Pure logic also excludes physical observation without postulates. Morality can be taken as a postulate to any sound logical process, thus making the reasoner a moral being.
Not necessarily - you can quite easily observe morality and its effect on people and their reactions, and indeed take those into account in your analysis, all without actually subscribing to any particular moral set.
Certainly the illusion may be there - for example, a mentat to a highly moral (as considered by us) family sees a course of action that should be taken for the good of the family. Of course the mentat will make a plan than will involve a set of moral actions, simply because logic dictates that the family is more likely to take said course of action than if they found it objectionable!
This comes into the (as yet unresolved) difference of opinion between the Rationalists and Empiricists...
"Nice" is different from "good", especially in heroic stories.
You're right, and generally speaking the label "nice" is applied to people whom we see as in agreement with our moral compass.
So in the spectrum of human experience, there is plenty of room for psychopaths (who are as a rule not "nice") to do "good".
Wah? I specifically remember Lady Jessica noting Piter as a "twisted Mentat" precisely because he'd been left with no moral conscience.
Mentats were trained to be "outsiders" and to deal entirely within the realm of pure logic. This excludes moral conscience, except as one of the many factors that affect human reactions.
I therefore assert that the "twisted" was more a description of his methods... certainly he was broken by mentat standards in that he had an emotional involvement (specifically taking joy in the suffering of others)
And I would counter that your range of moral understanding is unfortunately narrow.
As is your disappointing extrapolation of me and my moral understanding based on nothing more than a brief, light-hearted discussion on a public forum.
I don't see why you call the Dune characters "nasty psychopaths". Sure, Baron Harkonnen is a nasty psychopath, and so are most of his family. But they're the villains. Who else in the book is a nasty psychopath?
Lets start with the "heroes" Paul, Alia, and Leto II who, let's be honest, weren't exactly nice neighbours...
This is a convenient definition from wiktionary: "A person who has no moral conscience"
By that definition every single mentat is a psychopath!
The Space Guild and the Bene Gesserit are borderline - they are more "differently conscienced".
Whilst I wouldn't say every character was a psychopath - the nature of the situation that these people find themselves in certainly pushes them in that direction.
Mike(y) - who IS a fan of the books
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You're not Dave. Who are you?