posts 16 - 30 of 36
gato927
West Roxbury, MA, US
Posts: 13

Originally posted by freud on September 15, 2021 14:09

Ultimately, what should've governed Cash's actions is the ability to put someone else before yourself. Cash had this repeated attitude towards the situation that he didn't know this girl. He knew his friend, but not the girl and so it really wasn't his problem. He goes so far as to compare the situation to "starving children in Panama," or "people that die of disease in Egypt" (60 Minute Clip). First of all, it is ridiculous to make a comparison between something that happened right in front of you to some issue happening across the world. However, there should also be some empathy and compassion towards people in dire situations.

There is a fine line between situation that you should help in, situations that you shouldn't and if you should feel guilty for not being able to aid more. In "The Trick to Acting Heroically" the concept of what makes people heroic is explored. The resounding truth is that, people act heroically out of instinct, and they do not think of self preservation, they barely even think at all. A study was done in which people were given two envelopes; one had something they could do to help another person, and the other had something that they could lose if they did that. They could choose not to open the second envelope. It became clear that in most situations, self-preservation is out of the window and people do whatever it takes to help others.

Something should have clicked in Cash's brain. It's clear that he gave no thought to the little girl that was in front of him. Whether that's because of racial prejudice, gender discrimination or a complete lack of empathy is unclear. I think there is an obligation, purely for just being a human being, to try and do what you can to help others. There are times when you should put yourself first, and you should not be consumed by guilt when you can't fix everything, but overall you should help others. Cash's lack of action shows that he did not consider the humanity of this girl, and he also must not have care for his friend. Because if he really cared for his friend, he would've stopped him from doing something so horrible.

Whether there's a law or not, it's just human decency. A similar situation happened in "A Nightmare on the 36 Bus" where a boy was punched by a man on the bus and no one did anything. I think there's this attitude of "not my problem," or "that doesn't concern me," but peoples morals speak in their actions. Having good morals and ethics is extremely important and if you don't follow through with them in your actions, it's useless.

I really like how you added in the point that Cash made about the other people he is unable to help in order to make himself seem better for not helping Sherrice. I never thought he discriminated against Sherrice, but I agree he could have and that might have been one of his reasons for not standing up for her.

turtle17
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 10

Originally posted by bluepen19 on September 15, 2021 09:43

Cash holds some responsibility for remaining a bystander to Jeremy Strohmeyer’s actions. I find him to be particularly guilty, as he was in the position of someone who potentially could have stopped the despicable acts against 7 year old Sherrice Iverson. As Jeremy’s friend, and a male of comparable age and height, he both verbally and physically could have put an end to the actions at the time. In terms of humanity, I think he was obligated to at least say something, and feel remorseful for the fact that he didn’t. I believe that many would agree that his choices were “wrong” and while there may be different definitions of this nature, if his life was not in danger, which it wasn’t, he should face the obligations of not just remaining a bystander.

For the governing of Cash’s actions, many could be held responsible. The viewers of security cameras in the casino and the Nevada state government both had potential to take action. Nevada’s Good Samaritan Law, NRS 41.500, protects bystanders who try to assist someone in an emergent situation (Las Vegas Defense Group, 2021). However, there is no law that requires bystanders to step in and help someone; a bystander is legally allowed to just witness. In my personal opinion, we have an obligation to act sometimes. If a situation were to put yourself at risk, I do not feel that you are obligated to step in. However, in this case, I do not believe that Cash was at risk by verbally questioning his friend’s actions or even using force to end the raping. If Cash were another young girl, I would not at all expect there to be intervention with Jeremy’s actions.

