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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Viscount Einstrauss's Avatar

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    Default Is Strict Adherence to Darwinism Lawful?

    I've got a player that's about to join my gestalt and free LA 3 game. We've decided on his race, classes, and alignment. He's a lawful neutral natural weretiger human monk/warlock.

    Now, he (and I) loves this build. But I was wondering what kind of "laws" something like this might follow. I'm thinking a very strict "survival of the fittest" code where he hates and battles all things that damage or disrupt the natural order of the multiverse. He has no qualms with magic of any kind except when it's abused and believes in a balance between good and evil.

    Does this fit within the lawful neutral alignment?
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    Default Re: Is Strict Adherence to Darwinism Lawful?

    Strict adherence to "Darwinism" constitutes doing everything exactly as you would have anyway, and trusting that if your genetics are worth passing on, they'll find their way to future generations.

    Really, I'm not entirely sure what you're suggesting. If you're talking about the "survival of the fittest" associated with social Darwinism (which has nothing to do with actual evolutionary science or Darwin, I should mention), there is no "natural order" to preserve except that which the strong make for themselves. If you're talking about a "natural order" in the sense of a balance in the natural world, that also has little to do with survival of the fittest; if something is powerful enough to disrupt the "natural order" and carve out a place for itself, it's probably the "fittest" thing around.

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    Default Re: Is Strict Adherence to Darwinism Lawful?

    Lawful is pretty much about how you think, if you believe in, and attempt to enforce, a percieved 'heirarchy' or stable within nature (for instance predators should not be killed by prey, animals native to one environment should not be brought into another environment, the 'status quo' of the local environment should be maintained: deserts should not spread, forests should not be chopped down, and the populations of animals should stay roughly in balance.) then yes, it is a good example of lawful neutral. However, as Jove pointed out this isn't Darwinism, it's just imposing your view of how things 'should' be onto nature (which might share than view, given it's more-than-passive state within D+D), whether the view is correct or not is irrelevant to lawful alignment, just whether it is one of order or chaos.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Is Strict Adherence to Darwinism Lawful?

    Hmm. That does make sense. So, if he simply did everything to be as strong as possible to make sure that he was the fittest and had a disdain for those he considers weak, would that work?

    I also figure the character's rather honest and always keeps his promises. Does that tip it any?
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    Default Re: Is Strict Adherence to Darwinism Lawful?

    Well, keep in mind that Good and Evil are involved too, disdaining and stepping on the weak to do what you want is definitely Evil by D+D standards (keep in mind Darwinism /= morality). Just look at all the problems Social Darwinism created.

    Also, just because he has a 'justification' (I do this because it's darwinian) for his actions doesn't mean it's lawful. In fact, darwinism is a highly chaotic 'philosophy', at best it's neutral. 'survival of the fittest' isn't really what darwinism is about, it's just 'survival'. The only thing that matters in strict darwinian behavior is mating (to pass on your genes), survival (so you can mate to pass on your genes), and survival of your offspring (since they are your genes).

    There is no order in that, just the imperative that all species share anyway: survive and continue your line.

    Darwinism isn't about respecting those stronger than you ('strong' is a misleading term, anything faster, smarter, better camoflauged, more poisonous, scarier, or just better at breeding can be 'strong') and definitely not about 'contempt' for the weak, after all if there was nothing weaker than you then what would you eat? good luck trying to tackle those stronger ones.
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    Default Re: Is Strict Adherence to Darwinism Lawful?

    To answer the question you pose in your title. Adherence to Darwinism as a life-governing philosophy would be LN, merely living according to Darwinian laws without a conscious choice to do so is typically 'animal' Neutral.

    The character as you've presented it sound almost cliche lawful neutral in his outlook; "Acts > Morality or Motivation". You might want to get the player to add a philosphical fig-leaf to this character's apparent pseudo-Darwinism, which is a little shallow as a life-defining worldview ("I do what I do because that's what I do").

    He might want to explore ways of reconciling his mish-mash origins (human, lycanthrope, infernal). You could also get him to look through some of the old "Planescape" stuff for philosophies of one's place in the universe that are independent of alignment, race or religion. I recommend material on the Cipher Adapts ('perfection through reflexive action') as a go-to resource for your player.

    Another great source of LN philosophies is DiceFreaks. They have a thread called "The Lawful Project" which describes about 5 different outlooks on LN (Vaati hegemony, Parai uniformity, Modron observational non-interference, Formian hierarchy). It gets into some pretty clever "wish I'd thought of that" stuff.

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    Last edited by bosssmiley; 2007-01-06 at 12:20 AM.

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    Default Re: Is Strict Adherence to Darwinism Lawful?

    Talking with him on the issue, he had his own, er, odd idea.

    Basically, his character is extremely vain and somehow got it in his head that he's the king of the world, literally. He helps his "subjects" and punishes "bandits" and "usurpers". Ultimately, his goal is to assert himself in his rightful place as the recognized king of the world, so his good deeds are a far cry from selfless acts and he oftens demands obedience and undying loyalty for them. He thus follows a lot of laws, but he doesn't believe any rulers truly belong in their positions, thus considering them chaotic and wishing to depose them.

    I'm pretty sure that's lawful. Thing is, it's sort of only a step down from evil in that he's a mostly benevolent dictator. So I'm not sure how he's going to avoid being evil like that.
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    Default Re: Is Strict Adherence to Darwinism Lawful?

    I imagine in that case it mostly comes down to how 'crazy' he is (he's apparently pretty crazy I assumes)

    For Good/Evil: Are his 'laws' just and kind? If so, he's on a good start, even if he considers all other leaders false but prefers to attempt a peaceful resolution with them (peaceful subject rebellion, possibly even attempts to get them to renounce their claim and proclaim him king) then he could probably manage Good, just crazy Good.
    If he prefers peaceful resolution (for pragmatic or moral reasons) but is willing to kill, ruin, or harm those who truly oppose his will then he's probably neutral, so long as he at least attempts less bloody paths.
    If anyone who disobeys him (whether through true trespass of just laws or ignorant obedience to their rulers) is subject to severe punishment then he's probably Evil.

    a big issue is just how deluded he is. If he understands that his claims of royalty seem far-fetched and ridiculous and is willing to tolerate the disbelief of others until he achieves proof of his kingship ("I know it sounds crazy, and I don't expect you to believe me now. But one day you will see") then he probably leans more towards good, after all he understands his subjects disobey not out of rebeliousness or evil but out of ignorance.

    If he believes that ANYONE who does not recognize his royalty (or at least humor him about it) is a rebel or a bandit, and that all other 'royalty' are vicious and traitorous usupers of his crown then he's more evil, since he sees everyone as deliberately blocking him or disobeying him. ("How dare you disobey an order from your royal soveriegn! traitorous swine!")

    for a good example of a (probably) Good individual with just this delusion look at emperor Norton ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emperor_Norton )

    on the law/chaos side the big issue is if his 'laws' are consistent, if he just believes his word to be law then he's chaotic, but if he has a fairly well-defined set of rules that he follows and wishes others to follow (although not necessarily the same set for both) then he's Lawful.
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    Default Re: Is Strict Adherence to Darwinism Lawful?

    There's nothing lawful about natural selection. If he adheres strictly to Darwinism then he shouldn't care about the natural order being destroyed because in natural selection everything is replaced eventually. Remember that natural selection is nothing more than a theory of how evolution happens. There's nothing in true Darwinism that says the fittist have a moral right to survive over the less fit. Socialism is a good example of a Lawful Good political theory. Paladins are all about helping the weak not letting them be eaten by dragons because dragons are better in their environment. Lawful Evil is about keeping everyone in their place with a small group at the top.

    In a Lawful Good society there is no evolution by natural selection because the government helps the weak. In a Lawful Evil society there is no evolution by natural selection because the government doesn't want the social order to change. In a Lawful Neutral Society there may be natural selection but on the whole it's still a Lawful society and therefore doesn't like the change (evolution) that is the whole point of natural selection. Evolution only needs to happen when there's a change of environment, which is something lawful societies don't want because it usually envolves their collapse.

    Natural selection is more of a chaotic or neutral sort of thing. It's called a law because that's what scientists call things, not because it's lawful. Natural selection is chaotic since an organism's dominance is based of chance mutations that are suitable for the current enviroment that could change any moment. In a lawful society hierarchy is based of a predetermined class system where everyone has a role and no one should evolve into another one.

