[Discussion/Exercise] Ethics, Morals, and Values

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[Discussion/Exercise] Ethics, Morals, and Values

Postby Gossamer on June 9th, 2012, 4:55 pm

Ethics, Morals, and Values


I love the plotnotes forum. I really do. So whenever I get stuck or feel like I can't feel my PC, I go make a post in there for her. My recent one, which isn't all that recent, has to do with morals and ethics. You can see the post here. It was such a fun exercise I thought I'd share it with you guys. First off, some definitions.

Definitions :
Ethics (eth-iks)
Noun
1. Moral principles that govern a person's or group's behavior.
2. The moral correctness of specified conduct.

mo•ral•i•ty (mə’ralətē)
Noun
1. Principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior.
2. Behavior as it is affected by the observation of these principles.


People always talk about Faith in Mizahar, but faith is intricately made up of faith and morals. So its hard to talk faith without really having a discussion about ethics and morality. Faith dictates a certain set of ethics in some cases, but the two are not interchangeable. So whats the difference? Ethics is the rules for deciding proper conduct. While not absolutely timeless, ethical principles change very little though a pc's life. Morality is the standards for their behavior. Compared to ethics, morality undergoes changes frequently. Compared with ethics, morality is more like a snapshot taken of a pc's life - a frozen point of time. Since the principles of ethics are more fundamental and stable, ethics is bigger than morality. Ethics is able to can call morality into question, and cause morality to change. It's also important to note that ethics do not always dictate a single "moral" course of action, but provide a means of evaluating and deciding among competing options. Individuals should have a code of ethics in order that the individual’s behavior will be right, good, and proper in that individuals own mind. Though I am speaking of individualism here, society also requires ethics in order to provide for order, to prevent or minimize general or large-scale conflicts within society, to reduce strife between individuals, and to provide a basis for settling conflicts between competing values.

They are intertwined, but as you can see they both mean core verses action. That's important to remember. So, moving on, psychologists have broken up Ethics into a few types. Here's the list. What type is your PC? What category do they fit in if they fit in any at all?

Types of Ethical People :
  • Absolutist: A person that believes that ethics is determined by some hard and fast rules, which should never be questioned or broken, such as, “Do not steal”, “Do not lie”, and “Do not murder.”
  • Universalist: A person that thinks that absolute rules should be followed by everyone. For example, many people (across all human cultures) believe in some version of the Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Believing in the fact that everyone should follow the same ethical rules or principles.
  • Consequentalist: A person that thinks that they should consider the specific consequences of different actions in a given situation in determining what is right and what is wrong. Which choice leads to the best results or consequences?
  • Emotivist: A person that thinks that instead of following some set of absolute rules, you should rationally think about ethics and what is the right thing to do. Ethics should be thoughtful rather than simply obeying rules. This is a rational approach of ethics. They believe that feelings (emotions) should determine ethics along the lines of this thinking.
  • Care Theorist: A person that thinks that love, care, and concern for fellow human beings should be the foundation of ethics.
  • Relativist (Personal or Cultural): A person that thinks that ethics is entirely relative and subjective– either relative to each person who individually determines what is right or wrong for him or her – or relative to a specific culture.


So now that you have the type(s) of ethical thinker your PC is...What are their primary morals? They work out to be values and virtues in all actuality. Values are the ideals or standards that people use to direct their behavior; values are what people strive to realize in their lives. Values are the standards we use in making judgments about what is important in life and what is right or wrong in human behavior. We judge ourselves and others in terms of our values. We may not agree with another person’s values, but everyone lives by values – everyone makes judgments about what is important in life through their values. Virtues are character traits or dispositions in a person that embody and express values that are judged desirable or admirable. Not all values lead to virtues and instead lead to vices. So.. in summary even though everyone possesses values, not everything that is a value, if practiced, turns into a virtue. There are things that people value that lead to vices rather than virtues.

So pick out ten or so for your pc. You might be surprised overall once you start looking at their whole concept.
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[Discussion/Exercise] Ethics, Morals, and Values

Postby Surei on July 27th, 2012, 4:14 pm

I can't believe no one responded to this yet! I'll try the exercise on values and come back to edit this post.

EDIT: Alright! I've picked up 10 values that represent my PC so far. I'm just beginning to play/know him, so it might not reflect the end result. It was fun, and it helped me define something important, in regards to his personality, that I was previously unaware of.


Type of ethics: Relativist (personal)

Surei is selfish, or self-conservative, depending on your POV. There's no doubt that he's in it for himself, and that he'll do the good thing, for himself. He's always aiming to gain something, with as little wasted effort as possible. Wasted is the word here.

As it turns out, most of his values hover around independence, and being able to take care of himself.

Adaptability - Life is unpredictable and, as Surei realized it, the capacity to adapt can be one's greatest strength, especially in some of the most unforgiving of environments, in his case, the Burning Lands.

