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thewolfofStarfall

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  1. thewolfofStarfall

    "Moral ambiguity" is overrated and overestimated

    Well I agree with this. Its impossible for me to force anyone to believe in a particular moral code nor do I want to, but that doesn't mean mine is less legitimate or I will stop believing in it. So yeah, I agree that not every person will believe in a specific moral code, but that of coarse doesn't mean society can't come to a consensus of what is right and wrong in general. However, when it comes some moral situations. "who is right or wrong" or "who gets to decide morality for all" are not questions worth asking because people can have "logical" justifications behind their actions, but those actions can still purely and essentially wrong. For example, Stannis and Melisandre's sacrifices. Those are rephensible from the point of view of any code of ethics besides religious extremism. Also, in other cases, such questions may not be possible to answer clearly. I'm not ignoring the shortcomings of of these characters. I simply disagree with the notion that someone cannot make a wrong decision, - especially one they regret- without being completely "grey" or morally ambiguous. I don't see how that's any different from moral absolutism. Just because people make bad choices, doesn't people are incapable of being essentially good. If you want call it "being a saint", then okay I guess you could call it that. I would call Davos, Ned, Jon, Sam, Robb, Brienne, Meera, Bran, Jojen, Sansa, Shireen, Renly, Hordor, EdriDayne, Berric Dondarian and the BWB, good people. There are also characters on the road to redemption like Jamie and the Hound. The would call the show counterparts of Arya and Tyrion good people, but I hear they are much darker in the books, so I don't want to be completely consclusive. The only Stark I would call almost completely selfish is Catelyn and Lady SH is obviously not a good person.
  2. thewolfofStarfall

    "Moral ambiguity" is overrated and overestimated

    I agree completely moral ambiguity or lack of it does not dertermine whether a story is well written and enjoyable. What some people would determine a "black and white" story can be harder to write than a story full of "grey" characters
  3. thewolfofStarfall

    "Moral ambiguity" is overrated and overestimated

    Yeah, my previous statement was not properly stated. I completely agree that intentions are integral to one's moral descion making, but I was just trying to re-empazise that simply having an intention is not what dertimines an action to be right or wrong. The mere existence of one is what I deem "irrelevant", not what the intentions actually are.
  4. thewolfofStarfall

    "Moral ambiguity" is overrated and overestimated

    True, I think my statement in red was poorly communicated . Intentions are important, but having good or ambiguous intentions to an act does not automatically mean the act is moral. Daenerys may or may not have had good intentions when crucifying random slavers without trial, but that doesn't mean it's justified. About your statements in bold. The human species as a whole has not actively participated in wiping out other species. As in not everyone is trying kill elephants and other endangered species. There are a lot people trying to stop poachers. This can't be said of the Others who are actively trying to eradicate humans. It's possible the Others we see are just an extremist faction, and "normal" Others do not want to kill humans, but we have no idea. Also, none of the life forms you listed are sentient, so they are not comparable to the Others IMO. I'm actually not utterly against utilitarianism btw. In some circumstances, actions that are not traditionally seen as "right" are simply necessary. An example of this, maybe when Miri Maaz Durr was acussed of killing Rhaego by Daenerys. It's likely she killed neither Drogo or Rhaego, and Daenerys being the self righteous bitch she is just wanted to punish her... but I would have no problem if Miri purposefully killed either of them. I'm wondering what your opinion on utilitarianism is? Do you think is an example in ASIOAF where a utilitarian coarse of ethics is taken and you agree with it?
  5. thewolfofStarfall

    "Moral ambiguity" is overrated and overestimated

    I never said the whole of humankind was was particularly good at reckonsing those ethical standards. Also, we do not depend most of the enndgagered species in earth for survival yet is still wrong to drive them to extinction. Ethics is not defined by what is natural or needed for survival, but does councide with if at times. There is no evidence that Others need to destroy all life in order to survive. We nothing about their motives. I'm confused by you mean by "it's in their nature", are you saying the Others are just a supernatural force who are not sentient, thus have no choice in what they're doing?
  6. thewolfofStarfall

    "Moral ambiguity" is overrated and overestimated

    Reasons can be important in evaluating an action to be right or wrong. However, many people seem to believe simply having a reason behind a reprehensible action is enough to absolve a person from condemnation and assert "everyone's the hero of their own story". This makes no sense whatsoever. The actual reason is what is important, not the mere presence of one. As I've stated before, everyone has "reasons" behind their actions.
  7. thewolfofStarfall

    "Moral ambiguity" is overrated and overestimated

    It's ambiguous in the sense that the person's actions can fall anywhere on the spectrum depending on what they want rather than standards of right and wrong. It means there is no clear line between good and evil. People's actions are a big mess of "grey" composed of what we usually think of being "good" or "evil" actions but at end of the day there there no good or evil, according to moral relativists, nor is there good or evil people. People operate according to their own desires and we attach value to those actions based on our persceptives. Our persceptive is what makes an action "ambiguous", not a true existence of right and wrong. The "greyness" is ultimately a meaningless sea of nothing.
  8. thewolfofStarfall

    "Moral ambiguity" is overrated and overestimated

    I never claimed people don't justify their actions by pretending or genuinely thinking they're doing the right thing in real life or the books. I'm simply claiming that not everyone operates that way, and that there are people who do not care whether something is right or wrong.
  9. thewolfofStarfall

    "Moral ambiguity" is overrated and overestimated

    I just wanted to clear any confusion and say that my main point with the Others isn't necessarily about whether they're evil or not, I'm arguing against the assertion that it is impossible for the Others to be evil because of the oversimplification this saga has been reduced to. This is under the assumption that the Others are sentient beings, which is very clear in the show but maybe I haven't gotten far enough into the books to judge if the case is the same. The bottom line is it's possible that by the end of the story I'll be convinced that the Others at least aren't purely evil, but that end is yet to come.
  10. thewolfofStarfall

    "Moral ambiguity" is overrated and overestimated

    I would say ethical standards should be beneficial to life in general, not just human life. A species trying to annihilate another species is evil regardless of what species were are talking about. Just like the Andals slaughtering the children of the forest were also reprehensible actions. The evilness of genocide really has nothing to do with what "race" were taking about. Futhermore, all those things you listed are entirely distinct from moral ambiguity. Having to face dilemmas is moral complexity and implies an existence and respect for ethical standards. Moral ambiguity is essentially amorality, meaning descions are simply based on characters' selfish desires much like Tywin, Littlefinger, and Daenerys. I don't buy her "abolistinst" act, she's okay with virtually any reprehensible act if it benefits her or sadistically punishes those she deems as worthless, so she can get her "ruthlessness" across.
  11. thewolfofStarfall

    "Moral ambiguity" is overrated and overestimated

    Yup I agree completely. Trying to force moral greyness onto a fictional world is truly just another way for people to communicate their own world view.
  12. thewolfofStarfall

    "Moral ambiguity" is overrated and overestimated

    I was raised in a devout Christian home and attend a Christian school, so that definitely colors my beliefs and convictions, but I'm not actually sure what I would call myself at the moment, haha. Yeah I agree, I think it's one thing to examine the characters' actions in universe. It raises a lot of interesting questions about the society's perception of honor, despite their being a lot of injustice that their "honor" either covers up, ignores, or commends . This is best seen in the "Jamie dilemma", where he had to break his kingsguard vows to kill the lunatic he served, and is now know as the "kingslayer". I'm glad Jamie has these aspects, like all the other well written characters. This is sort of the difference between "moral ambiguity" and moral complexity. A morally complex character actually has standards of right and wrong, and faces dilemmas where the correct path doesn't seem clear. I think Stannis could be described as morally complex to an extent, yet everyone wants to employ a sort of "one drop policy", where all characters are a sea of grey. It really takes away from characters IMO. A morally ambiguous character bases nearly all of their descions on their own lustfull desires, and their actions can fall anywhere on the sprectrum. They can justify clearly immoral, even atrocitous actions if it fits their agenda, or they simply don't care. IMO this is not key to good writing at all. Moral grayness can be far more trite than classic stories that are perceived as "black and white". In fact, the concept of moral relativism is more absolute than a straightforward understanding of ethics because you're saying "there is no moral truth". It's amorality. Everything is the same. Getting pleasure from murdering a child is no different from getting pleasure from eating a hamburger (there is a similar quote by the serial killler Ted Bundy on this). This is of course an extreme example of moral relativism, but it still shares the same underlying principle that many people on this forum seem to be guided by. It's a bit disheartening that so many people can claim there's no good or evil in a work a fiction just as easily as they can say that about the real world. I'm not sure what's more confusing: that people can see the rampant murder, rape, and torture that takes place in Westeros and beyond and claim "there's no evil", and "everyone's a hero of their own story", or that people can look at the real world and say the same things.
  13. thewolfofStarfall

    "Moral ambiguity" is overrated and overestimated

    Likewise I could argue the same about assuming people are not evil or have good intentions just because we know little about them. I would actually say that is a far riskier assessment depending on the situation. Also, I'm not even basing my opinion on the Others from what I don't know but from what I do know. At the end day, we do understand the Others. We really don't need to know much about them to know they must be stopped and since they are making conscious decisions to kill innocent people they can be described as evil regardless of their motives. It would be a whole other matter if they were not conscious beings, which I'm claiming they more than likely are in the books, and definitely are in the show.
  14. thewolfofStarfall

    "Moral ambiguity" is overrated and overestimated

    Fair enough. However, I'm not at all concerned about the mere fact that twisted moral reasoning bothers me, so it can not actually be an "issue". I do find certain perceptions unsettling, so I decided to call it out. I don't see how this wrong, not like it will stop me from voicing my opinion. It's the underlying principles that people apply to real life that's makes it unsettling. I'm pretty sure fiction is suppose to make you reflect on real life, so again I find it perfectly normal to find issue with the popular moral beliefs on this fandom.
  15. thewolfofStarfall

    "Moral ambiguity" is overrated and overestimated

    Well, I'll guess we'll just have to agree to disagree. The Free Northman mentioned how there's a difference between acknowledging the pitfalls that humans have to going out your way to glorify the notion that we're all "grey" instead of striving to make ethical decisions. Furthermore, there's a wild difference between acknowledging human capability and willingness to make wrong decisions at times, as opppsed to transforming this basic concept into an "everyone's the hero of their own story" assertion. I hope you realize that not everyone actually sees themselves as the "hero of their own story". That's not how life works. Many people are acutely aware of the immorality of their own actions, they simply don't care. Most evil people don't fool themselves into believing they're "the hero", however they do delude others into believing their actions are for "the greater good" to gain followers. This has been true since time immemorial. I think the problem is you think I'm claiming ASOIAF is a "black and white story", when I'm actually not. I'm claiming "black and white stories" don't exist. That's why I said "whatever that means" in my OP. It's simply common sense that people are infallible in their choices. This is even taught in Christianity. People have been hearing we're "all sinners" since kindergarten. Most people have lightness and darkness inside them. What defines us is what we choose to do and our willingness to learn and and improve. This basic concept has nothing to with moral relativism, in fact it is moral relativism's antithesis.
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