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If Aes Sedai cannot Lie...


Mighty Chin
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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.

 

It's possible that some of them can write lies if they perceive the Oath to specifically mean speaking. I think that the general rule is that Aes Sedai have made themselves believe that the Oath holds to writing as well as speaking because they believe that that is the intent. And the Aes Sedai are so good at indoctrinating their initiates about their "truths" that most of them end up viewing the Oath the same way. I imagine this could be one of the instances where all the Aes Sedai "know" something to be true (the Oath includes writing) but it's actually not because there are a few Sisters that have interpreted the Oath about speaking a lie very literally.

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Yes, well, you try having 10k Altarans coming at you screaming bloody murder, see how that makes you feel.

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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.

 

It's possible that some of them can write lies if they perceive the Oath to specifically mean speaking. I think that the general rule is that Aes Sedai have made themselves believe that the Oath holds to writing as well as speaking because they believe that that is the intent. And the Aes Sedai are so good at indoctrinating their initiates about their "truths" that most of them end up viewing the Oath the same way. I imagine this could be one of the instances where all the Aes Sedai "know" something to be true (the Oath includes writing) but it's actually not because there are a few Sisters that have interpreted the Oath about speaking a lie very literally.

This explanation strains credulity beyond the breaking point IMO. Aes Sedai are extremely good at stretching the oath as far as they would go whatever the intent. That's mentioned too many times to ignore. The example with "you may call me Alys" from earlier in the thread is just one of many. I can't see all of them meekly accepting that speaking and writing means the same thing (which it so obviously doesn't) without testing it out. and by all logic any one of them who would try to write a lie would be able to do it unless she really managed to convince herself that writing and speaking literally mean the same thing.

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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.

 

 

 

Even if she said yes, it is permitted because she is not lying.

 

She told them they could call her Alys, the question they were asking is essentially what do we call you to address you? She gave them a title, and responds to it. By repsonding, she is not lying, sheis building a web upon the twist she used when saying they may call her Alys.

Edited by Amore
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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.

 

It's possible that some of them can write lies if they perceive the Oath to specifically mean speaking. I think that the general rule is that Aes Sedai have made themselves believe that the Oath holds to writing as well as speaking because they believe that that is the intent. And the Aes Sedai are so good at indoctrinating their initiates about their "truths" that most of them end up viewing the Oath the same way. I imagine this could be one of the instances where all the Aes Sedai "know" something to be true (the Oath includes writing) but it's actually not because there are a few Sisters that have interpreted the Oath about speaking a lie very literally.

This explanation strains credulity beyond the breaking point IMO. Aes Sedai are extremely good at stretching the oath as far as they would go whatever the intent. That's mentioned too many times to ignore. The example with "you may call me Alys" from earlier in the thread is just one of many. I can't see all of them meekly accepting that speaking and writing means the same thing (which it so obviously doesn't) without testing it out. and by all logic any one of them who would try to write a lie would be able to do it unless she really managed to convince herself that writing and speaking literally mean the same thing.

 

I agree, it seems unlikely that there haven't at least been a few Aes Sedai that found this loophole. I'm just saying that the White Tower is seen to be good at drilling things out of people (like the girls who know a limited form of Compulsion when entering the Tower) and turning everyone into assembly line Aes Sedai robots. So it's possible that they have been indoctrinated to view the Oath in this manner.

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I think that if I became an Aes Sedai (which would be awkward, being male, but I digress) I'd spend some time every night telling myself "my name is X, but I am also Y." Where X is my birth name, and Y is the name I want to use as an alias. That way, my alias could get in trouble.

 

At the end of the day, no one remembers Marion Morrison or Maurice Micklewhite. But I have no doubt that most people would recognize their alter-egos. :myrddraal:

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Your definition of the word is too narrow.

 

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/speak

 

"5. to make a statement in written or printed words."

hmm, that still sounds like a major cop out to me. I don't think Randlanders use this dictionary. I sure don't. It doesn't give examples of how all the different meanings of the word "speak" can be used. I can see it being used in that sense in phrases like "his letter spoke of something" but not when referring to a direct action as would be involved in an Aes Sedai writing a lie.

 

 

I haven't seen anybody use "speak" in the direct sense of "write" anywhere in the novels. When Rand asks Moiraine if Aes Sedai can write lies he does not assume that "speak" and "write" are the same. He doesn't know the exact wording of the oaths. He just thinks that Aes Sedai can't lie in general so they should not be able to speak or write lies.

Edited by herid
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You do know that common-Randlander isn't the same as English, right? RJ's translating for us, after a fashion. So whatever the term means here and now, supposedly the corresponding term means the same for Randlanders.

 

Look, I get it. It bugs you. Let me ask you this, though. I see you're from Toronto. How many languages do you speak (English+French at the very least, correct)? Ever noticed how words you might substitute for one another in one context can mean completely different things in another? That's just how different languages are.

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The funniest this way from personal experience is that the word for "hair" in several Indian languages is the word for specifically "pubic hair" in several others (Bengali-Hindi and Tamil-Malyalam). This leads to much confusion and hilarity.

Edited by Sharaman
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The oaths are not magical bindings in that they crush lies or false opinion. It's about perception of the person. Just like in ToM the AS wouldn't scare the White Cloaks because one of them felt it was using the one power as a weapon but probably doesn't feel disciplining with the one power is using it as a weapon.

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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).

 

I meant how easily they use air to beat people. Just because they don't call it a cudgel, doesn't mean it isn't. By their logic, rands fire sword wasn't a sword.

