8 Bit Philosophy: Is Batman Just?

Poor Lives Matter! Don't water this down by saying "We are all 100%"!

....

/sarcasm?

Then how it just when those who caused Gotham to be such a desolate place remain in power? How is it just when batman is protecting those who caused such high rates of crime?

From a perspective, these super criminals are revolutionaries. Batman is a tool for the elite, wilfully indoctrinates and entrapping the citizens into the system using fear and false belief to support it.

Also, how does upholding the law make you just when the law itself can potentially be unjust?

RatGouf:
Poor Lives Matter! Don't water this down by saying "We are all 100%"!

....

/sarcasm?

Exactly. All people are equal...some are just more equal than others.

LysanderNemoinis:

RatGouf:
Poor Lives Matter! Don't water this down by saying "We are all 100%"!

....

/sarcasm?

Exactly. All people are equal...some are just more equal than others.

'Two face good, One face bad'? Or perhaps 'No vigilante shall sleep in a bed with sheets'?

Well, the question to me is at what point does Batman bear some culpability for the crimes and murders committed by supervillains he locked up--knowing full well they would escape and kill again.

I mean, these are guys who have tried to directly kill him time and time again, so it's just self defense.

Nah. He's just a douche that get's off trying to impose his 'killing is WRONG!' ideology on people. Just look how much of an asshat he was when wonderwoman killed Maxwell Lord.

Instead of extensive campaign comtributions to proper leaders and jobs programs, he spends his money on gadgets and bat caves and vehicles so he and punch poor people in the face!

Nurb:
Instead of extensive campaign comtributions to proper leaders and jobs programs, he spends his money on gadgets and bat caves and vehicles so he and punch poor people in the face!

People keep saying this, and it's wrong. Bruce Wayne does provide extensive campaign contributions to proper leaders and job programs, operates and funds numerous charities, funds the police department and Arkham, and so on in addition to running around at night punching bad guys in the face. Bruce Wayne is attacking crime on every level he possibly could, but the problem is that Gotham is such a royally screwed up place with such deep rooted corruption that despite Wayne doing literally everything humanly possible to put an end to crime there it ultimately does nothing. It doesn't help that the writers go out of their way to ensure that Gotham not only stays royally screwed up but keep mounting it every single issue either.

That said, it's probably Batman's outright refusal to kill these nutjobs he fights every other week despite how ridiculous obvious it is that they NEED to and DESERVE to die that above all else that causes crime to be as pervasive as it is. The number of deaths and tragedies that could have been avoided if Batman had done so within the first few of those villain's appearances is astronomical. Of course, we all know that the REAL reason Batman refuses to kill is the same reason all the other superheroes refuse to kill, so the writers don't have to think up a new villain every single time.

From the veil of ignorance, this video states individuals would choose a system that, quote, "allows everyone an equal shot of benefiting from the system."

No, no, no.

Equality of opportunity was not a condition of Rawlsian justice. Nor was equality, period. Inequality, per Rawls, must be to the greatest benefit to the least advantaged. In other words, Rawls bets anyone in the original position would choose a maximin strategy. The Rawlsian ideal is a system that specifically skews benefits from the system to the disadvantaged because Rawls states we would agree to do so if we had to draw up the social contract without knowing where we would be in the system once society kicked off. Without going into detail, that's problematic.

You guys would fail the 100 level classes, man.

Well, most of America seems to think so, rating him over Superman. Still, they've surely addressed this at some point during the comics/novels/shows/movies/etc. where Batman questions himself and his motivations rigorously, when the police and everyone ELSE does the same... So yeah, Batman is just.

Does Gotham have the death penalty? And if so if Batman captures a criminal and the criminal is sentenced to death. Does that not make Batman responsible for killing a person?

Also if Gotham's legal system does not have death sentence why is Gotham portrayed so humanely towards sentenced criminals. There seems to be a war going on in the city and still they treat their captives humanely. For a corrupt city the people in power seem strangely humane towards other people.

JLF:
Does Gotham have the death penalty? And if so if Batman captures a criminal and the criminal is sentenced to death. Does that not make Batman responsible for killing a person?

Unless Batman/Wayne is on the jury that hands down the conviction and sentencing, no he is not responsible for that decision. Would you hold the arresting officers responsible for a death sentence? No because they're not the jury, they're just putting the cuffs on the accused and giving the evidence, motive, etc. to the DA to prosecute. The DA chooses the charge and if the charge happens to fall under the capitol punishment laws (if they exist in that state, whatever state Gotham is in) then he/she can seek the death penalty but the decision doesn't come from the DA either, the jury still has the power to decide, if they convict the accused, whether or not a death sentence is warranted.

immortalfrieza:

Nurb:
Instead of extensive campaign comtributions to proper leaders and jobs programs, he spends his money on gadgets and bat caves and vehicles so he and punch poor people in the face!

People keep saying this, and it's wrong. Bruce Wayne does provide extensive campaign contributions to proper leaders and job programs, operates and funds numerous charities, funds the police department and Arkham, and so on in addition to running around at night punching bad guys in the face. Bruce Wayne is attacking crime on every level he possibly could, but the problem is that Gotham is such a royally screwed up place with such deep rooted corruption that despite Wayne doing literally everything humanly possible to put an end to crime there it ultimately does nothing. It doesn't help that the writers go out of their way to ensure that Gotham not only stays royally screwed up but keep mounting it every single issue either.

That said, it's probably Batman's outright refusal to kill these nutjobs he fights every other week despite how ridiculous obvious it is that they NEED to and DESERVE to die that above all else that causes crime to be as pervasive as it is. The number of deaths and tragedies that could have been avoided if Batman had done so within the first few of those villain's appearances is astronomical. Of course, we all know that the REAL reason Batman refuses to kill is the same reason all the other superheroes refuse to kill, so the writers don't have to think up a new villain every single time.

It's said more of as a joke, but I'd like to see Batman beat some asshole politician like Rove up over corruption for a change.

Imperioratorex Caprae:

JLF:
Does Gotham have the death penalty? And if so if Batman captures a criminal and the criminal is sentenced to death. Does that not make Batman responsible for killing a person?

Unless Batman/Wayne is on the jury that hands down the conviction and sentencing, no he is not responsible for that decision. Would you hold the arresting officers responsible for a death sentence? No because they're not the jury, they're just putting the cuffs on the accused and giving the evidence, motive, etc. to the DA to prosecute. The DA chooses the charge and if the charge happens to fall under the capitol punishment laws (if they exist in that state, whatever state Gotham is in) then he/she can seek the death penalty but the decision doesn't come from the DA either, the jury still has the power to decide, if they convict the accused, whether or not a death sentence is warranted.

Yes that is quite true the decision is made by the jurors and the killing would be done by an appointed executioner. But would Batman still not be (at least partly) responsible for a mans death. The crimes that many of the perpetrators have committed would with a high probability be sentenced to death (if death sentence is possible in Gotham) if they would be captured by law officials. So if Batman is aware of the implications of capture would that not be a "secondary" killing?

JLF:

Yes that is quite true the decision is made by the jurors and the killing would be done by an appointed executioner. But would Batman still not be (at least partly) responsible for a mans death. The crimes that many of the perpetrators have committed would with a high probability be sentenced to death (if death sentence is possible in Gotham) if they would be captured by law officials. So if Batman is aware of the implications of capture would that not be a "secondary" killing?

While Batman works outside of the law involving enforcing said law on criminals in a manner that cops cannot do, once he gives up custody to the police the actual law enforcement officers and the DA take over for the responsibility of booking the perp, then the DA and Judges arraign said perp, and the DA takes over the case to move to a grand jury if the case is deemed a possible death penalty.

The chain of custody ends with the jury and executioner being the parties responsible. Batman trusts in the law of the land to handle the criminals in custody, and to clear up something, in Arkham Origins there is a setpiece involving capital punishment with the Calendar Man so if we go by that universe then at least one Gotham City in the multiverse does indeed have a death penalty.

So I'm not going to assign any blame to Batman if a criminal goes on trial and ends up with the death penalty. He may not like it but its not his choice, nor is it his responsibility to bear.

I just don't believe in assigning blame that far up the custody chain, only because its out of his hands once the justice system starts working. Its ridiculous to assign that blame. Its somewhat akin to blaming parents for their children becoming scummy adults. Responsibility for said actions or decisions must be laid bare at the feet of those who take said action or decision. Otherwise every person who touched said case that ended in a death penalty, the witnesses, the possible expert testimony from various renowned smart folk, the cop who handles the evidence in the lock-up, the cop that put the accused in a holding cell before arraignment, the DA, the arraignment court judge, the trial judge, the jury, every paralegal that worked on said case... the list can go on and on.

And that's absurd to place the weight of a death sentence on every one of those people who had some part of responsibility both for keeping the convicted confined and those who arrested them and those who had any part involved in prosecuting them. Hell you can even blame the warden and the doctor that ensures said convict is in good health before they execute them, the priest if said convict is religious... Why not go all the way up the chain and blame the people who created the various execution possibilities, the inventor of the gas chamber, the electric chair, etc.? That logic is somewhat ludicrous.

Simplicity, not complexity. These issues are extremely simple but people want to confuse them, twist them and I don't get why. Its plain and simple to me, the chain of custody for the perpetrator/accused ends at the trial phase because once a verdict is handed down, unless there's a miracle appeal turnover or stay of execution by the governor. Attempting to lay blame to Batman affects so many other people by way of that chain of custody from Bats to the chair, chamber, firing squad.

Imperioratorex Caprae:

JLF:

Yes that is quite true the decision is made by the jurors and the killing would be done by an appointed executioner. But would Batman still not be (at least partly) responsible for a mans death. The crimes that many of the perpetrators have committed would with a high probability be sentenced to death (if death sentence is possible in Gotham) if they would be captured by law officials. So if Batman is aware of the implications of capture would that not be a "secondary" killing?

While Batman works outside of the law involving enforcing said law on criminals in a manner that cops cannot do, once he gives up custody to the police the actual law enforcement officers and the DA take over for the responsibility of booking the perp, then the DA and Judges arraign said perp, and the DA takes over the case to move to a grand jury if the case is deemed a possible death penalty.

The chain of custody ends with the jury and executioner being the parties responsible. Batman trusts in the law of the land to handle the criminals in custody, and to clear up something, in Arkham Origins there is a setpiece involving capital punishment with the Calendar Man so if we go by that universe then at least one Gotham City in the multiverse does indeed have a death penalty.

So I'm not going to assign any blame to Batman if a criminal goes on trial and ends up with the death penalty. He may not like it but its not his choice, nor is it his responsibility to bear.

I just don't believe in assigning blame that far up the custody chain, only because its out of his hands once the justice system starts working. Its ridiculous to assign that blame. Its somewhat akin to blaming parents for their children becoming scummy adults. Responsibility for said actions or decisions must be laid bare at the feet of those who take said action or decision. Otherwise every person who touched said case that ended in a death penalty, the witnesses, the possible expert testimony from various renowned smart folk, the cop who handles the evidence in the lock-up, the cop that put the accused in a holding cell before arraignment, the DA, the arraignment court judge, the trial judge, the jury, every paralegal that worked on said case... the list can go on and on.

And that's absurd to place the weight of a death sentence on every one of those people who had some part of responsibility both for keeping the convicted confined and those who arrested them and those who had any part involved in prosecuting them. Hell you can even blame the warden and the doctor that ensures said convict is in good health before they execute them, the priest if said convict is religious... Why not go all the way up the chain and blame the people who created the various execution possibilities, the inventor of the gas chamber, the electric chair, etc.? That logic is somewhat ludicrous.

Simplicity, not complexity. These issues are extremely simple but people want to confuse them, twist them and I don't get why. Its plain and simple to me, the chain of custody for the perpetrator/accused ends at the trial phase because once a verdict is handed down, unless there's a miracle appeal turnover or stay of execution by the governor. Attempting to lay blame to Batman affects so many other people by way of that chain of custody from Bats to the chair, chamber, firing squad.

I appreciate your thorough reply. You have valid arguments that one can not be assigned direct blame over a institutionalized legal system. And also one can not directly (and practically) blame Batman for their deaths. My first post can be interpreted as how one can lay ("outside blame") fault on Batman over a man's death.

My thoughts are from Batman's perspective though. He's "philosophy"/rule is not to kill. Which I like to interpret as "not to cause death to others by his actions". His background is that he is a educated man who has very high insight into other people and their actions (and most likely about himself as well). This is why I find it hard to believe that he would not think he's actions/choices would cause the death of criminals. In a multiverse where the death penalty is possible he's actions to help law enforcement capture criminals would ensure them their demise. That I feel would be very difficult for himself to justify (this is on the assumption that "not killing" is not "not killing them by my own bare hands"). That would though be an interesting story to explore.

Side note/disclosure: I do not support death penalty by any means so my opinions are biased in that perspective.

immortalfrieza:

That said, it's probably Batman's outright refusal to kill these nutjobs he fights every other week despite how ridiculous obvious it is that they NEED to and DESERVE to die that above all else that causes crime to be as pervasive as it is. The number of deaths and tragedies that could have been avoided if Batman had done so within the first few of those villain's appearances is astronomical. Of course, we all know that the REAL reason Batman refuses to kill is the same reason all the other superheroes refuse to kill, so the writers don't have to think up a new villain every single time.

I don't know. You see Batman lives in a world of magic, science, with known afterlife (the JLA fought literal Angels at one point), where people come back from the dead all the time. Do you really want the Joker to come back as some sort of demon?

His Rogues Galleries repeated ability to get out of prison over and over renders Batman's nonlethal methods bullshit.

I think everyone but the most ardently idealistic pro-life person would all be for giving Batman a pass if he finally finshed off the likes of the Joker, and what could he do if whatever state Gotham is in finally grew brain cells and introduced a fast tracked death penalty for supervillains?

WolfThomas:

immortalfrieza:

That said, it's probably Batman's outright refusal to kill these nutjobs he fights every other week despite how ridiculous obvious it is that they NEED to and DESERVE to die that above all else that causes crime to be as pervasive as it is. The number of deaths and tragedies that could have been avoided if Batman had done so within the first few of those villain's appearances is astronomical. Of course, we all know that the REAL reason Batman refuses to kill is the same reason all the other superheroes refuse to kill, so the writers don't have to think up a new villain every single time.

I don't know. You see Batman lives in a world of magic, science, with known afterlife (the JLA fought literal Angels at one point), where people come back from the dead all the time. Do you really want the Joker to come back as some sort of demon?

The possibility of the Joker being gone forever by killing him Vs. the certainty he's going to be back over and over and over again? If I lived in the DC universe I'd definitely take the former option. Besides, if the Joker did come back as a demon killing him over and over would be just like putting him back in Arkham anyway, and at least then there would be a halfway rational excuse NOT to kill the sorts of people this nuts if it actually happened.

beastro:
His Rogues Galleries repeated ability to get out of prison over and over renders Batman's nonlethal methods bullshit.

I think everyone but the most ardently idealistic pro-life person would all be for giving Batman a pass if he finally finshed off the likes of the Joker, and what could he do if whatever state Gotham is in finally grew brain cells and introduced a fast tracked death penalty for supervillains?

I say any sane person and even most insane ones including even the most rabid prolifer would have killed the Joker and most of the rest of Batman's Rogues gallery (not to mention a lot of other supervillains) themselves within their first couple of escapes from Arkham, tops. Only someone that not only had as warped a version of justice but was insanely fixated on it as Batman is wouldn't have done so, any remotely rational logic supports it.

I find any question of Batman's justice needs to take into account he primarily fights terrorists (The Joker, Ra's Al Ghul) and organized crime (which predominately preys on the poor despite coming from it). He's also a man who runs numerous charitable foundations and actively works to benefit the masses.

The assumption the criminal are automatically victims fails to consider that, yes, the rich and powerful are criminals too. It's just they are less often likely to get caught or punished as severely.

People who think Batman is a rich guy who beats up poor people are like people who think Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is about how America rocks. They're people who probably very likely have never really seen the material they're discussing.

Came back to this series after a long hiatus. Instantly remembered why I stopped watching. Is Rawls really the only voice on justice worth considering? You ask a question like "Is Batman Just?" and then offer only one definition of justice. That hardly even begins to consider the question, let alone answer it. You present Rawls as the definitive answer when it comes to defining justice and that just comes across as gross bias.

The difference is that the mega-billionaire might fund social projects and special industrial initiatives to provide less incentives to perform criminal acts and rather labour for both their own and society's benefits? Good argument that Batman might better fight more crime, and in a much more socially cohesive way, if instead of spending billions on crime fighting technology he spent the money building better schools and better workplaces for the poor.

Of course, that and Batman's refusal to kill people who are obviously going to murder again, and again, and again ... and the fact that Gotham, despite being such a screwed up place, doesn't have a decent jail. Maybe Batman should build a better jail.

... and I just realize that I hard necro'd this forum topic <.<

 

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