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Are Sith really evil?

ZanyaCross's Avatar

03.09.2016 , 09:12 PM | #991
Quote: Originally Posted by cool-dude View Post
I always took the Sith code as telling you to be the best. Nothing in there about killing entire villages for no reason.
The problem is that mercy is seen by the Sith as weakness, and we all know what happens to a Sith who is perceived as being weak, even for a moment.

Aeneas_Falco's Avatar

03.10.2016 , 04:40 AM | #992
When Lucas created The Force he basically made opposing schools of magic out of Good and Evil. The names he used for the two sides of The Force even suggest it. (Light and Dark)

So this thread is asking if an order of warrior-monks devoted to the power of Evil, are Evil.

SWTOR might mix things up a bit by allowing for Jedi who've fallen to the dark side, or Sith who lean light side, but that doesn't change that as a whole the Jedi are devoted to the light side of the force (the spectrum of the Force that embodies all that is righteous) and the Sith devoted to the dark side of the Force. (the side of the Force that embodies all that is wicked or villainous). Dark side Jedi and light side Sith are both viewed as something akin to apostates by their respective orders, and are outliers that have deviated sharply from their respective order's core teachings.

JannusFex's Avatar

11.15.2016 , 09:21 AM | #993
Quote: Originally Posted by ZanyaCross View Post
...and we all know what happens to a Sith who is perceived as being weak, even for a moment.
That in and of itself is a weakling's thought. A truly powerful Sith wouldn't care about "political correctness" and would act mercifully whenever he/she feels like it. After all, "feeling" is the main source of power, right?
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Deshiel's Avatar

11.15.2016 , 12:15 PM | #994
I say its up to the individuals how they follow the sith code.

The original sith code wasn't meant to be a tutorial on how to conquer worlds and fight jedi. It was meant to be a path of freedom to those force users who didn't want to live like monks.

Yet the sith used it for nothing but a history of violence and became branded as Evil from the beginning to the end.

If star wars was real life ( ) it would be much more complicated. Swtor actualy tried to make the sith more realistic if you pay attention to the ingame lore from codexes and some quests.

In real life cops are supposed to be good right? But they can be evil too. But since they are practicaly good faction, the faction remains good and they try to eliminate the evil cops inside.

The sith are like gangsters, they are an evil faction. Everyone inside is expected to be evil. But even gangsters have good gangsters and just like with the cops, the gangsters try to remain evil and they purge the good gansters whenever they find em.

So an individual sith can be good, but since his faction is evil he has like three options "fall in line" and become evil too "fight it" and stay true to himself/herself or leave before he/she gets killed

Our character in swtor is always an exception because no matter which story you play you become too important to the cause that neither the Republic or the Empire dares to eliminate you if you posses the other alligment

Rolodome's Avatar

11.15.2016 , 03:28 PM | #995
In SWTOR lore, yes. Their code basically believes in no mercy and culling the weak. It was probably inspired by the lore of the Spartans.

Modern day, we consider philosophies about no mercy and culling the weak to be morally repugnant. And we have plenty of tools to help the "weak" become strong without beating the **** out of each other, so it makes no sense for us to rely on such dark ages nonsense. Nor does it make sense for the Sith to rely on it, in a magical space sci-fi, where people can pop kolto for healing.

The aim of the Sith is essentially a "for the better of humanity, the strongest survive" gospel, but it's easily torn into rubble by the reality that Sith use tricks to gain power all the time and few of them actually believe in dying or subjugating themselves if they are shown to be weaker than another. And because power is something that easily corrupts people, the Sith are infinitely more corruptible than, say, the Jedi, who believe in meditating rather than ordering people around.

I mean, if you could walk into a secure military base and laugh as missiles fell against a force shield that you summoned forth from your fingertips, you'd probably get a little power crazy too. Being mortal is humbling, but having god-like powers mixed with valuing strength and power over all else is a recipe for disaster.
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Celise's Avatar

11.15.2016 , 04:24 PM | #996
Are Sith really Evil?

It depends on the goal and the type of sith and the outcome and if it met expectations.

for example a fat sith lord with a full face mask orders you to cut down rioting slavers for his own needs, a sith would cut down the slavers as expected.

however there could be additional circumstances:

the sith sent to kill the slavers could of had the threat of death on himself for failure to heed the instructions, in which case that sith was only doing it to save his master and himself.

the slavers already had a bounty against them. in which case if the sith didn't do it, eventually someone somewhere will eventually kill the slavers.

the slavers did unimaginable evil themselves that surpassed anything a truly depraved sith could ever do. but is killing them a bad action? because they are only intent on killing and they have no intention of stopping, so really massacring them is actually a good thing by taking the greater of two evils down.

finally what if expectations were not met? what if there were mitigating circumstances that meant that the sith ended up in an even bigger bloodbath than expected because the slavers wanted it that way and gave the sith little choice in the direction to take?

each actions needs to be looked at and properly analyzed before just saying that a sith is just evil for the hell of it.

not every jedi is inherently light side, certain jedi can out right refuse to aid in the struggle of another because circumstance makes it impossible as far as they can see. worse, they don't even try to find out where as another jedi would do so. an example would be a jedi council member, more interested in delegating than doing good.

