Saturday, 20 February 2016

Innocent until proven guilty? I regret giving public figures the benefit of the doubt

I suppose I have always been very suspicious of public figures - the people in the media; but never suspicious enough. I was too easily swayed by the argument that people deserve the benefit of the doubt.

But in public life, this is a false assumption; because public figures ensure that there is always some 'doubt' about their malign nature - and so they get away with wholesale wrong-doing for decades.

I used to think that public figures of whom I was suspicious must be OK, otherwise their activities - which are, after all, public - would very rapidly lead to their being exposed for what they were. I now recognize that public figures are the only people who can get away with public wrongdoing - and for an indefinite period.

The only people who can engage in large scale, extreme wrong-doing for extended timescales, are indeed the people that do it in full view and are well known for doing it.( Well known, that is, among the alliance of those with power - the elite.)

They are protected by the default assumption - which they have imposed on everybody else - that people 'must' be regarded as innocent until proven guilty. Because they can - as we observe - ensure that there is never enough proof to prove their guilt; even the slightest doubt, inconsistency or implausibility (all of which can be manufactured on demand) is sufficient to establish 'innocence'.

By contrast, the mass majority are not allowed the principle of innocent until proven guilty - indeed evidence is not required. A mere accusation - which can be manufactured on demand - suffices to damage or destroy the lives of those who outside the charmed circle.

So now I am going to be hard to convince that public figures are anything but wrongdoers - are at best sustainers and tolerators of wrongdoing.

In this era of secular leftism triumphant - where nihilism, despair and ethical inversion are the message of state, media, and educational propaganda; our modern elite constitute a rotten world. There are not many good reasons - but there are plenty of bad reasons - why somebody would want to be a part of that rotten world.


Misanthropist said...

A good example is allegations of sexual assault. The prevailing dogma is that women rarely lie about such things, and should always be believed and supported. Except of course when they accuse a man prominently associated with the left, or a member of another designated PC victim group that trumps gender in the victim hierarchy - in which case the allegation is deemed to be likely false, or at the very least the accused is deemed deserving of the presumption of innocence until the evidence is overwhelming.

They really are not even trying anymore. The level of corruption and intellectual laziness has reached terminal levels.

Misanthropist said...

The principle of innocent until proven guilty only really applies to criminal punishment by the state. As such, the only people that really have an obligation to assume a suspect is innocent until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt are the jury members. It is a sound principle that the state should not be allowed to take away an individual's liberty until they can prove guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

Yet it is somewhat absurd to extend this principle to general public opinion, i.e. everyone must treat a suspect as innocent until they are declared guilty in a court of law. In situations where an individual is yet to be convicted of anything, but where there is substantial evidence to suggest wrongdoing, it is proper that a certain stigma of guilt should follow that person in the eyes of the general public.

Of course, as you point out, it is now very much the case that members of the public with little influence can be accused and found guilty on little or no evidence. Yet the inner members of the elite can only be found guilty on a ridiculously high standard of evidence.

Anonymous said...

We have to keep giving people, including the corrupt of the elite, a trial that is seen to be fair and public, even if time after time, the same type of people keep getting caught with their pants down. It is possible that on a witch hunting wave of hysteria, somebody might be accused out of spite, where there is no foundation to the accusation.

Some people in public life are good after all.

Something I find worrying is that good men are now at risk of accusation if their careers have anything at all to do with children. For example, what young male doctor would not think twice before specialising in paediatrics these days? Similarly, how many men would willingly train as infant/junior teachers? They are as scarce as hens' teeth, which is bad news for children.

Anonymous said...

Dr Charlton - "There are not many good reasons - but there are plenty of bad reasons - why somebody would want to be a part of that rotten world."

I wonder how you feel about sinners. I know that I try to look at why people sin, and I also try not to judge, not always successfully. Sometimes I see reasons why someone has sinned, and those reasons sometimes seem to give sufficient cause for the sin. I often think that I would have committed the same sin in similar circumstances.

Because I am so useless when it comes to refraining from sin, I know that I need God. I often think that most honest Christians probably have a great awareness of their own unpleasant and sinful aspects, and what they would be capable of if they did not believe in a forgiving God.


Bruce Charlton said...

@Anon - Christians must judge: