posts 16 - 30 of 37
loveholic
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 6

The Bad Samaritan

1. I think Cash's actions should have been influenced by the fact that she was a young child getting brutally assaulted and murdered for no good reason. The majority of people would easily step in and intervene if a child is involved in a dangerous situation regardless of if they know them or not, so the fact that he was able to simply stand by and watch without really saying anything or trying to stop his friend is not okay. Although in a lot of situations people are not obligated to help, they should feel the need to do so if someone is at risk especially if is someone of a more vulnerable state. There aren't necessarily different rules, but depending on the severity of what's happening witnesses might not be able to physically intervene but call authorities for help.


2. I'm not sure about the name of this law, but I was told about it this summer since I worked as a lifeguard. It's basically where if you are a trained medical professional or you're CPR/first aid certified you are legally obligated to help someone in need even if you're off-duty. So in cases like that, you always have to help in an emergency situation. But in general I don't think we are legally obligated in all cases and states to help people.

3. Reading about the incident on the 36 was horrifying because it was another young child who could have been killed and was physically attacked. It's sad that people can stand still and watch something like that unfold. Even if it was a family member of his or whatever the situation was, there was clearly something wrong and something needed to be done.

Camm230
South Boston, MA, US
Posts: 8

1)A lot of facts about this case should have governed Cash's decisions on this night, the fact that Sherrice was seven years old and clearly a minor, she was in a casino at 3 a.m., and his friend went into the women's bathroom in the first place. There are a lot of things that should've waved many red flags to prevent this horrible case from happening. For arguments sake say they both have no emotion and don't care for human beings lives which is why this awful thing happened, did they think they would just get away with it? That no one would find the body? Look at security cameras? They where both in college, more than that in a school extremely hard to get into did they think they could continue going to classes as normal after that? So if nothing else would have governed his decisions if Cash had no moral compass and truly didn't about the life of this innocent child, but he cared about his best friend wouldn't it have crossed his mind that his friend might get in trouble for this? In one of the articles I read there was a fire burning a house in a neighborhood in Boston and one guy ran towards the building to make sure all the people would get out while others stopped and took photos/ filmed the building to post on social media. Everyone would love to think that they would be the one to run towards the building and help people but that's just no the case, in fact no one truly knows what they'd do in that situation until they're in that situation, and morally there is no real punishment regarding how people react in situations, with that being said of course there's laws in place to prevent as many situations as possible but clearly that will not always be the case. So legally depending on where you are there is some obligation to interfere or to react, but morally there should be a lot of incentive to step in and do what one can to stop a wrong from happening however not everyone follows the same moral compass. There are different rules socially or within ones head that we have made up to fit social standards, such as don't tell on your friend for cheating because then you'll seem like a teachers pet, don't tell on a minor for drinking because then your not cool, rules that we have made up that socially govern out lives.

2)As I said before everyone wants to be the person to run into the burning building and help people, but we'll never know what we'd do unless we where truly there. So to test a of character is how you respond to situations where the stakes aren't as high, when you stop and help someone where you could just keep walking, when you confront a friend about something that made you even slightly uncomfortable by doing those things you are more likely to respond when the stakes are high. By not ignoring the little things you will be more likely to respond to more extreme circumstances. In the other article about the 39 bus where a small child gets on a bus and a man who appears to have been drinking gets on the bus at 10 pm many people saw and thought something was off but ignored it, then the child looked terrified and the man grabbed the child and started yelling at him in a foreign language people on the bus continued to ignore it although they all knew something was wrong, and then the man started to beat the child and no one did anything, because no one took action in the early steps where everyone knew something was wrong but didn't do anything it just continued to get worse and still no one did anything. If someone had intervened earlier then maybe it would have gone to such an extreme. So when do we have an "obligation" to act? When you see something wrong with a situation because that shows that if you intervene at the less extreme levels, one an extreme situation might not come out of what started as a small problem, and two if you always intervene you are more likely to stop a horrific thing from happening when the time comes. The trouble comes with the word obligation, to whom are we obligated to do things for, ourselves? The law? Our beliefs (religious or moral compass)? Social acceptance? Personally I would love to live in a world where people do the right thing because they're good people who care for other human beings lives, and most people would also want to live in a world like this so we can simply say out morality would be what made us obligated to intervene when we see a wrong. Unfortunately that's not the world we live in so nothing technically "obligates" us to do something, you could argue the law obligates you to do something, but to that the law can punish you for not doing something or doing something but the law can't force you to do anything one just suffers the consequences or receives the rewards the law has made up. People if they want to live in a perfect world, or they want to be an up stander not a bystander should stand up every time they see something wrong or have the chance to help someone that way you can help in the most serious of circumstances when it matters most and could potentially mean life or death.

