posts 46 - 59 of 59
Hyde Park, Boston , MA, US
Posts: 2

This whole situation is a complete mess that could've so easily been stopped if one person said something. David Cash is a terrible person who I think is just as responsible for the rape and murder of Sherrice Iverson as Strohmeyer. I guess I could understand why Cash would have been afraid at that moment, but it doesn't excuse him for not going to tell security, an adult, or SOMEONE. Even if he was so shaken at that moment that he couldn't say anything, why did he proceed to go out and have fun with Strohmeyer moments after he confessed to killing Sherrice? That's the part that I honestly cannot understand. He saw him assault her with his own eyes, walked away, played games, had the murderer tell him straight up "hey I killed that girl" and then basically said, "oh okay cool...anyways... let's play slots!!"?? I think that Cash's morals should have governed his actions. We now know that he doesn't have any, but if he did saving someone, a child at that, from being murdered vs staying quiet and playing casino games with said murderer is not a hard decision. Although Strohmeyer is Cash's friend, there are times when you as a human being must stop and answer, "at what point do I tell my friend to stop?" Honestly, if Cash was a real friend and wanted to benefit Strohmeyer the most, he should've stopped him the moment he laid his hands on Sherrice, maybe even the moment he stepped foot in that women's bathroom. If you think about it through Cash's lens, him being a good friend would be stopping Strohmeyer from doing anything else to Sherrice, saving him from life in prison and the reputation he has garnered. I believe that the person who witnesses the action has the complete obligation to act depending on how "wrong" an action is. I go by a "rule" that if an action is hurting someone else, you should stop the person from doing it. For example, if someone is using their phone to cheat on a test, they aren't really hurting anyone else so I'll most likely not say anything. If someone is stealing another's whole essay and turning it in as their own, I'll probably say something because it is hurting the other writer. I don't believe there are specific "rules" that everyone goes by to determine their set moral compass, but there are things that most people would consider completely wrong, an action they would stop immediately, or something that isn't that bad, an action that they would look at and think about, but probably never do anything about. In terms of legality, I am so shocked and angered by the fact that Cash got to walk off free with no consequence. He was essentially an accessory to a murder. He kept quiet when he knew Sherrice was murdered, where she was murdered, how she was murdered, and who the murderer was. He stood there and did nothing when it happened. He doesn't even feel guilty. All of that and he gets to live a normal life?? I just can't wrap my head around it.

For the articles, I read Judy Harris, “The Bystander Effect in the Cellphone Age,” WBUR Cognoscenti, June 5, 2015 and Erez Yoeli and David Rand, “The Trick to Acting Heroically,” New York Times, August 28, 2015. These articles helped me think about the logistics and thought that goes into being a bystander and how it can affect someone's life. In the first article, we see an example of two different people and how they react in the same situation. When a house goes on fire, one person chooses to immediately take out their cell phone and record while the other chooses to go inside the house and evacuate the people inside. When the first person saw the fire, I feel like the first thing that came to their mind was themselves and how the fire would affect them. It seems as though the fact that a fire started in a home that may have living people inside completely flew over their head. The upstander however immediately thought about how the situation affected others and what he could do to help. David Cash was unfortunately s bystander in his situation. The second article helped me realize that Cash's decision to not do anything was completely wrong. Him going to tell someone about the attack on Sherrice would have virtually no consequences for him. Yes, he would lose a friend, be he could've also saved a life.

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 16

The Dilemma of the Bad Samaritan

I believe that society’s standard of ethical behavior and Cash’s own moral compass, which is very skewed, should have governed his decision on how to act. Instead what governed Cash’s decision was his selfishness and his loyalty to a horrible friend.

David Cash is not a hero, never wanted to be. According to Erez Yoeli and David Rand interviews they found, “no examples of heroes whose first impulse was for self-preservation but who overcame that impulse with a conscious, rational decision to help”. David felt like he couldn’t stop his friend, and after listening to the murder threats he, he didn’t want to be an accomplice to murder and sexual assualt so he left. He still had enough time, 22 minutes to report his friend and try to help but he didn’t because his morals don't include helping people he doesn’t know, “But the simple fact remains: I do not know this little girl. I do not know of starving children in Panama… I’m not going to lose sleep over somebody else’s problem”. This leads me to the question of what obligation does a person who witnesses another wrong have; Nobody has any obligation to act when they witness another wrong, especially because different things have different degrees of severity to other people. For example for the scenarios we had in class, catching your friend cheating on a test, most people would even bring it up and tell their friends that they’re wrong for cheating, instead they would tell them to “cheat better”, because “everyone cheats and it isn’t that serious''. Other people also wouldn’t report stealing at a store, because the store it’s “probably a huge corporation and they have the budget” even though stealing is wrong, some people also don’t want to get their friends in trouble and don’t think it's that serious…. This is what guided David’s actions; he didn't think it was serious enough to report his friend, especially since he didn’t have any connections to the victim; he believes that his loyalty lies with his friend, so he shouldn’t get him in trouble.

There aren’t rules on merely witnessing a crime, you wouldn’t go to prison for being a witness but you would for being an accomplice, but I think witnessing a crime and not going to police or saying anything about it especially for things like murder and rape, the person should definelty go to prison. This also raises the question of how much action is enough, if you see people beating up a person is calling the police enough, is talking to your cheating friend after the test enough, is recording a video enough, is just telling to stop enough, because Cash felt like tapping his friends head and asking him what he was doing was enough. If he recorded a video of Jeremy's action and gave it to the police would that have been enough, without directly stopping or trying to help Sharrice Iverson?

boston, massachusetts, US
Posts: 16

Originally posted by toneloc on September 22, 2022 19:55

In my mind, the horrific event that occurred is not complicated at all. David Cash could have prevented the entire thing. I don't understand why he was not charged as an accomplice in this case. He states that he knew what his friend was doing wrong yet makes the most feeble effort he could have made to deal with the situation. Jeremy even confesses to the murder and David doesn't even think to report it! I do not know how he was raised, but most people were raised to have basic knowledge of what is clearly right or wrong. A big thing people use to identify if something was right or wrong is deciding if it affects someone very negatively. So minor wrongdoings such as cheating on a test aren't something most people would intervene with because it doesn't negatively harm anyone too severely. Yes, maybe the class average is a bit messed up or the person cheating doesn't learn that much, but in the grand scheme of life its really not a big deal. Murdering someone on the other hand is. Not only did Jeremy cause harm and eventually end the life of an innocent young girl, he caused great pain in the lives of everyone close to her. As a society, Id like to believe that everyone cares for each other at least a little bit. I know there's some sociopathic outliers, but overall I should hope that we all should at least have the decency to look after eachother just a little bit. I think when there's something happening that you clearly see as wrong, you should step in. Obviously try not to get in harms way and use your best judgment to figure out what to do wether that's calling the police or whatever the situation calls for but overall if there is something you can do that could potentially save someone from harm, you should always intervene! I don't see any reason why I wouldn't try to help someone in need, so its hard for me to rationalize Davids actions.

I chose to read the Samaritan Dilemma which had some surprising things to me. There seems to be two types of situations. One where people help and feel as though they just fulfilled their responsibility to take care of one another and another where nobody does anything and expects the other person to do something. I sort of understand this issue of expecting everyone else to deal with it but in the case of David Cash, I don't feel like this applies. He was really the only person who witnessed and could have stopped this event. He doesn't seem to have the notion that it was his responsibility to help unlike some of the altruistic people in the article. So what makes some people so drastically different in this way?

The second thing I read was the Bystander Effect article. In this day and age, recording horrific events seems to be a recurring theme in current events. Maybe some people think they are doing something by documenting what is happening. What doesn't make sense to me is why it didn't cross more peoples minds to help. Personally, and this might be mean, I think everyone is a little self absorbed these days. We rarely are able to empathize with peoples situations and it doesn't even cross peoples mind that someone could be affected by things like this. Every situation is a little bit different and all call for different responses but in the case of David Cash, it's clear to me that he should have intervened, and his neglect of the situation allowed for the death of Sherrice Iverson.

Your first 3 sentences basically encapsulate all of my thoughts. The fact that Cash could've prevented the whole thing but simply didn't "care" enough to is horrific.

Posts: 18

The Dilemma of the Bad Samaritan

One would think that a situation such as the one Sherrice Iverson found herself in would be extremely complicated. Yet in my opinion, it’s quite simple.This tragedy could have been easily prevented, and should have been prevented had people cared just a little bit more. There was obviously more to think about other than David Cash and Jeremy Strohmeyer when it comes time to this case. Where was her father? Where was her brother? How was it that nobody noticed two grown men following a seven year old girl through a casino and following her into the women's bathroom? Why was nobody there? All those things taken into account, it was up to David Cash to stop his friend from commiting his act. Yet, he sat, waited, and did absolutely nothing.

What should have governed Cash's actions is the fear for the safety of the young girl. and also the repulsion for Strohmeyer's actions. I understand that he might be confused, afraid even, when his friend suddenly started behaving this way. But that is all the more reason, I think, to put a stop to it. Cash stated that while he knows that his friend killed Sherrice, he could not see him as a murderer. As a witness to a crime as heinous as this, it was his responsibility to say something, to hold Strohmeyer back, to do anything other than walk out. While it's not always up to a witness to say something if they see something, in this situation it was.

Depending on the severity of a wrongdoing, there should be a moral protocol that people follow. We discussed cheating on a test and stealing in class. Cheating we concluded, does not harm anyone in the process, and we've all done it at some point, so why make a big deal out of if. Stealing, might warrant a comment or question as to why, but not the involvement of employees or anything. We might judge, but ultimately decide it's not worth saying anything about to anyone other than said thief. However, anything that disrupts public peace, anything that puts someone else in danger, anything causing harm should be grounds for one to speak up or physically intervene if need be.

