Are the Inchoroi naturally sadistic, or just hedonistic?

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Francis Buck

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« on: November 11, 2014, 11:42:01 pm »
So I haven't really seen this exact topic broached before and it kind of interests me, because I'm actually not sure where I fall on it.

A poster over on the thread made this comment:

I sound like a broken record, but: the Inchoroi are not sadists. They are hedonists. There has been plenty of opportunity to show Inchoroi taking delight in hurting others, yet the opposite has been shown: they go out of their way to make their victims enjoy. They are merely without compassion.
Painting the Inchoroi as sadistic rapists avoids a delicious moral conundrum (namely: is hedonism damnable?) and makes it small, trivial, and easy.
The skin spies and the sranc are sadistic rapists, and designed that way.

I actually agree that making them merely sadistic rapists kind of ruins the moral issue at heart, and I believe that it may have been Bakker's intention to depict the Inchoroi as hedonists rather than specifically sadistic, but I'm not sure how well the text supports actually it. The best example, I think, is that Shaeonanra in TFS seems to have a pretty consesual sexual relationship with Aurang. While it's certainly true that Aurang has raped Esmi in the text, he also made the statement to Kellhus that he was a raper of thousands during their confrontation in TTT. However, this could just be him trying to sound, well, intimidating (not that I find it particularly hard to believe, obviously).

The distinction between the Inchoroi's sexuality, and that of the skin-spies and sranc, does seem valid and important to the debate. We always hear skin-spies thinking about necrophilia, rape, etc. --- but do we get those kinds of thoughts from Aurang's POV?

I know it's a weird topic but I do think it's pretty relevant to understanding the true nature of the Inchoroi.


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« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2014, 04:12:56 am »
Good point on making it a tough issue. That does fit better with the text generally. However, I find it hard to say that the Inchoroi are good, or at least amoral, when they specifically manufactured bioweapons to desire nothing but rape and inflicting pain on humans/nonmen. Sounds, to me, like saying Hitler was a hedonist, he just wanted everyone to be happy, but his natzi's were the evil ones. This situation is more ambiguous, and indeed we know more about hitler than the Inchoroi, but it demonstrates the general idea.

On the other hand, lets try and look at it from the pro-hedonist POV. The Inchoroi manufactured a race of biomachines to erratic life on a planet. The sranc, who's only objective is an evil one, endlessly enjoy the task. It gives them extraordinary pleasure. Seems like a nice thing to do, or rather, the nicest thing they could do given the situation.

I still don't really buy it though. The Inchoroi have spent an enormous amount of time warmongering, exterminating planet after planet, and generally trying to kill things, for me to call them purely hedonistic. I could certainly believe that they were that way, but after the IF and learning of their damnation, they self admittedly don't give a shit about anything else but their own salvation. Exterminating the universe for your own pleasure and safety, seems a whole lot more sadist than hedonist.

They could make anything via the Tekne. Why not eradicate the men/nonmen by making loveable alien critters, nigh irresistible, so much so that all lifeforms on the planet forgets to procreate and instead just endlessly has sex with your robots? Or promise, and provide, everyone with endless neuropuncher pleasures, narcotics, food and shelter, all within the safe confines of the Arc. Everyone lives in harmony. Now, that is hedonism. Construct a race a sadistic biomachines to rape and kill everyone, that is sadistic.

From what I can discern, the Inchoroi are sadists. Do they enjoy having a good time? Sure. But their damnation changed them, irreparably.

A different question may be, do the Inchoroi know and or recognize that they are sadistic, or are they unawares of the perception of that nature and thing of themselves as purely hedonistic? Again, though, I find it hard to believe that they would think the latter. However, self delusion is an extraordinary thing, and I think their answer, reguardless, is largely irrelevant to the discussion.
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« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2014, 04:48:13 am »
I've been thinking about this question alot since that post went up on Westeros because it's such an interesting issue.  It's highly appealing and satisfying to have the enemies in a fantasy series have an understandable justification, saving their own souls. The False Sun threw a wrench in that, though, with Bakker planting the insidious seed of doubt that the Inverse Fire might not be the objective, irrefutable proof of damnation we all assumed it to be. I also read recently Aurang boasting how he comes from a more violent race than Earwa's men.

Even still, I think an argument can be made diminishing the immorality of the Inchoroi. With Bakker's world view and teleology, an advanced race like the Inchoroi would have as much concern for other people's suffering as someone playing Grand Theft Auto would for its in-game pedestrians.