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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Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Nah. I'll create undead that I'll use to do good things, so I don't need to put actual living and breathing henchmen' lives at risk.
The very act of creating them automatically puts actual living and breathing people at risk. They are evil murder machines that last forever and kill people when, and you eventually will, mess up and lose control. Adding evil murder machines to the world is an evil act.
 


Cadence

Legend
Supporter
The very act of creating them automatically puts actual living and breathing people at risk. They are evil murder machines that last forever and kill people when, and you eventually will, mess up and lose control. Adding evil murder machines to the world is an evil act.
Do most weapons have a good chance of falling into the wrong hands eventually? Are they not evil because it would be the wrong hands doing the act and they're just a tool? Does inventing AI have potential issues (is it inevitable that it will take over?).
 

Dausuul

Legend
This monster the PC creates will, in all likelihood, at some point kill innocent people is better?
Considering how PC necromancers use their minions, the monster will in all likelihood be torn to bits in a dungeon without ever killing anything.

If you drag undead around civilized areas, you are risking lives, but the same is true of lots of spells. In a typical medieval city, fireball is one of the most horrific spells you could cast; its likely consequences far exceed the death toll from a couple of zombies. And don't get me started on PCs who toss around mind control spells any time a guard won't let them in someplace they want to be.

I do dislike the idea that necromancy is void of any cosmic valence. I prefer to have it be like defiling in Dark Sun; you are invoking corrupting powers, strengthening the forces of evil a little bit, each time you raise an undead creature. But that is my own personal interpretation, not required or particularly supported by the rules. Furthermore, 5E has an entire subclass built around "I have made a deal with the literal Lords of Hell and they are the source of my power," and raising a couple of zombies is pretty small potatoes next to that.

If you want to play a necromancer at my table, my main concern is going to be whether you can efficiently handle a swarm of minions in combat, not what you write in the "alignment" section.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
Alignment doesn't exist in the real world. I have no problem calling people like Jeffrey Dahmer evil. It has nothing to do with alignment, it's just a commonly accepted descriptive term.
Ok, but I’m sure you can see why, in the context of a discussion about D&D, I would assume someone was talking about alignment when they say “I don’t want to allow evil PCs.” Furthermore, this only supports my position that alignment isn’t actually needed to curtail anti-social PC behavior.
 

The very act of creating them automatically puts actual living and breathing people at risk. They are evil murder machines that last forever and kill people when, and you eventually will, mess up and lose control. Adding evil murder machines to the world is an evil act.
Look, mate. You can dispose them once you don't need them. You can just order them to stand still so you can cantrip them to dust. And a lot of useful things can potentially be dangerous if mishandled. That's normal.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Do most weapons have a good chance of falling into the wrong hands eventually? Are they not evil because it would be the wrong hands doing the act and they're just a tool? Does inventing AI have potential issues (is it inevitable that it will take over?).
If the sword is intelligent and has evil will, yes. If it's just an inanimate tool, no. Those skeletons are evil. The zombies are evil. The ghouls are evil. They will go on their own to kill and commit evil acts. Bringing such things into the world is evil. The sword on the other hand just sits there and rusts unless something else does evil with it.
 


Oofta

Legend
Ok, but I’m sure you can see why, in the context of a discussion about D&D, I would assume someone was talking about alignment when they say “I don’t want to allow evil PCs.” Furthermore, this only supports my position that alignment isn’t actually needed to curtail anti-social PC behavior.
Failing to see the point. 🤷‍♂️ The thread title references evil, not alignment. I don't care what my PC's alignments are but I won't allow evil PCs.
 

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