Sometimes I Wonder · 12:36am

Reading some of the stories here, I'm sometimes left thinking that Friendship is Magic needs a spinoff series... Ethics are Fundamental.  

Not to say that people here are unethical, far from it.  By and large you're all nice people-- okay, some of you are tolerable. But for all that the average bronies and pegasisters here may be , so far as it goes, "nice folk," as evidenced in their stories and their commentary so many folks here seem to run on code.

In their writing. they seem to demonstrate a lack of the basic tools of ethical reasoning--- the ability to analyze an moral quandary,  start with basic premises, apply the rules of rationalism and constancy, and arrive at an ethical conclusion. Much like Ted in "Darth Vulcan," they have a moral code, more or less. But when pressed as to an issue of something being right or wrong, they cannot explain why-- or fall back on repeating already-falsified rhetoric and slogans. They rely on what "feels" right or, more accurately, makes them feel good about themselves: they say all the "right" things and therefore that makes them morally "good people," so no further thought is needed.... or in this case their characters say all the right things, and therefore that makes them morally good characters--- even if what they propose is so morally skewed that to espouse it as good is outright cognitive dissonance.

Example: in a fic I just finished reading, the "Good" Princess Celestia--- not Tyrantlestia, or Molestia, or any of the villainous variants, just the original good and noble maternal original-cut Princess Celestia---  just threatened a pony with a thousand years' imprisonment for burglary. And then, just to put a cherry on top, employs the burglar to steal magical artifacts from others...  Throw this one on the pile of stories about Celestia decorating her lawn with living statues. The moral and ethical inconsistency of a benevolent Princess ladling out punishments willy-nilly that she only reluctantly used in canon against threats that bordered on Extinction Level Events never seems to enter the mental arithmetic of such writers.

Or the countless stories where "Good" Celestia is hoarding the secret of eternal youth to herself.... and the writer implicitly praises her for her goodness in doing so! I have lost count of the number of times where I have had to metaphorically take someone by the hand and gently explain, as if to a child, that any possible problems caused by the abolition of death by old age are far exceeded by the terrible and irreversible problem of death. Explaining yet again that life is good, and more importantly, why, has become tiresome. One writer effectively slammed the door in Celestia's face with that: Twilight releases the secret of alicorn ascension to the world, and gets banished for it. An ongoing emigration war takes place between Twilight's rapidly growing nation of ascended ponies, and Celestia's rapidly dwindling kingdom of mortal ones.... till one day Celestia gets bitchslapped in the face by Reality when she overhears a little filly refer to her as "the Princess who wants us all to die..."

Then there are the stories where the ever good Princess outlaws all weapons, forever. Once again I must take the child by hand and lead them, step by step, in explaining how you do not stop bad people from hurting others by making good people helpless... and as ridiculous as trying to abolish weapons is in the real world, it is tenfold so in a world where one third of the population can drop lightning on you from the clouds and another third can kill you with their brain.

Of course I have cause to lament the ethical non-thought of the show writers themselves-- the "fighting back makes you a bully" message of Babs Seed.... or Mare Do Well, where Rainbow Dash's friends try to teach Dash not be a grandstanding douche by--- dressing up in a costume and becoming a grandstanding douche...or "Flight to the Finish," where they basically said a distraught filly was wrong for seeking a cure for her flightlessness rather than glorying in her ennobling handy-capableness like a proper token cripple....or "Cider Squeezy 6000," where the Good Guys were an incompetent, underperforming monopoly and the Bad Guys were bad guys solely because they were (gasp!) competitors and using PROGRESS! (boo hiss)...  

It's all the consequence of inconstancy; what happens when people have "laundry list" ethics--- a personally accumulated list of ideals and feel-good slogans which they have gathered over a lifetime, but have never examined too closely. They have failed the final step of such a process; laying out all their beliefs, side by side, and scrutinizing them to see that they all match, that they all fit together, that they all actually work and suit. It is the difference between merely having a moral code, and having a moral system.

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#395 · 2w, 5d ago · · ·

Do you happen to know the name of that story? The one which Celestia banishes Twilight for revealing the secret of Alicorn ascension to the world?

Comment posted by I make you uncomfortable deleted at 3:16pm on the 8th of January, 2015
#393 · 3w, 1d ago · · ·




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