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#201
Amentep

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No offense Amentep but I do think my life is correct, not because I am arrogant but because I don't live in poverty. And why wouldn't anyone who lives in poverty not want to uplift themselves?


But understand, you've defined poverty and non-poverty, and declared that your version of poverty is bad.  But the definition is still yours, not theirs.

During the 40s and 50s there was a big movement to bring money and erase the blight of poverty from the Appalachia area of the US. But most of the people who grew up there never really knew they were "poor" until the government came and pointed out that getting water in a well and pooping in a hole was bad compared to tap water and an indoor toilet.

And that's not to say they were stupid and just didn't realize that there were other meats to choose from than squirrel and opossum* for dinner. They had a different life than people in Washington, in New York or in Chicago had. And because they had a different life they expected different things out of it. Not better/worse but different.

Understand that the "average indigent South African" at this point may not be a separate society within your society but a part of your society, and therefore remains culturally similar in expectations, if disenfranchised within the larger society.

What we're talking about is more akin to if you went to, lets say, North Sentinel Island with a huge armed force and telling the Sentinelese that they're living in poverty and you're bringing them a better way of life and killing those who don't accept your way. Or going into an Orc encampment and killing them all and looting their bodies because they've been attacking people who wander on their lands.

*for one thing, there were turtles, raccons and chipmonks.


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#202
Namutree

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What good are technical advancements if they come with oppression and exploitation? Why does "less technically advanced" always equal "less fortunate"?

 

Because many want to tell people what to do and how to live. By saying that those who are different than you are "less fortunate" you can justify destroying their way of life and feel like some sort of hero.


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#203
BruceVC

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No offense Amentep but I do think my life is correct, not because I am arrogant but because I don't live in poverty. And why wouldn't anyone who lives in poverty not want to uplift themselves?


But understand, you've defined poverty and non-poverty, and declared that your version of poverty is bad.  But the definition is still yours, not theirs.

During the 40s and 50s there was a big movement to bring money and erase the blight of poverty from the Appalachia area of the US. But most of the people who grew up there never really knew they were "poor" until the government came and pointed out that getting water in a well and pooping in a hole was bad compared to tap water and an indoor toilet.

And that's not to say they were stupid and just didn't realize that there were other meats to choose from than squirrel and opossum* for dinner. They had a different life than people in Washington, in New York or in Chicago had. And because they had a different life they expected different things out of it. Not better/worse but different.

Understand that the "average indigent South African" at this point may not be a separate society within your society but a part of your society, and therefore remains culturally similar in expectations, if disenfranchised within the larger society.

What we're talking about is more akin to if you went to, lets say, North Sentinel Island with a huge armed force and telling the Sentinelese that they're living in poverty and you're bringing them a better way of life and killing those who don't accept your way. Or going into an Orc encampment and killing them all and looting their bodies because they've been attacking people who wander on their lands.

*for one thing, there were turtles, raccons and chipmonks.

 

 

Okay your have explained your point nicely and yes we were talking about two different groups of people. I was talking about people who are well aware of modern conveniences, who really reflect most impoverished people in the world, and  are part of our society but are disenfranchised due to economic conditions. You were talking about people who don't know much about the outside world and probably don't care about it and those people being forced to uplift themselves  by Western societies because "they know whats best for them ". And yes this is wrong and my lifestyle wouldn't apply to them

 

But in your example are there really many groups of people who are so isolated from the modern world? I know tribes exist in the heart of the Amazon but apart from that I imagine the global and interconnected has touched and resonates with most folks?


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#204
Yonjuro

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I'm not sure what she means , she mentioned Tribal culture. Tribal culture still exists today but they exist primarily in Africa and South America.

 

 

  Tribal culture still exists to some degree on every continent except Antarctica. Your local personal experience is one perspective but not the whole picture.

 

 

 

No offense Amentep but I do think my life is correct, not because I am arrogant but because I don't live in poverty. And why wouldn't anyone who lives in poverty not want to uplift themselves?

