If someone had decided that it was too scary or terrifying or odious to help other people, but that they weren’t brave, honest, or proud enough to simply say so, then it stands to reason that they would find a tricky indirect way of making it an “obvious choice.”

I think of that as the “It’s beyond my control” defense.

Although I am reviewing potential candidates for this, so far, the clear winner is the “Let’s just make it so that it’s your fault” technique.

Did a bad thing happen to you? If it can be reasonably suggested that it was your fault, then no one has to help.

From what I can see, this is the underlying principle behind many many different social and political stances, and the bottom line, the assumed conclusion in each and every case is “…so therefore, I am not obligated in any way to help*.” I can’t say for certain, but this seems to be one of the meanest things I’ve ever seen people do to each other.

It’s like the exact opposite of compassion.

Come to think of it, I’m not so sure this is hypothetical.

* Although prayer is often offered in those cases. Prayer has an effectivity value approximately equal to its cost. And honestly, is there any proof the prayer actually occurred? I would think that unless a person knelt down immediately and prayed at that moment, it’s much more likely that the promised prayer would either be forgotten in a matter of minutes, or simply ignored (which raises all sorts of theological questions: if you promise to pray for someone and then you don’t, isn’t there a supernatural creature underlying your morality that’s gonna get honked off at you for being a lying jerk and making that supernatural creature look bad?!).