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    Default Re: Are the evil afterlives actually punishments?

    Quote Originally Posted by brian 333 View Post
    This sort of comment is usually in blue text, but...

    This begs for sigging. Can I sig this?
    Please do! You've earned it.

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    Default Re: Are the evil afterlives actually punishments?

    Quote Originally Posted by BaronOfHell View Post
    Since it's the perception of the mortals that forms the gods, and the gods forms the afterlives, does it not mean the afterlives are the way mortals believe them to be, simply because that is what they believe?
    According to Thor, "The Outer Planes are ideas that were so powerful, for better or worse, that they became places" and "The spirits of people who believe those things strongly are drawn to them, and help make the plane itself".

    So it looks like the answer to your question would be yes, minus two things:
    • The gods aren't necessarily an intermediary between mortal belief and the afterlives.
    • Spirit assimilation might be part of the belief-based plane-shaping process itself and thus happen regardless of what people believe.
    Last edited by Millstone85; 2022-11-23 at 10:05 AM.
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    Default Re: Are the evil afterlives actually punishments?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    The latter.


    ...

    You never found anyone who was afraid of death?
    Not anyone who have admitted to it, no. Many who are afraid of living forever though. On the other hand, these opinions came from discussions about just that, so I suppose it does draw a certain audience.

    Anyway, I don't understand why it would suck to live forever, and it is something I have given a lot of thought, but my argument requires an assumption about your life, so I'm kind of afraid I overstep some boundaries with this reply and I really hope I don't.

    My assumption is that your life doesn't suck, and my question is, if you found out your age wasn't whatever your current age is, but infinite, would that suddenly change anything about your current life? My assumption is no, your life still wouldn't suck.

    The way I imagine is if the conscious self has existed from before the universe as we know it existed, and as far back as one wants to go, inhabiting various vessels, such as our own, only with the memory of the current life.
    Of course that may be a silly idea, but I think my point is valid.

    Quote Originally Posted by Millstone85 View Post
    "The Outer Planes are ideas that were so powerful, for better or worse, that they became places" and "The spirits of people who believe those things strongly are drawn to them, and help make the plane itself".
    Thank you for looking it up, to me that makes it even more definite that evil people think of their afterlife as a punishment, and that joined belief is what makes it so.
    Last edited by BaronOfHell; 2022-11-23 at 11:42 AM.

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    Default Re: Are the evil afterlives actually punishments?

    Quote Originally Posted by BaronOfHell View Post
    Thank you for looking it up, to me that makes it even more definite that evil people think of their afterlife as a punishment, and that joined belief is what makes it so.
    Heck, the NE afterlive would appear to be based around the idea that "You Are Bad and You Should Feel Bad".

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    Default Re: Are the evil afterlives actually punishments?

    We live within bounded infinities. Time flies when you're having fun, but drags when you are bored. No mechanical clock can meter out how you experience time. It is your own personal infinity. And when you time travel back to those moments, the perception is reversed, such that monotony has a scant moment in the memory-replay while times of intensity are crystal clear moment by moment.

    Example, I know there were hundreds of times I put on my football pads in my Mom's station wagon, but am hard pressed to recall the details of any particular time, but the time we got T-boned and the car spun around? I remember every detail, flying over my brother, the tiny shards of safety glass frozen in the air with me.

    Now, apply that to an infinite time span. The boring would grow forever longer, and the exciting and new would be forever rarer and briefer. Sooner or later there will be nothing new, nothing not done a billion times. Existence would be an infinity of bored nothingness. Remembering the exciting would eventually grow stale. Even erasing your memories so you could do it all again would become dull over time.

    At that point, are you not functionally dead?

    The OotS afterlife is actually a good deal. You exist as long as your existence has meaning to you, and when the end comes you never even know it or care.

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    Default Re: Are the evil afterlives actually punishments?

    Quote Originally Posted by brian 333 View Post
    Now, apply that to an infinite time span. The boring would grow forever longer, and the exciting and new would be forever rarer and briefer. Sooner or later there will be nothing new, nothing not done a billion times. Existence would be an infinity of bored nothingness. Remembering the exciting would eventually grow stale. Even erasing your memories so you could do it all again would become dull over time.
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    Default Re: Are the evil afterlives actually punishments?

