Are Xenos Evil?

-Bloo-, Xenomorph, 5 years ago

I was rereading DD's thread about Predator Honor and this caught my attention:

"The logic usually goes like this:

'[Predators aren't] good guys, but they’re better than the Xenos.'

This argument usually invites a comparison to Freddy vs. Jason. No one would call Jason a hero, but we can root for him because he’s a lot less horrible than Freddy. For all the evil he does, Jason runs purely on instinct. You get the sense that he doesn’t really understand what he’s doing. Freddy, on the other hand, is intelligent. He’s aware of what he’s doing, and does it anyway because he enjoys it."

This reminded me of that Mark Twain essay that says something like, "Humans are the only ones who can commit evil because they're the only ones that have a moral code." This may or may not extend to Predators (which depends on the conclusion we came to in DD's thread, which I haven't finished reading), but does it extend to Xenos?

People say Xenos are bad for several reasons:

1) Predators are always the lesser evil (They only kill certain people, which is preferable to the Xeno's "rape everything" agenda)
2) Xenos kill children and pregnant people while Predators (usually?) don't
3) Humans can coexist with Predators (Machiko, Alexa, and probably the cast of Archie later on tbqh) but they can't coexist with Xenos
4) The Newborn is a thing
5) Colonial Marines was hyped for over a decade

Nothing can excuse these things, but there's at least justification for the first three.

1) Predators are the lesser of two evils because... honor? Xenos kill for survival and they don't travel to other planets (willingly). Xenos kidnap people, sure, but Predators have done that too, and it definitely wasn't for their survival.

2) Xenos kill people because they need to. I'm not defending them, I'm just saying that they don't do it for fun like Predators do. Humans kill animals all the time because we need to eat. We kill animals for sport, too, so we're probably worse than Xenos*. At least they don't stuff our heads and prop them up on their walls. Predators on the other hand...

3) Humans can coexist with Predators because we're the same kind of terrible**. We both hunt for sport and we think our actions are honorable when really, we're just assholes who are trying to justify our weird behavior. "I kill people, but I do it honorably"? More like "Hey guy, I fucking murder people for sport, but at least I don't kill children!" You shouldn't have to thank someone for not killing your kid when it's not normal to do so in the first place.***

It could be argued that everything Xenos do to whatever planets they take over isn't any different from what humans are doing to Earth. However, they don't kill for sport and they aren't actively trying to spread to other planets. Killing is killing, true, but are humans any different? We murder anything that isn't human all the time. We even kill each other. Xenos, on the other hand, have never killed each other in the movies aside from Resurrection, which was filled with nonstandard Xenos - Xenos that happened to be part human, goddamn! Humans are the worst.

This might be a surprise to no one, but the moral of these movies is that humans are the Real Assholes.

*BTW I'm not a vegan advocate nor am I anti-hunting, so this isn't meant to be a "SAVE THE ANIMALS" rant.
**I'm not exactly pro-hunting, either, but,
***I don't even know if you can lump Predators in with humans. Like humans, they kill "lesser" species for sport. They have no qualms about killing humans the same way most of us don't care if you kill a deer. Maybe there's a bunch of human rights activists on their homeworld? Anyway...

DeathWraith, Xenomorph, 5 years ago

The reason it's easier to relate to Predators is that we can communicate with them, they can understand us and we can understand them. However, we don't understand Xenos, that's why they're called "xeno". There was never a movie that clarified upon the actual intelligence of a Xenomorph, we only have evidence of them being able to figure out how things work based on a single example, which already makes them more intelligent than some of the staff of Rooster Teeth. We would need the Xenomorph's perspective to complete the argument for or against their being evil, but we simply don't have it.

Voltage-3000, Xenomorph, 5 years ago

well i associate xenos with like an all consuming horde of insects. they have no morals, or i dont think it even applies to their way of life. no yes or no's just listen what the queen says and do. no right or wrong its always one answer. the queen is hungry, feed the queen. you are trapped in a box chew off your leg and melt through the box. queen is in distress rush to her aid. colony is thinning, make more... like insects. they build walls with their dead. killing each other for the greater good of the colony. to find evil in them is the fear of what they are. its scary to see crawling things on walls tha,t can throat jab through your skull. While also using your bodies to breed. they dont care if you plead they dont no what mercy is. you are just a threat or object to use. like how we would just crush a ant just for seeing it crawl into our house.

they are like a terrible plague that can grow out of hand.

skull_ripper, Xenomorph, 5 years ago

I think it all depends on the intelligence of the Xenos, if they are capable of higher thinking, or even think in the same manner as other life forms. Animals can most certainly be evil, but is it evil for going about its natural life cycle? I would say no, it is not evil for doing that.

