posts 16 - 30 of 47
JnjerAle
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 4

Originally posted by Juicy Burger on September 17, 2022 21:58

  • What do you think should have governed Cash’s actions? What obligations does a person who witnesses another wrong have? Are there different rules depending on the nature of the “wrong”?
  • Can you identify what “rules”—legal or otherwise—ought to govern the decision to act or merely to witness. Do we have an obligation to act—sometimes, rarely, occasionally, always? Explain.
  • Choose at least 2 of the readings listed above (all are uploaded to Google classroom and attached to the post), read them and integrate what you learn from them into your response. Be certain to cite the authors or titles as you reference them so we all recognize the references.

Cash needed to truly understand the consequence and direct impact Jeremy had human life. In my viewpoint, I think it is easy for people living in the future to criticize the past. While, I absolutely think that what Cash did was above any evil, there is a need to dissect the psychological reasons behind what he did.

First, I think that humans like to ignore things that don't affect them. Cash says "I do not know starving children in Panama" and I think this reveals a huge disconnect between society and Cash. This disconnect can ultimately break the human qualities that make us care about others.

Second, I think it is easy to do nothing. If we aren't forced to do something to survive, it's easiest to do nothing. Cash expends little energy and avoids creating turmoil by not turning his friend in. The article from WBUR talks about the bystander effect and I think this is really important to understand humans today. Harris describes it as "when the presence of others discourages an individual from intervening in an emergency situation.” Although, Cash had no other bystander and knew that what Strohmeyer did was wrong, I think a version of the bystander effect still exists. This version does not justify inaction because others can solve it or we can document it, rather I believe it simply means people have a natural tendency to do nothing.

Legally, Cash did nothing wrong, and I believe that unfortunately, he deserved to go free. However, since these laws have changed there is also a new legal obligation to do something. When we look at an ethical framework, we should be preventing injustice as often as we can. But given humans don't want to expend a large cost as the article from Rand and Yoeli point out, I think there should be an obligation to help people if you don't risk your life in any grave way. I think enacting rules that force people to sacrifice themselves for others is unfair and is a bit too controlling. I also agree with another sentiment from Rand and Yoeli which is that good actions compound over time. So yes, some times disaster strikes and we will see a hero figure appear but I also believe little good action compounded over time can help humanity avert dozens of future crises.

Ultimately, even though Cash's actions are beyond okay, I think modern psychology and analysis can help us understand his outlook as well as past atrocities. Additionally, I'll add that Cash, if had viewed the situation from another perspective, would have likely agreed with popular sentiment. But I think the further he choose to defend himself, the more he became engrained within a defensive and hostile state.

I loved your statements about how humans love to ignore things that don't affect them and how easy it is to do nothing. It is easy to become disconnected from the outside world as you can allow yourself to sympathize with people but it is much harder to actually force yourself to act. The bystander effect is very interesting and I would also like to further understand the psychology behind his actions. And yes, while what Cash did was very much legal at the time, him walking away almost makes him seem comparable to an accomplice in the murder. He very much deserved the backlash he received from society, but I just wish he got a bit of a bigger punishment than just some insults.

enterusernamenow
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 3

Originally posted by BigGulpFrom711 on September 21, 2022 18:38

Firstly, it’s important to note that there are multiple rules and reactions based on the “wrong” that is being committed, such as cheating on a test or someone getting beat up right in front of you. Most of the rules and reactions are based upon how it may impact you personally. For example, reporting to a teacher that someone was cheating on a test won’t give you a better score, nor will it somehow decrease your score. There is no gain or loss for you so you will most likely ignore it. Compared to the scenario where someone is getting beat up, the reaction is a bit different. In this scenario, will you be able to physically stop the assault if you intervene, or will you get hurt trying to intervene? In both scenarios, the biggest rule is the gain to loss ratio. Do I gain anything? Do I lose anything? What are the consequences of getting involved? Will my life be in danger? Am I, as a person, willing to push aside my personal agenda to step up and be a good Samaritan?

The circumstances of a situation can negatively affect the thought process of a witness, as it can create more scenarios in one’s head where the cons begin to outweigh the benefits. This sort of thought process can be seen in the article “The Trick to Acting Heroically”, where many heroes had acted on impulse, rather than reflecting on the situation at hand. However, it should also be mentioned that the previous statement can be contradicted if the witness is able to overcome their thoughts of self-preservation with a large desire to act and help. How does this exactly relay back to Cash? Well, it shows us that Cash most likely had instincts of self-preservation, a flood of possibilities that may negatively affect him, his reputation, or his friendship with Jeremy. As a result, this led to Cash becoming a bystander and leaving before the crime had occurred, a physical representation of Cash ignoring responsibility and the situation. Overall, Cash being a bystander is very disgusting, but I think it is also important to view what Cash was possibly thinking about during what Jeremy did in the stall, rather than judging Cash for what he did before and after the crime.

I think what you're saying in regards to the thought process of David Cash is interesting. I think that Cash may have thought he would have more to gain from being a bystander and wished to avoid loss. However, looking at the timeline, do you think its incorrect to say, that he had a significant amount of time, in which he could've rationally weighed the immediate vs future value he would receive from helping or ignoring the situation?

arcoiris18
BOSTON, MA, US
Posts: 4

Originally posted by enterusernamenow on September 22, 2022 18:12

What do you think should have governed Cash’s actions?