 

 That is a bit arrogant (though, I'm sure it you aren't doing it on purpose). Modern society has brought a lot of benefits including the ability (if not the political will) to end poverty.  However, primary societies all over the place developed ways of surviving and thriving in their own environments that worked for them. 

 

 If you want to open your eyes to this, a good starting point is a book written in the 1930's by a dentist named Weston Price who did an extensive study comparing tribal groups eating a western diets to their counterparts who were still eating their traditional diets. I'll spoil the ending for you: the traditional people knew things about health and nutrition that 'modern' people hadn't figured out.

 

The poverty that you see in your backyard is due, in part, to people losing their tribal knowledge as a result of being invaded (the solution, as you said, is to fully modernize - lost knowledge is hard to regain and the world has moved on).


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#205
BruceVC

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I'm not sure what she means , she mentioned Tribal culture. Tribal culture still exists today but they exist primarily in Africa and South America.

 

 

  Tribal culture still exists to some degree on every continent except Antarctica. Your local personal experience is one perspective but not the whole picture.

 

 

 

No offense Amentep but I do think my life is correct, not because I am arrogant but because I don't live in poverty. And why wouldn't anyone who lives in poverty not want to uplift themselves?

 

 That is a bit arrogant (though, I'm sure it you aren't doing it on purpose). Modern society has brought a lot of benefits including the ability (if not the political will) to end poverty.  However, primary societies all over the place developed ways of surviving and thriving in their own environments that worked for them. 

 

 If you want to open your eyes to this, a good starting point is a book written in the 1930's by a dentist named Weston Price who did an extensive study comparing tribal groups eating a western diets to their counterparts who were still eating their traditional diets. I'll spoil the ending for you: the traditional people knew things about health and nutrition that 'modern' people hadn't figured out.

 

The poverty that you see in your backyard is due, in part, to people losing their tribal knowledge as a result of being invaded (the solution, as you said, is to fully modernize - lost knowledge is hard to regain and the world has moved on).

 

 

That book sounds interesting, I'll give it a read :)



#206
Amentep

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But in your example are there really many groups of people who are so isolated from the modern world? I know tribes exist in the heart of the Amazon but apart from that I imagine the global and interconnected has touched and resonates with most folks?

 

 

There are a few, but I'd also look at, say, the Amish in America for example.  Its a parallel society that has decided for itself what it needs within the confines of a much larger culture.


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#207
Namutree

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There are a few, but I'd also look at, say, the Amish in America for example.  Its a parallel society that has decided for itself what it needs within the confines of a much larger culture.

 

The Amish are a perfect example of a low-tech sub culture that don't need to told how to live. I personally know a few Amish people and they seem perfectly happy to me. I say live and let live. No need to "uplift" people. Heck, that's how the European conquest of Africa started. Let's not encourage the mindset of, "Our way of life is better than theirs; so they should become like us." It leads to trouble.

 

Just set a good example. If others want what you have; they'll emulate you.

 

Well, personally know a few Amish people may be an exaggeration. We're acquaintances really; not friends or anything. 


Edited by Namutree, 08 August 2014 - 12:51 PM.


#208
Stun

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This is why I love this forum. We have something special here. There is no other place on the internet where a thread on Orcs and Goblins can branch off into a discussion about Amish living.
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#209
BruceVC

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But in your example are there really many groups of people who are so isolated from the modern world? I know tribes exist in the heart of the Amazon but apart from that I imagine the global and interconnected has touched and resonates with most folks?

 

 

There are a few, but I'd also look at, say, the Amish in America for example.  Its a parallel society that has decided for itself what it needs within the confines of a much larger culture.

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are a few, but I'd also look at, say, the Amish in America for example.  Its a parallel society that has decided for itself what it needs within the confines of a much larger culture.

