Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Blog #73 - Why Doesn't the Batman just kill the Joker?

Having read the article on the ethics of killing the Joker, what do you think?  (We're going to assume that this comic book world that we are inhabiting is real, so don't start going down that road).

It brings up a few good points: 
1. The Joker will continue to kill (but does Batman murder him for future crimes - could be dangerous - or past crimes?  Joker has killed Robin, Commissioner Gordon's wife, and crippled Batgirl, Gordon's stepdaugher).
2. Batman's honor code of not killing is just a way for Batman to feel superior to the men and women of crime whom he is fighting.
3. Is Batman responsible for all of the deaths / mayhem / destruction since Batman first apprehended the Joker?  Is that chaos Batman's to own, or should it be the Joker?

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So, questions to answer: 
1. In which of the scenarios of the Trolley Problem do you think best applies to this situation w/ the Batman and Joker (assuming it was the Joker who is the trolley)?
2. Should the Batman kill the Joker?  Why or why not?  And if so, for what crimes - past or to prevent future crimes?
3. Should our superheroes have a no-killing code?  Why or why not?  Does it just lead to more crime?
4. Is the concept of utilitarianism useful in real life?  Why or why not?

300 words total.  Due by class on Thursday, June 1.  

Articles to read and consider: 
Why Doesn't the Batman Just Kill the Joker? by Jesse Richards.

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  1. Hank Peters-Wood
    I believe the Trolley Problem best applies to the scene in which the Joker gives Batman the choice to save either Harvey Dent or Rachel Dawes. The Joker is the trolley, Harvey Dent is on one set of tracks, Rachel Dawes is on another set of tracks, and the lever is in Batman's hands. Batman ultimately decides to pull the lever in Harvey's favor, which results in Rachel's death. I believe that Batman should most definitely kill the Joker. The Joker has killed countless citizens of Archam, caused mass destruction, chaos, and panic, and has hurt people (physically, mentally, and emotionally) in the cruelest and most brutal ways imaginable. On multiple occasions the Joker has been detained and imprisoned, but he always finds a way to escape and create anarchy once again. He needs to die, not because of what he has done, but because of what he will, undeniably do in the future. Batman can't stop what has already happened, but by killing the Joker he can prevent future crime. Honestly, I don't think it is necessary for our super heroes to have a no killing code. Not all super heroes have them to begin with, and I don't see them as useful. Obviously super heroes shouldn't be abusing their power or killing for pleasure (or when it is unnecessary), but in some instances you can't really help it. Whether it is the only way to win the fight or if it is the only way to stop future crime, I believe it is okay for a super hero to kill as a last resort option. As long as the super hero hangs on to his morals, there is no reason it should lead to more crime... if anything there will be less crimes because the dangerous criminals will no long be alive. I believe that utilitarianism is useful in some aspects of life. No matter what my opinion is, you can't just kill somebody so somebody "better" can have their organs, but I do think that most actions are right if they are useful or for the benefit of a majority. People should do things to help society and those around them, and that is what a lot of utilitarianism is! However, I do not like the idea of valuing one life over another. We, as people, can not specify how much one person is worth (well we can through money, but not through goodness, if you will). We don't know how important a person is to another person, or what somebody may accomplish in the future, so I really don't think it is possible to value one person over another (especially in the cases we discussed in class, like the transplant example or 9/11). I really appreciate some aspects of utilitarianism, but i have some different views for others.

