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Thread: Warren Ellis relaunches Project Superpowers!

  1. #91

    Default Identifying evil as though it exists.

    Quote Originally Posted by pulphero View Post
    I was wondering that too, but was afraid to ask.
    Oh, I was afraid you couldn't identify Absolute Evil... so I was trying to give an example of it being used in today's parlance.
    It seems as though you could not identify it either today... or in the past.

    To me, Absolute Evil (or manifestations of the evil) should be fought. And for a various number of reasons.

    When you can't even, like the President of today, can't even name the evil, it becomes more difficult to gather forces to destroy it.

    Our heroes, acting AGAINST the way that they had behaved up to that point in the War, became lost in the battle of good vs. evil.
    (Not as you would spin it.)

    Can I ask: Are you drinking or on drugs of any kind.??
    Last edited by Magno; 08-22-2014 at 06:53 PM.

  2. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magno View Post
    After reading your posts I suffered.
    As C.S. Lewis put it, in Voyage of the Dawn Treader: "It's a rotten picture," said Eustace. "You won't see it if you step outside," said Edmund.

    Your rationalizations are kind of humorous. You are reasonably good at ducking and dodging the points. God help us with your kind of reasoning.
    And your aggressively baiting posts are terribly rude.

    And as far as God and Suffering: www.prageruniversity.com
    I recommend Lewis' Problem of Pain far more than anything connected with Dennis Prager.

    Oh, I was afraid you couldn't identify Absolute Evil... so I was trying to give an example of it being used in today's parlance.
    It seems as though you could not identify it either today... or in the past.

    To me, Absolute Evil (or manifestations of the evil) should be fought.
    "Absolute Evil" is bad theology, as it implies Dualism, but I don't think this is the best place to debate such matters.

    When you can't even, like the President of today, can't even name the evil
    This would be the current US President, the best one in my lifetime? (Mind you, I'm only 46.)

    Our heroes, acting AGAINST the way that they had behaved up to that point in the War, became lost in the battle of good vs. evil.
    (Not as you would spin it.)
    A lot of great moral thinkers and spiritual leaders were and are frankly horrified, and rightly so, at the use of the atomic bomb in WWII.

    The ends never justify the means.

    Roy Thomas, one of the greatest fans of the Golden Age characters possibly ever, summed it up very well in this story from about 35 years ago: http://blogintomystery.com/2011/08/2...r-squadron-20/

    Quote Originally Posted by J.R.R. Tolkien, in a letter to his son
    The news today about ‘Atomic bombs’ is so horrifying one is stunned. The utter folly of these lunatic physicists to consent to do such work for war-purposes: calmly plotting the destruction of the world! Such explosives in men’s hands, while their moral and intellectual status is declining, is about as useful as giving out firearms to all inmates of a gaol and then saying that you hope ‘this will ensure peace’. But one good thing may arise out of it, I suppose, if the write-ups are not overheated: Japan ought to cave in. Well we’re in God’s hands. But He does not look kindly on Babel-builders.
    Perhaps more critically, as you have brought up the matter of good vs. evil, is the response from many people in the west to the bombings, described here: http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v16/v16n3p-4_Weber.html

    A leading voice of American Protestantism, Christian Century, strongly condemned the bombings. An editorial entitled "America's Atomic Atrocity" in the issue of August 29, 1945, told readers:

    The atomic bomb was used at a time when Japan's navy was sunk, her air force virtually destroyed, her homeland surrounded, her supplies cut off, and our forces poised for the final stroke ... Our leaders seem not to have weighed the moral considerations involved. No sooner was the bomb ready than it was rushed to the front and dropped on two helpless cities ... The atomic bomb can fairly be said to have struck Christianity itself ... The churches of America must dissociate themselves and their faith from this inhuman and reckless act of the American Government.

    A leading American Catholic voice, Commonweal, took a similar view. Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the magazine editorialized, "are names for American guilt and shame."

