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Old 2007-07-26, 11:15   Link #1
NoSanninWa
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The Morality of Awakened Ones

In the episode 17 discussion thread, a debate about morality suddenly cropped up. While a bit of a tangent, it quickly outstripped discussion of the actual episode.

Those 84 posts have been moved to this thread so that the discussion can be continued without continuing to interfere with the discussion of the actual episode.

Last edited by NoSanninWa; 2007-07-30 at 05:50.
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Old 2007-07-26, 11:15   Link #2
Mentar
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The Morality of Awakened Ones

Quote:
Originally Posted by half_awake View Post
OMG you are dead on! She is a prototypical antisocial personality disorder - perfectly written. When it suits her/amuses her to do something which *happens* to seem compassionate, it makes her appear charming <-- a perfect choice of words. What is not apparent is that she could just as easily have crushed all of them - and the two actions would have internally seemed completely justified. The hallmark of an antisocial personality disorder - external rules don't apply to them; their internal 'morality' (or absence thereof) trumps all. And God forbid you go against that personal sense of right and wrong - then you frequently encounter a ruthless response.
Nope, you're applying human concepts to a non-human being. That's why this verdict is so very much off.

Look at it that way: If you insist on just looking at it from the human perspective, torturing and killing humans is flat-out evil. From the perspective of an Awakened Being, she's killing creatures which were sent out to HER hideout to kill HER. Is that "evil"? Much less so.

I'm not arguing that she's a saint - but applying her own point of view, her actions become easily justifiable. Torturing humans becomes the equivalent of "brainwashing enemies" to turn them to your side. She did interfere when Duff was in danger of being killed. And she still honored her promise to Clare.

Antisocial from a HUMAN perspective, maybe. Not from hers, however.

Quote:
There's no question that she seems fun, childlike, and honest...
She's not childlike at all. She has a childlike appearance and voice, but her actions make alot of sense. She's aware and extremely perceptive. She's outspoken, honest and... well, whimsical. But no child, not at all.

Quite an interesting creation
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Old 2007-07-26, 11:35   Link #3
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I guess Riful is not too evil at all, because she was willing to help Clare where to find Isley and Priscillia who killed Theresa back then to get her revenge and plus she was going to offer her to destroy Isley only if she join by her side, so that makes Riful be the neutral girl.
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Old 2007-07-26, 11:37   Link #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightbat®
I'd rather have the ethics/morality debate concerning Yoma, humans and rabbits
than this broken record repeating through all the episode-threads.
Lol. Well, if you want it that way, here's my take on that debate: Mentar's reasoning has a crucial flaw.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mentar
Nope, you're applying human concepts to a non-human being. That's why this verdict is so very much off.

Look at it that way: If you insist on just looking at it from the human perspective, torturing and killing humans is flat-out evil. From the perspective of an Awakened Being, she's killing creatures which were sent out to HER hideout to kill HER. Is that "evil"? Much less so.
It sounds almost convincing except that he overlooks a crucial point. Morality applies equally to all rational beings, regardless whether you are human or not. The one thing that does blur the whole issue however, is that an Awakened Being needs to eat human intestines to survive. In other words, they don't have a choice but to kill other rational beings.

If however, it can be shown that ABs can choose to eat animal intestines to sustain themselves, but they choose not to, then the debate becomes moot. They are pure evil, regardless what they may think of themselves, vis-a-vis human beings.
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Old 2007-07-26, 11:45   Link #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post

It sounds almost convincing except that he overlooks a crucial point. Morality applies equally to all rational beings, regardless whether you are human or not. The one thing that does blur the whole issue however, is that an Awakened Being needs to eat human intestines to survive. In other words, they don't have a choice but to kill other rational beings.
It's like for example, your on the top of the snowy mountain and there's no food that you got left, so the only choice is to find a dead body and eat all the parts to survive by yourself.

