How corruptible are you?

Let’s say that you were given some vastly-powerful but morally-neutral magical artifact. Not Tolkien’s One Ring: clearly anyone who can benefit from Sauron’s ring is going to be made evil by it; more like Alan Scott’s power ring, assigned at random with no strings attached. In your own estimate of your character, how likely are you to be corrupted by possessing such great power? Don’t misunderstand me: I’m not asking if you’d CHOOSE to become a supervillain. I’m asking whether you think you have the moral fortitude to either use the power unselfishly or abstain from using it altogether.

Awww hell naw!

I’d be all up in that ring like FWOOOSH! and be totally rockin’ the power, badstylie.

I’m very, very corruptable you see.

In the beginning, I’d propably only use it for low-key, small personal gain, but I think that after some time I’d just go nuts with power.

:rolleyes: Yes, yes, yes. Now give it here.

Depends on the exact powers the artifact gave me. Power in itself has never been very attractive to me, so I doubt I’d be using it to boss people around. But if it could be used to, say, go into every single brain on Earth and fix a few key errors the Creator apparently overlooked…

I’d use it, hell yeah. Personal gain and the people I love.

It’s not just the personal gain thing. You’d also have to try and refrain from imposing your values on everyone else. No zapping people parked in disabled spaces etc. etc.

If that counts as being corrupted, then I’m not in the least bit corruptible, mainly because I’m already all corrupted. Nothing left to corrupt.

I suffer from the same hubris everyone else does. I’d use it for what I thought was good, and when someone complained that I was being unfair, I’d have them silenced for daring to second-guess my good intentions, and it would be a downward spiral after that.

I’d be neither hero nor villian…well, I’d be villian in a vigilante way, I guess. I’d be the type of hero who would take down the drug kingpin, take any cash and valuables, tithe 10% or so to myself, and donate the rest to lessen the other side of the supply/demand equation.

The problem is that there are so few blatant evil circumstances left in which I could use my power in a benign way. Almost every good deed I can think of had too many downsides, or is too unbalancing.

I’d pay nurses more and managers in hospitals less; I’d eradicate the selling of weapons to undemocratic rulers AND the people who want to rebel against them; I’d put some sense (yeah, my own values. bite me) into the morally and politically paranoid, such as the Religious Right, whethether they are Christian or Muslim; and I’d extend micro-credit for low interest and free birth-control to every place on earth.

That’s about it. After that, I would have run out of ideas on how to do good. I’d probably use the rest of my power to become a supermodel. :o

I’d probably do the same as D_Odds for a while until I got bored with it. Then I’d have my ‘Fortress of Solitude’ on some island in the Bahamas entirely populated by naked playboy bunnies. Assuming this ring makes me unassailable, I’d occasionally pick some random dictator that I see on CNN and obliterate him in a violent, messy, and public manner with the warning to the others that they had better smarten up before I really got pissed off. And thus I’d bring peace to the world.

Hm. I think the additional power wouldn’t “corrupt” me any moreso than I already am. I would like use the power to expose governmental wrongdoing to the public eye - rather than mete out justice myself, let the populace do it.

Rather than try to push the US into a slightly more civil libertarian place, I think I’d prefer to use the power to establish a new country espousing those values.

Mitigating natural disasters and attacks against civilian targets around the globe could be interesting.

I would only use my power to help the needy providing that they BOW DOWN BEFORE MY MIGHTINESS.

Er, ‘likely.’

Wouldn’t that depend on how you zapped them?

It would be one thing to indiscriminately vaporize anyone parking in a disabled parking space, after all. But another thing if you used the power in question to determine whether the person truly was disabled, and, if not, to teleport the interloper and the car to very back of the lot in the instant between parking and getting out, so he’d be amusingly confused.

I can see Condoleeza Rice asking me for help in dealing with the Mid-East…

“Super D_Odds, we need your help in the Middle East region”
Super D_Odds flies off, disarms every side in the region, and ensures that they’ll be unable to rearm for a generation or two, then sends all foreign fighters home and ensure they can’t return.
“That’s not what we meant, Super D_Odds”
“Oh, well. You handle things your way, I’ll handle them mine. Remember that when you ask my help in Korea.”

IMHO, Super Dung Beetle sounds way better than Super D_Odds. Something to consider when you’re deciding who needs to have a magical ring, that’s all I’m saying.

The OP is seriously flawed because it takes for its metaphor the notion of magical artifacts? Why depend on that for corrupting influence. Wouldn’t the possession of something entirely real – say $5 million – be enough of a test for us?

I’ve actually thought hard about this, and I am corruptible, but my price is high. I will not lose my sense of myself as a moral person for any amount of money that won’t bring a substantive improvement to the lives of myself and my family. (And I’m not talking about getting a new rider mower. But if there were such an amount available, and the victim of my moral failure were the right sort of victim – say, a politically active Republican of great wealth – then I would be corruptible.

Just out of curiosity, son of Jor-El, how do you ensure they can’t rearm for a couple of generations without stoning them back into the Bronze Age? And how do you ensure the foreign fighters can’t return without killing/crippling them?