Red Dead Redemption 2

Arthur = Good, Micah = Bad, Dutch = The Ugly.

red dead redemption 1 - Arthur = Good, Micah = Bad, Dutch = The Ugly.

If you haven’t seen The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly I strongly encourage you to because it does a great job creating the moral spectrum that is commonly used in Westerns and this game. The moral spectrum is heavily influenced by religious (primarily Christian) ideals. If you’re not a Christian then fret not. All classic religions are essentially the same. They are different flavors and explain things in different ways, but at the end of the day they essentially all do and say the same thing. I’m not discrediting the supernatural elements involved in religions, but if we discount the possibility of the supernatural for the sake of my argument, then, if nothing else, they are simply models which humans have created in order to understand human nature and the world around us.


The Good is an individual who puts others first. He (I’m a man, so I’ll use male pronouns) knows when to put himself first, but typically only does so with the end goal of helping others and doing what is morally right. He’s consequentialist in nature, but pure of heart. The Bad is an individual who puts himself first, especially at the cost of others. He acts for personal gain and personal gain alone. He exercises strength to profit off the weaknesses of others. He finds no remorse in causing others pain nor any remorse in any of his actions. The Good and the Bad are polar opposites and extremes, and The Ugly is the spectrum that is created when good and evil clash. When good and evil clash it creates chaos and the rippling effect causes dissonance within life. This chaos is displeasing. Thus, to govern this chaos, humans create order (laws, rules, regulations, etc). Order, being a human creation, is fallible. Imperfect. The Ugly is born when order falls through. The Ugly is not an evil man, but a good man that is placed into a stressful environment that causes him to fear and struggle for his own survival. The Ugly commits acts of evil due to necessity. The Ugly commits acts of evil in order to survive. Due to personal life experiences, The Ugly has witnessed evil triumphing over good. While personal life experiences are a small sample of data compared to the vast number of experiences recorded throughout all of recorded human history and our existence as a whole, they are tangible to the individual and therefore are typically deemed as being truth. Personal experiences are prioritized over outside experiences. A human is an animal, and as an animal we prioritize our own survival. The Ugly joins the side of evil due to necessity. The Ugly thinks “well if I can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. I have values and I value my life so I must survive in order to see these values through.” This path can pollute and poison The Ugly’s life, leading him down a path that evokes more chaos and ultimately continues to bring him closer to evil. Over the course of this chaotic path, it is possible for The Ugly to meet The Good. The instance may be small, it may seem insignificant at first, but The Good sets The Ugly free and steers him away from the path of evil. This is called redemption.

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