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Why Batman SHOULDN’T Fight Superman! || Comic Misconceptions || NerdSync

Why Batman SHOULDN’T Fight Superman! || Comic Misconceptions || NerdSync

– This video is sponsored by Audible, home to the widest selection
of digital audiobooks, including bestsellers, new releases, exclusives, and much more. In “Batman v Superman,”
Bruce Wayne witnesses the destruction caused in “Man of Steel” and makes the decision
to take down Superman before he wipes out all of humanity. And while that logic sounds good on paper, it’s a lot more complicated and nuanced than you might think. And maybe, just maybe, Batman is wrong. (rock music) Last week, we looked at the ethics of whether or not Batman
should kill the Joker. The comments section was
divided, to say the least, and I can only imagine
that will continue today as we debate not who would win, but whether the two gladiators should even fight each other at all. – Holy here we go again, Batman. – As of this recording, I’m at
a bit of a disadvantage here, since the movie hasn’t
actually come out yet. All we have to go off of are the trailers. And, thankfully, they do
provide us with a few reasons why Batman wants to bring down Superman. Chiefly among them is this line. – If we believe there’s even a 1% chance that he is our enemy, we have to take it as
an absolute certainty. – Now, you and I both know that Superman is the big blue Boy Scout. He would never turn on us like that. But for the sake of this video, let’s put all of our
presuppositions of Superman aside and attempt to tackle this
from Batfleck’s perspective. All you see is an immensely powerful being who has shown literally unbelievable and possibly unlimited power. You don’t know his weaknesses. You’re unsure if he even has any, to the point of questioning whether or not he can even bleed. – Tell me, do you bleed?
(dramatic orchestral music) – The only other members of
his species that showed up tried to terraform the planet with no regard to its current inhabitants. And after the battle where
he recklessly participated in destroying Metropolis,
he walks away unscratched. Even his hair is still perfect! So yeah, it becomes a little easier to see where Batman is coming from here. But to get a better
sense of what’s going on, a helpful analogy might come in the form of a famous thought experiment. Quick, to the Bat Trolley! (manic orchestral music) There’s a famous thought experiment that you may have heard of
called the trolley problem. It goes like this. There’s a runaway trolley
speeding down a track, about to hit five people
who, for whatever reason, can’t move out of the way. They will definitely die if the trolley continues
(trolley explodes) towards them. However, you, being the
observer of this scene, are standing next to a lever. If you pull that lever,
the trolley will switch on to a new set of tracks and spare the lives of the five people. But here’s the catch: that
new set of tracks isn’t empty. There’s one person on
it who also can’t move. If you don’t pull that lever, the trolley will continue
down the track it’s on and kill five people.
(trolley explodes) If you do pull the
level and switch tracks, (trolley explodes) the trolley
will only kill one person. Which do you choose? To see this from Batman’s perspective, let’s plug in Superman as the
one guy on the spare track, the entire human population
on the main track, and Batman himself at the lever. If Batman does nothing, all of humanity dies.
(trolley explodes) If he pulls that lever, the
trolley will kill Superman, (trolley explodes) but spare
everyone else on the planet. Side note, I know that a
trolley is no match for someone who has been described as more powerful than a locomotive on many occasions, but let’s say that Superman is weakened; kryptonite, red solar
rays, the whole deal. If Batman pulls that
lever, Superman will die. There’s no clever way out of it, there’s no coming back to life as is so common in the world of comics. Batman can’t save both
parties, he has to choose. I believe, at least with
the case of Batfleck, Bats would pull the lever. However, this really isn’t a
fair analogy of the situation. The problem we’ve set up is one where Batman has to take
action to kill Superman because we know for certain that if he does nothing,
everyone will die. But in the real world, at least in the world established
by “Batman v Superman,” we don’t know for sure that Superman will turn against the human race. If Batman decides to do
nothing to stop Supes, then it’s possible he could
never end up turning evil and go on to do great
things for the planet. To alter the trolley problem again, it would be as if the trolley
is speeding down a track that’s obscured by fog. Batman suspects that
there is the possibility that hidden by the fog is every
other person on the planet, which I know is a bit weird,
but just go with me here. Batman has the lever and could easily cause the trolley to switch to the second track,
