Batman / Batman Joker

Should Batman Kill the Joker Utilitarianism?

The Batman-Joker relationship is one of the most iconic in comic book history, and it has been a subject of debate for years. One question that often arises is whether Batman should kill the Joker. Utilitarianism, a philosophical theory that emphasizes the moral worth of actions based on their ability to maximize happiness and minimize suffering, can help us understand this issue.

What is Utilitarianism?

Utilitarianism is a consequentialist ethical theory that argues that the morality of an action depends on its consequences. According to utilitarianism, an action is morally right if it produces the greatest amount of happiness or pleasure for the greatest number of people affected by it. On the other hand, an action is morally wrong if it produces more pain or suffering than pleasure.

The Case for Killing Joker

Based on utilitarianism, some argue that Batman should kill the Joker because it would prevent him from causing more harm and suffering to innocent people. The Joker has killed countless individuals and caused widespread destruction and chaos in Gotham City. By killing him, Batman could prevent future harm and save lives.

Moreover, not killing the Joker could be seen as prioritizing his life over others’ lives and well-being. According to utilitarianism, this would be an immoral decision since it would result in more pain and suffering for innocent people.

The Case Against Killing Joker

Others argue that killing the Joker would be against Batman’s moral code as a hero who fights for justice and protects innocent lives. Batman believes in due process and upholding the law rather than taking matters into his own hands.

Moreover, killing the Joker could lead to a slippery slope where Batman may feel justified in killing other villains who pose a threat to society. This could result in him becoming a vigilante who takes justice into his own hands rather than working within the legal system.


In conclusion, the question of whether Batman should kill the Joker is complex and multifaceted. While utilitarianism may argue for killing the Joker to prevent future harm, Batman’s moral code and commitment to justice may prevent him from taking such drastic action.

Ultimately, it is up to the reader to decide which argument they find most convincing. However, it is important to remember that utilitarianism is just one ethical theory among many, and there are numerous factors that must be considered when evaluating this issue.