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Debate Score:101
Arguments:88
Total Votes:117
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Dermot(3644) pic



If someone is drowning and you refuse to help, are you responsible for his death

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It depends on why you choose to refuse to help, in my opinion.

4 points

Whatever caused him to start drowning in the first place is responsible for his death, you wouldn't have caused the death yourself and therefore aren't technically responsible. The fact that you could have prevented his death might make you morally responsible for something, but not his death. If one believes that it's a moral obligation to help the drowning person then they will have to accept some responsibility for being 'immoral' by not taking the opportunity to do what is right.

E271(14) Disputed
2 points

You claim that you are not responsible for his death because the cause of him starting to drown is responsible for his death, however it is completely possible for both you and the drowning cause to be mutually responsible. As an example, imagine someone was bungee jumping with two ropes. You cut one rope, and a separate person cut another. In each case, a person could argue that the other person was responsible for his death. However, your actions equally determined that he died instead of surviving. For this reason, I would claim that technically you are responsible for his death by choosing an action which resulted in his death from a set of actions in which he could not have died.

1 point

A fair point.................................................................................................

1 point

however it is completely possible for both you and the drowning cause to be mutually responsible. As an example, imagine someone was bungee jumping with two ropes. You cut one rope, and a separate person cut another.

In this instance whoever cut the last rope would be responsible. Only if the two ropes were cut simultaneously would both parties be equally responsible.

I believe that the answer to the OP's question boils down to semantics. Since the terminology used was "responsible" then a good argument can be put forward to support the affirmative. However, that same argument can then be put forward ad absurdum. For example, if you refuse to rush into a burning building or refuse to lay down in front of a tank. If the wording is altered from "responsibility" to "causation" then the answer becomes a simple no.

1 point

Agreed, ideally in a way, you are somewhat responsible but whatever initially caused him to drown would be what is responsible for his death

3 points

Hello D:

You're not responsible, but your inaction is wrong...........

excon

PS> (edited) Look.. As a bleeding heart, I think we owe something to ourselves. I suspect a conservative would say we owe our fellowman NOTHING..

1 point

if we are given the chance to help, someone, especially someone who is dying, then we are responsible for our inaction.

bozwallocks(44) Clarified
2 points

There are parts of the world where people die daily for want of small cost. We can all afford this but don't take the time to give it. Does this mean we are responsible for their deaths?

Psot(1) Disputed
1 point

We may be responsible for inaction, but that doesn't make us responsible for a death. That would be like saying a doctor who legally couldn't help someone in situation is responsible for letting them die, even though it would be extremely risky and possibly turn out worse for both if they did.

ldiot(16) Disputed
1 point

You are the beating heart? The heart is inside the body!!!!!!! You are not the heart, you own the heart hahahaha!

Not if I cannot swim. *

Atrag(5187) Banned
2 points

I guess your alt accounts voted this up. Congrats on your popularity with them.

Quantumhead(850) Clarified
2 points

I guess your alt accounts voted this up.

He upvotes all his own posts. It's annoying as fuck.

2 points

It depends. Are they good looking or a nasty fat slob?

2 points

Never give a sucker a break, so if there was a life belt around you could offer to sell it to the drowning person for a knockdown price of say, $5000 plus an additional labour charge of $1000.

Most people would consider their lives to be worth $6000.

1 point

Requiring someone to jump in the water themselves would be wrong for many reasons. They may be unable to swim, have a phobia, have medical reasons not to, worry it's not clean or safe, may have other responsibilities on land (like their kids), and they may be uncertain of the situation (maybe it isn't clear it's really a case of drowning).

However, expecting someone to call for help either verbally or on their phone if they have one is a reasonable expectation. Whether or not failing to call is a crime depends on the local laws, though.

2 points

What if you just hate people and don't own a cell phone? ;)

Grenache(5553) Clarified
1 point

Then you're off the hook. Literally. ............................................................

1 point

If you're able to help then pretty much, yes. They would have survived if you acted in a certain manner but died because you acted in another manner. Therefore your actions caused their death.

I don't like the idea of punishing people because they didn't help though.

San101(104) Clarified
1 point

If there was inaction by people everywhere then why would should there be punishment for negligence

WinstonC(862) Clarified
1 point

Negligence laws require a legal duty, a breach of this duty and causation of harm. I'd agree that there is a moral duty to act but there isn't a legal duty to act.

E271(14) Disputed
1 point

Except the debate is not about how someone should be punished: rather it is just about whether or not someone is directly responsible. If someone dropped a plate by accident, then there would be no reason to punish them since it was not malicious. However, they are still technically responsible for breaking the plate. Likewise, there may be a valid reason for inactivity, such as a fear of the drowning person sinking you, however you are still responsible even though you should'nt be punished.

