Tyrannosaurusrex, The Reader

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9/21/2017 1:48 PM

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Wizard Morality on 9/14/2017 6:22:13 PM

It seems counterintuitive for people at first. "Why pay an Irishman when a slave works for free?" Slaves weren't free. The slave owners had to pay their food and upkeep charges. If the slaves got ill the slaveowner paid for it. Not to mention the benefit they provided in free labor, or the opportunity cost of losing them. When you factor all that in, 25 cents a day was a bargain for the slaveowner. Not so much for the Irish.

Wizard Morality on 9/14/2017 6:15:20 PM

I think we're largely in agreement on most issues regarding this and if there is much disagreement, it's in nuance. Morality is nebulous at best, and there are arguably very few actions that are indisputably evil. If necromancers were to exist in the world today, I wouldn't necessarily classify their practice as immoral or evil because I'd have seen no evidence that their "magic" was doing anything more than creating flesh puppets. Even in the case of sentient creatures, it's theoretically possible to animate a creature in a matter that they can independently function of their own will. It was done in Frankenstein. None of that is really immoral. 

I disagree at the base level with the idea that manipulating the environment is unnatural. Unless you define nature as purely the earth and environmental phenomena, then I don't really follow that logic. It also stands to reason my definition of nature is inclusive of the flora and fauna. Therefore, using things that are readily available in one's own environment to create something new to gain an advantage isn't unnatural, it's adaptation.

I will also say that if a spell causes environmental damage and that action is what causes the spell to be immoral, undoing the damage doesn't make the spell less immoral. If I shank someone and then a doctor is able to save their life, that doesn't make my crime suddenly moral.

I agree with you in that there may be loopholes that someone could exploit, but I don't know if exploit is the right word. That carries a tone of subversiveness that I don't think is consistent with morality. I think that necromancy would be very situationally evil and there are certainly exceptions that could force a good natured necromancer to do something questionable and still maintain the moral high ground. So a lot of discussion to basically just agree. Good talk.

Wizard Morality on 9/14/2017 1:19:26 PM

In my opinion, there's a distinction that needs to be made between a "mystical natural order" vs. simple manipulation of the environment. I assumed that since I'm imagining a world with magical necromancy, that there would be some sort of overarching magical order. I also disagree with your assessment of unnatural. In what way is building a shelter purely unnatural? It's not explicitly a human function to do so. Beavers, birds, termites, and wasps build shelters. Bonobos in captivity have been observed using firewood and matches to create fire to cook food. Most of the medicines we have discovered derive from plant based sources that already have antibiotics and antiseptics. Is it only unnatural when humans do it? Or by your logic are those natural flora and fauna also behaving unnaturally? 

The Butterfly effect analogy doesn't hold water with me because inaction is a form of action. I think it's absurd to suggest that every action has the potential to be immoral based on consequences we can't possibly extrapolate. It's about what seems to be a reasonable conclusion. For example if you were to say, break a butterfly free of a spider's web; that could in theory have incredibly profound implications. It could be the spider was running out of energy and that butterfly was it last hope. In freeing it, you doomed the spider to death. That in effect removed its progeny from the gene pool. It could also be that spider contained a genetic mutation that made it's venom toxic to specifically cancer cells. This venom could have been studied and perfected into a reliable and mass producible cure for cancer. In freeing that butterfly, you condemned countless to die at the ravages of cancer. Is that really a consequence ANYONE would reasonably predict? Now let's say I were to decide to get completely staggeringly drunk and drive home in my tank. On the way, I hit a car and kill three people. That's a much different story. There are any number of people who will tell you that getting into a tank and driving it drunk is an awful idea and that a reasonable and predictable consequence is that you'd hit someone and kill them. If you are a con artist preying on parents with sick children selling them placebos in place of real medication, it is reasonable to assume a child might die as a result of a stupid parent believing that some angel came out of nowhere and sold them "medication" at a price though while high, was something they could afford.

That brings me to the mystical natural order especially concerning life and death. In many pieces of literature, messing with that order has catastrophic consequences. Even if one were to ignore all that, the fact is that people wouldn't actually know how far reaching tampering with that could be. It seems reasonable to assume however, that if this order is responsible for the souls and animation of every person alive, that breaking or tampering with it could have some serious consequences. It's purely conjecture, but I feel it's a cautious educated hypothesis based on the sheer number of people and creatures dependent on it.

