Posted by ncordless
Posted by KungFuMaster
Posted by ncordless
And I am saying so what if he can't. It's the fact that he and the people around him are going to attempt it that matters
Of course you can't wake up and be an Olympic sprinter. But if you woke up one morning and decided you were going to try and win the Olympics and dedicated yourself to the task, even if you never even really got close, you'd still be better off than if you'd woke up and said no I can't do it. It's better to try and fail than to never try.
So what if people are not all born the same? Are you seriously saying that people shouldn't try to overcome their handicaps? Why should Maynard be content to let his disability control his life and decide what he can and cannot do.
Kyle Maynard could die up on Killamanjaro, and the fact that he and the people around him attempted would still be a success. Like I said before, better to die trying and failing than to live and never have tried.
And as far as how much gratification he will get out of it, I think he is probably in a better place to answer that than you or I.
I agree the attempt itself is a success. It has eastern philosophy written all over it. And as someone who tries to live his life according to eastern philosophy, I must object to Maynard's ambitions. I cannot allow someone to risk his life to help me achieve something as selfish as climbing a mountain. I agree completely with Warglory here...
If Maynard was to embark on a selfless act such as helping world hunger - and needed physical help and support, I would support the act and donate to the cause. Climbing a mountain is selfish IMO. One can argue it has symbolic meanings and will inspired folks around the world to test the limits of their bodies - but to me, that is pure selfishness. Here in America, we do a lot of selfish things and try to fabricate some out of this world meaning to justify it and make it appear honorable.
If you want to be selfless and inspire others to do the same, you go out and give your heart and soul to helping others and expect nothing in return. You would go into third world countries and bleed so others can live. That is being selfless. To me, climbing a mountain is strictly a personal ambition. The physical benefits will benefit no one other than the climber. One can argue the intangible benefits will inspire others...but I don't buy it. People who want to set records and swim around the world, fly around the world etc. are doing so because of personal ambition.
In the case of Maynard, it is a personal ambition but his situation is unique and requires a team of expert to help him do so.
Let me ask you personally, ncordless - would you allow someone to risk his life to help you climb Mt. Kilimanjaro?
If they wanted to, definitely. What's more, if I was in a position to help someone like Maynard climb that mountain, I'd risk my life to do it. I would have no problem asking people who know the risks to engage in possibly life-threatening activity. Last time I did it was when I rafted the Rogue River. I am an inexperienced rafter, and while I tried my best I got us in a couple hairy situations by getting ejected. What's worse, not only did I accept help, I paid for it. I had a river guide, and I am glad I did. And you know what else? I bet so was he. Now I realize that rafting the rogue is not the same thing as climbing the tallest mountain in Africa, but the principle is the same. If the people are in a position where they know the risks and have an opportunity to accept or deny them, there is nothing selfish in receiving their acceptance. To refuse it is paternalistic in my opinion. I tend to treat people like they are intelligent enough to be able to make decisions for themselves. I call it respect. Your version of selfishness contains no respect for the individual who decides your goal or cause is what he wants as well and determines to aid you at his own peril. Again, you seem to think that it is an inherently bad thing to ask someone to risk their life There are much worse things than dying.
And there are things much better than just living. Your idea of selfishness is too arbitrary. What you see as selfishness, others might see as the greatest gift they could receive, the opportunity to act selflessly in helping someone else fulfill a personal goal that they would not otherwise be able to achieve by themselves. Take the example donating a kidney to someone who will otherwise die. Even if the act of accepting an organ donation could be considered selfish, the giving and taking an organ is as much an act of selflessness as selfishness. Is it always better to deny the opportunity for someone to act selflessly in order to not act selfishly? For selflessness to exist in the world, so must selfishness. Most selfish action is bad action, but not necessarily all of it. But the thing is, the question is moot in this context because accepting help in a life threatening situation is not an act of selfishness.
If the rule of ethics to be followed is that you should never ask someone or accept their offer to engage in life-threatening behavior to accomplish personal ambitions, the consequences are absurd. If your goal is to survive an attack or fire, it is selfish call the police or the fire department. . . and the more your life is in danger the more selfish you are. Driving a car with passengers to a place of your choosing is selfish. Batman was selfish for allowing Robin to help him. Watching MMA is about as selfish as it gets, because you are allowing fighters to accept the task of engaging in physical combat for your personal pleasure.
The better rule is to give them the opportunity and let them accept or deny the decision to engage in life threatening behavior, even if it is for your benefit. If a person is fully aware of the dangers, affirmatively takes on the challenge and all the risks it entails (and there would be a ton because I am in no shape to climb Mt. K right now), then I would gladly accept their help with gratitude.
If everyone who helps Kyle on this venture is being paid, than there is no problem because they are being paid for their risk, but I have a feeling it's those closest to him that are going to be doing the majority of the helping in terms of assisting in his physical difficulties.
Your situation, assuming Kyle is using volunteers, is nothing like his situation, because as you pointed out, there were professionals whose job it was, to guide the inexperienced rafters. The principle is not the same, because money was involved, thus not making it a selfless endeavor.
The reason that volunteers in this case, would be selfish on Kyle's part, has nothing to do with someone else's ability to form their own logical reasoning, it's that he would be taking advantage of their loyalties for his own personal gain. The volunteers would be ready and willing to go, and that's commendable, but it's being done so Kyle can fuel his self worth. Now self worth is a huge aspect of life, especially when you are as disadvantaged as him, but when your self worth is attained by exploiting others, that translates into selfishness.
Donating a kidney is not a valid comparison because, as far as I know, Kyle is a healthy adult who just wants to climb a mountain just because he wants to say he can. If Kyle didn't do this, he'd go on living just fine. How is it not selfish to ask someone else if it's okay to rely on them so that you can stroke your own ego?
Here's a more apt comparison. Imagine if someone is a completely self sufficient adult that wants to do some death defying act with extreme risk, like free climbing a large cliff face. Now this person's significant other is completely supportive, 100% behind them, but the couple has 4 young kids, and the partner doesn't make enough to support the family if the adventurer is killed. Is it okay for the rock climber to take his/her family's blessing and proceed with achieving this dream? I say no, because that person is being completely selfish and ignoring the larger risk of what death can bring to those that care for this individual. This is exactly what Kyle is doing, just in a different way (again, assuming there are volunteers helping him out).