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  #61  
Old 03-21-2017, 04:51 AM
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In the same way Ishamael wasn't really bad at all; he merely had a different idea of what was good.
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  #62  
Old 03-21-2017, 07:07 AM
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In the same way Ishamael wasn't really bad at all; he merely had a different idea of what was good.
You really don't have a mind that can handle points midway between the extremes, do you?
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  #63  
Old 03-21-2017, 07:29 AM
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When Alanna bonded Rand, she tried to enslave him. She failed at that, not because of anything she did or wanted, but only because he was too powerful.

I think that the Seanchan who collared Egwene were wrong, and that what they did was evil. They did not think so, as has remained clear throughout the series.

There are definitely midpoints between the extremes, but in my view what Alanna did (and what the Seanchan did) falls well to the evil side of that midpoint. The Seanchan thought that female channelers needed to be leashed, the AS thought that Rand needed to be leashed. Both thought that all other male channelers had to be killed, though the Seanchan were more honest about that.
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  #64  
Old 03-21-2017, 08:02 AM
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When Alanna bonded Rand, she tried to enslave him. She failed at that, not because of anything she did or wanted, but only because he was too powerful.

I think that the Seanchan who collared Egwene were wrong, and that what they did was evil. They did not think so, as has remained clear throughout the series.

There are definitely midpoints between the extremes, but in my view what Alanna did (and what the Seanchan did) falls well to the evil side of that midpoint. The Seanchan thought that female channelers needed to be leashed, the AS thought that Rand needed to be leashed. Both thought that all other male channelers had to be killed, though the Seanchan were more honest about that.
Well the thing is that nothing we do is evil in itself. Or good. Acts in themselves are useful or harmful and which it is can change based on desired results. Good and evil are decided by motives. The Forsaken did many harmful things and on a massive scale, but what makes them evil are the purely selfish motives behind those deeds.
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  #65  
Old 03-21-2017, 10:11 AM
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But it doesn't prove that a specific character would do something much less that they actually did do it. All you are proving is that WoT isn't perfectly divided into Heroes and Villains. It's one of the series' strengths that you can't quickly deside what the characters would do based on which side they are on.
Yes, and that is all I intend to prove, with this. It was a direct rebuttal to a statement which assumed the contrary, as you might have known had you read the entire discussion.
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  #66  
Old 03-21-2017, 10:16 AM
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Well the thing is that nothing we do is evil in itself. Or good. Acts in themselves are useful or harmful and which it is can change based on desired results. Good and evil are decided by motives. The Forsaken did many harmful things and on a massive scale, but what makes them evil are the purely selfish motives behind those deeds.
Wait a minute... I don't see an explanation of Seanchan leashing of female channelers that isn't based on selfish motives. They greatly fear the channelers, so they enslave them, and then use their destructive powers anyway. Way more than free channelers in other continents do, in fact.

It is a selfish, hypocritical, evil act.

Alanna's was no better. The best explanation people can come up with is "she was emotionally unbalanced due to her Warder's death", which doesn't change the moral underpinning of her actions at all. She explicitly states that she tried to control Rand the moment after she bonded him to Kiruna. The motive was clearly control, clearly selfish, and just as clearly doesn't leave much room for interpretation as an acceptable action.
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  #67  
Old 03-21-2017, 11:47 AM
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They believe that they are doing good. Doesn't that automatically mean that it isn't selfish?
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  #68  
Old 03-21-2017, 12:15 PM
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Yes, and that is all I intend to prove, with this. It was a direct rebuttal to a statement which assumed the contrary, as you might have known had you read the entire discussion.
I am almost a third of this discussion. You just expressed yourself vaguely.

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Wait a minute... I don't see an explanation of Seanchan leashing of female channelers that isn't based on selfish motives. They greatly fear the channelers, so they enslave them, and then use their destructive powers anyway. Way more than free channelers in other continents do, in fact.

It is a selfish, hypocritical, evil act.

