SM/DND Twilight Universe General Philosophical Musings

General discussion about the Twilight Series Universe.
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Tennyo
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SM/DND Twilight Universe General Philosophical Musings

Post by Tennyo »

Formerly the "Atoning" Thread.

And now, for something of a philosophical bent. Probably already ruined because I've misspelled philosophical.

*ahem*, Anyway, today I was thinking about chaos theory, which is basically that everything in the world affects everything else, e.g. a butterfly flaps it's wings in India, it then snows in Alaska.
Taking this to mind (or even without it), you can see that killing one person (no matter who; mother, serial killer, whatever) changes the entire world. Kill a random teen; they could be the next Ghandi, kill a random woman; her great grand-child might find the cure for cancer, kill a random guy; he might be the only person who keeps another from suicide.

So here we have the Cullens. Excluding Carlilse, each of them has killed a number of people in their time, no matter how hard they tried. Jasper and Edward have killed into the hundreds, or more, each. And it doesn't seem to bother them as much as it should-to me, at least. In fact, they seem more bothered by the fact that they're doomed to a life as vampires than the fact that so many lives were lost because of them.

What bothers me the most is that all the Cullens (again, excluding Carlisle) have had "slip-ups" a few times at least. And how are they treated? "We're very dissapointed in you, now we have to move to a new town and you should try harder next time." I'm sure the loved ones of the person "slipped-up"-on wouldn't be to happy with their beloved's murderers living the sweet life with money and great digs while their child/spouse/parent/friend rotted away in the ground.

I don't know, it just seems more proper to me that The Cullens wander the earth in torn rags or something. It's like they don't
even care. Any thoughts?

ETA: This thread has gone everywhere philosophy-wise, not hurt by the fact that Stephenie has graced us with quite a few posts. Please try to go with the topic we're on at the moment so that we don't twist conversations. Eventually they all circle back on themselves anyway.
Last edited by Tennyo on Wed Apr 18, 2007 9:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Ezra
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Post by Ezra »

I don't know. I guess there's only so many times you can beat yourself up before you just become numb to it.

Or maybe the lack of remorse is just part of their nature as vampires. Not that the Cullens, as vegetarians, would feel no remorse but only that they accept themselves and the fact that they aren't perfect.

Also keep in mind that they aren't human, and they probably don't relate to humans on the same level that they relate to other vampires. If I were to accidentally hit and kill another human while driving a car it would haunt me for years if not the rest of my life. But if I were to accidently hit and kill, say, a dog, yes I would feel absolutely terrible but I would get over it.
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Tennyo
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Post by Tennyo »

Or maybe the lack of remorse is just part of their nature as vampires. Not that the Cullens, as vegetarians, would feel no remorse but only that they accept themselves and the fact that they aren't perfect.

Also keep in mind that they aren't human, and they probably don't relate to humans on the same level that they relate to other vampires. If I were to accidentally hit and kill another human while driving a car it would haunt me for years if not the rest of my life. But if I were to accidently hit and kill, say, a dog, yes I would feel absolutely terrible but I would get over it.




^I think you've hit it on the head. They don't see humans the way we do. kind of puts a damper on the whole worshiping their perfection, don't it?
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Feanar
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Post by Feanar »

The reason they are so upset about being vampires is the fact that they have killed and possibly will kill again - that's the whole vampire angst factor, and essentially the reason they're so upset about living life as a vampire. That's why vampires are "damned" - they must take human life in order to live. They have as much of a sense of self preservation as any other creature in the world, which is why we champion the vampires who try to resist. The reason they try so hard and rebel against their nature to be "vegetarians" is that they are so repulsed by their own hunger. If you've read the first chapter of Midnight Sun, Edward has that whole inner monologue about the monster inside of himself that he hates so much. That's why they see Carlisle as such a saint. Because they DO care about human life, and he's never taken any. If you've read any Anne Rice, specifically Interview With the Vampire, Louis agonizes about taking human life throughout that entire novel. None of the vampires that we read about as the protagonists in books are comfortable with killing, and that's one of the reasons they're such a good read. It makes them complex. It interests humans on a profound level, the idea of rebelling against one's own nature...

