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Question: Is the child at all morally culpable? (Please read the first post.)
Yes - 9 (64.3%)
No - 5 (35.7%)
Total Voters: 13

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Author Topic: Moral Culpability for Actions  (Read 5205 times)
westkybitcoins
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February 21, 2012, 09:46:36 PM
 #21

Would have responded last night had the forum not been down.

Those arguing that this is pointless because there is no such thing as morality (or there is no correct answer to this question, etc.) might as well bow out of the thread. Culpability implies an element of morality in this case; if you believe that that element doesn't exist, then there's not much for you to discuss regarding culpability.

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February 21, 2012, 10:02:35 PM
 #22

A much simpler scenario might clear things up.

Let's suppose I have a gun in my hand and I'm demonstrating it to my neighbor with whom I have a friendly relationship. Someone comes up from behind me and produces a loud percussive bang. In response and without provocation, I reflexively contract my muscles due to the unexpected startling noise. The gun discharges a bullet instantly killing my friend.

Who's at fault, and for what?

Does it matter if anybody was laughing afterwards? What if there was no remorse by the noise maker? What if I said my friend deserved what he got? What if I said I was planning on shooting him anyway? Should the aforementioned change the punishment, if any?

While the scenario might arguably be simpler, the questions and implications seem to just make the point of the initial question more obscure. That's why I fashioned the initial scenario as I did, and removed the heavy moral weight of culpability for a death from the equation: to quickly get at the root issue.

Asking if someone is at all morally culpable for some specific incident--particularly the one given--shouldn't be that hard to discern on it's on, should it?

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February 21, 2012, 10:18:54 PM
 #23

To those who voted "No," two further questions:

1) The group event that occurred in the scenario (let's call it a "mini-stampede," shall we?); was that event intentionally created by the child?

2) The singular incident that occurred, of the little girl being knocked down and hurt; was that incident brought about as a direct result of the mini-stampede?

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February 21, 2012, 10:21:38 PM
 #24

To those who voted "No," two further questions:

1) The group event that occurred in the scenario (let's call it a "mini-stampede," shall we?); was that event intentionally created by the child?

2) The singular incident that occurred, of the little girl being knocked down and hurt; was that incident brought about as a direct result of the mini-stampede?


How about I give the girl who skinned her knee twenty bucks and call it a day?


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February 21, 2012, 10:24:15 PM
 #25

To those who voted "No," two further questions:

1) The group event that occurred in the scenario (let's call it a "mini-stampede," shall we?); was that event intentionally created by the child?

2) The singular incident that occurred, of the little girl being knocked down and hurt; was that incident brought about as a direct result of the mini-stampede?


How about I give the girl who skinned her knee twenty bucks and call it a day?


Why would you, if there's no moral culpability? Because others want you to?

No offense, but that seems a little out of character.

Bitcoin is the ultimate freedom test. It tells you who is giving lip service and who genuinely believes in it.
...
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In the future, books that summarize the history of money will have a line that says, “and then came bitcoin.” It is the economic singularity. And we are living in it now. - Ryan Dickherber
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ATTENTION BFL MINING NEWBS: Just got your Jalapenos in? Wondering how to get the most value for the least hassle? Give BitMinter a try! It's a smaller pool with a fair & low-fee payment method, lots of statistical feedback, and it's easier than EasyMiner! (Yes, we want your hashing power, but seriously, it IS the easiest pool to use! Sign up in seconds to try it!)
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February 21, 2012, 10:26:00 PM
 #26

To those who voted "No," two further questions:

1) The group event that occurred in the scenario (let's call it a "mini-stampede," shall we?); was that event intentionally created by the child?

2) The singular incident that occurred, of the little girl being knocked down and hurt; was that incident brought about as a direct result of the mini-stampede?


How about I give the girl who skinned her knee twenty bucks and call it a day?


Why would you, if there's no moral culpability? Because others want you to?

No offense, but that seems a little out of character.



Suggesting that money solves all problems? Stressing that people who have problems can all be bought off if you're rich? Insinuating that poor people are worth less? It's pretty much perfectly in-character for Atlas.

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February 21, 2012, 11:02:13 PM
 #27

To those who voted "No," two further questions:

1) The group event that occurred in the scenario (let's call it a "mini-stampede," shall we?); was that event intentionally created by the child?

2) The singular incident that occurred, of the little girl being knocked down and hurt; was that incident brought about as a direct result of the mini-stampede?


Who cares?  Kids play and get a little hurt.  If that bothers you, you haven't had kids.

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February 22, 2012, 07:34:19 PM
 #28

To those who voted "No," two further questions:

1) The group event that occurred in the scenario (let's call it a "mini-stampede," shall we?); was that event intentionally created by the child?

2) The singular incident that occurred, of the little girl being knocked down and hurt; was that incident brought about as a direct result of the mini-stampede?


Who cares?  Kids play and get a little hurt.  If that bothers you, you haven't had kids.

Of course they do. I'm not even suggesting that the child be told to not do it again.

It's merely a simple "Yes" or "No" question.

Bitcoin is the ultimate freedom test. It tells you who is giving lip service and who genuinely believes in it.
...
...
In the future, books that summarize the history of money will have a line that says, “and then came bitcoin.” It is the economic singularity. And we are living in it now. - Ryan Dickherber
...
...
ATTENTION BFL MINING NEWBS: Just got your Jalapenos in? Wondering how to get the most value for the least hassle? Give BitMinter a try! It's a smaller pool with a fair & low-fee payment method, lots of statistical feedback, and it's easier than EasyMiner! (Yes, we want your hashing power, but seriously, it IS the easiest pool to use! Sign up in seconds to try it!)
...
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The idea that deflation causes hoarding (to any problematic degree) is a lie used to justify theft of value from your savings.
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February 22, 2012, 07:54:35 PM
 #29

To those who voted "No," two further questions:

1) The group event that occurred in the scenario (let's call it a "mini-stampede," shall we?); was that event intentionally created by the child?

2) The singular incident that occurred, of the little girl being knocked down and hurt; was that incident brought about as a direct result of the mini-stampede?


Who cares?  Kids play and get a little hurt.  If that bothers you, you haven't had kids.

Of course they do. I'm not even suggesting that the child be told to not do it again.

It's merely a simple "Yes" or "No" question.


I'm firmly in the "No" camp.  The words "prank" "moral responsible" and "6 year old" are a poor combination to me.

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February 22, 2012, 08:23:01 PM
 #30

To those who voted "No," two further questions:

1) The group event that occurred in the scenario (let's call it a "mini-stampede," shall we?); was that event intentionally created by the child?

2) The singular incident that occurred, of the little girl being knocked down and hurt; was that incident brought about as a direct result of the mini-stampede?


Who cares?  Kids play and get a little hurt.  If that bothers you, you haven't had kids.

Of course they do. I'm not even suggesting that the child be told to not do it again.

It's merely a simple "Yes" or "No" question.


I'm firmly in the "No" camp.  The words "prank" "moral responsible" and "6 year old" are a poor combination to me.

Well, I admit, part of my intent was to create such an odd combination. But not one so convoluted as to defy moral analysis, if any moral aspect exists, despite the oddness.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but your belief seems, moreso than simply "No culpability exists," to be "Any such 'culpability' in this case is too trivial to be worth dealing with."

That's a sensible enough take, but it's not quite a denial that moral analysis of the situation is feasible. And if it's feasible to analyze this scenario, then the conclusion should speak volumes as to similar situations.

Bitcoin is the ultimate freedom test. It tells you who is giving lip service and who genuinely believes in it.
...
...
In the future, books that summarize the history of money will have a line that says, “and then came bitcoin.” It is the economic singularity. And we are living in it now. - Ryan Dickherber
...
...
ATTENTION BFL MINING NEWBS: Just got your Jalapenos in? Wondering how to get the most value for the least hassle? Give BitMinter a try! It's a smaller pool with a fair & low-fee payment method, lots of statistical feedback, and it's easier than EasyMiner! (Yes, we want your hashing power, but seriously, it IS the easiest pool to use! Sign up in seconds to try it!)
...
...
The idea that deflation causes hoarding (to any problematic degree) is a lie used to justify theft of value from your savings.
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February 22, 2012, 09:06:03 PM
 #31

To those who voted "No," two further questions:

1) The group event that occurred in the scenario (let's call it a "mini-stampede," shall we?); was that event intentionally created by the child?

2) The singular incident that occurred, of the little girl being knocked down and hurt; was that incident brought about as a direct result of the mini-stampede?


Who cares?  Kids play and get a little hurt.  If that bothers you, you haven't had kids.

Of course they do. I'm not even suggesting that the child be told to not do it again.

It's merely a simple "Yes" or "No" question.


I'm firmly in the "No" camp.  The words "prank" "moral responsible" and "6 year old" are a poor combination to me.

Well, I admit, part of my intent was to create such an odd combination. But not one so convoluted as to defy moral analysis, if any moral aspect exists, despite the oddness.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but your belief seems, moreso than simply "No culpability exists," to be "Any such 'culpability' in this case is too trivial to be worth dealing with."

That's a sensible enough take, but it's not quite a denial that moral analysis of the situation is feasible. And if it's feasible to analyze this scenario, then the conclusion should speak volumes as to similar situations.


Sorry I am lost.  The key fact here is that the child is 6 years old.  She is not old enough to decide whether or not its safe to cross a busy street.  If you allowed her out alone and she were killed by a truck, no-one would hesitate to blame you. 

What do we gain by trying to impute moral responsibility to such a being? 

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February 23, 2012, 02:21:45 AM
 #32

To those who voted "No," two further questions:

1) The group event that occurred in the scenario (let's call it a "mini-stampede," shall we?); was that event intentionally created by the child?

2) The singular incident that occurred, of the little girl being knocked down and hurt; was that incident brought about as a direct result of the mini-stampede?


Who cares?  Kids play and get a little hurt.  If that bothers you, you haven't had kids.

Of course they do. I'm not even suggesting that the child be told to not do it again.

It's merely a simple "Yes" or "No" question.


I'm firmly in the "No" camp.  The words "prank" "moral responsible" and "6 year old" are a poor combination to me.

Well, I admit, part of my intent was to create such an odd combination. But not one so convoluted as to defy moral analysis, if any moral aspect exists, despite the oddness.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but your belief seems, moreso than simply "No culpability exists," to be "Any such 'culpability' in this case is too trivial to be worth dealing with."

That's a sensible enough take, but it's not quite a denial that moral analysis of the situation is feasible. And if it's feasible to analyze this scenario, then the conclusion should speak volumes as to similar situations.


Sorry I am lost.  The key fact here is that the child is 6 years old.  She is not old enough to decide whether or not its safe to cross a busy street.  If you allowed her out alone and she were killed by a truck, no-one would hesitate to blame you. 

What do we gain by trying to impute moral responsibility to such a being? 

Since this is a minimal case (a situation where the lightest level of culpability, however slight, can be reasonably assigned,) it can be used to establish a baseline.

By determining whether a moral responsibility is there or not, we can then establish a valid chain of logical reasoning for other situations, particularly extremely similar ones.

If the age is enough of a concern that you don't consider the child capable of moral responsibility, raise the age a few years and you can still establish your baseline.

Would your answer change if the children were 9?

Bitcoin is the ultimate freedom test. It tells you who is giving lip service and who genuinely believes in it.
...
...
In the future, books that summarize the history of money will have a line that says, “and then came bitcoin.” It is the economic singularity. And we are living in it now. - Ryan Dickherber
...
...
ATTENTION BFL MINING NEWBS: Just got your Jalapenos in? Wondering how to get the most value for the least hassle? Give BitMinter a try! It's a smaller pool with a fair & low-fee payment method, lots of statistical feedback, and it's easier than EasyMiner! (Yes, we want your hashing power, but seriously, it IS the easiest pool to use! Sign up in seconds to try it!)
...
...
The idea that deflation causes hoarding (to any problematic degree) is a lie used to justify theft of value from your savings.
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February 23, 2012, 07:39:39 AM
 #33

...snip...

Since this is a minimal case (a situation where the lightest level of culpability, however slight, can be reasonably assigned,) it can be used to establish a baseline.

By determining whether a moral responsibility is there or not, we can then establish a valid chain of logical reasoning for other situations, particularly extremely similar ones.

If the age is enough of a concern that you don't consider the child capable of moral responsibility, raise the age a few years and you can still establish your baseline.

Would your answer change if the children were 9?


It would change my answer if the age were taken out and we assumed all the actors were adults capable of moral responsibility. 


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February 23, 2012, 08:49:50 AM
 #34

Morality is not objectively definable. These arguments are so pointless. You guys are pretty much throwing opinions at each other.

Some might stick and change the world.
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February 24, 2012, 04:02:42 PM
 #35

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/judge-will-decide-if-charges-against-9-year-old-in-school-shooting-will-proceed/2012/02/24/gIQA2oZHXR_story.html?tid=pm_pop

Who would have guessed a real world example would pop along so soon?

In this case, I would not say the boy is morally culpable.  What child could resist a gun that is left out in their play area?

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February 25, 2012, 02:32:36 PM
 #36

Moral, I prefer the term ethic, is one thing, while judicial issues are something different.
Maybe arguing this case is getting easier if you tell these two apart.

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