Welcome to Inkbunny...
Allowed ratings
To view member-only content, create an account. ( Hide )

Internal consistency and ethics in fantasy

I think I've pinpointed the source of my dilemma, and thought it would be interesting to share for discussion.

I seem to be odd in that I do not buy the excuse "it's only fantasy". I have a code of morality, and actions that violate it are evil and make one evil. In fantasy, if my fantasy self were to commit these things, he would be evil, logically.
My morals are fairly airtight, and account for any circumstances; there are no gray areas of "maybe, maybe not". Wrong is wrong.

What I cannot understand, is how people can espouse moral behavior in their IRL lives, but commit evil behaviors in their imagination as if that somehow changes the nature of the evil behavior.
It's like saying "I'm only evil on the inside". Not a very good thing to consider yourself.

What many do not realize is that evil and abusive actions do not merely hurt the victims; they corrupt the victimizers, until there is not conscience left to be corrupted.

This is fundamentally why my previous account abruptly left inkbunny, damning cub as wrong and angering quite a lot of people with that proclamation.
Anyone care to weigh in? Is there something I'm missing here?
Viewed: 13 times
Added: 5 years, 1 month ago
2 years ago
Hurting someone is bad because that person is hurt.
Thinking about hurting someone is not bad because that person isn't hurt.
Imagining the act of hurting someone is not bad because that person isn't hurt.

It comes from the view that what makes an action bad is not the motive but the outcome.
If you think that what defines bad is the motivation rather than the outcome, universally, than to you just thinking about doing something bad may be bad by design.
If someone thinks that what defines bad is not the motivation but the effect/outcome, then fantasizing about bad things isn't bad, because it's effects are not bad. (in fact, it has no effects of any sort)

Does that make sense to you?

And then there is the question, what is the motivation behind fantasizing about hurting someone, and is hurting someone always by designed based on bad motivation, or can the motivation for hurting someone be neutral or good.

That's my take on it.
2 years ago
Journal is from three years ago.
I guess I appreciate the effort though.

Since that time, I have come to accept the more sinister elements of my personality, and in animal nature in general.
I've found that as I understand the nature of the world, the mechanism behind lofty virtues such as kindness and altruism, my opinion of it darkens considerably.
But I still have them nonetheless; kindness and cruelty, and how kindness can be cruel and how cruelty can be kind. As much as one might wish for an ideal state, we are irrevocably animal. Funny, that a furry needed to learn that lesson.
2 years ago
I know the journal is a few years old, but I felt it would be interesting to respond regardless, especially given that nobody else did.

Personally out of the two mentioned sides, I'm more on the side that actions are bad if they have bad effects (although i'm not 100% on either side), and if having fantasies has no clear good or bad effects on the real world, it is therefore neither good nor bad.
Furthermore, there is the problem that deciding if something has good or bad effects can be difficult, because we only really see the most direct effects which happen right after the action, but it is impossible to predict all the complex effects which may happen months or years afterwards as a result of some action.

In some kind of weird cosmic butterfly effect our chat right now could lead to the end of the universe a million of years from now on, who knows.
2 years ago
Deontological ethics vs consequentialist ethics, is what this is.

Consider this: 2 people murder someone else. One is real, one is fiction. They are performing the same action, though while one does actual harm, the other only does potential harm in the context of his own canon.
Deontological ethics would say that murder is wrong, and they are both performing the same action, so both of them would be wrong (the fictional one, at least potentially wrong within the logic of his own world).
I think though, in the context of fiction, this is more a matter of internal consistency than anything else.

On the other side, consequentialism would suggest that what the action was is irrelevant, only that it produced more good than bad, that the end justifies the means. And this "good" can be very arbitrarily defined. A great many tyrants have thought themselves to be on the path of good, serving people's best interest (Hitler being one of them; apologies for breaking Godwins Law). Point being, it's not very rigorous, and can be quite dangerous because it is so unconstrained.

Deontology is a bit tougher to do, since it is an exercise of logic, but it's logical nature is also what binds it in concrete terms that are much harder to rationalize around.
(Sorry for the lectures; you brought out a long-unfed weakness of mine. On forums, I'm prone to teach what I know in the most incoherent manner possible. I've been away from online commentary for a long while now)
2 years ago
I did read about deontology and censequentialism before, although I wouldn't have remembered the terms themselves for those two positions before you used them.