If it kills for pleasure, to prolong the agony of its prey, then it is evil. That's part of why I am not a big fan of the Super Predators, because they are cruel hunters, whereas the normal ones are quick, swift, and sort of merciful. I still don't respect any of them, I don't respect people who hunt for sport because it is wrong. So I think it honestly depends on the Xeno, since we've seen some that prolong the pain of their victims, and those that just kill them and drag them off to use/eat them.

I myself hunt, but I eat what I kill and try and use as much of it as possible(I eat the meat, carve the bones, trying to learn to make leather, give the dog what I cant eat that is also good for him, and so on). I mean, I understand the trophy thing, and when someone has a "Trophy Buck" or some such on there wall, usually the only thing from the actual deer is pelt(sometimes, faux fur is used a lot nowadays) and the antlers. Either the animal itself is eaten by the hunter, or it is donated to a food drive and is processed and fed to the poor/homeless(at least where I live).

Argonian, Xenomorph, 5 years ago

I agree with the guys above me. I mean, granted, we couldn't say Xenos are evil because we have never seen how they think, or if they even feel. With Predators, things are different. We have seen them sparing people, even helping them. I remember that, I read in a comic, I think it was one of Aliens vs Predator, that one of the elders killed a young blood for killing a child. So, I mean, perhaps it was a matter of honor, but what if it wasn't, and the predator actually thought it was something unfair?

Also, I doubt that the aliens are as close as we might think. Putting aside Resurrection, on the comics, there is one where two rival alien colonies are fighting for dominion, and I swear I read somewhere that when a planet infestated by Xenos is completely stripped of it's resources, the Queen eats her drones for sustenance. I mean, I could be wrong, but that is telling us that aliens act more like humans than you are stating. Perhaps, the three species have more similarities that we might think?

Like, I figure that two rival colonies might be like two countries fighting over a territory, don't you think?

-Bloo-, Xenomorph, 5 years ago

@DW: I guess I should switch my question to, "Why do people think Xenos are the bad ones/Predators are the good ones/lesser evil?" There are a bunch of (seemingly) good reasons but I feel like Predators are more than guilty of everything people dislike Xenos for apart from the forced pregnancies and being literal dick heads.

Edit: Oh, I guess you already answered why we think they're the lesser evil (because they're more relatable).

@Voltage: With the way they are now, I think insects are the best thing to compare them to. I just don't like the comparison and I don't really know why - I just don't like how they're so explainable, I guess. Regardless of whether or not you guys liked the movie, I think Prometheus did a great job of making sure everyone went right back to not knowing shit about Xeno/Engineer culture. I hope Paradise and Alien 5 show us Xenos that don't make sense.

@SR: Yeah, that's a counterargument to my counterarguments that I forgot to include in the OP. Some Xenos do seek to torture before killing (mostly seen in the first movie). The Giger Drone also seemed to know exactly what it was doing like it was actually sapient rather than just sentient (that is, it knew what it was doing, but it also knew what it was doing). Still though, every other Xeno (at least in Aliens) acted like animals rather than murderers. Whether or not it's because they matured into Warriors or because they were under control of a Queen is something I don't know.

About Predators versus Supers - they both still kill for sport regardless of being swift/cruel. From what I remember, Jungle Hunter was kind of sadistic (what the fuck was that laugh, anyway?).

@AG: Yeah, but their main reason for being on Earth isn't to help people, it's to kill them - and for sport, even. I'm sure serial killers are also kind to certain people in there lives but it doesn't make them good people.

About the two hives fighting for dominance: you're probably right, but I never liked the idea of two hives competing.

Dark, Xenomorph, 5 years ago

I see your point and I kinda agree Xenos were never evil from the start just hostile to humans and pretty much everything cause thats how they reproduce: incapacitate and burst from their chest they dont breed like humans do so they have to be hostile to everything for the survival of their species, I think we view Predators as a lesser evil cause they have a common enemy in the Aliens and know thye must be contained and not spread else it would mean the extinction of their own species so in conclusion humans, xenomorphs and predators are on the same moral ground cause the survival of their species is their top priority for the predator part, its cause the predalien incidents, like in AVP3 the top priority is kill the predalien as it is a creature that can kill predators as the xenomorph thing is designed to be stronger than their host.

skull_ripper, Xenomorph, 5 years ago

@Bloo: Exactly, which is what makes it harder to understand from our perspective, since ours is so very, very different from theirs. I don't know whether it had to do with difference of Drone vs Warrior, but I would probably put my money on the lack of a Queen so it was likely confused to some extent and had a whole new playground of free thought to play around with.

Also I don't remember Jungle Hunter being particularly sadistic, all of his kills that I recall were relatively quick. Except the one where he chopped the dudes arm off, but it seemed unavoidable as he needed to "disarm" him(horrible pun is horrible).

It has been awhile since I last watched Predator(I'm generally more likely to bust out my Predator 2 VHS and chill on the couch), so I may be forgetting a particularly sick killing. And that laugh was so fucked up, it never stops bothering me, the unnatural feeling of it and the question of why? Why would he laugh like that specifically? I suppose it was just trying to make him feel more villain-like in "classic" way.

Voltage-3000, Xenomorph, 5 years ago

Well there is one thought, once a queen dies or a herd of them get far from reach of her senses. doesnt a new queen take place? is the queen the free thinker? or do you think they go mindless or just sit waiting for "orders"

the whole quote "whats normal for the spider is chaos for the fly." applies to what could be the thought process of the xenos. they do it cause they can and because they thrive.

im guessing what we really dont understand about them is their aim. What do they live for? do they even know about their existence or could question it. they so as much murder each other when in a tight spot so they do panic and or are smart enough to know they can get out. but do they comprehend or is the queen the one that controls that thought process? we can compare them to bugs but comparing their thought process they are children running around do what they are told without question. do they just keep living until the planet they are on becomes nothing but a ball of emptiness? i can see why predators like them. kill a thousand today but their will be a million tomorrow. a never ending hunt.

Dronehive, Xenomorph, 5 years ago

I suppose I'll comtribute my thoughts, hopefully they're intresting for you guys.

The way I approach this problem is through the lens of the psychologist Sigmund Freud. The xenomorph is, indeed a very "Freudian" monster, characterized by sexuality and fear. To evaluate this monster, we have to understand what it means from a Freudian standpoint.

To me, a Xenomorph is the Id- characterized only by primal desire. Not to say it isn't intelligent-it certianly is- but, rather, it is "unclouded by remorse". It is the perfect sociopath, with no concept of outside judgement or perception, which would trigger the formation of the ego.

Without an ego (and thus, a superego) it is imossible to qualify xenomporphs as "evil" by any standard but our own, which is biased. While by my standards it is indeed "evil", it is objectively... the perfect and beautiful sociopath, like a man with antisocial disorder it has no remorse and no understanding of others.

-Bloo-, Xenomorph, 5 years ago

@SR: Maybe I should watch Predator again. I always thought he was a troll and that honor - if it was there - was secondary.

@Voltage: "the whole quote "whats normal for the spider is chaos for the fly." Yeah, that's why I don't think they're evil. It'd be a whole different thing if humans were doing this shit to other humans, but they're not human.

@DH: I think another good comparison is to Carl Jung's "shadow" concept. I think the original idea for the Alien was that it was a physical manifestation of Kane's (or humanity's) sexual desires (or darkest desires in general). If that's true and the second movie just fucked that idea up, then that means Aliens are humanity's shadow, and therefore they're absolutely, definitely evil.

It also happens to fit with Jung's "collective unconsciousness" thing.

Dronehive, Xenomorph, 5 years ago

The thing is, if we look at the concept of the original, then the Alien is Kane's Id. I've said I'm a fan of the Xeno having the mind of the host- but without the restraint of the ego or, critically, the superego. Without that, without that moral code, we can't say if its good or evil.

The Alien is like an animal, a child, or a psychopath. We can't call it evil because it was never capable of anything but impulse and desire.

I also think it depends on our own perspectives as sell. I think you play a character that is certianly evil, wheras I don't think I've ever played a Xeno that's anything more than an animal, even when I RP'd at my shittyest.

-Bloo-, Xenomorph, 5 years ago

What I said wasn't an argument against you; shadows are to humans as the id is to the superego. If the Xeno was Kane's id, then I think it wouldn't be a stretch to say it was his shadow, too.

