History Main / MoralEventHorizon

21st Jun '17 9:22:26 PM SheldonDinkleburg
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While they may not have had a term such as this to define it, many authors clearly recognized it. Creator/RobertAHeinlein's ''Literature/StrangerInAStrangeLand'' referred to it as being the result of an act that was "so bad, so black" that it was basically unforgivable. Hank Rearden in Creator/AynRand's ''Literature/AtlasShrugged'' said that "to convict a human being of that practice was a verdict of irrevocable damnation... a [[CompleteMonster verdict of total evil]]" and that "he would not believe it of anyone, so long as the possibility of a doubt remained." Meanwhile, multiple religions have the concept of "perdition", where those who have committed a truly unpardonable sin are irrevocably doomed to punishment in the afterlife.

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While they may not have had a term such as this to define it, many authors clearly recognized it. Creator/RobertAHeinlein's ''Literature/StrangerInAStrangeLand'' referred to it as being the result of an act that was "so bad, so black" that it was basically unforgivable. Hank Rearden in Creator/AynRand's ''Literature/AtlasShrugged'' said that "to convict a human being of that practice was a verdict of irrevocable damnation... a [[CompleteMonster verdict of total evil]]" and that "he would not believe it of anyone, so long as the possibility of a doubt remained." Meanwhile, multiple religions have the concept of "perdition", where those who have committed a truly unpardonable sin are irrevocably doomed to punishment in the afterlife.
17th Jun '17 9:00:05 AM Az_Tech341
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Obviously, it follows from the definition that a character can't cross this boundary more than once. Crossing it implies going from redeemable to irredeemable, and that's it; the other way around contradicts the definition. Of course, that doesn't mean they'll always be getting worse. Sometimes a character who has crossed the horizon will invoke IveComeTooFar afterwards... but they have still crossed the line. Yet there are ways to stem the descent into a true monstrosity. Sometimes all that stands between man and monster is a SingleTear... or even a [[TearsOfRemorse full-out weep]]. Perhaps a show of respect for the enemy. A HeelRealization that you've gone too far. Sometimes they become TheAtoner. But the act has been committed, and they will never fully succeed...

to:

Obviously, it follows from the definition that a character can't cross this boundary more than once. Crossing it implies going from redeemable to irredeemable, and that's it; the other way around contradicts the definition. Of course, that doesn't mean they'll always be getting worse. Sometimes a character who has crossed the horizon will invoke IveComeTooFar afterwards... but they have still crossed the line. Yet there are ways to stem the descent into a true monstrosity. Sometimes all that stands between man and monster is a SingleTear... or even a [[TearsOfRemorse full-out weep]]. Perhaps a show of respect for the enemy. A HeelRealization that you've gone too far. Sometimes they become TheAtoner. But the act has been committed, and they will never fully succeed...
succeed....
17th Jun '17 7:57:59 AM Az_Tech341
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Note the word ''irredeemably''. It is a demonstration of ''permanent'' evil; as in, the first evil deed whose role in the story is to tell us they will [[AlwaysChaoticEvil always be a bad person]]. That moment where you know for sure that it is simply not possible for them to wash their hands to get rid of the damned spot of blood. The moment any FreudianExcuse they may have loses all meaning. And of course, many villains stay evil throughout, but we're talking "If you can find it in your soul to even ''consider'' forgiving this person, there's something freakishly wrong with you." Their existence is a blight on humanity. They poison the earth they tread upon. They. Are. Vile.

to:

Note the word ''irredeemably''. It is a demonstration of ''permanent'' evil; as in, the first evil deed whose role in the story is to tell us they will [[AlwaysChaoticEvil always be a bad person]]. That moment where you know for sure that it is simply not possible for them to wash their hands to get rid of the damned spot of blood. The moment any FreudianExcuse they may have loses all meaning. And of course, many villains stay evil throughout, but we're talking "If you can find it in your soul to even ''consider'' forgiving this person, there's something freakishly wrong with you." Their existence is a blight on humanity. They poison the earth they tread upon. They. Are. Vile.
17th Jun '17 7:56:06 AM Az_Tech341
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Note the word ''irredeemably''. It is a demonstration of ''permanent'' evil; as in, the first evil deed whose role in the story is to tell us they will [[AlwaysChaoticEvil always be a bad person]]. That moment where you know for sure that it is simply not possible for them to wash their hands to get rid of the damned spot of blood. The moment any FreudianExcuse they may have loses all meaning. And of course, many villains stay evil throughout, but we're talking "If you can find it in your soul to even ''consider'' forgiving this person, there's something freakishly wrong with you." Their existence is a blight on humanity. They poison the earth they tread upon. The very air they exhale is toxic fumes. They. Are. Vile.

to:

Note the word ''irredeemably''. It is a demonstration of ''permanent'' evil; as in, the first evil deed whose role in the story is to tell us they will [[AlwaysChaoticEvil always be a bad person]]. That moment where you know for sure that it is simply not possible for them to wash their hands to get rid of the damned spot of blood. The moment any FreudianExcuse they may have loses all meaning. And of course, many villains stay evil throughout, but we're talking "If you can find it in your soul to even ''consider'' forgiving this person, there's something freakishly wrong with you." Their existence is a blight on humanity. They poison the earth they tread upon. The very air they exhale is toxic fumes. They. Are. Vile.
17th Jun '17 6:31:23 AM krimzonflygon2
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Note the word ''irredeemably''. It is a demonstration of ''permanent'' evil; as in, the first evil deed whose role in the story is to tell us they will [[AlwaysChaoticEvil always be a bad person]]. That moment where you know for sure that it is simply not possible for them to wash their hands to get rid of the damned spot of blood. And of course, many villains stay evil throughout, but we're talking "If you can find it in your soul to even ''consider'' forgiving this person, there's something freakishly wrong with you." Their existence is a blight on humanity. They poison the earth they tread upon. The very air they exhale is toxic fumes. They. Are. Vile.

