Serious question for those who see Spike as evil

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Bethia

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Feb 6, 2002, 11:20:57 AM2/6/02
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What is more important, what someone IS or what they DO? That is, is
evil an matter of being or is it an act of will?

This question isn't as loaded as it may appear. Considering the
amount of energy and time that's spent here discussing Spike and evil,
I'm just trying to get a sense -- for myself -- of what the bases for
debate over the issue are, or whether it's simply a question of
fundamental differences in world view that no amount of discussion
will change for either side.

To expand, it seems to me the "Spike is evil" camp fall into two
primary arguments (and feel free to correct me if you feel I'm being
too simplistic):

1) Spike is a vampire.
Vampires are evil.
Therefore, Spike is evil.

2) Spike has killed thousands of people.
He's shown no remorse for his actions.
Therefore, Spike is evil.

For those in the first group, nothing Spike can ever do will change
what he is. His destiny is sealed by what he is. Debate over this
issue will have to take place on a philosophical level; bringing up
what Spike has or hasn't done on the show would be pointless, as what
he *does* matters less than what he *is*.

For those in the second group, it's what Spike does/has done that
makes him evil. Debate here would have to take place on a concrete
level (ie., specific examples from the show -- evil actions vs. good
actions, how and if the scale can be balanced, whether remorse is
necessary, etc.).

--Bethia


John Yuen

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Feb 6, 2002, 2:35:18 PM2/6/02
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The question should be if spike is still evil if the chip is out of his
head. Yes he have change a lot, but is it limited to Buffy and her
friends? Would he still live on pig's blood or would he start snacking on
people again?

My own feeling is that Spike change only applies to Buffy and the
scoobys. He will risk his life to protect Buffy and maybe Dawn. But he
won't do it for the rest of the scoobys but he won't snack on them
either. Everyone else in Sunnydale is still fair game.

Regards
John Yuen

Bethia

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Feb 6, 2002, 2:37:03 PM2/6/02
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On Wed, 06 Feb 2002 11:35:18 -0800, John Yuen <jyu...@pacbell.net>
wrote:

> The question should be if spike is still evil if the chip is out of his
>head. Yes he have change a lot, but is it limited to Buffy and her
>friends? Would he still live on pig's blood or would he start snacking on
>people again?
>
> My own feeling is that Spike change only applies to Buffy and the
>scoobys. He will risk his life to protect Buffy and maybe Dawn. But he
>won't do it for the rest of the scoobys but he won't snack on them
>either. Everyone else in Sunnydale is still fair game.

With all due respect, the question "should be" the one I asked. At
least in terms of this thread. You're answering a different question,
one that's been debated in one form or another many, many times here.
Which is fine, but go start your own thread ;-)

The question *I* asked was to help me understand what's behind
responses to the question you pose above (sorry if that sounds
convoluted).

My question is still posted below, but it's this:

What is more important, what someone IS or what they DO? Is evil a


matter of being or is it an act of will?

--Bethia

Don Sample

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Feb 6, 2002, 4:50:14 PM2/6/02
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In article <n7136ugf90agr0gpg...@4ax.com>, Bethia
<book...@remove.excite.com> wrote:

> My question is still posted below, but it's this:
>
> What is more important, what someone IS or what they DO? Is evil a
> matter of being or is it an act of will?
>
> --Bethia

Or who would you rather have for a neighbour:

- Someone who spends all their waking life wishing that you were dead,
but never does nothing about it. They hold their rage inside, and
smile politely when they see you.

or

- Someone who is nice and kind most of the time wishing nothing but the
best for you, but goes into a murderous rage and attacks you whenever
they hear you using a leaf blower.

--
Don Sample, dsa...@synapse.net
Visit the Buffy Body Count at http://www.synapse.net/~dsample/BBC
Quando omni flunkus moritati

John Yuen

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Feb 6, 2002, 4:55:40 PM2/6/02
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Bethia wrote:

> My question is still posted below, but it's this:
>
> What is more important, what someone IS or what they DO? Is evil a
> matter of being or is it an act of will?
>
> --Bethia

It's hard to seperate the two . It's like trying to define a serial killer.
Was he born evil or did he choose to be evil via his action. If you gets to
watch a lot of young kids (0-3). You will see that some baby are naturally
more agressive than others. This is before they can learn via their
surroundings or other's action. So are they born evil? Will they all turn
into criminal when they grow up? Luckily no as upbringing and education can
help tame the inner demons so there's the act of will part.

In terms of a vamp. It would depends a lot of how Demon is define in
Buffyverse. All we have seen is that every demon that takes over the body of
a vamp is evil. It a matter of being and a matter of will. There have been no
evidence of a good vamp as they are all evil to their core. The only
exception is Angel, where his restored soul was able to suppress the demon
via an act of will.

