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Why do people give? (Tsunami related)

Old 01-07-05, 09:21 AM
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Why do people give? (Tsunami related)

Now I am of the opinion that most people give because it makes THEM feel good, not because they wear compassion on their sleeve and that unless you bombard people over and over with images that stick misery right in their face, they really don't give a hoot about the plight of the poor, the victims of tragedies, or the living conditions in third world countries. They see the images, they start feeling guilty, they give, they feel good about it, the images wane, they bury their new found compassion deep into the bottom drawer until the media broadcasts the next tragedy.

Of course I'm not trying to minimize the importance and the horror of this tragedy. Nor am I saying that giving is
bad. Just that the human race (well the well-off) aren't compassionate by nature. You almost have to beat the compassion out of them.

Of course when I posted this on another forum I immediately got blasted right and left by all the "compassionate givers". So I'm curious to hear what you guys think, or maybe I'm just a sucker for punishment.

Last edited by eXcentris; 01-07-05 at 09:24 AM.
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Old 01-07-05, 09:22 AM
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Old 01-07-05, 09:23 AM
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I think it's true people do sometimes give because it makes them feel good. And while that is not really noble, we live in the real world and very often people are motivated by self-fulfillment and at least they gave something.
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Old 01-07-05, 09:25 AM
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I give because I know that if something happened where I live, other people like me would give. What goes around comes around.
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Old 01-07-05, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Brain Stew
I think it's true people do sometimes give because it makes them feel good. And while that is not really noble, we live in the real world and very often people are motivated by self-fulfillment and at least they gave something.

I agree. It's certainly better than nothing but it's also a little sad.
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Old 01-07-05, 09:26 AM
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While I disagree with your "the well-off aren't compassionate" comment, I think people simply give out of their goodness.
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Old 01-07-05, 09:38 AM
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Old 01-07-05, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by eXcentris
Just that the human race (well the well-off) aren't compassionate by nature. You almost have to beat the compassion out of them.
I dont know if I necessarily believe this to be true, or at least dont want to anyways. I'm certainly far from well off, but I do have more than some, especially the people affected by the Tsunami, so I give because I think its the right thing to do and I think I am a comapassionate person, and a by- product of that is it does make me feel good. I think people are compassionate by nature, but down, the line people become jaded and uncompassionate through years of conditioning.
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Old 01-07-05, 09:46 AM
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And the king will say to them in reply, 'Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.'
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Old 01-07-05, 09:47 AM
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Hmmm. You are probably right...the whole "Save the Children" crap is rooted in guilt and images of dirty, starving children.

Every year I give to the SCPA and the no-kill shelter where I adopted my dog. I give because I hope that maybe that money will be used to help save at least one more puppy and give him the chance for a good home. I haven't given to the tsunami disaster though. I guess I feel more sorry for animals than for people.
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Old 01-07-05, 09:52 AM
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Just that the human race (well the well-off) aren't compassionate by nature. You almost have to beat the compassion out of them.
Which fully explains why you are liberal and have the other [mixed up IMHO ] views you have Personally I think that while there are certainly some who are selfish/non-compassionate there are many who are not, and it is certainly not limited to just a certain class of people. You can be poor and just as selfish as a rich person.
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Old 01-07-05, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by eXcentris
Just that the human race (well the well-off) aren't compassionate by nature. You almost have to beat the compassion out of them.
True, so true. If only that great humanitarian Yassir Arafat were still alive... he'd really show the world what philanthropy is all about.
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Old 01-07-05, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by nemein
Which fully explains why you are liberal and have the other [mixed up IMHO ] views you have Personally I think that while there are certainly some who are selfish/non-compassionate there are many who are not, and it is certainly not limited to just a certain class of people. You can be poor and just as selfish as a rich person.
That's beside the point. Change "the well-off" with "people in developed nations" if you like.
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Old 01-07-05, 10:03 AM
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Let's see, no images just this headline: "Tsunami kills 150,000 in Asia". How much compassion would you get? suziq999 is right, compassion is rooted in guilt. No images of starving Africans with flies on their face, no money. No Jerry Lewis telethon with kids in wheelchairs on display in the front row, no money.
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Old 01-07-05, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by eXcentris
Now I am of the opinion that most people give because it makes THEM feel good, not because they wear compassion on their sleeve and that unless you bombard people over and over with images that stick misery right in their face, they really don't give a hoot about the plight of the poor, the victims of tragedies, or the living conditions in third world countries. They see the images, they start feeling guilty, they give, they feel good about it, the images wane, they bury their new found compassion deep into the bottom drawer until the media broadcasts the next tragedy.

Of course I'm not trying to minimize the importance and the horror of this tragedy. Nor am I saying that giving is
bad. Just that the human race (well the well-off) aren't compassionate by nature. You almost have to beat the compassion out of them.

Of course when I posted this on another forum I immediately got blasted right and left by all the "compassionate givers". So I'm curious to hear what you guys think, or maybe I'm just a sucker for punishment.
Even if your right, consider it like the pain reflex. We only feel pain to force our bodies to pull away from the damaging (and pain inducing) event.

Maybe the only way for the human species to survive with such piss poor natural defences was the development of a positive internal response to helping those of our species who are suffering.

You may consider it selfish, you also could consider it a key tool for human survival.

Hey, you dont get pissed at the wildabeasts whose natural response is to let the injured member of the heard fall behind to get eaten by the lion, why would you criticize humans for the OPPOSITE behavior.
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Old 01-07-05, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by eXcentris
That's beside the point. Change "the well-off" with "people in developed nations" if you like.
Those who control the means of production and power, rarely are willing to part with them.



Just kidding!
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Old 01-07-05, 10:12 AM
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Old 01-07-05, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Tommy Ceez

Maybe the only way for the human species to survive with such piss poor natural defences was the invention of television to make us aware of those of our species who are suffering.
Fixed.

Hey, you dont get pissed at the wildabeasts whose natural response is to let the injured member of the heard fall behind to get eaten by the lion, why would you criticize humans for the OPPOSITE behavior.
Because we're humans and not animals and because compassion should be the norm rather than the exception.
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Old 01-07-05, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by eXcentris

Because we're humans and not animals and because compassion should be the norm rather than the exception.
Says who?

I believe compassion SHOULD exist in wildabeasts too.

What I'm saying is that by providing a positive internal response, nature has created a desire to help where passion might not exist.

Last edited by Tommy Ceez; 01-07-05 at 10:24 AM.
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Old 01-07-05, 10:40 AM
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Says human decency. Your wildebeast analogy is just silly.

And my joke above was also trying to make a point. Using your "internal response mechanism" argument, how was that desire to help triggered before the invention of television?

But if you are saying that humans are not compassionate by nature and that they need to be conditionned to be, then I agree with you.
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Old 01-07-05, 10:41 AM
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Giving definately makes me feel good. However, I have found that keeping the money and buying some crap for myself makes me feel even better. Yet, I continue to give. So there must be more to it than "doing it for myself".

I think humans a far more decent than most people do, however.
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Old 01-07-05, 10:46 AM
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Another question would be: Is it truely an altruistic gesture based on compassion if you can afford the $50 you give? I wonder how many people would sell a bunch of their DVD's and give away the proceeds.
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Old 01-07-05, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by eXcentris
Another question would be: Is it truely an altruistic gesture based on compassion if you can afford the $50 you give? I wonder how many people would sell a bunch of their DVD's and give away the proceeds.
I think many would (especially dvds, since we probably have hundreds we don't watch). I have given before with money that was earmarked for something else I wanted. I generally decide that they (whatever it is) probably needs it more than I need a new whatever.

But, I would say it is always altruistic. Even if I can afford $50 and never notice it is gone, I could always buy something selfishly rather than give it away. This does not apply to Vegas, because I can just give it away to them on occasion.
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Old 01-07-05, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by eXcentris
Using your "internal response mechanism" argument, how was that desire to help triggered before the invention of television?
By seeing suffering with your own eyes, or through testimonials, or through newspaper reports, or in church sermons, or by charitable orginizations pounding the pavement...if not around the world, then in your community
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Old 01-07-05, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by eXcentris
So I'm curious to hear what you guys think, or maybe I'm just a sucker for punishment.
People are FOLLOWERS, not leaders. They will go with whatever is the common opinion at the time, and will rarely go against the majority. Once the news got a hold of the story, the donations just snow-balled from there.

It would be nice if we could raise this kind of money for the homeless families within US borders, but of course, their tragedy is not priority, and never will be, because the media won't report it as important, and therefore Americans won't think it is important.

Once again, the corporate media dictate to Americans what is priority and where they should spend their money.

Btw, the numbers of homeless are around 3 million people.
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