rename malevolent?

By on April 9, 2014 2:27:53 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

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After reviewing the ideology options and seeing the initial (albeit limited) options that affect these choices, I’d like to see how people feel about renaming malevolent to darwinistic. The “malevolent” options so far bring to mind social darwinism – a survival of the fittest mindset.  This was called Nietzschean in the Andromeda TV show, which would be another possible name that would be more appropriate to my way of thinking than malevolent.

 

This is certainly not a major issue, but I wondered if other people felt likewise.

 

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April 9, 2014 2:55:24 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

I think it would be a rather narrow view of darwinism  I think I prefer the current names. 

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April 9, 2014 3:26:06 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Malevolent is the direct opposite of benevolent, so I like the symmetry there. Also it seems a gross perversion of Darwin or Nietzche to attribute the philosophies of conquest and domination to either of them. I am guessing you are trying to find a term that removes the value judgement that malevolent brings, but I think the value judgement is part of the point. These are civs that wish to do harm to others, which is the exact definition of malevolent.

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April 9, 2014 3:41:19 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Well put perigrine23, my point exactly but much better explained. 

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April 9, 2014 3:46:26 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Darwinistic doesn't imply aggression or malevolence, as often times more altruistic and selfless acts are more beneficial to survival. It would be suitable to replace pragmatic, but the naming isn't in line with the fiction in my opinion.

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April 9, 2014 3:53:47 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Naming something Darwinism won't be controversial at all!

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April 9, 2014 4:52:19 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Survival of the fittest means that survival is conditional to how well you fit in your environment, in which case, like its been said before, self-sacrifice, solidarity, altruism and cooperation are perfectly viable strategies. It depend on your environment.

 

And if you look at our ecological system, the libertarian randian doctrine of "fuck you, got mine" isnt actualy well represented in nature, for good reason.

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April 12, 2014 12:30:59 AM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

 

 

  How about naming it "Naughty" ? 

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April 12, 2014 1:46:14 AM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

No.

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April 12, 2014 4:44:12 AM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Oh go on I want to play a naughty civilization,  now I'm going to have to make that mode.

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April 12, 2014 11:00:19 AM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

"Social Darwinism" is an obscene abuse of a hard-thinking scientist's name to falsely legitimize non-scientific doctrine.  It has no roots nor basis in Darwin's work and is largely used by plutocrats to justify their self-amassed (or inherited) wealth.

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April 13, 2014 12:45:44 AM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Quoting Chibiabos,

"Social Darwinism" is an obscene abuse of a hard-thinking scientist's name to falsely legitimize non-scientific doctrine.  It has no roots nor basis in Darwin's work and is largely used by plutocrats to justify their self-amassed (or inherited) wealth.

 

So true.

 

I would prefer GalCiv3 to stick with the benevolent--malevolent.  It is subjective, anyway.

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October 18, 2014 5:03:52 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

The names are fine as they are.

I would prefer if the ethics system would take into account stuff you do outside of random events.

That annoyed me how in GalCiv 2, I could wipe out one race after another, yet still be officially "good". This time, I think that would be neat if you could win Malevolence points for declaring an unjustified war against a innocent neighbor and conquering their planets. That would give evil races even more of a reason to start wars of aggression and be a threat to the galaxy, which would be appropriate. Or, on the other side, maybe getting Benevolence points for intervening in a war that an evil race started (fighting in the war, ending it with diplomacy, or even just supporting the other side with credits/techs), or helping your less developed neighbors catch up. Or maybe even Pragmatism points if you bribe or manipulate yet another race into doing your dirty work against a rival.

The latest developer interview I read on Space Sector hinted that they wanted to go in a "grand strategy" direction. Some of the titles in that genre, like Paradox's games, could get very politically complex. It would be a thrill to see the morality system in GalCiv 3 reach that level.

 

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October 18, 2014 6:10:34 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

We could rename it to ... "Merciless"

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October 18, 2014 8:23:03 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

I vote for no change.

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October 18, 2014 8:29:39 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Quoting Hamilmac,

I vote for no change.

Ditto.

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October 18, 2014 8:34:00 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Imperialism/Militarism? Mercilessness also works

Pragmatism could also do with being renamed. If we're assuming Pragmatism is the effective pursuit of a particular goal (personal wealth? expansion of the species?) without regard for other things which might conflict, then any and all of the three could be argued to fit the description, and depending on the goal, the pragmatism of things like "free trade" are also highly debatable. Maybe a better name would be Mercantilism?

The Benevolence tree doesn't necessarily actually imply benevolence either, and it can definitely be argued that "benevolence" is a contradiction because it's paternalistic while also implying ethical perfection (which in turn involves seeking for everyone to be self-empowered, and you therefore not to have power over them, so paternalism can't apply), and also the very structure of Galciv games implies limits to how emancipated ordinary people could possibly actually be in reality. Maybe Internationalism would be a better word (of the liberal sort, not the revolutionary sort)

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October 18, 2014 8:37:56 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Quoting Vivisector9999,

That annoyed me how in GalCiv 2, I could wipe out one race after another, yet still be officially "good". This time, I think that would be neat if you could win Malevolence points for declaring an unjustified war against a innocent neighbor and conquering their planets. That would give evil races even more of a reason to start wars of aggression and be a threat to the galaxy, which would be appropriate. Or, on the other side, maybe getting Benevolence points for intervening in a war that an evil race started (fighting in the war, ending it with diplomacy, or even just supporting the other side with credits/techs), or helping your less developed neighbors catch up. Or maybe even Pragmatism points if you bribe or manipulate yet another race into doing your dirty work against a rival.

I like that idea I still think the names should be changed, but your idea would still work if they were called Militarism, Internationalism and Mercantilism rather than Malevolence, Benevolence and Pragmatism

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October 18, 2014 9:13:59 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Quoting Vivisector9999,

That annoyed me how in GalCiv 2, I could wipe out one race after another, yet still be officially "good".

I tend to believe that the result of conquering a planet isn't the mass execution of the populace, but rather the mass disenfranchisement of the populace. After all, it's stated that the listed planetary population is the number of your citizens on the planet, not necessarily the true planetary population.

Quoting Vivisector9999,

This time, I think that would be neat if you could win Malevolence points for declaring an unjustified war against a innocent neighbor and conquering their planets.

Problem: define 'unjustified war.' Violations of claimed space and influence pushes are aggressive acts, and in my opinion I am within my rights to treat them as such. Setting up a colony in my back yard is also arguably a hostile action, as is building a space station of any kind in 'my' space (and worse, the game has an at best poor method of defining territorial space in influence). Declaring war to reclaim colonies lost in a previous war is also not necessarily malevolent.

Quoting Vivisector9999,

Or, on the other side, maybe getting Benevolence points for intervening in a war that an evil race started (fighting in the war, ending it with diplomacy, or even just supporting the other side with credits/techs)

Problem: preventing a hostile empire from (quickly or cheaply) winning a war and becoming more powerful is pragmatic rather than strictly benevolent. Entering a war on the side of the weaker party to prevent their opponent from becoming more powerful is also pragmatic rather than strictly benevolent. Entering a war on the side of the weaker party so you can weaken the stronger party while they're distracted is at best pragmatic and could be malevolent. Ending the war without wiping out or reforming an evil empire (reforming as in improving the character of, not recreating, one) is more pragmatic than benevolent.

Quoting Vivisector9999,

Pragmatism points if you bribe or manipulate yet another race into doing your dirty work against a rival.

This is arguably at least as malevolent as it is pragmatic, as if I can manipulate another faction into fighting a rival of mine, I can weaken two potential opponents and distract them, giving me an opportunity to go after them while they're busy, or after their allies while their forces are too thinly stretched to intervene effectively. Playing multiple factions off against one another to maintain a balance of power of some kind is at best pragmatic, if it's to keep any one rival from becoming too strong to fight, and could be malevolent, if it's to keep any potential rivals weak and divided.

