Oudeis

Destroy Evil

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Yeah, I see your point.  I still feel like there should have been something that was obviously evil to prompt the scholars to create a blade to destroy evil.  

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I don't think there was necessarily an objective evil. "Destroy Evil" given as an entirely subjective command works perfectly well, if you go with the understanding they had at the time which is that it would not be sentient and that the interpretation would be up to the wielder, not the item itself.

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I don't think there was necessarily an objective evil. "Destroy Evil" given as an entirely subjective command works perfectly well, if you go with the understanding they had at the time which is that it would not be sentient and that the interpretation would be up to the wielder, not the item itself.

 

Except, that's never how Awakening worked. You don't tell a rope "Grab when thrown" and then assume it will know which things you WANT it to grab when you throw it. There's no reason that the best scholars in the world would assume that the rules would suddenly be that different in that specific of a way.

 

And second, I'm reasonalby sure that making a sentient object was their express intent. I'll look it up, but wasn't that the whole point? To create a Type IV entity? Something truly sentient, but in a body that had never been human?

 

So, they expected Nightblood to be sentient, and they also wouldn't have thought that individual wielders would be able to influence the intent any more than the holder of a rope Awakened to the command Grab Things gets to decide what they personally define as "things".

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Here's the passage from Ch 31. It could theoretically be interpreted as "they did it by accident", I suppose, but I don't think that interpretation very plausible.

 

 

That was the great crux of the problem, the issue that had dominated

most of Vasher’s life. A thousand Breaths. That was what it took to Awaken
an object of steel and give it sentience. Even Shashara hadn’t fully understood
the process, though she had first devised it.
 
It took a person who had reached the Ninth Heightening to Awaken
stone or steel. Even then, this process shouldn’t have worked. It should have
created an Awakened object with no more of a mind than the tassels on his
cloak.
 
Nightblood should not be alive. And yet he was. Shashara had always been
the most talented of them, far more capable than Vasher himself, who had
used tricks—like encasing bones in steel or stone—to make his creations.
Shashara had been spurred on by the knowledge that she’d been shown up by
Yesteel and the development of ichor- alcohol. She had studied, experimented,
practiced. And she’d done it. She’d learned to forge the Breath of a thousand
people into a piece of steel, Awaken it to sentience, and give it a Command.
That single Command took on immense power, providing a foundation for
the personality of the object Awakened.
Edited by Kurkistan
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My thanks for finding the quote.

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The way I see it, "Destroy Evil" is a command that isn't likely to cause too much harm, When using it to perform an experiment where you're 1) Not sure if its going to work. 2) Not sure what the result are going to be if it DOES work, then "Destroy Evil" seems like a very good, logical choice. I mean, would you rather they'd used a command that was more likely to cause some sort of chaos, or have no really noticeable effects?

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The way I see it, "Destroy Evil" is a command that isn't likely to cause too much harm, When using it to perform an experiment where you're 1) Not sure if its going to work. 2) Not sure what the result are going to be if it DOES work, then "Destroy Evil" seems like a very good, logical choice. I mean, would you rather they'd used a command that was more likely to cause some sort of chaos, or have no really noticeable effects?

 

...Please explain, because I don't understand. If they didn't want to cause harm, why give it the command, "Destroy [anything]"? And without a clear, obvious definition of what "evil" is, why would it be sure to do something (apparently neither harmful nor chaotic) noticeable?

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First of all, you keep acting like evil only exists in the form of some strange, supernatural force or demon. You're wrong. There are no monsters or demons in our world, but there is certainly evil. People do evil things. Not just things we "disagree with", truly evil things. It's naive to claim that there isn't such a thing as evil.

 

So why not Command the sword to Destroy Evil? A sword kills, that's what it does. By telling it to Destroy Evil, they were trying to ensure that it would do so to protect. It would be rather silly to directly tell the sword to protect. That's what a shield is for. A sword is a tool for destruction, so it's logical to be careful what it ends up killing. 