The unfortunate thing is, people don't do things even if they need to. I read "The Nightmare on the 36 Bus." In it, a young boy and a man who people assume was his father boarded a 36 bus in Roslindale late one night. The man was clearly inebriated, and the boy was clearly worried for his safety. People were concerned, yes, but none of them said anything at all to the boy or the bus driver. Even when the man started yelling at the boy, and eventually hitting him, the people acted as if everything were completely normal. Witness Daniel Auclair, a medical researcher, says that everyone on the bus was clearly uncomfortable. The bus driver didn't even take note of what was happening on her vehicle. In this situation, I'd understand not wanting to directly intervene in this case, as that could simply redirect all violence towards one who did, but someone should have told the bus driver, called the police, dragged the boy away from the man, or even shouted at the man to stop. If people really wanted to, they could work to restrain the man while he calmed down. But similarly to Sherrice, nobody came to the boy's aid.

What makes this all so sad, and a little infuriating, is how people can turn a blind eye to things like this. I also read "The Bystander Effect in the Cell Phone Age," and it talked about an upstander who witnessed people filming a fire instead of going to help. Again, not wanting to rush into a burning building is understandable, but to sit there and film is unacceptable. It's distressing at times to see how little faith we can have in our peers to do the right things.

Posts: 18

Reply to travelalarmclock

Originally posted by travelalarmclock on September 22, 2022 18:50

What should've governed Cash's actions, or rather, modifying the question a bit, what shouldn't have governed his actions, was his selfishness. His justification for what he did was absolutely absurd. "I do not know this little girl...I'm not going to lose sleep over somebody else's problem." This might've been the same exact thoughts running through the heads of those who just stood by and watched the little boy on the 36 bus suffer, more or less. It's shocking that they just sat and watched. They did nothing and only came to regret it after the fact. I see parallels between Cash and Auclair's actions [Daniel Auclair from "Nightmare on the 36 Bus"]. Cash tapped Strohmeyer on the head, and Auclair attempted to get the drivers' attention. When neither of them succeeded to stop the horrifying incidents, they didn't do more. They left.

I think the obligations one has when they witness another wrong depends on your definition of "wrong". Referencing the list of scenarios brought up in class, are the obligations the same if one witnesses another cheat, and if one witnesses another assault another human being? No. In one situation, no one is getting hurt, except perhaps knowledge. In the other, one is in life-threatening danger. When witnessing a nature of "wrong" like the situation with Sherrice, Cash, and Strohmeyer, though, I think one does have an obligation to act. In my opinion, this obligation to "act" does not always apply, for example, if someone is simply cheating on a test.

When talking about what exactly governs the decision to act, I think back to the second article I read, "The Trick to Acting Heroically", by Eric Yoeli and David Rand. It delves into what goes through someone's mind when they're carrying out a "heroic" act, and it revealed that for most people, it's instinct, gut instinct. Most of the time, they don't think about it. They just jump into action. But clearly, in the case of Cash and Auclair, they had no such immediate instinct to jump in to stop the assaulters. This article also talks about the reasons why someone would instinctively put themselves in a situation that would put them in serious personal risk. The first reason doesn't really apply [cost of helping is typically small so they usually help to maintain a relationship but sometimes it is so big that if they knew the cost they wouldn't help] because in both situations the cost of intervening is predictable. The second reason is that if they didn't intervene, someone would be in great danger or harm, which I'm sure crossed their minds, they just chose themselves over Sherrice and the little boy on the bus. The last reason is that their long term relationship is valuable. Both Cash and Auclair have no ties to either of the children, and this in fact was Cash's reasoning, albeit a very messed up perspective. What governs the decision [not obligation] to act or not may have at least a bit to do with the relationship between the two, especially if you're friends with the perpetrator.

I did some research and apparently there is a crime called "misprision of felony" in which someone knows a felony has been committed and chooses not to say anything about it. The penalty is up to 3 years in prison though I don't know how reliable this information is. I just think this could influence someone's decision, though in my opinion if they have to stop and think about it and consider their benefits or risks when someone else's life is in danger, it's probable they won't do much. If they do, it's for selfish reasons and that's already heading down the wrong path. To answer the initial question, what should've governed Cash's actions was humanity-- acting out of care for others. To think about others rather than himself for once. At the very least if he didn't intervene he should've told someone, anyone, to help. Regardless of whoever's in his English class.

I completely agree that what Cash did was selfish. I think that there are a lot of factors that go into making the decision whether to help or not. I think that the fact that instinct drives most up-standers is very interesting. I do feel though as though when we hear stories of "heroes" they always run without thinking. In "The Bystander Effect in the Cell Phone Age," the hero in that story did just that. I wonder where those instincts come from, and if we can separate people into "good and bad" based on said instincts.

Posts: 18

reply to autumn

Originally posted by autumn_ on September 22, 2022 16:50

I’ve thought about this situation heavily. Personally, I’m someone who takes cases like this to heart, especially when it comes to children. Regardless, I knew my standpoint on this situation from the start: despite David Cash’s relationship to Jeremy Strohmeyer, he should have immediately known to get help, especially when his (rather weak) efforts to stop Strohmeyer were unsuccessful.

Its a bit hard to put my thoughts into words because they’re bouncing around in my head, all in a range of “what it means to be a bystander” to “how did their friendship affect Cash’s actions”. The first area of note here is that Cash claimed to leave the restroom because he simply didn’t care about Sherrice Iverson. He detached himself form the situation because he valued his friendship with Strohmeyer more than the life of an innocent seven year old. I personally find that to be ridiculous, the fact that he was able to walk away knowing that that little girl was in pain and helpless. If we want to get ethical, our personal relationships with people can obviously affect our view on their wrongdoings. It’s easier to excuse someone’s personal actions when you know them because you can simply say that “its unlikely behavior”, therefore detaching the behavior from them all together. The reality is, our actions reflect our character, regardless of the mindset we’re in. I am a firm believer in the fact that our actions are apart of us, and that failure to own up to them is admitting shame to that side of ourselves. In Cash’s scenario, his morality benefitted from deciding that this behavior was simply not usual for Strohmeyer, therefore it didn’t matter.

It can also be argued that within their friendship, Strohmeyer may have said some…questionable things. The kind of person that would assault and murder a seven year old girl obviously has a very harmful mindset that would somehow reflect in their character. I doubt that Strohmeyer never said questionable things about women to Cash. The problem is that this behavior is easily normalized among teenage boys. This is all speculation on my part, but I wanted to include it in this post anyways.

As human beings, I believe it is our duty to help those in need. It all circles back to the golden rule: treat others the way you want to be treated. I always put myself in someone else’s shoes, which helps me to gauge the best way to act in said situation. The problem with Cash in this scenario is that he didn’t care about the other person here, or Strohmeyer for that matter. I believe that if he truly, TRULY cared for his friend, he would’ve done more to stop him. There’s no way that he just assumed that this scenario would have no repercussions. Ofcourse, Cash probably didn’t think that far ahead because he, once again, simply. did. not. care.

With this situation in mind, I decided to read the article “The Trick to Acting Heroically” by Erez Yoeli and David Rand. I chose to read this because I assumed it would take a more ethical approach to heroism. This article discussed the possible reasons for why heroes act the way they do, which is usually on impulse. The overall conclusion was that these heroes do so because the person in need has more to lose than the person who decides to help. In Cash’s case, he was at risk at losing a good friend. However, Iverson was at risk of losing her innocence and her life. The question is, why would Cash want to keep him as a friend after seeing him assault a little girl?

The second article I read was “Nightmare on the 36 Bus” by Brian McGrory. The title of it stood out to me because I often take the 36 bus. Unfortunately, I was shocked by what I read. The article detailed an incident where a young boy was physically assaulted by his (assumed to be) parent/guardian. What horrified me the most is that no one on the bus intervened. It baffles me that incidents like this can occur, and as people we’re too concerned with ourselves to reach out. At the end of the day, it’s easy to prioritize your well being, but truly: what do you have to lose?

All in all, this story has deeply rattled me, and caused me to do some very deep thinking about what it truly means to be a bystander. My heart goes out to Sherrice Iverson and her family, and I wonder where David Cash is now/ if he regrets his decision to walk away. The sad thing is, I wouldn’t be surprised if he had no regrets at all.

I think this story hits most people really hard because of both the events and the obvious lack of remorse felt by the accomplice. I personally didn't think that Cash was trying to cover for Strohmeyer at first. I think he was trying to protect himself from the emotions that would come with acknowledging his friend's crime.

It almost comical in a way that you talked about the Golden Rule. It's such a widely known phrase, and it all boils down to common sense and human decency. I find it so odd how many people know the rule and still disregard it so easily, especially in situations of this magnitude.

South Boston, Massachusetts , US
Posts: 12

David Cash: The Bad Samaritan in a World of Bystanders

David Cash's actions were piloted by his selfishness and lack of morality. What I believe should have governed Cash's actions is simple morality and simply responsibility within humanity. Cash's actions, or rather lack of actions, arguably led to Sherrice Iverson's death as he was present for Jermey Stropmeyer's violent threats of not only physical abuse but even murder. I would further argue that Cash's lack of humanity within his actions killed Sherrice Iverson just as much as Jermey did although Cash did not lay a finger on the girl. Cash was within reach of Jermey as he forcefully held Sherrice against her will, and the only actions he took were to tap his friend and give him facial expressions. Cash is just as much at blame for Sherrice's death as he viewed Jeremy's horrific actions and proceeded to not get involved, but rather leave the situation and cover for Jeremy after he confessed to Sherrices murder. I would argue David Cash is obligated to step in and defend Sherrice as it is simply moral to do so, despite his relationship with Jeremy. Cash had a whole minute to think through his actions and his opportunity to stop Jeremy from committing this gruesome act against Sherrice but instead choose to ignore the situation as "he was friends with Jeremy and did not know the little girl".

