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Storyteller Hero
Learned Scribe

USA
251 Posts

Posted - 19 Dec 2020 :  07:52:17  Show Profile  Visit Storyteller Hero's Homepage Send Storyteller Hero a Private Message  Reply with Quote
There is a community of mind flayers in a giant skull-shaped station that farms beholder brains for regular consumption (Realmspace 2e).

They've developed at-will flight as a result, with their diet altering their bodies over time.

I can kind of see greedy, ambitious humans adopting a similar practice if they thought they could benefit in a similar or same fashion.







My Blog: https://www.facebook.com/Johnnys-Tabletop-RPG-Design-Blog-1697026710539149/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

My DMG Shop: http://www.dmsguild.com/browse.php?x=0&y=0&author=Johnny%20Tek


Edited by - Storyteller Hero on 19 Dec 2020 07:53:11
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Returnip
Learned Scribe

204 Posts

Posted - 19 Dec 2020 :  17:41:21  Show Profile Send Returnip a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by cpthero2

Learned Scribe Azar,

quote:
Ethics do not stem from morals?


Correct. Ethics do not stem from morals. Ethics are the structured system(s) that allow for the evaluation of actions, to be moral or immoral.

For example, consider a couple of ethical forms of consequentialism: Cyrenaic Hedonism and Utilitarianism. Both are consequentialist in nature; however, one is worried about immediate, maximum pleasure for the self, whereas the other is concerned with the greatest and best outcome for the most at once. Knowing those to be the "rules" if you will, allows you to evaluate any actions taken as moral or not. Hence people disagreeing so vociferously on things, and often not realizing it.

Best regards,



Hm, I'm sorry but I question that conclusion. The fact that morals are subjective is the reason why ethics are also subjective. So there is definitely a consequence of one fueling the other there.

On the other hand you have different fingers.
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cpthero2
Great Reader

USA
2249 Posts

Posted - 19 Dec 2020 :  18:13:34  Show Profile  Visit cpthero2's Homepage Send cpthero2 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Learned Scribe Returnip,

A good morning to you sir! At least it is morning here in Washington State, haha.

quote:
Hm, I'm sorry but I question that conclusion. The fact that morals are subjective is the reason why ethics are also subjective. So there is definitely a consequence of one fueling the other there.


I can appreciate why you that is a view you hold, and I won't disagree that subjectivity is an aspect of morality. However, morality is a hybrid of sentiment and reason. Ethics are what bring reason to an otherwise a completely subjective set of evaluation of actions one may take or observe. As we grow as people, our experiences inform our opinions about things, and that commonly alters our views on issues over time. That being the whole notion of wisdom in a sense.

However, applying reason to a set of actions, we can start to draw patterns through consistency of action. Take Spock's famous line, "Logic clearly dictates that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few." The idea is that on average, the greatest good is the greatest utility, which should be understood that the many should outweigh the few, as the likelihood of more good coming from many has a higher likelihood. That is until you observe a scenario such as with Stephen Hawking and wonder: if he were just left to his own devices if you will at a younger age, and his contributions never came to be, what is the proportionate impact upon society, from a utility perspective. So, effectively utility is not purely gauged upon numbers alone. However, that doesn't change the fact that if people made "moral" decisions, purely predicated upon the ethic of utilitarianism, that does not in fact make it subjective. It makes it very objective. The consistency of action means order, structure, etc. That is the very opposite of subjectivity.

Now, on the other hand, Kantian ethics (a deontological derivative) informs a person that there is no tolerable rationale to a "wrong." There is no acceptable situation in which a lie could be validated as right, would be an example. No matter the harm that would come.

So, a utilitarianist would argue that if the greatest good/greatest utility could be attained by lying, then lie your ass off. The Kantian would argue that lying under any circumstance, for any reason, would be a bad will, and therefore, there is no rationale for doing it.

