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#1376 - Grim tales..

April 7th, 2014, 3:38 pm

Average Rating: 5.00
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Author's Comments:

Reply Joff, April 7th, 2014, 3:46 pm

I do always feel a bit odd doing comics like this... I'm very much not against the concept of money.. The world is kind of set up these days to need money to survive.. But yeah.. Somewhere deep in my head is a belief that the people who shape the world shouldn't be in it's service... Anyway... I'll hopefully get out of this mindset swiftly

Reply Advertisement, October 23rd, 2019, 2:22 am

User's Comments:

Reply mhalpern (Guest), April 7th, 2014, 6:10 pm

You would think that is they would hear the evaluate and how you use it, and see the scythe to procure the answer key... Also he looks like a human Steve in the first panel...

Reply man in black, April 7th, 2014, 8:06 pm

great page

Reply Z Reporter (Guest), April 8th, 2014, 1:27 pm

Funny... people think the guy went for the chest. I thought our reaper took out the guy and so she could look in the chest.

Reply Monochrome (Guest), April 8th, 2014, 6:58 pm

It could just be me, but I don't get the test. Did he try to take the treasure? It's not like there was any moral stipulation set out, just: I kidnapped you, here's two chest of money and a door to leave through. There was also no guarantee that he would use the funds from the treasure selfishly. This isn't like being the head of company or group and acquiring funds illicitly or at the sacrifice of others. Now if the chests were part mimic and enchanted to kill/eat anyone who took from them with selfish intent, then this would be on he moral up and up.

Reply Guest, April 9th, 2014, 7:52 pm

@Monochrome: the test was to see if they sent him back to do what he was meant to do, would he do it for the people or out of greed? By choosing the chests, he proved he would only be greedy and make sure the potential he had would only benefit himself. So he failed the exam and was sentenced to whatever he was sentenced to. Since the evaluation always turns out this way, it proves that people are more likely to think of themselves first and everyone else second. At least, that's my understanding of this strip.

Reply The_Rippy_One (Guest), April 10th, 2014, 1:17 am

@Monochrome: To some extent that's true, but the question being asked is a little more fundamental, I think. As you pointed out, the guy has been kidnapped. he has no idea where he is. And he's offered a choice, freedom OR wealth.
If I had to guess, he didn't even stick his head out to see the situation, just beelined for the gold. That sort of situational blindness is probably a bad thing in a mover and shaker.

Reply MrTTAO, April 27th, 2014, 3:56 pm

@The_Rippy_One: so, believing that a spiritual evaluation would be fair and just instead of just trying to screw you (assuming he even believed he was awake) makes you unfit for having power and authority?
How come most politicians are religious then?

Reply The_Rippy_One (Guest), April 27th, 2014, 5:51 pm

@MrTTAO: I'm not sure how the evaluation is unfair. In essence, the question as I posed it was "Will you make a rational evaluation of the situation, or will you be blind to everything but wealth?" I can't think of a single moral imperative that is fulfilled by blindly going after wealth to the exclusion of everything.

Reply MrTTAO, April 27th, 2014, 8:21 pm

>This can't be real, I must be dreaming.
>Better play along
>Oh oh, playing along meant you were blinded by desire for wealth for selfish reason.
I am sorry, I am not seeing it
>Great, with all this money I could feed so many starving orphans
>Blinded by desire for wealth

Also, I don't see how "they are trying to trick me and will murder me if I grab the wealth" is a RATIONAL assessment.
For one thing, it requires that the power that be buy into ridiculous false notions like "money is evil". If god exists I certainly wouldn't insult him by calling him a communist

Reply The_Rippy_One (Guest), April 28th, 2014, 5:36 pm

Well you seem to want an in-depth response, assuming you aren't just trolling, so, here is a moderate one.

1st - Mark 10:25, repeated in Mathew 19 something or other, "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God."

And, again, it isn't anti-wealth, it's wealth before everything else. Big difference. There are several well off people in the bible that are good, but they are never described wealth only - generally it's family first, or city. People who are specifically noted by their wealth and nothing else (ie, having no existence outside their money), are pretty much always shown to be in the wrong.

Also, both interpretations ignore Sally's opening line, that this is a spiritual evaluation. Dream or real, an evaluation means consequences for choices, by definition.

If he thought this was a dream, he wasn't paying much attention, on several levels, especially with that opening statement. A man awake can reason. When lucid dreaming, the question of "am I dreaming" doesn't come up - the process is too different from normal thought, and it's instantly noticeable. That he is thinking is evident, since he asks whether the chests contain ephemeral treasures. Worse comes to worse, he could have pinched himself to check.

Ergo, he really ought to have known "it's real." That he could have fooled himself into thinking otherwise implies quite a bit about him, and none of it good for someone in his position.

Next, if he thought it was real, reality should have ensued, and should have known it would. What the heck can you do with 2 heavy trunks of wealth if you are in a remote location several miles from anywhere (was he? he certainly didn't seem to bother finding out)? If it's real he could always come back for it after he knew what was happening. Or at least whether there were angry guards that would object to him plundering their money outside the door. He didn't think about anything along those lines though, he just jumped.
There is a trap, used to hunt monkeys; put something tasty in a crevice of some sort, about the same size as the opening. Monkey reaches in, grabs it, and it's gripping hand is too wide to pull out. And it refuses to let it's prize go, which means the hunter can come by and club it good whenever he gets around to it. That sort of stupidity is the nature of the man's response - an unquestioning, unthinking lust for wealth without situational awareness.

Now about this orphanage; for all he knows, that Is the fund for an orphanage. Or a soup kitchen, or whatever. He didn't know why it was there, and he didn't know who it belongs to, if anyone - and he didn't ask, and thus probably didn't care (since he did ask if it was real, and thus clearly did care about that). Sally proved to be willing to answer some questions, since she did answer his first, but he clearly didn't ask about the consequences, or the situation. Given that, I would say he had no such charitable intention then. Even if he did, stealing for charity still gets you jailed, and she'd made it clear that there would be consequences for his actions.

If he's too muzzy headed to think about any of that before he goes diving for the cash, then that's an entirely different, and also fairly negative, issue. A lack of forethought combined with the ability to change the world almost never works out well. Over-thinking is an issue, sure, but under-thinking a situation, especially one that is confused, is often a worse problem.

Another consideration is Sally herself - she's violent, sure, but it's always on provocation or orders. She's a little sadistic about reaping, but she is clearly not happy about the results of this evaluation, so she didn't act for the joy of violence in this case. It can thus be deduced that what ever he did do clearly failed the evaluation. Maybe it was just going for the chests, maybe it was something beyond that, but he clearly broke the level that Sally's boss set for "too 'something' to risk letting him change the world." If you believe that God is basically good (which, in the comic so fair, He seems to be), it is safe to assume that whatever the deceased did do was egregious enough to warrant the response.
If the assumption is that God is not good, I'm mildly interested why communism is so much farther beyond the pale than evil :D

Reply MrTTAO, April 28th, 2014, 8:45 pm

this was uncalled for

>Signs that it was real
The thing is, when confronted with "I went to bed, then I was teleported by the angel of death into a room to undergo trials" your average person would think "wow this is a very realistic dream". There are signs of conscious as you state, but they are overruled by the absurdity and impossibility of reality. Mental breakdowns are a real thing you know.
I disagree about it being impossible to ask logical questions in a dream. there is no reason for such limitation.

>What if it belonged to an orphanage
It honestly did not even occur to me, until you said this, that an angel might steal the funds of an orphanage (or of anyone for that matter) to set up a morality test for someone. I trusted that an angel setting a morality test is going to be moral enough to not use stolen goods. besides which, I would have guessed that the entire thin, treasure, angel, room, how I spend it later... to all be a special type of lucid dream that is supervised by the angel (rather then letting me actually run amok in reality) and that the correct "answer" to the test is to take the gold and then use it in a responsible manner. That is, knowing full well that it is a test, what I imagined the right answer to be is "take the wealth and use it for good". especially considering an angel outright told you "you are destined to do great things".

I also did not realize orphanages keep their funds n gold and jewels inside a chest instead of a bank. remember the comic is set in the modern world. Gold and jewels in a wooden chest are pretty much guaranteed to be lost treasure from ancient boats. If someone already found that and claimed it, they wouldn't keep it in a wooden chest.

>Sally wasn't happy about the result
That doesn't mean she administered the test correctly, or that it was even her idea in the first place. for all we know she is just executing a test set by god.

>Monkey trap analogy
not applicable here, the situation is different.

>what if he is in the desert
then he can drop the gold when he gets through the door. or demonstrate his intelligence by taking only a few gems, enough to finance an expedition to reclaim the rest.

>What if there is a guard/trap?
how is that a test of character? that is a test of intelligence rather then character. and as far as intelligence testing go, see above

Reply The_Rippy_One (Guest), April 29th, 2014, 6:08 am

>uncalled for
By your actions, yes - by the situation, no. given that I'm sitting on a maybe, I will apologize, but I won't stop being suspicious.

