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    PaladinGuy

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    Default A Question of Identity

    Well, I figured since my first hypothetical was so successful I’d try another.
    So there is this character. She is a beautiful warrior who was a grade A monster despite said beauty. She worshipped a Succubus Queen and sacrificed people to her in the shadows while maintaining the facade of goodness on the outside. She was ruthless, powermongering, but very charming and very good at hiding her true self. Had she continued as she was, she may well have ended up becoming said Queen's favored servant.
    Eventually, she ends up getting her memories wiped and ends up becoming a great hero, effectively becoming what her former self was pretending to be. She does legimately good deeds, saves innocent people and conducts herself in an honorable and selfless fashion. However she never once learns about her misdeeds, and thus never intentionally atones for them. Nor does she ever pay for her crimes in any meaningful fashion.
    Despite her good actions, she is a complete karma Houdini.
    Now here is the hard part:
    What plane should she be destined for? Should she be judged for her previous personality?

    Just figured I’d throw this thought experiment out there.
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    These hands of mine have been dirty for a long time now Suzaku, your coming to face me now doesn't matter at all. Hell I welcome it even.
    I mean of course you and I are friends.
    {Begins laughing Maniacally as the city around him falls apart}

    Lelouch Vi Brittania's reaction to a deaththreat from his best friend. Badass

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    Default Re: A Question of Identity

    I think a good corrollary would be if she did learn of her previous crimes, would she atone for them? Would she even be remorseful? If that's just something unknowable, I'd say that who a person is now, who they want to be says more about their nature than who they once were. Not to say that past actions don't have consequences. Sometimes forgiving past misdeeds is asking too much.
    Iop brain.

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    Default Re: A Question of Identity

    Quote Originally Posted by The Fury View Post
    I think a good corollary would be if she did learn of her previous crimes, would she atone for them? Would she even be remorseful? If that's just something unknowable, I'd say that who a person is now, who they want to be says more about their nature than who they once were. Not to say that past actions don't have consequences. Sometimes forgiving past misdeeds is asking too much.
    Well, given that she is a legitimately good person, she probably would. However the key thing here is that the opportunity never came. Her evil personality covered her tracks too well.
    Last edited by Lord; 2017-12-29 at 04:22 PM.
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    These hands of mine have been dirty for a long time now Suzaku, your coming to face me now doesn't matter at all. Hell I welcome it even.
    I mean of course you and I are friends.
    {Begins laughing Maniacally as the city around him falls apart}

    Lelouch Vi Brittania's reaction to a deaththreat from his best friend. Badass

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    Default Re: A Question of Identity

    A memory wipe of the scale that you're talking about - where the subject loses their entire memory and all of their personality - seems to me to be indistinguishable from death. So I'd say that the evil servant of the Succubus Queen went to some sort of hell-type afterlife, while the heroic champion will, upon their death, head to some sort of heaven-type afterlife.

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    Default Re: A Question of Identity

    Quote Originally Posted by InvisibleBison View Post
    A memory wipe of the scale that you're talking about - where the subject loses their entire memory and all of their personality - seems to me to be indistinguishable from death. So I'd say that the evil servant of the Succubus Queen went to some sort of hell-type afterlife, while the heroic champion will, upon their death, head to some sort of heaven-type afterlife.
    Is it? Arguably the soul remains the same, even if the personality is different. I would akin it more to reincarnation.
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    These hands of mine have been dirty for a long time now Suzaku, your coming to face me now doesn't matter at all. Hell I welcome it even.
    I mean of course you and I are friends.
    {Begins laughing Maniacally as the city around him falls apart}

    Lelouch Vi Brittania's reaction to a deaththreat from his best friend. Badass

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    Default Re: A Question of Identity

    Quote Originally Posted by InvisibleBison View Post
    A memory wipe of the scale that you're talking about - where the subject loses their entire memory and all of their personality - seems to me to be indistinguishable from death. So I'd say that the evil servant of the Succubus Queen went to some sort of hell-type afterlife, while the heroic champion will, upon their death, head to some sort of heaven-type afterlife.
    This. True memory wipe = dead, no caveats.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord View Post
    Is it? Arguably the soul remains the same, even if the personality is different. I would akin it more to reincarnation.
    Well in real life souls don't exist, so that's not a good point of argumentation. You need explain if souls have the capacity for memory independent of a nervous system and if not, if the soul also got true memory wiped. Even the first is true and second false, you've got big problems in figuring out what the hell is going on if souls are integral components of personhood and yet exist as independent sapiences.

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    Default Re: A Question of Identity

    Quote Originally Posted by exelsisxax View Post
    This. True memory wipe = dead, no caveats.



    Well in real life souls don't exist, so that's not a good point of argumentation. You need explain if souls have the capacity for memory independent of a nervous system and if not, if the soul also got true memory wiped. Even the first is true and second false, you've got big problems in figuring out what the hell is going on if souls are integral components of personhood and yet exist as independent sapiences.
    Think of it like this.

    The person is a collection of memories and traits which are bundled up in a physical container. If the body is damaged, the person can become someone else. If the body dies, the soul might be reincarnated in another form. However the the soul is a constant. It contains everything the person is and has been, everything they have done. What the soul is cannot be changed by something as simple as brain damage, it is a permenant record of sorts which cannot be destroyed. The brain damage merely prevents the soul from manifesting that part of its identity.

    At least that is how I have always viewed souls in real life. My way of explaining how a person can have a soul and yet change entirely because of circumstances beyond their control.

    Thus, by that standard, the evil 'life' is still part of who she is. It just isn't manifesting, while the good 'life' is currently dominant. Based on this I suppose one could look at the net value of her good deeds and misdeeds to determine an alignment.

    But this is all very philosophical and at the end of the day it is just my opinion. I created this thread to get other peoples viewpoints.
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    These hands of mine have been dirty for a long time now Suzaku, your coming to face me now doesn't matter at all. Hell I welcome it even.
    I mean of course you and I are friends.
    {Begins laughing Maniacally as the city around him falls apart}

    Lelouch Vi Brittania's reaction to a deaththreat from his best friend. Badass

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    Default Re: A Question of Identity

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord View Post
    Think of it like this.

    The person is a collection of memories and traits which are bundled up in a physical container. If the body is damaged, the person can become someone else. If the body dies, the soul might be reincarnated in another form. However the the soul is a constant. It contains everything the person is and has been, everything they have done. What the soul is cannot be changed by something as simple as brain damage, it is a permenant record of sorts which cannot be destroyed. The brain damage merely prevents the soul from manifesting that part of its identity.

    At least that is how I have always viewed souls in real life. My way of explaining how a person can have a soul and yet change entirely because of circumstances beyond their control.

    Thus, by that standard, the evil 'life' is still part of who she is. It just isn't manifesting, while the good 'life' is currently dominant. Based on this I suppose one could look at the net value of her good deeds and misdeeds to determine an alignment.

    But this is all very philosophical and at the end of the day it is just my opinion. I created this thread to get other peoples viewpoints.
    This is magical thinking, and not in the "lightning bolt" sort of way. If the brain can't change the soul, the soul can't be in any way changed by experiences, choices, or thoughts of the person, and is therefore not part of the person. You have invented a special case that is exempt from your own hypothetical: "what if a person changes, but not really because souls don't change?"

    IF this is a true memory wipe, she's a different person. How souls work in the setting is irrelevant to this, because "true memory wipe" covers all eventualities. She is a 'good' person by all measures.
    Now, when it comes to the afterlife(s), the question instead becomes "is your soul you?" If her soul is her, the soul goes to good-people-place or whatever. Maybe it's a new soul and the old one went to bad-place-thing, but whatever. The only way the new, good person's soul can go to an afterlife for 'evil' is if the soul is not her, because she's a good person(or if it gets stolen by demons or whatever, hell if I know).

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    Default Re: A Question of Identity

    Quote Originally Posted by exelsisxax View Post
    This is magical thinking, and not in the "lightning bolt" sort of way. If the brain can't change the soul, the soul can't be in any way changed by experiences, choices, or thoughts of the person, and is therefore not part of the person. You have invented a special case that is exempt from your own hypothetical: "what if a person changes, but not really because souls don't change?"

    IF this is a true memory wipe, she's a different person. How souls work in the setting is irrelevant to this, because "true memory wipe" covers all eventualities. She is a 'good' person by all measures.
    Now, when it comes to the afterlife(s), the question instead becomes "is your soul you?" If her soul is her, the soul goes to good-people-place or whatever. Maybe it's a new soul and the old one went to bad-place-thing, but whatever. The only way the new, good person's soul can go to an afterlife for 'evil' is if the soul is not her, because she's a good person(or if it gets stolen by demons or whatever, hell if I know).
    On the contrary, the brain CAN change the soul. It's just that the soul remembers everything that ever happened to it. It never forgets or gives up any part of it. Just grows and grows. Thus there would initially be a whole lot of evil deeds on the soul, and evil memories. When, let's just call the woman Narcissa, when Narcissa got her memory wiped her brain lost all records of her past actions, as well as all the filed personality traits.

    She thus had to rebuild her 'library' from the ground up and filled it with good books.

    But the soul is a library which only ever gets larger. It has all the books which she filed away, as well as all the books, both good and bad which she has ever had. The stain of her previous actions is thus still on her, whether she remembers it or not. Likewise, were she to lose her memory again, her good deeds would still be on her soul, regardless of her later actions.

    When she eventually dies and goes off to whatever afterlife is decided for her, she presumedly would be able to access the whole collection.

    Actually now that I think of it this scenario could make for a really cool battle in the center of the mind. The whole symbolism with the library seems like it could make for a really cool sequence.
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    These hands of mine have been dirty for a long time now Suzaku, your coming to face me now doesn't matter at all. Hell I welcome it even.
    I mean of course you and I are friends.
    {Begins laughing Maniacally as the city around him falls apart}

    Lelouch Vi Brittania's reaction to a deaththreat from his best friend. Badass

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    Default Re: A Question of Identity

    One could make the argument that the memory wipe was punishment for her misdeeds, and her subsequent actions are her atonement. Think of it as being arrested and sentenced to a life time of community service.
    "Sleeping late might not be a virtue, but it sure aint no vice. The old saw about the early bird and the worm just goes to show that the worm should have stayed in bed."

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    Default Re: A Question of Identity

    Quote Originally Posted by Mutazoia View Post
    One could make the argument that the memory wipe was punishment for her misdeeds, and her subsequent actions are her atonement. Think of it as being arrested and sentenced to a life time of community service.
    Oh like the death of personality punishment in Babylon 5?
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    These hands of mine have been dirty for a long time now Suzaku, your coming to face me now doesn't matter at all. Hell I welcome it even.
    I mean of course you and I are friends.
    {Begins laughing Maniacally as the city around him falls apart}

    Lelouch Vi Brittania's reaction to a deaththreat from his best friend. Badass

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    Default Re: A Question of Identity

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord View Post
    On the contrary, the brain CAN change the soul. It's just that the soul remembers everything that ever happened to it. It never forgets or gives up any part of it. Just grows and grows. Thus there would initially be a whole lot of evil deeds on the soul, and evil memories. When, let's just call the woman Narcissa, when Narcissa got her memory wiped her brain lost all records of her past actions, as well as all the filed personality traits.

    She thus had to rebuild her 'library' from the ground up and filled it with good books.

    But the soul is a library which only ever gets larger. It has all the books which she filed away, as well as all the books, both good and bad which she has ever had. The stain of her previous actions is thus still on her, whether she remembers it or not. Likewise, were she to lose her memory again, her good deeds would still be on her soul, regardless of her later actions.

    When she eventually dies and goes off to whatever afterlife is decided for her, she presumedly would be able to access the whole collection.

    Actually now that I think of it this scenario could make for a really cool battle in the center of the mind. The whole symbolism with the library seems like it could make for a really cool sequence.
    You have described a system where souls are explicitly not persons. Unless this cosmology also has a place for dead people, then in no uncertain terms no people ever reach the afterlife, and death is the hard end of any existence. In your scenario, souls(again, which are explicitly not people) are relocated to an afterlife after their associated person dies. Basically, souls are like a bag of accumulated ticket stubs, bill receipts, and your email trash folder that for some reason stick around after you die. But again, those stubs, bills, and emails are not YOU. YOU already died.

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    Default Re: A Question of Identity

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord View Post
    Oh like the death of personality punishment in Babylon 5?
    Pretty much.

    Also, to truly get into discussing the case as you present it, we would have to get into territory that would almost certainly violate the "no discussion of real world religion" rule of the Playground. This really kind of hamstrings any in depth response.
    "Sleeping late might not be a virtue, but it sure aint no vice. The old saw about the early bird and the worm just goes to show that the worm should have stayed in bed."

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    Default Re: A Question of Identity

    Quote Originally Posted by exelsisxax View Post
    You have described a system where souls are explicitly not persons. Unless this cosmology also has a place for dead people, then in no uncertain terms no people ever reach the afterlife, and death is the hard end of any existence. In your scenario, souls(again, which are explicitly not people) are relocated to an afterlife after their associated person dies. Basically, souls are like a bag of accumulated ticket stubs, bill receipts, and your email trash folder that for some reason stick around after you die. But again, those stubs, bills, and emails are not YOU. YOU already died.
    Not quite. The flaw in your argument is that it makes it out so that change is impossible without dying. If I'm a real jerk, and I start making a decision to try and change who I am, I will probably become a very different person. However I am still me. Nobody is going to argue that I am someone else, except perhaps in the sense of having changed.

    Using your email comparison, the soul is not the trash. It is your email account. Your various lives, their sins and good deeds are just part of that email account and you can't delete them. You can only look at so many parts of it at once, but that doesn't make the parts you are looking at the whole of what it is. It is the totality of your being, unimpeded by physical limitations and made entirely by you.

    Imagine it like this, the soul, that which is the source of consciousness, is a sort of player. The soul is playing a particular character. However the game the soul is playing is so deep and so immersive that the soul has deceived itself into believing that it IS that character. The difference is that in this case how one plays the game makes a very real difference.

    In this case the soul had its saved games accidentally deleted and had to start all over again, but the nature of the game is that no two beginnings are alike. Thus there were two separate characters, but the same player.

    I think this metaphor is breaking down a bit.
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    These hands of mine have been dirty for a long time now Suzaku, your coming to face me now doesn't matter at all. Hell I welcome it even.
    I mean of course you and I are friends.
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    Lelouch Vi Brittania's reaction to a deaththreat from his best friend. Badass

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    Default Re: A Question of Identity

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord View Post
    Is it? Arguably the soul remains the same, even if the personality is different. I would akin it more to reincarnation.
    A soul isn't a brand of car, or sausage - it's the sum of who and what we are.

    A complete reset means a new soul, effectively.

    Of course, the nature of the soul is up for debate. As is it's existance. As is how it works and what happens to it on death. But I agree with Mr. Bison here.

    Also, on the question of feeling remorse: I'm a decently OK human being. I wouldn't feel remorse. Those would be the actions of someone else, not me.

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    Default Re: A Question of Identity

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord View Post
    Is it? Arguably the soul remains the same, even if the personality is different. I would akin it more to reincarnation.
    Well if that's the parallel you're going with, then their reincarnated self goes to a good afterlife. It's quite straightforward: the "re-" part means that their old self is gone and this is a new incarnation, with its own karma to take care of. The past self and its karma are irrelevant untill a time when the soul transcends self and learns all its past lives, which by your admission has not happened.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord
    If I'm a real jerk, and I start making a decision to try and change who I am, I will probably become a very different person. However I am still me. Nobody is going to argue that I am someone else, except perhaps in the sense of having changed.
    Actually, as a non-essentialist, I would argue just that, and will. The only link between your past, current and future states is the perception of causality. This perception may not be real to begin with - and even if it is, it is no way unique to you. For not only does causality tie your perceived self to your remembered past states, it ties you to countless things that you do not perceive as part of yourself. This explicitly holds true for your idea of "soul" just the same. A soul is but a record of a causal chain; as souls grow and interact with each other, they eventually all come to hold all the same information. Once you look at time as a whole, there is just one, eternal soul which contains all the information of the world. Individual souls are an illusion caused by only focusing on a moment in time in isolation.

    Hence, there is a moment where you've changed enough that I would not consider you, you. Your physical death would count, even if your soul persist. But just as well a change in base morals would suffice. That is, if you become such a big jerk that I can no longer construe your decisions as being made from the same premises, you are dead to me. This also the perspective from which yes, Darth Vader did kill Anakin Skywalker.

    The same works in reverse. If, as in your example, a criminal does a complete turnover and I can no longer see the criminal logic behind their actions, they have been born again. The fact that their physical or metaphysical components are all the same does not matter. My rotting corpse would have all the same materials as me just the same, but it would not be me any more.

    I'm also not the same person I was five, ten or twenty years ago, except in eyes of those who labor under perception of causal continuity.
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    Default Re: A Question of Identity

    Quote Originally Posted by Frozen_Feet View Post
    I'm also not the same person I was five, ten or twenty years ago, except in eyes of those who labor under perception of causal continuity.
    If you buy into the hype, you are literally not the same person you were 7 years ago, as apparently the body replaces every cell over said period, lol.
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    Default Re: A Question of Identity

    Quote Originally Posted by exelsisxax View Post
    This. True memory wipe = dead, no caveats.



    Well in real life souls don't exist, so that's not a good point of argumentation. You need explain if souls have the capacity for memory independent of a nervous system and if not, if the soul also got true memory wiped. Even the first is true and second false, you've got big problems in figuring out what the hell is going on if souls are integral components of personhood and yet exist as independent sapiences.
    If she's destined for an afterlife after death then she definitely has a soul. The lack of souls in real life is completely irrelevant.

    I would argue that since she definitely has a soul the memory wipe didn't kill her or make her into a a new person. What this means for which plane she's destined for I won't speak about since I don't know the rules, how the moral equation is calculated to determine whether someone is deserving of punishment or reward (none of that makes sense to me to begin with)
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    Default Re: A Question of Identity

    @Mutazoia: The 'hype' is a red herring. If I suffocated myself to death right now, I would cease to be, yet all the materials of my being would still be right here on the floor.
    Last edited by Frozen_Feet; 2017-12-29 at 07:11 PM.

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    Default Re: A Question of Identity

    The way I tend to run D&D cosmology is that a mortal soul is true neutral outside of the contexts of memories and experiences and actions. Thus, newborns are born true neutral, and might be predisposed towards one direction or another by upbringing[1], but alignment emerges as the person interacts with the world.

    Blocking all past memories is an effective reincarnation without a body-swap: same soul, but without memories to provide some kind of values, you essentially go through the same parts of forming an alignment again, just quicker because you have more interactions of moral or ethical weight than the average infant.

    I'd agree that if you discover your past life did some objectionable things, you are still responsible for that, but until and unless you learn of it (or should learn of it; if you suspect but then go out of your way to avoid it, that reflects on you) it can't weigh on your soul.

    Also, from a DM point of view, some of that depends on what the player's story is. If we'd planned out this whole 'amnesiac learns of her true past and has to confront that', but then she gets killed by some stupid critical hit by a goblin in the third session in, I'm going to tell the player that it's up to them what happens to the character's soul, but I can offer advice. Because, form a meta point of view, condemning that PC to the lower planes because their redemptive arc got cut short by a 20 at the wrong time is a way to have unsatisfied players. Unless they want to storm the lower planes to get their friend's soul back, and then go to the upper planes to yell at the people who set up this cosmology, but my games don't last long enough to lead to that level of play.

    If you want to play in a universe where mortal souls have some inherent alignment, that is a world-building decision you can make. It is usually not the decision I make.

    [1] Aka if you grow up in a society which values actions that are Chaotic and Good, most people are CG, NG, CN or TN, and most of the neutral folks lean chaotic or good. Sort of the 'I should be a better person like my parents or my god want me to be, but I got my own life to worry about' attitude.

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    Default Re: A Question of Identity

    I don't buy that wiping memories makes a new person in the context of a D&D soul. In terms of afterlife she's still one person. HOWEVER, I also don't think you have to intentionally atone for past misdeeds in order to change alignments. If she's a good person now then her alignment is good, regardless of if she ever figures it out or not. All you need to do to change alignments is to earnestly believe it and act the part.

    Edit for more content. However, I do think that she'd probably get her memories back when she died and her afterlife would be determined by what kind of person she ended up being when she could remember being both versions of herself.
    Last edited by Koo Rehtorb; 2017-12-29 at 08:42 PM.

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    Default Re: A Question of Identity

    Quote Originally Posted by Frozen_Feet View Post
    @Mutazoia: The 'hype' is a red herring. If I suffocated myself to death right now, I would cease to be, yet all the materials of my being would still be right here on the floor.
    That was my point.
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    Default Re: A Question of Identity

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord View Post
    So there is this character. She is a beautiful warrior who was a grade A monster despite said beauty. She worshipped a Succubus Queen and sacrificed people to her in the shadows while maintaining the facade of goodness on the outside. She was ruthless, powermongering, but very charming and very good at hiding her true self. Had she continued as she was, she may well have ended up becoming said Queen's favored servant.
    I've got nitpicks. The first and more nitpicky is the phrase "monster despite said beauty". These aren't related traits, beauty doesn't somehow make you a better person.

    The second is a bit more fundamental, and comes below:

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord View Post
    What plane should she be destined for? Should she be judged for her previous personality?
    What are the options for the plane? You haven't even specified a game, and while D&D can be intuited they're not constant from edition to edition. That renders the first question unanswerable.

    The second question can be answered, and I'd answer that she shouldn't be judged for her previous personality. Her previous personality and attached memories are effectively dead, she's a new person. That doesn't mean that there won't be effects on her from that previous personality; they aren't so much judgements on her as an inherited condition due to the circumstances of her birth.

    Said circumstances include being born with an incredible set of skills and resources, being born adult with a shortened lifespan as a result, and most importantly being born into a bunch of relationships. The actions of the previous host have made her a bunch of friends and allies that she was just born into, most of which are potentially still friends and allies due to the act. There's also likely a few former friends and allies left over from the cult, which in this case are strange enemies who at least initially expect to be friends and allies for some strange reason, and likely quickly become particularly nasty enemies who believe they've been betrayed for some strange reason.

    Similarly these circumstances include another set of enemies, those of people who hate her because of what the previous host did when not pretending to be a good person. There's a sort of earthly judgment there, and while it's unfortunate due to being based on a misconception these people can't really be faulted. From their perspective someone already known as a horrible murderer who acts like a hero is now acting like a hero. There's no real reason to think that anything has changed, and for those few with a closer view the obvious conclusion isn't amnesia, a new personality, and genuine heroism. The obvious conclusion is that she's gotten better at hiding her tracks.

    Still, in the hypothetical case of a being with perfect information about her, the fair judgement is to discard the previous host when making judgments. She's gone, and thus she's irrelevant.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord View Post
    Is it? Arguably the soul remains the same, even if the personality is different. I would akin it more to reincarnation.
    The standard for reincarnation is that the slate is wiped clean, where the previous incarnation generally influences the starting conditions for the new one, where some sort of permanent afterlife or ceasing to exist are alternatives to the new starting condition. Beyond that though, there are questions like whether the soul has a mind, and if so what that mind remembers, and how that mind acts. If the person dies and their personality dies with them, what does the soul even have? There's not enough information to answer this.

    I'd also consider it outside the scope of the question, as you asked about the person. As far as I'm concerned the person is their personality, their memories, and their abilities - all of which are tied to the mind. The person's dead, if their personality goes somewhere separate from the soul and there's some sort of reward-plane or good person plane it should go there (and generally there is in D&D), with the NG plane seeming most likely. If the previous personality upon ending also went somewhere, a punishment-plane seems most fitting, although I will say that from a moral perspective I'm not big on the concept of eternal punishment for finite crimes, and would consider the removal of dangerous people good enough. In this context, that probably means straight destruction of that personality.

    Quote Originally Posted by exelsisxax View Post
    Well in real life souls don't exist, so that's not a good point of argumentation.
    This is going to be a fun thread to watch.

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    Default Re: A Question of Identity

    This question ultimately depends on metaphysical issues within a given universe. The scenario is unusual in that, in a scenario where there are souls - meaning people have some sort of essential essence that is not wholly tied to bodily functions - a memory wipe should not result in a complete behavioral flip of this nature. For instance, in the case of Darth Revan - a well-known fictional character who went through this precise memory wipe scenario - change in circumstances (specifically a change from Emperor Vitiate to Bastila Shan forming the strongest personal connection to him) changed his actions, but he didn't stop being a supremely arrogant self-righteous person who thought he knew best for everyone and personality was really messed up thereafter and he struggled between dark and light and ended up literally splitting into two people.
    Resvier: a P6 homebrew setting

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    Default Re: A Question of Identity

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord View Post
    Well, given that she is a legitimately good person, she probably would. However the key thing here is that the opportunity never came. Her evil personality covered her tracks too well.
    In that case I'd go back to the second half of my initial statement. If no one can bring up what she did as the Succubus Queen's servant, or remind her of her past misdeeds in any capacity, then who she is at the moment and who she aspires to be must be the deciding factors as to what her nature is. It's impossible to atone for crimes if you have no way of knowing whether you committed them or not.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    A soul isn't a brand of car, or sausage - it's the sum of who and what we are.
    I disagree. I have the soul of a Chevrolet.
    Iop brain.

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    Default Re: A Question of Identity

    Quote Originally Posted by Koo Rehtorb View Post
    I don't buy that wiping memories makes a new person in the context of a D&D soul.
    It totally does, several magical effects (Mind Rape, Programmed Amnesia, curses like lycantrophy, Balefull Polymotph) are geared towards doing exactly this.

    However, you are right in that the soul does remain, and due to essentialist underpinnings of D&D, it is almost always possible to recover the earlier person. If this automatically happens at death is iffy, D&D's rules for the supernatural are not consistent enough to provide a clear answer.

    It would be appropriate if death, at latest, did dispell all magical influences upon a soul and restore them to their past self, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Koo Rehtorb
    In terms of afterlife she's still one person. HOWEVER, I also don't think you have to intentionally atone for past misdeeds in order to change alignments.
    You'd be correct, again, several magical effects can enforce an alignment shift temporarily or permanently despite the person's wishes. See again: Mind Rape, Programmed Amnesia, Sanctify the Wicked, Helm of Opposite Alignment, Lycantrophy...
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    Default Re: A Question of Identity

    Where she ends depends on the GM's whim.


    And if she is being played by a big, hairy guy called Roger that always has a picture of a supermodels on his character sheet and plays catgirls (neko) at every opportunity then she is probably going to hell.
    Last edited by RazorChain; 2017-12-30 at 10:39 PM.
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    Default Re: A Question of Identity

    Quote Originally Posted by Frozen_Feet View Post
    It totally does, several magical effects (Mind Rape, Programmed Amnesia, curses like lycantrophy, Balefull Polymotph) are geared towards doing exactly this.

    However, you are right in that the soul does remain, and due to essentialist underpinnings of D&D, it is almost always possible to recover the earlier person. If this automatically happens at death is iffy, D&D's rules for the supernatural are not consistent enough to provide a clear answer.

    It would be appropriate if death, at latest, did dispell all magical influences upon a soul and restore them to their past self, though.
    It's my understanding that in D&D this happened - that the soul was judged according to who the person truly was. In this case that would be prior to the memory wipe, since everything thereafter would count as programming. So the 'good' alter ego is an illusion created by alignment alteration procedures and would simply vanish upon death. It is perhaps worth noting that, in high level D&D something like this is unlikely to be sustained for a particularly long time. Any casting of Greater Restoration on the character at any point would restore them to who they used to be instantly.
    Resvier: a P6 homebrew setting

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    Default Re: A Question of Identity

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord View Post
    On the contrary, the brain CAN change the soul. It's just that the soul remembers everything that ever happened to it. It never forgets or gives up any part of it. Just grows and grows. Thus there would initially be a whole lot of evil deeds on the soul, and evil memories. When, let's just call the woman Narcissa, when Narcissa got her memory wiped her brain lost all records of her past actions, as well as all the filed personality traits.

    She thus had to rebuild her 'library' from the ground up and filled it with good books.

    But the soul is a library which only ever gets larger. It has all the books which she filed away, as well as all the books, both good and bad which she has ever had. The stain of her previous actions is thus still on her, whether she remembers it or not. Likewise, were she to lose her memory again, her good deeds would still be on her soul, regardless of her later actions.

    When she eventually dies and goes off to whatever afterlife is decided for her, she presumedly would be able to access the whole collection.
    Now you're violating the rule you established way back:

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord View Post
    Well, given that she is a legitimately good person, she probably would. However the key thing here is that the opportunity never came. Her evil personality covered her tracks too well.
    So, when she dies, she does remember everything. Then what does she do? Which does she regard as her "true" self, and which set of actions does she regret? Her "true" alignment, assuming there is such a thing, will reveal itself then. And she'll go to the plane of her true alignment, whatever that is, because no-one else would want her.

    That's the only answer you need, IMO. As for atonement - you can't be blamed for failing to atone for things you didn't know about, and couldn't have reasonably known about. (Well, obviously you can, but not by a DM who cares about the basic coherence of their alignment system.)
    Last edited by veti; 2017-12-31 at 12:29 AM.
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    Default Re: A Question of Identity

    I believe the 3.5 Hellbred race deals with this sort of thing. Something along the lines of ‘Well you’re supposed to go to hell but the paperwork doesn’t match up. Tell you what, we’ll send you back for one more go round to see if we can sort this out’
    Last edited by Kane0; 2017-12-31 at 03:01 AM.

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