Sunday, July 19, 2009

These Are Their Stories...

So I'm watching Law & Order: SVU right now. Plotline: Straight A high school student drinks self to death at a party. They try to charge the people who had the party.

Now to me this seems fucked up. I mean sure people should have helped her or called the ambulance or whatever, but they're not culpable for her death. Now this might seemed fucked up, but at the concept that you or I have any responsibility to help or assist any other person is itself fucked up. If I see a person in distress on what grounds do I have an obligation to help them?

Now if you would say that I should help them because they are a fellow human, Christian, or whatever fine. But the second it becomes a legal matter rather than moral one something is wrong. If a citizen has never volunteered to become legally responsible to assist and/or protect his fellows, how can you fault him for failing to do so? I took an oath to protect the Constitution, this country and its citizens. I stood up and raised my hand and swore to do so, and in return I have been compensated. So are police and firemen and paramedics and shit. But the man on the street has not. He has nowhere along the line agreed to assist anyone at anytime. He also likely had no to little choice in the matter of a law being created to say that he must do such a thing.

Now he didn't get a vote to say that killing people should be illegal, but that law does not require anything of him, merely forbidding him to do something. Unless your default state of being is to murder as opposed to not murder than this is a law that forbids something. Most laws are the same way. They tell you what you cannot do, they rarely make you do something. But in the case of mandating assistance to those in need a law is telling you that you must help someone.

I doubt I am making much sense, and I am sure I am sounding callous and mean, but I don't think I am. If I can help someone I will. I also think you should too. But I don't think that if you don't you should face legal prosecution. Just because a person might be a piece of shit doesn't mean they are a criminal.

No comments:

Post a Comment