Wednesday, April 14, 2021

The Ethicist: Eleemosynary

Dear Ethicist, I have an end-of-life problem. I've always been a generous guy. I actually like helping people because it makes me feel like a big shot. I also feel it opens doors. However, lately as I begin to plan for my retirement, I'm realizing it makes no sense to be so generous. I’ve already lived my life and nothing's going to come of so-called targeted philanthropy which is aimed at giving to the charities of people who can do something for me. Perhaps I should  think of other ways of spending the little time I have left. I could use the dough. I could stay in super luxury hotels and have suites instead of single rooms. I could eat in the finest restaurants and buy myself a Lamborghini or Tesla. I have developed an equation in my head which shows how the amount of money you give away is inversely proportional to the amount time you have left on earth. What do you think of this calculation?




Dear Eleemosynary: You sound very calculating. What happened to the idea of giving freely? I’m sure a lot of the charities and people you donated time and money to over the years would be saddened to learn of your ulterior motives. I can see if you had come to the end and the doctor says you don’t have much time left how you might at least feel selfish, but I'm being charitable in calling you a jerk. Actually you’re behaving like a real asshole.

Read "An Incident of Defenestration" by Francis Levy, 

Vol. 1 Brooklyn


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