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** Roxanne also falls into this. She tries to talk some sense into Titan during his rampage, insisting that there's some good in him. Titan responds with a ShutUpKirk, telling her that she sees good in ''everyone'', [[VirtueIsWeakness even when there's]] [[SillyRabbitIdealismIsForKids none to see]].

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** Roxanne also falls into this. She tries to talk some sense into Titan during his rampage, insisting that there's some good in him. Titan responds with a ShutUpKirk, telling her that she sees good in ''everyone'', [[VirtueIsWeakness even when there's]] ''everyone'', [[SillyRabbitIdealismIsForKids even when there's none to see]].



* ''WesternAnimation/SamuraiJack'': Up to Season 5, everything Jack seen has been [[BlackAndWhiteMorality black and white]], and while he clearly believes humans have free will, he overestimates the power of such a concept. The idea that anyone could be indoctrinated from birth [[EvilVirtues to have outstanding virtues like loyalty and dedication]] [[AxCrazy while simultaneously being psychotic killing machines]] (as the [[{{Tykebomb}} Daughters of Aku]] clearly have been) is new to him, and until he actually manages to talk to Ashi, he's almost as bad at understanding how it works [[EvilCannotComprehendGood as she is]].

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* ''WesternAnimation/SamuraiJack'': Up to Season 5, everything Jack seen has been [[BlackAndWhiteMorality black and white]], and while he clearly believes humans have free will, he overestimates the power of such a concept. The idea that anyone could be indoctrinated from birth [[EvilVirtues to have outstanding virtues like loyalty and dedication]] [[AxCrazy while simultaneously being [[AxCrazy psychotic killing machines]] (as the [[{{Tykebomb}} Daughters of Aku]] clearly have been) is new to him, and until he actually manages to talk to Ashi, he's almost as bad at understanding how it works [[EvilCannotComprehendGood as she is]].


[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* A vlaath is a predator found on the Lower Planes in the ''TabletopGame/{{Planescape}}'' campaign, and one of the most sadistic of beasts, torturing prey to death via the most horrendous means imaginable. One researcher who refused to believe they did this simply ForTheEvulz formulated the theory that vlaath were EmotionEater who fed on their victims' fear, possibly giving the creature some justification. This theory was debunked when the researcher sedated a vlaath to talk to it. Or rather, ''thought'' he had sedated it.(The researcher's assistant managed to escape with the recording ''mimir'' and published the research posthumously.)
[[/folder]]



[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* A vlaath is a predator found on the Lower Planes in the ''TabletopGame/{{Planescape}}'' campaign, and one of the most sadistic of beasts, torturing prey to death via the most horrendous means imaginable. One researcher who refused to believe they did this simply ForTheEvulz formulated the theory that vlaath were EmotionEater who fed on their victims' fear, possibly giving the creature some justification. This theory was debunked when the researcher sedated a vlaath to talk to it. Or rather, ''thought'' he had sedated it.(The researcher's assistant managed to escape with the recording ''mimir'' and published the research posthumously.)
[[/folder]]


* ''WesternAnimation/SamuraiJack'': Up to Season 5, everything Jack seen has been [[BlackAndWhiteMorality black and white]], and while he clearly believes humans have free will, he overestimates the power of such a concept. The idea that anyone could be influenced by outside forces (as the [[{{Tykebomb}} Daughters of Aku]] clearly have been) is new to him, and until he actually manages to talk to Ashi, he's almost as bad at understanding how it works [[EvilCannotComprehendGood as she is]].

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* ''WesternAnimation/SamuraiJack'': Up to Season 5, everything Jack seen has been [[BlackAndWhiteMorality black and white]], and while he clearly believes humans have free will, he overestimates the power of such a concept. The idea that anyone could be influenced by outside forces indoctrinated from birth [[EvilVirtues to have outstanding virtues like loyalty and dedication]] [[AxCrazy while simultaneously being psychotic killing machines]] (as the [[{{Tykebomb}} Daughters of Aku]] clearly have been) is new to him, and until he actually manages to talk to Ashi, he's almost as bad at understanding how it works [[EvilCannotComprehendGood as she is]].


