Philosophy in Batman: Doctrines of the Dynamic Duo

Bruce’s parental authority shouldn’t be undermined for his own personal vendettas and vengeance crusades at night.

Batman and Robin.

Perhaps the most polar opposite partners of any comic book, pop culture or fictional world, the Dynamic Duo of teenage circus ward and adult billionaire orphan are an enthralling combination. One bright, the other bold, Bruce and Dick…or Tim, or Jason or Damien or…yeah, whichever Robin you’d prefer to talk about, are a winning team with some provoking philosophical ideas surrounding their crusade for criminal justice and vengeance.

Doctrines of the Dynamic Duo

The philosophy of Batman and Robin’s relationship is one founded on the ideological principles of trust, purpose, revenge, partnership and parent/child relationships. For those of you unaware or momentarily forgetful, here is a brief recount of the backstory between them:

Batman AKA Bruce Wayne was a child who witnessed the violent murders of both parents. He adopted the alias of Batman in order to utilise his fear (of bats and evil men) against criminals such as the murderer, and scare them into being lawful. The original Robin (there are four others I could mention but won’t), was a performer in a travelling circus with his family. While accounts vary, his family was murdered by Two-Face and Bruce noticing commonalities and sympathy, took on Dick Grayson as his ward and eventual partner in anti-crime after he discovered Wayne’s Bat-Cave.

Now that we’re all caught up, the trust relationship between the detective duo as well as thoughts regarding the ethics of allowing a child to fight crime, are philosophically concerning.

batman-robin
Dragging a young, impressionable boy along with a horrible role model who bashes and interrogates people with feet dangling over a building’s ledge, certainly sounds quizzical at the least and inhumane at the most. 

An underage acrobat, Dick Grayson/Robin endangered his life multiple times for Batman’s plans. However, on his journey, the shadow of Batman’s cape has been occupied by four young apprentices… and counting! In fact, one was fatally blown up by the Joker…but that didn’t stop Bruce mentoring another three Robins after such an incident! This here, conflicts the idea of parental responsibility and authority. As Robin’s parent, Bruce has the inherent responsibility to care for Robin’s safety and prohibit certain dangerous activities where his ward could potentially injure or harm himself. Basic principle of duty of care, further dictates that Bruce’s parental authority shouldn’t be undermined for his own personal vendettas and vengeance crusades at night. Dragging a young, impressionable boy along with a horrible role model who bashes people and interrogates them with feet dangling over a building’s ledge, certainly sounds quizzical at the least and inhumane at the most.

Onwards regarding the ethics of Batman and Robin, their surveillance system as seen in The Dark Knight and a similar, all-knowing, all-seeing ‘bat computer’ used by the Flash (as investigated in my post ✍Ethics of Superhero Justice, Power & Responsibility ⚡️) is highly questionable; as people’s privacy and rights, are unjustifiably and illegally shoved aside for ‘justice’ and criminal accountability.

And so, if that hasn’t made you rethink the virtue of your childhood idols, nothing will! More philosophical bat posts are soon to be unleashed…next Tuesday: my new official blog posting day!

Feeling Batty? Find more pop culture content here:

We Come in Peace: Philosophy in Arrival

✍Philosophy in The Flash⚡️ S2 Earth 2

Holy Minute Momentary Mind Insights! Batman

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8 Comments

  1. Well I must say that was very interesting to read. I never realized how many laws Batman actually breaks in order to keep the law. 🙂

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    1. Hi morbious, thank you! It’s lovely to get feedback. Yes, Batman’s code of ethics appears to contradict his very purpose of being ethical! If you’d like to read any more of my comments on super-heroic ethic concerns, please check out my Philosophy in the Flash blog thread!

      -AppleBelle

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