You are giving Sauron too much credit. I am arguing that while he does acknowledge Aragorn's abilities, he overestimates them or at least fails to understand them in key areas. Aragorn did not have the ring, nor was intending to have it or use it. Uncertainty of the position of the ring and who might use it were the main thing holding Sauron back. Since no one was planning on using the ring, and indeed it was in the hands of someone who had the strength to resist it but not the power to really wield it particularly well, he was arguably staying his hand unnecessarily. As such, even though the attack seemed rash to you (and to Sauron), it wasn't particularly rash objectively.But Sauron, master schemer and planner, quickly changed his mind when confronted with Aragorn. That shows reverence and respect for the affect that person can have on you or your plans. He might not like or value Aragorn or his abilities, but it clearly shows that he understands and accepts them. He acknowledges Aragorn's intellect, prowess and life in a way you seemed to be implying Sauron doesn't do.
Again, we have different definitions. I do not consider motives mitigating in this case. I consider them rationalizing. In some ways, I consider it a greater evil.I consider Sauron to be less than pure evil. I agree with Tolkien in saying that very few beings are. He said of LotR:
Incorrect. He was trying to impose advancement. He was unable to accept or respect or understand the process already in place.That's irrelevant though, Sauron was trying to further scientific and technological abilities and advancement, not raise a child.
The Silmarils were created before the Elves were socially ready for them. The races were young and still had a lot to sort out, just as the RL world does today. There is war and strife in the real world, too, but it really isn't the same scale or nature as it has been in the past.Once again, I am not Sauron, nor am I Tolkien. I can't define 'well spent' for Sauron, because I don't know what his definition of well spent was. I'd hazard a guess though that he held the Silmarils in high regard. The creation of language, letters, the great achievements of the shipwrights, the mountain halls of the Dwarves. This is the potential Sauron saw, I'd imagine. He also saw people killing shipwrights, burning the ships, warring between Dwarves and Elves over nothing more than a shiny rock in a necklace.
The Silmarils were a glimpse of what the potential but it is dangerous to assume that was the final potential. It also may have hinted at the potential of elves, but did nothing of the sort of men.Once again this is applying an analogy to something we don't fully understand. Did Sauron really second guess the purpose of the free races? Did he not know exactly what they were capable of? I think he probably did, advancement and ability seemed to go backwards rather than forwards over the lifetime of Arda.
You are making my case rather than refuting it. Wars are predictable too, when you know everything there is to know about all the elements of that war. Gasoline does explode in an engine though. The explosion is a violent reaction, and akin to war, but it serves a purpose.This is the wrong definition of chaos, or rather usage of "chaos" instead of "disorder and wasteful friction". (Also I'd argue against the ignition of petroleum within a cylinder being chaotic. The process is fairly predictable. If you were sad enough you could map the heat waves and resulting movement and expansion of the gasses in there. It's not chaos if you can predict it.) The disorder Sauron was against would be the in the building of the engine, "if the end result is an engine, why are you standing around talking about football rather than building it?", for example.
Interesting example. What if the Eru's purpose in this case was to build an engine that would create the perfect football team? Sauron, not knowing this, would remove the talk of football and would change it into an engine that simply runs, not applying its work to the furtherment of football or anything else.
While it is unlikely that was Eru's purpose, it is also unlikely that Sauron objected specifically to football talk.
He assumed inefficiency. He sought a perfectly running engine, but his definition of perfect did not consider what the engine was actually doing.If Sauron ever had any evidence to suggest that inefficiency was superior to efficiency and that things would not be better if everything was more efficient, which is questionable in its self, it clearly wasn't enough for him to decide that he was wrong.
He was not just opposed by 'people.' He was also opposed by his peers, by those who did understand that there was a plan. And please.... advising is NOT imposing.He saw that people opposed him in their droves, yes, but he also saw how easily some would completely forgo any morals or beliefs they had and join with him, in some cases directly, in others in the name of Melkor. He wasn't going to change his mind, he was too far gone for that. Further more, what's to say any of the Maiar/Valar were even capable of changing "world views" they held? Or at least at the behest of Men or Elves. Earendil got them involved, yes, but only to fight Melkor, they loved doing that anyway. Certainly the earthly Maia seem pretty set in their ways. Gandalf imposes his will and plan on pretty much everyone he meets. "Frodo, leave your home and head to Mordor, you'll probably die". "Theoden, I don't care if you don't want to risk the lives of your soldiers helping Gondor, do it anyway". "Denethor, shut up." "Aragorn, I think you'd best lead what's left of the Men of the West's armies right up to the black gate..Do it". He doesn't sway or change his mind either, does he?
I said 'most.' There was a lot of knee-jerk reaction to 911, and not just by the US government but also by the people. Just like the situation of Aule, though, that is a discussion for another time, and another board.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guantan...detention_camp
(as an aside, misguided utilitarianism almost perfectly describes Sauron's behaviour)
How are Hitler's motives evil, yet not Saurons? Hitler thought he was doing what was good and right and natural.No, of course not. Are you now saying I tried to absolve Hitler? Completely the opposite. I was using him as an example of someone whose beliefes, motives and actions are evil.
According to your definition, but not to mine.Well, in that he specifically states that Sauron had good motives and was not pure evil, I think "misapplying" is perhaps a bit far. The definition of evil does not come into the fact that Tolkien created a character that did evil things but was not himself pure evil.
Again we are going to have to agree to disagree.But we were discussing the Flame Imperishable which encompasses creation of new energy and matter from nothingness. In that contexts it's clear that 'create' refers to the way 'create' is used in the relevant creation story.
A new soul. Melkor could transform or reshape a soul, but not create one himself.Really? Having a child is equivalent to creating a new race, or a new universe? Please, you're being facetious now. The way the Valar and Eru "create" when discussing the involvement of the Flame is quite clearly something that no free peoples can do. The closes anyone got was Feanor in the crafting of the Silmarils, but even they drew on the already existing Trees. Once again, do you disagree with Tolkien over matters concerning his own created cosmology? I doubt you'd disagree with Abraham or Jacob over the number of Arch Angels or how God made the Earth. If someone comes up with a story, creation or otherwise, and defines clear parameters within it, such as the ability of Eru to create, this ability personified or symbolised by a "Flame Imperishable", you can't really argue against those parameters within the framework of the story.
Incorrect. We have been debating whether good intentions are mitigating.This is part one of what I have been arguing for, you were arguing for quite some time against this, were you not?
Are you saying he had a separate definition of 'pure evil' with respect to Middle Earth than with respect to RL?His RL view is different to Middle earth, Middle earth is not real, however carefully Tolkien worked to ensure it was not "never-never land fantasy" it still is entirely a fictional construct. In Middle earth he created only one character who was pure evil. He excluded the possibility of any other pure evil characters within his works. Sauron is a character within his works. His RL view includes Satan as falling to become pure evil, or at least from what he has said/written about his own views this is all I can assume. He was a dedicated Catholic though, so that corroborates with this idea.
Pure evil. I am only disagreeing with his (and your) definitions in that regard, not trying to better Tolkien's work.Evil or pure evil? We know Sauron did evil things, became the evil thing as far as the freeps were concerned. I think me, you, Tolkien and most other people would agree that a fair few of Sauron's actions were evil.
Pure evil is different though, it is an absolute state. Black is black, white is white. Anything in between that is neither. You could have 0,0,1 RGB. That would be nearly pure black. It isn't black though. People could argue all day about how close to black it was, and how they couldn't see any difference looking at it. That doesn't overcome the factual statement that is is not black though.
As a complete divergence, here is Tolkien talking about his world, and how the universe is a work of art, with all Ainur being part of the "creative staff". As we've said before, anyone is free to have their own opinoin on how to better a work of art: