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Tooooon
25-08-2006, 00:18
Of course in comparrason to the social norms of good or evil nowadays :)

So what do you think? Is there any true good whatsoever in the universe at this point, or is every race corrupt in one way or another?

~Dave

Dark Apostle197
25-08-2006, 00:23
I don't think there is any good in the 40k universe... Expecially not in the races considered to be "good guys"

Kandarin
25-08-2006, 00:27
On a 'race' level, no. They're all pretty dystopian (although I like how the Tau are sinister rather than being flamingly evil). On a smaller level, there are plenty of individual Eldar, Tau, Imperials, and even Chaos worshippers who genuinely care about their fellow human/whatever beings. They're just more than compensated for by all the chainsword-wielding berserkers.

Hellebore
25-08-2006, 00:31
Of course in comparrason to the social norms of good or evil nowadays :)

So what do you think? Is there any true good whatsoever left in the universe at this point, or is every race corrupt in one way or another?

~Dave

You would have to define 'Good' first.

Is it a group of individuals who perform truely selfless acts (ala altruism)?

In the cosmic scheme of things there is really only one 'TRUE' Good, and that is to your genes.

If you perform actions that propagate your genes, then you are doing good. There is no sacrifice, no greater good, as soon as you do something that endangers your own genes' proliferation, it is bad.

How does stopping something from killing another race equate to good? Protecting the galaxy from the tyranids simply increases competition for resources amongst all races.

So first, you'll have to give your parameters for 'Good' and then explain WHY those parameters are a valid definition for good.

IE you could say "protecting people from ork incursions" but that translates into "Killing orks". How is THAT good? How do you determine the value of a specific group (as in, chaos is less good than tau?)

Hellebore

Indrid Khold
25-08-2006, 00:39
In the Imperium there are a LOT of total bastards, and a lot of true heroes, too. Most of them totally racist, but hey nobody's perfect.

The Tau are very devoted to their Empire, and the average soldiers seem to be rather noble, though again they're imperialist jerks.

The Craftworld Eldar seem to be "True Good" if you're another Eldar. They genuinely respect the lives of their brethren, and act selflessly to save each other (or even whole other worlds, like Biel Tan defending Exodite worlds), but largely have nothing but contempt for the lesser races.

MrInsomniac
25-08-2006, 00:46
And hellebore makes me realise that I haven't really put much thought into my answer of 'no'.

As hellebore said about the genes, you can look at most races and class them as 'good' in their own right. Eldar for instance are willing to have thousands of humans die to save just one Eldar in a thousand years time. Should this be considered 'bad' or 'evil'? Well maybe to us humans, but to the Eldar it is worth the sacrifice, most certainly considered 'good' and there would be no other option.

Edit: Curses! Beaten by Indrid Khold about my point on the Eldar. Curses!

Tooooon
25-08-2006, 00:52
You would have to define 'Good' first.

Is it a group of individuals who perform truely selfless acts (ala altruism)?

In the cosmic scheme of things there is really only one 'TRUE' Good, and that is to your genes.

If you perform actions that propagate your genes, then you are doing good. There is no sacrifice, no greater good, as soon as you do something that endangers your own genes' proliferation, it is bad.

How does stopping something from killing another race equate to good? Protecting the galaxy from the tyranids simply increases competition for resources amongst all races.

So first, you'll have to give your parameters for 'Good' and then explain WHY those parameters are a valid definition for good.

IE you could say "protecting people from ork incursions" but that translates into "Killing orks". How is THAT good? How do you determine the value of a specific group (as in, chaos is less good than tau?)

Hellebore


By "Good" I mean as said above as in comparrason to our social norms today.

Of course this still doesnt answer the question of actually defining what I mean by "Good" for the obvious reason that its different for each individual. So id say "Good" as in what you yourself and your feelings would be to what is going on in the 40k universe and what your own personal parameters are for Good, since like I said we are all individuals with our own definition of "Good".

But if you really want a man made definition for all (apparently), then... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goodness_and_evil :)

Let the discussion continue!

~Dave

Khaine's Messenger
25-08-2006, 00:56
Is there any true good whatsoever left in the universe at this point

A misleading question, in my opinion. To say that there's none left could suggest that none will come about, or that "true good" does not exist in any way, shape, manner, or form. Which I think is wrong. True, the overall "theme" of the setting is an oppressive black mark that suffocates any sort of "goodness" from a modern perspective while simultaneously vaunting acts of moral cowardice and abominable evil which no act of charity could clean from one's soul...but the capacity for "good" is there, and occasionally it expresses itself before being brushed aside by or subsumed into "cruel" amorality or spiteful immorality.

Tooooon
25-08-2006, 00:58
Ooo and btw, I forgot to say what I think!

Only race which seems to have stuck to what I see as Good has to be Squats (which may be debatable considering the removal of the race some time ago) since they seem like one of the only races which did manage to get on with even the unmanagable (orks and eldar, not a good combo), even if it was only for a limited time.

Hellebore
25-08-2006, 01:02
Well, I believe the Imperium does good for its people, thus continuing their existence.

The Tyranids do VERY good because they are politics free and strive for the specie's survival above all else.

Chaos worshippers are good because they propagate the ideal that is the most important (memetics rather than genetics).

The tau are good because they have realised that the best way to protect their race and others is to form a multispecies empire, for the betterment of all (and the tau specifically).

The orks are good because they do what makes them happy. Not a single ork is depressed or thinks of suicide, because they enjoy their lives to the full.

The eldar are good because they know the consequences of ones actions, and strive to protect their children from suffering the same fate. They selflessly lay their lives down to protect their race.

The kroot strive for a perfection of evolution, and aim for this above all things, so they are good.


Good in the context of 40k, requires someone 'bad' to protect oneself from. Without someone to call evil, you cannot claim you are doing good (this is distinct from the spurious argument that you need evil for good to exist) because good always involves the opposition of evil.

My previous mention of protecting people from orks - it is 'good' for the people but 'evil' for the orks, because you are killing them.

The only reason someone would see it either way is due to the perspective - are they an ork getting killed, or a human getting killed?

Hellebore

BodhiTree
25-08-2006, 05:06
I guess I can't answer the blanket race question, but I always thought of the Salamanders as a rather good-guy-ish force in our perspective. Protecting civvies and stuff, not having a completely closed society on their planet, etc. I could be wrong though. ...although I bet they've probably performed a million acts of Exterminatus by now.

Kandarin
25-08-2006, 05:35
Our concepts of good break down when placed in the 40K universe. Our ideas of right and wrong are based on a system in which either:

A) Humanity is the only sentient race in the universe

or

B) Other races exist, but humanity is the only sentient race known to itself

One could argue forever about which is correct, but the fact of the matter is the same; here on Earth we have contact with no species of advancement even remotely comparable to ours. This goes beyond the arrogance of the Eldar; the animal life to which we have to compare ourselves cannot even communicate with us. Therefore it is reasonable on all levels except that of conservation (we need those animal species alive) to view good as that which betters humanity and evil as that which denigrates it.

In a system with multiple sentient races, all this goes out the window, even if by their own admission all sentient races are not created equal. What advances humanity may seriously harm another sentient race. In such a system one may view "Good" in one of two ways:

-That which benefits one's own race

-That which benefits all races

In the 40K universe, there's not really any action that fits in option 2. Therefore in the 40K universe, what is good is whatever benefits one's own species.

It's a pretty nihilistic state for a universe to be in, and I'm glad I don't live in it. This is, of course, not to say that contact with real aliens in the real world would negate all ideas of universal right and wrong, but in the 40K universe it is so.

BaronDG
25-08-2006, 09:02
Orks get depressed... How I hope they bring back the mad boyz.

Anyway, we are all human here and therefor it is the human race that is natural to identify with. And the human race's survival in a galaxy free from chaos and aliens. Ergo the emperor is the only source of good in 40k.

Darkseer
25-08-2006, 09:13
The Imperium is good, everyone else is evil!

That was easy :D

Tooooon
25-08-2006, 09:53
The Imperium is good, everyone else is evil!

That was easy :D

Giving 10k souls to a bloke on life support whos basically a potato is good? :P Hey, its your opinion! xD

Minister
25-08-2006, 10:08
GIving a thousand souls of those who would otherwise fall to daemonic posession or the depredation of aliens, most likley taking down millions of others with them, in order to sustain the one entity who has a hope of holding back pure Chaos from consuming the homeworld and causing the downfal of humanity? Seems more reasonable to me.

BaronDG
25-08-2006, 10:46
Also remember that in destroying those psykers bodies, they save their souls and that is the most important thing!

Darkseer
25-08-2006, 10:57
Also remember that in destroying those psykers bodies, they save their souls and that is the most important thing!

The ends justifies the means! :D

I guess EVERY race in 40K 'believes' it's good, with the exception of chaos, necrons, tyranids who don't care or understand.

Karasu
25-08-2006, 11:16
The ends justifies the means! :D

I guess EVERY race in 40K 'believes' it's good, with the exception of chaos, necrons, tyranids who don't care or understand.

Well, actually, Chaos believes that it is good, in that it is promoting the best way to be, and the Marines themselves think that they are opposing a False Emperor who has enslaved mankind.

The Necrons (or at least the ones that can think) believe that they are supporting the only force capable of defeating the accursed old ones, and the Warp Entities that ravage the real world.

As for Tyranids, I agree.

Farseer Karasu

Kage2020
25-08-2006, 14:18
No, there isn't beyond personal definition. If you have more than one metaphysical paradigm (grossly "religion") by definition you're into the territory of moral relativity. Ergo, there is no common definition of good. Relating it to "social good and evil of nowadays" doesn't work either since, again by definition, we're dealing with a morally relative system.

