Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Moral Decisions; killing humans in the Buffyverse

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Moral Decisions; killing humans in the Buffyverse

    Hi

    We talked about this a fair bit over at BW and the opinions on the matter constantly came up in other threads so I thought it'd be good to get a thread going on the subject again. However, this time I've posted this in this section because I want to discuss the issue with examples from both Ats and Btvs as the character's viewpoints seem to differ depending on what show they are in

    Basically what this thread is about is the moral decisions characters make when they are faced with the possibilities of killing a human. Now I'm not going to fully state my opinion yet, I'll let others jump in and see what they have to say.

    Basically we know Buffy has a pretty strong opinion on killing a regular human, she won't do it unless it is in self-defence or if she feels that human is more of a risk (Faith) and this is a viewpoint she believes firmly in. The Scooby gang seem to take this viewpoint and go with it as well, and although this is questioned at times (like with Warren) they all seem to be at a place where this is the road they want to take.

    However, the Ats gang have far less problem killing humans. Wes has shot dead a couple, Angel kills some Wolfram and Hart troops in Conviction and Gunn snaps the neck of Fred's proffessor.

    What viewpoint do you believe is correct? Should humans be killed if they are trying to kill our heroes? Or should they be spared based on the fact they are human and not demon?

    I'll share some of my opinions later as I wanted to keep the opening thread as brief as possible

    Discuss

    Vampmogs

    ~ Banner by Nina ~

  • #2
    Killing humans in the Buffyverse is only justified in the exact circumstances at which it would be justified for any of us. Buffy killing Knights of Byzantium on the roof of the Winnebago while apprehending imminent danger to her life or the lives of others? Absolutely just. Stalking and killing Warren for revenge? Absolutely unjust. Murdering Sydell? Absolutely unjust. The accidental killing of Wilkins' deputy mayor? That always frustrated me, because, even as normal girls, Faith did not *do anything wrong*. Say they aren't fighting off vampires, but are fighting off a gang. The man jumped out of the dark and got killed in a legitimate claim of self-defense.
    sigpic
    Banner by LRae12

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by KingofCretins View Post
      Killing humans in the Buffyverse is only justified in the exact circumstances at which it would be justified for any of us. Buffy killing Knights of Byzantium on the roof of the Winnebago while apprehending imminent danger to her life or the lives of others? Absolutely just. Stalking and killing Warren for revenge? Absolutely unjust. Murdering Sydell? Absolutely unjust. The accidental killing of Wilkins' deputy mayor? That always frustrated me, because, even as normal girls, Faith did not *do anything wrong*. Say they aren't fighting off vampires, but are fighting off a gang. The man jumped out of the dark and got killed in a legitimate claim of self-defense.
      I don't think it so much had to do with the fact Faith had killed the guy, Buffy knew it was a mistake. It was more to do with Faith's behaviour afterwards, regardless of wether it was an accident or not she should care shouldn't she? Isn't a bit strange for her not to care? And was it right for them to keep it a secret from Giles?

      How do you feel about Buffy trying to kill Faith? It wasn't exactly self defence or in the moment but Faith was a massive threat.

      ~ Banner by Nina ~

      Comment


      • #4
        That was the least moral thing Buffy has ever done, in my opinion. While I do think Faith is not an 'ordinary' human in making these decisions, Buffy's reasons were ultimately not sufficient to me to justify hunting her down to kill her. But even at that, it's ambiguous. I can't say it was "wrong", but it definitely wasn't right.

        I do think Faith cared, though. She was in denial. She stayed there until "Who Are You?" which started a breakdown that ended with her weeping in Angel's arms.
        sigpic
        Banner by LRae12

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by KingofCretins View Post
          That was the least moral thing Buffy has ever done, in my opinion. While I do think Faith is not an 'ordinary' human in making these decisions, Buffy's reasons were ultimately not sufficient to me to justify hunting her down to kill her. But even at that, it's ambiguous. I can't say it was "wrong", but it definitely wasn't right.
          I tend to think her decision were completely justified for a number of reasons.

          Aside from the fact Faith was working with the Mayor and planned to kill all of them the very next day, she was also a slayer. Far from a helpless human and far being under the jurisdiction of human law. In Ats s4 we saw how easily a slayer can break free from jail, we saw how easily Buffy bent the bars of Jonathans and Andrew's cell in Two to Go. Faith had the power of a demon in her and couldn't be obtained by human law, therefore she's under Buffy's jurisdiction. It wasn't as if Buffy hadn't tried to reason with her, she had repeatedly, and Faith was too invested in the Mayor to switch sides again. No one else could take Faith down, so ultimately it was Buffy's role.

          I mean really what was she supposed to do? Let Faith remain a threat until 'Graduation Day' when she could severely screw up any of their plans? Imagine if she had been at the ceremony. Angel took out a great deal of vamps but he couldn't have if Faith had went after him. Buffy chased the Mayor into the school using what she did to Faith as a trap, if Faith had been there she would have pre-occupied Buffy from the Mayor which could result in many more lives being lost.

          And of course we have the fact that Faith had just poisoned Angel and her blood was the only cure. Buffy shouldn't have to put herself at that risk when Faith can cure him, after all it is her fault he is that way; it's justice. Faith said she wasn't coming alive and Buffy was right in saying this isn't a problem, being a human shouldn't have gave Faith any special treatment under the circumstances.

          I do think Faith cared, though. She was in denial. She stayed there until "Who Are You?" which started a breakdown that ended with her weeping in Angel's arms.
          Buffy can't see into the future though and at that time and that place Faith was showing anything but compassion and then of course she started hurting her friends.

          ~ Banner by Nina ~

          Comment


          • #6
            Was Buffy going after Faith that night other than for Angel? No. If Angel hadn't been poisoned, Buffy was going to let the fight with Faith come to her. There was no evidence at all that Buffy was going to seek her out before graduation until they had identified the poison.

            The only point of the exercise was Angel. That's not actually quite good enough for me. Buffy considered the mission a failure, despite having removed Faith from the battle and thinking she'd killed her. Even if killing Faith was within Buffy's scope, feeding her to Angel was not. It wasn't 'justice', just irony.

            Incidentally, I also think that Angel should have willingly let the poison finish him before feeding off Buffy. And, yes, he had a choice at every point of the process.
            sigpic
            Banner by LRae12

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by KingofCretins View Post
              Was Buffy going after Faith that night other than for Angel? No. If Angel hadn't been poisoned, Buffy was going to let the fight with Faith come to her. There was no evidence at all that Buffy was going to seek her out before graduation until they had identified the poison.
              There was no evidence to suggest she would have killed her, but she did state earlier in the episode that she wanted to make her cry uncle though, and I was under the impression was going to search for Faith. I believe Buffy should have made up her mind long before this to kill Faith, she had an obligation to do so and I don't believe being human should automatically give Faith any leniency.

              The only point of the exercise was Angel. That's not actually quite good enough for me. Buffy considered the mission a failure, despite having removed Faith from the battle and thinking she'd killed her. Even if killing Faith was within Buffy's scope, feeding her to Angel was not. It wasn't 'justice', just irony.
              I see it as ironic justice I view it as being justice because Faith paid for her crimes. It's not often a murderer can save the person they killed by giving up their own life, if it was a possibility I'd 100% support it. Faith poisoned Angel and her blood was the cure, Buffy's job is to protect the innocent from the forces of darkness and that's exactly what she did here.

              Incidentally, I also think that Angel should have willingly let the poison finish him before feeding off Buffy. And, yes, he had a choice at every point of the process.
              I've never been clear on how much of a choice Angel had here. He was clearly delusional, believing both Oz and Willow to be Buffy and was hardly at his greatest strength to ignore those strong urges he has because he is a demon to feed. If Angel wasn't delusional could you be sure he would have done the same thing?

              ~ Banner by Nina ~

              Comment


              • #8
                243 other episodes, no instances of compulsive feeding by a vampire under duress. Wesley nursed an unconscious Angel, but "Graduation" was not that. He had, not a moment before, told her that it was over, that he wouldn't feed off of her. He was in pain, but lucid. She battered him long enough to make him vamp out, but only he makes himself drink.

                Xander named him very well in the hospital.

                I never thought Buffy should have explored killing Faith as a first option. Her 'cry uncle' approach was the right one. Faith, at the time, was the only person in the world who proved that Buffy wasn't "really" alone. Faith was, in many ways, her sister. The decision to kill such is not something a child should have been able to make lightly. It's something that would have stood a real chance of breaking Buffy down. Remember Xander's last warning to her before she went after Faith.
                sigpic
                Banner by LRae12

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by KingofCretins View Post
                  243 other episodes, no instances of compulsive feeding by a vampire under duress. Wesley nursed an unconscious Angel, but "Graduation" was not that. He had, not a moment before, told her that it was over, that he wouldn't feed off of her. He was in pain, but lucid. She battered him long enough to make him vamp out, but only he makes himself drink.
                  Never did we have Angel in such a situation and we saw in the episode Angel that just being near a neck was very hard for him. Being in a delusional and dying state would only further enhance those feelings, I can't fault him completely. If he'd snacked on Buffy when she offered her neck to him in Angel I could.

