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Withstand the Fury
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2021 4:29 pm    Post subject:

Break Man wrote:
By your definition of the "Roads to Hell" being paved... Does this make you an evil person?


Well, the action certainly had a tragic result. Would I say it was evil...well, I probably could have been a little more responsible in the way I distributed coin. So not evil...and yet someone did die as a direct result of my actions, so certainly not right either.

But now we're splitting hairs. I think my initial point was that both intent and action play a role in morality, since good intentions need to be followed up with good deeds.

When I say "Road to Hell...", I speak only of this. We may have the noblest intentions, but if by our actions we bring hurt and harm, we are not as noble as we would fancy.

WtFD
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Operadragon
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2021 6:02 pm    Post subject:

Wow, folks...

Richard Garriott himself would be proud of this conversation...

You all are hitting on the very tenets of the virtue system and the morality system in the 3rd trilogy...

Keep it up!
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Break Man
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2021 10:18 pm    Post subject:

Quote:
Well, the action certainly had a tragic result. Would I say it was evil...well, I probably could have been a little more responsible in the way I distributed coin. So not evil...and yet someone did die as a direct result of my actions, so certainly not right either.


So, by result of a clumsy action resulting in a death, do I go to hell? I did not want this person to die, and would likely have gone to lengths to ensure his survival. (Like giving him the heimlich when he swallowed the coin.)

Quote:
I think my initial point was that both intent and action play a role in morality, since good intentions need to be followed up with good deeds.


I'm in agreement. But mistakes can always happen, and they can even happen while the person commencing the action is ignorant of it. This would mean that some people, on mere ignorance, are just incapable of doing the right thing if they are not briefed and physically able.

That's why I say, as long as your heart is clean and you try to be a good person, then you really can't be a bad person. Even if you make a mistake, like accidently running over some careless guy on bike with your car. If you help the poor guy, I don't see where a wrong is commited. If you don't even know it happened (Like maybe you bent over to change the radio station and just hear a "bump") then how could it be wrong if you don't help the guy? You don't even know he's there hurting. Therefore we become in the wrong for simple mistakes we are unaware of, and I don't think that's fair. I can only see how it's wrong if you ran the guy over on purpose and drove off just to escape the scene. Because that's deliberate evil.

To me, as long as you believe your actions to be Noble and good, then you are noble and good.
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Withstand the Fury
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2021 2:10 am    Post subject:

Break Man wrote:
So, by result of a clumsy action resulting in a death, do I go to hell? I did not want this person to die, and would likely have gone to lengths to ensure his survival. (Like giving him the heimlich when he swallowed the coin.)


Do you go to Hell? Well...I would say that in the absolute of it, no, since the death was not the intent of your actions, and your subsequent attempts at intervention would only reinforce that.

However, this is where I will stop talking about deeper concepts of morality and salvation, because if it's hard enough to program "karma of intention" into a game, it would be impossible (I think) to program in what I think I would call "self-induced Hell".

Break Man wrote:
I'm in agreement. But mistakes can always happen, and they can even happen while the person commencing the action is ignorant of it. This would mean that some people, on mere ignorance, are just incapable of doing the right thing if they are not briefed and physically able.


I think most people will agree that in many cases, ignorance is no defense. Remember...ignorance isn't a permanent thing, is not a disorder, and has an easy cure. Eventually, a person would have to observe that their actions, though noble in intent, cause a good deal of collateral damage...and would either have to police and restrain themselves or seek counselling.

In essence, we have the right to throw coins to people in the street. We also have the responsibility to do so in a safe and courteous manner. If one time, someone is hurt, then perhaps that's an accident. After several such incidents, though, it becomes a problem.

Break Man wrote:
That's why I say, as long as your heart is clean and you try to be a good person, then you really can't be a bad person. Even if you make a mistake, like accidently running over some careless guy on bike with your car. If you help the poor guy, I don't see where a wrong is commited. If you don't even know it happened (Like maybe you bent over to change the radio station and just hear a "bump") then how could it be wrong if you don't help the guy? You don't even know he's there hurting. Therefore we become in the wrong for simple mistakes we are unaware of, and I don't think that's fair. I can only see how it's wrong if you ran the guy over on purpose and drove off just to escape the scene. Because that's deliberate evil.


I don't deny that there are people with good intent, who are basically good people, who occasionally do the wrong thing. I think I'm even one of them, sometimes. But...and the cycling analogy is interesting because I've been the victim of one hit-and-run and several near-misses (only one of which I can claim is my fault - the drivers here suck that hard)...it ain't always so.

