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Old 2016-08-14, 08:40   Link #1
Polarpew
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Why aren't all Hollows killed?

From what I understand from reading Bleach all these years, there is the elephant in the room that everyone seemingly avoids talking about.
Hollows, and why aren't all of them killed on sight?
A hollow is a human soul,
Gillians are consisted of hundreds of hollows that mass together into a single existence meaning those unfortunate souls still exist in the hollow and thus not purified when eating each other.
Adjuchas are Gillians who have consumed enough of other Gillians and evolved. (Soul count in the hundred thousand range here.
Finally Vasto Lorde are Adjuchas who consumed enough Adjuchas to evolve (Soul count in the tens of millions if not hundred of millions contained within a single Vasto Lorde)

So question is, why 'humanize' hollows, and Arrancars. It would be the right thing to do to kill them all and purify those souls so they can go to SS and reincarnate again instead of being stuck in eternal torment within a hollow for hundreds if not thousands of years before a Shinigami comes along to kill the hollow. We're seeing multiple Billion souls that haven't been returned to the cycle of reincarnation because main cast is too busy makes friends with the monsters. People's mothers, fathers, friends, children are stuck inside those abominations
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Old 2016-08-14, 09:12   Link #2
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In the case of smaller hollows, they are pretty much killed on sight.

But you're kind of getting into weird moral territory with arrancars - they have distinct personalities that, as far as we can tell, didn't come from any of their constituent souls. They're new, emergent people, and it's not actually their fault that they're born out of hundreds or thousands of other souls. We don't know that those souls are suffering, incidentally - we don't know that they're even aware of anything.

Would you really suggest murdering a person with hopes, ideals, a moral compass, etc? Some of them haven't even devoured any other Hollows, after all: Starrk never needed to, and Harribel never did for moral reasons.
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Old 2016-08-14, 09:24   Link #3
Polarpew
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It's really a statistic at this point, they are Vasto lordes hence countless millions of souls make up their being, it's it's a regular hollow that's fine since it's a single soul and they have memories of their past but for all other hollows? So what if they have personalities, it still doesn't change what they are. No amount of lives saved that they could 'possibly but unlikely to do' will ever make up for the uncountable numbers that isn't saved by them being not purified
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Old 2016-08-14, 09:43   Link #4
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It all comes down to balance. They don't kill the Vasto Lords for the same reason they don't just invade Hueco Mundo to do a mass extermination of the hollows. Yes, the shinigami are equipped to destroy the current Vasto Lords and adjuchas with ease. But if they go crazy doing that, there'll be too many souls in Soul Society. Soul Society is already a terrible place to live for many, but it'd become even worse if it becomes even more overpopulated than it already is.

What happens when it becomes overpopulated? Mayuri has to then do the morally grey job of working over time to exterminate all the excess souls. And then assuming those souls get reincarnated into the real world, that would mess with the traffic of Souls that the Soul King has to manage, which would probably then lead to opening up a whole new can of worms. In the worst case scenarios, I could see the Soul King simply exterminating the excess souls from existence to bring the balance back though.


Actually, spelling this out just made me come up with a new theory. Yhwach referred to the Soul King as his father. What if the Soul King initially created the Quincy bloodline for this very purpose. What if there was a point in time when there was too great of an imbalance and the Quincy's were the Soul Kings long term answer to help manage this? Anyways, just food for thought.
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Old 2016-08-14, 09:50   Link #5
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Originally Posted by Polarpew View Post
It's really a statistic at this point, they are Vasto lordes hence countless millions of souls make up their being, it's it's a regular hollow that's fine since it's a single soul and they have memories of their past but for all other hollows? So what if they have personalities, it still doesn't change what they are. No amount of lives saved that they could 'possibly but unlikely to do' will ever make up for the uncountable numbers that isn't saved by them being not purified
I think going 'oh, well, it's just a statistic' is really just a failure state: It's not a sound argument, because it requires that you put a value on something that inherently can't have a value put on it.
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Old 2016-08-14, 10:58   Link #6
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^ perhaps it's a reference to Joseph Stalin's quote: "One death is a tragedy; one million is a statistic"
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Old 2016-08-14, 13:22   Link #7
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Originally Posted by itachi-san314 View Post
^ perhaps it's a reference to Joseph Stalin's quote: "One death is a tragedy; one million is a statistic"
Which is what you are all arguing for in terms of hollows being a person. If Nel for example is executed, everyone gets upset since she's a innocent and has a sense of self, but when reminded about the millions she contains within her, we go 'oh well it's a statistic because they are people without a face'.
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Old 2016-08-14, 14:11   Link #8
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Another thing is what you mean by "killing" the Hollows?

