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Old 2011-02-16, 13:21   Link #261
Kaijo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arkeus View Post
The problem with "being bound by rules" is that rules he talks about are eerily reminiscent of the traditional rules the devil needs to get your soul (a.k.a, you have to hand it over yourself).

Given the nature of the show's relationship with faust, the fact the he does indeed take out their souls and then take the grief seeds of witches that may or may not have eaten MG's souls... Well, it doesn't paint a pretty picture.

Of course, it *is* possible gen is trolling us with all those hints about Evil!Kyuube.

Also, kaijo: as far as we know, there is nothing worse happening, neither to the world, nor to kyuube, that justifies what he does and the way he does things. It could appear in the future, but i'll answer to your question: i can forgive thieves. I can't not call someone who destroy soul and kill people Evil.

Something to remember is that the lesser evil is still evil.
So, you didn't answer or really address the question? I suppose that's to be expected. I'm really curious now, though: Is it really that hard to consider that Kyube might be bound by rules that could make him a more sympathetic character, and thus not as evil?

Although it should be clarified that Kyube isn't destroying souls. If anything, he is fortifying them. But nothing has been shown to indicate he is destroying souls. Suggest you take a look at CrowKenobi's post above.
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Old 2011-02-16, 13:31   Link #262
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Originally Posted by Myssa Rei View Post
That, or he simply has a different values system that's alien to human understanding (see: Saya no Uta).
The entire human race has contradictory values to itself! I'm incredibly amused by the "is he evil" discussion because it is basically people deciding on how morally correct something is based on their own cultural values and norms.

The most anyone should be able to agree on with Kyubey is that he's a shady salesman. He's the guy who won't tell you the fine print, he'll happily omit certain details, and he'll conveniently tell you what you want to hear because it benefits his bottom line goals (contracting magical girls). Unless he's cornered into answering something, he won't, because he knows that the deal is backloaded with all kinds of negative clauses. So he trumps up the good, downplays or ignores the bad, and gets what he wants (usually).

What are his ultimate goals? Dunno. Is he a mastermind, or is he working for someone else? Dunno. Answers to such questions will have to wait.

One thing is for certain, and that is that Kyubey cannot understand, or chooses to ignore (speculation), human values. He clearly sees no problem with his methods, although we see that it bothers humans (and this is reflected in both the audience and the characters). It is important to remember that human notions of good and evil are agreed upon social values, and not reflective of nature. There is no good or bad in nature, only consequences.

This is why I have maintained that he is an amoral character. So far he has demonstrated the second aspect of this definition to a tee:

Quote:
having no moral standards, restraints, or principles; unaware of or indifferent to questions of right or wrong: a completely amoral person.
His lack of concern outside of contracting has been demonstrated many times. He doesn't stop magical girls from fighting each other. He doesn't question the morality of using humans as bait to find witches. He doesn't show concern about death, or the consequences of wishes.

We can apply our own judgment to him and call him immoral, but he is clearly operating outside of our human moral values.

He's basically this creepy looking animal thing that acts like a contracting and grief seed eating machine. Not much else seems to concern him.
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Old 2011-02-16, 14:00   Link #263
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When the series is over, and we know everything that is to be known, it'll be interesting to look back and analyse Kyubey's behaviour in retrospect.

It occurred to me the other day that I don't think (and without going back and watching again I'm not sure), he's ever LIED. Been economical with the truth, yes, operated on a 'need to know' basis, yes, but lied? I don't recall so. With a track record like that he should be in politics!

When he was rolling the grief seed back and forth on his head, he almost looked cute and playful.
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Old 2011-02-16, 14:04   Link #264
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I think none of the characters have lied thus far. It's a fact that intrigues me a lot. Well, we don't know for sure if that fact is right yet though. We will see depending on the things that get revealed coming episodes.
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Old 2011-02-16, 14:33   Link #265
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaijo View Post
So, you didn't answer or really address the question? I suppose that's to be expected. I'm really curious now, though: Is it really that hard to consider that Kyube might be bound by rules that could make him a more sympathetic character, and thus not as evil?
i did, do try to read the answers:

first, i said Kyuube as a thief is a bad metaphor because it's not about stealing.

2nd, i said that in case of evil actions, a lesser evil is still evil.

Hence, being bound by rules on his actions would only excuse him if his binding is such he can't even think (as he doesn't seem to mind what he is doing at all).

3rd, the *rules* you are talking about are so far traditional Devil soul contract rules.

Quote:
Although it should be clarified that Kyube isn't destroying souls. If anything, he is fortifying them. But nothing has been shown to indicate he is destroying souls. Suggest you take a look at CrowKenobi's post above.
Actually, he is capturing them. As i said, he has MG's soul being put into a container that is then eaten by witch, and then the witch's 'soul container' is being given back to him.

Strangely suspicious.
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Old 2011-02-16, 14:41   Link #266
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solace View Post
The entire human race has contradictory values to itself! I'm incredibly amused by the "is he evil" discussion because it is basically people deciding on how morally correct something is based on their own cultural values and norms.

The most anyone should be able to agree on with Kyubey is that he's a shady salesman. He's the guy who won't tell you the fine print, he'll happily omit certain details, and he'll conveniently tell you what you want to hear because it benefits his bottom line goals (contracting magical girls). Unless he's cornered into answering something, he won't, because he knows that the deal is backloaded with all kinds of negative clauses. So he trumps up the good, downplays or ignores the bad, and gets what he wants (usually).

What are his ultimate goals? Dunno. Is he a mastermind, or is he working for someone else? Dunno. Answers to such questions will have to wait.

One thing is for certain, and that is that Kyubey cannot understand, or chooses to ignore (speculation), human values. He clearly sees no problem with his methods, although we see that it bothers humans (and this is reflected in both the audience and the characters). It is important to remember that human notions of good and evil are agreed upon social values, and not reflective of nature. There is no good or bad in nature, only consequences.

This is why I have maintained that he is an amoral character. So far he has demonstrated the second aspect of this definition to a tee:



His lack of concern outside of contracting has been demonstrated many times. He doesn't stop magical girls from fighting each other. He doesn't question the morality of using humans as bait to find witches. He doesn't show concern about death, or the consequences of wishes.

We can apply our own judgment to him and call him immoral, but he is clearly operating outside of our human moral values.

He's basically this creepy looking animal thing that acts like a contracting and grief seed eating machine. Not much else seems to concern him.
I disagree on a few points here.

1. He cannot understand human morals.

He clearly is intelligent and have dealt with humans. His primary job is contracting MGs after all. There should not be any excuse for him to not understand human morals and concepts at least intellectually. In fact, it would be impossible for him to apply his deception and manipulation without that understanding. If he choose to ignore despite such understanding, then his actions should be judged.

2. He is an amoral character. He is clearly operating outside of our human moral values.

He may be considered an amoral characters but his actions needs to be judged by human morality because he is after all, dealing with humans. If he does all his shady business with another alien race, then it is none of our concern and should not be judged by our morals. But that is not the case here.

Example: if an alien race with hive mentality outside of human morality come to earth and proceeds to slaughter and feed on humans knowing doing so cause us harm, do we humans, judge them amoral or evil? After all the consequence of their actions befalls on us humans. The claim of amorality does not negate the fact that we will see them as evil if they are capable of understanding human morality. Unintelligent lifeforms may be exempt from consequences of their action that violates other lifeforms' moral code, but intelligent lifeforms that have the capacity to understand other's values have no such excuse.

Even having no moral standards, restraints, or principles; unaware of or indifferent to questions of right or wrong, which are all human concepts, there has to be some type of existential principals that guides said amoral being. It may be different from our moral concepts but it does not preclude them from understanding that we have a set of standards that is different from theirs. If they choose to ignore our standards and adhere their actions to their own standards, then we humans may justifiably call said amoral being evil by our standards.
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Old 2011-02-16, 14:41   Link #267
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As of now, I will only be able to make a true verdict on Kyuube’s character once the limits of his wish-fulfilling ability have been tested. During his morally ambiguous salesman pitch in episode 2 (or 1?) he made it seem like there was no wish that he couldn’t fulfil (“the sky is the limit”), but it has been implied that this can’t be true. For example, when he referred to Sayaka’s wish as “alright”. Or the deus ex machina implications of simply being able to wish yourself an infinite number of wishes, or even a world without witches.

