So, is there an example of a Lawful Good Society on earth?


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For that matter is there an example of a good society anywhere? Anytime?

As much as I live in and fought in the armed services for my country and its people. I wouldn't say its a good country if one were to judge it by an alignment axis. I wouldn't say its an evil one by any means. I also know I am blessed to live here.

I would say that early history of my nation is one of evil. Is that true for any nation to survive? Is a new nation required to be evil to survive its infancy?

Happy Thanksgiving. Looking forward to reading your thoughts..


No. Simple enough. You imagine a large scale society that is Good, you are discussing utopias.


Boyscouts/cubscouts

World wildlife fund (much better at working with governments than say, the chaotic good greenpeace)

Knights of Columbus


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Knights of Columbus

About Columbus, who finally got his own federal holiday in the 1930s thanks his latter-day followers the KoC

To my mind, the KoC financial support of the Church also constitutes abetting a known child prostitution network, but we'll ignore that for now/


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4-H

Scarab Sages

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The Puritan colonies in 17th century New England would be a good example of a lawful good society.

Not that any of us would want to live there.


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Artanthos wrote:

The Puritan colonies in 17th century New England would be a good example of a lawful good society.

Not that any of us would want to live there.

Lawful perhaps. I'd have a lot of trouble calling it good.


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thejeff wrote:
Artanthos wrote:

The Puritan colonies in 17th century New England would be a good example of a lawful good society.

Not that any of us would want to live there.

Lawful perhaps. I'd have a lot of trouble calling it good.

The salen witch trials in the late 17th century give me more then trouble calling it good.


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Artanthos wrote:
Not that any of us would want to live there.

Heresy!

Burn the Witch! Burn them All!


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Artanthos wrote:
The Puritan colonies in 17th century New England would be a good example of a lawful good society.

I suppose so. Especially if we gloss over the Salem witch trials and other assorted executions as an anomaly.

EDIT: Ninjad by the Puritan jerk.

Liberty's Edge

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Artanthos wrote:
The Puritan colonies in 17th century New England would be a good example of a lawful good society.

The Quakers would peacefully disagree.

The Massachusett probably would too. Well maybe not peacefully.


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Kirth Gersen wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Knights of Columbus

About Columbus, who finally got his own federal holiday in the 1930s thanks his latter-day followers the KoC

To my mind, the KoC financial support of the Church also constitutes abetting a known child prostitution network, but we'll ignore that for now/

I'm aware of Columbus' many atrocities but don't see how naming your organization after someone 400 years after the fact makes you responsible for their actions. Nothing in lawful good implies well informed or sensible.


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Yah, this is tricky because we're looking at those societies through the lens of history.

Maybe—like a Paladin who tries (and sometimes fails) to live up to impossible ideals—the societies should be judged by their ideals? ... as opposed to the failures of the decisions that the (very fallible) people actually made?

Cause Lawful Good is only going to be fully realized, as was said earlier, in utopian societies. And those pretty much don't exist in reality.

I don't know... take that perspective or leave it.

The Exchange

Sissyl wrote:
No. Simple enough. You imagine a large scale society that is Good, you are discussing utopias.

I'd make a case for some northern European countries being about as close as humanity ever got to being Lawful Good, similar to the way that the great Totalitarian nations of the 20th century got to being lawful evil.


There are certainly examples in religious texts, but I suppose what the OP is asking for is historical.

How about the Mormons (the actual ones, not their offshoots)?

I feel like there'd be some Buddhist monk groups that would fall in here as well, but I lack specific knowledge.


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Krensky wrote:
Artanthos wrote:
The Puritan colonies in 17th century New England would be a good example of a lawful good society.
The Quakers would peacefully disagree.

as a Quaker i peacefully agree, to a point. a lot of dark s%## happened in that time frame.


It should be apparent how relative matters become when discussing alignment, especially at the societal level. I'm sure those who actively pursued the witch trials felt they were doing God's work and following the mandates of the Church; hence, it could be argued they were behaving in a Lawful Good manner (from a gaming perspective). However, living under those conditions must have been tyrannical and brutal; hence, more of a Lawful Evil environment (from a gaming perspective).


Holybushman wrote:
It should be apparent how relative matters become when discussing alignment, especially at the societal level. I'm sure those who actively pursued the witch trials felt they were doing God's work and following the mandates of the Church; hence, it could be argued they were behaving in a Lawful Good manner (from a gaming perspective). However, living under those conditions must have been tyrannical and brutal; hence, more of a Lawful Evil environment (from a gaming perspective).

Insofar as they were deluded and not actively lying/exploiting the situation, they could still be LG.

The Exchange

Given the ends justify the means jack the ripper was lawful...


