(urth) choices

Lane Haygood lhaygood at gmail.com
Fri Aug 5 09:20:10 PDT 2011

Looking back at my choices, I have discovered an interesting fact
about my moral philosophy.  I am ready to absolve cosmic entities of
moral guilt/evil because they transcend human experience.  For
instance, I'm not sure I considered the Hieros villanous even though
they do some pretty beastly stuff to Severian and later Urth.  The
human-constrained notions of morality simply stop to apply once the
scale gets big enough.

On the other hand, a limited human that nevertheless acts with
needless or irrational cruelty, or supreme dishonesty, always get my
moral censure.  Typhon or the Lannister family (sorry, I just read the
new ASOIAF novel and it's fresh in my mind how much I hate this one
family) are petty pushers of maliciousness when compared to someone
that will drown a whole world with a white hole to throw in the middle
of a dying sun, but I think they're worse for that.  They'll fiddle
while Rome burns, and that's less excusable than being the Ostrogoth
with the torch.

But I have less sympathy for a human that willingly chooses
subservience to a cosmic evil, like the Consult/Mangaecca in Bakker's
"Prince of Nothing" trilogy.  Not that Kellhus is necessarily any
better, because he just wants to control everyone and everything to
settle up some serious daddy issues, but at least he's directing his
psychosis in the right direction.


On Fri, Aug 5, 2011 at 11:07 AM, Dan'l Danehy-Oakes <danldo at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Fri, Aug 5, 2011 at 9:01 AM, Gerry Quinn <gerry at bindweed.com> wrote:
>> My favourite villian is Casmir in Jack Vance's _Lyonesse_, but he doesn't
>> really rejoice in his villainy, and would probably find arguments to justify
>> all his actions.
> Ooooh. Vance's "Demon Princes" are classic villains.
> --
> Dan'l Danehy-Oakes
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