*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
August 18, 2022, 02:42:20 AM

Login with username, password and session length
Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.
Search:     Advanced search
275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 49 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
Pages: 1 [2]
Print
Author Topic: zombie squirrel  (Read 14753 times)
Dav
Member

Posts: 432


WWW
« Reply #15 on: May 24, 2001, 05:53:00 AM »

James:

On demons and ethical notions:

First, I see demons as having *only* an ethical code based upon rules and set behavior.  The fact that, in my games, demons act in a more ethical egoistic manner does not mean that they don't have their own codes... merely that the code allows a broad range of action, with very few restrictions.  For a majority of those restrictions, demons search for loopholes (that's kinda what they do, given time).

In a recent Obsidian game, a bound demon hated his master, and specifically misread orders to be most beneficial to himself.  This led to some interesting outcomes.  I digress.

What I was referring to way up in my first post was that I could see demons that *did* have ethical philosophies that specifically did not mesh well with the standard demon actions.  The Need to Kill against the Desire to be a Pacifist for instance.  I think conflicting desires and need could make for interesting roleplaying (ala narrativism).  Now, I don't think you're arguing this, per se.  I think you are arguing your take on demonic behavior versus my own.  Which is nifty.

Leaving alone, for a moment, the order of learned ethical mechanics on the part of the human, I want to look at the demon.  You stated that humans have empathic ethics as a first step in social more learning.  I don't disagree, but I think making a blanket statement that this is always, or even mostly true, could be trouble.  Demons, to my mind, could very easily learn these ethics.  They may not respect them, and it may be a "childish" way of looking at things to them, but I think they can appreciate it (the better to manipulate you, my dear).

In my experience, in almost all cases (I say almost so that I don't get pounced upon), empathy and intelligence seemed largely opposed.  You don't see many stupid sociopaths (by stupid, I mean low IQ... we can debate the impartiality of IQ testing if you want, but let's work with the tools we have).  EQ (and defined by the crazy book: "Emotional Intelligence" by someone or other) and IQ are never seen to be simulataneously high in an individual.  That whole, "your mind is a glass, you can fill it with Intelligence or Empathy, but you have limited space" idea.  

Demons need empathy.  While I am not defining empathy as compassion in this instance, I am defining it as the ability to read and understand the feelings and emotions of others.  I think demons are quite keen on this point.  They just don't really relate to it on an intuitive level.  It never really permeates down to the gut-feeling level, if you will.

Um, I'm not sure if I'm getting redundant, so I'll let it stand there for now.


Dav
Logged
Clay
Member

Posts: 550


WWW
« Reply #16 on: May 28, 2001, 07:31:00 PM »

I'm thinking that whether or not demons have empathy may well be related to the concept of demons in your game.  Demons may look on humans as a prey species, to be dealt with carefully and treacherously.  They may look upon human as a means to their own ends.  They may view them as inferiors, possibly even superiors (after all, humans always have physical form, and don't have to wait for a master to bind them).  They may see them as interesting companion animals.

The level of empathy will vary greatly depending on how the demons view the humans.  Don't forget this relationship in your games, because it's the single most important way to determine how demons are going to respond to the humans.

Clay


Logged

Clay Dowling
RPG-Campaign.com - Online Campaign Planning and Management
greyorm
Member

Posts: 2233

My name is Raven.


WWW
« Reply #17 on: May 29, 2001, 10:42:00 AM »

Quote

In my experience, in almost all cases (I say almost so that I don't get pounced upon), empathy and intelligence seemed largely opposed.  You don't see many stupid sociopaths (by stupid, I mean low IQ... we can debate the impartiality of IQ testing if you want, but let's work with the tools we have).

I believe that generalization to be invalid.

I've both read and seen that most geniuses are described as highly empathic.

Additionally, there are far more geniuses than sociopaths.  Such individuals are the result of impaired mental functioning, an anomaly, unlike high intelligence which involves normal brain function and is thus just par for the course.
So I don't know if that's valid supporting evidence, since the example uses an anomaly to explain those without that anomaly.

Also, in most of the literature I own and have read about gifted children, high (almost abnormally high) empathy is listed as one of the signs or traits of high intelligence.
So, why would that be?
Well, IMO it is simple: the more intelligent you are, the better able one is to actually place themselves in another's shoes, to understand or imagine how that individual might feel or react.  This is simply using existing, known data to understand unexperienced or new events...more intelligent people are inherently more capable of this.

The statement you quote, that EQ and IQ are never simultaneously high in an individual, is suspect to me based on the nature of intelligence and the relevant literature I've studied, which imply quite the opposite.
But that said, I'd be interested in seeing the study that made this statement.

Right now, this sounds similar to a claim that because most highly intelligent people are mathematicians and scientists, not artists, high intelligence and creativity are (usually) opposed, and one can be one but not the other.

Check out Zak's post in this thread from the 21st for support of how empathy would be a by-product of intelligence from a biological point of view (though I don't know if Zak has any training as biologist or not).

So, in closing, I have to say that in my own experience, the reverse of your experience has been true.

