History Main / IDidWhatIHadtoDo

15th Jul '17 9:57:42 AM HasturHasturHastur
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Generally associated with OOCIsSeriousBusiness. Compare WellIntentionedExtremist and ItSeemedLikeAGoodIdeaAtTheTime. When the character's motivation is her responsibility to those under her command, see TheChainsOfCommanding. If the consequences shown actually ''justify'' the action, then that's TheExtremistWasRight. A character growing too comfortable with 'doing what I had to do' is guilty of a ReverseSlipperySlopeFallacy.

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Generally associated with OOCIsSeriousBusiness. Compare WellIntentionedExtremist and ItSeemedLikeAGoodIdeaAtTheTime. When the character's motivation is her responsibility to those under her command, see TheChainsOfCommanding. If the consequences shown actually ''justify'' the action, then that's TheExtremistWasRight. A character growing too comfortable with 'doing what I had to do' is guilty of a ReverseSlipperySlopeFallacy.
ReverseSlipperySlopeFallacy. Can be a MoralEventHorizon if it was particularly cruel or if they're particularly callous and nonchalant about it when confronted.
13th Jul '17 1:31:06 PM Dontfollowmeman
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* A common theme of the Wiki/SCPFoundation, but by far the most extreme example is the [[http://scp-wiki.wikidot.com/scp-231 SCP-231 project.]] Pregnant girl of undetermined age carrying what appears to be [[FetusTerrible some monster]] that, if birthed, will be TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt. The only way to prevent the birth? [[spoiler: Procedure 110-Montauk, which (while never actually described ''what'' it entails), must be carried out once every 24 hours by 6 Class D Personnel who are also convicted sex offenders.]] Yes, it ''is'' as bad as you think. No, the girl cannot be put out of her misery. No, the girl cannot be drugged into amnesia or unconsciousness. She has to be fully awake for the procedure to work. Yes, it is just as horrifying a prospect as you could imagine. [[spoiler:A hidden message on the page claims the Foundation has no intention of trying to save the girl and want whatever is inside her right where it is.]]

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* A common theme of the Wiki/SCPFoundation, but by far the most extreme example is the [[http://scp-wiki.wikidot.com/scp-231 SCP-231 project.]] Pregnant girl of undetermined age carrying what appears to be [[FetusTerrible some monster]] that, if birthed, will be TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt. The only way to prevent the birth? [[spoiler: Procedure 110-Montauk, which (while never actually described ''what'' it entails), must be carried out once every 24 hours by 6 Class D Personnel who are also convicted sex offenders.]] Yes, it ''is'' as bad as you think. No, the girl cannot be put out of her misery. No, the girl cannot be drugged into amnesia or unconsciousness. She has to be fully awake for the procedure to work. In fact, she is routinely given amnesia drugs so that she can't ever get used to it. Yes, it is just as horrifying a prospect as you could imagine. [[spoiler:A hidden message on the page claims the Foundation has no intention of trying to save the girl and want whatever is inside her right where it is.]]
10th Jul '17 7:37:22 PM Gideoncrawle
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->I have always admired [[UsefulNotes/AbrahamLincoln Lincoln]]. When [[UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar the South began going its own way]], he knew that taking a position against them would lead to civil war. But he did it anyway. Because he understood something... understood it more perhaps than anyone else in that time. He knew that a house divided against itself cannot stand... a nation can not be divided and survive. Under his administration, brother hunted down brother, friend turned against friend. It was terrible. It was bloody. It was '''necessary'''. Because at the end, the republic held, and the nation was restored.

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->I have always admired [[UsefulNotes/AbrahamLincoln Lincoln]]. Lincoln. When [[UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar the South began going its own way]], way, he knew that taking a position against them would lead to civil war. But he did it anyway. Because he understood something... understood it more perhaps than anyone else in that time. He knew that a house divided against itself cannot stand... a nation can not be divided and survive. Under his administration, brother hunted down brother, friend turned against friend. It was terrible. It was bloody. It was '''necessary'''. Because at the end, the republic held, and the nation was restored.
10th Jul '17 4:37:48 PM Madrugada
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** Eventually, they did.



