You asked for it... [quoted from the D&D 3rd Ed. (d20) Core Rulebook -- Player's Handbook (PHB)]
THE NINE ALIGNMENTS
Nine distinct alignments define all the combinations of law vs. chaos and good vs. evil. Each description depicts the typical character of that alignment. Remember that individuals vary from this norm, and that a given character may act more or less in accord with her alignment from day to day. Use these descriptions as guidelines, not as scripts. The first six alignments, lawful good through chaotic neutral, are the standard alignments for player characters. The three evil alignments are for monsters and villains.
Lawful Good, “Crusader”: A lawful good character acts as a good person is expected or required to act. She combines a commitment to oppose evil with the discipline to fight relentlessly. She tells the truth, keeps her word, helps those in need, and speaks out against injustice. A lawful good character hates to see the guilty go unpunished. Alhandra, a paladin who fights evil without mercy and who protects the innocent without hesitation, is lawful good. Lawful good is the best alignment you can be because it combines honor and compassion.
Neutral Good, “Benefactor”: A neutral good character does the best that a good person can do. He is devoted to helping others. He works with kings and magistrates but does not feel beholden to them. Jozan, a cleric who helps others according to their needs, is neutral good. The common phrase for neutral good is “true good.” Neutral good is the best alignment you can be because it means doing what is good without bias toward or against order.
“Rebel”: A chaotic good character acts
as his conscience directs him with
Lawful Neutral, “Judge”: A lawful neutral character acts as law, tradition, or a personal code directs her. Order and organization are paramount to her. She may believe in personal order and live by a code or standard, or she may believe in order for all and favor a strong, organized government. Ember, a monk who follows her discipline without being swayed by the demands of those in need nor by the temptations of evil, is lawful neutral. The common phrase for lawful neutral is “true lawful.” Lawful neutral is the best alignment you can be because it means you are reliable and honorable without being a zealot.
Neutral, “Undecided”: A neutral character does what seems to be a good idea. She doesn’t feel strongly one way or the other when it comes to good vs. evil or law vs. chaos. Most neutrality is a lack of conviction or bias rather than a commitment to neutrality. Such a character thinks of good as better than evil. After all, she would rather have good neighbors and rulers than evil ones. Still, she’s not personally committed to upholding good in any abstract or universal way. Mialee, a wizard who devotes herself to her art and is bored by the semantics of moral debate, is neutral. Some neutral characters, on the other hand, commit themselves philosophically to neutrality. They see good, evil, law, and chaos as prejudices and dangerous extremes. They advocate the middle way of neutrality as the best, most balanced road in the long run. The common phrase for neutral is “true neutral.” Neutral is the best alignment you can be because it means you act naturally, without prejudice or compulsion.
Chaotic Neutral, “Free Spirit”: A chaotic neutral character follows his whims. He is an individualist first and last. He values his own liberty but doesn’t strive to protect others’ freedom. He avoids authority, resents restrictions, and challenges traditions. The chaotic neutral character does not intentionally disrupt organizations as part of a campaign of anarchy. To do so, he would have to be motivated either by good (and a desire to liberate others) or evil (and a desire to make those different from himself suffer). Devis, a bard who wanders the land living by his wits, is chaotic neutral. The common phrase for chaotic neutral is “true chaotic.” Remember that the chaotic neutral character may be unpredictable, but his behavior is not totally random. He is not as likely to jump off a bridge as to cross it. Chaotic neutral is the best alignment you can be because it represents true freedom both from society’s restrictions and from a do-gooder’s zeal.
Lawful Evil, “Dominator”: A lawful evil villain methodically takes what he wants within the limits of his code of conduct without regard to whom it hurts. He cares about tradition, loyalty, and order, but not about freedom, dignity, or life. He plays by the rules, but without mercy or compassion. He is comfortable in a hierarchy and would like to rule, but he is willing to serve. He condemns others not according to their actions but according to race, religion, homeland, or social rank. He is loath to break laws or promises. This reluctance is partly because of his nature and partly because he depends on order to protect himself from those who oppose him on moral grounds. Some lawful evil villains have particular taboos, such as not killing in cold blood (but having underlings do it) or not letting children come to harm (if it can be helped). They imagine that these compunctions put them above unprincipled villains. The scheming baron who expands his power and exploits his people is lawful evil. Some lawful evil people and creatures are committed to evil with a zeal like that of a crusader committed to good. Beyond being willing to hurt others for their own ends, they take pleasure in spreading evil as an end unto itself. They may also see doing evil as part of a duty to an evil deity or master. Lawful evil is sometimes called “diabolical” because devils are the epitome of lawful evil. Lawful evil is the most dangerous alignment because it represents methodical, intentional, and frequently successful evil.
Neutral Evil, “Malefactor”: A neutral evil villain does whatever she can get away with. She is out for herself, pure and simple. She sheds no tears for those she kills, whether for profit, sport, or convenience. She has no love of order and holds no illusion that following laws, traditions, or codes would make her any better or more noble. On the other hand, she doesn’t have the restless nature or love of conflict that a chaotic evil villain has. The criminal who robs and murders to get what she wants is neutral evil. Some neutral evil villains hold up evil as an ideal, committing evil for its own sake. Most often, such villains are devoted to evil deities or secret societies. The common phrase for neutral evil is “true evil.” Neutral evil is the most dangerous alignment because it represents pure evil without honor and without variation.
Chaotic Evil, “Destroyer”:
A chaotic evil character does whatever his greed, hatred, and lust
for destruction drive him to do. He is hot-tempered, vicious, arbitrarily
violent, and unpredictable. If simply out for whatever he can get,
he is ruthless and brutal. If he is committed to the spread of evil
and chaos, he is even worse. Thankfully, his plans are haphazard,
and any groups he joins or forms are poorly organized. Typically,
chaotic evil people can only be made to work together by force, and
their leader lasts only as long as he can thwart attempts to topple
or assassinate him. The demented sorcerer pursuing mad schemes of
vengeance and havoc is chaotic evil. Chaotic evil is sometimes called
“demonic” because demons are the epitome of chaotic evil.
Chaotic evil is the most dangerous alignment because it represents
the destruction not only of beauty and life but of the order on which
beauty and life depend. As long as one’s own deity is not at
odds with the others in such an act of piety, such simple practices
are common. In times of tribulation, however, some people recite dark
prayers to evil deities. Such prayers are best muttered under one’s
breath, lest others overhear. Deities rule the various aspects of
human existence: good and evil, law and chaos, life and death, knowledge
and nature. In addition, various nonhuman races have racial deities
of their own (see Table 6–2: Deities by Race). A character may
not be a cleric of a racial
[I certainly hope that helps straighten up any of the confusion. Thanks.]