  2. Out of all the trolley problem scenarios we covered, the closest situation to Batman and Joker is one of the very last ones discussed in class. It is like having a man standing on the bridge and being able to push him off the track to stop anyone else from dying. Even though the Joker technically is the trolley, the one person pushed off the bridge also represents the one death (Joker) that could stop many more people from dying. Batman’s hand in one death could prevent the many (five in the trolley problem, but so many more in reality) lives that would be taken later on.
    Thinking about the greater good, it seems obvious that Batman should have killed the Joker long ago. The amount of deaths that he causes constantly should be enough for Batman to set aside his “one rule” and do what needs to be done to save lives. I think, if he were to get past his rule, he would need to kill the Joker in the name of the crimes he has committed and not the ones that he will. Though incredibly unlikely, it’s possible that the Joker might die before killing anyone else or some other extreme event could prevent him from continuing to cause chaos. The future is uncertain so it wouldn’t be fair to kill him “just in case” he does something in the future. I also think that it would have to be in a time connected to his committing crime, not just out of the blue, to make it more justified.
    I do appreciate that Batman has some set of morals, but his rule of never killing can get in the way of his job. He’s supposed to prevent crime and be a “hero”, save people’s lives. Without killing the Joker, he’ll always have played an indirect role in the deaths of the people killed by Joker’s antics. His role is more a role of inaction, that he chose not to act rather than to act.
    I think utilitarianism has a place in the world, but only to a certain extent. I very much agree with the idea that people all are worth equal amounts, despite age, gender, etc. However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t people who are more damaging to society than useful, and maybe it would be for the best in the end. If it occurred under the right circumstances, Batman could avoid any blame or guilt, potentially.

  3. The trolley scenario is very confusing, as the people don’t really line up. The Joker is the trolley, as he is the agent causing the deaths. On the straight path, are the innocent civilians, all tied down to the tracks. The switch is Batman’s choice of whether to kill the Joker or not. On the other path is Batman himself. His morals and what makes him Batman are tied to the track, and if Batman kills the Joker, he effectively kills his morals. The problem with this is that the person pulling the lever (Batman) is partial to one thing, himself. Batman wants to continue being Batman.
    Batman should kill the Joker, even though he would be killing himself. Batman’s role in life is to counteract the Joker, as he is the Yin to the Joker’s Yang. They can’t exist without each other. However, Batman shouldn’t kill the Joker if he sees him on the street. There has to be cause. I do not believe that past actions are enough to warrant killing somebody (unless society agrees to the death penalty). I feel that the only time Batman is justified in killing the Joker is to save the life of another person at that time. Future killings cannot actually be measured, but current hostages can. If the Joker is holding a gun to an innocent person’s head, Batman is justified, and morally obligated to, kill the Joker.
    Superheroes should have a no-killing code, and to justify this I am going to break the fourth wall. In the comic book, there will be the same number of villains, committing the same crimes, regardless of whether the hero kills or not. We can simply compare the Punisher and Deadpool to Batman and Superman. However, there is a significant difference in the real world. Society needs morals, as that is the only way we are able to function. Sometimes we get those morals from our parents, religion, or upstanding citizens, but often we look to fiction. I grew up reading Batman and Superman comics, and I admired their strength and what made them different from the villains they were fighting. I was taught to be the bigger man when I am ever confronted with a challenge, and I feel that is a positive value for society.
    I personally love the concept. In practice, it is more difficult. In class, I spoke of the time traveling supercomputer, and how that would make this philosophy so much easier. However, as much as it pains me to say it, the TTSC does not exist (yet). The TTSC would calculate every action a person would make in their lifetime and award them “society points”. Every bad action results in a loss of “society points”. So in the trolley scenario, you just look at what the TTSC tells you and pick who lives and dies like that. Since we don’t have those numbers, I don’t like making life and death choices with utilitarianism. However, there are smaller things we can use this philosophy for. For example, if I have extra money I don’t need, I could waste it on myself, or I could donate it to charity. Given that I don’t need the money, utilitarianism suggests I donate it, a conclusion I would have to agree with.
    Chance Stephenson

