: I don't agree with a pat definition of "evil". It's useful at best for empty moral posturing, not for solving actual human problems. I'd say, at best, that there are evil deeds, but talking about whether or not a person is in their entirety "evil" just invokes Godwin's Law, and nobody wants that.
In my creative writing, I prefer to impartially dissect an issue. The characters can be the ones to offer up judgments and moral points of view; there's no need for me to drop anvils on people's heads. Maybe the ambiguity would be too much for readers who need others to pat them on the back and tell them, "Good on you for feeling this way about X issue! You're not alone!" And if I don't emphasize my own viewpoint, then readers are apt to go all DoA on me and end up deciding that my story is a parable about Soviet Russia or some crap. But it's a risk I'm willing to take.
I'm not sure where the straw man about "a sin is okay if enough people do it" came from. Of course
people shouldn't do bad things. But they do, and they will. Fiction provides a safe way of being introspective about our capacity for wrong, a way to thoroughly explore the "why" of it. I already explained why I feel this is highly beneficial, but if that didn't get the idea across, consider this...
Many, many people are not that far away from doing some horrible thing or another. And many, many people feel lonely and misunderstood. Alienation and hopelessness frequently results in the making of terrible mistakes. This is why compassion is so important. In fiction, where no one is being hurt, there's a lot more flexibility w.r.t. the manifestations of human compassion possible. Someone might mistake you for taking a political stand, depending on what you write about, but fuck 'em! Sometimes a nuanced depiction of the fractured human vulnerability that results in apathy, infidelity, gross negligence, gang warfare, crack babies, etc., is its own damned reward. Someone can read a portrait of a fucked-up character and think, "Holy shit, I'll be this guy if I don't get my act together." Or they'll be like, "Damn, now I know how people end up like that; I think I might be able to help them." A compassionate portrait of a fuck-up will do so much more to help real people than a depiction that is solely scathing and judgmental.
You know what being on the moral high horse does? It alienates people. Which makes them more likely to do stupid shit. Furthermore, what function does moral outrage at nonexistent people serve a writer, aside from needlessly narrowing your dramatic range? (For all my complaining about Asuka, the problems disappear when I "become" such a character in writing.)
Take NGE for example. It has given Papa & StepMom's affair a clearly negative narrative via Asuka's POV. This narrative acts to showcase them as examples of petty, cold-blooded human selfishness, which is what these kinds of people are. NGE kept P and S as cameos because most people found these kinds of characters to be repulsive both in real life and in fiction.
Of course Asuka's POV will be negative -- how would the alternative make any sense whatsoever? I think you're seriously exaggerating the extent to which these characters are depicted as "petty and cold-blooded", however. It's a bit more nuanced than that. If they were cartoon villains cackling away about how they're destroying Asuka's childhood, I don't think this show would be very good. Your claim about why they're cameos also doesn't particularly make any sense.
But I'm seeing people trying to use positive narratives to support Langley and Lady Doctor in Non-AU settings. Thus why I raised this issue in the thread.
And I haven't read any of those narratives, but at the same time I don't see reason to summarily dismiss the concept. Redemption and reconciliation are powerful concepts.
Rei IV wrote:
BTW, I meant to write Katsuragi instead of Akira. Damn your fanfic for resonating with me!