    I would say that a benevolent dictator is the very model Lawful Good King. He wants everyone to be happy but thinks that happyness needs to dispensed in a regulated fashion. That sounds like Law + Good to me.
    Last edited by Closet_Skeleton; 2007-01-06 at 06:45 AM.
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    Default Re: Is Strict Adherence to Darwinism Lawful?

    Quote Originally Posted by Viscount Einstrauss View Post
    I've got a player that's about to join my gestalt and free LA 3 game. We've decided on his race, classes, and alignment. He's a lawful neutral natural weretiger human monk/warlock.

    Now, he (and I) loves this build. But I was wondering what kind of "laws" something like this might follow. I'm thinking a very strict "survival of the fittest" code where he hates and battles all things that damage or disrupt the natural order of the multiverse. He has no qualms with magic of any kind except when it's abused and believes in a balance between good and evil.

    Does this fit within the lawful neutral alignment?
    "Darwinism" is a theory that explains evolution. The belief that the strongest SHOULD survive (as opposed to stating the fact that that is how thigs are at present) is called fascism, and would be a lawfull evil set of believes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Viscount Einstrauss View Post
    Talking with him on the issue, he had his own, er, odd idea.

    Basically, his character is extremely vain and somehow got it in his head that he's the king of the world, literally. He helps his "subjects" and punishes "bandits" and "usurpers". Ultimately, his goal is to assert himself in his rightful place as the recognized king of the world, so his good deeds are a far cry from selfless acts and he oftens demands obedience and undying loyalty for them. He thus follows a lot of laws, but he doesn't believe any rulers truly belong in their positions, thus considering them chaotic and wishing to depose them.

    I'm pretty sure that's lawful. Thing is, it's sort of only a step down from evil in that he's a mostly benevolent dictator. So I'm not sure how he's going to avoid being evil like that.
    I would say that he is strongly tipping to Lawfull Evil from Lawfull Neutral.
    Again, be warned that he will most likely not want to try to do anything else but to reclaimhis throne, and thereby all the other players will have to follow him or fight without him. Think about this before you allow his character as described at present in the game.
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    Default Re: Is Strict Adherence to Darwinism Lawful?

    Quote Originally Posted by Viscount Einstrauss View Post
    Does this fit within the lawful neutral alignment?
    The thing is, that's up to you. Moral Codes that fit the Lawful Alignment are best defined by the individual Dungeon Master. Alignments are notoriously cumbersome and unsuitable. If he adheres to a strict code of conduct, he might be described as Lawful. If he does so regardless of morality, he might be Lawful Neutral. If he does so with evil intent, he is probably Lawful Evil. If he does so with Good intent, he is probably Lawful Good.
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    Default Re: Is Strict Adherence to Darwinism Lawful?

    Quote Originally Posted by Viscount Einstrauss View Post
    Talking with him on the issue, he had his own, er, odd idea.

    Basically, his character is extremely vain and somehow got it in his head that he's the king of the world, literally. He helps his "subjects" and punishes "bandits" and "usurpers". Ultimately, his goal is to assert himself in his rightful place as the recognized king of the world, so his good deeds are a far cry from selfless acts and he oftens demands obedience and undying loyalty for them. He thus follows a lot of laws, but he doesn't believe any rulers truly belong in their positions, thus considering them chaotic and wishing to depose them.

    I'm pretty sure that's lawful. Thing is, it's sort of only a step down from evil in that he's a mostly benevolent dictator. So I'm not sure how he's going to avoid being evil like that.
    When I read this I was reminded of the code of honor for the Paladin of Tyranny. I'll have to look it up but I'd say he's Lawful Evil.

    A paladin of tyranny must be of lawful evil alignment and loses all class abilities if he ever willingly commits a good act. Additionally, a paladin of tyranny's code requires that he respect authority figures as long as they have the strength to rule over the weak, act with discipline (not engaging in random slaughter, keeping firm control over those beneath his station, and so forth), help only those who help him maintain or improve his status, and punish those who challenge authority (unless, of course, such challengers prove more worthy to hold that authority).
    Well, not really a good fit, but sort of close. And paladins are supposed to represent the extremes of their alignments, so he could still be lawful evil while not being totally like one.
    Last edited by Levant; 2007-01-06 at 11:16 AM.

