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View Poll Results: Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood - Episode 54 Rating
Perfect 10 61 71.76%
9 out of 10 : Excellent 15 17.65%
8 out of 10 : Very Good 5 5.88%
7 out of 10 : Good 2 2.35%
6 out of 10 : Average 0 0%
5 out of 10 : Below Average 0 0%
4 out of 10 : Poor 1 1.18%
3 out of 10 : Bad 0 0%
2 out of 10 : Very Bad 0 0%
1 out of 10 : Painful 1 1.18%
Voters: 85. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 2010-04-30, 20:59   Link #181
jimms
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lonewolf777 View Post

I agree to an extent. But putting Mustang in that category is like starting a fight, beating the hell out of the other person for fighting back, and then saying you were defending yourself. Mustang and the rest of Amestris had no place being there, so imho, regardless of their circumstances, they were all unjustified.
Important distinction there; Mustang is not the one who started the fight. Someone else started the fight, and then he and his friends are in the middle of it; he can either let them get beaten up, or he can try to do something to keep them safe. Doesn't mean the other side is wrong; but as an officer, he has an obligation to his men before an obligation to citizens of a territory in revolt. I still see accusing him of genocide to be lacking in empathy with his situation there; though objectively, his actions probably qualify, his intent is something else.

And, lets remember the Milgram experiments; better than half of the participants were willing to kill another person just cause a guy in a lab coat told them to. That makes Mustang's actions in keeping with what the majority of the population would have done then. Makes it hard to condemn him for doing what most people would have done, especially when you weigh intent (I find that important for morality, in case you can't tell ). I personally see him as having found another option from what the guy in the white coat told him to do (defending his men was his goal, not killing as ordered), but even if you don't agree with that, his actions are typical of those in that situation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lonewolf777 View Post

Let's flip the scripts. Any number of things are being put forth at Mustang's defense, such as his remorse and his alleged intentions to make things right for the future. Ok, then why isn't anyone holding that same standard for Scar? Putting aside who was more justified in the lives they took, both killed a bunch of people, both eventually came to the realization that it was wrong, and both are taking different methods to fix it. Why, then, is everyone talking about Scar like he was wrong back then and he's still wrong now, but Mustang is untouchable? Why isn't anybody applying that same level of understanding to Scar?
The main factor for me is that Scar knows what he is doing is wrong the whole time, but doesn't really care; he wants his revenge. That makes his intent malicious, and in determining the morality of an event, I pay attention to their intent more than outcomes (that's just me). However, now that he has repented somewhat, his intent is good again, and I can sympathize with him once more. Once people have good intent, its easy to correct their results.
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Old 2010-04-30, 22:40   Link #182
Slave0fLife
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guardian Enzo View Post
And he abjectly refuses to take a life no matter the reason, believing that no matter how noble the end, it doesn't justify the means if that means killing.
I haven't read the manga, but in the anime, didn't Kenshin use his sword against a blond guy with flexible-like swords (beggining of the Shishio arc) who was throwing a baby up in the air with the sheith of one sword? If I recall correctly, he didn't know that the sword had a reverse edge, and so he thought he killed the guy. Is there this scene in the manga?

As some have said, I think Roy is like Kenshin post-Tomoe but pre-Meiji Era. We have yet to see what he does after this is over.
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Old 2010-05-01, 08:51   Link #183
lonewolf777
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirarakim View Post
There is a problem with this comparison. Roy is actually at the stage Kenshin was at during the war. Kenshin only put down his sword and swore to stop killing after the war was over. He came to this conclusion because of Tomoe but even after that still kept killing until the war was over (or at least close to over.)
This is true. However, when Kenshin joined the Meiji, they had a real enemy with a real army; in fact, the Bakufu was much better equipped than the Meiji revolutionaries. In that sense, it's much easier for Kenshin to believe that he was fighting oppression. Mustang joined the war to fight an unarmed civilian group, for a reason he wasn't truly aware of. It was well-known by all that the war escalated because a soldier (Envy) 'accidentally' shot an Ishvalan child. If that's the case, then the wrong should have been placed squarely on Amestris right from the start. With that common sense in mind, Mustang still went to war, for a clearly unjust cause. So they're not the same. Mustang was wrong from the beginning. As for Kenshin, one can, even after everything that happened, make the point that he was never wrong - he was fighting a war for an end he believed in that he achieved, and that the people he killed were victims, but it was a legitimate war (I wouldn't necessarily call the Meiji restoration a legitimate war, especially from a real historical aspect, but it was far more so than the Ishval 'war', which can be termed as nothing but genocide).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirarakim
For Roy the war he is fighting for is Not over. Ishval was only the start of Roy's war. Roy is fighting to change the country. This is actually the same thing Kenshin was doing when he first decided to become an assassin.

So I think it is unfair for people to say Kenshin is so much more righteous because he stopped killing. He only did so when there was finally peace. As for Roy we still don't know what he is going to do when the war he has been fighting all this time is finally over.
Sure, that's true. But the beginning of Roy's war, if you will, was genocide. That can't be forgiven. Kenshin's was not. That's the reason Kenshin is so much more righteous than Mustang, not because he stopped killing. Mustang is a self-admitted war criminal. Kenshin was a war-time assassin. Not the same on the moral scale.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirarakim
And another thing Roy never justified what he did as "just following orders". He knows what he did was wrong just as much as Kenshin realized this. However, they both continued to do these things to change something.
That may be true. But Kenshin continued fighting a war that he initially believed was justified. Mustang continued committing genocide in a conflict nobody could claim was justified. He may not have said it was 'just following orders', but that's the defense everyone else gave him. And furthermore, that IS what he did. He took countless innocent lives because if he didn't, he would never be promoted.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirarakim
edit: And to sum it up to show just how similar what Kenshin did to what Roy is doing now is:

Spoiler for Kenshin Vol. 21:


Roy is still fighting for that new era! What he will do when that era finally comes remains to be seen.
I mentioned this in an earlier post, and I don't think they're the same at all. Mustang's version of not stopping killing because he's waiting for the new era is 'I have to become Fuhrer, so I can't stop being an army sell-out, which includes burning alive women and children, until that happens, then with my flawless sense of justice (), I can make everything right'. Kenshin's issue was with killing period. Each time he took a life, even when it was against an opponent with a weapon trying to kill him as well, which for much of the war, it was, he lost some of his soul. He never cared about his appearance in front of everyone else. He didn't even keep killing so he himself could personally ensure peace. He kept fighting because if he stopped, it would have meant the people he'd killed up to that point died for no reason, since he didn't finish his war. The people Mustang killed DID die for no reason. Their lives aren't contributory to peace. They were killed because someone told Mustang to kill them. And somehow, Mustang's doing so, because it makes him look good in front of his superiors and thereby opening up possible promotions is fighting for peace.

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Originally Posted by jimms View Post
Important distinction there; Mustang is not the one who started the fight. Someone else started the fight, and then he and his friends are in the middle of it; he can either let them get beaten up, or he can try to do something to keep them safe. Doesn't mean the other side is wrong; but as an officer, he has an obligation to his men before an obligation to citizens of a territory in revolt. I still see accusing him of genocide to be lacking in empathy with his situation there; though objectively, his actions probably qualify, his intent is something else.
Yes, he didn't, but he didn't get out of the fight either, nor did he persuade his men to get out. If he really wanted to protect them while thinking murdering innocents was wrong, that's what he should have done. That's no justification at all; if anything, it shows him to be of even weaker character - he doesn't have the strength to leave and convince his subordinates to do it, but he chose instead to not even try and kill a bunch more people to 'protect them'. You point out that it doesn't mean that he thought they were wrong; would any normal, moral person kill or even fight someone they didn't think were wrong? And furthermore, what about killing everything that moves is protecting your men? I don't think those kids or women were much of a threat.

Lol. Hell yeah I lack empathy. He's a mass murderer of an innocent population. I don't care if he was guilty or remorseful or did it against his will. He has free will, and he did it. There's no defending that. I don't care who you are or what your reason; you could be the nicest person in the world - the minute you mass murder a group of innocent men, women and children, you're a contemptible human being, in my opinion.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jimms
And, lets remember the Milgram experiments; better than half of the participants were willing to kill another person just cause a guy in a lab coat told them to. That makes Mustang's actions in keeping with what the majority of the population would have done then. Makes it hard to condemn him for doing what most people would have done, especially when you weigh intent (I find that important for morality, in case you can't tell ).
I don't think it makes him hard to condemn at all. Rather, I think it makes everybody else easier to condemn. The sentiment here is to think from Mustang's point of view. Why not think from the Ishvalans' point of view? They're the real victims. Somebody came in, killed all your people, destroyed your home, without a real reason. How can you accept anything on behalf of those people? Yes, intentions are important, but intentions that don't manifest themselves as action or even trying to act are worthless. I mean, it's not as if Mustang thought he was doing the Ishvalans a favor by massacring them. The most noble thing about his intentions is that he didn't want to do what he did, but he did it anyway, so his intentions have no bearing on the situation. He was wrong to kill them, regardless of how wrong he thinks he was.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimms
I personally see him as having found another option from what the guy in the white coat told him to do (defending his men was his goal, not killing as ordered), but even if you don't agree with that, his actions are typical of those in that situation.
The options were the same, he just made up a new reason. Looks like he was like 'Well... I have no choice but to be a murderer (which is a lie).... might as well say it was in self-defense.' He still murdered innocents on a mass scale; most of whom were not even a threat to his precious men; Mustang was on the front-line offensive, not the defensive. So that doesn't really hold, if you ask me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimms
The main factor for me is that Scar knows what he is doing is wrong the whole time, but doesn't really care; he wants his revenge. That makes his intent malicious, and in determining the morality of an event, I pay attention to their intent more than outcomes (that's just me). However, now that he has repented somewhat, his intent is good again, and I can sympathize with him once more. Once people have good intent, its easy to correct their results.
Did Scar know what he was doing was wrong? And was it (I say no, it wasn't)? And did Mustang NOT know what he was doing was wrong (if he didn't, he's retarded. He was fighting innocents from the beginning only because they were giving the Amestrians too much resistance in a war AMESTRIS started)? As Scar saw it, these bastards murdered his people indiscriminately for no sound justification, so he was going to make them pay. Call that malicious if you want, it's a much better reason than ANYBODY as Ishval had. Additionally, he didn't kill anybody who was unarmed or didn't know how to fight. He didn't kill women or children (people will bring up Ed, and I've already said in previous posts than I think he was wrong for that). And he knew soundly why he was doing what he was doing. Then, he recanted from that and chose another way. EVERYBODY Mustang killed was an unjustified murder, and his only reason was because that's my job; then, when he realized that that was bs, he changed up the flow with 'oh, I have to protect my men'. He killed scores of unarmed people, and he didn't even see most of the people he murdered. I honestly don't see how anyone can defend the self-admitted war criminal over the man who sought justice and retribution for his massacred people.
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Old 2010-05-01, 10:18   Link #184
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Don't you love it when you hit a button on the keyboard that makes a whole giant post get erased? And you haven't Ctrl + C'd it?

Ranting aside, the core of my post was this question: how long can you wait before "being reasonable" (waiting for another solution, suggestion, person who is more worthy) becomes "omission"? If Roy thought of every possibility he could, and didn't find a way. If he asked everyone he could, and no one suggested anything better. How long could he wait to find a better solution without changing from being reasonable to being a coward?

I don't have the answer, because I still don't know what would be the right thing in this situation. Everyone weighs the pros and cons, and make their decisions based on what they think is more pro or less con. I do not believe there is a god, or a higher power, or ultimate judgement. There is no absolute right or absolute wrong. I believe we are here now, and this life is all there is, so we can't keep hoping that other people come up with better solution just because we don't like the path to the outcome. No one would have ever done anything if everyone thought like this.

I know that dictator's and many horrible people also thought like this. I was going to use Hitler as an example, but I don't know if this would crucify me, so I'm going with this: even though I may not agree with some people's actions, I can admire their determination. Please note that this is not in any way saying that "bad actions" are good just because someone is determined. Even if I admire someone's determination, I can still fight against that person and also have completely different ideas of right and wrong. Determination is not related to respect to others, or anything but the will to do something.

Again using the example of Kenshin, I remembered that after the Shishio arc, Yahiko said "Were we right? We must be the correct ones, right? We won." and Kenhin responded "If you think we are right because we won, you're thinking just like Shishio did." In the end, I think some people are just more lucky or capable of establishing their view of what is right or wrong.

With that in mind, I think Roy thought he couldn't wait longer because it would be omission from his part.
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Old 2010-05-01, 10:22   Link #185
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Sorry for the late response but I've had more important things to do. Nonetheless this discussion is interesting and I wouldn't want to drop it yet.

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Originally Posted by Grey View Post
Been reading through again, and it looks like the Ishbalan conflict started as riots 13 years ago after the child was killed. But Roy is supposedly 29, so he wouldn't have been an officer yet. Plus, the top brass' true plans are secret and they used Envy's shapeshifting to fuel the conflict. Still haven't found the part where they mention the child getting shot by a general, but I'll probably get there eventually.
He was an officer, I was right by writing "he was lieutenant at least". He was acting temporarily as a major and had a rank of a captain. As for plans being secret, I don't see a point of hiding the rank of an officer that did that. Maybe common people would be unaware of that but military staff? It would be hard to hide the fact general was missing or that he was executed. And if Mustang dug a little he would know what person this general was and how strange this whole thing was. But as I've written, the fact alone that general shot an Ishbalan child was extremely suspicious and knowing that and still going to slaughtering civilians was bad to say the least.

Quote:
And again: Amestris wasn't an obvious aggressor that started the war--that's a simplistic and biased account. One soldier killing a child isn't the same thing as the soldier's country waging a war After the incident, Ishbal blew up into riots. It became a war when Amestris couldn't stop the riots, the riots became larger scale, and Ishbalans took up guerilla warfare (and Aerugo provided them with arms).
Eh... Yeah, general killing a child in a broad daylight and Amestris army doing sh*t about it wasn't an obvious aggression... Right . As for Ishbal blowing up into riots, yeah that's true but it was their territory, a place where they lived for ages. They were only DEFENDING themselves from the aggressors. If a soldier could simply kill a child openly (it had to be done in a broad daylight and with lots of witnesses around, that was the whole point of it) and not be punished in any way, and army would not try to redeem themselves in any way it would become obvious riots would start to appear. Amestris army treated Ishbalans like trash that can be put away as they see fit, it's obvious they would try to defend themselves and throw Amestris army out of their territory. The only reason why they tolerated them before was because they didn't do anything bad to them and it wasn't worth a risk to fight them. Once it became clear they were nothing but slaves for Amestrians that could be killed in any moment they all tried to defend. Only a fool would do nothing in this situation. It was Ishbalans territory after all but it was occupied by Amestrian army. So not only did they violate their sacred ground but also killed an Ishbalan child without any reason.

Quote:
There are almost no countries that would hand over one of the top brass--or any citizen, really--to an extremely religious subsection of the population for punishment, no matter the crime. State and military both handle justice internally--that's normal. The military protecting the soldier (especially if he were high up) doesn't mean "we want to invade Ishbal"--it's the usual favoritism/protection for people in your own organization. Though certainly Ishbalans would see this as unfair and may think it's looking down on Ishbalans--that's probably one of the reasons it produced anger and riots.
If it could prevent war I think there would be many countries that would do that. Especially in our times when there are many treaties, tribunals, ONZ and such. Maybe they would not give that soldier away but wouldn't act as if nothing happened and certainly not kill civilians to stop the rebellion.

Quote:
Plus, as others mentioned, there was the torture bit. They probably made him back off because they thought the whole situation was screwing him up.
He was torturing Envy with every attack and he started attacking it from the moment he knew Envy killed Hughes but nobody said anything then. So I don't see how at that time he was more screwed than at the start maybe except for the fact he was additionally irritated that everyone gets in his way now.

Quote:
Yeah, I know. I just thought it was weird for you to say he wasn't like artillery. He moved in with the rest of the soldiers and finished the wounded off point blank, but his explosions definitely make him artillery role (with other soldiers pulling back so they wouldn't get caught in the blasts).
You know? I don't know about that. You've clearly missed my point then which was - he perfectly knew what he was doing and how much pain he was inflicting. He could hear screams and see his victim's frightened faces. And he was doing it directly, with his own hands (literally). He didn't use a gun or a knife even but many times, at point blank range fried people.

As for Kenshin vs. Roy, Kenshin AFAIR didn't face anyone that could be an analogue to Envy.
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Old 2010-05-01, 11:52   Link #186
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This is a really interesting discussion, I have to confess.

For me, the Kenshin/Mustang compare and contrast really points up Roy's raison d'etre in life all the more. Roy is the ultimate practicalist - every decision seems to be an equation. Will the eventual good outweigh the immediate harm? If yes, "engage". That's it - cold practical algebra. Wheras with Kenshin, his eventual choice was to pursue a path independent of the practical considerations. Call it idealism or whatever you like, but he abandoned his course because he found it morally indefensible, and pursued a path of pacifism because he found it intrinsically worthy for his own sake.

As to the question of moral culpability, I do think it's an oversimplification to say "both did bad things, so there can be no distinction". There are degrees of wrong, surely - can we compare Hitler with Vladamir Putin? I find both distasteful, but I can make a distinction between the depth of their crimes against humaity. I think the most important distinctions between Kenshin and Roy are twofold. First, that Kenshin was fighting a war against well-armed and trained opponents who had started the conflict, wheras Roy was executing a genocide against civilians. And second, Kenshin was a child (15 years old, ironically the same age as Ed at the start of FMA) at the time.

