Mourning Star Posted July 27, 2022 Share Posted July 27, 2022 (edited) 18 hours ago, Lissasalayaya said: Take a good look at Mourning Star's question above. Read it over and think about it. Now compare it to his comment from earlier: So, being a servant is not the same as being a slave? Is that what you're saying? As in, there is a distinction between slavery and servanthood? That's odd. Because in the question above, you tried to get me to say that the situations of Illyrio's servants are the same thing as slavery. A servant is not necessarily a slave. Illyrio has slaves. Illyrio will send the slaves to bathe you. A Game of Thrones - Daenerys I He had collected a fortune in horses and slaves for his part in selling her to Khal Drogo. A Game of Thrones - Daenerys II Illyrio's servants entered, bowed, and set about their business. They were slaves, a gift from one of the magister's many Dothraki friends. There was no slavery in the free city of Pentos. Nonetheless, they were slaves. A Game of Thrones - Daenerys I It's made explicitly clear that Illyrio's servants are, in fact, slaves. 18 hours ago, Lissasalayaya said: Hmm. So Mourning Star is contradicting himself from one breath to the next. He seems rather confused. What could explain his behavior? I did not contradict myself. 18 hours ago, Lissasalayaya said: Oh, because he knows he's wrong and he simply doesn't have the humility to admit it. So instead, he's moving between a Good vs Evil stance and a Beyond Good vs Evil stance to avoid having to confess to the obvious contradictions in what he's saying. And he's trying to get me and you and everyone else who wants to talk about the story's moral complexity to BEND THE KNEE to his brain-dead Good vs Evil mode of interpretation by demanding that I utter the words "Slavery is bad" under the threat of the accusation that I'm pro-slavery. If you are unwilling to condemn slavery, you are acting the slave apologist. No one is asking for submission, I'm arguing against dangerous rhetoric. 18 hours ago, Lissasalayaya said: When you do this, Mourning Star, you're being nothing less than a THUG. And Aejon the Conqueroo is your first THUG henchman. It's a common recourse for those being called out as wrong to complain about being oppressed themselves, but it's still pretty embarrassing. 18 hours ago, Lissasalayaya said: If there are any more self-righteous thugs who have a mind to step forward and place their jackboots upon my throat, please join Mourning Star and Aejon the Conqeroo in the Good vs Evil circle. I would prefer to embarrass the enemies of A Song of Ice and Fire's themes all at the same time so that I and these other folks who understand the story can talk about its deeper meanings without being accused at every turn of sympathizing with the most horrendous things human beings have ever done to each other. Yes, I'm aware that's what it seems like to you. And as I explained to you before, the only reason it seems that way to you is because you haven't swallowed the pill about what human beings are really like. For anyone who considers slavery to be wrong, or really just anyone who considers anything to be morally wrong, the idea that there is no such thing as a moral wrong presents a fundamental problem. 18 hours ago, Lissasalayaya said: The instinct for power-abuse resides at the foundation of human nature. That is not a value statement. That is not a statement about the way things ought to be. It's a statement about what IS. Power-abuse is simply the unmoving fact of the human creature. And if you can't look within yourself and find your own instinct to abuse power over other people, allow me to help you out. I disagree. You focus on a single aspect of humanity and arbitrarily claim it to be some fundamental foundational truth. Just because people abuse power doesn't make abuse of power people's defining trait. This is usually phrased as "power corrupts", which obviously implies the base nature it is corrupting is not one of abuse of power. 18 hours ago, Lissasalayaya said: Every time you try to accuse me or anyone else of being pro-slavery, when you imply, suggest and outright say it, you are abusing your power to coopt other peoples' good-vs-evil psychology and turn them against somebody you disagree with. No, I'm opposing slavery and the rhetoric of those who would excuse it. Trying to portray expressions of thought, especially in defense of the existence of morality, as an abuse of power is ridiculous and dishonest. 18 hours ago, Lissasalayaya said: That behavior shows that you began our whole interaction with the assumption that there can be nothing to learn from people you disagree with. It is a superiority-inferiority mindset, and it's the same mindset that is so often found in the slavemasters who practiced slavery — the object of your good-vs-evil crusade. No, I've learned enough from previous disagreements to be able to spot this rhetoric when I see it. The fact that you seem to want to paint yourself as some sort of victim here is shameful. 