Ender's Game

Discuss all things pertaining to the EnderVerse milieu.
t.m.bitker
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Ender's Game

Postby t.m.bitker » Tue Sep 07, 2010 7:20 pm

I thought the novel "Ender's Game" was very interesting to read. The author tries very hard to justify that Ender fighting is alright, but if anyone else were to be that violent it would be wrong, in my opinion.

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neo-dragon
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Postby neo-dragon » Tue Sep 07, 2010 7:42 pm

Why do you think so?
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Postby spanish_rockette » Tue Sep 07, 2010 8:25 pm

yeah, Ender was using self defense, i know i would.
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Postby Psudo » Wed Sep 08, 2010 5:53 am

Was it self-defense to go after the Buggers at their homeworld? Were they ever going to come back to Earth?

I think the point of Ender's Game is to make us question our easy answers like "Violence is wrong." and "It's OK because it's self-defense." These answers are true, mostly, usually, typically. But there are exceptions, always exceptions, and we have to learn to think of things in their own context without always using soundbites to do our thinking for us.

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Postby spanish_rockette » Thu Sep 09, 2010 7:27 pm

i never really thougth of that.
"leaving both her husbands behind, the one whose life had a monument and a book, and the one whose only monument was in her heart."

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Postby neo-dragon » Fri Sep 10, 2010 12:36 pm

I would say that attacking the Bugger homeworld was self-defense based on the information that the I.F. had. Namely, that the Buggers had attacked Earth twice already and communication appeared to be impossible.

But as Psudo says, such things are rarely simple. For instance, as I discussed in another thread, I believe that Ender was justified in defending himself against Stilson, but the extent to which he did so was not justified based on the threat. Still, I don't blame Ender because he was a scared six year old and to him it no doubt seemed like he was in danger of suffering serious harm.
"Deep in the human unconscious is a pervasive need for a logical universe that makes sense. But the real universe is always one step beyond logic."
- Frank Herbert's 'Dune'

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Postby Janus%TheDoorman » Fri Sep 10, 2010 9:54 pm

The ethics of death and violence are just about the oldest question in the book - they're another way of asking what the meaning of life is. You must know the meaning of life to know what it is to take it.

You'd be surprised at how subtle and varied our opinions on when it's right and okay to kill someone are, but also on how universal they are. Consider the Trolley Problem where there are subtle differences in the different way the question is asked that wouldn't seem to make any difference based on the many moral and ethical theories of justice we have, but produce nearly the same results across different cultures and different times.

Most of our morality when it comes to death seems to be instinctual - hard-coded into us by evolution, but that doesn't make it any easier to sort out what may or may not be right based on some higher truth, or even what that higher truth might be.

We tend to treat Ender's Xenocide as a far off metaphorical ethical question, but it's really not that different from the question faced by Harry Truman during WW2 - use a weapon of mass destruction and almost certainly put an end to a war, or stretch things out and risk the consequences of the future? I won't even pretend to know what the right answer is.
"But at any rate, the point is that God is what nobody admits to being, and everybody really is."
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