View Poll Results: Is superman responsible?

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17. You may not vote on this poll
  • Yes, clark is responsible. 20 people trumps one person

    2 11.76%
  • No, he isn't. Deaths are unfortunate.

    11 64.71%
  • I don't know. I am either confused or really, don't have an opinion

    4 23.53%
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  1. #31
    Astonishing Member Soubhagya's Avatar
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    I voted for the first choice.

    We are dealing with a hypothetical scenario within a story. So, its far easier to tackle this then in real life. A lot of it depends upon specific circumstances. But the idea that you won't let one person die so that twenty can be saved is wrong. At one level it sounds heroic. It speaks of principles and morality of a lofty nature, which i definitely desire to see in more characters. And it is one of the reasons, i prefer Superman over any other superhero.

    On the other hand, if we are speaking about morality which is practical and useful, this is useless. To sacrifice a person to save a family is better. To sacrifice a family to save the city is better. It is better to sacrifice a city to save a nation. Its better to sacrifice a nation to save the world. Its better to sacrifice the world to save the soul.

    For the sake of this topic one may ignore the last part. Its from the Mahabharata and that part speaks about the importance of spirituality and renunciation. But that is not just a religious text. Its also about practical morality. To be 'religiously' moral in this world is not possible, as there are immoral people, with whom moral people have to contend with. And even the most moral person has to sometimes give up morality for the sake of a higher cause. Situations arise in life when an immoral choice is actually the moral one, and the moral choice is the immoral one.

    That book demonstrates this very effectively. The story of Mahabharata goes something like this. The eldest child who should have been the king is blind from birth. So, the younger son who is equally qualified becomes the king. But he dies at a young age leaving behind five sons. The blind elder brother, becomes for the time being the king. He has 100 sons, called Kurus who are evil minded, lead by the eldest Duryodhana. The five sons of the younger brother are men of highest moral caliber and qualified princes called Pandavas. This leads to conflict as the Kurus try to kill their cousins by many conspiracies and political intrigues. The Pandavas remain patient throughout all these and they try to come to a peaceful solution by all means.

    It finally comes down to full scale war and the Pandavas make a last ditch effort to avoid the war. At that point, advisor of the blind king gives him the advice of rejecting only the eldest son to avoid the destructive war. (Point to be noted that the blind king isn't a bad person to say. He often feels sorry for the Pandavas and knows the right thing to do. But his affection for his eldest son makes him blind figuratively too). If he could only banish his oldest son who is the root of this conflict a destructive war could be avoided. He reminds the king of the history of one of the kings in his own dynasty.

    There was one king long before him who had a similar dilemma. This king named Bharat had nine sons. He was a very qualified and a kind king to his citizens. But his sons turned out to be wicked. They took pleasure in tormenting the citizens. The king asked for advice from his ministers and they advised him to get rid of his sons. The king actually assasinated his own sons. He adopted a son and made him the king. He was a father. But as a king he was also the father of the citizens. Even after hearing this the blind king could not change his ways and that lead to the final war.

    The point is that ideals are desirable. Heroes need to have that. People could then see that there can be something pure in this world. So, i commend this on one level. On the other hand, if Superman has to really be the ideal of hope he has to sometimes let go of a moral choice, if the immoral choice actually is on the higher ground.




    In this specific scenario, its definitely wrong to step down. Say Superman steps down. Will the others too? If not, and Superman knows this will lead to deaths of billions, will Superman actively try to take down the heroes himself? Because if he doesn't, he would be responsible. You see. Superman has power. So, in order to stop the apocalypse he has to stop the heroes too. Since, they are active, it will lead to death of billions in the future. So, inaction is no solution.

    Superman will try to work with the other heroes prepare for the endgame scenarios and fight. He has to fight anyway. The upcoming disaster or the heroes. Its a far better choice to fight alongside good people to avert the inevitable. Who knows? Together they could avert the inevitable. That is what hope means. Realistically speaking, Superman will try to save all twenty one in danger including the girl. If he could not save all of them, he isn't responsible as he tried. And if its an impossible choice, he has to choose the twenty.

