Was Hitler really evil?

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Re: Was Hitler really evil?

Postby cezen » Thu Oct 20, 2011 7:01 pm

Sorcha wrote:Again I still think they're very different situations. For one the participants know they're in an experiment and were assured that it was legit and safe beforehand. And however good an actor might be it's nothing to seeing the real fear and having someone actually die at your hand.

No, the participants were insured they would be shocking someone. The whole point is that they didn't know it was safe.

In fact, the shock levels were labeled for them to see
"The many switches were labeled with terms including "slight shock," "moderate shock" and "danger: severe shock." The final two switches were labeled simply with an ominous "XXX.""
And, again, 65% were willing to go past the "danger: severe shock" to the maximum level.

According to the experimenters, the participants believed what they were doing was wrong:
"It is important to note that many of the subjects became extremely agitated, distraught and angry at the experimenter. Yet they continued to follow orders all the way to the end."
"A few subjects began to laugh nervously or exhibit other signs of extreme stress once they heard the screams of pain coming from the learner."

I know what you're trying to say, the pain and fear and danger wasn't as extreme and blatant as what the Nazis were doing, yet I think the Psychology world disagrees with you and considers this experiment - along with Asch Conformity Studies and the Stanford Prison Experiment - as having serious implications on the impact of roles, authority, and conformity on doing immoral things you don't believe in, that aren't consistent with your own morality.

Ordinary people, simply doing their jobs, and without any particular hostility on their part, can become agents in a terrible destructive process. Moreover, even when the destructive effects of their work become patently clear, and they are asked to carry out actions incompatible with fundamental standards of morality, relatively few people have the resources needed to resist authority (Milgram, 1974).
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Re: Was Hitler really evil?

Postby bluealice » Sat Oct 29, 2011 4:33 pm

Well, I think Hitler is not evil. We all have the freedom to live, but Hitler must have been really jealous of the Jews because at that time, the Jews are the ones overpowering the Germans (just like what Arty1995 opinionated) that's why he did that merciless act. I mean... every leader needs to protect their nation however, Hitler exaggerated it. He really KILLED, experimented, and tortured them. I felt pity for the innocent Jews, but it doesn't mean Hitler is evil. I think it were his thoughts that are evil.
I can't judge Hitler.
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Re: Was Hitler really evil?

Postby bentj96 » Sat Oct 29, 2011 6:51 pm

bluealice wrote:Well, I think Hitler is not evil. We all have the freedom to live, but Hitler must have been really jealous of the Jews because at that time, the Jews are the ones overpowering the Germans (just like what Arty1995 opinionated) that's why he did that merciless act. I mean... every leader needs to protect their nation however, Hitler exaggerated it. He really KILLED, experimented, and tortured them. I felt pity for the innocent Jews, but it doesn't mean Hitler is evil. I think it were his thoughts that are evil.
I can't judge Hitler.


I don't think he was jealous. He just needed a scapegoat.
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Re: Was Hitler really evil?

Postby opalkoboi » Sun Oct 30, 2011 12:52 am

bentj96 wrote:
bluealice wrote:Well, I think Hitler is not evil. We all have the freedom to live, but Hitler must have been really jealous of the Jews because at that time, the Jews are the ones overpowering the Germans (just like what Arty1995 opinionated) that's why he did that merciless act. I mean... every leader needs to protect their nation however, Hitler exaggerated it. He really KILLED, experimented, and tortured them. I felt pity for the innocent Jews, but it doesn't mean Hitler is evil. I think it were his thoughts that are evil.
I can't judge Hitler.


I don't think he was jealous. He just needed a scapegoat.


^agree

I also agree with the Milgram experiment. Didn't some of the people pretend to die from the shocks too? Am I correct on that??? Either way I think Hitler was, if not evil, a jerk.
Also these were German Jews, who had fought in the first world war and were just Germans so it's not like he was protecting his nation.
He tortured and killed millions of Jews (well, ordered to) and why would anyone do that? I hate some people but I would not kill them, we all have people we hate but normal people wouldn't even punch them. Therefore one can assume Hitler was, to some degree, psychopathic and 'evil'. He believed killing Jews would help the country, and that Jews deserved to die.

