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 is jarlaxle good or evil?
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Alystra Illianniis
Great Reader

USA
3747 Posts

Posted - 08 May 2011 :  19:08:48  Show Profile  Click to see Alystra Illianniis's MSN Messenger address Send Alystra Illianniis a Private Message
CT- That chart is based on asking moral questions to children. (who are the primary ones used to determine moral development in a person as they grow and become more mature in their reasoning.) The basis for a person's placement in the stages is not based simply on their answer to a moral question, but on their REASONING behind it. A small childe stops (in most cases) at simply "Stealing is bad because you can get punished". An older child would say (to the question of whether it's right or wrong to steal food for a starving person, or to steal dan over-priced drug from the maker to save a loved one from dying) that it is wrong in the eyes of the person being stolen from, but would be the right thing to do for the person DOING the stealing, because the theft is balance by the fact they are saving someone. A 3rd level would recognize the motives behind the theft, and say that it was right, because it was motivated by love, or compassion, etc. And so on. The higher stage one reaches, the more complex and abstract one's reasoning fo rthe answer given. THAT is how it works. It's a measure of how mature and reasoned of a response a person gives for "is stealing food for a starving person bad". Or any other moral question one cares to use. It's subjective because it's the reason behind the answer that is important, not the answer itself. Each person will answer differently, but most people of certain age groups will have similar answers- that was the entire point behind the original study, and it still holds true. The fact that some people answer the same question at a different level of reasoning simply means that their moral outlook is GENERALLY that of the stage that most closely matches their "moral maturity". That doesn't mean they will ALWAYS answer at that level, just that it is their "normal" level of morality. If asked whether it's right to execute a person for killing someone who attacked them, they might give an entirely different answer and a more or less complex reason. The study entailed asking a series of such questions, and finding the most CONSISTENT stage of morality used for each answer. No one ever said psychology was simple. It's a complex subject, but it can be boiled down to its basic elements for categorizing types of behavior.

BTW, telling someone they're wrong is generally not a good way to reply to a discussion of this kind. They expressed their opinions, which is perfectly fine, and neither right or wrong. Please refrain from those types of comments.

Ah, Chaos Theory- a favorite subject of mine. You are aware that even chaos has patterns, yes? Part of the point of Chaos Theory is to find the underlying patterns or "order" within seemingly random events. The Butterfly Effect is the short-hand, but even it works by the basic laws of nature, which factors in weather patterns (which CAN be mapped and predicted), geographical features, time of year, position of the sun and moon, etc.... There may be many connecting factors, but the system as a whole will still obey the laws within the basic system itself. A comet has an orbit, even if it varies by degrees over time. A volcano that erupts is simply obeying the physical laws of thermodynamics and is merely releasing built-up pressure, which can be measured. They may appear to be chaotic events, but there is an order underneath, if one can but understand it. Human (or any other race) psychology is no different. There are hundreds of factors in how a person acts, but they will still fall into basic behavior patterns over the long run, based on their personal experiences, environment, and so on. It's a complex system, but a system none-the-less.

The Goddess is alive, and magic is afoot.

"Where Science ends, Magic begins" -Spiral, Uncanny X-Men #491

"You idiots! You've captured their STUNT doubles!" -Spaceballs

Lothir's character background/stats: http://forum.candlekeep.com/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=5469

My stories:
http://z3.invisionfree.com/Mickeys_Comic_Tavern/index.php?showforum=188

Lothir, courtesy of Sylinde (Deviant Art)/Luaxena (Chosen of Eilistraee)
http://sylinde.deviantart.com/#/d2z6e4u
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Firestorm
Senior Scribe

Canada
801 Posts

Posted - 08 May 2011 :  19:26:48  Show Profile Send Firestorm a Private Message
Ahh. You can have and express your own opinion all you want, and I will try to have a friendly chat back and express my views, but refrain from telling those who do not agree with your opinion to "shut it"

Maybe you were speaking in jest. Maybe not. But let's keep that out of our nice forum okay?
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Firestorm
Senior Scribe

Canada
801 Posts

Posted - 08 May 2011 :  19:40:59  Show Profile Send Firestorm a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Chosen of Asmodeus

Thing is, most of the good he's done(and admittedly I haven't read Sellswords) has been self serving and hasn't required great personal sacrifice. Whether it is simply to cultivate a good image or to help stop a giant dracolich or primordial from trying to kill him/rampaging around his surface playground, he's had a stake in the outcome. For a real life example, Al Capone ran a soup kitchen. For a comics example, Norman Osborn and The Hood helped save the world from the skrull invasion.

