Altruism–is it?

The latest “Inlander” came out today on Thursday 28 March 2014.  The editorial and reporting staff discussed altruism and the making of civic heroes.  They also briefly discussed Ayn Rand’s politics of Selfishness, certainly in combination with her warped view of objectivity.  What it amounts to; should people help more out of some moral obligation, who do not assist anyone now?  In Spokane, Washington, even Republican Mayor Condon seems to think so.  Also, the fire/rescue people seem to think so, with the creation of a pulse point app in order to inform people, when someone is suffering a heart attack.  A very good idea, if it will save a life.

The grim news would seem to be, that to be altruistic or selfless, also doesn’t go well with some people.  “The Inlander” discussed that in brief as well.  But is actual altruism associated with “Communism?”  No, because it has moral and religious implications.  Jesus “the anointed one,” was such an altruist.  Addressing Ayn Rand’s books, inclusive of “The Fountainhead;” her views of altruism were associated with “socialism.”  But socialism is a political philosophy, regarding economic equality.  Altruism is based on the concept of compassion for others.  Of the choice to do something right toward the well being of others.  Something that we could all do voluntarily.  It doesn’t just have to be, rescuing someone from drowning, or saving someone from a fire.  How about donating good used clothing to Goodwill?  Of assisting with disaster relief through Red Cross?  Of dropping off food to the food bank to assist the needy?  I think there ought to be no problem with that.

Now, what happens when government intervenes, say through civil rights issues?  If we as a people, showed an humanitarian good will toward our neighbors; we’d make no arguments against minorities having the same sort of rights, as the majority.  Well then, if we already possessed that genuine humanitarian concern toward our fellow man, then there would be little need for the government to have to intervene.  As it is, charitable donations are “tax deductible,” which means that the government has already intervened in some way.  An argument that doesn’t appear on the radar, of the more radical anti-government types.  You know those people, they like to fear the “government” (they actually do vote for) imposing its will on them.  Sure it does, street lights and stop signs is symbolic of a government that imposes its will through rules and regulations.  It also has a tendency to “thank people” for acting on the behalf of others, as “The Inlander” acknowledged more locally.

But what is not altruism?  Coeur d’Alene High School was recently visited by some rabid “abolitionists.”  Abolition is from the word to “abolish.”  Last used when a good percentage of the pre-Civil War United States was against legal slavery.  Now in this case, the “abolitionists” seem to think that they can abolish all forms of terminated pregnancies.  Well now, you can’t abolish miscarriage or premature delivery.  You can’t abolish still birth or fetal death in the uterus.  Even in the 21st century, medical science still doesn’t perform miracles.  Are the anti-aborticidists “altruistic?”  I don’t think so.  They use such an issue to judge and condemn, to demand government intervention, a desire to impose their will upon others.  On the flip side of the coin, the same kind of people can’t stand the idea of a little girl who wears short hair, denim jeans, etc. coming to their “Christian” school.  Her mom “chose life,” right?  Apparently you are only an acceptable “unique individual,” as long as you are still in the womb.

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