But I also think there is a great deal more than a simple black and white, this or that comparison to consider with this question.
There are a number of underlying environmental and bio issues which have significant impact on both intelligence and empathy which may make neither opposed nor in competition.

Interesting discussion!

_________________
Ravenscrye Grey Daegmorgan
http://www.daegmorgan.net/">http://www.daegmorgan.net/
"Homer, your growing insanity is starting to bother me."

[ This Message was edited by: greyorm on 2001-05-29 14:50 ]
Logged

Rev. Ravenscrye Grey Daegmorgan
Wild Hunt Studio
Dav
Member

Posts: 432


WWW
« Reply #18 on: May 29, 2001, 12:07:00 PM »

Greyorm:

Nice response.

I do want to add that I think that understanding, and working in the context of, emotional opinions of others is not necessarily empathy.  Sure, most geniuses are noted as empthatic creatures, but I believe this is a misnomer.  I think that most intelligent children just understand the best method to get what they want... and that is often working within the accepted paradigms of their parents.  I do not think, however, that a child is necessarily kind, sweet, etc. because it *is* (in an absolutist sense), but rather because it is conducive to the ends that the child currently works to attain.

This is all speculation on my part, given that I don't have access to concrete evidence and the like to make this end-all-be-all.  It has been my experience that children are manipulative little bastards until about age... well, fo a long time.  (I think age 7 sounds about right.  I think Saint Augustus might have had something when this was designated as the Age of Reason)

Anyway, all I am saying is that children have little concept of "intangible consequence" as a result of little life-long experience.  What I mean by this is that when I child says he/she (let's use "it") hates you, it really does hate you.  Pure.  I love that.  They may not hate you come a minute or two, but hate accurately describes their emotional context at the time.  Sure, later in life we add that hate must last X amount of time, or be X degrees of intensity.  Listen to the kid, *that* is hate, not some jumped-up froo-froo version of it that we romanticize later in life.

Anyway, I am straying off-topic here.  What I am saying is that the child understands that it is upset, and thus, the world should share in its upsetedness.  Very egocentric, very manipulative, and rather empathetic, though not in the manner normally prescribed.

I argue that all children use emotional understanding as a manipoulative tool to one degree or another.  Highly intelligent children just tend to be more successful (or less successful, but more frighteningly clinical in some cases).  Children are, by nature, egocentric.  Certainly, for most, this changes (for some, such as... well... people I know, it doesn't).  

I do agree with the general statement that I was overly broad in my first post, however, for which I apologize.  I hope this cleared confusion about my stance (even if it didn't convince you to agree).  Keep 'em comin'!

Dav
Logged
Dav
Member

Posts: 432


WWW
« Reply #19 on: May 29, 2001, 12:09:00 PM »

(As an aside... completely irrelevant here, so stop reading if those piss you off... if you have the time, read the *beginning* of this thread... way, way back there... then check-out where we are now.  Talk about a winding discussion...)


Dav

[ This Message was edited by: Dav on 2001-05-29 16:09 ]
Logged
Zak Arntson
Member

Posts: 839


WWW
« Reply #20 on: May 29, 2001, 02:52:00 PM »

Quote

On 2001-05-29 14:42, greyorm wrote:

Check out Zak's post in this thread from the 21st for support of how empathy would be a by-product of intelligence from a biological point of view (though I don't know if Zak has any training as biologist or not).


I don't have any training, but am pleased that you would think so!  It's just a theory with some interesting ideas behind it.  I don't know if there's been any formal investigation into it.

And for the record, I do see empathy as being at least partly affected by intelligence.  Empathy's a complicated thing!

I like the idea of Demons being somehow removed from Empathy, something that could be explored during play.

Has anyone had another player play the Demon?  It would be an interesting thing, hand your Demon sheet to antoher player, so everyone's playing both a Sorcerer and a Demon!
Logged

greyorm
Member

Posts: 2233

My name is Raven.


WWW
« Reply #21 on: May 29, 2001, 10:38:00 PM »

Quote

I think that most intelligent children just understand the best method to get what they want... and that is often working within the accepted paradigms of their parents.  I do not think, however, that a child is necessarily kind, sweet, etc. because it *is* (in an absolutist sense), but rather because it is conducive to the ends that the child currently works to attain.

Ahh...I should have been clearer.
The empathy being spoken about in the literature is clearly seperated from empathy being displayed to 'get what one wants' or manipulate others.

Examples: Many genius children will become vegetarian for a period of time when they discover meat comes from animals, because it makes them feel bad that something died.

They may cry quietly for days about bombings or disasters heard about on the news one night, ask about children that might have been hurt, etc. (like the child that has to be put on anti-depressants because they spend their days worrying about the mid-east peace crisis and allow it to consume them)

They'll try to figure out how to make someone who is hurt feel better because it makes them feel bad to know someone is.

This is empathy, and has no real value to the child -- in a sense of getting anything they want from anyone or attaining desired ends; it displays not only an ability to look outside the self at how others feel and are affected, but to FEEL AS that individual.

