Morality of Gentling...

Discussion in 'Wheel of Time Discussion - Books 1-8' started by driedraspberry, Jul 24, 2012.

  1. Midian Venamar

    Midian Venamar

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    Especially since it doesn't really have to be a prison camp. Far Madding is a lot like my idea with the bridge towns outside of Tar Valon. It's not like they're prisoners exactly, since they'd choose their confinement, and could live mostly normal lives. That, and with Far Madding, the shield which blocks males from channeling is fairly far outside the actual island too, so they wouldn't be too cooped up.
     
  2. Emerald ní Róhan

    Emerald ní Róhan Aes Sedai

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    Depression can be treated. Post-gentling doesn't have to be a living hell. The Aes Sedai just never cared to try to treat it.
     
  3. Oskana Tyra

    Oskana Tyra

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    Even if they were feasible I am not convinced that constant shielding or prison camps would be much more humane than Gentling. Having someone control your life can throw you deep into depression or mental instability as well. Even a "voluntary" move to Far Madding is too much of a problem. People do not like to be caged, no matter how nice or spacious that cage might be. You would need to make sure they didn't leave the "safe" area, meaning quite a few Aes Sedai and military patrolling the area (which would make it exactly like a prison camp). Also, just because the man in question is willing to move to such a place doesn't mean the people in his life are willing to move with him.
     
  4. Midian Venamar

    Midian Venamar

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    I mean just giving them a choice. Either be Gentled like they currently are, or accept the limitation of either living in Far Madding or a bridge town of Tar Valon. It's not like it's taking away anything ... just giving them another option.
     
  5. Slynese

    Slynese

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    I think Gentling is a necessary evil, which the Aes Sedai did.
    However, they could have put more effort into keeping the gentled man alive.
    And they could have done more research on how to heal a man in his mind.
     
  6. Jondurwid Ironsmith

    Jondurwid Ironsmith

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    Some things are done simply because that's what has always been done.
     
  7. Moiraine874

    Moiraine874

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    All I will say is that WH contains a critical event on this topic. And ToM or tGS has a critical event too. I just don't remember which.
     
  8. Avelina Ermen

    Avelina Ermen Aes Sedai

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    Couldn't a more extensive use of a Stedding have been an option? It probably would have put the Aes Sedai out of direct control of the men who could channel, as I would think it unlikely that any of them would have volunteered for time without being bale to touch the Source. But, didn't Loial mention in EotW how in the Time of Madness, the Ogier had offered their Stedding as a sanctuary to both the male and female Aes Sedai for protection from the taint? As there are abandoned Stedding, the men who could channel could have taken over one of those, right? Eventually build a town inside, and live normal lives, just without the Source. No gentling required.
     
  9. Midian Venamar

    Midian Venamar

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    I've thought of that, as well as Far Madding as a new location. That, and having AS create and tie off shields on the men, then make sure that the shield never fully dissolves. I haven't had any luck convincing anyone else that it would be a good call though :-P
     
  10. Caliden Al'Waes

    Caliden Al'Waes Citizen

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    I've always thought that during the breaking Gentling was a "Quick fix" because they went mad so much sooner back them (I might be wrong, obviously.) But time causes the taints power to dwindle which is why Logain and Taim were able to fight the madness for so long. I think that it was something they did, and as you have seen the tower is a stickler for the old ways. Why do you do this? Because its how we've always done it.
    Why change what a lot of people don't consider broken? Whats a few men here and there compared to the well being of hundreds? I can see why they do it, but it doesn't mean there isn't a better more humane way of dealing with it.
     
  11. Midian Venamar

    Midian Venamar

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    Agreed Jen (Caliden).
     
  12. Phaedra Lampros

    Phaedra Lampros

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    I believe that Gentling is necessary to save the people of the world from mad men who can channel. The common people are scared of men who can channel, do you really think that these men would be accepted in a world full of people who are deathly afraid of them? However I think that the white tower should give the men a chance to use their power until they start showing signs of madness. They need to be gentled before they go mad of course so they can possiby have a normal life afterwards. Depression can always be treated. There are many things that help with the depression the key is how to get the gentled men to not automatically give up. I believe that their are plenty of Aes Sedai in the tower that they could afford to monitor men who can channel. Of course those men would need to be close to the Aes Sedai so that they dont have to travel everywhere to find these men to check on them. If the men who can channel had some purpose they could put their channeling too I believe that they would be ok with living near Aes Sedai. The tower has gentled men since the first breaking so it is ingrained in them to do this. Its hard to break a "tradition" It definatly hurts the world when they gentle every male channeler because the channelers of today are definatly not as strong as they were in the Age of Legends. Some Aes Sedai do see this point. Of course the wheel weaves strong channelers back into the thread. As far as the Black Ajah is concerned I would be very very worried that they would track down the male channelers and force them to serve the dark one. Can you imagine a world full of male channelers who serve the dark one??? :(

    I have so many different views on this its hard to decide what to do. Its needed but what would have happened if a Red got ahold of Rand??? Can you imagine how is the dragon supposed to fight the dark one gentled?
    Interesting view points everyone! I enjoyed reading and will keep up with this post.
     
  13. Eliza Al'Shaw

    Eliza Al'Shaw Aes Sedai

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    I didn't think AS knew how to tie off weaves, wasn't it something lost AB? And didn't the men go insane too quickly to have been moved to a stredding in time? so the Ogier would have had to agree to half mad; True Source deprived men running around. . .
     
  14. Midian Venamar

    Midian Venamar

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    It was lost by some, but others knew of it. And only the Hundred Companions went crazy instantly. All the other male channelers went crazy slowly over time. I totally agree that the Hundred Companions needed to be taken out.
     
  15. Tanicus Perrilys

    Tanicus Perrilys

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    Before the last books came out, I had this really amusing (at least to me it is) notion that in the final battle, after Saidin is cleansed, Rand and his friends push the Dark One back into the Bore, but just before he is sealed in, he reaches out and taints...Saidar! Nynaeve and all the female chanellers go mad and begin a second breaking of the world! It's a form of balance in a ways. It would be ironic, and sweet revenge of a sort. Now Rand and the male Aes Sedai, or Asha'Man would now have to go about stilling any female who can channel.

    In any case, the problem with going to a stedding or Far Madding even is that all people who can channel would eventually still want to feel the source again, and there's just no way or sufficient resources to manage and guard the place to keep the men from escaping so they can channel. It's like an addiction.
     
  16. Rhandhal al'Deez

    Rhandhal al'Deez

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    Was is stated in the books that Taim was channeling for 16 years? It said somewhere that a man with the spark sometimes won't start channeling until he's 30.
     
  17. Brandegoris Al'Mor

    Brandegoris Al'Mor Citizen

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    I dont know that the books "skim" over it. The charcaters in the book always think about. In like every book in their heads , they are wrestling with it! Always afraid of it, always paranoid about it. Its definitely NOT a good thing.
    And yet even today and all through are history people continue to make crazy decisions for the "greater good". so its a pretty real thing and tough to think about. the REDS are pretty crass about it for the most part. They almost seem to LOVE doing it. But i think a lot of other Aes Sedai feel pretty sad and remorseful about it because they understand what it would mean to have their power stripped from them.
     
  18. Fremendis Charin

    Fremendis Charin

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    Going into a stedding or Far Madding is just as bad as being gentled, the channelers all hate it. Sometimes madness takes a long time, other times, its just a light switch flip away, you never know. I hate gentling... but what else were the options?
     
  19. Marivea al'Corriyi

    Marivea al'Corriyi Aes Sedai

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    It seems to me, that like others said farther behind, that the AS started severing men out of sheer necessity, and then kept doing it because it's what they had always done. I also think that Far Madding type places or permanent shields would have been a far better choice. That would have done several things--it would have probably led to the world having more direct information on channeling and the taint in general, it likely would have resulted in less fear of the AS from men, and it would have kept the male channelers in the gene pool, instead of them dying of depression and not fathering kids.
    And of course, the male channelers remaining in the gene pool would have meant that the AS of Rand's time would have, as individuals and collectively, been far more powerful in the One Power.

    If they must have severed them, it ought to have been the responsibility of the AS to bond the men and keep them alive, instead of permitting them to wither away under the watchful eye of the Accepted.

    At least, that is how I would have wanted to have been treated, if I were slowly going mad from the taint. :cheese
     
  20. Eluial Aldaran

    Eluial Aldaran Aes Sedai Head of the Brown Ajah

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    Agreed. While gentling is a hard pill to swallow, it's a necessity. It's one of those situations in which all options suck, but gentling is the one that is going to be the most moral.

    However, what I always found distasteful, shortsighted and bordering on negligent homicide, was the way they kept the men confined to the tower once it was done. It also bothered me that they just let stilled/burnt out women go and never kept in touch with them. I mean, that makes a little bit of sense from the perspective of that woman not wanting to be reminded of what she lost. But I think the reason the Aes Sedai let them go was because it bothered their delicate sensibilities to be constantly reminded that it could happen to them.

    If they had instead stuck their noses in it, like they do with everyone else's business, they could have learned a great deal about how channeling and gentling/stilling works. They probably would have realized that it wasn't necessarily being gentled that was killing the men, but rather being confined with no sense of purpose.

    In general, and this is a bit of a side rant, it always bothered me how Aes Sedai as a group were really good and not seeing the things they didn't want to see. I know that sometimes people are like that, but this is supposed to be a group of powerful, well studied and intelligent women. They should be better than that.