meta ethics

People tend to describe Sera as an anarchist, but I don’t think she’s purely politically motivated, rather a trickster figure and agent of chaos/chaotic good.  Her philosophy is essentially humanist, and she explicitly rejects the idea of using her energy to force a political coup.  She doesn’t believe in operating within the system nor in creating any other systems, but in finding ways to exist despite the system, in the cracks of the system.

She has thought through her moral stance and it is internally consistent from that POV, but her complete disregard for existing structures means that no one takes her ethics seriously.  The theological and bureaucratic details of her religion do not even matter to her, only its capacity to provide comfort and meaning.

She has her blind spots to work though, but basically she’s motivated by a deep compassion and the reality of feeling infinitesimally small, constantly trampled under the machinations of a pitiless overclass

This is something that I’ve been wrestling since I joined the Lazytown fandom, and I’d really like to discuss it with other people.

How do I, as one of the older people in the fandom (28), make sure that I am keeping the fandom safe for younger fans, and also make sure that I’m not indirectly contributing to the manipulation (and abuse) that young people already often face at the hands of older people they meet on the Internet?

(This is not about minors in the fandom, or making sure it remains safe for them, or preventing pedophilia. That’s another whole issue, AND MORE IMPORTANT, BUT NOT WHAT THIS POST IS ABOUT. I post NSFW on my blog, so my blog is not fit for minors, and I don’t follow minors knowingly [meaning if I didn’t know their age when I followed them and learn later that they are a minor I unfollow].)

This also isn’t a simple matter of “just don’t be creepy!!” or “just do the right thing”. There are layers, and very subtle things can have problematic implications.

I like to help out people in this fandom because this fandom has helped me out. I commission people, help financially support them, and genuinely try to help however I can. As an older person, I have to constantly self-police and reevaluate that what I’m doing doesn’t even have a tinge of the appearance of being manipulative. While I wouldn’t dream of such a thing, I realize how things can look or feel. Intent doesn’t matter. Impact does.

There’s also another layer of responsibility here - even if I succeed as being a helpful, completely benevolent older person in the fandom, how do I make sure that I’m not setting up dangerous expectations for younger fans? Young people are more impressionable, so how do I make it clear that they should always be critical of older fans who offer them help/money/whatever?

Anyway, I think about this a LOT, because it’s any older fan’s responsibility in a fandom with a younger fanbase. I also don’t pretend to be perfect. I would really like to hear from other fans (both young and older, and inside or outside the LT fandom). What do you think I should be doing? What does it mean to be a ethical, responsible older fan?

Sam and Dean’s ethical codes

I was thinking about Supernatural this morning (well it’s kind of the only thing I think about). And I started thinking about Sam’s morality, and how it is absolutely fascinating because it’s so contradictory and complex, as well as Dean’s.

Dean is a deontologist. Sam is a consequentialist. I put the links to the Wikipedia pages because it was faster than explaining the concepts myself (also philosophy belongs to the Italian part of my brain, so I would have to translate my thoughts in English instead of producing them directly in English, so forgive me) but if you have any doubts or questions, please ask ahead.

Long story short, Sam judges the goodness or evilness of his actions based on the results of his actions. Dean judges the goodness or evilness of his actions based on whether he believes that those actions are inherently good or bad.

Of course these are their moral codes, which means that they don’t necessarily follow them all the time or that they can be absolutely followed in the concrete circumstances of reality. In fact, the most fascinating moments are the ones where either Sam is faced with having to choose whether to do something or not based on the inherent goodness or evilness of the action itself, or Dean is faced with having to do something he deems bad because of the result it would bring.

But deep down, Sam’s ethics are consequentialists, while Dean’s ethics are deontological. Sam does consider the Ruby deal and the demon blood bad, but eventually he regrets them because the result of those actions was bad. If killing Lilith wasn’t the last seal, if killing Lilith would have indeed prevented the apocalypse, he would have deemed the demon blood thing as something that was just the best option he had, although something better would have been preferable. Dean, on the other end, doesn’t care about what end the action could bring. If the action is bad, it’s bad, and you shouldn’t do it.

I’m not demonizing either of them. Both consequentialism and deontology are valid ethic codes, and can’t be confuted. Each of us is either a consequentialist or a deontologist (or something in the middle of the two extremes, of course), so each of us would see Dean and Sam’s ethics differently. If you’re a consequentialist, you’d see Dean as unnecessarily and often damagingly rigid; if you’re a deontologist, you’d see Sam as dangerously verging on immoral.

But what makes Sam and Dean even more fascinating, is that their moral code doesn’t stop there, in fact is way more complex.

Because, after considering that Sam is a consequentialist and Dean is a deontologist, you’d expect Sam to see the world in a scale of grays while Dean sees the world in black and white. But it’s the opposite, actually.

For Sam, someone is either good, and must be protected, or evil, and must be killed painfully. This is why the idea of Azazel contaminating him with demon blood is so devastating for him - because he can’t decide whether he himself is good or evil. He can’t really conceive the idea that you can be a mixture of goodness and badness. Dean is good so he deserves to be cured of the Mark and live. Crowley is evil so he deserves to die choking on his own demon-ness.

I’ve always found the episode Hook Man extremely interesting. Because Lori represents Sam (it’s the episode just after Skin, when we have the shapeshifter that takes Dean’s form, now we basically have Lori “taking Sam’s form” in a way). Lori causes people to be killed by the Hook Man because she deems them as immoral. Her sex-seeking boyfriend, her sexually disinhibited best friend, her hypocritical father - deep down her mind, she has labelled them as deserving punishment. Of course she’s doing it completely involuntarily and she’s horrified when she finds out what’s happening. Sam, on the other hand - if the Hook Man had attached to him, would he be horrified to discover that he was causing the death of people he judged as evil? I don’t think he would be that upset. A little shaken, of course, because, well, a ghost who kills people you deem evil is not exactly your everyday event. It wouldn’t really be such a bad idea for Sam, deep down, though.

Dean, on the other hand, is used to see people as gray instead of black and white. Although you could argue that in the beginning of the show, he was like that too. But I don’t think so. We have to separate Dean-Dean from the John-built-persona-Dean. Dean-Dean knows people are not either 100% evil or 100% good. He knows perfectly well he’s not 100% evil or 100% good himself (even after Hell, he considers himself weak and messed-up and unworthy, not “evil”). Dean also knows perfectly that his father is not 100% evil or 100% good. He pretends that John is always right and always does the best he can, but he never deludes himself into thinking that John is 100% good. His whole life is a proof of that, after all (believe me - if a person makes your mother cry, you’ll never be able to see them as 100% good just from that). Dean imposes the “black and white way of seeing the world” on himself out of survival instinct. And I’m not only referring to survival-from-monsters, but also survival-from-John. He models himself after what John wants him to be because he has to.

But deep down, his world is much “grayer” than he makes it seem. That’s why he is able to make such a deep connection to Cas way before Sam does. Sam sees “angel” and immediately puts the label “good”, then he realizes angels aren’t the way he thought they were and puts the label “evil”. Dean sees Cas as a gray person - just like Dean himself - way before Sam manages to do it.

You’ll say: what about monsters and demons? Dean sees them as 100% evil! Yes and no. He doesn’t see them as people, at least in the first seasons of the show. His “gray vision” only applies to beings that he deems “people”. It’s completely normal - every one of us only applies the categories of “good” and “evil” to beings we deem as endowed with moral judgement and free will. A bear that kills someone isn’t evil, because she’s just following her nature and you got too close to her cubs and in her mind danger=kill. A person with a severe psychosis that harms someone because of an hallucination isn’t evil. A vase that falls from a windowsill and breaks someone’s skull isn’t evil. And so on.

John has taught Dean that monsters are monsters, not people. So Dean doesn’t apply the categories he applies to people. Sure, demons are “evil” but that’s because they’re demons, their nature is to be evil, period. They’re like viruses, you try to eradicate them because they harm and kill people, but you don’t see viruses in in the same way the legislation of a country or state that allows the death penalty sees criminals (at least in theory, but I’d digress).

Casey in Sin City is incredibly important because she makes Dean start to realize that demons are “people”, in the sense of the word we’re considering here. Thanks to Casey, he doesn’t just shoot Ruby with the Colt as soon as he gets the chance, but he tolerates her presence (in fact, after he discovers Ruby had saved Sam from his suicidal impulses while Dean was in hell, he warms up to Ruby a lot for a while, he sees her as a person). Thanks to Casey (and I’m not saying that names were picked on purpose because it’s impossible but I’m saying that Name Providence exists in this show), he’s able to look past the “angel thing” and see Cas as a person as soon as he realizes Cas isn’t a marble statue.

(Speaking of Ruby, I think that Sam’s relationship with her is fascinating for the very reason that he decides to take a step back from his way of judging people - and the reason he does it is because of his consequentialist attitude, Ruby is a means to an end, he later grows attached to her but he definitely didn’t mean to.)

In Brother’s Keeper, all of this floats to the surface. Sam can’t conceive that Dean may have evilness in him, because in his mind Dean=good. The Mark of Cain has inserted evilness in Dean, but that evilness is like a foreign object that has been put inside Dean. Dean, on the other end, acknowledges that there’s evilness in him, and he reckons that the influence of the Mark is making that evilness all he is, but he doesn’t delude himself into thinking that even without the Mark he’s a perfectly spotless good person. The same applies to his view of Sam - he acknowledges that Sam isn’t a perfectly spotless good person too, because no one is.

I expect that next season, Dean will more or less explicitly tell Sam “stop arbitrarily deciding who’s good and who’s evil”, most likely in reference to Crowley, since Sam is in a very “Crowley=evil=kill” mindset right now, while Dean acknowledges that he’s a lot of things in common with Crowley and is much softer in his judgment of him, but ultimately in a wider sense that goes beyond Crowley specifically.

