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Found 15 results

  1. HUGE, STRANGE POST ALERT. This thread is intended for everyone on the forum, not just D&D players. My reasons for making it are to help me know everyone a bit better and to sate one of my weird curiosities. Having seen a thread dedicated to D&D, I know there's at least a handful of regulars here that can skip over most of this post, but for those unfamiliar with what's to follow, I entreat you spare a few minutes to read and reply. It could be enlightening. Many role-playing games have some way of measuring the player's moral and ethical compass. The one I want to look at right now and apply to all of you — or rather, have you determine it's application to yourselves — is the alignment system found in Dungeons & Dragons. Those who are already familiar with how it works will notice this is pre-4th edition. That's deliberate. Here's how it works: there are nine alignments, each one representing a certain proclivity for good or evil and law or chaos. Tell which one most accurately matches you, and if you want to talk about where your friends and family fit in relation to you or how they've influenced you, for better or worse, that would be even more interesting. I've already started pegging some of you with alignments, and I feel pretty confident about most of them. These are some "official" definitions so they may seem oddly-worded considering the question is aimed at you and not some character of your own devisal; they're arranged in a 3 X 3 grid: Lawful Good A lawful good character upholds society and its laws, believing that these laws are created to work for the good and prosperity of all. He is both honest and benevolent. He will work within the established system to change it for the better, and strives to bring order to goodness that other good-aligned characters might pool their resources to better the world. A lawful good character combines a commitment to oppose evil with discipline. Most lawful good characters live by a strict code of honor, or by the rules of conduct set down by their deity. They will generally selflessly act by these codes even at the cost of their own life. It must however be stressed that blind obedience to local laws is not required by the lawful good alignment. A paladin is not in violation of his alignment if he decides to take up arms against a usurper on behalf of the rightful king, for example, even if that means going against the sedition laws instated by the usurper. An incorruptible enforcer, a ruler or politician who acts for the good of his people, and a heroic soldier who strictly obeys the laws of battle are all examples of lawful good characters. Neutral Good Neutral good characters desire good without bias for or against order. A neutral good character does good for goodness' sake, not because he is directed to by law or by whim. Such a character will obey the law, or break it when he sees that it will serve a greater good. He has no problems with co-operating with lawful officials, but does not feel beholden to them. In the event that doing the right thing requires the bending or breaking of rules, they do not suffer the same inner conflict that a Lawful Good character would. He isn't bound strongly to a social system or order. His need to help others and reduce suffering may take precedence over all else. A doctor who treats both sides in a fight and somebody who feeds the starving in a war zone are both examples of neutral good characters. Chaotic Good Chaotic good combines a good heart with a free spirit. A chaotic good character acts as his conscience directs him with little regard for what others expect of him. He is kind and benevolent, a strong individualist hostile to the claims of rules, regulations, and social order. He hates it when people try to intimidate others and tell them what to do. He will actively work to bring down unjust rulers and organizations and to liberate the oppressed. He finds lawful societies distasteful and will avoid them, often living as a nomad or hermit. Noble rebel leaders fighting corrupt or venal regimes, vigilantes acting for what they see as the greater good, mercenaries who only work for the "good guys" and anyone who "robs from the rich to give to the poor" are all examples of chaotic good characters. Lawful Neutral A lawful neutral character is directed by law, logic, tradition, or a personal code. Order and organization are paramount to him. He may believe in personal order and live by a code or standard, or he may believe in order for all and favor a strong, organized government. Lawful neutral combines reliability and honor without moral bias. Note that this does not mean that a lawful neutral character is amoral or immoral, or does not have a moral compass, but that moral considerations — the good or evil of the action — come a distant second to what the character's code, tradition, law, or logic dictate. A functionary, soldier, or employee who follows orders without question regardless of the result; an arms dealer who sells his wares to the highest bidder, whatever that bidder may do with them, and an impartial jurist who sticks rigidly to the rule book are all examples of lawful neutral characters. True Neutral The neutral alignment (sometimes known as true neutral) is without prejudice or compulsion. A neutral character does what seems to be a good idea. He doesn't feel strongly one way or the other when it comes to good vs. evil or order vs. chaos. He thinks of good as better than evil — after all, he would rather have good neighbors and rulers than evil ones. Still, he isn't personally