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Why there are so many bystanders

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posted on Jun, 14 2016 @ 05:28 AM
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What I find interesting about the popular "how could you just stand and watch but not do anything!" argument is the guaranteed extreme reaction you will receive whether you do act or you do not. If you do act, you will be placed on a high pedestal; a selfless hero who risked their safety to come to the aid of another human being. Whereas if you do not act, you will be cast down into the pits of hell and likened to the actual perpetrator of the crime. But I ask this: can there not be a grey area? Surely since most other issues involve a grey area, the actions (or inactions) of the bystander can be judged as neutral?

I often see people asking "how could they just stand there and do nothing?" when addressing bystanders who see another person become the victim of some act of aggression or violence. Now, obviously many people who ask such questions do so rhetorically: they pose the question not for an answer, but for an effect on the reader. Well, I am going to give some explanations anyway. Why? Maybe because I have become disillusioned with seeing so many older people claim how "the younger generations are selfish and lack the will to help others who are in danger".

Before I do, I would like to make a couple of things crystal clear:

1. There is a clear difference between attempting to help somebody using low-risk means, and doing nothing at all.

For example, if you see somebody getting beaten up, calling for help (cops, ambulance) or shouting at the perpetrator from a distance to stop their behaviour is better than shrugging your shoulders and filming the encounter.

2. I have myself been the victim of a crime where there were bystanders who did not actively help at the time, and I have no ill-feelings towards them. So when I discuss this topic, I do have some frame of reference to speak from.



As for the reasons:

Natural fear of danger
Most people don't like danger if they can avoid it. Why increase your chance of encountering danger by taking high-risk actions, when doing so has no guarantee of helping another person experiencing the same danger? There is no logical reason to do so.

The law
While most people will applaud you for doing the "right" thing if you do step in, the law will interpret your behaviour objectively. It is not unheard of for initial bystanders to transform into victims of lawsuits and even imprisonment for acting in a way the law deems excessive or disproportionate to the danger at the time.

History
There are so many examples of people who were initially bystanders turning into additional miserable victims that getting involved does not usually seem worth the risk.

In Conclusion


It's easy to judge a bystander for their inaction if you were not present at the scene. While bystanders should be encouraged to use low-risk means to help others when the opportunity arises, it cannot be expected of them to automatically accept the danger and repercussions that accompany coming to the aid of a stranger who they do not owe anything to.

One of the most important lessons I have learned so far in life is this: you simply cannot expect of others what you expect of yourself.


edit on 14/6/2016 by Dark Ghost because: dangling modifiers




posted on Jun, 14 2016 @ 06:49 AM
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I train people in high ropes rescue. We tell trainees when they find themselves in a high risk situation the first thing to do is smoke a cigarette.. Most of them don't smoke. But it sticks in the memory. Stop first and asses the situation.. This is very good advice for many situations you might find yourself in life..

You bring up very good points. Asses the situation before reacting or you may very well take a bad situation and make it much worse. We dont find ourselves confronted with these types of things every day, we aren't accustomed to it. Hesitation is a natural response and essential to prolonging our own safety as well as the safety of those involved. It takes forethought, and even training sometimes to solve seriously risky situations on the fly..

Then when you ad the element of a large group of people all having a different range of reactions, that in itself becomes its own compounding situation you may have to navigate on top of the already dangerous element of risk that is happening..

It's pretty complicated.. There are studies that show the percentage of people that have the ability to react swiftly with calmness and forethought is a very low percentage of people.. Somewhere around three percent..



posted on Jun, 14 2016 @ 07:08 AM
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a reply to: Dark Ghost

So you have reasoned with yourself on why you are a coward?

I have to say after reading your thread it shows what type of person you are... so how about some feedback from some OLD person.....

IMO one reason we are here together living on this rock is to HELP one another when one is in NEED. ONE reason why some countries have MANDATORY "samaritan law" . You can be arrested (in Germany a FELONY charge) for failing to help someone in danger and most countries, states, and counties also offer immunity if you do help and cause the situation to be worst.

So my reasoning about your thread and to why you left this out is simple.........it is all about you. right?. ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME right? As long as your well being is OK .... the hell with others attitude.

Thank you for showing your real colors and who you are. You are part of the problem with this shi**y world. I hope we NEVER cross paths in this life or any other LIFE and if I need help and you are around I know death is near.


edit on 14-6-2016 by DeathSlayer because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 14 2016 @ 07:10 AM
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I Find Those Calamities Daily. I Use To Help. But... No More.
Being Jailed For Helping The Victims (Who Don't Help Me... After The Fact) Numerous Times Taught Me To Live And Let Die. It Is A Crime To Intervene Forcibly. Assault.
To Intervene Peaceably... Is A Crime Too. I Am Expected To Give A Full Detailed Account Of Things I Don't Know. Life Sucks.... And I'm Going To Love It.

New York!
edit on 14-6-2016 by Pinocchio because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 14 2016 @ 07:11 AM
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Most people are just not emotionally equipped to deal with extreme situations. They freeze. I've seen it many times. People just walking around, crying and saying "What do we do, what do we do". I'm truly not trying to come off as a bad ass, but I guess I'm in that 3% Quauhtli was talking about. I run toward sirens, fires, screaming, etc...but I always stop and take a few seconds to find the quickest, safest way to help. I won't do anyone any good, if I get myself injured by not thinking first.
And....some just want to see the carnage and say "I was there, I saw the whole thing" and use it to pump up their own ego, knowing people are going to be coming to them asking questions.



posted on Jun, 14 2016 @ 07:14 AM
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a reply to: DeathSlayer

Responses such as yours are disappointing, but sadly were expected.

Your post is reactionary, excessively judgemental and very emotional.


edit on 14/6/2016 by Dark Ghost because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 14 2016 @ 07:24 AM
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To David64:




Most people are just not emotionally equipped to deal with extreme situations. They freeze. I've seen it many times. People just walking around, crying and saying "What do we do, what do we do".


This is not the majority but a very small percentage of the people and I can understand this reasoning BUT if there are a small or large group standing around doing nothing.......makes my blood boil.




I'm truly not trying to come off as a bad ass, but I guess I'm in that 3% Quauhtli was talking about. I run toward sirens, fires, screaming, etc...but I always stop and take a few seconds to find the quickest, safest way to help. I won't do anyone any good, if I get myself injured by not thinking first.



Chivalry at its finest! A good samaritan.

BRAVO sir,


edit on 14-6-2016 by DeathSlayer because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 14 2016 @ 07:29 AM
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Assuming that every action you do propagate thru the whole either increasing/decrease/sustain well being of all beings.

At least when staying neutral you are not decreasing the well being.

The other side of the coin is that you notice that a large segment of people are just followers who you cannot count on to do what is appropriate when morally needed resulting in dictatorship. I notice this behavior myself in my youth when a narcissistic mini dictator was allowed to influence about 100 youths and majority was enabling him instead picking on those that would not comply and even making nasty jokes on behalf on a handicapped person. I learned how soulless humans in a group can be. When it has gone this far the situation is screwed up.



No Alpha male who was anti bullying to be seen anywhere in that circumstance. Only compliance. Insanity.

If humanity as a majority was empath or psychic then I assume humanity would behave differently.
edit on 14-6-2016 by LittleByLittle because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 14 2016 @ 07:31 AM
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In my experience(s) people should be able to help themselves. Because when they can't others are thrown into the mix. All my problems come from folk who don't help themselves.
That taught me to let die. I won't help. It has cost me months and freedoms and has given me a criminal record. All because people are more of the ass**** than the actual bystander.



posted on Jun, 14 2016 @ 07:41 AM
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a reply to: DeathSlayer



This is not the majority but a very small percentage of the people and I can understand this reasoning BUT if there are a small or large group standing around doing nothing.......makes my blood boil.


That annoys me too. Like for instance seeing two people doing life support and 10 people standing close just watching the mayhem. Give the persons space to act instead of standing there like vultures wanting to see what happens first hand.

If you are not helping get out of the way.



posted on Jun, 14 2016 @ 07:42 AM
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Aside from maybe those trained to deal with rapidly unfolding, life-threatening or horrific situations,the vast majority of people really don't know how they're going to react until they are faced with a situation and then just...react. Looking back and wondering how and why they did or didn't do something can be pretty pointless when there's no real way to analyze or even remember even a fraction of all the elements that with into them reacting the way they did. Hard to when you have so much data coming at you so fast mixing with so much adrenaline and ingrained instinct. In more cases than not though, it's probably safe to assume that what you did was what your instinct told you to do.



posted on Jun, 14 2016 @ 07:49 AM
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a reply to: Dark Ghost

The failure to render assistance when witnessing the kind of criminally violent scenario you're describing does raise some interesting questions. At the same time, one would think this scenario is less common than others in which people could render assistance with little or no risk of danger.

- Helping some one who's carrying too much stuff
- letting someone change lanes in front of you during heavy traffic
etc.

While people occasionally do these things, I think people fail to offer such easy assistance more than they actually do it. And, it seems, if most people are unwilling to offer cost-free risk-free assistance to one another, the more risky kind of help will be even more unlikely.



posted on Jun, 14 2016 @ 07:56 AM
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a reply to: ~Lucidity

I think in the future we will have a segment of population training that changes their body survival instinct so that they are behaving very calmly even when faced with their own body death. Literally no fear left in them. Only awareness.



posted on Jun, 14 2016 @ 08:11 AM
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How to drain the swamp when you're up to your ass in alligators.

"When you are calm you will know." --Joda



posted on Jun, 14 2016 @ 05:33 PM
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I have a funny story, but I agree that most people do not know how to act or react, most are not trained fighters or seasoned street fighters. Most people are not large iron workers with attitudes. Nor do the majority of people carry.

I walked into a gas station a few years back to get some beer. Was n older guy really getting loud with the young girl working. She seemed to be all alone. I walked to the back and got my beer, could still hear him screaming at her.

Walked up to the counter next to him, still yelling, set my beer down and for reasons I have no idea of why said to him "United States Marshall, what seems to be the problem?"

He grumbled something and walked out.

She was so happy, if when she asked if I was a marshall I kept lied I bet I could have had a date.

But I guess that was my initial thinking to best diffuse the situation.



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