  4. Ari M:

    The trolley scenario which best applies to Batman and Joker in their conflict is the situation where Batman has access to a switch which can divert the trolley. If he does it will kill one person but if he does not, it will kill five. I see this as most connected to the Batman/Joker conflict because as we know the Joker is a sadistic psycho. Therefore, I see it most likely that the Joker would make Batman have to choose in how he has to break his one rule, which is the most twisted of the options. The question still at hand though is should Batman kill the Joker. While there are great arguments on both sides of the question, in my opinion Batman should keep his hands clean. Although the Joker has disabled his friends and killed his partner in crime Robin (Jason Todd), Batman can't cross the line. I know that killing the Joker would be punishment for what he has done and what he will do but Batman has to show that he is better than that. It is too easy to just kill the Joker and if Batman was to do it, would he be able to fix his ways and not do it again, or would he see how easy it is to rid the world of his enemies? Batman only began because of Bruce's parents murder. He was made to ensure that no one has to experience something like that ever again, therefore he can not stoop down to that level of evil. Our superheroes should have a non killing code. They are seen as the protectors of society and role models we look up too. If they were to kill their enemies, whats the example that it sets for those who look up to them? Crime may even increase with killings of villains because citizens would see just how easy it is to get rid of ones problems, literally. Utilitarianism is all about benefiting the majority and in real life it may be useful. Not all actions may be black or white and be in the gray area of good and evil. The thought process of utilitarianism may help in making a final decision for a difficult task as the decision can benefit the most people.

  5. 1. I think that Trolley Problem scenario where the person by the lever does nothing best represents this situation. Instead of “pulling the lever” and killing one person, the Joker, Batman refuses to take action and be responsible for killing anyone. However, by not killing the Joker, many more people die because Batman didn’t kill the Joker. If Batman one day changed his mind and decided that killing the Joker was worth it to save the other people’s lives, the scenario where the person pulls the lever, and is therefore directly responsible for the one person’s death, would fit the best.

    2. Batman should kill the Joker. I think the combination of his past and potential future crimes is reason enough to kill him. While killing him purely for his past crimes would be more revenge than a move to keep Gotham safe, if Batman used the Joker’s past actions as any indicator of what would happen in the future, he would see that killing the Joker far outweighed the consequences of having one person’s blood on his hands. It is obvious to everyone that the Joker won’t stop creating chaos until something or someone stops him. Because this is so obvious, and has been proven over and over by his previous crimes, Batman is partly responsible for any of the future crimes that happen that he could have prevented.

    3. If stopping bad guys were as easy as catching them and putting them in jail, superheroes would have no reason to kill the villains aside from revenge, which in my opinion usually isn’t a good reason to kill somebody. However, since the prison systems in the comic universes seem to be incapable of holding anyone for more than a few pages, and the villains are hardly one-time offenders, killing the ones who refuse to ever stop killing people is unreasonable. Superheroes’ no-killing codes only make themselves feel better, while making the inevitable victims feel hurt or, worst case scenario, quite dead.

    4. The concept of utilitarianism is not useful in real life because being an “observer” isn’t the best way to deal with all situations. Sometimes it is important to be emotionally invested in a decision, for example taking a life just because it is the utilitarian thing to do should not be the reason someone dies (like the lazy neighbor in the thought experiment). Still on the topic of emotions, utilitarianism would be almost impossible to apply to everyday life because emotions would get in the way of making the best choice for society based on their societal worth. Everyone has equal worth, according to utilitarianism, then take the organ donor/lazy neighbor situation, but this time instead of the neighbor it’s your loving parent or sibling who is the only match to all 5 dying people. Utilitarianism indicates that you should kill one of them in order to save the five people’s lives. I personally would never do this and, while it is an extreme example, this situation shows that utilitarianism would be completely impractical if applied to everyday life.

  6. 1. The application of the trolley problem (where batman is the man controlling the lever) is batman’s decision to flip the switch and intentionally kill the joker, or do nothing and let all of the people that the joker will kill in the future die (not flip the switch and just walk away. Flipping the switch to kill the one person implies an intention to kill the one person, which would go against batman’s moral code. To Batman, walking away would be more moral because he wouldn’t be the one responsible for the death of all of these people, the joker would be.
    2. Yes! His rule not to kill seems pretty dumb to me because it’s not actually helping Gotham. He saves the citizens in the short term only to doom them in the long term. The Joker is going to keep killing and all of the people that batman “saved” will be in danger again. If I were batman, I would kill the joker to prevent future crimes, but I think that Batman could best justify killing the Joker as a punishment for his previous crimes. Killing the joker as a punishment seems like a less personal justification for Batman to kill.
    3. No, superheroes should not have a no killing code, if a bad guy was about to kill me and/or a bunch of innocent people and all the superhero needed to do was kill the bad guy, so be it. I’m definitely not pro-killing, and superheroes should definitely avoid killing if possible, but having a no killing policy denies that there are times when killing a villain may be the only option (ex. When the villain is about to kill everyone in the city, they need to be stopped, so kill them!)
    4. I think utilitarianism is good in principle, theoretically all lives are the same and doing the greatest good for the greatest number is how we should live, but I don’t think it works in practice. Humans, in my opinion aren’t set up to think of everyone equally. For example, even though according to utilitarianism my mom is worth the same as a stranger, she’s not worth the same to me. She may even have the same number of societal points in Chance’s super computer as this stranger, but she has substantially more Piper points, so I wouldn’t treat them the same. We also have an evolutionary drive to self-preservation so biologically, it’s unlikely that we would put ourselves in harm’s way to save two strangers.

  7. I'm not sure that I understand the question with the trolley completely. The Joker is the trolley? As in, Batman makes the decision to allow him to kill 5 people or 1 person? Or are we saying which scenario matches better with the Batman & Joker relationship?

    Now to answer the second one, I’d say the scenario where the Joker is the single person vs the other 5 people who are his victims and Batman is the one at switch.

    In all honestly, the concept of utilitarianism isn’t that useful in real life. I've come to the conclusion that when you're an utilitarian, you kind of have no heart. Utilitarians don't consider the potential of someone's life when it comes to life or death situations; everyone and everything becomes a number to them.

    In my opinion, Batman should kill the Joker. I know that he has his code about not killing villains because that makes him no better than them, but come on now, there has to be a line drawn at some point. The Joker has killed so many innocent victims in the past, and every time he escapes, he kills more people. This vicious cycle is repeated continuously and doesn't seem like it'll end until he's (the Joker) killed. Killing him puts an end to the future deaths that would occur. this leads me to the "non-killing” code; I don't think ALL superheroes should have this code. With Batman's example, not killing the Joker has led to more crime and deaths. I understand that Batman puts the Joker in jail, but if he keeps escaping, it's obvious what must be done. That's why not all superheroes should have the "no-killing” mentality because in order to prevent further crimes, the villain should be killed in that first occasion. On the flipside, so there's just no mass murders of villains, I feel like there will be some superheroes who believe in jail instead of death (Batman for example). Therefore unless the villain escapes and/or reeks havoc, then they may be put to death. But if they're just in jail with no problem, then I'm okay with some heroes having the "no killing” code.

  8. 1. If we’re placing Joker in the position of the trolley, then we come up with a different kind of scenario altogether, one we didn’t talk about yesterday – Batman must choose to sacrifice himself, in this case. Not exactly his life, but he throws away his morals/rules by killing the Joker, essentially throwing himself on the tracks in front of the trolley. If we put the Joker on the position of the tracks, he becomes one of the options that Batman must choose to save; does he switch the tracks to kill the Joker, and save future victims (on the other tracks), or does he leave the tracks, saving the Joker, but killing his future victims.

    2. I don’t know. In this case, it’s a matter of what would happen afterwards. Would Batman still be able to function after he killed the Joker? Would it become a weak point for him, something that his other enemies could take advantage of? Would it cripple him, mentally, by killing the Joker? That’s the problem with breaking morals. It’s not just breaking a little rule or law, it’s going against a personal idea. In the end, I don’t think Batman should actively kill the Joker. But I don’t think he should stop others form killing the Joker either, or go out of his way to save him.

