Friday, July 21, 2006

My Opinion About a Dumb Question

The question I asked in my previous post seems to have struck a nerve in some people. I’ll tell you that I do not have a good answer to the question, but I’ll offer an opinion.

The problem lies in selfishness. It’s very easy to have an opinion about frozen embryos because they don’t require action on our parts. Frozen embryos are stored away in a container in a lab, and we don’t have to do anything to provide for their needs. It’s easy to fight for the rights of an embryo because it’s going to stay in the freezer until someone wants to have a baby, and then that person will be the one responsible for taking good care of it. We don’t have to be involved at all. We can make a call to our senator and tell him how we want him to vote, and then we can sit back and feel good that we have helped save a life.

But it’s a different story when the children are already born. We prefer not to get involved with that argument because to do so means that we may actually have to get up and do something. If I see a child suffering, then it’s my responsibility to take some action to make sure that child gets the care it needs. However, that’s going to require some effort and sacrifice on my part, an inconvenience that will disrupt my comfortable life. Most of us, if we’re honest with ourselves, prefer not to get our hands dirty. The extent of our involvement usually consists of referring someone to the appropriate government agency.

When we look at the TV or magazine pictures and see children—or any other innocent people—dead from bomb blasts, we can take the easy way out and place the blame on such-and-such group. If that group would only see the error of its ways and concede that it is wrong, this senseless killing wouldn’t happen. The blood is on their hands, we say. And when the “right” side in the conflict fires a missile into a civilian area and kills innocent people, we shake our heads and call it the unfortunate consequences of war. If such-and-such group hadn’t provoked the “right” side, we say, this wouldn’t have happened. We can then sit back and feel bad for the innocent people while at the same time comfort ourselves knowing that while we personally can’t do anything to alleviate the suffering, at least we are taking the right side in the conflict.

I’ll admit that there isn’t really much we as ordinary people can do to help innocent people in a war zone. However, we can do more than what we’re doing now. Instead of trying to figure out which side in a debate is the more moral side, we can go out and sacrifice our time and energy to help someone who needs it, whether we like that person or not. That’s always the moral thing to do.


Tony Arnold said...

I think you know from my commment from the first post that I agree 100% with your thoughts here JMG.

Very well said.


Amy said...

Great point - I concur with Tony. Well said. It's so much easier to talk than to do.