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The Measure Of A Man

white avenger

white avenger
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This thread is inspired by the "Star Trek: The Next Generation" Season 2 Episode 9 "Measure Of A Man," in which there is a trial to determine whether or not the android, Data, is a "person," with rights, or a machine. So, my question here is, are demons/vampires "people." (for the sake of this argument, "people" and "humans" are not necessarily the same thing) or, as one of Riley's colleagues said in Season 4, just animals?
 

Ethan Reigns

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Sineya
I would rather have Clem over to my house than 90% of the people I know. I think people have an inflated idea of their own value.
 

Geobubbles

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Black Thorn
There are a handful of Demons and Vampires (well like 2 vampires) that are decent and lovely people, Clem being an example as well as Doyle, Lorne etc. But then there are some that are naturally evil, same as humans can be or can be led to become. I feel like you can't put all of them into one category, not everything is black and white :)
 

GraceK

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There are plenty of demons in the buffyyerse that are not evil...with hobbies, interests and feelings. So yes, I think demons are people, and just like humans, some are bad and some are good.

Vampires? Not so much. According to the canon of the show, vampires are just legitimately evil. Hobbies , interests and "feelings " aside, they are still evil and love to kill.If they weren't , there would be a hell of a moral quandary in regards to the Slayer. Ensouled Vampires -people. Regular vampires -not people. That's my view on it anyway :)
 

thrasherpix

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Just me personally, if a person can take part in society then they are people (and if you treat people as monsters then they'll likely act as monsters, if not for revenge then for survival, and at the same time, incorporating demons/mutants into society can be used against those demons/mutants that refuse to take part, that is they can be allies instead of enemies). This means a certain amount of self-control and general responsibility, of course, but I expect the same of humans that are allowed to direct their own lives (preferably with paying taxes, owning property, having one's own accounts, and things like that, though technically even plenty of humans would fail to be people if they were measured by that standard, and I wouldn't want to hold anyone else to higher standards). Many demons, and even some vampires (who see a point in playing by the rules for the sake of having an easier life, even if they lack a conscience), could do that. That makes them people to me.

Of course if they scorn the opportunity to join with society, seeing humans as just prey and livestock who have no more respect for us than a hunter does for the potentially dangerous animals he hunts, then to hell with them. But ideally I mean by individuals rather than class (unless they have a hive mind or some such). Unfortunately, if demons who refuse to join society are allowed to be hunted down like rabid dogs then plenty of humans (as bad as demons) would target the good (or at least civilized) with the bad, so some sort of protocols would have to be in place to prevent that kind of abuse.

It might be worth noting that I have a pretty cynical view of humanity, btw, and don't think many demons are that much worse than humans...and if humans were not allowed to take part in society then our kind would become demonic itself.
 

GraceK

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Just me personally, if a person can take part in society then they are people (and if you treat people as monsters then they'll likely act as monsters, if not for revenge then for survival, and at the same time, incorporating demons/mutants into society can be used against those demons/mutants that refuse to take part, that is they can be allies instead of enemies). This means a certain amount of self-control and general responsibility, of course, but I expect the same of humans that are allowed to direct their own lives (preferably with paying taxes, owning property, having one's own accounts, and things like that, though technically even plenty of humans would fail to be people if they were measured by that standard, and I wouldn't want to hold anyone else to higher standards). Many demons, and even some vampires (who see a point in playing by the rules for the sake of having an easier life, even if they lack a conscience), could do that. That makes them people to me.

Of course if they scorn the opportunity to join with society, seeing humans as just prey and livestock who have no more respect for us than a hunter does for the potentially dangerous animals he hunts, then to hell with them. But ideally I mean by individuals rather than class (unless they have a hive mind or some such). Unfortunately, if demons who refuse to join society are allowed to be hunted down like rabid dogs then plenty of humans (as bad as demons) would target the good (or at least civilized) with the bad, so some sort of protocols would have to be in place to prevent that kind of abuse.

It might be worth noting that I have a pretty cynical view of humanity, btw, and don't think many demons are that much worse than humans...and if humans were not allowed to take part in society then our kind would become demonic itself.

I have to say this one of the most interesting viewpoints. :) I think I agree with you! :)
 

thetopher

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Vampires and demons are animals in the sense that they have patterns of behavior that conform to certain species 'archetypes'. There are various mystical texts that state that 'this demon does this, that demon does that, this species eats this, these vampires worship this, all vampires do this/fear this', etc.
Unlike the teeming masses of humanity you can pretty much judge one individual demon/vampire just like any other of their ilk- because that's mostly what we see.

There are exceptions of course; Angel for one (reason: he has a soul and therefore can choose not to conform to the behavioral patterns of other vampires- wanton killing for example).
Another would be the demon that Angel killed in S2 'Judgement', an atypical example of his fierce warrior-like species (he seemed to be into meditation and warrior codes and stuff. I wish we'd learned a bit more). But Wesley says that this is exceptionally rare.

Another example; Lorne, a fairly harmless and atypical of his (extra-dimensional) species; not really a warrior, a sensitive soul with a love of music, completely unlike all the other members of his species that we see (warriors and slave owners and the like).

So I would say no, demons and vampires are not people n the sense that every one is unique. A fire demon is a fire demon and so Buffy or Angel can slay it safe in the knowledge that- most likely- it is like every other fire demon that ever existed. Presumably dangerous.
Just like- if their is a peaceful species of demon then- presumably- all these demons will be peaceful.

You can't make those same assumptions with human people, that's called prejudice.
 
GraceK
GraceK
Love this! This thread just keeps getting more and more interesting

DeadlyDuo

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I think demons and vampires could be considered people within reason if they engage in human behaviour eg vampires talk, socialise, run errands etc. The likes of Lorne and vengeance demons talk, socialise, run errands etc. They have their own societal rules and hierarchy (which doesn't always coexist with human societal rules eg killing for food) but they have human intellect, they are not some mindless monsters. They are capable of emotion. In my mind, that elevates them above "animals".

There are some demons who can be considered "animals" eg the spider demons, the snake demon that was going to eat the babies in Band Candy, etc. They have no intellect they're just mindless beasts.
 

white avenger

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if a person can take part in society then they are people

But, by that logic, a hermit is an animal, and a colony of ants are people. As for a sense of individuality, all animals have unique personalities, even if those personalities remain unique to their particular species. Any demon or vampire that was more than just the equivalent of cannon fodder in the Buffyverse was shown to have a unique personality and self awareness.
 

thrasherpix

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^^

I said "CAN take part," not "DOES."

And I meant human society, not any type of animal organization. An ant can't make make moral and ethical choices or practice self-restraint that allows them to take part in human society, nor can they communicate with us in any meaningful way. If you want to poke holes in my logic then you're better off pointing out that plenty of demons have their own society (some very similar to plenty of human societies), whatever they may think of humans.
 

white avenger

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^^



And I meant human society, not any type of animal organization. An ant can't make make moral and ethical choices or practice self-restraint that allows them to take part in human society, nor can they communicate with us in any meaningful way. If you want to poke holes in my logic then you're better off pointing out that plenty of demons have their own society (some very similar to plenty of human societies), whatever they may think of humans.

It wasn't my intention to poke holes in your logic, but merely point out the weakness of your argument. The ability to make moral and ethical choices or practice restraint are much more valid arguments. This implies a sense of behavior based on intellectual judgement, rather than just following the dictates of a pack leader. That, in my opinion, would be what differentiates a swarm of bees or a pack of wolves from human beings. "People" base their behavior on a conscious choice, even if that choice is not always a matter of free will. Wolves simply follow the alpha.
 
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