There is no subjectivity there. That is objective. One could irrationally argue from one side of the fence that the other side is "immoral", but that is the very subjective ruling. Under what basis would such a claim be made? That answer is clear: that the "other" ethic, doesn't "morally" compare to the other, and thereby, using that ethic to evaluate actions as moral or immoral, would inherently produce a false outcome. However, that is by its nature a bifurcative outcome, when we can easily take other ethics, i.e. bio-ethics, Epicurean Hedonism, and more, and conduct the same test.

What I think makes people uncomfortable about the field of ethics, is that it quickly removes the notion of easily pairing down the options to one that more significantly elevates their chosen ethic to a great position of value. In essence, they feel better about their process of evaluating good, bad, etc. The reason that is important is because people use their choices to survive. So, the reason people get so angry when they get called out for making "bad", "immoral", "wrong" decisions, is because it effectively calls into question (if taken seriously) the decision making processes that people utilize, that necessarily inform them on making decisions that impact their lives.

That's my take on the issue. I'd love to hear your rebuttal! :)

Best regards,




Higher Atlar
Spirit Soaring
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Returnip
Learned Scribe

204 Posts

Posted - 19 Dec 2020 :  19:22:48  Show Profile Send Returnip a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by cpthero2

I can appreciate why you that is a view you hold, and I won't disagree that subjectivity is an aspect of morality. However, morality is a hybrid of sentiment and reason. Ethics are what bring reason to an otherwise a completely subjective set of evaluation of actions one may take or observe. As we grow as people, our experiences inform our opinions about things, and that commonly alters our views on issues over time. That being the whole notion of wisdom in a sense.


You're leaving out human emotion from the equation. People build their reason on emotion to a great extent, which means anything built on reason is also suffused by emotion. And "as we grow as people" is not enough to describe the phenomenon. "As we grow as cultures" is however starting to cover it. The reason is group thinking is always prevalent in all cultures. Sure there might be a few dissidents, but they're just the exception that confirms the rule. In the end humans strive to belong and as such the majority will force themselves to forego their own values and think like others to be allowed into a certain group.

quote:
However, applying reason to a set of actions, we can start to draw patterns through consistency of action. Take Spock's famous line, "Logic clearly dictates that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few."


No. Do not take Spock. He's a pastiche on a completely logical being, used to present that which we as humans can never achieve (a machine like logic) to represent something alien.

quote:
The idea is that on average, the greatest good is the greatest utility, which should be understood that the many should outweigh the few, as the likelihood of more good coming from many has a higher likelihood.


Again, group think interferes with your interpretation here.

quote:
That is until you observe a scenario such as with Stephen Hawking and wonder: if he were just left to his own devices if you will at a younger age, and his contributions never came to be, what is the proportionate impact upon society, from a utility perspective. So, effectively utility is not purely gauged upon numbers alone.


Considering Hawking managed to produce one of his most important works before his diagnosed death (that he survived) I would say that's not the best example.

quote:
However, that doesn't change the fact that if people made "moral" decisions, purely predicated upon the ethic of utilitarianism, that does not in fact make it subjective. It makes it very objective. The consistency of action means order, structure, etc. That is the very opposite of subjectivity.


On the contrary, law and order being based on moral and ethics which in turn are based in emotion combined with group think means it's highly subjective. While ideally those things are based in pure logical reason that is never the case in modern society.

quote:
Now, on the other hand, Kantian ethics (a deontological derivative) informs a person that there is no tolerable rationale to a "wrong." There is no acceptable situation in which a lie could be validated as right, would be an example. No matter the harm that would come.

So, a utilitarianist would argue that if the greatest good/greatest utility could be attained by lying, then lie your ass off. The Kantian would argue that lying under any circumstance, for any reason, would be a bad will, and therefore, there is no rationale for doing it.

There is no subjectivity there. That is objective. One could irrationally argue from one side of the fence that the other side is "immoral", but that is the very subjective ruling. Under what basis would such a claim be made? That answer is clear: that the "other" ethic, doesn't "morally" compare to the other, and thereby, using that ethic to evaluate actions as moral or immoral, would inherently produce a false outcome. However, that is by its nature a bifurcative outcome, when we can easily take other ethics, i.e. bio-ethics, Epicurean Hedonism, and more, and conduct the same test.

