digitalbusker

put-downs
[OB] What Dalinar Should Have Said, or "L'esprit de l'fabrial-lift"

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“I respect you greatly, Brightlord,” Amaram said. “Your life has been one of grand accomplishment, and you have spent it seeking the good of Alethkar. But you—and take this with the respect I intend—are a hypocrite.
“You stand where you do because of a brutal determination to do what had to be done. It is because of that trail of corpses that you have the luxury to uphold some lofty, nebulous code. Well, it might make you feel better about your past, but morality is not a thing you can simply doff to put on the helm of battle, then put back on when you’re done with the slaughter.”

That's from Oathbringer (the book) right after Dalinar returns Oathbringer (the sword) to Ialai and learns that Amaram is to be the new Highprince Sadeas. Daliar's actual reaction was to have his feelings hurt and leave abruptly. Here's what he should have said:

"Storms, Amaram, you've figured it out! You may be the first to ever figure that out! Would you like a... I don't know, a ribbon? A pat on the head? Both of my sons are pretty bright, you see, so I don't actually know what the customary reward is for a slightly slow child who has managed to solve a riddle of middling difficulty. Yes, I have done terrible things. I have killed and burned and ended innocent lives the length and breadth of Alethkar. And in so doing, I have amassed power and prestige which I have no intention of giving up now. It's all true. You want to talk about what morality is and isn't, Meridas? Morality isn't a footrace. You don't get extra points for being less vile than the next man. When we die, the being who weighs our souls isn't going to compare the reading to a ledger of those who came before. I am disgusted by the man I was, but I will use him. I will use his reputation and his ill-gotten gains to stop other people from falling to his level, if I can. Maybe that makes me a hypocrite, maybe just a fool. But I am too busy trying to save the world to worry about that just now.

"Enjoy your new title, and your shards. Enjoy swinging around the corpse of a being once bonded to a better person than you will ever be."

(Mostly I hate it when people treat "you're a hypocrite!" like a super-duper sick burn. Essentially they're saying "I accept your stated position on what is right and wrong, and rather than debate that, I am going to point out that you don't live up to your standards either." I think hypocrisy might actually be morally neutral! Whatever bad thing you're doing is bad, but saying it's bad doesn't make it worse.)

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Regarding Amaram: I think you are too hard on him. He has done things for the greater good, and probably sees them as a great sacrifice. Then everyone hates him for it. Meanwhile Dalinar did bad things, for what in Amarams mind probably is a good cause too (unifying Alethkar), and has gotten away with mostly praise for it. I see Amarams point.

On hypocrisy: People who are preachy and doesn't follow what they preach are irritating because people like that demonstrates an inability to see their own mistakes, and a fondness for pointing out those of others. Daenerys Targaryen (ASoIaF/GoT) is a great example of this. She is mad that Robert Baratheon took her throne, and hates him and demands it back because it is her right. She then happily conquers other peoples cities, tries to be their queen, and burns the protesters. She is the same as Robert, but is blind to her faults. That is why hypocrisy is irritating, and dangerous.

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9 minutes ago, Toaster Retribution said:

She is mad that Robert Baratheon took her throne, and hates him and demands it back because it is her right. She then happily conquers other peoples cities, tries to be their queen, and burns the protesters.

That last part is bad! All by itself! Don't do the bad thing! Encourage other people not to do the bad thing! Don't waste energy trying to figure out whether the person doing the bad thing has ever said anything inconsistent with their behavior!

ETA: I see how pointing out hypocrisy can be useful rhetorically; if you can convince someone that they're doing something that actually believe it's wrong, you've got a shot at changing that behavior. The thing I'm complaining about is when the accusation of hypocrisy is used as an end in itself, or to shut down debate.

Edited by digitalbusker
More words, fewer exclamation points.
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9 minutes ago, digitalbusker said:

That last part is bad! All by itself! Don't do the bad thing! Encourage other people not to do the bad thing! Don't waste energy trying to figure out whether the person doing the bad thing has ever said anything inconsistent with their behavior!

To be honest, she is attempting to stop slavery with her conquest, so she does have a good reason for her actions. My point is that a person unable to see their own faults but very able to see those of others is:

A) Not very nice to be around

B ) Doing something bad in itself

C) Agitating the person they are trying to course correct with their hypocrisy. If a hypocrite tells you something, you are unlikely to do as they say. It is basically the man in the mirror. Fix your own faults before hammering down on others.

