Frosty Moral Delimma....

Since the Chosen of Eilistraee is a religious oriented player group, naturally there is a place to have theological discussions. That is in-game religions; please leave real-world religion out of it. Debate the fine points of a certain dogma, how a church can enforce worship while staying true to its tenets or simply why one deity is better than another one is. All are free to talk about it here.

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Aylstra Illianniis
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Frosty Moral Delimma....

Post by Aylstra Illianniis » Mon Dec 24, 2012 11:49 pm

I know that this is neither FR nor theological, as such, but since it's a moral question, I decided to post it here, since it doesn't really fit anywhere else.... And besides, in the spirit of the holidays ('tis the season for miracles, after all, LOL!) I thought this would be a fun topic for this forum! Ahem, and here it is....

Well, I was walking home from work today (it's about two miles, so I get plenty of time to think) and an odd holiday-themed thought occured to me. Okay, so I had "Frosty the Snowman" stuck in my head all day. (Several of the people I work with were singing X-Mas carols all day long, and thus I ended up singing a few myself) and I suddenly realized on the way home while still hearing it running through my brain, that there is an interesting moral question in it.

We all know the song "Frosty the Snowman", and most of us have probably seen the holiday animated movie. We know the story of how a magician's hat happened to be blown to where the kids were building the snowman, and they decided to put it on his head, and it brought him to life. And then Frosty proceeded to discover that unless he got himself to the North Pole post-haste, he would eventually melt.

So here's the question. Suppose that a person owns an item that happens to be magical (implausible, I know, but just run with it) and discards that item, either because it doesn't work properly, or they don't realize it is. The item gets found and brings an inanimate opbject to life (Frosty, in this case). Then the person who had it discovers the occurance, and decided they want the item back. Would they be morally justified to take it back, even though it would now deprive the newly- sentient being of life? Okay, there's the question- discuss!
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"Where Science ends, Magic begins." -Spiral, Uncanny X-Men #491

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Bhaern Quel
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Re: Frosty Moral Delimma....

Post by Bhaern Quel » Tue Dec 25, 2012 12:00 am

Frosty was made from Christmas snow, it was not the hat alone that brought the magic to occur.

As for the random act of fate with a stolen item it should be morally fine to reclaim property misplaced. Now as the item was a lost item, the finder is morally required to try to return it to the legal owner. Frosty did not even try to do that, he instead wanted to flee to colder climes with somebodies else property. Frosty was moral in error,.

Now if Frosty did the right thing and offered back the hat after explaining what happened, only then can you bring a moral question of what the magician chooses to do.

The magician did not throw it away, give it away at best he was not sure it was worth chasing in that harsh winter condition. Once he became aware of it he was clearly entitled to have it back.

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Aylstra Illianniis
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Re: Frosty Moral Delimma....

Post by Aylstra Illianniis » Tue Dec 25, 2012 12:43 am

IIRC, he had tossed it off the train after the rabbit laughed at him for not being able to make it work. How is Frosty at fault? He wasn't the one who found it- the kids were. And since giving it back would basically "kill" him, is that really even an arguement? I guess the question is which is more morally right- the guy taking it back (thus ending Frosty's new life) or the kids helping the snowman keep it, since it was "finder's keepers" for them (and Frosty himself!)? And it was a Christmas snow, but even the song tells us straight out that it was the hat that brought him to life. When it was taken off(Frosty 2? can't recall when), he reverted back to a plain snowman.....
By the Dark Maiden''s grace do we meet. May she guide and protect us.

"Where Science ends, Magic begins." -Spiral, Uncanny X-Men #491

A link to my tales, including my Marvel hero!:
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Re: Frosty Moral Delimma....

Post by Rainbow Prism » Thu Dec 27, 2012 2:49 pm

When all that sustains the being is magical artifact that is applied to inanimate object, it is debatable if that life is truly sentient. Was it sentience of snow? Was it sentience of hat? Or maybe it was spirit of Christmass feeling manifesting in wondrous way?
Anyway, while I am not familiar with that folklore, I see many ways around this question. It all depends on how exactly that life was born and if it was temporary effect that would really dissipate if not for magic of Christmass, no matter the climate, or only climate or permanent that would continue if cold environment was sustained.
If it was true newborn pure life dependent on this item, it would be quite a bad thing to knowingly (I emphasize, knowingly) to take the item and let the snow be snow. Unfortunately for Frosty, there was no wizard with Incarnate Construct to resolve this question without tragedy of longing for life.

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Re: Frosty Moral Delimma....

Post by Aylstra Illianniis » Fri Dec 28, 2012 2:01 am

Not familiar with the folklore? Does that mean you've never heard the song? There is a line in the song that goes "there must have been some magic in that old silk hat they found...." Presumably, it was the hat (which in the animated X-Mas film was tossed out by a failed magician) that brought him to life. Granted he was made from "Christmas snow", but when the hat came off, he reverted back to an ordinary snowman. (I don't remember if it was the first movie, or the sequel where this happened.)

Any life would be considered sentient is it is self-aware, thinking, feeling, and capable of communicating and/or understanding right and wrong, by most definitions. Doesn't matter the source of the sentience, as long as it has those qualities. He did. The effect was basically permanent, so long as he retained the hat! The problem came about when it started getting warmer (snow melts) and when the magician decided that the hat worked after all and he wanted it back. (Never mind that he was totally inept at using its magic.)
By the Dark Maiden''s grace do we meet. May she guide and protect us.

"Where Science ends, Magic begins." -Spiral, Uncanny X-Men #491

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Re: Frosty Moral Delimma....

Post by Rainbow Prism » Fri Dec 28, 2012 9:21 pm

Animated object with true sentience. Rare thing indeed.
I believe it would be as simple question as asking if it is wrong to dismantle for not so cheap materials a warforged who gained intelligence. Of course, answers may vary depending on who you ask. Yet again, we are given quite an example of good harmless creature. But what if no one knew what to make of it? What if hat was one of Unholy Relics Of Corruption or however you want to call seemingly non-threatening item? There are no questions about that.

We are given straightforward show that clearly shows right and wrong. If we want to ask about morality, it should be something more undefined.

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Re: Frosty Moral Delimma....

Post by Aylstra Illianniis » Sat Dec 29, 2012 3:49 am

Well, I suppose if he had become evil and started freezing people, or killing, stealing, going on a rampage in the town, perhaps it would be justified in "executing" him by taking it off, but esentially, what the magician was trying to do was remove a life-sustaining device from an innocent "person". Like pulling the plug on somneone on breathing machine. Pretty darn rotten, IMHO!
By the Dark Maiden''s grace do we meet. May she guide and protect us.

"Where Science ends, Magic begins." -Spiral, Uncanny X-Men #491

A link to my tales, including my Marvel hero!:
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Re: Frosty Moral Delimma....

Post by Rainbow Prism » Sat Dec 29, 2012 4:45 am

If the former owner tried to take away the magic artifact simply for it's power without regard for anyone or anything that may have stopped any normal good person, then I agree. It is typical evil wizard that kills elementals to create golem, plunders holy crypts to find one or two spell components and uses black market to order living organs for new ritual.

Yet again, I do not know exact version of what happened in tale, spoken or animated.

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Re: Frosty Moral Delimma....

Post by Aylstra Illianniis » Sun Dec 30, 2012 2:26 am

Well, here are the song lyrics, at least! You can probably find the film posted somewhere on you-tube.


"Frosty the Snowman"

Frosty the Snowman
Was a jolly happy soul
With a corncob pipe and a button nose
And two eyes made out of coal

Frosty the Snowman
Is a fairytale they say
He was made of snow
But the children know
How he came to life one day

There must have been some magic
In that old silk hat they found
For when they placed it on his head
He began to dance around

Frosty the Snowman
Was alive as he could be
And the children say
He could laugh and play
Just the same as you and me

Frosty the Snowman
Knew the sun was hot that day
So he said let's run
And we'll have some fun
Now before I melt away

Down to the village
With a broomstick in his hand
Running here and there all around the square
Saying catch me if you can

He led them down the streets of town
Right to the traffic cop
And he only paused a moment when
He heard him holler stop

Frosty the Snowman
Had to hurry on his way
But he waved goodbye
Saying don't you cry
I'll be back again some day
By the Dark Maiden''s grace do we meet. May she guide and protect us.

"Where Science ends, Magic begins." -Spiral, Uncanny X-Men #491

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Re: Frosty Moral Delimma....

Post by Shir'le E. Illios » Mon Jan 07, 2013 11:44 am

I would think that the preservation of life outweighs the right to property. As such if your property creates (sentient?) life and that life is dependent on the property then you shouldn't be allowed to claim it back (as that would end a life).

Think of it like this. If you give someone your heart, then they still don't have the right to tear it out of your chest (as that would still be considered murder).

That is, at least, my view on it.

Luckily it doesn't seem likely that an inanimate object is going to create sentient life out of another inanimate object anytime soon so we'll likely not run into that problem a lot.


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Re: Frosty Moral Delimma....

Post by Aylstra Illianniis » Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:17 am

LOL! That was basically my stance as well. You should have seen some of the responses I got when posing this question over at CK. There were a few who apparently thought Frosty was going to become a threat by building an army of living snowmen to turn Faerun into their own winter wonderland and wipe out the "competition" of other sentient races. Absolutely nuts.... :roll: :? :p :eek:
By the Dark Maiden''s grace do we meet. May she guide and protect us.

"Where Science ends, Magic begins." -Spiral, Uncanny X-Men #491

A link to my tales, including my Marvel hero!:
http://mickeys-tavern.com/index.php?showforum=188

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Re: Frosty Moral Delimma....

Post by Shir'le E. Illios » Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:14 am

[quote="Aylstra Illianniis":18ofntop]There were a few who apparently thought Frosty was going to become a threat by building an army of living snowmen to turn Faerun into their own winter wonderland and wipe out the "competition" of other sentient races.[/quote:18ofntop]
Of course we... I mean Frosty and his army of snowmen are going to do that. That's just natural selection; it's inevitable. I mean, has nobody seen the Doctor Who Christmas Special? Where is your Timelord now, eh?

(I'm not a snowperson, honest.)


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Re: Frosty Moral Delimma....

Post by Alaric Darkrose » Thu Feb 14, 2013 4:17 am

Once you discard something, it is not yours anymore, and you have no right to it in my opinion. If someone else gets it to work and you couldn't, then maybe it was meant be.

In fact, there have been several cases in the United States where someone discarded something thinking it was worthless, and someone else found it and it turned out to be very valuable. The courts have ruled in favor of the finder every time, unless it is a horribly complicated case. In your case, the courts would rule in favor of the person who recovered the artifact, combined with the fact that they would want to preserve the sentient life.
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