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The Inevitable One
05-07-2010, 04:14
From what I have read, the Inquisition perhaps has the most power in the Imperium and can accuse anyone for anything without any particular reason or proof. That being said, even the most well known Inquisitors can be challenged and executed for their "apparent" turn with Chaos. But how can the Imperium survive if this kind of stuff is going on? Do any of them use logic and science to prove they are evil or do they just do it because of some superstitious hokum?

What do you think happens in the Inquisition and how is it dealt with?

shaso_iceborn
05-07-2010, 04:25
Well my initial thought with the thread title alone was "Logic and Reasoning in the Inquisition" is almost like the joke of Military Intelegence; Two things that should never be in the same sentence.

My honest opinion however is that Inquisitors use fear above all else to get results. The logical reasoning being that if they can get what they want through fear and the superstitions of others they can bebefit themselves. So basically like anyone with power the old saying is Power corrupts and the Inquisition is very powerful indeed. Almost chaotically powerful.

Polaria
05-07-2010, 04:32
But how can the Imperium survive if this kind of stuff is going on? Do any of them use logic and science to prove they are evil or do they just do it because of some superstitious hokum?


You are talking about Imperium here. A practical theocracy. "Logic" and "Reasoning" have no place in a Imperium powered and run by pure faith. In fact, in many circumstances using logic and reasoning might be forbidden and get you burned.

Thus, I think Inquisition will be doing very well untill Emperor and the whole Imperial Cult is gone.

Disclaimer: Even suggesting that Emperor and/or Imperial Cult are not eternal might be considered a heresy. Writer will take no responsibility over any other persons injuries, castigations, punishments, torture or eventual death by burning of anyone who might suggest it. :shifty:

Lord_Crull
05-07-2010, 04:35
Read Eisenhorn or Ravenor. Most Inquistors are not idiots. Eisenhorn and crew were highly skilled detectives and investigators.

Hellebore
05-07-2010, 05:28
Due to which they question the way then Imperium does things.

The more an inquisitor experiences the less they can hide behind blind faith to keep them going. Eventually they realise there is more to the universe than what they were forced to learn.

Any intelligent person in the position of an inquisitor would quickly realise the hypocrisy and stupidity of the Imperium.

Hellebore

Orthodox
05-07-2010, 07:18
The more an inquisitor experiences the less they can hide behind blind faith to keep them going. Eventually they realise there is more to the universe than what they were forced to learn.


Is it the Inquisitor rulebook that describes younger Inquisitors as more often being extreme puritans, and radicals more often being older? It makes sense that young people are more subject to indoctrination and peer pressure, where the whole point of maturation is increased individuality.

That trend indicates though that a great number of Inquisitors could feel like Eisenhorn does, although his ultimately he abuses his power for somewhat personal reasons, so Ravenor is a closer benchmark for reasonable behavior. They clash with other inquisitors just because of conflicting agendas, not because their careers are particularly iconoclastic ones.

The Imperium works, it is the most successful society going, besides perhaps Orkdom. Clearly, for that to be anywhere close to true, rampant ignorance and dysfunction must some amount of hyperbole, and everyone should stop grousing about corruption, or whatever. Talk to me about state budget crises, if you want to talk about corruption: because the Imperium has endured for 9k years, rl legislative intransigence has yet to achieve a comparable lifespan.

Ilkhan
05-07-2010, 07:40
Any intelligent person in the position of an inquisitor would quickly realise the hypocrisy and stupidity of the Imperium.

Well, they do. Where do you think Recongregators (and, to a lesser extent, other radicals) come from? Faith brings with it a surprising power to convince otherwise intelligent people that they're absolutely right even in the face of horrible evidence to the contrary, though. The human capacity for self-deception is pretty astonishing, and I'm not really surprised how many puritan Inquisitors there are, even given what they witness on a daily basis.

If nothing else, as Orthodox says, the Imperium has sustained itself for far longer through far greater trials than any real-world government has ever come close to managing, and it still measures up well against its closest competitors in the "relatively nice" race. The Eldar are in even worse shape, and had to almost destroy themselves to shape their society into its current order; the Tau state is still young and unproven. Clearly something about the Imperium works at least well enough to preserve it for ten millennia with its leader in abstentia. The thought of letting go of a system absolutely proven to be that durable is a horribly frightening one, and on further reflection it seems to me the real surprise is that there aren't more Amalathians.

Is the Imperium hypocritical? Is it downright stupid sometimes? Certainly. But if hypocrisy and stupidity form the underpinnings of a system that unquestionably works, why risk any other way of conducting an empire?

