Something to ponder

Which of the following statements do you agree or disagree with, and why?

  1. If you get robbed, it’s your fault. You should have carried a gun and used it to defend yourself.
  2. If your home gets burgled, it’s your fault. Your should have secured your home properly.
  3. If you get raped, it’s your fault. Your shouldn’t have worn those sexy clothes, and hey, what were you doing in that park at night?
  4. If your computer gets hacked, it’s your fault. You should have patched the computer every day and used a better password.
  5. If you get run over by a car and injured in the accident, it’s your fault. You should have worn a helmet and a high-viz jacket.
  6. If someone bullies you on the Internet, it’s your fault. You should have used a pseudonym on Facebook.

Do you agree with all, some, or none of these statements? Please elaborate in the comments. I’m not so much interested in nitpicking about the causation of certain incidents – read »your fault« as »in part your fault« if you like so. What interests me rather is the consistency or incocnsistency in our assessment of these matters. If you happen to agree with some of the statements but disagree with others, why is that?

P.S. (2014-09-05): Samuel Liles and Eugene Spafford discuss this matter more thoroughly: What is wrong with all of you? Reflections on nude pictures, victim shaming, and cyber security

2 thoughts on “Something to ponder

  1. To me, “your fault” has to do with what is normal, what could be expected or you do using common sense. Whenever you deviate from “common sense” it is your fault.

  2. I don’t have too much time right now. And I haven’t thought about this too long yet. But I’d like to point out, that (except for example 5) there is always a clear aggressor in your examples. Somebody who WANTS to do you harm. So to me, on a moral level, it is not hard to see that it is in no way “your fault”.
    One might argue that some of these points might read as “it is not smart to . . . ”
    But try to do this to point 3. “It is not smart to dress the way you want”.
    Doesn’t feel good either😉

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