Author Topic: Inherently Evil...  (Read 11681 times)

Offline SixOfSpades

  • Planewalker
  • *****
  • Posts: 821
  • Gender: Male
    • Volothamp's Comeuppance
Re: Inherently Evil...
« Reply #25 on: September 16, 2005, 01:44:29 PM »
The ethicial issues of testing on animals are a matter of opinion.
The entire question of virtue (and I do mean virtue, not just Virtue) is a matter of opinion. Most "evil" acts are designated as "evil" because they cause harm and do not benefit the general welfare. But as long as they cause some good to somebody, they are not wholly wrong. I'm not attempting to justify these actions, just playing devil's advocate to illustrate a point.

Quote
"Vampires are people to"
I agree. While I do not deny that such things as Good Drow or Evil Gold Dragons might exist, I also do not feel any obligation to suspend my (or my character's) knowledge of the alignment typical for a species. If my Paladin encounters a Mind Flayer, that Paladin is certainly going to his damnedest to kill the Mind Flayer, no matter who attacks first. If the Mind Flayer should happen to be some freakish rebel who has turned Good and abandoned his kin, then he knows damn well what members of other species are going to think of him. Thus, the responsibility of pointing out that he is Good rests solely on the Mind Flayer's shoulders, not the Paladin's. If he fails to reveal his true nature and the Paladin whacks him simply for being a Mind Flayer, that's the Flayer's own damn fault. The Paladin was just doing what Paladins do, and incidentally suffers no Virtue hit.

Offline Andyr

  • Dance Commander
  • PPG
  • Planewalker
  • *****
  • Posts: 3178
  • Gender: Male
    • The Gibberlings Three IE mod community
Re: Inherently Evil...
« Reply #26 on: September 17, 2005, 05:28:41 AM »
I agree with 6oS on this one.
"We are the Gibberlings Three, as merry a band as you ever did see..." - Home of IE mods

<jcompton> Suggested plugs include "Click here so Compton doesn't ban me. http://www.pocketplane.net/ub"

I am unfortunately not often about these days so the best way to get hold of me is via email.

Offline MagusWizardo

  • Planewalker
  • *****
  • Posts: 40
Re: Inherently Evil...
« Reply #27 on: September 22, 2005, 09:34:48 PM »
Accept the fact that some creatures in the fantasy world are inherently evil.
Depending, entirely, on how you see alignment. Is it a summation of your actions, or a guide for your actions? The concept behind Virtue, atleast, seems to favour the latter (by the former, to go against your alignment couldn't cause that alignment to change). And if an alignment is changeable meta-data (that is, not strictly visible to the characters), then it isn't possible to be born with any alignment other than True Neutral (or possibly without alignment) since you haven't done anything. It is then possible that, for some reason, a given creature is more prone toward certain alignments (illithid => evil), but then it is still possible for random, individual, mutations.
Ofcourse, there are obvious exceptions to this if we go out into the planes - eg, a good aligned demon can't exist, because should an individual become good-aligned, they are no longer a demon. But this can infact be shown to *strengthen* the argument that this can happen, because otherwise how could the concept of 'falling' exist? If a demon falls, it is more a matter of being more distanced from others of their race.

As for the example protestors, a couple of those aren't so much examples of Good vs. Evil, but rather Law. vs Chaos - whether Sauron should  have stood trial is a matter of the written laws of the time and also how they differ from the social conscience; sacrificing babies is similar - and is also a conflict between two different sets of laws ('it is our duty to sacrifice our babies' vs. 'that is murder'); "don't deny a demon's right to exist" depends entirely on "does a demon, by our law, *have* a right to exist?" - if they do, it is chaotic to kill them; if they don't, it may be chaotic to let them live. The vampire and illithid remarks can also be characterised as self-defense, and thus again becomes a question of who's rights are more important.
I admit that there is an underlying implication then of "is it right to force our laws on others?", but there again that can be seen as a question of social conscience, something which cannot be generalised to always lean to good or evil - and so, none of those protests can realy have any absolute meaning relative to good or evil (which is why questions like 'is it right to eat meat' are murky).

Oh, and:
Quote
Mind Flayers don't HAVE to eat human brains, they do it to gather knowldge and power. THUS THEY ARE EVIL.
Quote
Mind flayers ... require the brains of sentient creatures as part of their diet. (source: Wikipedia)

EDIT: HTML doesn't work, links nested in quotes don't work... I knew there was a reason I like mailing lists...
« Last Edit: September 22, 2005, 09:41:44 PM by MagusWizardo »

Offline MagusWizardo

  • Planewalker
  • *****
  • Posts: 40
Re: Inherently Evil...
« Reply #28 on: September 22, 2005, 09:46:10 PM »
If my Paladin encounters a Mind Flayer, that Paladin is certainly going to his damnedest to kill the Mind Flayer, no matter who attacks first.
Your paladin, perhaps, but what about a Cleric? Surely then it would depend on the specific teachings of their god. Some gods would not want their followers to attack a mind flayer but in self-defense, others might not allow self-defense, others might specifically require their followers to kill it, even if it shows itself to be good.
EDIT:
Just to clarify, what I'm trying to say is that it depends more on your character, than on the mind flayer's alignment.

Offline Lord Kain

  • "I was the 500th member on the old forgottenwars forum and all I got was this lousy title"
  • Planewalker
  • *****
  • Posts: 379
  • Gender: Male
Re: Inherently Evil...
« Reply #29 on: September 22, 2005, 10:44:31 PM »
It is both a summation and a guide of your actions. Someone who is lawful good has done good in the past and will likely do good in the future. An alignment that changes drastically and quickly is normally the result of insanity, or poor role-playing.

I never said that an inherently evil creature can’t change its alignment, Actually I said an inherently evil creature can still change its alignment its just a lot harder then it is for a human or a dwarf.
The demi-humans start life as infants, they have a very simple level of intelligence that grows rapidly as they age. A Dragon is born with a level of intelligence and knowledge which on average is the same level as an adult human. Might be a little below might be a little above.

A new born dragon can speak the dragon tongue from birth. Some such as Red Dragons and Gold Dragons may be able to speak multiple languages from birth.


EDIT: Only one god is an ally of mind flayers and that is the god of mind flayers.
Obviously such a creature must have inherited knowledge from its parent. And if a creature can inherit knowledge it can also inherit an alignment.

The majority of chromatic dragons orphan their young. As orphans while you could argue they’d tend towards evil because they’d do anything to survive. I’d argue if that was the case then you would have metallic dragons who raise their young adopt orphan chromatic dragons in order to raise them good. If their alignment wasn’t inherited then it shouldn’t be that hard should it?

We should remember some creatures are inherently good, a unicorn is inherently good. Before you mention what about the dark unicorn, those are unicorns that have been infused with demon blood.

Fantasy books are filled with creatures that are inherently evil, from tolken to harry potter. I don’t know about you but I think a dementor’s nature makes them inherently evil. A creature that is required to do evil to survive is inherently evil.
Now, at last, the masks had fallen away.  The strings of the puppets had become visible, and the hands of the prime mover exposed.  Most ironic of all was the last gift that Raziel had given me, more powerful than the sword that now held his soul, more acute even than the vision his sacrifice had accorded me - the first bitter taste of that terrible illusion:  Hope.

Gabriel

  • Guest
Re: Inherently Evil...
« Reply #30 on: January 20, 2006, 08:35:40 PM »
I execute my necromantic powers....



So Lord Kain, you seem like an annoying person to me....  I mean, you just keep stating the same thing over and over again, whether its Paladins are good with no room for any other, to, these creatures are inherently evil because, basically, they don't have a sympathetic outlook for humans...

In order to define evil we have to explore from whence it originates.  Evil is a human concept, often exploited by men of power to achieve a goal. "This or that nation is evil ect, so we must put an end to their blasphemy!," is a common theme throughout human history.  Was that nation in question evil?  Perhaps.  But perhaps their views, ideologies, and morals didn't coincide with ouirs.

Now i think evil has a better chance, in all honesty, of being applied to real life, where humans are basically the only contenders on the "power chain," than in a wildly concieved fantasy world where humans are quite a bit lower.  Elves, Drow, Mindflayers, Githyanki, and the list goes on, ALL have superior faculties to a human...

and YET.... definitions of good and evil are still interpreted through a human perspective?!?  I find that illogical to say the least, but hey, at least it keeps in theme with the human race's peerless arrogance regarding other species or even towards the cosmic order of things....


To sum up... If I were a Red Dragon and you were annoying me with similar diatribes of narrow-minded, monochromatic, stiffnecked, and, quite frankly, stupidly repetitive arguments, I would crush you flat with one lazy, idle, claw.


Would that be inherently evil?  Or.... just disposing of a self-important pest?


Don't bother answering.

Offline notasophist

  • Planewalker
  • *****
  • Posts: 151
Re: Inherently Evil...
« Reply #31 on: January 20, 2006, 09:55:00 PM »
Don't bother answering.

Err, then why bother posting your thoughts? It is such a waste of space to just post an opinion without any intention to defend/support it.

Offline Rabain

  • Planewalker
  • *****
  • Posts: 281
  • Gender: Male
  • Luck o' the Irish!
Re: Inherently Evil...
« Reply #32 on: January 21, 2006, 03:44:36 PM »
Quote
If my Paladin encounters a Mind Flayer, that Paladin is certainly going to his damnedest to kill the Mind Flayer, no matter who attacks first.
Your paladin should know the Mindflayers alignement as part of his class abilities surely?  Does he still attack?

Paladins should follow their own alignment instead of behaving as though their actions are dictated by the alignment of the creatures they meet. If I was playing the Paladin above I would not attack unless attacked.
Touchstone: Wild Elf Fighter
BG2CPM: Dialog Portraits for Everyone!
WTPFamiliars: A new version of the Find Familiar Spell
All at: Border Kingdoms

Offline Drew

  • Kind of a prick
  • Planewalker
  • *****
  • Posts: 851
  • Gender: Male
Re: Inherently Evil...
« Reply #33 on: January 21, 2006, 05:15:26 PM »
If your paladin is standing 10 feet away from a potentially hostile mindflayer I doubt he is going to waste a round casting detect evil.  That sounds like a good way to get killed.
Poor baby. Couldn't find a fight anywhere else so you had to come here, huh. -Cybersquirt

Offline Rabain

  • Planewalker
  • *****
  • Posts: 281
  • Gender: Male
  • Luck o' the Irish!
Re: Inherently Evil...
« Reply #34 on: January 22, 2006, 02:31:00 PM »
If your paladin is standing 10 ft away from a potentially hostile anyone and the anyone is just standing there, the paladin should attack first in case he is attacked in turn?  Just because the opponent is of a species that generally attacks on sight?  A poor paladin I would be if I attacked every race and never gave a thought to the possibility of good triumphing over evil even in the minds of normally evil creatures, no?  You paladin is a paladin right?
Touchstone: Wild Elf Fighter
BG2CPM: Dialog Portraits for Everyone!
WTPFamiliars: A new version of the Find Familiar Spell
All at: Border Kingdoms

Offline Drew

  • Kind of a prick
  • Planewalker
  • *****
  • Posts: 851
  • Gender: Male
Re: Inherently Evil...
« Reply #35 on: January 24, 2006, 06:42:58 PM »
Potentially hostile=looks like he's about to attack.  He might hesitate with a priest of ilmater, but a hostile looking illithid is kind of another matter.
Poor baby. Couldn't find a fight anywhere else so you had to come here, huh. -Cybersquirt

Offline Lord Kain

  • "I was the 500th member on the old forgottenwars forum and all I got was this lousy title"
  • Planewalker
  • *****
  • Posts: 379
  • Gender: Male
Re: Inherently Evil...
« Reply #36 on: January 27, 2006, 12:20:52 AM »
sigh I had hoped this topic could just remain dead, but as Gabriel has decided to personally insult me. D&D already defines evil for the games purposes. As we are human we can only define evil as we would see it.

The game its self puts out a good guide line to define good vs evil.
“Good” implies altruism, respect for life, and a concern for the dignity of SENTIENT BEINGS. Good characters make personal sacrifices to help others.

“Evil” implies hurting, oppressing, and killing others. Some evil creatures simply have no compassion for others and kill without qualms if doing so is convenient. Others actively pursue evil, killing for sport or out of duty to some evil deity or master.

So near as I can tell good and evil in D&D is defined around all sentient beings and there respect for the lives of each other. Now before someone brings human treatment of animals into the debate. Remember in real life


The evil creatures not only lack a sympathetic out look towards humans they don't have one towards each other.
A Red Dragon may put the life of another Red Dragon above that of any other race, but if one Red Dragon enters another Red's territory it can expect a fight to the death if one of them doesn't leave.

Mind Flayers may be one of the more united evil races, but they plot and scheme each others downfall. In the end older mind flayers are sacrificed to the Elder Brain. Some because of there fanatic devotion, others are sacrificed because the other Mind Flayers are fanatically devoted.
Why is a mind flayer evil? well eating the brains and insulating the races such as humans, elves, dwarves etc.
Second is how they are born. A Mind Flayer starts life has a tadpole hatch from an egg. These tadpoles spend about ten years in the briny pools feeding on fatty mash of brain material and other organs prepared by adult mind flayers.

Now Mind Flayers do not grow there own bodies. A mature tadpole is taken and inserted into the ear, nostril or eye of a helpless humanoid captive. Over the next several days the tadpole borrows into the host brain consuming gray matter and growing very quickly.  The bloated tadpole assumes control of the brain stem. The victim is killed irrevocably.

Over the next week the tadpole mutates the body of the host into the form of a mind flayer.

Have you ever heard the story of the frog and the scorpion? I’m sure you have but maybe not this version.
So you have Mr. Frog siting next to the river. Along comes Mr Scorpion and he says.
“Mr Frog could you carry me across the river please”
The Frog blinks and looks down at Mr Scorpion.
“No way you’ll sting me”
The Scorpion snaps his claws a few times in the air.
“Nonsense, if I did that we’d both drowned”
The Frog thought for a moment.
“Alright then hope on my back”
About halfway across the river the Frog felt a painful jab into his back.
As Mr Frog slowly sank into the water he gasped.
“Why did you do that now we’ll both drowned”
The Scorpion laughed and said.
“Silly Mr Frog I know how to swim,”

Lets look at the bhaalspawn. They are actually an example of usually evil. The dark taint of bhaal drives his spawn to murder. Thats part of the games story, the struggle againts the taint of bhaal. But the PC and his siblings aren't all bhaal its only a portion of there entire being. Imoen has her talks about here own struggle againts her taint. Balthazar says that he himself had to struggle againts it.

For other creatures the taint is much stronger because is a far larger part of there being. Chromatic Dragons are decedent from Timat. Beholders are decended from the Great Mother. The good races don't remain unaffected either. Dwarves tend to be lawful, The prefered alignment of elves is chaotic good.
The races are either inherrently an alignment or drawn towards it because of the god that created them.

I don't know of many races other then human in D&D with an Any under there alignment. Actually I can't think of any off the top of my head.

Now the question of total extinction of an evil race is another matter. It can remain a gray area in D&D.
Demons and Devils are born from the souls of the dead evil beings sent to the abyss or hell. Killing a conclave of Mind Flayers that are currently and activily inslaving and eating people (like the one in the Underdark) is a bit different then genociding the entire race.

The typical Moon/High Elf might have few problems with killing drow on sight. But that doesn't mean they wouldn't have a problem with the entire race being destoryed.

Red Dragons and Gold Dragons hate each other with a passion. But they hate anyone who dares to use one of the dragon orbs. So the race as a whole has a untied pride.

