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Love for the homeless

  1. Jan 26, 2005 #1


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    If a dog is found whining and unattended on the street, someone is bound to
    take it in and inform the RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of
    Cruelty to Animals), who will come and collect it and give it a home in the
    warm. Not so with our own animal species and I sometimes wonder why some
    of the homeless are left to die from the cold. Why is it that human beings
    have so little love for each other that they value the life of a dog above
    that of their own kind?
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  3. Jan 26, 2005 #2
    I think its because we tend to blame the person for getting themselves homeless, whereas we tend to blame the dog's owners for the dog being homeless i.e. being homeless is not the dog's fault, but being homeless is the homeless person's own fault.
  4. Jan 26, 2005 #3


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    People also have freedom - you can't forceably remove someone from the street unless they are breaking the law.
  5. Jan 26, 2005 #4


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    Even if this were true (it is, in fact, simplistic, and not particularly deep), your argumentation is wholly inadequate.
    russ' view is much more to the point.
  6. Jan 26, 2005 #5
    How very sad. I was trying to keep it simple for those who aren't familiar with attribution theory. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=9246880&dopt=Citation

    I've got an idea, why don't we just stick 'em all in camps, with all those other social undesirables?
  7. Jan 26, 2005 #6
    One major difference is that the homeless can ask for directions to shelters, not the dog. Also consider that the statistics for RSPCA finding homes are not overwhelming. Reflecting on this a while will bring you somewhere in the area of russ' comment.
  8. Jan 26, 2005 #7
    What I think you're implying (but not outright saying) is that a lot of these animals get put to sleep. This definitely wouldn't go over well with humans.

    One of the sad facts of life is that there are many people in this world who are only too happy to take advantage of the generosity of others. If everyone standing on a street corner saying 'can you spare a dollar so I can get some food?' really needed a dollar to survive and was actually going to spend it on food, I don't think there would be anyone standing on street corners asking for money.
  9. Jan 27, 2005 #8
    What's really needed is the deluxe homeless survival kit/hiking pack, who says you can't be homeless in style? People are also domesticated animals.
  10. Jan 27, 2005 #9
    This is from the City of Berkeley Housing Dept:

    I suggest that any person in these circumstances is much more limited in their freedom than a person who 1/ is under no threat of losing their home, 2/ is in secure employment, 3/ has no mental health problems, 4/ is not disadvantaged in other ways. I'm not saying that homeless people have no choices, but isn't anyone else even a little ashamed of the culture of 'stepping over the bum on the sidewalk'? We look at them and think: "That could never happen to me".
  11. Jan 27, 2005 #10


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    Well, people do, and if you look in the phone book or call your local newspaper you can find an organization you can join. In the middle west the Christian churches of many different sects have banded together to form PADS, which provides simple supper, bed and breakfast for homeless people in the wintertime. They are staffed by volunteers and supported by donations. Many of these homeless people are women with children. PADS does not accept people with known drinking problems; perhaps you should start an effort to provide shelter for them.
  12. Jan 27, 2005 #11


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    #42, I'm aware of the primary and secondary causes of homelessness, but I think "the culture of 'stepping over the bum on the sidewalk'?" is a little misleading. Few people want to give a dollar to a guy on the street because, like Grogs said, you don't really know if it'll go to good use - but a lot of people donate to charity, like SA said.

    Its probably not Constitutional, but I would (probably) be in favor of forceable sheltering (sounds like prison, doesn't it?) of those with known mental health problems. But again, you provide a misleading (and dual) characterization of this: on the one hand, it gets them off the street and into a warm bed, but on the other, you characterize it as 'sticking undesirables in camps.' That's not at all what people mean when they suggest it.

    Regarding your link, I consider it almost trivialy obvious that Republicans internalize problems while Democrats externalize them. Imo, that's the key difference between Democrats and Republicans (and the key flaw in modern liberalism). Since few people disagree that everyone's first responsibility is to themself, I find heavy irony in trying to spin that as a negative thing.
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2005
  13. Jan 27, 2005 #12
    Hi all,

    Being homeless is a very terrible situation for anyone. The feeling of helplessness, hunger, and uncaring people passing by around you, is tormenting and undescribable.

    One day I was curious and I met with homeless people and talked to them about their situations. I was astonished some of them were professionals and have tremendous amounts of education, like PhD's!!! From then on, I realized that homelessness can happen to anyone at any part of society, whether from making poor decisions in certain unfortunate circumstances (bankruptcy, accident, medical bills, military veteran, etc.) -- or just plain BAD luck!!!

    A BIG lesson I learned from this is that make sure that you don't burn those bridges that you may have to return to someday. Well, just sharing my experience.

  14. Jan 27, 2005 #13

    If you've found my posts misleading that's your problem, but I certainly haven't given a dual characterisation. I have mentioned camps, but not mentioned warm beds at all. The nearest I have got is the quote from the Housing Dept which is not about rehousing, but the causes of homelessness. I don't see what is misleading in this. Are you trying to mislead me? Somehow I find myself wasting my time trying to unravle a statement you have knotted for me.
    RE: "again": please quote my initial "misleading (and dual) characterization" of this issue.

    Well, this may simply be due to your status as a genius. However, I suspect you have got the wrong end of the stick when you say 'internalise' and 'externalise'.
  15. Jan 27, 2005 #14


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    From the link: "internal vs external factors."

    From the dictionary:
    "incorporate within oneself"

    "To attribute to outside causes"

    essentially, then:
    Internalize: blame yourself for your problems (or take credit for successes)
    Externalize: blame others for your problems (or give credit for successes)

    These are psychology terms with pretty clear meanings and I'm not sure why these definitions would be a source of contention, and in any case, you posted the study....

    Regarding finding your post misleading. Its just a personal opinion and one I'm not inclined to defend. I'll let it go.
  16. Jan 27, 2005 #15
    (Oh boy...) Well, you're close, but you need to look in a dictionary of psychology to understand terms used in psychology. Briefly, 'internal factors' are things like personality, whereas 'internalising' is bottling up feelings. Ditto external/externalise. In attribution theory it is not merely a case of person A always blaming things on the world, and person B on themselves. We tend to attribute another person's misfortune on internal factors (e.g. lazy), and our own misfortune on external factors (e.g. the economy). The reverse is true for successes, especially our own. This is known as a self-serving bias, and is very common, moreso in Westernised people.

    Very big of you :rolleyes: - Thanks :biggrin:
  17. Jan 28, 2005 #16


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    The only real difference is that "internalizing" is me taking responsibility for my problems whereas the "internal factors" the study was about is me blaming others for their problems. Its the same concept either way - I just chose to use "internalize" and "externalize" because its easier to explain that way.

    And unless one is hypocritical (and of course, I know some people are), someone who holds other people responsible for the mistakes those people make would hold themself responsible for their own mistakes.
  18. Jan 28, 2005 #17


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    Dogs are a lot cheaper to care for. Plus, we kill the dogs that no one eventually picks up. Should we do that with humans as well?
  19. Jan 28, 2005 #18
    I like the idea that Russ mentioned about camps for the homeless. In a way it would be very good for them. Have programs set up for them to get back into the working world. I have worked with the homeless for a long time now. I will say this there's two different groups of homeless. The first is the ones at the homeless shelters. For the most part those people are the good ones. The ones not at the shelters are the ones you have to watch out for. For those people are mostly drug atticts and drunks. When they look at other people they don't see another person all they see is a target. And if an oppurnity comes by thier going to take advantage of that target. The people I feel sorry for are the people living in high rise condos and apartments in the uptown areas. Everyday those good people fall victim to street people. People being carjacked, robbed, assualted or thier condos being broke into. After a short time most of those people relise the mistake they've made by living in the inner city. After saying this the Camps sound like a really good idea.
  20. Jan 28, 2005 #19


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    The people most victimized by these predators are the "good" homeless. "But they have much less to lose!" you cry. Yes, just all of the pittance that they have. I don't like coercion, but the takers you describe are real, and society, including homeless society, needs to have them put away. Only one problem...Did you ever read Heinlein's Coventry?
  21. Jan 29, 2005 #20
    Over half of all homeless have a mental illness, and over half abuse substances. In the US, there are more mentally ill incarcerated than hospitalized. Our largest de facto mental institution is either the Los Angeles County Jail or Riker's Island Jail in New York. The medicated mentally ill here are more likely to be victimized than the average American, while the unmedicated mentally ill tend to act out more than the general population.
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