O pomocy w potrzebie


The article tries to find an answer to the question: When should we help, and how much sacrifice should we make while helping? Some opinion of Seneca, Bacon, Hume, Kant, Sidgwick and Mill are quoted – either pertaining directly to that question or touching upon subjects closely related to it. These opinions, together with an analysis of some examples, help to formulate eleven principles which may come in handy whenever we wonder how much help can be expected of us in particular situations. These eleven principles are not enough to find answers to all questions that might arise in such situations. Neither are they sufficient to find a solution to the query, how much we should do in common to bring help to those who need it. It seems therefore that the range of help in need should be determined by the individual and subjective considerations, such as benevolence, spontaneous sympathy, love or goodness, and not by unbiased, ethical arguments. But if this solution is right the problem of help in need is largely removed from the sphere of ethical considerations.