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ashlay 2008-04-03 19:07

The Philosophy of Code Geass
 
Code Geass presents viewers with a wide range of philosophically interesting themes and troupes, ranging from the situations of individual characters to overall trends in the plot to outright questions posed to the viewers themselves.

This thread is for the discussion of those elements, including but not limited to:
-Immortality
-Evolution
-War
-Order vs. Chaos, Dominion vs. Freedom
-What is Evil? What is Justice? And who decides?
-Ashford Academy: What is the role of Ashford in the middle of a world war, and what responsibility does the school have to Japan? To Britannia?
-The World of C: What exactly is the responsibility of the living to the dead? What about the dead to the living?
-The Power of the King: are those with power doomed to be lonely? Will involving yourself in the world only lead to your own destruction, no matter which side you choose?
-The Role of Fate: Were the events of Code Geass inevitable? Lelouch’s Rebellion? The destruction of the Specially Administrated District of Japan? The end of Lelouch and Suzaku’s friendship?
-Memories: Nature vs. Nurture? Is it inevitable for the characters who suffer amnesia to repeat their actions even if they no longer know why? Does it depend on the character?
-Zero: Does hiding your ‘true self’ help or hurt you? Are Suzaku and Kallen better off now that they’ve lost their ‘masks’? Does it benefit Lelouch to continue to hide his identity as the leader of the Black Rebellion from his family and friends?


For a more in-depth discussion of the issues of morality in Code Geass, please use the Morality in Code Geass? Do the ends justify the means? thread.

Witacume 2008-04-03 21:28

i take a stab at it.
One of the questions i asked myself is ashford academy. I am an American Citizen and also America is the world's superpower. There is evil in the world and that is fact. People lives go on even though a war is going on across the sea. For ashford academy there is innate racism to the Japanese. For Americans it would be towards middle easterners. This is not to say All Americans are racist. On the contrary i believe that there is a lot of us who seek Justice. One of the curious things to note is that what is happening in Brittanian itself? Ashford Academy is small glimpse of what is happening. On some occasions we see that life could not be more simple. Even though people are dying they live as if nothing happened. This is until crap hits the fan and Lelouch does his rebellion.

1. The question now is what should regular citizens do? Imagine if you would that you were part of Brittanian. What would you do?

This hits home for me. Although in no means do i believe that America is as awful as brittanian but neither can i Ignore that maybe stuff is happening that i simply do not know about. (Guantanamo bay is one instance)

P.S. sorry if this does not make sense

Blue_Mercy 2008-04-03 22:36

I just finished watching a marathon of Code Geass, so I wouldn't mind writing down my thoughts on these topics. Racism should probably be in there also.

Immortality- What a double edged sword this is. When it comes down to it I think most people if they are truly honest are afraid of dying, so at first this might seem like a gift. However, if time were to stop for you, and you were forced to watch your friends, family, buildings, countries reduce to dust through time it might quickly become a curse from Hell. Not to mention that eventually you will wish that someone had time stop for that person as well.

Evolution- "The survival of the fittest" law eh? I hate the idea, I truly do, but I'm not naive as to think that certain things that the Emperor said in Episode 6 that aren't true. Some people are born into rich families, some people are born with stronger bodies than others, and some are born better looking than others. However, I as Lelouch's character does; believe that what others refer to as "weak" can be more valuable than anything else in the world.
Also can we really be considered evolved beings if we kill each other more than any animal on earth? We have free will and logic, yet we still end up as barbaric as cavemen when pushed into a corner.

War- What a mess. Here we are thousands of years later and the peace we have been searching for we still can't find.

War is fought for many reasons; power, ideals, fear, greed, political struggle, land, sometimes a combination of these. Armed forces killing other armed forces, sometimes another countries soldiers, sometimes guerilla groups, rebels, or other factions. Also civilians get involved sometimes on purpose sometimes not. More often than not the only thing it brings is more sorrow, for the soldiers and for those back home. However, there is something to be said for those risking their lives, if there were ever unsung heroes it is them.

I'll write the rest of the topics soon, but right now I'm tired.

SoldierOfDarkness 2008-04-03 22:47

Quote:

-The Power of the King: are those with power doomed to be lonely? Will involving yourself in the world only lead to your own destruction, no matter which side you choose?
Yes they are lonely. People who are in positions of power over others will most of the time be lonely.

Why? Because they have to separate themselves from the people that they are 'ruling' over. You can be friendly but you can't be friends. Being a teacher can be quite lonely because you spend nearly 90% of the day with students (Who are significantly younger than you). I remember reading a cross-section book that stated that the life of a captain was quite lonely because he had to keep himself distanced from the crew in order to maintain respect.

For Lelouch's case, he has to make hard decisions that no one will make or will like but that's what being a leader is about. Choosing who gets to die.

Quote:

Evolution- "The survival of the fittest" law eh? I hate the idea, I truly do, but I'm not naive as to think that certain things that the Emperor said in Episode 6 that aren't true. Some people are born into rich families, some people are born with stronger bodies than others, and some are born better looking than others. However, I as Lelouch's character does; believe that what others refer to as "weak" can be more valuable than anything else in the world.
Also can we really be considered evolved beings if we kill each other more than any animal on earth? We have free will and logic, yet we still end up as barbaric as cavemen when pushed into a corner.
(Note: I may not remember everything). It's simply for the fact that everyone is born different so therefore you fight with what you are given.

In poker terms, you play the hand that is given to you. Can you ***** if you are given a bad hand? No, you just make the best out of it.

Though the Emperor twists it with an even more extreme version of what I'm even discussing (Such as discriminating against honorary britannians). By my terms, everyone should be given an equal opportunity to get to their positions. By your terms, you'd be what Darlton would be, he tolerated an honorary britannian because he was valuable to him.

Aquaman OS 2008-04-03 23:22

The Emperor doesn't really discriminate against non Britannians.

If you are a number but prove yourself to be elite and useful like Suzaku then the Emperor will still acknowledge your skill and treat you accordingly (hence Suzaku's now an offiical knight, part of the Emperor's elite and higher ranked than most Britannians are). Emperor still thinks Britannian's as a majority are superior but isn't so mindlessly racist as to not realize a skilled warrior even he's foreign. Compare this to the purists who apparantly refused to believe that the Japanese made their own mecha and were beating them. What did they think they were dreaming?

On the other hand the Emperor looks down upon people that aren't skilled. Euphie was a full blooded Britannian and his own blood but he didn't have a very high opinion of her. In fact all of Euphie's siblings that are close to her Schinzel/Cornelia/Lelouch don't think very highly of her. They like her and her personality but she has no part in their plans and they don't want her involved at all. Only Cornelia seemed to even try to get her experience.

And for people that are crippled and can't be useful at all, the Emperor thinks don't even deserve to live. Nunally is also a full blooded Britannian and his own blood but after she was crippled he more or less wrote her off as dead even though she was still alive as she could no longer compete in the world and thats all he thinks matters.

So the Emperor is like Dalton after all if even more extreme. If you are strong he acknowledges you, even if you are foreign. If you are weak he looks down on you even if you are Britannian.

SoldierOfDarkness 2008-04-04 00:24

Well no actually during the episode where Euphie was readying the new museum of arts for Clovis, the curator noted to her that she couldn't select a certain painting because the painter was a quarter japanese(So what happens if the guy's 1/16th japanese?). To which she questioned why it was in there in the first place and he replied because it's a for show. Cornelia also noted to her that it's policy(or rather her father's) to differentiate themselves from the honorary britannians. If you want to change it you have to become emperor.

Technically speaking, Schenizeil is the first to disregard this policy and gave Suzaku equal opportunity to succeed but he and Euphie were allowed only because they are royalty so they are allowed some leniecy.

Though Suzaku is an extremely rare case, a one in a million so there will always be exceptions in those cases but I'm sure that honorary britannians still do not get the full benefits even if they do perform well in whatever they are doing. Though in R2 we'll see if the Emperor has changed it due to the black rebellion. With Suzaku as a Knight of Round it's a huge smack in the face on that policy.

greyhawk 2008-04-04 02:05

Quote:

Originally Posted by Blue_Mercy (Post 1508969)
Immortality- What a double edged sword this is. When it comes down to it I think most people if they are truly honest are afraid of dying, so at first this might seem like a gift. However, if time were to stop for you, and you were forced to watch your friends, family, buildings, countries reduce to dust through time it might quickly become a curse from Hell. Not to mention that eventually you will wish that someone had time stop for that person as well.

OK, so what if you have the right to choose when you'll die? Immortality would be a blessing then, you can live until you're bored with everything and finally want to rest in piece. Neat eh?
Quote:

Originally Posted by ashlay
-Zero: Does hiding your ‘true self’ help or hurt you? Are Suzaku and Kallen better off now that they’ve lost their ‘masks’? Does it benefit Lelouch to continue to hide his identity as the leader of the Black Rebellion from his family and friends?

