Daybreak Dev Diary #5 : Human Perception, Bias, and Ethics

Daybreak was never meant to be 'mere' entertainment. I hoped to use it as a platform to spread knowledge, and volume 3 covers an increasingly relevant topic in today's world.

The fact that as humans, we all have a severe mental blind spot.

We happily ignore flaws and weaknesses in our own argument, but would stop at nothing to pick on the opinions of those we disagree with. Sadly, our brains are wired in such a way that the region used for "conflict resolution" and "logic" are biologically separate (i.e. it is neurologically impossible for you to NOT get emotional when facing disagreement); furthermore, our minds chemically reinforces the concept that "we are right and they are wrong", making it even harder to break out from self-centric thinking.

Psychology terms this Cognitive Bias.

 

Today, we live in a world that is increasingly divided: where Internet search engines draws us towards groups that reflect our own opinions, where every form of media increasingly imitate an Echo Chamber that proliferates one-sided views, where anonymous trolling of those whom we disagree with has somehow become an 'acceptable norm', etc... In this environment, it bears remembering that while we may sound righteous in our own perspective, we are often blind to flaws within our own reasoning. Meanwhile, opposing views will ALWAYS sound wrong at first glance due to how our brain chemistry reacts to conflict. Only by stepping back and calmly analyzing both viewpoints from a distance can we recognize our own failings and not just point fingers at others'.

...And 'Cognitive Bias' affects far, far more than just human relationships. In fact, it creates pitfalls in everyday life.

Daybreak's volume 3 is meant to highlight how these mental blind spots can cripple our behavior (Sylv's most of all), oftentimes leading us to blame others despite their best of intentions. However, it also tells a story of how these biases interact with another major issue in the world:

That ethics and morality is subjective.

Almost every viewpoint and methodology in the world has its own strengths and flaws. Nevertheless for most people, the society in which we were raised determines most of our moral/ethical views, and too many never challenge this view but blindly push it like some evangelizing zealot. The most overbearing of this -- in my opinion at least -- are the "western values" that the most influential region of the modern world endlessly propagate. There's a certain set of lines I like to use to describe this:

Eight hundred years ago, Christendom saw all those who reject the teachings of Christ as vile heathens.
Four hundred years ago, the White Man saw it as his destiny to lead the inferior races of the world.
Today, the 'West' exports democracy and liberalism as though they are the only acceptable means of government and society.
Are we truly moving forward?

Readers of Daybreak might notice that I am a proponent of Pluralism (diverse, competing, and mutually-restraining centers of power in society), Meritocracy (promotion based on performance), and Constitutionalism (supremacy of the law over leaders). However, I am not a fan of Democracy. Because as a species, we're simply not evolved enough for it...

 

TL;DR, as a wise (but very biased) British Prime Minister once said:

The best argument against Democracy is a conversation with the average voter - Winston Churchill

Anyway, off the touchy subject and back to general ethics.

The Paradox game Stellaris once did an admirable job of dissecting social ethics down to four fundamental axis, none of it being inherently 'good' or 'evil'. They are:
Collectivist - vs - Individualist (is good for the masses more important than good for the individual?)
Spiritual - vs - Materialist (is our spiritual conscience more important? or the well-being of our bodily selves?)
Militarist - vs - Pacifist (is force the ultimate answer to all problems? or must it be avoided at all costs?)
Xenophobe - vs - Xenophile (should foreign ideologies and differences be embraced? or repulsed in the name of social stability?)

"...And if you think any of those questions are easy to answer, then I haven't been doing my job." - Crash Course

Coincidentally, I use these four axis -- along with nine steps along each axis -- to describe the ethical views of Daybreak's characters. For example, a major conflict in volume 3 is the difference in approach between Edith-Estellise and Pascal. Edith, being raised in a convent, has a staunch, untainted sense of virtue that adheres to the Bible in its truest form. But while she is 'morally correct' (certainly by Christian standards), she clashes entirely with Pascal, who was raised by Weichsel's marshal and believes that sacrifices, however cruel and callous, are inherently necessary in achieving real, tangible results. This fact is reflected in their ethics:

Pascal : Collectivist (strong) - Militarist (average) - Materialist (average)
Edith : Spiritualist (fanatical) - Collectivist (average) - Xenophobe (mild)

It may surprise you but Kaede does NOT share the same side of Spiritualist-Materialist axis as Pascal. Pascal's unquestioning acceptance of the Holy Father is because he doesn't really care, while Kaede does takes her 'spiritual conscience' seriously, despite not adhering to a single religion. That being said, she probably has the most moderate (middling) views of all the characters, which is reflective of the tremendous cultural gap that she was raised in.