People can believe their actions to be noble for two reasons that I can think of. They can believe their actions to be noble because, in a relative or absolute sense, they are. Or, they can believe their actions to be noble because they cannot conceive that they could do wrong.

The first is a perfectly normal thought process. The second is a problem.

Break Man wrote:
To me, as long as you believe your actions to be Noble and good, then you are noble and good.


But we can, and often do, fool ourselves and pull the wool over our eyes. Look no further than the discussion about pentagrams for evidence of this...Corv raises a valid point: people protest Marylin Manson for causing their children to be more violent, but neglect to notice their own poor parenting as a more critical causitive factor. They can't understand that maybe, just maybe, they're doing something wrong.

So too with what we think of ourselves...we can and do self-delude. And then, even though we think ourselves to be "in the right"...we're really being arseholes.

Wink WtFD
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2021 4:40 am    Post subject:

Quote:
I think most people will agree that in many cases, ignorance is no defense. Remember...ignorance isn't a permanent thing, is not a disorder, and has an easy cure. Eventually, a person would have to observe that their actions, though noble in intent, cause a good deal of collateral damage...and would either have to police and restrain themselves or seek counselling.


It's a defense as long as you try to rectify what you did wrong, once you learn that it is you whom is causing a problem. But until then, I don't see how a person can really be a 'bad' person.


Quote:
People can believe their actions to be noble for two reasons that I can think of. They can believe their actions to be noble because, in a relative or absolute sense, they are. Or, they can believe their actions to be noble because they cannot conceive that they could do wrong.

The first is a perfectly normal thought process. The second is a problem.


Care to elaborate on the latter? Do you mean that someone could do something wrong and believe it's good because they cannot fathom being wrong? (Ala, the "I'm right you're wrong" attitude.) If that's the case, I can certainly see that they're doing the wrong thing, but to me it doesn't make them a bad person at all. If someone points out and reasons with the person that they're doing the wrong thing, and they continue, then it makes them a bad person.

Quote:
Corv raises a valid point: people protest Marylin Manson for causing their children to be more violent, but neglect to notice their own poor parenting as a more critical causitive factor. They can't understand that maybe, just maybe, they're doing something wrong.


This is likely because nobody really looked at these parents and explained to them what they're doing is wrong. They truly believe that the policies they enforce are doing their children good, and are teaching them to be good people. Because of this, they are not thorough enough to study their own parenting technique.

Stupidity should not be reasoning for evil, or being a bad person. Once informed, and they continue, then it is evil. But these people are truly convinced the way they work is a good thing, thusly you can't expect a change to what is logically "right" unless you make them aware they're doing wrong.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2021 4:54 am    Post subject: Trying to follow along here...

Sounds like a form of "karma balance"... a scale where different actions would be given different weights (throwing an insult is a -1, shooting a dog is a -5, killing a peasant a -10, etc.) If so, you could indulge in "little" bad actions throughout the game yet complete the most important good missions and still gain good karma. Still, I agree that certain things might disuade you from doing the little things... if you were a little jerk in Trinsic, but not in other cities, then the people of Trinsic might shun you, make their prices steeper, withold information or deny you some items. If you stacked up a ton of good side-quests in Trinsic, you could be offered discounted prices, better information or even special bonus weapons and such.

Personally, I enjoy the struggle of the path of virtue. It also comes to an interesting literary point of view; is this a story about your personal avatar (how you would like to live in Britannia) or is it the conclusion of the story of the great Avatar of legend, in which case the game should reenforce the following of the virtues?

What do you folks think?

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2021 4:55 am    Post subject:

In Ultima this is always brought up with the Justice virtue. If a wolf kills someone, is it evil? Or is it just being a wolf?

If a person that does not know the difference between right and wrong (yes, there are people that don't) kills someone, are they evil? I guess, in the Ultima universe, punishing them would be unjust, because they can't really be considered evil. But their actions are still evil, and therefore it is not wrong to attempt to stop them. Hence people being sent to psychiatric hospitals instead of jail in real life.

Doing evil things doesn't make you evil. It is your intentions that make you evil.
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Withstand the Fury
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2021 8:07 am    Post subject:

Break Man wrote:
It's a defense as long as you try to rectify what you did wrong, once you learn that it is you whom is causing a problem. But until then, I don't see how a person can really be a 'bad' person.


But at some point, a line is crossed. Any of us who have spouses or boy/girlfriends, I would bet, can attest to this. The first 20 times we do something that annoys our partner, they will tolerate us the transgression. But God forbid the 21st time. Wink If after a point, our actions are not made to be consistent with our intentions, we have a problem on our hands. If we choose not to recognize it (and it stands to reason that by this time, one or more people will have pointed out the problem to us...repeatedly) then the actions in question can indeed be 'wrong'. And we can fall into doing tacit, indirect evil by our refusal to correct ourselves.

