Off-Topic Thread vol. 2

Yes, that’s close to what I’m driving at; what binding power does a government have that’s not just a bunch of people going ‘wow, this is a good idea’?

“They have guys with guns” is one answer, although I think in that case I’d say that at least those “guys with guns” would also need to think that ‘wow, this is a good idea.’

I’m given to understand the Amarr believe the ultimate giver of law and decider of moral authority is God.

Personally I believe law is a messy way to enshrine custom and shared belief.

The common thread is that law and authority are ultimately fictions. Useful ones, but ones that can, and should be negotiated. By us, the “governed,” not whoever is enforcing their will through untruth, religious idealism, or ultimately, violence.

Those guys with guns only need to think ‘being one of the privileged few because I’m the government’s enforcers is better than trying to rise up against a system that’s good for me… and getting shot for it’.

And yet, it’s one we come back to time and again, as soon as groups get larger than a few hundred or maybe a few thousand. There are always hard rules of ‘do this and you get punished by Authority’. The group that can enforce those rules… that’s a government.

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Well, clearly these thugs need to be legislated harder!

Why? It’s clearly working for the people in charge—including the guys on the right end of the guns.

That’s the core principle of authoritarian governance: the people benefiting hold enough power to make rebelling against the power even more painful for the oppressed than just enduring it.

James 315 had a very astute point when it comes to governance:

It’s true that anyone can claim control of anything. […] A government is considered legitimate if it has the enduring ability to send men with guns to kill or imprison other people. Upon this power hangs all the law. There’s no need for philosophy here: When a miner is bumped out of mining range, he no longer has the ability to mine–and he does not even get a share of the ore/ice he mined from earlier in the laser’s cycle, when he was in range. Therefore, I can stop people from mining whenever I want. Since the miners want to mine ice, and since I alone decide whether or not they can, I command them.

Whilst ‘ruling by the biggest stick’ is effective, what he ignores that I have witnessed in my stay with Amarrians (a particular thank you for the incredible hospitality of the Khanid Kingdom - I feel somewhat beholden unto you for your generosity) is that one can rule with the best of incentives too.

Everlasting salvation is the ultimate motivator to do the right thing, no?

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Or the wrong thing. The size of the reward doesn’t have much to do with the morality of the task.

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You’d have to believe in unprovable sky fairies first.


As with people, capsuleers and clone soldier alike can be barbaric and tyrannical, yes. But as with people, they can also do incredible good for the world. It is our belief - the belief of Icarus - that the greatest good can come when we are not bound by regulations or laws that would restrict our capability, as they (those regulations) apply equally in the sliding scale of barbarism and compassion. What prevents a massacre in one world also prevents humanitarian aid in another. We have seen this, and we denounce these conventions.

“To know the true path, but yet, to never follow it. That is possibly the gravest sin”
- Book of Missions 13:21


So you believe in the Amarr god now? The one who created the entire universe, can grant his prophets inerrant prophecy, is the absolute definition of ‘good’, and wants all humanity to exist in loving union with him again?

@Arsia_Elkin - I’m sorry. I may break it.

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I… Well…

Honestly? It is something I am exploring and it feels right. I have sought out answers to questions that I have and the answers make sense. I also seem to be ‘happening’ upon a lot of people who are of or have connections to the faith which feels like a sign.

I know you will dismiss it off-hand following your previous comments but I am reading scripture as suggested by Archbishop @Constantin_Baracca and, whilst I don’t really know where to go next with this as it is new and… unnerving at times, it has filled me with a lightness and a confidence in myself not knowing all the answers that I haven’t felt before.

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Nope. I’m just gonna point out to you that the Amarr god can’t be everything they claim it to be. For example:

The Amarr god is the absolute definition of ‘good’. And yet, evil exists. (This is the really simple form of the problem).

See, the Amarr god created everything, right? He’s omnipotent - all powerful. Axiomatically, he can do anything. So when he created everything, he set the initial starting conditions. All of them. To the exact precise way he wanted them.

See that ‘inerrant prophecy’ bit? True ‘Holy Prophecy’ can’t be wrong. That means their god has perfect predictive power. He has to. If he doesn’t have perfect predictive power, he could grant a holy prophecy that turned out wrong. So what does that mean?

That means before creating everything, the Amarr god knew how everything would unfold, for every possible set of starting conditions. If there was something he didn’t want to happen, all he had to do was change the starting conditions so the chain of events that led to it never happened. And we know he could do that, because he’s omnipotent.

