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    Default Good or evil? A goddess patronises a entire world's life

    Generally speaking, let us say a major goddess decides to put all life on the planet in a golden cage, where they only have a limited space of freedom. In said freedom they can do anything they want, but once they grow beyond a certain threshould, she recognises them as a threat and eliminates them, which otherwise exposes their supposed children to harms way.

    For example, a young scientist discovers a new kind of energy to harvest and use, said goddess however recognises this discovery as a prelude leading to weapons of mass destruction.
    The goddess alters the scientist's memories and removes not only the discovery, but everything else what could lead to it again.

    Then as another example, there is a race with tremendous powers, which has the potencial to turn the world to a wasteland, but do not because they respect life. This race however is still exterminated by the goddess, because of their special powers.

    What would you personally think of such a goddess, who patronises the entire world, so that her "children" never come to harm?


    Edit 1: More Context
    The Goddess in question has seen how mankind ruined itself, with their own weapons to the brink of utterly extinction. Because she couldn't prevent it back then, she aims to not let the tragedy be repeated again.

    Regarding herself, she only involves herself personally, when a threat arises and does her best to avoid killing, except for the race with tremendous powers, which she associates as living weapons, if they don't bow down to her wisdom and guidance. She created chosen ones, which slaughtered the race in the belief, that they stop great evil.

    Funnily enough there is only one tribe of humans worshipping her, as a gender-neutral deity, which are not allowed to speak the names of herself and the race, which is only refered to as ancient evil.


    Edit 2: More Context yet
    The goddess herself considers herself a mother, but unlike any mother, she wants her "children" to stay children for the sake of life being protected in her care.

    Also, when she decided to become the world's protector and caretaker, she severed a network of wise old trees, which could have uplifted the other races.

    The wise trees say, that it is true that she indeed protected the world, but keeping it in a golden cage is not the same as "living". Especially so, when some of her supposed children, wish to leave the cage and become independant from her system.
    Last edited by ThanatosZero; 2019-08-23 at 08:16 AM. Reason: More context yet

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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Good or evil? A goddess patronises a entire world's life

    Passing sentence before any actual crime is committed? When the sentence includes genocide?

    Hard to see how that’s anything other than evil.

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    Default Re: Good or evil? A goddess patronises a entire world's life

    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
    Passing sentence before any actual crime is committed? When the sentence includes genocide?

    Hard to see how that’s anything other than evil.
    One needs to remember portfolio sense though. In D&D a god doesn't just think you will do something nasty. She knows it for sure, with full details of exactly what you will do.

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    Default Re: Good or evil? A goddess patronises a entire world's life

    I'd characterize intervention before a crime can occur as Lawful rather than Evil (though, an extreme of Lawful that readily lends itself to becoming Evil). The details are in what 'passing sentence' means. Going up and says 'hey, that would be a crime, I won't let you do that' is different than 'ha, I can tell you're about to commit a crime, so I'm allowed to shoot you to prevent it'.

    So, for the goddess, strongly Lawful, and anything from Good to Evil depending on the exact intervention strategies used. Killing or harming those who potentially threaten the world, Evil. Stopping their threats by memory modification or blocking their free will in those instances but leaving them alone otherwise can easily fly under Neutral or relatively mild Evil, and wouldn't invalidate the Good aspects of the character in protecting all life and the like.

    The major question for me would be, to what degree does this entity favor its own convenience or simplicity in how it deals with threats, versus how much it cares about suffering or harm done to the sources of threats. If once someone becomes a threat to the entity's grand plan, all considerations of protecting the threatening person also go away, then Evil. If the entity sacrifices and struggles to make sure that even systematic threats to its own order are protected and preserved and valued equally as those who aren't being a threat, then Neutral or Good.

    In the example of the race with special powers who could, but isn't, destroying the world. If the goddess kills them all, Evil. If she transports them outside of her bubble world and says 'you can be what you are out there on the planes, just not in my domain'; suppresses their powers so that members of the race can't access them; or mass-polymorphs everyone of that race into something less threatening but otherwise leaves them unharmed and not interfered with, then (that component of her actions is) potentially Neutral modulo details. E.g. if suppressing the power means that race is going to die from natural threats in this world the goddess is crafting by hand, their deaths and suffering go back to being her fault; or if she dumps them in the Abyss, or otherwise causes suffering in how she goes about resolving the fix that indicates a lack of awareness or respect for the injury she's causing by her intervention, then Evil.
    Last edited by NichG; 2019-08-20 at 10:24 PM.

