Why I Loved Iron Man More Than The Dark Knight

Published 5 years ago by , Updated October 8th, 2008 at 8:35 am,

obsessive iron man fan Why I Loved Iron Man More Than The Dark Knight
Heath McKnight: Obsessive Iron Man fan

Before I start my little op-ed about Iron Man and The Dark Knight, I want you all to know that Iron Man is indeed my favorite character. I had him tattooed on my right forearm almost five years ago, and Entertainment Weekly even featured me as their “Obsessive Fan of the Week” last year! I write for Advanced Iron (the #1 Iron Man fan site on the planet), and my love for the character stretches back over 20 years.

That said, Batman is my second favorite character (tied with Captain America), and Batman Begins was, for the longest time not only my favorite comic book movie, but one of my top 20 favorite films of all time. The Dark Knight somehow topped Batman Begins, and completely blew me away. It deserves all the money and (hopefully) awards it has (or will) earn.

Okay, now that that’s out of the way, I want to spend a little time talking about why, ultimately, I love Iron Man more than The Dark Knight. Understand that while I think TDK is a magnificent movie, and the musical score is infinitely better than the pedestrian soundtrack of Iron Man – ol’ Shell Head’s film wins the race (but only by a little bit).

So why do I love Iron Man more? I recently sat down, and thought about the best movies I’ve seen this past summer, and I was hard-pressed in deciding whether Iron Man or TDK was better – or if they were a tie for me. Due to a busy work schedule this summer, I could only see each movie once, but you know I’ll wear the DVDs out when they’re released. I could also watch only a handful of films, but I hear that Indiana Jones 4 stunk anyway.

So after thinking about both, even going so far as comparing stories (both are aces) and direction (two veteran indie filmmakers doing their best work).

  • Acting: Tie – you can’t get better than Robert Downey, Jr. and Heath Ledger.
  • Visual FX: Iron Man.
  • Music: The Dark Knight.
  • Villains: Sorry, Iron Monger, but Heath’s Joker scared the crap out of me, and he deserves an Oscar.
  • Cinematography: Matthew Libatique (Iron Man) and Wally Pfister (The Dark Knight) are both tops in their field, but I give the slight edge to Libatique.
  • Overall fun factor for me: Iron Man wins by the narrowest of margins.

After all that, I came to the conclusion that Iron Man was the best film.

What ultimately got me to that conclusion was my good friend, comic book creator Rich Koslowski. He is the creator of The 3 Geeks, and he recently commented on his blog:

“I did love it [The Dark Knight, but] I still liked Iron Man better. And the one main reason I think is that Iron Man was more well-rounded. Iron Man had the one thing the The Dark Knight did not… joy.”

That’s exactly what I was mulling over: joy. Don’t get Rich or I wrong, we both love the dark aspects of Batman (don’t EVER lose that and don’t EVER hire Joel Shumacher EVER again!), but we went for the “light” with Iron Man.

iron man tattoo Why I Loved Iron Man More Than The Dark KnightSo there you have it. Even though I am a big-time Iron Maniac, had the movie stunk, or had it been just decent-to-good, TDK would’ve won, hands down. Trust me, I love Iron Man the character, but I don’t love being let down. I learned that years ago, when I’d get excited for upcoming movies, much like sports fans would get pumped up for the big game, only to be disappointed when the film opened (Jurassic Park being the exception). And believe me, I was obsessing about both of these films.

For me, ultimately, I just loved watching Iron Man fly around, dispatching bad guys. But don’t forget that I absolutely loved The Dark Knight. It and Iron Man are the top two best comic book movies I’ve ever seen and I can’t wait to watch both films at least two dozen times on DVD before the year ends.

And one more thing: I think it’s great that TDK made over $520 million, and Iron Man, a minor, not-as-well-known Marvel superhero made more money than Indy 4. No one expected Iron Man to do as well as it did, but it certainly did.

I can’t wait for the next Iron Man and Batman films.