So anything that happens, happens because he wants it to happen. On one level, that’s fine. God’s omnipotent, nothing happens against the will of God. Ok. But that means that every single bit of evil also happens because God wills it. Every single one. All of it. It’s inescapable.

But God is the absolute definition of good. So why does an all-powerful, all-good, perfectly-predictive creator create a universe where people will even turn away from him in the first place? Why, when he’s the one who made sure they’d turn away (by setting the initial conditions), does he require suffering, pain, and destruction of those who reject him?

Even worse: if everything happens because God wants it tohow does sin exist? I mean, Sin is disobedience to God. But the universe cannot disobey God, because God made it how it is, and did so knowing it would happen like this.

The Amarr like to introduce the dodge of ‘Free Will’, but the same predictive problem comes up: God knew every choice each and every person would make and knew it before the universe existed. So God, in choosing what starting conditions he set, chose every decision everyone would ever face, and every choice they would make in those situations. And he knew it, because he’s all-knowing.

Gotta be all-knowing in order to be perfectly-predictive, after all, and being Omnipotent means being Omniscient, because you’re omnipotent. You can do everything. You have every ability to want to have, whenever you want it.

So. If God is all-powerful, and evil exists, how can God be absolute good? If God is not good, then why venerate a sadist who has designed a universe where trillions of people suffer and die because he wants them to?


Oh look, Arrendis talking about something she doesn’t actually know anything about, again.

You make an awful lot of assumptions about God and the Amarr faith, Arrendis.

God sets missions before us. That we can succeed or fail. He has commands. A prophecy could, indeed, turn out false, if humanity fails to perform the duties necessary to bring it to pass.

We are not a passive religion. We are not a religion that expects everything to turn out just dandy because God will hold our hand the whole way and make sure that everything he wants will happen just because he wanted it. It’s our duty to make the world what He wants it to be. And it is our failure that brought sin into His world. And if we fail Him, He will abandon us.


The way it was explained to me is, and I paraphrase massively so please forgive for any misunderstandings, is this:

Imagine you are running a large business, enterprise, government, religion - whichever group you wish to use for this example. You have the power, if you wish, to remove any individual from your organisation for their actions. You can discipline all and give them all instructions to the tiniest minutia… and lose sight of the all encompassing plan of what is to happen.

However, if you allow free will, yes people will do bad things, make mistakes etc. But your overall vision is not compromised as you are still guiding the majority to your end goal.

Again, this is massively oversimplified but it helped me to answer similar questions.

Why? He created the universe. He knew how it would all play out, otherwise he couldn’t even set these ‘missions’ before you. And no, ‘if you do X, Y will happen’ isn’t prophecy. As you point out, it’s a mission. It’s a command. that’s a different thing, and you know it.

So why is it humanity’s duty to make the universe what God wants it to be? Didn’t he make it? Why’s it your duty to do his job?

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Except not only did you create business… you created them. You could have made all of your workers perfect in their judgment. You could have made them industrious and attentive… and you decided not to. You, by choosing how you would make them, knew precisely which ones would fail in which ways before you allowed their great-grandparents to be born.

So why are you blaming them and punishing them for doing what you made them to do?

A prophecy is any message conveyed to a prophet by God about His will, of which commands are one.

Are there revelations of times to come? Yes. But who is to say there’s only one predetermined future? Who’s to say that God doesn’t see multiple paths, and then conveys to us His command for which we must pursue? If there are forty roads before us and He tells us that the smoothest path is the first, but we choose to take the 20th road, that is our fault, not His.

He did. And we ruined it. The original apostasies fractured the universe He built, and now it is our job to put it together again.

It is also our job because we are His children, and we must be allowed to learn and grow. If He did everything for us, then what would be the point in our existing at all?


If there is a single ‘this will happen’ that is invariant and inflexible, that means that he knows, ahead of time, not what ‘may’ happen but what will happen. Otherwise, he cannot provide that. Not even as a ‘X will happen, when it does, you must Y or dire crap will occur’.

Says who? The people in power who tell you that you have to obey them, because their book say so?

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Say you have a child. You created them. Ever aspect of their being, their personality… that is created by you. Would you rather they grow and learn but make mistakes or be mindless servants to your will? Do you prefer to avoid the risk, or to enjoy the reward?

Whatever you say.

God says so.

It’s not ‘their’ book. It’s ‘our’ book. And while there are parts of Scripture that have been twisted by corrupt priests and false prophets, the Word of God can still be found within it.