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Hello people, let's take several minutes to talk about morality.

Everyone agree any morality system like it's been done in KOTOR can't handle well the shades of grey everyone is expecting from an Obsidian game. That's cool. I don't like black and white morality either.

But why must other worlds follow our morality? Why must they think good and evil must have the same definition?

 

Let's take a simple example. Witches for example. Burning witches just because is hella bad. Sure, if they slaughtered a village for some kind of potion, it's justified. But going randomly after witches when they're just regular magicians? Bad. As hell.

That's what you would think in such a situation.

But say, you now have to save an innocent witch now. There is no doubt, she did nothing wrong. Therefore, you defend her, maybe kill a villager or two. Or talk them down. It doesn't really matter. At the end, she's saved.

Then, why must the world think you actually do a good thing? What if helping them is seen as bad? WE don't think it's bad, for various reasons and values that are deepy anchored in our minds. But these villagers are living on another world. They don't have to believe what we believe. And maybe logic can help.

 

Afterwards, if you go in other villages, you'll be known as the evil adventurer who helps witches instead of giving them the treatment they deserve, no matter how horrendous such a point of view is. It would do a great deal to set a different tone to P:E universe. The worldbuilding would improve drastically.

 

I'll just add a shorter example concerning ciphers. It's like necromancy. Manipulating souls against their will is bad. But what if souls weren't considered as private property, like we think a body is? Religion, history or whatsoever could have taught the people of P:E souls belong to everyone.

 

Concerning metagaming, I realize how hard it would be implement such a system. No matter what we say about morality, people do good because they want to feel good. Being banned from a village because you acted like a good person, at least according to what your parents/the world taught you, would be frustrating.

But art, no matter if we're talking about literature, movies or video games, always offered us in such situations a carbon copy of our morality, only with more elves to shake a fist at. It would be cool to go beyond, to offer a new way of thinking.

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There are many issues of culture, history, tradition, standards of living, education level, perception, rumors, etc. that have to be dealt with in order to create a realistic morality system.

 

For example, with witches, why are they considered evil? Who considers them to be evil? How much of that fear is justified? How much of the fear is based on superstition? Are people intentionally trying to spread falsehoods about witches to further some agenda of their own? Are people educated enough to understand how magic works? Are people in the right state of mind to listen to reason? How much do witches and magic users know about their reputation? How much are witches and magic users responsible for their reputation? Are there advantages to this reputation?

 

What if magic users shroud themselves in secrecy and intentionally spread rumors about themselves so that people would fear and respect them? Perhaps everyone who pursues magic knows of these risks and chooses to accept them because they believe the power acquired through magic is worth it.

 

What if people's persecution of witches is the result of some deep rooted systemic problem like the lack of education and ignorance of the laws of science and nature? Peasants in medieval settings aren't exactly the most learned people and you can't exactly blame them for being illiterate, superstitious, and paranoid. Preventing them from burning a witch/magic user could just be a short term solution. It could make people even more paranoid and fearful. They might decide to turn their anger towards the next stranger that comes into town. They might start casting aspersions against each other and tear themselves apart. They might decide to sacrifice their harvest to the gods to ask for forgiveness and then end up starving to death during the winter. The only permanent solution would be major societal changes like better education and improved standards of living.

 

You run into similar problems with necromancy. What are the rituals concerning the dead and why do they exist? Do people revere the dead and why do they revere the dead? What are the taboos concerning the dead and how deeply are they tied to other beliefs? What priority do they place on reverence for the dead vs. pragmatism or comfort? If people are fighting a war, are they willing to raise the dead to fight for them rather than risk the lives of living soldiers? What about practical uses of the undead in other situations like having them do dangerous backbreaking work in mines, hauling/loading supplies, building roads/houses/castles, etc.? What about allowing highly educated or skilled people like historians, artists, blacksmiths, architects, etc. to be turned into undead in order to preserve their knowledge and allowing them to continue their contributions to society?

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If undead are mindels automatons, I don't think any knowledge will be perserved.


* YOU ARE A WRONGULARITY FROM WHICH NO RIGHT CAN ESCAPE! *

Chuck Norris was wrong once - He thought HE made a mistake!

 

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I think Obsidian has said something along the lines that they don't have a 'morality meter,' but they do have reactive people. I.e., people react to you based on what they think of your actions from their ethical POV.

