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  1. #226
    Senior Member Superlad93's Avatar
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    ......well....at least this isn't about his love life lol

    I could get down with this conversation......if I got he earlier

  2. #227
    Senior Member misslane38's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurosawa View Post
    It's pure math. Look at the number of inmates in the Phantom Zone. Less than 50 known inmates. Out of a planet with billions of people, there is a microscopic amount of them who are hardcore criminals, as opposed to the incredible number of criminals and terrorists on Earth.
    So how did the advanced philosophy, intelligence, compassion, fail these 50 people?

    Of course Krypton was vastly more advanced socially and philosophically. What else would you expect of a world ran by scientific thought, intelligence and compassion? It is a result of culture, but it is a culture that existed because of the very advanced minds of Kryptonians. It's a chicken and the egg thing, really.
    If it's chicken and the egg, and one cannot determine the origin, then isn't it fair to say that we cannot decide it's genetic? If it is partially cultural, then how does that impact Kal-El who was not raised under those cultural conditions (i.e. run by absolute scientific thought, intelligence, and compassion)?

    Another case of a near-perfect society? Paradise Island.
    A near-perfect society that existed because they escaped gender differences. I believe a superior society would be one where peace and diversity coexisted.

    Now of course Superman himself would never say Krypton or Kryptonians are superior morally to humans, and he certainly would not say genetics had anything to do with it. Superman himself finds Nietzsche's beliefs offensive as Maggin noted.
    If he finds the idea so abhorrent, why should it be accepted? Why do you accept it and embrace it? Doesn't Superman represent truth? If it's the truth--one he can fervently believe yet not express--then he's living a lie and depriving human society of valuable insight. Why? So he can appear humble when in his heart he is not? Furthermore, if Superman understands and appreciates the value of science so much, why does he bother with reporting when he could be exerting himself developing humans' scientific capabilities and our intelligence. If he's such a brilliant scientific mind who understands evolution, why hasn't he considered that by interfering in our human lives he is actually preventing us from evolving naturally as Krypton did?

    "Do good to others and every man can be a superman"-Superman. It's a comic book version of Gandhi's philosophy.
    I don't think Gandhi invented that. It's a philosophy that has roots in many ancient cultures. But you're confusing me. What I've been trying to say this whole time is that you cannot hold the two ideas you're advancing at the same time. If you believe that Superman's genetic inheritance is what makes him superior, then he is lying to himself and humanity if he says that if you do good to others you can be a superman. What? In a thousand years maybe your descendants will be able to be supermen and women? For Superman to be a genuine aspirational and inspirational figure he has to believe that the humans he's engaging with at any moment have that capacity for good, and if that's true then the difference between his superiority and theirs is very small to nonexistent in the final analysis.

  3. #228
    Infâme et fier de l'ętre Auguste Dupin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by misslane38 View Post
    Okay, but given that, how can we as humans conceive of a morality more superior than our own yet not be that morally superior? In other words, how can Maggin and some here accurately say that Krypton was a utopia because its society exhibited x, y, z traits if we didn't already understand on some level that those x, y, z traits were ideal? And if we do innately understand that those are the ideals, haven't we already demonstrated our parity with Kryptonians in terms of moral outlook? Consider Morrison's presentation of Clark, Lois, and Jimmy's mind experiment in Action Comics #9.



    Forgive me for taking the discussion into incredibly meta territory, but the reason it's hard for me to believe that Krypton could ever be whatever any of us decides is morally superior is because it is us lowly humans, so to speak, who are imagining--writing and creating--this morally superior society. If we can imagine it, then a part of us is already on the same wavelength with that creation, and how we judge that creation will vary depending upon the individual's subjective viewpoint. So, to return to the original debate about whether it makes sense for Lois Lane to be a "north star" to a supposedly superior being like Superman blessed with everything he needs to make the right decisions independently, my position is that she can be for the reason Morrison presents in Action Comics #9.

    For Superman, as long as he feels he is living up to the higher aspirations/imaginations and ideals of humanity for which Lois serves as a touchstone (he sees himself through her eyes), then he feels he is on the right track. As Jor-El often says, humanity already wishes and has the same "capacity for good" that Superman does. By using the powers granted to him by Earth's yellow sun, Superman defends all people. Yet he honors and loves best those who, like Lois Lane, likewise defend good by exercising their capacity for good. Said differently, Superman affirms those who listen to the better angels of their nature. What I appreciate so much about the Lois/Superman dynamic is not that they fill some void or need in the other. Superman doesn't need Lois to be human because he's not human at all without her and Lois doesn't need Superman to be super because she's not super at all without him. Rather, what is already human in Superman and already super in Lois is precisely why they are drawn to each other and celebrate each other. Superman wants to be and strives to be the man of Lois Lane's dreams (makes me think of this montage from Superman For All Seasons quoted here), and her journey to seeing that in Clark as well tells a poignant story in its own right. Ultimately, it is summed up nicely by that panel from Secret Origin I posted yesterday: they look at each other and are equally astonished that someone like them exists. They are each other's dreams made real.



    By that logic, Kryptonians' weakness to Kryptonite when humans are not similarly affected makes Kryptonians inferior. If one's physical superiority is conditional, I would say it is not a truism. Are Kryptonians physically superior to humans when in our environment? Yes. Are Kryptonians universally physically superior? Probably not.
    -Because the narrator base morality on his own terms. If I was to create a fictionnal utopia, it would have many things in common with Maggin, but also a few different things.
    But it has never been the question on pretending nurture doesn't matter. Obviously, Superman has a strong nurtural influence. But the fact he's from a species more inclined to peaceful behaviour certainly doesn't hurt his decision to dedicate his powers to help people.
    Also, it has never been the question of Kryptonians being unreachable. The whole point of the creation of Krypton is to create a society that could be us sometimes in thefuture. We can be them. We're just not there yet. Just like we can imagine a perfect boy scout Superman without being able to imitate him. For now at least.

    - Well, they're superior to us (and by that, I mean a lot) under a yellow sun and a blue sun, like us under a red sun, and only weaker than us when under the influence of a rock that didn't exist before Krypton's explosion. Overall, I'd say that still sounds like obvious superiority to me.
    "I'm going to paraphrase Nietzsche, when you judge a work, the work judges you."

  4. #229
    Senior Member Coyote2010's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by misslane38 View Post
    The serpent in Eden wasn't what destroyed Eden, though. It was the original sin that existed in man and woman who God created and gifted free will. The symbol of their sin was the pursuit of knowledge. Also note that the rebel angels, or Lucifer, refused to embrace humanity according to Islamic tradition (if I'm not mistaken).



    I don't dispute that generally speaking it was an idyllic society with a balance of good and evil. My issue is more specifically about whether its idyllic quality was the result of genes or culture. For Krypton to evolve to whatever state of grace it's believed they had, evolutionary speaking there would have to have been certain individuals or families that nature selected as superior and allowed to survive and thrive. It's my belief that Superman perceives among humans those with that same potential, which is why people like Lois or the Kents mean so much to him. They are his and Earth's best hope.

    Yes true, but my point is how could a state of perfection allow for a seeming defect like evil? My answer is that evil is a part of it's integrity. Also, I am also suggesting that the criminality, on a society that is overwhelmingly peaceful, is by nature a sign of that individual's stunted growth and development. Thats why Zod is an anachronism, even on Krypton.

    Just read the Boring "Origin of Superman" and Kryptonians are described as people of "high intelligence and physical perfection. Now, that doesn't suggest moral perfection, but I do think that given the idyllic state of society, criminality could be seen as a reactioary trait.


    Also, I think Superman's evolved senses allow him to see humans, especially those like Jonathan Kent, as already perfect. A perception that humans are too stunted to perceive. Oh, and even on Krypton, Jor El saw the Kents as the only family worthy of Superman... maybe because of their moral superiority, wait what side am I on?

    Oh yeah Kryptonians are superior.

    I am playing Lawyer Ball though, but I am all in!
    Last edited by Coyote2010; 01-18-2013 at 04:37 AM.

  5. #230
    U dont need my user title brettc1's Avatar
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    Since Paradise Island was mentioned ealier as another comic book Utopian society, I will point out that the Golden, Silver, and Bronze age Amazons who existed at the times as pre-Crisis Krypton were all oridinary humans. These women had learned to harness their mental energy to such a degree as to allow Wonder Woman like powers, but in evolotionary and genetic terms they had the same origin as any human women born 3000 years ago.

    Indeed, a part of the Amazon mythos dating back to the Golden Age was that with Amazon training ANY human could excell,

    So based on that, you would have to say that in moral and evolutionaly terms pre-Crisis Kryptonians were genetically no better humans, since they Amazons created a peaceful morally just society where physical and mental abilities were developed, in some ways, beyond what the average Kryptonian on their home planet was capable of.
    Last edited by brettc1; 01-18-2013 at 05:00 AM.
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  6. #231
    Senior Member Coyote2010's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brettc1 View Post
    Since Paradise Island was mentioned ealier as another comic book Utopian society, I will point out that the Golden, Silver, and Bronze age Amazons who existed at the times as pre-Crisis Krypton were all oridinary humans. These women had learned to harness their mental energy to such a degree as to allow Wonder Woman like powers, but in evolotionary and genetic terms they had the same origin as any human women born 3000 years ago.

    Indeed, a part of the Amazon mythos dating back to the Golden Age was that with Amazon training ANY human could excell,

    So based on that, you would have to say that in moral and evolutionaly terms pre-Crisis Kryptonians were genetically no better humans, since they Amazons created a peaceful morally just society where physical and mental abilities were developed, in some ways, beyond what the average Kryptonian on their home planet was capable of.
    I agree! That's also Superman's role as man of tomorrow. The Amazons are far from baseline human though. Their weapons are forged by gods, and Wonder Woman is basically a walking Mountain Olympis in the pre-Azarello incarnation. Her gifts dwarf other Amazonians by a great deal. Its like Thor and the Asgardians to my eyes, but I don't know WW enough.

    The ultimate moral of Superman with Morrison is, someday you will join me in the Sun. Pre crisis was less lofty, be a good man and everyman can be a Superman.

    I don't know Wonder Woman enough to know if ultimately she also says, "you can have the speed of Hermes too!"

  7. #232
    Senior Member Coyote2010's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurosawa View Post
    It's pure math. Look at the number of inmates in the Phantom Zone. Less than 50 known inmates. Out of a planet with billions of people, there is a microscopic amount of them who are hardcore criminals, as opposed to the incredible number of criminals and terrorists on Earth. Of course Krypton was vastly more advanced socially and philosophically. What else would you expect of a world ran by scientific thought, intelligence and compassion? It is a result of culture, but it is a culture that existed because of the very advanced minds of Kryptonians. It's a chicken and the egg thing, really.

    Another case of a near-perfect society? Paradise Island.

    Now of course Superman himself would never say Krypton or Kryptonians are superior morally to humans, and he certainly would not say genetics had anything to do with it. Superman himself finds Nietzsche's beliefs offensive as Maggin noted.

    A really good real life figure to study to understand Superman's perspective on humanity is Gandhi. Superman isn't just like Gandhi, of course, but they share a lot of the same basic principles apart from differing on the non-violence-although Superman of course does try to avoid violence whenever he can.

    "Man becomes great exactly in the degree in which he works for the welfare of his fellow-men."-Gandhi

    "Do good to others and every man can be a superman"-Superman.

    It's a comic book version of Gandhi's philosophy.
    That makes sense to me.

  8. #233
    U dont need my user title brettc1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coyote2010 View Post
    I agree! That's also Superman's role as man of tomorrow. The Amazons are far from baseline human though. Their weapons are forged by gods, and Wonder Woman is basically a walking Mountain Olympis in the pre-Azarello incarnation. Her gifts dwarf other Amazonians by a great deal. Its like Thor and the Asgardians to my eyes, but I don't know WW enough.

    The ultimate moral of Superman with Morrison is, someday you will join me in the Sun. Pre crisis was less lofty, be a good man and everyman can be a Superman.

    I don't know Wonder Woman enough to know if ultimately she also says, "you can have the speed of Hermes too!"
    Upthread there was a call to limit the discussion to pre-crisis. After Crisis On Infinite Earths the Amazons abilities and those of Wonder Woman were changed, but prior to that all the Amazons had amazing powers. It was just that Wonder Woman was the best with them. Pre-crisis they all had advanced science, building the invisible plane themselves which could be controlled telepathically by one with Amazon training. They also had telepathic radio, and the purple healing ray.
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  9. #234

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    Quote Originally Posted by brettc1 View Post
    The thing is, its easy not to be a criminal on a planet with no poverty, no want, and where everyoneis well educated. As far as I can tell the original Kryptonians had no capatalist system and all worked for the common good.

    However, even on Earth not all societies have the ssame level of crime. Does this mean some countries have populations with 'better genes'? It seems unlikely.
    Well, if you accept the theory of evolution you have no other choice than accept that. A culture based on violence would lead to a bigger reproduction rate of violent beings. A culture based on intelligence leads to more intelligent people...

    The other thing is when you look at the current rate of human technological advance, the Kryptonians are maybe only a couple of thousand years ahead of us. Not much in evoltionary terms.
    A couple of thousand years can actually be a lot. Humans changed very much in the last 10,000 years.

    Quote Originally Posted by misslane38 View Post
    So how did the advanced philosophy, intelligence, compassion, fail these 50 people?
    Natural born killers.

    If it's chicken and the egg, and one cannot determine the origin, then isn't it fair to say that we cannot decide it's genetic? If it is partially cultural, then how does that impact Kal-El who was not raised under those cultural conditions (i.e. run by absolute scientific thought, intelligence, and compassion)?
    It's a cultural and genetic co-evolution, one process supports the other one.

  10. #235
    Senior Member Coyote2010's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brettc1 View Post
    Upthread there was a call to limit the discussion to pre-crisis. After Crisis On Infinite Earths the Amazons abilities and those of Wonder Woman were changed, but prior to that all the Amazons had amazing powers. It was just that Wonder Woman was the best with them. Pre-crisis they all had advanced science, building the invisible plane themRselves which could be controlled telepathically by one with Amazon training. They also had telepathic radio, and the purple healing ray.

    Pre Crisis Wonder Woman was made of clay and blessed by the Greek Pantheon. That's not a case of uninterrupted human evolution. Didn't Hera have a hand in Paradise Islands creation.


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Themyscira
    Don't know how accurate but the Gods shaped that place according to this.


    Superman Red, Superman Blue, the good one. Supermen restores Kandor. Kandorians choose to live as Pure Kryptonians under a red sun and reject yellow sun abilities. That speaks to their degree of fulfillment as a society.
    Last edited by Coyote2010; 01-18-2013 at 06:49 AM.

  11. #236
    U dont need my user title brettc1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coyote2010 View Post
    Pre Crisis Wonder Woman was made of clay and blessed by the Greek Pantheon. That's not a case of uninterrupted human evolution. Didn't Hera have a hand in Paradise Islands creation.


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Themyscira
    Don't know how accurate but the Gods shaped that place according to this.


    Superman Red, Superman Blue, the good one. Supermen restores Kandor. Kandorians choose to live as Pure Kryptonians under a red sun and reject yellow sun abilities. That speaks to their degree of fulfillment as a society.
    Pre-Crisis Wonder Woman was not blessed the Greek Pantheon. She was brought to life from clay by Aphrodite, but all her special powers came from Amazon training. The blessings of the gods is a Perez innovation from his first issue in the post Crisis reboot.

    The Amazons pre 1987, as I said, all had incredible powers. Literrally thousands of Wonder Woman level individuals. Yet they showed no interest in using their powers beyond Paradise Island. Of course if they leave the island they sacrifice their immortality, but still.
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  12. #237
    U dont need my user title brettc1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Cleaf View Post
    Well, if you accept the theory of evolution you have no other choice than accept that. A culture based on violence would lead to a bigger reproduction rate of violent beings. A culture based on intelligence leads to more intelligent people.
    I would say rather than such a culture might lead to people who were better educated and more thoughtful. Intelligence tends to be classified more as a raw resource which must be developed in order to be used to its best benefit. It should also not be confused with moral development, since there are and have been plenty of smart people who were not particuarly moral.


    A couple of thousand years can actually be a lot. Humans changed very much in the last 10,000 years.
    Not really - in that space of time the changes have largely been in technology, not anatomy. And certainly in the last 2000 there has been no identifiable change beyond a tendency for certain groups of humans to grow taller on average.



    Natural born killers.
    Some, like Captain Kirk, would say that was all humans. I dont know enough about all their back stories to speak with certainty. My own belief which seems mirrored in the philosophy of the DCU is that free will plays a part.



    It's a cultural and genetic co-evolution, one process supports the other one.
    In evoloutionary terms it would make sense that conditions would favor the reproduction of certain genetic markers. But I tend to think that even among Kryptonians Kal-El is exceptional.
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  13. #238
    Senior Member Coyote2010's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brettc1 View Post
    Pre-Crisis Wonder Woman was not blessed the Greek Pantheon. She was brought to life from clay by Aphrodite, but all her special powers came from Amazon training. The blessings of the gods is a Perez innovation from his first issue in the post Crisis reboot.

    The Amazons pre 1987, as I said, all had incredible powers. Literrally thousands of Wonder Woman level individuals. Yet they showed no interest in using their powers beyond Paradise Island. Of course if they leave the island they sacrifice their immortality, but still.
    That's not accurate DC Digest, 25 cent cover price, secret origins of super heroes features the gods blessing her. July 1979 cover date.
    Last edited by Coyote2010; 01-18-2013 at 04:21 PM.

  14. #239
    Senior Member Superlad93's Avatar
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    Superman may have all this advanced science and what not at his finger tips and he may very well be able to just give us all of this moral insight.....but should he? He was raised on hard work and earning what you have. So even though I think he can actually literally make us better people in every way and that he himself is a better person by nature than us I don't think he'd impose because it would truly be by our doing.

    He sees in us the potential for Supermen but it's ours and ours alone to take. He can only be an example and catch us if we fall (JLA). Realistically he even said it himself that he could "burn out the part of our brains that make us hurt people". He could do that plus give us a bunch of tech and call it a day but then he'd just be our ruler and not our gard.


    But yeah I think it's pretty clear that Superman and his race were intended to be nearly perfect in every way including morals. It doesn't really matter if we as people created him are not perfect because......it's a comic book. If they say he's perfect then he is.

    But really I just think it means that we as humans have the potential to be perfect or near perfect but we can't yet maintain it and are only down to short Burt of the people we could be: helping some cross the street, truly understand another's feelings etc. Superman is all that by nature rolled into one. That's why I think Action comics 9 speaks volumes about us human and our man-god personified: Superman.

    The idea of the übermensch is perfection after all. But I also think that Superman is always trying to live up to his legend which makes him relatable and nearly perfect at the same time.

    Great character.

  15. #240
    U dont need my user title brettc1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coyote2010 View Post
    That's not accurate DC Digest, 25 cent cover price, secret origins of super heroes features the gods blessing her. July 1979 cover date.
    You're going to have to provide a link for that, since its the first I have ever heard of it.
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