Vigilantes - good or bad? page 4

212 posts

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Originally posted by axlkoegoskyeg:

Stare to deep into the abyss, and the abyss will stare at you.

Close, but not quite:

If you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you

It’s a quote from the works of Friedrich Nietzsche. It’s true of any metaphorical issue. Gaze into it long enough, and you will start to take on aspects of that which you focus on.

In this case, focus on punishing what you see as criminals for long enough, and you too will take on aspects of being a criminal yourself – you will become just like the very people you are after.

 
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I actually wouldn’t mind them if they always had the right targets, and only on the worst of targets (stealing a bit of money really is not a crime punishable by death). With “wouldn’t mind” I am not saying it should be legal, but that I would feel there is one less psycho to worry about in this world. Personally.

The reason everyone should be against them in general is because it’s too easy to make the mistake of picking someone else. It’s not that many “emotionally” want a rapist or serial killer to have a fair trial due to feeling sorry for the guy, but if the person is actually innocent the trial will show that (and then they actually feel sorry for the guy). Individual citizens are less equipped than an entire armed policeforce, so if somebody’s really guilty, I’ll expect the police to find him faster than you do.

 
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Ideally what we need is a faster justice system. Far shorter time from arrest to trial, and a lot less paperwork for the police, so they can spend more time patroling and arresting individuals, with less time filling in forms.

 
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Vigilanties are what this world needs more of. The police these days are a bit shallow, and don’t know how to enforce the law anymore. I’ve seen cops screw with drunk perps rather than act proffesional like a man or women of the law should act. They’ve lost there enthusiasm in enforcing the right thing.

If Vigilanties were brought in (experienced ones at that) like Van said, Fear would be struck into criminals. It may be a crime, but it’s a good cause.

 
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How many cops have you seen, out of all the cops in employment?

Further, why not just improve the police force instead of letting vigilantees out?

 
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I think what Surge72 is saying is that the best way to punish drunk drivers is to beat the shit out of them while they’re trying to drive.

 
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Originally posted by Surge72:

Vigilanties are what this world needs more of. The police these days are a bit shallow, and don’t know how to enforce the law anymore. I’ve seen cops screw with drunk perps rather than act proffesional like a man or women of the law should act. They’ve lost there enthusiasm in enforcing the right thing.

If Vigilanties were brought in (experienced ones at that) like Van said, Fear would be struck into criminals. It may be a crime, but it’s a good cause.

Fighting crime with crime…
How do you want to fight the vigilantes? Obviously they are criminals too. They break the law and act against the boundaries we defined for our society. They are just as guilty as the ones they are trying to fight.

I really think that if the police are not good at doing their job (note the if) the most reasonable thing would be trying to make them better at their job (e.g. through training), not introduce a bunch of uncontrollable people who ultimately cause more work for the police.

 
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Unless they’re Christian Bale’s Batman (George Clooney’s would be arrested for pedo)…Bad.

 
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Originally posted by Jantonaitis:

Unless they’re Christian Bale’s Batman (George Clooney’s would be arrested for pedo

Then be released for awesome.

Anyway, the only reason why Batman is tolerated is because the villains he fights against usually are so over the top that they can not even be considered human anymore. The Joker has no backstory. he is pure evil. Usually means there are exceptions, though… In that one movie where he fought against Mr. Freeze I couldn’t help myself but question whether what they did was right. He just wanted to bring his wife back and went insane over it.(Is it obvious that I haven’t seen that flick in ages?)

To bring this back into reality, while a pragmatic approach may seem reasonable in extreme cases (War on Terror maybe), where do we draw the line. Yeah, this is a slippery slope argument, but how can laws be fair and consistent when you make exceptions in some cases?
In the end you have people committing the same crime with the same intention and while one is convicted the other one walks free just because his crime’s consequences become interpreted as useful.

 
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The fact that you saw Batman & Robin at all is reprehensible. That it inspired you with a thought-provoking question is just…

That tears it. I have lost all respect for you, EPR. we’re not BFF’s anymore.

 
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I think that vigilanties are bad because they answer to no one. You could have some psycotic guy hunting down innocent people that he thinks are evil. It also flies in the face of American justice and the right to a trial should the vigilante decide the fate of the criminal on his own.

 
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Originally posted by jaconater:

I think that vigilanties are bad because they answer to no one. You could have some psycotic guy hunting down innocent people that he thinks are evil. It also flies in the face of American justice and the right to a trial should the vigilante decide the fate of the criminal on his own.

How can he think that an innocent person is evil? No one goes around killing people because they might be evil. They wait and see- if the guy’s mugging an old woman, he’s evil.

Anyway, what about Light Yagami? Before the God Complex thing happened, he was just a very powerful vigilante.

 
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Originally posted by helltank:
Originally posted by jaconater:

I think that vigilanties are bad because they answer to no one. You could have some psycotic guy hunting down innocent people that he thinks are evil. It also flies in the face of American justice and the right to a trial should the vigilante decide the fate of the criminal on his own.

How can he think that an innocent person is evil? No one goes around killing people because they might be evil. They wait and see- if the guy’s mugging an old woman, he’s evil.

Anyway, what about Light Yagami? Before the God Complex thing happened, he was just a very powerful vigilante.

The Norwegian terrorist Anders Behring Breivik thought the 60 teenagers he killed were ‘evil’ in that they were responsible for letting non-Western immigrants into Norway. On the contrary, the vast majority of Norwegians would consider him to be the evil one. Good and evil are concepts based solely on subjective judgement, so it is perfectly possible that some guy with a different mindset than yourself could consider those you think of as innocents to be evil.

As to OP’s question, I don’t think allowing vigilantes would be that practical. I imagine it could make the legal system seem much more inconsistent, which could also be true. Who are really vigilantes, and who uses it as an excuse to get rid of people they don’t like? You would need some sort of license in order to differ between the legit and the non-legit vigilantes. But what would then be the big difference between them and police officers? And how do we ensure that they don’t interfere with police investigations, such as killing witnesses, etc? All in all, I don’t really think the idea is such a good one.

When it comes to the morality of the issue, I don’t really believe in right and wrong.

 
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Citizens taking law into the own hands is a bad thing. I think the police are a little too kind in US. I know in places like Russia they send fear to the criminals quickly. I believe this is a good solution.

 
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Vigilantes, like “legitimate” judges, are good when and only when they exercise good judgment.

A corrupt judge is not good, nor is a vigilante who executes her moral code before obtaining sufficient evidence.

Perhaps the larger problem is that corrupt judges are so often allowed to retain their posts, wheras vigilantes acting within the greater good are too frequently prosecuted by the law.

Are more of the people in power (the legitamized) good than are the disenfranchised? I suppose it depends where you are.

 
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I can sort of sympathise if their operating in areas hopelessly buried in violent crime, with the police doing nothing.

Anything else and their just likely to start a pointless cycle of violence, or be used as a front for people to attack innocents from beneath a mask

 
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Originally posted by WanderingHero:

I can sort of sympathise if their operating in areas hopelessly buried in violent crime, with the police doing nothing.

Sort of, yes. But there are still better ways of handling it. Gather evidence, film the criminals, work together to create neighborhood schemes. Present the evidence to the cops, but don’t pursue the criminals yourself, unless its an obvious crime in progress and your intervention will stop an assault or worse, already in-progress. Even then, film everything, or otherwise record it.

 
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vigilantiism would have to be reviewed case by case. it’s definitely not a good thing to encourage, at any rate. pro-lifers that kill doctors probably see themselves as vigilanties. as do just about any rogue political assassin.

however there are worse crimes than murder, that people too often get away with…

 
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Originally posted by OmegaDoom:

vigilantiism would have to be reviewed case by case.

Ironically this is how crimes are generally reviewed anyway. Each on its own merits.

pro-lifers that kill doctors probably see themselves as vigilanties. as do just about any rogue political assassin.

Yup. The same could be said of many hate crimes. The people commiting them, don’t see them as crimes, but ‘just causes’. Even many of the old actions of the KKK were just in their eyes. The people who smashed planes into the twin towers in NY, were vigilantes of yet another sort – they believed they were bringing just retribution against a criminal state.

Without order, law becomes worthless. You must have an organised, ordered system to deal with the law, and vigilantes by definition, are the opposite of that.

 
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hmm, i wouldn’t really think of it in that way. Nazis had order, and law. as did Stalin and Mao. as does North Korea. doesn’t mean they were right.

i don’t trust order either and i think people shouldn’t be forced to. what you need is democracy. and protection of minority rights. this requires a little bit of chaos; of fluency.

order can easily become too rigid for comfort.

 
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How would vigilantism protect minorities’ rights?

 
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Originally posted by OmegaDoom:

hmm, i wouldn’t really think of it in that way. Nazis had order, and law. as did Stalin and Mao. as does North Korea. doesn’t mean they were right.

But, it does means the laws they set are followed uniformly, as opposed to on an ad-hoc basis. In every society you have named, those responsible for upholding the law, are upholding the same laws, and similar moral standards.

With a vigilante-based system, each person upholding the law, is applying their own moral standards, and their own interpretation of how a law is violated. Precisely because there is no order to the approach, there is essentially no fixed law.

 
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Actually, wouldn’t vigilantes attack minorities more than whites? Seeing as racial minorities commit the majority of violent crimes, and all…

 
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Originally posted by Spaghedeity:

Actually, wouldn’t vigilantes attack minorities more than whites? Seeing as racial minorities commit the majority of violent crimes, and all…

I just imagined how vigilantism would have turned out after 9/11…