A Good Samaritan Teddy could relate to
In Texas, a 62-year-old man pulled over on the highway to help a couple whose truck had run out of gas. While he was assisting, the Good Samaritan apparently objected to the demeaning way the 31-year-old husband was addressing his wife, and said so. The husband then attacked the older man…who drew his concealed gun and shot him in the shoulder.
<sigh> Continue reading
The Late Hugo Alfredo Tale-Yax
[Not many people were checking in on Ethics Alarms when I wrote this post in response to yet another example of bystanders choosing to do nothing when a human being was in peril. Some of the comments to the Alameda post, those making excuses for the 75 faint-hearted or apathetic citizens in that city who would rather gawk at a tragedy than try to stop it, caused me to recall the essay, which explores related issues. I wrote it, but I had nearly forgotten about the story; when I re-read it today, I got upset all over again.Here, for the second time, is “What Hugo Alfredo Tale-Yax Can Teach America.”]
The one with the premium-grade ethics alarms bled to death on the sidewalk. The people who never had theirs installed at all took pictures. Is this the way it’s going to be? Continue reading
[ The discussion in the earlier post today regarding ABC’s revolting “What Would You Do?” convinced me that I should re-post this essay about a real-life “What Would You Do?”tragedy, which originally appeared on The Ethics Scoreboard in 2006. Entitled “Death on Everest,” It has been lightly edited to bring it up to date.]
As 34-year-old mountaineer David Sharp lay near death on Mount Everest, over 40 other climbers trudged past him on their march to the peak. All had oxygen with them, and a few even stopped briefly to give Sharp a few breaths. But still they climbed on, and Sharp perished. His demise on May 15, 2006 has gone into ethics lore alongside the infamous death of Kitty Genovese on March 13, 1964. Genovese was murdered outside her apartment building in Queens while thirty-eight neighbors watched and did nothing.
The two incidents stem from very different causes, however. While Genovese’s death was fueled by urban fear and apathy, a mass failure of courage and the willingness to assume responsibility in a crisis, Sharp was the victim of that universal ethics-suppressant, the powerful non-ethical consideration. Continue reading
The one with the premium-grade ethics alarms bled to death on the sidewalk. The people who never had them installed at all took pictures. Is this the way it’s going to be?
Hugo Alfredo Tale-Yax was a Guatemalan immigrant who lived in Queens, New York. His life was a mess; he was destitute, ill, and had no job or likelihood of getting one. When he saw a knife-wielding man apparently assaulting a woman on the street two weeks ago, however, he knew what his ethical obligations were. He rescued her by intervening in the struggle, and got stabbed, badly, for his actions. The attacker ran off, and so did the woman, who didn’t check on Hugo after he fell, and never contacted the police. She also neglected to say, “Thanks for saving my life.” Continue reading
Some random thoughts on ethics matters as I try to simultaneously finish the Ethics Alarms 2009 Best and Worst lists and deal with a series of bad extension cords running up my Christmas tree…