What I think makes people uncomfortable about the field of ethics, is that it quickly removes the notion of easily pairing down the options to one that more significantly elevates their chosen ethic to a great position of value. In essence, they feel better about their process of evaluating good, bad, etc. The reason that is important is because people use their choices to survive. So, the reason people get so angry when they get called out for making "bad", "immoral", "wrong" decisions, is because it effectively calls into question (if taken seriously) the decision making processes that people utilize, that necessarily inform them on making decisions that impact their lives.

That's my take on the issue. I'd love to hear your rebuttal! :)

Best regards,



I'm not gonna quote everything you've written here, but my point is you're viewing these things as a natural science and humanities, devoid of the thing that makes us human. Instead view it as behavioural sciences and psychology and you'll see why it's all subjective. The fact that you can prove something scientifically just means you can get a majority of the results pointing in one direction. Not all of them. And humans are not binary as you well know.

EDIT: I forgot to mention the matter of compromise between all these subjectivities, which sometimes is allowed to serve as the basis for law, and sometimes not, depending on culture.

On the other hand you have different fingers.

Edited by - Returnip on 19 Dec 2020 19:28:30
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cpthero2
Great Reader

USA
2249 Posts

Posted - 20 Dec 2020 :  00:21:20  Show Profile  Visit cpthero2's Homepage Send cpthero2 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Learned Scribe Returnip,

As always, thank you for the quick and thoughtful reply! :)

quote:
You're leaving out human emotion from the equation.


I respectfully disagree. Sentiment includes the element of emotion. The very definition of the word sentiment includes, importantly so, emotion. So, from the onset of my argument, I necessarily and factually included it in my view of ethics and morality.

quote:
People build their reason on emotion to a great extent, which means anything built on reason is also suffused by emotion.


A bold statement for sure, good sir. The fact that you and I will likely cite different sources for this authority after great rigor in thought, I feel, only goes to show that this issue is far from being settled, and as well, demonstrates that the difference in thinking is the very affirmation that different ethics apply. We're discussing the epistemic quality of reason itself. I will bear no such confidence as to proclaim what reason is or is not built on. Though, I applaud yours good sir!

I will say that I agree with Dr. Nikolas Kompridis definition of reason as the "capacity of consciously making sense of things, applying logic, and adapting or justifying practices, institutions, and beliefs based on new or existing information." (Kompridis, Nikolas (2000). "So We Need Something Else for Reason to Mean". International Journal of Philosophical Studies. 8 (3): 271295.) However, I don't think that to be the stop point for consideration of reason, as a means to lay the foundation of what reasoned thought is, as we discuss ethics and morality as tools to making sound and rational decisions. I'll reference your quote just below, and I will respond to that and continue this current line of thinking...

quote:
And "as we grow as people" is not enough to describe the phenomenon. "As we grow as cultures" is however starting to cover it. The reason is group thinking is always prevalent in all cultures. Sure there might be a few dissidents, but they're just the exception that confirms the rule. In the end humans strive to belong and as such the majority will force themselves to forego their own values and think like others to be allowed into a certain group.


Group think is certainly a reality with humans, as we are indeed a herd animal. However, just because something is intrinsic in us, doesn't mean it is a laudable end point, and even if some believe it to be a laudable end point, that we shouldn't consider something that runs parallel to, or intertwined with it. I argue, as I feel Dr.'s Jurgen Habermas and Nikolas Kompridis do, that self-determination and a non-Kantian perspective on reason is critical. Instead of allowing for one ethic to prevail out of baser instincts, thoughtful reason predicated upon logical thinking, coupled with sentiment (emotion) can produce a hybrid that produces outcomes that are more appealing to people.