So far, we can’t really call Kyuube “evil” in the classical sense, because he has only chosen to leave out (or "forget") important bits and pieces such as the Soul Gem thing; any good lawyer could argue their way out of this one. But if turns out that he has lied point-blank....continuing along this “court of law” analogy, Kyuube would be liable of perjury and hence indefensible. Still, the great thing about this show is that it makes you think about morality in a much more holistic way. Sure, Kyuube might have lied and lured these poor young girls into one hell of a shit deal, but if he was doing it to protect mankind from witches, can we really judge his actions as “evil”?

Then again, another twist might await, and it could turn out that Kyuube has been orchestrating the whole Puella Magi vs Witches war to begin with. Maybe he not only swallows the Grief Seeds, but uses them to create new witches. That would explain why so many of them have been popping up since Madoka ran into him.....
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Old 2011-02-16, 14:59   Link #268
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arkeus View Post
i did, do try to read the answers:

first, i said Kyuube as a thief is a bad metaphor because it's not about stealing.

2nd, i said that in case of evil actions, a lesser evil is still evil.
That wasn't answering the question I posed. Let me rephrase it slightly for clarity and ask again:

If it is shown that Kyube is functioning under a set of rules where something worse would happen if he did nothing, would that change your view of him into a more positive light?

I'm trying to ascertain if your mind is open enough to consider changing your viewpoint. I have stated plausible scenarios that would change my mind to see him as evil. Are there plausible scenarios where you would see him as not evil? Or is your mind made up and nothing will change it, no matter what may be revealed coming up?

Quote:
Hence, being bound by rules on his actions would only excuse him if his binding is such he can't even think (as he doesn't seem to mind what he is doing at all).
So, if someone kidnapped your family, and said they'd live only if you did things exactly as told, you would consider yourself evil for complying? Or would you "think for yourself" and go to the police, and risk having them killed?

Quote:
3rd, the *rules* you are talking about are so far traditional Devil soul contract rules.
Opinion.

Quote:
Actually, he is capturing them. As i said, he has MG's soul being put into a container that is then eaten by witch, and then the witch's 'soul container' is being given back to him.

Strangely suspicious.
Heh, yes, the time-honored tradition of "I'm not assuming anything, I'm just asking a question that predisposed the subject to a negative conclusion; but I'm not saying it."

If what you're implying were correct, than Kyube wouldn't give the girls strong enough magical powers to actually defeat a witch. If all he wanted was to feed magical girls to a witch, it would be far easier to make a girl think she had a chance, but in reality still lost. Perhaps give her an easy victory or two against a familiar.

But it is good to see you changed your mind from Kyube destroying souls, to "capturing" them, but again, your word choice misleads. He does not keep the souls, just puts them into a vessel where they are more protected, and allows the body to be strengthened enough to fight witches. If he wanted souls, he could simply take them out.

And the one witch we've seen take the "soul" of a magical girl? Homura had it.
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Old 2011-02-16, 15:41   Link #269
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In ep 4, when Sayaka win after the first battle (to save Madoka and Hitomi), she is not shown to obtain any grief seed. (fact)

Base on what is shown, there are no time skip. (the ep 5, 14:00 scene with Madoka and Sayaka only make sense if that is Sayaka's first patrol) (fact?)

In ep 6, Sayaka is shown using grief seed to cleanse her soul gem. (fact)

Where does the grief seed coming from?

The only plausible explanation is that Kyube has a couple extra and give it to Sayaka.(interpretation).

If that is the case then the whole Kyube farm MG and witches can be thrown out of window, as Kyube would more than happy to let Sayaka's gem grow dark and become a witch/ get eaten by a witch (speculation).

Of course another plausible explanation is that the animator simply forget/ choose to cut out a scene of Sayaka obtaining the grief seed from ep 4.
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Old 2011-02-16, 15:49   Link #270
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Of course another plausible explanation is that the animator simply forget/ choose to cut out a scene of Sayaka obtaining the grief seed from ep 4.
This.

The witch from episode 4 was Elly, a full-fledged witch, therefore she carried a grief seed. They just did a short time skip so we didn't see when Sayaka got it.
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Old 2011-02-16, 15:56   Link #271
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This.

The witch from episode 4 was Elly, a full-fledged witch, therefore she carried a grief seed. They just did a short time skip so we didn't see when Sayaka got it.
Isn't someone said that not all witches carry grief seed? I believe I read somewhere in the forum about that. Or is that wrong, that all witches drop grief seed when defeated?
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Old 2011-02-16, 16:04   Link #272
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Isn't someone said that not all witches carry grief seed? I believe I read somewhere in the forum about that. Or is that wrong, that all witches drop grief seed when defeated?
When Mami said that "not all witches carry grief seed" the concept of familiars hadn't been introduced yet. When the familiars were introduced, people understood Mami was referring to them when she said some witches don't carry grief seeds. This is further proved when Kyoko said they should leave the familiar alone until it becomes a witch, so it can develop a grief seed.

