Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Some philosophical points about the Zimmerman-Martin case

Some philosophical points about the Zimmerman-Martin case

1. Juries know more than the common person about the case and the laws of legal evidence. The standard for criminal prosecution is "beyond a reasonable doubt."
2. One's race (which is often difficult to classify) has nothing to do with truth or knowledge (justified true belief). Members of any race may be right or wrong, justified or unjustified about any given proposition. Race is not, in itself,  the issue in epistemology, but, rather, competence in judgment given a particular circumstance.
3. To say that one race (or several) cannot rightly evaluate a controversy is to undermine democracy and to demean strangers (and friends) simply because of their race. This is wrong. Moreover, many are mixed race, such as Barack Obama and George Zimmerman. Where do they fit in?
4. America is not a systematically racist society. Consider who was elected president-- twice. Look back at the Civil Rights Act. Consider the canonization of Dr. Martin Luther King. To say so is rank ignorance or worse.
5. Outrage is not a good indicator of knowledge. One may be wrongly outraged or rightly outraged. But outrage does not determine the truth of the matter. Remember the crowd that condemned Jesus to death. One's emotions are easily untethered from good judgment and concern for proper reasoning.
6. If an injustice has been done in a trial, punishing and terrifying innocent people is no way to rectify or ameliorate the situation. If you think all members of one race are to blame, you have undermined the Western and American and Christian heritage individual responsibility. If so, you are wrong.
7. If you think that boycotting products from the state in which a verdict was rendered with which you disagree is just or even helpful, you are wrong. State's do not give sentences. Juries do that.
8. If you try to reveal the details of personal identities of witnesses in important trials, you are endangering them and undermining the entire legal system. If you think our system needs a total overhaul, find a better country. You are also harming the individuals in question, who are innocent. They, the jurors, are not on trial.

1 comment:

Episteme said...

Well reasoned, Dr. G. Appreciate the post.