Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Distributed blame?

  1. May 30, 2012 #1

    Vanadium 50

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor
    2017 Award

    Mentor's note (not V50's, by the way): this thread was split from the following thread in Academic Guidance:



    This is the same argument as "Dressed like that, the girl was just askin' to be raped.:"

    "Broken system"? I don't see a broken system. I see a bunch of unethical cheaters. How is that the teacher's fault?

    "But the teacher....he...he...made me cheat!" :cry::cry::cry:
    Last edited by a moderator: May 30, 2012
  2. jcsd
  3. May 30, 2012 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    Re: Griffith's Solutions Manual: To Copy or not to Copy?

    these arguments also apply to athletes who dope up to win. Other athletes who don't dope are cheated out of chances for greatness and so drop out of sports completely.
  4. May 30, 2012 #3
    Re: Griffith's Solutions Manual: To Copy or not to Copy?

    The thing is even those who say they're 'ethical' will often have unfair advantages as well; either lucked out genetically and they have the material come to them easy, were fortunate enough to have parents who trained them out of school, had the good fortune to go to good high schools or have good research opportunities early on before even entering college, etc etc.

    The system is unfair either way, to go by your athlete example, the people who roid work hard as well; the amount of training volume needed by a weightlifter to clean&jerk 250kg for example is stupid and most people wouldn't be able to do it and recover without steroids; they're not taking it easy by using the steroids so they can train more.
    Last edited: May 30, 2012
  5. May 30, 2012 #4
    Re: Griffith's Solutions Manual: To Copy or not to Copy?

    That's right. I think there is distributed blame there too if the raped person were actually scantly dressed in an inappropriate place (which is defined by social norms and changes from society to society). But just because there is distributed blame, that doesn't mean I am proposing the raped person deserved the severity of the punishment they got for it -- being raped. I am just saying it is in part their fault. Also, the rapist, despite the distributed blame, deserved huge punishments - death for example.

    Here's another example of distributed blame: Columbine high school massacre. The list of places where people feel wrong bringing up distributed blame despite its existence is quite large.

    The reason your post is emotionally powerful (though fallacious) is that it is used by a rapist TO JUSTIFY THE RAPE ENTIRELY (i.e. "I don't deserve punishment at all") -- or at least that is the assumption when someone reads your post. My stance is completely different from stating it justifies the rape entirely and absolves the rapist, as you can see in my writings above.
    Last edited: May 30, 2012
  6. May 30, 2012 #5
    Re: Griffith's Solutions Manual: To Copy or not to Copy?

    It is already a surprise to me that someone asks the question in the title. The answer is obvious: do not copy. If copying solutions is the best you can do, then sciences are not for you.
    You may not have time to do every single problem in Griffiths during the quarter, but you can always try more problems during the summer. Studying physics should be fun for physics majors. If you prefer copying solutions to actually thinking about the problems, you really need to have a second thought about your major.
    One reason that I like math and sciences is that these fields and people in these fields are relatively 'pure'. I don't want people with no integrity to ruin the purity.
    Last edited: May 30, 2012
  7. May 30, 2012 #6
    Re: Griffith's Solutions Manual: To Copy or not to Copy?

    If you are making 100% on everything, your teachers aren't doing their job. A good physics test should have many problems that make you stretch yourself. When I was writing tests, I aimed for a mean of 60% or so, and then curved. I wasn't always successful, but 100s were rare. I don't think anyone got 100s on every test in a semester. The reason is that you need to test people's command of the material- how well can they deal with new problem types.
  8. May 30, 2012 #7
    Re: Griffith's Solutions Manual: To Copy or not to Copy?

    Are you even serious? The way I dress is by no means the reason for people to touch my body without my consent. I cannot control what people think in their head, but when it comes to my own body, I need to have full control. It is probably the case the a woman with less clothes on is more likely to get raped than a woman with more clothes on, but it does not mean rape SHOULD happen or the victim should be blamed. Rape should not happen under any circumstances.
    If it is not clear enough, here is a summary: when a person got raped, it is 100% the fault of the rapist. Or here is another summary: "Don't tell me how to dress. TELL THEM NOT TO RAPE."
    Last edited: May 30, 2012
  9. May 30, 2012 #8
    Re: Griffith's Solutions Manual: To Copy or not to Copy?

    You are confusing two ideas: one idea is distributed blame and the other is saying someone deserved to be raped. Saying that a lasciviously dressed person is in part to blame does not indicate they deserved rape nor that the rapist does not deserve punishment. As an example, I find death to suit a rapist in all circumstances just fine despite my belief in distributed blame in sum circumstances of rape.

    Let me analogize the situation a bit with something that may be more comfortable to admit is true. If person X punches person Y in the face, walking away afterward, and then person Y shoots person X in the leg, disabling him thereafter, we find that person X instigated a brawl and is in part to blame for the loss of his leg. However, despite this distributed blame for the whole ordeal, he still did not deserve in any fashion the permanent disability, and the shooter deserves a fierce penalty for his more extreme social disobedience (compared to the punching).

    You are just putting words in my mouth with the in bold portion since I never claimed such a ludicrous thing.
    Last edited: May 30, 2012
  10. May 30, 2012 #9
    Re: Griffith's Solutions Manual: To Copy or not to Copy?

    Punching somebody in the face is not the same AT ALL as wearing revealing clothing.
    With rape, the blame is 100% on the rapist, no question about it. I don't get people who say it's the girl her fault as well. It's a bit like ancient times where the raped girl has to marry her rapist because she was to blame. Disgusting.

    And furthermore, if a guy was raped by a girl, would you still feel the same way about it?? Be honest...
  11. May 30, 2012 #10
    Re: Griffith's Solutions Manual: To Copy or not to Copy?

    Yeah it is. The analogy is very simple. In both cases, a person provokes the immoral action out of the other person.

    This is a contradiction. You say there is no question about it while at the same time stating confusion regarding those who question about it. But anyway, I can assure you that you are wrong since am 'questioning about it.'

    Actually, it's absolutely nothing like that. That's a faulty analogy as well as a clear ploy to weaken the moral appearance of your opponents.

    I have been speaking in general terms for a reason. My moral judgments would not change.
  12. May 30, 2012 #11
    Re: Griffith's Solutions Manual: To Copy or not to Copy?

    OK, let's continue with the analogy then:

    Breivik was provoked by the politicians in his country who had a different opinion. Clearly, having a different opinion from somebody else is a bit like a "punch in the face". So the kids on that island who were shot were partially to blame.

    Agree with that?? Where's the exact difference??
  13. May 30, 2012 #12
    Re: Griffith's Solutions Manual: To Copy or not to Copy?

    It's exactly like that. It's just a continuation of your reasoning, and one you don't happen to like.
    You say that the girl is also to blame for what happened to her. If you're to blame for something, means you must have done something which is against a law (if you don't violate any law, how can you be to blame for something??). Doing something against a law means you must be punished. The idea here is that the punishment is to marry the rapist. You just don't happen to agree with the punishment. But you should agree that a punishment should be handed out.
  14. May 30, 2012 #13
    Re: Griffith's Solutions Manual: To Copy or not to Copy?

    Hmm no, it is not an analogy.

    You think physically attacking someone is an analogy of wearing revealing clothes? Hint: a girl does not violate the rights of anyone by wearing revealing clothes.
    Also, for people who don't know: a girl who likes to wear revealing clothes [tex]\neq[/tex] a promiscuous girl. She probably just feels confident about her body.

    I decide not to participate in this discussion anymore because I don't know how to argue with someone who thinks physically attacking someone is an analogy of wearing revealing clothes. I'll go do some math instead. :biggrin:
  15. May 30, 2012 #14
    Re: Griffith's Solutions Manual: To Copy or not to Copy?

    lol, ancient times. This is still normal practice; just not everywhere.
  16. May 30, 2012 #15
    What is abundantly clear, RoshanBBQ, is that you are treading very dangerous territory. The idea you espouse is deeply pernicious and one that feminists have been fighting with vehemence for a long time. Unfortunately, in Western society, it is not only men that would agree with you, there are plenty of women who would agree with your viewpoint. But human reality has repeatedly demonstrated why it is such a damaging view and why it is primarily women who suffer its consequences. We have had a recent case here in the UK when a man inflicted the most appalling, sadistic violence on his girlfriend whose vouchsafe he had depended on for release from a prison sentence for previous, similar behaviour. Every reasonable person’s heart broke for what this woman suffered. A spokeswoman for an organisation that has supported the woman through the court case spoke with real anger about the underlying causes of this event. And like you, she was prepared to apportion blame, but none whatever to the victim. She placed the majority of the blame where any reasonable person would place it, with the perpetrator. The rest of the blame she placed unequivocally on the rest of us, for holding the kind of opinions you have been asserting on this thread.
  17. May 30, 2012 #16


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    V50: +1

    Quick clarification of something Roshana might not recognize though: the word "distributed" to me implies a lessening of blame for the cheater/rapist. Is that really the intent?
    Last edited: May 30, 2012
  18. May 30, 2012 #17


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    I think we've covered this pretty well.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook