[2012-May-28] Ethics getting weird

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[2012-May-28] Ethics getting weird

Postby lukekh » Mon May 28, 2012 2:56 pm

http://www.smbc-comics.com/comics/20120528.gif

Please correct me if I'm wrong but does this not imply that Batman saved two lives before his parents died (i.e. independently from his parents dying)?
I realise that Zach is probably counting killing Batman's parents as saving -2 lives but how are we to know that these horrible people haven't killed any more than two people?
Maybe it should be B-K where K is the amount of people killed by the people that killed Batman's parents K<<B?
There doesn't seem to be sufficient information to deduce K, let alone count killing a person as the negative of saving them.

Also I don't know how to follow formats. I should feel foolish.
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Re: Ethics getting weird

Postby ChaoticBrain » Mon May 28, 2012 3:47 pm

lukekh wrote:Please correct me if I'm wrong


Oh, happily.

lukekh wrote:but does this not imply that Batman saved two lives before his parents died?


If you think helplessly watching his parents die is mathematically equivalent to murdering them, then sure.

lukekh wrote:I realise that Zach is probably counting killing Batman's parents as saving -2 lives but how are we to know that these horrible people


Person.

lukekh wrote:haven't killed any more than two people?


The mugger murdered two people in front of Bruce.
That eventually led to the creation of Batman.
Anything the mugger did outside of the initial event is irrelevant.

lukekh wrote:Maybe it should be B-K where K is the amount of people killed by the people that killed Batman's parents K<<B?
There doesn't seem to be sufficient information to deduce K, let alone count killing a person as the negative of saving them.


Stop overthinking. You're not very good at it.
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Re: Ethics getting weird

Postby Lethal Interjection » Mon May 28, 2012 3:49 pm

You are misunderstanding. He meant that the people who killed the Waynes saved lives because Bruce's parents' death prompted his creation of his Batman persona.
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Re: Ethics getting weird

Postby Yoo-jin » Mon May 28, 2012 3:58 pm

lukekh wrote:http://www.smbc-comics.com/comics/20120528.gif

Please correct me if I'm wrong but does this not imply that Batman saved two lives before his parents died (i.e. independently from his parents dying)?
I realise that Zach is probably counting killing Batman's parents as saving -2 lives but how are we to know that these horrible people haven't killed any more than two people?
Maybe it should be B-K where K is the amount of people killed by the people that killed Batman's parents K<<B?
There doesn't seem to be sufficient information to deduce K, let alone count killing a person as the negative of saving them.


No, it's saying that all of the people that Batman saves is the number that the killers of his parents save via their creation of Batman.

Now, of course, this is assuming that Batman's parents' killers don't go around killing people the same time that Batman is active. If Batman's parents' killers are still going around killing people while Batman is lurking the streets, then it could modify the formula:

Where K being the potential overlap of people B killed by the people who killed Batman's parents:
B-2-K

And then we could further take into account that these killers might save other lives through action, inaction, accident, or on purpose. But that's really just nitpicking. The original joke is fine on its own.



Here's the question: If you knew that you could create Batman by killing a kid's parents, would you do it? Although, I suppose that vigilantism isn't exactly following the law either.
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Re: Ethics getting weird

Postby smiley_cow » Mon May 28, 2012 4:12 pm

I just want to say I liked today's. I thought it was cute.
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Re: Ethics getting weird

Postby Sandwiches » Mon May 28, 2012 4:21 pm

Reminds me of the idea that because we all subjectively have a perfect future, we are always failing because we don't know what action would lead to that future.
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Re: Ethics getting weird

Postby Kimra » Mon May 28, 2012 4:25 pm

Oh my god. Too much thought has been put into this. I don't have a life and I can't be bothered putting in this much thought, do you all have time control devices and thus have infinite amounts of time to analyse a simple comic? If not, I am more disturbed than ever before in my entire life, and I have the internet, consider that.
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Re: [2012-May-28] Ethics getting weird

Postby Guest1 » Mon May 28, 2012 9:17 pm

A butterfly saved all lives forever with flapping its wings just once. /thread
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Re: [2012-May-28] Ethics getting weird

Postby Sandwiches » Mon May 28, 2012 10:02 pm

Guest1 wrote:/thread


fuck you
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Re: Ethics getting weird

Postby Lethal Interjection » Mon May 28, 2012 10:20 pm

smiley_cow wrote:I just want to say I liked today's. I thought it was cute.


I agree. Kind of funny, and I actually like philosophical issue it raises, which has been a rare occurence.
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Re: [2012-May-28] Ethics getting weird

Postby Duloth » Mon May 28, 2012 11:47 pm

Ahh, but...

B(Number of people saved by batman) - J(Number of people Joker killed after batman prevented him from being killed by cops) -X(Number of people other villains have killed after batman saved them and/or spared them)
=
A substantially negative number, as the Joker actually literally killed everyone in existence at one point.

As a result, one can say that murdering Bruce Wayne's parents is an unambiguously unethical incident because batman has caused so much more death and suffering than he's prevented its ridiculous. In fact, killing Bruce Wayne as a child would be an amazingly good thing for gotham city and everyone in general.
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Re: [2012-May-28] Ethics getting weird

Postby Sandwiches » Tue May 29, 2012 12:27 am

Why would Joker have been killed by cops? The reason Batman is a hero is that he's doing what the cops could not do. Joker would out-fox the cops, he would not let them catch him, he would not. Joker would unleash his gas, killing people in large mass.

What I'm saying is there's no guarantee Joker would die. Unless you're referring to something specific, I haven't been following the new 52 I'm afraid.
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Re: [2012-May-28] Ethics getting weird

Postby Duloth » Tue May 29, 2012 2:31 am

Oh, no... Batman has saved the joker's life on several ocaisions, both when his boneheaded schemes have backfired due to batman's intervention, and when police/other heroes have tried to kill him. He'd have long been dead if batman weren't up to saving his life.

Even worse... the Joker wouldn't even have become the joker if not for batman(every joker origin except The Dark Knight movie involves batman creating him), so even the people he's killed prior to those incidents are still batman's fault. Before he first met batman, he was just a depressed low-life who was being forced into a burglary against his will.
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Re: [2012-May-28] Ethics getting weird

Postby Lethal Interjection » Tue May 29, 2012 3:22 am

Duloth wrote:Ahh, but...

B(Number of people saved by batman) - J(Number of people Joker killed after batman prevented him from being killed by cops) -X(Number of people other villains have killed after batman saved them and/or spared them)
=
A substantially negative number, as the Joker actually literally killed everyone in existence at one point.

As a result, one can say that murdering Bruce Wayne's parents is an unambiguously unethical incident because batman has caused so much more death and suffering than he's prevented its ridiculous. In fact, killing Bruce Wayne as a child would be an amazingly good thing for gotham city and everyone in general.



Without a superhero there would be wouldn't be any proper supervillains. Literal creation (like the Joker) or not, one doesn't exist without the other. So yes, by creating the vengeance monster that is Batman, there then became several supervillains, who then created more destruction than the positive aspect of Batman.
But if you presume that these villainous characters would've existed without Batman, that they are predisposed to be supervillains then you have to account for the deaths they cause/create if there weren't such a superheroes.
But the comic formula tends to follow the lines of:
Corrupt evil are (major crime but not supervillainy) --> Superhero to do what the law can't/won't --> Supervillains rise up to counter the superhero
Last edited by Lethal Interjection on Tue May 29, 2012 5:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ethics getting weird

Postby lukekh » Tue May 29, 2012 9:06 am

ChaoticBrain wrote:
lukekh wrote:Please correct me if I'm wrong


Oh, happily.

lukekh wrote:but does this not imply that Batman saved two lives before his parents died?


If you think helplessly watching his parents die is mathematically equivalent to murdering them, then sure.

lukekh wrote:I realise that Zach is probably counting killing Batman's parents as saving -2 lives but how are we to know that these horrible people


Person.

lukekh wrote:haven't killed any more than two people?


The mugger murdered two people in front of Bruce.
That eventually led to the creation of Batman.
Anything the mugger did outside of the initial event is irrelevant.

lukekh wrote:Maybe it should be B-K where K is the amount of people killed by the people that killed Batman's parents K<<B?
There doesn't seem to be sufficient information to deduce K, let alone count killing a person as the negative of saving them.


Stop overthinking. You're not very good at it.



I'm not sure you understand what I mean ChaoticBrain, probably because I said it in a very roundabout way.
I am just saying that the by killing two people you have not saved -2 people. The two measures are not equivalent. If you are going to account for the lives that aren't saved it becomes far more complex than the people you killed in one instance.
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