As I read the story of the boy assaulted on the 36 bus, I find an issue with specifically the bus driver’s lack of intervention as a child was assaulted. The article specifically points out that the driver has access to a radio and distress button, and chose to do neither (Boston Globe, 2000). Additionally, no one on the bus intervened either; one man believed it to possibly be a familial issue which he didn’t want to be involved with, however, even if this was within a family, the situation is an example of child abuse, where legal action should be taken regardless. The New York Times story, “The Trick to Acting Heroically”, provides a different perspective. The author describes how many people act heroically instinctively, as if it is an innate choice of most humans. In both stories, Iverson’s and the bus assault, no bystanders had the instinct to intervene. Perhaps this is because of the violent circumstances where they may feel their life is in danger (although I personally don’t find Cash to have been in a dangerous situation himself), but it is interesting how some stories which the Times focuses on, show a different side of humanity than what we’ve heard in the former atrocities (New York Times, 2015).

Because I didn't read 'The Trick to Acting Heroically', it is both super interesting and reassuring to hear of a situation where people did stand up, and did decide to try and help others out. I also agree that Cash couldn't really have believed he would have been in danger, especially after we learned that Jeremy immediately confessed to Cash after the assault and murder, solidifying their friendship to viewers including myself.

turtle17
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 10

Originally posted by gato927 on September 15, 2021 15:57

After watching and discussing the video in class, I was absolutely disgusted by the actions of David Cash and Jeremy Strohmeyer. Jeremy did unspeakable things, and there are no excuses for his actions. The events leading up to and during the night and are quite confusing as well. Why did David's father drive them to a casino in Nevada? Why was Sherrice left alone in the casino? Why did no one see the boys going to the bathroom? Why didn't Cash feel any guilt? I'm still thinking about many of these questions now.

In account to being held responsible for governing Cash's actions, I believe the state of Nevada could have done a better job fighting for Sherrice. The security cameras should have been being monitored, and someone should have stopped the boys from going into the women's restroom. It is clear that Cash does not believe he had to intervene, and that is just wrong. He knew what Strohmeyer was going to do to Sherrice, and he could have tried harder to prevent it. We know Cash believes it was not his place to get involved because Strohmeyer was his friend, but this was a grave situation where he could've saved Sherrice's life. I think in a situation like this is it is crucial to react and help, it doesn't matter if it is your friend and you "don't need to see that".

When the video mentioned that the crime took place in Nevada, I wasn't surprised. After reading "Nightmare on the 36 Bus" however, I was shocked. I never believed an incident like that could occur and no one would stand up for a helpless little boy, especially in Boston. It is disappointing knowing that after 20 years people still don't have the courage to act heroically. I believe there is a "nature of wrong" that should be acted upon, and any type of assault falls into that category. Legally, there is no obligation to act in situations where you know someone is doing something wrong, and we saw that with Cash.

In "The Trick to Acting Heroically", the men who saved the other man on the train are people who the whole world should model after, in my opinion. Quick thinking is something many people don't considerate in short moments. They think of the long term, and how it affects them. Reading that passage was refreshing to know that there are still good people in this world. There is never an obligation to help someone in any kind of situation, but what Cash did and what all the people on the 36 bus did are examples of when you should always act.

I had a similar response and reaction when I learned that the 'Nightmare on the 36 Bus' took place in Boston. Something from that article that really struck out to me was how it was mentioned people thought there would be different reactions to something like this after 9/11 in Boston, but when an incident did happen, no actions were taken to help out. The questions that you are asking in the very beginning are also ones circling my brain, wondering if there was one specific precaution that could have been taken to prevent the whole thing. As nice as it would be to imagine a 'what if?' becoming possible, at the day of the day, I believe the entirety of the blame still falls on David and Jeremy, the people who committed and watched the crime.