I think, that fear and denial may have governed David Cash's actions. After reading Erez Yoeli and David Rand, “The Trick to Acting Heroically", I think I understand what makes a bystander a bystander. Often fear barriers our ability to rationally think and denial stops us from expecting the unexpected and taking immediate necessary action. Furthermore, Cash's aid would've had less provocative value for David himself. He saw no value in helping another (Sherrice) who he felt could not help him in return. There is absolutely no excuse for David Cash's action, he had plentiful time to think rationally, after assessing the situation and his options --- and he purposely chose to ignore the situation.

What obligations does a person who witnesses another wrong have? & Are there different rules depending on the nature of the “wrong”?

Morally, they have a responsibility to assess the wrong and try to right it by any means possible. Weather that be "snitching" on someone etc. Do note that I say one must "assess the wrong". I say this because as Ms. Freeman asked us in class: "What would you do if you saw a friend cheating on a test or stealing from a store"? To both questions admittedly I answered nothing. I would do nothing. But I think that anyone with sound moral compass (a weird thing to say as moral compasses are in some sense subjective) should take action against a wrong. In David Cash's case, there was an evident wrong. His best-friend admitted to murdering a little girl.

Can you identify what “rules”—legal or otherwise—ought to govern the decision to act or merely to witness.

There are some laws that govern our decisions in regards to acting and witnessing. For example, citizens arrest, good Samaritan laws, accessory, aiding and abiding, failure to report a crime, and laws against stealing etc. But, as far as the law goes, if we continue to criminalize individuals not directly responsible for an action, or a lack thereof action, we will only be incarcerating thousands more. There's so much nuance to law, and personally I believe that the last thing the US needs is a higher incarceration rate. Even here in MA, we (the SJC) are looking to rid our judicial principals of such harsh accessory laws. The issue of prosecuting a bystander for a poor discussions gets complicated when it comes to law, because --- the judgement would be less focused on simply their action(s) or lack thereof, but rather their subjective moral compass as well.

Do we have an obligation to act—sometimes, rarely, occasionally, always? Explain.

We have an obligation to act. I do not know how to generalize when we should act and when we shouldn't. The fact of the matter is, it should be a case by case basis with proper legal judgement. There are so many differing situations, generalizing them would be almost impossible. Hence why there's so much law in this country, ever changing laws as well. I think regardless however, we should try to be good Samaritans and take proactive action when it is painfully obvious we should. However As Judy Harris, “The Bystander Effect in the Cellphone Age,” points out, sometimes, it's difficult to define what action(s) condemn one to the title of a "bystander", even that may be subjective.

Post your response here.

I agree with your statement of not generalizing situations because different cases require different amounts of attention. Also the case by case is important way to judge because it makes you take a look at each invduval case isntde of creating a broad judgement.

JnjerAle
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 4

Originally posted by glass on September 20, 2022 08:18

  • What do you think should have governed Cash’s actions? What obligations does a person who witnesses another wrong have? Are there different rules depending on the nature of the “wrong”?
  • Can you identify what “rules”—legal or otherwise—ought to govern the decision to act or merely to witness. Do we have an obligation to act—sometimes, rarely, occasionally, always? Explain.
  • Choose at least 2 of the readings listed above (all are uploaded to Google classroom and attached to the post), read them and integrate what you learn from them into your response. Be certain to cite the authors or titles as you reference them so we all recognize the references.

I think that while legally he was not required to do anything, morally he should have known to. I would think that if you saw someone raping and then told murdering a little girl ou would do something, not necasarily forcefully butt in if unable to but at the very least report it to someone, a dad, security guard, or police officer. I would say yes there are different rules, using the example of someone stealing from a store vs murdering someone, you are physiclly, emotionally and traumatically hurting a being while if you take a bracelet from Claire's you wouldn't be hurting anyone but yourself if you get caught. While yes Cash did not personally kill Sherrice Iverson, he did indirectly by not intervening, not even telling someone, and simply continuing his night because it was "out of character" for Jeremy.

I personally believe that it entirely relies upon the scenario but if I can stop someone from getting hurt I will, like returning a wallet, or even like in the article on the 36 I would try to do something although not sure what. At the moment yes I would be terrified but instead of letting that little boy get his nose broken by a grown man which we don't even know the relation of I would somehow get that kid help. But say you were at BJ's and saw someone stealing diapers or baby clothes, I don't know what's going on in that eperson's life but maybe they can't afford to actually purchase the baby's needs so of course, I wouldn't say anything, maying thinks about it later and wonder about the woman but I honestly would barely bat an eye. So I would say we have a moral obligation to act sometimes but not always.

Reading the article Nightmare on the 36 bus it was shocking because I've ridden on that bus before and if I saw that not only would I get the driver to call the police or something of the sort but I would try to get the child away from the man. The one woman saying it could have been a family matter I would understand if they were just arguing but full-on punching a child multiple times if where I would definitely draw the line on not intervening. That poor kid was then just left crying on the street at 11 pm in the cold. The apartment building on fire, The Byestander Effect in the Cellphone age" I think really backs up my point because what if that one man didn't go help that woman, what if the top floor fwamily was home and stuck? By the time the firemen came they would have been long burnt and killed. While no, in certain scenrios like this I wouldn't say that everyone should run into a burning building I think you should try to help in ways you can, breaking windows to left out smoke, try to call to see whos there and call 911 immediatly, don't just take photos of it.

Yeah I agree, I've been on the 36 bus so many times and it's shocking and saddening that I never heard of this happening. Also, I agree with the fact that while people aren't/weren't legally required to intervene, it should still be a moral duty to at least do something when you witness someone else getting hurt. Even if you are scared to physically intervene, the best course of action is to get help. Inaction in the face of a deed like what Strohmeyer is what truly makes a bystander so looked down upon.

enterusernamenow
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 3

Originally posted by arcoiris18 on September 22, 2022 18:21

I believe Cash should have put aside his personal connection to Jeremy Strohmeyer and inside acted with his morals.

I think there are different levels of being a bystander because it depends on the severity level of what you are witnessing. For example, it is much easier to turn your head at someone who is stealing food, because they mostly really need it, compared to seeing someone murder someone because there is very little justification for that. I think we have internal moral compasses that help to understand when to act even if we aren't conscious of it.

You speak a lot about "moral compass". I believe that everyone's moral compass may differ, for instance, one person may think it's "moral" to cheat on a quiz and others may think it's "immoral". How do you think we can change people's perspective in order to better craft their moral compass? Do you think that "moral compass" is a subjective idea too?

arcoiris18
BOSTON, MA, US
Posts: 4

Originally posted by Juicy Burger on September 17, 2022 21:58

  • What do you think should have governed Cash’s actions? What obligations does a person who witnesses another wrong have? Are there different rules depending on the nature of the “wrong”?
  • Can you identify what “rules”—legal or otherwise—ought to govern the decision to act or merely to witness. Do we have an obligation to act—sometimes, rarely, occasionally, always? Explain.
  • Choose at least 2 of the readings listed above (all are uploaded to Google classroom and attached to the post), read them and integrate what you learn from them into your response. Be certain to cite the authors or titles as you reference them so we all recognize the references.

Cash needed to truly understand the consequence and direct impact Jeremy had human life. In my viewpoint, I think it is easy for people living in the future to criticize the past. While, I absolutely think that what Cash did was above any evil, there is a need to dissect the psychological reasons behind what he did.

First, I think that humans like to ignore things that don't affect them. Cash says "I do not know starving children in Panama" and I think this reveals a huge disconnect between society and Cash. This disconnect can ultimately break the human qualities that make us care about others.

Second, I think it is easy to do nothing. If we aren't forced to do something to survive, it's easiest to do nothing. Cash expends little energy and avoids creating turmoil by not turning his friend in. The article from WBUR talks about the bystander effect and I think this is really important to understand humans today. Harris describes it as "when the presence of others discourages an individual from intervening in an emergency situation.” Although, Cash had no other bystander and knew that what Strohmeyer did was wrong, I think a version of the bystander effect still exists. This version does not justify inaction because others can solve it or we can document it, rather I believe it simply means people have a natural tendency to do nothing.

Legally, Cash did nothing wrong, and I believe that unfortunately, he deserved to go free. However, since these laws have changed there is also a new legal obligation to do something. When we look at an ethical framework, we should be preventing injustice as often as we can. But given humans don't want to expend a large cost as the article from Rand and Yoeli point out, I think there should be an obligation to help people if you don't risk your life in any grave way. I think enacting rules that force people to sacrifice themselves for others is unfair and is a bit too controlling. I also agree with another sentiment from Rand and Yoeli which is that good actions compound over time. So yes, some times disaster strikes and we will see a hero figure appear but I also believe little good action compounded over time can help humanity avert dozens of future crises.

Ultimately, even though Cash's actions are beyond okay, I think modern psychology and analysis can help us understand his outlook as well as past atrocities. Additionally, I'll add that Cash, if had viewed the situation from another perspective, would have likely agreed with popular sentiment. But I think the further he choose to defend himself, the more he became engrained within a defensive and hostile state.

Post your response here.

Your thought about the physiology idea behind Cash's actions are intresting. I disagree with the idea that he deserves to be free because to some extent he did play a role in Sherrice's death since he didn't even try to stop Jeremy. I also would argue that humans naturally don't ingore things that don't affect them because if you are aware of the things around you, like most people are, you will be affected either way. Also since Jeremy was David's friend his actions did in fact have a direct impact on him. So even though he didn't know Sherrice and so he feel any attachment to her death, he did know Jeremy and should have understood that what his friend was doing would impact both their lives. That knowledge should have persuaded him even more to intervene.

BigGulpFrom711
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 5

Originally posted by Juicy Burger on September 22, 2022 18:03

Originally posted by BigGulpFrom711 on September 21, 2022 18:38

  • What do you think should have governed Cash’s actions? What obligations does a person who witnesses another wrong have? Are there different rules depending on the nature of the “wrong”?
  • Can you identify what “rules”—legal or otherwise—ought to govern the decision to act or merely to witness. Do we have an obligation to act—sometimes, rarely, occasionally, always? Explain.
  • Choose at least 2 of the readings listed above (all are uploaded to Google classroom and attached to the post), read them and integrate what you learn from them into your response. Be certain to cite the authors or titles as you reference them so we all recognize the references.

Starting off with Cash's actions as a bystander, it is very easy to say that Cash should've acted upon his moral compass and to intervene. However, similar to what Juicy Burger had posted, I also believe that it is very easy to judge incidents that have occurred in the past. I think it should shift more to the "present", as in what had happened in that moment, as well as the "future", where Cash shares his side of the story after the incident and a reflection on it.

Firstly, it’s important to note that there are multiple rules and reactions based on the “wrong” that is being committed, such as cheating on a test or someone getting beat up right in front of you. Most of the rules and reactions are based upon how it may impact you personally. For example, reporting to a teacher that someone was cheating on a test won’t give you a better score, nor will it somehow decrease your score. There is no gain or loss for you so you will most likely ignore it. Compared to the scenario where someone is getting beat up, the reaction is a bit different. In this scenario, will you be able to physically stop the assault if you intervene, or will you get hurt trying to intervene? In both scenarios, the biggest rule is the gain to loss ratio. Do I gain anything? Do I lose anything? What are the consequences of getting involved? Will my life be in danger? Am I, as a person, willing to push aside my personal agenda to step up and be a good Samaritan?

Relaying back to Cash, he did nothing wrong on a legal basis at the time. However, on a moral scale, he should’ve done something to prevent that crime. Yet, it is incredibly easy to judge based on all of the information that we were given and we should instead focus on what Cash may have thought about at the moment. Cash would’ve been swept up in the moment of the incident, with his personal agenda, moral compass, and even his body all fighting against each other. Emotions such as fear, confusion, anger, doubt, and possibly frustration would’ve been overwhelming throughout his body. An event similar to this would be the “Nightmare on the 36 Bus” written by Brian McGrory, where a young boy was beaten right in front of the driver and bus passengers and no one had done anything to intervene. Those thoughts of turmoil would be told by Daniel Aluclair, a medical researcher, who was on the bus that night. Auclair had even stated “‘Maybe I’m out of place. Maybe it’s just a family thing and I shouldn’t intervene’”. Auclair was caught in the moment. He didn’t know what to do and simply gave himself a sense of self-relief and an excuse to not do anything. Compared to Cash’s situation, both situations are a scenario where someone’s life is possibly in danger and if the witness can possibly intervene.

The circumstances of a situation can negatively affect the thought process of a witness, as it can create more scenarios in one’s head where the cons begin to outweigh the benefits. This sort of thought process can be seen in the article “The Trick to Acting Heroically”, where many heroes had acted on impulse, rather than reflecting on the situation at hand. However, it should also be mentioned that the previous statement can be contradicted if the witness is able to overcome their thoughts of self-preservation with a large desire to act and help. How does this exactly relay back to Cash? Well, it shows us that Cash most likely had instincts of self-preservation, a flood of possibilities that may negatively affect him, his reputation, or his friendship with Jeremy. As a result, this led to Cash becoming a bystander and leaving before the crime had occurred, a physical representation of Cash ignoring responsibility and the situation. Overall, Cash being a bystander is very disgusting, but I think it is also important to view what Cash was possibly thinking about during what Jeremy did in the stall, rather than judging Cash for what he did before and after the crime.

Post your response here.

Hi BigGulpFrom711,

I really enjoyed reading your post because it delves into the psychology of why people do what they do; I especially agree that people are most concerned with themselves in most situations. Yes, there are some situations where people act on impulse, but this impulse doesn't always exist and if it isn't immediately stimulated, people will likely do nothing. I think it makes a lot of sense then that once David Cash felt no remorse initially, it was easy to see that he would do nothing to stop his friend. Or maybe he did feel remorse, but as long as he was more likely to defend his friend or trust his friend, he did not feel the need to do anything.

I think one thing I would like to bring up though is that in terms of the cost to David Cash, I think there was little cost. I think any negative consequence could only come out of his friend finding out that he ratted him, but even this could be avoided or at least believed to be avoided if David Cash took the right precautions. I do however think that, generally, it is most easy to do nothing and that's what a lot of people like doing.

One question, how do you think society can better train people to priortize others over themselves?

