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Debates Forum

Debates Forum

  1. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    24 May '16 00:32
    As a respite from the "Muslims are bad" and "Blacks are bad AND inferior" type of threads that invariably account for about 90% of the Debates Forum these days, I would like to offer a cerebral thread concentrating on a moral issue raised by the events in May 22nd's episode of Game of Thrones. SPOILER ALERT if you intend to watch it and haven't yet:

    Resolved: Bran's using his powers to place in the stable boy's head the command to "hold the door" years in the future was morally unjustified even assuming that Bran wasn't aware that the act would effectively make Hodor an idiot. Even without that unforeseen consequence he made another human being a marionette merely to save his own life. The reviewer at Forbes sees it a bit differently:

    His whole entire life was fated for this one moment, for him to hold the door against an unspeakable evil, to save a boy and a girl .......... Hodor became a hero tonight. He sacrificed himself, and his entire life, for this brief moment.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2016/05/22/game-of-thrones-season-6-episode-5-review-hold-the-door/#1495d0422a2b

    But that ignores the fact that Hodor wasn't so fated; Bran "fated" it for him. And since Hodor did not decide to "hold the door" of his volition, I don't see him as a hero but an unfortunate puppet.

    The scene was extraordinarily powerful and gripping and great TV, but it still bothers me - there's so many people on the show willing to sacrifice others based on their belief that it is only them who can save the world. Perhaps that's another point worth discussing.

    Any thoughts?
  2. 24 May '16 08:25
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    As a respite from the "Muslims are bad" and "Blacks are bad AND inferior" type of threads that invariably account for about 90% of the Debates Forum these days, I would like to offer a cerebral thread concentrating on a moral issue raised by the events in May 22nd's episode of Game of Thrones. SPOILER ALERT if you intend to watch it and haven't ye ...[text shortened]... nly them who can save the world. Perhaps that's another point worth discussing.

    Any thoughts?
    bran wasn't warging into hodor. this was different than controlling him as a puppet. i think this is a new ability, to place suggestions in the past of the person, something bran doesn't quite understand yet. i believe he chose to obey of his own free will.


    it still seems wrong to make such a request of someone, even if that person would feel compelled to sacrifice himself anyway for what he perceives as the greater good.
  3. Subscriber Wajoma
    Die Cheeseburger
    24 May '16 11:46
    Originally posted by no1marauder


    His whole entire life...


    Any thoughts?
    Is there a difference between "whole entire life" and "entire whole life"?
  4. 24 May '16 15:31
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    As a respite from the "Muslims are bad" and "Blacks are bad AND inferior" type of threads that invariably account for about 90% of the Debates Forum these days, I would like to offer a cerebral thread concentrating on a moral issue raised by the events in May 22nd's episode of Game of Thrones. SPOILER ALERT if you intend to watch it and haven't ye ...[text shortened]... nly them who can save the world. Perhaps that's another point worth discussing.

    Any thoughts?
    Aren't heroes often unfortunate puppets (soldiers, 9-11 rescuers) who performed a job or were commanded to act when a whole bunch of other people could have done that task? To me Hodor's sacrifice makes him a hero in the traditional sense of a hero.
    If you are arguing that it is unjustified to ask someone to take a job where you could be called on to make such a sacrifice, then Hodor answered a call them many people in real life answer as well.
  5. 24 May '16 15:57
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    As a respite from the "Muslims are bad" and "Blacks are bad AND inferior" type of threads that invariably account for about 90% of the Debates Forum these days, I would like to offer a cerebral thread concentrating on a moral issue raised by the events in May 22nd's episode of Game of Thrones. SPOILER ALERT if you intend to watch it and haven't ye ...[text shortened]... nly them who can save the world. Perhaps that's another point worth discussing.

    Any thoughts?
    Moral dilemmas are great fodder for television shows.

    We see similar things in real life, such as NYFD rushing upstairs in the twin towers which shortly thereafter collapsed. In many cases of smaller buildings, firefighters stay out and back due to the threat of collapse. The reality is that in crisis each of us makes personal decisions as to how much risk is acceptable.
  6. 24 May '16 16:12
    Originally posted by quackquack
    Aren't heroes often unfortunate puppets (soldiers, 9-11 rescuers) who performed a job or were commanded to act when a whole bunch of other people could have done that task? To me Hodor's sacrifice makes him a hero in the traditional sense of a hero.
    If you are arguing that it is unjustified to ask someone to take a job where you could be called on to make such a sacrifice, then Hodor answered a call them many people in real life answer as well.
    we are talking whether hodor had free will or not. whether he was basically a soldier ordered to defend civilians or simply a drone controlled by the annoying teen.

    the soldier sacrificing himself so that others may live is a hero. the drone isn't.
  7. 24 May '16 16:13
    Originally posted by normbenign
    Moral dilemmas are great fodder for television shows.