etherealfrog
Boston, Massachusetts , US
Posts: 11

The Bad Samaritan

David Cash clearly knew that something bad was happening between Jeremy Strohmeyer and Sherrice Iverson, as he had to make the conscious decision to stand on the toilet to look over the wall of the stall, and he overhead Strohmeyer threatening to kill Iverson. Because Cash was close with Strohmeyer, he should have felt more responsible for his friend. In this situation, he definitely had the obligation to act, because he was the only one present and someone he knew was involved, as well as an innocent child. Keeping someone from murdering and assaulting a seven year old should hold higher importance than maintaining a friendship. As mentioned in Brian McGrorey’s The Boston Globe article, sometimes when something happens and the bystanders have no connections to anyone involved, they feel like it’s not their business, but when your best friend is the attacker, it’s even more important to interfere. Of course, even if one does not know anyone involved, they should intervene if possible when they witness violence. I think there are different rules depending on different “wrongs”. A few that we mentioned in class were cheating, shoplifting, and verbally or physically hurting another kid. I think with cheating, another person’s academic integrity does not affect me, nor does their compromising it cause any real harm to anyone but themselves. Shoplifting might affect the place being stolen from, but most likely the worst that will happen is that the place will lose a few dollars. However, hurting a younger kid, or anyone for that matter, actually does harm someone. I think the qualifications for being obligated to interfere with a friend’s actions is when they begin to actually hurt others, and Strohmeyer did more than hurt others. In Judy Harris’s article, she talks about the bystander effect, in which the presence of other witnesses discourage the witnesses from wanting to help. The bystander effect would not be a factor in Cash’s actions, but even if there had been other witnesses, it should have been his responsibility to try to stop Strohmeyer because of how close they supposedly were.
etherealfrog
Boston, Massachusetts , US
Posts: 11

Originally posted by groot on September 15, 2021 10:35

I think that from the start having seen Jeremy follow a child into a women’s bathroom should have alerted David of the dangers lying ahead. Immediately Cash should have realized that what his friend was about to do would be horrendous. There is no way that things in that bathroom with a little girl alone with two grown men would be fine. Secondly, as soon as Jeremy started to restrain Sherrice, another warning sign should’ve gone off in David’s head. And yet, ignoring both of these blatantly obvious signs of trouble, David decides to leave. I think those two astonishingly prominent warnings should have governed better decision-making skills from Cash.

I believe a person who witnesses the torture of another human being has an incredibly huge obligation to help. For example, in an article entitled “Nightmare on the 36 Bus”, Brain McGrory depicts a situation in which a little boy was beaten, and an entire bus of bystanders watched in silence. From one of the passengers’ viewpoints, we are told that because people believed the attacker to be the boy’s dad, he didn’t need help. In this situation, I don’t think it matters whether or not people believed this, though. Even if that man was the boy’s father, what right did that give him to beat him up? I feel that a bystander holds such power in these situations that it is sad that not enough people decide to help out when they witness wrongdoing.

I do think in some circumstances the rules could change depending on the crime. For example, if the incident isn’t hurting anyone or causing anyone physical or mental pain, it is possible a bystander wouldn’t need to stand up in certain circumstances. In many situations, though, if the warning signs are there, you should do your best to help.

I think depending on the severity of the crime being witnessed, different rules should apply. People could have stepped in multiple times, whether it be David or a person watching the security cameras. Yet, no one did. For a whole 23 minutes, Jeremy was left alone with Sherrice. In cases as devastatingly disturbing as Jeremy and David’s, where David was almost an accomplice, a punishment should most definitely have been enforced.

We do have an obligation to act whenever we see something we know isn’t right. In an article entitled, “The Bystander Effect In the Cell Phone Age,” written by Judy Harris, a man walks all-around a burning building taking photos instead of helping the people escape the fumes. In a situation like that, it’s insane to think that someone was thinking more about how they could get famous for taking the pictures instead of thinking about the possible human lives being burned inside. This is why in the greater majority of situations, I think people have an obligation to act.

I agree that the line for having a responsibility to interfere is when the person’s actions are harming someone else. Also, judging from Cash’s statement’s after the fact, he didn’t even feel a lot of remorse, even though he held so much responsibility in this case. His conscious decision to leave after knowing what was happening is pretty terrifying.

