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Who do you find more evil?

  1. Donte

  2. Samuel

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  1. GuardianWynn

    GuardianWynn Contributor Contributor

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    Debate: Who is more evil(or jerk, whatever term you like.)

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by GuardianWynn, Aug 5, 2017.

    Edit. Added a poll but didn't vote myself I am seriously that torn. Hence the topic.


    So, I have these two characters and I am lost in terms on wondering which is more evil. So I am curious what you guys think.

    This is meant to be a bit more light and fluffy, I mean who is more evil between these two different characters that never even see each other. But that doesn't mean it won't be fun to debate or discuss.

    For the record before someone asks. By evil, I don't mean exclusively immoral but not excluding it. Jerk, unlikeable unreasonable immoral. These all work for my purposes. Or rather. Who do you think is more of an asshole?

    1. Donte.

    A soldier that had nearly unrivaled power. He could bring an entire nation to its knees. Yet, I bring up that he is a soldier first for a reason. He was always thinking of the nation first. He'd gladly die for the sake of a worthy cause. But, this mission before self mentality turned against him.

    He faced a monster that could do more than bring nations down but rip planets apart(literally.) The encounter left him with PTSD. Through luck he managed to defeat the monster, or so he thought but PTSD would not let him enjoy it. As nightmares convinced him the beast survived and that it had to die. Because if he couldn't kill it. Who could?

    As a result, he became bitter and would do anything for his cause. He will and has stabed his own friends in the back because he felt they may try and stop him. He would watch a entire planet burn if he felt them a threat. Though he takes no enjoyment from it. He wants to protect life but he understands he has to play the long game.

    He'd torture a timid mother and kill her child in front of her if he thought that this could in any way help him with his mission. There is no line. If he belives that it can help him kill the beast. He will do it. Power, fear and determination. A scary combonation.

    I suppose the real trick to me on this one is. Well, his motivation feels valid to me. While he may invoke the most disgusting or distasteful deads. He does it in the name of good. Which, perhaps makes him worse. Though I find his situation so tragic.

    2. Samuel.

    The immortal. Almost litterally. Samuel was in most senses of the world normal. Not powerful or skilled or even smart. But he discovered the fountain of youth. He cannot die by age now. So, he hid, learned, practiced. He bacame the best at almost everything.

    The type of person that would push his physical limit for no other reason that to see it. Someone who wants to see every planet just for his eyes to intake it.

    Someone who wants to become, a god. For no other reason than, why not? As he may say it. "Who wouldn't want to become a god? Who wouldn't want to see everything, taste everything expierence everything. I will not stop ever."

    Which may beg the question. Where is the evil?

    Well, it stems from a practical sense. He left his home world. Became amazing and then returned to burn it to the ground. Killed every life form native his planet. Why? Because, they shared DNA. Perhaps one day they might have been used against him.

    Yet he would be polite, never torture you. Never insult you. He'd even say please and thank you. But reveal a purpose for him to murder you and you'd be dead before you could blink.

    He is a diamond and the universe is junk by his standard. Junk that exist only for him to use as a stepping stone for him to reach what he thinks as rightfully his. Godhood. And beyond. Never stopping is literal in that regard. He thinks the universe has no true final peak and he wants to make it to the peaks no one else has yet.

    He would enjoy it all. The only thing he doesn't enjoy is what he considers stupid waste. His underlings may be trash but he doesn't want even trash to be lost without purpose. Thus burning a planet down with a purpose he would consider a delightful afternoon most of the time. He'd be more insulted at being called a liar then a planet destroying maniac.

    So what do you guys think? Who is more of an evil asshole? Why? Thank you for the discussion.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2017
  2. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll Hi floor, make me a sammich. :P Supporter Contributor

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    Donte has a purpose for everything he does. Even if some of his methods are
    a bit more on the extreme end. His intentions and actions are selfless, even if
    he does do gruesome acts to civilians of all ages to meet goals. Immoral, but not
    with out purpose. So yeah kind of an asshole.