This abominable act can be compared to the incident on the 36 bus where a mature grown man assaulted a boy with no reasoning, yet another incident of bystanders choosing not to interfere(Boston Globe- Brian McGrory). I argue that this lack of interference with acts of wrongdoing is just as morally wrong as the act itself, with the ability to stop or prevent a heinous act the choice not to act, is just as evil. The ruling of something being "wrong" comes down to simple morals and logic. I agree with travelalarmclock as they stated in actions of nature are deemed as "wrong", specifically within physical altercations in my opinion bystanders are obliged to step in. I also agree that this obligation to step into wrongdoings is completely situational, if someone commits a "wrong" act that does not bring harm of any sort such as cheating on a test or stealing from a large chain store, my opinion is that we as bystanders are not obliged to step in, as I have said before, this choice comes down to morality and logic. These situations come in states where there is no time for morality or logic to be used, and people act on their gut instinct or immediate reaction. For example in Erez Yoeli and David Rand's "The Trick to Acting Heroically", they describe multiple situations of regular citizens being heroic in situations where the person had time to think and make the decision as well as citizens who acted heroically off of their gut instinct even if it put themselves in danger. These actions highlight the morals of and level of heroism such people obtain. This writing argues that the act of helping others throughout daily activities will build a habit of helping without thinking. It further argues if the habit/reputation of helping without thinking is worth the risk, here I would personally argue that the habit of helping others is worth the risk due to the trust that can be built throughout situations as such.

Overall I believe that as human beings we are morally obliged, when capeable, to help others if they are put in positions of danger as it is the morally correct thing to do within society.

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 20


Cash's excuses and his general tone in the interview, I feel that he genuinely thinks he did the right thing by walking away. This could not be more than wrong. Arguably, Cash could be an accomplice to the murder as he showed no remorse or regret for his actions. Technically, with this information, he could have gone to the police moments after his best friend told him about what he had done, or at the moment stop Strohmeyer in general. As a witness to any type of horrible event, if possible that person should do their best to help or stop the situation.

In "Nightmare on the 36 Bus," the situation described a young child being hit by an adult as they exited a bus with other passengers. Witnesses described that their reasoning for not stepping in were because it seemed to be a family situation. Whether or not it was a family issue, there was blood, abuse and a child being hurt at the hands of a seemingly drunken adult. Clearly, something must be wrong and for people to write that off as an issue shows that there's a lack of empathy. As a witness, if it is safe to do so, one should try to prevent a bad situation or step in, even if that meant simply calling 911. In situations more dangerous, there should at least be a call for help to protect people. Similar to the rape and murder of Sherrice Iverson, there was a young and defenseless child at risk. Both witnesses to the bus incident and a witness to the rape and murder, should have tried to intervien solely because of this. Children are seen as innocent and in some cases gifts to the world because of it. Both people described walking away in both incidents could have stood a chance over the abuser, like the man on the bus, or the rapist, or Strohmeyer, as opposed to the children who stood no chance.

In all cases where something could be done, witnesses should feel an obligation to step into it and give any help they can. Whether that's physically stepping in or calling for help. In "The Bystander Effect In The Cellphone Age," a man is described as taking pictures of the fire on a house, rather than using the phone and calling 911. On the contrary, there was another man who went into the house, knocked on the doors, rang the bells and yelled out for the people to leave the house. If this man wasn't there, the first man would have been at fault for the death of seven people. I feel that in more dangerous situation like these where you could be harmed trying to save someone, the best thing to do rather than watch is to call it in and try to alert the families in the house.

To conclude, no one should leave a defenseless person in a dangerous situation if you are able to help them even if it's giving a three second phone call to report it. I believe that people see getting involved as a bad thing when in some cases you may be able to save lives unlike David Cash.

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 20

Originally posted by NotATRex on September 22, 2022 21:11

David Cash should have done something.

Good morals, in general, should have governed his actions. When a human being witnesses something WAY out of the norm, and something that impacts a child and a family so badly, they should do something. A snap, or a nudge, or a look, or body language is not the way to do it either. As people who know what emotions and feelings are, I believe that every single person is obligated to help out and offer assistance when they see something wrong happening. There are so many people in this world who are just willing to stand by and watch. They get that guilty churn in their stomach, but for some reason, their feet are glued to the floor––or maybe they don't feel guilty and are simply okay with seeing something bad happen to another person. I know this is not right.

If you see someone being mistreated, I believe you are responsible for saying something. Now there are strenuous circumstances, for example, if the situation is dangerous for you personally to be in, get some help. Don't just stand there. Brian McGrory's, "Nightmare on the 36 Bus," is a perfect example of this. An 8-year-old child was being abused in front of more than a dozen people, and not one single person intervened––not even the bus driver. Hello? What world do we even live in? Of course, if you see a bad situation happening between two people, BUT one of the people is handling it, sometimes it is okay to be a witness. When there is crisis and fear and uncertainty, you should almost always offer your help and guard.

What's even more shocking to me about these bystander stories, is that they are actively happening in our communities. Another story, taking place in Jamaica Plain, also shows the bystander effect in our generation. Instead of being called to action when there is an emergency, people just stare in absolute shock. ("The Bystander Effect in the Cellphone Age") This reminds me of America's position during the Holocaust. We were also caught in the bystander effect. We were aware of the thousands of people being massacred every single day, but we did nothing. Similarly, my sister brought up to me the explosion of the Kharkiv Tec-5 thermal power plant. It seems like we're just sitting here absorbing information––or not. The war occupied two weeks in the news, then became just another memory.

I'm just tired of everyone sitting back and doing nothing.

