philsov wrote:Have you ever seen it in real life? I'm just looking for an example because it really sounds like you're excluding evil people based on past trauma AND lack of empathy, which leaves room for very little else, if anything at all.
I've seen it in real life, yes, but it's a personal example, not a famous one, so I don't think relating the story would do much good.
sje46 wrote:EDIT: I reread your post, OP, and I know what you are getting at. I just disagree with the idea that them having sociopathy rules them out, as that is what you are looking for.
We use the term "sociopath" to refer to anyone who doesn't fit what we consider the ideals of most basic human decency; don't hurt people for no reason just because you can. So you could call any "truly evil" villain a sociopath, and that doesn't rule them out as far as I'm concerned. However, when I use the term "sociopath" I mean in the sense that there's something wrong with their brains that causes them to wholly lack empathy. Anyone who lacks empathy and is given a sufficient degree of freedom and power is going to appear evil, but it's brain defect, not choice.
in the sense of "someone who doesn't conform to basic human decency" doesn't rule a character out as a "true villain," but sociopath
in the sense of someone who lacks empathy does. As far as I'm concerned, anyway.
sje46 wrote:But if you are just looking for people who are "evil" despite a trauma of some sort, that is typically a one-dimensional character you'd find in children's shows.
Well what I'm interested in seeing is a multi-faceted, three-dimensional character who, by the account of most observers, is evil, but lacks the boo-hoo past or brain defect to have lead him, her or it to do "evil."
nightlina wrote:From what I've found, evil characters who are just evil for the sake of it are generally avoided in fiction because they're one dimensional. I've read a few lectures from different authors where they state that they specifically avoid writing characters who are just inherently evil. The same goes for the opposite, too - the authors also try to avoid writing 'good' characters who are just plain good... They avoid writing them because no one in real life is like that - we all have reasons for our actions.
Do we? I know someone who claims that her one true love is chaos. She conscientiously does random, pointless things for no reason in her everyday life. Her folks are as normal as the next pair, she didn't eat paintchips, she's not trying to prove something due to insecurity or something like that. She chooses to do things without
reason. And if there's one person like that in the world, there's gotta be hundreds of thousands, at least. I mean, what are the odds that anyone has any aspect of their personality that's completely unique, on this planet of close-to seven billion people?
Ginger wrote:Azula from Avatar: The Last Airbender could be argued as being both a true villain and a sympathetic/damaged villain in my opinion. Most of the time her mode of evil was fueled by a combination of self-interest and extreme nationalism.
Ah, I love Azula. But she seemed to me to be an extremely angsty teen. Remember the infamous beach episode? "My own mother, thought I was a monster. She was right of course, but it still hurt."
mrbaggins wrote:Fair point. Do people who torture people (And enjoy doing so) do it because it's a bad thing to do and they can, or is it because of something else... like needing a dominance reinforcement, or getting off on pain?
I understand the joy that can be had in torturing, because it's identical to the joy that can be had in pleasuring. I derive actual and intense pleasure from pleasuring a woman, it's not that I'm being noble or am just doing something to her so she'll do something to me; the actual act of manipulating her is pleasurable in itself. Why? I think it's a power thing; the fact that I can affect, phisiologically affect her body so dramatically, so drastically and powerfully. That's the exact same motivation behind love of torture, I think; the power.
folkhero wrote:I wanted morally ambiguous Captain Planet episodes like: CP shut down the lumber mill to protect local wildlife so Tom the logger lost his job and health insurance, then his wife got breast cancer and they can't afford the medical bills; then everyone sits down and has a reasoned talk weighing the importance of ecosystems to the economic damage caused by protecting said ecosystems.
That's an xkcd coming waiting to be made.
Sir_Elderberry wrote:The point is, he's evil, sane, and has no apparent excuse for being evil. Even before his missus talked him into it, he was speculating about murder. She just helped.
I gotta read Macbeth. Sounds like what I'm talkin' 'bout.
Zohar wrote:However, it's difficult to agree with the original point - everyone has reasons for why they are, both good and bad. If the character is written properly, they'd have a reason for working so hard for good as much as the villains have a reason to work for evil. Also, it's obvious to me that people are affected completely by their actions, other people's actions around them and the laws of physics. I don't believe in free will and I don't think a person really chooses what happens to them (rather, every "choice" you make is determined almost completely by your history).
Every time somebody says something like that to me, face-to-face, I flick them hard in the ear. When they get mad, I ask, "How can you possibly be mad at me? I'm not responsible for my actions." and flick them again :p
SiTiC.Hybrid wrote:Okay, I see that the sociopath thing has been most thoroughly covered, but why was greed used to rule out 'true' villains? The desire for more than what you already possess is pretty fundamental to the human condition. I don't see how it makes someone less evil. Which is scarier: Villains who were hurt at some point and let that define them, or villains who are stable, sane, and just want land/money/the world with no regard to human life?
You're confusing greed and desire. Greed is excessive
desire, which isn't mentally healthy to have. If it's just desire, not excessive, then it's co-existable with true villainry. That is, if someone wants to get something with disregard for other people, but they're not obsessed, they otherwise lead a happy, healthy life, that'd be true villainry. But someone who has a furious, uncontrollable, rapacious desire to own more things and is acting specifically to fulfill that drive wouldn't be a true villain, by the mental defect exclusion.
I have signitures disabled. If you do, too...you can't read this, so nevermind >_>