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kellhus == good guy?? posted 09 August 2005 in The Darkness That Comes Beforekellhus == good guy?? by target, Auditor

Is there no possible way though? Wouldn't some schoolmen be able to take him out? Especially a member of the Mandate with their Cants?

I think 'd probably vote for running too though. view post


kellhus == good guy?? posted 09 August 2005 in The Darkness That Comes Beforekellhus == good guy?? by Randal, Auditor

There are ways...

I would never go up against the guy personally, of course. But if I were a noble of some kind, or otherwise in the position to hire assassins, there are ways.

Dunyain training avails not when your food is poisoned... as far as I know. Or an assassin could simply wait until he's in the middle of a crowd (and hence suffers from an information overflow, and won't be able to notice everything) and shoot him with a poisoned crossbowbolt. Or stick a poisoned knife in him whilst his back is turned. view post


kellhus == good guy?? posted 09 August 2005 in The Darkness That Comes Beforekellhus == good guy?? by Tattooed Hand, Auditor

The assasination attempt appears more futile once you've read The Warrior Prophet. Don't want to spoil that here, but let's just say that if there is someone good enough to take Kelhus out, I don't want to meet them either! view post


kellhus == good guy?? posted 12 December 2005 in The Darkness That Comes Beforekellhus == good guy?? by precentor, Commoner

Quote: "Tattooed Hand":2cyrwhq7

Having studied Just War ethics, I can bring an example from such a context. The Catholic Church, before the Crusades, unequivocally held that killing was wrong. When soliders went to war, they were required to beg for forgiveness for their sin of killing.
[/quote:2cyrwhq7]

i think the reality is more nuanced than that. the crusades were the first war waged by christendom for (putatively) religious reasons; killing the saracens in a war to recover the holy land was seen as more like executing malefactors than making war on fellow-christians. and that's probably more of a latin/western thing, which comes from augustine and that lot, and which has its root in the penitential manuals that became popular in the 7th-8th centuries; the east never took that view of war, and being a soldier in the service of the christian empire was seen as a perfectly acceptable and virtuous (i.e. not sinful) calling. view post


kellhus == good guy?? posted 12 December 2005 in The Darkness That Comes Beforekellhus == good guy?? by Tattooed Hand, Auditor

I'm afraid you are wrong. Christian soldiers fought against Muslims - sarascen is a derogatory slur and I don't care to use it shorn of quotation marks - in Spain and Italy before the Crusades. In both cases soliders were required by the Church to repent their sin of killing another human being. At the start of the first Crusade, the Pope issued a Bull saying that killing a Muslim (or a Jew, thousands were slaughtered in the Rhineland by the Crusaders on their way to the Middle East) was outside this definition.

A lot had to do with the collapse of the Roman Empire and the relative poverty of Christian European kingdoms vis a vis the more cultured and wealthy Muslim Spain. The former denounced the latter as morally corrupt to make themselves feel better (to grossly simplify things). The representations of Muslim which followed made the later Papal Bull possible. view post


kellhus == good guy?? posted 12 December 2005 in The Darkness That Comes Beforekellhus == good guy?? by Tattooed Hand, Auditor

I didn't mean to imply that being a soldier was a sin in itself, since protection against direct agression was seen as a necessary evil (violence-wise), but breaking a commandment was breaking a commandment, and if you killed someone you had to confess and repent at the end of the day.

I do wonder how this view varied with the various Eastern Christian churches. view post


kellhus == good guy?? posted 13 December 2005 in The Darkness That Comes Beforekellhus == good guy?? by precentor, Commoner

Quote: "Tattooed Hand":3u8h1rxo
I'm afraid you are wrong. Christian soldiers fought against Muslims - sarascen is a derogatory slur and I don't care to use it shorn of quotation marks - in Spain and Italy before the Crusades. In both cases soliders were required by the Church to repent their sin of killing another human being. At the start of the first Crusade, the Pope issued a Bull saying that killing a Muslim (or a Jew, thousands were slaughtered in the Rhineland by the Crusaders on their way to the Middle East) was outside this definition.