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    Default Re: Good or evil? A goddess patronises a entire world's life

    Quote Originally Posted by ThanatosZero View Post
    What would you personally think of such a goddess, who patronises the entire world, so that her "children" never come to harm?
    I'd think she's great. Because she's already altered my memories on the basis that thinking she's not so great may be a threat to her and others in the future.
    Knowledge brings the sting of disillusionment, but the pain teaches perspective.

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    Default Re: Good or evil? A goddess patronises a entire world's life

    Quote Originally Posted by LordBlades View Post
    One needs to remember portfolio sense though. In D&D a god doesn't just think you will do something nasty. She knows it for sure, with full details of exactly what you will do.
    Portfolio Sense only extends one week into the future per divine rank for greater deities; the only ability which enables them to see further than that is the Know Death SDA, which has no time limit but is specific to knowing the circumstances of a given creature's death.

    If the goddess has certain knowledge that the powerful race WILL one day turn the world into a wasteland, I can certainly see an argument for exterminating them being a good act, if she's eliminating a mostly good-aligned race based on simply the possibility that they may one day do so, it's pretty hard to argue that as anything other than evil.

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    Default Re: Good or evil? A goddess patronises a entire world's life

    Quote Originally Posted by ThanatosZero View Post
    Then as another example, there is a race with tremendous powers, which has the potencial to turn the world to a wasteland, but do not because they respect life. This race however is still exterminated by the goddess, because of their special powers.

    What would you personally think of such a goddess, who patronises the entire world, so that her "children" never come to harm?
    Breath of Fire 3, is that you?

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    Default Re: Good or evil? A goddess patronises a entire world's life

    The Know Death ability is interesting. It means that you could seed immortal tardigrades across the world with different strains set to die under specific circumstances. Make them Int 3 and fanatically devoted worshippers, their own language and immune to telepathy.

    So the god sets the... lets use colors... green critters to die if someone discovers the secret of nuclear power within five miles of it. As long as you have sufficent coverage to ensure there will always be one within 5 miles of any spot in the world then would you know, through the circumstances of the green's future death, when the discovery will be made?
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    Default Re: Good or evil? A goddess patronises a entire world's life

    This is just "is murder* ever justified" with extra steps. I'm going to go with "no".

    *or mind-wipe, or genocide

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    Default Re: Good or evil? A goddess patronises a entire world's life

    Quote Originally Posted by False God View Post
    I'd think she's great. Because she's already altered my memories on the basis that thinking she's not so great may be a threat to her and others in the future.
    This.

    Also, remember that deity alignments don't really have anything to do with deity behavior-- a rare case of table overriding text.
    "Love is at the heart of everything: all learning, all relationships. Love, or the lack of it." - Fred Rogers

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    Default Re: Good or evil? A goddess patronises a entire world's life

    Assuming I am actually resident in this universe, and the goddess is actually competent at her chosen methods? Yeah, as said above, I would "love" her, because I'm not allowed to feel anything she disapproves of. Note the quotes. A deity that uses mind/memory manipulation in order to keep her self-declared charges happy, docile, and obedient is not actually receiving love in any meaningful sense. Programming Alexa to tell you "I love you, honey," every night when you go to bed provides exactly as much actual love (that is, none).

    Standing on the outside looking in? She's monstrous, willing to exert any and all force to keep her garden neat and orderly and exterminating or lobotomizing anything that threatens her idyllic vision. As you said, she keeps her charges in a gilded cage, but it's more insidious than that. She keeps them in the cage and blinds, maims, or even destroys them if they ever dare act, dream, or even *potentially* threaten to break that cage. If she is the only god, then she is a monster to be overthrown even if she isn't Evil (and I have a difficult time seeing "justifies genocide, mind rape, and unpersoning with security and peace" as anything other than Clearly well-intentioned extremist Evil).

    If she is not the only god, then the other deity/ies should be prevailed upon to

    Being evil doesn't mean you don't care about others flat. It usually does mean, however, that you don't value other sapient beings as ends-in-themseves, but exclusively as means to another end. In this case, the goddess values perfect safety more than she values her charges as sapient creatures. She clearly wants them to live and grow...but only and always on her terms, with no compromise. Step out of line and she will end you, perhaps not with death, but certainly by robbing you of your autonomy and free will. "You" as a being that isn't her puppet won't exist, as she will change you to do as you are told. You will make choices she approves of, or you will cease to exist, and no one will ever be allowed to know that she does this (becausen you see, opposition to her rule would incite people to make unacceptable choices).