Demon eating guts and Humans eating "meat" makes no difference anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sinestra View Post

Riful had a line that made me laugh. I think it was something like "your the only one that can endure me without breaking" now what does tha sound like you? LOL
Does that mean make " love"?
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Old 2007-07-26, 11:52   Link #6
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Quote:
Nope, you're applying human concepts to a non-human being. That's why this verdict is so very much off.
OK, you're right... fictional characters (even creatures) aren't based on human templates... because I heard the mangaka is actually half yoma, so he has a completely different point of view.



All characters written by humans have to, by definition, fit a condition that is comprehensible to the human experience. Even though we all may perceive a character differently, claiming that a character's personality is inherently different from 'human' isn't really possible - or if it is, it would certainly make the character less understandable and therefore less appealing to the reader/viewer.

The reponse of many to this is "a character that is mysterious is, in itself, appealing", but what is being discussed here isn't a matter of mystery; it is, instead, a matter of being able to associate a character's type to one's personal experience. This aspect of a fictional character is what dictates it's popularity or widespread appeal. The larger an audience that a character, be they protagonist or antagonist, can speak to with regards to hopes, desires, fears, etc., the more frequently they are found interesting or fascinating.

Riful, for example, is found appealing to many (including myself). She also fits the pattern of an antisocial personality disorder. Regardless of 'diagnosis', she performs her actions from the perspective of one who does not suffer consequences. She, at no point, was concerned for her safety - intervention was possible at any time; she simply chose not to exert her vastly superior power. The Claymore's were animate toys.

Were I to guess about what Riful's appeal, i.e. what makes many cheer for her despite her manipulative and narcissistic perspective, is her calm sense of omnipotence. Who, deep in their childhood memory, didn't want to have the kind of power that Riful does? The fact that it "all works out in the end" makes her seem compassionate... only increasing her appeal. She's a benevolent dictator.

Children are inherently narcissists (which is normal). Their perspective, or 'worldview', is extremely limited and until later in traditional personality development they see this world as centered around them. This also lends to Riful's credibility as a character - she really acts like a child... she can just back her egocentricy up with power.



oops, started running on a little bit there.... sorry

Anyway, one thing I agree with - she is an interesting creation!
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Old 2007-07-26, 11:53   Link #7
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Quote:
It's like for example, your on the top of the snowy mountain and there's no food that you got left, so the only choice is to find a dead body and eat all the parts to survive by yourself.
Mmm....nope, poor analogy. If it's a dead body, and if it's because that person died from the cold, there isn't really much of a moral issue here (other than personal taboos against cannibalism).

I'm not sure if Awakened Beings can choose to be scavengers. From what we've seen so far, they need to eat fresh guts.
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Old 2007-07-26, 12:15   Link #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lecrew View Post
It's like for example, your on the top of the snowy mountain and there's no food that you got left, so the only choice is to find a dead body and eat all the parts to survive by yourself.

Demon eating guts and Humans eating "meat" makes no difference anyway.



Does that mean make " love"?

No...it´s just a thing they play hide and seek...Just as Clare was toyed by Youmas...

Of course it means love..Otherwise why would This Esley have Priscilla? For talking? For cooking skills?!
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Old 2007-07-26, 12:21   Link #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Defiled one View Post
No...it´s just a thing they play hide and seek...Just as Clare was toyed by Youmas...

Of course it means love..Otherwise why would This Esley have Priscilla? For talking? For cooking skills?!
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Isley is going through a mid-life crisis
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Old 2007-07-26, 12:27   Link #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
Mmm....nope, poor analogy. If it's a dead body, and if it's because that person died from the cold, there isn't really much of a moral issue here (other than personal taboos against cannibalism).

I'm not sure if Awakened Beings can choose to be scavengers. From what we've seen so far, they need to eat fresh guts.
You got a point in there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xellos-_^ View Post
Status symbol

Middle Age old man and cute you girl

Isley is going through a mid-life crisis
Middle age old man with loli-girl

That would be weird though, but hey they don't age, so it makes sense.
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Old 2007-07-26, 16:18   Link #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
Lol. Well, if you want it that way, here's my take on that debate: Mentar's reasoning has a crucial flaw.
Aha? Let's see.

