Is it Evil to serve up defeated enemies?


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3/5

I know I know, alignment questions are awful, but this is a bit head scratching for me and I wanted to be sure.

So I'm playing a Ratfolk named Remmy who has profession (Chef). As you can imagine, he's always having fun serving up new foods and things to the party.

Now, thanks to the minotaur in the "Confirmation" I have a bit of a head scratcher situation. I felt that Remmy would have no problem making minotaur burgers for the team but stopped when I remembered that technically minotaur's are sentient, even if they are not often played that way. My group that day didn't care, nor did the GM, but I realized this could have been a problem if my GM wanted to declare it as an evil act and make me atone.

But as, well, a human sized rat, would Remmy even care about cooking anybody up? With as many "Could be intelligent? Maybe?" creatures as there are in pathfinder, how would this play out? Especially if Remmy has a "Only eat what you kill" policy.

While I'm perfectly willing to "Play it safe" and just cook obviously not-sentient creatures, I was curious if there is any established precedent for eating of other creatures so that I can try to avoid a GM going "Your eating them?! Evil, get atonement!" everytime I cook lunch (Especially since, again, some creatures I might not realize are intelligent).


Lizardfolk are noted as cannibals, and are generally True Neutral rather than evil. But it's definitely something that would make a lot of people uncomfortable, so... be careful with it.

Grand Lodge

At my table I would not rule cannibalism as an evil act in and of itself. After all, there have been entire cultures in the 'real world' that practice cannibalism and would generally not be described as _evil_. Weird, disturbing, unsettling maybe - but not evil.

Now hunting and killing a reasoning creature solely to eat it is probably much closer to evil.

But eating the dead? Hey, parts is parts.

3/5

Almonihah wrote:
Lizardfolk are noted as cannibals, and are generally True Neutral rather than evil. But it's definitely something that would make a lot of people uncomfortable, so... be careful with it.

To be fair, it's not even cannibalism if he's not eating a ratfolk. I imagine he might be a bit more hesitant about eating a fellow ratfolk. Times of need probably would be necessary.

Otherwise, I'm thinking yeah, parts is parts. He's a chef, not a hunter. Half the fun is ingredients on hand.

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/55/5 Venture-Captain, Germany—Bavaria

I would suggest not eating humanoids even monstrous ones. Ideally, try not to eat anything that is sentient.

Silver Crusade

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Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
I would suggest not eating humanoids even monstrous ones. Ideally, try not to eat anything that is sentient.

...

1/5 5/5

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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Possibly relevant?

Liberty's Edge 5/5 5/5 Venture-Agent, United Kingdom—England—Chester aka Paz

Cannibalism is considered an evil act in PFS.

3/5

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Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


Possibly relevant?

Ooo, I like this. I might have him go with this standard for it.

1/5 5/5

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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Matthais777 wrote:
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


Possibly relevant?
Ooo, I like this. I might have him go with this standard for it.

It's a recurring thing that happens throughout the comic run, it's a good read, I recommend reading it when you have some time, because there's also the other situation, where the protagonist is forced by circumstances to participate in ritual cannibalism... and has an adverse reaction to it... and then the shadow-entity shows up...

Follow-up

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/55/5 Venture-Captain, Germany—Bavaria

Rysky wrote:
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
I would suggest not eating humanoids even monstrous ones. Ideally, try not to eat anything that is sentient.
...

I am aware that it sounds terrible, but players have managed to lower the bar significantly, so I was going for a suggestion the vast majority would be able to agree with.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
I would suggest not eating humanoids even monstrous ones. Ideally, try not to eat anything that is sentient.
...

I am aware that it sounds terrible, but players have managed to lower the bar significantly, so I was going for a suggestion the vast majority would be able to agree with.

I think you meant sapient. Or do you want everyone to be vegetarians?

Sovereign Court 3/5 Venture-Agent, Canada—Ontario—Toronto aka crashcanuck

If you stick to Animal and Magical Beast creatures you should be good, maybe a good Ooze soup.


Rysky wrote:
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
I would suggest not eating humanoids even monstrous ones. Ideally, try not to eat anything that is sentient.
...

I am aware that it sounds terrible, but players have managed to lower the bar significantly, so I was going for a suggestion the vast majority would be able to agree with.

I think you meant sapient. Or do you want everyone to be vegetarians?

Pathfinder has a special definition of "sentient" that is basically "sapient". Anything under 3 Int is non-sentient, and everything with at least 3 Int is sentient.