 

So presumably if someone thinks witches should be burned and someone else thinks they should be put in charge, they will react accordingly when you deal with a witch however you see fit.

 

I would like that.

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I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

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If we're going for realism, what should influence the moralizing system of most characters is likely emotion, rather than logical reasoning or abstract ethical principles. Psychological research has demonstrated that often times our "philosophical" arguments are merely post-hoc rationalizations for what we feel deep inside us.

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Not exactly, it's just that emotion is inseparable from the way we think. As contradictory as it sounds, you can't have logic without emotion. At the most basic level, it tells you what your priorities are. This is why emotionally damaged or under-developed people are often the perpetrators of the most heinous crimes.


Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
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Pet threads, everyone has them. I love imagining Gods, Monsters, Factions and Weapons.

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Like NV, P:E is going to revolve around individual faction/town/etc. reputations rather than some global 1-100 morality scale or the D&D alignment matrix.

 

Your reputation with any given faction is going to be a reflection of that faction's implicit set of values and morals.

 

 

Not exactly, it's just that emotion is inseparable from the way we think. As contradictory as it sounds, you can't have logic without emotion. At the most basic level, it tells you what your priorities are. This is why emotionally damaged or under-developed people are often the perpetrators of the most heinous crimes.

Computers have logic without emotion. Emotion and logic are two separate realms. They're both products of the brains capable of them, and thus can be influenced and overridden by each other, but logic isn't an extension of emotion. Logic can and does exist outside of the realm of biology and emotion. Math doesn't have emotions, and yet it is the purest, most infallible form of logic, capable of describing the universe and predicting unknowns about it with unparalleled accuracy. Emotion drives humans to engage in logical pursuits, but logic is not rooted in emotion. Emotion overwhelmingly leads humans to make irrational decisions, not rational ones.

 

In the case of psychopaths, it varies. Spree-killers who go on a one-off rampage are usually driven to do so by stresses in their circumstance (and may not be psychopaths in truth,) but most successful serial killers use reason and plan their crimes ahead of time, often choosing targets on the basis of minimizing their chances of being caught (a rational course of action.) While it's the pursuit of a twisted pleasure that drives such behavior, they can still use rational thought to plan their actions in order to avoid the negative consequences that would come of being caught. In other words, emotionally defective or damaged people incapable of empathy are still wholly capable of using logic and reason. People who've suffered severe trauma can still be functioning members of society, it's not a given that all victims of certain traumas are all psychotic pedophiles or drug-addicted husks.

Edited by AGX-17
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^ Gonna hafta agree with AGX on the logic thing. 2+2=4. If you want 4 things, and you have 2 of them, then you need 2 more. It doesn't matter if you're a robot or a human, much less a religious person or a psycho or an emotional person. Logic is an inherent structure/relationship woven between all things in the universe, both tangible and intangible.

 

Most morality is actually logic-based. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." That's one of the most logical things ever. Hell, that's at the heart of OODLES of concepts, like equality, etc. We all use SOME degree of rational thought (even though a lot of people, admittedly, use very little, as they train away rational deduction and focus on simple religious/emotional absolutes due to a PLETHORA of psychological and external factors). It's also why we have the status of "crazy." As in literally insane. It's like a computer glitch in a brain, kind of. You hallucinate and thing people are gargoyles and are trying to kill you, even when they're calmly sitting in a room and drinking tea? We call you insane. Obviously, there's a flaw in some logical processing of your brain (much like a computer that's rendering improper things on the screen), and it's showing you what isn't there. Stuff like that.

 

The main problem comes with people thinking up things like "Well, logic isn't always good. Some people know that the logical thing is to get something done, so they just kill anyone in their way to get it done, and justify it with logic."

 

Well, that's not logic's fault. Logic said "Logically, this should occur." That person took it upon themselves to fill in the blanks with less-than-perfect deductions that they gave logic credit for. It's the human psyche's tendency to impatiently wish to simplify and know the unknown that leads us to all these "absolute" forms of religious morality and such.

