DSM: Re: Protecting the Rights of Individuals

Connweb\ (walter@connweb.com)
Mon, 26 Feb 2001 07:25:27 -0500

Hi David,

I'd say that was morally wrong. It should be the moral responsibility of an
individual to try to stop a crime, if only by letting someone else know,
such as the police or even the victim himself. Whether she should be held
legally responsible is another question entirely.

Further, there's the question of what her society believes in. For instance,
if she lives in a society that respects the rights of some, but not of
others, should she be held to a higher standard than anyone else?
Governments around the world, including Israel's government routinely
discriminate between those who do "deserve" to have their rights protected,
and those who don't "deserve" it. Such governments reflect the attitudes of
their citizenry.

I think that in the context of a Sudbury discussion list, the better
question is: would this individual be more likely to take some kind of
action to stop a murder if she were a graduate of a Sudbury-model school
than if she were a graduate of, say, the Israeli public school system. I
think the answer is clearly yes. When you're taught, through experience,
that every individual has rights, and that these rights are to be respected
by all, you learn to take the iniative in this kind of situation in a
positive, constructive manner. But if you're a graduate of a public school
system, you learn to bow to the authority of others, or if you're a rebel,
to do your best to oppose the authority of others. The instruments and
methods of public education are mostly contrary to the principle of
respecting and protecting individual rights. Public school graduates rarely
experience the fruits of these rights themselves, because they are taught to
think of the whole society as greater than the sum of its parts, who are
individuals. As your example shows, the consequences of that teaching can be

Walt Thiessen
Simsbury, CT

----- Original Message -----
From: "David Rovner" <rovners@netvision.net.il>
To: <discuss-sudbury-model@aramis.sudval.org>
Sent: Monday, February 26, 2001 6:04 AM
Subject: DSM: Protecting the Rights of Individuals

> Democracy can be defined as majority rule and protecting the rights
> of the minority.
> The smallest minority is the human being (man, the individual).
> Human rights, or the rights of individuals, define and sanction man's
> freedom of action in a social context: [When unlimited and unrestricted
> by individual right's, a government is men's deadliest enemy]
> The fundamental right: a man's right to his own life. The right to liberty
> and the pursuit of happiness. The right to property. The right of free
> trade. The right to justice and equality under law. The right to privacy .
. .
> And, I'm asking the participants of this forum:
> What can be said about "standing aside" and avoid acting.
> Is there such a thing as the right to "stand aside" and avoid acting?
> Why I'm asking?
> As you may know, five years ago -- in 1995 -- Israel's Prime Minister,
> Yitzhak Rabin, was murdered -- by Yigal Amir.
> Five years ago, a young woman -- Margalit Har-Shefi -- was
> brought to trial and recently convicted and condemned on the grounds
> of KNOWING that Yigal Amir WAS ABOUT to murder Prime Minister
> Rabin, and SHE (decided to "stand aside") DIDN'T/WOULDN'T DO
> Would you care to comment on this issue?
> David Rovner, Haifa, Israel rovners@netvision.net.il

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