The Instigator
Bridge
Con (against)
Losing
34 Points
The Contender
Geekis_Khan
Pro (for)
Winning
37 Points

Batman is not a true superhero

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/26/2008 Category: Entertainment
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 21,358 times Debate No: 3809
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (21)

 

Bridge

Con

I fully believe that batman is a true superhero.
a)He is one of the original DC superheroes. The term was originally coined to describe him and Superman so he is the measure by which other superheroes are measured by.
b)He is superhuman. I'd like to see any normal master of martial arts do some of the stunts batman's able to pull off. He quite clearly has superhuman strength, and with thousands of gadgets and the bat mobile, he's reached a level of prowess and indestructibility that cannot but be described as super.
c)He is a hero. He does good for humanity and tries to save lives. He frequently works as an extension of the (lets be honest) hopeless Gothem City Police Force
Geekis_Khan

Pro

Thank you for starting the debate. This should be a fun one.

Batman is not a true superhero.

He is a fictional character.

Therefore, he is a fictional superhero.

He is not true.

The PRO rests.
Debate Round No. 1
Bridge

Con

Ah, but the definition of a superhero is "a fictional character of unprecedented prowess dedicated to acts of derring-do in the public interest"

A FICTIONAL character. Superheroes defined by their fictitious nature, therefore fictional superheroes are the only true superheroes. If he was real he would not be classed as a true superhero, just a really cool vigilante.
Geekis_Khan

Pro

First of all, you didn't source your definition. I don't think a superhero has to be defined as fictitious.

And I'll offer you a counter "definition" from reference.com (encyclopedia version of dictionary.com):

"A superhero (also known as a super hero) is a fictional character "of unprecedented physical prowess dedicated to acts of derring-do in the public interest." Since the debut of the prototypal superhero Superman in 1938, stories of superheroes — ranging from brief episodic adventures to continuing years-long sagas — have dominated American comic books and crossed over into other media. A female superhero is sometimes called a superheroine or super heroine.

By most definitions, characters need not have actual superhuman powers to be deemed superheroes, although sometimes terms such as costumed crimefighters are used to refer to those without such powers who have many other common traits of superheroes."

There's nothing that says it has to be fictitious in that entire entry.

Therefore, I flow through with my original argument that Batman is not a true superhero because he is fictitious.

But I guess I'll go ahead and refute my opponent's points, just in case.

a) Who cares if he is original? That's an argument of tradition, and an argument of tradition is fallacious.
b) He isn't superhuman. He learned all of his martial arts skills from other martial arts masters. He isn't superhuman, just very skilled. And I don't see how he quite clearly has superhuman strength. And as for the gadgets, having money to buy all the equipment you want with does not make you a superhero.
c) Okay. He helps the police force. An informant helps the police force. An informant is not a superhero.
Debate Round No. 2
Bridge

Con

Wikipedia defines a superhero as "A superhero (also known as a super hero) is a fictional character "of unprecedented physical prowess dedicated to acts of derring-do in the public interest." A FICTIONAL character.
Encarta defines a superhero as "a fictional character, e.g. from a cartoon, who has superhuman powers and uses them to fight crime or evil" A FICTIONAL character.
Wiktionary defines a superhero as "Any kind of fantasy fiction crime-fighting character, often with supernatural powers or equipment, in popular children's and fantasy literature." A FICTIONAL character
Oxford Dictionary defines a superhero as "a benevolent fictional character with superhuman powers." A FICTIONAL character.

I think we can say that superheroes are generally considered fictitious.

As to the argument of his originality, I am not saying that tradition is the only way. I am however saying that he and superman form the archetypal image of a superhero. Ask any four year old and they'll back me up. The definition should fit the archetype, so batman must be a superhero.

And I think we can say that batman is a little bit more than an informant. Informants tend not to seek out, apprehend and beat up the villains and crooks. He effectively does a huge chunk of the detective work for himself. In fact, much of the time he has to completely disregard what the police say, as they have the wrong idea all together. He is a fundamental part of the crime fighting effort in Gothem City.

As to his superpowers. He has them, it's plain to see, he just doesn't brag about them. His strength goes far beyond that of any normal human being. There is no way anyone would be able to punch someone hard enough to shove them to the other side of a building, while feeling no discomfort themselves. It's not possible, no matter how much you work out, train or take steroids. If he did not get his strength from natural means, he must have obtained it from supernatural means. No, he can't fly, no, he wasn't horribly mutated after some nuclear accident. But somehow, along the way, he got superhuman strength and decided to use it for good
Geekis_Khan

Pro

Because Wikipedia and Wiktionary are such valid sources?

It doesn't even matter, because your other attacks don't follow through. You're saying that he and Superman were the archetypes, but that's not true. Superman was around about twenty years beforehand (Batman was making cameos in comics of OTHER superheroes; He didn't have his own title until the 1950s).

I know he does more than an informant. My point was that helping the police isn't enough to make one a superhero.

And Batman doesn't have suprpowers. That was one of the big points about him: that he was a normal human, without special powers. He just had money and training. He didn't get superhuman strength anywhere. He's just very well trained.

According to "Comic Book Nation: The Transformation of Youth Culture in America" by Bradford Wright, Batman has no superpowers.

Here's an NPR article that confirms this:

http://www.npr.org...

BBC says the same thing:

http://news.bbc.co.uk...

This source says the same thing:

http://lambiek.net...

ABC News:

http://abcnews.go.com...

This one talks about the original Batman with no superpowers:

http://www.coverbrowser.com...

I've provided you with many valid sources as to Batman lacking superpowers (and I'll bet if you ask his creators, they'll confirm this), while you've only talked about him punching someone across the room.

And now I'm going to return to your definitions, and show why they don't fit anyway.

"Wikipedia defines a superhero as "A superhero (also known as a super hero) is a fictional character "of unprecedented physical prowess dedicated to acts of derring-do in the public interest.""

He doesn't have "unprecedented physical prowess", as he learned all of his physical skills from other martial artists. Definition one doesn't fit. Even if it did, it's Wikipedia, and we can't count it as valid in the realms of debate.

"Encarta defines a superhero as "a fictional character, e.g. from a cartoon, who has superhuman powers and uses them to fight crime or evil.""

We've already established that he doesn't have superpowers. Definition two doesn't fit.

"Wiktionary defines a superhero as "Any kind of fantasy fiction crime-fighting character, often with supernatural powers or equipment, in popular children's and fantasy literature.""

Batman has no supernatural powers. This has been established by my sources. Definition three doesn't fit. Even if it did, it's Wiktionary, and we can't count it as valid in the realms of debate.

"Oxford Dictionary defines a superhero as "a benevolent fictional character with superhuman powers.""

Once again, I have established that he has no supernatural powers. Definition four doesn't fit.

So, even if you don't want to accept any of my other arguments, I've disporved that Batman is a superhero WITH YOUR OWN DEFINITIONS. You must vote CON.
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by bada 4 years ago
bada
I would contend that without possessing any strictly physical or magical capabilities, batman has without doubt accomplished feats of superhuman capability. If you judge the man based on his accomplishments, you would find that he has defeated and saved the lives of many individuals that have superpowers themselves. If his planning and tactics are such an asset to him that he is able to overcome those with supernatural abilities reliably over time, then he is undeniably superior to numerous superhumans. If he is superior to other superhumans, how can he not be considered a superhuman himself, and thus fit the criteria for all definitions of superhero himself?
Posted by DemosthenesC 8 years ago
DemosthenesC
Hmm, he does seem to fit the bill for a hero, not so much superhero though as he is lacking any powers other than a gigantic bank account.
Posted by Geekis_Khan 8 years ago
Geekis_Khan
Err... I meant vote PRO... Sorry.
Posted by Geekis_Khan 8 years ago
Geekis_Khan
It's okay. Because I know what source you were using, and I can get you in Round 3. ;)
Posted by Geekis_Khan 8 years ago
Geekis_Khan
Oh, f*ck, I used the wrong source!
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Vote Placed by Anon_Y_Mous 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: CVB Mohrpheus
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