Nature of Middle-Earth - on Eol's "immorality"

Odola

Well-Known Member
After listening to this week's NoME session I cannot disgree more strongly at the attempts to measure his behaviour on our "post-christian" scale. His behaviour id actually less immoral by ancient elvish standards than Feanor letting one of his youngest twin sons burn in one of the ships.

Eol is excerting his patriarchal parental rights over Maeglin, as he is about to be claimed by his brother-in-law kin. Eol is an original anarchist, he does not accept kingship, but the far more basic clan hierarchy where the "pater familias" decides feely over his subordinates life or death. He cannot claim Aredhel, as he has not married her with her clan's official consent as such she did not changed her allegiance offically to him and as such remains still under her paternal clans jurisdiction (see. e.g. the original Roman laws on the different kind of marriages where the right to judge the bride/wife does or does not pass from her father to her husband). He has to aknowledge that. But his child is his own and he exerts his jurisdiction over him as a traitor to him. Maeglin deserts, betrays and abandonds his father and with it his own clan first and as such Eol condems him to death as a traitor to his own blood. Makes perfect sense from Eols point of view and is completely moral in his eyes. From a Christian view point we are all "siblings in faith before God" first and parent-children-etc. later, as such we are all "equal before the law". But this is not the case in clan organised societies where "the clan elder is the law".
 

Flammifer

Well-Known Member
Elves can do evil. This is explicit on the class slide. "But they never (not even the wrong doers) rejected Eru".

It also is explicit in an earlier passage: "They never 'fell' as a race - not in the sense in which they and Men themselves believed that the Second Children had 'fallen'. Being 'tainted' with the Marring (which affected all the 'flesh of Arda' from which their hroar were derived and were nourished), and having also come under the Shadow of Melkor before thir Finding and rescue, they could individually do wrong. But they never (not even the wrong-doers) rejected ERu, nor worshipped Melkor or Sauron as a god -neither individually or as a whole people. Their lives therefore, came under no general curse or diminishment."

Elves can 'do evil' (and we see some doing it). But they did not 'eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil'.

Elves do not 'know evil'. They do not understand it in themselves as Men do. Of course, they may be able eventually to understand intellectually that what they have done is evil. But for whatever reason they did wrong, the wrong act was not informed by the knowledge of evil, nor warned against by conscience.

So, Elves can do evil, but can they 'know evil'? Can Elves 'fall' individually (even if unfallen as a people)? Perhaps. The closest account I think we have is the end of Maedhros: "But the jewel burned the hand of Maedhros in pain unbearable; and he perceived that it was as Eonwe had said, and that his right thereto had become void, and that the oath was in vain. And being in anguish and despair he cast himself into a gaping chasm filled with fire, and so ended." But did Maedhros' anguish and despair come from his realization that he had done evil? Or just from the unbearable pain of the Silmaril?
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
Elves can do evil. This is explicit on the class slide. "But they never (not even the wrong doers) rejected Eru".

It also is explicit in an earlier passage: "They never 'fell' as a race - not in the sense in which they and Men themselves believed that the Second Children had 'fallen'. Being 'tainted' with the Marring (which affected all the 'flesh of Arda' from which their hroar were derived and were nourished), and having also come under the Shadow of Melkor before thir Finding and rescue, they could individually do wrong. But they never (not even the wrong-doers) rejected ERu, nor worshipped Melkor or Sauron as a god -neither individually or as a whole people. Their lives therefore, came under no general curse or diminishment."

Elves can 'do evil' (and we see some doing it). But they did not 'eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil'.

Elves do not 'know evil'. They do not understand it in themselves as Men do. Of course, they may be able eventually to understand intellectually that what they have done is evil. But for whatever reason they did wrong, the wrong act was not informed by the knowledge of evil, nor warned against by conscience.

So, Elves can do evil, but can they 'know evil'? Can Elves 'fall' individually (even if unfallen as a people)? Perhaps. The closest account I think we have is the end of Maedhros: "But the jewel burned the hand of Maedhros in pain unbearable; and he perceived that it was as Eonwe had said, and that his right thereto had become void, and that the oath was in vain. And being in anguish and despair he cast himself into a gaping chasm filled with fire, and so ended." But did Maedhros' anguish and despair come from his realization that he had done evil? Or just from the unbearable pain of the Silmaril?
Of corse elves can do evil. Feanor does all the time. But Eol acts according to his rules. As such he is not "immoral" - ar least not beyond the natural state of elves which imho do not have - as they do not need to have - a full blown human kind of "morality". But according to "primitive" elvish clan rules Maeglin is a trator from the start and as such there is no surprise that he later betrays Turgon like he betrayed his father first. He seaks personal advantage above his clan duties. This is suspicious from the start - even if fully understanable from a modern human opportunistic view point, from a "primitive elvish" it is not.
 

kitfinn

New Member
If I try to follow the thought of Tolkien (difficult), I think he may be making a distinction between the original elves and those who followed. He explicitly defines evil as "heritable". In the case of humans, whether in his world or ours, the evil is committed in the first generation. There are no humans untainted therefore. In addition, the original evil is of rejecting god. It can be conceptualized as the worship of evil or just the rejection of all limits, but in either case it is the rejection of god. Among the elves, the first generation remained faithful. There is no evil that is inherited by all of the species. There are individual elves who do commit evil. It is clearly inherited by their offspring. The effects upon the offspring are major. In some cases the individual acts seem to me as severe as those he says were committed by humans. I could argue there. I am not the author. Nevertheless, none of that involves the entire species.
 

Rachel Port

Well-Known Member
Not all humans believe in Original Sin, although the sins of the father may be visited upon the sons for several generations. But there is something evocative in this sentence, quoted by Flammifer that would be recognized by most people in the western world, isn't there?

And being in anguish and despair he cast himself into a gaping chasm filled with fire, and so ended.
Not believing in Original Sin, however, it's hard not to see certain Elves as evil.
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
Not all humans believe in Original Sin ...
Tolkien did.

Not believing in Original Sin, however, it's hard not to see certain Elves as evil.
Imho Eol is not "evil". He is still in the "questionable" and "troubled" category. But he has still not made any conscious decission to cross any border into evil. Evil overshadowed him, but from outside, nor due to any inward decission of him. His extreme longing for autonomy bordering on hybris was the gateway, for sure, as was the lack of any self-awareness of his own limits and flaws. But imho elves are not good on introspection and self-doubt anyway. It,s usually not a trait they would need very often.

Maeglin actually makes a "pact with the devil". But for purely self-serving purposes, not out of an admiration for evil or self-righteousness. Maeglin is a born opportunist focussed on his own career and as such a traitor to anyone and everything. His disturbing fascination with Idril is actually the only not completely egocentric and self-serving inclination of his.

Maedhros' despair is concerned with his recognition of his ultimate inability to fulfill Feanor's Oath. Not with any self-doubt or a "bad conscience". Elves have regrets, but not a bad conscience. That's a human thing - the awarness of falling short in achieving an objective and binding moral goal they are obliged to have kept.
 

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
Theres a conflict between two different societies, Eol's tribal rule vs. The Noldorian laws, both are traditional laws as far as we know never set into any formal set but based on tradition. Eol does however make mistakes.He marries a woman, not fully against her will, but he uses questionable magic to manipulate her.He also uses his magic to imprison his wife and child, he feels he is totally right to do so because he is a patriarch, but similarly Idril and Maeflin both feel totally right too. Turgon actually acts quite amicable given the circumstances... but Eol killing his child or wife -that is where he clearly steps over! We know little about elvish tribal law... but i don't see any other circumstance where the patriarch decides over his wife and childs death without opposition, and it seems still wrong, even if Eol felt he had the right.He has no right to take or claim life.

So define evil...
He is not Morgothically evil.But feanorianal evil? I think he certainly is.He does not serve any evil power nor does he seem much afflicted by one, even less than feanor.But he is unforgiving, self-centered , tyrannical.The only rule that seems to tolerate or justify such behaviour is the one he made up by himself.
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
Theres a conflict between two different societies, Eol's tribal rule vs. The Noldorian laws, both are traditional laws as far as we know never set into any formal set but based on tradition. Eol does however make mistakes.He marries a woman, not fully against her will, but he uses questionable magic to manipulate her.He also uses his magic to imprison his wife and child, he feels he is totally right to do so because he is a patriarch, but similarly Idril and Maeflin both feel totally right too. Turgon actually acts quite amicable given the circumstances... but Eol killing his child or wife -that is where he clearly steps over! We know little about elvish tribal law... but i don't see any other circumstance where the patriarch decides over his wife and childs death without opposition, and it seems still wrong, even if Eol felt he had the right.He has no right to take or claim life.

So define evil...
He is not Morgothically evil.But feanorianal evil? I think he certainly is.He does not serve any evil power nor does he seem much afflicted by one, even less than feanor.But he is unforgiving, self-centered , tyrannical.The only rule that seems to tolerate or justify such behaviour is the one he made up by himself.
Using magic is completely fine with elves. Aredhel should either not have entered the claimed territory of another elf uninvited or have found enought magical strenght in herself to have resisted him, had she wanted to. See that even Galadriel has no problems invading Boromirs mind with magic - exactly because he has entered her realm.

According to original Roman and plenty of other ancient patriarchal law systems it was the inalienable right of a "pater familias" to judge and kill any of his subordinates if he deemes it warranted. As a clan elder Eol is Maeglin's natural judge and as such it is legitime for him to proclaim a death sentence for treason on his son and then to execute it. We know that elvish childen belong naturally to their father's tribe. Maeglin had no right to deny the allegiance that he is due to his father just because he finds it more advantagous for his career to do so. Aredhel had the right to leave, even Eol himself admits it - due to the form of their wedding - but not Maeglin.

The only thing the Eol makes "officially" wrong is - ironically - what he himself hates most when done to himself - he completely disregards the fact that he has entered another elf's territory - Turgon's - and as such Turgon's rights, laws and rules are naturally upperhand here.
 
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Haerangil

Well-Known Member
Nah! Eol and his folk are not romans i have to add.Using magic i think is also much more complex, i don't think social darwinism is as easily applicable there.

I also don't think middle-earth, or Arda, work in such cultural-relativist/ethnopluralist ways. There is one universalist right and wrong, that is the Will of Eru and the morality derived from it.Now... not everybody knows that or has heard of it, or understands it the same way, but Eol is an Elf, Sinda or Avar he has at last SOME cultural history and knows at last a little bit about what he rejects.That does not make him technically evil but it does make him atheist, or pagan at least.Now is he one of the virtuous pagans? I don't think so.
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
Nah! Eol and his folk are not romans i have to add.Using magic i think is also much more complex, i don't think social darwinism is as easily applicable there.

I also don't think middle-earth, or Arda, work in such cultural-relativist/ethnopluralist ways. There is one universalist right and wrong, that is the Will of Eru and the morality derived from it.Now... not everybody knows that or has heard of it, or understands it the same way, but Eol is an Elf, Sinda or Avar he has at last SOME cultural history and knows at last a little bit about what he rejects.That does not make him technically evil but it does make him atheist, or pagan at least.Now is he one of the virtuous pagans? I don't think so.
I just have given Romans as an exanple to illustrate how a patriachal system works, as we still do have written records of it - but previous laws among Greeks or plenty of other cultures before worked the same way - an ancient culture where the state actually started to limit the power of the head of a family were the Egyptians - you start to see such a development first there, where the interest of the state to count more of the individuals as factual citizens and to control them directly starts to gradually limit the power of the clan heads, but not before. As such Turgon's Noldor are a state, but Eorl is firmly a pre-state elf.
Where is any good or bad taught to the elves? The fact that the exposure of Elurin and Elured does not meet any official condemnation whatsoever nor any repercussion and the people involved in it are not even considered to have lost their warrior's honour or suffer a public shaming proves there is no set criminal law among the Eldar, that the rule seems to be - as still in very basic human societies today still - where there is no one willing to avenge a crime, then all behave like there was no crime - nobody cares, (actually not even Elwing does, which I kind of hold against her a little).
 
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Haerangil

Well-Known Member
To my understanding the Valar tell the three ambassadors of the nature of the world and the ambassadors give their knowledge or experience onto their kinsmen.

But even if not, there is something like consciousness, that as far as i know christians deduce not necessarily from teaching but from direct contact with the logos. How many cardinal sins does Eol commit or even embody? Four out of seven? Five? How many virtues? Turn it as you wish, even if he's completely okay within his own set of rules he does not exist in a moral vacuum.He is not a good person.