This trope is usually limited to the very naive and very young, or the very old and war-weary, who've grown tired of the "black and white, [[WithUsOrAgainstUs us vs. them]]" attitudes of those around them. It also usually applies to older people who can't believe people [[HistoryRepeats make the same decisions over and over]] that lead to their own downfall while bringing misery to everyone else, often asking WasItReallyWorthIt

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This trope is usually limited to the very naive and very young, or the very old and war-weary, who've grown tired of the "black and white, [[WithUsOrAgainstUs us vs. them]]" attitudes of those around them. It also usually applies to older people who can't believe people [[HistoryRepeats make the same decisions over and over]] that lead to their own downfall while bringing misery to everyone else, often asking WasItReallyWorthIt
WasItReallyWorthIt? Naïve people often believe in fallacious ideas that cause them to fail to understand evil, such as [[WrongGenreSavvy wrongly expecting]] that the CardCarryingVillain is a useful psychological model that will describe most of the evil people that you actually meet.



Compare StupidGood, ThePollyanna, WhiteAndGreyMorality. Contrast EvilCannotComprehendGood (its inversion), ThisIsUnforgivable.

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Compare StupidGood, ThePollyanna, WhiteAndGreyMorality. Contrast EvilCannotComprehendGood (its inversion), ThisIsUnforgivable.
ThisIsUnforgivable. Contrast BlueAndOrangeMorality; Good characters often find the morality of a [[BlueAndOrangeMorality blue and orange moral thinker]] incomprehensible, and partly because it's so different from their own, but BlueAndOrangeMorality is supposed to be something different from [[CardCarryingVillain a truly evil morality.]]

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* On ''Series/TouchedByAnAngel'', Monica constantly asks how human beings can be so cruel to each other. Tess says some are just misguided while others are "just not lucky enough to have enough of a soul."
** Meeting fallen angel Kathleen, Monica can't understand how someone who knew the love of God can join "the other side."


This trope is, in its essence, a character who refuses to believe that someone could simply be evil [[ForTheEvulz for its own sake.]] If this character can just talk things out with the villain, then surely their motive will come out and together they can find a better solution ([[DefeatMeansFriendship perhaps after pounding them into submission]]). It doesn't occur to them that there might not ''be'' a motive to discover. This character may also spare a villain, thinking that there's still some good in him, or that he can change for the better... [[PacifismBackfire only for the villain to commit more crimes]].

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This trope is, in its essence, a character who believes that RousseauWasRight in a setting where it is ''not'' in effect. This character refuses to believe that someone could simply be evil [[ForTheEvulz for its own sake.]] sake]]. If this character can just talk things out with the villain, then surely their motive will come out and together they can find a better solution ([[DefeatMeansFriendship perhaps after pounding them into submission]]). It doesn't occur to them that there might not ''be'' a motive to discover. This character may also spare a villain, thinking that there's still some good in him, or that he can change for the better... [[PacifismBackfire only for the villain to commit more crimes]].

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** Roxanne also falls into this. She tries to talk some sense into Titan during his rampage, insisting that there's some good in him. Titan responds with a ShutUpKirk, telling her that she sees good in ''everyone'', [[VirtueIsWeakness even when there's]] [[SillyRabbitIdealismIsForKids none to see]].


** According to now-non-canon sources, this is what happened with Sargeras, the creator and leader of the Burning Legion. Originally belonging to a race of god-like beings called the Titans, he and his kind traveled throughout the cosmos to bring order to worlds; they were so powerful they defeated the Old Gods, the {{Eldritch Abomination}}s of Azeroth, and created the dragons to become the world's stewards. While defeating and imprisoning the demons of the Twisting Nether, their evil caused Sargeras to question the Titans' quest for order. He was driven into depression after witnessing the chaos wrought by the demons, especially after defeating the vampiric Nathrezim, whose manipulative bastardry on various worlds affected him deeply. Eventually, he went completely off the rails with the belief that the Titans' quest for order was essentially ''wrong'', given that he saw the Universe as intrinsically chaotic and evil. The last the Titans saw him, Sargeras had freed the demons he had personally previously imprisoned, made them a part of his army, and sent his Burning Legion to bring war upon the Universe, putting into action the corruption of the Draenei and Orcs, the birth of the Lich King, and the multiple near-destruction of Azeroth itself. An example of GoodCannotComprehendEvil taken to epic proportions.

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** According to now-non-canon sources, this is what happened with Sargeras, the creator and leader of the Burning Legion. Originally belonging to a race of god-like beings called the Titans, he and his kind traveled throughout the cosmos to bring order to worlds; they were so powerful they defeated the Old Gods, the {{Eldritch Abomination}}s of Azeroth, and created the dragons to become the world's stewards. While defeating and imprisoning the demons of the Twisting Nether, their evil caused Sargeras to question the Titans' quest for order. He was driven into depression after witnessing the chaos wrought by the demons, especially after defeating the vampiric Nathrezim, whose manipulative bastardry on various worlds affected him deeply. Eventually, he went completely off the rails with the belief that the Titans' quest for order was essentially ''wrong'', given that he saw the Universe as intrinsically chaotic and evil. The last the Titans saw him, Sargeras had freed the demons he had personally previously imprisoned, made them a part of his army, and sent his Burning Legion to bring war upon the Universe, putting into action the corruption of the Draenei and Orcs, the birth of the Lich King, and the multiple near-destruction of Azeroth itself. An example of GoodCannotComprehendEvil taken to epic proportions.


* ''Literature/HarryPotter'': Dumbledore has shown that he can understand quite a bit about Lord Voldemort. However, it turns out that Dumbledore was unable to figure out that Voldemort hid one of his Horcruxes in the Room of Requirement. Why? Because Dumbledore was a model student who never cheated and hence had no need to use the room to hide anything. Harry, however, was certainly not a model student, he cheated a couple of times, and he used that room, so he could figure it out once he knew Voldemort had hidden a Horcrux at the school in [[Literature/HarryPotterAndTheDeathlyHallows Deathly Hallows]].

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* ''Literature/HarryPotter'': Dumbledore has shown that he can understand quite a bit about Lord Voldemort. However, it turns out that Dumbledore was unable to figure out that Voldemort hid one of his Horcruxes in the 'Room of Hidden Things' version of Room of Requirement. Why? Because Dumbledore was a model student who never cheated and hence had no need to use the room to hide anything. anything (he did once find the room when he really needed to use the bathroom, so it was full of chamber pots). Harry, however, was certainly not a model student, he cheated a couple of times, and he used that room, so he could figure it out once he knew Voldemort had hidden a Horcrux at the school in [[Literature/HarryPotterAndTheDeathlyHallows Deathly Hallows]].Hallows]] ([[ChekhovsGun It helps that he'd unknowingly used the Horcrux itself to mark the location of something he hid]]).



* Annabeth Chase from Rick Riordan's ''Literature/PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians'' refuses to believe her former best friend [[spoiler:Luke Castellan]] is evil, even after he attempts [[spoiler:to kill her several times throughout the series]], insisting that he is just being manipulated by the Titans and is a victim.

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* Annabeth Chase from Rick Riordan's ''Literature/PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians'' refuses to believe her former best friend [[spoiler:Luke Castellan]] is evil, even after he attempts [[spoiler:to kill her several times throughout the series]], insisting that he is just being manipulated by the Titans and is a victim. [[spoiler: She gets through to him in the end, and he performs a HeroicSacrifice to defeat Kronos.]]



* ''Machinima/RedVsBlue'': [[GeneralFailure General Donald Doyle]] falls into this during ''[[Machinima/RedVsBlueTheChorusTrilogy The Chorus Trilogy]]''. Part of his reasoning for having the armed forces of Chorus stay in the planet's capital city of Armonia is that the [[spoiler:[[EvilInc Charon Industries]]]] SpacePirates would take far too many casualties for any rational commander to order the attack in the first place. Unfortunately for Doyle, the Space Pirates are led by [[spoiler:[[EvilAllAlong Felix]]]], and he [[BadBoss cares nothing for how many of his soldiers die]] as long as the objective in question is completed [[{{Greed}} and he gets paid]].