etherealfrog
Boston, Massachusetts , US
Posts: 11

Originally posted by turtle17 on September 15, 2021 10:43

After reading both the story of a man hitting a little boy on the 38 bus and how people reacted to a fire in Jamaica Plain, it was interesting to think of how they related to the story watched in class earlier today about David and Jeremy. At first I had no explanation for David's actions, other than complete stupidity, but then something dawned upon me. I don't think it was David believing it wasn't his business, or maybe he did believe that, but I believe the overwhelming fear he felt in the situation clouded his sense of judgement. In no way does this excuse his actions, or lack thereof, but it does make you think. It's also not just an 18 year old boy who did something like this, it was also many adults. In the story of the Nightmare on the 38 bus, you read about what looks like a father abusing his son. A man who was a witness to this accident was interviewed, and helped provide the information for the newspaper story. The interviewee was an adult, along with everyone else on the bus due to the time being 10:30 at night, and every single person witnessed the physical abuse the child endured, but no one said anything. The thing that caught my attention, however, was the man saying how when he stood up to say something, the thought that it wasn't his place, it was family drama and not to interject took over. Again, I was annoyed hearing this. But then I thought what I would do if I was in that situation. At first I immediately decided I would try and help the little boy, but then I thought about my physical safety. The sad thing is, most people will prioritize their own well being over someone else's, the fight or flight reaction, a sad but quite realistic thing people's mind jump to. I then connected this to David's story, where he noted Jeremy giving him a blank stare. Without a doubt, David was experiencing some fear, not knowing what his friend was doing, and later hearing he had just committed murder definitely frightened him. Its possible that David didn't say anything about Jeremy, or tell the police on him, in order to preserve his safety. The second story I read about told how when there was a fire, only one person ran to tell the people inside the house about it to save them, while everyone else including the author took pictures instead. This is similar to the actions of the invisible bystander that watched security cameras during the murder of Sherrice. In both scenarios, people used technology to be a bystander, whether it was a conscious decision or not.

From reading both the stories, and watching the video that really there isn't a genuine obligation to being an upstander or not, just moral ones we are taught our whole lives, We fear getting in trouble for not standing up, due to reactions, but we also fear for our physical safety if we were to stand up for someone.

I sort of agree that it could have been fear, but another article had a study that showed that when people are afraid for someone else, their natural instincts will lead them to save this person without even thinking. He might not have been thinking clearly, but it does seem like he actively made the decision to leave the situation.

eac
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 7

The Bad Samaritan

As soon as David Cash made visual contact with Jeremy Strohmeyer assaulting Sherrice Iverson, we should've told his friend to stop and leave this girl alone, and if he didn't immediately stop, Cash should've gone and told the staff at the casino and called 911. Even though it may be his best friend, nobody in their right mind would do nothing, especially after said friend confessed to Cash. Although, honestly, the most disturbing part of this case was Cash's complete lack of remorse for his inaction.

The case of the JP fire and the incident on the 36 bus were also two great examples of the bystander affect, more so the latter. I can understand the inaction towards the fire, with how daunting it seems. Other than calling authorities, there isn't much that the average person can, or wants to, do. The feeling of "this isn't my problem, this is why we have firefighters" is prevalent. Aboard the 36 bus, the driver is required to look out for the safety of all those on board, and she should've radioed the event at the bare minimum. The passengers also had the right to try and intervene, especially once the man beats the child.

Legally, this is a very grey area. In all three of these stories I believe that two people should've been charged, David Cash and the bus driver. Once it became apparent that a physical altercation was taking place, both should've sought help or tried to diffuse the situation. I think that in cases like this, where someone is in actual physical danger from another person, there should be a significant criminal charge if witnesses don't act in any way. A case like this is the Bethesda Lululemon murder, which was heard clearly by the neighboring Apple store, who didn't seek authorities.

I don't believe that anyone should ever be legally forced into intervening themselves. There's been many incidents where someone tries to help but misjudges the severity of the situation and find themselves in danger as well. Average people just can't be expected to be heroes.

groot
West Roxbury, MA, US
Posts: 14

Originally posted by Bumble Bee on September 15, 2021, 12:08

People have a natural instinct for self preservation. If a situation occurs where someone is endangered and you feel like intervening will put your safety in danger you’re less likely to do so. In David Cash’s situation there were no real safety threats to himself, only the threat of losing his relationship with Jeremy Strohmeyer. They were the same age and appear to be around the same size. If he didn’t want to risk intervening in the bathroom he could’ve sought help from someone outside. He wanted to preserve his friendship, but why would anyone want to be friends with a murderer?