Quote:
It sounds almost convincing except that he overlooks a crucial point. Morality applies equally to all rational beings, regardless whether you are human or not.
What's that?

Proof by definition? You say so, and therefore it is? Where do you have this wisdom from? Start by listing which "rational beings" are not human (that's where your reasoning already falls apart)

Morality is a purely human concept. If you go down to other living things we attribute the highest degree of sentience to (primates), us humans don't talk about "morality" anymore to classify structures of behavior. Therefore, reducing the discussion to "rational" beings is pointless. And it's also misplaced - Riful isn't talking about morality, she is talking about simple natural concepts of hunters and hunted, and survival of the fittest species.

So let's rather talk about different species instead. Here, it's clear that predators are not to be considered "evil" for hunting and killing/eating their prey. Noting about morality, just the laws of nature. What's the point in suddenly interjecting purely human concepts in all this?

Quote:
The one thing that does blur the whole issue however, is that an Awakened Being needs to eat human intestines to survive. In other words, they don't have a choice but to kill other rational beings.

If however, it can be shown that ABs can choose to eat animal intestines to sustain themselves, but they choose not to, then the debate becomes moot. They are pure evil, regardless what they may think of themselves, vis-a-vis human beings.
This whole "evil" thing is nonsense. Sorry.

Again, if we reduce everything to purely the human aspect and the human perspective, there's no discussion that Riful and other Awakened Beings are "evil". Of course their actions are, they are mortal threats to humans and human societies. Torture, murders... you name it. Though it tickles me for making a point of the devil's advocate that killing those people who invade your home with the intent to kill YOU might be considered acceptable even for humans

Still, I'd rather see this whole conflict exactly in the context Riful put it: A struggle between different species. BOTH sentient. And in this perspective, we have the simple and well-known case between predator and prey. Riful as an Awakened Being is a predator, and she behaves like one. I disagree that she would have to adopt Human concepts of morality - if anything, I'd say it's clear that she would have to show allegiance to her OWN race first and foremost. That's what she does - shoring up forces to fend off a threat for her minions, from Easley.

Argue from Riful's perspective, or at least from a neutral one. You'll see that it will become difficult to rationalize "evildoing" then.
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Old 2007-07-26, 16:43   Link #12
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I'll not argue your point about 'evil' - I agree: it's a human construct.

Here is where the flaw lies:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mentar View Post
Riful isn't talking about morality, she is talking about
simple natural concepts of hunters and hunted, and survival of the fittest species.
Even if you put aside the fact that Riful possesses intelligence to the point of employing detailed strategy and forethought regarding survival techniques (which, in itself, is ignoring a great deal), you are still left with the method she employs to achieve that goal, and further, the enjoyment she gleans from this brutality.

She is more than powerful enough to exert the level of damage/strain required to induce a Claymore's awakening (and probably more rapidly, to boot). Instead, she allows a more vicious, slow technique utilizing another being's (Dauf's) resources. In addition, she derived pleasure from watching Clare get brutalized despite believing that Clare was limited in her potential contribution to her "means of survival" - she was letting Dauf 'play'. I could go on and on, especially if I drew from the manga, but I think this point was relatively clear.

Sure, the final goal for Riful is survival. It's the means she uses to reach that goal that reveal her to be either:

1) Ruthless, a personality disorder <--- this is if you give her the credit of intelligence and/or moral development.

2) A pathological animal, similar to a vicious dog that would be put down due to excessive aggression <--- this applies if you assume she is a simple creature, and the planning is basic.

Either way, the pathology extends beyond simple 'predator/prey' and 'survival of the fittest'.
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Old 2007-07-26, 17:04   Link #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by half_awake View Post
Even if you put aside the fact that Riful possesses intelligence to the point of employing detailed strategy and forethought regarding survival techniques (which, in itself, is ignoring a great deal), you are still left with the method she employs to achieve that goal, and further, the enjoyment she gleans from this brutality.
Hmmm... okay, I'll concede that this is a point worth examination.

