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 The Force and Its Inherent Morality

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Doma Rax
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PostSubject: The Force and Its Inherent Morality   Sat Sep 07, 2013 7:03 am

( OOC: I've gathered this information on the Force and Force powers based on what applies within the combine. I hope it's on par with what you're expecting and feel free to give your critique.)


The Force and its Inherent Morality


In this paper we will examine the many different powers and abilities at the disposal of sentient force users. Though the ability to connect with and use the force at ones will is rare in each race, in this galaxy of trillions, there are many who find themselves able. Those who possess this talent often find themselves in the center of galactic events, shaping both the politics and culture of countless systems and planets. Their ability stems not from the force itself, as the force flows through all of us and all things, but from a higher count of microscopic organisms known as midi-chlorians, which act as a pathway through which the force can be manipulated. Over thousands of years these force users have divided themselves into several different religions and ideologies but the two most famous of these are the Jedi and the Sith. These two orders, although they possess the same remarkable gifts, are able to apply different powers based on their connection to the force. As such, these techniques have been categorized by most into “Light Side” and “Dark Side”, representing their respective practitioners. And even still there are abilities which can be applied by either side.

The Living Force is a view on the force, accepted by the majority of Jedi throughout ages. The living force is thought to be present in most living beings, surrounding and penetrating them, thus making all living things connected by it. The Jedi believing in the living force rely on their instincts and are attuned to other living beings around them. They are mindful of the future and the possible consequences of their actions, but remain focused on the present. The living force is viewed as having both the light and the dark side. The Jedi always have to be mindful of their actions to avoid the temptations of the dark side. Through following the living force, several Jedi were able to retain their identities after their physical death, becoming one with the force and able to manifest themselves as force ghosts. Proponents of the living force view espouse a philosophy of "living in the moment," relying heavily on their instincts and concentrating more on sensitivity to living things, rather than fulfilling destiny, which is one of the main tenets of the Unifying Force philosophy.

The light side of the force is concerned with the ideals of good, benevolence, and healing. Followers of the light side strive to live in harmony with the world around them, acting out of wisdom and logic rather than anger and hasty judgment. In order to achieve harmony with the light side of the force, its practitioners will often meditate to clear themselves of emotion; particularly negative emotions such as aggression, fear, anger, and hatred, since these are thought to bring on acceptance of the dark side.

The largest group of proponents and teachers of the light side is the Jedi Order, who strive to maintain peace and justice throughout the galaxy. The values of the light side are culminated in the Jedi Code. The Jedi accept the view on the two sides of the Force: the dark side and the light side. A follower of the light side tries to live in harmony with those around him. Mutual trust, respect, and the ability to form alliances give the Jedi their distinct advantage over the Sith. In contrast, a follower of the dark side uses the dark side of the force, usually for himself. Use of the dark side of the Force is forbidden within the Jedi Order, and was strictly considered the domain of the Sith.

Traditional Jedi are keen to keep the Force "in balance". They attempt to achieve this by destroying the Sith and denying the dark side, essentially "keeping balance" by restoring the force to its natural state, as they viewed the dark side as "corruption". This involves the purging of negative emotions such as aggression, anger, and hatred, since they can easily bring on acceptance of the dark side. In contrast, positive emotions such as compassion and courage nurture the light side of the force. The Jedi Code compares such feelings and provides insight into the ethical use of the force.

Passion is considered dangerous, as it can lead to strong emotions that can unbalance the Jedi and lead them to the dark side. Love is, curiously enough, seen as something both Jedi and Sith avoid. While the Jedi espouse a broad, all-encompassing, self-sacrificing love for all beings, love for another being romance, a possessive love by nature is shunned. Possession of all types is also shunned in the Jedi Order, the only exceptions being a Jedi's lightsaber and clothes. The Jedi view love as a danger best left untouched. While the passion that comes with love can lead to hatred and anger. It could also lead to pity, mercy, self-sacrifice and compassion, emotions the Sith did not see as beneficial.

