Author Topic: what does kelsier look like?  (Read 10320 times)

The Holy Saint, Grand High Poobah, Master of Monkeys, Ehlers

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Re: what does kelsier look like?
« Reply #30 on: January 25, 2008, 09:10:19 PM »
FINALLY we're getting somewhere. I don't recall very many descriptions of him performing the killings (but it's possible that it's simply been too long. But you do have a point. He does seem to have extremely little regret about the necessity of what he does -- as evidenced by his conversations, particularly with Vin, about why he does it. And I am forced to concur that this does not seem to be healthy.  So maybe a little bit crazy?

Still, he hates them, and does think they'll be in the way. His practical experience doesn't give him a lot of reason to *not* think they're a hinderance. But that is countered by the fact that I don't perceive that he's ever *tried* to see if they're useful, though that's largely inference. He comes across as having similar bigotry problems to your average racist. So it's not what I'd call abnormal behavior, but it is behavior that is, in my understanding, antithetical to societal stability and growth, which I can accept as a provisional descriptor of some types of "crazy."

hrm. I sound like I'm trying to say I guess I'm wrong without saying that. Maybe I'll leave it as that. Though it's not the sort of crazy that I was thinking of.

and yay for justification! There's a lot of sanity there, imo. But there are near crazy problems, I'm ready to admit. They're just not traits that are central to his plan.

charity

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Re: what does kelsier look like?
« Reply #31 on: January 25, 2008, 10:17:06 PM »
Quote
Still, he hates them, and does think they'll be in the way. His practical experience doesn't give him a lot of reason to *not* think they're a hinderance. But that is countered by the fact that I don't perceive that he's ever *tried* to see if they're useful, though that's largely inference.
Agreed.

Though I think when Vin falls for Elend this gives Kelsier the first opportunity to see them as something other than 'the enemy' and allows him the chance to see them differently. Of course Elend doesn't help that along by running into the crowds trying to find her...

Skar

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Re: what does kelsier look like?
« Reply #32 on: January 25, 2008, 11:22:39 PM »
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So it's not what I'd call abnormal behavior, but it is behavior that is, in my understanding, antithetical to societal stability and growth, which I can accept as a provisional descriptor of some types of "crazy."

hrm. I sound like I'm trying to say I guess I'm wrong without saying that. Maybe I'll leave it as that. Though it's not the sort of crazy that I was thinking of.

So, someone can be considered crazy over behaviors that are perfectly in line with their morals and ethics.  Excellent.  You broke the circle. 
"Skar is the kind of bird who, when you try to kill him with a stone, uses it, and the other bird, to take vengeance on you in a swirling melee of death."

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Re: what does kelsier look like?
« Reply #33 on: January 27, 2008, 03:44:20 PM »
Skar, it IS like YOU don't actually read my posts. There never *was* a circle. I simply said that someone else's behavior outside of your own code of morals and ethics does not mean they are crazy. What you inferred from that was neither intended nor does it necessarily follow from what I said.
But then it would be against your nature to realize that you made a mistake in understanding what I said.

Skar

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Re: what does kelsier look like?
« Reply #34 on: January 29, 2008, 06:24:03 PM »
My sincerest apologies for the snark. It was uncalled for. 

I did, however, read your post and the below is a pretty clear equation on your part:

Quote
"Wanting to kill someone does *not* automatically make you unstable. He holds a different set of morals and ethics than you do. "

When it is immediately followed by :

Quote
"Is everyone with a different set of behavioral standards from you nearly crazy? That doesn't make sense."

it seems quite clear that you are equating following one's morals and ethics with being sane. That is circular for the reasons I outlined.

You later repudiated that equation, which prompted my latest previous remark.  Obviously, you meant something different than what I took from your statements.  Given what I've quoted above, I can't really feel too bad about it.
"Skar is the kind of bird who, when you try to kill him with a stone, uses it, and the other bird, to take vengeance on you in a swirling melee of death."

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Re: what does kelsier look like?
« Reply #35 on: January 30, 2008, 04:10:35 PM »
The problem is it's not quite clear. Yes, your conclusion was not an irrational one, but it was NOT the *only* one, and that's what irritated me. You have a tendency to assume that the reasoning behind someone's statements and behavior is the most irrational or pernicious possibility (this I have observed from your statements about teachers, me, democrats, gays, and just about everyone. I think there would be much nicer if instead of making that assumption, all of us would give others the benefit of a doubt.

Skar

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Re: what does kelsier look like?
« Reply #36 on: January 30, 2008, 06:13:19 PM »
Yes, perhaps the path of reason I see behind a person's statement is occasionally something other than the path they actually followed.  I certainly don't do that on purpose.  But since we're dealing with text representing that reasoning (and only text, since it is not possible to access anything beyond the text) I don't see how making one assumption over another is going to improve understanding.   It might make things nicer, but if I still fail to divine what you really meant, my experience tells me that you're just as likely to start telling me I didn't really read what you wrote, that I need to keep up, or any of a dozen condescending tropes you use over and over. 

Perhaps if you assumed that others are not deliberately interpreting your statements in the worse possible light or that others did understand what you wrote and therefore, perhaps, your text didn't say what you meant it to say, the niceness quotient would also be increased.
"Skar is the kind of bird who, when you try to kill him with a stone, uses it, and the other bird, to take vengeance on you in a swirling melee of death."

-Fellfrosch

VegasDev

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Re: what does kelsier look like?
« Reply #37 on: January 30, 2008, 06:27:10 PM »
I don't want to make myself part of this whole argument but I will say I don't consider Kelsier crazy.

Kelsier lives in a world where skaa are beat to death because they sneezed and it startled one of the nobility. Where it is acceptable for nobility to rape a skaa woman as long as they kill her afterward. Where nobility will have a laugh with each other during the day, but then order assassins to kill the other and their entire family at night when it is more socially acceptable. Where hundreds of skaa will have their heads chopped off just to send a message to the others, meanwhile much of the nobility will be watching the show like they are at Superbowl Sunday Barbeque.

When almost the entire population, skaa included, think all of this is right and proper, the fact that Kelsier wants to kill the same people that would have him put to death without batting an eyelash, seems sane by comparison. Kelsier will do whatever it takes, including accepting death's cold embrace to end the oppression of the innocent. In his world killing another to get what you want isn't crazy, going on a hunger strike as part of a non-violent protest is.
Now you've got all the ones with beards on one side and all the
moustaches on the other.

Skar

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Re: what does kelsier look like?
« Reply #38 on: January 30, 2008, 07:02:17 PM »
I haven't decided if Kelsier is crazy or not yet.    If, however, you base your statement that he is not crazy on the idea that he is somehow justified in his killing, I have to disagree with you.

You give as his justification (and proof of his sanity) the  fact that the nobles murder all the time, skaa as well as each other, and that they would kill him if they caught him. Tit for tat.  They do it, therefore he does it. 

Unfortunately, if he uses the "they do it therefore I do it" justification for his perpetration of the exact same behavior, he loses any ability to argue that the noble's actions are wrong, since he must also be wrong by the same argument.

So, the nobles engage in murderous behavior and by that behavior become wrong.  Kelsier engages in the same behavior and expects to be right.  This fits the classic, "do the same thing, expect a different result" definition of crazy.

Of course, this assumes that killing noblemen is equivalent to killing skaa.  That they are both innocents.  If it could be shown that Kelsier only killed nobles that he knew to be guilty of murder themselves, it would be different.  Good arguments can be made for vigilante justice in a society like the one he lives in.  It's been a while since I read the first Mistborn so I could be wrong, but I seem to remember that Kelsier was pretty indiscriminate.

"Skar is the kind of bird who, when you try to kill him with a stone, uses it, and the other bird, to take vengeance on you in a swirling melee of death."

-Fellfrosch

charity

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Re: what does kelsier look like?
« Reply #39 on: January 30, 2008, 09:38:52 PM »
I'm not so sure I agree with you Vegas. My reasoning is based on what you said

Quote
When almost the entire population, skaa included, think all of this is right and proper, the fact that Kelsier wants to kill the same people that would have him put to death without batting an eyelash, seems sane by comparison.

He is a skaa and by your definition of that he should think that it is okay for the nobility to behave in such a manner. His thinking differently than almost the entire population suggests the opposite. If in fact we are defining sanity on the realms of this world and not our own.

In our own world they would indeed all seem insane BUT him, however in his world it's the opposite. Make sense?

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Re: what does kelsier look like?
« Reply #40 on: January 31, 2008, 03:18:11 PM »
Yes, perhaps the path of reason I see behind a person's statement is occasionally something other than the path they actually followed. I certainly don't do that on purpose. But since we're dealing with text representing that reasoning (and only text, since it is not possible to access anything beyond the text) I don't see how making one assumption over another is going to improve understanding. It might make things nicer, but if I still fail to divine what you really meant, my experience tells me that you're just as likely to start telling me I didn't really read what you wrote, that I need to keep up, or any of a dozen condescending tropes you use over and over.