Grand Lodge

Rysky wrote:
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
I would suggest not eating humanoids even monstrous ones. Ideally, try not to eat anything that is sentient.
...

I am aware that it sounds terrible, but players have managed to lower the bar significantly, so I was going for a suggestion the vast majority would be able to agree with.

I think you meant sapient. Or do you want everyone to be vegetarians?

In a world in which "Speak with plants" is even possible, I think vegetables are not safe for a sentient-free diet.

Grand Lodge 4/5

If you have to ask the question........

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
QuidEst wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
I would suggest not eating humanoids even monstrous ones. Ideally, try not to eat anything that is sentient.
...

I am aware that it sounds terrible, but players have managed to lower the bar significantly, so I was going for a suggestion the vast majority would be able to agree with.

I think you meant sapient. Or do you want everyone to be vegetarians?
Pathfinder has a special definition of "sentient" that is basically "sapient". Anything under 3 Int is non-sentient, and everything with at least 3 Int is sentient.

Ah crap, that is right >_<

1/5 5/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

And... before folks get ideas of hitting folks with Feeblemind and then exposing them to Allips or something, they had to have something for the spell to hit, first (not to mention how EXPENSIVE that would become) right?

Shadow Lodge 5/5 5/5 RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 8 aka WalterGM

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Expect table variation and give your GM a heads up before the game starts. Given the right table of players and proper situation, I could see something like this being treated along the lines of comedic relief (which I think was your intention).

As it stands though, any actual static ruling about this is going to list eating sentient creatures as an evil act, just check the links above. Very similar to torture in PFS.

That said, feel out your GM before the game and be like "hey, so if this comes up in the game, could I do this as a lark, provided everyone is OK with it?" You might get that occasional GM and table that's on board with your kind of humor.

Shadow Lodge

"Expect table variation" is not an appropriate response, given that we have an official campaign ruling on the matter: eating the bodies of sentient beings is an evil act, period. The only thing that's up for discussion is how evil an act is it; does it warrant an immediate alignment shift? Even if not, the GM needs to mark the player's chronicle sheet to record the act, to establish a pattern for potential alignment shifts in the future.

3/5

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SCPRedMage wrote:
"Expect table variation" is not an appropriate response, given that we have an official campaign ruling on the matter: eating the bodies of sentient beings is an evil act, period. The only thing that's up for discussion is how evil an act is it; does it warrant an immediate alignment shift? Even if not, the GM needs to mark the player's chronicle sheet to record the act, to establish a pattern for potential alignment shifts in the future.

While I am being a little silly, my concern was mostly, for lack of a way of putting it, that I didn't know that something was intelligent. In the case of the minotaur, I as a player barely remembered that they were sentient and that I shouldn't cook the thing, resulting in an evil act. I'm not always going to have the knowledge checks to realize that something is sentient, or as a player even think to ask because some things are weirdly smart, like blink dogs, or various plants. If I want this to be a running thing for my character, am I gonna have to worry about "Gotcha" moments like "I'm sorry, that thing could talk, it just never talked to YOU, so your evil now, pay for an atonement."

Cause, honestly, in any setting where minotaur is JUST a monster, it'd make a interesting burger. In pathfinder where they have a culture and such? It's another ball, and I might not have incharacter knowledge to know the difference either.

I worry about these things because I tend to be the person who accidentally creates big rules incidents by doing something weird and nobody being sure how to answer the resulting fallout.

1/5 5/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Personally, I've seen a 'corner scenario' where an action the party took would be considered 'evil' by most sane standards, but given the information we were working from (hurray for botched Know rolls??) the GM didn't think it was appropriate to hit us with that.

Hopefully most GMs would likewise use that barometer.

ie, if you don't know it's a sentient being, how could you be expected to know the difference between it and say, a deer or a stag or such?

Shadow Lodge

If a creature is sentient, it should be apparent in its actions, such as wielding a manufactured weapon, such as the greataxe listed in the minotaur statblock, or by wearing clothes, such as the loincloth that keeps the bovine wang from flapping in your face.

Point is, telling that something is sentient should be pretty easy, and shouldn't hinge on a Knowledge check; if any skill check is involved, it'd be a pretty low DC Sense Motive check, at worst.

Dark Archive 4/5 5/5 Venture-Agent, Australia—QLD—Brisbane aka YogoZuno

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Quote:
the GM didn't think it was appropriate to hit us with that.

Except that Golarion is a world with objectively-observable good and evil. So, knowing or not knowing something is 'ok to kill' cannot be a defence...it's either an evil act or not.