Hi Juicy Burger, the point you mentioned about an impulse not always existing is 100% a situation that does exist and I should've taken that into account too. I think a big part of it can also stem from what someone was taught and possibly experiencing a dangerous situation, either as a victim or being a bystander themselves. As for your question, I do not believe society can do much to better train people to prioritize others over themselves. We, as people, are very self-centered and want to focus on our own lives. A good example of this would be posters one can see at school announcing things like "Don't be a bystander, be an upstander" or "Be an Upstander". Many people would barely bat an eye at it and just ignore it, as it doesn't directly involve them. However, I also do believe that learning to prioritize others over themselves will require a lot of confidence, courage, and rational thinking to overcome an alarming and dangerous situation. Overall, I think it is very subjective from person to person, as well as what that person's morals and boundaries are.

chimken
Boston, Massachussetts, US
Posts: 1

Bad Samaritan

I believe that as a human being, it is not only ethical but expected for someone to act out in the face of an injustice. What should have governed Cash's actions is the basic moral values contained within anyone, but instead demonstrated nothing less than sociopathy. Any person that witnesses these crimes and finds themselves in a position to either communicate to authorities or interfere should do so, although physically interfering is not always viable, it should always be considered. For example, In Cash's case, although the physical differences aren't disclosed, this doesn't mean that he's completely powerless. He had multiple chances to not only report, but also attempt to correct Strohmeyer's actions. Furthermore, Cash continued to play casino games, drove back to California with him, and yet failed to report him to authorities. The actions a civilian should take in these types of situations are obviously subject to change depending on the situation, yet reporting the crime should be expected regardless of crime. In situations in which a civilian is confident in their ability to aid others, they should help as much as possible, but the more dangerous the situation the less expected they are to intervene. Since Cash was in no danger and had resources to contact help, he should definitely be held accountable.

When considering these cases in a court setting, I believe ideas like the Bystander Effect, danger of the Samaritan, and gravity of the situation should all be considered. In Cash's case, I believe he should be labeled as an accomplice since he was in no danger in a urgent situation. As far as other cases, they should range in a spectrum of bystander to accomplice depending on their behavior during the scene.

While reading the other sources from similar cases, Nightmare on the 36 Bus especially stood out. Much like the Strohmeyer case, they both deal with the abuse of children and a lack of reaction from those around them. Despite the presence of multiple people as well as a bus driver, nothing was done to defend the child from being hit by an older man. Although the scenario in The Bystander Effect in the Cellphone Age can't be applied to Strohmeyer's case, it can definitely be tied back to the situation in the bus. Potentially the time, weather, and the bystander effect played a role in the reactions from other passengers in the bus, despite this argument, their response (especially the bus drivers) was unnaceptable.

BigGulpFrom711
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 5

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

Originally posted by BigGulpFrom711 on September 21, 2022 18:38

Firstly, it’s important to note that there are multiple rules and reactions based on the “wrong” that is being committed, such as cheating on a test or someone getting beat up right in front of you. Most of the rules and reactions are based upon how it may impact you personally. For example, reporting to a teacher that someone was cheating on a test won’t give you a better score, nor will it somehow decrease your score. There is no gain or loss for you so you will most likely ignore it. Compared to the scenario where someone is getting beat up, the reaction is a bit different. In this scenario, will you be able to physically stop the assault if you intervene, or will you get hurt trying to intervene? In both scenarios, the biggest rule is the gain to loss ratio. Do I gain anything? Do I lose anything? What are the consequences of getting involved? Will my life be in danger? Am I, as a person, willing to push aside my personal agenda to step up and be a good Samaritan?

The circumstances of a situation can negatively affect the thought process of a witness, as it can create more scenarios in one’s head where the cons begin to outweigh the benefits. This sort of thought process can be seen in the article “The Trick to Acting Heroically”, where many heroes had acted on impulse, rather than reflecting on the situation at hand. However, it should also be mentioned that the previous statement can be contradicted if the witness is able to overcome their thoughts of self-preservation with a large desire to act and help. How does this exactly relay back to Cash? Well, it shows us that Cash most likely had instincts of self-preservation, a flood of possibilities that may negatively affect him, his reputation, or his friendship with Jeremy. As a result, this led to Cash becoming a bystander and leaving before the crime had occurred, a physical representation of Cash ignoring responsibility and the situation. Overall, Cash being a bystander is very disgusting, but I think it is also important to view what Cash was possibly thinking about during what Jeremy did in the stall, rather than judging Cash for what he did before and after the crime.

I think what you're saying in regards to the thought process of David Cash is interesting. I think that Cash may have thought he would have more to gain from being a bystander and wished to avoid loss. However, looking at the timeline, do you think its incorrect to say, that he had a significant amount of time, in which he could've rationally weighed the immediate vs future value he would receive from helping or ignoring the situation?

I do not think it's incorrect to say that he did have a significant amount of time to rationally weigh the pros and cons he would receive from helping or ignoring the situation. A lot of the things I have stated in my post are from pure speculation that I based upon resources given to us and in shows or books. Based on this foundation, if Cash had enough time to rationally think about the pros and cons (which he probably did), then he would 100% be in the wrong and it would show where his morals are as a person. If Cash didn't have enough time to rationally think about the pros and cons due to a state of confusion/fear/surprise, then it would show that he wanted to avoid all sense of responsibility and ran away from the situation to not get involved.

