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Cortana is not evil!!!!

OP Casityny

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The families of the millions of innocents that she casually knocked out of the way just activating her weapons (which she did not in any way have to kill - she could have evacuated and warned them if she chose, but they weren't worth the effort to her) don't care what her good intentions are.

And it may be just a video game, but fictional stories have a powerful ability to preach messages that people will actually listen to. Which is why the creators of those stories need to be very careful with them.
^Speaks great truth. I wonder how many clichéd sayings people will just nonchalantly throw under the bus to defend someone they've become attached to... or better yet perhaps... someone who has done something that is inexplicably out of character a la poor writing?

"The road to hell is paved with good intentions". That simple statement speaks volumes that people just seem to toss in the trash. I mean, even Forrest Gump understood what Mama meant when she said "Stupid is as stupid does," Replace stupid with evil and the concept remains. Powerful statements that have stood the test of time and they've done so because "Actions speak louder than words".

I threw this challenge out here once before and I'll do it again. Take it seriously, there's no sense bothering if it's taken with the attitude of "Meh, fine, I'll play along".

Imagine your entire family and circle of friends live in one region. They were all home except for you. For some reason, you were off planet when one of Cortana's guardians activated. Imagine everyone you ever loved or knew were gone, just like that. Imagine visiting them at a mass grave. Maybe it's just a memorial, since likely their bodies may never be found. Know that their deaths were likely horrific. Buried in collapsing structures, crushed by falling debris, shot down by Prometheans while simply trying to escape. Stand in front of them and explain how Cortana is "not evil". Use all the standby arguments like "not really... she has good intentions" - Tell them "It's possible she's just sick... or defective, we don't really know". Close your eyes, run your fingers over their engraved names and say to them "She's not really evil, she's actually trying to do the right thing... just in the wrong way".

Now ask them if it matters what her intentions were. Ask them if they feel better now, knowing she didn't really mean it. Do let me know if you ever get an answer from the silence.

It's not about intent, it's about impact. Impact is tangible. Intent is worthless in comparison and it can be lied about, manipulated and made up as it goes.
Is every world leader evil then? There have been numerous civilian casualties, unintended, in many wars, including the current US war in the middle east? Does that make Barack Obama, George Bush, or any of the US generals inherently evil? (please don't take this into an extremely political realm, merely an example). Im sure scenes like what you're describing have happened in countless wars. Or do you think they only happened when Hitler or Stalin were on the other side?
In the end it doesn't matter which side they were on. Sides don't determine evil, they're simply chosen, often in response to an act of it. As for "every world leader"... that question lacks understanding of any major events leading up to said numerous scenes that I'm certain have happened in countless wars. In some cases, such knowledge has been purposely "lost forever" I'm sure. In short, asking if every world leader is evil lacks far too much context to give a definite answer.

If what you're asking is if I would call any (or even every) world leader evil if they committed an act such as Cortana's... the short answer is yes, no matter who that leader may be, even my own country's. I feel I have enough information about Cortana and her situation to make my decision and I'm confident with it. I made my decision based on context of her actions and their impact. Her intents don't change that impact. Therefor, they won't change my mind.
Is every world leader evil then? There have been numerous civilian casualties, unintended, in many wars, including the current US war in the middle east? Does that make Barack Obama, George Bush, or any of the US generals inherently evil? (please don't take this into an extremely political realm, merely an example). Im sure scenes like what you're describing have happened in countless wars. Or do you think they only happened when Hitler or Stalin were on the other side?
Yeah, unintended casualties happen in war...but you do things to minimize, and usually they result from actually hitting military targets. There are rules of engagement and violations are generally taken pretty seriously. The loss of civilian life is also generally concidered bad and regrettable, unlike Cortana who when challenged about it scoffs at it.

None of the guardians had any hostile opposition. They activated themselves in civilian areas and killed millions. Then, apparently they sometimes deployed armed forces who then went around killing more civilians for seemingly no reason but to kill more people. Add to all this that since Cortana is doing this to protect all life in the galaxy, her forces are technically slaughtering friendlies.

Last I check the US doesn't randomly drop bombs and send kill teams to its NATO allies.
Is every world leader evil then? There have been numerous civilian casualties, unintended, in many wars, including the current US war in the middle east? Does that make Barack Obama, George Bush, or any of the US generals inherently evil? (please don't take this into an extremely political realm, merely an example). Im sure scenes like what you're describing have happened in countless wars. Or do you think they only happened when Hitler or Stalin were on the other side?
Yeah, unintended casualties happen in war...but you do things to minimize, and usually they result from actually hitting military targets. There are rules of engagement and violations are generally taken pretty seriously. The loss of civilian life is also generally concidered bad and regrettable, unlike Cortana who when challenged about it scoffs at it.

