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Necrozius

Rape and torture in the name of the Imperium

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Varnias Tybalt said: 

Basically, actions that go against the PCs own convictions (wether they are grounded in past experiences, upbringing, mental stability or religious convictions) should grant corruption points. Quite simply, actions that break a characters own moral code. (and it is every sadistic game masters obligation to push PCs into situations where they have to commit to such actions >:D)

 

 

I have to disagree on this. This would basically leave the player in charge of his characters corruption gains as he may well state that his characters' actions does not go against his convictions to avoid those pesky tentacles.


Further more i think that when people do crazy stuff (******, killing for fun, etc) they are insane, hence they get Insanity points.

Of course the matter of "What a character must do to gain corruption" is highly subjective and I personally don't want to throw around a lot of them just because the PC's do evil stuff. In my game corruption is gain through close contact with warp creatures, forbidden and dark knowledge, or the willfull attempt to get the attention of the chaos gods (I.E sacrifice, or malign acts dedicated to the gods of chaos)


But that's just the "feel" I want in my game, If you want the attention of the chaos gods, you need to dedicate your work to them or be directly influenced by them. I want (chaos) mutation to be warp-related and not justified by any moral problems.

Basically what i'm saying is; I don't want to explain to my player why his character grew eye-stalks because of a good old fashioned **** (Seh wuz askin' 4 it, I swearz) But I will thow him head first into the pool of insanity and force his drooling psycho character to make painted statues of his victims out of his own poo.

Good thing there really isn't any right or wrong here :D

 

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Well in purge the unclean (players look away hint of spoiler) there are a few occations where you can get corruption point through actions mainly when hunting a suspect through a dense crowd of people, hitting the suspect is at -20 due to all the civilians but a player shotting without regard of the civilians to avoid the penality gain a few corrution points.

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Sarius said:

Well in purge the unclean (players look away hint of spoiler) there are a few occations where you can get corruption point through actions mainly when hunting a suspect through a dense crowd of people, hitting the suspect is at -20 due to all the civilians but a player shotting without regard of the civilians to avoid the penality gain a few corrution points.

From my understanding, T.S. had written that book before the final form of Corruption points had been decided upon (and before they would mutate you?). They were, from what I understand, more indicative of moral corruption as opposed to warp taint. The entry in those adventures for cp's to be handed out in such a manner has sparked more then one discussion such as this one whether or not immoral acts warrant cp's or not.

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Sarius said:

Well in purge the unclean (players look away hint of spoiler) there are a few occations where you can get corruption point through actions mainly when hunting a suspect through a dense crowd of people, hitting the suspect is at -20 due to all the civilians but a player shotting without regard of the civilians to avoid the penality gain a few corrution points.

Yes, and I never understod that. I still think that shooting into a crowd of civilians is crazy (IP) and not corrupt (cp).

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Serialkilla said:

 

Sarius said:

 

Well in purge the unclean (players look away hint of spoiler) there are a few occations where you can get corruption point through actions mainly when hunting a suspect through a dense crowd of people, hitting the suspect is at -20 due to all the civilians but a player shotting without regard of the civilians to avoid the penality gain a few corrution points.

 

 

Yes, and I never understod that. I still think that shooting into a crowd of civilians is crazy (IP) and not corrupt (cp).

 

 

How do you define "crazy"? Do you define it as being "sick" (insanity in the psychological sense), that the behaviour stems from a sort of disease, or do you call it "crazy" because its a behaviour which you yourself cannot understand?

Shooting into a crowd of innocent people in order to hit the target doesnt have to indicate that you are insane (in other words "sick", psychologically diseased), it might just indicate that you are ruthless. Such a ruthless person would, in my opinion be more morally corrupt than insane, and its pretty common for fledgling Chaos followers to be ruthless or morally corrupt, therefore shooting into a crowd of innocent people could justifiably grant corruption points.

However, if an acolyte shoots into a crowd of innocent people, because he or she thinks that the crowd is a horde of warp zombies (in other words, the acolyte in question is bonkers), then his behaviour would be crazy/insane, and therefore it should justifiably grant insanity points.