Alanna's was no better. The best explanation people can come up with is "she was emotionally unbalanced due to her Warder's death", which doesn't change the moral underpinning of her actions at all. She explicitly states that she tried to control Rand the moment after she bonded him to Kiruna. The motive was clearly control, clearly selfish, and just as clearly doesn't leave much room for interpretation as an acceptable action.
Alanna fears that ta'veren without Aes Sedai guidance will lead to the Shadow's victory. That is her main motive. You can look at it from a lot of angles and find a lot of other motives which are probably all true to a degree, but fear of the Shadow's victory is on top. Mostly it adds up to her being a coward as well as arrogant, but not evil.

Most Aes Sedai are brainwashed to believe things will go wrong without their supervision and especially if a man is in charge. Something similar applies to the Seanchan in regards to women who can channel. The individuals who believe the doctrains can be called many things from mentally lazy to willfully blind, but "evil" requires for them to be aware of the harm they do.
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  #69  
Old 03-21-2017, 01:47 PM
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People can do things that are evil because they are deceived into thinking them good. That doesn't make the action anything other evil, though it may mean that the perpetrator isn't evil.

The AS deceived themselves into thinking that if they enslaved others that would be good. The Seanchan were apparently tricked into such a thought patter by Ishamael. Both attitudes, when put into practice, are evil. Individuals who fell for it may have been either evil, just stupid, or both. Ishamael managed to combine being evil and stupid with being smart. As did Tuon, for that matter.
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  #70  
Old 03-21-2017, 02:47 PM
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People can do things that are evil because they are deceived into thinking them good. That doesn't make the action anything other evil, though it may mean that the perpetrator isn't evil.
The problem with thinking of any act as automatically evil even if you admit the perpetrator might not be, is that your mind starts taking the same kind of shortcuts that lead people into doing harmful things and believing them to be good.
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  #71  
Old 03-21-2017, 03:27 PM
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People can do things that are evil because they are deceived into thinking them good. That doesn't make the action anything other evil, though it may mean that the perpetrator isn't evil.

The AS deceived themselves into thinking that if they enslaved others that would be good. The Seanchan were apparently tricked into such a thought patter by Ishamael. Both attitudes, when put into practice, are evil. Individuals who fell for it may have been either evil, just stupid, or both. Ishamael managed to combine being evil and stupid with being smart. As did Tuon, for that matter.
Protip: Most "evil" people who do awful things don't think they're the bad guy...
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  #72  
Old 03-21-2017, 09:05 PM
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They believe that they are doing good. Doesn't that automatically mean that it isn't selfish?
"Good" for whom?

The Seanchan believe what they're doing is good for the non-channeling part of society. Even ignoring how ripping channelers away from their loved ones obviously harms more than just the channelers, doing "good" for one part of society at the expense of another hardly qualifies as actually good. Otherwise, we'd have to concede some slavers' arguments that slavery helped the white folks, and thus supporting slavery and fighting for it wasn't selfish but about promoting "good".

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I am almost a third of this discussion. You just expressed yourself vaguely.
It is interesting that you think because you posted a lot it means you understood things well. Evidence seems pretty clear that the opposite is the case...

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Alanna fears that ta'veren without Aes Sedai guidance will lead to the Shadow's victory. That is her main motive. You can look at it from a lot of angles and find a lot of other motives which are probably all true to a degree, but fear of the Shadow's victory is on top. Mostly it adds up to her being a coward as well as arrogant, but not evil.
No, there is absolutely nothing which says that she fears the Shadow will win if she didn't do what she did. If such were the case, nothing Faile said would have stopped her from bonding Perrin.

Her belief is more in the line of Elaida's... wanting perfect control to satisfy your selfish fears that someone else may not act in a way that is perfectly aligned with your views. Her actions in forcibly bonding Rand are no different than Elaida's in having him kidnapped.

In fact, knowing what we (and the Aes Sedai) know of ta'veren, controlling them is by definition an act of defiance of the Pattern's will. You do not have to bow to every whim a ta'veren has. You do not have to accept everything they say. But you cannot seek absolute control over their actions either. They're meant to be a destabilizing force. You deal with them upfront, and pay the price for it.

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Most Aes Sedai are brainwashed to believe things will go wrong without their supervision and especially if a man is in charge.
Since when is this an acceptable excuse for an immoral act? If you're so dumb as to fail to learn from Bonwhin's lunacy, you cannot possibly use that to mitigate the weight of your actions.

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Something similar applies to the Seanchan in regards to women who can channel. The individuals who believe the doctrains can be called many things from mentally lazy to willfully blind, but "evil" requires for them to be aware of the harm they do.
Come now... the hypocrisy of the Seanchan is not some deeply buried one that is hard to see. If using the One Power is wrong, and inevitably corrupting, then no one should use it, period. You cannot both say it is wrong, and then use it by proxy and claim everything is fine. The harm caused by the use of the One Power in battle is pretty obvious. As is the harm caused by chopping off body parts to force obedience in damane, or causing them immense pain. These are not acts that a non-channeler cannot comprehend.

By your logic, Ishamael isn't evil either. He thinks he has a perfectly good reason for doing what he does. Heck, Semirhage genuinely does seem to believe her abilities mean people owe her chance to take her pleasures on them, and Greaendal genuinely thinks the world cannot match her standards, so she is teaching them a grand lesson by adopting hedonism to the fullest. Are these people not evil too??
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Old 03-21-2017, 09:37 PM
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Most Aes Sedai are brainwashed to believe things will go wrong without their supervision and especially if a man is in charge.
To be fair, in Randland, that isn't just "most Aes Sedai", its "most women". This is a universe where the Original Sin (the taint, Breaking, etc) was caused by a man, not a woman so you get the polar opposite of the traditional judeo-christian mindset that men are superior. Women pretty much run most of Randland whether its AS advisors or Womens Circles or Aiel Wise Ones or actual rulers (Tenobia, Berelain, Morgase, etc).
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  #74  
Old 03-21-2017, 09:51 PM
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To be fair, in Randland, that isn't just "most Aes Sedai", its "most women". This is a universe where the Original Sin (the taint, Breaking, etc) was caused by a man, not a woman so you get the polar opposite of the traditional judeo-christian mindset that men are superior. Women pretty much run most of Randland whether its AS advisors or Womens Circles or Aiel Wise Ones or actual rulers (Tenobia, Berelain, Morgase, etc).
The Eve story is messed up on many levels, as her crime was essentially just educating and civilizing Adam so that he wouldn't be such an ignorant savage. Not to mention the fact that the serpent (Satan) thus stands as not just the enemy but also as the embodiment of civilization, with god and pure virility thus standing for stupidity. This is also not a theme isolated to Judaism. It is very similar to the story of Prometheus, with Prometheus, like Satan, being punished for civilizing man by Zeus, who wanted to keep us docile and stupid, and then Zeus sent down Pandora, the woman, to curse and mislead us. It's also similar to the origin story of Athens, with its explanation for why only men, and no longer women, were allowed to vote, as they had the audacity to vote for Athena, and her useful gift/bribe of the olive tree, while the stupid men all voted for Poseidon and his useless bribe of the salt water spring.

As an aside, I don't think that RJ intended for us to read what Myrelle did as rape, nor to assume that she used actual compulsion on him (i.e. rape) for the sex within their "marriage". That seemed intended to be read as purely consensual. What it seemed like RJ was critiquing here was more specifically the practice of arranged marriage, especially when done without the consent of both participants.

Mind you, that doesn't mean that we have to agree with RJ, and not view that as akin to, in not equal to rape. He certainly treated this as distinct almost certainly in part (or in whole) due to the fact that the victim here was the man, not the woman. This is even more obvious with how he treats the scene with Tylin quite clearly raping Mat, with Elayne et aliae reacting to that realization with amusement rather than horror.

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  #75  
Old 03-21-2017, 10:58 PM
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While I definitely agree that Tylin raped Mat I think Mat's biggest issue with the situation was more about that he wasn't the chasing, dominant partner in the relationship.
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Old 03-22-2017, 02:59 AM
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This is even more obvious with how he treats the scene with Tylin quite clearly raping Mat, with Elayne et aliae reacting to that realization with amusement rather than horror.
While it is true that in-book Elayne isn't ever chastised for her reaction, this kind of reaction (basically an "asking for it") is distressingly common among men when told of a woman in a similar situation in our world. So while I have several issues with how RJ dealt with the whole thing, I don't think the gender inversion is broken by Elayne's reaction.

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While I definitely agree that Tylin raped Mat I think Mat's biggest issue with the situation was more about that he wasn't the chasing, dominant partner in the relationship.
Its not just that. If you re-read those parts, Mat is genuinely terrified and mortified at several points, especially when she starves him unless he has sex with her.
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Old 03-22-2017, 03:19 AM
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It is interesting that you think because you posted a lot it means you understood things well. Evidence seems pretty clear that the opposite is the case...
You said that I hadn't read the discussion. I said I am more than a third of it. It is very interesting how you assume everyone thinks exactly like you and it's somehow their fault when what you say is misunderstood. Such as just now when you make a claim and then misunderstand the obvious rebuttal.

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No, there is absolutely nothing which says that she fears the Shadow will win if she didn't do what she did. If such were the case, nothing Faile said would have stopped her from bonding Perrin.
Absolutely nothing? Seriously? You are so caught up in interpreting the words your way you can't even see the other possibilities. Good grief you are close minded.
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Her belief is more in the line of Elaida's... wanting perfect control to satisfy your selfish fears that someone else may not act in a way that is perfectly aligned with your views. Her actions in forcibly bonding Rand are no different than Elaida's in having him kidnapped.
This is your personal interpretation again.
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In fact, knowing what we (and the Aes Sedai) know of ta'veren, controlling them is by definition an act of defiance of the Pattern's will. You do not have to bow to every whim a ta'veren has. You do not have to accept everything they say. But you cannot seek absolute control over their actions either. They're meant to be a destabilizing force. You deal with them upfront, and pay the price for it.
Why do you assume an Aes Sedai would act logically? A green one at that. Look how Siuan Sanche tried to make things go her way even when Min told her of things that were already fated to be.

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Since when is this an acceptable excuse for an immoral act? If you're so dumb as to fail to learn from Bonwhin's lunacy, you cannot possibly use that to mitigate the weight of your actions.
Acceptable excuse? All I said was that they aren't evil. There is a lot to be desired in them as people. The world isn't black and white. Evil is at the extreme end of the spectrum good is at the other. If you can't see all that fits in between you are just as mentally immature as Alanna.

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Originally Posted by fionwe1987 View Post
Come now... the hypocrisy of the Seanchan is not some deeply buried one that is hard to see. If using the One Power is wrong, and inevitably corrupting, then no one should use it, period. You cannot both say it is wrong, and then use it by proxy and claim everything is fine. The harm caused by the use of the One Power in battle is pretty obvious. As is the harm caused by chopping off body parts to force obedience in damane, or causing them immense pain. These are not acts that a non-channeler cannot comprehend.
You expect people to think. RJ was very clever with that. A whole lot of real world history happened because the vast majority of people don't think.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fionwe1987 View Post
By your logic, Ishamael isn't evil either. He thinks he has a perfectly good reason for doing what he does. Heck, Semirhage genuinely does seem to believe her abilities mean people owe her chance to take her pleasures on them, and Greaendal genuinely thinks the world cannot match her standards, so she is teaching them a grand lesson by adopting hedonism to the fullest. Are these people not evil too??
The difference between the Forsaken and Seanchan is that the Forsaken think. They choose to do harm for their own personal satisfaction. The Seanchan are raised to believe that all these nasty things are the price of an orderly society. If they really thought about it they would see how wrong it is but they don't. The Forsaken grew up in the Age of Legends. They know that the things they do are harmful. They know that they are not choosing a lesser evil in service of the greater good. They do it all for themselves and themselves alone.

