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Old 05-22-2014, 11:57 PM
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Question What would the Na'vi's values be?

I just watched the movie Lone Survivor, which is a movie I enjoyed and recommend.

At the very end, it mentions something called "Pashtunwali" (Wikipedia article), a 2,000-year-old ethical code that the tribal Pashtun people follow. It emphasizes things like hospitality towards visitors, bravery, loyalty, protection of the weak, among other things. Codes like this developed in many places where survival could mean relying on the generosity of strangers, for example, if you were lost in a desert and dying of thirst, your only hope may be a stranger with water to give you.

It got me to thinking, what would the Na'vi's values be? Would they have a code like this, and if so, what would it be? Since Pandora is a very dangerous world, I can imagine that they would. Given their connection to Eywa and how Neytiri reacts to Jake the night she meets him, they would almost definitely value respecting nature and not killing without necessity.

I especially like this (from the Wikipedia article):
Quote:
It is considered to be the personal responsibility of every Pashtun to discover and rediscover Pashtunwali's essence and meaning.
If you went to sleep tonight and woke up tomorrow born a Na'vi, what would your values be? What sorts of things would you do (or refrain from doing) to uphold them and why?
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Old 05-23-2014, 05:14 AM
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We can speculate all we want, but ultimately it's whatever James Cameron wants it to be. You might be able to do some limited extrapolations based on the Amazonian tribes that the Na'vi are based on. In the end, it's whatever values that would support the plot.
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Old 05-23-2014, 11:03 AM
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Buzzkill

If I woke up a na'vi, I'd be too busy freaking out to tell you what my values would be, and that also wouldn't be a reflection on their society since I'd have had no contact with them, just woke up suddenly as one.
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Old 05-23-2014, 12:25 PM
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Call me Buzz Killington.
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Old 05-23-2014, 04:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raptor View Post
We can speculate all we want, but ultimately it's whatever James Cameron wants it to be. You might be able to do some limited extrapolations based on the Amazonian tribes that the Na'vi are based on. In the end, it's whatever values that would support the plot.
Maybe this was the wrong section to post in, but I wasn't referring to the future films or Cameron's fictional canon. This is a question more for those people who felt the film struck a cord in them, reminded them of something they felt the human race has lost.

Seeing as we were so inspired by them, I was hoping we could have a creative discussion about the values we think the Na'vi do or would embody.

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...and that also wouldn't be a reflection on their society since I'd have had no contact with them, just woke up suddenly as one.
I meant "wake up" as in you wake up and you've been Na'vi all along—as if your human life had just been your Na'viself's dream. (Like a bad M. Night Shyamalan movie, I guess. LOL)
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Old 05-24-2014, 02:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kerame Ayo'koti View Post
If you went to sleep tonight and woke up tomorrow born a Na'vi, what would your values be?

(Seriously, I suspect that if Grace had any effect whatsoever, inspiring new sciene would be it. )

Quote:
Maybe this was the wrong section to post in, but I wasn't referring to the future films or Cameron's fictional canon. This is a question more for those people who felt the film struck a cord in them, reminded them of something they felt the human race has lost.
IMO, the Na'vi are portrayed as deliberately utopic and harmonious, so actual ancient value systems don't apply - the Na'vi apparently don't have to deal with practicalities like hospitality. Also, the actual canon seems very fuzzy, since Jake quite rightly points out a problem with Ney's logic, and is met with the very vague, "You have a strong heart."
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Old 05-24-2014, 02:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kerame Ayo'koti View Post
I meant "wake up" as in you wake up and you've been Na'vi all along—as if your human life had just been your Na'viself's dream. (Like a bad M. Night Shyamalan movie, I guess. LOL)
I get it, I was joking. I do think the movie itself made their values pretty clear, not being wasteful, strong sense of community and identity, etc., but what I'm more curious about is why clans would go to war with each other. We don't even see other clans until Jake goes out of his way to visit them so it doesn't seem like there would be a land struggle, and poverty and disease don't exist either, so without any oppression of any kind, why would they go to war? That only leaves symbolic catalysts, which I find pretty interesting.
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Old 05-24-2014, 06:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clarke View Post
IMO, the Na'vi are portrayed as deliberately utopic and harmonious, so actual ancient value systems don't apply - the Na'vi apparently don't have to deal with practicalities like hospitality. Also, the actual canon seems very fuzzy, since Jake quite rightly points out a problem with Ney's logic, and is met with the very vague, "You have a strong heart."