For use in a real world example. Lets say that someone had killed my mother, and I was chasing the killer with a loaded gun in my hand. He tries to flee into a crowd of people in order to escape my vengance. In that situation I cannot guarantee that I wouldn't shoot indiscriminatly into the crowd in hope of hitting the killer. That doesnt have to mean that im insane (in the sense that I am a psychopath), im just in an extreme griefstricken state where its hard for me to care about innocent bystanders. However when discussing the hypothetical scenario now I can definatly say that doing so would be wrong (according to my morals), but no one has killed my mother now therefore I can treat the subject in a rational way, although I would not be so rational had someone really killed my mother. And I would probably feel very bad afterwards (even if I had enacted my revenge) for shooting innocent people. I would deem my action as corrupt since it goes againts my rational morals. And you can bet that the rest of the world would definately consider me corrupt for doing so.

Of course, real world hypothetical scenarios are hard to apply to fantasy. But my reason for raising the subject is to investigate what behaviour can accurately be deemed as insane, and what behaviour that can be deemed corrupt. Although I must admit that thi discussion has seriously implied that the game really needs another gauge than just insanity points and coruption points...

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I personally don’t think you necessarily go insane from doing bad things, not even from truly inhuman deeds.
Just look at the nazis working in the concentration camps, they did things which are sadistic and evil by every definition of morality, but very few of them were insane. Actually in their free time the didn’t even behave cruel or callous among themselves, there are hundreds of photos showing them merry and enjoying their live.
This German article shows a few: http://www.zeit.de/online/2007/39/bg-holocaust
The human mind seems to be quite capable of rationalizing cruelty. Just look at the Milgram experiment or the Stanford prison experiment.
The soldiers who actually go insane from their experience in war, are all guild wrecked and unable to rationalize away their behavior.
So if a character shoots at a target in a crowd he should only get insanity points if he actually feels guilty about it. An Acolyte who holds the opinion better kill a hundred innocents, than let one heretic escape, shouldn’t get them because he is able to rationalize it as necessary.
I also think there shouldn’t be corruption points either, because if you look what Ecclesiarchy does without being corrupted by the chaos gods, no act of cruelty your players can come up with deserves them in comparison (In case your players proof me wrong, I would strongly suggest that you ask yourself if you still want to play with them).
I’d say corruption points as they are should be reserved for contact with the forces of chaos.
If you say that player characters should get punished by the universe/ system for doing bad things, I want to ask you why?
It certainly isn’t realistic, people are punished by other people if the get caught and with enough money sometimes not even then. I’ve got to admit that a lot of people have the believe/ hope /wishful thinking that bad people get what’s coming to them directly by some higher power, but frankly that’s not the case, at least not in this live. Oh I bet you could find a few cases were it looks like that, but these don’t require any higher power as explanation. Thought they may very well be the reason for such believes, because we only see the cases in which it happened and not the many more were it didn’t. Human perception is very biased in that regard.
Additionally if You want to punish your players you have many more ways like a criminal investigation, reprisal from their Inquisitor or revenge by the relatives of their victims.
Which is also why your players won’t be able to run around rampage without consequences, even when they don’t have to fear insanity points.
 

Varnias Tybalt said:

 

However, if an acolyte shoots into a crowd of innocent people, because he or she thinks that the crowd is a horde of warp zombies (in other words, the acolyte in question is bonkers), then his behaviour would be crazy/insane, and therefore it should justifiably grant insanity points.

 

Why? What you describe are delusions, which are a symptome of his insanity, but within his delusions he is acting rational so I don't think it would warrants additional insanity points.

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All in all,  I agree with you, Patrick, and no I don't see a reason to dish out insanity "just because" a few bystanders got creamed while taking down a heretic. BUT, this is the easy example isn't it.... How would your dear Acolyte rationalize the **** of an innocent woman? (And no.. she didn't kill his mother lengua.gif)

I would say, "This character is not right in the head, here, have some insanity points to fit your profile"

There's a fine line between "necessary evil" and "unnecessary evil" ( the ratiolizing bit, mostly) and the way I see it you don't punish your players, you simply make the numbers on his/her sheet fit the character it represents.

And yes. It is up to the GM to be the judge here, because you ARE the setting and you decide the norm of Imperial society.

..and corruption never even enters play here.. Only warp related stuff gives CP (in my game anyhoo)

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Serialkilla said:

And yes. It is up to the GM to be the judge here, because you ARE the setting and you decide the norm of Imperial society.

(emphasis added)

Why do so many people keep making reference to the "norm of Imperial society" and IP?  

That seems a very strange and arbitrary baseline as: 1) with a million worlds w/ a million cultures there is arguably no "norm of Imperial society"; and 2) as far as such a norm exists, it's pretty damned crazy in and of itself.

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Serialkilla said:

 

All in all,  I agree with you, Patrick, and no I don't see a reason to dish out insanity "just because" a few bystanders got creamed while taking down a heretic. BUT, this is the easy example isn't it.... How would your dear Acolyte rationalize the **** of an innocent woman? (And no.. she didn't kill his mother lengua.gif)

I would say, "This character is not right in the head, here, have some insanity points to fit your profile"

 

 

If you mean that he ***** the women in a fit of insanity and the learns what he has done, you are right, that definitely calls for insanity points. So would shooting the "warp zombies", when he finds out what he actually shot (should have thought of that in my last post).

Serialkilla said:

 

There's a fine line between "necessary evil" and "unnecessary evil" ( the ratiolizing bit, mostly) and the way I see it you don't punish your players, you simply make the numbers on his/her sheet fit the character it represents.

And yes. It is up to the GM to be the judge here, because you ARE the setting and you decide the norm of Imperial society.

..and corruption never even enters play here.. Only warp related stuff gives CP (in my game anyhoo)

 

 

True you don't punish your players, I should have said if you want there to be consequens for a characters actions, there are better options than insanity points, if your dealing with a "sick bastard" char. Insanity points feel a bit arbitrary in such a case, especially if you see how sick a lot of the Imperial society is according to the background. Of course thats just me.

 

 

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I would put it this way
Character guns down innocents i then reflects how he acts upon it
1. the character believes he had no right to let them let them live: no or 1 ip
2. the character believes it was the innocents fault of being in the wrong place at the wrong time: 1ip or 1d5ip
3. the character believes he done a great wrong: 1d10 ip or nightmares
4. the character believes he was allowed to kill them, and marks them on his frag table along with the heretics and so on: 1d5 corruption points as a demon khorne takes interest in the avoidable bloodshed, and his obession with it.

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I think that IP represents your deviation from your norm. The easiest way to represent that is to have each character decide on their planet's standard morality and where they fit in it. Then you would need the personal morality of their inquisitor applied over the top with whichever denomination of the imperial creed they follow.

 

If you add all these up you will get a personal morality that will tell you when IPs should be awarded because the behaviour will be outside the accepted personal norm.

 

There will be SOME inherent instinctual morality (this is based in group survival dynamics) but this will be fairly minor.

 

So I think the best method would be to determine the PCs planet's morality system, where they sit in that and you should then have a personal IP scale for each character. Because the IPs ARE personal, the only reason modern humans all tend to go insane over similar things is because the morality code and social systems are all fairly similar and 'humane' so anything outside that will cause problems.

 

Take child soldiers though, and there you have people with a completely different morality code (mainly because their environmental morality conditioning was replaced before they could develop a sense of self and society).

 

Or something like that.

 

Hellebore

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Hellebore said:

I think that IP represents your deviation from your norm. The easiest way to represent that is to have each character decide on their planet's standard morality and where they fit in it. Then you would need the personal morality of their inquisitor applied over the top with whichever denomination of the imperial creed they follow.

 

If you add all these up you will get a personal morality that will tell you when IPs should be awarded because the behaviour will be outside the accepted personal norm.

 

There will be SOME inherent instinctual morality (this is based in group survival dynamics) but this will be fairly minor.

 

So I think the best method would be to determine the PCs planet's morality system, where they sit in that and you should then have a personal IP scale for each character. Because the IPs ARE personal, the only reason modern humans all tend to go insane over similar things is because the morality code and social systems are all fairly similar and 'humane' so anything outside that will cause problems.

 

Take child soldiers though, and there you have people with a completely different morality code (mainly because their environmental morality conditioning was replaced before they could develop a sense of self and society).

 

Or something like that.

 

Hellebore

By that rationale a player who makes a character who is a depraved serial killing necrphiliac rapist from the begining will never have to worry about gaining insanity.

The examples given in the rules tend to indicate an objective system, but if IP are based on variation from the character's normal behavior then it is entirely subjective and there is effectively no system for it.

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DocIII said:

 

By that rationale a player who makes a character who is a depraved serial killing necrphiliac rapist from the begining will never have to worry about gaining insanity.

The examples given in the rules tend to indicate an objective system, but if IP are based on variation from the character's normal behavior then it is entirely subjective and there is effectively no system for it.

 

Well no, because it's to do with their home planet's morality. So if they come from Necrophiliarape Minor where that was the social and moral norm, then why WOULD they go insane for doing those things? Being forced NOT to **** corpses would be a torture for them and drive them insane.

Do tribesmen protecting their tribe collect insanity for killing other warriors? I highly doubt it. Did samurai go nuts because they were told they must kill themselves to retain their honour? So why is it that some average joes sent to the front lines in WWII suffered psychological problems for killing people? Because their morality was based in a society where that was wrong and evil.

If your society actively encourages and rewards you for doing it, why would you go insane doing it? That would be like going insane because you are the best basketball player in the world. It's just because our society has very fixed ideas on right and wrong that we killing as a fundamental wrongness. The current first world social climate is quite unlike the majority of human history. I hardly think the millions of people that killed others in the las 10,000 years all went insane because of it.

Do people go nuts because they must stone their wives to death for being unfaithful? No, because that is an accepted social convention.

Innate morality, from an evolutionary perspective developed as a social protection mechanism. You don't kill  me and I won't kill you. This is easily overridden by different social training.

This thread is a good example of how the morality as set out in DH CAN'T be objective, there are too many contradictions. I think you'll find that if you did as I stated, most of the questions within this thread would be unnecessary. Should X get IP for doing Y? No because he's a feral world assassin from a culture where the taking of enemy heads and eating their hearts is an honourable practice.

 

Hellebore

 

 

 

 

 

 

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DocIII said:

By that rationale a player who makes a character who is a depraved serial killing necrphiliac rapist from the begining will never have to worry about gaining insanity.

The examples given in the rules tend to indicate an objective system, but if IP are based on variation from the character's normal behavior then it is entirely subjective and there is effectively no system for it.

You are correct, but at the same token, as GM would you allow a player to be a depraved serial killing necrophiliac rapist, concidering who he is working for.

To be honest have a mind-wiped character who was a depraved character could be kind of fun, with the Arbitrators constantly harrassing the now very good law abiding character, but I don't know if as an Inquisitor I'd allow that kind of person to be and alcolyte... especially the necrophilic part... to close to Slaneesh and Nurgle worship.

Course on the other hand, I can see your point too.  I could definatly see an Imperial Deathcult, obsessed with death, so the serial killing would be assassinations.  The necrophilia would make sense to some extent, where they honor the dead before burying them by a huge ritual in which specific "priests or priestesses" slept with the honored dead and it was a great honor to be chosen as said priest or priestess, and the rapist because this specific deathcult allowed multiple child marriages with children who had no talent except as "breeders".

But each and ever circumstance is occured under a very specific guidelines, and they're not totally chaotic about it.  Follow the rules and you don't go insane.

Its when the rules are broken, regardless of the rules, where insantiy can be shown to begun creeping in.  The more you break the rules, the easier it gets, and the more "insane" by a cultures standards.

Hell, even the Mafia which breaks most of societies rules, has it own very strict rules it abides by, and while most members of the Mafia aren't crazy, but those who break their rules and societies rules often are.

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By that rationale a player who makes a character who is a depraved serial killing necrphiliac rapist from the begining will never have to worry about gaining insanity.

The examples given in the rules tend to indicate an objective system, but if IP are based on variation from the character's normal behavior then it is entirely subjective and there is effectively no system for it.

That is pretty much what I'm thinking, to go insane (apart from physical damage to the brain), you have experience a traumatic event that exceede your personal ability to cope. So not even how far you can stray from your "normal behavior" is consistent some can take a lot more than others. Some people cope with trauma by becoming extremely controlled and rational, while others can suffer a complete emotional breakdown.

The main cause as far as I read seems to be a feeling that you lost control of your life, which is probably why **** almost always causes a trauma. But the mind also has several protection mechanisms to keep you from going insane. Like repressing the memory or deadening emotionally. That's why giving IP for immoral behavior feels arbitrary to me.

Also even your depraved serial killer does have to fear IP, just not from his personal actions. Which I don't consider much of a problem. If his behavior disrupts the game, you have several other options to keep him in line and if not it can make for interesting inter character roleplay.

BTW not every player can roleplay slowly going insane without becoming a walking stereotype and not everybody finds it fun as it takes away control from the player.

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Oh for...

I had a two page analysis of this situation written, then my browser thought it would be an awesome time to refresh the page and wipe out everything.  Grrr.  >.<

The short version is that insanity has little to do with one's social expectations or the rules of their society.  It's a simple matter of determining if their behavior is predominantly rational (emotional reactions, while not technically rational, are not crazy unless wildly out of control, BTW).  So a person killing, eating, and then ****** the remains of their opponents is only crazy if the behavior is not backed with a rational, and consistent (both internally and with percieved information and experience) understanding motivating the behavior.  This does require that the subject understand that people, as defined by their rational understanding of the world, are seperate entities, and not just a plaything or actor in their personal drama.

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What Aureus said.

Insanity is based upon certain norms that the brain is set up with by whatever culture they are currently in.  The human mind is an incredibally resiliant thing, but even it has its breaking points, and sometimes it just doesn't fire correctly.

Take for example real life combat veterans.  The human mind can rationalize quite a bit in combat, but some brains just can't rebound all the way back to what they once were.  I hate to use the term insanity for this (since I suffer from a mild case of PTSD) but a person who dives for cover when they hear fireworks and who gets worked up when driving because they're afraid they're going to get blown up isn't exactly the "norm" of society.  In game terms, that person would have have a few points of insanity added to him, but for doing nothing more then almost being blown up a few times.  They don't even have had to shoot anyone to get this way, so its a passive thing, not an active thing.

But because the mind is resiliant the person can get better, or they can be trained that this is the norm.  Someone raised from birth to be an assassin is going to have a lot easier time dealing with death then someone who has never, ever seen it before.  Someone whose culture is completely against child marriages is going to find anyone with a 12 year old wife completely sick.

Hell, lets take our own "RPG" culture.  We have certain types of players that even we as a culture that is generally concidered geekish and slighty un-normal have players that we've all encountered that we all look at and go, dear god that person is crazy.  RPG.net has entire 100 page posts on these social and cultural rejects, and this is coming from a culture that is generally more accepting of deviations from the "norm" of society.

So each culture and sub-culture has "norms" that we all follow, and when we slip beyond those "norms" we trend into areas where our minds begin to not being able to cope, regardless if we're active or passive.  The combat vet has gone beyond the "norm" by being thrust into a combat situation and his mind hasn't been able to reset yet, or ever. That combat vet didn't even have to kill anyone but just being in that setting, as technically a passive, has caused his mind to unhinge, because it wasn't the "norm" he was used to and it went beyond his "boundries".

Now in game terms it gets more difficult.  As can be seen in real life, the combat vet has been trained extensively to fight and kill.  Its the norm of his current military culture, and yet combat vets quite often suffer from a PTSD, because in some ways this military culture norm conflicts with other norms they've grown up with.  To them killing someone isn't normal, no matter how much some idiot General slaps you around and calls you a coward (ala Patton).

So in game terms where do you draw the line for insanity or not?  That's going to be up to the GM and the player to decide, but I'd use some serious defining guidlines here.

a) Does it break Imperial Law?

b) Does it break Imperial Creed?

Both of the above simply makes you either a criminal a heretic or both, and not strictly insane.

c) Why does the character commit said acts

d) What type of culture does said character come from.