(trolley explodes) where he clearly sees Superman, once again, tied down and weakened. So, does he do nothing
and risk the trolley potentially killing every
human being on the planet or does he switch the track, fully knowing that he will
kill Superman in the process. In “Batman v Superman,” it looks
like he’ll pull that lever. Even though this is
already confusing enough, this example still isn’t
an accurate representation of what Batman is going through, but it’s a good foundation to start on. In the scenario we’ve set up, all Batman has to do is pull a lever. That’s easy. In fact, it’s too easy. Let’s go back to the core
of the trolley problem. You’re watching a trolley
speed towards (record skips), actually, is there a synonym for trolley? I feel like I’ve said
that word so much already. At this point, the word has
lost its entire meaning to me. Cablecars, streetcar, tram? Is tram something? Let’s say tram. Okay, so you’re watching a tram speed towards a group of five people. But instead of a lever
that switches the tram to a second track with one person on it, you’re standing next to that other person and you know that if you push that person in front of the tram, they will die, but (tram explodes) their
weight would slow down the tram enough not to hit any of the
other people in the group. Actually, you know what? I’m sick of tram now too. So, do you push that person? You’re still trading one life for five. It’s the same equation both times. But neurologist David Eagleman points out that you’re actually using
completely different regions in your brain for both cases. In the first scenario, where all you have to do is pull a lever, you’re using parts of your brain that are used to solve logical problems. Five is greater than one,
so pull that lever, Kronk. – [Voiceover] Wrong lever! – But in the second scenario, where you have to physically push a person in front of the trolley to their death, you’re now activating regions
involved with emotion. And those two brain
systems fight each other to try to figure out what you should do. Your rationality says, “Obviously, one death
is better than five.” But your emotional side argues, “I don’t want to kill somebody.” And this arguing also
incorporates positive duties, AKA the responsibility to help people, versus negative duties,
AKA the responsibility to not harm people that
we’ve talked about before in our Spiderman video about
power and responsibility. Pulling a lever is just too impersonal. Instead of interacting with
a human being directly, you’re further removing
yourself from the situation. And this is a problem we face
today with modern warfare, where taking human
lives can be represented in incredibly abstract ways. Pixels on screens and pushes of buttons make drone strikes and cyber attacks become more like video games. Similarly, a man by the
name of Roger Fisher believed nuclear launch codes to be too accessible to the
president of the United States, who could decide to kill millions of lives with an impersonal and
unemotional command. Instead, Fisher proposed
that the launch codes should be put into a small capsule and implanted next to the heart of a living, breathing volunteer. That volunteer would
accompany the president everywhere he or she goes and carry around a large,
menacing butcher knife. And now, I just wanna read
you exactly what Fisher wrote. “If ever the president wanted
to fire nuclear weapons, “the only way he could do
so would be for him first, “with his own hands, to
kill one human being. “He has to look at someone
and realize what death is, “what an innocent death is, “blood on the White House carpet.” Batman isn’t pulling a
lever or pushing a button, he’s personally confronting
Superman one-on-one, mano a mano. To have that reflected
in our trolley problem, imagine that in order to
save the entire human race that may or may not even be on
the track in the first place, Batman has to physically push
Superman onto the tracks. And again, we’re assuming
that Superman is weakened and will definitely be out
of the game permanently if Batman decided to go through with it. Bats would have to engage both the logical and
emotional parts of his brain, which could make it tricky to
actually go through with it. But hang on, Batman doesn’t
look conflicted about this. Based off the trailers, it seems as though he isn’t even a little
hesitant about stopping Supes. What else is going on here? And this brings up the final variation of the trolley problem
that we’ll talk about today because it’s already getting
convoluted enough as is. But hey, that’s what these
thought experiments are for. Think back to the scenario where you have to push someone
(man screams) onto the tracks in order
to stop the trolley and save the group. That still seems like a tough
call to make, doesn’t it? Well, would it help in your
decision-making process if I told you that the
person you’re pushing was responsible for putting
that group of people on the tracks and sending the trolley barreling down to kill them? In other words, imagine those
old-timey mustachioed villains tying up damsels in
distress on railroad tracks. If the only way to save
that innocent civilian was to push the villain
in front of the train, would it be easier to do? Intuition seems to say, “Yeah.” It’s kind of poetic justice in a way. It feels like it would
be morally justified to push the villain, since he set up this whole scenario in
the first place, right? And when you look back at the trailer, it’s so obvious that Batman
sees Superman as the villain. In Batman’s mind, he believes
that it’s the Man of Steel versus everyone on the planet. You can’t have both. And since Superman is the
being who Bats believes is endangering the
entire human population, he has absolutely no reservations taking down the last son
of Krypton permanently. What started out as a simple
trolley thought experiment escalated into a complicated
and nuanced plot. And believe it or not,
we’ve actually seen Batman in a very similar situation before. In “Batman Begins,” the caped crusader is fighting Ra’s al Ghul
on a speeding train. If Batman does nothing and lets that train continue barreling towards Wayne Tower, Scarecrow’s Fear Gas will
cover the entire city of Gotham in a cloud of fear and terror that will cause countless deaths. But if Batman reroutes
the train into the ground, it will come at the expense
of one person’s life. However, that one person,
Ra’s, is far from innocent. In fact, he’s the one that set up that entire plot to destroy Gotham. It’s so on the nose that I feel like we as fans should’ve seen this coming. And of course, we all
know what Batman chose. – I won’t kill you, but
I don’t have to save you. (dramatic orchestral music) – As we established in
part one of this series, Batman’s thinking here can
be considered utilitarian. Batman weighed the
consequences of each action and decided to take the action that benefited the most people. And that’s precisely what
he’s doing with Superman here. Batfleck is going to go out of
his way to take down Superman because he believes doing so will benefit the largest amount of people. But, if Batfleck is a utilitarian trying to save as many people as possible, then is fighting Superman
the best way to go? He’s treating Superman
as if he were a bomb with enough power to
destroy the entire planet that’s just waiting to detonate. It doesn’t matter if there’s only a 1% chance of it triggering, that likelihood is more than enough to warrant getting rid of that thing. – Some days, you just
can’t get rid of a bomb. – Which again, sounds simple enough that I’m sure we could agree to that, except Superman isn’t just sitting around, waiting to turn against humanity, he’s actively going out and saving people. If Batman does nothing to interfere and lets Superman live, Superman could potentially
save countless human lives. Heck, we’ve already seen
him save the entire planet from an extinction-level
event in “Man of Steel,” and he did that in a snap. But if Batman wants to maximize wellbeing for the most amount of people, then, by going off of his
hypothetical statement that Supes only has a 1%
chance of turning villainous and a 99% chance of staying a hero, Batman should really just do nothing. But that wouldn’t make for
an exciting movie, would it? “Batman Tolerates Superman”? – [Voiceover] Aww! – Actually, I’d probably watch that. What do you guys think? Is Batman right to wanna
take down Superman? Or should he just do nothing
and let Superman help people, even if there’s a risk that
he might someday turn evil. Let me know your thoughts in the comments. If you liked these last two videos, you can thank our sponsor, Audible. Audible content includes more
than 180,000 audio programs from the leading audiobook publishers, broadcasters, entertainers, magazines and newspaper publishers, and business information providers. I genuinely use Audible
probably every single day. In fact, this series of Batman
videos was heavily inspired by the audiobook, “Batman and
Philosophy,” by Mark D. White. I highly recommend checking it out. And hey, good news! Audible is offering you wonderful nerds a free 30-day trial membership. Just go to and browse the over
180,000 audio programs, download a title for free,
and start listening today. It’s that easy. If you missed last week’s video exploring whether or not
Batman should kill Joker, click right here to watch it
and a playlist of our videos about comic book philosophy. If you want more videos
about “Batman v Superman,” you are in luck! We’ve got an entire playlist of videos about the Dark Knight
and the Man of Steel, plus a little bit of Lex Luthor, a little bit of Wonder Woman. Click right here to binge watch them all just in time for the movie. The links are also in
the description below. And make sure you hit that
big, sexy subscribe button so you don’t miss out
on all the new videos we make for you every week
that explore the history, science, art, and philosophy behind your favorite
comic book superheroes. My name is Scott, reminding you to read between the panels and grow smarter through comics. See ya.

100 comments on “Why Batman SHOULDN’T Fight Superman! || Comic Misconceptions || NerdSync

  1. So, now that we've all seen the movie, here's my question: Is the fight in Metropolis the ONLY part of 'Man of Steel' Bruce was at all aware of? He didn't see the Zod broadcast, demanding that this guy sacrifice himself to them, in order to spare humanity? He didn't see that this Superman did exactly that? He didn't see that these guys reneged on that deal, and that Supes was fighting to stop them? Because everyone else saw that. It seems like Bruce ONLY saw his building get F-ed up, and decided that was enough. WTF? The US military fought alongside Superman; I didn't see any Bat-shaped planes in that battle…

  2. that's my problem with BVS, big fan of Batfleck by the way but his philosophy is pathetic, I get the idea of Plan B that if one day Supes goes rogue he has a plan to eliminate him by any means necessary to save humanity, but in BVS Supes is just saving people and whatnot, Batman clearly is way out of line, he is a hater of big powerful beings, he is basically Lex, BVS is very flawed movie, and Superman sucks at his job, he doesn't even know who Bruce Wayne is. lmao

  3. Batman blocks his emotions, and there were very few heroic things that superman did, he just destroyed metropolis while dealing with personal problems that only concerns him. To batman, he's just taking down another villain, a crime boss killing his associates.

  4. It's not as clear cut as "he's our enemy/ he's our savior". The real danger is if he ever thinks he knows whats best for humans, that he should rule them.

  5. 3:31 – "We don't know for sure if Superman will turn against the human race…"
    Bats – "… so if believe there's just a one percent chance that he's our enemy, we have to take it as an ABSOLUTE certainly."
    Video should've ended

  6. Great video. Nerdsync is the best comic channel on youtube.If you haven't already subscribed, I suggest you do so for some great content!

  7. Batman shouldn't have fought superman, but Cavil was not superman. Superman wouldn't just show up to save Lois and wouldn't kill his enemies.

  8. For this I agree and disagree. Keep in mind that this is a game of chance with Superman, the possibility that he might go bad is small but it's still possible with the right push he could go nuts and destroy everything. I don't think batman should attack him or leave him, he needs consider both possibilities and prepare accordingly rather than acting rashly, like he does in the comics.

  9. what do you mean Superman would never do that? there have been actual stories of Superman doing exactly that. ruling the Earth with an iron fist to save humanity.

  10. Thank you for such a logical explanation. Based on what you've said it's obvious Batman should've done nothing about Superman, which is part of why the film was trash.

  11. Trolly idea is stupid because Super-Man HIMSELF would metaphorically be the trolly, harming humanity.
    Whole idea doesn't fit. This video should be re-done.

  12. According to Batman's logic in the film EVERYONE is a potential threat that should be murdered since everyone is capable of reaching a position that would allow them to rule, commit genocide, etc. (just look to a failed young penniless artist doing them same in the real world). Batman (In the movie) is little more than a frothing at the mouth psychopathic zealot raging at the world over his mommy daddy issues… harsh but true.

  13. 1:11 But Scott…….. Injustice

    I just wanted to Throw that in his face when he said He would never turn on us

  14. I have the ability to go to work tomorrow with a shotgun and murder everyone, but not the motive to do so. Under Batman's logic in BvS, he'd have to preemptively kill (or at the very least apprehend) me because I have the potential for mass destruction, despite my like of motive. This is why I don't take BvS Batman seriously.

  15. In my AP Psychology class in high school, our professor asked us the pushing someone version of the Trolley problem. No one knew how to answer so of course I was called on, because that's what happens when you're an A student. I had no idea how to answer until I noticed a loophole. "I jump in front of the train and slow it myself."

    I know this isn't the point of the question, but my teacher just took the answer and gave me extra credit. xD

  16. if a trolley is heading into five people and the other track has one guy in it I would just move that guy from the way and THEN pull the liver / like if you think the same way about it

  17. Wrong batman should not fight superman does not had have any reason to fight him. I do hate that movie and I was a batman from my childhood. Thanks to Snyder he destroyed my two favorite characters. I hate Snyder I hope in the next movie he does better.😰😡💔

  18. How about doing a video on non-whiting all the super-heroes of either the DC or Marvel universe. Non-white Batman: Bruce retires and turns the cowl over to someone who isn't white. Non-white Superman: Requires Kandor to be in a bottle; leaves Earth, maybe after Lois' death, and a non-white Kryptonian takes over.

  19. in the way that superman and batman are set up batman has to be better than superman in every way or else they would risk him becoming another green arrow or blackwidow completely useless a human with cool gadgets but no real purpose , the justice legue universe needs someone on the good side always thinking about the bad side of things including if the legue were compromised or turned, this is what makes him special there are other non powered superheros but all the others are secondary heros. Batman does not want to have superpowers he knows the power would corrupt him(like it has the other heros at seperate times).He knows that all heros can be corrupted including himself which is why he made plans to incompacitate the others and depends upon them if he in turn is corrupted but batman and batman alone sees the problem other heros pose, no other hero not even superman thinks that other heros are corruptable and thus they don't need contingency plans to stop the others. Superman kills his arch nemesis but batman no matter how much he wants to does not. What is funny is that there are a lot of villains in archam yet none of the other heros kill the prisoners there would b easy to evac the guards and just level the place killing many of the villains in the prossess it is also weird because you would think another villain would have done this just to take out the compatition you would think that some of these so called "ruthless bastards" would just love to take some of the others out and take their stuff it is almost as if they have a code of honor or something despite having betrayed each other in the past >.>

  20. Another way you can look at the situation is that superman is not human he appears human and has human emotion but he is alien batman doesn’t know superman has emotion he sees superman like an animal take the trolley situation where if you push a man onto the tracks now change the man for a pig it’s not that bad batman sees superman as a thing an animal but when superman said to save Martha batman had sumthing in common with him a human mother batman didn’t spear superman because there mother’s have the same name but rather because it humanized superman he is ok with killing the soldiers in the dream sequence because he sees them as soldiers not people

  21. No batman is right even though superman is saving people it does not matter because eventually super WILL become evil and still kill more people than he saved when he was good and yes the people that superman saved will die because batman killed superman but people will die its just life and including fact that the people that superman save most r accidents but it's different because a man another person is taking lives and more

  22. The movie is stupid. Since batman said he altered the mix on his cryptonite gass. His superman contingency would have worked. Superman goes bad the gass kills him. He didn't need to beat him up. Imagine superman wrecks the bat-mobile. Batman emerges. The two stand face to face. BOOM, cryptonite gas breath.

    Also Nolan trilogy batman is not BvS Batman.

  23. That last though is intresting from an utalitarian perspective: Since Superman is so powerful and have shown an interest in being a hero, there might be a chance that there will be another extionction-level event that he will stop. So the estimated chance of superman saving the world must be weighed against the estimated chance that he destroys it.

    Oooor you could take a more practical approach and say Batman should obtain the means to defeat superman (mech-suit, kryptonite and so forth) but only use them if he has a very good reason to belive Superman turning on earth to be an actuality.

    From what I've red of the comics, this is how it works. Batman keeps at hand the means to kill or incapacitate a lot of superheroes in case they turn bad. There was even this movie where some villains stole these plans and used them on the Justice League.

    And I seem to remember some time where Superman expressed approval of batman having a stash of Kryptonite for this very reason.

  24. This Fisher's idea is horrible. Most people would not be able to kill someone with their hands like that. And I wouldn't want to select only someone who could to be President. It might make him a bad choice when dealing with other things.

  25. Batman shouldn't fight Superman period, unless if he's under mind control.  In general, they shouldn't fight.  They should be friends and stay friends because despite their philosophical differences they fight for the same causes.

  26. I have to disagree about he could never turn evil, in the injustice storyline he does
    The Joker tricks Superman into thinking he’s fighting and defeating Doomsday but it’s actually Louis Lane with his and her pregnant child (I don’t know how but I presume he could have used scarecrows fear gas because superman is probably scared of how destructive doomsday is)
    Then Metropolis is destroyed and that’s his breaking point where he punches a hole in the Joker and kills him
    Now this doesn’t happen in the main earth but it still can happen so I have to disagree he can turn evil
    But if you,Nerdsync, see this I’d like to know why you said he couldn’t ever turn evil

  27. If Batman does kill superman (trolley problem) then potentially he’s also killing the only thing stopping so many villains superman stops on a daily basis free.
    Doomsday would ravage life on earth, Lex Luther would rule the world, Mr. Mxypltyz could do anything without any order, which in turn could end the world too

  28. I think a better version of the trolley car experiment is to put fog on one track with the earth possible in that fog and one with superman on it. Behind Superman is also fog where the earth could also be, if you were to pull the lever to kill Superman you could also be killing the world.But instead of only the 2 options of either pulling the lever or not their should a third. The third option is untying Superman and letting him help you save the others. I think that fits this scenario much better. If you kill Superman you could be dooming the world that is behind him on the track. But if you untie him either he could help you save the world or you just doomed it by not pulling the lever.

  29. Y do people claim superman was bad in MOS because he didn't take the fight with zod out of the city? So if the rock or someone 3 time larger than u or even about the same size comes to ur house and starts fighting u throwing u threw walls and window wound it be your fault that u didn't take the fight outside to a field or would it be the person beating u up fault that your house got destroyed

  30. Oooh I like that nuclear weapon idea- it reminds me of that guy who used to follow Caesar, whispering "Remember, thou art mortal"

  31. I continue wondering why youtubers like you are not involved in movie making directly by the studios. That is a complete lack of vision on their behalf! 🙁

  32. Can't I jump there myself? I mean… Better than push somebody… Right?

    Also I think Batman should have thought it over more. Maybe talk to Sups?

  33. Batman personified xenophobia and a huge inferiority complex. The trolley experiment is flawed. Not flipping the lever allows superman the opportunity to save everyone else on the planet.

  34. When you brought up the issue of proximity (pulling the lever vs. pushing the person onto the tracks), I couldn't help thinking of Milgram's obedience to authority experiments and how the subjects were more likely to push through to the end of the experiment if they were in the other room, while almost none of them did if they actually had to touch the person (I think by placing the person's hand into something that would shock them – it's been a while since I read the book, Obedience to Authority, but I do recall that increased proximity reduced the amount of pain the subject was willing to inflict, even though of course none of it was real).

    And I don't wanna hear about how Milgram's experiment was unethical, because you're wrong.

  35. Batman tolerates superman. the gripping story of Batman having to put up with the man of steel who's powers are useful in a case but his attitude impedes Batman's choices. Still a better movie than BVS colon DOJ.

  36. "Batman Tolerates Superman" is the not the unlikely companions sitcom we need, but it is the unlikely companions sitcom we deserve.

  37. He should have done what he seems to do in every other incarnation, be prepared for the scenario where Superman might turn evil. Being preemptive is just shortsighted for Batman as was explained in the video.

  38. If we go with the described situation we gotta consider the actual outcome of each scenario. Superman could save thousands of lives in the 99% scenario, but that doesnt mean others couldnt do the same, Killing superman would increase the chance of people getting hurt or dieing and would shift the responsability of stopping the next extintion level event to someone else (probably a task batman would be ready to take on) while completely eliminating the 1% chance of specifically superman destroying the world. In a fatalistic point of view, batman's actions are justified (in the scene you have presented, not in the flawed movie with poor narrative). That being said, the movie was poorly written, even more poorly directed and seemed like a bad juggler struggling to keep 3 balls in the air.

  39. Batman and Superman are actually – in Snyder's setup – virtually the same. The only difference is the scale.

    Superman kills Zod to save the Planet. Batman kills his master to save Gotham (though this is a Nolan film). Bruce Wayne is supposed to be among the most intelligent humans ever, and he doesn't recognize this? After all, there was also a great amount of collateral damage in Batman's fight with Al-Ghoul, and from many people's point of view, Batman was at least partially responsible

  40. Flip the switch to the one person track and run like hell to try and get them out the way or untangle them. Saving one person is easier than saving five.

  41. The is danger is Batman doesn’t know the difference between zod who is going out of his way to kill. Where Superman has a great record of saving.

  42. “Tell me… do you bleed?”

    “I just wouldn’t want to stain that nice blue costume, is all Clark.”

  43. Actually isnt auperman kind doing the same thing instead of letting the whole city being killed only a fraction dies from buildings ir debree kinda dark but isnt it similar not saying its right but im just saying.

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