debate-hope-v-SunburnedPenguin - Winner Announced

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Re: debate-hope-v-SunburnedPenguin - Winner Announced

Post by katesawjack on Thu Jun 26, 2008 3:59 pm

I really do believe that you can not label a person either a hero or a coward on just one decision they may make.We are just talking about Jack here though.

So if you take this one last act of his making the call on whether to try to return to the freighter and rescue Jin, you have only others perceptions of your act as being either heroic or cowardly ?

The whole question of, whether it is better to be a coward or a hero, neglects the fact that not everyone can ,be a hero and regards heroism as something which can be achieved by just about anyone.

To be a hero or a coward is not something which is decided consciously and logically; one either is one or the other, in someone elses eyes.--the logic, reasons, and judgments we pass on it are post factum, in short, merely justifications.

So in my opinion Jack or anyone, can at sometime in their life-time be
either, because in the end isn't it really only what others perceive you to be?

I think Hope and SunnyP, both did a nice job of presenting their case, I just personally do not think it is a case of either black or white. Black being a coward or White being a Hero.
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Re: debate-hope-v-SunburnedPenguin - Winner Announced

Post by MyStarbuckHatesLost on Thu Jun 26, 2008 4:14 pm

I agree KSJ that nothing is 100% black and white (except maybe the stones in Adam and Eve's pockets)

My question is what truly determines that which makes one a hero or a coward?
If it is by deeds, Jack is a hero.
If it is by motivation Jack is a coward.
If it is by is by overcoming adversity Jack is a hero.
If it is by overcoming personal demons Jack is a coward.

Perhaps this boils down to what is the essence of Jack (sounds like a bad perfume name) Is he at heart, a man who can rise above his fears to do heroic deeds or is he one so enslaved by his inner demons that anything he will ever do is inadequate to make him more than what he is now?

And WTF, your assertion about the lack of character growth is a good one but I think it is only correct up to this point. We still have nearly 40 episodes left and there is no telling what direction his character will take so judging him by his growth (or lack thereof) to this point is, I feel, premature.
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Re: debate-hope-v-SunburnedPenguin - Winner Announced

Post by katesawjack on Thu Jun 26, 2008 4:32 pm

MyStarbuckHatesLost wrote:We still have nearly 40 episodes left and there is no telling what direction his character will take so judging him by his growth (or lack thereof) to this point is, I feel, premature.

Actually MSHL, I think we only have 32 episodes left, but maybe you know something we don't? Maybe you are counting a Zombie season? lol!
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Re: debate-hope-v-SunburnedPenguin - Winner Announced

Post by MyStarbuckHatesLost on Thu Jun 26, 2008 4:34 pm

Actually I think I heard that they are increasing the last two seasons to 17 per so we have 34 left
(that's 40 if you use new math Very Happy )

and the zombie seasons are going to be online only...and they will be musicals too!
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Re: debate-hope-v-SunburnedPenguin - Winner Announced

Post by TheHolyStickman on Thu Jun 26, 2008 5:58 pm

MyStarbuckHatesLost wrote:

My question is what truly determines that which makes one a hero or a coward?
If it is by deeds, Jack is a hero.
If it is by motivation Jack is a coward.
If it is by is by overcoming adversity Jack is a hero.
If it is by overcoming personal demons Jack is a coward.


So what your saying is that, to an outsider Jack is a hero. But to himself and those who know him very well, he is a coward.
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Re: debate-hope-v-SunburnedPenguin - Winner Announced

Post by MyStarbuckHatesLost on Thu Jun 26, 2008 6:09 pm

That's one way to look at it HSM. But I also think it is hard to tell what Jack is until the endgame plays out.
Example: Darth Vader Was a bad guy until he saved his son and we learned how he got to where he was. Without seeing the whole picture, it is hard to judge by actions alone.
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Re: debate-hope-v-SunburnedPenguin - Winner Announced

Post by TheHolyStickman on Thu Jun 26, 2008 6:51 pm

A coward does not have to be a bad person, just like a hero does not have to be a good person. In your example MSHL with Darth Vader you can't describe him as a coward in any way really. Unless you looked through every tiny detail. To the bad guys Darth Vader was a hero, to the good guys he was just bad, not a coward. So just because Jack does good things and is a good leader does that make him a hero?

