Book 2 – Page 47

Page by page discussion of the comic.

Re: Book 2 – Page 47

Postby Oberon » Thu Nov 25, 2010 8:53 am

BLANDCorporatio wrote:If you seriously propose North Korea as a moral standard for a nation's conduct, then we have nothing to discuss.
I agree that we differ too substantially to have any sort of productive discussion on the subject, because you apparently prefer to stand up straw men rather than have an honest discussion.

I never held up North Korea as a "moral standard", I merely described their (immoral) actions and how the consequences of those actions which you stated must convey haven't managed to convey for 55 years. So you're wrong by a factor of generational time, as well as for standing up a wonderful straw man. Congratulations on losing on both facts and for the use of logical fallacies. "Have you stopped beating your wife" would have been just as effective as claiming that I held North Korea to be any kind of example of a moral standard.

You could have substituted "The United States" in first sentence for "North Korea" and my above sentence would apply just as well, minus the specific time frame. Which leads to your first sentence reading "If you seriously propose the United States as a moral standard for a nation's conduct, then we have nothing to discuss." Just as I was not holding up North Korea as any kind of example of morality, I was similarly not holding up the USA as any kind of example of morality. I merely described their (immoral) actions and how the consequences of those actions which you stated must convey haven't managed to convey in spite of your theories.

Had I used France, Russia, Sudan, or Chile, my examples would have been similarly without any content indicating my overall position on that nation. But congratulations for latching onto the "North Korea is bad, you used North Korea in an example, so you must be bad" fallacy of sweeping generalization in addition to the wonderful straw man fallacy. But next time try to fit in a few other fallacies as well, and you might actually convince someone.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 47

Postby silverdevilboy » Thu Nov 25, 2010 8:59 am

On the one hand, strategy. on the other hand, many many jokes.

"If you are anything like the Ossomer I knew.."
"I am Ossomer."

XD

The expressions on the archer's faces in that second-last panel, too...
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Re: Book 2 – Page 47

Postby Selexor » Thu Nov 25, 2010 9:05 am

The concept of a "Fair fight" is also a bigger cultural thing than most people realise. Knights jousting on horseback, cowboys facing each other in a dusty street, a hollywood hero facing his nemesis in a final climactic battle... Western culture is all about the supposedly fair fight, and it's spread over much of the world as a result. It seems like the right and honourable way to do things, and stories are full of it.
But then in contrast, consider a suicide bomber. This is most certainly not a dishonourable way to fight a war from the bomber's perspective. He's following his faith and his beliefs, and striking a blow against a percieved enemy. To him, it's a great honour. And he doesn't care how strong or clever you are, because he knows he won't survive the battle - instead, he's concerned about a different kind of war. In his war, you both die, but the one who dies in a state of fear and doubt, against his will, is the loser.
Or how about the Zulu wars in the later part of the 19th century? In their battles, if you didn't outnumber your opponent ten to one, well, you clearly weren't even trying to win. And if half of your army got killed in the battle, so what? They died as warriors, proud and true, and they were remembered for their sacrifice. Their families were cared for in the kraal of the chief. Not only was this whole thing honourable, you were considered to be kind of a dick if you did it any other way.

We have our system of rules for fighting fair. But to assume your enemy will follow those rules isn't just naive, it's foolish. And if they don't follow those rules, it most definitely doesn't mean they have no honour. Most times, if you scratch the surface, it means the exact opposite.


BLANDCorporatio wrote:
Selexor wrote:ultimately, when people apply rules in war, they're saying, "We can kill each other, but you're not allowed to do this." If I'm going to die by following that rule, what possible incentive is there for me to follow it?


A lot of the rules/customs of war don't work this way- follow this, and you die. Most of those rules exist for the purpose of limiting the damage and easing a war's end, before one of the sides is wiped out and the other wins by default.

True, but these are extremely recent conventions. It's only in the last fifty years or so that anyone has even pretended to follow them, as opposed to thousands of years of human beings killing each other as creatively and efficiently as they could. And c'mon, even in those fifty years, who's followed those conventions? Was it either side in the Koran war, or the Vietnam war? How about strife and uprisings in the former USSR? The use of mustard gas on the kurds? The continued antics going on in the Gaza strip? Or perhaps the efforts of the IRA when they set off car-bombs in city centres?

Yes, after the whole thing is finished, the world sits back and shakes its finger and says, "Well that wasn't very nice of you." But these conventions are barely enforced. The vast majority of breaches aren't punished because nobody is willing to go up to the guy with the big gun and tell him he's been bad. We spend all our time showboating over how civilised we are and how war has become a safer event, but honestly? The same number of people die. They're just considered casualties, "collateral damage" that happen in wartime, and it's somehow better because we weren't going out of our way to kill the hell out of them. It just sort of happened by itself, apparently.

I'm not denying there are rules. I'm just denying that anyone makes a serious effort to follow them out of anything other than fear of retaliation... or that it makes that much difference even when we do follow them.
But of course that's just my opinion.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 47

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Thu Nov 25, 2010 9:58 am

Oberon wrote:I never held up North Korea as a "moral standard", I merely described their (immoral) actions and how the consequences of those actions which you stated must convey haven't managed to convey for 55 years.


Oh really?

Oberon wrote:Where is the "peril" to North Korea for torpedoing a South Korean warship? Where is their "peril" for producing a dozen or so plutonium bombs, and testing a pair of them? Sanctions? Please. 55 years later, and they are still going strong. There is no peril, because as yet North Korea has not lost, and is very likely not going to lose. No one wants to risk the wrath of their massive artillery banks within range of Seoul and Japan, and they possess the twin deterrent threats of nuclear bombs and a willingness to pass either technology or materiel to other countries or organizations. Might does make right.


Emphasis added. Own up to what you're saying. Which, for one, ignores the isolation and shoddy state of North Korea, as pointed out by effataigus before, and for two, betrays a "murder is fine if you don't get caught" attitude.

You know, here's a stark simple question to see if there's any point to this- because you have been sliding back the past two posts to more agreeable positions, so who knows.

Does might make right?


Selexor wrote:True, but these are extremely recent conventions. It's only in the last fifty years or so that anyone has even pretended to follow them, as opposed to thousands of years of human beings killing each other as creatively and efficiently as they could.


Not really. Truce customs are as old as war itself. And while the specific wording of this or that rule has changed obviously, and stuff like what's acceptable to do to captives changed and so on, all ages had their sets of war customs. Because people were people back then too, and would, for the most part, prefer to not wage more war than necessary.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 47

Postby Selexor » Thu Nov 25, 2010 10:27 am

BLANDCorporatio wrote:
Selexor wrote:True, but these are extremely recent conventions. It's only in the last fifty years or so that anyone has even pretended to follow them, as opposed to thousands of years of human beings killing each other as creatively and efficiently as they could.


Not really. Truce customs are as old as war itself. And while the specific wording of this or that rule has changed obviously, and stuff like what's acceptable to do to captives changed and so on, all ages had their sets of war customs. Because people were people back then too, and would, for the most part, prefer to not wage more war than necessary.

Valid point. All I can say is that there were just as many cases of these truces being violated as there were of the truces being upheld. Particularly in cross-cultural wars, there would be no quarter or mercy. Soldiers would be killed in battle or executed shortly after. Civillian survivors would become slaves, if there were any. If there were different religions, temples and places of worship would be sacked and burned. Up until only a couple of hundred years ago this was a perfectly ordinary outcome of a war, even one that did eventually end in a truce, if it wasn't a war of annihilation. They weren't called "The Dark Ages" because the lighting was poor.

Again, I don't question the existence of rules, customs and conventions in wartime. Obviously these rules exist. I'm just saying that historically - and in many cases, even in the present day - they're spectacularly ineffective. Just because one side in a war has certain expectations and traditions regarding honour does not, in any way shape or form, suggest that the opposing side will share those expectations and traditions. The other side may have a dozen such conventions, but they could be totally different to yours. What's more, the other side is probably thinking that not only are you a complete idiot for walking in range of their weapons waving that white flag, it's incredibly arrogant of you to do so.