You know, it's funny that as far as I know, humans introduced the concept of lying to the Na'vi. Because also as far as I know, Neytiri outright lied to Jake about why she saved him. She saved him for the same reason she didn't kill him herself. Because she received a sign from Eywa.


As far as my 'values'. this probably doesn't answer the question but: Like Jake, the first thing I'd do is run around a bunch, slide to a stop and take a deep breath of fresh air. Now, I'm by no means a paraplegic, but the best I can do is a very brisk walk. You know that sort of quasi-run speed walk you do when you're trying to get across a street quickly? That's essentially my top speed. So, first thing I'd do if I suddenly woke up as a Na'vi is full sprint run.
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Old 05-26-2014, 11:31 AM
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I probably wouldn't define strict values in the kind of way a legal system might, just "Get on with your own life and don't negatively affect other people's".
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Old 05-30-2014, 08:29 PM
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Interesting question.

But it precipitates a simple answer; since it would just be a change of physical form, and the "software" that comprises our consciousness would not change, our values would stay the same.

I have a very strong sense of right and wrong, and I am extremely protective of the things I care about. Since I don't really care for the company of humans, and I have watched humans destroy natural splendor and inflict harm to other organisms in person and from afar, I tend to dislike others of my own species.

As such, I am extremely protective of other life forms, both those under my care and those that are wild. I have a very small group of close friends, my immediate family, and my friends here, and that's about it. This sets me apart from much of society and from the rest of my age group, which makes me feel alienated and forms a positive feedback loop with what I described above.

I don't really know what to think of the Na'vi, though. They are different and they seem to lack some of the things that make humans detestable to me much of the time.

I think those here who know me well would say that I would get along very well with them on some levels and yet I would be almost defiant in regards to some very specific things. I suppose the possibility of "erosion" of those things by alien neurobiology and cultural exposure exists, but I cannot pit my defenses against a force that cannot exist in this reality
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Old 05-31-2014, 12:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clarke View Post
IMO, the Na'vi are portrayed as deliberately utopic and harmonious, so actual ancient value systems don't apply - the Na'vi apparently don't have to deal with practicalities like hospitality.
I'm not sure what you mean by utopic and harmonious. What exactly do you mean? If the Na'vi don't have to deal with "practicalities like hospitality," than what exactly do you imagine that they do? How do they deal with situations like a complete stranger-Na'vi showing up at their camp asking for food and water?

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Originally Posted by Moco Loco View Post
I get it, I was joking. I do think the movie itself made their values pretty clear, not being wasteful, strong sense of community and identity, etc., but what I'm more curious about is why clans would go to war with each other. We don't even see other clans until Jake goes out of his way to visit them so it doesn't seem like there would be a land struggle, and poverty and disease don't exist either, so without any oppression of any kind, why would they go to war?
I suppose there could be several reasons. The Na'vi language has the word säspxin for disease, so I'm guessing that exists. (As does poison txum; and there's also the dreaded possibility of getting mercilessly devoured by Pandora's other fauna. I don't think these things indicate that Pandora is a place to live free of difficulty, fear, and pain. Toruk symbolizes that, if anything.)

As for poverty, I've read that pre-Columbus Native American tribes had "poor" members of their tribes, although I don't know enough about this to be sure. Na'vi could fight with each other for any number of reasons: Over favored hunting grounds, limited prey animals, misunderstandings—hell, even just to prove themselves as capable warriors. After all, if the Na'vi do not go to war, why do they have warpaint? Keep in mind that the Na'vi seem to be hunter-gatherers, so they would require a far larger range to find food and follow animals. Some clans may even have separate summer-winter camps at distant locations.

