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Ethical question

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Fletchette, Jun 18, 2006.

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  1. Fletchette

    Fletchette Member

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    Hypothetical situation: You are an American citizen who is arrested but not charged with any crime. You are held in prison for months, then years, not allowed to call your family or lawyer. At what point is it ethical to kill a guard in attempt to escape? Take a hostage? If not, then what alternatives are there?
     
  2. EmGeeGeorge

    EmGeeGeorge Member

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    yes.... what country is holding you?
     
  3. Jason M.

    Jason M. Member

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    This is like asking which child you would choose if you had to kill one. There's no real point to questions like this, in my opinion.
     
  4. Fletchette

    Fletchette Member

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    Does it matter what country you are in?

    For the purposes of this question, the United States.
     
  5. ExtremeDooty

    ExtremeDooty Member

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    In your scenario, it wouldn't be necessary to kill a guard. Just call the NY Times and tell them you're being tortured. You'll get the ACLU for lawyers, the guard would go to jail, and you'l probably get a big settlement from the government.
     
  6. longeyes

    longeyes member

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    Don't let your muscles atrophy as much as the morality of your host country. Act while you can.
     
  7. Fletchette

    Fletchette Member

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    Er, you can't call anyone (I guess I didn't explicitly say so, but it was implied) .


    So you are in the United States...and it's Tuesday.

    :rolleyes:
     
  8. dch1978

    dch1978 Member

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    How important of a person am I?

    IF this were to happen in the US you would not be held for for very long.

    Hoffa has not been found.

    btw, I do not think this would or could happen.

    If it were any other country, I have only 1 allegiance, that is to the US.

    Any other country holding me is a terrorist nation and I would not die rotting in a cell.

    DCH
     
  9. rudolf

    rudolf Member

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    If you are caught armed along with the local terrorists, in most arab or asian countries excatly this will happen. You might even get something that resembles a trial.

    So not joining terrorists in foreign countries will keep you out of this mess.

    If you were so dumb as to join the terrorists you will probably also try to kill the guard. That will do you as much help as joining the terrorists.
     
  10. Derby FALs

    Derby FALs Member In Memoriam

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    On the 49th hour...
     
  11. Preacherman

    Preacherman Member

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    The oldest answer in the book (and still the most accurate): Two wrongs don't make a right.

    If you are unlawfully and/or wrongly detained, there are ways in which you can rectify the situation. Even Jose Padilla, for all his alleged "lack of communication", had legal representation, and after three years (too long a wait, admittedly, IMHO) was on the point of having his case come before the Supreme Court when the Government backtracked and charged him in other ways.

    If you commit a felony offence in an attempt to illustrate your innocence, aren't you kinda making your protests a contradiction in terms?
     
  12. The Real Hawkeye

    The Real Hawkeye member

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    In answer to the original question, it is ethical to do whatever is necessary, without violating the rights of others, to free oneself from the clutches of a criminal state which has broken its Constitutional chains. Just the same as it would be perfectly ethical for a black African in 1750 to kill his slave trading captors in order to escape, since someone who attempts to enslave you has no right to do so and continue living at the same time. You have a right, if arrested by agents of the state, to speak to your lawyer and to all due process, not to mention a speedy hearing before a judge, followed by a trial. You have a right to know what you are being charged with, too, and who your accusers are, and to face those accusers in open court. If denied those rights, the state has, in essence, declared open war on you, and you have a right, ethically speaking, to respond in kind.

    The only exception would be a prisoner of war, but if there has been no war declared by Congress, that's impossible. There cannot be a limbo status which falls between the cracks called "enemy combatant." The principles laid out in the Constitution refer to relations between people and government in general, not only between American citizens and our government, therefore the Federal Government was never granted powers to treat any human being as though he had no rights.

    In referring to the exception of prisoner of war status, it was not my intention to suggest that this is an exception to the right, within ethics, of attempted escape. If your nation is at war with the nation which is holding you captive, you are still in a state of war with your captors, and are ethically within your rights to do what's necessary to escape, even kill. The exception which I refer to is that regarding the government's obligation to provide you with an attorney, knowing the charges against you, etc..
     
  13. The Real Hawkeye

    The Real Hawkeye member

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    He wasn't asking about the advisability of killing a guard, but the ethics of doing so. Completely different. You are within your rights to kill, if necessary, anyone who has wrongfully taken from you your basic human rights, one of which is liberty and another is due process. Whether you'd be smarter to wait it out and see if your captors have a change of heart at some point in the future is another matter entirely.
     
  14. Fletchette

    Fletchette Member

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    This was the question I was trying to communicate - thanks for saying it more clearly, Hawkeye.

    If you are being held without your basic civil rights being recognized (speedy trial, trial by jury, legal council, etc.) then is it not "justifiable homicide" to kill a guard in attempt to get out? If you are to be held indefinately, without trial, your life has effectively ended.

    Deadly force directed at those trying to take your life is justified.
     
  15. DoubleTapDrew

    DoubleTapDrew Member

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    Kind of like the Marines in solitary confinement at Camp Pendleton?
    You don't need to be charged, just have a liberal reporter from Time magazine and their taliban informant point fingers.
     
  16. gopguy

    gopguy Member

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    ROFLMAO...........this is dead on. Funny but pi$$e$ me off at the same time.:evil:
     
  17. gm

    gm Member

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    hmmmmm..no charges,no trial,no contact with anyone..:uhoh:


    bribery,groveling,begging and making alot of noise and rolling about on the floor in false agony didnt work...:scrutiny: :eek:


    Id say reap it and go fer it at the first chance.
     
  18. c_yeager

    c_yeager Member

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    Hm, no charges, no trial etc, held for months and years. Its ethical to shoot your way out after the first 24 hours. By then any case of mistaken identity is taken care of. Any guard who chooses to make his living by helping to imprison innocent people without any due process has agreed to be counted as an enemy of America and accepts the risk of being killed or taken hostage by his unjustly held charges.
     
  19. 'Card

    'Card Member

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    The problem with ethical discussions is that you never know who's ethics you're talking about. What might be perfectly justified and ethical to me (killing someone in self-defense, for example) might be terribly unethical to a devout buddhist. Who's right? Who's wrong? Are my ethics any more (or any less) valid than the buddhist?

    Ethics are a personal matter, and as such, are fundamentally subjective.

    In your specific scenario from my personal perspective, however?

    Would it be unethical to kill the guard in order to escape? Probably so, yes.
    Would I do it anyway? Probably so, yes.
    But I don't consider myself to be a highly ethical person.
     
  20. Sheldon J

    Sheldon J Member

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    Contact the UN

    they will see to it you are free'd....:evil: No wait a minute they want to dissarm and let millions of inocents be murdered,:barf: yep just escape then call the UN and by the time they actually do anything about it you will be dead of old age, :scrutiny: that is unless you can give them oil for food or something like that.:banghead: whoops I guess you are on your own:rolleyes:
     
  21. Justin

    Justin Moderator Staff Member

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    Closed. This is silly.
     
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