Independence - Could be used interchangeably with freedom, this one is at the core of Surei's choices. He shouldn't have to rely on anyone, because in the end, we're all by ourselves. Depending on someone is the same as acknowledging a weakness, and weakness could mean death, or else.

Strength- If you are not strong, then you are weak. Again, weakness means certain probable death.

Pragmatism - You need something done? You do it. No feelings attached. Not that Surei is devoid of feelings, far from that. It usually means that they won't hinder his capacity to act.

Cunning - Surei respect those who would put their mind to good use in the goal they're pursuing, whatever it might be.

Moderation/Restraint - Ever heard the saying "Truth rests in simplicity"? Excess in any form is simply not this Dhani's cup of tea. He's definitely out of place in Ahnatep, but where else would he go?

The last two he doesn't have in himself, or, at least, not developed yet.

Leadership - Despite his claims for independence, Surei respects a man who can command authority and inspire others.

Ambition - Ambition is a sign that one knows, or at the very least, thinks, he/she can make it happen. The drive that accompanies ambition can be a source of strength and greater resources, two things in which Surei gives value.

That makes eight. I originally came up with ten, and they proved to be redundant while I wrote it out. Anyway, thanks for the insight Goss! I invite others to do it. It took me roughly 30 minutes, and I didn't go into the character that deep.


Last edited by Surei on July 27th, 2012, 7:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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[Discussion/Exercise] Ethics, Morals, and Values

Postby Gossamer on July 27th, 2012, 6:32 pm

I had a ton of fun doing this with my first PC and I repeated it with all my others. I was shocked at how vastly different they turned out and what their driving factors were. Thanks for bumping it. Its something psychologists use for quantifying personality.
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[Discussion/Exercise] Ethics, Morals, and Values

Postby Dex on July 27th, 2012, 11:59 pm

Image

Ok, so I randomly kinda just found this and decided to jump in, because Dex goes against most rational thought. Dex's values/philosophy's/whatever you wanna call them.

I like shiny things.

If it's shiny, It's mine, because I like it.

If something wants to eat me, run.

If I want something to eat, go get it.

If someone likes me, they will scratch my head and pet me and give me shiny things.

If someone does not like me, they will try to stick a sharp shiny thing where I don't want it.

Sleep is nice.

Food is nice.

Shiny things are nice.

Dull things can become shiny things.

Dull things can become nice.

Don't steal from Rykanis.

If you want to drive a dog crazy, juggle.

And that pretty much sums up most of Dex's thoughts in life.

Image
Dex rarely has intentional thoughts
but Dex always has something to say

Image


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[Discussion/Exercise] Ethics, Morals, and Values

Postby Sebastion on December 6th, 2012, 3:15 pm

I often think about the differences between my two PC's, Sliver and Shim, because they both have vastly different potential character wise. Sliver is very solid in her alignment and faith, while Shim, reflecting his beliefs in Harameus and the world, is an element of change that could be for good or for ill as his skill with Alchemy increases. For now I would label the Pycon as Chaotic Good and a relativist.

Traits: I might be able to find ten, but I realized these five make up the core that is Shim.

Progressive: Shim will take anything in stride, new sights, new people, new experiences, he is open and accepting to it all. This is a direct correlation of his Pyve rejecting him for his studies with Alchemy, and so he refuses to do what has been done to him to anyone else.

Vivacious: Enough energy to power a small city, the Pycon rarely relaxes and is almost always yelling with excitement, a constant struggle between what he knows to be proper behavior and his own personality poking through nevertheless.

Dedicated: Shim is devoted to anything he cares about, whether it be his canine Snowflake or his studies with magic. If he cares enough about it he will put himself fully into an endeavor until it has reached completion, and is always there for those he cares about.

Inquisitive: There is a serious need for the Pycon's clay mind to solve every riddle he is presented with, to figure the world out through sights and experiences. He is an adventurer and his main drive behind this is the fundamental need to explore and learn about things he doesn't understand.

Disciple: This is the most important trait in determine where Shim will end up as a character. As an outcast and a wanderer there were many times where the Pycon questioned if his magical pursuits were worth losing his Pyve over, even if they were just niggling fears at the back of his mind. Once he received his Gnosis mark from Harameus, he realized that the events that brought him to that point were clearly all correct and just the way it was supposed to be. It was as if received a celestial stamp of approval. As long as he continues to read signs from his God around him, supporting his endeavors, he will feel as if he is traveling along the correct path, which means someday the word disciple may change to zealot, and his alignment may alter drastically depending on the signs he reads. Though Shim is very opposed to going down the road that created his race, who knows what a few nudges in that direction will do to him once he's had a taste of the world outside of Mura.

Great exercise! Thanks for the thread Goss, and thanks to Kraken for throwing it back onto the boards.
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