    Weight on the conscience is something he has to deal with. In Mahabharata the eldest of the Pandavas was very distraught after the war and wanted to leave aside the hard won kingdom. This after he tried everything within his power and more to avoid the war. Who had to fight when it was finally inevitable. He had to take help. And after that he took up the position of the king. It was a devastating war and leadership was needed to rebuild.

    Now about the question of Superman not being able to save a number of lives because he is talking with friends. I don't have a clear idea. Even if Superman could know there are people in danger, he is neither omniscient nor omnipotent. He does not know everything. Nor does he have all power. He is not fully independent. Superman's senses have limits. His ability to process information has limits. His ability to predict the future has limits. His powers have limits. He isn't fully independent. To illustrate how is not fully independent say he stops a crime scene in North Korea. That could lead to increase in global tensions which can tilt countries more closer to war. What shall he do?

    I think this can lead to a number of interesting scenarios. I have always thought the Superman is the thinking guy's superhero. I enjoy that.
    Last edited by Soubhagya; 11-10-2019 at 06:37 AM.

  2. #32
    Astonishing Member manwhohaseverything's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soubhagya View Post
    I voted for the first choice.

    We are dealing with a hypothetical scenario within a story. So, its far easier to tackle this then in real life. A lot of it depends upon specific circumstances. But the idea that you won't let one person die so that twenty can be saved is wrong. At one level it sounds heroic. It speaks of principles and morality of a lofty nature, which i definitely desire to see in more characters. And it is one of the reasons, i prefer Superman over any other superhero.

    On the other hand, if we are speaking about morality which is practical and useful, this is useless. To sacrifice a person to save a family is better. To sacrifice a family to save the city is better. It is better to sacrifice a city to save a nation. Its better to sacrifice a nation to save the world. Its better to sacrifice the world to save the soul.

    For the sake of this topic one may ignore the last part. Its from the Mahabharata and that part speaks about the importance of spirituality and renunciation. But that is not just a religious text. Its also about practical morality. To be 'religiously' moral in this world is not possible, as there are immoral people, with whom moral people have to contend with. And even the most moral person has to sometimes give up morality for the sake of a higher cause. Situations arise in life when an immoral choice is actually the moral one, and the moral choice is the immoral one.

    That book demonstrates this very effectively. The story of Mahabharata goes something like this. The eldest child who should have been the king is blind from birth. So, the younger son who is equally qualified becomes the king. But he dies at a young age leaving behind five sons. The blind elder brother, becomes for the time being the king. He has 100 sons, called Kurus who are evil minded, lead by the eldest Duryodhana. The five sons of the younger brother are men of highest moral caliber and qualified princes called Pandavas. This leads to conflict as the Kurus try to kill their cousins by many conspiracies and political intrigues. The Pandavas remain patient throughout all these and they try to come to a peaceful solution by all means.

    It finally comes down to full scale war and the Pandavas make a last ditch effort to avoid the war. At that point, advisor of the blind king gives him the advice of rejecting only the eldest son to avoid the destructive war. (Point to be noted that the blind king isn't a bad person to say. He often feels sorry for the Pandavas and knows the right thing to do. But his affection for his eldest son makes him blind figuratively too). If he could only banish his oldest son who is the root of this conflict a destructive war could be avoided. He reminds the king of the history of one of the kings in his own dynasty.

    There was one king long before him who had a similar dilemma. This king named Bharat had nine sons. He was a very qualified and a kind king to his citizens. But his sons turned out to be wicked. They took pleasure in tormenting the citizens. The king asked for advice from his ministers and they advised him to get rid of his sons. The king actually assasinated his own sons. He adopted a son and made him the king. He was a father. But as a king he was also the father of the citizens. Even after hearing this the blind king could not change his ways and that lead to the final war.

    The point is that ideals are desirable. Heroes need to have that. People could then see that there can be something pure in this world. So, i commend this on one level. On the other hand, if Superman has to really be the ideal of hope he has to sometimes let go of a moral choice, if the immoral choice actually is on the higher ground.




    In this specific scenario, its definitely wrong to step down. Say Superman steps down. Will the others too? If not, and Superman knows this will lead to deaths of billions, will Superman actively try to take down the heroes himself? Because if he doesn't, he would be responsible. You see. Superman has power. So, in order to stop the apocalypse he has to stop the heroes too. Since, they are active, it will lead to death of billions in the future. So, inaction is no solution.

    Superman will try to work with the other heroes prepare for the endgame scenarios and fight. He has to fight anyway. The upcoming disaster or the heroes. Its a far better choice to fight alongside good people to avert the inevitable. Who knows? Together they could avert the inevitable. That is what hope means. Realistically speaking, Superman will try to save all twenty one in danger including the girl. If he could not save all of them, he isn't responsible as he tried. And if its an impossible choice, he has to choose the twenty.

    Weight on the conscience is something he has to deal with. In Mahabharata the eldest of the Pandavas was very distraught after the war and wanted to leave aside the hard won kingdom. This after he tried everything within his power and more to avoid the war. Who had to fight when it was finally inevitable. He had to take help. And after that he took up the position of the king. It was a devastating war and leadership was needed to rebuild.

    Now about the question of Superman not being able to save a number of lives because he is talking with friends. I don't have a clear idea. Even if Superman could know there are people in danger, he is neither omniscient nor omnipotent. He does not know everything. Nor does he have all power. He is not fully independent. Superman's senses have limits. His ability to process information has limits. His ability to predict the future has limits. His powers have limits. He isn't fully independent. To illustrate how is not fully independent say he stops a crime scene in North Korea. That could lead to increase in global tensions which can tilt countries more closer to war. What shall he do?

    I think this can lead to a number of interesting scenarios. I have always thought the Superman is the thinking guy's superhero. I enjoy that.
    Mahabharata had a guy named 'krishna' who is very flexible. I know mahabharata is utilitarian in terms of moral positions .Post crisis version of clark ain't like that. He is more kantian. As in, 'maryada purushotam' or 'harishchandra'. He would follow an ideal to the bitter end. Like, the 3 guys who fought the pandavas and krishna on the enemy side, yudhistira were like that as well. In superman's case, its no killing. Similarly, buddha was admant about nonviolence . That's his position.

    krishna as an avatar was needed because. in his world the strong(bad guys) used laws, ideals of good people.. Etc in a way that suited their selfish needs and hurt the weak using it. That world world requires a guy who does break the laws to protect the weak, that is krishna. Goldenage guy was like that.

    Post crisis superman' s World isn't that. His world is like that of ram's where ideal are seen as lofty and bad guys don't care to follow them. people break them for selfish needs and cause long term damage to the weak . Think about it this superman is called the 'boyscout' both as a derogatory term and as an endearment. For example:- superman and the elite.

    So yeah! You can't expect ram to act like krishna and vice versa. They are two different people born for two different worlds or yugas that needed them to protect the defenceless.both of the would not be as effective in each others world. And both of them had their weakness. Which is my point. Regardless of what position clark takes he will need to bear consequences as men do.like krishna did and rama did.
    Last edited by manwhohaseverything; 11-10-2019 at 10:24 AM.

  3. #33
    Astonishing Member marhawkman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by qwertyuiop1998 View Post
    The point is ALL Arion said just a possible future. It isn't a solid or irreversible facts. It basically was a classic trolley dilemma, It just avoiding any other solution by restricting the options.But in reality, There are virtually infinite possibilities which makes there will be much more than just two options
    So yes, Supes did the right thing by refusing Arion's propose
    And for the "If superman saves 1 person and fails 20. Does clark have any responsibility?" No He isn't responsible,Because he had failed to SAVE them" He saving people behavior is more conscience thing than responsibility
    It reminds me of the scenario in Superman: TAS. A bad guy tried to force Superman to choose between saving A or saving B. Superman saved them both then told the bad guy why he shouldn't try that again.

