Frustration

The Hogman question.

158 posts in this topic

So not too long ago a thread popped up discussing the morality of Jasnah killing the footpads in Kharbranth, and I really enjoyed it so I thought I'd ask a similar question.

In The Way of Kings Nohadon talks about a town in which a hogman is killed by three others, however there are four other hogmen in the town, and no amount of questioning revealed who was innocent.

If you were the lord of this town how would you have judged it?

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I probably would have judged the same way that the lord did. Imprisonment for all of them. Killing four people, one of whom you know to be innocent, is wrong. Imprisoning an innocent also feels wrong, but as Taravangian said, the lord's duty is to prevent further murders, and I can't let them three murderers remain loose.

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I personally would probably let all four go free, perhaps with extra surveillance or a mark against them in any future crime they are suspected of having been involved in. That last bit is a pretty petty cover though. The parable is overly tidy, as Taravangian notes, and so we're both deprived of any useful context while also possessing unarguably correct (but incomplete) information about what happened. So it's really a question of what injustice you will tolerate, and not what justice you can achieve.

Without any particular reason to believe that the three hogmen will murder again the upside of any punishment is a lot more abstract. The issue strikes me more as the application of arbitrary power than it does punishing criminals. It's not just that an innocent will necessarily be swept up in punishing the three guilty ones, but instead that the landlord will mete out punishment because it seems like a few people probably deserve it, specifically because relevant evidence isn't available. A halfway punishment, like a term in prison, doesn't seem to me like it really addresses the dilemma.

It's tricky to talk about meaningfully without establishing a broader moral framework. For example, Taravangian's definition of ethics and duties demands that all four be hanged, with (arguably) little room to dissent unless you refute how he defines those. Dalinar's concept of ethics is different and forbids Taravangian's solution, but doesn't precisely suggest a different one. The two of them certainly talk past each other in their discussion.

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I would do a public meeting. Pray to the almighty in front of the people asking for guidance then make a raffle. The first three names that come out are the ones to be executed and the last one set free. I “wash my hands” by putting the decision in the Almighty’s hands. I know I most likely killed an innocent and let a murder free. But it’s a solution. A solution that allows the people I’m over sleep at night. Especially if they are religious 

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I would release them, if I can't prove that an individual commited a crime I have no right to punish them.

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I firmly believe that it is not right to punish someone if they aren't proven guilty. 

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4 hours ago, Frustration said:

So not too long ago a thread popped up discussing the morality of Jasnah killing the footpads in Kharbranth, and I really enjoyed it so I thought I'd ask a similar question.

In The Way of Kings Nohadon talks about a town in which a hogman is killed by three others, however there are four other hogmen in the town, and no amount of questioning revealed who was innocent.

If you were the lord of this town how would you have judged it?

1. It is better that we let ten guilty men go free then punish one innocent man. 

2. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty. 

3. We have no choice but to let them go. 

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1 hour ago, bmcclure7 said:

1. It is better that we let ten guilty men go free then punish one innocent man. 

2. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty. 

3. We have no choice but to let them go. 

1. How about 100 for 10? 100 for 9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1? 
 

2. we know three are guilty, 1 innocent, punishment must be made.

 

3. No we don’t, we can imprison them(hurts the people the most due to taking care of murders especially in uncertain times), we can enslave them(at least they are working and lessening the load on the free citizens), or we can execute them(might be best for the people to warn would be murders especially if their suspected their going to die anyways  so they’ll be more persuaded to tell the truth to not kill an innocent.) 

 

3 hours ago, Experience said:

I firmly believe that it is not right to punish someone if they aren't proven guilty. 

the question is how would you punish an innocent man if it means punishing the guilty along with them. 

 

3 hours ago, Frustration said:

I would release them, if I can't prove that an individual commited a crime I have no right to punish them.

Sorry frustrated I really respect your opinion on most cosmer related issues but would you free three murders to ease your Conscience about hurting one innocent? What if the three killed again? Would it not be hurting another innocent? How about if they killed one each? 

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4 hours ago, Rg2045 said:

I would do a public meeting. Pray to the almighty in front of the people asking for guidance then make a raffle. The first three names that come out are the ones to be executed and the last one set free. I “wash my hands” by putting the decision in the Almighty’s hands. I know I most likely killed an innocent and let a murder free. But it’s a solution. A solution that allows the people I’m over sleep at night. Especially if they are religious 

I don't think that's necessary. If you make a judgement, the guilt will fall on you. And executing only three of the hogmen with religious justification will likely lead to more guilt if you let a guilty man free and he makes a deathbed confession."

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3 minutes ago, Nameless said:

I don't think that's necessary. If you make a judgement, the guilt will fall on you. And executing only three of the hogmen with religious justification will likely lead to more guilt if you let a guilty man free and he makes a deathbed confession."

That’s true, and I know that I would have a 75% chance to make two bad choices instead of just one. But I related this to firing squads. Where one fires a blank. To ease the minds of the soldiers that just maybe they weren’t the one that actually killed the prisoner. So yes I have a 75% chance to double the guilt. But I have a 25% chance of getting 0 guilt. And is the man I released is a murder but never does it again, then I could think I got it right, after all I had a 25% chance 

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13 minutes ago, Rg2045 said:

Sorry frustrated I really respect your opinion on most cosmer related issues but would you free three murders to ease your Conscience about hurting one innocent? What if the three killed again? Would it not be hurting another innocent? How about if they killed one each? 

Not the only frame to consider things, or even the best one, but if you were the innocent hogman would you be as firm that it's right to be permanently imprisoned to make sure three guilty are imprisoned too? It's easy to call the price cheap when it's only others that pay it, especially since it could be argued that the main purpose of the approach quoted above would also be to assuage your conscience about letting people go unpunished, or maybe dealing with a possible future crime.

I'm not making a strong comment on your conclusion, just fishing for more information on your position. When people have different values they're trying to achieve it's not surprising that their conclusions differ. I've always felt that the most wrong ethical conclusion a person can hold is an unexamined one.

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2 minutes ago, Rg2045 said:

That’s true, and I know that I would have a 75% chance to make two bad choices instead of just one. But I related this to firing squads. Where one fires a blank. To ease the minds of the soldiers that just maybe they weren’t the one that actually killed the prisoner. So yes I have a 75% chance to double the guilt. But I have a 25% chance of getting 0 guilt. And is the man I released is a murder but never does it again, then I could think I got it right, after all I had a 25% chance 

I wouldn't take the chance, but that's fair.

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58 minutes ago, Rg2045 said:

Sorry frustrated I really respect your opinion on most cosmer related issues but would you free three murders to ease your Conscience about hurting one innocent? What if the three killed again? Would it not be hurting another innocent? How about if they killed one each? 

It's not about my conscience, it's about the right of government to deal out punishment. If I punish the innocent along with the guilty I am a tyrant and have lost the right to rule. If they kill again I will be ready, but if I cannot prove that a man is guilty I do not have the right to punish him.

1 hour ago, Rg2045 said:

1. How about 100 for 10? 100 for 9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1? 

Yes.

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Legally. Court of public opinion however. . .

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1 hour ago, Rg2045 said:

1. How about 100 for 10? 100 for 9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1? 
 

2. we know three are guilty, 1 innocent, punishment must be made.

 

3. No we don’t, we can imprison them(hurts the people the most due to taking care of murders especially in uncertain times), we can enslave them(at least they are working and lessening the load on the free citizens), or we can execute them(might be best for the people to warn would be murders especially if their suspected their going to die anyways  so they’ll be more persuaded to tell the truth to not kill an innocent.) 

 

the question is how would you punish an innocent man if it means punishing the guilty along with them. 

 

Sorry frustrated I really respect your opinion on most cosmer related issues but would you free three murders to ease your Conscience about hurting one innocent? What if the three killed again? Would it not be hurting another innocent? How about if they killed one each? 

 innocent until proven guilty.  Our entire Justice system is based on this principle. What your  Advocating for is literally guilty until proven innocent. Something found only in the most totalitarian of States. While it's hardly ideal  We must let them go or else we Must abandon Justice And become Moest China. 

Edited by bmcclure7
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You know what? I have another solution: 'advanced interrogation techniques'. No hogman's going to last long under torture. I'll bet I can get all four of those guys to confess.

On a more serious note, if you look at the question as it is stated, then, from a modern USA standpoint, the answer is clear: you can't convict them of anything. The evidence is extremely flimsy, coming from one dying man who could have been delirious (As I'm sure the lawyers will point out). Even if he'd said that all the hogmen had worked together to kill him, if that's all the evidence there is, then it's not enough to convict anyone on. However, if you look at what the question represents, it's the question of how many innocents you are willing to sacrifice in exchange for seeing justice done. What do you do if you know that you will convict some who are innocent. This question is why we have innocent until proven guilty. Because we try to minimize the innocents harmed or killed by the very justice system that is supposed to protect them.

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1 hour ago, Returned said:

Not the only frame to consider things, or even the best one, but if you were the innocent hogman would you be as firm that it's right to be permanently imprisoned to make sure three guilty are imprisoned too? It's easy to call the price cheap when it's only others that pay it, especially since it could be argued that the main purpose of the approach quoted above would also be to assuage your conscience about letting people go unpunished, or maybe dealing with a possible future crime.

I'm not making a strong comment on your conclusion, just fishing for more information on your position. When people have different values they're trying to achieve it's not surprising that their conclusions differ. I've always felt that the most wrong ethical conclusion a person can hold is an unexamined one.

If I was the innocent man I would not accept the decision I would rage for my injustice.

but as a king I would be forced to not see the man as an individual. But as part of a whole. Like a child, sure the child got a bruise but they will survive and maybe get better because of it. 
that’s my thoughts on the matter, it’s not fair. It’s an imperfect world and we can simply just do our best

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39 minutes ago, bmcclure7 said:

 innocent until proven guilty.  Our entire Justice system is based on this principle. What your  Advocating for is literally guilty until proven innocent. Something found only in the most totalitarian of States. While it's hardly ideal  We must let them go or else we Must abandon Justice And become Moest China. 

I’m not, the question is not “guilty till proven innocent” or “innocent till proven guilty” it’s how many innocent people are you willing to kill/enslave/imprison to make sure that your people feel safe. If I’m king, that means I’m judge, and that my word is law. If I let murders go then my people will feel betrayed. What’s the point of a king? If he refuses to provide judgment and protection then I’ll have to do it myself. Then there’s anarchy. So yes I would not want to kill an innocent man but when you wear the crown you don’t get the luxury of a clean conscience. You make choices that are impossible to make, And you get your hands dirty for the betterment of others

 

and sorry for the double post didn’t know how to put a quote in an edit

Edited by Rg2045
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I don't think it's right to judge in the way that clears your conscience. I would rather let them all go because there is no evidence as to who it is that is innocent, and feel it on my conscience if one of them (or more) were to kill again.

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8 hours ago, Rg2045 said:

I’m not, the question is not “guilty till proven innocent” or “innocent till proven guilty” it’s how many innocent people are you willing to kill/enslave/imprison to make sure that your people feel safe. If I’m king, that means I’m judge, and that my word is law. If I let murders go then my people will feel betrayed. What’s the point of a king? If he refuses to provide judgment and protection then I’ll have to do it myself. Then there’s anarchy. So yes I would not want to kill an innocent man but when you wear the crown you don’t get the luxury of a clean conscience. You make choices that are impossible to make, And you get your hands dirty for the betterment of others

 

and sorry for the double post didn’t know how to put a quote in an edit

  By that logic why not just pick 4 individuals at random  declare them responsible for the murders and execute then publicly!

 It is not a king's job to make his people feel safe it is a king's job to rule with Justice. 

 It is not just to punish the innocent with the guilty, and all suspects are innocent until proven guilty

 

Edited by bmcclure7
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One of the pillars of our justice system is the principle that innocents have the right to not be actively harmed by the state. As soon as that principle falls, a huge chunk of modern Western morality falls with, since it effectively means that the state could also do similar things that violate this right, like experimenting on innocent people in dangerous ways against their will in order to prevent crimes, diseases or the likes. That is not something that a state worthy of its power should be allowed to do. In a state that functions on a just basis, you should not live in fear of being abducted to be murdered by the state for no reason, and this would be a legit consequence of Taravangian's line of arguing. And to prove my point: He's doing just that to get the Death Rattles, it's in the book that this is a consequence of his way of thinking.

I don't think Brandon is actually asking the reader which side they're on, especially since Taravangian is so obviously framed as a villain beforehand. It's more to establish his internal logic, his recklessness, and the way he (and much of Vorin culture) views leadership: As something not to protect the innocent, but something to use to destroy until things are your way, with not much regards to what you break along the way. Taravangian is just a more feeble version of that, because it takes him feeling guilty about it into account. But this whole way of thinking needs a figure of authority that is allowed to destroy innocent lives if they think it's right. In modern thinking, state should not have that authority, and you as a civilian under that state have the right to not be murdered by the state for nothing.

So, rather than a "hey guys, who's side are you on" from Brandon, I think of it more as a way of saying "This is the way they still think, it's going to be a long way from here".

Edited by Elegy
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15 saat önce, Rg2045 şunları söyledi:

Bu doğru ve bir yerine iki kötü seçim yapma şansımın %75 olduğunu biliyorum. Ama ben bunu idam mangalarıyla ilişkilendirdim. Bir boşluk ateşler nerede. Tutsağı gerçekten öldürenin belki de onlar olmadığını askerlerin zihnini rahatlatmak için. Yani evet, suçluluğu ikiye katlamak için %75 şansım var. Ama 0 suçluluk alma şansım %25. Ve serbest bıraktığım adam bir cinayet mi ama bir daha asla yapmaz, o zaman doğru yaptığımı düşünebilirim, sonuçta %25 şansım vardı. 

Sanırım matematikte iyi değilsin. %25 şansın yok.

Edited by Jerfier
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4 hours ago, bmcclure7 said:

  By that logic why not just pick 4 individuals at random  declare them responsible for the murders and execute then publicly!

 It is not a king's job to make his people feel safe is a king's job to rule with Justice. 

 It is not just to punish the innocent with the guilty, and all suspects are innocent until proven guilty

 

1) you are miss interpreting my reasoning on purpose it feels, 

2) so an invading army is coming, is the king supposed to do nothing to protect his people? To reassure them? To make them feel safe?  Or is it to judge to see if the armies intentions are just or righteous? 

3 hours ago, Elegy said:

3) do you believe that there is innocents in our prisons today? Do you believe innocent people have been killed by this legal system? Is that’s true then even “innocent till proven guilty” is a failing. Wouldn’t “only the truly guilty are punished” be a better option? 
 

 

3 hours ago, Elegy said:

One of the pillars of our justice system is the principle that innocents have the right to not be actively harmed by the state. As soon as that principle falls, a huge chunk of modern Western morality falls with, since it effectively means that the state could also do similar things that violate this right, like experimenting on innocent people in dangerous ways against their will in order to prevent crimes, diseases or the likes. That is not something that a state worthy of its power should be allowed to do. In a state that functions on a just basis, you should not live in fear of being abducted to be murdered by the state for no reason, and this would be a legit consequence of Taravangian's line of arguing. And to prove my point: He's doing just that to get the Death Rattles, it's in the book that this is a consequence of his way of thinking.

I don't think Brandon is actually asking the reader which side they're on, especially since Taravangian is so obviously framed as a villain beforehand. It's more to establish his internal logic, his recklessness, and the way he (and much of Vorin culture) views leadership: As something not to protect the innocent, but something to use to destroy until things are your way, with not much regards to what you break along the way. Taravangian is just a more feeble version of that, because it takes him feeling guilty about it into account. But this whole way of thinking needs a figure of authority that is allowed to destroy innocent lives if they think it's right. In modern thinking, state should not have that authority, and you as a civilian under that state have the right to not be murdered by the state for nothing.

So, rather than a "hey guys, who's side are you on" from Brandon, I think of it more as a way of saying "This is the way they still think, it's going to be a long way from here".

Oh I definitely agree with this. I’m just putting myself into this time period, where harsh punishment needed to be made because that’s what was expected. Asking what would you do And then preaching modern laws seems so flimsy, people forgo punishment instead of finding a middle ground to make sure that the people who did do it gets punished. 

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18 minutes ago, Jerfier said:

I guess you are not good at math. You have not a 25% chance. You have a 1/24.

How is that possible? 4 people, 1 innocent, 1/4 chance to pick the right person. So how in roshar do you get 1/24? 

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