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Boston18
Posts: 28

Originally posted by Thomas Aquinas on September 14, 2018 01:24

In David Cash’s situation it can be assumed that many factors found by 20/20 ABC News most likely played a major role in his decision making. For example, in witnessing Jeremy’s interaction with Sherrice, race, age, human connection, and crowd all became important influences on his reaction and choices. In Cash’s mind, the choice came down to taking a side in the conflict between his best friend Jeremy (also white and with an established relationship) and Sherrice ( a young black girl with no connection at all to Cash). In addition, because they were in a bathroom by themselves, David would have had to confront Jeremy by himself. For David it was a simple choice, leave before his guilt forced him to act and pretend ignorance of the event. Consequently, if we are to view the experimental results from the 20/20 story on ABC News as accurately revealing, then we are able to conclude that race, gender, and human connection were all main factors in David Cash’s decision. Of course, every one of us would immediately say that we would, without a doubt, intervene and report Jeremy or stop him instantly with our own force. As a result when Cash attempts to explain his actions, we view his excuses as pathetic, insufficient, and purely despicable. Unfortunately, with the 20/20 experimental results in mind, these excuses of being detached from Sherrice’s suffering and others in Panama or Egypt have been validated as feelings of commonplace among average Americans. To state that you would intervene and become a good samaritan and to actually do so when the opportunity arises were shown to be drastically different in their study. With the perspective in mind that nearly all of us are hesitant and failing to act unless we have a connection with that person, or the same skin color, we are able to analyze David Cash’s actions through a new lens. These actions and explanations of Cash are completely contemptible, but to say that we would definitely do something different in his situation with our own best friend would most certainly contradict the findings made by all three articles and stories of the 36 bus incident, teenage drinking accident, and 20/20 experiment. Perhaps, another true reason for disgust and outrage we feel at the blunt honesty behind Cash’s vile excuse is simply that his acceptance of his own evil and indifference without any ounce of regret reveals to us that there is a possibility and a capacity for this cruelty in every human being, including us. Regardless of this possibility I believe that each one of us has the responsibility to act and intervene whenever possible. This responsibility is based on the ideal that all it takes is one question or word to spark a wave of influence and momentum with others’ help in order to inhibit any harmful actions observed. All it needs is for one person to take the bold step forward and become an upstander. One perfect scenario is if someone had called 911 for Kitty Genovese instead of assuming that this responsibility was left for a more involved observer. If that emergency contact had been made then she might have possibly been alive. Consequently, we have an obligation to always act because it is impossible to shrug off this responsibility to another and not share in the blame and guilt for what occurs when no action is taken. Legally, as well, we are obligated to report any crime witnessed and provide all details available without deception or falsehood.

You mention that David left to assume the role of an ignorant person, and not allow his guilt to make him interfere. However, I believe that David is simply unable to feel empathy, and accordingly, didn't act out of a simple indifference. The way he carried about his night after the event, not at all disturbed, is evidence of his lack of humanity, and ability to feel for others.

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Boston18
Posts: 28

Originally posted by Wintertime on September 13, 2018 23:40

Hello,


I read three articles called “Who Can you Count on?”, “Teenage Beer Party, a Punch, and A Choice that Cannot Be Reversed,”, and “Nightmare on the 36 Bus”, all of these articles tell a story about a time that something horrible happened and how the bystanders around the situation acted or reacted. It is a common diema when seeing something happen in public whether to step in or just keep out of it. I feel like we would all love to say that if we saw a situation like in the article “Nightmare on the 36 Bus” we would step in but that is not true for some of us. Most of us have this belief that boston is a strong community that would help each other in dire situations but as you can see from the article, members of our city stood around and did nothing while an innocent eight year old boy was assaulted by a seemingly intoxicated grown man. In the history of the US standing by while bad stuff happens has always occurred, in the article “Who Can you Count on?”, they test based on race who you would help and why. It seems that white people are more likely to help white people when seeing something bad happen and African-American people are more likely to help people of the same race. In the article it talks about how this isn’t the bystanders choosing to be racist but it is a subconscious choice made in a split second, this is why I think we can all say we would step in for anyone and everyone but you never know what decision you are going to make when the time comes.

I believe that if a situation occurred in my life like in the article “Teenage Beer Party, a Punch, and A Choice that Cannot Be Reversed,”, I would be able to make the right decision but it all depends, if my best friend made a mistake like this not knowing he would end up killing an innocent teen I wouldn’t blame him. I believe that I would call the police and get it sorted out because that is the right thing to do but I do not know for sure. I also believe that if i saw the situation that was happening on the 36 bus happening in real life, i would step in. I feel pretty sure that I would feel the need to step in. One of the bystanders in the article talked about how it might have been a family problem but even if they were related this would never be ok. If you make the mistake of not stepping in the least you can do is find someone else that will. Any of the passengers could have told the bus driver or called the authorities but they all chose to do nothing.

The dilemma is a common one, and most people choose not to act, thinking that they are in the clear by not engaging. However, this is why this kind of education is so important. Now we have the awareness necessary to be able to spot something out of line in public, and act on it. If this education was as mainstream as math or English class, then surely the upcoming generation would have less of an issue with this dilemma.

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LD75019
Posts: 29

The case of the bad samaritan

I believe that David Cash’s actions should have been governed by, what many of would believe, by a moral obligation; he should have prevented the wrong thing from happening which caused the death of Clarrice Iverson. However, for the sake of what is the subjectivity of morals, I do also believe that Cash had no obligation to do anything. In reality he did not, he did have a moral obligation, and while I do say this, I do not condone nor support his actions and I am in full agreeance that he should have been a rescuer in this situation. But as far as only “obligations” go, he had none. And this is the same for anyone else who witnesses wrong; they have no obligation. I think many would say they do, I would argue that they have this has to do with morals and is subjective to each of us because this is how we personally feel about a wrongdoing rather than thinking if a situation is like this: does someone simply have an obligation or not? And that is when it becomes black and white, two different answers. Once we put in the “moral” obligations, we turn all of this into shades of grey.

As mentioned in the New York Times, “Heroes don’t do good, they do good instinctively,” is true because people do their acts of goodness or heroics for the sake of putting themselves in harms way to protect others, or some way to help others. There are different rules that depend on the nature of wrong, but that is dependant on us as humans. I am not saying there “right and wrong” do not exist, rather, it depends on what we individually think. What I have learned from both “"Who Can you Count on? Looks, Race, Even Weather May Play Role in Whether You'll Get a Helping Hand," from 20/20, ABC News (August 29, 2003) and " Our Towns; A Teenage Party, a Punch, and a Choice That Can't Be Reversed," New York Times, September 1, 2002, is that for people to act is entirely based on how they feel, that whether it is from seeing other people engage in the act, telling your neighbor their bag has been stolen, or not seeing anyone report the fatal injuries of a teen, are based on how we feel the situation should be handled because we or they are not sociopaths, that inherently humans do the right thing.

In the case of David Cash, a lack of regard and emotion of a 7-year old’s death is remarkably unsurprising, but still was a horrible thing. In these cases of assault and/or in the story of a teenager being punched at a party, rules that should govern the decision to act than to witness should be the consequences of prison time, or some smaller form of repercussion done from a direct offender. Those who witness and do nothing deserve the some form of discipline because they did exactly that; nothing.

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LD75019
Posts: 29

Originally posted by Spaceman on September 13, 2018 20:45

To put it simply, David Cash should have been governed by his “moral obligation” to do the right thing. But, as this story, these articles, and many other stories illustrate, there isn’t really any internal law that makes people do the right thing. As illustrated in “The Trick to Acting Heroically”, by Erez Yoeli of the New York Times, the initial instinct to save someone or help someone out is a gut one. In all of these stories, the heroes don’t think. They just act. Similarly, David Cash didn’t really think all that much. He acted. He “tapped” his friend on the head, gave him a look, and walked out. He was so unphased by what had happened, that it makes sense to say that he wasn’t thinking all that deeply about how he thought of dealing with the situation at hand. So, clearly there is something that governors human beings that doesn’t share all of its rules from person to person. Rather, each person thinks and acts based on their instincts, which don’t seem to be the same. The deepest factor as to why one helps out is a split second decision on their part, and that, clearly, is different for everyone. David Cash did not do the morally justified thing, or the right thing. What he did was wrong, and he indirectly led to the rape and murder of seven year old Sherrice Iverson. He should have been governed by some moral code, but he simply wasn’t. Many people simply just aren’t.


A person has an obligation to help those around them and try to stop and report a wrong that they witness. David Cash had a responsibility to Sherrice’s parents, family members, the police, and most importantly Sherrice herself, to make sure that what happened to her didn’t happen. With something as severe as this, Cash should have acted and prevented the whole situation. However, he neglected this responsibility, and a little girl was raped and killed. Similarly, the ttenagers of Westchester had an obligation to call 911 and save their friend Mr.Viscome.Their friend was clearly dying, and it was their duty to make sure that he got help. Every single one of them failed that night, especially the parent who at the time did nothing to help Mr.Viscome. There is a moral obligation to save a human life. Unless your life or the life of another will be directly harmed by this, you must always act and try your hardest to save someone who is dying or could be.


Of course, there are different rules depending on the nature of the crime. I don’t know what exact classifications there are, but there are a few things that should always stopped, or at least try to stop. Any act of physical violence is an absolute reason for someone to step in and take action. Human lives are incredibly important. You and I both know basically one thing concretely, that we are experiencing life. To let someone take that away from another is, in my mind, one of the gravest sins (not religious) one can commit. Similarly, witnessing any type of assault should immediately warrant at the very least a 911 call, and at, hopefully normal least to most people, direct action that stops the wrong. Theft is shakier. Step in, but most people won’t. If it isn’t something incredibly personal, it’s not ok, but it isn’t “morally reprehensible”. In the 20/20 article, I completely understood why some people didn’t respond. It’s a pain to get involved, you don’t know the person, whatever. Is it “right”, no, not really. But, it isn’t that egregious. I thought the part about the human connection was really touching. Being nice to people really pays off.


In closing, David Cash led to the assault and murder of a 7 year old child, Sherrice Iverson. What he did was reprehensible. However, I don’t believe in any moral baseline that dictates everyone's actions. I wish there were one. I wish people didn’t have to get killed, and wish we all knew that some things just are not ok. But, humans aren’t like that. David Cash was indifferent, and didn’t act up, like many people do day to day in other situations. While he wasn’t imprisoned, I hope David Cash reckons with what he has done every single day. He should be crying himself to sleep. It is the least he could do for Sherrice, whose life he let get stolen from her by his best friend.

Post your response here.

". However, I don’t believe in any moral baseline that dictates everyone's actions"

I agree with this. I believe it is the hope that this is what drives humans to do good, to stop or prevent wrong, but with David Cash this is not the case. One [I] would hope that maybe he felt responsible, maybe one day the weight of Sharrice Iverson's death falls on him.

