How many bad people are there?

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

  1. Truck Captain Stumpy The Right Honourable Reverend Truck Captain Valued Senior Member

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    at least you're honest. LOL

    I'm a former Investigator and Firefighter, so on the one hand, I worked with some of the best people you can imagine.
    on the other hand, I've see some of the most horrific sh*t you can imagine
    I'm a peripheral optimist: I'm optimistic about the future, but only way off to one side ...
     
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  3. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

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    How many bad people are there? All of them. Some are just afraid of getting caught.
     
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  5. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    No. That's the point of this. There are people who do the right thing even when no one's watching.
     
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  7. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

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    All the time?
     
  8. Truck Captain Stumpy The Right Honourable Reverend Truck Captain Valued Senior Member

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    methinks Gawdzilla Sama has a legitimate point, though.
    sometimes "bad" is entirely situational and dependent on the culture, person, timing, awareness and the probability that they'll get away with a (the) "bad" act.

    it is definitely within us all to be "bad", IMHO

    EDIT:

    anecdote: I would never steal a UPS or postal delivery. I've picked up $20 that I found in the parking lot of the post office and turned it in. however, I have also appropriated government materials (Drop tank, old D/C'ed hose, SCBA tank and P-19, De-Icer truck) to build a hot tub so that us firefighters could enjoy a relaxing soak with bubbles one winter while deployed... is that "bad"? yes, according to the 1Sgt and Commander... No, according to my Fire Chief, who just wanted his turn in the hot tub and outranked them both.
    END EDIT
     
  9. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

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    Everybody has their price.
     
  10. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    I wasn't asking about bad situations.

    If someone doesn't steal merely because of those factors, it follows that they will steal if those factors are in their favour.

    So, I was asking: If the opportunity presents itself (meets your criteria) how many people would commit the theft?
     
  11. Truck Captain Stumpy The Right Honourable Reverend Truck Captain Valued Senior Member

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    well... IMHO, 95% (+/- 5%) of "otherwise perfectly law-abiding citizens are one opportunity away from a crime", especially if the opportunity meets their criteria and there is no chance of being caught.

    but if we go with the "Amazon leaves a package on your doorstep" scenario, I think between 7% and 25% of people will commit the crime, depending on the time of year, location, and some other factors (just a belief based on looking at crime statistics, altruism/altruistic punishment/cooperation studies, general crime averages and the above linked study presented, etc)
     
  12. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

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    Those that wanted the money or felt that they needed the money.
     
  13. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

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    I would like to agree here. Such things depend in a heavy way on the local culture and the difference can be quite large.

    In general, I would also say that in most of cultures the majority of people behave in a more or less moral way. I'm now traveling many years around the world, and as a foreigner, I'm a straightforward potential victim for cheating and so on, and have been cheated, but these were only rare exceptions. This includes some agreements in completely corrupt countries - to pay a bribe is a sort of contract too, but whenever I was forced to pay a bribe, the corresponding implicit contract was fulfilled, despite my complete inability to enforce this. So, even criminals tend to fulfill contracts.
     
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  14. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Sure. But that's not a number.
     
  15. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    Albania's national bankruptcy via pyramid schemes, Greece's de facto culture of governmental corruption, and the former Confederacy's political dominance by the KKK in the 1900s, all involved complicity in a majority of the population. So did Trump's election in 2016, and W's re-election in 2004.

    That does not make all those people "bad" - granted that circumstances can induce bad behavior in almost anyone, there is a difference between those who deliberately avoid and those who deliberately arrange such circumstances, and having them arranged by others mitigates the guilt of the wrongdoer in some sense.

    There almost certainly is, for example, some small but definite percentage of people prone to molest children who deliberately avoid abetting their perversion - who avoid, rather than arrange, jobs and social circumstances that would provide opportunity, who live their entire lives without molesting a single child because they discipline themselves to avoid the temptation.

    Those are good people in some sense, surely? Even though they are always just a step away from doing rank evil.
     
  16. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

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    Well, we haven't defined "bad" either.
     
  17. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

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    ...
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2019
  18. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    I have. I laid out the scenario and the test.
     
  19. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    To be clear to y'all: my thread was not intended to address the broad philosophical question of bad vs not bad. And the 6 word title doesn't define the question or the terms it uses.

    The question is the scenario: how many people steal the package? - and I use that as a rough litmus test of (a particular flavour of) bad (knowing the limitations of the scenario).
     
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  20. foghorn Registered Member

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    It's ok if others do it.
    We all know Big companies hide the not so good parts about their products or services in small print or make it not so obvious there are surcharges or worst regular surcharges?
    Is it really down to little old ladies and grandads to be expected to read and understand a sheet of small print?
    Would you say all employees of those companies are bad?
    It's not that the employees don't know this, they can read the ''sales blur'' for their company products or services and the small print.
    Why would ''good'' people go into work daily for these kind of company policies?
    Does this become a numbers game that makes it ok because thousands of people do this daily?
     
  21. Truck Captain Stumpy The Right Honourable Reverend Truck Captain Valued Senior Member

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    offered IMHO ...
    no, it's not - this is a point I've made here on this site (in a discussion about the definition of "illegal")
    eg. Rape - it's still not OK just because everyone else in a gang does it
    It's more about the responsibility of the purchaser, buyer or user to take the time to know WTF is going on, IMHO. (eg. ignorance of the law is no excuse)
    it reminds me of some strange warning labels ...

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  22. Truck Captain Stumpy The Right Honourable Reverend Truck Captain Valued Senior Member

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    again: offered IMHO only
    the question leading people to read the thread is misleading, really (kinda like clickbait) - the scenario should have been the title, IMHO, because you really can't address the question of "How many bad people are there?" without addressing the definition of "bad". the term "bad" isn't the same thing as the term "illegal" which has a clear, concise definition that allows you to objectively state something is illegal (see link).

     
  23. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    I don't think it's too much to ask that people actually read the opening post, and not just respond directly to the subject line.
     

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