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Old 2012-11-19, 06:16   Link #201
erneiz_hyde
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Originally Posted by Edict View Post
in a roundabout way the point I'm getting at is that many (and even perhaps most) examples of criminal abnormality do not in apparent fact obviate the apprehension of the significance of choices. Whilst the same set of issues can certainly complicate how much the observer can speculate about the nature of choice (i.e. how much one is impelled rather than compelled), the concept of free will howsoever taken is not intrinsically compromised by these differences. I think even where the morass of these questions on human nature and morality arise a qualifiable distinction is largely retained between motivational differences and that of awareness of choices and their consequences.

although the actuality of choice within what is evidently a deterministic framework presents any number of vagaries that require careful conceptualisation, the differences typically exampled to question a presumed capacity for volition do not adequately distinguish between variations in choice motivation and that of a capacity for choice regulation. Whilst the former has to be entertained for any practical and indeed ethical evaluation of issues where these ideas are relevant it is the latter which is critical for the essential notion of deliberate choice. To tersely conclude this perspective, whilst blame is probably outside the immediate sphere of human knowledge for judging individuals, I wouldn't say the same entails a lack of self-will in either normal or abnormal individuals.
First thing first.

Are you perhaps a scholar of linguistics of some kind? I'm having trouble following your rather sophisticated passage. It reminds me of scientific papers.

Anyways, my personal view is freewill is inherent (to each individual), but responsibility isn't. It's imposed on, and thus limits freewill. What's inherent alongside freewill is consequence, and although it might often be equated in practical real life, responsibility and consequence are intrinsically different.

Is this view similar in essence to what you were describing?
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Old 2012-11-19, 11:13   Link #202
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Originally Posted by Edict View Post
That said though, there is the implication that prior to anyone being extraneously informed their actions remain largely unaccountable. Yet that type of supposition can very easily conflate important differences that do not strictly obviate the capacity for apprehension and by extension knowledgeable choice. It is a bit like saying, on average, the normal person tends to prefer ice cream over car tires for dessert, whereas the psychopath having a 'natural' predilection for both can equally entertain both 'choices'. However, if somehow choosing car tires further included wanton death of innocent persons is the process of choice still essentially one of inclination alone ?
erneiz_hyde answered your question. The freedom to choose is not the same as taking responsibility for a choice. It is reasonable to hold someone responsible for his choice only when he is consciously aware of the consequences of his decision. That's the basis of most kinds of social contracts upon which we build our ethics.

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...in a roundabout way the point I'm getting at is that many (and even perhaps most) examples of criminal abnormality do not in apparent fact obviate the apprehension of the significance of choices.
Can we blame someone for unwittingly acting in a way that caused harm to others? Yes we can. But, in such cases, we usually judge the person on the basis of diminished responsibility. Again, the basis of judgment usually rests on the extent to which the person was consciously aware of the consequences of his decision.

The discomfort arises, however, from the realisation that the same logic leads us to question the kinds of punishment we inflict on convicted serial killers and pathological criminals. Science increasingly shows that these people are, in fact, wired very differently from normal people. As a result, it becomes necessary to question the extent to which such people can make moral decisions the way normal people can.

If they can't, then diminished responsibility applies. We can't punish them to the full extent of the law any more than we can fairly punish a mentally handicapped person for breaking a law he had no chance of understanding, let alone follow faithfully to the letter.

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Originally Posted by Edict View Post
Whilst the same set of issues can certainly complicate how much the observer can speculate about the nature of choice (i.e. how much one is impelled rather than compelled), the concept of free will howsoever taken is not intrinsically compromised by these differences.
I respectfully disagree. I think the question of whether free will actually exists is being challenged by mounting evidence which suggests that almost anything we think or do has been "pre-programmed" at a genetic level, through a long process of evolution over which we had no direct control and for which we can take no credit for. It is not without reason that some people have come to believe that morality is an "evolved" behaviour. What we regard as "moral" today may well just a label we apply to the set of actions we evolved over time to ensure harmonious relationships.

In that view, morality becomes no more than something which exists after the fact, rather than something born from the consequence of conscious decision.

If I dare allow myself to think about it, I face the very real possibility that free will has no objective reality. It's not something tangible you can consciously sense. It is an abstract concept. It is, very possibly, no more than a necessary illusion we created to justify the ethical systems upon which we govern our societies.

