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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 62 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Elfworld = EVIL  (Read 16808 times)
Uncle Dark
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« Reply #30 on: July 14, 2001, 10:04:00 PM »

Quote

On 2001-07-15 00:50, Jared A. Sorensen wrote:
I like your idea, but I would forgo the torture/rape stuff -- it's distasteful to me, and a little too human in its depravity.  


I thought about that.  The character in question would do it, not for any  joy in the specific
 act, but to keep mom around as an object lesson to the kid in what happens to the weak.  Part of the kid's training is an indoctrination into elf-philosophy.  He's going all the way with this, to make sure his enemies buy it.  And besides, it's always good to have backups.

I think that part of what I was getting at in the post is that the most depraved behavior of a character doesn't bother me much.  It gets back to the distinction that Ron drew between what characters feel about a situation and what the players feel about the situation.  The emotional power of the story rests on that distinction, and I think that crossing the amorality over from IC to OOC by encouraging players to cheat each other saps that strength.

Lon
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Reality is what you can get away with.
kwill
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« Reply #31 on: July 18, 2001, 02:32:00 PM »

http://sinfest.net/d/20010712.html

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d@vid
John Wick
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« Reply #32 on: July 19, 2001, 02:15:00 PM »

Quote

The conclusion is incorrect in respect to Tolkien's elves.

They are what they are because they have no choice in the matter. The song of creation defines all they are and all they can be.


A quick question: does that mean nobody in Middle-Earth has freewill, or just the elves?
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Carpe Deum,
John
wyrdlyng
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« Reply #33 on: July 20, 2001, 11:52:00 AM »

Just some quick thoughts on Evil:

Good and Evil are terms defined by a being's societal environment. In the animal kingdom there is no Good or Evil behavior. There is Live or Die.

In our society:
Evil is being selfish (choosing a course of action which will result in your personal gain or gratification without concern for the effects your action has upon others). Good is being selfless (choosing a course of action which will result in personal gain or gratification for another person, usually reached after some form of personal sacrifice).

Random acts of destruction and violence are not Evil. Actions with no "apparent" rhyme or reason which result in no "personal" gain to the initiator of the action are Chaotic, not Evil.

Frex: I pick up a rock and throw it at a stranger on an impulse. The target gets hit and suffers injury. I acted on an impulse and gain nothing from it. If the target had been someone I knew and had a grudge against then it would be Evil. Otherwise it's just random stupidity.

Another Frex: A hurricane comes, destroys my home and kills my dog. The hurricane had nothing to gain by destroying my home or killing my dog. It was an act of random chaos. If Dr. Zarod had created the hurricane with a machine and directed it to destroy me then it would have been an act of Evil.

Simplistic perhaps but sometimes we over-analyze things. Just my 2 cents.



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Alex Hunter
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John Wick
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« Reply #34 on: July 20, 2001, 01:39:00 PM »

Quote

Good and Evil are terms defined by a being's societal environment. In the animal kingdom there is no Good or Evil behavior. There is Live or Die.

I agree with this observation. "Good" and "Evil" require third level logic: thinking about thinking. Animals are incapable of abstract thought, and therefore, are incapable of either good or evil actions.

(A lot of people forget that; that because animals are incapable of doing "evil" also means they can't do "good," either.)

Quote

In our society:
Evil is being selfish...


I disagree with that statement. I do not think "evil" or "good" are so easily quantifiable.

Quote
Random acts of destruction and violence are not Evil. Actions with no "apparent" rhyme or reason which result in no "personal" gain to the initiator of the action are Chaotic, not Evil.


Ugh. D&D ethics structures do not work.
There are no "random" acts outside of a roleplaying game. The law of cause and effect kills that notion outright.

1. Every "effect" in nature has a "cause."
2. Human choice is an "effect"
3. Therefore, every human choice is "caused."

The only way to get around this is for human behavior to have a "super-natural" (beyond nature) source, which of course, is Freewill. But even then, nobody does anything for no reason at all. That's silly. As our below example...

Quote
Frex: I pick up a rock and throw it at a stranger on an impulse. The target gets hit and suffers injury. I acted on an impulse and gain nothing from it. If the target had been someone I knew and had a grudge against then it would be Evil. Otherwise it's just random stupidity.


The action is not random. The notion to pick up the rock is an impulse derrived from an earlier behavior-reward. "Picking up rocks makes me feel good," therefore, I pick up the rock. "Throwing the rocks at people makes me feel good," therefore, you throw the rock at someone.

There is a reason you threw the rock. Whether it is curiosity ("I wonder what will happen if I throw this rock...") or pleasure ("It will be cool to throw this rock...") or maliciousness ("It will hurt this guy to throw this rock..."), you had a reason to do it. Nobody does anything "on impulse." People behave according to external and internal stimuli... even if that stimuli is "freewill."

Quote
Another Frex: A hurricane comes...

Hurricanes don't make choices. People do.
You chose to pick up that rock.
You chose to aim it.
You chose to throw it.

There are probably ten more choices in there I just don't want to get into, but the fact of the matter is, they all lead up to you chosing to throw the rock. There's nothing chaotic at all about human behavior. And "chaotic" (in D&D terms) isn't about being "random," it's about choosing personal freedom over security. In other words, it's the belief that the rights of the individual are more important than the security of the community.

Quote
Simplistic perhaps but sometimes we over-analyze things.