(there are ten dragon orbs, five chromatic orbs and five metalic orbs. They each have power over the aligned type of dragon)

Now, at last, the masks had fallen away.  The strings of the puppets had become visible, and the hands of the prime mover exposed.  Most ironic of all was the last gift that Raziel had given me, more powerful than the sword that now held his soul, more acute even than the vision his sacrifice had accorded me - the first bitter taste of that terrible illusion:  Hope.

Offline SixOfSpades

  • Planewalker
  • *****
  • Posts: 821
  • Gender: Male
    • Volothamp's Comeuppance
Re: Inherently Evil...
« Reply #37 on: February 01, 2006, 04:05:58 PM »
Now Mind Flayers do not grow there own bodies. A mature tadpole is taken and inserted into the ear, nostril or eye of a helpless humanoid captive. Over the next several days the tadpole borrows into the host brain consuming gray matter and growing very quickly.  The bloated tadpole assumes control of the brain stem. The victim is killed irrevocably.
Just to satisfy my own curiosity, during the period when the tadpole is consuming the central nervous system of its host, is it of sufficient intelligence to know that it is destroying a sentiant being, with its own throughts and emotions? I'm assuming that the answer is Yes, but there's a chance that it's still operating on instinct.

Offline Lord Kain

  • "I was the 500th member on the old forgottenwars forum and all I got was this lousy title"
  • Planewalker
  • *****
  • Posts: 379
  • Gender: Male
Re: Inherently Evil...
« Reply #38 on: February 01, 2006, 06:59:03 PM »
While it is likely the tadpole operates on instinct as it takes it a full 20 years after attaining a humanoid body to fully mature its powers it should be remembered how it lived to that point.

From the moment of its birth it lives off the brain matter of sentient creatures such as elves, dwarves and humans.

Then of course the only emotions a mind flayer feels are anger, fear, envy, hate, sham, indignation, contempt, pride, and anxiety. The closest feeling to joy is the experience they feel when devouring a brain.
My current information on Mind Flayers, Beholders, Aboleths and your other underdark aberration favorites comes from Lord of Madness. The book for people who actually want to see the internal anatomy creatures such as a beholder.
As well as the 3rd edition stats for the varents such as Ulitharids, and Elder Orbs
Its the draconomicon of Abberations. Why anyone needs to know psychology of abberations I don't know

(http://img1.yoxio.com/img/223592.jpg)


Now, at last, the masks had fallen away.  The strings of the puppets had become visible, and the hands of the prime mover exposed.  Most ironic of all was the last gift that Raziel had given me, more powerful than the sword that now held his soul, more acute even than the vision his sacrifice had accorded me - the first bitter taste of that terrible illusion:  Hope.

Offline SixOfSpades

  • Planewalker
  • *****
  • Posts: 821
  • Gender: Male
    • Volothamp's Comeuppance
Re: Inherently Evil...
« Reply #39 on: February 02, 2006, 12:54:57 PM »
While it is likely the tadpole operates on instinct as it takes it a full 20 years after attaining a humanoid body to fully mature its powers it should be remembered how it lived to that point.

From the moment of its birth it lives off the brain matter of sentient creatures such as elves, dwarves and humans.
While I would be foolish to claim that the tadpole's diet (and especially its method of attaining a skeleton) is anything other than abhorrent, I think it's a foregone conclusion that evil actions require evil intent. A being operating solely on instinct cannot be Evil. True Evilness can only arrive when the mature Mind Flayer thinks back to how it destroyed a sentient intelligence to acquire a body, and how it's been feeding off the brain matter of intelligent beings its entire life, and then it evaluates that as being a perfectly viable and acceptable choice of lifestyle. That's Evil.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2006, 12:57:14 PM by SixOfSpades »

Offline jester

  • Here be dragons...
  • Planewalker
  • *****
  • Posts: 2416
  • If you fail, fail gloriously.
Re: Inherently Evil...
« Reply #40 on: February 02, 2006, 02:23:13 PM »
Quote
True Evilness can only arrive when the mature Mind Flayer thinks back to how it destroyed a sentient intelligence to acquire a body, and how it's been feeding off the meat of intelligent beings its entire life, and then it evaluates that as being a perfectly viable and acceptable choice of lifestyle. That's Evil.

Why am I smack in the PETA thread again? :P
People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.

Why spend all your day surfing for porn?




Balance in all things
I haven't had this much fun since... the last time.

Offline oswald

  • Planewalker
  • *****
  • Posts: 2
Re: Inherently Evil...
« Reply #41 on: February 02, 2006, 03:27:00 PM »
Ultimately i think that the only way you can decide upon whether or not a creature is evil is through your own cultural context and not through a defined universal sense of what is or isn't inherently evil. Mindflayers for example are raised in an isolated collective where they all share thoughts, experiences and opinions more powerfully with each other that they can with any other sentient race. Understandably they percieve themselves as superior to other races, and as such probably view the devouring of other sentient being's brains as somethin akin to the butchering of animals for sustenance. In their view they would see themselves as good and view people who oppose that viewpoint and deny them access to that sustenance as denying them a fundamental right.
There are numerous examples in Forgotten Realms lore where mindflayers have afforded a healthy respect to beings of other races, particulary psionists, who they can relate to in a manner similar to their own race.

Quote
True Evilness can only arrive when the mature Mind Flayer thinks back to how it destroyed a sentient intelligence to acquire a body, and how it's been feeding off the meat of intelligent beings its entire life, and then it evaluates that as being a perfectly viable and acceptable choice of lifestyle. That's Evil.

That would be just like a human that had a stint as a vego...
They are clearly deserving of noble wrath.  :P
As such mindflayers are not inherently evil, but merely of a differing opinion, as a product of their upbringing and social connections.

Were beings to be inherently evil however, would it not be best to consider CHARNAME? I doubt that their can be anything much more evil than the God of Murder, whose purpose of existence is solely to condone assassination and immoral killing. If anything could be considered inherently evil than it should be CHARNAME him/her-self as they are born into the domain of the go dof murder. Creatures like Sahaugin have no irrevocably evil ancestor, that is solely served by destruction of everything else, whether they are in opposition or not, or shameless self advancement beyond thought for others. The Sahaugin show that concern at least for their race, and the survival of loyal members of their species. This differs greatly from the God of Murder. Yet CHARNAME can become a paladin and get a reputation of 20 and hot virtue scores...

So therefore a creature cannot be judged as inherently evil, however the CHARNAME's actions in killing the various creatures of the Forgotten Realms, and in completing quests can be judged according the precepts of the larger populous of the surface communities of Amn (in particular humans, and humanoids). Their view that each particular monster is/isn't worthy od death is what has been attempted to be implemented in the Infinity Engine...

 (Breathe)  :o

-oswald

EDIT>>>>>SORRY....i think i repeated some stuff

Offline Evilyn

  • Planewalker
  • *****
  • Posts: 49
Re: Inherently Evil...
« Reply #42 on: February 06, 2006, 02:47:16 PM »
It's all just a game construct, and one I've never personally cared for, having come from the alignment-free background of RuneQuest. And sometimes I feel like BG shouldn't even allow CHARNAME the option of an evil alignment when his/her career basically forces goodness on him/her.

In the real world, as pointed out, things are more shade-of-greyish. Evil Aztecs crushed by horrified Spaniards, or evil Spaniards crushing an Aztec society needing heart-sacrifice to keep the world in existence? Or evil all around?

 

With Quick-Reply you can write a post when viewing a topic without loading a new page. You can still use bulletin board code and smileys as you would in a normal post.

Warning: this topic has not been posted in for at least 120 days.
Unless you're sure you want to reply, please consider starting a new topic.

Name: Email:
Verification:
Type the letters shown in the picture
Listen to the letters / Request another image
Type the letters shown in the picture:
What color is grass?:
What is the seventh word in this sentence?:
What is five minus two (use the full word)?: