1. Joined
    19 Nov '03
    Moves
    31382
    02 Aug '05 14:32
    Let us take a theoretical position that Superman exists. Now although he is endowed with superhuman strength, the power of flight, x-ray eyes, near invulnerability etc. He does not act in the best interests of humans unless it is in a reactionary capacity. For example, someone fires a nuclear missile at America and he flies it into space where it detonates harmlessly. He does not act pre-emptively to fix the world's problems, even though, in a year he could quite easily avert world hunger, war, poverty, pollution etc. My questions are:

    1) Does the fact that he holds such power mean that morally he should put it to good use?

    2) If he is morally bound to put his powers to good use, should he intervene and act pre-emptively to resolve the problems he continues to intervene on already, albeit in a reactionary way?

    3) Can we equate superman to god for the purpose of this thread and is god morally bound to intervene to stop future pain/strife etc.?
  2. Gangster Land
    Joined
    26 Mar '04
    Moves
    20732
    02 Aug '05 15:01
    Originally posted by Starrman


    1) Does the fact that he holds such power mean that morally he should put it to good use?

    If you will allow me to answer your first question with a question...

    Do you feel that we humans (those without super powers) are morally obligated to use our strengths for the betterment of society? For instance, say I have a knack for numbers and in school showed myself to be very gifted with calculus etc etc. Am I morally obligated to use those skills, assuming maths are what I'm best at?

    TheSkipper
  3. Standard memberJoe Fist
    Troubador
    Land of Fist
    Joined
    28 Sep '04
    Moves
    19133
    02 Aug '05 15:12
    Originally posted by TheSkipper
    If you will allow me to answer your first question with a question...

    Do you feel that we humans (those without super powers) are morally obligated to use our strengths for the betterment of society? For instance, say I have a knack for numbers and in school showed myself to be very gifted with calculus etc etc. Am I morally obligated to use those skills, assuming maths are what I'm best at?

    TheSkipper
    I will attempt to answer your question:

    No I don't think anyone is "obligated" to use whatever special abilities they may possess for betterment of mankind but I think it would be hard to argue that it would not only be in the best interest for all but eventually the best interest for the individual himself if they were selfless with their abilities.

    As far as being "morally obligated" I think that depends on your individual morals.
  4. Joined
    19 Nov '03
    Moves
    31382
    02 Aug '05 15:131 edit
    Originally posted by TheSkipper
    If you will allow me to answer your first question with a question...

    Do you feel that we humans (those without super powers) are morally obligated to use our strengths for the betterment of society? For instance, say I have a knack ...[text shortened]... those skills, assuming maths are what I'm best at?

    TheSkipper
    Hmm, I think everyone is obligated to constructively act for the improvement of society. The important thing here, I guess, is the scale of your abilities; if your maths is of Newtonian proportions, then you should feel obliged to use them to accomplish something grand. If they are average, but your best personal skills, then your debt to society is perhaps of a lesser nature. As to whether that something should be good or evil, I feel if it is for the betterment of society then it should be viewed as good and I would hope that all people 'should' aim to act in such a way.
  5. Standard memberJoe Fist
    Troubador
    Land of Fist
    Joined
    28 Sep '04
    Moves
    19133
    02 Aug '05 15:26
    1) Does the fact that he holds such power mean that morally he should put it to good use?

    As much as I personally disagree with Superman’s squandering of his abilities in his current, reactionary form I don’t think he his held (or anyone is held) by any morality except for the one they impose upon themselves, if that. This also means, however, that if one does not adhere to what I consider to be the common moral code (basically most of the 10 commandments without any reference to religion. I am not against religion or Christianity but the guidelines set here are a good example of what is right and wrong) then that person also suffers the consequences of whatever society has decided is in violation of that code (imprisonment, execution, etc).

    Unfortunately, none of this applies to the mythical character Superman which means he can follow or break any code of morals he chooses. To get technical about it, I believe the concept of morality is a manmade concept and Superman is not a “man”. He is an alien and it would be understandable if he shared the same morality as the black widow eating its mate after intercourse.
  6. Standard memberJoe Fist
    Troubador
    Land of Fist
    Joined
    28 Sep '04
    Moves
    19133
    02 Aug '05 15:36
    2) If he is morally bound to put his powers to good use, should he intervene and act pre-emptively to resolve the problems he continues to intervene on already, albeit in a reactionary way?

    Based on this assumption to be true, I feel he should act in a pre-emptive way for solving most if not all issues for the betterment of mankind. Example, Superman has the ability to remove all WOMD in a matter of hours (probably minutes) from all nations. He could carry vast amounts of food to areas of the world where people are dying of starvation. He could easily create livable environments for all who have to brave the elements. Superman was initially created as “America’s hero” but often he is portrayed in the comics as “America’s weapon”.
  7. Joined
    19 Nov '03
    Moves
    31382
    02 Aug '05 15:42
    Originally posted by Joe Fist
    [b]1) Does the fact that he holds such power mean that morally he should put it to good use?

    As much as I personally disagree with Superman’s squandering of his abilities in his current, reactionary form I don’t think he his held (or anyone is held) by any morality except for the one they impose upon themselves, if that. This also means, however, t ...[text shortened]... standable if he shared the same morality as the black widow eating its mate after intercourse.
    [/b]
    But he has chosen to become bound to man, he is responsible for man, he looks after man. Unless he wants to be labelled a dictator, he must assume the same moral codes as the rest of us, which I believe he generally does. Whether he was originally of alien descent is immaterial. As a member of society he is bound by society's codes. What I find unsettling is that he still maintains part of his oath not to become involved in the affairs of the many (by acting pre-emptively), instead becoming involved in the affairs of the few (acting reactively as and when people are in danger). Also his actions seem to be directed primarily towards America rather than the rest of the world.
  8. London
    Joined
    02 Mar '04
    Moves
    36061
    02 Aug '05 15:44
    Originally posted by Joe Fist
    [b]1) Does the fact that he holds such power mean that morally he should put it to good use?

    As much as I personally disagree with Superman’s squandering of his abilities in his current, reactionary form I don’t think he his held (or anyone is held) by any morality except for the one they impose upon themselves, if that. This also means, however, t ...[text shortened]... standable if he shared the same morality as the black widow eating its mate after intercourse.
    [/b]
    If Superman is only bound by his own morality, why should he be bound by Society's laws?
  9. Standard memberJoe Fist
    Troubador
    Land of Fist
    Joined
    28 Sep '04
    Moves
    19133
    02 Aug '05 15:50
    3) Can we equate superman to god for the purpose of this thread and is god morally bound to intervene to stop future pain/strife etc.?

    For the purpose of this thread alone and not attempting to insult anyone’s belief in God, sure the mythical character of Superman could be interpreted as God and, in many senses, parallels the belief that many have of God today.

    Going by this assumption, if Superman did exist, I don’t think anyone would argue that God is more powerful than Superman, correct? After all, God would have created Superman, right? Certainly it could be debated that God (I am not attempting to pick or pick on a particular belief here) works in a reactionary capacity now. Starvation, disease, murder and all sorts of hideous offenses occur now. I think a deeper question is this: Is it God’s role to work towards the moral betterment of mankind or is it God’s role to let mankind sort it out for himself? For that matter, should Superman let mankind sort out things for themselves?
  10. Joined
    19 Nov '03
    Moves
    31382
    02 Aug '05 15:54
    Originally posted by Joe Fist
    After all, God would have created Superman, right?
    I know someone who believes that if aliens exist, they are not aliens at all, but demons. In that case, superman would be a demon too and that would throw a spanner into the whole morality talk. But that's for another debate I think 🙂
  11. London
    Joined
    02 Mar '04
    Moves
    36061
    02 Aug '05 15:58
    Originally posted by Starrman
    3) Can we equate superman to god for the purpose of this thread and is god morally bound to intervene to stop future pain/strife etc.?
    And so we're back to GAFE.
  12. Standard memberJoe Fist
    Troubador
    Land of Fist
    Joined
    28 Sep '04
    Moves
    19133
    02 Aug '05 16:04
    Originally posted by Starrman
    But he has chosen to become bound to man, he is responsible for man, he looks after man. Unless he wants to be labelled a dictator, he must assume the same moral codes as the rest of us, which I believe he generally does. Whether he was originally of alien descent is immaterial. As a member of society he is bound by society's codes. What I find unsettl ...[text shortened]... lso his actions seem to be directed primarily towards America rather than the rest of the world.
    While I agree he has chosen to act as man’s protector I think he can chose to break that obligation at his discretion. Why must he assume the same moral code as mankind? Unless someone has Kryptonite, there are no consequences for him if he does not. Going back to the comparison of God and Superman, does God need to adhere to mankind’s moral code? I claim that God does not and for me, due to all of the injustices of the world, I think this is the case now.

    You are right about Superman’s alien origin having no real merit in whether or not he is bound by society’s laws. For that matter, any man or woman is not bound by them either as obvious in the case of the many criminals running rampant in our society. The only difference between Superman and the average citizen not adhering to the laws of morality is that it would be extremely difficult to enforce our morality on a superman whereas the average citizen could be forced to suffer the consequences of breaking the code mankind has established.

    If I had the power of a superman, I think it would take less than one year to make this world back to a paradise for pretty much all. I would work relentlessly to make sure all inhabitants of the world were able to live a comfortable, healthy life. After that, I am cruising the galaxy (as long as our sun was in proximity to keep me strong).
  13. Joined
    19 Nov '03
    Moves
    31382
    02 Aug '05 16:05
    Originally posted by lucifershammer
    And so we're back to GAFE.
    GAFE?
  14. Standard memberJoe Fist
    Troubador
    Land of Fist
    Joined
    28 Sep '04
    Moves
    19133
    02 Aug '05 16:06
    Originally posted by lucifershammer
    And so we're back to GAFE.
    Sorry, not up on my acronyms. What is GAFE?
  15. Joined
    19 Nov '03
    Moves
    31382
    02 Aug '05 16:12
    Originally posted by Joe Fist
    While I agree he has chosen to act as man’s protector I think he can chose to break that obligation at his discretion. Why must he assume the same moral code as mankind?

    Because he has appointed himself a judge of humanity. He sees fit to catch crooks, to stop murders, to save children in school buses from falling off bridges. Why does he act in such a manner if not because he views it as morally correct to do so? How can he say "You're going to jail for murder" if he doesn't hold with our moral codes?

    Unless someone has Kryptonite, there are no consequences for him if he does not.

    Would Lois love him if he did not?

    Going back to the comparison of God and Superman, does God need to adhere to mankind’s moral code? I claim that God does not and for me, due to all of the injustices of the world, I think this is the case now.

    If god does not adhere to the code, who is he to say what is and isn't right and wrong? One rule for him, one for others.

    You are right about Superman’s alien origin having no real merit in whether or not he is bound by society’s laws. For that matter, any man or woman is not bound by them either as obvious in the case of the many criminals running rampant in our society. The only difference between Superman and the average citizen not adhering to the laws of morality is that it would be extremely difficult to enforce our morality on a superman whereas the average citizen could be forced to suffer the consequences of breaking the code mankind has established.

    We are talking about obligation, not forcing moral adherement.

    If I had the power of a superman, I think it would take less than one year to make this world back to a paradise for pretty much all. I would work relentlessly to make sure all inhabitants of the world were able to live a comfortable, healthy life. After that, I am cruising the galaxy (as long as our sun was in proximity to keep me strong).

    I wonder if you really would. If you had that power and you feel you are not obligated to humans, why would you even bother?
Back to Top