Release From Oaths?

The noble Order of the Knights of Jubal traces its origins back to the Year Two Thousand A.D., when a group of distinguished persons of good and true character, founded the order to promote chivalry and honour. The order takes its name from our leader, Alexander Jubal McRae, who on two (so far) occasions has been seriously injured, in one case fatally, defending an innocent woman from attackers.

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Postby Treespeaker on Thu Jan 03, 2002 11:05 am

If a knight asks for release from his oath, is it generally granted freely? Actually, I imagine there's little precedent, as most people who change their minds just stop posting, but I'm curious--could I ask Jamie or Greg, as the formal recipient of my oath, to release me from it? And would they?
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Postby Jamie on Thu Jan 03, 2002 11:36 am

If that is what you wish. You are hereby released from your oath. The only other action to be taken is to ask Sir Greg to remove your name from the roster. I am sorry to see you go, but go freely.<P>Take care,<P>(Sir) Jamie, KCI in the <A HREF="http://ivbalis.org" TARGET=_blank> Order of the Knights of Jubal </A>
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Postby Sir Greg on Fri Jan 04, 2002 4:50 am

Indeed, Treespeaker, such a thing can be done, (and there is a precedent for it.)<P>However, there are two lines of distinction to draw here.<P>The first line is that there is a difference between abandoning your Oath, and leaving the Order.<P>You may ask to be removed from the membership roster at any time and that is no problem. If you ask, it will be done. However, if you continue to live up to your Oath, you are welcome to return at any time and have your membership reinstated. (<I>Jennet</I> was a prime example of this - she asked to be removed from the roster but she still upholds her oath, and may return at any time she wishes.)<P>However, asking for a release from the Oath is a different thing. That implies that you intend, in future, to act in some way that is contrary to the Oath. Once released from the Oath, if you ever wished to return then questions would probably be asked as to why you left in the first place.<P>Having said that, the Oath of Companionship is only binding to the extent of your own heart. If you wish for release, you may ask at any time and we will respect that. And it's not limited to Sir Jamie and myself. Whilst we do moderate this messageboard, any of the Knights may recognise, and hence revoke, the Oath.<P>The second destinction is to make between Companions and Knights. The Knights, as the more "public" face of the Order (since we are members of the Conclave and go by our Real Names), are held up to a higher standard.<P>For us, if we act dishonourably, we can be disciplined, or even stripped of our Knighthoods, by the Conclave. This has never happend, and I pray it never does, but the mechanism exists to do so.<P>And, once again, this is irrelevant to the moderation of this messageboard. The other knights have the right (and the duty) to remove me if they feel it is the only option. Even Sir Jamie, who is a KCI and outranks the other knights, could be removed in this way. <P>Whilst this is not a "nice" thing to discuss, it is important that the Companions, and the general public, realise that these procedures exist in Order that no Knight may act in a way that dishonours the Order. Such a system of checks and balances is a necessary thing, to guard against the Order being subverted. As the "guiding hand" of the Order, ALL the Knights must be above reproach.<P>Because of this, if a Knight requested to be released from their Oath, the Conclave would want to know why. Our response would depend very much on the individual Knight's reasons, but unless they were very good ones, it's doubtful that the ex-Knight would be permitted to return at a later date. A Knight's word is his/her bond, therefore one who breaks the Oath would not be trusted if they swore it again.<P>Treespeaker, I am puzzled by the wording of your question. Was it a hypothetical "what if", or do you truly wish to give up your Oath?<P>PIQE,
Sir Greg<P><p>[This message has been edited by Sir Greg (edited 01-04-2002).]
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Postby Silver Adept on Fri Jan 04, 2002 8:18 am

ACK! <P>I would certainly hope that such a situation would never arrive! <P>However, in a possibly precedent-setting manouvere, I'm going to offer a solution. <P>Adhere to your morals above even your Oath. We strive "to uphold the right". There's a reason that we put that one first. It's the important one. So, my guess is that it has to do with one of the later parts...<P>"To meter even-handed justice, tempered with mercy..." A possibility. <P>"To assist and defend others..." Another one, <P>"and to strive to act with honour at all times..." And a third. I'm not going to ask which one it is... that would be tasteless, but realize that we try hard to prevent conflicts of morality with the wording of the Oath. I realize now that there may be situations where following the tenets of the Oath could be disaster for the person to be aided. <P>So we can release you from your Oath, but we would like to know why such a release was necessary... to improve ourselves.<P>But as Sir Jamie noted, you are released.
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Postby Treespeaker on Fri Jan 04, 2002 12:08 pm

I was asking with leaving in mind, so no, it's not purly hypothetical. I looked back at the web page recently, and found a lot of room for interpretation in the Oath, which I'd prefer not to be subject to. While I have every intention of maintaining my honor and following my personal moral code strictly, I don't want to take the chance that that might conflict with something suggested by the Oath that my definition of may be wrong on. So as the Oath stands today, I would ask to be released from it, and have my name removed from the roster. EI is a good organization, but there's too much in its values that isn't defined, and I don't like following codes based on erethrel values.<P>So basically, no hard feelings, no "screw humanity, I hate the world," it's just that I don't want to be put in a postition where I would have to break the Oath to adhere to my own morals. To avoid that, I would withdraw my oath if possible. Thanks for everything.<P>-Geoffrey Cubbage<P>------------------
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Postby TKarrde98 on Thu Jan 10, 2002 6:54 am

Wow! That's a weighty topic! It is interesting to me, as an historian with a heart for the Medieval age, that such a thing both happens and comes unexpectedly. Knights were released all the time from their vows, for reasons as simple as staying home from the Crusade to raise his family. Monastic vows, on the other hand, were much more binding and I know much more rare to be broken. In fact, it is hihly likely that a monk that left his order was excommunicated. I am interested in delving deeper into this with you, Treespeaker, if I may. Feel free to write to me on my email if you'd rather not do stuff publically. gmontoya_01@hotmail.com. Once you've written, I'll give you my private email address.
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Postby Sir Greg on Fri Jan 11, 2002 4:33 am

Hi there!<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Mana_Weed:
<B>Hey, speaking of the oath being vague...
(no offence to um... the person who thought of what it should be about I guess)
</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
That would be me... None taken <IMG SRC="http://www.keenspot.com/KeenBoard/smile.gif"><P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><B>
How far does that extend? For instance, I play many RPGs (both kinds) and strategy games, and I was wondering, am I allowed to commit dishonorable acts in RPGs, since they're only games, and am I allowed to be a cruel, ruthless strategist in strategy games?
</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>An interesting and very valid question. Here are my thoughts, and I'd like to stress that these are my own personal opinions, and not necessarily the voted and ratified position of the Conclave:<P>In an RPG game, you are certainly free to perform sneaky and dishonourable acts if that is the nature of the character you are playing. However, as a person, you must still follow the rule of the games and accept the DM's decisions in regards to fair play.<P>Likewise, if you are playing a single-player computer game, and you want to use the cheat keys (or hack the save games), feel free to do so. You do not break your oath by doing so.<P>However, when you play a game against another person, the Oath requires that you play fairly, honourably and within the rules of that game. If you both agree, beforehand, that a certain activity is permitted, then so be it.<P>In terms of competitive sports and games, the Oath requires that all players are competeing fairly, on a "level playing field."<P>As a rule of thumb, there's nothing wrong with playing to wim, but not with trying to win at all costs.<P>The end NEVER justifies the means.<P>PIQE, SIr Greg<P>
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Postby Silver Adept on Fri Jan 11, 2002 5:42 am

Agreed. In something like an RPG, the rules of the game must be followed. If the character you are assigned/created is sneaky and dishonorable, then the rules dictate that you play him/her that way. <P>Anyway, Sir Greg, you've got it.
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Postby Chaos blade on Fri Jan 11, 2002 6:58 am

What about wargames on line?
I mean most tactics rely in stealth or deception, and there is no such thing as "Honor" in warfare, just soldiers and casuaties.
War itslef is unhonorable... and yet sometimes you don't have a choise<P>
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Postby TKarrde98 on Sat Jan 12, 2002 9:36 am

Still there are surely limitations which you do not violate for fear of being expelled from the game. Like the time (I'm very jumpy and shoot everything that moves) I was playing Counterstrike under my friends name and wasted all of my teammates before I realized who they were. Neaky and underhanded, yes. Desirable means for becoming the top (and wealthiest) terrorist, yes. Permitted by the GM, no. I almost got my friend (I don't have it on my own comp.) permanently kicked off the server.
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Postby TheVagabond on Mon Jan 14, 2002 3:53 am

I like your way of thinking on this subject, Sir Greg, especially since it is the same way I have always felt.<P>Personally, I am against hacks and cheats in video games the first time I try to get through the game. If I re-play a game, I will occasionally use a cheat code or walk-through in order to explore aspects of the game I didn't find on my own.<P>In my opinion, people who use hacks, cheats, and walkthroughs on the first play through a game or in a multi-player game have completely missed the point of playing the game in the first place.<P>------------------
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Postby Treespeaker on Tue Jan 15, 2002 7:23 am

Woah, sorry I didn't reply for so long...I kind of figured this thread would just end with one of the Knights giving me a yes or no. Hadn't expected it to take off like this.<P>Anyway, Silver Adept was curious as to which one of the tenets of the Oath I found in conflict with my own morals. First off, don't worry about asking me about stuff...if I don't want anybody to react to it, I won't put it up in a forum. So, anyway, I'll toss out a brief (or not so, depending on how carried away I get) explanation. I guess it might help clarify a little, although I think my reasons weren't really the usual ones.<P>My problem was the third plank, "To assist and defend others." It sounds great, but I've found that it can get a bit sticky when it requires me to assist someone who I know doesn't deserve it.<P>Take for instance some idiot who's never done a lick of work in class as far as I can see, who comes up and asks if he can study with me for the final. Now, he certainly needs my help at this point, and it wouldn't really inconvienence me that much to show him the basics, but I really don't think it would be right of me to help him suceed just because he can't do it without me. The third plank of the oath has an underlying message (to me, anyway) that someone who needs help deserves it, and I really don't feel that need automatically equates to deserving. <P>So that's why I wanted release--no real complaint with the organization, but I don't want to be required, by my word of honor, to assist someone who I know doesn't deserve it. If I've never met them, I'll probably be inclined to give them the benifit of the doubt and lend a hand, but if, as in my example, the guy who needs my help is someone I know to be a worthless layabout who's never going to pay back my effort by taking what he gained from it and using that to help him improve futher, then I have a serious moral problem with going ahead helping him anyway.<P>So, that's for Silver Adept and TKarrde...my reason for leaving, in as brief as I can make it. Hope it helps.<P>Oh, and ManaWeed...here's your smiley face, hope you enjoy it.
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Postby Sir Greg on Wed Jan 16, 2002 4:07 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Treespeaker:
<B>
Take for instance some idiot who's never done a lick of work in class as far as I can see, who comes up and asks if he can study with me for the final. Now, he certainly needs my help at this point, and it wouldn't really inconvienence me that much to show him the basics, but I really don't think it would be right of me to help him suceed just because he can't do it without me.</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>I see your problem, but the other issue to consider is the final (and, in my personal opinion, most important) line: "strive to act with honour at all times."<P>To help somebody with an eleventh hour study cram, would help them pass the exam, but the knowledge would pass through and be quickly forgotten.<P>Speaking with age and experience on my side, having sat many an exam and been out working in the big wide world, I can tell you this:<P><B>Exams mean nothing.</B> Whilst they are one of the few ways to test and grade knowledge in schools, the only thing that matters in the workplace is whether or not you know your stuff. You either cut it or you don't.<P>There are very few professions in the world which exams will properly prepare you.<P>So, to help someone who actually doesn't know the subject, and doesn't have any intention or motivation to learn it themselves, simply to past a test serves only one purpose - to deceive the examiner.<P>If it were someone who had tried to study, genuinely wanted to learn, but simply had difficulies with a few aspects of the subject; this would be different.<P>But when the person's aim is simply to deceive the examiner, it is dishonourable to assist it.<P>PIQE,
SIr Greg<P>
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Postby Silver Adept on Wed Jan 16, 2002 7:05 am

Hmm. Sounds altruistic to me... <P>Does everyone deserve a second chance? Certainly. A third? Possibly. Four? Likely. Infinitely many? Maybe. <P>Being honourable, perhaps, then is to offer them help... not necessarily in the form that they want, (such as the dollar or the cram session) but still in a form that they can use (assistance in next semester, throughout the semester instead of last minute... or direction to somewhere for the bum to work.) In that case, you offer them the assistance, and are being honourable, but it's still up to them to take it or not.<P>Possibly so... if they don't take it, you at least attempted, and if they do, then you can go ahead an help them as you planned.<P>Would this revision be acceptable?
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Postby Silver Adept on Wed Jan 16, 2002 7:36 am

Hmm... I can see the problem that you present. Now I understand why. All right, Knights and Companions, we need to find a means of solving the problem without violating the Oath, lest we lose more to this type of conundrum. <P>(I'll admit, if I knew he was a lout, I wouldn't be willing to help him too much. It's too late on an 11th hour cram session.) <P>So how can we "assist and defend" while still "striving to act with honour at all times?" Is the honourable thing to do simply to bite the bullet and help him out? Or is there some other means of honourable action that will assist him? <P>I'll propose this solution. Let him squirm because you would be assisting him in a greater means by forcing him to take his studies more seriously the next time around that he takes the class than by assisting him to pass a class he doesn't deserve to. This, in my opinion, although it would not seem so, is actually the honourable act to perform.
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Postby Treespeaker on Wed Jan 16, 2002 9:20 am

In response:<P>First off, the exam was just one example. I'd feel the same way about giving the bum who's been begging on the Michigan Avenue bridge for the last five years a dollar. Clearly, he's never going to use it to improve himself, so all I'm doing is feeding someone because he needs it. I just don't think it's fair for the Oath to ask us to assist at all times when there are people out there who do not deserve assitance. <P>Silver Adept posted saying that it was more honorable to let people like that hang, because they will then have to improve themselves. I'm all for it, but that really does violate the third tenet of the Oath. I do see it as the honorable thing; I don't see it as being "assisting and defending others" by any stretch of the imagination. <P>There you go...Issue #2 of the Why Geoffrey Quit serial. Have fun with it, and I'll try to get back in a couple of days.
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Postby TKarrde98 on Wed Jan 16, 2002 9:27 am

I suddenly have the urge to go off on grand sacrifices given to all but deserved by none.... I think I will leave it with a quote from the local vet's readerboard last month:<P>Talk amongst ya'selves, lemme give you a topic:<P>"Jesus came to pay a debt he did not owe
to save us from a debt we could not pay."<P>Discuss!
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Postby redwulf25_ci on Thu Jan 17, 2002 1:31 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Treespeaker:
<B>My problem was the third plank, "To assist and defend others." It sounds great, but I've found that it can get a bit sticky when it requires me to assist someone who I know doesn't deserve it.<P>Take for instance some idiot who's never done a lick of work in class as far as I can see, who comes up and asks if he can study with me for the final. </B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>This is why when I swore I worded that portion of the oath "to assist and defend <i><b>those who can not assist and defend themselves</i></b>. In my opinion the person you described (admitidly not knowing the whole story I may be wrong) was still capable of assisting himself in this matter.<P>------------------
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Postby Jim Brockman on Thu Jan 17, 2002 11:51 am

I agrre with Silver Adept. <P>Whether someone deserves the help or not we should help.
The trick is in figuring out how. Which takes a bit of thinking.<P>I also agree with the solution for the student. Some times 'tough love' is the best. By not helping now he will learn a lesson. But you need follow up by offering to help later and teaching good study habits.<P>As for the case of the person on the corner begging for money, that's a harder one. Though I too have been homeless, I never stood on a corner and begged (unless you wnat to count hitch-hiking). Without knowing the persons story and the reason they are where they are it is hard to determine the best means of helping them.
Additionally, many people on the corner either do not want help or are not quite ready for help.<P>The best thing would be to stop and talk. However, this can be dangerous. The second best would be to help out a shelter or some other organozation that specializes in helping the homeless. Many of these have programs designed to get people back on their feet. (personal knowledge here)<P>In both cases, once you offer help it is up to the other person to go from there. As the old saying goes:
"You can lead a dragon away from the maiden, but you can't stop him from eating you"<P>------------------
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Postby Treespeaker on Fri Jan 18, 2002 7:06 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><B>to assist and defend those who can not assist and defend themselves. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE></B><P>I still don't know that I would swear to this (and this is probably just me, so don't bother changing the Oath over it). Somone who is incapable of providing for himself is not nessecarily someone who deserves my aid. There are plenty of people out there who have willingly let themselves go to seed, from all stations of life, and I think that that was their choice to make and it is now their consequence to accept. Now, if I thought that it wasn't done and done; that they might still help themselves once I got them started, I might be willing to break down and lend a hand. But I think it's unfair that I be required to help someone who has willingly chosen to hurt himself. (and yes, this is all stated in generalizations...I want to avoid specific examples if I can, because they always bog down around minor variations in the general theme, or worse yet, semantic arguments).<P>Okay, sorry about the short post, guys...got a debate tournament to get myself to. So long, fair thee well, pip pip cheerio, and be back soon.
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Postby Silver Adept on Fri Jan 18, 2002 8:58 am

It can be done. However, if that's going to be a necessary revision to the Oath (or at least a popular one...) then you might want to consider bringing it before the Knights as a Conclave issue. <P>We're usually open to the improvement of our Oath so that more people will have less problems with it.
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