    Quote Originally Posted by BaronOfHell View Post
    Not anyone who have admitted to it, no.
    Well then, I will freely admit to it. Death terrifies me. Your learn to live with its inevitability but it is still a horrid perspective.

    Many who are afraid of living forever though.
    The one thing death beats is everlasting torture. And there are plenty of stories describing just that: Punitive afterlives, of course, but also various forms of undeath or tales of immortals who end up buried alive, etc.

    Comfortable immortality is harder to imagine, for sure, but I do get annoyed with how many sour grapes get thrown at it. My take is that I would want to find out by myself how long I can go before I experience the boredom, feeling of obsolescence or whatever pitfall I am told will eventually come to me.

    And then, yeah, I would merge with a mystical plane, or with the post-human singularity, or simply return to dust.

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    Heck, the NE afterlive would appear to be based around the idea that "You Are Bad and You Should Feel Bad".
    If I understand the panel correctly, that's Carceri, the NE/CE afterlife.

    The true NE afterlife, Hades, reads "Nothing matters".
    Last edited by Millstone85; 2022-11-23 at 12:39 PM.
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    Default Re: Are the evil afterlives actually punishments?

    Quote Originally Posted by BaronOfHell View Post
    Not anyone who have admitted to it, no. Many who are afraid of living forever though. On the other hand, these opinions came from discussions about just that, so I suppose it does draw a certain audience.
    I am not afraid of living forever because that's not a realistic possibility. As for fearing death, on the one hand it is my general philosophy not to worry about the inevitable, on the other I enjoy being alive and I enjoy my loved ones being alive so I wish for death to come very late. When my grandmother suffered heart failure I was afraid I was afraid she would no longer be with us, and I was relieved when she was cleared to leave the hospital and go back home. The couple of times I almost had an accident I was afraid.
    So I fear death, but I don't dwell on it.
    Then again, I cannot fathom what "not-being" is like (it's not like anything) so, while I fear death, I'm not afraid of being dead, if that makes sense.

    Anyway, I don't understand why it would suck to live forever, and it is something I have given a lot of thought, but my argument requires an assumption about your life, so I'm kind of afraid I overstep some boundaries with this reply and I really hope I don't.
    It's fine.

    Well, for starters, unless you've found a way to make the universe last forever, you'll run into a big problem eventually.

    But really the problem is with infinity. Our minds can't understand big numbers, infinity (which, as far as we can tell, doesn't actually exist) would break them. And to be able to handle it we'd need to become so different that I'd hesitate to call the immortal being human or me anymore. A simple example: have you noticed how the days seem to be short these days while they were so long during your childhood? Apparently our experience of time is informed by our memories, the longer our lived experience, the faster times seem to go by. Can you imagine how short the days would get pas five hundred? Five thousand? Five million?

    My assumption is that your life doesn't suck, and my question is, if you found out your age wasn't whatever your current age is, but infinite, would that suddenly change anything about your current life? My assumption is no, your life still wouldn't suck.
    I mean, finding out that my life is a lie would probably have some effect. I would probably try to find out what the hell's going on with me, why I can't remember anything of all that time and all that.

    More seriously, I am accepting that, barring unfortunate accidents or disease, I will bury my parents, grandmothers and uncles and aunts. I don't have children (yet), but I do have a niece I love very much. I don't want to bury her. Ever.

    The way I imagine is if the conscious self has existed from before the universe as we know it existed, and as far back as one wants to go, inhabiting various vessels, such as our own, only with the memory of the current life.
    I don't mean any disrespect to your beliefs but as far as I am aware, the evidence we have at our disposal is that the conscious self is an emergent property of our bodies and that it simply ceases along their other processes upon death.

    I also fail to see any difference between "A's conscious self loses all memories and is transferred into B" and "A's conscious self is destroyed and B is born with their own."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Millstone85 View Post
    If I understand the panel correctly, that's Carceri, the NE/CE afterlife.

    The true NE afterlife, Hades, reads "Nothing matters".

    You are correct, of course. I misremembered (and didn't bother to check). Still, that doesn't really change the point, does it, now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    I am not afraid of living forever because that's not a realistic possibility.
    Thankfully.