A situation that is putting other life in danger, especially human life, should give people much more reason to try and help. In situations like we discussed in class where your friend cheats or shoplifts, it’s not as serious since the crime is far less significant. When a person’s life is being endangered and there is any safe way you can help you should absolutely do so. In “Nightmare on the 36 Bus” the passengers didn’t intervene when a little boy was being beaten up by an older man. They may have felt scared that they could be endangered if they tried to step in. This doesn’t mean that they couldn’t have called the police once they left the bus or done something else instead of being implicit. Cash could have immediately gone for help once he left the bathroom. We know that other students at his college recognized the men from the surveillance camera and they chose to turn them in, but Cash did nothing.

Cash wasn’t charged with any crimes or kicked out of his college. Now there are laws that are in place to hold bystanders like him accountable including the Shericce Iverson Bill. This bill would require any Nevadans to report crimes they see if the crimes involve a violent act towards a child. The law is there to protect people and holding bystanders accountable is a way to do this. I also see Cash as more than just a bystander since he was friends with Strohmyer and had an idea of what was going to happen. He chose to do nothing. In “The Trick to Acting Heroically” people who are heroic tend to do these acts out of instinct. Cash had plenty of time to make a heroic decision but he didn’t.

I really like how you related the article you read to Cash's situation. I totally agree, and it's insane to think that in the article, the bystanders tried to think of excuses like "maybe that's his dad" as a way out of justifying the boy beating. And a similar thing happened in Cash's situation; he still doesn't think he's guilty and makes the point that because he did not know Sherrice that he's not in the wrong. This shows that the thought process bystanders have in these seriously messed-up situations is flawed. Thank you for sharing.

mango04
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 13

The Consequences of Being a Bystander

I believe that common decency and humanity should have governed Cash's actions. By Cash simply leaving the scene, he knew that the situation and act that his friend was committing was beyond vile. Therefore, he was able to determine that Strohmeyer's attack, rape, and eventual murder of Iverson was a wrong, and it is human nature to recognize that wrongs need to be fixed. However, Cash did not show sincerity, empathy, or even common decency towards Iverson and her tragic position. Although Cash defends himself in the 60 Minutes interview by saying that he gave his friend a disapproving look, this was most definitely not enough, and such little persistent effort makes Cash’s involvement in the crime even more heinous. This act by Cash reminds me of the account of Daniel Auclair, from “Nightmare on the 36 Bus,” when he says he stood up to intervene, then felt embarrassed as everyone else on the bus looked away. In “The Bystander Effect in the Cellphone Age,” this is defined by the author, Judy Harris, as she writes: "According to Psychology Today, the 'bystander effect occurs when the presence of others discourages an individual from intervening in an emergency situation'." The act of almost doing the right thing, then not committing to it is probably such a betraying thing for young victims, like the ones in both of these cases, to have to witness.


I think that a person who is a bystander to a wrong taking place has the obligation to assess the severity of the situation, and then make the morally correct choice of what steps to take after the wrong has been committed. For example, if the wrong endangers, harms, or offends another person or animal, I believe that the bystander must report the action to the authorities in order to get justice for the victim. This is similar to how in “The Bystander Effect in the Cellphone Age,” the author’s husband was able to assess the wrong, in this case a fire, and recognize that it endangered people. Therefore, he worked towards saving the residents of the building rather than taking photos of or watching the fire. Due to the broad umbrella that a wrong can fall under, it is likely that different “rules” or reaction standards arise depending on the gravity of the consequences that will occur in response to the action being committed. For example, the child in “Nightmare on the 36 Bus” most likely had serious injuries and suffered from mental health problems as consequences of his attack, making his case fall under the unspoken rule to intervene in a wrong when human life is endangered.


