125 Votes in Poll
They definitely do more harm than good, mostly by being inactive and letting the Templars do as they like, but they are not inherently evil. The idea of the watchers needing a watcher, or having a more hands-off approach to magic is a good thing.
Creepy state police/black ops/thought police claiming divine entitlement, intended to protect the Chantry from any "threats". Given andrastian attitude just about everything, that does not sound very good. The role of overseeing the templars seems to go down the drain as senior templars are joining the Seekers (Lambert), blurring the lines between the two groups.
Honestly, first time I played DAI and seeing Cassandra, I though "Ugh, the book-stabbing Chantry Gestapo again..." *lol*
Inaction doesn't cause harm because to cause harm you would need act in way that harmed you (ie lack of positive doesn't equal negative). So any such hypothetical act of harm would be committed by Templars not Seekers. As such I'm not harming you if I'm a bystander to you getting beaten up by thug and don't do anything, thug is harming you by hitting you and inflicting physical injures.
"thought police claiming divine entitlement"
Likely incorrect terminology, as far I'm aware there is no evidence of seekers functioning as enforces in pertain to thoughts or even publicly expressed opinions. In fact existence of circle fraternities is evidence to contrary. To already counter probably incoming Asunder Lambert crushing conclave argument as an example it was primarily in context of mages refusing to give up suspected murderer and attempting to take unsanctioned political action in conclave that was supposed to be held for completely different reasons.
<<Inaction doesn't cause harm because to cause harm you would need act in way that harmed you>>
Eh, that depends. While it might not fit your definition, where I live there are laws obliging citizens to administer help; "Failure to render assistance" is a thing here.
Since we lack a comprehensive view on the Chantry laws in general, it is hard to judge. On the other hand, we do have a prominent example of a decision maker not doing their job when required, causing everything to go to shit.
Regarding the thought police thing, WoT 2 (p. 125) contains what is at least a tongue-in-cheek reference, if not an outright admission, given that WoT quotes codex entries verbatim at times and is otherwise set up like an-universe source. Also, one does not be a genius to notice that the generic "protecting the Chantry from internal and external threats" could very well mean hunting down "heretics" and other threats on the ideological level, given we got an organisation here which barely tolerates disagreement. And before you start, faith isn't logical, so these people do not need to be rational. As far as the circle fraternities are considered, why do you think are the Liberatarians are allowed to exist at all? I presume to flush out any possible dissent.
@MaxCaulfield That's completely and utterly wrong, however, and the law sees it that way, too. You *must* render assistance to someone in need if you have the capability of doing so. Failure to do so is a crime.
That there law ie duty (in some of the countries) to rescue that obliges you legally to provide help to person in jeopardy of losing life or suffering from severe injuries doesn't equate you're causing harm to such person. It merely means that government considers helping someone in need an obligation which failing to fulfill could result in being prosecuted, its argued basis usually is in that we live in society and we should have certain obligations toward each other, it's callous (sort of relying on virtue ethics as basis of an argument) to not help someone when their physical safety is at significant jeopardy or simply that preventing loss life or being severely injures are of greater importance than your liberty to chose to not help. Not a proper argument used for notion that you're causing harm for not taking action. Arguing that Seekers failed to fulfill their job is another argument entirely.
You mean a guide for chantry's faithful by chantry sister and it's ambiguous reference to writers to avoid unless you want seeker at your door? It's written by chantry sister, and nor reference is clear cut or backed up by any evidence regarding seeker function elsewhere. So as far I know it just may be "be good or bogeyman will come for you" claim. External threats can refer to many other more likely things, from Tevinter and Qunari, to plots conducted by nobles, apostates (which we were shown seekers doing in dawn of the seeker) as far I saw I could openly trash refuse faith in the maker as the warden on multiple occasions without fear of seekers or chantry and no actual consequences of that. That it could mean that doesn't mean they do, in fact evidence not only is absent but some evidence I've stated contradicts notion. Them not being logical doesn't equate to them prosecuting non-believers, one doesn't have to follow another as not every organization with religious undertones is hunting down heretics. If they're allowing them to exist then they aren't doing good job of flushing them out aren't they? There is no real evidence of that they are secretly getting rid of Libertarians, I mean if they did you would think they would off people like Uldred and Adrian years ago.
Secret organization that most people believe doesn't even exist with a large amount of power, no oversight and a healthy bit of religious fanatisism mixed in. That's a recipe for disaster if ever I've seen one. Evil may be the wrong word to use but it's close enough.
@Warden Nuggins Yeah it's probably not the right word but I give options more neutral...Also you have the option to say no. Yes I agree that sounds like a terrible combination of absolute power and ideals and secrecy. I personally think they're inherently corrupt but not evil perse they had good intentions seemingly. They did save lives but also took them. But in the end they failed and caused a war so it's completely justifiable to condemn them.