18 hours ago, Lissasalayaya said: Despite your mindset being similar to the mindset of slavemasters, and despite that your behavior toward me deserves retaliation in kind, I'm not so reprehensible a person to accuse you or anyone else I disagree with of actually being pro-slavery. What an assinine thing to say, suggest and imply. Get a grip. And yet, you still defend it. 18 hours ago, Lissasalayaya said: I don't particularly have anything against Nietzsche or his book, but to be clear, I'm not referencing them when I use that term. Beyond good and evil is a useful term to set one kind of analysis apart from another kind. Ok, but he coined the term and it's use is defined by his book, entitled Beyond Good and Evil. So if you mean something other than the commonly understood meaning, you should probably be clearer about that. As I said, if you are simply espousing this rhetoric out of ignorance, I've been happy to try and help educate you. 18 hours ago, Lissasalayaya said: I know you don't, but if you continue whacking at the strawman you're building of me you're going to learn that you're wrong over and over again in ways that everybody except you will appreciate. Remember to breath. 18 hours ago, Lissasalayaya said: I agree that A Song of Ice and Fire is about good and evil. All fantasy is about good and evil. Mostly what ASOIAF has to say about good and evil is that looking at the world in terms of good and evil is problematic, to say the least. Good and evil has the advantage of binding a group of people together against a common enemy, but it comes with the disadvantage of blinding people to the sympathetic viewpoint of those they've labeled evil. It's the reason Robb feels like a jerk after greeting Tyrion at Winterfell with a sword across his lap. It's the reason many of the men in the Night's Watch can't stomach making common cause with the Wildlings — a group of "evil" people the fight against which has binded the Night's Watch together for centuries. And it's the reason Dany can't reconcile her indiscriminate killings of slavemasters with her feelings of betrayal when slaves come begging her to allow them to sell themselves back into slavery. I think you are conflating a lot of ideas here and it comes out confused and incoherent. Viewing the world as black and white is dangerous, as is pretending there is no morality at all or that it is purely cultural. 18 hours ago, Lissasalayaya said: The psychology of good-and-evil is the reason that, when I challenge you to lay out a real in-story alternative place for Illyrio's servants to move to so they may escape their "slavery" (servanthood) that would be an improvement by their own defintions, you can't do it. Because the fact that Illyrio's servants wouldn't leave Illyrio's manse even if you paid them a knight's ransom to leave is one among many realities for the servants that you're blinded to for as long as you're stuck in a good vs evil crusade against Slavery The Abstraction rather than slavery the everpresent reality of power-abuse among and within human beings. I'm not interested in your silly hypotheticals, but I did respond, they kick out Illyrio and take the house, you just don't seem interested in actually addressing what I wrote and instead go off on these silly rage word salads. 18 hours ago, Lissasalayaya said: I'll repeat it as many times as I need to before you get it through your head. I am not saying and have never said, suggested or implied that morality is nonexistent, that morality doesn't matter, that morality is completely relative to culture, or anything of the sort. On the contrary, your inabilty to absorb this point is among the strongest demonstrable evidence there could be that morality (meaning a good-vs-evil way of looking at the world) is among the most real things about the human condition that exists. We all have a natural tendency to slide into good-vs-evil thinking, because that mode of thinking was so important for our ancestors' survival throughout history. I genuinely think you just don't understand the philosophy you are espousing, let alone the alternative. 18 hours ago, Lissasalayaya said: When I point out that power abuse among human beings is a fundamental feature of human nature, I'm describing the way reality is, not the way it ought to be. Just like when I say the sun rises in the east, I'm describing the way reality is, not the way it ought to be. The ought is a completely separate issue that cannot be fruitfully discussed until everybody in the discussion has come to grips with the fact that abuses of power including slavery do not inherently demand the existence of any extreme evil or evildoer. Slavery is in fact the given situation of our species, as is plainly seen across all of human history, everywhere in the world, for every millennium, before the western tradition arose. Saying something is so is not a convincing case. I do not believe that slavery is some de facto state of nature for man, and I think claiming such as fact is ridiculous. 18 hours ago, Lissasalayaya said: You need to go back and study Nietzsche again, because you didn't understand what you read. And that is not much of a criticism of you, because Nietzsche was an extremely subtle writer. He makes the same point I made above: That the will to power is the given condition of life; That the only viable paths toward structuring society in a way so that it is not fundamentally characterized by power-struggle are ones that begin with that acknowlegement. Again, I don't think your interpretations are based in reality. You repeat unfounded claims as if they are fact. It's just silly to claim that the only valid way to make a society is using the philosophy of will to power. It's outright preposterous. 