Why does fear exceed morality?

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posted on Jul, 30 2008 @ 03:43 AM
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I am curious to see why people don't stop to help someone who is obviously stranded on the side of the road because of car troubles. I will start with a story, so I hope I don't lose your attention yet.

My friend and I were bored tonight, so we decided to drive around and smoke (cigarettes, not weed:cool
. We took a strange road we've never been on before, curious to see what was down there. As we are driving, his car stalls. I don't know much about cars, so I don't know what the problem was, but it wouldn't start back up (I assume the battery wasn't the problem because his lights worked).

Lucky for us, this road didn't have coverage for either of our cell phones, and we were about 10 miles or so from anything. I forgot to mention that it was around midnight that the car stalled, and if it's important, the speed limit on the road was 45 mph.

After about ten or fifteen minutes, a car turns on the road, heading towards us. We try to flag it down, but it doesn't even attempt to slow down. After we finished cursing at how rude they were for not stopping, I got the idea to count how many cars it would take before someone finally stopped.

We didn't have the emergency lights on when the first car passed, so we assumed that must have been the reason, and I assume we might have looked pretty suspicious. Long story short, it took 18 cars and two hours for someone to stop and ask us if we needed help. We said that our car wouldn't start, and since the man didn't have jumper cables, he offered us a ride. We graciously accepted, and he gave us a ride back to my friends house.

I was shocked that it took so many cars to pass by before someone was kind enough to see if we needed help. I know that people are afraid of picking up hitchhikers and being robbed or killed, but do our fears really prevent us this much from being a 'good samaritan' and helping someone when they are seemingly in trouble?

At the very least someone could have called the police and said there were two young men on the side of the road that may need assistance. One out of eighteen cars that drove by (including an 18 wheeler, which we thought was sure to help us out) was kind enough to help. Why?

Why can't people take a little risk to help out those that are in apparent need?

Is it more important to be in our own comfort zones than to do what is morally right...helping someone in need?


[edit on 30-7-2008 by Alexander_Supertramp]

[edit on 30-7-2008 by Alexander_Supertramp]




posted on Jul, 30 2008 @ 03:54 AM
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It is simply dangerous to pick up a stranger(or 2) at midnight in the middle of nowhere. I would never let a stranger in my car, BUT I would have slowed down and asked if there was someone I could get in touch with for you. Anyone can turn on their hazard lights.

Think about this. Would you want to get a call from the police saying that your spouse/family is never coming home again because they tried to help the wrong stranger?

Its just not worth it anymore to trust people you don't know. I do understand your frustration though and like I said, I would help with out putting myself at risk.



posted on Jul, 30 2008 @ 04:00 AM
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I believe that your sense of self preservation outweighs your sense of moral justice. Whether it is justifiable fear or not, most people will try to protect themselves.



posted on Jul, 30 2008 @ 04:51 AM
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Morality is a man made concept....fear is as primal and as automatic as breathing or sleeping.


Fear is what will save your butt, that whole fight or flight mechanism that we humans have developed over the ages.


Morality is whatever a person thinks it is, and one mans morals are not always the same as others. Fear is instinct that is basic to survival, and survival is the ultimate goal.

Survival trumps morality all day every day. And unfortunately in this day and age it doiesn't pay to trust strangers and it isn't really a great idea to stop for random people on the side of the road.

In 2008 being a good samaritan can cost you your life.

[edit on 7/30/08 by BlackOps719]

[edit on 7/30/08 by BlackOps719]



posted on Jul, 30 2008 @ 05:11 AM
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Just because they look like they need help doesn't mean they really do. Should a kid get into a strangers van to help him look for his lost puppy? Can't trust man, cuz man can lie.



posted on Jul, 30 2008 @ 05:18 AM
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this is an American concept
Canadians for the most part would stop to help

but we do not have near as many gun carrying crazy people up here
In America I don't think I would stop either
But I certainly would make a bee line to call police.



posted on Jul, 30 2008 @ 09:52 AM
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I wouldnt not have stopped either. I am a woman, and usually have my kids with me. That is a big no no. I would call the police if I saw that you didnt have a cell phone you were already talking on, or if I didnt think you had everything under controll.

My husband would stop if he was by himself, and that is cool with me. He carries though so no worries. That is probably why the one who stopped for you was a single man.

Too many crazies in this world. Im not going to flip a coin with my childrens lives. No way dude.

I would help from a distance though. Even then though, it usually takes police forever to help out.



posted on Jul, 30 2008 @ 10:51 AM
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Originally posted by solo1
this is an American concept
Canadians for the most part would stop to help

but we do not have near as many gun carrying crazy people up here
In America I don't think I would stop either
But I certainly would make a bee line to call police.


