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***Spoiler Thread*** Avengers: Infinity Wars

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It seems I missed out on quite the good argument on morality. Very interesting stuff. Very good sides to the debate.?

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12 hours ago, Calvert28 said:

No my viewpoint is that he is mad. Which I don't believe can be good or evil. A person who has an entire viewpoint of reality that far differs from modern society cannot be judged by our views of how life should be. The only logical way to judge whether or not that person is good or evil is by how their life according to their standards and morals. Thanos does not waver in in his viewpoint and only had one exception to his rule and that was for the dwarves. Someone who is evil has to knowingly break these standards and morals for their selfish purpose and take a delight in it. Thanos doesn't.  How ever it is generally accepted in the Marvel universe that killing or as Cap puts it "trading lives" for the greater good is considered wrong. Thanos's logic goes against most other societies viewpoint on life. In fact it clashes violently with them. Because he has such a unique viewpoint on how life should be, being so radically different then most others. I think it's fair to say he is insane and those are in fact insane suffer from their own madness.

 

Let's apply this definition to Hitler:

Hitler's standards and morals were that the Jews, homosexuals, and handicapped must be eradicated. He lived to his standards and morality to the tee. By your definition Hitler wasn't evil, in fact he was actually a good person.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, dtait93 said:

Let's apply this definition to Hitler:

Hitler's standards and morals were that the Jews, homosexuals, and handicapped must be eradicated. He lived to his standards and morality to the tee. By your definition Hitler wasn't evil, in fact he was actually a good person.

Read the rest of that post. 

I'll reply to the other post when I'm off work. 

Edited by Calvert28

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4 hours ago, dtait93 said:

Let's apply this definition to Hitler:

Hitler's standards and morals were that the Jews, homosexuals, and handicapped must be eradicated. He lived to his standards and morality to the tee. By your definition Hitler wasn't evil, in fact he was actually a good person.

We've done it!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin's_law

Quote

"As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Hitler approaches 1"

 

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4 hours ago, dtait93 said:

Let's apply this definition to Hitler:

Hitler's standards and morals were that the Jews, homosexuals, and handicapped must be eradicated. He lived to his standards and morality to the tee. By your definition Hitler wasn't evil, in fact he was actually a good person.

Cultural relativism

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1 hour ago, kingseanjohn said:

Cultural relativism

If our culture rises up to accept rape as a good and moral thing, does it make it right?

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Posted (edited)

I know the topic has gravitated away, but my take on this topic is that Thanos is lawful evil.

I can see the neutral argument. But I think some are confusing the fact that Thanos chooses not to kill when he doesn’t have to as “good”. That’s “lawful”. It’s the same as how Batman chooses to never kill or use a gun. Those are his set of established rules so that he is not “chaotic” (which is ironic because he is known as the “madd” Titan, thus he’s sort of an oxymoron here).

But neutral would make him sometimes good and sometimes evil. He would choose to only interject in circumstance when his mandated rules are being violated. He would not choose a side.

A lawful neutral Thanos would be similar to the Thanos that allowed Titan to fall. Only he would’ve chosen to act right as the poverty and destruction got to a level that was beyond repair.

For instance Batman Begins’ Ra’s Al Ghoul would be lawful neutral. The League Of Shadows took no part in society and remained completely to themselves until the world got to a specific level of indulgence that threatened the survival of humanity as a whole. In which case they destroyed it all and allowed it to be rebuilt... until once again they needed to step in. They chose no sides, they simply did what was mandated by their established code.

Which is why lawful Good Bruce Wayne could not completely fit in and rebelled against their system and formed his own.

Back to Thanos. Two things make him “evil” and not neutral:

1. Lawful Neutral Thanos would only wipe out a planet when it reached the point of no return with regard to overpopulation and destruction of resources.

However Thanos sees overpopulation as a mathematical inevitability regardless of how far down the line it may be for the vast majority of the universe. Therefore he goes out of his way to collect the Infinity Stones and pass punishment on parts of the universe that aren’t currently overpopulated. This is not good, this is not neutral, it’s evil.

2. His rules dictate that he does not seek to kill unless it NEEDS to happen to achieve his aims. He kills Gamora. One could only argue that this is a neutral decision if one ignores the above point. But if he’s neutral he does not need to obtain all the stones for the Infinity Gauntlet. Only enough stones to comfortably enforce population control throughout the universe... which does not require all 6 stones. Especially if he HAS to kill to obtain one of them.

Edited by diamondbull424

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, dtait93 said:

Why is their view of reality warped? What is flawed logic? (For the record, I do agree that their reality is warped, and Thanos' logic is flawed)

This ultimately comes down to two questions: 1) What is the absolute standard of morality? 2) Who decides that standard? In the made up MCU it doesn't matter because it's a fantasy world. In the real world there must be, because without it there are no warped reality's, flawed logic, or good/evil because there's just whatever people think. One could argue that the majority decides what is morally just and unjust and that is how we come up with laws, but are those laws truly the absolute standard of morality? Who actually has the true absolute standard of morality? Us (America) now? Us in the past? Us in the future? China? Laws change, maybe we will put the insane to death in the future. Will that make it right?

Existing at a certain point in time you will become a product of your environment. It's a given for anyone in life. At a certain point in our time, it was perfectly acceptable to own slaves and to treat them as you will. The vast majority of people in that time would not have given it a second thought. In that time, you would have been in your rights to kill any of your slaves who displeased. And you would have been right and just living in that time. Because that was the norm and information and conditions of the time made it difficult to live. At a certain point in Greek society it was acceptable for a man to sleep a child as well as certain points in Japanese and other cultures because it "strengthened" the relationship between master and apprentice, teacher and student, etc and so forth. For a long time these things were considered beneficial, even needed to help progress us. We come to view these things today as crimes because of the knowledge we have at our disposal about these things. Because conditions have improved so very much that these thing's should not ever be "needed" again. At least that is how modern society views it in most parts of our world. Our two view points are so radically different that anyone like that living in our time would be considered insane or evil. H/e likewise the same is true for someone like us living in their time.

Insane- in a state of mind that prevents normal perception, behavior, or social interaction; seriously mentally ill.

Someone like us are perfectly acceptable in our social structure because not only do we believe a certain way that is similar to most of society, we know what society expects of us which in most cases we adhere to. While we are for the most part very normal in how we live and how we think and act. That is only because that it is normal for society of today. If we placed ourselves in the times that these people came from we would be the ones who are insane. Because their social structure, their way of life would be so foreign to us we would not know how to function in such a society. Not only in what the believe in what they preach but just in how they live in general. We could make an attempt to conform and adhere to survive, and in fact im sure there are people who could do it successfully. But until we did we would not be the sane ones.

In the Marvel Universe as I explained before. The universally accepted truth on killing is that it is wrong for the most part by most of the societies we see  In fact it's how our society views it as well, since as someone already pointed out the Marvel world reflects our own where the good guys share our view points. Thanos is a guy who lives outside that social structure in how he views our Universe. Whether due to past trauma, or something else. His view is so radically different from ours that while he can converse, relate and even reason with us. He cannot bring himself to be apart of the society in the Marvel universe because his view is to balance the species to save it from itself. Therefore it brings him each and everytime into conflict with every society he comes into contact with. Thanos for the time he resides in, I cannot view as being anything other then insane.

As for being evil. In the case of being mad, being so different from society that he has formed his own social structure with his own followers who share his beliefs. His views being so different from ours that there is no way that his standards and morals stack up evenly with ours so by our standards he will always be considered evil. The only certain way I believe to see if he or anyone is truely evil is to judge them not by your standards. But how well they stack up with their own.

You brought up Hitler to question that idea. Well Hitler was completely insane. H/e there are many instances that showed Hitler was an opportunist to further not only his own agenda but his image. While this does make his motives evil. The man himself is a little more tricky. From the start he started off as a guy with "in his opinion" good intentions, that generally progressed with anger and lust for power that narcissism completely took over. But after that (and this is the tricky part) he started to unravel from not only his roots that made him who he was, but from his own standards and morals where he just lost almost total grip of what was happening around him. He became evil, that much is for certain. But whether he ended that way, or more so just a rabid dog who lost all senses is another debate entirely. 

Thanos however from everything we are shown. Has only wavered once in his code of ethics when dealing with other people. And that scenario to him was so extreme that he probably acted in the closest way he saw fit to keeping to his morals and standards. In this way, you could argue that he committed a necessary evil to prevent them from undoing all his "good" work. In all other ways, he has shown to be completely unwavering in his commitment and conviction. Even those that would still pose a threat to him personally right now he let live to fullfill his promise of random selection to balance life in the universe. So while his quest needed to be protected at all cost in his opinion. He still left that chance open for the dwarf to live, who could still do something because Thanos could not bring himself to entirely break his word to create balance. 

That is why I think while he is insane. He is not actually evil he does not waver from his own morals and ethics. He does not do it for personal gain. And he did not seek to hold on to absolute power after he got it. That's why I said and think he is Lawful Neutral.

Edited by Calvert28

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35 minutes ago, diamondbull424 said:

I know the topic has gravitated away, but my take on this topic is that Thanos is lawful evil.

I can see the neutral argument. But I think some are confusing the fact that Thanos chooses not to kill when he doesn’t have to as “good”. That’s “lawful”. It’s the same as how Batman chooses to never kill or use a gun. Those are his set of established rules so that he is not “chaotic” (which is ironic because he is known as the “madd” Titan, thus he’s sort of an oxymoron here).

But neutral would make him sometimes good and sometimes evil. He would choose to only interject in circumstance when his mandated rules are being violated. He would not choose a side.

A lawful neutral Thanos would be similar to the Thanos that allowed Titan to fall. Only he would’ve chosen to act right as the poverty and destruction got to a level that was beyond repair.

For instance Batman Begins’ Ra’s Al Ghoul would be lawful neutral. The League Of Shadows took no part in society and remained completely to themselves until the world got to a specific level of indulgence that threatened the survival of humanity as a whole. In which case they destroyed it all and allowed it to be rebuilt... until once again they needed to step in. They chose no sides, they simply did what was mandated by their established code.

Which is why lawful Good Bruce Wayne could not completely fit in and rebelled against their system and formed his own.

Back to Thanos. Two things make him “evil” and not neutral:

1. Lawful Neutral Thanos would only wipe out a planet when it reached the point of no return with regard to overpopulation and destruction of resources.

However Thanos sees overpopulation as a mathematical inevitability regardless of how far down the line it may be for the vast majority of the universe. Therefore he goes out of his way to collect the Infinity Stones and past punish parts of the universe that aren’t currently overpopulated. This is not good, this is not neutral, it’s evil.

2. His rules dictate that he does not seek to kill unless it NEEDS to happen to achieve his aims. He kills Gamora. One could only argue that this is a neutral decision if one ignores the above point. But if he’s neutral he does not need to obtain all the stones for the Infinity Gauntlet. Only enough stones to comfortably enforce population control throughout the universe... which does not require all 6 stones. Especially if he HAS to kill to obtain one of them.

Well technically he did not choose a side. Which is where his balance of random selection comes into play. He did not choose the people he liked to live or those he hated to die. It was completely unbiased. Completely "neutral".

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I feel like you guys are going way too in depth over a movie...

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1 hour ago, Calvert28 said:

Well technically he did not choose a side. Which is where his balance of random selection comes into play. He did not choose the people he liked to live or those he hated to die. It was completely unbiased. Completely "neutral".

right. it wouldnt suprise me if in ant man vs wasp ....the wasp is about to kill ant man...when suddenly, the wasp evaporates, dead with the finger snap.

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22 hours ago, Calvert28 said:

Actually it does. We do not put the insane to death for this very reason. They are trapped inside their own warped view of reality. Yes you can make a better case Killmonger was evil because he was driven by hate. That is not the case with Thanos. He is driven by a flawed logic of our universe and how best to fix it.