Quote:
She is more than powerful enough to exert the level of damage/strain required to induce a Claymore's awakening (and probably more rapidly, to boot). Instead, she allows a more vicious, slow technique utilizing another being's (Dauf's) resources.
What makes you think so? Even with full manga knowledge, I wouldn't say that she's more "skilled" in force-awakening Claymores than Duff is. For non-spoilage sakes, I don't wanna go into detail here, but I don't think that manga or anime support your position?!?

Quote:
In addition, she derived pleasure from watching Clare get brutalized despite believing that Clare was limited in her potential contribution to her "means of survival" - she was letting Dauf 'play'.
To be honest, I didn't see Riful's pleasure from seeing Clare "getting brutalized" either. I rather got the impression of Riful as someone watching a boxing match, discussing the various skills of the combatants and their strategies. If anything, Riful was showing genuine concern about Clare's level of injury - after all, Riful wanted her awakened, not killed. If you criticize Riful for letting this whole battle take place at all - okay. Point taken. Then again, the AB who showed pleasure about the inflicted hurt and pain, it was clearly Duff. I didn't see that from Riful.

Quote:
Sure, the final goal for Riful is survival. It's the means she uses to reach that goal that reveal her to be either:

1) Ruthless, a personality disorder <--- this is if you give her the credit of intelligence and/or moral development.
Ruthless? Aren't you already doing exactly what you said you wanted to avoid, by injecting human morality into the equation again? We're turning around in circles: If you continue to measure her deeds by HUMAN standards, you can reach the "evil/disorder/etc" conclusion directly. But from the standpoint of ABs, why would it matter for them whether or not she lets another AB fight another species, a human? Is a matador in a bull fighting arena in spain suffering from a personality disorder? Or those people sitting on the ranks of the stadium, watching and discussing/cheering? Answer me that

Quote:
Either way, the pathology extends beyond simple 'predator/prey' and 'survival of the fittest'.
I still see no pathology. From her POV, ABs and humans are different species. ABs consider humans prey and food. Just like humans have no second thoughts for those animals they devour (and even breed simply for devouring), they have no second thoughts about killing humans.

Until you show me pathology within this perfectly logical mindset (which has easy and obvious analogies in our real world), we'll have to agree to disagree here.
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Old 2007-07-26, 19:29   Link #14
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Originally Posted by guest View Post
Yes, and can you imagine doing the honorable things when you are in such a powerful position? How many of us humans can still do the honorable things when we are in the absolutely powerful position and all others have zero chance to fight back? Take a look at newspapers and history of mankind; it is very rare in human traits. If in humans, 10% can do it, it is like 90% of claymores or awaken beings can do it.
Hey guest. You have to separate fiction from reality. I suggest reading posts 216-219. Riful is a sociopath and what compassion and honor does one show when Kathia awakens, shows she's weak and Riful states: "AWWW, DUFF SMASH HER PLEASE." She is indeed calculating, serves her own agenda when it suits her and will rip your head off when she's hungry. Don;t let that little girl with her flowery language fool you. I kinda feel pity for you about your negative view of the world BUT THIS IS AN ESCAPE FROM REALITY. If Clare were really alive in this world, I would have dated her by now...(yeah, screw you Raki, drink your milk)
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Old 2007-07-26, 22:06   Link #15
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I've heard somebody say that Riful has a pathology. A mental disorder.

And what exactly, is a mental disorder or a pathology? This sort of philosophical question is important for doctors because it really has quite a bit to do with when doctors can exercise their powers of treatment over other humans. Common definitions might be that a pathology causes discomfort to its victim or presents a threat to other people.

