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  1. #1
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Default Blaming the victim vs Practical culpability.

    So a person pulls into a busy parking lot in a nice sports car. They get out of the car and lock it, but leave the keys on the hood of the car. Ultimately, the person is away from the car for 5 hours. Upon returning, the car is missing, and eventually it is learned that it was hijacked.

    My thoughts:

    Did the driver deserve to have their car stolen? No.

    Was the thief innocent or justified in stealing the car? No.

    Do I think the driver should be denied assistance with their problem? No.

    Was the driver highly culpable in their car being stolen? Yes.

    Do I think it's fair to expect an adult to not make that mistake? Yes.

    Do I think this should be a learning experience that will prevent the driver from reapting it? Yes.

    Based on my answers, do you think I'm being fair? Do you think I can be accused of blaming the victim?
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  2. #2
    Wake, See, Sing, Dance Cellmold's Avatar
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    From the ground up I would argue that people only see the victim as culpable in such a situation because it is generally accepted as part of the world we live in.

    In an ideal world it would of course be ridiculous to assume that someone should be blamed for another's lack of self-control. But this is not an ideal world, it is the world where anything can happen at any time to anyone and often for no reason we can understand or explain, it is the world where principals are only half adhered to and usually used to justify self-serving ends rather than for the actual principal itself.

    However this does not mean people shouldn't make an effort. To do otherwise merely creates an enabling environment where such behaviour is accepted as a two-way issue.

    Having said this I understand the mindset that would call the victim culpable as well as the perpetrator, but I would be reluctant to do so myself, which isn't to say I wouldn't.

    This is also quite contextual. If a person parked their sports car on the edge of a sea-side cliff and then the cliff eroded or otherwise gave away and they had to write off the car....this person is irresponsible and directly contributed to what happened.

    The scenario you posted is more endemic of a bigger, widespread, problem in that society and the individuals that it consists of.

    It's all about expectation and desensitisation. Perhaps I am just naive.

    In any case this is a good topic and one that definitely isn't clear cut.
    'One of (Lucas) Cranach's masterpieces, discussed by (Joseph) Koerner, is in it's self-referentiality the perfect expression of left-hemisphere emptiness and a precursor of post-modernism. There is no longer anything to point to beyond, nothing Other, so it points pointlessly to itself.' - Iain McGilChrist

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  3. #3
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    So a person pulls into a busy parking lot in a nice sports car. They get out of the car and lock it, but leave the keys on the hood of the car. Ultimately, the person is away from the car for 5 hours. Upon returning, the car is missing, and eventually it is learned that it was hijacked.

    My thoughts:

    Did the driver deserve to have their car stolen? No.

    Was the thief innocent or justified in stealing the car? No.

    Do I think the driver should be denied assistance with their problem? No.

    Was the driver highly culpable in their car being stolen? Yes.

    Do I think it's fair to expect an adult to not make that mistake? Yes.

    Do I think this should be a learning experience that will prevent the driver from reapting it? Yes.

    Based on my answers, do you think I'm being fair? Do you think I can be accused of blaming the victim?
    There is a difference between doing something stupid, and doing something illegal. We prosecute those who do the second, but generally rely on logical consequences to sanction the first. I cannot object to anything you wrote above, because it is just words, statements offering a value judgment. What would be the practical consequences of such a chain of events? Would the driver's insurance fail to pay for the car because he made it easy to steal? Would he be held partly responsible for any crimes committed by the thief in or using the car? Either of these consequences I would consider go too far. The driver will have enough trouble in this situation, even as an "innocent" victim, for him to learn his lesson.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    Do I think it's fair to expect an adult to not make that mistake? Yes.
    Apart from this, everything else seems pretty OK to me

  5. #5
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    What I'm interested in is where you thought this was going or did you think it would branch out into the discussion of other crimes and the responsibility of the victim in it all?

    I think that there ought to be consequential thinking in any and all situations and learning taken from them all, people need to be self aware and not set themselves up but at the same time I think they have a right to expect that even were it easy for the criminal that they shouldnt be a victim of crime.

    I've heard of people who have driven home with groceries and been carrying them in from their car and left the keys in the car have had their cars hijacked, I've also heard about cars which have those "radar" keys being car jacked when the person is in the vacinity or within range or if someone has snatched a handbag with the key in it. Those are interesting and perhaps less "careless" scenarios to consider.

    Equally if anyone were to see the key sitting on the car would they be culpable if they had seen the key and had not handed it into the police or someone, car lot attendent or something, for safe keeping?

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    So a person pulls into a busy parking lot in a nice sports car. They get out of the car and lock it, but leave the keys on the hood of the car. Ultimately, the person is away from the car for 5 hours. Upon returning, the car is missing, and eventually it is learned that it was hijacked.

    My thoughts:

    Did the driver deserve to have their car stolen? No.

    Was the thief innocent or justified in stealing the car? No.

    Do I think the driver should be denied assistance with their problem? No.

    Was the driver highly culpable in their car being stolen? Yes.

    Do I think it's fair to expect an adult to not make that mistake? Yes.

    Do I think this should be a learning experience that will prevent the driver from reapting it? Yes.

    Based on my answers, do you think I'm being fair? Do you think I can be accused of blaming the victim?
    I think about this a lot, especially in reference to another crime that I presume you're alluding to. I think all your answers are reasonable and I don't think you're assigning any unwarranted blame.

    I don't understand why the current rhetoric in victim blaming leaves room only for polarity. There's simply no allowance for an answer like "no, it was not your fault that your car was stolen, but it probably wasn't a very good idea to leave your keys on the hood." I don't understand why someone would take that chance just because the politics of this topic say it shouldn't happen. Righteousness makes for a terrible anti-theft device.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Bamboo's Avatar
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    Wow, I wrote a thread very similar in concept to this one.

    Victimization, blame, danger, and personal responsibility
    http://www.typologycentral.com/forum...ad.php?t=61761

    The short version is:
    there's a difference between blaming the victim and showing that the victim holds responsibility for their own actions. Ultimately, if there is a need to assign guilt, the guilty party is the one who committed the violation, not the one who was violated.



    That said, as a practical aside many jurisdictions make it an offense worthy of a fine to leave your keys in your ignition or the like. Too many stolen cars overloading the police force, perhaps?
    Don't know how much it'll bend til it breaks.

  8. #8

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    In quick accidents it’s always the blame game, sometimes the wrong person win it.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Bamboo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EffEmDoubleyou View Post
    I think about this a lot, especially in reference to another crime that I presume you're alluding to. I think all your answers are reasonable and I don't think you're assigning any unwarranted blame.

    I don't understand why the current rhetoric in victim blaming leaves room only for polarity. There's simply no allowance for an answer like "no, it was not your fault that your car was stolen, but it probably wasn't a very good idea to leave your keys on the hood." I don't understand why someone would take that chance just because the politics of this topic say it shouldn't happen. Righteousness makes for a terrible anti-theft device.
    I'd generally agree.

    I think where people go wrong in telling people about responsibility is that they take on a tone of: you must do this.

    "Don't leave your keys in your car, you CAN'T do that." The problem with that statement is the only answer's that come straight out of it are "Yes I will comply with what you're saying" or "Piss off." It's individual choice to take that risk, and they can do it if I want.

    Instead try: "You know it's easier for someone to steal your car like that." Then the other person can be annoyed, but they can say "Yeah, I know (but I don't think it's going to happen here)."

    Or: "Hey, there's been a lot of vehicle theft's lately, be careful!" That's advice that doesn't even really require a response.

    I think this small difference in tone (being careful of words like "you should" that can take on a connotation of giving orders) can make a difference.
    Don't know how much it'll bend til it breaks.

  10. #10
    royal member Rasofy's Avatar
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    Based on my answers, do you think I'm being fair?
    Yes.

    Do you think I can be accused of blaming the victim?
    Yes, also. I think the phrase 'blaming the victim' is tricky, because from what I've noticed people assume that it's implied that the victim has done something "to deserve it" (i.e. a moral judgement), but the point is: the victim is guilty of having dramatically increased the risk of the unwanted event.

    If I ever forget to lock the house before I left it and a thief enters in and steals everything, my parents are going to blame me for it - and rightfully so. Not because I've done something morally objectionable, but because I was supposed to take common sense precautions in order not to overly increase the risk.
    -----------------

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    A man creates. A parasite says, 'What will the neighbors think?'
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