    Honestly, is it really that hard to see that controlling minds/memories without consent, and justifying genocide with safety/security, are Evil? I'm confused and alarmed that this is even a question. "Utopia justifies genocide" is *classic* obvious Evil!

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    Default Re: Good or evil? A goddess patronises a entire world's life

    There is an interesting theological thought experiment that gets thrown around which goes something like this: If the world could live in utopia in exchanging for the knowing and conscious eternal suffering for one innocent child would it be good?

    Your example seems to go down this same thought process. Interestingly based on the way you describe this godess, she allows people to commit any evil act they want to as long as their actions don't have too large of an affect on her little toy as a whole. So her interventions really have nothing to do with being lawful more that she wants to preserve her toy in 'perfect harmony' so I have a hard time seeing an argument that she is Lawful much less represents a lawful dogma. In the end she is most likely an uncaring Neutral Evil god, maybe covering Pride domain not sure what else.

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    Default Re: Good or evil? A goddess patronises a entire world's life

    Quote Originally Posted by ZamielVanWeber View Post
    Breath of Fire 3, is that you?


    More Context:

    The Goddess in question has seen how mankind ruined itself, with their own weapons to the brink of utterly extinction. Because she couldn't prevent it back then, she aims to not let the tragedy be repeated again.

    Regarding herself, she only involves herself personally, when a threat arises and does her best to avoid killing, except for the race with tremendous powers, which she associates as living weapons, if they don't bow down to her wisdom and guidance. She created chosen ones, which slaughtered the race in the belief, that they stop great evil.

    Funnily enough there is only one tribe of humans worshipping her, as a gender-neutral deity, which are not allowed to speak the names of herself and the race, which is only refered to as ancient evil.

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    Default Re: Good or evil? A goddess patronises a entire world's life

    Quote Originally Posted by liquidformat View Post
    Your example seems to go down this same thought process. Interestingly based on the way you describe this godess, she allows people to commit any evil act they want to as long as their actions don't have too large of an affect on her little toy as a whole. So her interventions really have nothing to do with being lawful more that she wants to preserve her toy in 'perfect harmony' so I have a hard time seeing an argument that she is Lawful much less represents a lawful dogma. In the end she is most likely an uncaring Neutral Evil god, maybe covering Pride domain not sure what else.
    Why would preventing evil acts specifically be relevant to whether this is a Lawful dogma?

    Generally I take Lawful as a belief to mean 'outcomes for society as a whole are more relevant than outcomes for individuals', Good as 'how others feel intrinsically matters above myself' and Evil 'others don't matter except in how I can use them for myself' and Neutral is 'what I want matters and is central to my actions, except when my actions would be a(n excessive) detriment to others'

    So in this case, the goddess has created a system that forbids certain things regardless of individual factors behind them ('no one can be trusted with this power, even a hero or saint') and cares more about the overall stability and prosperity of the cage than individuals being able to each have the outcomes they want.

    It then turns Evil when this is enforced by over the top methods. But this definitely feels like the Mechanus to Baator arc of the planes to me.

    I can readily imagine Neutral ways to do this, by e.g. banishing on power usage or sealing powers rather than killing, going as light as possible on the research suppression (e.g. not making adoring zombies or any other patently self serving or lazy ways that cause excess harm out of self convenience), etc. If a LN person can arrest a thief, it's not unreasonable to imagine that a LN person could arrest a biological weapons researcher - as long as that process doesn't go punitive rather than preventative.
    Last edited by NichG; 2019-08-21 at 07:46 PM.

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    Default Re: Good or evil? A goddess patronises a entire world's life

    Quote Originally Posted by liquidformat View Post
    There is an interesting theological thought experiment that gets thrown around which goes something like this: If the world could live in utopia in exchanging for the knowing and conscious eternal suffering for one innocent child would it be good?
    No. It might not be Ultimate Evil, but certainly the initial compact would be an evil one, and it wouldn't become less evil because lots of descendants knowingly depend on it. But I am among those who walk away from Omelas.

    Your example seems to go down this same thought process. Interestingly based on the way you describe this godess, she allows people to commit any evil act they want to as long as their actions don't have too large of an affect on her little toy as a whole. So her interventions really have nothing to do with being lawful more that she wants to preserve her toy in 'perfect harmony' so I have a hard time seeing an argument that she is Lawful much less represents a lawful dogma. In the end she is most likely an uncaring Neutral Evil god, maybe covering Pride domain not sure what else.
    Sort of depends on what you mean. If she's fine with roving bands of marauders, as long as outright destruction of the cage is never possible, then yeah I'd say she's not particularly Lawful. However, if she really does have some notion of the "proper ordering" and enforces it, even limitedly, it sounds pretty Lawful to me. I guess you could say the problem is, is it lawful to set yourself up as the ultimate authority? Kind of a grey area when it comes to Law, as fiat declarations of what is and isn't okay tend to be viewed as Chaotic (that's what despots and dictators do), but having a plan and sticking with it tends to be decidedly un-Chaotic.

    Quote Originally Posted by NichG View Post
    Generally I take Lawful as a belief to mean 'outcomes for society as a whole are more relevant than outcomes for individuals', Good as 'how others feel intrinsically matters above myself' and Evil 'others don't matter except in how I can use them for myself' and Neutral is 'what I want matters and is central to my actions, except when my actions would be a(n excessive) detriment to others'
    Admittedly, alignment definitions are a chronic problem, but I'd dispute your characterization of Good. Good doesn't have to categorically value others more than themselves, though that is a possible outcome; it's called martyrdom. Instead, I'd argue that Good is (a) unselfish, willing to make even difficult personal sacrifices, and (b) treats other sapient beings as ends-in-themselves rather than merely as means to an end. Or, to try to squeeze it into your phrase style here, Good is 'other people are irreplaceable, and if I can help them I should.' Good doesn't have to be irrational, and you shouldn't need to be a martyr to be Good.

    So in this case, the goddess has created a system that forbids certain things regardless of individual factors behind them ('no one can be trusted with this power, even a hero or saint') and cares more about the overall stability and prosperity of the cage than individuals being able to each have the outcomes they want.

    It then turns Evil when this is enforced by over the top methods. But this definitely feels like the Mechanus to Baator arc of the planes to me.
    Yeah. Depending on how many lies she's willing to tell (see: the one species that actually worships her was lied to and told they were fighting a great evil, when they were simply fighting a potential threat), and how far she's willing to go to eradicate crimethink (blasphemythink?) in actual people's heads, she could be anywhere from Wee Jas-style "Lawful Neutral flirting with Lawful Evil...or was that the other way around?" to "only better than Asmodeus because she prefers a gilded cage, rather than a flaming one." Overall, it sounds like she's willing to use at least some shady things, not intentionally going for least-invasive techniques and such.

    (Frankly, it sounds more and more like Ashera from Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn.)

    I can readily imagine Neutral ways to do this, by e.g. banishing on power usage or sealing powers rather than killing, going as light as possible on the research suppression (e.g. not making adoring zombies or any other patently self serving or lazy ways that cause excess harm out of self convenience), etc. If a LN person can arrest a thief, it's not unreasonable to imagine that a LN person could arrest a biological weapons researcher - as long as that process doesn't go punitive rather than preventative.
    I don't see how there's any way to have non-evil mind rape. Invading a sapient's brain and not only removing thoughts and memories you don't like, but making them incapable of thinking the things you don't want them to think, the moment they try to? Even if they aren't adoring zombies, she's still programming them to behave the way she wants them to behave. There is no functional difference between "you have no choice, you must do X" and "you can choose anything you want, as long as you only want X, and I'll never let you know you might have done something else." Neither is actual choice. Your thoughts, memories, personality, etc. are always contingent on her willingness to allow you to have them, and she does exercise that right. We might as well be speaking of cautious, selective, minimally-invasive organ theft. "I don't kill anyone I don't have to!" "I only take from people who can spare it!" None of these excuses matter; you're still stealing vital parts of people without their permission, consent, or even awareness.

    Perpetual security and safety? Cool motive, still evil.

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    Default Re: Good or evil? A goddess patronises a entire world's life

    Quote Originally Posted by ezekielraiden View Post
    Admittedly, alignment definitions are a chronic problem, but I'd dispute your characterization of Good. Good doesn't have to categorically value others more than themselves, though that is a possible outcome; it's called martyrdom. Instead, I'd argue that Good is (a) unselfish, willing to make even difficult personal sacrifices, and (b) treats other sapient beings as ends-in-themselves rather than merely as means to an end. Or, to try to squeeze it into your phrase style here, Good is 'other people are irreplaceable, and if I can help them I should.' Good doesn't have to be irrational, and you shouldn't need to be a martyr to be Good.
    Martyrdom is that principle taken to the extreme, but I mean even lesser things like 'what makes me happy is seeing my child succeed' or 'what makes me happy is being with a group of friends'. At its core, the idea that value and meaning in life is embedded primarily in how things are for others and the way that empathy engages with that, rather than embedded within the self.

    None of what I'm describing has anything to do with rationality anyhow (which is, roughly, 'given a goal, I take actions which are generally consistent with my best grounded beliefs as to how that goal could be achieved'). It's the other side of it - what do you choose to be your goal? Is it important to your win condition that other people receive what they want and have their desires respected, or is it only important that the world take a particular form that you envision others should like, and what others actually feel about that doesn't matter, or 'I'm not even going to pretend that others factor in at all, I just want X or Y'.

    I don't see how there's any way to have non-evil mind rape. Invading a sapient's brain and not only removing thoughts and memories you don't like, but making them incapable of thinking the things you don't want them to think, the moment they try to? Even if they aren't adoring zombies, she's still programming them to behave the way she wants them to behave. There is no functional difference between "you have no choice, you must do X" and "you can choose anything you want, as long as you only want X, and I'll never let you know you might have done something else." Neither is actual choice. Your thoughts, memories, personality, etc. are always contingent on her willingness to allow you to have them, and she does exercise that right. We might as well be speaking of cautious, selective, minimally-invasive organ theft. "I don't kill anyone I don't have to!" "I only take from people who can spare it!" None of these excuses matter; you're still stealing vital parts of people without their permission, consent, or even awareness.
    While I'd take the argument that not all actions which prevent a thought from being about to be thunk are equivalent to mind-rape (especially when we can engage with mythological factors, magical ways of achieving ends, and concepts like 'fate'), the point of this wasn't 'the goddess can do Neutral mind-rape', its that for an entity with a power-level that puts something like mind rape on the table, there are far simpler ways to have that gilded cage and prevent the development of things which she believes would be harmful. For example, any time someone triggers her sense that they're doing research in that direction, she sends a solar with an ultimatum - desist, or be transported to Sigil and banned from this prime world (with a choice to e.g. bring your family with you, or other such considerations). In a system of ethical philosophy where law/chaos is a separate axis from good/evil, not all abrogations of an individual's complete freedom of action are going to be Evil - only ones which demonstrate a disregard for the idea that what the person feels about the subject matters.

    I think its unlikely that any attempt to force the gilded cage into existence would maintain a Good alignment, but I think there are ways within the reasonable abilities of a D&D deity to do it while maintaining a Neutral alignment. To do it with a Good alignment, the deity would have to do it via leadership and teaching such that people's natures spontaneously cause the utopia to emerge through their own behaviors without external imposition. By forcing that here or there, the deity is at best creating a world that she thinks people should be happy in, rather than the world that the people themselves want (but still respecting and taking seriously the importance of their happiness, just having the flaw of using her own image or ideal as to what that happiness should mean rather than the reality), and for me that would pretty solidly fit the attitudes of a Neutral character with other strong philosophical alignment to a non G/E axis.

    Spoiler: Side-track on non-evil thought prevention
    Show

    As an example of the sorts of things that could achieve the end of 'no one ever invents nuclear bombs/fantasy equivalent', imagine that the goddess sends a distraction or minor deflection of the way the natural world functions every time there would naturally be a moment of serendipity or good fortune towards developing those ideas. The correspondence sent from one researcher to another that would inspire a derivation or development gets delayed or lost. Right as someone is about the have their eureka moment, the phone rings. A sign error is injected into their notes. The same end of 'this person cannot succeed in advancing a sophisticated line of thought in a given direction' can be achieved without the means of literally reaching into their head and messing with their brain, or even (in a universe where divination is a real thing) directly reading their mind at any point.
    Last edited by NichG; 2019-08-22 at 10:04 AM.

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    Default Re: Good or evil? A goddess patronises a entire world's life

    Good doesn't just facilitate or cultivate life - Good respects it, and that includes trusting it to self-determinate. A god that completely removes free-will like is probably morally Neutral at best.

    Note that in D&D settings, the status quo is not due to Good gods removing all chance at progress - rather, it's due to them being outnumbered by the non-Good ones, barely hanging on, and thus needing heroes to help keep life and civilization moving along even at the very slow pace they do. If one god had the power to (safely) effect larger positive change, or at least remove barriers to same, and chose not to, it would point to that deity's morality perhaps being a bit less on the nurturing side.