committed to upholding good in any abstract or universal way. A true neutral character sees good, evil, law, and chaos as prejudices and dangerous extremes. He advocates the middle way of neutrality as the best, most balanced road in the long run. His position is carefully neutral, but he does not continually balance his morals in a yin yang or fanatical fashion. Chaotic Neutral Chaotic neutral is freedom from both society's restrictions and a do-gooder's zeal. A chaotic neutral character follows his whims. He is an individualist first and last. He values his own liberty but does not strive to protect the freedom of others. He avoids authority, resents restrictions, and challenges traditions. A chaotic neutral character doesn't intentionally disrupt organizations as part of a campaign of anarchy. To do so, he would have to be motivated either by good (and a desire to liberate others) or by evil (and a desire to make others suffer). A chaotic neutral character may be unpredictable, but his behavior is not totally random. He is not as likely to jump off a bridge as to cross it. A wandering rogue who lives both by work for hire and petty theft is an example of a chaotic neutral character. Lawful Evil Lawful evil is the methodical and intentional devotion to a cruel, organized system. A lawful evil character methodically takes what he wants within the limits of his personal code of conduct without regard for whom it hurts. He cares about tradition, loyalty, and order but not about freedom, dignity, or life. He plays by the rules but without mercy or compassion. He's comfortable in a hierarchy and would like to rule, but is willing to serve. He is loath to break promises, and he is therefore very cautious about giving his word unless a bargain is clearly in his favor. This reluctance comes partly from his nature and partly because he depends on order to protect himself from those who oppose him on moral grounds. Many lawful evil characters use society and its laws for selfish advantages, exploiting the letter of the law over its spirit whenever it best suits their interests. A tyrannical ruler who drafts the rules to suit himself, a corrupt lawyer or judge who uses the law to mask his own misdeeds, and the ruthless bosses and minions of organized crime are all examples of lawful evil characters. Neutral Evil Neutral evil is pure pragmatism without honor and without variation — survival of the ruthless. A neutral evil character does whatever he can get away with. He is out for himself, pure and simple. He shows no remorse for those he kills, whether for profit, sport or convenience, and he has no love of order and holds no illusion that following laws, traditions, or codes would make him any better or more noble. On the other hand, he does not have the restless nature or love of conflict that a chaotic evil villain has. Career criminals, particularly those who harm others for money, such as hitmen, are the most obvious example of neutral evil. Chaotic Evil Chaotic evil is power without control — selfishness unfettered by any law. A chaotic evil character does whatever his greed, hatred, and lust for destruction drive him to do. If he is simply out for whatever he can get, he is ruthless and brutal. If he is committed to the spread of evil and chaos, he is even worse. His plans are haphazard and any groups he joins or forms are poorly organized. Typically, chaotic evil people can be made to work together only by force, and their leader lasts only as long as he can thwart attempts to topple or assassinate him. These characters will commit any act to further their own ends. Now here's where I fit into all this. Read it or don't, but I want to hear your stories and what you think of yourselves. My alignment is Neutral Good. I've concluded — perhaps erroneously — that the opposite of me would be Neutral Evil. However, they don't bother me as much as those who fall firmly into the Lawful Neutral slot. Don't get me wrong, there are several people here whom I like that I would easily label as LN, but the idea of allowing another man's or system's moral compass take precedence over one's own is almost unimaginable for me. I have actually known people who have said things like "The government is capable of thinking for me, so I don't want to think." Yes, that is one of the most extreme cases, but people like that exist and it's an ideology that is entirely beyond my comprehension. Whether or not my moral stances changed throughout my life, my application thereof underwent many. Through it all I've never relinquished a sliver of my individuality beyond what I felt was fair compromise, though this has admittedly been counterproductive to my intentions in some circumstances, causing harm where I intended to bring relief. Reflecting on my younger days I can say that my heart was originally NG, but circumstances being what they were (abuse, violation of trust, etc.), my childlike malleability combined with innate and unwavering moral stances pushed me more into being a Chaotic Neutral individual. I was willing, able, and did on occasion risk money and possessions just for the thrill of it. Sometimes it was as big a risk as gambling with large (to me) sums of money. Sometimes it was as small as extending my arm out the bus window and flipping a coin because I knew I wouldn't get it back if I didn't catch it. Easy come; easy go. A few times I gambled with my life. I learned to keep to myself even if it meant allowing somebody else to endure some kind of unnecessary hardship I could have prevented, justifying my inaction by saying they could better learn by practice than with my assistance. The truth was I didn't want to risk being taken for a ride. Always empathetic, there was only so much emotional distress I could tolerate upon another before lending a hand. I wasn't heartless. Then there's my "brony conversion story," in which by example as much as admonition that eclectic group pulled me back here, where I always belonged and desired to be. As terrible as that bygone period of my life was, I think the way I devalued myself back then has helped me presently to find more courage in interposing myself to keep another from harm. And learning how fragile and fleeting possessions are through my reckless actions back then has helped me to be more generous now. As for the significant and not so significant people in my life — my parents first; they are about as hard to the Lawful side of things as can be. Both of them almost straddle the line of good and neutrality when it comes to the vertical axis, with my dad a little more on the good side than my mom. There was a time where I would have placed them farther into neutral, in days when they were more content with their situations so long as they weren't in dire need of anything, but in more recent days they've started to determine that their ability to decide is a bit more important than simplicity. We were always at odds when I was growing up. I'd hear of something I perceived to be an injustice, whether somebody got too harsh a sentence for some offense or was let off the hook despite obvious guilt; every time I would be furious, and their attitude was largely apathetic because they weren't affected. My closest and first of only two friends is Lawful Good. At times he can seem more neutral than good, but he's just very guarded and secretive. The other is also Lawful Good, but he's a simple, country guy who grew up in a normal family and just wants to live a quiet life. The majority of my mom's side of the family is Neutral Evil, and a few of them are Chaotic Evil; one person is Lawful Good and one person is Chaotic Neutral. The majority of my dad's side of the family is Lawful Good. edit: Please don't rely on any kind of online test to determine your alignment. Like any other test, it will be limited by the diversity, quality, and quantity of questions asked, and won't give an accurate evaluation. Do some reflecting and see which one sounds most like you. You can take a test if you want, but I'd prefer that you not use its results here.
  2. Where do you stand in life? Personally, this is my score: I think it's a little far on the left, but otherwise pretty accurate. I'm a Christian fundamentalist but I am economically closer to a neoliberal like Barack Obama. I don't think this belongs in the political section because this is it identification and not discussion. I could be wrong though :/
  3. (For your debating pleasure, I never delete comments. The staff still does, though; and I can't do anything about that. Please post responsibly.) A few days ago, I declared myself to be amoral. What did I mean by this? I meant that I'm done with the idea that certain deeds are inherently wrong or right simply because they are. I'm done with the insistence that certain ideas are above logic or reason simply because one path is "moral." I'm done with buzzwords and thought-killing cliches being used to replace rational thought, and discourage dissent. I'm fucking done. The abortion debate is one such issue where morality has gone batshit insane. We have reached a point where neither camp wishes to confront the cold hard truth of what they advocate, and hides behind buzz-phrases to "encode" it behind a layer of illusory morality. "Pro-abortion" doesn't sound buzzy and moral enough. You don't want the world to think you're in love with the idea of little babies being ripped from the womb and given the Freddy Krueger treatment, so if anyone asks, you aren't "pro-abortion," you're "pro-choice." Oh, so does that mean you support school choice? Or the choice to refuse service when you own a business, or for an individual to choose what goes into their own bodies? No? Then you aren't pro-choice, you're pro-abortion, and you're trying to hide behind morality. If you believe that life begins at birth, you are expected to make a biological argument to support this position, not call your opponents "misogynists" who just want to turn women into baby-slaves. And don't walk away smug, "pro-lifers." Are you anti-war? Anti-death penalty? You think we should take an honest look at police brutality? Do you believe that the one and only good reason to kill another human being is that they pose a direct threat to another human being? No? You're not "pro-life," you are simply "anti-abortion," and wish to manufacture a false moral high-ground when asked about women who stand to lose 9 months of their lives due to being raped. If you believe that life begins at conception, you too are required to provide a biological argument for why you believe this. Morality, or more specifically, the politicization of morality, is something that I will no longer support. The root of the problem is that as a human construct, a majority of moral decisions are completely subjective, and we are attempting to find reasons for why our own personal morality must be forced upon everyone else. We build hypocritical walls of morality designed to shield ourselves from responsibility, while simultaneously casting stones upon anybody else. "Greed" is my favorite example of this giant glass house. Once you begin under the false premise that putting one's self and one's family over strangers is, by itself, morally wrong, how easy it becomes