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I am trying to determine which AD&D alignment best corresponds to the theories we've discussed in Moral Philosophy. (I will stop short of actually designing a specialty priest for each.)

Cultural Relativism espouses True Neutrality, in its most guarded and nonjudgemental form.

Subjectivism and Emotivism are nearby, but I think they embrace meaninglessness enough to have slipped into Chaotic Neutral.

Divine Command is amoral; most of it depends on the alignment of the God in question. I suppose that it requires its adherents to behave in a Lawful Neutral manner, though, as does Natural Law.

Ethical Egoism is Neutral Evil, with almost textbook fidelity. (This is the only theory here considered which falls unquestionably under TSR's descriptions of evil.)

Utilitarianism, conversely, asks behaviour that is unquestionably Neutral Good - the consequences of each action weighed, and that choice with the best outcome taken. (Since this is often the alignment I assign myself, it's interesting that Utilitarianism makes me as uncomfortable as it does.)

Kantianism (what an awkward word) is Lawful Good. You could totally have a Paladin of Kant.

Social Contract Theory is hard; it might be Lawful Neutral, although it suggests that you ought to obey cultural standards from very egoistic motives. Still, that's probably closest.

Virtue Theory (that's Aristotle, originally) is also difficult. I suspect that if you had someone who excelled in every virtue, they would probably come out Neutral Good, but it's by no means a clear thing.

It's amusing that this exercise is so helpful and clarifying to my understanding.

Edit: Oops! I forgot the Ethics of Care! With its emphasis on individual relationships and disdain for larger principle, it can probably best be described as Chaotic Good.

Date: 2005-03-31 11:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vorkon.livejournal.com
It could probably be argued that Ethical Egoism could be considered True Neutral, at least as they describe it in third edition.

Then again, the way they describe True Neutral in third edition is a load of horseshit.

And by the way, why NOT design specialty priests? It sounds like great fun! ^_^

Date: 2005-04-01 12:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] garran.livejournal.com
Mostly because I only had an hour between classes. It may follow. ^^


-Garran

Date: 2005-04-01 02:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] haibane-rachan.livejournal.com
This makes me a little sick, because I hate how D&D people always bring everything back to fucking D&D. I mean, Jesus Christ, can you see the world without your stupid fucking gaming construct? GAH!!!! [/is the fucking stormcloud pissing rain all over this little parade] (That "you" is general, btw.)

But yeah.. the whole D&D alignment shit makes me want to beat my head into a wall until I start splatting out grey matter.

Date: 2005-04-01 07:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] garran.livejournal.com
I'm not entirely sure what the source of your upset is.

I thought about doing this mostly because it appealed to my sense of humour. I suppose that I made it sound a little, at the end there, like I wasn't able to grasp the philosophies until I put it into these terms that I understand, but that was a bit of cheerful self-deprecation; my class and textbook have, of course, done a lot more toward my comprehension on this matter than this silly exercise.

On the other hand, it was informative to look at the philosophies in this light, to a small but measurable degree, and it was fun. The alignment system is really a terribly inexpert way to look at human motivation, but the contortions required to make it work can be interesting; the AD&D ruleset, much as it may annoy you, is in my head, and it's one of the metaphors that I use. It's probably not even the geekiest.

So, if you're vexed because you think that this game has warped and crippled my brain when it comes to viewing anything outside of its auspices, then... I don't think that that's warranted. If it's that you're offended because you think that roleplaying is a worthless passtime, then I must also politely disagree; I think that it has promoted, not retarded, my maturity. It's all about the exercise of empathy. Plus, it makes me happy, and I don't just mean that in an "it can't be that bad" sort of way - now that I'm in a regular AD&D campaign, a part of me is fulfilled that never really was before. I could live without it, but I certainly assign it worth.

If it's rather that you're annoyed because sometimes your friends and acquaintances start talking about something that you don't care about, instead of the things that you do, then I'm sorry about that (genuinely), but it's bound to happen sometimes. This is my weblog, and I did put most of it behind a cut.


-Garran

Date: 2005-04-01 10:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] haibane-rachan.livejournal.com
Note that I did say that you up there was general. Most of the time, when I get into that hardcore of a rant, it's a specific instance launching me into a generalized frustration. It has very little to do with you personally, other than the fact that you sparked the rant.

I don't know why it annoys me so badly. Possibly because people are constantly applying gaming terms to complex, worldly situations in an effort to explain them. The world is so much more complex than your (again, general) stupid fucking D&D alignments. It just makes me crazy. I guess I can't really expect you or anyone else to understand, and I never planned for you (generaaal..) to.

Yes, this is your LJ, but I was under the impression that people could respond to it how they wished, provided there was a link to leave comments. If you don't like what I have to say, feel free to tell me to cease from saying it. But I resent having you pull the "this is my LJ" line at me (with the implication that I have no right to get angry because of that), when you have not yet rescinded the invitation to comment as I please.

You can say what you like here, sure, but so can I until you tell me that I cannot. So if you're pissed off at my response, which is so typically me in content and construct that I didn't anticipate you having problems with it, then I give similar sentiment back to you. You have friended me with the implication that my comments are welcome. If they are not, you have the ability to change that. Until you do, don't get shocked when I actually make use of that implied invitation.

Date: 2005-04-01 11:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] garran.livejournal.com
It took me a long time to read your first comment as conversationally as I now think you meant it; I hadn't yet done so at the time I composed my reply, so I ended up injecting into it a great deal of bemusement as to what, exactly, were you trying to accomplish. It looked a lot like you were saying, "How dare you have written this? You and your morally stunted brethren disgust me!"

Even so, though, I ended up saying about what I think I would have said anyway, at the core of it, which was: "Sorry you didn't like it; hope the next post's better for you; I had fun, though."

But I resent having you pull the "this is my LJ" line at me (with the implication that I have no right to get angry because of that)

That wasn't the intended implication at all; sorry. I was just saying that, because this is my weblog, it's quite possible I am going to write about things that interest me, even this one; and of course you have a right to get angry and complain, and I regret that this post provoked that, but I don't regret the post itself - I like it.

I also like you, and I certainly don't want you to stop reading and commenting in my weblog! But if you don't want to read about AD&D, you may want to skip the occasional entry where I'll focus on it; and I'm sorry about that, but if you do read them, and make a grumpy comment about it, then I'm afraid I won't have much to say in response except that I'm sorry about that (and my reasons for not sharing your aversion, if you want to hear them).

...people are constantly applying gaming terms to complex, worldly situations in an effort to explain them.

For what it's worth, this wasn't, nor am I usually engaged in, an effort to explain the theories or phenomena considered; quite the opposite. It was mostly an attempt to stretch the game mechanics.

And, to reply to your whole comment out of order,

Note that I did say that you up there was general.

Hai, I understood that. But as a member of that generality, I felt it reasonable to respond regarding my specific individual manifestation. ^^;


-Garran

Date: 2005-04-01 11:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] garran.livejournal.com
(You know, honestly, if there's any lesson I take from this exchange - and from the fact that I took so long to read you properly - it's that I haven't been interacting with you as much as I should have. I ought to remedy that. *puffs cheeks*)


-Garran

[cola]

Date: 2005-04-02 09:13 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Probably what irritates you is that only creepy people talk about this stuff, and poke at you with it.

But, um... why did you click on the link? You truly loathe this stuff; it makes you want to kill yourself. I'd have skipped reading that!

(And why did you post this here? Because ranting somewhere else would feel dishonest? I agree with this; it is better.)

Re: [cola]

Date: 2005-04-02 01:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] haibane-rachan.livejournal.com
You know, I don't know why I clicked the link. Probably because it was something my friend wrote, so I was interested. Also partly because I just click links when I see them. They're there to be clicked. I tend to see them, click them, and THEN read the context they were linked in.

I posted this here because I was more ranting to my friend than at him. His entry sparked a response from me, so I put it here because it was related. I think the "to" rather than "at" was lost, here. Every bit of my reaction was generalized. I didn't mean any of it towards Garran specifically.

[cola]

Date: 2005-04-04 06:26 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Friends are the only people who don't mind what you say to them. XD

Date: 2005-04-01 09:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] caduceuskun.livejournal.com
Wow... that was... angry.

Date: 2005-04-01 06:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] opt513.livejournal.com
Those specialty clerics would be amusing, I'd imagine.

Date: 2005-04-01 07:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] garran.livejournal.com
The most amusing would perhaps be the priest of Divine Command. How would that even work?


-Garran

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