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What's the right choice, morally?

Posted: 18th March 2015 04:45

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Quote (BlitzSage @ 17th March 2015 21:13)
How is what you're describing not like a lobotomy?
...
And I don't think that chevleclair's option is any more realistic of an option than mine is (after all, it's from a sci-fi show).

Lobotomies usually ended in death, worsened insanity, or the subject came out a vegetable. Even if the killing of his personality caused him to lose the ability to walk and talk(since it's only a possibility that he would), he'd essentially have a chance to redeem himself. To be molded into a good person.
chevleclair's idea is possible in regards to FFVI, given they have magic and can infuse people with Magitek. Using a Slave Crown to fry a brain wouldn't be too hard.

The only real concern I would have is that parties with grudges may attempt to do harm to Kefka after the loss of his old personality and memories.

This post has been edited by Ker on 18th March 2015 04:59

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Posted: 18th March 2015 07:00

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The game didn't say anything more about the capability to destroy synapses than it did what I'm suggesting. I still think this is a digression, but I'll just reiterate one last time my opinion: any procedure that destroys or alters one's personality is a form of murder, just by another name. I see little difference between that and executing him. He wouldn't have a chance to redeem himself, because you essentially killed him, or the thing that made him who he is. Even if you could reprogram his mind it would be a different person, a new personality simply taking over the other bodily systems of the personality you just murdered.

Moving on to a more general question, why such a drastic step, especially one that you can't reverse? Life in prison can be reversed if new evidence came in. We know that has been a major problem in our system. It is unknowable how many people have been killed by barbaric means that were innocent, but we know for a fact that there have been people killed and others on death row waiting to be killed absolved of their crimes. That's why I wanted to move on from our digression. I'm assuming that using Kefka as a springboard into a contemporary and real life moral issues was our goal all along. We're using what we may do for Kefka as a way of exploring what we may do to someone who is actually a war criminal. In other words, yes, they could have used a slave crown, but how does that correlate to the real world? Meanwhile, we do actually have prisons, rehabilitation programs, neutral parties, etc. that do translate from game to real life.

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Posted: 18th March 2015 13:38

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I'm going to bring something up that might seem inflammatory to Blitzsage, here. Please understand that I have enjoyed this debate, and your arguments are very compelling, as well as your own solutions.

On the other hand, there's one thing that always gets me to scratch my head to hiring a crack team of social workers and doctors to monitor this war criminal 24/7 for the rest of Kefka's natural life. What about the collateral damage to Kefka's antics. at the end of the very dinner party, the Empire ceases to occupy Doma. This is a very fine and also very pointless gesture, given the city is supposed to be in ruins and all but one person is to die, right?

Or was there? There's a chance others might be survivors, who lost loves ones to this egregious act. Others who might have been other places during the siege, such as Nikeah or Mobliz. These people have no city to go to. There's no one to help them come home, and no one to clean the mess that Kefka had made.

Meanwhile, Kefka sits in a neat and tidy room, is fed, and allowed many privileges. He's waited on hand and foot by this team of assistants, and to do anything less than that is horrible and inhumane.

Back at the Doma ruins, people pick through the mass graves looking for their loved ones. Looking for something the vultures around the Empire hadn't stolen from them. There could be a young child cradled, weeping against the crux of a cold, lifeless mother's arm or twisted face of an agonized little girl as her parent nuzzles her, wondering why she deserved to die. Thousands of lives destroyed.

Meanwhile, we return to Kefka's life in the asylum. We can't be too late refilling Kefka's mint julep and while we're at it, let's fetch his slippers and today's newspaper, that would be cruel to this poor guy.

I exaggerate how good Kefka's life would be while institutionalized, but you're still spending so many resources to make sure he's comfortable. Meanwhile his victims? They get about Jack point squat to help resume their lives. Why is the murderer more important than the victim? I'm not asking for coddling in general, but why should he be treated so well when honestly, all of that resource and attention could be better spent repairing the damages done.

If this resource is given to him at the expense of those who pay taxes, let me add that those very victims, would also be paying a share to make sure there's an orderly to fetch him his vintage wine and fillet mignon. That doesn't sound like justice to me....

This post has been edited by chevleclair on 18th March 2015 14:22

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Posted: 18th March 2015 13:39

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Quote (BlitzSage @ 18th March 2015 00:00)
I'm assuming that using Kefka as a springboard into a contemporary and real life moral issues was our goal all along...
In other words, yes, they could have used a slave crown, but how does that correlate to the real world?

huh.gif Uh, no. If I really wanted to do that, I'd go find a forum about Jeffery Dahmer (god knows they exist). But I'm in an FF forum, talking about an FF character, and what to do with him.

Why would it beyond what it has to? It's Final Fantasy, and one of the darker ones at that. Mad gods ripping the world to shreds, Espers, magic, none of those correlate with anything that's ever happened, in the real world. I like that you're putting thought into this, but this is Final Fantasy VI. Loosen up a little. Nobody's life (or brain) is at stake.
I think you knew what I meant about a neutral power and answered like that to make a point, so I'm not going to go into it.

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"I'll be judge, I'll be jury," said cunning old Fury:
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Posted: 18th March 2015 20:26

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Quote (chevleclair @ 18th March 2015 09:38)
I'm going to bring something up that might seem inflammatory to Blitzsage, here. Please understand that I have enjoyed this debate, and your arguments are very compelling, as well as your own solutions.

On the other hand, there's one thing that always gets me to scratch my head to hiring a crack team of social workers and doctors to monitor this war criminal 24/7 for the rest of Kefka's natural life. What about the collateral damage to Kefka's antics. at the end of the very dinner party, the Empire ceases to occupy Doma. This is a very fine and also very pointless gesture, given the city is supposed to be in ruins and all but one person is to die, right?

Or was there? There's a chance others might be survivors, who lost loves ones to this egregious act. Others who might have been other places during the siege, such as Nikeah or Mobliz. These people have no city to go to. There's no one to help them come home, and no one to clean the mess that Kefka had made.

Meanwhile, Kefka sits in a neat and tidy room, is fed, and allowed many privileges. He's waited on hand and foot by this team of assistants, and to do anything less than that is horrible and inhumane.

Back at the Doma ruins, people pick through the mass graves looking for their loved ones. Looking for something the vultures around the Empire hadn't stolen from them. There could be a young child cradled, weeping against the crux of a cold, lifeless mother's arm or twisted face of an agonized little girl as her parent nuzzles her, wondering why she deserved to die. Thousands of lives destroyed.

Meanwhile, we return to Kefka's life in the asylum. We can't be too late refilling Kefka's mint julep and while we're at it, let's fetch his slippers and today's newspaper, that would be cruel to this poor guy.

I exaggerate how good Kefka's life would be while institutionalized, but you're still spending so many resources to make sure he's comfortable. Meanwhile his victims? They get about Jack point squat to help resume their lives. Why is the murderer more important than the victim? I'm not asking for coddling in general, but why should he be treated so well when honestly, all of that resource and attention could be better spent repairing the damages done.

If this resource is given to him at the expense of those who pay taxes, let me add that those very victims, would also be paying a share to make sure there's an orderly to fetch him his vintage wine and fillet mignon. That doesn't sound like justice to me....

I have enjoyed the debate also. I don't think pampering him is the right thing, but I'm not sure if we should make moral judgments purely based on what we feel. We certainly shouldn't discount our feelings, because our instincts may lead us to a right answer. But may it feel good to poison him, torture him, place him in a dirty prison? That might feel deserved, but I don't know if it's right to treat him as he treated others. Should we treat a rapist the same way he treated others, or would that not make us rapists also? I don't know, perhaps it's my religious beliefs seeping in... I'm an irrational pacifist, chevleclair!

Let me go personal again to answer more thoroughly. I believe that in the past two administrations there were (and are) war criminals in office, none of which have even been charged. My first reaction is to be outraged at the crimes they've committed. I feel the same way about the Wall Street bankers who, in their greed, nearly brought down the entire system. But that's when I have to remind myself that it's the system, not any individual, that's at the heart of the problem. In other words, let (insert Bush/Obama administration official name here) go off without being charged. Rather than punish the individual, work against the system.

In this case, serve the dead of Doma by doing whatever you can to make sure no one has that kind of power again. Work towards anti-imperialism, or whatever movement that may prevent such an abuse of power.

In other words, I'll admit that my position doesn't offer a happy ending to the individual crimes committed by Kefka. It won't sit well with Cyan that he's still breathing, let alone has a team of people around him. I don't have an answer to that, other than to say that Kefka would still be likely to have lost his freedom forever. This means that he would no longer be able to pursue what he always wanted, which is more power. I wouldn't imagine that it would be a five-star hotel. It would be a hospital-like facility, where he would be constantly monitored and evaluated. The people around him would be doctors, nurses, psychiatrists, security guards, etc., not servants. It's just me, but I imagine more of a hospital-like scenario, with basic hospital (government-provided) food and bedding, which would not be my idea of a vacation.

As for cost. That would be more difficult to describe in-game versus real world. That's because, in the real world, execution is actually much less costly than life imprisonment. I'm not sure what it would cost in game, but in the real world I think it could be feasible, especially since a large portion of the prison abolition movement is about decriminalization. Prisons are much more over-crowded than they should be, with things such as marijuana possession that shouldn't be crimes.

I should also note that these wouldn't ideally be personal assistants. This would be a facility for all "prisoners," after all, my goal would be to replace prisons. Of course, each person would probably need specialized care depending on the situation. Let's say someone who is convicted is also a drug addict. Or let's say someone, like Kefka, may be dangerous to others. The facility could accommodate to their needs and the needs of the community of detainees.

We can try to go deeper into this, but I'm losing my train of thought. My basic feeling is this: 1) punishing harshly will give personal satisfaction, but would not help the victims, in this case Doma, heal; 2) We should attempt to shift focus from the individual criminal to the system that incentivized by providing a platform; 3) I feel that protecting from future harm is more important than punishment, so keeping the criminal away from future victims is more of a key for administering justice (in my opinion, of course); 4) Also in my opinion, I think restricting one's freedom is a sufficient punishment that does not require extra harm to be incurred.

*Running out of mind power*

@Ker

All's good man. I just misunderstood. Welcome to CoN! lol. We CoN-men and CoN-women go deep in our discussion. But I promise that that is the best thing about this forum.

But we're loose, we're good, lol. I'm a polisci and religious studies major. I'm also a colossal dork and have these kinds of discussions for fun!

Not to mention, but it's why I still think FFVI's the best game ever. To think a going on twenty-one year-old game gets me more wound up than anything else.

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Posted: 19th March 2015 12:49

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While you may be right in stating that no one should get the kind of power to do what he does, it's not the only thing that should be done. I just feel that worrying about how humanely a mass murderer is treated should be somewhat less important than how humanely his victims are treated.

It just seemed to make no sense to me that the slightest bit of cruelty to Kefka was so horribly wrong, but there's no regard for those who survived just kind of makes me wonder what justice might be.

Yes, execution seems to be a knee jerk reaction. As I've told you before, however, there's just simply no call to coddle this man. Punishment is swift, severe, and the immediate threat of anyone turning themselves into a massive 100 foot tall deity and suddenly committing a round of genocide on a whim would be neutralized.

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Posted: 20th March 2015 02:44

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Well, it's kind of difficult in this case, because we only know of two survivors. But let's suppose there were survivors. In that case, I would absolutely be more concerned about protecting and dealing with survivors. I think that because we've been primarily talking about prisoners, and I've been talking about prison reform or prison abolition, that it could be misconstrued as being only worried about the wellbeing of the perpetrators of crime. If there were survivors of Doma, and if there were people being harmed in South Figaro, we should deal with the issues of the victims first or simultaneously.

Anything offered to the individual should be offered to the entire community. Just like the victims of a natural disaster, or even on a personal level families driven into destitution, many of which that may have much more need of psychiatric care, the victims of the Empire deserve our attention more than any individual. For that matter, the people in Zozo are in need as much as anyone else. It would require much larger-scale intervention than it would for an individual, but it would be more justifiable.

Making sure that people could not access that kind of power would be the first step in that. We should stop and prevent harm. I don't think that swift and severe punishment would neutralize those threats. Maybe I'm wrong, but I just don't see it. What it seems like to me is that we would be trying to shock people into not committing the same crimes, but it doesn't seek to dismantle the power structures that allow the possibility for such a course of action to be taken.

Let me see if I can clarify my position. Gestahl and Kefka committed atrocities through the means of imperialism. Let's say they are captured and imprisoned. Then they are punished severely. Now, punishing severely is not meant to only administer justice, or give them what they deserve. It's also about attempting to dissuade the actions of others. So, let's say that I have imperialistic ambitions. The hope will be that I'm dissuaded from following in their footsteps. The two problems I have are 1) What guarantee is there that their deaths will actually stop me from following their footsteps, and 2) This is just me, but it doesn't seem to imply that were attempting to dismantle imperialism. Dissuading me or anyone else from doing it implies that we still have the choice to do it.

In other words, serving the victims well may include carrying out justice against Kefka. He may deserve death (not that I say it's right for us to do so), but it should include striving to prevent future harm. That, to me, would honor the victims. Now, we can have questions as to how to do that, whether it is international institutions to protect individuals and provide peaceful mediations, or if it's more in line (with my personal opinions, at least) more in-depth international integration that would be an attempt to prevent one group from dominating or exploiting others. In my opinion, that's a better preventative measure than convincing me or others through heavy-handed justice

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Posted: 20th March 2015 03:31

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First and foremost, we can't be the teensiest bit inhumane to Kefka.. This means the slightest inconvenience or discomfort would be construed as cruel. This is a deterrent for anyone who wants to mass murder? Basically a country club?

Now, his execution would prevent him from doing it again. This is why it's feasible over forcing him to change.

The answer is- the perpetrator has to WANT to reform. he then has to make concerted efforts to try and change, and retain the efforts for the rest of his or her life. Kefka showed no remorse, because he has no conscience (as it is for just about any sociopath) and was never sorry for what he did. Speak to him in the prison, and he actually grumbles about how unfair it is for him to be there.

Also, if you want to go with the psychology of it (I am a psychology major), the horrors of recent events would cause an anti-imperial sentiment among the common people as well. This would also instill a sense of confidence in the average person that they are not helpless to take down anyone who would attempt to follow in that exact same path.

Unfortunately, from a sociological standpoint, social entropy would take effect. Strong central powers would often be feared, and very often be driven from power if the slightest notion of someone stepping beyond accepted bounds were revealed. Such as Europe after the Roman Empire, or the Middle East after the Ottomans fell.

Tyranny has a nasty effect.

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Posted: 20th March 2015 04:16

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Whoa, guys. Breathe a little.

I'm not really an advocate of flat-out torture/public humiliation, but if that's what has to happen to Kefka for his crimes and so there's no huge uproar over him being treated too well, then so be it. I don't think he'd be able to reform, for various reasons.
I think that it's totally inhumane, yes, but if we aren't allowed to be even a bit humane toward him, then it seems like the only option besides execution, or perhaps even the destroying of the synapses.

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Posted: 20th March 2015 04:39

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Quote (chevleclair @ 19th March 2015 23:31)
First and foremost, we can't be the teensiest bit inhumane to Kefka.. This means the slightest inconvenience or discomfort would be construed as cruel. This is a deterrent for anyone who wants to mass murder? Basically a country club?

Now, his execution would prevent him from doing it again. This is why it's feasible over forcing him to change.

The answer is- the perpetrator has to WANT to reform. he then has to make concerted efforts to try and change, and retain the efforts for the rest of his or her life. Kefka showed no remorse, because he has no conscience (as it is for just about any sociopath) and was never sorry for what he did. Speak to him in the prison, and he actually grumbles about how unfair it is for him to be there.

I think that's a bit hyperbolic. You can't equate humane treatment with luxury. I never said that he would be treated as if he were in a country club. Look up the last post when I answered a response of yours that was similar. I specifically compared it the environment found at a hospital, with basic amenities, not a twelve-course meal. So, no, not a country club, never even suggested it for a moment. Humane treatment doesn't mean no discomfort. Inhumane punishment is any punishment that causes unacceptable pain, suffering, or humiliation. We shouldn't jump from that to treating him like a king, because that's not a necessary step. And again, it's one that I've absolutely, 100%, never said.

Execution would prevent him from doing it again, and so would life in prison.

And yes, he would have to be a willing participant. He has to want to reform. And yes, Kefka showed no remorse. But I think that humans can change their minds. Maybe he's a lost cause. Maybe he has no remorse. Maybe he's sociopathic. Good, then we have him in prison (and again, not a country club). He can show no remorse or improvement, and he can remain locked up. Psychopathic or sociopathic patients tend to be resistant to treatment. However, treatments have been shown to work if they focus on self-interested treatment. It seems to me that we're too quick to judge. It could be something that takes decades. It could never happen, but he'd still be in prison not having the chance to hurt other people.

Quote
Also, if you want to go with the psychology of it (I am a psychology major), the horrors of recent events would cause an anti-imperial sentiment among the common people as well. This would also instill a sense of confidence in the average person that they are not helpless to take down anyone who would attempt to follow in that exact same path.


Yes. They took the tyrant down. They removed him from office and placed him in prison. Is it not possible that they could feel confident in that without execution?

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Unfortunately, from a sociological standpoint, social entropy would take effect. Strong central powers would often be feared, and very often be driven from power if the slightest notion of someone stepping beyond accepted bounds were revealed. Such as Europe after the Roman Empire, or the Middle East after the Ottomans fell.

Tyranny has a nasty effect.


I was going to respond to this, but I'm not necessarily sure what you mean by it. I think I'm reading it wrong, but the second sentence appears paradoxical to me. Fear of central authority is what most often keeps people from driving said authority out of power. Again, I'm not entirely sure what the point is.

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Posted: 20th March 2015 13:01

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If the debate is getting overly intense, I apologize. I'm highly stimulated by it. I'm not very angry by it at all.

The part about social entropy was in counter to the argument of someone following in his footsteps.

Prison, meanwhile, there's a chance he may escape. Society itself will still breakdown, and believe me, that would only help him in the short term. You have studied the concept of mass panic, I assume.



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Posted: 22nd March 2015 06:38

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I'm sorry too, especially if I sounded angry. As I just told Ker earlier, the internet is a limited form of communication, and a lot is lost from your mind to the keys that is unfortunately not conveyed. But it's just a difficult question, one with many layers.

Oh, and okay, I was reading the last part from a biased perspective (I'm against central authority, so I think getting rid of it's a good thing). I haven't studied mass panic in great detail, and not a all from the psychological perspective. It is possible that he could escape, and that it might cause mass hysteria, at least briefly. But prior to his fusion with the Goddesses, Kefka was viewed as a threat no through his own physical capabilities but rather through the power he's allowed to wield. It's not necessarily a Sephiroth situation where there's going to be a trail of blood. Once robbed of his position, I think his threat is mostly minimalized. Will there be people that want to kill him? Certainly. I would say that preventing his death is primarily through preventing execution. If he does escape, though, he's putting his life into his own hands, giving people like Cyan all the excuse they'd ever need to attack him without the Imperial Army backing him up. I'll admit there's a danger in keeping him alive, but I think that it's manageable.

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