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Old 25 Feb 2012, 02:30 PM   #333858 / #1
justme
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Default How far should we take compassion

What is more important in being a compassionate person. Is it the way you see yourself or the way you see others around you. I know that everybody needs to provide for themselves, as much as possible, but what should we not do what we can for our fellow man. Should we only be helping those that are actively helping themselves, or should we invest our time and resources even to those who have all but gave up on themselves?

Should our compassion be based on the rate of progress anyone we try to help makes in becoming sufficiently able to provide for themselves, or should we, at some time step away and let a person, who seemingly is stalled out in life continue down the path they've chosen?

How far should we go to reach out to even the most self destructive of those in our society.

Is it compassion or stupidity to physically reaching out to these people, even placing ourselves and our security in jeopardy, to help those that are down and out? By jeopardy, I mean going down in rough neighborhoods to fix up houses for the needy,
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Old 25 Feb 2012, 02:59 PM   #333878 / #2
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It depends on the person. I had to step away from an alcoholic and let him sink. I was keeping him afloat, and destroying myself in the process. Not only that, my keeping him afloat enabled him to continue to be a drunk.

As to the rest, I generally try to help people. It isn't because of how I view myself, or how I want society to see me. I can't eat if I know someone else down the street is doing without.

I think it is human to go into a bad neighborhood and help out. I don't think it is stupid. I believe altruism is crucial in helping our species to survive.
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Old 25 Feb 2012, 06:31 PM   #333970 / #3
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the state should provide a basic safety net for all citizens without judging them
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Old 25 Feb 2012, 08:11 PM   #334004 / #4
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The difficult balance is helping those who need help without propping up those who simply expect and demand help.

The main criteria for helping is to identify first that help is genuinely needed. Then ensuring an unnecessary dependency isn't created and try to maximise and encourage independence where possible.

Creating dependency is very easy sometimes, one of my favourite sayings which comes to mind is...

"A friend in need will remember you...the next time they're in need"

I have a relative who has made many bad choices in life ranging from theft, extensive and habitual recreational drug/alcohol use, extreme violence and running up debts with no intention of paying them back. He exploits anyone he can whether strangers, friends or family. His parents continue to bail him out every time and, for as long as they continue to do so, he'll continue to rely on them to tidy up his mess. We've tried to support him to change and improve his chances in life but there's no incentive for him so we've withdrawn our support.

It can be hard to provide someone with the help they need but often harder to withhold the help they want. What Beth describes must have been painfully hard to do but worthy of great respect for being able to look at what was better in the longer term.

In some cases rock bottom ends up being the only viable starting point for an effective intervention.

The only thing that would ever worry me in anyone was if the desire to help others was completely absent as, in reality, we're all relying on each other at some point in our lives...
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Old 25 Feb 2012, 10:30 PM   #334041 / #5
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Compassion is not charity, it is non-judgemental acceptance of the intrinsic value of life. Being compassionate to a murderer does not mean letting them roam free. It means treating them as a human with intrinsic value and accepting the states of affairs as they are and still protecting society. It means not hating and not torturing. It means acknowledging the legitimacy of a point of veiw as a point of veiw rather than as a metric to judge others.
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Old 27 Feb 2012, 09:02 PM   #334918 / #6
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However, I believe that a sort of syrupy compassion that prevails within some do-gooding types is worse than honest to goodness outright smash the buggers hate. As witness the well known picture of the Sacred Heart exuding syrup that many of us had hung in the kitchen!
actually I believe christ deserved better!
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Old 27 Feb 2012, 09:17 PM   #334928 / #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rie View Post
However, I believe that a sort of syrupy compassion that prevails within some do-gooding types is worse than honest to goodness outright smash the buggers hate. As witness the well known picture of the Sacred Heart exuding syrup that many of us had hung in the kitchen!
actually I believe christ deserved better!
can you give an example?
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Old 22 Apr 2012, 06:42 PM   #357483 / #8
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There is a natural limit I think to any quality one might dispense, though most of us are never in the neighborhood of that limitation to compassion. Compassion/care I would say is true love, is perfect sympathy, it arises when one can see in another, a common self, a self which is as vulnerable, is capable of suffering , it is an expanded concept of oneself really. I very much believe I see this other self not just in humans, but also in other creatures---which makes intentional cruelty utterly impossible for me.
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Old 26 Apr 2012, 01:51 PM   #359024 / #9
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I think that culture is too focused on material compassion, and material cybernetics. But one of the better ways to fight suffering is rationality (applied to morally relevant values like well being rather than merely truth values), for isn't reason an adaptation functioning in part along those lines? The government might provide a material safety net, but did it, or business do enough to encourage the right mental attitude and skills in the first place?
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Old 26 Apr 2012, 03:38 PM   #359043 / #10
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I have had masses of welfare money. It all could have been averted by teaching me a proper work ethic and social responsibility, or by leaflets constructively answering "why work?" questions at the job centre. Instead I was brought up on a recipe of rock and roll, rebellion and dropping out. Social and Personal Education at school was a total joke. The teacher sat round, did nothing and just let us gossip. The welfare problem is like the aid problem, it is not solved by simply throwing money at people.
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