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Renegade

Notre Dame Rebuild

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It's been slow here lately, so I'm going to get this off my chest.  I've seen several instances where people are upset with those who donated funds to rebuild the Notre Dame Cathedral.  They're angry that the funds weren't spent on something more worthy.   One comment said "a single human life is worth more than any building".

 

I haven't seen any of that here on LO, and I'm glad for that because I think the criticism is misplaced for a couple of reasons.  First, consider what the money would have been used for if it hadn't been donated.  Is there any evidence that this money was pulled from other other donations?  Or, was it additional?  My understanding is that this money represents new donations.  In other words, this money would have been spent on yachts and jewelry (or sat in a bank account) if it hadn't been donated.   If that's the case, this is a better use and should not be criticized.

 

In fact, this criticism can discourage further donations.  No matter what cause you give to, someone will believe you should have given to theirs instead.  I think many donate as a way to assuage any guilt they may have.  They want to feel better about themselves.   But, when they're faced with public criticism for having given away money, they're less likely to do it again.  This sort of criticism does nothing to encourage philanthropy overall.

 

Another point is that we all (almost all) have disposable income.  I could tell these Notre Dame critics that they should be donating their money to fight starvation in Africa instead of buying whatever it is that they buy (cell phones, makeup, entertainment, dining out, etc.).  Surely 'a single human life is worth more than eye shadow'?  The point is that we have no room to criticize others for making the same decision we make ourselves.  We all prioritize our own comfort ahead of the lives of others.   That may indeed be wrong.  But, how can I criticize you for something I do myself?

 

Finally, do we really believe "a single human life is worth more than any building"?  How much is a human life worth?  They're perishable, normally lasting less than a century, no matter how much you spend on them.  We have quite a lot of them already, maybe even more than the planet can properly support.  If you answer the question honestly, it sort of depends on whose life we're talking about.  For me, if you're talking about my daughter's life, then I'd sacrifice every building in Paris.  If you're talking about some person I've never met and know nothing about...it might be a different answer.  I might value the pain and suffering of the 2 million people who live in Paris above that single anonymous life.  How long would this person live anyway?  What is their net impact on the world?   Maybe they're a bad person?  It's easy to devalue an unknown life.  

 

Maybe I should rethink this?  Maybe every life on Earth is as precious as my own daughter's?  That's extremely difficult to wrap my head around...maybe even impossible.  And, if my priorities are wrong, I'm not alone.  By their actions, I see everyone else making the same decisions.

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On 5/10/2019 at 6:00 AM, Renegade said:

It's been slow here lately, so I'm going to get this off my chest.  I've seen several instances where people are upset with those who donated funds to rebuild the Notre Dame Cathedral.  They're angry that the funds weren't spent on something more worthy.   One comment said "a single human life is worth more than any building".

 

Is there any evidence that this money was pulled from other other donations?  Or, was it additional?  My understanding is that this money represents new donations.  In other words, this money would have been spent on yachts and jewelry (or sat in a bank account) if it hadn't been donated.   If that's the case, this is a better use and should not be criticized.

In fact, this criticism can discourage further donations. 

 

Another point is that we all (almost all) have disposable income. 

 

Finally, do we really believe "a single human life is worth more than any building"?  How much is a human life worth?  They're perishable, normally lasting less than a century, no matter how much you spend on them.  We have quite a lot of them already, maybe even more than the planet can properly support.  

 

Maybe I should rethink this?  Maybe every life on Earth is as precious as my own daughter's?  That's extremely difficult to wrap my head around...maybe even impossible.  And, if my priorities are wrong, I'm not alone.  By their actions, I see everyone else making the same decisions.

 

Did they pull this money out from other donations, in that rationale you are saying that this money has nothing to do with other donations. Other donations that would never come.

The operative word here is donations. Yes, you could donate your disposable income towards something you thought was important. Could be an old historic building, could be giving a couple of dollars to a Veteran who is camped out at a highway exit ramp holding a sign that says, Homeless Veteran, will work for food. 

 

Some people go to Church at last once a week and donate money to the church that then uses that money to do numerous things. 

 

Most of us have disposable income. Some folks use it to get their kids into first rate colleges, because that is important to them. 

 

See the issue is that Notre Dame holds a whole lot of history. It marked the very beginning of Paris France. How many older sites far older have been destroyed by the war in Syria?

But who cares, that's a completely different matter all together.

 

People are sitting on a lot of money that is disposable income for them, and they donated immediately overnight - which is their right. 

 

George Harrison held this concert for the starving people in Bangladesh. It would have been nice if they would have given some of their billions back then.

 

And for some people who are homeless, or people who try to take care of the homeless, it just makes one wonder why more is not being done. 

 

I mean, kids are shot everyday in inner cities, business as usual. Kids go to school, come straight back home, because they are afraid. 

 

Look, yes, I care about historic buildings just as much as the next person. And when that group of buildings went up in fire it was a horrible thing.

 

I don't know how we can compare that with a persons life. Or if we should. I mean what is the future and the past all about.

 

Why do we study history in the first place? Why study architecture, why build for the long-term? 

 

I'm sure a lot of poor sods will never fully know.

 

 

Peace!

 

 

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So then, you are saying that the Notre Dame donations, or any donation one could give is completely different any political change. 

The two are not the same. They never were.

 

Peace!

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It is a part of history I am glad to see efforts to rebuild it My wife sent them money and we arent Catholic

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The rebuilding of Notre Dame is a worthy cause.  It in no way detracts from helping the needy.

 

Notre Dame was possibly the finest example of Gothic cathedral architecture, and most specifically, French, Gothic cathedral architecture.  Unlike Egyptian, Greek or Roman ruins, It emerged from a distant time, fully intact.   The architecture of Notre Dame reflects a culture long gone, yet formative to our own.  Gothic church architecture was a complete departure from the template of classical times.  

 

Compared to classic architecture, Gothic church construction is demonstrably more advanced;  Including the use of all kinds of buttressing, arches and clever reinforcements to create lofty space;  To the beautiful stained glass windows.  To the fierce and fanciful gargoyles, designed to repel the old, pagan gods.

 

I visited Notre Dame in 1963 and was duly awed:).  But seriously, it was beautiful and history seemed to ooze out of the woodwork.

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2 minutes ago, bludog said:

The rebuilding of Notre Dame is a worthy cause.  It in no way detracts from helping the needy.

 

Notre Dame was possibly the finest example of Gothic cathedral architecture, and most specifically, French, Gothic cathedral architecture.  Unlike Egyptian, Greek or Roman ruins, It emerged from a distant time, fully intact.   The architecture of Notre Dame reflects a culture long gone, yet formative to our own.  Gothic church architecture was a complete departure from the template of classical times.  

 

Compared to classic architecture, Gothic church construction is demonstrably more advanced.  From the use of all kinds of buttressing, arches and clever reinforcements;  To the beautiful stained glass windows. 

I guess to you it means something special.

 

Peace!

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12 minutes ago, TheOldBarn said:

I guess to you it means something special.

 

Peace!

 

Yes.  It is somewhat unusual for such a massive and elaborate historical artifact to come through to modern times, unscathed.  Now, much of it needs to be rebuilt.  To me, the surviving artifacts of historical periods and places should be preserved and open to the public for subjective reflection.  And possibly to inspire new enthusiasm for the study of our antecedents.

 

Just as the pyramids, in both Egypt and Central and South America are of immense interest.  And just as Han Dynasty artifacts, for instance, are instructive of our collective past.  So too, the study of early European culture, as expressed in its architecture, is of immense value. 

 

Notre Dame falls into that category.

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13 minutes ago, bludog said:

 

Yes.  It is somewhat unusual for such a massive and elaborate historical artifact to come through to modern times, unscathed.  Now, much of it needs to be rebuilt.  To me, the surviving artifacts of historical periods and places should be preserved and open to the public subjective reflection.  And possibly to inspire new enthusiasm for the study of our antecedents.

