I have been looking into the different aspects of the paradigm of care and how it applies in practice. What I’ve come across is that there is a definitive line between a selfish action and a caring action. However, within the caring actions, care becomes a gradient that has different layers depending on the quantity.
In every aspect of caring and selfish behavior, it has come to my attention that quantity or quantitative measurements are always taken. This aspect is confirmed by both Nietzsche and Amery within the scope of their philosophies. Nietzsche believes that we measure our relationships with others, thus our attitude towards others is simply a measurement or calculation of the other. Similar, in Amery, Amery speaks of how morality is distinguishable between a “Us and Them” mentality. We either confirm or deny the morality of that thing. We are quantitatively measuring others in relation to their morality.
This aspect of care leads me to believe that care must be associated with the measuring the amount of care you can give. Here are a few examples of what I’ve pondered upon:
The selfish man would only save himself at the whim of others dying.
The caring man would try to save himself and the few people he knows he can save.
The caring man would try to save himself and would risk his life for others without dying.
The caring man would try to save himself, but nevertheless die if he had to for the sake of others.
The caring man would die, instead of letting others die.
The selfish man would keep all his money and give none away.
The caring man would try to keep all his money and give a little away.
The caring man would try to keep all his money and give a lot away.
The caring man would try to keep some of his money and give some away.
The caring man would try to keep some of his money and give the rest away.
The caring man would give all his money away.
The selfish man would take all the goods and leave none for others.
The caring man would take as many goods as he can have leave some for others.
The caring man would take some goods and leave some goods for others.
The caring man would take a little goods and leave a lot for others.
The caring man would leave everything for others.
As you can see, there becomes a gradient in the amount of caring one can give to a situation. However, one could view this process in light of the selfishness within another. For example, the man who tries to keep all his money and give a little away, might be seen as a selfish person. However, the man who tries to keep all his money and give a little away is put into a guilt trip about him giving only a little money away, however this is not to be shunned or frowned upon. For the man could have very well decided to not give anything at all. Thus, even the most selfish act of caring, is indeed, an act of caring.
But more on this later…