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Ynneadwraith
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PostSubject: Re: DE Morality & Empathy   Tue Dec 27 2016, 20:11

BetrayTheWorld wrote:
Ynneadwraith wrote:
Due to the lack of any firm laws (aside form no psykers), they can ask pretty much whatever they want of you in payment for that protection, but it's better than the alternative.

Well, not exactly. It'd still basically be like a capitalist free market, because if one Kabal asks too much from their craftsmen for "protection", those craftsmen just seek protection from a Kabal that gives them a better deal.

Yeah that's what I was trying to get at, but our capitalist markets are restricted by many many laws. In Dark Eldar society, the only restriction would be whether you could get away with something without too much reprisal.

You could argue that the same is true of our system of course, depending on how cynical about capitalism you want to be Wink

BetrayTheWorld wrote:
Ynneadwraith wrote:
You definitely don't need empathy to form relationships, nor to trade effectively, nor to be a fully functional member of society. Psychopaths completely lack empathy, yet are perfectly capable of all of those things (in the case of trading, they tend to be better at it!).

I agree with this part of what you said, but don't agree with the second part of the paragraph. The reason psychopaths can function in society, and are even better in some aspects of society(like sales), is because the rest of society, by and large, are NOT psychopaths. It's estimated that 1 out of 100 people are psychopaths. Psychopaths end up having their greatest problems when they run into OTHER psychopaths. See, the rest of society aren't so "me" focused that they can't let go of it for the briefest of moments. That allows the majority of people to ignore the signs that they're dealing with a psychopath, and just move forward with a deal, even if it isn't structured 100% in their favor. A psychopath, on the other hand, is constantly looking out for themselves, and has a huge problem giving any ground to someone else once they've made up their mind. So things like negotiations would be nearly impossible with a society of psychopaths. Virtually every meetup to buy or sell would devolve into a combat, because neither side would have showed up at the meeting if they didn't think they had the power to enforce their price demands. I could go on and on about this scenario and why it wouldn't work, but I think I've sufficiently pointed out the inherent problem with a society of psychopaths. They're selfish and stubborn to a degree most people will NEVER be able to comprehend.

Interesting insights, but I still think a society of psychopaths could be perfectly functional. Buying and selling wouldn't necessarily descend into combat, at least not physical. Everything would be a struggle to get the most out of things for oneself, but that's hardly uncommon in trade deals in our society...

Just because psychopaths are utterly self-interested, doesn't mean that they have no understanding of when they're in a weaker position relative to their peers. It'd be more about political maneuvering and positioning oneself into a position where you could force your peers into acceding to your demands, than a system like ours where two parties sit down and discuss a mutually agreeable outcome.

Sounds a lot like the description of Kabal society tbh...

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PostSubject: Re: DE Morality & Empathy   Tue Dec 27 2016, 23:16

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Yeah that's what I was trying to get at, but our capitalist markets are restricted by many many laws. In Dark Eldar society, the only restriction would be whether you could get away with something without too much reprisal.

Laws are generally created to account for market failures. Market failures are inefficient. However, it's an accepted practice for firms to break laws so long as the profit is greater than the fines incurred because the fines are there to keep you from doing something *too much*, not not at all. If we assume the Dark Eldar operate under a Capitalist system we can also assume they have market failures. If we assume the gestalt of their society seeks to maximize efficiency and profitability, we can also assume they will attempt to instate "best practices" either through laws or societal pressure (which might as well be the same thing for Eldar), while individual actors simultaneously attempt to work around these best practices for greater personal gain. Basically, they all think the laws apply to everyone but themselves. But they are also all aware they all believe the laws apply to everyone but themselves, so they are all on the lookout for others breaking the law while trying to do so covertly themselves. This means that in practice, the law will only be broken when the perpetrator is absolutely sure there are no witnesses, or at least no witnesses they have not bribed. We can then assume bribery and the excessive carefulness about not being caught in the act are opportunity costs for breaking the established trade regulations, at which point the gains for breaking the regulations would have to be higher than the opportunity costs, meaning in most circumstances, the most efficient way to doing business would be to simply deal on the up and up, because not doing so requires a lot of time, effort, and/or expense.

tl;dr: Market forces are universal, even for evil space elfs.

