Extremism in the Inquisition
« Reply #18 on: September 07, 2009, 06:05:37 PM »
Remind me, what happened on the ninth of November?
That would be the day I was born.

It would also be the day that the Berlin Wall fell (as well as several other important events in Germany), the day capital punishment was completely abolished in Britain, the date Einstein was awarded a Nobel prize...

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It's a pet peeve of mine how people seem to be falling into the habit of embracing the American MMDDYY calendar date format
Yes, and in almost every case, I use DDMMYY (or YYMMDD... just as long as it's in an order of significance)... or better, actually writing out the month which has no ambiguity whatsoever.

However, in this case, I make an exception, given the fact that most people would hesitate longer if I used the UK date format.

@Inquisitor Sargoth: Personally, I like to play with the idea of Inquisitors who do have moral dilemmas. While killing a Chaos cultist or whatever is no dilemma, I like to throw players real curve balls, where they have to choose between what the character would want to do, and what the character should do.

Personally, it's not half as much fun writing a campaign if there are characters in it which you can't get to struggle over a hard decision.
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Offline Aidan

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Re: Extremism in the Inquisition
« Reply #19 on: September 07, 2009, 11:43:05 PM »
Hence I did say 'directly' the examples you've given - while adequate - refer to adaptations of the inquisitorial philosophies (or rather, the reverse).
Debatable. Even though my points on the Radical viewpoints were a little indirect, what I said about the Puritan viewpoints was pretty damn straight.

Religious Terrorism is Monodominant, without any twisting whatsoever: "You're not part of our religion, or you do/are something frowned upon by our religion, hence you must die." Replace "our religion" with "The Imperium", and you've got MDism, no ifs or buts about it.

I disagree. Monodominance is specifically the belief revolving around the superiourity of humanity (in the ideals of the imperial creed) over everything else. Again, Thorianism  is specifically about the return of the 'god' emperor. I hold that Recongregation and Amalthianism are only superficially about the Imperium, as in they are simply the 40-k equivalents of the change vs continuity issue.  Even if the Imperium were completely different place (say, a secular, xeno-loving confederation) there would still be people striving for change, and those striving against it. Wheras Thorians and Monodominants would be limited to hiding in a tiny cult in a basement and trying to invoke the divine power of his majesty the emperor, assuming such a belief even existed.

Indeed, there are a lot of parallels between Inquisition and real world philosophies - indeed, I've gone very much along that line when creating my own "minor philosophies".

That however, I agree with whole-heartedly. As you say, there are alot of parallels, but I say, Recongregation and Amalthianism are the only ones that are modern day philosophies.

I hope that clears things up.

-Aidan.

Offline MarcoSkoll

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Re: Extremism in the Inquisition
« Reply #20 on: September 08, 2009, 12:33:00 AM »
I disagree. Monodominance is specifically the belief revolving around the superiority of humanity (in the ideals of the imperial creed) over everything else.
Which I would argue isn't removed from religious terrorism saying that their religion is superior to everyone one else. Of course, MDism can be far more moderate - a staunch belief in the superiority of Imperial humans, but not to the point of genocide of everyone else... much like many religions today, which claim their followers to belong to "the true religion", and everyone else is at best misguided.

Bear in mind that "pure" MDism will still flatten humans, if they don't follow the Imperial creed, even if they are otherwise perfect. I don't see how it's any stretch at all to draw an almost total parallel.

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Even if the Imperium were completely different place (say, a secular, xeno-loving confederation) Thorians and Monodominants would be limited to hiding in a tiny cult in a basement.
Taking our world to be secular and largely acceptant, I think that that sums up terrorism perfectly.

Of course, "Thorian" beliefs need not force you into hiding. If a society is secular, it doesn't have to mean all its citizens are.
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Offline Tullio

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Re: Extremism in the Inquisition
« Reply #21 on: September 08, 2009, 11:45:13 AM »
I disagree with the notion that terrorism, religious or otherwise, is to do with hurting people who ought to be harmed. Almost by definition, it's about trying to scare people into doing something you want them to do.

In any case, I see the parallel that Marco is making - Monodominance is an attitude more or less as old as civilisation, ever since men started having to find excuses to harm one another. This is in itself grounds for further philosophising. Monodominance as a contemporary creed is quite contemptible, but can the same be said of the 41st Millennium? When one considers the multitude of threats in the deep black, in some ways the belief that only humans can exist begins to make sense.

