Why are we so drawn to superheroes? We find a possible answer in their morality. It is well known by now, superheroes are back in fashion. Just think of the large number of films dedicated to their adventures. From classic Superman and Batman, to movies that bring superheroes like Wonder Woman to the big screen for the first time, or that combine multiple superheroes, like The Avengers .
The fact is that superheroes are truly fascinating. Even if we all have our preferences, there will always be one that somehow matches us. Superheroes are above good and evil. The good ones will do what they can to defend good, while the evil ones will try to make evil reign. It’s the moral of superheroes.
What is morality?
Each of us has our own morals, meaning we all have an idea of what is right and what is wrong. However, having a moral does not imply that it is the same for everyone.
The search for a universal morality has tormented a multitude of philosophers and thinkers, without being able to find it. The problem is that our morals guide our thoughts and behaviors. Therefore, we judge “bad” those people who think and act differently from our beliefs.
It could be argued that morality is a set of values and beliefs. Those for which in everyday life we adhere to various rules that we consider adequate for civil coexistence.
When such beliefs are of great importance to us, we are said to have a strong moral conviction, therefore morality will have a strong influence on our life. Likewise, when morality becomes stronger, we will feel moral duty equally strong. That is, we will feel motivated to act in defense of what we believe is right.
The moral of superheroes
But what’s the morale of a superhero like? Think of Batman, despite being a dark superhero with a questionable past, he would sacrifice himself to save anyone. He even refuses to kill. It merely punishes the wicked by using violence only when necessary. We also find a similar moral in Superman. This extraterrestrial is always on the side of justice and uses his powers only when necessary, to fight evil.
We could go on with a long list of superheroes including Wonder Woman, Black Panther, Thor, Spiderman, Captain America, Invisible Woman etc. All, despite their particularities, agree in being on the side of justice. And, although they have to sacrifice something, they are willing to risk their lives to take out the bad guys. Their “moral duty” is so strong that whenever someone does not fulfill their moral precepts they feel compelled to act.
Another curious situation is when they are forced to choose between saving many people or just one. Typically in these situations that one person close to the superhero. This decision causes a strong dissonance. The solution is usually to take the risk of not making any decisions. That is, try to save everyone without exception.
morality in our day
But what would we do in these situations? If we had to choose between saving strangers or a loved one, the answer would be the loved one. Even if there are many others, the most likely thing is that we will choose to save the lives of our loved ones . Our morals are not as strong as that of superheroes. While having great moral convictions, our moral duty is not strong enough to make us act whenever someone violates our moral standards.
In short, that’s why we like superheroes. Or, at least, this is one of the reasons, we must also not forget the charm of the superpowers and the picturesque costumes they wear. Superheroes represent the morally strong person we all want to be. They act in situations in which we would be left in stone. They defend morals without breaking the rules they defend, such as not killing. This makes them superheroes and not supervillains; their strong sense of morality, accompanied by strong moral conviction and a high moral duty.