Quotes: Evil Cannot Comprehend Good

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    Anime and Manga 

Sephiroth: Tell me what you cherish most. Give me the pleasure of taking it away.
Cloud: I pity you. You just don't get it all. There's not a thing I don't cherish!

Kohaku killed his father and his fellow villagers. He massacred an entire town. Yet his sister says she cannot kill him. She loves her brother more dearly than she loves her own life. How can this be? I do not understand.
Naraku, InuYasha

Tao En: Impossible. Why are you getting up? Don't you fear me? Why do you fight so hard for one another?!
Tao Ren: I can't answer that. But I know that if I were in their place... I'd do the same for them.

    Comic Books 

You have to think about what you're doing. Who and what made you who you are. Your role models. The beliefs they instilled in you. And think of how The Joker could never understand that. It's what makes him who he is. Think.
Jim Gordon, Batman: Hush

Choudhury: What about the man in the red suit?
Tanek Nuro: It'll be easy to deal with him, now that we've found out who he really is. First we'll take a hostage. Who does he care about?
Choudhury: Well, he has an ex-wife and a son...
Nuro: I bet he hates his ex and would sell his son to the gypsies if he could. I would.
Doctor Solar: Man of the Atom #6

What's a good deed?
Iznogoud, Iznogoud Finally Caliph

He could have killed them both. But he didn't. Why? The emotions that fill Jason right now are alien to him as they are not hate or anger.

Logical? Is it? To a machine, perhaps. Yes... A soulless machine might make that deduction. But not Lex Luthor. I know better! I know that no man with the power of Superman would ever pretend to be a mere human! Such power is to be constantly exploited. Such power is to be used!
Lex Luthor from the 1980s DC Comics revamp, on why Clark Kent cannot be Superman

You know nothing about a glorious life, Darkseid. There are so many things she'll never experience because of you. [...] Of course, none of what I've said has any meaning to you. You only know death. A blackness that has brought you nothing.

Brainiac: I believed you were an intelligent being. A perspicacious creature of many worlds like me. But I was incorrect. You are a threat to no one. You dedicated yourself to a planet that has nothing to offer you. It lacks Krypton's advances in science. Its weapons are rudimentary, even compared to that of the barbaric Rimbor. It is devoid of any quantifiable value. Earth is not necessary to my continued evolution. This culture is useless.
Lois Lane: (from inside the shrunken Metropolis) Superman! Clark, if you can hear me... I don't know what's happening, I don't know if this is the end... but if it is... if it is the end—
Brainiac: This culture is disgusting.
Lois Lane: --Know, please know... How much I lov--
Brainiac: What could this vacuous world possibly provide you?
Superman: Brainiac

    Fan Fiction 

Ozpin: Blake Belladonna did not take pity on mister Arc. She weighed her options and their consequences. What she did she did because she believed it was the right thing to do. She did not believe that sending Jaune home could bring any good about, and so she did what she had to. She got herself disqualified from the tournament, that is not pity, that is sacrifice in the name of what she had believed was right.
Cardin: Call it what you want, but the twerp still lost the match.
Ozpin: He would have, yes, had he not inspired such strong friendship between himself and those who surround him. Having friends is just as powerful a weapon as any sword, hammer or spear can be, and often more so. He earned that victory, but not by his actions in the ring. He earned it by building relationships that mattered, that were real, and that added to the structure of the school. Technically he may not be the most proficient, but anyone can train to be able to swing a sword well. It takes a truer heart to know right from wrong and to affect the lives of those around you in a meaningful way. Jaune possesses this ability. Had he not, he would never have emerged victorious from that ring and would be back home at this moment.
Cardin: He's allowed to stay because he has friends? That's ridiculous.
Ozpin: Not friends no, but values. Jaune has the heart of a true huntsman, something that I have noticed you lack.
By Year's End, a RWBY fanfic

Oh, why don't you stop already? You don't "love," Vlad. You've NEVER "loved!" All you've ever done in life is WANT things! You know, Vlad you can't look me in eye and honestly tell me that your life has been all that terrible! It just wasn't ENOUGH for you! You could take away everything that ever meant anything to anyone, and the rest of the world besides, and it STILL wouldn't be enough for you! Never enough MONEY! Never enough Attention! Never enough... EVERYTHING! I fell in love with a man who has always been able to think about MORE than just himself, and I don't care how powerful or smart or perfect you THINK you are... that man is never... ever... EVER... going to be you.
Maddie Fenton to Vlad Plasmius, Facing The Future Series

There are those who say that to comprehend evil is to become evil; but they are merely pretending to be wise. Rather it is evil which does not know love, and dares not imagine love, and cannot ever understand love without ceasing to be evil. And I suspect that you can imagine your way into the minds of Dark Wizards better than I ever could, while still knowing love yourself.

    Film - Animated 

Merryweather: What won't Maleficent expect? She knows everything.
Fauna: Oh, but she doesn't, dear. Maleficent doesn't know anything about love, or kindness, or the joy of helping others... you know, sometimes I don't think she's really very happy.

    Film - Live-Action 

Bruce Wayne: I'm no executioner.
Henri Ducard: Your compassion is a weakness your enemies will not share.
Bruce: That's why it's so important. It separates us from them.

What were you trying to prove? That deep down everybody is as ugly as you? You're alone!

Kevin Lomax: What about love?
John Milton: Overrated. Biochemically no different than eating large quantities of chocolate.

Henry Jones: Elsa never really believed in the grail. She thought she'd found a prize.
Indiana Jones: And what did you find, Dad?
Henry Jones: Me? Illumination.

Why do you do it? Why get up? Why keep fighting? Do you believe you're fighting for something, for more than your survival? Can you tell me what it is? Do you even know? Is it freedom? Or truth? Perhaps peace. Could it be for love? Illusions, Mr. Anderson. Vagaries of perception. The temporary constructs of a feeble human intellect trying desperately to justify an existence that is without meaning or purpose! And all of them as artificial as the Matrix itself — although only a human mind could invent something as insipid as love! You must be able to see it, Mr. Anderson! You must know it by now! You can't win! It's pointless to keep fighting!

Vidal: Why did you do it?
Dr. Ferraro: It was the only thing I could do.
Vidal: No, you could have obeyed me.
Dr. Ferraro: I could have, but I didn't.
Vidal: It would have been better for you. You know it. I don't understand. Why didn't you obey me?
Dr. Ferraro: To obey - just like that - for the sake of obeying, without questioning... That's something only people like you can do, Captain.

Oskar Schindler: These people, my people. I want my people.
Amon Goeth: Who are you, Moses? Come on, what is this? Where's the money in this, where's the scam?
Schindler: It's good business.
Goeth: Yeah, it's "good business" in your opinion. Look, you've got to move them, the equipment, everything to Czechoslovakia, pay for all that and build another camp. It doesn't make any sense. You're not telling me something... You're probably scamming me somehow.

Zod: He cares. He actually cares for these Earth people.
Ursa: Like pets?!
Zod: I suppose so.

Rocket: Question: what if I see something that I wanna take and it belonged to someone else?
Rhomann: You would be arrested.
Rocket: But what if I want it more than the person who has it?
Rhomann: It's still illegal.
Rocket: That doesn't follow. No, I want it more, sir, you understand me? [Gamora walks off with him] I can't have a discussion with this gentleman?
Drax: Say someone does something that irks me, and I decide to remove his spine.
Rhomann: Th-that's actually murder, one of... the worst crimes of all. So, also illegal.
Drax: [genuinely surprised] Huh.

    Literature 

Blind you are, Morgoth Bauglir, and blind shall ever be, seeing only the dark. You know not what rules the hearts of men, and if you knew you could not give it.

If there is one thing Voldemort cannot understand, it is love.

His knowledge remained woefully incomplete, Harry! That which Voldemort does not value, he takes no trouble to comprehend. Of house-elves and children's tales, of love, loyalty and innocence, Voldemort knows and understands nothing. Nothing. That they all have a power beyond his own, a power beyond the reach of any magic, is a truth that he has never grasped.

Mordred and Agravaine thought Arthur hypocritical - as all decent men must be, if you assume that decency can't exist.

[Supreme Chancellor Fey'lya] lives in a world where alliances shift by the moment. Borsk does what Borsk needs to do, at any given moment, to benefit Borsk. And he's so jaded by that political philosophy that he thinks everyone else plays by the same rules.
Luke Skywalker, Vector Prime

    Live-Action TV 

Hamilton: Why do you keep fighting? You signed away your Shanshu. There's nothing in it for you anymore.
Angel: People who don't care about anything will never understand the people who do.
Hamilton: Yeah, but we won't care.
Angel

You know, all this talk about "These guys are criminal masterminds. They've gotten together and their extraordinary guile and their wit and their skill..." It's, it's—it's a lie. Any fool can blow something up. Any fool can destroy. But to see these guys, these firefighters and these policemen and people from all over the country, literally with buckets, rebuilding... that’s extraordinary. And that's why we have already won... they can't... it's light. It's democracy. They can't shut that down.
Jon Stewart, in the first post-September 11th, 2001 episode of The Daily Show

Cyber-Leader: (watching from above as humans and Cybermen fight) I ordered surrender.
Tenth Doctor: They're not taking instructions. Don't you understand? You're on every street, you're in their homes, you've got their children! Of course they're gonna FIGHT!
Doctor Who, "Doomsday"

Maaga: I don't know. I have heard that on occasions, they even die for one another.
Drahvin 3: Die? For their friends?
Maaga: There are many strange things in the universe.
Doctor Who, "Galaxy 4"