Kaede : Pacifist (mild) - Spiritualist (mild) - Collectivist (mild) - Xenophile (mild)

I've also observed that many times when readers disagree with a character's actions, it is because their ethical views are on the opposing side of one axis. For example, Kaede doesn't aggressively push technology and science upon Hyperion because she's not a Materialistic technophile. She doesn't always agree with the Hyperion way of doing things, but she's not out on a mission to impose her cultural values upon them either (which is mildly Xenophobic behavior).

So the next time you disagree with someone else -- whether it be a character or a person in real life -- consider why your opinions clash: what's their viewpoint? Where do they stand? What background makes them see the world that way*? You may not agree with their ethics, but you will better understand their personality from it. And understanding, is the first step to getting things done, be it forming bonds or forging compromises.

(*this is actually my test for a well-developed character: I should be able to link their ethics and motivations with their background.)

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43 thoughts on “Daybreak Dev Diary #5 : Human Perception, Bias, and Ethics

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  1. Kearnaun

    Thank you again for the epilogue, the dev diary and all the other goodies! *bows deep* Soo, somewhere down there in the comments I read something about Vol.4 starting with a bang. You are not dropping another Nuke on us though, hm? *whistles not so innocent at all*

    Reply
      1. Hakurei06Hakurei06

        Ah, speculation, insider trading, book cooking, and all other sorts of securities fraud.

        Actually, are company shares the only security being traded at the moment?

        Reply
        1. Kearnaun

          Stock market? Ouch! A big implosion instead of an explosion then? And I have to say, I'm kind of curious how magic might influence all that stock trading.

          Reply
        2. AoriiAorii Post author

          @Hakurei: Yes
          @Kearnaun: Not sure if magic would. But then, haven't gone thru brainstorming yet.

          Reply
  2. Glacierfairy

    Congratulations for completing volume 3! I must say one of the biggest reasons why I enjoy this story so much is precisely because it is not mere entertainment. Mindless entertainment are a dime a dozen, but truly thought-provoking entertainment like this are just simply uncommon, so I really look forward to the next volume.

    By the way, I have two minor questions regarding your edits. In chapter 2 and in the epilogue, Gabriel's seat of influence is mentioned as "Belgae", but elsewhere in the volume (ie., chapters 5 and 6) it is mentioned as "Fryslân" instead. Similarly, in chapter 7, Lady Edith's phoenix is named as "Durendal", but elsewhere it is "Durandal". So I wonder which is the correct name for these two cases.

    Reply
    1. AoriiAorii Post author

      Frack...
      I changed the region's name from 'Fryslân' (meaning Friesland, a region in Holland) to Belgae (the original Celtic name for the Holland/Belgium region) during the course of the book (after I learned it from some Roman history videos). Clearly forgot some of the chapters where the name was used.
      Durendal needs to be fixed to Durandal (which seems to be the most used French name for it).
      Thanks for bringing it up.

      Reply
        1. AoriiAorii Post author

          Only the first three seasons. Season 4 was so biblical it made even the Bible Study group people I know go "WTF!?"

          Reply
  3. Needhydra

    i think you should split your dev diaries/1000 word essay into separate webpages and have a link to in the announcements. Becuase A. it would let you link it in the TOC for a easy reference back to it and B. only have people who are talking about the subject of the dev diaries/1000 word essay in the comments

    Reply
    1. Needhydra

      Also any one else having issues posting comments? i had to edit my comment after it posted some junk instead of my comment

      Reply
      1. AoriiAorii Post author

        Well, it's not like there's a great need to talk about the announcement post =P
        ...Broke the Dev Diary off into page #2...
        I've seen one comment thus far with scrambled words... but only one.

