I am not responsible for any of the opinions I post here, because my stance on alignment comes down to 'Recognize the difference between right and wrong; Alignment is subjective only to a certain degree; use common sense.'
But I am going to offer some of the common viewpoints I see offered on several Alignment-related subjects, because hey, why not have a thread where we discuss something that is poorly defined and try to force our own definitions onto others?VIEWPOINT THE FIRST:
Alignment is broken because it is not internally consistent. How can animals be neutral if evil creatures are defined as "simply hav[ing] no compassion for others and kill[ing] without qualms"? If mindless or animal-intelligence creatures are defaulted to neutral because they are unable to consider moral choices, why are mindless undead evil? Alignment is broken. Never use it.VIEWPOINT THE SECOND:
Alignment is never objective, and the inherent alignment of an act is entirely dependant on the beliefs of the person undertaking the action; for example, killing a newborn because the Prophecy foretells he will bring about a dark age and leave millions dead in his wake would be a Good act if the killer honestly believed the prophecy.VIEWPOINT THE THIRD:
Alignment is absolutely
subjective, and any action can be a (lawful/chaotic/evil/good) act given the appropriate reasoning; thusly, Alignment is broken and should not be used. Example: Killing the Doom Baby 'cause the prophecy says so is [Good/Evil] because [he will kill lots of others/he is a baby], interchangably. This is closely related to...VIEWPOINT THE FOURTH:
Alignment is subjective based on individual/culture beliefs - thus, it may be evil to genocide orcs for members of one kingdom and good for another, because everyone in the respective kingdom believes so. This is similar to Viewpoint the Second, on a cultural/social rather than personal level.VIEWPOINT THE FIFTH:
Alignment is objective; murdering an innocent is always evil and tending to the wounded is always good. This seems to be a less common viewpoint, although I have seen it brandished before. This is the closest to where Salty stands (that alignment is objective, with leeway either way for personal/cultural concerns.)
So, my fellow DND players, where do you all stand? Perhaps we can offer hypothetical situations to yell at eachother about!