The dark side of the force is considered by the Jedi to be the element aligned with fear, hatred, aggression, and malice toward all living things. Such emotions seemed to increase the strength and abilities of a user of the dark side, providing a path towards personal power and the destruction or control of all opposition. It was generally accepted that use of the dark side of the force was extremely addictive.

The Potentium view of the force, not to be confused with the Unifying Force, is strictly disapproved by the old Jedi Order. The Potentium view suggests that there is only one force that does not take sides, the Potentium view states that the force and the galaxy in general are inherently good. According to this belief, the so-called dark side are not made up of specific "parts" or "abilities" of the force: as espoused by the light side, it exists inside the life form which uses it, made from their emotions. By that standard, and unlike the light side, all Potentium followers can perform any action and use the force in any way they see fit, as long as the intention behind it is good. In contrast, the Jedi Order acknowledges the existence of Potentium, but has made it clear that it is subverting of the Jedi teachings and a way to misguide people to the dark side, or a means to serve it. The living planet Zonama Sekot is a supporter of  the Potentium theory of the force as well.

These belief systems and all other lesser known schools of thought have given way to a number of force techniques. Force techniques have been categorized into four main categories: Telepathy, Telekinesis, Life, and Energy. Within these categories are both light and dark side powers, as well as universal powers which can be applied by all force users providing their connection to the force is strong enough. This is the most recent list of known force powers in the galaxy and their known affects:

Light Side Powers

Telepathy Powers:

Stasis- The ability to stun organic life forms by reaching out mentally through the force to deaden the senses and perceptions of a targeted enemy, preventing most movements.

Force Aura-  The force Aura allows its user to draw upon the force strengthen their bodies and defend from damage, essentially acting as a shield around them.

Empathy- Harmony with the Force enables a Jedi to feel the emotions of characters and creatures around him and radiate peaceful intentions that calm others. This knowledge allows a Jedi to modify his actions to better attain desired result.

Telekinesis Powers:

Disable Droid- Also known an the Ionize technique is used to overload electrical equipment, most commonly against droids. When employed, a stream of ionic energy generated by the force is unleashed upon the targeted mechanism and bore some similarity in appearance to force lightning. However, the stream of energy traveling from the user to the target (or targets, if skilled enough) is purple, contrary to the blue-white appearance of force lightning, a nod to its stream of ions.

Life Powers:

Force Heal- The ability to rapidly accelerate the natural healing process of the body. This power can be applied both to oneself and to another.   However, there are limitations, stemming if not from the nature of force healing, then at the very least from the individual, as force-users were not seen to regenerate lost matter.

Revitalize- Just as its name implies, this ability can revitalize an exhausted, wounded or, unconscious life form, or whoever the user directed it at, be it themselves or an ally.

Energy Powers:

Force Barrier- Much like force aura, the force shield creates a barrier or wall of force energy around the user, capable of absorbing a wide variety of physical and energy attacks.

Dark Side Powers  

Telepathy:

Horror- This power originated from the Sith and causes the victim to experience their worst fears to the point of hysteria. It is a very powerful ability, and the duration and intensity varies depending on the caster.

Force Scream- If a force user aligned with the dark side was being beaten and frustrated by his foe, he might let out an enraged scream triggering shock waves that ripple through the force. This causes devastation to any that are unfortunate enough to be in close proximity of the attack. The Force scream had been called “a wave of hatred, amplified and fueled by the dark side, that is capable of smashing through mental and physical defenses with ease.”

Telekinesis:

Force Choke- This is an attack via the force, used to crush a living being's throat, in effect choking them if used at a low level. Sith Masters used this when wanting to punish people or prove their strength to a number of individuals.

Life Powers:

Drain Life- The force user is able to siphon the vitality of their victim to the equivalent effect of force healing, the difference being that the regenerative processes in the user is fueled by draining their targets.

Affliction- Affliction works much like a fast-acting poison, quickly debilitating the target. The effects of affliction worsen over time and may cause death if the user is strong enough in the force.

Energy Powers:

Force Lightning- Perhaps the most well known and most feared power that can be wielded by those aligned with the dark side. Force lightning was a purely offensive, energy-based attack that channeled force energy down the user's limbs, hurling arcing bolts of electricity from the wielder's fingertips or palms; force lightning could be executed with either one or two hands. Powerful discharges would branch out into dozens of smaller forks; thus, skilled practitioners could target several foes at once.

Drain Force-  techniques like drain force rekindle force energy in the user, effectively draining the Force energy from those whom the power is turned upon.

Neutral Powers

Telepathy:

Battle Meditation- Considerably boosts the morale, stamina, and overall battle prowess of an individual's allies while simultaneously reducing the opposition's combat-effectiveness by eroding their will to fight.

Mind Trick- The ability to influence the thoughts of sentient creatures, most commonly used to coerce into agreement, or attain information.

Telekinesis:

Lightsaber Throw-  The force user is able to charge his weapon with force energy and cast it at their target, striking them, and then returning to the users hand.

Force Push- Force push was the ability to create a telekinetic impulse via the force, launching a concussive burst of pressurized air.

Force Speed- Increases the speed of the force user, enabling the individual to see the world and the entities around them in slow motion, making them able to dodge attacks easily and attack quicker, with greater accuracy.

Force Pull-  This is perhaps the most common ability in all force users. The power to lift and pull objects to the user; though the strength and effectiveness of this power varies greatly between all who use it.

Force Deflection- This power is used typically by unarmed force users, to anticipate incoming blaster fire and deflect  it with their hands. This is a difficult power to master and only used by the most powerful in the force.

Life:

Force Body-Used to push their body's endurance past a safe limit, ignoring and possibly sacrificing their health and well-being, in order to sustain their connection to the force. Very powerful connection to the force was required for this abilities use as well.

Force Hide- Some force users can hide themselves in the force, effectively becoming invisible to the naked eye of non-force users.

Force Sight- Enhances the bearer's visual and spatial perception even in the dark, behind walls, or when completely blinded. This ability allows the force user to see not only what is in front of them but focus on all things around them making it virtually impossible for anything or anyone to escape their detection.

Energy:

Force Resistance- A common power among force users, it allows them to resist the force techniques other force users in combat by creating an impenetrable fortress around their mind.

Energy resistance- Again much like force aura and force barrier its effect was to create a barrier of energy-absorbent force around the user, reducing the damage taken from energy weapons like blasters. However unlike the other two powers, energy resistance can be applied by force users of any alignment, making it unique.

Precognition- The ability of foresight is universal to those who are force sensitive and was manifested in the form of force visions of future events, or helped the user predict his opponent's movements.

Force Suppression- Allows a force sensitive to harness the force in order to suppress the active force effects of another. This would individually affect each active force power.

Jedi and Sith both draw their power from the force, but in drastically different ways. The Jedi teach their disciples to draw on their power from the practice of compassion, selflessness, self-knowledge, enlightenment, mercy, inner peace and balance and this is reflected in their powers, which are typically less aggressive and usually act to bolster their abilities. While on the other hand the Sith rely on a pool of raw emotion, such as  hatred, fear, covetousness, anger, aggression, and jealousy, giving in to their lustful desires, bending the force to their will and assaulting their opponents with powerful attacks. All in all, the force is a metaphysical, binding, and ubiquitous power that holds enormous importance for both the Jedi and Sith orders.
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Rennek Cor
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PostSubject: Re: The Force and Its Inherent Morality   Thu Sep 19, 2013 2:32 pm

As much as I find the content interesting to read, what I thought it perhps lacked was your own conclusions, thoughts or opinions. COuld you perhaps go through some of the observations you have made, have a think about if it makes sense to you, whether you agree with it or not. Perhaps consider other ways of thinking about it and suggest these.

Your opinion as a scholar is what truly interests me, otherwise this becomes just another reference piece.
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Ashura Harma
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PostSubject: Re: The Force and Its Inherent Morality   Thu Sep 26, 2013 9:49 pm

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