Can you be a pirate and a good man? Of course, in the gospel according to Disney. Do they have any idea what a pirate is? Pirates of the Caribbean 2 Dead Man’s Chest even gives the nod to Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, having one of their pirates “15 Men On a Dead Man’s Chest,” as well as the title, of course. Stevenson knew what pirates were. They were treacherous, murdering, drunken monsters. John Silver hid it well with his affable tavernkeep and “Barbecue” ship’s cook personalities. But that made him all the more monstrous when he killed a man unwilling to participate in his mutiny by breaking his back with his crutch.
Anyway, clearly Disney does not know what a pirate is. Rum-soaked these pirates may be, but that only makes them cuter. Treacherous they may be, but not in the death-dealing mutinous sense. Jack Sparrow’s just looking after Number One when he deceives Will into becoming Davy Jones’ prisoner, after all, and who wouldn’t do the same? Commodore Norrington, throughout the first movie, was a straight arrow, trying to do what was right, trying to save and please Elizabeth. For his pains he lost everything he valued and became a sorry a wretch ans anyone cheering for the pirates could desire.
The men who make a deal to serve Davy Jones for 100 years gain what, exactly? A reprieve from death? What can they possibly think death is that it is worse that what they endure on The Flying Dutchman? Here is that philosophy of second, third and fourth chances Secularists are so fond of. Bill Turner, Will’s father, states that he made choices and is prepared to bear the consequences. But when he was strapped to a cannon and sunk after protesting the marooning of Jack Sparrow, did he have a choice? This is pure determinism. These people have no hope, no possibility of repentance, no expectation of a merciful God paying the price for their sins. Every character is faced with choices that are no choices. They must lie, cheat , steal, and kill to gain their objectives or they cannot hope to succeed. They are good if their actions come to a good end.
Will Turner is the closest thing to a “good” character. But he tricks Davey Jones into giving up his key. He has no choice but to trade himself for his father in the end and all his nobility earns him precious little reward. Elizabeth says she does everything to save Will, to free him, to get to marry him, but she has to do this by deceiving Jack Sparrow and lying to Will about what she did, earning his suspicion and causing him needless distrust and anguish. There are no godly decisions to be made in these movies. Therefore there are no “good men,” pirates or otherwise.