The only slight complexity is that Chaos was set up as "abolute evil", at least originally. Now even they have their own version of hippies.

Are GW releasing a "Goodies and Baddies" book or something? There have just been so many of these threads recently that it normally points to a GW release...

Kage

Commander Ozae
25-08-2006, 21:35
GW will never publish a Good vs. Bad book because that specify's everything. I agree with the statements above that every race is "good" and "evil" in its own way:

Imperium: Good because they offer hope of human survival, bad because of superstition, xenophobia, and totalitarian rule.
Chaos: good because they free humanity from the false emperor, evil because they mutate and kill everybody else.
Tyranids: good because they rid the universe of everybody else (stretching it i know), evil because we don't like to be eaten.
Orks: good because they have fun with war :), evil because they want to conquer and enslave everybody.
Necrons: good because they defeat chaos, evil because they eat and/or enslave everybody (getting a little repetative).
Tau: good because they offer technology and civlization to everyone, bad because the Ethreals are their own type of dictators and have no capacity to fight chaos.

cav da man
26-08-2006, 17:08
tau: good because they offer technology and civlization to everyone, bad because the Ethreals are their own type of dictators and have no capacity to fight chaos.
can i add to this? Tau: good because they offer you tech and the chance to be part of their empire...bad because the ethereals are dictators and they destroy what politely declines to their offer.

Dais
26-08-2006, 19:46
tyranids are good in their own way, sure they eat the life off of planets entirely but thats just their diet. all animals have to eat something to live. (do you think most vegitarians feel bad for having to kill the lettuce they eat?)
they have a good side in that what they kill has a chance for it's genetic legacy to live on even if their children were eaten by rippers.

cailus
28-08-2006, 04:14
There is no such thing as "good" or "evil." They are human concepts that have a different definition depending on individual, cultural and environmental experiences, values and perceptions.

So in some areas of Pakistan it's expected that you kill a female family member if she dishonours your family (e.g. by having pre-marital sex) but pre-marital sex is totally accepted in Australia and killing someone for doing it would be considered evil.

In the end most of the genocidal dictators of the last 100-odd years thought they were doing some good with their murderous policies.

Kandarin
28-08-2006, 05:58
There is no such thing as "good" or "evil." They are human concepts that have a different definition depending on individual, cultural and environmental experiences, values and perceptions.

So in some areas of Pakistan it's expected that you kill a female family member if she dishonours your family (e.g. by having pre-marital sex) but pre-marital sex is totally accepted in Australia and killing someone for doing it would be considered evil.

In the end most of the genocidal dictators of the last 100-odd years thought they were doing some good with their murderous policies.

All right. I should point out that my values system says it's good for me to steal your car. I'm sure you won't mind.

But, attempts to bring up the existence of 'true good' in real life aside, the question here is 'is there true good in 40k'? The answer there is no. The reason a Westerner can reasonably condemn a Pakistani for murdering his sister is because the Westerner's ideology is available to the Pakistani. There are a variety of philosophies to choose from within humanity, and this very choice allows us to categorize some (like the non-family-murdering ones) as superior to others.

In 40K this just isn't an option. It's not that the various races are too selfish to try and convert others to their cause, they genuinely can't. That's where the alien-ness clause of, say, the Eldar, kicks in. A Tau can't worship the Emperor. An Eldar can't join a Tau Caste. A human can't follow the Path, and when humans try to be orky the results are...ugly.

For the 40K races, it's not a mattar of seeing several available ideologies and getting to choose one. If you live in the 40K universe, the ideologies of other races are foreign and alien to you. They cannot be followed, or examined for positive and negative traits. Unless there was some sort of cross-species ideology (I don't believe the Greater Good counts), morality must be racially based in 40K.

Hellebore
28-08-2006, 07:21
All right. I should point out that my values system says it's good for me to steal your car. I'm sure you won't mind.

But, attempts to bring up the existence of 'true good' in real life aside, the question here is 'is there true good in 40k'? The answer there is no. The reason a Westerner can reasonably condemn a Pakistani for murdering his sister is because the Westerner's ideology is available to the Pakistani. There are a variety of philosophies to choose from within humanity, and this very choice allows us to categorize some (like the non-family-murdering ones) as superior to others.


You are looking at it the wrong way. WHY is NOT killing your 'dishonourable' sister superior TO killing her?. You've taken an extremely common, but ultimately WRONG moral stance. That is, you assume because your morals do not involve the killing of ones sister, they are necessarily 'superior'*. You have defined superior as anything you believe to be superior, and not something that is cosmically, universally, bedrock of physics style incontroavertibly superior. unfortunately because morals and ethics are created by humans and have no foundation within science, they are by their very existence ephemeral and not concrete.



