You can’t be good without Superman

Who do you think would win in the “Ultimate Cage Fight”? Superman or The Incredible Hulk? I mean Superman has that whole “Man of Steel” thing going on – he’s incredibly strong. I’ve seen him in comic books as he carried an entire office building through the air. (We will suspend our disbelief about structural stresses and fragmentation of the building into rubble.)

But the Hulk, he just gets stronger as he gets madder. As long as Superman keeps pissing him off, there might not be an upper limit to his strength. At that power level, if he did connect with Superman – the “Man of Steel” might need a dent-puller.

Still, Superman has brains, he has super-abilities like controlled flight, X-ray vision, heat beams from his eyes. He shouldn’t have a problem out-thinking his opponent if he has the time.

While it might be fun to wonder if this DC Comic character could win against a Marvel Comic character, it is also easy to recognize that ultimately the question doesn’t matter. Unless you actually work for Marvel or DC, the question has no impact on your life.

A real comic book aficionado might disagree. He might argue that following Superman’s catch-phrase kept him out of trouble as a youth. “Truth, Justice and the American Way” might have been just what he needed to quit the local gang and study to become a police officer or lawyer. This hypothetical person might give all credit for being a good person to Superman.

This doesn’t mean that Superman is actually responsible for a person being “good”, it merely means that the person in question found and followed a role model, a fictional role model. All credit for being a good person goes to the person in question. Superman had nothing to do with it.

This is what I think of when a devout Christian tells me that “you can’t be good without God”. I would think this person is mistaken. To me, even wondering about the existence of God is much like comparing Superman and the Hulk – ultimately it is a meaningless question and has no bearing on my life.

It is possible to use Jesus (and to a lesser extent, God) as a role model, if you stay away from the hateful parts of the Bible and perform some mental gymnastics. But if you are picking a fictional role model, I’d suggest someone a little more contemporary.

Personally, I’d pick Captain America. Superman can be an ass sometimes.

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