And the war happening in Luskan regardless doesn't matter; beyond the fact that it is extremely doubtful it would have happened as quickly or had caused damage on the scale it did without Jarlaxle's intervention, the fact remains he still set off the powder keg. Something else would have if he hadn't, but he still did it, so he still carries the responsibility.


One could easily argue that if he had not helped organize, deal information to, and position himself in the shadows of the faction, that the war that was coming no matter what would have happened more slowly, dragged on, and even more innocent people would have died while it dragged on and caused damage on a wider scale.

P.S I highly suggest reading the sellswords. Excellent books

Edited by - Firestorm on 08 May 2011 19:41:42
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AleksanderTheGreat
Learned Scribe

90 Posts

Posted - 08 May 2011 :  20:12:43  Show Profile Send AleksanderTheGreat a Private Message
quote:
aleksander, firestorm, shut it.

Pardon?
quote:
you're both wrong

And you're rude.
quote:
according to some DMs, sure it's universal. but in D&D as a whole it isn't.

Yes it is. If not then why are there whole PLANES of "Good" and "Evil" and "Chaos" and "Law"?
quote:
look, Alignment, Morality and Ethics arn't something you can peg on a chart or pidgeonhole people into! it's a fluid, subjective, complex thing!

Sorry but this is DnD, not real world. Here such complex things just don't matter because this is a GAME, played by KIDS and because of that it is simple.
quote:
Good and Evil are not Objective Universal Forces

DnD isn't RL. In DnD Good and Evil ARE universal forces, don't you comprehend that?

Yes, maybe that assassin thinks that he isn't doing evil things because he is just trying to feed his family, but it doesn't matter to the Universe, his deeds are still evil because he is killing people for profit.

Fighting for order! - Join me in the battle!

Edited by - AleksanderTheGreat on 08 May 2011 20:15:29
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Azuth
Senior Scribe

USA
402 Posts

Posted - 08 May 2011 :  21:23:40  Show Profile  Visit Azuth's Homepage Send Azuth a Private Message

Everyone, please take a deep breath and tone it down. As Lady Alystra said, we must be civil if nothing else within Candlekeep. I think it is very important to address a number of issues here:

1. Jarlaxle is a character in the Forgotten Realms world.
2. The outer planes have nothing to do with how Jarlaxle works.
3. Jarlaxle is a creation of Bob Salvatore and as such, does whatever Bob desires him to do.
4. Several times we have come to the consensus that Jarlaxle is CN, but continue arguing it, which is beyond the topic of this thread.
5. Might/Could have/Maybe if/It's possible are all speculative. I think that everyone who has participated in this scroll with alacrity and passion have made their points. Consensus is never required in a thread, and it is seldom reached. Based on my count, CN is the majority opinion on Jarlaxle's alignment: ironic since that wasn't an option based on the thread's title.
6. Thomas B. hasn't even participated in this thread in a while. Honestly, I think we've argued this point to death, and some people are starting to degenerate into "I'm right and you must be wrong!" statements. Intellectual debate is good for everyone. Assertions are not.
7. Perhaps Sage or Wooly will consider this thread to have run its course and lock it accordingly. I welcome new insight into Jarlaxle, but we seem to have moved well beyond that.

If anyone has new insights into Jarlaxle's being, I welcome them. But I'm bowing out of this topic as a contributor as people are attacking reasoned responders and making broad assertions about what is and isn't factual.

Chosen, Firestorm, and Alystra, thank you as always for a well-argued discussion; I enjoyed it greatly.


Azuth, the First Magister
Lord of All Spells

The greatest expression of creativity is through Art.
Offense can never be given, only taken.

Edited by - Azuth on 08 May 2011 21:24:38
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AleksanderTheGreat
Learned Scribe

90 Posts

Posted - 08 May 2011 :  21:41:25  Show Profile Send AleksanderTheGreat a Private Message
IMO, there is only one scribe that disrupts this discussion, so calming everyone is unnecessary.
I'm also for locking this thread. It was posted SIX YEAS AGO and there's nothing new there could be written on this topic (of course in six years probably new books with Jarlaxle came out so the answer could change).

Answering the question: Jarlaxle is deffinitly leaning more towards "evil" than "good" but (after reading the newest books) his probably neither.

