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Regarding Motive & Morality

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Xiphosis

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I will start by assuming two things I think will hold true against any counter-argument, that is:

  • That all players play by a personally-defined, subjective code of morality.
  • That their actions are motivated by and justified under this code.

I'm writing this in part to collect my thoughts on what makes CNers tick, and what is appropriate (morally) considering the nature of CN.

On Hivemind and False Thought

The first thing I'd like to address is something I feel is evident in the nature of what some are referring to as the "Moralists" on CN, which is the effect of hivemind. By hivemind I simply mean that in bouncing their ideas and feelings off of similar individuals, ideas and ideologies within CN define themselves and become entrenched and are not subjected to rational argument.

The reason I bring up Moralists is not to single them out; certainly this holds true with all views, given that we are all alliance members, and beyond that, sphere members, and beyond that coalition members and at some degree there will be common-thought which will be reinforced by that association regardless of it's validity.

The reason I bring them up is because I feel the Moralists, as it stand, are the only grouping in CN that feels it is just to impose their beliefs on those who do not share them. Consider the beginning of the Bipolar War, specifically the declaration of war by the New Polar Order. I think it is fair to them to say their motivation was that they felt an unspoken line had been crossed, and that it was morally imperative that action be taken to correct the injustice.

The problem is that this unspoken line was not created, or set in stone, by a majority of the community. It was defined, in their minds, by themselves and their allies and those of common thought.

Morality cannot be objective on Cyber Nations simply because there is no unbiased arbiter to enforce that moral standard, and I would assert that enforcing your personal morality on the community at large constitutes an immoral tyranny. I think the distinction between war and crusades is neglected, especially considering the Bipolar War, and it shouldn't be.

A crusade is, in CN terms, force used to either eradicate or subjugate a particular belief through force and coercion. A war is at it's root motivated by the desire to make even two alliances, one party feeling directly grieved; not to eradicate ideas.

I contest that in order for there to exist a morality that is enforced with the blessing of all CNers, and without dispute, there would need to exist a United Alliances-type organization that had the full support and participation of every alliance in CN, including neutrals and independents, and that it would require the military support of all signatories to enforce whatever standards were agreed upon.

Given that this is a wildly unpopular idea, owing to it's stifling nature, all crusades will boil down to one minority trying to assert moral dominance over the community and in so doing, constitute immoral action in-and-of itself.

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Polar and STA would say that it is never immoral to do what they think is right. One could also say that raiders are imposing their own views upon the raided.

The bottom line is that, in-character, nothing is moral or immoral, things are merely what they are. But that's just, like, my opinion, man.

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While your argument does hold truth the simple fact is in a community like Cybernations with no clear power structure or one entity defining the rules certain groups are bound to fill in the gap and enforce a set of rules they feel important. Every alliance and even every nation does so sometimes without even being aware of it. Tech raiding alliances impose their morals on raided nations, moralists impose their will on the group they oppose, etc. In every environment without a clear power structure the strongest entity at that time will enforce its will on all others until it no longer has the power to do so. This is the CN community at large and it will always remain to be so.

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While your argument does hold truth the simple fact is in a community like Cybernations with no clear power structure or one entity defining the rules certain groups are bound to fill in the gap and enforce a set of rules they feel important.

It really does boil down to might makes right in the end, doesn't it?

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While your argument does hold truth the simple fact is in a community like Cybernations with no clear power structure or one entity defining the rules certain groups are bound to fill in the gap and enforce a set of rules they feel important. Every alliance and even every nation does so sometimes without even being aware of it. Tech raiding alliances impose their morals on raided nations, moralists impose their will on the group they oppose, etc. In every environment without a clear power structure the strongest entity at that time will enforce its will on all others until it no longer has the power to do so. This is the CN community at large and it will always remain to be so.

Not exactly... nothing's being 'imposed' on any tech raid victim. They can do anything they want to end the wars. They can STAY unaligned and sign a treaty that protects them. That's not the case with moralists -- they actually do aim to impose their will and make another alliance give up an aspect of gameplay.

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i would say that the only moral in CN is that anything allowed by game rules/mechanisms is moral. i find that people who want to eliminate something that game mechanics(and the ToS) allow to occur are only furthering to limit the available game play in what is already a very limited set of game mechanics.

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Morality is derived from an emotional experience with a phenomena. Basically what interaction produces positive emotions is viewed as moral, and what interaction produces negative emotions is viewed as immoral. Acting morally then requires an analysis of interactions, determining those that subjectively produce positive emotions, and then objectifying that analysis as being true for others and acting therein. Hence the golden rule, do unto others as you would have them do unto you. An important part of the analysis needs to be the realization that the process is subjective, liberalizing the process for communal interaction. However, a rational analysis of the human experience shows that man's faculty for judgment and feeling is different in degree, not class. This means that while interpretations of what interactions bring positive emotion may vary, the differences are solely in degree, not in class. Or in other words a rational morality will have an objective component true for humans everywhere, that being the human experience (the faculties of perceiving, feeling, and judging and the results of their function).

So in reality there is an objective morality though at times neurosis or other acts of irrationality can limit ones grasp of this morality, can limit ones ability to judge what interactions bring positive emotion to self. One way or another, we all live by the golden rule, and when one sows one's own destruction through an irrational code, or in other words an immoral code, one has no one to blame but oneself. When this neurotic and irrational behavior threatens the community then it does behoove an enlightened community to act towards elevating rational thought.

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Most of the so-called CN moralists are trying to impose their own views of how to behave in real life on how things should be set up in CN.

Actually most CN players are doing that to some extent. It's silly.

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Mmm... succinctly written but rather superficial excursion into the examination of morality.

The reason I bring them up is because I feel the Moralists, as it stand, are the only grouping in CN that feels it is just to impose their beliefs on those who do not share them.

I must disagree, almost every person imposes their beliefs on others. Even a neutral who espouses their opinion of the good of neutrality is imposing their beliefs on others. A member who goes to war often feels justified in using force to reconcile the discrepancies of opinion between themselves and their enemy.

Further, as every person ascribes to morality of some sort, what are the defining characteristics of the group that is awarded the capitalized title of moralist and how do they differ from every single other person who operates through a code of conduct?

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Not exactly... nothing's being 'imposed' on any tech raid victim. They can do anything they want to end the wars. They can STAY unaligned and sign a treaty that protects them. That's not the case with moralists -- they actually do aim to impose their will and make another alliance give up an aspect of gameplay.

How about this? Alliances that want to war announce that they want that and then they can play that aspect of the game with each other and leave the rest of the people alone. Both groups win because everyone gets to chose how they want to play.

Frankly, as someone closer to the "moralist" camp, I can live with people attacking other people who want to play war. The problem is when those same people attack people who do not.

As it stands, the options I see for people who want to be left alone but still be part of this community are (alone or in combination) 1) peace mode, which requires one to rely on the aid of others until one is large enough to pay one's bills with the negatives 2) situate yourself in the treaty web somehow and end up having to war at least every now and then in spite of your personal objections 3) spend hours of time making friends and learning the unwritten rules of the game so that someone of acceptable size (by the raiding alliances standards - not yours) likes you well enough to "protect" you without much in return 4) do your best to hide and then say "yes sir" and "no sir" to someone who finds you and decides to attack you for whatever reason so they go away after getting whatever they wanted from the attack, 5) complain so much or act so morally superior that you annoy others to the point of them not wanting to raid you (which often backfires) 6) spend so much on military that most nations/alliances look at you and think "there are far easier victims" and look elsewhere or 7) band together with other like-minded people and put up with accusations of "imposing" your "moral standards" on others.

Things will not really change until the people who want to war decide for themselves as a group to keep it between themselves. Everything else is propaganda.

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IMO, morality is simply a certain set of beliefs that one person thinks would make the world better. Some believe tech raiding is immoral because it encourages people to quit. Others believe that it's moral, because it gives someone a challenge and encourages them to participate in the world's politics. The clearest morality is simply to not attack without a reason and not to perform OOC attacks.

There's plenty of people who'd use a set of morals as a CB (because attacking without one is obviously immoral). That's why you get a lot of these senseless wars, because people just hate the color of someone's text and will find any excuse to nuke them.

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nothing's being 'imposed' on any tech raid victim

Wait, what? A war is being directly imposed on them, which is far more than the 'imposition' that anti-moralists claim they're suffering.

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Wait, what? A war is being directly imposed on them, which is far more than the 'imposition' that anti-moralists claim they're suffering.

Yeah but the idea of people not liking tech raiders hurts so much.

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I don't think the use of the word 'crusade' is appropriate here, because of the connotations with the Crusades in real life, which are associated with the genocide of the Jewish people.

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I don't think the use of the word 'crusade' is appropriate here, because of the connotations with the Crusades in real life, which are associated with the genocide of the Jewish people.

I'd think it would be more offensive to Muslims than it would be to Jews if we're being completely frank.

Either way, it's the most descriptive term available.

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I believe that in both the actions of Moralists and Tech Raiders there is a degree of "imposition", although I would not argue either one is better or worse than ther other. In my mind it is simply a matter of preference.

Moralists, in this context, are a third party attempting to impose upon others by dictating their actions. They are not necessarily the ones being raided (although they may be), but they wish for it to cease regardless.

Tech raiders, in this context, impose a state of war upon their victims; it's silly to suggest otherwise. The biggest difference is that they do not attempt to dictate the actions of others. To me, this espouses a greater degree of freedom than the views of moralists, however your mileage may vary.

When it boils down to it, I don't have any problem with those who protest tech raiding from an IC perspective, for whatever reason, where I can go "Gya ha ha I am so evil!" and have fun with it. But I think it is just a little silly to try to suggest OOC than tech raiding is bad, or wrong.

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Not exactly... nothing's being 'imposed' on any tech raid victim. They can do anything they want to end the wars. They can STAY unaligned and sign a treaty that protects them. That's not the case with moralists -- they actually do aim to impose their will and make another alliance give up an aspect of gameplay.

I agree with the OP to some extent (not all), but this is hilarious!

Day 1 - my nation is being attacked by three others... I haven't done anything wrong and have already lost money and tech and land... Their war declarations are strange "PM for peace"... what does this mean? I don't know, I have to hit back though, I won't go down without a fight!

Day 2 - So i've read something on the forums. It seems I'm being tech raided. If I ask for peace they give it to me... but they've already stolen so much tech...

Day 3 - They're not accepting the peace offers... one replied saying I need to go to another forums make a plea because i fought back... this game is weird... i get attacked now I have to plea for mercy?

Day 4 - I found said forums, its humiliating... I won't do it...

Day 5 - enough, this game is stupid, i'm out!

Now, I'm perfectly aware that this is but one of the possible outcomes of a tech raid, but saying you're not imposing nothing on the tech raid victim? Seriously?

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