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Every penny we spend on our comfort is tainted in the blood of innocents Watch

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    (Original post by Crabbages)
    Jesus Christ rebuked the greedy, not the wealthy. Jesus was buried in a rich man's tomb. You're right in saying he would be disgusted, not just at the West but the whole world - but that's a different discussion altogether.
    Jesus Christ was very clear that wealth was an inherently bad thing. I'm not convinced looking to where others chose to bury him after his brutal arrest, torture and crucifixion is a reliable indication of his lifestyle or positions.

    (Original post by Mark 10:25)
    It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven
    Wealth is relative. You can just scrape by in this country, you can be visiting food banks in this country and still be better off than a lot of people in the world. The simple fact is that there is not enough to go around. People cannot be financially equal. If all the wealth of the first-world countries was redistributed around the world, it would just mean that everyone would be miserable, instead of a few. It's just the world that we live in. It's not my 'fault' I was born into a prosperous country, and I will not ever feel guilty for living in one, nor should I.
    Another poster who can't read. I'm not suggesting we make everyone equal, nor have I said anything about those who survive on little in this country. What I've said is that it is morally unjustifiable to spend on luxuries when the money spent could save lives. This is not relative, it is absolute.

    My lifestyle is not obscene at all. Most people's lifestyles in the West aren't. Just because I don't make myself dirt poor in attempt to help others doesn't mean I'm not compassionate - in fact, if I did give up everything and made myself destitute for the sake of others, then I wouldn't even be able to help other people and would soon need help myself.
    Again, comprehension skills are lacking here. I'm not suggesting you make yourself destitute, not even really dirt poor. I am suggesting that paying for luxuries that you don't need on any level is obscene when you are prioritising your comfort over saving lives. If you and I continued this conversation in Somalia and I brought together some morbidly ill Somalians, an aid worker asking for money to buy the necessary medicines to save these people and an Argos salesperson trying to sell you an LED plasma screen TV, I doubt you would hesitate upon where to spend your money. The truth is that because this mass suffering and death is out of our sight, it is also out of our minds, so we feel it is acceptable to gorge ourselves on luxuries. When we can very easily prevent them but choose not to to live more comfortably, we are complicit in the deaths of a great many people. It is obscene.
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    Well... I kind of just don't care. Me caring about it makes just the same amount of difference as me not caring, which is nothing.
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    (Original post by SnoochToTheBooch)
    Well... I kind of just don't care. Me caring about it makes just the same amount of difference as me not caring, which is nothing.
    ...while cutting back on luxuries and donating more to charity would save lives. I am speaking academically here and I hasten to add I do not do this.
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    (Original post by Birkenhead)
    ...while cutting back on luxuries and donating more to charity would save lives. I am speaking academically here and I hasten to add I do not do this.
    It would save lives but when we're living in a world where 1% are as wealthy as the other 99% and they're essentially not doing ****, then I'm not gonna be one of the relative handful of comparitively poor mugs throwing their money into a bottomless pit. I'm not getting on board with it until the rest of the world gets serious about it.
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    (Original post by Birkenhead)
    Jesus Christ was very clear that wealth was an inherently bad thing. I'm not convinced looking to where others chose to bury him after his brutal arrest, torture and crucifixion is a reliable indication of his lifestyle or positions.





    Another poster who can't read. I'm not suggesting we make everyone equal, nor have I said anything about those who survive on little in this country. What I've said is that it is morally unjustifiable to spend on luxuries when the money spent could save lives. This is not relative, it is absolute.



