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Did Michael deserve to be stuck in Lucifer's cage?

Posted by Jason on September 7, 2018 at 12:10 AM

Whatever Happened to Michael on Supernatural?

Currently, Supernatural is focused on an alternate universe version of Michael the Archangel, who has been set loose on the main universe with Dean Winchester as his vessel. As a result, it is natural for Supernatural fans to wonder about the fate of main universe version of Michael, who has been stuck in Lucifer's Cage since the end of Season 5. Something that in turn, leads one to wonder whether Michael deserves his current fate in the series or not.

Does Michael Deserve to Be Stuck in Lucifer's Cage?

Unfortunately, justice is one of the most complicated philosophical issues that can be found out there, so much so that people are still considering the matter even though some of the finest minds to have ever existed have labored on the same task since the start of the human experience. As a result, it is perfectly possible for different people to come up with different positions on the matter even if they have access to the same information about all of the relevant parties as well as all of the relevant facts.

For starters, it is important to note what it means when one says that Michael is stuck in Lucifer's Cage. Unfortunately, we don't get a lot of exact details about the conditions of imprisonment in said location, but we have more than enough information to conclude that it is rather unpleasant. For example, Lucifer's greatest fear is said to be being returned to his prison. Likewise, Michael is said to have gone mad as a result of his imprisonment. On top of this, it should be mentioned that solitary confinement is supposed to have such a horrendous impact on people that it can start causing permanent damage in as little as 15 days, which explains why such a wide range of respected bodies consider it to be outright torture. Granted, Michael isn't actually in solitary confinement because of the presence of Adam Milligan, but one step less terrible than solitary confinement isn't much of a step up. Summed up, it seems reasonable to say that Michael being stuck in Lucifer's Cage is effectively a sentence of eternal torture.

As a result, the issue of whether Michael deserves to be stuck in Lucifer's Cage or not depends on whether a sentence of eternal torture can ever be considered just. There are people who would say, "Yes," but in most cases, the probable conclusion is, "No." Said sentiment would be true even in pre-modern societies that ran on lex talionis, which might be more familiar to people as "an eye for an eye." Certainly, such societies were very brutal from our perspective, but fundamentally, lex talionis meant that justice consisted of proportionate rather than disproportionate retribution, thus limiting what could be done to wrongdoers. Granted, Michael committed a lot of horrendous acts and would have gone on to commit even more when he was pushing for the Apocalypse to happen, but what he did was nonetheless finite in nature, which in turn, means that even under lex talionis, his sentence should be finite in nature as well.

Of course, we are not our pre-modern predecessors. For a lot of us, retribution remains a component of what we believe to be justice. However, we put a much greater emphasis on rehabilitation, so much so that some of us would even say that there is no room for retribution whatsoever. As a result, chances are good that an even greater proportion of us would say that Michael does not deserve a sentence of eternal torture no matter how bad he was.

Further Considerations

With that said, there are various counter-arguments that can be made against what has been said. For example, the chain of reasoning rests on the position that Michael being stuck in Lucifer's Cage is in effect a sentence of eternal torture, meaning that it is possible to undermine the chain by attacking the idea that the conditions of his imprisonment are indeed torturous. Likewise, it is important to point out that one of the reasons that society imprisons people is to stop them from committing further crimes. In that light, Lucifer's Cage might be justifiable because there are very few ways that an Archangel can be imprisoned in so secure a manner, meaning that while the conditions of Michael's imprisonment are torturous, his suffering is not enough to overrule the horrors that he would unleash upon the world.

Categories: Gaming and other topics, Supernatural TV Show