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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    Default Don't forget Tarquin's atrocities.

    After this comic, people seem to be patting tarquin on the back for his promise to help elan and his opposition to xykon's plan. However, NONE of that erases any of his horrible deeds over the past few comics; none of his actions make him any less abhorent of an individual.

    This is a man who abuses woman, tortures individuals into being his wives and then (presumably) disposes of them. This man is a spouse abuser; he should not in any way shape or form be cheered, no matter what his actions are.

    This man sentenced two individuals (the bounty hunters) to death via paperwork over a minor slight, and he didn't even do so face to face, rather engaging in a slimy paperwork technicality.

    This man burns individuals ALIVE for amusement.

    The list goes on; No amount of approval of Elan erases his despicable crimes or absolutely insane views on good and evil (deriding labels of good and evil while engaging in torture and murder isn't progressive: Its shows a completely *%&#ed up mindset)
    Last edited by krossbow; 2010-11-29 at 09:18 PM.
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    Default Re: Don't forget Tarquin's atrocities.

    Here on this message board, people will still try to defend Belkar, Xykon and Redcloak.

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    Default Re: Don't forget Tarquin's atrocities.

    I think it's less of a 'he's not evil' as 'he isn't as much of a magnificent bastard'

    Yes, he's evil. and no, nobody's forgiving him any time soon. But it's less of a 'oh god i'm gagging on my barf' evil than it was a page or two ago. (now it's just 'oh god my stomach is boiling')

    I disagree with his 'there is no good or evil' view but i respect the utter devotion he has to the idea. He doesn't use it as an excuse (which is generally what such an ideal is used for) he genuinely does not take good or evil into account in his actions. I don't LIKE it, for sure, but i can respect devotion to your ideals.
    Last edited by HalfTangible; 2010-11-29 at 09:20 PM.
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    Default Re: Don't forget Tarquin's atrocities.

    It doesn't matter. He is the leader of his country in is in his rights to act however he may very well please. Remember that Elan is a guest in Tarquins country and was in fact out of line by attacking him. While I certainly don't agree with the actions Tarquin has taken, I can see no reason why we should do anything at all. Keep in mind that right and wrong is all completely relative and it is quite difficult to seperate ourselves from our own views and take a look at the the world through someone elses eyes. Historically, during medieval ages, women did not have the same rights they did today and it was not considered wrong to abuse them. Same for slaves. Don't get me wrong, Tarquin is evil. But Elan or anyone else in the party is in no place to do anything about unless they plan on inciting full out rebellion agaisnt all 3 empires which frankly, they don't have time for. The best the Order can do right now is take their information and go without causing too much of a stir.
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    Default Re: Don't forget Tarquin's atrocities.

    Quote Originally Posted by KillItWithFire View Post
    Keep in mind that right and wrong is all completely relative
    ...Oh good lord.

    Do not keep this hideous notion in your mind. It will corrode said mind very rapidly. (And, hilariously, the second and third sentences of the post I'm responding to have clear, if bizarre, judgments of objective morality.)
    Last edited by Kish; 2010-11-29 at 09:33 PM.
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    "You are what you do. Choose again, and change." --Miles Vorkosigan

    "The really unforgivable acts are committed by calm men in beautiful green silk rooms, who deal death wholesale, by the shipload, without lust, or anger, or desire, or any redeeming emotion to excuse them but cold fear of some pretended future. But the crimes they hope to prevent in the future are imaginary. The ones they commit in the present--they are real." --Aral Vorkosigan

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    This, in a nutshell.
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    Default Re: Don't forget Tarquin's atrocities.

    Good and evil however are objective (and quantifiable) cosmic forces in the world of the order of the stick.

    And opposing evil is always the right thing to do. In fact, you earn xp and become stronger for killing beings with green skin and fangs who worship a dark deity bent on world domination.

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    Default Re: Don't forget Tarquin's atrocities.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kish View Post
    ...Oh good lord.

    Do not keep this hideous notion in your mind. It will corrode said mind very rapidly. (And, hilariously, the second and third sentences of the post I'm responding to have clear, if bizarre, judgments of objective morality.)
    Agreed. Relativism is the second worst ethical view, next to ethical egoism.
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    Default Re: Don't forget Tarquin's atrocities.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kish View Post
    ...Oh good lord.

    Do not keep this hideous notion in your mind. It will corrode said mind very rapidly. (And, hilariously, the second and third sentences of the post I'm responding to have clear, if bizarre, judgments of objective morality.)
    How is it you always manage to post such a comment directly after me?

    I am not going to deviate from this opinion because fact of the matter is what you see as a "good" action is entirely a matter of your own personal views. If I felt that a divine message had told me to assassinate some person or some such I would see that as a good act and I may place whatever reasoning or explanation that I want to to it. The public would see the action as evil and I would be punished according to their system of law, not my own. (Another thing to keep in mind is that system of law is not the same as morallity) Go back about 100 years and ask a random person if owning slaves is evil. I garuntee he would say no. I would be happy to hear your own definition of what exactly good an evil are but I would rather you said something a little more insightful than "you're wrong and your explanations are faulty" I often find myself playing the Devil's Advocate but I do not feel as though my sense of morallity is askew.
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    Default Re: Don't forget Tarquin's atrocities.

    Yeah, can we not get into a debate about moral relativism, please? As someone who does subscribe to said viewpoint IRL, I'm rather uncomfortable with the suggestion that it will "rapidly corrode my mind," but even ignoring that, it's not exactly relevant in a discussion of a world where right and wrong are, in fact, absolutes.

    Tarquin is, by D&D rules, an evil SOB. He's also a ridiculously charismatic, likeable guy, and that tends to eclipse the former in people's minds. We like him, and so we try to excuse his actions, or otherwise mentally downplay them, so as to avoid having to reconcile those two things, but we shouldn't. He's Lawful Evil, and spectacularly so at that. It's what makes him so interesting.

    So, yeah. I agree with the OP. Let's not pull and Elan and forget just what Tarquin is over the next few strips.

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    Default Re: Don't forget Tarquin's atrocities.

    Moral relativism doesn't really fit in a setting where there are beings and entire dimensions literally made of [im]morality.

    In regards to the OP, I agree.

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    Default Re: Don't forget Tarquin's atrocities.

    At no point could I forget Tarquin is evil and I desire to see him thrown in a jail cell to rot for the rest of his life.

    But I enjoy watching the character be multifaceted and feel very real.
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    Default Re: Don't forget Tarquin's atrocities.

    OP, In order for your sense of morality to be askew, one would have to, I think, accept that there is some objective standard of morality.

    If we accept that as the case, then your lack of any sense that your moral compass is skewed is not, in and of itself, any evidence that it is not, in fact, skewed. I think we can assume that most people feel that their own moral judgments are correct.
    Last edited by pearl jam; 2010-11-29 at 10:03 PM. Reason: Clarification
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    Default Re: Don't forget Tarquin's atrocities.

    Tarquin is, by D&D rules, an evil SOB. He's also a ridiculously charismatic, likeable guy, and that tends to eclipse the former in people's minds. We like him, and so we try to excuse his actions, or otherwise mentally downplay them, so as to avoid having to reconcile those two things, but we shouldn't. He's Lawful Evil, and spectacularly so at that. It's what makes him so interesting.
    You have a point in saying that OotS is set in a universe where there are in fact moral absolutes; but in this latest strip (762) Tarquin openly criticizes the system. I also agree that Tarquin is in fact evil, we've never been given evidence to the contrary. But I do not think that there is anything Elan and the Order can or should do about it as nothing short of full out rebellion will quell this problem and they would be doing the universe a disservice by deviating from their current quest to take the time to fix this issue. Tarquins goal is perfectly noble, it's the means that are despotic but for the moment, the best corse of action is to let sleeping dogs lie.

    one would have to, I think, accept that there is some objective standard of morality.
    I've seen none yet. I also disagree that Tarquin should be thrown in jail. He has committed no crime. Does he deserve justice? Yes, entirely and odds are he will thanks to poeitic justice.
    Last edited by KillItWithFire; 2010-11-29 at 10:07 PM.
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    Default Re: Don't forget Tarquin's atrocities.

    Quote Originally Posted by KillItWithFire View Post
    You have a point in saying that OotS is set in a universe where there are in fact moral absolutes; but in this latest strip (762) Tarquin openly criticizes the system. I also agree that Tarquin is in fact evil, we've never been given evidence to the contrary. But I do not think that there is anything Elan and the Order can or should do about it as nothing short of full out rebellion will quell this problem and they would be doing the universe a disservice by deviating from their current quest to take the time to fix this issue. Tarquins goal is perfectly noble, it's the means that are despotic but for the moment, the best corse of action is to let sleeping dogs lie.
    Oh, definitely agreed. But they'd be making a mistake not to keep in mind that Tarquin's likability does not justify his behavior, and I would rather like to see them do something counterproductive to Tarquin's eventual goals, even if it would be a mistake just to eliminate him now.

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    Default Re: Don't forget Tarquin's atrocities.

    Just because Tarquin is evil, doesn't mean he can't be awesome and respected as a villain.
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    Default Re: Don't forget Tarquin's atrocities.

    Indeed, and certainly it would be a noble cause to liberate the empire of BST if they survive this snarl mess and if they can do so without the western continient once again degrading into the violent mess it was prior to Tarquins occupation.

    Just because Tarquin is evil, doesn't mean he can't be awesome and respected as a villain
    It's been my expirance that villians often do make the most fun characters, especially ones that actually have redeeming quailties. (though I do see little in Tarquin) I have never been a fan of idealists myself because frankly, they're boring. "Look he took the moral high ground again, never saw that comming"
    Last edited by KillItWithFire; 2010-11-29 at 10:17 PM.
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    Default Re: Don't forget Tarquin's atrocities.

    Quote Originally Posted by KillItWithFire View Post
    Go back about 100 years and ask a random person if owning slaves is evil. I garuntee he would say no.
    Really? You can guarantee that in 1910 the majority consensus was slavery = OK? 50 years earlier that question was contentious enough to be the cause of [or a contributing factor to] a major war, btw. There may be some validity to the moral relativist viewpoint RE: cultural traditions and such, but I think it's a fairly easy generalization to make that things that cause suffering are bad. It doesn't have the answer to every problem, but it's a pretty good compass to go by.

    And to the original poster. I don't think that anyone likes Tarquin because they think he's good. We like him because he comes off as cool. The Giant writes characters with high charisma stats well, in that respect.

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    Default Re: Don't forget Tarquin's atrocities.

    Of course Tarquin is still evil. But he's the best kind of evil. He's deceptive and charismatic. Whereas Xylon is flagrantly "I'm evil, b*!@#es!"

    He's Hannibal Lector, or Palpatine (pre-Empire).

    He's the kind of evil that is smart enough to weasel himself into a position where you can't do anything about it without first mowing down an army and destabilizing a continent.

    In a world of black and white, Tarquin is a shade of gray (albeit a very dark one).

    So yes, he's a horrible person. But he's an awesome character.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Don't forget Tarquin's atrocities.

    Evil, like good, has many shades. Lawful evil doesn't mean you foam at the mouth and stab at the sight of your offspring (as long as the law allows it). Lawful evil people are allowed to have families that they care for.

    I hate to cite TV Tropes but Tarquin is quickly becoming affable evil; he's generally likable and personable in spite of his extremely sociopathic tendencies.

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    Default Re: Don't forget Tarquin's atrocities.

    Quote Originally Posted by DeltaEmil View Post
    And opposing evil is always the right thing to do. In fact, you earn xp and become stronger for killing beings with green skin and fangs who worship a dark deity bent on world domination.
    Yeah, but you could also "earn XP and become stronger" by killing fellow PCs, or random civilians - or, for higher levels, the police...

    That doesn't make it right.

    Indeed, the wrongness of that point of view is at the very core of the story.
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    Default Re: Don't forget Tarquin's atrocities.

    Nah, only if these fellow PCs, civilians and police members had high enough challenge rating relative to your level (although you still get stronger if you "overcome" them, so yeah).

    That, and making up a sad backstory... where you want to kill everyone in your hometown...

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    Default Re: Don't forget Tarquin's atrocities.

    Quote Originally Posted by KillItWithFire View Post
    Tarquins goal is perfectly noble, it's the means that are despotic but for the moment, the best corse of action is to let sleeping dogs lie.
    The thing about Tarquin is that his more evil actions are completely unnecessary. The betraying and manipulation of the Empires of Blood, Sweat, and Tears are all he needs to do.

    Burning escaped slaves, forcing women to marry him through murder and torture, those are all not only evil, but not even justifiable.

    I never thought that anyone on the boards was defending him as a person, but as a character. He's charismatic and funny, has more depth than any standard "Evil for the sake of Evil" villain or "Good for the sake of good" hero.

    I would hope that if Tarquin were real, any sane individual would hate him given knowledge of how he treats his wives and anyone else he's tortured. It is possible to like a horrible person if they hide it with a facade of charm. But these same people would (or should) be ruined if knowledge of what they do came out.
    Last edited by Raging Gene Ray; 2010-11-29 at 11:59 PM.

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    Default Re: Don't forget Tarquin's atrocities.

    I figured we were having a "Hero Morality Compass" moment (I think that's what tvtropes called it). Tarquin's an @**, yes, but he offered to help the main protagonists. Therefore he is a good guy until his usefulness is outlived.
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    GreataxeFighterGirl

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    Default Re: Don't forget Tarquin's atrocities.

    Wow... people actually agree with Tarquin? I think I just lost some of my faith in the human race...

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    Default Re: Don't forget Tarquin's atrocities.

    Quote Originally Posted by KillItWithFire View Post
    Indeed, and certainly it would be a noble cause to liberate the empire of BST if they survive this snarl mess and if they can do so without the western continent once again degrading into the violent mess it was prior to Tarquins occupation.
    ummm, hello? earth to KillItWithFire, did you not hear the map maker in comic 680? his actions have not stopped the bloodshed. its been going on for the last 500 years, and she mention no sudden down trend in the violence for the last 15 is years. he regularly stages coups that cost untold hundreds if not thousands of live. and as the empires expand, each coup will cost more lives. not to mention the lives lost in expanding his empires. oh, lets not forget the legal system he set up that kills who knows how many innocents each year for things like failing to carry your papers, or getting drunk and accidentally starting a fight, or who knows what else.
    Last edited by Felixc-91; 2010-11-30 at 01:58 AM.
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    Default Re: Don't forget Tarquin's atrocities.

    Quote Originally Posted by KillItWithFire View Post
    It doesn't matter. He is the leader of his country in is in his rights to act however he may very well please. Remember that Elan is a guest in Tarquins country and was in fact out of line by attacking him.
    You DO, of course, realize, that "Elan" and "Tarquin" can easily be replaced by any fictional CG protagonist and LE antagonist duo in this last sentence of yours, right? Luke and Vader come to mind. If it doesn't work like that in Star Wars, why would it work like that in other fiction?
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    Default Re: Don't forget Tarquin's atrocities.

    Quote Originally Posted by Callista View Post
    Wow... people actually agree with Tarquin? I think I just lost some of my faith in the human race...
    If some people call Belkar CN...
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    Default Re: Don't forget Tarquin's atrocities.

    Tarquin, he's a great guy to be around.
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    Default Re: Don't forget Tarquin's atrocities.

    Quote Originally Posted by Callista View Post
    Wow... people actually agree with Tarquin? I think I just lost some of my faith in the human race...
    Only now?

    Yours lasted much longer than mine...
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    Default Re: Don't forget Tarquin's atrocities.

    I think a good question to supposit here is, do good and evil deeds "weigh" against one another?

    Do you just someone based on a lump sum of the good that has occurred from their actions and the evil that has occurred (viewing things in a "greater good" sense)? This is how it is viewed in utilitarianism, wherein one could excuse heinous crimes if they overall created a net sum of good. In such a case, if tarquin's could have a free reign to do any such evil he wished as long as he, as a person, was causing more good in his life and through his actions than ill.


    On the other hand, do you view someone as they exist in the present, disregarding deeds of the past and future (good or ill), and rather view that person as they are now, absolved of all sins and bereft of all previous good deeds? In such a judgement, no evil deed can be wavered away based upon any future payoffs or virtues held by the individual (loving his family and showing forgiveness against assault being held irrelevent), as each action and person is judged as they are at that moment.
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