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    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
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    Default Re: Good or evil? A goddess patronises a entire world's life

    Quote Originally Posted by ezekielraiden View Post
    but having a plan and sticking with it tends to be decidedly un-Chaotic.
    Being able to create a plan and stick to it has absolutely nothing to do with a character's alignment it has to do with said character's wisdom. Having the foresight to create a plan is a function of being wise, and so too is being capable of carrying out said plan. The ability to think critically through a hypothetical situation and create counter measures for different situations is a function of intelligence, so creating a 'good' plan is a function of the character's intelligence.

    Being chaotic is not believing in laws and often a very high level of self focus in your own 'moral code'. Ayn Rand's philosophical writing is a pretty good place to look to get a good base line of chaotic good and chaotic neutral.

    If we want to look purely at the lawful-chaotic spectrum I think it would be some thing like this:
    Lawful: laws are the glue that hold the society together and without them the society would fall apart into ruin, there for it is very important for everyone to abide by the rules/laws.
    Neutral: I have no opinion either way, I will follow rules if it suits me and break them as long as it isn't a headache to do so.
    Chaotic: Laws and rules are just there to hamper and restrict us from achieving our true purpose it is better to follow your heart and do what it tells you is right.

    Quote Originally Posted by ThanatosZero View Post


    More Context:

    The Goddess in question has seen how mankind ruined itself, with their own weapons to the brink of utterly extinction. Because she couldn't prevent it back then, she aims to not let the tragedy be repeated again.

    Regarding herself, she only involves herself personally, when a threat arises and does her best to avoid killing, except for the race with tremendous powers, which she associates as living weapons, if they don't bow down to her wisdom and guidance. She created chosen ones, which slaughtered the race in the belief, that they stop great evil.

    Funnily enough there is only one tribe of humans worshipping her, as a gender-neutral deity, which are not allowed to speak the names of herself and the race, which is only refered to as ancient evil.
    I mean she sounds like evil springing from the ideals of good, more or less the embodiment of 'absolute power corrupts absolutely'.

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    Default Re: Good or evil? A goddess patronises a entire world's life

    Quote Originally Posted by False God View Post
    I'd think she's great. Because she's already altered my memories on the basis that thinking she's not so great may be a threat to her and others in the future.
    The only right answer.

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    Default Re: Good or evil? A goddess patronises a entire world's life

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    Good doesn't just facilitate or cultivate life - Good respects it, and that includes trusting it to self-determinate. A god that completely removes free-will like is probably morally Neutral at best.

    Note that in D&D settings, the status quo is not due to Good gods removing all chance at progress - rather, it's due to them being outnumbered by the non-Good ones, barely hanging on, and thus needing heroes to help keep life and civilization moving along even at the very slow pace they do. If one god had the power to (safely) effect larger positive change, or at least remove barriers to same, and chose not to, it would point to that deity's morality perhaps being a bit less on the nurturing side.
    I'd quibble here and say that Good respects someone's desire for self-determination as meaningful, but that that doesn't imply trust in self-determination (which is more of a Law/Chaos thing to me). That is to say, a Lawful Good attitude would be 'We understand that freedom is important and valuable to many people, but recognize that in some cases this means that one person can make choices that cause others to lose things that are important and valuable to them. Since not everyone will always do the right thing, we impose laws which may restrict some freedoms and may not always allow for self-determination, but do so specifically to address cases in which the outcomes of that self-determination would deny others their rights.' It's a wordy way of saying that e.g. Good societies don't have to allow murder just because they respect each individual's choices as to whether to murder someone.

    The belief that good intentions + self-determination will result in the best outcomes would seem to better characterize Chaotic Good in particular rather than just 'Good'. Lawful Good on the other hand would characterize a belief that there are many, partially incompatible values (all of which are important and must be respected) held by different individuals and that in order for an outcome to arise which is morally desirable and equitable, some degree of negotiation and coordination of those values needs to happen. Since all the values need to be respected, that coordination can't happen without listening to the actual stakeholders in the society and caring about what they say (even if not everyone will get everything they want).

    That's why I'd say a deity who imposes this kind of 'agreement' by fiat is probably more philosophically LN at best, but someone who orchestrates that negotiation to happen inclusively of those it will affect, and then provides the power to enforce it could be philosophically LG.

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    Default Re: Good or evil? A goddess patronises a entire world's life

    i dont believe she would be good or evil, she seems to be Lawful neutral. she does what she does according to her effort of maintaining the world her rulings may seem over the top but she is doing it to keep balance in her world. she could also be considered true neutral as well, but i think lawful neutral works better because she is still following her own kind of rules, she isnt killing people all willy nilly she actually has reasons for everything she does, that makes her more lawful.