A lot had to do with the collapse of the Roman Empire and the relative poverty of Christian European kingdoms vis a vis the more cultured and wealthy Muslim Spain. The former denounced the latter as morally corrupt to make themselves feel better (to grossly simplify things). The representations of Muslim which followed made the later Papal Bull possible.[/quote:3u8h1rxo]

but again, the idea of soldiers doing penance for killing enemies (of whatever stripe) comes from ambrose and augustine. it's not to be found in the earlier fathers. augustine is 5th century, and his views don't find universal acceptance; he's an immense influence on the west (which is where the penitential manuals which prescribe set penances for particular sins come from), and irrelevant to most eastern christians. eusebius (3rd century), in fact, declared that christian soldiers were morally obliged to go to war on behalf of the church, if ordered to do so by the emperor. the east never repudiated that idea.

i'm not saying i think you were wrong--i'm just saying that there is nuance and complexity, and that the idea of soldiers needing to do penance for killing enemies comes from late antiquity at the earliest (or the early middle ages, depending on where you draw the line).

and the roman empire's collapse was a long process, not an event. for most people in the former (western) empire, things didn't change drastically. peter brown, among others, is very convincing on this point. view post


kellhus == good guy?? posted 13 December 2005 in The Darkness That Comes Beforekellhus == good guy?? by Tattooed Hand, Auditor

OK, although most Crusaders were from the Catholic kingdoms.

But, what were we originally talking about of which the historical example was a part? view post


kellhus == good guy?? posted 22 January 2006 in The Darkness That Comes Beforekellhus == good guy?? by DB_Cooper07, Commoner

Redaing what I have, he has his own agenda, for good or for bad.... he fights along with the Inrithi... we are given thier side of things... who can say which side is really good or bad... or even if there is such a thing. Seems to me that forcing your religion upon others isn't necessarily good either. There are a lot of hidden agendas left to be uncovered at the end of the "Darkness". We will just have to see. view post


kellhus == good guy?? posted 27 March 2006 in The Darkness That Comes Beforekellhus == good guy?? by glaz, Peralogue

if i read this as a manuscript, without expecting and knowing anything, id say kellhus is the bad guy at first glance.

but then again, because of who he is, id still root for him, even if he's the bad guy view post


kellhus == good guy?? posted 08 August 2006 in The Darkness That Comes Beforekellhus == good guy?? by Nerdanel, Peralogue

I think Kellhus is evil, even though he wouldn't see himself that way. I see Kellhus essentially as an improved edition of Ikurei Conphas ...and the skin-spies. He is better at what he does than either, but he isn't any nicer.

I think it's clear that Conphas is a clever sociopath. He has no lover nor remorse. Kellhus is also like that, but with his mastery of faces he is able to hide it far better. Nobody will see it in his face when he's contemplating the benefits and drawbacks of killing someone. I think a sociopath may be the only true evil there is - beyond the scope of more human-scale evils of people like Cnaiur - and the Dûnyain are Conditioned to be sociopathic.

Kellhus is also much like the skin-spies. In the Prologue we learn that Nonmen used the Dûnyain to infiltrate human societies in order to sow discord, war, and suffering. It appears that the Dûnyain were essentially weapons forged for a purpose. Even undirected, they would have retained this heritage of evil, as the Dûnyain culture appears extraordinary unchanging.

I belong firmly to the "Kellhus is scary" camp. I think it's a testament to his powers of persuasiveness that all the readers don't see him the same way. He reminds me of Sauron taking over Númenor and Lord Foul infiltrating the Council of Lords in other literature, but we've never seen the process this close and detailed. view post


kellhus == good guy?? posted 06 September 2006 in The Darkness That Comes Beforekellhus == good guy?? by Harrol, Moderator

Nerdanel I do not think that the nonmen are using the Dunyain to infiltrate human society to sow discord. The consult is using skin spies to do that job. view post


kellhus == good guy?? posted 25 October 2006 in The Darkness That Comes Beforekellhus == good guy?? by Gutts, Commoner

Kellus is indeed manipulative, but bad guy? I doubt it. The first fight in book one rings too true to me. Also he used leweth but he did try to protect him from the shranc. He told Leweth to run and Leweth said that it was impossible to outrun the shranc(sp?). He acknowleged that and said that that was true but he can slow them down. Seems to me that he could have just left him to die. And this was after he gained everything he needed from Leweth. view post


kellhus == good guy?? posted 25 October 2006 in The Darkness That Comes Beforekellhus == good guy?? by Harrol, Moderator

Gutts that appears to be true to me too. By the way welcome to the board. If you do not mind go to the welcome section and introduce yourself. Tell us how you got the name Gutts it is very familar to me. view post


kellhus == good guy?? posted 25 October 2006 in The Darkness That Comes Beforekellhus == good guy?? by Warrior-Poet, Moderator

kellhus is definitely a bad guy in my opinion, when he does something its only to serve his own goals.

No matter how good his intentions seem at a time in the end, it was to serve his purposes. view post


kellhus == good guy?? posted 30 January 2007 in The Darkness That Comes Beforekellhus == good guy?? by Purple Library Guy, Commoner

I think the foundations of ethics, by which we might judge someone to be "good", always come down to variations on the "do unto others as you would have others do unto you" and the idea that people must be treated as ends in themselves, not just means to an end. All of ethics originates in that basic insight, that sort of denial of solipsism, that accepts that other people are, in fact, people just as you are a person, and that it would be wrong of you to do things to them that you'd be upset by if they did them to you. That basic notion that it's essential that the rules be the same for everybody threads its way through ideas of democracy, justice, law and religion. One of my favourite examples is Rawlsian justice theory. This basic concept doesn't seem to change much over time or across cultures. What's different generally is the excuses people come up with for ignoring it, and what particular areas different cultures find it important to do so.

By that yardstick, Achamian is a fairly good guy, and very few of the other major characters is.
Cnaiur is an odd case--He's extremely violent, but his twisted worldview sees it as perfectly OK for everyone in the world to be violent back. He wouldn't mind if everyone else behaved as he did; indeed, he finds it strange and effete that they don't. He remains evil in that he doesn't take into account or care that the rest of the world that he's violent to don't feel the same way. But I nonetheless have a strange sympathy for Cnaiur, partly because this kind of good/evil assessment doesn't touch the complexities of individual character and background. He has some really heavy and strange forces acting on him, and he's caught strangely, between an intelligence whose potential keeps reaching past his limited, static cultural barriers, and the damage that causes to the stability and solidity of his guides to action and self-worth.

Measuring by this basic morality, it seems pretty clear that Kellhus has no ethics in the normal sense. His position is absolute, and as someone suggested further up I find that Conphas is oddly related to him. Both consider other people to be means to their ends and nothing more, both have an intellectual understanding of the things that make other people tick but rightly or wrongly consider those things not to apply to them; both also figure they don't *need* to live within any sort of contractarian considerations because they are sufficiently more competent than everyone else that in the war of each against all, they will handily win. Conphas turns out to be wrong, in some ways a foil to show how badly outclassed a normal brilliant psychopath is by Kellhus, even given the initial advantage of very high birth, wealth and power. Basically, Kellhus' exclusive selfishness and absolute disregard for the welfare, let alone rights or autonomy, of others make him the moral equivalent of a psychopath. The one question he never seems to confront seriously is what all this logos is supposed to be *for*--logic can't be an end in itself, it's a means by which to pursue ends. The ends themselves cannot be founded in logic; if you have an end that seems to be founded in logic, you haven't gone back to look at where the logic chain started that it's founded in. Kellhus is as vulnerable to a little kid continually asking "why?" to every answer as anyone else, but seems not to realize it. I have a sneaky suspicion Bakker is well aware of this; it's an intentional, fundamental flaw or limitation, possibly even an Achilles heel in the end.

One or two people on the thread have mentioned Kellhus' objectives, and whether their worthiness might justify his methods. Well, no, they wouldn't. Normal arguments about whether ends justify means don't even really apply. We're talking about someone who, if convinced there would be no longer term consequences, would kill a thousand people for a steak dinner. He would use the same methods no matter how trivial his ends might be. But in fact, there's nothing particularly "good" about his objectives in any case. He's been sent to find his father, and he clearly wants to do so. It's unclear why. Initially it was largely because of the Dunyain's extreme discomfort with the appearance that the father was capable of some kind of paranormal power, something that didn't fit into their views on logos. The whole magic thing bothered Kellhus for some time. There certainly seems to be some indication that either Kellhus needs to be in a very strong position before he finds his father, or anticipates that they may have some shared objective that will require big armies. Otherwise presumably Kellhus could have just gotten on a trading ship and gone there, perhaps in the guise of a pilgrim, rather than hijacking a whole crusade. Whatever the reasons, even if somewhere in the background they include some sort of filial feeling, they certainly don't seem to involve anything unselfish. Similarly the desire to attain some kind of intellectual enlightenment is purely a desire for him personally. It's a respectable desire, but hardly one that justifies objectifying others.

Does that effective psychopathy make him evil as such? Well . . . matter of definition. Normal psychopaths are often viewed as evil, but perhaps that's sloppy thinking. Kellhus doesn't actively prefer death or pain, as for instance the Consult constructs do. He just doesn't care. What I will say is that if the No-god weren't on the point of coming back and ending the world, I'd say the main plot question would be "Will Kellhus somehow get his?"
In fact, on an emotional level I often feel as if, despite the fact that the consult are out there, despite Achamian's dreams, despite the horror of the No-god, despite the implications all over the place that Kellhus is the only one who can save the world from all that, I'm *still* more worried about whether someone will finish him off. His existence is a danger to the world, and speaking as someone who really, really hates the idea of being dominated by anyone, and hates the idea of emotional domination far worse than the notion of just being physically tossed in jail, if I knew he existed I would fear and hate him beyond all reason. I wouldn't just want to kill him--I'd get violent with anyone who wanted me to *meet* him, potentially exposing me to the bastard's mind control. view post


kellhus == good guy?? posted 31 January 2007 in The Darkness That Comes Beforekellhus == good guy?? by Warrior-Poet, Moderator

First of all I'd like to say I really enjoyed reading your post, not only was it eloquently written, it was also largely to the point and insightful, and for that alone I thank you. However what brings me to respond to your post was this

The one question he never seems to confront seriously is what all this logos is supposed to be *for*--logic can't be an end in itself, it's a means by which to pursue ends. The ends themselves cannot be founded in logic; if you have an end that seems to be founded in logic, you haven't gone back to look at where the logic chain started that it's founded in. Kellhus is as vulnerable to a little kid continually asking "why?" to every answer as anyone else, but seems not to realize it. I have a sneaky suspicion Bakker is well aware of this; it's an intentional, fundamental flaw or limitation, possibly even an Achilles heel in the end.



This a very insightful thought, as Im not sure whether or not you are a philosophy enthusiast I cannot say whether or not you have ever heard of Parmenides which is where I first learned the concept of logos. In the case that you are unfamiliar with Parmenides then I will use a very good quotation explaining Parmenides' prologue to his poem.

The Prologue to the poem describes Parmenides sudden insight into truth as a religious experience guided by divine hands. A chariot is described as bearing Parmenides torward "the gates of the ways of Night and Day." Guided by the maidens, he passes through into the realm of the goddess Dike ir Justice. He is there taught "the way of truth" and encouraged to "judge" or "examine" truth through "reason" or "rational discourse"(logos as it is described) -Great Thinkers of the Western World, Harper Collins


I would go on to say much more however as I was writing I realized I would be spoiling future books in my examination of such. However I do encourage you to write more and post more of your insight. view post


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