    Samuel does things without purpose, and it is all for one selfish goal. Immortality
    makes him worse due to the fact that he can continue forever in his conquest of
    the galaxy/universe to his version of godhood. So while he may not torture in
    the conventional sense, he is an overt terrorist in killing whole planets without
    a purpose. So while Donte does some bad things, he will eventually die or get killed.
    Samuel on the other hand is an unstoppable force of wanton destruction that makes
    him a much bigger asshole.

    Both are assholes, just one doesn't have to worry about his reign of terror ending
    at any point until he succeeds or decides its not fun anymore.
     
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  3. GuardianWynn

    GuardianWynn Contributor Contributor

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    True though to be fair. Donte is stronger than Samuel(main reason Samuel has not only never met Donte in person but has went to lengths to ensure that would not ever happen.) lol.


    Edit to add: not sure it is fair to say Samuel would destroy without purpose but I can see how next to Donte. His purpose seems lacking.

    I mean at heart he has a reason for his actions. Even if it was as simple as "burning this world stalled my opponent for 15 seconds. The 15 seconds they gave me was more worth wild than anything else they could have hoped for." Wow. He does sound like an ass doesn't he lol.
     
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  4. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll Hi floor, make me a sammich. :P Supporter Contributor

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    Samuel could simply wait until Donte becomes too old to be much of a threat, and then take him out.
    While it seems like a cowardly thing given that he eats planets for breakfast, but it would be a small
    pleasure to him to get rid of him in the long run. Unless there are others that can challenge him in
    a similar fashion, in which case there will always be a struggle ongoing for Samuel.

    Reason and purpose are not always the same thing. Donte is trying to stop him, so there is a purpose,
    to what he does. Samuel is just chaos for the sake of chaos, to rise above all, and doesn't really care
    what he does or has to do to get there. Though Donte exhibits some humanity, seeing as he has PTSD
    which shows he is not without a mind that can be used against him. Let alone that all that he does
    to stop Samuel could drive him to insanity, because the other doesn't have any sense of morality
    for what he does. This makes Donte the lesser of the two evils in the long run. :)
     
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  5. GuardianWynn

    GuardianWynn Contributor Contributor

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    I cannot think of a good argument against this logic.

    It is funny though isn't it. How the charming nature of please and thank you. As well as never torturing babies or even taking a shot for your men(sometimes a cut on the arm is by cold logic superior to a dead soldier.) Can make him seem so much more pure.

    Oh and while not a big point. Donte doesn't even know Samuel exists. Cuz he would have killed him. Lol. Another reason Samuel was hiding.

    With the whole outliving him. Yes that is a strategy but Samuel is restricted to hiding throughout the duration of Donte's life in this case. Which I estimate at about 3k years. A natural effect of my world. Power can have a life extension property. So Donte level people get about that many years. Lol.

    Universe is a big place too. So most of the time there is one or two lurking somewhere. Lol.
     
  6. Tella

    Tella Active Member

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    Following the general consensus here, I'd have to go with Samuel as the douchiest.

    I will repeat what had been mentioned in my own words. Donte for all intents and purposes is an empathetic villain (is it villain?). We may not support his methods but we see his cause. He is the living embodiment of "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few." He is the agent of peace in the abysses of war, he is the scapegoat of morality. We fight him, but we need him. We denounce him, yet we are thankless for his sacrifice.

    All of this applies more wholly if there really is a threat to counter. You grounded his motives in PTSD, so I suppose his fears are in his head. This fact to me slightly detracts from his legitimacy, as although he may think he does evil for the sake of good, in the end, he comes up as weak-minded and a shell of his former self. Does he fact-check? Does he legitimize his course of action with evidence as to the creature's survival? I merely guess that no, so correct me if I am wrong. Then, if we follow this premise, what we get is a parody of hero, a rabid fool that is both pitiful and worthy of being put down for good, because at this point he is merely a detriment to all.