        Reply
  4. JohnConnor

    Conflict have been existed since who knows when, but i know it cant be erased due to variety and different point of view. No matter what your ethnic, race and religion or even you have the same faith and race, as long as you opinion/interest doesn't match with people, conflict appear.
    I would like to give you example from my country, which consist of different ethnic, race and value freedom of religion. My country acknowledge every major religion in this world. Our society live in harmony and peace, however it does not guarantee equality. Discrimination of race and religion always happen to minority. Especially the religious fanatic, i need to correct your opinion in a country that very value the existence of GOD and his prophet. This is a real case that happen in my country right now, those fanatic keep yelling to worship The One True GOD and obey the holy scripture. What make me sad that, mostly we do worship the so called One True GOD, yet they blame us because our GOD and holy book are different (mostly happen to Christian because they worship man as their GOD, they said. Its not my opinion). You are discussing about Politic and ideology and not religion, but try to understand that the religious country cannot separate Politic and religion or try talk bad or make joke about the majority religion and you will be sued for blasphemy. In my opinion, in the end it goes down to MAJORITY and MINORITY. Whoever become the majority whether it is faith, ethnic and race, you will become the part of people that rule the country. Hope this humble opinion of mine will help you more. (This comment only for expressing my gratitude for Daybreak, not for insulting or being rude, also thank you for your hard work . I will support you more from now on)

    Reply
    1. AoriiAorii Post author

      Thanks~
      I'm pretty sure how I wrote vol3 made it clear that politics cannot be separated from religion, because Religious teachings serve as one of the fundamental building blocks of Ethics -- and lawmaking is all about 'enforcing ethics to maintain order'.
      Making fun of any majority ideal -- religious or otherwise -- will get 'blasphemy' called upon you; it's just how most humans response to a conflict of fundamental values.

      Reply
  5. Bareus

    Wohoo, finally can re-read the entire volume. And wow, that's probably the most detailed spreadsheet for characters I've ever seen. Btw, now that volume 3 is finished, will you add some more slice-of-life sidestories? Or will you focus completely on volume 4?

    Reply
    1. AoriiAorii Post author

      mmmmh...
      Vol4 starts off with a bang before it slows down a little (Roazhon = city = shopping! *cough* stocking supplies, totally legit). So for the sake of my sanity, I'd like to write a few slice-of-life extra chapters. The problem is... what?
      (this is why I HAVE to build plots around serious stuff)
      Oh right, there is the leftover scenes that I cut out...
      - 'Meaning of the Edelweiss'
      - 'Reynald and Mackensen's hat'
      Suggestions welcomed o/

      Reply
      1. Bareus

        ok, here are some suggestions I thought out just now:
        - Reynalds baby skywhale. besides that one scene in vol 1 I think we never heard anything from it
        - a day with tofu (again)
        - kaede training with that shiny new morph blade/bow pascal gave her (and thinking about various things while at it)
        - I don't know anymore but have you ever told us how the rune loadout on kaedes arm are replenished/switched?

        Reply
        1. AoriiAorii Post author

          Pascal replenishes the runic loadout himself. There's a comment in early v2 about it.
          Ehhhh, first scene would require me to research the behavior of baby whales... lol
          That reminds me, I still need a scene to describe the quirks of Kaede's archery and her preferences in style.

          Reply
  6. Absum

    Atheism being a religion or not is an ongoing debate I think. The answer seems to depend on your personal definitions of religion, atheism, belief and agnosticism.

    As far as democracy is concerned I'd say we still need to wait a few centuries before we decide if it succeeded or failed. It's current form is still relatively new after all.
    In the meantime I think it's pretty close to the eventual ideal, although I dunno if it's the best path to that ideal. Then again my ideal is very much that, I don't see us getting there anytime soon. We're collectively too assholish for that still.

    Finally, I thought this volume of Daybreak was fine? Admittedly I've been reading the chapters as they come out so I feel I can't speak about pacing or overall themes. It was still a good read at any rate, although thinking back this volume feels very different from volume 1, with 2 being some sort of in-between. The line you added to the Onee-sama part also cleared up my personal confusion so that's nice.

    Reply
    1. AoriiAorii Post author

      I'm going to remove that line about Atheism and religion... it's distracting from the main topic xD

      Democracy has been around for pretty darn long, considering the fact we've had it since the classical period and during the inbetween feudal times the Merchant Republics kept it alive (in a slightly different form).

      vol1 is borderline slice-of-life and comparatively stress free -- which is a style I enjoy writing in, but I can't weave a story around in the long run. But I guess it... kind of gives the wrong impression?

      Reply
      1. PhilippeO

        "Its current form" is still relatively new after all.

        Modern liberal democracy is extremely new, in classical and medieval democracy the franchise for votes is often extremely limited.

        Why no Equality - vs - Achievement / Meritocracy ethics ?

        I support Democracy mainly because its "equal", everyone have one vote, they may make follish, cruel or deluded votes, but at democracy everyone has same value. i generally oppose any other system because they inherently unequal, i don't think someone should have more 'power' over society just because they richer/braver/cleverer/wiser/etc. in modern Democracy everyone is born with one vote.

        Reply
        1. Owl

          The flip side to this is that 'collective wisdom' may not be that wise in general, classic cases being Hitler actually voted into power, which is a case of a dictatorial democracy or the old Russian Congress, which is a Communist democracy or even the current Trump administration which is a... something... democracy.

          The pacifistic democracy or the liberal (relatively speaking compared to the rest of the world) democracy is limited to the West, there are other types of government that can be enacted via 'democracy'. People think democracy is a government. It is not. It is best said to be a way of selecting a type of government, be it militaristic, communist, authoritarian or egalitarian. Unfortunately, people misunderstand, so when others vote for an authoritarian government, 'Westerners' are quick to cry fraud because to them, 'democratic' governments cannot be authoritarian, totally missing the point that democracy is a method of selecting a government the people wants, not the of government itself and an authoritarian democratic government is as valid as an egalitarian, pacifistic one.

          TL;DR: Democracy is how to select a government, not a government type itself. The means to vs the end. Western democracy is technically a bureaucracy mixed with representativism. And sometimes, people just love Alpha males, even if they are murderous tyrants.

          Reply
        2. AoriiAorii Post author

          I'm not an Egalitarian. As I don't believe Egalitarianism and Meritocracy are compatible, but...
          While Egalitarianism is virtually synonymous with Individualism. Meritocracy, however, is more complicated. Most Democratic governments today like to claim they're meritocratic as well. However...

          Open elections and Meritocracy certainly AREN'T compatible, because only individuals within a profession can tell how well another person did in that profession (i.e. how do you know if a bridge is designed well or not if you're not a Civil Engineer? Unless they royally screwed up it usually takes years for the flaws to show in an obvious manner).

          "People are unequal—as they differ in virtue, intelligence, knowledge, ability, etc. Hence, it is not plausible to give everyone equal rights without considering their standings." - Modern Confucianism on Democracy

          There are VERY few Pacifist Democracies in the world today. Most of the western powers still believe that "force" is the ultimate solution (remember that Militarist isn't just about war; using Diplomacy or Commerce to browbeat another is fine too)

          "War is the continuation of politics by other means" - Clausewitz
          "All diplomacy is a continuation of war by other means." - Zhou Enlai

          Reply
          1. Owl

            That wasn't really directed at you Aorii but I do get your point.

            As for the pacifistic democracy...well...for copy, they'll say they are peace loving and kind and come to bring people a better life, but we all know better lol. They still have to say it for the record though.

          2. zog11

            I just wanted to point out a few points again I will try to keep this short if anyone remembers my previous points on history and imperialism.

            1. Egalitarianism is only one form of individualism, as is some forms of meritocracy so try not to conflate the two terms. The creation of these terms are from competing schools of thought within broader (social, political, economic) debate both however are broadly defined as individualistic theories rather than collective or group based theories. (it’s a little more complicated)

            I generally prefer or take a Rawlsian (John Rawls) or Weberian (Max Weber) approach to meritocracy so I am more focused on equality of opportunity and limiting social class division between unequal human beings.( in case anyone is interested.)
            You can argue differently but you might want to have a read some more recent political thought, the point is I tend to see them as different issues within a broader debate. (in political economy) not mutually exclusive, anyway it's an interesting debate that I would encourage people to read about it.