In the last debate, 'Is Ben a good or a bad guy' there was a lot of talk about whether actions or intentions define a good guy. In this debate, I think that only actions can define a hero. In your side of the argument SunnyP you wrote a lot about what drives Jack to do what he does. But I would disagree with that. If Jack had been looked upon to become a leader and then did not it would be a cowardly act. If he was looked upon to be a leader but didnt want to, and he still does in my opinion it makes him more of a hero.

Lets look the main argument against Jack. The Jin decision. Jack had multiple options at this point and under pressure to make one he had to think quickly. He could have gone and went for Jin and told Frank to stay, but then if he didnt get him in time then both him and Jin would die and the chopper might have gotten damaged at least. He could have told Frank to go in 30 seconds if he didn't come back, but then he and Jin might have both died, Sun might have tried to follow, without Jack their leader they wouldn't have gotten a story together so well, they wouldn't have handelled the press very well. A lot of things would have went wrong without Jack. He could have left Jin and gone on the chopper, on the boat there were several life boats, werent there? Jin could have gotten on one of them instead of shouting towards the helicopter. When the chopper started leaking Sawyer jumped and swam back. We know Jin is a good swimmer and the freiter couldn't have been that far away from where Sawyer jumped. So in Jacks situation, I think he made the best decision. It didn't mark as a coward, but it didn't do anything to improve his hero status.

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Re: debate-hope-v-SunburnedPenguin - Winner Announced

Post by Hope on Thu Jun 26, 2008 7:51 pm

errr, darn it, I had this whole thing written up and now its gone!!!!!

Ok, what I was saying before it all just rudely disappeared is....

Jack isn't happy with his decision. Every since the freighter blew you could see remorse, but he moved on. He made the people still on the island and the people on the helicopter his main priority. He had everyone lie to protect every one still on the island and he tried to put every ones minds at rest on the helicopter. Whether it be his need to fix things or not, that need helped every one and will save everyone.
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Re: debate-hope-v-SunburnedPenguin - Winner Announced

Post by vincentthedog on Thu Jun 26, 2008 7:58 pm

Good points HSM I expet to see in in a later debate. I think this one was won from the start.
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Re: debate-hope-v-SunburnedPenguin - Winner Announced

Post by SamiLost on Thu Jun 26, 2008 9:07 pm

Jack is not a hero (and I'm not saying he is a coward) for the following reasons:

  • Jack has ego. Heroes don’t.
  • Jack acts rationally (often). E.g. he decided not to wait for Jin because his rational told him every one on the chopper, including himself could die and they might not even be able to save Jin. Heroes act spontaneously. They have fear but they don’t run away from it. They do things to save others without doing too much calculations and without thinking rationally.
  • Jack wants to save every one because he has to fix things. We have seen already what becomes of him when he has nothing to fix.
  • Jack needs to be praised. He wants to be a hero. That’s why he married Sarah. He didn’t really love her. He wanted her because he fixed her. He was proud. He owned that happiness. He was the possessor. He thought Sarah would always love him, praise him, idolise him for that.
  • Locke is a hero, and so is Sawyer. They did overcome their daddy issues. So is Desmond (he shouldn’t fear Widmore anymore. He did it for penny!). So is Hurley (he didn’t jump off the cliff and realised Dave was fake). I know there are more examples. Now how about Jack? He still has daddy issues! He is no hero for the exact definition that Hope has given here.
  • Who jumped out of the chopper to save others? Jack? No! He didn’t have the guts! He had to go home! That’s who Jack is!
  • Jack wanted to get on the submarine and go home! He said he was going to come back for every one else. But are we sure? Was he sure? He acted naturally and rationally. It was a chance for him and he grabbed it. Of course as a human being andas someone who wants to fix things he would try going back to them but he knew that he might not succeed. I’m saying that because how could he be so sure of being able to find the island when he was leaving on a submarine. The only info he had about location of the island was that Pilot gave him. Was he sure he can find the island by only that info? I don’t think so.
  • Leader does not mean hero!

P.S. I don’t think Jack’s count to 5 is a sign of being a coward! He acted rationally. It doesn’t mean he was a hero either.
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Re: debate-hope-v-SunburnedPenguin - Winner Announced

Post by SunburnedPenguin on Thu Jun 26, 2008 9:08 pm

Firstly I apologise for not being more active in this debate....I thought I would have more time than I have had....work has been manic!

Anyway....

There are some very good questions being raised about whether it is intentions or actions that make someone a hero or a coward, and I think this question is at the heart of the matter.

If I rescued a child from a burning building, I would be called a hero (or heroine I guess lol). But I would have to question my motives before accepting that. If my motives were driven purely on instinct to save that child then yes I would be a hero. If my motives were driven by the fear of what would become of that child and his/her family, then yes I would be a hero. But if my motives were driven by fear of what would become of me if I didnt save that child, I would not be a hero. I would be selfish, and the outcome is irrelevant....what matters (in judgement) is that I only saved that child because I feared what would happen to me if I didnt, not what would happen to the child. This would make me a coward.

There is a difference between performing a heroic act, and being a hero. And Jack crosses this line....he is so determined to be the great man and hero that he is so desperate to be, that this is what becomes his motive and his actions can only be described as selfish and cowardly.

Jack the hero, Jack the leader is a self-fullfilling persona he has created to satisfy his own needs, and convince himself he is not a failure....when deep down all he feels and all he fears is that very failure. Because he knows, as did his father, that he just doesnt have what it takes to fail.

I'm almost certain that if he had clarity of thought and let go of his fear, he really could be a hero and could have gotten a lot more people off the island, even if it meant a heroic self-sacrifice...like Saywers.

But he couldnt, because he had to see it through right to the end just to be certain he didnt fail himself. He couldnt take the risk of failing, and he trusts no-one else to see to through. This is also why he wanted to remain awake and in control during his operation Juliette performed, and why he insisted in running off with a newly sewn up appendix wound.

He is dominated by fear, he is a coward.

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Re: debate-hope-v-SunburnedPenguin - Winner Announced

Post by AlexT on Thu Jun 26, 2008 9:48 pm

I don't like the use of sawyer jumping out of the chopper as evidence that Jack is a coward. We need to remember that Sawyer was far from desperate for rescue. I also feel that had the situation worsened, Jack would have jumped out, I mean, Sawyer beat him to it in my mind, because he was least bothered about rescue, if it had been Bernard on the chopper instead of Sawyer and the thing was going down because it was too heavy and Jack knew that one person leaving could save it, he would leave. He would jump out to save the others. I'm 100% sure of it.
Remember when he told Kate not to return for him at the hydra? Despite the danger he was in. because he loved her, and one of his motivations was to save her regardless of what happened to him.
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Re: debate-hope-v-SunburnedPenguin - Winner Announced

Post by AngeloComet on Thu Jun 26, 2008 10:42 pm

By the way, in the helicopter and on The Freighter, Jack had only just undergone surgery.

Frankly, anyone who looked to him and expected him to jump out of the helicopter and swim back before they stepped up to do it is waaay more of a coward than him.
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Re: debate-hope-v-SunburnedPenguin - Winner Announced

Post by TheHolyStickman on Thu Jun 26, 2008 10:47 pm

AngeloComet wrote:By the way, in the helicopter and on The Freighter, Jack had only just undergone surgery.

Frankly, anyone who looked to him and expected him to jump out of the helicopter and swim back before they stepped up to do it is waaay more of a coward than him.

Good point Angelo, the fall might have killed him. Or else he certainly would have drowned on the way back.
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Re: debate-hope-v-SunburnedPenguin - Winner Announced

Post by Igs on Thu Jun 26, 2008 10:51 pm

FYI, like some other posters, I strongly believe that a hero is someone whose actions are heroic and whose intentions are noble in performing that act. For me, both actions and intentions matter (i.e. a courageous act may not be heroic if performed for an immoral purposed, and, on the other hand, merely acting with good intentions is not sufficient to make an act heroic).

I believe Jack is a hero because, ON THE WHOLE, Jack has acted heroically and is well-intentioned, even if his tragic flaw (his belief/fear that he is/will be a failure), at times, makes him self-centered and obstinate. I also believe that Jack’s story arc has taken him from hero to goat, but will lead him back to hero once again.

As mentioned here on several posts, we have seen a downward story arc for Jack since the end of Season 1. In the Pilot and most of Season 1, we saw Jack as the skilled Dr., the appointed leader of the Losties and the protector. When we were introduced to Jack in Season 1, he was a whiz kid -- Jack took control on the beach after the crash, he took control in re-locating many of the Losties to the caves, he went to the plane to find the receiver, and he stormed into the woods after Claire (and nearly was killed for it) and saved Charlie.

By the end of Season 1, we and the other Losties trusted Jack because his actions were so noble and seemed genuinely motivated by a desire to help people. We rightly saw Jack as a hero.

But as we have learned more about Jack, we have come to see that he certainly is a flawed man. These flaws have led us to question the Jack we knew -- the hero. And as we have learned more, the question has arisen -- is Jack truly a hero?

We learned that Jack’s virtuous acts are, in some ways, motivated by a deep neurosis. Jack is driven by a constant belief that he is inadequate, which was drilled into him by his father. His obsessive need to fix things is a product of this neurosis -- by fixing things, Jack can convince himself that he is adequate and by succeeding, he proves that he is not a failure. This is a neurosis that Jack, to date, has not adequately addressed or overcome.

Perhaps this neurosis was first, and best, exposed with Boone. Jack was so concerned with succeeding -- saving Boone after he was injured -- that he failed to recognize the obvious fact that Boone was going to die and Jack’s efforts were only prolonging his agony. It took Boone’s own words to stay Jack’s hand.

Our view of Jack as a hero, now, has been challenged -- how heroic are these acts if Jack’s motivation is so self-centered and self-serving. This view has been further challenged by some very un-heroic decisions -- (i) Jack “shooting” Locke, (ii) Jack allowing Ben to have Bernard, Jin and Sayid “killed”, and (iii) Jack leaving Jin behind on the boat.

For me, the acts above (excluding “shooting” Locke) are neither heroic or cowardly -- they are cold, rational calculated decisions that seemed to serve the greater good. The import of these decisions though is that we have seen a real change in Jack. I completely believe that Season 1 Jack would not have made the same decisions. He would have “tried to do it all” -- he would have gone back for Jin, he would have delayed the rescue to make sure the Bernard, Jin and Sayid stayed alive. He would have done everything in his power to help.

Not surprisingly, we now find that not only has Jack lost that nice “hero shine”, but also that he has fallen into a dark place (drug addiction and depression). Our hero is lost.

Yet, even now, on the brink of his own suicide, he comes to the rescue of accident victims. And more importantly, it appears he will come to the rescue of the other Losties. In fact, the most compelling view of Jack as a hero is his character in the Season 4 flash forwards. If he wasn’t a hero, Jack would be able to move on with his life. He cannot. Jack is being destroyed from the inside out by the lies and his own guilt. Even heroes make mistakes, but this hero is now determined to fix his mistake.

When it comes down to it, Jack is a hero because he generally acts the part, and equally as important, Jack is a man with “a good soul” (Rose). In the end, Jack’s neurosis is a side show -- I think Jack is a good man who does the right things for the right reasons anyway…it is his obsession though that obscures this to some extent.

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Re: debate-hope-v-SunburnedPenguin - Winner Announced

Post by TheHolyStickman on Thu Jun 26, 2008 11:02 pm

Jack is not a hero (and I'm not saying he is a coward) for the following reasons:

  • Jack has ego. Heroes don’t.
I don't know about that. All heroes usually have a touch of this. It makes them more believable as a character. I think that mainly heroism boils down to actions not emotions.

  • Jack acts rationally (often). E.g. he decided not to wait for Jin because his rational told him every one on the chopper, including himself could die and they might not even be able to save Jin. Heroes act spontaneously. They have fear but they don’t run away from it. They do things to save others without doing too much calculations and without thinking rationally.
Yes, Jack could have gotten off the chopper to save Jin, and yes he might have gotten back, but what about if he didn't. Frank might have lost his nerve and flew off, Jack might have bumped into Jin while trying to get him wasting precious seconds. Some heroes don't act rationally to develop the storyline. If Jack had gotten Jin, but not gotten on to the chopper. Then that would be the problem in a classic hero movie where he eventually saves the day. Lost is more complex than that. But, more realisticly Jack stopped anyone from going and they waited for a while but had to leave Jin. Jack was a hero there. He saved 8 lives. Jack may not be a classic hero, but he is one none the less.

  • Jack wants to save every one because he has to fix things. We have seen already what becomes of him when he has nothing to fix.
Isn't this the mark of a hero. What do you think Superman would do if suddenly he was forgotten and no-one needed him to save the say anymore. I would think he'd be pretty upset. Wanting to fix things is what makes Jack a hero, if he didn't have that drive he might not have become the leader of the group and done all the things that he did.

  • Jack needs to be praised. He wants to be a hero. That’s why he married Sarah. He didn’t really love her. He wanted her because he fixed her. He was proud. He owned that happiness. He was the possessor. He thought Sarah would always love him, praise him, idolise him for that.
  • Locke is a hero, and so is Sawyer. They did overcome their daddy issues. So is Desmond (he shouldn’t fear Widmore anymore. He did it for penny!). So is Hurley (he didn’t jump off the cliff and realised Dave was fake). I know there are more examples. Now how about Jack? He still has daddy issues! He is no hero for the exact definition that Hope has given here.
  • Who jumped out of the chopper to save others? Jack? No! He didn’t have the guts! He had to go home! That’s who Jack is!
  • Jack wanted to get on the submarine and go home! He said he was going to come back for every one else. But are we sure? Was he sure? He acted naturally and rationally. It was a chance for him and he grabbed it. Of course as a human being andas someone who wants to fix things he would try going back to them but he knew that he might not succeed. I’m saying that because how could he be so sure of being able to find the island when he was leaving on a submarine. The only info he had about location of the island was that Pilot gave him. Was he sure he can find the island by only that info? I don’t think so.
  • Leader does not mean hero!
Sorry, will finish this later gotta go now!

P.S. I don’t think Jack’s count to 5 is a sign of being a coward! He acted rationally. It doesn’t mean he was a hero either.
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Re: debate-hope-v-SunburnedPenguin - Winner Announced

Post by Hope on Thu Jun 26, 2008 11:57 pm

Jacks count to 5 was him conquering his fear. It was still there but he didn't let it get the best of him. I also don't think that it is fair that we are analyzing Jack and Sarahs marriage. We didn't see the courting, we don't know if she initiated it or him. What I am saying is just because she gets angry and wants to leave him doesn't mean its all his fault. She had a new man pretty fast and was knocked up. It could be Jacks fault but we don't know for sure. She could be using this whole "you need to fix everything" nonsense because she needs a defense. Anyways....

I don't think Jack is all that affraid. He just does, he has never showed fear. Even after he was captured and put in a tank, he didn't show fear. He was upset but he never let his fear get the best of him.

