Scripture - Shaky ground?
I posted this in the events forum on EVE-Online, but I wanted to ask you CVA folks specifically how you feel on the issue.
I've noticed a rather disturbing trend starting to develop among the RP community, mainly in the Intergal Summit.
In the days following the CPP recognition of Constantin Mort's Sermons, a slew of preachers and speakers have risen to speak at length on Amarrian policy and religion. Among these statements are many 'new' pieces of scripture, borrowed or bastardized from the Christian Bible of Earth.
While I appreciate the renewed focus upon Amarrian religion and the actions of the Empire as a state, the EVE Backstory in it's entirety quotes only three bodies of scripture, which have been quoted and used at wearying length by those who hold true to Amarr RP. One point I would emphasise is the apparent stark differences betwen the Amarrian beliefs (with it's focus on God and a chosen leader) and Christianity (with it's focus upon Jesus)
I think the RP community as a whole might want to evaluate the wisdom of making up scripture. Perhaps one day CCP will release a story or chronicle with more excerpts to use, but until then, how should we deal with this 'new' scripture that is so important to the characters we play? Should we debate on it or feign ignorance to having ever seen the passages?
What do you think?
I'm not CVA, but I hope my answer is "good enough" to be weighed with others
You're absolutely right about this, Grae. There simply isn't enough solid religious background for the Amarrians. It's tough for those of us who like to focus on the religious aspect of pro-amarrian rp to have much room to answer our detractors with only 3 solid sources to quote from. And I feel it's important to deliniate between "christianity" and the Amarrian beliefs. They're monotheistic, to be sure, but the focus is really more Islamic or Judeistic than Christian in terms of their view on the relationship between God and man. (Without going too much into religious stuff here, Christians feel a much more personal relationship between God and man, whereas Muslims and Jews keep their God enshrouded in mysterious wrath.)
This is something I have a tough time dealing with as Garreck. Most Auxilia pilots acknowledge our RP stance as converts, but they're not too interested in exploring the religious aspects of all that. They're just "zealots" and they leave it at that. But Garreck began his pro-amarrian stance as a point of logic at first (terrorism is a threat to order in society) and only later began to believe...through much prayer from Shamir and much influence by his amarrian friends. Trying to describe his revelation and conversion is kinda tough without much material to work with. That and the fact that Garreck now shoulders a big religious responsibility in AmAx, having been given a mandate by Admiral Golan to read from his signed Pax Amarria each night to Auxilia pilots.
So with people stepping forward and randomly bringing up "scripture" and taking it at face value as being valid, we have to decide how to handle that. Where does this "scripture" come from, first of all? Amarrian religion is older than the Pax Amarria, a fact which lots of amarrian roleplayers seem to forget. So what do we take as solid tenants of belief, and what do we write off as heresey? I don't have any answers for you, Graelyn, but it's something that needs sorted for sure.
While I can not comment on the validity of scriptures quoted in various places during Amarr RP I feel I must point something out. Pa Amarria is not a collected work of the Amarrian scriptures. Rather it is the written work of Heideran VII and, while I no doubt believe it contains some scriptual tracts, is the hopes and dreams of the Emporer published to enlighten the EVE world of his plans for peace and prosperity.
Certainly a book worthy of reading every night, but it should not be confused as the scriptures of the Amarrian religion.
QUOTEPa Amarria is not a collected work of the Amarrian scriptures. Rather it is the written work of Heideran VII...
Certainly a book worthy of reading every night, but it should not be confused as the scriptures of the Amarrian religion.
Which is precisely my point. It would be nice to have referrence of scriptures to quote, as well as referrences from Pax Amarria itself. That way the two could be discussed at length, with all involved parties understanding true scripture vs commentary.
Re-reading what I posted, I think I may not have been clear enough. There is so much potenial for religious literary discussion in the Amarrian story, from scriptural books (where the actual religious beliefs lie) to holy relics such as the Pax Amarria (which isn't necessarily accepted by some of the far right-wing Amarrians.) What needs to happen is for CCP to release some solid content from all of these sources, or for players to get together and develop these sources themselves in such a way that the whole RP community can agree on and quote from as "factual." Then there can be actual discussion about these religious works without metagaming creeping in and people just popping off with some random quote from scripture that they made up to undermine another's argument.
