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Are Dragons Evil

Discussion in 'Self-Promotion' started by Aldarion, Jan 3, 2021.

  1. Aldarion

    Aldarion Inkling

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    This is the first post of my blog series about whether dragons are, in fact, evil. It covers the Bible, as the entire series is a result of my discussion with a quite religious relative on whether dragons are evil and whether I should use a dragon as logo for my blog (the same dragon I'm using as an avatar here - and yes, I drew it myself). The answer to the question is, naturally: it is complicated.

    Are Dragons Evil, Part 1 – Introduction and Bible

    Summa summarum: as I said, complicated. But as can be seen from above, even the Bible - the Old Testament, especially - does not support the idea that all dragons are somehow inherently evil. Dangerous, independent and violent, yes, those are all true - though even the "violent" part is not actually true for all dragons. But evil, no - or at least no more than any other living beings.
     
  2. Ned Marcus

    Ned Marcus Sage

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    I don't think dragons are evil. In fantasy, they can take on any character. In mythology, they often represent unconsciousness and chaos, but they don't have to be evil. Where I live now, in East Asia, they're seen as bringers of good fortune.
     
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  3. Aldarion

    Aldarion Inkling

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    Yep. That will be adressed in later installments of the series.
     
  4. Prince of Spires

    Prince of Spires Maester

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    The question assumes that there is a universal measuring stick for Evil.

    In my opinion, Evil is just a matter of perspective. After all, Morgoth's dragons in the silmarillion were evil, but they were only evil from the perspective of the elves who had taken up arms against a god. From Morgoth's perspective, the dragons were simply a tool he had created to help him win his war.

    In the end, history is written by the winners. And thus, they determine what is evil and what isn't. Which in turn means that dragons are only evil if they fight on the opposing side and if you defeat them.
     
  5. Aldarion

    Aldarion Inkling

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    Nope. Evil can be easily defined in "causing harm with no due cause". Killing a person in self-defense is not evil, because you are protecting your own life. Killing a person in anger is evil, unless person in question was an active threat to yourself or somebody you hold dear.

    Morgoth was attempting to enslave entirety of Creation. He was thus evil, as he was attempting to take away free will. Whether dragons themselves were morally evil depends on how much free will they had: will they have been capable of rejecting Morgoth's rule, or not? If yes, then it means they served him of their own free will and were thus evil. If not, then they may not be called evil until Morgoth was overthrown (Smaug however definitely was evil).
     
  6. pmmg

    pmmg Auror

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    Dragons, as appear in the bible, are usually presented as a form of Satan, and attached to the evil side of things. These I think would be evil (less there are some I am leaving out, in which case, they are probably more animal or force of nature type beings).

    Your website gives me a certificate error so I cannot open it.

    Dragons which appear elsewhere, may or may not be evil, depending.....

    My avi, a gold dragon, was originally selected in part because Gold Dragons in the D&D universe are aligned good. Least they were last time I looked at the Monster Manual.
     
  7. Aldarion

    Aldarion Inkling

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    pmmgpmmg Actually, that is not true even in the Bible. It is true for the Dragon in Revelation, but not for other dragons. Leviathan, for example, is a dragon; so is Behemoth. And there are some positive mentions of dragons in the Bible:
    • The beast of the field shall honor Me, the dragons and the owls, because I give waters in the wilderness and rivers in the desert, to give drink to My people, My chosen.
    • “Behold now Behemoth, which I made with thee; he eateth grass as an ox.”.
     
  8. pmmg

    pmmg Auror

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    More likely, these are words used to describe creatures for which they had no better word. In revelation, a dragon repeats more than a few times and is identified as a form of Satan. No actual dragon, as fantasy would show it, is ever described. And so, I suppose one is free to take a word like leviathan or serpent or behemoth and extrapolate that to a dragon such as appears in my avi, but I am not sure that it is the creature they are talking about.


    And, your website still has a certificate error.

    I think maybe I should revise my first post to say, Dragons, as appear in the bible, are presented as a from of Satan in revelation, who is also thought to be the serpent (another sometimes word for dragon in Genesis). Other creatures, presented by some as dragons, may not in fact be dragons, but have been interpreted as such. And much speculation may flow from that.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2021
  9. Aldarion

    Aldarion Inkling

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    Try replacing https:// with http:// ? That is the only thing I can think of.

    Leviathan is definitely a dragon:
    • In that day the Lord with His sore and great and strong sword shall punish Leviathan the piercing serpent, even Leviathan that crooked serpent; and He shall slay the dragon that is in the sea. – Isaiah 27:1
    “I will not fail to speak of Leviathan’s limbs, its strength and its graceful form. Who can strip off its outer coat? Who can penetrate its double coat of armor? Who dares open the doors of its mouth, ringed about with fearsome teeth? Its back has rows of shields tightly sealed together; each is so close to the next that no air can pass between. They are joined fast to one another; they cling together and cannot be parted. Its snorting throws out flashes of light; its eyes are like the rays of dawn. Flames stream from its mouth; sparks of fire shoot out.

    Smoke pours from its nostrils as from a boiling pot over burning reeds. Its breath sets coals ablaze, and flames dart from its mouth. Strength resides in its neck; dismay goes before it. The folds of its flesh are tightly joined; they are firm and immovable. Its chest is hard as rock, hard as a lower millstone. When it rises up, the mighty are terrified; they retreat before its thrashing. The sword that reaches it has no effect, nor does the spear or the dart or the javelin. Iron it treats like straw and bronze like rotten wood. Arrows do not make it flee; slingstones are like chaff to it. A club seems to it but a piece of straw; it laughs at the rattling of the lance.

    Its undersides are jagged potsherds, leaving a trail in the mud like a threshing sledge. It makes the depths churn like a boiling caldron and stirs up the sea like a pot of ointment. It leaves a glistening wake behind it; one would think the deep had white hair. Nothing on earth is its equal- a creature without fear. It looks down on all that are haughty; it is king over all that are proud.”

    Dragons honour God:
    • The beast of the field shall honor Me, the dragons and the owls, because I give waters in the wilderness and rivers in the desert, to give drink to My people, My chosen. – Isaiah 43:20
     
  10. pmmg

    pmmg Auror

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    Well, this is my last post on this subject, Just because the word dragon was used, does not mean it was a giant, winged, fire-breathing lizard. Dragon was more likely just a generic term for a big snake or reptile. This structure is little different from "Even though I repeatedly told the dog to stop barking, the little fiend would not desist"

    In this case, a dog is not really a fiend, but the critter referred to is understood.

    People who used those terms in a different time, with a different understanding of language, and the words available to them, may have mixed terms.
     
  11. pmmg

    pmmg Auror

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    For some reason your website would not open for me at work. But back at home i was able to. Well researched and noted so my argumentation above is off base to the degree that it suggested you had not considered such. I still stand by it though. I personally doubt very much the dragons and creatures that appear as stand ins were in fact actual dragons.... but, as the nature of evil in this context consists of willful opposition to Gods plan, and such must include a free will sort of choice, these creatures would either be of animal capability or must include some that could choose otherwise. No creature capable of evil would also be incapable of good. So.... no, i dont think all dragons would be evil. Though.... perhaps all dragons may choose to be, that is not known.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2021
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  12. Aldarion

    Aldarion Inkling

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  13. Aldarion

    Aldarion Inkling

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  14. Aldarion

    Aldarion Inkling

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  15. Aldarion

    Aldarion Inkling

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