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TAGS: batman begins, indy 4, iron man, the dark knight

201 Comments - Comments are closed.

  1. The spelling and grammar is turning into Michael Crichton’s web forum!

    Anyway, everyone’s made valid points, and I’ll throw in something else:

    No movies are perfect, but I’ve actually grown more (or less) fond of a film over time with multiple DVD viewings. Batman Begins went from an 8/10 to a 10/10 for me that way. Superman Returns and Transformers got worse the more I watched them (after, strangely, getting better at first).

    I am going to watch Iron Man as many times as possible over the next few weeks, then I will devour Hulk and TDK. I think my love will only go up.

    Heath

  2. Gotta agree on the multiple viewings thing. Returns and Transformers both got worse for me as well, but far more drastic with transformers. That was just a terrible movie.

    I have already viewed TDK about 8 times and Iron man about 7 or 8 not sure. TDK pretty much stayed the same with maybe a minor dip. Ironman simply got worse for me. My first viewing I came out saying it was awesome, but since then while I still enjoy it I don’t think it’s great anymore. First viewing of Iron Man I was still surfing on the high and it was about a 9/10 now it’s dropped to about a 7.5 or 8.

  3. Hell, this is for the Last Time I will post here and the last time to try to appear scholastic, over-smart and as much short as possible.

    EXPLANATIONS:

    (“Can I just have my phone call?”)
    (“realize the man power and the logistics involved in all of those barrels that he put everywhere”)

    Reason: TDK takes place SIX MONTHS after BB. and at the end of BB, Batman and Gordon or any legal authorities never consider that a man who goes by the name ‘The Joker’ and uses face-paint will be that much of a trouble.
    However, The Joker is a highly intelligent psychopath, he is able to plan everything out meticulously. So it may have worked out exactly how he had planned. The obvious answer is that he had been spending the last six months carefully planning out everything so that he would be ready. This is a trait very typical of the comic book Joker — he’s able to prepare a crime for a long
    time and yet carry it out before anyone realizes what he’s up to. He then “predicts” a crime that has already been committed.

    The Joker knows: The ONLY illegal act he can perform from inside a police station is to pretend and make use of the LEGAL call he can make from there.
    If he can plan to kill all his OWN accomplices who help him rob the Bank then he can KILL ALL, (I mean ALL those who even got a sniff of it.) those who helped him place those barrels. Remember, he had got all the cops tied and stripped of their uniforms in a room right next to the place where non other than the VVIP Mayor himself is holding a meeting or something. He is that daring.

    (“I’m gonna shoot your driver, at 55 mph.”)
    (“My face has been blown off, but screw the pain medication, my girlfriends dead!”)
    Reason: Two-Face is fighting for a very personal reason and once that reason (Rachael) ceases to exist, there is no meaning for Two-face or Dent to exist in this world anymore (according to him) so he is on a one-way suicidal mission and ready enough to follow command of the Coin even if it means his own probable death in a moving car. Remember, at the climax, when he says: “There is no escape from here” when he has Gordon’s family as hostage ?

    (“Hey there’s a burning fire truck,,, aw just drive around it…”)
    Reason: So what were the cops supposed to do ? Stop there and try to extinguish the fire which was a specialist Fire-Brigade’s job anyway ? And why to stop when the first cop (to notice the fire) had most probably notified the suitable authorities through his phone ? And their most vital task at hand was to see to it that Dent, the official Lawyer, and their White Knight reaches safely to
    his desired destination, the court for the hearing, where he was going to help prosecute the whole anti-social gangs of Gotham and help put them behind the jail. Some of them could possibly be the ones who put the truck on fire, in the first place.

    (“City streets are totally deserted during car chases?”)
    I never saw the streets empty and saw a lot of ducking and dodging going on by all those involved in the chase. Anybody can see it clearly. And it was night, so the streets may be (empty) afterall… especially in a city like Gotham.

    (“Hey Captain there’s a crapload of barrels containing explosives all over the ship, is that gonna be a problem?”)
    Reason: The Junior was loyal to his Captain and did only what he was supposed to do: To notify the events to the Captain as this situation was new for him. (And the words of the Junior here are a little exaggerated by the writer, anyway).

    (“I’m just gonna suck on this grenade til it blows up in my mouth.”)
    Reason: How many times in your life have you been a Bank Manager of the city’s most prominent bank, got robbed by a team of clowns, seen them all murdered in front of your eyes, faced pain all inside your *** because of the bullets, saw a whole damn BUS crash through a wall and THEN …seen a crazy Joker push a colorful something(you don’t know it’s a grenade) in your mouth and go away muttering some one-liners ? I think not MANY times probably. Because if you had, then you would remove that colorful something from your mouth quickly. BUT NOT in that awestruck and wounded condition where The Joker and the pain in the *** are more distracting than anything else.

    (“And I’m sure a whole street full of school buses full of school children and bus drivers would have thought nothing of a bus pulling out from halfway inside of a bank…”)
    Reason: So what were they supposed to do ? Stop there itself in the street and jam that whole long lane with a fully packed traffic coming from behind, and also ahead and on the side (opposite lane) ? And if The Joker can sabotage one single bus then it is most probable that all the school buses were driven by his own men to camouflage him. And stopping there means getting caught.

    Everything else is a suspension of belief.

    I hate TDK for only THREE reasons: ONE… Batman runs his Batpod suddenly straight on the wall and unbelievably turns it in quickly to put it in desired direction without facing any recoil action. TWO… Batman in the first fight, bends the barrel of the machine gun without inducing a fracture in the hands of the holder. THREE… (Though she was necessary) … the damn Rachael
    Dawes.

    (But it is still better than Iron Man’s (inexplicable) adventures.)

    PERIOD.

    This is my last Post here. Now I have some work to do OR ELSE my boss will say to me : “You are Fired” (you know — As Arnie in ‘True Lies’).

    Oh, My Boss is coming…

  4. “Everything else is a suspension of belief.”

    I think all of your “explanations” are suspension of belief… lol. You’re giving the movie excuses that it didn’t even try to make itself…

    But anyway, you have the right to come up with anything you want if you want to defend something…

  5. Ken,,,
    Amol, is using the “this is my last post trick”, I’ve seen this before.
    I learned along time ago, never argue with a TDK fan! :-)

  6. Ah, what Amol lacks in quick wit and humour you all are there for him in abundance

    I’m on Amol’s side on this one =)

    Rev

  7. Reverend said,
    October 1st, 2008
    Ah, what Amol lacks in quick wit and humour you all are there for him in abundance

    I’m on Amol’s side on this one =)

    Rev
    ——-

    Okaly Dokaly neighboroony…

  8. As I said before, this site is connected to a more bigger and prestigious one like IMDB (that’s how I came here) and shouts ALOUD: ‘Iron Man’ is better than ‘TDK’ WITHOUT BEING PROVIDED ANY JUSTIFICATION BY THE WRITER. The only thing he said was: “Hey guys! Don’t get me wrong. I am telling you that Batman is my ‘second’ (?) favorite hero. And that makes IM better than TDK.” Ha Ha Ha. Did you see that? What a nice explanation! [Sarcasm]
    What should we say about such a IM-fanboy ?
    And usually when I f**k someone (My GF who is a soon-to-be-wife OR an Office Colleague of mine), they don’t laugh. They go oooh and aaah, yes,… but NEVER laugh.
    I pretty much f**ked Iron Man here in this forum (without even undressing him) and he never laughed.
    This is the first time that I am f**king some guys in this forum, right from my first post to this one and they are… laughing…still. It’s amazing …their ignorance.
    I can clearly see their Top 25 movies from my position: (1) Iron Man (2) Iron-Man-2 (3) Iron-Man-3 (4). … 21. Anaconda 22. Blade 23. Dracula and Vampires 24. I Know What you did Last summer. 25. I Still Know What you did Last summer.
    I AM OK with that list of theirs IF they are some teenagers aged MAXimum 19 years or so. (My List was a lot better at that age.) But it seems they are clearly older than that, and that makes me wonder about their maturity level and IQ.
    May be they just hate Batman because they dislike like the fact that he CAN BE and WAS set in a real world and simply because they never understood TDK in the first place and that hurt their ego because I can simply clearly see that they are not that pussy Iron Man’s fans either.
    TDK is not a Documentary from some Discovery / National Geographic Channel that has to be SPOON-FED to anybody. It is an intellectual movie where some blink-and-miss events in it are to be grasped immediately when they occur and therefore that movie is not for guys who don’t carry COMMON SENSE.
    What I explained in my just previous post were not even plot-holes and were just some Common Sense points in TDK.

    @790,

    You were SO right that time. I like your foresightedness.
    That was not my last post. THIS ONE IS.
    ‘790’, if you have stopped arguing with TDK fans before, that means you have been shown your proper place before on every site (No need of a critic, or a fan like me, a fanboy is enough). And still you do not learn from your experiences and keep bringing up the same ‘so-called’ plot-holes(?) about (TDK/ any other movie) on every site. It’s amazing.

    Thanks 790.

    @Ken,

    What I have inserted in my previous post is clearly NOT any new script or a new theory as you thought it was but just some applied-‘Common Sense’. Anybody with a little common sense or a LITTLE foresightedness and a grasping power can do that for TDK. 95% of the Critics at ‘Rottentomatoes’ did that.
    And I used words like ‘probable’, ‘probably’, ‘may’, ‘may be’ to indicate Possibility and not Certainty even though, it’s obvious and in-the-face facts in TDK that I explained in my previous post.
    Anyway, ‘COMMON SENSE IS NOT COMMON.’
    Some people, can’t see through it. And THAT’S what makes TDK an INTELLECTUAL film and not just a straight forward brainless pop-corn movie like Iron Man. What these people need is a Spoon-Fed Documentary like a baby needs baby-food. Spoon-Fed.

    Thanks Ken.

    @790, @Ken both

    Just because you found faults of Iron Man as you did with TDK, DOES NOT mean IM and TDK are equal. Did you think: 1. they were or 2. did you do it just to avoid a backlash ?
    MAYBE the second option is correct. (See? Here I am using the word ‘Maybe’ even though I am CERTAIN about that. Here too I have not applied my SCRIPT or THEORY. Just simple COMMON SENSE. The same is the case with TDK.)
    And if I start justifying IN the favor of Iron Man, even Iron-Man fans (which I clearly see you are not) will be amazed that they themselves didn’t see through those much positive points of IM as I can see. They won’t be able to.
    But I won’t do any that. Because Iron-Man is simply…not well worth the attention (at least now). He is just about an enjoyable guy not to be taken seriously but watched only for … JOY. Hey! have heard that word somewhere before .…’JOY’?
    May be a long long time ago. Because by now you must have been robbed of that ‘joy’ by me.

    Thanks @790, @Ken

    @Heath

    Friend, next time you stand by some opinion, don’t be afraid but say it aloud, but please justify it IN A PROPER WAY. Or else you will be crushed this way by someone (if not me then somebody else).
    Don’t just keep saying: I love Movie_1, I love Movie_1, I love Movie_1, Guys, don’t get me wrong, I love Movie_1 so …Movie_2 is better.

    …Especially when connected to IMDB.

    Thanks Heath.

    Every time just next to my proper justification, I have found some blind sarcasm. Without any justification.

    I still say if you all TDK haters are below 19 years, I am with you because the intellectual TDK is not a child’s movie after all. But if you are not (under-19), then you were in for it (some bashing by me).

    Thank you.

    And everybody, please do appreciate, when TDK wins some Oscars coming February. IM will get the Editing one. Happy?

  9. @Amos

    You need to relax. I don’t think there’s a single TDK “hater” here. And the post above is an OPINION piece. Jeez, look at the title.

    Vic

  10. @Amos
    Why does anyone have to justify their opinion that they like one movie over another? Heath gave his reasons and they were justified. This is a site for opinion, right? I say the greatest movie of all time is The Ten Commandments, but many would say something else. It has nothing to do with common sense, it has to do with preference. I can definately see why a person would prefer IM over TDK, and this would not make them idiotic or less informed than anyone.

    So lignten up or I will have to unchain Kahless. 8-)

  11. Wow I was sort of on your side Amol up until that post. You went a bit to far and a little to childish.

  12. I KNOW this is a Opinion site and any justification is not needed for your opinion.
    If you all read my posts, I NEVER asked for justification FROM ANYBODY ELSE.
    All I said was if staying connected to IMDB, any writer is bound to be attacked by someone if not properly justified. That’ s a FACT. Nobody will care it’s a Opinion site or not.
    In verity, I really respect the honest guy Heath’s opinion. At least he is HONEST, and does not pretend at all. He’s is only being made a scapegoat here. I, myself, like the fully fantasy movie ‘Arabian Nights ‘ movies and do not feel the need to justify the events in it in terms of believability. I am OK with Heath. I adore his passion (and I said it long before)
    If somebody attacks TDK or for that matter, any of my favorite movies in the world, I don’t care. It’s fair enough. I never ask for a justification nor will I ask for one.
    But it’s surprising that ALL of you missed the point of my previous attacking post here.
    It was not because of an attack on the movie I support (which had it been, then could have been fair enough anyway) but it was due to the BASELESS inflammatory ATTACK ON “MY OPINION”, NOT ON THE MOVIE I SUPPORT: (“I think all of YOUR “explanations” are suspension of belief… lol. YOU’re giving the movie excuses that it didn’t even try to make itself….”).
    See the words are : ‘YOU’ and not ‘TDK or any of my favorite movie’ (in which case, could have been fair enough.)
    Whoever made the comment, was not opposing my favorite movie whatever that movie could be, he was attacking ME and SO I have my rights to attack the guy who attacked me. He cannot go scot-free. Right?

  13. Amol,,,
    You know that Batman isn’t real right?

    Its a movie… 8-)

  14. Um Amol, first of all, what happened to your “this is my last post” BS??

    Second, no I didn’t read your post, as usual, but I do have something “witty” to say about your first line:

    “As I said before, this site is connected to a more bigger and prestigious one like IMDB (that’s how I came here) and shouts ALOUD: ‘Iron Man’ is better than ‘TDK’ WITHOUT BEING PROVIDED ANY JUSTIFICATION BY THE WRITER.”

    Um, have you even noticed the title? “Why I Loved Iron Man More Than The Dark Knight”

    Do you notice the *I* in the sentence? Do you notice the word “Loved” in there too? Oh gee willikers, sounds like an OPINION!

    Something you clearly have no understanding of since you feel your OPINIONS are actually facts…

    Maybe you need to tag along with your little brother or sister or someone to elementary school where you can relearn the difference between an opinion and a fact.

    Or maybe the line distinguishing the two goes away when someone as utterly brilliant, such as yourself, is the one having the opinion? I guess if you’re so smart, your opinion MUST be considered fact? Hey who knows, maybe wings might be the next evolutionary step for pigs…

  15. THAT’S THE POINT!
    But he can be if one wants him to be. But try bringing into reality a Hulk or a Superman or an Iron Man or X-Men. They are mostly impossible from the view of Science.
    And the movie-Plot of TDK IS real! In TDK, just replace the character Batman with a normal human like Christian Bale himself or any one of the other lead heroes Denzel Washington, Brad Pitt or Tom Cruise and the movie still WORKS ! That’s the beauty of TDK or any Batman movie. Batman does not have Superpowers or miracles!
    But try replacing other Superheroes like an Iron-Man, Superman, or Hulk in their movies with a normal human and the script will become a Goof-Ball. A normal Human can’t stop a running train using bare hands (Superman)! A normal guy does not grow in physical size or becomes green as he gets angry(Hulk) …And X-Men will be in the Dust-Bin.
    You can’t replace Flying Miraculous Superheroes with a normal human! (And don’t give me the lame excuse of the EXAGGERATED Physics in Iron-Man working for the human guy Stark. Even for a Physics guy like me it’s the same as miracles.)
    See the difference between Batman and others ? What I am saying is if in TDK, we replace: 1. Batman with a normal guy with strong physical/mental strength (and a obsessive psychotic nature) 2. The Movie-Title ‘TDK’ with some other 3. and … just remove the Bat-Sonar then… the movie will …still work.
    Or just remove Batman’s suit. It’s the same.
    You all will still be pointing at those same plot-holes(?) and I would still be defending those without it being a Batman movie. Because you doubts are GENUINE and so are my explanations. (Go back and check your doubts about TDK. They have nothing to do with Batman’s Superpowers!)

  16. @Ken

    And btw, Did You Notice the big “WHY” in the title ?

    That requires a BIG JUSTIFICATION and a GOOD ONE at that.

    And that would have been my last post if you had not attacked me UNREASONABLY and just let me go. Did you see that in my attacking post I never explained a single thing from TDK ? It was just designed to show your place.

    …And Just remove that “Why” from the title and change the title to: “I Loved Iron Man More Than The Dark Knight” (since it is an opinion site.)

    …and EVERYTHING WILL FALL INTO PLACE.

    Hasta La Vista, Baby!

  17. LMAO! :-D

    That was hilarious. I feel so stupid right now. All this time I thought you were serious about this stuff.

    But hey, give me some credit, when you type large replies like that, it’s hard to realize that you’re just joking, seemed kind of serious at first. LOL

  18. @John “Kahless” Taylor

    Common sense has NOTHING to do with preference for a movie but …has LOT to do with understanding the plots of a movie.

    Did I, by any way, connected Common Sense with a preference or a love for movie ?
    I don’t think so.

    I connected maturity with the preference of movies.

    Do you expect a five-year old to love Saving Private Ryan ? No.

    He will love and only understand ‘Iron Man’.

    But A guy has to give a CLEAN Justification for his preference if his movie site title has a BIG “WHY” in it.

    And not just say: Guys, IM gave me ‘JOY’ so IM was the best film. What a opinion that was!

    … Especially when connected to Internet and IMDB.

    Just a Waste of Resources (Web-Space).

    @790

    (Batman is not real”)_

    I explained just before: In ANY Batman movie: you can replace Batman by any normal human Being without a suit and the movie will still work. That proves Batman can exists in real if one wants him to be. (See one of the posts before.)

    @TO ALL

    Even though I am an AI guy, I was not justifying any superpowers(?) of Batman.
    Was I? I don’t think so and I don’t remember so,… So I think pigs with wings are still a long way to go.

  19. @Ken

    I wrote all those SERIOUS big posts to just justify “Batman-The Character”.

    All I had to do was Add This line:
    “In ANY Batman movie: you can replace Batman by any normal human Being without a suit and the movie will still work. That PROVES Batman ‘CAN’ (AND NOT ‘DOES’) exists in real life if one has enough will-power, Physical/Mental strength and resources to live him because he does not have out-of-this-world superpowers.”

    You can’t do that with a Hulk or X-men or Iron Man.

    The character Batman is as fictional as the character Michael Corleone is and CAN be as real as Michael Corleone can be.

    And “TDK-The Movie” without a Batman is still a lot better mind-twisting Blockbluster than an “IM-the Movie” with Iron Man in it.

  20. @ Amol

    You are being ridiculous. Batman, as depicted in virtually every interpretation this side of Year One is IMPOSSIBLE. Wait, oK, IMPROBABLE, fairer. But improbable unlikely.

    Super rich. Hm, that’s like 1 in a million on this planet? 1 in a hundred million really. OK, check.

    Altuistic upbringing. Well, in a Christian country like America, altuism is pretty scarce. True altuism, which is only benefitting your sense of pride as opposed to your pockets, sex life, what have you. So Thommy Wayne, he’s now double on the rare side.

    Good genes. Lots of people have great genes. Most people have an allergy or two, but OK, super rich, super altuistic, fantastic chromosones.

    Tragedy of the retarded. So your super rich altuistic parents take you to a movie/opera in… the worst part of town. So your otherwise brilliant dad can’t differentiate between caring and a suicide walk? Fine, fine fine, most rich people, even the altuistic ones, wouldn’t be walking through Crime Alley, even if it were called Queens Blvd. Especially not the ones with great genes that make them very smart. Maybe they took stupid pills that evening, I dunno, but that’s a MAJOR elemant to the B-Man. And next…

    Psychosis specific. Watching your parents gunned down in front of you? Who knows how that’ll effect a kid? Depression, anger, blatant indifference? Bruce trains himself to become a Jedi to beat up criminals. That’s a very special kind of crazy, grandiose self righteous. I mean, no offense to cops or soldiers or presidents, but their sense of self worth is pretty bloated, imagine how much this crazy dude values himself?

    Which isn’t to say another actor couldn’t play the role, or… Wait, what? Your point is basically that Batman could happn in the real world with enough money and training? I contend he wouldn’t happen unless at the least those four things I addressed were made up in this person’s character. Otherwise, you got a jerk in tights, or worse, a punisher. Batman couldn’t exist in this world.

  21. @Amol @Ken J Ok, folks, let’s knock this down a notch and stop antagonizing each other.

    @Robert

    “Well, in a Christian country like America, altuism is pretty scarce.”

    I’m trying to decipher that comment… are you implying that BECAUSE America is a “Christian country” altruism is scarce? So non-Christians are more altruistic than Christians?

    “True altuism, which is only benefitting your sense of pride as opposed to your pockets, sex life, what have you.”

    You, my friend do NOT understand what “true altruism” is. Altruism has NOTHING to do with pride.

    Vic

  22. @ Vic

    I’m implying that altruism is pretty scarce in America for a Christian country. I’d expect us to be very much about helping each other out and understanding, loving our brother, and instead it’s about corporate greed, indifference other countries plights and Hell, our own brothers and sisters in Texas and New Orleans. There is altruism in America, it’s just rarer than you’d think for such a good Christian nation. Is my point.

    And altruism, brotha, is a lie. True altruism implies that the person doing the good deed gets nothing out of the deal. And that’s retarded. While no physical reward manifests, what the person benefits from is knowing they done the good deed and that someone/something benefited from their actions. And scoff if you like, but I call that a pride booster. The joy you see in the child you feds face? Yeah, that made you feel pretty good, didn’t it? So you benefited. TADA.

  23. @ himself

    Heh, this is about Iron Vs Batman. Hilarious.

  24. @Robert

    Sorry, bro. I don’t know what life experiences you’ve had, how young you are or what kind of people you hang out with but you are just plain wrong.

    Of course people “feel good” after doing something kind for someone – why shouldn’t they? But that’s not the REASON to do something good (which is what your are saying). The reason to do it is because it’s the right thing.

    You seem to be saying that anyone who donates their time to volunteer to help others is doing it for ulterior motives: self-satisfaction and pride. People who check out of their own lives to go down to hurricane-ravaged areas to help, those who volunteer to help widows or single mothers in their neighborhood, or when my wife cooks a week’s worth of meals for a friend who has cancer because she can’t take care of herself. These people are all doing this so they can “feel good?”

    Please.

    Speak for yourself if you would actually go that far to make yourself feel good, but you have no right to speak for those who are actually out there helping others.

    Unfortunately secularism is making everything “relative” and that’s one of the reasons Christians fight back so hard. Perhaps from a non-God-believer point of view what you’re saying makes sense (not making a general statement, just saying Christians do NOT look at it your way).

    And you are OBVIOUSLY not a parent because your analogy is, to use your word, retarded. If you think doing something that brings joy to your child is a self-serving act I hope you never have kids.

    Then again, if you DO have a child eventually, you’ll learn how backwards your above statement is.

    Heck, this is a movie site – you want a movie example? “It’s a Wonderful Life” with Jimmy Stewart. He sacrificed for years so it would make him feel good, right? Or the donations that came in to help him at the end of the movie? All just so those donating could feel better about themselves.

    I’m sorry you’re such a cynic. Maybe you need to change your circle of friends which are obviously supporting and feeding that view of the world.

    Respectfully,

    Vic

  25. Why is my line of thinking cynical? Because I think people are ultimately self serving? Perhaps that is cynical. I’m certainly not suggesting that people shouldn’t do what they percieve to be ‘good deeds’, and I don’t even question why they want to do them. My fundamental belief though is all we do in this life is either to help or hurt ourselves.

    Having kids is a self serving act, in my eyes. Most parents will tell you it’s a thankless job, and I believe it, in terms of the kid actually being appreciative of what you do for them. I’m saying, though, people choose to have kids because they want someone to unconditionally love, the joy of raising a child in this harsh existence, the kind of things I think are ultimately self serving. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The selfish gene need not mean meanness, need not require one to act in self interest at other’s expense. It simply states that all we choose to do is based on this inherent self interest.

    So. Don’t tell me you’re ‘sorry I’m such a cynic’. Tell me you find my view of looking at the world reprehensible, out of favor with the God you worship. Don’t tell me I should ‘maybe change my circle of friends’ assuming that I associate only with people who think like me. Most of my friends believe in God, buddy, so it’s rare to find someone who falls in my line of thinking entirely. This is fine with me because I don’t need other people to justify my beliefs.

    Finally, you make things like ‘self-satisfaction’ and ‘pride’ to be bad things. Now, pride is considered one of the big sins (though I question those sins and their role in human development). I contend, though, that pride and self satisfaction are vital to a healthy self image, but like in all things, moderation is key. Satisfied in a job well done? You should be. Proud of the home you’ve built with time care and family and friends? That’s a good thing. Proud to the point you can’t even look someone who disagrees with you in the eye? Probably going too far.

    Finally, you tell me not to speak for anyone else, yet you speak for other Christians under the assumption that all you Protestants think the same (presuming Protestant, most Catholics refer to themselves as such). I belive this position is hypocritical and I suggest reflecting on this.

  26. @ me.

    Heh, I said finally twice. Way to self edit.

    To kind of turn this back, I think this is a pretty major argument for both Iron Man and The Dark Knight, the issue of altruism. For example, in Iron Man, Stark behaved without any sense of serving anyone else, and as a result, saw his own selfish actions backfire on himself.

    The Dark Knight deals with altruism in a more complicated way, in that the Joker is suggesting that the Batman is sick and not behaving altruisticlly at all. The idea that the Batman is fundamentally good and the Joker is fundamentally bad is false (to the Joker that is) and his attempt to expose this is the devolution of one Harvey Dent. Complex, and it seems like the Joker makes his point well.

  27. @ everyone.

    Lets drop the which is better thing, because this is irrelevant. Heath is more than entitled to enjoy one over the other, and this too gets boring. Let’s talk about altruism and how it affects these two particular super hero flicks.

    Iron Man; Tony Stark is a self serving self involved self righteous jerk of a rich dude who ultimately is confronted by his own arrogance. It is in his suffering that Stark sees his actions have consequences and then pursues a nobler energy policy. Question; does he behave with altruism?

    The Dark Knight; The Joker seems to be suggesting things about Batman, and the nature of his war on crime. What does the Joker imply when he says Batman let five people die by not taking his mask off? What does Harvey Dent say in the context of altruism?

    Does Batman behave in altruism in the final moments of the film?

    No answers from me for now, just curious to your guys thoughts.

  28. You are correct that people are by nature self-serving, I’ll grant you that. The goal is to go beyond that and my point is that people I know that help others don’t think “Hey, I’m feeling a little depressed today, I think I’ll go help someone so it makes me feel better.” Which SEEMS to me to be your argument. If I’m misinterpreting you, I apologize.

    I wasn’t arguing that pride and satisfaction are “bad,” I stated that those should not be the reason for doing things, but by-products of the deed.

    I speak for Christians because I know and associate with Christians and I know what our beliefs as a group, are.

    I refer you to Star Trek: The Voyage Home and their conversation regarding a common frame of reference:

    BONES
    Spock, it’s me, Bones! I mean our
    experience was unique. You really
    have gone where no man has gone
    before. Can’t you tell me what it
    felt like?

    SPOCK
    It would be impossible to discuss
    the subject without a common frame
    of reference.

    BONES
    You mean I have to die to discuss
    your insights on death?

    I think about the above exchange ALL the time when discussing parenting with people who don’t have kids of their own. :-P

    Vic

  29. BTW, sorry if my first reply was harsh. I think this whole political season and all the nastiness floating about the internets has my back up.

    Vic

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