I completely agree with you. I feel like Cash's idea of 'stepping in' did absolutely nothing, he clearly felt the need to acknowledge it was wrong yet let it happen. I also feel like when it comes to media and tragic stories, there's always the sense that people are talking about it performatively, it's trending. Yet no one actually does anything. I'm referring to what your sister brought up and how it becomes a memory because I believe that majority of the time, people who repost and speak out on these issues speak up to not look like a bad person then a week goes by and suddenly there's a new issue they feel passionately about and they start talking about that, leaving their original matter in the dust.

I also wanted to comment on the bus driver from the "Nightmare on the 36 Bus." I think that they should have inferred something was wrong. You're not hearing this child crying? You're not seeing it in your rear view mirrors? You're fully stopped, you have the liberty to do something and this person chose not to.

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 20

Originally posted by wonderwoman on September 22, 2022 20:03

As I sit and think about this specific incident I can not even scrap my brain for a single reason or explanation for Cash’s actions. The only true one is that he is a monster of a human being and deserves to be behind bars for stripping away a 7 year old girl’s life and future. For someone to witness and encourage an action so horrific their person and character should be directly challenged. David Cash clearly has no morals, no empathy, and no compassion. A true danger to society. Personally I think People are more focused on the business of their own lives to care for others. People care way too much about their image or being judged , “bystander effect occurs when the presence of others discourages an individual from intervening in an emergency situation” ( Harris). It is the presence of others which really causes the bystander effect. Maybe he thought he wasn't the right person to report it, maybe it wasn't any of his business-selfishness plays an important role as well.

I believe that there can be different rules to witnesses if the offense does not harm a human being, anything which endangers a person is a grave problem. When a life is at stake and a person is simply a witness to a crime, they deserve the same criminal charges as the participant. We do have an obligation to act but only when the consequences of interfering are worse than the outcome. For example, Ms. Freeman asked the class if they would tell the teacher on a cheating peer everyone said they wouldn't. It would cause too much trouble to rat the kid out and the only harm done would be the kid got a better grade on a probably already unfair test. But once Ms. Freeman mentioned young children getting hurt, almost everyone said they would immediately stop the assault. As long as you are a sane person, you know where the line crosses into dangerous territory. The lines start to blur only when a person is unstable and unempathetic.

I also think that after hearing some of these news stories, people have realized that they have a lot more power than they think. It's crazy to believe that just by calling the police or stopping an altercation could save a life. Cash has no reason to not have stopped it. He wasn't loosing anything. Except for his best friend who he's putting above everything because they take AP English. So what? You're gonna let your buddy kill and rape someone because you have a class together? Not for nothing, any of my classmates do something I find seriously wrong to the point that I'm stepping in, I don't care whose private story I'm on or whose talking about me afterword. I see you cheat on a test, I don't care enough because it's not physically hurting someone. But the second it starts to effect others is when I think a lot more people open their eyes and realize it's not okay.

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 23
  • Cash's actions aren't defendable at all. Cash should have at least tried to stop him, thrown something at him, or thought of asking and stopping his friend from entering the girl's bathroom in the first place. He clearly did not care about what was happening to the little girl, and cared more about staying friends with the assailant more than anything else. He honestly seems to have only felt sorry that he got caught not doing anything about it. If his friend wasn't stopping him after giving him the "look," why didn't he call security or something?? The whole situation is just so infuriating because there is just no reason for him not to have done something other than to save himself from being called a snitch or not being the assailant's friend. Anyone who witnesses unjust violence should at least report it happening. Like the conversation we had in class, I believe the circumstances matter when it comes to dismissing someone doing something against the rules. A case like this is absolutely not one of those circumstances.
  • We have an obligation to act on situations that can prompt harm to others, because if we don't, then we indirectly cause the tragedy to happen. If it was a situation where both of you could get harmed, I believe at least reporting the situation to someone better suited to dealing with the situation is necessary. From the last time we talked about this in class, I think it was said that a law was put in place that was made to incriminate accomplices (which is honestly what Cash would be in this case).
  • In the articles, "Nightmare on the 36 Bus," written by Brian McGrory for the Boston Globe, and "The Bystander Effect In The Cellphone Age," written by Judy Harris for Cognoscenti, both describe a group of people deciding to not do anything. In the case of the 36 Bus, a kid is seen being abused by a suspicious man-- but no one does anything about it. The bus operator even tries to cover up the fact that a kid was seen with a man who was hitting him hard. Some people didn't want to meddle in and stop the man because they believed the suspicious man could've possibly been the kid's father, and didn't want to be in the middle of family matters. In the "The Bystander Effect In The Cellphone Age" article, people decide to take videos of a house that was burning down instead of alerting residents nearby of the fire happening. The article also mentioned that there was a baseball game that was happening nearby and kept going despite the fire being prevalent and big. What both articles seem to have in common is the fact that they both seem to show that people become bystanders partly due to social cues. In the "The Bystander Effect In The Cellphone Age" article, it supports this idea by saying “bystander effect occurs when the presence of others discourages an individual from intervening in an emergency situation.” If most people aren't doing anything to help, then the person who wants to help is less likely to do it or think about it. Something I'm wondering now is how different are these situations from the Johnny Cash case? I would say that it's a different scenario than the rest because he was by himself with Cash in the bathroom, but outside of the bathroom, the casino must've been packed with people unaware of what was happening and having a good time. I still think that Cash had no reason to not have done anything besides trying to save his friend from getting in trouble.
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 23