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Originally Posted by Edict View Post
...although the actuality of choice within what is evidently a deterministic framework presents any number of vagaries that require careful conceptualisation, the differences typically exampled to question a presumed capacity for volition do not adequately distinguish between variations in choice motivation and that of a capacity for choice regulation. Whilst the former has to be entertained for any practical and indeed ethical evaluation of issues where these ideas are relevant it is the latter which is critical for the essential notion of deliberate choice.
In most systems of justice, we usually care more about the results of an action than we do about the motivations that led to the action. A criminal action, once proven, remains a crime in the eyes of the law, no matter what the motivation. Motivation comes into play only when we have to consider the extent to which we punish the criminal for his behaviour.

When it comes to ethics and morality, however, I agree that it's indeed the extent to which we can regulate our choices that matter more. Are we moral agents, or merely biological robots following a pre-programmed code? If we're mere robots, than there's no point in discussing morality the way we think of it today, because it all rests ultimately on our assumption of free will.

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To tersely conclude this perspective, whilst blame is probably outside the immediate sphere of human knowledge for judging individuals, I wouldn't say the same entails a lack of self-will in either normal or abnormal individuals.
You seem to have got something backwards. Blame is very much within the sphere of human knowledge, as blame is something we assign through our legal/ethical systems, as defined by our conscious thought.

Self will, on the other hand, may well be something beyond human knowledge, as defined by our physical senses. It is an abstract concept born out of human reason. Whether or not it is a faithful copy of an a priori noumenon is something we may probably never "know". As Anh Minh said a few pages back, free will is ultimately something we accept on faith.

============

What does any of the above have to do with Psycho-Pass?

As of Ep6, I have had to revise my view of the Sibyl System. A great deal of my defence for the system rests on its assumed ability to reliably detect latent criminals. It turns out that it is no more reliable than the real-life systems we have today, and that ought to have raised the hue and cry in this fictional world but, surprisingly, it hasn't. So far, the resistance is limited to the outlying fringe, which consists of individuals who aren't exactly pleasant neighbours. Not unless you have a macabre taste in art and a need for a fastidious cleaner.

Well, there's the hope we will eventually get an episode to explain the origins of the system. And if that doesn't happen, I guess we'll have to go with simple suspension of disbelief.

In the meantime, any discussion about Psycho-Pass's version of ethics and morality is moot. On the other hand, another strand of discussion seems to be emerging about the power of thought and is impact on perceived reality. Until we have more information, however, we can only speculate.
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Old 2012-11-19, 12:14   Link #203
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Originally Posted by erneiz_hyde View Post
First thing first.

Are you perhaps a scholar of linguistics of some kind? I'm having trouble following your rather sophisticated passage. It reminds me of scientific papers.

Anyways, my personal view is freewill is inherent (to each individual), but responsibility isn't. It's imposed on, and thus limits freewill. What's inherent alongside freewill is consequence, and although it might often be equated in practical real life, responsibility and consequence are intrinsically different.

Is this view similar in essence to what you were describing?
There is only one way for free will to exist without responsibility, and that is if the world had only one person in it.
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Old 2012-11-19, 16:15   Link #204
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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
As of Ep6, I have had to revise my view of the Sibyl System. A great deal of my defence for the system rests on its assumed ability to reliably detect latent criminals. It turns out that it is no more reliable than the real-life systems we have today, and that ought to have raised the hue and cry in this fictional world but, surprisingly, it hasn't.
I wonder if it's because if people start being tempted to "raise the hue and cry", they take pills. And if they don't, are... dealt with.

I also wonder what the existence of Makishima implies. That it's possible to live within the system's blind spots, certainly. But he must have been examined at some point in the past, as a child if nothing else, and came up negative. Was that a false negative? Was he already thinking about escape back then? Or did he decide and implement, all within that one year between annual checks?

Though I don't think the existence of false negatives is as damning for the system as that of false positives, and how would you find one of those?
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Old 2012-11-19, 17:40   Link #205
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By the way, not EVERYONE who stresses out becomes violent. Others just break down into tears or may cease functioning altogether..
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Old 2012-11-20, 09:56   Link #206
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Originally Posted by erneiz_hyde
Is this view similar in essence to what you were describing?
by definition personal will entails personal responsibility, but the paradox here is what is to be supposed of this capacity when placed in an ostensibly dissonant framework. In other words 'free' will within a deterministic setting. The problems here are many, starting with the concept of a metaphysically distinct will but also with what determinism is commonly assumed to mean. Most of my focus is limited to discussing whether the essential notion of free will is possible and then assuming that it could be just what that amounts to in our more immediate state of being. As I've said, it seems judging others, even in relatively petty matters, is often and perhaps mostly going to assume more than can be rightly known about someone else.

regarding your other question, I have a few interests that I want to study over time but those inclinations are not in any genuine sense commensurable with a scholar's dedication or level of expertise.




Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf
The discomfort arises, however, from the realisation that the same logic leads us to question the kinds of punishment we inflict on convicted serial killers and pathological criminals. Science increasingly shows that these people are, in fact, wired very differently from normal people. As a result, it becomes necessary to question the extent to which such people can make moral decisions the way normal people can.
I agree that in so far as potential differences vary decision making there are astute ethical concerns that will have to be acknowledged in legal and moral contexts. Yet the points previously raised are about the formulation of these implications, namely the causality of behaviour that distinguishes between inclination and rational ability. Some interpretations suggest individuals or types of individuals are caused to act in particulars with the consequence that they are (and once again, working with the general assumption of free will) effectively unable to generate deliberate choice.

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I respectfully disagree. I think the question of whether free will actually exists is being challenged by mounting evidence which suggests that almost anything we think or do has been "pre-programmed" at a genetic level, through a long process of evolution over which we had no direct control and for which we can take no credit for. It is not without reason that some people have come to believe that morality is an "evolved" behaviour. What we regard as "moral" today may well just a label we apply to the set of actions we evolved over time to ensure harmonious relationships.

In that view, morality becomes no more than something which exists after the fact, rather than something born from the consequence of conscious decision.
broadly speaking there are two categories of processes involved in decision making. For the subjects at hand I'm going to refer to these processes as they bear on moral reasoning. The first category consists of a variety of automatic operations that are more or less spontaneous, implicitly reckoned and require little cognitive demand. These processes are quite interesting for so many reasons, here specifically for what they indicate about how the human sense of morality is preformed. For one there is the early basis of altruism that requires only a minimal theory of mind capacity. This is telling because previously a lot of altruistic theory expected the need for a basic level of cognitive architecture, but in actuality all that is required is a much simpler affective feedback mechanism and egocentric projection, hence the capacity for autistic children to display levels of altruistic concern. Another example of early and apparently preformed morality is the distinction between conventional and moral issues that children naturally apply in advance of any sufficient experience to conceptualise distinctions of this sort. There are also what could be described as moral intuitions, which are the types of moral perspectives most of us share by default regarding the right action to take in examples of utilitarian moral assessment.

the second category includes deliberative and control mechanisms which in contrast are not automatically generated (for the most part), will tend to require conscious utilisation and subsequently increased levels of cognitive effort. For the subject of decision making and moral reasoning how these two categories of processes interact is obviously the crux of the matter. An interesting observation of morality is that we are by nature a composite of forces. So for example even though we are not explicitly impolite, uncivil or even racist by choice most of us will nonetheless reveal implicit assumptions and dispositions that influence the coordination and speed of processing types of information. The important point here is that even though we have implicit habits or associations it is our conscious processing which (edit: I should have responded at a more convenient time, what needs to be said here is that conscious processes can mediate our decisions and subsequent actions. There are also conditions and reasons why this intentional process might be disrupted or simply not occur) mediates our largely unselected attitudes and refines them according to the ideas held consciously appropriate and/or right.

so not only are there two important and revealing systems involved but as much as they might seem to contradict one another they also serve complementary functions and roles. I'll conclude this awkward outline by mentioning that in the case of conscious decision making the mediating role it has with automatic processes also has a contouring effect, and remarkably enough can with development institute a preconscious monitoring system to further improve the interactions of this dual(istic)-system.

I'm afraid besides being a little too tired to better outline and word these findings I'm also distracted in more ways than one. In any case hopefully this broad description will assist with the range of ideas discussed.

Quote:
In most systems of justice, we usually care more about the results of an action than we do about the motivations that led to the action. A criminal action, once proven, remains a crime in the eyes of the law, no matter what the motivation. Motivation comes into play only when we have to consider the extent to which we punish the criminal for his behaviour.

When it comes to ethics and morality, however, I agree that it's indeed the extent to which we can regulate our choices that matter more. Are we moral agents, or merely biological robots following a pre-programmed code? If we're mere robots, than there's no point in discussing morality the way we think of it today, because it all rests ultimately on our assumption of free will.
I'll very much agree thus my previous emphasis and earlier comments about what I assume of free will and the difficulty of its application in any casual sense. For now I'm limiting most points to whether it is theoretically possible with respect to conceptual issues and if so what can be described and ascertained in reference to human capacities.

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You seem to have got something backwards. Blame is very much within the sphere of human knowledge, as blame is something we assign through our legal/ethical systems, as defined by our conscious thought.

Self will, on the other hand, may well be something beyond human knowledge, as defined by our physical senses. It is an abstract concept born out of human reason.
the problem with blame is that, and you go on to make this point regarding personal will, is that it beyond our epistemic prowess, the better that we understand the complexity of human nature the clearer it becomes on how to evaluate the morality of the act but not so obviously the actor. As to self-will, that is quite distinct from an act of faith in the conventional sense of meaning since few other notions would be so inherently obvious to the natural perspective.

Last edited by Edict; 2012-11-20 at 11:57.
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Old 2012-11-23, 21:30   Link #207
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You're quite verbose, Edict. I'm interested in your ideas. Can you edit yourself? What do you have to say? Also, do you have any cites? You know, for stuff like this:
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broadly speaking there are two categories of processes involved in decision making.
To anyone following this thread: has "free will" been defined already?

I'm firmly of the opinion that "free will" is just a can of worms that will lead to many non-sequiturs if it's defined.
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Old 2012-11-29, 01:23   Link #208
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most of the terminology, verbose as it could seem, accomplishes a reasonable balance between familiarity and general accessibility of the ideas and findings discussed. Although I did not explicitly state as much the reference you are looking for was referred to as the 'dual systems' theory (alternatively: dual processes theory). Which is very likely the most common name given to the preponderance of models which apply the theoretical distinction between automatic and conscious thought processes.

I have been using the idea of self-determination with attention to the monitoring and calibrating processes, which as a working definition could be said to parallel the essential elements of what is commonly understood as free will.
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Old 2012-12-06, 20:56   Link #209
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Originally Posted by zarqu View Post
You're quite verbose, Edict. I'm interested in your ideas. Can you edit yourself? What do you have to say? Also, do you have any cites? You know, for stuff like this:


To anyone following this thread: has "free will" been defined already?

I'm firmly of the opinion that "free will" is just a can of worms that will lead to many non-sequiturs if it's defined.
Not necessarily true. There is no definite answer in this topic overall. Free will itself is having the means of choice and direction.Everybody has a certain narrative they follow throughout their entire lives. I think of it like that. Because my work is in Conflict Analysis and Resolution I understand fully that the choices you give to people are the ones they will exploit the most. The discrepancy with the Sibyl System is simply, it destroys choice, and sends a message of accepting one's place in society. To be honest you can say this anime is using this system in a way to explain a contemporary problem that exist in Japanese society in fact in modern society in any developed country.

Think of the Sibyl system of the show of today's education system. K-12 you are constantly judged on your test scores and grades. In Japan if you don't get good scores to get into a top middle school then you don't have a shot at a top highschool which means you don't get a shot at a top university. Likewise if you get into a top middle school, you may not do well in your high school entrance exams and will most likely start off with blue collar work at the age of 14. Germany's system is quite similar the only difference is students are by the time they reach the equivalent of HS put on a trade school route or a university route. The Sibyl System is no different from this in a sense.

The only difference is that it's more blatant and in your face. In American society certainly we do stuff like this to a certain degree, but in American society the difference is, you have 50 yr olds going to university to earn degrees and take on professional lvl jobs that they didn't have an opportunity to do at a younger age. The US system is more flexible (and so higher economic volatility). To be honest which system is better? Freedom but with a higher cost of failure, or accepting less autonamy, but with a higher payout of stability & safety. To be honest I can say this anime is inspired by Thomas Hobbes.
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Old 2013-02-04, 16:04   Link #210
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I have something I don't understand about the world of Psycho-Pass and Sybil's obsession with stress levels. It's not just life-choices that give people stress. People also get really angry from simple things like playing or even just watching sports; angry enough to kill each other or resort to vandalism. What about video games where people casually threaten each others' lives over voice-coms? Do these things simply not exist in Psycho-Pass, or do you have to go to a stress-relief center every time after a heated gaming session because your "hue is cloudy"?
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Old 2013-02-04, 20:33   Link #211
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I have something I don't understand about the world of Psycho-Pass and Sybil's obsession with stress levels. It's not just life-choices that give people stress. People also get really angry from simple things like playing or even just watching sports; angry enough to kill each other or resort to vandalism. What about video games where people casually threaten each others' lives over voice-coms? Do these things simply not exist in Psycho-Pass, or do you have to go to a stress-relief center every time after a heated gaming session because your "hue is cloudy"?
I'd assume that such things simply wouldn't exist in such a society. Even if they did, the demand would be abysmal. If simply imagining the thoughts of a criminal is enough to darken a person's hue. I wouldn't be surprised if people were to be paranoid of anything as graphic as a video game with similar themes, rather I even wonder if such things would be allowed to exist.