As with the crimes of the Feanorians... they already ARE Outcasts who as well make their own rules.There simply is, as far as i can see, no authority , no worldly at last, that actually COULD rightfully act against them.The other elves do something ... they break contact with them and ostracize them, don't they?
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
To my understanding the Valar tell the three ambassadors of the nature of the world and the ambassadors give their knowledge or experience onto their kinsmen.
Any "moal" teachuing among them? And what would the Valar know about crimes the elves are able to commit before they did so? Most problems would not have appeared to them as yet. Remembe the Valar being baffled by even such simple phenomena like unrequited love or a (postpartum) depression - how much do they know about the nature of the Eruhini really? Seems not much. And if they do not, how can they give the elves guidance in such matters?

But even if not, there is something like consciousness, that as far as i know christians deduce not necessarily from teaching but from direct contact with the logos. How many cardinal sins does Eol commit or even embody? Four out of seven? Five? How many virtues? Turn it as you wish, even if he's completely okay within his own set of rules he does not exist in a moral vacuum.He is not a good person.
Doesn't seem for me the LOGOS had any direct contact with elves. The humans were explicitely given several sets of "external" laws in the Bible at several occassions, we have not even a hint of any such event in Tolkien for the elves. The Valar might have given the Eldar rules how to deal with natue, but I cannot see how they would even dare to give them any rules how to deal among themselves.

As with the crimes of the Feanorians... they already ARE Outcasts who as well make their own rules.There simply is, as far as i can see, no authority , no worldly at last, that actually COULD rightfully act against them.The other elves do something ... they break contact with them and ostracize them, don't they?
Cirdian was the eldest of all in Beleriad? - and originally a follower of Thingol and his brother? He had all the authority to hold a trial in absence and pronouce a judgement on the people involved in the "war crime" of exposing civilan non-combatant minors of his former leader's and kings bloodline to a certain death. But he did not care to do so - it did not even occur to him. Other elves recoiled and broke of contact with the Feanorians out of fear and self-preservertion - the Feanorians seemed like rabid dogs that have gone completely crazy - but I do not see any awaraness of the immorality of that act itself, cuelty yes, but not immorality. Moral outrage is characterised by the desire to bring the perpetrators to justice, and there is simply nothing of the impulse visible among the elves at all.
 

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
No logos for the elves? Well allright.Then Elves have no conscoiusness, no soul and are basically immoral beings. Somehow i doubt that was Tolkien's intention.

The valar don't need to give the elves official rules.They just tell them about the nature of the world, that should be base enough for them to find out the rules.

As for Cirdan (afaik no brother of Thingols but presumably same generation, at last quite old) , his age obviously does not give him any special authority besides those elves who acknowledge his wisdom.As Lord of the Falas he does not appear to be anything than a lower vassal of Thingol, as Lord of the Grey havens he appers to be a lord and lesser vassal of Gil-Galad.Later he evolves into a sort of steward of the havens but that is it. As far as i can see the Fanorians were basically outlawed - that was the pre-christian and even long time christian punishment for very heavy crimes, yet the elves seemingly do not need any judge or authority to do so... it is just clear consense to most of them who know what has happened... no official tribunal or even law needed... i think they do have an understanding or a natural law or ius naturale.
 
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Odola

Well-Known Member
No logos for the elves? Well allright.Then Elves have no conscoiusness, no soul and are basically immoral beings. Somehow i doubt that was Tolkien's intention.
"Conscoiusness" elves for sure do have - a sense of their own existance. But as elves are not fallen, I do not see any reason why they should have a "conscience" - a moral compass to guide them according to an outward moral law put upon them by a higher Authority. Why would they need it? Fallan humans do need it, as they are inwardly corruppted, but why would elves? You do not put a plaster cast on someone whose bone is not broken? It would be completely counterproductive.

The valar don't need to give the elves official rules.They just tell them about the nature of the world, that should be base enough for them to find out the rules.
Here I am completely of your opinion.

As for Cirdan (afaik no brother of Thingols but presumably same generation, at last quite old)
Cirdan (Nowe) himself is a cousin, but he followed Thingol's brother Olwe as his king for a time. This is the brother I have meant here.

