1. fantasy girl
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    fantasy girl Contributing Member

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    Is the Watchman as bad as the thief?

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by fantasy girl, Jun 12, 2009.

    Q1) Is the Watchman as bad as the thief? If so, why?

    Q2) Are you as bad as the bully if you just stand by and let the bullying happen? If so, why?
     
  2. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Q2) Yes.

    We have a whole set of prepackaged mental subroutines available to us thanks to the clever folks at Culture Inc. which allow us to believe otherwise, but yes, standing back and doing nothing is in some ways worse. Indifference is the first step to nearly every ill that humankind suffers. This is not to be confused with the inability to take action. If you can't, then you can't, but if you can.....
     
  3. CDRW
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    CDRW Contributing Member Contributor

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    Q1. I don't understand the question.

    Q2. No, because he's not actually committing the act, but that doesn't absolve him of all guilt.
     
  4. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    Yes.

    Because if something is happening that is wrong, and there is anything at all you can do to stop it, then you are duty bound to do so.

    Bullying is cowardly, but allowing it to happen is more cowardly.
     
  5. fantasy girl
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    fantasy girl Contributing Member

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    Maby this will help

    First They Came for the Jews

    First they came for the Jews
    and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.

    Then they came for the Communists
    and I did not speak out because I was not a Communist.

    Then they came for the trade unionists
    nd I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist.

    Then they came for me
    and there was no one left to speak out for me.



    This is a poem written by a WWII priest and this is now engraved in a mass memorial stone in one of the Death camps. I think it is Ausvitch but dont quote me on that.


    The poem is attributed to Pastor Martin Niemöller. Please do not post quoted material without identifying the source!
    - Cogito
     
  6. CDRW
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    CDRW Contributing Member Contributor

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    In that case I would say again that they are guilty, but not as guilty as the one who is doing the taking away. Every possible way of determining good and bad whether it be the law, religion, or the ingrained nature of man recognizes that the amount of guilt assigned is relative to the amount of control the guilty party has over the situation. That's why they tried the people who ran and organized the camps, and not every German citizen who stood by and watched.
     
  7. Igu Soni
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    Igu Soni Member

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    ?????????

    Chances are, if you aren't the bully you are too weak to do anything about it.
     
  8. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    These are the prepackaged mental subroutines courtesy of the clever folks at Culture Inc. of which I speak.

    There will always be a tendency in humans to pull back the hand when the question of guilt becomes fuzzy, but I have to say that it is usually for selfish reasons.

    Judge not lest you be judged can be taken in two very different ways stemming from two diametrically opposed trains of thought.
     
  9. CDRW
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    CDRW Contributing Member Contributor

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    I disagree. The measure of your guilt is the measure of your responsibility for something that happened. It is concerned with what did and did not happen. That is something that stands independent of human thought and society. The part where those prepackaged subroutines comes into play is in trying to figure out just how much control you had over the situation. People tend to underestimate or downplay the effect they could have had in order to ease their minds, but that rationalization does not change the effect you did have or could have had. The only thing it changes is the degree of punishment handed out.

    Edit: Another place where those subroutines comes into play is in our inherent desire to blame someone. We look at something bad and say "the punishment is in no way proportional to the crime," often because there is no possible way it could be, and so we believe there is more guilt than has been punished. If the anger outlasts the punishment we tend to seek out the next most responsible person and try to apply the "remaining guilt" to them. Just like the first, that has no effect on what actually happened, or how or why it happened, so it has no effect on guilt, only on blame given. Eventually, when there's no one else to blame, we start to blame the victim.
     
  10. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    No. This is all mitigation and bargaining.

    To use the example you gave, the citizens of a country watch, hands behind their backs, as other citizens of the same country are taken away and treated like pestilence to be eradicated. The behavior is so bizzare, from all angles: those who do nothing but watch, those who participate and actualize actions, those who receive the actions.

    The brain seizes up. It clouds over in the attempt to process what is going on.

    No action is taken to stop what is happening because some very real internal mechanisms of self preservation kick in. But we are not dogs, we are humans. We can decide for ourselves wether or not we will allow the madula to control or the frontal cortex.

    There may very well be a significant price to pay for taking action against those who are in the wrong. The fact that there is a price to pay does not mitigate the fact that taking or not taking action is still the choice of the individual.

    Ever see or read Sophie's Choice? This is the very heart of this story. Sophie pays in so many soul rendering ways for taking action to help those who are in need of help that it costs her more than what she had to give.

    Sill, she acted.
     
  11. hiddennovelist
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    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

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    Says who? Just because you don't choose to bully and pick on other people doesn't mean that you don't have the ability to stop someone from doing so.
     
  12. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Bullies are invariably cowards.
     
  13. hiddennovelist
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    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

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    Quoted for truth.

    The world isn't divided into strong people who bully others and weak people unable to stop them. And if you have the power to stop someone from picking on or taking advantage of someone else, you should do it.
     
  14. CDRW
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    CDRW Contributing Member Contributor

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    You're not arguing against the point I made, and I would never disagree with anything you said in this post.
     
  15. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    No. The ones who should have the harshest punishment are the bullies. The bystanders may be guilty depending on the situation, but are not as guilty.

    In the case of the Nazis, anyone who opposed them were instantly killed. When it's a matter of life and death, it's extremely hard to stand up to someone. Besides, the Nazis did a very good job of keeping concentration camps and other such operations a secret from the German population. The average German would not have known that such camps even existed.
     
  16. Leaka
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    Leaka Creative Mettle

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    For #2:
    No, I sort of agree with Thirdwind.
    Yes they were there and witnessed it, but if the situation caused them more trouble or more punishment if they interfered...what are they suppose to do.
     
  17. Lavarian
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    Lavarian Contributing Member Contributor

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    The right thing.
     
  18. Leaka
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    Leaka Creative Mettle

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    The right thing could get them in trouble.
    The right thing could send them to jail as well.
    The right thing could have something horrible happen to them as well.
    Why would someone want to sacrifice themselves for someone else?
    It isn't going to happen that way.
    But they aren't guilty of it.
    They just want to survive the way someone who is bullied does.
    But they don't know how to help nor how to stop it.

    What if there is a string of cruel behavior on a person through not only people, but the authorities as well.
    The authorities are protecting the bullies.
    Then how is a bystander to help, they don't have the ability to forge evidence, they don't have the ability to fight against authority, and most certainly the authority will make them look bad to the higher chief of the police.

    You cannot be as bad as the bully if you are just a bystander.
     
  19. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    Exactly. Theorise all you want about it, but I've been in this situation. And whilst I will one day be reveneged upon the perpetrators themselves, I reserve the greater amount of my hatred and anger for those who allowed it to happen, and simply watched rather than helping me.

    Failure to do the right thing, however you might try to justify it, is still doing the wrong thing.
     
  20. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    I respectfully beg to differ.
     
  21. Leaka
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    Leaka Creative Mettle

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    We're on similar paths cause I disagree with that theory.

    No good deed goes unpunished.
     
  22. hiddennovelist
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    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

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    The right thing could also save innocent lives.
     
  23. The Freshmaker
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    The Freshmaker <insert obscure pop culture reference> Contributor

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    I love how everyone in this thread is so self-righteous. It's one thing to stand up for a kid on the playground. It's a different thing completely to stand up to an oppressive government agency, or a gang of racial supremacists or religious fanatics. I am of the opinion that, no matter what you may believe or what you claim to believe, when it comes down to it there are a very very select few who would actually put their lives in jeopardy for the sake of doing "what's right." Particularly when the people affected are total strangers. Because, deep down, your instincts scream self-preservation.
     
  24. hiddennovelist
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    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

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    But we're not talking about what the majority of people would do in a situation like that. We're talking about what we think the right thing to do is. ;)
     
  25. The Freshmaker
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    The Freshmaker <insert obscure pop culture reference> Contributor

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    How can you (and I don't mean you specifically) say that something is "right" if you yourself would not do it in the same situation? And why do you, an innocent bystander, need to feel obligated to step in for a stranger? More importantly, if you were in the position of being bullied or oppressed, why would you expect a stranger to reach out and help you, especially if it is putting them at risk?

    I think the most common scenario is people putting themselves at great risk because of a loved one who is affected. That in and of itself is selfishly motivated. You don't want to lose that person, you're afraid of the guilt and grief you would feel if you didn't do something to help them. But how many people would really, truly put their lives on the line for total strangers? We're not all Jesus.
     

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