Author Topic: Sainthood  (Read 6163 times)

Offline Nash

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Re: Sainthood
« Reply #15 on: September 13, 2009, 01:00:14 AM »
No one worships Chaos by accident...really.
Erm... The Eldar didn't worship Slaanesh yet they brought it to life... True it's their actions and not their "prayers" to another god which did, but still... You don't need to worship Chaos per se to play its game.

In the case I was talking about it's the not prayers themselves that'd count, but their emotional charge... That's something a demon can tap into. Imagine all those pious Imperial citizens praying to Saint Whatever with hearts full of hate for the xenos abominations, that'd probably be stronger than most rituals performed by a handful of willing cultists...

Offline Dust King

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Re: Sainthood
« Reply #16 on: September 15, 2009, 09:20:22 AM »
Imagine all those pious Imperial citizens praying to Saint Whatever with hearts full of hate for the xenos abominations, that'd probably be stronger than most rituals performed by a handful of willing cultists...

I doubt the majority of the imperuims citizens are really aware of most xenos breeds and certainly aren't overly concerned about them, sure they are told to hate them but I doubt they are ever concerned enough to have any strong emotions about them. From how I understand the imperium most of the prayers would be asking for the strength to endure their tough lives or the chance for a better life. Most people would be more concerned with themselves and their families rather than something half a sector away.

There's probably a good chance that the belief and prayer in the imperium is all that's really keeping it going.

Offline Nash

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Re: Sainthood
« Reply #17 on: September 15, 2009, 11:13:24 AM »
I doubt the majority of the imperuims citizens are really aware of most xenos breeds and certainly aren't overly concerned about them, sure they are told to hate them but I doubt they are ever concerned enough to have any strong emotions about them. From how I understand the imperium most of the prayers would be asking for the strength to endure their tough lives or the chance for a better life. Most people would be more concerned with themselves and their families rather than something half a sector away.
True, half a sector away it woudn't really matter (and that's if the news of anything happening ever reach that far) but I meant only the citizens from the planet which was attacked and saw the the "ascenscion" of the Saint...
If it's a Hive World, populated with, say, a hundred billions, even if only 0.01% prayed with hate for their attackers in mind, that would still mean ten millions of people...
« Last Edit: September 15, 2009, 11:15:57 AM by Nash »

Offline Nate

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Re: Sainthood
« Reply #18 on: September 30, 2009, 11:33:23 PM »

However, I theorize it is entirely possible that by the combined faith of the Imperium, a warp entity was created, much like Slaanesh, and that HE, the Emperor, a true GOD and not some
superhuman-psychic-corpse-on-Terra, could will stuff.  And the Saints could be sent, and directed by him.

Where, for all their psycic power, the Eldar in their depravity gave birth to Slaanesh, so by the pure, honest, loving faith of the masses was a being born, wrathful against the enemies of mankind, but willing to save (so long as the 'dex is Imperial) his servants.

Thats BRILLIANT...
* Nate wanders off to rethink certain shadowy figure's motivations...

Offline N01H3r3

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Re: Sainthood
« Reply #19 on: October 01, 2009, 12:21:30 AM »
However, I theorize it is entirely possible that by the combined faith of the Imperium, a warp entity was created, much like Slaanesh, and that HE, the Emperor, a true GOD and not some
superhuman-psychic-corpse-on-Terra, could will stuff.  And the Saints could be sent, and directed by him.

Where, for all their psycic power, the Eldar in their depravity gave birth to Slaanesh, so by the pure, honest, loving faith of the masses was a being born, wrathful against the enemies of mankind, but willing to save (so long as the 'dex is Imperial) his servants.
The Eldar, in their depravity, gave birth to Slaanesh, whose first act was to all but annihilate the civilisation that created it.

The Eldar are far more potent in a psychic sense than humans and are capable of far greater extremes of psychology and emotion than humans. Just because they created a god in the Warp does not mean that any species can do it, and given the precedent set, the act of doing so (which wasn't quite as accidental as might often be believed, as suggested by the novel Farseer by Bill King) is not a simple one, nor one that can come to fruition unnoticed.

And before you start with the "ah, but Slaanesh is evil" or some such line... Chaos is amoral, beyond the petty definitions of human morality. The first act of She Who Thirsts was to devour the souls of billions or trillions of Eldar, and those who died first in those terrible moments were those whose souls were closest in ideal and nature to Slaanesh itself - those who, when you think about it, would have made the greatest of servants for the new Ruinous Power. It hardly seems like a voluntary act, were such a notion even relevant for a gestalt disembodied pseudo-consciousness consisting entirely of a single defining emotional concept.
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Offline Tullio

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Re: Sainthood
« Reply #20 on: October 01, 2009, 01:03:20 AM »
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ah, but Slaanesh is evil" or some such line... Chaos is amoral, beyond the petty definitions of human morality.

I still beg to differ - not only because that view belittles human morality, which can hardly be called petty just because the beings that uphold it are physically fragile, but also because Chaos (Note I say Chaos, not the Warp) universally causes misery and corruption to all it touches. Chaos is born out of evil, even if the Warp isn't.

Let's not put the Ruinous Powers on a pedastal here - they have a conciousness that is alien and ineffable, certainly, but I certainly would hesitate to ascribe a kind of innocence to thier actions. An evil creature that has no choice to be evil still is evil.

Tullio

Offline N01H3r3

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Re: Sainthood
« Reply #21 on: October 01, 2009, 01:15:46 AM »
I still beg to differ - not only because that view belittles human morality, which can hardly be called petty just because the beings that uphold it are physically fragile, but also because Chaos (Note I say Chaos, not the Warp) universally causes misery and corruption to all it touches. Chaos is born out of evil, even if the Warp isn't.
In a 40k context, human morality is petty by comparison because it's one of several competing theories - Eldar and Ork morality are no more or less valid, for example - and because it considers only humanity. Chaos is something beyond any physical existence we can observe or experience, the true depths of its nature is beyond corporeal definition, and existing beyond any natural definitions we can place upon it.

Chaos is born of emotion, nothing more and nothing less. Emotion without limit, unfettered and unrestricted, is dangerous, destructive. It isn't, in and of itself, evil, because that's a subjective human term ill-suited to giving definition to, say, a being who embodies and is given form by all the hope, progress, corruption, magic, mutation, deceit and manipulation that ever has been and ever shall be. The Warp is no less dangerous, really, its presence when uncontrolled inherently destructive to the fabric of the material universe, but it could no more be called evil than a beaker of concentrated acid could be ascribed with the same moral outlook.

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Let's not put the Ruinous Powers on a pedastal here - they have a conciousness that is alien and ineffable, certainly, but I certainly would hesitate to ascribe a kind of innocence to thier actions. An evil creature that has no choice to be evil still is evil.
Are they conscious, though? Does their nature in any way resemble human consciousness? Their diffuse nature, the formless nature of their natural domain, and the fact that they do not exist within any temporal context (time is meaningless from their undefined perspective) mean that comparisons to human consciousness are difficult at best and essentially irrelevant at worst.

Innocence? No... that would ascribe sapience to them, a sense of self-determination, which I don't see as being the case. The Ruinous Powers, IMO, are about as good or evil as an earthquake, no more moral than a tsunami. It is an existence, of sorts, beyond the mortal definitions of morality created by species whose fundamental nature could not be more different from that of the Ruinous Powers.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2009, 01:21:34 AM by N01H3r3 »
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Offline Tullio

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Re: Sainthood
« Reply #22 on: October 01, 2009, 01:19:42 PM »
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In a 40k context, human morality is petty by comparison because it's one of several competing theories - Eldar and Ork morality are no more or less valid, for example - and because it considers only humanity.

Imperial morality, I grant you, considers only humanity. I don't see how it becomes petty simply because of the existence competing moral systems. The same logic leads one to label all morality petty, whether alien or a human system.

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Chaos is something beyond any physical existence we can observe or experience, the true depths of its nature is beyond corporeal definition, and existing beyond any natural definitions we can place upon it.

I'm prepared to accept the idea that the Empyrean is essentially ineffable, but Chaos can be experienced though it's manifestations in the real universe. And yes, a Warpstorm can hardly be blamed for it's actions - it's merely a case of metaphysics, no more, just as an earthquake is indeed just physics.

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Are they conscious, though? Does their nature in any way resemble human consciousness? Their diffuse nature, the formless nature of their natural domain, and the fact that they do not exist within any temporal context (time is meaningless from their undefined perspective) mean that comparisons to human consciousness are difficult at best and essentially irrelevant at worst.

Innocence? No... that would ascribe sapience to them, a sense of self-determination, which I don't see as being the case. The Ruinous Powers, IMO, are about as good or evil as an earthquake, no more moral than a tsunami. It is an existence, of sorts, beyond the mortal definitions of morality created by species whose fundamental nature could not be more different from that of the Ruinous Powers.

Here, I suspect, we’ll suffer a difference of opinion not easily resolved by reference to the background. The way I see the Ruinous Powers, they are the spiritual manifestation of the sins of Mankind (And other races … though I’m sure the teeming billions of Mankind have a significant influence on their nature). While they might not have any choice about their nature and actions, being without free will, as their source is evil, to too are they. They have motives and goals that make sense to themselves but are difficult to comprehend because of their power and longevity. And to me, they seem to manifest a consciousness, a self-awareness, even if this is mostly seen through their daemonic servants.

Of course, I can scarcely back any of this up with a nice neat quotation from the background, this is just the impression that I’ve got from my reading

Tullio

Offline N01H3r3

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Re: Sainthood
« Reply #23 on: October 01, 2009, 09:02:21 PM »
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In a 40k context, human morality is petty by comparison because it's one of several competing theories - Eldar and Ork morality are no more or less valid, for example - and because it considers only humanity.

Imperial morality, I grant you, considers only humanity. I don't see how it becomes petty simply because of the existence competing moral systems. The same logic leads one to label all morality petty, whether alien or a human system.
On a galactic scale, or when considering the warp, morality is petty. Morals being a construct of society (and one which changes as the context it exists within changes), they cannot adequately encompass things vaster than the societies from which those morals originate.

To human morality in the 41st Millennium (that is, the morality of the Imperium of Man), genocide is an acceptable response to territorial disputes. Humans are, ostensibly, 'good' primarily because they are human, so long as their behaviours fall within expected boundaries. Non-human sapients are fundamentally deemed 'evil' by that same morality, irrespective of the manner in which they behave.

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I'm prepared to accept the idea that the Empyrean is essentially ineffable, but Chaos can be experienced though it's manifestations in the real universe.
Do the acts of a believer define a religion? Certainly, while the servants of Chaos may engage in deeds that may subjectively referred to as evil (where 'Evil' is a notion defined by morals, which are in and of themselves, unique to a given culture and thus subjective), their doing so is a matter of their interpretation of the needs of their patron, rather than necessarily being the irrefutable will of the Ruinous Powers.

Beyond that... the Immaterium is anathema to the structures and fundamental nature of reality -  reality is order, driven by rules and mechanisms that continue inexorably, while the Immaterium is formless, shapeless and entirely mutable to the designs of any with the will to exert upon it. Manifestations of Chaos in the material world will be, due to their nature as extensions of the Aethyr, inherently destructive to the world.

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The way I see the Ruinous Powers, they are the spiritual manifestation of the sins of Mankind (And other races … though I’m sure the teeming billions of Mankind have a significant influence on their nature).
Technically, it's likely closer to teeming quintillions - on a previous incarnation of the Conclave, Helst and a couple of others worked out an approximate population of the Imperium of Man, which was somewhere in the region of 3.3x10^18 (330,000,000,000,000,000) human beings.

Beyond that... the view's a little humanocentric, don't you think? Afterall, for all their bluster about dominating the universe, there is no guarantee that human beings are the single most populous sapient species in the galaxy. Orks may well have a legitimate claim to that particular title. Also remember that it's not raw numbers, but rather collective psychic magnitude that defines influence upon the Warp.

Chaos certainly has a lot riding on mankind, and appears as a dark reflection of it more often than not... but consider that Chaos has existed since long before mankind ever did, and the only Chaos God created since the rise of humanity as a psychic species... was created by the folly of the Eldar, rather than by the collective ills of mankind.

For me, Chaos is emotion, or rather, the resultant psychosympathetic reaction of the tides of the Immaterium upon reaction to the emotions of sapient creatures. Every stray thought, every dream and nightmare, every idle imagining ripples through the Aethyr, and where particular thoughts and emotions are particularly strong or frequently reinforced by similar feelings, they coalesce into something greater.

Khorne is at the core a representation of and gestalt pseudoconsciousness formed from all anger, hatred, defiant pride, aggression, etc that has, is, and ever will be felt by any mortal creature anywhere in the material galaxy reflected by this particular corner of the Warp. Nurgle is similarly despair, hopelessness, acceptance, tradition, inventiveness, reliability and simple joy. Tzeentch is change for better or worse, manipulation, deceit, hope, imagination, and the desire for progress. Slaanesh is the pursuit of pleasure and the desire for sensation or fulfilment. Everything an individual is can be found, somewhere, within one or more of the Chaos Gods if you look hard enough... the good and the bad. Chaos is destructive because it is emotion without restraint or compromise, Id without Ego or Super-ego. Slaanesh represents it best - when done in moderation, the pursuit of pleasure is beyond objection... but to seek pleasure to the exclusion of all else, with no regard for taboo or cost, is dangerous and destructive.
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Offline Tullio

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Re: Sainthood
« Reply #24 on: October 01, 2009, 09:33:48 PM »

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To human morality in the 41st Millennium (that is, the morality of the Imperium of Man), genocide is an acceptable response to territorial disputes. Humans are, ostensibly, 'good' primarily because they are human, so long as their behaviours fall within expected boundaries. Non-human sapients are fundamentally deemed 'evil' by that same morality, irrespective of the manner in which they behave

I agree. But I'm still not convinced. Your view of morality seems to be very sociological - and that's just fine as a way of explaining morality. However, to call morality (Alien or human) petty because of the existance of an ineffable power ... I still don't see the reasoning behind it. It's like me calling my own belief system next to irrelevant because of the existance of tsunamis.

In any case, as it relates to the Ruinous Powers, it's hard to ascribe amorality to them when throughout the background we see a system of reward going on. No Berserker was ever struck by lightning for lopping off a Guardsman's head, to give a crude example. The Gods are fickle when it comes to thier believers, that's for certain but they do seem to actively reward attempts to be evil.

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Beyond that... the view's a little humanocentric, don't you think? Afterall, for all their bluster about dominating the universe, there is no guarantee that human beings are the single most populous sapient species in the galaxy. Orks may well have a legitimate claim to that particular title. Also remember that it's not raw numbers, but rather collective psychic magnitude that defines influence upon the Warp.

Ok, fair enough, to say “The Ruinous Powers are the spiritual manifestation of the sins of sentience” might well have been more accurate. My point was that humans are no small factor in the way the Ruinous Powers act and evolve.

Tullio