But Elly was a witch, not a familiar, so she carried a grief seed.
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Old 2011-02-16, 16:36   Link #273
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Not quite. They did explain a bit about familiars at the beginning of ep 3, which was also when they said that not all witches have grief seeds. It was only in ep 5 when we got clarification about how a familiar relates to a witch.
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Old 2011-02-16, 16:42   Link #274
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Not quite. They did explain a bit about familiars at the beginning of ep 3, which was also when they said that not all witches have grief seeds.
Mami said not all witches carry GS in episode 2.

It doesn't matter though. The important bit is that familiar don't have GS, but witches do, so when families become witches, they also have GS.
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Old 2011-02-16, 17:32   Link #275
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If they choose to ignore our standards and adhere their actions to their own standards, then we humans may justifiably call said amoral being evil by our standards.
I never argued that people shouldn't judge him by their own moral standards, in fact I expect it. What I'm getting at is that Kyubey himself shows no empathy towards the people caught up in the Magical Girl business. His "concern" is shown to only go so far as contracting, he has shown no regard for the well being of any humans otherwise.

Most humans understand that even "unintelligent" creatures have feelings and awareness, but not all humans treat those creatures equally. Some abuse them, some simply see them as food, others see them as pets, some ignore them entirely, etc. Even humans treat each other differently. Our sense of good and evil as a species isn't universal, for example the side we judge evil might believe they are doing good against what they see as us being evil. Even among supposedly unified people, civil wars and infighting occur as disagreements of right and wrong erupt.

Heck...even on these forums it's a regular occurrence. I can't begin to count the number of times I've had to break an argument up because both sides thought they were in the right.

My point being, that understanding on an intellectual level doesn't equate to understanding on an empathetic level. Hence my comment about Kyubey's amoral nature and how he feels more like a contracting machine than an actual being. This is probably intentional play on the usual mahou shoujo mascot trope, where they seem almost overly emotional and human at times.
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Old 2011-02-16, 18:06   Link #276
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I never argued that people shouldn't judge him by their own moral standards, in fact I expect it. What I'm getting at is that Kyubey himself shows no empathy towards the people caught up in the Magical Girl business. His "concern" is shown to only go so far as contracting, he has shown no regard for the well being of any humans otherwise.
But then, the problem arises to what end QB is aiming for by "contracting" magical girls. As you have stated he shows no other concern for magical girls or humanity in general. This means that his intentions isn't to save humanity from the blight of witches by "contracting" magical girls to combat against them. That then brings into question "why" he needs magical girls. Simply being a "contracting machine" and labeling him as amoral doesn't take into consideration his overall purpose in doing such a thing in the first place, which is why many people are calling him immoral rather than amoral. His nature and actions are pointing to something far less noble.
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Old 2011-02-16, 19:12   Link #277
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Well, if we think of Kyube like a computer (and can you really call a computer evil?), then someone else programmed/created him to create magical girls to fight witches. Would make another interesting spin on things.

In fact, that describes him pretty well. Computers only do what we tell them to, and only give us answers to questions we ask. They don't volunteer information usually, unless programmed in advance to do so.
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Old 2011-02-16, 19:22   Link #278
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There are a lot of different thoughts on different topics in my head, some of which might be slightly off topic. I hope my post is coherently enough to get my point across, if not, I apologize beforehand.

Moral Relativism VS Moral Absolutism

It is true that people with different cultural background, upbringing, education and life experiences will have differences in their moral standards. However, there are certain actions that are universally considered right or wrong. Genocide, and to a lesser degree, murder and rape are among them. The only people who will claim otherwise would be among those that instigated those actions or those that performed them, and they would be the minority of this group. Most holocaust deniers do not dispute that holocaust is wrong but deny it happened. Most criminals who murder or rape don't claim they were righteous in what they did but try to hide and deny evidence of what happened. Much of the atrocities committed were not being brought to light due to political reasons and some simply were lost in the history due to lack of empathy/interest.

