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Old 2007-02-22, 03:20   Link #661
anselfir
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not to going to write a lot right now, but to address the question at their level (it seems going beyond that is rather counterproductive recently)

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Moral I beleive is not an instinct. Its like culture influenced by those around you. How else would we have people of diverse views?
How else would one find different tastes in regional cooking if the taste for food is an instinct? o.O

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Alternatively, I think of the action and the result as an indistinguishable whole.
I do not think what is meant by result is clear here. Saying "I pushed the table so that it fell on the guy's head" describes a situation in which the table was accelerated, and the guy's head was hit, as well as me having applied a force to the table or even reasoned out my actions. Any of these physically extant happenings is a result of the action, take one away and the situation would be different physically.

So the ordinary identification of "so that it fell on the guy's head" as the result of the action is in fact a linguistic form. The result of an action is just the situation that the action describes, however to say "the table fell on the guy's head" is an abstraction of that situation, an abstraction that involves 'purpose.'

The true result here is "I pushed the table so that it fell on the guy's head." If one were to subscribe to the "action is nothing more than its consequences" at least outline consequence clearly, or else it will not enjoy the reductionist appeal for the very fact of it being an abstracted representation and hence not complete.

Further, consider a situation in which the means is a person. The situation can be described as "i used this person for this and this." That a person is rendered into a tool for some object, however objectively definable it may be, is a perspective that denies human existence as meaningful in itself. Now, asking the question, whether a person is used to make 40 bucks or to alter the course of a train so that 30 people may live, it still does not alter the fact that a person was used for something, became a sacrifice for something, and a part of some other enterprise independent of his being. This is even a result! The particular perspective of using people for stuff is like playing lego with human blocks.

anyway i'm probably not in the best condition to write sensibly, refer to past posts for clearer explanation.
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Old 2007-02-22, 07:46   Link #662
-HyugaNeji-
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To make a long story short: The question of this thread was, if the ends justify the means. In the case of Death note we have to ask ourselves? What are these ends? In Lights mind, this "End" should be a perfect world, with him as a godlike entity, defining what is right and wrong.

So you can clearly say in this context, that the ends DON'T justify the means, because Lights perfect world is just an illusion from the beginning. As you could already see quite soon, he became a criminal, by killing innocent people doing nothing more then their job. The logic, that enemies of HIS campaign are to be treated as criminals, even if they aren't really criminals, leads only to destruction.

How the hell could anybody see moral in Lights acting? He is NOT god, even if he believes he is. He can't create life, just destroy it. How can anything good be born out of this???

The example of TRL is really good. It's true that the japanese people still are in denial because of their past. The same goes for Turkey (armenian genocide) for example. Even if the government says, there was no genocide, even if millions of people believe and say, there was no genocide and massacre, it's not changing the FACT, that there was Genocide and massacre. And whoever dares to say, that massacre and genocide are morally acceptable actions, must be crazy. The golden Rule applies here again.

For example. If you come to germany, and you deny the holocaust, prepare to go to jail for at least 5 years!! Just saying, that the holocaust didn't happen is a crime in germany!! Every child in Germany is confronted with it's dark and evil past in school, to make sure that something like that NEVER happens again. Everyone in Germany knows, that the atrocities which were commited were pure evil and morally totally inacceptable. I still wonder why japan is still in denial because of it's bloody past. They were definately no victims. On the contrary. I mean. We have the 21th Century, and people are still trying to defend certain actions.
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Old 2007-02-22, 08:15   Link #663
UchihaByakuya
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Quote:
I'm not going to help you put your argument together.
Your head does it automatically. You know my point of view don't you? I got my point across. Now the question is are they reasonable, right or wrong.

Quote:
Alternatively, you could simply address my points, but so far, you seem either unwilling or incapable of doing that.
I did this by posing questions back at you. This is a form of challenge.

