Chaotic Good Is The Most Popular Alignment! - Page 29
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  1. #281
    Quote Originally Posted by Hussar View Post
    The truly funny thing is, twenty pages or so ago, I asked for an example of a reliable CN character. Twenty pages later, I'm still waiting. If CN is so reliable and trustworthy, surely there must be hundreds of examples. After all, I can give you a shopping list of LG characters that are reliable and trustworthy. What's the hold up? Why so shy?
    What's the point? You're just gonna argue that "they aren't actually reliable" or "they're actually True Neutral / Chaotic Good / some other alignment".
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  2. #282
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hussar View Post
    And, @Celebrim, LG being the most good has always been the standard in D&D. I'm surprised you'd argue otherwise.
    I'm not entirely sure what you mean by that. If you mean that that fallacy was at times exhibited by Gygax and has been repeated ever since, then I agree. If you mean it's surprising that I'd argue against such rank stupidity, then well, no, it's obviously stupid - of course I will argue against it.

    Before going into a deep argument why it is wrong, there is a fairly easy structural proof. By definition - including Gygax's definition - Neutral Good means a pure philosophy of good unmingled by other considerations. Thus, you could equally call Neutral Good "True Good", in the same sense that Neutrality is "True Nuetral". Lawful Good, by definition, is a mixture of the philosophy of Good with that of Lawful, and so there must always be a situation where the Lawful Good must depart from a pure Good perspective in order to accommodate lawfulness.

    Now, I'm not saying that a Lawful Good person couldn't argue for the reasonableness of doing so and that Goodness required Law or was fulfilled to the greatest extent by Law or that simply as a practical matter Law was required and that good was an incomplete philosophy. Of course a Lawful Good person would argue these things. But critically, they do so because they are biased by their a Lawful Good perspective.

    And basically my argument is that Gygax's ideas of what constituted Goodness were biased in a complex way by his own personal upbringing. This can be seen by the fact that at the same time Gygax was capable of both advancing the idea that Lawful Good was the most good or goodness++, and also presenting ostensibly Lawful Good figures in a derogatory and even villainous manner. This is reflective in my opinion of Gygax's own personal moral struggles.

    And, every archetype for LG is among the most good of characters - Superman, King Arthur, Gawain, that sort of thing.
    I would note that by and large all of those characters are creations of the same moral code.

    Chaotic is selfish it its heart. It's all about the self. You can't be as good as the selfless (Lawful) by definition.
    There is a fundamental flaw and misunderstanding in this statement, and that is contrasting "selfish" with "selfless".

    Selflessness is in fact evil, and as evil as selfishness. Chaos is NOT about selfishness at heart, and not every thought of self is evil. Consider the statement, generally recognized by most as an axiom of good - "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." If in fact the holder of this axiom is selfless, then he doesn't care what is done to himself and so can justify doing anything to anyone else as well. The axiom called the Golden Rule is in fact self-centered. It asks the person to reflect on their own worth, and the assign to others equal worth. The self has worth and must have worth for the Gold Rule to work, and while it's easy to overvalue the self at the expense of others, to undervalue self and so subject the self to self-abuse and self-degradation or for example suicide would also be an evil. If you think about the idea of "selfishness" it cannot be the definition of evil, because that would be circular. We know self-concern to be evil and therefore selfishness when self-concern is evil.

    Further, we can provide a counter example. Lawful Evil is the philosophy of evil selflessness. Lawful evil encourages its followers to sacrifice all self and all individuality for the good of the collective. The adherents of this philosophy are not selfish, but are selflessly giving themselves for the cause. By your argument they must be good, but in practice we recognize this selflessness as abhorrent. And in practice, this philosophy we know to be capable of some of the most horrific evils that the world has ever known. There are in fact sins of selflessness.

    Yet at the same time, we also know of heroic figures that have sacrificed themselves selflessly for others and we call this good. So it can't be the case that either selflessness or self-centeredness alone defines evil, as in either case there is an extra factor that when added to either makes for good or evil.

    Again, your claim that selflessness equals to good and self-centeredness equals to evil is an inherently Lawful Good bias. However, you can catch that bias by noting that people with a Lawful bias have a hard time arguing why Chaotic Good is good, or why Lawful Evil is evil. They tend to resort to arguing that it is almost evil or else throwing up there hands in disgust and saying it doesn't make sense and a single axis alignment system would make more sense.

    My position is that Neutral Good, or True Good, considers the argument over which has more worth the collective or the individual to be entirely missing the point. A collective has no worth if the individuals that make it up don't have worth, and in fact individuals do have inherent worth as individuals irrespective of their relationship to anyone. But at the same time, the collective has great worth by being made up of individuals, and additional worth arising for the systems of relationships between the individuals that couldn't occur between isolated individuals. Thus, whenever you veer too far to either side of sacrificing the individual for the good of the collective, or sacrificing the collective for the good of the individual you've departed the path of good. And I would note that this theme is common in morality plays, and that many moral philosophies attempt to join assertions that respect the value of the self and self-judgment (dictates of ones consciousness) with sets of lawful codes that also externally review those same axioms in an attempt to provide a balance between the two.
    Last edited by Celebrim; Monday, 24th June, 2019 at 02:07 AM.

  3. #283
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hussar View Post
    Or its a case of a character shifting alignment. would not be the first time in Wheedonverse shows. We won't ever know because the show got cancelled.



    Umm, yes it does? Caring about people is the definition of good? If you actually care about people, that makes you good. Now, caring about this group of people once probably doesn't make you good, but, it makes you a bit leaning in that direction. Repeatedly caring about other people does show a pretty strong leaning towards good.

    But, yeah, not caring about other people? That's pretty much the heart of what it means to be evil.

    -----

    And, @Celebrim, LG being the most good has always been the standard in D&D. I'm surprised you'd argue otherwise. There's a reason paladins were restricted to LG, once upon a time. And, every archetype for LG is among the most good of characters - Superman, King Arthur, Gawain, that sort of thing. Chaotic is selfish it its heart. It's all about the self. You can't be as good as the selfless (Lawful) by definition.

    I disagree. Chaotic just means valuing individual choice over rules established by others. People of all alignments can still care about other individuals, it's just not generalized. Some individuals may care about no one else because they're sociopaths, but not all sociopaths are evil. But there are many stories of evil people in fiction and real life that were deeply committed to another, although they may love another individual the way I love my car.

    In any case, I think alignment is just one piece of the picture and as much a simplification of human nature as HP.
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  4. #284
    Quote Originally Posted by Oofta View Post
    In any case, I think alignment is just one piece of the picture and as much a simplification of human nature as HP.
    I think this is the number one thing that players, new and experienced alike, tend to act like. It's a sort of Essence before Existence type thing, more prescriptive than descriptive. Alignment really should be based on the character's personality as opposed to vice versa.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hussar View Post
    The truly funny thing is, twenty pages or so ago, I asked for an example of a reliable CN character. Twenty pages later, I'm still waiting. If CN is so reliable and trustworthy, surely there must be hundreds of examples. After all, I can give you a shopping list of LG characters that are reliable and trustworthy. What's the hold up? Why so shy?

    You've been given examples, you just ignore them or disagree. I think even Jayne from Firefly was reliable ... to those that he valued and considered friends such as Mal.

    As far as other examples, I can't point out any (i.e. Han Solo) because you'll just say he wasn't CN. Unlike my own personal characters, some of whom were CN and reliable to those he knew, we don't know the alignment of fictional characters.

  6. #286
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    Quote Originally Posted by zaruk6 View Post
    I think this is the number one thing that players, new and experienced alike, tend to act like. It's a sort of Essence before Existence type thing, more prescriptive than descriptive. Alignment really should be based on the character's personality as opposed to vice versa.
    I agree with most of this but I think new and even experienced players mistake alignment for something it is not, namely, a description of personality.

    The most common example is the idea that lawful characters are organized while chaotic characters are messy and disorganized. This is simply not true unless we are talking about a spiritual incarnation of Orderliness.

    The result of thinking that alignment is a personality description is basically the idea that there are only 9 personalities and that they are all stereotypes.

    I'll fully agree that real world ethical systems often resist the simplistic characterization of the two axis alignment system. But the majority of complaints I hear against the lack of realism of the system are mostly directed against the idea that people's personality is more complex than can be described by it, when I fact I don't really think it describes personality much at all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hussar View Post
    Or its a case of a character shifting alignment. would not be the first time in Wheedonverse shows. We won't ever know because the show got cancelled.
    No, its just nuance in characters.



    Umm, yes it does? Caring about people is the definition of good? If you actually care about people, that makes you good. Now, caring about this group of people once probably doesn't make you good, but, it makes you a bit leaning in that direction. Repeatedly caring about other people does show a pretty strong leaning towards good.
    Nope.

    Even evil characters and people can care about others.

    Perhaps you misread my statement, but care about people isnt the same thing as being an altruistic and empathetic person.

    All alignments can form genuine attachments and care deeply about the well being of one or more people, a people group, etc.

    also, your idea that Chaotic is selfish is nonsensical, and without any particular obvious merit. Perhaps you can defend it, but as a flat statement by itself its completely preposterous.

    There is no contradiction in a selfless person who believes that liberty and equality better serve the common good than does a strict social order and strong governing body.
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  8. #288
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    Quote Originally Posted by Celebrim
    Selflessness is in fact evil
    I actually thought that was a typo until I read the rest of the post.

    Needless to say, I disagree with this. As does pretty much every single moral code in human history.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oofta View Post
    You've been given examples, you just ignore them or disagree. I think even Jayne from Firefly was reliable ... to those that he valued and considered friends such as Mal.

    As far as other examples, I can't point out any (i.e. Han Solo) because you'll just say he wasn't CN. Unlike my own personal characters, some of whom were CN and reliable to those he knew, we don't know the alignment of fictional characters.
    The only one I even questioned was Han Solo and I'd point out that I wasn't the only one. And, really, why would you consider CN Han to be reliable? He leaves his wife after all. Sure he comes back agains the Death Star, but, most people point to that as an example where he shifts to CG.

    Jayne was reliable? The guy who, if he hadn't been caught, would have betrayed the entire crew and gotten half of them killed, all for a big payout. You have a really different definition of reliable than I do. It's not like he stepped back from betraying them. The only reason he didn't betray the crew is because he got caught.

    The other example brought up was Conan. And, again, I'll ask the same question. Would you loan him 20 bucks? WOuld you give him the keys to your car? Would you entrust your daughter to him?

    Q was brought up. Ummmm, that's what you consider reliable?

    Sure, folks, keep bringing up examples. But, I'm still looking for one that you can convincingly say is reliable and trustworthy. I mean, those aren't exactly the first adjectives I'd use to describe Jayne or Q or Conan. Not that these are bad characters. That's not what I'm saying. Just that I'm not really sure I'd trust them all that far.

    But, hey, what do I know. Apparently selflessness is evil, chaotics can act 100% reliable all the time and this makes sense to some people.

    Just thought I'd pop in to see if anyone had actually come up with an example of a reliable CN character. See you in another twenty pages or so.

    -----------

    Oh, and just in case folks think I'm totally making stuff up here, well, here is the definitions of law and chaos from 3e D&D

    Quote Originally Posted by 3.5 SRD
    Law Vs. Chaos

    Lawful characters tell the truth, keep their word, respect authority, honor tradition, and judge those who fall short of their duties.

    Chaotic characters follow their consciences, resent being told what to do, favor new ideas over tradition, and do what they promise if they feel like it.

    "Law" implies honor, trustworthiness, obedience to authority, and reliability. On the downside, lawfulness can include close-mindedness, reactionary adherence to tradition, judgmentalness, and a lack of adaptability. Those who consciously promote lawfulness say that only lawful behavior creates a society in which people can depend on each other and make the right decisions in full confidence that others will act as they should.

