Thursday, January 31, 2008

Chance, Choice, and Tragedy

Please find a fairly recent article (within the past year) that describes a tragedy that a person or group of people have faced.

First, please offer a brief summary of your article (3-5 sentences).

Second, comment on whether or not you think this person had control over this tragedy--did this happen by choice or by chance? Explain your thinking.

Third, please read over the comments on this post and respond to the following question: Which is the greater tragedy--one that happens because of a bad choice, or the one that happens by random chance? Explain your thinking.

25 comments:

nathanb said...

In this article a bunch of Iraqi things were destroyed. This was considered one of the greatest cultural disasters. I don’t think anyone but the people who destroyed it had any control of what happened. I think the consequences are higher due to a bad decision rather than a random one. Most of the time tragedies happen because of bad choices. Noooo buenoooo. People can’t make the right choice all the time but most of the time they should try.

amandab said...

I read and article about Heath Ledger who was found dead at the end of his bed in his apartment. The police found and empty prescription bottle of sleeping pills next to him. They did and autopsy too see what had happened, he committed suicide. The cause is thought to be because of him and his wife who split up last year. I think that this tragedy was by his choice because he couldn’t handle his split up with his wife. I do think he could have helped this tragedy if he just asked for help, maybe he just needed time, I don’t know but I do think that his death could have been avoided. I think that tragedies that happen by choice are the ones that are worse because when they do happen we have someone to blame, and when things happen at random we just have to get over it because no one knows when it’s coming or how to stop it. Most people when they’re hurt need someone to point their finger at so they have a legit reason to me mad or sad but when it’s no one’s fault you can’t be mad.

Maria A. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maria A. said...

In this article, an Afghanistan decided to commit a suiside bombing. The bombing ended up killing five other inoccent people. The bomb was a car bombing and also struck an army bus killing a civilian and hurt four other people. Several other bombings took place, one in a mosque killing important people and 18 wounded including two children. I think the people that decided to use bombs for any specific reason did have complete control over it and the other people involved in the tragedy did not have any choice. These bombings were a choice made into a non acceptable one due to the mosque bombing and an accidental suiside bombing with having other inoccent people die along with the man who killed himself. I go both ways on whether the tragedy is worse by a bad choice or a random chance. I think this because by a random choice the person choosing to do it should know better and not just do it for no really apparant reason. A bad choice is also very tragic because it is sad to hear about suicides and other tragedies because of something wrong with that person and have other people get seriously injured or killed from someone elses choice or mistake.

KaylaL said...

I read an article about the huge snow storm in China that has caused a shortage of food for all of China. The snow is ruining all the crops for next season. The railways and highways were closed, there were also many car accidents and buildings falling causing more deaths; many Chinese were stranded because of this.

I do not think that the Chinese had control over this, it happened by chance. They can't control the weather and they certainly would not do that to themselves.

I think that tragedy that happens by chance is worse. People know if they make a bad choice then they could get the consequence that they don't want. If the tragedy happens by chance people don't know it's going to happen so they have less knowledge of the situation. If it happens by chance people aren't prepared and more "damage" is likely to happen.

kaseyb said...

I read an article about how seven people died in a giant mudslide in Mexico. All but two died, and many were part of the same family. It was a freak accident and they didn't see it coming. I definitely think that these people didn't have a choice over this tragedy and that it was completely chance that they were there. I think this because the weather caused this to happen and regular people have absolutely nothing to do with that. I also think that a tragedy that happens by random chance is way worse than one that happens because of a bad choice even though they are both sad and depressing. I think this because they didn't even have a chance to prevent it while in the other situation, the victim had an opportunity to stop what was coming to them.

TraciAnn said...

The article i read was about a 15-year-old boy who ran over a 9-year-old girl and killing her. He commited a hit-run in his dad's dodge pick-up. The girls Jasmine was playing in the street when it happend. This probably didn't happen by choice. It was definately an accident. But whether or not it was by chance or choice it doesn't change what happend. A worst tragedy is one that happens by random because it is unexpected and there is not exactly a good reason for it. A tragedy that happens by random chance is a horrible experience for example the Heath Ledger tragedy that amanda mentioned. The tragedy of his death was very sad because nobody expected it and if it was suicide it would change what we thought about the death.

Tabitha said...

In Grand Junction a 3 yr old boy died when his house went up in flames in Eckert. Firemen knew the boy was still inside the house, but weren't able to get inside the house to save him. The childs father had escaped from the blaze, and it's still under investigation on what exactly happened. I believe the child did not have control over the event, but his father did. I'm not sure what exactly happened for the father to leave the child inside the blaze, however this tragedy could have been avoided. With Amanda's Heath Ledger tragedy I believe that tragedy happened by choice. He had a choice to make and he chose the wrong one, and in the end he died from his choice. A tragedy is sadder when it happens at a random chance, not from a ridiculous choice. In a random chance, the outcome couldn't have been avoided.

