The Instigator
Maikuru
Pro (for)
Winning
12 Points
The Contender
MasterKage
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Batman is, on balance, a positive role model

Do you like this debate?NoYes+7
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
Maikuru
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/16/2011 Category: Entertainment
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,779 times Debate No: 19920
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (8)
Votes (4)

 

Maikuru

Pro

Full Resolution: Batman is, on balance, a positive role model.

My opponent and I will be representing opposing positions on the above topic. I will be arguing in favor of the resolution, while my opponent will be arguing against it (i.e. Batman is, on balance, a negative role model). Each debater will share the burden of proof.

For the sake of consistency, this discussion will focus on the most common and longstanding representation of Batman (a.k.a. Bruce Wayne) [1]. Other incarnations (e.g. cartoons, movies) are free for inclusion insofar as they accurately represent the spirit of the comic book canon.

The first round of this debate is for definitions and acceptance. Rounds 2, 3, and 4 are for arguments and rebuttals. No new arguments are to be introduced in the final round. Also, unless otherwise specified, all words are taken at their common, appropriate definition. The intent of this debate is clear and word meanings and interpretations of the resolution are to be consistent with that intent.

Definitions

- positive: tending to emphasize what is good or laudable; constructive [2]

- role model: a person whose behavior, example, or success is or can be emulated by others, especially by younger people [3] *

* As we are discussing what type of role model the fictitious Batman is, it is assumed that he meets this definition for the sake of this debate.

References

1. http://tinyurl.com...
2. http://dictionary.reference.com...
3. http://dictionary.reference.com...
MasterKage

Con

I thank Maikuru for instigating this interesting debate.

I agree with the presented terms and rules presented in round one.

Accepted.

Good luck Pro.
Debate Round No. 1
Maikuru

Pro

Thanks to MasterKage for accepting my challenge. I look forward to a lively debate!

Intro

After witnessing the murder of his parents, Bruce Wayne created the crime fighter persona of Batman and began his lifelong mission to protect the innocent and destroy evil and corruption [1]. His extensive resume includes dismantling criminal organizations, defeating super villains, and saving the world dozens of times over (more on this later). In all, Batman is undoubtedly one of the best and most successful comic book heroes of our time. While such fiction is necessarily exaggerated and separate to a extent from reality, I argue that the character's actions, accomplishments, and ideals stand apart from similar cultural creations and culminate in a positive representation of a man worthy of real-world emulation.

Opening Arguments

The Man

Bruce Wayne isn't capable of amazing feats of heroism because of alien DNA, a radioactive spider bite, or an injection of experimental heroin (name that hero). He is capable of these deeds because he rolled his sleeves up and got to work. As one of few action-based protagonists with absolutely no super powers, Wayne relies on human strength, ingenuity, and intelligence to accomplish his missions. Indeed, before he could even attempt to take up a heroic mantle, he had to undergo years of vigorous physical training and mental conditioning [1; see Training]. Even then, as a mere mortal, he was committing himself to a life of non-stop bodily strain with no guarantees of victory or special abilities to fall back on.

It is this determination in the face of unbelievable odds and looming mortality that serves as an inspiration and a reminder that extraordinary success is the result of extraordinary effort. Victories are generally within the grasp of the motivated, which is a difficult message to portray when one's example can move planets or shoot lasers from their eyes. By maintaining its humanity and realism, the Batman mythos successfully espouses the admirable principles of sticktoitiveness, preparation, and the will to move forward.

The Mission

For all their theatrics, it can be easy to overlook the overarching messages of costumed heroes. Batman, however, does well to keep his principles in the forefront. Messages of valuing justice and human life permeate his thoughts and actions; Wayne manages to defeat arguably the most deranged rogue gallery in all of comic history while saving countless lives and minimizing the loss of life [2]. Such qualities are often lost on today's anti-heroes (I'm looking at you, Punisher), but the Batman character battles for the right reasons and places a refreshing and praiseworthy significance on human life.

The Mistakes

Human heroes often blur the lines between reality and fantasy, risking messages of invincibility to their comparatively fragile audiences. Batman addresses this concern the most realistic way he can: he loses. For all his gadgets and genius, Batman has been beaten, bloodied, and broken before [3]. While losses don't initially seem very commendable, Wayne's humanity means these defeats offer a rare perspective. None of us are Superman and being knocked down a few pegs is an inevitable part of life. Incidentally, Batman eventually bounced back from every trouncing and went on to best his adversary, demonstrating that the most important part of a defeat is what you do next.


There are a number of additional contentions in my favor (some of which I may introduce in later rounds), but for now I believe I have successfully shown Batman's attributes and accomplishments to be admirable and the character as a whole to be a positive role model.

References

1. http://tinyurl.com...
2. http://batman.wikia.com...
3. http://en.wikipedia.org...
MasterKage

Con

==Opening Arguments==

Batman kills criminals, as well as innocent people.

In this image [1] shows Batman taking human life through the use of some odd machinery.
In this image [2] Batman kills a “giant” by strangling him.
In this image [3] Batman kills a petty crook and shows no remorse [4]
Here [5] Batman attempts to kill Darkseid

Batman's “arrival” created the super villains. [6]

“Batman's presence in Gotham City generated a new breed of criminals, no longer the simple thugs and gangsters involved in Gotham Organized Crime, but more dynamic personalities.”

List of villains inspiried by Batman to become super villains.

-Catwomen
-Hugo Strange
-The Joker
-Scarecrow
-Riddler
-Poison Ivy
-Mister Freeze
-The Penguin



Sources

[1] http://t0.gstatic.com...
[2] http://t2.gstatic.com...
[3] http://www.blogcdn.com...
[4] http://www.blogcdn.com...
[5] http://www.blogcdn.com...
[6] http://dc.wikia.com...(New_Earth)
Debate Round No. 2
Maikuru

Pro

I thank my opponent for his response. I will address his contentions before reaffirming my own.

Con's Case

Batman: Killer?

Con claims that Batman is a killer of criminals and civilians, but this contention fails on multiple fronts.

First of all, most of Con's images are inadmissible. We agreed in Round 1 to focus on the current and most common incarnation of the character: Bruce Wayne of New Earth [1]. However, the art style of Con's first three examples reveal them to be from the Golden Age (i.e. 1940's - 60's), when Batman was a gun-wielding film noir detective from another dimension [2; see Golden Age][3]. The topic of this debate is Modern Age Batman (i.e. 1980's - Present), who is a fundamentally different character and thus not hampered by Con's accusations [2; see Modern Age].

The second issue with Con's evidence is the evidence itself. Even if we ignore the fact that these images are non-resolutional, they still offer no context, sources, proof of death, or indication that anyone pictured is an innocent civilian. If Con wishes to pursue this argument, I must insist that he offer clear, sourced, and era-appropriate proof of Batman killing someone (especially an innocent person, as Con asserts).

Only Con's final image - Batman shooting Darkseid and dying in the process - is relevant to this debate. Now, Darkseid was essentially evil personified, with his degenerative essence jumping from body to body [3; see Final Crisis]. Batman's specialized bullet only poisoned the villain's host body, which was soon abandoned. It was actually Superman, enraged at his friend's death, who then killed the Darkseid entity. Thus, Batman's respect for life is untarnished. However, even if Batman had knowingly destroyed the king of darkness, what is Con's point? Self-sacrifice in the name of the greater good is a negative trait? Those who defend the innocent and defeat the guilty are bad role models? An explanation is sorely needed.

Batman and his Rogues

Con believes Batman created his own villains. Again, my opponent's brief argument is riddled with flaws.

To start, the origins of most of Batman's rogues have nothing to do with him. Mr. Freeze steals in the hopes of resurrecting his wife [4]; Poison Ivy was driven insane by a former lover [5]; The Scarecrow, like many of Batman's remaining enemies, turned to crime after a tortured childhood [6]. The list goes on. In fact, the only time Batman was even present at the "birth" of a villain involved the Joker, and he was already committing a crime at the time [7]! These monsters exist independent of Batman and each would be far more dangerous if he was not there to stop them.

Con has not proven a causal relationship between Batman and his enemies. The best he could even hope to do is say Batman was so successful as a hero that his adversaries were forced to improve their tactics. This is equivalent to blaming police officers who wear bullet proof vests for criminals responding with armor-piercing rounds. Those who advance crime fighting techniques should be praised for their efforts in support of justice, not held responsible for the negative reactions of evil doers.

This is all largely moot, however, as this entire topic is tangential to the resolution. Even if Batman were responsible for creating his own villains (which he is not), that does not make him a bad role model. Inspiring supervillains is not a real-world concern and Con has not provided any appropriate equivalent. Unless Con can relate this issue with some realistic negative impact on individuals or society, he has simply been distracted by fantasy.


Pro's Case

The Man

Con drops this point. Extend my arguments on Batman as a champion of inspirational human traits.


The Mission

Con unsuccessfully attacked Batman's morals. Extend my arguments on Batman as a model for respecting justice and human life.


The Mistakes

Con drops this point. Extend my arguments on Batman as a realistic reminder of human limitations.



My opponent left my entire case untouched and fails to establish a valid case of his own. I look forward to his expanded arguments next round.

References

3. http://tinyurl.com...
MasterKage

Con

MasterKage forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Maikuru

Pro

It is unfortunate that my opponent forfeited the previous round, as I was looking forward to a spirited debate.

Con is now in a problematic position. He has dropped my arguments and both of his arguments have been wholly refuted. As no new arguments are allowed in the final round, he has nothing to present. My case, which showed how Batman's actions, ideals, and qualities are worthy of admiration and emulation, stands and the resolution is affirmed.

Remember, we all have a little Batman in us, and it's usually the most badass part. Thanks for reading!

MasterKage

Con

Unfortunate, Christmas and my birthday have prevented me from completing this debate to the full extent of my abilities. Honestly, I would try to pull of something off this last round, but it just wouldn't do anything in my favor. Even if it was a brilliant last argument, I don't think it would change much of the course of the debate.
Debate Round No. 4
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by Maikuru 2 years ago
Maikuru
My final paper in my abnormal psychology class was on Bruce Wayne and his various mental ailments. He is clearly a danger to himself and others and is probably one of the worst role models in all of comics. The Punisher may give him a run for his money, though he doesn't seem to suffer from Wayne's delusions of grandeur and immortality.

I also think he's partially responsible for Todd's death, as well as the actions of his villains. Check out my debate with sherlockmethod on that same topic.
Posted by Chrysippus 2 years ago
Chrysippus
Pity. This could have been really good, had Con applied himself.

There is a very good case to be made that Batman is a paranoid schizophrenic with a strong sociopathic streak. Batman takes the law into his own hands, commits assault and battery, breaking and entering, blackmail, disturbs crime scenes, removes evidence, and takes Robin into dangerous situations (child endangerment). He arranged for a disabling attack on every superhero on Earth. He engages in massively shady accounting practices at Wane Corp to pay for his vigilante habit. He is partially responsible for the death of Jason Todd, his underage sidekick in crime and illegal crime-fighting. He trains young boys to kick and punch criminals with guns. He was briefly involved in the drug trade dealing with Venom. He has an alias, "Mugsy Malone," who is a common gangster. At one point, he attempted to organize the crime in Gotham; allegedly to control it and reduce it, but still very illegal. He is repeatedly seen defying police and resisting arrest. He uses explosive and projectile devices within city limits on a regular basis. He engages in nightly trespassing and unauthorized entry without a warrant. He never follows procedure for making citizen's arrests.

Batman is NOT a good role model. Pity Con didn't pick the low-hanging fruit.
Posted by Maikuru 2 years ago
Maikuru
I'd be more inclined to take the Con position in the future. I think there is more ammo there.
Posted by OMGJustinBieber 2 years ago
OMGJustinBieber
Favorited - unfortunately the debate seems lopsided likely due to a considerable age difference. Great topic though, I think I could make a pretty good Con case if anyone's interested.
Posted by vmpire321 2 years ago
vmpire321
LOL(OLOILOLOLOLoL
Posted by BlackVoid 2 years ago
BlackVoid
This should be awesome.
Posted by Chrysippus 2 years ago
Chrysippus
This should be all sorts of good. Watching.
Posted by Maikuru 2 years ago
Maikuru
If you have any questions or there are any issues, let me know and I'll edit things. I look forward to our debate!
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 2 years ago
16kadams
MaikuruMasterKageTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:--Vote Checkmark3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:10 
Reasons for voting decision: FF
Vote Placed by BlackVoid 2 years ago
BlackVoid
MaikuruMasterKageTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit. Pro's arguments were also much more fledged out.
Vote Placed by Chrysippus 2 years ago
Chrysippus
MaikuruMasterKageTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: A clear win for Pro. SO MANY arguments Con could have made, but he didn't try very hard, and he ended up forfeiting
Vote Placed by OMGJustinBieber 2 years ago
OMGJustinBieber
MaikuruMasterKageTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: FF. Pro rebukes Con's objections in R2 regardless.