    Pope Pius XII likewise condemned the bombings, expressing a view in keeping with the traditional Roman Catholic position that "every act of war directed to the indiscriminate destruction of whole cities or vast areas with their inhabitants is a crime against God and man." The Vatican newspaper Osservatore Romano commented in its August 7, 1945, issue: "This war provides a catastrophic conclusion. Incredibly this destructive weapon remains as a temptation for posterity, which, we know by bitter experience, learns so little from history."
    Can I ask: Are you drinking or on drugs of any kind.??
    Can I ask you to knock off acting like a terribly rude troll?

  3. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magno View Post
    Can I ask: Are you drinking or on drugs of any kind.??
    I was going to ask you the same, but it didn't seem like the polite thing to do.

    There doesn't seem to be much point in continuing the discussion of Fighting Yank's betrayal.

    In the story, it's pretty much presented as he is tricked because he is convinced of the existence of supernatural (but I'm reading that as 'absolute') Evil. That's why he betrays the other superheroes, who, after he tries to convince them of the existence of this Evil, are skeptical, because only HE can see it. The absolute Evil is said to have been released from the Urn (Pandora's Box) by Adolf Hitler, and the result is all of the evil things happening in the world that result in WWII. Fighting Yank is told by his commanding officer in the OSI that he needs to get that Pandora's Box out of Hitler's clutches, that it's the key to winning the war. If the Allies get hold of it, they can try to contain the Evil back in the Urn. But there is a catch. When the Evil was released from the Urn, one other thing was also released: Hope. That Hope is what has resulted in the appearance of superheroes at this time in history. There is a balance being represented. So, in order to contain the Evil released and trap it back in the Urn, the Hope released (superheroes) also have to make the sacrifice and be contained in the Urn as well. Only Fighting Yank and his Revolutionary War ancestor's ghost are convinced of this (and seemingly, his commanding officer, although it isn't clear if he's also being tricked, or is part of the hierarchy of tricksters). The other heroes are dubious; they won't make the ultimate sacrifice based on a 'maybe'. The war goes on. Finally, during a battle in Japan in which the heroes were attempting to convince the Japanese to surrender before a second atomic bomb could be dropped, Fighting Yank decides HE must make the choice for the other heroes -- it's all for the greater good, to save the world from the Evil released from the Urn by Adolf Hitler. He takes it upon himself to trap them all surreptitiously one by one in the Urn, and this goes on for a few years.

    But he was mistaken. With the heroes trapped in the Urn, evil still exists in the world. In some ways, it might even be getting worse, or maybe it's just different, who can tell. But it is an evil based on systems of belief, individual choices made by people having free will, and relative value judgments. The American Spirit comes to Bruce Carter III as an old man, a man who is realizing his mistake and has nothing but regret. The American Spirit reveals that he is the collective spirit of every American who ever died in the service of his country. In appearing to him, Bruce Carter III realizes he is soon to die. It seems to be implied that if Bruce can redeem himself in some way for his terrible mistake, he will become part of the American Spirit upon his death. The American Spirit reveals that the Urn was a trap all along. Bruce Carter was chosen as the dupe, because he could convince himself of this absolute evil. Apparently it is a POV of 'objective reality' which is also shared by his ghost ancestor, which made it all the easier for Bruce Carter to believe it as well. The fact that Bruce Carter's ghost ancestor is not a part of the American Spirit is telling, somehow, his view of reality kept separate from the rest of the patriots who died for their belief in the American dream. The two spirits both try to influence Carter in the time he has remaining. He decides to trust the American Spirit this time, and goes to Tibet to enlist the help of the Green Lama (who was never trapped in the Urn, because he returned to Tibet as soon as the war ended) to free the trapped heroes from the Urn.

    And that is the story. I can see why you didn't understand it, because it requires you to accept the premise that the idea of Absolute Evil is not true.
    Evil is not something objective that can be quantified and measured like electrical impedance or gamma radiation, it is subjective, like Beauty. You know what they say about Beauty. A Shiite Muslim radical is going to have his own definition of Evil. You define yours relative to your own beliefs and value system. I define mine the same way. These value systems are not always neat and discrete. There are some areas where they are in accord, and others areas where they are at variance. We may be in agreement on the definition of evil when it comes to Hitler's Final Solution or the Holocaust, and in disagreement on the relative definition of evil when it comes to the atomic bombing of civilian targets in Japan. Nevertheless, it doesn't stop people from trying to codify Laws, whether they be based on religious, moral, ethical, or local, state or national value systems, and there's nothing wrong with this if it helps society get along. And what are these laws, anyway, but an attempt to describe the "do's" and "don'ts" of a particular value system? Despite thousands of years of human history, however, there is still no consensus of beliefs and values universally recognized and accepted by all humankind as objective and true, in the hard and objective way that Laws of Mathematics or Physics are. If there were, there would be no evil, and no need for that word to exist. If these things were all acknowledged by everyone as known truths, then there would be no need to write them down; it would be part of everyone's basic internal programming, with no need to teach or learn them. Evil is not absolute; it is crucially defined by the people doing the pointing, and the people they are pointing at. You can be assured that whether someone is going around cutting off heads, sending people to death camps, dropping atomic bombs on cities, or trapping superheroes in mystical Urns, then they have justified that in their own mind. Nobody believes themselves to be the villain, even if their only justification for their actions is "might makes right", or "a necessary evil for the greater good". If you had to reduce the entire span of recorded human history to a single "high concept" pitch line for a movie producer, it would go something like this: "This is the story of human value systems -- of how they stimulated cooperation and growth, and how they came into conflict and resulted in death, destruction, and suffering -- and how they affected billions of people." That basic agreement or disagreement about values is repeated in stories everywhere you look, including comic books and internet message boards.

    Let me save you the trouble. "Deconstructionist" and "That is twisted reality that is so screwed up". You can put it all down to massive quantities of drugs and alcohol, if you prefer.
    Last edited by pulphero; 08-23-2014 at 05:08 AM.

  4. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Canuck View Post
    Not only do I understand your point, I agree with it pretty well in its entirety (including acknowledging that Dynamite has improved in the punctuality department, for which they don't get enough credit)....
    The problem for DE and their punctuality for me is based on the DE books I have bought, especially when we as buyers are typically conditioned to buying monthly, or at least I am. Therefore a break of one month or more feels like a delay.

    Project Superpowers chapters 1 and 2 had delays
    Black Terror experienced some delays, both when solicited as a 4 issue series, and then after when it returned from hiatus as an ongoing.
    Death Defying Devil was monthly.
    Masquerade had a one month delay.
    Meet The Bad Guys seemed to hit monthly from a quick look at the data I can find.
    The Owl hit monthly.
    Kirby Genesis had delays.
    Silver Star had a one month delay.
    Captain Victory had a couple of delays.
    Dragonsbane had a couple of delays, one a mighty ten months of course.
    Super Zombies had no apparent delays.

    So of the twelve series above, eight had delays of varying amounts. That is why DE have work to do to reassure me they can be punctual. Now I have no expectation they have any desire nor compulsion to influence me personally, but those delays, and the wait between series set in the Project Superpowers milieu specifically, stopped me considering buying more from DE, and make me more than a little wary about the reboot. I will buy into it, but could I, or hypothetically would I, recommend DE books or DE as a comics publisher to other people based on my experience? That would be the acid test I guess.

    So while one poster may see this as negativity, it is borne out of my experience with DE as a customer, and my perspective is coloured by that, like it or not. That is why I think DE have work to do to really demonstrate that they are better organized than they have previously shown, otherwise my opinion won't change. Just this poster's opinion and experience of course.
    Last edited by leonmallett; 08-23-2014 at 09:15 AM.

  5. #95

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChastMastr View Post
    As C.S. Lewis put it, in Voyage of the Dawn Treader: "It's a rotten picture," said Eustace. "You won't see it if you step outside," said Edmund.



    And your aggressively baiting posts are terribly rude.



    I recommend Lewis' Problem of Pain far more than anything connected with Dennis Prager.
    They are both from the Judeo-Christian worldview.