    "Chaos" implies freedom, adaptability, and flexibility. On the downside, chaos can include recklessness, resentment toward legitimate authority, arbitrary actions, and irresponsibility. Those who promote chaotic behavior say that only unfettered personal freedom allows people to express themselves fully and lets society benefit from the potential that its individuals have within them.

    Someone who is neutral with respect to law and chaos has a normal respect for authority and feels neither a compulsion to obey nor a compulsion to rebel. She is honest but can be tempted into lying or deceiving others.

    Devotion to law or chaos may be a conscious choice, but more often it is a personality trait that is recognized rather than being chosen. Neutrality on the lawful-chaotic axis is usually simply a middle state, a state of not feeling compelled toward one side or the other. Some few such neutrals, however, espouse neutrality as superior to law or chaos, regarding each as an extreme with its own blind spots and drawbacks.

    Animals and other creatures incapable of moral action are neutral. Dogs may be obedient and cats free-spirited, but they do not have the moral capacity to be truly lawful or chaotic.
    Huh, looks like I'm still stuck in a 3e mindset about alignments. They are personality traits (usually) and everything I said is 100% backed up by the rules. Funny that.
    Last edited by Hussar; Monday, 24th June, 2019 at 08:18 AM.

  10. #290
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hussar View Post
    The only one I even questioned was Han Solo and I'd point out that I wasn't the only one. And, really, why would you consider CN Han to be reliable? He leaves his wife after all. Sure he comes back agains the Death Star, but, most people point to that as an example where he shifts to CG.

    Jayne was reliable? The guy who, if he hadn't been caught, would have betrayed the entire crew and gotten half of them killed, all for a big payout. You have a really different definition of reliable than I do. It's not like he stepped back from betraying them. The only reason he didn't betray the crew is because he got caught.

    The other example brought up was Conan. And, again, I'll ask the same question. Would you loan him 20 bucks? WOuld you give him the keys to your car? Would you entrust your daughter to him?

    Q was brought up. Ummmm, that's what you consider reliable?

    Sure, folks, keep bringing up examples. But, I'm still looking for one that you can convincingly say is reliable and trustworthy. I mean, those aren't exactly the first adjectives I'd use to describe Jayne or Q or Conan. Not that these are bad characters. That's not what I'm saying. Just that I'm not really sure I'd trust them all that far.

    But, hey, what do I know. Apparently selflessness is evil, chaotics can act 100% reliable all the time and this makes sense to some people.

    Just thought I'd pop in to see if anyone had actually come up with an example of a reliable CN character. See you in another twenty pages or so.
    See, here's where the goalposts are shifting all over the place. We started with the possibility of CN characters working well in groups without stirring things up, being responsible while being on guard duty, stuff like that. Things that actually play out in a game (rather than 30 years of downtime/backstory). All of that is well within the bounds of CN alignment.... hell, it's well within the bounds of any alignment as long as the interests of the individuals don't differ too much.

    But on the whole life of a person? What alignment is Luke Skywalker? He's not CN - he's probably not even CG because he's got a little too much influence of regimens, obligations, and traditions mixed in with his individualism. He's probably NG and he too disappears for years. Nobody is likely to be 100% with reliable choices over their lives no matter what their alignment is - particularly not when dogged by as much war, tragedy, and destiny as a main character in a movie franchise... or a PC when you consider all the BS their players put them through without a sign of PTSD. You're setting up an impossible standard for CN - which is, no doubt, very convenient for your argument in this thread.

    And yeah, I may not loan Conan $20 - knowing him, I'd just give it to him and predict that the next time he's in town after a successful adventure, our friendship would net me a pretty fantastic night on the town with ale and whores on his tab.


    Quote Originally Posted by Hussar View Post
    Oh, and just in case folks think I'm totally making stuff up here, well, here is the definitions of law and chaos from 3e D&D



    Huh, looks like I'm still stuck in a 3e mindset about alignments. They are personality traits (usually) and everything I said is 100% backed up by the rules. Funny that.
    Notice, that's can include, not must include. Must lawful characters be as close-minded, judgmental, and unable to adapt as chaotic be unreliable?

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