    Arion's statement doesn't really hold weight because it treats things as constants that are probably variables.

  4. #34
    Astonishing Member manwhohaseverything's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marhawkman View Post
    It reminds me of the scenario in Superman: TAS. A bad guy tried to force Superman to choose between saving A or saving B. Superman saved them both then told the bad guy why he shouldn't try that again.

    Arion's statement doesn't really hold weight because it treats things as constants that are probably variables.
    Him being able to save botb in one instant doesn't change the fact that, There are times he wouldn't be able to. Have you seen tokyo ghoul?in it the protagonist said the same thing. It turned out the bad guy was ten times better, he killed both people. So, protagonist's indecisiveness caused two deaths.that is a logical outcome as well. So, throwing the rule book out the window has its own risks. It essentially becomes zero sum game. Either you win everything Or you lose everything. All i am saying is that every moral position has limitations. Unless, you are omnipotent you can't escape consequences.



  5. #35
    Fantastic Member qwertyuiop1998's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by manwhohaseverything View Post
    Him being able to save botb in one instant doesn't change the fact that, There are times he wouldn't be able to. Have you seen tokyo ghoul?in it the protagonist said the same thing. It turned out the bad guy was ten times better, he killed both people. So, protagonist's indecisiveness caused two deaths.that is a logical outcome as well. So, throwing the rule book out the window has its own risks. It essentially becomes zero sum game. Either you win everything Or you lose everything. All i am saying is that every moral position has limitations. Unless, you are omnipotent you can't escape consequences.


    From my opinion, It was actually about what choices make you failed. It not the one who trying to save people responsibility, They just failed trying to save them, Who should take the responsiblity was the villain(s) who putting people in dnager. The most rational answer for this situation should be:Make the villain(s) pay for their crimes, And self-examination,Find the fatal factors which leading into the people who died in this situation, And heroes improving themselves to prevent thie kinda situation,Also keep warning themselves that they should never cross the line
    Last edited by qwertyuiop1998; 11-10-2019 at 02:55 PM.
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  6. #36
    Astonishing Member manwhohaseverything's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by qwertyuiop1998 View Post
    From my opinion, It was actually about what choices make you failed. It not the one who trying to save people responsibility, They just failed trying to save them, Who should take the responsiblity was the villain(s) who putting people in dnager. The most rational answer for this situation should be:Make the villain(s) pay for their crimes, And self-examination,Find the fatal factors which leading into the people who died in this situation, And heroes improving themselves to prevent thie kinda situation,Also keep warning themselves that they should never cross the line
    I never said failure was a problem. But, i have seen that superman rarely asked questions. He is. There are great storylines like that. But, comparatively less. Clark's morality makes for interesting discussions.Regardless of what position he takes he will be bound to certain degree by consequences. Breaking it should come at a cost or it should be a journey. That's my opinion . He can be the guy that saves the one girl infront of him intead of the two. He can be the guy that saves 20 instead of 1.he can also try to do both save the lives of 21 or lose 21.but, clark is just a man. A SUPER-man,but a man nonetheless. He hasn't become a god just, yet.
    As for crossing the line.That's just a personal thing. If Clark's has taken vow to never kill sentient creatures . It is perfectly understandable. Its admirable. Even that would have costs and limits. Clark should bear the burden of that as well. I am not advocating for grimm darkness. Atleast i don't think I am. I just want Clark's smile to have the same weight as all might's does. Because all mights smile means something for everyone. Being symbol of anything is hard business.

