Was the 2nd Snap (Avengers Endgame) the Right Thing to do?

Okay, Thanos snapped his fingers and half of all (animal?) life on Earth went poof.

But that wasn’t all. When pilots or drivers go poof, the passengers in it- or what the plane or car hits- often dies. Bedridden people die as their caretaker went poof. Pets die. Insurance companies go bankrupt. People lose their breadwinners/parents/employers, the economic mess is a disaster. I am sure we can come up with more bad things.

But time passes- five years or so. The air gets cleaner. Wildlife recovers (except a very few species where wiping out half causes extinction) . Humans adapt. Housing is cheap, food is plentiful.

Then the second snap. All the "poofed’ come back. But where? In the middle of the freeway? Up in the air? In the middle of the ocean since their car/plane/boat isn’t there anymore. However, do the secondary victims come back also? The 30 passengers in that small jet where the pilot went poof?

Suddenly, families are re-united but some are five years older. Ranchers suddenly have twice as many animals, etc- which could be good if they have enough feed and water for that many, but also bad. Housing is at a crisis. Poofed people will find their homes sold or re-occupied. Spouses will have remarried. Poofed will have no jobs waiting for them. The infrastructure is not there to handle twice as many people- people starve, die, etc.

So, was the Second Snap the ethical/moral thing to do? I am leaning towards no.

One of the conditions of the second snap was that the people coming back would do so in a safe manner. How? Well, essentially the snap was god-level powerful “a wizard did it”.

Some of the problems you bring up were addressed in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, which you might not have seen, including people displaced because someone else moved into their homes/businesses/whatever during “The Blip” and a group of people who think the world was better with half the population gone.

I think it was a major flaw of the movies that they just glossed over all of those secondary effects. We’d be lucky if 10% of the population survived the Snap, and it’s probably be more like 1%.

You already covered the planes where the pilot (and co-pilot, if there was one) vanished. And the same thing with cars: Half the cars on all the roads suddenly became driverless, which means that nearly ever car is going to be involved in a crash. Which in addition to killing most people who were on the roads, will also mean that the roads will become mostly impassible.

Some people will have been cooking at the time, or otherwise tending a heat source: A lot of those will end up starting fires, as well as fires started by crashing vehicles. So we’ll have a lot more fires than usual that day… when half of the firefighters are gone and the roads clogged. Old Lady Leary’s cow just kicked over every city in the world.

And then consider that the vast majority of the world had no idea what was going on: A lot of folks are going to assume that this was the doing (somehow) of some other Earthly nation, and some of those folks will have their fingers on buttons. Nukes will fly. And among the survivors of that, you’re going to have a significant number of people who figure that all rules are now off, and who form into Mad Max-style terror gangs.

Remember all, this is GD and not the Cafe, please address the question of the Debate:

I think so. The snap was certainly an action of great evil worsened by the fact that it would be ineffective in its goal (populations would return to normal quickly). Thanos would have been better off snapping for double the number of resources to be created than to halve populations. Taking this outside of the MCU, if I had the power to snap my fingers and undo every murder or every rape or every ‘any other evil act’, then would I do it? Yes, certainly. Since Thanos’ snap was an act of murder, then I would certainly undo it.

Everything a magical or super powered individual does is going to have unintended consequences. If a superhero actually stopped to consider the secondary consequences of their actions they couldn’t ethically ever use those powers. In the real world, Peter Parker’s motto would be “with great power comes the responsibly to never use those powers.”

The 2nd snap wasn’t the right thing to do, especially the way Tony demanded it be done.

But what the MCU really got wrong was portraying the “Thanos was right” sentiment starting after the 2nd snap when that movement would have started within days of the first snap.

I’d say that it’s not really something that can be answered without knowing what Tony’s “wish” was when he snapped. I have no reason to believe that the glove/Stones acted as a Monkey’s Paw that would restore people in mid-air or in front of speeding cars, and future films didn’t really suggest the level of chaos some people insist would have happened so I think it was an overall net positive to a large degree. On a micro level, I’m sure someone’s abusive spouse returned or similar problems but, overall, everyone seemed pretty happy to be reunited.