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How else would one find different tastes in regional cooking if the taste for food is an instinct? o.O
Taste is not exactly like morals. You see i do not want to get technical but its very real. tastebuds sending signals to your brain. I can go into more detail but you can do your own reading and studying :P

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The same way logic exists.
Gotcha logic varies from people to people. Whats logical to you mgiht not be logical to me, It depends on who brainwashes who first :P

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No. The burden of proof is upon you to show that you did something. You don't hand in a blank test sheet to your teacher and say "Show me all the places where I answered the question incorrectly.", and expect to gain from doing that. Alternatively, you could simply address my points, but so far, you seem either unwilling or incapable of doing that.
No actually i do gain something from asking the teacher that question if i take the responses seriously. But yes i do provide arguments from simple deductions i mentioned on i think my first to 2nd post. everything else did not introduce new arguemnts jsut ways of defending my orignal post

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As far as I am concerned, 4Tran and TRL has already satisfactorily answered my arguments,
No i used yours as a summary but the way they answered it doesn't seem to click on me. I get the feeling me and 4tran are going around in circle. RAGE would be a word but i normally use caps to emphasise because its so much more convient then having to italic... The convention of Capsloc is for screaming :P

This is how i see 4tran's arguments.

He says that morality of a persons action is dependant on some judging thing. My response is what if that thing is wrong? What if your wrong? Whos knows. Now ok let me just restate my point.(skip it watever but ill try to keep this conise

1. Morals is a human contruct. We basically said this thing shall be called morals. When you do some morally correct your assumed to feel happy ( well don't we all feel happy when we do the right thing in our daily lives? If you don't then you probably disagree with what your doing which means what you think is boring, wrong or putting on a tough guy act ) Its something abstract. We cannot know if what we are doing is right or wrong. So it ain't absolute ( from what i gather noone thinks its absolute except for 4tran and others who thinks that killing for a reason other then self defence is wrong and always will be, friendly exagerration ,

2. If its not absolute that means it can change. Now heres where everything gets confusing and people do not know whether its an argument or not :/

Let me guide you to how i think

Everyone have different morals standards

They are taught to you ( you do not suddenly know what is right or wrong when your a baby.) You learn from parents and society( now come on peer pressure and your language this is obvious and so far no one but 4tran objected to this when i posted it).

If no one taught you what was wrong, Lets say stealing. Would you think stealing is wrong? this is the debating part. Some people think that everyone will know stealing is wrong. However if you met people who were born without this knowlegde do you think they know what they are doing is considered wrong by you? ( considering they do not know who are ). Light did not think himself wrong. He just kill kill kill. So what you consider right can be wrong. What if you were this kid who never learnt what was right or wrong?

Now 4tran argues that he will trial and error and will not be affected by his environment. Basically you just shot yourself in the foot. By trial and error his basically getting a response from those around him. Meaning his is effected and influenced. Example: I am a very aggressive guy. I like to punch etc. i go to a new town and make new friends who are friendly. i punch one and play beat him up ( this does happen). i get rejected and if i want to keep these friends i do not punch them. As you can see i have changed because of people surrounding me. hence a phrase i heard before : Tell me who your friends are and ill tell you who you are

Now back to a point that every gets confused on. The society im discussing is deathnote. Im using them as an example. ( using real life example might get me fined or hunt down execeuted etc but they do exist). Now you do not exist. Your jsut watching what happens. Take your viewpoints asside. ( Now the scene im gonna depict really did happen and has happened in history before but in different context well you know what i mean hopefully... ask for clarifications if not ) When lgiht was popular the world was edging towards this :

Now think of a person in the anime. If he eggs Light on is he wrong? What if his a victim of circumstances. What if the judging system is wrong. Your a kid growing up in a society where Light is god. He brainwashes the whole world and kills all those who stand in his way. People who speak against him are immediately killed. A new generation grows up in this society. there parents taught them what Light done is right. They are not given sufficient details to fully learn what Light has done. They only recieve popaganda from light. They will beleive he is right. Morals exist in our minds ( deduced from its made by us). If no one thinks Light is wrong(even though i think he is crazy) then who shall say what he did was morally incorrect? Light can point the gun ( his the winner he writes history. This is abosulutely right and ahs happened in history, which is why one rule for studying history is to analyse the source) and blame L and the society before. He abolishes 4Tran's reasoning of morality. He destroys all previous moral system and makes sure no one speaks a word to this new generation.( Remember i said he won and became a god in other words absolute power.) Is light then morally wrong? In my eyes YES. But i do not exist ( anime anime anime!) What system can judge him wrong? Can you see my arguments ( i mean com on this is just deduced the us learning from the surrounding and morals are not absolute). Is light morally wrong? If so under what system? No one knows another system. Every that did died. Everyone alive is brainwashed. You cannot judge him( You meaning some random guy from Light's world). Wheres your evidence? Under what system do you judge him. Under what ideals to you challenge him ( You have just been brainwashed).

Can you see what im getting at? If no one thinks an action is wrong then how do you know its wrong. What's right and whats wrong is based on the concept of fairness( assumption, but if you want reasoning for this i can provide it but you msut have known this yourself) If you do not have enough information to judge me how can you say i am imoral( example you did not know i killed someone or soemthing like that) If no one knows how can i be said to be imorral if no one says it. only God/god ( religious tolerance) or something like that would know. But we shouldn't bring them into this debate we treat this isolated from the debate of super being or else you might get some people angry.

You can only properly judge if you know both sides of the story. What if i witheld that from you. Then who judges me? WHos is the judge? Light of course he sees himself as Light. His population? They comepletely gone crack they wont say he is wrong. What will say he is wrong?


Behaviours of the people are comepletely based on what is shown in the anime and some imagination.

-1984 Big Brother society. Commonly referred to as Orwellian society. Simliar to Light's Utopia. And in context of the topic. From the above arguments say The end does not justify the means in my view but The winner is left to decide what gets published and what generation later hear.
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Old 2007-02-22, 09:12   Link #664
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Quote:
...If no one taught you what was wrong, Lets say stealing. Would you think stealing is wrong? this is the debating part. Some people think that everyone will know stealing is wrong. However if you met people who were born without this knowlegde do you think they know what they are doing is considered wrong by you?...
Remember, the morality of decisions can also be deduced by logic. For example in your stealing case the person might think "Hmmm, so if I steal that from this guy and consider stealing right. Then how about people stealing from me, is that right too? No I don't want my stuff stolen by people who can attain similar object's without stealing, and I'm not poor or anything so stealing is not my only option I could buy such an object. Clearly stealing is wrong, it only causes harm here. I see that now since I wouldn't want to get robbed"
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Last edited by Ryuk; 2007-02-22 at 14:57.
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Old 2007-02-22, 14:15   Link #665
anselfir
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well in that sense the only sensible framing of morality is "respect others' wishes as your own," which is a pretty good idea.
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Old 2007-02-23, 06:24   Link #666
Jaden
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Yo UchihaByakuya, I don't think Light would - or could go that far. The power of the death note is too limited. The most he can do is get as much faces and names of criminals as possible and kill them. Not everyone would accept it as divine punishment and not everyone would accept Kira's methods. The world might become a better place or it might not, it's hard to say.
And in the end Light is a mere mortal - he would have to find likeminded people to continue his work after he dies, or the world would return to how it was before Light. And there's just a lot of things that could go wrong with the transition of Kira's power.
The real death gods are another factor to consider. Light can't do much about them but they could easily ruin Light. The anime gives examples of death gods getting in the way. And Ryuk might get bored at any moment, take the death notes and go away.

So Light can't really change moral standards in his own favour, he'll always be an immoral bastard. What he can do though is become justice itself..and if that can done while ignoring morals, one can question their worth. :P
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Old 2007-02-24, 01:47   Link #667
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UchihaByakuya, I can't find a whole lot in your post that's worth responding to unless I rip it apart. Do you give me permission to do just that?
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Old 2007-02-24, 14:15   Link #668
Ryuk
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It was actually a little shocking to see the Yagami light character, because I am quite alike him. So this series actually made me rethink allot of things; I definitely don't want to be like that guy. He gets so sucked up in "winning" that in his path to success he's really caused allot of unnecessary suffering and harm.

I really don't think L and Kira have the greatest interest in morals etc. , but coming out triumphant. They really both do quite nasty things to that end. So in the setting of death note, I wouldn't really say that the ends justify the means, but that there are cases in which it does.
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Old 2007-02-24, 16:34   Link #669
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This is all I'm going to say. Every last one of you would pass judgement just like Light, or worse. None of you can HONESTLY tell me that you wouldn't pass judgement if you actually came across a Death Note. Using the death note on criminals is still wrong, no matter how you see it. All of you would be just like light, because its human nature.
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Old 2007-02-24, 21:54   Link #670
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No, i would not do anything with it. Maybe burn it.
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Old 2007-02-24, 22:52   Link #671
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Originally Posted by anselfir View Post
No, i would not do anything with it. Maybe burn it.
How nice it must be to be able to answer so definitely so quickly.......

