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kellhus == good guy?? posted 19 May 2004 in The Darkness That Comes Beforekellhus == good guy?? by Peter, Auditor

Right, second reply, the one to Tattooed Hand...

I agree with you when you say that we are not dealing with black and white moralities, but only if we take the general intuitive ethics approach. Some ethical systems would be able to make quite quick and complete judgements over all the actions of all the characters in the book (ok maybe not quick, book is long enough to warrant that).

I am not sure I understand what you mean by the problems of making universalisable claims applicable... is this linked to your idea of viewing philosophy historically? Or is it more like Sartre's claim that Kantian ethics cannot encompass the essentially subjective nature of ethics (at least I think that is what Sartre said)?

I am also a little confused by your example of the Crusades, the Pope was I would say inconsistent. Now he might have thought himself consistent and to some extent within his own set of beliefs he may have been so, but in reality his belief that infidels are not agents worhty of moral consideration is wrong (they are rational therefore we should treat them rationally). I am not sure what you mean by "This is a well honed mechanism in the application of universalist Enlightnment thought, an inherent problem". If they make a universal rule and then break it they are simply being inconsistent and immoral. Someone could at least try and defend slavery ("look it brought them all to America where their descendedts are much happier" one of the reasons I am not a utlitarian) on utilitarian grounds, but never on Kantian and a person who claims to be a Kantian but also to support slavery is being inconsistent.

Oh yes, in the heat of debate I kind of forgot that this was all linked to Kellhus, thank you for bringing us back to him. I would both agree and disagree with you on your view of Kellhus, he does not consider himself in a good/evil context, but I would also claim that that does not stop us form placing him somewhere along a moral spectrum. The fact that he does everything with a single goal in mind may allow him to say the end justifies the means (although I doubt he actually thinks of needing justification), but surely we can still judge him...

You mention that you think Kellhus has a kind of moral stirring when confronted with Serwe's rape, but I have to admit that is not how I read it. Consider when Cnaiur first finds Kellhus, around him were the dead bodies of about 20 men (something like that) who had followed Kellhus as some kind of messiah figure from Atrithau and we hear later from Kellhus that he had simply converted them with his words. I think that the way Kellhus treats Serwe is merely the same thing except here we get to see her side of things. Serwe becomes convinced that Kellhus is a god and that he loves her. That sounds like the kind of devotion he got from those men from Arithau. The fact that we never hear about Kellhus's view of her at any of the times that he narrates (at least that I can remember, I've only read the book once to my eternal shame... well eternal until I read it again) I think is meant to help us see Kellhus not as he sees himself, but as others see him.

Hmmmm going to stop myself now before I fill up too much more space... Bad me, stop writing and do work instead! view post


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