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Reply #145: Good grief! [View All]

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ljm2002 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 06:21 PM
Response to Reply #140
145. Good grief!
You ask, "How is talking about causes preventing the treatment of symptoms?"

Well, by gosh, it isn't.

Now if you would like to disagree with any of the points I actually made, feel free.

You also cite "ferocious resistance to discussing causes and political solutions". I am NOT resistant to discussing causes, nor to taking actions that address causes. Believe me, I understand that it is crucial to do so. HOWEVER, it really bugs me that so many people -- often of the conservative stripe, by the way -- are quick to dismiss useful, helpful actions on the basis that "You are only treating the symptoms". And of course, when they make that argument, what they are really saying is "Why should we give those yahoos anything anyway?" But the "treating the symptoms but not the causes" blurb gives them cover for their mean-spiritedness.

Take the saying, "Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach him to fish, feed him for life". Well, yes, sure. Perfectly sensible and plausible. Except for a few things that get conveniently left out: what if all the fish in the lake have died? What if it will take a month to train him to fish -- should you give him a few fish in the meantime, or just let him die of starvation?

I am merely making the point that this bit of accepted wisdom, that it is better to treat causes than symptoms, is not entirely correct and can lead to wrong thinking if our goal is to truly help those who need it.
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