 

The Amish are a perfect example of a low-tech sub culture that don't need to told how to live. I personally know a few Amish people and they seem perfectly happy to me. I say live and let live. No need to "uplift" people. Heck, that's how the European conquest of Africa started. Let's not encourage the mindset of, "Our way of life is better than theirs; so they should become like us." It leads to trouble.

 

Just set a good example. If others want what you have; they'll emulate you.

 

Well, personally know a few Amish people may be an exaggeration. We're acquaintances really; not friends or anything. 

 

 

The Amish are a good example of people who have rejected the advantages of modern society, I did completely forget about them and other religious groups,

 

But as we agreed on earlier they also don't live in poverty so they apply to the second group in Amenteps 2 groups.

 

Anyway back to Orcs :)



#210
nzmccorm

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I dunno if it's been mentioned but Tolkien specifically identifies Orcs as Asian grotesques in his letter to Morton Zimmerman. Zimmerman, Al Brodax, and Forest Ackerman proposed a film which would feature orcs as bird-monsters, and Tolkien took great pains to point out that no, Orcs were gross asian people. It's letter 210 in Tolkien's collected letters.



#211
Lephys

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Intent matters, of course, but it's not that simple.

This is why the "I get to decide if what I say is racist" statement is fundamentally flawed.


I realize that. That's why I tried to specify that it's not really that we get to decide whether or not what we said is racist. Not in the potential meaning of that, anyway. But, rather, the meaning of what we say is what makes it racist. Not simply what is said or done.

People make a lot of assumptions. You're white, and someone who just happens to be black goes to touch you, and you shy away? OBVIOUSLY RACIST! Orrrr, you've just got issues with touching people, no matter their ethnicity. Jumping to conclusions never helps things. That's my only point. Coincidences do exist, aplenty, and pegging every coincidence as definitely racism is silly, and not at all productive.
 

If a member of a minority tells you that something you said or did was racist, it is at the very least worth taking a very close look at it. 'Cuz they just might be right.


I agree. However, I would still say that something's not racist just because it isn't pleasant to hear. It would still be common courtesy, though, to perhaps avoid specific words or subjects, simply because they're causing someone a lot of pain or emotional stress. Or, to put it another way, just because you're not being racist doesn't mean you're not being inconsiderate.


Basically, the two most common misconceptions I notice are the "merely noting unique characteristics of an individual IS racism" notion and the "If you design something that happens to have a trait in common with a real-life culture or ethnicity, then there's automatically an intentional parallel." Well, really, there's a third, most noteworthy on the internet, it would seem (because of how word spreads, etc.): The "lots of people started deciding to use some random word in a derogatory fashion against a particular group, so now if you say that word, you're racist."

Stuff like that. I'm not saying there's no way to be racist, or anything of the sort. But, just like it's worth considering that what you're saying/doing might be inadvertently racist, I think it's very much worth considering that what someone's doing might NOT be racist, instead of just jumping to conclusions based on coincidences.

Edited by Lephys, 08 August 2014 - 02:54 PM.


#212
anameforobsidian

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There are a few, but I'd also look at, say, the Amish in America for example.  Its a parallel society that has decided for itself what it needs within the confines of a much larger culture.

 

The Amish are a perfect example of a low-tech sub culture that don't need to told how to live. I personally know a few Amish people and they seem perfectly happy to me. I say live and let live. No need to "uplift" people. Heck, that's how the European conquest of Africa started. Let's not encourage the mindset of, "Our way of life is better than theirs; so they should become like us." It leads to trouble.

 

Just set a good example. If others want what you have; they'll emulate you.

 

Well, personally know a few Amish people may be an exaggeration. We're acquaintances really; not friends or anything. 

 

On the subject of paternalism:

 

There's a thin line between not being told how to live and breaking the law because the law benefits the wider society.  The Amish are still subject to many rules; they have to build their houses to code and they're not allowed to habitually defecate near a river any more than anyone else.  There are many behaviors that can have negative impacts on outside groups like vaccination, sanitation, and fire-safety.  The outside group has a moral imperative to protect itself against these dangers in the least restrictive way possible.