android_user
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 8

The Dilemma of the Bad Samaritan


  1. Cash’s lack of action during this situation, and knowing he could’ve changed the outcome of the crime or prevented the death of a young girl should’ve governed his actions. There are different rules depending on the nature of the crime, and when you should act or let it slide. If you saw your close friend shoplifting you might bring it up to them after you left the store, but you most likely wouldn’t turn them in to mall security. Although you wouldn’t act on a small in-fracture like that, it is important to act when it comes to the life or safety of another human being or even animal. In the article Nightmare on Bus 36, an eight year old child was being physically beaten by a man under the influence on a bus full of people, and no one stood up for the little boy who was in visible pain. We all have an obligation to help someone in a situation like that, or in Sherrice’s situation. If we can change the outcome and help someone who is in the process of being victimized, we should do it or else we would become the bad samaritan.
  2. I don’t think there is a hard set of rules to follow when it comes to dealing with situations like Sherrice’s or in a gunman’s attack, in the article The Trick to Acting Heroically. In the article the heroes of the attack were interviewed after and said that they acted on instinct and on moral obligation. I think it’s important to read the situation you would be acting to because it all depends on the situation and severity of the crime. We all have an obligation to act occasionally when it comes to low profiled crimes like shoplifting, but if concerns the safety of you should always be under obligation to act.
saucymango
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 15

The Dilemma of the Bad Samaritan

I. At its foundation, morals and ethics should have governed Cash's actions. I think it's fair to say that any considerate person who have attempted to intervene in the situation, if not also reported it. People who witness wrongs have an obligation to prevent the wrong from continuing when it causes pain and detrimental effects. Similar to the idea of the Veil of Ignorance, the people witnessing the wrong could have been the victim and certainly would not want the harm to persist. Thus, we should feel sympathy for others and an obligation to step in when they need help. However, to be realistic, we cannot expect everyone to have certain morals; this is where laws come in. Laws enforce common logic and morals that everyone generally accepts and that can lead to harms for another person or thing. Obviously there will be slight differences when it comes to different scenarios of "wrong," but our first instinct should generally be to stop the "wrong."

II. We should always try to act if there is significant harm being done to another person, if it is being inflicted upon them unjustly, and if you are able to help. As with anything, there are exceptions to the obligation to act. There will be circumstances where the cost to help is too great or illogical. For instance, if someone is being shot and the only way to change the outcome is by stepping in front, you will not affect the "wrong," but merely change the victim of the "wrong." The cost was incredibly high, and it was illogical in that it did not "diminish" the "wrong." You would be heroic if you stepped in, but there's arguably less of an obligation.

III. The New York Times article on the idea of the instinct to act heroically also highlights certain factors that would lead to a situation where an obligation exists, and emphasizes the idea that people who instinctively act are true heroes. It's true at face value, however, it dismisses the need to protect oneself and to calculate other factors. When you continuously prioritize others over your own health and wellness, it can cause damage to not only yourself, but also your loved ones. Moreover, if you do not account for other factors, acting spontaneously can lead to more consequences. For instance, you may not have the correct expertise or equipment, and by inserting yourself into the situation, you are only making it harder for everyone involved and wasting your potential. On a completely different note, the WBUR article on the relationship between cellphones and bystanders shows the exact opposite. People now instinctively act as bystanders rather than helpers because we have normalized the constant intake and viewing of wrongdoings through social media apps on our phone. Similarly, many of the witnesses pulled out their phones to document the a building on fire, instead of trying to warn residents inside. This article thus raises questions on how does one act or "help" when they see something wrong. How much are we obligated to doing? What even constitutes as helping? Who is responsible for certain methods of helping when there are a group of people?

saucymango
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 15

Originally posted by redemmed2021 on September 15, 2021 19:12

I somewhat disagree with Yoeli and Rand in the article “ The Trick to Acting Heroically '' is something instinctual. Just because something is instinct doesn't mean it’s right or wrong and ultimately you have to use your own mind and free will to decide to act. I say I'm between sometimes and always with our obligation to act because sometimes it’s difficult to be an upstander in many cases. Also like I said wrong is wrong but the consequences of these wrongs are radically different so the way a person would act would be different

I agree with redemmed2021 here, and I am glad that someone else thought the same because I felt guilty of thinking selfishly. It seems dangerous to encourage *instinctive* acts, because expressed in other words, it is encouraging actions that aren't rationally thought through and rather spontaneous. In some cases, people will instinctively protect themselves because they may also be in danger, which I think corresponds with the "sometimes" situations redemmed mentions. Finally, if you "use your own mind and free will to decide to act" as redemmed describes, it is much more heroic because you are willing to accept the risks to help others.

saucymango
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 15

Originally posted by YellowPencil on September 15, 2021 20:58

I think the number of choices Cash has as a bystander and the overall severity of the situation should govern Cash's actions. Cash had many choices when he saw his friend Jeremy assault Sherrice. Firstly, he could have chosen to intervene right when he found out what Jeremy was doing. But I would say maybe this isn't natural for Cash to do because Jeremy is his best friend and he might be having a dilemma at the moment of the incident of whether or not to go against his best friend. But after the initial incident he still could have done something like report the incident or to stay in the bathroom to try to prevent anything worst from happening, or even ask for help. In the article The Trick to Acting Heroically it states that, "The tendency to help without looking wins out when the cost of helping is typically small...[and] if Player 1(Cash in this case) doesn't help this is really harmful to Player 2(Sherrice)"(New York Times). Although friendship matters, so therefore the cost of helping Sherrice, is higher because it puts the friendship in stake, I believe that when something dangerous is happening and you have power to change the end result, it is morally right to step up. Especially because Cash is Jeremy's friend. In some way Cash has more power to influence him than a stranger.

I really like YellowPencil's take on the relationship between David and Jeremy. They make an interesting point that David has more power to influence Jeremy, as his "best friend from AP English." Does this then mean that David has more of an obligation to stop Jeremy or that he simply is in a better position to fulfill his obligation?


niall5
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 15

I think Cash should have been both personally and legally obligated to help Sherrice. I think a person has an obligation to help someone who is in real life danger, whether that means physically intervening yourself or calling for help. This applies to any situation where a person is physically in danger, and often in other situations as well. The story on the 36 bus is one where another young child was in serious danger, being beaten by a strange man, and the people on the bus I think were socially obligated to stand up and help the boy, or even just call to report to the transit authorities. The rules can be different if something “wrong” is minor, such as a simple argument between people. But when any of these situations cross over to include physical violence or serious danger to someone, you should immediately feel obligated to be an up-stander.

Legally I think there should be something to discourage a situation like what happened in “The Bystander Effect in the Cellphone Age.” That story reminded me of a Black Mirror episode, where the citizens of a town simply pull out their cellphones and watch as a woman is terrorized by strange people. A simple rule requiring social media companies to add a short message on the camera feature reminding the user that they have an obligation to help first rather than just film a situation in which someone is in danger. In some situations, like that of David Cash, if that person actually has an opportunity to prevent the events that take place, I believe they also are at fault.

niall5
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 15

Originally posted by loveholic on September 15, 2021 21:55

1. I think Cash's actions should have been influenced by the fact that she was a young child getting brutally assaulted and murdered for no good reason. The majority of people would easily step in and intervene if a child is involved in a dangerous situation regardless of if they know them or not, so the fact that he was able to simply stand by and watch without really saying anything or trying to stop his friend is not okay. Although in a lot of situations people are not obligated to help, they should feel the need to do so if someone is at risk especially if is someone of a more vulnerable state. There aren't necessarily different rules, but depending on the severity of what's happening witnesses might not be able to physically intervene but call authorities for help.


2. I'm not sure about the name of this law, but I was told about it this summer since I worked as a lifeguard. It's basically where if you are a trained medical professional or you're CPR/first aid certified you are legally obligated to help someone in need even if you're off-duty. So in cases like that, you always have to help in an emergency situation. But in general I don't think we are legally obligated in all cases and states to help people.

3. Reading about the incident on the 36 was horrifying because it was another young child who could have been killed and was physically attacked. It's sad that people can stand still and watch something like that unfold. Even if it was a family member of his or whatever the situation was, there was clearly something wrong and something needed to be done.

I totally agree with your third point about how horrific that the young boy on the bus was physically assaulted, and no one helped. To add to that there was something holding the bystanders back and that was social pressure. There was the man speaking about how he was about to help and stood up, but everyone turned away in embarrassment so he sat back down again. I think this is an important exmple, because it shows how powerful the will of the other bysteanders on the bus was to this man, and how he alowewed it to chnage his moral sense of right and wrong.

Stuart_05
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 7

The Dilemma of the Bad Samaritan

1) In Brian McGrory’s “Nightmare on the 36 Bus' ' in the Boston Globe, a bystander, Daniel Aunclair reflects on his own guilt for never helping the young boy being assaulted on the bus. Daniel did think to intervene several times but stated,“Maybe I'm out of place.’” A similar response can be seen in Cash's accounts of the incident, where he claims that he won't lose sleep over other people's problems. I believe that this mindset emotionally and physically detaches bystanders when witnessing acts of injustice . Heroic impulse should of governed David’s response to seeing his best friend rape an eight year old girl. The obligations of a bystander definitely have to be determined in relation to the context and severity of the situation. However, whether or not you personally know the victim or not should never be a deciding factor in questioning to help. If the situation involves physical violence especially to a vulnerable individual, such as a child, it should be expected that you do something to defend them. It’s our moral responsibility.

2) I think that the rules that govern the decision to act or witness should depend on the nature and context of the situation. When physical violence of any kind is involved, even if they are relatives, you should interfere in an active or passive manner. Whether that be calling the necessary authorities, actively engaging with words, or even fighting back. I think the problem we face is that not everyone has the heroic instincts that Erez Yoeli and David Rand speak on in , “The Trick to Acting Heroically”. Many people take time to question or think about whether or not they should intervene when someone is being targeted. Most reports from people who stepped into help, explain that it was on a complete act of impulse and instinct.

girlboss16
Boston, Massachussetts, US
Posts: 16

The Dilemma of the Bad Situation

If I were to witness my best friend cheating on a test in class, I would not say anything anything about it. Cheating is honestly not a big deal and obviously they did not have enough time to study; I would not want to be the reason why my friend cannot get a good grade on a test. However, being a witness to a literal murder and deciding to not do anything to stop your best friend is possibly the worst decision you could make. Cash had the biggest decision in this situation and he made the wrong choice. If you witness something wrong, I think you are obligated to try and do something for the greater good. For example, if you do not want to speak out loud when you see someone litter on the street, you could just pick it up and throw it away. You do not need to say anything because its not that big of a deal.

I think depending on the nature of the ´wrong´, there certainly are different rules. As explained before, there are more rules you have to follow if you are in a situation like David Cash, a man who experienced his best friend about to murder a young girl. The rules which he should have followed would be speaking up, trying to push his friend Jeremy away, calling 911, going outside to get another person to try and help the young girl break from his bonds. Cash followed zero rules. There are still rules for a less risky ẃrong´. There definitely is an obligation for any witness, however depending on the nature of the wrong, the act really only has to happen sometimes.