Ok you can stop your America hate right there. That is not only the dumbest thing I've ever heard, it's also utterly false. Canadians are just as likely to pass by if they see stranded people. I see them doing it every day. Nothing stands between most people and their commute to work or home. And fear is international.

Personally, as a woman, I will not stop to help anyone except an elderly person. Not even a woman my age because they could just as easily be high on drugs or psychotic. If I saw someone stranded in the middle of nowhere I would offer to call someone for them or send a tow truck from a service station, but unless they were 65+ and looked too weak to hurt me, I'm not getting out of the car or letting them in mine.

I think it also depends where you are. When I've been broken down in the South (US) lots of people stopped and asked if I needed help. But I am also a a woman and don't pose much of a threat to a man by myself. OP, where do you live if you don't mind me asking?

I once picked up a young guy walking with a gas can when I was in high school. After I let him in I wondered if this would be the last ride I ever took, so I'll never make that mistake again.



posted on Jul, 30 2008 @ 12:37 PM
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Originally posted by adamneldon
It is simply dangerous to pick up a stranger(or 2) at midnight in the middle of nowhere. I would never let a stranger in my car, BUT I would have slowed down and asked if there was someone I could get in touch with for you. Anyone can turn on their hazard lights.

That's what was the most surprising part once I had time to sit down and think about it...why after two hours nobody had apparently called anyone to let them know we were being sketchy or needed help.


Think about this. Would you want to get a call from the police saying that your spouse/family is never coming home again because they tried to help the wrong stranger?

I think that would be one very tough phone call.


Its just not worth it anymore to trust people you don't know. I do understand your frustration though and like I said, I would help with out putting myself at risk.

That depends on what you personally find more valuable: life without so much risk, or risky help. I'm currently debating to myself which is more important at the moment, but that could just be because I'm still young.



posted on Jul, 30 2008 @ 12:41 PM
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Originally posted by Karlhungis
I believe that your sense of self preservation outweighs your sense of moral justice. Whether it is justifiable fear or not, most people will try to protect themselves.

But is really worth living if you never experience anything risky? It may just be me, but I couldn't imagine being safe all the time, it drives me crazy!



posted on Jul, 30 2008 @ 12:47 PM
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Originally posted by BlackOps719
Morality is a man made concept....fear is as primal and as automatic as breathing or sleeping.

But we are more advanced than all other life on this planet, and that advancement is our intelligence/logic/consciousness; knowing when to take the necessary risk depending on the situation at hand.


Fear is what will save your butt, that whole fight or flight mechanism that we humans have developed over the ages.

Which is definitely a good thing in many cases.


Morality is whatever a person thinks it is, and one mans morals are not always the same as others. Fear is instinct that is basic to survival, and survival is the ultimate goal.

Survival is the ultimate goal for animals and other life, yes. They don't know anything better. We may disagree on this matter, but I have found that there are things more important than my own life.


Survival trumps morality all day every day. And unfortunately in this day and age it doiesn't pay to trust strangers and it isn't really a great idea to stop for random people on the side of the road.

In 2008 being a good samaritan can cost you your life.

But are two college guys really so much of a potential threat that it's not worth even slowing down to ask them if they're alright?



posted on Jul, 30 2008 @ 12:54 PM
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Originally posted by mrsdudara
I wouldnt not have stopped either. I am a woman, and usually have my kids with me. That is a big no no. I would call the police if I saw that you didnt have a cell phone you were already talking on, or if I didnt think you had everything under controll.

It was 2 a.m. so I doubt many women were driving their kids around
It just shocked me that nobody had apparently attempted to do that, unless it takes more than two hours for police to drive 15 or 20 miles outside of town.


My husband would stop if he was by himself, and that is cool with me. He carries though so no worries. That is probably why the one who stopped for you was a single man.

The man who picked us up was very fit and probably thought he could take us if we tried anything. If he had a gun he kept it hidden, because we never saw one.


Too many crazies in this world. Im not going to flip a coin with my childrens lives. No way dude.

I don't blame you! When you have other lives depending on you, I would say it is immoral to put theirs at risk for two strangers.


I would help from a distance though. Even then though, it usually takes police forever to help out.

Two hours? Or maybe the 15th car to pass called and by the time the 18th got there, the police were too late. I hope the former was the case.



posted on Jul, 30 2008 @ 01:02 PM
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Originally posted by sc2099

Canadians are just as likely to pass by if they see stranded people. I see them doing it every day. Nothing stands between most people and their commute to work or home. And fear is international.