Tradition and convention in warfare have existed for a long time. But they've never been consistently effective at stopping people from killing each other as much as they liked.
But of course that's just my opinion.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 47

Postby Oberon » Thu Nov 25, 2010 11:15 am

BLANDCorporatio wrote:
Oberon wrote:I never held up North Korea as a "moral standard", I merely described their (immoral) actions and how the consequences of those actions which you stated must convey haven't managed to convey for 55 years.

Oh really?
Oberon wrote:Might does make right.

Emphasis added. Own up to what you're saying.
I'd never have it any other way. Yes, I said might makes right. I never said might grants a moral waiver. I said, paraphrased and simplified (so try to follow along, this is becoming tiresome), that the mighty either enforce "moral" rules upon the weak, or get away with violating those same rules because no one else is willing to accept the consequences of attempting to enforce those rules.

Was that simple enough that you can't cherry pick four words out of context to try to miss-characterize my position? Somehow, I doubt it. You've proven yourself to be quite a piece of work when it comes to dirty debate tactics. Would that you applied the same moral standards to yourself that you insist exist in the world.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 47

Postby effataigus » Thu Nov 25, 2010 12:31 pm

Oberon wrote:Was that simple enough that you can't cherry pick
Oberon wrote: words out of context to try to miss-characterize my position? Somehow, I doubt it.

Challenge accepted!

Oberon wrote:might grants a moral waiver...


Oberon wrote:...so try...
Oberon wrote: ...beating your wife.


Though I suppose since this thread is discussing defying conventions of conflict and going for the maximum possible damage whether it's within the established boundaries of the task or not (and since the only thing stopping me from just writing my own quote for you is just such a convention) I might as well go the full distance and characterize your position as something even the misogynists among us can disagree with.

Oberon wrote:The internet is boring.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 47

Postby Ditto » Thu Nov 25, 2010 1:14 pm

BLAND- Oberon did not say 'North Korea is good'. He said 'the rest of the world, ostensibly filled with Good (and Good = Right) nations, has failed to demonstrate in any meaningful way that North Korea is BAD. Because obviously a BAD nation would suffer consequence from its behavior. They're still going, so Being Good doesn't matter, so Might Makes Right because Good does not demonstrably make Right.'

I think.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 47

Postby memnoch » Thu Nov 25, 2010 1:40 pm

effataigus wrote:
Oberon wrote:Was that simple enough that you can't cherry pick
Oberon wrote: words out of context to try to miss-characterize my position? Somehow, I doubt it.

Challenge accepted!

Oberon wrote:might grants a moral waiver...


Oberon wrote:...so try...
Oberon wrote: ...beating your wife.


Though I suppose since this thread is discussing defying conventions of conflict and going for the maximum possible damage whether it's within the established boundaries of the task or not (and since the only thing stopping me from just writing my own quote for you is just such a convention) I might as well go the full distance and characterize your position as something even the misogynists among us can disagree with.

Oberon wrote:The internet is boring.


Funny post and right too, I think arguments whatever they are done in forums or face-to-face are usually wars, both opponents wants to force their view on the other, the other similarity is that the two or more opponents want more than just win the argument\war, they usually want to obtain something from the other that goes behind the argument\war (for ex. for an argument cooperation in doing something the way the winning side want, or for a war having the losing side lost territory to be handed over without having to fight rebellions from that territory people) for that reason usually there are convention to assure cooperation from the losing side, not to say that convention aren't often broken but for that to happen both sides must have lost size of their original objectives and are going in a war of annihilation (they are not people anymore so they must all die or I'll risk becoming a not-person too) or they are sure that they can obtain their objective and the others cooperation without pretending to be nice and rule abiding because "the others are much weaker and the other that watch the fight and would react badly if the same thing was done to them don't care enough of the other I suppressed or have too many problems of their own to contest me strongly about it" (basically "I can do it because the others don't care enough till it's their problem")
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Re: Book 2 – Page 47

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Thu Nov 25, 2010 2:20 pm

:lol: effataigus, for some levity to the proceedings. But, observe--

Oberon wrote:the mighty either enforce "moral" rules upon the weak, or get away with violating those same rules because no one else is willing to accept the consequences of attempting to enforce those rules.