A concrete example: one day my son saw a poster of a missing girl and he asked about the picture.  We told him it was a a girl who ran away from home.
He wanted to know why she did that and we (obviously) said we didn't know, but maybe because she didn't like living at her house.
Almost immediately he suggested that she could come live with us and be happy, and he was very quiet for the rest of the day.
He felt bad that the girl didn't like her own house (we asked) and that she ran away.  In fact, he referred to it again almost a week later (and he had to remind me what he was talking about), he was wondering if the girl went home.
Again, I don't know, but he says he hopes she did.

He had no inherent, personal interest in feeling bad about this stranger having run away from home; being sad didn't benefit him in any conceivable way.
Clearly empathy and not manipulation because there is no vested personal interest in his feeling sad about the situation or displaying emotion.

An arguement that it would make him good in our eyes and mean he will be treated better fails, because, as you said, children (especially at his age) have no real conception of intangible future effects...and I'm pretty sure he isn't looking for a girlfriend yet.

In fact, the stated argument wouldn't hold in the case of vegetarianism: parents usually would disapprove of this lifestyle, especially in our culture, and in that case the child's empathy is actually harming their relationship with their parents by causing strife and conflict (such as it is).

So what would the reason be here?  
Rebellion?  No, trust me, kids don't need a justification or elaborate lie to rebel, like adults or older children often do; they'll just say "I don't want to" and that's it, they don't want to.  End of story...there isn't a 'because.'

So, to rehash, similar displays of empathy, unrelated to getting what they want from parents or other adults or achieving short term goals (meaning actual display of feelings for and like others) are reported as one of the early signs of high intelligence.
And thus I feel that your contention that intellect and empathy are opposed to one another is untrue.

But does that help clarify where I am coming from on the issue?
(BTW, I'd still love to hear what study found that IQ and EQ were never both high?)

Quote

It has been my experience that children are manipulative little bastards until about age... well, fo a long time.

Children don't start out manipulative, however...they don't actually understand manipulation until they start getting older (three or four, IIRC).
As adults, we perceive manipulation earlier than this -- for example in an infant crying at bedtime -- because that's what we think of it as, but not because it is actually there or the child capable of it.

Earlier than the age I stated above it isn't an attempt to pull the wool over another's eyes, or slyly get what they want or rebel, it is merely to show that they require a specific thing (comfort, food, etc).

In the case of not wanting to sleep at night (away from the parents), it is an expression of the desire to feel comfortable and the fright of being away from the source of comfort.
After all, it isn't as though an infant can say, let alone cogitate, "Hey, mom and dad aren't here.  You know, I'm really scared.  I'll cry to see if that makes them show up.  Here we go...is it working?"

For example, to support whether this is manipulative or not, or what manipulation is, if you are an adult and you ask your wife to get you a beer, are you being manipulative?

IMO, no.  You're asking for a beer because you're thirsty (or a lush -grin-), but it isn't manipulation in the sense being used here.
You're just asking for something, not manuvering to outwit; elsewise every action we undertake could be seen as a form of manipulation or trying to get what you want, and then the word really loses any definite meaning for discussion.

Or say you bash your toe with a hammer or ram your knee into an open cabinet drawer in the dark and scream your sissy head off, like me.
Is the cry of pain an attempt at manipulation?  Heck, no...not in the normal sense.  It's, "THAT HURT!"...and if you wanted to get really funky, it is subconscious 'manipulation' of the emotions of others, attempts to get sympathy or draw help.

Thus thinking of this behavior as true manipulation before a certain age is wrong-headed, IM(S)O, and possibly even after that, unless we claim that every action undertaken by any individual is manipulative, which I disagree with for reasons of stability or usefulness of definition.

Quote

What I am saying is that the child understands that it is upset, and thus, the world should share in its upsetedness.  Very egocentric, very manipulative, and rather empathetic, though not in the manner normally prescribed.

Er, empathy entails the ability to feel LIKE another person, not make another person feel like you.  At least the definition I am using.  So this has nothing to do with what I mean when I say, "Empathy."

Quote

I do agree with the general statement that I was overly broad in my first post, however, for which I apologize.  I hope this cleared confusion about my stance (even if it didn't convince you to agree).  Keep 'em comin'!

Heh...yeah, but what does this have to do with Sorcerer or demonic squirrels anymore? -grin-
Logged

Rev. Ravenscrye Grey Daegmorgan
Wild Hunt Studio
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #22 on: May 30, 2001, 05:22:00 AM »

Gentlemen, please.

Sorcerer, OK?

Best,
Ron
Logged
greyorm
Member

Posts: 2233

My name is Raven.


WWW
« Reply #23 on: May 30, 2001, 09:20:00 AM »

Quote

Gentlemen, please.
Sorcerer, OK?

Sorry Ron,

Dav and I can take this private e-mail if he wishes to discuss the subject any further.  (Just e-mail me, Dav!)

-Raven

[ This Message was edited by: greyorm on 2001-05-30 13:21 ]
Logged

Rev. Ravenscrye Grey Daegmorgan
Wild Hunt Studio
Pages: 1 [2]
Print
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
Oxygen design by Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!