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Old 11-05-2002, 08:36 AM   #41
HerenIstarion
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Sting

And here, Bill, we get in at the problem of free will. We stressed on genetics in recent posts, but the main problem of orcs lies not with hroa, but with fea. The immortality of elves is a consequence of their souls being bound in the confines of the world. Hroa dies not, for fea is fated to be here.

Melkor is stated to be able to mock, not to create, twist, but not make. So whatever basical stuff he used to create orks, changes imposed were minor with regards of the whole thing. Acting on given starting material, he was working on strenghening characteristics useful for his purpose - say, twisting bravery to become violence, self preservation instinct to be cowardice etc. But he was unable to rob "given material" of it's main characeristic, given by Eru - free will. {In case he was, than he was much greater than we imagine, but JRRT states he was not). And elvish free will (btw, take a look at this also) is bound to operate as long as Arda lasts. So, in case orks are elves, they are immortal within the bounds of time exactly as "normal" elves are. Those which are human, die as all humans do. Those which are beasts, are unable to act without direct control of Dark Lord's (Morgoth or Sauron) adn scatter when aforesaid is overthrown.

I'll be so bold to say I guess why Tolkien was so unhappy with elvish origin, though it was so polished and fitting. In case Orks came from elves, somewhere deep down inside they are still Eruhini, and doing what they do, ultimate sinners. Now imagine multitude of those, the condition in which they die, and you get that on every Child of Eru acting in harmony (more or less) with his/her Creator, there are 50 almost (mark - almost) iredeemable orks. It's not so horrible with beasts - well, they are kind of automata, it's a pity something beautiful can be so twisted, but, well, they are just fea-less after all.

well, hasty as I am, I'm unable to back myself up with quotes right away. I'll come back to this later

[ November 06, 2002: Message edited by: HerenIstarion ]
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Old 11-05-2002, 09:58 AM   #42
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Ah, now it seems we come to the crux of the issue "FREE WILL." Do orcs have it? Do elves and men have it?

It is merely my feeling that orcs do not have a "free will" in the confines of ME. Their wills are bound to a source of evil. But (here may be the controversial statement)I do not believe that man and elves were blessed with "free will." I have not brushed up on my Music of the Ainur in a while, but I believe the gist is that what will be is what is (ie fate); only Iluvatar can know the beginning and the end of the song. The choices that men/elves make are fated, not of their free choice. The prime example of this is Turin. He is cursed (fated to err, he had no control). Melkor actually worries that Turin (especially in the Girdle of Melian) may not sin/err because of his lineage and his true heart, but the curse is a part of Melkor's portion of the Music, Turin's fate is predestined.

Now how does this relate to the origin of orcs and immortality? Immortality is considered a gift meaning you are granted life everlasting without condition. Orcs who seem immortal are not because their long lives are with conditions, conditions which force them to be evil (much to their hate of their master).

One hole I can see is what happens after the Dagor Dagorath. If elves are immortal will they then cease to exist (ie die)? Then it could be said that orcs are as immortal as elves within the confines of ME (as long as evil exists, which it must), and, therefore, orcs do not have to be changed elves to achieve immortality; they only need wills everlastingly bound to evil.

Sorry if this is long and rambling. . .
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Old 11-05-2002, 10:42 AM   #43
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1420!

I went ahead and read the thread on elven free will. Interesting, but since I'm such a late comer, I don't think I'll post there.

I disagree that Melkor couldn't rob an elf of free will, or any other creature. Free will is a faculty of reason, not the essence of man (or elf for that matter). I, a merely pitiful mortal man, can rob someone else of their free will, simply by drugging them, plying them with drink, or subtle manipulation over time. If I can do it, then Melkor could have done so as well, but with even more powerful effect.