Ah so that's what you're saying now? Because where this started, in this post of yours things were a bit different:

Oberon wrote:Fighting "by the rules", fighting "fair", that's all well and good for sporting events. For war, especially in a war of annihilation, which both the RCC and the RCCII announced their intentions to fight, rules have no place except as an attempt by the advantaged side to restrict the actions of the disadvantaged side.


Or, from the infamous North Korea post-

Oberon wrote:Rules of engagement are set by the victors. In other words, the strong. They have little or nothing to do with morals. These rules are enforced against the losers, and only the losers. If the winners violate them, in almost every case there are no consequences at all, even from other signatories.


You'll note that we're discussing war on Earth now, and your statements want to apply to that as well. What do they say- that rules have no place? Little if anything to do with morals? As in, they might have no moral content at all? The interpretation of your position, from these two posts, I get to be wartime rules have no practical relevance* AND no moral justification.

(EDIT: *: ok, let me be more specific. I understood your initial position to be wartime rules have no practical relevance when it comes to protecting the weak from the abuses of the strong, AND they have no moral justification.)

Realizing that your rhethorical zeal probably took you too far, you backpedal here:

Oberon wrote:look deeper, and it becomes clear that most rules of engagement are just candy fluff posing as morality play.

I'll take a moment to say that the rules surrounding the acceptance of surrender and the treatment of POWs are a clear exception to my view on most/all of the other rules of engagement. Whether or not a nation, including my own beloved USA, actually follows those rules, or suffers any real consequences for failing to follow those rules, that I believe I detailed sufficiently in my prior post.


Thank you, I suppose, for generously admitting that there might, maybe, be some worth to the very kinds of rules I've been going on about since the beginning.

You continue to claim that what some countries do by breaking rules is bad here:

Oberon wrote:I never held up North Korea as a "moral standard", I merely described their (immoral) actions and how the consequences of those actions which you stated must convey haven't managed to convey for 55 years.


So now the rule-breaking North Korea is immoral. Why, if rules have little if anything to do with morals?

Eventually, you arrive at this summary of your position

Oberon wrote:the mighty either enforce "moral" rules upon the weak, or get away with violating those same rules because no one else is willing to accept the consequences of attempting to enforce those rules.


So what do you know, rules of warfare may have some moral content after all, they just cannot and are not enforced you say. That's actually something we can discuss, but will you stick with this, this time?
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Re: Book 2 – Page 47

Postby Ytaker » Thu Nov 25, 2010 3:27 pm

Selexor wrote:But then in contrast, consider a suicide bomber. This is most certainly not a dishonourable way to fight a war from the bomber's perspective. He's following his faith and his beliefs, and striking a blow against a percieved enemy. To him, it's a great honour. And he doesn't care how strong or clever you are, because he knows he won't survive the battle - instead, he's concerned about a different kind of war. In his war, you both die, but the one who dies in a state of fear and doubt, against his will, is the loser.


Actually, it is very often considered dishonourable. Explosives are area effect weapons, and such attacks, even if only targetted at soldiers, will hit civilians more than military forces, because civilians such at defending themselves. One of the reasons the Iraq war was mostly won was because the people there found it deeply, horrifically dishonourable when muslim women and children who might even agree with your cause were killed or maimed horrifically. And there is substantial debate among the muslim world, even among parts which hate america, whether it's ok to target civilians.

Every law or convention has a reason for being, and a specific punishment for violation.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 47

Postby valce » Thu Nov 25, 2010 3:59 pm

Ytaker wrote:Actually, it is very often considered dishonourable. Explosives are area effect weapons, and such attacks, even if only targetted at soldiers, will hit civilians more than military forces, because civilians such at defending themselves. One of the reasons the Iraq war was mostly won was because the people there found it deeply, horrifically dishonourable when muslim women and children who might even agree with your cause were killed or maimed horrifically. And there is substantial debate among the muslim world, even among parts which hate america, whether it's ok to target civilians.


