Twilight Universe General Philosophical Musings

General Discussion on the Twilight Universe

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Re: Twilight Universe General Philosophical Musings

Postby Esme echo » Tue Nov 11, 2008 7:37 pm

I think free will factors into both the questions. In the end, people will do what they want (or maybe what they feel is right). But the rest of us ... the people watching the self-destructing individual ... do we stand and watch, or do we try to present another perspective? As a parent, I can't stand by and watch my child make self-destructive decisions without saying something.

BUT there's this old saying: Never try to teach a pig to whistle. Why? Because one--it doesn't work; and two--it irritates the pig! How much of our trying to pass on life experience "irritates the pig" instead of helping? Is it ever useful to intervene? When?
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Re: Twilight Universe General Philosophical Musings

Postby December » Tue Nov 11, 2008 9:08 pm

Esme Echo wrote:BUT there's this old saying: Never try to teach a pig to whistle. Why? Because one--it doesn't work; and two--it irritates the pig! How much of our trying to pass on life experience "irritates the pig" instead of helping?

Hahahaha. Believe it or not, I'd never heard that one.

There are really two separate issues here, aren't there?

Firstly, whether trying to persuade someone to adopt your own moral judgements -- or forcing them to act in accordance with them (which is rather different itself, now that I think about it!) -- is morally unacceptable, or ok, or even obligatory. There are some good arguments on both sides, and the answer partly depends how VERY strongly you feel about the particular rights and wrongs -- but not wholly: you might think that someone's autonomy to choose for themselves matters even more. "If God allows people to do wrong, shouldn't we?" -- that sort of thing.

Secondly, the one you've just raised: whether urging your opinions on someone can be counterproductive. Nothing to do with other people's moral autonomy; just sheer practicality.

I'd like to suggest though that we keep the conversation focussed on the particular instances raised by Twilight. Rosalie's determination to stop Bella from rushing into becoming a vampire is certainly one, but there are an number of others which have been discussed here before. Most famously of course, the Shiny Llama Question (see PC#12): whether Edward has the right to stop Bella from becoming a vampire or at least to refuse to help her. But also, contrastingly, Carlisle's decision to allow each of his "children" to choose their own path.

Also, please remember that many people here will feel strongly about some real-world issues of choice and whether we should intervene in each others' lives. This thread isn't really an appropriate place to enter into that kind of a discussion. Let's stick to vampires, blood-drinking, and other improbable dilemmas.
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Re: Twilight Universe General Philosophical Musings

Postby SparklingDiamond » Tue Nov 11, 2008 9:34 pm

When is it morally imperative--if ever--to try to change someone's mind about a course they are pursuing that you disagree with?

A related question: How far is it appropriate to push your opinion onto another person if you feel their personal decisions are self-destructive?


Well, I think the answer to this lies in your relationship to the person in question and your intentions in sharing your personal beliefs.

In regards to Rosalie and Bella.... You have to consider Rose's lack of a relationship with Bella at the time in addition to her motives in sharing her story with Bella in an attempt to change Bella's mind.
1) Rose was trying to talk Bella out of the vamp change out of true concern for Bella and her future.
2) Rose was trying to talk Bella out of the vamp change to appease herself - here's another saying "If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy." or something of the like....

Rosalie's a fascinating character and I think one could argue either way as to her true intentions and motives in her need to share her story with Bella. I think these motivations are key to answering this question. Simply the fact that she is pushing her own personal views on Bella may shed some light on her intentions, considering at the time, they had no real relationship to speak of.

Carlilse on the other hand seems to have more transparent motives. He has true relationships with his family members. Yet, I don't see him as pushing any moral opinions on his family, and he doesn't have to. He simply leads by example, not by preaching. His children want to follow his example of veggie life not because he's cramming it down their throats day in and day out, but because they want to live up to the model that he is. The relationships that he's built are enough for his children to want to live up to their father's moral standards.
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Re: Twilight Universe General Philosophical Musings

Postby December » Tue Nov 11, 2008 10:05 pm

SparklingDiamond wrote:Carlisle on the other hand seems to have more transparent motives. He has true relationships with his family members. Yet, I don't see him as pushing any moral opinions on his family, and he doesn't have to. He simply leads by example, not by preaching. His children want to follow his example of veggie life not because he's cramming it down their throats day in and day out, but because they want to live up to the model that he is. The relationships that he's built are enough for his children to want to live up to their father's moral standards.

EXACTLY. Carlisle is the opposite of Rosalie (and Edward) here. Leading by example rather than by stricture -- or actively intervening! -- is the only thing he's comfortable with. He is determined to let them find their own way.

Of course (not to reopen old debates or anything *grin*)...you could argue that it's a different matter with Bella and Edward. She is 17, human and hasn't a clue in the early days what becoming a vampire would mean. So Edward (and Rosalie's) determination to stop her running headlong off the cliff isn't JUST a question of imposing their view over hers. You could maybe see it more as a matter of slowing her down so she can look over the edge and consider how far it is to the bottom. And you could argue that once Edward is convinced that Bella has really understood the dimensions of the moral choice she is making, he is more than ready to let her make it. Unlike Rosalie...?
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Re: Twilight Universe General Philosophical Musings

Postby MRK » Tue Nov 11, 2008 10:10 pm

December wrote:You could maybe see it more as a matter of slowing her down so she can look over the edge and consider how far it is to the bottom.


LOL...but she still doesnt take into account the WATER...even if she factors in the height! ;)
sorry, go ahead...talk amongst yourselves...
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Re: Twilight Universe General Philosophical Musings

Postby SparklingDiamond » Tue Nov 11, 2008 10:19 pm

December wrtote: And you could argue that once Edward is convinced that Bella has really understood the dimensions of the moral choice she is making, he is more than ready to let her make it. Unlike Rosalie...?


I would definitely agree with you here. I think Edward is definitely on stronger moral ground than Rosalie when it comes to advising Bella on her future. Primarily, I say this because of the strength of the bond between Edward and Bella in addition to the fact that you just mentioned. Edward would ultimately accept Bella's choice once he felt she had weighed her other options.

Rose on the other hand... Disclaimer here - I do love Rose as a character, although what I am about to type may seem contradictory to the debate that I had earlier about her character :) - Her moral ground was slightly shaky. I wonder how much of her preaching was out of caring, and how much of it was out of the knowledge, women's intuition if you will, that Bella and Edward were meant for one another and would fine a completeness of spirit with one another that Rosalie had yet to find even within herself?
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Re: Twilight Universe General Philosophical Musings

Postby December » Tue Nov 11, 2008 10:56 pm

MRK wrote:LOL...but she still doesnt take into account the WATER...even if she factors in the height! ;)
sorry, go ahead...talk amongst yourselves...

What makes you think that all cliffs are at the edge of the ocean? (*grin*)
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Re: Twilight Universe General Philosophical Musings

Postby MRK » Tue Nov 11, 2008 11:10 pm

December wrote:
MRK wrote:LOL...but she still doesnt take into account the WATER...even if she factors in the height! ;)
sorry, go ahead...talk amongst yourselves...

What makes you think that all cliffs are at the edge of the ocean? (*grin*)

They're not all at the edge of the ocean...just the ones she jumps from..lol
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Re: Twilight Universe General Philosophical Musings

Postby Esme echo » Wed Nov 12, 2008 10:53 am

SparklingDiamond wrote: [Rosalie's] moral ground was slightly shaky. I wonder how much of her preaching was out of caring, and how much of it was out of the knowledge, women's intuition if you will, that Bella and Edward were meant for one another and would fine a completeness of spirit with one another that Rosalie had yet to find even within herself?

Although Rose and Bella didn't have a relationship yet, Rose was probably looking forward to the time Bella would be her sister. Or not. I'm sure she was conflicted between her vanity and jealousy, grief for her lost humanity, and love for her family. Bella was already a part of their lives, and determined to join them fully by becoming a vampire herself. Even though Rose didn't particularly like Bella, she felt obligated to mend whatever bridges she may have broken when she voted against Bella becoming a vampire ... again, looking forward to the time Bella would be a member of her family. Nevertheless, she couldn't just watch Bella throw away what Rosalie considered her most priceless gift--humanity!

I would call Rosalie's action one of integrity. She didn't just ream Bella's decision, tell her she was wrong, and threaten all kinds of emotional trauma if Bella pursued her intended course. She explained her personal experience, told how that experience changed her, and described how the fallout was still affecting her. She shared her life in the hopes that her experience would make a difference in Bella's life.

Even more telling, Rosalie totally let it go afterwards. She didn't keep hammering Bella with her opinion ("irritating the pig"). As far as we know, she never brought it up again. I notice she volunteered to help Alice get Bella ready for the wedding and she played the piano at the ceremony. I think Rosalie showed a great model for us all to follow.
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Re: Twilight Universe General Philosophical Musings

Postby aimee_xbella » Wed Nov 12, 2008 12:43 pm

Esme echo wrote:
SparklingDiamond wrote: [Rosalie's] moral ground was slightly shaky. I wonder how much of her preaching was out of caring, and how much of it was out of the knowledge, women's intuition if you will, that Bella and Edward were meant for one another and would fine a completeness of spirit with one another that Rosalie had yet to find even within herself?

Although Rose and Bella didn't have a relationship yet, Rose was probably looking forward to the time Bella would be her sister. Or not. I'm sure she was conflicted between her vanity and jealousy, grief for her lost humanity, and love for her family. Bella was already a part of their lives, and determined to join them fully by becoming a vampire herself. Even though Rose didn't particularly like Bella, she felt obligated to mend whatever bridges she may have broken when she voted against Bella becoming a vampire ... again, looking forward to the time Bella would be a member of her family. Nevertheless, she couldn't just watch Bella throw away what Rosalie considered her most priceless gift--humanity!

I would call Rosalie's action one of integrity. She didn't just ream Bella's decision, tell her she was wrong, and threaten all kinds of emotional trauma if Bella pursued her intended course. She explained her personal experience, told how that experience changed her, and described how the fallout was still affecting her. She shared her life in the hopes that her experience would make a difference in Bella's life.

Even more telling, Rosalie totally let it go afterwards. She didn't keep hammering Bella with her opinion ("irritating the pig"). As far as we know, she never brought it up again. I notice she volunteered to help Alice get Bella ready for the wedding and she played the piano at the ceremony. I think Rosalie showed a great model for us all to follow.


Great post, and I personally think that Rose was jealous of Bella to a certain degree for her humanity. What proves to me that she isn't a bad person is that she did tell Bella her point of view on the situation, how much humanity meant to her. So despite her vanity and jealousy, I think she is a good person and cared for Bella. I don't think that Rosalie did not like Bella because she really has no reason, she just acts out of pity and envy.

The fact that Rosalie helped Bella with protecting Renesmee, I thought it was very selfish and unselfish of her. Bella did want her to help and she knew that if she did what everyone else would think of her - that she is being selfish and did not care about Bella. Though I'm not going to say that helping Bella was her only wish. She was agonized that she couldn't have a child herself, but helping Bella really made her dream come true in a way.
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