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Tau, Ethereals and the Greater Good... wild theory...
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Old 15 Jan 2008, 22:03   #1 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Tau, Ethereals and the Greater Good... wild theory...

Alright, the inspiration for this thread was basically the current "Chaos-Tau" thread on this very board.

Aside from the usual question, a statement popped up: Calmsword mentioned "worlds without contact to the rest of the Empire and/or Ethereals still maintaining the Greater Good for decades".

Something in my head went "pop", and an idea formed.

We always thought that it was the Ethereals which influenced the Tau by whatever means available, and that the Tau were a mere receptor, like an empty vase waiting to be filled with ideas of the Greater Good, cooperation and expansion.

What if its the other way around? What if the reason the Tau follow the Ethereals has nothing to do with the Aun themself, but with the average Tau and its biology, its instincts? And not just the obedience to the Ethereals, but the idea of the Greater Good itself!

The basic premise is: IF these receptors, instincts or whatever were in the Tau genes from the start, they would behave, well, normally (i.e. kill each other, and soon). Maybe they would`ve felt incomplete, a certain longing they couldn`t quite satisfy, but, apart from that, they would have been, well basically humans. Grey humans. With hooves.

Then, the Ethereals arrive, and instincts take over. Their ideas and speeches completely capture the Tau, activate long forgotten synapses in their brains, and suddenly, all their longing has a focus. Disobedience is impossible to even imagine, because suddenly, the Tau realise that they need the Greater Good like a fish needs water.

This is, basically, one way to explain the sudden shift in their behaviour. No Tau who has heard of the greater Good could ever kill another Tau again, because it makes him whole, and killing another Tau would basically kill a part of him.

This also explains how worlds without Ethereals can follow the Greater Good even decades after their separation from the Empire - the old teach the young, and once their path is clear, "instincts" take over.

Some sort of "Greater Good mental virus" which only affects Tau...

I somehow like this theory - though it opens a new can of worms:

Where do these genetic engrained behaviour patterns come from? This theory builds on alien intervention in the Tau develoment at TWO different stages - first, the actual "creation" of the genes, and secondly, the insertion of the Aun into the race...
Besides, this whole "engrained knowledge" sounds orky... And this means, if you think the Old Ones created the Orks, that, well... do the maths...

Discuss!

Cheers,
-Bone
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Old 15 Jan 2008, 22:13   #2 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: Tau, Ethereals and the Greater Good... wild theory...

hrm... I don't know-

The greater good is a cultural creation and through throusands of years it has succeded as the sole-Tau culture. You could argue that it is something they physically need, but i doubt it. The thing is is that the Tau have chosen to follow the concepts of the Tau'va- that's what so hard for everyone to swallow, that's why the Imperials think its phermone control (which is bogus) because no one can imagine a race that is technologically and socially advanced to all agree with one another and act for the greater good of all.

Its communism working on a mass scale, its all those hippie communes becoming global superpowers, its everything your parents said about santa coming true- its the greater good!

But seriosly, i think that the Tau'va is a cultural creation and the Aun are merely the first to preach it- they are like every celebrity in America combined with the dalai lama- they are cultural icons of such integral importance that other Tau can't help but love and listen to them. (I have actually spoken with the Dalai lama and the kind of innate devotion caused by this guy- even to none-budhists, is amazing and what i imagine the Aun do to other tau- so it could just be me)
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Old 16 Jan 2008, 00:01   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tau, Ethereals and the Greater Good... wild theory...

If you ever had an opportunity to read the Tao you will find that the ideas for this race didn.t came from San Francisco on 70īs... nonetheles you might find from where GW (Priestley) got his basics concepts (even as a bussinesman perhaps) ^-^

For me its also cultural issue... but not originated in the same place.
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Old 16 Jan 2008, 02:01   #4 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: Tau, Ethereals and the Greater Good... wild theory...

Well it's a really hard to swallow theory as it's based on memory that's written in your genes. That in itself is an incredible theory. The greater problem however is if it was true, then any Tau that has herd about the Greater Good couldn't possibly turn against it, right? So how do you explain Farsight? While it's not know what his stance is, he's obviously not being a good little boy scout, is he?
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Old 16 Jan 2008, 15:09   #5 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: Tau, Ethereals and the Greater Good... wild theory...

I'll answer your question with a question: how do you explain farsight?

You can't- everything is just theory until they nail something more about him down.
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Old 16 Jan 2008, 19:07   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tau, Ethereals and the Greater Good... wild theory...

Sounds a good idea- imean, look at how easy it is to control humans- as lord vetinari says "what people wish for most is not good government, or even justice, but merely for things to stay the same".
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Old 16 Jan 2008, 19:14   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tau, Ethereals and the Greater Good... wild theory...

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Orange
Well it's a really hard to swallow theory as it's based on memory that's written in your genes. That in itself is an incredible theory.
We have Orks as precedent. It meshes up with the 'made by the Old Ones' theory.

Quote:
The greater problem however is if it was true, then any Tau that has herd about the Greater Good couldn't possibly turn against it, right? So how do you explain Farsight? While it's not know what his stance is, he's obviously not being a good little boy scout, is he?
Well, the Ork codex tells us how the Farsight enclave is fighting a losing war against a huge Ork WAAAGH. Maybe Farsight's just busy with the problem at hand and doesn't have time to deal with bureaucracy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OVladimir
Sounds a good idea- imean, look at how easy it is to control humans- as lord vetinari says "what people wish for most is not good government, or even justice, but merely for things to stay the same".
They don't want Dibbler's sausages to stay the same. :shifty:
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Old 16 Jan 2008, 22:58   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tau, Ethereals and the Greater Good... wild theory...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deus
We have Orks as precedent. It meshes up with the 'made by the Old Ones' theory.
Really good point there. Though I really need to read up on the Ork fluff (need to grab the new codex ;D, as I don't have any) and take a closer look at what exactly is ingrained in them. I wouldn't exactly call a tendency to be aggressive the same thing as subsuming one's self to an abstract ideal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deus
Well, the Ork codex tells us how the Farsight enclave is fighting a losing war against a huge Ork WAAAGH. Maybe Farsight's just busy with the problem at hand and doesn't have time to deal with bureaucracy?
Could be but the jury's still out. All we really know is that the Empire isn't to happy with Farsight right now, which IMO doesn't sound like he simply forgot to call home.
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Old 16 Jan 2008, 23:41   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tau, Ethereals and the Greater Good... wild theory...

Orks actually have genetic memory that tells them how to build things. That's what Mechboyz are: Orks who by genetic default know how, and like to, build insane machines and weapons out of damn near anything.

And Farsight has been purposefully left ambiguous so that players can do what they like with him. All I'm saying is that it's possible that Farsight is a good guy.
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To spit in Sightblinder's eye on the Last Day.

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Learn to shorten your reach! If your foe can come close enough to negate your striking power, all stratagem is lost, and when all stratagem is lost, the battle is lost.

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Old 17 Jan 2008, 06:57   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tau, Ethereals and the Greater Good... wild theory...

Interesting theories, Bone. In regards to the idea of genetics being involved in a way similar to the Orks, I think we can safely rule that out. The similarities just aren't present in a way that effectively supports that idea. Now, I think Bone is on to something, and I'll be watching this post carefully to see what comes of it.
Quote:
With hooves
Precisely.
Confused? Of course you are, allow me to explain. The Tau have evolved from a creature that moved in herds. (Think cows, horses, gazelle, buffalo, etc.) All of these species are marked by a concern for the well being of other members of their herd. Even during the mon'tau, the Tau were most certainly social creatures, they were just embroiled in conflict with other herds. So I submit that Bone is on to something about an instinct within the Tau, completely independent of the Ethereals, that predisposes them towards this concept. To illustrate, let me point to the human race and it's evolutionary ancestors. How much of our primal, basic psychology is derived from the species we once were? The answer, of course, is a great deal. Our aggressive and violent tendencies are evidence of our descent, as is our capacity for compassion. Furthermore, most humans have a basic urge to protect and care for the young of our species. These are a few examples, just to illustrate. In some way, all (most, actually)) of these things are conducive to the continued survival of our species. So from this we can deduce that the Tau as a species retain instincts and behavior patterns in the same way. And of course, the most prominent of these is a concern for the well-being of others, a concept that lends itself to the Greater Good perfectly.

When the Ethereals arrived, their ideas took hold with little opposition. This is due, I think, to the fact that the concept of the Greater Good was already an integral part of primal Tau psychology. The Ethereals simply elevated the concept to include all into one "herd". Not difficult to believe, really. I am going to shamelessly continue with this thread's convention for Buddhist references, so bear with me. :P Buddhism teaches that the love one feels for oneself and those close to them is a wonderful thing, but that all are deserving of that love because there is no reason to differentiate. Are others less deserving of our concern simply because they weren't born near us or into our family? The Ethereals teach something similar. Not the same, just similar. This isn't a difficult step for the Tau species to make, they already live in a communal fashion, where the well-being of the herd is held in such high-regard. Consider my two cents added.
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