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Poll: Most/Least Ethical Faction?[G5]


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To clarify, this may not necessarily be a faction you agree with, or one that is ethical in and of itself. Rather, this is the faction that you choose to help when you're trying to be a good guy. (For instance, a lot of G4 players helped the Trakovites just because they seemed a better side than the Shapers and the Rebels.) If you want to clarify in a reply, you can reference the different endings, but be sure to mark any spoilers.

P.S. The reason I'm asking is that I haven't decided what faction(s) to join if and when I buy the game.

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Astoria's faction is the least ethical in that she continually backstabs her fellow Councilor to get her way and assumes that when she takes control that she will be able to fix the damage. She makes greedy Rawal almost look ethical since he is purely concerned with increasing his power by gaining leverage over the other factions.

 

Alwan is straight forward and honest. He could have let the shredbugs loose on Astoria as punishment for dealing with the Rebels, but he has the secret laboratory and shredbugs destroyed.

 

Taygen is crazy in assuming all creations will go rogue so they must be destroyed before it happens.

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It is difficult to assign a superlative. I would say either Astoria or Alwan are fairly ethical depending on your ideas of creation rights. On the other end, the well-meaning Trakovite faction gets marred by Litalia's extreme tactics. Ghaldring turns you into an assassin (one could debate the ethics of this, I suppose). Taygen makes you participate in genocide.

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Taygen is probably the most evil of the bunch. All of them use questionable methods, but he's the one whose goals are completely reprehensible.

 

The difference between Rawal and Astoria is that Rawal acts only for his own good. She is interested in the greater good at whatever cost. That's not going to win her any awards for upstanding conduct or nonviolence, but in the end she does, in fact, manage to bring the war to a reasonably satisfactory close without mass slaughter.

 

[Editly: Whoopsly.]

 

—Alorael, who would find Astoria's backstabbing more upsetting if it weren't clear that the entire council is variously paranoid, insanely stubborn, or frankly self-interested. Clearing them out is necessary for the good of everyone who isnt' the Council.

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Which makes a good point: G5 is an indictment of the Shaper Council. In previous games, particularly through G3, Shapers always described the Council in very high regard, wise and free of corruption, etc. The loyalist endings to G1 and G2 certainly imply this to be true. So in G3 and G4 when you were forced to choose it was possible to believe that the Shaper Council really was wise and noble and well-meaning, if imperfect. G5 lays this bare as a fraud. If I had seriously sympathized with the Shaper factions in G3 and G4, I would probably feel betrayed and upset over that.

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It's too bad there isn't a "Takers" faction in G5. If the key ethical differences boil down in part to creation rights, an issue raised by *i, the folks in Kaz appear to be the only humane group in the mix. When you click on the creations in the pens in Kaz, you are told that these creations have been away from Shaper control for some time but, "The serviles are keeping them under control with simple, kind treatment." It's the only time during the game that I read any reference to kindness to creations, except lip service by a number of people. In sharp contrast, you get the message at the little vet hospital in Penta that the rebels don't treat creations with any more respect than the Shapers do.

 

Barring a Takers faction in the game, I'd have to go with Alwan as the most honest and the most ethical. Astoria never seems to give a straight answer.

 

In G1, the Awakened *seemed* like such a clear choice compared to the other two. But ethical lines have become increasingly blurred throughout the series. It's been difficult in each successive game to actually pick one that I agree with completely.

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I've always sympathized with the Shapers as the party of order and reason, periodically wincing at their more intolerant actions. So Alwan is an easy choice for the good guy.

 

Taygen and Ghaldring are both mass murderers. However, Ghaldring at least is only trying to destroy his obvious enemies, the Shapers. Taygen, on the other hand, seeks to obliterate all creations regardless of loyalty, which makes him much worse ethically.

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I'd like the rebels by design, but Ghaldring somewhat spoils it for me. A Takers faction would be great, but as it is the rebels are just tools for the drakons. And those are just like the shapers except they can also breathe fire. Their main goal is power, and they want to achieve it with whatever means necessary. Maybe even more so than the shapers. The rebels think they have an ally in the drakons, but I say they don't know what they've gotten themselves into. The drakons are not an ally, they're a time bomb.

