View Full Version : Ethics And Morality in One Piece (Spoilers)

Super Angillis
May 25, 2008, 01:41 PM
Given some of the conversation going on in the Chapter 500 thread I felt it would be prudent to make a thread to discuss the ethics and morality of one piece. In the opening here I'll touch on various alignments and offer up groups I think fall into them, and why, as well as discussion of what their ethics and morals equate to for the rest of the world.

One thing I see becoming very important in One Piece is the question of Law Vs Justice. I remember once hearing about college criminology classes using Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns to illistrate this point. In that we had a conflict between Batman (justice) and Superman (Law). While the two should be united, this is not always the case. In the One Piece world the corruption of the World Goverment is lessening the Justice from the law.

So Where does everyone fit in ethicly and morrally? And what does that mean for everyone else in the world?

Chaotic good- The noble Rouge type of Pirates like the Strawhats, Shanks and Whitebeard. They have their own individual moral codes, but they do care about right and wrong, and other people. The Strawhats for example haven't ever commited any acts of piracy against any innocent individuals. Nami has commited theft, but it was out of desperation, and for a good cause. The closest they've come was stealing the gold in Skypiea, and even then the Skypians didn't care and were actually chasing them to give them more gold. On the other hand they won't go out of their way to track down the original owner, or run all other the place to deal with injustice. If they run into it on their way, they'll do something, but otherwise it's just too bad. Their loyal to their friends, but not overly concerned with distant strangers. They don't care too much what others think. They move forward persuing their own goals, but do so in a way that is rather noble. Shank's crew seems to be very simeler. Whitebeards crew is a little less clear. We don't know how they treat others, but we do know that they greatly value one another as family, and that Whitebeard belives Morality is important.

Lawfull Good- The rulers of Albastia and the True Justice Marines. These are the individuals that work inside the law to benifit the people. They belive in the law, and are honestly concerned for others. On the other hand they have less freedom to persue justice, and may even be forced to simply watch, or even particicpate in injust acts due to the law. This is a problem Smoker in particular faces. Ideally the law can be changed by proper means, and made more just without throwing everything into dissarry, but if the individuals making the law are themselves corrupt, or selfish, the hands of the lawful Good may well end up tied.

Neutral- Good, bad, chaos, law, they don't care. They aren't necissarly a selfish jerk, but if it's not their problem, or it doesn't intrest them, then don't expect them to get involved. And if they do, then don't go crying if you get caught in the stampede and are crushed. If anyone in One Piece represents this alignment, it's Mihawk. He seems to only be a Warlord of the sea because it benifits him, but he doesn't care too much about it. If it'll kill his boredom he'll go after it. On the other hand he doesn't seem to be activly malicous either. He's not good or evil, he's just who he is.

Chaotic Evil- The jerks for the sake of bieng Jerks. Out to get what they want, and don't care who gets hurt. Heck hurting people may be what they want. They don't want to rule the world so much as set it on fire and dance in the flames. May be nihilsts, or just fed up with how crummy things are. May simply be greedy. The Bellamy Crew seems to fall into this catagory. They are creal and callous, but don't seems to have any further goal than self gratification. Although he worked for a Lawful Evil organization Rob Lucci falls into this catagory. All he wanted was to kill, the World Goverment let him do that.

Lawful Evil- The rules are the Rules. You don't like them tough. You have a complaint, too bad, shut up. Why do they all seem to just benifit me? That's dangerous thinking, we don't want it to spread. Better kill you and anyone you know just to be safe. These are the guys who make the rules, but unlike the lawful good, they couldn't care less about anyone else. The rules they make are soley for their own benifit, and they do so love those rules. They have power, and they will not give it up. Often they will say that what their doing is for everyone's benifit. The sad thing is that mabye it was in the beginning. Mabye they even belive it is now. But they like the way things are. It's good for them, and reform might take away some of that power. No point in giving it up to lesser biengs that won't use it properly anyways. These guys, or those who want to be them have been a lot of the villians in One Piece. The World Goverment, and several subdivisions such as the Absolute justice marines, the CP9 guys, and now the Celestial Dragon nobles. Arlong and Crocodile wanted to be this as well, but didn't get as far. You want examples of how bad this gets, look at the buster call on Ohara, or the actions of the World Nobles in Shabondy. The evil empire from Star Wars is the perfect example of this. They put the gratification of a select few above the well bieng of everone else. Sure signs of this are a corrupt nobility, and excessive force against even the slightest percived rebellion. Or just to make an example of how powerful you are. They maintain order, and will be quick to say so, and claim that anything else will be unspeakable chaos. The more unbearible their rule becomes, the more rebellion ferments, and the more they crush any potental rebellion, in an ever escalating cycle. Those seeking to overthrow them should be careful they don't end up becoming just like them should they succeed.

This is of course just my opinion of the situation. There are other points of view, and I'm sure sure that more learned individuals might do a better job examining it. However this is good food for thaought, so lets all pitch in and discuss it.

May 25, 2008, 11:21 PM
In time as we learn more of each character and group I will discuss in detail your classifications. But, for right now I don't feel we know enough about the WG or its driving force. Because in my opinion "Justice" is pretty vague and plain. I believe that some inner workings of the WG and the opinions of its members drive their law and rules at times.

Some characters with strong willed personalities may affect the decisions and choices of others, and if those people are high government officials they can alter of deviate from the law.

I feel we need to learn more back story on the foundations of the WG, and also the present ruling council of elders.

May 26, 2008, 01:45 PM
Where are Neutral Good and Neutral Evil? :)

SH seem more like Neutral Good type to me. They do follow some rules and don't always do as they please.

Super Angillis
May 26, 2008, 06:31 PM
Not that well versed in the alignments from D&D Razh. Anyways I figure the Strawhats for good because they are fairly empathic, and tend to do the right thing.

As for Why I consider the WG evil, it's because they willingly engage in acts of Genocide, and permit, or rather enable the World Nobles to get away with so much. Lets face it the only reason someone didn't lynch thier asses in Shabondey was because they don't want to get an admiral sicked on them. And because they have no fear of rebuke the World nobles are free to be a rotton as they want. You can have a group claim as much nobility about their ends as you want, but to me the means make the ends.