Regards
John Yuen

Mad Hamish

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Feb 6, 2002, 7:23:52 PM2/6/02
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On 6 Feb 2002 15:50:14 -0600, Don Sample <dsa...@synapse.net> wrote:

>In article <n7136ugf90agr0gpg...@4ax.com>, Bethia
><book...@remove.excite.com> wrote:
>
>> My question is still posted below, but it's this:
>>
>> What is more important, what someone IS or what they DO? Is evil a
>> matter of being or is it an act of will?
>>
>> --Bethia
>
>Or who would you rather have for a neighbour:
>
>- Someone who spends all their waking life wishing that you were dead,
>but never does nothing about it. They hold their rage inside, and
>smile politely when they see you.
>
>or
>
>- Someone who is nice and kind most of the time wishing nothing but the
>best for you, but goes into a murderous rage and attacks you whenever
>they hear you using a leaf blower.

Seeing as I never use a leaf blower option 2 seems better.
--
"Hope is replaced by fear and dreams by survival, most of us get by."
Stuart Adamson 1958-2001

Mad Hamish
Hamish Laws
h_l...@bigpond.com

Dave Robinson or Heather McCance

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Feb 7, 2002, 9:04:51 PM2/7/02
to
> In article <n7136ugf90agr0gpg...@4ax.com>, Bethia
> <book...@remove.excite.com> wrote:
>
> > My question is still posted below, but it's this:
> >
> > What is more important, what someone IS or what they DO? Is evil a
> > matter of being or is it an act of will?
> >

Yes.

"By their fruits you will know them."
- Jesus of Nazareth

OK, Spike might be an exception, but I doubt it. As soon as he thought he
_could_ kill again, he tried. He's still evil, ontologically. He's also ecil
by an act of will; the fact that he hasn't killed anything recently isn't
because of any virtuous will on his part but because of something he would
change in a second if he could.

Heather
Miss December

Aethelrede

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Feb 8, 2002, 12:14:32 AM2/8/02
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Dave Robinson or Heather McCance wrote in message
<3C633242...@neptune.on.ca>...

Giles once said, in answer to a question from Buffy, that "In my
experience, there are two types of monster". It seems there are those that
that can be redeemed, or most importantly, want to be redeemed, and the
others, who can't respond to any kind of love or feeling.
I'd say that Spike wants and can. He certainly responds to love and
feelings. He loved and respected Joyce because she treated him as a person
even before he got the chip. He could have killed her several times:
instead he drank hot chocolate (Do you have any of those little
marshmallows?) or just chatted with her because he liked her.
He loves Dawn, who knows why? She's Joyce's daughter in his mind, even
though like all the gang he knows what she is. He discovered what she is
from Giles' diary when she found it. Dawn does have a big crush on him, but
he really loves the kid and is so protective I'm surprised he never got on
Buffy's case over her.
And Buffy? She treats him like crap, but he loves her more than anyone.
He almost got killed by Glory to save Dawn and Buffy, and probably would
have let her kill him, if she hadn't been so utterly stupid that he could
escape. He let Buffy beat him just to release some anger and frustration in
"Dead Things".
Spike is almost the equal of Xander as the really good guy in the show.
Spike does his thing just for Buffy, while Xander has come through for so
many people: He paid for Cordelia's Prom dress after she totally rejected
him, he's done so much that never gets acknowledged by anyone, and just gets
treated as the Zeppo, the loser who removes at least one effective FTE from
the roster every time he shows up on the job.
I think these two are getting put down far more than they deserve.
Their parity is mapped out by the way they hate each other. Xander still
has hots for Buffy that Spike feels, but he hasn't ratted him out to Anya,
has he? It would take 30 seconds and the wedding would be trashed..


Ivytree

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Feb 8, 2002, 12:26:14 AM2/8/02
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"Dave Robinson or Heather McCance" <angl...@neptune.on.ca> wrote in message
news:3C633242...@neptune.on.ca...

Why can't he be evil right now? The only thing the chip prevents is
physically harming humans. He was evil as anything in season 4 -- especially
in The Yoko Factor -- withoug physically harming humans at all. Or is
actually killing people the only form of evil in the Buffyverse?

He can be evil all day every day, seven days a week if he wants to.