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Post by Light »

Keep in mind that chaos theory is affected by everything. I'm sure Carslile has saved some people that have gone on to cause other deaths.

I don't think it's so one sided. I'm sure the Cullen's (as in, not just Carslile) have saved people too, probably making the numbers about even, or tipped to the virtuous side. They do more good than harm normaly.

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Post by the-flaw »

Wow, good point, but yeah, they aren't human, so they're not really killing part of there own race. We step on bugs and things all the time, even if we run over a bird or something we don't really feel that bad, but what about the poor birds family, the little baby birds will never know what happened to there daddy :( [HA, sorry i'm in an odd mood].
We never think about that as murder, sure we'd be sad, but we'd have forgotten it a few days later. I guess it's like that to them, and when they did kill, they thought it was the only way they'd be able to survive so I guess they had a good reason.
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Tennyo
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Post by Tennyo »

I'd like to point out that Edward's monlogue in MS was more about being a monster and not upsetting Carlisle than it was about sparing a room full of children.

As for chaos theory; I don't actually believe in it that much. It's just got me started. This idea actually comes from some of my Jewish beliefs, such as "He who saves one life saves the whole world"-which also becomes "he who takes one life must bear the weight of it for eternity".
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Feanar
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Post by Feanar »

...I don't think that's it. Vampires used to be humans, and they know that humans have minds and hearts and hopes and dreams. They are fully aware of what humans are. They do see them as different from themselves, but only in that they don't have to kill to live. (Keep in mind I'm only talking about vampires with consciences, here.) I have no doubt that events that occurred decades in the past are present in their minds. That is how they are able to abstain from drinking human blood. They don't get over their deaths like some people would getover smashing a bug or hitting a dog. It haunts them, and feeds their will to keep to their animal-only diet.

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Post by Only_Hope »

Ezra wrote:I don't know. I guess there's only so many times you can beat yourself up before you just become numb to it.


Exactly.

Besides when/if Bella becomes a vamp, I'd be interested to see how they'd deal with her taking a life. She's bound to slip up and I wonder how lean or harsh they'd be to her.
They'd mostly like be understanding, but Bella would still feel awful.
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Post by firefly »

My issue with this is not so much that they kill humans (1. they're vampires and 2. it's not real), it's that they feel some remorse about it _and_ look down on people. I don't quite see how it matches up -- though that is perhaps why they don't seem to feel the need to seek redemption.

If they think of people as food, then fine: Humans are happy meals on legs. But in that case, I don't see why they'd also feel bad or the need to abstain from a diet of human blood if they think of people as food and not much else.

Unlike, say, a certain other vampire-with-a-soul I could name. Who mostly sticks to a diet of pigs' blood and tries to atone by "helping the helpless". Even though he knows he'll never balance the scales:
Angel: I'm not perfect, Faith. Even with a soul, I've done things I wished a thousand times I could take back. [...] I used to think that. That there'd be a point when I paid my dues. [...] Faith, listen to me. You saw me drink. It doesn't get much lower than that. And I thought I could make up for it by disappearing.
Faith: I did my time.
Angel: Our time is never up, Faith. We pay for everything.
Faith: It hurts.
Angel: I know. I know.
- Angel: "Orpheus"

ETA: I do understand, however, vampires like Supernatural's Lenore switching diets out of necessity. It's a pragmatic move on their part in an attempt to stay alive or undead ("Turns out we weren't quite as high up the food chain as we imagined."), not because she was cursed with a soul or developed feelings for a human or humans in general.

But the Cullens - except maybe Carlisle - don't seem to fall under either category of practicality or seeking redemption.
Last edited by firefly on Sun Apr 08, 2007 2:21 am, edited 2 times in total.
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