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HelenaExMachina

The Good Place S3 - heaven is a place on Earth (spoilers)

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Yeah we seem to be getting closer to the reality that the entire Good Place is empty.

But that doesn't quite make sense, b/c shouldn't Janet already know this?

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5 minutes ago, Sci-2 said:

Yeah we seem to be getting closer to the reality that the entire Good Place is empty.

But that doesn't quite make sense, b/c shouldn't Janet already know this?

Maybe? I mean, she went on a big thing about who was in the Bad place a few times, but other than the fictional residents of the neighborhood has anyone been named as in the Good Place? I could have sworn there would have been a couple along the way. 

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Just now, Kalbear said:

Maybe? I mean, she went on a big thing about who was in the Bad place a few times, but other than the fictional residents of the neighborhood has anyone been named as in the Good Place? I could have sworn there would have been a couple along the way. 

I guess it's possible that Heaven is somehow Transcendent, and thus outside of Janet's knowledge of the Physical Universe & Hell?

Or maybe there are people who were saved - I'd think Janet should at least know everyone's point totals...perhaps she isn't allowed to know what the actual threshold of points needed for Heaven actually is...or maybe this will all become clear in the next ep...

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5 hours ago, Sci-2 said:

Yeah we seem to be getting closer to the reality that the entire Good Place is empty.

Or doesn't even exist, because there's been no reason to create it yet? Or perhaps they don't know how to create an eternal paradise for humans, which is why they set the points requirements impossibly high? In any case, it would explain why it was so easy to steal a Good Janet - there's nobody to miss her.

5 hours ago, Sci-2 said:

But that doesn't quite make sense, b/c shouldn't Janet already know this?

Possibly she has access to the information in principle but just hasn't thought about it / asked the right question?

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Given that time is really wonky in the afterlife, maybe the Study Group is going to somehow create the Good Place, and then it retroactively gets made to exist for all those eligible forward and back. But I think it's more likely that the "Good Place" is just a different kind of torment for folks altruistic enough to get into it. Maybe it's all just different types of demons preying upon different types of people. 

The counter-example there would be Mindy St Claire in the Medium Place, but I think it's striking that her destiny feels like ironic punishment. In life she was a hard-driving, ambitious, Type A person - but her afterlife consists of being stuck in the same old house in a wasteland for eternity, after being told that she was so cosmically middling that neither Heaven nor Hell took her. 

Or none of that. We don't need that to explain why Chuck is damned - he's damned for the same reason Tahani was. All of those "good" deeds don't count because he's not doing them altruistically. His driving force is entirely selfish self-preservation. 

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I find it curious/impressive how a sitcom generates similar discussion to that in the second apocalypse thread. It's interesting how two very different works of fiction having philosophical crossover points.

Was great to see Chuck from better call saul as the adult kid who cracked the code. Him being tortured felt like tv karma for his life as chuck

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3 hours ago, red snow said:

Was great to see Chuck from better call saul as the adult kid who cracked the code.

He'll always be David St. Hubbins to me. :D

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On 11/17/2018 at 6:25 PM, Winter Bass said:

The counter-example there would be Mindy St Claire in the Medium Place, but I think it's striking that her destiny feels like ironic punishment. In life she was a hard-driving, ambitious, Type A person - but her afterlife consists of being stuck in the same old house in a wasteland for eternity, after being told that she was so cosmically middling that neither Heaven nor Hell took her. 

Or none of that. We don't need that to explain why Chuck is damned - he's damned for the same reason Tahani was. All of those "good" deeds don't count because he's not doing them altruistically. His driving force is entirely selfish self-preservation. 

Yeah, the existence of Mindy St Claire is a strike against there being no Good Place, as this would require her to have achieved the best score in all of history and that still only gets her to the Medium Place.

I do think the second part is why Shawn was so confident, everyone he named is an existing character that we either know or can reason would wind up in The Bad Place on the basis of the rules we've seen so far. I still think the gang will be redeemed by all this good they are doing while believing themselves damned, but if Michael isn't realising that will happen I don't think its unreasonable for Shawn to not realise either.

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2 hours ago, karaddin said:

Yeah, the existence of Mindy St Claire is a strike against there being no Good Place, as this would require her to have achieved the best score in all of history and that still only gets her to the Medium Place.

As I recall she's in the Medium Place because they don't know what her score actually is, since they can't agree on whether or not she should get credit for what happened after her death. But an eternity of solitary confinement with virtually no entertainment strikes me as leaning towards the hellish end of medium.

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30 minutes ago, felice said:

As I recall she's in the Medium Place because they don't know what her score actually is, since they can't agree on whether or not she should get credit for what happened after her death. But an eternity of solitary confinement with virtually no entertainment strikes me as leaning towards the hellish end of medium.

Hmm I'd interpreted that as "She would get into the Good Place if the score was counted" but it might just be that the end result was a null/invalid score and she'd have wound up in the bad place even with getting posthumous acts counted. Hell of a loop hole she's slid through even if the end result is still pretty hellish. An eternity of solitude is probably still better than an eternity of magma enemas or whatever the demon she winds up being tortured by prefers.

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On 11/16/2018 at 4:51 PM, Sci-2 said:

Or maybe there are people who were saved - I'd think Janet should at least know everyone's point totals...perhaps she isn't allowed to know what the actual threshold of points needed for Heaven actually is...

I don't think we know for a fact that she would know everyone's point totals.  The only ones she knew before, that we know of, were the fake ones Michael put in there (if I remember correctly).

On 11/17/2018 at 1:25 AM, Winter Bass said:

Or none of that. We don't need that to explain why Chuck is damned - he's damned for the same reason Tahani was. All of those "good" deeds don't count because he's not doing them altruistically. His driving force is entirely selfish self-preservation.

Right, I'd be extremely disappointed if he were saved, given that Tahani is not.  In fact, his "gaming" is even worse, because he is heaping misery upon himself, himself.  In fact, his knowing of the system should basically disqualify him from the system, in much the same manner as it did the rest of them.

14 hours ago, karaddin said:

I do think the second part is why Shawn was so confident, everyone he named is an existing character that we either know or can reason would wind up in The Bad Place on the basis of the rules we've seen so far.

Indeed.  I mean, it's not very interesting if he is lying.  It is only interesting if he is telling the truth.  The truth being that the points system is garbage and attempting to game it only makes things worse.  It's likely Shawn has access to points totals.  So, I'm sure he'd know.  However, if he knows this and knows they are all damned anyway, why bother to stop them?

No, by trying to stop them, he belies that there is a chance they are doing something that harms his and the Bad Place's interest.  That is plausibly that they might endanger the manner in which the points system probably heavily favors nearly everyone going to the Bad Place.  Note the curious absence of any agent, entity or anything, besides Janet, of the Good Place.  Why is that?  Not that they would be interesting in saving Elenor, et. al., but certainly they'd at least want their Janet back?  Or minimally not want Michael to be using it?  Or not want the rest of the "Soul Squad" screwing up the system?

Perhaps what all the "moral philosophy" framing is getting at is that for all we do, there is no Universal Good (that we can discern).  Or at least, very little we could know as such?  Or perhaps, like Sci was getting at, that "Good" is actually transcendent?  But again, if that were the case, why would Shawn care what they do?  Nope, there is likely something there that he doesn't want them to find...

Edited by .H.

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4 hours ago, .H. said:

I don't think we know for a fact that she would know everyone's point totals.  The only ones she knew before, that we know of, were the fake ones Michael put in there (if I remember correctly).

Nah, there's a part where she's reciting things like "Columbus is ALSO in the bad place". She seems to know all of these things, though she doesn't always synthesize the information. 

4 hours ago, .H. said:

Indeed.  I mean, it's not very interesting if he is lying.  It is only interesting if he is telling the truth.  The truth being that the points system is garbage and attempting to game it only makes things worse.  It's likely Shawn has access to points totals.  So, I'm sure he'd know.  However, if he knows this and knows they are all damned anyway, why bother to stop them?

Because he hates them and wants them to suffer, and he's evil. Doesn't he, like, actually say this directly?

4 hours ago, .H. said:

 Note the curious absence of any agent, entity or anything, besides Janet, of the Good Place.  Why is that?  Not that they would be interesting in saving Elenor, et. al., but certainly they'd at least want their Janet back?  Or minimally not want Michael to be using it?  Or not want the rest of the "Soul Squad" screwing up the system?

Well, there's that dude guarding the door and the judge, and apparently Michael has the only key to Earth, so that's something. There's also the good place person in the intro video for Mindy St. Claire. It might be a flawed system, but the key did very clearly state 'DO NOT DUPLICATE'. You can't just break that kind of ironclad rule willy-nilly. 

4 hours ago, .H. said:

Perhaps what all the "moral philosophy" framing is getting at is that for all we do, there is no Universal Good (that we can discern).  Or at least, very little we could know as such?  Or perhaps, like Sci was getting at, that "Good" is actually transcendent?  But again, if that were the case, why would Shawn care what they do?  Nope, there is likely something there that he doesn't want them to find...

Eh, I think this is overthinking Shawn's role. I think the next eps are going to be similar to the season 2 endgame, where we had some worldbuilding thrown in (season 2 was actually going to the Bad Place and the Judge stuff; Season 3 will be the void and the accountants), and we're going to get some big gotcha on the point totals being weird. And while I think they will give something of a gotcha moment at the end, I don't think it'll be 'there is no Good Place' - just 'there is no way to actually get to the Good Place based on accounting errors'. 

The central moralistic theme of the show is to not do anything extreme in any way, and otherwise you should try to be good to each other when you can, as much as you can reasonably do. 

 

Quote

 

That’s pretty right on the money. I mean, it’s hard to summarize the goal of human existence better than that. What you get with extremes is Chidi, who is a Kantian, and Kant was an extremist who basically said there are rules that you have to discern and live by. They’re not flexible and they have no exceptions. He said, for example, if a guy comes to your house and he says, “Where’s your brother? I want to murder him.” And your brother’s in the other room, Kant says you can’t lie to that guy because lying is bad, straight up, no exceptions. You’re not allowed to lie. That’s insane. That’s an insane position.

Extremism in philosophy is no different from extremism in anything else, I think, based on my extremely limited knowledge of it. The argument of the show is ultimately going to be — and I don’t know if it’s going to be explicit or implicit — that extremism is a bad look.

 

 

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11 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

Eh, I think this is overthinking Shawn's role.

If I didn't over think things, I'd have never thought about anything at all, haha.

12 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

The central moralistic theme of the show is to not do anything extreme in any way, and otherwise you should try to be good to each other when you can, as much as you can reasonably do.

Right, that makes sense.  I should have thought that through more, it's kind of more obvious that this is a more post-modern take on things than what I said.

I mean, I am no expert on Kant, but I think what he is getting at there is:

"Act only according to that maxim by which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law."

The first Categorical Imperative.  It is extreme though, no doubt.  That being said, I don't think it is actually wrong.  That is, it is rational and logically consistent but we aren't, and likely should never be, blindly rational and blindly consistent creatures.

On the case of lying:

Quote

We come next to the vexing problem of telling the truth to the axe murderer. The axeman knocks at our front door and, with a mad gleam in his eye, asks if his intended victim is inside. Should we answer truthfully that he is, or should we lie? Could we perhaps rephrase the principle concerned into ‘truth telling is usually right’ or, ‘truth telling is right unless there are compelling reasons against it’? Kant would claim – and is he not right? – that these formulations do not sound like moral principles. Furthermore, as Kant argues forcefully, these formulations would undermine the credibility of all communication. No-one would know when there was a good reason for lying, and so when they were being lied to.

So do we have to abandon the axeman’s intended victim to his fate? Here we need to make a point clearly stated by Kant himself, and distinguish between general principles, and their application in concrete, individual cases. One cannot emphasise enough that general principles – whether those formulated by Kant, or Aristotle, or enshrined in the Bible – cannot lift the burden of personal judgement from individuals. You cannot feed your principles into a computer and just press a button. Every actual case has unique features to be taken into account.

We can be a little more specific about such choices. Staying with the axe murderer, it should be plain that more than one imperative/moral principle is relevant to the situation. Certainly we should tell the truth; but do we not also have a duty to protect an innocent man from harm? Further, do we not have an obligation to fight evil? We are confronted with a conflict of values here. Unfortunately, as far as I know, there is no explicit discussion of this issue in Kant. One could assume, however, that his general approach of distinguishing the lesser from the greater evil should be applied. I think Kant might say that although lying is never right, it might be the lesser evil in some cases.

Although, I assure you, I agree greatly in principle against extremism, in very form.

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7 minutes ago, Darth Richard II said:

I think I'm starting to like jamil much more than her character. It's refreshing to have someone speak their mind on these things. I just hope ut doesn't land her in any trouble career wise, particularly in America. I think i vaguely recall her doing some radio 1 "well being" talk shows many years ago and it's nice to know she's passionate about things like body image.

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38 minutes ago, red snow said:

I think I'm starting to like jamil much more than her character. It's refreshing to have someone speak their mind on these things. I just hope ut doesn't land her in any trouble career wise, particularly in America. I think i vaguely recall her doing some radio 1 "well being" talk shows many years ago and it's nice to know she's passionate about things like body image.

Right? I doubt it will land her in any trouble with anyone who matters. And if it did we would all riot.

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I'm a few episodes into S3 and I have to say that while I am still enjoying the show I feel like its falling off the rails a little bit. 

I've always found the one weakness of the show the chemistry of the main 4 characters, which sounds odd I know. But clearly Chidi and Elenor have a connection and you could say that there is a bit of a connection between Eleanor and Tahani, and Tahani and Jason. But as a whole they don't really seem to gel as a group.

I guess that makes sense as they were sent together into the bad place to torture each other, but now the show seems determined to tell us that their strength is their bond and connection. I'm struggling to really buy it.

I'm also struggling with Michaels conversion to  actually becoming 'Good Michael' we saw in the first season after a few ethics lessons. Unless something is going to change there and I've been tricked, it all seems a little convenient and 'nice'.

What made that first season so great was how the show managed to turn itself on its head and subvert everything you knew to be true. So when there were times where I found S1 a little dry and predictable and corny, the show twisted things to solve that issue. I'm worried the show has simply gone down a road of light entertainment that will make me lose interest.

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11 hours ago, Darth Richard II said:

Right? I doubt it will land her in any trouble with anyone who matters. And if it did we would all riot.

I think she's safe within the show as it seems she got the role based on her personality. Being excluded from the Kardashian circle of influence is probably no bad thing either.

RE heartofice. I think the show knows the chemistry of the group doesn't really work across the board (but does when broken into sub groups) and that's why they've been split apart a lot.

One thing i feel they have dropped is the attraction that seemed to exist between chidi and tahani in season 1. Out of all the simulations that occurred in season two there must have been scenarios where various romantic relationships could have occurred but i think they've decided to push the chidi Eleanor soulmate angle (which i can understand as it works into a good endgame story for the show).

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57 minutes ago, red snow said:

 

RE heartofice. I think the show knows the chemistry of the group doesn't really work across the board (but does when broken into sub groups) and that's why they've been split apart a lot.

Yes that makes sense, its just that so often the show tries to hang the entire story on the interplay of these 4. When their interplay is pretty weak and forced the whole show seems to wobble on its foundations. 

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