D&D 5E Why is animate dead considered inherently evil?

I'm having a troublesome time understanding why the animate dead spell is considered evil. When I read the manual it states that the spall imbues the targeted corpse with a foul mimicry of life, implying that the soul is not a sentient being who is trapped in a decaying corpse. Rather, the spell does exactly what its title suggests, it only animates the corps. Now of course one could use the spell to create zombies that would hunt and kill humans, but by that same coin, they could create a labor force that needs no form of sustenance (other than for the spell to be recast of course). There have also been those who have said "the spell is associated with the negative realm which is evil", however when you ask someone why the negative realm is bad that will say "because it is used for necromancy", I'm sure you can see the fallacy in this argument.

However, I must take into account that I have only looked into the DnD magic system since yesterday so there are likely large gaps in my knowledge. PS(Apon further reflection I've decided that the animate dead spell doesn't fall into the school of necromancy, as life is not truly given to the corps, instead I believe this would most likely fall into the school of transmutation.) PPS(I apologize for my sloppy writing, I've decided I'm feeling too lazy to correct it.)
 

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Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
No. Its inconsistent with that statement.

You're literally quoting text that inherently ties casting a spell (animate dead) with an alignment (not a Good act).
That doesn’t tie it to an alignment, it specifies an alignment to which it is not tied: good.
In that case, they're not a Good PC.
Sure they are. It says good right there on the character sheet, and they did the thing. Now what happens? The rules don’t say.
A Good PC can also choose for their PC to rape, enslave, murder and torture people.

They're not a Good PC.
I don’t see a rule that says a good PC can’t do those things or what happens to them if they do.
It says ONLY Evil PCs cast them regularly. That's a prohibition.

If I have a Law that states 'Only women can enter the Female restrooms' then that Law prohibits any other gender from entry.
You’ve inserted the word “can” in there, which does not exist in the text in question. A proper analogy would be a “law” that says only women enter women’s restrooms, which isn’t a law at all, it’s just a factually incorrect statement.
If a Druid wears metal armor, it's entirely up to the DM what happens.
That’s neither RAW nor RAI. RAW just says they won’t, and doesn’t specify what happens to a PC who does anyway. RAI is nothing happens at all, it’s only meant as a statement informing the setting. It’s right there in Sage Advice.
Being cast out of the Druid order, being prohibited from casting spells, dying on the spot. Whatever.
Any of these things would be not-unreasonable house rules, if a DM wanted to enforce druid PCs conforming to the statement about the setting.
The prohibition (on wearing metal armor) doesn't include a specific punishment if the prohibition is violated, but that doesn't mean the prohibition does not exist.
Therule” doesn’t prohibit druids from wearing metal armor, or just says they won’t, which a druid PC can easily prove false.
So it's up to the DM to determine what the consequences for breaking the prohibition is.

In this case, I would (after stern words from the DM) alter the PCs alignment to 'Evil' and tell them that thier use of 'dark, unholy and black magic' has stained their soul.

Or I'd boot them from the game. Either works.
Fine and dandy as a house rule, but nowhere in the rules does it say to do either of those things.
The rules don't provide a prohibition on the DM doing so. Ergo, the DM can do what the DW wants, up to (and including) refusing to DM that player, or having rocks fall on his PCs head.
That’s not how the rules of D&D work. They’re exceptions-based, they say what you can do, not what you can’t do.
Thats because the Rules do contain a prohibition on Good (or Neutral) aligned PCs from frequently casting animate dead, and this player (against that prohibition) has choosen to violate that rule.

From then onwards, its' up to the DM how to handle that problem player.
The text in question does not contain any prohibitive language. It is a statement of what characters do, which can easily be proven false.
It's no different to an ostensibly 'LG' PC who starts raping and murdering NPCs frequently and on a whim.

That character is not LG.
According to what rule?
If you agree that character is not LG, are you suggesting the DM lacks the power to alter the alignment of that PC, or to otherwise sanction or intervene here?

And if not, do the special effects of a Unicorns lair for Good aligned people, work on a serial killing rapist, simply because they have LG written on their character sheet in your games?
I mean, a player playing a serial rapist character would get kicked out of my game. But that’s part of the social contract, not the rules of the game. If one decided to allow a player to play this character though, no rule of the game says the effects of a unicorn’s lair wouldn’t affect them.
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
I'm just befuddled why DMs and players even bother with the parts of the character sheet they don't care about...

I imagine there are a whole list of things most groups would find beyond the pale for a character to do and boot the player from the group for attempting. I'm now picturing a player at the table looking at the left behind character sheet lon the table and going "good, my expletive", and the DM/different player going "why weren't they?".
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
This discussion really is saying the quiet part loud on alignment and its use as a social bludgeon.

Even with no mechanical consequence, for some it is still necessary to us the social weight of labels to express Judgement against a player who does not conform to the DMs ideals.

"You want to be a necromancer? Then I Pronounce You Evil in Mine Sight. Take This Brand Feel Shame For Not Sharing My Values."
 

Oofta

Legend
The secret, as always, was to stop pretending to care about alignment.
Not wanting players with evil PCs doesn't really have anything to do with alignment. It's that I don't want to listen as someone roleplays a gross fantasy of slowly murdering a woman by choking her to death while watching the light die from her eyes, and worse. Making light of desecrating the dead may not be as bad as that, but it's on the spectrum.

Been there, done that, won't do it again. 🤷‍♂️
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
Not wanting players with evil PCs doesn't really have anything to do with alignment. It's that I don't want to listen as someone roleplays a gross fantasy of slowly murdering a woman by choking her to death while watching the light die from her eyes, and worse. Making light of desecrating the dead may not be as bad as that, but it's on the spectrum.

Been there, done that, won't do it again. 🤷‍♂️
Red and blue are on a spectrum too. Doesn't make them anywhere near alike.

Edit: Also, imagine if the DM gets to show all sorts of weird snuff, then gets mad at the players for doing the same.
 


Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
This discussion really is saying the quiet part loud on alignment and its use as a social bludgeon.

Even with no mechanical consequence, for some it is still necessary to us the social weight of labels to express Judgement against a player who does not conform to the DMs ideals.

"You want to be a necromancer? Then I Pronounce You Evil in Mine Sight. Take This Brand Feel Shame For Not Sharing My Values."
That’s why there will never be agreement on the utility of alignment (or lack thereof). The people who say it still serves a useful purpose despite having no mechanical implications any more are still using it like it has mechanical implications, changing characters’ alignments if they think the player is playing them in a way that doesn’t conform to their idea of the alignment they chose. Sometimes even taking away class abilities because of it.
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
Who gets to decide? Unless you change the rules, the necromancer is creating a monster that will attack and kill whoever is close the moment it's not commanded to otherwise. It's reckless endangerment at best.
Let's not pretend that 'monster that does the thing the PCs do only to the wrong people' is equivalent to describing lurid snuff.
 

Dausuul

Legend
Not wanting players with evil PCs doesn't really have anything to do with alignment. It's that I don't want to listen as someone roleplays a gross fantasy of slowly murdering a woman by choking her to death while watching the light die from her eyes, and worse. Making light of desecrating the dead may not be as bad as that, but it's on the spectrum.

Been there, done that, won't do it again. 🤷‍♂️
That is the slippery slope fallacy in spades.
 

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