Support the GITP forums on Patreon
Help support GITP's forums (and ongoing server maintenance) via Patreon
Page 1 of 11 12345678910 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 320
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Lord_Gareth's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2007

    Default [Alignment] Conflicts of Rights

    Yes, another alignment thread!

    This one deals with this question: how does one define the morality of a conflict between the inalienable rights of one being and another? One group and another? If for being A to live, being B (or members of group B) must die, is being A evil to kill? What about inescapable or incurable addictions (such as with some undead in Libris Mortis) that can strip away the ability to reason morally if not satisfied?

    Essentially speaking, when do the ends begin to justify the means?


    Quote Originally Posted by Chilingsworth View Post
    Wow! Not only was that awesome, I think I actually kinda understand Archeron now. If all the "intermediate" outer planes got that kind of treatment, I doubt there would be anywhere near as many critics of their utility.
    My extended homebrew sig

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Starbuck_II's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Enterprise, Alabama
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: [Alignment] Conflicts of Rights

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord_Gareth View Post
    Essentially speaking, when do the ends begin to justify the means?
    Never if doing a good act.
    Sometimes if doing a neutral act.
    And all the time if doing an evil act.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Orc in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Oct 2010

    Default Re: [Alignment] Conflicts of Rights

    It's a CAN OF WORMS! The kind from Dune!

    If you know what's good for you run!

    But make sure to very your walk so you don't attract them.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Lord_Gareth's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2007

    Default Re: [Alignment] Conflicts of Rights

    Quote Originally Posted by Starbuck_II View Post
    Never if doing a good act.
    Sometimes if doing a neutral act.
    And all the time if doing an evil act.
    You, ah, missed the point of the question, my friend.


    Quote Originally Posted by Chilingsworth View Post
    Wow! Not only was that awesome, I think I actually kinda understand Archeron now. If all the "intermediate" outer planes got that kind of treatment, I doubt there would be anywhere near as many critics of their utility.
    My extended homebrew sig

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Australia mate
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: [Alignment] Conflicts of Rights

    i think that the options need to be weighed up subjectively. does group B have anything to contribute to society? does A?*

    *note: this argument only applies from a Lawful point of view. replace society with you for a Chaotic POV
    call me Dragon

    I have left this site for a while. I probablt wont be coming back.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Starbuck_II's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Enterprise, Alabama
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: [Alignment] Conflicts of Rights

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord_Gareth View Post
    You, ah, missed the point of the question, my friend.
    I answer the essential question. I thought that more potent.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: [Alignment] Conflicts of Rights

    I'd say your right to life (as an example) does not extend to denying others the same right. That is to say if the other person is passive. If you are a Mindflayer that has to kill sentient beings to survive you're the active moral agent. Likewise if you're attacked by a Mindflayer he's the one infringing on your right and killing him in self defence could be justified (not killing him would be preferable). A random human in possession of his brain isn't actively infringing on the right of a Mindflayer to his life.

    A truly good act would be to take no action that denies others their right even if it kills you.
    Last edited by Ormur; 2010-10-20 at 09:40 PM.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Titan in the Playground
     
    ElfRangerGuy

    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Imagination Land
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: [Alignment] Conflicts of Rights

    Quote Originally Posted by Ormur View Post
    I'd say your right to life (as an example) does not extend to denying others the same right. That is to say if the other person is passive. If you are a Mindflayer that has to kill sentient beings to survive you're the active moral agent. Likewise if you're attacked by a Minflayer he's the one infringing on your right and killing him in self defence could be justified (not killing him would be preferable). A random human in possession of his brain isn't actively infringing on the right of a Mindflayer to his life.

