[LMB] Is Barr a rapist? or I'm misunderstanding beguilement?

Katherine Collett kcollett at hamilton.edu
Fri Aug 9 18:28:06 BST 2019

On Aug 9, 2019, at 12:56 AM, Gwynne Powell <gwynnepowell at hotmail.com> wrote:
>  How good is Dag as a leader/teacher when he throws his own
> standards out the door for what is, actually, a relatively minor reason;
> postponing the wedding would be disappointing, but hardly cataclysmic.

How do we know it wouldn’t have been cataclysmic?  I can easily imagine a sequence of events beginning with postponing the wedding, so Whit and Berry either split up or hurry back to Clearcreek to marry, so either Fawn is depressed and doesn’t make Dag go seek the help he needs and they never meet Arcady, or even if things go as we see for Dag and Fawn’s party, they don’t meet up with Whit on the trail, and without Whit, the malice doesn’t get taken down, Fawn dies, Dag dies, and even if this isn’t the malice that eats the world, their work of bringing Farmers and Lakewalkers never gets done and there’s a much bleaker prospect for the world.  All for want of a sympathetic clerk.  

Whether the end justifies the means is another question, especially when postponing the wedding would, indeed, have been more likely to have little effect.  Is persuasion ever justified?  What if using it can save the life of a child?  Maybe persuasion should be seen as a tool, which, like any tool, can be used for ill or for good.  But there does seem to be an ethical problem with using it on non-consenting adults, even if the results are not in themselves evil.  I suppose they’re just going to have to live with nuance and things being complicated.


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