In 40K this just isn't an option. It's not that the various races are too selfish to try and convert others to their cause, they genuinely can't. That's where the alien-ness clause of, say, the Eldar, kicks in. A Tau can't worship the Emperor. An Eldar can't join a Tau Caste. A human can't follow the Path, and when humans try to be orky the results are...ugly.


Sorry that is wrong. There is nothing stopping an alien worshipping the emperor, if said alien was brought up in an imperial society without being killed, it would be inodoctrinated with the social norms any human would receive. Any alien can follow the "Greater Good" as well (and this is backed up in the fluff). Humans have and DO attempt to be orky (cf diggas and Armageddon ork hunters). So there isn't anything absolute (ie physiological or physics related) that prevents any of the above happening (or at least they've never mentioned the synaptic inability of a tau to see the Emperor as a God).



For the 40K races, it's not a mattar of seeing several available ideologies and getting to choose one. If you live in the 40K universe, the ideologies of other races are foreign and alien to you. They cannot be followed, or examined for positive and negative traits. Unless there was some sort of cross-species ideology (I don't believe the Greater Good counts), morality must be racially based in 40K.

You've outlined SOCIALOGICAL reasons for the inability to follow anothers ideology, these can be altered or ignored by someone quite easily see mass murderers, rapists, and paedophiles as an example within our OWN society.

Morality is SOCIALOGICALLY based, not racially or specfically based. Sure the genes within you outline either end of the limits of your social flexibility dependent on environmental conditions, but as a SPECIES those morals are not genetically encoded (perhaps in orks, but that is a seperate issue).

The only PERCEIVED reason for a supposed superiority of morals/ethics, is pure numbers. If my moral system has more people in it than yours, then you could argue people prefer that system, thus making it "superior". I'm sure the aforementioned sister would much prefer to live in a moral system whereby they are NOT killed for their actions (but then, there are some people in those societies that feel so BAD for their actions they WISH to be killed, because it is the punishment for what they have done). But there is no way to determine 'superiority' of morals purely based on the comparisons between them.

I'm sure also, that a convicted MURDERER from Texas, would prefer to live in Australia, where there is no DEATH penality for killing someone. Does that make Australia morally superior to the USA?

*Note my own atheist ethical system does NOT condone the killing of ones sister in pretty much any circumstance. That however does NOT make me ethically superior to someone who DOES, it simply means I have ethics that do not kill sisters.

Hellebore

Kage2020
28-08-2006, 07:46
Or, put another way, 'cult' is what big parishes call little parishes.

It would seem, however, that both hellebore and Kandarin are arguing for the same thing. Indeed, I'm reminded of what a UK archaeologist might have referred to as the "Irish conundrum", or that Ireland (or at least Northern Ireland) was a "country divided by a common religion".

In essence, Kandarin takes the stance that while in a relativist universe (i.e. multiple metaphysical paradigms), morality is absolute given any specific cultural group, hellebore semantically argues the "nature vs. nurture" argument along with the value judgements taken in comparison of metaphysical paradigms and resultant social mores.

Or, at least, it seems to me.

It's kind of this whole approach that makes me offer up the generic statement that I previously posted.

///Kage

Stingray_tm
28-08-2006, 12:47
I consider Tyranids neither good nor evil. They are just nature on steroids and as "evil" as an earthquake or an asteroid.

Hellebore
28-08-2006, 13:05
Or, put another way, 'cult' is what big parishes call little parishes.

It would seem, however, that both hellebore and Kandarin are arguing for the same thing. Indeed, I'm reminded of what a UK archaeologist might have referred to as the "Irish conundrum", or that Ireland (or at least Northern Ireland) was a "country divided by a common religion".

In essence, Kandarin takes the stance that while in a relativist universe (i.e. multiple metaphysical paradigms), morality is absolute given any specific cultural group, hellebore semantically argues the "nature vs. nurture" argument along with the value judgements taken in comparison of metaphysical paradigms and resultant social mores.


Well the way I understand Kandarin's argument (and if I'm wrong, tell me) is that it's not a CULTURAL group that defines an absolute morality, but SPECIES specific morality (ie that imperials as humans have a certain specific morality, whilst tau possess their own race's morality).

All I am trying to say is all those moralities are based on social paradigm, rather than genetic (ie, a tau can be sociotypically 'human', whilst still being genotypically tau, and vice versa) bound within the limitations of genetics (a tau may only be limited in its sociotypicy to a certain level, if it has neurological limitations in the area of the brain conserned with it). As GW have never really entered this area, they haven't said one way or the other whether the concept of Emperor, God, faith et al is within the genetic capacity of a tau to comprehend, but seeing as how their society APPEARS fairly similar to human society, the chance of it being genetically limited is rather small.

