The Veidt Method wrote:
Only if a decision is taken in the heat of the moment. For all we know, Veidt's decision to save the world by such a callous may have had as much to the with the fact that he didn't want to end up being the smartest man on the cinder. It can be awful lonely without your adoring fan club.
Nevertheless, 'saving the world' is something that's pretty hard to fault. I mean, regardless of why he likes humanity's continued existence - I personally always saw it as him acting as a kind of father figure - he likes it.
It's not just sorrow he doesn't feel. It's true remorse that's lacking. The scene with Jon in the Orrery shows how callous and unfeeling he truly is. He claims he's made himself feel every death (note the use of past tense in his language), then refers to a dream that sounds a lot like the ending panel of Marooned, which he then says is insignificant.
He says the dream is insignificant because, I think, he doesn't quite understand it, and it's 'just a dream.' Also, the past tense, not much of an indicator - even if he 'made', he can still be 'feeling.' He hates having to kill innocent people, and wishes he didn't have to.
Untrue. Psychopaths are notoriously self absorbed while being detached from emotion. That's why they can go through life manipulating, using, and discarding other individuals without feeling true remorse. Like the Black Freighter, they leave a trail of destruction in their wake.
And yet, Veidt constantly donates to charities and, pretty much by his own admission, damns himself in order to save the world, and attempts to ignore his personal emotions on the matter of the killing so as to better serve humanity.
He's just murdered three million. That's 3,000,000 thermodynamic miracles that will never realize their potential. And those lives, in Ozy's estimation, were not worth mourning over.
Sorry, that just reminded me of this so strongly:
You say he was forced to kill innocent people, but it was his choice to come up with his specific plan, his choice to kill 3 million instead of 500,000, his choice to kill those specific people, his choice to destroy all of their and their progeny's potential contributions to mankind. If you want to be truly utilitarian, statistics are not to be abided by, who's to say that saving 100 people by killing 1 person is best for society? Perhaps those 100 people live their lives in irresponsible ways that have a net negative effect on society whereas that one person was on the verge of curing cancer. Who could possibly know the full consequences of an event happening and not happening 100 years in the future, 10,000 years in the future? Nothing ever ends. Who's to say what is best for society?
Veidt even with all his hubris was not sure of this fact, he was so insecure in his plan that he asked Dr. Manhattan if it was really the right thing to do, which exposed the terrible flaw and blind injustice of his plot.
In my engineering course, the ethics of a technology or act an engineer creates must be fully comprehended and every possible negative effect must be constantly minimized (cars and airplanes killing thousands of people a year, economics versus environment, etc) which Veidt obviously failed to do. Veidt turned to obsessive mania and delusion rather than rationality and devising the best possible plan, basically he fell off the deep end. The road to hell is paved with good intentions, in actuality Veidt succumbed and became just another victim of human nature, rather than fixing it as he had hoped.
Moore is an Anarchist and probably believes that no individual should hold power over another individual, Veidt violated that on a massive scale and Moore uses this fundamental fact in his interviews to explain why Veidt is such a terrible and tragic villain.
However, you may be right. The Watchmen universe seems to be classical rather than quantum (as Dr. Manhattan's knowledge of the interactions of every particle in the solar system allowed him to predict the future), thus no character really had any real choices. If this is true, no character is a hero or villain, just components of the predestined universe, particles interacting with each other since the big bang and until the end of time.