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Why Would We Choose to Not Help During a Crisis? Essay

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Have we become a nation of uncaring and selfish people or are our actions just misunderstood? Barbara E Reid is a professor of New Testament studies and she wrote an article about the kindness of strangers for the periodical America Press. In the first paragraph the article explains some of the reasons we may not stop to help a stranger. “There are all kinds of good reasons for not stopping to help a stranger: I have other pressing obligations. It’s dangerous—what if the robbers are still lurking and attack me? I don’t have any professional skills or resources to help this person. If I move him and make his injuries worse he might sue me. And on and on.” (Reid, par. 1). We need to understand the complexities involved with human…show more content…
However, if we are witnessing a crime against another person and our flight-or-flight response is activated we have to decide almost instantly if that person warrants an intervention from us that might in turn cause us harm. Self-preservation is one of our basic instincts and fighting against our instincts can be difficult no matter what the circumstance. Moreover, when we only have a few moments to make the decision of wether or not to intervene it is only natural that we may sometimes be unwilling to act due to the inability to process the situation fast enough. In addition, we also must think about the legal aspect of our actions before we make the decision to intervene. When we are trying to decide if we should assist someone in a crisis we may tend to focus on the legal ramifications of doing so. In 1965 Time Magazine ran an article discussing the laws involved with helping in a crisis. They attest that “...U.S. law does oblige some people to help others--for example, parents must help their children, husbands their wives, ship captains their passengers and crew members. But those not legally responsible become legally liable if they volunteer. Indeed, the rescuer who accidentally causes injury may be sued for negligence or even prosecuted for assault...” (Time, par. 3). The article goes on to tell us about a man who simply “... fired a shotgun in the air to prevent 20 thugs from attacking two girls and a boy
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