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Antonela TedFan

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Is helping others a moral obligation?

A few months ago, we were debating in our Debate and Speech club about "it is a moral obligation to help those in need". I recently read a book by Dalai Lama "The Road to Happiness" I believe, in which this "issue" came back again. Are people born selfish? Can they change? Are people altruist? Can we help others? Should we help others? In case we do, is it because of the good feeling we get, or just because we want to help them? Can this be confused with weakness?


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  • Jun 29 2012: I believe that the definition of 'moral obligation' would differ from person to person, depending on their upbringing and their personal value systems. Thus, perhaps my definition of a moral obligation would be to help anyone in need, person X's could be to help him family in need and person Y's would be to only help himself in need. In the fast paced world we live today, the highly competitive surroundings have made us very selfish. Nonetheless, is this selfish attitude a necessity for survival ? Isn't it necessary to be selfish in order to live up to your aspirations, in order to ensure that people do not take advantage of you? Albeit I provide a highly pessimistic insight, I believe it to be true. On the contrary, helping some one would always involve on us giving up on something and this would portray strength.

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