@Buckeldemon It was actually confirmed as factual the Libertarian faction exists solely to easily categorize and monitor Dissident Circle Mages. I forget where this was stated though I believe DA2. As for the hunting of Heretics they do a terrible job given the Dalish, Qunari and Apostates all over the South. But the Chantry is hypocritical with the Dwarves while trading for Lyrium they don't care about their Anti-Chantry Pro-Stone views so there's a precedent of non-aggression towards the other faiths. I think the Chantry overall doesn't care about other Faiths as long as they don't interfere with Chantry policies and rule. Also Forced Conversions by any religion don't happen in the Modern Day Thedas only in the past hundreds of years ago in the Exalted Marches. Even the Qun only takes volunteers until recently.
Yes the Seekers and Templars are corrupt and intermingle so the Internal Policing doesn't work. This was even proven by Cassandra telling us the Seekers approved of Meredith. Not to mention of course it doesn't work nobody watches the watchers nobody punishes them for their abuses of Templars and Mages both.
<<Arguing that Seekers failed to fulfill their job is another argument entirely.>>
Of course. That's while I'm dropping the point about harm now as it will probably just lead to pointless squabbling over definitions.
<<It's written by chantry sister, and nor reference is clear cut or backed up by any evidence regarding seeker function elsewhere.>>
Thing is, if you got a secret organisation, yelling for evidence is kinda pointless to a certain extent, no?
<<So as far I know it just may be "be good or bogeyman will come for you" claim.>>
Well, that's a way to trivaliase it in a way, but that does not change the notion or intent behind it.
<<External threats can refer to many other more likely things, from Tevinter and Qunari, to plots conducted by nobles, apostates>>
Sure. That does not contradict what I said, however.
<<as far I saw I could openly trash refuse faith in the maker as the warden on multiple occasions without fear of seekers or chantry and no actual consequences of that.>>
That is because you are the warden.
<<That it could mean that doesn't mean they do, in fact evidence not only is absent but some evidence I've stated contradicts notion.>>
You did not state anything contradictory except perhaps for the warden part.
I don't think that the seekers are busy tracking down any dissenting peasant, but since we can assume that 1) organised religions can view dissent as a fundamental "threat to the faith" and we know that the Chantry does ban certain works, I suppose it is safe to assume they could be involved in that process.
<<not every organization with religious undertones is hunting down heretics.>>
Eh, no. But this one does. Simply by using the word "heretics" it confirms that there are interpretations it flat out does not tolerate.
<<If they're allowing them to exist then they aren't doing good job of flushing them out aren't they?>>
I'm not responsible for the seeker's operational shortcomings.
<<There is no real evidence of that they are secretly getting rid of Libertarians, I mean if they did you would think they would off people like Uldred and Adrian years ago.>>
*shrugs* You brought up the fraternities. I stated a possible explanation. It could be argued that the Chantry is aware that making dissenters disappear in an obvious way would lead to more dissent and finally outright violence, so they allow a controlled way of release, while at the same times enabling finger-pointing at the Libertarians for the sake of keeping the rest in line.
<<It was actually confirmed as factual the Libertarian faction exists solely to easily categorize and monitor Dissident Circle Mages. I forget where this was stated though I believe DA2.>>
Yeah, also thought so but cannot remember where it came from.
<<As for the hunting of Heretics they do a terrible job given the Dalish, Qunari and Apostates all over the South.>>
I'm not responsible for possible operational shortcomings or lack of success. To invoke Godwin's law for a moment, well the nazis tried to kill all the Jews, but the fact that they did not suceed does not make their act any less terrible. Also, they might just be more concerned with the "internal" part, i.e. non-approved andrastian interpretations.
<<But the Chantry is hypocritical with the Dwarves while trading for Lyrium they don't care about their Anti-Chantry Pro-Stone views so there's a precedent of non-aggression towards the other faiths.>>
I suppose in this case the need for lyrium to keep templars and pet mages powered up (as well as not having to deal with the Darkspawn directly) weighs heavier than the need to kill some infidels. I would argue that not all dwarves are "anti-Chantry" (one can be "anti-Chantry" without being "anti-andrastian" anyway), they simply don't care. Of couse, the Chantry usually takes any refusal of submission as a hostile "anti" action.
<<I think the Chantry overall doesn't care about other Faiths as long as they don't interfere with Chantry policies and rule.>>
Existing might already interfere with their rule, or more likely the stated end goal, but we have been there before. They might not act on that immediately, of course. I could think that the Chantry views internal dissent as more of an immediate threat than the already demonised competition (the Qun) or the fringe cultures (human "barbarians", Dalish, etc.)
What do you think?