Homosexuality used to be classified as a pathology, mind you. And in some sense, you could say that this might cause both discomfort to both the homosexual or cause a threat to others. To me, this just tells me about the standards of the time. A pathology is simply a standard of health, and to a lesser degree, a standard of behavior. Psychosis and sociopathic behaviors being indicative of the straying from the accepted standards. These standards are nothing more than tools used by responsible adults. The form of the words themselves, the concrete ideas, are meaningless.

To call Riful psychotic or sociopathic just seems like the greatest exercise in redundancy. You're basically labeling her conduct, her "mental health," as being unacceptable to any participant of human society.

Allow me to say, "Uhhh. . .no duh?" It's a huge exercise in redundancy. Does labeling Riful really give you that sense of superiority? It's not like you can actually prove that your standards really make you the superior being. We can invoke higher supernatural authorities if you want, but that always seems like such a cop-out.

Am I saying that these standards don't work? Hardly. They work for humans. But mind you that they only have proof that these morals work for humans. Even then, we spend a lot of time bickering about what the correct policies for society are. It's kind of laughable to expect something like Riful to care about participating in your society. Humorously enough, it looks like she wants to create her own. She may be a tyrant, but I doubt many humans are much better.

Then you have the people who get up on the soapbox telling you about how righteous they are because they're healthy in their behavior. God is their witness. Or they follow natural laws or whatever. These people are categorically insane. (Yes, I'm aware of the irony of what I just said.)

Have you ever seen a Yuppie wax on about purity of spirit and body and tout the virtues of organic food? See, these people scare me. (Well, maybe only if they were to ever pull their heads out their neurosis.) They're unreasoning fanatics who don't even question the underlying assumptions of their words. I could probably expand this out into martial arts cults and so on, but I really gotta quit editing my post over-and-over.
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Last edited by Twisted Reality; 2007-07-26 at 22:34.
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Old 2007-07-26, 23:16   Link #16
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Twisted Reality, in answer, I called her a Sociopath
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Old 2007-07-26, 23:41   Link #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mentar View Post
A

Argue from Riful's perspective, or at least from a neutral one. You'll see that it will become difficult to rationalize "evildoing" then.
I don't think so. All I have to do is think about how she treats her own kind, even her closest associate. The change in perspective from human to Awakened One is more than merely having a hunger for the least sanitary parts of the human body.


Quote:
To call Riful psychotic or sociopathic just seems like the greatest exercise in redundancy. You're basically labeling her conduct, her "mental health," as being unacceptable to any participant of human society.
Actually her conduct probably makes any kind of society untenable when it is shared by all the members of it. Which is under normal circumstances, yoma and AOs are lone predators with at most one companion.

One other thing. I have now seen enough Claymore nudity to determine to my satisfaction that their bodies are not in fact disgusting. I have to assume that Teresa was shapeshifting to discourage those men, or that she possessed some unique blemish most Claymores don't have.
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Old 2007-07-27, 01:27   Link #18
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I don't think so. All I have to do is think about how she treats her own kind, even her closest associate.
Really? Letsee, what did she do? She obviously managed to get her Yomas to cooperate, and she trained them in anti-Claymore combat (even though it didn't save them). In respect do Duff, she first held him back when he was going overboard torturing Jeane, she then let him have it his way with the incoming "weenie" (Clare), she came around to "coach" him how to fight his battle, and eventually when he was about to lose, she saved his hide. The only case I can see you make would be her order to kill the Awakened Katea.

Quote:
The change in perspective from human to Awakened One is more than merely having a hunger for the least sanitary parts of the human body.
That's what I'm saying all along. And that's why I disagree with applying human concepts of morality here, ESPECIALLY those about how humans are treated. My point is that the way ABs are judged should equal how humans treat pigs or chickens.

Quote:
Actually her conduct probably makes any kind of society untenable when it is shared by all the members of it. Which is under normal circumstances, yoma and AOs are lone predators with at most one companion.
Very broad claim, where's the proof? Without bringing manga knowledge into the discussion, this is hard to refute. I'll just say that you'll soon be proven wrong.