In my case, I admit I'll probably fail the "KIRA Test". I'm not strong enough.
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Old 2007-02-24, 23:58   Link #672
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Originally Posted by anselfir View Post
No, i would not do anything with it. Maybe burn it.
I don't have an itch to kill anyone, so I'd probably do the same thing.
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Old 2007-02-25, 03:14   Link #673
Jaden
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Let's see, I would probably end up using it, but probably not as much, and I wouldn't make my presence known like Light. This mostly out of fear that if a death note exists, L could exist, too...heheh.
Oh, and I would also "judge" more selectively, maybe even on a whim, and usually in my own favour.
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Old 2007-02-25, 07:50   Link #674
Ascaloth
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Personally, I have a few people I can think of whom the world would be better off without. To start things off, I'll knock off Kim Jong Il, followed by the Ayatollah Ali Khameini, along with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad......and while we're at it, add Georgie W. to round things up.

EDIT: 4Tran, why don't you just proceed with ripping apart UchihaByakuya's argument? No need to give courtesy to those who obviously doesn't deserve it.....

Last edited by Ascaloth; 2007-02-25 at 08:26.
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Old 2007-02-26, 00:37   Link #675
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For me, personally I would not agree that the end justifies the means.
They are equally important.
L did not do what he do out of true justice. He just did what he did because it was in his own interests to do so.
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Old 2007-02-28, 16:52   Link #676
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I like Habermas' take on ethics, Schopenhauer has a good idea as well.
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Old 2007-03-05, 02:32   Link #677
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"It did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us. We needed to stop asking about the meaning of life, and instead to think of ourselves as those who were being questioned by life -- daily and hourly. Our answer must consist, not in talk and meditation, but in right action and in right conduct. Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual."

- Viktor Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning (1946)
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Old 2007-04-01, 17:44   Link #678
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Hi,

I didn't read more than a few posts, from the beginning and end of this thread, but seeing how the messages are pretty much the same, I guess what I am about to say has not been told already (although I surely would not be surprised if people continued to argue all the same -and I would be prepared to see this happen, after I posted my message, if I had enough time to follow this thread, although I surely understands that most people simply would not have read this message, because of the large amount of noise).

I will not detail, because of lack of time, but shouldn't the question be, -rather than if ends justify means-, if there would not there be a better way ot use this "power"?

Targeting "criminals" will only lead to oppression of all. At best, a very superficial and unstable society (not much change from the current state of the system).

Although only reflexion on the ideal really matters, if I had the "power", and was in the mood to do so, I would first target the major political figures. As few as possible, and in as few country as possible (I can think of five countries, although I would add a number of them, if things were not moving as well as expected). I will not name them, because of the rules of this forum, and because everyone knows who I am talking about. In a society, everything starts with politics. Crime is only a consequence, among many others, of a political problem.

Now, you would think this might not change much to the original debate.

Then, what about "killing" them, like this:

<Name>.
Old age.
Will die of old age, after leading the life of a humanist idealist, after having started his research, around the middle of year 2007, on an illumination.


Surely, this seems to be inside the bounds of what is possible with this "power" (ok, to be frank, I've still only watched the first thirteen episodes of the TV series, so maybe something contradicts this possibility, in the remaining episodes, or in the manga, in which case, although I do think what I said is solving most problems, there sure would be a few adjustments to be made, to fit the "rules").


Of course, this is still manipulating people. At least, it would really work, and be quite softer than killing mostly random people, without a care, or because of hatred.


As I said in the introduction, I won't have time to follow this thread. I hope my message will permit some people to find the solution to the "Death Note", and maybe beyond.


Good luck,

The way is mostly easy and safe. It just takes some time.
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Old 2007-04-02, 06:59   Link #679
Ascaloth
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How to Use the Death Note XXVII:

"If you write,“die of disease” for the cause of death,but only write a specific time of death without the actual name of disease,the human will die from an adequate disease.
But the DEATH NOTE can only operate within 23 days (in the human calendar).
This is called the 23-day rule."



Nice try, pal. Too bad your idealism doesn't match up.
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Old 2007-04-02, 14:19   Link #680
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~PART ONE~ Response to thread's original question

Wow, this is a juggernaut thread.

My opinion on this is really quite simple:

In my belief system, it is impossible for any man to willfully kill another man and be morally superior to that man. I hold that there is no reasonable moral foundation for deciding to end the life of another man, other than the simple exercise of power. (The so-called laws of the jungle.) When a society decides to execute a certain individual, they are not morally superior to the person being executed, they are simply wielding their combined (obviously) superior power to make it so, trampling the rights of a particular minority/individual with overwhelming majority.

Having said that, I hasten to add that nothing is absolute. Whilst I deplore any choice to end the life of another (regardless of whether it is made by an individual, a group of people or an entire society/country/government), sometimes there is no choice and one is forced to end the life of one person to protect the life of another. Situations where there is truly no alternative to doing so are rather rare though, and a person must take care to be discerning before choosing to end a person's life based on such considerations, however if truly justified in this manner, I find it morally acceptable.

Taking this into consideration then, Raito's actions are a far cry from being moral. He does not have the right to end other people's lives anymore than any other person does. There is divine morality or omniscience deriving from his Note's power to end life that could supply him with some moral clause, he is quite human still in spite of his ambitions to transcend humanity and become a God. Therefore, I consider him to be is in the wrong.

I can't deny empathizing with Raito to some degree though, it is hard not to appreciate an individual of such extraordinary intellect and determination. Whilst L is clearly morally superior and given a choice between the two, I would root for L's victory, my real hope throughout the manga had always been for L and Raito to somehow reach an understanding and team up to make the world a better place through ethical means, improbable as that may seem. In short, I find Raito to be in the wrong, yet feel no strong desire for his persecution.


In another note, I would find it interesting to see approval ratings of Kira's actions based on location. One would expect correlation between high approval and countries where the death penalty still exists, such as Japan and the U.S. But it would be interesting to see differences between different areas of the US (westcoast, eastcoast, central), and different countries in Europe, though again, I would expect at least some correlation with the stereotypical prejudices I hold for these locales of polling.



~PART TWO~ Response to Misdoing's suggestion:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Misdoing View Post
[...]

Now, you would think this might not change much to the original debate.

Then, what about "killing" them, like this:

<Name>.
Old age.
Will die of old age, after leading the life of a humanist idealist, after having started his research, around the middle of year 2007, on an illumination.


Surely, this seems to be inside the bounds of what is possible with this "power" (ok, to be frank, I've still only watched the first thirteen episodes of the TV series, so maybe something contradicts this possibility, in the remaining episodes, or in the manga, in which case, although I do think what I said is solving most problems, there sure would be a few adjustments to be made, to fit the "rules").

[...]
As the other guy already pointed out, there are actually provisions to prevent such 'abuse' of the death-specification in the Death Note. Though it's not an official rule for afaik as I have read the manga (up to where season 1 of the anime will most likely end) I believe Raito did some experimentation early out which point towards such limitations. So it wouldn't work, and as I'm sure you'll agree, it's besides the point because that's not really the sort of power the author intended, and not the sort of power the story and this discussion deals with.

Going along on this tangent of yours anyway though, there is the interesting possibility of sacrificing politicians for peace. You could move parties in a conflict closer together, have them negotiate a fair/reasonable peace treaty and be tragically killed by a radical from his own camp.

I still don't believe in the morality of ending another person's life of your free will under any circumstances though... but if you had the Shinigami's eyes, you could make their DN-caused deaths roughly coincide with the lifespan they had left anyway. You could turn ordinary people about to die into puppets for noble causes as well.

Tbh though, I don't like the idea at all. Because it involves taking a person's free will. It would be just as immoral as killing them... Or as Patrick Henry so eloquently put it:
Give me liberty or give me death.

From this viewpoint, Raito's heart-attack kills are actually relatively merciful. :-)

Last edited by Crovax; 2007-04-02 at 14:41. Reason: Compounding 2 posts into 1.
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