Fighting for order! - Join me in the battle!

Edited by - AleksanderTheGreat on 08 May 2011 21:47:32
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ChieftainTwilight
Learned Scribe

171 Posts

Posted - 09 May 2011 :  00:49:34  Show Profile  Send ChieftainTwilight a Yahoo! Message Send ChieftainTwilight a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Alystra Illianniis

CT- That chart is based on asking moral questions to children. (who are the primary ones used to determine moral development in a person as they grow and become more mature in their reasoning.) The basis for a person's placement in the stages is not based simply on their answer to a moral question, but on their REASONING behind it. A small childe stops (in most cases) at simply "Stealing is bad because you can get punished". An older child would say (to the question of whether it's right or wrong to steal food for a starving person, or to steal dan over-priced drug from the maker to save a loved one from dying) that it is wrong in the eyes of the person being stolen from, but would be the right thing to do for the person DOING the stealing, because the theft is balance by the fact they are saving someone. A 3rd level would recognize the motives behind the theft, and say that it was right, because it was motivated by love, or compassion, etc. And so on. The higher stage one reaches, the more complex and abstract one's reasoning fo rthe answer given. THAT is how it works. It's a measure of how mature and reasoned of a response a person gives for "is stealing food for a starving person bad". Or any other moral question one cares to use. It's subjective because it's the reason behind the answer that is important, not the answer itself. Each person will answer differently, but most people of certain age groups will have similar answers- that was the entire point behind the original study, and it still holds true. The fact that some people answer the same question at a different level of reasoning simply means that their moral outlook is GENERALLY that of the stage that most closely matches their "moral maturity". That doesn't mean they will ALWAYS answer at that level, just that it is their "normal" level of morality. If asked whether it's right to execute a person for killing someone who attacked them, they might give an entirely different answer and a more or less complex reason. The study entailed asking a series of such questions, and finding the most CONSISTENT stage of morality used for each answer. No one ever said psychology was simple. It's a complex subject, but it can be boiled down to its basic elements for categorizing types of behavior.


I'm still iffy. that seems inherently flawed, and at a level that tries to simplify something that is just plain not so simple. you've also just now admitted to me that you are trying to use this chart to say that Morality is not Subjective, evenw hen you also admit that the opinion of it being Objective lies outside the chart. that's circular logic.

to be clear, I mean to say that "X supports Y because Y supports X" isn't exactly waterproof logic.

quote:
BTW, telling someone they're wrong is generally not a good way to reply to a discussion of this kind. They expressed their opinions, which is perfectly fine, and neither right or wrong. Please refrain from those types of comments.


technically, he said the same thing. just without using the specific words "you are wrong" in the sentence. the implication was blatant. he was telling me that I'm simply wrong, on the grounds that he's right. again, "X supports Y because Y supports X" logic. in his cas, to justify his pride. I'm southern, we meet Pride with Pride. the thickest skull wins the verbal headbutt match, like two Goats on the Mountain. =w=

quote:
Ah, Chaos Theory- a favorite subject of mine. You are aware that even chaos has patterns, yes? Part of the point of Chaos Theory is to find the underlying patterns or "order" within seemingly random events. The Butterfly Effect is the short-hand, but even it works by the basic laws of nature, which factors in weather patterns (which CAN be mapped and predicted), geographical features, time of year, position of the sun and moon, etc.... There may be many connecting factors, but the system as a whole will still obey the laws within the basic system itself. A comet has an orbit, even if it varies by degrees over time. A volcano that erupts is simply obeying the physical laws of thermodynamics and is merely releasing built-up pressure, which can be measured. They may appear to be chaotic events, but there is an order underneath, if one can but understand it. Human (or any other race) psychology is no different. There are hundreds of factors in how a person acts, but they will still fall into basic behavior patterns over the long run, based on their personal experiences, environment, and so on. It's a complex system, but a system none-the-less.




oh yes, I know. that's kind of my point. Chaos has Patterns within itself, and if you realize th eimplication of the most basic law of Chaos Theor (you put any random sequence of numbers out to Infinite and a Pattern will inevitably emerge) you realize that the scope of the Universe goes completely over our heads. you also realize that it is already Ordered, and we Humans cannot offend that Order no matter how hard we try. our artificial "orders" are ALL doomed to failure because they don't stand up against the Laws of Nature.

and a heart can only break so many times
and I've been to hell and back so many times
and I've seen folks walk away so many times
but just like anyone else I gotta stand up by myself
and a heart can only break so many times
a heart can only break so many times
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ChieftainTwilight
Learned Scribe

171 Posts

Posted - 09 May 2011 :  00:53:26  Show Profile  Send ChieftainTwilight a Yahoo! Message Send ChieftainTwilight a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by AleksanderTheGreat

IMO, there is only one scribe that disrupts this discussion, so calming everyone is unnecessary.
I'm also for locking this thread. It was posted SIX YEAS AGO and there's nothing new there could be written on this topic (of course in six years probably new books with Jarlaxle came out so the answer could change).