    "Absolute Evil" is bad theology, as it implies Dualism, but I don't think this is the best place to debate such matters.
    You sound like some kind of deconstructionist who doesn't accept binaries. And when you say "dualism" you don't specify which kind of dualism but in the Judeo-Christain tradition in which they are grounded, (Prager and Lewis), there exists good and evil according to that tradition's Scripture. I doubt that Prager or Lewis would acknowledge the difference between them that you say is there.

    Of course, deconstructionists believe they can have it anyway or all ways.



    This would be the current US President, the best one in my lifetime? (Mind you, I'm only 46.)
    Realizing that you are only 46 I will say, "not enough time has past to make the historical judgment you make." But it does not take any time at all to see that he is "one of the worst."



    A lot of great moral thinkers and spiritual leaders were and are frankly horrified, and rightly so, at the use of the atomic bomb in WWII.

    The ends never justify the means.

    A great number of thinkers and theologians who believe that the end does not justify the means approved the bombings saying that they were commensurate to the threat posed by Japan. In other words, the bombings were a Just measure in a Just War. I suggest you research historical sources published after the mid-'90's that are based upon more recently de-classified documents. If you do so, you may discover just what Japan had in mind for us meant to go on line mere weeks after the bombings.



    Roy Thomas, one of the greatest fans of the Golden Age characters possibly ever, summed it up very well in this story from about 35 years ago: http://blogintomystery.com/2011/08/2...r-squadron-20/

    I liked Roy's A.S.S. stories a lot, and the art as well. If Dynamite would have hired Roy and Jerry Ordway to do the Project Superpowers stories, we would not be arguing about anything now. Instead, we got some wonderful covers that had dreadful interiors. Both art and story were disasters. If they would have been done by these two (Thomas and Ordway), we would have had an on-going series with Golden Age heroes that would have pleased so many.
    It was not the missed dead lines,..... it was very poor art and a very poor story that did NOT hold up. And the series was cancelled. Never to return again. ...When making the right hires for writer and artist WOULD HAVE MADE all the difference.!!

    If you think it was so wonderfully done, then you certainly are entitled to your opinion. I have historical evidence on my side. My friends tried a couple of issues because of my request.... and dropped the title like a sweaty, dirty sock. And I couldn't blame them. I wrote in and asked for changes ....but the crap just kept coming. Sorry, I loved the idea that Dynamite had to bring back these wonderful heroes....but something....most everything ...went horribly wrong. Wonderful covers. And if Roy Thomas and Jerry Ordway were doing them....we would have had, in my humble opinion, a very successful title.



    Perhaps more critically, as you have brought up the matter of good vs. evil, is the response from many people in the west to the bombings, described here: http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v16/v16n3p-4_Weber.html
    You're directing me to a web site that you claim is an authoritative. Inso directing me you commit the logical fallacy called the appeal to authority. In other words, you are saying what they say is true because they are the authorities. I suggest, however, an appeal to the evidence. Study the new documents and get back to me.


    Can I ask you to knock off acting like a terribly rude troll?
    Can I ask you to become accustomed to being refuted.??
    Can I ask you to address my comments substantively and avoid categorizing my personality??

    If you can do these things, given your intelligence, we can have a great conversation.
    Last edited by Magno; 08-25-2014 at 01:06 AM.

  6. #96
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    Though I said before, "I don't think this is the best place to debate such matters," I'm going to respond here to this thread-derailing material one last time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Magno View Post

    They are both from the Judeo-Christian worldview.
    Um... so what? So are Mother Theresa and Torquemada and George Fox and Oliver Cromwell. It doesn't mean they're alike.

    You sound like some kind of deconstructionist who doesn't accept binaries.
    This is amusing to me, since I'm about as far from deconstructionism as you can get.

    In orthodox Christianity, Absolute Evil does not exist. God has no opposite. Goodness has no opposite. Evil is mere defect, a brokenness. As Lewis pointed out, Satan's opposite is not God, but Michael.

    I doubt that Prager or Lewis would acknowledge the difference between them that you say is there.
    I think five minutes' time spent with each of them would pretty much make the difference between them clear to most people. After reading most of Lewis' work, and listening to as much Dennis Prager on AM talk radio as I can tolerate (and for reasons that are probably not healthy, such as schaudenfreude), I'm quite clear about what they're both like.

    Realizing that you are only 46 I will say, "not enough time has past to make the historical judgment you make." But it does not take any time at all to see that he is "one of the worst."
    Actually, I think a cursory Google search provides some pretty solid information about Obama. Don't get me wrong, he's not perfect, but in my considered opinion, he's better than anyone we've had since at least Carter.

    A great number of thinkers and theologians who believe that the end does not justify the means approved the bombings saying that they were commensurate to the threat posed by Japan.
    As Igor says in Young Frankenstein, "Well, they were wrong, then, weren't they?"

    [QUOTE]I liked Roy's A.S.S. stories a lot, and the art as well. /QUOTE]

    You know I brought that story up specifically to show how Roy depicted things like Hiroshima as the horrific atrocities they were, right? At the end of that story, Green Lantern is even using the words Oppenheimer did regarding the atomic bomb: "I am become death, the shatterer of worlds," from the Bhagavad-Gita.

    If you think it was so wonderfully done, then you certainly are entitled to your opinion.
    Actually, I haven't really expressed much of an opinion on PSP here. This is more of a derailment regarding real-world history and moral philosophy, with a side jaunt into theology.

    Perhaps more critically, as you have brought up the matter of good vs. evil, is the response from many people in the west to the bombings, described here: http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v16/v16n3p-4_Weber.html
    You're directing me to a web site that you claim is an authoritative.
    Dude, you did precisely the same thing with Prager's proudly-not-accredited online pseudo-college.

    Inso directing me you commit the logical fallacy called the appeal to authority.
    That would only apply if I claimed that the authority was infallible (though, of course, the question of the Pope brings that in for those who believe in his infallibility, but that's another matter and he wasn't speaking ex cathedra anyway). To say that Christians held to be wise at the time, as well as many Christians now, believed that the dropping of the bomb on those cities was sinful and immoral does not in itself prove that it was, but it is a supporting argument, especially if what is at issue is "what people believe now vs what people believed at the time." It's not that people now believe it was wrong only after decades of distance--people who were against the Axis powers at the time believed it was unacceptably stepping over a moral line.

    (I should also point out that Christianity and Judaism, at least traditionally, are all about trusting authority. That doesn't mean we don't use our reason (we Anglicans often refer to the three-legged stool of Scripture, Reason and Tradition), but authority is kind of relevant to our whole theology, approach to morality, etc.)

    Can I ask you to address my comments substantively and avoid categorizing my personality??
    But you are acting like a rude troll. You may not be one most of the time. Perhaps you've had a bad day. Perhaps on the other side of the screen lies one of the greatest saints I shall ever meet on Earth. But, in this thread, with the aggressive behavior and insults you're throwing around at people, yes, you are indeed acting like a rude troll. Please do stop it. It won't win you friends, and it won't convince people you're correct in these or any other matters.

    And with that, as I said before, I don't think this is the best place to debate such matters, so I've said my piece. Au revoir.

  7. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChastMastr View Post
    Though I said before, "I don't think this is the best place to debate such matters,"...
    I think you might be onto something here, Chast. In the immortal words of Goldilocks, that sounds "...JUST right."

    Quote Originally Posted by ChastMastr View Post
    As Igor says in Young Frankenstein, "Well, they were wrong, then, weren't they?"
    Thus proving that philosophy IS where you find it. Maybe even in the homespun existentialism of Popeye's "I yam what I yam, and tha's all what I yam."

    ... This is more of a derailment regarding real-world history and moral philosophy, with a side jaunt into theology.

    ... as I said before, I don't think this is the best place to debate such matters, so I've said my piece. Au revoir.
    Well said, Chast. Boy, the comic books would be looking pretty threadbare if every time someone threw the first punch in an incipient superhero melee, the second guy just said "I dunno, I've kinda lost interest. Just not feelin' it here, you know?"

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