We humans are selfish. It breeds our best traits and our worst. But selfishness is the driving force behind our evolution as a specie. A lot of things that we know are wrong are occurring on a daily basis everywhere in some corner of the world but as long as we are not directly effected, even if they are broad-casted in mass media, we are apathetic to them. This also contribute greatly to the perception of people having different moral standards. In fact, one's moral standards can change during one's life but a society as a whole will have a set of moral standards that are more universal. But politics, human nature and international relations all come into play and effect what is done regarding these universal standards and the consequences of deeds being committed vary in large degree due to that. An example would be how Germany and Japan conducted after World War 2. One of which took responsibility while the other followed plausible deniability.

So, when I view QB in terms of these two concepts, I feel that I must judge him from the character's perspective, which are the girls that became MG and those that he is going after. I feel that looking from their perspective, QB's actions are undeniably immoral.

Intent VS Action.

Many that say QB is amoral argue from the angle of his motive, which is currently still largely unknown. They dismiss his actions because we don't know what exactly his motive is. It can be good and it can be bad and we can't judge him because we don't know.

I feel there is a need to separate action from intent. A generally good person can perform an evil deed and vise versa. People can also change. East of Eden by John Steinbeck is a good example that display humans capacity for both and ability to change from one to the other. Thus I feel it is more important to label action/deeds then the person. Are QB's actions thus far displayed deceptive, manipulative? Most here except a few would agree. Does he need to be hold accountable for these actions? Some would argue motive are important in order to hold him accountable. Or if he is amoral, he should not be hold accountable. Again I ask to look through the eyes of the characters, should they hold him accountable for what he has done to them? I believe so. Because we are selfish, and we do have our own sense of morals to a degree. If things direct effect us, we will react in according to our nature. If you were the girls being manipulated by QB into a death trap, your opinion of QB would be pretty drastically different from onlookers.

Ends Justify the Means and The Greater Good

One argument made based on QB's intent is that he may be doing what he did for the greater good and the ends justify the means. The question however is, the greater good for whom? QB does not appear to be concerned about saving the humans bewitched or even killing witches. He doesn't not care that the MGs, who are suppose be the force that are performing the deeds for the greater good, fight and kill each other. It is hard to argue that he is doing it for the greater good of humanity. If he is not doing it for humanity but for some other reasons, however important or noble to him, it does not sit well with those that are directly effected by his actions - MGs and the girls he try to recruit. If his motive isn't for the greater good or survival of humans, one cannot argue his actions are excusable by using ends justify the means.

Going back to being selfish. It's human nature and majority of people would care or help those they have a relationship with first and most. This is evident in Homura as her overriding concern was to prevent Madoka from becoming a MG and by extension Sayaka gets saved as well. People want to saved their loved ones, family, friends more so then strangers they do not know. Genuine altruism is born out of that first step. If you love no one, care about no one and are generally void of emotion and empathy, how can you act on well being of others. Thus it is difficult to perceive QB having any type of motive that turn out to be for the greater good of mankind.
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Old 2011-02-16, 21:24   Link #279
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Well, if we think of Kyube like a computer (and can you really call a computer evil?), then someone else programmed/created him to create magical girls to fight witches. Would make another interesting spin on things.

In fact, that describes him pretty well. Computers only do what we tell them to, and only give us answers to questions we ask. They don't volunteer information usually, unless programmed in advance to do so.
Eh, that's kind of a stretch. I'll have to restate again, to what purpose.? Clearly the show characterizes QB as being a being with a goal for whatever it may be. Actions don't occur just because, likewise computers do not proceed with a command without input. I'd like to believe there is some overarching purposes to QB's actions or else I'll be quite disappointed.
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Old 2011-02-16, 21:40   Link #280
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Eh, that's kind of a stretch. I'll have to restate again, to what purpose.? Clearly the show characterizes QB as being a being with a goal for whatever it may be. Actions don't occur just because, likewise computers do not proceed with a command without input. I'd like to believe there is some overarching purposes to QB's actions or else I'll be quite disappointed.
Well, people have been happy to speculate that there MUST be more to Kyube so they can hate him more. There always has to be some catch, something that makes him totally evil, and gosh darn it, we'll find that evil angle somehow!

Except, if he is just an advanced creation, functioning much like a computer, then any evil intentions would have to be with whoever created him. So We just take all those half-brained assumptions and redirect them towards the creator!
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