I argue that it was not emotion alone or predominantly that has brought humanity to its current successes. At the same time, I acknowledge that the panoply of ethics that facilitate and crowd the space that creates on occasion deleterious outcomes. Self-determination does come with costs, as do really any ways of reason that lead to actions: just ask Dr. Habermas about growing up in post-WWI Germany, and post-WWII Germany, as a German. I sense you've likely read some James McAllister or Nancy Nersessian in evaluating emotion as a foundational element of reason. If I am correct about that (I will assume I am for the time being), then I will explain why I disagree with such a belief about your view of ethics and morality.

When David Hume argues in his treatise, The Problem of Induction, he was of course squarely taking aim at the issues he felt existed with inductive analysis and argued only for deductive analysis. While I don't agree with Sir Hume's argument about induction, he did make a point that I feel is important when considering the epistemic quality of reason: an ordinal relationship between felt (or sentimental) and objective facts. The emotion of fear at a fallen tree, when not understood by someone, could lead them to believe that something supernatural and therefore other than its rotten core was the cause for such an event. Without reason, that person would be left with that thought alone. Without having knowledge of what could have led to that outcome, one could induce a variety of reasons (to include the rotten core option). The concomitance of emotion and rational thought are the married foundation of reason. Emotion appears to be the evocative element of response that is necessary and ordinal in survival. To allow one to respond in a basic sense.

Though there is a much larger volume of work to develop the variable input of emotion as a continuance of work from Herbert Simon concerning bounded rationality, one that I think that clearly identifies my point about emotions being a response, or intuitive analysis of a situation is
quote:
one that prioritizes emotions as important intuitions, or fast, automatic judgments of right and wrong (Keltner D, Lerner JS. 2010. Emotion. In The handbook of social psychology, ed. DT Gilbert, ST Fiske, G Lindzey, pp. 317-52. New York, NY: Wiley).
. It reinforces my point that emotions are a concomitant form of reasoning alongside rationale (but not the prime driver). A good graphical representation of that is below, taken from the aforementioned source (thus, I will not cite it again):

Table 9.10 Emotions and Their Associated Moral Concerns

Emotion                                   Moral Concern
Anger                                     Rights, Freedoms, Retributive Justice
Compassion                                Harm, Need
Contempt                                  Community Role, Position within Hierarchy 
Disgust                                   Purity, both Sexual and Spiritual
Gratitude                                 Reciprocity, Equality
Guilt                                     Duty, Obligation
Shame                                     Own Character Flaws
Awe                                       Elevation of Other's Virtues


However, there is a fundamental flaw in the thinking of those authors and that is their belief that,
quote:
The individual in the act of making a moral judgment is assumed to be guided by a priori, abstract principles (e.g., conceptions of rights or equality) that apply to all contexts and individuals. (Keltner D, Lerner JS. 2010. Emotion. In The handbook of social psychology, ed. DT Gilbert, ST Fiske, G Lindzey, pp. 317-52. New York, NY: Wiley)
, is an assumption that ethicists and others in times past have argued in a bubble, consistently that people intrinsically do so, and with great degrees of efficacy. One of the very premises of ethics is that through utility of higher thinking, rational sense can be made of irrational choices, so that people can confront those choices through structured, ordered thoughts and decide if that is something that is sensible. Sensibility, absent absolute uniformity in action by people necessarily implies other forms of sense. Otherwise, we would not have facts based analysis of people having different processes to living their lives, organizing their governments, and more.

quote:
No. Do not take Spock. He's a pastiche on a completely logical being, used to present that which we as humans can never achieve (a machine like logic) to represent something alien.


haha, I thought of leaving out Spock, but it was a great quote to use that many are familiar with. Though you are correct about his character having gone too far with the notion of logic, logic is a tool, not an ethic. It is used to evaluate objectively ethical thought, and the choices made within such a constraint. It does illustrate well a Utilitarian ethic though, in a basic way.

quote:
Again, group think interferes with your interpretation here.


Group think definitely did not interfere with my interpretation. I was providing multiple examples of ethics that provide a different means by which to evaluate choices/actions as being moral or not. I didn't say I prescribed to them.

quote:
Considering Hawking managed to produce one of his most important works before his diagnosed death (that he survived) I would say that's not the best example.