  7. #37
    (formerly "Superman") JAK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by manwhohaseverything View Post
    I never said failure was a problem. But, i have seen that superman rarely asked questions. He is. There are great storylines like that. But, comparatively less. Clark's morality makes for interesting discussions.Regardless of what position he takes he will be bound to certain degree by consequences. Breaking it should come at a cost or it should be a journey. That's my opinion . He can be the guy that saves the one girl infront of him intead of the two. He can be the guy that saves 20 instead of 1.he can also try to do both save the lives of 21 or lose 21.but, clark is just a man. A SUPER-man,but a man nonetheless. He hasn't become a god just, yet.
    As for crossing the line.That's just a personal thing. If Clark's has taken vow to never kill sentient creatures . It is perfectly understandable. Its admirable. Even that would have costs and limits. Clark should bear the burden of that as well. I am not advocating for grimm darkness. Atleast i don't think I am. I just want Clark's smile to have the same weight as all might's does. Because all mights smile means something for everyone. Being symbol of anything is hard business.
    We've danced on this subject a few times, but something just hit me so I'm going to posit it to you. Not to have a lengthy discussion on, but just for you to think on.

    I see your point - not every situation is winnable. And that's true. I very much like focusing on the "man" part of Superman - not on this subject specifically, but in general. On the other side of the coin, if we focus too much on the man and not the Super, we lose something valuable about the character as well - and I don't just mean fantastic powers.

    Taking Arion's scenario to Superman, for instance: saving one means 20 will die. So he says. How does he know it's true? How does he know that saving one won't let him save the other? Maybe he's lying, or maybe he's mistaken. Nothing is perfect and without variable, especially where Superman's powers are concerned. Also, does he always take the villain at face value and bow down to the rules presented to him, or does he try to use his powers and his intelligence to find a way to break the scenario? If he plays within the "rules" the villain has presented, will said villain just kill all of them to show the hero that he (the villain) can't be trusted and to break the hero with the knowledge that he (the hero) failed them all? All are very real possibilities.

    There are many ways to approach the scenario, few of them cut and dried and none without possible consequences. But it's wrong to think that not playing within the rules presented by the villain is indecision. It's not. It is absolutely a decision, just not the ones directly presented. That's not the same as the comic you're showing here. What you're showing is indecision and questioning the options, I agree. What I'm talking about is a choice, a decision and an action based on the thought process behind that questioning. Because if we're really trying to be "like real life" here with consequences and whatnot, there is no cut and dry, and we don't know. So, "win, lose, or draw," in real life the answers are never binary.

    All that having been said, these things are fine to dive into once in awhile, and they can even be good. But it needs to be rare. Anything beyond rare, and we do run the risk of getting into too much grimdark territory, and the character (imo) doesn't thrive or connect well there - at least not long-term. I also personally like the concept of finding another option because (beyond being a thrilling conclusion) it promotes the idea of thinking outside the box that problems can seemingly present us with, that there's inspiration in thinking it through and finding one's own solution.
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  8. #38
    Incredible Member Lvenger's Avatar
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    I wonder if this is what Superman's response to the ethical thought experiment known as the Trolley Problem would be. For those who don't know, it's basically a philosophical problem where a trolley is about to hit 5 people who are incapacitated and you have the option to pull a lever which will divert the trolley onto another track that will kill 1 person. Obviously someone with a utilitarian philosophy would pull the lever and save 5 people whilst killing 1 person but Superman seems to be arguing against the "means justify the ends"/greater good mentality. It's a position that would be heavily scrutinised within the field of moral philosophy but it does make sense for Superman to maintain a Kantian categorical imperative that an immoral action is wrong regardless of the intended consequences or intentions behind it.

    That page is one of my favourite scenes from Busiek's Superman run. I know everyone loves Secret Identity and so do I but his take on a canon Superman is complex whilst remaining true to the core depiction of the character.

  9. #39
    Astonishing Member manwhohaseverything's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAK View Post
    We've danced on this subject a few times, but something just hit me so I'm going to posit it to you. Not to have a lengthy discussion on, but just for you to think on.

    I see your point - not every situation is winnable. And that's true. I very much like focusing on the "man" part of Superman - not on this subject specifically, but in general. On the other side of the coin, if we focus too much on the man and not the Super, we lose something valuable about the character as well - and I don't just mean fantastic powers.

