View Poll Results: Is superman responsible?

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  • 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. #46
    Astonishing Member manwhohaseverything's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stargazer01 View Post
    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.
    Really, yeah! I beg to differ. Can you guarantee that? If you are utilitarian outcome needs to be given priority. In todays world a superman coming out party won't be so great. It is a guarantee that it will cause chaos. Especially, with religious nuts who need less incentive than a false prophet walking among them. You saw how pete's mom already declared clark as second coming of jesus.

  2. #47
    Astonishing Member marhawkman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by manwhohaseverything View Post
    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.
    The point is though, you don't make decisions from the PoV of an omniscient narrator. Also it's faulty logic to blame the hero for the actions of the villain. One can say it's about making the decision with the least bad outcome. Complying with the villain's demands is guaranteed to be the worst outcome, even if the hero doesn't know how yet. Arion's question is an empty thought experiment and deserves to be ignored.

  3. #48
    Astonishing Member manwhohaseverything's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marhawkman View Post
    The point is though, you don't make decisions from the PoV of an omniscient narrator. Also it's faulty logic to blame the hero for the actions of the villain. One can say it's about making the decision with the least bad outcome. Complying with the villain's demands is guaranteed to be the worst outcome, even if the hero doesn't know how yet. Arion's question is an empty thought experiment and deserves to be ignored.
    Well, i don't blame hero for trying to rescue. But, if the guy is trying to be a badass who gets his hostage killed by being reckless. That's different. I have see hostages being exchanged by complying. The is more probability that noncompliance causing more damage.
    Anyways, that's not the topic. Nor is arion's question. But, clark's answer which is kantian ethics to a t. No, it isn't an empty thought experiment. It happens to people in real life. Cops, soldiers, firefighters.. Etc all can go through this. You are just relegating it because it uncomfortable to talk about.

  4. #49
    Astonishing Member marhawkman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by manwhohaseverything View Post
    Well, i don't blame hero for trying to rescue. But, if the guy is trying to be a badass who gets his hostage killed by being reckless. That's different. I have see hostages being exchanged by complying. The is more probability that noncompliance causing more damage.
    Anyways, that's not the topic. Nor is arion's question. But, clark's answer which is kantian ethics to a t. No, it isn't an empty thought experiment. It happens to people in real life. Cops, soldiers, firefighters.. Etc all can go through this. You are just relegating it because it uncomfortable to talk about.
    No I'm saying the question Arion asked was dumb because Arion was using a vague generalization as a reason not to act. When people discuss this sort of thing for real, they know that choices aren't binary, and that there are many ways a situation an end. When dealing with a hostage situation you evaluate what your actual options are. CAN you simply shoot the guy? Peaceful resolutions are usually because the negotiator explained to the perp what the perp's options were. Then the perp realized that his best option was to surrender to the police. This is because the police negotiated from a position of strength. IE: "we're going to shoot you if you don't surrender." Realistically, if the perp is making death threats towards his hostages, the longer he lives the more likely the hostages are to die.

    Arion's scenario is even more vague and less well defined.

  5. #50
    Astonishing Member manwhohaseverything's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marhawkman View Post
    No I'm saying the question Arion asked was dumb because Arion was using a vague generalization as a reason not to act. When people discuss this sort of thing for real, they know that choices aren't binary, and that there are many ways a situation an end. When dealing with a hostage situation you evaluate what your actual options are. CAN you simply shoot the guy? Peaceful resolutions are usually because the negotiator explained to the perp what the perp's options were. Then the perp realized that his best option was to surrender to the police. This is because the police negotiated from a position of strength. IE: "we're going to shoot you if you don't surrender." Realistically, if the perp is making death threats towards his hostages, the longer he lives the more likely the hostages are to die.

    Arion's scenario is even more vague and less well defined.
    Again arion isn't the topic. It's Clark's moral position. And it's still doesn't change the fact that it's a win all or lose all situation. So, a chances of pure bad outcome is significantly higher. I have sepecified that it isn't about arion from the get go. This version of superman follows kantian ethics. The question is just a trolley problem.

  6. #51
    Astonishing Member marhawkman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by manwhohaseverything View Post
    Again arion isn't the topic. It's Clark's moral position. And it's still doesn't change the fact that it's a win all or lose all situation. So, a chances of pure bad outcome is significantly higher. I have sepecified that it isn't about arion from the get go. This version of superman follows kantian ethics. The question is just a trolley problem.
    The trolley problem isn't a real choice. That's the POINT of the trolley problem. It's a fake choice with an obvious right answer.