    Samuel, on the other hand, sounds more in step with his sanity (not so with his smarts, as you said). He knows the ethical meaning of his actions and the reason behind them and still, he doesn't care. Conceited, power-hungry, narcissistic, he will stop at nothing to elevate his own existence above all others. It is just because. No greater goal, no noble cause. I personally find the combo of politeness and lack of moral hesitation a delicious douche sandwich.

    However, I will now contradict myself by appealing to another frame of mind. I find him almost no less sympathetic than Donte for the merit of being brutally honest and almost childishly innocent. He channels our innermost desires, let's be frank, by shedding his ethical layer which as far as we all know is simply a worthless albatross imparted to us by our societal structure since childhood. But a child has no morals, a child has no rules. It will tear a butterfly apart to quench its lust for discovery. Like the child, by letting go of hesitation and fear of ethical consequences there is no telling what a human might achieve. I believe that in all of us there is a Samuel, a morbid curiosity of sorts, and that part of us may be the source of sympathy toward him and the strongest case as to why he isn't that of a reprobate.

    Yeah, that's only my two cents on the matter.
     
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  7. mashers

    mashers Contributor Contributor Community Volunteer

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    I don't believe in evil as a concept. I feel it implies spiritual corruption (which I do not believe is real) or some objective moral failing.

    As for which character is the least moral, it depends on their intentions. Horrible things for horrible reasons == immoral. Horrible things for good reasons == moral. Horrible things for reasons which might be good or bad depending who you ask == questionable morality. That's why it's important to detail not only what your characters do but why they do it.
     
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  8. Tella

    Tella Active Member

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    I share your hold on the concept of evil. No such thing. In my book, 'evil' means either 'weak' or 'uneducated', then there's also the cultural sway on what exactly is moral and immoral. X might be immoral in one culture while completely moral in another.

    But I'm not sure whether the issue here is morality as it is the resultant air of douchebaggery each character emanates. Wynn addressed this point first and foremost (again, correct me if I'm wrong).
     
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  9. GuardianWynn

    GuardianWynn Contributor Contributor

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    You were pretty on spot. To answer your questions though.

    Well first. Does the morality really become effected by the end? I mean most people when I hear counter the concept of the means are justified by the ends, they counter it by saying that premise is immoral, that the means can never be justified?

    But to answer the question.

    Both! He did research. There was a threat to counter. He went towards his goal in a logical way. He developed a plan and moved towards it. And his own death isn't across the line either. His master plan calls for his own death. For his idea is essentially. Build a bomb strong enough to kill the creature. Lure the creature in and BOOM. He would trust no one else with this. But even if he did. He wants to die with the creature. He wants it to be over.

    Yet, it is a fools errand. Regardless of how big him bomb gets. It would never be big enough. Yet, there is no amount of research that could give you this data. Except I suppose, watching the bomb go off!

    Also, you made points towards both but I didn't see or understand your ultimate conclusion.

    I also thought you said you do believe in spiritual corruption!

    I thought I explained why well enough? Did I fail?

    Though as Tella just said. I didn't mean exactly evil in the sense of immoral. I was using it more as a blanket term as a way of referring to just someone you wouldn't like. Samuel causes less damage and does it with a smile. Donte causes more damage with a scream. But Donte has a reason that is above himself. Samuel lacks that. It seems fairly even.


    Quoting you because a friend of mine in real life sort of argued a point everyone made but your the only one I haven't quoted in this post. So figured I could quote you! And it makes a nice topic break. So my friend(he likes to go be the screen name ghost.) His argument is long winded but at its simplistic I would say it is.

    "Donte is worse because in evil. It isn't about the reasons behind the damage. It is about the damage. And Samuel is calculating and does no more damage that needed. Donte is a mother &^@%# wrecking ball and makes the area unlivable. Pasionate descrution always deals more damage than calculated destruction. Even if Samuel's life span is longer(thus he has the chance to do more damage) I believe Donte will do more damage as a result, is more evil"
     
  10. Tella

    Tella Active Member

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    Let me be clear: Samuel is King Douche. Donte is a nuisance.

    While I do not agree with your friend's take on evil = that which does more damage, I do agree that at the end of the day, Donte is the larger threat, while Samuel is a middle-of-the-way non-collateral damage gentleman smiles-in-your-face-then-stabs-you-in-the-back ass fudge.

    As the reader, when we know that Donte's fears are real - that is, that there is a substantial threat to counter - we sympathize with his tragic character even more. He becomes less of an unjustified pest on civilization and more of a lamentable fallen hero who is simply misguided, and can you blame him?

    If I had to conclude in a few sentences, it would be: When you take down Donte, you do it with a broken heart, but to Samuel you say "Good riddance, you condescending mother f*cker." Therefore Samuel comes out on top.

    Edit: for a good character comparison on Samuel, see Herbert West in "Herbert West - Reanimator" by Lovecraft. For Donte see Berthold in "Attack on Titan".
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2017
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  11. GuardianWynn

    GuardianWynn Contributor Contributor

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    No argument here! Thanks for the thoughts. I added a poll too if ya want to add to it. :D
     
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  12. mashers

    mashers Contributor Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Indeed. And even within a culture, there will be differing opinions on what is moral. This is why “thou shalt not” doesn’t work for me—because there’s no such thing as objective morality.

    I don’t know why anybody would say that. Of course the means can be justified if the ends require them. As I said in another thread, sometimes it might be less moral not to carry out a terrible action. If somebody had learned of Hitler’s plans and had the opportunity to kill him before he had the chance, I believe it would have been immoral not to do it. If you are living in poverty and your child is starving and there is an opportunity to steal food, I believe it would be immoral not to do it. The ends can absolutely justify the means, and anybody who says otherwise isn’t being moral—they’re using pre-determined notions of prescribed and proscribed behaviour.

    Absolutely not. I don’t even believe in the concept of ‘spirit’, let alone its corruptibility.

    I meant in the writing itself, not in your posting.

    I disagree with your friend. If you equate evilness with immorality, then the “amount of damage” is inadequate as a measure of morality. Take two situations. In one, a person burns down a whole forest because it is the only way to eradicate a disease which would otherwise spread to neighbouring areas and destroy all the trees in that area. In another, a person burns down their neighbour’s beautiful garden out of spite because they are jealous that their own garden is so unattractive. The former situation results in considerably more damage, but is arguably more moral. It comes down to the intentions of the person who carries out the action.
     
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  13. GuardianWynn

    GuardianWynn Contributor Contributor

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    I have no arguments here.

    But I still curious to your answer to the premise given the current information about the characters. I mean I haven't actually written books about them. So it is all hypothetical.
     
  14. Nicoel

    Nicoel Senior Member

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    I feel like it is interesting and important to note that if Donte is successful in his end goal - he will be the cause of destruction for the entire Universe.

    Also, I vote Donte as more evil/assholic. He creates the most destruction, he cares less about others, and the fulfillment of his goal will be the end of the Universe. In a way - he is just as selfish as Samuel.

    Also! Donte will stab you in the back in a heartbeat, but Samuel wouldnt. Samuel would be offended at the accusation of double crossing or using smoke and mirrors. When hes ready to do something - he DOES it. He's the most straightforward person, really. And he has reasons for everything he does. Yes, him destroying his home planet is definitely an assholic move, but he had a logical reason. He doesn't murder needlessly.
     
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  15. mashers

    mashers Contributor Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Well I would say that Samuel is the most immoral. You said yourself about Donte that “his motivation feels valid to me. While he may invoke the most disgusting or distasteful deads. He does it in the name of good”. So his intentions, even if misguided, are good. Whereas Samuel just seems to be a power-hungry dick.
     
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  16. GuardianWynn

    GuardianWynn Contributor Contributor

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    A few people feel I have underplayed the true level of cruelty that Donte is capable of.

    Though. I have a feeling that your argument sort of doesn't care how cruel he is.