It seems like those of you who have replied are saying that the Na'vi are so peace-loving towards each other and conflict-free that defining values at all would be unnecessary for them. Given the dangers of living on Pandora and the inevitable conflicts that arise in life, I'm not sure I can agree.
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Old 05-31-2014, 11:02 AM
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Threats from the wilderness aren't a reason to go to war. I didn't know there was a word for disease, I've never heard of the concept of disease on Pandora before. I never meant to say they don't go to war, it's obvious they do, I just find it odd how symbolic the reasons must usually be.
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Old 05-31-2014, 06:59 PM
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It looks like I misunderstood the question.

Suddenly taking on a different physical form would not change my values unless the physiological differences of said form would necessitate it.

Values are shaped by culture and upbringing and not by biological things, because values exist at a "higher level" that what biology, morphology and physiology can dictate.
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Old 06-10-2014, 12:38 AM
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Looking back at it now, I realize that my post and my question were very unclear. That's my bad, ngaytxoa.

This was mainly just an interesting idea to me, that I enjoy speculating about. At the end of the film, Marcus Luttrell exclaims to the people who risked their own lives to save his: "Why are you doing this?! Why are you doing this?!" He couldn't believe that these complete strangers, who couldn't even speak his language, would save him when he clearly wasn't one of them. Were it not for those people, and their reason for helping him, in all likelihood he would've died. That those people helped a complete stranger at the risk of losing their own lives is a remarkable thing, and I enjoy imagining that the Na’vi might do the same.

Say the Na’vi came upon a lost human (not avatar—or, no, even an avatar). Such a person clearly isn't one of them. They don't know anything about this person, but this person is in need.

Should the Na’vi help them?

The Na’vi don't know whether this is a good or bad person. Even if the RDA as an organization is bad, that doesn't mean the individual people who are a part of it are. (Jake Sully was originally with the RDA.) Helping such a person would likely be to the Na’vi's benefit, as these individuals could influence their own community. (Grace tried to convince What's-His-Face not to destroy the Tree of Souls; and Trudy abandoned the RDA to help Jake-and-friends, and also fought on the side of the Na’vi in the end battle.)

Quote:
"People are protected at all costs; even those running from the law must be given refuge until the situation can be clarified."
A principle such as this would push you to forgo any assumptions you make about a person and find out the truth. It's easy to say you'd help someone in need—but when that person is vastly different than you, or even possibly a member of an enemy group, it's easier to be apathetic. It's harder to decide what the right thing to do would be.

(As for Neytiri almost shooting Jake: Is that because the Na’vi wouldn't have a code, or is it because Neytiri was still deeply hurt and bitter from the death of her sister and what happened at the school? It's possible she was still too angry to consider that Jake wasn't like the people who had done those things.)

So, I guess my question was a "hard question." (It wasn't about what reaction you'd have to "becoming Na’vi," but I didn't make that clear.) I wanted to know, for example, whether you (as a Na’vi) would help a member of the RDA, if it wasn't clear whether they were a "bad" person or not; what your reaction to such a situation would be, and how (by what "principles," if any) you'd weigh your decision. I figured that since AVATAR has re-awoken such deeper, and I guess nobler, sentiments of the human spirit, I wanted to know what those are that you feel, or would feel, if you were Na’vi.
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Old 06-12-2014, 03:30 AM
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A human lost in the jungles of Pandora isn't necessarily an RDA goon.

I also think that they know the difference between scientists, who tend to be clumsy but not terrible people, and the para-militia operating the security stuff, who are clumsy and better off rotting on the forest floor.

I wonder what kinds of bugs they would attract.... OwO
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Last edited by Raiden; 06-12-2014 at 03:33 AM.
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