Argument with a Warlock

Behind this cut is a conversation I had on September 2nd. I’ll save commentary for later; I don’t want to color any perceptions of the conversation itself, and the chief reason I’m recording is because the primary participant in this discussion has a history of deleting his tweet history.


Swerve @Swervelord1

@Loreology Hey Sean, would you say Gul’dan was controlled by his desires for more power?

Sean Copeland @Loreology

@Swervelord1 I wouldn’t say he was “controlled” by them. He is/was power hungry, but that’s his character POV/personality.

Swerve @Swervelord1
@Loreology Yeah, but if he was hungry for power, wouldn’t that mean he was kind of controlled by some internal thing?

@Loreology Like an addiction?

Crow @unlimitedBLACK · 4h
Being addicted to something doesn’t excuse crimes done to feed the addiction. Or: you can’t blame an addiction if you do zero to resist it.

Crow @unlimitedBLACK · 4h
Gul’dan was/is an unrepentant power hungry monster. It doesn’t matter if he was addicted to power; that doesn’t change his crimes.

Crow @unlimitedBLACK
@ashveridian which is ultimately the thing that sets Gul’dan apart. He can’t be redeemed. His actions have no justification. He’s a Villain.

Crow @unlimitedBLACK
@ashveridian he doesn’t have any anti-hero qualities. There is literally nothing that he can use in his own defense.

Swerve @Swervelord1
@unlimitedBLACK Except Gul’dan was hungry for power, he was addicted to power, just how DK’s are addicted to causing pain. There are

Swerve @Swervelord1
@unlimitedBLACK ramifications for not feeding the hunger. Gul’dan could’ve denied himself what he craved, but eventually he would give in.

Crow @unlimitedBLACK
@Swervelord1 that equivalence does not hold up to logical argument. Especially considering that DKs are at the very least REPENTANT.

Swerve @Swervelord1
@unlimitedBLACK Well, not all DK’s are repentant, and Gul’dan isn’t someone who was born “evil”. Even demons have redeeming qualities, which

Swerve @Swervelord1
@unlimitedBLACK is shown in canon.

Crow @unlimitedBLACK
@Swervelord1 prove he wasn’t.

Swerve @Swervelord1
@unlimitedBLACK You’re just trolling, babies don’t know the difference between good and evil.

Crow @unlimitedBLACK
@Swervelord1 In the grander context of the crusade you’ve been on to whitewash all warlocks for the last month? I disagree.

Crow @unlimitedBLACK
@Swervelord1 but hey, if you want to just cut to the chase then that’s fine by me. Carry on.

Swerve @Swervelord1
@unlimitedBLACK I’m merely presenting facts. People can do whatever they can, and what they do isn’t wrong or right, there just is.

Swerve @Swervelord1
@unlimitedBLACK A meteor that impacts Earth and killed people isn’t evil. Is the meteor’s actions evil because it was dictated by a force?

Crow @unlimitedBLACK
@Swervelord1 You’re attempting to present that Gul’dan is a force of nature. That doesn’t work, because he’s a person.

Swerve @Swervelord1
@unlimitedBLACK My point is that humans are a force of nature. We are a part of the universe just as a meteor.

Crow @unlimitedBLACK
@Swervelord1 Here’s the difference between fact and opinion: Humans are an element of nature. This is a fact.

Crow @unlimitedBLACK
@Swervelord1 Human actions cannot be judged morally because they are an element of nature. This is an OPINION.

Swerve @Swervelord1
@unlimitedBLACK I personally think that no one should take someone else’s life, but the reality is that people do kill and that’s just how

Swerve @Swervelord1
@unlimitedBLACK the universe goes.

Swerve @Swervelord1
@unlimitedBLACK and how are humans not a force of nature and a meteor is.

Crow @unlimitedBLACK
@Swervelord1 Humans have WILL. Meteors do NOT. Nature has no will to govern it. Nature exists, and by that existence creates/destroys.

Crow @unlimitedBLACK
@Swervelord1 Humans have choice.

Swerve @Swervelord1
@unlimitedBLACK Humans have no free will, and to state so is ridiculous. We create, we destroy. We are limited to the universe are we not?

Crow @unlimitedBLACK
@Swervelord1 “Humans have no free will” is an opinion.

Swerve @Swervelord1
@unlimitedBLACK We are limited to the laws of physics. Our actions are dictated by our brain. We NEED food to sustain us. We will always be

Swerve @Swervelord1
@unlimitedBLACK under some system of control. The day we have free will is the day our actions won’t be dictated by our need for food, etc.

Crow @unlimitedBLACK
@Swervelord1 You’re arguing that man has no free will because man experiences hunger. I present “people who go on hunger strikes.”