  7. #52
    Astonishing Member manwhohaseverything's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marhawkman View Post
    The trolley problem isn't a real choice. That's the POINT of the trolley problem. It's a fake choice with an obvious right answer.
    What is that? Think outside the box, "find a way".. Etc have all been discussed. With similar bad outcomes and higher probability.
    It's not fake. It's a simulation with restricted variables. The restrictions of variables happen in real life too. If you don't think it does. I can't convince you. Also, this superman has a no kill policy. How is he going to take out the badguy like you proposed ? What if can't kill or over power the badguy, period?all i am saying is, for superman writers to actually make superman content with opposition with his moral positions and all its limitations . It isn't just a good guy/bad guy thing either. For example, redhood and batman.And to have superman actually face one of the bad outcomes of his choices.

  8. #53
    I'm at least a C-Lister! exile001's Avatar
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    I'm going to have to say no, he isn't responsible.

    If Superman is acting to save one life, even if 5 lives are in danger across the street, he would not stop helping the first person, allowing them to die to instead save the other 5.

    For me, it largely comes down to this; Superman is not putting anyone in danger himself. Regardless of what Arion says, Superman himself is not the threat.

    Even if he could save a greater number of people by changing his course of action, he is not ultimately responsible for any of the deaths. He is not even culpable of negligence as he isn't ignoring any danger or refusing to help. He is busy helping someone, and will help the next person(s) as soon as Kryptonianly possible.

    He would feel regret and maybe even guilt for those he was unable to save, but he is not responsible and should not feel responsible.
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  9. #54
    Astonishing Member stargazer01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by manwhohaseverything View Post
    Really, yeah! I beg to differ. Can you guarantee that? If you are utilitarian outcome needs to be given priority. In todays world a superman coming out party won't be so great. It is a guarantee that it will cause chaos. Especially, with religious nuts who need less incentive than a false prophet walking among them. You saw how pete's mom already declared clark as second coming of jesus.
    IMO, if Superman was real.. the world at large would probably worship and idolize him. Some would hate him, but most would be in awe of him, especially if he acted friendly and told people he just wanted to help around and use his powers for good. But that's me, the optimistic.

  10. #55
    Astonishing Member manwhohaseverything's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stargazer01 View Post
    IMO, if Superman was real.. the world at large would probably worship and idolize him. Some would hate him, but most would be in awe of him, especially if he acted friendly and told people he just wanted to help around and use his powers for good. But that's me, the optimistic.
    Yeah! I don't see it happening and i am far from a cynic.

  11. #56
    Astonishing Member marhawkman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by manwhohaseverything View Post
    What is that? Think outside the box, "find a way".. Etc have all been discussed. With similar bad outcomes and higher probability.
    It's not fake. It's a simulation with restricted variables. The restrictions of variables happen in real life too. If you don't think it does. I can't convince you. Also, this superman has a no kill policy. How is he going to take out the badguy like you proposed ? What if can't kill or over power the badguy, period?all i am saying is, for superman writers to actually make superman content with opposition with his moral positions and all its limitations . It isn't just a good guy/bad guy thing either. For example, redhood and batman.And to have superman actually face one of the bad outcomes of his choices.
    So you like reading stories where the writer railroads the characters into making horrible decisions?

  12. #57
    Astonishing Member manwhohaseverything's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marhawkman View Post
    So you like reading stories where the writer railroads the characters into making horrible decisions?
    No! I want superman to be confronted with his failures. I like characters to admit they don't have all the answers and be humble. I like characters to not be gods with no need of consequences.i want clark to face opponents that have a point. i want the opposition to caricaturised so that its easy to dismiss them. Like, for instance red hood for batman. I am not talking about the hostage situation in the clip but redhood's reasoning and bruce's limitations.

    Last edited by manwhohaseverything; 11-12-2019 at 02:38 PM.

  13. #58
    Mighty Member Adekis's Avatar
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    I think if Superman was real, people would be scared shitless of him. Hell, I would be. But... he's not. So because he's not, the fact he's not accountable to anyone doesn't really matter, because of course he's accountable to us, the audience, and unlike if he was real, we know pretty much everything about him. So... we trust him. And so, us trusting him, it makes sense for our proxies in the stories he inhabits, whether that means Jimmy and Lois or just a guy on the street, to trust him too.

    Morality is complex. If Superman saves one person, knowing twenty more will die, is he responsible for their deaths? Maybe, but what if he saves one person under the understanding that it may be possible to save the twenty as well? Suddenly there's a good outcome, and Superman's good at finding those. Maybe he's overconfident. He's certainly been characterized that way before. What's the source of that confidence, though? It's because he almost always wins. He doesn't just make the hard choices, he frequently has to decide whether or not those choices are false dichotomies. Frequently, they are.

    So I think when he tells Arion that he has to save one girl even if twenty other people die, he really means "I've got confidence that I can save those people too, or at least try really hard to do it. To let someone die through lack of effort would be just as irresponsible for the one as it would for the twenty." And I probably agree with that. I think Superman should be able to make the hard choices in tough circumstances where he knows all the details, but he should also always try for the optimal outcome.

    As for whether Superman should never have downtime because he should always be saving everyone he can all the time? I reject that, but relatedly, I reject the idea that Superman can hear everything. The first reason I don't like it is because it leads to the stupid, genre breaking question of Superman never having downtime. The second is, omniscient super-hearing is Orwellian and disturbing. Gross! The third is just the laws of physics. Sound doesn't work like that. So I prefer to think of him as having titanic strength, but only minorly exceeding Daredevil's level of super-hearing.
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  14. #59
    (formerly "Superman") JAK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adekis View Post
    I think if Superman was real, people would be scared shitless of him. Hell, I would be. But... he's not. So because he's not, the fact he's not accountable to anyone doesn't really matter, because of course he's accountable to us, the audience, and unlike if he was real, we know pretty much everything about him. So... we trust him. And so, us trusting him, it makes sense for our proxies in the stories he inhabits, whether that means Jimmy and Lois or just a guy on the street, to trust him too.

    Morality is complex. If Superman saves one person, knowing twenty more will die, is he responsible for their deaths? Maybe, but what if he saves one person under the understanding that it may be possible to save the twenty as well? Suddenly there's a good outcome, and Superman's good at finding those. Maybe he's overconfident. He's certainly been characterized that way before. What's the source of that confidence, though? It's because he almost always wins. He doesn't just make the hard choices, he frequently has to decide whether or not those choices are false dichotomies. Frequently, they are.

    So I think when he tells Arion that he has to save one girl even if twenty other people die, he really means "I've got confidence that I can save those people too, or at least try really hard to do it. To let someone die through lack of effort would be just as irresponsible for the one as it would for the twenty." And I probably agree with that. I think Superman should be able to make the hard choices in tough circumstances where he knows all the details, but he should also always try for the optimal outcome.
    Yes, absolutely. Besides, how robbed of agency (realistic or not) would the character feel like to readers if he's losing people every other story? That's as bad, maybe worse, than Goyer's approach, honestly. And I think the audience (generally) would tune out about as fast as they did there, too.

    As for whether Superman should never have downtime because he should always be saving everyone he can all the time? I reject that, but relatedly, I reject the idea that Superman can hear everything. The first reason I don't like it is because it leads to the stupid, genre breaking question of Superman never having downtime. The second is, omniscient super-hearing is Orwellian and disturbing. Gross! The third is just the laws of physics. Sound doesn't work like that. So I prefer to think of him as having titanic strength, but only minorly exceeding Daredevil's level of super-hearing.
    Now that sparks an interesting concept, and very dark. Imagine being able to hear everything, but sound works as it does in the real world. He'd hear trouble, but know that he could never get there in time because the sound is from too long ago and the person is already dead.

    THAT is a perfect "dark multiverse" concept: a Superman who is driven crazy because he can hear and see everything, but never get there in time even with his powers. Yikes.

    Other than for that, it just shows why a limit to "realism" is a very good thing for super-heroes.
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  15. #60
    Astonishing Member marhawkman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by manwhohaseverything View Post
    No! I want superman to be confronted with his failures. I like characters to admit they don't have all the answers and be humble. I like characters to not be gods with no need of consequences.i want clark to face opponents that have a point. i want the opposition to caricaturised so that its easy to dismiss them. Like, for instance red hood for batman. I am not talking about the hostage situation in the clip but redhood's reasoning and bruce's limitations.
    I don't see how you came to the conclusion hat Superman stories lack that. It seems like you want Superman to be more of a morally grey character, because you see his outlook on life to be unrealistic.
    Quote Originally Posted by Adekis View Post
    As for whether Superman should never have downtime because he should always be saving everyone he can all the time? I reject that, but relatedly, I reject the idea that Superman can hear everything. The first reason I don't like it is because it leads to the stupid, genre breaking question of Superman never having downtime. The second is, omniscient super-hearing is Orwellian and disturbing. Gross! The third is just the laws of physics. Sound doesn't work like that. So I prefer to think of him as having titanic strength, but only minorly exceeding Daredevil's level of super-hearing.
    I forget who but one writer said that while Superman CAN hear anyone on the world if he concentrates hard enough, it's impossible for him to actually process the other billions of people. He just can't listen to billions of people at once. So it becomes a needle in a haystack problem. It's why he's able to home in on Lois so easily. He can pick her out of the background noise far easier than other people.
    Quote Originally Posted by JAK View Post
    Yes, absolutely. Besides, how robbed of agency (realistic or not) would the character feel like to readers if he's losing people every other story? That's as bad, maybe worse, than Goyer's approach, honestly. And I think the audience (generally) would tune out about as fast as they did there, too.
    If there is a legitimate reason for Superman to feel like a failure... regularly... It makes the stories lame and unappealing. It's something far too many Spiderman writers do. having Spiderman berate himself for failing to save someone got old in the 90s. Sure, it makes sense for him to sometimes do that, but not constantly.

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