From the shinigami point of view "killing" would be a politically incorrect term, since the konso ritual they perform on Hollows with their zanpakuto is meant to exorcise or purify the sins of the soul after becoming a Hollow, and thus sending the soul to Soul Society.

Killing the Hollows completely was and always is the motto of the Quincy, and everyone who has read the BLEACH manga from start to finish (almost) knows how bad or worse the fate that SS inflicted upon the Quincy after the latter crossed the line with the Hollowcide.

For SS and all its related agencies and staff their moral compass lies in sticking to the rules by the book; obeying all protocols and regulations for the sake of keeping the balance of souls.

As few have pointed out, SS has no need to perform a large-scale purification of the Hollows that inhabit Hueco Mundo as long as the balance of souls doesn't get compromised.
As the Japanese say, do not stir or rock the boat and just leave it alone.
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Old 2016-08-14, 14:19   Link #9
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Originally Posted by Polarpew View Post
Which is what you are all arguing for in terms of hollows being a person. If Nel for example is executed, everyone gets upset since she's a innocent and has a sense of self, but when reminded about the millions she contains within her, we go 'oh well it's a statistic because they are people without a face'.
You're kind of missing the point.

Your argument seems to be 'it's morally sound to kill one person to save hundreds or millions', but it's not. Nor is it morally sound to kill hundreds or millions to save one person. You can't stack up lives against each other, because you can't assign a value to a person's life.

In a situation like those with the innocent arrancar, where everybody involved is blameless and deserves personhood, all you can do is take the situation as presented to you, and at that point the dilemma comes down to whether an innocent, thinking, aware person should die, and that's not a choice anybody gets to make for someone else.

Now, if we're talking about preventing the creation of Adjuchas or Vasto Lordes by killing off Gillians with extreme prejudice, that's another matter altogether - it is a moral choice to prevent their creation. But once they become an Adjuchas or a Vasto Lorde, it's out of your hands.

The best thing that Soul Society could do is to search for a way to preserve the emergent personalities while freeing the souls in question - and everybody involved is immortal, so there's no time limit on that. Which, I mean, Soul Society has three brilliant scientists at its disposal, one of whom is an expert on Hollows, and two of whom are experts on creating souls, so they probably could do that if they put their minds to it.
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Old 2016-08-14, 14:31   Link #10
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Can't assign value to human lives? Our entire human history is basically a series of evaluations on lives of others, in the world of Bleach it isn't a weighing the lives based on 'what if'. It's very clear cut, one person with a personality or millions of lives each with a personality. What I'm trying to say, it's not moral when it's situations where you say 'kill one life to save a thousand hypothetically in the future' or 'removing a threat to the livelihood of the many'. It's a fact that the existence of hollows are holding countless souls hostage until they are purified by Shinigami, why should mindless Gillians be slaughered with no problem but the second it's an Adjuchas, we've got a problem?
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Old 2016-08-14, 14:35   Link #11
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Originally Posted by Polarpew View Post
Which is what you are all arguing for in terms of hollows being a person. If Nel for example is executed, everyone gets upset since she's a innocent and has a sense of self, but when reminded about the millions she contains within her, we go 'oh well it's a statistic because they are people without a face'.
Another thing to keep in mind, it's not like Nel or any of the menos level hollows are devouring more and more of their fellow kind for the lulz. They do it because that's just how the rules of nature are structured in HM. It's kill or be killed and eat or be eaten. And the dominant personalities are the ones that rise to the top. It doesn't make them inherently evil. I mean we don't consider any animal in nature evil because of the other animals they may devour on the food chain. That's just how it works and that's how the balance is preserved in real life. And since it does preserve the balance, it doesn't give us any right to kill them unless they invade our personal space.

