Posted on July 1st, 2012
Donating stuff to the poor is not in and of itself a good deed. Caring about other people is the good deed, and so giving something to someone else because you care is a good deed. If you don’t have anything to donate, you can still care just as much. (Similarly, if you donate a billion dollars with contempt, you haven’t done anything good. Abu, the monkey in Disney’s Aladdin, gives a small loaf of bread to poor orphans out of shame. This is not a good deed. Of course, monkeys don’t have Free Will, so who cares.) You don’t need to be a billionaire to care, nor are billionaires capable of caring more just because they have more money.
So forcing other people to help each other, such as by taxing them and redistributing their money in the name of moral goodness, or just bothering them by showing them pictures of miserable poor people and asking for their money, does not equal a moral goodness in and of itself. In fact, you can never force someone else to do good. That misses the point of what it means to be good.
“A care with a prayer is worth more than a curse with a purse.”
Posted on under Philosophy.