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* ''Machinima/RedVsBlue'': [[GeneralFailure General Donald Doyle]] falls into this during ''[[Machinima/RedVsBlueTheChorusTrilogy The Chorus Trilogy]]''. Part of his reasoning for having the armed forces of Chorus stay in the planet's capital city of Armonia is that the [[spoiler:[[EvilInc Charon Industries]]]] SpacePirates would take far too many casualties for any rational commander to order the attack in the first place. Unfortunately for Doyle, the Space Pirates are led by [[spoiler:[[EvilAllAlong Felix]]]], and he [[BadBoss cares nothing for how many of his soldiers die]] as long as the objective in question is completed [[{{Greed}} and he gets paid]]. [[spoiler: Which ends up biting him in the ass when General Doyle's HeroicSacrifice kills a majority of his crew, leaving him without the manpower to defend both the communication tower and the tractor beam.]]


** For what it's worth, Morgoth tried [[AintTooProudToBeg begging for mercy]] again after his ''second'' rebellion. This time the Valar weren't fooled, and literally [[GoodIsNotSoft kicked him out of the universe]].
** In the Akallabêth (the tragic account of the rise and fall of Númenor, a land of many blessings set up to reward those humans who had fought against Morgoth), Manwë learns the hard way that humans often take benefits for granted and feel entitled to more.

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**Actually this ain't truth. Melkor was brought after three ages in prison for a trial, to see if he was going to be freed or kept locked. In there, Melkor put his best facade of regret, humiliating himself before Manwë (who is his brother) and all the Valar. They do free him, but they kept him under constant vigilance, so Melkor behaved very well during that time, until he had the chance to sow discord. And while Manwë genuinely believed Melkor was freed of evil (which Manwë, being without evil in his heart and also happy of the fact his brother had seemingly repented, could not see), Ulmo and Tulkas (and possibly Mandos and Varda (who never liked Melkor)) never were deceived by Melkor's pledge (Tulkas always closed his fists every time Melkor appeared, because as slow as he is for anger, he also is slow to forget).
** For what it's worth, Morgoth tried [[AintTooProudToBeg begging for mercy]] again after his ''second'' rebellion. This time the Valar weren't fooled, and literally [[GoodIsNotSoft kicked him out of the universe]].Arda]].
** In the Akallabêth (the tragic account of the rise and fall of Númenor, a land of many blessings set up to reward those humans who had fought against Morgoth), Manwë learns the hard way that humans often take benefits for granted and feel entitled to more.more, which culminates in a gigantic catastrophe and the change of Arda.

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* ''Fanfic/LostToDust'': Melanie and Miltia Malachite are more amoral than evil, but Blake Belladonnna is shocked when they say unlike her, they do not feel an urge to help people.