But I digress somewhat. Would proper shinigami execution free a lot souls? Yes. Would that free them from the hellish purgatory of being trapped in a vessel vying for dominance among countless other souls. Definitely.

However, the fate that lies within those freed souls isn't necessarily guaranteed to be all that much better in soul society than being a part of whatever menos they're currently attached to. And again, it messes up the balance.

Bleach is full of morally grey issues with no easy solutions when it comes to this topic. Because even if they did take a more proactive approach to preventing the creation of menos, it'd still ineveitably lead to a lot more soul's being sent to Soul Society--which again, would not be as nice of a happy ending for those souls as people may want to believe. I'd imagine for most of them, being sent to Soul Society would amount to nothing more than trading one form of hellish survival for another. Only this time, you get to do it in a human body. And then once too many of those poor souls overpopulate the realm, then what? Obviously, a lot of them are going to die for one reason or another.

And because logic dictates that souls can only be reincarnated if there's an unborn being in the living world to reincarnate into, what happens if too many souls in Soul Society are getting killed at a rate that exceeds the rate of the cycle of reincarnation? It's a total shitstorm of an issue that I'm not sure even Kubo has an answer to at this point.

Therefore, if a gillian, adjuchas, or VL is minding his or her own buisness where he/she belongs in HM, let 'em be. Yes, it sucks. But based on the established rules of the lore that Kubo's made, the alternative's honestly aren't going to make anything better. Only worse.

Last edited by sayde; 2016-08-14 at 14:52.
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Old 2016-08-14, 14:46   Link #12
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Okay, bit by bit.

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Originally Posted by Polarpew View Post
Can't assign value to human lives? Our entire human history is basically a series of evaluations on lives of others,
I don't know if you've noticed, but human history isn't exactly a story of unending virtue. If you're taking your moral and ethical cues from history, you're doing something wrong.

Quote:
in the world of Bleach it isn't a weighing the lives based on 'what if'. It's very clear cut, one person with a personality or millions of lives each with a personality.
But that's immaterial. People's lives aren't a matter of numbers, because a person's life is of unquantifiable value.

Quote:
What I'm trying to say, it's not moral when it's situations where you say 'kill one life to save a thousand hypothetically in the future' or 'removing a threat to the livelihood of the many'. It's a fact that the existence of hollows are holding countless souls hostage until they are purified by Shinigami, why should mindless Gillians be slaughered with no problem but the second it's an Adjuchas, we've got a problem?
Didn't you just hit the nail on the head right there?

You called Gillians mindless. Which they are. Killing Gillians is okay, because they aren't sapient creatures, they're mindless animals. But Adjuchas do have minds, they are people, and nobody can rightly determine whether a sapient, aware being who is not presenting an immediate threat should die.

People do and have, but that doesn't make it correct.


Also, you haven't hit what I think was my most salient point there: Killing arrancar isn't necessarily the only way of freeing those souls. Soul Society has three incalculably brilliant scientists, two of whom are experts on creating and storing souls, and one of whom is an expert of Hollows.

If you want to make the argument that the only course of action is to kill arrancar, then you have to first exhaust all scientific research into preserving those emergent personalities while also freeing the constituent souls.
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Old 2016-08-14, 14:50   Link #13
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Before I made this thread, I already acknowledged that the issue sucks and the whole point of hollows is just a setting the author made to get readers.
Anyways I never claimed hollows were evil, their existence demands they feed on one another or else they feel constant hunger for souls. It was never an argument about good versus evil but rather whether freeing souls is more important than keeping the hollows alive.

As for conditions in SS, in general for the average soul, it sucks. It's essentially purgatory anyway but the point being is that when a soul dies in SS they enter back into the cycle of reincarnation for another shot at life. Hollows are made up of normal people and sinners, sinners go to hell to suffer eternal torment which they deserve, so I would argue that they should be killed so those truly 'evil' receives punishment.