* This is actually the law whenever an aircraft of any stripe has an emergency. [[TheCaptain The commander of the craft]] is authorized to do what he has to do to minimize the harm and prevent catastrophe, and any property damage or deaths that happen as a result of this are legally just collateral damage.
** Specifically, the US regulations say (as an example) "In an in-flight emergency requiring immediate action, the pilot in command may deviate from any rule of this part to the extent required to meet that emergency." but it follows it with "Each pilot in command who deviates from a rule under paragraph (b) of this section shall, upon the request of the Administrator, send a written report of that deviation to the Administrator." Short version: You can do what you have to do, but you better have a good reason.

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* This is actually the law whenever an aircraft of any stripe has an emergency. [[TheCaptain The commander of the craft]] is authorized to do what he has to do to minimize the harm and prevent catastrophe, and any property damage or deaths that happen as a result of this are legally just collateral damage.
**
damage. Specifically, the US regulations say (as an example) "In an in-flight emergency requiring immediate action, the pilot in command may deviate from any rule of this part to the extent required to meet that emergency." but it follows it with "Each pilot in command who deviates from a rule under paragraph (b) of this section shall, upon the request of the Administrator, send a written report of that deviation to the Administrator." Short version: You can do what you have to do, but you better have a good reason.



* As with pilots, firefighters will try to minimize damage but if they have to break things in order to do the greater good, they can and will without hesitation. Someone parked in front of a fire hydrant? You'll see a hose running through the busted-out windows. Can't get close enough to the side of a burning building because there's a car dealership lot with a row of brand new cars in the way? Get a nearby bulldozer to ''plow a path through the cars''.
** This is one of the reasons why fire trucks are so large and powerful. They can ram cars, brick wall or doors out of their way if necessary.
* Perhaps no real-life instance of this trope brings the point home more than "the policeman's dilemma" concerning the use of deadly force. A police officer is instructed to avoid the use of deadly force whenever possible, but if the officer or an innocent is under immediate threat of life, then the officer needs to take whatever action is necessary to end the threat. For those instances where it's proven to be justified, counselors will help the officers to accept they were performing this trope, helping them to get through the emotional shock.
* There are morality tests that function on the standards of action vs inaction. The first situation proposed is that there is a plane with 100 passengers on that is going to crash, but the test-taker can prevent it by pushing a button. The button will kill 10 people instead. Those who opt to push the button would fall under this trope. The second situation is similar, but now there is also a lever. The lever will also prevent the plane from crashing, and it will only kill one person: [[HeroicSacrifice the test-taker]]. The answers are interesting, especially to the test-taker.
** The prototype is the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trolley_problem Trolley Problem]]. It is worth a read, as the problem can be adopted to continue to chip away at moral conundrums. In one case, suppose a trolley is heading down a track and will crush 5 people; you can push a button and divert it to a side track where it will kill just one. Almost all person agree you are obligated to take an action that directly results in one death to save five lives. Cue many different examples of the problem to eat away at those intuitions.
* Emperor UsefulNotes/{{Augustus}} used this as the rule by which he ran his entire life. One wonders if he ever [[BadDreams slept well at night]], but [[TheExtremistWasRight it's hard to say Rome didn't benefit]].
* [[UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar "It became necessary to destroy the town to save it."]] The quote ([[BeamMeUpScotty usually recalled as]] "We had to destroy the village in order to save it") came from a US commander talking about what happened in Ben Tre in February 1968, where the town was shelled by artillery with little regard for civilian casualties in order to weed out Viet Cong.
* UsefulNotes/JosefStalin was (in)famous for using this as justifying his actions. Along with the general claim that he was creating a new socialist utopia, Stalin also specifically said that the USSR had to industrialize, and quickly, or else it would be overwhelmed by the rest of the world.
** [[TheExtremistWasRight Scarily enough]], he said the following [[LudicrousPrecision exactly 10 years, 3 months and 12 days]] from the beginning of [[ThoseWackyNazis Operation Barbarossa]]:

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* As with pilots, firefighters will try to minimize damage but if they have to break things in order to do the greater good, they can and will without hesitation. Someone parked in front of a fire hydrant? You'll see a hose running through the busted-out windows. Can't get close enough to the side of a burning building because there's a car dealership lot with a row of brand new cars in the way? Get a nearby bulldozer to ''plow a path through the cars''.
** This is one of the reasons why fire trucks are so large and powerful. They can ram cars, brick wall or doors out of their way if necessary.
* Perhaps no real-life instance of this trope brings the point home more than "the policeman's dilemma" concerning the use of deadly force. A police officer is instructed to avoid the use of deadly force whenever possible, but if the officer or an innocent is under immediate threat of life, then the officer needs to take whatever action is necessary to end the threat. For those instances where it's proven to be justified, counselors will help the officers to accept they were performing this trope, helping them to get through the emotional shock.
* There are morality tests that function on the standards of action vs inaction. The first situation proposed is that there is a plane with 100 passengers on that is going to crash, but the test-taker can prevent it by pushing a button. The button will kill 10 people instead. Those who opt to push the button would fall under this trope. The second situation is similar, but now there is also a lever. The lever will also prevent the plane from crashing, and it will only kill one person: [[HeroicSacrifice the test-taker]]. The answers are interesting, especially to the test-taker.
** The prototype is the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trolley_problem Trolley Problem]]. It is worth a read, as the problem can be adopted to continue to chip away at moral conundrums. In one case, suppose a trolley is heading down a track and will crush 5 people; you can push a button and divert it to a side track where it will kill just one. Almost all person agree you are obligated to take an action that directly results in one death to save five lives. Cue many different examples of the problem to eat away at those intuitions.
* Emperor UsefulNotes/{{Augustus}} used this as the rule by which he ran his entire life. One wonders if he ever [[BadDreams slept well at night]], but [[TheExtremistWasRight it's hard to say Rome didn't benefit]].
* [[UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar "It became necessary to destroy the town to save it."]] The quote ([[BeamMeUpScotty usually recalled as]] "We had to destroy the village in order to save it") came from a US commander talking about what happened in Ben Tre in February 1968, where the town was shelled by artillery with little regard for civilian casualties in order to weed out Viet Cong.
* UsefulNotes/JosefStalin was (in)famous for using this as justifying his actions. Along with the general claim that he was creating a new socialist utopia, Stalin also specifically said that the USSR had to industrialize, and quickly, or else it would be overwhelmed by the rest of the world.
** [[TheExtremistWasRight Scarily enough]], he
world. He said the following [[LudicrousPrecision exactly 10 years, 3 months and 12 days]] from the beginning of [[ThoseWackyNazis Operation Barbarossa]]:



** To clarify: the Royal Italian Army was trained in Napoleonic Wars-era tactics that the war had just proved would fail against the combination of reticulate, trench lines and machine guns, and while he didn't have the time and resources to retrain the peacetime army and the recalled soldiers he could give better training to the newest batches of [[{{Conscription}} conscripts]], and in fact had the idea of calling the new classes one year early to give them all the necessary training before sending them to the front; for all the strength they managed to cumulate, the Senussi remained embarrassingly outgunned and were no match for even an half-serious counteroffensive (and in fact the remaining Italian garrisons casually spanked the Senussi during the war), and when FascistItaly decided it was time to reconquer the country the Senussi were quickly reduced to guerilla, before crushing it when the rebel leaders refused to compromise (and made clear in the process they could have wiped out the entire population, had they wished so); Italy's {{Obstructive Bureaucrat}}s had single-handedly made sure the Italian Army wouldn't have the equipment they needed (particularly egregious being the missed adoption of an indigenous machine gun comparable to the legendary Maxim because [[ScrewTheRulesIMakeThem the guy who had designed the]] [[ReliablyUnreliableGuns infamously bad FIAT Mod.1914 machine gun]] was on the commission and [[ScrewTheRulesIHaveMoney was backed by the FIAT corporation]] and paying in advance a large batch of Maxim guns that ended up with half not being delivered due the start of UsefulNotes/WorldWarI and Italy being nominally allied with the Central Powers at the time, leading to the adoption of the Mod.1914) ''and'' caused Lybian rebellion due a combination of sabotage of the efforts to defeat the last remnants of resistance, antagonizing important tribal chiefs (including those of the Senussi), sabotaged the expedition that could and should have crushed the rebellion with ease (the expedition commander's arrogance played a part, but had he been given what he had asked he would have won with ease), and had Cadorna not established that dictature the Royal Italian Army wouldn't have had the weapons to fight the war. The discipline ended up lowering the troops' morale (to the point that at Caporetto many decided to just walk and return home upon hearing of the Austro-Hungarian breakthrough, making the situation much worse than it should have been, before they [[LetsGetDangerous decided the Austro-Hungarians had no right to invade Italian soil and started fighting like demons]]), but he was rightly infamous for that even before becoming the chief of staff, and that was the only one of his measures that his successor Armando Diaz did not adopt.



* Very common in war veterans who have killed people up close, especially if they killed many people, people who really didn't deserve to die or people who didn't even have to die. Broadly speaking, think of this trope as mental damage control.
* This is actually a concept in civil and criminal law in several countries. It's called [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Necessity necessity]] and covers things like driving over the speed limit to get a critically wounded person to a hospital, breaking windows to get out of burning buildings, driving under the influence to flee a kidnapper up to killing someone because they are about to kill other people (but not you, which would be covered by self defense). Those laws usually demand that the harm to be averted was imminent, that the law-breaking was the only available option and that the degree to which a law was broken be proportional to the harm averted by it. For example, the necessity defence/excuse cannot be invoked in cases like poor people stealing food because they have other options available (job switch, social security, welfare, food banks) and in most cases, are not in imminent mortal danger from severe starvation.
** Perhaps the farthest the necessity defence has been taken is [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Re_A_%28conjoined_twins%29 a case of two cojoined twins who, if not seperated, were both predicted to die within six months, whereas one of them was predicted to survive if they were seperated]]. A British court rules in favour of separating them. One of indeed survived, and the other one indeed died.
* During his recent interview with Sean Penn and Kate [=DeCastillio=], notorious drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman listed this trope as the reason he entered the drug business and ended up heading his cartel.
* The psychological underpinnings of rationalization with this trope is a broader principle called cognitive dissonance. In brief, when a person acts contrary to what they believe ("I am not a bad person, but I just hurt someone,") this creates an undesirable emotional state. Since the past cannot be changed, the person will change or invent new ideas about the situation to minimize the dissonance ("but I had to do it because he deserved it.")

to:

* Very common in war veterans who have killed people up close, especially if they killed many people, people who really didn't deserve to die or people who didn't even have to die. Broadly speaking, think of this trope as mental damage control.
* This is actually a concept in civil and criminal law in several countries. It's called [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Necessity necessity]] and covers things like driving over the speed limit to get a critically wounded person to a hospital, breaking windows to get out of burning buildings, driving under the influence to flee a kidnapper up to killing someone because they are about to kill other people (but not you, which would be covered by self defense). Those laws usually demand that the harm to be averted was imminent, that the law-breaking was the only available option and that the degree to which a law was broken be proportional to the harm averted by it. For example, the necessity defence/excuse cannot be invoked in cases like poor people stealing food because they have other options available (job switch, social security, welfare, food banks) and in most cases, are not in imminent mortal danger from severe starvation.
** Perhaps the farthest the necessity defence has been taken is [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Re_A_%28conjoined_twins%29 a case of two cojoined twins who, if not seperated, were both predicted to die within six months, whereas one of them was predicted to survive if they were seperated]]. A British court rules in favour of separating them. One of indeed survived, and the other one indeed died.
* During his recent interview with Sean Penn and Kate [=DeCastillio=], notorious drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman listed this trope as the reason he entered the drug business and ended up heading his cartel.
* The psychological underpinnings of rationalization with this trope is a broader principle called cognitive dissonance. In brief, when a person acts contrary to what they believe ("I am not a bad person, but I just hurt someone,") this creates an undesirable emotional state. Since the past cannot be changed, the person will change or invent new ideas about the situation to minimize the dissonance ("but I had to do it because he deserved it.")
6th Jun '17 12:21:23 PM ChaoticNovelist
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Added DiffLines:

*''Film/AssassinsCreed2016'': Joseph Lynch's first scene is immediately after Mary's death and he is constantly repeating the Creed like a SurvivalMantra, as if he's trying to reassure himself that he did the right thing.
1st Jun '17 8:05:45 PM nombretomado
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* ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'' from WhiteWolf Games has the Sidereal Exalted, who masterminded the Usurpation that overthrew and murdered the Solar Exalted rulers of the setting. The Solars of the First Age were rapidly becoming mad and wicked tyrants, and the Sidereals saw two options: a MillionToOneChance to save Creation by redeeming them, or a near-certain chance to [[MurderIsTheBestSolution solve the problem by killing them all]], [[AfterTheEnd destroy the magitech infrastructure of the First Age]] and save what they could of Creation. They chose the latter, and the Bronze Faction maintain that their actions were correct to this day and are still correct. Whether they're right is fuel for endless disagreement, {{Flame War}}s and Administrivia/{{Natter}}.

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* ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'' from WhiteWolf Creator/WhiteWolf Games has the Sidereal Exalted, who masterminded the Usurpation that overthrew and murdered the Solar Exalted rulers of the setting. The Solars of the First Age were rapidly becoming mad and wicked tyrants, and the Sidereals saw two options: a MillionToOneChance to save Creation by redeeming them, or a near-certain chance to [[MurderIsTheBestSolution solve the problem by killing them all]], [[AfterTheEnd destroy the magitech infrastructure of the First Age]] and save what they could of Creation. They chose the latter, and the Bronze Faction maintain that their actions were correct to this day and are still correct. Whether they're right is fuel for endless disagreement, {{Flame War}}s and Administrivia/{{Natter}}.
29th May '17 3:55:13 PM TheDocCC
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Added DiffLines:

** The prototype is the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trolley_problem Trolley Problem]]. It is worth a read, as the problem can be adopted to continue to chip away at moral conundrums. In one case, suppose a trolley is heading down a track and will crush 5 people; you can push a button and divert it to a side track where it will kill just one. Almost all person agree you are obligated to take an action that directly results in one death to save five lives. Cue many different examples of the problem to eat away at those intuitions.


Added DiffLines:

* The psychological underpinnings of rationalization with this trope is a broader principle called cognitive dissonance. In brief, when a person acts contrary to what they believe ("I am not a bad person, but I just hurt someone,") this creates an undesirable emotional state. Since the past cannot be changed, the person will change or invent new ideas about the situation to minimize the dissonance ("but I had to do it because he deserved it.")
28th May '17 1:55:19 PM Ferot_Dreadnaught
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* I did what I had to do (comics)
* While in Cuba on a mission for Xavier, Mystique discovered that the "Master Mold" in Castro's Sentinel program was...a 12-year old girl. Unable to disconnect her from the Computer that controlled the Sentinels, Mystique was begged by the girl to shoot her instead; Mystique refused ("No! I won't do it! I CAN'T!"); leaving the girls brother to seize Mystique's gun and do it instead. Later, watching the brother, and other political dissidents, escaping over the border into the American enclave at Guantanamo Bay, Mystique, tears in her eyes, shouts after them, "Tell them that he did the right thing!"
28th May '17 1:52:08 PM ludditetolpuddle
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Added DiffLines:

* I did what I had to do (comics)
* While in Cuba on a mission for Xavier, Mystique discovered that the "Master Mold" in Castro's Sentinel program was...a 12-year old girl. Unable to disconnect her from the Computer that controlled the Sentinels, Mystique was begged by the girl to shoot her instead; Mystique refused ("No! I won't do it! I CAN'T!"); leaving the girls brother to seize Mystique's gun and do it instead. Later, watching the brother, and other political dissidents, escaping over the border into the American enclave at Guantanamo Bay, Mystique, tears in her eyes, shouts after them, "Tell them that he did the right thing!"
21st May '17 12:50:08 PM nombretomado
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* In [[http://wanderers-library.wikidot.com/big-red Big Red]], a story in TheWanderersLibrary a village offers children's hearts to a monster attacking them.

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* In [[http://wanderers-library.wikidot.com/big-red Big Red]], a story in TheWanderersLibrary ''Wiki/TheWanderersLibrary'' a village offers children's hearts to a monster attacking them.
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