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A Parable

 

Most of you know the story of the boy and the starfish. For the few who don’t, it goes something like this:

Thousands of starfish washed up on a beach, and a young boy began throwing them back into the water, one-by-one. A man stopped him and pointed out that his effort made no difference since he couldn’t hope to save more than a few of the creatures. The boy looked at the starfish in his hand and replied, “Well, it matters to this one,” and he threw it into the sea.

The man in the parable is a collectivist who hates inequality. If you can’t help everyone, it’s unfair to help a few. The boy is an individualist who knows that individual life matters; we help those we can.

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There are 17 comments.

  1. Contributor

    What an insightful way to look at that story, Richard. It’s taken on a whole new meaning for me. Thanks!

    • #1
    • February 1, 2018 at 4:28 pm
    • 8 likes
  2. Moderator

    Umm… there is this view too:

    • #2
    • February 1, 2018 at 4:32 pm
    • 20 likes
  3. Contributor

    SkipSul (View Comment):
    Umm… there is this view too:

    Oh my gosh, @skipsul, that’s terrible! [snicker] You really know how to kill a mood . . .

    • #3
    • February 1, 2018 at 4:37 pm
    • 4 likes
  4. Member
    Richard Fulmer Post author

    SkipSul (View Comment):
    Umm… there is this view too:

    Geez, you try to bring a little class to this place…

    • #4
    • February 1, 2018 at 4:58 pm
    • 12 likes
  5. Moderator

    Richard Fulmer (View Comment):

    SkipSul (View Comment):
    Umm… there is this view too:

    Geez, you try to bring a little class to this place…

    Sorry. I can remove it.

    • #5
    • February 1, 2018 at 5:02 pm
    • 2 likes
  6. Coolidge

    Fulmer, that’s a great parable. SkipSul, that is one funny clip. Thanks to both of you.

    Kent

    • #6
    • February 1, 2018 at 5:07 pm
    • 10 likes
  7. Member
    Richard Fulmer Post author

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    Richard Fulmer (View Comment):

    SkipSul (View Comment):
    Umm… there is this view too:

    Geez, you try to bring a little class to this place…

    Sorry. I can remove it.

    No way. It’s a hoot!

    • #7
    • February 1, 2018 at 5:17 pm
    • 10 likes
  8. Member

    “And those starfish, who nature and/or God had determined were not fit to survive, will go on to reproduce and hand down their unfit genes to the next generation, thereby degenerating the starfish population. Is that what you want, kid?!

    ;-)

    • #8
    • February 1, 2018 at 5:50 pm
    • 8 likes
  9. Member

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    Richard Fulmer (View Comment):

    SkipSul (View Comment):
    Umm… there is this view too:

    Geez, you try to bring a little class to this place…

    Sorry. I can remove it.

    Not necessary. When at first you don’t succeed, try. Try. Again.

    • #9
    • February 1, 2018 at 6:51 pm
    • 2 likes
  10. Coolidge

    SkipSul (View Comment):
    Umm… there is this view too:

    I’m pretty sure that guy’s the collectivist. The guy in the OP is an Objectivist.

    • #10
    • February 1, 2018 at 7:15 pm
    • 1 like
  11. Contributor

    I always weep at that point in the movie…

    ”You may have washed up on this shore as an echinoderm… but you’re going back out into that ocean… A STAR!”

    • #11
    • February 1, 2018 at 7:17 pm
    • 11 likes
  12. Member

    I don’t trust the starfish.

    • #12
    • February 1, 2018 at 10:14 pm
    • 3 likes
  13. Coolidge

    Richard Fulmer (View Comment):

    SkipSul (View Comment):
    Umm… there is this view too:

    Geez, you try to bring a little class to this place…

    Have you met us?

    :P

    • #13
    • February 2, 2018 at 3:08 am
    • 8 likes
  14. Thatcher

    Richard Fulmer: If you can’t help everyone, it’s unfair to help a few.

    This is one of the core problems with liberalism, along with equality of outcome. They would destroy all charities, leaving only the government to provide “aid” to those in need – which would be nearly everybody.

    • #14
    • February 2, 2018 at 7:27 am
    • 6 likes
  15. Member

    @skipsul and @richardfulmer, you’re both  right!

    Because you gotta keep tryin to save ’em ! As much for your sake as for theirs–

    but, you are  messing with their ecosystem, and that always has unforseeable consequences, not always fortuitous.

    And there are some who will immediately begin rushing back to the deadly sand anyway.

    Both these versions are very apt parables!

    • #15
    • February 3, 2018 at 5:23 am
    • 5 likes
  16. Coolidge

    When I was in college (Notre Dame ‘85) a student cartoon was very popular. My favorite was when one of the characters is drawn next to a fire hydrant in a typical South Bend field of deep snow. He is holding a Bic lighter up to the snow and someone asks him what he’s doing.

    “I’m doing what I can to overcome winter.”

    The other person says, “But this whole state is covered in snow, what good will you do with one Bic lighter?”

    The Bic guy responds, ”What good is one vote? What good is one prayer?”

    I always thought it was poignant, even though I side with the guy asking what good it does.

    • #16
    • February 3, 2018 at 6:55 am
    • 5 likes
  17. Member
    Richard Fulmer Post author

    lowtech redneck (View Comment):

    Richard Fulmer (View Comment):

    SkipSul (View Comment):
    Umm… there is this view too:

    Geez, you try to bring a little class to this place…

    Have you met us?

    :P

    What was I thinking?

    • #17
    • February 3, 2018 at 12:23 pm
    • 6 likes