Break Man wrote:
Care to elaborate on the latter? Do you mean that someone could do something wrong and believe it's good because they cannot fathom being wrong? (Ala, the "I'm right you're wrong" attitude.) If that's the case, I can certainly see that they're doing the wrong thing, but to me it doesn't make them a bad person at all. If someone points out and reasons with the person that they're doing the wrong thing, and they continue, then it makes them a bad person.


I was going to elaborate, but you've evidently guessed the meaning of my statement, so I won't repeat what you've just said.

On this, I think you and I disagree, perhaps on a fundamental level. Oh, I will acknowledge that for minor transgressions, like whipping coins at people and thinking it fun (ignorant of the welts I'm leaving on people in my wake), this may be true...I might not understand that throwing a coin at someone's backside at high speed would hurt them, because I've never been on the receiving end of such a coin-toss myself.

But typically, in the Ultima setting, immoral actions consist not of throwing coins at people and causing them minor annoyance. If I remember my Ultima, the usual immoral actions I could commit fell into one of three categories - lying, stealing, and murdering. And if you count fornication and/or purchasing the services of the various hookers as immoral, then there'd be a fourth.

These actions are not so easily dismissed as simple ignorance, especially murder (and boy, in Ultima 6, I was a veeeeeeery bad boy indeed for that one Wink). These actions are wrong in a much more absolute sense, and a person indulging in them and claiming the right is very seriously deluded.

Break Man wrote:
This is likely because nobody really looked at these parents and explained to them what they're doing is wrong. They truly believe that the policies they enforce are doing their children good, and are teaching them to be good people. Because of this, they are not thorough enough to study their own parenting technique.


Which is another reason I don't believe in relativistic morality, by the way. Fundamentally, yes, these parents would and do feel that they are doing the best they can...although some. in rare cases, simply don't care. In a relative sense, they are right...they believe that they are doing a good job, and who are we to tell them that, based on who they are, that their performance is, in fact, sub-par?

But in the absolute sense...their performance is, in fact, sub-par. And if their children are violent, or engaging in criminal activity, then we do, in fact, have a responsibility to ask for an accounting as to why. And in this case, if you asked me if these sub-par parents were in some way 'in the wrong', I would answer 'yes' in most cases. It comes down to common sense, which many people these days seem to lack (something I think is without excuse).

Break Man wrote:
Stupidity should not be reasoning for evil, or being a bad person. Once informed, and they continue, then it is evil. But these people are truly convinced the way they work is a good thing, thusly you can't expect a change to what is logically "right" unless you make them aware they're doing wrong.


For the small things, I would agree. But in the sense of immoral actions in the Ultimaverse, I would have to disagree. I can't think of any way I could use ignorance of the immoral nature of an action to justify my Avatar's actions in my once-typical method of playing Ultima 6 as being 'moral'. Not when all of Britain lay dead beneath her swamp boots.

Wink WtFD
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Withstand the Fury
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2021 8:12 am    Post subject: Re: Trying to follow along here...

Elewin wrote:
What do you folks think?


I think that the karmic system of Ultima is probably one of the best methods for implementing a concept such as morality in a computer-game environment. However, I think that it isn't totally accurate. I think certain actions should leave a permanent taint on the karma - perhaps not as a point value but as a 'colour' on a spectrum. Dual-value karma, as it were.

Take wanton murder...that should 'darken' your karma, as well as subtract points. And even though you might do little token quests to earn back the numeric points, your karma remains 'darkened' until such time as you directly atone for the murder.

I also think some people you meet should hold grudges for wrong actions done against them, so that even if the player comes back to them with a karma of +1,000,000, they'll still tell you to smeg right off.

Wink WtFD
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2021 10:37 am    Post subject:

Quote:
If we choose not to recognize it...


Key term in your first paragraph. To essentially "Choose" not to recognize a problem, which I won't be so naive as to claim does not happen, is intentional ignorance. This nullifies that you 'believe' you're doing the right thing, morphing the concept into that you 'lie to yourself' that you're doing the right thing, which is wrong and would make one a bad person, to me.

Quote:
It comes down to common sense, which many people these days seem to lack (something I think is without excuse).


Maybe they had bad parents too. Laughing

Quote:
For the small things, I would agree. But in the sense of immoral actions in the Ultimaverse, I would have to disagree. I can't think of any way I could use ignorance of the immoral nature of an action to justify my Avatar's actions in my once-typical method of playing Ultima 6 as being 'moral'. Not when all of Britain lay dead beneath her swamp boots.


