Are we responsible for what we fail to prevent?
LiptonCambell: Scenario - At a yard party, a man witnesses an apparently unsupervised toddler climbing on the rocks of a large fish pond. A few moments later, he enters the house, gets his jacket and leaves. The toddler is later found lifeless in the pond.
One might say that the man could have physically removed the child from an obviously dangerous situation. Another might say that at the very least, the man could have notified the hosts of the situation. Knowing that the man chose neither of these options, would you find him in any degree ethically responsible for the child's death?
keeping in mind with the topic;
Is the person filming ethical?
FogofWar: Of course. If you have the power to prevent a disaster; and do not take the action to prevent it; then you are guilty of allowing it to happen.
LiptonCambell: I gotta confession to make- I didnt write the above(or any of the numerous topics I posted last night)- I found them on forums, liked either the ideas or the responses, and ripped them off. I'm kinda hoping the idea in general- Can you be responsible for your own inaction to things that may or may not be your responsiblity...
As for the actual question; I disagree. I am never responsible for your child. While I agree its incredibly poor form to not at least tell the parents, yes- but I am not responsible for the well being of other peoples children.
FogofWar: You are not responsible for the well being of the child; but you are responsible for your own actions...and having the power to prevent a disaster; and allowing it to occur is still a guilty action.
If you saw a woman being raped by a man; and you had a gun in your hand...would you walk away and not stop it?
FogofWar: You are not responsible for the welfare of that child directly; but you are responsible for being selfish or not. Society does not bloom from selfish acts.
"Ask not what your country can do for you; but ask instead what you can do for your country."
LiptonCambell: >>>If you saw a woman being raped by a man; and you had a gun in your hand...would you walk away and not stop it?
Good intentions do not always breed Good results. In acting, you could save the woman and reform the man, granted- or you could get the woman and yourself killed.
I agree with you, but I'm not convinced its as black and white.
FogofWar: Of course not; and a knife can cut two ways. Good intentions can lead to bad outcomes....but I could not stand by having the power to prevent something atrocious and not act....that's not in my nature. I get irate when I see a man get in a woman's face in public.
Qz: To answer the question... YES.
Great question. It is thoughts like this that would make our
world a better place to live.
Anne aka Mags: Lipton, I am saddened by your response to the scenario. It is that kind of thinking that is so prevalent in today's society. One might call it narcissistic.
As a parent, I have a responsibility to my child and would hope that if he was in danger, someone would reach out to him to draw him back (literal & metaphorical situations).
It seems to me that while we continue to look at the world with an attitude of "it's all about me", our society will continue to degrade. It is only when we stop and look around us that we begin to see our own responsibilities to the world.
Whenever I hear a person complain about other people's destructive behaviour, I ask myself "what have you done to dissuade this? Has your inactivity contributed the lack of positive formation in this person?"
Don't worry, I ask this of myself as well.
There is an old saying... "It takes a community to raise a child". I take this to mean that we all have responsibilities beyond ourselves.
LiptonCambell: Of course, another important question is, how could you be HELD responsible? Criminal Charges for failing prevention?
Anne aka Mags: So you're talking about criminal negligence?
In this situation, could/would the parents of the child file a suit against you? They might file a civil suit.
Am I right in saying that a person who has trained in First Aid is obligated to use this training and if they don't, they can be liable for negligence?
Anne aka Mags: Should...?
Yes I think you should. I don't care whether it's a child or an adult, if someone is in trouble, then it is our responsibility to do everything SAFELY possible to help. That's the first step in first aid.
DRABC: Danger - check that it is safe to approach THEN
Response and so on...
Your reponse may be only to alert someone, but at least you have done that!
FogofWar: In Quebec, Canada; you are legally obligated to help. If you are trained in first aid; then you are legally obligated to provide as much care as you can; or you may face charges.
WAYTOBIG: What if?
Save/rescue a Child/adult and in that process you have in some degree injured that person while attempting to save /rescue.
You can be sued for such injuries,that is why some people just walk away from some scenarios.
Anne aka Mags: Fortunately, Australia doesn't go in for stupidity! We recognise the saving of lives!
LiptonCambell: Alright, keeping in mind with the topic;
Is the person filming ethical?
Comrade_: "Never be afraid to do what's right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society's punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way." ~ Martin Luther King, Jr
Teece: My instant response to the initial question in this thread is 'absolutely' - if you see a child in a potentially dangerous situation, then you should take steps to ensure that you have at the very least alerted the parents - to do nothing is total negligence. Also to even think "its not my responsibility" to any situation you could potentially help with, to my mind, is morally wrong........
I was fully trained in first-aid with allot more added in - taught to use defibulators and other medical equipment as I was a flight attendant for many years. I have used my skills twice in everyday life and wouldn't hesitate to do so again. However, when I was flying, the airline that I worked for advised us not to jump into any situation (such as a car accident, etc.,) in the United States as we could get sued by the very people we were setting out to help... One of our Crew Members pulled a person from a burning car and was later sued by that person for their injuries..... how bad is that?
Serabi: Teece - there is a saying, I don't know who coined it - No good deed shall go unpunished.
However in the criminal law, criminal negligence is one of the three general classes of mens rea (Latin for "guilty mind" element required to constitute a conventional as opposed to strict liability offense. It is defined as:
careless, inattentive, neglectful, WILLFULLY blind, or in the case of gross negligence what would have been reckless in any other defendant.
calybonos: No.You cannot be responsible for events that occur without taking part in them.
Observation of an event effects nothing(excluding those on a quantum level) It can provide the opportunity for intervention with an infinite number of outcomes,with varying degrees of success of the desired result,however,it is the desired result that should be examined as to the degree of "morality" instead of the assumtion that any action should,or could have been taken.
Not only that,but even the rules of ethics themself.Nature can be seen as immoral,or even brutally cruel depending on the observers point of view.And yet it has no need for the concepts of right or wrong.It simply chooses survival as it's goal.
Some will argue that mankind is a "higher being".That he has the ability,and therefore some kind of obligation to take action to change things,or alter the future for "the better"
But better for who?
In the natural order of life,"better" has no real specific meaning.The strongest baby bird will push his sibling out of the nest to it's death in order to improve it's own situation,with the end result being not necessarily a "better" species of bird,but one that has a greater chance for survival.This may result in the extermination of one individual,but from the survivors point of view,all is right with the world.
The point being,however much we would like to consider ourselves above or apart from the world that spawned us,we humans are not the Gods,guardians,or even necessary in this worlds design.And it could be argued that man,with his righteous morals and self appointed centeredness is the most immoral creature that intelligence was wasted on.
If I saw a person in a life or death situation,to be honest,I would probably help them out.
But I would be lying if I didn't say in that same situation, a part of me would also see nature working things out,all on it's own.
(Edited by calybonos)
Whimsical Fairy: I'm curious (now that Lipton has a child of his own)...
Lipton, do you feel the same now (2) years later?
LiptonCambell: I believe i am responsible for my child. I would appreciate it for someone to tell me whats going on, but I do not feel it is negligence on other peoples part for not parenting my child in my absence. I and my girlfriend are responsible for my child and no one else(unless, of course, they are physically asked to watch them)
In the issue of the original topic, I think there could be alot of unintended consequences for 'taking charge' of the child and telling the parents what to do.
Of course, my childs 6 months old....ask me again when the little stinker is running around, then we'll see....