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  1. - Top - End - #61
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Lord Vukodlak's Avatar

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    Default Re: RP: How can anyone be _Wise_ yet _Evil_?

    Quote Originally Posted by Suddo View Post
    Once again why I hate gods. I mean even if the "sudden shift" happened over 500 years some elves live that long what would they do?
    If the elf is a devoute follower of that god he'd probably find himself changing alongside his deity. Why would an elf remained fixed in his morality over that time period but not a truly immortal outsider? Or at some point he'd realize his god is changing in a way he doesn't approve and leave the church.
    Last edited by Lord Vukodlak; 2012-10-24 at 03:12 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #62
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    OrcBarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: RP: How can anyone be _Wise_ yet _Evil_?

    Quote Originally Posted by Firechanter View Post
    No, I never read his articles. Do you mean the "Villain Workshop" one?
    Sort of, but the article I was referencing was the Emotional Response article.

  3. - Top - End - #63
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    Default Re: RP: How can anyone be _Wise_ yet _Evil_?

    Quote Originally Posted by NichG View Post
    Another thing about the game theory examples, those usually assume a symmetry between the players. If you have someone who has an innate advantage over the rest of the players, or someone who can alter the payoffs, or a number of other things, then you can change the equilibrium and the optimal behaviors. Basically, if you want a certain kind of outcome to be optimal, you can generally find the parameters for a game that will make it so, so it doesn't really say much about real behavior unless you can make a convincing argument for what the real values of those parameters should be.
    The first itterated prisoner's delima games theory experiment I know of tested a set of strategies against their payoff matrix and interaction rules and came to the conclusion that "cooperate first then Tit-for-Tat" was best.

    It was then pointed out that it was fairly easy to PROVE mathematically that in fact "always defect" was the dominant strategy over the space of all strategies. The test designers hadn't included a bunch of possible strategies.

    Strangely, the SAME REASERCHERS who'd thought the test was "good enough" when it gave "cooperate first then Tit-for-Tat" was best suddenly decided that their test rules weren't good enough when it was shown that those rules actually gave "always defect" as the clear best strategy.

    You COULD do a really complicated games theory set-up. Limited and sometimes faulty information so you're not always sure who defected, interaction times semi-random, a real chance that a major betrayal would eliminate a side and thus eliminate any chance of direct reprisal, reputation rules and ways to spoof the reputation rules. But what's the point? If you actually included everything in the real world, you'd come out that any strategy observed in large numbers of living organisms is at least acceptably close to optimal (else it would not remain evolutionarily viable), and that includes LOTS of pure predators, LOTS of parasites, and for that matter a substantial number of things that look like altruism.

    Such studies almost always tell you more about the experimenters than about reality.

  4. - Top - End - #64
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    Malimar's Avatar

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    Default Re: RP: How can anyone be _Wise_ yet _Evil_?

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Lampert View Post
    The first itterated prisoner's delima games theory experiment I know of tested a set of strategies against their payoff matrix and interaction rules and came to the conclusion that "cooperate first then Tit-for-Tat" was best.
    My favorite of these experiments/contests (for most of the better ones, multiple academic teams submitted "programs", algorithms dictating behavior in an iterated Prisoner's Dilemma environment, which were then set loose together and randomly paired up for interactions X number of times):

    One team submitted a bunch of different programs. The first few interactions in the algorithm were a sort of shibboleth to identify other programs from this team. Once such a program was identified, one program would take a fall for the other. One program was set up to always defect when it recognized a friendly program, the others were set up to always cooperate. (When they encountered a wild program, the fall guys would always defect, to minimize unaffiliated programs' ability to gain points. I think the intended winning program went tit-for-tat with wild programs, but I could be misremembering that.)

    As one might expect, the fall guy programs did pretty badly, and the intended winning program did, in fact, win, doing even better than tit-for-tat. Which is to say: Thrallherd/leadership is the winningest strategy.

    As one might expect, the number of programs that a single group could submit was limited in subsequent contests. (Which is to say: sensible DMs ban thrallherd/leadership.)

    (Tit-for-tat always does well. Forgive-once-then-tit-for-tat does even better, because it doesn't get locked in a mutually-destructive hate spiral with defect-once-then-tit-for-tat and its ilk. The more forgiving tit-for-two-tats does even better in a field of not-particularly-aggressive contenders, but does worse in an aggressively predatory field. Always-defect only ever does well if the environment is imperfectly iterated, e.g. if programs can't remember past interactions.)

  5. - Top - End - #65
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: RP: How can anyone be _Wise_ yet _Evil_?

    Not to mention the implicit assumption in all of this that Prisoner's Dilemma is actually the right payoff matrix for good versus evil...

    I mean, the crew of a ship is also playing an iterated game, called 'lets get home to port.' The payoff matrix is zero, except for cooperate. The globally optimal strategy, the equilibrium, etc are all trivially 'cooperate'. The thing is, researchers don't like to work on trivial problems because other researchers read the paper and say 'thats trivial! it should not be published', so we hear a lot more about the problems where things are paradoxical or 'interesting' and get the idea that they represent the majority of real cases, when boringly trivial problems are actually quite common.

  6. - Top - End - #66
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    Default Re: RP: How can anyone be _Wise_ yet _Evil_?

    Quote Originally Posted by Firechanter View Post
    In any game, any simulation I know where the players can either cooperate or fight each other, cooperation makes everyone more successful in the long run.

    One example, Settlers of Catan: you can hurt the other players by moving the Bandits. They are denied the resources from the occupied Hex and you get the benefit of stealing a card. Of course your competitors will be happy to return the favour when they get the chance.
    But if everyone agrees to occupy only unsettled hexes, you lose a short term benefit but gain a lot more resources in the long run. Everybody develops much faster. Maybe after 15 turns (I never counted them) the players have 8, 7 and 6 points instead of 5, 4 and 3. Everyone is more prosperous.

    In the real world, we've seen a huge rise of prosperity in regions where people/nations have agreed not to constantly crush each other's heads, whereas regions with constant wars are stagnating. Peace and trade pays off more than war and pillage.

    So I think that one aspect of Wisdom is to understand that being a **** to other people may yield some short term rewards, but holds you back in the long run.
    I'm sorry if this is addressed, but I have to comment. I've won 9 out of 10 Catan games because of the bandit. I make other players get into "wars" when they are both poised to obtain resources I try to monopolise. Why have everyone get an even playing field in a peaceful world, when I can manipulate that to my advantage?
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  7. - Top - End - #67
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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: RP: How can anyone be _Wise_ yet _Evil_?

    I think the problem here is really about the issue of empathy. A Wise person understands how other people feel, they know the cost of their actions in terms of the suffering they inflict. But nothing says they have to care.

    After all, if you value things based on an egoistic rather than an altruistic perspective then someone else experiencing pain or pleasure is only relevant in terms of how that effects their usefulness to you. A Wise and Evil person should be able to (intuitively or through experience) grasp that concept fairly easily.

    Even if you think altruism is the intrinsically "correct" focus of morality, that opinion doesn't matter one bit to someone who disagrees. Hell, even someone who "knows" that altruistic benevolence is the morally optimal path can still value themselves more than other people and choose their own advancement over helping others, morality be damned.
    Last edited by Water_Bear; 2012-10-24 at 07:31 PM.

  8. - Top - End - #68
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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: RP: How can anyone be _Wise_ yet _Evil_?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ravenica View Post
    The only reason wisdom has any "positive moral relation" in real life is because many religions use it as a buzzword for THEIR kind of thinking. By definition it has no relation to morality at all.
    Umm... No.

  9. - Top - End - #69
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    ClericGuy

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    Default Re: RP: How can anyone be _Wise_ yet _Evil_?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zonugal View Post
    Umm... No.
    What a rebuttal, care to elaborate?

  10. - Top - End - #70
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    BardGuy

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    Default Re: RP: How can anyone be _Wise_ yet _Evil_?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ravenica View Post
    What a rebuttal, care to elaborate?
    Considering that goes into Real World Religion, which is a no-no topic on these forums, probably not.

    However, I've posted several examples of evil and wise, and heard no rebuttals from them.
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  11. - Top - End - #71
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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: RP: How can anyone be _Wise_ yet _Evil_?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ravenica View Post
    What a rebuttal, care to elaborate?
    The idea that the only connection between wisdom & moral/value theory is a propagandist push from religion is ridiculous.

    You can find ancient writings that talk about morality in a manner consistent with how we may identify as a wise approach that is separated from any religious association.
    Last edited by Zonugal; 2012-10-24 at 10:12 PM.

  12. - Top - End - #72
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    ClericGuy

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    Default Re: RP: How can anyone be _Wise_ yet _Evil_?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zonugal View Post
    The idea that the only connection between wisdom & moral/value theory is a propagandist push from religion is ridiculous.

    You can find ancient writings that talk about morality in a manner consistent with how we may identify as a wise approach that is separated from any religious association.
    I was not implying "religious propoganda" I perhaps mis-worded it. Replace "religious" with "Philosophical" and the proper pluralisations. Many of the Philosophies that define wisdom to involve morality disagree extensively. The only agreed upon definition is the one that comes straight out of the dictionary.

    Excerpt from wikipedia to clarify my stance on wisdom.

    Wisdom is a deep understanding and realization of people, things, events or situations, resulting in the ability to apply perceptions, judgements and actions in keeping with this understanding. It often requires control of one's emotional reactions (the "passions") so that universal principles, reason and knowledge prevail to determine one's actions. Wisdom is also the comprehension of what is true coupled with optimum judgment as to action. Synonyms include: sagacity, discernment, or insight.
    Morality is as subjective in real life based on ones experiences and learnings that no one morality could be assigned to wisdom in the first place. It fits perfectly with the definition used in various RPG's

  13. - Top - End - #73
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: RP: How can anyone be _Wise_ yet _Evil_?

    I'm going to take my example from the hip band The Protomen!

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    The title character, Protoman, was a hero who sought to rescue mankind from the vile clutches of Dr. Wily's robot army. He realized that this was a futile action, as none of the humans joined him in the battle. Their reliance on him was identical to their original reliance on Dr. Wily. "They don't want to change this, they don't want a hero. They just want a Martyr, a statue to raise!"

    He turned against them because they didn't want to be free as he had assumed. They wanted to be ruled over, their lives made simple by the control of others.

    So he abandons them to their fate and joins Dr. Wily, making him evil. But he was capable of inferring the truth(as it is in the story), that they craved control and pretended to want freedom.

  14. - Top - End - #74
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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: RP: How can anyone be _Wise_ yet _Evil_?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ravenica View Post
    I was not implying "religious propoganda" I perhaps mis-worded it. Replace "religious" with "Philosophical" and the proper pluralisations. Many of the Philosophies that define wisdom to involve morality disagree extensively. The only agreed upon definition is the one that comes straight out of the dictionary.
    Naturally philosophers are going to disagree on such a vague, lucid idea like what constitutes wisdom (or being wise). Philosophers disagree & argue about nearly everything. But it isn't about everyone reaching a concise definition of wisdom (or how it connects with morality) but accepting that there is a connection between the two & that they both influence the other in some manner.

    The idea that we should disregard looking to understand such a connection because there has been no agreement in the philosophical community seems rather confusing & lazy to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ravenica View Post
    Morality is as subjective in real life based on ones experiences and learnings that no one morality could be assigned to wisdom in the first place. It fits perfectly with the definition used in various RPG's
    Our traditional approach to morality is rather loose but there are theories, systems and writing that structure morality/values/ethics in a much more concrete manner alleviating us from abandoning any inspection into morality out of an assumption of moral relativism being the prevalent adoption/assumption of morality.

  15. - Top - End - #75
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    ClericGuy

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    Default Re: RP: How can anyone be _Wise_ yet _Evil_?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zonugal View Post
    Naturally philosophers are going to disagree on such a vague, lucid idea like what constitutes wisdom (or being wise). Philosophers disagree & argue about nearly everything. But it isn't about everyone reaching a concise definition of wisdom (or how it connects with morality) but accepting that there is a connection between the two & that they both influence the other in some manner.

    The idea that we should disregard looking to understand such a connection because there has been no agreement in the philosophical community seems rather confusing & lazy to me.
    I am not disregarding "a" connection, merely stating in terms of this discussion that it is irrelevant. Wisdom is defined in D&D as per the dictionary definition. Under that understanding it is perfectly possible for someone to be both Evil and Wise in both reality and your favorite campaign setting.

    Our traditional approach to morality is rather loose but there are theories, systems and writing that structure morality/values/ethics in a much more concrete manner alleviating us from abandoning any inspection into morality out of an assumption of moral relativism being the prevalent adoption/assumption of morality.
    Any debate on THAT issue wouldn't be appropriate here but needless to say I prefer to keep my morality and my wisdom segregated

  16. - Top - End - #76
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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: RP: How can anyone be _Wise_ yet _Evil_?

    Than it seems like we are going to have to agree to disagree on this prevalent topic.

    And agree that Ra's al Ghul is a perfect model of a wise, evil character.

  17. - Top - End - #77
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    Default Re: RP: How can anyone be _Wise_ yet _Evil_?

    A difference of internalized values is what separates 'good' from 'evil,' and application of knowledge is what separates intelligence from wisdom. Therefore, if one has a different set of values than the common 'good,' but still applies their knowledge in a world-wise way, they may be viewed as simultaneously evil and wise.

    As a grim example, say a cleric (since said class came into question earlier in the thread) comes upon the knowledge that a vile plague has infected a small village. He has designs upon the region, and knows that, should a plague outbreak ravage the land, his careful machinations will be thrown into disarray. So, to keep it from spreading, he kills every last resident of the village in the night. (Insert dramatic Sephiroth-walk scene here. :P) He has spared the country a plague outbreak, preserved the region, and, if he's clever, created a 'mysterious massacre' that he can manipulate to his wishes in neighboring towns. In this way, he has been both quite evil, and quite wise. It's simply wisdom based upon a different set of values than most folks.'

  18. - Top - End - #78
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    Default Re: RP: How can anyone be _Wise_ yet _Evil_?

    Just discovered a cute video about Ethics:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkS6WpbLUFw

    (It's from the viewpoint of Aliens observing human behaviour, very amusing.)
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    You're not going to find the loophole these guys missed.

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    Default Re: RP: How can anyone be _Wise_ yet _Evil_?

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