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Honor created the desolations

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Here’s the bare bones of the argument:

 

  1. Kaladin compares the listeners’ honor with that of humans. Humans are hateful and always at war. Listeners won’t harm a disabled combatant.
  2. Roshar’s humans seem to reflect Earth’s diversity: dark-skinned, brown-skinned, light-skinned; blond, brown, red and black hair; every eye color. On a planet with only one continent and no impassable mountains? The result of such human variability is the problem of the “other” – someone who is different from us, who therefore is to be feared and hated. More hatred, just as Kaladin sees, hatred he himself feels towards “others” – the lighteyes.
  3. The presence of the listeners compounds the “other” problem. Other threads have noted that the listeners are like Native Americans, driven to the verge of extinction by rapacious Europeans.
  4. Whose interest is it to have men fight men and listeners, to try to create more hateful ideas, more opportunities to grow his power? Any Shards we know, Mr. Odium? And whose interest is it to eliminate such fighting, to eliminate the means by which hatred is spread, Mr. Honor? To kill all hateful humans in genocidal events called Desolations…

 

HONOR has more reason than Odium to cause the Desolations, to wipe out humanity’s rapacity. Odium wants to create the Everstorm, the TRUE Desolation. But Odium would rather humans keep on killing each other until then.

 

And if this “bare bones” argument hasn’t persuaded you yet, consider that “honor” is a conservative social force, often keeping people in their place because the ruling class thinks “it’s the right thing to do.” Honor’s mandate (intent) is Relationships – organization. (See my “Mandates of the Known Shards” post.) Honor prefers stable relationships rather than the turmoil of war fostered by Odium’s Aggression mandate. If hatred causes men to fight, Honor might well tear down an entire societal structure and start again.

 

Hence, Desolations. Hence, little technological growth, arguably regression. Hence, stratified, reified societies.

 

Blame Honor, not Odium.

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Point 2: Places where people are more used to diversity there is often less fear of the "other", so human diversity is actualy good for Honor on the long term, and probably also something Cultivation would like, since I imagine her mandate would be something like a progression towards more complex and diverse social and biological forms, like a controlled evolution, and she probably wouldn't like if a sudden climatic change or epidemic wiped out her toys.

Point 4: It makes no sense for Honor to wish to genocide humans, since he created them or brought them to Roshar, and his intent, wich I believe has to do with some sort of social simetry throught bonds and limitations, would make it more likely that he tried to find a way to make the conflict more equal to both sides and hope they give up after seeing it is not going nowhere.

Just my opinion.

Edited by CognitivePulsePattern
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I. .. Do not agree with you on this. One thing you are forgetting, this is HONOR we are talking about. Shardic intent bends you eventually, you can't resist it. And is it Honorable to sentence thousands, maybe millions to their death? Just to eliminate some hate? It goes completely against the first ideal of the Radiants.

I'm not buying it.

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I've expressed similar thoughts before - the idea of the Desolations, a constant fight between two people which seems "fair", involving champions, seems like something designed by Honor.

 

I doubt he specifically set the Desolations up as a means of killing hateful humans off, as I don't really agree with your thoughts on hateful humans increasing Odium's power. (Even if he did, it does not seem much in line with the Intent.)

 

However, given Odium was trying to kill both Honor and Cultivation, I could see Honor binding Odium to the Oathpact (or whatever limits Odium from doing Desolations 24/7) and forcing humanity to fight to survive.

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Might I point out that the Heralds were given honorblades by Honor so they could protect humanity against the Desolations.

 

Edit: There is another point that the listeners were voidbringers that were under the control of Odium, and the Desolations were just invasions by voidbringers, so how exactly does Honor cause an event that he has no control over.
 
Edit2: It is also mentioned that 9 out of 10 people were killed in the desolations, now I don't know how hateful humans are on Roshar but I know a lot less than 90% of all humans are feel enough hate to be considered hateful on earth. There has to be other things Honor could have done to try and eliminate hateful humans other than try and kill off all the hateful ones and most of the good ones.
 
I see the logic behind your argument I just don't agree with it.
Edited by TCshard
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Also, hate is not exactly opposite to honor. Honor doesn't neglect hate under any condition, and it would be absolutely not first-ideal-conform to destroy every being, that feels some hatred.
Even worse, a desolation has exosbirant high collateral damage, if it's intent is to destroy something special [be it some people or a whole life form (in this case, mankind)]. Other people, listeners and spren and who knows what will suffer because of it, and Honor seems to me to be the shard, that cares about collateral damge.
Damnation, if somebody cares about collateral damage, then Honor.

Edited by Alfa
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Actually, if anything Honor sounds like the type to let the world go up in flames over something stupid like protecting one innocent just because it isn't right to make them pay the price for someone else's actions.

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Yes, but only, if he does not kill any other innocents by his own hand... Basically, honor has the most difficult shard intent, full of Dilemmas and Paradoxes. But he does not seem like the guy, who puts the world in flames.

 

EDIT: This does not mean, that he won't let the world go up in  flames for some honorable (but probably not very rational) reason.

Edited by Alfa
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I believe Honor cares more about enforcing honor and "social simetry" than about being honorable himself, just like Preservation was allowed to be self sacrificial all the time to preserve Scadrial.

Of course, I still don't think he would try to destroy mankind.

Edited by CognitivePulsePattern
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There's a lot I can say about your comments in rebuttal, but I'll toss one item out in the meantime. Look at WoK at page 17.

Kalak says, "He will not remain bound by this. The Enemy. He will find a way around it."

Everyone assumes the "Enemy" is Odium. BUT ODIUM IS NOT "BOUND" BY THE OATHPACT. HONOR IS, according to Brandon.

So who is the Enemy...

Also re mandates, I don't disagree with most of your sentiments. But one needs to think more BROADLY and ABSTRACTLY about them. More to say about that another time. On my cell...

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Odium is not bound to the oathpact in the way one is bound to an oath, but in the way one is bound to a prision. Important distinction.

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There's a lot I can say about your comments in rebuttal, but I'll toss one item out in the meantime. Look at WoK at page 17.

Kalak says, "He will not remain bound by this. The Enemy. He will find a way around it."

Everyone assumes the "Enemy" is Odium. BUT ODIUM IS NOT "BOUND" BY THE OATHPACT. HONOR IS, according to Brandon.

So who is the Enemy...

Also re mandates, I don't disagree with most of your sentiments. But one needs to think more BROADLY and ABSTRACTLY about them. More to say about that another time. On my cell...

 

I assume you're referring to this?

Question ()

How many parties were there to the original Oathpact?

Brandon Sanderson

The Heralds and Honor. They thought that by walking away from their oaths, that it would break the Oathpact. They're going to find out that it's not quite as broken as they had previously thought (meaning the Heralds).

(source)

 

I sincerely doubt that "the Enemy" is Honor. The Prelude does not have Kalak mention anything against Honor, and Jezrien mentions that they willingly took up their burden and they can give it up if they want to. Honor would hardly be an enemy if they voluntarily entered into the arrangement.

 

Odium is very clearly bound in some regard. The Desolations happen based on when a Herald leaves Damnation. There'd be no reason for Odium to wait until that specific event (or not murder the Heralds horribly) unless he was bound in some manner. I mean, unless you're suggesting the Heralds were helping Odium, in which case I'm going to need an extremely persuasive argument for that one.

 

I also note the WoB mentions the original Oathpact and Brandon is tricksy.

Edited by Moogle
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The choice of honor is life.

 

If Honor is the cause of Desolations, I imagine it's the same kind of horrific side effect that happens from time to time, such as when you dam a river for power, and flood hundreds of homes.  Only in this case Honor threw Odium in Shard-Jail, and Odium tried to vaporize the world.

 

Your point 4 I have particular problem with.  If Odium is empowered by people being hateful, he could have stayed on worlds that did not have competing Shards (anymore) and gained his power that way.  He did not.  Further, would not Honor be empowered by honorable people?  Why would he focus on killing hateful people rather than on building a cadre of the honorable?  Yes, yes, he did that, too, but honestly--you'd think he'd have more than 10% of a population that felt like being honorable.  Is it sheer numbers that empowers him?  Or percentages?  Because if it's sheer numbers, the Desolation idea is silly.  If it's percentage, then Honor should kill all but one honorable person and win the universe.

 

But none of that matters, because life before death, strength before weakness, journey before destination, etc.  Looking to examples of how Honor is reflected in world, your theory that Honor willfully causes the Desolations in order to kill people makes zero sense.

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