Anonymity is in fact one of the most important factors in the Internet's exponential growth, is it not? We all feel more comfortable that way. Getting back on track, I'd prefer to have a mysterious mastermind as my leader any day (it greatly increases the fear factor, thus effectively enforcing discipline. Do you think the Japanese wanna know they're being bossed around a mere schoolkid who can't even fight properly? Not many at first glance)
The Emperor of Britannia is apparently the type of man that will push humanity forward (breakthroughs in technology), or at least in his belief (millions are killed in the process, and an even greater number are hurt, both physically and emotionally, e.g. Lelouch & Nunnally). However, it could be but a lie as he seems to have another ulterior motive for invading Japan (hinted in episode 18). I guess more light will be shed on the matter once second season is aired:D

ashlay 2008-04-06 12:59

Thought this was somewhat interesting:
http://img502.imageshack.us/img502/6...5229rh0.th.jpg

In the first episode of R2, Lelouch is reading Dante Alighieri's The Divine Comedy, namely the beginning section on the Sixth Terrace of Purgatory, the terrace where The gluttonous are purged of their sins.

Dann of Thursday 2008-04-06 13:06

You have to love the little things they put in there. Those drunk with power will be punished

ashlay 2008-04-06 13:28

Quote:

Originally Posted by hamstar (Post 1514549)
you must be dying for someone to acknowledge you on the internet.

I didn't even request this topic, I just wrote up an opening post cause I was bored, and White Manju Bun decided to post it. >_>

Though sure, thanks for acknowledging me. :heh:

Var 2008-04-06 14:37

Quote:

Originally Posted by ashlay (Post 1514614)
I didn't even request this topic, I just wrote up an opening post cause I was bored, and White Manju Bun decided to post it. >_>

Though sure, thanks for acknowledging me. :heh:

The request was mine :p

But good find ashlay. It's ironic that that would be what he was reading, such nice little details added in if you pay attention, lol.

Dann of Thursday 2008-04-06 14:42

Another interesting nod is that the captain referred to their mission as Operation Valhalla if I heard correctly.

Var 2008-04-06 15:02

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dann of Thursday (Post 1514823)
Another interesting nod is that the captain referred to their mission as Operation Valhalla if I heard correctly.

There's a lot of use of Norse myth. Though that particular name is strange, almost as if the Emperor sent them to just die as soldiers.

Dann of Thursday 2008-04-06 15:03

Well, it could just be a reference without any real meaning. The only detail they didn't seem to get briefed on was that C.C. was immortal. Unless they did know and just waited too long. If they had just shot Lelouch the job would have been done.

Nilie 2008-04-06 15:04

Eheh, I think I like this thread. I am just surprised no one seems to have mentioned Machiavelli so far.
Lelouch surely does seem to be his 'Prince' character in more ways than one, don't you think?

... Sorry, I just thought it might be interesting ^^; speaking of the "The end justifies the means" morality and all.

metronome 2008-04-07 02:34

I think the most interesting philosophy in code geass is about the war to determine the meaning of righteousness.

one side think that being collaborator is the right way, while others view this side as "dog".
one side think that being rebel/"freedom fighter" is the right way, while others view this side as "terrorist".

not only, in the world, "terrorist"s always view the collaborator as "dog" and "traitor" and so does the "dog"s always view the rebel/"freedom fighter" as "terrorist" and "traitor".

collaborators:"because of this damm terrorist, we will have even longer way toward independence, since the colonialist will be more suspicous toward us, they will tighten their grip, watch our every move, etc"

rebel/"freedom fighter":"because of those damm dogs, we will have even longer way toward independence, not only that this will make us even harder to attack the colonialist to use them as cover against us, increase the number of our enemies, etc"

Bluehorsy 2008-04-07 05:50

Telling the truth. The use of mass media by both sides in season1 shows how it can be used to create a fascade, and manipulate the reactions of the masses.

metronome 2008-04-07 12:33

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bluehorsy (Post 1516263)
Telling the truth. The use of mass media by both sides in season1 shows how it can be used to create a fascade, and manipulate the reactions of the masses.

mass media is always important.....:D
like in the princess diana case....

Revolutionist 2008-04-07 21:37

I think the Emperor values strength over race, ethnicity and social class. He married Lelouch's mother even though she was a commoner, and she was said to be an incredible Knightmare pilot, then he appoints Suzaku to his elite guard. He stated it plain and simple, those who are weak are useless, those who are strong deserve power to rule. Suzaku is the only person who's gone up against Zero and is still alive, not to mention his skills in Lancelot are unmatched.
The Emperor would be a fool to not give Suzaku the power he probably has atm. Why should he trust those racist imbecile Generals and lesser nobles who've proved to be nothing but cannon fodder for Zero when he has Suzaku who just seems to foil every one of Zero's plans?

SoldierOfDarkness 2008-04-07 22:11

Or it could be that the Emperor is simply using Suzaku to test Lelouch to see if he's worthy of becoming his successor.


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