You know what? It would be nice to get a picture of how censorship works within this hypothetical society.
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Old 2013-02-09, 17:12   Link #212
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Originally Posted by Casshern View Post
I have something I don't understand about the world of Psycho-Pass and Sybil's obsession with stress levels. It's not just life-choices that give people stress. People also get really angry from simple things like playing or even just watching sports; angry enough to kill each other or resort to vandalism. What about video games where people casually threaten each others' lives over voice-coms? Do these things simply not exist in Psycho-Pass, or do you have to go to a stress-relief center every time after a heated gaming session because your "hue is cloudy"?
Interesting observations. I never thought about that before, but you're basically right.

Well, if Sybil only exists in the Japan of Psycho-Pass' Earth, this could be a big reason why. I'm not sure to what extent pro sports are a big deal in Japan, but they're huge in North America. They're massive, massive businesses in North America. No way you'd have an American or Canadian government enacting something like the Sibyl system if it meant the end of pro sports (football is too popular in America, hockey too popular in Canada).
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Old 2013-02-09, 18:23   Link #213
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Spoilers: This is now the moral spectrum of the Sybil debate! (sorta spoilers)
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Old 2013-02-09, 18:47   Link #214
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Dang. I never would have guessed.
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Old 2013-02-09, 20:20   Link #215
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Dang. I never would have guessed.
It's more spoilers for people who haven't seen episode 16 yet.
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Old 2013-02-14, 18:16   Link #216
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Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahaha!!!!!

Episode 17 man...as someone who came into this show expecting some kinda nuanced comparison between authoritarians and liberty...all I can say that I find this all hilarious now!
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Old 2013-02-14, 19:13   Link #217
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Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahaha!!!!!

Episode 17 man...as someone who came into this show expecting some kinda nuanced comparison between authoritarians and liberty...all I can say that I find this all hilarious now!
Well duh, it's been obvious from the start that gen was pounding into our heads that the sibil system was bad!

I mean like nearly every episode!

I guess the people who didn't see this and argued ad nauseum for the sake of arguing have egg on their face now.

The real discussion should have been: what is Gen trying to say about our reality, as this is an obvious social commentary piece. (mostly applicable to Japan though. . .I guess I suppose you could kind of parallel it to the west.)
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Old 2013-02-14, 19:28   Link #218
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Well duh, it's been obvious from the start that gen was pounding into our heads that the sibil system was bad!

I mean like nearly every episode!

I guess the people who didn't see this and argued ad nauseum for the sake of arguing have egg on their face now.

The real discussion should have been: what is Gen trying to say about our reality, as this is an obvious social commentary piece. (mostly applicable to Japan though. . .I guess I suppose you could kind of parallel it to the west.)
That's kinda why it's so funny!
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Old 2013-02-15, 00:46   Link #219
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I don't think episode 17 proved that the system is bad. In fact you could say it's the ultimate method of judgement and through adding more and more brains, it will achieve perfection.
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Old 2013-02-15, 06:44   Link #220
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Well duh, it's been obvious from the start that gen was pounding into our heads that the sibil system was bad!

I mean like nearly every episode!

I guess the people who didn't see this and argued ad nauseum for the sake of arguing have egg on their face now.

The real discussion should have been: what is Gen trying to say about our reality, as this is an obvious social commentary piece. (mostly applicable to Japan though. . .I guess I suppose you could kind of parallel it to the west.)
Bingo.

After the Oryo arc (at the latest), it was clear as day how Gen was slowly but surely making the Sibyl system look like an absolute horror. Gen likes to take a seemingly fair, functional, and just system, and slowly but surely pull back the curtain to reveal its grotesque hidden horrors. After what he did in Madoka Magica and Fate/Zero, combined with the first few episodes of this show, it was crystal clear to me that he was doing the same here in Psycho-Pass.

At some level, I think that the thematic strand linking Madoka Magica, Fate/Zero, and Psycho-Pass is one of profound caution - Never but too much faith in any system, no matter how good or promising or even glamorous it may seem on the face of it. Make sure you know a system very well before you put complete trust in it.
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