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Giving Charity- Is there a moral obligation?

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I would say that we have a moral obligation to live our lives not merely for our own gratification and betterment but also, in part, in the service of others. That obligation doesn't necessarily have to manifest itself in the form of donating money, but giving money is definitely a good way to go about it.

I think my issue with the term as it applies to OP is that the implicit assumption is that the obligation Is universal due to it being driven by morality.

In a legal sense moral obligation is used to denote the basis for the law- I.e one is morally obligated to perform X deed. However when we pose a question to a diverse group, each with different codes of ethics, it's more appropriate to leave morality out of the question, because it implies a universal code of ethics. The more appropriate question is.. do you feel that you have obligation to contribute to charity? Thereby placing emphasis on the decision of the individual not the morality of the deed.

A separate question is whether giving to charity is good or evil. Once agreed upon the discussion of obligation based on the outcome can be had. But as dyz pointed out is not always a black and white situation. You'd be hard pressed to find universal moral

Consensus for colonialism.

This exchange is close to the heart of what I was originally thinking when I made this thread.

I agree with rp that I should have asked "Do you feel a moral obligation to give charity?" rather than simply asking if that obligation existed.

As far as moral obligation to serve others (as LS mentioned), I would agree if that statement were amended to read "A moral obligation to serve others voluntarily".

I don't think that anyone should have a right to force or impose service to others on another but I do believe that we should always try to make that choice on our own because it is the correct one. Further, I strongly believe, based on my own experiences, that the giver benefits at least as much (but probably much more in the long run) than the receipient.

As far as how giving to charity could be considered evil, I would need to hear more about how that could ever be possible, assuming of course that the giving was voluntary.

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Free blacks were counted as one and slaves were counted as 3/5 which makes them all citizens.

ah, no.

The United States Supreme Court decided 7–2 against Scott, finding that neither he nor any other person of African ancestry could claim citizenship in the United States, and therefore Scott could not bring suit in federal court under diversity of citizenship rules.

this ruling was later nullified by the Emancipation Proclamation and the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments.

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ah, no.

The United States Supreme Court decided 7–2 against Scott, finding that neither he nor any other person of African ancestry could claim citizenship in the United States, and therefore Scott could not bring suit in federal court under diversity of citizenship rules.

this ruling was later nullified by the Emancipation Proclamation and the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments.

Note that my initial statement on the subject was that "blacks were counted as citizens for the purposes of appropriating representatives to the state". If we are keeping within the context of that statement for this argument then my statement stands. If you want to argue a strawman then go ahead.

Also note that the Dred Scott decision did not happen until 1857.

And yes I agree that they did not enjoy "full participatory citizenship" at that time but then neither did white women or for a time white men who weren't landowners.

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Note that my initial statement on the subject was that "blacks were counted as citizens for the purposes of appropriating representatives to the state". If we are keeping within the context of that statement for this argument then my statement stands. If you want to argue a strawman then go ahead.

Also note that the Dred Scott decision did not happen until 1857.

ok, then they weren't "counted as citizens" - they were counted and the resulting number was used for appropriating representatives.

not arguing any straw-man, you said "....which makes them all citizens", pretty direct statement you made. pretty hard to misinterpret that.

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not arguing any straw-man, you said "....which makes them all citizens", pretty direct statement you made. pretty hard to misinterpret that.

Link to that statement you quoted please. Never mind I found it. It was said in the context of counting black people for apportioning representatives so yeah, you are arguing a strawman. And this whole argument is only because someone didn't like me calling them "African-Americans". I was only trying to defend the moniker. I never stated that they were full citizens or enjoyed all the same civil rights that a white man did. But then neither did women and we certainly called them citizens.

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lol, unreal. I have never seen a person that couldn't say "I was wrong". I have now.

no matter how you want to dice it you said they were citizens and they certainly were not. not even close. and lol at me arguing anything (straw-man or otherwise) - I'm stating a fact.

No matter what I said, you want to take it out of context.

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whenever youre at like a walgreens or something and they ask you if you'd like to donate a dollar to childrens cancer research or anything like that, i feel completely put on the spot (especially if there are other people in line) so i always end up giving a dollar (i probably would give a dollar anyways, but like, let me make the decision, dont ask me and try and make me look like a cheap ass in front of everyone if i decide "not this time")
"I hate kids, particularly sick ones."
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you said that slaves were citizens. that was the only thing I commented about. the context is not relevant. slaves were never citizens until they ceased being slaves.

I said slaves were citizens for the purposes of apportionment. That was the context of the argument so I saw no need to write "for the purposes of apportionment" after the first time. You can argue with someone else over whether slaves were full citizens with all the civil rights that a white, property owning male had at the time.

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I give to 4 charities, they all get the same amount and it all come out of my bank account on the first of every month. I don't give to anyone else, especially when fund raisers shake the bucket in front of my face. I feel like punching them in the face and then donating some money towards a plaster.

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I feel I have a moral obligation to help those I care about in need if I'm able. I don't feel I have a right to force someone else to do the same. I also don't feel a moral obligation to help random somebody I care or know nothing about.

I've become skeptical of the business of charity. I don't like to give to massive, commercialized charities because I think most of my donation would go to "operating costs".

So cliffs. I'm morally obligated to help when I can if I have an emotional stake. I feel it's a personal morality though, not a societal one.

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I've become skeptical of the business of charity. I don't like to give to massive, commercialized charities because I think most of my donation would go to "operating costs".

Agree 100%. My community has many small and local charities so I never gave much to the big commercialized ones, but I used to give to a few. I stopped a long time ago for this exact reason.

I have moved in the complete opposite direction and I try to significant help out when I hear about certain specific cases that I know are both legitimate and extremely serious.

Helping out in a situation of extreme personal need when you know of the issues first hand is one of the most rewarding things I ever do. You truly feel like you are making a positive difference in someone's life. Nothing like it imo.....

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Federal and state gov'ts do such a wonderful job of doling out my money to worthy causes, that I feel a moral obligation to take what's left and support my family.

Lol. This is kinda the point. Seems to me that OT is split on whether or not they are obligated to give charity THEMSELVES. I wonder which side OT falls when it comes to their money being taken by central planners to dole out how they see fit.

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Article from the front page of Pocket Fives. Don't know anything about this guy, but applaud him for trying to make his life more meaningful.

http://www.pocketfives.com/articles/2011-wsop-november-niner-sam-holden-semi-retires-poker-589413/

Holden said that he was inspired in recent years by Phil Gruissem, who introduced him to "effective altruism." Holden explains the concept as "a structured process of earning as much as you can in a money-making career to then donating a significant proportion to charity."

He said that while he was proud of some donations he was able to make, he ultimately felt he could "make a bigger impact in another career."

Link to the wiki for effective altruism: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Effective_altruism

Effective altruism is a philosophy and social movement[1] which applies evidence and reason to working out the most effective ways to improve the world. Many effective altruists believe that certain acts of altruism are morally required. Effective altruists consider all causes and actions, and then act in the way that brings about the greatest positive impact.[2][3] It is this broad evidence-based approach that distinguishes effective altruism from traditional altruism or charity. Effective altruism sometimes involves taking actions that are less intuitive or emotionally salient.

To be clear, there is much that I disagree with about this philosophy, but I think that it is a very interesting philosophy to at least discuss and debate.

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A few weeks ago I was walking down the street with Grammamoneybags, my new roommate. I rarely give money to the homeless/poor. But this time, a woman asked me for money as me and GMB were walking to ride go-karts. She said she needed 10 pesos (<$1) to feed her kids. They were there with her.

I rarely give money to the homeless. Very rarely. But this time, with GMB looking at me, and her kids looking at me, I said sure, let's go get some tacos. So I bought all 3 of them lunch.

If I hadn't bought them food, and used that money to ride go-karts - the quintessential example of disposable income - I would have felt guilty. It would have been wrong. I mean, that's truly immoral I think.

We rode go-karts after the poor ate tacos. And I threw that money away, with good conscience, because there weren't poor kids right next to me, begging for food.

What is right shouldn't depend on how close the poor and less fortunate are to you, geographically speaking. It shouldn't.

I'm so drunk right now. Sorry. I wish I could formulate a better argument. I just don't see how it's moral to throw money away on shit I don't need when a kid starves to death. "Capitalism" gives me that "right". But why?

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