            2. Open elections with representative democracy, can be part of meritocracies, if you have equality of opportunity and the input of expert knowledge in forming policies. (the problem is in practice this is hard and you have to make a trade off between expertise and freedom to be elected.) (this is generally done through political party systems but it is a weakness of representative democratic systems as a whole and needs to be mitigated In other ways In the political system)

            I generally take the view that no system of government is perfect as ultimately all human beings are flawed. For me the forms of governmental system's are about the various trade off's with the society it serves. For me Democracy in general (not in every case) is the least worse system we found so far in its various forms. Or rather it the least bad given humanities, economic and social development progress and circumstances.( some social systems may be incompatible it's big debate at the moment in development and conflict political academia)

            Democracy is the worst form of government ... except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time. - Winston Churchill

            3. As for pacifist democracy or political neutral states that tends only to focus on the states policy on the use of military force not economic pressures. (neutral states for instance are willing to impose economic or political sanctions)
            I would argue that the use of force is the failure of diplomacy when dealing with Rational actors and that most western and northern Europe tends to view the use of force as a last resort when the other side is unwilling to compromise or even talk about it.
            (Also I dislike Clausewitz I think his work is generally rather flawed so .... )
            That said states can do a lot of "positive force" to help other states and believing that interactions between states are zero sum or transactional tends to undermine diplomacy in general. The idea of diplomacy is to find solutions to conflicts of interest which benefit all parties not just one.

            Anyway I liked this volume and I just want to say you did really well given the scale and complexity etc. (particularly these last few chapters have been really good) my only suggestion would be look at how you write transitions (between the various view points and scenes) and how it relates with your broader pacing and scope. You could write less detailed battle scenes, if you find that’s easier and focus more on the consequences. Maybe look at the trade offs (does is advance the themes or storyline in the way you would like when planning) you tend to write better when you dealing with social interactions (relationships, political and moral conceptions) so maybe play more to your strengths or what you enjoy. (just something to think about) anyway I hope that’s in some way helpful.

          3. AoriiAorii Post author

            A lot of good points you've made here. I especially agree that thus far, we've yet to discover a "perfect system of government" due to our inherent flaws.

            I find Democracy the 'safest' form of government. It won't make any terrible mistakes, but... neither is it likely to get anything revolutionary done. When everything is happy and dandy, it's great. But it falls short when hard decisions are needed, especially with factionalism deadlocking.

            Meritocracy does not require Individualism. Whatever else about the Mongol Empire, it was both VERY Meritocratic (you can rise to any position outside of the Khan) and VERY Collectivist (punishments were handed out on a group basis: if one soldier deserts, entire squad pays the price).

            -----

            I'd like to think that I've already shortened the battle scenes, focusing mostly on their impact on the characters experiencing them and the political situation. Well, okay maybe not the ch7 scene with Edith... that was me showing off why the Cataliyan army had such a qualitative edge against the Lotharins.

            POV transitions is something I keep tweaking -- the first 2-3 lines of a scene usually notes whose perspective it's in, though I guess it's not always apparent. But yeah... thanks for the advice.

          4. zog11

            I agree factionalism and tendency towards the status quo is often a problem, it also tends toward a reactive policy making agenda, but that's was what it was designed to do as a system of government, safety over progress for everyone. a fully functioning democracy tends to be safer and slower to change.

            I did say some forms of meritocracy, you can have a collective meritocracy particularly in military units.
            In reality no system is purely individualistic or collectivist it is a question of degree.
            Its just that historically it has tended to seen as a individualist theory in that its ability of the individual against another individual's that determines advancement, rather than your richer more powerful family getting you the post through money or power. (Or because you were born in to a particular caste, tribe or family,) Just as an example.

            ----

            On battles it was only a supposed to be just something to consider when planning structure . I think you got the balance right in the later battle chapters. I only mentioned as I re-read the entire volume from the beginning today.(it just something to keep in mind. I over elaborated and didn't read it though properly) The transitions was the main suggestion/advice
            Sorry hope that was clearer ?? I had long week and rushed last paragraph as I was cooking and typing earlier.

          5. Owl

            Just to point out an irony, democracy is the safest form of government...until it becomes unsafe, then all hell breaks loose.

            Most of the world's murderous tyrants and dogmatic zealots enjoy incredible popular support by the people, at least initially. Many of them were even voted into power. The western form of democracy is fairly placid, they burned out their zeal for militarism and authoritarianism in WWII, but other parts of the world still have democratic autocrats. Look at what the Philippines is undergoing right now with their elected president. Is the government undemocratic? He was voted in. Yet he is an authoritarian.