 

The point is, logic is often what leads us to decisions of morality, but that doesn't mean logic just tells us what's moral and what isn't. It's more complex than that, and plenty of people think they've figured it out before they have. Sometimes, maybe it can't actually be absolutely figured out. Maybe you can only get as close as you can get. But, logically, either some things should happen and some things shouldn't, or everything should or shouldn't happen and nothing actually matters except to our individual whims, in which case, we're all just seeing what we can do before we die, like one big MMO in which we don't get to make corpse runs.

 

Right and wrong were not invented by religion, however. They exist without holy or demonic power, or posessions, or deities.

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Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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If undead are mindels automatons, I don't think any knowledge will be perserved.

 

There are different kinds of undead. Zombies and skeletons are generally mindless or have animal level intelligence but liches, vampires, certain types of ghosts retain human level intelligence and agency. Although, most fantasies have other types of intelligent undead.

 

 

If we're going for realism, what should influence the moralizing system of most characters is likely emotion, rather than logical reasoning or abstract ethical principles. Psychological research has demonstrated that often times our "philosophical" arguments are merely post-hoc rationalizations for what we feel deep inside us.

 

And emotional reactions are dependent on a person's upbringing, disposition, their culture, education level, standard of living, etc.

 

For example, people from cultures where etiquette and honor are highly valued are more likely to be offended by minor insults and hold grudges while people from cultures that are more easy going are more likely to take minor insults with good humor and make jests of their own.

 

 

Like NV, P:E is going to revolve around individual faction/town/etc. reputations rather than some global 1-100 morality scale or the D&D alignment matrix.

 

Your reputation with any given faction is going to be a reflection of that faction's implicit set of values and morals.

 

 

Not exactly, it's just that emotion is inseparable from the way we think. As contradictory as it sounds, you can't have logic without emotion. At the most basic level, it tells you what your priorities are. This is why emotionally damaged or under-developed people are often the perpetrators of the most heinous crimes.

Computers have logic without emotion. Emotion and logic are two separate realms. They're both products of the brains capable of them, and thus can be influenced and overridden by each other, but logic isn't an extension of emotion. Logic can and does exist outside of the realm of biology and emotion. Math doesn't have emotions, and yet it is the purest, most infallible form of logic, capable of describing the universe and predicting unknowns about it with unparalleled accuracy. Emotion drives humans to engage in logical pursuits, but logic is not rooted in emotion. Emotion overwhelmingly leads humans to make irrational decisions, not rational ones.

 

In the case of psychopaths, it varies. Spree-killers who go on a one-off rampage are usually driven to do so by stresses in their circumstance (and may not be psychopaths in truth,) but most successful serial killers use reason and plan their crimes ahead of time, often choosing targets on the basis of minimizing their chances of being caught (a rational course of action.) While it's the pursuit of a twisted pleasure that drives such behavior, they can still use rational thought to plan their actions in order to avoid the negative consequences that would come of being caught. In other words, emotionally defective or damaged people incapable of empathy are still wholly capable of using logic and reason. People who've suffered severe trauma can still be functioning members of society, it's not a given that all victims of certain traumas are all psychotic pedophiles or drug-addicted husks.

 

 

Except emotions don't lead humans to make irrational decisions, if they did then humans, and all other animals with emotions, be extinct. The problem with emotions is not that they're illogical, they're perfectly logical for the environment they were evolved to deal with, they're simply not logical for today's society. They're meant to deal with the immediate problems that our ancestors faced like animal attacks, food acquisition, the elements, etc. They were not meant to deal with things that have long term consequences like debts, college education, retirement, etc.

 

It's the same thing with any kind of logic and reasoning, it all depends on the kind of knowledge you possess. For example, people used to believe that the earth was flat, based on that belief, it's perfectly logical for them to be afraid of sailing off the ends of the earth. We only think that it's illogical because we know a lot more than those people. However, if we grew up in those conditions, we'd believe the same thing. If you program a computer with that knowledge, it would tell you that you can sail off the ends of the earth.

Edited by Giantevilhead
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It's the same thing with any kind of logic and reasoning, it all depends on the kind of knowledge you possess. For example, people used to believe that the earth was flat, based on that belief, it's perfectly logical for them to be afraid of sailing off the ends of the earth. We only think that it's illogical because we know a lot more than those people. However, if we grew up in those conditions, we'd believe the same thing. If you program a computer with that knowledge, it would tell you that you can sail off the ends of the earth.