From social structures, Riful's rule seems like the gang leader kind. The same of small human societies a long time ago. A despotic, monarchic leader who generally cares for his people and their protection, but who also has the power to kill anyone of them on a whim.
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Old 2007-07-27, 01:38   Link #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davidj View Post
I don't think so. All I have to do is think about how she treats her own kind, even her closest associate. The change in perspective from human to Awakened One is more than merely having a hunger for the least sanitary parts of the human body.
Well, yeah. It wouldn't be surprising if Awakened Ones don't behave with each other exactly the way humans behave with each other. Why should they?

(Though I have to say, Riful didn't do anything too bad to Duph. She showed a certain lack of empathy for his pain, but hey, whatever they cut, it'll grow back. In time.)



Quote:
Actually her conduct probably makes any kind of society untenable when it is shared by all the members of it.
"Being overwhelmingly more powerful than you gives me the right to indulge in whatever whims I have even if they hurt you"? What's unsustainable about it?

Quote:
Which is under normal circumstances, yoma and AOs are lone predators with at most one companion.
Not true. We've seen packs of four or more yomas several times.
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Old 2007-07-27, 02:07   Link #20
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Try as I may to adopt Riful's own worldview, I run into a little problem in that my food never uses its own capacity to reason in order to appeal to my own rational faculties to protest my actions and persuade me to do otherwise. I wonder what would I do the moment I run into one that can. Would I feel compassion for a talking chicken or would I laugh at its desperate plea and either fry it up anyway or sell it to a circus? I'm really hard pressed to argue from a neutral position where there is none. The orientation of the world tends to be that of "what is" in terms of "what ought be", even if "oughtness" changes depending on perspective.

I'm afraid Riful's too simple argumentation doesn't hold much water. She digs herself into a hole by classifying the actions of another pair of ABs, calling them intolerable, flaunting, and audacious. These classifications don't just describe her own private experience of a string of inconveniences. She's telling this to Clare and Galatea as if the two would understand that they OUGHT not to be doing them. So even if ABs do not conform themselves to human morality and ethics (and I think we give ourselves too much credit by attributing morality's existence to our creation when we are creatures who hold no power to create anything from nothing) they judge the behavior of others against some standard that can though ought not be violated. It is further assumed that at least the existence of this standard is grasped, even if rejected. So only the relative perspective has changed. ABs still haven't abandoned the primitively human notion of "oughtness". Evil then comes in varying degrees when there is some variation to what ought to be.

Riful's own actions also prove contrary to the worldview she professes. She rationalizes the position of AB's in the natural order of things making 3 basic propositions: 1) they're of a different species, 2) nature pits different species against another in order that they may feed upon others, 3) there's a hierarchy in which this providentially occurs, and it is that the weak feed the strong. She has no problem with each of these tenets until she finds herself in that weaker or disadvantaged position. Then all of a sudden she wants strong allies in order to deal with a threat to what is merely a shift in balance in accord with nature when something else stronger comes along. But what is there in her rationale that confers upon her any right to assume she must continue existing even if she is found to be at a disadvantage? If one stronger species may prey upon weaker ones, then why not stronger members preying upon weaker ones of the same kind, especially when species are not even monolithic? And we can't attribute her actions to the fight-or-flight instinct which responds to threats at hand, not gathering ones.

We call human ethics a purely human construct by taking for granted that humans are the only rational beings physically inhabiting this world. The Claymore world is cohabited by humans and yoma who are [or seem to be] completely compatible in their ability to exchange and grasp ideas. So there, ethics is a construct commonly apprehended by both species. Riful objects to Jean's concept as a matter of taste, not because it is incomprehensible to her. But in appealing to Jean's sense of justice by portraying the thankless vocation of a Claymore as unjust, contemptuous ill-treatment by a different, lower and contemptibly unworthy species, she indicts herself by affirming some set of right or wrong. We don't attribute morality to the behavior of apes because they do not demonstrate rational faculties. But there's a different dynamic between the human and yoma relationship.

Last edited by khryoleoz; 2007-07-27 at 02:58.
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