Charity vs. Altruism

Recently I have discovered additional insight as to why many Catholics, even those who are otherwise pretty conservative, support things like government welfare, including this health care mess. It has to do with the difference between charity and altruism.

Charity, as I have mentioned in previous blogs, is a free will gift of one’s own time, talent, and/or treasure to assist those who are less fortunate than we are. In Catholicism there is the principle of subsidiarity which “is opposed to all forms of collectivism.” Private non-profits (the higher-order entity) adhere to this principle by not forcing us (the lower-order entity) to give to them. In this was we still retain a sense of self when helping others.

Altruism, on the other hand, while it has in common with chaity concern for others as part of its definition, is vastly different from charity. This method of helping others violates the principle of subsidiarity. Altruism is defined as completely selfless concern for the welfare of others. Going from that definition the implication is clear. When altruism is placed in practice it means that to help others you must surrender your sense of self. And by surrendering your sense of self it opens you up to being reduced from a human being with civil liberties to a mere source of resources for the sole use of others. And once reduced to such a state one becomes no more than a slave to the class altruists seek to help and thus this leads to the very collectivism that the principle of subsidiarity so opposes. In fact it is altruism that has served as the moral basis for collectivism and slavery (which is really a form of collectivism anyway).  As the Catechism of the Catholic Church states: “”The inversion of means and ends, which results in giving the value of ultimate end to what is only a means for attaining it, or in viewing persons as mere means to that end, engenders unjust structures which ‘make Christian conduct in keeping with the commandments of the divine Law-giver difficult and almost impossible.'”

So to sum it up:

Charity is the self-ISH concern for the welfare of those who are less fortunate. This is another way collectivists seek to justify their view, by using the fact that we have forgotten that there are 2 different meanings for the term “selfish.” One meaning is the negative one, where being selfish means you exploit others for your own personal gain (the other meaning that you simply have a sense of yourself as a human being with dignity and natural rights). This leads me to altruism. Altruism is the opposite. It is self-LESS concern for others. But as we have seen, help for others without a sense of yourself (which is what self-LESS means) conforms more to the “exploit one group for the sake of another” meaning of “selfish.” In this way when altruism is allowed to take hold as a valid part of any economic system, slavery results. One group is effectively yoked to another in one collective. Kinda like those Borg drones in Star trek: TNG eh?

So while charity and altruism may at first glance appear to be synonyms, we see that they are in fact polar opposites. And since collectivism is slavery, and slavery condemned by the teachings of the Catholic Church, government welfare (including ObamaCare) even without provisions that include funding for things like abortions, is still a policy that conflicts with Church teaching.

MLK, JR. Day 2011

Today we remember a man named Martin Luther King, Jr.  Mr. King was a great man who lived in a time when oppression against blacks, esp. in the South, was rampant.  For the black people it was a time of great trials and tribulations that tested the faith and fortitude of many.  It was a time when a certain group of human beings were being denied basic civil liberties and were being treated with something less than the equal dignity and respect that should be afforded to all who are members of the human race due to something they had no control over, their skin color.

But despite all this, a man rose up and fought, usually with words but I’m sure he wouldn’t have begrudged the use of force if it was necessary for defense of self and others, to bring to the black peoples the same civil liberties the rest of us enjoy.  He wanted for black people the same civil liberties that allow every one else to work, live, and play as they see fit.

Dr. King was a great man who knew what things like freedom and liberty were and that they were being denied to certain human beings by the various state governments of the South, which had enacted gravely evil laws for just such a purpose called Jim Crow laws.  And the Ku Klux Klan was the great and terrible police force commissioned to enforce those terrible laws.  And they hated and moved against ANYONE who had the temerity to stand up and say “ENOUGH!  All humans deserve the civil liberties our founding fathers set forth in the Constitution of the United States!”  Anyone who expressed those sentiments usually found a burning cross on their lawn.  So this means that a great majority of Catholics woke up to this situation, as despite a minority Catholic population that tried to use Catholicism’s teachings to justify racism, most Catholics were on the side of blacks.  This is why the KKK weren’t too fond of Catholics either.

Dr. King was a great man who probably even figured that people would move against him and seek his life because of his fight for freedom for the black people.  And he did eventually give his very life for the cause of freedom.  For that he is to be remembered with honor and integrity for as long as the human race shall draw breath.

Today, however, I see at various universities Black SU’s, Asian SU’s, Greek SU’s, etc.  I also see reports of whites being beat up by blacks just because they decided to date a black person.  I hear reports of whites being called derogatory terms like “cracker.”

I ask, is this what Dr. King fought and gave his blood and his very life for?  To watch from Heaven as his people use the same exclusionary tactics that the whites once used to such great effect?  Or to watch as his people push whites around the in same way they were once pushed around?

Dr. King wanted one thing: for all humans of all races to one day stand together and declare themselves equal in their humanity.  And what I have seen this day and age I firmly believe causes Dr. King’s soul great and terrible anguish as he watches while people say “Hey look at me I’m black!” or “I’m Greek!  Aren’t we so special?”  instead of “Hey, look at us, our skin color is different.  But let us not let skin color get in the way of the fact that we all share the same genome, the human genome.  And nevermore shall such pettiness divide us, we who are made in the image and likeness of God whose faces are as infinite as ours.”  I implore people of all races, do not let Dr. King’s sacrifice be in vain.  Let his work have some meaning.