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 What are you? Hero, Antihero, or Vigilante?

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PostSubject: What are you? Hero, Antihero, or Vigilante?   Mon Nov 25, 2013 6:22 pm

This is the post that started it all within the RLSH community. This led to some great and insightful debates and eventually into an anthology of stories by authors which include some of the RLSH here. The book was released this weekend in Miami and the sales EXPLODED beyond anything we were expecting!

During the Miami International Book Fair, we had people from all over the world asking questions about the book, as well as the movement/sub-culture. Many of them knew nothing about RLSHs. When we told them that the anthology included stories written by, told about, and influenced by members of the sub-culture... interest was piqued and sales were made just so they could learn more.

This isn't about who is better or worst, I saw in the eyes of the children and older-people alike, that this was about 'inspiration' and 'hope'. They want to know about more heroes. They wanted a greater variety of heroes. They needed more than the ones already written in stone, such as Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, and Captain America.

They wanted the unknown ones, that fought just as hard. Some wanted to learn more about the ones that were willing to push the boundaries of law, while there was also a major group that was bold enough to approach us and ask us for the dark tales of those who would do ANYTHING to do 'good'.

Luckily, our anthology had it all and explored them all. It literally defined, the brutal comparison and the difficult choice.

Link: http://www.amazon.com/New-Legends-x2022-Anti-Hero-Vigilante/dp/0983332924/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1385419764&sr=8-8&keywords=HERO+ANTIHERO+vigilante
Link: http://www.visualadjectives.com/main/books/
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The Hero, the Antihero, and the Vigilante

 Within the world of 'Service' and the city of 'Goodness', there lies the neighborhood of, 'Intention' populated by individuals called, 'Techniques'. While the Techniques may dwell in the same locations and strive to share the same intentions for the greater good in order to serve the community and mankind alike…



…their actions are NOT the same. They are as different as the time of day and yet necessary for each day to exist and come to past.



Heroes are the bright morning that we look forward to, the sunlight on our face, the promise of something better to come, and the clarity from the dreams and nightmares from night of last. Heroes are the brunch, midday snack, and good news for the day. They're the smiles in the park and the waves to your neighbor. They're the flag streaming from the front porch and the hug of a loved one.



Antiheroes make up the sunset and the sunrise. They are the 'gray zone' between the day that leaves and the night that comes. They're the night passing into the new day promised. They're the ones that a person can point their finger at and say, there goes a hero', with as much vigor as another that is pointing their finger shouting, 'there goes a criminal!'



They're the early supper before your late-night show, your conversation about the late bills, and your hear-to-heart talk that you've been fretting to have with your loved one all day. They're your alarm ringing the next morning, your first sip of coffee, your traffic report, and your dreary ride to work. They connect the day to the night as well as the night to the day.



Vigilantes are the exhale of night which is as critical as the hero being the inhale of day. They are conversation, question, or verbal response… they exists only as the action that must be taken.



They’re vampires feeding off of the evil that they battle while cursing that same wickedness coursing through their veins. This is what makes them such a deadly tool. To understand a vigilante is to argue with another about their religion.



It does not work; for vigilantes are driven by the forces that have made them.



The night engulfed them ages ago and refused to allow them freedom from its clutch. Their road is lonely, allowing them to stop for quick breaks when the sunrise comes and the day has its chance on the playground. Vigilantes see themselves as the sand on the playground that MUST be there; for they cushion the blow when society falters.



-The Hero focuses on stopping crime first and addressing evil second while following the law.



He strives to inspire, to be accountable to those he serve, and embraces the responsibility that comes with his position. (The Superman Theory)



-The Antihero focuses on stopping crime and stopping evil alike. He is willing to bend the law to accomplish his task.



He creates apprehension and inspires those that he has served and saved directly. He lacks accountability but embraces the responsibility of his position. (The Batman Theory)



-The Vigilante focuses on stopping evil first and addressing crime second and is willing to break the law.



