posts 31 - 37 of 37
pinkskittles
boston , Massachusetts, US
Posts: 19

Originally posted by s_b613 on September 15, 2021 20:46

I think that Cash should have known that what Jeremy was doing was wrong and he definitely should have known to get help during the attack and to turn him in after the event. He should have been governed by his own integrity and he should have some amount of respect for the girl. Someone who witnesses something wrong should be obligated to tell someone about it, especially the authorities. Like in the story about the boy on the bus, that man Auclair, although he didn't do anything on the bus at the moment, he spoke up about it later, which was something that Cash did but not something that he did when it had the chance to matter ("Nightmare on the 36 Bus"). Cash only spoke up about it to help clear his name from it and prove that he was not guilty of anything. Going back to the questions Ms. Freeman asked us today about speaking up when there was shoplifting or some small kind of wrong, no one said they would speak up, but when it became violent, then they would speak up, which proves that there are different "rules" depending on the nature of wrong.

I think that the Good Samaritan Acts are very good for dealing with these sorts of things and I think that people should be held accountable for witnessing things that they keep to themselves, especially when they know the person committing the act. Also the integrity of people should make them want to tell authorities about it and want to help that person get what they deserve. I think our obligation to act on situations really depends on the event. Like if there is murder or someone gets hurt or something of that nature, then they need to speak up, but if it is something small like stealing from a store (not that that's small but relatively speaking) then someone shouldn't be obligated to do anything about it because no one is receiving any physical harm.

I fully agree with you I think that David definitly knew what Jeremy was going to do, and he should feel guilty about not doing anything to stop him.

pinkskittles
boston , Massachusetts, US
Posts: 19

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.

I think that is a very powerful and true statement, how its situations you feel most uncomfortable that help is most needed, I think that is very true and often times people DON'T help because they are uncomfortable, which is not a good thing.

curioushuman
US
Posts: 15

The Dilemma of the Bad Samaritan

I believe that Cash's moral compass and sense of right and wrong should have governed his actions, however clearly he did not care and continued that sentiment even after he faced backlash. This horrible situation clearly demonstrated the need for laws, such as the Sherrice Iverson Law to protect minors and other victims of assault, sexual assault, etc. Unfortunately, even laws are not enough to stop people from committing horrible acts, but they should definitely be in place to make sure perpetrators of such atrocities face consequences. Even though they created a law because of this incident, there should still be more laws to protect all victims of assault, not only minors. There should be no excuse to not report this same situation if Sherrice was 20 or 30 or older. A person who witness the wrong of another should feel obligated to take action, whether it be to step in or to report the wrongdoing, however I believe it does depend on the nature of the "wrong". If someone were to steal from a store, I would honestly probably not doing anything. But if someone were to physically hurt or take advantage of someone I would speak up. This might differ if it were someone I knew stealing from, for example, a small business where I might say something to that person. Personally, I do not feel the need to report someone stealing a shirt from Urban Outfitters, but if someone was getting beat up I would have a different reaction. Materialistic items are not as important as protecting a human from danger, whether it be verbal or physical harassment, etc.

I found it interesting in the article "The Bystander Effect in the Cellphone Age" that the author explored the idea of whether living in this digital age, where almost everyone has a cellphone, that we might be more obligated to share crimes or emergencies that we might witness. "Have our new-found instincts to document everything on our phones heightened the bystander effect, because we’re almost always connected to others online? I found this especially intriguing because even after the media attention David Cash faced, he still continued to his view that he did nothing wrong and shouldn't have felt obligated to report the murder of Sherrice Iverson. Many protested against him being at their college and thought he should be punished and held accountable for his actions, yet he seemingly felt no remorse.

purplepumpkinpie
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 10

The Dilemma of the Bad Samaritan

1. I think morals should’ve governed Cash’s actions. Someone who witnesses another wrong has the obligation to at the very least consider stopping the act or alert someone who will help in that situation. I think that there are different rules depending on the nature of the “wrong”. Ideally everyone would do the right thing and intervene, or alert someone else, or call for help, but certain things are excusable like HYPOTHETICALLY seeing a friend cheat by looking at someone else’s test. You know what they’re doing is wrong, but you rationalize and tell yourself that it really isn’t that bad, that they’re your friend and they’re a good person, who doesn’t deserve to fail their test. I think there’s a difference between seeing your friend cheat on a test and doing nothing, versus seeing your friend violently attack a young girl and doing nothing. It’s even more absurd to feel no remorse after witnessing something so terrible and doing nothing. In the story from Nightmare on the 36 Bus by Brian McGrory a little boy was experiencing possibly one of the worst moments of his life in front of an entire bus of people who did nothing to help him, nothing to step in and stop the abuse; this would’ve been a time when witnessing a wrong would demand action. Nothing could excuse hurting a child.


