In the wake of the assassination of American President Lincoln, a rather crude joke was told: “Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?” This joke is committing the fallacy known as the overwhelming exception, where definitely relevant factors (in this example, her husband’s assassination) are ignored.
On Saturday, October 24, at a school dance in California, a fifteen-year old student was brutally beaten, robbed, and gang raped for two and a half hours. At least twenty people were involved, and some were joined in and encouraged it to continue. A few filmed the event with their cell phones. All this happened about half an hour after the security guards were released.
A spokesman for the school district, world-class asshole Marin Trujillo, said afterwards (emphasis added): “[The d]ance was successful event and safe for the students that were there. This dance itself was a successful event.”
Marin Trujillo, FUCK YOU.
Also, I think that the bystanders had a moral obligation to intervene. Doing nothing shows the negative character traits of cowardice (because they could have put themselves in to help someone but didn’t), maleficence (because they were allowing something bad to happen), and others. Had some bystander called for help they would have shown beneficence (because they were taking steps to end an evil act) and had they intervened personally they would also have shown valour (since they were putting themselves at risk to help someone else). Since it is unquestionably better to be brave and beneficent than cowardly and maleficent, by not intervening the bystanders did an immoral act.