I agree, fear does not have nationalities, and people are generally the same everywhere. Maybe in a small, rural town in Canada it is different, but Canada as a whole is probably no better than America about hitchhikers or helping someone on the side of the road.


Personally, as a woman, I will not stop to help anyone except an elderly person. Not even a woman my age because they could just as easily be high on drugs or psychotic. If I saw someone stranded in the middle of nowhere I would offer to call someone for them or send a tow truck from a service station, but unless they were 65+ and looked too weak to hurt me, I'm not getting out of the car or letting them in mine.

It all depends on the level of risk you are willing to take. Sometimes it's not a bad thing to take a bold chance on something if you think it is the right thing to do.


I think it also depends where you are. When I've been broken down in the South (US) lots of people stopped and asked if I needed help. But I am also a a woman and don't pose much of a threat to a man by myself. OP, where do you live if you don't mind me asking?

I live in North Carolina..hah so yep, southern U.S.


I once picked up a young guy walking with a gas can when I was in high school. After I let him in I wondered if this would be the last ride I ever took, so I'll never make that mistake again.

Did you ask him why he was carrying a gas can? Maybe he was a hitchhiker who carried his water in it? But, I understand if you have been scared by doing that why you wouldn't want to do it again.



posted on Jul, 30 2008 @ 01:46 PM
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Originally posted by Alexander_Supertramp



Did you ask him why he was carrying a gas can?


Well he was walking away from a broken down car so it seemed kind of obvious. This was in town. The thing is, it could have so easily been a ruse to get someone to pick him up, which I only thought of after he was in the passenger seat.

If you're in NC, then I guess I got offered a lot of help because I'm female and don't pose much of a threat. I understand how hard it must be to be male and need some assistance. It's not surprising that hardly anyone would stop.

Also think about this, we're bombarded by media news reports of this killing, that murder, this sketchy guy doing something bad. Pretty soon every person starts to look like a threat.



posted on Jul, 31 2008 @ 02:15 AM
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reply to post by sc2099
 


Ah, the good ol' MSM. Gotta love 'em!! *end sarcasm.*

Also this brought another question into my mind: is fear an evolutionary advantage or disadvantage? I know most will say advantage because fear allows us to stay alive and avoid threats, yet truly living is more than survival, for me anyways. Enjoyment, excitement, experience, etc. are so much greater than mere existence.

[edit on 31-7-2008 by Alexander_Supertramp]



posted on Jul, 31 2008 @ 02:35 AM
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Originally posted by Alexander_Supertramp
reply to post by sc2099
 


Ah, the good ol' MSM. Gotta love 'em!! *end sarcasm.*

Also this brought another question into my mind: is fear an evolutionary advantage or disadvantage? I know most will say advantage because fear allows us to stay alive and avoid threats, yet truly living is more than survival, for me anyways. Enjoyment, excitement, experience, etc. are so much greater than mere existence.

[edit on 31-7-2008 by Alexander_Supertramp]

I vote fear is a drop-dead-definite advantage, tastes good and it's good for ya...
For sideways proof I would adduce pain vs. pleasure as an analogy...In my experience extreme pain hurts much more than extreme pleasure feels good...I could easily imagine this as being evolutionarily selected for...the bad stuff, the pain, the fear, induces the sluggish lazy creature to READ THE MANUAL, BUDDY, OH THIS DOES NOT LOOK GOOD...Know what I'm (poorly) saying?



posted on Jul, 31 2008 @ 02:47 AM
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Originally posted by nine-eyed-eel
 

I vote fear is a drop-dead-definite advantage, tastes good and it's good for ya...
For sideways proof I would adduce pain vs. pleasure as an analogy...In my experience extreme pain hurts much more than extreme pleasure feels good...I could easily imagine this as being evolutionarily selected for...the bad stuff, the pain, the fear, induces the sluggish lazy creature to READ THE MANUAL, BUDDY, OH THIS DOES NOT LOOK GOOD...Know what I'm (poorly) saying?

I think I see where you're coming from. As far as extreme pain vs. extreme pleasure, pleasure wins because pain is only felt at exact moments. You are only in physical pain while some force is causing it at a specific time, whereas pleasure seems to last longer (unless it's sexual pleasure, that goes away too).

With pleasure you can be happy again just by thinking about the previous moment, but you cannot be in pain just by thinking about how much you were hurting before...as soon as the pain is gone actually, you cannot remember it for what it was because you cannot reproduce it unless it is forced upon you again. I hope this makes sense.





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