Indeed there allways will be some new or less unenlightened players that come to the Forums and claim to know the 'real' Scriptures (the Bible) and are baffled by the concept that there is some quotes of the in-game Scriptures (they havent bothered to read the background stories, like ill never be bothered to read the short story part)
There really isnt much room to navigate RP wise in the setting set by the background stories, how vast and in-depthl they may seem when you read them first while entering the game, you find that they are still just a scratch on the surface of the world of EVE.
There really is no RP background material that could be used to do RP, thats the fact on all the factions. Either CCP is hoarding them for future chronicles, events or news posts. In the worst case scenario there is none...
A heartfelt Yes for the whole Amarrian RP community on getting together and doing some communal background for the whole Empire.
The stuff made could be done so that they are not based on The Scriptures but on the words of the person who built an 'Order' that the RP community sees as the greatest authority on religious issues beside the Theology Council. ( Having heretical views that the 'Crown' (whatever it was called) and the 'Sceptre' (ditto) of the First Emperor were not real relics but metaphysical things that every Amarrian should strive for...
We'd just need to get our heads together. Give the finger to ISD and Aurora and do our thing, and everyone who tries to go on a powertrip because they have 'heard things' should be taken behind the shed and shot.
So we'd make like not the Bible but a Cathechism that is alongside the Bible. (dunno if your family church has the concept, Lutherians at least have....)
We can do reasonable discussions on these things as long as it doesnt turn into a flamefest...
Differend views of the Scripture/Reclamation would be in differend 'Orders' or whatever. The Tetrimon thingie will prolly go forward somewhere around summer if we're lucky...
You want to make a copy of the bible?
Thats dangerous ground to be sure. You need to distance all such Amarrian religion stuff from real life stuff. Down that path lays very bad shiz.
But, aye, we all are restricted in what we can RP as our cultures. Just take it down another route, creating your own Amarrian Scriptures is asking for trouble imo. Because 1) no one will recognise it and 2) you'd be going against what you RP for , the emproer, the scriptures and his Pax thingy.
There are always more avenues ot explore, as im alwyas finding out.
I'm with him on this.
THe history of Amarr is that a christian group stemming from roman caholicism is the root of amarr religion. Therefore when I speak, i speak based upon the biblical scriptures we have now while presuming that the scriptures that Amarrians actually have are modified versions of this.
A simple example would be that the bible has many english translations such as the good news, king james, new international version, american standard version revised standard version and the english standard version (to name but a few). Despite this they all preach teh same christian message and the only flaw is in the way that people interpret it (a flaw of man, not the bible).
As such I treat the amarrian scriptures the same way, it has the same message but a differenttranslation, or version if you would call it that.
What becomes complicated however is that many people refer to amarrian traditions as scripture (keeping slaves for example) whereas this is not actually scripture, but rather tradition. The Christian bible for example does not tell christians that a church priest/pastor/minister should wear robes or that a church should be built in the shape of a cross [in fact the first churches were in someones living room and there was no specific sermon giver other than the apostles], this is because it is tradition, not scripture.
Therefore I think any Amarrian should be mindful of this and read the bible before pretending to know what Amarrians read in the scriptures... they should definately restrict themselves from creating quotes (as if often done by a few miscreants). They should also be using what the bible teaches of God to show how the Amarrians think of God as they believe in the same god as their ancestors did.
As a summary:
Traditions of Amarr:
(Re)claiming, slavery, cathedrals, emperor, theology council, other forms of governance
Scriptures of Amarr:
-God gives the leaders Amarr has ( ie. destines the way things are)
-God is creator
-God controls everything
-God rules over man
-God is a loving God
-God is a righteous God
-God is a judging God
-God is a just God
-God will judge all after death (or/and at the end)
-Encouragement of helping others(ie. one's neighbour)
-Man and God have relationship because of something done in past (I dont know if Amarrians know about Jesus)
-God's will must be spread (bible states through peace, but the (re)claiming is obviously a more aggressive version of this)
Hope this helps future writers of ammarian theology.
An interesting idea.
"THe history of Amarr is that a christian group stemming from roman caholicism is the root of amarr religion"
Is this just something he has assumed? It is a very dangerous assumption.
Also it states in the chronicles that slavery is justified by their religon, so this would leave people to believe that it is in fact in their religon.
I dont believe that you can simply say read the real bible and base everything on that. That is very very dodgy, im not a religous person per se, but many people are, and its ... well its a game.
I dont think its wise.
Yeah, just trying to get some odd takes on the subject.
I'd be all for not quoting anything unofficial, if that be the consensus.
I think that the Amarr scriptures and the Bible are completely different and therefore we can't base one on the other. There are too many things that don't make sense if the Scriptures were based on the bible, including all talks of global flooding, promised land and most of the countries and places. It just doesn't fit together, especially for people that have become primitive and then risen to the stars again. I don't think it is wise if anybody quotes the Bible and claims it is the scriptures.
Khaldorn is right: making the Amarrian faith too close to Christianity sets a dangerous precident for a game. First of all, you're bound to offend somebody...be it an atheist who doesn't want a real religion to be eluded to in a game that he plays, or a true Christian who sees his beliefs being perverted for the sake of a game.
A recent example: Russo told me he had a conversation with Hardin about the ever-sticky issue of non-Amarrians joining the CVA. Russo was trying to make the case that Amarrians believe as Christians, and Christians try and reach out to non-believers and include them in their own ranks. This was a mistake on Russo's part (and I'm a bit annoyed at Russo because I had just communicated to Hardin that he wouldn't hear anymore of this "amax joining the cva" talk) because Russo is assuming that Amarrians believe as Christians do. They don't. Christianity does not preach conquering to spread a belief. Christianity does not preach the blending of government and religion. If anything, these are more Jewish/Islamic ideals. Then there's the slavery issue: Christianity demands service from the believer, not from the non-believer.
Establishing that the amarrians are monotheistic is obviously okay. Establishing "Devine right" for the appointment of an Emporer is great. But to draw too many parallels from real life religions is indeed dangerous, especially when you talk about the apparent Amarrian beliefs being anywhere close to Christian. Probably safer to "make stuff up" and get everybody to agree on it than to re-write the Bible for Amarrians.
You know what they should do
RP points, like LP points.
The better you RP something in the summit / in game, the more RP points you get. And with enough RP points you get to trade them in, for say, a GM doing something for you.
Like for example, posting on the summit about slavery and goverments stance on it, and trading in your RP points for a GM to come and reply in character.
Or An Amarrian fleet Admiral expressing his support for PIE.
Or being given a codex of tattoos.
Nothing with physical reward, just some solid stuff to base RP on.
Just a pointer about Christianity. It hasnt been the way it is now allways.
In the old Roman heydays (You guys have seen King Arthur, right?) nonbelievers were nothing more than cattle/slaves. Only the Roman True Believers had salvation and everyone of them had Divine Right to enslave, rape and do whatever the Hell they wanted to the Pagans.
It seems like some of these people saying that the Church has always been about spreading the word of God through good deeds and 'doing onto others as you would want done to you' is Bullshit.
Im not saying that we should build Scriptures for the Amarrians. We should build more of a RP guide in the form of a religious text. Be it called the Books of Lucifer or Sermons of the Sefrim, I dont care. But some kind of consensus should be reached.
Strange thing being that CVA is kinda like the 'old school' Christians, keeping to the fact that they are the Chosen and everyone else is lower than them (I mean Amarrians, not CVA members as superior to other Amarrians) and those that show devotion to God and the Empire are to be respected, be it the filthy Minmatar or the Lusty Gallente... But You'll never be a Part of The Chosen.