Quoting Vivisector9999,

helping your less developed neighbors catch up.

This is the one thing on your list which is most clearly benevolent. However, this can easily be a pragmatic action rather than a benevolent one, as a technologically backwards neighbor is not a very useful ally against anyone who isn't about as technologically backwards as they are.

 

The problem with assigning a moral judgment to any game actions is that it carries assumptions about why I'm doing something. Intervening to defend a trading partner so that my economy doesn't get too badly screwed up isn't really benevolent, nor is building up a potential ally's technological level. Causing two states to fight one another is pragmatic, in that it weakens potential rivals and targets at little direct cost, but it is also malevolent, especially if you're doing it to keep them busy while you go off and do something to the states that they might have aided had they not been busy or if you do it to distract them while you prepare to slip a knife into their back, or if you get them to declare war on an ally so that you can avoid the malevolent penalty for being honest about your wars of aggression while dragging your allies into the war despite the alliances being more like mutual defense pacts (here's a 100 BC, now go declare war on the Altarian Republic. Woops, I'm allied to the Altarians? Oh dear, I "didn't know" that. Well, I'll just help myself to these colonies over here, and smash a couple of your fleets over there, and ...).

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October 18, 2014 9:31:14 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Quoting joeball123,
The problem with assigning a moral judgment to any game actions is that it carries assumptions about why I'm doing something.

Yup. That's partly why I suggested Internationalist, Mercantilist, Militarist - an attempt to describe actions and strategic trends rather than ethics

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October 18, 2014 10:09:05 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

"Benevolent" and "Malevolent" are antonyms. No change needed.

Benevolent means literally "to wish well", to be a "well-wisher".

Malevolent means "to wish ill", to "wish evil".

There is nothing here that is Darwinian.  It is all about one's intentions--one's wishes for some other thing or being.  The reason or motivation behind the wish has nothing to do with whether or not the act itself is benevolent or malevolent.  One's action may be benevolent for the "wrong" reason, or malevolent for the "right" reason.

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October 19, 2014 12:24:20 AM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Quoting Blue_Oyster,

The reason or motivation behind the wish has nothing to do with whether or not the act itself is benevolent or malevolent. One's action may be benevolent for the "wrong" reason, or malevolent for the "right" reason.

The issue with this line of reasoning is that the moral/ethical alignment of Galactic Civilizations III is supposed to reflect the civilization's outlook, not the civilization's image, and since it's supposed to reflect the civilization's outlook, the reasons behind the actions are very important. Helping an ally or potential ally out is pragmatic - they're no use to me if they cannot contribute anything meaningful to the war, and giving stuff to a potential ally helps with getting them to become an ally. It might be benevolent if I'm not doing it for the purpose of making them more useful should a war come to pass, but the game cannot make that judgment - all it sees is that I'm giving this other faction a gift of technology, money, ships, whatever. Since the game does not know the intent behind my gift, the game cannot know if I'm being benevolent or if I'm simply being pragmatic. Same goes for declaring war on an aggressive and expansionist empire that attacks my neighbor - I could be doing it because I feel from the bottom of my heart that wars of expansion are wrong (benevolent outlook), or I could be doing it because I don't want them on my doorstep (pragmatic outlook), I could be doing it because I think it's a good opportunity for me to grab a few colonies and beat up a strong rival (pragmatic/malevolent outlook), or I could be doing it because it conveniently occupies the attention of a decent chunk of the military of the aggressive and expansionist empire and I've been looking for an opening to invade (malevolent outlook). All the game sees is that I'm intervening in a war between a weak power and a strong, expansionist power. How is it supposed to know which outlook fits?

