• 01:08:06 am on September 8, 2008 | 0
    Tags: , , , , , , ,

    I wonder if I’m lacking some sort of “charity” gene. It seems like helping out others for no other reason than that they need it is a no-brainer for quite a lot of people. Well, that’s what it seems like, at least. (Note to self: work that statistics site). It’s such no-brainer that it even seems taboo to ask: Why help? 

    Answer one: because they didn’t have the same opportunities you did. See, this doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. When did it become an imperative to make sure that everyone is born under the same circumstances? It just seems like a huge effort in futility to me. Let’s say we can somehow make economic equality work. Opportunity for education, advancement, making a living.(Why are my typing fingers still too slow?) 

    Inborn factors, idiosyncrasies aren’t controllable. (If they were controllable, we’d be nothing more than a colony of bees. Why that would be undesirable is another topic entirely.) Hence, the environment you’re born into isn’t controllable. (Unless we somehow shift children around at random.) Still, you’d be stuck with your own idiosyncrasies. As these differences manifest, advantages will promote some, disadvantages will do what they will. It’s the human condition.

    Some might say: Just because it isn’t doable doesn’t mean we shouldn’t strive to get as close to it as possible. To what end, then? Can we say that by changing everything that we possibly can to ensure that we are as close as we can possibly be to equality, everyone benefits, everyone is happier than they would be otherwise? (This of course assumes that happiness is good. But that’s another question.)

    Would it not be crushing to know, to be absolutely dead certain that the only thing, the very thing that holds you back, that limits you, is yourself? That it’s the things about you that you can’t change, the things that make you who you are? To not be able to say, “Eh, he was born under a lucky star.” “If only I’d had such and such material thing, such and such opportunities..” Denied these little “rationalizations”, one would go mad.

    Answer two: humans have a right to basic needs. If someone had one and a half cups of rice to last him an entire day, and another with only half a cup demands a redistribution, ie. give me your half cup so we’ll both have one, would he be right?

    Why does it seem to approach rightness as the difference between the two increases? (Of course, this is between people who bear no relation to one another.) Is there a point you could arrive at and say, “Here. This is where it becomes right. This is where it becomes unjust not to share”?

    Does one really have a right to things one is not born with or did not achieve using those things he was born with? Say that when they calculated all the roofed spaces, it came out as 1 man : 3 square meters. Hey, all those homeless people, they have a right to live in your house. You have 9 square meters unspoken for? Take three hobos in.

    (This is not exaggeration. This is what it boils down to, when you say that those that can afford it are responsible* for the welfare of those that cannot.)

    *if this is too strong, let’s say, “should help”. Is there a difference?

    Going back to the “calculus” of rights, why does this become more right as the size of your house grows, as the number of houses you own increases? Is it an absolute right if it comes with a gradient?

    Some might say: What about the things he achieved with the non-inborn things?+

    I’m not even going to talk about religion. All it would boil down to is “The god I worship says so.” And that doesn’t help at all.


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