Yes, but it's illogical to know you don't know something and decide to know it anyway.

 

"I saw that ship sail off, and now I can't see it anymore, THEREFORE THE EARTH IS FLAT!" isn't logical. It's logical to consider that possibility. But, to see that same ship return from "off the edge of the earth," and still just go "Well, everyone says the earth is flat, so I'm still gonna go with 'the horizon is the edge of the flat earth' here" is pretty illogical.

 

In other words, the absence of doubt isn't logical. "Just believe this and never worry about anything ever again" is the suppression of logic.


Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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Computers have math.

 

They aren't really capable of inteligence.

 

Any logic outside of strict maths is something they can't deal with.


* YOU ARE A WRONGULARITY FROM WHICH NO RIGHT CAN ESCAPE! *

Chuck Norris was wrong once - He thought HE made a mistake!

 

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Computers have math.

 

They aren't really capable of inteligence.

 

Any logic outside of strict maths is something they can't deal with.

Logic is heavily math-based. Even morality attempts to quantify, to a degree. "If I kill this one guy with a deadly and contagious disease that we don't know how to cure, this entire village of people will live. Even though it's killing, it's still doing good. 500 vs. 1."


Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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It's the same thing with any kind of logic and reasoning, it all depends on the kind of knowledge you possess. For example, people used to believe that the earth was flat, based on that belief, it's perfectly logical for them to be afraid of sailing off the ends of the earth. We only think that it's illogical because we know a lot more than those people. However, if we grew up in those conditions, we'd believe the same thing. If you program a computer with that knowledge, it would tell you that you can sail off the ends of the earth.

Yes, but it's illogical to know you don't know something and decide to know it anyway.

 

"I saw that ship sail off, and now I can't see it anymore, THEREFORE THE EARTH IS FLAT!" isn't logical. It's logical to consider that possibility. But, to see that same ship return from "off the edge of the earth," and still just go "Well, everyone says the earth is flat, so I'm still gonna go with 'the horizon is the edge of the flat earth' here" is pretty illogical.

 

In other words, the absence of doubt isn't logical. "Just believe this and never worry about anything ever again" is the suppression of logic.

 

 

It's logical to consider the possibilities when you have the luxury. For most of human history, exploration of the unknown was dangerous. Just leaving your village could expose you to dangerous animals, diseases, warring tribes, etc.

 

Suppression of doubt is logical when expression of doubt is dangerous. Try telling people that you doubt the Church when the Spanish Inquisition was around.

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If we're going for realism, what should influence the moralizing system of most characters is likely emotion, rather than logical reasoning or abstract ethical principles. Psychological research has demonstrated that often times our "philosophical" arguments are merely post-hoc rationalizations for what we feel deep inside us.

Except emotions react to what kind of logic a man have.

For example, if you're from a culture where women are inferior, their inferiority is logical and the emotional treatment evolves accordingly. No emotion involved, only logic dictated by culture, history, religions and other standards. Why do you think civilizations clash? Because their very core is different. Not to derail the thread (since it's mine) but immigration works best when the culture of the immigrant is similar to the culture of the country he wants to move in.

 

You can do this in reverse. A common fetish in fantasy setting is matriarchy. Societies developed by women, for women, where men don't have positions of power. Pretty sure their ethics are different, so are their morals, and so are their ways of emoting. Otherwise, men would act differently.

Sadly, I can't source this. Matriarchies are always done badly, like that DC Comics about a civil war or something. Urgh, it's basically mad women vs men everytime. I think the better matriarchy I've seen was in Sliders, and it was played for laughs. I guess there are subjects that can't be dealt with without looking stupid.

 

Of course, a morality can just be impossible to understand for the human mind.

Edited by Auxilius

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Suppression of doubt is logical when expression of doubt is dangerous. Try telling people that you doubt the Church when the Spanish Inquisition was around.

I'd say that suppression of expression of doubt is logical, not the suppression of doubt, all-together. I think when people KNEW their brother was innocent, and the Inquisition came in and kidnapped him, then brutally interrogated him and killed him, they didn't just say "Well, it's dangerous to say anything against the Inquisition, so I now simply choose to believe that they're good and just, and that my brother was obviously a heinous devil-worshipper."