Good and evil are exclusively for those who think. The rest of humanity is too immature to be either. They aren't good. They are mentally lazy, cowardly and shallow. But they aren't evil.
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Old 03-22-2017, 05:31 AM
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Absolutely nothing? Seriously?
You know, you could, in theory, try to back up your assertion with quotes from the books. If you actually did that, it might actually give you some credibility. At the very least, it would put the ball in our court, with us having to argue why the passages you cited do not support your case. As it is, since you haven't quoted anything, it is a reasonable conclusion to say that you have nothing.
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Old 03-22-2017, 05:44 AM
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You know, you could, in theory, try to back up your assertion with quotes from the books. If you actually did that, it might actually give you some credibility. At the very least, it would put the ball in our court, with us having to argue why the passages you cited do not support your case. As it is, since you haven't quoted anything, it is a reasonable conclusion to say that you have nothing.
And your proof for your stance is?

Now I don't think that the lack of quotes is proof of being wrong. But since you insist that it is I must now assume that you admit being wrong seeing as you don't present quotes for your stance. Too bad your admitting such isn't proof of me being right, isn't it?
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Old 03-22-2017, 08:14 AM
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Why do you assume an Aes Sedai would act logically? A green one at that.
My own position is that Alanna is indeed Green, and not Black. Thus, she can not lie when she makes an outright statement as she is doing here:
Quote:
Originally Posted by LoC, Chapter 11, Lessons and Teachers
The question should not have caught Alanna by surprise, yet it did. She hesitated, then drew out a chair and sat, arranging her skirts before she answered. "It was the logical thing to do, with him right there in front of us. It should have been done long ago. You could not – or would not." Like most Greens, she was somewhat amused by other Ajahs’ insistence that each sister have only one Warder. What Greens thought of the Reds having none was better left unsaid. "They all should have been bonded at the first chance. They are too important to run loose, him most of all." Color blossomed suddenly in her cheeks; it would be a good while yet before she had full control of her emotions again.
Now, her logic was seriously flawed, as it depends on the assumption that Bonwhin was correct to try to take control of a ta'veren. However, the fact that she overlooked this (to us obvious) detail can be ascribed to a combination of her emotional state and Verin's meddling. That does not change the fact that she did base her decision in logic.

Alanna tried to control Rand, as the following part shows:
Quote:
Originally Posted by LoC, Chapter 49, The Mirror of Mists
"If you had to bond a man without asking him," Kiruna demanded in that commanding voice, "why, by the Light most holy, have you not used the bond to bend him to your will? Compared to the other, that is only slapping his wrist."
Alanna still had small control of her emotions. Color actually flooded her cheeks, partly in anger by the way her eyes flashed, and assuredly partly in shame. "Has no one told you?" she asked, too brightly. "I suppose no one wants to think of it. I certainly do not." Faeldrin and Seonid looked at the floor, and they were not the only ones. "I tried to compel him moments after I bonded him," Alanna continued as if noticing none of it. "Have you ever attempted to uproot an oak tree with your bare hands, Kiruna? It was much the same."
And as for the comparison with rape, that's one that is straight from the books:
Quote:
Originally Posted by PoD, Chapter 12, New Alliances
Cadsuane scowled over the cup at her. She might have. There was no difference between what Alanna had done and a man forcing himself on a woman, but, the Light help her, she might have, had she believed it would help her reach her goal. Now, she no longer considered even making Alanna pass the bond to her. Alanna had proved how useless that was in controlling him.
Now, which specific quotes can you provide to show that Alanna did not act based on logic, and that what she did was not considered comparable to rape?

Alternatively: what quotes are you willing to produce to defend rape as "not evil"?
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