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40 minutes ago, Toaster Retribution said:

B ) Doing something bad in itself

C) Agitating the person they are trying to course correct with their hypocrisy. If a hypocrite tells you something, you are unlikely to do as they say. It is basically the man in the mirror. Fix your own faults before hammering down on others.

B is the part I'm less sure about. Or at least that its badness is significant compared to the active bad thing.

And as for "Fix your own faults before hammering down on others," I get the impulse, I do. And it's not an unworthy attitude, to the extent that it promotes empathy and tolerance. But you're never going to be done fixing yourself, so this can always be used as a cudgel to shut down a debate.

Thanks for listening to me vent. I have probably staked out a more extreme position in this thread than I should have, but I do think this is an interesting debate.

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I am probably in the minority in that like @Toaster Retribution I really like the character of Meridas Amaram. The fact that when Shallan infiltrates his manor she sees, along with all his secret society Sons of Honor paraphernalia, his flute collection, hints at the fact that we didn't really know him at all.

I read this scene slightly differently than you @digitalbusker or toaster, this scene is Meridas finally accepting that he is in a separate faction from Dalinar, and after accepting this fact he wants to hurt Dalinar, like he was hurt when he was kicked out of the Knights Radiant. It's not really an attempt to close the discussion as much as it's an attempt to find the soft spot and twist the knife.

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I despise Amaram, and I find his excuse of "the greater good" weak. He insists that all the evil things he did were okay because they were for a good overall purpose, and refuses to admit that the bad things he did were even bad. I'm glad he's gone.

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@Greywatch, I think that there is a certain suspension of disbelief that is necessary to truly understand Amaram's character. He is a true believer in a religion, that we as readers know, is deeply flawed. We see that his actions that he perceives are for the greater good of Roshar, are really counterproductive, but we don't see the world through the same lens that Meridas does. For a man that has built his whole identity on the principle of Honor (though some might argue with Meridas that it's the external perception of honor that matters most to him), to find out that there might be a way to restore the pantheon of Saints to the world (the Heralds) and bring Honor directly back  to the world, the greater good of reviving Honor would trump the lesser sins of killing Kaladin's men and stealing the blade. Ultimately he is earnest but misdirected. I would take 100 Amarams over a single Sadeas any day because Amaram offers the hope that his earnestness can be directed along the right path. While Sadeas does what he does out of boredom, a desire for the thrill of conquest mixed with his feelings of innate superiority. Sadeas is an inveterate crem-hole, the Adolin solution is the best that can be hoped for in cases like his, but Amaram is not beyond redemption. That is the internal tension of his character, and the thing that makes me ultimately sad that he died. He wanted to be better than he was, and that is true tragedy.

 

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@hoiditthroughthegrapevine Yeah... but I don't feel I have to choose between Amaram and Sadeas. They're both terrible people, for different though externally similar reasons, and there are a whole host of characters who are much more moral, compelling, and overall "good" (for a given definition of "good") who I can choose 100 of over either of these men. Saying that Amaram is more morally defensible than Sadeas really isn't saying much.

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@hoiditthroughthegrapevine Spot on!

@Greywatch As hoidit said, Amaram sees the world through a different lens than us, and thinks that his actions will, ultimately lead to the greater good. He doesn't know how flawed his worldview is. He killed his men for the greater good. Vin in Mistborn is prepared to kill random skaa servants for the greater good. She never has to, but she states that she would if she thought she had to. But we praise Vin as a hero, just as we praise Kelsier, or Dalinar as heroes. The only difference between them and Amaram is that their worldview happened to be correct, and that they are the protagonists, while Amarams happened to be flawed, and he himself got an antagonistic role.

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3 hours ago, Toaster Retribution said:

@Greywatch As hoidit said, Amaram sees the world through a different lens than us, and thinks that his actions will, ultimately lead to the greater good. He doesn't know how flawed his worldview is. He killed his men for the greater good. Vin in Mistborn is prepared to kill random skaa servants for the greater good. She never has to, but she states that she would if she thought she had to. But we praise Vin as a hero, just as we praise Kelsier, or Dalinar as heroes. The only difference between them and Amaram is that their worldview happened to be correct, and that they are the protagonists, while Amarams happened to be flawed, and he himself got an antagonistic role.