, his age obviously does not give him any special authority besides those elves who acknowledge his wisdom.As Lord of the Falas he does not appear to be anything than a lower vassal of Thingol, as Lord of the Grey havens he appers to be a lord and lesser vassal of Gil-Galad.Later he evolves into a sort of steward of the havens but that is it.
Still after Dior's death he is the next kinsman and an ancient follower of Thingol who is still left alive and with some power. And completely authorised to voice his protest and official opposition to the Feanorians' crimes in Doriath, especially against the two boys - who are his far kin. He could at least have cursed the Feanorians publicly for this. He does not do this.

As far as i can see the Fanorians were basically outlawed - that was the pre-christian and even long time christian punishment for very heavy crimes, yet the elves seemingly do not need any judge or authority to do so... it is just clear consense to most of them who know what has happened... no official tribunal or even law needed... i think they do have an understanding or a natural law or ius naturalis.
Yeah "ius naturalis" elves seem to have, but doubt they are much aware of it, it seems completely internalised, like a human is normaly not aware of one's own heartbeat. But no fixed formal law and a rigid external moral code, that is taught and enforced, like it is in a human society. I simply cannot see that anywhere. As such Eol fells wronged and betrayed by his next kin and his instinct is to punish the traitor - actually in accordance with the "natural law". He has no awarness that Maeglin has any rights outside of his clan identity - what would be the basis for those? Being a child of Eru endowed by Him with a free will and his own gifts that he has a right to express - and that even before being Eol's son. But "divine law" has not been taught to Eol and as such he is stuck to the natural one.[/QUOTE][/QUOTE][/QUOTE][/QUOTE][/QUOTE]
 

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
Elves have an órë, a heart or inner impulse, they are literally talking to their inner heart, they also have a fëafilmë, a spirit-impulse or soul-feeling, and they have concepts of inner urge and inner impulse, but also of cold and hard heartedness and pitylessness.

That is what Tolkien means when he uses the word consciousness in his conlangs.That is how he glosses it and puts it i to simple words.

What is conscoiusness maybe we shoukd ask? So we know what we are talking about or we are taking past to each other.What do we know about their axani? Those are god-given rules or commandmends that are coming directly from Eru. I UNDERSTAND THESE NOT AS teachings, from any vala or loremaster but directly from eru really as from contact with the logos, so i interpret it.
 
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Odola

Well-Known Member
Elves have an órë, a heart or inner impulse, they are literally talking to their inner heart, they also have a fëafilmë, a spirit-impulse, and they had concepts of inner urge and inner impulse, but also of cold and hard heartedness and pitylessness,

That is what Tolkien means when he uses the word consciousness in his conlangs.That is how he glosses it and puts it i to simple words.

What is conscoiusness maybe we shoukd ask? So we know what we are talking about or we are taking beside each other.What do we know aboutbtheir axani? Those are god-given rules or commandmends that are coming directly from Eru. I UNDERSTAND THESE NOT AS teachings, from any vala or loremaster but directly from eru really as from contact with the logos, so i interpret it.
Source for that? Have not read that in original so I do not know those terms. But from what you have cited all of this is internal. It is not explained as to why and what for, just an inward feeling. And a feeling can alway be surpressed or distorted by another.

Imho elves are not made to face evil, they thrive in good circumstances.

They are not automatically equipped with a human-style "Enemy of Evil" default package. They have to learn techniques which humanity has automated - like self-doubt, self-reflection, self-questioning (of own's intentions and motivations), self-limitation and self-correction (for sure, humans have to learn how to use them to one's advantage so they do more good than harm, but those techniques themselves are innate in humans, while elves take millenia to learn them by experience).

Edit: See have we can see this in Maedhros and Maglor. Maglor actually is quite self-aware for an elf. He is ready to admit defeat and give up the Silmarils beacuse he is tired of bloodshed. But neither is capable of recognising and saying - like a human could: "the whole Oath thing is bad and wrong as it goes against Eru's law against unnecessary killing of inncocents for some - pretty, but in comparison to other's lives not really worth it - jewels . As the Oath goes against Eru's Own Law, lets seak a release from it by an authority which can grant us dispensation from it". This is what a human would be able to decide with the help of his external moral code. But they cannot (make even such a simple moral judgement). They are simply not made for it.
 
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Haerangil

Well-Known Member
I don't know if i agree or disagree. I'LL HAVE TO THINK ABOUT it.

If the elves are not made to face evil... why are they so good at it? If Eru knows everything, wouldn't he have foreseen Melkors fall? Wouldn't be the reason the elves are by far the mightiest enemies of his be , that eru made them EXACTLY also for this? Not only, but also. I mean... the Vanyar go to war only once... watch em wreck angband and whole Beleriand with it!

Second.I am unsure if humans are so well made for fighting evil as you say, they seem to fall and be corruptable far easier than elves are.Enemy of evil package? I don't see that at all.It is them who have to learn and struggle... far more than elves do.

As for oaths... hey! NOBODY in Arda ever takes back an oath or admits that swearing one was a bad idea! You simply don't do that... or you become an Oathbreaker! Bad idea...
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
I don't know if i agree or disagree. I'LL HAVE TO THINK ABOUT it.

If the elves are not made to face evil... why are they so good at it? If Eru knows everything, wouldn't he have foreseen Melkors fall? Wouldn't be the reason the elves are by far the mightiest enemies of his be , that eru made them EXACTLY also for this? Not only, but also. I mean... the Vanyar go to war only once... watch em wreck angband and whole Beleriand with it!
1. Elves are not. And they know it. They bodies heal quickly but they are very succeptible to spirital and emotional suffering. They can die of heartbreak or fade away when faced with great evil. The suffering of Arda leaves them discouraged. You want to bring an elvish army down? Just burn down their home forest - they will die from grief.

And in combat - How many time had humans to save them? Humans are frail, but they know how to play to loose. And they know the enemy. There is a reason why it is a mortal who carries the Ring and why Elrond lets him.


Second.I am unsure if humans are so well made for fighting evil as you say, they seem to fall and be corruptable far easier than elves are.Enemy of evil package? I don't see that at all.It is them who have to learn and struggle... far more than elves do.
Exactly - humans do struggle, and they should - mostly against themselves. But a human can turn at any time = a human can fall at anytime but also also can repent at anytime. This makes humans unreliable enought for Melkor so that he originally dismisses them. Humans - however bad - are never so easy to control by evil as orcs are. Human can at anytime decide they had enough and they "return home to Eru" - and evil can do nothing about it.

As for oaths... hey! NOBODY in Arda ever takes back an oath or admits that swearing one was a bad idea! You simply don't do that... or you become an Oathbreaker! Bad idea...
Most humans would never make join an oath in the first place which so plainly against Eru's Law - if they are not set to be Melkor's slaves out of conviction that is. But they would seek release from a wrongly placed oath - e.g. if they vowed to kill someone for a crime and later learned that the person in question is actually innocent - there are always ways to get oaths released or declared invalid.

As for oaths... hey! NOBODY in Arda ever takes back an oath or admits that swearing one was a bad idea! You simply don't do that... or you become an Oathbreaker! Bad idea...
See how the Gondorian human oath of Pippin to Denetheror is worded - it has an inbuild backout clause for it to get released "until my lord release me, or death take me, or the world end" - humans do know their limits and that there are instances where an oath has to be relased.
 
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Odola

Well-Known Member
I don't know if i agree or disagree. I'LL HAVE TO THINK ABOUT it.
You do not have to agree. I just state what I see in the text. You can see different things. Maybe some of the thing I see may inspire you to look at the text anew. That is what it is all about, after all.

If the elves are not made to face evil... why are they so good at it? If Eru knows everything, wouldn't he have foreseen Melkors fall? Wouldn't be the reason the elves are by far the mightiest enemies of his be , that eru made them EXACTLY also for this? Not only, but also. I mean... the Vanyar go to war only once... watch em wreck angband and whole Beleriand with it!
Elves are made to love and to enhance Arda. They are made to magnify its beauty by their Art. At their core they are artists, not warriors.

Second.I am unsure if humans are so well made for fighting evil as you say, they seem to fall and be corruptable far easier than elves are.Enemy of evil package? I don't see that at all.It is them who have to learn and struggle... far more than elves do.
Well made? Not. They shouldn't be. That would make humanity's fall necessary, but even as Eru knew humanity would fall and it is equipped with some shortcuts to be able to deal with a massively shortened life and greatly reduced abilities and faculties, this is neither optimal nor doeas come without a cost. As human say "nobody said it will be easy" . For elves everything is easy in a normal case, for humans everything is problematic as default. But the side-effect of this is that humans are used to face poblems - they have means to deal with suboptimality, limitations and and even some skill in overcoming corruption.
 
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