And that the guys who follow the Tetrimon are the lovey dovey heathen embracers, while the Tetrimon are even more racist and destructive in their beliefs toward the non-believers and those 'not of the blood'.
Therefore somekind of consesus should be reached, because I truly believe that some people have been duped into believing that they could RP a faithful Amarrian without being Amarrian. Which simply does not cut it with the 'Faithful' or those that have left their old main behind just so that they could be one of the Chosen.
Oh and dont get me started on the Khanid....phew what a rant.
Basically 3 views of the Scriptures, all seeing each other as 'heretic'. The Empires (basically each Heir House has its own but lets not get into that), The Tetrimons and The Khanids.
And none of them have nothing to do with the Christianity as we know it.
Except the basic concepts, 10 commandments, 7 deadly sins, Heaven and Hell (purgatory?), Spreading the 'Good' Word, Owning the Universe.
I see it this way: If you have gone through the hell of slavery and thus have reached enlightenment through slavery, then you are worthy to be in the Chosen. Otherwise, it will be incresingly difficult for me to roleplay a Ni-Kunni priest, which is what I am doing currently.
As for the Roman day christianity, well, I am reading a book about it currently. I won't go into it, on the pains of offending people more religious than me.
Personally I agree CCP hasn't provided enough in the way of "core content" for any of the races in the game. The Amarrians should have the "most detailed" background as we're the most "hardline" race religion-wise.
That aside I seriously doubt CCP will EVER release any kind of background extension to flesh out the Amarrian religion.
To that end I have no problem quoting the parts of the "Amarr Bible" on Amarr.net and making up my own "theology" to suit my needs. I even quote "Book of Archbishop" while RP preaching and am working on my own theological workbook as part of my RP.
Anyone comparing RP religion ingame to any of the real religions needs to get a grip. There is no history linking Amarr to any "world religion" now nor has there been.
Actually, there is. The timeline states that the Amarr are descendant from a group from the "Unified Catholic Church", hence the reason why some people are using the Bible while creating Sermon. Unfortunately, 20,000 years can change quite a lot
I agree there needs to be alot more to the Amarrian scriptures.
Even after a year of debuncting heratics that come into the Amarr channel preaching every other month or so it seems. I have grown weary, and my ammo to use against them is always almost depleted.
The slavery argument I had recently put me back into perspective as I searched high and low for absolute proof of God's comandment to the Amarr to reclaim all those lessor and in need of understanding.
While combining all the amarrian texts together you get the picture and idea thats what we are aught to do. There is on one line actual proof of scipture that goes out and says it.
I had thought Shiva was going to bring about a lot of new story continent. Thats what the devs said along time ago during the RP summits we use to have( would love to see someone start those up again)
As for using modern religious texts in Amarrian scriptures- I find that like so many of us here that have taken things we know, re-written it and used it we shouldn't look down on others who do.
As long as what is posted is far enough away from the source's version, yet still holds the same principal to yeild its truth.
well, imo its just a game.
yes the language will be the same to allow identification with what scriptures are.
Yes there are only three passages to your amarr version, but its just a game thing. Content is very easy to addm, and that is the beauty of the game, you have free reign to add to it.
Just RP that you have found some scriptures or writings from so & so saying such & such.
Besides, scri[tures act as a nice 'shield' for you scum to justify your actions. Build upon it to your desire basically.
Yes, we could 'find Holy Texts' and give us excuse to send every Amarrian man to Gallentean Pleasure Hubs (Hardin would Love that), but the Main Idea would be getting some kind of basis for that kind of RP.
We get a bunch of people following Holy texts retrieved from the Sisters of EVE that say that Emperor is the Satan , yadda yadda yadda. To give a chance for your opposition to refute your 'Holy Texts' they should be public domain, like the current excerpts of the Scriptiures are.
If you ARE going to fabricate religious texts, make them available to everybody and write them down. Dont wing it.
There is nothing as inane as a heathen debating religion and fabricating a piece of 'Scriptures' on the fly and feeling smug about it. Thats just spitting in the face of the RP that other people do.