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Desc:Random Altruist asks homeless people what they would want. Then he gets them those things.
Category:General Station, Educational
Tags:homeless, Altruism, gifts, homelessness, Portal of Good
Submitted:Rodents of Unusual Size
Date:12/29/13
Views:1477
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Comment count is 33
SolRo
ok, so who's gonna ruin this by finding the fox news/conservative douche saying doing something nice for a homeless person even one day a year makes them dependent/socialism/communist/destroying america etc etc
EvilHomer
"Most of these items will just get pawned for drug money!"

Actually, I'm kinda surprised he's not handing out cartloads of booze and looseys. Either these homebums were too tactful to ask, this guy was too uptight to deliver, or both.

EvilHomer
I refuse to watch anything "heartwarming" that begins with upbeat ukelele music.

Still, I think SOME PEOPLE here could learn a lesson or two from this guy's behavior. JOHN HOLMES. Our resident crustie was depending on you, buddy. All she wanted for Christmas was some dick pics, and you stiffed her.
SolRo
'Charlie Brooker 2013 Wipe' in the hopper has plenty of dick pics for you.

EvilHomer
Those were a lot of dicks.

Jet Bin Fever
I hope you drive JHM to complete madness Homer. Do so with my blessing.

Spaceman Africa
The "portal of good" tag is a yearly tag.
infinite zest
Portal of Beyond Good and Evil

baleen
awwww
EvilHomer
I don't know what you're awwwing about, baleen, this guy is more of a self-important douche than Edward Snowden. Notice how it's not enough for him to "do good", he must be *seen* to do good.

Giving a cheapass blanket as a gift? That's a stocking stuffer in the middle class world. Not only is the Random Altruist assured eternal fame and hero status, he'll also wind up with a palace in Bolivia, traveling like a supersaint under a veil of mystique. The amount of fawning adoration pussy will be almost limitless. Yes, I have no proof that this will happen, but you have no proof that he's somehow motivated by anything other than narcissism or a need for attention.

Grandmaster Funk
You're right EvilHomer, the important thing is his motivations. All good acts must be aggressively policed to make sure that none are committed with any hint of selfish motive.

Bort
I get what you guys are doing, but motives and intentions DO matter, otherwise Snowden giving classified information to Greenwald is not fundamentally different from Cheney outing Valerie Plame to Robert Novak.

EvilHomer
If the end results in those two examples were similar, Bort, then I guess you'd be right! But I'm finding it hard to see how handing details about one of the largest and most nefarious global spying programs in history over to the masses, is at all comparable to outing a single undercover CIA operative whose identity was relevant to precisely no-one (outside the small circle of statesmen whom her husband had inconvenienced). The problem here isn't the motives, it's that you're comparing apples and oranges.

Motives and intentions DO matter, in a very limited, pedantic, and ultimately unimportant sense. They're fun little factoids that add shades of gray to otherwise inspiring tales - like the fact that Nelson Mandela was a former terrorist who betrayed his Marxist fellow travelers as soon as it became politically convenient for him to do so, which in no way diminishes or negates his later triumphs over violence and racism. Or the fact that the guy in this video is a smug douchebag with plenty of resources who's really not losing anything by "helping" these random carbon-based photo opportunities. Which in no way changes the fact that giving a wino a blanket is a pretty darn nice thing to do.

Or maybe motives ARE important, in which case Random Altruist is an absolute monster and we should hate him?

I don't know, I guess I'm willing to be convinced either way here, so long as we have some consistency.

Bort
"If the end results in those two examples were similar, Bort, then I guess you'd be right! But I'm finding it hard to see how handing details about one of the largest and most nefarious global spying programs in history over to the masses, is at all comparable to outing a single undercover CIA operative whose identity was relevant to precisely no-one (outside the small circle of statesmen whom her husband had inconvenienced). The problem here isn't the motives, it's that you're comparing apples and oranges."

Except that we still don't know what information Snowden / Greenwald are sitting on, what they're planning to do with it, and what may have been disseminated to other governments already. In other words we don't really know what the end results of Snowden are going to be, which leaves us with motives and intentions as our best guide as to what comes next.

Mind you, I think Snowden most likely means well, I don't think he has some assholey agenda like Cheney did. Nor do I think motives are everything; I'm more concerned with end impact. But you guys are the ones who seem to think that motives count for exactly nothing, and that's a poorly-thought-out position.

Grandmaster Funk
I think when the end result is homeless people being able to keep warm instead of freeze, then it's vanishingly insignificant how important Youtube views and ego-stroking was to the person that made it happen. And if those Youtube views and minor internet fame were, in fact, the main motivator, then three cheers for Youtube views and minor internet fame.

It would be one thing if this guy went on to found a non-profit startup that collected donations for the homeless and spent them on Google Glass for the board or some shit, but I just don't see him deriving enough material benefit from this stunt as to make his impure motives particularly relevant compared to the quality of life of the desperately poor.


Maybe it's just me, but I believe that's a perfectly well thought-out opinion.

Grandmaster Funk
I mean, I don't think it's any surprise that people frequently do altruistic acts in order to be recognized and praised by their peers. That's called social pressure, and it plays a central role in enforcing important cultural norms. When those norms include altruism, that's a good thing.

Some people are out there doing good deeds without hope of recognition. That's great. They're going to keep doing that, and we should let them. For everyone else, we have the collective ability as social animals to approve or disprove of their actions and thus encourage certain patterns of behavior. I'd rather encourage people to give to the poor, even publically and for impure motives, than discourage it, so the only people that contribute their resources are the "true believers."

Bort
What's going on in this thread is, EvilHomer is challenging baleen's right to be moved by this guy's actions because he questioned Edward Snowden's motivations in another thread.

Sorry I initially lumped you in with EvilHomer; it's just him doing that, not you.

BorrowedSolution
How about we do it this way: If the actions undertaken by a person are unequivocally good, their motives don't *really* matter.

Saves a lot of fag-dancing, I think.

Bort
I'll borrow that solution all right!

TheOtherCapnS
My Christmas wish was that when people saw EH's retarded strawman/bein-all-POE-and-shit hybrid comment thing, they would just ignore it and move on.

Merry Fucking Christmas.

That guy
Stimulus: awwww
Response: see above

Jet Bin Fever
Homer always be startin that shit! All because you said "awwww" baleen. What were you thinking saying "awwww" on a video like this? Such a controversial statement.

oddeye
hell yes
Enjoy
Wonderful
dairyqueenlatifah
This almost made me cry.

Fuck.
BorrowedSolution
The genuine appreciation that people showed him was awesome.
La Loco
That warmed my callused heart.
Scrotum H. Vainglorious
Would a true altruist feel compelled to record this crap and upload it to the Internet? It's more about him than it is helping the homeless. 5 for the narcissism.
TheOtherCapnS
They would if they hoped to inspire other people to do the same thing.

Grandmaster Funk
You must do a lot for the homeless in your offline life to take the moral high ground here.

Jet Bin Fever
Yeah, while I think most acts of charity have a selfish, self-beneficial component, I think the intention of treating these people with dignity, respect, and love far outweighs it here.

memedumpster
I for one welcome our new selfish altruist masters, and would like to apologize to the NSA for having to watch the bags of dicks on this website who are trying to ruin Christmas. Thank god I can just log out. Sorry it's your job.
That guy
Please retitle this thread to:
Poking a Stick at the Kantian Ethics Beehive
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