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Even Evil Has Standards: Mythology & Religion

  • Jesus mentioned that even an evil father would not give his son a stone, when the son asked for bread, or a serpent when the son asked for a fish, when he compares them to how the Father in Heaven is willing to give good gifts to those who ask Him.
  • There is a theory that Pontius Pilate's reaction to the charges against Jesus was intended as irony. Apart from the Bible, most evidence suggests that Pontius Pilate was a cruel bastard (was there any high-status Roman who wasn't?), a reputation that would have been fresh in the mind of much of the Gospels' first audience. Yet according to the Gospel writers, Jesus was so innocent that even Pontius Pilate didn't think Jesus was guilty, which made Caiaphus and the Jewish leadership look like even bigger scum.
    • Another depiction claims that Pilate was just as disgusted at Caiaphas and the Jews bringing him and the rest of Rome into what should have been a Jewish internal matter (all for the sake of their being able to execute him as opposed to, say, life imprisonment), though that doesn't seem to detract from his not finding Jesus guilty.
    • Some depictions of that story even claim Pilate went out of his way to keep Jesus from being crucified, both through the legal system and through political manipulation. The most prominent example was exercising a legal tradition of releasing one Jewish prisoner on Passover, in which he gave the Jewish leadership a choice between Jesus and the mass murderer Barabbas. When that went south, he tried to hold Jesus in captivity, which caused the Jews to threaten to riot, to which Pilate counter-threatened to bring in Roman reinforcements and invoke martial law. It was only when he was told Rome would not be able to provide reinforcements did he "wash his hands".
  • One alternate hypothesis for the cause of Lucifer's rebellion is his disgust at the duties of his position as God's Satan (literally Opposer, which can carry a legalistic meaning similar to Prosecutor), causing otherwise good people to commit sins for which they are condemned.
    • Which doesn't make much sense, as Lucifer had to have rebelled from God before he brought sin into the world, which means there was nothing yet for him to object to.
  • In Aztec Mythology, Tezcatlipoca is often shown as a jerk, stealing others' wives and being unnecessarily violent, judgmental, and downright sadistic. However, he had a soft spot for slaves, and anyone who made the mistake of mistreating them would face his wrath.
  • There is an old myth about a man who was given the ability to destroy rats. He lures them all to his sword and kills them all in a gory manner. He is a sailor and his captain happens to see this and walks over to him and asks him why he did something like that. In a Crowning Moment Of Awesome, he tells him to get off the ship because he would rather have a sailor who uses his sword on men who have intentionally hurt him, not innocent creatures like rats.
  • There's a folktale about how The Devil made a bargain with an old woman to break up a happy couple he had been trying to split apart for years. The woman offers to break the couple apart for a pair of new shoes, and does so by telling the husband that the wife is trying to kill him behind the wife's back, while secretly instructing the wife to remove a mole from the husband's neck in the dead of night. Scratch sees everything, and even he's shocked by how underhandedly wicked the old woman's plot is, to the point where he hands her the new shoes using a long stick, saying how he was disgusted by how the husband was tricked into cruelly throwing the wife out of the house.
  • In one of Grimm's fairy tales, a young man is sleeping in the woods when some bandits find him and notice that he's carrying a letter from the king (who's trying to get rid of the man) to the queen that says Please Shoot the Messenger. The bandit leader says "That's a dirty trick!" , changes the letter so that it tells her to reward him instead, and leaves the young man alone.

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