Superhero Ethics Can Be, Well, Unethical

Superhero Ethics Can Be, Well, Unethical

Are superheroes worth viewing as ethical examples?

So, to preface this story, I absolutely love superheroes. I watch the movies, I read the comics (especially Batman comics) and I love seeing how superheroes have come into the mainstream and been something we can all enjoy as a culture. So with all of that said, this might seem weird for me to say, but I think superheroes make sub-par moral examples. It's easy to wonder where I could be coming from given that Superman fights for "truth, justice, and the American way!" but let me explain my point.

The superhero has one goal - to fight crime. Some might use superpowers, and others gadgets and some go to different extremes, Batman, for instance, refuses to kill. Some even fight intergalactic criminals, but ultimately the story is the same, a superhero raises his fist in the name of all that is righteous, and good, to fight the "bad guy" who is the very symbol of evil.

So far I get it, especially when the story revolves around Galactus or Thanos coming to enslave, or eat, the entire human race. Wanting Ironman and his gang of superpowered friends to stop Thanos is a story I can totally get behind. But there are some implicit messages being sent as well. Especially when the story is Batman (my favorite superhero) who takes fighting crime in Gotham into his own hands.

When Batman looks around and says "you know what, I'm gonna do this myself" we all usually cheer him on, myself included! One of the largest reasons is that although Batman is acting on his own, his own rules (no killing, he delivers bad guys and evidence to the police so that they can go to prison) fit pretty well into the rules we have for our society.

But there's a problem, Batman is saying it's okay to take the law into your own hands.

This is a dangerous idea to advocate for.

My thinking on this came from an experience not too long ago, babysitting a few kids. While we were all dancing away to some music, one kid pushed another kid. A third kid (let's call him Tim) instantly leaped across the room, and tackled the pusher, in an act of righteous indignation. I had to pull Tim off of the kid before he started swinging his fists. When I finally got him free I asked him what had gone through his head and he told me "I wanted to be like a superhero."

I feel this sums up what I'm getting at pretty well. Tim was acting out of justice, like a superhero. And like a superhero, he felt he could do a better job at enacting justice than the people in charge of justice (in this case, me). What I feel is ultimately most dangerous about the ethics taught by superheroes, is the idea that one's own brand and the idea of justice is more important than society's view of justice.

Not that society can't be wrong, but wouldn't an individual actor be even more likely to be wrong?

Cover Image Credit: Serge Kutuzov

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To College Kids Bankrolled By Their Parents, You Can't Put 'Spoiled' On A Resume

Do you expect Mommy and Daddy to foot your AmEx Black Card bill forever?

Growing up, I never had things handed to me unless it was a present for a holiday or my birthday. I did chores for my allowance, I got a job as soon as I turned 16 and I paid for my very first car.

I worked every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at a pizza place for minimum wage while my friends went to football games and hung out. I worked two jobs my entire summer before freshman year of college so I could take freshman year to just get acclimated to school.

By spring semester of freshman year, I was applying for jobs and planning to work full time all summer along with taking some online classes.

Currently, I am in school full time and work 30+ hours a week, on top of writing for two publications.

But let me tell you, there is nothing that makes me more upset than kids whose parents hand them everything.

I know kids whose parents hand them money for concert tickets, brand name clothing, $1,000 monthly rent and the works. And honestly? It infuriates me.

The worst part about it? Half these kids complain about how difficult their lives are and how stressed they are. Try working an 8-hour shift from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. then having to get up at 5:30 a.m. the next morning to get ready for class, or going straight from class to work and trying to find time to get schoolwork done.

"Do your parents not care about you?"

I get that question all the time. They could pay for things for me, but they chose to teach me how to live like an adult and I truly appreciate it, even though it gets hard sometimes. They are always there to help me if I need it, but they do not spoil me.

I think everyone should have a job in college and have to pay for some things on their own. No, I'm not just talking about having a job for "pocket money."

Your parents pay for you to get a $70 manicure every 2 weeks and drop money in your account to spend at bars on the weekends? Good for you.

My parents pick up my phone bill and car insurance, but the rest is my responsibility. Rent, food, gas, clothes, school supplies, electricity, and anything else I want comes right out of my pocket.

I get that some parents just want their kids to focus on school, but honestly, without a job, I had way too much time freshman year. Why not use that time to work?

I know some people who have never worked a day in their life and it makes me wonder exactly what they expect out of the real world. Mommy and Daddy won't always be there to pay your Visa bill, honey.

You can't put "spoiled" on a job resume under previous experience.

Cover Image Credit: YouTube

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Don't Talk Me To Death, Show Me To Death

A quote I've heard for the majority of my life, but what's the lore behind this phrase?


These words have been spoken to me from both of my parents throughout my life. This phrase has been so frequently used in my life that it still impacts me to this very day. First, let me explain what this saying means. It relates to a long string of excuses or stories that weren't relevant to anything at all. In a much more simpler translation: action speaks louder than words.

When I was in middle school, I was often seen procrastinating in any way I could. Whenever I had a big homework assignment or any tests that I needed to study for, I would always find myself on my phone on YouTube, Twitter, or Instagram. I can remember how mad my parents would get at me. I always had excuses and reasons packed on me, like I'm gonna pass the test, or I've been working for 2-3 hours straight on the project. I always told them that they would have nothing to worry about, but they would always retort with, "Don't talk me to death, show me to death."

When my parents said these words, I automatically knew the pressure was on and that I had their expectations up high. I showed them that I was that confident in myself. If I didn't meet their expectations, I knew I would be in a world of trouble. This phrase has been used so much in my family that it even extends past grades and homework that I received in school. When I was in high school, I had been playing football since kindergarten and been involved with track and field since seventh grade. The phrase "don't talk me to death" alongside these sports allowed me to learn the ethics of teamwork and communication.

Going into further explanation, I always came home from football practice back in the fifth grade telling my parents (especially my dad) all the great things that I had been doing during practice. I would always be congratulated but always told to put my money where my mouth is and show all of that progress on the field. This enabled me to give my 110 percent effort when I was playing sports because yet again I set the expectations of my parents high, and I had planned to meet that goal.

It's amazing how a simple phrase such as "don't talk me to death, show me to death" could have such an impact on my life. Even though I don't have my parents down my back repeating this phrase to me, I still know that the expectation bar is still up there for me to reach, and I don't plan to disappoint my parents anytime soon.

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