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  1. #1
    YetAnotherBloodyCheek's Avatar
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    Burt How to avoid travelling through dark territories

    Hi again!

    By and large, in my opinion the characters - by that I mean Team Good - had a lot of luck when it comes to preserving their humanity. There has always been an convenient explanation for the use of force, mainly due to the actions of the zeehs or the mallers.

    But what about the darker side of the main characters. What if someone at the tower had decided to defect to the mallers at the beginning of the story, would Michael/Saul/Burt have stopped him/her? What means would they have applied? Ok, this whole scenario does not seem very likely, but to me the mallers seemed to be in a far better position than those people at the tower. Would have the purpose justified the means if a - let's say - hunting party had made the defector return to the tower or even had the defector killed to prevent the mallers from benefitting from his knowledge?

    Or, on the other hand, what if there had been a situation in which Burt had the chance to kill Scratch not only in cold blood but also in a very ugly, twisted and cruel way - would that have changed you way of judging Burt? Or would this have been ok because, uhmm frankly - we are talking of Burt?

    How much "scratchyness" do you grant to the main characters in a zombie story and their actions before they become too dark?
    Pegs' pretty precious potato planter

  2. #2
    scbubba's Avatar
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    Good question. I've always thought that an interesting part of survival stories are the moral/ethical gray areas and how the writer chooses to pursue them.

    Some stories are just straight up "entertaining" and draw the lines as black/white with Team Good all wearing white hats... Some go deeper and people wear white and black hats...

    But, back to your question about judging the characters, I think it most definitely would have colored my judgement of the character if he/she went into the dark corners with their actions. How colored that judgement becomes would be definitely influenced by the rationalization for why the character did it.

    For example, say Burt got the drop on Scratch when she was not doing acts of violence or mayhem and decided to beat her, torture her, and then kill her. Most folks might think he had good reason to kill her but all the other stuff would be too "bad guy" and might think less of Burt.

    Say, instead, Burt gets the drop on Scratch whilst she is about to beat some random guy to death. Burt then incapacitates her somehow, delivers some memorable lines before Scratch spits in his face, and then dispatches her to the great beyond. I think most listeners would not feel quite so bad about Burt.

    So, in a round about way, I think we would put up with a lot of behaviors from Team Good (aka, our heroes) that might not be "good" in and of themselves if they had some way to justify it beyond selfish means. In most cases that would stop short of killing people that weren't actively trying to kill Team Good members. I think if our heroes started doing pre-emptive assassinations on non-Zeds, we would stop admiring them.

    My $0.02 anyway...
    Well, my days of not taking you seriously are certainly coming to a middle.

  3. #3
    YetAnotherBloodyCheek's Avatar
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    Hi scbubba,

    +1 because I cannot rep you technically else. Sorry.
    Pegs' pretty precious potato planter

  4. #4
    YetAnotherBloodyCheek's Avatar
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    Hm, but what about the WA equivalent of let's say Jack Bauer. A lot of people around the globe liked 24 although he did some rather morally questionable things to get information / prevent attacks on U.S. soil. Would it be ok to tolerate torture if it seems necessary to survive?
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  5. #5
    scbubba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YetAnotherBloodyCheek View Post
    Hm, but what about the WA equivalent of let's say Jack Bauer. A lot of people around the globe liked 24 although he did some rather morally questionable things to get information / prevent attacks on U.S. soil. Would it be ok to tolerate torture if it seems necessary to survive?
    I guess that's what I was shooting for in the rationale/justification part. It's really the old catch phrase "The ends justifies the means." Meaning that, if the end result is good enough, then anything you do or any price you pay is OK.

    The exact situation you ask about (torturing people to try to preserve American lives) is one that people here have been arguing about for several years now.

    My overall observation is that most people on this big Earth will judge other people by their actions (what they actually do) and will instead judge themselves by their own intentions. This leads to double standards and moral ambiguity in society as a whole. The more dire the circumstances, though, the more leeway is given to the intention. Thus, more actions that would "cross the line" would be accepted in times like that (reference the US in the years following 9/11).
    Well, my days of not taking you seriously are certainly coming to a middle.

  6. #6
    YetAnotherBloodyCheek's Avatar
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    Sounds quite reasonably to me.

    I mean, there are quite a few examples of discourse in the media lately:

    * 24 - which I have mentioned before
    * Homeland
    * Zero Dark Thirty a film which seems to have caused some controversy.
    Pegs' pretty precious potato planter

  7. #7
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    Oh, we're having one of these ethics/morals vs situation/POV conversations again. I should leave this thread before I end up burning the place to the ground again.

    The shot that started it all . . . came from Burt. 100% Fact.

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