Scarab Sages

Remember the Pathfinder GameMastery Guide includes a cannibal stat block which is CN.

But the raging cannibal from Champions of Corruption says this...

Raging Cannibal wrote:
"While savagery is not inherently evil, some primitive cultures thrive on depravity. The raging cannibal is a barbarian who feasts upon her fallen opponents not out of hunger, or even a taste for flesh, but because she believes physically consuming her foes and defiling their lost lives demonstrates her strength."

And the cannibalism domain has an ability that allows you to consume parts of a foe and is considered an evil act explicitly in the ability.

Also don't forget that cannibalism can lead to ghouldom.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

And Wendigos! Don't forget the Wendigos!

1/5 5/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Michael Clarke wrote:
Quote:
the GM didn't think it was appropriate to hit us with that.
Except that Golarion is a world with objectively-observable good and evil. So, knowing or not knowing something is 'ok to kill' cannot be a defence...it's either an evil act or not.

Spoiler:
In a particular given scenario, the party was far from logistical support and resources at an entire table for brand new L1 characters.

We encountered and defeated bunch of folks who earnestly believed they were going to turn into lycanthropes at the next full moon, which was far fewer days away than the journey back to civilization would take, plus the logistical considerations of our party having to rescue someone yet.

Party did not have silver weapons or the means to transport the bunch of folks back to civilization, and failing to realize that the folks were lying to us AND miffing all the knowledge checks...

No, we didn't eat them, but they met a swift end when a more experienced/knowledgeable/savvy party might have been able to bring them back to justice.

I think our goal post moved.

We were talking about dead enemies, and then it turned into 'it's cannibalism' which yes, would be evil, because folks KNOW their own people to be sentient.

But if an opponent doesn't bear any signs of intelligence, how is one supposed to know?

Shadow Lodge

Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
But if an opponent doesn't bear any signs of intelligence, how is one supposed to know?

As I said before, signs that the creature is behaving in an intelligent manner should be fairly obvious, and shouldn't hinge on Knowledge checks, if you actually see it act in person.

That said, the absolute biggest clue that eating a creature is an evil act is when the GM tells you that eating it is an alignment infraction, which they are required to do in PFS:

Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Guide, pg. 12 wrote:
Ultimately, you are the final authority at the table, but you must warn any player whose character is deviating from his chosen alignment. This warning must be clear, and you must make sure that the player understands the warning and the actions that initiated the warning. The PC should be given the opportunity to correct the behavior, justify it, or face the consequences.

Scarab Sages 5/5

Doesn't the v8 guide's community standards now cover this sort of edgy play?

4/5

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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Ignoring the fact that there's a Mike Brock post that says that it's an evil act, let's talk about the fact that it's spelled out explicitly in a banned hex.

Cook People wrote:
Cook People (Su): The witch can create fabulous spells by cooking an intelligent humanoid creature in her cauldron, either alive or dead. Using this hex creates one meal or serving of food of the witch's choice, typically a delicious stew or a dough suitable for cookies, pastries, or other desserts. Cooking the victim takes 1 hour. Eating the food provides one of the following benefits for 1 hour: age resistance, bear's endurance, bull's strength, cat's grace, eagle's splendor, fox's cunning, neutralize poison (instantaneous) owl's wisdom, remove disease (instantaneous). Alternatively, the witch can shape the dough into a Small, humanlike creature, animating it as a homunculus for 1 hour. The witch must have the cauldron hex to select this hex. Using this hex or knowingly eating its food is an evil act.

1/5 5/5

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SCPRedMage wrote:
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
But if an opponent doesn't bear any signs of intelligence, how is one supposed to know?

As I said before, signs that the creature is behaving in an intelligent manner should be fairly obvious, and shouldn't hinge on Knowledge checks, if you actually see it act in person.

That said, the absolute biggest clue that eating a creature is an evil act is when the GM tells you that eating it is an alignment infraction, which they are required to do in PFS:

Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Guide, pg. 12 wrote:
Ultimately, you are the final authority at the table, but you must warn any player whose character is deviating from his chosen alignment. This warning must be clear, and you must make sure that the player understands the warning and the actions that initiated the warning. The PC should be given the opportunity to correct the behavior, justify it, or face the consequences.*

*Disclaimer: Expect Table Variation

3/5 Venture-Agent, Massachusetts—Boston Metro aka MadScientistWorking

SCPRedMage wrote:
"Expect table variation" is not an appropriate response, given that we have an official campaign ruling on the matter: eating the bodies of sentient beings is an evil act, period. The only thing that's up for discussion is how evil an act is it; does it warrant an immediate alignment shift? Even if not, the GM needs to mark the player's chronicle sheet to record the act, to establish a pattern for potential alignment shifts in the future.

Actually, there is a newer ruling that at least doesn't make a complete and utter alignment shift. It really applies to the Flesheater as I can't think of anything else mechanics wise that involves consuming flesh that is legal. And even then the Flesheater isn't exactly something where cooking up a duck isn't a valid option which also helps explain why its legal.

5/5 5/55/55/5

Any legitimate contender in the nagaji paladin checkers tournament is off the menu


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Don't see the problem. If its perfectly acceptable to kill them in the first place, I don't see any particular reason eating them would be somehow magically worse. It is, at the very least, less wasteful.

Have the druids sing Circle of Life for the group if you like.

Shadow Lodge

Tallow wrote:
Doesn't the v8 guide's community standards now cover this sort of edgy play?

It doesn't out-right ban it, but it does advise you to severely down-play "controversial or edgy concepts" (which this definitely qualifies as) in play.

Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Guide, pg 4 wrote:

When

participating in public Pathfinder Society events, be mindful of any controversial or edgy concepts in your character and consider limiting them to bylines or dice rolls. Dysfunctional or uncooperative play will not be tolerated. Behaving in a hateful or disruptive fashion simply because “It’s what your character would do” means you’ve probably lost sight of the purpose of organized play and may be asked to amend your behavior or leave the table. Extreme or repetitive cases of inappropriate behavior will be resolved by asking the offender to leave the table or venue.

Basically, they're asking you to limit your "controversial or edgy" stuff to either brief background mentions or skill checks like Day Job rolls. Stopping to cook and eat a sentient creature in the middle of play most certainly goes beyond that.

Voss wrote:

Don't see the problem. If its perfectly acceptable to kill them in the first place, I don't see any particular reason eating them would be somehow magically worse. It is, at the very least, less wasteful.

Have the druids sing Circle of Life for the group if you like.

This isn't up for debate; campaign leadership has said it's unquestionably an evil act, and thus it's unquestionably an evil act in the Pathfinder Society campaign. Eat all the minotaurs you like in your home campaign, but not in PFS.

Scarab Sages 5/5

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That's the rule I was thinking of that actually opens up some edgy concepts that were previously banned. I believe the point was this new ruling actually supercedes Mike Brock banning rulings.

Shadow Lodge

Tallow wrote:
That's the rule I was thinking of that actually opens up some edgy concepts that were previously banned. I believe the point was this new ruling actually supercedes Mike Brock banning rulings.

I don't see how this applies to cannibalism; it certainly doesn't change the ruling that it's always an evil act.

In fact, I don't see how it would imply an over-ruling of anything that the campaign has outright banned; at best, it's an attempt to future-proof against new and exciting ways of making the rest of the table uncomfortable.

Scarab Sages 5/5

SCPRedMage wrote:
Tallow wrote:
That's the rule I was thinking of that actually opens up some edgy concepts that were previously banned. I believe the point was this new ruling actually supercedes Mike Brock banning rulings.

I don't see how this applies to cannibalism; it certainly doesn't change the ruling that it's always an evil act.

In fact, I don't see how it would imply an over-ruling of anything that the campaign has outright banned; at best, it's an attempt to future-proof against new and exciting ways of making the rest of the table uncomfortable.

I think we might have to go back and actually look at the thread that this new community policy sprang from to get an idea of exactly what it means to some previous rulings.

But I'm pretty sure that Tonya/John indicated that you could now have Profession (torturer) and other distasteful things, as long as you followed those guidelines for how to present them in public play. Profession (torturer) was specifically banned by Mike Brock. But this new policy has opened any and all edgy concepts to be explored as long as you respect other players.

Scarab Sages 5/5

Here are some links I have found:

Regarding Venerate and Worship

There is a line about "loosening restrictions on professions."


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Much like half-vampires drinking blood mid combat agaisnt someone they were going to kill anyway, cannablisim is "evil" only because of two reasons.

One- social stigma. One of the worst reasons for almost anything, if there isn't an actual reason for that stigma. In the case of cannablisim, in real life, I've heard there is at least some reason behind "don't eat dead people", because the act of doing so can easily cause deseases.

But doing something thst can make you sick is stupid, not evil.

But
Two- the single most painful reason for an arbitrary evil aligment-

Because the dev's said so.

The devs seem to keep the game painfully black and white, as if moral ambiguity was a direct counterpoint to fun. The use the "evil" tag to more or less ban options from players, while letting NPC's have them.

