Friday, August 21, 2009
A Moral Puzzle
Alright gang, here's something fun for you Friday night: A hypothetical moral dilemma! Aren't you lucky? Alright, let's have at it:
Let's say that someone you know had the opportunity to help you a while ago by giving you $500. The amount of cash isn't that important, really. Let's just say he/she/what the fuck ever had more than enough money, and that what you needed wouldn't have been a significant blow to him/her/you get the fucking point. However, instead of helping you, he/she leaves you high and dry, and you have to do it your own goddamn self, which takes way longer and greatly inconveniences you. Now, let's say that sometime later, you find yourself in LITERALLY the exact same situation. And I mean the EXACT same situation. Only now the roles are reversed: They are now in need of help, and you now have more than enough to help them without any huge negative ramifications upon yourself.
Whoa whoa whoa child, before you fly off the handle, let's flesh this out a bit, shall we? Let's say that since they blew you off, you've been harbouring some resentment, which you haven't bothered vocalizing for numerous reasons. You feel they don't really deserve it, that they really are your friend and you actually do like them. On the other hand, you kinda feel they do deserve it, but in order to avoid conflict, you've decided to forgo actually saying anything.
Now, let's say that if you help them, you do the right thing. However, this does nothing to quell your latent hostility. If anything, helping them only further increases the resentment you feel towards them. However, if you refuse to help them, you are technically evening the score in a karmic sort of way, but let's face it: You're still doing the wrong thing. You are an asshole of epic proportion, even if logically and objectively speaking, you are leveling the playing field here.
So now this isn't a matter of "Do I help someone even if I'm not entirely certain whether or not they actually even DESERVE my help", this becomes something deeper than just a delicious mix poetic irony and cosmic justice: it becomes a matter of identity. Either way, you will lose a part of yourself. If you help them, your resentment will further consume you, and if you don't, you become a lesser person by debasing yourself to what they did. You will lose a small part of your humanity either way, albeit differing parts depending on the scenario. So the question here is, do you help them or do you walk away? Which parts of yourself are you willing to risk losing in order to save another part?
For my own personal answer, highlight the following text beneath this line:
Answer: Help them. Because despite your own personal feelings, and despite whether or not they objectively deserve anything from you at this point, you will do the right thing. Fact of the matter is, you can make a list of the many reasons why you shouldn't help them, and believe me, it'll be a looooooooooooooong list, but no matter how many reasons you come up with for why you should do the wrong thing, and no matter how logical these reasons are, the one reason for doing the right thing will always be worth more. And that reason is: Because doing the right thing is the right thing. Exactly. There is absolutely no reason behind being good, but ultimately, a lack of reason is better than any reason at all. Which kinda sucks sometimes, doesn't it?
Well, have at it. What do you do?