 

Just as the pyramids, in both Egypt and Central and South America are of immense interest.  And just as Han Dynasty artifacts, for instance, are instructive of our collective past.  So too, the study of early European culture, as expressed in its architecture, is of immense value. 

 

Notre Dame falls into that category.

And it doesn't bother you that some people wish that more money could be spent in a more urgent way to save the future.

The thing caught on fire during restoration. It was an accident, it was always there, part of the skyline, part of everything people knew for countless centuries.

Not any of the promises, not any political movement, not part of the total history, it was like a statue, one could equate say with the Statue of Liberty, once.

It bothers me, not a lot, but a little. I think when you compare it with climate change, and the Earth and the future of humankind, and the slow loss of humanity - 

I mean, it bothers me a bit. What the heck does it mean?

It is hard to fathom. They don't rebuild stuff like that to such proportion without a big lobby, at least that is how it seems.

 

Peace!

 

 

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old institutes of learning  received mass donations from around the world

 

trump struggles to get funding for a wall

 

how awake as a whole do you expect man to be ?

 

would the world jump on board with France had it received the money to fight global warming? 

 

that  money could of gone to worse places too

 

 

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22 minutes ago, bludog said:

 

Yes.  It is somewhat unusual for such a massive and elaborate historical artifact to come through to modern times, unscathed.  Now, much of it needs to be rebuilt.  To me, the surviving artifacts of historical periods and places should be preserved and open to the public for subjective reflection.  And possibly to inspire new enthusiasm for the study of our antecedents.

 

Just as the pyramids, in both Egypt and Central and South America are of immense interest.  And just as Han Dynasty artifacts, for instance, are instructive of our collective past.  So too, the study of early European culture, as expressed in its architecture, is of immense value. 

 

Notre Dame falls into that category.

It does not to me. I just read about it in books. I have never been there. I have never been to Aleppo. It's much older. 

What is more important? I mean really. 

But then again, I don't have a lot of money that I could give either way. I could give twenty bucks, or five hundred, if I really did care. Would most families in the US be willing to give five hundred bucks to rebuild Notre Dame? And if they would, how great would that be?

It's not the most pressing thing, just a nice gesture towards a collective past.

 

Peace!

 

 

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3 minutes ago, rrober49 said:

old institutes of learning  received mass donations from around the world

 

trump struggles to get funding for a wall

 

how awake as a whole do you expect man to be ?

 

would the world jump on board with France had it received the money to fight global warming? 

 

that  money could of gone to worse places too

 

 

good questions. That is all I am saying.

 

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12 hours ago, TheOldBarn said:

And it doesn't bother you that some people wish that more money could be spent in a more urgent way to save the future.

The thing caught on fire during restoration. It was an accident, it was always there, part of the skyline, part of everything people knew for countless centuries.

Not any of the promises, not any political movement, not part of the total history, it was like a statue, one could equate say with the Statue of Liberty, once.

It bothers me, not a lot, but a little. I think when you compare it with climate change, and the Earth and the future of humankind, and the slow loss of humanity - 

I mean, it bothers me a bit. What the heck does it mean?

It is hard to fathom. They don't rebuild stuff like that to such proportion without a big lobby, at least that is how it seems.

 

Peace!

 

My political beliefs coincide with the Nordic Model and the example set by FDR.  Crucial problems such as global warming, hunger, homelessness, poverty and natural disasters should not be left to the vagaries of charity ...  They should be dealt-with by government and funded by highly progressive tax systems.   This is the way important problems must be handled.  There are some things that should not be left to chance. 

 

In contemporary America, and other countries, government has been unwilling, by and large, to take on the most pressing problems.  So truly crucial problems like climate change, are being addressed mainly by private interests, resulting in a totally inadequate effort.

 

But it is entirely appropriate that private donations should be used to rebuild an ancient structure which has been destroyed or badly damaged.  If sufficient numbers of people care enough about it to donate their hard-earned money, then it will get rebuilt that much faster ...  Or not.

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While I appreciate its cultural and historical value, I haven't personally donated any money for the rebuilding of Notre Dame. 

 

Since I have limited funds, I choose to place Notre Dame in secondary importance behind causes to which I donate:  Candidates for political office, organizations to preserve the environment ( I have settled on Nature Conservancy), and organizations dedicated to saving and promoting the social safety net.

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On 5/11/2019 at 10:05 PM, TheOldBarn said:

George Harrison held this concert for the starving people in Bangladesh. It would have been nice if they would have given some of their billions back then.

 

Maybe they did.  The two are not mutually exclusive.

 

On 5/11/2019 at 10:05 PM, TheOldBarn said:

And for some people who are homeless, or people who try to take care of the homeless, it just makes one wonder why more is not being done. 

 

Everyone wants someone else to do it.

 

On 5/12/2019 at 12:17 AM, bludog said:

I visited Notre Dame in 1963 and was duly awed:).  But seriously, it was beautiful and history seemed to ooze out of the woodwork.

 

I saw Notre Dame in 2007 or 2008 after visiting several of the cathedrals in France, Germany and Italy.   Although Notre Dame was indeed impressive, my favorite was the tower in Ulm.  My wife and I climbed the stairs to the very top and it was absolutely awe inspiring.  It's so much taller than the surrounding buildings, I felt like I was in an airplane.  As you get to the top, the heavy walls give way to open air, fragile-looking arches and narrow spiral stairs with deeply worn depressions where countless feet have traveled before.  I can't imagine the courage it took to actually build something like that with the tools and technology available at the time.  Maybe it took sincere belief just to attempt something like that.

 

80212832abc8a3559b27bb43c5cf414e.jpg

 

(not my pic)

 

On 5/12/2019 at 12:41 AM, TheOldBarn said:

And it doesn't bother you that some people wish that more money could be spent in a more urgent way to save the future.

 

One person buys a new cell phone while someone else donates to rebuild Notre Dame.  Which is more worthy?  Yet the cell phone upgrader faces no disapproval.  If ten thousand (or a million) people skipped a cell phone upgrade (or stopped using cosmetics or bought a less expensive car or donated 10 hours of time), just think of what we could do to "save the future".  Everyone wants an easy solution that only requires someone else to do something. 

 

On 5/12/2019 at 12:58 AM, TheOldBarn said:

I could give twenty bucks, or five hundred, if I really did care.

 

So why haven't you?  Is there no cause worthy of your $20?  Homeless?  Cancer research?  Prosthetic purchases for crippled children?

 

I don't mean to pick on you.  My point is that we could all do more or differently.  We should celebrate and encourage the donations that are made, not criticize the donors for not doing more or differently.  

 

19 hours ago, bludog said:

Since I have limited funds, I choose to place Notre Dame in secondary importance behind causes to which I donate

 

Yes, we all get to make our own choices.  To me, that's the beauty of private donations.   Like you, I would also donate to many other causes before I'd donate to rebuild Notre Dame.   But at the same time, I'm also glad someone is doing it.  

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21 hours ago, Renegade said:

Yes, we all get to make our own choices.  To me, that's the beauty of private donations.  

 

To me, this is the point, and the only important point.

 

Everyone has a hierarchy of what they might think are important causes, or less important causes or harmful causes.

 

When the right began to defund Planned Parenthood, I directed my charitable donations there. (A pittance, because I'm no billionaire.) I would not tolerate someone telling me that what I'm doing is bad: that I should instead donate to hungry people or homeless people or disabled people or teachers or PETA or Doctors Without Borders.

 

And if someone says that the little I'm doing for Planned Parenthood is misplaced, then I insist that they don't have a beer with supper, and instead donate that money to a cause of my choosing:  https://www.atheists.org/

 

There's already a mechanism for gathering money for societally approved causes that I may or may not support: taxes. I pay plenty. Some ass wants to build a wall with my money.

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We donate to causes that are important to us. Nobody has the moral authority to dictate it to others.Those who complain about donations to Notre Dame Cathedral might be well served by a little prayer and/or thoughtful reflection.

 

 

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