Requested by Anon.
In philosophy, there are three main accounts of what it means to do good.
According to the classical approach famously laid out by Aristotle, being good means having certain virtues, such as honestly and courage. This conforms to the common-sense idea of what morality entails. It’s an approach that asks what a “good person” is, rather than what is a good thing to do in a specific situation.
A second approach - one held by Kant among others - is that morality is about fulfilling certain obligations, such as “Thou shalt not kill”, or “Act only according to a rule that you can rationally wish were a universal law.” This view is concerned with what a good person should and should not do.
A third approach - held for example by John Stuart Mill - is that the moral value of an act is determined entirely by itsconsequences. This view is concerned with “the greater good”: A consequentialist would pull a lever that diverts a trolley away from five people - even if it would now certainly kill one person whose life was not in danger. This view is cold and rational - it asks not what a good person is, or what he does, but rather, what his actions will achieve.
In this series of Doctor Who, we’ve seen the Doctor struggle a lot with moral dilemmas. It seems as if the Doctor largely acts according to the consequentialist view of morality - he lies and puts others in danger rather coldly when it seems necessary in order to save as many people as possible - but at the same time he judges himself and others according to virtues and obligations, not consequences.
We see this clearly in Flatline. The Doctor and Clara saved the day but she had to lie and he had to kill in order to do it. Many lives were saved, but some were lost. Clara, having learned from the Doctor’s actions, is pleased. She thinks that they did good “on balance”. The good outweighs the bad. “That’s how you think isn’t it?”, she says to the Doctor. He concedes that he does think that way, but “largely so other people don’t have to.” Clara saved the world by acting as a consequentalist, but the Doctor tells her sharply that “goodness” had nothing to do with it.
In the Doctors eyes, doing good, and being good are quite different things.
I think it can be interesting to discuss the Doctor’s morality analytically. Do you think my analysis captures Twelve’s views about morality correctly? Do you think his approach to morality has been consistent throughout the series? And where will his struggle with moral questions lead?
This post and the following discussion are everything I’ve ever wanted.
Anonymous said: "Life would be so much simpler if you liked the right people... people you're supposed to like. But then I guess there'd be no fairytales." *camera zooms in on Clara's face* Why are we not talking about this??? This is so blatantly about Clara/Doctor/Danny.
Dunno why people aren’t talking about it because it was a beautiful moment and so very telling. This series, when it’s all said and done, is going to be interesting to re-watch in one shot because it’s basically, “Let’s explore Twelve and Clara’s relationship and, oh yeah, look, a monster or something, but let’s talk about this elephant… without mentioning the elephant.”
It’s a fantastic line because it’s not just about the people, it’s about the types of life they both give her. She knows she’s supposed to like the nice, average earth life—there’s nothing wrong with it, Craig put it beautifully when he was talking about why he doesn’t really like to travel, and he’s obviously happy with a family. So the kind of life Danny offers her, she’s supposed to want.
But she wants the kind of life the Doctor offers her as well. It started earlier than in KtM, but it escalated in that episode and kept going in MotOE—she has this opportunity to do things, yes with her best friend (or not-boyfriend boyfriend, whichever you’d like to read this as), but this opportunity to do things and help so many people at once. The two jobs we’ve seen her in have been helper/guide jobs—nanny and teacher. Being a companion to a Doctor who trusts her to do the same sorts of things he does, even though he’s gone about showing her that in a rather hamfisted way at times, is like a helper-job on steroids. She doesn’t just get a fairy tale friendship or romance, she gets to be a fairy tale hero.
And part of the conflict is that the Doctor doesn’t see it as a fairy tale at all.
She's running out the door. She's running out.
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The Doctor’s face is a reminder of that time when he didn’t help Earth, abandoned it to make its own choices. Of how being cornered like this forces you to be complicit in horrible things on a planetary scale, and responsible for the death of the very people you wanted to protect. Of the fact that when humanity faces the dilemma he knows so well it doesn’t feel any better for them, and even if a third option is found in the end, there might be a terrible price to be paid.
It was a reminder not to abandon Earth when it needs him.
It was a reminder not to do exactly what he did in Kill the Moon.
Friendly reminder that in Flatline, he chose to lump himself in with humans when addressing The Boneless — specifically by saying “us.”
What do you mean by plan? The questions discussed at the table in Day 4 were, in the words of Nicholas Briggs’ character, “Who would go? How would we transport them? And how could we sell it to the voters?" The first one was up to the higher-ups, yeah, but the rest was Frobisher. He, like everyone in the room, agreed to go with the plan as long as his own children were safe (and did so until the PM broke his word), and neither his low position nor his tragic fate absolve him of that.
Of course, he is a victim of the circumstances, that was part of the point of the gifset, I’m just a bit confused by this choice of words.
clenches fist? i love that meme. the way it just [clenches fist] clenches all those fists
Rose Tyler getting shit done by herself (◡‿◡✿)
orelseatlastsheunderstoodit said: I looked at that gifset you reblogged about not being finished if you're still angry with them, and I thought, "I hope Danny gets angry that she's been lying again. It would mean that he isn't finished with her." And I'm not really a shipper (of anything), but as a storyteller, that would be a good parallel. What would be worse (imo) would him being apathetic to the situation.
Oh man oh man!!
Doctor Who - Flatline.
“-What are you a doctor of? -Of lies!”
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It seems that in the version of history that Ten and Eleven remember in TDOTD, the War Doctor didn’t regenerate immediately after destroying Gallifrey:
TEN: It must be really recent for you.
ELEVEN: The Time War. The last day. The day you killed them all.
TEN: The day we killed them all.
ELEVEN: Same thing.
I wonder what he was doing — or what he thought he was doing, if the events of TDTD are not a new timeline but have always happened — between Gallifrey’s disappearance and his regeneration into Nine.