Living in one of the Northern European societies probably referenced, Sweden, the 20th century history is one that by no means merits being called Good. Before that, even less so. As most functioning societies where people don't suffer, we'd best be judged as Lawful Neutral. As always, there are instances of better actions (such as a very generous refugee policy, possibly) and worse (selling out the Balts to the Russians during WWII, letting the Germans transport things through Sweden, providing huge amounts of weapons all over the world)... but on the whole, we're just as LN as everyone else. A Good society requires a moral view of said society, and that's far out of fashion today.

I would seriously question the Good-ness of WWF and Greenpeace, considering for example their deals with Big Oil that 1) allows Big Oil to claim to cooperate with them and so be eco-friendly, 2) prospect and drill the forests of Borneo, 3) allows Big Oil to kick out indigenous human tribes in the "nature reserves" the companies need to be undisturbed when drilling. It's hardly the only such problem, but calling them Good? Just no.

Grand Lodge

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Rogar Stonebow wrote:

For that matter is there an example of a good society anywhere? Anytime?

As much as I live in and fought in the armed services for my country and its people. I wouldn't say its a good country if one were to judge it by an alignment axis. I wouldn't say its an evil one by any means. I also know I am blessed to live here.

I would say that early history of my nation is one of evil. Is that true for any nation to survive? Is a new nation required to be evil to survive its infancy?

Happy Thanksgiving. Looking forward to reading your thoughts..

Alignment is a wargaming mechanic, invented purely as a reason to group miniature armies. (You can't put Chaos Orcs with the High Elves!) It falls apart immediately when you try to pin it on to meaningful psychological, sociological, or historical study.

Every country touts it's banners, it's causes, as those of righteousness, it's standard propaganda. Similarly, even most people who've committed the foulest of crimes tend to find a way of rationalizing them as good or at least "justified" acts. Life for the non-Jews, non-Gypsies, or non-gays of Nazi Germany was pretty much okay for the most part, until World War 2 kicked in and the country was getting the hell bombed out of it in the last years of the war. You fight for your country because it's your country. For the most part wars are driven by desires of economic gain. The "causes" of one nation or "sins" of another are merely the propaganda to sell the citizens on it.

Good and Evil are problematic concepts to assign to nations as Morality is very much a subjective process. Every now and then you do get groups of nations to try to set common ethical standards, but that's only in a scenario where the participants are of realtively equal standing. Otherwise big nations, like the U.S. and Russia simply use financial or military means to leverage their weight on others. That's not as effective as it used to be, given the growing ability of what small groups can achieve.


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It is easy for a country to become corrupt and at least approach Evil. Check Burma, Campuchea in its heyday, North Korea, or the like. It's fashionable to say every country is just as bad - this is VERY far from the truth. There are places you REALLY don't want to be.

Grand Lodge

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Sissyl wrote:
It is easy for a country to become corrupt and at least approach Evil. Check Burma, Campuchea in its heyday, North Korea, or the like. It's fashionable to say every country is just as bad - this is VERY far from the truth. There are places you REALLY don't want to be.

True but not really relevant to the original question. It's easy to point out places that are hellholes for the general population. He's looking for the opposite. Nations that both talk the good line and actually walk it. That actually uplift their citizens without the creation of oppressed underclasses. (The U.S. of A. btw with it's historic economic reliance on oppressed underclasses, fails this test in spades.) You're going to have a lot harder time finding that.


Exactly. As I said, for that to happen, you need a country that has a moral vision of itself, one that doesn't exclude anyone from benefiting and doesn't scrimp on the checks and balances, that has a population that wants this, and that has the resources necessary for it to happen.

At some level, however, it's true what someone said: "Kill my demons, and you also kill my angels". In other words: If you spend the time and energy to make sure you don't fall to Evil, you also limit the chances to reach toward Good, simply because both are expressions of people trying to go outside the expected and the System.

Grand Lodge

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There are plenty of Lawful societies. I don't think there have been any Good ones.


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I wonder if the game's creators realized that by including Manichean morality as a game mechanic, they would enshrine perpetual philosophical debates that were otherwise completely settled 200+ years ago.

Even the game itself has played at this paradox. Consider the Harmonium in Planescape, or Hermea in Golarion.

If you judge a government by the intent and execution of its body of laws, I would say that almost all modern governments intend to be lawful good. The failure is in the execution of those policies, or in the design of the policies themselves (but not the intent).

Grand Lodge

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There are plenty of Lawful societies. I don't think there have been any Good ones.

Grand Lodge

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Mythic Evil Lincoln wrote:

I wonder if the game's creators realized that by including Manichean morality as a game mechanic, they would enshrine perpetual philosophical debates that were otherwise completely settled 200+ years ago.

Possibly, and I'm equally sure they wouldn't have cared an apple bucket. Keep in mind the niche society this game was created for, not what it's expanded into. Also remember that things like the Internet and the culture it would create, including the modified gaming culture, were decades into the future at the time.


Thread's in the wrong forum now.

Should be Gamer Life, I think.


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Not so much a society, but perhaps Doctors Without Borders? Likely they would be more NG than LG, but the argument could be made.


"For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not." (Ecclesiastes 7:20, King James version)

A good society isn't going to happen, either.


