Author Topic: The Inquisition: How Radical is Radical?  (Read 5985 times)

Offline Lucidum

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The Inquisition: How Radical is Radical?
« on: March 07, 2010, 08:31:08 AM »
So of course =][= is all about rival inquisitors serving the imperium in their own special way, and often fighting about the proper way to do that. There's always the examples of puritan and radical inquisitors, and for radical inquisitors those that use daemonhosts are always the first mentioned; but how radical does one have to be to be considered a radical? For example, my Inquisitor, Solace Bastille (see the rules discussion section of the forum), is of the Istvaanian mindset, and therefore technically a radical, so to make her fit into that radical category, I've written that she often uses methods of warmongering or assassination (or sometimes both combined) in order to deliberately try and force humanity's continued evolution through adversity- which, from what I've read, is more or less what the istvaanians believe in. However, is that truly radical? I would doubt such acts would be called heresy, like making a daemonhost or wielding daemon weapons might be, so is my character technically a radical? Is there some standard of radicality that an inquisitor must reach before being labelled as such?

Offline Kaled

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Re: The Inquisition: How Radical is Radical?
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2010, 08:57:12 AM »
However, is that truly radical? I would doubt such acts would be called heresy, like making a daemonhost or wielding daemon weapons might be, so is my character technically a radical?
Remember that there's a big difference between radicalism and heresy - it's perfectly for a Xanthite, Recongregator or Horusian to be a highly respected member of the Inquisition.  Equally, there's no reason why an Amalathian or Monodominant couldn't be accused of heresy.  It's all subjective and depends entirely on your point of view.

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Is there some standard of radicality that an inquisitor must reach before being labelled as such?
No agreed upon standard, no.  Every Inquisitor will have a different view on such things - for example, at the start of Eisenhorn he was accused of being a radical for working undercover, whereas most people would call him a moderate puritan at that point.
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Offline psycho

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Re: The Inquisition: How Radical is Radical?
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2010, 03:39:33 PM »
What you have to remember is that Inquisitors, like normal people of todays world, have their own personal thoughts and opinions.
Whilst i dont class my self as a Racist others might due to the fact that im unhappy as to how Immigrants gain alot of benefits UK citizens (as in English) have no way of getting.
Now i know this upsets some people whilst others understand my views....this is how Inquisitors would see other Inquisitors...Tyrus for a canon example..is listed as being fiercely Puritan and a major "OOOOH look a woman with one eye slightly lower than the other.....WITHC" kind of character....now this would be viewed as obscenity by most others as this is the Right wing views....Characters such as Quixos however are Left Wing.....they have tread to far down the path of Damnation.....using a Daemonhost or Daemon Weapon doesnt make you a Radical....its just tends to piss people of a more Puritan view than themselves off. So no there isnt a set level of Radicalism, as Kaled says, but it does vary on how others see you.

Hope that helps and i havent rambled too much

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Offline GhouraAgur

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Re: The Inquisition: How Radical is Radical?
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2010, 07:15:29 AM »
...
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Is there some standard of radicality that an inquisitor must reach before being labelled as such?
No agreed upon standard, no.  Every Inquisitor will have a different view on such things - for example, at the start of Eisenhorn he was accused of being a radical for working undercover, whereas most people would call him a moderate puritan at that point.

Having not as of yet read the books, how exaclty was he supposed to be going about things?  Like Tyrus, bombastically strutting about in broad dayling and declaring people heretics left and right?  I'm rather fuzzy as to the proper way things are done.

I tend to think a character is labled Radical when they've finally ticked off enough people to have them declared such.  I suppose one might lable one's self a Radical, but that would seem...rather vain, don't you think?


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Offline Molotov

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Re: The Inquisition: How Radical is Radical?
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2010, 07:56:13 AM »
The Imperium of Warhammer 40,000 seems to run on a system where the first person to accuse another wins. If you can accuse another of heresy without first being accused of heresy yourself, you're laughing. A particular Inquisitor might be the most fervent in the galaxy. But once they've been accused of heresy, the stain is very hard to eradicate. So - when is 'different' heretical? Well, when you're vulnerable. If you don't have the support of other senior Inquisitors, for example.

But as Kaled says, there is a difference between being 'radical' and being a 'heretic'. To continue the references to Eisenhorn, there's a section in the first novel where Inquisitor Lord Rorken holds a gathering to discuss events that have occurred in Eisenhorn's investigation (I won't go into further details so as not to spoil things). Among those who attend is Konrad Molitor, an Inquisitor whom Eisenhorn describes as "ultra-radical". And this is at the same table as a Lord Inquisitor and a Deathwatch Space Marine!

In the recent Dark Heresy: The Radical's Handbook  there's an interesting quote:

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Many other Inquisitors, be they Puritan or Radical, consider the Xanthites to be walking along the edge of a precipice, arrogantly tampering with powers no mortal mind can fully comprehend, and with catastrophic implications should they but slip for a moment. But despite the appalling dangers the Xanthites court, they are nevertheless one of the oldest and most heavily entrenched philosophies of the Inquisition, and their number includes not only some of the most learned and politically influential Inquisitors, but also some of the most personally powerful individuals.... It is indeed a courageous or foolhardy Inquisitor that dares challenge a true Xanthite directly and unaided... More often it is the case that several Inquisitors must make common cause to expose a Xanthite that they believe is guilty of crossing the line into outright heresy.

It's clear that Conclaves aren't just gatherings of Puritans slapping each other on the back. It appears that those considered 'radical' can have some presence at these gatherings, and that's how they can exercise a lot of their political influence. The agents of the Inquisition seem to naturally polarise, associating and banding together with others who share their views and beliefs. In this way, differences of opinion can quickly become political factions. The popularity (and therefore influence) of philosophies can vary greatly depending on the times. (It's entirely possible that the Conclaves of some Sectors might be full of Puritans congratulating each other!)

But then it's also worth considering that some ultra-Puritans such as the monodominants might be somewhat shunned. Their fervour is undeniable, but might be an impediment to investigation - plus how long would it be until they start to question those around them?

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Offline MarcoSkoll

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Re: The Inquisition: How Radical is Radical?
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2010, 02:35:46 PM »
I've copied this over from here, as it's probably more use in a thread about Radicalism than where no-one will likely find it again.

~~~~~

The Puritan/Radical divide is not one of good/evil. Evil or Good men can exist in either Puritan or Radical philosophies.

Puritan simply means that the character "goes by the book" - they don't do anything that wouldn't be sanctioned by the Imperium. And contrary to the belief of some, a Puritan can use things such as psychic powers or mutants.
A Radical does things which are not sanctioned - attacking the Imperium itself (even if to make it stronger in the long run), or use of Chaos or Xenos (some Xeno are half excepted).

As such, policies such as Amalathianism or Thorianism, while normally Puritan, can be Radical. For example, a Thorian might have a daemonhost in order to study - definitely radical.
And vice versa - Recongregators or Istvaanians are not necessarily Radical... depends on how they go about it. An Istvaanian doesn't necessarily need to perpetrate the strife themselves - imagine an Istvaanian who goes where trouble is, boosting morale and leading the Imperium through the struggle themselves and forging a stronger Imperium in the fires of battle personally.

It's what a character does, not what they believe they're doing (or how necessary they believe it is) or what they believe that marks them as one or the other.
Pretty much all of the policies can be Puritan or Radical - you could even theoretically have a Radical Monodominant who used improper means in their fanatical purge of all that was non-human.

And good/evil is removed once again. A Puritan can do evil things. A Radical could do much good.

~~~~~

The line of heresy is of course drawn in different places again. Some hard-line Monodominants might draw the line in a place that makes some Puritans (in their eyes) heretics. But a Xanthite likely wouldn't see themselves as a heretic (where as most Puritans probably would see them that way).
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Offline DapperAnarchist

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Re: The Inquisition: How Radical is Radical?
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2010, 02:44:04 PM »
A Thorian would see a Monodominant as a heretic, potentially - after all, they hold a theory that inevitably leads to denouncing the Emperor.
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Offline Gnaeus Conlitor

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Re: The Inquisition: How Radical is Radical?
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2010, 10:32:11 PM »
And a Monodominant would certainly view Thorian philosophy as bordering on heresy. All their research into saints and psykers and a goal that would put a huge dent in their cause if it came to fruition.
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Offline N01H3r3

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Re: The Inquisition: How Radical is Radical?
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2010, 12:34:55 PM »
And a Monodominant would certainly view Thorian philosophy as bordering on heresy. All their research into saints and psykers and a goal that would put a huge dent in their cause if it came to fruition.
Yet, by comparison, Monodominants and Istvaanians are known to frequently ally, in spite of Monodominants being notionally Puritan and Istvaanians being notionally Radical.

The overall point being, that it's not about the label someone else applies to you, but rather about what you believe...

And to back up MarcoSkoll's point: remember, this is the Inquisition we're talking about... men and women who possess unlimited authority with no oversight or accountability but the threats of their peers and their own moral compass, established to combat internal, external and metaphysical threats to a civilisation that not only condones, but encourages genocide on a galactic scale.

Our standards of good and evil seem somewhat inappropriate at this point...
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Offline Tullio

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Re: The Inquisition: How Radical is Radical?
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2010, 10:48:47 PM »
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Our standards of good and evil seem somewhat inappropriate at this point...

Depends. This situation certainly throws more exceptions and ambiguity into the ring, but our own moral standards can still apply, whether you believe in morals as a social tool or as an absolute with inherent value. The Inquisition both rejects and embraces dogma, which, out of thier own social context if laughable.

The question I would pose both Radicals and Puritans would be this - do you use these weapons because they really are the only thing keeping humanity alive, or just because that's what you've been taught to believe?

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Offline Swarbie

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Re: The Inquisition: How Radical is Radical?
« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2010, 06:14:32 AM »
Quote
Quote
Our standards of good and evil seem somewhat inappropriate at this point...

Depends. This situation certainly throws more exceptions and ambiguity into the ring, but our own moral standards can still apply, whether you believe in morals as a social tool or as an absolute with inherent value.


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Re: The Inquisition: How Radical is Radical?
« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2010, 02:52:52 PM »
I think the last time that everyone forgot morals completely was the Reign of Blood...

Offline Brother_Brimstone

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Re: The Inquisition: How Radical is Radical?
« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2010, 06:35:59 PM »
Morals are a contrivance of developed society. What need does the Inquisition have of such a thing?

Being a philosophy student, I feel obliged to take issue with this claim. That morals are a 'contrivance of society' is an anti-realist position (the way you put it would seem to be suggestive of prescriptivism, but I can see other ethical theories being fit into that model) and has, by no means prevailed over the cognitive realist position philosophically. It's an issue of debate, but to say that one side is definitely right rather borders on the ignorant. There are arguments for and against both sides.

I hope you do not find my words unkind, they were not intended as a personal attack (or any form of attack), but be more careful with such definitive moral statements.

(EDIT: I'm not necessarily saying your view of ethics is wrong, but conversely it is not necessarily right).
« Last Edit: March 29, 2010, 06:48:52 PM by Brother_Brimstone »

Offline DapperAnarchist

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Re: The Inquisition: How Radical is Radical?
« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2010, 07:07:36 PM »
Also being a philosophy student (perhaps it should "Wargaming for Philosophers", not poets...) I have to point out that all human agency is ethical. The Nihilist is still an ethical being. So, when a "pragmatic" Inquisitor makes a choice, that choice is necessarily informed by ethical considerations. In practice, these considerations seem to be split along a roughly Deontological/Consequentialist divide (yay! Jargon!) - Puritans, roughly, follow a rules based ethics. The rules exist for reason X (Human nature, the best consequence if all follow them, revelation from the Emperor and his Saints and Primarchs), and those who break them are fundamentally unethical. Radicals justify an ends-means ethics, where any action is justifiable, if that action prevents something worse. At its furthest extreme, selling the Imperium out to an enslaving Daemon might be acceptable compared to the destruction of the Imperium, because it can offer a way out, but for a Puritan, death is preferable to breaking the rules. No matter what the action though, it still shows an ethical consideration.
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Offline Brother_Brimstone

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Re: The Inquisition: How Radical is Radical?
« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2010, 07:09:46 PM »
Puritans, roughly, follow a rules based ethics. The rules exist for reason X (Human nature, the best consequence if all follow them, revelation from the Emperor and his Saints and Primarchs), and those who break them are fundamentally unethical. Radicals justify an ends-means ethics, where any action is justifiable, if that action prevents something worse.

It essentially seems to be rule versus act utilitarianism. For proof that utilitiarians are cool, please see my signiture :P