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  • Morality

    At first; morality

    Originally posted by Wikipedia
    Morality (from the Latin moralitas "manner, character, proper behavior") has three principal meanings.
    In its first descriptive usage, morality means a code of conduct held to be authoritative in matters of right and wrong, whether by society, philosophy, religion, or individual conscience.
    In its second, normative and universal, sense, morality refers to an ideal code of conduct, one which would be espoused in preference to alternatives by all rational people, under specified conditions. To deny 'morality' in this sense is a position known as moral skepticism.
    In its third usage 'morality' is synonymous with ethics, the systematic philosophical study of the moral domain.

    In the thread about the Bartok feeling by comics of Buffy, I saw this quote.

    Originally posted by Koos View Post
    I can't remember that Angel ever asked him questions like: why do I give Faith give a chance and do I execute Lindsay.

    Did he give a single damn about the humans working for W&H? So far as I could see, he considered them all evil.

    Angel doesn't give a damn about morality. He just does what he likes.
    I was suprised by this opinion, because Angel is in my eyes always trying to do the right thing. He makes mistakes but still it's his quest ... he tries to be a better person. Sometimes he has to makes choices if he saves someone or not ... it's always a risk. Angel is one big grey area ... but he tries to do the right thing. I don't think he likes to execute or give up people ... he started in Ats as a person who saves souls.

    And about Lindsay ... he couldn't take the risk, I guess.


    This topic is not to bash te opinion of Koos or something like that. I just thought that his (?) opinion was interesting, because it's so different of my opinion. And I was currious about the opinions of others.


    edit: The reason that this topic is in this subforum; The difference between morality between Buffy and Angel is also a really interesting subject. I liked to come back about that ... later.
    Last edited by Nina; 25-11-07, 05:24 PM.


  • #2
    Morality in the Buffyverse is always fluid. Remember when Xander questions Buffy on why she took a different opinion on the choice of Anya's death compared to Willow? She uses the example of Angel to show that she hasn't changed her thinking, but he's also right because she didn't see Anya as someone close (like he did) and thought she deserved different treatment to Willow, after all they both chose to become evil in their own ways. Who had the moral high ground there? I would say that Xander was morally right, in that Anya could be helped without resorting to killing her.

    But Buffy didn't kill Ben, when it was obvious that it would be the easiest way out. Was it morally wrong of Giles to take Ben's life to stop Glory re-appearing? In the real world I would say yes, but in Buffy's supernatural world where nearly anything is possible, I would say that he was morally right in order to save millions of people.

    In Angel, he himself was trying to atone and therefore had a different opinion to morals than Buffy. He had seen a lot of terrible things - some at his own hand, and that affects your judgement. Buffy was innocent to the evil that could be laid on people (at least in the early stages) but Angel knew it very well.

    Angel's big bads were generally less "straight up, black hat, Tied to the train tracks, soon my electro-ray will destroy metropolis" bad than Buffy's. So more moral dilemma's. Angel could have taken Lilah or Lindsey out of the picture at any time he wanted, but he knew that it was morally wrong to do so. Not because they were humans, although that was bad enough, but because they would just be replaced with another version of them and therefore their death would mean nothing.

    The decision to kill Lindsey, I believe was a more personal one than a moral one. Lindsey had shown signs of wanting to come over to the good side towards the end but Angel didn't trust him to stick to it - just like he didn't stick to it in S1, but does that warrant a death sentence? I don't believe that it did, but as I say, Angel had more experience of evil and therefore a better understanding of how the bad part of your brain works.
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    • #3
      Well my view on marality in the 'verse. I hope the grammar isn't that bad, because it's already late and it's a lot of text. Let's pray that somebody is bored enough to read it.

      Morality in the Buffy/Angelverse:

      In a world with demons and gods, morality is different as in our own world. At least to a certain degree. But there is also a different kind of view on morality between the both shows. The lead characters are so different that the series can't use the same moral.

      The BtVS view of morality is the view with the most similarities with the moral the most people would have. It's a little black & white, but it's also the one with the most faith in the goodside of the world.

      Buffy believes that everything with a soul should get saved. She doesn't kill humans, she believes that she doesn't have the right to take the life of a soulled person. Somebody with a soul can be redeemed and who is she to take that chance away?

      "Being a Slayer doesn't give me a license to kill. Warren is human.the human world has its own rules for dealing with people like him.
      We can't control the universe."


      Buffy doesn't play for god, so she believes she isn't the person to decide if somebody lives or dies. Soulless creatures can't bring good things in the world and have to die, That is why Buffy kills those demons. But the future of a soul isn't her call, except when it destroys the world.
      This comes back in season 7 when Spike returns with a soul. She saves him and gives him the chance to redeem himself. The same happened in season 3 when Angel came back. She helped him and believes in him as a man. This can be the key moment for her and her choice to save everybody with a soul. If Angelus can try to make up for his sins, everybody can. In the final of season 5, she doesn't kill Ben because he is a human, this is a noble choice ... but not the right one. I come back on that later.
      Only in BtVS season 4/Ats season 1, Buffy doesn't play with her own rules. She tries to kill Faith after Faith had stolen Buffy's body en life. Buffy was really hurt en emotional about what happened and that was the only time she was ready to let herself go. But she was rational enough to let Angel stop her.
      In season 6 when Warren killed Tara and shot Buffy, Buffy tried to get him into jail, she never thinks about killing him. This shows how much Faith hurted Buffy, and how far somebody has to go before Buffy is ready to kill him/her. Her trust in the goodness of people is really strong.

      But when there are innocent people in danger because of a demon, Buffy is the one who has to kill them. Buffy believes that she is the law when it's about demons. Which is the complete opposite view as her view on humans and soulled creatures. When Buffy tries to kill Anya in season 7, she doesn't think twice. Buffy doesn't like it, but she isn't ready to let her morality go.

      On the other side, Buffy did many things who weren't 'good'. Buffy is in the end a human, a girl. Did she forgive Angel because he deserved that? Or because she still loved him and wanted to have him back. The same with Spike, Spike was a danger but Buffy wanted to keep him with her. Or Willow, Willow wasn't stable and however she felt sorry for what she did, she wasn't learning of her mistakes. Buffy letted her back (ofcourse she did, It's Willow!) in her house. It isn't consequent with her reaction to (for example) Anya, who she didn't like that much.
      And the empowermentspell wasn't moraly pure good. The chance that she was selfish is pretty big. But in the end, Buffy lives an ethical correct life. It doesn't had many grey choices, she wasn't always consistant, but in the end she wanted to do the best. She became a general, but she wasn't a good one. Buffy wasn't ready to give up her moral and to make her hands dirty. She tried to be a hard leader without emotional decisions in season 7, but she failed. She was a Black & White thinker, who was sometimes tempted to go to the bad side, but never really went.

      So is this black & white thinking the right thinking? Maybe, maybe not. There is no answer. Saving Ben was noble, it was in her eyes the only right thing to do. Ben was a soulled man and she doesn't decide about his life. But the fact that Ben shares a body with Glory who tried to destroy the world, made it the wrong choice. If Giles didn't killed Ben, Glory would have won or at least she would be alive. On the other side, if you giving up this thinking, you give up you're faith in humanity and the world. You can argue that Buffy shouldn't follow her own rules when the world or humanity is in danger, but then ... where do you stop? If she starts to kill people to save other, she end up in the place where Angel is. And the question is, is that a right one ... and is Buffy strong enough to live in Angels world?

      Where does Angel believe in? What is his view on morality? I think his moral changed in the years. He started believing in humanity like Buffy does. But I think that Angel saw too much to believe that. Angel saw many wars, he knows the darkest places of humanity, he saw the dark side of this world ... of life. And I think he stopped lying to himself. Don't get me wrong, Angel still fights for this world and believes that it's worth it. But I think he isn't denying the bad sides of humanity anymore.

      Angel was in the first years in LA always there to save souls. It's what he does best. And when he lost his way in season 2, he learned the lesson that the world is doomed and that he shouldn't spend his life fighting that future. He should save the people here and now. Angel believed that everybody should get a second chance and worked hard for that.

