Superhero’s Guide to Heroism!

For those who want a little more heroism in their lives, the one and only Superhero’s Guide to Heroism offers groundbreaking ethical tips on such superhero problems as gaining powers, choosing sidekicks, and keeping your identity a secret.  Drawing from such hero mentors as Plato, Kant, and Alan Moore, this column promises to inform and enrich your heroic experience.

Superhero’s Guide to Heroism!

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Superman, Glasses, and the Conflict of Interest

Superman, Glasses, and the Conflict of Interest

Greetings, heroes and Superman fans!

We’ll be at the midnight showing of Man of Steel early Friday morning, so we thought we’d give you some fun Superman ethics.  Specifically, his disguise.

You know, this one:

In the latest column of the Ethicist, the following question was asked:

I wear nonprescription eyeglasses on…

Batman and The Ethics of Deception

Batman and The Ethics of Deception

This month’s post is based on this month’s Batman: The Dark Knight.  Needless to say, spoilers follow.

We’re still working on the latest post on vigilante ethics, but in the meantime, we’re going to weigh in on the May issue of Batman:The Dark Knight.  If you haven’t read it, we highly recommend it.

(Spoilers to follow)

The comic starts one Halloween when The Mad Hatter, The Penguin, and The Scarecrow meet up…

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Superman, General Zod, and Just War Theory

Superman, General Zod, and Just War Theory

Hello Superheroes!

Up to this point, most trailers of the Superman movie have been pseudo-religious, contemplative  and soul searching.  Which is all well and good, but a movie about Superman finding out all about himself in a touchy feely way has been done (Hello, Man of Steel?  This is Smallville calling.  It wants its teen angst back).

Which is why we were thrilled to see this:

(hmm, we can’t seem to get the…

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Vigilante Situation 2: The State has failed to enact certain good laws

Vigilante Situation 2: The State has failed to enact certain good laws

This post if part 3 of a series on the ethics of vigilantism as defined by Les Johnson.  You can find parts 1 & 2 here and here, respective.

Between a state enacting good laws and a state enacting bad laws, there exists a point at which the state doesn’t do enough.  Imagine, for example, the fight of the Civil Rights Movement, in which the fight was…

Superman’s a Fascist for Being a Vigilante?

Superman’s a Fascist for Being a Vigilante?

Note: This post reflects only the views of the author, not necessarily the views of the editor of the site nor the views of anyone referenced.

We’re nearly finished with our latest post on the ethics of vigilantism, but we wanted to take a moment to comment on a recent story from a major news outlet.

The Atlantic recently published a post about the latest Superman writer entitled “The Real…

Vigilante Situation 1: The State Has Enacted Good Laws, but Is Failing to Enforce Them

Vigilante Situation 1: The State Has Enacted Good Laws, but Is Failing to Enforce Them

Now that we have a definition of vigilantism, it seems apparent that an individual or group’s actions as a vigilante must take into account the context in which the individual acts.  Any look at the efficacy of a vigilante’s actions must first consider who should defend the values being violated as well as the quality with which they accomplish that task.  First, society has appointed a group of…

Being a Hero, Defying the Law: An Introduction to Vigilantism

Being a Hero, Defying the Law: An Introduction to Vigilantism

No discussion of heroes would be complete without a discussion of the phenomenon of vigilantism.  Even though heroes are found among fire departments, police, and the armed forces, many of our superheroes serve independent of all three.  While this trend is by no means universal, of the top 20 selling comic titles of April 2010, only one, The Walking Dead, does not directly feature a vigilante or group of…

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When is Forgiveness Unforgivable?

When is Forgiveness Unforgivable?

 

The basic superhero formula isn’t difficult: you have heroes and villains, villains try to take over the world, heroes fight the villains, and the heroes win.  Its a tale as old as time itself.

That’s simple enough.  But simple is boring and life is complex.  People change, alliances advance, and issues that once divided seem inconsequential in light of new events.  Which means that while we once had X-Men covers…

Invincible Iron Man, Extremis, and Transhumanism- Becoming more than human, but less than heroic?

Invincible Iron Man, Extremis, and Transhumanism- Becoming more than human, but less than heroic?

Welcome back, heroes!

The trailer for Iron Man 3 came out about a month ago, and we are still giddy with anticipation.

OK, so they took the trailer for The Dark Knight Rises and added helicopters shooting missiles.  We don’t care.  Robert Downey Jr. is the best thing to happen to Iron Man since titanium underwear, and after…

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“I won’t kill you, but I don’t have to save you”…or do you?

“I won’t kill you, but I don’t have to save you”…or do you?

Greetings heroes!

This month’s post is based on the following scene from Batman Begins:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-Dvu_Zidj8&feature=player_detailpage

In summary, Batman is on a speeding train with R’as al Ghul, a villain who has just tried to destroy Gotham City.  Batman has Detective Gordan destroy the train track, then beats al Ghul in a fight.  Batman then departs with the line, “I won’t kill you, but I don’t have to save you.”  The train goes…

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