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Does anyone know any books (or .pdf, online material, anything really) that take morality and pervert it in such a way that justifies evil actions? Since English is not my main laguage I can't explain it any better, so I 'll try with an example:

A lawful evil Paladin, or a tyrant, can justify his oppresive actions by claiming the following arguments to be true:

  1. History has shown that humans are indecisive and vapid creatures.
  2. Noone took a stand as a leader for our country when it was necessary.
  3. When people are united, they are capable of impressive feats.
  4. All I do is keep them united. All for one, and one for the greater good.

I hope I have conveyed what I seek correctly.

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    \$\begingroup\$ You call this system-agnostic but then trot out "lawful evil." Do you really mean just "how do bad people feel self-justified" (a basic psych question) or do you mean "how does one depict specific alignment behavior as something else" (in which case this is a D&D question)? \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk says reinstate Monica Dec 8 '14 at 15:32
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    \$\begingroup\$ While Lawful Evil belongs to the D&D alignment system, it can be a pretty basic system for every RPG. The only table-top I play is D&D these days, but I do not think it is related specifically to it. I do not seek a guide to lies. I seek a guide that makes rational arguments to justify evil actions. \$\endgroup\$ – Necrofear04 Dec 8 '14 at 15:36
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    \$\begingroup\$ So as someone that does play a lot of RPGs - no, "lawful evil" is not portable to many of their morality systems. Retagging. I think it's broad enough that we don't have to get down to one D&D version though. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk says reinstate Monica Dec 8 '14 at 15:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ You may just be looking for general psych information on self-justification however (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-justification). \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk says reinstate Monica Dec 8 '14 at 15:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ This question appears to be off-topic because it is about basic human psych questions not really specific to the RPG scope. Going to put it on hold a minute so we can discuss. You may want to be checking psychology.SE - what about this question do you want to be specific to an RPG? \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk says reinstate Monica Dec 8 '14 at 15:58
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[...] anyone compelled to choose will find greater security in being feared than in being loved. Love endures by a bond which men, being scoundrels, may break whenever it serves their advantage to do so; but fear is supported by the dread of pain, which is ever present.

This is perhaps the most famous quote from The Prince, written in the early 16th century by Niccolò Machiavelli. It's frequently cited as one of the earliest philosophical works that embraces a pragmatic approach to ethics, and has been hugely influential in approaches to politics and statecraft. It argues that the aims of a ruler (glory, power, and the survival of both the ruler and the state) are often best served by immoral or criminal actions, and that therefore the wise ruler will embrace such actions when they are necessary.

This isn't precisely the Lawful Evil viewpoint in the traditional sense, but it's nonetheless an excellent source for the sort of argument that you seem to be looking for - justification for actions that might be termed 'evil'. Furthermore, it's in the public domain, so a number of translations are available free online.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ You are answering his one example not his general problem. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk says reinstate Monica Dec 8 '14 at 15:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ @mxyzplk Admittedly, this work is limited by having an exclusive focus on the context of rulership. It is, nonetheless, an example of the sort of thing sought, and could be helpful. \$\endgroup\$ – MrTheWalrus Dec 8 '14 at 16:11

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