The point of my argument is basically freeing souls not the fact that they get to live cushy lives in SS but rather so they can go to SS to die there in order to reincarnate. Which being stuck inside a hollow prevents. The dominate soul of the Hollow gets to be free in a sense, but all the weaker willed souls gets the short end of the stick for as long as that hollow lives. At this point anything that dies in HM stays in HM unless directly killed by a shinigami. Their numbers constantly grow without end since most newly turned hollows don't end up in the living world preying on humans but populate HM further. HM is basically a black hole of souls so we're constantly losing totals to hollows if we just 'let 'em be'
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Also, you haven't hit what I think was my most salient point there: Killing arrancar isn't necessarily the only way of freeing those souls. Soul Society has three incalculably brilliant scientists, two of whom are experts on creating and storing souls, and one of whom is an expert of Hollows.

If you want to make the argument that the only course of action is to kill arrancar, then you have to first exhaust all scientific research into preserving those emergent personalities while also freeing the constituent souls.
You'd think the whoever created the Shinigami system would've made it so that the personalities of Hollows were saved when they are purified? How many thousands of years of existence of SS and they haven't done this? Should we leave all those souls stuck in hollows for however centuries it takes to save each and every Adjuchas and above? That is essentially placing a value on the lives of hollows > puny humans

I guess in the end maintaining the balance of souls is the only argument I can get behind for this. I just don't like placing more value on 'morals' when a lot of lives are at stack when I read Bleach
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Old 2016-08-14, 15:01   Link #14
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Can't assign value to human lives? Our entire human history is basically a series of evaluations on lives of others, in the world of Bleach it isn't a weighing the lives based on 'what if'. It's very clear cut, one person with a personality or millions of lives each with a personality. What I'm trying to say, it's not moral when it's situations where you say 'kill one life to save a thousand hypothetically in the future' or 'removing a threat to the livelihood of the many'. It's a fact that the existence of hollows are holding countless souls hostage until they are purified by Shinigami, why should mindless Gillians be slaughered with no problem but the second it's an Adjuchas, we've got a problem?
PolarPew you're as well forgetting or missing another point that not all souls that are eaten by or become Hollows were morally good in their previous lives as humans.

Remember that in the universe of Bleach there's a Hell as well, and all morally evil souls go there.

An example was the Shrieker Hollow from a case before Ichigo and company went to SS to rescue Rukia; that was a story from the earliest arc of the manga at the beginning.

The soul of the Shrieker Hollow was that of serial killer who in life murdered innocent people for pleasure, and after he became a Hollow he turned into something worse resuming his murderous ways.
When Shrieker Hollow got killed his soul was sent to Hell, because 1) in life he never repented of his sins and 2) the magnitude of his crimes when being alive as a human were too atrocious to grant any form of leniency to enter SS.

And, here again we enter another moral dilema, because in your previous argument you're presuming that all souls as either individual Hollows or Hollows merged into Menos are all good souls.

But, what happens if Menos- Gillian, Adjuchas, and Vasto Lorde, are composed of souls both morally good and morally evil that are mixed, fused, meshed, and intertwined all together into a single entity, and let alone that they continue to devour other souls that may be morally good or morally bad?

Don't the evil souls deserve punishment and judgement for whatever unspeakable crimes they commit when they were evil humans, too?

In menos, and even more so with the Arrancar, how can one tell if the fused entity is made up more of evil souls than good souls or viceversa?

Unless (as someone previously proposed) SS develops sort of a technology that allows them to disintegrate the Menos back into the hundreds to millions of souls they originally came to be, "killing" the Menos would as well pose another problem since Hell would also be affected as well by the excess oversaturation of evil souls, and it gets much worse because SS has absolutely no jurisdiction or inference whatsoever to monitor hell and let alone invading the Hell realm.
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Old 2016-08-14, 15:04   Link #15
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You'd think the whoever created the Shinigami system would've made it so that the personalities of Hollows were saved when they are purified? How many thousands of years of existence of SS and they haven't done this? Should we leave all those souls stuck in hollows for however centuries it takes to save each and every Adjuchas and above? That is essentially placing a value on the lives of hollows > puny humans
I'm not saying they would have, but I'm saying they could now.

Firstly, remember, the idea that Hollows can become fully fledged people is new information to Soul Society. SS knows very little about Adjuchas or Vasto Lorde prior to the events of the story, so why would they have tried? They may not even have been aware that Adjuchas and Vasto Lorde are fully fledged people, because they almost never encounter them - even encountering a Gillian is considered to be a rare event prior to canon.

