What is your view on charity? | INFJ Forum

What is your view on charity?

Discussion in 'Philosophy and Religion' started by KingOfSpades, Mar 19, 2009.

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  1. KingOfSpades

    KingOfSpades Community Member

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    I have a weird view of charity, in that I don't think very highly of it.

    I think charity does a lot of bad in the world. By "bad," I mean the consequences often keep people in conditions of servitude or destitution, even when the intent is (allegedly) to better others.

    Some of the threads about the Pope and AIDS in Africa makes me wonder how much of all that is related. Seems like Europeans/Westerners have been trying to "save" Africa for a few hundred years now -- doesn't seem like much has been helped.

    I kind of take the view that charity begins at home....you help yourself first, then your family and loved ones, etc. I think too often it seems sexy to go off like a knight-errant to some random part of the world to help the natives, but that has more to do with the needs of the knight (feeling good, wanting to be needed, thinknig you are doing good in the world, etc) than the needs of anyone else.

    Is this overly cynical?
     
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  2. Creon

    Creon Community Member

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    Save them?? I'd rather say we were trying to destroy them. Blood diamonds, slaves...I could easily understand why we Europeans are considered monsters by some. Every state project targeted in helping third world countries, especialy African countries, usually has a very dark side and a cause for profit. Even today. Especially today.

    As far as civilian charities and NGO's go, as long as they are truly helping those people, I don't really care if their motives are selfish or fake. I take it that if someone saves lives or helps people in those countries, I couldn't care less if he fancies himself a hero. That is, of course, as long as he's not trying to make any profit from this. As for the Church, as long as it's helpful, then let them do as they please. When they become dysfuctional (like the condom case), then they should be stopped.

    When it comes to saving human lives, anything else is simply not important enough for me.
     
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    #2 Creon, Mar 19, 2009
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2009
  3. Shai Gar

    Shai Gar Guest

    Matthew 6
    1. Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven.
    2. “So whenever you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be praised by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward.
    3. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,
    4. so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

    If you're going to give charity, shut the fuck up about it and don't expect anything back.
     
  4. Nick Wolf

    Nick Wolf Regular Poster

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    I completely disagree, I believe that all charity is inherently selfish. People always get something back, whether it's an alleviation of guilt or a feeling of contentment.
     
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  5. Shai Gar

    Shai Gar Guest

    I get the feeling of contentment back on the odd decade I actually do something. But what I mean is not get tax back, or thanks, or anything where someone else knows you did something.
     
  6. OP
    KingOfSpades

    KingOfSpades Community Member

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    Yea I like this. Seems like a lot of charity is just about strokin' strokin' the ego. if you help others anonymously and without any expectation of result, maybe the effects work themselves out better.
     
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  7. Creon

    Creon Community Member

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    Who cares why you do it? The point is to actually do it. A little baby that dies from food deprivation doesn't care if the guy that gives just a small donation does so because he's a boastful idiot, or if he's indeed a white knight in a shining armour. Charity is about the person that receives aid, not about the person that gives it.
     
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    #7 Creon, Mar 19, 2009
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2009
    the likes this.
  8. OP
    KingOfSpades

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    Yea, that was my original point. The needs that people have, and which charity seeks to meet, have to be comprehended in a larger context. Why is the baby starving? I think maybe we live in a world where people like having starving children around so that they can feel good when they send money to feed them. So instead of asking why the baby is starving, we set up systems which allow for the do-gooders and the needy to meet up.

    That was my original question -- whether that beleif is cynical (I think it is unfortunately realistic, but maybe I could be persuaded).

    We are a smart species, we've been feeding ourselves for a long time. Even teh birds get the worms, the rat will find something. We are smarter than birds and rats. A lot of famines are politically induced, and are not natural. I think a lot of charity is set up to make people falsley believe they are doing "good" in the world when they may simply be perpetuating this type of relationship between the rich but emotionally starved, and the global poor.
     
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  9. the

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    My view of charity: help people around me. When they are all helped I can be a philanthropist and save 3rd world countries. It irritates me when people want to send money off to other countries when they wont help the person next door.

    This is not directed at anyone here, but if it applies to you - so be it.
     
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  10. acd

    acd Well-known member

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    What if you are only acting charitable when you are completely oblivious as to what extent you are helping? What if in order to be charitable, you need to be totally unconscious of your own do-gooding. How do you accidentally do good, though..
     
  11. mayflow

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    I change the quote slightly. Like it?
     
  12. acd

    acd Well-known member

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    I do like it, actually. It's what I was saying without saying it. haha. Thanks for clarifying.
     
  13. slant

    slant Sedated slanty

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    It depends on the situation.
     
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  14. Faye

    Faye ^_^
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    Well, if you are going to help others, your needs have to be met to a certain degree already. Trust me. I don't see anything wrong with helping other people.

    Africa was depopulated by slavery and is plagued by war and droughts (and AIDS). Trying to help Africa is good, but it would take a monumental effort to change everything that has and is happening there.
     
  15. Flavus Aquila

    Flavus Aquila Finding My Place in the Sun
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    Familiarity breeds contempt.
     
  16. OP
    KingOfSpades

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    Actually what inspired this thread was a job experience working at a very wealthy non profit a few years back, which was a mixed experience, but I really got the impression that the non profit was not at all concerned with actual, systemic change. So, when I would point out something that we could do which woudl have a systemic impact -- or even when I would do things that did in fact, have a systemic impact -- I was scolded down. The non profit in question also hosted these very lavish dinners where they would give out awards to random celebrities (mostly B list, but an occassional A lister would show up). So it also seemed like a vehicle to hobnob with hollywood types.

    Maybe I shouldn't let that experience cloud my judgment too much. Still, though, 200 years ago the cause de jure was Christianizing Africa (for their own benefit, of course); now you have all these NGOs going in to allegedly teach people how to farm or run businesses as if they were idiots. Just seems maybe more harm than good gets accomplished. The whole idea of the "White Man's Burden" (the Kipling poem), seems ever present.

    I have mixed feelings about the Peace Corps for this reason as well -- potential cultural imperialsim, maybe??

    By the way, this thread was not motivated in any way by the condom distribution idea, I think that's a great idea. I just read those, then thought back to my own experiences, and wrote the thread.
     
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  17. IndigoSensor

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    I think charity is a wonderful thing. It has helped make many great things in this world. I have a problem with it though when I feel obligated to do charity. One reasons why I do not like high schools at all that force students to preform comunity service in order to graduate. Charity is to come from the heart, not to be directed.

    And now I must post this :tongue1:
    [YOUTUBE]oB0DZTlL9fw[/YOUTUBE]
     
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  18. texasgirl

    texasgirl Newbie

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    I believe that charity is good and I am all for it. However, people shouldn't be obligated to help if they don't want. My biggest problem with it is when people worry about the starving people in Africa when there are people in our own countries that are starving and uneducated as well. I, however, do want to go over to Africa in the peace corps, so I'm kind of a hypocrite. But charities in general (from helping people in africa to donating to salvation army) I think shouldn't be any type of required thing such as in schools and it should be coming from the heart.
     
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  19. IndigoSensor

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    Do I hear an echo? Lol if you didn't notice my post :tongue1:
     
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  20. the

    the Si master race.
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    It is also mysterious, exciting, and an adventure to go be a do-gooder in other countries. If you do it here people just say "Dont waste your time". If you do it outside the country you get introducd at parties as The Person Who Went to Help the Poor Starving in Africa. It is like a merit badge or something.
     
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