Re: DSM: Re: Protecting the Rights of Individuals

David Rovner (
Sun, 4 Mar 2001 20:09:32 +0200

Walter. . .
Thanks for your comments,

---------- Original Message ----------

>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" <>
>To: <>
>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

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