I decided to read the articles ´Nightmare on the 36 Bus,´ (NMOT36B) by Brian McGrory and ´The Bystander Effect in the Cellphone Age,´ (TBEITCA) by Judy Harris. I noticed a pattern of witnesses doing nothing in their power to help out on the situation. In TBEITCA, I feel as if there was less the bystanders could do, because there was a house fire and no one can really stop that. However people decided to take a picture with their phone instead of using their phone to call the fire department about this matter. It was really heroic when a man decided to go up into the house and make an effort to save the people and animals who live in that residence. The article NMOT36B really broke my heart. As a 16 year old, I genuinely feel as if I would have spoken up if I saw an older man abusing a random 8 year old boy on the bus, at least call the police or have other people on the bus help with me. But in this case, no one did anything about this matter which really shocked me.

Stuart_05
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 7

Originally posted by loveholic on September 15, 2021 21:55

1. I think Cash's actions should have been influenced by the fact that she was a young child getting brutally assaulted and murdered for no good reason. The majority of people would easily step in and intervene if a child is involved in a dangerous situation regardless of if they know them or not, so the fact that he was able to simply stand by and watch without really saying anything or trying to stop his friend is not okay. Although in a lot of situations people are not obligated to help, they should feel the need to do so if someone is at risk especially if is someone of a more vulnerable state. There aren't necessarily different rules, but depending on the severity of what's happening witnesses might not be able to physically intervene but call authorities for help.


2. I'm not sure about the name of this law, but I was told about it this summer since I worked as a lifeguard. It's basically where if you are a trained medical professional or you're CPR/first aid certified you are legally obligated to help someone in need even if you're off-duty. So in cases like that, you always have to help in an emergency situation. But in general I don't think we are legally obligated in all cases and states to help people.

3. Reading about the incident on the 36 was horrifying because it was another young child who could have been killed and was physically attacked. It's sad that people can stand still and watch something like that unfold. Even if it was a family member of his or whatever the situation was, there was clearly something wrong and something needed to be done.

I like how you acknowledge that both in the Sherrice Iverson and the boy on the 36, we're dealing with children. It's one thing for bystanders to not intervene when it comes to two adults, however, children need our protection. It makes you wonder what that poor 8 yearold boy was feeling.

girlboss16
Boston, Massachussetts, US
Posts: 16

Originally posted by android_user on September 15, 2021 23:47


  1. Cash’s lack of action during this situation, and knowing he could’ve changed the outcome of the crime or prevented the death of a young girl should’ve governed his actions. There are different rules depending on the nature of the crime, and when you should act or let it slide. If you saw your close friend shoplifting you might bring it up to them after you left the store, but you most likely wouldn’t turn them in to mall security. Although you wouldn’t act on a small in-fracture like that, it is important to act when it comes to the life or safety of another human being or even animal. In the article Nightmare on Bus 36, an eight year old child was being physically beaten by a man under the influence on a bus full of people, and no one stood up for the little boy who was in visible pain. We all have an obligation to help someone in a situation like that, or in Sherrice’s situation. If we can change the outcome and help someone who is in the process of being victimized, we should do it or else we would become the bad samaritan.
  2. I don’t think there is a hard set of rules to follow when it comes to dealing with situations like Sherrice’s or in a gunman’s attack, in the article The Trick to Acting Heroically. In the article the heroes of the attack were interviewed after and said that they acted on instinct and on moral obligation. I think it’s important to read the situation you would be acting to because it all depends on the situation and severity of the crime. We all have an obligation to act occasionally when it comes to low profiled crimes like shoplifting, but if concerns the safety of you should always be under obligation to act.

I completely agree with your first claim in question number 1. David Cash most definitely could have prevented the death of Sherrice. As well as your remark about the 36 bus situation, I agree that people should be obligated to stand up for a young boy who is being beaten in front of your face. That is a situation where you´re really immature for not doing anything to help. Fear is common and understood when being a witness, but saving a life is very important.

Stuart_05
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 7

Originally posted by pseudonym on September 15, 2021 10:18

1. It's difficult to stand up to your best friend when they are doing something wrong, you might think they won't think you are cool or not be your friend anymore; so you stay quiet. This might be acceptable when you're talking about stupid situations, not a real person's life. Cash should have immediately gotten the help of someone to save the life of Sherrice. Although there weren't laws saying you had to intervene when you saw someone going against the law, I think like a normal human being your instinct leads you to. I can understand that risking your life for others doesn't come easy just like Yoeli and Rand explain. The quick reaction many times does not allow you to have time to think of what bad could happen.

2. We always have the obligation to act when other humans or even animals' lives are being threatened. This doesn't necessarily mean they need to have a gun to their head but it can mean climate change or even the racial injustice. If we aren't here to pick eachother up then what's the point? It may feel weird getting involved in a new situation just like how Auclair, “"So I said to myself, ``Maybe I'm out of place. Maybe it's just a family thing and I shouldn't intervene.' So I sat back down."(McGrory). But it's times where you feel most uncomfortable where help is needed.

In regards to your answer to number one, I completely agree. Cash not only did nothing to help Sherrice, but even after her murder, he was unapologetic. In his reflections of the events, his tone is emotionless. Most people feel guilty after not doing anything, yet Cash still justifies why he did nothing and remains unphased.

girlboss16
Boston, Massachussetts, US
Posts: 16

Originally posted by Stuart_05 on September 16, 2021 07:25

1) In Brian McGrory’s “Nightmare on the 36 Bus' ' in the Boston Globe, a bystander, Daniel Aunclair reflects on his own guilt for never helping the young boy being assaulted on the bus. Daniel did think to intervene several times but stated,“Maybe I'm out of place.’” A similar response can be seen in Cash's accounts of the incident, where he claims that he won't lose sleep over other people's problems. I believe that this mindset emotionally and physically detaches bystanders when witnessing acts of injustice . Heroic impulse should of governed David’s response to seeing his best friend rape an eight year old girl. The obligations of a bystander definitely have to be determined in relation to the context and severity of the situation. However, whether or not you personally know the victim or not should never be a deciding factor in questioning to help. If the situation involves physical violence especially to a vulnerable individual, such as a child, it should be expected that you do something to defend them. It’s our moral responsibility.

2) I think that the rules that govern the decision to act or witness should depend on the nature and context of the situation. When physical violence of any kind is involved, even if they are relatives, you should interfere in an active or passive manner. Whether that be calling the necessary authorities, actively engaging with words, or even fighting back. I think the problem we face is that not everyone has the heroic instincts that Erez Yoeli and David Rand speak on in , “The Trick to Acting Heroically”. Many people take time to question or think about whether or not they should intervene when someone is being targeted. Most reports from people who stepped into help, explain that it was on a complete act of impulse and instinct.

I really like the way you worded your response. I most definitely agree with the fact that help is always an answer and never a question when it comes to adolescents being physically abused. Any age or any person for that matter needs to be helped when they are a victim of assault with no way of protecting themselves.

pinkskittles
boston , Massachusetts, US
Posts: 11

The dilemma of the bad Samaritan

In my opinion, yes I do agree it is hard for someone to go against their best friend, and its hard to even believe that they would do something as cruel, disheartening, and terrible as Jeremy did, but David really should of immediately decided to be an up-stander and helped Sherrice out in any way he could. Whether or not that meant going to get someone after he left the bathroom, or physically stopping Jeremy himself. I definitely think that David should have gotten charges, obliviously not first degree but in my opinion he was 100% an accomplice in some way. Also, because we don't know if David's testimony is even true, maybe David did help him first hand.

As a good human being we do have a right to act, and I am glad now that there are good samaritan laws for that exact reason. Just because David wasn't the perpetrator, doesn't mean he isn't at fault for it , because he 100% could've stopped the situation from escalating in the first place.

posts 16 - 30 of 37