A “rule” that can govern one's decision to act is, unfortunately, the question of how badly they want to get involved, and is it worth it for them. This is along the lines of what @turtle17 wrote when they mentioned how some people will “prioritize their own well being over someone else’s” even in the cases where they are choosing their own agenda over a child’s like in Sherrice Iverson’s case and the boy in “Nightmare on the 36 Bus”. However, like I mentioned before, a rule that ought to govern one’s intervention of a wrong should be the evaluation of what serious consequences and effects will this have on a human life?


I believe that we all have an obligation to act because I strongly believe that the human conscience is one of the best gifts that come with life. With that said, many times human logic and egotism can overrule one’s moral compass. Depending on the seriousness of the wrong this act of overruling ethics can have extreme consequences.

mango04
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 13

Originally posted by turtle17 on September 15, 2021 10:43

After reading both the story of a man hitting a little boy on the 38 bus and how people reacted to a fire in Jamaica Plain, it was interesting to think of how they related to the story watched in class earlier today about David and Jeremy. At first I had no explanation for David's actions, other than complete stupidity, but then something dawned upon me. I don't think it was David believing it wasn't his business, or maybe he did believe that, but I believe the overwhelming fear he felt in the situation clouded his sense of judgement. In no way does this excuse his actions, or lack thereof, but it does make you think. It's also not just an 18 year old boy who did something like this, it was also many adults. In the story of the Nightmare on the 38 bus, you read about what looks like a father abusing his son. A man who was a witness to this accident was interviewed, and helped provide the information for the newspaper story. The interviewee was an adult, along with everyone else on the bus due to the time being 10:30 at night, and every single person witnessed the physical abuse the child endured, but no one said anything. The thing that caught my attention, however, was the man saying how when he stood up to say something, the thought that it wasn't his place, it was family drama and not to interject took over. Again, I was annoyed hearing this. But then I thought what I would do if I was in that situation. At first I immediately decided I would try and help the little boy, but then I thought about my physical safety. The sad thing is, most people will prioritize their own well being over someone else's, the fight or flight reaction, a sad but quite realistic thing people's mind jump to. I then connected this to David's story, where he noted Jeremy giving him a blank stare. Without a doubt, David was experiencing some fear, not knowing what his friend was doing, and later hearing he had just committed murder definitely frightened him. Its possible that David didn't say anything about Jeremy, or tell the police on him, in order to preserve his safety. The second story I read about told how when there was a fire, only one person ran to tell the people inside the house about it to save them, while everyone else including the author took pictures instead. This is similar to the actions of the invisible bystander that watched security cameras during the murder of Sherrice. In both scenarios, people used technology to be a bystander, whether it was a conscious decision or not.

From reading both the stories, and watching the video that really there isn't a genuine obligation to being an upstander or not, just moral ones we are taught our whole lives, We fear getting in trouble for not standing up, due to reactions, but we also fear for our physical safety if we were to stand up for someone.

I thought that your connection of the technology that failed to be effectively used in both the murder of Sherrice and the fire in the JP house. This connection expands on how even when given access to technology that can help fix a wrong by doing something as easy as calling 911, some people still fall under the category of a bystander. This truly made me question: How effective is technology really in trying to fix a bad situation?

mango04
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 13

Originally posted by runningdog96 on September 15, 2021 15:06


The case of Sherrice Iverson brings up an interesting question: what exactly is the role of the bystander? In a situation that is so wholly and morally wrong, I believe that almost everyone would agree it was cruel and inhumane for David Cash to walk out of that bathroom, knowing what Jeremy was going to do to Sherrice. Without sharing words, the two boys understood that Jeremy was going to inflict some sort of violence on Sherrice. And still, David walked out as if nothing had happened. In this case, I believe that David should have been punished. He willingly allowed the assault and murder of a seven year old girl, and that must garner consquence. The fact that he was able to go on, and continue living his life, and was not given any actual consequence- barring any social consequences from his fellow peers at UC Berkeley or others fighting for Sherrice- is, to me, astounding. It is my belief that David Cash should have faced legal consequences for his actions, including jail time. He allowed such a horrific thing to happen, and should be punished accordingly.