Okay, let's back this up before we get too detailed. God is using Sally and this test to determine whether or not this particular guy is someone God should let change the world. Can we agree on that? (I'm going to assume so, and continue. slight jerk moment for me, sorry, but I want to get on with this)

We know he did not leave, or try to leave, given Sally's last line. We thus assume that he did something with the rich stuff instead (for the sake of this discussion, let's assume he didn't take a third option to get himself killed, like molest Sally).

We know he asked two questions, and received two answers. I think we can agree that far.

It seems likely that any remaining outcome that does not result in him going to the chest is likely to also result in him not getting killed - and we can discard all such possibilities. I would also like to discard any suggestion that Sally lied or dissembled to get him to go to the chest - she may have refused to give more info, but actual untruths would invalidate the test in an obvious fashion, which logically would go against her explicit instructions and script.

Now, we can begin debating on whether he died simply for going to the treasure. If he did not, and was allowed to continue to act after engaging with the treasure chests, then we hit a pair of dead-ends, and thus can skip this option. To wit, in this supposition, it is reasonable to assume he didn't act in a responsible way, since acting in a reasonable or compassionate fashion with the wealth wouldn't have netted a death penalty, and we can both agree, I think, that if he acted badly, there was at least some justification for the end panel, given that the world was at risk in some fashion. Supposition route motioned to be closed.

Option 2 - he was killed when he reached the treasure. In this case you argued that there is some chance that he could have gone there with a good intent, correct?
I countered with the idea that he was taking wealth of unknown provenience and ownership - to wit, he was risking theft of money intended for an equally good cause, and that he didn't care enough to find out, implying immorality. Your point that God would allow theft, firstly misses mine - it isn't about the reality of ownership or use, it's that he didn't try to learn or act responsibly in relation to those principles - and secondly, obviously not the case, since Sally, in this supposition, killed him the minute he "stole." (was at risk of stealing?) Removing someone who doesn't respect property rights and was on the way to altering the world? not entirely unreasonable, given what was potentially at stake, and that people who steal and give it to charity still go to jail.

Now, I brought up a side point in relation to your first supposition (that he thought he was in a dream) (side point because stealing things doesn't get more moral because you were dreaming, it just implies unfortunate things about your base character :D ). I held that he should have been aware enough to determine that this was not the case. You countered that anyone would be confused if placed in a situation this unexpected and out of the ordinary. I will note that this is not the case - there are people who handle events as they happen, and worry about making sense of things after the fact. If he isn't of that type, that is probably a bad thing, since he is literally going to be shocking the heck out of every adult, world wide, when he changes things, and he, at least, better be able to handle what he's unleashing (and if he can't, I'd argue that it's grounds for removal, since a panicking driver is more likely to send his cart into trouble, and take everyone else with him). Further, if he is acting on the theory he's dreaming, he isn't making any plans, and thus isn't intending charitable ends - he just wants the booty and thinks he can have it without repercussions. Which ignores Sally's words, and is sort of deplorable (doing something wrong just because you aren't going to be punished isn't a good thing). Third aside - given that he's dressed, vertical, and speaking coherently, I doubt he was grabbed while asleep.

Now, I'd like to turn one of your questions around - why is it critical that he go to the treasure first? I've put forward several reasons why going to the door first makes more sense (guards, distance, other situational stuff), but I don't think you've covered why the doing the chest first is imperative, and I'm honestly curious. Most of the things that you've listed as chest first work just as well chest second (drop the heavy stuff can just as easily be go back for the light stuff, for example).

Finally, I did put forward the idea that his lack of rational thought and planning are why he was killed - in this case, on top of any local moral questions, there is a moral question for God - do you let someone who doesn't think ahead and doesn't plan based on his actual situation become a world changer? I would tend to say not. Mao's Cultural Revolution changed a single country, and killed a huge number of people, and set it back 10 years, because he acted on assumptions that weren't grounded in reality. I'm sure there are plenty of other examples, as well. Having that occur on a global scale? No, not something to be allowed, if at all possible - wouldn't matter how good his intentions were, if he couldn't manage them well enough to not finish the job without causing the next Dark Age. In this case, the only thing he risked destroying was himself, and, well, he did, intentions or no. In this interpretation, Sally isn't pitying the guy, she's pitying God for the guilt of having to make the needed call - the last line would then be sorrow and anger, because the man didn't get it right (or, at least, right enough) and forced God's hand on the matter.

Reply namtap032892, July 18th, 2014, 3:56 am

I'm not sure how I would act exactly, I might go and look at the treasure, but I doubt I'd be much interested in the monetary value, I might just say something like "that scythe is scaring me, bye" and leave, or even ask Sally if I could see her scythe just because, well, who wouldn't want to play around with the reaper's scythe?

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