    I also fail to see any difference between "A's conscious self loses all memories and is transferred into B" and "A's conscious self is destroyed and B is born with their own."
    From an eschatological point of view, there is a huge difference, but that topic, I'm afraid, is deemed inappropriate hereabouts.

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    Default Re: Are the evil afterlives actually punishments?

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post

    You are correct, of course. I misremembered (and didn't bother to check). Still, that doesn't really change the point, does it, now?
    It gives the most obviously guilt-based afterlife a less central position. Beyond that, yeah, not much of a change.
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    Default Re: Are the evil afterlives actually punishments?

    I don't think Carceri is guilt-based. All the other statements the planes "make" are said to others. So "You are bad and you should feel bad" is what a soul in Carceri thinks about other people, not about itself. This also fits with the way Carceri is described in other sources: as a prison where the only thing that keeps you imprisoned is your own spite, your suspicions and paranoia, the prisoners' inability to cooperate. Nobody trusts anybody else, because if they were trustworthy, they wouldn't be in Carceri. In short, it is the Planes' greatest Crab Bucket.
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    Default Re: Are the evil afterlives actually punishments?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    Okay, so you agree that this:
    emphasis mine, is not a fair description of what happened?
    No (er. it's "not-not", meaning it is a fair description). Because at the moment she made the decision to kill Crystal (or to act on the decision to do so), her statements had nothing to do with protecting herself from Crystal, but entirely about taking her stuff and ripping off the guild. As has already been pointed out, she even expected Crystal to be raised and made no effort to prevent this (in fact, asked Crystal to deliver a message for her if/when she was raised). Hardly the action of someone just trying to prevent a future attempt on her life by Crystal.

    It looked very much like she was rage-quitting the guild, and doing as much damage to them on the way out as possible. It very much comes off as personal and petty. And yes, even with the bonus page, it still comes off that way. Blunted perhaps in that it gives us a better understanding of why she's so angry at both the guild and Crystal and thus would do this, but it's still very much for pure personal gain (I suppose "pleasure at killing Crystal" fits into "personal gain" here).

    And again. Even if it wasn't, it's still murder and it's still premeditated. Which is the larger point when considering where this fits in terms of alignment actions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Millstone85 View Post
    Well, this has been quite the Lovecraftian insight into the nature of the biosphere.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Millstone85 View Post
    According to Thor, "The Outer Planes are ideas that were so powerful, for better or worse, that they became places" and "The spirits of people who believe those things strongly are drawn to them, and help make the plane itself".

    So it looks like the answer to your question would be yes, minus two things:
    • The gods aren't necessarily an intermediary between mortal belief and the afterlives.
    • Spirit assimilation might be part of the belief-based plane-shaping process itself and thus happen regardless of what people believe.
    The last point is key. This process of assimilation of mortal souls/energy/whatever is a natural process. As natural as decay for mortal bodies. It will happen. Gods benefit from this, not because they're sitting there munching down on a mortal buffet or something (food pyramid joke aside), but because they themselves are manifestations of those things and thus empowered by them.

    It's not about the quantity of soul power involved here. It's the amount that represents some combination of belief/worship/whatever in the existence of a given god that actually causes/allows the existence of that god. The power goes to maintain the same concepts/thoughts whether there's a god attached to it or not. But when enough of those things coalesce powerfully, it forms a god. And once created, gods tend to want to maintain their existence, so they promote set of mortal belief and worship that focuses those mortal thoughts on ones that are specifically designed to maintain them.

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    Default Re: Are the evil afterlives actually punishments?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    Then again, I cannot fathom what "not-being" is like (it's not like anything) so, while I fear death, I'm not afraid of being dead, if that makes sense.
    The way I imagine it, the time before we are born is equivalent to the time after we are no more. Even if time only has existed for some ~15 billion years, from my perspective, those years went by instantly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    A simple example: have you noticed how the days seem to be short these days while they were so long during your childhood? Apparently our experience of time is informed by our memories, the longer our lived experience, the faster times seem to go by. Can you imagine how short the days would get pas five hundred? Five thousand? Five million?
    When I was much younger I would decide upon some exciting things I'd do during a day, like I did more than 25 different things in one day, each their own thing giving some enjoyment individually, while together formed a big part of my day, yet probably only took a matter of hours. Now I decide upon 3 things and it takes me a week to do just one, though the tasks seems so small, and I seem so much more capable and I can even use a lot of automation, it frustrates me to be so slow.
    I'm not sure time moves by faster, but I do feel like I manage to do less things.

