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Mighty Chin

If Aes Sedai cannot Lie...

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Then how can they go by False names like Moraine does with Lady Alys. Verin also used an alias in Far Madding but I think her excuse is pretty good. But I do recall Cadsuane seemed a little suspicious.

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You can give yourself a new name.

 

As long as she does not say something like "My name is Alys, and that is the only name I have ever had" she is in the clear.

 

But Moogle is right -- she always makes sure to say "I am called Alys" or "You may call me Alys", and not the other.

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Isn't it actually pionted out in the books?

 

I don't know if it's said straight out, but it's definitely very heavily implied that they are twisting their oaths.

Edited by Master Ablar

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well the oath not to lie is easily changed by believing what you are saying as truth, which is why all salidar sisters can say the reds set up logain.

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well the oath not to lie is easily changed by believing what you are saying as truth, which is why all salidar sisters can say the reds set up logain.

 

Well, I thought, from rather early on that every single one of the AES Sedai would suffer repercussions if they realized that they are guilty of all three of the oaths.

 

Right away, I thought that the creation of the warder cloak, and the bonding process was an in fact creation of weapons for one man to use against another.

 

Deliberate manipulation of the words is the same as lying, if not, how about you try that in a court-room?

 

And the one that is most blatant

 

"Never to use the One Power as a weapon except against Darkfriends or Shadowspawn, or in the last extreme defense of her life, the life of her Warder or another Aes Sedai "

 

When they do it all the time, are they ignorant of the fact that a cudgel is a weapon? that a quarterstaff is a weapon, that throwing a hard object is a use of a weapon? But they strike out at anyone who is under their RULE! with the whisps of air. Get heat across the shoulders with a lash or a cudgel, tell me if you didn't get hit with a weapon.

 

I hope the blatant hypocrisy has a negative effect against all AS in the final book. Also, the exclusion of protection AS or their weapons is so flogging self righteous.

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If they believe that the use is not a weapon, it is not conflicting with the oaths. Even if it was pointed out to them, they would likely dismiss it.

 

This is also why they can tell a lie if they do not know it is a lie.

 

Of course, the oaths do not work retroactively. They do not punish Aes Sedai who have unknowingly violated the oaths, it merely prevents them from doing it with intent.

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well the oath not to lie is easily changed by believing what you are saying as truth, which is why all salidar sisters can say the reds set up logain.

 

Well, I thought, from rather early on that every single one of the AES Sedai would suffer repercussions if they realized that they are guilty of all three of the oaths.

 

Right away, I thought that the creation of the warder cloak, and the bonding process was an in fact creation of weapons for one man to use against another.

 

Deliberate manipulation of the words is the same as lying, if not, how about you try that in a court-room?

 

And the one that is most blatant

 

"Never to use the One Power as a weapon except against Darkfriends or Shadowspawn, or in the last extreme defense of her life, the life of her Warder or another Aes Sedai "

 

When they do it all the time, are they ignorant of the fact that a cudgel is a weapon? that a quarterstaff is a weapon, that throwing a hard object is a use of a weapon? But they strike out at anyone who is under their RULE! with the whisps of air. Get heat across the shoulders with a lash or a cudgel, tell me if you didn't get hit with a weapon.

 

I hope the blatant hypocrisy has a negative effect against all AS in the final book. Also, the exclusion of protection AS or their weapons is so flogging self righteous.

 

Using a quarterstaff or a cudgel isnt breaking that oath. the way i read these oaths any aes sedai could kill anyone they wanted in any way except using the power. She could just pull out a dagger and stab you. There is no oath to prevent that. Also, i think there is a distinction between using something for discipline vs. assult. Giving someone a single lash with the power is ok, where it is for discipline, but where not in excess. This happens to egwene when she is captured. Elida(sp?) starts beating her and the sitters say that it is not to be done. (or maybe it was one of the red sisters in a scene before that, i forget, im sick right now).

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The scene with Elaida using the power on Egwene, mentioned above ^

 

Pretty sure that's the result of Elaida really believing, personally, that Egwene's a darkfriend - She circumvents her oath via belief that she's not breaking an oath at all. To Elaida, Egwene's an agent of the shadow, and thereby she's within bounds to nuke her brains out with the power.

 

In her case I don't think it's a matter of going through a process to convince herself of that truth, so she could use the power in that way - She really truly believed Egwene was/is down with the Dark One...As opposed to say, knowing Egwene wasn't in fact a darksider, but somehow conditioning herself to accept the contrary as truth, because she really wanted to wail on her with the OP.

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I always felt the oath not to lie was one of the most interesting things about the series. On the one hand I always felt like if you ever sat down and analyzed it, it couldn't possibly work. The fact that you can seriously, seriously cheat with just about the lamest loopholes imaginable, well that almost cancels out the point of having the oath to begin with. It certainly doesn't make the AS any more noble or anything to that effect, and as far as their reputation for honesty, well, no, it doesn't lead to that, it leads to the opposite, to people saying, don't ever, ever believe an AS.

 

On the other hand, maybe not, because maybe not everybody's Mat. I think maybe you can argue that it leads to some folks trust the AS more, and some trust them less. And so maybe there are advantages to having the oath.

 

For that matter, what about opinions? The AS are constantly battling each other with words and pleasantries, right? Could an AS declare, "say, Teslyn, that's a lovely dress" even if you don't particularly like the dress and then justify it in one's own mind by saying, well it's not a matter of "fact" anyway...maybe that was addressed in the books somewhere, I don't remember.

 

Anyway as much as RJ devotes time to the issue I always felt that many of the worms in that can never got examined as much as they could have been. (Maybe that's more for forums and not the books themselves...)

Edited by IMeMin

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Isn't it actually pionted out in the books?

 

In New Spring Moiraine says that she has to be Moiraine Damodred to get into Aesdaishar, because at a palace 'you may call me Alys' would not work.

 

Another instance is when Galina uses the 'you may call me...' and Berelain smiles, and Galina thinks that she realised it was a false name but was willing to let it go because she thought herself sophisticated enough to play with Aes Sedai. Of course this one is dodgy, as Galina could actually lie, but still, it shows that others are aware of the trickery.

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Ditto Verin in Far Madding "You may call me Eadwyna". Even the AS who are freed of the original 3 oaths are habitually careful not to lie if they can help it. Verin's PoV again in TPoD when she's playing with the minds of the captured AS shows how she steps around the oaths.

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well the oath not to lie is easily changed by believing what you are saying as truth, which is why all salidar sisters can say the reds set up logain.

I always thought RJ was being ironic with that plot, since we don't actually know that they didn't. We only know that Siuan thought she could make everyone believe they did even though she had no knowledge of such plot, and that Logain obliged. Most every Red whose thoughts we've heard isn't aware of such a plot, but I think he was careful not to give us Elaida's take on the issue, for example. Nor did Logain ever explicitly say that it's a lie.

 

On the other hand, maybe not, because maybe not everybody's Mat.

No, I agree that most everyone doesn't trust AS, but that's different. The Oath does have the effect of pretty much everyone of import accepting AS declarations when simply phrased. When they flat out say something, they are automatically believed, which is an advantage (if you're a King, and wish to inform your advasaries of something you fear they might not believe, you can always send your AS advisor to attest to whatever it is you want known, thus making AS advisors invaluable).

 

For that matter, what about opinions? The AS are constantly battling each other with words and pleasantries, right? Could an AS declare, "say, Teslyn, that's a lovely dress" even if you don't particularly like the dress and then justify it in one's own mind by saying, well it's not a matter of "fact" anyway...maybe that was addressed in the books somewhere, I don't remember.

Indeed, in NStN Moiraine was unable to say that her rooms were "nice", because she couldn't stand all the ruffle. She settled for saying it was "more than adequate".

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That sounds sort of familiar, the Moiraine "nice" and "more than adequate thing". And come to think of it is true that many times in the novels AS saying things directly are considered proof. It can feel awkward, though, I know if it were me, I'd be thinking, are we absolutely sure that was direct? But most of the times it happens IIRC they're direct enough. The oaths come with pros and cons I guess.

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Using the power to whip someone as a punishment could be justified by the Aes Sedai administering the punishment as, "This 'one-power-whip' I'm using is not a weapon but is instead a tool for disciplining, which is a loving correction meant for the improvment of the one being disciplined." Therefore, Aes Sedai who use the Power to whip novices and such are not using the One Power as a weapon. They are using it as a tool for disciplining.

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Using the power to whip someone as a punishment could be justified by the Aes Sedai administering the punishment as, "This 'one-power-whip' I'm using is not a weapon but is instead a tool for disciplining, which is a loving correction meant for the improvment of the one being disciplined." Therefore, Aes Sedai who use the Power to whip novices and such are not using the One Power as a weapon. They are using it as a tool for disciplining.

 

+1 it's entirely perception. If the AS doesn't see the use as that of a weapon then they can use it to harm someone. Same reason they can lie if they think they're telling the truth, or blast a non-threatening raken out of the sky (because they think it's shadowspawn). On a similar note I carry a pocket knife with me all the time. Some people would call it carrying a weapon. I call it carrying a tool.

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well the oath not to lie is easily changed by believing what you are saying as truth, which is why all salidar sisters can say the reds set up logain.

I always thought RJ was being ironic with that plot, since we don't actually know that they didn't. We only know that Siuan thought she could make everyone believe they did even though she had no knowledge of such plot, and that Logain obliged. Most every Red whose thoughts we've heard isn't aware of such a plot, but I think he was careful not to give us Elaida's take on the issue, for example. Nor did Logain ever explicitly say that it's a lie.

 

 

we actually do have Elaida's take.

“Why under the Light would they be in Ebou Dar?” Elaida said dismissively. Certainly Teslyn would have sent news of that. “The Gray must be passing along rumors, now. Tarna’s message said they are with the rebels in Salidar.” Tarna Feir had reported Siuan Sanche there, too. And Logain Ablar, spreading those vicious lies no Red sister could lower herself to acknowledge, much less deny.

-CoS, Prologue

This probably explains why the Reds never formally denied it although I did have the same thought about the issue as you.

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So, if someone says, "Mistress Alys?"

 

And Moiraine replies, "Yes?"

 

How has Moiraine not lied?

 

I think that the idea of someone who cannot lie, even a tiny bit, is just really, really hard to pull off, except in a comedy.

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The Aes Sedai are suggesting another name they could be known (even if they just made up the name) by, not that their name is such. It is not a lie. Answering to a name that they suggested they could be known by is not lieing. You may call me Plague Fiend (a username) and I'll answer to it. It is not my name, but it is a name I have suggested to be known by. I'm not lieing. Now if some asked them if the suggested name was their real name, they would have to say no. In effect, the Aes Sedai are not answering the question, which they are not required to, they are stating a possibility.

Edited by plague fiend

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You are all missing a portion of the second oath.

 

I will not use the power to create a weapon for one man to kill another.

 

If they use the power to create a cudgel, it is okay as long as it does not kill.

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we actually do have Elaida's take.

You've got me there. I'm so glas I only said "I thought" we didn't :wink:

Still, the sentiment holds.

 

it is okay as long as it does not kill.

Or if it does, then in a woman's hand :biggrin:

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Using an alias through either of the following phrases does not violate the first Oath.

-"You may call me..."

-"Make sure I am called..."

 

What a person bound to the Oath cannot say is something she knows is false. But she can say something she believes.

 

 

By the way, I recall past threads bringing up the examples.

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what I never understood about the oaths is why the Aes Sedai can't write lies. The oath against lying is very specific "To speak no word that is not true". Speaking and writing are very different things. Aes Sedai are adept at manipulating the oaths to bend their meaning yet they can't write lies even though it's clearly not prohibited. I find this pretty ridiculous.

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