purplehibiscus
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 3

I truly can't fathom what would drive Cash to not act when he witnessed such a horrifying crime. I believe reporting or not reporting a crime has a lot to do with the persons morals and it seems like he doesn't have any. I read the Bystander Effect article which I definitely agree with, people think others will call the police so they don't need to but Cash knew he was the only one who witnessed it. He knew there was no one else to report it but still chose not to say anything. While what I believe Cash did was wrong he didn't legally have the obligation to report Sherrices rape and murder but he should have felt the moral obligation to do something. The rules changing depending on the nature of the “wrong” also has a lot to do with morals. Your personal beliefs are what drive you to act if you believe somethings wrong, I think based on the discussion we had in class most people draw the line at physically harming others. I also read The Trick to Acting Heroically which talked about how doing something good almost all of the time is instinctive. People offer to help without thinking through the potential consequences, Cash didn't react instinctively at all. He witnessed the crime and didn't intervene right away, but he also had time after to weigh the consequences of reporting Strohmeyer, and there weren't many. This just confused me more about how Cash decided to respond why didn't he have the natural instinct to help? Cash didn't do anything wrong legally at the time but he had many opportunities to do something but he felt that it didn't involve him. Luckily now there is the Sherrice Iverson bill with legal punishment for not reporting a crime which I believe is very appropriate. This bill allows witnesses to not have to step into the confrontation if they aren't comfortable but still requires them to report it so criminals can be caught. Cashs action we’re terrible and he had a lot of time to do something about what he saw, its very interesting that his environment, no other witnesses, didn't drive him to do something more.

purplehibiscus
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 3

Originally posted by arcoiris18 on September 22, 2022 18:21

I believe Cash should have put aside his personal connection to Jeremy Strohmeyer and inside acted with his morals. When he supposedly looked over the bathroom stall to witness Jeremy with Sherrice he would have understood what happening and how horrible his "friends" actions were. In "The Trick to Acting Heroically" by Erez Yoeli and David Rand when they asked the three American men and the British businessman who stopped a gunman’s attack what they were thinking about at that moment they said “It was just gut instinct...It wasn’t really a conscious decision.” That is how David Cash should have reacted, with his gut feeling even if he didn't know Sherrice he should have done the decent human thing and either stopped Jeremy or gone to go get help, that was his obligation as the only witness. David Cash should have prevented Jeremy from ever entering the bathroom and he should have at least gotten someone when he witnessed Jeremy bring Sherrice into the bathroom stall. Being a witness is a hard thing because the pressure of understanding what to do in a situation is difficult. I think there are different levels of being a bystander because it depends on the severity level of what you are witnessing. For example, it is much easier to turn your head at someone who is stealing food, because they mostly really need it, compared to seeing someone murder someone because there is very little justification for that. I think we have internal moral compasses that help to understand when to act even if we aren't conscious of it. Another way of being a bystander, especially in more modern times is recording or watching a recording of an act happening. In "The Bystander Effect In The Cellphone Age" by Judy Harris, she says, "My husband was incredulous that no one else thought to try to warn the residents, but instead were documenting the events for social media." In her article, she says the bystanders were more interested in documenting what was happening instead of helping. This level of documentation is important though because it then becomes evidence, recently in the police brutality cases, and they help to find people guilty who otherwise would have gotten away. It is still important to always think of helping first because if you hid behind your phone to gather evidence you aren't always helping, especially if whatever is happening that you're recording goes sideways. Overall, the notion of an upstander,witness, and bystander is a tough subject depending on what type of thing they were seeing, but in most cases I think it is important to act with the intention of helping. This could be by intervening or getting more help or looking the other way in cases where it seems like the person isn't doing harm.

Post your response here.

I totally agree with this and I really liked when you mentioned helping first instead of being behind a camera. I think now especially with younger generations growing up with all of this technology is going to worsen this. People need to think of others and do what they can to help right away, delaying to take a photo could cost someone their life.

soccermom1800
Boston , Massachusetts , US
Posts: 2

Originally posted by freemanjud on September 16, 2022 18:07


Readings (select 2 of the 4 short articles to read):


Background:

For any of you who missed class on Wednesday, September 14, we watched a clip from 60 Minutes called “The Bad Samaritan” (from 0:00-5:39).


Eighteen-year-old David Cash chose to walk away as his friend, fellow eighteen-year-old Jeremy Strohmeyer, assaulted and murdered Sherrice Iverson, age 7, in the women’s restroom of a Nevada casino at 3 in the morning on Sunday, May 25, 1997. He told the Los Angeles Times when his friend was arrested that he was “not going to lose sleep over someone else’s problems.”


Clearly what Jeremy Strohmeyer did was reprehensible. But what David Cash did was to be a bystander, not to be a rescuer or a resistor in any way. One can only speculate what might have happened had Cash more actively intervened. But according to Nevada law at the time, he was under no legal obligation to do otherwise.


It’s remarkable to listen to David Cash’s words when interviewed on a Los Angeles radio station after his friend Jeremy Strohmeyer was arrested and convicted. Cash remarked, “It’s a very tragic event, okay? But the simple fact remains: I do not know this little girl. I do not know starving children in Panama. I do not know people that die of disease in Egypt. The only person I knew in this event was Jeremy Strohmeyer, and I know as his best friend that he had potential…I’m not going to lose sleep over somebody else’s problem.”


Your task for this post:

As awful as the Sherrice Iverson murder was, we would like to hear your views on the situation.