to:

Note the word ''irredeemably''. It is a demonstration of ''permanent'' evil; as in, the first evil deed whose role in the story is to tell us they will [[AlwaysChaoticEvil always be a bad person]]. That moment where you know for sure that it is simply not possible for them to wash their hands to get rid of the damned spot of blood. The moment any FreudianExcuse they may have loses all meaning. And of course, many villains stay evil throughout, but we're talking "If you can find it in your soul to even ''consider'' forgiving this person, there's something freakishly wrong with you." Their existence is a blight on humanity. They poison the earth they tread upon. The very air they exhale is toxic fumes. They. Are. Vile.
10th Jun '17 4:07:53 PM Az_Tech341
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Sometimes, however, there is a positive usage of a MoralEventHorizon. If, in a work, a villain seems to be too ineffectual and pathetic to be a threat, yet the show wants to insist that it's a dangerous villain, letting the villain cross the MoralEventHorizon can be a good way to establish that villain's caliber, that he's meant to be opposed and taken seriously, not as a joke. In other words, it can save a supposed villain from being a failure of a villain.

to:

Sometimes, however, there is a positive usage of a MoralEventHorizon. If, in a work, a villain seems to be too ineffectual and pathetic to be a threat, yet the show wants to insist that it's a dangerous villain, letting the villain cross the MoralEventHorizon can be a good way to establish that villain's caliber, that he's meant to be opposed and taken seriously, not as a joke.seriously. In other words, it can save a supposed villain from being a failure of a villain.
10th Jun '17 2:22:45 AM ChrisX
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Sometimes, however, there is a positive usage of a MoralEventHorizon. If, in a work, a villain seems to be too ineffectual and pathetic to be a threat, yet the show wants to insist that it's a dangerous villain, letting the villain cross the MoralEventHorizon can be a good way to establish that villain's caliber, that he's meant to be opposed. In other words, it can save a supposed villain from being a failure of a villain.

to:

Sometimes, however, there is a positive usage of a MoralEventHorizon. If, in a work, a villain seems to be too ineffectual and pathetic to be a threat, yet the show wants to insist that it's a dangerous villain, letting the villain cross the MoralEventHorizon can be a good way to establish that villain's caliber, that he's meant to be opposed.opposed and taken seriously, not as a joke. In other words, it can save a supposed villain from being a failure of a villain.
1st Jun '17 10:15:30 AM 313Bluestreak
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Added DiffLines:

* TeamKiller: Killing one's own teammates is a reprehensible act.
27th May '17 10:37:45 AM Timjames98
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* PaedoHunt: Sexual contact with a minor is treated as a Moral Event Horizon.

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* PaedoHunt: Sexual contact with a minor is treated as a Moral Event Horizon.Horizon, as it combines WouldHurtAChild and RapeIsASpecialKindOfEvil.
1st May '17 5:17:30 PM mlsmithca
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Note the word ''irredeemably''. It is a demonstration of ''permanent'' evil; as in, the first evil deed whose role in the story is to tell us they will [[AlwaysChaoticEvil always be a bad person]]. That moment where you know for sure that it is simply not possible for them to wash their hands to get rid of the darned spot of blood. And of course, many villains stay evil throughout, but we're talking "If you can find it in your soul to even ''consider'' forgiving this person, there's something freakishly wrong with you." Their existence is a blight on humanity. They poison the earth they tread upon. The very air they exhale is toxic fumes. They. Are. Vile.

to:

Note the word ''irredeemably''. It is a demonstration of ''permanent'' evil; as in, the first evil deed whose role in the story is to tell us they will [[AlwaysChaoticEvil always be a bad person]]. That moment where you know for sure that it is simply not possible for them to wash their hands to get rid of the darned damned spot of blood. And of course, many villains stay evil throughout, but we're talking "If you can find it in your soul to even ''consider'' forgiving this person, there's something freakishly wrong with you." Their existence is a blight on humanity. They poison the earth they tread upon. The very air they exhale is toxic fumes. They. Are. Vile.



A CompleteMonster lives on the other side of the Moral Event Horizon, but crossing the Moral Event Horizon does ''not'' automatically imply that the crosser is a monster. The character can just be a bad person (and maybe even [[WellIntentionedExtremist somewhat]] [[AntiVillain sympathetic]]); the Moral Event Horizon is a black mark in their history that can never be forgiven. A character who performs an act that should make them irredeemable but somehow gets away with it is a KarmaHoudini. Unless [[HeelRealization they realize it]], [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone feel horrible]], and [[TheAtoner work their butt off to atone for that crossing]]. Then maybe it'll evolve into ForgivenButNotForgotten; that one crossing certainly will stay as a black mark, but they're working to be a better person. Such instances, however, are rare.

to:

A CompleteMonster lives on the other side of the Moral Event Horizon, but crossing the Moral Event Horizon does ''not'' automatically imply that the crosser is a monster. The character can just be a bad person (and maybe even [[WellIntentionedExtremist somewhat]] [[AntiVillain sympathetic]]); the Moral Event Horizon is a black mark in their history that can never be forgiven. A character who performs an act that should make them irredeemable but somehow gets away with it is a KarmaHoudini. Unless [[HeelRealization they realize it]], [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone feel horrible]], and [[TheAtoner work their butt ass off to atone for that crossing]]. Then maybe it'll evolve into ForgivenButNotForgotten; that one crossing certainly will stay as a black mark, but they're working to be a better person. Such instances, however, are rare.
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.MoralEventHorizon