In today’s society, there are most definitely different rules depending on the nature of the “wrong”. As we discussed in class, if a friend were to cheat on a test, almost none of us would report them. But, if they were to undo some sort of violence onto another person, we all agreed we would immediately report them, because in today’s society, physically harming a person is a significantly more extreme “wrong” than cheating on a test. Thus, the obligation of the bystander also changes with the wrong. As @Nightshade points out, there should no need for legal motivation when it comes to a situation of violence, such as the assault and murder of Sherrice Iverson. I also liked how @Nightshade points out that Cash did not have to deal with the bystander effect- like those on the 36 Bus or in the case of the fire in Jamaica Plain. The fact that there were no bystanders in the assault and murder of Iverson makes it evident that Cash left the bathroom that night out of loyalty to his friend, and as an act of self-preservation. In the case of the 36 bus, no one stood up, but multiple witnesses go on record as stating that they regret not intervening. But in the article The Bystander Effect in the Cellphone Age, the author focuses on the fact that someone was standing on the side, taking pictures of the even with no regard of the lives at stake (similar to Cash), which then begs the question: how can some people stand on the sidelines and do nothing, while others intervene?

The “rules” that govern whether or not someone should act are most definitely societal, but should also be legal. As we established in class, there are different severities of a “wrong”. Thus, to many people, it’s not morally wrong to not turn in a friend they saw cheating. But to many, very evidently, it’s extremely morally wrong to not intervene in the assault and murder of a child- or anyone for that matter-. Thus, these “rules” are societal; but they should also be legal. David Cash faced no legal consequences, but I believe he should have. While there were laws passed in Nevada and California as a result of this case, I believe it is not enough. Laws should be passed in all states in order to protect those like Sherrice Iverson, in the hope that a case like hers does not happen again. To answer the final question- we sometimes have the obligation to act. It truly depends on the situation; if it is a minor indiscretion, maybe not. But, if one human is attempting to or in the act of harming another, then we most certainly have the social and legal obligation to act.

I think that your description of the "rules" as "societal" is very brilliant. It reminded me of how in class, for the most part, everyone had the same answers to when they would intervene in a wrong, making the "rules" pretty commonly understood by a majority of people. The "rules" were a reflection of the severity of the wrong and what negative mental and physical effects it could have on a person, making your example of witnessing a cheating friend not very high on that rank for many. However, the rape and murder of a child ranks extremely high because of its vicious effects and severity.

dancingsnail
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 8

What Makes a Good Samaritan?

Human decency should have governed David Cash’s actions. He knew what Jeremy was doing was wrong and walked out because he was uncomfortable but then chose to do nothing. Witnessing something like that when you are in no danger and doing nothing is unacceptable. In The Samaritan’s Dilemma, a common theme when people chose to help others was that they hesitated because they could be putting themselves in danger, but even the people in that article chose to act despite the risks. David Cash was in no physical danger at the time and didn’t even ask anyone else to intervene, he is a coward. Not only did he not act but he never regretted his actions, he only regretted the consequences. Unlike the man who was on the 36 who regretted his actions as soon as he got off the bus that night David showed no remorse, he deserves no empathy.

I think when someone becomes a bystander the rule should be if you aren’t going to face any physical harm by helping someone else then you are always obligated to act. In cases where you could be harmed, I understand not wanting to act out of fear since that makes you human. In the Nightmare on the 36 Bus, the other passengers on the bus did face the threat of violence, but that doesn’t make their inaction excusable. In that case, they could have had strength in numbers but made the choice to watch a boy get beaten. The part that is disturbing to me is that the bus driver who could have just pressed a button chose not to. This decision would have caused her no harm, it’s just one small action she could have taken to save a little boy and she made the choice not to. Not only that, but she continued to deny anything that happened afterward, that is what makes her a coward. That young boy may never get justice.

