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Are you a woman or gnat?
Sat Nov 11, 2006 19:05
71.72.51.40 (XFF: 160.99.205.52)

"Don't be an idiot." Mahon snapped at her, his patience wearing thin. "You can most certainly be wrong if decide to take the lazy way out and give such a half-thought answer." Indignation warred with wary expectation on Sonja's thin countenance. "Even if you're not cut out for the White Ajah, you have to use your brain no matter what. The Creator has provided you with the distinctive ability to reason, it's what sets us apart as humans. The horse is swifter, the butterfly more beautiful, Light, even the mosquito is more prolific. You're tossing away the one thing that sets you apart from the animals—the ability to think."

He took a breath, his passionate statement given with no more emotion than any other statement, though there was the hint of irritation and anger at Accepted. "Well what do you want from me then?" Exasperation colored her words.

"I want you to use your brain, Sonja. I want you to think. Telling me that you don't have an answer because you don't know yet—that's a start. It's where we all start. But not having an answer at all is where you're ending. You've sat down, given my question the most cursory of attention and then threw up your hands." Mahon took a breath as Sonja opened her mouth to make some sort of protest but he lifted his hand and she went silent.

"You started in a good place, by citing perspective, but then you halfway through and just stopped. Perspective is exactly what dictates anything—good, evil, even truth. One man's trash is another man's treasure. Nobility feel that it's beyond them to wear clothing that is 'last season' when those who have little money would do nearly anything for a set of clothes that weren't threadbare and worn nearly thin." He held out his hands like he was weighing something.

"You've told me that killing is wrong in your eyes. But let's think on something that the Blue Ajah often discusses when dealing with justice—let's say that a man, his wife and his young daughter are sleeping soundly in their beds. The husband wakes to find his wife dead next to him, her throat slit and the knife is inches away from his daughter's throat. He kills the intruder, the murderer of his wife, in order to save the life of his daughter. Is this evil?" She was silent as he spoke, but Mahon saw a look of some understanding flash through her eyes.

"So—the path to finding any answer beyond what you've given is to start at the beginning." Mahon paused and in that pause, Sonja spoke.

"Then how do you start, Mahon Sedai?"

He nodded. "By asking questions. You're giving an unwavering statement that killing is evil. But shouldn't the act of killing be defined by purpose? Is ending the life of a murderer of a loved one in self-defense evil? Are you pitting the man who is willing to kill for the greed of whatever was in this father's house in the same category as a man defending the life of his innocent eight year old daughter?" She was quiet so he continued, "So—good and evil are what? Actions performed that are defined by intent?"

"I suppose so." The woman conceded.

Mahon smiled, "All right, then tell me what intentions you consider good and evil and think of it in terms of perspective. What is the definition of evil, Sonja? And how is good defined? What makes them what they are? Ending a human life? Feeding the needy and starving in the cities? Maybe the Amadicians and Whitecloaks are evil because their intent is to remove channelers and Aes Sedai from the world. Or the Seanchan for chaining channelers. Or maybe the Whitecloaks are good and noble, seeking to keep the world safe from the touch of the Dark One."

"You thought this conversation was over, but it's not, Sonja. You have the ability to reason and to think, and if you give that up, you may as well be a biteme fly for all of this inability to think. Do you want to be nothing more than a fly? A pest?" Mahon knew he was pushing her, and if she hated him for it, he hoped that she would at least come out of it hating him and thinking as well.

  • Blerg. Thinking.Accepted Sonja Meranes, Sat Nov 11 18:26
    Sonja heaved a sigh, leaning forward to sink her head in her hands. This was a day that would never end. It would just go on and on, growing perpetually more horrible and impossible, culminating in... more
    • Are you a woman or gnat? — Mahon Sedai, White Ajah (NPC), Sat Nov 11 19:05
      • Let's not be nasty, now.Accepted Sonja Meranes, Sun Nov 12 07:53
        Sonja felt heat rise to her cheeks, and she had to dig her nails into her palm to stop from letting that heat come to full boil. She was using her brain, burn the man! How dare he call her an idiot!... more
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