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    Default Re: Good or evil? A goddess patronises a entire world's life

    More Context:

    The goddess herself considers herself a mother, but unlike any mother, she wants her "children" to stay children for the sake of life being protected in her care.

    Also, when she decided to become the world's protector and caretaker, she severed a network of wise old trees, which could have uplifted the other races.

    The wise trees say, that it is true that she indeed protected the world, but keeping it in a golden cage is not the same as "living".
    Especially so, when some of her supposed children, wish to leave the cage and become independant from her system.
    Last edited by ThanatosZero; 2019-08-23 at 08:17 AM.

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    Default Re: Good or evil? A goddess patronises a entire world's life

    Quote Originally Posted by OGDojo View Post
    i dont believe she would be good or evil, she seems to be Lawful neutral. she does what she does according to her effort of maintaining the world her rulings may seem over the top but she is doing it to keep balance in her world. she could also be considered true neutral as well, but i think lawful neutral works better because she is still following her own kind of rules, she isnt killing people all willy nilly she actually has reasons for everything she does, that makes her more lawful.
    I am not seeing much of a case for lawful nor neutral; there has been nothing so far about her putting in any system of laws and her determinations to 'mind rape' or commit genocide seem to not have a hard line just a general concept of this could lead to destruction if not properly handled. She doesn't believe those in her charge are capable of guiding themselves so keeps them in a gilded cage. These are the acts of Either Neutral Evil or perhaps Chaotic Evil.

    Quote Originally Posted by ThanatosZero View Post
    More Context:

    The goddess herself considers herself a mother, but unlike any mother, she wants her "children" to stay children for the sake of life being protected in her care.

    Also, when she decided to become the world's protector and caretaker, she severed a network of wise old trees, which could have uplifted the other races.

    The wise trees say, that it is true that she indeed protected the world, but keeping it in a golden cage is not the same as "living".
    Especially so, when some of her supposed children, wish to leave the cage and become independant from her system.
    Ya she seems batty and evil, she loves her children but kills them when they aren't sweet and innocent anymore...

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    Default Re: Good or evil? A goddess patronises a entire world's life

    Quote Originally Posted by ThanatosZero View Post
    More Context:

    The goddess herself considers herself a mother, but unlike any mother, she wants her "children" to stay children for the sake of life being protected in her care.

    Also, when she decided to become the world's protector and caretaker, she severed a network of wise old trees, which could have uplifted the other races.

    The wise trees say, that it is true that she indeed protected the world, but keeping it in a golden cage is not the same as "living".
    Especially so, when some of her supposed children, wish to leave the cage and become independant from her system.
    Oh, she also eliminated alternatives to herself in her rise to power, and specifically does what she does because she never wants her "children" to grow up or have any chance of life independent from her "love" and "protection"?

    That sounds a lot more than just dispassionately enforcing safety, security, and uniformity for its own sake. That sounds extremely selfish and pretty domineering. "You WILL be my children, and you WILL behave...even if you don't know you have to." She's willing to tell lies (calling the powerful race a great evil when they aren't), break peaceful societies that conflict even tangentially with her ability to retain sole control (the trees), remove thoughts/memories/ideas from people's heads if they would risk being a threat to others or to her maintaining control, and she keeps most beings entirely unaware of her presence through whatever means are necessary (meaning if she punishes/modifies one, they never find out and she never gains consent.)

    Yeah, I'm definitely willing to call this Lawful Evil. She has rules, she sticks to them, and she may even try for (relatively) low-impact punishment. She's also hip-deep in "utopia justifies the means," perfectly willing to use dirty business to maintain power and slap down potential rivals, and enforces her will out of a selfish desire to be the eternal and omnipresent mother of all living things. Individuals, and even entire species, are tools or objects to her. Sometimes beloved ones, but tools/objects all the same, beautiful porcelain dolls she can paint and dress up and love forever and ever.

    Here's a question:
    Let's say the entire adult population of the world suddenly and simultaneously became aware of her presence, what she's done to their world, and the fact she uses such manipulation to maintain control. Suppose further that everyone so enlightened becomes immune to her mental manipulation permanently. Assume it's an accident or a unstoppable one-time natural phenomenon (so she couldn't have prevented it from happening in the first place, but never needs to fear it happening a second time).

    Would she accept it if the majority told her to GTFO, and give up her "mother" position? Or would she just kill all the (rebel) adults and raise the children through constructs/proxies until a new society formed? I feel like the answer to this question will really clarify whether she truly cares about her children as people, or really just cares about having control over them. If she's willing to kill off anyone she can't control, that's pretty telling.