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    Default Re: Is Strict Adherence to Darwinism Lawful?

    Practice true Darwinisim, visit every brothel you can and refer to your adventuring companions as "pre-loot". Except the cleric, be very very nice to your cleric.

    Simple way for a character to be D&D Lawful: Be systematic and orderly in pursuing your goals. Plan ahead and prepare for encounters. Keep your word and fufill your oaths.

    Morals don't enter into Law/Chaos, they are pretty much the realm of Good/Evil. Goals and methods are much better Law/Chaos measurements.

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    Default Re: Is Strict Adherence to Darwinism Lawful?

    Alright. So, to sum up everything here-

    In order to not be evil with the choice he's chosen, he has to be seriously deluded and not realize that he isn't actually king of the world. In order to be not good, he can't just go around helping people for the hell of it, but in order to not be evil, he can't go killing people just because it fits into his delusions.

    There has to be a good/evil balance to truly keep him at neutral, since he doesn't want to play evil and good is outside of his alignment restriction. I'm thinking that's best summed up as he's a very just ruler, but he's also extremely intolerant of other kings and rulers that don't recognize him. He'll try his best to see diplomatic ways through his disputes with other rulers, but he's also not ruling out invasion as a last resort. On the other hand, he won't outright murder anyone because that's against his own morale codes and laws, and he never breaks an oath or pact because he's lawful.

    He still wants a very primal rule, however. To mix this in, back to survival of the fittest, he has very little respect for those weaker then himself, though he doesn't go out of his way to harm them unless they're standing between him and a goal or he believes they need to be "taught a lesson". He pities the weak because they're destined to die off. The natural order is important to him, since he believes in the natural order that he's king. He studies economies and populations to make sure that everyone is growing to their fullest without encroaching on the progress of anything else, and he'll find means legal to his own rules to fix these issues.

    That said, he isn't actually very bright. Just a 10 in intelligence, pretty normal.
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    Default Re: Is Strict Adherence to Darwinism Lawful?

    I can't help but see Darwin's principles, taken into a social context, as evil. "Survival of the fittest" translates into validating any tactic that insures the continued existance of the individual, whatever the cost to others.

    All of the things that a 'good' aligned creature is expected to do (e.g. defending the weak, sacrificing of ones self for others, charitable works, devotion to community, not taking advantage of anothers weakness, and showing mercy to foe) all fall squarely into the catagory of reducing one's overall fitness and odds for survival. If you act selfishly instead, the personal benefit is nearly always greater.

    I read "Survival of the fittest" social darwinism as a simple restatement of "Might makes Right," which is the principle evil warlords, despots, and dictators have used since time immemorial.

    Now, if all this character is doing it protecting the natural order of nature, then that's a very Neutral sentiment but how does one disrupt the natural order of the multiverse? Presumably, he lives in a universe where magic exists, and can be used to bring the dead back to life, animate corpses, grant life to mere objects, allow all manner of landbound creatures to fly, or hold their breath indefinately, or survive in enviroments antithetical to the process of living.

    Do you mean this character is going to be against magic itself? Or the ones who use to to do unnatural things? How does one pervert a force that exists to change things, and that's really it's ultimate purpose? A necromancer in this respect is really no different than a beaver changing the natural course of a river. Is the river now unnatural?

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    Default Re: Is Strict Adherence to Darwinism Lawful?

    Darwinism isn't so much a philosophy as it is a fact of life. People and things more suited to the world thrive while things not suited suffer and eventually die out.

    However, you can have a personal philosophy based on darwinism, but remember, alignment isn't based on ideas or philosophy, it's based on action. If a character belives in a very strict idea of natural order and unwaveringly sticks to that idea, never changing his outlook or actions even when it would be advantageous for him to do so, he is probally lawful. Likewise if his moral structure is flexible and he tends to modify his actions based on the situation at hand rather then a firm code they are probally chaotic.
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    Default Re: Is Strict Adherence to Darwinism Lawful?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheOOB View Post
    Darwinism isn't so much a philosophy as it is a fact of life. People and things more suited to the world thrive while things not suited suffer and eventually die out.
    Quite right, and I hate the use of the term "Darwinism" in discussions like these because of it. The "ism" and the way people use the world typically imply some kind of ideology or moral system, neither of which has anything to do with Darwin or his research.

