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  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curandhras View Post
    It's pretty efficient though,
    I don't see it as efficient. And Orcs complain quite a bit.
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  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Al. View Post
    Really Sauron is just plain evil, no "alternate motives". His dominion, his craftmanship, all his perfetionism is aimed at capture, torture, kill the Children of Iluviatar more specifically "Man Race" his focus seem to be there, but he i just the continuation of Morgoth but in lesser degree.

    Sure he may started "good", but even that is uncertain, just like Morgoth his pride and will to dominate lesser beigns was his motive, they turned out to be purely evil.

    Both Sauron and Melkor were into dominating the Children of Iluviatar, was was their purpose in life, so yeah they were evil.
    Not according to Tolkien.


    “Sauron had never reached this stage of nihilistic madness [as Morgoth had]. He did not object to the existence of the world, so long as he could do what he liked with it. He still had the relics of positive purposes, that descended from the good of the nature in which he began: it had been his virtue (and therefore also the cause of his fall, and of his relapse) that he loved order and coordination, and disliked all confusion and wasteful friction."


    So there was still a hint of good in him, insofar that his desire was not evil, but he got lost along the way. He simply wanted to create order in a very chaotic world.
    Last edited by BirdofHermes; Aug 15 2012 at 09:35 PM.
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  3. #28
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    What I wished to provide was an alternative take on Sauron's motives. A motive not led by vanity or personal gain, and as such very contrary to Morgoth. I can not see in any of the replies here a valid point against the motive laid out in the original post. What other option would have been available to him? Could he have hoped to 'fix' the creation in any way other than to have Eru undo and redo it? Yes, he could have just accepted it and maintained 'faith', but due to his extreme perfectionistic nature, would he have been able to just accept it?

    There is this saying that sometimes one has to be cruel to be kind. I am just wondering whether it could be Sauron took this saying to its absolute extreme. Boraxxe spoke of 'The ends justify the means'. So what if we in retrospective would look at a Sauron and his atrocities, while knowing he tried to bring forth Eru's true vision of the creation, and what - if he had succeeded? Would we still judge him evil, or would we judge him a saviour and martyr?

    Please whoever reads this, understand I am not aiming at controversy here. Instead I am aiming to examine our own view of 'evil'. If we have a rat investation and put down poison, we will hardly accept to be called evil for it. We will justify our actions as neccessary, even though if we'd ask the rats, I am sure they would have a different take on our actions. So what if Sauron eventually chose his path of action 'to clean the creation out'? Many humans will not be interested in compassion when it comes to what they consider 'vermin'. Can we judge Sauron if he perceived the creatures of the creation as nothing but vermin, too? What if he had focussed his attention on mosquitoes in Middle Earth instead? I doubt those who find him the perfect villain now, would have wanted him judged for cruelty then, so where is the actual line for 'evil actions' compared to 'understandable and for us relatable necessities'?
    This of course reaches beyond Tolkien's work and the character of Sauron into a philosophical struggle, but Sauron, I feel, is a good character to use for this.


    @BirdofHermes
    Yes, I agree with that, and yes, I do believe he ended lost with it. Lost and frustrated, which eventually led him to choose more and more extreme measures.

  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starina View Post
    Could he have hoped to 'fix' the creation in any way other than to have Eru undo and redo it?
    I think that's exactly what he was trying to do. To bring it under his rule of order and perfection. He'd seen Eru's creations develop (apparently) how Eru intended, and to him they weren't up to scratch. To get Eru in to "re roll" could only result in the same evolution occurring again. Iluvatar doesn't make mistakes, if Sauron wasn't happy with the world, asking for a Arda 2.0 would only result in the same conclusions.

    Sauron could not, of course, be a ‘sincere’ atheist. Though one of the minor spirits created before the world, he knew Eru, according to his measure. He probably deluded himself with the notion that the Valar (including Melkor) having failed, Eru had simply abandoned Ea, or at any rate Arda, and would not concern himself with it any more.
    He'd given up on any further intervention by Eru (bit awkward really given how the Ring was destroyed...) so I don't think his aim was to rush along toward Dagor Dagorath.

    He did not object to the existence of the world, so long as he could do what he liked with it. He still had the relics of positive purposes, that descended from the good of the nature in which he began: it had been his virtue (and therefore also the cause of his fall, and of his relapse) that he loved order and co-ordination, and disliked all confusion and wasteful friction.
    Rather he was trying to bring it all under his control so he could "sort it all out" himself.
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  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curandhras View Post
    Rather he was trying to bring it all under his control so he could "sort it all out" himself.
    Exactly. He didn't wage war on the Free Peoples because he hated them (*) and wanted to get rid of them, he just wanted to control them. In fact he liked Men a lot better than his own Orcs, he saw great potential in them.

    (*) Initially that is, in the end he did indeed hate Elves and Dwarves for past grievances.
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  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curandhras View Post
    ...
    Rather he was trying to bring it all under his control so he could "sort it all out" himself.
    Or that, yes *nods*


    But Arda 1.0 was not entirely of Eru's making, as it contained Melkor's discords. Mairon had followed Eru's tune. Is it not feasible he wished to have a reroll without Melkor's notes in it?

  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starina View Post
    Or that, yes *nods*


    But Arda 1.0 was not entirely of Eru's making, as it contained Melkor's discords. Mairon had followed Eru's tune. Is it not feasible he wished to have a reroll without Melkor's notes in it?
    Possibly, if he thought Eru was still around. Melkor was of Eru's design though, even his discord ended up augmenting Eru's music and in the end it became better for it. I'd imagine that even if Sauron thought it was possible to do this "re set", he knew enough of the music as it was to guess that Melkor would probably be made again, and if not, what's to say Mairon would be?

    As far as I know, Dagor Dagorath is the end. I don't know of any planned repeat or new beginning after it, although I could be wrong on that.
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  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curandhras View Post
    Possibly, if he thought Eru was still around. Melkor was of Eru's design though, even his discord ended up augmenting Eru's music and in the end it became better for it. I'd imagine that even if Sauron thought it was possible to do this "re set", he knew enough of the music as it was to guess that Melkor would probably be made again, and if not, what's to say Mairon would be?

    As far as I know, Dagor Dagorath is the end. I don't know of any planned repeat or new beginning after it, although I could be wrong on that.
    As far as I recall, it is hinted somewhere that Eru was planning to undo the first creation at some point, and to gather the Ainur once more to replay the music. With Melkor banned into the void, and more than likely any of the other 'rebellious' Ainur weeded out (Mairon may or may not to be included), the music would not contain the first discords. At least as far as I understood this, the creation ended flawed due to Melkor's influence. He introduced greed and vanity and the ability for 'evil' within the creatures of the creation. Eru as the All Knowing father, would of course (so we have to assume) have known what would come to pass through creating Melkor in the first place, plus then additionally allowing him to taint the music. We are left to guess whether he had it all come to pass as he did, to teach the Ainur the meaning of 'evil'. It is however, the only explanation I as a simpleton can come up with for Eru's actions >.>

    But yes, it is in light of this, that I believe it to be possible Sauron tried to force Eru to act and undo the creation. I am not saying this is a 100%, but it is a possible motive in my view.

  9. #34
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    The creation of Arda was Eru's doing.
    If Eru knows all (past and future) , can creation be satisfying?
    Can it be anything of interest?
    It can only be interesting if Eru does not know for certain how the cookie crumbles.

    Why create a universe that has all aspects determined with no one to show it to? There would be no one to show it to because all of the observers are part of the creation and their observance is predetermined.

    The discord of Melkor and the antics of Sauron must be (at least to some degree) unknown to Eru.

    He could certainly stop the progression or in some way interfere with it (as he did when the Wave passed over Beleriand and when Numenor sank) but he did not know the ultimate outcome or there would be no point to the entire enterprise.

    Edit: The idea of Eru interfering at all is a paradox if Eru is considered "all knowing".
    Last edited by Boraxxe; Aug 16 2012 at 02:33 AM. Reason: added edit


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  10. #35
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    That though reaches into godly gambling habits with dices, Boraxxe :P

    Also depends whether we would approach omnipotence and omniscience as total or inherent, and involve predestination as a means to address the paradox of free will. I most certainly have no intention of derailing into that, and am definitely not sure which path Tolkien was walking in regards to this.
    As we are missing a complete history of Arda written by him, the Lord of the Rings as well as the Hobbit only covering a small time span within.. and therefore do not know whether the prophecy of Dagor Dagorath, followed by the second music ever did come to pass in the story, we are of course left with nothing but speculation. As a writer of something as huge as a full history of Arda, Tolkien no doubt would have had his work cut out, to get it absolute water tight. Lesser stories can get away with little holes, a big story like that can not. Maybe the actual reason he eventually never did write it, and in that I actually have to agree with Snoggy, as in so far that even though I believe his notes are of great importance and should not be ignored - they are incomplete. Tolkien over his life time changed stance on some aspects of it all, and there are inconsistencies, as fas as I recall, probably simply due to the fact that he worked on it all over a long span of time, which would have affected memory as well as view points, influenced by life and experiences gained. Due to us not having a full history, we are left to guess about parts of it, but there is no harm in that, I feel, and it is just about exchanging opinions and speculations, whether a final agreement can be reached or not. Agreeing is great, but disagreeing in matters of something like this, is no problem either. Not really as if anything of planet importance depends on it. We are just discussing for leisure, not survival ^^
    Last edited by Starina; Aug 16 2012 at 12:01 PM.

  11. #36
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    It is true...from a certain point of view

  12. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by Curandhras View Post
    I think that's exactly what he was trying to do. To bring it under his rule of order and perfection. He'd seen Eru's creations develop (apparently) how Eru intended, and to him they weren't up to scratch. To get Eru in to "re roll" could only result in the same evolution occurring again. Iluvatar doesn't make mistakes, if Sauron wasn't happy with the world, asking for a Arda 2.0 would only result in the same conclusions.



    He'd given up on any further intervention by Eru (bit awkward really given how the Ring was destroyed...) so I don't think his aim was to rush along toward Dagor Dagorath.



    Rather he was trying to bring it all under his control so he could "sort it all out" himself.
    As Tolkien said -"He did not object to the existence of the world, so long as he could do what he liked with it. He still had the relics of positive purposes, that descended from the good of the nature in which he began: it had been his virtue (and therefore also the cause of his fall, and of his relapse) that he loved order and co-ordination, and disliked all confusion and wasteful friction. "




    /signed
    As a perfectionist he wanted to get creation working to a set order without the uncertainties that had corrupted the world. Like a lot of real world tyrants he started out with the intention of setting things in order but got carried away with the false impression that fear and tyranny equals power. "If every one obeys the same laws and follows the same path then order and consistency has to be the end result." - sounds like a reasonable philosophy, and many men including religious leaders have had the same thought process. After all, perfection is the highest form of excellence without fault or disorder therefore his attempts to control everything tie in with his previous philosophy and as such cannot really be faulted, only the methods can be.

    As regards him trying to force Eru's hand and make him take action not really likely in my view seeing as Eru had had his chance and (knowing the end result) allowed Melkor to screw it up with pride,greed and ignorance. (Saurons viewpoint)

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  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curandhras View Post
    I think that's exactly what he was trying to do. To bring it under his rule of order and perfection. He'd seen Eru's creations develop (apparently) how Eru intended, and to him they weren't up to scratch. To get Eru in to "re roll" could only result in the same evolution occurring again. Iluvatar doesn't make mistakes, if Sauron wasn't happy with the world, asking for a Arda 2.0 would only result in the same conclusions.



    He'd given up on any further intervention by Eru (bit awkward really given how the Ring was destroyed...) so I don't think his aim was to rush along toward Dagor Dagorath.



    Rather he was trying to bring it all under his control so he could "sort it all out" himself.
    And in doing so, he reasons that his judgement is superior to that of Eru; that he knows best and should be in charge, and falls down the same path that Melkor did.
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  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by LoyKashka View Post
    And in doing so, he reasons that his judgement is superior to that of Eru; that he knows best and should be in charge, and falls down the same path that Melkor did.
    There's nothing evil about thinking you know best. Have you never had that feeling? Been in some sort of group situation where the "leader" clearly has no idea, and it's hurting the group? Thinking it's all going wrong, deciding you are well placed to sort it out, and then trying to take control so that you can do just that is nothing evil. If anything it's a trait that a lot of employers love in prospective employees. It's a part of ever day life. The fact that it is "God" Sauron opposes blinds a lot of people to the fact that disagreeing with someone's leadership is not an evil motive in the slightest.

    And that is where he is very different to Melkor. Sauron's motive is not an evil one, whereas Melkor's certainly was. They do both end up on the same "path" but the "place they're trying to get to" is completely different.


    As an aside, Sauron was a part of, and heard, Eru's music. He'd most likely be aware that Men are truly free people and have had no fate laid out for them. It was with Men he was mostly interested, whether wanting to ally with, or control certain bands of them. He might have been perfectly happy with the way Eru's plan had worked out, for those races that did have a plan, but Men didn't have a plan assigned to them, so dissatisfaction with wasted potential amongst Men is not necessarily dissatisfaction with Eru's judgement, rather Man's own shortcomings.
    Last edited by Curandhras; Aug 16 2012 at 04:58 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curandhras View Post
    There's nothing evil about thinking you know best. Have you never had that feeling? Been in some sort of group situation where the "leader" clearly has no idea, and it's hurting the group? Thinking it's all going wrong, deciding you are well placed to sort it out, and then trying to take control so that you can do just that is nothing evil. If anything it's a trait that a lot of employers love in prospective employees. It's a part of ever day life. The fact that it is "God" Sauron opposes blinds a lot of people to the fact that disagreeing with someone's leadership is not an evil motive in the slightest.

    ^ I like this. I am still not 100% convinced Sauron is not at the same time also trying to bring forth an end of the creation, for if he knows about the prophecy, his attempts to still strengthen Morgoth could be viewed as that he wishes to speed up the time to the final battle.. but either way, something about this character -to me personally- sets him very much apart from the usual evil villain. I just try to understand what he must have felt and thought entering and observing the creation and the races. He was clearly not 'evil' then, but he ended walking a very brutal path.