Food for thought. Further food for thought - what is the opposite of Monodominance?

Tullio

Offline MarcoSkoll

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Re: Extremism in the Inquisition
« Reply #22 on: September 08, 2009, 12:28:20 PM »
Further food for thought - what is the opposite of Monodominance?
Interesting question. Would it be an argument that humanity was inferior and didn't deserve to exist, or would it be one that said all races had equal rights to the universe?
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Offline Inquisitor Sargoth

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Re: Extremism in the Inquisition
« Reply #23 on: September 08, 2009, 02:03:31 PM »
Monodominance is interesting - The 'founder' was a pessimistic old bastard who, after years of service, thought humanity could only survive if everything else was dead. Only later Inquisitors decided this was an aim rather than a grim statement of fact. And, if you look at it, that's more of an anti-Xenos and daemon statement. You could strain it to anti-mutant, perhaps, but it's very outward looking. Yet Monodominants (as they are portrayed) tend towards the Tyrus/Muundus role, very much focused inwards.

Monodominancy clearly existed before the name; it's the Imperial creed, really. Kill all the aliens, we're better. Every radical is a Monodominant by that definition – even Xanthites and those who use only alien weapons are using them against their own creators/kind. To question mankind’s supremacy is to question one of the founding concepts of the Imperium, laid out by the Emperor himself (and in this case, actually genuinely).  To consider it unobtainable, like Goldo himself clearly did, would be a milder blasphemy, but common enough amongst older (more powerful, experienced and influential) Inquisitors for them to get away with it.

The opposite of Monodominance is heresy, pure and simple. 

Of course, the basic idea is very, very different (as I mentioned early) to how it is practised within the faction. It clearly was adopted by some very charismatic extreme puritans, giving their own creed (of overzealous Puritanism) which had existed as soon as the Imperium settled into its current shape after the Emperor’s death, a name and perhaps more of a sense of common purpose.

The name is very much pointing out the obvious, and of course anyone who opposes Monodominants can be accused of opposing Monodominance itself, which is heresy. I find that rather fitting.

Skoll -  I like to focus of the moral qualms of Inquisitors as well. Dorian has them, as you know, and a character originally planned to appear in AM (who probably won’t now) is a former Inquisitor who had a crisis of conscience and went into hiding. Essentially, I think an Inquisitor either ‘gets over’ their morals or is eventually destroyed by them. AM’s later, mostly unwritten stages, focus on Inquisitors whose arrogance has catapulted them into extremism (an extremist Istvaanian hiding in plain sight, a Xanthite driven mad by his daemonsword and a Monodominant, being an old crone, who acts entirely behind the scenes with disturbingly black and white morals that would make Tyrus balk) and Dorian’s own crisis of conscience.
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Offline MarcoSkoll

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Re: Extremism in the Inquisition
« Reply #24 on: September 08, 2009, 06:23:36 PM »
Essentially, I think an Inquisitor either ‘gets over’ their morals or is eventually destroyed by them.
Most will, yes.

But there's still a difference between the necessary/right thing to do (at least in the character's own mind), and what a character is happy with doing. Sometimes the character will do things they need to, but didn't want to... sometimes not. A friend has a interesting combination where the character thinks that one philosophy is the best option, but they act on another, because they haven't the conviction to go through with "the best option".

It's important to play a character who has some limits, things that they won't do or at least something that's of a higher priority to them than their job, because then what happens on the tabletop is not roleplay, it's straight up wargaming.

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AM’s later, mostly unwritten stages, focus on Inquisitors whose arrogance has catapulted them into extremism and Dorian’s own crisis of conscience.
Already looking forward to it...
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Offline GhouraAgur

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Re: Extremism in the Inquisition
« Reply #25 on: September 09, 2009, 06:39:29 AM »
Does Thorianism stink of Sebastianism?

Anyhow...I really wish they wouldn't split it down Puritain vs Radical, the words themselves aren't exactly opposite.  Orthodox vs Unorthodox, that'd work better, I think, since Inquisitors of any faction can be "radical", though every faction is essentially the distillation of a particular philosophy, thereby, to lump the lot into groups and call this one "Xanthanite" and that one "Thorian" would be to condem the factions to be radical.  I'd imagine that extreamism isn't really so widespread, and that the only reason GW reports about it all the time is 'cuz it makes for way cooler reading.  Overkill sells.