Perhaps if you assumed that others are not deliberately interpreting your statements in the worse possible light or that others did understand what you wrote and therefore, perhaps, your text didn't say what you meant it to say, the niceness quotient would also be increased.

The problem with this skar, is you clearly didn't fully read a post. When you posted "So, someone can be considered crazy over behaviors that are perfectly in line with their morals and ethics.  Excellent.  You broke the circle. " you also quoted from a post that explained there was no circle, and why. If you actually read the whole post before you posted that, you wouldn't have posted it for any reason other than to be a jerk. So the choice left to me is believe you're a jerk, or else that you didn't read my post. Which was it?

You know, if you see there's more than one possibility, you could always *ask* what is meant, instead of making any assumptions. Wouldn't that be revolutionary!

The same is true of your first post in the thread. You chose to be condescending and not only believe the worst reasoning behind my argument, but make it sound like it was the ONLY possible reasoning behind my argument, which it clearly wasn't. I'm calling it like I see it, Skar. I'm trying to understand why you would dive into a discussion with such a dismissive attitude without considering that the person might actually be saying something intelligent. Is it because you enjoy making people feel bad? Or is it because you don't take the time to consider what the source of their arguments are? Or is it because you genuinely can't see any possibilities but one? Maybe that's my error. I think you're not actually reading posts closely, but really you just can't see that there might be another reasoning other than your immediate first impression.

Skar

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Re: what does kelsier look like?
« Reply #41 on: January 31, 2008, 04:09:56 PM »
Quote
you also quoted from a post that explained there was no circle, and why. If you actually read the whole post before you posted that, you wouldn't have posted it for any reason other than to be a jerk. So the choice left to me is believe you're a jerk, or else that you didn't read my post. Which was it?

Nice false dichotomy.  I'm either a jerk or I didn't read your post.   Condescension at its Ehleriffic best. 

Since the only post I quoted, in the post you're referencing, not only didn't explain why there was no circle, it didn't even contain the word "circle", I'm left to believe either that you're simply addicted to feasting on your own low-calorie rhetoric or...   you know there really isn't a second option at this point. 

I started to read this thread because it looked interesting.  Then I saw you running out the same old "try to keep up" condescension-guns on Charity and, because she seemed nice, reasonable, and intelligent and I didn't want you to run her off, I thought I'd warn her.  We all get the Ehler's treatment from time to time, she shouldn't feel singled out.  You have amply demonstrated the appropriateness of my warning.  So let's just go here:
 
You're right, I'm wrong, the world as you know it is not about to come to an end. 

Excuse me while I go shake the brick dust out of my hair.
"Skar is the kind of bird who, when you try to kill him with a stone, uses it, and the other bird, to take vengeance on you in a swirling melee of death."

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Re: what does kelsier look like?
« Reply #42 on: January 31, 2008, 05:01:14 PM »
ok, my mistake it was a different post. You *still* didn't reaed a post. So no, I don't think it's a false dichotomy. so Which is it, Skar, did you fail to read the post where I explained that? Or were you beign a jerk? If that's false, tell me what another option is, because I'm trying to see one and I can't, and you're nto telling me what it is. Instead you're getting passive aggressive and rude.
Despite what you think, I *am* trying to understand what you were really doing there. You say you were trying to help someone, but, it seems to me, you were attacking more than that. You didn't take the time to see what my position was. I wasn't simply using false arguments, I was using solid ones. Ones you didn't try to understand, apparently.
If I'm wrong, explain how you could post that quote, respond the way you did, and still have read my post and not respond that way to be a jerk. Don't go into eye rolling and flinging insults.

Bryant

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Re: what does kelsier look like?
« Reply #43 on: January 31, 2008, 05:15:09 PM »
I haven't decided if Kelsier is crazy or not yet.    If, however, you base your statement that he is not crazy on the idea that he is somehow justified in his killing, I have to disagree with you.

You give as his justification (and proof of his sanity) the  fact that the nobles murder all the time, skaa as well as each other, and that they would kill him if they caught him. Tit for tat.  They do it, therefore he does it. 

