16 Year old charged with murder after cop shoots his friend

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Re: 16 Year old charged with murder after cop shoots his fri

Postby sourmìlk » Tue May 31, 2011 2:53 am UTC

Griffin wrote:This is the guy that believes you have a moral obligation to kill someone who throws a rock at you.

No. I said that, if you assault an armed soldier, I have no sympathy for you if you get shot. Similarly, if you point a gun at a police officer, I have no sympathy for you if you get shot.

He probably believes the only real "wrong" here was that the policeman didn't kill the other kid too.

As we've all finally realized after drilling through his opinions, he believes 'bad guys' deserve whatever they get, and 'good guys' are obligated to give it to them.


I've specifically stated at many times, particularly in the Osama thread, that just because a person deserves something doesn't mean any person has the right to give it to him. Please don't misrepresent my stances.
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Re: 16 Year old charged with murder after cop shoots his fri

Postby Vash » Tue May 31, 2011 7:06 am UTC

Griffin wrote:Please, people, you ... to give it to them.


OT ad hominem. Also, be a little more understanding.

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Re: 16 Year old charged with murder after cop shoots his fri

Postby Dream » Tue May 31, 2011 12:59 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:Similarly, if you point a gun at a police officer, I have no sympathy for you if you get shot.

And therein lies your problem. You flat out refuse to see a person in this situation as a victim of anything, be that societal, economic or even family centred wrongs. You have no sympathy for them as a person, as a whole, because of this one thing you know they did. You should have sympathy for them, and lacking it is a serious character flaw.
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Re: 16 Year old charged with murder after cop shoots his fri

Postby sourmìlk » Tue May 31, 2011 1:01 pm UTC

Dream wrote:
sourmìlk wrote:Similarly, if you point a gun at a police officer, I have no sympathy for you if you get shot.

And therein lies your problem. You flat out refuse to see a person in this situation as a victim of anything, be that societal, economic or even family centred wrongs. You have no sympathy for them as a person, as a whole, because of this one thing you know they did. You should have sympathy for them, and lacking it is a serious character flaw.


Why should I have sympathy for somebody who consciously made the decision to attack another person with their money, particularly without evidence that their circumstances coerced them into doing it? Living a crappy life isn't an excuse to attack somebody.
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Re: 16 Year old charged with murder after cop shoots his fri

Postby mike-l » Tue May 31, 2011 1:24 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:
Dream wrote:
sourmìlk wrote:Similarly, if you point a gun at a police officer, I have no sympathy for you if you get shot.

And therein lies your problem. You flat out refuse to see a person in this situation as a victim of anything, be that societal, economic or even family centred wrongs. You have no sympathy for them as a person, as a whole, because of this one thing you know they did. You should have sympathy for them, and lacking it is a serious character flaw.


Why should I have sympathy for somebody who consciously made the decision to attack another person with their money, particularly without evidence that their circumstances coerced them into doing it? Living a crappy life isn't an excuse to attack somebody.


It's not an excuse. But given the stats, it's very likely that there were contributing socio-economic factors, and that in other circumstances this kid could have been a perfectly upstanding citizen and contributing member of society, and if the system deals with him properly, there's still a good chance that he can become one. It's not an excuse, and noone is suggesting that he should not be punished. Only that, barring evidence to the contrary, we not write him off as evil, morally bankrupt, or a psychopath, undeserving of any sympathy.
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Re: 16 Year old charged with murder after cop shoots his fri

Postby sourmìlk » Tue May 31, 2011 1:27 pm UTC

mike-l wrote:It's not an excuse. But given the stats, it's very likely that there were contributing socio-economic factors,

I certainly don't deny that, but why does that warrant my sympathy? He chose not to disregard those factors in his decision making.

and that in other circumstances this kid could have been a perfectly upstanding citizen and contributing member of society,

Okay, but why does that warrant my sympathy? He did a horrible thing and I don't have a problem with reasonable consequences having been dealt out. Perhaps it's a shame that there's lost potential, but if anything that should make me less sympathetic towards the kid because he threw away that potential.

and if the system deals with him properly, there's still a good chance that he can become one. It's not an excuse, and noone is suggesting that he should not be punished. Only that, barring evidence to the contrary, we not write him off as evil, morally bankrupt, or a psychopath, undeserving of any sympathy.

Except that all the evidence he has points to him being evil and morally bankrupt.
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Re: 16 Year old charged with murder after cop shoots his fri

Postby Dream » Tue May 31, 2011 1:37 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:Except that all the evidence he has points to him being evil and morally bankrupt.

Well, your lack of understanding of the concept of evil explains a lot about your attitude. But the only "evidence" you have points to him having pointed a gun at someone and taken their stuff. Until you know the whys and why nots of the situation, you have no cause to evaluate his choices morally.
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Re: 16 Year old charged with murder after cop shoots his fri

Postby mike-l » Tue May 31, 2011 1:46 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:Except that all the evidence he has points to him being evil and morally bankrupt.


Someone already linked the Stanford Prison Experiment, and there's also the Milgram Experiment. People can be made to do terrible things, much worse than armed robbery, for little gain (I don't know how much the testers in the original Milgram Experiment were paid, but most universities these days pay around 20 bucks. A reality TV show did it in 2010 and paid 40 Euros).

Being evil and morally bankrupt is rarely the primary cause of crime, unless you think that impoverished black males are 1000x more likely to be evil than rich white women.
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Re: 16 Year old charged with murder after cop shoots his fri

Postby sourmìlk » Tue May 31, 2011 2:19 pm UTC

I acknowledge that there are factors contributing to one's morality, but I don't see why those circumstances should make me sympathetic to the immoral person.
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Re: 16 Year old charged with murder after cop shoots his fri

Postby mike-l » Tue May 31, 2011 3:05 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:I acknowledge that there are factors contributing to one's morality, but I don't see why those circumstances should make me sympathetic to the immoral person.


There's a very large difference between doing an immoral thing and being immoral.
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Re: 16 Year old charged with murder after cop shoots his fri

Postby Belial » Tue May 31, 2011 5:03 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:I acknowledge that there are factors contributing to one's morality, but I don't see why those circumstances should make me sympathetic to the immoral person.


Because the linked experiments indicate that, unless you are VERY SPECIAL (and hint, not many people are) then given the right circumstances you would behave just as immorally. Even though you feel like you wouldn't. Even though you say to yourself you'd never do that. You would.

I get why you wouldn't want to face that, but that doesn't mean I sympathize with that desire. Your little black and white morality is a way of avoiding looking at things that make you uncomfortable. It's the contemptible tool of a weak person.
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Re: 16 Year old charged with murder after cop shoots his fri

Postby Goplat » Tue May 31, 2011 5:40 pm UTC

Belial wrote:the linked experiments indicate that, unless you are VERY SPECIAL (and hint, not many people are) then given the right circumstances you would behave just as immorally.
Neither experiment shows anything of the sort. They both show that people love authoritarianism (do what you're told, it's FOR SCIENCE™), but that's a different beast entirely from being willing to kill just for money.

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Re: 16 Year old charged with murder after cop shoots his fri

Postby Belial » Tue May 31, 2011 5:59 pm UTC

They show, more broadly, that people aren't as moral as they think they are. Given proper circumstances, and a proper way to justify it to yourself, what you think is right goes out the window.

Also, can we do away with the "WILLING TO KILL!!!!11!!" construction? You don't know if they were willing to kill unless they killed, you just know that they were willing to pretend to be willing to kill. That's called bluffing. That's like saying the US was willing to reduce the world to a radioactive cinder in the 50s.
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Re: 16 Year old charged with murder after cop shoots his fri

Postby Vash » Tue May 31, 2011 8:13 pm UTC

Belial wrote:They show, more broadly, that people aren't as moral as they think they are. Given proper circumstances, and a proper way to justify it to yourself, what you think is right goes out the window.

Also, can we do away with the "WILLING TO KILL!!!!11!!" construction? You don't know if they were willing to kill unless they killed, you just know that they were willing to pretend to be willing to kill. That's called bluffing. That's like saying the US was willing to reduce the world to a radioactive cinder in the 50s.


Eh, not necessarily.

Replications of the Stanford prison experiment were not always identical. There is some indication that one of the guards may have precipitated much of the cruelty by both starting it and being an influence. We already know about peer pressure. The other guards could have also been susceptible. It certainly is indicated that social role and structure (such as dominance) can have an effect on worldview, and that what we view as moral this second is not necessarily how we will always view it. Well, unless we understand this and can account for it, maybe. It's untested as far as I know, however (though, predicted in a limited way by behavioral complexity models supported as valid in countless other instances). I personally find myself to be unbending sometimes where it counts. Though, with enough cowardice I am sure I could do anything terrible. I am sure you can train someone to ignore their cowardice (or someone can train themselves), however. One can do the same for other fears, and anger. I know it is possible. I don't know if it is demonstrated experimentally in a social setting. It is demonstrated observationally in people dying for their beliefs.

Replications of Milgrim reinforced the original proposition. People, in general, are even in moral decisions beholden to the guidance of authorities to some degree. Note that there are theoretical complications to this rule. In modern society, most people are of the order of behavioral complexity (10) where they are particularly beholden to rules and authority. Behavior differs depending on subjects. I am not sure of the particular samples of every Milgrim replication (in particular, whether the distribution could have been affected by a bias in age). I know that this was not examined as a variable, however (more than that, the modern theories did not exist. Without postformal "stages" in particular, this seems less necessary to test). Keep in mind that when you look at the actual Milgrim data, the effect does not appear huge (though it is extant). I surmise that the effect is huge among order 10 individuals, and smaller in others.

The other problem with the "willing" proposition is that it untestable if "will" caused someone to kill, or something else. A clear, testable definition of will is basically nonexistent. Philosophers have also made it worse. Free will can mean many different things. For most people, it means basically nothing, as far as I can tell. I suppose most people mean that they have full control of themselves and can do whatever they want. We certainly know that that isn't true, lol. Free will won't grow bones, for example (it may allow you to be happier, or something else, so that your bones heal better. In some cases, perhaps drastically so). There is a great deal of flexibility in brain development, and with various ways of controlling one's own behavior one can accomplish many behavioral changes. Still, nothing is limitless, and people hit dead-ends that may or may not be resolvable. Certainly they are not always resolvable by themselves, and even if resolvable by someone else, they may never find that person. People also can give up early, though. At some point one does have to "call" things, however. One doesn't live forever.

sourmìlk wrote:Why should I have sympathy for somebody who consciously made the decision to attack another person with their money, particularly without evidence that their circumstances coerced them into doing it? Living a crappy life isn't an excuse to attack somebody.


He just said why. This is my personal summary of the point: not everything is within someone's control, especially at 16. I think most people would consider themselves at 16 to not have had their life very under control at all. Yet, you're expecting every 16-year-old to have been capable of incredible feats of defiance of their situation. If we ignore all personal knowledge, and look only at research, it's still (or especially) clear that 16-year-olds can't always avoid their life history or supercede their age.

If this is a personal insult to you, let it be known to you that when I found out you were 16, I was entirely surprised (you were 16 at that point, at least).

Perhaps people have been major dicks to you, and that's why you are still promoting this viewpoint. I think you should feel no need to do so. Instead, you should use that defiance to create a viewpoint that accounts for theirs (even by accepting it, if it is truly right), and better than theirs.

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Re: 16 Year old charged with murder after cop shoots his fri

Postby sourmìlk » Wed Jun 01, 2011 2:48 am UTC

I recognize that 16 year olds are not as much in control of themselves as they will be at, say, 30 (and yes, that fact bugs me a lot). But they should be able to control their actions enough that they don't commit horrible crimes. As far as the ability to not assault somebody goes, I would certainly think that a 16 year old is as capable as an adult.

As for the Stanford Prison and Milgram experiments: I would have no sympathy for the people involved who did bad things. That's not because I think I'm better: as much as I'd like to think I'd act properly in those situations, I don't know. But, despite the circumstances, the people involved in those experiments acted inappropriately and they weren't coerced into doing so. I would not expect sympathy from somebody if I acted that way in an experiment, and frankly, the people involved in those experiments didn't expect sympathy either: in many cases (at least in the Milgram experiment), they were grateful for having gone through it.
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Re: 16 Year old charged with murder after cop shoots his fri

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Jun 01, 2011 2:51 am UTC

I don't think the point of the experiments was to garner sympathy for those who participated.
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Re: 16 Year old charged with murder after cop shoots his fri

Postby LtNOWIS » Wed Jun 01, 2011 3:49 am UTC

mike-l wrote:It's not an excuse. But given the stats, it's very likely that there were contributing socio-economic factors, and that in other circumstances this kid could have been a perfectly upstanding citizen and contributing member of society, and if the system deals with him properly, there's still a good chance that he can become one. It's not an excuse, and noone is suggesting that he should not be punished. Only that, barring evidence to the contrary, we not write him off as evil, morally bankrupt, or a psychopath, undeserving of any sympathy.

There's a difference in condemning someone as "Evil with a capital E" and saying "I'm not sorry that you got your entirely deserved comeuppance." Armed robbery doesn't make someone irredeemably evil. But getting shot is an inherent risk associated with armed robbery and other violent crimes.

Regardless, the kid has bigger problems than whether some random people who he'll never meet feel kinda bad about his story or not. Feeling bad would have no effect; therefore, I don't feel bad about not feeling bad.

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Re: 16 Year old charged with murder after cop shoots his fri

Postby Greyarcher » Wed Jun 01, 2011 4:14 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:I never claimed that 16 year olds had the minimum amount of impressionability that they'd ever have. However, they should have a sufficient moral sense to overcome the peer pressure telling them to commit armed robbery.
Waaait, what does age have to do with moral sense? Or am I mistaken and you don't mean for a connection to exist there? Empathy may be natural, and can produce something like moral behavior, but depending on circumstances and upbringing it's probably easy to have minimal internalized morality. Moral statements may just be "stuff some people said" which don't really weigh into one's decision-making.
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Re: 16 Year old charged with murder after cop shoots his fri

Postby Vash » Wed Jun 01, 2011 8:48 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:I recognize that 16 year olds are not as much in ... through it.


It bugged me a fuckload when I was 16, but it's true. At 16 though, you can't always do that much about being bugged by it. So, it just sucks, lol.


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