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Dániel Boros

Ethics of Silence

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If someone receives knowledge of a crime committed by one of his loved ones would be keeping that secret considered immoral?

A friend or family member is usually more valuable outside prison than inside.

Whatever harm the silence of this man causes is the result of non-action and not action.

Similarly not trying to save someone drowning isn't a crime either is it not?

Edited by Dániel Boros

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It depends on what the consequences of the choice are. If this loved one is unrepentant and likely to keep committing crimes, then he should be reported, no doubt.

If not, then it depends on the circumstances. But I can't justify an "always report the crime" policy. I am curious if someone else might be able to, though, so I shall be following this thread.

Similarly not trying to save someone drowning isn't a crime either is it not?

That's not similar at all. It's very different, because it's an emergency situation. If you are able to, you should always save someone from drowning.

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Nicky is right. If the "crime" was victimless, or the crime was minor and the justice system in Hungary is out of control, reporting it may be the wrong thing to do. People who've committed serious rights violations against others deserve to be reported no matter if they are family or friend. I'd go further and say that such people deserve to have their status as a loved-one reconsidered.

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If someone receives knowledge of a crime committed by one of his loved ones would be keeping that secret considered immoral?

A friend or family member is usually more valuable outside prison than inside.

Whatever harm the silence of this man causes is the result of non-action and not action.

Similarly not trying to save someone drowning isn't a crime either is it not?

How do you define crime? A crime as in a violation of the law? A crime as in a violation of someone's rights?

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You have to ask whether or not the crime they commited was a sign of a pattern of dangerous behavior or an oddity that can be fixed outside the law.

If your wife murdered someone who abused her consistently and in major ways., you may not want to report it because you have no reason to believe that she would ever do anything like that to anyone again, and thus she isn't a threat to you or your interests in any further way. Especially if she understand that that kind of behavior is not acceptable any longer and she plans to make changes in her life to deal with problems in a healthy way.

However if she killed someone over money you may start wondering if she will come after you one day.

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