            This is why I say democracy is not really a government but a method of selecting a government, be it a Communist, dictatorial, Fascistic or Liberal one.

          6. zog11

            @ Owl sorry if this I long I just want to elaborate a bit.

            1.(I would argue more unsafe compared to what other system?) ( for example the UK parliament could be destroyed along with all the government and its a safe bet that local councils, local political parties and other institutions police, judges etc. would organise a new general election as soon as possible. the same in other older democratic countries) Democracy is about gaining the consent of majority of people to run a government.(its when lose consent or a majority that you get problems or instability at that point other parts of system of government provide stability) The Northern Ireland Assembly is having a political crisis but its peaceful non-violent and politically democratic. (its a lack of majority agreement that is a problem along with the consocialism in its rules for forming a political government for northern island) Belgium has gone over 541 days between 2010-11 with a care taker government before handing over power, the point is that democracy can be pretty stable despite crises.

            2./3. what we are talking about is "comparative political constitutional design" and how it links to the behaviours of government policy and political actors. Academic research suggest that a significant correlation between design and how parties/actors operate within the system.
            Technically there is nothing wrong with having an authoritarian/communist/nationalist or radically liberal President/Prime Minster/Executive Council forming a democratic government . If he/she/they retains accountability through fair regular elections and is willing to accept the limitations of the democratic system. (term limits, limited powers and willingness to leave office when they lose an election etc.) ( democracy doesn't make government "nice" or "good" to people, the USA is a good example)(lack of healthcare, corporate corruption and lobbying, division between rich and poor, militaristic, neo imperialism in Latin America etc)
            The point is as long as your willing to lose power via elections and not oppress people from standing against you. You can have a legitimate democracy . (for example Iran and Israel are democratic states in practice, despite limited franchise (Palestinian people) and selection of parties. (moderates verse traditionalists in Iran)
            I accept they are not fully functioning democracies but it has brought greater stability and willingness to allow some changes and compromise despite vast differences between the political groups. (They also have lots of other problems for both states, better democracy not really main issue/ problem)

            A fully functioning constitutional democratic system is usually defined as one where all parties accept democratic government is needed and that failure to follow the rules of democratic system will lead to limitation of power or removal from office. (South Korea is a good example) but the development of democratic norms and practice takes a long time and is only part of the system of government. (you can be elected and then lead a coup d'état to gain greater power becoming a military dictatorship, I would argue your not democratic at that point as your exceeding the limits of your mandate)
            The views of political parties and the policy of government are other factors which effect behaviour of people in governments among many others . (judicial power , individual rights , power of sub national institutions, social norm ,religion, ideology etc.) The main point is that the form government effects behaviour particularly in relation to accountability and delivery of policies. Democracy tend to moderate policy making and provide greater stability compared to all the other systems.
            I hope that was some what informative?

          7. AoriiAorii Post author

            @Owl
            Despite being a humanist myself, I actually like President Duterte. The main criticism against him is his bloody war against drugs... well, from everything I've read, the drugs have kind of gone out of control in the Phillipines and successive 'soft' presidents' efforts were only making it worse. Sometimes a society just has to bite the bullet and get the pain over with. His dirty, sexist, racist mouth however I find much less tolerable...

            @zog11
            I should remind that Constitutionalism -- rule of law and limiting power through law -- is also not unique to Democracy. The main foundation for Constitutionalism is Pluralism, where power is split between government bodies and therefore allow them to check one another, and many not-quite-democracies -- such as Constitutional Monarchies and Oligarchies -- do manage to achieve this.
            (I do like it when Democracy form a branch of the government, just... not the executive branch)

          8. zog11

            @Aorii
            I agree totally in fact I value constitutionalism over democracy in any state. (particularly if it is pluralistic in all areas of society, not just legal and political)
            I generally favour a strong multi-party parliamentary democracy with a high degree of federalism and codified bill of rights, with a strong independent non elected, non activist, judiciary as an ideal system, but feel free disagree.
            I am generally sceptical of any executive branch of government and prefer very limited executive powers without consulting the legislative branch of government. (so I am not in favour of purely presidential systems or strong semi presidential systems in principle)

    2. Jared

      Ah, is Atheism a religion, the question (not, really) that defines our times. Oddly enough, I think I have an answer that sheds light on this subject!

