Critical analysis of samaritains dilema Essay

This essay has a total of 994 words and 4 pages.

critical analysis of samaritains dilema



In the essay Samaritan's Dilemma, Robert Sirico claims that charity is not always helpful
to society. He implies that some people take advantage of others kindness, in this case,
soup kitchens.

To support his claim, Sirico told a story of when he was training to be a priest. He
states that each Friday he would help set up and serve a free meal to those in need,
usually 200 to 500 people. One Friday after the meal, he and a friend cleaned up then went
to a seafood pub just down the street. While eating the two men realized that the soup
kitchen they had just finished working at was competition to the seafood pub and other
surrounding restaurants. They realized that their charity was making it harder for other
entrepreneurs to make a living and provide for their families.

Sirico basically states that when people are waited on "hand and foot" they become more
dependant on others, therefore, making it even harder for them to get out of poverty. He
also implies that giving "handouts" to people encourages laziness. He says, "When charity
creates a disincentive for an able-bodied person to work, it leads this person down the
wrong path. It encourages indolence. Real work provides the individual with the vehicle
for a productive and virtuous life. It gives a person self esteem and a role to play in
society."

The support he uses does not help his case, though. For example, the comparison Sirico
makes of the soup kitchen to a seafood pub is irrelevant. He states, "Just a block away we
provide a product and a service that make this man's effort to provide for his own family
more difficult." A soup kitchen and a seafood pub are not comparable. The pub has the
intention to make money, whereas a soup kitchen is not interested in money. Soup kitchens
are there for the purpose of people who cannot afford to eat at other places. The speaker
never states the prices or quality of food at the pub. This information would help the
reader recognize the similarities and differences between the two. Sirico fails to mention
the other restaurants that are also the pub owner's competition. Surrounding restaurants
may be taking business from the pub, not the soup kitchen. In addition, Sirico uses
insufficient personal experience to suggest that people are taking advantage of charity.
After observing people coming to the soup kitchen, Sirico noticed a couple that "told me
they needed to eat quickly because they were planning to go shopping after dinner." But
what he does not say is that the couple may have been going shopping at the Salvation Army
or Goodwill. He never states the appearance of the people and does not investigate deeply
enough into their intentions. Readers are likely to feel angry with Sirico for making
generalizations. They may think that he does not care enough about the people who need the
services; he is only caught up in those who he thinks do not need it. Although he is a
priest, references to the Bible do not supply adequate support. Sirico says, "God gave
Adam and Eve the Earth and its wonders as a gift, but He expected them to mix their labor
with the resources he provided". This is strictly his interpretation of what God expected
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