Ivytree

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Feb 8, 2002, 12:28:09 AM2/8/02
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"Ken Arromdee" <arro...@yellow.rahul.net> wrote in message
news:a3vgj4$a2j$1...@samba.rahul.net...
> In article <vjk26ugscg5t3ll1r...@4ax.com>,

> Bethia <book...@remove.excite.com> wrote:
> >To expand, it seems to me the "Spike is evil" camp fall into two
> >primary arguments (and feel free to correct me if you feel I'm being
> >too simplistic):
> >
> >1) Spike is a vampire.
> > Vampires are evil.
> > Therefore, Spike is evil.
> >...

> >For those in the first group, nothing Spike can ever do will change
> >what he is. His destiny is sealed by what he is. Debate over this
> >issue will have to take place on a philosophical level; bringing up
> >what Spike has or hasn't done on the show would be pointless, as what
> >he *does* matters less than what he *is*.
>
> No, that's wrong.
>
> There's a premise in there "vampires are evil". Spike's actions can
> demonstrate that the premise is not correct. If the show had Spike be
good,
> I'd complain that it contradicted the past, but I'd agree that it does
show
> that Spike is good--because the premise "vampires are evil" would no
longer
> be true.
> --

It's already not true. Angel is a vampire, and he's not evil. He may have a
soul, but he's still an animated corpse inhabited by a demon.


Tim Bruening

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Feb 8, 2002, 2:31:22 AM2/8/02
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Bethia wrote:

> What is more important, what someone IS or what they DO? That is, is
> evil an matter of being or is it an act of will?
>
> This question isn't as loaded as it may appear. Considering the
> amount of energy and time that's spent here discussing Spike and evil,
> I'm just trying to get a sense -- for myself -- of what the bases for
> debate over the issue are, or whether it's simply a question of
> fundamental differences in world view that no amount of discussion
> will change for either side.
>
> To expand, it seems to me the "Spike is evil" camp fall into two
> primary arguments (and feel free to correct me if you feel I'm being
> too simplistic):
>
> 1) Spike is a vampire.
> Vampires are evil.
> Therefore, Spike is evil.
>
> 2) Spike has killed thousands of people.
> He's shown no remorse for his actions.
> Therefore, Spike is evil.

Restoring Spike's soul would nullify both arguments, by giving him guilt
feelings like Angel.


Peter Meilinger

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Feb 8, 2002, 12:19:16 PM2/8/02
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Ivytree <lsan...@sprintmail.com> wrote:
: "Dave Robinson or Heather McCance" <angl...@neptune.on.ca> wrote in message
: news:3C633242...@neptune.on.ca...

:>
:> OK, Spike might be an exception, but I doubt it. As soon as he thought he


:> _could_ kill again, he tried. He's still evil, ontologically. He's also
:> ecil by an act of will; the fact that he hasn't killed anything recently
:>isn't because of any virtuous will on his part but because of something he
:>would change in a second if he could.

: Why can't he be evil right now? The only thing the chip prevents is
: physically harming humans. He was evil as anything in season 4 -- especially
: in The Yoko Factor -- withoug physically harming humans at all. Or is
: actually killing people the only form of evil in the Buffyverse?

: He can be evil all day every day, seven days a week if he wants to.

But he wants Buffy, and he's smart enough to realize that he can't
have her if he's acting evil. Which means that his love for Buffy
can overcome his desire to do evil. So far, at least. What would
happen in the long run is anybody's guess.

But as soon as he no longer has Buffy's standards to live up to,
I believe he'd go back to killing innocent people. I'd say the
alleyway scene after their argument is a big piece of evidence on
my side.

Now, some people might feel that it doesn't matter why he's forsaken
evil, but I do. What happens if he and Buffy just break up? Not
all relationships work, after all, and we're talking about Buffy,
who can't seem to keep a relationship going to save her life.
And Spike, who has more baggage than most 747s. If Spike is only
refraining from killing people until his relationship with Buffy
runs its course, I'd say he's still evil.

Pete

Ivytree

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Feb 8, 2002, 7:22:11 PM2/8/02
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"Peter Meilinger" <mell...@bu.edu> wrote in message
news:a411ak$1r3$1...@news3.bu.edu...

Spike gave up evil-doing for Buffy's sake way before he had any idea that
she could ever, uh, be his. When Riley asked him if he thought he had a
chance with her, he said flatly, "No, I don't." He told Buffy, "I know
you'll never love me." His only relationship with her then was as her
relatively trustworthy lieutenant. But he didn't do anything evil. And he
certainly didn't expect to have a relationship with her when she was dead.
Still -- no evil-doing.

What happens when he and Buffy break up depends on *how* they break up. If
Spike can still keep her respect, I bet he can keep away from the evil-doing
even then.


Ken

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Feb 12, 2002, 4:41:58 AM2/12/02
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"Aethelrede" <æthel...@worldnot.att.net> wrote in message
news:Y8J88.2939$9%6.78...@bgtnsc04-news.ops.worldnet.att.net...