He is terror. He exists as the necessary evil existing to rival the evil that he combats. He is not and cares not about accountability or responsibility. This is a path that he has no choice but to travel. He is the warring angel in the bowels of hell. (The Punisher Theory)
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PostSubject: Re: What are you? Hero, Antihero, or Vigilante?   Mon Nov 25, 2013 7:17 pm

I'd say I'm more of a Hero. Depending on the situation I may miander into the Anti Hero and Vigilante realms; it would have to be pretty extreme though. I'm a utilitarian, not a deontologist. I feel sometimes the ends do justify the means and I am willing to kill if I have but I would much prefer not to.The main thing I do as a superhero is help bring out the best in people in my life; my family, my friends, my coworkers, my bosses, etc. I don't patrol though; I do whatever I can wherever I may be; wherever I walk, the people there are safer, because I am there.
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PostSubject: Re: What are you? Hero, Antihero, or Vigilante?   Mon Nov 25, 2013 7:40 pm

I think you have just raised an intriguing point. In the process of being categorized by these titles, is it possible for a RLSH to move up and down (or forward and backwards) through the different titles as they seem fit... or is it a one way street?

If a RLSH chooses to be a Hero, but bends the law, in order to set someone up that they may know to be a criminal, in order to get them off the street,... does that make them a 'temporary' Antihero with the ability to go back to being a normal Hero the very next day?

What if someone is a Hero, but goes out to kill a known serial Child-Molester just released from prison. Would that action make him a Vigilante, even if he went back to being a Hero the following day?

In other words, are these titles actually descriptions of the individual actions a RLSH take, or are they what they strive to be?

-Omen

"Heroes aren't made during good times!" - Elite Forces Division
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PostSubject: Re: What are you? Hero, Antihero, or Vigilante?   Mon Nov 25, 2013 9:10 pm

I believe in doing what is right. Sometimes doing what is right can be ugly. For example, I want to be a middle school teacher someday because I love working with kids; I feel kids are our future and by bettering them we are sfaeguarding the future; being a hero for a child is the best way to fight crime. But if a psychopath suffering from genuine mental illness kicked open the doors of my classroom and started shooting my kids I would not hesitate to draw my pistol and shoot him without even asking him to stop shooting my kids first. There are people in this world who have crossed the line between person and monster in my eyes and need to be killed. Most are mass murderers, serial killers/rapists, terrorists, and groups that force a mother to eat her own children, and some politicians who are bent on world domination; absolute conquest and abolishment of liberty and justice. Some men just want to watch the world burn. Unlike batman, I wouldn't let the joker live. But I consider myself more of a hero than a vigilante or anti hero. I'm willing to do whatever I have to in order to complete any given mission. We all have missions in life; whether we're superheroes or not. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: What are you? Hero, Antihero, or Vigilante?   Mon Nov 25, 2013 9:19 pm

In utilitarianism the moral worth of an action is only determined by it's resulting outcome. It's a type of naturalism. I tend to see things fairly black in white. I seem to have difficulty explaining my views effectively to others though.....or they understand it fine and just disagree....I like my philosophy though; it's proven the most effective based on my experiences.
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PostSubject: Re: What are you? Hero, Antihero, or Vigilante?   Tue Nov 26, 2013 6:25 pm

Im a Troll and spectator. I love watching the youtube videos, seeing all the costumes people come up with and uhh... yup.

I do occasionally pick up trash and shovel snow, prolly gonna do alot of snow shoveling this year seeing as i live in the center of town and get very bored alot, not to mention its a great cardio workout. Last year i got bored and made snowlions and all the little kids were fascinated with it as it was right next to their bus stop and right outside my window, i always heard them talking about it, so it was kinda inspiring to keep making them.
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Rook

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PostSubject: Re: What are you? Hero, Antihero, or Vigilante?   Wed Nov 27, 2013 10:52 am

Hamilton wrote:
In utilitarianism the moral worth of an action is only determined by it's resulting outcome.
So the end justifies the means?

Though I agree that it's difficult to cubbyhole human behavior, I'm more of a pragmatist (which is often indistinguishable from utilitarianism).  While pragmatism is really more of an epistemological philosophy than ethical one (i.e., Truth is not something that's absolute, but is inherent in whatever is useful.), it can be translated into behavioral decision making rather easily:

In essence, "What is most feasible in the moment that will give the most desirable outcome?"

Of course, that which define's "feasible" and "desirable" is a matter of personal interpretation and debate.

For example, this argument stream:

In general, it's more feasible to utilize an already established legal system than it is to work outside of it.  Does that make one a 'hero'?

The counterpoint is that the established system is broken and good must be accomplished independently of that system.  Few would argue that this perspective represents the vigilante mindset.  However, antiheroes go this route also.

