Lunakat, I was following you till that last, and then I got confused. It seems to me that this statement:
[quote:6bc1758b3e="lunakat"] Generally, i agree. If Rayek had chosen to confront the reality of what he was about to do... he would have been horrified. But he did, until the very last possibly moment (and after he had done great harm) choose to blind himself to that reality. Why?[/quote:6bc1758b3e]
directly contradicts your other statement:
[quote:6bc1758b3e="lunakat"][quote:6bc1758b3e]Nomad-Human, it's not that genocide doesn't sicken me. Of course it does! But Rayek, when it came right down to it, [i:6bc1758b3e]didn't [/i:6bc1758b3e]commit genocide, once he truly understood that that was what he was contemplating.[/quote:6bc1758b3e]
Yes he did. He understood. And he was willing to do it anyway. Because, in his mind, his vision was superior... these lives that he was wiping out should never have been born. It was his right to make the choice for others.[/quote:6bc1758b3e]
So, in your mind, [i:6bc1758b3e]did[/i:6bc1758b3e] Rayek understand the reality of the fact that what he was about to do was the equivalent of genocide, or [i:6bc1758b3e]didn't[/i:6bc1758b3e] he?
(I still maintain that he didn't. He wasn't following his thoughts all the way through to their logical conclusion.)
[quote:6bc1758b3e="lunakat"]For him (at least briefly) the ends justified the means... and that is always a dangerous attitude.[/quote:6bc1758b3e]
An attitude, I still maintain, that Kahvi has a good deal of the time. It's just that the means she is willing to justify aren't quite as drastic as Rayek's.
To me, the crimes Rayek actually committed, not the ones he contemplated and then repented of, are the ones he is culpable for. Namely, that he destroyed the Go-Back lodge, and that he kidnapped Cutter's family. As for something he just thought about doing, then came to his senses and stopped himself in time-- the only thing he's guilty of there is a dangerously bad attitude. One, I'll add, that he finally saw in himself and was willing to admit to and change.
I think what you're saying about ordinary German people and the Holocaust is true, Lunakat, and that's why, to me, Rayek represents humanity more than many of the other characters. We are all capable, under the right conditions, of following a dangerous lie. I have done so myself. That's why Nowth's words ring so true to me:
[quote:6bc1758b3e="Nowth"]I suppose... maybe I just feel sorry for everyone who screws up so badly without ever meaning to be "evil". If you never felt that you were the one who was wronged - you start to get used to thinking of yourself as in constant need of forgiveness and in constant danger of punishment. Naturally I could never identify with Cutter or Nightfall or other impeccable characters. So it is for my own sake that mistakes have to be forgivable and perhaps this leads to moral relativism disguised as compassion. I don't know.[/quote:6bc1758b3e]
I have needed forgiveness in my life, many, many times. I don't think it's moral relativism-- I think forgiveness is a moral good that helps, in some spiritual way, to wash away the terrible effects of our tendency to "screw up so badly without ever meaning to be evil."
I suppose that's why my favorite episode in all of Elfquest is the one where Rayek enables Cutter to find a way to forgive.