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New morality starting episode 4

edited September 2012 in The Walking Dead
Episodes 1-3 killed people regardless of whether they were selfish, selfless, good, bad, whatever. The message is that humanity's morality and social contract is now irrelevant because it's unable to deal with the zombie apocalypse.

So, I think episode 4 should start developing what morality means in The Walking Dead and distancing itself from real world morality. I don't want the writers to expect people to feel bad or good about things based on real world morality, but instead based on whether those things are moral in The Walking Dead.

What will the new morality look like? I think it is now moral to mercifully kill someone as soon as they are too weak to continue and to take their stuff. It is moral to take unattended stuff to strengthen yourself and those around you. It is moral to leave people behind if they are wounded and there isn't time to kill them. Giving resources to a dying Duck (for example) is immoral, whereas killing him quickly and mercifully is moral.

I'm curious what people think about honesty. Is honesty still moral?

It seems like morality is whatever keeps you strong ... and keeps others strong, so long as it doesn't endanger you. So ... backstabbing others may or may not be moral based on the situation. Telling the truth so that people trust you and work better with you is moral, but lying to them so that they don't throw you out of the group is also moral. The result, more than the action or intent, determine morality in The Walking Dead.

Comments

  • edited September 2012
    everything is judged by the context it is in, morality doesn't change
  • edited September 2012
    Everybodys morals are different, I see most everything you said as bad morals, though.
  • edited September 2012
    there wasn't a morality system in the last 3 episodes or if there was one at least my lee doesn't have his red eyes yet
  • edited September 2012
    Why do you think morality doesn't change? The basis of morality is what's good for society in the long run. If people stay with their old morality, they will simply die.

    However, this is not to say that there should be no morality. There should be a new morality that lets people survive as best as they can for as long as they can. (How does taking food from other people to give to a dying Duck help people survive? How does staying at the pharmacy looking for pills long enough for the zombies to attack and kill someone help the group survive? How does taking care of children or injured help the group survive?)

    I think the morals I suggested are good ones for The Walking Dead. When injured, moral people should want to be killed as quickly as possible, with wasting as few resources as possible. Taking up resources kills other people, which is wrong. Injured people who are truly moral should even volunteer as bait to distract zombies, because it helps others survive. It is selfish and wrong to waste a bullet to die without saving anyone else (unless they are too weak, like with Duck). When items are unattended, moral people should take them and be grateful that those items will help them survive longer.

    However, it remains immoral to kill people for no reason or to take stuff that is attended. That hurts the survival of other people.

    To answer my own question, honesty is probably more moral than lies. In episode 3, people died because Ben kept secrets and gave away stuff.

    For the farm in episode 2, it was immoral because the farmers lied to people, which resulted in deaths. I think it would have been moral if the farm had offered to let the group stay if they agreed to become cannibals and eat whoever became weak or sick. This is why, as Lee, I had no problem killing everyone on the farm. Those farmers were an immoral threat to the survival of other people.

    Again, I'm not talking about real world morality. I'm trying to explore what morality means in The Walking Dead, where everyone is guaranteed to die, and the only question is how long they can survive.
  • edited September 2012
    IndigoHawk wrote: »
    Why do you think morality doesn't change? The basis of morality is what's good for society in the long run.

    Says who?
  • edited September 2012
    IndigoHawk wrote: »
    Why do you think morality doesn't change? The basis of morality is what's good for society in the long run.

    No. It would be, for example, "good for a society in the long run" to forcibly euthanize all people with serious genetic diseases. But it isn't a moral action.
  • edited September 2012
    it is not always morally wrong to lie, that is what i mean by context, is is morally wrong to tell a child they were great in the play that they just performed in, even though you truthfully you thought they were the worst part? no it isnt.
    that is what i mean when i say morality is judged by the context it is in
  • edited September 2012
    morality in twd universe changes very quickly, from you dont kill the living. period. to protect yours and yours alone at all costs, suspect everyone, do what you gotta do to protect your own.

    unfortunately as stated above the first thing to go is morality ibecause we dont always have the convienence of morality in a survivalist world. Essentially human beings in the walking dead go from being top of the food chain, to pretty much the bottom rung, everything wants to get you either for sustainance... or for your supplies. Its not like you see a deer being moral towards squirrels or other deer if its gotta eat, or get away. If in the same scenario most people go against morality if it means their survival/well being, and deal with the emotional fall out afterwards. Thats why its so interesting to watch them struggle and slip and fall deeper and deeper into what theyre comfortable with.
  • edited September 2012
    Oh, I guess people don't agree that morality is based on what's good for society in the long run.