Answering the question: Jarlaxle is deffinitly leaning more towards "evil" than "good" but (after reading the newest books) his probably neither.



this is where I'd smack you over the head. mostly because you remind me of my stepdad back before I moved to ohio (he insisted there was NEVER anything wrong with him, and that I was the problem, and so "family counciling" was unnessesary, I needed to just "fix myself"). but also because you are being a self-righteous asshole.

you're no less rude than I am. I'm just more blunt about it. coward.

same goes to you, firestorm.

so civil my ass. there's a time for civil and a time for Honour. **** the hypocrits.

and a heart can only break so many times
and I've been to hell and back so many times
and I've seen folks walk away so many times
but just like anyone else I gotta stand up by myself
and a heart can only break so many times
a heart can only break so many times
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Chosen of Asmodeus
Master of Realmslore

1221 Posts

Posted - 09 May 2011 :  01:08:09  Show Profile  Visit Chosen of Asmodeus's Homepage Send Chosen of Asmodeus a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Firestorm

quote:
Originally posted by Chosen of Asmodeus

Thing is, most of the good he's done(and admittedly I haven't read Sellswords) has been self serving and hasn't required great personal sacrifice. Whether it is simply to cultivate a good image or to help stop a giant dracolich or primordial from trying to kill him/rampaging around his surface playground, he's had a stake in the outcome. For a real life example, Al Capone ran a soup kitchen. For a comics example, Norman Osborn and The Hood helped save the world from the skrull invasion.

And the war happening in Luskan regardless doesn't matter; beyond the fact that it is extremely doubtful it would have happened as quickly or had caused damage on the scale it did without Jarlaxle's intervention, the fact remains he still set off the powder keg. Something else would have if he hadn't, but he still did it, so he still carries the responsibility.


One could easily argue that if he had not helped organize, deal information to, and position himself in the shadows of the faction, that the war that was coming no matter what would have happened more slowly, dragged on, and even more innocent people would have died while it dragged on and caused damage on a wider scale.

P.S I highly suggest reading the sellswords. Excellent books



See, that's the thing. As the war didn't happen without Jarlaxle, what would and wouldn't have happened without his involvement is impossible to say. Personally I don't think Waterdeep would have gotten involved and the Brotherhood would have cowed the captains fairly quickly with a show of force. I think that without Jarlaxle organizing them and giving them support, the captains wouldn't have had the spine to stand up to the brotherhood, or Duedermont once he had taken control.

As for Sellswords; I've heard from a good friend who's opinion I highly respect that it more or less ruins Jarlaxle's and Artemis' characters.

"Then I saw there was a way to Hell even from the gates of Heaven"
- John Bunyan, Pilgrim's Progress

Fatum Iustum Stultorum. Righteous is the destiny of fools.

The Roleplayer's Gazebo;
http://theroleplayersgazebo.yuku.com/directory#.Ub4hvvlJOAY
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AleksanderTheGreat
Learned Scribe

90 Posts

Posted - 09 May 2011 :  01:08:27  Show Profile Send AleksanderTheGreat a Private Message
Wow... just wow... You've just proved who is the asshole here. Also, I very curious where did I imply that I'm 100% right and you're wrong? If I did then I was writing about facts from handbooks.

I can't wait for a Mod to see this. Is there a "Report" button on this boards?

Fighting for order! - Join me in the battle!

Edited by - AleksanderTheGreat on 09 May 2011 01:16:07
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Alystra Illianniis
Great Reader

USA
3747 Posts

Posted - 09 May 2011 :  01:15:16  Show Profile  Click to see Alystra Illianniis's MSN Messenger address Send Alystra Illianniis a Private Message
Now you're putting words into my mouth. (or text- whatever.) Not subjective? Actually, I believe I've said exactly the opposite.