The Avatar, having had the experience and such throughout the series, would likely be capable of discerning the right thing to do. But look at Ultima 8... The one and only evil act I can see the Avatar doing would be taking the Breathe of Air. Everything else is mere speculation, and entirely up to the player to decide.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2021 11:16 am    Post subject:

You aren't meant to get the Breath of Air until near the end of the game, where you are told you need all five pieces to cast Ethereal Travel. So if you take it for the hell of it, that's evil. I don't think it's evil if you -have- to take it.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2021 4:18 pm    Post subject:

Break Man wrote:
Key term in your first paragraph. To essentially "Choose" not to recognize a problem, which I won't be so naive as to claim does not happen, is intentional ignorance. This nullifies that you 'believe' you're doing the right thing, morphing the concept into that you 'lie to yourself' that you're doing the right thing, which is wrong and would make one a bad person, to me.


Like as not.

I guess where this all comes to is my belief in absolutes. While I can imagine, and you've pointed out, several examples of actions that could be good in one sense, evil in another, I do believe that certain actions are manifestly, absolutely, always wrong to do.

Mind you, they're what most people would call 'big' wrongs...theft, rape, murder. Still.

Break Man wrote:
Maybe they had bad parents too. Laughing


That's entirely possible. Wink These things to seem to be cyclical.

Break Man wrote:
The Avatar, having had the experience and such throughout the series, would likely be capable of discerning the right thing to do. But look at Ultima 8... The one and only evil act I can see the Avatar doing would be taking the Breathe of Air. Everything else is mere speculation, and entirely up to the player to decide.


Well...that and maybe killing Bane/Vardion. I don't think that the necessity of the action in the context of the moment can remove the immorality from it. It may well be that the Avatar had to commit the act of what was essentially murder, in order to ultimately escape Pagan. I don't see that making the action right, though.

Mere necessity is a poor determinant of morality.

Wink WtFD
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Withstand the Fury
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2021 4:23 pm    Post subject:

gprowl wrote:
You aren't meant to get the Breath of Air until near the end of the game, where you are told you need all five pieces to cast Ethereal Travel. So if you take it for the hell of it, that's evil. I don't think it's evil if you -have- to take it.


I disagree. Look at the situation with Bane/Vardion's murder. It may well be that the Avatar has to commit the action in order to escape Pagan. But even though the murder may be necessary, it is still a murder. And still immoral.

As I said above, necessity is a poor determinant of morality. I mean, I might really need to vent some anger (because we all get angry) in order to avoid having an embolism, but that doesn't make it right to punch someone in the nose as a means to that end.

WtFD
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2021 8:13 am    Post subject:

Withstand the Fury wrote:
gprowl wrote:
You aren't meant to get the Breath of Air until near the end of the game, where you are told you need all five pieces to cast Ethereal Travel. So if you take it for the hell of it, that's evil. I don't think it's evil if you -have- to take it.


I disagree. Look at the situation with Bane/Vardion's murder. It may well be that the Avatar has to commit the action in order to escape Pagan. But even though the murder may be necessary, it is still a murder. And still immoral.

As I said above, necessity is a poor determinant of morality. I mean, I might really need to vent some anger (because we all get angry) in order to avoid having an embolism, but that doesn't make it right to punch someone in the nose as a means to that end.

WtFD


Well when you think about it, the Avatar had to kill 2 or 3 (Bane, Vardion, and you essentially kill Stellos when you take the breath of wind) people to get back to where he could potentially save the lives of millions. While it was evil of him to do so, it was a neccessary and lesser evil. I say, better than moping around Pagan and letting those 2 or 3 live while the Guardian is setting out to ravage 2 worlds and you can stop him. :p

The murders were bad things yes, very regrettable, but in the light of his ultimate goal; the escape of Pagan is but the first step, there are two worlds in danger and the Avatar seems to believe he is the only one that can stop it from happening. So in a sense it was a good thing to kill them.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2021 11:19 am    Post subject:

Hmm... I completely forgot about the murder of Bane or Vardion. In fact... I'm still very sketchy. From what I remember, all Bane and Vardion wanted was the other's name. The murder came abruptly afterwards along with the potentially false accusation that the victim was an assassin. (A dialogue option for the Avatar afterwards was along the lines of: "You lied to me!" So, from the mere fact I can barely remember a thing from that scene, I can only assume that they both gave the Avatar a BS story to make him think he was doing a good thing.

I don't think ends justify the means. After all, that goes against virtue...
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