Issue 1CoverPage 1Page 2Page 3Page 4Page 5Page 6Page 7Page 8Page 9Page 10Page 11Page 12Page 13Page 14Page 15Page 16Page 17Page 18Page 19Page 20Page 21Page 22Break Issue 2CoverPage 1Page 2Page 3Page 4Page 5Page 6Page 7Page 8Page 9Page 10Page 11Page 12Page 13Page 14Page 15Page 16Page 17Page 18Page 19Page 20Page 21Page 22Page 23Page 24Page 25Page 26Page 27Page 28Page 29Page 30Page 31Page 32Page 33Page 34Page 35Page 36Page 37Page 38Page 39Page 40Page 41Page 42Page 43Page 44Page 45Page 46Page 47Page 48Page 49Page 50 Issue 3CoverPage 1Page 2Page 3HolidayPage 4Page 5Page 6Page 7Page 8Page 9Page 10Page 11Page 12Page 13Page 14Page 15Page 16Page 17Page 18Page 19Page 20Page 21page 22Page 23Page 24Page 25Page 26Page 27Page 28Page 29Page 30Page 31p 32Page 33Page 34Page 35Page 36Page 37Page 38Page 39Page 40Page 41Page 42Page 43Page 44Page 45Page 46Page 47Page 48Page 49Page 50Page 51Page 52Page 53Page 54Page 55Page 56Page 57Page 58Page 59Page 60Page 61Page 62Page 63Page 64Page 65Page 66Page 67Page 68Page 69Page 70Page 71Page 72Page 73Page 74Page 75Page 76Page 77Page 78 Guest ArtTuesdayWednesdayFriday Issue 4CoverPage 1Page 2Page 3Page 4Page 5Page 6Page 7Page 8Page 9Page 10Page 11Page 12Page 13Page 14Page 15Page 16Page 17Page 18Page 19Page 20Page 21Page 22Page 23Page 24Page 25Page 26Page 27Page 28Page 29Page 30Page 31Page 32Page 33Page 34Page 35Page 36Page 37Page 38Page 39Page 40Page 41Page 42Page 43Page 44Page 45Page 46Page 47Page 48Page 49Page 50Page 51Page 52 Issue 5CoverPage 1Page 2NewspaperPage 3Page 4Page 5Page 6Page 7Page 8Page 9Page 10Page 11Page 12Page 13Page 14Page 15Page 16Page 17Page 18Page 19Page 20Page 21Page 22Page 23Page 24Page 25Page 26Page 27Page 28Page 29Page 30Page 31Page 32Page 33Page 34Page 35Page 36Page 37Page 38Page 39Page 40Page 41Page 42Page 43Page 44Page 45Page 46Page 47Page 48Page 49Page 50Page 51Page 52Page 53Page 54Page 55Page 56Page 57Page 58Page 59Page 60HiatusPage 61Page 62Page 63Page 64Page 65Page 66Page 67Page 68Page 69Page 70Page 71Page 72Page 73Page 74Page 75Page 76Page 77Page 78Page 79Page 80Page 81Page 82Page 83Page 84Page 85Page 86Page 87Page 88Page 89Page 90Page 91Page 92Page 93Page 94Page 95Page 96Page 97Page 98Page 99Page 100Page 101Page 102Page 103Page 104Page 105Page 106Page 107Page 108Page 109Page 110Page 111Page 112Page 113Page 114Page 115Page 116Page 117Page 118Page 119Page 120Page 121Page 122Page 123Page 124Page 125Page 126Page 127Page 128Page 129Page 130Page 131Page 132Page 133Page 134Page 135Page 136Page 137Page 138Page 139Page 140Page 141Page 142Page 143Page 144Page 145Page 146Page 147Page 148Page 149Page 150Page 151Page 152Page 153Page 154Page 155Page 156Page 157Page 158Page 159Page 160Page 161Page 162Page 163Page 164Page 165Page 166Page 167 Issue 6CoverPage 1Page 2Page 3Page 4Page 5Page 6Page 7Page 8Page 9Page 10Page 11Page 12Page 13Page 14Page 15Page 16Page 17Page 18Page 19Page 20Page 21Page 22Page 23Page 24Page 25Page 26Page 27Page 28Page 29Page 30Page 31Page 32Page 33Page 34Page 35Page 36Page 37Page 38Page 39Page 40Page 41Page 42Page 43Page 44Page 45Page 46Page 47Page 48Page 49Page 50Page 51Page 52Page 53Page 54Page 55Page 56Page 57Page 58Page 59Page 60Page 61Page 62Page 63Page 64Page 65Page 66Page 67Page 68Page 69Page 70Page 71Page 72Page 73Page 74Page 75Page 76Page 77Page 78Page 79Page 80Page 81Page 82Page 83Page 84Page 85Page 86Page 87Page 88Page 89Page 90Page 91Page 92Page 93Page 94Page 95Page 96Page 97Page 98Page 99Page 100Page 101Page 102Page 103Page 104Page 105Page 106Page 107Page 108Page 109Page 110Page 111Page 112Page 113Page 114Page 115Page 116Page 117Page 118Page 119Page 120Page 121Page 122Page 123Page 124Page 125Page 126Page 127Page 128Page 129Page 130Page 131Page 132Page 133Page 134Page 135Page 136Page 137Page 138Page 139Page 140Page 141Page 142Page 143Page 144Page 145 Bonus Content1234 Issue 7CoverPage 1Page 2Page 3Page 4Page 5Page 6Page 7Page 8Page 9Page 10Page 11Page 12Page 13Page 14Page 15Page 16Page 17Page 18Page 19Page 20Page 21Page 22Page 23Page 24Page 25Page 26Page 27Page 28Page 29Page 30Page 31Page 32Page 33Page 34Page 35Page 36Page 37Page 38Page 39Page 40Page 41Page 42Page 43Page 44Page 45Page 46Page 47Page 48Page 49Page 50Page 51Page 52Page 53Page 54Page 55Page 56Page 57Page 58Page 59Page 60Page 61Page 62Page 63Page 64Page 65Page 66Page 67Page 68Page 69Page 70Page 71Page 72Page 73Page 74Page 75Page 76Page 77Page 78Page 79Page 80Page 81Page 82Page 83Page 84Page 85Page 86Page 87Page 88Page 89Page 90Page 91Page 92Page 93Page 94Page 95Page 96Page 97Page 98Page 99Page 100Page 101Page 102Page 103Page 104Page 105Page 106Page 107Page 108Page 109Page 110Page 111Page 112Break Show Comments Tsapki So in the end, they were both wrong. Max had no obligation to help thousands of people and Alison had no obligation to respect his choice. Neat. help im a bug whatever “wrong” means Lysiuj Each of these obligations *might* exist, but they don’t objectively exist. Morality, ethics, and what we derive from them (like obligations to act or refrain), don’t have physical presence in the world, they’re ideas that we come up with and agree upon, or disagree. Seer of Trope The only physical presence in the world they have is the actors which enacts them. Us. Lysiuj Well put. Tylikcat I don’t know if physical presence is quite the terminology I’d use. But yeah, it seems painfully strange that people often want ethics (ethical axioms? ethical principles?) to be things that exist outside of us and separate from us. It often seems that there is an underlying judgement that we are too frail, and that to be good enough, strong enough, and big enough these things must be some kinds of universal truths. I suppose I can understand the impulse? Does it make them less precious if they are things that we create and give to each other? If they are things that we can build and reinforce, or tear down? If they are strong or fragile at our own hands? Lysiuj I can definitely understand the impulse, cause yeah, if they aren’t universal, natural truths, if in fact there are no universal truths, then it is all much more fragile. If we accept that it’s all us, that requires us to ask ourselves, and each other, a lot of difficult questions about values, boundaries, goals, etc, to think deeply about how we want our lives and our societies to be. If it all comes from us, then we all have the opportunity to build and rebuild it. Tylikcat I can barely remember having a worldview in which there was the possibility of external universal ethical principles. the thought leaves me ever so slightly nostalgic, but not in a way that I’d really want to return. (Oh, that summer, when I was thirteen, and read so many French existentialists, and what a relief it was to find them. Which was also a summer when I had to read some incredibly annoying Catholic theologians, and right before I started at the university for real – the summer program being kind of the training wheels version… ow.) I mean, I didn’t start baiting people with the idea that ethics was a subset of aesthetics until I was in my twenties…. (not, like random strangers, but friends with whom this was a reasonably well understood game.) Is it any surprise I’ve liked Gurwara from the start? :-S Shweta Narayan …at thirteen? And I thought *I* was junk-reading deprived as a kid o.O Tylikcat Oh, I was in no way junk reading deprived. Weatherheight And we have no one else to blame when we get it wrong. 😀 Yurei The search for a universal ethical code is more about searching for something binding across ALL cultures, times, and mores, a pattern for human behavior that all people can be held to equally. A construction of human emotion and desire, originating within and for our own benefit and use, is inherently biased and imperfect. It can’t ever possibly be impartial, as evinced by the fact that so many folks can look at someone else’s culture and go “Oh what the HELL, guys?!” A lot of folks rebel against what is effectively boiling Good and Evil down to an objective, dispassionate science…but the scientific method has allowed us to touch the moon and forge our own stars. I think it’s worth seeing where experiments on using that method on our own behavior, both real and ideal, can go. Which is why I’ve been digging this whole Gurwara conversation so much. I do love a good philosophical debate, and so few people realize that Gurwara’s right – main force trumps everything else. If you can do it and no one can stop you from doing it…well, then you can do it. Is it right or wrong? Almost certainly – but does that really MATTER at this point? It simply *is*, now, and the world will have to deal with the reality of that decision for good or ill. Tylikcat I think there more than one approach that has been taken and is taken. But what you outline I’m aware of, and I have to admit I casually follow in the neuroscience literature. It is unabashedly homocentric (well, except