 

How this relates to orcs:

It doesn't have to.  Orcs are frequently used as a stand in for marginalized cultures (usually more negatively than positively), but there's no reason they have to.  Indeed, to make the whole argument circular, using Orcs drags in a whole lot of the negative stereotypes about marginalized groups.  As such, it's far less racist and more boldfaced xenophobic.  It's not uncommon to describe outsiders and less industrialized cultures as stupider, stronger, brutish, athletic, violent, fierce, warlike, etc.  Orcs happen to embody a lot of these stereotypes in virtually every setting, and then a large number of them make them universal evil.

 

So, to go all the way back the beginning, the basic argument is still why do we need orcs?  They have a lot of negatives, and few positives they bring with them.  Why not use a marginalized group that more accurately portrays the situation of a marginalized group without all the ethnocentric baggage attached?  And the answer is, they are.  That's exactly what they're doing with Orlans.  There's no thematic place for orcs, and frankly they sound far more interesting than what orcs could bring.


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#213
Namutree

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On the subject of paternalism:

 

 

There's a thin line between not being told how to live and breaking the law because the law benefits the wider society.  The Amish are still subject to many rules; they have to build their houses to code and they're not allowed to habitually defecate near a river any more than anyone else.  There are many behaviors that can have negative impacts on outside groups like vaccination, sanitation, and fire-safety.  The outside group has a moral imperative to protect itself against these dangers in the least restrictive way possible.

 

I'm not against establishing what the Amish cannot do to us. I am against telling them what to do among themselves. Not all of my fellow Americans are content with ensuring the Amish will not cause us problems, but are instead pushing for the Amish to become more like us. Once at my local market I saw a "social justice warrior" yelling at an Amish man because they are "misogynistic". All he was trying to do was sell some bread; he didn't deserve that lousy treatment. Her way of life wasn't being threatened, but that wasn't good enough for her. 

 

I'm not trying to suggest that most (or even many) social justice warriors are like that, but it still annoys me how some people insist we must "uplift" cultures they feel are inferior.



#214
nikolokolus

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And then sometimes Orcs are just "Orcs;" big, smelly, green-skinned blokes with piggy snouts and a predilection for human flesh. It doesn't have to be about cultural stand-ins and thinly veiled racism or a lot of other modern crap. 


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#215
Stun

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In Elder Scrolls lore, Orcs are a race of Elves. They were created when a Daedric prince (Boethiah?) ate another Daedric prince and then puked. Malacath came out. Orcs are his offspring.

Just thought I throw that out here.
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#216
Lephys

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See, if we can find a similarity between those orcs and a real-life group, then clearly the Elder Scrolls lore is purposely equating that real-life group with puke, u_u...

:)

#217
Stun

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Demon's puke, even.

#218
GhoulishVisage

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In the Elder Scrolls Redguards got -10 Intelligence and -10 Willpower as a starting modifier.

 

Redguard.jpg

Yeah.
Awkward.


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#219
Namutree

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In the Elder Scrolls Redguards got -10 Intelligence and -10 Willpower as a starting modifier.

 

Redguard.jpg

Yeah.
Awkward.

At least the Orcs aren't racist.



#220
Lephys

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In the Elder Scrolls Redguards got -10 Intelligence and -10 Willpower as a starting modifier.
Yeah.
Awkward.


In the Elder Scrolls, this also affected their magical capabilities. It could very well be that they just wanted Redguards to be less magically inclined. So, yeah, it is awkward... that in that stat system, you can't have a lot of intelligence and willpower and be magically disinclined.

I dunno, maybe the people at Bethesda are huge racists. I'm not going to assume that, though, because I have no idea what their intentions were there. I can only consider the possibilities, instead of just one of them.
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