Tuesday, May 2, 2017
Final Report Installment #2 Lillia Hendrickson (Class 10) Dexter and Philosophy
Continuing on my last installment about Dexter, the television series about a serial killer who kills other serial killers, I am here to pose more of a deeper philosophical question for y’all. Should Dexter be held morally responsible for his actions? On one hand he can be a heartless human. For example, going back to an excerpt in my last installment with the Donovan example where Dexter dug up the bodies of the children that his first victim of the season raped, murdered, and buried in the middle of the forest. Dexter put the bodies in a shed in the middle of nowhere and brought Donovan there to stare into the rotting faces of. Usually he shows his victims the obituary photos of their victims, but for Donovan, he was different. That shows that he is ruthless and brutal, but it also shows that he is able to put a cap on his abilities only when he feels necessary. In any of his other cases, Dexter could have dug up the victims of his victims but he only does that for one, the grown man who took advantage of little boys. Back to the question I posed early, should Dexter be held morally responsible for his actions? The other hand in the issue is that he can not help his urge to kill, and we know this based on the fact that before he was old enough to even know that what he was doing was wrong, he was doing it. He started off killing rabbits and squirrels but then it escalated to the neighbors’ dogs and cats. His adopted father, Harry, found the hole where he would bury all his kills and asked Dexter about it and he said he could not help it. He also said his urge craved more than any four legged animal could satisfy. He craved human blood. This is the point where I think this question could be divided into two. If from here, Harry told Dexter that it was not normal to feel this way and told him to simply ignore the problem, then yes, Dexter would be held morally responsible. I say this because he would obviously succumb to his desires eventually but then his victims would be innocent people because he never was taught any better. BUT, luckily for Dexter, Harry did not tell him to ignore the desires but instead taught him how to be a good person while feeding his cravings. He taught him to seek out serial killers and kill them so he is doing good to the world. He is taking one life in exchange for who know how many others. But does this make his free of any moral responsibility? If so, would you go as far to say he is a hero? Heroes save lives am I wrong? So now I pose the question of, in Dexter’s case, what constitutes him as a hero and what actions constitute him as a villain? Can one be both or is that completely impossible?
link to first installment:
CoPhilosophy: Final Report Installment #1 Lillia Hendrickson (Class 10) Dexter and Philosophy