Batman Should Kill The Joker
Debate Rounds (4)
I believe that Batman should not kill The Joker, and I will be presenting why it is so important that he does not.
First Round will be for Acceptance. Any questions, ask in the comments.
Thanks for accepting.
How People View Batman
To the city he is trying to save, Batman is a symbol of hope. He is one man who has taken a stand against the crime and corruption within Gotham. And he does so without compromise. He maintains an unwavering code no matter how much it weighs on him at times. He is the epitome of human restraint, whereas The Joker is fittingly the exact opposite.
I contend that Batman is viewed as a hero by most people and inspires them to see the hero in themselves because of the way he goes about fighting crime. Think about it. Gotham is full of perceived lunatics, and if Batman were to start stooping down to their level, he would begin to be seen as a lunatic himself. It is his moral uprightness and refusal to kill that makes him admirable in the eyes of the people he's trying to protect.
A vigilante who takes lives into his own hands is often perceived as out of control and arrogant. Who is this guy who is going around killing people? What are his standards? Who will he kill next? Can we really trust him to fight for our city, or is he just a crazed man fulfilling his need for blood whilst fooling himself with the cover of 'justice'? These are all thoughts that could come up if Batman took a life.
It is the fact that he refuses to take a life that allows him to be respected by the people. He looks like a man who has boundaries. It gets back to the idea of restraint. The people of Gotham can trust Batman because he is incorruptible in his code. And from trust comes respect, and from there hope for Gotham's better days. The hope Batman inspires brings out the best in Gothamites. They stand up for and help each other. That is what Batman is, a sign of hope for people to rally around. He is that symbol because he is incorruptible.
I do realize that most of that is centered around why Batman shouldn't kill in general, but my next section will increase the above section's relevance.
Why does Batman show such restraint? I have outlined very clearly one good reason above, but I believe there is a reason that is more personal for Batman. He has a serious darkness inside him. You may have heard Batman and Joker called two sides of the same coin, and I believe this is because they both have a darkness. They both just express it in different ways. This darkness within Batman is seen all throughout Batman stories, it is a prevalent theme.
I believe that Batman is aware of this darkness. In fact, Batman is the darkness inside Bruce Wayne, but in a restrained form. Aware as he is of his inner demons, he won't let himself cross that line and kill. He doesn't know where that will take him, what kind of person that will make him. There is good reason to speculate though, that after he kills once, it will become easier.
I mean, if he's going to kill The Joker, it'll be under the justification of, "It saves lives." So maybe he continues that route, starts killing other people who are extremely likely to go on to kill more. Reference that idea with the above section. Yeah, not good. If Batman starts taking lives into his hands, he goes from an incorruptible symbol of hope and strength, to a man dressed as a Bat playing judge, jury, and executioner. The unity that was once provided by such an untarnished symbol now fades, and as the city loses its rallying point, it will fall back into the darkness that Batman once rescued it from.
It doesn't just stop there. Eventually Batman may take his concept of "It'll save lives" so far that it becomes, "it could save lives". That is a dark path. It suggests killing people on the chance or off chance that they will do more damage. The moral implications at this point on the path are iffy. Will Batman actually be saving more than he kills if he starts saying, "It could save lives"? And even if he is, if we reference again back to the first section, Batman looks even worse than before in the eyes of the people.
And as Batman spirals further down this road of life-taking, he may even reach a point where life has barely any meaning to him. He may leave his enemies as corpses behind him as he stops crimes, killing people that may have never committed a crime again. At this point, a utilitarian argument that lives are being saved can no longer be made. Add that to how this look with the first section, and we see why this would be a bad place for Batman to be.
Batman is a symbol of hope to people. He remains such a strong symbol because of the way he fights crime. He shows to people that there is a way to fight the enemy without becoming as bad as the enemy. He shows that he has boundaries, that he can be trusted, respected, depended upon to be Gotham's moral center. Yet he also has a darkness within him, and if he gives that darkness full rein in killing The Joker, not only will that severely damage his role as a symbol of hope, it will also likely take his inner demons down a darker and darker path until he is no longer a trusted protector of Gotham, but rather a psychopath in a cape.
But the main argument posited by the video is that The Joker should die to save lives. This obviously comes from a Utilitarian standpoint, and to refute this for you Utilitarianists, I shall need to provide a Utilitarian response.
And I believe that I have already provided the majority of my response in the second round. First, I'd like to harken back to my Slippery Slope argument. Batman could adopt this more Utilitarian code, and this will lead him to kill more and more often. I also discussed the darkness within Bruce Wayne, I have concluded that Bruce Wayne restrains himself from killing because he knows that there is a darkness inside that may lead him to take his killings too far. And this is where the Utilitarian response comes in. Killing The Joker may open a door that will lead him down a path in which he is unnecessarily killing people, and thus providing a negative benefit, in Utilitarian terms of lives saved. One cannot definitely say that Batman's killing The Joker would save lives overall.
Secondly, the whole unwavering symbol of hope deal. If Batman starts down this path, he is liable to lose the hope he provides as the symbol that he is. Perhaps for some of the people that look up to him, his killing The Joker wouldn't be a deal breaker for them, so to speak, but as I have illustrated already, he could head down a worse path, one which cannot be admired by as many. Then the good that he accomplishes as a symbol of hope would be negated. And as you can see in the linked videos, Batman inspires a lot of people to act, and to act for good. He cannot accomplish that if people can't trust him or admire him.
Lastly, I'd like to add a new argument. How the police specifically view him. In all the different Batman adaptations, there exist different relationships between Batman and the police, but usually, the fact that he leaves the criminals in their hands makes it harder for them to justify trying to stop him.
Just a quick example of Batman's code endearing him to the police.
Yes, he's breaking laws, but he is also helping, and at the end of the day, he is leaving the decision of what to do with the criminals he apprehends in the hands of the police. This is important because a police force endeared to Batman will be less likely to try to stop him, and this will do two things, A) Allow Batman to be more effective. Instead of wasting time fighting cops, he can simply focus on the criminals. B) It makes him look better in the eyes of more people. If the Batman is a fugitive being hunted by the police, odds are more people in Gotham will be less likely to see him as a hero, and more as a adventure-seeking vigilante. This will only be heightened more as he has to beat up more cops.
In conclusion, I rest that Batman is actually more effective from a Utilitarian viewpoint if he refrains from killing The Joker. He inspires more hope, which leads to a safer city. He refrains from going so far down a path of killing that he actually does more harm than good, which is good for the city. He keeps the cops on his side, which makes him more effective and keeps a better public opinion of him, which makes the city safer. Overall, Batman cannot afford to risk tarnishing the symbol that he is.
(Note that 5 and 6 are going on at the same time within the movie)
CheeseFries forfeited this round.
CheeseFries forfeited this round.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Valid as the Robot Chicken sketch may be, it failed in the refutation area of the debate; then pro dropped out. So basically no contest and forfeit.
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