|Keep It Simple, Stupid|
Thanks for doing this. I think it has been needed for a long time. A glance at the table shows that folks tended to slack off once they got to level 10; you can see the membership piling up just on the far side of 3,000 points.
But I hate some of the names you've chosen for the levels. "Grand Inquisitor" is the worst. Do you know what the Inquisition was? Do you know what the Grand Inquisitor's job was? The first Grand Inquisitor, Tomas de Torquemada, accused thousands of people of heresy. Then he ordered them tortured until they "confessed", after which they were burnt to death. Hundreds of thousands of Jews were ordered to leave Spain within three months, and tens of thousands died in the process.
I don't suppose that was what you intended the title to convey, but that's who the Grand Inquisitor was and that's what he did. Graff says, above:
I might be inclined to slow down or suspend my contributions to the Monastery if I were getting close to assuming that title (not like that's going to happen any time soon, but still), because for me the connotations of the term are heinous, and I'd be embarrassed to see it next to my name.I feel exactly the same way. I would be really upset and angry if I were labeled "Grand Inquisitor Dominus". And I would certainly not want to post or contribute here if it looked as though that were getting close. "Grand Inquisitor" is not a title of honor; it's a grave insult.
More generally, I am uncomfortable with the Christian references in many of the new names. The old names were more generic. Buddhists have monks and abbots. A pontiff is just a priest; a pastor is just a shepherd. Lots of cultures have the idea of a Saint. Many religions, even most, have some sort of priest. Absolutely anyone can be a scribe.
But deacons and canons are all Christians. So are bishops and archibishops. Monsignors aren't just Christian; they are Roman Catholics. So are cardinals. I'm not a Roman Catholic and I don't want to be one and I don't want to be a Monsignor or a cardinal, either. To me, it seems extremely weird. When did this become a Roman Catholic organization? I don't consider it a promotion to be a Monsignor. I am having trouble finding a way to express how bizarre and discomforting I find this.
Can't we come up with a different set of titles that does not so clearly imply Christianity? How about "Master" and "Grand Master"? "Sage"? "Vizier"? "Champion"? "Messenger"? "Expert"? "Oracle"? "Philosopher"? "Wizard"? "Virtuoso"?