Hellebore

Sephiroth
28-08-2006, 13:13
can i add to this? Tau: good because they offer you tech and the chance to be part of their empire...bad because the ethereals are dictators and they destroy what politely declines to their offer.

Like they did the Demiurg? :eyebrows:

Hellebore
28-08-2006, 13:27
Like they did the Demiurg? :eyebrows:

The Demiurg weren't in militarily strategic locations (as in, they owned no planets the Tau needed/wanted).

Had the Demiurg lived on planets near the Damocles gulf, and thus close to Imperial agression, the Tau would have seen it as a strategically important location and offered them a position in the Empire.

Had they THEN said no, the Tau would have indubitably invaded, and if necessary exterminated them "For the Greater Good."

Hellebore

Sephiroth
28-08-2006, 13:58
@Hellebore

Allot of that seems based on speculation with no actual background evidence to support it. I also find it doesn't portray the Tau as 'dark' or 'good', rather just stupid.

Looking at the scenario, you've got an older race that, while unwilling to fully submit to the rule of their Empire, are interested in trading, may be called upon to provide manufacturing capacity, etc.

You've already got a foe just across the Gulf, whom is waiting to exterminate you, and is beyond number. You've got green-skinned warmongers raiding and invading your colonies and outposts, and you've also got a fleet of galactic super-predators bearing down on you.

So you think, what the heck, I'll just add another foe to that list by attacking them for what I could trade to gain, and expend valuable military resources and manpower on it?

Sorry, it seems incredibly stupid thing to do. The Tau have a whole other Caste for diplomacy, trading and interacting with alien species. The reason we hear so much of the Fire Caste and conquest of worlds, is because this is WARhammer 40,000.

By that logic, the Eldar also do nothing but twiddle their elegant thumbs in their craftworlds, waiting for a Farseer to tell them he's seen something bad coming, and to go get ready!

Hellebore
28-08-2006, 14:36
@Hellebore

Allot of that seems based on speculation with no actual background evidence to support it. I also find it doesn't portray the Tau as 'dark' or 'good', rather just stupid.

Looking at the scenario, you've got an older race that, while unwilling to fully submit to the rule of their Empire, are interested in trading, may be called upon to provide manufacturing capacity, etc.

You've already got a foe just across the Gulf, whom is waiting to exterminate you, and is beyond number. You've got green-skinned warmongers raiding and invading your colonies and outposts, and you've also got a fleet of galactic super-predators bearing down on you.

So you think, what the heck, I'll just add another foe to that list by attacking them for what I could trade to gain, and expend valuable military resources and manpower on it?

Sorry, it seems incredibly stupid thing to do. The Tau have a whole other Caste for diplomacy, trading and interacting with alien species. The reason we hear so much of the Fire Caste and conquest of worlds, is because this is WARhammer 40,000.

By that logic, the Eldar also do nothing but twiddle their elegant thumbs in their craftworlds, waiting for a Farseer to tell them he's seen something bad coming, and to go get ready!


Yeah, sorry, the example I gave is probably not a good one. However the arguement stems from the reason the Tau are expansionist at all.

Why exactly are they expanding and subsuming other races into their empire? In the simplest terms it is for the greater good. This then requires an explanation of THAT too. As far as I can ascertain (correct me if I'm wrong) the Greater Good is literally doing what is best for the greater majority of Tau (and secondly their allies within the Empire). They believe the only way for everyone to survive within a hostile galaxy (whether that hostility be completely natural phenomena ie supernovae, or whether it be alien races unable to physiologically join the greater good ie orks) is to join together and forge the future.

So the expansion and subsuming of races into the empire is the furtherence of the Greater Good - in order for the GG to be fulfilled many more need to join, and many more resources need to be acquired.

Most of the inferences I have made come from the 4th edition codex.

For example:



The Greater Good requires that all join together and acknowledge the guidance of the Ethereal caste, and this includes any and all races with whom the tau come into contact. Perhaps unsurprisingly, few races are willing to surrender unreservedly, and so the Fire caste has gone to war on numerous occasions. Those worlds that will not willingly join the empire are dragged to the negotiating table under threat of annihilation. Those that remain openly defiant face obliteration under the orbital guns of the Air caste fleet.


This says to me that the Empire would only ever allow a race free reign without joining the Empire, IF they fit one of several categories:

They are not in a:
Strategically important area
Resource rich area
Or simply not in the direction the empire is currently expanding in.

Thus it would be stupid of them to act agressively to a race they may later wish to incorporate into their Empire, when that race provides nothing important to them (at least, at the moment).

The tau are expansionist, and the Demiurg have nothing for them to expand INTO. Had the Demiurg lived on planets in a strategically/mineral rich or even the right direction then they would most likely have been integrated, by force if necessary as the codex clearly says.