In the finale, Dean talks about how “evil tracks [them]” and everyone close to them ends up dying, and he says “It’s time we put a proper name to what we really are and we deal with it”. And Sam immediately replies “Wait a second. We are not evil. Listen, we’re far from perfect, but we are good. That thing on your arm is evil. But not you, not me.” And Dean replies “I let Rudy die. How was that not evil?” And then he mentions Sam’s driving Lester to sell his soul, and getting Charlie killed. He asks Sam “how is that not evil” in reference to removing the Mark “no matter the consequences”. Sam replies that Dean has summoned Death to prevent himself from harming other people, and he says “That’s not an evil man. This a good man crying to be heard, searching for some other way.” And they after they fight he says “You’ll never ever hear me say that you, the real you, is anything but good”. And Dean rolls his eyes because Sam just doesn’t get the point.

They’re speaking two different languages. Sam is saying “we aren’t evil, we’re good” while Dean is saying “we’ve been doing evil things”. Dean is speaking about actions, Sam is speaking about an inherent quality that defines them. Dean talks about letting Rudy die, getting Lester sell his soul, getting Charlie killed… specific actions. Sam is like, “you are an inherently good man”. He thinks in a dichotomy, “a man is either evil or good” and Dean isn’t evil, so he’s good! While Dean acknowledges that they’re not either good or evil. They’re people and people to either good or evil actions.

Sam needs to learn something Dean already knows - that people aren’t either good or evil, but a mixture of the two, and what counts is what they do, not what they are. Sam was obsessed about the demon blood in him because it was afraid it made him a freak, a monster, evil. Sam, throughout the whole show, has been trying to prove (including to himself) that he’s good, not evil. Dean wants to do something about the Mark because the Mark makes him do evil things. Dean, throughout the show, has been trying to do good things. That’s the main difference between them. And they won’t be on the same page until they see the world in the same way, or better until Sam sees the world the same way Dean does, because that’s healthier and more accurate.

Welcome back to Meta Station for part 2 of our podcast! We covered Polis and Arkadia before Jo had to leave, so we then spent another hour and a half on Clarke/Jaha and Farm Station. SO! MANY! LEADERSHIP! PARALLELS! God this was a good fucking episode.

This is a tricky one to timestamp because it’s kind of just Claire and Erin having a conversation about Culling parallels, S1 callbacks, the whole Clarke/Bellamy/Raven = Jaha/Abby/Jake thing, moral choices and leadership styles, which circles back to a lot of the same themes over and over again.  But like LOOSELY, here is a general outline:

0:00 – How In the Actual Hell Do We Have 40 Minutes of Thoughts on Thelonious Jaha, Ark/Delinquent Leadership Parallels, and Isaiah Washington’s Acting Choices?  IDK BUT WE FUCKIN’ DO
0:40 – The Loudest Erin Has Ever Laughed at Claire In the History of Meta Station
0:48 – Ethical Frameworks, Personal Values, and That Farm Station Scene
0:58 – Bryan and Miller Broke Our Damn Hearts, Y’All
1:09 – Original Flavor Bellamy Is Back

1:21 – We’re Dead with Joy Over the Return of Characters Driving the Plot, Instead of Plot Driving the Characters
1:24 – If We HAD to Find a Bone to Pick …
1:31 – Claire Loves Iambic Pentameter a Little Too Much

Made with SoundCloud

Throwback to my crazy Ethics study session! I revised meta-ethics for 8 hours! Unfortunately, meta-ethics did not come up on the paper, which was very disappointing.

I have been really worried about how my A Level Philosophy & Ethics (p&e) went. I chose the environment and conscience questions on the Ethics paper but I feel that exam did not reflect my ability. I have really enjoyed p&e over the past two years and having a bad exam really knocked my confidence. Hoping it went well since results day is next week!

Warmest wishes,
Paige xox

Regarding some recent political discourse…

I’ve seen some people using the words “centrist” and “moderate” interchangeably, but I view them very differently.

To me, a centrist is someone who determines the ideal political positions via triangulation.  I view this very negatively, both because it has no good ethical or meta-ethical underpinning, and because it is naive, being both easily gamed by extremists pushing on the Overton window and, in fact, adding additional incentives for extremists to be even more extreme, for that reason.

A moderate, but contrast, is to me more what “conservative” (as opposed to “reactionary”) was supposed to mean, but has failed to mean in practice – favoring gradual rather than revolutionary change to avoid major downside risks.

I also think less moderate people incorrectly assume that their exact constellation of issues are inherent in the nature of the universe rather than contingent on the nature of society, and conclude that anyone who doesn’t share all of the most left/right possible positions just hasn’t thought it through enough and is being inconsistent.  It’s quite possible to hold a moderate mix of views for well thought out reasons, consistent with a philosophical underipinning; it’s just that philosophy is something other than superficial leftism/rightism.

anonymous asked:

Do you consider yourself capable of killing some third worlds if the time comes? I never pictured myself killing someone else. Maybe is this day and age where everything is so sterile and nearly all our needs are meet, the instincts simply vanish.