    Again, comprehension skills are lacking here. I'm not suggesting you make yourself destitute, not even really dirt poor. I am suggesting that paying for luxuries that you don't need on any level is obsene when you are prioritising your comfort over saving lives. If you and I continued this conversation in Somalia and I brought together some morbidly ill Somalians, an aid worker asking for money to buy the necessary medicines to save these people and an Argos salesperson trying to sell you an LED plasma screen TV, I doubt you would hesitate upon where to spend your money. The truth is that because this mass suffering and death is out of our sight, it is also out of our minds, so we feel it is acceptable to gorge ourselves on luxuries. When we can very easily prevent them but choose not to to live more comfortably, we are complicit in the deaths of a great many people. It is obscene.
    Is it really though not with the amount of adverts and TV coverage of poverty in third world countries that we say today I would say most people are well aware about how bad people have it in other countries(as you can tell from our easy it was for you to write your scenario in Somalia) but yet these people still choose to buy the TV over helping them because humans are selfish they virtually always do things only if they have something in it for them this is due to evolution, where survival of the fittest works and thats how our minds work trying to ensure our survival and reproductive success not others unless it benefits us.I admit I am one of these people I often feel so guilty for not donating money to charities but I find it so hard to part with my money and help them because I can't see whats it in for me.
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    We live in a sick society so it should come as no shock. Western society is as bad as that elsewhere, the difference is that the West refuse to admit it and are arrogant about it. The west will tell you that everyone is free and lives a happy life of opportunity but really, we're freer but not necessarily free. We're still bound by many constraints. We're just playing a different game with different rules.
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    (Original post by Messiah Complex)
    We live in a sick society so it should come as no shock. Western society is as bad as that elsewhere, the difference is that the West refuse to admit it and are arrogant about it. The west will tell you that everyone is free and lives a happy life of opportunity but really, we're freer but not necessarily free. We're still bound by many constraints. We're just playing a different game with different rules.
    I don't see how this relates to the OP.
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    I think the scale of the problem makes it seem unfathomable and unbearable. Also if we're talking charity to other countries, the many miles and many middlemen that separate us creates a lot of doubt: if people give money, they want all of it to go to the people that actually need it, and ideally they want to be able to see the changes. This doubt is also a handy excuse for not giving to charity when we just don't want to.

    Still, lots of people find their own ways of dealing with their inherent hypocrisy: changing consumer habits (buying less, or buying from companies they approve of ethically, etc.), giving to charity, volunteering, etc. (Those squishy leftie heartbleeders!)

    Granted, it's hard to tell how much of any of that is inspired by genuine concern for humankind - even when it is, it's accompanied by the self-congratulatory or "I've done my bit, so my conscience is clear" effect (when truthfully, if you're embarking on this ethical thought process, your conscience can't be clear unless you happen to be the least privileged person in the entire world - the least equipped to help someone else).

    We could always do more. Mr Kindertransport saved 669 Jewish kids from Nazi Czechoslovakia........ but he could have saved more. This difficult quantification makes it easy to get fatalistik and not bother doing anything.

    Ultimately we all choose to ignore the issue to varying degrees, but how else might we approach it?* It's natural to place our own survival above others', and our warm bed of rich-country ease and unbridled capitalism (emphasis on the unbridled; compassionate capitalism is presumably the way forward) has made it easy for "our own survival" to progress into "our own exceedingly comfortable survival".

    *Not a solely rhetorical question. :fluffy:
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    I can't say it bothers me. I have some sympathy for places like South America but the Middle East is barely capable of governing itself in a prosperous way and Africa makes the division seen in Europe a century or so ago look tame. The Sahara is infested by terrorists and while now improving sub-Saharan Africa has for a long time seen constant warfare, genocides and corruption. It's too harsh to say they deserve it because most people are innocent but i suspect its down to cultural traits.

    I for one will continue to spend on big ticket items because giving more money to the likes of Bill Gates and Elon Musk is probably more beneficial than being taxed to throw money at them.
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    (Original post by Birkenhead)
    I don't see how this relates to the OP.
    Because you'll never get people to change their outlook in the masses. People are generally sheep led by their governments down a blind alley. They are led to believe they have true control over their lives but they don't. They only have control within the constraints the government or society has imposed upon them just like a character in a video game 'cannot go out of bounds'. There are limits. We are not truly free. People chase materialistic goods and the latest product. If people truly wanted to help others they would and they could. Instead they don't because they value materialistic goods over their fellow human being. We could all be living a simpler life with only the necessities but we continue to pursue the evils that are used to control us en masse. Its a vicious cycle and it keeps the majority trapped within the confinements. Albert Einstein proposed that the human race would never advance until it changed its outlook to become more social, collective and altruistic. He's right. At the moment we still have a me, me, me culture and therefore when it comes to purchasing such goods, people really couldn't give two hoots that blood is being spilt elsewhere and lives are sacrificed. They are happy to get their next materialistic fix like acrylic craving junkies. What many don't realise is that this fix is superficial and does not bring true happiness. Sadly for many, by the time they realise this, a lot of their life has passed them by.

    “If everyone wanted peace as much as they want a new iPhone, then there would be peace.”
    Shira Tamir
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    (Original post by Rakas21)
    I can't say it bothers me. I have some sympathy for places like South America but the Middle East is barely capable of governing itself in a prosperous way and Africa makes the division seen in Europe a century or so ago look tame. The Sahara is infested by terrorists and while now improving sub-Saharan Africa has for a long time seen constant warfare, genocides and corruption. It's too harsh to say they deserve it because most people are innocent but i suspect its down to cultural traits.