No. Heck its oversimplified in the game, of course its not a good descriptor in real life.

There are a bunch of organizations we could say have guidelines and public facade that present as LG or close to it, but in the realities underneath, when you start getting into people, you're more likely to find 'neutral selfish'. And there's that aspect of "bad people realize a great place to hide AND be bad? In a 'good' organization'

Scarab Sages

I'd say the Amish are a legitimate real-world example of a Lawful Good society. The northern European countries mentioned upthread are definitely not Lawful - you might say they straddle Neutral/Chaotic Good. Bear in mind that "government" is not "Law" - the real determinant is the culture.

As for OP's questions regarding whether a new country needs to be Evil early on, the best answer I can give is that you're thinking about it wrong - you're looking for "eternal rules" and there are none, as far as that goes. History is a story, not Newtonian physics (and in truth, the curtain closed on the supremacy of Newtonian thinking decades ago).


While there may be lawful good groups around I don't think there has ever been a lawful good society. There have been some that the average person has regarded as lawful good but things like the Salem Witch Trials are a clear sign they aren't. Note that it wasn't really about witchcraft--the accused were those with money beyond their power in society. I would call the leadership lawful evil.


I'm somewhat curious what people think a lawful good society would actually be like. Are there examples we can think of such societies in fiction? Ignoring deliberate utopia fictions for the moment are there examples in SF or fantasy that we can agree qualify?

Then we can talk about whether any real societies match those or even if they could.


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Sissyl wrote:
It is easy for a country to become corrupt and at least approach Evil. Check Burma, Campuchea in its heyday, North Korea, or the like. It's fashionable to say every country is just as bad - this is VERY far from the truth. There are places you REALLY don't want to be.

REMOVE LIES FROM PREMISES

GLORIOUS LEADER SAYS REGIME IS BEST PLACE

EVERYBODY COME TO REGIME

WE HAVE WALLS AND OTHER THINGS OF NICE

DON'T LISTEN WESTERN PIG-DOG PROPAGANDA

OR YOU GET TURNED INTO SAUSAGE


I think the most poignant issue is the determination of what a good nation looks like. Loosely, I would submit that leadership of a nation and its people work to elevate each other without the subjugation or oppression of its any of its populace or of any other peoples outside its borders.


With that definition, it isnt possible.


"If this is your first visit to the Soviet Union, you're welcome to it."


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The United States for about 30 seconds after the Constitution was ratified. Then the political fighting started...


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Vod Canockers wrote:
The United States for about 30 seconds after the Constitution was ratified. Then the political fighting started...

With slavery enshrined in the Constitution?

And the political infighting started before that. How do you think we got the Constitution?


oh no... the political fighting started far earlier than that. :)


thejeff wrote:
Vod Canockers wrote:
The United States for about 30 seconds after the Constitution was ratified. Then the political fighting started...

With slavery enshrined in the Constitution?

And the political infighting started before that. How do you think we got the Constitution?

Slavery does not equal evil.

Slavery created by shipping off people of a certain race without reason other then wealth and racism, is evil.


Politics is the art of the possible, is an old quote that people would do well to remember. The reasons for having slavery in the constitution were from what I understand very much motivated by political necessity. That is not what I would call an expression of Evil, rather of Law.

Silver Crusade

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The Catholic church is probably the closest to the game definition of a LG group. It's highly structured, has more laws than is probably reasonable, and for all its failings, its goals and ideals are altruistic. Also, many LG D&D religions over the years have been modeled on various points in the Catholic church's history. It's why the stereotypical LG D&D religion has churches, cathedrals, clerics, priests, hierarchies, relics, etc.

Importantly, I don't think the Catholic church necessarily matches a personal definition of LG, but it does seem to be the basis for the game definition.


icehawk333 wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Vod Canockers wrote:
The United States for about 30 seconds after the Constitution was ratified. Then the political fighting started...

With slavery enshrined in the Constitution?

And the political infighting started before that. How do you think we got the Constitution?

Slavery does not equal evil.

Slavery created by shipping off people of a certain race without reason other then wealth and racism, is evil.

And yet that's the kind we had, so even if I accepted that, it wouldn't change the point.

Even without racism, slavery requires torture and murder to keep the slaves in line. Some variations are worse than others, but I don't think any reach the level of "Good".


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icehawk333 wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Vod Canockers wrote:
The United States for about 30 seconds after the Constitution was ratified. Then the political fighting started...

With slavery enshrined in the Constitution?

And the political infighting started before that. How do you think we got the Constitution?

Slavery does not equal evil.

show me some good slavery. I'll wait.


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*thwacks her hand with her cane*

Well, Freehold... :-)


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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Boyscouts/cubscouts

Unless you happen to be gay/atheist. ;-)

Grand Lodge

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I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
I'd say the Amish are a legitimate real-world example of a Lawful Good society.

They're not a nation, they are effectively a self ghettoed tribe.

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