Morality of The Dark Knight

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cookietran
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Morality of The Dark Knight

Post by cookietran »

So there's The Joker... dangling from the rooftop.

Chances are very high that this sociopathic mastermind will indeed continue to wreak havoc if not released from this mortal coil.

He has been imprisoned before and escaped to kill again. So why does Batman risk another similar occurence by allowing him to live?

Furthermore, Bruce Wayne has personal reasons to end The Jokers' life. Yet still he refuses.

A fighter, yes.
A killer, no.

"You can either die a hero, or live long enough to see yourself become the villain."
- The Dark Knight
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Marvin_Edwards
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Re: Morality of The Dark Knight

Post by Marvin_Edwards »

Then the true hero would be the person who built a prison that the Joker could not escape. And, there is always the death penalty for the mass murderer who cannot be prevented from killing his fellow inmates and guards. And, if necessary, we could return to the "Wanted: Dead or Alive" warrant.
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Sculptor1
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Re: Morality of The Dark Knight

Post by Sculptor1 »

cookietran wrote: August 24th, 2020, 4:49 am So there's The Joker... dangling from the rooftop.

Chances are very high that this sociopathic mastermind will indeed continue to wreak havoc if not released from this mortal coil.

He has been imprisoned before and escaped to kill again. So why does Batman risk another similar occurence by allowing him to live?

Furthermore, Bruce Wayne has personal reasons to end The Jokers' life. Yet still he refuses.

A fighter, yes.
A killer, no.

"You can either die a hero, or live long enough to see yourself become the villain."
- The Dark Knight
Did your mummy never tell you that killing is wrong?
And did she never say it was wrong to take the law into your own hands?
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Sculptor1
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Re: Morality of The Dark Knight

Post by Sculptor1 »

But MOST importantly - if Batman killed the Joker, then there would be no prospect for a sequel!
It would be suicide for the studio to do that.
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Terrapin Station
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Re: Morality of The Dark Knight

Post by Terrapin Station »

Sculptor1 wrote: August 25th, 2020, 7:42 am
cookietran wrote: August 24th, 2020, 4:49 am So there's The Joker... dangling from the rooftop.

Chances are very high that this sociopathic mastermind will indeed continue to wreak havoc if not released from this mortal coil.

He has been imprisoned before and escaped to kill again. So why does Batman risk another similar occurence by allowing him to live?

Furthermore, Bruce Wayne has personal reasons to end The Jokers' life. Yet still he refuses.

A fighter, yes.
A killer, no.

"You can either die a hero, or live long enough to see yourself become the villain."
- The Dark Knight
Did your mummy never tell you that killing is wrong?
And did she never say it was wrong to take the law into your own hands?
You should watch films with my wife. She always says, "You've got to kill the person. You can't just leave them there. You need to shoot them in the head/cut their head off/burn them, etc."--the latter part because we watch a lot of horror films and if you don't do that the antagonist will come back and kill you no matter what you did to them/it.
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Sculptor1
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Re: Morality of The Dark Knight

Post by Sculptor1 »

Terrapin Station wrote: August 26th, 2020, 9:48 am
Sculptor1 wrote: August 25th, 2020, 7:42 am

Did your mummy never tell you that killing is wrong?
And did she never say it was wrong to take the law into your own hands?
You should watch films with my wife. She always says, "You've got to kill the person. You can't just leave them there. You need to shoot them in the head/cut their head off/burn them, etc."--the latter part because we watch a lot of horror films and if you don't do that the antagonist will come back and kill you no matter what you did to them/it.
Don't forget the advice from Zombieland; "always double-tap".
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LuckyR
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Re: Morality of The Dark Knight

Post by LuckyR »

Terrapin Station wrote: August 26th, 2020, 9:48 am
Sculptor1 wrote: August 25th, 2020, 7:42 am

Did your mummy never tell you that killing is wrong?
And did she never say it was wrong to take the law into your own hands?
You should watch films with my wife. She always says, "You've got to kill the person. You can't just leave them there. You need to shoot them in the head/cut their head off/burn them, etc."--the latter part because we watch a lot of horror films and if you don't do that the antagonist will come back and kill you no matter what you did to them/it.
Good advice. You shouldn't walk around with a gun. But if you do you shouldn't pull it out and point it at anyone. But if you do, you should kind of kill them, because how do you walk back pulling a gun on someone?
"As usual... it depends."
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Steve3007
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Re: Morality of The Dark Knight

Post by Steve3007 »

On the general theme of lack of realism on screen:

How did Frasier manage to be so rich by doing a stint on a local talk radio station that broadcast only to a small city of considerably less than a million people? One theory I've read is that the entire show took place in the fading embers of Frasier's alcohol-wrecked mind as he lay dying on the street outside the closed Cheers bar, having never actually left Boston to go back home to Seattle.

You can't go home again.
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Jack D Ripper
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Re: Morality of The Dark Knight

Post by Jack D Ripper »

It may seem strange to reply to a thread that deals with a movie that I don't think I ever saw, but the ideas seem interesting. I have a question, which I hope someone will answer, though I will write for either case.

Did Batman save the Joker's life, or did he just not murder him? There is a difference between not saving someone's life, and murdering the person, as I think most people will acknowledge (it is certainly acknowledged in US law). There is a difference between me murdering someone, and me simply not jumping into a river to save someone.


As has been stated by someone else above, of course, for the sake of making a sequel, they do not have Batman kill the Joker. And there is also the "boy scout" morality of the Batman character, which is better illustrated in the 1960's TV series of Batman. But is that the right morality to have?


I think, though, the issue of whether one should save someone's life, if one knows that that person is likely to kill others, is something that could make for an interesting discussion (depending, obviously, on what people have to say in the discussion). Should you save someone's life, if that person will kill others in the future? If you don't save the killer's life, he will not kill again. So by not saving him, you are indirectly saving the lives of those future victims, the people who would be victims if the killer lives. If you do save the person's life, then they will kill again and you are a part of the reason they get killed.

A slightly different discussion could be had about whether one ought to kill someone who is likely to kill others in the future. Should you murder a murderer who will murder again if you do not murder him? If you do, you will be indirectly saving the lives of those future victims, the people who would be victims if the killer lives.


In the story under discussion, it is pretty much a given that no prison can hold the Joker for long, so that is not a way to prevent him from murdering others in the future. With that in mind, what should Batman do?
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Re: Morality of The Dark Knight

Post by Neil Wallace »

cookietran wrote: August 24th, 2020, 4:49 am So there's The Joker... dangling from the rooftop.

Chances are very high that this sociopathic mastermind will indeed continue to wreak havoc if not released from this mortal coil.

He has been imprisoned before and escaped to kill again. So why does Batman risk another similar occurence by allowing him to live?

Furthermore, Bruce Wayne has personal reasons to end The Jokers' life. Yet still he refuses.

A fighter, yes.
A killer, no.

"You can either die a hero, or live long enough to see yourself become the villain."
- The Dark Knight
The Joker is a work of fiction rather than reality. The characters are not actually real and so they don't really have motives in the same way people do in real life.

You might say that these fictional characters portray genuine human characteristics and dilemmas in some way. The problem with the Dark Knight is that the dilemmas tend to be pushed to the extreme beyond what most fortunately have to experience in their real lives. Its very difficult to try and then extrapolate backwards to a genuine human experience- the rights and wrongs of the Joker dangling from a rooftop.

For this reason these kind of dilemmas remain strangely unanswerable for the reason that there is nothing to measure them against in real life.
Unlike a question like "Should I hit that robber that has stolen the purse from the old lady, or let them run on down the road as I don't wish to add to the suffering of the world by hitting them". These scenarios are more easy to decide because there is more evidence available on city streets from previous trials of the probabalistic moral outcomes for each of
"hit robber/ let them run".
1. Robber stopped
2. Robber stopped
3. Robber had a knife which caused an injury
4. Robber stopped

'therefore ->
etc.
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