Bandido said...

After a drunken ramble at the Director's Guild gathering (where directors gather to suck up to each other, much like the Screen Actor's Guild Awards but this time with uglier people), Sean Young has checked herself into rehab for her alcoholism. Sean Young was in Blade Runner, thus making her one of the coolest actresses of all time.

I don't think Sean Young is to blame for her addiction to alcoholic beverages. It's a tough thing to know that you will never do anything better than Blade Runner. Harrison Ford is making another Indiana Jones, a classic symptom of After Starring in Blade Runner Syndrome.

A tragedy caused by a bad choice is, in my opinion, worse. If a tragedy is from a bad choice that means someone f***ed up and hurt others in the process. And that is not excusable. To kill off the cynical vibe from that last sentence I will end my comment with this:
In other news, a squirrel water skied and was not filmed doing it. The cameraman was fired for filming the 2nd Watergate scandal in history.

BrookeG said...

Like Amanda, I read an article on the actor Heath Ledger. He was found dead in his apartment on Tuesday January 22, 2008 of a drug overdose. I also agree with Amanda in that this tragedy could have been prevented. He had his whole life before him, and if he had just talked to someone that could have made all the difference. I agree with Traci in that the unexpected tragedies are the ones that are the most tragic because there is nothing anyone could have done to prevent them.

Christine said...

I read about the Virginia Tech Massacre that happened on April 16, 2007 in Blacksburg, Virginia. It was a school shooting that had killed 32 people and wounded many more, soon after the one responsible, Seung-Hui Cho, committed suicide, making it the deadliest school shooting in U.S. History. Cho was a senior English major at Virginia Tech. This tragedy was unfortunately a choice of Cho’s and definitely could have been avoided. Nobody just walks into a school shooting at random for no reason but anxiety. Even if the person had mental issues they would have to think through the process. I think a bad choice is worse because people tend to do more damage than nature or some freak accident can.

JordanR said...

The article i read was about this 17 year old boy who pleaded guilty to causing the deaths of three other teens in a car crash. He ran a stop sign and ran into the front of a refrigerated delivery truck; he killed all three passengers. All of the passengers were under 18, which means he violated three traffic violations and pleaded guilty for all of them. I think this boy had complete control over this tragedy, if he chose to stop at the stop sign his three friends could still be alive today. I think the worst tragedy is one that happens because of a bad choice because when it's random it's not always your fault, but when it was made by a bad choice sometimes the blame is all on you.

rachelf said...

My article is about a woman whose car got run over by a train in Australia and dragged 500 meters. She was killed but nobody else was injured. Passengers in the train saw the car approach seconds before the crash. This was the second death in Victoria this week caused by a railroad crossing.
I think this person had control of the situation because there were signs indicating a railroad crossing. Also if the passengers saw her then I’m sure she saw the train, which makes me think that this was a suicide, which was her choice.
I can definitely see both sides on whether a tragedy caused by a bad choice or random chance is worse. Random chance is bad because nobody expects anything coming and has no way to prepare for it. But most of the time nobody can expect a tragedy caused by a bad choice to happen unless they are the ones doing it. So in that aspect I think that a bad choice tragedy is worse because someone knows what’s going to happen and its effects and doesn’t stop it versus a random chance tragedy nobody has the chance to stop it from happening.

jenniferb said...

I read an article about a woman who was at a bar partying with her friends when she went into labor. She gave birth to her son in the bathroom of the bar, and then left him there to die while she went back partying. Many people called this a tragedy because a brand new baby was left in the bathroom to die with no help. I think this was a choice the woman had made because she could have gone to a hospital to give birth. Or when she did give birth she could have gone home and start taking care of her new child. I think the greater tragedies are the ones that were a bad choice because the people who made that choice could have made a better choice. They could have prevented the tragedy from happening in the first place.

jake a. said...

the article i read was about the virginia tech massacre this attack included two attacks about two hours aparton april 16,2007in blacksburg, virginia. the shooter Seung-hui cho killed 32 peple and wounded alot more before taking his own life.This shooting is the deadliest shooting in history. But It also helped to the passage of the first major federal gun control measure in more than 13 years, a law that strengthens the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, this shows we live in a world full of hat and if everyone tried to get along we would be way better off.

Jenna F said...

In the article I read, a child was being fought over by two different parties, the biological parents and the grandparents both saying that they were the rightful guardians. This happened by choice, not that of the little boy's but of the parents. I believe that this is the worse type of tragedy. When someone makes a decision and another suffers, things are always going to be bad. When a bad decision results in a tragedy, those who survive have to live with the guilt of their decision.

Jenna F said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Whitney C said...

