I’m planning on running a Dungeons & Dragons published adventure, and the first combat is against goblin raiders. The text charges them only with theft, the death of two horses, and captured prisoners. There may be more; it doesn’t say. The pc’s (player cvharacracters) might know this (I forget) and are ambushed by goblins while guarding goods on the road. Is it appropriate to respond with lethal force? What about finding and attacking the bandits’ hideout populated by other goblinoids? And yes, I know it’s a game, but it’s also a story.
Well, St. Anthony of Padua preached to the fish and they listened…I think the least you could do is try and encourage the goblin raiders to repent for their dire and scandalous way of life…some may yet listen and be converted. If they won’t reason…then yeah, …you may have to get rough for the good of your kingdom and own self-defense.
Just the fact that the goblins ambush them on the road is sufficient for the travellers to fight back… even if their self-defense results in death for one or more of the goblins.
And attack the base of others of their operation?
I would argue that as non-humans, goblins do not have immortal souls and therefore can be considered the same as animals. If a troop, herd, pride or tribe of animals were a danger to humans and could not be safely captured or driven away then they could be exterminated. I say ditto to the goblins, unless you have a PC with high enough charisma who speaks goblin that they could work out a pact. (Though in my experience goblins rarely keep their promises due to their chaotic nature).
I would say goblins don’t have souls, but even if they do, if they are continually attacking the humans, then a state of war exists.
Now, one aspect of this is that the humans cannot desire the deaths of the goblins, per se. So, suppose a neighbor who I hated attacked me and so i shot and killed him. That is ok, under self-defense, but if I had sort of taken the opportunity to shot him dead because I wanted to kill him dead rather than simply wanting me alive, then there would be an element to the action imperiling my soul.
Guys this is a game. None of the characters have souls as they aren’t real. Killing them isn’t immoral. Saying it is would be like saying that writing a story where a character dies is murder.
If it was brought into the real world would it be immoral? Well maybe but they were just fighting back.
Yeah, but it’s kind of like playing grand theft auto. It’s a bad influence. Plus, who would want to read a story wherein the “heroes” killed sentient creatures willy-nilly?
Grand Theft Auto doesn’t make you kill in real life. There have been re-enactments by psychopaths but they would’ve just murdered another way without GTA.
Even five year olds can tell the difference between what is real and what is not. If anything games like GTA and COD where you kill people are good because they give you a means to vent any frustrations you might have as well as having fun.
There are arguments that games like the GTA series normalise murder and theft but to be honest, the news does a better job at that. Every day you hear of a new brutal murder or rape and you aren’t even surprised when they report a murder these days.
Huge amounts of people. It depends on the plot. There have been great stories with assassins and berserk warriors and heroes wishing to avenge their family. The main characters in most books are in the moral grey area and there have been tons of popular books where the main characters were downright evil.
And to be honest, anti-heroes who save the day but do stuff in the moral grey area to achieve that goal are much more interesting than white knights who are without flaws.
Pornography doesn’t make you go out and fornicate or commit adultery, but it is still immoral to willingly look at. CCC with my emphasis:
2354 Pornography consists in removing real or simulated sexual acts from the intimacy of the partners, in order to display them deliberately to third parties. It offends against chastity because it perverts the conjugal act, the intimate giving of spouses to each other. It does grave injury to the dignity of its participants (actors, vendors, the public), since each one becomes an object of base pleasure and illicit profit for others. It immerses all who are involved in the illusion of a fantasy world. It is a grave offense. Civil authorities should prevent the production and distribution of pornographic materials.
I would say that it is also possible to be immersed in the illusion of of a fantasy world of criminal violence.
If you read the rest of the quote your comparison falls apart. Shooting a virtual character doesn’t offend chastity or lead to inordinate desire. Pornography arouses you and makes you lustful. Shooting an NPC doesn’t make sane people want to shoot a real guy in the head.
How do you know? You just made a claim with no backing information.
For all we know, pretending to kill people in a game conditions the brain to have less resistance to doing that in real life. I would think that’s pretty obvious.
Some things we believe are obvious really aren’t. You could say that easy availability of pornography would increase lust and therefore rape/sexual violance. Yet, several studies have shown the opposite. Where pornograhy is more widely available the rape/sexual violence are less. Now, we can certainly debate correlation vs causation but many times our instincts are incorrect.
As randomusername pointed out, someone else might agree that it is pretty obvious that a game allowing role playing killing would preclude someone attempting that in real-life.
No studies have been able to show even correlation of violence with video game playing much less causation.
Often stories explore themes and try to make points or communicate ideas without them being an endorsement or push for a specific position on them. Simply to provoke thought. An author presenting a situation may do so with a slant which is actually contrary to their view of what would be morally acceptable.
So, it’s a game. It’s a fictional situation. Sorry, familiar with D&D as a role playing game but not sure what you mean by published adventure. If there’s a player, than they’re making choices based on their view/opinion/interpretation of what the in-game situation is and they’re accepting it as an alternate world which can include an alternate morality. You can play as a bad guy without accepting or taking on immorality in real life.
Oh, come on. I’ve seen far too much evidence to the contrary to believe that. You say “several studies” have suggested that porn decreases sexual violence? That’s absolutely false, judging from both personal experience and evidence from studies and documentaries.
The poisoning of the human mind is the most insidious and damaging thing which can pervade a culture.
Rates of all violent crimes have been going down.
Yes, it was clear that this is a story he’s talking about, but if you want to have a good guy in the story, you want to make sure his morality is straight, no? That was why I thought the OP asked the OQ
I guess I should get back on topic.
The OP should consider what purpose/goal of the game will be in terms of influencing and entertaining the participants. If it’s to encourage a particular moral viewpoint, then the game should be constructed with that in mind. Which would be different than straight entertainment where morality isn’t being endorsed but is simply part of the alternate universe being constructed.
I don’t think that the two need to be separate like that. I admit that if someone wants to propose a moral view in the context of story-telling that they can do so, like Narnia and Atlas Shrugged, but I think that any time someone tells a good story that morality will be a part of the world of the story, like Lord of the Rings.
Our current stories have morality as a part of the world in which the story takes place; it’s just that it is a secular, supposedly “neutral” morality.