Pi-ty?! I have no un-der-stan-ding of the word. It is not re-gis-tered in my vo-cab-u-la-ry bank.
— A Dalek, Doctor Who, "Genesis of the Daleks"

Saffron: Everybody plays each other. That's all anybody ever does. We play parts.
Mal: You got all kinds a learnin’ and you made me look the fool without even trying, and yet here I am with a gun to your head. That's 'cause I've got people with me, people who trust each other, who do for each other, and ain't always looking for the advantage.
Firefly

Quiz Show Host: Category: You're Boning Your Boss's Wife. Etiquette Question. Do you serve red wine or white wine when she comes over?
(the two contestants think it over before the buzzer rings)
Quiz Show Host: All right, that was actually a trick question. The correct answer is, you shouldn't be boning your boss's wife. Now that's something you'd know if you either of you had a conscience.

Lex: You were born to be the chosen one. You're simply better than us.
Clark: And that always killed you.
Lex: No. No, what "killed" me was is that you didn't even want it. You fought it, you - you hid from it! I would have taken it, and then relished it, embraced it.
Smallville, "Finale"

Picard/Locutus of Borg: Worf. Klingon species. A warrior race. You too will be assimilated.
Worf: The Klingon Empire will never yield!
Locutus: Why do you resist? We only wish to raise quality of life for all species.
Worf: I like my species the way it is!
Star Trek: The Next Generation, "The Best of Both Worlds: Part II"

You still don't get it, do you? Huh?! This ain't about your money, bro, your boy gave you up. That's right. And we ain't had to torture his ass neither!
Omar Little, The Wire

    Video Games 

Love...? For a sibling? How foolish. All that is needed... is absolute power.
Sanctus, Devil May Cry 4

MAN'S MYSTERY
Man is mortal, and doomed to death and failure and loss.
This lies beyond our comprehension - why do you not despair?

Exdeath: Why... why won't you die!?
Galuf: Takes a lot more than that... for me to kick the bucket! I'll destroy you, Exdeath... even if it means I have to take you into the afterlife myself!
Exdeath: Fool! All the hatred in existence would never be enough to defeat me!
Galuf: This... isn't anger... isn't hatred... it's...
Exdeath: Then... what...?

Zidane: As long as there's hope, I'm not going anywhere.
Kuja: (beaten) Then... I want you to erase me.
Zidane: What?
Kuja: The world has disowned me. I have been defeated by life itself.
(Zidane closes the distance between them. Kuja chuckles, perhaps expecting Zidane to go through with it - but Zidane offers him his hand)
Kuja: Why?
Zidane: Do I need a reason to help someone? Or is my help not good enough for you?
Kuja: It's likely that... I will hurt you again.
Zidane: I can take a beating.
Kuja: I don't think I will ever come to understand you.

Kerrigan: You know, you are not so bad, Abathur.
Abathur: Unclear...

    Webcomics 

Agent 146: I'm stupid? Don't you realize the chip is power? Communications, politics, money ... anything! And you're pissing it away!
The Girl: No, we get it. We're just not that kind of people.

Elan: I saved you 'cause I'm the Good twin, not the Neutral twin.
Nale: ... I don't get it.
Elan: Yup.

Your Questor made a move that they completely failed to prepare for. Unsurprising. I've found schemers and plotters are rarely able to cope with simple things like honor and courage.
Archivist Guild lawyer, Tales of the Questor

    Web Original 

David: Every single plan the Joker makes here is predicated on the innate selfishness of human beings.
Andy: Right, he plays the systems: human self-interest, human rules and authority.
David: As we'll see as this movie goes on, the one thing the Joker absolutely cannot predict, and does not plan for, and doesn't understand, is altruism.
Chris: He and Lord Voldemort have so much to talk about, including their intense hatred of self-righteous orphans.
Chris Sims, Andy Khouri, and David Uzumeri on The Dark Knight

Christian: Its about love!
Duke: (snarls) Love?
Nostalgia Critic as the Duke: Ah yes, that human emotion I have heard so much about.

Locus: Why do you continue to help these people, Agent Washington? You have nothing to gain from them. No reason to fight for them. And yet, here you stand with your life on the line for them.
Washington: Is that so hard to understand?
Locus: You used to be so much more. You were once an enemy to these men. You were ruthless! You were a survivor!
Washington: I was a different person.
Locus: No, you were a soldier.
Washington: You say that like they're two different things.
Locus: When a true soldier is told to kill, he kills. He does not question why, he does not mourn the fallen; he fulfills his role and moves on to the next.
Washington: Is that what you want to be? A true soldier?
Locus: No, that is what I am! I'm a professional, Agent Washington. I complete my-
Washington: Yeah yeah yeah, you complete your missions at all cost. You can say that as many times as you want, but I know what you really are. You're a coward.
Locus: Ridiculous.
Washington: You keep trying to play yourself off as some sort of weapon. That you don't care about anyone or anything. But the fact that you're trying so hard to understand me breaks your entire act! No matter how hard you may want to be, you're not a machine, you're a murderer. But you hide behind the idea in your head, because you're too afraid to take responsibility for what you've done. I know I used to be a real piece of shit, but at least I'm trying to do something about it.

It was a harrowing experience, but I don't hold a grudge. We should love our enemies. It makes them so damned mad.

My fellow Americans, throughout our history we have been forced to choose between totalitarianism and justice. We have never sought out this conflict, but time and time again, due to the actions of despots, we were forced to decide. Each time tyranny misjudged us. It thought we would sacrifice our principles for comfort... for safety. But we have proven time and time again that we will never compromise freedom. We will never be cowed or intimidated into surrendering even an inch of our adherence to liberty.
President Bob Kerrey, Zhirinovsky's Russian Empire

    Western Animation 

Only you would regard love as a weakness.
Goliath to Xanatos, Gargoyles

Mabel: (offering a taco) Want one?
Pacifica: Oh, I'm not supposed to take handouts.
Mabel: Handouts? It's called sharing! You do know what sharing is, right?
Pacifica: Sha... sharr-ing?
Mabel: Just take it.

You're still evil! And when you're trying to be good, you're even more evil!
Lisa Simpson to Mr. Burns, The Simpsons, "The Old Man and the Lisa"

Homer: I’m telling you Marge, this'll work. They'll think I'm Krusty and give us free stuff. I've been getting free stuff all day! Look at this swell bucket of house paint. Look at it!
Marge: I'm not saying it won't work, I'm just saying it's dishonest.
Homer: Well, if we agree, then why are we arguing?
The Simpsons, "Homie the Clown"

Cartman: You see guys, it all worked itself out. Tadow, tadow, how you like me now? Feel a little silly now, Kyle? Tadow, how you like me now?
Kyle: I still feel bad, Cartman.
Cartman: What? Hu- How can you feel bad? Somebody else is gonna pay for our crime.
Kyle: Yeah. That makes it even worse.
Cartman: Bu... eh... Kyle, you don't seem to understand. We're not gonna get punished for this. Ever.
Kyle: I know.
Cartman: So... so then, how can you feel bad?
Stan: He feels guilty for doing it and for letting someone else pay for it.
Cartman: ...But he's not gonna get in trouble.
Stan: It doesn't matter if you get in trouble of not, you can still feel bad. I think you're right, Kyle. Maybe we should confess.
Kenny: [Yeah, maybe we should.]
Cartman: What?? Eh... (tries to be upbeat) Hey you guys! There's nothing to feel bad about! We're, we're off scot-free!
Kyle: We feel bad for other people.
Cartman: (looks at the other boys in disbelief) For oth-er... (winces) Uh. Oww... Ih... Ih, ih, is it that... you think you might get in trouble later?
Stan: Tomorrow in school we'll all tell the teacher it was us, and let her decide what to do. (points an accusing finger at Cartman) And Cartman, if you had any thread of a conscience at all, you'll do the same! (He, Kyle, and Kenny leave)
Cartman: Eh buh... eh... eh... Freakin' weirdos, man!
South Park, "Toilet Paper"

(Cartman comes to Kyle's house dressed in a nice sweater)
Cartman: Hey Kyle.
Kyle: That isn't it, Cartman.
Cartman: What isn't it?
Kyle: That isn't being nice, that's just putting on a nice sweater.
Cartman: I don't understand the difference.
Kyle: I know you don't. (closes the door)
South Park, "Casa Bonita"

Forget about [the Chum Bucket], I just can't take so much kindness in one sitting! Need... hatred...
Plankton, SpongeBob SquarePants "Walking Small"

    Real Life 

Evil... has every advantage but one - it is inferior in imagination. Good can imagine the possibility of becoming evil... but Evil, defiantly chosen, can no longer imagine anything but itself.
W.H. Auden on The Lord of the Rings

"The fascist is not a happy traveller in the realm of myth and fairy tale [...] In Pan's, Sergi Lopez' Captain Vidal cannot see the faun with whom Ofelia converses. And how could he? He has no understanding of such matters."

A moderately bad man knows he is not very good: a thoroughly bad man thinks he is all right. This is common sense, really. You understand sleep when you are awake, not while you are sleeping... Good people know about both good and evil: bad people do not know about either.

I take no solace or joy in this man's passing. We will not dance upon his grave, nor stand vigil at his funeral holding "God Hates Freds" signs, tempting as it may be. He was a tormented soul, who tormented so many. Hate never wins out in the end. It instead goes always to its lonely, dusty end.
George Takei, on Fred Phelps Sr.'s death.

Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.