I completely disagree that Dr. Hawking is not a good example when examining the point through a Utilitarian lens. Before knowing, in his earlier years, how much he would contribute, there was no good reason to invest the kinds of resources in him in light of where medicine was back in 1970, especially when it came to illnesses such as ALS. It's easy to look back now and say that of course it would be worth investing in Dr. Hawking but back then, it was an entirely different scenario.

Dr. Hawking would have been, through a Utilitarian lens, much easier to disregard in his earlier years of work. He had enormous support though as he got older, because the benefit to society, outweighed the cost to society. Eventually of course, he was quite wealthy, so those costs to society were moot.

quote:
On the contrary, law and order being based on moral and ethics which in turn are based in emotion combined with group think means it's highly subjective. While ideally those things are based in pure logical reason that is never the case in modern society.

The notion put forth that "law and order being based on moral and ethics" is not always accurate. It depends on the ethical system that underlies the legal system itself. Certainly one could argue that in the Forgotten Realms, Semphar is a theocracy, and clearly its legal system explicitly explains and demands that. Sure, I give you that in that circumstance, the law is based on morality. However, your premise discounts the three legal systems:

  • The Autonomy Model
  • The Socialist Model
  • The Deontological Model


The Socialist model argues for the ethic of state consequentialism. In effect, that the State as an entity, in representing the best efforts and outcomes for the masses it governs, should make legal decisions that focus on the needs of the State before individuals, because the individual is not on par or as important in their individual liberties as the whole.

A deontological model of legal ethics stipulates that (like Immanuel Kant) that the ethic of duty should inform all beliefs and actions, even if to the detriment of individuals or society as a whole, as there is essentially, an absolute morality, and that is duty. This would definitely comport with the Semphar model of legal ethics.

The Autonomy Model, specifically is,
quote:
The autonomy foundation of legal ethics is the standard conception of contemporary law practice, viewing the lawyer as a facilitator of her client's interests and rights within the legal system. Pursuant to this conception, lawyers' primary loyalties are to clients in helping them achieve their due in society. By applying their specialized legal knowledge and skill to their
clients' problems, lawyers help clients achieve personal freedom, liberty, and dignity - in short, their "autonomy." In this sense, autonomy is a base idea or set of ideas constitutive of legal ethics. (https://docs.rwu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1059&context=law_fac_fs)
Now, if someone's ethic was anathema to "autonomy", and I argue human dignity to be self-determinant (to reference Dr.'s Habermas and Kompridis), then I would argue that the autonomy model would be immoral.

So, if there can be such diverse, and in fact with the autonomy model and the deontological model they are opposites, how can it truly be argued that morality is a) subjective, and b) that morality is sub-ordinate to ethics, absent making a natural law argument, which is a reference to a moral and legal theory with separate structures. It's not the laws of nature but rather science. Natural law as a moral theory goes to define the moral standards that govern human behavior as a consequence of their being natural beings and interacting with a natural world. It is best described here: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/natural-law-ethics/

quote:
I'm not gonna quote everything you've written here, but my point is you're viewing these things as a natural science and humanities, devoid of the thing that makes us human. Instead view it as behavioural sciences and psychology and you'll see why it's all subjective.


That is true, that I am viewing it through the lens of natural science and the humanities. However, no one school of thought has jurisdiction over the notion of ethics and morality. Certainly the social sciences play a big part in there. I could be wrong (and please correct me if I am wrong), but it appears the implication of your point is that the humanities are ill equipped to evaluate the human condition, when juxtaposed against the social sciences, i.e. psychology?

[quote]The fact that you can prove something scientifically just means you can get a majority of the results pointing in one direction.


I admit: I am partial to the scientific model. :) Logic, being the hammer of philosophy, has done pretty well to make sense of things. In fact, the only thing that allows people to make sense of the social sciences as well, is the fact that different modalities of logic are applied to facilitate understanding through consistency and patterns.
______________________
Conclusion

In closing, the fact that different outcomes exist, does not imply subjectivity. It is clearly indicative from evidence provided that while admittedly emotion plays an intuitive and intrinsic[/i] role in the application of morals as they are concomitantly joined with rationale to form reason, there is nothing to date that corroborates that emotion (sentiment) is the majority player in a higher[/i] of thinking. The fact that a consistent understanding of outcomes can be traced from different ethical systems, demonstrates concisely that ethics do inform the morals.