Originally posted by testicular_cancer on September 22, 2022 12:15

A sense of morality should have governed Cash’s actions. Cash was and still is obligated by basic moral principles to intervene and help Iverson- as any person who witnesses another doing wrong is. It questions Cash’s principles and what he finds most important. Would he have interfered if Strohmeyer had been stealing from the casino? Money, tokens, items- anything but an innocent human life. Did Cash’s priorities lie in the resources of a multi-billion dollar corporation? They certainly did not lie in the survival of a helpless seven-year-old girl.

A good samaritan always has the moral obligation to act- even if it is not something the media highlights. The assumption that someone else will always act with “the presence of others [discouraging individuals] from intervening” seems to occur continuously (Harris 3). Granted, it’s not backed by the media because, for one reason or another, they would prefer to report on “a quick-acting JP resident took photos of flames bursting out of the roof of a Child Street home” than someone running “toward the house, yelling from half a block away. [Rushing] up the front stairs, [ringing] the doorbells for all three apartments, and [pouding] the front door” (Harris 2-3). The media always wants pictures- hard, horrific evidence of a tragedy- not a story pulled from a person’s memory. Tales of tragedies often go unnoticed unless whole communities are disturbed or if there is concrete visual evidence of them.

There are so many reasons why people go unhelped in dangerous, heartbreaking situations. Instincts are not listened to, assumptions are made, and no personal attachments are imagined. Everyone always seems to “sit back and watch”- yet everyone complains of how they “barely slept” when they realized their fearful ideas of their witness came true (McGrory). When someone needs “someone's help, [needs] anyone's help, nobody [is] willing to give it” (McGrory).

If people were to imagine what they would do if their worst fears about their loved ones being in harm came true- they would berate people for not helping them in the actual scenario. All it takes is a little moral compass, compassion, and imagination- thousands could have been saved. Not just Sherrice Iverson and the little boy on the 39 bus, but thousands more.

I totally agree with what you're saying. It's disheartening to see that so many people don't do anything when they see that what's happening in front of them is dangerous and terrible. I think it also partly has to do with the mentality of "what's going to happen to me?" when they are put in a situation where a heinous act is being committed. It's sad that we still live in a world where most people don't bother to look out for each other. Cash is certainly a bad Samaritan, no matter what way you look at it. He was clearly lacking in compassion.

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 23

Originally posted by legoninjagofan67 on September 22, 2022 18:23

I think that sympathy should have governed David Cash's actions. I wish that Cash had some sympathy for the girl. I find it so hard to believe that he simply did not (and does not) care for the girl. I find it hard to believe that someone could be so heartless and cruel to another human being, especially a child. Theoretically, nobody has an "obligation" to report a wrong if they see it, but its all about morals and doing the right thing. I'm not super caught up on modern day laws, but maybe there is a law about if you see something, you should to say something. Also, i think its all about severity and humanity. I feel like it depends on the situation. I guess i would say there are different rules. If someone were to see something like what happened with Cash and Strohmeyer, i would so badly hope that the person would go get help or report the situation. I feel like if its something not so bad like a petty crime or maybe even like cheating on a test, then its not so neccessary to say something. Again, its all about morality and the situation, and its different for every person, but i just think that when it gets to a certain degree, you need to say something.

I dont believe that there are any specific rules on reporting if you witness anything wrong. Maybe there should be, idk. Technically nobody has an obligation (I may be wrong, i havent read all laws in all states) to report anything, but if they are found to be a crucial witness or somehow were involved in the case and it made something change, then they are obliged to play a role and go to court to testify. I think that it is a case to case issue. Every situation and every case is different. Everyones morality and moral compass is different. Every state has different rules and laws, and thats why this situation is so difficult to understand and govern, theres so many things to take into consideration.

The first article i read was "The Bystander Effect in the Cellphone Age" by Judy Harris. This was a really interesting article, but it wasnt really surprising to me. This article was written in 2015, and i think that most likely, things have gotten worse. A man was trying his best to warn families that their house was on fire, and he helped them escape, and tried to make sure everyone was safe, all while multiple bystanders just stood outside and took videos on their cellphones. This sort of ties into what i had said earlier, because its a morality thing. This man was super courageous, and did his best to help, while others decided not to get involved and just stood there. I would hope that if this man wasnt there, then someone else would step in to do something, but i cant fully say that thats what would have happened. Maybe the other witnesses were scared or didnt think they could do anything, but there were innocent people inside that building, and they needed help from others. With cellphones and social media becoming increasingly popular, i can only imagine what these situations are like nowadays. I just hope that in every instance, there is a man like that husband.