The killing instinct atrophies under civilisation, man becomes a domesticated animal. I’ve written about meta-ethical nihilism elsewhere but I don’t have any moral problem with killing per se. I don’t think I should comment on what I may or may not be willing to do come the collapse of society on this website or anywhere else (outside private conversations with family and close friends). I will say though that we must prepare ourselves for the worst, which means plenty of gym, martial arts and the acquisition of (legal) firearms, if possible.

some things that make RPF unique

[i’ve had this squirreled away in my drafts for awhile, but came across this fourth wall post today and then dug up these posts (x x x) and thus was inspired to publish.]

Moving into real people fandoms (Hockey RPF and One Direction) from literature and TV fandoms (Harry Potter, Lost, Merlin BBC) was an uncomfortable experience for me. A lot of my non-RPF fandom friends pestered me about how weird it seemed that I was shipping and writing and reading about actual human beings. Well, I assured them, they’re just characters to me so it feels just like any other fandom. 

In some ways, that’s true. But it’s also totally not. And the differences, while unsettling to consider carefully and in depth, are part of what make these fandoms so exciting! 

After turning them over for the last two and half years, I’ve decided that not only are these differences real and interesting, they’re also important to name, from an ethical standpoint.  So here’s a (far from comprehensive) list/essay. 

I’m gonna start with the most controversial and most significant: 

  • The ‘fourth wall’ does not exist. We’re not watching a play or reading a book. Our 'characters’ are not 'characters.’ They’re real people with their own subjectivity and agency and they live in the same universe we do. Even the strongest of our psychologically constructed barriers cannot separate them from us or our fanworks in reality. And, in fact, the assumption of a fourth wall can prevent us from having necessary conversations about what is and is not appropriate to post where and send to whom. 

Keep reading

Rumbelle Ethics

I’ve been revisiting ethical systems lately and had a thought so I’m gonna run with it. Originally I was gonna try to tackle all the main characters but I’m not well-versed enough in Emma, Regina, and Killian to assign a system to them with any real confidence SO I’m just gonna Rumbelle it.

How Belle Approaches Problems

Belle is 100000% Virtue Ethics. When faced with an ethical dilemma, Belle asks herself, “What would the brave thing be? What would a hero do?” Virtue Ethics is all about considering what qualities or virtues you want to embody through your actions. Virtuists don’t put emphasis on “rules” or the consequences of their actions, just the virtuousness of them. As a result, Virtuists tend to view things pretty black and white and might act out impulsively or be stubborn. However, when faced with trickier ethical dilemmas where the morality becomes foggy, Virtuists will have a really hard time navigating a solution because they’ll encounter two virtues that are at odds with each other.

In 1x12 Skin Deep Belle agrees to go with Rumple because it was the “brave thing” to do, because she wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to show that she can be a hero. A hero sacrifices themselves for their people, no matter the cost. And considering she was headed toward an unwanted arranged marriage and surrounded by people who disregarded and underestimated her, the incentive to stay was virtually nonexistent. Therefore, this wasn’t a very ‘morally fraught’ decision. She was in a position where she could act impulsively because she had almost nothing to lose and everything to gain.

4x12 Heroes and Villains Is where I think we start to see Belle really struggle with her Virtuism. A hero doesn’t give up on people, especially the people they love and care about, but Rumple’s behavior pushes her to her limits. She wanted to be Rumple’s hero, but now she’s been cornered into a position where she needs to protect Storybrooke first. The virtues of compassion and faith in the man she loves are at odds with the virtues of responsibility and sacrifice on behalf of the town and everyone in it. A hero might not give up on the people they love, but they also don’t stand by and let  innocent lives be destroyed. The cognitive dissonance is too real, and Belle has to protect her sense of self by eliminating the source of that conflict– Rumple.

5x17 Her Handsome Hero is a great example of a Virtuist navigating a far more challenging ethical dilemma. When Hades gives Belle the choice of letting Rumple or Gaston fall into the River of Lost Souls in exchange for her unborn child’s safety, she refuses to make that choice. A hero wouldn’t kill anyone, even if they’ve been confirmed to have an “evil soul”. She has to come up with another way– but she fails. After Belle pushes Gaston into the River, she’s devastated, completely overwhelmed with guilt. In the following episodes, she kind of lashes out at Rumple and tries to rid herself of any blame. Her moral compass has been shattered and that’s a terrifying thing.

Belle repeatedly tries to get Rumple to stop using dark magic, because “That’s not what a hero does.” Virtue Ethics is very idealistic, and it makes perfect sense that Belle would commit to this way of thinking  as a young woman who lives inside of her books– where ethical dilemmas are merely opportunities for “heroes” to prove themselves. However, Rumple’s experiences with ethical dilemmas are far more hands-on, and therefore far less idealistic.

How Rumple Approaches Problems

So for Rumple I kinda flip-flopped for a moment on whether I would consider him a Care Ethicist or a (really awful) egoist. I settled on Care ethics and here is why– Rumple would do anything for the people he loves. He’s literally given his life to protect Bae and Belle. He as the capability to be entirely selfless, yet when it comes to others who fall outside of his (really small) web of relationships, he’s “so glad [he doesn’t] give a damn.” 