My counterpoint to the vigilante, however, is that every system, however broken, is workable.  You just have to learn the rules and play it strategically, not unlike a good game of chess.  Is that an antihero perspective?

Thus, it seems to me that many of us, from a pragmatic perspective, act as all three of these; perhaps even simultaneously in many regards.  They do not appear to be mutually exclusive, but perhaps a continuum of perspective.

-Rook
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PostSubject: Re: What are you? Hero, Antihero, or Vigilante?   Wed Nov 27, 2013 12:18 pm

I prefer the old saying 'Live by the sword, die by the sword'
So I suppose that would make me an anti-hero/vigilante type. Although it is debatable.
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PostSubject: Re: What are you? Hero, Antihero, or Vigilante?   Wed Nov 27, 2013 2:32 pm

So, where is the line drawn on doing, 'Good' and doing what is right?
Can one flow across the scale, from Hero to Vigilante... and then from Vigilante to Hero?

In playing Devil's advocate - if a RLSH encountered a person mugging another and injected himself into the situation to protect the victim, what would that make him?

What happens when the mugger runs away and the RLSH follows, catches him, assaults him, and breaks the mugger's leg?

What of the RLSHs that records surveillance video of people?

Much of this comes down to LAW. One cannot follow the law and break the law while remaining the same... or can they? A police man, who has sworn to follow and enforce the law, who places a throw-away gun at a crime scene to make a person look guilty, is still a Police man. But is he a Hero?

If he KNEW the person was a hardened criminal and he also knew that without the gun the guy would walk out of court... was it right for him to pitch the gun on the sidewalk and blame the guy?

This would be an Antihero/Vigilante action, which excludes him from the status of Hero... or does it?
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PostSubject: Re: What are you? Hero, Antihero, or Vigilante?   Wed Nov 27, 2013 5:45 pm

I would say the cop Honesty and truth are values of mine. But, that's not to say I won't lie occasionally for the greater good. One time John Bass; a gang banging drug dealer that used to be associated with my sister came to me demanding to know where she was. He was angry and sweay and probably coming down from some drug. I automatically/instictively blurted out, "She's at four corners." She wasn't. But the Alaska State Troopers were hahaha; at work earlier that day we were patroling that area and talked with some officers we saw there; they heard of a party going on tonight and were going to break it up and nab any druggies they could find. Four Corners is the most popular party spot in the town; we were out there checking all the campfires to mae sure they weren't burning down into the ground and root systems.

John Bass went there and got himselof arrested for a year and a half, and I sincerely doubt he'll be bothering me or my family for a very long time. And the best part; he doesn't even know I did anything. To him, it was just the wrong place at the wrong time. So even if he did get out he wouldn't suspect I was the reason he got locked up. So, I prefer to not lie, but I'll lie if I think it's what's best.
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PostSubject: Re: What are you? Hero, Antihero, or Vigilante?   Wed Nov 27, 2013 5:46 pm

@Rook: I do believe the ends justify the means. Sometimes.
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PostSubject: Re: What are you? Hero, Antihero, or Vigilante?   Wed Nov 27, 2013 6:02 pm

The Trolley

A fun philosophical concept, the Trolley Theory plays with our marality when it comes to killing peopl.

Say for the first example, there are five innocent people standing on a trolley track, and a trolley is headed for straight for them, too fast to stop. The only way to save the five people is divert the trolley onto another track, but on that other track is one innocent person. Now lt's saw there's a guy down by the switch that has to mak the choice, who is going to die? Should he kill the one innocent to save others, or let five people die through inaction, and tougher still, are either options "Right" . Most can agree it would be better to save five at the cost of one, but most still have issues with it.

Now let's say the other person on the track is the Joker, and that the five people who are going to die if you don't kill joker will die. The joker is basically saying, I put those people in danger, but I shouldn't die in order to save them! Would you flip the switch and save five lives at the "cost" of killing the joker?

Now let's deal with prepunishment. Even if someone tells you they will kill; do you have the right to kill them to stop them, before they kill? They probably will kill; he said he would. Wait, probably? Well let's face it. The guy can still change his mind and may not kill any more people, but you just don't know. So you look at the trolley, and there is an innocent person on one and it's foggyon the other, but you know that sometimes there are a few people there. How to feel now? Killing one for the chance of saving others? Put's things into perspective a little.

More interesting, what if your a doctor and their are five patients who are going to die and your collegue is the only matching donor. You drug him and harvest the organs you need, killing one but saving five. What's different about this situation and the trolley? For some reason, most of us feel much less comfortable with this particular action. Trippy.
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PostSubject: Re: What are you? Hero, Antihero, or Vigilante?   Wed Nov 27, 2013 6:20 pm

In any classification, there are all kinds of problems. Where does the line get drawn, between a hill of sand and a sand-dune? What's the difference between a moon and an asteroid? When does a hero fall from grace? To answer those questions, there has to be a specific definition for one thing, and everything that falls short must by necessity fall, in gradations, on the other end of the scale... but, who decides the definition? Or, do we experience it in it's suchness, and intuitively assign it?
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PostSubject: Re: What are you? Hero, Antihero, or Vigilante?   Thu Nov 28, 2013 1:31 pm

What am i you ask?

I'm the Umbra Obscurum, He who wields the Blade of the Whirlwind, the Lightning Blade, Umbra Sine Nomine, the Shadow without name,,,

I am Dark Shadow.

Any questions?
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PostSubject: Re: What are you? Hero, Antihero, or Vigilante?   Thu Nov 28, 2013 2:40 pm

i am vigilante simply because i have no restriction. i dont go around breaking the law, but i am not afraid to and will without question if it means saving someone from harm. anti-hero is more speculative. you can't be an anti hero and not be a hero, so it is more of a sub category in my opinion. hero's abide by laws, vigilantes don't. it is a classification based on a bias view of the government. i refuse to have my actions restricted by a false sense of justice. i am justice. WE are justice!
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PostSubject: Re: What are you? Hero, Antihero, or Vigilante?   Thu Nov 28, 2013 4:30 pm

doormaster, PM'd you dude
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PostSubject: Re: What are you? Hero, Antihero, or Vigilante?   Thu Nov 28, 2013 5:10 pm

ok, got it
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PostSubject: Re: What are you? Hero, Antihero, or Vigilante?   Thu Nov 28, 2013 5:44 pm

No we are not. The Supreme Court of the United States of America is. A vigilante cannot arrest criminals and hold them accountable for their actions. He may be able to beat the snot out of him, but that's never justice. Justice is about harmony. Not bashing heads and taking names. Superheroes stand for justice. Vigilantes stand for anarchy. If you don't stand for anarchy, you shouldn't take the law into your own hands and claim yourself to be justice. Want to be one of many faces of true justice? Become a judge. I'm sure the world could always use more fair, honorable judges. But yeah....hahaha, we're not justice lol. That sounds too....batmanny. XD
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PostSubject: Re: What are you? Hero, Antihero, or Vigilante?   Thu Nov 28, 2013 11:06 pm

law does not equal justice. i have seen many cases that prove this.
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PostSubject: Re: What are you? Hero, Antihero, or Vigilante?   Sat Nov 30, 2013 4:47 am

It is often said that, Evil is a Point-of-View’. A person is not born evil, they are made evil. When it happens, one often can’t see it. This also applies to good.

Evil is selfishness at the detriment of others; also known as Wickedness.

This is VERY much different than lawlessness and chaos.

The Vigilante focuses on his self-perceived war against evil while relinquishing his hold on accountability and responsibility. It is as I wrote at the beginning of this post. Doormaster brought up an intriguing point, while also introducing something deeper to explore.

He embraced the point that he was a Vigilante and clearly stated that he refused to have his actions restricted by a false sense of justice.

Taking that into account… does that make him a villain? Should his word be taken and believed that he is out there battling evil and doing ‘Good’? Is a Vigilante, technically, a villain?

If there are RLSH Crime Fighters out there going on patrol and searching for ‘Bad Guys’ wouldn’t this very same forum be considered their own ‘backyard’? So, why wouldn’t they be all over Doormaster?

I saw that Hamilton stepped in the shed some light into the darkness of Doormaster’s statement and I thought that was pretty cool. But, how many others out there (or on here) think like that, as well as act on it?

Just reading through the forum, it seems that there are CLEARLY more self-described Antiheroes and Vigilantes, than those identifying themselves as Heroes. What does this mean to the Community and/or Movement (if one truly exists)?

How does one know what battles to fight and where, especially RLSHs?
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PostSubject: Re: What are you? Hero, Antihero, or Vigilante?   Sat Nov 30, 2013 10:07 am

i am no villain. i am no hero. i am who i am. a hero is a character that is created either through conscious or subconscious measures, then lived through. but then isnt the ego itself parallel to this?..... that is an argument for another time.... what it would mean to the community if there are law breaking hero's?.. well, what does it mean to the general population? it means people break laws. but considering law is not equivalent to justice, it doesnt necessarily make them 'evil' or 'bad' or 'negative'. those who wish to blindly follow the law should pick which ones they find most detrimental, or they may find themselves in a battle that they cannot win. being against violence and tyranny is different then being against law.
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PostSubject: Re: What are you? Hero, Antihero, or Vigilante?   Sat Nov 30, 2013 6:14 pm

Thank you for the insight, Doormaster.


Justice: the quality of being just. Lawfulness. Conformity to principle. The administering of deserved punishment or reward.

This begs me to ask, is not Justice one of the foundation components of Law?

I agree with you, in that, they are not equivalent… but my desire is to dig into the relationship of them in reference to the actions taken by individuals. It seems as though each archetype of ‘action-person’ addresses this in a different way:

-The Hero depends on Law to dispense Justice.

-The Antihero bends the Law to dispense Justice.

-The Vigilante ignores the Law to dispense Justice.

Law in itself is not ‘Good’ or Evil. Law is an agreed upon set of rules that come with benefits or punishments. It dictates Crime, not Evil. If a society states that a Crime is ‘Wrong’ and a person still carries out the Crime, does that not make them a Criminal?

We may call him a Rebel, Anarchist, Revolutionary, etc. but ultimately, what is this ‘Action-Person’?

The question becomes this, are there methods within the boundaries of Law which can achieve the same results as those taken by the Action-Person viewed as a Vigilante? If so, why would they not take that path in order to make change?

Let us ask, who truly had the greater battles in history, the ones who acted out of impulse or those who struggled to learn the system so that they could use it against itself in order to make things better?

This leads us back to the true challenge and contrast between the extremes of the Hero and Vigilante.

Martin Luther King and Osama Bin Laden both wanted change in the system and disagreed with the current state of culture and Law they lived in. Both of them used their own methods to make change. Both of them saw themselves as Heroes and doing Good through their actions.

One chose to learn the Law and to use it strengths and weaknesses to make change. It was a longer battle, but it was the method that he felt he had to use. The other chose a quicker path which was far more personal… in fact, it was SO personal, it came at the detriment of others. His actions became Wicked.   

When one disregards the Law in the pursuit of Justice, then one disregards the rights of those he thinks that he is protecting. If you remove Law from Justice then you are led into chaos, misunderstanding, and the classic, judge-jury-and-execution syndrome. If you remove Justice from Law then you are led into oppression, tyranny, and corruption. They both need each other as much as an inhale needs and exhale, which is what was stated in the Anthology..

Without either one, there is only death.

 
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PostSubject: Re: What are you? Hero, Antihero, or Vigilante?   Sat Nov 30, 2013 7:37 pm

lawfulness in that context really means to have honor and honesty. it has nothing to do with our current law system. and you are implying that all vigilante's are irrational? that would mean that i am............... look at ninja. they are a typical vigilante type who fought many well planned and successful battles. i would hardly call them irrational.
in this world safety is a false word. an illusion. no one is safe. even behind the thickest walls of the hardest metal and rock, for rocks crack and metal corrodes. if you follow laws set out for you you are promised safety. but this is false. that is why i don't follow laws. it doesn't mean that i kill. it means quite the opposite in most cases. think about being ordered to do harm by a corrupted superior, who is more likely to accept?
rules are different. much more raw and less restrictive.
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PostSubject: Re: What are you? Hero, Antihero, or Vigilante?   Sat Nov 30, 2013 10:16 pm

Ninjas weren't vigilantes. They were mercenaries. Hired guns, and were seen as dishonorable because they fought dirty 

I find the concept if vigilantism rather weak because it shows you only know violence,  and can't work in any other fashion.

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PostSubject: Re: What are you? Hero, Antihero, or Vigilante?   Sat Nov 30, 2013 11:00 pm

if you find our current law system in right order than i disagree with you. if you don't than i agree with you. whether that makes me a vigilante i don't know. i am lawful in many ways, am honorable and also honest. if the label vigilante instantly makes someone non-cooperative and violent then i suppose i am not one. i would only break the law if it meant saving someone or myself, as i stated in my earlier reply.
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