The concept of 'dishonourable' warfare is highly flexible. Rape and enslavement were once the acceptable weapons of supposedly 'civilized' empires. Even something that seems as ubiquitously evil as the targeting of civilians was once considered acceptable by even the most erudite philosophers of the ancient world. When it comes to war, historically the goal has been to win -- the so-called rules don't matter. If you have to murder the inhabitants of an entire city just to prove a point, then that's what you have to do.

We don't remember generals because they were kind, we remember them because they won.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 47

Postby memnoch » Thu Nov 25, 2010 4:16 pm

Yes, but we also usually remember when they were through as dishonorable by their fellow generals (be it of their country or others), so your point is moot, it's not a question of if in this case parson is doing is absolutely evil or morally doubtful[edit]for us[/edit], it's a question of whatever he is doing is seen as such by others in and out of his side in the war or if the reaction is a little baffled argument on how he shouldn't/couldn't do that but without any other response. Same thing if we consider our world history as an example, someone who break war convention and commit what we today call "crimes against humanity" is considered guilty only if the others are willing to see it that way, it's not "Might make Right" it's "Indifference make Might Right"
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Re: Book 2 – Page 47

Postby mortissimus » Thu Nov 25, 2010 5:01 pm

Selexor wrote:True, but these are extremely recent conventions. It's only in the last fifty years or so that anyone has even pretended to follow them,


Looking at modern warfare I would put the high point of respecting conventions sometime late 19th century. The difference between ww1 and ww2 is striking, after ww1 several captured German officers were tried and acquited, as they had played by the rules. However it should be noted that the rules only applied to whitefolks fighting whitefolks, when fighting natives in the colonies rules did not apply and genocide was very much on the table.

However, in Erf there are no POW-camps, no Red Cross and no peace. By the will of the Titans.

When it comes to the question of if Gobwin Knob will suffer from Parson violating the few voluntary rules there are, I think not much. Gobwin Knob has the evil units, is led by a guy others knows as "The Worm" and is in general hated. I do not think they have much to loose. Parson himself is more likely to suffer from making people he cares about unhappy.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 47

Postby Fug » Thu Nov 25, 2010 5:03 pm

Isn't Charlie lying about the false parley killing of Ansom? I thought Parson went to surrender to Ansom as a prisoner for Charlie, not to parley . . . I can see how Charlie would want to reframe this event to not make himself look sneaky and to anger Jetstone.

I just reread that part of book 1 and it was a false surrender, not a false parley. This might make a big difference. I double Jetstone knows Ansom was bound to capture Parson as part of a contract signed out of desperation.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 47

Postby memnoch » Thu Nov 25, 2010 5:21 pm

mortissimus wrote:
Selexor wrote:True, but these are extremely recent conventions. It's only in the last fifty years or so that anyone has even pretended to follow them,

When it comes to the question of if Gobwin Knob will suffer from Parson violating the few voluntary rules there are, I think not much. Gobwin Knob has the evil units, is led by a guy others knows as "The Worm" and is in general hated. I do not think they have much to loose. Parson himself is more likely to suffer from making people he cares about unhappy.

I don't think there would be much consequence either but for the sake of argument with parson actions we could see most if not all the barbarian wizards of the Magic Kingdom sell their services as mercenaries for free or at their unkeep level to the sides who oppose Gobwin Knob and the non-barbarians one pushing their Rulers to to strike Gobwin Knob with the royal coalition even if they were previously neutral to that war [edit]or didn't even know there was a Gobwin Knob (in theory since the magic kingdom is connected to all the kingdom they could contact even sides that are so geographically distant that neither even suspected the existence of the other)[\edit], so parson in the worst case scenario will find himself seriously at dis-vantage in the magic department (since mages are rare in elfworld even a few magician can make a great difference in a fight) and fighting a coalition more vast that the one he have any hope of survive.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 47

Postby Selexor » Thu Nov 25, 2010 6:31 pm

Ytaker wrote:
Selexor wrote:But then in contrast, consider a suicide bomber. This is most certainly not a dishonourable way to fight a war from the bomber's perspective. He's following his faith and his beliefs, and striking a blow against a percieved enemy. To him, it's a great honour. And he doesn't care how strong or clever you are, because he knows he won't survive the battle - instead, he's concerned about a different kind of war. In his war, you both die, but the one who dies in a state of fear and doubt, against his will, is the loser.


Actually, it is very often considered dishonourable. Explosives are area effect weapons, and such attacks, even if only targetted at soldiers, will hit civilians more than military forces, because civilians such at defending themselves. One of the reasons the Iraq war was mostly won was because the people there found it deeply, horrifically dishonourable when muslim women and children who might even agree with your cause were killed or maimed horrifically. And there is substantial debate among the muslim world, even among parts which hate america, whether it's ok to target civilians.

Yes, it's considered very dishonourable - by the people being attacked, or people watching from the sidelines. Not so for the person wearing the bomb, or those whose side he's on. For someone who is in a state of mind to actually become a suicide bomber, honour is quite literally the entire point of commiting the act. He has no illusions about ending the war with his sacrifice alone. He doesn't necessarily think the entire world will mourn his loss. Pretty obviously, he's not getting any material gain out of it, because he's going to kill himself. The only reason he's doing it, the only reason even remotely plausible, is because of the honour and prestige that come attached, and the rewards that await him in the next life.

Please don't think I condone suicide bombing. I think it's deeply horrifying, an utterly terrible act. But despite my loathing of it, I have to admit that in the context of this conversation, it fits.
We might think of it as being deeply dishonourable. But the person doing it does not. To him there can be no greater honour than to perform this act for his faith and his cause. And that is what's so important about this example. Assuming your enemy will share your beliefs is foolish. Calling him dishonourable because of this is naive. You can make rules about war all you want, but your opponent will only follow them if he chooses to... and if he doesn't, why would you be surprised? If he was willing to follow your rules, you would not be at war with him.

Is this tactic horrible? Yes. Is it sickening? Yes. Is it - and I hesitate to use this term - evil? I'd have to say, yes. But, despite everything, you cannot call the people who do this terrible thing cowardly or dishonouralbe. If they were either, they wouldn't be doing it in the first place.
But of course that's just my opinion.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 47

Postby memnoch » Thu Nov 25, 2010 7:24 pm

Selexor wrote:
Ytaker wrote:
Selexor wrote:But then in contrast, consider a suicide bomber. This is most certainly not a dishonourable way to fight a war from the bomber's perspective. He's following his faith and his beliefs, and striking a blow against a percieved enemy. To him, it's a great honour. And he doesn't care how strong or clever you are, because he knows he won't survive the battle - instead, he's concerned about a different kind of war. In his war, you both die, but the one who dies in a state of fear and doubt, against his will, is the loser.


Actually, it is very often considered dishonourable. Explosives are area effect weapons, and such attacks, even if only targetted at soldiers, will hit civilians more than military forces, because civilians such at defending themselves. One of the reasons the Iraq war was mostly won was because the people there found it deeply, horrifically dishonourable when muslim women and children who might even agree with your cause were killed or maimed horrifically. And there is substantial debate among the muslim world, even among parts which hate america, whether it's ok to target civilians.

Yes, it's considered very dishonourable - by the people being attacked, or people watching from the sidelines. Not so for the person wearing the bomb, or those whose side he's on. For someone who is in a state of mind to actually become a suicide bomber, honour is quite literally the entire point of commiting the act. He has no illusions about ending the war with his sacrifice alone. He doesn't necessarily think the entire world will mourn his loss. Pretty obviously, he's not getting any material gain out of it, because he's going to kill himself. The only reason he's doing it, the only reason even remotely plausible, is because of the honour and prestige that come attached, and the rewards that await him in the next life.