Iuris
05-07-2010, 08:02
Heh, coming late to an interesting discussion... all I wanted to say has already been said.

I would add one thing, though: the Inquisition and Ecclesiarchy are commonly misrepresented in GW fluff. They are typically used as the antagonist, so their views are almost always too extreme, their rationality questionable, their methods inefficient. But really, they should be a better class of imperial servant.

I see the whole inquisition as something most resembling the organization presented in "La femme Nikita". Cold ruthless professionalism, a LOT of competence, and the flaying alive interrogations only used when better methods are exhausted.

It's simply that being too extreme would antagonize the citizens themselves, making it HARDER for the Inquisition to do their job. There should be a velvet glove over the iron fist - but also the absolute certainity that the iron fist is there.

Malice313
05-07-2010, 08:45
With regard to logic and science it is probably best to read the opening opening page inside every 4+k rules book ever produced:

"...If you take part in this adventure then prepare yourself now. Forget the power of technology, science and common humanity. Forget the promise of progress and understanding..."

The Inquisition's name sake in real life was a vicious, superstitious organisation responsible for pogroms against pretty much everyone at one time or another.

...but that is not to say that there was not method to theri madness. Reading books such as Heinrich Kramer's Malleus Maleficarum, written in 1487, will give you an insight into the type of thinking that spawned the Inquisition.

The type of organisation that is involved with dealing with dissidents and who enact pogroms against free thinking individuals are fanatics like Tomás de Torquemada, Heinrich Himmler and J. Edgar-Hoover. These type of men are seldom renown for their reason.

The major difference between Imperium's Inquisition and the Spanish Inquisition is that in 4+k there is more than just the corruption of the soul at stake. Daemons materialise and dark gods have palpable sway over the physical universe.

This means that logic and science are not the wholesome, pure axiom that we love and deify in our modern life. It too is held under the sway of powers that bend and break the laws of physics and rationality. I'm sure there is many daemons in the warp like Astaroth who use logic, science and reason to beguile the curious.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astaroth

Archaon
05-07-2010, 08:56
Inquisitors, at least the most high ranking and experienced ones, are perhaps the people with the most autonomy and with a mindset we could call free.

They make their own decisions that sometimes can doom entire planets and systems so they have to be unencumbered by dogma and superstition to make the right choice but their training and utter devotion to the Imperium lets them act in its benefit.

Many realize at one point that the Imperium may be rotten to its core but what other alternative is there that would doom humanity which is surrounded and inflitrated on all sides by its enemies?

So most content with rooting out the immediate problem and then move on to the next until they die hoping that their contribution has led to some sort of safety for the people no matter how small.

Those who are too idealistic turn away and try to affect true change but even they don't know the ultimate outcome of their actions.

Askil the Undecided
05-07-2010, 09:01
Some background I once read (I cannot for the life of me recall where) said that Inquisitors are often recruited as children from the Schola Progenium whose strength of will allows them to resist indoctrination (in a faith orphanage/school, run by a theocratic state that's really quite a thing) then they are shown things that would shatter the faith of a normal citizen (not to mention their soul, mind and probably bones too,) then they are schooled in investigation, torture and the various skills that an individual such as an Inquisitor requires.

As such can be and generally are reasonably sane and rational for servants of the Imperium if somewhat conceited, haunted, superior and arrogant.

On the other hand it also means that when they choose to be religious fanatics they are exceptionally strong-willed religious fanatics who have nigh-ultimate power over almost everyone and everything they care to issue an order to in the Imperium.

DarkMatter2
05-07-2010, 09:02
The (real) Inquisition makes perfect sense if you accept the premises on which the Catholic Christian faith is built.

I think most people within the (40k) Inquisition are smart enough to see the Imperium for what it is: a massive theocracy with an illogical dogma that exists to provide a justification for the real, brass-tacks practical steps that have to be taken to defend humanity against the horrors of the universe.

The Imperium survives because it lacks all softness and mercy; it is absolutely uncaring and the ends always justify the means. The Emperor is venerated so that the rulers of mankind can have a unchallengeable font of authority with which to act out their grim work.

Iracundus
05-07-2010, 09:05
At some level all Inquisitors need to have some ability to reason in a somewhat logical fashion otherwise they would not be very successful at their job. Remember that Inquisitors are often investigating conspiracies and cults, not just commandeering Imperial forces and acting like a mini-warlord. If all an Inquisitor could do was spout off Imperial propaganda like an Ecclesiarchy recording and destroy things, then they wouldn't be very successful investigators as they would miss or destroy subtle clues or simply drive enemies further into hiding.