Swerve@Swervelord1
@unlimitedBLACK People experience hunger and so they react to that hunger.

Crow @unlimitedBLACK
@Swervelord1 If man had no free will, there would only be one possible reaction to that hunger.

Crow @unlimitedBLACK
@Swervelord1 There are AT LEAST two possible reactions, and men choose between them all the time.

Crow @unlimitedBLACK
@Swervelord1 Men have free will, QED.

Swerve @Swervelord1
@unlimitedBLACK They are “controlled” by their need for food. I understand why people think they are in control, I sometimes think I’m

Swerve @Swervelord1
@unlimitedBLACK in control, but I’m not.

Swerve @Swervelord1
@unlimitedBLACK ….there are two possible reactions, but regardless, don’t humans NEED a brain and heart to function?

Crow @unlimitedBLACK
@Swervelord1 You’re arguing that humans will always prioritize their personal survival, which governs their choices. This isn’t always true.

Swerve@Swervelord1
@unlimitedBLACK No, I’m not. A person can deny himself food and die, but that decision to deny himself food requires a brain.

Crow @unlimitedBLACK
@Swervelord1 I don’t see where the requirement of a brain for conscious thought (and consequently free will) helps your position.

Crow @unlimitedBLACK
@Swervelord1 I guess I’m missing where the brain is relevant in this discussion.

Swerve @Swervelord1
@unlimitedBLACK Because humans NEED the brain, they are “controlled” by the brain. Humans have no free will because they are controlled by

Swerve @Swervelord1
@unlimitedBLACK the brain, among other organs.

Crow @unlimitedBLACK
@Swervelord1 … so you’re arguing that we have no free will because we have brains?

Swerve @Swervelord1
@unlimitedBLACK Because our actions are dictated by our brains.

Swerve @Swervelord1
@unlimitedBLACK To state that we have we have free will is to state that we can do whatever we want, but the reality is that we can’t do

Swerve @Swervelord1
@unlimitedBLACK whatever we want, we can only do whatever we can.

Crow @unlimitedBLACK
@Swervelord1 You can possess a will to achieve something that is thought impossible. Such a will has driven human innovation since forever.

Swerve @Swervelord1
@unlimitedBLACK But if you achieve something you thought impossible, whatever you achieved is indeed possible.

Crow @unlimitedBLACK
@Swervelord1 Then how does it follow that men don’t have free will if they can’t do whatever they want?

Swerve@Swervelord1
@unlimitedBLACK Because my friend, humans can’t turn into a magical dragon and breath fire, We can do whatever is possible, whatever we can.

Swerve@Swervelord1
@unlimitedBLACK That’s the beauty of the human mind, we can dream :)

Crow @unlimitedBLACK
@Swervelord1 … how can we dream if we have no free will?

Swerve @Swervelord1
@unlimitedBLACK One limitation of dreaming = What happens in our dreams just don’t become reality. We can’t dream without the brain matey.

Swerve @Swervelord1
@unlimitedBLACK I understand where you’re coming from, we have the ability to “choose”

Swerve @Swervelord1
@unlimitedBLACK but it’s an undeniable fact that our choices come from the brain.

Crow @unlimitedBLACK
@Swervelord1 I would like to take this opportunity to point out that nothing you have stated tonight is factual to anyone but you.

Crow @unlimitedBLACK
@Swervelord1 Hence, trying to pass it, or any arguments derived from its basis, as factual is a an oxymoron.

Swerve @Swervelord1
@unlimitedBLACK I’ve tried being polite, but I just can’t tolerate your ignorance. I actually have presented facts. Do you deny that a

Swerve @Swervelord1
@unlimitedBLACK human’s choices are dictated by the brain? Do you deny that humans need food to live? Let me answer that for you, yes.

Swerve @Swervelord1
@unlimitedBLACK ^You do deny that a person’s choices are dictated by the brain because you stated I posted nothing factual. You’re silly.

Swerve @Swervelord1
@unlimitedBLACK You’re posting opinions, not me.

Crow @unlimitedBLACK
@Swervelord1 Humans need food to live. This is a fact.

Crow @unlimitedBLACK
@Swervelord1 Human choices are not dictated by the brain. Human choices are DELIVERED by the brain. The brain has no will of its own.

Swerve@Swervelord1
@unlimitedBLACK Yes it is. Humans can’t make CONSCIOUS decisions without the brain. You’re posting non-sense.

Crow @unlimitedBLACK
@Swervelord1 To assert that humans have no free will because the brain serves a function is not a logical argument, nor is it a fact.

Crow @unlimitedBLACK
@Swervelord1 Asserting that humans have no free will with a philosophical position, but that doesn’t make it a fact.

Crow @unlimitedBLACK
@Swervelord1 Let me amend: asserting that humans have no free will IS a philosophical position, but that doesn’t make it a fact.

Crow @unlimitedBLACK
@Swervelord1 The objective of your crusade seems to be making warlocks morally blameless for their actions, and in my OPINION, that’s wrong.

Crow @unlimitedBLACK
@Swervelord1 Especially considering that the only method you’ve used to do that is a broad philosophical position that eschews all morality.

Swerve @Swervelord1
@unlimitedBLACK All you’re doing is stating I’m wrong without countering my “facts”. You’re not proving anything.This “debate” is at an end.

Crow @unlimitedBLACK
@Swervelord1 The quotes around facts are 100% appropriate in this circumstances. Most of your facts are not factual.

Swerve @Swervelord1
@unlimitedBLACK Wrong. I’ve only posted facts. Facts which you’re incapable of countering. This “debate” is pointless because you enjoy

Swerve @Swervelord1
@unlimitedBLACK ignoring facts.

Swerve @Swervelord1
@unlimitedBLACK Fact I present: Humans can’t make choices without the brain What’s your counter-argument? You’re wrong

Crow @unlimitedBLACK
@Swervelord1 That’s a different argument than you’ve presented previously. The brain is necessary for choices to take place. That’s a fact.

Crow @unlimitedBLACK
@Swervelord1 But you’re arguing that there is no will save for the base natural instinct that the brain operates on. That’s an opinion.

Swerve @Swervelord1
@unlimitedBLACK That’s a fact I have established earlier, something you didn’t acknowledge, stating that nothing I posted is factual.

Crow @unlimitedBLACK
@Swervelord1 Let me amend: MOST of what you posted is opinion, and not fact. You’re trying to pass off 100% of it as fact, and that’s wrong.

Swerve@Swervelord1
@unlimitedBLACK https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=free+will+definition “the power of acting without the constraint of necessity or fate;” Humans can’t act without the

Swerve @Swervelord1
@unlimitedBLACK brain, and that is a fact.

Crow @unlimitedBLACK
@Swervelord1 That definition is woefully unsuited for this discussion.

Swerve @Swervelord1
@unlimitedBLACK “Free will” “comes” from the brain. All of your actions are driven by your brain. Tell me where “free will” comes from if

Swerve @Swervelord1
@unlimitedBLACK not from the brain.

Crow @unlimitedBLACK
@Swervelord1 There is no scientific proof of where will comes from, because it’s a philosophical/metaphysical construct.

Crow @unlimitedBLACK
@Swervelord1 To try and define free will in a purely physical context is to miss the point of that construct.

Swerve @Swervelord1
@unlimitedBLACK @unlimitedBLACK Free will is exactly that, a philosophical construct.

Swerve @Swervelord1
@unlimitedBLACK If one is to apply philosophy, they should also apply practicality

Crow @unlimitedBLACK
@Swervelord1 To a great extent, that discards the entire objective of philosophy as an intellectual endeavour.

Swerve @Swervelord1
@unlimitedBLACK Well, one should apply practicality to their theories.

Crow @unlimitedBLACK
@Swervelord1 Theories is a good word to use in this discussion.

Swerve @Swervelord1
@unlimitedBLACK I’m not applying my theories however. I’m posting facts. It’s not a theory that our brain controls our actions.

Crow @unlimitedBLACK
@Swervelord1 It is a fact that the brain controls our actions. But the brain does not supply the will that selects those actions.

Swerve @Swervelord1
@unlimitedBLACK When you apply practicality to theories, you likely-hood of succeeding increases.

Crow @unlimitedBLACK
@Swervelord1 You’re asserting that philosophical theories have a discrete practical objective. This isn’t usually true.

Crow @unlimitedBLACK
@Swervelord1 Philosophy typically has a wider and more abstract objective, such as the nature of free will.

Swerve @Swervelord1
@unlimitedBLACK Selecting an action is an action…..

Crow @unlimitedBLACK
@Swervelord1 Yes, but the will to make that choice doesn’t belong to the brain. The person, as a conscious agent, makes that choice.

 

Swerve @Swervelord1
@unlimitedBLACK I’m not asserting anything of that sort. I’m merely applying practicality to my philosophy. Of course there are abstract

Swerve @Swervelord1
@unlimitedBLACK objectives.

Swerve @Swervelord1
@unlimitedBLACK The key word to focus on is conscious.

Swerve @Swervelord1
@unlimitedBLACK I understand what you mean though. “Free will” is a metaphysical/philosophical construct that guides us. But I’m being too

Swerve @Swervelord1
@unlimitedBLACK practical.

Crow @unlimitedBLACK
@Swervelord1 So if we can agree that free will is not something that’s governed solely by the brain’s function, does it follow that …

Crow @unlimitedBLACK
@Swervelord1 … conscious and sentient beings have agency in the decisions that they make?

Swerve @Swervelord1
@unlimitedBLACK Whoah now, I never agreed to anything, I merely stated that I understand “Free will” is a philosophical/metaphysical

Swerve @Swervelord1
@unlimitedBLACK construct, but yes, I do “agree” that the conscious beings have agency in the decisions they make

Crow @unlimitedBLACK
@Swervelord1 So taking this all the way back to the beginning, we could agree that Gul’dan had agency in his choices to pursue power…

Crow @unlimitedBLACK
@Swervelord1 … even at great cost to himself and to all of the orcs, right?

Swerve @Swervelord1
@unlimitedBLACK Abstract, philosophical constructs don’t equate to what’s real though. And what is real is that humans can’t make decisions

Swerve @Swervelord1
@unlimitedBLACK without their brain.

Swerve @Swervelord1
@unlimitedBLACK I understand what you mean when you state Gul’dan had agency in his decisions/choices, but as admitted yourself, choices

Swerve @Swervelord1
@unlimitedBLACK require a brain. Gul’dan could have made a CONSCIOUS decision to ignore his hunger and not kill people, but he desired

Swerve @Swervelord1
@unlimitedBLACK (wanted) to do the things he did. Emotions/desires are also dictated by the brain

Swerve @Swervelord1
@unlimitedBLACK Gul’dan is accountable for his actions to those who think he should be held accountable for his actions.

Swerve @Swervelord1
@unlimitedBLACK I apologize for calling you a troll, I’m just trying to understand. :)

Crow @unlimitedBLACK
@Swervelord1 I think I had called you a troll during some argument in the past, so fair’s fair.

Swerve @Swervelord1
@unlimitedBLACK :) All good. XD


 

1. Context: It’s probably valuable to point out that this dude has, with the moniker “VisionOfPerfection” gotten into a protracted edit war on Wowpedia’s warlock pages. Objectives have included a desire to conflate Warlocks with Necromancers because of some very flimsy rationale. This has resulted in at least one temporary ban. This is also in conjunction with another prior argument with the same user (in which all of his tweets were deleted) that attempted, as now, to assert that warlocks were innocent victims of their own powerlust, and as such can’t be held responsible for the actions they take in the name of pursuing power.

5 thoughts on “Argument with a Warlock

    • Which is something that I kinda wanted to bring up at some point, but with the whole diversion into Philosophy 101, there wasn’t really an opportunity. Swerve is arguing that Gul’dan couldn’t resist his nature to be evil (hence him being evil and doing evil things) and when it comes down to it, I agree that Gul’dan couldn’t resist. Where I draw the line is that Gul’dan COULD have chosen otherwise; saying that Gul’dan couldn’t resist because free will is a fallacy just deflates the agency of all characters in all stories ever.

      Saying that Gul’dan couldn’t resist because Blizzard needed to have a villain push the noble savage orcs into being demonic slaves is a STORY. Mixed in with Ner’zhul’s attempt at repentance at that point in the story, and his complete and utter failure to stop Kil’jaeden’s play, makes for a pretty compelling narrative, because maybe one man is incorruptible, but an entire clan or race is going to have a weak link somewhere.

      I don’t think there’s a story if Gul’dan chooses anything other than evil. But my stance is that he always had that choice available to him, and CHOSE evil, which is why he’s a villain, and why his narrative is compelling. If you delete that choice because free will is a fallacy, there’s no point in stories, and there’s no point in creativity.

  1. I main a warlock, I love my warlock. Warlocks are *the* best class. I couldn’t get to the end of the conversation because it made my brain hurt. “Warlocks were innocent victims of their own powerlust, and as such can’t be held responsible for the actions they take in the name of pursuing power” – that’s rubbish in my opinion. It’s a willful abdication of personal responsibility for consequences and makes no sense in the context of warlocks. Warlocks make a conscious choice to go after fel power, they use their will to force demons into submission and serve their purpose. That can’t work if they have no will.
    Gul’dan is a unscrupulous sod and he is far more effective if he consciously chooses to damn all the other orcs into slavery to the Burning Legion. That takes a level of ruthless self serving that makes him someone to fear. Saying he couldn’t help himself, that his actions were outside his control, lessens the impact that Gul’dan’s actions have, in my view.
    Gul’dan is obviously fictitious and at the mercy of the writers, but I find it enjoyable in a story to have someone who is not a victim. They make their choices for their reasons, and whether you agree with those choices and their outcomes or not, that person stands by their actions. I also liked that Garrosh wasn’t externally corrupted or driven mad etc. He made his choices, and he believed in those choices.

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