Secondly, remember that SS has probably never been blessed with as many genius scientists as it has currently. Urahara, Hikifune, and Mayuri aren't just scientists, they're scientists who have all created revolutionary (and noted to be revolutionary in canon - remember, Hikifune's creation of the mod soul is considered on par with the creation of zanpakuto, it was clearly a scientific breakthrough unlike anything SS had ever seen) inventions involving Hollows, the creation of souls, and the manifestation of spirits into concrete forms.

Also, why not leave souls there until they can find a solution? You don't actually know those souls are suffering, that's something you assumed without evidence. They might be completely unaware of what's going on. What we do know is that they're not going anywhere - souls don't age, after all, they can be freed at any time.

EDIT: And another thing - SS now has its disposal more resources than it ever has. Not just those three scientists, but also it has a good relation with two Quincy, it has at least a tenuous peace with Las Noches, it has Vizards who can be studied (if they're willing), all of whom could provide different data and perspectives on the problem. SS has both an absurd concentration of genius scientists and more viewpoints, resources, and data than it has ever had before.
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Old 2016-08-14, 15:04   Link #16
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The point of my argument is basically freeing souls not the fact that they get to live cushy lives in SS but rather so they can go to SS to die there in order to reincarnate. Which being stuck inside a hollow prevents. The dominate soul of the Hollow gets to be free in a sense, but all the weaker willed souls gets the short end of the stick for as long as that hollow lives. At this point anything that dies in HM stays in HM unless directly killed by a shinigami. Their numbers constantly grow without end since most newly turned hollows don't end up in the living world preying on humans but populate HM further. HM is basically a black hole of souls so we're constantly losing totals to hollows if we just 'let 'em be'
If you can come up with a solution to the issue of overpopulation in Soul Society and how to handle the resulting massive influx of souls that would need unborn vessels to be reincarnated into from rapidly rising death rates in Soul Society, then by all means, I'd say you have a legitimate point on the matter. If they could ensure too many people getting killed in Soul Society won't be an issue without being forced to eradicate those souls from existence, then great. Eliminate all the menos. *shrugs*

edit: I liked how you referred to HM as a black hole. (Seriously.) And As f-ed up it sounds, a black hole for souls may be exactly what the Bleach Universe needs. Because the world of the living can only hold a finite amount of living souls. And apparently Soul Society is the same (just a lot larger). So it stands to reason that a realm to serve as a black hole of sorts for ageless entities may be an unfortunate necessity to keep the numbers in check.

Last edited by sayde; 2016-08-14 at 15:23.
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Old 2016-08-14, 15:22   Link #17
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PolarPew you're as well forgetting or missing another point that not all souls that are eaten by or become Hollows were morally good in their previous lives as humans.

Remember that in the universe of Bleach there's a Hell as well, and all morally evil souls go there.

An example was the Shrieker Hollow from a case before Ichigo and company went to SS to rescue Rukia; that was a story from the earliest arc of the manga at the beginning.

The soul of the Shrieker Hollow was that of serial killer who in life murdered innocent people for pleasure, and after he became a Hollow he turned into something worse resuming his murderous ways.
When Shrieker Hollow got killed his soul was sent to Hell, because 1) in life he never repented of his sins and 2) the magnitude of his crimes when being alive as a human were too atrocious to grant any form of leniency to enter SS.

And, here again we enter another moral dilema, because in your previous argument you're presuming that all souls as either individual Hollows or Hollows merged into Menos are all good souls.

But, what happens if Menos- Gillian, Adjuchas, and Vasto Lorde, are composed of souls both morally good and morally evil that are mixed, fused, meshed, and intertwined all together into a single entity, and let alone that they continue to devour other souls that may be morally good or morally bad?

Don't the evil souls deserve punishment and judgement for whatever unspeakable crimes they commit when they were evil humans, too?

In menos, and even more so with the Arrancar, how can one tell if the fused entity is made up more of evil souls than good souls or viceversa?

Unless (as someone previously proposed) SS develops sort of a technology that allows them to disintegrate the Menos back into the hundreds to millions of souls they originally came to be, "killing" the Menos would as well pose another problem since Hell would also be affected as well by the excess oversaturation of evil souls, and it gets much worse because SS has absolutely no jurisdiction or inference whatsoever to monitor hell and let alone invading the Hell realm.
I'm not quite sure you even read my posts? I never claimed the souls were good or evil. Evil souls are sent to hell, good souls go to SS. The act of purifying a hollow facilitates this process, if you don't purify the hollow then the good souls are stuck inside the hollow preventing them from reincarnating, and the evil souls stay unpunished by being stuck inside the hollow. We're not discussing good vs evil, but rather how the flow of souls is disrupted by the existence of hollows. The whole evil souls and good souls is already taken care of by the system, hollows are bypassin this

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I'm not saying they would have, but I'm saying they could now.

Firstly, remember, the idea that Hollows can become fully fledged people is new information to Soul Society. SS knows very little about Adjuchas or Vasto Lorde prior to the events of the story, so why would they have tried? They may not even have been aware that Adjuchas and Vasto Lorde are fully fledged people, because they almost never encounter them - even encountering a Gillian is considered to be a rare event prior to canon.

Secondly, remember that SS has probably never been blessed with as many genius scientists as it has currently. Urahara, Hikifune, and Mayuri aren't just scientists, they're scientists who have all created revolutionary (and noted to be revolutionary in canon - remember, Hikifune's creation of the mod soul is considered on par with the creation of zanpakuto, it was clearly a scientific breakthrough unlike anything SS had ever seen) inventions involving Hollows, the creation of souls, and the manifestation of spirits into concrete forms.

Also, why not leave souls there until they can find a solution? You don't actually know those souls are suffering, that's something you assumed without evidence. They might be completely unaware of what's going on. What we do know is that they're not going anywhere - souls don't age, after all, they can be freed at any time.

EDIT: And another thing - SS now has its disposal more resources than it ever has. Not just those three scientists, but also it has a good relation with two Quincy, it has at least a tenuous peace with Las Noches, it has Vizards who can be studied (if they're willing), all of whom could provide different data and perspectives on the problem. SS has both an absurd concentration of genius scientists and more viewpoints, resources, and data than it has ever had before.
Why leave them there even if they aren't suffering? It's like telling the soul of your mother, "hey sorry about this but since you're not even aware of your situation, you can just stay stuck in that hollow cuz I wanna deny you the chance of immediate release since the hollow that ate/ or contains you needs to be saved first"
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Old 2016-08-14, 15:33   Link #18
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Why leave them there even if they aren't suffering? It's like telling the soul of your mother, "hey sorry about this but since you're not even aware of your situation, you can just stay stuck in that hollow cuz I wanna deny you the chance of immediate release since the hollow that ate/ or contains you needs to be saved first"
Tbh, my mother has a functioning moral compass, so she would be fine with "Hey, I'd rather not murder a sapient being to free you from something that you're not even aware of, bear with us for a while while we think of a way to save everybody, including the person who through no fault of their own happens to house you."

Except, of course, I wouldn't need to tell her that. Nobody would. That's the point of someone being unaware. It makes no difference to them how long they spend in there - doubly so since all these souls are dead people, who will lose all their memories and start a new life upon being reincarnated. How long they spend there makes zero difference to them.
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Old 2016-08-14, 15:43   Link #19
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You called Gillians mindless. Which they are. Killing Gillians is okay, because they aren't sapient creatures, they're mindless animals.
INB4 the SS branch of Souls for the Ethical Treatment of Hollows...
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Old 2016-08-14, 15:47   Link #20
Polarpew
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: New York USA
Age: 25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DMurphy View Post
Tbh, my mother has a functioning moral compass, so she would be fine with "Hey, I'd rather not murder a sapient being to free you from something that you're not even aware of, bear with us for a while while we think of a way to save everybody, including the person who through no fault of their own happens to house you."

Except, of course, I wouldn't need to tell her that. Nobody would. That's the point of someone being unaware. It makes no difference to them how long they spend in there - doubly so since all these souls are dead people, who will lose all their memories and start a new life upon being reincarnated. How long they spend there makes zero difference to them.
Then there's no need to kill hollows at all I guess since in the end, it's not like those souls matter, whether to us or to them since without memories they aren't the same people even if they have the same souls. Like a mother is only worth being a mother in this life where they have memories of you, when they die then the bonds are severed completely. I suppose we should just value those that are 'alive' rather than the dead.
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