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* In ''Series/TheExpanse'', this trope sometimes causes problems for the protagonists when they try to deal with Protogen and the people experimenting with the protomolecule. This is especially on display when [[TheHero Holden]] and [[TheAtoner Fred]] [[ReasonableAuthorityFigure Johnson]] try to talk to Cortázar, the last scientist from the team of [[MadScientist Doctor Dresden]], one of the lead scientists who was in charge of the protomolecule research. Unknown to Holden and Johnson, prior to beginning work on the protomolecule project, Cortázar's brain was surgically altered to make him [[LackOfEmpathy incapable of empathy]], and now he has nothing but obsession and cold intellectual curiosity about the scientific project he was working on. Holden's attempt to bond with Cortázar over the disease that killed his mother goes nowhere, and Holden's assumption that Dresden [[ForcedIntoEvil forced Cortázar into evil]] runs right into a wall. While Amos, the group's TokenEvilTeammate, who is essentially a (mostly) high functioning sociopath is much more successful at understanding and drawing out Cortázar, even he is thrown by Cortázar's coldness, he just adjusts to it much better than Holden does.
-->'''Holder:''' I can't imagine what it must have been like, watching your mother die. Type-C Huntington's Disease is just... so ungodly cruel.\\
'''Cortázar:''' She never complained.\\
'''Holden:''' Is that why you went to work for Protogen? To find a cure? To keep others from going through what she went through? Because I can't imagine [[NobleProfession a more noble endeavor]]. We can get you back there, if you help us.\\
'''Cortázar:''' ''[[[{{beat}} thinks for a moment]]]'' Her brain was fried. She didn't think anything was wrong with her. Even when the drool was hanging from her lip for hours on end until it crusted to her chin, or she fell off the toilet while taking a piss. She just kept going. Serene as the Buddha. So... not a ''bad'' way to die, actually.\\
'''Holden:''' It's different on Eros. There's real pain. And death. You're free now to do the right thing. Dresden is gone, you don't have to answer to him anymore.\\
'''Cortázar:''' If he were here, I'd thank him. [[EvilMentor He made me what I am today]].


* The ''Series/{{Torchwood}}'' episode "Countrycide"[[note]]which was basically an [[AscendedFanFic Ascended]] ''Torchwood''/''Franchise/TheTexasChainsawMassacre'' FusionFic, and much better than it sounds[[/note]] ends with Gwen confronting the main villain with a simple question, and suffering a minor HeroicBSOD from the answer.

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* The ''Series/{{Torchwood}}'' episode "Countrycide"[[note]]which was basically an [[AscendedFanFic Ascended]] ''Torchwood''/''Franchise/TheTexasChainsawMassacre'' ''Torchwood''/''Film/TheTexasChainsawMassacre'' FusionFic, and much better than it sounds[[/note]] ends with Gwen confronting the main villain with a simple question, and suffering a minor HeroicBSOD from the answer.


** This is taken to UpToEleven with the Jedi Order in the prequels, who, [[CultureChopSuey through a strange mix of Christian and Eastern philosophy,]] are convinced that all evil comes from emotional attachment, and the Jedi prohibition on said attachment [[CreateYourOwnVillain is quite alienating for those who want to, y'know, keep their emotions.]] For example, in ''Film/RevengeOfTheSith'', when Anakin goes to Yoda for advice about fear and the possibility of loss, Yoda simply doesn't have the [[BlackAndWhiteMorality moral flexibility]] and/or life experience to give Anakin anything but platitudes about how emotional attachment is dangerous and wrong. [[BigBad Palpatine,]] on the other hand, gives Anakin actual advice, setting the stage for a case of MoreThanMindControl that would slowly drive him down the path of evil.

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** This is taken to UpToEleven with the Jedi Order in the prequels, who, [[CultureChopSuey through a strange mix of Christian and Eastern philosophy,]] are convinced that all evil comes from emotional attachment, and the Jedi prohibition on said attachment [[CreateYourOwnVillain is quite alienating for those who want to, y'know, keep their emotions.]] For example, in ''Film/RevengeOfTheSith'', when Anakin goes to Yoda for advice about fear and the possibility of loss, Yoda simply doesn't have the [[BlackAndWhiteMorality moral flexibility]] and/or life experience to give Anakin anything but platitudes about how emotional attachment is dangerous and wrong. [[BigBad Palpatine,]] on the other hand, gives Anakin actual advice, setting the stage for a case of MoreThanMindControl that would slowly drive him eventually drives Anakin down the path of evil.


** Fluttershy is unable to fathom why Jewelius is going to great lengths in order to make life difficult not only for her and the other dishonored heroes, but also for [[spoiler:Ponyville's inhabitants]] for something she and her friends did, even though [[spoiler: his primary targets are the princesses]].

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** Fluttershy is unable to fathom why Jewelius is going to great lengths in order to make life difficult torment not only for her and the other rest of the dishonored heroes, but also for [[spoiler:Ponyville's inhabitants]] for something she and her friends the Mane Five did, even though [[spoiler: his primary targets are the princesses]].

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