    Am I right? Seems like a moment of futility to quote more of his wicked deeds if your position is that his deeds are irrevent in relation to his motivation.

    Could! Could destroy the universe! Lol. I suppose could is still pretty bad. Lol.

    Also I may be nitpicking but I fault one line. Doesn't donte remorse imply he does care?
     
  17. mashers

    mashers Contributor Contributor Community Volunteer

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    You didn't mention cruelty in your original description of him. Cruelty is completely different, as it implies intent to cause suffering and a lack of concern for the victim. That would imply that his intent was merely to cause suffering, which is not the characterisation I took from the original description. Are you sure you meant cruelty?

    A list of deeds won't change anything if the motive behind them all is the same. If, however, you were to point to some deeds which were indeed committed with cruel intentions (rather than actions which were unpleasant but done due to a feeling of necessity or lack of any choice in the matter) then that would possibly change my view of the character. However, as I said above, this would represent a change in the characterisation compared to what was in your original post about him.
     
  18. GuardianWynn

    GuardianWynn Contributor Contributor

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    It would seem our definition of cruelty is a bit different. I concede you are probably more accurate.

    I meant it in the sense of harsh. Like how I actually said distasteful and digusting. I saw cruel as similar.

    Though I did say he would torture a child in front of the mother. Lol. But yes. His motivation is still his mission. His life span while extended isnt that long for his mission. So his internal logic is. "Fast and brutal so I don't need to repeat myself."

    And to that ends he has set a child on fire. His message was clear.

    My friends argument seems to be that you can never justify this level of pain. That he should have been willing to think of better options. That the lack of better options are a form of cruelty. Does that count as a use for cruelty?
     
  19. mashers

    mashers Contributor Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Our usage might differ, but the definition is quite clear:

    cruel |krʊəl| adjective (crueller, cruellest; US crueler, cruelest) wilfully causing pain or suffering to others, or feeling no concern about it:people who are cruel to animals | a cruel remark.

    This clearly shows that there is wilful intent to cause suffering.

    I think those terms are differentiable. Nazi officers did some of the most distasteful, disgusting and horrific things imaginable to other people. But many of them no doubt did it in fear of their own lives and those of their families. Those individuals no doubt felt revulsed at what they had to do, but it doesn't necessarily mean they did it out of cruelty.

    As I said, it doesn't matter what he did. It matters why. For all I know, somebody had a gun to his children's heads and said "torture this child or I'll kill yours." That makes him a victim, not a villain.

    To be honest, I don't find that very clear. I don't understand how the quote relates to his actions, nor to the motives behind them.

    I didn't say they were objectively justifiable. I said that his intention can either be good or bad. Whether he made the right choice is irrelevant to his reasons at the time. And no, making the wrong choice (or failing to think of a better one) doesn't necessarily mean one is being cruel. Failing to do something less harmful because you couldn't be bothered to make the effort to think of a better option might. But not necessarily. It depends why you didn't choose a different option.
     
  20. Tella

    Tella Active Member

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    I tend to side with @mashers' inherent thinking. This is a semantic arguement, meaning no subjective thoughts, only the dictionary.

    We have the notions: destruction, aka, the end result of one's action for that matter. Cruelty, aka, douchebaggery, asshole quality, basing your actions in pure immoral stimulation and or selfishness.

    The
    former proves more consequential at the end of the day, but the grounds on which it is committed may vary. This means that the end result of one's action does not imply anything about their reason for doing so.

    The
    latter inherently implies an immoral quality about the perpetrator but not the end result of their actions. This means that one, in theory, could be eviler than another who causes greater destruction.

    Therefore, you cannot base the statement: "X is more of a bad guy because they cause more destruction." on the result of X's actions. Bad guy = personality. Destruction = result of one's action, be they either good or bad. Examples have already been given so I feel no need to expand on that.
     
  21. surrealscenes

    surrealscenes Senior Member

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    I can identify with both & I can see why one or the other would be disliked by others.
    We all have our own limits and 'morality' built upon what we have experienced or been told, and believe.
     

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