    3. Again, it depends on the hero. What do they value, what’s most important to them, how far are they willing to go? If a hero needs to kill, fine, but they shouldn’t be forced to kill if it will have a negative effect on them.

    4. It’s good for small situations and everyday life. It can help avoid the little things that make us miserable throughout the day, and keep the masses happy. But for matters involving people’s lives, it becomes a matter of playing God, which is not okay. It becomes a heat of the moment type situation, and utilitarianism becomes useless.

    Kyle B

  9. I believe that Batman should have killed the Joker a long time ago. It’s Batman’s job to help society by defeating bad guys and it just creates more work for Batman in the long run to be complacent. With Batman’s parents being murdered by robbers (Joker was an ex-robber) and all of the damage that Joker had done, I don’t see any logical reason to keep him alive. However, the Joker is the one person that challenges Batman, and Batman is the only person who can kill him, and like Joker said in the movie, they complete each other. Since Batman is the one person that can make a change for all of society, then I see it as his duty to do so. Therefore, it doesn’t make sense for Batman to have a no killing code. That said, there may be a sadistic and strange sort of connection Batman shares with Joker that he doesn’t want to accept. Joker may be a terrible anarchist, but he did have a point by saying they complete each other. The Joker knows that Batman won’t kill him, so he knows he is able to taunt him and get away with it. In the end, its submersible to assume that the reason he doesn’t is for the sole purpose of creating more comics/movies. In the trolley problem, we can see the Joker as being the person that we can push off to save the rest of the citizens. The Joker is of no use to society and deserves to be thrown off anyway. By doing this however, Batman is throwing away his no-killing rules and morals, but in the end saving the lives of many people. So, is it worth it to sacrifice the one thing that keeps him from being on the same level as these villains- his morals? I believe that if the Joker is causing harm to society he should be kept away from it, and if the only way to do it is to kill him, then Batman is the only one who can do it. The concept of utilitarianism is useful to the trivial matters of everyday life, yes, but when talking about larger situations, there are plenty more important (non-theoretical) things to take into consideration. For example, if you are going to dinner with your family, and some want Chinese, and other want Mediterranean, it is reasonable to decide on one thing that the whole family can deal with. However, if we are talking about a life-or-death situation such as the example that we were showed in Batman, other personal matters should be considered. Should they just let the prisoners push the button, but who is anyone to play God?

  10. 1.) The ferry scenes we watched in class best exemplified the trolly problem. This classic example of Game Theory and Social Traps are so fascinating to talk about. In this case, the joker is the trolly, the ferry of innocent people are the group of five people, and the ferry of prisoners is the one person on the alternate track. This then sparks a debate of utilitarianism and the value of a life. Is one life equal to another? Does someone who committed terrible crimes like rape, murder, etc., have the same value of someone who has never done anything wrong? While I like to believe in the Carl Roger-like belief that mankind is naturally good and that all lives matter, I ultimately believe that some lives matter more than others. If someone is a menace to society- through psychopathology like Anti-social personality disorder- there is no cure for them, and they are a liability. Based on this logic, and the fact that the Joker is an extreme anomaly, Batman should kill the Joker. Batman's strategy of reacting to crisis, catching the Joker, and locking him up just to have it happen all over again is the definition of insanity. The Joker has committed enough crimes to last several last times, and if nothing else, should be studied to further understand mental deviation. Then again, let it be stressed, the Joker is unique in his situation. I do not favor the death penalty in most cases; there are very few cases for me where the death penalty seems absolutely rational or necessary.
    I think it's hypocritical for heroes to have a no-killing code. In most movies, during the climatic final battle, there's always collateral damage; buildings toppled, cars totaled, civilians and henchmen most certainly caught in the cross-fire. It seems like if all that chaos is going to happen, you might as well pull the trigger (instead of trying to act all high and mighty about being an altruistic hero). Sometimes, you gotta break a few eggs to make an omelette (Wow, it sounds horrible to say that).
    Utilitarianism is useful in some aspects: For one, the idea of benefiting the most amount of people for the lowest cost, in theory, makes sense. The nitty-gritty details behind it, though, get messy. For instance, as discussed before, I don't think I believe the fact that all lives are equal. This isn't a matter of race, sex, orientation, or what-have-you. I agree with Chance in the sense that societal value can be quantitative; thus, some people are more valuable than others. I would vote to save a teacher, for instance, over a cartel gang member or some other hardened criminal.

  11. I think Batman should kill the Joker because it's necessary at this point. The amount of trouble the Joker has done in the past equates to death now, especially when it comes to thinking about future events to come since he's constantly killing. For example if one of my friends keep playing jokes on me i'm not going to just wait for the next one to come nor will I be content with past jokes played on me. By that point I could even be traumatized because I can’t trust my own surroundings. To me stopping the thing that has a negative effect on you or the world seems like common sense. Whether it be a person getting a restraint order or you go cold turkey on a cigarette purging in a sense is necessary. Which has me holding the question of why God didn’t kill the devil...With that being said I don't think any superheroes should have the whole “no killing” code because that's not the best idea. If a bad guy is continuously breaking the law and/or taking the lives of others, then it's their time. The job of a superhero is to protect the innocents, and if that means one bad guy has to die to save even 20 innocent people, then I say let it be done. Putting them in jail is like a slap on the wrist while saying, “Don't do it again,” which isn't the best form of correcting things. If anything, this may lead to more crime by not killing the bad guys because there's always a possibility that they'll escape prison which happens with the joker.Utilitarianism is somewhat useful in life because when it comes to typical life situations, picking what's best for society is pretty helpful.

  12. The scenario of the trolley problem that most applies to the Joker is the situation involving sacrificing the majorly overweight man in order to stop the trolley. In order to end the Joker's reign of terror, Batman will likely have to sacrifice civilians in order to appease Joker, given that Batman isn't willing to flat out kill the Joker. If Batman does nothing, the Joker will kill others anyways; however, in order to stop the Joker (without killing him/destroying the trolley) is for Batman himself to sacrifice someone. The Joker will never be stopped, though, even with the sacrifice.
    Batman should kill the Joker due to his past crimes as well as his future crimes. The Joker is a typical psycopathic personality type, and no matter how often he's jailed, punishment won't teach him the error of his ways. Someone who is unable to feel remorse for mass killings and who can't be permanately held in prison to keep the dangers they pose away from society shouldn't be kept alive, simply because of the threat they pose. Those killled by the Joker and their families also deserve compensation, even if that compensation is the death of only one man who has terrorized Gotham unrelentlessly.
    Superheroes should have a certain moral code when it comes to limitless killing; I think the superheroes willingness to kill is what decides if they are an antihero or a true hero. For example, antiheroes like Deadpool kill enemies and any in their path limitlessly to meet a certain self-benefiting end. If Batman were to kill any enemies/villains he faced, he wouldn't be a hero; however, as was demonstrated in "Man of Steel," it's fine for a hero to kill an incredible threat, provided that innocent civilians are at risk.
    Utilitarianism is useful with regards to small matters of happiness, like when people are deciding which restaurant to go to. I'm not sure if i agree with utilitarianism in economics or society, as a small group would likely have to suffer unnoticed by the large group.

  13. Sanae Chestnut

    I think the story that applies the best is probably the one with the trolley. I think that making joker the trolley changes this story drastically. I think you mean in this situation that batman is on the track and on the other track is five people. This is all metaphorical but it has the same concept. If batman doesn’t sacrifice himself then it could result in thousands of people dying who had nothing to do with him and the Joker’s beef. I think that in this sense the Joker wouldn’t physically kill him but if Batman kills him he will be mentally broken. In class you talked about how Batman may feel as if he is like the people who killed his parents if he kills the Joker. That is a good point but honestly Batman has to take the L and be a utilitarian for the good of all people.
    I think the Batman should kill the Joker in a real world perspective. In the movie, I think he shouldn't, the movie would become boring. But in the real world perspective I think that Batman is committing a crime by not doing it. In the real world, police kill people for no reason, so I don’t really see what would be taking him so long to kill the Joker. After Joker blew up the hospital I knew this guy had zero morals or sympathy for people and that it was time for him to go. Batman may be alone after he kills him but it is time for him to just kill him. I would think he would be tired of fighting him after all this time. I think Batman killing the Joker would be redemption for past and future crimes unless the Joker has some assassin prodigy hiding out somewhere.
    I think if Super heroes killed their enemies then it would be kind of weird because the average criminal could just do that. I think that is what makes superheros super, except for their supernatural abilities. I think having the sense of goodness is what makes people look up to them. I think they should have a no-kill code unless the world is in serious danger.
    I think Util can be some serious crap sometimes. You may pick what is best for the most people but there is still a percentage of people who are being affected poorly because of the choice you made. It’s like the Flint water crisis (I don’t know the details) but if the policy makers felt that it would save money to change water then it would be good for michigan. But now a whole town (a small-ish town) is showering with bottles of water? I think that utilitarianism could exist but maybe only in a socialist or anarchical society.

  14. I think the trolley problem, if the joker is the trolley and batman is the one controlling the lever, I think the situation would be batman letting the trolley (aka the joker) continue going into the five people instead of pulling the lever and killing one person. I think this because it seems as though batman would rather save the joker than those five innocent people. I think batman shouldn’t go and seek out the joker during a regular Sunday afternoon when the joker isn’t doing any harm, but I do think batman should kill the joker when the joker is terrorizing the town and forcing people to choose whether or not to kill other people. I mean, batman had the joker right on the edge of a tall building where one drop would kill someone and batman decided not to let the joker fall. Seeing what the joker just did to, I don’t know, thousands of people, why go out of your way to save someone like that? I think the joker, if he were to die, should die because of his past crimes. He’s already committed those crimes and he’s been to jail for them and I know it’s definitely going to happen but maybe the joker won’t commit any other crimes so it wouldn’t be fair to kill him for future events. Superheroes shouldn’t have a no killing rule. Honestly, death is hard to dodge in the first place, and in the situation of batman and the joker sometimes people just need to die. I think that even though a superhero killing someone could lead to more crime, in most cases it would prevent more crime than it would create. I definitely think the concept of utilitarianism is useful in real life. I mean, I absolutely hate hurting everyone and I hate knowing that people get hurt, but honestly if that’s what’s best for the greater good I can’t really say it’s a bad thing.


  15. 1. I think the trolley problem scenario that best applies to the Batman and Joker situation is the person who just lets the trolley roll down the hill. I think this scenario fits best because Batman is not attempting to stop the Joker, or the trolley, from rolling down the hill and killing the people, even though this results in the death of more people.
    2. I do not think that Batman should kill the Joker. I don’t think he should because if Batman is trying to promote his morals that no killing should ever take place, he would only be contributing to the murders that are occurring. Batman has been working to fight not just the Joker for so long, but he has been working to fight for what he believes in. Obviously many lives could have been saved, although I think that Batman would just ruin what he’s already been working for. If Batman were to kill the Joker, other people would see all his work as not having any real meaning anymore, and more killing would result because Batman was allowed to kill.
    3. I do think that superheroes killing leads to more crime, since people do look up to them, and see that if the superheroes are killing, then they should be allowed to kill as well. The only issue with this, however, is that some of the villains are completely inhuman and it wouldn't make a lot of sense to not kill them, since these “things” don’t seem to be stopping anytime soon and can’t actually think, they are just wired to kill. Obviously this could seem contradicting since the Joker doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon, although I think the line must be drawn somewhere.
    4. I think the concept of utilitarianism is useful in real life. I think is important to be putting other people’s needs before your own more often than we usually do. I try to put myself in other people’s shoes and think what they might be feeling to better understand where they are coming from in terms of their opinion or their actions, so that I’m not just thinking about my own wants and needs.


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