Unfortunately, if he uses the "they do it therefore I do it" justification for his perpetration of the exact same behavior, he loses any ability to argue that the noble's actions are wrong, since he must also be wrong by the same argument.

So, the nobles engage in murderous behavior and by that behavior become wrong.  Kelsier engages in the same behavior and expects to be right.  This fits the classic, "do the same thing, expect a different result" definition of crazy.

Of course, this assumes that killing noblemen is equivalent to killing skaa.  That they are both innocents.  If it could be shown that Kelsier only killed nobles that he knew to be guilty of murder themselves, it would be different.  Good arguments can be made for vigilante justice in a society like the one he lives in.  It's been a while since I read the first Mistborn so I could be wrong, but I seem to remember that Kelsier was pretty indiscriminate.


I would not argue that Kelsier is 100% morally justified in his killings. However, he is the product of an environment where the noble class has actively persecuted the peasant class, both by directly ordering their deaths, or upholding with real conscience the continuation of the killings. A military officer may not completely agree with what his command officer is doing, but as he has chosen to be a part of that military structure, when he is killed by enemy forces, they are justified in their actions.

The nobles have put themselves in a position where they are targeted due to the society that have helped uphold. Perhaps to be morally righteous, Kelsier should not kill the nobles with reckless abandon, but it is certainly not a sign of insanity to due so, nor is it even really a sign of truly poor moral character.

And it isn't really a circular argument, because of, quite simply, the question of "Who shot first?". Even ignoring all of the degradation the skaa continually suffer, the nobles started it. If there are two groups of people, and one group starts attacking the other, am I in the wrong if, while fighting back, I injure people who were with the group, but had not necessarily been the ones to attack me? Perhaps more caution should be taken, but they had involved, and continued to involve themselves with a hostile force.

Skar

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Re: what does kelsier look like?
« Reply #44 on: January 31, 2008, 06:32:41 PM »
The fact that you referenced a post that had no bearing on the point you were trying to make is a perfect example of what I'm talking about.  You made a dead wrong statement to support your argument, and then, somehow, I'm a jerk for pointing it out.  Your posts are often garbled and unclear, and when people don't take the point you had in mind, they didn't read closely enough, they're slow, or they're jerks.  You're just repeating the same pattern I warned Charity about.

Here's a perfect example.  You did make a post where, I believe, you attempted to show that your argument was not circular. To start:
Quote
ah, no.
You've equated my statement that different morals and ethics always involves killing

First, that isn't even actually a sentence.  What was equated with what?  I thought I took your meaning though.  You seemed to be saying that someone had said that actions abhorred by an observer with different morals and ethics than the perpetrator must always involve killing.  Since I had said nothing of the kind, I could only assume that you were talking about something someone else had said.  No bearing.

You then said:
Quote
but I have *not* made the argument that no one is crazy, nor do I intend to.
I never said you made the argument, only that it followed from your statements, which I had quoted. Then you said:
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Nor does that follow from my arguments. That's *your* input, thank you. Nice straw man though.
Notice the complete lack of a response to the actual reasoning involved.  You simply said I was wrong and accused me of putting up a straw man.  Note that you have since contradicted yourself here and allowed that my reasoning was a reasonable extension, though not the one you intended.

Then you said:
Quote
No, a difference in morals and ethics does not mean a person is crazy, but that doesn't mean a crazy person can't have different morals and ethics.
Here you contradicted your earlier statement, where you imply that Kelsier's morals and ethics have direct bearing on whether or not he is considered crazy.  "He holds a different set of morals and ethics than you do. Is everyone with a different set of behavioral standards from you nearly crazy? That doesn't make sense." Which, for all intents and purposes, validated my point. 

But then you immediately said:
Quote
No, there's no circular argument there. You simply need to demonstrate to me with more specific arguments.
Again, this didn't make a lot of sense. Demonstrate what to you?  But the rest of the paragraph talked about Kelsier's motivation for killing and what bearing that had on the question of whether he was crazy or not, entirely abandoning the morals and ethics argument you had made in the above post to which I had responded.  Therefore, again, no bearing.

I did read your post. At the time I thought you might have been trying to address the point I had made about the circular reasoning but you never addressed the actual points of my post so it didn't seem appropriate to respond.  You did, in a later post, speak to the circular reasoning I pointed out, to which I responded with the post in question.

"Skar is the kind of bird who, when you try to kill him with a stone, uses it, and the other bird, to take vengeance on you in a swirling melee of death."

-Fellfrosch