The Batman Debate

NUI Galway’s Lit&Deb Society recently held a debate about Batman. Intrigued? David Molloy has more…


The Batman debate dealt with vigilante justice and whether the Batman should be supported or not.

On Thursday 21 February, the Literary and Debating Society of teamed up with Comic Soc to hold The Batman Debate.

The motion put forward was that “This House Would Support The Batman”, with Comic Soc’s David Burdon in main proposition of the motion, and Leigh Ashmore speaking in opposition.

While ostensibly the motion was designed as an interesting spin on the continuing debate on vigilante justice, the speeches during the night were all based within the “Batman universe” – that is, lots of references to the character’s 70-year history within comic books, as well as his time spent in animation, television, up to the recent and very popular Christopher Nolan films.

The main arguments from proposition in favour of the Batman focused on his positive effects in Gotham City – a lessening of crime, a motivation for a corrupt police force to improve themselves, and that only Batman is capable of stopping villains such as the Joker.

By his existence within the world of Gotham, Batman is a positive role model to others that may seek out justice in a cruel, unforgiving environment, such as his long-time protégé Robin.

However, speakers in opposition noted that by going to the effort of costuming himself in such elaborate get-up and spending every night beating the tar out of poor street thugs, it’s evidently clear that Batman is clearly not a mentally healthy individual, and that it is not at all a viable solution for a man who is clearly close to the point of insanity to become the one and only authority on justice.

Opposition speakers also noted the escalation apparent within the city of Gotham once Batman begins his crusade – evidence suggests that the Batman does a lot more harm than good for the society he claims to be protecting.

The speakers very much got into the spirit of the debate – one fan in particular saw it fit to bring in a Batman cowl (despite debating rule number one – no props!), and no less than three people claimed to be the Batman themselves.

While the debate touched on serious issues that reflect the real world we – vigilante justice, police corruption, etc. – the debate thankfully never became heated, and no speaker took themselves too seriously.

By evening’s end, the motion was passed in favour of the proposition, and the Batman was given the official NUI Galway seal of approval.

Lead image via deviantART

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