Drawing a distinction between "good" and "moral" is wickety at best, at least IMO. As I said before, making decisions on the basis of expediency rather than principle is Neutral at best. I'd even lean toward calling it Evil (though the E-word isn't an absolute condemnation in my book, it's more like "no better than a crook", with no caveat that crooks are not still people possessing rights). Not wanting to deal with the long hard road of righteousness, just wanting to dispose of someone today in case they'd be inconvenient for you tomorrow (for an admittedly very high degree of inconvenience which is fairly reasonable to define)...I don't call that moral, I call it coldly mechanistic efficiency, leaning in the direction of dystopian.
Originally Posted by Marnath
You do not "know"; you assume. The Joker is sick in the head, and he probably won't just wake up well, but it's not impossible. I misspoke a bit earlier; you certainly have the right to assume he poses an immediate threat, but the correct response to knowing that Arkham can't hold him is to build a prison that's more secure than Arkham. Rehabilitating the Joker is an epic-level challenge, and the prison built to hold him should not be a level-appropriate challenge for him to overcome.
Originally Posted by Traab
Absolutely untrue. You do not have any responsibility over what another person does, nor any right to police that person's behavior, outside of a handful of social contexts which grant that right (and I'm inclined to argue even with those, but had better not as it starts to get into politics). Batman is certainly not a duly elected official, nor a family member, nor anyone else who can sensibly be called upon to answer for the Joker's actions (not even if the Joker claims that Batman made him, as he often does - what, we're listening to madman logic now?*). Batman has no more authority to kill the Joker than a mobster has to whack people who muscle in on his turf; the fact that Batman's "gang" is called Civilization and has the majority of the citizenry of Gotham in it does not mean it has an inherent right to punish disobedience with death, especially not without any means of due process, especially not with one man who acts on his own and answers to no one. By acting outside the law, Batman assumes an obligation to uphold a MORE restrictive standard of behavior than someone who is constrained by the legal system; if society has to jump through a lot of hoops before it can say "screw the rules, let's just kill this guy" and have some hope of other societies not condemning this as a war crime, then Batman has an even tougher gauntlet to go through before he grants himself the right to take a life. The fact that he forbids himself from doing so is a point in his favor to say the least.
Allowing him to continue going out and killing people in the vague hope that one day his psychosis will just magically heal and he becomes good is just as evil as committing the acts yourself
* An ironic statement coming from me, I realize.
Once again, YOU do not condemn anyone. The Joker does. He is not a disease, he is not a wild animal; he is a sentient human being and remains 100% responsible for his own actions at all times. Any measure which allows society to disregard his rights WILL inevitably become a tool in the hands of tyrants like Lex Luthor, and the risk of that sort of thing happening FAR outweighs the consequences of trying to keep Joker behind bars one more time. (And really, the persistent incapability of this to work is Rule of Drama in action, and by no means a realistic indictment of the feasibility of incarceration.)
But when you have had it repeatedly demonstrated that you cannot stop him from killing through nonlethal measures, its time to make a choice. Execute the guilty, or condemn untold innocents to death.
According to my philosophy, no, it's still just a justification for murdering anyone you've decided you have the right to murder. It clearly isn't a 100% effective deterrent; the crime still happens, so your moral authority to keep using it is the odds that more murder would happen otherwise. And I don't believe that to be very true. I think an actually effective incarceration and rehabilitation system (not what we have, due to budget constraints, corruption, incompetence, and many other factors) is potentially a FAR better anti-crime measure than any amount of capital punishment could ever be. You just have to do it right, and ceasing to try because it's too difficult is not a reasonable course of action IMO.
Originally Posted by Spuddles
At NO point did I say or imply that this was acceptible. The hero who I am holding to this standard uses nonlethal force at ALL times, not just against name villains. Indeed I would be faster to accept "kill the Joker" than I would "kill the Clown Gang's nameless mooks", though not by much.
Plus you whole "always give the villain a second chance" is so silly and non-sensical. The protagonists just slaughtered their way through a bunch of nameless guards (who, if you think about it, just have a day jobs to support the wife and kids)
That much is agreed. But we don't know that Duv is anywhere near as irredeemable as the Joker - though we also don't know that Saves is as much an idealist as Batman. Indeed, I had no idea she was this much of one; I fully expected her to kill Duv (or more likely die trying). The fact she hasn't done so has left me rooting for her, whereas previously I thought she was something of a jerk.**
I guess that would make a great storyline for a 80s action movie, but I really hope goblins doesn't do something so cliched, inane, and morally senseless.
for having killed that fox just to prove she could, not knowing at the time it was an act of mercy.