Earlier this week on FB, I had mentioned this website, the Real Life Superheroes. They are a group of real people who have taken to wearing superhero-styled costumes and going out to fight crime. In other words, they are living the lives previously seen only in comic books. So the question is, is this a good idea?
Well, I say that no, it's not a good idea. While superheroing is cool in the comic books, trying to do that in real life is taking the law into their own hands; that is, it's called vigilantism. It becomes a problem because each person has a different idea of "justice".
No society can possibly function if everyone is out trying to impose their idea of "justice" on the rest of us. If our society is going to advance in any way, shape, or form, then we all must try to abide by a set of agreed-upon set of rules so that we can concentrate on other things. If there are any problems with the agreed-upon set of rules, then that society can try to work it out.
There are, of course, some variances and subtleties that I'm leaving out (mainly in regards to living in an oppressive regime), but that's because they aren't necessary to the basic argument that taking the law into your own hands is generally not a good idea.
By the way, in my "universe", only those who work for the government's Department of Superhuman Studies are allowed to don costumes and fight crime in the traditional comic book sense. Regular humans are especially discouraged from wearing costumes and fighting crime in the comic book tradition because of a group of superhuman supremacists known as The Code.
The "code" of The Code refers to the genetic code that gives superhumans their powers, and like all supremacists, they believe that thier "community"; that is, the superhuman community, is above regular humans. They reject the current theories of superhuman scientists that say that superhumans are an offshoot of humanity rather than the next step up in human evolution.
Anyway, one of the core beliefs of The Code is that only superhumans can wear costumes and live the lives as depicted in comic books. Silly I know, but they think that only costumed superhuman can possibly come close to living up to the ideals shown in comics. Governments at all levels, from federal to state down to nearly all larger cities have laws forbidding humans from wearing superhero-styled costumes - not to oppress them but to protect them from The Code, who get so offended by humans wearing such costumes that they will punish them. If the costumed human is lucky, then the Code member will simply rip the costume off of them, but some members of The Code will use their powers to torture or even kill humans in costume.
In case you're wondering, The Code tolerates me wearing a superhuman costume because I'm superhuman, but they view me as a traitor because I work for the government. I've been in a constant battle with them, going back and forth with them trying to kill me because I work for the "oppressors of superhuman kind" and them trying to recruit me into their ranks. Same goes for Lucky Shot, my co-worker. In fact, one of the few things me and Lucky agree on is that we both can't stand The Code.
I'll try to write more on The Code another time, because they are a very interesting topic of study. Have a great weekend!