None of the guardians had any hostile opposition. They activated themselves in civilian areas and killed millions. Then, apparently they sometimes deployed armed forces who then went around killing more civilians for seemingly no reason but to kill more people. Add to all this that since Cortana is doing this to protect all life in the galaxy, her forces are technically slaughtering friendlies.

Last I check the US doesn't randomly drop bombs and send kill teams to its NATO allies.
The main thing I was using that example for was his scenario of "imagine if your family was killed by Cortana, would you think she's evil then?" That doesn't work in the same way he wants it to. I can use that same example saying "imagine you are a refugee in the middle east whos family has been killed by a us bomb strike on an enemy target." The us's intention may be good, but your family still got killed in the crossfire. Im pretty sure those people would still hate the us. That was the point I was making. Sorry, didn't make it clear enough I guess.
Saying someone is evil to a person who has lost their family is not going to make them feel better. To find closure you first must understand why. Dig DEEP for the truth. When you find the truth you can work to prevent it from happening again. You can give those deaths meaning. What Cortana is doing is the same thing that the Forerunners did thousands upon thousands of years ago. It is happening again because there is no record of it for the people today to reference. As the old saying goes," Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it." Lets give Master Chief time to learn why before we throw labels at those responsible.
Except the Didact was labeled as being EVIL for believing in and doing the exact same things that Cortana is doing now. Ergo there is absolutely no reason to not label her the same regardless of why she is acting the way she is. She does not deserve special treatment over other villains after killing millions without remorse and abusing others for her own twisted and utterly selfish reasons. End of story.
Except the Didact was labeled as being EVIL for believing in and doing the exact same things that Cortana is doing now. Ergo there is absolutely no reason to not label her the same regardless of why she is acting the way she is. She does not deserve special treatment over other villains after killing millions without remorse and abusing others for her own twisted and utterly selfish reasons. End of story.
The Didact was nothing more than a pawn of a Gravemind. It was a Gravemind that took the anger and hatred for humanity that was in the Didact and raised it to an insane degree to help destroy a culture that was already doomed to destruction due to their violation of the Mantle and the systematic slaughter of the Precursors. He doesn't deserve our hatred just our pity.
In the Naruto manga Itachi was labeled as evil by his village and his brother Sasuke. Sasuke even in his anger betrayed his friends and village to train under an insane man just to 'avenge' his clan. When he does kill his brother Sasuke learns the terrible truth that his brother never wanted to kill his clan but was forced to to save him. Sasuke continued to spiral down into darkness until his stubborn rival/friend pulls him out of it. At the end Sasuke even gets a pardon. Does a good doctor glance at a patient and then say 'She/he incurable so no need to run tests I can just tell by what they've done in the past year that they're doomed.'? We, like Sasuke, were not there when Cortana arrived on Genesis. We were not there when she 'supposedly' got cured. We are not mind-readers and thus do not know what she was thinking. Calling her evil at this point without knowing the facts just because she killed billions is ingnorance at its worst. Until we know these facts we can not take what she says as the truth. Or her actions as her own. After Halo 4 whenMC was being debriefed by the Admirals board they didn't want to tell the public the the Didact was stopped but not killed. That wouldn't help the situation. Does she need to be stopped. Yes. But do it right.
Quote:
The Didact was nothing more than a pawn of a Gravemind. It was a Gravemind that took the anger and hatred for humanity that was in the Didact and raised it to an insane degree to help destroy a culture that was already doomed to destruction due to their violation of the Mantle and the systematic slaughter of the Precursors. He doesn't deserve our hatred just our pity.
Too. Damn. Bad.

Like I said - in spite of the fact we had/have it well documented why the Didact ended up the way he did, it still didn't excuse his actions and it still didn't stop him from openly being labeled as being EVIL. Therefore Cortana does not deserve to be treated any differently for doing and thinking the exact same things.

"The facts" behind why Cortana is suddenly a murderous, abusive -Yoink- don't matter at this point because we already have a clear benchmark that has been set for what "qualifies" a character for being labeled as evil - and Cortana's actions more than fit the bill. And Cortana doesn't deserve to suddenly be exempt from that if the Didact was not. It's also already been pointed out that there were several ridiculously easy ways for 343i to have made Cortana legitimately "morally gray" in 'Halo 5' - but they didn't. There were also ample ways they could have at least introduced some other reasons/concepts explaining her behavior (though explanations do not equal excuses, mind you) in 'Halo 5' - but they didn't. Everything in the game and what we've gotten afterward simply goes along and tells us that this is without a doubt a natural path for her character to take once granted such power. So again, there is no reason to not label her the same as every single villain that has appeared in Halo before now.

Also please stop comparing the situation here to other franchises that are not Halo and have nothing to do with Halo. It's apples and oranges. And just because [x,y,z franchise] let an evil character off the hook does not mean Halo should do the same - I certainly expect better of this series than that.
Honestly think the ending will be Chief's love with Cortana!
I don't know man, I don't think you can consider Cortana, as she is now, good. She activated the Guardians and killed millions of people. When Master Chief asked her how many people had died, she didn't answer even though she knew; This leads me to think she still cares about what John-117 thinks, but not enough to not go through with her actions and plans to take on the Mantle of Responsibility. Her views seem an awful lot like tyranny, if you ask me. There are a lot of things that messed her up; I mean she was captured by the Gravemind, and she was going Rampant in Halo 4, but I think it was something in the Forerunner Domain that really changed something in her. I guess we will find out in the next one right?
Read HALO Fractures. It talks about the Domain being part of an ancient precursor and the power the precursor let the forerunners explore. It also states that it has the ability to manipulate. Cortana, I believe was manipulated as you think.
Quote:
The Didact was nothing more than a pawn of a Gravemind. It was a Gravemind that took the anger and hatred for humanity that was in the Didact and raised it to an insane degree to help destroy a culture that was already doomed to destruction due to their violation of the Mantle and the systematic slaughter of the Precursors. He doesn't deserve our hatred just our pity.
Too. Damn. Bad.

Like I said - in spite of the fact we had/have it well documented why the Didact ended up the way he did, it still didn't excuse his actions and it still didn't stop him from openly being labeled as being EVIL. Therefore Cortana does not deserve to be treated any differently for doing and thinking the exact same things.

"The facts" behind why Cortana is suddenly a murderous, abusive -Yoink- don't matter at this point because we already have a clear benchmark that has been set for what "qualifies" a character for being labeled as evil - and Cortana's actions more than fit the bill. And Cortana doesn't deserve to suddenly be exempt from that if the Didact was not. It's also already been pointed out that there were several ridiculously easy ways for 343i to have made Cortana legitimately "morally gray" in 'Halo 5' - but they didn't. There were also ample ways they could have at least introduced some other reasons/concepts explaining her behavior (though explanations do not equal excuses, mind you) in 'Halo 5' - but they didn't. Everything in the game and what we've gotten afterward simply goes along and tells us that this is without a doubt a natural path for her character to take once granted such power. So again, there is no reason to not label her the same as every single villain that has appeared in Halo before now.

Also please stop comparing the situation here to other franchises that are not Halo and have nothing to do with Halo. It's apples and oranges. And just because [x,y,z franchise] let an evil character off the hook does not mean Halo should do the same - I certainly expect better of this series than that.
I bring other franchise into this because they have one thing in common. A character does something morally wrong. The people who have been affected by this don't have the answers and label him/her evil. One person, normally the protagonist, on their journey discovers the true reasons behind the act. In their actions with said person help bring the truth to light and the healing proccess can begin. We can scream 'SHE'S EVIL !', till the cows come home in the end it will be Master Chief who has the final say. In the Return of the Jedi the universe didn't know about the struggles of Anikin/Darth Vader and Luke and so still held Anikin/Darth Vader in contempt. But the movie isn't about them. The ending shows Luke looking at his redemed father not as an evil person but as he was. This is after all the Master Chief's story he gets the ending he wants. Eventually.
I have to get something off my chest. I was wrong. I talked to my brother, a BIG Halo fan, ran my arguments for Cortana not being evil buy him and his argument blew mine out of the water. He used my Star wars references against me. "Anakin wanted to protect Padame. To do this he joined the Dark side even though Palpatine manipulated him. When he shed a tear before he killed the younglings in the Jedi Temple shows me that he KNEW what he was doing was wrong and yet he did it anyway. Then when Padame doubted him in his anger he choked her, which led to her death. Then he tried to justify his actions by saying that he had brought peace to 'his' empire. While wanting to protect the one he loves is admirable it was his actions that made him evil. He was only redeemed when he realized that his son Luke was willing to suffer and die to bring him back. He loved his son more than the dark side. So right now based on the similar actions of Anakin and Cortana you know she is evil. Is she redeemable? That is up to her and Master Chief."
I have to admit. My brother is right. Cortana is evil. Sorry for being stubborn.
My theory on what happened to Cortana is that the Cortana we see in Halo 5 isn't FULLY Cortana. By the end of Halo 4 Cortana was in the very last stages of rampancy, basically falling apart, so when she touched the Domain, only a part of her did so, joining with it and gaining a certain level of consciousness. But some of her key elements, such as her compassion for humanity, her self control, her level thinking, and her Asimov's laws of robotics may all have been left on the Diadact's ship, or even the place where Cortana said goodbye to Chief. A lot of people say the way they did Cortana in Halo 5 ruined the ending of Halo 4, but for me it took the knife they stabbed me in the feels with in 4 and twisted it.
Cortana is a good character and personality is part of the story
I have to get something off my chest. I was wrong. I talked to my brother, a BIG Halo fan, ran my arguments for Cortana not being evil buy him and his argument blew mine out of the water. He used my Star wars references against me. "Anakin wanted to protect Padame. To do this he joined the Dark side even though Palpatine manipulated him. When he shed a tear before he killed the younglings in the Jedi Temple shows me that he KNEW what he was doing was wrong and yet he did it anyway. Then when Padame doubted him in his anger he choked her, which led to her death. Then he tried to justify his actions by saying that he had brought peace to 'his' empire. While wanting to protect the one he loves is admirable it was his actions that made him evil. He was only redeemed when he realized that his son Luke was willing to suffer and die to bring him back. He loved his son more than the dark side. So right now based on the similar actions of Anakin and Cortana you know she is evil. Is she redeemable? That is up to her and Master Chief."
I have to admit. My brother is right. Cortana is evil. Sorry for being stubborn.
Wow... you have my applause for showing the willingness to understand and see things from another perspective.

I think the biggest problem with those who say "not evil until proven so and her motivations aren't clear or she may be defective" is that they're looking at those of us who say "evil" with such conviction as trying to make it a permanent label.

This isn't necessarily true. Redemption is nigh always possible, but often difficult. I'm sure you can see the similarities and possible outcomes between the story lines here. Cortana did "shed a tear" when Chief called out to her as she walked away to leave BT in the cryptum. Although admittedly, there could be many different interpretations of why she did, because of the timing and context, but I like to think part of it is because she realizes John sees her actions as wrong... and now she has to face the fact that they just might be.

Regardless, the only way I would be willing to accept her 'redemption' (if that's the future plan) would be if she comes to realize her mistake by her own accord. Being defeated and then forced to face her actions won't work. Showing remorse only when faced with the judgment and punishment enforced by others can and will always have some doubt of sincerity. What's sad is that even if she happens to end up being redeemed, she will never be able to completely shake the word evil, it will always lurk in her past. No matter how much good she may end up doing, she would always be "formerly evil" despite good intentions.
I have to get something off my chest. I was wrong. I talked to my brother, a BIG Halo fan, ran my arguments for Cortana not being evil buy him and his argument blew mine out of the water. He used my Star wars references against me. "Anakin wanted to protect Padame. To do this he joined the Dark side even though Palpatine manipulated him. When he shed a tear before he killed the younglings in the Jedi Temple shows me that he KNEW what he was doing was wrong and yet he did it anyway. Then when Padame doubted him in his anger he choked her, which led to her death. Then he tried to justify his actions by saying that he had brought peace to 'his' empire. While wanting to protect the one he loves is admirable it was his actions that made him evil. He was only redeemed when he realized that his son Luke was willing to suffer and die to bring him back. He loved his son more than the dark side. So right now based on the similar actions of Anakin and Cortana you know she is evil. Is she redeemable? That is up to her and Master Chief."
I have to admit. My brother is right. Cortana is evil. Sorry for being stubborn.
Wow... you have my applause for showing the willingness to understand and see things from another perspective.

I think the biggest problem with those who say "not evil until proven so and her motivations aren't clear or she may be defective" is that they're looking at those of us who say "evil" with such conviction as trying to make it a permanent label.

This isn't necessarily true. Redemption is nigh always possible, but often difficult. I'm sure you can see the similarities and possible outcomes between the story lines here. Cortana did "shed a tear" when Chief called out to her as she walked away to leave BT in the cryptum. Although admittedly, there could be many different interpretations of why she did, because of the timing and context, but I like to think part of it is because she realizes John sees her actions as wrong... and now she has to face the fact that they just might be.

Regardless, the only way I would be willing to accept her 'redemption' (if that's the future plan) would be if she comes to realize her mistake by her own accord. Being defeated and then forced to face her actions won't work. Showing remorse only when faced with the judgment and punishment enforced by others can and will always have some doubt of sincerity. What's sad is that even if she happens to end up being redeemed, she will never be able to completely shake the word evil, it will always lurk in her past. No matter how much good she may end up doing, she would always be "formerly evil" despite good intentions.
Thanks :) The part of being human is dealing with the guilt when any of us do something very wrong. My brother said my stubbornness to Cortana evil is because like Master Chief she has become a part of my life and to see her fall with questionable facts presented makes it hard to move forward. But if Master Chief is to save her, be it just the memory, he must first stop her. I think the best way would be that MC returns the favor she did for him in Halo 4.
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