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Dexter and Morality: Is Dexter Moral?


In 2007, I wrote about the TV Show: Dexter and The Shield: bad is good. When I first watched the show, it did feel right, I explain it in my article:

[…] Some people would say killing serial killers or child molesters is OK, some others may think Mackey is doing right using the same methods the gangs use in the streets. I’m against death penalty and I don’t think corruption is good in any kind of way, so how can I enjoy watching Dexter and The Shield? These shows are definitely good entertainment. Both series succeed in getting you close to the personality of the main characters; Dexter might be a serial killer but he can emulates feelings (or he tries to) and have an apparent normal life, Vic Mackey might be violent but he truly loves his family.

I was talking about these shows with friends and some questions raised about the content of today’s TV shows. Are they a true reflection of our time? Does Dexter have the right to kill people on his own judgement? Does The Shield depict the reality of police corruption? Can entertainment be allowed to show any kind of content without any responsibilities only because it’s considered like entertainment and not a real thing? […]

Apparently, I was not the only trying to find a way to ‘feel better’ about Dexter’s killings. I just read a post on a Blog and the arguments on Dexter’s morality are interesting:

‘The question now changes from “Is Dexter moral?” to “Do Dexter’s actions cause an increase in the overall well-being of others?” To keep this as straightforward as possible, I’ll stick with the premise that Dexter only kills murderers who have killed innocent people, and in most cases have done it several times. These “victims” of Dexter are the scum of society, and have caused immense suffering and loss of well-being to many people.

By killing murderers, Dexter obviously isn’t increasing the well-being of victims who were killed in the first place. However, Dexter ensures that these murderers never kill again. In the world of Dexter, who knows how many people are still alive thanks to Dexter’s interventions. Also, while the killers might not experience well-being for themselves thanks to Dexter, their removal from existence should, statistically speaking, increase the overall well-being of everyone else, even if it’s by just a tiny fraction in the grand scheme of things.’

I guess the topic can still be discussed. Even if some people would say ‘It’s only a TV Show after all!’.






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