Search This Blog

Sunday, 22 July 2018

Omission Of Action

So let's say that Superman is real.

There is a comet hurtling towards earth, maybe thrown at us by some invisible enemy, maybe just falling down the gravity well. The impact of this comet will demolish an entire continent, and through the dust-winter that follows, basically kick the earth into an ice age the likes of which 99% of life won't survive.

Superman is aware of it. He knows it is coming.

If he chooses to go do something else rather than stop it - including just standing off to one side and watching - then that's an act of evil, right? Permitting mass extinction through inaction. We can agree that is a bad thing.

Ten points if you know where this is going already.

Let's go back to the starting block.

Superman is real. There is a group of evil men (let's call them the Hurters) that deliberately kill millions every year. Straight-up murder. They're not from the countries that Superman usually does things in, though - and Superman is busy. He can't stop the Hurters, because he's trying to use his Super-planning to fix problems for comparatively wealthy people that are outside of the reach of the Hurters.

He can stop them. It would take time and effort, but it is doable, because he is Superman. He possesses the capability to stop the Hurters. He just doesn't do it, because he's doing something else, even if he is aware of the problem.

That, too, is an act of evil - right? People being killed every day is more important than traffic jams or selling things. Through deliberate inaction, Superman is permitting mass murder. We can agree that that is a bad thing.

Five points if you know where this is going.

Back to the starting block again.

Bruce Wayne is real. The Hurters are killing millions every year, but not directly - instead, they are destroying people's access to safe food and clean water. Seven and a half million a year are killed by hunger and malnutrition, and almost a million are killed by lack of clean water. Eight and a half million people a year, killed by the Hurters - that's the First World War, every five years.

Bruce Wayne knows. He can fix this - he's not super-fast or super-strong, but he has the capability to replace all the lost food and clean water. He can do this despite not being a superhuman, because he has another super-power, which is a vast amount of money. Money becomes resources and manpower which becomes water purifiers and improved farming conditions, and can lobby for better political support to make sure that people don't starve.

Bruce Wayne, instead, spends his time faffing around with advanced technology and making the numbers in his bank account bigger. Perhaps he feels that stopping the Hurters is a job for Superman, though apparently Supes isn't up to the job either, but hey, who is counting? Bruce Wayne is busy. He doesn't stop eight and a half million people a year dying, because he's busy.

That, too, act of evil. People dying from preventable causes through inaction of Bruce Wayne, permitting mass murder at the hands of the Hurters. Those awful Hurters. We can agree that is a bad thing.

Two points if you know where this is going now.

Back to the starting block.

No superheroes, this time. No comic characters. Just people that exist with vast sums of money, which we have already established is an actual super-power. No villains, either - no Hurters. Just eight and a half million people dying every year of the same causes, starvation, malnutrition and lack of clean water.

The people with vast sums of money could fix this. They don't. They're busy.

I'm sure you can put the rest together yourself.

In an unrelated tangent, here's the Forbes rich list:

No comments:

Post a Comment