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Eclipse Phase: More Nuance Later?

Nerag

Cat Fragment
Validated User
A lot of people were annoyed by rimward because of the anarchists, but as the population guide shows, they are an amazingly small community. So when they go on about not turning any refugee away, that is pretty much permission to laugh at them... you also have to remember: this is what they say, it may not be true.

I personally loved the depiction of the Australian and New Zealand Expats (hello descendents!) shacked up on one of Jupiter's moons, waiting for the Junta to take over.
 

Wulfram

Registered User
Validated User
I'm not all that familiar with the setting, but catholicism and many other christian churches taking a pro-life position against brain-uploading and thus getting hit even worse by the fall makes sense to me. There are pretty big moral issues there, and the one that pragmatism has made the default in the setting isn't necessarily the right one.
 

Bruwulf

Suspected Unicorn
Validated User
At least in this corner of Europe, religion is seen very differently. Christianity as a religion (as opposed to various cultural traditions that have mixed origins) is fading. Here, just saying "Eh, most people will be Atheists in the future" doesn't really need any explanation, because a lot (depending on studies but usually a majority) of people are already irreligious, and religion is not held to be important by a particularly large group of people (over 80% say no religion isn't important to them in a study I've seen). So to me, somehow having to deal with Christianity in order to postulate a more Atheist future is unnecessary.
The problem is you're not just dealing with the future of your corner of Europe. You're dealing with the future of the (industrialized) world. Many of whom are not as relaxed about religion as your corner of Europe.

Or maybe that is simply part of the horror of the setting. Maybe the Jovians are right about the dangers of nanotechnology and biotechnology and AI. But the Republic is also a militaristic and fascist regime that you wouldn't want to live in.

As for only Christian power, like I said I understand the objections to the treatment of religion, but surely the solution to that is to indicate there are other Christians around, not demand that the Jovians be changed. Further, I doubt you could get other explicity Christian polities. Maybe a few isolated habs, but otherwise Christians would probably be mixed in with others in states that aren't explicitly Christian.
I don't think anyone is really demanding the Jovians be changed - although perhaps some acknowledgement that there's a chance they might be right wouldn't hurt. Rather, it's that in the first book, we get told that Christianity and Judaism basically didn't survival the fall because they were too inflexible (although Islam did, because it was more flexible... somehow... And of course, eastern religions more or less did fine!), and that the few practicioners are seen as sad, confused, lost people. And then the only two examples we get of them are "insular extremist jewish group" and "catholic space nazis".

It just doesn't feel like a realistic (or, to use the the OP's word) nuanced portrayal. It's not even doing the Star Trek thing of positing a basically-atheist future. Religions still exist just fine. It's basically just an erasure of Christianity and Judaism. It wouldn't have taken much... But no. No examples of a small synagog having sprung up in Erato or Nectar, despite both having populations equal to many major cities on earth, perhaps teaching a new, unorthodox, interpretation of Judaism. No examples of missionaries roaming from one martian settlement to the other, trying to reunite lost members of their faith after the cataclysm. There are ways you could have handled it, thrown Christianity and Judaism a bone, while not changing the setting at all. Instead, it's just two examples, both of which are pretty terrible.

Combine that with the fact that it seems to have happened mostly by authorial fiat rather than being a logical extension of real trends, and it kind of grates.

I mean, as some have said - it's trivially easy to work around in your own game. I do. I still love Eclipse Phase, overall. It just bugs me all the same.
 
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Corum

Registered User
Validated User
A couple things going on. First, anti-Catholicism is one of the last socially tolerated forms of bigotry and is just as vigorous in America as it has always been. I doubt very much the authors would have used Islam, for instance. Second, the response to a technology driven apocalypse would more likely be a Butlerian Jihad (Dune).

Also, I'm not sure posters using Europe as an example of what the future could look like is helpful. European birth rates are so low (in part because of their irreligious attitudes) that there are going to be very few in the timeframe of EP even if there wasn't an apocalypse.
 
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ResplendentScorpion

neither glitter, nor substance
Validated User
And that's the problem, because the reason they try and villify the Jovians so much is that the Jovians have a hell of a lot of common sense on their side-- so they get turned into Christian space nazi's so the shiny future doesn't ahve any of its assumptions turned on its head.
Your thesis seems to be suffering from bias.
First, EP is a horror game. There is no shiny future.
Second, the Jovians are not portrayed as nazis, they are portrayed as reactionaries.
Third, everybody knows the Factors are dishonest.
Fourth, the Factors use a lot of technology the Jovians are not fans of.
Fifth, the setting itself does not present the greedy exploitation of dangerous, unknown tech by the Consortium as a negative thing. The careless, bohemian transhumanism of Scum is also not endorsed.
The default "protagonists" of Firewall are themselves paranoid, reactionary, and justified in being those things.

Lastly, they are in no way strawmen, if you filter out the "unreliable narrator" nature of non-GM chapters. They are trigger-happy revanchist reactionaries that use religion for propaganda purposes. We have countries like that right now. You don't even need the fact that their paranoia might be justified - all you need is the revanchism from the fact that they are sliding from a power house status(yes, they were, and still are a major power), to the status of an unwanted backwater(think USSR during the 1985-1992 period).

The Jovian Republic could stand to see a more nuanced, less monolithic portrayal, but is hardly a strawman, nor the worst offender.