      But times change and so did Angel. Some people do never change or never take the second (or third) chance. Lindsay came back to lA to kill Angel. The same Lindsay had left that city and W&H 3 years ago because he wasn't the evil lawyer W&H wanted him to be. But after 3 years, Lindsay returned. Why? Because Lindsay wants power, and nothing was stopping Lindsay of that. Killing? Not a problem for him. He was finally the man W&H always wanted him to be.
      Lilah Morgan, another golden child of W&H. Lilah was evil because she wanted to be rich, she wanted power. Don't make me start about Holland. Holland and Lilah weren't confused people like Warren was, this people made the choice to be evil. And I think this are the people who made Angel stepping of his believings. This people made Angel who he became, at least for a part.

      When we leave Angel in season 5, we leave a general behind. Angel wasn't the man anymore who tried to make himself and others a better person. This wasn't about him anymore, or about the innocent people.
      His morality was still there, but different, his morality weren't rules anymore to be a good person, it wasn't about fighting the good fight. His moral was about saving the world, and nothing should stop that. Lindsay had to die, not because Angel disliked Lindsay, not because Lindsay told Angel that he wanted to be evil. No Lindsay had to go because he wasn't ready to fight the war Angel wanted to fight. Lindsay wanted power, Angel wanted to fight the power of some persona over humanity. That's why Lindsay had to be killed, Lindsay didn't understand the selfless fight.

      But like I said, Angel was the general in the end. The general Buffy never was, the one who leads his men to glory no matter what the price is. He was cold as ice when he killed Drogyn, when he talked Lindsay into fighting, knowing that he was gonna kill Lindsay before the real fight started. Angel gave up the Shansue, he gave his life, the lives of his friends, Angel gave up everything for this fight, to made humanity matter. Angel killed is he believed it should happen, sometimes for his plan and sometimes because he believed the person wouldn't redeem himself anyway. Angel was the complete law, where Buffy was a part of the law.

      Was Angel right? I believe he wasn't, but I believe that he believed himself that he was right. He was making the biggest mistake of his life, and he didn't realise it. Was his plan wrong? Yes, it was naive and poor but was his idea wrong? I don't believe that, it's a dream. He wanted the power by the humans. It's why he stopped Jasmine, Angel wants the people to make their own choices and live their own lives. There is nothing wrong with that, but some dreams are just dreams for a reason. So, back to the morality, was Angel without a moral? I think he had his own moral, and he was following that. But Angel's moral isn't equel to the moral of the human society. I think we could say that he lost it, but I don't want to say he was without a moral. He wasn't killing people because that's fun, and I believe that Angel enjoys killing innocent people deep down. But that wasn't the case, he just was in a real grey area.

      So which of the two is the right morality. Ethical it's Buffy's moral ofcourse. But practical? I think neither really worked. I believe that the watcher's counsel had the correct one, sometimes you have to do bad things fot the greater good, but you should never leave the good fight. Angel went to far, there wasn't an excuse anymore.

      This is all my own opinion and my own interpretation ofcourse.
      Last edited by Nina; 07-12-07, 12:17 AM.

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      • #4
        This a delicate issue here but I mostly agree with Nina. Angel is trying to do what?s right, I think sometimes the circumstances are hard to play with. We may wanna do the right thing, but sometimes the circumstances forces us to do, what someone thinks, a wrong decision. The world Angel lives is very grey, the black and white is very blurry. In Buffy, it?s not so much grey as in Angel, but we question it. Buffy would never kill a human being, because it?s morally wrong and as she says it, a slayer is not a killer, she is not above the law. That?s why she doesn?t kill Warren or Ben. In the case of Willow, she did what she did because of her emotions, she was grieving for Tara. She couldn?t care less about right or wrong or morality. That happens with Kate as well. She find out Angel?s true nature, at first she can?t handle it and tries to be his enemie. But as soon as her father dies, she decides that all creatures of the night and demon are evil and deserve to die, including Angel.
        She doesn?t have that right, but in that case, her emotions are what explains her motives better. She doesn?t see if one demon is bad or good, or if it?s right or wrong, she decides to eliminate everyone. She wants to live in a black & white world but that all changes mostly when Angel saves in "Ephipany".
        This is what I think of it.

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