The article I read is about China’s blizzard that is causing major turmoil in Beijing. Many plans for China’s most important holiday, the Lunar New Year festival, have been ruined or stopped because of the unfortunate weather in China. This blizzard has also stopped the coal shipments along critical rail arteries feeding power stations in the southeast. Food prices have been increasing greatly throughout China. The Prime Minister, Wen Jiabao, is trying to figure out how to fix these delays.

I believe that the country of China did not have any control over the tragedy of the blizzard. There is no way of stopping the weather. Whatever happens just happens.

I believe that the greater tragedy is one that randomly happens because there is no possible way to fix it or try to make it better. A tragedy that randomly happens you have no control over, but one that you make the choice of, you do have control over it. Personally I would feel better knowing that I made the bad choice rather than feeling hopeless and not being able to do anything about the tragedy.

chadf said...

In my story a drunk man ruins his family. One night he gets so drunk that kills his ex-wife and his ex- mother-in-law in front of his two daughters. The man is yet to be found.

I think that the man is the only one to blame for his actions. If he had realized that he was an angry drunk. If he man didn’t drink so much he would have been better.

I think that most of the time people can either blame themselves or not blame anyone at all.

allie f. said...

The aritcle I had read was about Heath Ledger who has been recently found dead in his apartment. Heath Ledger was a well known actor that did great movie such as a A Knights Tale and 10 Things I Hate About You. When he was found by the police there was a bottle of sleeping pills next to him, and once they had done an autopsy he was determined to have committed suicide. They think the reason he committed suicide was because of him and his wife seperation a year ago. I do think that this a tragedy but that it was under his choice all because of his divorce with his wife. He could of helped himself if he just went to get some professional help so this tragic situation could of never happened. I would have to agree with Traci and Brooke that unexpected tragedies are the worst because know one knows when its going to happen and it sometimes cannot be stopped.

allie f. said...

The aritcle I had read was about Heath Ledger who has been recently found dead in his apartment. Heath Ledger was a well known actor that did great movie such as a A Knights Tale and 10 Things I Hate About You. When he was found by the police there was a bottle of sleeping pills next to him, and once they had done an autopsy he was determined to have committed suicide. They think the reason he committed suicide was because of him and his wife seperation a year ago. I do think that this a tragedy but that it was under his choice all because of his divorce with his wife. He could of helped himself if he just went to get some professional help so this tragic situation could of never happened. I would have to agree with Traci and Brooke that unexpected tragedies are the worst because know one knows when its going to happen and it sometimes cannot be stopped.

TraciAnn said...

This is Chelsea...

My article was about 13 young suicides that happened for no apparent reason. The 13 deaths are being examined throughly and investigators are trying to connect the cases but there is no evidence. For some reason 13 very young people killed themselves.

This person definitely had control over their own death. I don't know why but the 13 young people felt no reason to be living anymore and made the decision to kill themselves. This action was definitely by choice.

For I don't know if i can actually pick a side to that question. I think that when a tragedy happens that is by choice is so devistating just because others may think they could have stopped it from happening or something to that effect. But i also think that tragedies by chance are very hard too because no one expected them to happen and might have not gotten a chance to say goodbye.

Shelby M. said...

I read the article on Heath Ledger who was found dead on the floor in his New York apartment. They had found some sleeping perscription pills on the floor to find that he commited suicide. the article said they thought the cause of the suicide was because of the split with his wife. I think that he had control over what happened. He could have just asked for help from friends or family. I realize people handle things different but nothing is worth killing yourself, he thought it was the solutions to all his problems. I think the death didnt have to happen. It could have been handled differently.
I think that the greater tragedy is one that happens by random chance. I believe this because it is not your choice for it to happen and it hurts a lot more when you cant do anything about it. the ones that happen by a bad choice can be avoided if you just go get help.

toreinm said...

I Read An Article About How A Couple Of Teens Were Involved In A Car Crash, Two Of Which Died. There Were A Few Others That Were Taken To The Hospital. Alcohol And Drugs Weren't Suspected, So It Was Obviously An Accident. I Think This Tragedy Therefore, Happened By Random Chance. I Think Random Chance Is Worse Because You Couldn't Have Done Anything To Prevent It.

Keiko A said...

In the article that I read it talked about Heath Ledgers death, who was found dead in his house with and empty pill bottle by him. They think that he was too depressed over his wife leaving him, and that he couldn't think of a better way to deal with his depression. This event has shocked the world because it seemed like he had a great life, he was young popular and successful, so no one expected this to happen. I think that he had control over this trajedy, I think that he made a choice to commit suicide, there were probably other things that he could have done in order for him to work through his problems, but I think that he probably didn't think it through and did it in the spur of the moment. I agree with Torein and Shelby about the fact that the worse kind of tragedy is the one that happens randomly, because you never see it coming and there is nothing you could do to prevent it, when it is a bad choice there is a chance that you could get help.