Off-Topic Thread vol. 2

Amarr do not believe in individual predestination. We believe in a choice between the Plan of God which is the Truth and Rejection of God’s Plan which is Evil and False.

For example, the binary in the Book of Reclaiming runs as follows: “So the Lord / sent forth the Chosen, / to bring forth the light of faith / And those who embrace God’s love / Shall be saved by grace / For we are God’s shepherds in the darkness / God’s Angels of Mercy. / But those who turn away from God’s light, / And reject God’s true word / Shall be struck down by God’s wrath / For we are God’s retribution incarnate / God’s Angels of Vengeance.” (Reclaiming 4:45)

This sort of emphasis on choice between truth and falsehood appears everywhere in Amarr.

What we have seen from the Triglav converts prioritizes some sort of constant conflict of ideas, bodies, ships and so on. Calling this endless conflict and negative competition the destiny of humanity is one of the most morally bankrupt philosophies I have ever encountered, and that is saying something when the Federation exists.

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I am humbled for your time and explanation

I was under the impression that there was a creator plan (or at least desired destination) and that not only one should achieve that (or go into that direction) but also point the way to wayward others.

A desired end result (even if outside the scope of the individual, maintaining “free will”[problematic concept]) would be considered by some a pre-destination.

It seems it is not the case there then. Omniscience is overpowered after all.

As for the Triglavian supporter affirmation, he is of Gallente origin, with a lot of focus at rethoric rather than something more… concrete. It may go well to his audience.

My point is that the concept of predestination is not an unknown one in our cluster, as stated.

There is a whole lot of discussion as to the extent of free will, the influence of bio-psycho-social factors, and hard determinists that consider that the human behaviour mimics the universe and its laws (as above so below) in a set of algorithmic responses mediated by biochemical interactions.

But again, the topic was not free will, but the
inexistence of the concept of predestination within the cluster.

We know that the Telos/End/Destiny of Amarr so long as we maintain the faith is the restoration of Unity with God, but we don’t know the timeline and that unity will come as a result of human choices to bring themselves and others back into Rightness with God.

But there is no certainty that we will meet this ongoing test of Faith. It is more a conditional “If we maintain the faith, if we follow the divine order, then we cannot fail.” Junip’s “We cannot fail, for we have the Emperor to lead us and destiny to follow” still allows for failure if people refuse to follow the divine order.

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Well, it’s an awfully good thing that nobody actually said that, isn’t it?

Subcommander Foucault was not talking about the concept of Proving as the “destiny of humanity.” He was talking about the Triglavians themselves.

Triglavians generally, and the Troikas specifically, are biologically distinct beings much different than (A) what you call “baseliner” humans, and/or (B) Empyrean capsuleers/kybernauts. They are three formerly separate intelligences melded together into a singular being, greater than the sum of its parts.

Proving, in contrast, is simply a technique. A philosophical approach to confronting new or conflicting paradigms: all contenders treated with equal respect, and allowed fullest expression in confrontation with others, until the strengths and weaknesses of every competitor are charted in full. Sometimes the competitors are ideas; sometimes policies; and sometimes, the competitors are actual combatants. All of them are given the equal opportunity to prove merit.

That said, I understand your concern. For a die-hard Amarrian loyalist, a philosophy based on actual merit rather than on parentage, patronage, and religious magical thinking would seem awfully threatening, indeed.

would indicate that the Triglavians’ methods and approach are inferior, as they only took 27 of the over 150 systems they attacked. A success rate of less than 1 in 5 isn’t exactly proof of merit.

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This will result in a selection process that promotes the ability to damage others over the ability to build anything positive at all.

Also the idea that everyone is starting with an equal chance is absurd. At least my “parentage, patronage, and religious magical thinking” does not lead me to expect those who have been born in a lower caste of society to perform on the same playing field as those who have been given every priviledge their entire lives.

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Oh God— who do you think you are kidding? I am Ni-Kunni. I was born to the sand of Mishi IV, and the dust is my only inheritance.

Every advantage and opportunity that True Amarr are handed at birth I had to fight to obtain - by sweat, by cunning, or by sheer ruthlessness. My whole life in the Empire I had to work twice as hard to get half as much.

So spare me your faux-liberalist attitudes and condescension. Amarrian society doesn’t just acknowledge that the lower classes lack the advantages of a level playing field: it grades the playing field constantly to make sure it ■■■■■■■ STAYS that way.

And as for your religious magical thinking? Well, it certainly is convenient that God favors the Amarr over all others! After all, come the great Reclamation, it just wouldn’t do if those uppity other races started to think of themselves as equally worthy, now would it?

Don’t talk to me about moral bankruptcy. I’m Amarrian. I was raised in it.

If you think I am faux-liberalist, or any sort of liberalist, then you don’t understand me at all.

You being never able to move above your station is as it should have been. We all have our place in the great order of things. It sounds like you tried to get more than others at your station, which is always a worrying sign. But I doubt you became a capsuleer by your own sweat, cunning, and ruthlessness alone. Someone privledged you over others for that to happen.

And yet, if you understand a non-even field, how do you possibly think the Triglavians offer one? The difference between the starting point for your success and that of one of the people stuck on Skarkon being bioadapted against their will is far further from an even playing field than the distance between my lowest subject and myself.

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Evolution is not about becoming better, and adaptation is always in context. There is no such thing as “better adapted” without specifying adapted to what. Species do not evolve to become more ideal versions of themselves, they evolve to fill a particular, sometimes a very narrow, niche.

The Triglavians seem highly specialized. They dwell in complex constructs. They need to change the very stars to make a dwelling compatible, and while it might seem that the mutaplasmid tech they use to adapt themselves to various circumstances makes them versatile, it actually also means they need to alter themselves to achieve that versatility, instead of just changing technology outside of their bodies.

Like capsuleers, Triglavians fill a niche. We are perfectly suitable for those niches, for controlling pods with our brains, for living in Abyssal hell. We are marvels of technology and, yes, adaptation. But we are not the “future of humanity”.

Baseline humans of other empires might seem (be) “primitive” in contrast, but they are also very widely spread, to all kinds of star systems, to all kinds of environments. They are extremely versatile - and without mutaplasmids or fancy implants, too.

When conditions change, the less specialized species, the one less dependent on adaptation to its particular niche, is the one likelier to survive.

You are both wrong, here, the Queen of Pochven and the Admiral of God.

There is no One True Path. Humanity’s strength lies in its capability to diversify.

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I wouldn’t call having to live in a survival suit, with two other entities constantly wittering their inane thoughts into mine, never to know again the touch of another human’s flesh on mine, or the peacefulness of being alone with my thoughts, to be any kind of improvement whatsoever.

If anything, it sounds like a prison.

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I don’t believe in a hell but that sounds awfully close to what one might be like.

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The posting shall continue until morale improves !

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In light of the rest of your message, I see that I did in fact mistake your point of view. Thank you for clarifying.

No, I was not at all content to remain at my “station.” And of course I had to have the help of someone else-- many “someones,” in fact, over many years. But you cannot possibly be so naïve as to think that getting such support requires no effort, can you? Perhaps from the elevated vantage point of the nobility, acquiring the necessary assistance from other people involves nothing more than dropping your name and willing it to be so. But for those of us who were born to the dust and not content to stay there, securing the right allies, obtaining the right resources, and- proverbially speaking- knifing the right rivals are grueling tasks that consume every waking moment of our lives.

It is no coincidence that my professional path after becoming a capsuleer went into diplomatic service. I have been training for it since birth.

The Triglavians give all contenders equal opportunity to demonstrate their skills. It really is that simple. The problem with the Amarrian way is that the vast majority of those “lowest subjects” never receive an opportunity at all. When you start with the assumption that the lower classes can’t possibly catch up, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. You can make all sorts of predictions about how human beings will perform when they are truly tested. Funny thing about people, though; they have a startling habit of exceeding expectations when given the chance.

So you imagine, but take it from someone with actual experience as one of those lowly subjects: the upheaval that resulted from conquest, terraforming, and bioadaptation of the worlds of Pochven is no more nor any less devastating than a lifetime spent at the mercy of the mercurial whims of a True Amarrian Holder. And though you no doubt will reflexively reject the notion outright, every baseliner narodnya on worlds in Skarkon, Vale, Senda, and the rest of Pochven have been given a gift, not a curse. They have the opportunity to become transformed into something greater than baseline humanity-- and significantly greater than a capsuleer.

Would that I had been born to the dust of Skarkon rather than the dust of Mishi! What you look on in horror, I look on in envy. On this, too, I suspect we will remain in disagreement.

‘Opportunity’ would require they have the ability to opt out.

Well, in fairness, some did opt out, Arrendis. And left! You won’t find them in Pochven anymore.

Well, maybe traces. Flash-boiled bodily fluids, shattered bone fragments, scorched bits of scalp. . . .

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Pbbbbbbbbbbbbbbt. :stuck_out_tongue:

This much is true.

However, the people in Skarkon lived under no Holder. While it was the wild border and restless and full of all sorts of lowlifes and warlords, it was not enslaved. Even the Angel secession rule of YC110 the people called in by vote, themselves.

Neither was Krirald a Holding. Or Eygfe or Avesber or Anbald or any other of the free worlds you tried to take. “The Amarr could be worse” is not a very good excuse for any of those, is it?

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I offered it as a comparison, not as an excuse.

Did you expect me to lie about the challenges that face the narodnya of Pochven? Did you expect me to minimize or deny the suffering of those caught in the warzone? I do not. I never have. Civilians in the middle of a war zone always suffer the most. So it has always been, since our ancient ancestors first picked up stones and smashed them against the heads of their enemies. There is no avoiding such a fate.

War is a natural disaster executed by unnatural means. It scourges worse than wildfire, reduces cities to rubble greater than any earthquake, washes away the living with more violence and finality than a tsunami wave. And like every natural disaster, it creates the opportunity for something new to be rebuilt in its place. In other words, war-- like all inevitable forms of devastation-- creates not merely sorrow but also opportunity.

I find that most people fall into two camps when it comes to such things. There are those (like you, perhaps?) who fixate on grief and grievance; who howl and curse fate, and stamp their feet in rage unending at the unfairness of it all; they blind themselves with rage and grow addicted to the intoxicating venom of victimhood.

Then there are the others-- the survivors-- the ones who understand that there is no such thing as a life free of difficulty, and nothing but random happenstance controls the severity of it; they who feel grief but refuse to be consumed by it; the ones whose eyes remain unblinded to see the new opportunities before them. These are the people who build the universe of the future-- the things that could not have been achieved but for the circumstances that made those achievements necessary.

I do not minimize the hardships that these civilians face. That would be unworthy of the sacrifices they made.

And so we arrive at the heart of the matter: whether or not their sacrifices were, in fact, for the greater good. There are more than seven thousand charted stars in New Eden and Anoikis. The Triglavians conquered an infinitesimal number of them. I have seen your friends and allies deride this fact simultaneously on the basis that it is such a small number-- and therefore ridiculed as emblematic of the Collective’s presumed inferiority-- and on the basis that it is a huge number-- and therefore decried as a grievous sin that can neither be forgiven nor forgotten. (The choice of which of these conflicting arguments to make depends entirely on whatever the narrative du jour happens to be.)

But none of it is ever informed by asking the Triglavians themselves.

I have lived in Pochven now for more than a year, working closely with members of the Collective. The language and cultural barriers are still steep, but I have enough experience to draw some general conclusions. The Triglavian people have a marked bent toward pragmatism and a utilitarian approach toward problem-solving. Much of this may be driven by the fact that they are building up Pochven from scratch. But as I observe further, the thought keeps rising that the Collective only took as much from the Empires as was minimally necessary for survival. (Indeed, Subcommander Foucault practically said as much a few months ago when he warned that the Collective deliberately stopped its incursions into empire space, and could just as easily resume them if provoked.)

And here, at last, is the answer to the question. Because-- contrary to the hysterical ravings of some capsuleers on this forum-- the Triglavians were motivated to come to these “Ancient Domains” not out of senseless bloodthirst, but out of abject necessity. The common threat to us all is, and has been throughout the entirety of the Triglavian invasions and afterward, the as-yet unchecked machinations of the Drifters. To save their civilization, the Triglavians had to come here.

If you had to choose between the deaths of millions or the deaths of trillions, would you not choose the lesser harm? Of course you would, because to do otherwise would be simply inhuman.

So to answer your question, Ms. Rhiannon: no, it is not a “good excuse.” I do not believe in excuses; only in reasons. There was a reason why the Collective conquered what it did–and a compelling one, at that. I do not deny the sacrifice that the civilians of twenty-seven star systems paid. I merely tell you that the sacrifice was worth the price.

They did not make a sacrifice, rather they were sacrificed.

Whether it will turn out that it was “worth it” for anyone else than those who sacrificed them, and indeed a necessity, time might tell, should the Triglavians be inclined to engage in further diplomacy. But whatever the case, the people now suffering in occupied Pochven were not the ones who made the call.

I do understand paying heavy prices in order to survive. The story of my lineage is nothing but. Whatever it takes is a thing, and when we say it, we mean it quite literally. In this I sympathize the Triglavians, if their situation indeed is as you describe, with no other means to survive.

But when whatever it takes is making other people pay, it is somewhat ludicrous to ask them to not consider it “unfair”. Or worse.

Many of the Amarr, even those I have seen worth it myself to fleet with these weird days, hate and fear me.

The difference between you and me seems to be that I have no qualms with that. They have a good reason to.

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