Armageddon???? - Part Eighty One Up

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Post by EdBecerra » 2008-08-15 11:03pm

The Duchess of Zeon wrote: I personally think that everyone who can stand and face death is mentally ill to some degree. For example, there were times I could and did, but I was suffering from such extremely low self-esteem then that I didn't care whether I lived or died; it wasn't bravery but rather severe mental distress, and the likelihood of my doing it in the future is drastically lessened by my improved mental state today.
Mental illness is often entirely (though not always) in the eye of the beholder, deal lady. One society's madman is another society's stalwart citizen.

I'm certain that the Aztec priests who hacked out human hearts were considered upright and outstanding examples of civic virtue to their fellow citizens.

And that they'd consider US to be the deranged lunatics...

Time move on, the seasons turn, and societies change. Whether they change for the better or the worse is entirely subjective. Unless, of course, the change causes them to die. Then it's obviously for the worse. Extinction almost always is.

Ed.
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Post by EdBecerra » 2008-08-15 11:15pm

CaptainChewbacca wrote:
tim31 wrote:No more souls for hell. Outstanding!

And now of course I'm itching to know if there is another side to the Minos portal, and if so, what.
Its gotta be some sort of energy/transferrence conduit. Taking a soul/consciousness from earth and manifesting it physically in hell can't be an easy thing.
Uhm, I'm just guessing here, but I think what Tim meant was, if that's the Hell side of the "I just died!" gateway from Earth, is there a Heaven side? And therefore, is it possibly a way in to Heaven that Yahweh's not paying any attention to?

If so, it must be shaped like the letter Y...

Like so. (Hope the formatting survives...)

.....Earth
........|
..Soul Gate
..../.........\
Hell........Heaven

Or something along those lines.

In which case, you could travel 'upstream' back to the gate, then take the Heaven 'exit', which hasn't been used in 1000 years, according to Yahweh.

Would it even be guarded? Or merely barred? And if barred, can we kick in the door?

Knock knock, we're HOME! Say hello to my little friend, the Mark IX fusion weapon... :lol:

Ed.
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Post by Vehrec » 2008-08-15 11:15pm

EdBecerra wrote:
CaptainChewbacca wrote:To take an oath I don't mean to a power I don't respect to save lives? I'd do it in a second.
Then how can you be trusted with any other oath? Break one, and sooner or later, you'll break two. Then a third. And a fourth.

I'd always have to watch my back around you -- if you're willing to betray the bad guys, it's possible, however remotely, that you might betray the good guys. I can't be CERTAIN about you any more.
Ed, Everyone has a price. Even you would break an oath-if the circumstances dictated it. Don't try to deny that it could happen, that you would break your bonds, if the REASON was there. If you were caught between two conflicting imperatives for instance. It might be extreme, but the circumstances that would FORCE you into it would exist. So try not to be so CERTAIN about yourself.
Yeah, military society's never going to be quite the same again.
Not quite-You only get ONE extra life, and it's a limited one in many ways. You can't EVER leave the Klein-bottle worlds for more than a handful of minutes.
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Post by Edward Yee » 2008-08-15 11:19pm

Heh... whereas for me my word isn't my bond probably because I forgot. :lol:
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Post by Guardsman Bass » 2008-08-15 11:32pm

Maybe the souls pass through a gate to Heaven first, where the angels did something similar to what the humans just did on the Minos Plateau - so that when human bodies arrive in Heaven, they get tossed on through to the Minos gate, and any demons that wander through get killed immediately.