Yes, it is pretty interesting stuff.
I don't mind bringing in Hitler to the equation.
I even read a chunk of the Main Kampf, it paints jews as social and economic aggressors in a very convincing sounding way, and removing them as a general social good and necessity (I only read maybe like, 50 pages of it before I got bored of it) Although internet also tells me that Hitler himself didn't write the book, rather he had one of his follower write it during a set of interviews,  sitting in jail as an, essentially, political prisoner, if i remember correctly.

My point is, yes, hitler there was totally going with the, we need to do it to fix our broken country and economy and defend ourselves, kind of angle. He didn't really sound much more radical than many politicians do today.
2 years ago
They say, "It is a mark of a mature mind to be able to entertain an idea without accepting it."
I appreciate that you aren't allergic to Hitler; makes thoughtful conversation much more productive.

If I remember correctly from a thing I saw once, Hitler's slide into madness might be the same as Ayn Rand's: being prescribed dangerous methamphetamine drugs as medicine, at a time when it was not known to have serious side effects on mental state.
One of the reasons I have a passionate irrational hatred of pharmaceuticals, particularly of the psychoactive kind.

Tangent, it's kinda funny, since before he turned on them, the Jewish population was just as enthusiastic in supporting him as anyone else in Germany. I guess this leads to...not so much "Hitler was right" but "was it really Hitler's fault?" Interesting to think about.
Did you know that the idea of a "Mad hatter" comes from a time when hats were made from a substance they didn't know caused madness (mercury)? Makes you wonder what else the ignorance of the past unwittingly caused.
2 years ago
I didn't know that thing about hats, it's pretty funny, in a black humor sort of way.

I'm not too fond of pharmaceuticals and drugs in general. I really started to have an issue with them when I became aware that almost all of them only treat symptoms and not the root/cause of the problem. While, evolutionary biology would have me believe that the symptoms of illnesses exist, most often than not, for a reason. So, taking something which doesn't actually heal you, but only treats symptoms, many of which have it's reasons of existing, it feels very iffy.

Since I became aware of it, I treat all my colds with just ginger and garlic, and so far every cold was passed much more comfortably than it was when i took drugs. I get less symptoms, the colds end faster, they happen more rarely, and so on. And my stomach doesn't' hurt, and the drugs also always made me loose all my hunger near the end of those colds, which made me feel pretty bad, and now it doesn't happen, i feel normal hunger during the whole illness if it happens at all.

So... it may be just my imaginative, but the few times that i took some other drugs during this time, they just made me feel bad. So now i almost never take any, and i'm feeling pretty great about it.

That's my personal few-year old adventure with me not trusting pharmaceuticals and limiting any drugs to an absolute minimum when I have seemingly better alternatives like garlic or ginger, which are supposedly scientifically proven as antibacterial, anti-fungal, or even antiviral (in case of garlic), and some other natural foods/herbs. It just seems like these things are actually much better at treating the root of an illness than drugs are, while the drugs only treat some of the symptoms, which just makes you more miserable in the long run...

And don't get me started on sore throat, sipping on some water with ginger just vanishes any of my feeling of a sore throat in a matter of minutes and then it doesn't really come back...
2 years ago
I wouldn't go as far as to say that no drugs are useful or that drugs are never useful.
And I do think that modern medicine can do many things which can't be done by natural medicine.

But I think you probably get my point.
2 years ago
There was a game once, that imparted to me a very important lesson: That pain is a signal that something is wrong, and without it, changes in health would go unnoticed until they were quite serious. Pain is important.
(in this game in question, a certain religious group removed pain from a god, so that it would not notice that it was being slowly corrupted, with the intention of destroying it and taking it's power)

anyway, yeah, the treating of symptoms rather than causes.
2 years ago
I think people would use far less drugs and feel much better off from it, but the advertising industry is really good at what it does.
It doesn't help that even on the side of natural medicine there's a bunch of scam-artists spreading false or dubious information about this or that natural remedy which, who would have thought, they themselves produce and sell.
2 years ago
Whenever I think of a drug commercial, all I can think of is this:

Cheery music, happy people, a voice listing horrific side effects.
Most of the commercial is that, because it takes so long to go through them.
2 years ago
To play the devil's advocate, time in a commercial is super expensive, marketing slogan is one sentence, side effects are so many it's a whole essay, and they only give a clause about negative side effects because they are obliged by law to do so anyway.

And anyway, nobody sane would sell you a product by starting with "My product can kill you, oh, and also it's good for this and this and this" ;p
it's not a very good sales pitch.
New Comment:
Move reply box to top
Log in or create an account to comment.