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Old 2nd March 2019, 12:50 AM   #201
ChrisBFRPKY
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Of course you would save the drowning child. One person can't save the World so you do what you can when you can. Charity begins at home.

Personally I would not donate to any charity to help starving people in Africa unless part of the provided assistance was used to move them out of the freakin Desert. It's a freakin Desert people! You can't live there! Your crops won't grow in sand! There's no water! Move!

Chris B.
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Old 2nd March 2019, 02:47 PM   #202
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Originally Posted by ChrisBFRPKY View Post
Of course you would save the drowning child. One person can't save the World so you do what you can when you can. Charity begins at home.

Personally I would not donate to any charity to help starving people in Africa unless part of the provided assistance was used to move them out of the freakin Desert. It's a freakin Desert people! You can't live there! Your crops won't grow in sand! There's no water! Move!

Chris B.
You would have a point if Africa were a desert and if the humanitarian crisis were about that, and if there were safe and possible destinations for those who can blame their famine on the desert, but Africa is a very big continent, and I think there's a lot more going on.
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Old 3rd March 2019, 06:41 PM   #203
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Originally Posted by ChrisBFRPKY View Post
Of course you would save the drowning child. One person can't save the World so you do what you can when you can. Charity begins at home.

Personally I would not donate to any charity to help starving people in Africa unless part of the provided assistance was used to move them out of the freakin Desert. It's a freakin Desert people! You can't live there! Your crops won't grow in sand! There's no water! Move!

Chris B.
This sounds like it was borrowed from a stand-up routine I heard somewhere..
George Carlin, maybe?
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Old 3rd March 2019, 06:43 PM   #204
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Originally Posted by Skeptical Greg View Post
This sounds like it was borrowed from a stand-up routine I heard somewhere..
George Carlin, maybe?

Sam Kinison.
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Old 3rd March 2019, 09:55 PM   #205
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Originally Posted by Skeptical Greg View Post
This sounds like it was borrowed from a stand-up routine I heard somewhere..
George Carlin, maybe?
Sam K. He's exactly on point. I understand helping those who have fallen victim to a natural disaster, but when someone intentionally lives in an area that cannot support Human life without outside influence, it's time to move. Not specifically the entire continent of Africa, just the problem areas.

Chris B.
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Old 3rd March 2019, 10:40 PM   #206
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Think globally, act locally.
Do save the child in front of you, don't presume you know how to best help a child thousands of miles away.
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Old 3rd March 2019, 10:43 PM   #207
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Originally Posted by ChrisBFRPKY View Post
Sam K. He's exactly on point. I understand helping those who have fallen victim to a natural disaster, but when someone intentionally lives in an area that cannot support Human life without outside influence, it's time to move. Not specifically the entire continent of Africa, just the problem areas.

Chris B.
If meant as a would-be funny line, it's one thing. Not really funny, but okay. But you seem to treat it more seriously and literally than just a joke, or so I gather from this post.

So, how do you propose those children (or their parents) do that, move out of this (figurative) desert?

You'd have to work a great deal harder to ameliorate suffering on a systemic level. So, unless you're doing that, it isn't a choice between giving a child fish or teaching her to fish, but between giving her fish and letting her starve (or drown).

Unless you're actually working for systemic change, that argument appears to me to be a non sequitur. It's simply misdirection, even if (probably) inadvertent.

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Old 4th March 2019, 12:05 AM   #208
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
If meant as a would-be funny line, it's one thing. Not really funny, but okay. But you seem to treat it more seriously and literally than just a joke, or so I gather from this post.

So, how do you propose those children (or their parents) do that, move out of this (figurative) desert?

You'd have to work a great deal harder to ameliorate suffering on a systemic level. So, unless you're doing that, it isn't a choice between giving a child fish or teaching her to fish, but between giving her fish and letting her starve (or drown).

Unless you're actually working for systemic change, that argument appears to me to be a non sequitur. It's simply misdirection, even if (probably) inadvertent.
First thing, charity begins at home. I cannot hope to provide the answers to World hunger on my own. I take care of my family, friends and community.

