Is having a favorite villain ethical?

Samson Corwell

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On 2/19/2014 at 10:12 AM, dldelancey said:


I think what Rand recognized is that heroes and villians do share some basic values, but that their implementation of those values is quite different. It brings to mind a saying that a friend of mine often uses in business when he is discussing incompetent, but otherwise talented and intelligent coworkers... "If only he would use his powers for good instead of evil."

You nailed it!


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To the topic of this thread, in Objectivism something of value supports or maintains life, and of course to obtain values one mustn't sacrifice others to do so.  So to value evil is a contradiction, as evil seeks to destroy values.  I used to be able to like villains, as a part of me that is kind of outside of myself and appreciate what they do in a non-real context.  But the more I study Objectivist philosophy and ethics and apply it to the whole of my life, the integration from life (experience) to art exists and no I cannot value villains anymore.

I've studied fiction writing and have wrote some, and my approach to villains is in contradiction to the good.  The villains have some unique features, characteristics, qualities, that add to them to make an integrated character.  But I don't enjoy writing them, it's hard and difficult for me to wrap my mind around their motivations.

If I were to pick a fictional villain that stands out to me, the first that comes to mind is Darth Vader from Star Wars ep4 and 5, I hate to sound cliche about that but that character was really well done in that context.  Toohey came to mind next, he's pretty much pure evil without the preference for violence, a true sociopath choosing to destroy the minds of others, and Rand really wrote him well.  But I can't value them, what I think they best serve to do is to display evil, what evil is like or can be like, in contradiction to the good.


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On 10/31/2012 at 9:58 AM, Samson Corwell said:

This came to me one day as I was reading about supervillains. It doesn't seem uncommon for people to have a favorite villain. Would this be something that would be immoral or unethical?

In the movie The Accountant, Ben Afleck plays a very interesting  and even ethical villain. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'd say so, there are a few conditions for which.I would like a villain


The villain should be confined to fiction

S/he should be either:

So incompetent that they are humorous or show the idiocy of their cause

So tragic that they are almost a hero save for one flaw

In a story whose authors morals are so backwards that they should be the hero.

They have a redeeming trait which is better than the heroes (in many hollywood movies, Villians are meticulous planners and heroes are impulsive)

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