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Sometimes when I have some free time away from work or school I draft up campaign, novel, movie, or just story ideas. One day. I was mulling things over concerning vampires. My question, that'd I'd like some help on is this....
Is a vampire who, for the purpose of this discussion, must kill to survive "evil"? (assuming that the death of a another being is at LEAST bad or undesirable)
Preferably I'd like to avoid lengthy posts about how good and evil are terms crafted by humans, etc. etc. Mention it if needed, but let's not dwell on it too long. What I'm asking really is, what arguements can we have for the "goodness" of such a being? From nature's view, one could argue that they are simply predators eating prey, but then, humanity isn't the same as any other creature on this planet. So, what do you think?
Also, let's keep this discussion as courteous as possible please. I look forward to some outside input on this question.
Hmmm, I never really thought about it like that.
At first my reaction was to think, "Well it all depends on how much enjoyment the vampire gets out of killing". Then however I thought about us humans, popular sports for us involve humting and fishing which involve killing for fun, that or painfully injuring other creatures. So if I were toanswer "Yes" to that making vampires evil then wouldn't I also be pointing out how evil we as humans are?
Good question, +rep
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You have to remember that the vampire as you're thinking of it relies on the existence of a Christian soul. Yes there have been vampire equivelents throughout many cultures for millenia, but the current vampire relies on christianity. The idea is that the vampire devours the soul of a person. In this case the soul represents goodness and humanity, vampirism the abscence of a soul and therefore of any goodness. However, if the soul represents humanity and we take goodness to be a human creation, the abscence of a soul can at worst strip a creature of its humanity - which means that it cannot be evil, simply utterly inhuman.
A good thread, posing a good question. Just a little warning though, be very careful as to where the discussion is taken. Thank you.
@Kevin - Very interesting point there with humans hunting for sport when it's unneccesary in this day and age to hunt for food. We even hunt animals that have no real nutritional value and mount their heads/bodies on our walls! It's scary when you look at it from the other side. Let's see, what say you about humanity's increased awareness of fear? Animals feel fear sure, but they cannot speak it, at least, not as eloquently as we can. But now that I consider it, are we so different? I mean, we are leaps and bounds ahead on the evolutionary chain, but then, wouldn't a vampire argue the same thing? Haha, hmmmm.
@chaplain - Thanks for your comments dude. Although, I do not want to rely solely on the Dracula style belief - that vampires are spawn of Satan and they steal souls. That, as you are correct in saying I think, relies very much of religous beliefs. For our purposes, I'd like to avoid too much of that, as it's too murky a subject for LO. But, if they survive on blood, what does blood represent? Life itself? Soul? Perhaps vampires steal "souls" because such a murderous existence would destroy any human's soul. But that aside, what about staying the realm of... well, let's take souls out of the equation. How about the simple act of killing another so that you can live? Not once but often. And it's not like animals, it's a very sentient creature, with all the same thoughts, hopes, dreams, and feelings like yourself.
But re-reading your post, "inhuman". I like the idea, not wrong, just different. Maybe. I'm not sure. We all have a basic right to live no? What of those who are hunted so that someone else can exercise their right to live? Would Mother Nature laugh at us for posing such a question? Is it kill or be killed?
Thanks for the comments so far, I really hope we can keep this going and get a good discussion going.
I'm not up on my vampire lore at all but I'd say if the vampire killed animals to get his blood then he would be no different than any other human that eats meat. As for killing other humans to survive I'd have to say it is majorly degenerate toward society. Human are made to live in a society and anything that promotes instability in achieving that goal could be considered very destructive and not something that is desirable. Evil? I don't know about that, as concept of evil is a social construct. However if you take the definition of evil as "causing harm" or "morally reprehensible" (since the standards of our morality are clearly against this activity) then yes I would call them evil.
The problem I find is that many people attach very human traits to the concept of Vampires. Modern media has not helped, but detach all that personification and what is left?
In modern society the vast number of people do not think, let alone care, where their food is coming from. In many people's eyes, animals = meat, meat = food but animals do not necessarily = food. It is a wholly contradictory and hypocritical phenomenon. While we may add sentimental value to say a cat or dog in one culture and never think of eating them, in another culture they may be viewed as nothing but food or even pests. Many people are against killing animals yet have no problem with eating carcass for dinner. To most of humanity, it simply is not an issue. This may be for various reasons, a sense of detachment from nature, industrialisation, progressive thought and so forth... but I think it mostly boils down to the thought that we, for some reason, are a superior race and can therefore do what we please with lesser creatures without any moral justification.
Many people attempt to justify the systematic abuse and slaughter of less intelligent creatures for our consumption, but more still wouldn't give it a moment's thought and simply consider it their right as the dominant species on the planet.
For the purposes of understanding how a Vampire might feel about drinking the blood of humans, read the above but substitute animal with human and people with vampires. One couldn't call a Vampire eating people any more Evil than one could a person eating meat.
[Edit]For the purposes of this argument, please assume that by "most people" I do in fact mean "most people (who are not on some level vegetarian)". I am one myself, don't be offended.[/Edit]
Very good discussion btw, on of the better ones i've seen.
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Ravendove, you make a good point. I take it you are trying to say that most people don't bat an eye at eating an animal be it chicken or cow for dinner, but find it utterly repulsive that someone may partake in the act of drinking human blood or meat. If you take the strictest point of view on the subject and encompass humans into animals then an animal eating an animal is a very natural thing, needed for survival. HOWEVER, it is purdent to realize that nature does not work in the way you suggest. Animals of the same species should not and for the most part do not eat each other. It goes against the survival of that species.
If we are talking about drinking human blood for survival but it does not adversely affect the human donor then I don't see how that can be considered evil. A baby drinking milk from the tit is not evil at all. However, if the vampire must kill the subject in the process, well that is a mutation in which needs to be addressed by society as it majorly damages our species.
Oh, for people interested in this kinda thing, Id like to highly recommend that you read the book "I am legend". For those who have unfortunately only seen the film, the book is totally different. It approaches the concept of vampirism from a a scientific angle, explaining all the "religious" ideas logically and.. well, i dont wanna give too much away. Its a great book