Question About BGs in Dune, Pre-Dune

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Sandwurm88
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Question About BGs in Dune, Pre-Dune

Postby Sandwurm88 » 27 Oct 2009 19:39

This is just a quick question, that I'm a bit fuzzy on.

Why do the Bene Gesserits test how human a person is just by observing them through pain/ seeing how much pain they can take? It seems like a big, dumb ripped guy could take more pain than maybe a scrawny, but extremely emotionally steady intellectual.

Okay, guys, make me look stupid!!


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Re: Question About BGs in Dune, Pre-Dune

Postby Redstar » 27 Oct 2009 19:49

I'm 5' 9" and 120 lbs and a BD-sadomasochist.

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Re: Question About BGs in Dune, Pre-Dune

Postby othaderak » 27 Oct 2009 20:01

Redstar wrote:I'm 5' 9" and 120 lbs and a BD-sadomasochist.


/thread

Also, TMI :puke:
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Re: Question About BGs in Dune, Pre-Dune

Postby Redstar » 27 Oct 2009 20:19

:lol:

Too much information, too much exaggeration.

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Re: Question About BGs in Dune, Pre-Dune

Postby trang » 27 Oct 2009 20:24

simply answered by excerpt from Dune (not exact dont have book in front of me) when Reverend Mother giving Paul his test.

Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam uses a gom jabbar to test Paul Atreides just prior to his departure to Arrakis. This "humanity test" is carried out with a box that produces pain by nerve induction, causing pain that is intense and severe but strictly psychological. Only a human is considered to be able to possess the self-discipline to withstand this pain and resist the urge to take their hand out of the box. A person who withdraws their hand is stung with the gom jabbar, causing instant death.

Has nothing to due with physical prowess or lack of, its brain and self-discipline.
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Re: Question About BGs in Dune, Pre-Dune

Postby redbugpest » 27 Oct 2009 20:59

It's about resisting basic instincts. A human will be able to leave the hand in the box because they can reason out that, knowing it is a test, that they really are not being physically hurt, and that the instinctual fear response needs to be suppressed to achieve the goal.
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Re: Question About BGs in Dune, Pre-Dune

Postby Redstar » 27 Oct 2009 21:07

Can't recall where I read it, but it was said an animal will gnaw it's foot off to escape, whereas a true human will feign weakness to both escape and kill the hunter.

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Re: Question About BGs in Dune, Pre-Dune

Postby SimonH » 27 Oct 2009 21:09

I thought a major part of this was determining if the person was possessed by OM?? Like the Fremen's trial of possession
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Re: Question About BGs in Dune, Pre-Dune

Postby SandChigger » 28 Oct 2009 00:35

Redstar wrote:Can't recall where I read it, but it was said an animal will gnaw it's foot off to escape, whereas a true human will feign weakness to both escape and kill the hunter.

Huh? :shock:

Try Dune, the "Paul's hand in Mohiam's box" passage:

The old woman said; "You've heard of animals chewing off a leg to escape a trap? There's an animal kind of trick. A human would remain in the trap, endure the pain, feigning death that he might kill the trapper and remove a threat to his kind."

:?: :?: :?:
Last edited by SandChigger on 28 Oct 2009 00:49, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Question About BGs in Dune, Pre-Dune

Postby Redstar » 28 Oct 2009 00:40

:wink:

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Re: Question About BGs in Dune, Pre-Dune

Postby TheDukester » 28 Oct 2009 00:56

Yeah, you're rolling tonight. A real pistol.
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Re: Question About BGs in Dune, Pre-Dune

Postby Redstar » 28 Oct 2009 01:27

Yeah, I'm just lame. :P

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Re: Question About BGs in Dune, Pre-Dune

Postby lotek » 28 Oct 2009 04:52

Sandwurm88 wrote:Why do the Bene Gesserits test how human a person is just by observing them through pain/ seeing how much pain they can take? It seems like a big, dumb ripped guy could take more pain than maybe a scrawny, but extremely emotionally steady intellectual.


