Merlin (with spoilers) Grundo, Coercion

Anna Clare McDuff amcduff at math.sunysb.edu
Thu May 29 08:09:05 EDT 2003


On Thu, 29 May 2003, Sally Odgers wrote:

> > to coerce someone. Both can be seen as people using every weapon in their
> > armouries.
>
> We all use what we have though, don't we? Politicians use presence, so do
> actors. Models use their faces and posture to get/do things other people
> can't. Inventors use a talent other people don;t have. Highly intelligent
> people use their talent to pass exams etc... in Real Life no one is ever
> equal. Some people have an edge - they inherited looks, charm, money,
> endurance or brains that other people don't have.

	Oh yeah, I absolutely agree that life isn't fair & we all have our
own strengths & weaknesses, and that's why I was sort of wondering whether
magical coercion is really qualitatively diferent from non magical
coercion or whether it could be seen as just another form of misuse of
power. Because I agree with Philip when he says that:

> Perhaps one should rather say:  If your talent is magical, and therefore
>in some sense exempt from physical laws, that doesn't mean that it is
>also exempt from moral laws, however you define them.

Sally wrote:

 Does anyone ever say they
> mustn't use it? Do we tell a natural runner to slow down in the race so the
> less gifted can keep up?

	It would depend on the situation. During the London marathon no, I
wouldn't say that. But say in a friendly race against a child who is going
to be badly upset to be roundly beaten I would say, yes, it would be
better to rein oneself in a bit & run more slowly so the child could keep
up. Or during a fun run with friends who are getting a bit of exercise &
chatting. Or in a lot of other circumstances. Similarly I think there are
times when it is right for a magician to use all the magical powers at
their disposal, the gloves are off. And there are other, more frequent,
times when a magician should realise that their powers could easily be
abused, and that they should hold themselves in a bit...

	Anna

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