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First of all, you keep acting like evil only exists in the form of some strange, supernatural force or demon. You're wrong. There are no monsters or demons in our world, but there is certainly evil. People do evil things. Not just things we "disagree with", truly evil things. It's naive to claim that there isn't such a thing as evil.

 

So why not Command the sword to Destroy Evil? A sword kills, that's what it does. By telling it to Destroy Evil, they were trying to ensure that it would do so to protect. It would be rather silly to directly tell the sword to protect. That's what a shield is for. A sword is a tool for destruction, so it's logical to be careful what it ends up killing. 

Thank you, Lindel, that ties in very well with my post on how you'd want to be careful when using a command to awaken something like a sword. You said it far better than I was going to.

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First of all, you keep acting like evil only exists in the form of some strange, supernatural force or demon. You're wrong.

 

Okay, I'm going to invite you to step back and take a breath. Before you tell me that I only do one thing or that I'm flat-out wrong, you could instead look back over everything I've written and realize that I address this exact issue.

 

Yes, there are evil acts in the world. There are even, in my estimation, a very small percent of people in the world who themselves are simply evil. Irredeemable? I dunno, up for debate. But (to repeat myself, since I've said this already) that evil is a nebulous, non-physical thing that cannot be destroyed with a sword. Let's say that crime in a city is terrible, it's a very bad, even evil thing. How will a sword fix that? Just kill all the criminals? Every petty thief, every desperate man who nabs a purse? The real way to address this problem, to "destroy the evil," is to remove the environmental factors that cause the problem to exist in the first place. Find honest work for people. Provide health care to the sick, injured and elderly. Open a community center. Provide role models for the youths so they know they have the option to grow up as something other than a criminal. How is a sword supposed to do this?

 

A sword cannot fight this sort of "evil," the evil that exists for real in our world. The only kind of evil that a sword is qualified to take care of is a supernatural menace, a monster or a demon, something with a physical presence that can bleed and die yet is inherently and fundamentally evil.

 

Finally, I'm going to ask you once again, next time, before you tell me that I haven't addressed a point and insult me by telling me I'm wrong, please read the whole thread. It's only 2 pages.

 

@Bondranx:

 

You seem to be missing my point. I think if you rest, as you say you're tired, and re-read my initial post, you'll realize that your response doesn't actually address what I was saying. Perhaps we can try again.

 

I'm going to take this time to point out that time after time, I have asked for specifics from people, and time after time I get vagueness and generalities instead. If anyone is so positive that there existed Evil in olden Hallendren that Vasher and Shasharra would want destroyed that falls into the realm of "things a sword can destroy," please tell me right now what it is.

 

EDIT: Failing that, you can explain to me how a sword is supposed to eliminate a vague metaphysical concept. Or, you can explain to me why Vasher, as he exists at the time of the novel, would still consider that "kill literally every person who ever commits an evil act" is a logical or reasonable action to take; Vasher, a man who, at the time of the novels, the same time that he reflects how logical and reasonable the Command is, believes that war is the greatest evil possible. A man who killed the woman he loved, expressly to stop her from releasing more weapons exactly like Nightblood into a war.

Edited by Outis
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That is exactly the point though Outis. They didn't want to spend 1000 breaths to create something that would serve a definite purpose and then be used up. Of course they want to give it a nebulous target. If they gave it a specific one they have now spent 1000 breaths for nothing. Destroy Evil is a deliberately vague command but one that also puts safeguards in place to keep it from causing massive damage in their eyes. 

 

Seeing the actual quote I believe my interpretation was wrong though. It does look pretty clearly like Shashara was intending to create a sentient object. However, even with that taken into account, this was the first such experiment. No one knew what Nightblood was going to be like. No one knew how sentient or how intelligent it would be. Therefore it is still logical to give it the same kind of command you would give any other awakened object.

 

Except, that's never how Awakening worked. You don't tell a rope "Grab when thrown" and then assume it will know which things you WANT it to grab when you throw it. There's no reason that the best scholars in the world would assume that the rules would suddenly be that different in that specific of a way.

 

Umm...that's exactly how awakening worked in the book. The commands given are usually vague like that. Vasher gives the command "Grab Things", not "Grab that guy over there". 

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Okay, I'm going to invite you to step back and take a breath. Before you tell me that I only do one thing or that I'm flat-out wrong, you could instead look back over everything I've written and realize that I address this exact issue.

 

Yes, there are evil acts in the world. There are even, in my estimation, a very small percent of people in the world who themselves are simply evil. Irredeemable? I dunno, up for debate. But (to repeat myself, since I've said this already) that evil is a nebulous, non-physical thing that cannot be destroyed with a sword. Let's say that crime in a city is terrible, it's a very bad, even evil thing. How will a sword fix that? Just kill all the criminals? Every petty thief, every desperate man who nabs a purse? The real way to address this problem, to "destroy the evil," is to remove the environmental factors that cause the problem to exist in the first place. Find honest work for people. Provide health care to the sick, injured and elderly. Open a community center. Provide role models for the youths so they know they have the option to grow up as something other than a criminal. How is a sword supposed to do this?

 

A sword cannot fight this sort of "evil," the evil that exists for real in our world. The only kind of evil that a sword is qualified to take care of is a supernatural menace, a monster or a demon, something with a physical presence that can bleed and die yet is inherently and fundamentally evil.

 

The concepts you talk about, community centers, cleaning areas up, educating people. Yes, they are ways to end the nebulous sorts of evil you're talking about. However these are all very modern social sciences, even in terms of our society. The way I viewed the Hallandren culture, even at the time of the books, these types of institutions just don't exist. So  300 years before it's even less likely that these things existed. In the days before we created these types of things our main solution to 'evil' was to destroy it or lock it away. 

 

Even now, how often do we actually use these types of solutions, I can tell you, that in the city I live in, some areas of the city are just declared to by irredeemable, the police service bumps up it's presence to deal with any problems that might arise, but otherwise they're left to just get worse and worse. I have friends who live in a housing block that has two separate gang/drug houses, despite repeated attempts to report the situation to he police it just keeps getting worse.

 

Given this, I can easily see how someone could see a creation like Nightblood to be a solution to this type of situation. If you can't think of another solution to the problems plaguing your society, just annihilate them, it's easy to justify, they're horrible evil people, who are just making the people around them's lives worse, so why not?

 

(See the chapter in WoK where Jasnah kills the cutpurses in the alley for another example)

(Also, Nalan's perspective on dealing with criminals, even a simple thief, is another example of how this viewpoint can be applied)

 

Sorry if this is a little hard to read, I'm not the best writer, but I think I got my point across as best I could.

Edited by Bondranx
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The concepts you talk about, community centers, cleaning areas up, educating people. Yes, they are ways to end the nebulous sorts of evil you're talking about. However these are all very modern social sciences, even in terms of our society. The way I viewed the Hallandren culture, even at the time of the books, these types of institutions just don't exist. So  300 years before it's even less likely that these things existed. In the days before we created these types of things our main solution to 'evil' was to destroy it or lock it away. 

 

Even now, how often do we actually use these types of solutions, I can tell you, that in the city I live in, some areas of the city are just declared to by irredeemable, the police service bumps up it's presence to deal with any problems that might arise, but otherwise they're left to just get worse and worse. I have friends who live in a housing block that has two separate gang/drug houses, despite repeated attempts to report the situation to he police it just keeps getting worse.

 

Given this, I can easily see how someone could see a creation like Nightblood to be a solution to this type of situation. If you can't think of another solution to the problems plaguing your society, just annihilate them, it's easy to justify, they're horrible evil people, who are just making the people around them's lives worse, so why not?

 

Sorry if this is a little hard to read, I'm not the best writer, but I think I got my point across as best I could.

 

 

...So, just so I'm understanding you perfectly clear here. You think that Vasher, as we see him in the book, at that time, will agree with the sentiment, "the world will be a better place if we simply kill every single person who does anything wrong." He would see this as being "logical and reasonable." You're saying, "trying to reform a city doesn't exist, so just kill everyone in it."

 

I see that my request for specifics once again gets responded to with generalities and vagueness, and then declarations of victory. I will probably, from this point on, stop responding to general, vague statements. Anyone who wants to give me a specific, perhaps I will actually respond.

 

Also, Killer Squirrel, if that's how you think Awakening works, I suggest you read the book again. I... I don't even know how to begin explaining to you how you have the fundamentals of BioChromatic Awakening wrong, and it seems like you won't simply take my word on it anyway.

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Also, Killer Squirrel, if that's how you think Awakening works, I suggest you read the book again. I... I don't even know how to begin explaining to you how you have the fundamentals of BioChromatic Awakening wrong, and it seems like you won't simply take my word on it anyway.

 

I think you need to read the book again. You're kind of the only one arguing your position. Also how do you manage to misinterpret the fact that Vasher uses the command "Grab things" as meaning that he needs to name specific targets? I have no idea how that leap of illogic is even possible.

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You're kind of the only one arguing your position.

Thank goodness truth isn't a democracy, then. If you think you can simply be voted into being factually correct, then there really isn't a point in debating with you.

 

Also how do you manage to misinterpret the fact that Vasher uses the command "Grab things" as meaning that he needs to name specific targets? I have no idea how that leap of illogic is even possible.

I'm not misinterpreting it. I guess I can try to explain it to you, and hope you don't respond by just telling me I must be wrong.

 

When Vivenna starts practicing, she tells the rope to "grab things." She wants it to grab the tree branch. It grabs the tree branch... and her hand. When she wants Tonk Fah's cloak to go after Denth, she doesn't say "attack things" or "attack him" and mentally think of what she wants. She says, "Attack and grab Denth." She has to be specific. When you tell a rope, "Hold when thrown" you have to then actually throw it and successfully hit the thing you want it to grab. It won't realize what you were aiming at and only grab that thing.

 

These are the facts. This is what is written in the book. If you don't believe me, you are welcome to read the book again. Feel free to find a quote that proves anything I've said wrong, or a time that anyone Commands something vague and the Awakened object does, not what it was told, but what the Awakener meant instead.

 

Your example was that vague Commands, like "Grab Things", result in objects knowing exactly what the Awakener had in mind when he said the word "things" and then only grabbing that thing. When does that happen? Do you have an example, the way I've provided examples? Does this event actually occur in the book, or is it referenced in any WoB?

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Not saying it's a democracy, but when you're all alone arguing against a position that no one else seems to support it may be time to reevaluate that position.

 

If your interpretation were correct then almost none of Vasher's commands would have worked. It simply doesn't follow with what it says in the book. The interpretation of the command is in the mind of the Awakener normally, not the object. The reason the rope grabbed the tree and Vivenna is because she didn't properly visualize the intention, not because of the vague command. She changed to saying her targets due to her own lack of practice. This gave a greater surety that the objects would do what she wanted but gave the objects far less flexibility in what they could do as well.

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Not saying it's a democracy, but when you're all alone arguing against a position that no one else seems to support it may be time to reevaluate that position.

 

If your interpretation were correct then almost none of Vasher's commands would have worked. It simply doesn't follow with what it says in the book. The interpretation of the command is in the mind of the Awakener normally, not the object. The reason the rope grabbed the tree and Vivenna is because she didn't properly visualize the intention, not because of the vague command. She changed to saying her targets due to her own lack of practice. This gave a greater surety that the objects would do what she wanted but gave the objects far less flexibility in what they could do as well.

 

Oh my God man, specifics. Go ahead and find me anything, anywhere, in text or in WoB, that supports what you're saying here. Go ahead and find me something concrete that actually says this, not just your personal ideas, assumptions, speculations, impressions, or inventions. I provided you with several concrete examples from the book, and your reply was, "Well I don't personally believe them, so they're wrong."

 

You say that if I'm right, almost none of Vasher's Commands should have worked. Great then. He Awakens constantly throughout the book. It shouldn't be hard for you to find a concrete example and present it to us all. Go ahead. We'll all wait while you find one. If you're right, it cannot possibly be that hard to support. You seem incredibly confident that the proof is everywhere to be found, so find it. Just one example. Anything at all.

 

You tell me I should reevaluate my position because two, maybe three people who refuse to provide me with any evidence keep telling me that my answers don't "feel" right. Well, I'm not actually on my own here. I've got evidence from the books. And fortunately for me, when Brandon Sanderson casts his vote for "What's real in the books," it's a trump card.

 

I will reevaluate my position the very first time you show me literally anything that isn't your own personal musings which disproves anything I say. You haven't reevaluated your own position despite my constant references to the source material. Please do not lecture me.

 

...Also, how is there even continuity in that sentence? "I'm not saying we can vote on what's right, but if you're being outvoted, you should accept that you're wrong." You can't even maintain logical consistency from the start of a sentence to its own end. Starting the sentence by saying, "I'm right, not only because others agree with me," does not then give you carte blanche to finish the sentence with, "but I'm right expressly because others agree with me."

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Commands in awakening can be either specific or vague, the more specific your command the more difficult the visualization behind the command Becomes. If one of you could find the parts of the book where Vasher is teaching her to Awaken it would be helpful as I am currently on my phone

Edited by Bondranx
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...So, just so I'm understanding you perfectly clear here. You think that Vasher, as we see him in the book, at that time, will agree with the sentiment, "the world will be a better place if we simply kill every single person who does anything wrong." He would see this as being "logical and reasonable." You're saying, "trying to reform a city doesn't exist, so just kill everyone in it."

I see that my request for specifics once again gets responded to with generalities and vagueness, and then declarations of victory. I will probably, from this point on, stop responding to general, vague statements. Anyone who wants to give me a specific, perhaps I will actually respond.

Also, Killer Squirrel, if that's how you think Awakening works, I suggest you read the book again. I... I don't even know how to begin explaining to you how you have the fundamentals of BioChromatic Awakening wrong, and it seems like you won't simply take my word on it anyway.

I'm not saying that's how Vasher feels at the time of the book, he clearly regrets the creation on Nightblood, but the destruction on an invested object as powerful as him is clearly very difficult, if not impossible. So he keeps Nightblood with him to prevent anybody from misusing him.

There may in fact have been a time when he felt that WAS the only option, but I'm not saying that he still feels that way.

(Sorry for the double post, I missed this one this morning while going through my email)

Edited by Bondranx
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I'm not saying that's how Vasher feels at the time of the book, he clearly regrets the creation on Nightblood,

 

But you're missing the point, which I bring up in the OP. The issue is that "Destroy Evil" is only logical and reasonable if you believe that killing every human being the first time they do something despicable. In the book, Vasher says, "The Command 'Destroy Evil' seems perfectly logical and reasonable." So are you saying that Vasher, as we see him in the books, believes that killing people is a logical, reasonable way to reduce the amount of Evil in the world?

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But you're missing the point, which I bring up in the OP. The issue is that "Destroy Evil" is only logical and reasonable if you believe that killing every human being the first time they do something despicable. In the book, Vasher says, "The Command 'Destroy Evil' seems perfectly logical and reasonable." So are you saying that Vasher, as we see him in the books, believes that killing people is a logical, reasonable way to reduce the amount of Evil in the world?

 

That only makes sense if you also believe that the command "grab things" is only logical if you want the rope to grab everything in the world. It simply is not the case.

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...You're just poking the troll now, right? You're not even trying to seriously debate this topic? You're just trying to figure out what you can say to provoke me, right?

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Isnt nightblood a reference to the atomic bomb?

Um, no. Last time I checked, the atomic bomb was still millions of years off of the Cosmere. It wouldn't be a reference to the atomic bomb, because the atomic bomb didn't have a personality, last time I checked. 

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...You're just poking the troll now, right? You're not even trying to seriously debate this topic? You're just trying to figure out what you can say to provoke me, right?

No. You just keep insisting a position that makes no sense and is rather clearly contradicted by the text. 

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