Watchmen, Heroes, the Wrath of Khan, and the greater good

Major plot spoilers if you haven't seen (or read) one of these.

Linderman - the villain.

Rorschach - the only hero.

Spock - the hero because he sacrificed only himself, not someone else, to the greater good.

Utilitarianism - the moral philosophy of evildoers with god complexes.

Spock, as he died, espoused utilitarianism but applied it in a way that did not truly put it to the test. The nobility of his sacrifice ennobled what he said - but had he murdered someone else - i.e. killed an innocent person against their wishes - using that philosophy as an excuse, then the same philosophy would not have sounded nearly so noble. Spock's statement: "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few ... or the one."

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Uh ?

Color me clueless, aren't these completely different fictional universe?
One of the best deontological movie I know is 'Hot fuzz'

Yes

I'll add a few words to see if this clears things up:

Linderman - the villain of Heroes.

Rorschach - the only hero of Watchmen.

Spock - the hero of The Wrath of Khan because he sacrificed only himself, not someone else, to the greater good.

Does that clear things up?

I agree about Hot Fuzz. Generally I think audiences embrace deontology wholeheartedly and have difficulty with greater-good morality. Major Plot Spoiler: In The Terminator 2, Sarah Connor intends to murder a scientist before he can create Skynet - a utilitarian act. But the moviemakers knew full well that audiences would not go for it so they had the scientist sacrifice himself.

Does that clear things

Does that clear things up?

No, well sort of. I knew that but then you speak only of Spock, without dwelving into the Randian ethics of Rorschach which is himself derived from The Question / Mr A, or detailing the evil of Linderman.

Major Plot Spoiler: In The Terminator 2

Come on, Terminator 2...
Major plot spoiler ahead : in Titanic, the boat eventually sinks.

Fine

Sounds like I can't communicate my point without fully revealing the plots. Okay then.

In the first season of Heroes, there is a struggle which so closely parallels the struggle in Watchmen that many consider the first season of Heroes to be a ripoff of Watchmen. The struggle involves whether to murder many in order to save many more - or in the case of Watchmen, there is a final struggle over whether to bring the evildoers to justice once the murder has already been committed.

In Watchmen, Ozymandias and in Heroes, Linderman are on the side of murdering many to save many more. In Watchmen, Rorschach and in Heroes, the various heroes (such as Peter Petrelli and Hiro Nakamura) are on the opposite side.

While some take Heroes as a ripoff of Watchmen, I take Heroes as a commentary on Watchmen.

Thanks, that's much clearer

Thanks, that's much clearer now.

I don't know much about

I don't know much about Rorschach, except that he is based on The Question and Mr A. I didn't read Alan Moore. In the Wikipedia article, it is said

In high school, he excelled in religious education and literature, as well as in boxing and gymnastics. He also wrote an essay in which he praised President Truman's decision to use nuclear weapons against the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, asserting that the bombs helped save lives by ending the war.

This is in stark contrast with the type of heoric deontology you describe. Is this explained, does he have a change of mind, or is it just a gross inconsistency?

I'm just talking about the conflict spanning Heroes and Watchmen

I'm just talking about Rorschach insofar as he plays a role in the major conflict of the graphic novel. And I'm only talking about the broad outlines of his role - it's been twenty years since I read it. I don't remember the detail you bring up. I would guess that it was deliberately inserted in order to show how the character has grown into his uncompromising position from a starting point of consequentialism and utilitarianism. The author is good enough to think of something like that.

Similarly, the heroes of Heroes are all over the place morally, but I'm just talking about the particular conflict which parallels the Watchmen conflict so closely that there were cries of plagiarism from Watchmen fans.

Anarchy is and always has

Anarchy is and always has been a romance. It is clearly the best way, and the only morally sensible way, to run the world – that everybody should be the master of their own destiny, everybody should be their own leader. This is something that I still believe; I think that even a cursory look around the world at the moment – particularly at the moment – would reveal that it is about .000001 percent of the world’s population that causes 99.99999 percent of the world’s problems. And that tiny percentage – it’s not the Jewish banking conspiracy, it’s not the asylum-seekers, it’s not the secret homosexual conspiracy running Hollywood, it’s not even the Scientologists: it is leaders. That what we need is an administration at most; we don’t need people to boss us about.

Alan Moore

poor rorch...

Why sacrifice at all?

Poor rorcharch had this major disappointment; he was killed by god himself. I mean, the blue god, well, god painted blue or something, if you catch my drift. The good god favours sacrifice, like the whole jesus thing. Your entire life should be a sacrifice from that perspective...

I don't know about this linderman thing but if you say it's ozymandias reloaded, well, he is the one considered to be a hero. poor rorch, he's just the romantic(without knowing so) guy, driven to lunacy because he can't face the contradictions of "right" and, well, "right"!

As for spock, he's just cristian. That's all there is to it.

My needs outweight the needs

My needs outweight the needs of the many.

Need for what ?

Need for what ?

For anything.

For anything.

I don't mean what you need,

I don't mean what you need, I mean your need to what end? If this end is your desire, if you are talking about what you need to achieve your desires, then these are wants. Much like 'should' when 'need' is disconnected from an objective, it takes a normative dimension. Need has no place in the normative world.

The Need for Speed.

And by speed, I mean a movie about a bus that must go 55mph or more.

You take the bus, I'll take

You take the bus, I'll take Sandra.

And he'll get to Scotland

And he'll get to Scotland before ye.

Sacrifice for the benefit of

Sacrifice for the benefit of others, because the condition of other human beings is a moral concern and the welfare of the one is inexorably tied to the welfare of the many.

Libertarianism is a morally bankrupt philosophy that says: "I got mine, the rest of you can starve." Libertarianism and your half-assed individualism are nothing more than plain old short sighted egoism.

What you advocate is not

What you advocate is not sacrifice for the benefits of others but sacrifice of others for the benefit of others. That makes you an executioner, not a saint.

That assumes that I will not

That assumes that I will not also be giving up a small portion of my paycheck (executioner? Stop being so melodramatic). It also assumes that I am leaving people no option. They can vote to change the country or they can leave. If another country has the most alluring tax plan and political climate then obviously it will succeed in the market of nations.

Do you object to being asked to move? Then I take it you are for for regulating geographic monopolies? Or maybe you will simply object on the old "god says I have a right to be a selfish prick" defense, otherwise known as the natural rights fallacy.

That assumes that I will not

That assumes that I will not also be giving up a small portion of my paycheck

No, it doesn't. Sacrifice does not absolve you from your crimes.

It also assumes that I am leaving people no option.

No, it doesn't. Your money or your life is an option, yet it's still a crime. Your money or your land as well. See below.

They can vote to change the country or they can leave.

I do not wish to leave.

Do you object to being asked to move?

I do.

Then I take it you are for for regulating geographic monopolies?

I don't. I am for punishing coercions. The current monopolies are coercive monopolies. Many French cities belong to the state monopoly because at some point they were sieged and starved to death. That's the kind of monopolies we're talking about.

Or maybe you will simply object on the old "god says I have a right to be a selfish prick" defense, otherwise known as the natural rights fallacy.

Natural right has nothing to do with belief in god. I'm an atheist. That some right is natural within human affairs seems obvious to me.

Spock vs...

Roy Batty > Spock

I mean let's be honest... if we're going to have a futuristic man-off Roy beats the shit out of Spock. Isn't that truly the important thing here?

I wonder how saving someone who has been trying to kill you fits into this whole mess. Wait, it doesn't.

Besides, I have a prejudice against people with long ears. You know what they say about those. doh!