when other model systems are being studied) and I’m totally behind that 🙂 MrSing Are you saying that the chemicals and electric pulses in my brain that govern my thoughts don’t have a presence in the universe? Lysiuj Well if you want to get technical… I meant that morality isn’t made up of natural laws, but of ideas that we come up with. MrSing But isn’t every action of humans guided by their biological makeup and drives, the shape of which is goverened and guided by natural laws? It would seem that every action we perform and idea we have is merely a consequence of natural law. Making all ethics expressions of fundamental and natural laws. Free will is a lie! Reality is an illusion! The universe is a hologram! Buy gold! Byeeee. Weatherheight ::waves a front hoof:: Buh Bye! Zorae42 They may not objectively ‘exist’, but I’m pretty sure there are things that are objectively bad for the good of a group as a whole and are recognized as such across all cultures. Although it’s probably not very many. Like killing other people within your social group for no reason. That probably needs a few qualifiers on ‘people’ and ‘reason’ to make it accurate for all societies, but it should still be objectively true. Or ‘doing something that is detrimental to the group and not even beneficial for any one individual’. Like destroying all the food. Isn’t the fact that you can objectively demonstrate these sort of things the whole basis of sociology? Lysiuj It’s possible; IMHO we would still need to recognize that it’s all made by people, as opposed to natural laws, but finding a moral common ground may well be a good starting point. Food for thought, thanks! Masala Nilsson I’m not a great philosopher, but I’m a decent programmer, and there are some potential bugs in your suggestions for objective truths – not that I don’t agree with them, but I don’t agree they must be universal. > I’m pretty sure there are things that are objectively bad for the good of a group as a whole and are recognized as such across all cultures Here already we’re assuming that what’s good for the group is objectively good, while it’s perfectly possible to disagree on whether the individual or the group is more important. > Like killing other people within your social group for no reason. As you say, this needs a good definition of “reason”. Is there a definition of “reason” that will hold true everywhere? If not, is this rule really universal without being meaningless? (I mean, I’m not sure meaningless rules are necessarily bad, but they’re not useful – which is a term that probably also needs a good definition.) > doing something that is detrimental to the group and not even beneficial for any one individual How about other groups; how much should they factor into these rules? One could argue that objective truths like these should benefit all of humanity (and then again one might argue that they should not). And what does it mean to benefit one or more people? For example, say an individual wants to die, and poisons the whole group’s food to do so. Does the action benefit that individual, or is surviving always to be considered preferable, whether a person wants to or not? I can see this quickly becoming tautological as well; “benefit” is a subjective concept just like “good” is. (Just to reiterate the preface that I’m better at squashing code bugs than holding up a philosophical argument, and anyone better-versed in philosophy is welcome to plug any holes in my discussion.) Zorae42 Haha, I’m also a programmer. I was approaching it from an evolutionary standpoint in that whatever is good for the group’s continued survival is objectively good. And is probably reflected across all cultures since they exist because grouping up was beneficial for their survival. You can drag the whole individual vs group into it, but whatever you value more, the more specific statement, “What is good for the group and not bad for any individual in said group is good” is still valid. Oh, I never argued that there are any ‘useful’ universal truths. Just that it is possible to define at least one truth to be universally true based off of empirical facts. I’d argue that poisoning all the food is still a non beneficial action since there are ways the individual could’ve killed themself without harming the entire group in the process. I mean, code is written for all sorts of purposes and in all sorts of languages with different syntax. No one line of code is valid across all languages (although the sentiment behind it might be). So there’s not much you can specifically say about what constitutes ‘good’ code that’s true for all code. But no matter what language or purpose of the code, code that doesn’t compile is objectively bad code 😛 It’s a pretty obvious statement that doesn’t really help you write better code, but it is a universally true statement. Obviously people aren’t code, and cultures aren’t programming languages. But the comparison seems valid. Seer of Trope Or perhaps objective ethics do exist, just none that can’t be abused once everyone agrees to it. Jeremy Cliff Armstrong But how much of that is based on instinct… instincts which do physically exist and are objective in their existence? What’s really going on when people across national lines, on opposite sides of political divides, with incompatible religious ideologies, and many other serious differences none-the-less come to the same conclusion that “the world would be better if .” And when those ideas stand the test of tens of thousands of years undefeated? It can’t be purely subjective. That strains credulity to the extreme. Subjective between species, maybe. But not subjective within a species… not entirely. Humans are communal animals, and our ethics tend toward the building and maintaining of communities. Even when we disagree on how best to accomplish those goals… we rarely disagree on the goals themselves. Lysiuj A very interesting point, thanks! But I don’t think Weatherheight I think maybe a bit of column a, a bit of column b? A significant portion of the … uhm… ah, bray… There we go… A significant portion of the 613 mitzvot of Hebrew Biblical law stems from acts to be avoided or encouraged because they diminish or increase the odds of survival in the harsher climate areas in the Eastern Mediterranean coast. Admonishments against eating pork (potentially lethal parasites) or shellfish (again with the parasites), rituals on how one should handle the dead and should tidy up afterwards (disease avoidance and mitigation), and so on have direct survival significance. Others (such as limits on how and where and in what fashion you may kill someone, codes against theft and personal injury, and so on) are a bit more nuanced, since they deal with the harmony of the social unit which both indirectly affects personal survival as well as directly affecting it. But the codification into the larger context of the social unit also involves a degree of empathy and cognizance of the Other independent of but in relationship to Oneself, which may or may not be relevant to personal survival. It’s damned tricky to tease these out, since its hard for a person subjectively part of the process to be completely certain of the degree of objectivity necessary to delineate what part of a given action falls on which side of that line. But failing to think about this leads to social stagnation and the assumption of Customs being perceived to be the same thing as Morality – which is rarely an incontrovertible thing. And now I need a good lie-down… ::wiggles his ears to urge the smoke out of them:: J4n1 In a sense, yes. Because right and wrong are, in the end, opinions. That does not make them unimportant, but there is no universal, objective, ethical standard to measure ourself with. So the question is, do we want to live in a world where strong are allowed to do whatever they want to us if they feel like it is the right thing, or if there should be some limits to individuals right to smash our faces in? Personally, i prefer to live in a world where people are not allowed to kidnap and torture me to do the “right thing”. Tsapki Sadly you do live in that world where such a thing is allowed, and it’s not because there are superheroes flying around and forcing us to be ‘good people’. Because in place of raw physical power, we have entities who have influence to subjugate thousands if not millions of people through fear, political pressure, financial superiority, and other such tactics. If someone rich enough wants to throw you in a cell until you do what they want you to do, they have ample means of doing so. J4n1 You seem to mistake “are allowed to” and “are capable of”, because atleast where i live, nobody is allowed to kidnap and torture me to “do the right thing”, someone might, but by law they are not allowed to. Tsapki While you make a good point, one possible flaw in your statement is that something being illegal means to it will be unerringly stopped or punished. By ‘allowed’, my meaning was that there are entities who can flaut the law that says something is illegal, again by a variety of measures. If someone kidnaps you with no witnesses and no evidence for anyone to follow, they have effectively been allowed to do so by the absence of safeguards against such things. The law is as good as our ability to enforce it, is basically what I am saying, and our law enforcement has some pretty clear limits, from regulations to funding to corruption. TheZorginator1 Well yes but if you had the power to make people do things would you not use them? Wouldn’t you stop someone from robbing or killing someone if you saw them in the act? Wouldn’t you stop the corruption and fraud from destroying the world economy? If a family member of yours was dying and the person who could save them told you that they didn’t feel like it, would you accept that if you had the power to change their mind without suffering any consequences? It’s easy to say that you are against power imbalances when you don’t have the power. lightdefender If a family member of yours was dying and the person corporation who could save them told you that they didn’t feel like it wanted a fuckton of money . . . . This is not hypothetical for a lot of people. Whiskey Jack This is true, sadly. And (@thezorginator1:disqus ), no, I cannot categorically state that I would never, ever abuse my power if I thought it was going to be for the greater good; I can only say that I hope I would, at a minimum, exercise both caution and restraint. Kevin B. “Personally, i prefer to live in a world where people are not allowed to kidnap and torture me to do the “right thing”.” That’s basically what happens when you get arrested though. Should we do away with that too? Lysiuj Ideally: a. there’s no torture and b. it’s not so much kidnapping as “temporarily restraining you while preserving your rights and health and giving you access to a lawyer.” And anything that isn’t like that, then yes we should do away with that. Kevin B. Right, poor phrasing on my part. I meant being convicted to jail time rather than “just” being arrested. a. depends on your definition of torture. Just being locked up against your will could be considered torture. Going a step further, solitary confinement is still a common way to punish or even “protect” prisoners. An increasing number of human rights groups consider that to be torture. b. Those are just arbitrary rules society sticked to the process to justify the taking of freedom. It doesn’t chance what you’re doing in essence. It’s just a different place to draw the line. Lysiuj They are rules made by society, yes, but they aren’t meaningless. WE make the rules, or at least we should, and we should be able to. And for me, and many others, the guiding principle is “no violations of people’s rights except to the degree necessary to protect people’s rights”. So if it becomes apparent that a justice system is better at giving the state power and justifying current norms, than at protecting people, then we have to change it. Freemage But I can completely describe her actions according to your paradigm: She was protecting a friend’s right to live by imposing a temporary restraint on his right to be free to not act. He was not permanently harmed, save by the awareness that she could do it again; nor was his life altered in the long run. In the meantime, Feral’s life WAS changed, inarguably for the better, and in a way that will make ti far easier for her to also spread good works around to others. The professor’s discussion earlier pointed out that giving a special exemption to moral inaction is not logically defensible. Lysiuj And I’ve never said her actions were absolutely wrong, in fact I’m still on the fence about them. That said, the principle I mentioned isn’t a complete ethical system, just a jumping-off point and a baseline agreement. Obviously we also need to deal with more specific questions, like for example: “can we justify a violation of one person’s rights, to protect the rights of many others, when the person wasn’t responsible or at fault?” Zorae42 Except we had sodomy laws on the books for ages. You could be jailed (and even sentenced to death if you were a slave), without ever violating anyone’s rights. Yes we changed it eventually, but that doesn’t mean anything to the people who were punished by it while it was illegal. Prostitution arguably doesn’t infringe on anyone’s rights, nor does using drugs. There are people out there who sincerely believe women who get abortions should be punished, even in the cases of rape or to protecting the life of the mother. And just because you don’t think the rule is right, doesn’t mean the majority of people do. Or that it will be any time soon. There’s also the fact that they can ‘kidnap’ you even if you’ve literally done nothing wrong. Police arrest the wrong people all the time, and you can be falsely accused of committing a crime. Shjade And we’ve known for decades – centuries, even – that governments and States are no better than individuals when it comes to protecting people’s rights. Look back on any number of wars and atrocities committed in the name of national security or religious rights or etc. “Societal norms say it’s okay” doesn’t really justify anything. Lysiuj That’s all true, but I’m specifically arguing for where we need to take things. I was describing an ideal situation, it wasn’t an endorsement of any and all rules made by society. Mart van de Wege “no violations of people’s rights except to the degree necessary to protect people’s rights” The problem is that you always have to balance rights, and choosing which one is more important is a bugger. “Everyone has the right to life”. An Objectivist would say this means everyone has the absolute exclusive right to the fruits of their labour, and no-one can take that away, even if that means other people starve. A Socialist would say that the property right is not absolute and can be taken away to feed the needy (“to each according to their need…”). Both can provide arguments to prove that their vision of what degree of rights protection is necessary to protect people’s rights, but since they are arguing from different axioms, the outcome is different. Lysiuj Yep. It’s extremely complicated with no easy answers. I don’t pretend to have any… Lostman Alison got to do what Alison got to do. AveryAves I could say something clever for this page but I have the best mind on the internet to do it for me https://twitter.com/dril/status/473265809079693312 Goatmon And by not respecting his choice, she enabled someone to help a SHITTON of people. At the cost of wounding one man’s pride and briefly violating his personal freedom. Loranna Oooh, what an evil, evil Friday cliffhanger ^_^ Gurwara should have had a career on the stage. He’s got the use of body language to convey emotion down to a a science. Also, I love how the background for Gurwara brightens in the last panel, after Alison pats his hand. Nice use of color to reinforce the emotion of the moment. Loranna leoboiko Rarely I’ve been this hooked on a cliffhanger in a philosophical discussion. ∫Clémens×ds 🐙 Still creeped out by the patting. Let me establish the Comittee Against the Normalization of Over-Liberal Social Usage of Physical Contact Seer of Trope People aren’t going to start patting other people’s hand because of this comic, ∫Clémens×ds. If someone does it to you and you don’t like it, just withdraw your hands and give them a non-approving look. ∫Clémens×ds 🐙 My eyes are too sexy, it looks like allure! It led to so many whacky shenanigans when I tried to confront assholes manspreading in public transportation No we definitely need the intimation of physical contact to be a dire social faux pas lest consent is given or a deep and long lasting relationship enables one to infer it without risk. Seer of Trope .. I honestly can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic or not by that first paragraph, so I’ll assume you’re serious. I understand where you’re coming from. You know what irks me? The trend of guys pulling down sweatpants in the back so that their underwear is in full view. If you haven’t heard about that, yeah, it’s a thing, at least where I live. I don’t like it, I don’t understand it, and I wish people who do it would stop. But I’m not going to stop them and tell them they need to straighten their clothing because I know how that will end: “It’s none of your business.” We often forget there’s another implicit rule most of us have is that we don’t let strangers judge us. Hell, some people don’t let their friends judge them. Now, that doesn’t mean I will never question them, but I’m rarely going to do that outside my circle of friends (some of whom does do the sweatpants thing). And I’m not going to make some kind of coalition against it because that’s really petty. And I’m not going assume that it’s objectively bad, because that’s the quickest way to losing the interest and ear of the people who has that undesirable behavior. As for manspreading, I say let the guy have his space as long as nobody is using them because almost everyone agrees that one should not spread their legs into someone else’s space. If there is plenty of free space and you’re scolding them for it, on which I assume you don’t like how they’re publicly spreading their junk area, they’re going to refer to you looking at their junk area in the first place. Point is, they won’t feel an obligation to take you seriously unless they are indeed infringing on someone else’s space. They will probably treat anything else as unasked criticism, kind of like scolding them for bad posture like you’re their parent or elder. As for this comic and the hand-petting, the first time, I saw it as a light gesture of comfort for Alison who needed it and appropriately moderate considering their teacher-student relationship. The second time was Alison, in a sense, repaying that gesture. To me, It was fitting and actually heartwarming. You say that we need the intimation of physical contact to be a dire social faux pas lest consent is given or a deep and long lasting relationship enables one to infer it without risk. An impressive sentence, but let’s word that more simply: it should be very awkward for people to touch someone else in any way without an ok given or that they’re close enough that one doesn’t need to worry about it becoming awkward. Isn’t that already true? What intrigues me the most is the phrase “without risk”. Considering how the “dire social faux pas” known as awkwardness work, we shouldn’t expect someone to calculate that kind of risk within a crucial moment of decision because, well, that itself is awkward. So the point seems to be that people shouldn’t do it unless it feels right. I think it made sense that Alison and Guwara would feel that it was the right move to make. The question then becomes, are you saying that Alison and Guwara should not have felt ok with the other person patting their hands, or are you saying you’re not comfortable with it? This is of course if you were referring to awkwardness. If you were not, I would be interested in what punishment you think someone deserves for making an unintentional mistake. Is that something we should expect someone to calculate within a crucial moment of decision to pat or not to pat? But isn’t trying to calculate the risk introduce that risk? Or does that someone simply does it because it feels right? Or is this just a way of saying people shouldn’t touch another at all? Because to me, what Guwara and Alison did was not creepy. Seer of Trope .. I honestly can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic or not by that first paragraph, so I’ll assume you’re serious. I understand where you’re coming from. You know what irks me? The trend of guys pulling down sweatpants in the back so that their underwear is in full view. If you haven’t heard about that, yeah, it’s a thing, at least where I live. I don’t like it, I don’t understand it, and I wish people who do it would stop. But I’m not going to stop them and tell them they need to straighten their clothing because I know how that will end: “It’s none of your business.” We often forget there’s another implicit rule most of us have is that we don’t let strangers judge us. Hell, some people don’t let their friends judge them. Now, that doesn’t mean I will never question them, but I’m rarely going to do that outside my circle of friends (some of whom does do the sweatpants thing). And I’m not going to make some kind of coalition against it because that’s really petty. And I’m not going assume that it’s objectively bad, because that’s the quickest way to losing the interest and ear of the people who has that undesirable behavior. As for manspreading, I say let the guy have his space as long as nobody is using them because almost everyone agrees that one should not spread their legs into someone else’s space. If there is plenty of free space and you’re scolding them for it, on which I assume you don’t like how they’re publicly spreading their junk area, they’re going to refer to you looking at their junk area in the first place. Point is, they won’t feel an obligation to take you seriously unless they are indeed infringing on someone else’s space. They will probably treat anything else as unasked criticism, kind of like scolding them for bad posture like you’re their parent or elder. As for this comic and the hand-petting, the first time, I saw it as a light gesture of comfort for Alison who needed it and appropriately moderate considering their teacher-student relationship. The second time was Alison, in a sense, repaying that gesture. To me, It was fitting and actually heartwarming. You say that we need the intimation of physical contact to be a dire social faux pas lest consent is given or a deep and long lasting relationship enables one to infer it without risk. An impressive sentence, but let’s word that more simply: it should be very awkward for people to touch someone else in any way without an ok given or that they’re close enough that one doesn’t need to worry about it becoming awkward. Isn’t that already true? What intrigues me the most is the phrase “without risk”. Considering how the “dire social faux pas” known as awkwardness work, we shouldn’t expect someone to calculate that kind of risk within a crucial moment of decision because, well, that itself is awkward. So the point seems to be that people shouldn’t do it unless it feels right. I think it made sense that Alison and Guwara would feel that it was the right move to make. The question then becomes, are you saying that Alison and Guwara should not have felt ok with the other person patting their hands, or are you saying you’re not comfortable with it? This is of course if you were referring to awkwardness. If you were not, I would be interested in what punishment you think someone deserves for making an unintentional mistake. ∫Clémens×ds 🐙 Yeah I wasn’t serious. I think mostly it comes down to cultural attitudes. We sophisticated French people value the kind of social restraint granting the breaking of these shackles in the intimacy of two’s (or more!) bonds all the more savor. You gross Americans grossly scrub each other for any and all reasons because when the slavers in wigs drafted your constitution and were banishing class they inavertedly overlooked that it also meant excellence and grace and your country has been filled with patting apologists ever since. Veuillez désormais m’excuser pendant que je retourne à la lecture dévorante et galvanisée des écrits de Jules Verne et Jean Cocteau. Seer of Trope I’m Korean, but thank you anyways for letting everyone know about your jackass opinions. I actually had respect for your resolve that Alison’s action was wrong and unjustified and that individual rights should be inviolable despite facing many criticism in the comment section these past months. Now I can say that I am deeply disappointed by what French excellence and grace has to offer. 니가 무슨 책을 읽는지, 어느나라에서 왔는지, 누가 상관했니? 난 이거 쓴 이유는 너가 내가 한국인이 아닌것을 못믿을수없게 쓴거야. ∫Clémens×ds 🐙 I… still wasn’t serious (But I still kind of deserve it okay) Seer of Trope I’m rather used to jokes making sense in the context of the discussion. I wasn’t sure whether to take you seriously the first time. The second time, I did suspect you were going overboard, but you were making an assumption about me and insulting that assumption and it felt like you were trying to have a joke at someone else‘s expense. In hindsight, I probably should have deducted that no one would speak like that. I did find it funnily ironic how trying to playfully exaggerate an insult to a stranger on the internet might be considered a behavior that “risks” a “dire faux pas”. ∫Clémens×ds 🐙 The joke about how I’m playing a snobbish chauvinist with no sense of his own ridicule is entirely at my expense. The comment that it’s a cultural thing is sincere though. Can I ask what’s your experience of physical contact as a social phenomenon in Korea? I think I’ve read it’s very pronounced and not at all discouraged between young boys. Seer of Trope Haven’t really thought what we do as something unique as a country. At least in my circle of friends and other passing circle of friends I see, I suppose there’s a lot of ribbing that goes around, and that we don’t give second thought to hand on or around shoulder. Whoever seems to have wrote that article seems just unused to those kind of physical contact (relativism!). I often hear that Middle-Eastern countries have kisses on both cheeks as a greeting between guy friends, and that would be something an average Korean would say is a pronounced physical contact. Weatherheight Oh, come on! ::grumbles off to fire up GoogleTranslate™ again:: ::falls over in a giggle fit:: Weatherheight Oh dear, I need to go use GoogleTranslate™ again… ::giggles appreciatively:: fredhicks You’re gonna need a better acronym than CANOLSUPC tho. Weatherheight Kinda sounds like a cough medicine to me… “It’s flu and cold season. You’re miserable – sore, achy, and worst of all, coughing over and over again. Try Canolsupic for instant relief…” Dean “No-one is going to want to pat you on the hand when you’re coughing, sneezing and congested. Canolsupic, available at your local pharmacy! See your doctor if symptoms persist.” Whiskey Jack So, wait… it’s a cough medicine that causes a persistent cough? Can I prescribe it to some of my students? Arkone Axon Wait… so… when Gurwara patted Alison’s hand, it was creepy and vaguely sexually threatening… but when Alison pats Gurwara’s hand… is she being creepy and vaguely sexually threatening towards him? Seer of Trope Something can be creepy without being sexual, for example overly intimate. Have you ever had that one person who tried to hang out with you but you don’t want to but the person keeps pushing it? They’re not being unkind, they’re being nice actually, but they’re not your close friend, but you don’t know how to tell them to stop without becoming the rude one. Kind of like an uncanny valley of niceness. Arkone Axon Yeah. Which means that this isn’t remotely creepy. It’s not overly intimate – he patted her hand, she patted his hand. Neither touch seems to be unwanted. It might disturb someone else who is watching, but… isn’t that what homophobes say when they complain about Public Displays of Affection? “What am I supposed to tell my kids!?” Seer of Trope I think this is more “it feels creepy because if I was Alison/Guwara when my hand got petted, I would have been creeped out” kind of thing to the people who were creeped out. I’m personally ok with it, I just do not agree that the reason that the people were creeped was because the gesture was PDA or sexually threatening. Whiskey Jack I personally don’t enjoy being touched by anyone I’m not intimate with- and that includes relatives. I’m weird, I know. I don’t mind if other people touch, but when people touch me without an express invitation, it tends to wig me right the heck out. Tylikcat This is not weird, this is just a personal preference. For a lot of the social groups I spend time in, I’m decided stand-offish in most circumstances. (And many of them are pretty touchy-feely.) Whiskey Jack Weird may be the wrong word, under the circumstances; within my own circle of friends, it is a fairly neutral term that tends to positive, but most people do view it with a distinctly negative connotation. I suppose a better word would have been “unusual,” but that’s always seemed to lack flavor. What can I say- word-nerds get it wrong, on occasion. :p Seer of Trope I find the thought that a character who was created for the purpose of conveying a story should have had a career on the stage pretty funny as a very roundabout way to complement the author. It’s like looking at a movie and saying that the character should be an actor, or looking at a musical and saying the people singing should be in a musical, or reading a book and saying that guy should be in a movie. Weatherheight Is there some painting that is being paid homage in that first panel? For some reason, it’s very evocative to me and I’m not sure of what. Lovely panel – al ost wish the word balloon wasn’t there… 😀 zellgato Thus revealing he’s an old supervillian of hers. Kid Chaos I now have a sudden urge to quote the “Joker’s interrogation” scene from “The Dark Knight” . Joker: “You see, their morals, their ‘code’…it’s a bad joke; dropped at the first sign of trouble. They’re only as good as the world allows them to be; I’ll show you. When the chips are down, these, uh, ‘civilised ‘ people; they’ll eat each other.” 😨 AshlaBoga Except he’s not saying it’s a bad joke. He’s going with the Hogfather interpretation of morality, that we create it in order to make the universe more beautiful. Kid Chaos Note to self: read up on “Hogfather”. 😜 Whiskey Jack The book, like most of Terry Pratchett’s discworld series, is excellent. Suprisingly, the movie is also outstanding and worth seeing. Kid Chaos I have read some of the Discworld books, but not all of them. I’ll see if I can get started on Hogfather this weekend. 😎 zellgato Although.. Honestly I wouldn’t say batman has a moral code haha. He kills plenty. He just doens’t do it “by his own hand” I suppose that sorta counts as a moral code.. Maybe? I count the Robins as his moral compass though. So works out haha. bta The problem? All the supers are around her own age. Clearly he’s Patrick from the future. ∫Clémens×ds 🐙 Hm. A person of Indian origins being revealed to be a white boy in disguise (and my, how white is Patrick indeed)… Is this retroactive narrative whitewashing? I’m fascinoutraged. bta Patrick is so white he can read the mind of everyone he meets, discovering thousands of life experiences, and still stay focused on his own nihilism. zellgato So many plausible crazies here. ∫Clémens×ds 🐙 …okay, he went full nihilist. I’m going back to my previous assessment that he’s a drunk hobo wandering around campuses with bags of rocks. It was never about which rights Are True and Tangibly Exist; and which we pulled out of our rectal aether. Of course all of them are helpful lies. Duh. The dilemma we were facing was about which set of these helpful lies we should enforce to create a fair society. This answer that everything is relative shares the painful worthlessness of every cliché about freshmen doing drugs and getting existential. Loranna Well, to be fair, while it may seem evident to us, convincing Alison that those rights were all helpful lies took a fair bit of doing. She was, after all, very attached to the notions that there was an objective solution she could One Punch her way toward. Now that he’s gotten her to this point, he can press on to the crux of the dilemma. Or feed the ducks ^_^ Loranna ∫Clémens×ds 🐙 I oft forget that she stopped going to school at 13 and lacks basic, fundamental knowledge. My, this much power in the hands of someone who can’t derive functions. Dean Alison is presumably able to handle college classes. so I’d assume that she has a high school education. The Guardians most likely had tutors provided by the government. Weatherheight ::does his best to look like a duck – which isn’t very well at all:: Qvack! palmvos ::gives weatherhight an apple:: did you really want stale bread? Weatherheight You say stale bread, I say croutons! ::munches happily on his apple:: palmvos ::throws garlic Parmesan croutons at weatherhight:: ::tosses a packet of croutons with jalapenos at weatherhight:: Weatherheight ::nimbly catches each of the croutons in his mouth, deftly head-butts the packet of jalapeno croutons into the air while finishing his croutons, borrows the collective sharp with of the forums for a moment to slash open the packet, spins the packet to unpack the jalapeno croutons, and begins juggling the jalapeno croutons with his ears before cascading them into his mouth:: ::gives palmvos a hurt look, then giggles:: palmvos https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFods1KSWsQ as far as the jalapenos its a Texas thing I don’t understand. Lostman Well… he kind of right; laws are things that we create, and are fictional. fictional like the nation states, and the such. They only work if people follow the social contact, and rendered null if they don’t. That why for better or worse; governments have small armies to enforce them. There a reason I called Alison a Leviathan; she has the power to enforce morality… as I have called her; a human wearing the skin of a god. I’m not sure if this video will connect to what I said… but it’s something worth watching: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MIKYRZc9A1M ∫Clémens×ds 🐙 I know he’s right, but that’s not interesting. And certainly no valuable argument to claim ethical questions to be unanswerable. Lostman Morality is what you and others make of it. ∫Clémens×ds 🐙 Why do you torture me so Lostman Because I don’t have a day job… and it fun. MrSing Torture is what you and others make of it. Seer of Trope Yes, that conclusion itself alone is not interesting, but think about this: the process was, in a “journey, not the destination” kind of way. Alison’s entire reason for going to college was to search for a way to better the world when her powers no longer could. But she chose college specifically because she didn’t know where to start. After years of aimless, blind searching, and a deep low, she finally found an answer. She thought that answer was the solution to her dilemma, and while it was, it had a critical flaw. In this case, it was the conflict between bringing about good with free choice, something that she valued but took for granted that they naturally coincided. When she was unable to resolve that conflict and was forced to choose one, she valued her friend and that friend’s endeavor to save others far more than she valued respecting Max’s autonomy. But she can’t justify what she did to herself because her fear of her own self becoming (or already being) a power-abusing monster is a part of her that she can’t deny. Then Guwara comes by. Guwara leads her through a philosophical argument, eventually coming to the answer that Alison came up with, the source of all the conflict. Guwara doesn’t say whether that answer is right or wrong, but only reveals that that answer is very important to her. The lesson is that you can exhaust all ethical arguments and still be unable to come up with a clear answer (or at least one that everyone can sensibly agree on). Some situations are that morally grey. Believing otherwise is likely an excuse to not look from the other person’s perspective and acknowledge their sincerity. Now, subjectivism can easily be abused to justify one’s opinion without explanation, which is why what’s important in the end is not actually the end result, but the struggle it took to get to that result. Through trials outside anyone’s control, the lesson is not simply said to Alison, but is engraved in her. She can’t simply throw away or give up on what she believes in, but she’s adapting it into a new belief. And for Alison, that belief will be a burden, a responsibility, but it will allow her to be sincere in her efforts without being blind to someone else’s. She has now the sobering experience that doesn’t forgive her, but doesn’t condemn her either. It’s a path still pointed to action, but also to become wiser and independent of simplistic ideals. And very importantly, it’s a path that she can start from now on. So the point isn’t that ethical questions are unanswerable from now on and forever, which you are right, it’s not a valuable argument. The point is that Alison is wiser. As for the readers? Well, who knows. ∫Clémens×ds 🐙 That’s well put. But my impression was that this was precisely the sort of wisdom she realized when Patrick first pushed her to take off the mask and question her dumb approach of one punch solutions. She definitely seemed to know all of that and much more when she had her breakdown at Lisa’s thinking “she didn’t matter”. This process is taking ages. I expected something more of a step forward after something as narratively drastic as turning fascist. Well. Maybe Tuesday. Seer of Trope Patrick: There are complicated evil that can’t be punched away, so I’m going to find a different way. Seer of Trope with Patrick: “The complicated problems of this world can’t just be solved the superhero-fashion of physical victory I know. So I should start learning.” problem: There doesn’t seem to be any way to solve these problems that’s effective and doesn’t clash or conflict with someone else’s approach. with Lisa: “I can’t solve the problems I want to solve by myself. But together in unilateral effort, we can start tackling the hard problems.” problem: People usually don’t like unilateral causes. And the reality is, not everyone have respectable motivations, making it intensely difficult to accept their refusal. So the answer seems to be to force it, or let people suffer. I would rather force it, but I hate it because it still feels incredibly wrong. I don’t know what to do. I need to know what’s right. Guwara: “You will never find true comfort in classifying right or wrong. It’s something one simply has to deal with.” I think the wisdom she learns throughout isn’t the same, but rather cumulative and different. crazy j Nerds are terrible people and this video shows why. Comic books were nothing more than disposable entertainment directed at prepubescent children. Nothing more! There is no hidden depth or deeper meaning here! You are turning a puddle into an ocean, which is a typical nerd trait, over analyzing things. Weatherheight To quote a friend of mine: You’re wrong. The nature of any form of art is that Beauty, and therefore meaning, is in the eye of the beholder. The argument that the intent of the artist is all that matters demonstrates a limited understanding of the human experience. The artistic process is both conscious and unconscious, and therefore has both obvious and hidden meaning. And your presence in this forum indicates that you, too, are a nerd. Ipso facto and by your own statement… crazy j First and foremost, I must point out to you that I am not a nerd, but a dork. Dorks are far less likely to waste money on pop culture icons from their childhoods or walk around with unearned intellectual superiority because they are wearing a “I F-ing Love Science” t-shirt. If the meaning of art is in the eye of the beholder, then art has no meaning. You are committing the mistake of trying to find deeper meaning from disposable, i.e. trash, media. Captain America was adventure fiction and war-time propaganda. Dick Tracy was created for the sole purpose of providing a positive role model to kids so that they don’t look up to gangsters. Same thing with the Lone Ranger and Zorro. Weatherheight That’s according to their publishers. The artists who were engaged in that have repeatedly said otherwise. And your differentiation is meaningless to me. Your post, in my opinion, exudes an air of superiority not unlike that which you condemn. Which, again, makes you cute. 😀 Tdoodle Weatherheight, I must respectfully disagree with one of your statements. Yes, “crazy j” is disparaging people who a) appreciate science, b) fall in love with fictional stories, characters, and the people who create them, or c) endeavor to occasionally dig deeper into these fictional worlds/rhetorical content. That is SO not cute. Weatherheight ::grins:: Okay, okay… This donkey finds crazyj cute. 😀 Tdoodle *nod nod* Although this [picture of Rinoa Heartilly clutching her necklace] finds crazy j’s comments to be in extremely poor taste- 0/10, do not recommend for friendship- Pretty much everyone else here is a 13/10, A+ chumminess/cheeky bantering. ^_^ crazy j The misconception here is that I am disparaging fictional entertainment. I am not. I happen to be a big fan of the James Axler’s “Deathlands” series of novels. (I also enjoy Westerns.) I find them to be fun and enjoyable. The one thing I am NOT going to do is pretend that there is some deeper philosophical meaning when Ryan Cawdor and his friends go adventuring through the post-nuclear wasteland. That would just be absurd! MrSing “I just wanted to write about Hobbits shanking giant spiders, but now all these god damn nerds are trying to make my books about the nuclear bomb. Fuck this, I’m going out for a smoke.” -J.R.R. Tolkien Weatherheight The misconception is that you think this is about your choice of entertainment. It’s not. You’re wrong. Which is why I find you cute. 😀 (4 for 4). Tdoodle UNcute, -5/10, do not recommend for friendship You’re free to keep living an unexamined life, crazy j, but you’re going to have a bad time if you stay in these here comments and try to convince folks NOT to think critically about media they enjoy. Tdoodle “Nerds are terrible people and this video shows why.” Huh. You and I must own different dictionaries! Weatherheight Well, yes, but only to the fiction and people he doesn’t like or understand. Since they’re outside his realm of approbation and/or comprehension, this makes them fit targets for his/her derision. ::nods sagely and with great gravitas:: crazy j Simply pointing out that pseudo-intellectuals trying to find deeper meaning from disposable entertainment does not disparage said entertainment. Comics were fine until nerds got involved. Tdoodle crazy j, crazy j, crazy j… I said you were disparaging the PEOPLE who fall in love with media and its creators. The people. Roman Snow Dork noun 1. A young child named Edward or Eddward who repeatedly attempts to scam the other children in the cul de sac for jawbreaker money. 2. One who makes meaningless distinctions between reclaimed pejoratives like “nerd,” “geek,” and “dork.” Lysiuj Neeeeerrrrrrrrrrrd! Weatherheight ::twitches his ears to determine where that exclamation came from:: You bellowed? 