Dawn also treated Spike like a ... well ... a person.

> And Buffy? She treats him like crap, but he loves her more than
anyone.
> He almost got killed by Glory to save Dawn and Buffy, and probably would
> have let her kill him, if she hadn't been so utterly stupid that he could
> escape. He let Buffy beat him just to release some anger and frustration
in
> "Dead Things".
> Spike is almost the equal of Xander as the really good guy in the
show.
> Spike does his thing just for Buffy, while Xander has come through for so
> many people: He paid for Cordelia's Prom dress after she totally rejected
> him, he's done so much that never gets acknowledged by anyone, and just
gets
> treated as the Zeppo, the loser who removes at least one effective FTE
from
> the roster every time he shows up on the job.
> I think these two are getting put down far more than they deserve.
> Their parity is mapped out by the way they hate each other. Xander still
> has hots for Buffy that Spike feels, but he hasn't ratted him out to
Anya,
> has he? It would take 30 seconds and the wedding would be trashed..
>
>

Oh sheesh, I was right up with ya until the Xander still has crush on Buffy.
I think Anya has long since made Xander feelings for Buffy cool off. Don't
make me rattle off how many times Anya's bathed Xander ("not in an old
feeble geriatric way but a hot sexy way").

-- Ken from Chicago


Ken

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Feb 12, 2002, 5:10:54 AM2/12/02
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"Ivytree" <lsan...@sprintmail.com> wrote in message
news:TYZ88.20524$Hb6.1...@newsread1.prod.itd.earthlink.net...

Bad guy turn good--for the love of a good woman is a cliche as old as the
hills, and yet a popular one--in fiction and in life. How many Oprah shows
have been about women trying to change their guy? People, ultimately, have
to change for themselves.

Spike seems like a ex-con trying to go straight--with an tracking ankle
bracelet. Thus it's vague if he's doing good because he wants to or because
he has a device on him. He has a rep as a criminal and not thoroughly
trusted, yet even people continue to treat him as bad, what's his incentive
to do good? He has periods of frustration feeling caught in between.

Another analogy is that he's like a evilholic, he has an addiction to evil.
He can fight it, but some days are worse than others, plus others have seen
him when he's been ''intoxicated'' with evil, they know what he's capable
of. That takes a while to get over--for them and for him. How many times
have people resisted relationships with former addicts for fear of a
relapse? How many times have people been ashamed of being in a romantic
relationship with a alcoholics who did HORRIBLE things when drunk? maybe
hurt someone or even killed people? How do you explain to someone who has
been attacked by an addict that you're dating him or her? How do you explain
you're seeing someone beat their kids to death while in a drunken stupor?
Imagine trying to explain "No, no, she USED to be part of al-Quaeda, she
USED to plan and carry out the deaths of innocent civilians."

How has Spike done any less?

Is it any wonder why Buffy is a TAD reluctant to admit their relationship?
Altho at least Spike has a track record of doing good (even if some might
debate if he did them for the ''right'' reasons).

-- Ken from Chicago


Smaug69

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Feb 12, 2002, 11:33:26 AM2/12/02
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Bethia <book...@remove.excite.com> wrote in message news:<vjk26ugscg5t3ll1r...@4ax.com>...

> What is more important, what someone IS or what they DO? That is, is
> evil an matter of being or is it an act of will?

The thing is, I don't see anything Spike has done- good or bad- since
he got the chip in Season 4 as an act of his will.

Smaug69

Ivytree

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Feb 12, 2002, 2:11:06 PM2/12/02
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"Ken" <kwicker_era...@ameritech.net> wrote in message
news:OS5a8.3496$pC1.7...@newssrv26.news.prodigy.com...

>
> "Ivytree" <lsan...@sprintmail.com> wrote in message
> news:TYZ88.20524$Hb6.1...@newsread1.prod.itd.earthlink.net...
> > "Peter Meilinger" <mell...@bu.edu> wrote in message
> > news:a411ak$1r3$1...@news3.bu.edu...
> > > Ivytree <lsan...@sprintmail.com> wrote:
> > > : "Dave Robinson or Heather McCance" <angl...@neptune.on.ca> wrote in
> > message
> > > : news:3C633242...@neptune.on.ca...
> > >
> > > :>
> >
> > Spike gave up evil-doing for Buffy's sake way before he had any idea
that
> > she could ever, uh, be his. When Riley asked him if he thought he had a
> > chance with her, he said flatly, "No, I don't." He told Buffy, "I know
> > you'll never love me." His only relationship with her then was as her
> > relatively trustworthy lieutenant. But he didn't do anything evil. And
he
> > certainly didn't expect to have a relationship with her when she was
dead.
> > Still -- no evil-doing.
> >
> > What happens when he and Buffy break up depends on *how* they break up.
If
> > Spike can still keep her respect, I bet he can keep away from the
> evil-doing
> > even then.
> >
> >
>
> Bad guy turn good--for the love of a good woman is a cliche as old as the
> hills, and yet a popular one--in fiction and in life. How many Oprah shows
> have been about women trying to change their guy? People, ultimately, have
> to change for themselves.
>

I didn't say anything about Buffy trying to change him. I said he found out
that it was possible for him to earn her respect, which was motivation
enough. In Intervention, Buffy told Spike that what he did for her was real,
and thereafter throughout the season treated him with trust and respect as a
warrior, not as a boyfriend. He told he he knew she'd never love him, but
that didn't make him desert her cause or turn evil again; on the contrary,
that was when he made his promise to her to protect Dawn until the end of
the world.

Spike had 125 years (or so) of positive reinforcement for being evil, from
his "family," from his lover, from the thrill of gaining a rep among the
other vamps, and from the sheer fun of violence and killing, of course. I
think it's asking a lot to expect him to turn to good with no reinforcement
at all, especially since the respect he gained from his own kind from being
a Big Bad Scourge of Humanity are gone for good.

All Spike needs is respect; he doesn't need her declaration of love, or a
continuation of their sexual relationship, to continue on his path.

> Spike seems like a ex-con trying to go straight--with an tracking ankle
> bracelet. Thus it's vague if he's doing good because he wants to or
because
> he has a device on him. He has a rep as a criminal and not thoroughly
> trusted, yet even people continue to treat him as bad, what's his
incentive
> to do good? He has periods of frustration feeling caught in between.
>

The chip does not make Spike do good. It doesn't make him do anything. It
only keeps him from harming humans.

Actually, the only one who's treating him as bad this season is Buffy, for
reasons of her own. The other Scoobies, and Dawn, have been accepting, and
Xander is quite friendly at this point. When told about the relationship,
Tara said, "He's done a lot of good, and he loves you," which is probably
the general Scoob take on things (perhaps with an extra dollop of Tara's
generosity).

> Another analogy is that he's like a evilholic, he has an addiction to
evil.
> He can fight it, but some days are worse than others, plus others have
seen
> him when he's been ''intoxicated'' with evil, they know what he's capable
> of.

But we haven't seen this at all. There has been no indication in the show
that Spike has to fight a compulsion to do evil -- unless you count smoking,
drinking, and gambing, which he doesn't seem to be fighting against at all!

> That takes a while to get over--for them and for him. How many times
> have people resisted relationships with former addicts for fear of a
> relapse? How many times have people been ashamed of being in a romantic
> relationship with a alcoholics who did HORRIBLE things when drunk? maybe
> hurt someone or even killed people? How do you explain to someone who has
> been attacked by an addict that you're dating him or her? How do you
explain
> you're seeing someone beat their kids to death while in a drunken stupor?
> Imagine trying to explain "No, no, she USED to be part of al-Quaeda, she
> USED to plan and carry out the deaths of innocent civilians."
>
> How has Spike done any less?
>
> Is it any wonder why Buffy is a TAD reluctant to admit their relationship?
> Altho at least Spike has a track record of doing good (even if some might
> debate if he did them for the ''right'' reasons).
>

I don't wonder why Buffy is reluctant to commit to a romantic relationship
with Spike at all. She should be reluctant, for the above reasons and more.
It would be perfectly rational and ethical of her to say she doesn't want a
relationship with him except professionally, so to speak.What she shouldn't
do is use him as a sexbot and punching bag, all the while belittling the
very real progress he has made. In fact, the last is the *worst* thing she's
doing to him.


Ivytree

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Feb 12, 2002, 2:13:06 PM2/12/02
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"Smaug69" <sma...@my-deja.com> wrote in message
news:aa8ccb68.02021...@posting.google.com...


Why not? The chip did not *make* Spike sit in the Summers living room
playing cards with Dawn for 147 days. It did not make him rescue her from
the Hellions. It only kept him from eating her for dinner.


EGK

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Feb 12, 2002, 2:20:00 PM2/12/02
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If he was able to eat her for dinner, that's 146 fewer days he'd have to
spend with the whiny little brat.


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STRANGEGUARD

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Feb 12, 2002, 3:31:29 PM2/12/02
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Peter Meilinger <mell...@bu.edu> wrote in message news:<a411ak$1r3$1...@news3.bu.edu>...


I don't think his love has overcome his desire to do evil. He just refrans
from doing those action in front of Buffy. I definitely did not think he was
offering to get a job when he offered to supply Buffy with money.

I honestly don't think Spike worries about good and evil. He does what he
wants and nothing else matters. he likes Dawn, I think she amuses him. I
think he would kill her in a second if could and he felt like it. he doesn't
feel like it.

Strangeguard

Ivytree

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Feb 12, 2002, 3:32:14 PM2/12/02
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"EGK" <e...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:1mqi6ughq1putaoqk...@4ax.com...

> On 12 Feb 2002 19:13:06 GMT, "Ivytree" <lsan...@sprintmail.com> wrote:
>
> >"Smaug69" <sma...@my-deja.com> wrote in message
> >news:aa8ccb68.02021...@posting.google.com...
> >> Bethia <book...@remove.excite.com> wrote in message
> >news:<vjk26ugscg5t3ll1r...@4ax.com>...
> >> > What is more important, what someone IS or what they DO? That is, is
> >> > evil an matter of being or is it an act of will?
> >>
> >> The thing is, I don't see anything Spike has done- good or bad- since
> >> he got the chip in Season 4 as an act of his will.
> >
> >
> >Why not? The chip did not *make* Spike sit in the Summers living room
> >playing cards with Dawn for 147 days. It did not make him rescue her from
> >the Hellions. It only kept him from eating her for dinner.
> >
>
> If he was able to eat her for dinner, that's 146 fewer days he'd have to
> spend with the whiny little brat.
>

Well, good point. Maybe he wasn't doing good at all. Maybe he was carrying
out an evil plot to torture the Scoobies by keeping Dawn around.


Smaug69

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Feb 12, 2002, 10:20:27 PM2/12/02
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"Ivytree" <lsan...@sprintmail.com> wrote in message news:<a4bpg2$9...@dispatch.concentric.net>...

That chip has affected everything Spike has done in the two years it's
been in his brain and there's no telling to what extent- maybe even
his feelings for Buffy.

Smaug69

Ivytree

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Feb 12, 2002, 11:39:46 PM2/12/02
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"Smaug69" <sma...@my-deja.com> wrote in message
news:aa8ccb68.02021...@posting.google.com...
> "Ivytree" <lsan...@sprintmail.com> wrote in message
news:<a4bpg2$9...@dispatch.concentric.net>...
> > "Smaug69" <sma...@my-deja.com> wrote in message
> > news:aa8ccb68.02021...@posting.google.com...
> > > Bethia <book...@remove.excite.com> wrote in message
> > news:<vjk26ugscg5t3ll1r...@4ax.com>...
> > > > What is more important, what someone IS or what they DO? That is, is
> > > > evil an matter of being or is it an act of will?
> > >
> > > The thing is, I don't see anything Spike has done- good or bad- since
> > > he got the chip in Season 4 as an act of his will.
> >
> >
> > Why not? The chip did not *make* Spike sit in the Summers living room
> > playing cards with Dawn for 147 days. It did not make him rescue her
from
> > the Hellions. It only kept him from eating her for dinner.
>
> That chip has affected everything Spike has done in the two years it's
> been in his brain and there's no telling to what extent- maybe even
> his feelings for Buffy.
>

No. The chip has no effect on good or evil, right actions or wrong actions.
It only prevents Spike from harming humans. That's all. Everything else is
his own choice.


nimue

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Feb 12, 2002, 11:59:25 PM2/12/02
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"Ivytree" <lsan...@sprintmail.net> wrote in message
news:m6ma8.3495$qt6.2...@newsread2.prod.itd.earthlink.net...
True! I agree, and well put!
>


Some Psycho Named Sam

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Feb 13, 2002, 2:53:28 AM2/13/02
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Bethia <book...@remove.excite.com> wrote in message news:<vjk26ugscg5t3ll1r...@4ax.com>...

First, to answer in the abstract. I think both are important, because
what someone is will inevitably inform what they do. If someone has no
conscience and absolutely no objection to unspeakably horrible acts
performed on innocent people, eventually they're going to be in a
situation where they or someone they love will benefit from doing
something horrible... and what's to stop them?

To answer your question specifically -- it depends.

If the show sticks to its mythology, then I buy the idea that vampires
without souls are simply evil. Spike cannot learn morality. It's just
beyond him. You don't blame him for being evil, but you also don't
treat him like he's not. If the show maintains its mythology as it
stands now, Spike is a monster and will always be a monster unless he
is somehow granted a soul. If he is a monster, he should be treated as
such. (Which isn't to say he can't be an exceedingly interesting,
charismatic, psychologically complex and multifaceted monster -- but
that's still a monster.)