    Though if I do stuff like I did when I was younger, there is either no difference, or I am faster now, so while I have experienced the point you're making, I'm not convinced it is because I am older now than I was back then.


    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    I don't mean any disrespect to your beliefs but as far as I am aware, the evidence we have at our disposal is that the conscious self is an emergent property of our bodies and that it simply ceases along their other processes upon death.
    No no, I also think the consciousness is a biological function of our body, not analogous to oots where it is a spirit in a vessel, I just wrote it in the hope my example wouldn't be rejected as impossible.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    I also fail to see any difference between "A's conscious self loses all memories and is transferred into B" and "A's conscious self is destroyed and B is born with their own."
    If it means that our self is the sum of our memories, and given the claim that an eternal life is a bad thing, does it not simply mean that too much knowledge is a bad thing, not the part about existing forever?

    Quote Originally Posted by Millstone85 View Post
    Comfortable immortality is harder to imagine, for sure, but I do get annoyed with how many sour grapes get thrown at it. My take is that I would want to find out by myself how long I can go before I experience the boredom, feeling of obsolescence or whatever pitfall I am told will eventually come to me.
    We had this TV documentary the other day about the development of anti-aging drugs, and of course, just like every time I saw something similar on some US/UK-channel, the "philosopher" had to chime in.
    This time the claim was that if we lived forever we would never get out of bed, because we had no urgency of achieving the things we wish to achieve.. like I would postpone whatever I want to do, because I could always do it tomorrow.. and perhaps that is true for him, but stuff like that I do find a bit annoying.

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    Default Re: Are the evil afterlives actually punishments?

    Quote Originally Posted by BaronOfHell View Post
    We had this TV documentary the other day about the development of anti-aging drugs, and of course, just like every time I saw something similar on some US/UK-channel, the "philosopher" had to chime in.
    This time the claim was that if we lived forever we would never get out of bed, because we had no urgency of achieving the things we wish to achieve.. like I would postpone whatever I want to do, because I could always do it tomorrow.. and perhaps that is true for him, but stuff like that I do find a bit annoying.
    Joke on him, I am already procrastinating my short life away.
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    Default Re: Are the evil afterlives actually punishments?

    I mean, the list of things I do because I'll die if I don't do them is pretty much limited to eating and sleeping. Everything else has some other motivator beyond my imminent death that I don't forsee waiting on me indefinitely.
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    Default Re: Are the evil afterlives actually punishments?

    I'm actively seeking a job that carries a very real, if statistically unlikely, possibility that I will die as part of the job. Death still scares the hell out of me.
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    Default Re: Are the evil afterlives actually punishments?

    I am on record as desiring genuine eternal life.

    However, there are far worse things than mere death. I have a healthy sense of self-preservation, but I can think of several things where death would be preferable.

    Like living eternally but being helpless and in constant pain. Or being lobotomized. Or of experiencing the death of the self—if it's a choice between killing me and destroying everything that makes me me and pretending I'm still alive because I left a functioning meat-vessel behind that some new person might eventually come to inhabit than just ****ing kill me, it's more honest.

    Fear of death is irrational—be afraid of discrete, tangible threats to your continued existence, but fearing death itself is just wasting the time that you could be living.
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    Yeah. Such philosophical analysis bugs me too. I think any degree of "I can always do this tomorrow" would be more than offset with "I've got the time to do a bunch of things I might otherwise not". I think the day to day pleasures would be pretty much the same. While I suppose there can be some amount of jadedness with regard to "new things" as we get older, that still doesn't prevent me from enjoying watching a film, even if the plot is pretty standard stuff I've seen many times before. And going out to eat with friends is still enjoyable, even if you've done it a hundred times before (one can argue it maybe becomes more enjoyable).

    I also think that maybe the kinds of things you would enjoy doing and therefore actively involve yourself in may change if you had forever to live, but I just don't buy the "no reason to get out of bed" bit.

    And yeah, that's before examining that people might be even more interested in involving themselves in longer term projects, goals, whatever, if they know they'll live long enough to see the results (of either success or failure). I'm probably going to be a lot more interested in investing in, say space exploration if I know that maybe one day I'll be able to travel to other planets than if it's assumed that this "might be something future generations may do". Dunno. I could see a lot of things being different given a different perspective like that. But definitely don't see pure apathy being a likely outcome.

    Not sure how this fits into the idea of an "eternal soul" from an afterlife in stick world though. I think the bigger problem with souls lasting "forever" would be that in that case, they are removed from the prime material plane, aren't really doing anything that impacts anything, and so yeah, I can totally see the concept that over time, you'll just sort of fade away into a generic version of yourself/alignment/whatever. But that's not a function of immortality so much as being in an environment where nothing you do actually matters.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gbaji View Post
    Even if it wasn't, it's still murder and it's still premeditated. Which is the larger point when considering where this fits in terms of alignment actions.
    I think that's a frame more in keeping with our cosmology than that of the Stickiverse, and perhaps a little more time with Elan would help here?

    To keep it brief: Crystal was locked in as Haley's nemesis but in the larger arc she had been supplanted by a hotter, arch-er one. Haley needed to both knock Crystal back while increasing her own power for their inevitable concluding fight, and protect her Dad's ransom.

    And perhaps she enjoyed doing it a bit too much, but I believe that's more a points off on your record issue than a real disqualifier.
    Last edited by Reach Weapon; 2022-11-23 at 10:48 PM.
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    Default Re: Are the evil afterlives actually punishments?

    Also she probably expected Bozzok to rez Crystal anyways. Not turn her into a continuously in pain Flesh Golem.
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    Default Re: Are the evil afterlives actually punishments?

    Honestly, while I feel like this has wandered far afield from the original topic, I dunno what the problem is with a story positing that no one would choose to exist literally forever, given that the alternative is by definition impossible to prove. Like, even if there's a million-year-old immortal secretly posting here right now he couldn't exactly offer any comments on whether someone would want to exist for a billion years, and so forth.
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    Default Re: Are the evil afterlives actually punishments?

    Quote Originally Posted by danielxcutter View Post
    Also she probably expected Bozzok to rez Crystal anyways. Not turn her into a continuously in pain Flesh Golem.
    Well, she did use a conditional there, but she very clearly considered that a feasible outcome, perhaps even a preferable one (since she left a message for Bozzok that dead!Crystal might not be able to transmit). As for the golem thing, she explicitly believed it was a power-up with few downsides until Crystal told her about the pain.

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    Default Re: Are the evil afterlives actually punishments?

    A point: Haley is not Lawful Good. She does not have to follow the rules. Doing something for selfish, personal reasons is totally within the bounds of the Chaotic alignment.

    So, was her act good?

    We are talking about killing an unrepentant murderer whose only justification is, "I hurt less when I make other people hurt more."

    Killing Crystal is on par with killing a dangerous predator that is killing villagers. It's just something that has to be done.

    It is not a Good act, in that there is no altruism involved. But killing Crystal, a person who only didn't kill Haley a dozen times over because she was not competent enough to do it without getting caught, is an act of self-preservation.

    Verdict: according to D&D alignment rules, the act was Chaotic Neutral.

    (Note that this has nothing at all to do with real world morality or law.)

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    Default Re: Are the evil afterlives actually punishments?

    Quote Originally Posted by brian 333 View Post
    We are talking about killing an unrepentant murderer whose only justification is, "I hurt less when I make other people hurt more."
    Wrong murder of Crystal.
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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: Are the evil afterlives actually punishments?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    Wrong murder of Crystal.
    An unrepentant murderer whose only justification is "I felt like it" then?
    “Evil is evil. Lesser, greater, middling, it's all the same. Proportions are negotiated, boundaries blurred. I'm not a pious hermit, I haven't done only good in my life. But if I'm to choose between one evil and another, then I prefer not to choose at all.”

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    Default Re: Are the evil afterlives actually punishments?

    Quote Originally Posted by Keltest View Post
    An unrepentant murderer whose only justification is "I felt like it" then?
    She doesn't justify herself. She leaves the thinking to Bozzok.
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