Respond to at least one of your colleagues in the following way:

If you were Brenda, how might you have solicited help from one of the many bystanders? Your explanation must be informed by social psychology theory and research.

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n the scenario provided about Brenda who was walking home, with music blasting in her ears, and was pushed hard by someone into a muddy ravine, diffusion of responsibility would best explain why no onlooker helped her.

The bystander effect is a theory that is used to explain the decrease of an individual helping when passive bystanders are present in an emergency situation (Darley and Latane, 1968). The diffusion of responsibility helps us understand the bystander effect theory. The diffusion of responsibility refers to the tendency to distribute the responsibility amongst the number of bystanders. This increases the likelihood the individual believes another bystander has taken action in the emergency situation. In Brenda’s example, she had individuals who were “onlookers” but no one was helping as she fell. The bystanders could have thought that the moral obligation to help was shared, or that someone else will or had offered help. Another explanation could be the lack of direct commands being given to the “onlookers.” If a bystander or Brenda yells “get help” to a group of bystanders, the bystanders can interpret it to mean another individual as the responsibility is shared. In this situation, it is important to be specific as to who should have what task assigned to them in an emergency situation.

Another explanation is the evaluation apprehension, which refers to the fear of being judged by others (Emeghara, 2020). This is when the bystander is afraid of what others may say, publicity, or being superseded. Also, the possibility of facing legal consequences for unwanted help. In the scenario, we weren’t told what was being said except that she had the music really loud in her ears. Bystanders could have questioned if she wanted help or if she would have pressed charges for helping her if anything happened in the process. Acting in public could be a fear, similar to public speaking, that can cause onlookers to not help Brenda but rather watch.

 

Sample solution

Dante Alighieri played a critical role in the literature world through his poem Divine Comedy that was written in the 14th century. The poem contains Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso. The Inferno is a description of the nine circles of torment that are found on the earth. It depicts the realms of the people that have gone against the spiritual values and who, instead, have chosen bestial appetite, violence, or fraud and malice. The nine circles of hell are limbo, lust, gluttony, greed and wrath. Others are heresy, violence, fraud, and treachery. The purpose of this paper is to examine the Dante’s Inferno in the perspective of its portrayal of God’s image and the justification of hell. 

In this epic poem, God is portrayed as a super being guilty of multiple weaknesses including being egotistic, unjust, and hypocritical. Dante, in this poem, depicts God as being more human than divine by challenging God’s omnipotence. Additionally, the manner in which Dante describes Hell is in full contradiction to the morals of God as written in the Bible. When god arranges Hell to flatter Himself, He commits egotism, a sin that is common among human beings (Cheney, 2016). The weakness is depicted in Limbo and on the Gate of Hell where, for instance, God sends those who do not worship Him to Hell. This implies that failure to worship Him is a sin.

God is also depicted as lacking justice in His actions thus removing the godly image. The injustice is portrayed by the manner in which the sodomites and opportunists are treated. The opportunists are subjected to banner chasing in their lives after death followed by being stung by insects and maggots. They are known to having done neither good nor bad during their lifetimes and, therefore, justice could have demanded that they be granted a neutral punishment having lived a neutral life. The sodomites are also punished unfairly by God when Brunetto Lattini is condemned to hell despite being a good leader (Babor, T. F., McGovern, T., & Robaina, K. (2017). While he commited sodomy, God chooses to ignore all the other good deeds that Brunetto did.

Finally, God is also portrayed as being hypocritical in His actions, a sin that further diminishes His godliness and makes Him more human. A case in point is when God condemns the sin of egotism and goes ahead to commit it repeatedly. Proverbs 29:23 states that “arrogance will bring your downfall, but if you are humble, you will be respected.” When Slattery condemns Dante’s human state as being weak, doubtful, and limited, he is proving God’s hypocrisy because He is also human (Verdicchio, 2015). The actions of God in Hell as portrayed by Dante are inconsistent with the Biblical literature. Both Dante and God are prone to making mistakes, something common among human beings thus making God more human.

To wrap it up, Dante portrays God is more human since He commits the same sins that humans commit: egotism, hypocrisy, and injustice. Hell is justified as being a destination for victims of the mistakes committed by God. The Hell is presented as being a totally different place as compared to what is written about it in the Bible. As a result, reading through the text gives an image of God who is prone to the very mistakes common to humans thus ripping Him off His lofty status of divine and, instead, making Him a mere human. Whether or not Dante did it intentionally is subject to debate but one thing is clear in the poem: the misconstrued notion of God is revealed to future generations.

 

References

Babor, T. F., McGovern, T., & Robaina, K. (2017). Dante’s inferno: Seven deadly sins in scientific publishing and how to avoid them. Addiction Science: A Guide for the Perplexed, 267.

Cheney, L. D. G. (2016). Illustrations for Dante’s Inferno: A Comparative Study of Sandro Botticelli, Giovanni Stradano, and Federico Zuccaro. Cultural and Religious Studies4(8), 487.

Verdicchio, M. (2015). Irony and Desire in Dante’s” Inferno” 27. Italica, 285-297.