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OfflineCepheus
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Responsibility and morality
    #8800751 - 08/20/08 02:02 PM (10 years, 2 months ago)

To what degree are we morally responsible for others around us?

Every time I see a homeless dude trying to sell his stack of big issues I feel morally obliged to help in some manner, but then on the other hand the guys own actions have resulted in him being homeless, so why should I help?

Where do we draw the lines? what drives us to conform to these moral standards to begin with? Have morals evolved as a consequence of the civilisation of the human race, or is it some kind of primal instinct?

Just trying to invoke some intelligent discussion and some actual thought.

:smile:


--------------------
"I only ever hope to reach equilibrium, in Nature's matrix, in line with the meridian" ~ Jehst

:sun: "...and I know that I have to keep breathing, as tomorrow the sun will rise, who knows what the tide will bring?" :sun:

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InvisibleCherryBomM
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Re: Responsibility and morality [Re: Cepheus]
    #8800820 - 08/20/08 02:21 PM (10 years, 2 months ago)

I was downtown last night and I walked past a homeless guy having a conversation with a chef taking a smoke break.  The homeless guy was telling the chef all his problems, why he ended up homeless, his ex-wife took all his money and his kids, etc...  The chef was just standing there smiling and nodding and smoking his ciggarette.

I couldn't help applaud the chef for his patience.  I don't mind having any kind of conversation with any kind of person, but I have zero interest in listening to someone tell me all about thier problems without so much as a 'how are you today?' 

I'm a bartender.  I listen to A LOT of peoples problems.  human beings love to get drunk and open up to the person who opens up their beers.  I probably couldn't care less about the personal problems of a stranger on the street, I only slightly care about the problems of regular customers who tell me thier life stories.  I remain detached on purpose to protect myself from becoming emotionally attached.  I have MY OWN issues, personal and otherwise, to deal with.

I work with a girl who is 22 years old and has 2 kids and a deadbeat baby daddy.  I am absolutly sick and tired of hearing about her problems, emotionally, financially whatever.  Some people are extremely self centered.  Everyone on this planet has issues, has problems.  That is pretty much why we are here.  To work them out. 

So to what degree are we morally responsible for the people around us?  Well I guess that depends who the people are.  Friends and family?  Co-workers, aquantinces?  The cashier at the grocery store?  The homeless guy camped out behind your restaurant?

I humor many people over the course of a day.  I don't let thier problems become my responsibility...but I am usually willing to listen.  Not always though.  I know this guy who comes to the bar and drinks like 14 beers and talks about his ex-wife using terms like 'bitch' and 'cunt' and then he slides me his number and tells me to call him sometime.  :rolleyes:

Those kind of people...I have zero sympathy for.


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Offlinecircularvortex
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Re: Responsibility and morality [Re: Cepheus]
    #8800826 - 08/20/08 02:23 PM (10 years, 2 months ago)

If electricity comes from electrons...

does morality come from morons?


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No statements made in any post or message by myself should be construed to mean that I am now, or have ever been, participating in or considering participation in any activities in violation of any local, state, federal, or fashion police laws. All posts are works of fiction.

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Re: Responsibility and morality [Re: Cepheus]
    #8800863 - 08/20/08 02:34 PM (10 years, 2 months ago)

It's my belief that you are responsible for no one but yourself and your actions.

This doesn't mean that you should go around treating people like shit, because that would not be taking responsibility for yourself.

Likewise, it doesn't mean you should never show acts of compassion for those in need either. It just means it is not your responsibility to take care of every underprivileged person you see. If you feel like you want to help and can afford it, do so. If you don't or can't I won't judge you as any less.


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OfflineCepheus
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Re: Responsibility and morality [Re: CherryBom]
    #8800888 - 08/20/08 02:37 PM (10 years, 2 months ago)

Most people I've met so far in the world have all been decent people at heart, I believe that everyone is inherently good and that as a result of social conditioning people act the way they do.

As a bartender, I guess its part of your job description to socialize with the customers... Hospitality is a moral value that seems to be in decline and I imagine having a stranger to pour their hearts out to really does help in a lot of circumstances... Everyone has problems, but only a few people will listen to what others have to say.

We're social beings; if everyone around us is unhappy, then we ourselves become unhappy... Compassion is in my opinion a key moral value that people should display. We shouldn't let our own problems get in the way of happiness.


--------------------
"I only ever hope to reach equilibrium, in Nature's matrix, in line with the meridian" ~ Jehst

:sun: "...and I know that I have to keep breathing, as tomorrow the sun will rise, who knows what the tide will bring?" :sun:

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OfflineCepheus
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Re: Responsibility and morality [Re: Redstorm]
    #8800932 - 08/20/08 02:49 PM (10 years, 2 months ago)

Individualism then? You don't care because it has no significant effect on your life?

Why do we not have a sense of community any more? and why is it really difficult to spark up a meaningful conversation with complete strangers (unless both parties are inebriated)?

I think that if we are able to help (i.e. it doesn't jeopardize your own situation) then we should help.


