Strip 147 - Alignment Tutorial - Part 13 (Neutral Evil)

14th Mar 2015, 12:00 AM in Corvus Village
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Zilfallion 14th Mar 2015, 12:44 AM edit delete reply
Life can be quite enjoyable When you're Evil.
Raxon 14th Mar 2015, 1:23 AM edit delete reply
The most evil character I ever made was some douche who stole suicide notes before anyone found the body, and left fake notes, confessing to horrible crimes things like child kidnapping, molestation, murder, and then using the bodies to feed the homeless at soup kitchens.

This jackass never broke any real laws. He was just an evil bastard who enjoyed bringing misery to others.

Such people actully exist, and enjoy hurting others to make themselves feel better. The catch is that they very rarely live decent lives due to their actions and attitude.

Man, everyone agreed that this character crossed a line. Murderers, tyrants, terrorists, cannibals, none of that crossed lines, but this was the character that was openly murdered purely for being such a horrible person.
Zilfallion 14th Mar 2015, 1:33 AM edit delete reply
See, people's perceptions of evil has always confused me. For example, you find that to be more evil than tyrants that may be responsible for hundreds or thousands or more deaths. Where as I simply find it rather amusing. Most especially the using children to feed the homeless bit, but I've never really been what most people would call normal. [I also disbelieve in the concept of good and evil, which may contribute partially to me finding this simply amusing.]

Still, you have to ask, what does it say when you find acts of misinformation regarding the dead to be more evil than the murder of thousands?
SeriousBiz 14th Mar 2015, 2:27 AM edit delete reply

It seems that your idea of evil is an utilitarian one, that evil depends on the number of people you hurt. That's one kind of evil and depends largely on power structures. In a less authoritarian and more equal system, you'd find that tyrants do not manage to cause as much harm since they do not have the means and influence to do so. The fact that they cannot hide behind their authority to avoid seeing the consequences of their actions helps too.

I always say that power and the will to dominate is the root of all evil, which is why the constant fight for equality and social progress against outdated authoritarian ruling systems have made society an arguably better place over the centuries. There is still work to be done, but it's a whole lot better now than before.

However, what I think Raxon is referring to is a more personal form of evil, one you cannot detach yourself from in your mind. That is an evil that even authoritarian personalities can't easily justify.

Ordering someone to do evil is one thing. You can detach yourself from the act. You can order the execution of a village full of innocent people and then go have dinner with your family. It's like a video game; power makes you completely detached from your victims, since you don't need to see their humanity and their suffering.

However, actually going through such acts either drives a normal person insane (like happens to many soldiers), or they find a way to quieten their empathy for their victims. Dehumanization is one such way. When you convince yourself that your victims are "enemies" "deserving" of their fate (see the Just World Hypothesis), when you don't see them as fully human deserving human rights and humane treatment, you're suddenly an angel of vengeance delivering rightful justice to the baddies. It's an incredible power rush.

And yet, killing someone is simple. You can convince yourself that you're still a good person if you just kill someone. The good guys kill the bad guys, right? As long as you didn't enjoy it, it's okay, right? However, there are acts that require you to enjoy the act of violence itself, as they bring no other benefit than to cause pain to the other person. That is the level of evil we're talking about, the ability to not only hurt others, but to actively enjoy the hurting for its own sake.

Rape and torture are two examples of such acts. The person doing them gains absolutely nothing from them, except the rush of power and control they exercise over their victim, and the chance to succumb to their basest desires to hurt another person. How anyone can find joy in that is...inconceivable to me, and I think to a lot of people.

I must point out that I find sociopaths (people actually, genuinely incapable of feeling empathy) to be less "evil" than the people who are fully capable of empathy but choose not to exercise it towards certain people. Most abusers and rapists are not sociopaths. That means they have deliberately found a way around their empathy in order to revel in the pain of their victims, which I find to be a completely repulsive idea.

EDIT: Important note: I'm not objecting to the point that murdering thousands is absolutely terrible. That is why power in itself is a bad thing; it makes causing evil things to happen so much easier not only logistically, but personally as well. Power makes you believe that what you want is what your people want. Power corrupts to the core.
Raxon 14th Mar 2015, 3:35 AM edit delete reply
Tyrant? Yeah, he puts down rebellions, but it's not personal. Murderers in my group tend to kill out of necessity. This guy, however, causes a lot of suffering, and he makes it personally hurtful to the families of the deceased.

It has more to do with the tragedy/statistic effect. A village wiped out is bad, but you hear about that in games all the time. It's a hook to start the adventure.

On the other hand, to hear about a troubled young man who committed suicide, and then hear about how a character gets off on stealing the last words to their family and friends, only to replace them with words that will forever taint them in the memory of their closest loved ones. How he attends the funeral, and takes great satisfaction in it when he sees the dead's loved ones seething with rage at an innocent man they now hate, because of a lie.

He feels powerful, and he enjoys making others weak because he is that much stronger by comparison.

This, friends, is an evil character. Not a lunatic that thinks everyone in the world should die because they're all evil. No, this is far more simple. What he is doing is wrong. He knows it is wrong. Not only does he do it anyway, but he does it happily and eagerly.

He is completely sane. Sure, he's a misanthrope and a narcissist, but he's not crazy. He's a sane, logical person, whose only goal is satisfying himself through harming others deeply. He is not some tyrant in an ivory tower who won't ever see the victims of his actions. This is all about hurting other people personally.

This is what makes him seem more horrible than the others. He is evil because he knows what he does is evil, and he enjoys it.

In fact, you could argue that he creates an actual, measurable impact on society locally. Imagine there has been a serial rapist or murderer at large. By leaving a fake note confessing to these acts, he is actively causing real harm, even if he hasn't directly broken any laws. Slander is a civil matter, after all.
DtDoom 15th Mar 2015, 11:33 AM edit delete reply

Years later, he should leave the real note on the mother's desk. She'll either start hating herself (and possibly commit suicide, thus giving you another chance to do the fake note thing) Or she won't believe it, and will simply go on hating her son/daughter's memory.
Zilfallion 15th Mar 2015, 10:06 PM edit delete reply
This idea is highly amusing.
DtDoom 15th Mar 2015, 11:07 PM edit delete reply

"I know!"
I would make a good evil person ^_^

Also! For extra fun, when leaving the new note on the mother, plant "evidence" that she killed the son, and made it look like a suicide. Along with a note confessing to that crime, as well as those mentioned in the note you left with the son.

You could go on destroying that one family for generations!
Raxon 15th Mar 2015, 11:29 PM edit delete reply
The doubt alone could drive her to do it. Seriously, if you consider suicide rates in LA, that could be three per day, easily. That's over a thousand notes per year. It may not sound like much, just think. Three notes a day would reach maybe 20 people as a generous estimate. That is a hell of a lot of hatred and resentment sown every year. Eventually, the public perception would become that people who do bad things kill themselves. The next step is people who are politically opposed to each other asking when they plan to kill themselves.

Soon, it would move to telling people their suicide is overdue. People will be bullied into suicide more often, because they will be encouraged to kill themselves.

One man could, over the course of his lifetime, turn a city, or even a whole province, into a place filled with vitriol, hatred, and mistrust, where everyone fears for their safety, when in reality, the streets are no more dangerous than they ever were. The paranoia from the constant admissions of guilt would ruin so many lives, and many would be unable to even leave their homes.

... wait one freaking second. Did I just describe how to turn an entire city into tumblr? Guys, I think I discovered a whole new line to cross.
Disloyal Subject 16th Mar 2015, 1:29 AM edit delete reply
Disloyal Subject
I'd just like to point out that you're all terrible people.
Gentlemen, I applaud you.
Zilfallion 16th Mar 2015, 5:47 AM edit delete reply
Hmm, I think I'd have to disagree. I'm too lazy and non-committal to be a truly terrible person. For me to meet the requirements of being a terrible person, I'd probably have to actually, you know, DO something. Innocent until motivated otherwise. That's my motto.
DtDoom 16th Mar 2015, 12:28 PM edit delete reply

"I wouldn't say I'm a terrible person"
I just have really twisted ideas I'll never use except in the context of playing an evil character.