    If people turned into zombies at the age of 30, then it would be moral euthanize people before then. Otherwise society would be wiped out. If people died at 15, it would be moral to have sex and children as soon as physically possible. If society was going to last generations, then morality would be geared around getting along for a long time and letting people mature before putting too much stress on them. If society wasn't expected to last more than a few years (like in The Walking Dead), then morality would try to survive as long as possible, knowing that there will probably not be another generation of people.

    I thought it was too obvious to argue that morality is based on context and the good of society, but I suppose if people don't agree with that, then they can't talk about what morality means in The Walking Dead.
  • edited September 2012
    "Principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior/Behavior as it is affected by the observation of these principles."
    That is the definition of Morals, Everyones distinction between the two, being right and wrong, are different, it is based on how you were raised, what happened to you in that time, and just how you see things, on what you think is right or wrong. there are also Religious morals but that is a completely different story. the Morals of Society would in all technicality be the law, No? so everyone who doesn't abide by the law in the walking dead has bad societarial morals.

    As for the real reason I came here, alot of people play this game as if they were the character, doing what they would do, so Real Life morals kind of plays a Big part in it, not a set survival code like your sayin', but i'm sure if the walking dead was real and you went by your code, you'd be pretty cold and some people might call you heartless, but you'd probably survive longer than the ones who told you that.
    IndigoHawk wrote: »
    Oh, I guess people don't agree that morality is based on what's good for society in the long run.

    Although that would make the world alot better economically and the such, Morality isn't really based on anything except what your parents teach you or you learn yourself, to be simple about it.
    Or really I guess it could have been based on whats good for society further down the line, but thats different because this is only a couple months in, not long enough for the morals of society to just crumble and change, as for the comics, I haven't read them so I don't know about them.
  • edited September 2012
    IndigoHawk wrote: »
    Episodes 1-3 killed people regardless of whether they were selfish, selfless, good, bad, whatever. The message is that humanity's morality and social contract is now irrelevant because it's unable to deal with the zombie apocalypse.

    So, I think episode 4 should start developing what morality means in The Walking Dead and distancing itself from real world morality. I don't want the writers to expect people to feel bad or good about things based on real world morality, but instead based on whether those things are moral in The Walking Dead.

    What will the new morality look like? I think it is now moral to mercifully kill someone as soon as they are too weak to continue and to take their stuff. It is moral to take unattended stuff to strengthen yourself and those around you. It is moral to leave people behind if they are wounded and there isn't time to kill them. Giving resources to a dying Duck (for example) is immoral, whereas killing him quickly and mercifully is moral.

    I'm curious what people think about honesty. Is honesty still moral?

    It seems like morality is whatever keeps you strong ... and keeps others strong, so long as it doesn't endanger you. So ... backstabbing others may or may not be moral based on the situation. Telling the truth so that people trust you and work better with you is moral, but lying to them so that they don't throw you out of the group is also moral. The result, more than the action or intent, determine morality in The Walking Dead.

    In my opinion you are totally right. The playing field has changed and so must our moral code. Be prepared to be flamed for your rational thinking as people cant seem to flip that switch between our
    current world- where goods and resources are still being produced and a law enforcement system is still in place.
    and one without- Remove the existence of these two factors; sprinkle in a few million dead people walking around and the rest of humanity fighting for whats left of whatever resources are still available...whole new world.
    New world + old rules = dead man.
  • edited September 2012
    Lol, there is no morality any more. Episode 3 proved that. It would need to be a great, big, emotional decision that "brought back" my morality again.
  • edited September 2012
    No Zerius I think you're right in that there is no morality. I'll go so far as to say the fear of imprisonment is probably the greatest enforcer of any shared-morality code in a society. When that goes, in comes the Wild West
    Peace through superior firepower; biggest gun sets the moral standard, etc etc
  • edited September 2012
    IndigoHawk wrote: »
    Oh, I guess people don't agree that morality is based on what's good for society in the long run.

    If people turned into zombies at the age of 30, then it would be moral euthanize people before then. Otherwise society would be wiped out. If people died at 15, it would be moral to have sex and children as soon as physically possible. If society was going to last generations, then morality would be geared around getting along for a long time and letting people mature before putting too much stress on them. If society wasn't expected to last more than a few years (like in The Walking Dead), then morality would try to survive as long as possible, knowing that there will probably not be another generation of people.

    I thought it was too obvious to argue that morality is based on context and the good of society, but I suppose if people don't agree with that, then they can't talk about what morality means in The Walking Dead.

    That is an excellent argument, very well put.
  • edited September 2012
    As for the real reason I came here, alot of people play this game as if they were the character, doing what they would do, so Real Life morals kind of plays a Big part in it, not a set survival code like your sayin', but i'm sure if the walking dead was real and you went by your code, you'd be pretty cold and some people might call you heartless, but you'd probably survive longer than the ones who told you that..

    Playing with 'real life morals' in this setting will get you killed fast. Survival is the name of the game, the ones who consider this heartless wont have to worry for long, they'll most likely be the first ones to drop as they clutch to their old world beliefs.
    Zhombre wrote: »
    morality in twd universe changes very quickly, from you dont kill the living. period. to protect yours and yours alone at all costs, suspect everyone, do what you gotta do to protect your own.
    I think in TWD it's always been the last option- but like above, some accept it quicker than others.
  • edited September 2012
    Xarne wrote: »
    Playing with 'real life morals' in this setting will get you killed fast. Survival is the name of the game, the ones who consider this heartless wont have to worry for long, they'll most likely be the first ones to drop as they clutch to their old world beliefs.

    I kind of said he would have survived longer than the others, And the ones playing with "Real Life morals" are at the same point you are.
  • edited September 2012
    I bet a lot of people came into this game thinking they were going to be playing some wacky, zany adventure in the woods with zombies. Bonding, deep conversations, fighting the good fight, etc...except their friend just got killed, now 'this game sucks!' lol, its all over the boards
  • edited September 2012
    Zeruis wrote: »
    Lol, there is no morality any more. Episode 3 proved that. It would need to be a great, big, emotional decision that "brought back" my morality again.

    True, morality in a functional socity are a matter of personal prefrence and our world view point, however when the fudge cake hits the fan all morals go out the window, I'm not saying everyone will go bat flip crazy but in my playthrough Lee only killed walkers in episode 1-2 but in three you could say he killed more than Rambo did on his little boat.
  • edited September 2012
    it is not always morally wrong to lie, that is what i mean by context, is is morally wrong to tell a child they were great in the play that they just performed in, even though you truthfully you thought they were the worst part? no it isnt.
    that is what i mean when i say morality is judged by the context it is in

    Everything is relative. Is murder wrong? Yes. Is it wrong to murder a man that intends to kill your family? No. Is stealing wrong? Yes. Is it wrong to steal bread to feed a starving child? No. These of course only my beliefs, but you get my point, even an immoral act can be morally right under certain circumstances.
  • edited September 2012
    Posted by member of the Telltale team in another thread:
    bubbledncr wrote: »
    If we were testing how you were able to survive a zombie apocalypse, that would mean that in every moment you were presented a choice, that there is a right and wrong choice. What would we base that on? What's morally right, or best for survival? But you'll find people won't even agree on what's "morally correct" a lot of the time, because everyone has their own set of morals.

    Morality is always flexible, depending on what you feel compelled to justify.
  • edited September 2012
    Is stealing wrong? Yes. Is it wrong to steal bread to feed a starving child? No. These of course only my beliefs, but you get my point, even an immoral act can be morally right under certain circumstances.

    No, it's still wrong to steal to feed a starving child.
    It may make your actions justifiable but doesnt negate them from being wrong.
This discussion has been closed.