Also, Jews weren't taking over the country and all the jobs. Hitler just blamed them for the bad economy and said they were.
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Re: Was Hitler really evil?

Postby Tenzen12 » Sun Oct 30, 2011 1:29 am

Yeah it was opposite. Jews were successful and that mean they suported economic.
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Re: Was Hitler really evil?

Postby bluealice » Sun Oct 30, 2011 4:38 am

opalkoboi wrote:
bentj96 wrote:
bluealice wrote:Well, I think Hitler is not evil. We all have the freedom to live, but Hitler must have been really jealous of the Jews because at that time, the Jews are the ones overpowering the Germans (just like what Arty1995 opinionated) that's why he did that merciless act. I mean... every leader needs to protect their nation however, Hitler exaggerated it. He really KILLED, experimented, and tortured them. I felt pity for the innocent Jews, but it doesn't mean Hitler is evil. I think it were his thoughts that are evil.
I can't judge Hitler.


I don't think he was jealous. He just needed a scapegoat.


^agree

I also agree with the Milgram experiment. Didn't some of the people pretend to die from the shocks too? Am I correct on that??? Either way I think Hitler was, if not evil, a jerk.
Also these were German Jews, who had fought in the first world war and were just Germans so it's not like he was protecting his nation.
He tortured and killed millions of Jews (well, ordered to) and why would anyone do that? I hate some people but I would not kill them, we all have people we hate but normal people wouldn't even punch them. Therefore one can assume Hitler was, to some degree, psychopathic and 'evil'. He believed killing Jews would help the country, and that Jews deserved to die.

Also, Jews weren't taking over the country and all the jobs. Hitler just blamed them for the bad economy and said they were.


Thanks for the enlightenment :)
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Re: Was Hitler really evil?

Postby Kitsy » Mon Oct 31, 2011 12:59 pm

Bluealice, this is the second time you've made a post that doesn't really contribute to a debate (in fact, using the exact same words.) From now on, can you please stick to actually contributing to the debate? There's actually a 50 word min. for any posts in the debate forum, but since this debate seems to be going well I'll let it slide.
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Re: Was Hitler really evil?

Postby Rocket Axxonu » Tue Nov 08, 2011 3:59 am

Just out of curiosity, has anyone here every read 'Mine Comp'? It was a book Hitler wrote, that everyone in Germany had to buy. I haven't read it myself, but I have heard excerpts from it. And I think it's pretty obvious the man didn't have any kind of squeamishness about getting rid of them, or that he was sacrificing his own peace of mind for his country's benefit, or anything like that. He thought of Jews as vermin — it was one of his obsessions to stamp them out; the fact that they existed got under his skin.

Also, has anyone ever watched a documentary on exactly what was done to these people? I mean, can we even imagine what it's like, to live in a nation where we had to live in fear that someone might accuse us of having a bloodline related to a Jew, that we might be beaten, whipped, humiliated, and most probably brutally murdered in a variety of terrible ways? People who were judged not to contribute enough to society were also taken and put in gas chambers, as well as homosexuals and anyone else that didn't fit up to Hitler's standards.

It's pretty easy to say when you are talking about the Holocaust in a general way, 'whatever he did, Hitler was only trying to what's best for his people,' but when you read the personal accounts of people who lived through his reign of terror, and the stories of people who died and lost loved ones, for absolutely no other reason than the fact that Hitler hated Jews, it's really, really hard to feel sorry for him. There are no terms strong enough to describe the monstrous things he did to innocent people.

It's true some may do terrible things for what they feel is an overall greater purpose, but I don't think it can be argued Hitler was one of them... At least not for a purpose much of anyone these days could consider anywhere close to 'noble.'

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Re: Was Hitler really evil?

Postby bentj96 » Wed Nov 09, 2011 3:34 am

I really find this subject really interesting. What would happen if we eliminated anyone who had a negative effect on society? Would that society improve? Would people develop mental illnesses? Just think about how different our world would be if Hitler's Aryans succeeded. If Napoleon had taken over Europe.

My mother thinks that Hitler was evil, that Napoleon was evil. A misconception, in my opinion. Hitler was responsible for millions of deaths, but was his intent to just kill? No. He was trying to create a master race of Germans, also know as Aryans.

Napoleon wasn't evil. He didn't kill for the sake of killing or revenge. He did it for his country. He didn't run slave camps or death camps. He gave the enemy life. After being captured, he gave them the choice of becoming prisoner or joining his cause. They were given good food, expensive uniforms, even rights to a degree. His actions in Russia are questionable though...

Many people say that Hitler would have gone nowhere without his people. That is absolutely true. He did manage to hide the death of those in the Holocaust from them, but otherwise, he had support. He gave his people hope in a time of despair. The Aryan people were seen as saviors. Germany had just come out of WW1, the Great Depression and the Treaty of Versailles.

The real question is what defines evil? Is it murder? Meaningless murder? Being selfish? Keep in mind that Hitler was probably insane long before he became the leader of Germany. Amon Goth, who was in charge of the death camps, went insane as well.

Please note that I'm just being facetious here. I'm just trying to get some type of big reaction to make things interesting.
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Re: Was Hitler really evil?

Postby Rocket Axxonu » Mon Feb 06, 2012 1:24 am

I think the only way for us to even come close to trying to understand this topic and coming to a well-informed (or at least thoughtful) opinion on a subject like this one, of a situation so alien and terrible probably most of us can't even begin to understand, is to try to make it more personal.

My family watches a lot of those investigation documentaries on crimes (especially murders), where someone has been murdered or some crime has been committed, and the courts are trying to figure out what happened based on the evidence. I've gotten so I almost can't stomach these kinds of things anymore though, because at some point, though at first I was mostly detached even if I did feel bad for the families from the standpoint that these things seemed so far away and so rare, I started to imagine what it would be like if these things were to happen to me or my family.

What would it be like, with all my dreams, with all my projects which I get so excited about, with my daily life that I have moments of joy and moments of pain that I try to deal with, or my dad, or my mom, or my teenage sister, who still have plans for their futures and interests and pursuits of their own, if that random robber, or stalker/rapist, or racist, shot or tormented me or one of my family, instead of someone I didn't know? How would I feel, if something happened to my sister, and they had the guy who did it, but some court let him go on bail, or he got out of jail a few years later? Would I want to be merciful and understanding of someone who took the life of someone I cared about and then showed absolutely no sign of remorse?

Let's take it a step further: a crime is committed against you or your family, but you have no recourse to go to because the authorities are more ruthless and cruel than criminals, more inclined to kill anyone they don't like, or they consider you a lesser citizen and not in deserving of justice or basic human rights. The little physical pains of everyday life and the frustration of being patronized or seeing your opinions derided is bad enough without having to imagine actual intentional torture and the unimaginable pain and fear that would come with that, and not being allowed to express an opinion that differed from your leader's. The oppressiveness of such a situation is hard to imagine.

bentj96 wrote:I really find this subject really interesting. What would happen if we eliminated anyone who had a negative effect on society? Would that society improve? Would people develop mental illnesses? Just think about how different our world would be if Hitler's Aryans succeeded.

I think it may be easier to understand the horror of what Hitler lead his country to do for people who have loved ones who are disabled, or friends of other races. There's a man at my church who is very active in ministry who has a daughter who was born severely mentally disabled, who can't walk or talk. He and his wife take care of her with such care and dedication and they have given up a lot to do so, but they still love her tremendously — she's like a newborn baby who will never grow up. According to Hitler, she doesn't contribute to society, so she would be eliminated, and I can't imagine how that would affect the family.

Also, many of us have friends or may be people of other races that have been persecuted in the past, such as African American, or Asian, and the potential of these wonderful people we know would never have been realized. There's a Korean girl about my age at my church who I've talked to quite a lot, who's in her first year of college and intending to becoming a doctor, and she's so funny and works so hard and is so considerate of others, and in the past Asians have been subordinated in the US and looked down upon for no reason other than they were Asian. Slavery in the US dictated that blacks were less as individuals than whites, even though they felt all the same emotions and were just as aware and intelligent as whites.

It may be nice to fantasize about eliminating disease, or illnesses, or a race of superior beings, but ultimately it comes down to this: would you be willing to sacrifice yourself or a family member for the sake of that kind of ideal? Because that was the cost of what Hitler tried to do. I think it's a case of the cure being far worse than the disease.

bentj96 wrote:The real question is what defines evil? Is it murder? Meaningless murder? Being selfish? Keep in mind that Hitler was probably insane long before he became the leader of Germany. Amon Goth, who was in charge of the death camps, went insane as well.


What defines evil? Well, I admit, it can be a hard thing to determine for people who don't believe in an absolute sense of morality, or in a higher power (such as God) that defines morals, right and wrong. Just talking about things from the standpoint of humanity though, I think a good place to start is the golden rule: 'treat others how you want to be treated.' Also, the purity of motivations is another factor I would take into account, and the true (or lack thereof) sense of regret or sorrow over committing injury to others. (That's pretty vague I know, but... this post will go on forever if I try to get into that too much right now X3)

(As a kind of side note, I just want to mention that, yes, I know that Hitler may have done some good in giving the German people hope — but at the same time, when someone commits an evil act, they're still guilty. If, say, Ghandi, who lived a great life of peacefully fighting for peace and human rights and performed a lot of great, brave acts that saved thousands of lives, if he murdered just one person for no reason, all the good in the world wouldn't make up for that bad act. Or maybe a better example would be a serial killer who is active in the community and doing good things. No matter how much good he's done, it wouldn't waive his sentence.)

bentj96 wrote:Hitler was responsible for millions of deaths, but was his intent to just kill? No. He was trying to create a master race of Germans, also know as Aryans.

In this case in particular... I would answer that meaningless murder, or murder that's just for fun is just one kind of evil. Murdering for some purpose, such as for the end result of getting rich, or becoming the leader of the country, or, in this case, to create a super-race and try to perfect humanity, (as though people were machines that, if defective, were worthless) doesn't change the fact that it is murder. The last one might seem grander or more awe-inspiring in some ways, but ultimately seems just as depraved to me when it's boiled down the bare essentials.

That's because we are all human beings, and most of us are capable of understanding the insecurities people naturally have about how important their existence is. Because I think most of us feel that depressing feeling, the anxiety of wanting to be needed and wanted and not sure how much we are, of being afraid of dying, of wanting to live our lives. To directly attack or realize those insecurities of others for such a insignificant reason as wanting to create a new 'super-race' to replace the old... I understand that there are many reasons people commit murder that are, while not condonable, understandable, and not necessarily the act that another ordinary person in the same situation wouldn't have also done. Hitler's reasons do not strike me as one of them.

I know we tend to romanticize the idea of 'ideals', that even if the ideal is wrong, if the person is fighting for some ideal then on some level they can still be great and respectable. But when the ideal is just absurd and horrible things come out of it... Well, think of Damon Kronski in The Time Paradox. Kronski really believed in the ridiculous ideals that humans should rule the world and animals that didn't contribute to the human existence should be destroyed. When I read it, I kind of laughed a little, because it seemed so ludicrous (I think the whole thing was pretty much meant to be satirical), but I also found it chilling, because real leaders have really advocated ideas on nearly the same level of absurdity.

Even if Kronski hadn't been more concerned with holding onto his own leadership than those ideals, would that have made him any more respectable as a character? They were selfish, ridiculous ideals, and it was clear a lot of living things suffered for those ideals. I don't see that a super-race is any greater of an ideal in the end than humanity standing on the neck of the animal kingdom: Germans, humanity, it's the same principle. In that sense, Hitler is no more respectable as a leader than the likes of Kronski.

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bentj96 wrote:Please note that I'm just being facetious here. I'm just trying to get some type of big reaction to make things interesting.

lol, you must be someone who really likes to argue then, hm? (; You probably don't believe me, but I tend to be pretty non-confrontational. But anyway...

