Author Topic: Name some things universally agreed upon as "bad."  (Read 2482 times)

Offline Tiffanys

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Name some things universally agreed upon as "bad."
« on: October 10, 2016, 06:52:15 pm »
So, I'm writing a story and I need a character (and subsequently their species) to be the biggest douchebag(s) ever in a way that would be universally agreed upon by any human. The problem is, I can't really think of all that many things that are universally agreed upon as "bad."

Note: This thread is in General Discussions, not The Lounge. Keep that in mind.

Here's the ones I've been able to come up with:
slavery
oppression
genocide

There's really only so far that those 3 things can be pushed before they just get repetitious. The general jist of the story I'm messing with is that the protagonist is walking in a park when suddenly time stops, then there's a big shockwave that knocks them down. They seem to be the only one that isn't frozen, even the rain seems motionless in mid-air. What the protagonist sees is a huge muscular winged angel man heavily armored with a fiery sword fighting a small nude completely unarmed unwinged devil girl (stereotypical appearance - red skin, forked tail, horns, fangs, that sort of thing). It seems like it should be a totally unfair fight but the devil girl is holding her own and it's a fairly even match. The two of them are going back and forth with shit talk.

At this point for the plot to correctly progress what needs to happen is that despite the devil ironically supposed to be the bad guy and the angel supposed to be the good guy the protagonist needs to determine from their exchange that the devil is the good one, and intervene to help her. That'll likely happen in the form of a concealed carry 380 shooting the angel (which is largely unphased) but the distraction lets the demon girl get behind him and jump on his back and rip his wings off which then makes him mortal and he can be killed. But the devil girl is really badly wounded, time unfreezes, and the protagonist has to take the devil girl somewhere to help her. This will inevitably lead into a mini apocalypse, basically, as at some point during her recovery angels start swarming out of the sky looking for her. Then it'll transition into resistance and such.

As for making the angels look bad, the one featured is going to come off as pretentious, condescending, zealous, and inherently evil due to his beliefs. It'll be revealed through dialogue that they've enslaved humanity and wiped out all traces of their existence (which they call The Harvest) many times throughout history (deluge myths, ancient modern human theories) spanning back millions of years. The angel will also indicate that with the devil girl's death the harvest will begin and she won't be able to protect them any longer. He'll also mention something about how when she tried to help mankind before (teaching them magic so they have a chance of fighting back) it lead to the witch hunts. So he'll kind of set her up as the good guy himself.

The real problem is that they aren't exactly able to use 10 minute long rants as they're just spurting off insults between actions within their fight, so the bad shit needs to be potent and concise. The stuff the angel character says needs to be so offensive and universally reprehensible that within only a handful of dialogue lines the protagonist (and readers) should agree that motherfucker needs to go. And well, while the things I've mentioned so far are generally bad, they haven't really reached enough critical mass that it would cause an innocent bystander to put their own life in danger to intervene.

Offline kitamesume

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Re: Name some things universally agreed upon as "bad."
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2016, 07:13:45 pm »
the first thing that came to my mind are the 7 deadly sins, namely pride, wrath, greed, gluttony, envy, sloth and lust.
the other things i thought of are betrayal and corruption.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2016, 07:18:34 pm by kitamesume »

Online Shiakou

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Re: Name some things universally agreed upon as "bad."
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2016, 07:25:02 pm »
So, I'm writing a story and I need a character (and subsequently their species) to be the biggest douchebag(s) ever in a way that would be universally agreed upon by any human. The problem is, I can't really think of all that many things that are universally agreed upon as "bad."

Note: This thread is in General Discussions, not The Lounge. Keep that in mind.

Here's the ones I've been able to come up with:
slavery
oppression
genocide



Those aren't really universal. They're only really "universal" in Modern Western Philosophy. . . and sometimes not even then. You would have to limit your story and character to more or less the 20th/21st century in a western-influenced nation. Even then, you'd have to stick to the most blatantly obvious examples.

For example, there is still a culture of "don't work, don't eat" where I live. Children are expected to help out in the family business without complaint, tho there are legal limits. A ten-year-old child can be forced by his/her parents to work as a cashier or maid or janitor without pay, and this is seen as a character building exercise. Technically you have to get a permit, but the practice is so widespread and ingrained most people don't realize you need a permit. The first time I heard American kids can ask their parents for money in exchange for doing chores, it blew my mind.

Same thing with beggars and homeless people. They live on the good will of other people, but there isn't really any sense of social obligation to them. If you are a poor worker or recently laid off, there are government programs to help you. But if you are, for some reason or another, totally useless to society, there's a good chance you'll spend the rest of your life begging on a street corner.

TLDR, I don't believe there's anything that can be universally agreed upon as bad, unless you start going "Oh, only a few dozen/hundred/thousand people disagree, so they don't count."

So instead of trying for "universal bad stuff", ask yourself what your target audience considers "bad" instead. For example, the Internet seems to run on a philosophy of "Be nice to people unless they're stupid/arrogant/powerful or it's funny".
« Last Edit: October 10, 2016, 07:28:31 pm by Shiakou »

Offline Tiffanys

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Re: Name some things universally agreed upon as "bad."
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2016, 07:44:34 pm »
It's set in modern day USA and the target audience is the same.

Betrayal can be incorporated, betraying humanity. Starting wars and conflicts, purposefully creating 3 nearly identical religions to that end, promising afterlife when there is no intention of granting it, and so on.

Offline Ozzaharwood

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Re: Name some things universally agreed upon as "bad."
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2016, 08:02:56 pm »
Torture

Offline logos

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Re: Name some things universally agreed upon as "bad."
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2016, 08:58:09 pm »
cliches...


Online Shiakou

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Re: Name some things universally agreed upon as "bad."
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2016, 09:02:13 pm »
It's set in modern day USA and the target audience is the same.

Betrayal can be incorporated, betraying humanity. Starting wars and conflicts, purposefully creating 3 nearly identical religions to that end, promising afterlife when there is no intention of granting it, and so on.

I'm going to assume you mean mainstream Americans since true universality is still nigh impossible (there's always a few fringe group with totally different morals).

So, the vast majority of Americans are individualistic moderates, or at least want to be. They value life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Consequently, anything that goes against those values is considered "evil" by most Americans.

Anti-life:
Murder is considered evil, unless the victim is also a perpetrator of evil, in which case it's considered anything from necessary evil to "Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead!". Murdering those who have no way of resisting, such as children or disabled, is considered even worse evil.

Abortion is generally considered evil unless done to prevent greater loss of life (in other words, the mother isn't expected to survive pregnancy). Casually aborting for reasons summarized as "I feel like it" is likely to get you labeled as somewhat evil. Forcing abortion on other people is held on the same level as murder.

Letting someone die when you could have saved them is considered evil. The degree of this depends on the amount of expected responsibility between the observer and the victim.

Anti-Liberty:
Classism, racism, and any type of system that limits the liberty of people because of factors beyond their control is considered evil.

Poverty is considered evil when inflicted upon other people. It is often considered evil to drive people out of business or force them out of work, unless said people are powerful or labeled evil themselves.

Exception: Acting against social or legal obligations is considered evil despite obligations placing a limit on liberty. A person is expected to make more effort towards taking care of family compared to that of a stranger. A fireman is expected to put out fires, a policeman is expected to stop a crime, a doctor is expected to do no harm. Going against these social/legal obligations is considered evil.

Anti-Happiness:
Actions which are perceived to make the majority unhappy are considered evil. This can range from putting certain careers out of the theoretical reach of the majority, to going against fan expectation in entertainment.

Intentionally making people sad is considered evil, unless it makes a greater number of people happy.