  • What do you think should have governed Cash’s actions? What obligations does a person who witnesses another wrong have? Are there different rules depending on the nature of the “wrong”?
  • Can you identify what “rules”—legal or otherwise—ought to govern the decision to act or merely to witness. Do we have an obligation to act—sometimes, rarely, occasionally, always? Explain.
  • Choose at least 2 of the readings listed above (all are uploaded to Google classroom and attached to the post), read them and integrate what you learn from them into your response. Be certain to cite the authors or titles as you reference them so we all recognize the references.

Write your post on the discussions.learntoquestion.com site IN YOUR CLASS SECTION. Be sure to respond to the views of at least two other classmates (if you post first, go back and do a second posting responding to two comments posted after yours). You can respond to your classmates within your post OR you can do a separate (additional) post just to respond to them. Be sure you cite who you are responding to!


If you need some reminders on how to post on learntoquestion’s discussion board:



Post your response here. Basic feelings of empathy should've governed Cashs actions(or lack there of) and told him to help the girl either directly or indirectly. Being a bystander in a serious situation such as this is unacceptable, it lead to the death of Sherrice Iverson. There isn't necessarily always a need to act, it depends on the severity of the situation and your role. However in severe situations where you can be an upstander to the victim you always should act. From the two articles I read (Nightmare on the 36 Bus & “The Bystander Effect in the Cellphone Age,”) I've noticed a feeling that people have where they feel that someone else will do something. That they shouldn't have to be the one to do it. All while watching tragedy happen around them not feeling any sense of responibility to help because it isnt their problem and it isnt directly effecting them.

luminaraunduli
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 4

The Dilemma of the Bad Samaratin

What do you think should have governed Cash’s actions?

While David Cash did not and was not required by any law to intervene, and stop the rape & murder of Sherrice Iverson, by him standing there and doing absolutely nothing to alter the course of that grave situation, and leaving Sherrice alone to be killed in a bathroom stall, makes him just as complicit at Jeremy Strohmeyer. It is very difficult for me to understand why he did this, why he did nothing. The truth is simply that David Cash's logic for doing nothing was that this was not his problem. Not HIS problem. As a maturing young man, a senior in high school, who is about to go off to college and become an independent citizen - at this point in his life, his moral compass should be more than completely developed to know right from wrong, and the blatant fact that just because the situation may not be directly "his" problem, something in his mind should at least be acknowledging the fact that he had the ability to do something, the ability to save that little girl's life. David Cash should know at this point in his life to not obtain such an egocentric, narrow-minded, SELFISH mindset.

What obligations does a person who witnesses another wrong have? Are there different rules depending on the nature of the “wrong”?

If a person sees a crime or a wrong happening, technically speaking, there is nothing making them do anything. HOWEVER this does not mean that a person should just do nothing when a wrongdoing happens. Every person has the ability, and knows how to address the severity of a situation like this, and based on how severe this certain situation is, they should know when it is appropriate to intervene and when to stand back. Being a bystander to a crime like the one we mentioned in class about shoplifting from a major corporation is not a heavily severe situation situation where one should morally intervene and stop the person from stealing - but being a bystander to a crime such as rape, abuse, or murder... that is when you must take into account the high levels of severity in those situations and act to the best of your ability to intervene, to stop the act, and use what power you have to make that change. After reading Bryan McGrory's Article: "Nightmare on the 36 Bus," it still remains obvious the act of being a bystander in these grave instances is harmful in and of itself. The passengers on the bus did nothing to help that boy, leaving him all alone in the cold of the night. I've taken that bus so many times, I know the route very well. That article really struck a nerve in me, and emphasizes the importance of not being a bystander in grave situations. The other article I read was “The Bystander Effect in the Cellphone Age." In this scenario, we see the man running into the building to help get people out due to the fire, and then another man being credited by a local newspaper as being brave for taking a video of the fire and posting it to social media. It makes no sense to me that by any stretch of the imagination, that man is "brave" for standing outside the burning home and doing absolutely nothing and then being credited as being such.

Can you identify what “rules”—legal or otherwise—ought to govern the decision to act or merely to witness.

I think that if we set in place specific rules/laws to govern, or rather police, how a witness acts or doesn't would not be heavily beneficial. This law would not be easily defined and very easy to find ways around. This would also lead to more people being criminalized for incidents that are so different from each other and so extremely situational - which is why one, sole law could not possibly be put into place to define how someone should. It also takes away from personal freedom to choose your path. A more effective way to make a difference could be to simply educate people, maybe through schooling, and to have people understand when to intervene in situations where they have the power to stop situations like this. But even then it is such a difficult thing to do because every situation is different, and has many different factors that weave the web of the bigger picture for the whole situation.

Do we have an obligation to act—sometimes, rarely, occasionally, always? Explain.

I personally would say sometimes - because just like I stated earlier you can't be obliged to act in every "dangerous/grave" situation because, and I know I'm repeating myself, every. situation. is. different. We can't be obliged to report someone for shoplifting when its effects are so meager, and could be helping the individual in question, but then also not be obliged to just not do anything when you are actively watching a little girl get raped and murdered and have the power to stop that horrible act.


renaissance
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 3

In situations of injustice, the wrong shouldn't be difficult to see.