There's more that I would like to comment about, but I have to go to work. [img]smilies/mad.gif[/img]

[ November 05, 2002: Message edited by: Bill Ferny ]
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Old 11-06-2002, 01:05 AM   #44
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Palan, I advise you to read Orcish Fear and The Role of Fate in ME threads. Many problems you pose are (succesfully?) solved there


As for your remark, Bill. I'd rather say free will is essential part and not mere faculty. You can force someone , or lure by lies, into doing something. Nevertheless, it does not mean aforesaid someone was not making moral choice on his/her behalf. "I'm killing him because someone else threatened to kill me if I don't" does not rob me of moral choice - free will. To clarify it a bit - free will for me is not "will to do whatever I will", but rather <font color="FF0013">"right to choose between what I'm given". And this kind of free will is always there for orks, if only they are of elven (or human at that)origin. Choosing (however forcibly they are driven to do it) to do evil, they are implying their own moral choice to produce their actions, and therefore are sinning.
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Old 11-06-2002, 01:52 AM   #45
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Quote:
As for your remark, Bill. I'd rather say free will is essential part and not mere faculty.
If it is essential, then it is defining, thus whether or not you are a human is determined by free will. You say that “free will for me is... [the] ’right to choose between what I'm given.’” Fair enough. You would have to concede that in order to make a choice you would have to apprehend something that you perceive as good (those things that you are given), and be able to judge, via reason, which of the given is superior. Choice, after all, isn’t an action that our souls exercise automatically devoid of all connection to mind and body. Free will, accordingly, at its core is an action, which is choice. Choice involves perception, apprehension and judgment. If free will is a defining principle of the human person, the defining principle of man is the act of choice, and all that it entails (desire, perception, apprehension and judgement).

The flip side is: It follows that those who are unable to choose are not human. A physical impediment that renders a subject unable to perceive, apprehend, judge, or even desire could not be defined as human. Thus, someone who is unconscious ceases to be human. This is the danger when we define rational beings, not by what they are, but by what they do. The powers of the rational soul can not be used to define, only to deduce, the nature of the rational soul.

Free will, itself, is doomed to obsolescence. Once man reaches his final end, the ultimate good (for which all particular choices are ordered), then there is no longer any need for choice. Thus, if free will is the essence of man, then man ceases to be man when he achieves his final end.

Free will is pragmatic faculty that belongs to the potency of the rational soul. It is free because man can will or not will, act or not act, and he can will this or that, and do this or that according to his reason. Free will, like any other power, can be affected or corrupted by external influences (accidents). Thankfully, the ability to exercise the power of free will is not what defines us as humans. Likewise, I don’t think the exercise of free will would define elves and elves. Thus elven free will is not bound, necessarily, to operate as long as Arda lasts, and can be hindered, corrupted and even twisted. Even elves can make the wrong choice as is evidenced by the kin strife, and most particularly by Galadriel’s test.

This, however, isn’t supposed to be a thread about free will, but about immortality. I have to do some more research, but I think I’m on to something.
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Old 11-06-2002, 03:54 AM   #46
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Sting

I assume we can move along to elvish free will thread if bidden. But so far we are here, I’ll post some comments on above said here [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

Quote:
This is the danger when we define rational beings, not by what they are, but by what they do The powers of the rational soul can not be used to define, only to deduce, the nature of the rational soul.
Accepted. Definitely. But it seems to me I failed to express myself clearly. Free will exercised is faculty, <font color="FF0013">right to exercise it is essential. Given evidence convinces me that only humans have “right” of free will. And in case of Middle Earth the right is extended to elves (and dwarves) also. Let me further clarify: there is some standard against which “goodness” of “evilness” of any given person is measured. Of course I use rational thinking to judge which of possible actions conform to this standard and which not. This is action. But the right to perform such an action is not action in itself and is what makes me human. If I were stone, there would be no action of choosing whether fall on the ground or stay in the thin air for me. Just obedience. I’m free to disobey. Motto is not “I think therefore I am”, nor “I choose therefore I am”, but “I have right to choose, therefore I am”
Quote:
Thankfully, the ability to exercise the power of free will is not what defines us as humans. Likewise, I don’t think the exercise of free will would define elves and elves.
Accepted again. Not ability, the right to exercise it would

Quote:
It follows that those who are unable to choose are not human ... Thus, someone who is unconscious ceases to be human
It follows not. For the right is still there. (condsider series of statements: “all humans have right to be educated” , “one yer study in University costs 20000$”, and “my income is 15000$”. Conclusions? “I’m unable to study at the university”. Is my right damaged? No, for I’m unable to study due to external reasons, but i still retain the right. Not ability, but right is what defines me as a human. Or, to put it differently, broken PC is still PC, though is is “unable to operate”

Quote:
Thus, if free will is the essence of man, then man ceases to be man when he achieves his final end.
No, because right is still there. I may be quite content with the situation and not performing “act of free will”, so not choosing to change anything. But that does not mean I have no right. Hey, man, the whole Melkor/Morgoth (evil elves, fallen men etc etc) situation occurred because of this right...

[ November 06, 2002: Message edited by: HerenIstarion ]
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Old 11-06-2002, 05:52 AM   #47
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well, I'll try to back myself up:

Quote:
L 153, to Peter Hastings

...having mentioned Free Will, I might say that in my myth I have used 'subcreation' in a special way (not the same as 'subcreation' as a term in criticism of art, though I tried to show allegorically how that might come to be taken up into Creation in some plane in my 'purgatorial' story Leaf by Niggle (Dublin Review 1945)) to make visible and physical the effects of Sin or misused Free Will by men. Free Will is derivative, and is.'. only operative within provided circumstances; but in order that it may exist, <font color="FF0013">it is necessary that the Author should guarantee it, whatever betides : sc. when it is 'against His Will', as we say, at any rate as it appears on a finite view. He does not stop or make 'unreal' sinful acts and their consequences. So in this myth, it is 'feigned' (legitimately whether that is a feature of the real world or not) that He gave special 'sub-creative' powers to certain of His highest created beings: that is a guarantee that what they devised and made should be given the reality of Creation. Of course within limits, and of course subject to certain commands or prohibitions. But if they 'fell', as the Diabolus Morgoth did, and started making things 'for himself, to be their Lord', these would then 'be', even if Morgoth broke the supreme ban against making other 'rational' creatures like Elves or Men. They would at least 'be' real physical realities in the physical world, however evil they might prove, even 'mocking' the Children of God. They would be Morgoth's greatest Sins, abuses of his highest privilege, and would be creatures begotten of Sin, and naturally bad. (I nearly wrote 'irredeemably bad'; but that would be going too far. Because by accepting or tolerating their making – necessary to their actual existence – even Orcs would become part of the World, which is God's and ultimately good.) But whether they could have 'souls' or 'spirits' seems a different question; and since in my myth at any rate I do not conceive of the <font color="FF0013">making of souls or spirits, things of an equal order if not an equal power to the Valar, as a possible 'delegation', I have represented at least the Orcs as pre-existing real beings on whom the Dark Lord has exerted the fullness of his power in remodelling and corrupting them, not making them. That God would 'tolerate' that, seems no worse theology than the toleration of the calculated dehumanizing of Men by tyrants that goes on today. There might be other 'makings' all the same which were more like puppets filled (only at a distance) with their maker's mind and will, or ant-like operating under direction of a queen-centre.
highlighted sentencs stand for:

a) Right to use free will is always there (I mean it in general, but we may narrow to Tolkien's myth only as well)

b) Since unable to create souls (fear), Morgoth would have been unable to modify their main charasteristics.

So, having in mind that:

Quote:
325 From a letter to Roger Lancelyn Green

The Valar had neither the power nor the right to confer 'immortality' upon them
The contrary is assumed to be impossible also, so (if) orcs were twisted elves, they were immortal (within the bounds of the world)

But this if is not essential, since JRRT, not being content with elven theory, gave us "pre-existing real beings" instead


and to summarizeit all, I would like to quote note from HoME X, entitled Orks. I'm giving it in full, for it's not so long, but is most interesting, since who's the best source than the author?

Quote:
Orcs.

Their nature and origin require more thought. They are not easy
to work into the theory and system.
(1). As the case of Aule and the Dwarves shows, only Eru could make creatures with independent wills, and with reasoning powers. But Orcs seem to hav both: they can try to cheat Morgoth/Sauron, rebel against him, or criticize him.

(2). ?Therefore they must be corruptions of something pre-existing.
(3). But Men had not yet appeared, when the Orcs already existed. Aule constructed the Dwarves out of his memory of the Music; but Eru would not sanction the work of Melkor so as to allow the independence of the Orcs.(Not unless Orcs were ultimately remediable, or could be amended and 'saved'?)
It also seems clear (see 'Finrod and Andreth') that though Melkor could utterly corrupt and ruin individuals,it is not possible to contemplate his absolute perversion of a whole people,or group of peoples,and his making that state heritable[Added later: This latter must (if a fact) be an act of Eru.]
In that case Elves, as a source, are very unlikely. And are Orcs 'immortal', in the Elvish sense? Or trolls?It seems clearly implied in The Lord of the Rings that trolls existed in their own right, but were 'tinkered' with by Melkor

(4).What of talking beasts and birds with reasoning and speech? These have been rather lightly adopted from less 'serious' mythologies, but play a part which cannot now be excised.They are certainly 'exceptions' and not much used, but
sufficiently to show they are a recognized feature of the world.
All other creatures accept them as natural if not common.
But true 'rational'creatures, 'speaking peoples',are all of human/'humanoid' form. Only the Valar and Maiar are intelligences that can assume forms of Arda at will. Huan and Sorontar could be Maiar-emissaries of Manwe. But unfortunately in The Lord of the Rings Gwaehir and Landroval are said to be descendants of Sorontar.
In any case is it likely or possible that even the least of the Maiar would become Orcs? Yes: both outside Arda and in it, before the fall of Utumno. Melkor had corrupted many spirits - some great, as Sauron, or less so, as Balrogs. The least could have been primitive (and much more powerful and perilous) Orcs; but by practising when embodied procreation they would (cf.Melian) become more and more earthbound, unable to return to spirit-state (even demon-form),until released by death
(killing),and they would dwindle in force. When released they would, of course, like Sauron, be 'damned': i.e. reduced to impotence, infinitely recessive: still hating but unable more and more to make it effective physically (or would not a very
dwindled dead Orc-state be a poltergeist?).
But again - would Eru provide fear for such creatures? For the Eagles etc. perhaps. But not for Orcs
It does however seem best to view Melkor's corrupting power as always starting, at least, in the moral or theological level. Any creature that took him for Lord (and especially those who
blasphemously called him Father or Creator) became soon corrupted in all parts of its being, the fea dragging down the
hroa in its descent into Morgothism: hate and destruction. <font color="FF0013">As for Elves being 'immortal': they in fact only had enormously long lives, and were themselves physically 'wearing out', and suffering a slow progressive weakening of their bodies.
In summary: I think it must be assumed that 'talking' is not necessarily the sign of the possession of a 'rational soul' or fea.
<font color="FF0013">The Orcs were beasts of humanized shape (to mock Men and Elves) deliberately perverted converted into a more close resemblance to Men. Their 'talking' was really reeling off 'records' set in them by Melkor.Even their rebellious critical words - he knew about them. Melkor taught them speech and as they bred they inherited this; and they had just as much
independence as have, say, dogs or horses of their human masters. This talking was largely echoic (cf. parrots). In The
Lord of the Rings Sauron is said to have devised a language for them

The same sort of thing may be said of Huan and the Eagles:
they were taught language by the Valar, and raised to a higher
level - but they still had no fear.
But Finrod probably went too far in his assertion that Melkor could not wholly corrupt any work of Eru, or that Eru would
(necessarily) interfere to abrogate the corruption, or to end the being of His own creatures because they had been corrupted
and fallen into evil

<font color="FF0013">It remains therefore terribly possible there was an Elvish strain in the Orcs These may then even have been mated with beasts (sterile!) - and later Men. Their life-span would be diminished.And dying they would go to Mandos and be held in prison till the End.

[ CT - The text as written ends here, but my father subsequently added the
following passage. The words with which it opens are a reference to
text Vl, Melkor Morgoth (p. 390). ]

See 'Melkor'. It will there be seen that the wills of Orcs and Balrogs etc. are part of Melkor's power 'dispersed'. Their spirit is one of hate. But hate is non-cooperative (except under direct fear). Hence the rebellions, mutinies, etc. when Morgoth seems far off. <font color="FF0013">Orcs are beasts and Balrogs corrupted Maiar. Also (n.b.) Morgoth not Sauron is the source of Orc-wills. Sauron is just another (if greater) agent. Orcs can rebel against him without losing their own irremediable allegiance to evil (Morgoth). Aule wanted love. But of course had no thought of dispersing his power. Only Eru can give love and independence. If a finite sub-creator tries to do this he really wants absolute loving obedience, but it turns into robotic servitude and becomes evil.
Hence 12 Orkish Statemenst above, complied with regards of already published works

*H-Iwipes his brow

finished
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Old 11-06-2002, 09:10 AM   #48
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I’ve been researching, as I said above, and came up with the conclusion:

ELVES ARE NOT IMMORTAL!

As the direct quote from HoME is already given in HI’s post just above (talk about a coincidence!), I don’t see any reason to repeat it. Elves had long lives, extremely long lives, but were in a state of fading away. First they are to fade away in ME, and then, perhaps a bit slower, in the Undying Lands.

So no matter which way you might consider the problem, whether you are contemplating the corruption of elves, or the creation of a new animal, orcs are not immortal. It also solves the problem of immortality in spite of fallen nature. I’m very thankful for that, as I was racking my brain trying to come up with an explanation for elves as existing with a fallen nature (because they are given moral choice among lesser goods), but not suffering from a fallen nature (suffering physical corruption).

HI, your thoughts flow more toward ethics than human nature, and in that is probably where our disagreement had its source. While I was busy defining free will, you had already moved toward the ought of free will. “Ought” entails a choice that is ordered to the greater good, and, of course, it can be said that it is every rational being’s right (as in an individual freedom/responsibility, such as the right of free speech) to choose rightly (as in for the greater good). However, I wouldn’t go so far as to make that a defining principle of rational beings. A right, to use the language of contemporary thought, is something that belongs as inalienable to the individual, but only because that individual possesses a dignity of nature that goes beyond an individual’s so called rights. Individual rights logically follows upon nature, not the other way around.

I think, though, that I still understand what you are saying. Simply, the more one chooses rightly, the more one is ordered toward the good, then the more rational, and thus the more human, one is. Conversely, the less one is ordered toward the good, the less one is human. Moral choice isn’t a peripheral of human existence, it is something that makes a rational being more “in being.” It is something that perfects our existence as humans. I agree with this completely.

In regard to orcs, I assumed that they had some degree of rational existence (as well as eagles, etc.). However, I’ve discovered from a thorough reading of chapter ten in HoME, that Tolkien thought orcs were not rational beings, but merely talking animals. (Once again, I’m indebted to HI for doing the cutting and pasting from HoME.) I found this very interesting, and relieving. First, it takes all moral culpability away from orcs. As the minions of evil, they are merely extensions of Melkor’s/Sauron’s culpability. Secondly, it makes the wanton destruction of orcs perfectly alright. There is no need to justify killing an orc, because it can’t be murder. (So, you go, dwarves!) There’s no reason to believe that orcs can be “saved,” to borrow a term from Christianity. The struggle with orc kind is truly a struggle between light and dark, good and evil, and it can be won only with the extermination or complete domination of one or the other.

This actually would ensure the continued existence of men and maybe dwarves in the case of victory of the dark forces. Orcs would not be the kinds of thralls that would satisfy Melkor’s/Sauron’s need for complete domination. Their greatest and most prized slaves would be those who could practice moral choice.
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Old 11-07-2002, 12:54 AM   #49
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Mr. Ferny, let me shake your hand [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

Hope someday we may blow out smoke together for the sake of clearing minds
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Old 11-07-2002, 08:21 AM   #50
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Well put Bill!!!

By jove, I thinked you figured it out.
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