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    Default Re: Good or evil? A goddess patronises a entire world's life

    Quote Originally Posted by ezekielraiden View Post
    Here's a question:
    Let's say the entire adult population of the world suddenly and simultaneously became aware of her presence, what she's done to their world, and the fact she uses such manipulation to maintain control. Suppose further that everyone so enlightened becomes immune to her mental manipulation permanently. Assume it's an accident or a unstoppable one-time natural phenomenon (so she couldn't have prevented it from happening in the first place, but never needs to fear it happening a second time).

    Would she accept it if the majority told her to GTFO, and give up her "mother" position? Or would she just kill all the (rebel) adults and raise the children through constructs/proxies until a new society formed? I feel like the answer to this question will really clarify whether she truly cares about her children as people, or really just cares about having control over them. If she's willing to kill off anyone she can't control, that's pretty telling.
    She would reluctantly take up arms and presumely kill them to protect her other children, the ones, who either do not rebell or are loyal towards her.
    Or she would have a breakdown, nonetheless. But would she let them go without a fight? That is something only one can answer for themselves.

    Quote Originally Posted by ZamielVanWeber View Post
    Breath of Fire 3, is that you?
    Yes !!
    Last edited by ThanatosZero; 2019-08-23 at 06:18 PM.

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    Default Re: Good or evil? A goddess patronises a entire world's life

    I actually had a paladin of Myria once. He definitely favored her extremely benevolent side and de-emphasized her extreme controlling nature. It ended up being a BoF inspired Taiia in essence.

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    Default Re: Good or evil? A goddess patronises a entire world's life

    Quote Originally Posted by ThanatosZero View Post
    She would reluctantly take up arms and presumely kill them to protect her other children, the ones, who either do not rebell or are loyal towards her.
    Or she would have a breakdown, nonetheless. But would she let them go without a fight? That is something only one can answer for themselves.

    Yes !!
    Yeah, definitely evil. It's possible to see her as having good intentions, or as sampling her own supply--that is, what started as mere propaganda has become internalized, so she now believes she's actually the vitally-necessary mother-goddess. But she's justified lies and coercion on nothing more than "but *I* should be in control!"

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    Default Re: Good or evil? A goddess patronises a entire world's life

    HMmmm, depending on her preferred methods this is either batty extreme LN or batty extremely Lawful, mediocre Evil.

    After all, there is not a midge of enjoyment in the "evil" things she does to keep the system running, so it will likely prevent her from going fully into the deep end.

    But midnwiping as "minimum strength option" sets her path pretty clearlydownward...
    A neutron walks into a bar and says, “How much for a beer?” The bartender says, “For you? No charge.”


    Later: An atom walks into a bar an asks the bartender “Have you seen an electron? I left it in here last night.” The bartender says, “Are you sure?” The atom says, “I’m positive.”

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    Default Re: Good or evil? A goddess patronises a entire world's life

    Have you seen Angel? You're pretty much exactly describing Jasmine from the end of season 4.

    In terms of your goddess' alignment, I'd say it depends on how much power she actually has and how far she can manipulate the mind. She is, without a question, Lawful. "There is just one right way to be and everyone should follow it" is extremely Lawful. For Good and Evil, it can vary.

    If she's just killing off people who *might* pose a threat because she doesn't want anything to be able to threaten her utopia, she is certainly not Good. Probably some harsh shade of Lawful Neutral depending on how Good the utopia actually is.

    However, if she doesn't do that and she has the power to directly affect people's minds so that her rule is not threatened, she might very well be Lawful Good if her utopia warrants it. I think removing free will to an extent and limiting the power to act, eg. removing the capacity to desire Evil, think Evil thoughts, do Evil, is entirely compatible with a Good alignment, no matter how repulsive it is to us. Especially if you're a cosmic being who actually knows best and has a good grasp on what's Good and what's Evil. Actually, that is the main threat that I think Good could pose on a cosmic level if you were to have a Good vs. Good campaign. It's one of the reasons why I defend TN as the need for balance: "Good" as in the alignment doesn't always mean "good" as in "something beneficial that you would want to happen". It often does, but not always.
    She could maybe even get away with some sacrifices to fuel her power to maintain her utopia, like Jasmine. In that case, she would ping as extremely Lawful and mildly Good.
    Last edited by Seto; 2019-08-24 at 06:35 AM.
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