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  • The Right To Live

    I know this was on the last forum but there are new people here I think with fresh perspectives.

    Anyway, at first Buffy killed vampires and demons right left and centre. Then we got soulled vampires and demons who don't seem so bad. Buffy then wanted to kill Faith to save Angel, right or wrong? While Buffy hasn't technically murdered anyone is cold blood she does have a human body count and has willingly allowed or caused or shown a willingless to kill humans. For example the Knights of Byzantium, The German terrorists in Homecoming, and she 'killed' Ted when she thought he was human and what exactly was the assassin in the skating rink in WML (although even if he was human he definately seemed preternatually strong seen as he had Buffy and Angel on the ropes) and the list goes on. She is a Slayer but what is her slayer jurisdiction?

    Also Angel isn't even a slayer and he has killed and caused and let a few humans die when he was soulled. The rapists and murderers in the 1900s, Vanessa Brewer, Hauser, the bikers in Dad etc.

    Also what about demons? Angel has a zero tolerance policy on killing at W&H. Does this extend to the killing of innocent demons and does it extend to killing humans who kill other humans for fun?

    So who has a right to live and how should we judge others who kill demons or humans who may or may not be deemed as innocent?

    Have fun.

  • #2
    It requires a bit of parsing out, but let's start here. Vampires don't have a right to live. The right to life presupposes... life. Vampires are explicitly "undead". They aren't alive. They don't refer to themselves as alive. Vampires can be killed indiscriminately by any who are willing or capable. Vampires with a soul create a moral dilemma, but... is a question that needs answering? In the whole of Buffyverse history, there have been three vampires effected in any way by the presence of a human soul -- Angel, Spike, and Darla. Darla was mooching off Connor, and she killed herself, so it's moot. In the case of Angel and Spike, both have been subjected to attempts to kill them while they were ensouled, and in both cases it was presented as a moral wrong.

    Demons... I'm more or less willing to put them in the same category as vampires. I don't think they have a right to live anymore than vampires. In the case of demons, the moral status of killing them is more about the one who would be doing the killing -- their motives. In the Buffyverse, pragmatism seems to guide the morality of killing demons. Would I honestly guess that at some point in his life, Clem has done something worthy of killling him for? Probably. But is he an immediate threat? No.
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    • #3
      Buffy doesn't kill humans if she can help it. The only real exception here is when she tried to kill Faith. The Knights of Byzantium, the German terrorists in Homecoming and Caleb were pretty much unavoidable. Ted was an accident.

      As for demons, she seems to have some sort of instinctive guide as to which ones she should or shouldn't kill. She recognised Whistler as a demon pretty quickly but made no effort to attack him. She didn't see anything wrong with Angel when they first met, despite being able to sense other vampires from a great distance and after Spike got his soul back, she somehow sensed that he'd changed and refrained from staking him on sight.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by kana View Post
        I know this was on the last forum but there are new people here I think with fresh perspectives.

        Anyway, at first Buffy killed vampires and demons right left and centre. Then we got soulled vampires and demons who don't seem so bad. Buffy then wanted to kill Faith to save Angel, right or wrong? While Buffy hasn't technically murdered anyone is cold blood she does have a human body count and has willingly allowed or caused or shown a willingless to kill humans. For example the Knights of Byzantium, The German terrorists in Homecoming, and she 'killed' Ted when she thought he was human and what exactly was the assassin in the skating rink in WML (although even if he was human he definately seemed preternatually strong seen as he had Buffy and Angel on the ropes) and the list goes on. She is a Slayer but what is her slayer jurisdiction?

        Also Angel isn't even a slayer and he has killed and caused and let a few humans die when he was soulled. The rapists and murderers in the 1900s, Vanessa Brewer, Hauser, the bikers in Dad etc.

        Also what about demons? Angel has a zero tolerance policy on killing at W&H. Does this extend to the killing of innocent demons and does it extend to killing humans who kill other humans for fun?

        So who has a right to live and how should we judge others who kill demons or humans who may or may not be deemed as innocent?

        Have fun.
        I do think vampires should be killed, simply because of what they are. Harsh? Yes. Necessary (if they existed that is) Yes. I've given myself this theory, this reasoning that makes killing vampires seem okay, and makes killing humans no matter what they've done, not okay. The main factor is the soul, which humans possess and vampires do not. The soul gives the vampire the ability to feel guilt, remorse and therefore if they have done something that can be considered evil they be struck by remorse and hopefully that would be a factor that prevents them from committing the crime again.

        Vampires don't have this luxury, if that's what a soul is. Because they don't have this added barrier to prevent them from doing wrong, unless they're ensouled there's simply nothing to save them. Thinking with a pacifist mind yet again wouldn't it make sense to ensoul every vampire in the world? Even if it could be done in the Jossverse, it would be very impractical, the vampire world would crumble completely and most likely have an effect on the human world as well. Wouldn't it just be easier to kill them?

        So to put it in short, in my opinion, humans shouldn't be killed (on purpose) ever, unless there's a circumstance the exceeds the boundaries of my little train of random thought, like they've been unensouled and there's no way to get the soul back or something, and vampires should be killed because they don't have this.

        I don't think Buffy should have killed the Knights of Byzantium, yes they were after the scoobies and trying to kill them, but we saw how she completely kicked their asses. She's so much more powerful than them, so was perfectly able to cripple them, rather than kill them with exactly the same effect. I'd think the same applies to the German terrorist guys.

        I've argued over at BW that I believe Faith shouldn't have been killed (that debate's down the drain unfortunately ).

        *sigh* It feels good to post again.

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        • #5
          I've always believed that there can never be a clear cut statement made about wether or not someone has the right to live- at least in the Buffyverse anyway.

          In my opinion I believe a person's intentions are everything and they are the decider when it comes to wether or not they should or should not live. Souled vampires like Angel and Spike are far better people than many humans so I could never support the idea they don't have as much as or more of the right to live then humans who are horrible people. IMO if a demon, vampire or human poses no great threat to innocent lives. If a demon, vampire or human is essentially good and are not evil then they have just as much the right to live as anyone else.

          I believe Buffy had every right to try and kill Faith. Faith couldn't be dealt with by human laws, we've seen how easily she can break free from both the Watchers council and law inforcement. The next day Faith was going to attempt to murder innocent people with the Mayor, wether it be the night before or the day after it doesn't really make much of a difference IMO. A slayer is chosen to combat the vampires, demons and the forces of darkness- Faith was a force of darkness and a very lethal threat to the people around her. I believe Angel at this point had more of a right to live than Faith ever did, regardless of her being human or not.

          I don't believe in humans being superior in the Buffyverse to other creatures, it's that kind of idea that humans have in the real world for years. It is why many animals are now extinct and it is all because we as humans have a mentality about us that we are "better." This isn't always the case, especially in the Buffyverse.

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          • #6
            I'm not sure there can be an exact rule on who should live or die. Vampires, for the most part, are evil. They kill humans so that they can survive. Therefore, they are murderers and should be executed. Demons/monsters are normally evil as well and most should be put to death. But every now and then you have exceptions to the evil vampire/demon rule. Take Clem for example. Demon/monster? Yes. Evil? Not so much. He played kitten poker for crying out loud. Or how about Lorne? He was definitely a demon, but he was harmless. He learned to live in the world and didn't do any more damage than the normal human. So should all demons be killed just because they are a demon? I don't think so. I think the death of demons, vampires, humans, needs to be a case by case thing.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by KingofCretins View Post
              It requires a bit of parsing out, but let's start here. Vampires don't have a right to live. The right to life presupposes... life. Vampires are explicitly "undead". They aren't alive.

              Demons... I'm more or less willing to put them in the same category as vampires.
              One aspect with the demons here, though, and I think Anya is an interesting example, we don't really get an end explicit answer on whether or not demons have souls... more or less, I would say, yes, kill them, but, like a few peopel mention, Clem's harmless. Lorne too, is a different case, and my reasoning here is: he's the 'human'/righteous being in his world, but chooses to live in a world where he may still be persecuted, but not for singing!!!

              Originally posted by Yosso View Post
              I've argued over at BW that I believe Faith shouldn't have been killed (that debate's down the drain unfortunately ).

              *sigh* It feels good to post again.
              Well, she wasn't killed, in the end! Nice to see you posting, and why6 not start a new Faith discussion???


              Originally posted by vampmogs View Post
              I've always believed that there can never be a clear cut statement made about wether or not someone has the right to live- at least in the Buffyverse anyway.
              Does this mean Joss is opposed to capital punishment? Just a thought, in his un black and white portrayals of evil in the Buffy verse. Risa's banner set sums up a fair bit, really!!

              In a rush, sorry haven't expanded much, just adding my two cents and running .

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Risa View Post
                So should all demons be killed just because they are a demon? I don't think so. I think the death of demons, vampires, humans, needs to be a case by case thing.
                I agree. Just being a demon does not constitute a reason for killing. It's not that easy, it's not a black & white thing. The Buffyverse has just as many shades of grey as the real world, possibly even more. The impression I always got about demons in general was that there were good ones and bad ones, but the fact that they were demons was not what determined their goodness or badness. And even when they were bad, they sometimes changed for the better (Anya). Many, many shades of grey.
                I am the one who has disappeared. The way you look through me, I know I'm the one who has disappeared.

