Sunday, March 24, 2013

Responsibilities of a "Global Community"

In our reading, Postman talks about how as individuals living in an age in which information is rapidly transmitted to so many people, we are exposed to information on a "global" scale. This being the case, we are all often exposed to a lot of terrible things that are going on around the world, such as war, hunger, natural disasters, disease, social injustice, etc. This however does not necessarily mean that we will do anything about these issues. Knowing is not the same as doing. Keeping that in mind, I would like to ask a question; Are we morally obligated to take action to help those in need when we are presented with this information? If we are indeed a "global community," should we not be doing everything we can to help one another instead of sitting back and saying, "Oh dear, that is so terrible. What a shame. That's so sad." Can we really fall back on nationality, race, and religion as community pillars to fall back on when we're exposed to what the rest of the world is dealing with?

Let me know what you think in the comments below.

4 comments:

  1. This is an excellent question, that could very well garner an answer spanning over several pages and still only scratch the surface. Personally, I'd like to believe the US does have a moral responsibility to provide more foreign humanitarian aid to alleviate many of the issues you've brought up. The United States currently only spends about 1% of the federal budget on foreign aid each year, despite the tremendous need for it. And in lieu of the recent 2013 sequestration, the budget has been cut even further. It would stand to reason that the US, the single greatest economic superpower in the world, could stand to do more. And I don't think we should look at ads as simply being "handouts," but rather, as this article puts it, "...as an investment in creating the markets of the future, preventing crises, and helping advance democracy and prosperity. Foreign aid creates U.S. jobs and advances American economic well-being." Don't get me wrong though, there are also plenty of evidence against increasing and/or maintaining humanitarian aid, but I'm not going to touch on them so my comment looks super correct and everything. Seriously though, if you're interested enough, there's plenty of articles out there on this topic and plenty of credible evidence for both sides of the argument.

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  2. I'm a little bit torn about this issue. On one hand I do think that the United States has a moral obligation to offer aid to foreign countries when all sorts of horrible things happening, but I tend to take the stance that we have more of an obligation to help people at home. Can we really justify sending so much foreign aid when our own people are dying of some of the same problems? I'm not saying that we should not help, just that what we see on television often leads to a feeling of impotence and it's difficult to give money or aid when you are not sure exactly where it's going. For my own part, I would rather help at home where I know exactly where my money is going or who my work is going to help. We are a "global community" but at the same time we are separated by different beliefs, cultures, and country lines.

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  3. I actually tried to address this exact issue through a website I created for another class, check it out if you're still interested:


    http://argumentforaid.weebly.com/

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  4. Wow, this is a tough question. Sadly, I believe we are morally obligated to help each other out and also sadly, there are many who just can't. Whether it be lack of education, funds, or maybe some people don't care. But another question to wonder about is how do you get billions of people to come together for a just cause? How do you make others love thy neighbor when some may feel morally attacked by said neighbor? Very tough. In a perfect world we should all be able to live peacefully and no one should go hungry. It's just discovering the steps to get there.

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