We have no way of knowing what Tony’s exact thought was but the Stones seemed to parse it as “Peacefully restore the people lost by Thanos’s Snap” and that’s pretty much what happened so… seems like the right choice to me.

I’ll now cover for myself by admitting that I haven’t consumed every bit of post-Avengers MCU so this is based more off the parts that I have seen.

An interesting twist to the OP, is by which ethical standards are we judging? Because, so far we’ve only discussed Earth, and this is a Universe (Multiverse?) wide phenomena.

I’m reminded of an old so-so scifi novel Manhattan Transfer in which the city is stolen by aliens, who bubble it, and leave it aboard their ship (after supplying food, water, and energy) on their way to steal others. Humans sneak out and see other cities from other planets including an example in which a certain species segregated cities by sex. So left with only one of a binary option, were left to die out on their own.

Just an example of the unintended consequences of the original snap writ large: sure, it was impartial, but the results could/would have been utterly uneven. Pretty much proving Thanos was doing it for the love of death (per the original comic character) rather than his stated altruistic intentions.

So, keeping the above in mind, I lean on the side of the 2nd snap being more moral than not, due to a chance to rectify those errors, and possibly save societies that would otherwise be utterly lost. While there would be cases where the return would absolutely break the re-emerging new societies (I have NO idea how they’re going to double food production [ or more considering the secondary die-offs stated above ] ) those are pragmatic issues, not moral or ethical ones.

Sure, That doesnt solve the tens (or hundreds) of millions who died in accidents, etc after the first snap.

True, and food cant move, meaning starvation.

Yeah, but the sequels did not indicate that, so we have to go by the start or Endgame, where things were indeed- grim but getting better.

Okay, and this was covered in sequels, so fine. Still, that leaves issues.

Thank you.

FWIW, I think this applied to the first snap, too - Thanos wanted exactly half the universe dead, not half + incidental casualties, and the Stones are literally omnipotent, so it would be trivial for them to make sure they didn’t snap a pilot and leave a bunch of people stuck on the plane, or snap a doctor mid surgery. So far as I’m aware, nothing in the MCU has explicitly stated that someone died as a direct result of someone getting snapped, although there’s been enough stuff at this point that I might have missed something.

Tony’s snap was the 3rd one. Banner/Hulk’s snap was the second and I assume the one in question.

Whoops. Well, I was referring to the correct Counter-Snap if not the correct Counter-Snapper.

Smart Hulk was the one to do the counter-snap, but at Tony’s direction on how to perform it. Tony was emphatic that Hulk just bring everyone back starting now, and not to try to rewrite history. I don’t think it was stated outright, but I gathered Tony did not want Hulk’s snap to unmake Tony’s daughter.

The question boils down to “Decillions of lives (at least) are murdered. You can undo their murder. Is it ethical to do so?”

I’m going to come down on the Yes side.

I think that it was the right thing to do, from the standpoint of undoing countless billions of murders, though, as both @DrDeth and @Broomstick note, the sudden return of those people (and other creatures) certainly did lead to complications and pain.

There was a reason for him choosing killing, rather than some other solution for the problem he observed, though it’s more from the comic books, and not really touched on in the MCU, so I’ll put it in a “details” fold-out:

In the comic books, and the original Infinity Gauntlet story (on which the movies were based), Thanos was, literally, in love with Death. In Marvel comics, a number of metaphysical concepts are embodied as beings, and Death is one such being; she’s usually depicted as female, in some fashion.

In an attempt to impress Death, and win her love, Thanos embarked on a lot of mass murders, including killing half of the life in the universe in Infinity Gauntlet, just as in the movies.

This isn’t remotely complicated. Yes, absolutely it was the right thing. Oh, it causes logistical issues? Boo fucking hoo, billions of innocent lives saves per planet so vastly outweighs downsides that it’s not close.

I own the original comics. :slight_smile: They’re great! Ever since the MCU started I’ve re-read them a few times. I appreciate you having it in a spoiler (fold-out) though. My response was strictly from the point of view of the MCU. :slight_smile:

I thought it was right there in Infinity War that a plane was seen crashing?

Also traffic accidents and a helicopter crash. Granted, that was a post-credit scene.