A nice example, create undead.

Undead such as skeletons, as non-sentient* creatures should, by definition, be true nuteral.

*not even non-sapient. They have zero will of their own.

But undead creation is a powerful plot tool, and it looks a little sketchy, so, no undead for PC's.

But the excuse that it binds the soul to the undead is alright, but even then...

Even undead that are actively stated to be fully sapient, and with the soul bound to them, why are they suddenly evil? It's basically a raise dead.

all in all, it seems most of the things that are labeled unconditionally evil are usually either made as limiters or placed in fear of the stigma of the potential social backlash of them saying "well, it kinda varies depending on situation".

So, remember.

murder is sometimes A-OK, but draining blood from somone you're already going to kill, eating the corpse because you're starving, or using "darker" magic to raise someone close to you as, say, a vampire when you had thier explicit prermisson before death... Are all 100% unacceptable.

5/5 5/55/55/5

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icehawk wrote:
he devs seem to keep the game painfully black and white

They think the morality for the game for the game is black and white (or black white and gray) because it is.

There;s a difference between the morals of a materialistic utilitarian based morality system on a platonic driven universe with a spiritual and objective morality component. In our world when you eat human you're just consuming oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium, and phosphorus with trace amounts of sulfer sodium, chlorine, and magnesium. In a D&D based fantasy world you're also consuming part of their very being, their soul. That has consequences (like turning into a ghoul or becoming a wendigo) in that world that it doesn't in ours.

Dark Archive 5/5 5/55/55/5

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Speaking from the monster point of view...

We don't just want Pathfinders with good taste. We want Pathfinders that taste good! I especially appreciate it when other casters in the party coat their own melee warriors with the Grease spell. Buttery Bloodragers are the best!


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BigNorseWolf wrote:
In a D&D based fantasy world you're also consuming part of their very being, their soul. That has consequences...

I'll say it does! A moment on the lips, an unlifetime on the hips, amiright?


icehawk333 wrote:
Undead such as skeletons, as non-sentient* creatures should, by definition, be true nuteral.

I'm not entirely convinced that a "should by definition" type of argument can really be applied to a fictional creature...

Dark Archive 4/5 5/5 Venture-Agent, Australia—QLD—Brisbane aka YogoZuno

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Quote:
Undead such as skeletons, as non-sentient* creatures should, by definition, be true nuteral.

The fact that non-sentient undead are defined as evil should point out to you that there is something inherently evil about undead...perhaps negative energy is inherently evil? So, anything animated by it is also evil?


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Michael Clarke wrote:
Quote:
Undead such as skeletons, as non-sentient* creatures should, by definition, be true nuteral.
The fact that non-sentient undead are defined as evil should point out to you that there is something inherently evil about undead...perhaps negative energy is inherently evil? So, anything animated by it is also evil?

Then why isn't inflict wounds evil?


quibblemuch wrote:
icehawk333 wrote:
Undead such as skeletons, as non-sentient* creatures should, by definition, be true nuteral.
I'm not entirely convinced that a "should by definition" type of argument can really be applied to a fictional creature...

Then all animals, and vermin willing to harm humans should also be evil.

Some even stright up hunt them in the bestiary and are still true nuteral.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
icehawk wrote:
he devs seem to keep the game painfully black and white

They think the morality for the game for the game is black and white (or black white and gray) because it is.

There's a difference between the morals of a materialistic utilitarian based morality system on a platonic driven universe with a spiritual and objective morality component. In our world when you eat human you're just consuming oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium, and phosphorus with trace amounts of sulfer sodium, chlorine, and magnesium. In a D&D based fantasy world you're also consuming part of their very being, their soul. That has consequences (like turning into a ghoul or becoming a wendigo) in that world that it doesn't in ours.

I didn't say the game wasn't like that.

I said it was a rather painful state of affairs.

Any statement of what is and is not objectivly evil in a game is, frankly, silly and overly limiting.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not agaisnt thier being consequenses for evil.

But I am for evil actually making sense.

If you're going to say that drinking blood is evil, fine.
But murder should be just as "always evil" at that point.


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icehawk333 wrote:

If you're going to say that drinking blood is evil, fine.

But murder should be just as "always evil" at that point.

Why?


quibblemuch wrote:
icehawk333 wrote:

If you're going to say that drinking blood is evil, fine.

But murder should be just as "always evil" at that point.
Why?

Murder is actively robbing somone of all of thier free will in a single moment.

Drinking blood is far from always leathal, and has far less negative effects, then, you know, death.

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