    Sauron's evil to me is in no shape or form clear cut. In our current earth history we can look back on only a very few who through peaceful means managed to achieve a succesful outcome, Gandhi being one (not that it lasted). Most revolutions elsewise, even though many claimed they wished to bring justice and fairness, ended using violent methods, the French Revolution being one example, and using the French Revolution further, it led to torture, masacre and tyranny in its own right. We cheer and tear for someone like William Wallace, who we see as a hero and freedom fighter when we watch the movie, but in fact this man too used violance and war, and this list is almost endless, while in some cases we support the efforts of some who rose, and condemn those of others. General Grant, as far as I can recall, during the American Civil War, ordered his south invading troups to r*** and plunder, to weaken the resolve of the confederate fighters, while General Lee had his soldiers threatened with execution should they found r**ing (unless I remember my research wrong, but I am pretty certain I found this at some point). I just feel all this shows how subjective 'right' and 'wrong' can be. Just imagine Tolkien would have written his books from the view point that Sauron was in truth a fighter for order and justice. We may now would be debating how evil Aragon was, trying to become King...

    I feel Sauron a challenge to our view of 'evil' and to double and triple check our own 'righteousness', and what makes us 'tick' and leads us to either support or condemn a cause. It can not be violance alone, as we surely will hail those who tried to blow up Hitler, and would probably even find it okay if they had tortured someone who could have given them information when to best strike at him. Through this we show a clear willingness to justify even 'evil methods', if if furthers our own preferred outcome. What then sets us in truth apart from those we call 'evil'? That we believe our fight is more righteous? But viewed like this, could we not come to actually see Sauron as the one who is in the right, with his wish to bring order and logic to a violent chaotic world? Maybe his world, if he could have achieved it, would have known no violance anymore. Would that then have justified his methods to arrive at that point..?



    /edit
    I am using historic examples on purpose, even though I can think of present ones too, but I really do not wish this to turn into a current political discussion
    Last edited by Starina; Aug 17 2012 at 08:43 AM.

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    The problem with any discussions such as this thread is in the basic assumptions.

    1. Evil is in the eye of the beholder so to speak. There is no clear concept that everyone would agree defines evil. It is a layered and subjective perception. At what point do actions turn from unpleasant to out-and-out evil?

    2. Mairon's perfectionism is cited as proof of his non-evil intentions. Vanity is cited as a motivating force for Melkor and a sign of evil. But isn't perfectionism a form of vanity? Who decides what is "perfect" if not the "perfectionist" and that in itself stems from a form of vanity (the I know better than you sort). So is vanity itself evil? Someone argues later in the thread that feeling you know better than another is not evil but is it not still vanity? And if so, is vanity evil per sé?

    3. At one point the initial argument devolves into a spoiled child not getting his wish (Sauron) and this somehow justifies his subsequent actions. I am hard-pressed to assign such simple and childlike emotions to the Valar.

    4. The OP makes a good case in her last post for my point #1 above- How do you define evil? This flips the whole argument on its head since it started as an alternative motivation (other than "evil") for Sauron. Without being able to nail down "what is evil" how can you present an argument proving a character is or is not evil? Certainly by the standards of those being killed Sauron's actions are evil. But if, as was posited in the thread, he disdains the mortals as sub-beings worthy of destruction are his actions evil from his point of view? When we eradicate an invasive mollusk from the Great Lakes are we evil? Certainly from the point of view of the mollusk!


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    Good post, I'm just outlining how I feel though:

    Quote Originally Posted by Reaboj View Post
    The problem with any discussions such as this thread is in the basic assumptions.

    1. Evil is in the eye of the beholder so to speak. There is no clear concept that everyone would agree defines evil. It is a layered and subjective perception. At what point do actions turn from unpleasant to out-and-out evil?
    Less about the actions themselves, rather the motives*

    Quote Originally Posted by Reaboj View Post
    2. Mairon's perfectionism is cited as proof of his non-evil intentions. Vanity is cited as a motivating force for Melkor and a sign of evil. But isn't perfectionism a form of vanity? Who decides what is "perfect" if not the "perfectionist" and that in itself stems from a form of vanity (the I know better than you sort). So is vanity itself evil? Someone argues later in the thread that feeling you know better than another is not evil but is it not still vanity? And if so, is vanity evil per sé?
    Melkor's vanity is not one in the sense of "ooh, look at me and how clever I am". It's more that he feels contempt and hatred for everything that is not him or his own and seeks to destroy it. Where Sauron is trying to control, align and improve (in his view), Melkor only seeks to corrupt and destroy.

    Sauron may be vain in the sense that he believes himself to be a genius among idiots, he isn't out to destroy creation itself though for nothing more than his own desire.

    Quote Originally Posted by Reaboj View Post
    3. At one point the initial argument devolves into a spoiled child not getting his wish (Sauron) and this somehow justifies his subsequent actions. I am hard-pressed to assign such simple and childlike emotions to the Valar.
    If everyone who has ever disagreed with anyone else's leadership (anyone who votes against the current governing party, for example?) is nothing more than a spoilt child not getting their way, fair enough. I don't think that's fair though. In Melkor's, the Vala, case he is far more akin to a spoilt child than Sauron ever was. Melkor was all angsty that Eru and other Valar could create and he could not. His motives were bitterness and resentment.

    Quote Originally Posted by Reaboj View Post
    4. The OP makes a good case in her last post for my point #1 above- How do you define evil? This flips the whole argument on its head since it started as an alternative motivation (other than "evil") for Sauron. Without being able to nail down "what is evil" how can you present an argument proving a character is or is not evil? Certainly by the standards of those being killed Sauron's actions are evil. But if, as was posited in the thread, he disdains the mortals as sub-beings worthy of destruction are his actions evil from his point of view? When we eradicate an invasive mollusk from the Great Lakes are we evil? Certainly from the point of view of the mollusk!


    Just my 2¢..
    *exactly. The point is not if his actions were evil or not. Going on actions alone you could make a fairly good case for Aragorn, Fingolfin, Manwe, Washington, Blair, Jesus etc being evil. The act of killing, ordering to kill, banishing etc etc etc, they're all "mean". Aragorn kills plenty of people. He also marches a threadbare army into the gates of the enemy, pretty certain in his mind that they'll all die.

    It's the motives, at least in my view, that determine whether or not someone is evil. If you eradicate an invasive mollusc to make sure it doesn't bring with it infection or in some other way ruin the balance of the eco system and destroy thousands of other animals/habitats, that's probably fair enough. If you eradicate the mollusc because you like the noise it makes when its shell cracks, that's probably leaning toward evil.

    So while Sauron wanted to control and conquer to, in his view, improve the races and help them reach a potential that they were squandering, Melkor just wanted to destroy everything because he didn't like it very much.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curandhras View Post
    Good post, I'm just outlining how I feel though:



    Less about the actions themselves, rather the motives*
    Again, a subjective definition of evil- if a person has "evil" intentions (however you may define that) but does not act on them, are they evil? If a person with "good" intentions does nothing to thwart "evil", are they evil in their lack of action?


    Melkor's vanity is not one in the sense of "ooh, look at me and how clever I am". It's more that he feels contempt and hatred for everything that is not him or his own and seeks to destroy it. Where Sauron is trying to control, align and improve (in his view), Melkor only seeks to corrupt and destroy.

    Sauron may be vain in the sense that he believes himself to be a genius among idiots, he isn't out to destroy creation itself though for nothing more than his own desire.
    It is his desire to see his version of "perfection" that sets him on a path of destruction. You can attribute a higher purpose to that but it is still his desire and his actions based on his vanity. I agree it is not the same vanity as Melkor but again we are into shades of grey in definition and perception.



    If everyone who has ever disagreed with anyone else's leadership (anyone who votes against the current governing party, for example?) is nothing more than a spoilt child not getting their way, fair enough. I don't think that's fair though. In Melkor's, the Vala, case he is far more akin to a spoilt child than Sauron ever was. Melkor was all angsty that Eru and other Valar could create and he could not. His motives were bitterness and resentment.
    Do you not think the OP's position that perhaps Mairon was "hurt" and felt "abandoned" thereby leading to his "well then take this" attitude sounds a lot like a spoiled child saying "I'll show you!"?

    *exactly. The point is not if his actions were evil or not. Going on actions alone you could make a fairly good case for Aragorn, Fingolfin, Manwe, Washington, Blair, Jesus etc being evil. The act of killing, ordering to kill, banishing etc etc etc, they're all "mean". Aragorn kills plenty of people. He also marches a threadbare army into the gates of the enemy, pretty certain in his mind that they'll all die.

    It's the motives, at least in my view, that determine whether or not someone is evil. If you eradicate an invasive mollusc to make sure it doesn't bring with it infection or in some other way ruin the balance of the eco system and destroy thousands of other animals/habitats, that's probably fair enough. If you eradicate the mollusc because you like the noise it makes when its shell cracks, that's probably leaning toward evil.
    I think that's a generally accepted overview and difficult to disagree with in the abstract but there are still so many variables even in that view. Therein lies my point about the ultimate futility of trying to ascribe motivation and then deciding if that defines evil. (And the mollusks would still call it evil regardless of the reasons )

    So while Sauron wanted to control and conquer to, in his view, improve the races and help them reach a potential that they were squandering, Melkor just wanted to destroy everything because he didn't like it very much.
    Do you disagree that ultimately Sauron wanted to destroy, not just control and conquer, the races of Middle Earth? That is a bit more drastic than trying to nudge it along a path that he believes it was intended to follow to "help them reach a potential". So I ask, at what point does his motivation as revealed by his actions become defined as evil rather than misguided or "contorted"? It isn't a zero sum where if we agree Melkor is "evil" then Sauron, being unlike Melkor in motivation, must be "not evil". Couldn't they both be evil?

    btw- I do not have answers- merely playing a bit of devil's advocate to stir the synapses
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reaboj View Post
    Again, a subjective definition of evil- if a person has "evil" intentions (however you may define that) but does not act on them, are they evil? If a person with "good" intentions does nothing to thwart "evil", are they evil in their lack of action?
    Well I'd say that until anyone acts upon any intention you can't know either way. Is conspiricy to commit genoice evil, even if nothing is done? I'd say so, imo. (Being in a position to actually carry out that conspiricay is when you have serious problems, of course)

    Quote Originally Posted by Reaboj View Post
    It is his desire to see his version of "perfection" that sets him on a path of destruction. You can attribute a higher purpose to that but it is still his desire and his actions based on his vanity. I agree it is not the same vanity as Melkor but again we are into shades of grey in definition and perception.

    Do you not think the OP's position that perhaps Mairon was "hurt" and felt "abandoned" thereby leading to his "well then take this" attitude sounds a lot like a spoiled child saying "I'll show you!"?

    "Vanity" implies, to me, no reason other than one's own desires. Sauron did actually believe he was doing it for the "greater good". His "path of destruction" is not actually a path of "destruction". Sure he starts a few wars, but he never sank half a continent, for example.

    Sauron had never reached this stage of nihilistic madness. He did not object to the existence of the world, so long as he could do what he liked with it. He still had the relics of positive purposes, that descended from the good of the nature in which he began: it had been his virtue (and therefore also the cause of his fall, and of his relapse) that he loved order and co-ordination, and disliked all confusion and wasteful friction.
    - Tolkien

    [Sauron] was not indeed wholly evil, not unless all 'reformers' who want to hurry up with 'reconstruction' and 'reorganization' are wholly evil, even before pride and the lust to exert their will eat them up". "[T]hough the only real good in, or rational motive for, all this ordering and planning and organization was the good of all inhabitants of Arda (even admitting Sauron's right to be their supreme lord), his 'plans', the idea coming from his own isolated mind, became the sole object of his will, and an end, the End, in itself. ... [H]is capability of corrupting other minds, and even engaging their service, was a residue from the fact that his original desire for 'order' had really envisaged the good estate (especially physical well-being) of his 'subjects'."
    - Also Tolkien (the bolding's me though)

    Note that repeatedly Tolkien underlines that Sauron is motivated by a desire to improve the world. Even if we don't agree with Sauron's definition of improve, surely that can not be considered an evil motive.

    I think that's a generally accepted overview and difficult to disagree with in the abstract but there are still so many variables even in that view. Therein lies my point about the ultimate futility of trying to ascribe motivation and then deciding if that defines evil. (And the mollusks would still call it evil regardless of the reasons )
    I agree, but the Orcs that Merry and Pippin kill would think the same of them. Are Merry and Pippin evil?

    Quote Originally Posted by Reaboj View Post
    Do you disagree that ultimately Sauron wanted to destroy, not just control and conquer, the races of Middle Earth? That is a bit more drastic than trying to nudge it along a path that he believes it was intended to follow to "help them reach a potential". So I ask, at what point does his motivation as revealed by his actions become defined as evil rather than misguided or "contorted"? It isn't a zero sum where if we agree Melkor is "evil" then Sauron, being unlike Melkor in motivation, must be "not evil". Couldn't they both be evil?

    btw- I do not have answers- merely playing a bit of devil's advocate to stir the synapses
    I don't think he did ultimately want to destroy them, no. Tolkien said a fair few times that Sauron, unlike Melkor, did not wish to destroy. He was quite happy for the races to exist. What he couldn't stand was the way they behaved. In his view they were all almost criminally wasting time and resources, and they were completely unaware of that themselves. For example, he couldn't understand why Radagast chose to use his power to influence animals, where Gandalf and Saruman (and presumably the Blue Wizards) used theirs to influence the sentient races. He thought this was a waste of potential, no reason for Radagast to be so "unambitious" in Sauron's view.

    His actions were evil, he started several wars and killed several thousands of people. But then so did every revolutionary, some of whom are held up as heroes. Even Ché gets a sort of hero worship, I'm sure we could attribute a fair bit of "evil" to him. I think evil, to me at least, in the context of this discussion, is being used to mean pure evil, "bad to the bone" sort of thing. Certainly Melkor was this. I think the very fact that the discussion is even being held here at least implies that Saruon was not all bad. Indeed Tolkien repeatedly states that Sauron is not all bad.

    They both do evil things, but I don't think they're both "evil". At least, in the way the word is used to describe Melkor, Sauron is not that. In my opinion anyway.


    As an aside, when it is said of Sauron "his dominion is torment" I always took this to mean that, in a way, Sauron was "stuck" with the 'bad' way of doing things. I.e. he found that he was extremely talented at corruption, influencing others to his will, torment, in general. Perhaps by abandoning the Valar and Eru he was condemned to be talented only in the "dark" arts, so since he only had those tools available to him, those are the ones he used to try and bring about his new, streamlined world.

    EDIT: I don't mean to come across as arguing that Sauron was actually the good guy and just misunderstood, by the way. Certainly the Freeps were right to oppose him, since had he won he would have taken all of ME under his rule and it wouldn't have been much fun for anyone. All I'm arguing against is that Sauron represents the archetypal "bad guy". Tolkien's works are far deeper than "good v evil".
    Last edited by Curandhras; Aug 17 2012 at 07:43 PM.
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    “But Sauron was not of mortal flesh, and though he was robbed now of that shape in which had wrought so great an evil, so that he could never again appear fair to the eyes of Men, yet his spirit arose out of the deep and passed as a shadow and a black wind over the sea, and came back to Middle-earth and to Mordor that was his home. There he took up again his great Ring in Barad-dur, and dwelt there, dark and silent, until he wrought himself a new guise, an image of malice and hatred made visible; and the Eye of Sauron the Terrible few could endure.”

    ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Silmarillion
    He was evil, the source is the in the books, not some louzy site your getting your information.

    His motive: "Destroy or Bend the Children of Iluviatar"

    He was a perfeccionist, but just as Melkor who was a jack of all trades Valar, they had secret envy that later transformed to hate for Eru mission of Arda and the Children of Eru. Melkor dissonance doesn't halt the song of the other Valar so that means the dissonance is evil in Arda thats pretty clear in the Silmarillion First chapter.

    Ok so the origin of evil was Melkor's doing, later willing or not Sauron played his role in that dissonance in the world he became dark lord of Mordor and a threat to free peoples and fading elves in middle earth.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Al. View Post
    He was evil, the source is the in the books, not some louzy site your getting your information.
    A source that does not say that he is evil. It says he wrought evil. Note the "louzy" site takes quotes directly from several of Tolkien's interviews and letters.

    Note also it is a "louzy" site that you linked in a previous thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by Al. View Post
    His motive: "Destroy or Bend the Children of Iluviatar"
    This is regularly and out rightly contradicted by Tolkien's own statements. Where are you getting the idea that he wanted to destroy? He wanted to command and rule, not destroy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Al. View Post
    He was a perfeccionist, but just as Melkor who was a jack of all trades Valar, they had secret envy that later transformed to hate for Eru mission of Arda and the Children of Eru. Melkor dissonance doesn't halt the song of the other Valar so that means the dissonance is evil in Arda thats pretty clear in the Silmarillion First chapter.

    Ok so the origin of evil was Melkor's doing, later willing or not Sauron played his role in that dissonance in the world he became dark lord of Mordor and a threat to free peoples and fading elves in middle earth.
    I don't understand your point here. He was a perfectionist. Melkor wasn't. Melkor envied and feared the other Valar/races. Sauron's envy was not so strong as to be a basis for all his actions, he just wanted bring an end to the poor leadership and action of Elves, Dwarves and particularly Men, as he saw it.

    So, the Silmarillion says Melkor is evil, yes, no one is disputing that. Later on Sauron was a threat to the free peoples in Middle earth, yes, we're not disputing that either.

    You've written a lot of words there but I'm not sure you've actually said anything.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curandhras View Post
    A source that does not say that he is evil. It says he wrought evil. Note the "louzy" site takes quotes directly from several of Tolkien's interviews and letters.

    Note also it is a "louzy" site that you linked in a previous thread.
    This is what you refer to correct:
    http://lotrscrapbook.bookloaf.net/ref/letters_evil.html

    That isn't accurate, I know its not, show me the actual letter by J.R.R Tolkien# that says Sauron is not "wholly evil" and that is not nihilistic as Morgoth.


    This is regularly and out rightly contradicted by Tolkien's own statements. Where are you getting the idea that he wanted to destroy? He wanted to command and rule, not destroy.
    Actually Im sure you are the one twisting Tolkien words around, contradicting and in fact Tolkien clearly gives examples of how his mythology is linked to his Catholic views.


    I don't understand your point here. He was a perfectionist. Melkor wasn't. Melkor envied and feared the other Valar/races. Sauron's envy was not so strong as to be a basis for all his actions, he just wanted bring an end to the poor leadership and action of Elves, Dwarves and particularly Men, as he saw it.

    So, the Silmarillion says Melkor is evil, yes, no one is disputing that. Later on Sauron was a threat to the free peoples in Middle earth, yes, we're not disputing that either.

    You've written a lot of words there but I'm not sure you've actually said anything.
    poor leadership of elves? of men?...obviously your are putting yourself too much in Sauron shoes, lets look at Sauron actions:

    +"Used a fair form to trick elves, men and dwarves into making rings of power bent to the will of the one ring (his ring).
    +"Used fair form to trick men of numenor on worshiping Morgoth and disregard the other Valar, and trick them into attacking the blessed realm of Valinor.
    +Once he lost his fair form from sinking of numenor, he returned to middle earth and attacked the free peoples there.
    +He used the ame tactics of Melkor by making a fortress in Middle-earth named Mordor
    +He used Melkor's orcs and retained his leadership to destroy or capture Gondor his main focus as man race was taking power in third age and elves were fading into the west, dwarves posed no threat to mordor.
    +He used his artifice to use the "seer stones" and twist saruman sent by the Valar to help the free people.

    Surely he wasn't a "perfectionist" he was a "Trickster", thats very clear in Lord of the rings, he is a Dark LORD, his order is evil and his means are just as evil, the rings, the nazgul, the lid-less eye. His efficiency was just as saruman's industrial war machine bent of causing war, his "order" is just a mean to an end.

    does means justify ends?....thats the debate right?

    Well sauron's means and ends were both evil.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Al. View Post
    This is what you refer to correct:
    http://lotrscrapbook.bookloaf.net/ref/letters_evil.html

    That isn't accurate, I know its not, show me the actual letter by J.R.R Tolkien# that says Sauron is not "wholly evil" and that is not nihilistic as Morgoth.
    “Sauron had never reached this stage of nihilistic madness [as Morgoth had]. He did not object to the existence of the world, so long as he could do what he liked with it. He still had the relics of positive purposes, that descended from the good of the nature in which he began: it had been his virtue (and therefore also the cause of his fall, and of his relapse) that he loved order and coordination, and disliked all confusion and wasteful friction."
    —J.R.R. Tolkien, The History of Middle-earth X: Morgoth’s Ring, Part V “Myths Transformed” Text VII: Notes on the motives in the Silmarillion (i)


    "Some reviewers have called the whole thing simple-minded, just a plain fight between Good and Evil, with all the good just good, and the bad just bad. Pardonable, perhaps (though at least Boromir has been overlooked) in people in a hurry and with only a fragment to read and of course without the earlier-written but unpublished Elvish histories [The Silmarillion]. The Elves are not wholly good or in the right. Not so much because they had flirted with Sauron, as because with or without his assistance they were 'embalmers'. In their way the Men of Gondor were similar: a withering people whose only 'hallows' were their tombs. But in any case this is a tale about a war, and if war is allowed (at least as a topic and a setting) it is not much good complaining that all the people on one side are against those on the other. Not that I have made even this issue quite so simple: there are Saruman, and Denethor, and Boromir; and there are treacheries and strife even among the Orcs. [Besides], in this 'mythology' all the 'angelic' powers concerned with this world were capable of many degrees of error and failing, between the absolute Satanic rebellion and evil of Morgoth and his satellite Sauron, and the fainéance of some of the other higher powers or 'gods'. The 'wizards' were not exempt. Indeed, being incarnate, they were more likely to stray, or err. Gandalf alone fully passes the tests, on a moral plane anyway (he makes mistakes of judgement). Since in the view of this tale and mythology, Power, when it dominates or seeks to dominate other wills and minds (except by the assent of their reason) is evil, these 'wizards' were incarnated in the life-forms of Middle-earth, and so suffered the pains both of mind and body."
    —J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 154


    "In my story I do not deal in Absolute Evil. I do not think there is such a thing, since that is Zero. I do not think that at any rate any 'rational being' is wholly evil. Satan fell. In my myth Morgoth fell before Creation of the physical world. In my story Sauron represents as near an approach to the wholly evil will as is possible. He had gone the way of all tyrants: beginning well, at least on the level that while desiring to order all things according to his own wisdom he still at first considered the (economic) well-being of other inhabitants of the Earth. But he went further than human tyrants in pride and the lust for domination, being in origin an immortal (angelic) spirit."
    —J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 154


    Actually Im sure you are the one twisting Tolkien words around, contradicting and in fact Tolkien clearly gives examples of how his mythology is linked to his Catholic views.
    Tolkiens words were not twisted around by him.
    His mythology is indeed linked to it, but
    1) there is no "absolute evil" in catholicism, even Satan has redeeming qualities
    2) He did not base his stories solely on his catholic views, he mixed them with many other religeous myths


    poor leadership of elves? of men?...obviously your are putting yourself too much in Sauron shoes, lets look at Sauron actions:
    Do let us.

    +"Used a fair form to trick elves, men and dwarves into making rings of power bent to the will of the one ring (his ring).
    So that he could control the bearers, and with that control their subjects. He felt he could make the world far better than it was at that time. His means were immoral, certainly, but his intent was good.

    +"Used fair form to trick men of numenor on worshiping Morgoth and disregard the other Valar, and trick them into attacking the blessed realm of Valinor.

    An act of vengeance on Ar-Pharazôn and his realm for humiliating and imprisoning him.

    Vengeance is never good, but it is somewhat understandable that he wanted to punish him.

    +Once he lost his fair form from sinking of numenor, he returned to middle earth and attacked the free peoples there.
    +He used the ame tactics of Melkor by making a fortress in Middle-earth named Mordor
    +He used Melkor's orcs and retained his leadership to destroy or capture Gondor his main focus as man race was taking power in third age and elves were fading into the west, dwarves posed no threat to mordor.
    +He used his artifice to use the "seer stones" and twist saruman sent by the Valar to help the fre
    e people.
    These are all pretty much the same thing. In short, he waged war.
    Again, his means were certainly immoral, evil even, but his original goal was just. To make the world a better place. In his eyes, better meant less chaos and more efficiency.
    Waging war is certainly not the nicest thing to do, but we do it all the time. Does this make the human race absolute evil?


    Surely he wasn't a "perfectionist" he was a "Trickster",
    Tolkien said otherwise. But naturally you must know better.

    thats very clear in Lord of the rings, he is a Dark LORD,
    You say it as if you're trying to make the word Lord look like a bad thing. Lord is a title. Elrond was a Lord too you know. Perhaps among Orcs he was known as an Elf Lord or a Light Lord, which would be just as bad to them as a Dark Lord sounded to the Free Peoples. That's called war propaganda.

    his order is evil and his means are just as evil, the rings, the nazgul, the lid-less eye.
    Certainly his means were evil/immoral. Order however is not evil. Order is an abstract idea with no morality to it.
    And a lid-less eye is not evil in the same way that a swastika is not evil. How can it be evil when it's just a symbol? Some people who have had negative experiences with bearers of said symbol may associate it with evil, naturally. But to outsiders like us, it is just a symbol, no more evil than a White Tree on a black background. It's just a bit of make-shift heraldry on Sauron's behalf. If he had put a pink bunny on his banners, would you still call it evil?


    His efficiency was just as saruman's industrial war machine bent of causing war, his "order" is just a mean to an end.
    You clearly do not understand.
    Order was the end, the goal, his Grail, the sole reason why he joined Melkor in the first place. He saw a world in chaos and filled with inefficiency and wanted to improve it.
    In order to do that, he needed everyone to follow his guidance and bring about his vision of a better world.
    And since many did not freely follow him, the only solution he saw was to wage war and conquer them so that they'd have no choice.
    The warring is the means, Order and Efficiency is (or was) the end.

    This is also the reason Gandalf fears to use the Ring. He would receive incredible Power over the world, and he too would see its chaos and have the desire to bring order like Sauron had before him. As Tolkien explained in Letter 246, he would rule and order things for "good" until he had made good detestable and seem evil. That is how Sauron fell. Wanting to do too much good.


    does means justify ends?....thats the debate right?

    Well sauron's means and ends were both evil.
    His means were, his end was initially noble.

    You seem to be the only one who's obsessed with NEEDING Sauron to be an purely evil character, when everyone who uses a sniff of logic, and even the author himself, sees it otherwise. Why must you have it that way? Are you afraid that something bad will happen if there is no absolute evil?
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    Quote Originally Posted by BirdofHermes View Post
    “Sauron had never reached this stage of nihilistic madness [as Morgoth had]. He did not object to the existence of the world, so long as he could do what he liked with it. He still had the relics of positive purposes, that descended from the good of the nature in which he began: it had been his virtue (and therefore also the cause of his fall, and of his relapse) that he loved order and coordination, and disliked all confusion and wasteful friction."
    —J.R.R. Tolkien, The History of Middle-earth X: Morgoth’s Ring, Part V “Myths Transformed” Text VII: Notes on the motives in the Silmarillion (i)
    This is not true, and the source is not really accurate to what Tolkien said.


    "Some reviewers have called the whole thing simple-minded, just a plain fight between Good and Evil, with all the good just good, and the bad just bad. Pardonable, perhaps (though at least Boromir has been overlooked) in people in a hurry and with only a fragment to read and of course without the earlier-written but unpublished Elvish histories [The Silmarillion]. The Elves are not wholly good or in the right. Not so much because they had flirted with Sauron, as because with or without his assistance they were 'embalmers'. In their way the Men of Gondor were similar: a withering people whose only 'hallows' were their tombs. But in any case this is a tale about a war, and if war is allowed (at least as a topic and a setting) it is not much good complaining that all the people on one side are against those on the other. Not that I have made even this issue quite so simple: there are Saruman, and Denethor, and Boromir; and there are treacheries and strife even among the Orcs. [Besides], in this 'mythology' all the 'angelic' powers concerned with this world were capable of many degrees of error and failing, between the absolute Satanic rebellion and evil of Morgoth and his satellite Sauron, and the fainéance of some of the other higher powers or 'gods'. The 'wizards' were not exempt. Indeed, being incarnate, they were more likely to stray, or err. Gandalf alone fully passes the tests, on a moral plane anyway (he makes mistakes of judgement). Since in the view of this tale and mythology, Power, when it dominates or seeks to dominate other wills and minds (except by the assent of their reason) is evil, these 'wizards' were incarnated in the life-forms of Middle-earth, and so suffered the pains both of mind and body."
    —J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 154
    Completely right, this is actually written by tolkien also it means there is a complexity between good vs evil, but never states there is absence of it, Morgoth is evil just as sauron is evil, both complex but absolute evil.

    "In my story I do not deal in Absolute Evil. I do not think there is such a thing, since that is Zero. I do not think that at any rate any 'rational being' is wholly evil. Satan fell. In my myth Morgoth fell before Creation of the physical world. In my story Sauron represents as near an approach to the wholly evil will as is possible. He had gone the way of all tyrants: beginning well, at least on the level that while desiring to order all things according to his own wisdom he still at first considered the (economic) well-being of other inhabitants of the Earth. But he went further than human tyrants in pride and the lust for domination, being in origin an immortal (angelic) spirit."
    —J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 154
    False thats not part of the letter#154, in fact Tolkien makes analogy of Morgoth to fallen angels like Satan "fallen from grace" in his letter titled "problem with evil", they are wholly evil afterwards.


    Tolkiens words were not twisted around by him.
    His mythology is indeed linked to it, but
    1) there is no "absolute evil" in catholicism, even Satan has redeeming qualities
    2) He did not base his stories solely on his catholic views, he mixed them with many other religeous myths
    1.- True there is no "absolute evil" in catholicism, but Satan was evil after falling from heaven for example, evil is absolute evil in my thinking.
    2.- He did base in other mythologies but he make direct analogies he explains in his letters about "angelic beigns" and parabole of Morgoth role in Arda, etc. also other mythologies have their "standard" for evil beigns too Loki for example for nordic.



    An act of vengeance on Ar-Pharazôn and his realm for humiliating and imprisoning him.




    Ofcourse! you forgot he also felt envy of the power of numenorians, you also forgot he couldn't stand redemption and going back to Valinor again (he secretly hated the valar) hence how manipulates the numenrians into attacking valinor.

    You see Im not saying Sauron didn't have motives, he is evil surely he knows fear, has a personality and can feel the need of revenge, but that doesn't justify him remember its the same sauron of the first age we are talking about this guy:

    "Sauron was become now a sorcerer of dreadful power, master of shadows and of phantoms, foul in wisdom, cruel in strength, misshaping what he touched, twisting what he ruled, lord of werewolves; his dominion was torment."
    —J.R.R. Tolkien[7]

    These are all pretty much the same thing. In short, he waged war.
    Again, his means were certainly immoral, evil even, but his original goal was just. To make the world a better place. In his eyes, better meant less chaos and more efficiency.
    Waging war is certainly not the nicest thing to do, but we do it all the time. Does this make the human race absolute evil?


    This is really your problem, Sauron never tried to make the world a better place, not get rid of chaos of more efficient he wanted the world to be Dominated by Him and Humilate the Children of Iluviatar, specially the Gondorians and men were rising in power, all he wanted is power for himself how does that make the world a better place?

    Tolkien said otherwise. But naturally you must know better.
    I just don't put things tolkien didn't say as proof or try to say "Sauron tried to make a better world" propaganda, in this point I think I do know better what tolkien tried to say.

    You say it as if you're trying to make the word Lord look like a bad thing. Lord is a title. Elrond was a Lord too you know. Perhaps among Orcs he was known as an Elf Lord or a Light Lord, which would be just as bad to them as a Dark Lord sounded to the Free Peoples. That's called war propaganda.
    Misunderstood, I meant by Dark Lord the "Dark" part emphasis, its not just propaganda by free peoples, Sauron is a terrible foe hence the title Dark Lord of Mordor, the necromancer, the shape-shifter, etc. I know lord isn't peyorative word by itself but the context of how its used, Dark Lord is used to pin-point an evil foe.

    Certainly his means were evil/immoral. Order however is not evil. Order is an abstract idea with no morality to it.
    And a lid-less eye is not evil in the same way that a swastika is not evil. How can it be evil when it's just a symbol? Some people who have had negative experiences with bearers of said symbol may associate it with evil, naturally. But to outsiders like us, it is just a symbol, no more evil than a White Tree on a black background. It's just a bit of make-shift heraldry on Sauron's behalf. If he had put a pink bunny on his banners, would you still call it evil?
    Order used as a weapon to kill the innocent defeats the original purpose of virtue, that is why order and efficiency aren't redeeming in any way.


    You clearly do not understand.
    Order was the end, the goal, his Grail, the sole reason why he joined Melkor in the first place. He saw a world in chaos and filled with inefficiency and wanted to improve it.
    In order to do that, he needed everyone to follow his guidance and bring about his vision of a better world.
    And since many did not freely follow him, the only solution he saw was to wage war and conquer them so that they'd have no choice.
    The warring is the means, Order and Efficiency is (or was) the end.
    Clearly YOU don't understand, order wasn't the end goal for sauron, his goal was DOMINION and twisting the very world to his ideals (EVIL) making EVIL triumph over GOOD.

    GOOD vs EVIL is the main theme of Tolkien, its not simple of course but thats it, the free people goal was to get rid of evil through alliances, inspiration, coordination and common good.


    His means were, his end was initially noble.

    You seem to be the only one who's obsessed with NEEDING Sauron to be an purely evil character, when everyone who uses a sniff of logic, and even the author himself, sees it otherwise. Why must you have it that way? Are you afraid that something bad will happen if there is no absolute evil?
    purely evil for me is means been wholly evil, the author by the way sees Sauron and Melkor both as evil just as I do, you are the one trying to justify their means "Sauron feeling humiliated" his order was a virtue, etc....Sauron was a Dark Lord, not a Noble lord.
    Last edited by Al.; Aug 18 2012 at 03:17 AM.

  25. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Al. View Post
    This is not true, and the source is not really accurate to what Tolkien said.
    Then do tell, why is that not true, and what did Tolkien say there then? I'd very much like to see some source material from you. I have given you plenty, and you have handed back nothing but bad arguments, faulty logic and saying "no it's not" without anything to back it up.


    Completely right, this is actually written by tolkien also it means there is a complexity between good vs evil, but never states there is absence of it, Morgoth is evil just as sauron is evil, both complex but absolute evil.
    Again, no, even Tolkien says he does not deal in absolute evil. Absolute evil is nigh-impossible for a sentient being. And for a character like Sauron, who starts off as a good being, absolute evil is completely impossible. No being which is inherently good just turns evil "just because", there must be motivation. Sauron believed he was acting out of good when he joined Melkor, for betterment of the world.


    False thats not part of the letter#154, in fact Tolkien makes analogy of Morgoth to fallen angels like Satan "fallen from grace" in his letter titled "problem with evil", they are wholly evil afterwards.
    You're right about it not being 154, it was 183. My bad.
    But the message is the same nonetheless. Tolkien says he does not deal in absolute evil, even his most evil characters such as Sauron and Melkor have traces of good in them. Sauron did what he believed was right and to tend to the well-being of Middle-earth's inhabitants.



    1.- True there is no "absolute evil" in catholicism, but Satan was evil after falling from heaven for example, evil is absolute evil in my thinking.
    I see. So telling fibs as a child, or copying over homework from someone, according to your logic that makes a person absolute evil because there is evil there. This is why your thinking is so weird to the rest of the world. You think only in black and white. Doing something which is not strictly moral does not make someone absolutely evil with not a sliver of good.


    2.- He did base in other mythologies but he make direct analogies he explains in his letters about "angelic beigns" and parabole of Morgoth role in Arda, etc. also other mythologies have their "standard" for evil beigns too Loki for example for nordic.
    Exactly, Loki is a great example of shades of grey. He does evil, but he does good too. The world is never black and white, no one does evil just for doing evil. There is always a motive.


    Ofcourse! you forgot he also felt envy of the power of numenorians,
    Why do you think I forget? I did not forget, but envy has no relation to evil. Envy is an emotion.


    you also forgot he couldn't stand redemption and going back to Valinor again (he secretly hated the valar) hence how manipulates the numenrians into attacking valinor.
    Hating the Valar had nothing to do with him not going back to Valinor. It was his own pride which prevented him from going back to Valinor to face judgement. He just had all that power under Morgoth and now he would suddenly be faced with humiliation of being sentenced for only doing what he thought was right, and being stripped of that power.
    "Then Sauron was ashamed, and he was unwilling to return in humiliation and to receive from the Valar a sentence, it might be, of long servitude in proof of his good faith; for under Morgoth his power had been great."
    - J.R.R. Tolkien, The Silmarillion


    You see Im not saying Sauron didn't have motives, he is evil surely he knows fear, has a personality and can feel the need of revenge, but that doesn't justify him remember its the same sauron of the first age we are talking about this guy:

    "Sauron was become now a sorcerer of dreadful power, master of shadows and of phantoms, foul in wisdom, cruel in strength, misshaping what he touched, twisting what he ruled, lord of werewolves; his dominion was torment."
    —J.R.R. Tolkien[7]
    I know. And again, no one is denying he was evil and had evil ways. But he was never wholly evil as you try to pretend. His initial intention was good, and he only had eye for the well-being of Middle-earth inhabitants. He only looked at the big picture, sure, and he didn't care for the suffereing of the individual as long as the end goal of a better world for all was reached in the end.


    This is really your problem, Sauron never tried to make the world a better place, not get rid of chaos of more efficient he wanted the world to be Dominated by Him and Humilate the Children of Iluviatar, specially the Gondorians and men were rising in power, all he wanted is power for himself how does that make the world a better place?
    And yet again you contradict Tolkien's own writings on this. Sauron did start out with good intentions when he joined Melkor. Yes, he wanted power for himself, so he could act out that plan.
    Once more, I provided source material for my arguments. Please do so for yours.


    I just don't put things tolkien didn't say as proof or try to say "Sauron tried to make a better world" propaganda, in this point I think I do know better what tolkien tried to say.
    Ah yes, so what he wrote down and what was collected of his writings after his death must have been written down by an imposter. Or perhaps it was actually all written by his son who presented it as his father's writings?
    Would you like a tinfoil hat dear?


    Misunderstood, I meant by Dark Lord the "Dark" part emphasis, its not just propaganda by free peoples, Sauron is a terrible foe hence the title Dark Lord of Mordor, the necromancer, the shape-shifter, etc. I know lord isn't peyorative word by itself but the context of how its used, Dark Lord is used to pin-point an evil foe.
    That is flawed logic. Naming something evil does not automatically make it evil.
    Sauron was evil, but not due to the titles given to him.
    You're saying "Dark lord", "Necromancer" and "Shape-shifter" indicate an evil foe? Goodness me, then you really don't understand what war propaganda is. Beorn could be called a Dark Shape-shifter by orcs, it does not make him evil.
    Winston Churchill was called a "Jew-ridden, half-American drunk" by Hitler. Does that make Churchill evil? In Nazi Germany's eyes he may have been evil, to us he was a war hero.
    Demonizing the enemy is what it's all about.


    Order used as a weapon to kill the innocent defeats the original purpose of virtue, that is why order and efficiency aren't redeeming in any way.
    How did Sauron use order as a weapon to kill the innocent?
    That does not make sense, please explain.


    Clearly YOU don't understand, order wasn't the end goal for sauron, his goal was DOMINION and twisting the very world to his ideals (EVIL) making EVIL triumph over GOOD.
    Awww, I'm sorry but we've been over this. Tolkien says otherwise, I gave you source material, you say it's all false but give me nothing. Do better.


    GOOD vs EVIL is the main theme of Tolkien, its not simple of course but thats it, the free people goal was to get rid of evil through alliances, inspiration, coordination and common good.
    Precisely as you say, it's not simple.
    It's good vs evil.
    The Free Peoples are mostly good, but they have severe flaws. They are self-motivated and care little for others. There is treachery among them. They are not absolute good.
    Sauron is mostly evil, but he has some redeeming qualities to him. He is not absolute evil.



    purely evil for me is means been wholly evil,
    That is correct, they are synonyms. That's how everyone sees it.


    the author by the way sees Sauron and Melkor both as evil just as I do,
    Obviously not, since he has written he sees it otherwise.


    you are the one trying to justify their means "Sauron feeling humiliated" his order was a virtue, etc....
    I don't understand this sentence's construction, can you try again?


    Sauron was a Dark Lord, not a Noble lord.
    If by Dark you mean evil, then yes.
    I never claimed he was a noble lord. He once had a noble goal in mind, but he tried to get to it using evil means. (in our current moral perception anyway, we might look back on this book in 1,000 years and say starting some wars isn't all that bad, but I hope not)
    Last edited by BirdofHermes; Aug 18 2012 at 04:19 AM.
    [I]In the sea without lees standeth the Bird of Hermes.
    [/I][I]When all his feathers be from him gone, He standeth still here as a stone.
    Here is now both white and red, And all so the stone to quicken the dead[/I][I].
    The Bird of Hermes is my name, Eating my wings to make me tame.[/I]

 

 
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