The Instigator
finklelacesout
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
kasmic
Pro (for)
Winning
6 Points

Would it be morally right for Batman to kill the Joker?

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
kasmic
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/6/2014 Category: Movies
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 966 times Debate No: 64663
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (1)

 

finklelacesout

Con

Would it be considered morally right for Batman to kill the Joker?
No though it may seem that it is the most effective way of stopping crime in the fictional Gotham City. The repercussions as well the implications that could be drawn from the consequences could be catastrophic. Thinking as a deontological philosopher the consequences of killing the Joker may seem positive but it is not the consequences or the ends which we worry about. It is the means and what was done to meet the end.

Therefore the means here to reach the end is murder. Murder is never right, it is never a part of moral high ground. Making the killing of the Joker immoral.
kasmic

Pro

Thanks for the debate and good luck!

Con asks the question “Would it be considered morally right for Batman to kill the Joker?”

Moral to whom? As Con has not specified if he means Batman would consider it moral/immoral, or if society should consider it moral/immoral, I will address both.

1: Introduction to ethics

Ethics is defined as “rules of behavior based on ideas about what is morally good and bad.”(1)

As I understand it ethics is divided into 4 groups. These four groups are Meta-ethics, Normative-ethics, Applied ethics, and Descriptive ethics.

Con says “Thinking as a deontological philosopher the consequences of killing the Joker may seem positive but it is not the consequences or the ends which we worry about. It is the means and what was done to meet the end.”

Deontology is a sub field of Normative-ethics. To keep this debate as simple as possible, I will only respond based on Normative ethics.

2: Simplified Normative Ethics

Normative ethics: “Normative ethics is the study of ethical action. It is the branch of ethics that investigates the set of questions that arise when considering how one ought to act, morally speaking.” (2)

“Duty Based Theories (or Deontological Theories): Theories that claim that what determines whether an act is morally right or wrong is the kind of act it is.”(3)

Deontological theories are very black and white. For example, If we deem the action of abortion as wrong, No matter the circumstance it is wrong. This Includes every case of abortion, including if a twelve year olds life is in danger otherwise. Deontology does not provide room for exceptions.

In this case, Con is arguing that the action of killing is wrong no matter the circumstance. There is no moral difference between killing in self-defense and cold blooded murder. Both are immoral.

“Consequentialist Theories (or Teleological Theories): Theories that claim that what determines whether an act is right or wrong are its consequences.”(3)

Teleological theories are much more adaptable to circumstances. For example, the act of killing would not be considered inherently immoral. It is the consequences of killing that can be. So a society may say killing is generally immoral, but in cases of self-defense or war etc.., killing can be justified depending on the circumstance.

By Con’s statements we can see that he is arguing a duty based theory.

3: Batman’s Ethics

Batman is a vigilante.

Vigilante: “a person who is not a police officer but who tries to catch and punish criminals.” (4)

Criminal: “involving illegal activity : relating to crime.” (5)

Batman punishes people for committing illegal acts, or in other words breaking the law. Deontology would suggest that breaking a law in any case, no matter the circumstances is morally wrong. Yet Batman breaks the law to punish law breakers. This is inconsistent with deontology. Ergo we can conclude that Batman does not function based on a deontological ethics. Rather, Batman functions based on Teleological ethics. Batman clearly feels It is morally justified for him to break the law as a vigilante to stop law breakers because of the circumstances. This suggests that Batman believes that circumstances deem an action immoral.

Batman has killed many times in the comics and in the movies. (6)

Batman ethics function based on Teleological theory. Thus, he could morally justify killing based on circumstances.

4: Societies Ethics

Our society implements teleological ethics. This is evident as two people can commit the same crime and yet be punished differently. This is because our society takes motive and consequences into account when addressing the morality and immorality of actions.

Our society morally justifies killing in self-defense, war etc. It would then follow that society depending on the consequences of Batman killing the Joker may be viewed as moral.

5: Conclusion

Both Batman and society clearly function more on a teleological basis then a deontological basis ethically. Due to this truth, depending on the circumstances Batman killing the joker could easily be morally justified.

It would be morally right for Batman to kill the Joker.

(1) http://www.merriam-webster.com...
(2) http://en.wikipedia.org...
(3) http://www.ucs.mun.ca...
(4) http://www.merriam-webster.com...
(5) http://www.merriam-webster.com...
(6) http://www.businessinsider.com...

Debate Round No. 1
finklelacesout

Con

finklelacesout forfeited this round.
kasmic

Pro

All arguments extended.
Debate Round No. 2
finklelacesout

Con

finklelacesout forfeited this round.
kasmic

Pro


Both Batman and society clearly function more on a teleological basis then a deontological basis ethically. Due to this truth, depending on the circumstances Batman killing the joker could easily be morally justified.

It would be morally right for Batman to kill the Joker.
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by kasmic 2 years ago
kasmic
I will post tomorrow...
Posted by finklelacesout 2 years ago
finklelacesout
Awesome, well you are definitely free to do so.
Posted by kasmic 2 years ago
kasmic
I might be interested if this debate is still open tomorrow.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by debate_power 2 years ago
debate_power
finklelacesoutkasmicTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Repetitive forfeiture on Con's part is that on which I base my decision.