Stultophobe's Avatar

11.16.2016 , 07:01 PM | #997
Quote: Originally Posted by Ziggoratt View Post
I've seen this topic come up a number of times, and it's gotten me to thinking: Are the Sith really a truly evil organization, or are they just completely misrepresented by people like Palpatine?

I'll start this off by presenting my own opinion on the matter. I personally believe the Sith to be a morally-neutral organization, one that has a select few bad seeds scattered here and there. The Sith use passion and emotion as conduits of the Force, as opposed to the Jedi, who use Inner Peace instead. The Jedi recognize that there are areas of the Force that cannot truly be understood or entirely controlled... Areas that they dare not access. Therefore, they practice restraint, dubbing this unexplored territory the "Dark Side" of the Force, and condemning any and all practitioners of its arts.

Now, this next part is what really sells me to the Sith... The Jedi detested Dark Side users do much that they hunted them to near extinction, in a manner quite similar to the Crusades. The Jedi hold themselves on a mantle above the Sith, declaring themselves "Good" and their enemies "Evil." But I now present to you the question... Are the Jedi truly good? And are the Sith, by extension, evil? Let's look at the facts.

1. The Jedi cut themselves off from all physical attachment, considering emotion and attachment dangerous and dark. But last I checked, wasn't love a good thing? The same goes for joy, attachment, and many forms of passion. Take the love and attachment of a mother and child, for instance. What could be more good and pure than a love such as this? Yet the Jedi's principles condemn such a love, seeing it as a lure for the forces that they don't understand (AKA, the Dark Side)
2. The Jedi are hypocrites to their own code. They condemn pride, yet declare themselves the single good, holy force in the galaxy, and condemn their opponents as evil. Is such a declaration not prideful?
3. As Yoda himself stated in the novel-version of Revenge of the Sith, the Jedi's downfall came about because they stayed true to their old ways, while the Sith embraced change and adapted to a growing universe, taking on new ways and adapting to be as versatile as possible.

1. The Sith embrace all emotions and physical affection, seeing passion as a powerful and wonderful thing. Yes, they wield Hatred, Anger, and Fear as blunt tools to master the Force, but they can also use positive emotions, such as Love, Joy, and Attachment, to wield the same powers and abilities.
2. Many look down on the Sith, seeing only individuals such as Palpatine or Malgus as representatives of the entire organization. Yes, some who wield the Dark Side of the force delve into the wrong areas, and become corrupted by it's unconteollable power.. But it seems that these individuals have cast a dark light over the entire Sith organization. Not all Sith are necessarily evil.
3. They have lightning.

All in all, I believe that the Sith are the true gems of the galaxy. What do you think?
As an organization, from a Western moral standpoint, the Sith are evil. Through and through. I will not debate this.

At the same time, there's nothing in your post that it necessarily incorrect, and I would agree that the Jedi Order along with the Republic have been complicit in genocides and numerous crimes the galaxy-over. Belsavis, for instance, where Republic scientists conduct racist and barbaric experiments against alien prisoners. The Jedi Civil War, where the Jedi Council resigned the Order to hypocritical pacifism as Mandalore the Ultimate conquered and slaughtered countless innocents in a crusade of glory and bloodlust (origins of Revan). And yes, as you noted, the Great Hyperspace War -- where the Jedi and Republic attempted genocide against the Sith (inspiration for Revan's droid army specifically programmed to terminate any organic being with "Sith genetic material", 98% of the Imperial population -- another ploy in which the Republic and Jedi were complicit).

It is repeatedly expressed throughout Star Wars Legends that the source of the Sith's utter contempt for the Jedi originates with the closing events of the Great Hyperspace War. The galaxy, I suspect, would be a very different place had the Republic negotiated terms of surrender with the defeated Sith Empire. Sith respect strength, and the Republic had proven theirs. However, memories of genocide echo through generations; this is what fueled Vitiate's rise to power.

So yes, the Sith's hatred does have historical precedence. And yes, it is a potential point of sympathy. To the Sith, the Republic and Jedi are an existential threat, and they have a score to settle.

I won't make the case for how the Sith Order and the Empire are evil. Personally, I don't tend to think in terms of "good" and "evil" (having read Nietzsche). But as I stated, for the purposes of this conversation, the Sith Order is evil (slavery, racism, torture, subjugation, oppression, etc.). But we have to remember, as a logical axiom, that individuals are not necessarily defined by the collective. And so we must ask: what defines a Sith?

A Sith is most clearly any Force-sensitive being who contemplates, subscribes to, and acts in accordance with the Sith Code. (Traditionally, a Sith would also be trained in the art of lightsaber combat.) Yes, the Sith have their roots in heredity and tradition, and this plays a greater or lesser role depending on the time period we're discussing, but this is largely irrelevant to the point I'm about to make.

The Sith Code

Peace is a lie, there is only passion. Through passion I/we gain strength. Through strength I/we gain power. Through power I/we gain victory. Through victory, my/our chains are broken. The Force shall set me/us free!

What is inherently evil about Passion? Nothing.
What is inherently evil about Strength? Nothing.
What is inherently evil about Power? Nothing.
What is inherently evil about Victory? Nothing.
What is inherently evil about Freedom? ...Nothing.

What matters are the choices a Sith makes, and how those choices are informed by the Code. Do you kill a foe in cold blood, or offer mercy in exchange for his loyalty? The Sith Code offers no definite answer to this situation. Both paths are viable. And yet, could it not be through Strength that a Sith shows mercy, and could this not add to his Power? (Without spoilers) Recall Lord Rathari in the Sith Warrior story. If you spared him, you will understand my reasoning.

Is peace a lie? Philosophically speaking, perhaps. Peace is an illusion. Worse, a self-delusion. Peace is stagnation. When one is at peace, one has no incentive to grow; to evolve; to become more.

"Conflict forces one to better oneself. It forces change, growth, adaption, evolutionů or death." ―Yuthura Ban

Indeed, there is only passion. For what compels men to action other than passion? The Jedi are hypocrites. To be emotionless is to be passionless, and to be passionless is to be a nihilist of the truest form. How can a Jedi claim his values are true and just while proclaiming "there is no emotion"? One cannot VALUE without emotion! The true Jedi must admit and believe that truth, knowledge and justice are of equal value as falseness, ignorance and injustice.

"A single, unifying code can be derived from the Sith philosophy. The Jedi have a code, and we exiles know it well. But we also know it is full of inadequacies and half-truths." ―Sorzus Syn

...Or in the words of the Empire's Wrath, "The entire [Jedi] Order is mired in falseness."

No, there is nothing inherently evil about the Sith. Moreover, their philosophy is superior to that of the Jedi -- as the Jedi Code is rooted in cognitive dissonance.

So why are there so many "evil" Sith tromping around the galaxy murdering everything with a heartbeat, you ask?

Two reasons:

I. Culture & Institution

The current incarnation of the Sith Order is rooted in the teachings of the restored Sith Academy on Korriban. These teachings are those passed down by ancient Sith Lords, canonized by the modern Sith intellectual aristocracy, and enforced through overseers and instructors. However, adhering to these teachings only initiates one into the Sith Order -- they do not make one a SITH. And to the question, many of these teachings are precisely to blame for the "evil" within the Sith Order and the Empire by extension.

II. Control & The Dark Side

Simply put, it takes equal if not greater strength and self-control to control the Dark Side of the Force than it does the Light Side, at least for most humanoid species with naturally aggressive instincts. Weak-willed individuals may use the Dark Side of the Force, but they will not control it; rather, it will control them. They will succumb to those primal emotions from which the Dark Side feeds and be reduced to their base nature of impulse savagery and aggression. The power of the Dark Side becomes a drug. It becomes the end, not the means. These individuals will never achieve freedom, for they are enslaved in a most ironic fashion. The strong-willed Sith does not sacrifice his sanity. He understands that the Dark Side is a tool, but also a creature to be tamed. But the Korriban Academy does not produce strong-willed individuals, rather it produces hedonists, schemers and brutes. Again, a flaw of the Institution of the Sith rather than the Sith as an ideal. (As a tangent, it is the difference between these two types of people what determines whether one is susceptible to the Jedi Mind Trick/Force Persuasion or resistant to its influence.)

Of course, a strong-willed Sith like Darth Baras is still "evil", but he is the exception here; and again, a reflection of the Culture of the Sith. Machiavelli, of course, was as sane a man as Leonardo da Vinci. Darth Marr is also strong-willed, yet Darth Marr is driven by PRINCIPLE, not mere hedonistic hunger for power.

On a personal note, I would consider Darth Marr to be Nietzsche's equivalent to the ▄bermensch for the Sith. In my opinion, Marr (and a certain playstyle of the Sith Warrior) embodies everything that makes the Sith unique and superior. If the Korriban Academy produced more Sith like Darth Marr, the Empire would know total victory.

Addressing the Dark Side of the Force

The Dark Side, simply defined, is that knowledge of the Force forbidden by the Jedi. Ancient Jedi and Sith described the dualistic nature of the Force as the "Bogan" (Dark Side) and the "Ashla" (Light Side). But the Force is a physical phenomenon, and such things in and of themselves are neither good nor evil in the same way that gravity is neither good nor evil. Good and evil are defined in terms of ACTION, of INTENT; these things being the concern of sentient beings, not nature itself.

So the question becomes what emotions the Dark Side feeds on, the actions those emotions inform, and the context in which those actions are taken. THIS determines "good" and "evil", not simply use of the Bogan. The Dark Side is a tool, nothing more. Tools are neither good nor evil, it is how one uses them. Is a hammer evil? No. Is a hammer evil if it is used for murder? No. It is he who wields the hammer.

"It is our goal to be stronger, to achieve our potential and not rest upon our laurels. We are the seekers, not the shepherds." ―Yuthura Ban