Basically saying do it or don't,it just matters on what happens on one of those choices. If you or someone else is not really wanting to do something, but at the same time you technically can do that thing, that's where the phrase "You either do or don't" comes into play.
Example 1: Someone that works can get up to go to work, but they don't want to, if someone else says or that person remembers the phrase "You either do or don't", they will think about the outcomes of either decision, therefore proceeding with one of the choices depending on how they want it to play out.

Example 2: Have better eating habits to better your health or keep up bad eating habits and then your health declines
by FiienXD June 29, 2022
Coined in the movie "The Dark Knight Rises" by Harvey Dent, A.k.a. Two-Face.

It is the philisophical summary that, no matter what good you intend to do, as long as you live and continue, you will bring about just as much evil as good, if not more through accident or intent. Death becomes a saving grace, providing vindication for their actions and preventing a worsening of certain outcomes through inactivity.
Examples include:
Falling to the same corrupton you sought to eliminate. ( Anakin Skywalker from Star Wars, Lois Griffin from Family Guy)
Prolonged exposure to evil, despite good intentions. (Frodo from Lord of the Rings, Ice King from Adventure Time)
Narrow minded destruction in belief of a greater goal. (Harvey Dent from "The Dark Knight Rises")

You either die a hero, or live long enough to see yourself become the villain.
by TheAllKnowingOne November 23, 2013
A quote from Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight by the character Harvey Dent in reference to Julius Caesar and Batman. Repeated by Batman at the end of the film.

There are several possible meanings:

1. Absolute power eventually corrupts (as in the case of Julius Caesar).
2. Being consistently heroic is difficult if not impossible, circumstances will eventually push you towards villainy (as in the case of Harvey Dent and Batman).
3. Public opinion can easily change and will eventually change. Many people have the tendency find faults even when there are none. It can also be easily manipulated. You might adhere to your code despite 1. and 2., you can still be painted as a villain by your enemies (as in the case of what Joker did to Batman).
4. Villainy and Heroism are relative and not absolute. "Good" will change with time. Different people have different concepts of "good" (the actions of Julius Caesar can be judged very differently by different people throughout the different ages). In many situations, the line between the two concepts can be very blurry (following the law versus vigilantism).
You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain
by Project Book July 15, 2015
When someone lives a great life and helps others, hence is a hero, however as time passes they are corrupted for whatever reason, and live long enough to become the villain. This change is inevitable for most heroes, unless they take the opportunity to die a hero earlier (or quit the business of being a hero, as its suggested bruce wayne was trying to in the dark knight rises' end)

Quote by Harvey Dent in Batman The Dark Knight
Darren the legend went to get some us some underage beer with their fake id, but got busted and ended up snitching on us to the feds.

I guess it's true, you either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain, jeoffrey said in his prison cell of 25 years.
by Def_A_Legit_Source May 23, 2020