why the short hand{4 good or evil}


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Thread: why the short hand{4 good or evil}

  1. #1

    why the short hand{4 good or evil}

    I so far like megami tensies's and doom's take on heaven and hell... to long have we just given the question easy answers as to who the heroes and villains are when it comes to these two forces... I am not talking religously here.. I am talking in fiction so here me out. if you see a angel you assume they are a god guy. if you see a demon in fiction you do the opposite. why? because we've made these into short hands for good character and bad character. In doing so we've removed all critical thinking from the process. not to the point where if teh angels are marie sues or Gary stews and thus perfect . it got to the point were we assume because they have feathers on their wings and were white and blue.. they are the good guys.


    I get that short hands can be good things. heck there are traditions in certain theater cultures were they limited the amount of mask and kinds of to make them into short hands to pass on quick information without needing a lot of time without exposition dumping. the fact of the matter is in doom the angels aren't bad guys from what I hear but aren't there to not kill humanity. heaven and hell are interchangible moraly in shin megami... they both are bad.

    P.s, the star wars movies do this as well.. they are good if they have green or blue light sabers and evil if they wear all black and have red ones. why??? because color cordination always tells you someones team... and morality for some reason??? that last one shouldn't be a thing to me.
    striding and swagering rootlessness with out end the precious flow of life.

  2. #2
    we've made these into short hands for good character and bad character
    And the question is, why? There's only two possible explanations
    1: Pure chance (chaos theory). In an alternate reality, these images could be just as easily reversed, or be something else entirely.
    2: Incarnation of the Natural Law. Images of angels and demons are an incarnation (or in the case of demons, uncarnation) of a deep, eternal truth that exists as an outside, external force.

    Notice that 'we made them that way' isn't one of them. There either is a Reason (natural law) or there isn't (chaos). I dislike language involving the phrase "we've." As if humans have that much power over their surroundings. As if humans exist as independent from their surroundings.

    Are you talking about the new Doom? Man, I hate that in fiction, when heaven and hell are reduced to competing soccer teams. So lame. Original Doom was metal and awesome.
    Dead by Dawn!

  3. #3
    One thing to note is that images in fiction and nature are linked. For example: feathers on angels. What real animals have feathers? Doves, eagles, etc, animals associated with purity, nobility, etc. Whereas demons often have bat wings (bats come out at night and were considered unclean in many ancient cultures).

    Agree with most of what BFB said, with a caveat -- I don't think symbols/shorthand, even if they are incarnations of natural law, are linked to only one incarnation or meaning. So, darkness = evil, right? Yes, often, but not always. There's an inherent dangerous-ness in darkness, which is often why it's linked to evil, but even the Bible sometimes links darkness to God/goodness ("Clouds and thick darkness surround him," the smoke over Mt. Sinai, etc.) -- especially when there is an emphasis on mystery and power.

    As for the Star Wars red/blue dichotomy, it makes sense within the Star Wars spirituality, right? Red is an aggressive color and "fear, anger, aggression" are the dark side of the force. On the good side, blue is a calming, peaceful color, and green is vibrant and associated with life. Of course this only makes sense within Star Wars morality where aggression is always bad for some reason lol.

    Quote Originally Posted by BornForBurning View Post
    Are you talking about the new Doom? Man, I hate that in fiction, when heaven and hell are reduced to competing soccer teams. So lame. Original Doom was metal and awesome.
    Ugh, me too--only thing worse is when heaven and hell are basically nightclubs and the only difference is hell is seedier.
    "So long is the way to the unknown, long is the way we have come. . ." ~ Turisas, Five Hundred and One

    "[An artist is] an idiot babbling through town. . .crying, 'Dreams, dreams for sale! Two for a kopek, two for a song; if you won't buy them, just take them for free!'" ~ Michael O' Brien,
    Sophia House

    Christ is risen from the dead,
    trampling on Death by death,
    And on those in the tombs,
    lavishing light.



  4. #4
    the only real problem I have with it is that it causes lack of thinking on the readers part. literally couldn't be a more paint by numbers answer. in the end though... you both have good points. ty for sharing.
    striding and swagering rootlessness with out end the precious flow of life.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by kunox View Post
    the only real problem I have with it is that it causes lack of thinking on the readers part. literally couldn't be a more paint by numbers answer.
    Making your readers think takes more than reversal of archetypes, I think. Dressing your angels in black and your demons in white isn't much of a subversion; demons have been dressing up as angels of light for at least 2000 years.

    Works of fiction that actually subverted my expectations:

    Voyage to Arcturus did, but not so much because the Devil (called alternatively Surtur or Krag in the story) is unconventionally styled, more because he ends up being a traditional Devil and yet the author remains firmly planted on his side: in the end of the book, which I don't feel bad about spoiling, it turns out the Devil is opposed to God (Crystalman) and does wants to destroy the universe and all humanity, but this is presented as a good thing. ???? Gnosticism, I guess, lol.

    The Man Who Was Thursday (a book whose conclusions I actually agree with) is great with being unexpected. It has you thinking one thing, overturns that, has you thinking another, overturns that, and so on. Good is good and evil is evil, but the masks are (literally and figuratively) repeatedly torn off, so as a reader you have to keep rethinking the conclusions you have drawn.

    The Napolean of Notting Hill (same author) seems like a satire of patriotism until halfway through it becomes a defense of it.

    Maybe to subvert those expectations you have be able to simultaneously building to one thing while it appears you are building to another. And good and evil have to be legit, I think. If the good and bad are interchangeable, it's kinda hard to stimulate any real thought--to use your paint-by-numbers analogy, it's like you took a paint-by-numbers and just painted each segment a random color. It's just as formulaic, and now it's nonsensical, too.

    Also it helps if you hold a genuinely subversive worldview. Works for me 'cause a traditional view of good and evil is kinda subversive nowadays.
    "So long is the way to the unknown, long is the way we have come. . ." ~ Turisas, Five Hundred and One

    "[An artist is] an idiot babbling through town. . .crying, 'Dreams, dreams for sale! Two for a kopek, two for a song; if you won't buy them, just take them for free!'" ~ Michael O' Brien,
    Sophia House

    Christ is risen from the dead,
    trampling on Death by death,
    And on those in the tombs,
    lavishing light.



  6. #6
    agreed for the most part.. I'd add there may be another way. by giving no real clear answer just a threat. in megami tenseu the apocalypse happens and despite the forces of light and the forces of darkness being morally equivalent, they general make the person playing chose between three options each with their own horrible side ton them. you are the hero but no matter what you chose no one but you win???? for example you chose light{and thus order} no one has free will.. you chose darkness and thus chaos. then basically life is a hell. even the neutrality option just kicks the can down the road. continues the conflict. your character does save the world in the end but there is always a cost .in this way there is always a thing to be considered according to what side you pick. also there was another dshow that did this morality thing well... it was called tokyo ghoul. from what I have watched. the heroes are human eating ghouls. flt out the first thing most want to do is cheer on the humans. till you realize how horrible both sides can be and how virtue both can be. it does this by always keeping you guessing with who is doing the right thing moraly. there are two I think do the morality by teams thing well. I know one is a video game but it makes since.

    I think subversion is only one technique in a bag of tricks. not all of them I know but I just named two.
    striding and swagering rootlessness with out end the precious flow of life.

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