Reading The Samaritan’s Dilemma made me more upset with David Cash and the people on bus 36 who chose not to do anything. Reading about people who took the risk to help someone else despite the harm that might come their way made them look worse. What’s the difference between the people in The Samaritan’s Dilemma and bystanders who choose to do nothing? Are some people more controlled by fear than others? Or is that just a weak excuse for inaction?

flowerpower
Posts: 11

The Dilemma of the Bad Samaritan

In order to be good global citizens we should try to stand up for what's right and wrong every single day. A person who witnesses a wrong has the obligation to try and make it right, the severity of this obligation is also dependent on the severity of the wrong. In matters like David Cash's when the situation is life and death of course he should have tried to stop his friend or turn him in. Even in less severe circumstances people should do what's right especially if other people are being actively hurt by whatever the wrongdoing is.

There should be rules that if you witness a murder, assault, or other serious crime you do your best to report it to the authorities. When it comes to the issue of stepping in to help someone it's more complicated to regulate. Morally, if you can help someone out of danger without putting yourself at risk you definitely should. In the situation of Cash and Strohmeyer Cash should have stepped in since he was dealing with someone who he knew very well in an isolated environment. It's harder to create obligations and expectations for strangers dealing with strangers but one's best judgement should be used. We see in the example of the "Nightmare on the 36 bus” that it can be hard for strangers to get involved in other people's business. However in my opinion when a situation like that is brought into a public space and involves such a young child it should be expected that someone would do something.

hisoka
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 8

The Dilemma of the Bad Samaritan

What I think should have governed Cash’s actions is the fact that he knew something bad was going to happen and his friends actions didn’t really pass with him since he tried to get his attention to get him to stop. The obligation Cash had for Strohmeyer was if not for the little girl getting assaulted was keeping his friend from doing something against the law and something he would regret severely later in life. I would say yes the rules are different depending on how “wrong” something is. But this is usually the case in how severe this “wrong” is. If it were cheating on a math test or maybe stealing an item from a store, that in itself have different levels of severity, but to compare that to assault, sexual assault, and murder? I feel like regardless of your relation to the perpetrator you should always step in to aid the victim even if it is as out of the way as calling the police.

Making rules for witnesses is difficult because each witness has a different level of association with the victim or perpetrator which I feel can drastically change how they should be charged. Not only that but how they came across the scene in the first place, was it by accident or had they been there the whole time? Like in the case of Cash he was best friends with Strohmeyer and even knew what he was doing was wrong but did nothing. But like in McGrory’s story no one on the bus knew anyone and the incident came on so suddenly. Like stated in the story the bus driver could have turned on the light or tried to step in since it was her bus so she would be more at fault than the passengers on the bus. I feel like there is always some level of obligation. Sometimes you just can’t really step in like in the Bystander Effect article, you aren’t expected to run into a burning building, but you can call for help from someone who is capable and trained to do that.

flowerpower
Posts: 11

Originally posted by groot on September 15, 2021 10:35

I do think in some circumstances the rules could change depending on the crime. For example, if the incident isn’t hurting anyone or causing anyone physical or mental pain, it is possible a bystander wouldn’t need to stand up in certain circumstances. In many situations, though, if the warning signs are there, you should do your best to help.

I think depending on the severity of the crime being witnessed, different rules should apply. People could have stepped in multiple times, whether it be David or a person watching the security cameras. Yet, no one did. For a whole 23 minutes, Jeremy was left alone with Sherrice. In cases as devastatingly disturbing as Jeremy and David’s, where David was almost an accomplice, a punishment should most definitely have been enforced.

I completely agree with this, our moral obligation to do right it much more important in some situations than in others. Like we discussed in class if we saw one of our close friends peering at another persons paper during a test most people wouldn't say anything besides maybe to their friend after class. In a situation like this nobody gets hurt when the bystander turns a blind eye. However in matters of life and death, like Cash or matters of another persons well being, like the boy on the bus we should expect witnesses to stand up for what is right.

posts 16 - 30 of 36