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PostSubject: Re: DE Morality & Empathy   Tue Dec 27 2016, 23:32

Yeah agreed, market forces would be a main driving force behind regulation of kabal relations.

What I mean would be missing is all the ethical stuff that's mandated by various government bodies. I can hardly imagine the Dark Eldar having laws about minimum wages, working hours restrictions or (god forbid) sick pay Wink

A lot of the more gentleman's rules when taking over other businesses would be unlikely to be followed either. Gentleman's rules like not murdering the CEO of the company you've just taken over. Squishy ethical considerations like that Wink

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PostSubject: Re: DE Morality & Empathy   Wed Dec 28 2016, 01:49

I would point you again to the example of EVE Online where the corporations essentially own a military each. There are most definitely gentlemen's agreements in EVE, in fact those tend to hold more weight than official politics sometimes. For example, I was in a wormhole corp, and wormhole corps were known for being some of the most underhanded people in EVE. We would stalk and murder people, hold bases hostage, etc. Anyone who entered the hole who didn't announce themselves on the chat was blown up, even if they were corp members, and when we were on patrol even that wasn't a guarantee. Yet even we would come to agreements with other corps, help each other out, and honor things like ransoms because if we didn't no one would do business with us. If someone knows that you're going to shoot them the moment they leave hiding, even if you paid the ransom, they're never gonna pay. They'll just take their chances.

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PostSubject: Re: DE Morality & Empathy   Wed Dec 28 2016, 08:51

Fair enough, that seems like solid reasoning Smile

Oh, and I love the idea that EVE Online is a sort of prototype Dark Eldar society Wink

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PostSubject: Re: DE Morality & Empathy   Wed Dec 28 2016, 14:42

Which brings us back to why trading wouldn't work in a society full of psychopaths. No one will show up to a trade where they believe the other party has more physical power/support than them, because to do so would be to voluntarily enter into a situation in which they're at a disadvantage(something a psychopath does not do.). So if they both show up, both parties will think they can win the fight. When both parties think they're the superior force and that the other side should capitulate to their demands, a fight occurs.

But regardless, this is all a moot point anyhow. It's been stated in the 5th ed codex that DE feel everything other eldar feel, perhaps even moreso than any other race. That would include empathy for others, particularly other dark eldar. Think about the horrors mankind has inflicted upon itself in history, and we feel empathy. We've enslaved our own people, committed genocide against our own people, killed our own families(not me, but we), created and spread drugs and ideologies to control people, used patriotism and civic duty/pride to enslave people, used political ideologies to enslave people, used consumerism to enslave people, used religion to enslave people, sawed off the heads of religious opposition with a knife, and dropped nukes on cities full of civilians just to send a message.

It's not necessary to be without empathy to end up with DE society. In a way, their society is more honest than ours. We are just more subtle about our cruelty, and tend to have an excuse.

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PostSubject: Re: DE Morality & Empathy   Wed Dec 28 2016, 15:37

BetrayTheWorld wrote:
Which brings us back to why trading wouldn't work in a society full of psychopaths. No one will show up to a trade where they believe the other party has more physical power/support than them, because to do so would be to voluntarily enter into a situation in which they're at a disadvantage(something a psychopath does not do.). So if they both show up, both parties will think they can win the fight. When both parties think they're the superior force and that the other side should capitulate to their demands, a fight occurs.

But regardless, this is all a moot point anyhow. It's been stated in the 5th ed codex that DE feel everything other eldar feel, perhaps even moreso than any other race. That would include empathy for others, particularly other dark eldar. Think about the horrors mankind has inflicted upon itself in history, and we feel empathy. We've enslaved our own people, committed genocide against our own people, killed our own families(not me, but we), created and spread drugs and ideologies to control people, used patriotism and civic duty/pride to enslave people, used political ideologies to enslave people, used consumerism to enslave people, used religion to enslave people, sawed off the heads of religious opposition with a knife, and dropped nukes on cities full of civilians just to send a message.

It's not necessary to be without empathy to end up with DE society. In a way, their society is more honest than ours. We are just more subtle about our cruelty, and tend to have an excuse.

Agreed on the Dark Eldar front, but I still don't think a society of psychopaths would be incapable of trade, nor would it be non-functional. You're assuming that the only way in which to conduct trade would be by mutual consent. The way it would work in psychopath society would be a lot closer to how hostile takeovers happen in our society. Less of a trade, more one party forcing the other party to give up the goods.

I don't think it would be anywhere near as successful as our society (there's a reason we've evolved so that the majority of us feel empathy, it's an efficient way to conduct interpersonal relations), but I wouldn't think it would be as non-functional as you suggest.

Ultimately, without hard evidence either way I don't think we'll get any proof whether it would or wouldn't work. We've only got hypotheses at this point. Oh, and googling 'psychopath society' just brings up a list of conspiracy sites (done with archaic web design) saying how our society is run by psychopaths...

So, not only is it a moot point from an OP discussion point of view, it's also a moot point for discussion as per Newton's Flaming Laser Sword: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Alder#Newton.27s_flaming_laser_sword

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PostSubject: Re: DE Morality & Empathy   Wed Dec 28 2016, 16:08

Sure, well we can agree to disagree on that part, since it isn't relevent to the topic at hand anyhow, and Dark Eldar have been shown to feel all things eldar feel, which would include empathy. Wink

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PostSubject: Re: DE Morality & Empathy   Thu Dec 29 2016, 00:34

BetrayTheWorld wrote:
Sure, well we can agree to disagree on that part, since it isn't relevent to the topic at hand anyhow, and Dark Eldar have been shown to feel all things eldar feel, which would include empathy. Wink

Deal Wink

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PostSubject: Re: DE Morality & Empathy   Wed Jan 11 2017, 13:04

Dark Eldar society is like a mirror image of an altruistic society, instead of positive reinforcement it remains ordered due to negative reinforcement.

Everyone is out to stab each other in the back if they can but if they do so they risk get stabbed in the back themselves, so it finds an equilibrium of order within this tenuous situation.

I like to think of it like the entire city is a giant prison, the inmates join gangs/kabals to survive. They help each other out in exchange for protection and or to secure resources for themsleves. However from time to time there is a prison riot and people settle old scores. Twisted Evil Vect is like the ruthless corrupt prison warden in this analogy.

Ultimately it seems that the Dark Eldar are characterised by extreme selfishness and as such do not dispose themselves to compassion so the society survives by everyone ensuring they are useful enough to survive. Which in a way makes the society stronger.
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PostSubject: Re: DE Morality & Empathy   Wed Jan 11 2017, 14:01

That's actually a really interesting analogy.

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PostSubject: Re: DE Morality & Empathy   Wed Jan 11 2017, 16:30

Without compassion, without trust, there can be no betrayal.

Even in a prison system with the worst of the worst criminals, there are empathy, compassion, trust, and relationships. Perhaps it's because of my own experience dealing with said criminals that I view this differently than some of you.

There are psychopaths. But they don't even fit in when in jail (There is a higher percent than outside jail, but they're an extreme minority nonetheless).

I mostly agree with your analogy. I entirely believe their society works that way. But I don't believe they wouldn't feel empathy, compassion, trust, etc. Is it less common? Certainly. Much like it's less common in prison. Probably even worse than the worst prison on earth(being grimdark and all), but I'd think it'd be a similar overall model.

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