(I'm just leaving this in for context.)
Do you really
mean this? I'm really surprised.
I'm not trying to affect moral superiority here; I am in no position to; if anything, I am likely to be your moral inferior, because for instance you do socially useful voluntary work (see above), whereas I do nothing but cower away from the world.
But I do think that the attitude you seem to be expressing here is an immoral one, so I question what you mean, and whether I am reading it correctly.
You're not leaving much room for doubt as to your meaning, I must say!
(Also, I do seem to detect traces of Nietzsche in your words.)
It's a strange thing. When I was embroiled in a thread where I got into hot water for making fun of something Alan posted and then withdrew (I'm sure you remember those shenanigans), you were the one person who confirmed what had actually happened. That may have been because you had access to more information that anyone else - this seems to fit with what you say about the voluntary work you do! - but whatever the reason for it, I appreciated it deeply. That was a case of morality in action: a morality that is related to a concern for the truth, not succumbing to relativism and the confusion of truth with power. I may have read too much into it.
I am highlighting a general mode of thinking in the world, which lies at the heart of what makes a community. I feel I am obliged to help those that I may have daily content as I can as I feel necessary. But to say that I am morally obliged to help people in distant countries for something I have no control over is ridiculous. I care more about family and community. I don't really care about country and world.
Other than that, I was playing devil's advocate to Extrain's thinking from ivory towers. He reacted as I though he would.
This idea that we need to assist people
It is one thing to have a personal moral stance about an issue, quite another to have an abstract stance about an issue. I am harassed constantly in the forum when I say something in the abstract that is connected to an emotionally charged issue. Theatetus did not say that he didn't oblige himself to help those in need, only that there was no real force outside himself that could do it. Given all the influential forces that attempt to make it a mandate to help those in need, if it were truly obligatory to help, one of them would have probably succeeded in doing so. The fact that Theatetus does help in spite of the various pulls of his environment and psyche that make it hard to is a testament to his abstract stand. I know you aren't judging him negatively in any real way, I just thought this needed to be said.
Thanks! I couldn't have said it better myself. I just feel lucky that I don't have to type my name in my own posts.