When he heard that the others were coming to his camp, he wasn't affraid, he was brave. He set up a counter attack and then he lead everyone to the radio tower under the assumtion that they would be rescued. He didn't faulter, he led the pack. He didn't even show fear when he thought that Ben was going to shoot Jin, Sayid, and Bernard. He managed the situation.
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Re: debate-hope-v-SunburnedPenguin - Winner Announced

Post by wtfsignmeup on Fri Jun 27, 2008 12:54 am

Another problem I have with Jack is his neglect of his nephew.
I think it was an undeniably cowardly act for Jack to avoid contact with Aaron.
While Kate was in jail, Aaron appears to have been left in the care of a nanny,while Jack, his uncle, was nursing his bruised ego/conscience instead of caring for his nephew. He instigated the lie that Kate was Aarons mother (told her she did well at the press conference) but when Aaron became a reminder of the fact that he left his sister behind, he certainly didn't step up. Not until Kate sweetened the deal. To me it appeared that she was trying to create a family for Aaron and also trying to help Jack to bond with his nephew but Jack blew that whole relationship out of the water due to insecurities and his daddy issues.

Actually if you apply MSHL logic for why Sawyer jumped out of the chopper to Jacks bailing out of Kates and Aarons lives....Jack is a coward.
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Re: debate-hope-v-SunburnedPenguin - Winner Announced

Post by TheHolyStickman on Fri Jun 27, 2008 1:12 am

As the poll is added soon, I would just like to remind everyone, that although you may have a strong belief in either side, it's who you thought argued better or who changed your opinion slightly not which side you thought from the start. Smile I know who I'm voting for.

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Re: debate-hope-v-SunburnedPenguin - Winner Announced

Post by MyStarbuckHatesLost on Fri Jun 27, 2008 10:54 am

True HSM

And you are correct WTF. By the logic I applied to Sawyer jumping from the chopper Jack is indeed a coward in his personal life. But is personal life the only standard by which we judge aperson to be a hero or a coward. I know lots of people (policemen, firefighters, etc) who risk their lives every day to protect people as part of their job but who have run away from personal relationships and utterly screwed up their family lives. Yet we look at them as heros thought they couldn't make a relationship work if they had to.
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Re: debate-hope-v-SunburnedPenguin - Winner Announced

Post by wtfsignmeup on Fri Jun 27, 2008 11:12 am

So an act of cowardice does not a coward make?
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Re: debate-hope-v-SunburnedPenguin - Winner Announced

Post by MyStarbuckHatesLost on Fri Jun 27, 2008 11:37 am

If that is the person's only act, yes.
But you cannot judge a person by one action anymore than you can judge a book by just one word.
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Re: debate-hope-v-SunburnedPenguin - Winner Announced

Post by StitchExp626 on Fri Jun 27, 2008 11:40 am

The poll will be added in about 2.5 hours

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Re: debate-hope-v-SunburnedPenguin - Winner Announced

Post by DontDisJack on Fri Jun 27, 2008 1:20 pm

I have to agree with everyone that said that Jack's fear of failure does not make him a coward - if he ran away from his fear that would make him a coward. (I would argue Sawyer going with Locke to the Barracks was a greater example of someone succumbing to fear than Jack taking 5 seconds before saving someone's life in surgery...)

The great traditional heroes always have a flaw (or hamartia) which is part of what makes them so heroic. Jack's stubborness/need-to-fix/save is his flaw which causes his post-Island downfall.

That said, I'm not sure which way I will vote. I wasn't convinced by Hope's application of Jack's character to the stages of the Hero's journey, but equally I didn't agree with SBP's examples of cowardice from Jack.

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Re: debate-hope-v-SunburnedPenguin - Winner Announced

Post by wtfsignmeup on Fri Jun 27, 2008 1:44 pm

Its interesting how often the acts of both Sawyer and Jack are compared against each other to prove a point.(I'm guilty of it). I just wonder if anyone can explain (Im honestly curious) why we compare those two so much instead of Jack and Locke, Jack and Sayid or Sawyer and Ben for example.
Is it because of the Kate factor? I guess it could be in my case.
Maybe its a debate topic in itself.
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Re: debate-hope-v-SunburnedPenguin - Winner Announced

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