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Thread: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

  1. #101
    Still Subjective
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Idiocy will never die
    Of course accusations should be taken seriously. I've never said you should "presume the allegations aren't true".

    It's perfectly possible to investigate without assumption.

    I keep seeing this - all opinions/stances turned into some binary argument. People seem to either hate or love something, it's a yes or a no, a believe or a disbelieve.

    Reality doesn't work like that. One can be left wing without being a loony liberal, and one can want all accusations of sexual assault investigated without having to believe anything about it until a conclusion is reached. When you do arithmetic have you already started "believing" in an answer before you finish the calculation?

  2. #102
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Yeah, I hope Hollywood is going through that phase even a little bit, but I know it too well to hold any breath. There's already been a closing of ranks.

    And another place in the US that could use some serious improvement is the Congress: https://twitter.com/KasieDC/status/932422379979939841

  3. #103
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2016
    Location: Trollinus Maximus
    Quote Originally Posted by Vasquez View Post
    I'd like to ask the same. Grabbing tits or jerking off in front of others is not a crime, it's just really, really bad and idiotic behaviour. If you do it enough, it won't stay a secret forever, and so your social stupidity returns to bite you in the ass in the form of social punishment.
    so, what are you doing tomorrow?

  4. #104
    Administrator
    Registered: Oct 2000
    Location: Athens of the North
    Haha. Ha. No.

  5. #105
    Mistaken for a man
    Registered: Jun 2000
    Location: Helsinki, Finland
    Well, as it turns out, I was living in 2013 and grabbing a tit is a crime, although one that very rarely leads to any legal consequences.

    Some forms of sexual assault I'd actually like to call sexist assaults – they're not so much sexual acts (as in ME SO HORNY YOU SO IRRESISTIBLE!!) but a way of saying "We live in a world where I can do this to you and get away with it, and you're a silly little woman if you think it'll ever change".
    And sometimes I fear they're right
    Last edited by Vasquez; 20th Dec 2017 at 20:57.

  6. #106
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2008
    Location: on a mission to civilize
    All I know is, some incredibly beautiful waitress at the local Mediterranean restaurant said to me, as I was taking my tray to the trash, "Let me take that for you, sweetie." Then winked at me.

    I had her ass fired.

    #metoo

    (dethtoll has resurfaced? HOLY SHIT!)

  7. #107
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    It's because of you my babies won't get their insulin tonight, Queue. I hope you're proud of yourself.

  8. #108
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    You shouldn't be letting your babies have insulin administered by a waitress anyway. Shame on you.

  9. #109
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    Don't tell me how to live my life. You ain't the boss of me.

  10. #110
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2002
    Location: I think I've been here
    Quote Originally Posted by Queue View Post
    All I know is, some incredibly beautiful waitress at the local Mediterranean restaurant said to me, as I was taking my tray to the trash, "Let me take that for you, sweetie." Then winked at me.

    I had her ass fired.

    #metoo
    I think you're confusing important aspects.


  11. #111
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2005
    Location: Not Kansas
    Nothing like a little comic relief. So glad to see you boys have such a wild and wacky sense of humor.

    /s

  12. #112
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2006
    Location: Washington DC
    Quote Originally Posted by heywood View Post
    It's a legal standard we adopted for criminal prosecutions because it produces more just outcomes. Just outcomes are what we should be interested in here, not blind adherence to a principle.

    Obviously, when a person is falsely accused of sexual harassment or abuse, and they suffer as a result of the accusation, that's not a just outcome. But when an act of sexual harassment or abuse goes unreported, or reported and unpunished, or when reporting it leads to shaming or further hurting the victim, that is not a just outcome either.
    Obviously when an act of any other kind of harm goes unpunished or hurts the victim, it's not a just outcome. But we keep to 'innocent until proven guilty' on the principle that it's better to let a guilty person go free than to punish an innocent person. That goes way back as a societal principle and it's not something we look to be giving up anytime soon. Most felony crimes have a vanishingly small false accusation rate, it's not like sexual assault is unique in that regard.

    Stating outright that it's better to harm innocent people than allow some wrongdoers to go free is, frankly, pretty scary. 'Trust but verify' does not mean 'everyone's a liar until they win in court', it means not engaging in essentially mob justice and saying the ends justify the means.

  13. #113
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: Qantas
    When an act of harassment or abuse happens, an innocent person is harmed. When nothing is done about it, the harm is magnified. Why is it that some of you guys only seem to care about an innocent person being harmed if it's a dude?

  14. #114
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2006
    Location: Washington DC
    Did you read, like, anything I wrote, or are you just here to strawman?

  15. #115
    Still Subjective
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Idiocy will never die
    Quote Originally Posted by Vasquez View Post
    Some forms of sexual assault I'd actually like to call sexist assaults – they're not so much sexual acts (as in ME SO HORNY YOU SO IRRESISTIBLE!!) but a way of saying "We live in a world where I can do this to you and get away with it, and you're a silly little woman if you think it'll ever change".
    Such as?

    I'm not only concerned about "dudes".

    Sexual assault against anyone should be punished. That's a given. There are already robust systems in place for this.

    My issue is these systems favour the putative victims over the putative perps, and this it's just not equitable.




    Oh, and I'm still finding it amusing that the maths failures in this thread haven't replied to nor acknowledge it.

  16. #116
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: Qantas
    catbarf - I'm not the one strawmanning. Nobody stated outright that it's better to harm innocent people than allow some wrongdoers to go free, as you put it.

    What I said was that if an act of harassment or abuse has occurred, somebody has already been harmed. A system that vigilantly protects the rights of the accused, to prevent harm from false allegations, is not a just system if the result is that sexual harassment and abuse are widely tolerated, excused, and rarely punished.

    You said it's better to let a guilty person go free than to punish an innocent person. It's easy to agree with that when it's somebody who stole a 12-pack from a convenience store, because nobody really got harmed. If we're talking sexual assault, I would still agree with that up to a point. But what happens if there are 10 instances of sexual harassment or assault that go unpunished for every wrongful accusation? What if it's 100 to 1, and "he said, she said" and "innocent until proven guilty" become tag lines for men in power to just sweep it under the rug? At some point, it becomes absurd to call this justice.

    I do not feel it is necessary or appropriate to apply the standard for criminal convictions to public opinion. What you guys see as lynch mob justice is what I see as a public reckoning and reconciliation for a mountain of wrongs that have been swept under the rug for a long time. The criminal justice system wasn't solving this problem. Administrative justice kind of was for some people, or wasn't for others, depending on where you work. In places where it wasn't, it's been up to the press and public opinion to call it out.

  17. #117
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2002
    Location: I think I've been here
    If I get involved in a terror attack I may call for the attackers to be summarily executed. I've been there, I saw what they did. Why would you need a trial and all that BS? Just pop their fucking heads. They had no pity on me either.
    And some people who haven't been involved themselves would agree with me, because they empathize. My fear and terror becomes their fear and terror.
    That doesn't make it right. Empathy and compassion are not the same thing. I'm against empathy but for compassion.

  18. #118
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: Qantas
    Your analogy equates publicizing an accusation against somebody with executing them.

  19. #119
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2002
    Location: I think I've been here
    They don't call it character assassination for nothing.

    Maybe you want to read again what Conor Oberst said about the accusation against him:
    "When something like that -- something random and terrible -- happens to you, it's like… At this point I equate it to getting in a car crash or getting struck by f--king lightning," explains the 37-year-old singer. "I don't feel like there's ever complete closure to something like that in the sense that you carry the psychological things with you."
    Last edited by Kolya; 21st Dec 2017 at 16:14.

  20. #120
    Mistaken for a man
    Registered: Jun 2000
    Location: Helsinki, Finland
    Quote Originally Posted by SubJeff View Post
    Sexual assault against anyone should be punished.
    Of course it should, have I said otherwise? But don't pretend to be so dumb you don't know it's abundantly more common that a man assaults a woman than the other way around, and it's not very uncommon that in sexual assault it's not only about sexual desire, smaller or bigger part of the thrill is having power over the victim. Some of the more severe attacks are probably driven by the sense of power alone*.

    Quote Originally Posted by SubJeff View Post
    My issue is these systems favour the putative victims over the putative perps, and this it's just not equitable.
    You mean the legal system? How? Even outside the courts of law I'd bet it's still way more common for people to look the other way or shame the victim - at least when it's not a downright violent rape but the "Mad Men/everyday/normal" -kind. The recent cases involving high profile Hollywood actors and politicians are just a tip of a gigantic iceberg. And I'm pretty sure that in many cases of those Starker is right – the workplaces have been aware about the problems but have shut up about it, precisely because it's their money horse, and if they knew the allegations about the accused were clearly false, they surely would stand up for them.

    * And before you nitpick: obviously in the more severe cases there probably are other factors, too, like the attacker being crazy in one way or another, but I meant when you compare the motives of sexual attraction <> power and control.
    Last edited by Vasquez; 21st Dec 2017 at 16:49.

  21. #121
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: uk
    Quote Originally Posted by SubJeff View Post
    My issue is these systems favour the putative victims over the putative perps, and this it's just not equitable.
    It's not intended to be.

    That it takes forever for evidence to be processed and then not disclosed because the police haven't looked at it properly (to be fair, 40,000 text messages is a lot and probably not very easy to search through conclusively in any reasonable time frame, they didn't just fuck this up because they're useless, it's also very difficult) isn't particularly related to whether or not victims of rape should be anonymous or whether the attitude of the press towards the accused is anything other than what you'd expect.

    The significant bias toward the victims in this sort of case is largely because the previous strategy to deal with false accusations of telling them to "go away and think about whether you really really do want to report it" was rather too effective.
    If you consider that appropriate support for the victims is a completely separate thing from punishment of the perpetrator then a big improvement on one side of things and a tiny one on the other is still a big improvement.

  22. #122
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: Qantas
    Quote Originally Posted by Kolya View Post
    They don't call it character assassination for nothing.

    Maybe you want to read again what Conor Oberst said about the accusation against him:
    "When something like that -- something random and terrible -- happens to you, it's like… At this point I equate it to getting in a car crash or getting struck by f--king lightning," explains the 37-year-old singer. "I don't feel like there's ever complete closure to something like that in the sense that you carry the psychological things with you."
    If you think it sucks to be falsely accused only to have your accuser later recant, imagine what it would be like to actually get raped. Or even just molested or groped or something, and then not be able to do anything about it, or worse yet get slut shamed or black balled for reporting it.

  23. #123
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2006
    Location: Washington DC
    Quote Originally Posted by heywood View Post
    catbarf - I'm not the one strawmanning. Nobody stated outright that it's better to harm innocent people than allow some wrongdoers to go free, as you put it.
    That is exactly what you are saying and I cannot comprehend how you can call it a strawman. The only way it could be a misrepresentation of your beliefs is if you haven't actually thought through what you're saying.

    You are explicitly stating that accusations, some minority of which we know are false, should be treated as true and punished even without proof beyond a reasonable doubt. That means punishing some people who are actually innocent and do not meet a legal standard to be considered guilty. Your justification is that most accusations are legitimate, and it's unjust for guilty parties to frequently go free, so this is a more just outcome.

    You are saying it is better if innocent people get punished in the process because it will also result in lots of guilty people being punished rather than go free. How else am I supposed to interpret your position besides a clear statement that the ends justify the means, and harming a few innocents is justified by punishing lots of wrongdoers?

    Quote Originally Posted by heywood View Post
    What I said was that if an act of harassment or abuse has occurred, somebody has already been harmed. A system that vigilantly protects the rights of the accused, to prevent harm from false allegations, is not a just system if the result is that sexual harassment and abuse are widely tolerated, excused, and rarely punished.
    So your response is to weaken the rights of accused, contrary to literally centuries of legal precedent and guaranteed to result in wrongful punishment, because it will punish more criminal acts, and the greater risk of harming innocents is an acceptable trade-off. And yet you call my summation of your position a strawman?

    Quote Originally Posted by heywood View Post
    You said it's better to let a guilty person go free than to punish an innocent person. It's easy to agree with that when it's somebody who stole a 12-pack from a convenience store, because nobody really got harmed. If we're talking sexual assault, I would still agree with that up to a point. But what happens if there are 10 instances of sexual harassment or assault that go unpunished for every wrongful accusation? What if it's 100 to 1, and "he said, she said" and "innocent until proven guilty" become tag lines for men in power to just sweep it under the rug? At some point, it becomes absurd to call this justice.
    Quote Originally Posted by heywood View Post
    What you guys see as lynch mob justice
    When you're using exactly the same reasoning as lynch mobs, yeah, it warrants that label. We've already been through this, the false accusation rate on any felony is extremely low. It's low for homicide, it's low for rape. These are serious crimes where we have a desire to see justice, but it's your attitude that protecting the accused through the legal system is an impediment to true justice that empowered lynch mobs to kill innocents in the name of justice. You might not be calling for anyone to be outright murdered, but when your application of mob justice principles still ruins innocent peoples' lives, it's pretty awful to trivialize that as necessary casualties in the pursuit of 'true' justice.

    We have a legal system because centuries of social development have led us not to trust the public to carry out justice on its own. You haven't given any unique reason to think mob justice produces a more just outcome than the courts for this one specific crime.

  24. #124
    Cuddly little misanthropic hate machine
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Location: someplace better than this
    Quote Originally Posted by Dia View Post
    Nothing like a little comic relief. So glad to see you boys have such a wild and wacky sense of humor.

    /s
    Shitty sexist humor on a web 1.0-vintage forum dedicated to a long-shuttered video game developer? Shocking!

  25. #125
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2006
    Location: Washington DC
    Quote Originally Posted by heywood View Post
    If you think it sucks to be falsely accused only to have your accuser later recant, imagine what it would be like to actually get raped. Or even just molested or groped or something, and then not be able to do anything about it
    You're clearly saying it's worse for an offender to go unpunished than for an innocent person to be harmed by false accusations. And you're implying that because of this, it's better to take action and run the risk of accidentally harming an innocent, right?

    Quote Originally Posted by heywood View Post
    or worse yet get slut shamed or black balled for reporting it.
    Nobody is saying this is how it should be. Nobody in this thread has defended accusers being assumed to be liars, slut shamed, blackballed, blacklisted, or any other negative treatment. Not immediately believing accusations is not the same as considering accusers to be liars by default.

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