Dragonlance Dragonlance Philosophy thread


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Jason Sudeikis Yes GIF by Apple TV+
so at this point how do we go on?
 


Micah Sweet

Legend
This is now a personal attack. I didn't bring up real religon YOU did. YOU made this weird then accused me of attacking someone's religious beliefs.
THIS HAS TO BE A JOKE... like, no one here wants to talk about religion, we want to talk about the GAME of Dragonlance published by WotC to 5e.
Since the setting for that game is inextricably linked to the author's religious beliefs, I kinda want to talk about religion a little bit.
 









billd91

Not your screen monkey (he/him)
No, just what I said. You can't talk about what Dragonlance is about without talking about religion.
Well, you can. But that really means you're not talking about the Cataclysm aspect of it.

I'm going to add that the influences of Tracy Hickman's religion (specifically LDS) on Dragonlance has been discussed before here on ENWorld.
 

gban007

Explorer
I don't think smoking is evil. But I think that the companies that knew that it was bad for you and lied about it were evil. If anything, smokers are mostly victims that are taken advantage of by powerful companies. Smoking doesn't make you evil, but knowing that it's addictive and causes lung cancer, hiding the evidence that proves that, and then lying to your customers in order to profit off of the addictions they're fueling is evil.

I don't think goodness and evilness exist as cosmic terms that exist throughout the universe. Terry Pratchett's Death is correct that "Justice", "Mercy", "Good", and "Evil" don't exist on an atomic level. However, I do think that they exist on a human level. Murdering innocent people is definitely objectively evil, because of the harm and suffering it causes. There is definitely a difference between "things that are harmful/bad for you" and "evil", but intent to do harm without sufficient provocation is evil.

Good and evil have to exist in relation to the human experience. If they don't, then the terms are pointless and not worth discussing. We're human. We made up the terms. If "good" and "evil" don't exist in relation to what is good and bad for us, then good and evil don't exist at all.
I agree with nearly all of that, Good and Evil is I think intrinsic to human experience, our feel for what is right. Your example of smoking companies is also good, and thinking about it I think Good and Evil is talking about intent - murder is evil, because murder is intentionally killing someone, whereas the act of killing itself may in select cases not be due to circumstances (eg self defense, defending others especially if when doing so weren't trying to kill someone, it happened as a consequence).
I just don't agree that any of this means Good and Evil are objective, that was my intent of using the Pratchett quote, even if there are some things that 100% of humanity believe are evil, but perhaps for humans there is an objective evil, as long as we allow for the possibility that aliens may have a different view, and so would be evil to us, but not to them. Not that I would advocate that we should treat them differently, if we think what they are doing is evil for us, we should react accordingly. Possibly getting a bit too philosophical here, but feels like the intent of the thread :)
So coming down to it, I think the Kingpriest was evil, and Paladine and co Neutral at best and would have preferred it if the Cataclysm was more of a mystery as to what exactly went on like someone quoted from one of the campaign settings where multiple possibilities existed - I think would have been good to include in this current book. I accept though that the authors may have had a different view on these matters, though if in real life I wouldn't let this acceptance of a different view of good / evil to prevent me stopping them from doing what i believe is evil.
In SotDQ it appears they ask the characters how the Cataclysm has impacted them, and I certainly think it would be fair for characters to believe that all the Gods were evil for what occurred and to not want anything to do with their return (and so fight Takhisis / her forces , but spurn the help of Paladine and co).
 

then why are you twisting things into being about real world when we are talking about a game?
Because the game draws a lot of inspiration from real life religion so that's where a lot of people form their comparison. If it's not something you're interested in discussing, perhaps stop engaging in the conversation?

Being totally honest, I have zero interest in this conversation because multiple threads have shown we'll never come to a consensus agreement on it and it only creates bad feelings. I made this thread so people who DO want to discuss philosophy and ethics can have that conversation so the next time a thread is created to discuss something like the lunar sorcerer or the prelude adventures, perhaps we can actually talk about those things.
 

Because the game draws a lot of inspiration from real life religion so that's where a lot of people form their comparison. If it's not something you're interested in discussing, perhaps stop engaging in the conversation?
so in this one thread alone I have been accused of being intolertent of others religion, and now told to shut up if all I want to talk about is the game that the board is about...
Being totally honest, I have zero interest in this conversation because multiple threads have shown we'll never come to a consensus agreement on it and it only creates bad feelings.
and getting worse by the moment
I made this thread so people who DO want to discuss philosophy and ethics can have that conversation so the next time a thread is created to discuss something like the lunar sorcerer or the prelude adventures, perhaps we can actually talk about those things.
except here we are talking about real world religon instead of the game and insulting or gatekeeping
 

so in this one thread alone I have been accused of being intolertent of others religion, and now told to shut up if all I want to talk about is the game that the board is about...

and getting worse by the moment

except here we are talking about real world religon instead of the game and insulting or gatekeeping
And a mod said (paraphrasing a bit) discussing real world religion is fine as it relates to a game as long as we're not insulting people's religious views. If you feel that's happening, hit the report button on a post and let a mod sort it out.
 


I'm sorry, but I simply do not believe you. Everything you have said leads me to believe that you want to use Dragonlance as an excuse to attack religious belief. I do not believe you are incapable of understanding that the one automatically follows from the other.

After all, if it where only a game, why would you care so much?!
here it is... a personal attack on me saying I am useing DL as an attack on a(maybe muliti) religions.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
The "disaster" Fizban and the other good gods are trying to avoid through the Cataclysm was one where the Kingpriest achieved apotheosis. The Kingpriest was terrible, but so are plenty of other gods in Dragonlance, and killing a ton of people and setting back the world hundreds of years through an apocalypse is hardly a measured response to another terrible god being added.
No, it's the disaster of Tiamat taking over the world forever. The Kingpriest was one step in that process.
The Cataclysm was an act of self-preservation by the gods. Not something that would actually benefit the people of the world. In fact, if Paladine actually thinks that the Kingpriest is good, having another good god would make Team Good have more gods than Team Evil, which would further his agenda. If Paladine truly thought "the ends justify the means, it's okay to do something bad for a good reason", then he would have let/helped the Kingpriest become a god, not actively prevent him.
Which goes to show that the Kingpriest ascending wasn't the real problem. It was that it would lead to Tiamat taking over Krynn forever.
Paladine isn't utilitarian. He's Stupid Neutral.
According to you. But you've done nothing to support that assertion beyond repeating it and posting a link to TVTropes.
The concept of good depends on the concept of evil to exist. Good things existing is not dependent on bad things also existing.
Good things don't exist. Bad things don't exist. Good and bad are human concepts that help us categorize the world around us. They're descriptors of our reactions to events, not intrinsic, inherent properties within the things themselves. Let me introduce you to the story of the Zen farmer.
If good is not good, then it doesn't carry its own meaning and needs to be called something else. "Good" is good. It has to be. That's evident in its name.
So your definition of good is "it's called 'good,' therefore it's good"? That's pretty shallow definition. This is supposed to be a philosophy thread, so maybe try being a bit more robust in your definition of what's good and evil, because, as it stands, you've only offered up "what's good eradicates evil," which is entirely problematic as I talked about in my last post.
I've been introduced to the dilemma.
You don't seem to understand it though. There are two options, not a third. Either Paladine defines good or what's good exists independent of Paladine. If the former, then whatever Paladine says is good is, by definition, good. If the latter, then we need to define good for ourselves. Which you seem entirely unwilling to do. You're the one making claims about what is good and what is evil. You seem to have a very precise idea of what is what in regards to these terms, but you're utterly unwilling to share them. Why?
I think good and evil objectively exist in the world.
Okay. Define what's good and evil and prove that they objectively exist.
The terms existence is not dependent on a god existing.
No, but the definition is important. How we determine what is good and what is evil is important. Either Paladine defines it or we do. If Paladine defines it, then what we think doesn't matter. The god of Good just told us what's good. If we define it, then what we think really does matter and we'll need to actually define it. If we can't define it, we can't move forward.
Child abuse is evil. Rape is evil. Genocide is evil.
I agree.
Those statements aren't reliant on a godly or religious definition.
Nope. But they are reliant upon a definition existing. So what's the definition of good and what's the definition of evil?
Being intolerant of evil doesn't mean killing evil. It means working against its existence.
"Working against its existence." You must realize that's a euphemism for causing it to cease to exist, right? Eradicate. Kill. Causing it to cease to exist.
Incarceration works most of the time.
But incarceration doesn't prevent evil from existing. It still exists, it's just locked away.
As for who defines good and evil? Preferably experts that study the topic and are able to come to conclusive definitions of good and bad actions.
Well, okay. Then can you point me to one of those experts who's defined it for you? Because you seem to have a rather precise and solid working definition of what good and evil are, yet you're entirely unwilling to share that definition. And as someone who's studied philosophy, I can tell you that answers are pretty thin on the ground. There's a lot of opinions. But not much in the way of answers. Unless we revisit the utilitarians. They have answers. Not necessarily good ones, but answers.
We have scientific evidence that certain styles of raising children are unhealthy physically and/or mentally (spanking kids, for example, is an ineffective and harmful form of discipline). Science can prove things are objectively bad. Steps to prevent child abuse can be taken. Eventually, as public awareness about the problem increases, things get better and child abuse becomes more and more uncommon, hopefully until it is basically completely removed.
Let me introduce you to the is-ought problem. David Hume was an incredibly brilliant 18th-century Scottish philosopher and he noticed a problem. I'll leave you to read it. It's a doozy. Modern philosophy has either been stuck on this since or has simply pretended it doesn't exist.
And not all forms of evil are equal and deserve extreme punishment. You can incentivize against bad behavior, punish egregiously evil acts (murder, rape, etc) through the justice system, and reward good behavior. "Goodness" is a process. Not something that can be achieved immediately.
And to do any of that we need a working definition of what's good and what's evil...which we still don't have.
If a god says that murder is good, the god isn't good. Especially in D&D, where evil gods exist.
Ah. So we define what's good and what's evil. Okay. So define them for me. Then be prepared to defend that definition because I can guarantee you that most other posters on this forum will have a different definition of good and evil than you do. So the obvious follow up is: what makes yours the right one and how do you know?
And Takhisis, who is Evil, supported the Cataclysm, too. If she's the goddess of evil and she thinks that an action is good, how can Paladine agree with her? He's the ultimate good god and she's the ultimate evil one.

If two different gods, one Lawful Good and the other Chaotic Evil, both say that "murder is good", how can you trust either one of them? If both of them say that the action is moral, and they're of completely opposite moralities, how can they agree?
Because good and evil aren't black and white objective things that factually exist in the universe. They're human thought patterns used to explain the world. Again, the Zen farmer.
 

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