In a way, it might be more useful to compare Mustang with Armstrong. Again, Mustang made what he saw as the practical choice - "These people are going to die anyway, whether I kill them or not - but if I kill them, I might be able to prevent the next genocide later." Armstrong chose what I would call an act of civil disobedience - irrespective of the outcome, he simply couldn't stomach being a part of it anymore. He paid a heavy price - his career was derailed. His sister dismissed him as a coward and basically disowned him. Roy, OTOH, had his career in tact and was able to launch a lifelong quest for power.
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Old 2010-05-01, 12:10   Link #187
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Originally Posted by Slave0fLife View Post
I haven't read the manga, but in the anime, didn't Kenshin use his sword against a blond guy with flexible-like swords (beggining of the Shishio arc) who was throwing a baby up in the air with the sheith of one sword? If I recall correctly, he didn't know that the sword had a reverse edge, and so he thought he killed the guy. Is there this scene in the manga?
Yes, this scene does exist. In the end, Kenshin's will to protect exceeded his will not to kill. The entire Jinchuu arc was to demonstrate how Kenshin will always return to save those who need his help.
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Old 2010-05-01, 12:10   Link #188
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Whatever, lonewolf777, stick to your talking points and ignore the advances in the discussion where they don't suit you. You may believe that revenge is justified, but I wager most do not (considering most countries' laws), and that's one of the morals of the series, or else Scar would still be whacking alchemists. You may not believe that redemption is possible for even the lowest of trangressors, but I wager most of us do, as the author clearly does, and the last episode clearly states. You may choose to ignore 106 chapters of characterization and believe that Roy Mustang is in it for personal glory and position instead of personal redemption and punishment, but I wager most of us take the series at face value, and do not. You obviously don't realize the depth of the situation Mustang was in or the thoughts behind his actions, as illustrated by the author, because we've been explaining them for most of the last 10 pages and you continually answer the same way, with barely an acknowledgment of their existence.

We get it. You don't like Mustang. You find his actions horrible and unjustifiable. Guess what, so do we. The difference lies in that we don't think he had a better choice.

You say he could have taken his men and ran, but you ignore everything we've seen about this military that tells us he and his men would have been killed for desertion (not having a powerful family for cover like Alex) and the Ishbalans would have been slaughtered just the same, probably more painfully. And even before that, you look at the situation as if he knew all the horrors that awaited him in Ishbal before he torched his first rebel. You think they break in their precious state alchemists on the women and children first? Or on the combatants, to instill a healthy fear for and enmity against the ones who are able to fight back, so that they all start to look alike? And actually, do we ever see Mustang nuking noncombatants? Or is it just that one "former" combatant mentioned already with the gut wound (chapter 61), who probably had several hours of agonizing death ahead of him had Mustang let him go (since Scar had just killed the only Ishbalan-friendly doctors around)?

You imply he should have known the military would do things like this and should have never joined them in the first place. We say he was naive to what was really going on. Do you think the horrors of the Ishbal-style extermination campaigns were the kind of thing that got any unbiased press? Does any militaristic country ever let that kind of "poor for recruitment" message reach the public? Do we even know if the cause of the Ishbal Rebellion was common knowledge when he joined up to "help and protect the people of his country" (chapter 58)? The public certainly didn't know that the point was to kill as many people as possible. On both sides, of course. Mustang didn't find that out until the course of the series.

You say that Mustang put the lives of himself and his men above those of the Ishbalans. Damn straight he did. They were trying to kill him and his men. And were doing a very good job on the other units, or else the state alchemists might never have been called in in the first place. However you find yourself there, you can't exactly throw down your arms and say "hold up, I don't want to kill you any more" in the middle of a war, especially one as bloody as this one. That's a very good way to get "gift horsed" and take the Pine Box Express back home.

Related to that, you scoff at the idea that Mustang is doing this to better the country. You consistently say "he's doing such-and-such to elevate/protect his position" but pay little more than lip service to what his stated plans are and what he has done to ensure he keeps himself on the straight and narrow. Like the young lady at his back, whose primary job is to take him out should he step off that path, something she is willing to and almost had to do this last episode. And we see that she's not going anywhere. If he wasn't willing to have her die after she killed him, he sure as hell wouldn't be looking to replace her with someone more lenient once he reaches his position. Read over 61 again. Between his conversations with Hughes and Hawkeye, you get his entire basic reason for continuing to be. He's taking on the responsibility of both those below him and those potentially below him. He's the one "crossing the river of blood" and "shouldering the corpses" so that it doesn't need to be done by the next generation.

Sometimes people have to do distasteful things to make things better. We all like to say the ends don't justify the means (at least I hope we do), but sometimes there's no justifying the only means that will get you to a worthy end. But if those are the only means you have available to you, how can you not, in "good" conscience, use them? Whether it's a scrambled brain, or an incinerated body, killing is killing. Murder is murder. "Sin", as seven of the characters in this series will tell you, is "sin". There's no justification for it. But sometimes it's going to happen anyway, and you just have to do your best to use it to steer things to a better situation down the road.

I'm through arguing this. I personally suggest, with all my non-existent clout, that we take this to the Mustang thread if we insist on continuing it, but at the very least, let's not take it into the next episode thread. We've already tarnished the best episode of this series with this inane discussion...
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Old 2010-05-01, 12:19   Link #189
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Originally Posted by quigonkenny View Post
I'm through arguing this. I personally suggest, with all my non-existent clout, that we take this to the Mustang thread if we insist on continuing it, but at the very least, let's not take it into the next episode thread. We've already tarnished the best episode of this series with this inane discussion...
Amen to that...if at all possible the last 40 or so posts should be moved to the Mustang thread...
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Old 2010-05-01, 13:24   Link #190
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Well, now - inane, really? I don't disagree that this evolved into something more suitable for the Mustang thread than the episode thread, though it started as a debate on the Envy situation. Still - I think it's been a very interesting discussion, with some well-reasoned opinions on both sides and mostly (but not always) a respectful tone. There's lots of inane posts scattered all over the place on these boards, but I take issue with the term as applied here.
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Old 2010-05-01, 13:36   Link #191
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Originally Posted by quigonkenny View Post
We get it. You don't like Mustang. You find his actions horrible and unjustifiable. Guess what, so do we. The difference lies in that we don't think he had a better choice.
Kimbley said, if you want something you must sacrifice something, equivalent exchange after all... But Al thought that restraining yourself to that was dumb, that striving for a different, out of the box solution was the only way you could achieve a breakthrough...

Isn't Arakawa telling you here that there's always a "better choice"? Of course it is, that's the whole point of this scene.... yet, you say Roy didn't have a better choice? Sorry, but I think it's clear the series itself renders this argument invalid.
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Old 2010-05-01, 14:00   Link #192
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Amen to that...if at all possible the last 40 or so posts should be moved to the Mustang thread...
That would require a heck of a alot of moving since not all of the last 40 or so posts have dealt with Mustang. I did state several pages back that the Character Discussion thread should be used but Guardian Enzo also has a point that it was more of Envy v Mustang then just Mustang. Now that its just Mustang I think the rest of the posts should go here.
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Old 2010-05-01, 17:54   Link #193
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Late to the party as always, but..Wow, absolute brilliance this episode...I almost even felt sorry for that scum Envy...Um I guess it's fair to say that Mustang is unbeatable at this point...Simplistic and refined power he possesses...I rank the origin episode for "Little one in the Flask" as the best episode of the series...This episode was in the same area code...I don't think I can take this much epic every week...Since about the mid-30's I've been awed by the intensity of this series...
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Old 2010-05-01, 18:31   Link #194
lonewolf777
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Originally Posted by quigonkenny View Post
Whatever, lonewolf777, stick to your talking points and ignore the advances in the discussion where they don't suit you. You may believe that revenge is justified, but I wager most do not (considering most countries' laws), and that's one of the morals of the series, or else Scar would still be whacking alchemists. You may not believe that redemption is possible for even the lowest of trangressors, but I wager most of us do, as the author clearly does, and the last episode clearly states. You may choose to ignore 106 chapters of characterization and believe that Roy Mustang is in it for personal glory and position instead of personal redemption and punishment, but I wager most of us take the series at face value, and do not. You obviously don't realize the depth of the situation Mustang was in or the thoughts behind his actions, as illustrated by the author, because we've been explaining them for most of the last 10 pages and you continually answer the same way, with barely an acknowledgment of their existence.
I'm not the only one repeating points. I'm doing so because people keep repeating the same defenses of Mustang to me. And I'm not overlooking them either. I read everyone's post and consider their points. But I don't necessarily agree, so I give my take; when the points are the same, I repeat my opinion. I don't see why you're taking issue. I haven't been rude to you, so why are you being rude to me? If I've really caused you that much of an inconvenience, you can just skip over my posts. I'm not forcing you to read them, nor am I trying to impose my opinion on anyone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by quigonkenny
We get it. You don't like Mustang. You find his actions horrible and unjustifiable. Guess what, so do we. The difference lies in that we don't think he had a better choice.
See what Kazu-kun said about the choice. And frankly, after I read the chapters where Hawkeye told Ed about Ishval, I really can't get myself to forgive anyone involved with it. Those scenes were just so despicable, so oppressive, so unjust, that anybody involved with it, I just turn my back on completely. So yeah, I don't like Mustang... but actually, I don't like anyone in the military, with the exception fo Alex Louis Armstrong and Ed. The rest of them, I either outright dislike or feel ambivalent towards.