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    Default Re: Is Strict Adherence to Darwinism Lawful?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tokiko Mima View Post
    All of the things that a 'good' aligned creature is expected to do (e.g. defending the weak, sacrificing of ones self for others, charitable works, devotion to community, not taking advantage of anothers weakness, and showing mercy to foe) all fall squarely into the catagory of reducing one's overall fitness and odds for survival. If you act selfishly instead, the personal benefit is nearly always greater.
    Well, actually many of those behaviors are extremely darwinian, it's more or less the problem with attemptign to make evolution into a moral code. It's just about what works, there are literally millions of different ways to be 'fit' by darwinian standards, and not all are selfish. A community or group of creatures that is extremely self-sacrificing and act to protect and support one another is much stronger than one where each looks out for #1 alone because in the first case the species as a whole is more likely to continue (and that's what matters in the long run). There are species out there which have turned self-sacrifice into their only defense, like moths or bugs whose only natural defense is their horrible taste or poison, an animal eats one and it won't try eating any of the others. This is certainly not 'selfish' behavior, that single eaten bug has sacrificed himself (if not knowingly) for the good of his species.

    There is no one way to be evolutionarily sucessful, and it's just too vague to make a true philosophy, almost all attempts to moralize darwinism (such as social darwinism) are simply self-serving misinterpretations of the system.
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    Default Re: Is Strict Adherence to Darwinism Lawful?

    A darwinist would be neutral evil. Entirely selfish. He would not wish to uphold any law or make to much stink about anything, as it would be social suicide. A netural evil creature would do whatever benefitted it most, including performing good deeds (healing the sick, etc). A lawful evil creature would be opposed to helping those weaker than it, out of principle.

    Eh, social creatures and darwinistic principles often interact counter-intuitively.

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    Default Re: Is Strict Adherence to Darwinism Lawful?

    Even if darwinism was a philosophy, which it is not, (there is no such thing as a darwinist, only people who call them selves such), it would not determine alignment. The alignment system as written can only exist if actions rather then philosophy/intent determine alignment.

    Heres a (very) abridges list of what alignment means

    Good/Evil

    Good: Makes significant personal sacrifice/takes significant person risk to help and innocent(ie someone they don't know that as far as they know has done nothing wrong)

    Neutral: Doesn't not harm innocents, but will not take significant risks to help them.

    Evil: Willing to harm innocents to advance their own goals.

    Law/Chaos

    Lawful: Has a strict moral/ethical/personal code and tends to follow it even if doing so would be disadvantageous to them

    Neutral: Has a moral/ethical/personal code but will break it if it would be very advantagous to/very disadvantageous not to

    Chaos: Has a weak moral/ethical/personal code and tends to do what they think is best at the moment rather then what is dictated by their code.
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    Default Re: Is Strict Adherence to Darwinism Lawful?

    It's a bizzare concept, similar to saying "My character is a Newtonist. He has a stict legal code that when anything tries to fly, he attacks it and takes it to the ground." "Darwinists" don't exist. There are people who understand the theory of evolution and people who don't, but nobody follows the guy who made a lot of major breakthroughs in the subject... they just think he did some neat work.

    So, what would this character be? Totally your call, but irrelevant to alignment. Evolution is just a natural process, one that dictates that things that reproduce best make more of themselves. I guess a "Darwinian" character would run around having sex with lots of things, or something. Whether he does that through rape or by saving lots of maidens will determine his alignment.

    Now, if you mean a character that decides that "the species most easily adaptable to change should survive most" and then runs around killing off evolutionary deadends, I'd say he's some weird version of Lawful Evil.

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    Default Re: Is Strict Adherence to Darwinism Lawful?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheOOB View Post
    Even if darwinism was a philosophy, which it is not, (there is no such thing as a darwinist, only people who call them selves such)
    Sort of like how there are no atheists, just people that call themselves such?

