and they don’t want their best employee to gain a distaste for his work
The man has seen some horrid stuff and the Agency doesn’t want him to act on any righteous instincts (Meat King’s Party says hello). I believe in the much more down-to-earth explanation, that the best reason named in the thread for 47 mainly killing bad guys is that killing the good guys would turn ICA into a terrorist clique wanted by some governments (which they want on their side) and that’s obviously undesirable. He doesn’t sound like the type who would get distaste for his work, or at least not after his realization at the conclusion of Hitman 2.
Regardless of what you feel about Absolution’s contributions to his
character, it’s not really possible to argue for him as a wholly amoral
person after that story.
Absolution also characterizes ICA as ready to burn down an American town and execute its inhabitants, something very unusual for an organization that’s supposed to care for its PR - true, it’s because Travis is a complete idiot, but nevertheless. If the rating system is the closest thing we have to what 47 considers a perfect job, as you said, then Absolution says it’s perfectly okay for a perfect, Silent Assassin to murder somebody in cold blood in front of a legion of bystanders while not even bothering to hide one’s identity, with the fight possibly being recorded or some keen spectators being in the audience, or just the possibility of the real Patriot waking up in the dumpster with no recollection to the fight.
47 randomly stops being clever altogether on at least two different occasions in Absolution, almost costing him his life (if it weren’t for the villains picking up the ball and being, somehow, even dumber). I’m perfectly willing to accept 47 has flaws, but Absolution enables me to believe that 47 is prone to tripping on the most plain-sight traps possible and allowing for major oversights.
Absolution still remains Hitman canon, but it’s still succumbing to the same kind of inconsistent writing as every other game in the series, although the other games didn’t do that so blatantly. The only thing moral about him in either H2 or H5, to me, is that someone he’s grown to trust and become loyal to has been endangered – but even evil people are free to have love interests and friends, so it seems flawed to me to think that 47 really does get bothered that much by moral stuff on a daily basis. You’re free to save both Vittorio and Victoria by eliminating countless innocent people on the way (Absolution specifically features stupid areas where everybody is a “freebie” and if you don’t feel like sneaking around, the game doesn’t punish you for wanton murder by turning off the rating for a segment) and overall causing disarray.
He’s goal-minded. His goal is to do whatever is asked from him in a given task, protect himself and whoever he is loyal to. Rest is fair game.
A big thing about Absolution was that what he’d do for money did have limits.
He still shoots Diana before asking any questions or figuring out her motives, which tells me he wasn’t initially bothered enough, even though Diana has saved his life on no less than two occasions. He only turns on Travis upon learning that Travis is a massive dumb double-crossing (something he hates) creep (Never trust anyone and rely on your instincts), from that letter Diana wrote in advance. I think even the supplementary Hitman literature (Hitman: Damnation) suggests 47 recognizes that Travis isn’t a trustworthy individual or a good mission handler.
My opinion is that 47 isn’t ever about morals, he’s about loyalty and mutual deals.