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617capecod5
Posts: 18

Originally posted by underhill44 on September 13, 2018 20:35

I agree with Eos in that David Cash had virtually no reasons not to step in and interfere. Of course he was not legally obligated to at the time, but based on the lack of risk for him and the good he’d be doing, it’s unbelievable that he just walked away. Cash mentioned in the video we watched that he didn’t intervene due to him not knowing her, comparing her to the “starving children in Panama”, and the “people that die of diseases in Egypt”, which in itself is a terrible comment. This lame excuse doesn’t even make any sense because Panama and Egypt are miles and miles away- Sherrice was right there, in front of him. If he said one sentence, such as “hey I think someone’s coming,” or honestly anything, he could’ve saved her life. This wasn’t some big choice that he had to ponder over, it’s not as if he was facing any sort of danger. If a woman walked in and attempted to intervene, she would’ve been at risk, because what if Strohmeyer went after her as well? Cash however, was Strohmeyer’s friend and could’ve easily inserted himself into the situation and diffused it before Sherrice was killed.


When I read the article about the teenagers who didn’t report the fight and consequent injury of Rob Viscome, I didn’t really see a direct relation to the situation with David Cash. The teenagers, yes, didn’t report the incident due to them breaking laws themselves, so it was merely out of self-preservation. It could potentially be said, like in Eos’s post, that he too was acting out of self-preservation, but I didn’t really see it that way. While watching his interview, I got the impression that he didn’t step in and save Sherrice due to his lack of emotional and personal connection with her. I pictured him watching the assault numbly, maybe shutting it out due to not fully understanding the severity of the situation (shown in his “AP Writing” comment). His lack of action seems to be related to his disassociation with the event, not fear, which was the reason for the teenagers partying.


I found similarities between Cash’s passivity and the passivity discussed in the “Who Can You Count On” article. The people who didn’t react to someone stealing a nearby person’s bag when questioned, justified it by saying that they thought the man stealing was maybe a boyfriend, or perhaps the bag was his, and so on. Cash did this in the beginning of the story by emphasizing that Sherrice and Strohmeyer were playing and appeared to be having fun. While this did happen, shown by the wet paper towels all around the crime scene, his emphasis on it showed that he was trying to make it seem like he had no idea where the situation was headed and thus had no way of stopping it. Even if the game was perfectly innocent, and didn’t lead into the later assault and murder, there’s no way that Strohmeyer entering a women’s restroom didn’t ring any warning bells.


To conclude, I agree with Eos’s final paragraph, and minors should be prioritized in lawmaking due to their age and the innocence that goes along with that, and their potential. Children are so important to the community, as they could grow up to do an unlimited amount of things, and laws should be put into place against crimes that would stifle their growth, for the sake of the children themselves and their right to a childhood, and for the sake of the world’s progression.

I like underhill44's point of "This wasn’t some big choice that he had to ponder over, it’s not as if he was facing any sort of danger. If a woman walked in and attempted to intervene, she would’ve been at risk, because what if Strohmeyer went after her as well? Cash however, was Strohmeyer’s friend and could’ve easily inserted himself into the situation and diffused it before Sherrice was killed". As bystander who had a personal connection to the perpetrator, it does make intervening hard because you know them and wouldn't expect them to murder. But at the same time like, Underhill44 points out, it would have been easier for Cash to intervene than say a woman who walked into the bathroom.

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underthesea
Posts: 27

Self-Interest Governs Everyone's Actions

I think that all people, at some basic level, are always acting in self-interest. From the clothes they choose to put on in the morning to the career paths they decide to pursue, people are making decisions based on what will make them feel best. Thus, for the same reason that some people choose to go into careers like teacher, doctor, or social change work, others go into running mega-companies that are based on exploitation being paid off by big money while serving in elected offices. They make the choice that will make them feel best. So, at the most basic level, some people feel good when they help others, a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment , and others don't. What determines this difference?

Although I do think that cases like the one involving David Cash and the one on the 36 bus are more extreme than choosing what career path to go down, they can be analyzed in similar terms. David Cash weighed the options, and decided that he would feel worse about ratting out or arguing against his friend than knowingly allowing the murder of Sherrice Iverson to take place. For me, the interesting questions that must be asked are these: When watching a horror movie, I often turn away from the screen during the really scary parts. Would my gut reaction if I saw something like what happened on the 36 bus be to turn away? To what extent would I feel in a position of enough power to stop what was happening? Would I be in danger?

Daily, we are all witnessing wrongs indirectly. From the clothes we buy that have been made in factories with horrible conditions to the food we eat which has been farmed by migrant workers who are being alienated, discriminated against, and paid unfair wages. Are we guilty for going about our daily lives without lifting a finger to stand up, and fight back?

I think that one who witnesses an act of physical violence should be obligated to report it. If they feel safe and strong enough, they should interject physically in the altercation. I believe that James Shaw Jr., who stepped and wrestled the gun out of a gunman's hand at Waffle House this summer, saving many lives, represents the ideal, but shouldn't be the expectation. A sixteen year-old girl who witnessed the Waffle House crime should not be expected to do that, but rather only to call 911, and keep herself safe. I think that anything besides physical violence is much harder to standardize. It is hard to know for sure when someone is feeling emotionally attacked, hurt, or vulnerable, so one may be more hesitant to step in in a case of name-calling, making fun of someone, or other things of that nature. Let's face it: many of our friends have done or said harmful things to other people, and we don't step in to stop them.

Finally, I think many human decisions are based on a desire to feel welcomed by a group. At the "teenage beer party", no one felt confident enough about themselves to blatantly diverge from the rest of the group and do something to address the situation. They all lied together, claiming that it had happened in a park bench. On the 36 bus, if one person had chosen to intervene, I expect some would have followed. Because of the most basic desire to fit in and be liked, people are willing to act immorally.





