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Thread: Should convincing someone of a bad idea lead to prosecution?

  1. #1 Should convincing someone of a bad idea lead to prosecution? 
    Forum Freshman Coveny's Avatar
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    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?


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  3. #2  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope
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    It is definitely a dangerous step to find person guilty of unintentional bad advice.

    I think that applies across the board.

    Even anti Man Made Climate Changers have to be given enough rope to hang us all.

    If we lock them up we may as well lock ourselves up too(although those with unwaranted and unbalancing economic vested interests should in my view be restrained).

    It is a terrible defeatist approach to discount genuine intentions (despite the adage about the road to Hell being paved with them)

    We can never know if we are right and have to wait developments to confirm that we were right.

    Those who go against the consensus have to be cherished . Even Trump would have redeeming virtues if he had not occupied a position totally unsuited to him or those misguided enough to have placed him there.


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  4. #3  
    Forum Freshman Coveny's Avatar
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    While this debate could cover areas that don’t lead to deaths, for now I’m just trying to discuss where death occurred. 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?
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