Why do I have to accept Amaram's worldview? Amaram's worldview is one that allows him to murder and hurt people and think of it as a good thing. I really don't care that Amaram thinks he's a good guy - lots of people who do terrible things think they're the good guy of their own story, but the beauty of it is, he's written as the bad guy to people I care much more about. The difference between Vin and Amaram is, Vin was never put in that situation, and she never did do it. Amaram did do it. At the end of it he called it a good thing, too. I never for one second believe that Vin would think of it as a good thing. Amaram is terrible, it'd be useless to think of it from his perspective because his perspective is one that let him murder indiscriminately, and he's written as an antagonist for an excellent reason. I'm relieved that he doesn't get to be the hero, and there's a reason Brandon wrote him as the antagonist. 

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33 minutes ago, Greywatch said:

Why do I have to accept Amaram's worldview? Amaram's worldview is one that allows him to murder and hurt people and think of it as a good thing. I really don't care that Amaram thinks he's a good guy - lots of people who do terrible things think they're the good guy of their own story, but the beauty of it is, he's written as the bad guy to people I care much more about. The difference between Vin and Amaram is, Vin was never put in that situation, and she never did do it. Amaram did do it. At the end of it he called it a good thing, too. I never for one second believe that Vin would think of it as a good thing. Amaram is terrible, it'd be useless to think of it from his perspective because his perspective is one that let him murder indiscriminately, and he's written as an antagonist for an excellent reason. I'm relieved that he doesn't get to be the hero, and there's a reason Brandon wrote him as the antagonist. 

Amaram isn't the only one to have that kind of worldview. Kelsier defenitely has it, and I would argue that Vin has it too. That she never killed the servants doesn't really matter. She stated to herself that she would if she gained something for it, and she is a very honest and reliable narrator. The worldview that makes you okay with killing innocents for the greater good is something that a bunch of characters have. Some of them are good guys, some are bad guys. The willingness to harm others isn't the point, nor do I think it is why most people dislike Amaram. The reason for why Amaram (in my estimation) gets rust is because people see his motives as stupid. We can identify with Vins willingness to escape Yomen: she needs to in order to save the world. We can forgive Kelsier, because he has understandable reasons for his hate, and also happens to be a charismatic POV character. Amaram is mostly seen from the perspective of people he has harmed, and people who hates him. 

I don't remember in which instance Amaram referred to his actions as a good thing, but what I think he means is that the prize was worth the cost. One thing that is abundantly clear with Amaram is that he hates his crimes. He wishes that he didn't have to commit them (compare this to Kelsier, who is happy about his murders). 

The point I'm trying to make is that a lot of people are okay with killing innocents for a purpose. The purpose may differ, and many find it hard to identify with that of Amaram. I think we have to understand that his purpose is a plausible, and important one, in his mind, just as the purposes of Vin and Kelsier are important in their minds.

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5 minutes ago, Toaster Retribution said:

Amaram isn't the only one to have that kind of worldview. Kelsier defenitely has it, and I would argue that Vin has it too. That she never killed the servants doesn't really matter. She stated to herself that she would if she gained something for it, and she is a very honest and reliable narrator. The worldview that makes you okay with killing innocents for the greater good is something that a bunch of characters have. Some of them are good guys, some are bad guys. The willingness to harm others isn't the point, nor do I think it is why most people dislike Amaram. The reason for why Amaram (in my estimation) gets rust is because people see his motives as stupid. We can identify with Vins willingness to escape Yomen: she needs to in order to save the world. We can forgive Kelsier, because he has understandable reasons for his hate, and also happens to be a charismatic POV character. Amaram is mostly seen from the perspective of people he has harmed, and people who hates him. 

I don't remember in which instance Amaram referred to his actions as a good thing, but what I think he means is that the prize was worth the cost. One thing that is abundantly clear with Amaram is that he hates his crimes. He wishes that he didn't have to commit them (compare this to Kelsier, who is happy about his murders). 

The point I'm trying to make is that a lot of people are okay with killing innocents for a purpose. The purpose may differ, and many find it hard to identify with that of Amaram. I think we have to understand that his purpose is a plausible, and important one, in his mind, just as the purposes of Vin and Kelsier are important in their minds.

Vin still wouldn't have thought of it as a good thing, she wouldn't have thought of herself as a hero for committing murder, and I'm not on board with the argument in the least. 

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2 minutes ago, Greywatch said:

Vin still wouldn't have thought of it as a good thing, she wouldn't have thought of herself as a hero for committing murder, and I'm not on board with the argument in the least. 

Vin would have seen it as necessary, and she'd do it if she had too, which is exactly how Amaram sees his crimes. 

I also don't think that Amaram could see himself as a hero. He tried to, but failed, and was consumed by guilt, which led to Yelig-Nar.