--------------------
"I only ever hope to reach equilibrium, in Nature's matrix, in line with the meridian" ~ Jehst

:sun: "...and I know that I have to keep breathing, as tomorrow the sun will rise, who knows what the tide will bring?" :sun:

Free Spore Ring Europe
Send any spare spore prints you might have and help the distribution :grin:

Open Source. Freedom.  GNU/Linux

Addicting is not a word.


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InvisibleaDoS
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Re: Responsibility and morality [Re: Cepheus]
    #8800945 - 08/20/08 02:53 PM (10 years, 2 months ago)

I look out for myself. If I didn't screw someone over, I do not feel obligated to help them in anyway. Especially if they are not family or close friends. I really wouldn't care if they were dead or not.

The family I help out is limited too, I really don't give a shit about distant relatives.

I am pretty much selfish and I look out for myself.


--------------------
"If we could sniff or swallow something that would, for five or six hours each day, abolish our solitude as individuals, atone us with our fellows in a glowing exaltation of affection and make life in all its aspects seem not only worth living, but divinely beautiful and significant, and if this heavenly, world-transfiguring drug were of such a kind that we could wake up next morning with a clear head and an undamaged constitution - then, it seems to me, all our problems (and not merely the one small problem of discovering a novel pleasure) would be wholly solved and earth would become paradise." - Aldous Huxley
:drooling:GIVE ME OPIATES OR GIVE ME DEATH:drooling:


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OfflineCepheus
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Re: Responsibility and morality [Re: aDoS]
    #8800953 - 08/20/08 02:56 PM (10 years, 2 months ago)

What motivates your selfish attitude?


--------------------
"I only ever hope to reach equilibrium, in Nature's matrix, in line with the meridian" ~ Jehst

:sun: "...and I know that I have to keep breathing, as tomorrow the sun will rise, who knows what the tide will bring?" :sun:

Free Spore Ring Europe
Send any spare spore prints you might have and help the distribution :grin:

Open Source. Freedom.  GNU/Linux

Addicting is not a word.


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Re: Responsibility and morality [Re: Cepheus]
    #8800961 - 08/20/08 02:59 PM (10 years, 2 months ago)

Pleasure I guess, helping others takes away from me...I don't really know though. I really don't like all that many people, so it makes it easier to not give a shit about them.


--------------------
"If we could sniff or swallow something that would, for five or six hours each day, abolish our solitude as individuals, atone us with our fellows in a glowing exaltation of affection and make life in all its aspects seem not only worth living, but divinely beautiful and significant, and if this heavenly, world-transfiguring drug were of such a kind that we could wake up next morning with a clear head and an undamaged constitution - then, it seems to me, all our problems (and not merely the one small problem of discovering a novel pleasure) would be wholly solved and earth would become paradise." - Aldous Huxley
:drooling:GIVE ME OPIATES OR GIVE ME DEATH:drooling:


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OfflineRedstorm
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Re: Responsibility and morality [Re: Cepheus]
    #8800968 - 08/20/08 03:01 PM (10 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

Cepheus said:
Individualism then? You don't care because it has no significant effect on your life?

Why do we not have a sense of community any more? and why is it really difficult to spark up a meaningful conversation with complete strangers (unless both parties are inebriated)?

I think that if we are able to help (i.e. it doesn't jeopardize your own situation) then we should help.




That's not what I meant. I apologize it I didn't make myself clear.

It's not that I don't believe that community or helping others is important, it's just that not everyone can afford to support random strangers. In my opinion, it is one's moral responsibility:

1) take care of ones self. If you can not take care of yourself and be responsible for and happy with who you are, you are not in a position to help anyone else.

2.) take care of those you love and care for. Depending on the person, this could be friends, family, or a significant other.

3.) if you have the ability to help others at this point, the is the priority I would give strangers. I put them this far down the priority scale because you don't know their background or why they're asking you for help.

It must be noted that there are many ways to help people, most of which do not involve a transfer of material possessions. Helping someone can also be as simple as listening o them when they need someone to talk to. Also,  you can help many people by volunteering at homeless shelters or soup kitchens without spending a dime of your own money.

I try to do all I can to help, even with my limited financial situation, but I do not fault anyone who takes care of themselves and their friends and family first. If everyone took care of their friends and family, there would be barely any strangers for anyone else to take care of.


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OfflineCepheus
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Re: Responsibility and morality [Re: aDoS]
    #8800993 - 08/20/08 03:08 PM (10 years, 2 months ago)

What don't you like about other people? All of us people on this board are completely random people. We could pass each other everyday on the street and we'd never know.

Some of the most pleasurable experiences known to man require other people... Shit, have you ever chilled with 100s of like minded individuals? The feeling of energy, acceptance and understanding is completely overwhelming (particularly if you're all on mind bending drugs :laugh:).

I think people are selfish because its easier... its a safer position; if you don't interact with any body then no-ones going to make you feel bad... but I think most people have an over inflated sense of self worth, which degrades interactions... If everyone was who they really are around other people, then its my opinion that selfishness wouldn't be so common. This is why the internet is so popular; people can be who they really are and say what they really think without any of the social ramifications that would reciprocate from the situation in real life.


--------------------
"I only ever hope to reach equilibrium, in Nature's matrix, in line with the meridian" ~ Jehst

:sun: "...and I know that I have to keep breathing, as tomorrow the sun will rise, who knows what the tide will bring?" :sun:

Free Spore Ring Europe
Send any spare spore prints you might have and help the distribution :grin:

Open Source. Freedom.  GNU/Linux

Addicting is not a word.


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InvisibleCameron
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Re: Responsibility and morality [Re: Cepheus]
    #8800996 - 08/20/08 03:09 PM (10 years, 2 months ago)

Making other people feel good makes me happy. :shrug:
As far as homeless people go, I refuse to give them change because I'm afraid it will fuel their drug addictions. I do offer them food or a drink on occasion if I'm in a good move or under the influence.
I try to be genuinely compassionate, but I'm still pretty selfish most of the time.


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OfflineCepheus
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Re: Responsibility and morality [Re: Redstorm]
    #8801015 - 08/20/08 03:17 PM (10 years, 2 months ago)

Indeed. Actions are worth much more than money.

I agree with all the points raised and I try to live the same way.

Being responsible for yourself is of utmost priority... If you're not happy with who you are and what you do, how can you possibly begin to help other people?

"You must be the change you want to see in the world".
 
"Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony".

"You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty".
   
  -Mahatma Gandhi

(someone else has always said it better :grin:).


--------------------
"I only ever hope to reach equilibrium, in Nature's matrix, in line with the meridian" ~ Jehst

:sun: "...and I know that I have to keep breathing, as tomorrow the sun will rise, who knows what the tide will bring?" :sun:

Free Spore Ring Europe
Send any spare spore prints you might have and help the distribution :grin:

Open Source. Freedom.  GNU/Linux

Addicting is not a word.


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OfflineCepheus
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Re: Responsibility and morality [Re: Cameron]
    #8801033 - 08/20/08 03:20 PM (10 years, 2 months ago)

That dichotomy also plagues me :frown:. I've often contemplated smoking a homeless dude out. I randomly smoked out 2 Czech Republic dudes the other day who were looking for some ganja :grin:.


--------------------
"I only ever hope to reach equilibrium, in Nature's matrix, in line with the meridian" ~ Jehst

:sun: "...and I know that I have to keep breathing, as tomorrow the sun will rise, who knows what the tide will bring?" :sun:

Free Spore Ring Europe
Send any spare spore prints you might have and help the distribution :grin:

Open Source. Freedom.  GNU/Linux

Addicting is not a word.


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Re: Responsibility and morality [Re: Cepheus]
    #8801044 - 08/20/08 03:25 PM (10 years, 2 months ago)

I am not responsible for anyone.  I am responsible to some people to lesser or greater degrees based on promises, commitments, etc.


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OfflineCepheus
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Re: Responsibility and morality [Re: silly_sigh_ben]
    #8801057 - 08/20/08 03:31 PM (10 years, 2 months ago)

Do you not feel compassion for other human beings, other than those you depend upon?


--------------------
"I only ever hope to reach equilibrium, in Nature's matrix, in line with the meridian" ~ Jehst

:sun: "...and I know that I have to keep breathing, as tomorrow the sun will rise, who knows what the tide will bring?" :sun:

Free Spore Ring Europe
Send any spare spore prints you might have and help the distribution :grin:

Open Source. Freedom.  GNU/Linux

Addicting is not a word.


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Re: Responsibility and morality [Re: Cepheus]
    #8801091 - 08/20/08 03:40 PM (10 years, 2 months ago)

I don't feel moraly obligated to help anyone if I don't feel like it.  When I help someone, it's because I want to.  If it's ever expected or unappreciated, I stop. 

Warren buffet can't afford to help everyone in need, either.


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Re: Responsibility and morality [Re: Cepheus]
    #8801117 - 08/20/08 03:48 PM (10 years, 2 months ago)

compassion has nothing to do with moral responsibility.  I am responsible to all people to some extent. I am responsible to the God of my understanding to a great extent.  I believe my God wants me to be compassionate toward others, and while I am extremely selfish I try to respect other people and to lend a hand often.  I donate over 10% of my annual income to charitable organizations because I believe it is the right thing to do.  Yet, I am responsible FOR no person.  How could I be responsible FOR another person?  I'm not God.  If a person does anything, I have no responsibility for that action.  If someone slits their wrists after I call them a mother fucking loser, I'm not responsible for their action.  I do not pretend to have that kind of power.


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Re: Responsibility and morality [Re: Cepheus]
    #8801118 - 08/20/08 03:49 PM (10 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

Cepheus said:
To what degree are we morally responsible for others around us?




Only to the degree that we choose to be.  If we let others impose moral responsibility onto us, it has ceased being moral and has become dogma.

That being said, I choose to be morally responsible for myself and those that I love.  Frankly, I could care less about anyone else.


--------------------
We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.


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Re: Responsibility and morality [Re: Cepheus]
    #8801132 - 08/20/08 03:53 PM (10 years, 2 months ago)

also, I don't "depend on" other people.  I trust that other people will be true to their word.  If they're not, I haven't lost a damned thing.  I go on and take care of myself.


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