Eh, sorry, I don't know if any of this is clear, I feel like I'm all over the place. Mainly I just feel strongly on topics like this because I tend to be a philosophizing intellectual who stays cooped up and safe from the dangers of the outside world, and the only way for me to not approach topics like these in the detached, almost cold way of someone who has had no experience in things like this and who's tendency is not to say anything that's too judgmental is to try to put myself into it and make it personal, and explain these things to myself in a way that I can try to understand them.
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Re: Was Hitler really evil?

Postby faeryenchanter^^ » Sun Feb 12, 2012 9:50 am

bluealice wrote:Well, I think Hitler is not evil. We all have the freedom to live, but Hitler must have been really jealous of the Jews because at that time, the Jews are the ones overpowering the Germans (just like what Arty1995 opinionated) that's why he did that merciless act. I mean... every leader needs to protect their nation however, Hitler exaggerated it. He really KILLED, experimented, and tortured them. I felt pity for the innocent Jews, but it doesn't mean Hitler is evil. I think it were his thoughts that are evil.
I can't judge Hitler.


Correction, bluealice, Hitler was not jealous of the Jews. He was a total racist. Just saying:)
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Re: Was Hitler really evil?

Postby levina » Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:42 am

-
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Re: Was Hitler really evil?

Postby faeryenchanter^^ » Sat Feb 18, 2012 1:48 am

Hi Levina I see you online!!! Evil people like Voldermort? DEFINATELY
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Re: Was Hitler really evil?

Postby Kitsy » Tue Feb 21, 2012 2:27 pm

faeryenchanter^^, if you want to read the Debating Guidelines, every post should contribute to the debate. Please take note.
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Re: Was Hitler really evil?

Postby Rocket Axxonu » Thu Mar 22, 2012 4:28 am

levina wrote:-sees long post-
Oh, hi Rocket.


~I don't think there's such a thing as an "evil" person. There's mislead people, prideful people, confused people, prejudiced people, jealous people, and I think Hitler was every one of those. Except maybe the last one.

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I have to disagree there. People who might be considered 'evil' may have all the emotions of ordinary people, such as fear, desire to be respected, and other things that may make us feel sorry for them and so on, but just having those feelings doesn't mean they aren't evil. For example, in the AF series, Opal has really has no redeeming qualities. She's selfish, vindictive, sadistic, power-hungry, sociopathic, narcissistic — and not because a hard past twisted her, but because she chose to be that way. She murdered other people to get what she wanted, and deeply enjoyed seeing others suffer. We see her angry, afraid of dying, and happy, all of which are emotions we can identify with, yes, but I would still say she is evil.

It may be hard to believe for ordinary people, but people like Opal really do exist. Sociopaths who murder their own family members for gain and who don't feel anything at the suffering of other people, and are only capable of feeling anything when it comes to their own suffering, and people so full of hatred that they will kill hundreds of people with no remorse, thousands, millions. Hitler exterminated people like they were animals, often in very inhumane ways, with beatings and gas chambers, people who he thought were beneath him. He tried to create a super race of people all tall with blonde hair and blue eyes, because he liked the way that looked, while other people were garbage.

Mislead? I might call many of the other people who followed him mislead, and maybe we can attribute the seed for the idea he propagated that Jews were rats to the culture he was in, which always did hold a bit of prejudice toward the Jews. But people are still responsible for their own actions, because they have a choice. It is good to try to think of things from other people's perspectives and not just denounce everyone who disagrees with you as evil, because that's wrong and it is true that people who do things we would say are wrong have reasons that, were the ordinary person in the same situation, they might do the same thing. But there has to come a point where you draw the line. Hitler may be mislead, prideful, confused, prejudiced and so on, but that doesn't change the fact of just how evil the choices he made were. Depraved and stunted as these kinds of individuals are, you might feel sorry for them rather than hate them, but I still can't repeal the 'evil' label. There are times for mercy and second chances, and there are times for justice.

Oh yes, Voldemort's another good example of someone who was pretty evil. :J He had so many opportunities to make better choices, but didn't.
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