Monday, February 11, 2008

Introduction to Dorian Gray

lIf you could do something without getting caught, would you? Why or why not?

25 comments:

CecilyJ said...

I wish that I could say that I wouldn't do something if I knew it was wrong. The truth is that a lot of us do things that are wrong even when we run the risk of getting caught. For most of us, its small things, like speeding or telling our parents a white lie about where were going. So do these wrongs make us bad people? And what keeps us from committing bigger crimes like stealing and murder. Is it the fear of getting caught? I don't think it is. In a direct answer to this question I would have to ask what I was doing to get caught. Is it violently murdering someone? (Which in that case no, I wouldn't do it, which I'm sure you're all glad to hear.)However, if it was a small harmless task, then yes I most likely would do it.

EmmaL said...

I think that morals play a big role in this question. Whether or not something is considered right or wrong in the eyes of the law or parents or society, it all comes down to what that person believes. If it seems morally wrong to one person to sneak into the movies or steal candy, they will not do it even if there is no way to get caught. On the other hand if an individual does not feel that these are wrong things to do, they will most likely not be against doing them. I believe that if the thing in question can only cause harm to the individual who is doing it, then it is more okay to do because it is a personal choice and has personal consequences. But if the crime involves anyone else, like stealing for example then it is wrong because you are also taking something from another person by making this bad choice.

tuckerk2 said...

If I could do something without being caught, whether or not I do it depends on my own personal moral stance on the issue. There are many things that are illegal or otherwise looked down upon that I would have no hesitation doing, while there are many things that I would never do, even if assured that I would never suffer any negative retributions. I do however differ from Emma’s reply in that I would possibly do something that would negatively affect someone else, though I would only do this if I again had decided for myself that this person is deserving of what I would do and I would again only proceed to the extent that I feel right.

Samantha E said...

There is a quote that says “Character is doing what is right when no one is looking”. I think this is true. Actions show who you are, whether you get caught or not. I hope that people always do what is right to them, not just because they want glory or not doing it because they don’t want to get caught. Sure there are always kids who are always in trouble. At least they are honest though. A person should not refrain from doing something because they are going to get caught. Logically it makes sense to stay away from trouble, but is it honest? For me, I want people to know who I really am, I may not get into a ton of trouble and that is fine. If I know something is wrong chances are I am not going to want to do it. I agree that personal morals are a large part of it. If you do not consider it wrong then there is no need to be caught. Things like this are what develop character, what define who we are.

alliem said...

I agree with Cecily, almost everyone does wrong even WITH the risk of getting caught. SO, the obvious answer is yes, I and most people would do something bad, especially without the risk of being caught. Of course, for everyone there is a line we all draw and this is where morals usually tend to kick in. I like to think of myself as a good person so even if I were to avoid getting caught, my morals and the guilt of my actions will always be there to prevent me from doing something I seriously know I shouldn't. I'd also like to point out another thing.... this blog question does not necessarily say do "something bad" yet we all assume that. I just want to recognize that there are a lot of times we do things considered good or nice only because we get noticed or caught for doing them. For example many students volunteered in things such as key club and other clubs devoted to helping others. Did everyone do this for the sake of aiding others or was it because it looked good on college applications? Would people still do these things without recognition for their work? just something to think about

emilyl said...

I agree with Cec that a lot of us do things like speed a little and occasionally lie about where we are going because we don't think we will get caught. I also agree that it ties in to morals and character, but it also depends on how much of a risk taker a person is. Is the "something" we do worth getting in trouble for? For things like speeding, it is certainly not worth the ticket, fine, insurance rates, and license points, and yet we do it anyways. It is human nature to test things, to find out just where the line is drawn. A few people have mentioned that not telling your parents where you will be is a small thing to do without getting caught. What if this does affect many people because something happens to you and you die? Or if you are speeding just fast enough to not be able to slow down enough to avoid another car or a person? For major wrongdoings, I would say no to things like murder and stealing. It doesn't really depend on getting caught or not, it is more about honesty. I give myself extensive guilt trips, and finally it has become a matter of trust and honesty rather than fear of punishment. I like what Emma said about actions that affect others are bad decisions, and I agree that these are worse than those that usually don't do harm to others. This can also be applied to doing harmful things to yourself. Smoking pot is harmful to yourself, and if you could get away with it, is this a minor or major crime? To answer the original question in a statement: the only thing I would do is speed a little over the limit. Everything else is just not worth it to me.

MilendaN. said...

I have to agree with Emma because I think that morals do play a big role when it comes to questions and situations like this. I think it depends on the person whether they are willing to do something without getting caught. But how would you really know that you are not getting caught?.. Do you actually believe that you can get away from something..whatever it may be? Especially if it's like a murder or something extremely bad..even if the police don't arrest and finds you right away, you will be found sooner or later. What I'm trying to say is that even if you know you won't get caught if you do something,still not do it because it's still trouble no matter what. Personally if I could do something without getting caught, I still woudn't do it because I would feel very guilty, whatever it may be.

ryanb said...