Also:


When the tau encounter an alien race, they inevitably look for those qualities that may best serve the Greater Good. As the tau harbour an unquenchable confidence in their own manifest destiny, they are utterly determined that their own methods are the correct methods. As a consequence, they tend to seek out those qualities that best complement their own over those that run counter to them. Hence, the tau do not necessarily seek out aliens that exhibit a particular penchant for close combat for example, regarding them instead as savage and unsophisticated. They value aliens with broadly simliar methods to themselves - hence the stealthy kroot complement the tau's pathfinders and the vespid work admirably alongside crisis teams. This principle is carried over into many aspects of tau society.


This tells me they are selective about which groups they wish to assimilate. So, we can see that they have no wish to assimilate the orks (after the disasters encountered TRYING) which means any ork held planets deemed to belong to the Greater Good would first be cleansed of all ork presence, and thenpopulated by tau and/or aliens that have joined them.

Perhaps the Demiurg did not fit the ideal upon which these things are judged?


Whatever the case, I see that the only real reason the Demiurg were not conquered was because they don't live on planets (so far discovered) and it would be virtually impossible to conquer them by chasing them all around the cluster. The Nicassar joined willingly, and so there was no need to chase their dhows all across the heavens to make them submit to the Greater Good.

So yes, my point?

Had the Demiurg lived on planets the Greater Good declared they owned, then they would have been given the same choices the tau give everyone as outlined in my first quote.

Also, don't forget that the tau aren't monotone. They don't stick to a single strategem like the Imperium does. The tau wouldn't just apply the above to everyone unless they were specifically after their planet/resources/manpower. If the Demiurg were not going to provide any of those on a planetary scale (I know they trade ores etc with the empire, but they don't provide planets for expansion, nor more man power, or staging posts for your armies) there is no reason for them to ATTACK them. Forming trade alliances etc with people in positions you don't want just makes you look good.

No harm to the Greater Good and great PR.

Hellebore

Goq Gar
28-08-2006, 14:39
Erm, whats wrong with tau? They protect lesser races from the oppressive imperium and are trying to bring peace to the entire universe, while making sure everyone is equal and all things are fair.

Pretty soon they'll be developing guns that dont hurt just so they dont feel bad about shooting people.

True good? Theyre better than good.

Hellebore
28-08-2006, 14:45
Erm, whats wrong with tau? They protect lesser races from the oppressive imperium and are trying to bring peace to the entire universe, while making sure everyone is equal and all things are fair.

Pretty soon they'll be developing guns that dont hurt just so they dont feel bad about shooting people.

True good? Theyre better than good.

There is nothing wrong with the tau, if you follow the morality of the greater good.


If you are a kerfupple from the planet pludge, and the Tau said join the greater good, and you said "No, our morality of sergiletim is better than this heretical greater good, we have no interest in joining", then this would happen:



The Greater Good requires that all join together and acknowledge the guidance of the Ethereal caste, and this includes any and all races with whom the tau come into contact. Perhaps unsurprisingly, few races are willing to surrender unreservedly, and so the Fire caste has gone to war on numerous occasions. Those worlds that will not willingly join the empire are dragged to the negotiating table under threat of annihilation. Those that remain openly defiant face obliteration under the orbital guns of the Air caste fleet.


Once PART of the tau empire you are quite well off, but deciding you don't want to join makes it very hard.


Hellebore

TomKamakazi
28-08-2006, 15:12
I'm no expert on Tau background, but I get the impression that with in the Animal Farm style Empire they have going, the Tau are the pigs.


Just out of curiosity Hellebore, what are you studying?:)

Hellebore
28-08-2006, 15:24
I'm no expert on Tau background, but I get the impression that with in the Animal Farm style Empire they have going, the Tau are the pigs.


Just out of curiosity Hellebore, what are you studying?:)

Studying? I seem to have given off an aura of student somehow:p

I finished a BSc at the ANU last year majoring in biochemistry and ecology, and am now undertaking honours in the geology department working on placoderm fish of the Early Devonian from the Wee Jasper area.

As for animal farm, I see the analogy, and certainly one of the titles within the Tau codex is "first amongst equals". I don't think the tau are quite as bad as napoleon and co from AF, but they are certainly on the road (And having hooves certainly doesn't help).;)

The thing is they have an Ideology - which is IDENTICAL to a religion excepting the supernatural aspects. Religions are also ideologies, and when one follows an ideology fanatically, one can justify virtually anything within the framework of their ideology.

So in some ways the Greater Good is identical to the Imperial Creed, except it allows for the existence of alien races (so long as they fit the things posted in previous posts).

"For the Greater Good!"
and
"For the Emperor!"

Aren't as far apart as they appear...

Hellebore

bertcom1
28-08-2006, 16:01
Whatever the case, I see that the only real reason the Demiurg were not conquered was because they don't live on planets (so far discovered) and it would be virtually impossible to conquer them by chasing them all around the cluster. The Nicassar joined willingly, and so there was no need to chase their dhows all across the heavens to make them submit to the Greater Good.


