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Philosophy quiz


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#1 TDouglas

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 12:40 PM

I've been playing around with this for awhile now, and thought I'd throw it out to the rest of the gang for additional insight.

The concept of "murder" depends on law (in a lawless culture the strong take (and occasionally kill) the weak without a second thought). Admittedly, "murder" is against the law, but the concept would not exist without law.

Most ancient cultures taught that chaos was the foundation of reality (it's certainly always been so for me at least >:) ), with law being instated on top of it by sentient beings (and, thus, basically an illusion).
You could argue that there are "laws of nature", but many philosophers argue against this (for reasons I won't get into here). But the concept of murder can only exist within a lawful society....

Soooo... would Bhall's "Throne of Blood" exist in Baator or the Abyss?

#2 Bartimaeus

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 01:46 PM

If it had to be located either of the two, I would say Baator. This is only going off of your question and ignoring the fact that Bhaal is/was lawful evil. :)

...though Wikipedia says the Throne of Blood was located in Barrens of Doom and Despair.

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#3 Rhaella

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 01:47 PM

Hmm. Depends upon your ancient culture. Good old Heraclitus would probably have agreed, but most Greek philosophers would have stared at you in horror for thinking that chaos was the natural state. Platonic philosophy is pretty much the opposite of that, though yeah, if you go to the subcontinent and look at the concept of maya, you start to see it.

Though I'd probably prefer to look at the internal philosophy rather than real world philosophy to figure out stuff like this. For one, murder being lawless or otherwise, Bhaal was a Lawful Evil deity, so all the references to the Abyss made very little sense to me.

Of course, you do have to take into account your Lawful Evil societies to figure out if murder is inherently unlawful. Cause it happens all of the time even there. In Thay, if I recall, whether you get in trouble depends upon the status of the victim relative to your own. In Zhentil Keep, murder is explicitly a capital offense, though it probably works out the same way it does in Thay. Justice is a bit...lacking if you have money or power. One interesting note I came across in the Unapproachable East book said that some Red Wizards carry around extra red robes to justify random murders they commit by flinging the robe over the victim (since wearing red robes in Thay is punishable by death), which does complicate the notion that they're above that particular law, even if they probably wouldn't get into legal trouble because of it.

So yeah, murder and law go together, which does put Bhaal in an interesting place ideologically. The other major Lawful Evil deities I know about (Bane, Xvim, and Loviatar) embody a lawful doctrine; Bhaal subverts it. Granted, I do like the thought that he's Lawful Evil precisely because without that lawful edge, he'd be a god of slaughter and killing rather than a god of murder per se.

Edited by Rhaella, 31 January 2012 - 01:58 PM.


#4 TDouglas

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 04:24 AM

I'm a big fan of Heraclitus myself (guy after my own heart... or lack thereof <g>), but seem to recall that even in greek thought order was superimposed upon primal chaos (the whole aperion thing). Most of the ancient texts I've read over the years tended to agree with that assertion.

The question was really about the whole abyss thing ... it crops up often in reference to Bhall and his domain, but diddn't make much sense to me either. Glad I'm not the only one :new_thumbs:

#5 Rhaella

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 02:58 PM

Yeah, I think it's a matter of Bioware writers not actually fully understanding their own mythology.

#6 -mclure-

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 10:24 AM

Well, in a chaotic evil setting, there are no laws therefore murder is the "law". Since evil is abhorrent and the worst possible representation of it is chaotic evil, murder is a routine there, among other things best left undescribed. That is, as long as the place reeks of evil, it will be there. If you take for instance the chaotic neutral plane of the limbo, it's mostly a shape shifting place where momentary whims makes the planes, but people are not there to keep on hurting each other, so there is no "evil" morality, as much as an amorality, or moral relativism, altough it may still occur under certain circustances.

#7 Victor Zafiro

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Posted 18 July 2012 - 06:00 PM

Hmm...I'm saying this on the go without much thought...I see no bad or evil in nature, only in human beings; okay, maybe at times a chicken is born with three legs, what can i say, damn, nature you scary! It's more about good and someone's understading of good, humans tend to look for whats good for themself, yet most do things as they see fit, they think its good for them not caring about others, but they hurt not only others, but themself too. A God can't be "evil", it doesnt make any sense; God is everything, he can't be evil, and God can't have a nemesis(Devil), and i'm not saying God is Good and Evil at the same time like some Yin and Yang thing; the bad can only be made and perceived by humans. Actually, there is no such thing as Evil, methinks.

Mention: "EVERY art and every inquiry, and similarly every action and pursuit, is thought to aim at some good; and for this reason the good has rightly been declared to be that at which all things aim." - Aristotel