Or something else. I'm not sure how Yahweh would somehow have a switch over the "conduit" unless he knows something the Baldricks don't. I thought the comment about how only a "handful" were showing up at the Minos gate until a few centuries before was interesting - where were they going? Yahweh's pretty strict, so I can't see him taking all of them unless he really doesn't give a damn about their obedience in life, and was simply fulfilling a quota before sending all of humanity to Hell. Were there other afterlifes before that? Were a ton of souls ending up in other afterlifes, or dimensions, belonging to other gods?
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Post by EdBecerra » 2008-08-16 12:15am

Vehrec wrote:Ed, Everyone has a price. Even you would break an oath-if the circumstances dictated it. Don't try to deny that it could happen, that you would break your bonds, if the REASON was there. If you were caught between two conflicting imperatives for instance. It might be extreme, but the circumstances that would FORCE you into it would exist. So try not to be so CERTAIN about yourself.
I already know my price. And I've paid it. I lost the woman I was engaged to marry because I refused to break my word. Which is why I refuse to give my word. I can't break it if I don't give it.

It's possible that I might be faced with yet another conflict, yes. In which case, I'll eat a 9mm. Or a 12 gauge. Whatever's most convenient. Removing myself removes the conflict.

Ironic thing is, while no one in our reality can meet the price I'd require for breaking my self-imposed restrictions, someone in Stuart's universe might.

As for why I think the way I do, have you ever read the "Deteriorata"? I take that not as a humorous poem, but as a philosophy of life.
Vehrec wrote:Not quite-You only get ONE extra life, and it's a limited one in many ways. You can't EVER leave the Klein-bottle worlds for more than a handful of minutes.
Is that canon for the story? Or is it just what we know so far? (Yes, I'm aware that the answers to those questions may constitute a spoiler for the story, I'm asking them without expecting an answer... yet.)

IIRC, didn't one of the researchers say something about "working on the problem" in regard to the dead being able to return for more than a few minutes? The implication was that if demons could do it, science could duplicate it. Anything nature can do, we can copy. It's just a matter of time and resources.

Ed.
(rather curious about it, for personal reasons...)
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Post by EdBecerra » 2008-08-16 12:21am

Guardsman Bass wrote:I thought the comment about how only a "handful" were showing up at the Minos gate until a few centuries before was interesting - where were they going? Yahweh's pretty strict, so I can't see him taking all of them unless he really doesn't give a damn about their obedience in life, and was simply fulfilling a quota before sending all of humanity to Hell. Were there other afterlifes before that? Were a ton of souls ending up in other afterlifes, or dimensions, belonging to other gods?
Maybe that was in reference to the number of the living - it wasn't until recently, historically speaking, that there were very many humans around. Our population increased rather slowly until we figured out hygiene and simple preventative medicines. We lost an awful lot of kids at birth, or shortly after. Families would have ten kids just to make certain two or three survived to adulthood.

It's only during the past 150-200 years that the population explosion as we know it took place. To a baldrick, that's like something happening overnight.

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Post by Darth Wong » 2008-08-16 12:26am

EdBecerra wrote:
CaptainChewbacca wrote:To take an oath I don't mean to a power I don't respect to save lives? I'd do it in a second.
Then how can you be trusted with any other oath? Break one, and sooner or later, you'll break two. Then a third. And a fourth.
How can someone who values his beliefs or his "honour" above human life be trusted with anything?
I'd always have to watch my back around you ...
A rather ironic statement. If someone values his own honour or his beliefs above human life, I would think that anyone would want to watch his back around him.
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Post by EdBecerra » 2008-08-16 12:41am

Darth Wong wrote:A rather ironic statement. If someone values his own honour or his beliefs above human life, I would think that anyone would want to watch his back around him.
Not really. Once you get to know me, I'm a very predictable person. If you know what I'll do under any circumstances, then you can make YOUR plans to deal with MY plans. Trust is just another way of saying "I can predict what you're going to do before you do it."

Predictability may not be the highest of virtues, but it's up there among them.

But then again, I admit I hate change and uncertainty.

It's a personal thing.

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Post by Fyrwulf » 2008-08-16 12:55am

Darth Wong wrote:A rather ironic statement. If someone values his own honour or his beliefs above human life, I would think that anyone would want to watch his back around him.

Not really. You can always trust somebody with a truly overblown sense of honor to make a challenge known before they try to kill you. That's why such people often live short, extremely violent lives.

As for bravery in the face of death, the question is mostly psychological and therefor too complex to put a hard answer on. Many of the example situations are so extreme that any one of us is unlikely to ever experience them (even the comparatively mild torture of waterboarding.) The standard mugger/thug scenario is the most likely for any average person and I think any sensible people would try to avoid a conflict against a person who is likely better armed and completely amoral. If, however, in such a situation it is obvious that the assault cannot be avoided, any defensive/aggressive response would be entirely instinctual; note, however, that any instinctual response would depend entirely on a person's native inclinations and acquired training. Bravery and/or morality don't come into it.

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Post by Darth Wong » 2008-08-16 01:01am

EdBecerra wrote:
Darth Wong wrote:A rather ironic statement. If someone values his own honour or his beliefs above human life, I would think that anyone would want to watch his back around him.
Not really. Once you get to know me, I'm a very predictable person.
Not as predictable as the self-preservation instinct. If predictability is your defense, then you must acknowledge that it applies at least as well to self-preservation as it does to your ethereal concepts of personal honour.
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Post by EdBecerra » 2008-08-16 01:52am

Darth Wong wrote:Not as predictable as the self-preservation instinct. If predictability is your defense, then you must acknowledge that it applies at least as well to self-preservation as it does to your ethereal concepts of personal honour.
Mistaken assumption there. You're assuming I have a sense of self-preservation.

I don't really want to live. I make the effort because someone I loved more than was/is mentally healthy required me to give her my oath that I wouldn't follow her onward. She did so by holding herself hostage. One of the few tactics I was vulnerable to. But then, everyone has their weaknesses.

She's gone now, thanks to cancer. So I sit, and I wait, unable to take any active measures to end a life I'm no longer enamored with, as she's no longer a part of it.

And yeah, I realize I'm not a shining example of mental health. I came to THAT conclusion a long time ago, after I met my first girlfriend, later my fiancee. When someone who makes a living by being a professional dominatrix tells you that you're seriously unbalanced even by her standards, that sort of defines things for you, y'know?

Ed.

EDIT: and I didn't notice it until now, but that tagline image of yours about Pickett's charge is... appropriate, either way.
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Post by CaptainChewbacca » 2008-08-16 03:36am

EdBecerra wrote:
CaptainChewbacca wrote:To take an oath I don't mean to a power I don't respect to save lives? I'd do it in a second.
Then how can you be trusted with any other oath? Break one, and sooner or later, you'll break two. Then a third. And a fourth.

I'd always have to watch my back around you -- if you're willing to betray the bad guys, it's possible, however remotely, that you might betray the good guys. I can't be CERTAIN about you any more.
Fuck your nonsense. You wouldn't lie to save a life? That's abominable. Sometimes for the greater good you have to sacrifice your honor or nobility, because its less important than things other people hold dear.
The odds that you might actually do so are likely smaller than the odds of being struck by lightning out of a clear sky, but even odds that high are too risky for me. I'd prefer an evil guy with iron clad honor - whose behavior I can predict, whose behavior is bound by rules - to a good guy who can't be trusted to keep his word, and who can't be predicted.
I keep my word for good reason, and I don't break it without a good reason. Iron-clad honor is an excuse to not think about consequences.
As someone else quoted in their sig, Death, lighter than a feather. Duty, heavier than a mountain. Or, stripped of the poetry - Life? Big deal. We're ALL going to die. Just a question of where and when. Save a child's life? Child's still going to die, just at a different time and place.
You can't tell the difference between eating a gun and getting hit by a train to save a child's life? You're the worst kind of sociopath I've ever seen.
Whole universe is going to grow cold and die someday.

Honor, though? Honor has importance.
Are you off your nut? What's so important about your honor? What's so special about your word that will last when the black holes are done vaporizing? To whom will it have mattered? You and nobody else. Perhaps somewhere, drifting in the void, there will be an obelisk of unobtanium, and on that spire, drifting in the black, beneath crystals of methane will read: ED BECCERA: THE MOST SELFISH AND SELF-SERVING BASTARD OF ALL TIME

Grats.
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Latest message 'stuck'?