    I for one will continue to spend on big ticket items because giving more money to the likes of Bill Gates and Elon Musk is probably more beneficial than being taxed to throw money at them.
    All you are doing here is trying to justify your own desire for materialistic goods and your inner greed by looking for faults in those who could otherwise could benefit. The truth is, so many humans would rather buy the latest iPhone because of a me, me, me perspective as opposed to helping their fellow man because governmental control and societal influence has led us away from an altruistic society to a divided and conquered society. This stops the people uniting and rising up against the establishment. Why fight your battles on the street when you can turn people against one another on an economic basis and have the middle class hating the poor and the poor being resentful of the rich?

    Its all manipulation.
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    (Original post by Messiah Complex)
    Because you'll never get people to change their outlook in the masses. People are generally sheep led by their governments down a blind alley. They are led to believe they have true control over their lives but they don't. They only have control within the constraints the government or society has imposed upon them just like a character in a video game 'cannot go out of bounds'. There are limits. We are not truly free. People chase materialistic goods and the latest product. If people truly wanted to help others they would and they could. Instead they don't because they value materialistic goods over their fellow human being. We could all be living a simpler life with only the necessities but we continue to pursue the evils that are used to control us en masse. Its a vicious cycle and it keeps the majority trapped within the confinements. Albert Einstein proposed that the human race would never advance until it changed its outlook to become more social, collective and altruistic. He's right. At the moment we still have a me, me, me culture and therefore when it comes to purchasing such goods, people really couldn't give two hoots that blood is being spilt elsewhere and lives are sacrificed. They are happy to get their next materialistic fix like acrylic craving junkies. What many don't realise is that this fix is superficial and does not bring true happiness. Sadly for many, by the time they realise this, a lot of their life has passed them by.

    “If everyone wanted peace as much as they want a new iPhone, then there would be peace.”
    Shira Tamir
    Are you Russell Brand's bum chum?
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    The harsh reality is that nobody really cares. We only care about stuff that immediately effect us, such as family, pets and close friends.
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    (Original post by lustawny)
    Are you Russell Brand's bum chum?
    Strong retort. Do you have anything of actual value to add to this conversation or has your inner greed and lack of care for your fellow being been rumbled so much that you've now felt compelled to lash out at them? I think we both know the answer to that one.
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    (Original post by Messiah Complex)
    Strong retort. Do you have anything of actual value to add to this conversation or has your inner greed and lack of care for your fellow being been rumbled so much that you've now felt compelled to lash out at them? I think we both know the answer to that one.
    A) You don't know me from Adam, so I think you would appear more credible if you weren't to comment on someone's motives/character without hard evidence to back said comments up with.

    B) I'm not even going to bother talking to a person who is clearly blinded by a, frankly pathetic, outlook that is inherently flawed and that gets in the way of basic intelligence

    C) You clearly are Russell Brand's bum chum.
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    (Original post by Messiah Complex)
    All you are doing here is trying to justify your own desire for materialistic goods and your inner greed by looking for faults in those who could otherwise could benefit. The truth is, so many humans would rather buy the latest iPhone because of a me, me, me perspective as opposed to helping their fellow man because governmental control and societal influence has led us away from an altruistic society to a divided and conquered society. This stops the people uniting and rising up against the establishment. Why fight your battles on the street when you can turn people against one another on an economic basis and have the middle class hating the poor and the poor being resentful of the rich?

    Its all manipulation.
    Not at all, i feel no need to justify my decision at all because i feel no guilt. Your right about materialism but 'led us away' is a misnomer since civilisation has never been associated with equality. I act in my own self interest, i'll accept that.
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    (Original post by lustawny)
    A) You don't know me from Adam, so I think you would appear more credible if you weren't to comment someone's motives/character without hard evidence to back said comments up with.
    Which is kind of ironic coming from someone that made the initial claim that I was Russell Brand's bum chum. Well done on also being exposed as a belligerent hypocrite. Also, I do know you more than you actually know as I was a sub on here under another name.

    B) I'm not even going to bother talking to a person who is clearly blinded by a, frankly pathetic, outlook that is inherently flawed and that gets in the way of basic intelligence
    All you had to say was you had no argument and that is fine. We can now move on knowing fully well that you have no basis or foundation on which to counter what I said. Simply put, the west has bought into the notion that more is better and that to be 'of value' we must continue to accumulate material goods whether its clothes with certain labels, flashy cars or nice big houses. We literally have people driving themselves to the brink of suicide and suicide in the pursuit of this apparent 'happiness'.

    C) You clearly are Russell Brand's bum chum.
    Another attack yet you cried when I criticised you. Hilarious.
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    (Original post by Messiah Complex)
    Which is kind of ironic coming from someone that made the initial claim that I was Russell Brand's bum chum. Well done on also being exposed as a belligerent hypocrite. Also, I do know you more than you actually know as I was a sub on here under another name.
    I'm basing that assertion on the comments you've made in this thread. You spout pretty much identical opinions to Russell Brand, it's like you worship him or something. You're even called 'Messiah Complex', for crying out loud.

    Where does your evidence that you know what I'm like come from, I wonder?
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    (Original post by Birkenhead)
    Jesus Christ was very clear that wealth was an inherently bad thing. I'm not convinced looking to where others chose to bury him after his brutal arrest, torture and crucifixion is a reliable indication of his lifestyle or positions.
    No man. He taught that greed is evil. The love of money is the root of all evil, not money itself. He was buried in Joseph of Arimathea's tomb, who was a disciple of his. If Jesus hates money so much why did he allow a rich man to be his disciple? The thing about the camel in the eye of the needle is a hyperbole, people at the time saw wealth as a blessing from God, as if it was something given to you because of your righteousness. Look at the reaction of the people when he said that - they said 'Who then can be saved?' They thought that the rich people (the Pharisees) were blessed and on their way to Heaven. Jesus then went on to tell them 'with man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible'. Meaning that man doesn't justify himself and wealth can't save him. But anybody can be justified by the grace of God - rich or poor.

    Throughout the Bible God uses rich people to fulfill his will. God doesn't condemn wealth, or praise poverty. He condemns greed, which is different. Christians are called to be charitable and give freely and gladly, but that doesn't mean part with almost everything you own. If you rely on wealth for your happiness then there is something wrong, and it is a greed problem. Anyway this isn't what the thread is about.

    (Original post by Birkenhead)
    Another poster who can't read. I'm not suggesting we make everyone equal, nor have I said anything about those who survive on little in this country. What I've said is that it is morally unjustifiable to spend on luxuries when the money spent could save lives. This is not relative, it is absolute.
    No need to be so rude, you know I can read just fine. Forgive me if I'm mistaken but in your OP you seemed to define luxury as 'every penny we spend on ourselves beyond our basic survival'. If you would like to retract that statement that you made (because frankly it's a pretty ridiculous one and I'm sure you didn't think it through), then that's fine. What I would like to know, is this: At what point am I spending on luxury? When I buy a Ferrari? When I buy an iPhone? How about when I go to Starbucks? When I go to see a movie? If I buy foreign produce at a supermarket? When I pay for hot water and central heating? Are none of these things morally justifiable? Where would you draw the line? And how do you know that the money I spend doesn't end up helping people? Do you think the people who produce the luxuries I buy don't appreciate getting paid? Although for the record I don't own a Ferrari or an iPhone.


    (Original post by Birkenhead)
    Again, comprehension skills are lacking here. I'm not suggesting you make yourself destitute, not even really dirt poor. I am suggesting that paying for luxuries that you don't need on any level is obsene when you are prioritising your comfort over saving lives. If you and I continued this conversation in Somalia and I brought together some morbidly ill Somalians, an aid worker asking for money to buy the necessary medicines to save these people and an Argos salesperson trying to sell you an LED plasma screen TV, I doubt you would hesitate upon where to spend your money. The truth is that because this mass suffering and death is out of our sight, it is also out of our minds, so we feel it is acceptable to gorge ourselves on luxuries. When we can very easily prevent them but choose not to to live more comfortably, we are complicit in the deaths of a great many people. It is obscene.
    Giving every penny beyond what I spend on my basic survival would definitely make me destitute. Aside from that, say I buy a coffee at £2.50. I don't need that coffee. If I stick that £2.50 into a charity collection box, who's life am I saving? How much of that £2.50 is getting spent on running costs for the charity? Do I even know where the money is going? How can I be sure that it doesn't end up in the hands of some African warlord?

    We can't 'very easily prevent' poverty. If we could we would've done it by now. I agree that many people in first-world countries are too concerned with their own lives and don't pay enough attention to people in crisis in other parts of the world. I realise that there are some people who are living in truly obscene wealth. But the average British person is not living in obscene wealth, and it's not our fault, and there isn't much we can do about it. I am not personally responsible for, nor am I complicit in anybody's death. Neither (I hope) is anybody in this thread.
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    I don't think there' a serious response to this problem. Peter Singer has written an article which I don't think has received any substantial critique.

    How I cope: I am not a very good person and I am only willing to suffer the inconveniences associated with not actively harming people rather than helping them (even though the distinction is so thin as to be practically non-existent)
 
 
 
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