                  I never thought Buffy should have explored killing Faith as a first option. Her 'cry uncle' approach was the right one. Faith, at the time, was the only person in the world who proved that Buffy wasn't "really" alone. Faith was, in many ways, her sister. The decision to kill such is not something a child should have been able to make lightly. It's something that would have stood a real chance of breaking Buffy down. Remember Xander's last warning to her before she went after Faith.
                  So Buffy shouldn't take out a threat because she made Buffy feel less alone? I would never call Buffy a child, she had to deal with a lot like sending Angel to hell, I think she'd matured fast and even if not preferable these decisions were no one else's but hers to make. Nor do I believe Buffy took the decision lightly, we had that scene of Buffy staring at her own reflection in the mirror, registering what she was about to do and accepting the consequences. I think it was very mature approach to a very mature world Buffy had been thrust in, Faith doesn't deserve leniency based on being a human.

                  I tend to think Xander needs to have a hard look at himself before giving Buffy any warnings, after all he had no problem and was rather flippant about going after vampire with a soul, based purely on his dislike for him and what he was. Which brings us back to this question of morality again, what exactly makes a human special other than the fact that they have a soul? Angel had a soul and yet the fact he wasn't a human made Xander believe he had the right to kill him, why shouldn't Buffy have the right to kill Faith when she was something other than a human?

                  ~ Banner by Nina ~

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Never did we have Angel in such a situation and we saw in the episode Angel that just being near a neck was very hard for him. Being in a delusional and dying state would only further enhance those feelings, I can't fault him completely. If he'd snacked on Buffy when she offered her neck to him in Angel I could.
                    The fact that he didn't snack just because a neck was in front of him hurts him, it doesn't help. He decided to save his butt in "Graduation" because Buffy pushed the issue, but he decided.

                    So Buffy shouldn't take out a threat because she made Buffy feel less alone? I would never call Buffy a child, she had to deal with a lot like sending Angel to hell, I think she'd matured fast and even if not preferable these decisions were no one else's but hers to make. Nor do I believe Buffy took the decision lightly, we had that scene of Buffy staring at her own reflection in the mirror, registering what she was about to do and accepting the consequences. I think it was very mature approach to a very mature world Buffy had been thrust in, Faith doesn't deserve leniency based on being a human.
                    I think your missing my point. Faith is a human being. She is someone with whom there was an emotional investment. Unlike Angel in "Becoming", there was nothing at stake requiring she be dealt with in that manner. She could have been chained back up in the mansion again without Wesley springing her this time, had she been captured before Angel was poisoned. For that matter, if Buffy felt they could try to cure Angel by only draining her close, why was it okay to not try to hold back with Faith, but instead drag a corpse to Angel?

                    I tend to think Xander needs to have a hard look at himself before giving Buffy any warnings, after all he had no problem and was rather flippant about going after vampire with a soul, based purely on his dislike for him and what he was. Which brings us back to this question of morality again, what exactly makes a human special other than the fact that they have a soul? Angel had a soul and yet the fact he wasn't a human made Xander believe he had the right to kill him, why shouldn't Buffy have the right to kill Faith when she was something other than a human?
                    Except, of course, he never did try to kill Angel, for dislike or any other reason.

                    The soul is enough. But it's not the *only* consideration in the case of Angel... or Spike. Let me turn that on you, mogs. I don't think you could say that Buffy would have been "wrong" to stake Spike in "Sleeper" when he was so clearly out of control, when it was obvious that he was too dangerous even with his soul to function. Angel, freshly back from hell for no apparent reason, was no less of a wild card or risk than Spike was at that point.
                    sigpic
                    Banner by LRae12

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by KingofCretins View Post
                      The fact that he didn't snack just because a neck was in front of him hurts him, it doesn't help. He decided to save his butt in "Graduation" because Buffy pushed the issue, but he decided.
                      But he wasn't in the state of mind that we could deem all his actions entirely decided by his judgement. What I mean is, is that Angel was delusional, to suggest his judgement was fuzzy is entirely reasonable considering he thought Oz was Buffy. We know that Angel is extremely selfless, he gave up his relationship with Buffy for Buffy, he was willing to give up his life just so Darla could have one in The Trial and was willing to sacrifice himself to bring down the Senior Partners. In fact he saved Buffy's life in the wishverse when he hardly knew her, by jumping in front of the bow and allowing Xander to stab him instead. All of this suggests that Angel is one for saving others, to suggest in his delusional state his judgement was somewhat impaired makes perfect sense.

                      I think your missing my point. Faith is a human being. She is someone with whom there was an emotional investment. Unlike Angel in "Becoming", there was nothing at stake requiring she be dealt with in that manner. She could have been chained back up in the mansion again without Wesley springing her this time, had she been captured before Angel was poisoned. For that matter, if Buffy felt they could try to cure Angel by only draining her close, why was it okay to not try to hold back with Faith, but instead drag a corpse to Angel?
                      There wasn't? Because I thought teaming up with the Mayor and planning to end Sunnydale as we know it the very next day, warranted immediate action. How exactly would Buffy chain her up and what good would it do if she did? Faith at this point wasn't far off Buffy and made it quite clear she wouldn't be taken alive, how would Buffy manage to capture her in a fight? Suppose she was captured, and we then supposed to believe that the Mayor wouldn't try and free her immediately? Either as a demon or getting his lackeys to do so? We saw how angry he was when she was missing, he sent all his vamps on to it, if Faith was freed then the scoobies would be right back where they started; again.

                      There is a great deal of assumption that Buffy did this directly as a result of Angel because she hadn't tried to kill Faith in the past, isn't it entirley possible because of Angel Buffy then came to the assumption Faith needed permanently taken out? Faith nearly strangled Xander to death, planned to torture Buffy, held a knife to Willow's throat, hurled a knife at Wes' head and now had poisoned Angel, isn't it possible that was the last straw for Buffy? Faith clearly was hurting the people she cared about, the people who once cared about Faith?

                      Except, of course, he never did try to kill Angel, for dislike or any other reason.
                      Xander asked Faith if he could come kill Angel, he went into the library grabbed his weapons and was about to leave before he saw Giles. One could make a safe assumption and presume that Xander was trying to kill Angel by doing all this.

                      The soul is enough. But it's not the *only* consideration in the case of Angel... or Spike. Let me turn that on you, mogs. I don't think you could say that Buffy would have been "wrong" to stake Spike in "Sleeper" when he was so clearly out of control, when it was obvious that he was too dangerous even with his soul to function. Angel, freshly back from hell for no apparent reason, was no less of a wild card or risk than Spike was at that point.
                      I believe that the soul is only a consideration, Faith had a soul and I support Buffy's decision to kill her and yes I would support Buffy's decision to stake Spike. However, I really don't see how you could say Angel at this point was anywhere near the risk Spike was. Spike was being controlled by something, he was physically unable to stop what he was doing the same way in which I support Buffy killing Angelus if there was no other option, because Angel had no control over what he was doing. However, Angel was in complete control of himself when Xander lured Faith into taking him down, he was helping by keeping the glove and had done nothing wrong to warrant being killed. How does Angel compare to Spike? Of course Xander could work up a story that one day something might start controlling Angel; like the thing that brought him back, but something once controlled Xander does this mean he should die in case it ever happens again?

                      ~ Banner by Nina ~

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Wow interesting thread. Hmm I'm somewhat on the fence. Firstly Angel? The jury is out on that one. Never again has Angel been near death so it's impossible to know how much free will entered into it. Angel wasn't near death in Deep Down as vampires don't need to feed to survive so this situation is different so it's plausible that the demon's survival instinct kicked in not unlike human survival when someone is turned into a vampire when they are near death especially when the people who are turned are a lot weaker than the attacking vampire. Or maybe Angel knowingly made a choice and fed off Buffy without the intention of killing her.

                        As for Faith? Under the rule of self defense? I suppose one could deem this as permissable. She is defending Angel from Faith's actions.