Why isn’t he an Egoist? First of all, Egoism is a bit of a misnomer. Egoism isn’t about being selfish– it’s about acting in one’s own best interests, under the assumption that the self is in symbiosis with its environment. “What’s good for me is good for the people around me, and vice-versa.” It’s NOT “I’m going to do whatever I want, I’m only looking out for myself,” hence why I referred to him as a possible “really awful egoist”. I think when it comes to matters he isn’t close to, he very much can be an Egoist. When it comes to making deals, he’s very, “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” about the whole thing. But when faced with an actual ethical dilemma, Rumple doesn’t necessarily act out of self interest so much as he just responds emotionally.

Care Ethics is another system that doesn’t rely on rules or consequences to navigate a dilemma. But unlike Virtuism, where one tries to embody an ideal, Care Ethics is about personal relationships and how our closeness to an issue (or lack thereof) effects our judgement and our ability to “care” or invest ourselves in it. Care Ethicists act on their feelings rather than rules, calculations, or standards.

When Rumple is confronted with a dilemma that requires him to act quickly, or involves some sort of personal attack, he doesn’t think logically about the consequences. He just reacts. Whether that reaction is stabbing Zoso, murdering Zelena, diving in front of a moving car, or sacrificing his life to protect his family from Pan. Egoists and Case Utilitarians are consequentialist ethicists– they stop and try to anticipate the possible outcomes of their actions when making a decision. If he cares enough about something, Rumple doesn’t bother to consider consequences. He just acts.

  • Rumple was prepared to kill Henry until he found out Henry was his grandson. In light of this information, he was mortified. He was waking up in a panic from nightmares and “dark impulses” telling him to kill his grandson, but because Rumple cares so deeply about family, he was able to resist it.
  • Rumple was so emotionally shaken by Bae’s death that he felt the only appropriate response was to kill Zelena. He went against Belle’s wishes and what he knew was right because his emotional response to his son’s death was that strong. The same course of events took place when he was reunited with Belle in Storybrooke and found out that Regina had locked her up the entire time. He went against reason to send the wraith after Regina because he was that upset over the whole thing.
  • When Rumple wields the dagger before Zoso, he’s ultimately driven to kill him because Zoso begins to insult him by implying that Bae isn’t his child. Rumple responds emotionally by stabbing him, without really considering the consequences. That’s how he came to make that fateful deal he didn’t understand.
  • When he is hunting Robin Hood in the EF, Belle first tries to appeal to him with reason by arguing that Robin must have had a good reason for stealing the wand. But it’s not until she appeals to his emotions with, “You are not the kind of man to leave a child fatherless,” that he finally backs down.

How They Approach Problems Together

So Rumple is a Care Ethicist, and Belle is a Virtuist. Why should we care?

Because I think these two ethical systems can complement each other very nicely. Belle pursues bravery and heroics above all else. She tries so hard to fit this cultural ideal of a hero, that it’s to a fault. She comes to a sort of ethical bottleneck and cannot engage effectively. Rumple is fiercely passionate about protecting the people he cares about, but his web of relationships is so severely damaged that the way this care manifests itself is totally extreme and leads him to act in ways the vast majority of us would ethically condemn.

I guess if I wanted to make this sound a little jazzier, I’d put it like this: Belle cares TOO MUCH about what everyone else thinks for all the wrong reasons, and Rumple cares TOO LITTLE for all the right reasons. (Which is my totally subjective opinion, you’re welcome to disagree with me on this)

I think 5x17 Her Handsome Hero was the episode that finally confronted this difference in their problem solving styles, but the cool thing is that these two styles totally balance each other out. By opening himself up to Belle’s more Virtuist perspective, Rumple can begin to repair his web of relationships and “care” in healthier ways (as opposed to either being at zero fucks to give or ALL the fucks to give and never anywhere in between). Belle on the other hand, could benefit from taking a step back from the unrealistic expectations Virtuism has set for her by adopting an Ethic of Care. She wants to be everything for everyone, but this is unattainable. She can learn to consider what things are truly important to her, and to stop spreading herself so thin.

[ Read Rumbelle Ethics, Pt 2 ]

anonymous asked:

What are your thoughts on the situation where shippers are accused of being racist for not shipping Rey and Finn? Personally I'd ship Finn with both Poe and Rey and I'd be happy if either was canon. But how can it be racist to ship a mixed race same same couple? That doesn't even make any sense. Either couple would be groundbreaking and both are clearly healthy ships between friends. What's to hate about either of them? Is this just another symptom of a crazy ship war? Or something more?

Just another symptom, though of something bigger than any one fandom. 

On the face of it, TFA fandom is almost unutterably bizarre. It’s not just wanky, it’s wanky to the point of outright denying reality. But if you operate on the assumption that fandom SJ arguments are largely self-serving justifications for personal preference, everything begins to make sense. It’s the natural, if tragic, culmination of the purer-than-thou shipping/stanning that’s come to dominate fandom discourse.

I’ve seen people arguing that Rey/Finn = cishets getting their cooties on everything. I’ve seen people arguing that Poe isn’t really a man of colour because he’s light-skinned (with completely irrelevant asides about SOME LATINOS ARE WHITE, OK), and somehow Finn/a ~white passing~ Latino man is less progressive than Finn/a white Anglo woman. I’ve seen people arguing that the popularity of Poe/Finn is clear evidence of fandom misogyny, and people arguing that Rey/Finn is driven primarily by Finn’s feelings whereas Rey’s are platonic, so actually it’s evidence of fandom misogyny.


The thing is, over the last few years, a lot of perfectly typical fandom wars over characters and ships have constantly gotten reframed in SJ terms. It’s not that there were not serious, serious problems in fandom wrt SJ issues (there were, and are). Nevertheless most fandom firestorms are driven by different people liking and disliking different things. People always need to justify the thing they like as Most Canon or Most Intelligent or Most Righteous–the specifics vary, but it comes down to “why can’t other people see that mine is the true path?”

And of course fandoms are rarely balanced, with everything liked and disliked in equal measure. Some characters and some ships end up much more popular than others. Sometimes their fans get defensive, and justify their popularity with some SJ thing. Sometimes fans of other things are sure that the popularity of a thing they don’t like must have some dark significance, which only escalates the already-existing antagonism.

(Read “sometimes” as “constantly.”)

So at this point, fans are used to justifying the righteousness of their own positions and the heresy of all others by reaching into a SJ grab bag. In many cases, they don’t even have to reach–they just plug in the justifications they’ve used in the same essential arguments before. 

People treating Poe/Finn with the same righteous contempt that they have treated every other bromance slash juggernaut and making absurd leaps to count it as any-two-white-guys, then, isn’t incomprehensible. For the vast majority, it was never about combating racism. It was about not liking bromance slash and appropriating the language of anti-racism to justify their resentment of its popularity. The Poe/Finn fans going on screeds about Finn/Rey being the same generic straight couple that’s everywhere and so much less progressive than their ship, while blithely ignoring how groundbreaking it would be in a SW film? Same thing–they’re trotting out the usual arguments they’d use to justify themselves against het shippers, an appropriation of the language of anti-homophobia, rather than responding to any particulars. It’s part and parcel of the same thing as the unending Reylo wank. There were eight fics in the Reylo tag when the twelve-word anti-Reylo trollfic (now the most kudos-ed fic in the fandom) was posted. It wasn’t in response to Reylo’s popularity, it was a slam at the existence of unrighteous ships.

A lot of people have insisted that fandom wouldn’t go for the tropes they do if they weren’t written for white men, or straight couples, or whatever. But a lot of others have pointed out that fans are consistently drawn to those tropes even in the rare cases when they aren’t confined to the usual defaults. In that view, juggernaut ships are almost always generated by a small number of very popular tropes, and their fans will generally go after those tropes in any widely-liked source, regardless of the particulars. 

TFA was nothing if not trope-y. And fandom with perfect predictability glommed onto the tropes that fandom always gloms onto: the bromance between two attractive young men, the mysterious tension between the shining hero and angsty villain, mutual hatred between rivals that seems suspiciously excessive, the sweet, natural friendship with strong hints of romance. 

But also with perfect predictability, fans justified themselves with the same “the slash juggernaut is more popular than my het ship because racism” and “het shippers are whining bc they’re not the center of everything for once” and “HOW COULD PEOPLE CARE ABOUT THE SUFFERING OF A VILLAIN? THINK OF THE CHILDREN.” With plenty of “if character were [hand-picked marginalization], fans wouldn’t like the thing that fans persistently like.” And since TFA is just progressive enough that most of the arguments don’t even apply, and the rest ignore blatantly obvious confounding factors, it’s become very clear how self-serving the rhetoric really is.

anonymous asked:

can you do a teachers!au please? and btw this blog is amazing :)

thankyou so much

Jinhwan - Maths

  • makes maths cool to do
  • “you might have the latest jays, but I can calculate and get that money everyday~”
  • round glasses and bow ties
  • doesn’t use his board much as he runs out of space immediately
  • scribbles all the equations so fast (kinda like that movie Knowing with nick cage)
  • “so guys, any questions??” :)))
  • only smarts kids know what is going on
  • the rest stare in awe and confusion
  • remembers pi to the 347th decimal place
  • butt of jokes amongst the teachers
  • but he knows that they’re paying for overpriced good where as he gets all his good and more for a discounted price
  • he’s super cool and jokes around with his students

Yunhyeong - Science

  • speciality is biology
  • “today, we will be looking a the biology of toads”
  • you’d expect it to be super boring
  • but he’s one of those teacher that makes looking at a text book fun and making a 1500 word essay on bacteria the coolest thing ever
  • loves to do little experiments with his students like
  • “lest see how we humans adapt to survive~”
  • make his class run around dodging volley balls from chanwoo (who against his will is participating)
  • likes to looks at microscopes for sample in hopes to find a cure for a disease
  • chanwoo is like “can i have my arm back pls”

Bobby - Literature

  • reading books??
  • pSSSHT he raps to them
  • “to be uh, or not to be ayyyee”
  • annoying at first but all the students remember every passage to the book thanks to him
  • makes fun of the characters in the books
  • “so you see, hamlet was a little bitch”
  • he’s nice when it come to marking and often give out full marks to his students
  • sometimes leaks information in tests coming up (which is not allowed but oh well)
  • “question 3 you write about the relationship between hamlet and his father okay?”
  • has a revision cd with all of Shakespeare’s sonnets in rap form 

Hanbin - Ethics

  • is super into his subject
  • so into it that ethics, already being a hard subject itself makes it somewhat harder with his ramblings
  • “so you see, Aquinas believed in natural law and this is the start of the school of thought meta ethics drawn form greek philosophers)
  • his class often don’t understand him
  • very strict when it comes to homework
  • “where is your homework young lady????”
  • he gives the poor girl 30 minute detention after school 
  • he stinks of coffee as it’s the only thing he drinks
  • cranky due to all the work he has to grade and stuff
  • he may seem harsh, but her cares for your grades that’s why he wants to push you to succeed

Donghyuk - Languages

  • teaches English mostly, but other times Mandarin and Japanese
  • greets his students in different languages each day
  • when taking the register he makes his student greet in a different language
  • “[student name]”
  • “Salamat Pagi”
  • [student name 2]
  • “Howdy sir”
  • inspires his student to travel as much as they can
  • he sometimes has slide shows of all the places he’s been to
  • “here is me riding an elephant in tailand”
  • “sir, what is this have to do with verbs”
  • “her name was almie” :,)

Junhoe - Art 

  • super critical about peoples work
  • “you call that art???? aRT??”
  • student may not like. (love him or hate him guy)
  • not cause he’s rude or anything, he’s has a certain aesthetic to artwork
  • when doing real life sketches, his class has to draw a picture of him
  • “why? because i am art”
  • eats the fruits the students have to sketch in class
  • “what? i was hungry”
  • has paint stains all over his clothes
  • when helping his students, he sometimes all the time sketches over the top
  • eventually it’s his drawing not the student’s
  • “so much better! well done”

Chanwoo - Gym

  • young teacher fresh from uni
  • upbeat and enthusiastic about the subject
  • tries to get people to join in sports
  • “come on guys! football is fun!”
  • tries his darn diddley hardest to make his lessons fun
  • brings zumba tapes in
  • eventually and the class join in after watching 45 minutes of chanwoo doing booty rolls
  • not cause they want to, he looks funny doing it so why not?
  • encourages healthy eating 
  • “five a day guys!”
  • has a mini fridge that he keeps choco cones (which hanbin often asks for)
  • “i want a choco cone!!!”
  • “no, you can’t burn the calories off by lecturing your class about men in togas”

anonymous asked:

What's your views on nihilism? Just curious

It kinda depends on which type you’re referring to. I’m going with existential/moral here:

  1. “Existential nihilism is the belief that life has no intrinsic meaning or value. With respect to the universe, existential nihilism posits that a single human or even the entire human species is insignificant, without purpose and unlikely to change in the totality of existence.” 
  2. “Moral nihilism, also known as ethical nihilism, is the meta-ethical view that morality does not exist as something inherent to objective reality; therefore no action is necessarily preferable to any other. For example, a moral nihilist would say that killing someone, for whatever reason, is not inherently right or wrong.“

For existential nihilism, yeah. It’s difficult not to look at the scale of the universe and see that we are infinitesimally small. We don’t matter. Nothing we do matters in the grand scheme of things. If we continue to hang out on Earth we’ll eventually go extinct, but even if we travel beyond our own solar system and colonize other planets/galaxies the universe itself will eventually die. The current theory is that not only is the universe expanding, it will expand so much that eventually atoms themselves will break apart. I’m hoping they’re wrong because I find it extremely depressing, even if I won’t be around to see it.

Does that mean we should all just give up and not care about anything? Hell no! I think life has meaning, existence has meaning, etc. but it’s something we have to make for ourselves in relation to the world we live in right now. All we can do is live our own lives to the fullest- universe be damned.

The same goes for morals. Does the universe care if someone is murdered? Nope. Does that make it a moral thing to do? No. Morality is a human construction, but any social species is going to come up with a system of what’s right and what’s wrong. Many humans use religion to guide their views on morality. As an atheist, I use the golden rule. The fact that people have vastly different views on what is moral helps demonstrate how complicated the subject can be. It’s very subjective. While there are many things that we can all generally agree on (e.g. killing people is immoral), there are often exceptions depending on your particular belief system (self defense, war, abortion, euthanasia). Morality is complicated precisely because there is no objective right or wrong.

jigsawlovey  asked:

ScarletVison where they baby sit clints kids.

“Computer man!” Lila cried from the other side of the kitchen. “Cooper can’t have those!”

The Vision gently sat down his newspaper, careful to keep the pages flat and creases even. Across the table from him, Wanda was hovering peas into Nathaniel Pietro’s mouth with an idle twirl of her index finger. The baby would make a barking noise before he would chomp down on them. Vision had mapped out the tempo– a standard 4/4 measure: boof, peas, boof, peas.

Nathaniel Pietro was simple to understand. Infants had standard inputs and outputs. Older children, however…“Please, Lila, call me Vision.”

“Computer man!”

Ugh,” said Cooper, positively dripping with pre-teen disdain. “Shut up Lila.”

“YOU SHUT UP!” She shrieked with enough decibel to make Vision, Wanda, and the baby wince.

Vision sent Wanda an imploring look. She merely arched a brow.

Vision took a steadying breath, more for method than need, and walked over to the older Barton children. “What is the problem?”

Lila pointed up a finger directly at Cooper’s eyes. “He’s eating Oreos!”

“So?” Cooper countered, deliberately shoving an Oreo into his mouth with Purpose.

“It’s not dinner!”

Ah, a matter of ritual. Vision gave his friendliest smile, the one which showed all the teeth. Cooper and Lila recoiled slightly with what Vision understood to be rapt attention.

“Cooper, are you familiar with meta-ethics?”


“Meta-ethics. The larger questions of good or bad.”

“What does this have to do with cookies-?”

“From a normative standpoint, the morality of taking a cookie before dinner seems inconsequential. However, Lila appears to be operating on a more abstract level of right and wrong, which creates conflict when you are attempting resistance against the descriptive ethics of your mother-”


“-Now, Garner and Rosen pose three types of ethical problems which can be unpacked through a meta discourse-”

“Oh my god, keep your stupid cookies!” Cooper slammed the package on the counter. Lila watched him storm from the kitchen with a wicked gleam.

Vision sent Wanda a look. She smiled.

“You are getting better.”

He smiled back.

“You should know that I prepared three lectures on Foucault for the next time he attempts to sneak out of the house.”

My friend just got a series of asks full of “evidence” how feferi was abusive and deserved to be killed. Paired with reasoning that it makes them uncomfortable that other people like her. And I have had a bad day so I will just start with; AUUUGH!

People SUCK at fandom ethics!!! THEY ARE SO BAD AT IT!!

This is not how any of this works. You can’t put the text in your context but not the metatext. People aren’t going to like this, but there’s no two ways about it; Andrew Hussie is not a great dude. People have been talking for years and years about when Homestuck becomes racist and sexually inappropriate and it has had 0 impact. His narrative is a moral crapshoot. He has a long history of racist and sexist work that stumbled upon an audience that challenged him to do better by pure accident. Every goddamn character is morally compromised because they don’t have any actual agency and are being written by a particularly fallible goblin. But we come after women for having the wrong interpretation of a girl that was murdered?

You know how there’s no ethical consumption under capitalism? Where there’s no goddamn ethical meta about which thirteen year old characters are moral that makes any sense in a story written by a guy who has made this many fucked up choices. It is plainly bizarre.

Observations about real-world problems like ableism, abuse and racism are meaningful. But the lived experiences of who you’re talking to matter more than a canon that never did a very good job of talking about these things to begin with, and never had the right to. Transformative work and reinterpretation by women, poc and abuse victims is Homestuck’s only hope to be morally coherent. Literally do whatever you want with this messed up text, it has nothing to offer that isn’t improved by your insight. Sometimes our interpretations aren’t going to sit well with each other, but that should be fine

Trying to get your way with other fans based on something some douchebag wrote is just. Silly. Homestuck’s canon is the shittiest possible prybar you could use to crack the nut of moral authority, and arguments about “u can’t do that bc you have to acknowledge character X’s behavior” start to make less and less sense the further you get from the most cut and dry cases. And the thing is? I don’t think Andrew Hussie even wants his shit to be taken that seriously.

Meta and Scott

How do people tackle meta which explores Scott’s negative choices and characteristics?

I ask this as a serious question.

There has been such a history of Scott bashing within fandom, which has clearly been racially motivated, and I want no part of that. It makes me hesitant to tackle the more negative aspects of Scott’s character, even though I think they are central to his journey. I’m more wary of it now than I was earlier in Teen Wolf’s run, as the race politics around the show’s writing and within fandom’s response are much clearer to me now. A lot of the show’s remaining race problems are articulated through the writing of Scott’s arc, and so are a lot of fandom’s responses to the text.

I’ve experienced real world parallels to several of Scott’s major ethical choices, and when I made my versions of those choices, I considered the paths Scott took to be unconscionable and something I could never do. This obviously shapes how I read Scott, and I don’t think that’s a bad thing. It makes him a touchstone for me, albeit often a negative one. That’s potentially a very powerful force in a story, because it has the potential to fundamentally challenge and re-shape the way I think depending on the choices the writers have Scott make at the climax of his arc. It really frustrates me that there’s this potential to discuss ethical dilemmas that have been important in my own life, but the politics around Scott make it almost impossible to frame in a way that doesn’t buy in to that racialised history of Scott bashing.

I’m at the point of thinking there aren’t many ways to get to grips with Scott’s arc on anything but the most superficial levels of meta. And to my mind that seems to also buy in to the history of judging characters of colour by different standards. No meta about Scott may be better than meta which can be read as bashing, but it elides him from his place in the text. But if his place is problematic, which I think it is, how to tackle it?

In short, this is such a tangled issue that I don’t know how to approach it anymore. What strategies do other people use when talking about Scott?