How has Lister's replacement in The Inquisitor lived a more worthwhile life?

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  • #246361

    Warbofrog

    Discord Hits. We don’t see much of Lister’s sperm-in-law (leaving aside Ouroboros complications for now; talking good Red Dwarf), but we can surmise:

    – He still signed up to Red Dwarf, rather than doing anything more worthwhile with his brains
    – He was probably still a lowly technician, since Rimmer was still brought back as a hologram for his benefit/torment
    – He still smuggled Frankenstein on board and got put into stasis for refusing to give it up
    – He has the same clothes and hairstyle, still says smeg and syncs up with the other Lister at times, so a very similar or identical personality
    – He’s not as good at not getting blown up as our Lister
    – He looks and sounds different

    quinn_drummer suggested that the difference could be that this version of Lister has lower expectations of himself and is satisfied with what he’s achieved in life, so he’s subjectively justified the same way Rimmer and Cat are. Is that all the Inquisitor goes for when he can’t be bothered?

    #246362

    quinn_drummer

    Another point that has just occurred to me, as far as Lister is concerned, he was on Red Dwarf to get enough money to buy his farm, settle down with the love of his life etc etc.

    He was working towards his worthwhile life, but it was cut short.

    The only reason Lister is removed from existence and another one put in his place is because he refuses to answer to the Inquisitor.

    Maybe the replacement Lister didn’t/wouldn’t have refused and did/would have given an answer something a long the lines of “I knew my life wasn’t living up to its potential, but I was trying to turn it around when I was put into stasis”

    #246366

    Ben Saunders

    Our Lister is no doubt depressed as fuck and feels bad about himself because of what happened, maybe their Lister could deal with loss better or just didn’t care as much.

    >Is that all the Inquisitor goes for when he can’t be bothered?
    Isn’t that all he does anyway? He judges Rimmer by Rimmer’s own incredibly low standards, hence he can stay. Although thinking about it, from all the stuff Rimmer has said about himself, he clearly hates himself and feels he could have done better, so it feels more like just a nice little narrative twist. But Rimmer also blames all of his problems on external factors, so possibly does believe he did the best with what he was given.

    #246367

    Dave

    Who says the new Lister *was* more worthy?

    I always wondered whether the Inquisitor has to go back multiple times and judge the replacements until he found one that passed muster. I mean, there’s no guarantee that the next sperm down the line is going to result in a more worthy person, you just have to change the timeline and see how it plays out. It may well be that the new Lister would have been judged by the Inquisitor and also found unworthy.

    #246369

    Warbofrog

    Boss thinking.

    #246370

    quinn_drummer

    If you’re going to go to the effort of erasing someone from history for being unworthy, and replacing them with another version of them, you’d think you would check their worthiness, otherwise you’d never be happy with the results and constantly going round and round in circles

    #246371

    Dave

    The Inquisitor was still in the process of erasing ‘our’ Lister and Kryten, so presumably hadn’t got around to checking new-Lister yet.

    And the Inquisitor’s mission would inevitably lead to him going round in circles endlessly anyway. Change one person and that change will have a knock-on effect that changes other people too, and before you know if you’ve switched fifty people back to being unworthy just by replacing one guy in 1974.

    The Inquisitor clearly wanted to create an endless hobby for himself in his lonely retirement. He should have just taken up knitting or something.

    #246752

    Renegade Rob

    My assumption was that he gets to everyone eventually, even the “new” incarnations of people. It’s just a question of when.

    But that always bothered me about the Inquisitor’s methodology. Why does he pluck you out of the middle of your life instead of the very end (like the Teselecta in Doctor Who)? What if you’re a late bloomer?

    Rimmer actually makes a decent point about “why did no one tell me this before” and pretending to be converted by the Archangel Gabriel. There’s no notice. Why is it important that people live worthwhile lives without being warned of their potential fate? It’s Political Theory 101 that secret laws are bad. If you don’t promulgate a rule, it’s not really legitimate.