                        However Xander goes a bit deep when he says he doesn't want to lose her. From a Kantian perspective it's wrong. Buffy actually said to Faith we can't judge who lives and who dies, but that's exactly what's she's doing. The human/soulless demon dichotomy was clearly important to Buffy. Faith said we're better and Buffy making a similar judgement. She's saying Angel's life is worth more than Faith's. I'm not saying it's wrong from every stand point but as soon as you start becoming judge jury and executioner to every being, then you start down a murky road.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I'm on AtS's side with this one. You kill humans/demons/beings that you perceive as a threat to your life or a severe threat to your health or the life and/or health of those to which you have emotional ties, period. If someone has a strong positive emotional investment in that person/demon/being, then they can go ahead and try to stop the threatened person, but I'd strongly advise against having such emotional ties to someone who's threatened anyone else's (especially your friends') life and limb. Just because someone is a human does not mean they cannot be a very real threat to the majority of humankind. Killing Faith, the Mayor, or any of his minions (even human) would be self-defense. They would have helped to kill the entire school the next day.

                          Killing Warren was objectively self-defense, because for all the Scoobs knew, he could have returned to kill Buffy or even Willow. Ben? Absolutely self-defense. Giles did not want to see Buffy or Dawn hurt, in any way. He eliminated the threat as best he could.
                          Buffy: It sounds like it's difficult for you. Maybe your sister makes it hard for you to establish your own identity. You said she's controlling, she doesn't let you make your own decisions -
                          Dawn: Yeah, and she borrows my clothes without asking.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            But he wasn't in the state of mind that we could deem all his actions entirely decided by his judgement. What I mean is, is that Angel was delusional, to suggest his judgement was fuzzy is entirely reasonable considering he thought Oz was Buffy. We know that Angel is extremely selfless, he gave up his relationship with Buffy for Buffy, he was willing to give up his life just so Darla could have one in The Trial and was willing to sacrifice himself to bring down the Senior Partners. In fact he saved Buffy's life in the wishverse when he hardly knew her, by jumping in front of the bow and allowing Xander to stab him instead. All of this suggests that Angel is one for saving others, to suggest in his delusional state his judgement was somewhat impaired makes perfect sense.
                            When did this impairment start? Not a moment before, he had rejected the plan for the very reasons mentioned -- he is not going to put someone he cares about in danger to save his own butt. He was perfectly lucid about it. The poison wasn't impairing him then, but suddenly impaired him after a couple of punches in the face? No, no. Angel changed his mind. He copped out and chose to risk Buffy's life to save him, with the built-in excuse that it was her idea.

                            There wasn't? Because I thought teaming up with the Mayor and planning to end Sunnydale as we know it the very next day, warranted immediate action.
                            Apparently there wasn't, because she was not in fact killed but still didn't participate in the graduation. It was not a contingent circumstance, she didn't *have* to die to prevent it. Angel *had* to be killed to stop Acathla.

                            Killing her was solely a product of curing Angel. I don't really except the argument that killing her was necessitated by the attack on Xander, for instance. At the time, crisis counseling was considered sufficient by Angel. Nothing at all demanded a battle to the death until Buffy wanted to save Angel.

                            Xander asked Faith if he could come kill Angel, he went into the library grabbed his weapons and was about to leave before he saw Giles. One could make a safe assumption and presume that Xander was trying to kill Angel by doing all this.
                            But when did he actually try to kill him? He long since renunciated any plan to help Faith before he did anything that would make him guilty of an attempt to do so.

                            However, I really don't see how you could say Angel at this point was anywhere near the risk Spike was. Spike was being controlled by something, he was physically unable to stop what he was doing the same way in which I support Buffy killing Angelus if there was no other option, because Angel had no control over what he was doing.
                            The difference is that you like Angel more than you like Spike, I think

                            Angel's curse was a wild-card. The very fact that there was a condition that could cause him to lose his soul made it every bit as unpredictable, or at least unreliable, as Spike being 'triggered' by an unknown party for unknown reasons. Looking back, considering that we've seen Angel drugged back into Angelus, and also freely choose to aid in the murder of a couple dozen people in "Reunion", and murder Drogyn, any suspicion of him seems to have turned out to be reasonable.

                            However Xander goes a bit deep when he says he doesn't want to lose her. From a Kantian perspective it's wrong. Buffy actually said to Faith we can't judge who lives and who dies, but that's exactly what's she's doing. The human/soulless demon dichotomy was clearly important to Buffy. Faith said we're better and Buffy making a similar judgement. She's saying Angel's life is worth more than Faith's. I'm not saying it's wrong from every stand point but as soon as you start becoming judge jury and executioner to every being, then you start down a murky road.
                            Which is why I felt it was the least moral thing Buffy had done. She completely compromises a principle she held before that night, and a principle she picked back up after that night.

                            Killing Warren was objectively self-defense, because for all the Scoobs knew, he could have returned to kill Buffy or even Willow. Ben? Absolutely self-defense. Giles did not want to see Buffy or Dawn hurt, in any way. He eliminated the threat as best he could.
                            Killing Warren was no form of self-defense. Self-defense is mitigation where you apprehend an imminent threat to your life. A gun being drawn. A person charging with a knife. As for Ben... even Giles condemned himself in the process of killing him.
                            sigpic
                            Banner by LRae12

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Killing Warren was no form of self-defense. Self-defense is mitigation where you apprehend an imminent threat to your life. A gun being drawn. A person charging with a knife. As for Ben... even Giles condemned himself in the process of killing him.
                              Warren had just pulled out a gun and shot Buffy without a second thought. Buffy, Xander, and Willow knew what he was capable of all too well. They had been under fire from Warren and the Trio all year long, and just before Buffy was shot, she had to escape from swinging buzzsaws. I don't see how anyone could not perceive Warren as a threat, knowing only what Buffy, Xander, and Willow knew. And in Ben's case, I don't agree with Giles. Heroes have to do what they can to save the world, to save each other. If someone is intent on hurting Buffy's and Giles' loved ones (Ben decided to comply with Glory's plan in Weight of the World), I see no reason for Giles to hold back.
                              Buffy: It sounds like it's difficult for you. Maybe your sister makes it hard for you to establish your own identity. You said she's controlling, she doesn't let you make your own decisions -
                              Dawn: Yeah, and she borrows my clothes without asking.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Which is still not self-defense. Self defense would have been spearing Warren with her stick she was checking for cameras with when he drew the gun and was firing. Hunting him down afterwards was nothing of the kind. It was revenge.
                                sigpic
                                Banner by LRae12

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Which is still not self-defense. Self defense would have been spearing Warren with her stick she was checking for cameras with when he drew the gun and was firing. Hunting him down afterwards was nothing of the kind. It was revenge.
                                  I really don't have a problem with that either. If Willow doesn't want to see the face of the man who killed Tara, I say so be it. Warren was not a contributor to society; he was a misogynist bastard, and I'm sure if any random group living in Sunnydale had suddenly been informed of all he had done, all he was capable of, and his plans to take over the town, they would have tried to stop him any way they could.
                                  Buffy: It sounds like it's difficult for you. Maybe your sister makes it hard for you to establish your own identity. You said she's controlling, she doesn't let you make your own decisions -
                                  Dawn: Yeah, and she borrows my clothes without asking.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    It looks as if I'm going to end up taking on everyone present on this subject...I will admit, before getting into the details, that my basic stances on ethics dealing with non-human intelligent beings were formed long before I ever saw an episode of Buffy, and it's difficult for me to get my moral sense into "Buffyverse mode".

                                    Almost everyone who has posted so far agrees with the different moral status of demons and humans--humans may or may not be killed depending on the circumstances, but demons are always fair game. I have trouble with this perspective. To me, any "intelligent being" (I have never found a good way of describing this without having it taken apart by someone who uses the words differently) is a person, although not necessarily human. Spike is a person. Clem is a person. Data is a person. Spock is a person. None of them are human. (I use these non-Buffyverse examples as illustrations of my perspective, acknowledging that it isn't a perspective any character in or writer of the series seems to share. Robots in the Buffyverse are more of a grey area, as it's less clear how much intelligence or free will they have. But it's interesting that Buffy stays to comfort April as she shuts down/dies, and treats her emotions as real.)

                                    I don't have trouble with Buffy killing humans or demons (or robots) who pose a clear threat to other people. Because of the nature of demons, at least a few kinds of them are intrinsically and regrettably threatening to humans. This involuntary threat is not, however, what I mean when I use the term "evil", which to me implies an intelligence that could choose to be good if it wished. I do think that when such a killing has to occur, there ought to be some level of regret regardless of what kind of being is being killed, though of course a human who does it often will gradually become numb to it (and this is not a good thing). I have considerable difficulty imagining an intelligent being that is mentally incapable of goodness, though it's not so hard to imagine one that is dangerous whether it means to be or not.

                                    Regarding vampires specifically...it's not clear to me that needing blood, or even human blood, to survive is enough to make them a threat all by itself. (A lot depends on how much they have to consume apiece, and how many of them there are.) Hemophiliacs also need human blood to survive, after all, as do (on a more temporary basis) people who have undergone serious injury or major surgery. I have no problem whatsoever with Angel drinking from a very willing Buffy to survive, especially given that he does it only at her insistence and in an unclear mental state. Nor, given that Faith is a killer at large in Sunnydale, does it bother me terribly that Buffy means to give her to Angel to keep him from dying (or dusting, if you insist).

                                    The difficulty I do have with vampires is that all of them (with the exception of newly-emerged fledglings) have fed on unwilling humans and most, if just possibly not all, have killed. But this is also true of Angel and Spike (souled or not). If giving Angel and Spike second (and third, and fourth) chances just because they have gained souls is legitimate, why not go on an ensouling-campaign, giving souls to as many vampires as possible? I'm honestly not sure how to stand on this, but it's exactly the same problem I have with human criminals--how much mercy do you show? How much does a particular mental (or spiritual) problem mitigate harm done?

                                    In short, to me, humans and Buffyverse vampires and demons all exist on more or less the same moral plane--namely, "good is as good does; evil is as evil does". I'm not certain exactly what punishment Warren should receive (although I do think he ought ideally to have been turned over to the authorities, as they seem capable of dealing with him), but I have no intrinsic problem with Buffy killing him any more than I'd have an intrinsic problem with Buffy killing Spike. It's all a matter of his actions and capabilities, not of whether he's human or not.
                                    DeadWar: Burden of Proof
                                    Out Now.
                                    Avatar by Barb
                                    Feedback is always welcome here.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by KingofCretins View Post
                                      When did this impairment start? Not a moment before, he had rejected the plan for the very reasons mentioned -- he is not going to put someone he cares about in danger to save his own butt. He was perfectly lucid about it. The poison wasn't impairing him then, but suddenly impaired him after a couple of punches in the face? No, no. Angel changed his mind. He copped out and chose to risk Buffy's life to save him, with the built-in excuse that it was her idea.
                                      Yes Angel does say no, but in his state it is entirely reasonable to suggest he was far weaker than usual to fight back the demonic urges, as for example when he feeds and feeds until finally he is able to break free realising what he has done. Angel clearly wasn't in a normal state of mind, hence I can't blame him entirely for his actions. Whereas if he had snacked on Buffy in Angel when she gave him that chance I would have; he wasn't delusional then.


                                      Apparently there wasn't, because she was not in fact killed but still didn't participate in the graduation. It was not a contingent circumstance, she didn't *have* to die to prevent it. Angel *had* to be killed to stop Acathla.
                                      Because she was in a coma? I really don't see your point here; basically Buffy might as well have killed Faith because she was incapable both physically and mentally to do anything evil at the time. Are you trying to say you don't think Buffy has the right to kill someone but it is fine for her to beat them until near death and put them into comas?

                                      Killing her was solely a product of curing Angel. I don't really except the argument that killing her was necessitated by the attack on Xander, for instance. At the time, crisis counseling was considered sufficient by Angel. Nothing at all demanded a battle to the death until Buffy wanted to save Angel.
                                      Angel suggested Buffy bringing Faith to him in which Buffy replies, "I tried, I killed her." Angel tells Buffy in this weakened state that he believes he will kill whom ever he feeds upon and yet he suggests Faith.


                                      But when did he actually try to kill him? He long since renunciated any plan to help Faith before he did anything that would make him guilty of an attempt to do so.
                                      People still go to jail for plotting one's death Wether or not Xander carried out the attempted murder, which he would have if circumstances hadn't been different- Xander plotted Angel's death.


                                      The difference is that you like Angel more than you like Spike, I think
                                      Very true I do. However, in this case I don't believe it has made me biased at all. Angel did have the curse but unless he was willingly engaging in sexual activity with Buffy or willingly became truly happy, something I'm far from convinced he could be whilst worrying about his soul, he in no way compares to Spike's situation. Spike was being controlled by the First, it wasn't a matter of making the right decisions, Spike was physically and mentally incapable of stopping the First from controlling him. If there was no way to change this, and Spike would continue killing innocents then I support Buffy's decision to stake Spike. As I would if she had to kill Angel in 'Amends' like Giles says, if there was no way of preventing the First from controlling him and Angel was killing innocent people.

