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About jonbirch

animator, illustrator, character designer, graphic designer. music producer/recording musician. co-owner of PROOST. proost.co.uk
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39 Responses to 770

  1. Sophie says:

    There’s nothing like a cheerful giver!

  2. Cameron says:

    Yes! Someone gets it!

    If it doesn’t hurt it ain’t sacrifice…

  3. Robb says:

    Does altruism actually exist?

  4. Lee says:

    yes it does Robb

  5. Mark says:

    As C.S. Lewis once said, we have made a virtue out of selflessness, which is stupid, because the virtue is loving others. Being selfless is not innately good. (I paraphrase.)

  6. Forrest says:

    Wait a minute, isn’t selflessness intended to be about giving, or at least part of the process; and isn’t giving an attitude of the heart?

    Okay, give the guy credit for being halfway there – sometimes that’s all the far I get myself.

  7. jody says:

    it kinda depends doesn’t it?

    if the grudging thing that the guy does is give a starving person a loaf of bread, then i guess the starving person doesn’t appreciate the bread any less.

    however, i have definitely been in the position where someone has done things for me and others and has done it in such a way that the joy was taken out of the action itself. ‘don’t bother’ is my response to that kind of behaviour – it’s sooooooo manipulative.

  8. Robb says:

    But even a ‘selfless act’ gives the warm fuzzy feeling of having committed a selfless act and negates the altruistic intent…

    The One Where Phoebe Hates PBS.

  9. Sophie says:

    That is a classic friends episode Robb!

  10. Robb says:

    I get all of my morality from Friends :lol:

  11. jonbirch says:

    i thought you meant phoebe in the bible, robb… i was searching my brain! :-) if i let someone watch friends on my tv without kicking up a fuss i’d certainly believe in altruism. :-)

  12. herbeey says:

    It’s a sad fact that it’s very hard to do something selfless without a byproduct being that it benefits us in some way.

    Does that not sound a bit wrong?

    ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ Perhaps it is the case that doing both at the same time is somewhat biblical.

  13. Tiggy Sagar says:

    Stuff about losing your self makes me scared. I tried to do that when I was 15 and it was very bad. I barely had a self to lose.

    People should find their true selves and then they wouldn’t have to be so defensive and insecure and giving would come more naturally.

  14. Pat says:

    Herbeey – I think Derrida argued that ‘pure’ giving was simply not possible for humans and that our gift economy necessarily carries the implication of a certain circularity – the subconscious assumption that at some stage and in some way, there will be some return.

    Of course i might be completely wrong about that….and so might he have been :lol:

  15. Tiggy Sagar says:

    Why do you consider it a sad fact Herbeey? It sounds like a good thing to me, double the benefit and twice the incentive. It helps the species to survive. It’s good that something we need to do to survive is enjoyable, like with sexual reproduction – if animals didn’t enjoy it then they probably wouldn’t do it and the species woul die out.

  16. JF says:

    Someone remind me why sacrifice is important?

  17. Tiggy Sagar says:

    Er…God needs the blood or something. Gods always demand blood and they need feeding from time to time, like a pet snake.

    It’s important to make sacrifices so you can feel like a martyr – just ask my mother.

  18. Forrest says:

    Ohh, just a hair cynical today Tiggy? :-D And probably with good reason regarding dear old Mom!

    Yes, mothers are interesting people, especially OCD control freaks.
    But, ya still love them.
    And love to talk about them! ;-D

  19. subo says:

    those experiences of ‘loaded gifts’ hurt deeply, there more about fear, control and self-aggrandisement than love, the recipient is left feeling de-valued. so here’s to celebrating the real thing….

    Rick Rescorla, who was born and raised in Hayle, West Cornwall, helped save the lives of 2,700 people by ensuring they evacuated the World Trade Center south tower before it collapsed after being hit by one of two hijacked airliners.

    The 62-year-old former US Vietnam War veteran, who was head of security for Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, was killed when the tower collapsed.

    “On September 11, 2001, Rick was working as vice-president of security at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter in the south tower of the World Trade Center.

    “When American Airlines flight 11 struck the north tower, Rick reacted according to the training he had and the plans he developed following the 1993 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. Against the advice of officials, he ordered an immediate evacuation of all 2,700 Morgan Stanley Dean Witter employees from the building and led them to safety.

    “After the evacuation, United Flight 175 hit the south tower. He then re-entered the building to search for survivors. He was never seen again.

    “Due to Rick’s heroic actions, more than 2,700 lives were saved that day. The extraordinary courage and selflessness displayed by Rick Rescorla is an inspiration and credit to the state of New Jersey and to his fellow Americans.”

  20. subo says:

    just curious Forrest, have you ever seen any one stand up to the ‘mothers who are control freaks’?.

    it frustrates me when I’m silenced by wannabe good doers, who run around control freaks meeting every whim. churches seem to encourage this kind of destructive behaviour, disregarding what’s happening to everyone else in the family, while they minister to the ‘control freak’, as though it’s obviously the right thing to do!

    as to people suffering from OCD, I have every sympathy for people experiencing this cruel and disabling condition, which is listed as causing more pain to the sufferer than any other kind of mental distress.

  21. Forrest says:

    Yes subo, me and my brother to ours.
    Talk about fireworks.

  22. Forrest says:

    Come to think of it, Dad, and late in her life his sister, to theirs.
    Maxine, yes, that’s her name, did NOT like that.
    and I don’t have much in the way of warm fuzzy feelings toward her myself.

  23. Tiggy Sagar says:

    Looking at the cartoon again, I would say the man is being honest and straighforward; the woman is being martyrish and manipulative and trying to make him feel guilty.

  24. Forrest says:

    Ooooo, that’s a good point.

  25. subo says:

    do you and your brothers make a unified consensus prior to taking a stand? would that be possible / make any difference?

    my sisters continue the game of damning me to keep the ‘story’ going, it’s been hard for me to begin to hear a different story, and let the family one loose it’s power in my mind

    I have to accept my sisters actually believe all that stuff about me, it’s just the way they see the world, and from having tried to see it differently, I know how hard it is to take a fresh look at things

  26. subo says:

    how come this has gone from 21 – 25 in the time it took me to type one comment?

  27. Tiggy Sagar says:

    ‘my sisters continue the game of damning me to keep the ‘story’ going, it’s been hard for me to begin to hear a different story, and let the family one loose it’s power in my mind

    I have to accept my sisters actually believe all that stuff about me, it’s just the way they see the world’

    Wow, that’s my story exactly, Subo – even with the two ‘ugly’ sisters.

  28. Forrest says:

    Re: do you and your brothers make a unified consensus prior to taking a stand? would that be possible / make any difference?

    We’re usually not there at the same time or having the same matters as we’ve both now been away from parents home for 2 decades and Wes is in the Army moving all over this planet. He loves Germany.

    In younger years it was mostly best go just go along, for survivals sake as a child sees it.

  29. subo says:

    thanks for the discussion, and best wishes

    lets celebrate the fact that we survived

  30. rebecca says:

    Once again, I’ve been thinking about this cartoon overnight, and with no intention of being disrespectful to Subo et al, I’m going to go right back to the beginning.

    I don’t like the part-verse “God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9v7). Used in isolation, it’s open to abuse by fundraisers! (Rather like the verse “If someone shall not work, they shall not eat” is open to abuse by Thatcherites; if there was ever a verse that should not be used out of context…) More importantly, I believe that God loves everybody equally, whether they are a cheerful giver or not. So a statement such as “God loves a cheerful giver” is not telling us anything more than a statement such as “God loves everyone whose surname begins with B”. Meaning gets lost in translation; perhaps what St Paul intended to say was something along the lines of: “Cheerful giving is behaviour which is particularly pleasing to God” with perhaps the subtext: “I don’t need to explain why this is — it’s good in its own right”.

    Another thing: I find it hard to believe that sacrifice is an end in itself. Hosea 6v6: “I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings”, which is also quoted twice in Matthew, is helpful here.

  31. JF says:

    Agree very much, Rebecca.

    Giving is good in its own right; even better if you can be cheerful in doing it. My own innate moral compass will tell me that. I don’t need to believe that I’m somehow cheering a God up by doing it.

    And as to your point on sacrifice… I asked earlier why sacrifice is important. Can anyone enlighten me?

  32. jonbirch says:

    rebecca, agreed.

    jf… i think there is a time and place for sacrifice. nothing worse than self-seeking martyrdom. on the other hand i’m pretty grateful for the sacrifice made by many against hitler so i may live in freedom, or the person who picks someone up and takes them to hospital even though it’s out of their way, or the man who steps in to protect someone against their attacker at risk to themselves. i think we’d all agree about sacrifice in that way. i worry when people can’t stop serving even if they have the worst migraine, sacrificing themselves when they should really be having a lie down and leaving it to those who are in better nick.
    in non-religious language ‘moral compass’ could be read as a more modern way of saying ‘spirit’. going with what my spirit says. i guess a biblical way of putting it would be my spirit agreeing with god’s spirit. hmmmmm… anyone else?

  33. JF says:

    Jon, I agree that self-sacrifice can manifest itself in kindness and goodness. But, as Rebecca said, it’s not an end in itself, so it only has value in terms of its results.

    You made a sacrifice! Well done!… er… but what did it achieve?

    I agree about the feeling of aligning one’s spirit with God’s spirit. God, for me, is an internal ‘ideal’. He does not exist anywhere else. But it is a strong enough ‘spirit’ to guide me.

  34. Tiggy Sagar says:

    If someone makes a sacrifice and it goes wrong though, say in a war situation or a rescue, we still give credit to them for trying. We don’t just say, ‘Yes, but it didn’t achieve anything.’ We recognise the spirit in the person who responded to that situation and often in an intuitive way without reasoning through the morality of it.

  35. JF says:

    True, Tiggy, but I guess that something is only a ‘sacrifice’ if we judge it to be in a ‘good’ cause, (even if it is not successful). So it is still, in that sense, serving a cause, rather than being an end in itself. We definitely do reason through the morality of it.

    What did you think of Bobby Sands’ ‘sacrifice’? Or Yukio Mishima’s? (Maybe you’re not that old!) Is there merit in sacrifices for what we consider to be ‘bad’ reasons? “Good on those suicide bombers for trying!” …. No.

    To continue Jon’s point, there isn’t such a sense of sacrifice accorded to the fallen German soldiers, or the Japanese kamikaze pilots. History has shown these deaths to have been for a wrong, futile cause. The German losses are commemorated in quite low-key fashion, but few talk in terms of “they died for us”; few people visit the mass graves over thousands of square miles of the Eastern Front in gratitude for their laying down of life.

    Many British soldiers at Paschendaele died futile deaths, but we consider their deaths a sacrifice in the context of a won war, not a lost battle.

    So our value judgement is part of the definition.

  36. Tiggy Sagar says:

    I meant that the person involved in a sacrifice doesn’tt necesserily think through the morality of it in a rational way, they do certain things instinctively – not that we don’t reason about it.

    I would still admire someone’s courage and self-sacrifice even if they were on ‘the wrong side’ in a war. Bobby Sands? Well he had his cause to fight for. Often these things are judged differently many years later, the suffragettes for example – most people despised them at the time.

  37. Tiggy Sagar says:

    ‘History has shown these deaths to have been for a wrong, futile cause.’

    History has a habit of changing its mind. Wrong and futile are two different things.

    ‘“Good on those suicide bombers for trying!” …. No.’

    Sometimes suicide bombing is the only thing people can resort to. It certainly takes more courage than ordinary bombing.

  38. JF says:

    Well i’m afraid I refuse to associate any positive motive or characteristic with the atrocity of suicide bombs. But I suppose, as suicide bombing only ever seems to be perpetrated in the name of religion, it should indeed be called sacrifice.

  39. Tiggy Sagar says:

    They are NOT just used in the name of religion and they’re kind of the poor man’s (or woman’s) bomb. Are they worse than other bombs? Do you think countries should not defend themselves?

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