Since time immemorial, the subject of aid has resided with mankind. The encouragement to give a hand for any successful course, however, remained divisive. Alfie’s thesis on the wrong way to get people to do the right thing provides insight into the mind of man when it comes to making a decision to help. Each individual behavior is a function of personal effort, desired reward and other externalities. Humanity is marked by pro-social behaviour, but the idea of incentives dilutes the very essential explanation behind it. By highlighting several examples of how the corporate world lobbies for some social responsibilities to alleviate suffering, the author underscores the hidden self-interest that advances the shareholder profits. In the same spirit, children are encouraged to practice such positive behaviors as charity although with a blend of reward attached. The article already indicates that people are predisposed to prosocial actions, but lacking altruism shows the reason behind elusive genuine help.
In reference to Kant ethics theory, the morality of helping should emphasize on what is right and not what is good. In essence, actions focused on utilitarian gain do not amount to genuine motive. It has been observed in the society that help is based on the expected return by the helper. In fact most of the prosocial behavior exhibited in practice tends to take the utilitarian approach to help. For instance, the concept of reinforcement as a way of teaching children on the acceptable moral standards silently advances the spirit of helping due to attached reward. As such, it has become difficult to shift the mindset that helping results to supposed quantifiable gain in the long-run. Even most of the charity events organized; there is always the issue of a motivational factor to entice people for participation much as it is meant to serve a humanity course.
The egoistic nature of people tends to overshadow the aspect of altruism in people. The society has been constructed to propagate the idea that helping is associated with some form of gain. In fact, for people who may hold the different opinion that charity or help should target what is right, they are deemed naïve. The main theme in the issue of prosocial action is that it can be achieved through either altruism or self-interest motivation. The society is constructed on the basis that the prosocial behavior must be initiated by some external force. In most cases, the reverse moral outcome of charity is a product of societal actions. Children are brought up with constant intent or actual reward against a positive behavior. In such away, successive generations have grown to engage in a prosocial behavior as a result of expected reward either tangible or intangible immediately or in the future. The concept of _x0093_good_x0094_ over _x0093_right_x0094_ is the difference. The article provides an experimental scenario that indicates a thin line between altruism and egoistic behavior. The issue that the emphasis on reward as the motivation behind helping, disguise the spirit of free will. Altruism should be based on helping because it_x0092_s the right thing rather because it_x0092_s good.
The extrinsic incentive that children see as always associated with helping makes them believe that altruism is attached to reward. In that regard, the author emphasizes that children should be taught to exercise their prosocial behavior on the principle of altruism rather than thinking of associated reward.
Alfie Kohn. The Wrong Way to Get People to Do the Right Thing. May 12, 2015.
Retrieved on 13 December 2017 from: http://www.alfiekohn.org/blogs/self-interest/#
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