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On demon summoning and ethics

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  • #31
    Yeah, the puppeteer is not a caregiver; it is a collector.

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    • #32
      Originally posted by TheCountAlucard View Post
      Yeah, the puppeteer is not a caregiver; it is a collector.
      Oh great. Now you remind me of Yugioh.

      On the 'people' and 'abolishment' things.... didn't the laws of the united states state it is for 'persons' not 'humans'? Law might state that it applies for all persons, regardless of species.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by Accelerator View Post
        Oh great. Now you remind me of Yugioh.

        On the 'people' and 'abolishment' things.... didn't the laws of the united states state it is for 'persons' not 'humans'? Law might state that it applies for all persons, regardless of species.
        Legality and morality are totally separate though.

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        • #34
          So hypothetical, here. You are playing an Exalted Sorceror (lets say Celestial so you can get 2nd Circles at least), and guess what, you're from a progressive (like a weirdo Lunar Clan or a Republican 100 Kingdoms Kingdom) slavery rejecting society and are in fact, all things considered, a pretty decent person.

          Now you got taught Sorcery from a ghost girl who summons flowers, gems, and flowers made out of gems, so she ain't gonna judge, how would you go about making an equitable, as pleasant as possible and non abusive arrangement with:

          1. A Blood Ape for guard duty (not necessarily any dismemberment involved)
          2. A Neomah, for possibly some mutual enjoyment? Or some other fleshcrafting requirement.
          3. Mara? Cuz black shadow tattoos are the sickest!
          4. Aleuva, because you need help with that daiklaive you're crafting.

          Especially since Step 1 is "rip them away from whatever they were already doing" so you're already in the hole? (Okay, small caveat, you can probably give 5 days notice so they can go through the desert and get there the long way, but is that really better?)

          prototype00
          Last edited by prototype00; 02-15-2020, 03:19 AM.

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          • #35
            Well, firstly they may actually be pleased to be brought to Creation because it's not a prison full of demons and titans. It's safer.

            And then, well, you ask.
            I suspect of those 4, the Neomah is easiest, the Blood Ape is hardest.


            I run... Lunars: The Apocalypse! Exalted 3rd edition. Fimbulwinter is upon the world as an Ice Age begins, and only six young Lunar heroes have a chance of saving humanity.

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            • #36
              Originally posted by prototype00 View Post
              1. A Blood Ape for guard duty (not necessarily any dismemberment involved)
              Poor thing is going to be miserable. At least leave it done cats to snack on.

              At times like this, I think it's worth remembering that task binding is modelled as a Principle. A Defining one to be sure, but that doesn't mean the being is only ever going to do that. I've always pictured blood apes as the kind that can be reasonably patient when expecting prey, but if they're driven stir crazy they're likely to change ranging out beyond the parameters you've set for them.

              Originally posted by prototype00
              2. A Neomah, for possibly some mutual enjoyment? Or some other fleshcrafting requirement.
              3. Mara? Cuz black shadow tattoos are the sickest!
              Neomah are a kind I think are generally enthusiastic about the possibilities of most things a summoner would call them for. Mind, Masters of Jade did have a Guildmember use some to create some beacons and then abandon them there, so that's definitely a misuse.

              Displaying any dark proclivities around Mara is the kind of thing that could very well get her returning of her own accord to explore what you're made of.

              Originally posted by prototype00
              (Okay, small caveat, you can probably give 5 days notice so they can go through the desert and get there the long way, but is that really better?)
              Well, in the past when summoning has been described from the perspective of a demon, spending five days crossing Cecylene was the default. They just got the call five days before you made it so they could arrive on time.


              I have approximate knowledge of many things.
              Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
              https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

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              • #37
                But how would you model it in game? Do the ritual and instead of the willpower-off for a binding you say, "Terribly sorry to interrupt your hellish routine, but I've got a task that needs helping with, and I'm sure we can arrange some quid pro quo?" and try to social action bargain them into it instead?

                Because the danger there is that they straight up lie to you and run off to wreak havoc once you're not looking.

                I suppose it depends on the demon and if you successfully leverage it's love of cats to get it to do what you want.

                prototype00
                Last edited by prototype00; 02-15-2020, 11:11 AM.

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by prototype00 View Post
                  Because the danger there is that they straight up lie to you and run off to wreak havoc once you're not looking.
                  Prototype, that's not how the social system works. If you successfully influence someone, they are committed to taking action and you the player are aware of this. If their Resolve is higher but they act like they were persuaded, you the player are aware of this, and can take Read Intentions/Socialize Charms/Judge's Ear Technique to realize in-character whether they seem genuine. If you successfully influence someone and they invoke a Decision Point, but they act like they were persuaded, you the player are still aware of this, and those same options exist to see how genuine they are.

                  ​About the only way they can just change their mind afterward - and you the player not know about it - is if someone overturns your influence off-screen, or other circumstances are introduced. And it would be poor STing if the ST didn't at least foreshadow that.
                  Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 02-15-2020, 11:52 AM.

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                  • #39
                    My mistake.
                    Last edited by Isator Levi; 02-15-2020, 12:03 PM.


                    I have approximate knowledge of many things.
                    Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
                    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by TheCountAlucard View Post
                      Prototype, that's not how the social system works. If you successfully influence someone, they are committed to taking action and you the player are aware of this. If their Resolve is higher but they act like they were persuaded, you the player are aware of this, and can take Read Intentions/Socialize Charms/Judge's Ear Technique to realize in-character whether they seem genuine. If you successfully influence someone and they invoke a Decision Point, but they act like they were persuaded, you the player are still aware of this, and those same options exist to see how genuine they are.

                      ​About the only way they can just change their mind afterward - and you the player not know about it - is if someone overturns your influence off-screen, or other circumstances are introduced. And it would be poor STing if the ST didn't at least foreshadow that.
                      I'm quite aware of how the social system works, I am positing a state of affairs where:

                      1. You do not successfully persuade said demon.

                      2. Said demon acts like they were persuaded.

                      3. You are unable to successfully penetrate their guile (either lacking the items you mentioned or just being poor at it)

                      4. They lie to the character and say they are their willing servant and are sent off to ostensibly do the summoner's will.

                      Sure, at this point you the player knows that the demon is lying their ass off, but the character would not (barring charms and whatnot), and I try not to bring a whole bunch of metagaming into this, so it would behoove said character to act like they believe the lie, because they do.

                      Then, mass murder is entirely possible on the demons side, because they lied and got away with it. Whereas with the Willpower binding, this isn't a danger.

                      prototype00
                      Last edited by prototype00; 02-15-2020, 12:38 PM.

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by Accelerator View Post
                        but that sounds like a lot of the apologism for slavery.
                        You're going to struggle to find a way to present non-humans that hasn't been used by racists to say why another group of humans is untrustworthy or deserving of subjugation. The trick is to know and listen to your intended audiance and shut out the people looking for a fight.


                        Onyx Path Forum Moderator
                        Please spare a thought for updating the Exalted wiki.

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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by prototype00 View Post


                          Then, mass murder is entirely possible on the demons side, because they lied and got away with it. Whereas with the Willpower binding, this isn't a danger.
                          Well, accepting the possibility of being deceived and betrayed is a necessary component of all relationships founded on trust rather than systems of control. That's the price one pays for not wanting to subjugate people.

                          That being said, an unbound neomah isn't a danger to anybody except possibly the baby they'll abandon. Or a stomach bottle bug. There are plenty of demons one can go with that don't go on murderous rampages.


                          I have approximate knowledge of many things.
                          Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
                          https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by Accelerator View Post
                            So the question is, is in the face of modern ethics, is it in any way defensible to summon, and bind, demons and elementals?
                            Depends on which ethical framework you're using. From a Kantian framework, if you consider the demon a sapient person, it's unethical to treat the demon as a means rather than an end. From a virtue ethics framework, it'd depend on what you had the demon do and why--laziness and greed aren't particularly virtuous, but courage and civic duty might be. A divine command ethical framework would depend a lot on what your god, faith, or guiding philosophy thinks of demons--they don't have souls, for instance, and some faiths would dismiss their personhood as a result. From a utilitarian standpoint, demon-summoning might create more happiness and better outcomes, even for the demon. That said, many demons aren't particularly comfortable in Creation, and might not agree with human definitions of kind treatment.

                            If your ethical framework prioritizes self-determination for sapient beings as a good, then demon-summoning is unethical. Given that it automatically involves binding in Ex3, demon-summoning in such a framework is unethical even if the demon agrees to it ahead of time, because they effectively lose any free will about their bound task. No amount of advance buy-in balances the removal of that capacity for a year or more.

                            Originally posted by TheCountAlucard View Post
                            Sure. But here's the thing: if it wanted to do that stuff anyway, then all you've really done is given it a free ticket to Creation and asked it to do that on your behalf specifically. Heck, you can even pay the demon for its labor; the spell isn't stopping you from doing so.
                            (...)
                            And in the wrong hands, demon summoning is absolutely slavery.
                            If one binds the demon's will (and the sorcerer is required to try), then it's slavery regardless of what one binds the demon to do. The term "slave" is used in the spell's description for a reason. The question is thus whether enslavement of demons--who are inhuman, alien, and already enslaved for life by greater demons--is wrong. If sapience and/or sentience are the measures of ethical worth, then demon-binding is basically just exploiting a contract with another slaver to use their slave for an agreed-upon period of time, then forcing the slave to go along with the contract.

                            A demon's lot is oppression due to the nature of Hell and the oaths extracted by the Exalted long ago, but that doesn't mean they like it. In fact, we know that demons usually resent a failed binding attempt because the spell tells us so. A successful binding simply removes the demon's ability to resent it, which is a far cry from allowing the demon agency.


                            Hey, check out my Patreon here: https://www.patreon.com/dexdavican

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by Dex Davican View Post
                              If your ethical framework prioritizes self-determination for sapient beings as a good, then demon-summoning is unethical.
                              This about sums up my out-of-game position on the question. Well put.


                              The Lunar Castebooks fan project - Complete! (Changing, Full, No, and Casteless)

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                              • #45
                                Remind me how we're defining "sapient" this week?


                                Hi, I'm JohnDoe244. My posts represent my opinions, not facts.

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