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On Joshua Graham and the Ending of Honest Hearts (New Vegas DLC)

Arnox

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This is from watching this video by Leon Talks a Lot: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=juYrIcOmuCU

Before you proceed, there are major spoilers for this DLC that I will be talking about.

In the DLC, when you and Joshua both confront Salt Upon Wounds who is the chief of the White Legs tribe, you can choose to either ask Joshua to spare the chief or to just shoot him. The good ending where the Sorrows and Dead Horses tribe prosper and don't become just as war-hungry as their opponents though is only given if you persuade Joshua to spare the chief. If I was in front of the writer who wrote this choice and sequence of events, this is what I would say in opposition:

The good ending should be achieved when Salt Upon Wounds is shot.

Yes, it is true that Joshua in his heart wants to do this to satisfy his vengeance. Hell, you could even argue that it is also the just thing to do, but that's not why I'm arguing what I'm arguing. The truth is that people like Salt Upon Wounds have proven through their own premeditated actions that they cannot be trusted to follow even the most basic laws of civilization. If he was just a thief, he can make reparations to those he stole from. If he lied and slandered someone, the truth can be found and restored. But murder along with torture and rape inflict permanent damage that can never be fully repaired. The people he has killed will never come back, and all because of his extreme selfishness and/or maybe his insanity. It doesn't really matter which one it is because the end result is the same.

So, should we release this person? Should we allow someone who has already proven that they cannot be trusted in any way to go free? Or is it better to instead ensure that he will never... Ever harm someone again? This isn't a matter of mercy. This is a matter of cutting our losses. This is about a guarantee that this person will not ever have a chance to cause even more irrepairable harm upon innocent people. When starting a civilization of any kind, there are certain very important things that are required, and the most important thing of all, the number one factor on this list, is safety and shelter from the world. And part of ensuring that safety is making it extremely clear that such abhorrent actions upon innocent people will not be tolerated in the slightest degree.

As to the Sorrows and Dead Horses tribe, while it is true that the leader takes some responsibility for the overall direction of the group, the group still has free will. They still make their own choices. Joshua can't force them to choose one way of life over another if they do not wish it. Further, this assumes that the Courier has no say whatsoever in these matters and doesn't ever try to talk them into not going down such violent paths. It's still up to the group as to what path they decide to walk, but I think it's too black and white to say that just because Joshua went down a certain path, that means the entirety of the two tribes would as well.
 

Battousai

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I always take the Sneering Imperialist perk anyway, so none of those savages is making it out of that canyon alive on my watch.
 

Arnox

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I always take the Sneering Imperialist perk anyway, so none of those savages is making it out of that canyon alive on my watch.
"You read the bible, Salt Upon Wounds? Well, there's this passage I got memorized, sorta fits the occasion. Ezekiel 25:17..."
 
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