    A truly good act would be to take no action that denies others their right even if it kills you.
    Note that by D&D's alignment system, killing in self-defence may not be an Evil act, but at the same time it's definitely not a Good act (unless you're killing an <Evil> Outsider, which is defined as always being a Good thing to do).
    Last edited by KillianHawkeye; 2010-10-20 at 07:57 PM.
    "Nothing you can't spell will ever work." - Will Rogers

    "What you must learn is that these rules are no different than the rules of a computer system. Some of them can be bent. Others can be broken." - Morpheus, The Matrix

    Quote Originally Posted by Krellen View Post
    Remember, Evil isn't "selfish". It's Evil. "Look out for number one" is a Neutral attitude. Evil looks out for number one while crushing number two.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Zeofar's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Wyvern
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: [Alignment] Conflicts of Rights

    Killing is good only if it is in self defense, in self-defense by extension (protecting someone who cannot viably defend himself against his attacker), to protect the rights of many over the rights of one when there is no other feasible solution, to mete out just punishment (obviously, how this interacts with a Chaotic alignment gets gray), or, usually, to destroy undead or demons.

    Furthermore, killing in self-defense in any case is only acceptable if there are no other immediate ways to defeat the attacker such as running away or merely wounding the attacker; the death must result from the pursuit of defense, not an attempt to right-out kill the person. A permanent, temporary, or circumstantial inability to judge secondary means to defeat an opponent may waive the requirement, but maintaining any disposition that obstructs the removal of this inability is evil. Thus, the first time, the act may be good, but over time, any goodness of the act is eclipsed by his disposition, unless there is such a case where the person cannot be aware of this disposition. This means that for religious Paladins, their acts always become evil unless they have been mislead by their religion or they have no means of receiving council (and could not otherwise remove their inability to judge their actions), while for Paladins of virtue, this proceeds as normal since they have no greater moral judge.

    The reason destroying undead is good takes some not unreasonable assumptions about the nature of negative energy, but it usually can be reasoned out. Killing demons is often okay for nothing more than the fact that, unless you are on their home plane, they aren't actually dead, which essentially means that you always only subdue them. Otherwise, normal assumptions are pretty much in place.
    Last edited by Zeofar; 2010-10-20 at 08:19 PM.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Zhalath's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Astral Plane
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: [Alignment] Conflicts of Rights

    Quote Originally Posted by KillianHawkeye View Post
    Note that by D&D's alignment system, killing in self-defence may not be an Evil act, but at the same time it's definitely not a Good act (unless you're killing an <Evil> Outsider, which is defined as always being a Good thing to do).
    What if the Evil Outsider is helpless and begging for mercy? Just because Evil outsiders don't die when not on their home plane doesn't make going to Hell any better. Heck, it makes it worse, because you have to remember.
    Or is it alright to destroy undead that are simply trying to get by without harming anyone?
    Because to live they need to kill sentient beings, do mind flayers essentially forfeit the right to live?
    Spoiler
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by SwordChucks View Post
    The most unpleasant plane is the one filled with snakes and Samuel L. Jackson.
    Quote Originally Posted by Keld Denar View Post
    You kill people by teleporting their brain...into your hand. That's about as badass as it gets, and should come with a free +30 on all Intimidate checks made...ever.


    No gods. No kings. Only PCs. Ceteris paribus.

  11. - Top - End - #11

    Default Re: [Alignment] Conflicts of Rights

    When does the end justify the means
    Quote Originally Posted by Starbuck_II View Post
    Never if doing a good act.
    Sometimes if doing a neutral act.
    And all the time if doing an evil act.
    Your answer is very strange (to say the least), as it states that the means of all evil acts are always justified, because of the accomplished end.

    I'm pretty sure that's not what you meant, but that's what you said, nonetheless.

    In case you're unclear, to justify means to to show to be just or right.
    Last edited by Godless_Paladin; 2010-10-20 at 08:46 PM.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Lord_Gareth's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2007

    Default Re: [Alignment] Conflicts of Rights

    I'd say that the only time it's okay to kill undead out of hand is if they're being compelled to do harm beyond their will or control, such as with an Inescapable Addiction or if they're under the (otherwise unbreakable) control of another entity. Many undead can choose to prey upon animals, which would reasonably mean that coercing them into doing that might be a better option than what is, essentially, murdering a being a second time.

    Mindless undead that are inherently harmful are, of course, prime candidates for extermination with extreme prejudice, as are unintelligent plagues like Shadows.


    Quote Originally Posted by Chilingsworth View Post
    Wow! Not only was that awesome, I think I actually kinda understand Archeron now. If all the "intermediate" outer planes got that kind of treatment, I doubt there would be anywhere near as many critics of their utility.
    My extended homebrew sig

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Titan in the Playground
     
    ElfRangerGuy

    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Imagination Land
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: [Alignment] Conflicts of Rights

    Quote Originally Posted by Zhalath View Post
    What if the Evil Outsider is helpless and begging for mercy? Just because Evil outsiders don't die when not on their home plane doesn't make going to Hell any better. Heck, it makes it worse, because you have to remember.
    Or is it alright to destroy undead that are simply trying to get by without harming anyone?
    Because to live they need to kill sentient beings, do mind flayers essentially forfeit the right to live?
    It's okay to kill Evil Outsiders (that is, Outsiders with the [Evil] subtype) any time, because they are literally made of pure evil. I think it is Book of Exalted Deeds which says that. It doesn't matter if they are begging for mercy because they are just trying to trick you, because they are evil personified.

    Undead and mindflayers are not always 100% evil (they don't have the [Evil] subtype), so you cannot make such generalizations about them. Usually good characters would only kill the ones who are actively involved in the destruction or enslavement of an innocent life.



    EDIT: Mindflayers don't have to kill sentient creatures to survive. They can eat the brains of nonsentient life forms such as animals. I believe they can even eat normal food (they hate it, but it will sustain them). Thus, the ones who choose to eat the brains of humans and other sentient beings are evil and killing them is better than allowing them to continue with their mass slaughter.

    However, I stand by my earlier assertion that killing is self defense or in the defense of others is not really a Good act. It is Neutral, and usually better than the alternatives. The true Good path would involve coming to a solution whereby no sentient creatures need to die.
    Last edited by KillianHawkeye; 2010-10-20 at 09:22 PM.
    "Nothing you can't spell will ever work." - Will Rogers

    "What you must learn is that these rules are no different than the rules of a computer system. Some of them can be bent. Others can be broken." - Morpheus, The Matrix

    Quote Originally Posted by Krellen View Post
    Remember, Evil isn't "selfish". It's Evil. "Look out for number one" is a Neutral attitude. Evil looks out for number one while crushing number two.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Orc in the Playground
     
    blueblade's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Hong Kong
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: [Alignment] Conflicts of Rights

    TC, you could just as easily rephrase your question to real(ish) example, where the morality becomes absurdly easy:

    Tim and Larry are trapped in a space station with at most 4 man-days worth of air available (i.e. with both alive, the air will be gone in 2 days). The rescue craft will arrive in 3.5 days (allowing for a little strenuous activity in the meantime). Tim has a gun (laser gun that won't pierce the hull, you pedants!)

    Is Tim justified to kill Larry in order to survive? Not if he wants to keep that "good-aligned" status he can't!
    Be the Ultimate Ninja! Play Billy Vs. SNAKEMAN today!

    Fantastic avatar created by artist extraordinaire, Kwarkpudding

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Lord_Gareth's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2007

    Default Re: [Alignment] Conflicts of Rights

    Quote Originally Posted by KillianHawkeye View Post
    Mindflayers don't have to kill sentient creatures to survive. They can eat the brains of nonsentient life forms such as animals. I believe they can even eat normal food (they hate it, but it will sustain them). Thus, the ones who choose to eat the brains of humans and other sentient beings are evil and killing them is better than allowing them to continue with their mass slaughter.

    However, I stand by my earlier assertion that killing is self defense or in the defense of others is not really a Good act. It is Neutral, and usually better than the alternatives. The true Good path would involve coming to a solution whereby no sentient creatures need to die.
    This statement is sort-of correct; check the Mindflayer thread for more specifics on the brain om noms.


    Quote Originally Posted by Chilingsworth View Post
    Wow! Not only was that awesome, I think I actually kinda understand Archeron now. If all the "intermediate" outer planes got that kind of treatment, I doubt there would be anywhere near as many critics of their utility.
    My extended homebrew sig

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    horngeek's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Nexus
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: [Alignment] Conflicts of Rights

    Quote Originally Posted by KillianHawkeye View Post
    It's okay to kill Evil Outsiders (that is, Outsiders with the [Evil] subtype) any time, because they are literally made of pure evil. I think it is Book of Exalted Deeds which says that. It doesn't matter if they are begging for mercy because they are just trying to trick you, because they are evil personified.
    See, this is where I link to the Succubus Paladin on WotC website. Link!
    Last edited by horngeek; 2010-10-20 at 09:39 PM.


    Spoiler
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by Revlid View Post
    And so it was that Zaeed, Aang, Winry, Ezio, Sadoko and Snow White all set out on their epic journey to destroy The Empire.

    God I love Exalted.


    Gold Dragon avatar by Serpentine


  17. - Top - End - #17
    Orc in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Oct 2010

    Default Re: [Alignment] Conflicts of Rights

    Quote Originally Posted by blueblade View Post
    TC, you could just as easily rephrase your question to real(ish) example, where the morality becomes absurdly easy:
    The story you want is "The Cold Equations" .

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Spamalot in the Playground
     
    Psyren's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: [Alignment] Conflicts of Rights

    Quote Originally Posted by Godless_Paladin View Post
    Your answer is very strange (to say the least), as it states that the means of all evil acts are always justified, because of the accomplished end.

    I'm pretty sure that's not what you meant, but that's what you said, nonetheless.

    In case you're unclear, to justify means to to show to be just or right.
    But that's exactly how the evil person committing the act sees them, even if the justification is nothing more pressing than "that peasant was cheeky."

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Lord_Gareth's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2007

    Default Re: [Alignment] Conflicts of Rights

    By the by, let's not run with the stance that negative energy is automatically evil. Not only does WotC waffle on it constantly but, really, the energy itself? It's harmful to life, yes, but it's no more evil than a bullet, or a nuclear weapon; yes, it kills, but it doesn't do so out of malice or intelligent thought. Negative energy is entropic, but not evil.


    Quote Originally Posted by Chilingsworth View Post
    Wow! Not only was that awesome, I think I actually kinda understand Archeron now. If all the "intermediate" outer planes got that kind of treatment, I doubt there would be anywhere near as many critics of their utility.
    My extended homebrew sig

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: [Alignment] Conflicts of Rights

    Quote Originally Posted by PopcornMage View Post
    The story you want is "The Cold Equations" .
    Of course the problem with that story as an ethical dilemma is that it's intended to show that in the harsh emptiness of space our comfy ethics don't apply whereas the fault actually lies with the criminal lack of safety standards and the negligence of the designers and staff of the spaceship. The actions of the pilot may have been necessary at that point but in the big picture the whole situation could have been easily avoided.
    Last edited by Ormur; 2010-10-20 at 10:04 PM.

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2007

    Default Re: [Alignment] Conflicts of Rights

    Not to be a party pooper, but if you're working with ethical issues of this degree of complexity then I'd say that the D&D alignment axis is no longer a sufficiently discerning metric to meaningfully add anything to the discussion. Either implement, I don't know, a system of sliding scales that indicates how closely you're adhering to, say, utilitarianism, consequentialism, prioritarianism, and deontology, or pull an Eberron, admit that the alignment system is less than perfectly precise and discerning, and simply work around it.

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Zeofar's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Wyvern
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: [Alignment] Conflicts of Rights

    Quote Originally Posted by Toptomcat View Post
    Not to be a party pooper, but if you're working with ethical issues of this degree of complexity then I'd say that the D&D alignment axis is no longer a sufficiently discerning metric to meaningfully add anything to the discussion. Either implement, I don't know, a system of sliding scales that indicates how closely you're adhering to, say, utilitarianism, consequentialism, prioritarianism, and deontology, or pull an Eberron, admit that the alignment system is less than perfectly precise and discerning, and simply work around it.
    Alignment is meant to encompass all moral issues; saying that it is too complex is essentially denying that the system has any validity, which isn't true. Wizards of the Coast just made it so poorly that they didn't give any concrete basis for judging the actions inside their system.
    Last edited by Zeofar; 2010-10-20 at 10:02 PM.

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location

    Default Re: [Alignment] Conflicts of Rights

    Needing to do evil things to live doesn't justify them, it just makes you decide whether living or doing the right thing is more important to you. If doing the right thing is more important to you, well, you do live in one of "certain, older cultures" and it is acceptable to throw yourself on your sword.

    If you have to kill people for food, either starve, find a way to only kill people who deserve to die, or live with not being a good person.

    If you kill people just by being around them, become a hermit and set up precautions to keep it from happening, or live with being the passing scourge.

    If you kill people just by existing at all, declare war on the cruel universe or remove yourself from it.

    In my opinion, most problems with the D&D alignment system come from people not being willing to see things from an absolutist point of view.

    Sometimes it's necessary to make hard decisions, to weigh the cost of lives. In those situations you just have to do the best you can to make the right decision.

    But if you have to murder an innocent to save the world or some obviously constructed paradox like that, find a third option, let the world die, or accept that you aren't able to be the ultimate paragon of good. If the forces of good in your universe let such a situation unfold without giving you a third option of some kind, maybe they weren't worth fighting for anyway.

    In the end, there's nothing wrong with being a true neutral pragmatist, just accept that you can't be that and a saint at the same time.
    "We have to go and save the universe, you see," Said Ford, "And if that sounds like a pretty lame excuse, than you may be right. Either way, we're off."--Douglas Adams

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Orc in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Oct 2010

    Default Re: [Alignment] Conflicts of Rights

    Quote Originally Posted by Ormur View Post
    Of course the problem with that story as an ethical dilemma is that it's intended to show that in the harsh emptiness of space our comfy ethics don't apply whereas the fault actually lies with the criminal lack of safety standards and the negligence of the designers and staff of the spaceship. The actions of the pilot may have been necessary at that point but in the big picture the whole situation could have been easily avoided.
    Well, this thread's still alive. Huh.

    Anyway, that's certainly a common response to the story. Heck, if you've seen the TV version you'd say right out, why don't they toss out some of the other mass? Plenty of doors and whatnot to remove.
    Last edited by PopcornMage; 2010-10-20 at 10:42 PM. Reason: link

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Lord_Gareth's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2007

    Default Re: [Alignment] Conflicts of Rights

    Quote Originally Posted by Pyrite View Post
    Needing to do evil things to live doesn't justify them, it just makes you decide whether living or doing the right thing is more important to you. If doing the right thing is more important to you, well, you do live in one of "certain, older cultures" and it is acceptable to throw yourself on your sword.
    This seems needlessly two-dimensional. What about my right to live? What about all the good I could still be accomplishing? What about all the people who will grieve for me? Why is it that my victim's survival is more important than mine? Who gets to set the absolute?

    If you have to kill people for food, either starve, find a way to only kill people who deserve to die, or live with not being a good person.
    Who judges the wicked? Who deserves to die for my sustenance? And if no one does, why should I be judged as evil for doing what I must to live? What about all the good I bring into the world? I mean, let's say for a moment that you do vamps WoD style and they NEED to prey on humans - but over the course of eternity, can you imagine how much good a vampire could do with his money, skills, and magic? Does this mean nothing?

    If you kill people just by being around them, become a hermit and set up precautions to keep it from happening, or live with being the passing scourge.
    This is actually somewhat reasonable, if the character in question is willing to be miserable for their entire life. Though that beggars the question - are they entitled to seek their happiness by attempting to break their curse? Even if that means putting other beings at risk?

    If you kill people just by existing at all, declare war on the cruel universe or remove yourself from it.
    Why does everyone else have a right to live when I do not? Why should I have to die to save them? How is that just? How is that fair? And, most importantly, in a universe where 'Good' is supposedly a tangible concept, why has this happened at all?

    In my opinion, most problems with the D&D alignment system come from people not being willing to see things from an absolutist point of view.
    Who gets to choose the absolute? What makes something absolutely right or absolutely wrong? Who shall judge the righteous from the wicked?

    Absolute morality is a conceptual impossibility without some kind of impartial judge-figure, which D&D lacks utterly. Even then, all that makes morality is a question of whether or not you pleased some unimaginably powerful outsider.

    Sometimes it's necessary to make hard decisions, to weigh the cost of lives. In those situations you just have to do the best you can to make the right decision.
    And this is called moral relativism, my friend - that'd be the bit where everyone has to judge 'right' and 'wrong' for themselves. See above for examples - what makes one life worth more than another? Is Joe the Peasant really worth more than Count Vladamir the vampire? Is the Count evil for eating him to live? What if the Count has been doing good with his life? I mean, it's not like Joe is going to be anything more than a generic human, living a generic life and contributing to his environment in a small and utterly meaningless fashion. On a scale more than the absolutely local, who cares if he dies for any reason?

    But if you have to murder an innocent to save the world or some obviously constructed paradox like that, find a third option, let the world die, or accept that you aren't able to be the ultimate paragon of good. If the forces of good in your universe let such a situation unfold without giving you a third option of some kind, maybe they weren't worth fighting for anyway.

    In the end, there's nothing wrong with being a true neutral pragmatist, just accept that you can't be that and a saint at the same time.
    The forces of good don't control the universe in D&D. Getting better, only Evil is allowed to be intelligent in D&D. So, yeah. Good luck with that one.
    Last edited by Lord_Gareth; 2010-10-20 at 10:37 PM.


    Quote Originally Posted by Chilingsworth View Post
    Wow! Not only was that awesome, I think I actually kinda understand Archeron now. If all the "intermediate" outer planes got that kind of treatment, I doubt there would be anywhere near as many critics of their utility.
    My extended homebrew sig

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location

    Default Re: [Alignment] Conflicts of Rights

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord_Gareth View Post
    This seems needlessly two-dimensional. What about my right to live? What about all the good I could still be accomplishing? What about all the people who will grieve for me? Why is it that my victim's survival is more important than mine? Who gets to set the absolute?
    No one sets it. It just is. It's a universal metaphysical concept. That's apparently an unpopular idea these days, but it goes back to Plato.

    Whose life is more important doesn't enter into it at all, nor does any good you could be doing with your life to outweigh it. Killing someone who doesn't deserve to be killed is always wrong and always will be wrong. It doesn't necessarily make you evil to do it, but it is an evil thing to do.


    Who judges the wicked? Who deserves to die for my sustenance? And if no one does, why should I be judged as evil for doing what I must to live? What about all the good I bring into the world? I mean, let's say for a moment that you do vamps WoD style and they NEED to prey on humans - but over the course of eternity, can you imagine how much good a vampire could do with his money, skills, and magic? Does this mean nothing?
    Whether or not the vampire can do good with his stolen life, it doesn't make that life any less stolen. You are essentially taking lives from some people and converting that into whatever good you are giving to some other people. Maybe this can be enough to let you live with yourself, but playing god with people's lives without their consent like that is still wrong.
    This is actually somewhat reasonable, if the character in question is willing to be miserable for their entire life. Though that beggars the question - are they entitled to seek their happiness by attempting to break their curse? Even if that means putting other beings at risk?
    That really comes down to what's a reasonable precaution, or a reasonable risk, which is a difficult question, but even in courts of law it's very often established whether "reasonable precautions" were taken. If an accident occurs, then it occurs, what matters is the intent to break the curse without anyone dying, as opposed to the intent to allow others to die for your own profit.

    Why does everyone else have a right to live when I do not? Why should I have to die to save them? How is that just? How is that fair? And, most importantly, in a universe where 'Good' is supposedly a tangible concept, why has this happened at all?
    I admit this last one is patently ridiculous, but I wouldn't include it if I hadn't seen it many times before. QUOTE]

    Who gets to choose the absolute? What makes something absolutely right or absolutely wrong? Who shall judge the righteous from the wicked?
    [/QUOTE]Absolute morality isn't about judgment. That's derived morality. Absolute morality just is. No one chooses it, and even the gods are subject to it. It is simply the order of the D&D multiverse.
    Absolute morality is a conceptual impossibility without some kind of impartial judge-figure, which D&D lacks utterly. Even then, all that makes morality is a question of whether or not you pleased some unimaginably powerful outsider.
    Or, you know, every single person with access to the detect evil spell. Morality isn't handed down from on high, it's clearly visible for those who know the right way to look.

    And this is called moral relativism, my friend - that'd be the bit where everyone has to judge 'right' and 'wrong' for themselves. See above for examples - what makes one life worth more than another? Is Joe the Peasant really worth more than Count Vladamir the vampire? Is the Count evil for eating him to live? What if the Count has been doing good with his life? I mean, it's not like Joe is going to be anything more than a generic human, living a generic life and contributing to his environment in a small and utterly meaningless fashion. On a scale more than the absolutely local, who cares if he dies for any reason?
    Joe does. And if you want to keep those paladin abilities, you should too.

    The situations I'm talking about are more along the lines of "choose which city to defend" or "choose which fleeing hostage taker to pursue" rather than "choose whether to kill someone in order to live another day." These decisions are neutral, and can be made with such considerations as "which group will contribute more to society" in mind, so long as no one is excluded needlessly, and you aren't personally profiting by saving one group over another.

    D&D is supposed to be heroic. Good people are supposed to care about Joe the peasant, and his wife Jane the peasant, and anyone else whose lives they might have a chance of affecting. Those people have rights and dignity inherent with being people. If you're character doesn't feel any need to care about their rights or dignity, then you should just accept that your character doesn't fit the D&D definition of good, and very well might just be another neutral.

    It's often stated that while most people prefer good rulers over evil, the vast majority of people in a given D&D setting are neutral.

    The forces of good don't control the universe in D&D. Getting better, only Evil is allowed to be intelligent in D&D. So, yeah. Good luck with that one.
    They do have some influence, unless all those archons really are sitting on their butts playing poker.
    Last edited by Pyrite; 2010-10-21 at 12:22 AM. Reason: grammar
    "We have to go and save the universe, you see," Said Ford, "And if that sounds like a pretty lame excuse, than you may be right. Either way, we're off."--Douglas Adams

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Orc in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Oct 2010

    Default Re: [Alignment] Conflicts of Rights

    Or, you know, every single person with access to the detect evil spell. Morality isn't handed down from on high, it's clearly visible for those who know the right way to look.
    I think you're missing something here.

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location

    Default Re: [Alignment] Conflicts of Rights

    Quote Originally Posted by PopcornMage View Post
    I think you're missing something here.
    Then please, enlighten me.
    "We have to go and save the universe, you see," Said Ford, "And if that sounds like a pretty lame excuse, than you may be right. Either way, we're off."--Douglas Adams

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Spamalot in the Playground
     
    Psyren's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: [Alignment] Conflicts of Rights

    Quote Originally Posted by Zeofar View Post
    Alignment is meant to encompass all moral issues; saying that it is too complex is essentially denying that the system has any validity, which isn't true. Wizards of the Coast just made it so poorly that they didn't give any concrete basis for judging the actions inside their system.
    I'm not sure who told you that, but it wasn't WotC. The books themselves say that alignment isn't detailed enough to capture more complex issues. For example, check the section titled "The Relative Approach" on BoVD page 6.

    "A second approach considers evil to be a relative concept that is wholly dependent on the attitude of the observer. This is not the approach of most D&D games; rather, it resembles how many people see the real world."
    Last edited by Psyren; 2010-10-20 at 11:19 PM.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Orc in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Oct 2010

    Default Re: [Alignment] Conflicts of Rights

    Quote Originally Posted by Pyrite View Post
    Then please, enlighten me.
    You are familiar with its spell-type?

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •