Friday, April 23, 2010

Ethical Question

You're walking out of your apartment in the late afternoon on your way to work when you notice another car in your complex with its headlights on. You look around. There's no one in sight. You don't know who the car belongs to. As you look at the car, you notice that the driver's door is unlocked. Question: do you invade the owner's car without permission to turn off his or her headlights or do you respect the person's property even though there is the risk that his or her battery will die?

8 comments:

papi said...

Just let them on. It's none of my business. Unless the owner of the car is my relatives, like friend or family.

Joned

PS: Why I cant give comment with my wordpress account? Do you disable it?

surakmn said...

Depends on the culture and expectations of your neighborhood. In my suburban neighborhood most people would shut them off. In a city apartment lot, I suspect most would ignore it and let the battery run down.

Silus Grok said...

If you have a chance to help someone, do it.

Bravone said...

I generally shut them off. Not sure that's right or not.

Joe Conflict said...

Help out. Shut them off.

cmc said...

I would also shut them off. If anyone saw me getting into the car, I would tell them what I was doing. I would want someone to turn my lights out, rather than come after a long day and find I had no battery left to start the car.

I would also probably lock their door after I had turned the lights off.

Gay LDS Actor said...

Just to let you all know, I did turn off the headlights. I just felt weird about going into someone else's car without permission. Ultimately, what made me feel I should do it was the thought that that is what I would have wanted someone to do for me me had a positions been reversed. I think I made the right call.

I didn't lock the car. First off, I didn't want any evidence that I had been in the car, and secondly, I live in a very rural area at present. Not a lot of crime here.

Thanks to all for your input.

Scott said...

Turn off the lights, but don't lock the car--leave it as you found it.

More than once, driving through the neighborhood in the wee small hours (well past any sane person's bedtime) I've noticed a neighbor's open garage door and gone in and closed it (high-stepping over the infrared beam that would prevent it from closing as I exit).

In every case, I've told them the next day what I did, and in every case, they've been abundantly grateful.

I don't doubt the owner of the car would be thankful as well, if they had any way of knowing that you saved them the trouble of a jumpstart.