Moral Dilemma: Consequences vs. Agenda

Suppose there’s a reputable organization that is non-profit, and any precedes it receives goes straight to the needy.  Basically, it is pure charity.  The needy are very thankful for this organization and many people regard this organization as a wonderful help not only to the needy, but to the community as a whole.  However, this organization supports a philosophy—and it even has an agenda—that goes against your personal beliefs.  It isn’t just something that you find a unique quirk.  The agenda is so bad, that you find it morally abhorrent.  On the one hand, donating resources to the charity helps the community; on the other hand, you will indirectly support their agenda which is morally abhorrent.  What should you do?

About shaunmiller

I have just completed a visiting position as an assistant professor at Dalhousie University. My ideas are not associated with my employer; they are expressions of my own thoughts and ideas. Some of them are just musings while others could be serious discussions that could turn into a bigger project. Besides philosophy, I enjoy martial arts (Kuk Sool Won), playing my violin, enjoying coffee around town, and experimenting with new food.
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3 Responses to Moral Dilemma: Consequences vs. Agenda

  1. thekillerj says:

    It sounds like what the Mafia use to do with their community housing projects. Positive behaviors can be used as a front for disguising another agenda. Maybe like a Potemkin Village. I couldn’t support something that at face value does good, but has a morally abhorrent force driving it.

  2. Tim says:

    Find a different charity that is helping those same people in need. There are always plenty of options.

  3. Chris says:

    The answer depends on the consequences of supporting the organization, so framing it as an “agenda vs. consequences” split doesn’t make sense if we’re interested in a consequentialist answer — the agenda is part of the consequences. Will the donation raise their profile and enable them to spread their agenda more effectively? Will other people know I’ve donated to them and think less of me? What other unexpected consequences might there be from many people supporting a charity with repugnant views?

    If the increase in their public profile is minimal, and the effectiveness of their charity is the largest available return on investment, I think we would have an obligation to donate to them while hoping that a group with a better agenda comes along soon.

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