Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Peter Jackson and Tolkien are Not the Same Moral Landscape

Tolkien, Peter Jackson, and the Moral Landscape of The Lord of the Rings
18th July 2022 | Tolkien Lore

At 1:18 (I'm tired and have had my stomach wasted since Friday evening to this morning, so I am impatient) - would you consider it plausible that:
  • PJ was much better suited for doing Beatles documentary which is his now (perhaps already extant) project
  • through him, Beatles got their revenge for Tolkien turning them down?

Tolkien Lore
Now that’s an interesting theory 😂

Hans-Georg Lundahl
@Tolkien Lore Look up:

When The Beatles wanted to star in a Lord of the Rings movie
by Natalie Zamora 7 months ago

Peter Jackson speaks about The Beatles’ failed attempt to make ‘The Lord Of The Rings’ movie
"For a moment in time they were seriously contemplating doing it"
By Damian Jones 25th November 2021

Peter Jackson: 'I got through the pandemic with the Beatles'
Tom Hunt Nov 20 2021

6:15 Faramir and Eomer - would you consider the solutions examplify what used to be called by the Greek epikeia?

And obviously, Denethor's madness as well ...

Btw, "in Tolkien's framwork" - I get a hunch that the moral landscape of Westeros as well as of Dune is very different ....? (Not that I've read them!)

Tolkien Lore
I’m not so good with my Greek so you’ll have to explain that word 😅

Hans-Georg Lundahl
@Tolkien Lore It seems moral theologians have been giving the example of opening a porch in a wall which it is forbidden to open, because opening the door would flood the city.

And that one can, despite the law, open the door if there are enemies around who need to be drowned (wonder if that passage may have inspired some scenes around Isengard ...?).

And that the virtue that allows us to make this "paradoxal" judgement is called epikeia.

A google made me see that the place where St. Thomas Aquinas' Latin involves this Greek loan in English translation has the translation Equity.

// I answer that, As stated above (Article 48), a virtue has three kinds of parts, subjective, integral, and potential. A subjective part is one of which the whole is predicated essentially, and it is less than the whole. This may happen in two ways. For sometimes one thing is predicated of many in one common ratio, as animal of horse and ox: and sometimes one thing is predicated of many according to priority and posteriority, as "being" of substance and accident.

Accordingly, "epikeia" is a part of justice taken in a general sense, for it is a kind of justice, as the Philosopher states (Ethic. v, 10). Wherefore it is evident that "epikeia" is a subjective part of justice; and justice is predicated of it with priority to being predicated of legal justice, since legal justice is subject to the direction of "epikeia." Hence "epikeia" is by way of being a higher rule of human actions. //

Tolkien Lore
Ah, similar to the classic example of “letting blood” being illegal in Rome but with the exception of a physician doing so for medical purposes. Yeah, I can see some parallels there, though I’m not sure it’s exactly the same thing without putting a bit more study into it.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
@Tolkien Lore See also:

// I answer that, As stated above (I-II:96:6), when we were treating of laws, since human actions, with which laws are concerned, are composed of contingent singulars and are innumerable in their diversity, it was not possible to lay down rules of law that would apply to every single case. Legislators in framing laws attend to what commonly happens: although if the law be applied to certain cases it will frustrate the equality of justice and be injurious to the common good, which the law has in view. Thus the law requires deposits to be restored, because in the majority of cases this is just. Yet it happens sometimes to be injurious—for instance, if a madman were to put his sword in deposit, and demand its delivery while in a state of madness, or if a man were to seek the return of his deposit in order to fight against his country. On these and like cases it is bad to follow the law, and it is good to set aside the letter of the law and to follow the dictates of justice and the common good. This is the object of "epikeia" which we call equity. Therefore it is evident that "epikeia" is a virtue. //

For further reading, Summa Theologiae (I am citing from New Advent's translation to English), Second Part of Second Part, Question 120, Articles 1 and 2.

Example given by St. Thomas "for instance, if a madman were to put his sword in deposit, and demand its delivery while in a state of madness, or if a man were to seek the return of his deposit in order to fight against his country" seems to echo in Denethor's madness.

11:01 Ents are very slow.

If they had invented rock and roll, the "slow" would have been their equivalent to certain very high speed punk, I think.

13:16 "if you make decisions in this wat all the time, it's a lot harder to say that you're certain you are doing the right thing all the time"

... certain you are doing the right thing most of the time.

We are creatures, limited, not omniscient, and, if not ents, some are fallen too (most I'd be likely to meet this world this side of the grave), so, being sure to do the right thing all the time is impossible.

Just a nit-pick.

But it has applications. Some people love to deliberate really at length but on a moral basis far inferior in substantiality than the entmoot.

18:32 Would you agree that, I had actually missed this part in the film, PJ is making the story of Tolkien look more "brutal" in a Conan the Barbarian way, not quite all the way?

Tolkien Lore
Not being very familiar with Conan I can’t make that direct comparison lol.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
@Tolkien Lore After some acquaintance, I can't say you are missing much.

25:32 I wonder if this has something to do with the real life actions of Christopher Lee - a major actor in the film.

He became a Nazi hunter and it came to involve tactics that led him to know the exact sound when a knife (or by extension arrow) pierces a lung.

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