Second, the response to a technology driven apocalypse would more likely be a Butlerian Jihad (Dune).
Wel...
1.There is a moderate reaction, in the form of mild to strong anti-AI sentiments from everyone except the fringe liberal and transhumanist groups. Even AIs are afraid of AIs.
2.Everyone willing to go full Butler was either: A)From a filthy rich nation, and lives in a private resort, or Jovian Republic, or B)Left for dead. The planet was being taken over by incomprehensible horrors that didn't wipe everything out only because they were more interested in building failed science experiments, and people needed to evacuate fast. The rich and the lucky could evacuate physically. For the majority of the industrialised world upload was the only way out. Most of humanity didn't even get that chance.
 
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Quantum Bob

Fear and Loathing
RPGnet Member
Validated User
A couple things going on. First, anti-Catholicism is one of the last socially tolerated forms of bigotry and is just as vigorous in America as it has always been. I doubt very much the authors would have used Islam, for instance. Second, the response to a technology driven apocalypse would more likely be a Butlerian Jihad (Dune).
First, I think that the EP authors wouldn't have any problems with using radical Islamists as antagonists if not a) radical Islamists uploading themselves is kinda unlikely and b) radical Islamists as opponents is quite clichè.
Second, a Butlerian Jihad is a shit idea if you live in a) space, b) a computer or c) both. Which is true for most of the post fall humanity

Also, I'm not sure posters using Europe as an example of what the future could look like is helpful. European birth rates are so low (in part because of their irreligious attitudes) that there are going to be very few in the timeframe of EP even if there wasn't an apocalypse.
And also: AHAHAHAAAAHHAAARRRHAAAARR <wheeze> HAAAAAHAHAHAAAHAAHAA <asthmatic cough> HARHAAAHAAAA

No really, Europe will not be extinct in the timeframe we have in EP. Lady Gaga is confirmed alive so even when Europe decides not to bone anymore on a whim, it's just not the timeframe for that kind of shit with life extending technologies around. Also, birthrates seem to be rising again, and the overwhelming majority of EU immigrants adapt quite well.
 
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Propagandor

Square-Cube Law Compliant
Validated User
The problem is you're not just dealing with the future of your corner of Europe. You're dealing with the future of the (industrialized) world. Many of whom are not as relaxed about religion as your corner of Europe.



I don't think anyone is really demanding the Jovians be changed - although perhaps some acknowledgement that there's a chance they might be right wouldn't hurt. Rather, it's that in the first book, we get told that Christianity and Judaism basically didn't survival the fall because they were too inflexible (although Islam did, because it was more flexible... somehow... And of course, eastern religions more or less did fine!), and that the few practicioners are seen as sad, confused, lost people. And then the only two examples we get of them are "insular extremist jewish group" and "catholic space nazis".

It just doesn't feel like a realistic (or, to use the the OP's word) nuanced portrayal. It's not even doing the Star Trek thing of positing a basically-atheist future. Religions still exist just fine. It's basically just an erasure of Christianity and Judaism. It wouldn't have taken much... But no. No examples of a small synagog having sprung up in Erato or Nectar, despite both having populations equal to many major cities on earth, perhaps teaching a new, unorthodox, interpretation of Judaism. No examples of missionaries roaming from one martian settlement to the other, trying to reunite lost members of their faith after the cataclysm. There are ways you could have handled it, thrown Christianity and Judaism a bone, while not changing the setting at all. Instead, it's just two examples, both of which are pretty terrible.

Combine that with the fact that it seems to have happened mostly by authorial fiat rather than being a logical extension of real trends, and it kind of grates.

I mean, as some have said - it's trivially easy to work around in your own game. I do. I still love Eclipse Phase, overall. It just bugs me all the same.
My feelings too. The entire treatment of religion seems very reactionary and very coloured by American athiesm. I'm a European atheist btw. I'm not personally offended by the lack of religion I just find it silly (although the the treatment of eastern religions has a whiff of orientalism)
 

DisgruntleFairy

Active member
Validated User
Also that would never happen because that's not how anarchy works.

If "a bunch of assholes" moved into an anarchist habitat and started being assholes, first the locals would tell them to cut it out and they'd take a rep hit, then they'd be kicked out if they kept it up. Anarchy doesn't mean you can do whatever you want with no mechanism to stop you being a dick.
I seem to remember there is a whole section on the different ways anarchist habitats self regulate. The rule and structures they use to self govern.
 

Propagandor

Square-Cube Law Compliant
Validated User
A couple things going on. First, anti-Catholicism is one of the last socially tolerated forms of bigotry and is just as vigorous in America as it has always been. I doubt very much the authors would have used Islam, for instance. Second, the response to a technology driven apocalypse would more likely be a Butlerian Jihad (Dune).

Also, I'm not sure posters using Europe as an example of what the future could look like is helpful. European birth rates are so low (in part because of their irreligious attitudes) that there are going to be very few in the timeframe of EP even if there wasn't an apocalypse.
You do realise that many parts of Europe have higher birth rates than Canada right? Namely:
Ireland, Iceland, France, Albania, Moldavia, United Kingdom, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Liechtenstein , Switzerland, Estonia, Finland & Sweden.

Clearly it's Canada that will go extinct in the future!
 

Serket

Registered User
Validated User
Also, I'm not sure posters using Europe as an example of what the future could look like is helpful. European birth rates are so low (in part because of their irreligious attitudes) that there are going to be very few in the timeframe of EP even if there wasn't an apocalypse.
Erm... what? This is a setting within existing life spans, yes? As thing stand, the population of the EU is roughly 5/3 the population of the US. You know, bigger.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Union
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_states_of_america

If the cataclysm hits evenly across the board you'd expect that ratio to stay the same. For space populations to be more north American than European in character requires the crisis to hit Europe harder. Which is actually somewhat plausible, given the higher population density, but it is a thing that requires in-setting explanation. OTOH, this does leave some important questions unanswered, like "where are space-China and space-India"?
 
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