18 hours ago, Lissasalayaya said: And that's why our western societies are structured the way they are, because the founders who designed them began with that acknowledgement and used it as the foundation from which to build. IE: Checks and balances: 'If people can be relied upon to abuse their power over other people, the constitution should divide power evenly across opposed branches of government so the branches will keep one anothers' power in check.' This is an even more ridiculous claim. Again, the fact that people abuse power is not what defines morality. Checks and balances against abuse of power are great, but are an attempt to solve practical problems and secure morality, not denying the existence of morality or replacing it. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed The men who founded America were largely slave owning hypocrites, but even they recognized certain moral principles as being "self-evident". This is the moral basis for the new American Government, not the practicalities of checks and balances in the system they set up. Those checks and balances against abuse of power, and the entire government itself, exist to secure the preceding morals. 18 hours ago, Lissasalayaya said: This is one of Nietzsche's commonly misrepresented "will to power" quotes. It's usually presented as though he's proposing the will to power as an ought — the right way to be. But he's proposing the opposite — the will to power is the wrong way to be. He's pointing out that when you try to reduce the human experience down to one single will (power), you simultaneously invent the justification for power abuse. Because, if life is fundamentally only about power, then you remove any reason why we all shouldn't abuse our power over one another at every opportunity. Really depends what part of Nietzsche you are referring to, he's clearly opposed to "slave morality" but not nearly as harsh on the "master morality" bit. He also did not develop his ideas into a coherent system, and even disparages making such an attempt in "Beyond Good and Evil". 18 hours ago, Lissasalayaya said: So by highlighting this, Nietzsche's injunction is: Don't Do That. Don't reduce life down to power. Moreover, Nietzsche believed that everything unconditional is pathological (sick). And reducing life down to one thing is an unconditional view of life, so it's pathological. And that's actually true no matter what you reduce it to, whether that's power, food, love or whatever. The man didn't present a coherent system of moral judgement at all, while he seemed to be trying to fend off Nihilism while denying inherent morality. You are entitled to whatever interpretation you would like, but I just don't see what you are saying reflected in ASoIaF. 18 hours ago, Lissasalayaya said: Okay, those are not themes. Those are topics. Themes say something about life. "Exploring the internal conflicts that hard choices cause people" does not say anything about life. It's just a thing that we do. "Conflicts can be internal" says something about life. So that could be a theme. It would be a much more interesting and useful theme than "Slavery is bad." You are wrong, a theme is simply a subject or topic. "Slavery is bad" may not be a particularly interesting theme to you, but it certainly can be a theme. The heart in conflict with itself, or "Exploring the internal conflicts that hard choices cause people", is both a theme, and in my opinion an interesting one that does say a lot about life. 18 hours ago, Lissasalayaya said: The question of right vs wrong is self-evidently relative to culture. For example, in some cultures in the world it's wrong to belch after dinner, and in some cultures it's right. In some cultures it's right to tip a waitress, and in some cultures it's wrong. Gosh, you can even see this happening without needing to travel very far from home. When I cross a state line, carrying a firearm in public goes from right to wrong, and then it goes from wrong to right again on the return trip. The fact that right-and-wrong is relative to culture is so obvious to most of us that your attempts to categorically deny it expose the pathology driving your interpretation: 'I must not allow myself to appear wrong.' The fact that you are comparing belching to slavery sort of shows how far you are missing the point. Belching is not inherently wrong, slavery is. Denying that there is a distinction here is extremely problematic, and again, shows that you are missing the crux of the issue. There is a fundamental difference. And, equating slavery with bad table manners sure sounds like a slavery apologist. 18 hours ago, Lissasalayaya said: Without a doubt, morality's relationship to culture is a key feature of many of A Song of Ice and Fire's dilemmas. For example, there's a question about why Jorah chose to live among the Dothraki rather than any other place in the world he could have gone. By the time the reader learns about Jorah's sad and evil backstory, it's easy to see that the reason Jorah chose the Dothraki sea was because he was nihilistic and he wanted to fight and fuck his way into an early grave. What better place to do that than in a society of men who always want to fight and women who want to be spontaneously bred by the strongest men? You don't seem to understand the plot either. He was in Essos because he fled Ned after selling slaves. He worked as a sellsword to try and provide for his wife, who then leaves him. Then Jorah becomes a spy in hopes of a pardon. When Dany finds out an banishes him, he does not return to the Dothraki Sea like you are suggesting. 