Please don't think I condone suicide bombing. I think it's deeply horrifying, an utterly terrible act. But despite my loathing of it, I have to admit that in the context of this conversation, it fits.
We might think of it as being deeply dishonourable. But the person doing it does not. To him there can be no greater honour than to perform this act for his faith and his cause. And that is what's so important about this example. Assuming your enemy will share your beliefs is foolish. Calling him dishonourable because of this is naive. You can make rules about war all you want, but your opponent will only follow them if he chooses to... and if he doesn't, why would you be surprised? If he was willing to follow your rules, you would not be at war with him.

Is this tactic horrible? Yes. Is it sickening? Yes. Is it - and I hesitate to use this term - evil? I'd have to say, yes. But, despite everything, you cannot call the people who do this terrible thing cowardly or dishonouralbe. If they were either, they wouldn't be doing it in the first place.

Apart from the fact that a great many suicide bombers kill themselves because they are poor and someone promised them they wold take care of their family if they do it, not only because the are fanatics (even if they have to be at least a bit or really desperate to do it), the real problem is that in reality if you set some rules, have the means to have them accepted by a large enough population and can enforce them to all(those who disagree as well as those who agree on your rules), you are entitled to declare dishonorable or even criminal those who act against those rules. For example if you came from a place where in a certain day it's the law to sacrifice children to gain favor of some deity and you moved to a country where such a act would be seen as murder and was punishable, if you were to do it in this country and you were discovered you would be judged guilty and they would at least try to punish you for it regardless of your finding it morally right and if they didn't even try it would mean that that country doesn't really care if someone murder children or at least if those particular children are killed (lets say for example sake that you were in India a century ago and the children you killed were outcast)
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Re: Book 2 – Page 47

Postby Ytaker » Thu Nov 25, 2010 7:46 pm

Selexor wrote:Yes, it's considered very dishonourable - by the people being attacked, or people watching from the sidelines. Not so for the person wearing the bomb, or those whose side he's on. For someone who is in a state of mind to actually become a suicide bomber, honour is quite literally the entire point of commiting the act. He has no illusions about ending the war with his sacrifice alone. He doesn't necessarily think the entire world will mourn his loss. Pretty obviously, he's not getting any material gain out of it, because he's going to kill himself. The only reason he's doing it, the only reason even remotely plausible, is because of the honour and prestige that come attached, and the rewards that await him in the next life.

Please don't think I condone suicide bombing. I think it's deeply horrifying, an utterly terrible act. But despite my loathing of it, I have to admit that in the context of this conversation, it fits.
We might think of it as being deeply dishonourable. But the person doing it does not. To him there can be no greater honour than to perform this act for his faith and his cause. And that is what's so important about this example. Assuming your enemy will share your beliefs is foolish. Calling him dishonourable because of this is naive. You can make rules about war all you want, but your opponent will only follow them if he chooses to... and if he doesn't, why would you be surprised? If he was willing to follow your rules, you would not be at war with him..


No, I'm saying his side finds it dishonourable- far less iraqi people were willing to become suicide bombers, because it was seen as so dishonourable. Potential suicide bombers didn't become suicide bombers because they realized they were spilling the blood of their own people, not Americans. There was far less honour and prestige. The americans got better intelligence, because people were more willing to reveal the dishonoured people in their midst. In erfworld terms- loyalty to leaders drops if you break conventions. Ossomer may well turn because of the dishonour. That's a consequence of this.

They may not follow your rules, but everyone follows some rules. Don't kill my family is a pretty big one. And there are consequences to violating them. The suicide bomber faces death for killing soldiers, and hate and dishnour for killing muslims. They can violate those rules, but then, they will have less strength. divide and conquer.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 47

Postby Smoker » Thu Nov 25, 2010 8:42 pm

Sonic Screwdriver wrote:I don't believe that abusing parley for non-tactical reasons is somehow more permissible. Going off your stance with Bea not being required to hold to honour or ethics when the goal is suicide, how is this different than Parson forgoing the same in the face of Gobwin Knob's utter annihilation? If he didn't abuse surrender the first time, the handful of survivors (him included) would be slaves at best. He faces this fate again if he doesn't save Wanda and the Pliers by breaking parley.


Actually, I had a lovely paragraph here, outlining why Queen Bea is different to Parson, but really... you're right . Suicide, murder of her own troops, abuse of parley.. all these things are inherently dishonourable. She had good reasons for doing it, but ultimately she lost her faith in the Royal Mandate, or she would not have feared adding strength to the GK decrypted so much. Royal sides, im sure, still get wiped out now and then, but I'm guessing its usually a case of heroic last stands and assurances that the other royals will avenge them.

I mean, its not so ambitious to think that with the benefit of the city defences, they could dust as many as they lost, and therefore not add considerable strength to the GK forces..

Ok QB has let me down :cry:

Now.. unrelated to QB, Parson still is not in a dire situation. Jetstone already said that even without the decrypted, GK could still crush them. They have the shmuckers, the cities and Parson himself to continue on just like any other side - better than most, actually. It wouldn't be quite as easy for them, but it wouldn't spell the end.

Now, you could argue that Jillian already broke Parley in this battle, so whats good for the goose...

Because of Jillian I could almost be persuaded to let Parson off the morality hook for having his yellows poop early, but two wrongs dont make a right. You cant be underhanded just because your opponent is and still expect to be trusted. Either way, that still doesn't excuse him for croaking Ansom (unless you want to consider he played Charlie into selling out an ally with his ambiguous language, which I'm not sold on, but I really like the idea..) or for abusing the MK's portals.

Sonic Screwdriver wrote:I can understand that sentiment were he to be dishonorable just for efficiency, but he's only been doing it reluctantly at the alternative of Gobwin Knob's extermination with him lucky to survive as a mind slave. The only possible exception is his use of the MK portal, which I do think is risky with it 'only' being done to sate his moral quandary at sending troops to die from afar.


Well you could argue that he didn't need to kill Ansom, he could have just skipped to the Volcano-trap, but somehow I dont think a WMD would stand up well in this discussion. :lol:

But yeah, you are right. See the problem here is that there is a difference between "the right thing to do" and "the smart thing to do". I'm saying that breaking parley for any reason is a dishonourable thing - you could choose to die with honour. Now most people think that sort of thing is foolish - especially when you are pretty much forcing your friends to die honourably as well (although I think Sizemore might have preferred it) so if I were Parson, I probably would have made the same decision. It just means that you have to accept the consequences thereafter: You wont be trusted, and you cant rely on others to extend courtesies that you have abused.

Sonic Screwdriver wrote:I hope the Royals would learn that parley is still available with GK, just not to be used as an excuse to let their guard down and not to use it as a means to kick people while they're down. This would require them to consider GK as anything less than ideologically anathema to them, which is doubtful considering Unaroyal's jauhar in the face of mere alliance with Gobwin Knob.


Even if the Royals did come to regard GK in a more favourable light, I still think Parson's actions will make Parley's strained at very (very) best. Really, if I were to parley with Parson, I would fully expect to get my throat slit by a Deceit Golem, halfway through offering him a beer.

Sonic Screwdriver wrote:This is different for Jillian, as she shows total disregard for parley. She'll abuse parley to get the things that are important to her (Ansom), for important/vital strategic advantage (Space Rock), and even to gain ancillary strategic advantage (Jitterati). Add on top of all this that you can't even trust her to be a reliable ally (Charlie & Don) because her personal desires trump even her kingdom.


100% agreed. She is much worse than Parson, but that doesn't make Parson innocent.

Sonic Screwdriver wrote:That is one thing I'd like to see, Parson in an alliance. How much would he go out of his way to help others or even honour an agreement? What kind of impression is Parson going to create with those who encounter him rather than hear about him through biased sources (Sylvia, Charlie, etc)?


I suspect as long as he saw a long-term use for the ally he'd be the best friend you could ever have. If his ally grew weak, then I think his support would (with appropriate remose, but nonetheless) be withdrawn.

Anyway, in short, what I'm saying (which I think is at least partially agreeing with you) is that sometimes breaking the rules is the smart thing to do if you want to win, but you cant expect it not to bite you on the ass later on. In fact I'm almost hoping it does, it would be an interesting turn in the story.
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