Author Topic: Morality Question  (Read 9670 times)

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Stormcrow

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Morality Question
« on: July 22, 2010, 03:51:10 AM »
ok trying to finger out the question of how in how is a character evil?
The character is playing a martial war blade that acts like a samurai (in fact he is part of the Scorpion clan) well a rouge tried to forge Iou’s  and made the samurai lose a lot of money 1000 gold coins later, he evenly found out who he was and killed him,  In public. A few days later he was being harassed (by a armed guard) for being forin. And well if you have seen the deleted scean form the last Samurai.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VX6xsIrZfdo

and he does act like a member of the scorpion Clan he is all ways trying to manipulate situations and especially with him is ever as it seems.

Ok I can agree he is not a good character , but i still don’t see him as completely evil.



Solo

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Re: Morality Question
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2010, 03:52:52 AM »
"Evil" implies hurting, oppressing, and killing others. Some evil creatures simply have no compassion for others and kill without qualms if doing so is convenient. Others actively pursue evil, killing for sport or out of duty to some evil deity or master.

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Stormcrow

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Re: Morality Question
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2010, 04:54:41 AM »
o well so much for the Man with no Name as refrence item for A Nutral character

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Man_with_No_Name

Prime32

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Re: Morality Question
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2010, 03:13:34 PM »
One way to look at is to take "the average commoner" as True Neutral and ask if he would act in such a way.
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dither

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Re: Morality Question
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2010, 04:27:11 PM »
Honor and duty are essentially a separate axis from good/evil. Killing a sentient being is never, in and of itself, a cruel or evil act; it is, at best, neutral. You have to look towards the cause of, and the execution of, the act in question. Was there a relationship between the two individuals?

In the first case, the rogue stole money from the samurai. Likely, honor dictated that the rogue repay the debt, and if he could not, his life would be forfeit. In this instance, if the samurai killed the rogue when the latter failed to repay the debt, then the debt would be considered repaid, the honor of the samurai would be restored, and that would be the end of it.

Now, if the samurai then proceeded to hack the rogue to death, murder his whole family, etc, etc, then it would be considered an evil act (the mutilation of the enemy and the destruction of the rogue's family). Now, a good samurai might have looked into the man and found some part of him redeemable, accepted a term of service as an acceptable payment, and sought to transform the rogue into an honorable man. At best, your samurai player character in question is "honorable neutral."
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EjoThims

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Re: Morality Question
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2010, 01:21:31 AM »
Killing a sentient being is never, in and of itself, a cruel or evil act; it is, at best, neutral.

I would disagree. In fact, I would say that the only time that killing a sentient being is not, in and of itself, an act of evil is when it's done for protection or survival, in which case it is neutral.

Killing the Rogue is evil even if it is lawful. Same with the killing of the guard, unless the harassment was actually physical harassment which was endangering the character's life.

I would say that the character in question is Lawful Evil.

dither

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Re: Morality Question
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2010, 09:10:50 PM »
Killing a sentient being is never, in and of itself, a cruel or evil act; it is, at best, neutral.

I would disagree. In fact, I would say that the only time that killing a sentient being is not an act of evil is when it's done for protection or survival, in which case it is neutral.

Who decides what's protection? What's self-defense? Can "protection" or "self-defense" be preemptive? See, by suggesting that it's ever neutral, it must be always neutral. You can't just decide that killing a sentient being is evil most of the time, except under special circumstances. I mean, what about killing evil people? Is that evil? Is it neutral? Can people even be evil? The problem with saying that something is morally wrong, with exceptions, is that there is no higher authority to appeal to. Sometimes evil, sometimes neutral doesn't cut it.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2010, 09:12:32 PM by dither »
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EjoThims

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Re: Morality Question
« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2010, 01:04:44 AM »
Who decides what's protection? What's self-defense?

I use it specifically in the sense that if you did not take the action it would result in immediate consequence for yourself or the one protected equal to or worse than what the action (in this case killing/death) taken.

See, by suggesting that it's ever neutral, it must be always neutral.

Every rule has exceptions, except, of course, those that don't. There's no reason to assume that morality is such a simple thing.

You can't just decide that killing a sentient being is evil most of the time, except under special circumstances.

Yes, you can, though whether or not that leads you to a valid morality depends on how that decision is made.

I mean, what about killing evil people? Is that evil? Is it neutral? Can people even be evil?

Same rules apply; the target does not matter.

And of course people can be evil (or at the very least do evil), provided that you believe evil can even exist.

Sometimes evil, sometimes neutral doesn't cut it.

Just have to change perspective.

The act itself is not what defines alignment, purpose is.

After all, giving a child sweets would not be an evil act, but intentionally giving them enough that it makes them diabetic and they suffer the rest of their lives would be indeed be an evil thing.

And there need be no appeal to higher authority, as long as there is consistency and you remember that morality is separate from what is legal.

dither

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Re: Morality Question
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2010, 11:43:10 PM »
And there need be no appeal to higher authority, as long as there is consistency and you remember that morality is separate from what is legal.

Then we aren't even talking about the same thing.

edit: Sorry, I read this again an realized we're only barely talking about the same thing. Nevertheless, conversation ended.
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EjoThims

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Re: Morality Question
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2010, 01:14:33 AM »
edit: Sorry, I read this again an realized we're only barely talking about the same thing. Nevertheless, conversation ended.

This confuses me greatly. Would you mind clarifying a bit, even the conversation itself is not continued?

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Re: Morality Question
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2010, 12:27:11 AM »
1e and 2e D&D had the Upper Planes ... you know the silly super GOOD types ...
having Holy Wars all over the place. And not just against the Devils (LE) and the Demons (CE).
They warred against each other too. Big wars, plane altering wars, Blood War(s), etc ...

So on a much smaller level, you could justify a "good" act as something needed for the "good guys".

LG Rogue steals Orcus' Wand, even though stealing is against his religion. Is that a "good" act?
In your home campaign, it might be.

Kajhera

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Re: Morality Question
« Reply #11 on: October 28, 2010, 05:16:03 PM »
I'm going to go with 'probably neutral' on the first example. Your average commoner might well see it fair to stone someone to death, hang them, cut off a hand etc. for a crime. A thousand gold is the value of a small house. Forging and defacing the 'samurai''s name adds to the theft. Killing the man is, if perhaps not a 'Good' solution, a reasonable solution from the warblade's perspective.

... The second one, will shift towards evil but is notably too cool to render him unredeemable. The average commoner will likely grovel and scrape to get out of trouble, but that is because they are powerless, not because they appreciate it! They have a greater appreciation for their lives than their honor, unlike a samurai-type. If they think they can get away with it, TN characters are likely enough to get in fights with those that provoke them. Samurai-types simply see death as a reasonable resolution to a fight for honor.

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Re: Morality Question
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2011, 05:20:58 AM »
How so many people can think killing someone just because he stole something is not evil puzzles me.

Last samurai is an absurd glorification of the samurai culture and in no way accurate to the very dark and ugly truth. A degenerated sense of honor does not turn an evil act into something neutral.

Stormcrow

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Re: Morality Question
« Reply #13 on: January 15, 2011, 06:07:25 AM »
How so many people can think killing someone just because he stole something is not evil puzzles me.

Last samurai is an absurd glorification of the samurai culture and in no way accurate to the very dark and ugly truth. A degenerated sense of honor does not turn an evil act into something neutral.

Morality is something that varies from culture to culture one cultures Idea of civilized is ones idea of Barbarism

Gods_Trick

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Re: Morality Question
« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2011, 10:38:16 AM »

  Is it good to value something above sentient life? No, but ... Many countries have the death sentence, which the majority tolerate.; its culturally relative. There are more contentious examples, but lets just say all systems put a price on life.

  Now in D&D, samurai value their honour. This exceeds their own life in the trope we recognise as the 'hounorable samurai'. Now some lowly back alley slinking dog has besmirched your honour, which you would personally die for. At least by the sam's value system its rehonourin time! The way he addresses that is a matter of alignment. He chose to kill him, in public, honourably as it were. So the samurai in his mind behaved righteously, if not kindly.

  What do the gods say? If good and evil is absolute, you're at best lawful neutral, depending on who/what you worship. If its the morass of confusion and inarticulate relativistism that D&D is, you're probably home clear.

 

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Re: Morality Question
« Reply #15 on: January 15, 2011, 10:48:24 AM »
Quote
How so many people can think killing someone just because he stole something is not evil puzzles me.

That medicine could have saved the lives of millions.


That said, showing up with a 1337speak name, and necroing a controversial topic on your first post... bad form, bad form.
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Solo

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Re: Morality Question
« Reply #16 on: January 15, 2011, 10:55:13 AM »
Now, the fact that it is essentially vigilante action is a problem.

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Gods_Trick

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Re: Morality Question
« Reply #17 on: January 15, 2011, 10:59:32 AM »
Now, the fact that it is essentially vigilante action is a problem.

D&D is all about vigilante action. Permission = paid per mission.

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Re: Morality Question
« Reply #18 on: January 15, 2011, 04:46:54 PM »
Quote
Is it good to value something above sentient life? No, but ... Many countries have the death sentence, which the majority tolerate.; its culturally relative. There are more contentious examples, but lets just say all systems put a price on life.

  Now in D&D, samurai value their honour. This exceeds their own life in the trope we recognise as the 'hounorable samurai'. Now some lowly back alley slinking dog has besmirched your honour, which you would personally die for. At least by the sam's value system its rehonourin time! The way he addresses that is a matter of alignment. He chose to kill him, in public, honourably as it were. So the samurai in his mind behaved righteously, if not kindly.

  What do the gods say? If good and evil is absolute, you're at best lawful neutral, depending on who/what you worship. If its the morass of confusion and inarticulate relativistism that D&D is, you're probably home clear.

Yes, good and evil is not absolute, but the value of life is. Every culture I know thinks killing someone is basically a bad thing, this knowledge is within our very nature. Everyone deliberately and willingly violating this has a reason to do so (or is insane), some are selfish and others are self-righteous, it does not make the thing any better though.
This is a good thing to keep in mind if creating non-monster villains for your campaign btw :)

Now, the fact that it is essentially vigilante action is a problem.

That's why I would tag that action as chaotic evil. Even if following your own code of honor vigilante justice is always chaotic.

Quote
How so many people can think killing someone just because he stole something is not evil puzzles me.

That medicine could have saved the lives of millions.


That said, showing up with a 1337speak name, and necroing a controversial topic on your first post... bad form, bad form.
[offtopic]I was lurking for some time, reading guides to properly balance my next dnd game. Sorry for the necro, I am aware the OP is kind of old, it was in the top 4 topics though and the matter kind of itched my fingers.

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Re: Morality Question
« Reply #19 on: January 15, 2011, 05:39:45 PM »
Quote
Yes, good and evil is not absolute, but the value of life is.

This is just wrong. I personally hold no value to the lives of others unless they positively influence my own, it is a selfish philosiphy but one that i think more people have than would like to admit it.

By saying that the value of life is absolute you are saying that a prostitue that you have never met in the middle of africa is worth just as much as your loved ones. The value of life is strictly subjective.