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Helping homeless people

ben2974
Posts: 767
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4/8/2014 7:02:18 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Should/must individuals take the initiative to aid individual homeless people that they see on the streets?

I think not, because effort and care that is distributed unequally means you're selectively aiding individuals, even if unintentional. A homeless man/woman is a homeless man/woman. All deserve the same aid. Therefore, if you aid one homeless person, you're obliged to aid every other homeless person. What makes a particular homeless person more deserving of your time and money than someone else? Also, helping out one individual isn't going to do anything for the general populace, and probably for the individual that is being helped. If you want to aid the poor, aid the institutions that serve the poor. What I mention in italics is important, because people often state their objective to be aiding "the poor." "Poor people" doesn't mean helping one or two people here and there every now and then.

This also can be applied to other scenarios, such as that "fulfill your child's dream" thing. Remember when a whole city in California (I think it was CA?) banded together to make the dreams of a single child with cancer (or some specific illness) come true? Everyone played along with the Batman theme where the child got to be Batman and save the day. Who is this child to have the luxury and the borrowed energy from hundreds or thousands of people to make his life better for the time being? Why does this child get this kind of treatment, and nobody else? It's a complete mockery to the billions of people suffering from illness and poverty around the globe. The event was completely over-the-top.

The thing that kills me the most is when I hear and read people talk about how amazing of an event it was, how thoughtful it was, how caring, how blah blah blah.

However, having the money to do such a thing makes it more acceptable, but even then it's questionable. I say this because I am firm believer in equality through merit.

I just wanted to give my two cents regarding this topic. I'm not a bitter uncaring young man. Quite the contrary. This is a core socialist value that I carry. I care for everybody's well-being, and that inevitably means sharing the care, and sharing the costs.
FREEDO
Posts: 21,057
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4/8/2014 10:10:30 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Oh no! Those two people over there are about to get hit by that bus! But I can only save one! All well, I'll just let it hit them both. Wouldn't be fair.

Aaaaaw yeah, feels good to have morals.
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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4/8/2014 10:20:07 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
If you can even brighten one person's day it is worth it. You sholdn't feel obligated to help everyone because you help one person.
Sidewalker
Posts: 3,713
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4/9/2014 6:08:10 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
You shouldn't help anyone because you can't help everyone? Really?
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
ben2974
Posts: 767
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4/10/2014 7:30:37 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/8/2014 10:10:30 PM, FREEDO wrote:
Oh no! Those two people over there are about to get hit by that bus! But I can only save one! All well, I'll just let it hit them both. Wouldn't be fair.

Aaaaaw yeah, feels good to have morals.

That's different...circumstantial.
ben2974
Posts: 767
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4/10/2014 7:32:13 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/9/2014 6:08:10 AM, Sidewalker wrote:
You shouldn't help anyone because you can't help everyone? Really?

No I just wouldn't waste my time helping random individuals like that. I'd give to charity or something. Like a tax for the poor kind of thing.
ben2974
Posts: 767
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4/10/2014 7:47:08 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/8/2014 10:20:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
If you can even brighten one person's day it is worth it. You sholdn't feel obligated to help everyone because you help one person.

I don't think i'm brightening a poor person's day by donating less than a dollar to him/her.
What will brighten his day is the day he finds a job, and people giving him little bits of cash here and there so he can survive the day won't solve his problem. They say that a good way to incentivize poor people to find a job is to give them no other viable way of living. If we keep on giving cash to these poor they will find no reason to take the extra steps needed to really lift themselves from the misery of poverty. Basically,
What they need are real long-term programs that actually do something for the poor, that incentivize them. Though probably not completely applicable to the poor in developed nations, programs like conditional cash transfers do wonders in lifting the poor's economic condition.