 

They said "Hmm, well, that's pretty terrible, and I hate the Inquisition, but I better pretend I like them and not make a ruckus, until I can do something about it without instantly being killed."

 

You see, logic just tells you that they're hypocrites. It doesn't dictate the ability to do anything about that.

 

Logic merely separates the possible from the impossible. It doesn't convey the absolute way of the world.

 

Anywho, things like the Spanish Inquisition USED the label "morality" do further their own goals. To get from what they said/did back to actual morality, you have to head towards logic/reason.

 

In other words, nothing is good or bad "just because." It's good or bad for a reason. That's why you can't even begin to deduce whether or not killing is bad until you know the specific circumstances surrounding the kill.


Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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Suppression of doubt is logical when expression of doubt is dangerous. Try telling people that you doubt the Church when the Spanish Inquisition was around.

I'd say that suppression of expression of doubt is logical, not the suppression of doubt, all-together. I think when people KNEW their brother was innocent, and the Inquisition came in and kidnapped him, then brutally interrogated him and killed him, they didn't just say "Well, it's dangerous to say anything against the Inquisition, so I now simply choose to believe that they're good and just, and that my brother was obviously a heinous devil-worshipper."

 

They said "Hmm, well, that's pretty terrible, and I hate the Inquisition, but I better pretend I like them and not make a ruckus, until I can do something about it without instantly being killed."

 

You see, logic just tells you that they're hypocrites. It doesn't dictate the ability to do anything about that.

 

Logic merely separates the possible from the impossible. It doesn't convey the absolute way of the world.

 

Anywho, things like the Spanish Inquisition USED the label "morality" do further their own goals. To get from what they said/did back to actual morality, you have to head towards logic/reason.

 

In other words, nothing is good or bad "just because." It's good or bad for a reason. That's why you can't even begin to deduce whether or not killing is bad until you know the specific circumstances surrounding the kill.

 

 

Except this still has a lot to do with a person's upbringing, disposition, culture, education level, standard of living, etc.

 

Some people do not have the mental flexibility or acting skills to hold a belief that is different than what they express. If you're the kind of person who always says what you think then if you want to survive the Inquisition, you may very well have to believe that your brother was a devil-worshiper.

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If we're going for realism, what should influence the moralizing system of most characters is likely emotion, rather than logical reasoning or abstract ethical principles. Psychological research has demonstrated that often times our "philosophical" arguments are merely post-hoc rationalizations for what we feel deep inside us.

Except emotions react to what kind of logic a man have.

For example, if you're from a culture where women are inferior, their inferiority is logical and the emotional treatment evolves accordingly. No emotion involved, only logic dictated by culture, history, religions and other standards. Why do you think civilizations clash? Because their very core is different. Not to derail the thread (since it's mine) but immigration works best when the culture of the immigrant is similar to the culture of the country he wants to move in.

 

You can do this in reverse. A common fetish in fantasy setting is matriarchy. Societies developed by women, for women, where men don't have positions of power. Pretty sure their ethics are different, so are their morals, and so are their ways of emoting. Otherwise, men would act differently.

Sadly, I can't source this. Matriarchies are always done badly, like that DC Comics about a civil war or something. Urgh, it's basically mad women vs men everytime. I think the better matriarchy I've seen was in Sliders, and it was played for laughs. I guess there are subjects that can't be dealt with without looking stupid.

 

Of course, a morality can just be impossible to understand for the human mind.

 

 

That's incorrect in my opinion. Both emotion and reason simply translate people's values, which aren't necessarily logical or emotional by nature. Emotion and reason are just the means by which those values are converted into judgments or decisions, and I was merely stating the demonstrable fact that often emotion is the true mechanism even if after the fact we often attempt/manage to convince ourselves that reason was the process we used.

 

Also... this thread is already incredibly off-topic to all manner of philosophical inquiries, just like the last morality thread. Just drawing everyone's attention to this tendency which apparently isn't fixed by creating a fresh new thread.

Edited by mcmanusaur

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Except this still has a lot to do with a person's upbringing, disposition, culture, education level, standard of living, etc.

These are factors that do not determine, but rather affect.

 

My whole point is, we naturally want to reason, even when we don't know we're reasoning.

 

You tell a 2-year-old not to touch a hot stove, he wants to know why, first-hand. Chances are, when you're not looking (or when you are), he's going to touch the stove, to find out what happens. Once he burns his hand, he can now say "Man, I should probably be careful around things that can burn me like that, because I don't want to be burned."

 

No one taught that child to test hot stoves rather than listen to people and take their word for things. The human brain did that, all on its own. We have an instinct toward logical deduction.

 

And McManusaur is right. We are all pretty far off-topic, heh. But, the way this actually ties into the original post is that, I don't think you can make an entire world with a COMPLETELY different basis for morality if it doesn't somehow fit in with logic, and have anyone relate to it or not think it preposterous. Obviously, as with reality, you can have plenty of groups with all manner of moral beliefs and perspectives, but I'm not sure you can JUST have the more extreme/"unique" ones and not have the generally-accepted ones.

 

There's a reason why oodles of different religions across the globe hold to similar handfuls of basic ideals (the golden rule, etc). It's not as if they all, coincidentally, pulled such ideas out of their arses, and there's no such thing as morality. Just because we don't have a 100% accurate, absolute code of provable morality does not mean it's all just subjective mumbo jumbo or anything.

 

That's what I'm getting at.

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Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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But if a child is beaten every time he doesn't listen to instructions, his brain will tell him to listen to others rather than explore on his own. Alternatively, if the child is born with a congenital condition that makes him insensitive to pain then touching the hot stove would teach him nothing and it is up to the parents to devise a way to get him to follow instructions rather than his own curiosity.

 

Ultimately, the distinction between what determines someone's reasoning and what affects their reasoning is irrelevant as environmental factors can affect a person's innate drive for logic so much that it might as well be considered a deterministic variable.

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Ultimately, the distinction between what determines someone's reasoning and what affects their reasoning is irrelevant as environmental factors can affect a person's innate drive for logic so much that it might as well be considered a deterministic variable.

 

Not when the whole point of the argument at hand deals with people's reasoning capabilities and not their reasoning inclinations.

 

The difference being that, to be come inclined to suppress reasoning urges, one must first be affected over time to do so. Thus, a world in which EVERYONE always gets affected to strongly abandon reason is not very feasible.

 

Plus, there are instances of people who are beaten their whole lives into thinking one way, and STILL hold true to the opposite, and fight back their entire lives. Who beat them into resisting being beaten into abandoning reason? If there were never any instances of people who essentially changed their minds about something that was beaten into them later on in life, then you'd be right. The distinction would be irrelevant. But it isn't, since kids who are given assault rifles at age 6 and told to kill their whole lives can potentially grow up to lead a rebellion against the people who brought them up that way, in an effort to see to it that no kid should ever have to do that. They don't all just go "Oh well, I guess this is good."

 

That's my point regarding this. And, as interesting as it is (really and truly), we should probably save it for another thread, or PMs or something, as it's still a bit off-topic.


Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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Like NV, P:E is going to revolve around individual faction/town/etc. reputations rather than some global 1-100 morality scale or the D&D alignment matrix.

 

Your reputation with any given faction is going to be a reflection of that faction's implicit set of values and morals.

 

 

Not exactly, it's just that emotion is inseparable from the way we think. As contradictory as it sounds, you can't have logic without emotion. At the most basic level, it tells you what your priorities are. This is why emotionally damaged or under-developed people are often the perpetrators of the most heinous crimes.

Computers have logic without emotion. Emotion and logic are two separate realms. They're both products of the brains capable of them, and thus can be influenced and overridden by each other, but logic isn't an extension of emotion. Logic can and does exist outside of the realm of biology and emotion. Math doesn't have emotions, and yet it is the purest, most infallible form of logic, capable of describing the universe and predicting unknowns about it with unparalleled accuracy. Emotion drives humans to engage in logical pursuits, but logic is not rooted in emotion. Emotion overwhelmingly leads humans to make irrational decisions, not rational ones.

 

In the case of psychopaths, it varies. Spree-killers who go on a one-off rampage are usually driven to do so by stresses in their circumstance (and may not be psychopaths in truth,) but most successful serial killers use reason and plan their crimes ahead of time, often choosing targets on the basis of minimizing their chances of being caught (a rational course of action.) While it's the pursuit of a twisted pleasure that drives such behavior, they can still use rational thought to plan their actions in order to avoid the negative consequences that would come of being caught. In other words, emotionally defective or damaged people incapable of empathy are still wholly capable of using logic and reason. People who've suffered severe trauma can still be functioning members of society, it's not a given that all victims of certain traumas are all psychotic pedophiles or drug-addicted husks.

 

I may rephrase, Perhaps you can have logic without emption, but you cannot have rational behaviour without it. I know it's counter-intuitive. There is this book called "Brain rules" written by a neuro-biologist named John Medina, who explains it much better than I could. I'd need to re-read it to make the argument, however. it's been a while.


Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
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Not exactly, it's just that emotion is inseparable from the way we think. As contradictory as it sounds, you can't have logic without emotion. At the most basic level, it tells you what your priorities are. This is why emotionally damaged or under-developed people are often the perpetrators of the most heinous crimes.

Depends on what you mean by emotions. Just feelings like grief or joy, or also pain, hunger, the need to breath, or generally, a drive to do anything at all? If it's the latter, I agree with you. I don't think such a being would be capable of shaping a concious will, so at least rational behaviour would be impossible 

 

 

In other words, nothing is good or bad "just because." It's good or bad for a reason. 

If that were the case, there would be no good or bad at all. There always has to be a starting point.

Good and bad, right and wrong, only exist in relation to a certain ethic, be it philosophical or religious. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" for example would be the starting point of an ethic, that you just define as good, for no reason. 

Edited by Iucounu

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Ultimately, the distinction between what determines someone's reasoning and what affects their reasoning is irrelevant as environmental factors can affect a person's innate drive for logic so much that it might as well be considered a deterministic variable.

 

Not when the whole point of the argument at hand deals with people's reasoning capabilities and not their reasoning inclinations.

 

The difference being that, to be come inclined to suppress reasoning urges, one must first be affected over time to do so. Thus, a world in which EVERYONE always gets affected to strongly abandon reason is not very feasible.

 

Plus, there are instances of people who are beaten their whole lives into thinking one way, and STILL hold true to the opposite, and fight back their entire lives. Who beat them into resisting being beaten into abandoning reason? If there were never any instances of people who essentially changed their minds about something that was beaten into them later on in life, then you'd be right. The distinction would be irrelevant. But it isn't, since kids who are given assault rifles at age 6 and told to kill their whole lives can potentially grow up to lead a rebellion against the people who brought them up that way, in an effort to see to it that no kid should ever have to do that. They don't all just go "Oh well, I guess this is good."

 

That's my point regarding this. And, as interesting as it is (really and truly), we should probably save it for another thread, or PMs or something, as it's still a bit off-topic.

 

 

Except the exact opposite can be true as well. There are people who have opportunities to explore their curiosity and doubt but remain rigid and willfully ignorant. Not to mention the fact that each person's resistance to change is different. Some people only need to punished or rewarded once to learn something while others may need to be punished or rewarded many times, not to mention how there are people lack the mental capacity to learn certain things.

 

And capabilities are expressions of potential. Someone with the genes to grow 6 feet tall can potentially grow taller than a person with the genes to grow 5 feet tall but happens if the person with the 6 feet tall genes is malnourished and the person with the 5 feet tall genes is well fed? We may all have some potential for reasoning but whether that potential can be met will be dependent on upbringing.

 

Also, I never said that everyone can be forced to abandon reason. A society where everyone abandons reason won't advance past the stone age. However, throughout most of human history, exploration of doubt and curiosity was a luxury.

 

As for how it relates to the issue of good, evil, and morality, one must consider the society within which someone dwells and their upbringing in order to determine the type and amount of reasoning they use in their moral system as well as how it interacts with other societies and moral systems.

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Computers have math.

They aren't really capable of inteligence.

Any logic outside of strict maths is something they can't deal with.

Logic is heavily math-based. Even morality attempts to quantify, to a degree. "If I kill this one guy with a deadly and contagious disease that we don't know how to cure, this entire village of people will live. Even though it's killing, it's still doing good. 500 vs. 1."

 

 

 

Only up to a point.

 

Logic and math are not the answer to everything.


* YOU ARE A WRONGULARITY FROM WHICH NO RIGHT CAN ESCAPE! *

Chuck Norris was wrong once - He thought HE made a mistake!

 

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