If, on the other hand, Spike *is* capable of choosing to be a good
person without a soul, then he *is* to blame for his evil. If Spike as
he currently is is capable of redemption, then Spike as he was a
century ago was equally capable of choice -- and chose to murder lots
of people. If Spike is capable of redemption without a soul, then the
argument that he's not equivalent to a serial killer goes out the
window. If he's capable of moral choice, then he's culpable for the
choice he made to kill every single one of the people he's killed, and
should be treated the same way we'd treat a human who'd murdered that
many people.

Smaug69

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Feb 13, 2002, 9:49:04 AM2/13/02
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"Ivytree" <lsan...@sprintmail.net> wrote in message news:<m6ma8.3495$qt6.2...@newsread2.prod.itd.earthlink.net>...

> "Smaug69" <sma...@my-deja.com> wrote in message
> news:aa8ccb68.02021...@posting.google.com...
> > "Ivytree" <lsan...@sprintmail.com> wrote in message
> news:<a4bpg2$9...@dispatch.concentric.net>...
> > > "Smaug69" <sma...@my-deja.com> wrote in message
> > > news:aa8ccb68.02021...@posting.google.com...
> > > > Bethia <book...@remove.excite.com> wrote in message
> news:<vjk26ugscg5t3ll1r...@4ax.com>...
> > > > > What is more important, what someone IS or what they DO? That is, is
> > > > > evil an matter of being or is it an act of will?
> > > >
> > > > The thing is, I don't see anything Spike has done- good or bad- since
> > > > he got the chip in Season 4 as an act of his will.
> > >
> > >
> > > Why not? The chip did not *make* Spike sit in the Summers living room
> > > playing cards with Dawn for 147 days. It did not make him rescue her
> from
> > > the Hellions. It only kept him from eating her for dinner.
> >
> > That chip has affected everything Spike has done in the two years it's
> > been in his brain and there's no telling to what extent- maybe even
> > his feelings for Buffy.
> >
>
> No. The chip has no effect on good or evil, right actions or wrong actions.
> It only prevents Spike from harming humans. That's all. Everything else is
> his own choice.

You don't know that. All of his actions after he got the chip can be
questioned. Even his feelings for Buffy. He certainly didn't have
dreams about her before the chip.(That we know of, at least)

Smaug69

NightBaron

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Feb 13, 2002, 3:15:04 PM2/13/02
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sma...@my-deja.com (Smaug69) wrote in message news:<aa8ccb68.0202...@posting.google.com>...

>
> You don't know that. All of his actions after he got the chip can be
> questioned. Even his feelings for Buffy. He certainly didn't have
> dreams about her before the chip.(That we know of, at least)
>


Actually, Drusilla told Spike he was full of the Slayer, that he cared
for her too much in a flashback which happened pre-chip. He had SOME
types of feelings for Buffy then, maybe not love yet, but some kind of
attraction anyway.

Ivytree

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Feb 13, 2002, 3:15:29 PM2/13/02
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"Smaug69" <sma...@my-deja.com> wrote in message
news:aa8ccb68.0202...@posting.google.com...

Well, yes, you do. The Initiative invented the chip and installed it, and
that's what it was designed to do. They didn't care about Hostile 17's
feelings or dreams.

And according to Drusilla, who is after all psychic, Spike's feelings for
Buffy began way before the chip.


Smaug69

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Feb 13, 2002, 9:14:33 PM2/13/02
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"Ivytree" <lsan...@sprintmail.com> wrote in message news:<a4ehh1$9...@dispatch.concentric.net>...

When you stick something like that in someone's brain there's no
telling what kind of cumulative effect it will have over time.



> And according to Drusilla, who is after all psychic, Spike's feelings for
> Buffy began way before the chip.

Spike had feelings of intense hatred for her, yes. And Drusilla was
also insane.

Smaug69

Ken

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Feb 13, 2002, 9:18:39 PM2/13/02
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"Ivytree" <lsan...@sprintmail.com> wrote in message
news:a4bpca$9...@dispatch.concentric.net...

I think the bottom line on Spike is that we don't know for certain. I, you
and a lot of others tend to give Spike the benefit of the doubt.

However the fact remains a legitimate argument could be made Spike is less
IMmoral as Amoral, that while he may not go out seeking to do bad, he
doesn't seem all too worried about it. One could even argue that this has
all been a ploy to get to Buffy, his niceness to Dawn (to find out about
Buffy), helping Buffy and the gang (to get close to Buffy--not to mention he
has the fun of beating up demons), his niceness to Joyce (get close to the
gal by getting close to her mom, old-fashioned, but then again, he is 2
centuries old).