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underthesea
Posts: 27

When should someone step in?

Originally posted by Shelly on September 13, 2018 20:20

Hi all,

When I was reading "Teenage beer party", "Nightmare on the 36 bus", and "Who can you count on?", I was thinking about Cash's actions and the actions of the all of the other people in these stories. While I was reading I was thinking to myself: What crazy person looks over at an issue and does completely nothing? Does he just lack empathy? I came to the conclusion that Cash was just a person who lacked empathy, and then I thought that I had solved this problem. Then as I thought about it more, this problem became more complex to me. I had begun thinking well what if he was afraid that if he reported the murder, he would have been harmed himself. Still not completely convinced that the thought process behind Cash's actions were completely figured out, I had logged onto learntoquestion.com to post my answer. I looked on the thread and saw that nobody had posted yet. I sat there reloading the website and texting my friends who also have this class asking them if they had posted a response yet and if they could post one first so that I wouldn't have to be the first one to post. Nobody who I talked to had any interest in being the first person to say anything. And then it hit me. I was being Cash. I was being the other riders on the bus where that innocent child had been beaten. I had been all of those countless other people who refused to help out the woman who dropped all of her stuff on the train platform! I finally understood. Cash was just a normal kid like anyone else his age, and he had governed his actions out of thinking that someone else would report his friend instead of him, which is what an average person would do in this situation. This makes perfect sense since he just sat there and waited for the crime to be solved, and through how I had just watched me and my friends all do the same thing as him, but in a much less dangerous situation. After discovering this, I feel like a wittiness who sees a wrong happen, is obliged to standing up, even if they believe that someone already has or soon will. If people did this more often, then i believe that a lot more cold cases would be solved, and a lot more justice would be given. Sadly though, people very rarely change their ways and I doubt that anything will ever actually drastically change enough for the difference to be noticeable. And to answer the third question posed here talking about whether the rules change regarding how serious the wrong action is, I feel like a person should definitely step in when a situation involves physical harm to a person, theft, or if in involves something that will directly effect a person in the long run. No matter what I say here though about this, there is no real way of knowing how to react given the results of my accidental social experience that happened right before I posted this.

I hope that you all found something interesting in this just like I did.

-Shelly

In your post, you claim that "a person should definitely step in when a situation involves physical harm to a person, theft, or it involves something that will directly affect the person in the long run". What do you mean by something that will directly affect the person in the long run? WHy did you decide to include this as one of the conditions?

Although I agree that ideally, this is what moral people should do, I want to ask, should this stepping in only occur if soemone sees something with their own eyes, or should it also occur if someone is aware of something happening but hasn't witnessed it themselves? Theres is so much violence and theft occurring everywhere. How do we know which to set our mind to stopping? How do I decide whether to spend my life fighting for U.S. Immigration Policy changes so that less immigrants die en route or in detention centers OR providing humanitarian aid to refugees of the Syrian civil war?

I found it very interesting that you posted about being unwilling to post before anyone else did, because I did the exact same thing. Would we only call the police on the 36 after someone else did?

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underthesea
Posts: 27

Originally posted by Thomas Aquinas on September 14, 2018 01:35

Originally posted by kwameture on September 14, 2018 00:51

I believe it is sickening to think that David Cash did not have enough empathy to stand up to his friend, Jeremy Strohmeyer, and stop him from raping and murdering a 7 year old girl. Although he may say he did not think anything harmful was going to happen to the girl, it is obvious that he knew something would result out of his friend locking her in a bathroom stall and restraining her, as any person with an ounce of common sense would know. Some people may argue that he feared what Jeremy might do to him if he told anyone but I do not agree with this view. This is mainly because he does not express any sort of fear when he is describing how he felt on that fateful night and what thoughts were going through his head. He disgustingly suggests that because he did not know Sherrice Iverson, why would he care about her life or her death. After he expressed this, I knew his motive for not telling anyone was complete lack of empathy and total indifference towards Sherrice and her family.

Something that has not been mentioned is the race of Sherrice Iverson in comparison to the race of Jeremy Strohmeyer and David Cash. Although race was not found to be a motive in this crime, it is a possibility that because she was Black, noth men did not see that her life had any value, as they were superior because of their race. This would bring up an interesting perspective of the devaluation of black lives in America and how it is often overlooked as a minor issue. However, this is only a mere possibility, as there is no substantial evidence to prove this perspective.

I also agree with CapeCod5 in that Cash may have been more inclined if he interacted with Sherrice at all or was more like her in race and other aspects. However, this should not be the case at all. He should be governed by his morals and by what is right versus how well he may know the victim.

Similar to the story “Nightmare on the 36 Bus” Cash does absolute nothing for a person he barely knows. However, I feel as though the 36 bus story had more to do with the bystanders fearing what the criminal would do to them, while that just is not the case with Cash.

In “Our Towns: A teenage party, a punch and a choice that can’t be reversed” the teenagers only think of themselves when they decide not to call the police for their friend who is unconscious. They know the consequences of drinking underage so they decide to take him to the hospital. This part of the story is unacceptable, but expected of teens in my opinion. However, lying to the police about what happened is what tipped me over the edge. The victim at least deserved the decency of them telling the police what actually happened. Of course, none were charged because what they did wasn’t a crime. I just don’t understand how a group of people could all lack so much empathy, without one of them even having an ounce of it. Although David Cash was one man, he reminds me of this story because he was way more worried about himself than he was about anyone else.

In the article “Who can we count on?” I agree that race can be a factor in who we help, as no black people helped Gina. Race makes someone much more relatable, making it easier for that person to feel as though they could also be in that situation, causing them to act out of empathy.

In conclusion, Cash should have been governed by his own empathy and morals, whether or not the Good Samaritan law existed back then or not. Thank you

I would agree with the point that race was a major factor that played a role in David Cash's psyche when he was deciding to abandon and kill Sherrice. However, I believe that this factor was more immediate and subconscious than considered and analyzed. This is because in that moment he was merely deciding to align his story and actions with a man that looked like him and acted like him as human nature tends to stereotype. Consequently, it was easier for Cash to empathize with someone he understood while his ignorance prevented him from being able to comprehend even Sherrice's background and as a result Cash was unable to empathize even partially with Sherrice, finding it easier to distance himself from this atrocity, and become a passive bystander.

I agree with your comment that Cash's decision was likely more "immediate and subconscious than considered and analyzed". Humans act based on instincts, which are subconscious.Do you think everyone has a subconscious which makes them more likely to save people who look like them, or only some people. What tools do people need in order to overcome this basic instinct? Is this type of "us v. "them" thinking partly, or mostly, responsible for the racial hierarchies that have permeated society since the beginning? If people are less likely to help a person of color who is being beat up, are they also less likely to stand up to institutions and systems which are harming that person of color? Probably. Is there a way to change this human instinct? Or do we just have to deliberately teach people otherwise and prioritize education that fosters understanding of and empathy for people who look different than us?

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TurnOverThisPage
Posts: 20

The Case of the Bad Samaritan

In an ideal world, Cash should have been governed only by his morals. He should have stepped in to intervene as soon as his friend took Sherrice into the bathroom stall-- even as early as when he followed her into the bathroom. Yet, this view almost never plays out in the real world. According to "Who can you count on?" people's actions are governed by their benefits or disadvantages to themselves. In Cash's scenario, even under this framework, he should have acted. I agree with Eos, that there was very little probability that Jeremy would have harmed his best friends in any way. The disadvantages to Cash were almost negligible. The benefits, on the other hand, were astronomical. Obviously, in the midst of the crime, Cash knew that something was wrong, and that it was bad enough that he needed to get away from the scene so that he wouldn't be associated with it. Even if he somehow didn't agree that Jeremy was doing something wrong, he knew that others would condemn him for it. Simply telling Jeremy, "Hey, we're probably going to get thrown out of the casino if you follow her into the women's bathroom" would have been enough to avert the tragedy. "Who can you count on?" claims that people are more likely to help others after a personal connection is formed. Maybe David had no connection to Sherrice, but Jeremy was his best friend. Even in the spirit of sheer selfishness, Cash should have tried to convince Jeremy not to do anything, just so that he wouldn't get into trouble. Thus, the only other alternative I can think of is that Cash simply felt no empathy towards Sherrice when he walked away. I agree with 617capecod5, that he would be more inclined to help a child of his own race than Sherrice Iverson.

I don't, however, think this case is comparable to most other crimes. In most crimes, one is not related to either the perpetrator or the victim at all, like in "Teenage Beer Party, a Punch, and A Choice that Cannot Be Reversed" or "Nightmare on the 36 Bus". In these cases, although what the bystanders did (nothing) was still wrong, they had more of an excuse than David Cash did. They still should have acted. In "Nightmare on the 36 Bus," the other passengers should have tried to save the boy. Maybe the man was his father (which seems unlikely, considering the bus driver saw the kid standing alone), but domestic abuse is still wrong. Having a relationship with your victim does not absolve you of the crime. Then again, maybe they were scared that if they intervened, the boy would be taken away from his family and shipped from foster home to foster home. Nevertheless, I don't believe any of them were thinking so rationally at the time of the crime. I also think they might have been scared of the man. I know I would be. Out of all of the passengers, I think that the ones who could reasonably win against the man truly should have stood up. A person who witnesses another wrong should try to stop it, but if they turn into another victim, I don't think it does much good.

In "Teenage Beer Party, a Punch and A Choice that Cannot be Reversed," the teenagers were acting out of self-preservation. I think it really comes down to the magnitude of the harm. If they went forward, they would be harmed because they were drinking. If they didn't go forward, there would be no justice. The victim was dead either way. I still think they should have gone forward because two wrongs do not make a right, but I can see why they didn't. After all, it wouldn't truly have changed anything.

I think the best rule of thumb is to step back from the scenario and ask yourself, if someone else was in my position, what would I expect them to do? Often, many people expect good samaritans, but when personal feelings are involved, they become irrational. That being said, I disagree with Eos that people should be bound by law to act. I don't think it would do much good in situations where it is needed. I don't know most of the laws I am governed by. I didn't even know that Massachusetts has a Good Samaritan law. I doubt that, in a situation where people are seeing a crime being committed, they will look to the law for guidance. Mostly, people decide what to do based on their morals. Moreover, I don't believe a law should compel people to act. For example, on Bus 36, I wouldn't ask a pregnant woman or an old man to intervene, because that would likely cause more damage than good. Each scenario is different, and I think the best way to go is to go with your gut.

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TurnOverThisPage
Posts: 20

The Case of the Bad Samaritan

In an ideal world, Cash should have been governed only by his morals. He should have stepped in to intervene as soon as his friend took Sherrice into the bathroom stall-- even as early as when he followed her into the bathroom. Yet, this view almost never plays out in the real world. According to "Who can you count on?" people's actions are governed by their benefits or disadvantages to themselves. In Cash's scenario, even under this framework, he should have acted. I agree with Eos, that there was very little probability that Jeremy would have harmed his best friends in any way. The disadvantages to Cash were almost negligible. The benefits, on the other hand, were astronomical. Obviously, in the midst of the crime, Cash knew that something was wrong, and that it was bad enough that he needed to get away from the scene so that he wouldn't be associated with it. Even if he somehow didn't agree that Jeremy was doing something wrong, he knew that others would condemn him for it. Simply telling Jeremy, "Hey, we're probably going to get thrown out of the casino if you follow her into the women's bathroom" would have been enough to avert the tragedy. "Who can you count on?" claims that people are more likely to help others after a personal connection is formed. Maybe David had no connection to Sherrice, but Jeremy was his best friend. Even in the spirit of sheer selfishness, Cash should have tried to convince Jeremy not to do anything, just so that he wouldn't get into trouble. Thus, the only other alternative I can think of is that Cash simply felt no empathy towards Sherrice when he walked away. I agree with 617capecod5, that he would be more inclined to help a child of his own race than Sherrice Iverson.

I don't, however, think this case is comparable to most other crimes. In most crimes, one is not related to either the perpetrator or the victim at all, like in "Teenage Beer Party, a Punch, and A Choice that Cannot Be Reversed" or "Nightmare on the 36 Bus". In these cases, although what the bystanders did (nothing) was still wrong, they had more of an excuse than David Cash did. They still should have acted. In "Nightmare on the 36 Bus," the other passengers should have tried to save the boy. Maybe the man was his father (which seems unlikely, considering the bus driver saw the kid standing alone), but domestic abuse is still wrong. Having a relationship with your victim does not absolve you of the crime. Then again, maybe they were scared that if they intervened, the boy would be taken away from his family and shipped from foster home to foster home. Nevertheless, I don't believe any of them were thinking so rationally at the time of the crime. I also think they might have been scared of the man. I know I would be. Out of all of the passengers, I think that the ones who could reasonably win against the man truly should have stood up. A person who witnesses another wrong should try to stop it, but if they turn into another victim, I don't think it does much good.

In "Teenage Beer Party, a Punch and A Choice that Cannot be Reversed," the teenagers were acting out of self-preservation. I think it really comes down to the magnitude of the harm. If they went forward, they would be harmed because they were drinking. If they didn't go forward, there would be no justice. The victim was dead either way. I still think they should have gone forward because two wrongs do not make a right, but I can see why they didn't. After all, it wouldn't truly have changed anything.

I think the best rule of thumb is to step back from the scenario and ask yourself, if someone else was in my position, what would I expect them to do? Often, many people expect good samaritans, but when personal feelings are involved, they become irrational. That being said, I disagree with Eos that people should be bound by law to act. I don't think it would do much good in situations where it is needed. I don't know most of the laws I am governed by. I didn't even know that Massachusetts has a Good Samaritan law. I doubt that, in a situation where people are seeing a crime being committed, they will look to the law for guidance. Mostly, people decide what to do based on their morals. Moreover, I don't believe a law should compel people to act. For example, on Bus 36, I wouldn't ask a pregnant woman or an old man to intervene, because that would likely cause more damage than good. Each scenario is different, and I think the best way to go is to go with your gut.

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Creation-Myth
Posts: 18

Responce to Cash Dilema

From my own experience in social justice work, and work in social interaction, I find Cash’s response and the response of the teenagers at the party to be fairly normal in their own twisted way. I work with children at an overnight camp; it’s my job to monitor, interpret, and explain certain behaviors in developing minds. The reactions and reasonings behind the actions of these two specific incidents are actually surprisingly common. Just like electrons, the human mind wants to find the easiest way out of an unpleasant situation, even if it may not be the best solution, and takes a massive amount of force for that initial reaction or path to be changed. We, as human beings, are programmed to avoid a situation that may not involve us and hence avoid becoming involved. The teenagers had not yet been made aware of the consequences of their actions and so faced little moral dilemma; in this case self-preservation becomes easy. The same mentality goes for Cash. Not having been made aware of the full consequence, separated from Sherrice reality, his moral obligation was to himself. His mind told him to get out of a certain situation. I believe that’s the main reason for kids to avoid cleaning in cabins, avoid sticking up for their cabinmates, or even seeing them ignore a homesick girl in her bed.


The homesickness however brings up my next important point: violence or tears can change everything. When the treat or reality of violence is introduced it can either serve as that changing force, or instill a certain fear into a bystander. In a situation of impending harm, a bystander is forced to consider the harm that may come to the victim vs the harm that may come to them. Responding to Shelly’s comment “ After discovering this, I feel like a wittiness who sees a wrong happen, is obliged to standing up, even if they believe that someone already has or soon will. If people did this more often, than i believe that a lot more cold cases would be solved, and a lot more justice would be given.” Standing up isn't always the best possible solution. On the 36, had any single person stood up, they would have faced the same beating as the young boy. Instead, police should have been informed, the driver should have stopped the bus, or driven to a police station. It is her bus, under her watch, it is her responsibility to maintain order in some way. The other passengers had a responsibility of calling authorities, but not getting physically involved.


So where does this leave Cash. Cash faced no potential harm to himself, and if anything had a moral obligation to Jeremy! Jeremy destroyed his life because of that one moment. That’s where the guilt come sin. Clearly Cash doesn't possess the typical empathy to help others, and honestly that’s normal. The person he did owe it to though was Jeremy. And that’s what shocks me and still stands to confuse me.

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Tagaros
Posts: 14

What are morals? And should we think before we act?

Morals define who we are. They determine what people do, how people think, and what people believe. It is through morals that people determine right from wrong. However, everyone has a different set of morals. While many do agree on certain issues (such as killing is generally wrong), there are those who, like David Cash, who have a different "moral compass" which goes against the majority. It is due to his set values that he did nothing while Jeremy, his best friend, assaulted a little girl, which would lead to her death. As ilovechocolate said, he felt no moral obligation to do anything, and that's because his morals are based upon his own survival.

David Cash should not have started pondering whether he should or shouldn't stop his best friend. Doing that can already set a person down the path of a bystander, one who watches instead of acts. Instead, David should have told Jeremy to stop the assault and, if that did not work, try to forcibly stop him. After all, as Eos said, David had the highest chance of success, as Jeremy would be less likely to fight back against his friend. And, even if David was unsuccessful or unwilling to lay a hand against his friend, he should have at called 911 or alerted the casino staff. After all, it's a casino; they are bound to have their own security ro prevent people from stealing money.

Sadly, at the time, there was also no legal obligation to stop Jeremy (thankfully, some states have made that into a law, but not all have done so). The same thing happened at a beer party in which a teenager was punched and hit the floor hard. Instead of calling 911, most of the teens at the party tried to revive him themselves, and at first lied to the police about how it happened. This is another moment when people's morals, as well as their instinct for self-preservation, possibly lead to the death of a 17-year-old (we can't say for certain if he would have died either way, but had a gotten proper treatment sooner, he would have stood a better chance). Another similar fact about the case is that there was no law then about obstruction of justice. Had there been, the other teenagers would likely have called 911 immediately, if they knew about it.

However, this is not to say that no one will do the right thing when put under pressure. 4 people stopped a gunman on a train in France, putting themselves at great risk. Their explanation as to why they put their lives on the line? They didn't think about the consequences. Those four people acted based off of insinct. Had they thought about what to do, like David Cash and the teenagers at the party, it is possible that they would have done nothing.

Based off of what happened with David Cash and the teenagers, it should be required that able-bodied witnesses attempt to stop violence/save lives. That does not necessarily mean that those attempting to stop violence must use violence, but in some cases, that is what is necessary, in order to save people. Saving as many lives as one can is the moral thing to do.

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C1152GS
Posts: 24

The case of the bad samaritan

what obligations do a person who witnesses another wrong have? When it comes to the wellbeing and welfare of others our actions should be governed by morality. But who defines right and wrong and what does it look like in different societies. Cash’s indifference clearly shows that there is another force at work. Cash did not condone Jonathan’s behavior nor did he involve himself and try to stop it. I think Cash acted rationally. He evaluated the situation at hand and made a decision that would give him the most benefit. According to 20/20 things like race, attractiveness and personal connection govern our actions even when we seem to not think so. Cash said I do not know this little girl. I do not know starving children in Panama. I do not know people that die of the 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.” His statement further supports the 20/20 article’s research. In this situation, Cash did not feel compelled to help service because he knew Jonathan. I also think that each situation should be assessed before one acts simply because there are many different factors involved. It is evident that we believe ourselves to be resisters and upstanders more often than we actually are. The simple fact remains that we are a selfish and only act in our best interest. Looking at " Our Towns; A Teenage Party, a Punch, and a Choice That Can't Be Reversed the teenagers did not call the police because of fear that alcohol would be discovered had they called they could’ve been arrested. What they did was wrong but to them, it was right to protect themselves. Although we believe that people should help others when they are wronged at the core of our nature it is not how we truly function. Therefore, that laws like the good samaritan law should be passed in all places it would serve as an incentive for people to act in those crucial moments.
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C1152GS
Posts: 24

Originally posted by MichaelAfton on September 13, 2018 20:57

I believe what should have governed David Cash's actions are his own moral beliefs. I do not believe societal pressure should have influenced him because he is looking out for the #1 person in his life--himself.

Based on the decisions he made two things are very clear. One: he only cares about people within his social circle, and two: he truly cares only for himself. From these two things it makes sense as to why he acted the way he did. Jeremy is who he considers his best friend and it makes sense that he would refuse to contact someone to get him in trouble, as awful as that might sound. But he didn't care about what Jeremy would lose out on if he was arrested, he cared about what HE would lose out on. From the interviews that we watched in class it's rather odd to see David feel no ounce of regret, even in the face of people telling him he's a terrible person. This personally leads me to believe that David cares only for himself because of his lack of caring regarding the opinions of others. This makes it more and more clear on why he didn't attempt to stop it in the moment with Sherrice, either. Similar to the teens in the article "Our Towns; A Teenage Party, a Punch, and a Choice That Can't Be Reversed" who refused to call the cops because they didn't want them to see the booze at the party and then get in trouble, David refused to do anything because he was only thinking about himself. What would happen if he called someone? Would Jeremy come out the stall and attack David? He already was going to mercilessly rape and murder a seven-year-old, so what would stop him from doing the same to his friend and murder him? If David attempted to leap on him, would David be able to take him out? The risks greatly outweighed the benefits in his eyes.

Discussing the obligations he had leads to the same type of response. He doesn't have any obligations besides protecting himself. Even if he were to see the act taking place it's still something that he has no obligation to prevent according to law. Stories such as the "Nightmare on the 36 Bus" talk about scenarios where witnesses did nothing to help. This scenario in particular is one where people directly saw the incident take place and still said nothing about it. This is different to Cash's scenario, but it raises a valid question. Why did no one on that bus get in trouble if they witnessed a crime? It's simple: under no lawful obligation (at that time and place) did they necessarily have to attempt to stop that crime, even if they DID witness it take place. Even with the added support of outnumbering the perpetrator did no one attempt to stop it. Cash only had one person there to stop it--himself. By no means am I trying to defend these actions; I believe they are disgusting. But I do believe that he had absolutely no obligation to stop it, even if you factor in moral obligations.

Moral obligations only matter if the person who has to deal with them have the same morals as you or I. David Cash clearly has a different set of morals than us. He seems very self-centered, so his moral compass will reflect that. He believes his life and the people who support it are thousands of times more important than people he doesn't know. So why should he have to risk his life to perform actions that he believes he doesn't have a moral obligation to do? Even if one were to say he should have reported it to the police, he had no moral obligation to do so. Losing Jeremy is a loss for him. If his morals dictate that he should only do things that have a positive effect on himself, then he should do things for himself. The only obligation left is a societal obligation, but even then that doesn't matter.

According to societal obligations, David should have done something. We, as a society, have a goal to be great. We have to do the right thing at all times and those who do not should not be a part of our society. But how many of us can say we do the right thing at all times? I wouldn't fault someone for doing the wrong thing from time to time. When we see car accidents on the side of the highway, do we tell our parents to stop the car to assist them or stop the car ourselves? In instances like the one mentioned in "The Bystander Effect In The Cellphone Age," do we fault those people for not doing anything to assist those in the fire? We aren't scrutinizing those people like we are David. But that's due to the nature of this wrong, though. But in things like car accidents and fires, people still can die. Not in the same manner as Sherrice did, but they still end up dying. We have a societal obligation to assist these people. So why do we not shame the people who witnessed the fire or people who drive past a car wreckage? Is it not just as wrong to allow people to possibly die?

I agree with your point about societal obligation but the nature of the wrong governs how we tend to act. In our cell phone age it has become the norm to stand and record tragic events. What cash and the man did are both reprehensible but to varying degrees. In cash’s situation he was the only one there who could’ve helped and he chose not to. In the fire situation there were many other people who were seeing the unfolding of the event. So, who defines what is right and wrong? What would it look like in different communities across the world?


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C1152GS
Posts: 24

Originally posted by Spaceman on September 13, 2018 20:45

To put it simply, David Cash should have been governed by his “moral obligation” to do the right thing. But, as this story, these articles, and many other stories illustrate, there isn’t really any internal law that makes people do the right thing. As illustrated in “The Trick to Acting Heroically”, by Erez Yoeli of the New York Times, the initial instinct to save someone or help someone out is a gut one. In all of these stories, the heroes don’t think. They just act. Similarly, David Cash didn’t really think all that much. He acted. He “tapped” his friend on the head, gave him a look, and walked out. He was so unphased by what had happened, that it makes sense to say that he wasn’t thinking all that deeply about how he thought of dealing with the situation at hand. So, clearly there is something that governors human beings that doesn’t share all of its rules from person to person. Rather, each person thinks and acts based on their instincts, which don’t seem to be the same. The deepest factor as to why one helps out is a split second decision on their part, and that, clearly, is different for everyone. David Cash did not do the morally justified thing, or the right thing. What he did was wrong, and he indirectly led to the rape and murder of seven year old Sherrice Iverson. He should have been governed by some moral code, but he simply wasn’t. Many people simply just aren’t.


A person has an obligation to help those around them and try to stop and report a wrong that they witness. David Cash had a responsibility to Sherrice’s parents, family members, the police, and most importantly Sherrice herself, to make sure that what happened to her didn’t happen. With something as severe as this, Cash should have acted and prevented the whole situation. However, he neglected this responsibility, and a little girl was raped and killed. Similarly, the ttenagers of Westchester had an obligation to call 911 and save their friend Mr.Viscome.Their friend was clearly dying, and it was their duty to make sure that he got help. Every single one of them failed that night, especially the parent who at the time did nothing to help Mr.Viscome. There is a moral obligation to save a human life. Unless your life or the life of another will be directly harmed by this, you must always act and try your hardest to save someone who is dying or could be.


Of course, there are different rules depending on the nature of the crime. I don’t know what exact classifications there are, but there are a few things that should always stopped, or at least try to stop. Any act of physical violence is an absolute reason for someone to step in and take action. Human lives are incredibly important. You and I both know basically one thing concretely, that we are experiencing life. To let someone take that away from another is, in my mind, one of the gravest sins (not religious) one can commit. Similarly, witnessing any type of assault should immediately warrant at the very least a 911 call, and at, hopefully normal least to most people, direct action that stops the wrong. Theft is shakier. Step in, but most people won’t. If it isn’t something incredibly personal, it’s not ok, but it isn’t “morally reprehensible”. In the 20/20 article, I completely understood why some people didn’t respond. It’s a pain to get involved, you don’t know the person, whatever. Is it “right”, no, not really. But, it isn’t that egregious. I thought the part about the human connection was really touching. Being nice to people really pays off.


In closing, David Cash led to the assault and murder of a 7 year old child, Sherrice Iverson. What he did was reprehensible. However, I don’t believe in any moral baseline that dictates everyone's actions. I wish there were one. I wish people didn’t have to get killed, and wish we all knew that some things just are not ok. But, humans aren’t like that. David Cash was indifferent, and didn’t act up, like many people do day to day in other situations. While he wasn’t imprisoned, I hope David Cash reckons with what he has done every single day. He should be crying himself to sleep. It is the least he could do for Sherrice, whose life he let get stolen from her by his best friend.

I agree with this statement …. I also don’t think Cash was racist. He knew Jonathan they had special connection , Jonathan also looked like him they were both 18 and male. His subconscious did play a big role in the immediate moment. What surprises me is the lack of remorse that Cash felt for what he did. I also find it interesting that Cash was able to point out the biases that contributed to the reason why he didn’t stop his friend.

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