"The truth is always simple. It's liars who want things complicated."
- Bayushi's "Lies" :smile:

Thanks for your input!

Take care,
John



[/quote]
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Carpe Deum,
John
greyorm
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« Reply #35 on: July 20, 2001, 09:46:00 PM »

Quote

Animals are incapable of abstract thought...

*cough*

You'll know I disagree.  This whole ridiculous "animal" vs. "man", "instinct" vs. "thought" split is a simplistic and gross generalization and thus any arguments based on it are notably suspect for that reason (and I'm not even going to get into the "live" vs. "die" dualism again).

Honestly, this whole discussion of what "nature" really is or does are just empty appeals to "common knowledge" without any real solid backing to them, and sounds just as ridiculous as any other subject where similar circumstances are in effect.

(I suppose this will be complained at as "navel-gazing" or something equally horrid now...but hey, if someone wants to make a claim and argument, I have the damn right to response to their reasoning if it is wrong...otherwise this just becomes everyone sitting around belching out opinions and everyone nodding, "Yeah, we can all feel good about ourselves because everyone's opinions are equally valid.  Hey, don't rain on my sunny day with your oh-so-evil deconstructionism!", a situation which makes all discussion worthless)

All in all, with the rest I more or less agree.  Third-level logic and so on, the ability to conceptualize self/not self, human choice and so forth...I don't like to see bad premises touted, however, especially in regards to scientific disciplines where I know better.  I'm a real bastard about that.
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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 2001-07-21 01:49 ]
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Rev. Ravenscrye Grey Daegmorgan
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Cameron
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« Reply #36 on: July 22, 2001, 03:57:00 PM »

((After posting this, I realized that I had failed to read pages 2 and 3 of this thread. It's in response to something way back when. -Cameron))


"Psychopathic" and "sociopathic" are synonymous. Both imply an inability to operate within the realms of conventional morality (whatever that is).  Specifically, psychopathy is a condition featuring features of anti-social personality disorder plus the traits of "lack of empathy," "inflated self-appraisal," and "glib/superficial charm." Psychopathic does not imply the inability to take responsibility for one's actions because of a detatchment from reality, that's psychosis (or the legal term of "insanity," meaning that someone cannot stand trial because they aren't mentally capable of understanding what's going on).  Also "psychopathology" is the whole of abnormal behavior.

In my opinion, people suffering from psychosis are sick, not evil, although anthropomorphisizing "psychosis" would create something that could only be seen as EVIL.
 

_________________
-Cameron

"The ideal job for me is one that doesn't make me want to put a fork in my eye."

[ This Message was edited by: Cameron on 2001-07-22 19:59 ]
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Astromarine
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« Reply #37 on: September 17, 2001, 04:55:00 AM »

I just needed to say this. Kwill, thank you thank you thank you for that link to sinfest. I had never even heard of it, but I've been readin the back strips and I *love* it.

Astro
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Ring Kichard
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« Reply #38 on: March 17, 2002, 06:13:26 PM »

Because point by point posts are fun:

Quote

Great cliche: Good needs evil and vice versa. Without one, the other cannot exist.
A cliche is an assumed truth. Everyone assumes its true without ever thinking about it.


Isn't this cliché the Hegelian Dialectic? It's hardly something that's been assumed true without thought.

Quote from: John Wick

And Jared, I don't need a reason to bitch slap you.


Quote from: John Wick


There is a reason you threw the rock. Whether it is curiosity (SNIP) or pleasure (SNIP) or maliciousness (SNIP), you had a reason to do it. Nobody does anything "on impulse." People behave according to external and internal stimuli... even if that stimulli is "freewill."




Interesting.

John mentioned "third level logic" as logic capable of being self referential.
I'm reminded of Godel, Escher, Bach's interpretation of the Godel incompleteness theorem on the function of the human mind: (grossly paraphrased) because the mind is capable of thinking about itself, it will be unable to determine everything about itself. So while I might obey simple cause and effect at my neurological level, the cause of my decisions may be unknown and practically unknowable.

Quote from: John Wick

Good and Evil are terms defined by a being's societal environment. In the animal kingdom there is no Good or Evil behavior. There is Live or Die.


I suppose that depends on what is meant by good and evil, and what is meant by animal. Richard Dawkins proposes that animals act selflessly when it's in their genes' best interest in The Selfish Gene. An argument could be made that human beneficence is nothing more than an evolutionary extension of this trait. In fact, if human will is deterministic (opposed to free, perhaps), it could plausibly be a complicated version of whatever animals have.

I suppose I'll comment more (by citing the works of smarter people) later.
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Richard Daly, who asks, "What should people living in glass houses do?"
-
Sand Mechanics summary, comments welcome.
Dav
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« Reply #39 on: March 25, 2002, 09:47:07 AM »

Richard;

I was tooling about and decided to answer your question...

"What are people living in glass houses supposed to do?"

(Or words to that effect)

The answer:  paint the fucking thing.

Dav
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Paul Czege
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #40 on: March 25, 2002, 10:14:34 AM »

"What are people living in glass houses supposed to do?"
.
.
.
The answer: paint the fucking thing.


Or, for those so inclined...get jiggy wit it.
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My Life with Master knows codependence.
And if you're doing anything with your Acts of Evil ashcan license, of course I'm curious and would love to hear about your plans
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