Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

Legal Reimbursement for Coallateral Damage

Rate this topic


Recommended Posts

The scenario:

 

Jones approaches Smith's house shooting a gun with the intent to murder Smith. Smith responds by returning fire with his own gun in a clear act of self-defense. Jones is frightened and flees. Smith is succesful in his self-defense, but afterwards notices that some of his shots hit his neighbor's house. The neighbor is unharmed but requires money to repair the damage.

 

Who, if anyone should be legally required to reimburse the neighbor?

Possible Choices:

- Jones: fired the gun which caused the damage, willingly took the risk of causing collateral damage

- Smith: provoked the incident which led to the collateral damage, was the aggressor

- Neighbor: collateral damage is an expected component of self-defense and he got unlucky

- The state: no individual is objectively at fault but reimbursement of collateral damage falls under law enforcement duties

 

Furthermore, can this same dynamic apply to war vis a vis moral defender countires, moral aggressor countries, civilian collateral damage, and total warfare.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The scenario:

Jones approaches Smith's house shooting a gun with the intent to murder Smith. Smith responds by returning fire with his own gun in a clear act of self-defense. Jones is frightened and flees. Smith is succesful in his self-defense, but afterwards notices that some of his shots hit his neighbor's house. The neighbor is unharmed but requires money to repair the damage.

Who, if anyone should be legally required to reimburse the neighbor?

Possible Choices:

- Jones: fired the gun which caused the damage, willingly took the risk of causing collateral damage

- Smith: provoked the incident which led to the collateral damage, was the aggressor

- Neighbor: collateral damage is an expected component of self-defense and he got unlucky

- The state: no individual is objectively at fault but reimbursement of collateral damage falls under law enforcement duties

Furthermore, can this same dynamic apply to war vis a vis moral defender countires, moral aggressor countries, civilian collateral damage, and total warfare.

Jones because he was the aggressor. What happens in response to his aggression is his fault.

This can apply to war but only when the threat is imminent like in the example given. Just because someone violates your rights, doesn't give you carte blanche to any response.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Jones because he was the aggressor. What happens in response to his aggression is his fault.

I don't think this is such a hard and fast distinction. Really, everything that happens in response is his fault? Anything that happens? What about collateral damage that could have otherwise been avoided by the victim, but happened due to the victim's carelessness or neglegence? Surely there can be such instances. Or what about when the victim has a clear alternative, but chooses to inflict collateral damage anyway? What if the victim isn't such a clear victim, but is actually provoking aggression or committing his own aggression in many cases as well? In the real world, many instances are like this, and it seems to me that the justification of collateral damage starts to weaken as many of these criteria strengthen along the continuum.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think this is such a hard and fast distinction. Really, everything that happens in response is his fault? Anything that happens?

No. I was responding to the specific example and the specific facts given.

What about collateral damage that could have otherwise been avoided by the victim, but happened due to the victim's carelessness or neglegence? Surely there can be such instances.

Give an example.

What if the victim isn't such a clear victim, but is actually provoking aggression or committing his own aggression in many cases as well? In the real world, many instances are like this, and it seems to me that the justification of collateral damage starts to weaken as many of these criteria strengthen along the continuum.

I wasn't attempting to give a justification of collateral damage for all examples, I was responding to the specific example given. Edited by thenelli01
Link to post
Share on other sites

No. I was responding to the specific example and the specific facts given.

Give an example.

I wasn't attempting to give a justification of collateral damage for all examples, I was responding to the specific example given.

Right,sorry I don't mean to imply you thought that, I meant to be posing a question and responding to them only generally.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Right,sorry I don't mean to imply you thought that, I meant to be posing a question and responding to them only generally.

I see, I reread and I take your point. My answer wasn't great or well written.

The response needs to be a reasonable, defensive response to an imminent attack. Just because someone violates your rights, doesn't give you carte blanche to any response. However, it also needs to be considered that pressure situations can create inaccuracy. So although Smith wasn't so accurate by hitting the neighbors' property, it was still an appropriate, defensive response to Jones' threatening action and therefore it is Jones' fault.

Edited by thenelli01
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...