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Old 10-18-2005, 08:19 AM   #121
the phantom
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Eye

Good stuff, Davem.

I have a question though.
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There will be all kinds of consequences for me personally dependent on how I choose to get to my destination, & I will be judged on how I did it & held accountable for my actions.
What if the only way for you to get to London in time is to steal your friend's car?

Who is to blame then?

You, for doing what must be done, your friend for not willingly giving you a ride, or your parents who disapprove of you going to London which encourages your friend not to help you?

Can you place any immediate blame in such a situation, or do you have to trace the entire story back a ways to find where things went wrong?

I think, in the case of the kinslaying, the events were set in motion well before it happened, and it couldn't be expected not to happen once a certain point was reached.

The Noldor have to get to Middle-Earth quickly. The only way to do so was to go on the Teleri's boats. The Teleri wouldn't let their boats be used, so the only path left was to try and take them. The Teleri tried to stop the Noldor, which of course resulted in a fight. The fight led to weapons being wielded.

It was an unstoppable chain reaction. Where did it all start?

Surely we must judge the actions that originally sent things down the wrong course, and not the actions that were an inevitable result.

Would you agree?
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Old 10-18-2005, 08:52 AM   #122
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Originally Posted by the phantom
Surely we must judge the actions that originally sent things down the wrong course, and not the actions that were an inevitable result.
If this is our metric then Feanor's actions and oath were the catalyst to such events. Morgoth's slaying of Finwe would not be however, because Feanor could have choosen a different course of action to get to Middle-earth then he did. Had he not been so rash and taken council with the Valar there may have been a way for him to arrive at Middle-earth in time to help save Beleriand, though that was not his purpose in setting out; and truthfully it never became his purpose.

I feel Saucepan stated it well in his previous post so I will not repeat that.

But what I don't understand phantom, is by your logic the means to an end is justifiable so long as the end is accomplished. By that logic Saruman was well within his rights to join with Sauron, because his was the responsibility of ordering Middle-earth and this could be accomplished by joining forces. This is not a great example but my point is just because something might need to be accomplished or the individual feels that it needs to be done doesn't give them license to commit any act that will help them accomplish that. Feanor took away the rights of the Teleri and stole their property, that's a crime and not justifiable because his actions we not done in rightousness. Now there might be times when stealing a car is needed but not because one feels he needs to go to London that day. Similar to Feanor it wasn't justifiable because the refusal to let him borrow their ships came about as a result of his unrighteous actions.
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Old 10-18-2005, 10:56 AM   #123
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I think that you place to much emphasis, Master Phantom, on the Noldor having saved Middle-Earth.

While it is true that they did, we have no way of knowing what would have happened if they hadn't. Like any "alternate history", we simply cannot say that if X did not happen, then Y would not have happened, so Z would have happened.

Yes, if X did not happen, then Y (a logical progression from X) would not have happened as we know it, but that is no guarantee that Z, as put forward, would occur.

To apply that to this situation, there is no guarantee that if the Noldor didn't come to Middle-Earth that Morgoth would not have been defeated, and that he would have taken over the entire world.

I think that you underestimate the power of the Valar. In the War of Wrath, it only took a few Maiar and a host of Elves to defeat Morgoth and his legions of evil. There wasn't a Vala involved. Not one. And remember that Morgoth has been diseminating his power throughout the matter of Arda.

Furthermore, I do not think that Morgoth could have subdued the race of man completely. Maybe he could have exterminated it (but I don't think it likely), but the power of Men to "shape their fate" is a pretty powerful thing to fight.

So I think that if the Valar had stirred themselves to fight Morgoth, with an Elven host twice as large behind them, and ALL of them marched to war, I think that the weakened Morgoth- unwilling even to leave his throne, would have been defeated.

The aftermath, I'll grant, would probably have been worse. But who knows? Perhaps it would have led to a greater participation of the Valar in the world. Yavanna would go around re-planting forests. Ulmo would go about cleansing the streams. And all men- not just a few privaleged tribes might have been taken to a Numenorean paradise.

My point is essentially that I feel you are attaching too much importance to this one event. Yes, it was important. Yes, it changed everything thereafter. But just because Feanor's actions led to the salvation of Middle-Earth does not mean that the salvation of Middle-Earth could not have been accomplished any other way.
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Old 10-18-2005, 12:21 PM   #124
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Originally Posted by The Phantom
The Noldor have to get to Middle-Earth quickly. The only way to do so was to go on the Teleri's boats. The Teleri wouldn't let their boats be used, so the only path left was to try and take them. The Teleri tried to stop the Noldor, which of course resulted in a fight. The fight led to weapons being wielded.
They may have given up their ships if the Valar had asked them to. Maybe they would even have manned the ships & died in the battle against Morgoth in defence of them - Teleri just as dead, ships just as burned, events predicted in the Music fulfilled, but just in a different way. Looked at in this way, motives become of supreme importance, particularly as far as Elves are concerned.
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