😀 Lysiuj I wasn’t talking to you, geek; I was talking to this dork over here. palmvos critic Weatherheight You made me do this…. from dictionary.com “The history of dork is a short one. It’s been around only since the 1950s or 60s, originally as a slang term for “penis.” Most likely dork was just an alternative form of dick, a word that started out as a nickname for Richard—a name meaning “fellow”—but which by the late 1800s, had taken on the additional meaning of “penis” (which is certainly part of a fellow) in British army slang. By the late 60s, American college students had extended the meaning of dork to refer to a socially awkward person. While at first this sense of dork carried pejorative connotations, the term has since been “taken back” by the people it once so cruelly described, and now can even be given as a compliment. If a girl calls a guy “adorkable” (the combination of “dork” and “adorable”), she means to say he is cute in a socially awkward, yet endearing way. Geeks and nerds, while still dorky, are generally considered more intelligent than dorks. Next time you call someone a dork think about its short history in the English language, and reflect upon what a word nerd you are.” Roman Snow Please tell me you didn’t bold that sentence just to make a distinction between nerd, geek, and dork, you dork. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/596f482be604c96a4254bd8243f72cc7b72720c4a823beda968cd945a990754a.png Weatherheight Isn’t it ironic? Just a little too ironic? 😀 crazy j You had to go to a dictionary in order to tell me the difference between “nerd” and “dork.” I stand by my original statement. Weatherheight Had to? Nope. Did because it was funny? Yep. And I still think you’re cute. 😀 (3 for 3) Roman Snow Did you really not notice that that was a reply to me? Weatherheight This was interesting to me – of course, anything that does a god job of presenting Nietzsche’s views gets a nod from me since his views are so often misunderstood and misrepresented. By their own admission, Siegel and Shuster were engaging in integrating as many elements of the Outsider arriving and providing a moral compass as they possible could, including the power to both demonstrate and enforce said morality. I especially liked all the various iterations throughout comic companies of the essence of the original character. I’m also a little bit pleased and a bit embarrassed that I recognized all of them (and I’m pretty sure I own at least one comic with all of them – possibly not Blue Marvel – nope, wait, yeah, him too – Ultimates). I did find it annoying that the other iterations of Clark’s archetype but in the female form were overlooked. Maybe they’ll get into that later. 😀 Thrice.Great Wha? No, I’m pretty sure he believes that ideas and beliefs have value (so, not nihilism) but that none of them have intrinsic, objective value. He’s basically talking about the Absurd. He’s some kind of Existentialist stating that choosing either horn of the dilemma is just as painful as the other and that any guiding principle will be one of our choosing rather than “The Right Choice™” ∫Clémens×ds 🐙 Moral ideals as having only constructed value but no intrisic value is moral nihilism. From The Word of God Wikipedia: Moral nihilism (also known as ethical nihilism) is the meta-ethical view that nothing is intrinsically moral or immoral. For example, a moral nihilist would say that killing someone, for whatever reason, is neither inherently right nor inherently wrong. Moral nihilists consider morality to be constructed, a complex set of rules and recommendations that may give a psychological, social, or economical advantage to its adherents, but is otherwise without universal or even relative truth in any sense. Weatherheight I feel Arjun wouldn’t agree with “or even relative truth”. His arguments thus far seem to spend a lot of time arguing about context and comparing one conclusion against another. That may be just a rhetorical technique, the implication inherent in that technique is that context and circumstance matters. Gosh this has been fun. 😀 juleslt I feel like the general understanding of “nihilist” is usually people who don’t believe in even a relative truth of morality. Except for those who believe strongly in objective values, who will be tempted to label anyone who doesn’t a “nihilist”. This would make our friend Gurawa definitely not a nihilist in my book. Thrice.Great Also From the Word Of God: “Although nihilism and existentialism are distinct philosophies, they are often confused with one another. A primary cause of confusion is that Friedrich Nietzsche is an important philosopher in both fields, but also the existentialist insistence on the inherent meaninglessness of the world. Existentialist philosophers often stress the importance of Angst as signifying the absolute lack of any objective ground for action, a move that is often reduced to a moral or an existential nihilism. A pervasive theme in the works of existentialist philosophy, however, is to persist through encounters with the absurd, as seen in Camus’ The Myth of Sisyphus (“One must imagine Sisyphus happy”), and it is only very rarely that existentialist philosophers dismiss morality or one’s self-created meaning” ∫Clémens×ds 🐙 I’m not sure how you see this new information reframing my point? Thrice.Great You’re saying it’s moral nihilism; I’m saying it’s not. ∫Clémens×ds 🐙 I actually wasn’t, you messed up your definition but when I said “he went full nihilist”, I purposefully used a very colloquial definition for hyperbolic purposes. At the very least despite his bleak outlook, he’s still yearning for beauty, so there’s always that. Thrice.Great Okay, I guess it was on me for assuming you meant the actual usage of a philosophical stance during a discussion about a philosopher’s philosophical philosophizing. Also I did not use existentialist incorrectly and you were incorrect to correct me. Correct? That’s why I offered the correct correction to your incorrect correction. ∫Clémens×ds 🐙 You said mistaken things about moral nihilism, not existentialism. The difference you bring up in your first response and in your corrected correction is not the same. Weatherheight The point I’m getting from Arjun is that morals and values are important and matter, but that ultimately they aren’t physics – they aren’t objectively measurable and do not exist independently of the observer (Shrodinger’s Cat notwithstanding). Indeed, the value they have is a function of both current circumstance and the prior experience of the individual, hence fundamentally subjective. There is no objective yardstick/meter by which to measure them. I’m hearing that it’s up to Alison to decide what morals and ethics to adopt and that her greater power to enforce them gives her greater leeway in which ones she can choose. Which, in one sense, is a bit more scary and in another a bit comforting. ∫Clémens×ds 🐙 Also: utterly unhelpful. Superficial and inconclusive. I mean does she need to fail a politics class to get a more salient lecture…? Weatherheight I never believed he would fail her, so the premise from which you proceed isn’t valid to me. I saw that as a rhetorical position presented to provide gravitas to an otherwise ludicrous proposition. juleslt Actually, by putting his point as “which set of these helpful lies we should enforce to create a fair society”, you recognize that he does believe in such a thing as fairness, even if he does not believe that it’s an absolute. ∫Clémens×ds 🐙 I’m not “putting his point as”, I’m bothered by the fact that his point isn’t such. juleslt ugh, read too fast, sorry AshlaBoga He seems to be much more of an existentialist than a nihilist. Manuel Simone I’d really like for Gurwara to turn to be a supervillain or a vigilante because he has that (evil, villainous) aura of him and I really hope that he’ll reward Alison by turning her into his favorite minion. I know this will never happen but at least is nice to have this imagine in my. Pol Subanajouy His earnestness might be just as irreverent but for sprinkling of sincerity. I think the Professor might be a character that benefits from having his backstory only implied and never outright stated. Seer of Trope I disagree. Him giving his backstory now in that moment of sincerity would give appropriate substance to what he said, kind of like the final paragraph before the conclusion. It would give context to his philosophy, and allows us a brief more moments to think rather than simply accept it. Pol Subanajouy I don’t know if the comment section, in aggregate, was in danger of simply accepting what he had to say without critical analysis. Seer of Trope When Alison had the epiphany that “we are all in this together”, I don’t think I’ve seen anyone in the comment section who was skeptical about it because it was a moment that reconstructed Alison’s struggle from its nihilistic horizon. Yet it becomes deconstructed not too long after. This isn’t to say that every inspirational statement should be assumed to become meaningless; it’s that even such a resigned principle could have certain critical problems not currently presented. As for this comment section being in danger. Well, I’m not sure that it’s in danger, but I’m also not sure that a reminder that nothing exists in an objective vacuum should NOT be posted, and I was sure of that uncertainty so I posted anyways. telk Do you know what happens when you imply a backstory? The Alliance comes and massacres your outpost, that’s what. Pol Subanajouy Igotthatreference.jpg Danygalw Is that a Firefly reference? Is so, please explain; if not, never mind. Whiskey Jack It’s a reference to Shepherd Book and, more specifically, the movie Serenity. Beyond that, you have to watch the movie to find out, ’cause otherwise… spoilers. Danygalw Ha! I was right! I’ve seen the movie, I just don’t remember the quote. Whiskey Jack It’s not actually a direct quote; it’s a reference to how Shepherd Book’s origin is hinted at but never made explicit… and to what happens to him as a result. CanuckAmuck https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UUOxEwCuEgQ MrSing I’d rather be smart and pleasant. And rich too, and handsome. With a nice car. Are you writing this down? Weatherheight Since we’re bringing up wishes, can I be as talented as Jimmy Stewart as well? MrSing Let’s try to stay realistic here. Weatherheight If you can’t be unrealistic when you’re wishing…. ? Kid Chaos Three wishes! 1) smart, 2) rich, 3) handsome. All done! 😎 Whiskey Jack I’m assuming wishes have to be individual and we can’t, for example, wish for world peace and prosperity and an end to all death, disease, and suffering? Given those rules, I’m wishing for good mental and physical health and satisfaction with my life. Gus Snarp Is it just me, or is Gurwara looking more and more scarred? Either way, I’m interested to learn what happened to him. Walter How many people want to bet he ends this whole conversation with “And you still failed my class, by the way.” James Anthony Don’t think I noticed the scar on the left side of his face till just that last panel. Kind of wondering if it isn’t tied into his views on this whole thing. Philip Bourque Okay, now to watch the comment section explode. Nathan B Earl Where’s that duck when you need it? Stephanie Ahhh I’m hype for Tuesday. I want to see this earnestness. palmvos you know with my luck. he will condemn her choice… Whiskey Jack Actually, I hope he doesn’t; what I would like him to condemn (if that’s even the right word) is her lack of forethought. Stephanie I’m okay with it if he does. I want to know what he really thinks, whether he agrees with me or not. Darkoneko Hellsing “You’re still failing my class, tho” Seer of Trope If Guwara was actually serious about that, I am going to be just as displeased as I was when I watched the trailer to “God is not Dead” Darkoneko Hellsing Ha ha ha Stephanie Gertsch Great reference. Dreadful movie. Jack Markley Why? Does Alison need a 4.0 GPA to hold onto her scholarship? Is she going to have difficulty getting a job when her resume says she failed Philosophy 201? Marques DiNapoli No Jack, she does not, in fact, have to have a 4.0 GPA to do anything that she would like to do. She will have no problem getting a job regardless of what her resume says, because she’s a god damn super hero. But you know what she does need to do? Pass his philosophy class. Why, you ask? Because, if you had been paying any attention what so ever to the story line before you spoke you would have noticed that when the professor introduced himself he made mention of the fact that this was a “required class”. Do you understand what that means? It means that regardless of anything else, her gpa, her celebrity, anything, she HAS to pass this class to graduate. Period. It will not simply affect her gpa, failing this class will literally prevent her from finishing her degree. It will literally force her to retake this class as many times as is needed before she can pass it. Otherwise she can kiss her diploma good bye. masterofbones Her diploma, which is 100% meaningless in every way. There are 3 long-term reasons to go to college 1. Make connections – unaffected by diploma 2. Learn – unaffected by diploma 3. Get credentials for a job – needs diploma. Only number 3 requires a diploma, but Alison *doesn’t need* such paltry things. She could get a job almost anywhere just by walking in and asking for one, not to mention the vast resources at her disposal *without* getting a job. So 1 and 2 are the only reasons for her to go to college, and neither requires actually graduating. I’d argue that she shouldn’t be wasting her time in college to begin with, but failing a class really doesn’t matter in the slightest. Jack Markley She HAS to pass the class to graduate, but as you’ve already said, she doesn’t HAVE to graduate for any important reason. She also can get another chance to pass the class next semester. Passing the class after the exercise would also dull the significance of her decision to seek the best solution no matter the likelihood of success or the stakes. She believes she would have made that decision had she thought the stakes were real, so it is hypocritical to demand afterwards that the stakes should not have been real. Shweta Narayan If Gurwara was serious about that, I’m going to be seriously confused. But at this point, I have some faith it’ll somehow make sense. I just don’t know what that could be, so: confused. forricide Out of curiosity, what did you dislike about God’s Not Dead? Might be a bit off topic I suppose. Seer of Trope Actually pretty on topic. Have you ever see an action movie where the main character survives something that he had no right to be able to dodge through, or the bad guys just let him live for some arbitrary reason? The movie was basically me going “I don’t care if he was Albert Einstein, he should have been fired. No question.” forricide Ah, I see, not quite the reason I expected. I think that was part of the intended point of the movie, but I could be wrong. Seer of Trope Well, there are certainly a plethora of reasons, many of which you might expect, but I didn’t want to start ranting. Weatherheight And now we shall the Importance in His Being Earnest… (sorry, sorry…) ∫Clémens×ds 🐙 (I love y’all missing the duck today) JohnTomato go on… shink The artwork in this comic beautifully reinforces the dialogue and flow of the conversation, which is in itself brilliant. To deconstruct ethics to a Lockean level (a philosopher who very cleverly espoused the idea of might makes right and never once mentioned ethics in his writing), and then to reconstruct ethics using Locke as a base is awesome. Kudos to Molly and Brenna for this wonderful story and the beautiful artwork. shink The artwork in this comic beautifully reinforces the dialogue and flow of the conversation, which is in itself brilliant. To deconstruct ethics to a Lockean level (a philosopher who very cleverly espoused the idea of might makes right and never once mentioned ethics in his writing), and then to reconstruct ethics using Locke as a base is awesome. Kudos to Molly and Brennan for this wonderful story and the beautiful artwork. Weatherheight Hmm.. ya know, I’m not sure I fully agree that Locke is being used as a foundation for an ethical structure here, but I like this short-form analysis. It’s got a lot of possibility. It’s been a while since I’ve read Locke, but yeah…. This idea is growing on me. Thanks for making me think. 😀 AustinC123 That’s why ‘we hold these truths to be self-evident’ – there’s no evidence. bryan rasmussen I’m actually Time traveling Patrick, and I love you – but am also cross at you for tearing up my check because I needed that tax deduction. AshlaBoga I don’t really know much about Tax Deductions in the USA. How would a corporate donation of $25,000,000 be calculated? Also, I don’t know if Alison’s charity has been vetted by the government yet, does that matter for deduction purposes? William Maitland Moments like this are why I love SFP. One of my favorite moments of any comic ever was back when Allison was talking to giant-sword-arm-guy (can’t remember his name) and went off at him. The honest and frank exploration of ideas like this is pretty cool. On a related note, I just realised that Allison has kind of always known this, deep down (re: “I could do it you know. I really could.”) Aaron J. Shay I’d like to reiterate that the character of Gurwara is SO GREAT. Nuanced and fascinating, entertaining and problematic, frustrating and endearing. So good, the complexity. *kisses fingers like a chef* Danygalw I think Alison’s right eye should be partially visible in the first panel. Henrik Magnusson People debate ethics and right and wrong until someone just goes out and does whatever they want anyway. Hiram “Everything’s made up and the points don’t matter” Panel 4 – exit philosoducks Anna Aw, they both patted each other’s hands! So cute!