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    Default Re: Is Strict Adherence to Darwinism Lawful?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tor the Fallen View Post
    Sort of like how there are no atheists, just people that call themselves such?
    No, nothing like that. "Atheism" is the lack of belief in a god or gods, so an Athiest is a person who doesn't believe in a god or gods... and those exist. "Darwinism" is actually a creationist label for people who paid attention in science class... it's not a philosophy, no more than "Newtonism" or "Copernicism." As such, there are no Darwinists, just people who know what the fossil record means.

    A real "Darwinist" would have to be someone who treats the Origin of Species like a bible and worships it as being inerrant... which no one actually does. It's just a ground breaking bit of scientific work. It's not a philosophy. It doesn't tell you how to behave or try to give meaning to the world, it just presents one man's research on evolution.

    So yeah, I'm not sure how a character could be Darwinist.

    Is the character just a strong believer that the strong should survive and the weak should perrish (which isn't actually how evolution works, but that's another issue)? If so, again, that could be multiple alignments. If it's just "I'm strong, I can do what I want" then it's kinda chaotic, either nuetral or evil. If it's "I must make sure that weaker things don't multiply, and will forgo personal goals to make sure that doesn't happen" then it's probably Lawful Evil.

    JaronK
    Last edited by JaronK; 2007-01-07 at 02:23 AM.

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    Default Re: Is Strict Adherence to Darwinism Lawful?

    Quote Originally Posted by JaronK View Post
    No, nothing like that. "Atheism" is the lack of belief in a god or gods, so an Athiest is a person who doesn't believe in a god or gods... and those exist. "Darwinism" is actually a creationist label for people who paid attention in science class... it's not a philosophy, no more than "Newtonism" or "Copernicism." As such, there are no Darwinists, just people who know what the fossil record means.
    Alright.
    There are no Christians. Just people that call themselves Christians. Does that logic make any more sense?

    And as long as you're arguing about 'what exists', ie, Darwinists don't exist, well, do you have any problem with lawful neutral natural weretiger human monk/warlocks?

    A real "Darwinist" would have to be someone who treats the Origin of Species like a bible and worships it as being inerrant... which no one actually does. It's just a ground breaking bit of scientific work. It's not a philosophy. It doesn't tell you how to behave or try to give meaning to the world, it just presents one man's research on evolution.

    So yeah, I'm not sure how a character could be Darwinist.
    That's silly.
    You don't have to worship something to be an -ist. What do Existentialists worship? Dualists? Platonicists?

    Someone that treats Darwinistic principles as a personal philosophy would, indeed, be a Darwinist.
    Perhaps a more apt term would be a Naturalist, or a follower of Naturalism. Darwin and Wallace were both naturalists, little n.

    Is the character just a strong believer that the strong should survive and the weak should perrish (which isn't actually how evolution works, but that's another issue)? If so, again, that could be multiple alignments. If it's just "I'm strong, I can do what I want" then it's kinda chaotic, either nuetral or evil. If it's "I must make sure that weaker things don't multiply, and will forgo personal goals to make sure that doesn't happen" then it's probably Lawful Evil.
    Oi, that works.

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    Default Re: Is Strict Adherence to Darwinism Lawful?

    I think his point is that anyone who attempts to 'follow' Darwinist theory is makign a misinterpretation. Darwinist theory is no more a philosophy (such as Existentialism) or a religion (such as christianity) than the law of gravity or the theory or relativity.

    You can certianly believe in the theory or disbelieve it, but anyone who attemtps to 'live by it' doesn't get it, as it's no more a guide to life than gravity. There ARE those who have claimed to be 'darwinists' in the philosophical sense, but they mis-use the theories by doing so.
    Last edited by oriong; 2007-01-07 at 03:10 AM.
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    Default Re: Is Strict Adherence to Darwinism Lawful?

    Quote Originally Posted by oriong View Post
    I think his point is that anyone who attempts to 'follow' Darwinist theory is makign a misinterpretation. Darwinist theory is no more a philosophy (such as Existentialism) or a religion (such as christianity) than the law of gravity or the theory or relativity.
    Scrubbing Bubbles.