2. As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said “Morality cannot be regulated, but behavior can be legislated. Judicial decrees may not change the heart, but they may restrain the heartless.” I think the rules that ought to govern the decision to act or to witness would be difficult to conceptualize and enforce. I think that one should act if someone is being harmed by not acting, and if no one is being harmed then I think it would be more or less okay to just remain a witness. It’s time to step in or call for help when someone is about to be actively being hurt or harmed. I know that this has to be judged on a case by case basis, but if there were to be legal repercussions, it would make sense to create a law that penalizes those who stood by and watched others get hurt, but also a law in place to protect those who were powerless, or were in danger of losing their own lives. As mentioned in The Trick to Acting Heroically by Erez Yoeli and David Rand, heroic people don’t take the time to think before they commit a heroic act, it’s simply a gut instinct, and they do it without considering their own lives over the lives of those around them. I think that acting in such a way is admirable, because we wouldn't have firefighters without people who ran into burning buildings, and we wouldn’t have stories of lives saved by random civilians, but I don’t think it’s fair to expect everyone to act in such a heroic fashion. Some people just have to take the time to consider all angles of a situation and consider their own lives. I’m not however saying that I wouldn’t judge any bystanders and condemn their actions for this reason. I think ideally everyone would step up and become the hero, but many different things affect our decisions, especially in times of great pressure.

9oclock
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 20

It is one thing if an individual's interference would put them in grave danger. But this was not the case for Cash- the only consequence could have been at most a punch in the face and a loss of a friend. Cash's rationalization is worrisome, to say the least, I am sure he glorified this friend- finding nothing more important than his companionship. Or maybe he believes he is powerless- a mere bystander of his life- in a way one with nihilistic beliefs would understand their role. Whatever his fault is, he values companionship of a violent pedophilic sexual assaulter and murderer. As described in " The trick to acting heroically", humans help others because in the end it benefits himself. Cash's rationalization was simply wrong- his lack of interference harmed the quality of his life. And in terms of morality- well it is near impossible to make someone’s morals change if they are already in adulthood. (On that note we should absolutely be enforcing an altruistic moral system that shuns bystanders in the mainstream culture and in the individual nourishment of little people) So- the practical solution to the bystander effect would be the establishment of shame and punishment of bystanders. This would prevent complacency in presence of immoral actions because there would then be clear benefit in interfering.

There is no true obligation or ‘correct’ moral code- for we are in no position to determine.

But there are actions and moral codes that contribute to common good and collective wellbeing. So by the simple criteria of survival- helping one another will increase the survival rate of social beings.

9oclock
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 20

Originally posted by Kazuma on September 15, 2021 10:40

1.) I think that what should have governed Cash is his ability to change the outcome of the situation. Cash could have stopped Jeremy even if it resorted to using physicality but regardless, he could have stopped Jeremy. He had the power to do something in that situation. He could have stopped Jeremy and that little girl but he chose not to. I think there are different rules considering the nature of the "wrong". While yes, wrong is wrong, there are varying degrees of wrongness as it is wrong to steal but that is not as bad as someone being hurt. I think you should intervene when you have the power and ability to change the outcome. If I could stop someone from beating on someone else by moving them away or even just getting someone who can, then I will. If I know I can't do anything I'll get help from those who can.

2.) I think that the rules that should govern what people should do in these situations is that if you can do something without risking your own life, do it. At the end of the day, we want to save people and minimize the loss of life. If you can help people while also making you aren't gonna put your life at risk that would be the best situation. If you can't then try to find someone who can whether that be emergency services or someone who has the skills and ability to help.

I want to challenge your logic in statement 2. Wouldn't we shun a person who stood by and watched (for the sake of the concept) five kids be killed, eventhough said person could have been killed?

I think such a general rule you proposed in statement two could be harmful to be established, when the circumstances of each situation are important to consider.

9oclock
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 20

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.

I have a counter belief- if Cash already decided that he wanted to perserve his friendship with the murderer, it would be out of place for him to get the help of someone. If fear of physical pain was holding Cash back, sure, he could have gotten help. That would breach his friendship with the convict. Also- there are no ' normal humans'. There is a common moral compass held in cultures, but there is no normal human. A statement like that could imply ableist sentiments.

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