The BGs don't test just any person at random, Paul goes through it because he might be a KH or a wild card in the breeding program and his potential power must be balanced by his being human in the BG definition.
I guess that test is given only to people who have that kind of potential power but I don't remember any mention of other people being tested in such a fashion(the only thing related that i remember is the use of pain by nerve induction as a form of torture by Piter de Vries)

As for the capacity to resist pain through the mind I don't think it has to do with size for two reasons:
- the BG wouldn't be so stupid to test for humans on a physical basis(paul resists the urge to remove his hand with the help of the Litany, nothing to do with physical prowess)
- the level of pain in the box can be adapted to the person(Paul takes more than anyone else before, which indicates the level of pain is irrelevant as such, it is the person's limits that are tested not just a pain contest)
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Re: Question About BGs in Dune, Pre-Dune

Postby trang » 28 Oct 2009 05:26

others are tested for the breeding program, humans found to move forward with reaching the KH.
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Re: Question About BGs in Dune, Pre-Dune

Postby lotek » 28 Oct 2009 07:10

trang wrote:others are tested for the breeding program, humans found to move forward with reaching the KH.


are there any quotes that show the use of the test(with or without the box)on someone else than Paul?

Obviously it makes sense to check on every part of the BP to make sure the superhuman is indeed human, but as the program is kind of secret they would need to find an acceptable reason for that without giving away their true motives.
In Paul's case there is no need for secrecy since Jessica is fully aware of her role in the program, but for example is there any evidence that Feyd-Rautha was tested too?
Would Lady's Fenring Imprinting count?
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And the BG test for humans, not super strong guys who don't feel pain, it is the result of the observation through the test that determines if the candidate is truly human.
The question would be what does it mean to be human, and can it be defined by something as variable as resiliance to pain? It would be more in character for the BG to find deeper definitions of humanity that depend only on who the person is, regardless of her physical strength.
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Re: Question About BGs in Dune, Pre-Dune

Postby Freakzilla » 28 Oct 2009 07:52

The Fremen knew about the Gom Jabbar.

No, I wouldn't count Feyd-Rautha's imprinting.
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Re: Question About BGs in Dune, Pre-Dune

Postby Freakzilla » 28 Oct 2009 08:01

Of course, Leto's "worm trip" and Namri's knife count as a Gom Jabbar.

I want to say Jessica was tested but I can't back that up right now.
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Re: Question About BGs in Dune, Pre-Dune

Postby lotek » 28 Oct 2009 09:00

Freakzilla wrote:Of course, Leto's "worm trip" and Namri's knife count as a Gom Jabbar.

I want to say Jessica was tested but I can't back that up right now.


This might come as a silly question but is there a mention that women are tested like men?
SInce the BG as a SIsterhood has the Agony to weed out the unprepared, would they need to test their breeders in the same fashion as men?

edit: thank you google I just found the complete dune pdfs to provide that quote:
"Kull Wahad! No woman child ever withstood that much"

slightly different from what I remembered(No man born of a woman)
It could just mean Paul suffered more than any woman could have, or that the test for men and women is different at least in intensity.
All men who have tried the Agony died, but the KH as the fulcrum can tap into both sides of human nature, and as such transcends their capacities, so it makes sense that Paul blows the score on the humanity test when you know he will survive the Water of Life.

Freakzilla wrote:The Fremen knew about the Gom Jabbar.

No, I wouldn't count Feyd-Rautha's imprinting.


Yup I didn't think so, but then since he's a part of the BP he would need to be tested wouldn't he?
In the Atreides case approaching the ducal heir with poison was possible, but how would you do that with the Harkonnens?
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Re: Question About BGs in Dune, Pre-Dune

Postby SandChigger » 28 Oct 2009 09:38

lotek wrote:
Freakzilla wrote:No, I wouldn't count Feyd-Rautha's imprinting.

Yup I didn't think so, but then since he's a part of the BP he would need to be tested wouldn't he?

That's not an assumption I'd make. They don't need him, just his genetic material.

I've always just assumed the Harkonnens were all animals.

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Re: Question About BGs in Dune, Pre-Dune

Postby lotek » 28 Oct 2009 11:47

SandChigger wrote:
lotek wrote:
Freakzilla wrote:No, I wouldn't count Feyd-Rautha's imprinting.

Yup I didn't think so, but then since he's a part of the BP he would need to be tested wouldn't he?

That's not an assumption I'd make. They don't need him, just his genetic material.

I've always just assumed the Harkonnens were all animals.


you're right about Feyd though, there is that quote from Lady Fenring(i think)that says something about how Feyd could have become a different person with the Atreides education, suggesting that their "animal trait" is not hereditary... so there would be no need to test him if he has no KH potential to make the animal side a hasard.
:clap:
So what would be the basis for that test?
Only people with a KH potential would be tested?

That would make the numbers of candidates pretty low(only KJA needs to multiply his KHs) no?

What do you make of Mohiam's quote I mentionned?
"Kull Wahad! No woman child ever withstood that much"


And before I go any further I should clear the doubt "no woman child" means a "child woman" or the "child of a woman"?

Do the BG test girls in the same fashion or is that sentence just a reference to the Agony, which is a truly excruciating experience?
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Re: Question About BGs in Dune, Pre-Dune

Postby Freakzilla » 28 Oct 2009 12:10

I believe all BG acolytes are tested. You wouldn't want to give those kinds of skills to someone who is inhuman:

In the dim light of the museum penthouse, Odrade held up her right hand, looking
at it, remembering the agony box, and the gom jabbar poised at her neck ready to
kill her if she flinched or cried out.
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Re: Question About BGs in Dune, Pre-Dune

Postby SandChigger » 28 Oct 2009 18:42

lotek wrote:there is that quote from Lady Fenring(i think)that says something about how Feyd could have become a different person with the Atreides education, suggesting that their "animal trait" is not hereditary...

I don't think there is any "animal trait" involved, nor anything like a "human gene". Any individual could turn out to be an animal if the genetic roulette wheel spun the wrong way or he or she were raised in the right (=the wrong) environment ... that's why even Paul, despite his genes & upbringing, had to be tested.

And before I go any further I should clear the doubt "no woman child" means a "child woman" or the "child of a woman"?

"Woman child" means a girl child, a female. :)

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Re: Question About BGs in Dune, Pre-Dune

Postby lotek » 28 Oct 2009 19:56

SandChigger wrote:
lotek wrote:there is that quote from Lady Fenring(i think)that says something about how Feyd could have become a different person with the Atreides education, suggesting that their "animal trait" is not hereditary...

I don't think there is any "animal trait" involved, nor anything like a "human gene". Any individual could turn out to be an animal if the genetic roulette wheel spun the wrong way or he or she were raised in the right (=the wrong) environment ... that's why even Paul, despite his genes & upbringing, had to be tested.

i do not believe in any way there is a animal gene, which is why I used the word trait(hope I got it right). There is definitely a KH gene though, so the idea of other characteristics being hereditary, especially with gene lines bred for that purpose by the BG_all that in context of the Duniverse, does not seem so absurd to me
Isn't there some reference to Atreides honor being inevitable in them, almost like a genetic characteristic? Wouldn't the opposite apply to the Harkonnens which are the antithesis of the Atreides, making them equals each in his own respect?


And before I go any further I should clear the doubt "no woman child" means a "child woman" or the "child of a woman"?

"Woman child" means a girl child, a female. :)
all right thanks
that's what I thought but you never know with those writers that have more culture than you... which is why preeqs luuuuvv their hack
Freakzilla wrote:I believe all BG acolytes are tested. You wouldn't want to give those kinds of skills to someone who is inhuman:
yeah just like you would not give the KH's power to an inhuman :) it makes so much sense I'm ashamed I didn't find out by myself :oops: i focused on the powers of a RM and forgot that even acolytes already learn potentially dangerous stuff too ;)
In the dim light of the museum penthouse, Odrade held up her right hand, looking
at it, remembering the agony box, and the gom jabbar poised at her neck ready to
kill her if she flinched or cried out.

nice, thanks for the quote...
Spice is the worm's gonads.