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                • #9
                  Wow, glad to see the thread's going well. What about the demons Angel set free in The Ring? Were they evil? Do they have rights (morally). Did Angel know whether they were evil or not and will releasing them cause more to die?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by kana View Post
                    Wow, glad to see the thread's going well. What about the demons Angel set free in The Ring? Were they evil? Do they have rights (morally). Did Angel know whether they were evil or not and will releasing them cause more to die?
                    Well I'm not sure about this. The gang did make a passing comment about this afterwards and it kind of brings up that whole question that is, are some demons better than humans? Angel was far better than some of Gunn's gang, the strongest demon warrior in the ring appeared to be far better than the human who kept him in there. Angel knows better than anyone that a demon can be good or bad, so was it really wrong for him to let loose demons held against their will? He had no evidence to suggest they were evil, nor good so therefore why not let them go? The same argument could be said for a group of humans held against their will, we don't know wether they or good or bad but we would still let them go. I think this is one of those things when we have to look at what was wrong, it was obvious these humans were doing wrong things by making other creatures kill for their amusement, so therefore they were wrong and Angel was right.

                    Angel has a very murky view on demons. He attacks a good demon in Judgement and kills it when assuming it was bad and attacking the girl it was trying to protect. Then at other times doesn't naturally assume anything about the demons he meets.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by kana View Post
                      Wow, glad to see the thread's going well. What about the demons Angel set free in The Ring? Were they evil? Do they have rights (morally). Did Angel know whether they were evil or not and will releasing them cause more to die?
                      Whether they were evil or not, it just doesn't seem right to make them fight for their "freedom". A good example of this would be like dog fighting. You have a lot of mean tempered dogs and you let them fight. Now the world might be better off with the savage dogs dead, but does it seem right to make them kill each other? That just seems like the wrong way to deal with a bad thing. It seems cruel and inhumane...which would be an odd thing to say about the treatment of humans, but hey, we treat criminals, murderers, etc with some sort of...respect. Until proven guilty, shouldn't demons be treated with the same?

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                      • #12
                        I think it would have been different if the humans were keeping the demons hostage because they were a threat to society, the same way we keep humans locked up in prison. I've never agreed with Buffy when she states putting the chip in Spike's head was evil, I agree with KingofCretins in saying it was one of the stupidest things she had ever said, because it prevented an evil creature from hurting innocent lives. However, they were keeping the demons there so they would kill eachother for their amusement and that isn't right.

                        I was watching Ats today and when Angel has Linwood tied in the chair, ready to torture him Lorne says this isn't some slimey demon tied in the chair as if that would somehow be alright. Now I'm not saying it would be wrong but I found it very interesting a demon said this. What would be better, Angel tying Lorne to that chair or Linwood?

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Veverka View Post
                          Well, she wasn't killed, in the end! Nice to see you posting, and why6 not start a new Faith discussion???
                          Oh you know what I meant! I meant that I believe that Buffy shouldn't have set out to try and kill her, just to clear that all up

                          Originally posted by Risa
                          They kill humans so that they can survive. Therefore, they are murderers and should be executed.
                          I don't agree that's the reason vampires should be killed, because they kill humans to feed. With that logic any carnivore/omnivore in the world that kills to survive should also be put to death, I think the reason vampires should be killed is because of their lack of soul and lack of ability to feel remorse when they do unecessary wrong.

                          Wow, glad to see the thread's going well. What about the demons Angel set free in The Ring? Were they evil? Do they have rights (morally). Did Angel know whether they were evil or not and will releasing them cause more to die?
                          I haven't seen AtS Season One in an age, so my opinion on this maybe a little shaky, though from what I remember of it I don't think they appeared to be the usual "evil" demon that we see in the Buffyverse, wanting to kill, crush, destroy or scheme to hurt and main without remorse. So I think Angel was right to let him go, I agree with vampmogs on this, if he had no proof of their guilt, he had no right to kill them. That's exactly Buffy's attitude towards demons, which I think is a fair attitude, unless she has evidence they are "evil" she doesn't kill them.

                          As to the question of their rights, firstly I don't think we know them well enough to have a full blown opinion on them, but from what we saw I think if they're going around killing people remorselessly then they should die.

                          Angel has a very murky view on demons. He attacks a good demon in Judgement and kills it when assuming it was bad and attacking the girl it was trying to protect. Then at other times doesn't naturally assume anything about the demons he meets.
                          Though didn't Cordelia have a vision of the demon, thinking that the demon was the attacker of the woman, not the defender? I don't think the killing of that demon was Angel's fault (or Cordelia's because that was just how she perceived the situation, it looked like the woman was being attacked by the demon so they both had reasons for their conclusions) Angel only attacked the demon because of the information he had.

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