Polaria
05-07-2010, 10:01
Any intelligent person in the position of an inquisitor would quickly realise the hypocrisy and stupidity of the Imperium.


...and any intelligent person long enough in the position of an inquisitor would realize that the hypocrit, stupid Imperium is actually needed for mankind to survive.

40k universe is not a fair place. The sides are not equal. It all starts to make sense if you don't think Imperium as "OMG-the-most-powerfull-state-ever" but a desperate, near-failing last stand of mankind against forces that can't be negotiated with, can't be reasoned with and which will eat you, your children and all your pets, too.

KingDeath
05-07-2010, 10:18
Reading books such as Heinrich Kramer's Malleus Maleficarum, written in 1487, will give you an insight into the type of thinking that spawned the Inquisition.

Using Kramer's drivel to describe the real catholic Inquisition is like using Glen Beck to describe a Conservative :)

DarkMatter2
05-07-2010, 10:21
Using Kramer's drivel to describe the real catholic Inquisition is like using Glen Beck to describe a Conservative :)

Given Glenn Beck's popularity among Conservatives, I don't see that as a problem.

Malice313
05-07-2010, 11:28
Using Kramer's drivel to describe the real catholic Inquisition is like using Glen Beck to describe a Conservative :)

I'm not sure I get the context as Glen Beck is not renown internationally at a great level. Who is he?

As I said; it can give an insight into the mindset and type of thinking of the time. I'm not sure how you construed that statement to mean it is an accurate all encompassing description of the Catholic Inquisition in its entirety.:shifty: It kind of sounds like you have an existing agenda with the text that you are pursuing despite it being off topic.

malika
05-07-2010, 11:47
Guess you guys never read Nineteen Eightyfour. Look into the concept of doublethink (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doublethink).

MvS
05-07-2010, 12:36
I think the Inquisition has to be the only really 'free thinking' organisation within the Imperium. Its members are encouraged to see things 'as they are', within the context that humanity is facing utter destruction from 'within', 'without' and 'beyond' - from traitors, aliens and manifested daemons of the Id.

Stepping over the suggestion that the 'real world' Inquisition makes sense if you accept Catholic Christianity (that requires taking several flawed assumptions as fact - but that conversation is off topic), the difference between the horror of the various extreme manifestations of the Spanish Inquisition and the Inquisition of the Imperium is that when the Spanish Inquisition flayed women alive while demanding they reveal their true demonic form nothing happened other than the extreme abuse and murder of otherwise innocent women.

When the Imperium's Inquisition do the same, there's a very good chance that the flayed woman will suddenly turn inside out, sprout talons, burst into flames and start trying to devour everyone.

Whereas we could say that the Ecclesiarchy fulfils the role of an extremist, superstitious and ignorant religious monolith (although we still have to bear in mind the reality of gods, daemons and Warp 'magic' in the 40K setting), the Inquisition is there to essentially cut the bullcrap and deal with real problems as they arise, in the short, medium and long terms.

Because the Inquisition is made up of humans and because humans, no matter how well educated, trained or otherwise 'modified' have differences of opinions and belief, there are of course Inquisitors who favour different tactics and who hold variations upon the basic ideology of the central importance of humanity. None, though, are simply ignorant religious nutters like some of the worst examples of the Spanish Inquisition (or any other militant 'puritan' group for that matter).

So few humans are ever permitted to become Inquisitors and only the best of the best of the best ever get to bear the Rosette. Anything less would mean putting nearly limitless power and authority in untrustworthy or crazy hands.

The Inquisition may do seemingly crazy and extremist things, and maybe they are excessive, but I think this can't be due to self-delusion as a matter of course. It would more be due to some wider plan that isn't apparent to the casual eye.

In this sense I see the Inqusition as being similar to the Bene Gesserit of the Dune series (to which Warhammer 40k owes SO much) who support, promote, alter and even create any number of religions that they themselves do not adhere to, all because doing so aids some grander plan they have in mind. They see an importance and utility to manipulating and taking part in certain social and religious structures, including sometimes creating terror and blind fanaticism, because they see a 'bigger picture'.

I'm not suggesting that there haven't been seemingly very petty and ignorant Inquisitors written about in various GW publications and WD snippets. That's down to the taste of whatever writer was putting pen to paper and what intention he/she had at that moment. What I am saying is that as a general rule this doesn't fit in with what the Inquisition seems to be portrayed as.

Have you Arbites Judge be a blindly intolerant "The Law is LAW!" type character. Have your Ecclesiarchal preacher as a nutter who sees witches and heretics with every blink. Keep Inquisitors as being more aware. Ruthless, yes, harsh, certainly, willing to torture seemingly innocent people to death or even destroy entire worlds, definitely. But fundamentally illogical and/or irrational...?

Well, perhaps only if these are quirks of that specific Inquisitor - the job must put pressures on one's character after all - NOT because the Inquisition encourages irrationality per se.

I think. :)

MagosHereticus
05-07-2010, 13:28
The Inquisition may do seemingly crazy and extremist things, and maybe they are excessive, but I think this can't be due to self-delusion as a matter of course. It would more be due to some wider plan that isn't apparent to the casual eye.


kryptman's gambit comes to mind ("the single greatest act of genocide since the horus heresy")

808thMyrmidons
05-07-2010, 13:46
in a universe were technology is considered magic(basically) with an entire cult behind it (the adeptus mechanis) any one that uses logic and reason can be considered a psyker, a heretic, etc so the inquisition would most likely put an extreme damper on it because a person is getting results without faith in the emperor or the omnissiah. because they're getting results in this way they're immediately suspect.

Morty
05-07-2010, 14:02
Actualy if you look at Heptmans gambit it was a PURLY LOGiCAL thing to do, DISPITE the fact that it DOOMED Trillons of peps to death and could potentaly result in the Strengthaning of one of the major enermies facing the Imperum. But the pay off is that the imperum gained the time it needed to respond.
I would have to say that YES inqustirors are logical but remember the most easy and quantyfic resorce that the imperum has at it 's desposal is not SM or even inqustitors but manpower of the IG and the Inqustors know this. so if 10 wolrds MUST burn so that 1,000 worlds will be saved and there manpower can be oberlised then so be it..............
Its cold and its mean and i bet he agonised over the disishion but in the end what do these peps realy mean to an inqusitor......
maby if your lucky your a name on a print out.....
at best your a number in a casulty report,

Ilkhan
06-07-2010, 06:17
Kryptmann's stratagem was a desperation tactic at best. Effective enough in the short term, but only somewhat less hideously destructive than the very threat it was employed against, and nowhere near a sustainable, or even repeatable, methodology for countering Tyranids.

I wouldn't really use him as an example of a logical Inquisitor, and judging from the Inquistion's reaction, neither would the rest of the Ordo Xenos.

massey
06-07-2010, 06:58
Right. The Inquisition, as an organization, has great power, and uses it to fight against the worst enemies mankind can face. They're sort of like the Men in Black. They'll flashy-thing you and you won't even remember they were there. They fight the things nobody else can fight, and they do it absolutely ruthlessly.

Now, individual Inquisitors are going to vary quite a bit. Certainly there could be those who abuse their power. They'll get away with it until someone catches on. There'll be crazy ones who run around burning everything they see. As long as they get results, the higher-ups will let them be. What are a few innocent lives if he stops a demonic incursion that would destroy the planet, after all? But remember, there's always a bigger fish. These guys will all eventually bite off more than they can chew, and their lack of caution will cost them. They'll try to investigate the Dark Angels, and will wind up ejected out of an airlock. Or they'll burn too much, and fall to Khorne, and be put down afterwards by another Inquisitor. Or they'll show up on a planet with their "kill them all" reputation, and some local noble will have their shuttle shot out of the sky. "Not killin' my family." 40K is a dangerous place, even for an Inquisitor.

Lothlanathorian
06-07-2010, 07:15
So, 40K is a world where Chaos is a real threat. There are evil gods. Aliens exist. Mankind's attitude towards aliens and sharing the galaxy is similar to American 'Manifest Destiny'. As far as Humanity is concerned, the galaxy is for them. The Emporer is real and is a god. Sorcery exists. The taint of Chaos exists. Some of those aliens I mentioned before's sole purpose for existing is either to kill us or kill us and eat us (and not always in that order), most often the latter.

As an operative of The God-Emporer of Mankind's Most Holy Inquisition, it is your job to protect Mankind. From Chaos. From aliens. From themselves. Individuals are not important. Some planets are even expendable. For the greater good of Mankind, sacrifices must be made.

If anything, most Inquisitors are purely logical. Just not your logic.

kane40k
06-07-2010, 11:18
Persoanly i think its aaaaallll Politics :) Inquisitor 1 is getting alot of influence and opposes inquisitor 2. inquisitor 2 doesnt like this... and so accuses inquisitor 1 of traffficing with daemons..

Occasionaly theyre is a REAL threat and some may band together...

Thats just my view.