Even more than just an act to fool Buffy, one could even argue that it's
been an act to fool himself. Personally, while I'd like to think Buffy is
simply wrong (ok, considering Spike's history, not completely), I'd rather
Spike was fooling himself than merely fooling Buffy, that he would be just
as shocked at doing some evil act. It would be ironic if it were Buffy
seeing HIS shocked reaction at doing something wrong that convinced her he
was worthy (Not to mention flip the "I'm not worthy" spiel from Buffy to
Spike and have her pursuing him.)

-- Ken from Chicago

Ivytree

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Feb 13, 2002, 11:40:31 PM2/13/02
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"Ken" <kwicker_era...@ameritech.net> wrote in message
news:38Fa8.5067$pC1.8...@newssrv26.news.prodigy.com...
>
snip

I agree that Spike is amoral. He doesn't desire to do good, per se, but he
no longer particularly wants to do evil either. What he *does* want is to do
what Buffy wants; he trusts her goodness. Which is why the present situation
is so sad, and dangerous, and almost tragic -- because *she's* not to be
trusted right now. Buffy dreamed of harming Spike, and she *is* harming him,
not physically but morally.


Isab...@webtv.net

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Feb 13, 2002, 11:10:47 PM2/13/02
to
If he was able to eat her for dinner, that's 146 fewer days he'd have to
spend with the whiny little brat.
Well, good point. Maybe he wasn't doing good at all. Maybe he was
carrying out an evil plot to torture the Scoobies by keeping Dawn
around.>>>

Not just the Scoobs. We, the audience, are suffering because he hasn't
eaten Dawn.

Ken

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Feb 14, 2002, 1:49:16 AM2/14/02
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"Some Psycho Named Sam" <sam_...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:21ced21e.02021...@posting.google.com...

If Spike (and by extension, any vampire) has no free will, then he's an
animal, beyond being "good" or "evil", just as a dog or snake are neither
good or evil (even tho one can be ''tamed'' or ''wild'', kinda like
Spike)--and beyond blame or guilt. If Spike does have free will, then he can
be ''good'' or ''evil''--and be blamed or feel guilt.

It is ... interesting ... (and somewhat frightening for those of us in the
pro Buffy / Spike club) that in the past two years since Spike had The Dream
, he hasn't expressed ANY guilt about any of the (human) deaths he has
caused--some of them there in Sunnydale.

If he has and I missed it, shame on me. If he has, but it's been offscreen,
shame on the writers for cruelly tricking us, the audience, that way. How
can we debate the morality of characters based on actions not seen onscreen?

I think the real dilemma here is that this is FICTION and as such it is
being written by WRITERS who simply CHOOSE whether characters are ''good''
or ''bad'' than if Spike was a real live, ahem, chip-implanted,
possibly-reformed, vampire. If the former, then one can debate whether he
is good or bad with a certain degree of certainness that he is one or the
other. If you treat him as a real person and basing it on his actions, that
we've seen in public and spied on in private, then the debate becomes
dicier.

Personally, I'm in the give the guy a break crowd. (Besides, you KNOW the
Spike / Buffy / Angel fight is gonna be good when it finally happens. "You
got Darla PREGNANT and have the nerve to judge me?")

-- Ken from Chicago


Tim Bruening

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Feb 14, 2002, 2:14:50 AM2/14/02
to

Ken Arromdee wrote:

> >To expand, it seems to me the "Spike is evil" camp fall into two
> >primary arguments (and feel free to correct me if you feel I'm being
> >too simplistic):
> >
> >1) Spike is a vampire.
> > Vampires are evil.
> > Therefore, Spike is evil.

> >...


> >For those in the first group, nothing Spike can ever do will change
> >what he is. His destiny is sealed by what he is. Debate over this
> >issue will have to take place on a philosophical level; bringing up
> >what Spike has or hasn't done on the show would be pointless, as what
> >he *does* matters less than what he *is*.
>

> No, that's wrong.
>
> There's a premise in there "vampires are evil". Spike's actions can
> demonstrate that the premise is not correct. If the show had Spike be good,
> I'd complain that it contradicted the past, but I'd agree that it does show
> that Spike is good--because the premise "vampires are evil" would no longer
> be true.

I favor Spike becoming good and shaking up the Buffyverse!


Aethelrede

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Feb 16, 2002, 8:50:25 PM2/16/02
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Isab...@webtv.net wrote in message
<9239-3C6...@storefull-102.iap.bryant.webtv.net>...

How do we know that? They could have been doing all sorts of things
during those long hours together while he was guarding her at big sisters
request. We all know how big a crush Dawn has on Spike, just not why...
And people think Buffy and Spike is bad....


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