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Author Topic: Time for some Law/Chaos Now!  (Read 3589 times)

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Offline DaWergyling

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Time for some Law/Chaos Now!
« on: January 21, 2003, 03:13:53 PM »
Time for some Law/Chaos Now!

But what _is_ Law/Chaos anyway?

-Chaos is unpredictability
-Chaos is not good, nor evil, but, like Law, is a part of the majority of good and evil people.
-Chaotic lifestyles are usually more interesting, unless you're the unpredictable bum

Etc.

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Offline Agar

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Time for some Law/Chaos Now!
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2003, 10:55:28 PM »
For those wishing for a perspective on order and chaos from a well establishes source, I suggest you read "The Art of War by Sun Tzu" no relation to the art of war movie with Wesley Snipes. Be sure to check out his points about emptyness and fullness and making the orthodox unorthadox and vice verca.

So just as Good and Evil can be any shade of lawfulness and chaotic themselves, Chao and Law can be any shade of Good or Evil. Some examples:

Robin Hood's men - Chaotic Good - The most classic example of chaotic good there is. They are outlaws, by the very definition unlawful, holding to no one but thier leader who provides for them. They steal, something very much against most lawful systems since personal property is suppose to belong to the person, but they don't keep the money in a greedy manner, as would an evil bandit, but rather, give it to those who need it. Quite the good brigands.

Nazis - Lawful Evil - The nazis will be listed as a well known group that illistrates an example, rather than any form of support for their ideals. NOTE THE DISCLAIMER! Anyhow, Nazis had many laws about how a person was to act, what to believe and where to go. While not all of their acts were dripping with venom bent on destroying everyone, genocide is almost patently evil.

King Arthur - Lawful Good - He regulated individual pesants and formed Camelot. Everyone prospered, shared with thier nieghbors, and crime and people preying on the weak and poor all but vanished. Big book of rules, but mostly common sense and for the better.

Chucky - Chaotic Evil - Most examples of chaotic evil don't last long. They either get motivated and start following some kind of law, or do something just silly and get killed off. A mass produced doll has a bit of redunancy with all the spare evil incarnations laying about. Other than scaring the bejeezus out of kids and stabbing people, he doesn't have a big reason for what he does. How much more chaotic do you need?


As much as law is the lack of chaos and chaos is the lack of law, Law is more arbitrary than chaos. Laws vary from place to place, be it kingdom, duchy or city, some things are ok in one place that aren't ok in another.

A common example in fantasy is the city that has outlawed any weapons. Weapons aren't ok to have in this city, but in other cities, weapons are given little regard.

Chaos is not arbitrary in the least. Whatever law there is, you ignore or defy it. If you're not supposed to eat meat on a certain day, you have a barbeque; no weapons allowed town, you pretend you're a wood carver and all the little knives are for your craft, not stabbing. You consider sneaking up to houses in the middle of the night and installing locks on the door rather than break in. You don't do what is expected or regulated. That goes where ever you find yourself.

So law may conflict with law, in a disagreement over what should be true or not, but chaos is more united in its chameleon like diversity.
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Offline drphluid

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Time for some Law/Chaos Now!
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2003, 07:56:53 PM »
Quote
Chaos is not arbitrary in the least. Whatever law there is, you ignore or defy it. If you're not supposed to eat meat on a certain day, you have a barbeque; no weapons allowed town, you pretend you're a wood carver and all the little knives are for your craft, not stabbing. You consider sneaking up to houses in the middle of the night and installing locks on the door rather than break in. You don't do what is expected or regulated. That goes where ever you find yourself.


While I agree with the majority of your assessments I think the truer statement is that the chaotic person would ignore the law.  To defy the law as a matter of course, would suggest lawfulness about someone.  If a person disobeys every law just because there is a law then they are indeed acting in a lawful manner.

Just as a lawful society may have laws that conflict with another lawful society.  A chaotic person may chose to not break the law, if it suits them.  

Personally I think the terms lawful and chaotic are too arbitrary.  Lawfulness suggests that a person decides to obey a code, while chaoticness seems to suggest that a person leaves everything to chance.  I think better terms might be altruistic and selfish.  Since an altruistic person would obey the laws for the sake of preserving their society and a selfish person would not place the society needs before their needs.
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Offline Ria Hawk

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Time for some Law/Chaos Now!
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2003, 04:54:14 PM »
I think chaotics just do what seems to be a good idea at the time.
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Offline drphluid

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« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2003, 05:59:16 PM »
Exactally, Ria Hawk.  Not some plan to always do the opposite of a lawfull person.
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Offline Ria Hawk

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Time for some Law/Chaos Now!
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2003, 07:46:52 PM »
Um, you could just call me Ria.
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Offline manfred

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Time for some Law/Chaos Now!
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2003, 04:14:50 AM »
If we talk about chaos (and law), there is a word we should not forget:

Freedom.


