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Coveny
New Member

USA
8 Posts

Posted - 09/09/2017 :  20:11:01  Show Profile  Visit Coveny's Homepage Send Coveny a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Intent is very important when it comes to prosecuting someone, but should that be enough to overcome giving advice that costs someone their lives? Day after day I see people posting articles against vaccination, or promoting cures for cancer that either do nothing or makes things worse. For this I’m going to assume these individuals believe they are giving good advice, and their intent is to help the individual they are giving the advice too.

For years, I’ve used this example. If I have a fly on my chest and your intent is to help me and kill the fly, but instead you kill me. This is an exaggeration, but the concept is still the same. Should good intent supersede harmful advice/action.

Just this year Michelle Carter was sentenced to two and half years for encouraging her boyfriend to kill himself. The law seems to finally be moving in the direction of the results rather than the intent.

So at what line do you believe anti-science need to cross before the intent can be ignored, and the individual is punished for the results?

Developing ForDebating.com that I hope to populate with intelligent critical thinkers. You can follow updates at https://www.facebook.com/fordebating

Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25909 Posts

Posted - 09/09/2017 :  21:08:18   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Welcome to the SFN!

Looking at the results is what the Jenny McCarthy Body Count is all about.

But you're wrong about the legal aspect. Manslaughter is generally what you'll be charged with if your good intentions wind up killing someone. Oh, yeah, look: that's what Michelle Carter was convicted of.

But Carter's case is spectacularly specific, and I'm not sure she had any good intentions. She was talking with Roy, on the phone, telling him specifically to kill himself. She wasn't just posting bad advice on his Facebook page, where others could potentially see and counter it.

Bad advice is protected by the First Amendment. Inciting immanent illegal activity is not.

I agree with you on the moral question. As they say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. But the legal question hasn't really changed.

Oh, as far as good intent superseding harmful actions, quack doctors sometimes get their licenses revoked. Plumbers who use cheap pipe to save a homeowner money will end up paying for the repairs. Etc. Bad actions have always been prosecutable, good intent or not.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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Coveny
New Member

USA
8 Posts

Posted - 09/10/2017 :  11:48:57   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Coveny's Homepage Send Coveny a Private Message  Reply with Quote
. On the point of Michelle Carter what if her intention to end his suffering? There are numerous cases where assisted suicide and mercy killings were prosecuted. Also with Michelle there is the aspect of free speech. How many times have you heard someone say something like “you should kill yourself” or wishing some form of death on another person. So, was the amount or persuasiveness of those statements that caused her to go to jail? Is it ok to say “The world would be a better place without you” once or twice… but at three times … that’s just too much? Or maybe it’s too much when you start listing their failures or maybe even how the world would be a better place without them, or that pain would end. And what about the type of pain as well? Pain from a breakup vs pain from a terminal illness are different situations.

Also, when there are accepted best practices and they aren’t followed we have no problem prosecuting people like Medical Malpractice. I think everyone agrees Doctors intentions is good but the results were bad and cost someone their life. Generally, though it’s only a loss of money, and takes repeated offenses before the doctor loses their license and no they are no longer able to practice medicine. There are rarely criminal charges brought against them, and they don’t serve any time in jail even if they are the cause of multiple people’s deaths. So, there is some precedence that recklessness and stupidity led to people going to jail regardless of intent.

But how incompetent, misguided, stupid, or reckless do you need to be? Does anyone have suggestions or ideas on where those lines should be drawn?

Developing ForDebating.com that I hope to populate with intelligent critical thinkers. You can follow updates at https://www.facebook.com/fordebating
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25909 Posts

Posted - 09/10/2017 :  12:28:49   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
You know that we allow judges and juries to use their own discretion in order to avoid drawing hard lines in the law itself. The difference between murder and manslaughter is generally intent, and the law provides no fixed, unambiguous set of rules to follow to distinguish one from another, other than prior court precedents. Because drawing hard lines and thus preventing discretion means the law gets massively bulky; that more people will go free on technicalities, and that others deserving of only mild punishment will face harsh sentences.

And I already addressed the free speech argument. Carter's lawyers don't seem to have even tried a First Amendment defense, because (as I said), inciting immanent unlawful activity is not protected by the First Amendment. Attempting suicide is illegal in most jurisdictions.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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ThorGoLucky
Snuggle Wolf

USA
1414 Posts

Posted - 09/12/2017 :  09:28:29   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit ThorGoLucky's Homepage Send ThorGoLucky a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Speaking of law, you might like a couple of fun and informative podcasts, both available in iTunes:

Opening Arguments
http://openargs.com/

Habeas Humor
http://habhumor.libsyn.com/
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