18 hours ago, Lissasalayaya said: So Jorah's intentions disgust us. Why? Millions of men and women on the Dothraki sea live this lifestyle already. So why are we more disgusted when Jorah does it than when they do it? These questions are incoherent given that the presuppositions are your inventions. I think there is a lot of moral judgement directed at the behavior of the Dothraki in this story, just look at Mirri Maz Dur. I don't think your argument here holds any water at all. 18 hours ago, Lissasalayaya said: The reason is because we know Jorah was not born and raised in this culture. He comes from Westeros where he was instilled with chivalrous values. Those involve monogamy, marriage, lifetime commitment, the protection of women, and the sanctification of female sexual selection. So we know that Jorah is deriving an evil sort of pleasure from this lifestyle that the Dothraki people are not, and that's why we're more disgusted with Jorah than with the Dothraki, who are only guilty of not being born somewhere better. I disagree. I don't think there is any case here for morality to be based on culture. You also continue to conflate things like belching and monogamy with slavery, which is obviously intellectually dishonest. Slavery is inherently wrong, I've never heard anyone claim the same about belching. This existence of societal customs and standards does not mean that morality is entirely relative to culture, this is a ridiculous and illogical leap. The reason "slavery is bad" is the point here, is that it is inherently so. Unlike say, the method and timing of how one removes air from one's digestive tract, or monogamous marital customs. 18 hours ago, Lissasalayaya said: Aside from your misapprehension of Nietzsche and Tywin, we're in complete agreement that right-and-wrong cannot be treated as entirely rigid or entirely relative. The middle ground is the place to be. I'm glad you agree on that much, I guess, but what you are writing here does not reflect this understanding. 18 hours ago, Lissasalayaya said: So why is it that every time I give credence to the relativity side of the issue, you try everything in your power to shove me into an extreme version of it? The behavior gives the lie to your posturing for moral superiority, such as every time you fling words like "slavery apologist" and "nazi" at me. How interesting that when you're exposed you suddenly find a new appreciation for the middle ground between your stance and what you insist was my stance. The idea that morality is entirely relative to culture is an extreme view. You are using the rhetoric of nazi's and slave apologists. Quack like a duck... I've been very consistent in what I've said. 18 hours ago, Lissasalayaya said: No, my stance was the middle ground from the beginning. You were simply more interested in winning points against the strawman rather than the steel. Like I said before, you're obviously not stupid, you just lack the character development to admit when you're wrong and when your behavior is bad. But I'm going to do us both and everyone else a favor and let the rest of your numerous "Nazi"s, strawmans, and weasely maneuverings flow under the bridge. Let's get back to Ice and Fire. I'm literally just here for recreation, and trying to show you the error of your ways and to highlight the dangerous rhetoric being spewed. I didn't realize we were getting points! 18 hours ago, Lissasalayaya said: I can see a lot of validity in that reading, but my reading is that the implication is that this is the only choice. Or rather, choice hardly enters into the matter, if it enters at all. It's not the only choice. For example, we see Barristan presented as an example of the opposite. He chooses duty over love. So, I think you're just objectively wrong here. 18 hours ago, Lissasalayaya said: Ned is among the half-dozen most honorable people in the world. So the story is showing that the man who would not dishonor himself even to save the lives of his own children is a man who does not really exist. If even Ned would dishonor himself and the truth to save those he loves most, the value of honor and truth themselves are thematically challenged in the most profound way they could be challenged. Again, this is just not true. Lord Tarly is willing to kill Sam to prevent him from "dishonoring" his house. As an example of choosing honor over one's children. 18 hours ago, Lissasalayaya said: It's a challenge that drives right to the heart of my point that Illyrio's servants being fat, obedient and docile in their supposed captivity is the most reliable indication of how comparatively bad their real alternatives are. The only thing we have to do to arrive at that recognition is to approach the situation with the assumption that these women are not our property. They are not pets in need of our care nor of the care of clumsy revolutionaries. These women are capable of judging what's best for themselves better than we can. And the reason they're always going to be better at making that judgement better than we can make it for them is as simple as this: They have skin in the game, and we don't. Making the case that slaves are better off as slaves is a problem. Making the "Uncle Tom's Cabin" case that some slaves choose to be slaves is a problem. These are examples of being a slavery apologist. Slavery is morally wrong even if there are practical difficulties to be faced in changing a society with slaves in it. Edited July 27, 2022 by Mourning Star SeanF, Targaryen_Fangirl and Morte 3 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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