to cast blame. I'm a semi-regular gamer. I've avidly followed the Mass Effect series since the very first game, and I have yet to regret any of my purchases. I think the series is of exceptional quality, but I also realize that BioWare and EA aren't making it out of the goodness of their hearts. A new game costs $60 US, and the DLC costs about $15 a piece. It's steep, but there's no trickery. In the digital age, there's no excuse for not knowing exactly what you are paying for. A business needs to make money. If you feel like their goods are not worth the asking price, then nobody is making you buy them. I haven't bought most of the DLC myself, because it really is pretty steep. But there is nothing more entitled than to disregard the reality of the world, and demand that you have a moral right to a product that you have not paid for. There is no trickery at foot. In any store, the game and its expansions are clearly listed as two separate items. If you only buy the one, do not feign outrage at not being offered the other one as lagniappe. But of course, you're right because greed. A private company with a responsibility to its shareholders is selling its goods on an honest market. This is greed. A consumer sees the prices for the goods offered, has the ability to look up every fact behind these goods at the swipe of a fingertip, and still demands that he receive goods for free because he bought another good. In some cases, the individual in question even steals the goods they want, rather than pay for any of it at all. This is not greed. There is a presidential candidate currently in the top three, who runs on a platform of taking people's money by force and giving it to his voters. Guess who the greedy party is. I'm greedy. And this is no rhetorical device. I am greedy by my own admission. I'd love to be successful, and I would put my own good over that of somebody I don't know, and I would expect them to do the same. Most systems of morality do not consider this to be a righteous action. I don't care. But what of those moral principles rooted in sound logic? Surely, there must be merit to those, right? Take the case of racism. Obviously, racism must be a grand moral principle because it is illogical to judge somebody on skin color instead of merit. How can this be an issue? Well, way back in the year IDFK A.D., some logical man looked at how his neighbors were mistreating and prejudging people based on superficial properties without any attempt to get to know them, and decided that it didn't make a lick of sense. Racial prejudice was (rightfully) considered illogical, and the term "racism" was coined as a shorthand for this phenomenon. Then, thanks to a whole bunch of centuries where racism got out of hand, and committed many grievous wrongs, it was adopted to become a moral issue. I won't deny that the good guys won a couple of important wars thanks to this, but as soon as you fast forward to the 21st century... Even when morality adopts a principle from logic, it manages to pervert the premise beyond recognition. But it gets better. The third image is a tweet from SJW activist Suey Park, infamous for pioneering the "cancel Colbert" campaign after comedian and left-leaning commentator Stephen Colbert made a joke about Asians. I like Colbert. I think he's a very funny man. I don't really agree with him on politics, but he's a likable enough sort that that never really becomes an issue. This sentiment was not shared by conservative columnist Michelle Malkin, whose politics were the occasional subject of jabbery on Colbert's behalf. #CancelColbert happened at a time when I was a somewhat stereotypical moralistic conservative, and I held a great deal of respect for Ms. Malkin. She managed to flush away every single last bit of it with only one tweet. Above, you see a conservative activist joining an SJW censorship movement out of immediate political convenience, and hiding it all behind the false guise of morality. I'm fucking done. I was inspired to write this after having just read Watchmen. 30 years late; I'm aware. While I was reading, I found something of a bond with Rorschach, of all people. Mind you, I don't share quite the extent of his misanthropy, or his "New Frontiersman" politics, but there were moments where his sheer cynicism echoed through my brain like a scream in a cave. In particular, one relatively minor moment from the oh-so eventful chapter 6: (This actually is a spoiler. Do not open unless you have read the book.) Morality is a disguise. Worn by ideologues to silence dissent, by consumers to cast blame, by leftists to line their pockets, by SJWs to bully their fellow man, by evangelicals to enforce holy law, by Michelle Malkin to censor detractors. Logic was born when man looked upon the world, and judged it in his own eyes. Morality was born when he declared his interpretation to be the only one. I'm fucking done. I am amoral.
  4. Have you ever come across the fan fiction with this messed up morality message? (in my opinion) Let's say Royal Guard Ponies strom into a human village and kill everyone in it. Yet, the ponies are seen as the 'good guys', even though they slaughtered hundreds of people, most of the humans not even being soldiers. The ponies being the 'good guys' because they are the superior species or some other drivel. But when humans do it in retaliation to what the ponies had done. Let's say a band of angry human knights want revenge, who then go to a pony village and kill everypony in it. And what they done is considered (by the narrator) evil since they killed ponies, since humans are inferior or some other drivel.
  5. OK, I'm going to go ahead and admit something. I don't believe in morality and I don't think it has an existence. I think that there are "Right and Wrong" Choices in the sense that you shouldn't do that if you were told not to, but not "Right and Wrong" Choices morally. I also don't think that "Good vs Evil" exist. because of everyone's different opinions and view points on life. So basically, I don't believe in Morality or Good vs Evil and I don't think it has an existence. I know this makes me sound like a heartless bastard, but I do have feelings. I just don't believe in Morality and Good vs Evil anymore. Let me know that you think down below.
  6. There are more and more video games coming out where you as the main character get to make certain moral choices good, bad or in some cases even neutral that determine the course of the game. Some people prefer to be the hero, some a bit in between and others just love being an evil bastard. In most cases I love being the bad guy, my favorite faction is Star Wars the Old Republic is empire and I have no qualms about taking out civilians or "turning hostages into sausages" whenever I get the opportunity. With that said though there are some other situations where I kind of prefer things a bit more gray a good example of this would be the Bounty Hunter and Smuggler stories in Star Wars The Old Republic. They both have some really hilarious lines and some of them are a bit more light side and some of them a bit more dark side. My personal favorite of course being that one Bounty Hunter story scene where you get to punch an Alderanian noble right in the face. So what do you guys prefer in video games? Do you prefer to play as a hero, villain or something a bit in between?
  7. Fans of Doctor who, how do you feel about the shows moral side, is it important to you? For me Tennant has always been my favourite doctor because of the morals he stands by, it seems no matter how much he suffered he would always do the best thing for those in need.
  8. Okay- Just wanted to ask you guys, Have any of the characters in the show changed your perspective views on other people/Changed your point of thinking? As for me, Here's a list- Fluttershy's kindness and overall shyness helped me reflect on how kind I was to people, it helped me to understand that kindness is not letting people run over you, that you have to stand up and speak against someones actions without sacrificing any personal respect and being tolerant enough to hear out that person's response and explain things clearly. Fluttershy's shyness actually made me realize how shy I was, and helped me to be more open and responsive to other people. Nightmare Moon/Princess Luna/ Princess Celestia - Once I understood the reason for the dramatic change to NM, It started to open my mind on how an undisputed lie can turn people into monsters of their own pity and self angush, It taught me how someones anger can increase if they are "losing" some sort of debate and helped me explain things to people in a not so harsh, brash and loud manner. It helped me open my eyes and see both sides of an argument before jumping in, and in most cases, make peace between the two. Rarity's Selfless manner actually pretty much explained the nature of generosity to me, How I can learn not to hold on to physical items as much as I did. Applejack's Honesty reminded me of my lying nature, it made me strive to be more honest as it showed me that honesty in all forms is a important role in any kind of relationship. Twilight Sparkle's Leadership skills and wisdom helped me reflect on how I was using my wisdom, and the dramatic difference between knowledge and wisdom. It helped me to respect my elders and mostly of all, respect wisdom. Rainbow Dash's Loyalty to her friends taught me that once you make a promise, you must keep it. It taught me that being "cool" and "popular" is not always important if you are treating your friends like crap "Rainbow Dash,That was Awesome!" "Awesome?, My friends could have been killed!" Pinkie Pie's laughter taught me to look at the light of things even if everything around me is dark, Pinkie Pie's laughter taught me to laugh things off, Pinkie pie had such a tragic past, but she found strength in laughter! This helped me even more when I started to get depressed, I simply stopped looking at the dark things and started looking at the light! There is one more- Spike! (Yes, Spike) Spikes genuine helpfulness and servant heart helped me to reflect on myself and become willing again, It helped me to see that helping others pays off at the end. I just want to thank this whole fandom for the kindness and warmheartedness that somehow revolves around this group, you guys, all of you, are amazing.
  9. Hi, everypony! I have a question about conscience. Does anyone have one? Just kidding! Now is seriously. Sometimes I wonder for what reason the conscience had been created? I mean, on a short time scale, it's rather, well I don't know, inefficient for a person. Actually, in my opinion, every "good" deed less efficient than a "bad" one. "Bad" deed, it's like a shortcut to get what you want and fast. That is why in real world "good" looses quite often. Some people choose more efficient way and don't care about the rest. (Let the world burn, if emphasize) Also it means almost nothing when it comes to "survival" things (well in comics and cartoons it means a lot, but you know... ) Still, I do believe that on a long time scale "good" outmatches "bad" (Silly, I know ) But on the other hand, many people (I mean many people) still choose to stand for "good" deeds quite often. Who and why taught it to them? Parents? Maybe this thought is worth a shot, but not always. Some global media agenda? But c'mon! Do you often follow to what they say in media? Illuminati? Maybe... But it's a whole other story! Religions? Not everyone is religious, but still follows the "word" of conscience. And more important why? For what reason it exists? To hold our society together from not falling apart under wars and hate? Just for fun? Why? Anyway... Please, tell me your thoughts on this matter. P.S. Thanks for your time! Sorry, if I've misspelled something
  10. Before I decide to go off on this, I want to make clear that this is not directed at everyone who is a brony or a fan of MLP:FiM but just a large portion of fan base that seems to put the show and itself too highly at times. For those who read these, I want you to know this is not for the nonbronies. No its its not even for the haters or the Rainbow Dash and Twilicorn "haters." Its for you, who through this wonderful yet flawed show, have put up your beliefs and the show itself, intentionally or not, have put this show, its characters and your beliefs on high above on an ivory tower. No I don't care that you may value this show more than anything else save life or that it changed you. This is not about that. This is about the blatant hypocrisy you wear around. And as a "brony" I know well enough, because I have seen enough people pour their love, devotion, time, and life into this show how it has even changed others for the better. So believe me when I say that for a lot of you out there, MLP: FiM is not just a kid's cartoon show. And I will not dignify your response if you just try to excuse your ignorance by simply saying its the internet. You wouldn't be part of an online community such as this unless you wanted some sense of belonging and a way to speak out. I know that was the case for me. The first issue has been addressed before and I can see how its viewed as benign: the idea that Equestria and somehow the ponies are idea or even perfect and living in a colorful utopian society. I cannot stress enough that you should purge this idea from your minds. It is certainly not what the writers or even Hasbro had in mind, and especially not what Lauren Faust intended either. The characters and the world arguably are meant to be relatable, lovable, adorable and fun. But to assume that its somehow utopian, somehow better than our world, because heaven forbid its a kids show that withholds violence and darker messages, is deeply flawed. Equestria and Celestia are flawed and very dysfunctional, even w/o the dragons, Discord, and the "villains." It is not meant to be some religious heaven with Celestia as a monotheistic God. To regard it as such misses the entire premise of the show and its theme of friendship, which is earned, despite differences and often times major flaws. The ponies themselves outside the mane 6 as with other characters like Spike and Discord, have to learn to accept and open up, despite strong differences as seen in Hearth’s Warming Eve, Bridle Gossip and arguably the whole premise around Luna herself. So stop assuming and pretending that the show is something its not, that’s some escapist paradise for you to run off to. You would be selling both yourself and FiM short of true value. Finally regarding the fandom itself, as much as it pains me, I have read plenty enough to see that many are sincerely nihilistic and/or cynical enough to think that humans and the Earth are not worth living for. Because in their views, somehow the wicked cruel acts of the few, justify condemning the whole of a civilization and race as bad and irredeemable. And equally worse yet they would rather leave this world and run off to another unknown distant realm, leaving their friends, family and loved ones. Where is the “loving and tolerating here?” I see plenty of shortsightedness and narrow minded pessimism, selfishness, judging, despising and yes intolerance, but no tolerance or love in these views that many espouse. I don’t know about others, but honestly if I had the opportunity, I would not live in Equestria, at least not of yet. I wouldn’t mind visiting and exploring it, utopian or otherwise, but I would much rather choose to return and live in my imperfect, yet equally beautiful home with my friends and family and magnificent Earth, in spite of all the crap its gone through. Shame on those of you who would think like this and dare try to say you live up to MLP:FiM’s teachings and virtues. Being a fan and admirer of this show, not necessarily being a brony, means so much more than these superficial views. I would hope that someday all people learn to love and tolerate better and not judge others even in spite of their actions. Unfortunately, it seems the world is far from such a standard, and this fandom is no exception. I have no regrets for what I say.
  11. What frivolous pursuits remain The hopes and dreams left unobtained Mar mankind's crypt as irreversible stains Loved ones, hated ones are all the same We are one in the dust of our earthly graves The mortal man must not forget He must submit to death And all that he is becomes forfeit.
  12. So often, I look around and see only hatred or distrust. Look left, a gay person is being harassed; look right, a Muslim is being labeled a terrorist. So often, we look at others and call them out. We hardly ever look at ourselves and see our faults and correct them. I figured this out during my sophomore year of high school but didn’t know what to do. It wasn’t until my junior year that I took action to better myself; I made myself a list of rules by which I guide myself: 1. A man always follows his rules 2. A man who breaks his rules is subject to his own conscience 3. A man always keeps true to his word, even at his own expense 4. A man never betrays his friends or his family 5. A man puts others before himself 6. A man never feels or speaks hate 7. A man will not try to alter one’s political, moral, or religious beliefs 8. A man has no place to judge another person unless he is perfect 9. A man strives to better himself, but he is NEVER perfect 10. A man has no need for violence I follow these rules almost religiously in my life, almost like a second set of Ten Commandments. There is no rule that is more important than the other; they each must be followed to the same degree. That’s what the first rule tells me. If I don’t follow my rules equally and constantly, then I have no point in having them. The second rule explains what happens if I break any of my rules. I don’t have to punish myself physically to know that I did something wrong, my own mind will be my punishment. I have to live with the knowledge that I’ve wronged someone, and in doing so, wronged myself as well. The third rule is one that I find myself struggling with a lot. So often I find people saying, “I promise I’ll do better,” or, “I swear that’ll never happen again,” but then, almost the next DAY, they are doing the exact same thing they just vowed not to do. It drove me insane and I could no longer tolerate seeing myself doing it. I guess the third rule has made me more aware of the things I say I’ll do, because now I’ve made myself accountable for my actions and words. The seventh rule is also one that I struggle with. It is basic human nature to want to make people see my way, but there is a limit. Once I start trying to convince someone that they’re wrong, I in fact become wrong. I can give someone all of the facts on a matter, but I have no right to try and change their mind on something. If I feel they are doing something wrong or making a bad choice, I can only hope that they will figure it out. And it sucks a lot because people won’t always make the right choice and I watch them get hurt, but I have to remember that I did my part. I hope that people read this someday, and see why I act the way I do. It’s not because I’m a wimp, or that I don’t care. I have rules. I have to follow them. Otherwise, I have to answer to the greatest influence on my life: myself.
  13. First of all, this is the textbook TL;DR. You have been warned. I came here today after conversing with some fellow bronies on campus. After a long, drawn out and very logical and yet philosophical debate, we asked ourselves "what happened to Love and Tolerate?" It's pretty much common for bronies that I know to literally become more loving and tolerant and generally more happy after becoming a fan of MLP. I really believed all of "us" to be this way. Then I came to places like these. I'm certainly not bashing anyone and this isn't any passive-aggressive crap, but my eyes have been opened to the fact that bronies as a whole are not about "Love and Tolerate", especially on the interwebs. I guess I shouldn't have been surprised when I figured it out, but I was literally kinda depressed about it for a few days. I really thought bronies as a whole were striving to become better by adopting the L&T lifestyle. For the most part, I was wrong. I think we can be better than that. Bronies by definition are different from "normal" society, so why not be better than "normal" society? I'm not asking that you sell all of your guns, refuse to join the military, or never defend yourself because honestly, I wouldn't want you to do any of those. I'm just wondering if we can spew a little less hate, be a little more forgiving, throw a little less fire at others, and generally be more positive. For instance, if someone believes in a certain religion, why is it seemingly instinct to verbally abuse them? (Same with non-religious persons). Just because you don't agree with something you attack it? Why jump on the hate-bandwagon, when most people who do, don't even know what they're defending or attacking for that matter. Why can't bronies have a calm peaceful debate on religion instead. Hell, if we can't do that, what hope does the rest of the world have to doing the same? None. The world has no hope of peace if bronies cannot have peace amongst themselves. Here's the funny part. I am a walking paradox. There are certain things in the world I cannot tolerate. I admit it. Here's the difference though, I TRY to tolerate them. I really give effort to changing for the better not only for myself, but for my fellow bronies as well, if not the entire world. I'm not saying I'm better than everyone, because I'm clearly not better than everyone. However, I am inclined to think that those who try to L&T are better than the majority of people in general. Here's where the debate part begins. What do you think about Love and Tolerate? How do you (or do not) apply it to your life and why? If you have, tell me and the rest of the pony-world what the results of doing so in your life. To me, it doesn't really matter if you respond or not, so long as I got you to think, this thread has already been a success. Thank you for your time, -AppleJared
  14. Until recently, I had wondered if My Little Pony contributed to the overarching (and over-simplified) motif of Good vs. Evil in cartoons. I explained in another thread how I felt that this motif, present in most cartoons, represents a part of the socialization process. Evil, in children’s cartoons, is something that people have as an inherent characteristic, it just is and some people are just (and thus inexplicably) evil. Of course, in the real word, people do morally egregious things for complex reasons that are worth understanding. When I had written the previous article, season three had not been released and I based my assessment primarily on Discord and a few other characters. Now, however, I have realized that I was wrong and I feel it is only appropriate to write a follow up article. My Little Pony’s ethics are surprising, firstly, because they run contrary to a lot of society’s expectations. In my experience growing up in the Deep South, revenge often becomes intricately bound up in justice. One part of the human experience is experiencing the desire to “get back” at someone, it is why there is a feeling of closure many experience when a criminal is punished. Yet, is punishment really the height of justice? Is collective revenge, the suffering of the criminal, really what is desired when we claim we want justice? There is no better counter-argument to the idea of justice as punishment than Discord. Discord, in Season 2 begins as just another evil character. Not only is he bent on becoming ruler of a chaotic and disordered Equestria, but he also is given very little background story other than being sealed up before by the forces of order and good. In season 3, however with Keep Calm and Flutter On Discord gets a new dimension. It turns out that he isn’t evil just because of being evil, but rather is in the state he is because he has had no friends. Furthermore, though he is initially turned to stone by the ponies; as he was before he was set loose. Near the conclusion of the episode, however, after being set free, Discord is indeed reformed and realizes the value and magic of friendship. This transformation is interesting because it contains a number of possible implications such as that 1) Discord is not inevitably evil, 2) even evil characters can become good, and 3) that reform is preferable to punishment. The turning to stone of Discord represents his separation from mainstream society. Notice that he can still hear what everyone is saying, he is just sealed away from the main population, unable to move and interact with them. Then Princess Celestia decides to set him free with the goal of reforming him. Keep in mind that Discord essentially attempted what amounted to treason or violent political revolution in modern times with the result of suffering to many ponies. This is no small-time thief or other convict, clearly Discord, in the eyes of many, should simply be sealed away forever, which is death in a sense. Celestia, however, sees potential in Discord and decides that he should be reformed rather than forever dead to everyone but himself. This high-level criminal, then, is reformed and brought to serve good when very few people have hope in him. Discord is transformed, furthermore, not through torture but by kindness, friendship, and radical compassion. Instead of torture or further suffering, he sees the value of friendship through one pony who shows him that he can be good and that he needs friends in an otherwise cold world. This message is something of a disruptive one: even those who seem evil can be reformed and brought to be good in society. Perhaps I’m reading too far into this, but it is, at least, a refreshing break from the usual Good vs. Evil dichotomy that is reproduced in cartoons and anime series’ across the world. Babs Seed is another excellent example of a secondary character that initially is a bully but learns that compassion and friendship are what is truly important. Trixie, too, eventually apologizes and learns from her power trip. In MLP, compassion is ultimately the solution to society’s problems. Babs seed is bullied and so he bullies others, Discord didn’t have a friend and so he turns against the order of the world, and Trixie felt humiliated and had to hard labor without anyone to befriend her so she became drunk with the idea of having power over others. Sure, you have the King Sombras of the world who are more of an ancient evil, but the rest of the “villains” are all too human/pony and can be reformed with friendship and compassion. What’s more is that the show’s values ring true in contemporary research. Give convicts more free time and time to reflect on their misdeeds and what happens? They actually begin to change their ways and become more amicable towards society. In the Netherlands, where the justice system is considerably more tolerant towards low-level convicts, this system has worked wonderfully and resulted in even more open experimental prisons, the country also recently emptied eight of prisons because of a lack of crime. We have the ability to change our world if we adopt more compassionate policy and ideas towards even those we despise. In many cases, school shootings, bullying, and crime can be prevented merely by befriending and showing kindness to people who are abused, hurt, or down; but we have to take the first step and extend a hoof. It’s our world, we can either choose to ignore, hate, and declare hopeless the Trixies, Discords, and Babs Seeds of the world or take their complex existence seriously. All it takes is compassion and kindness towards those who we normally despise, a radical compassion that applies to all humans, to change the world. What a fantastic way to inspire such an idea than through a bright, adorable TV show that appeals to a wide demographic.
  15. Well, I always thought that armor on RPGs were always so cool. So I decided to give it a go. Mind you, I don't have the capability to draw digitally so this is hand drawn. I'm not very good at this.