I look forward to your rebuttal! Thank you for the great argument thus far! :)

Best regards,





Higher Atlar
Spirit Soaring

Edited by - cpthero2 on 24 Dec 2020 08:16:25
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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USA
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Posted - 20 Dec 2020 :  03:09:53  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Maybe y'all could take it to PM, because you're going further and further astray from the topic.

I realize there is a moral angle to the original topic, but y'all have hopped off on a tangent and gone zooming off to Lurue only knows where.

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cpthero2
Great Reader

USA
2249 Posts

Posted - 20 Dec 2020 :  04:42:46  Show Profile  Visit cpthero2's Homepage Send cpthero2 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Master Rupert,

My apologies. I completely understand.

Best regards,






Higher Atlar
Spirit Soaring
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Returnip
Learned Scribe

204 Posts

Posted - 20 Dec 2020 :  13:13:40  Show Profile Send Returnip a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Maybe y'all could take it to PM, because you're going further and further astray from the topic.

I realize there is a moral angle to the original topic, but y'all have hopped off on a tangent and gone zooming off to Lurue only knows where.



Understood.

Cpthero2, PM sent.

On the other hand you have different fingers.
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
9895 Posts

Posted - 20 Dec 2020 :  13:30:13  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Storyteller Hero

There is a community of mind flayers in a giant skull-shaped station that farms beholder brains for regular consumption (Realmspace 2e).

They've developed at-will flight as a result, with their diet altering their bodies over time.

I can kind of see greedy, ambitious humans adopting a similar practice if they thought they could benefit in a similar or same fashion.



My first thoughts were "yeah, he's right"..... then I thought on seeing a huge pile of beholder brains that I would have to eat.... or going over to a book and studying magic.... beholder brains probably taste nasty... books give me more options.... maybe if I spiced the beholder brains, but that might taint them.... books it is.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Ayrik
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Canada
7356 Posts

Posted - 20 Dec 2020 :  20:51:14  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The Illithiad offered a list of species compatible (or incompatible) for illithid reproduction. Though it didn't say as much about which species would be suitable for illithid sustenance.

I don't imagine beholders would have much cerebrospinal fluid, since they lack any obvious spine and limbs. Then again, they do have big brains and are highly intelligent. And then again, they are thoroughly infused with magic, which (psionic) illithids find distasteful.

But psionic levitation is already a common ability among illithids. I don't see how they'd obtain it by eating junkfood.

[/Ayrik]

Edited by - Ayrik on 21 Dec 2020 01:00:34
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Azar
Learned Scribe

184 Posts

Posted - 20 Dec 2020 :  21:30:39  Show Profile Send Azar a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Maybe y'all could take it to PM, because you're going further and further astray from the topic.

I realize there is a moral angle to the original topic, but y'all have hopped off on a tangent and gone zooming off to Lurue only knows where.



It was my heading adjustment that sent the vessel off course. A thousand apologies, O Wooly one .

Stand with anybody that stands right. Stand with him while he is right and part with him when he goes wrong.
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cpthero2
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USA
2249 Posts

Posted - 20 Dec 2020 :  22:26:15  Show Profile  Visit cpthero2's Homepage Send cpthero2 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Learned Scribe Azar,

I will say I appreciate your questioning of me though. It led to great discussion here, and Learned Scribe Returnip and I have had some great discussion in PM. He is an astute and engaging debater.

Best regards,





Higher Atlar
Spirit Soaring
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Returnip
Learned Scribe

204 Posts

Posted - 21 Dec 2020 :  00:08:12  Show Profile Send Returnip a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

they do have big brains and are highly intelligent.



It's the wrinkles. Not the size.

On the other hand you have different fingers.
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Ayrik
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Posted - 21 Dec 2020 :  01:05:30  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The image of a mind flayer wrapping it's glistening purple tentacles across the "face" (or the back of the skull?) of a big beholder is not especially endearing to me, lol, especially if the beholder retains any conscious control over it's gaze-attack eyestalks.

[/Ayrik]
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 21 Dec 2020 :  04:33:25  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

The Illithiad offered a list of species compatible (or incompatible) for illithid reproduction. Though it didn't say as much about which species would be suitable for illithid sustenance.

I don't imagine beholders would have much cerebrospinal fluid, since they lack any obvious spine and limbs. Then again, they do have big brains and are highly intelligent. And then again, they are thoroughly infused with magic, which (psionic) illithids find distasteful.

But psionic levitation is already a common ability among illithids. I don't see how they'd obtain it by eating junkfood.



It's another of the questionable things about Realmspace, and part of why I am reluctant to include it in Realmslore.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

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cpthero2
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Posted - 21 Dec 2020 :  05:40:46  Show Profile  Visit cpthero2's Homepage Send cpthero2 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Master Rupert,

So what do you think, in the vein of the original post about "Eating Intelligent Creatures", about the consumption of intelligent creatures that are aberrations, or other similarly "alien" or otherwise thoroughly vile creatures?

Best regards,






Higher Atlar
Spirit Soaring

Edited by - cpthero2 on 21 Dec 2020 19:49:46
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sleyvas
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Posted - 21 Dec 2020 :  16:20:39  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

The Illithiad offered a list of species compatible (or incompatible) for illithid reproduction. Though it didn't say as much about which species would be suitable for illithid sustenance.

I don't imagine beholders would have much cerebrospinal fluid, since they lack any obvious spine and limbs. Then again, they do have big brains and are highly intelligent. And then again, they are thoroughly infused with magic, which (psionic) illithids find distasteful.

But psionic levitation is already a common ability among illithids. I don't see how they'd obtain it by eating junkfood.



Not sure how number of limbs affects cerebrospinal fluid (or even what said fluid might have in relation to flavor, powers, etc...), but I will note that their eyestalks kind of "act" like limbs and can turn in all kinds of directions, etc... So, in essence, from my viewpoint anyway... they have a lot of agility in relation to various "limbs".

That's a good point about them already having access to levitate. With psionics though they would have to expend power points to use it, so perhaps these guys have it as a "magical" ability instead (granted during 2e, psionics wasn't the default ability of beholders and were instead an add on ruleset, and the "base" mindflayer had levitation it appears). Personally, I'd prefer to make these mind flayers a lot more "odd", with tentacular eyestalks in addition to their tentacled mouths. My first thoughts are how dangerous they could be with anti-magical eyes, but that might be too far.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
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Posted - 22 Dec 2020 :  00:02:34  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvasNot sure how number of limbs affects cerebrospinal fluid (or even what said fluid might have in relation to flavor, powers, etc...), but I will note that their eyestalks kind of "act" like limbs and can turn in all kinds of directions, etc... So, in essence, from my viewpoint anyway... they have a lot of agility in relation to various "limbs".

Illithids eat this fluid. I don't want to imagine or describe the flavours, though I'm sure that like any creature which eats they must find some sources of food preferable to others.

But it's probably more like some kind of psychic sustenance. Similar to how vampires are able to suck a victim's vital force while taking only a relatively small (an almost harmless) quantity of blood.

Though the manner of illithid feeding is more grotesque. And I'm sure the aftermath of a finished (or partially finished) illithid meal is an utterly nightmarish sight.

I wouldn't consider alignment or morals or ethics (or any lack of the same) being at all relevant to these sorts of predations. They eat what (and who) they eat because of their biology. They're no more evil than any other beast or man or monster who must kill and eat "lesser" beings simply to survive.