Anti-American:
Teaching children values which differ from the observer's values is considered evil. (As compared to cultures which encourage multiple moral systems such as Hinduism, Mahayana Buddhism, or Anarchism.)

Foreign domination of the worldwide economy or culture is considered evil. American domination of the worldwide economy or culture is considered good.

Differences in foreign cultural values are considered quaint and to be tolerated, unless it is "important" or "personal", in which case it is considered good to force American values.

Note: These are all general statements based on my opinion formed from observations of American behavior and media and how they practice/display morality. They're not supposed to be empirical facts, nor are they universal even inside the USA.

Offline Krudda

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Re: Name some things universally agreed upon as "bad."
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2016, 11:32:44 pm »
Would not laziness be considered "bad"
Lack of motivation, general slobbishness.

What about people who can barely communicate even using their first language?

Lying is generally seen as bad too, iirc.
Corruption (for example, people in positions of power, abusing it for themself alone)

Hypocrisy?

Offline kitamesume

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Re: Name some things universally agreed upon as "bad."
« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2016, 01:18:00 am »
What about people who can barely communicate even using their first language?

i'm like that, they call it language impairment i think, its why i mostly end up editing my posts numerous times...

Offline Tiffanys

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Re: Name some things universally agreed upon as "bad."
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2016, 07:22:43 am »
Would not laziness be considered "bad"
Lack of motivation, general slobbishness.

What about people who can barely communicate even using their first language?

Lying is generally seen as bad too, iirc.
Corruption (for example, people in positions of power, abusing it for themself alone)

Hypocrisy?
Lying is basically covered by betrayal. Promise one thing do another. Laziness is probably covered by slavery, and not all that useful in this context as the angel does have to fight. Slobbery can't work because being a slob and being egotistical and pretentious are kind of mutually exclusive. Barely being able to communicate would probably be counter productive as the character itself needs to communicate itself properly for these things to actually be said in the first place. Corruption is probably also covered by the betrayal route.

@Shiakou, thanks for taking the time to make such a big list. I'll try and go through them as it pertains to my story.

  • Anti-life is generally already covered by The Harvest in the form of genocide.
  • Abortion probably isn't all that relevant as it pertains, though I would disagree that it's universally bad, even in the US.
  • Cold/Ruthlessness isn't necessarily evil. I actually admire the trait. Though, just being callously evil for the sake of it, true, would certainly be considered bad. Maybe I can use that. Murdering humans frozen in time for no other reason than amusement or some such, or to cause the devil girl to try to protect them and draw out a moment of weakness. It could work.
  • Classism will work, in a way. They obviously consider themselves the master race. I think it might also help invoking an emotional response by including words commonly used from the holocaust indeed like master race, and also terms like systematic annihilation. Being homophobic and prudish can also help to that end. This all sort of ties into a general holier-than-thou attitude.
  • Anti-happiness doesn't really seem useful in any meaningful way. Too broad, and likely already covered by genocide and enslavement, among other things.
  • Anti-American while the angels would inherently be anti-American, considering the USA is largely evangelical christians I don't think there's a good chance of that working. Not enough disparity.
  • Foreign domination will be covered by The Harvest - genocide/enslavement.
  • Cultural values are largely going to play into most of this as most everything the angel says will be culturally acceptable to him but reprehensible to the devil and humanity in general.

I don't quite think I'm there yet without working some kind of big long rant into the story. Like, when they're both pretty ragged from their battle throwing something like this in "The angel slams his sword into the ground in front of him, leaning forward and resting on it. His breath is ragged, light is leaking from his many wounds. Yet despite this he begins to speak with great conviction and fury."