    Kryten also makes a decent point about how it’s weird that machines are judged (though we don’t see Holly judged), though it seems like the Inquisitor deletes Kryten and Lister out of spite more than actual fairness.

    The takeaway seems to be that even if the Inquisitor is onto something and even aspires to be fair by having people judge themselves, he’s still full of shit in a lot of ways and subject to impulsiveness and bias in ways that undermine what he claims he’s trying to do. He may be one of the most dangerous and powerful beings ever encountered on the show, but he’s not a cosmic entity, just a grumpy Simulant complete with flaws and philosophical inconsistencies.

    So maybe the new Lister wasn’t worthier at all or just hadn’t been judged yet, but that’s besides the point since the Inquisitor just ends up killing everyone anyway for no reason. He’s full of shit, and the inconsistencies in his stated philosophy versus his actions bear that out.

    #246754

    Ben Saunders

    I mean the Inquisitor is definitely a fucking prick, moustache twirling god complex type. Except it’s not a god “complex” by that point, he is a god. So removing people out of spite wouldn’t be beyond him, I wouldn’t think.

    Also I think it’s a much better point to judge people without them knowing they’re being judged. If you know judgement is coming, you are only living a worthwhile life -in order- to not get erased, not because you are a good person at heart. But then the ends might justify the means, there

    #246758

    quinn_drummer

    I think there’s an easy way to address Renegade Bob’s question.

    If you were to be told you had to live a worthwhile life (which most people are to be fair anyway, religious or not) you’d then be looking for some objectivity to live up to in the pursuit (as Ben) of not being erased from existence (or to go to heaven or whatever the carrot it).

    This is why you have judged by your own standards. Have you lived a worthwhile life in a way you have considered worthwhile. You set your own rules, and you do it for yourself, without knowing or needing to know that there will be judgement at some point. If you still fail, on your terms, then that’s really up to you.

    It also removes the Inquisitors subjectivity, or any objective list he might try to create. He doesn’t actually decide, he just enacts the punishment.

    With Lister and Kryten, they refuse to give answers (or in Kryten’s case makes the point that he has no notion of worthwhile, just what his program allows – though it could be argued Kryten is judged because he has broken his program) which as far as Inquisitor is concerned results in being erased. Lister could have quite easily stood up for himself and survived, Kryten also didn’t need to be quite so analytical, could have easily said “yes I have, I’ve served my whole life”. I don’t think it’s Inquisitor being a prick so much as just following his own rules.

    #246787

    Flap Jack

    I think the whole “you’ll be judged by yourself” premise is not so much a guarantee of fairness as it is the way that The Inquisitor convinces himself he’s being fair, even when he clearly isn’t, because his false sense of impartiality is a key part of his god complex.

    It’s not possible to be truly objective when measuring something as slippery as “worthiness” but if you’re judging yourself you’re guaranteed to be massively subjective. Obviously a person’s standards are custom made for themselves, so by the self-judging system the only people getting erased are the ones with low self-esteem. We’ve discussed this before on here, but Hitler would 100% be judged worthwhile by the Hitler version of The Inquisitor.

    Though the real truth of the matter is that the self-inquisiting is a blatant con. The Inquisitor versions of the Red Dwarf crew may look and sound like them, but they still pretty much act like The Inquisitor. Inq-Cat is shocked by Cat’s vain defence when he really shouldn’t be, Inq-Lister is having fun grilling Lister, and Inq-Kryten does not vibe with Kryten’s coldly logical non-defence. Kryten’s “It is not our place to judge them… I wonder why you do” line definitely caused The Inquisitor’s mask to slip a little, and it’s clear that he chose to erase Kryten as punishment for doubting him, not because Kryten would genuinely judge himself unworthy. The Inquisitor is maybe applying his ideas about people’s own personalities as a very rough framework to judge them by, but ultimately it’s still him doing the judging.

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