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54 minutes ago, Toaster Retribution said:

Vin would have seen it as necessary, and she'd do it if she had too, which is exactly how Amaram sees his crimes. 

I also don't think that Amaram could see himself as a hero. He tried to, but failed, and was consumed by guilt, which led to Yelig-Nar.

Amaram does think of himself as a good thing, and straight up tries to convince Kaladin it was a good thing he killed Kaladin's men and sent Kaladin into slavery, so Kaladin should be grateful to him. The comparison to Vin is not going to work. Amaram is a bad person who refused to take any responsibility for his actions and allowed himself to be so wrapped up in "guilt" that he let himself be taken by the enemy. I have no sympathy for him.

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As I've stated before, I love Taravangian, and hate Amaram, and here's the difference to me, because it's well beyond the level of Kaladin's squad. 

Taravangian believes that the Radiants can't win, that annihilation is is inevitable, so the best option is to salvage what you can no matter the cost so that something survives.

Amaram and thee Sons of Honor are the exact opposite. They believed that the Heralds were honest and the desolations had ended, and were willing to set off an apocalypse that in their belief was unnecessary for the express goal of returning the Heralds, and the power Odium the church. 

One is trying to mitigate damage to preserve a remnant of humanity. The other is trying to knowingly kill the majority of the world's population in an attempt to reshape the world how they want. 

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8 minutes ago, Greywatch said:

Amaram does think of himself as a good thing, and straight up tries to convince Kaladin it was a good thing he killed Kaladin's men and sent Kaladin into slavery, so Kaladin should be grateful to him. The comparison to Vin is not going to work. Amaram is a bad person who refused to take any responsibility for his actions and allowed himself to be so wrapped up in "guilt" that he let himself be taken by the enemy. I have no sympathy for him.

I read the "Kaladin should be grateful to me" lines as Amaram trying to convince himself of that it was the right thing to do. He is constantly trying to escape his guilt, much like Dalinar in the flashbacks. 

Furthermore, I don't think neither one of us will convince the other. I am a huge fan of Amaram and you are the opposite, pretty much. If you wabt to keep up the discussion, I'd be happy to go on, but I don't think either of us will change our opinion. 

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4 hours ago, Calderis said:

One is trying to mitigate damage to preserve a remnant of humanity. The other is trying to knowingly kill the majority of the world's population in an attempt to reshape the world how they want. 

I understand what you are saying, but I have to disagree with the analysis.

Taravangian (who I love as a character as well) is ultimately trying to achieve a limited objective through very distateful means.
Amaram (who I also loved as a character) was ultimately trying to achieve a transcendent objective through mildly distateful means.

Both of the subjective qualifiers above "very distateful" and "mildly distateful" are how both of the characters, I believe, view the immorality of their actions.

Both Taravangian and Amaram are case studies of the two different types of leaders of "True Believer" movements, Taravangian is a practical man of action whose one true belief is in the God he was the day he wrote the diagram, while Amaram is a man of words, and his true belief is in the Vorin religion (which the cycle of Desolations plays a prominent part in).

Taravangian kills the innocent and sick for vague hints of the future, topples governments, assasinates world leaders, sows the seeds of a far reaching chaos so that he can be in a position to bargain for the lives of Humanity (which didn't work out quite like Smart Mr. T thought it would). His aim is very limited object, he is truly noble is his attempt (based on his mistaken belief system) to take upon himself the oceans of blood that the world needs to bathe in in order to preserve a mere sliver of humanity. But his objective is corporeal, he is essentially an atheist if the only god he worships is himself at his most intelligent, and thus his sacrifice only contributes to the continuation of the species, not their salvation.

While Amaram, who sees himself as one of the elect of the Vorin church, makes a series of amoral choices that he thinks are in service to the greater good of Bringing Honor back to Roshar. A lot of the morally reprehensible actions that he takes are to ensure that he is in a position to influence events as they unfold (by killing Kaladin's men he becomes de-facto one of the most powerful men in Alethkar because he becomes a full shard bearer, stealing Taln's blade has a similar rationalization in that he is unsure what Dalinar's motivations are so he trusts himself better to know what to do with a possible Blade of a Herald). The reason he seems like such a cremling is because as readers we can see the flaws in his religion, the strange warping of reality that exists when you view the world through the lens of Vorinism. I mean, we know that Honor is dead. We can't possibly hope to approach how Amaram views this struggle objectively, knowing that he is willing to subject the world to a Desolation to bring back a god that has been dead for thousands of years. But his objective is not limited to the mere corporeal, his true aim as a true believer in Vorinism is the Spiritual Salvation of humanity. The cycles of Desolations, are to the Vorin way of thinking, necessary to train the human spirit so that the fight to reclaim the Tranquiline halls can continue in the afterlife. I totally disagree with his assessment of the situation (primarily because as a reader I am privy to more knowledge than Amaram is) but his motivation as a character comes from an Idealism that he holds to, and the fact that he feels guilty that he has to break some eggs to make an omelette shows that he is fundamentally moral, because you can't have a pang of conscience without a conscience.

Dalinar, in full Blackthorn mode, was more an animal than a man. He really was the Thrill incarnate, but he was saved from himself by the love and sacrifice of Evi.

Amaram could have been saved, and I feel that's why his end was truly tragic. The part where Dalinar tries to reach out to Amaram is very moving, and even though I can see how for the narrative it had to work out the way it did, it still makes me sad that he had to give in to Odium. Even the reason that he did give in was because he thought he was no longer worthy to join Dalinar. The only people that can't be redeemed are the ones that have long ago killed their conscience, and wrap the world in their own internal failings so that they can continue to believe that it's ok to be unrepentant jerk wads.

Edited by hoiditthroughthegrapevine
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I read it as pretty standard Christian theology and morality about how we respond to our failures.  I know Brandon tries not to write his stories as direct religious allegories, but our faiths can have a large impact in shaping our worldviews.

Dalinar is a sinner who has acknowledged the error of his ways and now seeks a higher path.  This does not completely absolve him of all of his past wrongs, but his journey progresses towards the light.  Critical to helping him reach this path was the forgiveness of those he had hurt (Evi).

Sadeas never shied from his evil ways and barely pretended they were anything but evil.  He simply embraced evil entirely.

Amaram refused until the near end to acknowledge that he is a sinner and thus kept on a sinful path.  His was a path of denial.  Accusing Dalinar of being a hypocrite is wrong because it ignores the fact that Dalinar is currently striving to undo the wrongs that he has done.  In the end Amaram submits himself to evil because the internal pain of his own hypocrisy is too much to bear, so he embraces Odium's narcotic "it wasn't my fault" line of thinking.  Amaram was offered far greater opportunities for forgiveness and redemption than most would receive by Dalinar in Oathbringer, but he repeatedly chose to reject them because he refused to acknowledge or display contrition for his actions.

Taravangian is a sinner who internally understands the evil of his ways, but whose pride keeps him on a sinful path.  He wanted the capacity (for himself) to save humanity.  He needed to be the protagonist.  There were many other ways that he could phrase his wish to help or serve in the salvation of humanity, but his wish was to personally be the one who could save it.  His internal justification of his goals are fundamentally wrong, and the fact that so many readers accept them at face value is quite depressing.  Almost all evil men see themselves as the heroes of their own story.  Don't you think every monster, genocider and war criminal from human history didn't on some level believe that the immediate evil they were performing were somehow justified as serving a greater purpose?  Just goals must be supported by good methods.  Judge the tree by the fruit it bears.

Moash is a lost sheep.  His path is leading him to darkness, but of the above examples he seems the most like Dalinar.  He's not evil for its own sake like Sadeas.  Unlike Amaram, he does not see himself as a hero, if anything he displays a large degree of self-hatred.  Self-hatred for your failures suggests a potential willingness to change your ways (Dalinar and Szeth) because it shows the character at least accepts something is wrong.  He seems in desperate need of a good shepherd to seek him out and offer him a way back into the fold.  

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13 hours ago, Subvisual Haze said:

Taravangian is a sinner who internally understands the evil of his ways, but whose pride keeps him on a sinful path.  He wanted the capacity (for himself) to save humanity.  He needed to be the protagonist.  There were many other ways that he could phrase his wish to help or serve in the salvation of humanity, but his wish was to personally be the one who could save it. 

I think this is because he trusts himself the most with actually succeeding, and not because he wants the glory of saving the world. That is Amaram. King T just wants to help, and he legitimately thinks that he asked for the best possible thing.

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13 hours ago, Subvisual Haze said:

He seems in desperate need of a good shepherd to seek him out and offer him a way back into the fold.  

I think Dalinar would rather stab himself with a dead Shardblade than accept being shepherded around like a little lamb :D

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I slightly differ on what accusations of hypocrisy do. If we build in a few assumptions of moral (or even in general, argumentative) discourse, including that logical consistency is a desideratum of a theory/set of moral standards, then it's not as if Amaram has actually made a bad point. Hypocrisy arguments are supposed to attach disproportionately to positions, because they're about pointing out that there is a given inconsistency in a moral position.

