Published on August 22, 2006 By pseudosoldier In Ethics
I have always had a strong sense of conscience, a sense of right vs. wrong. Not Jiminy Cricket strong, not a loud annoying voice, but a knowledge ingrained on me by my religious upbringing.

For whatever reason, it has gotten stronger of late.

And I'm not talking about "not doing the wrong thing" but in fact "doing the right thing," avoiding erring by inaction. Just the feeling, as I've felt the tug and altogether ignored it so often that it's bothering me.

It led me to this question: Is it better to have a conscience and ignore its impulses or to have such a relaxed sense of right that you don't even notice yourself doing the wrong thing?

ex: You see a hitchiker in the rain. You think, "Oh, that poor man," but you drive on anyway. Is that worse than not giving him a second thought?

I'm not sure, and I can only console myself by offering prayers for those I've driven past on the road of life.

Comments
on Aug 22, 2006

You are the only one who can answer your question, 'miah, and I think I know from experience that ignoring your conscience will only give you headahces, insomnia and heartburn.

The fact that you're feeling those tugs should be enough to tell you that doing the right thing is the only way to go (for you, anyway).

Don't pray for me; you never passed me by.

on Aug 22, 2006
I think not giving him a second thought would be worse - as if he's not there - not a human being.
Which impulse?
The one that sounds like my Dad "don't pick up hitchikers - never."
The one that wants to help & would (from inside my locked car) offer to make a call or offer a cellphone?

I want to help - but my Dad had some sound advice. If you see someone drowning & jump in to help - but can't swim - you're not helping them - you're drowning too! Throw them a rope or something that floats, then call a lifeguard.

Your prayers are appreciated.
on Aug 22, 2006
Throw them a rope or something that floats, then call a lifeguard.


But I am a lifeguard.
on Aug 22, 2006
Then you know to use the pole, buoy ring, rescue tube, and as a last result to jump in.
Keeping the victum under your control - even if it means pulling them under water to get them to let go of you.
I guess I'm saying there are limits on our ability (not desire) to help one another.
on Aug 23, 2006
I like to think of humanity as a whole as a pretty stupid species that is consistently willing to act towards take short term gains for long term costs. In so thinking I can arrogantly believe that people undergoing hard times put themselves there through making bad choices or not taking sufficient precautions against disaster. Because humanity is so prone towards screwing itself, the small minority of the population with some sense of self-sacrifice is incapable of assuage the tide of suffering. Any attempt to follow such values would bleed the bearer dry, while the small number of people helped would accept the offering as a short term solution but soon ends up in the same space.The rabid masses of humanity have impressed into our society that self-sacrifice a good idea. Like many values though, it is only effective at building a healthy community when adopted by a majority of the population. We must face the reality that our society no longer holds to this value, even though it is touted as such. Don't berate yourself and accept feeling guilty, it is our community that has failed by being allowed to evolve into an individualistic capitolist society that refuses to make use of the analytic predictive tools at its disposal to move itself into a brighter future. Our only hope is that our generation learns something from the errors of the baby boomers and remembers those lessons long enough so that when enough of the baby boomers die and we form the majority of hte voting population that we take the pains to correct our deviant standards or create an entirely new social framework altogether.

This post, as always, was written tongue in cheek. The author is aware of and accepts his own stupidity and indeed allows himself to be compelled to help others in need.
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