I also have fun ideas, like streamers made out of flash paper to make it faster/more fun to clean up after parties.
Raxon 16th Mar 2015, 11:57 PM edit delete reply
"I am!"
I'm a terrible person! I mock people who injure or kill themselves by accident when doing blatantly stupid things. Like those two extremely stupid kids who had a duel with bottle rockets. Heh. Serves them right, since their hags decided to sue the fireworks makers and ended up getting the bottle rockets banned in the local area.

You heard me. Those brats earned their wounds, and if this made life harder for their parents, well, sucks to be them. Just because your kid is a moron is no reason to deprive other kids of fun.

I miiiight hold a bit of a grudge against these people. What kind of mentally deficient dumbasses just hand their kids a bunch of fireworks without teaching them safety. They got their kids hurt, and blamed the manufacturer for it. They're idiots who brought it on themselves.

Yep. Definitely a bit of a grudge.
Kyosuke Nambu 15th Mar 2015, 9:39 AM edit delete reply

Hey! No eloquent or educated people allowed on the internet!
But in all seriousness, it is spooky how smart you are.
Debatra 10th Apr 2015, 5:09 AM edit delete reply
No laws against forgery?
Book O Dragons 14th Mar 2015, 8:53 AM edit delete reply

The most evil powerful mage ever by one of my favorite authors was assigned to keep his master's books as an apprentice and was very successful instilling that clerk attitude in his underlings.
Read The Black Gryphon by Mercedes Lackey & Larry Dixon.
For even more evidence of his evil the Mage Winds trilogy by Mercedes Lackey
Zilfallion 14th Mar 2015, 2:06 PM edit delete reply
Man, I've always loved the Valdemar series. Ma'ar certainly made for the reoccurring villain type didn't he?
DtDoom 15th Mar 2015, 11:34 AM edit delete reply

"I love that series."
I have almost all of them in paperback on the shelf next to me at this very moment.
Otaku 14th Mar 2015, 11:40 AM edit delete reply
I feel like I should point out, even if the official rules denote "Chaotic" types as being about freedom I *gasp* don't agree. In other news, water is wet. The short version is... evil is evil; we are dealing with three equals here.
Raxon 14th Mar 2015, 5:42 PM edit delete reply
Good, neutral, and evil are the direction. Lawful, neutral, and chaotic are merely the means of getting there.
Kyosuke Nambu 15th Mar 2015, 9:37 AM edit delete reply

I could not agree more. A better summation of the situation I have never heard.
NeoPhantom 15th Mar 2015, 2:28 AM edit delete reply

I always found the professor from the fifth Harry Potter movie to be more evil and deserving of death than Lord Voldemort... Dolores Umbridge was a real pain in comparison because she had the law behind her and a very bad personality. Voldemort acts hidden most of the series and he usually outright kills his enemies instead of applying cruel and unusual torture...
Disloyal Subject 16th Mar 2015, 1:31 AM edit delete reply
Disloyal Subject
A legilimens of his calibre doesn't have much need for torture, aside from entertainment. Remember the Muggle Studies teacher in Deathly Hallows?
Otaku 18th Mar 2015, 12:26 AM edit delete reply
...except he does torture them for lols as well, though I'm not sure if we had witnessed if first hand at that point. We had certainly heard accounts of it from Riddle's first time in power.
NeoPhantom 18th Mar 2015, 1:35 AM edit delete reply

When he DOES torture, its to make a point, prove his superiority or to obtain information.Dolores did it because she found it intriguing...

Justification VS Pleasure
Otaku 29th Apr 2015, 11:08 PM edit delete reply
...then I am remembering incorrectly; I seem to recall him enjoying torture. Perhaps it always had a point but he also seemed to enjoy it. It has been a few years since I last made my way through the series, but I've read it a few times (several times if the amazing audio books count).

Dolores did it and enjoyed it, but she also seemed to do it "for the greater good". Remember even if it was an act of self-delusion, she had convinced herself that Riddle hadn't returned. I'm not saying she wasn't foul, I'm not saying she didn't enjoy it, I am saying that she and Riddle were actually quite similar.
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