    Taking Arion's scenario to Superman, for instance: saving one means 20 will die. So he says. How does he know it's true? How does he know that saving one won't let him save the other? Maybe he's lying, or maybe he's mistaken. Nothing is perfect and without variable, especially where Superman's powers are concerned. Also, does he always take the villain at face value and bow down to the rules presented to him, or does he try to use his powers and his intelligence to find a way to break the scenario? If he plays within the "rules" the villain has presented, will said villain just kill all of them to show the hero that he (the villain) can't be trusted and to break the hero with the knowledge that he (the hero) failed them all? All are very real possibilities.

    There are many ways to approach the scenario, few of them cut and dried and none without possible consequences. But it's wrong to think that not playing within the rules presented by the villain is indecision. It's not. It is absolutely a decision, just not the ones directly presented. That's not the same as the comic you're showing here. What you're showing is indecision and questioning the options, I agree. What I'm talking about is a choice, a decision and an action based on the thought process behind that questioning. Because if we're really trying to be "like real life" here with consequences and whatnot, there is no cut and dry, and we don't know. So, "win, lose, or draw," in real life the answers are never binary.

    All that having been said, these things are fine to dive into once in awhile, and they can even be good. But it needs to be rare. Anything beyond rare, and we do run the risk of getting into too much grimdark territory, and the character (imo) doesn't thrive or connect well there - at least not long-term. I also personally like the concept of finding another option because (beyond being a thrilling conclusion) it promotes the idea of thinking outside the box that problems can seemingly present us with, that there's inspiration in thinking it through and finding one's own solution.
    I never said, this version of superman was indecisive. He makes a choice. I clearly said i admired that. He would save a girl in front of him. He would weigh intentions over outcome. That is Clark's position. Here, arion is a villain. A bad guy because he had ulterior motives(i don't remember correctly. Something about reawakening magic) . So what if arion wasn't a bad guy. But, just a utilitarian 'antagonist' who's genuinely concerned about Clark's intentions doing damage than good.clark would have to really content with the counter argument.

    Anyways, that isn't my point. All i am saying,every choice can have bad end.that includes things like not playing by the 'villain' rule. It's becomes win all or loss all situation. There are many versions of superman that does go for that. Some are badly written like turning back time thing .here,clark doesn't go for that. He goes for his own individual morality/intentions over outcome. The counter to that is utilitarian point of view where your on morality is placed second for the sake of the wellbeing of others,many versions of superman go for that as well. All of these can result in casualties and bad ends(turning back time can blow big time. Just ask barry) . It's part of Clark's human existence. That's my point.
    When i said, indecisiveness regarding the tokyo ghoul thing. I meant it as perceived one. protagonist might have been tring to go for new path. But villains can do that as well. So he lost both.That makes the protagonist look indecisive.

    The problem with clark's smile/optimism many a times compared to toshinori's(all might) optimism is that Toshinori's smile feels like genuine optimism,not naivety. He knows things could blow up in his face. And it does. He acknowledges it. Similar to captain america in the movies.these guys really have to content with their antagonists or something that opposes their view. Steve has to content with tony. Toshinori(all might) has to content with his ex-sidekick. because they have a point and they aren't bad guys,as they don't have ulterior selfish motives. Heck! You can do that with bad guys as well. Joker really pushes bruce and a point. Joker madness does have a method. You can do that with non badguys like red hood. Redhood's criticism is valid. It can even be done without an antagonist. It is important that clark contents with his opposition no matter what moral position he takes.
    As for frequency of such stories where clark is asked hard questions. Well i would prefer every arc clark goes through have something that challenges him. Whatever that is depends on the arc. As much as i love fluff. Fluff without anything noteworthy is forgettable.
    Last edited by manwhohaseverything; 11-11-2019 at 08:05 AM.

