Man of Steel
Imagine a man who is powerful enough to enslave an entire planet of human beings and use them to satisfy his own desires, whatever those desires may be. Usually someone like this would need a military force behind him, but this man does not. The ‘Man of Steel’ (who everyone knows as Superman) is endowed with the strength of thousands of men, the ability to fly and shoot lasers out of his eyes, and breathe in space. Needless to say, Superman doesn’t need an army in order to become the slave-ruler of the entire Earth. But he doesn’t; in fact, Superman does the exact opposite. He decides that he will protect planet earth and its inhabitants. Why would Superman do this? The answer seems to fall squarely in the explanatory power of Virtue Ethics.
Right off the bat, it seems as though the directors wanted to make it obvious that Superman’s home planet, Krypton, was an outworking of Plato’s city analogy. Granted, Plato’s dialogue about the city was not meant to be a political philosophy, but an analogy to the human psyche, but Plato’s influence on Superman doesn’t stop there. In fact, some have observed that the young Clark Kent was gaining some wisdom from Plato in the movie. Additionally, Plato’s ‘Ring of Gyges’ story seems to play a pretty significant role in the formation of Superman’s character. His actions are dictated by something other than the consequences of being caught behaving in a certain way.
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