      Atheism is not, in fact, a religion... and neither are theism or deism, or Protestantism, or any other categorization that you can think of. But Atheistic Secular Humanism? Well, that's roughly a different issue. Atheistic Communism, or Nietzscheanism, or even things like Roman Catholicism are all the same thing: religions.

      So there's the problem: Atheism isn't a religion, but neither is Christianity necessarily: they're categories of religions that we treat as religions because we're being sloppy. Light shed! And also, you know, light mostly useless.

      Reply
  7. .

    Your people have too many types of ethics, only 1 fanatical and 1 moderate or 3 moderates is allowed. Hacker.

    Reply
        1. Owl

          Actually, back before there was Stellaris, there was a theory of people being classed into 4 types, like a square box with a cross in it, the 4 were IIRC Rational, Experiential, Emotional and one more I can't remember now. This forms the basis of how people make value decisions. Basically one level deeper than the ethos that was mentioned. After all, even a rabid militant has reasons why he chooses to become militant or a pacifist deciding why pacifism is the way to go.

          For example, 2 rabid militants walk into a bar...ptooy, ptooy, wrong...
          2 militants are surrounded. The emotional one might decide to go down all guns blazing while the rational one might surrender hoping to get a better chance later. Does that mean he became a pacifist? No, he's just giving up outright militarism for now since he's a 'rational'.

          Just remembered the last one, Dogmatic lol. He holds his ethos because he was taught that way, no other reason. It is this underlying ethos that people really use to make decisions, not because 'a militant is always militant' or a 'pacifist is always pacifistic'. Hell, even materialists can want or have their zen moments to destress.

          Reply
        2. AoriiAorii Post author

          @Deemerald
          No. It's one of my many social science hobbies (history, culture, political science, management, theology, psychology, philosophy, sociology)

          @Owl
          You thinking about Myer-Briggs?
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myers–Briggs_Type_Indicator
          That's a personality indicator, not an ethos indicator. It tells us about their thinking and behaviorial style, but not their values.
          Similar in the 4 axis approach though, although Myers-Briggs doesn't take into account people who are extreme vs moderate (i.e. those who are say, both Feeling and Thinking).

          Reply
          1. AoriiAorii Post author

            I can't say I like this indicator very much. It's inflexibility is worse than trying to put characters into tropes. In fact, I find the Major Arcana as more useful in defining character than the limited 12 types here...

            Kaede - Sage (she's a scholar and understanding topics is central to her nature) w/ strong aspects of Innocent (protection seeker and fanatically loyal)... she's neither the Orphan nor the Caregiver but her strong empathy/interdependence gives her a shadow of both.
            Pascal - Ruler (Responsibility is his core motivator and Organization his greatest skill) + Warrior (his judgmental attitude towards the world + a ruthless need to succeed), w/ aspects of the Seeker (ambition, perfectionism, occasionally dodges problems)
            Sylviane - Ruler (same as Pascal) + Magician (a visionary seeking to transform reality, but also carries tremendous emotional negatives)

          2. Owl

            Aorii, might be, these things tend to evolve over time like trends. Learned it 20 years ago in a country far far away lol.

            Part of the box was also where the person is to the 'borderline' where he uses x% of one vs y% of another weightage to make a decision.
            As for the split, I'd have to point out that selecting a particular ethos is pretty much a personal decision since it is almost impossible to select an ethos to live that you personally disagree with. Unless you are sort of a masochist that loves denying yourself.

            Personally, I think the Western governments, specifically the US, are stuck. They have been polarized to 'government' and 'opposition' where people have started opposing the others just because they are either not in the same party or because they believe the job of the opposition is simply to oppose instead of offering working alternative working proposals, hence lots of opposition but nothing is done because there really isn't any workable plan behind the opposition.

          3. AoriiAorii Post author

            This always reminds me of a commentary I once heard about Star Wars:

            "You think overthrowing an Empire is hard? Try negotiating a trade deal with the Gungans!"

            Modern media glorify the 'tearing down the bad' too much, never realizing how hard it is to build something to replace it. As a result, often time we rush to tear down and replace it with something... even worse.