For me, this would depend on what is was that I was not supposed to be doing. I believe that whatever it was I did, so long as it did not infringe on other's rights to life, liberty, and free will, I would do it depending on whether or not I wanted to because in that case nobody should be telling me that can't do it. On the other hand, if what what I could do did not meet the criteria above, then I would absolutely not do it even if I could get away with it. This includes things like murder, torture, stealing etc.

rebeccar said...

Not to be repetitious, but yes, this question certainly concerns personal moral standards and guilt. Examples of this were clearly illustrated (lying to your parents about where you are, stealing candy from the movie theater, etc.), and I agree with them completely. Therefore, a different approach to this question is who/what would benefit from this “crime”? If it was stealing candy from King Soopers or cheating on a test because you were too busy to study for it, pretty much only one person is benefiting. Hence, it wouldn't be worth it to me. After all, these are laws and rules for a reason: to help us, not to hurt us. But if a wrong-doing benefited several people and had more good consequences than bad, then I would certainly do it.

afoyle said...

I agree with everyone who says morals play a huge role in this question. If the act was something inconsequential and/or harmless, then yes, I'd say I would take that chance. But anything beyond that, anything criminal for example, I would not dare commit. Even if I was assured I would never be caught, something like that weighs heavily on a person. Even if you don't have to face the authorities or another human being in this scenario, you still have to face your greatest judge: yourself.

JoeR said...

I have to be honest and I hope everyone else would be but I am sure there is something all of us would do that would benefit ourselves without getting caught. The things we do will differ but in my mind we do them for the same cause, advancing from the benfits. If it is that important for someone to sneek around and 'steal' something than I feel that we should try to help the person get what they desire. They are obviously in need of help, finacially or emotionally, we should be there to comfort them because that is the source of te problem. Personally, if there was something important enough for me to get and I knew there was potiential to get caught I would consider doing it, but it has to be a great circumstance.

ryan f said...

Th answer that I would love to say is no, but most likely, depending on the situation, if I knew there was no way I could get caught, I would probably go through with it. Everything about that goes against what I believe, but to be perfectly honest, being able to do something without getting caught is almost like a new sense of freedom.
At the same time, it depends on the situation. Integrity, is doing whats right when no one else is looking, and if your morals are strong enough, I think you could truthfully answer no, depending on the situation.

Soo.K said...

I agree with the idea of how moral comes into play here. Doing something bad in your opinion might not be bad in someone else's eyes. Conscience has a role too. Even if I could do something without getting caught, I think that it will affect my conscience. Sure, you weren't caught by other people, but you can't run away from yourself. You are the one who knows who did it and will have the guilt until you confess to someone, eventually getting caught. There are ways of getting away with things when no one is looking, but in my opinion, no one never "completely" gets away from anything due to your guilt. So even if I was doing something without getting caught by anyone else, I would be getting caught by myself and my conscience.

Jackie.d said...

I definately agree with Samantha's post, that "character is doing what is right when no one is looking". I can definately tell that when I know that I'm not going to get caught doing something that I am more likely to do it. I've been in situations where I've chosen to do it, even though I know it will only bring me down in the end. But never anything that could get me in a lot of trouble, and I still have a bit of a guilty conscience about whatever it was that I did. So personally, if the "something" was something that I could potentially get into a lot of trouble about, I know that I would feel very uncomfortable with myself knowing what I had done, and having to live with myself after the fact. I hate the feeling of looking at my friends and family, knowing that I had done something that they wouldn't approve of, and continuing on af if I'm still the person they know me as. This plays into the portrait project coming up, and the idea that there's a difference in how others see you, and how you see yourself. So no, I would not do something "bad", even if I knew that no one else would find out, because of my own guilty conscience, and for letting down the people who know me as a "good" person who doesn't do wrong.

michaelm said...

I have to admit that there are certain things I would do if I were guaranteed not getting caught, but it ultimately depends on the act. Like others have said, there are some things that I would not do no matter what just because I have good morals, and I do believe that “character is doing what is right when no one is looking”, as Sam stated. Just because I wouldn’t get caught doesn’t mean I would to start littering or hurting people. There is possible selfishness in my answer, but I believe most everyone would agree that if I could benefit from something, even if it is frowned upon without getting caught, I would pull a NIKE and “just do it”.

katherineg said...

I do admit that I would do some things if I knew I wouldnt get caught, like speed down the road or something like that but I would never do it to hurt someone, like cheating or murder. I think that something that extreme is rediculous aned shouldnt be considered okay, but like with most things, there is always gray areas. I do think that integrity is an important part of life and like Michael said doing what is right when no one is looking. People who do things often know that they are going to get caught, and yet they still do them, which is selfish, and is considered a "bad" person because of the affect they have on others. It is just how life is, some things are socially acceptable and others are not, but there are always exceptions.

Emily H. said...

Yes, I do admit fully that I have done some things in my life that were wrong but I did them because I knew I could get away with it. I know its wrong to do things that you know are wrong, but I do think that its part of being a human being. We make mistakes and do things we aren't proud of but I consider it a learning experience.

Emily H. said...

Yes, I do admit fully that I have done some things in my life that were wrong but I did them because I knew I could get away with it. I know its wrong to do things that you know are wrong, but I do think that its part of being a human being. We make mistakes and do things we aren't proud of but I consider it a learning experience.

brooksk said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
abok said...

After reading a majority of your comments, it amde me think: Would we know right from wrong if we never got caught? The counter argument for not doing something wrong was that our morals would stop us but people can tell you that something is wrong all day long, but how well do we listen until we try to do it and get caught?The punishment that we recive is what sets the boundries of our morals. I learn from try and fail or try and succeed. If you get caught stealing a switch goes off and you see the effects that you caused, but with no catching of the crimnal means that they will keep doing it again and again because there are no reprecussions of the action. they don't know what they are doing is wrong because they oppurtunity to learn from their mistakes never appear.

brooksk said...

Had I looked at this blog yesterday, or the day before, or even last week I think my answer would have been a bit different than what I am going to say. I most likely would have answered the same as the multitude of you guys above. Iinitially I would say that I would do something wrong if I knew or at least thought I kenw I wasn't getting caught...until now. After today, I feel completely different now and my answers have more than polarized.

Trust, honesty, and admiration are all values that I personally treasure in my heart. They are not values that I throw around for other people to use, to play with, to mess around with. For me, it takes a lot of time and respect before I can invest these values in others. I think that for any of us it is the same way; whether that be friends, family, girlfriends, boyfriends, teachers, employers, and other leaders. And when you invest your highest vaules within these people, do you not expect them to hold them to themselves? Do you not expect them to hold these values upright for you? For the bonds you both share with one another? Well, we all have these sort of people in our lives, and we all are these people; whether we choose to uphold investments is our choice. Well, I am hear to state that it is this choice that determines our character; who we are. And when we make wrong decisions or immoral decisions behind the backs of others and those who value our leadership and our reputation (because after all, as we all have come to know, reputation and character can find each other on opposite sides of the map, we have failed our own character, but more importantly we have failed others...Now, I leave you with these quotes, please read...

The measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out.
— Baron Thomas Babington Macauley, English historian and statesman (1800-1859)

Character is much easier kept than recovered.
— Thomas Paine, British-born American political activist (1737-1809)

Every man has three characters: that which he shows, that which he has, and that which he thinks he has.
— Alphonse Karr, French journalist (1808-1890)

All paths lead to the same goal: to convey to others what we are.
— Pablo Neruda, Chilean poet, diplomat and political activist (1904-1973)

A man's character is his fate.
— Heraclitus, Greek philosopher (c. 540-c. 475 B.C.)

Character is simply habit long continued.
— Plutarch, Greek biographer (47-120 A.D.)

One can acquire everything in solitude — except character.
— Henri Stendahl, French novelist (1783-1842)

Character is that which can do without success.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson, American essayist, philosopher and poet (1803-1882)

No change of circumstances can repair a defect of character.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson, American essayist, philosopher and poet (1803-1880)

The force of character is cumulative.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson, American essayist, philosopher and poet (1803-1882)

Not in time, place or circumstance but in the man lies success.
— James Joyce, Irish novelist (1882-1941)

samt said...

Good post brooks, that says a lot, and I appreciate your realness to the question.

All I know is that, in my life, secrets have destroyed the inner parts of who I am and once I got those secrets out, I was free.

samt said...

I think that when it comes to doing things that other people would kill you over, but the effect of that thing was good, then yes I think having that ability would be very beneficial. Being in India for two weeks, the one thing that was hard was we couldn't directly witness to the people in the camps we did or else we would be putting our lives in danger because of the Hindu extremists in the area, so we constantly have to keep a cover of just being there for medical reasons.

iains said...

I absolutely agree with Tucker. I'm sure at one time or another we all have done things we were not proud of and got away with them. But the question is not only about negative actions, it is also about doing good things. "Getting caught" also means "getting noticed". Do always do the right thing, even if you recieve no recognition? I know that I don't always act the right way or do the right thing if no one is looking, because I like recieving praise. I'm sure this is a flaw that almost everyone has.

Dustin B said...

I believe that the main thing holding poeple back from going with their instinct and doing what they deep down inside want to do is the fear of getting in trouble. If life had no consequences people would be more free spirited i believe. To answer the question at hand, if i could do anything without getting caught yes i would, probably multiple times. Dont let me send the wrong message im not talking about committing a serious crime (Although robbing a bank sounds like fun). Im talking about going with my gut instinct, my need for speed if you will. There is alot of things i believe i would do if in fact i didnt have the worryies of getting caught. some more minor than others. Think about how much more life would be intresting if you never knew waht people were going to do at any given moment. It would be a different world