Now, that being said, the organizations helping those unfortunate folks in various countries could and should take a look at their surroundings first, determine the problem: "Why are these people starving?" and work on a particular solution to match the needs of those in need.

If the people are starving because they live in a hostile arid environment and cannot grow their own food, relocation should be considered as the priority. Simply supplying them with food, water, or whatever indefinitely is not the answer as the desert is not going to provide.

Chris B.
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Old 4th March 2019, 07:35 AM   #209
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Originally Posted by ChrisBFRPKY View Post
First thing, charity begins at home. I cannot hope to provide the answers to World hunger on my own. I take care of my family, friends and community.

Now, that being said, the organizations helping those unfortunate folks in various countries could and should take a look at their surroundings first, determine the problem: "Why are these people starving?" and work on a particular solution to match the needs of those in need.

If the people are starving because they live in a hostile arid environment and cannot grow their own food, relocation should be considered as the priority. Simply supplying them with food, water, or whatever indefinitely is not the answer as the desert is not going to provide.

Chris B.
The world is full right now of refugees. We Americans live in a country that is going utterly crazy over the question of a relative few refugees. If you are seriously advocating relocation it seems reasonable to ask where you propose to put them.

It just might be both cheaper and more socially acceptable to feed them where they are.

That said, I do agree that there is a difference between helping a person in your back yard and helping the anonymous millions elsewhere in the world. To equate them is to ignore a body of social values, as well as practicalities. A thought experiment is a good way to get us thinking about why we do what we do, but not everyone will come up with the same answer.
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Old 4th March 2019, 08:08 AM   #210
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Like making the Sahara green, resettling refugees back at their home is a long-term project: they first have to stay in a safe place where they and their children can get food shelter, clothing, medicine and possibly a bit of education.
But there is little political will to do this properly.

Which is why the best for of development aid is remittances from migrants working in the developed world.
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Old 8th March 2019, 12:39 AM   #211
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
There is an argument in moral philosophy, that sets out a scenario that I am out walking in an expensive pair of shoes and I see a child drowning, but in order to save him I will ruin my expensive shoes. The argument goes that I would not hesitate to sacrifice those shoes in order to save the child, so I am being inconsistent if I would not forgo buying the shoes in the first place in order to send the money overseas to save the life of a child.

My first reaction to this is "Hey, he's right, next time I see a child drowning and I am wearing an expensive pair of shoes then I should just let the child drown, because I wouldn't sacrifice the shoes to save a child overseas so if I save this child I am being inconsistent and being inconsistent is wrong".

Yes, I know the philosophers in question have in mind that I fix the inconsistency problem by forgoing the shoes and sending the money overseas to save a child there.

But my way fixes the inconsistency problem just as well and also gets me the shoes.

And, yes, I am being facetious. The problem is not inconsistency. The problem is children (or anyone) dying when they could be saved.

But is it even inconsistent in the first place?

I would sacrifice the shoes to save the drowning child because a child dying right in front of me would make me feel absolutely terrible and I would feel terrible not saving him.

But, in common with pretty much every other human being, children dying far away has a lot less emotional impact on me. That is just they way we are built.

So I am being perfectly consistent if I would sacrifice the shoes to save the child in front of my eyes but not the child overseas, because the reason I make the sacrifice is the emotional impact and I am proportioning the sacrifice I would make to that emotional impact of the death on me.

In fact I would be inconsistent if I were to make a greater sacrifice proportional to the emotional impact for the child overseas.

And, again, if inconsistency is the problem we are trying to address (rather than children dying needlessly) then I should continue to consistently apportion my sacrifice to the emotional impact of the death on me.

I guess the philosophers in question might say that I ought to feel as strongly about deaths far away as I do about deaths right in front of me.

But then that would entail moral realism, and I suspect philosophers who make this argument are attempting to get the moral realist results out of a Naturalist outlook.
The difference I think, is that with the drowning child one can act immediately and independently. Whereas contributing money to a cause so as to alleviate suffering “far away”, does not have the same immediate urgency or allow for independent action.
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