[/Ayrik]
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cpthero2
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USA
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Posted - 24 Dec 2020 :  03:13:54  Show Profile  Visit cpthero2's Homepage Send cpthero2 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Great Reader Ayrik,

quote:
I wouldn't consider alignment or morals or ethics (or any lack of the same) being at all relevant to these sorts of predations. They eat what (and who) they eat because of their biology. They're no more evil than any other beast or man or monster who must kill and eat "lesser" beings simply to survive.


On that sole front of eating what they need to survive, I would agree in a vacuum. Though, not all beings consider behavior moral through the same ethical lens. It really does depend on the ethic I feel.

Best regards,



Higher Atlar
Spirit Soaring
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Azar
Learned Scribe

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Posted - 24 Dec 2020 :  03:18:10  Show Profile Send Azar a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Dietary habits aside, the Mind Flayers also engage in slavery beyond anything we know and mind-rape. They're an evil bunch, no doubt about that.

Stand with anybody that stands right. Stand with him while he is right and part with him when he goes wrong.
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cpthero2
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USA
2249 Posts

Posted - 24 Dec 2020 :  04:27:09  Show Profile  Visit cpthero2's Homepage Send cpthero2 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Learned Scribe Azar,

quote:
Dietary habits aside, the Mind Flayers also engage in slavery beyond anything we know and mind-rape. They're an evil bunch, no doubt about that.


Yeah, according to most ethics, slavery and of course, mind-raping, would be evil. It just depends on if the ethic defines morality through a lens of self-determination, dignity upon free will, and autonomy.

I could hypothetically see a fantasy setting where some society values, as a virtue, power to such an extent that control over another being is extolled. In such a society (hypothetical as it is), ones autonomy, dignity, and self-determination would be defined by the projection of power as the source of morality. A horrid, but interesting thought, from an ethical consideration, within the field of ethics.

Sounds a lot like Thay.

Best regards,






Higher Atlar
Spirit Soaring
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Azar
Learned Scribe

184 Posts

Posted - 26 Dec 2020 :  17:43:25  Show Profile Send Azar a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by cpthero2

I could hypothetically see a fantasy setting where some society values, as a virtue, power to such an extent that control over another being is extolled. In such a society (hypothetical as it is), ones autonomy, dignity, and self-determination would be defined by the projection of power as the source of morality. A horrid, but interesting thought, from an ethical consideration, within the field of ethics.

Sounds a lot like Thay.

Best regards,









Were they inclined to justify their practices, they may choose to use such reasoning. As it stands, they probably liken humans and/or comparable species to cattle (in explicit role) or insects (in intellect); they wouldn't bother with the "courtesy" of cushioning their actions with an explanation.

Stand with anybody that stands right. Stand with him while he is right and part with him when he goes wrong.
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Returnip
Learned Scribe

204 Posts

Posted - 26 Dec 2020 :  18:01:28  Show Profile Send Returnip a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Azar

Were they inclined to justify their practices, they may choose to use such reasoning. As it stands, they probably liken humans and/or comparable species to cattle (in explicit role) or insects (in intellect); they wouldn't bother with the "courtesy" of cushioning their actions with an explanation.



Even in a society where that is the norm there will exist outliers who will reflect upon the norms and possibly question them. I would argue that this is even more true among highly intelligent species, such as Mindflayers.

On the other hand you have different fingers.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
34467 Posts

Posted - 27 Dec 2020 :  03:04:54  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Returnip

quote:
Originally posted by Azar

Were they inclined to justify their practices, they may choose to use such reasoning. As it stands, they probably liken humans and/or comparable species to cattle (in explicit role) or insects (in intellect); they wouldn't bother with the "courtesy" of cushioning their actions with an explanation.



Even in a society where that is the norm there will exist outliers who will reflect upon the norms and possibly question them. I would argue that this is even more true among highly intelligent species, such as Mindflayers.



Vegan illithids! They only eat myconids!

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Returnip
Learned Scribe

204 Posts

Posted - 27 Dec 2020 :  15:28:04  Show Profile Send Returnip a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Vegan illithids! They only eat myconids!



Or a cannibal cult that only eat other Illithids.

On the other hand you have different fingers.
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