  • What do you think should have governed Cash’s actions? What obligations does a person who witnesses another wrong have? Are there different rules depending on the nature of the “wrong”?
  • Can you identify what “rules”—legal or otherwise—ought to govern the decision to act or merely to witness. Do we have an obligation to act—sometimes, rarely, occasionally, always? Explain.
  • Choose at least 2 of the readings listed above (all are uploaded to Google classroom and attached to the post), read them and integrate what you learn from them into your response. Be certain to cite the authors or titles as you reference them so we all recognize the references.

Human instinct, morals, and societal norms should have driven Cash to intervene in the situation. In general, society has taught the general population to take action when they see something that is out of the usual — for instance, we get taught phrases like, "If you see something, say something" (which interestingly arose from the 9/11 attacks). However, it is ultimately human instinct that drives us to help someone, as stated in Yoeli and Rand's "The Trick to Acting Heroically", especially in situations of injustice.


Cash horrifically did not act in this manner. He stared down at Strohmeyer assaulting and raping seven-year-old Sherrice Iverson, walked away, played slots, and rode a rollercoaster after Sherrice Iverson was murdered. Cash could have done everything in the situation at all points of time — pull Strohmeyer from the stall, report him to the police — and had the leverage in the situation, as it was Cash's father who was driving.


In situations of injustice, it should not be difficult to see the wrong. It should not be muddled by societal norms, politics, relationships, disassociation, or desire — in my opinion, the idea of "the right thing" and justice should transcend every societal difference. I understand that it takes less effort to just sit down and continue on, to turn a blind eye to injustice, and expect someone else to do the work. But if all of us did that, so many horrible things would occur in this world — and this has caused horrible events to occur already.


However, I do concede that today's society, with social media particularly, has worked to desensitize the horrific things that occur. Reflecting back to "The Bystander Effect in the Cellphone Age," where people were standing in front of a burning building with people in it and trying to get a good angle of it, social media has set a fine line between sensation and situation. Learning how to de-desensitize is important for us teenagers who actively follow all the horrific things happening in the world on social media.


Despite all this, I believe that the bystander always has a full obligation to intervene, if they have the means to (and in the majority of situations, they do). Even if they don't have the physical capability to, there is always something that can be done for action to be taken. Legal rules should be set in place for holding people, who had the means to stop something horrific, accountable. Being complicit is not an option.

renaissance
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 3

Originally posted by lil breezy on September 21, 2022 09:49

It is very hard for me to understand why Cash did what he did, or really didn't do what he was supposed to. I can see that it was a very terrifying situation, and I am sure Cash felt a little bit of fear, even if Jeremy was his best friend and had "potential." But we also need to think about how terrified 7-year old Sherrice was. She most likely didn't understand why her new friend was hurting her. She probably didn't even know what rape or murder was, because she was 7. Cash was 18. He knew what he was seeing, and even though he probably didn't expect Jeremy to murder Sherrice, but he at least knew she was being restrained and raped, and that should be more than enough to warrant someone to step in. The fact is, even when Cash found out that she was dead, he did not do anything about it. I would look at the situation a bit differently if Cash were a young boy, or much weaker. However, he was grown and able-bodied, he could have done something. When I read the 36 bus story, I was surprised that nobody did anything. The odds of the young boy being saved were even bigger than Sherrice's. There were 6 other people on that bus, not including the bus driver. They watched as an older man beat him senseless. Nothing was done about it, and the boy was never found. One witness claims he had gotten up, but noticed nobody else was, so quickly sat down. This reveals a lot about how people depend on other a lot of the time to make decisions. Since nobody else was getting involved, he decided not to. In sixie year, a lady fell on the tracks just 30 seconds before the train came. Thankfully we all screamed and signaled the driver to stop, but I understand a lot of us were able to help the woman because everyone else was screaming. The problem is, if nobody is the first to do it, it will never get done. I also feel like that was a minor situation compared to the other stories, and so I believe people are most likely to help when they have little chance of getting harmed. In "The Samaritan's Dilemma," the author explains that people jumped up to help a person who fell on the ground, but yet there are still shootings and stabbings across the globe.


I feel that at the very least, a person who witnesses another wrong should be obligated to report that wrong. There were many ways Cash could have saved Sherrice, one of them being to report to the workers at the casino, this way it would be multiple people, who have authority, against one. I feel like situations that are hurting someone should be top priority in terms of wrong. I feel like if you see someone stealing an earring from a big company, like we talked about in class, it shouldn't really be considered too much of a threat. These situations are diffcult to analyze because there are so many different factors, which is why it is so difficult to think of what rules should be enforced. Obviously it is unfair to ask someone to possibly risk their life at the site of a bad situation. I do think that in violent situations, people should at least speak up, because they most likely wouldn't be able to intervene.

lil breezy —

Bringing Sherrice Iverson and her perspective to the table is so important. Too often, we fixate on the perpetrator and their actions, but the victim's names are never mentioned.

This post made me think of a book I read called Know My Name by Chanel Miller, who was sexually assaulted by a student (who ended up getting only 6 months in jail) in 2015. She was often referred to in the press as "unconscious intoxicated woman" and her side of the story never got fully told until she told it.

posts 16 - 30 of 47