Quote:
Originally Posted by quigonkenny
You say he could have taken his men and ran, but you ignore everything we've seen about this military that tells us he and his men would have been killed for desertion (not having a powerful family for cover like Alex) and the Ishbalans would have been slaughtered just the same, probably more painfully. And even before that, you look at the situation as if he knew all the horrors that awaited him in Ishbal before he torched his first rebel. You think they break in their precious state alchemists on the women and children first? Or on the combatants, to instill a healthy fear for and enmity against the ones who are able to fight back, so that they all start to look alike? And actually, do we ever see Mustang nuking noncombatants? Or is it just that one "former" combatant mentioned already with the gut wound (chapter 61), who probably had several hours of agonizing death ahead of him had Mustang let him go (since Scar had just killed the only Ishbalan-friendly doctors around)?
No, I didn't ignore that. I addressed every one of those points, in fact, and why I don't think that gives him or any of them an excuse. And since you said you're tired of me repeating myself, I won't

Quote:
Originally Posted by quigonkenny
You imply he should have known the military would do things like this and should have never joined them in the first place. We say he was naive to what was really going on. Do you think the horrors of the Ishbal-style extermination campaigns were the kind of thing that got any unbiased press? Does any militaristic country ever let that kind of "poor for recruitment" message reach the public? Do we even know if the cause of the Ishbal Rebellion was common knowledge when he joined up to "help and protect the people of his country" (chapter 58)? The public certainly didn't know that the point was to kill as many people as possible. On both sides, of course. Mustang didn't find that out until the course of the series.
Well, for one thing, I didn't say he should never have joined the military. Maybe you're the one who's overlooking what's being said. I said he shouldn't have had anything to do with Ishval, once he knew what was going on. And furthermore, didn't his Sensei already warn him about the evils of the military, even keeping his research from him and giving it to him only on the condition that he doesn't use it against others? Yet he went and betrayed him and joined them anyway. To 'help and protect'...... yeah, join the military with the power of flame and explosions... you're not gonna be using that to burn people alive

Quote:
Originally Posted by quigonkenny
You say that Mustang put the lives of himself and his men above those of the Ishbalans. Damn straight he did. They were trying to kill him and his men. And were doing a very good job on the other units, or else the state alchemists might never have been called in in the first place. However you find yourself there, you can't exactly throw down your arms and say "hold up, I don't want to kill you any more" in the middle of a war, especially one as bloody as this one. That's a very good way to get "gift horsed" and take the Pine Box Express back home.
Hey, you don't want me to repeat the same old stuff over, so I won't. But I've addressed that as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by quigonkenny
Related to that, you scoff at the idea that Mustang is doing this to better the country. You consistently say "he's doing such-and-such to elevate/protect his position" but pay little more than lip service to what his stated plans are and what he has done to ensure he keeps himself on the straight and narrow. Like the young lady at his back, whose primary job is to take him out should he step off that path, something she is willing to and almost had to do this last episode. And we see that she's not going anywhere. If he wasn't willing to have her die after she killed him, he sure as hell wouldn't be looking to replace her with someone more lenient once he reaches his position. Read over 61 again. Between his conversations with Hughes and Hawkeye, you get his entire basic reason for continuing to be. He's taking on the responsibility of both those below him and those potentially below him. He's the one "crossing the river of blood" and "shouldering the corpses" so that it doesn't need to be done by the next generation.
I do indeed scoff at it, because I'm very cynical about said plans, as I am about Hawkeye. People of such character (people who took part in war crimes, himself and Hawkeye included) aren't trustworthy, imo, so I don't really see his intentions as praiseworthy. At the end of the day, despite any amends he's tried to make, he still killed more people at Ishval than anyone else except Kimblee. If you want to justify that, or sweep it under the rug because it's said and done, go ahead. I'm not stopping you. But I won't give him a free pass in my book. I will hold him to a harsh and critical standard, because his past is littered with bodies and blood, and that's not forgivable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by quigonkenny
Sometimes people have to do distasteful things to make things better.
Yeah.... cuz genocide certainly makes things better in the end.

