DevilDan wrote:By Erf standards, it seems that Stanley is more honorable than say Parson, who used subterfuge—a fake surrender .
Yeah. That's completely true. There are two things to look at, though.
One: When I say Stanley's a rat, I don't mean he has no honour, just that he's selfish. Breaking rules is what makes for good leadership, which makes you a hero (or it makes for war crimes, which makes you an immoral individual, but not a rat).
When your back is in a corner, honour is the first to suffer, like joosy said. Stanley acted dishonourably when he fled, but more importantly than that he acted in a cowardly and selfish manner, whereas Parson sent the casters into the Magic Kingdom (he also made them link up, which is pretty awful, considering the consequences he was aware of - you can claim Ruthlessness pushed him to do it, and that he wouldn't have otherwise, or you can claim that he had the idea and impulse anyway, and that's all that matters, but that debate isn't going to get resolved, and doesn't really need to be, in my opinion). At any rate, being an Overlord who deserts his side is illustrative of the character trait that I find least appealing in Stanley, and that is the opinion that seems to be coming through from the other characters as well.
Secondly, and less importantly: Even if we were talking about honour, Stanley still ranks lower than Parson in my opinion, for the same reason why we would call someone a thief if they had grown up in a place where stealing is illegal, but would be more lenient with say, an alien that just crash landed on Earth and has no real concept of property. If the human steals a watch, we have every right to judge him/her more harshly than we would the alien if they/it(?) 'stole' a car. So it goes with Parson and Stanley - Parson is so alien that the concepts of honour in battle need not apply to him (there are no expectations, you might say).
The slightly more interesting corollary to the analogy is this. If you sit this alien down, and explain to them the entire system of laws, and the philosophy which supports them, and then at the end of it the alien still went out and willingly stole cars, rejecting your system and maintaining that no matter what you say, there is still no reason for property to exist, would you then hold the alien accountable? Because I'm fairly certain Parson doesn't give a boop's boop about the way that battles are 'supposed to' be fought, and probably wouldn't even if someone went over everything with him.
"You mustn't think me vain if you catch me glancing at my reflection in the mirror. I do it solely to remind myself what I look like - and that I should never stop trying to compensate for it"