promotion image of download ymail app

"deals in absolutes"?

What do you think? I know it's just a movie but anyways... in Revenge of the Sith, Obi-Wan says "only a Sith deals in absolutes." That has caused a lot of confusion because of the irony and self-contradiction involved.

But the way I see it, given a certain (and in my opinion the correct) interpretation, to "deal" means to bargain, negotiate, compromise, spoil, sell out, and barter.

When it comes to moral code and conduct, these things are bad and inherently evil, which is what the Sith represent--- evil.

Looking at the scene in this particular way, there's actually no contradiction taking place whatsoever when Ewen's character speaks that line.

Only a Sith "deals" in absolutes...

...a Jedi accepts them.

Would it be fair to think this way? Or would it still not provide any logical relief?


haha, auntb93 and HAND, this was strictly just for the sake of the movie. Lol, I'm not trying to make it anything more than that. This question is just to be answered given the context of the movie. =]

Update 2:

Also, the reason I am pointing out and inserting a specific definition of the word "deal" is to show that if you do believe it means to enforce absolutes, the line in the movie doesn't work. So yes, if you believe that it doesn't mean to bargain, my take of the scene wouldn't work which affirms your interpretation. Which is, again, why I was trying to introduce one of the alternative definitions of "deal."

9 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Sorry, that's sophistry. "Deals IN" cannot mean "deals WITH". The scene should be understood exactly as it plays. A "Sith"-like attitude insists on an innate "goodness" and "badness" (or more appropriately "us-ness" and "them-ness") in everything. The "Jedi" understand that no object or action is intrinsically good or evil. Intention and effect matter, turning black and white into shades of gray. The fundamental difference between the sides is not "good" and "evil". (Everyone has the potential for both.) The real difference is between a desire to control one's environment for personal power and security, and the desire to serve the greater good of all. A "Sith" believes in him/herself, forming temporary alliances only for the purpose of gaining greater personal advantage. A "Jedi" seeks and fosters the good in everyone, risking and sacrificing personal safety and reputation to benefit the whole. Their actions may occasionally resemble each other but their motivations are very different.

    The "Jedi" mentality DOES have "absolutes" of a sort. The preservation of life (particularly intelligent life), freedom (physical and intellectual), justice (without regard to status) and the like are enduring values for "Jedi"-like people. But they understand that the universe is morally neutral, that often one value is pitted against another by the unscrupulous, and that sometimes the best that can be done is a moral compromise.

    The "Sith" prefer to concretize their "morality". Disloyalty to THIS leader is wrong. Partaking in THAT specific activity is evil. An uncensored discussion of social alternatives is morally decadent. Categorically, without exception, never mind the intent. A "virtuous" act is always "good". A troublemaker is always "bad".

    A "Jedi" can observe the ethical situation, note changes, and change his mind about a good idea implemented badly, or a disreputable strategy that actually produces good. A "Jedi" can apologize for being wrong. A "Sith" cannot afford to be inconsistent for fear of losing credibility. Any change in allegiance must be framed and propagandized to appear as part of the plan all along. The "Sith" is about appearances rather than reality. The world is never black and white, but the "Sith" pretends it is. That is what is meant by "dealing in absolutes".

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    No, it doesn't help. The "deals in" part does not, I believe, mean bargaining.

    As to absolutes, there are darn few in the universe. The speed of light is one, and there are mathematical truths which really are absolute, as well as certain principles in symbolic logic. But when you are talking about messy humans, absolutes just do not work. And as in many other areas, there has to be room for exceptions to the rules.

    Source(s): BA in Philosophy, University of Michigan, 1974
    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Wouldn't Obi Wan saying "Only a Sith deals in absolutes" be a statement of absolute itself? Obi Wan seems to be stating an absolute himself there. Which isn't possible, according to that same statement.

    Im so confused! Hold me, Chewy!

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • relles
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Define Sith

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • 4 years ago

    If you take the statement without understanding the context of the whole conversation, then Obi Wan is clearly saying a congratulatory statement. But if you check what Obi Wan was alluding to, which was Anakins questfor ultimate power, then the statement makes more sense. Obi Wan was defending Democracy, which the will of the people. So to deal in absolutes with utter disregard for the collective will of the people is what a Sith does, and which is contrary to the common good which the Jedi so adamantly defends.

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • 6 years ago

    in episode 5 during the training of luke, yoda makes another absolute, do or do not there is no try

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • ?
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    no clue dude.

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • HAND
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    Please don't get your world view from Hollywood. Entertainment only.

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago


    no this jedi stuff is nuts

    • Tyler4 years agoReport

      Hey, word to the wise, Jesus was a and always will be a jedi master

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.