Scott & Sarah Kennedy

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Your Thoughts Please

1. Is our comfort and ease more important than the lives of some people?

2. Is it fair that in New Zealand we can choose to spend our money on comforts and luxuries, while in some countries, people do not even have enough to choose to eat?

3. What should our response be to this situation?

4. What would you like the response to be if our situations were reversed?

5. Does distance remove our moral obligation to help people? (You may question whether we have a moral obligation to help people who are starving at all - however I think this is fairly easy to prove. So for the sake of this please assume that we do have a moral obligation to help a starving person who lives next door to us.)

Edit 2:50pm, Just clarified the last question.


  • 1. No
    2. No
    3. Yes
    4. No
    5. No

    By Anonymous Jonathan, at 2:45 PM, November 16, 2005  

  • Scott can't handle a joke

    By Anonymous Jonathan, at 2:49 PM, November 16, 2005  

  • I'll give it a go, but my answers are a tad longer than Jonathan's!

    1. Is comfort and ease more important than life? Utilitarians (greatest good for the greatest number) would say maybe, depending on the situation. I am moving towards deontology (act in a way that you would wish your acts could become universal laws) so I say no. Life is holy. Comfort and ease is only a state of mind.

    2. Is it fair that we can choose luxury while others cannot choose to eat? Yes. Because some can choose more than others is not a matter of fairness, more a mix of God's providence, destiny and your earlier choices. But the more choice we have, the more responsibility. And if we misuse that responsibility (which I think is your point), the wrath of God comes upon us.

    3. Our response - to recognise that responsibility, along with the wrong-ness of the world's situation, and let that guide our responses in accordance with our conscience. For some that is "earn all you can, save all you can, give all you can". For others it is giving up their wealth, their "choice" to those even less fortunate. For others it is investing their wealth into the poor to generate long-term, sustainable wealth for them. For others it is fighting the systems that have caused this situation - civil wars, trade disparities, corruption, economic and environmental mismanagement. They are all biblical approaches. But all these have a common thread - building up treasures in heaven, not on earth. We need to use the "talents" God has provided us to bring justice to the poor. And in doing so restore their spirits, wealth, health, stability, etc.

    4. I wouldn't care so much about the poverty, rather JUSTICE! Equality for the workers. Freedom for them to grow crops to feed their family not coffee for the barons. Removing the corrupt wealthy rulers who suck up the money for themselves, take the loans, and saddle their people with debt. Education for the parents especially the women so they can understand how to look after their children and their environment. Punishment for the war criminals who displace entire people groups.

    Once a poor person has justice, he has freedom to restore himself and to live a good life. Until then injustice has its foot on his neck.

    5. Technology and globalism has made distance even more irrelevant. We now belong to a world-wide community, and we are our brother's keeper.

    By Anonymous Andrew, at 7:42 PM, November 16, 2005  

  • Honour the Lord thy God.
    Love thy neighbour as thyself.

    Remembering however that these moral laws are not given merit by our government/s and their minions.

    By Anonymous Allan, at 11:11 PM, November 16, 2005  

  • 1,2,5: No
    3,4: Don't really know - if I had the answer, I'd tell you. I'm currently working on a post that might answer this. Maybe.

    By Anonymous Nato, at 1:30 AM, November 19, 2005  

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