Quote: "The second stage is seen in older children, (usually at or after age ten) and views morality as subjective- this is when a child understands that what one person thinks is "right", another may see as "wrong". (Such as stealing food to feed a starving family.) They can see the right to pursue individual interests over simple "law". what is right for an individual is what meets his own self-interests. They also see morality as a fair exchange or fair deal."

This does NOT, however, contradict the concept of universal morality, in that there ARE certain moral ideals that are common to almost all people. However, an INDIVIDUAL'S moral outlook IS subjective- it depends entirely on his life experience and point of view. The two ideas are not mutually exclusive- one simply has to realize that one encompasses the other, that they are not separate.

As for Chaos Theory it is in our nature to try to understand the order of the universe, and to look for the patterns in seemingly random events in order to better understand that order and the laws behind it. We do not so much impose order on the universe, as we search for the order already there.

The Goddess is alive, and magic is afoot.

"Where Science ends, Magic begins" -Spiral, Uncanny X-Men #491

"You idiots! You've captured their STUNT doubles!" -Spaceballs

Lothir's character background/stats: http://forum.candlekeep.com/pop_profile.asp?mode=display&id=5469

My stories:
http://z3.invisionfree.com/Mickeys_Comic_Tavern/index.php?showforum=188

Lothir, courtesy of Sylinde (Deviant Art)/Luaxena (Chosen of Eilistraee)
http://sylinde.deviantart.com/#/d2z6e4u
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Chosen of Asmodeus
Master of Realmslore

1221 Posts

Posted - 09 May 2011 :  01:19:29  Show Profile  Visit Chosen of Asmodeus's Homepage Send Chosen of Asmodeus a Private Message
Well this is all getting a little too hostile for me. I'm out, peace guys.

"Then I saw there was a way to Hell even from the gates of Heaven"
- John Bunyan, Pilgrim's Progress

Fatum Iustum Stultorum. Righteous is the destiny of fools.

The Roleplayer's Gazebo;
http://theroleplayersgazebo.yuku.com/directory#.Ub4hvvlJOAY
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AleksanderTheGreat
Learned Scribe

90 Posts

Posted - 09 May 2011 :  01:20:25  Show Profile Send AleksanderTheGreat a Private Message
Alystra, I would say that in real world morality IS subjective because humans are the only creatures that have such a thing. It will always be subjective, no matter what.
My point is that morality is objective IN DnD. It just works like that. Humans created DnD so this "universal moral standards" are biased by their imperfect creators (and censorship) but that does not matter. Good is good and evil is evil and that's the universal moral code IN DND.
@ Chosen
What are you afraid of? Just ignore whatever posts are too offensive and answer those that aren't. No need to abandon an interesting debate. ;)

Fighting for order! - Join me in the battle!

Edited by - AleksanderTheGreat on 09 May 2011 01:23:36
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ChieftainTwilight
Learned Scribe

171 Posts

Posted - 09 May 2011 :  01:24:09  Show Profile  Send ChieftainTwilight a Yahoo! Message Send ChieftainTwilight a Private Message
I ain't even gonna get into the debate about non-human animals and morality.

meh. whatever. all hostilities aside, I'm gonna go cool down. I shouldn't have come in here in my current state of mind. Peace everyone.

and for the record, nobody hold their breath for an appology. I ain't gonna give one.

and a heart can only break so many times
and I've been to hell and back so many times
and I've seen folks walk away so many times
but just like anyone else I gotta stand up by myself
and a heart can only break so many times
a heart can only break so many times

Edited by - ChieftainTwilight on 09 May 2011 01:24:48
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31690 Posts

Posted - 09 May 2011 :  01:25:23  Show Profile  Send The Sage an AOL message  Click to see The Sage's MSN Messenger address  Send The Sage a Yahoo! Message Send The Sage a Private Message
And I think we're done.

I'm very disappointed in a number of scribes, here, and while I do not like to specifically name those responsible, I hope those who were involved can take a step back and look at how each of you have allowed this unfortunate circumstance to occur.

Note, also, that I'll be contacting all offending scribes privately, to discuss the matter further.

*Casts Seal Scroll*

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

Scribe for the Candlekeep Compendium -- Volume IX now available (Oct 2007)

"So Saith Ed" -- the collected Candlekeep replies of Ed Greenwood

Zhoth'ilam Folio -- The Electronic Misadventures of a Rambling Sage

Edited by - The Sage on 09 May 2011 01:27:29
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