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  The Ishmael Community: Questions and Answers

The Question (ID Number 423)...

    Ishmael says that to feed a starving people will only perpetuate their suffering, and I agree. However, Ishmael also offered as a solution *moving the starving people out, to a place where food is more abundant.* Beg your pardon, but unless I misread what you are saying, I cannot possibly understand this logic. What is the difference between sending food to the people, and sending people to the food? Is the result not the same? Would they not simply multiply in the area to whence they were moved, and eventually exhaust all those resources, as well?

    ...and the response:

    There's plenty of "difference between sending food to the people, and sending people to the food." Sending people out of a food-poor area to a food-rich area relieves the famine in the food-poor area and ends the suffering of those who are moved. You ask, "Isn't the result the same?" Of course it is--this is exactly Ishmael's point. Note that he isn't recommending moving people as a course of action. He's pointing out the hypocrisy hidden beneath our generosity. We could save all the starving people of the world by bringing them to America, but of course we don't care to do that---we want them to stay where they are. We'll send them handouts, but we don't want them camping in our backyards!


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