How many bad people are there?

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by DaveC426913, Dec 28, 2018.

  1. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Why not just ignore it if you don't like it and do something you prefer instead?
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  3. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 70 years old Valued Senior Member

    So the person posting on internet forums outs themself as being evil


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  5. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

    Did you find it so?
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  7. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 70 years old Valued Senior Member

    Like going into a cop shop and saying
    "I'm a thief and I am here to steal something"

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  8. geordief Valued Senior Member

    Anecdotally (no numbers) I have been surprised on a few occasions when the wallet I have mislaid (incidentally containing a large proportion of my total wealth at the time) has been returned to me after I had quickly given up hope because I expect the same (sadly lacking) degree of honesty in others as myself.

    On one occasion my weekly wage fell out from my back pocket whilst riding to work on a bike and the finder went out of his or her way to return it to the caravan site where most of us were staying.

    Sometimes when the roles are reversed I too go out of my way to return money like that but sometimes I rationalize the situation in that I am handing over the money to a shop assistant who is just as likely to keep it as myself (and so I have kept them)

    On one occasion I worked for a season and ,returning home put all my cash in my bank account but it wasn't my bank.

    After some time I realized what I had done and rang up the bank I guessed I must have handed it in to . Yes they said ,we have it .It is in a "floating account"

    I could give other examples of honesty I have encountered from corporations which have made me feel petty since I did not expect that treatment.

    From another pov I was just watching "Les Miserables" and the way the priest treated the ex convict who stole silverware from him was very moving.

    I realize that the the church had a privileged status then and that the police would accord them undue respect but you can only play with the hand you have...
  9. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    You could devise a test and derive numbers/statistics from it. It would have to be a very well constructed test however to get much meaning from it (for the reasons that have been discussed).

    Most people would return it with all the money intact if it was easy to return but you already know that. Reading any more into it would not be meaningful without a lot of other information about the person who found the wallet.

    I had my wallet stolen while I was on a public bus in Honduras. I also was walking out of an inexpensive hotel in Mexico and the lady called me back to hand me $.50 because her son had overcharged me by $.50.

    Just yesterday I got an email letting me know that a company was refunding my account $3.00 (unasked for by me) because I ordered some small plastic parts and paid for shipping and then a day later ordered a few more parts and paid for shipping.

    When everything arrived it arrived at the same time in one package. They were refunding me for one of the shipping charges.

    My point, poor people in some circumstances may steal your wallet, or refund your $.50 and companies may overcharge you, scam you or refund your $3.00 without being asked.

    If you are a tourist in a very poor area and you lose your wallet you probably aren't getting it back if you lost it on the street. You can't really draw a lot of conclusions from that. If your wallet falls behind a chair in your hotel room you will probably get it back. If that same person (maid) who returned the wallet from your room, may not return it if it is found on the street.

    If their child is starving at home, they may not return it if they find it in your room.

    It's very hard to draw conclusions about this data however.
  10. Bowser Namaste Valued Senior Member

    Desperation might twist your arm into crime. Drug addiction is one such motivator.
    And someone has been holding your face to the computer screen and is forcing you to read what you don't like?
  11. Beaconator Registered Senior Member

    Enough that if police would ask (to satisfy their curiosity), "Intent" lie detectors would become obsolete
  12. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 70 years old Valued Senior Member

    No such machine as lie detector

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  13. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

    Going by the thread title, is the definition of ''bad'' in terms of morality, only extending to the potential for getting involved with criminal activity?
  14. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

  15. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Can you give some examples of where you're going with that?

    The question started after I saw a video of some normal-looking pedestrian traipsing down a sidewalk veer off and pinch a package from someone's porch.

    It got me thinking how many "otherwise law-abiding people" will turn criminal if the opportunity arose.
  16. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

    I ask because I don't think that a switch flips, and an otherwise ''good'' person would abscond with an abandoned wallet that he/she stumbles upon while walking down the street.

    The question becomes (for me) if you could get away with committing a crime, would you do it? If the answer is yes, then somewhere along the way, that lack of good judgement probably shows itself in other areas.
  17. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Others here would disagree. I got a lot of feedback of the form "many otherwise law-abiding people, when fallen upon hard times, will seize opportunities they otherwise would not."
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  18. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

    That could possibly be true, but I thought we were just talking about the average person who would do something ''off the cuff'', if he/she knew there would be no chance of getting caught. We could come up with every scenario out there to justify bad behaviors.

    Unless it's an offense against us, then we wouldn't apply those same justifications. lol Human nature is fickle.
  19. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Well, the thread is really about what are the chances - if you were to take a cross-section of 100 people from, say, Canada/US - that some would commit a crime of opportunity. How many out of 100?

    Several people have pointed out that it's a pretty intractable problem. Criminals versus law-abiders is not a binary choice, and people don't stay fixed.
  20. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

    Me, and a few others. But mostly just me.
  21. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

    look at 2 things
    1 the incidence of people who will return money when they find it and there is no one around to notice
    2 the cultural norm of how people explain away the theft of things that have been left-behind or dropped by someone and the "a fool & their money, scam related concepts " are normalised into acceptable moral conduct processes.

    while the moral & social code defines a larger percentage of people who expect people should be punished for being to gullible or forgetful, there is a larger group who seek to "do the right thing" for their own moral conscience" which swing the balance back toward the center a bit.

    many things in life are not fair.
    taking advantage of others when the situation presents its self is called capitalism and initiative & ambition.
    however that is most often explained away to become something ethereal when in a corporate context to side with the company being stolen from as a legitimate victim that should never be punished for being lazy or forgetful.
    unlike the private citizen and their money and assets.

    groups, group norms, social group behaviour, spectator effect...
    its a long study into human psychology which is not entirely good news for a semi ambivalent child like mind bent toward brutal honesty and personal cost leveraging "do the right thing" type actions.

    countrys that have a higher standard of living have a much more honest society.
    people can afford to be honest and afford to spend money to give things back to others and help less fortunate people out.

    it is no surprise that illegal financial immigrants wish to target such society's to exploit them by becoming a low level criminal.
    they see it as a society that throws away money because they make criminality so easy.
  22. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

    unfortunately for your own perspective, you are wrong statistically.

    some places well known for returning such items like japan have tourists from other countrys who will steal such things tipping the scales a bit.

    transient social groups also have larger rates of anti-social behaviour.
    vastly more pollution & littering & damaging of public property

    what it is called is "human behaviour"

    when in a group even though it may be very large, if you found a lost expensive cell phone and kept it, all your friends would see you with it.
    thus the process of theft of a lost item changes in its ability to be carried out.
    you need to be able to separate those processes of forced compliance against random acts of human behaviour as emotional processes of material interaction.
    domestic violence is probably a far better standard statistical simile for comparative data volume.

    how many people break , steal , sell , damage their partners stuff intentionally ?
    that is the same thing as stealing

    yes it does
    but not in ways that would make sense to most people
    eugenics/nazi-ism/genocide/racism ... there are some very nasty normalisers talking bs about this aspect of human behaviour to justify psychopathic fascism.

    Last edited: May 16, 2019
  23. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member


    why do the affluent adult children of rich people steal and con others and exploit others when they have no need to ?

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