With Halloween just a few days away, here’s a post to celebrate the spookiest time of the year(at least in European culture)! Sometime ago, Alex of Valourborn introduced the Villain Awareness Month to her readers. After an apt description of villains, she calls upon her readers to, at least for the month of October, applaud our most worthy villains.
It took me quite a while to write this post as I mulled over various questions revolving the subject. I wanted to know what makes a villain evil, what makes a villain an apt villain, and more importantly; how to justify their rightful existence. As I sat atop the high throne of my grand castle in Minecraft, I pondered, I contemplated and meditated to the point that I levitated.
My data set consisted of various historical tyrants, common folklore, fairy tales and about 200 video game titles. My header speaks for itself. In the end, I came to a rather odd closure in my “spiritual pursuit” to sate my existential angst of villainy.
But for the record, I’d pick Handsome Jack.
I know I’ve been a fan of Sonic the Hedgehog ever since I was E for Everyone, but ever since people started calling you “Eggman”, things just weren’t the same anymore…
I was thinking – is there anyone who makes a conscious effort to be evil?
Let us stipulate that, for the sake of discussion, being evil is to continuously commit acts that are highly detrimental to others in earnest. Being evil is almost invariably accompanied by a lack of morality, most would say.
But here’s where I hit a road block; as long as a person sees his or her actions as morally verifiable, then he/she is simply acted on the basis of that moral stand. We use words like moral fibre and we think we know its going to stir the hearts of the public. It would help us rally against those who stand opposed to us. We go through “Ethics and Morals” themed classes early in our childhood and learn about common beliefs in morality.
I think there is no absolute morality.
Morality is just something we think of, a basis for the us to judge our own and the actions of others. I think morality is subjective. It is merely a set of guidelines formed through the general consensus of any particular cultural ethos of any particular community. Think of the people we normally considered Evil: Hitler, Stalin, Josef Mengele; if they all operated according to they regard as moral.
They each had an individual ethos, most of the time considered to be radically different from the rest. However, as long as they lead their life according to these beliefs, they become the paragon of their own fictive morality. As we’re seen from the case of Handsome Jack, from the start to the end of the game, he insists that he is doing strong, although in the perspective of the Vault Hunters and the player, it is clearly the opposite.
As long as humanity continues to function with individual thoughts, we would always come to a point where our different opinions will be juxtaposed and locked in conflict. That is how villains and heroes are born.
This is a post written by PP1MT
He doesn’t think that people can be inherently evil.
Most of them just try really hard to be assholes.
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