Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Vader not evil?

I'm swamped at work and so I don't have much time to dedicate to this now, but, to be sure, I'll revisit it as I get more time.

Karsoth posted a mildly persuasive argument that Darth Vader is not, in fact evil. You can read it here.

Obviously, I think he was evil, but also misunderstood. He made horrible decisions, did evil things and stood complicit while evil things were being done in the name of "his empire." The most compelling argument made is that he's more insane than evil. It's not an argument I buy, necessarily.

Vader tortured Leia and Han, both prisoners of war. That's pretty much against the code of ethics for war (if ethical war isn't an oxymoron, I don't know what is) and certainly against the Jedi code. Torture is inherently evil.

Vader made not a peep of protest when Tarkin ordered the destruction of Alderaan. Granted, it's not clear if he had the authority to countermand the order, but he certainly had the clout to at least voice contempt for the idea of genocide. Standing idly by while genocide is being perpetrated when you are in a position to do something about it is inherently evil.

Allowing innocents and captured prisoners to be killed in the name of a war is evil. Purposely killing them is doubly so. So, when Vader killed the younglings and ordered the execution of the entire crew of the Tantive IV, that was evil.

Let me bring politics into this for a minute. George Bush has all done things comparable to these. He supports and allows people in his name to carry out torture, which is both against the rules of war and the rules of morality. He's stood idly by while Genocide in Darfur has occur ed even though he is in a position to do something about it. And he's allowed more than 655,000 Iraqi civilians be killed in the Iraq war conflict with no more remorse than a kid who knocked over a few little green army men playing in a school yard.

I would say that Bush is evil. But he is not insane. You don't have to be insane to do horrible and evil things. And you don't have to be insane or schizophrenic to perpetrate evil in the name of something you think is good even though it's bad for pretty much everybody but you and your buddies.

The great thing about Star Wars though, is that even the most evil person can find redemption if they truly have good in their hearts. So, I guess, even at the end of the day, Bush might have a chance to redeem himself. I wouldn't hold my breath, but stranger things have happened.

I'm going to try to come back and site more examples, but this is enough for you guys to chew on for now. Right?


Modemstring said...

This was just stupid.

Jimm said...

I have to agree with you. Thats was very well thought out. 100% on that.