 

Astoria seems to be mostly concerned with keeping her position of power throughout a war that her side could easily lose. If she seems ethical, then only because both the shapers as well as the rebels have fairly extreme ideas and the middle ground is accidentally more ethical than either of those. On the other hand, she seems genuinely shaken by the revelation that the rebels created the shredbugs. But then, perhaps that is just because it makes a rebel victory more likely and thus means she might have to consider adjusting her views accordingly.

 

Alwan appears to have very strong beliefs that he follows strictly (and somewhat blindly). The laws that he follows are not exactly in favour of creations. Yes, he is straight-forward and honest, but his laws still include things such as immediately destroying rogue creatures, where rogue can mean anything from eating too much or too little to growing some brains and starting a revolution. But if there is nothing else to be said for him, at least he's not a spineless opportunist. He is predictable and dependable. Even if you're a creation.

 

Taygen is a madman. There is nothing ethical or unethical about his views. He acts like someone with a severe phobia. His methods are blunt, but he is not a mass murderer. He is about the only one who is mostly concerned with creations and not at all with other shapers or with rebels. In the shaper belief system, creations are as animals are to us. If Taygen is a mass murderer, everybody in this forum who is not a vegan is one too.

 

The Trakovites are slightly similar. They have the same fears that Taygen has. Their means, however, are much less drastic. They still kill people, but they do it in a coordinated way in order to achieve one specific goal. They're certainly mass murderers, but they're not much different from a country in our world going to war with another over some imaginary weapons of mass destruction. Unlike with many wars in our world, their enemy is real and verifiable by everybody, and power is not among their goals. So while they're still not exactly the most ethical faction, they are still more ethical than the countries that most of the people on this board live in. Actually, I probably have to make that "all of the people on this board".

 

The decision which one of this bunch of hypocrites is the most ethical hypocrite is not easy. Or actually, if hypocrisy is all you care about, it's easy, because Alwan appears to be the one person who is not a hypocrite. But if you think that creations should have rights, you're screwed because everybody else who does is a jerk.

 

If I have to choose, I would choose Alwan as the most ethical, but the Trakovites as the least evil. The least ethical is definitely Ghaldring.

 

All of this IMHO, of course.

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Originally Posted By: Danny the Fool
If Taygen is a mass murderer, everybody in this forum who is not a vegan is one too.

People who eat animals are not murderers. People who kill animals in cold blood or in anger are murderers. The Purity Agent is designed to wipe out all creations for the sole purpose of making them dead. Why isn't Taygen a mass murderer?
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Thuryl indeed has a legitimate point. I suppose I hold the optimistic view that one day, through either technological or cultural advances, we may no longer need to exploit those species. I feel it is better to hold out for this scenario however distant or unlikely it may be, rather than to wipe out the species and regret it forever. When they're gone they're gone, and I consider that a far greater crime than any atrocity that could be committed against a living species.

 

'Preserving biological diversity' makes it seem like such a clinical argument, when really I mean it as something more than that. Especially with Geneforge, where you are dealing with sapient species. You would not only be destroying biological diversity there, you would be destroying cultures.

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Many domesticated species have become so dependent on humans that they really couldn't survive in the wild. They exist only because we exploit them.

 

—Alorael, who would object to Taygen's plan to off, say, ornks like a plan to kill all livestock. It's evil, but it's not as evil as mass murder of drayks, drakons, and serviles, all of whom are intelligent individuals with all the moral worth of any other person. And it's noteworthy that the Shapers in general, not just Taygen, are pretty much inimical to drayks and drakons.

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Originally Posted By: Thuryl
Originally Posted By: Danny the Fool
If Taygen is a mass murderer, everybody in this forum who is not a vegan is one too.


I've never yet met a cow that could talk to me.


You should make a reservation at Milliway's some day tongue

@Danny: Unless somebody is going to prepare one last Blue Whale Stew for the whole of Japan, Greenland, Iceland or Norway, I don't quite see the reasoning behind that assessment (except both are in one way or another responsible for the death of one or more member of, up to an entire species).
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I feel like Alwan is somewhat justified in that he believes the destruction of the drakons and drayks will actually be more beneficial to the well being of other life forms of the world. He's is correct in a sense, though personally I would much sooner take the risk of negotiating with the drakons before trying to wipe out their race. Alwan would probably say I'm too weak to do what it takes, though I prefer to think I'm just strong enough to not resort to his methods.

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Astoria, mostly because I find what she was working towards to be the most agreeable path (and outcome, as it turns out) available to you in the game. Her motives may be subject to debate, but if she really was vying for personal power, she did a pretty poor job of it, which leads me to believe there was more to them than that.

 

My good-guy gaming persona has a tremendous amount of respect for Alwan, and in fact came really close to swearing loyalty to him, but couldn't quite see eye to eye with him on the treatment of the more intelligent and independent creations. He was genuinely torn about helping Astoria stab Alwan in the back and getting all those poor brave souls at Fort Rockfall killed in the process, but at that point he seemed to have exhausted his non-evil options for seeing the war end in a good way.

 

Also, I would have voted Rawal for worst if he had been an option. All the rest of the factions were concerned on one level or another with the fate of the world, or at least the fate of a group larger than themselves. But given that he isn't an option, Taygen comes in second.

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Originally Posted By: Locmaar

@Danny: Unless somebody is going to prepare one last Blue Whale Stew for the whole of Japan, Greenland, Iceland or Norway, I don't quite see the reasoning behind that assessment (except both are in one way or another responsible for the death of one or more member of, up to an entire species).


That's not the point I wanted to make. We're discussing Taygen, not humanity. But since everybody seems to be focusing on the humanity part, let me explain the analogy a bit more:

If you eat something that contains eggs, those eggs likely come from factory farms, especially if they're just another ingredient in industrially manufactured food and not eggs that you bought at a market and processed into an omelette yourself. Factory farms that produce eggs only need the female chicken. Since the birth ratio is still roughly 1:1, most of the male chicks are ground into meat-and-bone meal and used in animal food (without killing them in a humane fashion first, to boot). After a few years, the hens start laying less eggs. So they are killed and processed into food. This is neither considered murder in our society, nor mass murder, even though millions of chickens die in this way every year. Murder, in our society, is killing a human with malice aforethought. The human/chicken distinction aside, there is no malice: We just want to eat, the society generally tolerates this sort of behaviour, and so on.

Back to Terrestia. If you're a shaper, you see your creations as tools. If they don't perform, you absorb them. If they deviate from their design, you absorb them. If they get old and you grow tired of them, you absorb them. You do, from what I've seen in the GF games, treat them somewhat well. But still, you can legally kill them at will, and if you're a loyal shaper, you think that's the way things should be. This is not considered murder in the shaper society, and if you do it a lot, it's not considered mass murder. There happen to be not very many shapers that kill creations on a large scale, but even if Taygen is the only one who does, that doesn't make it murder. His victims are to the shapers as chickens are to us, and there certainly is no malice anywhere; he's just scared.

In conclusion, I maintain that Taygen can't objectively be considered a mass murderer. He can only be considered a mass murderer if you use a definition of murder that is not canonical in the dominating society in Terrestia, quite similar in how Vegans can't claim everybody else is a murderer because then, they are using a non-canonical definition of the term murder.
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I would question how universally the shapers truly believe that their creations are no more than tools. A lot of american slave owners historically held to the position that african americans were less than human, but how many of them truly believed that, and how many of them used it to rationalize doing things they knew they should be having misgivings about? Even Alwan, who is about as staunch of a shaper loyalist as they come, seems to recognize that creations are (barely) more than just tools.

 

Also, I don't think murder has to be malicious to be considered such. What if you were to kill someone not out of any hard feelings, but simply because they were in your way? Or, in a more extreme case, because you're a religious fundamentalist and think you're on a holy mission that unfortunately requires killing people?

 

Just because Taygen doesn't think of himself as a mass murder (and because there are other people in the Shaper universe that probably agree with him) doesn't automatically mean that he isn't one.

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If the Shapers consider creations tools, they're ignoring too many animal-like qualities. Most of them do seem to think of their creations as animals, though, or at least the ones that are like animals. Animals made for a specific purpose, perhaps, but animals nonetheless. Most of us think of factory farming as distasteful, and what Taygen wants to do is worse: killing animals simply to remove them. From his perspective he's doing the right thing, obviously; creations have no rights and it's the only way to save the humans who matter. From our perspective, though, he's evil.

 

All that leaves out the fact that some creations are clearly intelligent. If you were a cannibal and factory farmed human, or even intelligent cows, you would be evil. No one would argue otherwise.

 

—Alorael, who of course excepts Thuryl, who indeed would argue otherwise just because he can. Also, it's worth pointing out that mines, batons, and living tools are treated much more like tools than like animals, but they are also clearly like lower animals. We accord shrimp even fewer rights than chicken. Shrimp aren't as cute.

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Originally Posted By: Triptych of Ominous Hazarding

Most of us think of factory farming as distasteful, and what Taygen wants to do is worse: killing animals simply to remove them.


That's not really different from outright killing 50% of your newborn chicken because you don't need the male ones, and you have a similar situation with cattle as well.

Taygen really has the same goal as the Trakovites. He wants to abolish shaping. His means are a tiny bit more drastic than those of the Trakovites, although I'm not quite sure about the exact difference in evilness between his "killing all creations and be done with it" and Litalia's "kill random innocents until they stop shaping". (Since Litalia only arrived recently, let's not hold her against the Trakovites, though.)

Originally Posted By: Triptych of Ominous Hazarding
From his perspective he's doing the right thing, obviously; creations have no rights and it's the only way to save the humans who matter. From our perspective, though, he's evil.


So, how come Taygen is evil, but factory farming is only distasteful, even though at least Taygen doesn't even want to breed creations with the intention of killing them later?

Originally Posted By: Triptych of Ominous Hazarding

All that leaves out the fact that some creations are clearly intelligent. If you were a cannibal and factory farmed human, or even intelligent cows, you would be evil. No one would argue otherwise.


How do you define "intelligent"?

Adult pigs are about as intelligent as 3-year old humans. There is research that shows that they can play video games (although not as complex ones as Geneforge, google for it if you want the details). Most creations in Geneforge are less intelligent than that.

I've seen a reference to talking somewhere in this thread. I think the ability to talk is a lousy criterion for determining intelligence. On the other hand, one wouldn't be alone with that idea, the rebels do it too: They are basically like the shapers, but talking creations have more rights.

Originally Posted By: Triptych of Ominous Hazarding

Also, it's worth pointing out that mines, batons, and living tools are treated much more like tools than like animals, but they are also clearly like lower animals.


The shrimp analogy is a good one. Just like you will find yourself in a situation every once in a while where you stick a living tool in a piece of malfunctioning machinery, knowing full well that it will burn to a crisp and die in the process, shrimp, other seafood and fish are often cooked alive.
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Originally Posted By: Serene Tempest
I would question how universally the shapers truly believe that their creations are no more than tools. A lot of american slave owners historically held to the position that african americans were less than human, but how many of them truly believed that ...


I don't know how many of the slave owners truly believed what they said. I do think it is easier for the shapers to think of creations as members inferior species or animals, since they know exaclty how they created them in the first place. The slave owners must have at least suspected that their slaves were as human as they.

Originally Posted By: Serene Tempest
Also, I don't think murder has to be malicious to be considered such. What if you were to kill someone not out of any hard feelings, but simply because they were in your way? Or, in a more extreme case, because you're a religious fundamentalist and think you're on a holy mission that unfortunately requires killing people?


Murder commonly requires the intent to kill, and law commonly refers to that as "malice". Hence, killing a terminally ill human person out of mercy, even if that person requested to be killed, can be considered murder. This varies by jurisdiction. But killing someone because he's in your way is pretty much malicious everywhere.

Murder also commonly requires killing a human. This is where Taygen's plan doesn't fit. He is not planning to kill humans. He is planning to kill animals, and animals that were created, as in bio-engineered, by humans at that.
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Some of the Shapers like Alwan are against Taygen's plan, because the consider creations to be their children. Not full adults, but minors that have special rights because they can't defend themselves. So they consider the plan a form of murder.

 

Alwan wants to eliminate just the barred creations and use germ warfare to remove the Unbound as a force. A minor version of Taygen's plan. Not as efficient as Taygen since they will have to fight more, but it works out in the end.

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Let me just say, in my memory, comparisons between the shaper world and ours don't work, there are simply too many differences.

 

That aside, Taygen is mad. Just to continue the chicken analogy, what if some person in the government went and, without the permission of the entire government, decided to kill every single chicken? Methinks that would *not* go over too well.

 

As far as overall ethics, though, I think that Ghaldring takes the cake. He is simply out for revenge, despite all the nice stories he coats with magic pixie dust he tells us.

 

And for the best ethics, I really must say Alwan, although Astoria is close. The only problem is, she seems to be a tad bit more into the whole backstabbing thing, although Alwan *does* do his fair share.

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I had a hard time choosing between Ghaldring and Taygen for least ethical. Both are pretty monstrous. I chose Taygen more for the attrocities of the camps then for the purity agent, since Ghaldring is at least as genocidal.

 

For most ethical I went with Astoria, since she's trying to do the best thing. Her means aren't always upright, but she's still certainly better than her contemporaries. Both ends and means are important, but Alwan's ends are worse than her's I think.

 

I'm confused about the idea that the Trakovites are the most moral. Litalia has pretty much forced them off that high horse with her whole "ends justify the means" dealie.

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The Litalia Trakovites are using extreme examples of bad shaping to convince others to stop shaping. It's the same as in GF4 where they let the Unbound be released, but in limited numbers with no more by destroying the vats. Scare everyone with lots of bad examples and ignore all the good ones.

 

Kind of shaping Anama.

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Maybe I've played too many tabletop rpgs, but the Astoria/Alwan debate made me stop thinking in terms of ethics and start thinking in terms of alignment.

 

Alwan is lawful neutral: to him the law is its own end. I don't know that I find that to be "ethical" in the traditional sense, but it is at least principled and coherent. Ghaldring is chaotic --

Click to reveal..
he attacks people he's invited to be his guest
-- and power-hungry; I almost think I'd peg him as chaotic evil.

 

If most of us find "ethical" to mean neutral good (or chaotic good?), I suspect Astoria is the closest faction leader to provide an ethical fit?

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No one lives by the blind code of alignment that D&D alignment seems to force on you. I know others disagree about the strictness and limitations, and I don't want this topic to turn into an alignment argument. I'll just say that I don't think any of the factions are good in an internal, Kantian sense. The best you can get is people with limits to how far they'll go and palatable goals.

 

—Alorael, who doesn't quite think Litalia and her gang are hypocrites. Yes, they use shaping, but they couldn't even survive if they didn't. They would be hypocrites if they used unlimited shaping and didn't intend to stop once they were capable of it. It's worth noting how little they shape, particularly Litalia herself.

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I suppose everybody has their own view of ethics, but I tend to follow the line of thinking that, as far as ethics go, Astoria is far from being the best. I would contend that even Taygen was more ethical than her in their society. After all, creations are merely animals in their society, and, while he took it too far, he did nothing inheritly wrong in the Shapers' eyes.

 

On the other hand, Alwan is a better person, or so it seemed to me. He followed a code, almost to fault, but he believed in what he was doing. He legitmately believed he was doing the right thing, something that I feel like Astoria lacked.

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And again, in the American South blacks were once considered subhuman. We still consider slavery evil. Yes, we're looking at it from the privileged perspective of our society, almost two centuries later. But Taygen and the Shapers have ample reason not to treat their creations terribly, and more importantly they have ample reason not to think they are animals or sub-animals. Their failure to recognize this is a moral failure.

 

—Alorael, who doesn't think the "in their society" will get you very far. To repeat: almost no one acts deliberately to be evil. Ask anyone and you will be told that what they do, or at least what they intend, is good. The societal analysis simply won't get you far, particularly when there are opposing societies (Shapers and rebels).

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I would contend that the blacks of the South you speak of are far more intelligent than any creations besides the rebellious servile, the genocidal drakons, and the semi-homocidal(sp?) gazers/eyebeasts. I also think that Taygen's methods are overkill, but he seems to merely be paranoid of rebellious creations. There are better ways, but I feel that his tactic is no more repugnant many of the other options.

 

Also, I disagree with your statement, "Ask anyone and you will be told that what they do, or at least what they intend, is good." I don't think Astoria really thought she was doing the right thing. She seemed to be covering her bases a little more than anything else to me.

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Originally Posted By: Gandalf the Purple
I would contend that the blacks of the South you speak of are far more intelligent than any creations besides the rebellious servile, the genocidal drakons, and the semi-homocidal(sp?) gazers/eyebeasts.


"Creations aren't intelligent, except for all of the ones that are!"

Are you serious?

Quote:
Also, I disagree with your statement, "Ask anyone and you will be told that what they do, or at least what they intend, is good." I don't think Astoria really thought she was doing the right thing. She seemed to be covering her bases a little more than anything else to me.


Have you actually seen the Astoria ending yet? It might give you a different perspective.
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I was pointing out that as all of the intelligent creatures are against them (as well they should be), there is no legitimate reason for the Shapers to want to preserve their intelligence. Hell, the only intelligent races that they have created thus far have rebelled. That doesn't speak a lot for their character, but it does make sense to stop making more. Is it "a moral failure" to fight and kill a race that has dedicated itself to eradicating yours, even if you drove it to that point?

 

 

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Originally Posted By: Gandalf the Purple
Is it "a moral failure" to fight and kill a race that has dedicated itself to eradicating yours, even if you drove it to that point?


I could turn that question around on you, you know. The Shapers dedicated themselves to eradicating drayks before drakons even existed; drakons were condemned to death from the moment of their creation. Conversely, there's no evidence that the drakons actually want all humans wiped out; they just don't want humans to have power over them ever again.
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I guess I probably should have thought about all of that before I asked the question, but the fact remains that at this stage the drakons are just as hypocritical as the Shapers by saying the other race drove them to it. And, although there is no way of knowing, I would speculate that, considering the circumstances that they were shaped into, the drakons would have started the crusade against the Shapers even if they hadn't been condemned.

 

Drakons don't necessarily want the entire human race wiped out, but they do want the Shapers wiped out. It is also argueable that they merely want to be the next Shaper, with drakons as the dominate species.

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Originally Posted By: Ohtar
I'm confused about the idea that the Trakovites are the most moral. Litalia has pretty much forced them off that high horse with her whole "ends justify the means" dealie.


Unless, of course, you do believe that evil means can be justified to accomplish good ends in extreme enough cases. Like Greta's argument in GF 4 for going along with Ghladring's plan to release the Unbound; on one hand, releasing the Unbound would kill hoards of innocent bystanders; on the other, without the Unbound the rebels stood no chance to win the war, how many people and creations would suffer under Shaper tyranny over the next several thousand years? While she seemed to have deep misgivings about it, she had decided that the former was the lesser evil.

Litalia could make similar arguments. Weighing the suffering her methods cause here and now against the centuries of suffering they will hopefully prevent.

Edit: I retracted a silly comment.
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The drakons want to kill the humans who want to eradicate them as a species. Risking Godwin's Law, we usually think of genocidal intent as a pretty good indicator of pure evil.

 

The Shapers want absolute control over their creations. When creations refuse to submit and demand rights, the Shapers kill them. It is surprising that the creatures fight back?

 

—Alorael, who gets the impression that most of the rebels would be content with the Shapers ending the war (see a few endings). The drakons are more belligerent, but they're outnumbered and even they don't go as far as wanting to annihilate all humans. Apart from the fact that many rebels are humans, the drakons aren't that mad. Only Taygen thinks immense genocide is a good solution, but the Shapers as a whole do seem to think that wiping out intelligent species, not just the individuals of those species who want to kill them, is perfectly okay.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think in discussions of this kind we should try to stick to the game world and game reality, and resist trying to turn this into a debate about our real-world bête noires (like vegans).

 

That said, the specific language and general situation surrounding the Taygen faction do seem clearly intended to echo Nazism and the genocidal program of the Endlösung. There are "camps." There is Nacht und Nebel (night and fog) -- murky circumstances in which people are "deported" to an unknown fate. There is a class of racially inferior Untermenschen, doomed to die because of the circumstances of their birth.

 

Even the argument here about whether Taygen is mad, or evil, or both, or neither, very closely echoes the ongoing debate about who and what, exactly, was Adolph Hitler. I can't believe any of this was accidental. And I think it drives players to rally around the banner of whomever seems most clearly opposed to Taygen and all he represents.

 

This would seem to be Astoria. And the poll results would seem to reflect this.

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That's not a good argument. Power corrupts, as the truism goes, and exclusive access to shaping is power. Shaping also creates good, as the Shapers are always quick to point out. Unless you also oppose every technological advance that also expands our ability to fight, I don't think this will get you very far. More openness about shaping, or at least more balance of power (Shapers and rebels) should help, and in many endings it does.

 

I also don't understand the assertion that creatures that aren't self-aware shouldn't have been shaped. Don't insects have a right to exist? What about zucchini? I don't see what makes living tools unworthy of existence. (Well, having to kill them to use them isn't exactly lovely, but why not start a living tool garden?)

 

—Alorael, who thinks the clearer problem from the Shapers is that power corrupts, as already said, and from the drakons one can learn that self-shaping corrupts, which has also been seen as early as Geneforge 1.

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Yes shaping creates good, but does it outweigh the harm of rogue shapers? One rogue Shaper made the drakons. Thats all it takes to send an entire continent to war. Shaping must be greatly reformed, or stopped entirely.

 

Sure insects have a right to exist. So does every other living thing. Let them live, let them have the right to pursuit of happiness. But what is the main purpose for shaping? Why did the Shapers and Drakons shape?

 

1. Flaunt their power

2. War

3. Servants

 

Would you, or any other, liked to have been created to be used for someone elses means? If your sole purpose in life was to be used for only for someone elses gain? Someones food? Someones footrest?

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If the good doesn't outweigh the harm, you want to be a Trakovite, not a Taygenite. The creation of the drakons, the shredbugs, various diseases, and even Monarch's army of ordinary creations shows that shaping is not so good when it's out of control, but if control is possible, and it may be, there's no reason to stop shaping. Among other problems, it seems like most of the manufacturing in the world of Geneforge involves shaping. Ending it would cause a technology crash.

 

I wouldn't like to live as someone else's servant or equipment, but I also wouldn't want to be a dog or a cow. Intelligent creations shouldn't be killed because they were originally intended to be useful any more than it would have made sense to kill all slaves after the American Civil War and Emancipation! Freedom for those who can enjoy it makes much more sense than taking Taygen's side, and for less intelligent creations, well, we seem fine with having cows, prawns, and silkworms.

 

—Alorael, who also thinks you are missing a reason for shaping. The drakons and Shapers flaunt their powers. They use them to make war and to make servants. They, or at least the Shapers, have also used their power to better the lives of their people with reliable sources of food, goods, and machines. Even defenses like mines and turrets aren't inherently wrong. That's worth maintaining if you can divorce if from the warmongering and one-upmanship.

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Originally Posted By: Txgangsta
Sure insects have a right to exist. So does every other living thing. Let them live, let them have the right to pursuit of happiness. But what is the main purpose for shaping? Why did the Shapers and Drakons shape?

1. Flaunt their power
2. War
3. Servants


Originally Posted By: Alorael
Alorael, who also thinks you are missing a reason for shaping. The drakons and Shapers flaunt their powers. They use them to make war and to make servants. They, or at least the Shapers, have also used their power to better the lives of their people with reliable sources of food, goods, and machines. Even defenses like mines and turrets aren't inherently wrong. That's worth maintaining if you can divorce if from the warmongering and one-upmanship.


Alorael, thank you.

The original reason for the drypeak valley experiments was to use to powers of shaping to create a friendly environment, which seems to be the main purpose of shaping up until the time of gf3, with the rebellion. The only reason we don't see this as much is because there is no plot in peace. The shapers have gone to areas that were barren, like the dera reaches, and given them sustainable life. Something to that effect is given when you first enter the dera reaches. Also, in gf2, when you first enter the main areas after the tunnel, you see the good shaping can do.

Point: Yes, shaping can be used in war, and too much power corrupts, but shaping has done just as much, if not more, good that bad in the world.
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