For those of you who may not know, the messianic complex, or simply the messiah complex, is a state of mind where one believes that he/she is, or is destined to be, a savior, and all other notions not completely agreeing to his/her ideals are wrong. People with this way of thinking are usually very idealistic in nature – a perfect example would be the Nazi Germany Fuhrer Adolf Hitler. Most often, the beliefs of people who have messianic complex are unshakable, making them very dangerous if they have significant influence in a community and/or have considerable destructive abilities.
Kiritsugu’s twisted sense of justice reflects his own brand of messianic complex. Look at this situation I thought up:
There are three very large rooms. One room contains a thousand people, and none of them are related to you in any way. The second room contains six hundred people and includes all of your best friends. The last room has four hundred people, including all your family members – your wife/husband/boyfriend/girlfriend, your kids, and any other relatives you may have. All of the rooms are rigged with a death machine that gives everyone in a single room the iron maiden treatment.
The contents of each room are visible to you through reinforced glass walls, so that you can see everything that happens inside, but are soundproof to prevent communication. In front of you are three buttons, and pressing a single button triggers the death machine in the corresponding room. You are to press one of the three buttons, and all survivors will be set free after the experiment.
If you do not want to do it this way, you can opt for three alternative methods: press all the buttons at the same time for a 20% chance (via a random number generator) to disable all the machines, the remaining 80% is the chance to trigger all of them, you can press two buttons for a 10% chance of disabling the death machines, or press the one for the 1000 people, for a 5% chance.
Failure to take a valid course of action within six hours, or attempting suicide would result in everyone becoming Swiss cheese. Once you have pressed the button/s, a loudspeaker would go online to broadcast the screams of agony of the people in the rooms.
If you were in this situation, what would you do? Putting aside my obviously demented sense of entertainment, some people would choose not to take responsibility and just let everyone die, while others would choose to kill off people that have no value to them. Some would rely on the very slight ray of hope and take their chances on saving everyone. Kiritsugu would instantly choose to press the button for the room with four hundred people, simply because he would save more people that way. He would not rely on chances or let his personal feelings affect his judgment. This is Kiritsugu Emiya’s brand of messianic complex, and it really shows how “broken” he really is.
You can argue that this situation is very unfair or unjust, but I would just say to you that life is not “fair”, nor is it “just”. There are children born into excessively poor families, or in places where war is going on. It’s not the choice of these children to be put in these dire situations, but they are anyway, while other people grow up in rich families, not once experiencing the harsh living conditions of the people outside the mansion fence. People are not born equal, as much as religion or society wants you to think we are.
Justice… what the hell is justice anyway? Lots of criminals get away with their crimes every day, sometimes having innocent people to take the blame for them. We have corrupt governments and legal systems driven by people who have the means to twist it according to their personal agenda.
The same could be said about this thought experiment, and the situation Kiritsugu got himself into. He saw that the world isn’t as black and white as most people think it is, and he has the guts to take the course of action that he believes is right. Hypocrisy or not, he was actually took action based on cold logic. Now if that is not the mark of an admirable (or pitiable) man, I don’t know what is.
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