Even if the alignment scale were about a civilization's image rather than its outlook, you run into a lot of issues, because where you see a benevolent action, I might see a pragmatic one - that state that intervenes to prevent its neighbor from being destroyed? It's not benevolent, it just didn't want a powerful and aggressive state on its borders. That state that diplomatically resolved the war crisis? It's not benevolent, it's just pragmatic - it doesn't have the military capacity to fight, and the lesser state was its ally so it'd have to fight if war came, so instead it forced its ally to make concessions and the problem (temporarily) went away. That state that invaded the weak state, stabbing it in the back after the big bully decided to invade the weak state? It's not malevolent, it's pragmatic (though at the darker end of pragmatism) - it's taking the opportunity to strengthen itself, thereby reducing the change in relative strength between it and the big bully, though at the cost of the weak state, but the weak state was doomed anyways.

I don't really have that many issues with the random event alignment choices. I do have an issue with sticking +100 malevolence labels on declarations of war, or +10 benevolence points per $10 gift to weak/poor neighbor, because the game knows nothing about why I'm doing it. The random events have very strictly defined courses of action that you can take, and for the most part it's fairly clear which ones are more benevolent than others are (although I've never understood why that 'found ship frozen in the icecaps' one calls "flood the planet to get the ship out" pragmatic; the "benevolent" option is the pragmatic course of action, while the "pragmatic" option is, according to the description, more malevolent than the malevolent option - if getting the ship out is going to be the pragmatic and malevolent option, then it's the malevolent guys who should be doing things with no regard for the safety of others, not the pragmatic guys).

 

Also, I'm not arguing for the names of the alignments to be changed. I think that the alignments are a bit 'silly evil' and 'silly good,' but whatever. I am arguing against attaching "good" and "evil" labels to standard diplomatic options where you're not really making a choice where the outlook that leads to the decision is clearly one or the other. I can declare war on the Drengin Empire because they've been enslaving everyone else and I'm not going to put up with it anymore and I'm going to liberate all the planets that they took and return things to status quo ante bellum, or I could declare war on the Drengin Empire simply because I think the only good Drengin is a dead Drengin and I end up restoring status quo ante bellum or something similar to it simply because I lack the strength to carry my Drengin extermination crusade to the finish.

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October 19, 2014 6:20:34 AM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Quoting joeball123,

The issue with this line of reasoning...

It's not a line of reasoning. It's the direct translation of the Latin. It's a fact that an act can be benevolent or malevolent without knowing the actor's intent. I can wish a million dollars to you, and that is benevolent, whether or not I am your heir.  And whether as your heir I plan to terminate you later, or not.

Quoting joeball123,

Since the game does not know the intent behind my gift, the game cannot know if I'm being benevolent or if I'm simply being pragmatic.

Nope. You're stating a tautology. "The game doesn't know the intent behind my gift, therefore the game doesn't know the reason I gave the gift." Like all tautologies that is true.  And it doesn't enlighten. Although I'm not sure that giving any old gift is necessarily benevolent, I'll play along in order to make the argument. If I give you a gift but intend to take it back later, that doesn't change the fact that I gave you a gift, which playing along now I will say was a benevolent act.  Let's say that later, I change my mind about taking it back.  That doesn't retroactively change the gift-giving act--following your line of reasoning--from malevolent to benevolent.  In either case, it was a benevolent act.  Just as if I had given the gift with no intention of taking it back, which you would apparently agree is a benevolent act, but then only later I decide to take it back. That decision--with no action--did not change the gift giving to malevolent. And even if I carry out my plan, and take the gift back later, the original act was benevolent, and the taking-back act would be malevolent.

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October 19, 2014 10:41:58 AM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

When you boil it down, it is just labels.

It is essentially the lawful/neutral/evil alignments from days gone by.

CIV V used Freedom/Order/Autocracy

We could call them "Warm Fuzzies, Middle Road, Get off my Lawn".

That said, one could make the argument that in some instances the reward for malevolence makes choosing it pragmatic. Say I am in a war and short on cash. By colonizing a planet I get the three choices. One of those choices involves -20 approval but + 30 cash. Since I need the money, it is practical for me to have situational ethics and choose the malevolent choice.

Let's face it, most of us like conquering and playing "Space Emperor!". By definition that makes us malevolent. It is also why IRL it is almost impossible. Have you ever razed a city? That is the height of malevolence. Just about every epic story is about fighting off an all powerful entity or overthrowing it. Almost every occupier in history had to spend massive amounts of money and troops to maintain a semblance of order.

So when can argue names all we want. All they are is convenient silos of bonuses. Maybe make an option for your labels if that makes everyone happy. It is just three text strings after all.

<TLDR> I would rather StarDock work on cleaning up what they have. Since we will never agree on the names I vote no change. <pragmatic>

 

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October 19, 2014 1:14:10 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Quoting Blue_Oyster,

It's not a line of reasoning. It's the direct translation of the Latin. It's a fact that an act can be benevolent or malevolent without knowing the actor's intent.

Unfortunately, you're missing the point. Actions can be benevolent or malevolent without knowing the actor's intent, but the GCIII alignment system isn't about the actions - it's about the actor, and knowing intent is important when it comes to characterizing the alignment of the actor. If performing benevolent actions makes a person benevolent, then those petty criminals who are required to perform community service in reparations for their past actions are "benevolent" people even though they're probably only doing it because they have to. The civilization that declares war on an aggressive expansionist empire based on slavery while it's invading a little country because it represents a good time to take a bite out of a major competitor is "benevolent" because they've performed the arguably-benevolent action of involving themselves in a war against an evil empire on the side of a weaker party.

Slapping the "benevolent" or "malevolent" label on in-game actions means granting "benevolent" or "malevolent" points to states that perform those actions, but the fact that I performed a benevolent action does not in and of itself make me a benevolent person. Since the GCIII alignment system is more about my outlook than my actions, why I'm doing something matters. Otherwise you're back to GCII's system of pay enough money and you too can be an angel.

Quoting Blue_Oyster,

Nope. You're stating a tautology. "The game doesn't know the intent behind my gift, therefore the game doesn't know the reason I gave the gift." Like all tautologies that is true.

I am not arguing about the characterization of the action, I am arguing about the characterization of the actor. There is an important distinction between the person who performs benevolent actions because they think it's the right thing to do and the person who performs benevolent actions because they see some benefit for themselves in performing that action. The person who supports free public healthcare because they think that people have a right to adequate medical treatment has a relatively benevolent outlook. The person who supports free public healthcare because they believe that their workers will be more productive if they have access to adequate medical treatment has a relatively pragmatic outlook. The person who supports criminal rehabilitation programs as an alternative to or replacement for prisons because they believe that no one deserves to be locked up for the rest of their lives has a relatively benevolent outlook. The person who supports criminal rehabilitation programs as an alternative to or replacement for prisons because running the programs is cheaper than running the prisons has a relatively pragmatic outlook. Same action, different characterization of the actor. I may not have made this sufficiently clear earlier, but when I gave examples and characterized them as 'benevolent,' 'malevolent,' or 'pragmatic,' I was characterizing the actor, not the action.

Galactic Civilizations III has an alignment system which is about characterizing the actor. The nature of the action is of little importance for this, and so labeling an action "good" or "evil" is of little value, and in fact is detrimental to the alignment system because the label will come with an expectation of receiving angel points or demon points for performing the action with the appropriate label. Once you start giving angel or demon points for performing certain actions, you're back to the buy-your-way-into-heaven plan of GCII - get all the benefits of enslaving, exterminating, and torturing people, producing illegal weapons, engaging in criminal activities for fun and profit, and then pay 20,000 credits and become angelic. Pick up all the early-game benefits of being evil, and have all the late game benefits of being good or neutral, for a lump sum of money that wasn't that hard to accumulate and that you didn't even need to have at the time of alignment-locking.

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October 19, 2014 1:24:45 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Quoting Blue_Oyster,

Malevolent means "to wish ill", to "wish evil".

That's part of the problem. Nobody's driving political motivation is to do evil for evil's sake, except in Saturday morning cartoons. Sure, people might feel spiteful from time to time, but that's a passing thing.

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