Just a couple of small points.

1. I am not sure that the Nicassar joined "willingly". BFG Armada says that the first class of starships (Explorer) "formed the basis of the Korvattra for its first wars with the Orks and the Niccassar. The Niccassar were less advanced than the Tau and after their speedy defeat were one of the first other races absorbed into the Empire"

I recall hearing something that the Niccassar war was a misunderstanding, but that might just have been someone's opinion.

2. At the time of meeting the Demiurg, the Tau might not have been in a position to conquer them. I recall hearing something like the Ion cannon that Tau ships use is actually a Demiurg product obtained through trade. That would suggest Tau ships lacked such armament until meeting the Demiurg. This means the very high tech Demiurg ships could have utterly outclassed the Tau fleet. Negotiating from such a weak position means a trade treaty is probably the best the Tau could have done, by stressing the point of the common Ork enemy. The Demiurg get to conduct their activities without interference by Tau, while the Tau benefit from trade and the power of Demiurg ships in their fleets. The Tau might like the Demiurg to be full subjects of the Empire, but the Demiurg are not interested, and the Tau are unable to subjugate them.

Hellebore
28-08-2006, 16:06
Just a couple of small points.

1. I am not sure that the Nicassar joined "willingly". BFG Armada says that the first class of starships (Explorer) "formed the basis of the Korvattra for its first wars with the Orks and the Niccassar. The Niccassar were less advanced than the Tau and after their speedy defeat were one of the first other races absorbed into the Empire"

I recall hearing something that the Niccassar war was a misunderstanding, but that might just have been someone's opinion.

2. At the time of meeting the Demiurg, the Tau might not have been in a position to conquer them. I recall hearing something like the Ion cannon that Tau ships use is actually a Demiurg product obtained through trade. That would suggest Tau ships lacked such armament until meeting the Demiurg. This means the very high tech Demiurg ships could have utterly outclassed the Tau fleet. Negotiating from such a weak position means a trade treaty is probably the best the Tau could have done, by stressing the point of the common Ork enemy. The Demiurg get to conduct their activities without interference by Tau, while the Tau benefit from trade and the power of Demiurg ships in their fleets. The Tau might like the Demiurg to be full subjects of the Empire, but the Demiurg are not interested, and the Tau are unable to subjugate them.

Good points, and ones I hadn't thought of (which is great).

Whether or not they are true, they certainly are possible, and they point towards the direction I was indicating: that the tau only let the Demiurg go for VERY specific calculating reasons, and not out of the goodness of their own hearts.

Hellebore

Sephiroth
28-08-2006, 16:15
I wrote a big responce - then the forum ate it. :(

So I'll just focus on my main point.

I'm not saying the Tau don't invade worlds. Nor am I saying, they don't conquer people. I'm saying this would be a last resort when negotiations brake down, not the immediate response to a reply of 'no' when asked to join their Empire.

Even if a race doesn't want to join their Empire, that doesn’t mean their interested in being an enemy of the Tau Empire. I really think the Tau are being underestimated in terms of how they handle intergration of alien races. You've got hundreds of ways to do it which don't involve invading and wasting manpower.

Might aswell add the BFG stuff too:


Allies, Subjects & Mercenaries

As the Tau Empire expands out from its homeworld, the Tau inevitably encounter new races previously unknown to them, and to each of these an offer of allegiance is made. There are many aggressive, arrogant and selfish races in the galaxy however, and even the Tau often find first contact results in nothing more than yet another bloody war. There are other races however, who readily accept the message of the greater good and take up their place in the Tau Empire.

Some of these races are small, perhaps located on just a single world, or else primitive with little useful resource to offer the Tau, in which case their accession to the Empire is simply a formality, with the benevolent Tau offering protection to these lesser races while they can expect little other than appreciation and friendship in return.

Other additions to the Empire are advanced in themselves, and the union of two such cultures provides valuable new knowledge, technology and understanding for both parties. Such races, where able, fulfil their debt to the Tau Empire by a series of tithes which suit their own particular abilities. Able craftsmen for instance, may be called upon to provide manufacturing capacity, while aggressive or warlike races will be obligated to provide troops to the armies of the Tau.

There are other races still who do not wish to fully submit to the Empire, but who likewise have no wish for war with the Tau and will instead strike up armistices or treaties of neutrality, opening up lucrative new markets or providing new allegiances for mutual protection. Such races are likely to hire themselves out as mercenaries to the Tau Empire when the opportunity arises.


1. I am not sure that the Nicassar joined "willingly". BFG Armada says that the first class of starships (Explorer) "formed the basis of the Korvattra for its first wars with the Orks and the Niccassar. The Niccassar were less advanced than the Tau and after their speedy defeat were one of the first other races absorbed into the Empire"

True enough.



The Nicassar were the first addition to the Tau Empire and continue to provide ships for the Empire as they are ill-suited for ground combat. Nicassar have powerful minds though and rely on their telekinetic talents in particular to make up for their own limited mobility.

First contact with the Tau came when a Tau Explorer was setting up a waystation in Interstellar space and sighted a Nicassar flotilla that had been in space for centuries.

The Niccassar were less advanced than the Tau and after their speedy defeat were one of the first other races absorbed into the Empire.

However...



Because their own interstellar drive systems were derived in part from alien technology discovered on one of the moons in their home system, they were from the outset very open-minded to this possibility and were quick to form trade agreements and colonization pacts with all they encountered. The first of these was the natural deep-space explorers that are the Nicassar.

The Tau’s technology proved to be vastly superior between the two, and the inevitable conflict arising from misunderstanding proved to be relatively short. Extremely poor warriors and completely unsuitable for a military role in the Greater Good, the Nicassar lent their natural skill in space to building vessels for the Empire, and their innate curiosity and desire to explore the galaxy made them uniquely suitable as scouts, slowly and methodically plying the depths of space between the stars.

Misunderstanding.

Perhaps it's worth reiterating what the GW design teams intent was with the Tau?


In contrast to other races, we wanted the Tau to be altruistic and idealistic, believing heartily in unification as the way forward. This meant that they would happily incorporate other races into their empire without subjugating them, instead enticing them in with the benefits of mutual protection, trade and technology.

Khaine's Messenger
28-08-2006, 16:39
In other words, independance is made untennable however the Tau can manage it. If that means trade sanctions, so be it. If that means fighting for sole/major trade rights with the planet so it is independant in name only, so be it. If it means invasion, blackmail (it's a big, scary universe...can you really survive without us?), etc. then so be it. But bear in mind the Tau philosophy about taking ground--no expansion without control, and territory without purpose is worse than useless.

If they want you, they will have you. Even if it means buying you (lower the property values so they can buy the land dirt cheap! Ruh-Roh-Raggy!) or systematically murdering your population until you submit. They have nonviolent means at their disposal, but they will not hesitate to use the beat-stick if they feel it's necessary. The quesiton of when this is appropriate is exactly the sort of moral ambiguity the Tau have.

Commander Ozae
28-08-2006, 17:46
The Tau believe themselves to be the ultimate good in the galaxy similar to how the Imperium thinks itself the only good in the galaxy. Every race except maybe teh Necrons and the Tyranids think themselves good.

cav da man
28-08-2006, 19:21
yes but only the races that don't "think" don't believe they are good because they are not really aware of the concept.

TomKamakazi
30-08-2006, 06:01
Studying? I seem to have given off an aura of student somehow:p

I finished a BSc at the ANU last year majoring in biochemistry and ecology, and am now undertaking honours in the geology department working on placoderm fish of the Early Devonian from the Wee Jasper area.




No offence meant, if any was recieved.

Some of your points sound simmilar to the talk of some BA students I once knew. You don't sound quite so smug though ;)


Back on topic:

I quite like the idea of Chaos followers seeing themselves as doing good. Freeing themselves and humanity from the iron grip of the False Emperor as opposed to being frothy mouthed killers bent on wonton destruction.

There is a story in the Chaos codex from the point of view of a cultist on a fairly low tech world that gives a great feel of what a chaos cult would be actually be like.

Hellebore
30-08-2006, 07:04
No offence meant, if any was recieved.

Some of your points sound simmilar to the talk of some BA students I once knew. You don't sound quite so smug though


Back on topic:

I quite like the idea of Chaos followers seeing themselves as doing good. Freeing themselves and humanity from the iron grip of the False Emperor as opposed to being frothy mouthed killers bent on wonton destruction.

There is a story in the Chaos codex from the point of view of a cultist on a fairly low tech world that gives a great feel of what a chaos cult would be actually be like.

Oh no I didn't take any offence, I was just making a joke that overly verbose posts tend to look studentish (ie self righteous, all important, and very opinionated ;)).

I TRY to avoid sounding smug (it IS hard though, being right ALL the time:angel: :p ...) .

I was merely attempting to put forward the idea that morality is a sociological construct rather than a genetic one, and as such is not NECESSARILY restricted to ones species.

I agree with regards to the chaos cultist - they follow a religion, and ALL religions see themselves as correct, and the most morally justified.

As I said about the tau, ideology is a dangerous thing, because it allows you to justify anything if you try hard enough.

@Nurglitch, I like your link, (mainly because I agree with it:cool: ...).

Hellebore

Kage2020
30-08-2006, 11:22
As above, though, morality kind of has to be a sociological construct. Kind of comes with the definition! ;)

/Kage

Voronwe[MQ]
27-09-2006, 18:34
I don't think there is any good in the 40k universe... Expecially not in the races considered to be "good guys"

Strange that some refer to the dysotopian Imperium as 'good guys'...