A character who ***** and tortures out of sheer enjoyment can be shown to be rather insane.  A character who hates to torture but does it to gain information to save humanity isn't necessarily insane, but may gain insanity points because of the intense guilt he feels by torturing.

To be honest I know a lot of players don't like to give penalties to their own characters, but sometimes in the sake of RP you should.  Honestly after a particularly rough torture session where the character tortured his own wife who he loved and adored because he discovered she was a witch and a heretic who had information about a huge cult that was about to destroy an entire planet, may have done it for all the right reasons, but may want to ask the GM for an insanity point or two to discribe his guilt.

A character, say an Arbitrator, who routinely shoots young children can be seen as a sociopath if he's doing it for no other reason then because he wants to, but said Arbitrator who shoots children who were kidnapped by a heretical cult and indoctinated may want to voluntarily take insanity points to RP out the stress of him waking up each night with nightmares of zombie kids with bullets holes in their heads coming after him, especially if this leads to a paranoia or derangement that all kids are zombies.

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Aureus said:

Oh for...

I had a two page analysis of this situation written, then my browser thought it would be an awesome time to refresh the page and wipe out everything.  Grrr.  >.<

The short version is that insanity has little to do with one's social expectations or the rules of their society.  It's a simple matter of determining if their behavior is predominantly rational (emotional reactions, while not technically rational, are not crazy unless wildly out of control, BTW).  So a person killing, eating, and then ****** the remains of their opponents is only crazy if the behavior is not backed with a rational, and consistent (both internally and with percieved information and experience) understanding motivating the behavior.  This does require that the subject understand that people, as defined by their rational understanding of the world, are seperate entities, and not just a plaything or actor in their personal drama.

 

Rationality can be trained within a society though. It was completely rational to sacrifice pigs and barley to the weather for a good crop. It was completely rational for people to cut themselves to bleed the humours out. That's because this was a personal rationality in the context of a society. The entire Aztec people would be insane if you had to be doing things based on an objective rationality.

 

If your society trains you to believe that it is rational to kill your foes and eat their hearts, then isn't your view of the world and rationality going to be coloured by that? Would you not find it strange that someone WASN'T doing this, because it was the most natural thing in the world to you?

How is rationality going to be defined when even in cultures today we have vastly different concepts of what 'rational' is. I don't want to drag this into politics and religion, but to me, it is irrational to believe in things that can't be seen, measured, or examined. It is irrational to believe that an invisible omnipotent god in the sky created everything. Yet there are many many people that think MY concept of rational is irrational, that belief and unmeasurable entities is perfectly rational.

That  is the modern world today. A person's view of rational and irrational are coloured very heavily by their society and personal experience, so I don't think you can say that social expectations and rules have little to do with going insane. Of course, the term insane is also not every well defined in this instance either. It seems to be a catchall for anyone that doesn't fit the social norm as well as people that really do have neurological diseases.

Hellebore

 

 

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Hellebore: Psychologically speaking, rationality is actually very well defined.  Faith is a common point used to clarify the meaning, as it's an excellent example of something that is predominantly irrelevant to the question, despite everyones desire for their ideas to be the "rational" ones.

Rationality can be determined by simply checking one's information, experience, and perceptions to their behavior.  Faith is comprised of all those things that are decided without having enough information to come to a rational conclusion (though there is certainly enough for various people to have rational suspicion on all sides of that hyper-dimensional fence).  Most of this information comes from their background, their culture, and their family, but can quite easily divert completely from those things to form their own independant understanding of matters.  How one acts on matters of faith can quite easily be irrational and crazy, but believing in something that can not be proven or disproven is not a matter of rationality.

Example:  Two people believe that their god speaks to them directly, and tells them what they must do.  One is rational, the other is not.  (note that I don't think anyone would actually talk as I am writing below, but it's shorter than trying to break down their theoretical thoughts step-by-step)

Rational Believer:  "I believe my god speaks to me and directs me, but I am not so filled with hubris by this that I will assume I understand such a complex thing well enough to act without consideration.  So if these enemies he has shown me are truly lost, I will go to them and educate them, and I will bring them into the light, or learn enough to judge them myself, guided by my faith and the wisdom granted to me."

Irrational Believer: "God has spoken to me, he says these people are bad.  I'm my god's sword of wrath and will kill these enemies!"

The difference here is that the first person has heard or felt something, that for whatever reason, they believe to be divine guidance (maybe it is, maybe it's their intuition, or maybe they are schizophrenic), and acknowledge that they may not understand things well enough to act without getting more concrete information first.  While ignoring the feeling/voice as a sign of losing one's grip is also rational, heeding something you percieve is not inherantly irrational, no matter how hard to comprehend.  The second person is delusional, even if it is a divine voice talking to them, acting blindly in this case is "perpetuating a personal myth" where they are somehow mystically more important than other people, for no externally visible reason.  After all, even if you assume the voice is an outside force, it's an act of hubris to assume you can tell the difference between a divine force and anything else without any experience in comparing them.

As long as one's reasons for believing something are consistent with your internal understanding and your physical perceptions, then it's not irrational from a psychologocal perspective.  Athiesm and Deism are equally valid from this standpoint.

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But that's my point. Your personal understanding and viewpoint is constructed by society and environment in general.

 

So shouldn't then 'insanity' and rationality be affected by your moral environment?

 

I'm not sure what the problem is. If your society creates a personal viewpoint for you that is X, well isn't that your 'normal', 'rational', 'moral' standard? But heavily influenced by their beliefs? So why is society not a big part of rationality and insanity? The environment has a really big part to play in this, because social learning is a very plastic thing and it shapes your entire view of reality and life in general.

 

Hellebore

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No, insanity is not tied to other peoples beliefs or expectations.  It is strictly a measure of rationality.  If your society abhorres cannibalism, but you come to a conclusion that it is the best way for society to survive and set up a "people processing station" to take corpses and prepare them for safe consumption, and do so with a belief that it is the right thing to do, then you are not crazy, even if everything you've ever been told says otherwise.

If you do it because you feel like you have no choice, and it's the only way to survive, but still find it abhorrent yourself, then say hello to some crazy (because you are violating your own beliefs, and are damaged for having done so).  If you don't care and get a deviant kick out of it because it is wrong, and do it, then say hello to a whole bunch of crazy (because you are operating under a number of deviations from your rational understanding of the world).

So you can see how social norms are an influence, but not a determining factor of crazy.  It's all about the why and how.

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Aureus said:

No, insanity is not tied to other peoples beliefs or expectations.  It is strictly a measure of rationality.  If your society abhorres cannibalism, but you come to a conclusion that it is the best way for society to survive and set up a "people processing station" to take corpses and prepare them for safe consumption, and do so with a belief that it is the right thing to do, then you are not crazy, even if everything you've ever been told says otherwise.

If you do it because you feel like you have no choice, and it's the only way to survive, but still find it abhorrent yourself, then say hello to some crazy (because you are violating your own beliefs, and are damaged for having done so).  If you don't care and get a deviant kick out of it because it is wrong, and do it, then say hello to a whole bunch of crazy (because you are operating under a number of deviations from your rational understanding of the world).

So you can see how social norms are an influence, but not a determining factor of crazy.  It's all about the why and how.

I disagree with this one, simply on the fact that your insanity may not allow you to live up to societies norms.  You're personal issues aside, if your personal belief system is you need to sacrifice a person every day to the Great Gonzo,  you're definatly insane by societies standards, at the very least sociopathic.

You may not be insane by your own personal belief systems, but by societies beliefs systems you're a loon that needs to be locked up in a padded cell.

A person doesn't become insane due only to personal issues, but society can also declare a person insane by their cultural standards as well.

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Being declared insane happens to perfectly sane people rather often, and is a poor model to determine an individuals functionality in a game.

To have the belief that you must make a human sacrifice requires corroborating evidence, otherwise such a belief is not rational.  Similarly, is the norm is to sacrifce people, and you come to a rational conclusion that doing so is not required, then while society may deem you "nuts" you're just a rebel, not a loon.

Social norms do not, in any way, directly define someone's sanity.  They provide a baseline of information that can be taken or, if contradictory information is discovered, discarded.  I will repeat this again to make the central point clear:

Whether a subject is reacting rationally to the information, experience, and physical perceptions they have is the only measure by which someone's sanity can be made.

A crazy person acts in ways that are not rational, and consequential irrational actions (actions that violate the subjects beliefs or understanding of the world) cause psychological damage that can eventually drive a person crazy.

Anything else is a social judgement that has no basis in fact, and is as hollow as saying "You are a left person" to someone because they happen to be standing to my left at the time.  It may be true at the moment from my subjective perspective, but it is a limited, useless, and uninformative one.  People's information and experiance (above) are informed by the norms and teachings of their society, culture, sub-culture, and family; they are not a deterministic definition of one's sanity or lack thereof.  This is why no matter what they are told and how accepting people are of their actions, a person who values life will be psychologically damaged when they kill, regardless of the reasons why, because it violates their fundamental beliefs.

Fundamental beliefs, those things that are held as true regardless of concious claims to the contrary, are a common source of the misunderstanding regarding insanity.  People frequently tell themselves that they believe a great many things that they actually do not.  When this cognitive dissonance is tested, psychological damage ensues despite the subjects desire to believe that what they were doing was right.  It is easy for someone to say "Yes, if I am told to shoot someone because they are an enemy, I will do so."  Even though they don't actually know their own limits and comfort zones.  So when combat erupts, if they have not actually internalized this belief, only voiced it and lied to themselves, then they will be damaged.  Frequently such cases are more damaging because the subject can not address the source of this damage, at least until the are willing to give up the lie they have told themselves, which is at best stressful and at worst itself a source of trauma.  It is difficult to overcome social entrainment, but it can be done and doing so based on rational conclusions and decisions does not in any way make a person insane.

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Xathess Wolfe said:

 

 

I disagree with this one, simply on the fact that your insanity may not allow you to live up to societies norms.  You're personal issues aside, if your personal belief system is you need to sacrifice a person every day to the Great Gonzo,  you're definatly insane by societies standards, at the very least sociopathic.

You may not be insane by your own personal belief systems, but by societies beliefs systems you're a loon that needs to be locked up in a padded cell.

A person doesn't become insane due only to personal issues, but society can also declare a person insane by their cultural standards as well.

 

 

 

You forgot to state whether the belief that sacrificing a person daily to the Great Gonzo is a rational belief or not as that is of key importance. If it is not rational, then, yes, you're insane even if such is your belief. If, however, it is rational, then your not insane no matter what society says. One could even rightfully say that such a sociaty is actualy the ones who are insane and, as an insane sociaty, it would definitly help to produce insane people.

Sane and insane, despite current relativistic trends, are not subjective. The words lose all meaning when subjectivity enters the picture. In order for them to be used in any kind of meaningful way, they must be used objectively which means that certain criteria for what they are and are not must be set down. That is what Aureus was talking about when he spoke of rationality. That is the measuring stick that has been chosen to objectively determine sane and insane. It is also something that can be observed and measured independent of social context making such determinations of sane and insane a process independent of social patterns of thought. Instead of looking at belifes, you have to look at the reason for the belifes.

Edit: and Aurous beat me.  Not only that, but he made a much better argument and added in much better points... dadgumit!

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See, now I'm going to get into a bit of controversy here, in the name of Dark Heresy.

Prove to me that <insert diety here> exists?  What is your collaberating evidence that <diety> exists, and is laying down a set of rules that I should live by, and kill by.  Society has stated that to kill in <diety's> name is holy, mass murder in his or her name isn't just holy, but rational and completely sanctioned.  <Diety> talks to me in my mind, and tells me to kill people.  <Diety> has been said to talk to people in the past in books and stories that society says is true so I must be completely rational to kill these people.  To me this is a completely rational belief system that I completely believe in because its happened in the past.

I've got past "history" telling me I'm right.  Belief systesm of the culture I live in tell me that the "history" has been correct so I go and blow up a thousand people because God told me to, and I completly believe so.

So by your definition, I'm rational and not insane, but just some holy warrior, but by the societies definition I'm some crazed loon.

So going back to Dark Heresy, all the above the Emperor can be inserted for <Diety>.  So a person who goes out and kills men, women, and children isn't insane by your definition even if the rest of the Imperium judges him to be so?

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