I need this character to be more offensive than it already is, almost comically so.

edit: If I do have one of those rants, I'm thinking something like The Emperor from Code Geass's speech moment. But that was largely about equality:

All men are not created equal. Some are born swifter of foot. Some with greater beauty. Some are born into poverty, and others born sick and feeble. Both in birth and upbringing, in sheer scope of ability every human is inherently different. Yes, that is why people discriminate against one another which is why there is struggle, competition, and the unfaltering march of progress. Inequality is not wrong, equality is! What of the EU that made equality a right? Rabble politics by popularity contest. The Chinese Federation with its equal distribution of wealth? A nation of lazy dullards! But not our beloved Britannia. We fight, we compete. Evolution is continuous. Britannia alone moves forward, moving steadily into the future. Even the death of my son Clovus demonstrates Britannia's unswerving commitment to progress. We will fight on. We shall struggle, compete, plunder, and dominate. And in the end, the future shall be ours! All hail Britannia!

It would have to instead be about enslaving humanity, repeated genocides of them, how their souls exist to serve them as fuel and nothing more, and then I don't know... it has to obviously be judgmental of the devil's society and human society. Maybe rants about "faggotry" and indecency and such, idol worship, a fake new testament, and so on... Need more ideas for that if it's going to work.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2016, 07:26:44 am by Tiffanys »

Online Shiakou

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Re: Name some things universally agreed upon as "bad."
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2016, 08:40:57 am »
Like I said, those are general statements. I don't think you can actually point to anything that is universally bad. I can guarantee that anything bad you can think of will have at least a few American supporters. There are Americans who want to kill off most Muslims and/or forcibly change their religious values, which is both literal and cultural genocide.

If your "bad guy" is an angel, that's a couple of things from the list that won't make sense unless you go the Evangelion method (otherwise known as Angels In Name Only).

If you're going by Biblical canon:

Angels don't have genders/sex by default, although a bit of shapeshifting can change that.

Angels don't really look like humans. Most of them look weird, by human standards.

Sex with humans is considered a no-no. It's treated as a form of corruption of duty, like a guardian sexually abusing his charge. The only angels confirmed in canon to do this are the Grigori, tho most details on them come from Jewish canon, not Christian canon.

Speaking of which, Biblical/Talmudic canon has multiple renegade factions, all of whom were formerly angels. Satan/Shaitan's faction is the largest one, since he originally had a third of the angels following him. Most of them are imprisoned in Hell. They're what most Christians refer to as devils.

The Grigori are another, later, faction. Their main schtick seems to be that, aside from interbreeding with humans, they also gave humans access to magic and advanced technology (humans were supposed to discover them gradually, not all at once). They're basically a radical "Humanity Fuck Yeah!" faction. Most of them are imprisoned on Earth in hidden valleys "in everlasting chains under darkness".

There are more renegade factions, but it's up to you if you want to include them.

So, I'm guessing your bad guy angel is a Loyalist, with the twist that the loyalist angels are as bad or even worse than their fallen brothers. In which case, make it so that the Biblical/Talmudic canon was just propaganda, and that the loyalists are actually hedonistic fucktards. Perhaps the world wasn't actually created by anyone, or the angels took it over from the actual creator.

Make this specific bad guy act like an asshole to everyone, even fellow loyalists. That could provide an explanation as to why nearly half the angels have fallen.

Make him blind to his own hypocrisy. Have him justify his evil acts by saying that its necessary, a deserved reward, or even blame others for his own faults.

The main thing is that its hard to do this sort of thing without coming off as full of plot-holes. Like, if the angels are doing this for soul fuel and not for justified causes, why do they even care about homosexuality? Does homosexuality give souls a bad taste or something?

Offline Tiffanys

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Re: Name some things universally agreed upon as "bad."
« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2016, 08:57:12 am »
Well, in my lore devils and demons are two distinct entities. Devils are an ancient race that existed long before angels with their leader holding the title of Satan. Demons are the fallen angels that staged a rebellion against the false god because they knew what they were doing was wrong, and they're lead by Lucifer.

The human in the story is actually going to be a descendant of a Nephilim which will be explained as how he was unaffected by the time dilation and how he manages to pick up a fiery sword and inevitably kill the angel with it when any human that touches one should instantly be turned to ash. I will likely involve both the Gregori and the Demons in the rebellion once it begins.