People that do anything to not fit into any rules, are extremely chaotic, and (as some may object) a little stupid or weird. But there are many others, more or less chaotic, who would strongly reject such behaviour. Chaotics CAN have rules, and, by chance, may follow the same rules all the common people follow too. How to recognize these? It happens from time to time that even laws change, as do everyday rules. Chaotics may have a hard time, or be strongly unwilling, to adapt to them. They will protest against the change, and if possible, undo it.

Funny thing that chaotics should protest against change, possibly side by side with lawfuls...
But chaotics are not necessarily ignorant of laws, and will protest if it goes against their freedom. Once the laws are valid, lawfuls will stop their protests and conform to the norm.

Say that in a certain country, new laws are prepared: against spreading guns and hopefully crimes. Immediately scores of people protest, for it is their right and personal freedom to own a gun. This is not a Good-Evil question, but a Law-Chaos question. Should the laws be actually signed, the truly chaotic will be shown: they keep the gun, even if they should
not. (Not to mention those of Evil intent, whether lawful or chaotic.) To be chaotic means to follow your own principles, not desiring any rules forced upon thee: it is your freedom. Whether or not you care if people might get harmed with your life-style is that Good-Evil question again.

It also appears to me that freedom fighters are bound to go against their countries laws.

The antithesis of freedom might be slavery. I remember from a certain alignment-test a clearly lawful statement: Slavery may be an acceptable solution to certain economical problems. Not sure about the history, but I think that countries using slaves tend to be strongly structured. Cannot prove this hypothesis, but I think slave revolts are less likely to happen when slaves know they will probably not be mistreated, and they will be treated everywhere the same, so running away is not much an option. I think such countries MUST be strongly structured to contain the chaos in everyone, the urge for freedom. Another test of alignement: lawfuls may get used to living as a slave, chaotics probably never.


OK, it seems Law is the bad guy again. Is freedom really that nice? Mix Evil into those freedom fighters, you get people fighting without any interest for others (terrorists). That's what you get if you take the need for freedom (or anything) too far.


Before I end this bloated post, there was a reason I seemed to refuse certain views on chaos. The: He likes to gamble, and wears two different socks, he must be chaotic! approach. It is fully OK, but I tried to do a similar trick as for Evil (harming OTHERS).

Again, it is not about Law or Chaos if you are alone, there must be someone else too. The way you can live with others, and how much you adapt to others, is it.

It would be nicely organised this way! Hmmm... Seems my chaotic mind is structured too :-(
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Offline drphluid

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Time for some Law/Chaos Now!
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2003, 07:27:25 PM »
Hmm, you seemed to go between two thoughts.  For I while I though that you were saying that chaos is in the person (i.e. you can take the person out of the chaos, but you can never take the chaos out of the person), but at the end it seemed to me that you were saying that a chaotic person is only chaotic in certain situations (i.e. when there is a law or rule that they do not like).  In the end I am unsure how to take your thoughts.  

Although I agree with you on this:
Quote
Another test of alignement: lawfuls may get used to living as a slave, chaotics probably never.


I am more of the opinion that the chaos is in the person.  So if the individual wears two different color socks, like to gamble/curse/run amuck then that is something ingrained in the person.

I agree with you comment about terrorists, they are definitely lawful, they fight for a cause.  A chaotic person would not care to fight for a cause.  Maybe they would ignore the law if it does not suit them.  Not that they are inherently stupid, they may obey, or appear to obey, a law that they disagree with in order to keep them free.  A chaotic person has a feral spirit; they are loners, adventures, explorers, or anyone who grows tired of the structure and repetition of society.  They may join with lawful groups to get by but will inevitably move on.

I think good/evil is a way of doing business, and law/chaos is an outlook on life.  I know that initially that seems counter intuitive, but an evil person may obey all laws but stick it to you as much as they can just because they can.  A chaotic person may not waste their time doing anything by law, regardless of how it affects you.
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Offline manfred

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Time for some Law/Chaos Now!
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2004, 06:19:11 AM »
I have recently seen the great movie Pirates of the Caribbean, once again. This time, something different captured my attention:


Captain Jack Sparrow is obviously the essence of Chaos. If he needs to fight dirty, then he will do so. If he needs to lie or hold someone hostage, then he will do so, and so on, and so on. But he is essentially a honest guy, though it is hard to put down any precise rule (note, that Freedom is his greatest value). At the beginning, he actually saves a damsel in distress! ;)

He wants his friends to be fine, and his enemies to suffer for their deeds, but to not harm innocents if possible. While hardly a hero, he certainly isn't the bad guy.


Captain (later commodore) Norrington may stand slightly in his shadow, but clearly stands there for the Law, principles and honour. He always works for his duty, keeps his soldiers ready, and fights pirates as he can, but certainly not with every means possible. He despises the low and dirty pirate, and sees a world, where all people have their stable place. At some point, he rejects greater fame at the expense of his duties.

