Was it morally wrong when Matt saved the blind man as a kid?

Posted by tupiaz (2170 posts) - - Show Bio

If you haven't read Daredevil: Father, stop reading this blog it is essential you have read it or else it doesn't make sense and will spoil a very good Daredevil story. Consider yourself warned, There will be no spoiler alert/spoiler marks.

Read the story? If yes let us roll, if not your problem.

Now I first breakdown the scenario and afterwards give the reasons why it was wrong by Matt to save the old man.

In Daredevil Father the lunatic serial killer Socket goes around and killing people Matt has had as lawyer because she had an obsession with Matt Murdock. Now her father was the old kind blind man Matt saved. Kind as in the Silver Age now in the modern day he is a father who molested her own daughter. This is given as some of the reason or at least Socket does show when she whispers to Matt. Now how has this anything to do with Matt and why does that make saving the father a morally wrong choice you might ask.

Well if we look at utilitarianism (a moral theory primarily found among English philosophers). This theory was first coin by Jeremy Bentham. The idea is that you should act so that greatest aggregate happiness among all sentient beings, within reason. Therefore it was wrong since it would had stopped Maggie (Socket) from getting molested or it would never had happened. There is not being given a clear time for when it started nor stopped. I would say Maggie is around the same age as Matt, but that is a guess. Matt would also not have been blinded. Now Maggie and other people could have been depressed if her father was died that day. However that is though to call who many and how sad. Directly we only have Matt sadness about being blind and Socket sadness for being molested. However you could take it a step further. Let us say that Maggie never would have become Socket if the father was died that day. Wouldn't it then have been better if he had died? Well for Maggie and Sockets victims without a doubt. But this day also changed Matt Murdock it is because of this that he could become Daredevil. Daredevil has all things put together in a utilitarian viewpoint done more good than harm (or at least I believe so, if not there would be no reason for being a vigilante) even though Matt's life as Daredevil also has given a great deal of pain his friends, families and love ones. So all in all it is rather tough to call if it was right or wrong to save the man's live. However I think that Matt's is regretting he saved the man's live. I think Matt believes it wasn't worth for him and it have been better of just let him die. no, I'm not saying you shouldn't rescue a man (or woman for that matter) if he/she is about to get hit by a truck. The point was more to take a philosophic view of the most important day in both Matt's live.

#1 Posted by Overseer (404 posts) - - Show Bio

Now I don't pretend to know much about utilitarianism but here's my take.

Based on the basic question and the stated reason behind supporting said line of thinking (since I can't guage if your condoning the line of thought posed by your question or not) I would like to quote SF Debris in his "Star Trek Voyager: Time and Again" review.

"...With that kind of logic, you should never get involved in anything. If a person is trapped under a piece of fallen masionry in an alley and calls out for help, you should ignore them. After all if you save them then they could go one to marry and have children and one of those children could grow up and wind up joining a group of wackjobs and help some plant a nuclear warhead in a major city, killing tens of millions of innocent people... or maybe they'll just live a long and happy life."

To make another briefer quote: "Hindsight is a bitch". There was no way for Matt to know that saving the life of an old man would have such negative reprocutions. It was one good act that resulted in something bad happening that wound up being a bad thing in the long run but cundoning the death of one just because that ended badly for cercomstances Matt couldn't possibly forsee would probably condone letting others die because you don't know if saving them will comeback to haunt you as it did in one instance ("No good deed goes unpunished," that's the Marvel U's motto). Really you can ask the same question of "Is it moral for the Avengers to costantly save a world where guys like Magneto, Dr. Doom, Kang, Venom, The Leader, Cletus Kasady, Juggernaut, Red Skull, Bullseye, Norman Osborn, Hundreds of Punisher villains and everyday @$$holes who molest their daughters live and infect the universe at large?"

Also there's the fact that this even played a key role into Matt becoming Daredevil so let me pose the question of if Matt didn't save that man and all, what if he never became DD as a result? All the people Matt saved, inspite of the personal loss he suffered that would make Spider-Man grimace in pity. Would those people have lived to see their families, friends, lovers or children? What about those villains that DD seems to have run ins with? Would Spider-Man, Moon Knight or The Fantastic Four have been around to stop the plans and actions of guys like Kingpin, Bullseye, Mr. Fear, The Hand, Typhoid Mary or Purple Man if Daredevil never existed? Or worse yet, what if the death of her father drove Maggie to seek vengeance on the crew world that took her father from her with nothing but a costume and a gimick in a world where a guy with a skull t-shirt can go around killing millions a year?

Matt's feelings over what he did are understandable but are born out of the 1:1,000,000,000 chance something like this would happen. It was a tragedy born of a good deed and to say "that sucks" would be an insulting understatment but this is the kind of risk he takes everyday by saving people he doesn't know. That's all that Matt or any hero can ever do, just doing what they think is right and hope it pays off.

#2 Posted by tupiaz (2170 posts) - - Show Bio

@Overseer: First of all thanks for the answer.

Now first of all utilitarianism doesn't really care about if you are able to foreseen the outcome but purely on the outcome (at least in the purest form). So it doesn't care if you have good intentions or not it just look at the result. You can argue if that is failure with the theory (and have been so since the day it was created). However jus because you sometimes will make the action that causes the wrong outcome doesn't mean you should not act. Not to act is also a choice. just take PP as an example. because he didn't stop the burglar so therefor uncle Ben died. However you could say this was a morally correct action because it made PP become Spider-man. PP still to this day try to make up for not acting by acting.

As I wrote in the blog Matt has done more good things as DD than if he hasn't been there (or at least I think so. It is not a easy to get a clear answer here). So yeah it was probably for the best that Matt became blind and became DD.

#3 Posted by Avenging-X-Bolt (12522 posts) - - Show Bio

No.

#4 Posted by tupiaz (2170 posts) - - Show Bio

@Avenging-X-Bolt said:

No.

Do you want to elaborate?

#5 Posted by Avenging-X-Bolt (12522 posts) - - Show Bio

@tupiaz said:

@Avenging-X-Bolt said:

No.

Do you want to elaborate?

No : 3

#6 Posted by FadeToBlackBolt (23334 posts) - - Show Bio

No, of course not.

Matt doesn't know what manner of person the guy was. He saved him because he would have saved anyone. Matt can't be morally questioned because of his own ignorance of the actions of a stranger.

#7 Posted by Cap10nate (2157 posts) - - Show Bio

No. You are responsible for your own actions. Matt saw a man in danger and did the heroic thing by trying to save him. That was his action and he saved a human life. The fact that the man was a horrible person is not Matt's failure but his own. Utilitarianism is a philosophy of inaction. It removes the concept of right and wrong (saving a person versus letting him die) and replaces it with discussion on how a current injustice could lead to a future benefit or a current right could somehow/someday become a wrong. It basically gives justification for anyone who chooses not to act. You can sit around for an infinite period of time discussing possible outcomes and weighing good or bad results.

There was just a news story the other night about a senior citizen who was at a nursing home type of place and had a heart attack. The nurse on duty refused to provide CPR because their boss does not allow them due to litigation risk. The 911 dispatcher pleaded with them to perform CPR or have one of the other guest perform it or the person would die. The nurse refused and the person died on the way to the hospital. So they avoided a potential lawsuit which could shut down their facility which cares for many people by letting one person die (the person may still have died with the aid). So by utilitarianism, it is better that the person died without aid because the facility is still up and running provided aid to many people.

http://www.journalgazette.net/article/20130305/NEWS03/303059981/1006/NEWS

#8 Posted by tupiaz (2170 posts) - - Show Bio

@Cap10nate said:

No. You are responsible for your own actions. Matt saw a man in danger and did the heroic thing by trying to save him. That was his action and he saved a human life. The fact that the man was a horrible person is not Matt's failure but his own. Utilitarianism is a philosophy of inaction. It removes the concept of right and wrong (saving a person versus letting him die) and replaces it with discussion on how a current injustice could lead to a future benefit or a current right could somehow/someday become a wrong. It basically gives justification for anyone who chooses not to act. You can sit around for an infinite period of time discussing possible outcomes and weighing good or bad results.

There was just a news story the other night about a senior citizen who was at a nursing home type of place and had a heart attack. The nurse on duty refused to provide CPR because their boss does not allow them due to litigation risk. The 911 dispatcher pleaded with them to perform CPR or have one of the other guest perform it or the person would die. The nurse refused and the person died on the way to the hospital. So they avoided a potential lawsuit which could shut down their facility which cares for many people by letting one person die (the person may still have died with the aid). So by utilitarianism, it is better that the person died without aid because the facility is still up and running provided aid to many people.

http://www.journalgazette.net/article/20130305/NEWS03/303059981/1006/NEWS

Utilitarianism doesn't remove right or wrong. The theory simply means that right thing to do is the correct one. It is established in law as well. If you hit a person once in a bar fight you wont get that hard of a punishment. However if you beat a person senseless then you would get a harder punishment. Utilitarianism simply doesn't have a rule that every human life is sacred (neither do the law in many states in the US hence death penalty). Mill has said that since you can'øt calculate the outcome of every action it is better to live be rules in most examples. For instance. it is better to try to save a man since it probably will give the best outcome.

The second part of your post is correct.

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