Samaritan's Dilemmas

1334 Words 6 Pages
Short Essay Assignment #1 Many citizens fight for equality. Equality among race, gender, and class. To achieve this, we must first look at the broader topic of equity. Equity has more to do with your rights, fairness, diversity in society and liberty. In her book, The Samaritan’s Dilemma: Should Government Help Your Neighbor?, Deborah Stone takes a look at the shifts in attitude about public policy in the United States. Stone wants to help American’s in finding true altruism. She argues that the people of our country aren’t necessarily greedy, but we tend to put in as much or little as we please when helping the community. When this book was written, we were still in a time where Reaganomics was largely widespread and “Help is Harmful” was …show more content…
We care about others and help in ways in which we’re able. Stone believes that those people who promote self-interest are disconnecting us from the desire to care for others. She makes the argument that democracy does not rely on self-interest, but altruism, and that the human psyche is equipped with the need to help people and connect ourselves to something larger. The “Samaritan’s dilemma” is the challenge one faces when deciding how to deal with the poor. In the first chapter, she discusses the two views of help. On one end, people believe “A nation that coddles its weak becomes a weak nation” (Stone 9). She argues that opinion and states that “the Good Samaritan stands as moral hero. His moral code is simple: Help When Help Is Needed. It’s almost always wrong not to help” (Stone 9). The moral hazard we deal with is not catering to the indigent but walking away from the people who really need help. Stone argues that we as society need to learn that being a good Samaritan, and helping our neighbors, is the best thing we can do. She also believes that we can aid the needy by, through government programs, enable them to help others. As a conservative, I believe so strongly in that idea. I want to help people help themselves, without causing harm to others. We can not allow the gap between the rich and poor to continue widening without any action. The actions we must take is through everyday altruism and being a Good …show more content…
There is a social and physical influence with doing good which results in creating a more civil humanity. She says, “Finding altruism is simply a matter of believing in it and looking for it” (Stone 287). Personally, I want everyone to work together to solve common problems, rather than the government. The only way to begin this process is through everyday altruism, as Stone reiterates. I believe the government should help your neighbor to an extent, until he is able to help himself. Most people who require government and citizen help would love to be on the other side one day, helping others. Not everyone is as lazy as people perceive. If a man really needs help, he will find it and use it however he wants to turn his life around in small ways. After chapter two is where I started feeling really convinced by the central argument of the book. In her second chapter, Stone discusses the idea that entitlements undermine good citizenship and that help makes people dependent. She says we ought not condemn citizens for seeking government help, as that undermines democracy. She writes, “The entitlement diagnosis gets it exactly wrong. Mutual dependence is the essence of democracy. Democracy engages citizens with the hope that they can improve their lives by working together, and with the faith that they can accomplish more by working together than going it

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