Post by EdBecerra » 2008-08-16 04:06am

Whenever I log in, the BBS seems to think the most recent message I've read is about four or five days back. What controls that? A cookie on my machine? One on the BBS? If it's on the BBS, can it be cleared?

Ed.
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Post by EdBecerra » 2008-08-16 04:24am

CaptainChewbacca wrote:Are you off your nut? What's so important about your honor?
I honestly don't know how to answer that question in a way that will make sense to you. That's not meant as an insult to you, simply that it's a cultural thing - or perhaps a family thing, depending on how narrowly you want to define my heritage. Japanese will die over a point of honor, yet I don't see people reviling them about it. Okay, I do occasionally see folks calling them foolish about it, but rarely to their faces. If it's acceptable for a Japanese to die - or suicide - over a point of honor, why is it unacceptable for someone of European ancestry? This is a question I've long sought an answer to, and still haven't received one that rings true to me. (Though that may be more of a failure on my part to comprehend the answers people than it is their answers being wrong or right. Even the two women I've loved in my life both insisted that I wasn't the sharpest tool in the shed, and I believe them to have been correct on that account.)

The accusation of selfishness? Quite true. Though I do believe in contractual obligations. I'll carry out a signed contract to the letter, no less. No more, however. That, too, runs in the family.

And I didn't mean to start what looks like the beginnings of a flame war. That's entirely my fault, though I didn't realize that openly stating my philosophical choices in life (and death as well, perhaps?) would anger people so quickly. As I'm responsible for firing the first shot, I'm responsible for surrendering as quickly as possible, rather than see a moderator shut things down.

So my apologies for bringing this up, and I will try to avoid any further mention of it in the future.

Aili used to tell me "I love you, but you're an idiot." The longer I live, the more I believe that she was correct. *shrug* (She used much stronger words than that, but I digress.)

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Post by Bayonet » 2008-08-16 09:50am

Edward Yee wrote:"n total disregard for his own life."


I believe the key word is "disregard." Few people set out to "give their lives," even they guy who thows himself on the grenade. You don't think like that in the heat of the moment. You just do, or do not. Supreme sacrifice often comes down to disregarding the consequences more than defying them.

And remember the point of military awards. They recognize and encourage conspicuous gallantry.

In the end, I don't much care why they did the brave things they did. They did, and that is to be honored.
Last edited by Bayonet on 2008-08-16 10:30am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Bayonet » 2008-08-16 10:02am

Vehrec wrote: Everyone has a price. Even you would break an oath-if the circumstances dictated it. Don't try to deny that it could happen, that you would break your bonds, if the REASON was there. If you were caught between two conflicting imperatives for instance. It might be extreme, but the circumstances that would FORCE you into it would exist. So try not to be so CERTAIN about yourself.
Someone (forgot who) once said that the great conflicts are not between Truth and Falsehood, but between two "Truths."

I don't think I could entirely trust someone who has such a rigid sense of honor. I don't know what sort of lunatic, dangerous thing he would do to endanger me or my people, because some sort of honor demanded it.

No sir. Give me plain ol' American Sinners. (Or pick your country or group.) They will fuck up. They will pike out on you. They will fail. And they will do so regularly.

But properly led, they will achieve wonders. They will cover your arse. They will die for their buddies. They will follow you to Hell with a handpump. (A phrase that kinda loses it's impact in this 'verse, eh?)

And the whole time, they'll make you proud and miserable and frantic, and make you wish you hadn't went.

God! I love those guys.
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Post by Bayonet » 2008-08-16 10:06am

Guardsman Bass wrote: I thought the comment about how only a "handful" were showing up at the Minos gate until a few centuries before was interesting - where were they going?
They weren't "going" anywhere. The population of Earth has spiked in modern times, yielding a greater harvest. There were fewer people to die, back then.

Not a trickle, perhaps, but a trickle compared to the flood they were hand sorting at the end.

That would be a hell of a conveyor (literally :roll: ) to build. A lot of mass moving fast and reliably.
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Post by Darth Wong » 2008-08-16 04:53pm

EdBecerra wrote:The accusation of selfishness? Quite true. Though I do believe in contractual obligations. I'll carry out a signed contract to the letter, no less. No more, however. That, too, runs in the family.
Appealing to family tradition is no better than appealing to religious tradition. It is a way of evading personal responsibility for one's ethical positions and decisions.

At the end of the day, you have essentially claimed that if someone stood there with a gun to the head of an innocent person and demanded that you renounce your oath, you would say "Go ahead. Shoot him."

And you seriously don't understand why anyone has a problem with that? Or why they might scoff at your claims that you are a more trustworthy person than someone who would choose differently?
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Post by Kodiak » 2008-08-17 11:07am

Darth Wong wrote: And you seriously don't understand why anyone has a problem with that? Or why they might scoff at your claims that you are a more trustworthy person than someone who would choose differently?
Also, I think there's a flaw in the thinking that a person who is more "trustworthy" is inherently better than one who allows for moral circumstance to compromise an oath. Ed has said that he's "predictable", but so far his predictability points to him being a reliable asshole.
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Post by Adrian Laguna » 2008-08-19 02:41pm

Relating to the discussion of why people lie about what they would do during a stressful situation, or one where they are facing death, I think part of the reason why people lie is becasue telling the truth is a liability. Put simply, if someone says, "I expect that if I were drafted into front line service I would stay in my fox hole crying and soiling my pants," they could be perfectly honest, but said honesty wouldn't be winning them any favours.

Apply that to more even more difficult stuff like whether you join the Hitler Youth, or help runaway Jews in Nazi occupied land, or any other situation where sticking by ideology could have unpleasant (read: lethal) consequences, and honesty could easily turn you into a social outcast. If you honestly know that you would stand by and do nothing, your only real option to avoid being ostracised, even if most everyone else would also stand by and do nothing, is to lie.

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Post by Darth Wong » 2008-08-19 02:45pm

Adrian Laguna wrote:Relating to the discussion of why people lie about what they would do during a stressful situation, or one where they are facing death, I think part of the reason why people lie is becasue telling the truth is a liability. Put simply, if someone says, "I expect that if I were drafted into front line service I would stay in my fox hole crying and soiling my pants," they could be perfectly honest, but said honesty wouldn't be winning them any favours.

Apply that to more even more difficult stuff like whether you join the Hitler Youth, or help runaway Jews in Nazi occupied land, or any other situation where sticking by ideology could have unpleasant (read: lethal) consequences, and honesty could easily turn you into a social outcast. If you honestly know that you would stand by and do nothing, your only real option to avoid being ostracised, even if most everyone else would also stand by and do nothing, is to lie.
That doesn't really excuse macho chest-beating, though. Nobody is forcing people to do it, or applying threats of social ostracization to make them do it. Most of the people who talk about bravely fighting to the death are just wankers, especially when they do it on the Internet.
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Post by Bayonet » 2008-08-19 04:05pm

Darth Wong wrote: Most of the people who talk about bravely fighting to the death are just wankers, especially when they do it on the Internet.
Or they just haven't thought it through.
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Post by The Duchess of Zeon » 2008-08-19 04:08pm

Most fighting to the death is incidental, anyway. You're just fighting so hard that you don't quite realize you're screwed, and then you're dead and you can't think about it anyway. I doubt it occurred to many men in a lot of last stands that they were truly doomed--they just needed to hold off the enemy one more time, and then relief would get through.
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Post by Adrian Laguna » 2008-08-19 04:22pm

Darth Wong wrote:That doesn't really excuse macho chest-beating, though. Nobody is forcing people to do it, or applying threats of social ostracization to make them do it. Most of the people who talk about bravely fighting to the death are just wankers, especially when they do it on the Internet.
Yes you're right. It's one thing to say, "I would just try to do my duty" to a front-line combat hypothetical, and quite another to brag what a tough bad ass one would be.

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