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First off, is a nickname a lie? My name is _________ but if someone yells EZE, and I look up, am I lying about my name or responding to a nickname/pseudonym? "You may call me" is very different than "My name is"

You may call Duderino, even though that's not my birth name, and I will respond. You may call Tango Bravo Delta and I will respond, even though that's not my name. Those are merely verbal designations to which one might respond. Not lies. Allowing someone to believe something is different than outright telling a falsehood. (And I've never liked those people who claim that omissions are lies/half-truths are lies. They just need to learn to ask more specific questions and assume less.)

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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.

 

This always confused me too--but it is seemingly inviolate. Both Moiraine and the Black Ajah Hunters assert this--the BAH to the extent that they believe anyone who does so must be Black Ajah.

 

I'm gonna go with dholm's find...

 

Your definition of the word is too narrow.

 

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/speak

 

"5. to make a statement in written or printed words."

 

Who knows, perhaps in Randlandish the word 'speak' stresses this meaning more than in English. :D

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Well in law, a spoken will is often defined as a "verbal will" even though a written will is also obviously verbal in nature.

So the Wotland word for "speak" may also be the same as the Wotland word for "write" -- and "translated" differently by RJ according to context.

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i think the best example of Belief altering the Three Oaths would be when the Tower splits, one of the Aes Sedai loyal to Egwene is in the basements, when the WT Sisters (the ones hunting the Black) find out she is on the other side, they try to force her to name Egwene a False Amyrlin, but she cannot speak the words because she believes Egwene to be Mother, the WT Aes Sedai had to give up on attempting to make her lay claim to Elaida because it kept resulting in the woman being left unable to breath. She could not speak something she saw as a lie,

Edited by Amore
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they try to force her to name Egwene a False Amyrlin

Close enough :wink:

Pevara tries to force her to renounce the accusations regarding Logain and the Red Ajah. Same difference, though, since Pevara had no problem saying they were false.

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About using the Power as a weapon, do not some Aes Sedai join battle at some point and is able to do so by going down the field into the killing frenxy, because then she and / or her life or that of a sister is in danger and she can use the One Power as a weapon.

 

Verin and whoever the other Aes Sedai that was there with her when the Trollocks attacked the Two Rivers, they did something similar to be able to attack. They also did something to the catapult rocks making them explosive and was able to do so by circumventing the oaths somehow.

 

So, if someone says, "Mistress Alys?"

 

And Moiraine replies, "Yes?"

 

How has Moiraine not lied?

No. She just reacted to someone using her nickname. She just aknowledge that the name said is linked to her. Not that it is her real name.

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Verin and whoever the other Aes Sedai that was there with her when the Trollocks attacked the Two Rivers, they did something similar to be able to attack. They also did something to the catapult rocks making them explosive and was able to do so by circumventing the oaths somehow.

 

Shadowspawn (for sure) and darkfriends (I think) are fair game. The Oath specifically excludes them.

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Verin and whoever the other Aes Sedai that was there with her when the Trollocks attacked the Two Rivers, they did something similar to be able to attack. They also did something to the catapult rocks making them explosive and was able to do so by circumventing the oaths somehow.

 

Shadowspawn (for sure) and darkfriends (I think) are fair game. The Oath specifically excludes them.

 

Verin is a poor example anyways, seeing as how she wouldn't be bound by that oath as a member of the BA.

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Verin and whoever the other Aes Sedai that was there with her when the Trollocks attacked the Two Rivers, they did something similar to be able to attack. They also did something to the catapult rocks making them explosive and was able to do so by circumventing the oaths somehow.

Shadowspawn (for sure) and darkfriends (I think) are fair game. The Oath specifically excludes them.

Verin is a poor example anyways, seeing as how she wouldn't be bound by that oath as a member of the BA.

chucki, chucki, chucki. Love the new addition to your sig.

The point still stands for Alanna, though those trollocs were fair game. AS do sometimes put themselves in harm's way in order to be able to help. That's why Galad has made a point of telling his men not to threaten Perrin's in any way (little did he know that most of Perrin's channelers weren't Bound by such Oaths).

 

EDIT:

just wanted to let everyone know that my my daughter aviendha is celebrating her 3rd birthday today. happy birthday avie.

Congrats! Tell her we said happy birthday (I'd bake and send you a picture, if it weren't for the fact that I can't bake to save my life. Wait, I'm on my way to a wedding right now. Will a wedding cake do the trick?)

Edited by yoniy0
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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.

 

This always confused me too--but it is seemingly inviolate. Both Moiraine and the Black Ajah Hunters assert this--the BAH to the extent that they believe anyone who does so must be Black Ajah.

 

I'm gonna go with dholm's find...

 

Your definition of the word is too narrow.

 

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/speak

 

"5. to make a statement in written or printed words."

 

Who knows, perhaps in Randlandish the word 'speak' stresses this meaning more than in English. :D

 

 

I think the case for not being able to write lies is akin to the explanation Saerin gave of a possible way Mesaana could have used to trick the Oath Rod. With the Mirror of Mist, it is possible to alter voice. Saerin was able to speak something but Yukiri heard something else. But she couldn't make Yukiri hear a lie. I think it is the same. You can change what you say, but if another person is going to hear a lie, then it won't work. Or something like that...

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If the Aes Sedai believes that writing lies is not within the boundaries of the Oath, then she should be able to write lies.

 

Isn't that how the Oath works? D:

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