Note also, that once there is no way for him to win the heart of the girl through honourable means, he gives up. And in the end, he even shows a limited respect for both his rival and the pirate.


They may not be absolute paragons of their alignements, but to me, this pair of characters is an excellent example of Chaos and Law. The pirate is only seemingly unpredictable, as he has a mission, and information he doesn't share. The commander of the guard does not follow laws blindly, he can bend them if honour requires it.

Sounds better than lame paladins, and rogues that do whatever fits them at the moment, right?
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Offline Shadoweagle

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Time for some Law/Chaos Now!
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2004, 11:47:13 AM »
A nice example, Manfred. And a good movie, too :D perhaps my favourite.
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Time for some Law/Chaos Now!
« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2004, 05:44:48 PM »
Quote from: "Manfred"
[...]Sounds better than lame paladins[...]

Actually I think Paladins can be quite interesting. Caught up in their own moral code, suppressing any humanity they might have to follow the law and "do the right thing". I would picture the typical Paladin as an old-school conservative, waving his finger at everything. It would be impossible to live up to his moral standards, and his perceptive of "good" might be tainted for sure.

What does he do, when he is faced with moral dilemmas? Will he let the child die, so he can save ten others? Or will he rescue the child and forfeit the lives of ten innocent souls? Will he let math judge what is good and what is evil?

I love putting Paladins in moral dilemmas and I love to give them a personal view of "good". All in all, many paladins might end up fighting each other and what is more chaotic than that? Two disciples of law and order fighting because of the chaos that is subjective thought...
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Offline Shadoweagle

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Time for some Law/Chaos Now!
« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2004, 08:52:42 PM »
I must say I enjoy paladins as well :D As you all know, I'm typically an 'evil' player, and a paladin is the only 'good' type that I really like. Quite simply because of what AG pointed out - they are only good by their OWN standards, and they can see any not as good as themselves as inferior to them. My paladins would tend to have no moral or 'heart' in what they do. My paladins would sacrifice that one child to save ten without a second thought.
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Offline Druid_Wiking

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Re: Time for some Law/Chaos Now!
« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2006, 03:28:41 PM »
Nazis - Lawful Evil Lawful Good - The nazis will be listed as a well known group that illistrates an example, rather than any form of support for their ideals. NOTE THE DISCLAIMER! (what agar said. uhuh. whatever) Anyhow, Nazis had many laws about how a person was to act, what to believe and where to go. All of their acts were designed for the benefit of nation and race, including the revival of the viking ideal. As for genocide and selective breeding, the intent was to preserve and strengthen the recessive genes tied to human advancement.

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Offline CaptainPenguin

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Re: Time for some Law/Chaos Now!
« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2006, 12:10:36 AM »
Ahm... What?
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Offline manfred

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Re: Time for some Law/Chaos Now!
« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2006, 10:00:27 AM »
I have great diffilcuty to evaluate that intention as ´good´, but that is not a topic I think we should debate here.

Only so much: it matters very little, if at all, how noble (or... less noble?) the original motivation for a movement or an action is. What matters is the action itself. But I think that is a debate for the Good/Evil thread.
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Offline Nobody

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Re: Time for some Law/Chaos Now!
« Reply #15 on: February 13, 2006, 07:41:39 AM »
Actually, I have to disagree with the statement that personal chaos and law is subjective.

Quick (extreme) definitions:

Lawful: Adheres to a strict set of moral, ethical, and practical guidlines that are never broken, regardless of the situation.
Chaotic: Resists any idea or behavior that restricts action thoughts or belief.
Neutral: Willing to be either Chaotic or Lawful in the right situation in order to reach the ultimate goal.

Lets give examples.

Robin Hood was: mostly Chaotic because: he resisted restrictions in freedom, action, and belief, feeling that such things were wrong. However, he did understood the need for order, and implemented it often with his band of outlaws (although such order was loose, and not formally stated). A handshake meant more than parchement.

George Washington was: Lawful because: Although he was against the laws and restrictions of the English rule, he was by no means chaotic. He was a General, and believed strongly in a well organized system of rule (such as a military hierarchy) and avidly supported a system of government. Parchement meant more than a handshake.

True Communists are: Chaotic (in theory but never action) because: they believe that wealth and power should not be assigned according to any system of management, rank, or merit whatsoever and are morally against any system that promotes such.

All functional forms of Government are: Lawful because: they require an organized system of wealth management if for no other reason than to ensure proper taxation required to keep the government maintained.

True Capitalists are: (Internally Lawful, Externally Chaotic and therefore) Neutral because: while any capitalist is internally lawful, requiring positions, jobs, and an organized payroll system, the true capitalist believes in the survival of the fittest outside of the internal unit. Success of a company should be based on competition and customer satisfaction (unregulated processes) and never by a governing force. Since Capitalists are willing to be both lawful and chaotic in different situations, they are by definition Neutral.

Anyway, I have to go.

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