  10. #40
    Astonishing Member manwhohaseverything's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lvenger View Post
    I wonder if this is what Superman's response to the ethical thought experiment known as the Trolley Problem would be. For those who don't know, it's basically a philosophical problem where a trolley is about to hit 5 people who are incapacitated and you have the option to pull a lever which will divert the trolley onto another track that will kill 1 person. Obviously someone with a utilitarian philosophy would pull the lever and save 5 people whilst killing 1 person but Superman seems to be arguing against the "means justify the ends"/greater good mentality. It's a position that would be heavily scrutinised within the field of moral philosophy but it does make sense for Superman to maintain a Kantian categorical imperative that an immoral action is wrong regardless of the intended consequences or intentions behind it.

    That page is one of my favourite scenes from Busiek's Superman run. I know everyone loves Secret Identity and so do I but his take on a canon Superman is complex whilst remaining true to the core depiction of the character.
    Yeah! This is exactly that. He is postcrisis superman is very much kantian. Ofcourse, there are others that want clark to through the rule book out of the window. Find a new outside the box path or do something that pushes him to be god like for eg:- turning back time in donner movies. That's valid for clark. He is not just a man. He is superman.Also,i have seen many other versions of clark take utilitarian choices as well. Regardless, every moral position has a limitation.so i prefer stories where clark really has to content with opposing view.

  11. #41
    Astonishing Member marhawkman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAK View Post
    We've danced on this subject a few times, but something just hit me so I'm going to posit it to you. Not to have a lengthy discussion on, but just for you to think on.

    I see your point - not every situation is winnable. And that's true. I very much like focusing on the "man" part of Superman - not on this subject specifically, but in general. On the other side of the coin, if we focus too much on the man and not the Super, we lose something valuable about the character as well - and I don't just mean fantastic powers.

    Taking Arion's scenario to Superman, for instance: saving one means 20 will die. So he says. How does he know it's true? How does he know that saving one won't let him save the other? Maybe he's lying, or maybe he's mistaken. Nothing is perfect and without variable, especially where Superman's powers are concerned. Also, does he always take the villain at face value and bow down to the rules presented to him, or does he try to use his powers and his intelligence to find a way to break the scenario? If he plays within the "rules" the villain has presented, will said villain just kill all of them to show the hero that he (the villain) can't be trusted and to break the hero with the knowledge that he (the hero) failed them all? All are very real possibilities.

    There are many ways to approach the scenario, few of them cut and dried and none without possible consequences. But it's wrong to think that not playing within the rules presented by the villain is indecision. It's not. It is absolutely a decision, just not the ones directly presented. That's not the same as the comic you're showing here. What you're showing is indecision and questioning the options, I agree. What I'm talking about is a choice, a decision and an action based on the thought process behind that questioning. Because if we're really trying to be "like real life" here with consequences and whatnot, there is no cut and dry, and we don't know. So, "win, lose, or draw," in real life the answers are never binary.

    All that having been said, these things are fine to dive into once in awhile, and they can even be good. But it needs to be rare. Anything beyond rare, and we do run the risk of getting into too much grimdark territory, and the character (imo) doesn't thrive or connect well there - at least not long-term. I also personally like the concept of finding another option because (beyond being a thrilling conclusion) it promotes the idea of thinking outside the box that problems can seemingly present us with, that there's inspiration in thinking it through and finding one's own solution.
    Yeah, I loved this scene: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9TyxxLHfBwE

    Why? because it's reasonable. You kill multiple people and you use hostages as human shields, and you wanna tell me whether I'm allowed to shoot you in response? NO!

    That's the core of the real dilemma. Letting the villain dictate terms means the villain wins. You're not "beating" the villain if you do what he tells you to do. If a villain sets up two bombs and tells me I only have time to save the people at one location, I'd tell him "disarm the bombs or I'll kill you." The whole point of the scenario is for the villain to play god trying to force the hero to act in a specific way. Letting the bad guy have things his way means he wins. Thus why I would choose to... "negotiate".

    The trolley dilemma assumes there are only two outcomes, and that you know the results of both. Thus making the scenario unreasonable. You're literally railroading the person making the decision. One could argue that Arion's proposal is an equally fake choice. It's being presented from the PoV of a man who claims to know the results, but does he really? I wouldn't trust him. What is the REAL problem? It's not about whether Superman saves people. It's about Arion manipulating Superman into doing things his way. IF I was in Superman's position I'd tell Arion just how little I thought of his proposal.

  12. #42
    Astonishing Member stargazer01's Avatar
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    Superman Returns and Man of Steel for all their flaws, tackle with these question in different ways. In Returns, Superman has a moment when he has to decide who to save, the people in Metropolis or Lois Lane. He goes to Metropolis. A decision that isn't easy but he feels his duty is to save the most people possible.

    In Man of Steel, young Clark saves the bus full of kids because he can't do nothing. He can't watch them die. However, he watches Pa die, which IMO goes against everything the character is about: he saves lives because it's the right thing to do and because he can.

    Some questions aren't easy, but I don't think Superman is responsible for our lives. He isn't our parent who is supposed to protect his/her kids all the time. Superman is just a friend who cares and who is kind.

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    Astonishing Member manwhohaseverything's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marhawkman View Post
    Yeah, I loved this scene: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9TyxxLHfBwE

    Why? because it's reasonable. You kill multiple people and you use hostages as human shields, and you wanna tell me whether I'm allowed to shoot you in response? NO!

    That's the core of the real dilemma. Letting the villain dictate terms means the villain wins. You're not "beating" the villain if you do what he tells you to do. If a villain sets up two bombs and tells me I only have time to save the people at one location, I'd tell him "disarm the bombs or I'll kill you." The whole point of the scenario is for the villain to play god trying to force the hero to act in a specific way. Letting the bad guy have things his way means he wins. Thus why I would choose to... "negotiate".

    The trolley dilemma assumes there are only two outcomes, and that you know the results of both. Thus making the scenario unreasonable. You're literally railroading the person making the decision. One could argue that Arion's proposal is an equally fake choice. It's being presented from the PoV of a man who claims to know the results, but does he really? I wouldn't trust him. What is the REAL problem? It's not about whether Superman saves people. It's about Arion manipulating Superman into doing things his way. IF I was in Superman's position I'd tell Arion just how little I thought of his proposal.
    Yeah! That's pretty badass. But, that's not possible everytime nor is it that simple. As i said its a win all or lose all situation. That could very well blow up in the guys face and the hostage will be dead. Its already been discussed.Every choice has bad outcome.

  14. #44
    Astonishing Member manwhohaseverything's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stargazer01 View Post
    Superman Returns and Man of Steel for all their flaws, tackle with these question in different ways. In Returns, Superman has a moment when he has to decide who to save, the people in Metropolis or Lois Lane. He goes to Metropolis. A decision that isn't easy but he feels his duty is to save the most people possible.

    In Man of Steel, young Clark saves the bus full of kids because he can't do nothing. He can't watch them die. However, he watches Pa die, which IMO goes against everything the character is about: he saves lives because it's the right thing to do and because he can.

    Some questions aren't easy, but I don't think Superman is responsible for our lives. He isn't our parent who is supposed to protect his/her kids all the time. Superman is just a friend who cares and who is kind.
    Well, you didn't mind clark going and saving people of Metropolis. It's the same logic in man of steel.
    Saving pa = dooming people in the aftermath.
    So, pa wanted him to not save him. You didn't think the above utilitarian choice had a more not so cool counter part. Did you? But as i said every moral positions has its weaknesses.

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    Astonishing Member stargazer01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by manwhohaseverything View Post
    Well, you didn't mind clark going and saving people of Metropolis. It's the same logic in man of steel.
    Saving pa = dooming people in the aftermath.
    So, pa wanted him to not save him. You didn't think the above utilitarian choice had a more not so cool counter part. Did you? But as i said every moral positions has its weaknesses.
    Saving Pa doesn't doom anyone else. It's not the same logic..

    It's how you present things. Returns did it better in those scenes I mentioned.

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