0 points

I would slap my child hard and take away their phone and tv etc for three months if I noticed they didn't try to save a nearby drowning person. Damn fucking right I will punish, I don't raise no villain or pussy I'm a hero who breeds heroism.

1 point

That was the case in Florida where those teens recorded and laughed at a man drowning. I'm of two minds on this, honestly the blood thirsty part of me wants to hold their heads under water for a bit, the other part of me......well ok....wants to kick them repeatedly.

What makes me furious is they did NOTHING. They didn't call the police, they didn't try to get help. I can understand not going out into the water yourself, honestly a drowning person will panic and try to pull you under but to stand there and laugh and record it.....that's a kind of scum that shouldn't be in society but unfortunately isn't illegal. While I think by their actions they are responsible in some part, I don't think legally they are.

1 point

Imprisoning and rehabilitating such people that laugh while someone that they could help dies would serve a moral good. These people are clearly evil people and will darken the lives of those around them. As such it makes sense to make an effort to change these people for the better, or failing that, keeping them imprisoned. Now, I wouldn't say that they have broken a law, however they have demonstrated sadism and a disregard for human life. Such people are dangerous and need to be "fixed".

This is different from simply failing to help because of the sadism and lack of value for human life. They aren't breaking a law (and there shouldn't be a law to force their action) but they are showing themselves to be in need of serious psychological help.

1 point

I agree. To laugh at the suffering and death of a human or to encourage a person to jump to their deaths (different instances) shows a certain sadistic, sociopathic tendency that should never be normal and should be addressed.

Quantumhead(850) Disputed
1 point

Imprisoning and rehabilitating such people that laugh while someone that they could help dies would serve a moral good. These people are clearly evil people

If people do moral wrongs because they are somehow innately "evil" then how can you hope to rehabilitate them? The fact is that every culture has a different framework of acceptable morality and this framework is not chosen by the "evil" doer. They are simply expected to conform to cultural expectations of morality and ignore their own interpretations. When you talk about rehabilitation what you are actually talking about is brainwashing them. Perhaps that might even have some effect if you catch them as children. But as adult offenders who have been around the prison system they are more likely to despise their own culture than be positively influenced by it.

1 point

You have not gone BYE BYE Darwin so yesterday you just wanted to whine and complain ?

Dermot(3644) Disputed
1 point

Yes I wanted to get my way buddy 😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊

1 point

"If someone is drowning and you refuse to help, are you responsible for his death"

Are you alluding to that men can't swim and only women can swim ?

Are you a racist ?

Dermot(3644) Disputed
1 point

No , you are totally confused aren't you ?

Am I a racist ? No , that would make me like you wouldn't it ?

outlaw60(8861) Clarified
1 point

"If someone is drowning and you refuse to help, are you responsible for his death"

You avoided what was asked are men the only gender that drowns !

1 point

On a factual serious note you are with respect to morals and in some places and countries it is a criminal offense. If the person drowning is your enemy or someone you hate enjoy the show and stop others from helping heheh.

If you see the Democrat Party supporting No restriction abortions of viable babies, and say and do nothing to help save their lives, are you responsible? If you vote for these inhuman politicians, are you responsible?

100% yes you are!

1 point

Well... if you're not the reason that they're drowning then why would you be responsible for their death? I would not go help them because I am not a strong enough swimmer to go out, save someone who is struggling, and then return us both to safety. That does not make their death my fault

No, they could end up pulling you down with them. I believe you are responsible for calling for help if you see it though.

1 point

I can't swim, so why even try? If I had a life preserver, I'd toss it to them. Other than that, they're on their own.

1 point

This is the correct answer! Your duty was only to stand and watch while the water killed him, no need to jump in and risk him taking you down with him!!!!!!!

1 point

No, but there should be a sufficient punishment for not performing the minimal effort of calling for help. An individual is usually not trained to render proper assistance for emergency situations.

1 point

NO, although helping him would have prevented his death,

The person was at fault for causing himself to drown.

Simply not helping him would not make you the murderer.

1 point

Well if they're drowning in a very dangerous situation where if I jump in to help I will mostly likely endanger my life too, then I'd say it's less of my responsibility, but obviously I would still try to get a pole or something to help them

Technically, that is considered manslaughter. If You are fully capable and understand the seriousness of the problem, the drowning, then you are fully responsible for their death.

ldiot(16) Disputed
1 point

No it is considered being scared to die yourself!

Coward excuse is very common excuse! It is easy for defense lawyer to say 'my client is a pussy, don't put them in jail or they gonna let others there drown too!'

1 point

Yes you are! It is your huge mistake if he somehow survives it, your job was to drown him!... TO DEATH.

1 point

not all times. i mean every one has a sense of self preservation and they cannot be held liable for thinking of their own but yea, it does border on the moral thin line that you could have done something but you didn't.

It depends on the person if I didn't know the person or if I knew he/she was a good person of course I would try to help, however if said person was a murderer or other criminal I would just observe karma kill them.

1 point

If I am not an acting force that transferred kinetic energy through their body to force them into the pool or other body of water, I am not responsible. It's called physics.

1 point

I would put it under manslaughter, even though it is much worse and an evil thing to do.

1 point

No.

You're only responsible for yourself in life, not for anyone else.

Though if you can help then you should but if you just can't help, if you fear drowning yourself, can't swim or something like that then it's okay, it depends on why you didn't help.

But no, I don't think someone is responsible for someone else's death in such a case.

1 point

Yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!OF CUORSE YOU ARE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Are you all cold hearted???????

1 point

No not completely because if the fell in the water and if it was dangerous then you would have a reason not to help and it was their problem

1 point

It depends on the situation. If the drowning person is in a pool and you can reach them will a rescue tool and not in any way risk your own life but instead you do nothing to help them then of course you're responsible if they drown.

If you're standing on a beach and a person equal to you or larger in size than you are is drowning then you have to assess the risk. If you're not a good swimmer it makes no sense to swim out to a drowning person who could pull you down with them. In that situation it actually makes more sense to wait for them to become unconscious and then if possible grab them from behind or by the hair and pull them to shore.

If you're a trained lifeguard then you know how to save a drowning person. Approach them from underwater and turn them away from you and then reach over their shoulder and carry them to shore on your hip or pull them by their hair.

If you're a member of a pack of punks who see a man drowning and instead of trying to do something to save him they ridicule him and laugh at him while he dies, you should go to prison.

No. You don't have to rescue someone who is in harms way, but if you are able to assist, I think you have a moral obligation to do so.

1 point

The answer lies in the degree ethical development is present in a person. A person who does nothing to help another lacks humanity.

1 point

I mean, kinda not really. Yes, if you were friends with that person and swimming with that person and he starts drowning and you swim away. No, if you were walking on the beach and see a person drowning and walk away, not really. You are definitely responsible if you were the lifeguard.

1 point

You are not responsible for his death, but you are morally obligated to help him in any way possible that does not put your own life on the line. It is not up to the person capable of saving the man to determine the value of his life.

1 point

I think I don't have responsibility. You might didn't know he would die at that time. Also if he died even if you saved him, you would also have to have responsibility for his death. You might feel sorry, but I don't think it's your fault.

1 point

If it is possible for you to help him and you chose not to, i would argue yes you are responsible, but if there isn't a way for you to help without being put in peril yourself, then no

1 point

Yes, you're responsible for that death then, because you COULD do something, but you didn't offer any help, that makes you a victim and a murderer.

1 point

Yes, you're responsible for that death then, because you COULD do something, but you didn't offer any help, that makes you a victim and a murderer.

You should be, but shock can set in from never really experiencing such a situation. Many factors can be used in the court of law to disprove a clients guiltiness to the guys or galls death.

1 point

If I can help but I don't, then I am responsible for it. For example, if I can't swim and nothing around me can help that person to survive, I cannot simply dive as I too will probably die.

1 point

It depends on the reasoning behind your refusal. If you refused to help to protect yourself, then no - you're not responsible. If you refuse because you want to be lazy, then yes - you are responsible.

1 point

I personally believe that if someone was taught growing up that they should always help others, and that person feels like its their moral obligation, and you do try to save that person then they wouldn't be responsible. If that is not the case and you are just watching someone drown, well then yes you should be responsible for the person death because, you knew you could of called for help or jumped in and save them but you didn't therefore you are responsible for his death. Not to mention if you pull out your phone and instead of calling 911 you video tape it, you should be responsible. I don't expect everyone to carry a rope on them, but you should at least throw something that floats. At least make a effort.

The question to me is like this. If you see someone being raped and cheer the rape along are you responsible for the rape? Of course you are, you sociopathic shithead.

Don't be a fucking pussy, don't be one these determinist science nerd sociopaths, take fucking responsibility for your free will and save a bitch.

-1 points

I'm not responsible for that person. That person probably deservers to drown.

Rusticus(280) Disputed
1 point

@John777 - Hopefully you'll find yourself drowning some day and a jerk like you is the only one who could save you.

1 point

Uhm, you saying that means you deserve to drown. If you fall of your bike and you fall in to the river, how could you then possibly deserve it. That's cruel

-2 points
Atrag(5187) Disputed Banned
0 points

interesting interesting interesting and then me ask:

If someone is drowning and you refuse to help, are you responsible for his death???????

3 points

Yes you are responsible for his death! This is because if he doesn't die from it and survives the drowning, you didn't do your job to watch him all the way!