Superhero Morality vs Our Morality

The beloved Superman from DC Comics is an example of the perfect superhero. He believes in what is right, and uses his super-abilities to enforce that belief. Superman always seems to make the best decision he can possibly make for the best of humanity, but a trait of his may skew his judgment. As described in this article from Time Magazine, the trolley dilemma conflicts with Superman in the sense that he would never kill an innocent human even if it would save Earth’s entire population. Of course we everyday humans do not have to make decisions concerning the planet’s population. However like the famous Superman, we, too, must differ between right in wrong with our overpowering senses of morality

There is no universal standard for right or wrong when speaking of morality. You may not have a problem with what your grandmother may think is immoral. This raises a good explanation of the differences in morality amongst society. Age groups may differ in their opinions of how risqué or how appropriate something is. An older woman may walk into today’s high schools and scowl at the level of skin showing on these young ladies. However, for high school students and teachers today, we have come to the conclusion as time went on from the fifties, the influence of TV and modern music made girls follow a trend of wearing revealing clothing. It is not an attempt to “stick it to the man,” but is simply just how society is advancing through time. Society may differ in the definition of what is moral and what is not due to age grouping, but what about the decisions that everyone can agree is either moral or not?

Someone may be moral but have the capacity to be immoral. Just because humanity can distinguish right from wrong does not mean everyone will do the right thing. Someone may rob a bank in order to provide food for their family. In this situation, someone is committing an immoral act, but with a good intention. So is this really immoral? It would not be wrong to say it falls into both the right and wrong categories. It was wrong to intimidate people into stealing money; however the motive for providing for loved ones is a very generous and moral deed

Whenever someone chooses to do the wrong thing, there may not be that lingering feeling of guilt in their conscience; however they will still be aware that they chose to do the morally wrong thing. People may not have to feel guilt because of morality, but we all grow up to learn what we should and should not do. In Superman’s case, he used the influence of his adoptive parents (The Kents) to develop a strong sense of morality and then enforced that sense with his inherited genes of super-strength.


About NateFuller

Amateur computer scientist, elite eater of foods.
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4 Responses to Superhero Morality vs Our Morality

  1. Adam Ferguson says:

    You brought up very good points and I thought the use of Superman reflected your personality in a good way. In mentioning Superman, you also didn’t lose track of the requirements. One thing you could improve is to use a few more examples or find another source.

  2. I love how you used Superman as an example. I read a book about superheros for my psychology class over the summer and I found this very interesting. Is Superman exempt from normal morals since he is not a normal person? Did he become a superhero because his morals are so strong that he felt he had to in order to be a good person?

  3. Nathan Carter says:

    You made a great point that the differences in age can determine a person’s moral beliefs. Do you think that there is a point where people of all age groups can agree on a point of morality?

  4. Mariah McKenna says:

    This is great! The bank robber/family provider example is incredibly intriguing. You said that it was wrong to rob the bank and steal money, but well intentioned because of his desire to provide for his family. Yet does the morality of his intentions justify his immoral actions? Todays society tells us no.
    If you rob a bank, it does not matter what your intentions were, there will be consequences. This says that in our society your actions are ranked higher than your intentions, but could it possibly say anything more? Does society place superhero expectations upon civilians?
    You raised the point that Superman would never kill an innocent human even if it were to save the entire human race. Which means he will always find another way to save the human race. In the example society expects the family provider to find another way to feed their family, without robbing or stealing or some other immoral act. The way societies rules are set up, we are always expected to find the moral way of accomplishing a task, like feeding our families. So really how different are our moral expectations in society from that of a superhero?

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