One way of outlining any moral claim Dalinar makes is as follows: x is the right/wrong thing to do because (implicit claim) Standards X says it's the right/wrong thing to do, and Standards X is the correct set of moral standards to follow.

If that's the case, what a hypocrisy challenge really does is to provide such claims with a dilemma.

Either:

A. Standards X is correct; but then you have knowingly violated a set of moral standards you deem to be correct. This seems to indicate either that you believe moral standards do not apply to you (possibly a sign of moral bad faith), or alternatively, that you do not think Standards X applies to everyone. This may very well be fine since we don't need to believe that moral standards should be universal, but it does then raise the question of exactly why Amaram should then subscribe to Standards X or think it applies to him, as well as suspicions that Dalinar is simply conveniently excluding himself from compliance. Both weaken Dalinar's position.

B. Standards X is wrong; your violation of Standards X indicates that Standards X is not a good set of moral standards to begin with, and you are merely ignoring this important data-point.

Since Amaram doesn't even accept Standards X to begin with, while Dalinar implicitly does, it's not difficult to see why a hypocrisy challenge would have a disproportionate effect on the two of them. (For the record, I think Amaram's arguments are in fact bad ones; I just don't think it's for the reasons so far discussed.)

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On 1/12/2018 at 3:30 PM, Greywatch said:

I despise Amaram, and I find his excuse of "the greater good" weak. He insists that all the evil things he did were okay because they were for a good overall purpose, and refuses to admit that the bad things he did were even bad. I'm glad he's gone.

 

Amaram (killing a squad of his own soldiers): It's for the Greater Good, you hypocrite.

Amaram (trying to summon the Voidbringers): It's for the Greater Good, you hypocrite.

Amaram (metamorphosizing into a twisted red-eyed abomination, neither man nor Voidbringer): It's for the Greater Good, you hypocrite.

Amaram (randomly punching a kitten): iT'S for DE gREATER gOOD, u hypocrite!

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7 hours ago, Kobold King said:

 

Amaram (killing a squad of his own soldiers): It's for the Greater Good, you hypocrite.

Amaram (trying to summon the Voidbringers): It's for the Greater Good, you hypocrite.

Amaram (metamorphosizing into a twisted red-eyed abomination, neither man nor Voidbringer): It's for the Greater Good, you hypocrite.

Amaram (randomly punching a kitten): iT'S for DE gREATER gOOD, u hypocrite!

Slightly off topic, but an updated version for the Ugandan Knuckles.

Amaram (about to kill the leader of his own country who is also basically a demigod, spitting foam and with red corrupted-investiture eyes, possessed by an demon): “I kNOw tHE WaY.”

Edit: On-topic: Amaram is deluded. I will elaborate when I have a computer.

Edited by The Thinking Herald
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On ‎1‎/‎14‎/‎2018 at 8:35 AM, Kasimir said:

One way of outlining any moral claim Dalinar makes is as follows: x is the right/wrong thing to do because (implicit claim) Standards X says it's the right/wrong thing to do, and Standards X is the correct set of moral standards to follow.

If that's the case, what a hypocrisy challenge really does is to provide such claims with a dilemma.

Either:

A. Standards X is correct; but then you have knowingly violated a set of moral standards you deem to be correct. This seems to indicate either that you believe moral standards do not apply to you (possibly a sign of moral bad faith), or alternatively, that you do not think Standards X applies to everyone. This may very well be fine since we don't need to believe that moral standards should be universal, but it does then raise the question of exactly why Amaram should then subscribe to Standards X or think it applies to him, as well as suspicions that Dalinar is simply conveniently excluding himself from compliance. Both weaken Dalinar's position.

B. Standards X is wrong; your violation of Standards X indicates that Standards X is not a good set of moral standards to begin with, and you are merely ignoring this important data-point.

Your "Standards X is correct" has another possibility attached to it...

Standards X is correct. Standards X is universally correct, but to err is human. Whether as a result of a lack of willpower, being overcome with lust (for whatever - sex, power, money, ease, or pleasure), or an excess of pride; we have all compromised our own personal morals - including but not limited to Standards X - from time to time. It's not always indicative of a belief that the standards don't apply to oneself or others, just personal weakness.

Quote

“The mind commands the body and is instantly obeyed. The mind commands itself and meets resistance.”
Augustine of Hippo, Confessions

 

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