                                      Angel's curse was a wild-card. The very fact that there was a condition that could cause him to lose his soul made it every bit as unpredictable, or at least unreliable, as Spike being 'triggered' by an unknown party for unknown reasons. Looking back, considering that we've seen Angel drugged back into Angelus, and also freely choose to aid in the murder of a couple dozen people in "Reunion", and murder Drogyn, any suspicion of him seems to have turned out to be reasonable.
                                      Spike had no way of preventing the First from triggering him, Angel knew about the curse and the measures to ensure it didn't happen again. Basically Angel has a medical condition like aids, and we don't kill these people based on something that isn't their fault, even if they MIGHT infect someone else. Many scoobies have done questionable things, Xander freely supported Willow's decision to kill Warren, Willow did kill Warren, Anya killed twelve people, Andrew killed Jonathan even though he admitted he knew the First wasn't really Warren and Cordy told Angel to kill Holtz; does this mean you support these characters being killed based on hazy morals?



                                      Which is why I felt it was the least moral thing Buffy had done. She completely compromises a principle she held before that night, and a principle she picked back up after that night.
                                      People change, and the only other time she truly enforces her choices about killing humans was with Warren whom was someone who could be dealt with by human laws.

                                      Which is still not self-defense. Self defense would have been spearing Warren with her stick she was checking for cameras with when he drew the gun and was firing. Hunting him down afterwards was nothing of the kind. It was revenge.
                                      I agree and since he could be dealt with by human laws and sent to prison he doesn't fall under the slayer's jurisdiction.

                                      ~ Banner by Nina ~

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Yes Angel does say no, but in his state it is entirely reasonable to suggest he was far weaker than usual to fight back the demonic urges, as for example when he feeds and feeds until finally he is able to break free realising what he has done. Angel clearly wasn't in a normal state of mind, hence I can't blame him entirely for his actions. Whereas if he had snacked on Buffy in Angel when she gave him that chance I would have; he wasn't delusional then.
                                        Yeah I think the jury still out on that one. It's not that disimilar to a human feeding on a vampires blood out of an instinctual survival mechanism and of course we cannnot comprehend how powerful the bloodlust is. As you said it's plausible that she beat the demon into taking control, however as his conversation with Doyle implied, whether coerced or not, he did enjoy it.

                                        Angel suggested Buffy bringing Faith to him in which Buffy replies, "I tried, I killed her." Angel tells Buffy in this weakened state that he believes he will kill whom ever he feeds upon and yet he suggests Faith.
                                        I'm not really sure what Angel believes or how desperate or lucid he was. In between then and Sanctuary he certainly changed his mind back.

                                        Very true I do. However, in this case I don't believe it has made me biased at all. Angel did have the curse but unless he was willingly engaging in sexual activity with Buffy or willingly became truly happy, something I'm far from convinced he could be whilst worrying about his soul, he in no way compares to Spike's situation. Spike was being controlled by the First, it wasn't a matter of making the right decisions, Spike was physically and mentally incapable of stopping the First from controlling him. If there was no way to change this, and Spike would continue killing innocents then I support Buffy's decision to stake Spike. As I would if she had to kill Angel in 'Amends' like Giles says, if there was no way of preventing the First from controlling him and Angel was killing innocent people.
                                        I pretty much find that logic sound. Yet I always believe there is a case to stake Angel and of course a case against it and he's my fave character lol.

                                        Spike had no way of preventing the First from triggering him, Angel knew about the curse and the measures to ensure it didn't happen again. Basically Angel has a medical condition like aids, and we don't kill these people based on something that isn't their fault, even if they MIGHT infect someone else. Many scoobies have done questionable things, Xander freely supported Willow's decision to kill Warren, Willow did kill Warren, Anya killed twelve people, Andrew killed Jonathan even though he admitted he knew the First wasn't really Warren and Cordy told Angel to kill Holtz; does this mean you support these characters being killed based on hazy morals?
                                        Completely agree with that. It could be considered that creatures with human souls fall under the Kantian rule. Although Angel may have made some questionable calls with a soul, is it right to kill him based upon that? That said, if Angel or Spike should be killed if they cause a threat against their will, would it be just as justifiable if to kill Faith if she were killing against her will?


                                        People change, and the only other time she truly enforces her choices about killing humans was with Warren whom was someone who could be dealt with by human laws.
                                        Like with Angel I'm not really sure. Angel has stated that we can't say who's soul is worth saving and who's isn't but Angel's killed plenty of humans (Brewer, Hauser, Hainsley,). Does Buffy have the right to make this decision either? Although Angel is no slayer how far does Buffy's jurisdiction go and even if the WC supported it (which they most likely would) does that make her actions just?

                                        "Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster"

                                        Comment

                                        Working...
                                        X