Being insane doesn’t make you not evil. And yeah, he happily murdered half the universe. Costing everything was strictly a reference to Gamora.

Being evil doesn’t mean you have no positive emotions or interactions with people. Being evil doesn’t mean you can’t care about anybody else on any level. Thanos can still be evil without being bereft of any positive or relatable qualities. Where is it ever written that evil cannot self-sacrifice?

And no, Lincoln wasn’t a tyrant. Doing things that push the boundaries of your office’s power after your country has been attacked is not the same thing as single-handedly determining that wiping out half of life everywhere is the only answer to a problem that hasn’t even generally manifested yet. Lincoln wasn’t particularly cruel. Thanos was. Lincoln wasn’t a despot, Thanos was. You’re taking exception to universal definitions of words. It’s not my fault tyrant and despot are roundly connoted to be negative and associated with evil. Yet those titles fit Thanos. Find different words to describe him if you don’t want people associating his tyrannical nature with him being evil.

Murder is a universally evil act. Lawful Neutral doesn’t resort to murder. Lawful Neutral definitely doesn’t resort to widespread genocide.

Frankly, looking into it more, he’s probably not even lawful evil. More likely he’d fit under Nuetral Evil.

Thanos to a ‘T’.

Neutral Evil types can come in a variety of different flavors:
  • Type 3 characters on the other hand are egomaniacal; they believe that they are the good, or even The Hero, and evil either doesn't exist or is whatever they don't like. These guys might recognize that the rest of the world has different ethical standards from them, but those standards are for lesser mortals and they will obey them only when it is convenient to do so. Often elitist and smug with a grandiose sense of entitlement and self-worth, they often think The Hero thwarts their plans out of jealousy, ignorance or spite and often fail to understand altruism or selfless behavior. They treat the bulk of humanity with indifference if not utter contempt, even if they regard themselves as a Well-Intentioned Extremist, believing themselves to be the center of the world, perhaps sharing it with a handful of semi-worthy competitors and everyone else exists to serve their needs or glorify them. Others don't care about the common person at all except as means to an end, while some are simply the Misanthrope Supreme and will shut themselves off from the trash that is mankind; or, worse, take a Kill 'em Allapproach to Put Them All Out of My Misery. A Type 3 is fully capable of doing heinous or petty things For the Evulz and can be extremely sadistic and vindictive; they just won't consider such acts to be evil (at least, in general) because they feel they are entitled to do them.

Utopia Justifies the Means

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thanos reminds me of ozymandias from the watchmen.

what do the people of the thread think ozymandias is?  evil?

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2 hours ago, Calvert28 said:

Well technically he did not choose a side. Which is where his balance of random selection comes into play. He did not choose the people he liked to live or those he hated to die. It was completely unbiased. Completely "neutral".

That he doesn’t pick who dies doesn’t have anything to do with whether his decision is evil or not. He’s deciding to kill half the universe because he alone in his supposed infinite wisdom thinks it’s for the best. It’s a straight up villain trope. Utopia Justifies the Means

The vehicle he chooses doesn’t matter. He murders for the sake of collecting power so he can carry out his ultimate plan of murdering half of everybody everywhere. He’s not less evil because he doesn’t know who is going to die; he still causes their death intentionally because his own will demands it. Text. Book. Evil.

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Just now, fretgod99 said:

That he doesn’t pick who dies doesn’t have anything to do with whether his decision is evil or not. He’s deciding to kill half the universe because he alone in his supposed infinite wisdom thinks it’s for the best. It’s a straight up villain trope. Utopia Justifies the Means

The vehicle he chooses doesn’t matter. He murders for the sake of collecting power so he can carry out his ultimate plan of murdering half of everybody everywhere. He’s not less evil because he doesn’t know who is going to die; he still causes their death intentionally because his own will demands it. Text. Book. Evil.

 or does he save half the universe?

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