The thing with the angel is that in my lore you have to assume that the entire New Testament was largely the result of devil influence of humans to get humans to abandon the worst of the old doctrines of the angels, since completely destroying the movement would have been impossible at the time.

Here's a small (very rough) excerpt of the rant I think I'm going to have this angel use:
This world is rife with indecency. Faggotry is now so commonplace that it has even been sanctioned! They protect their faggots - even the sacred union has been defiled. Heresy!
Not only do the sick and feeble defile the House of the Lord, but it has become their purpose. It is NOT their purpose! Those with afflictions and deformities are not welcome in his presence!
Pah! Houses of the Lord have become Houses of Iniquity and Idolatry. This "New Testament" - your influence, no doubt - has poisoned the crop. The time to separate the wheat from the chaff has come. To reap what they have sown in The Harvest.
We are the master race. The time of mankind's systematic annihilation is at hand. Those that survive will be enslaved. Those that fall will be harvested. Their souls are nothing but fuel for our war machine.


I've also decided to scrap a few segments of my battle and instead make it so the devil girl is clearly the superior fighter and has a distinct advantage. The angel is badly wounded and she hasn't even been harmed. And then the angel starts to slaughter children. The devil girl emphasizes over this and even sheds tears for their loss. The angel just comes off like a sadistic bastard, killing them for his own amusement. But the real purpose is soon revealed... it was to get a reaction out of the devil girl and force her to sacrifice herself (e.g. take an injury) to protect the innocent bystanders. Her empathy is her weakness. Kind of the classic good-guy routine. It'll happen a few times before they're both badly wounded and now evenly matched, and then exhausted and then the angel has his little rant and they inevitably end up locked into some kind of attack against one another that neither seems to be able to win. So then the protagonist distracts the angel (by attacking it, ineffectively) which is just enough to give the devil girl time to get behind him and rip off his wings. Protagonist picks up sword as the devil girl screams at him not to in horror... but he does it anyway, and then jab jab, the angel is dead. Devil girl collapses, story continues.

Though, truth be told the human in this story isn't actually the protagonist. He's more of a side-kick. The real protagonist is the devil girl. He just acts as the bridge that ties the story into humanity.

edit: Oh and in regards to homosexuality and such, they just want to force their own warped views on everyone else... even something they only consider to be fuel, or slaves. They're kinda assholes like that.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2016, 09:00:56 am by Tiffanys »

Online Shiakou

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Re: Name some things universally agreed upon as "bad."
« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2016, 09:21:39 am »
Well there ya go. There's no need for deep characterization, background, or logical reasons; whenever a bad guy does something bad, it's just cause bad guys are assholes.  :laugh:

This comes off as rather flat, but I suspect you're not trying to make the bad guys as rounded characters anyway.

One thing that breaks suspension of disbelief is the angel's constant referral to "faggots". That's a relatively new term. Before the 20th century "faggot" as an insult was directed to women, particularly old ones (witches burn at the stake too). Unless the angel has been influenced by modern human culture, he should really be using historically appropriate insults or their modern equivalents. The term would have been kadeshim (literally: "consecrated ones", from a Canaanite pagan ritual) or more likely zanah ("male prostitute" or "whore").

This world is rife with indecency. Whoring is now so commonplace that it has even been sanctioned! They protect their whores - even the sacred union has been defiled. Heresy!

Another is the use of the New Testament "separate the wheat from the chaff". That's from Matthews in the NT. Since the NT in your story is the product off demons, why would a loyalist angel use the phrase?

Offline Tiffanys

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Re: Name some things universally agreed upon as "bad."
« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2016, 09:38:08 am »
The Bible was written thousands of years ago in another language. Language has evolved over time here, and it's our language they're speaking. They aren't going to be using ancient Hebrew words and terms if they're speaking modern English. The angel is using the word faggot because it's the most offensive way to say it in modern English. And no, it has to be about homosexuality. The rant isn't nearly finished yet. It needs to tie into sodomy and Sodom & Gomorrah, and homosexuality (e.g. sodomy) is how it ties in.

As for wheat from the chaff, it stands to reason that if the New Testament was intended to sound like angelic propaganda that it would incorporate words and phrases they use, if out of proper context.

Online Shiakou

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Re: Name some things universally agreed upon as "bad."
« Reply #14 on: October 11, 2016, 09:56:13 am »
Ah, so he is familiar with modern American culture (a British/Commonwealth speaker would have said "nancy", "homo" or "poof"), enough to intentionally use insults which only make sense in an American setting. Same thing with "Sodomy=Homosexuality"; that's an American thing, as other countries define sodomy differently.

So, culturally aware and integrated enough that he can pick his words for the most malicious gain. Did the angel spend time among Americans or does he have some magical method of integrating cultural knowledge into himself?

Offline Krudda

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Re: Name some things universally agreed upon as "bad."
« Reply #15 on: October 11, 2016, 10:20:27 am »
Well, in my lore devils and demons are two distinct entities. Devils are an ancient race that existed long before angels with their leader holding the title of Satan. Demons are the fallen angels that staged a rebellion against the false god because they knew what they were doing was wrong, and they're lead by Lucifer.
I thought that was one of the most commonly accepted lore throughout the world, what makes it your's specifically :P
Aside from mention of a fake god, this lines up pretty much with actual mythology.

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Re: Name some things universally agreed upon as "bad."
« Reply #16 on: October 11, 2016, 10:25:51 am »
Well, in my lore devils and demons are two distinct entities. Devils are an ancient race that existed long before angels with their leader holding the title of Satan. Demons are the fallen angels that staged a rebellion against the false god because they knew what they were doing was wrong, and they're lead by Lucifer.
I thought that was one of the most commonly accepted lore throughout the world, what makes it your's specifically :P
Aside from mention of a fake god, this lines up pretty much with actual mythology.

Nah, in Christian mythology Demons = Fallen Angel, while Devil = Satan. There's only one Devil, and he is the former leader of all the Demons.

In Tiff's story, Lucifer isn't a Demon and Devils are an entirely separate species entirely.

Other franchises have a similar thing (like Dungeons and Dragons), but Tiff's story is still unique enough.

Offline Tiffanys

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Re: Name some things universally agreed upon as "bad."
« Reply #17 on: October 11, 2016, 11:04:09 am »
Ah, so he is familiar with modern American culture (a British/Commonwealth speaker would have said "nancy", "homo" or "poof"), enough to intentionally use insults which only make sense in an American setting. Same thing with "Sodomy=Homosexuality"; that's an American thing, as other countries define sodomy differently.

So, culturally aware and integrated enough that he can pick his words for the most malicious gain. Did the angel spend time among Americans or does he have some magical method of integrating cultural knowledge into himself?
They've been watching humanity intently. They know what's going on, they just haven't been able to interfere because the devils have been preventing it.

And yes, sodomy is also referring to anal and other "unnatural" forms of intercourse. Not just sex among homosexual males.

Online Shiakou

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Re: Name some things universally agreed upon as "bad."
« Reply #18 on: October 11, 2016, 12:41:11 pm »
Then I'm guessing "devil" is also a propaganda name? Given that it means "slanderer", I doubt any self-respecting race is going to name themselves "malicious liers". What do they call themselves then?

Demons can keep/adopt the name as the original meaning was "nature spirit". Given the switch in morality, "fallen angel" is either used as a slur, or used ironically.

Offline Saras

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Re: Name some things universally agreed upon as "bad."
« Reply #19 on: October 11, 2016, 12:45:27 pm »
Ice ice baby by Vanilla Ice.

I cannot think of anything more vile.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2016, 01:09:10 pm by Saras »