    We see similar things in real life, such as NYFD rushing upstairs in the twin towers which shortly thereafter collapsed. In many cases of smaller buildings, firefighters stay out and back due to the threat of collapse. The reality is that in crisis each of us makes personal decisions as to how much risk is acceptable.
    from your post one might make a reasonable assumption that you didn't watch the episode and have no idea what the discussion is.
  8. 24 May '16 16:23
    Originally posted by Zahlanzi
    from your post one might make a reasonable assumption that you didn't watch the episode and have no idea what the discussion is.
    Your reasonable assumption is correct, and I believe mine is as well.
  9. 24 May '16 16:26
    Originally posted by Zahlanzi
    we are talking whether hodor had free will or not. whether he was basically a soldier ordered to defend civilians or simply a drone controlled by the annoying teen.

    the soldier sacrificing himself so that others may live is a hero. the drone isn't.
    Hodor isn't a drone even if he is controlled. He has feelings (maybe like a well trained pet) and if a dog died savings it's owner the headlines would declare the dog a hero.
  10. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    24 May '16 19:31 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by quackquack
    Hodor isn't a drone even if he is controlled. He has feelings (maybe like a well trained pet) and if a dog died savings it's owner the headlines would declare the dog a hero.
    In this case, he has less ability to have independent feelings precisely because of Bran's intervention. When Bran implants his suggestion in Willas (young Hodor), it immediately causes him to go into a fit writhing on the ground while repeating the phrase "hold the door" until it eventually becomes "Hodor". From that day forth, that is the only word he says and it is obvious his mental faculties have been severely diminished. So Hodor isn't even a "well trained dog"; he is a creation of Bran's meant for only one purpose. It is different from a fireman entering a burning building or a soldier diving on a grenade to save the rest of his platoon; those are volitional acts freely chosen by the person (though we could discuss whether there really is anything like "free will"; I'm assuming there is for the purposes of this thread). Hodor doesn't choose to "hold the door"; Bran makes him chose it. And Bran's act of doing so destroys Willas.

    In the Captain America movies, we don't consider Bucky a villain because he becomes the assassin Winter Soldier because of mind control techniques unwillingly inflicted on him by Hydra. The same principle applies in reverse with Willas/Hodor; we shouldn't consider him a hero because he does what he has no choice but to do.
  11. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    24 May '16 19:57 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by normbenign
    Moral dilemmas are great fodder for television shows.

    We see similar things in real life, such as NYFD rushing upstairs in the twin towers which shortly thereafter collapsed. In many cases of smaller buildings, firefighters stay out and back due to the threat of collapse. The reality is that in crisis each of us makes personal decisions as to how much risk is acceptable.
    Well we make those decisions which is our moral prerogative to do.

    In this case, someone else made the decision for Willas/Hodor and he A) Had no choice; and B) His ability to make other decisions was severely reduced because he suffered damage to his mental faculties.

    The Forbes article gives a brief synopsis of the situation in the show (I don't think someone had the watch the show to participate in this discussion). Basically, if Hodor doesn't "hold the door" Bran, Meera and Hodor will certainly all die as there are a large number of wights intent on killing them in hot pursuit. He is the only one of the three physically able to do so; he is a large strong man, while Bran is a crippled teen and Meera a rather small woman (though kickass). Thus, the issue isn't that Hodor made a necessary decision to sacrifice himself to save others; the issue is Bran made a necessary decision to sacrifice Hodor to save himself and Meera.
  12. 24 May '16 20:06
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    In this case, he has less ability to have independent feelings precisely because of Bran's intervention. When Bran implants his suggestion in Willas (young Hodor), it immediately causes him to go into a fit writhing on the ground while repeating the phrase "hold the door" until it eventually becomes "Hodor". From that day forth, that is the only word he ...[text shortened]... Willas/Hodor; we shouldn't consider him a hero because he does what he has no choice but to do.
    I'm not sure why Bran chose Hodor. Was it completely random or did Hodor volunteer or express a desire to help the cause? Heroes have always been about the act and not free will.
    Does a soldier have free choice when they are told to run into battle? Would you argue that are not heroes, if they would be shot if they fled? Is the soldier less noble if they were drafted instead of enlisted? To me Hodor, like the soldier, is a hero because he dedicated his life to a presumably noble cause.
  13. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    24 May '16 20:14 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by quackquack
    I'm not sure why Bran chose Hodor. Was it completely random or did Hodor volunteer or express a desire to help the cause? Heroes have always been about the act and not free will.
    Does a soldier have free choice when they are told to run into battle? Would you argue that are not heroes, if they would be shot if they fled? Is the soldier less noble if t ...[text shortened]... me Hodor, like the soldier, is a hero because he dedicated his life to a presumably noble cause.
    Well the show used a "time loop" scenario well known to sci-fi fans. Bran chooses Hodor to "hold the door" in the present because he is the only one who can do so, but he implants the need to do so in Willas in the past (before Bran is actually born). There isn't any indication that Willas wants to do anything noble; a scene in a previous show has him declining to practice with swords with the other boys (one of whom will become Bran's father).

    I really don't see how Hodor dedicated his life to anything; his life was dedicated for him and that decision negatively impacted his entire life before he was finally killed.
  14. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Poor Filipov :,(
    24 May '16 20:41
    It seems to me that drafting soldiers and sending them out to die is analogous to this scenario.
  15. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    24 May '16 22:11
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    It seems to me that drafting soldiers and sending them out to die is analogous to this scenario.
    When a soldier gets drafted, his life is affected from that point on.

    Here Willas' life was profoundly negatively affected for decades before his "sacrifice" was required. That seems far more morally objectionable to me.