And anyway, how we think of them or how we play/write them is irrelevant - considering what we're given through the movies, they're not evil at all, they're just animals. It's not like bears purposefully think "MUST... EAT... THE CHILDREN" when they see kids in the forest.

Edit: Wait, they DO, but they're not evil about it.

DeathWraith, Xenomorph, 5 years ago

Well they don't purposefully think it, they do it instinctively. Stop hitting yourself.

DeathWraith, Xenomorph, 4 years ago

Yes, we absolutely do question our actions when we propagate our species. As you know, we have condoms. And we do questions our actions when we eat other sentient beings. As you know, we have vegetarianism. We also have animal cruelty laws and the limit on the number of children allowed per family in China. Of course, it took us tens of thousands of years to come up with stuff like this and we're still not great at enforcing them because it takes us a couple of decades after birth to properly understand why they are actually important. How could we even hope to know what the Xenomorph understands of the world moments after growing from a larva that burst out of a chest where it was forcibly placed through strangulation? We don't even know where they came from, or if they are natural or engineered. Say the black goo was made by the Space Jockeys, we still don't know for what purpose. It seems to know how to breed, grow and kill. We have no idea if it does this defensively, offensively, or because it has a programming that explains the world to it in such terms that this is what it understands should happen.

Dronehive, Xenomorph, 4 years ago

Is a baby evil for killing its parents (If it was capable)? The xenomorph has no concept of morals or consequences, it is a creature of pure want, need, and get.

DeathWraith, Xenomorph, 3 years ago

Actually you can see the Drones questioning the Queen in AvP. But now that Covenant has revealed how the Xenomorphs were made in the first place, it turns out the Queen and the Drones would be two different species, which opens up a lot of other possibilities.

Hunter_Predator, Xenomorph, 3 years ago

Well a potential kink in the theory of it being too young to understand the world around it is it's lifespan. Obviously in a few instances of it's comprehensibility are showcased with how fast of a learner it really is, and we're still not fully sure how much knowledge is transferred from the Egg, to Facehugger, to Xeno, are their experiences and thoughts descended to the next state like a Caterpillar to a Butterfly? That gives it a lot more time to think. Also, we don't even know the Xenomorph lifespan, as we really have yet to see a Xenomorph older than, what? A few days? Maybe a few weeks at most? (been a while since I've seen Aliens, but I did just watch Alien) There is still speculation on whether the Drone in Alien 1 was simply needing some sleep or if it was nearing the end of it's lifespan already due to it's obvious sluggish and lethargic motions post being woken up.

If Xenos really have such a tiny lifespan, once again comparative to insects, then how mature does it grow in that short time? By the time it molts from Burster to full Xeno could be the equivalent of a Human growing from infant to full grown and full intelligence after a couple decades, so it's possible by that standpoint it's mind has already developed and become conscious enough to that of an adult, and could potentially better comprehend the world around it.

Honestly in my opinion, the way I see it, Yautja aren't inherently evil due to their seemingly total disregard to human life, no, we as humans are fully aware of the innocence and purity of a Deer, but we hunt them for sport anyway, same with Yautja, they know we are able beings, but that's in where the challenge lies, a rival species that they can overtake and enjoy the idea of hunting something with our level of sentience. They too, remember, are Alien lifeforms, and that being said their thought process is almost impossible to assume towards, much like how Western Civilizations are appalled by Eastern Practices and the Eastern hemisphere views Western life as barbaric, we Humans don't even understand each other, all it takes is a "different culture" to explain, now we're talking about a different species, with entirely different brain functions all together. They may not even consider the idea of a difference between good and evil, but be focused on Practical/Impractical, but with a knowledge of respect and morality, despite the fact that we've seen Yautja get a little flustered before. So Yautja are not evil, just different.

In the same sense we can't really judge Xenomorphs on good or evil either, however, we might not fully know the extent of a Predator's violation on it's Prey, but we do know that Xenomorphs have an emphasis on everything we hold taboo, preying on lesser creatures, nothing held back, eating them alive, raping their victims violently, and literally they are the embodiment of zero morality. The definition of "Evil" is "Profoundly Immoral and Malevolent" or, the opposite of Moral, hence the Xenomorph, hence Evil... BUT only by OUR standards.