Quote:
Originally Posted by quigonkenny
We all like to say the ends don't justify the means (at least I hope we do), but sometimes there's no justifying the only means that will get you to a worthy end. But if those are the only means you have available to you, how can you not, in "good" conscience, use them? Whether it's a scrambled brain, or an incinerated body, killing is killing. Murder is murder. "Sin", as seven of the characters in this series will tell you, is "sin". There's no justification for it. But sometimes it's going to happen anyway, and you just have to do your best to use it to steer things to a better situation down the road.
If you limit yourself to those means, then you're not worthy of achieving those ends. You always have another choice and another path to achieve those ends. If you can't see any other means, then don't aim for those ends, if you really believe that the ends don't justify the means. If you do, well, that's another story.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by quigonkenny
I'm through arguing this. I personally suggest, with all my non-existent clout, that we take this to the Mustang thread if we insist on continuing it, but at the very least, let's not take it into the next episode thread. We've already tarnished the best episode of this series with this inane discussion...
Well, that's fine. I don't think anybody is forcing you to participate, but you're probably right about going to the Mustang thread. I don't see how you could let a discussion like this ruin the episode for you. Certainly, there are others who are discussing this with me who share your viewpoint who aren't as visibly irritated as you, and why you are is beyond me. They've been plenty polite, and I think I've been polite to them as well, so there's no reason for your disdained tone.
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Old 2010-05-01, 19:09   Link #195
quigonkenny
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Originally Posted by Kazu-kun View Post
Kimbley said, if you want something you must sacrifice something, equivalent exchange after all... But Al thought that restraining yourself to that was dumb, that striving for a different, out of the box solution was the only way you could achieve a breakthrough...

Isn't Arakawa telling you here that there's always a "better choice"? Of course it is, that's the whole point of this scene.... yet, you say Roy didn't have a better choice? Sorry, but I think it's clear the series itself renders this argument invalid.
Yes and no. I see no reason why the message can't be more complex, that sometimes you're in a situation where you have a greater choice of options, and sometimes, usually because you screwed up somewhere back along the line, you're stuck on a path with just the shitty ones. Personal responsibility for one's actions plays a large part. Mustang is responsible for his role in Ishbal and everything that led him to it. Ed and Al are responsible for their attempt at human transmutation and Ed's entering the miliary. All three have to decide how best to bear those responsibilities. That, in a nutshell, is the human condition. But both types of paths are important. You have to make the best of your situation, whatever it is, and whatever the choices available to you. Without the actions done by Ed and Al and Roy and Riza, none of them would be in the positions they are currently in (about to defeat Father), three other "human sacrifices" (probably including Marcoh and Dr Goldtooth) would have joined Izumi and Hohenheim, and Father would be walking a ghost town nation right now, flanked by all 7 (or at least 6) of his children, wielding the powers of a god, and asking himself "Who's next?"

And don't forget that the series isn't over. Al and Ed still haven't gotten their bodies back. I think it safe to say that the story seems to be pointing toward a "save everybody" ending, but "get our bodies back", especially concerning both brothers, is still very much in limbo.
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Old 2010-05-02, 00:49   Link #196
Kazu-kun
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Originally Posted by quigonkenny View Post
Yes and no. I see no reason why the message can't be more complex, that sometimes you're in a situation where you have a greater choice of options, and sometimes, usually because you screwed up somewhere back along the line, you're stuck on a path with just the shitty ones.
But that's no how Arakawa's moral logic works IMO. For her, the situation you're in doesn't seem to matter much. For example, Miles is presented as a counter example to Scar, as the Ishbalan who took the right path (unlike Scar, who went the path of revenge), if you will. It didn't matter to Arakawa that their situation was really different, and therefore the counter example was flawed and pretty much nonsensical. Even though Miles was pretty much shielded from the horrors of the war (mostly protected by Olivier, but he didn't even have deep attachments with the Ishbalans to begin with), while Scar went through a literal living hell, Arakawa still compares the two. She still use this to tell the reader that the path of revenge is wrong, regardless of Scar's particular situation during that time...

So really, I don't see why we should take Roy's situation into account... clearly Arakawa doesn't care about such things...
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Old 2010-05-02, 04:09   Link #197
quigonkenny
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Whatever, whatever, none of that is important now. Just saw 55 and I'm juiced about the "special guest star"... Hehe... Where's our episode thread at? I have got to do some talking about this! ^_^
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Old 2010-05-03, 00:00   Link #198
Grey
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by quigonkenny View Post
I'm through arguing this. I personally suggest, with all my non-existent clout, that we take this to the Mustang thread if we insist on continuing it, but at the very least, let's not take it into the next episode thread. We've already tarnished the best episode of this series with this inane discussion...
Aha, yeah. I don't know about tarnished, but we definitely swerved off-topic. Somehow I ended up trying to explain the nuances and accurate description of the Ishbal war.
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