That's precisely why I tried to draw a distinction between necromancy that "returns life to the dead" vs animation via an electric current or arcane energy that effectively works as a "meat puppet". One case tampers with something for which the consequences are unknown and potentially terrible. The other is essentially creating a marionette of flesh, which while potentially distasteful and grotesque, is not immoral. In the case of raising non-sentient creatures, it's not the act itself that is immoral, it's what you do with those meat puppets.

Wizard Morality on 9/13/2017 9:41:59 PM

I think there are two general arguments for the evil of necromancy, once which you already addressed.

The first is the issue of consent. In most if not all cases, someone is raised from the dead without their consent. Consent in this regard is twofold. First, one would have to consent to first being turned undead. Then they'd have to know exactly what that entails and consent to that. There's a big difference between say being turned into a vampire vs say a ghoul. If you want to use strictly traditional necromantic magics, there's still a difference between a zombie, a mummy, and a skeleton especially when vanity is concerned. So if someone were to give their explicit consent to have their body used for any necromantic purposes and whatever actions may follow, then that circumvents that issue of morality.


The second is the issue of natural order. If you believe that there is a natural order or balance that must be delicately maintained, then necromancy is the subversion of that order. That could have unintended consequences that are far more harmless than just animate dead. If a soul is used in the necromantic process or something is used to create sentient life, then there's a risk of destabilizing that order. If the bodies are just animated meat puppets, nothing is immoral about that. The difference here is how many people are unwittingly affected by those actions in a potentially negative manner.

Allow MINOR edits to storygames after publication. on 9/13/2017 2:08:27 PM

   I agree 100% with Killa_Robot. Most people who are concerned with putting out a really high quality story get them proofed ahead of time. Now granted that isn't always easy with this site, you can always unpublish and republish like everyone else here has said.

   I think this feature could definitely be abused for contests by people. First like Minnie said, people could upload a story, get all kinds of feedback, and use it to edit the story before the deadline. This would give them an advantage over people who got a later start or who wrote longer stories and had to publish closer to the deadline. Second, you could have people who otherwise wouldn't have finished a story to post a half finished story before the deadline and fill in the rest of it before it gets judged.

Incompetence on 9/13/2017 1:59:11 PM

They don't even *make* hard drives with 16 GB any more around here. Most USB flash drives have between 16 and 32 GB of data. Your school likely bought some hand me down computers, probably from another school that actually upgraded their systems.

Memories Of Dreaming on 9/13/2017 1:09:13 PM

I also either remember a dream or I don't at all. Sometimes I'll start with a fragment, but once I focus on it, I'm able to backtrack what happened before and remember what came after.

I don't really remember positive dreams unless they are exceedingly bizarre beyond the realm of believability. Like the time I dreamt that holding milk gave me reality altering powers. Most of what I remember are nightmares that are so close to reality, I wake up and still panic. When I was in college, I would frequently get nightmares of projects or exams being due days sooner than they actually were and I'd freak out because I hadn't prepared at all. Just enough grounding in reality to make them believable. I hate my brain sometimes.

Incompetence on 9/13/2017 12:45:42 PM

I feel your pain. They probably got it as a donation or got some sort of special deal. Or maybe they just ignored your requests because they don't know anything about anything and assume a computer is a computer. When I was in high school, our digital imaging lab was filled with old pcs barely functioning on Windows 98. I ended up being tech support for the entire class. When the school finally updated the macs to the ones the teacher requested, their IT apparently couldn't be arsed to do anything except connect them. So the teacher ended up giving me admin level access to test the computers and continue proper tech support.

Good luck, I hope you can make do with what you have now. 

On a side note, 16 GB? Did they have to go back in time to buy these computers?

Frustrating moments in Video Games on 9/11/2017 1:27:08 PM

Also any time you have to fight the fixed camera angles in a platformer. Especially when the camera faces your front in a chase sequence and it screws up your directionality.

Frustrating moments in Video Games on 9/9/2017 6:42:33 PM

What about the one in MGS2? Where you gotta escort Otacon's sister, but you gotta do it while swimming?