    The law of gravity has far fewer implications on morality and what it is to be a person than darwinism.

    Newtonian physics explains why rocks fall. It doesn't explain why people die.
    Darwinism explains who should die and who should survive.
    Clearly, people die and people fall. But which has more bearing on alignment, dying or falling?

    [edit]
    This all comes down to: is a person's beliefs what he professes to believe?
    Is a follower of Lloth who refuses to kill still a follower of Lloth? Is a follower of Pelor who engages in violence still a follower of Pelor? Is a follower of Pelor who is ignorant of a rule of Pelor still a follower of Pelor?
    (Better illustrations of this would be similar queries of real world believers who disobey scripture– are they still believers? In D&D, there are no believers, only followers. Belief isn't an issue, as there's proof of existence.)
    Likewise, if darwinist principles exist in D&D, can you not follow them? Why can't they be a philosophy?
    Last edited by Gorbash Kazdar; 2007-01-07 at 10:05 AM.

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    Default Re: Is Strict Adherence to Darwinism Lawful?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tor the Fallen View Post
    Darwinism explains who should die and who should survive.
    Since the people who should die, according to natural selection, are the people who do die, I don't see how this is applicable to any kind of morality.
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    Default Re: Is Strict Adherence to Darwinism Lawful?

    There was, however, a theory called "Social Darwinism". It was popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Something like that may be more appropriate for a character to follow as his viewpoint... though I don't know if it would work as a monk's philosophy.
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    Default Re: Is Strict Adherence to Darwinism Lawful?

    Scrubbing bubbles.

    The law of gravity has far fewer implications on morality and what it is to be a person than darwinism.

    Newtonian physics explains why rocks fall. It doesn't explain why people die.
    Darwinism explains who should die and who should survive.
    Clearly, people die and people fall. But which has more bearing on alignment, dying or falling?
    Here I'm afraid you're very wrong.

    First, darwinism doesn't explain why people die, that's called basic medicine.

    Second the fact that you think " Darwinism explains who should die and who should survive." shows that you are VASTLY misinterpreting darwin's theories. This. Is. Wrong.

    Darwinian theory has NEVER. EVER. made a claim as to 'should', it makes a claim as to what 'does' happen. Those who are capable of survival live, and pass on the traits that make them capable, those who are incapable of surivival do not, and therefore do not pass on their traits. Therefore, over time the traits of those who are capable of survival will become dominant throughout a breeding population. DARWINISM DOES NOT SAY THIS IS 'RIGHT'. It just is a statement of the observation about how nature operates, just the same as the theory of gravity. The fact that animals unfit for survival are likely to die is just a amoral as the fact that rocks will fall when dropped. THESE ARE OBSERVATIONS.

    Darwinian theory does not call for people to 'help' evolution and weed out the weak, or help the strong, or even to intervene and stop the death of the weak. There are many people who DO call for that, and claim that Darwin's theories justify this. BUT THEY ARE WRONG. They are either misunderstanding the theory, or intentionally misrepresenting it.
    Last edited by Gorbash Kazdar; 2007-01-07 at 10:11 AM.
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    Default Re: Is Strict Adherence to Darwinism Lawful?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tor the Fallen View Post
    The law of gravity has far fewer implications on morality and what it is to be a person than darwinism.
    Neither has any moral implications, if "Darwinism" is a synonym for "Darwin's insights into evolution" there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tor the Fallen View Post
    Newtonian physics explains why rocks fall. It doesn't explain why people die.
    This is true. Biology in general has better explanations for why people die.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tor the Fallen View Post
    Darwinism explains who should die and who should survive.
    Absolutely not. Evolutionary theory says nothing whatsoever about what traits "should" persist, which "should" die out, which specific organisms "should" survive. It is a description of the mechanisms of genetic change over time as produced by the natural dynamics of reproduction and resource competition. That has no bearing on who shoud live or die any more than understanding the chemical origins of explosions has a bearing on who "should" win a war.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tor the Fallen View Post
    Clearly, people die and people fall. But which has more bearing on alignment, dying or falling?
    The sciences of how things fall, how people die, and how genetic traits pass out of a population are all irrelevant to alignment and moral judgments.

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