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Does the Mirror of Mists technically break the three Oaths?

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Just wondering this today in an idle moment, thinking about how the Oath says: "To speak no word that is not true."

 

Yet we've been told before that Aes Sedai can't write lies anymore than they can speak them - even though writing is not actually specified in the Oath.

 

Following this logic, isn't using the Mirror of Mists - a weave which is bascially one big visual lie - contradictory to the Oaths? In spirit, I'd say certainly.

 

Just trying to get a fun debate going :wink:

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It's a matter of perspective. If she sees it as breaking of the oaths, then she can't do it.

 

If the Aes Sedai were to realize that "wait, the Oath doesnt say not to write a word that is lie! " then she could write lies.

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if she sees it as breaking an oath she would be misunderstanding the oaths and would likely not have had the aptitude to become an AS.

 

they would surely have covered this kind of thing in training. i'm guessing oath ethics was required.

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Well its not speaking.. so they aren't breaking the oath.

 

But my point is that writing something down that isn't true isn't speaking either, but that's prevented by the Oath.

 

It's a matter of perspective. If she sees it as breaking of the oaths, then she can't do it.

 

If the Aes Sedai were to realize that "wait, the Oath doesnt say not to write a word that is lie! " then she could write lies.

 

See, that's the sort of answer I was looking for - and you're probably right. It's like the thing about how they can tell untruths if they believe them to be true and makes a lot of sense.

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writing is verbalizing. the written word is a symbol for the spoken one.

 

it's a very direct correlation.

 

i'd iamgine they'd have difficulty lying in sign language as well

 

obfuscatiing, misdirection, creating illusions... not forbidden. many examples i'm way too lazy to cite.

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theres nothing remotely verbal about it.

 

Not necessarily.

 

Potential example: Aes Sedai disguises herself using MOM as an important Lord/Lady and gives someone instruction. She is pretending to be said Lord/Lady and ergo lying, even if the instruction itself is not a 'lie' per say, but simply a request or command - as the recipient of her instruction will interpret it as having come from the Lady, which is, of course, not the case, it is a falsehood.

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unless she says, "i, lady so and so, command you," it's well within the wiggle room established throughout the text for AS to stand the truth on its head and what have you.

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unless she says, "i, lady so and so, command you," it's well within the wiggle room established throughout the text for AS to stand the truth on its head and what have you.

 

Fair enough. It's almost crazy how much wiggle-room they find in such a straightforward-seeming set of Oaths, hence why I got to thinking about this in the first place.

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it was weird they didn't just drop the oaths, or rewrite them. but there;d always be wiggle room for someone who was looking for it no matter how they were written.

 

and it's such obvious wriggle room, i'd think they were supposed to have been written that way to include it on purpose.

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It is about belief, if you convince an Aes Sedai that it is the same as lying they would be bound against it, but so long as they do not think of it as lying they can do it, it is the flaw of the Oath.

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the oath doesnt say they can't lie. it says speak no word which is not true. which can easily be exptrapolated to writing, but not at all to something like the mirror of mists.

 

i don't think someone who could be so easily convinced would make AS.

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i can see it being a tricky one. words. i've known deaf people who "spoke" to non sign language speakers only by writing.

 

and we speak here the same way.

 

it feels like its happening in the same part of my brain, and from what i understand of aphasias, it is.

 

but i don't remember what the books say about it.

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The not-writing-a-lie seems confusing to me too. There's a bit of confusion for me when it comes to the Oaths. What matters more? The spirit of the intended Oath, or the actual words used? Or just the interpretation? For instance, look at Verin and the loophole in her Black Ajah Oath. The spirit of that Oath (not to betray the Black Ajah/Shadow until the hour of her death) pretty much means "don't betray the Shadow ever" but Verin finds a loophole by taking the Oath literally, and is able to reveal all she wants about the Black Ajah because she takes poison that lets her be aware when she is actually in the hour of her death. How would that be a different from a sister saying "Well, if I write a lie I'm not SPEAKING it!" Yet it seems no non-Black sisters are able to write a lie, and you figure that someone would have attempted this logic at some point. Could sisters make a weapon if they knew it would only be used by a woman? Probably not, but it's no more of a stretch/loophole than what Verin did.

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theres nothing remotely verbal about it.

 

Not necessarily.

 

Potential example: Aes Sedai disguises herself using MOM as an important Lord/Lady and gives someone instruction. She is pretending to be said Lord/Lady and ergo lying, even if the instruction itself is not a 'lie' per say, but simply a request or command - as the recipient of her instruction will interpret it as having come from the Lady, which is, of course, not the case, it is a falsehood.

 

So how do you reconcile that with the fact that Aes Sedai disguise themselves without the Mirror of Mists? They go by different names, etc, and thus clearly deceive those who visit them. Yet this doesn't break the oaths.

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theres nothing remotely verbal about it.

 

Not necessarily.

 

Potential example: Aes Sedai disguises herself using MOM as an important Lord/Lady and gives someone instruction. She is pretending to be said Lord/Lady and ergo lying, even if the instruction itself is not a 'lie' per say, but simply a request or command - as the recipient of her instruction will interpret it as having come from the Lady, which is, of course, not the case, it is a falsehood.

 

So how do you reconcile that with the fact that Aes Sedai disguise themselves without the Mirror of Mists? They go by different names, etc, and thus clearly deceive those who visit them. Yet this doesn't break the oaths.

 

Yeah, that bugged me for a while. I suppose they get away with it by saying stuff like "You may call my Alys." (Wasn't that Moiraine's fake name?)

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It's fuzzy recollection - but I think an Aes Sedai said something about stripping the hide off of someone (or something to that effect) if they didn't do something. And I thought that it would have been impossible to keep that statement true if they hadn't been listened too because of the other oaths. I'll have to see if I can find it in the books. It might have been Siuan (pre-stilling) threatening to feed the girls to Silverpike.. something to that effect.

 

I've always wondered about sarcasm, threats, and exaggeration. They don't happen a lot, but they happen sometimes.

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theres nothing remotely verbal about it.

 

Not necessarily.

 

Potential example: Aes Sedai disguises herself using MOM as an important Lord/Lady and gives someone instruction. She is pretending to be said Lord/Lady and ergo lying, even if the instruction itself is not a 'lie' per say, but simply a request or command - as the recipient of her instruction will interpret it as having come from the Lady, which is, of course, not the case, it is a falsehood.

 

So how do you reconcile that with the fact that Aes Sedai disguise themselves without the Mirror of Mists? They go by different names, etc, and thus clearly deceive those who visit them. Yet this doesn't break the oaths.

 

I think a combination of keeping it vague "I will allow you to call me Billy-Bob" isn't saying "My name is Billy-Bob" technically. Presumably also when they need a straight lie told about who they are, or their purpose, they get their Warder to do it on their behalf.

 

The Oaths and their treatment in the books are a little fuzzy at times anyway. As someone else said on the thread, exaggeration could be seen as speaking words which are not true. They also use whips of Air to punish, which to me skirts dangerously close to using the OP as a weapon...

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You missed my point, I'm afraid.

 

The way the oaths work, it doesn't seem to be judged by the recipient, but rather by the Aes Sedai herself. So, it doesn't matter if the recipient of her instruction interprets what the Aes Sedai says as true or not. The only thing that matters is whether or not the Aes Sedai thinks that she is speaking the truth. Thus, while using the Mirror of Mists, as long as she allows the person to believe that she is who she pretends to be, and she does not say "I am this person", then she is not (to the contrary of what you said) lying.

 

I think the thing about switches of air and weapons are similar. If in the Aes Sedai's head she doesn't think she's injuring (but merely correcting or instructing - it's good for children and recalcitrant peasants to be beaten!) whoever she's switching, there's no problem.

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The three oaths have a truck load of wriggle room depending on how an individual Aes Sedai interprets them, it's always been one of the big things in the books, we are presented with a particular Aes Sedai's interpretation of a particular oath.

 

To speak no word that is not true for example is the greatest focus for wiggle room but the other two have their own caveats.

 

If you were one of those people that moved your lips, speaking as it were, while you wrote, then you would not be able to write a lie.

 

If you were being very White Ajah and defined the oath into it's constituant parts and did not take what other sisters told you at face value you would speak no individual word that was not true.

 

The White Ajah methodology example would mean you would have to define the condition for a singular word to not be "True" and then you could lie to your heart's content, as long as the individual words lived up to an analysis of True under some criteria.

 

Creating a weave that makes you look like someone else, doesn't even need much thought to dismiss as allowed by the anti-lieing oath barring unique Aes Sedai biases.

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