Notes on helping others…

There is much confusion on help today. We are living in a time of most excessive control over material goods. We do not know at this point how permanent such control is because we do not know how permanent the resource is that we are employing to generate the material goods.

The excess in material good production has generated an excess of material well-being for humans. We are fat in more ways than one but not the least of which is bodily. We are fat on calories. We are fat on sexual gratification which is due both to the ease of stimulation provided by porn, and the ease of time brought about by the fact that the average person does not work nearly as long as was necessary in the past.

This more general obesity is not universal, but it is spreading, and rapidly. There is a kind of confidence in the areas where the material production has been the most prolific. The confidence is in the ability to meet need, to satisfy. From the areas that have not structured material production as successfully there has been a great tide of movement: Western Europe has received great numbers from both the Middle East and North Africa. North America has received a great tide from South America.

To the point: helping others depends on getting them closer to what is good. What is good? This depends, among other things, on the nature of the being. What is the nature of the human? Well now we are mired. But we are not. The feeling stuck in disagreement is a product of the very poverty of the aid provided, the quality or character of the voices and perspective given, and cannot be resolved by “reason” thought of as anything else but “perfection in perspective”.

We are rational animals. There is a component which is more than bodily animality, but we encounter great difficulty in speaking of it. Our speaking is sound emitted by bodies and heard by bodies, and we are bodily beings. This is our animality. This is so difficult for us. The aesthete often envisions our spiritual nature as imprisoned in body and jones-ing for release. But pressed to speak about the non-bodily and the language is analogic or apthotatic AT BEST.

Read Hume on the difficulties of capturing the metaphysical and moral and the effort to tie our talk to that which we can speak of: our animality. Read Kant on the complexity of trying to capture the more than bodily without succumbing to the traps that Hume described so well. Read the sages on the necessity of being in good animal condition (passion, feeling, emotion, mood, desire) for good thinking. Read the sages on being in good animal condition being ruled by good thinking. Read Kierkegaard on how paradoxical it is all this that thinking must guide feeling and feeling thinking, and ahhhhhhhh!

Then, know this. The ultimate good for a human is virtue/righteousness. And it cannot be transferred from one to another like material goods can be. It cannot be produced by revision in material goods. It cannot be taken by force or stolen. It must be produced by each individual individually.

Then, know this. Any attention to the helping of the animality of being while ignoring the spiritual reality of a being is to make a mistake which risks disaster. To attend to the material while ignoring the spiritual is to concern oneself with appearance only but leave the core or essence in bad repair.

This is the great tragedy of our humanity. The most important thing that a human needs can at best be exemplified before them by another, but even if offered it cannot be transferred from one to another. It must be approached by each on his own.

Read about moral hazard, the samaritan’s dilemma, the tragedy of the commons, etc. for more on the catastrophe of attending to the material while ignoring the spiritual. Good luck welfare state. I am not optimistic about your longterm chance.

Published by Purilib

Anonymously interested in grasping the good life.

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