The second article i read was "The Trick to Acting Heroically" by Erez Yoeli and David Rand. This article starts off talking about a situation that happened on a train in France. A man pulled a gun out, but 3 other men stepped in and "thwarted" the attack. All 3 of them talked about the situation afterwards, stating they just did it purely out of instinct. Now my question to this article is, would everyone act out of instinct? Already, i know that the answer is no. This just feeds into the fact that every case is different and every person is different. Every human is different, and every human acts in ways that other people dont. Who knows what would have happened on that train if someone didnt step in? What wouldve happened if someone decided to step in, but only after it was too late? What if no one stepped in at all? For those 3 men, i definitely think they deserve praise and some sort of reward/compensation for helping save the lives of many, btu at the same time i also feel like its just what they should've done anyways. The last line of the article is a really good one, it states: "the recent heroics in France remind us, heroes don’t just do good — they do good instinctively." But can everybody be a hero? Does everybody have the morality and bravery to step in?

This is such a difficult topic and its certainly not easy to come to any single conclusions that sum up every single situation.

Yeah, for some people, it's hard to act without thinking. Some people worry more about their own well being, and others are just too shocked to do anything. Humans can be pretty infuriating haha. I wonder why it is that some people act on instinct while others don't and instead stay frozen (like I'm interested in why it happens biologically speaking). People like the husband in the "The Bystander Effect in the Cellphone Age" are truly what we need more of in our society-- it's not enough to only have a few people be like this. I wonder if there's a way to teach others to support each other like the husband did (like having some sort of training). Nonetheless, it would be a lot better if people followed their moral compass and true instinct.

Posts: 10

The Dilemma of the Bad Samaritan

I would hope that Cash’s sense of virtue would have governed his actions, and if not that, that he’d at least realize that he was a bystander, to a crime which he could maybe be held accountable for and that would have governed his decision to help. I think a person is obligated to help out whenever they can, especially, but not limited to, when they have a connection to the crime, the perpetrator, or the victim. I would say there are different rules depending on the nature of the “wrong” in that the more harmful a crime is to another person / other people, the more important it is for bystanders to intervene and stop or attempt to stop the crime. How much the details of a crime matter to an individual in whether they decide to step in will always depend on the person, but I would say minimally if harm is being done to another person, intervention is a necessity.

I would argue that we are always obligated to act so long as we are able. For example, if you can’t do anything but watch, because of distance, disability, threat to your physical being, or restraint of your body, etc., then you are not able to do anything but witness. However, David Cash was very much capable of stopping or at least attempting to stop the assault and murder of Sherrice Iverson, but he chose to be a bystander instead, meaning he did not fulfill his obligation to act; his obligation to Sherrice Iverson as a person in need of his help. What I find incredibly disturbing and disgusting is how he tries to justify letting Sherrice Iverson die by saying that he wasn’t obligated to help her because he didn’t know her and that he’s not responsible for the suffering of everyone. As much as I hate to admit it, he’s not completely wrong because he’s right that he can’t help everyone and it’s not his responsibility to do so. However, that statement is just not relevant because no one is saying he’s responsible for saving everyone worldwide, that’s not the argument. He failed to stop a heinous crime that he was a bystander to. And his point that he doesn’t know Sherrice Iverson, he knows Jeremy Strohmeyer, and as his best friend, is exactly why not acting was even more wrong; he saw his best friend, whom he could easily talk to and possibly convince to do most things, sexually assaulting a girl he knew was innocent and who he knew had no connection to them. He tries to distance himself from the crime and his position as a bystander by mentioning and comparing the crime to the hardships of people across the globe, thousands of miles away, when in actuality, he was a couple feet at most from a crime, easily within a distance to stop it. I would say that just makes his inaction even worse.

One of the articles I read was “The Bystander Effect In The Cellphone Age” by Judy Harris, and what stuck out to me most was how people didn’t think of themselves as bystanders and excused themselves from doing anything because they were capturing it on their phone. I think the age of technology that’s arisen in the past few decades has created a normalized dissociation between reality and the online world. Unfortunately, people’s first instinct is to take out their phones and make sure that the world is seeing what they are, which is not always a bad thing, but when they’re witnessing distressing situations, they take pictures or record it, viewing it through the lens of their phone camera. They view it as something they’re watching that’s far away instead of something that’s happening in front of them. Because of this, we might have more David Cashes in the world, albeit likely unintentionally, because they can’t connect that what’s happening at that moment is something they can intervene in. The other article I read was “The Trick to Acting Heroically” by Erez Yoeli and David Rand, and what I was thinking about while reading it was that I don’t think heroism should be defined by whether or not you helped instinctively. As the article suggests, the instinct to help people likely isn’t purely or even mostly moral but rather socially beneficial so even if regarding those who do things out of instinct as a hero is correct, I don’t think we should dismiss the idea that there are reluctant heroes too; taking action even while wanting to believe that other people will do something and that it’s not their responsibility. However, I think it’s easier to connect heroism to instinct because there’s a difference, when considering intervening before you act, between doing so because you believe it’s the right thing to do and because you were worried about the consequences. With that, I guess there is the question of whether someone’s reason for helping matters when deciding whether they should be seen as a hero. However, if nothing else is clear, it’s that David Cash was not the hero Sherrice Iverson needed but rather a villain she didn’t deserve.

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