Doing the right thing should not be about following a capitalist oriented cost-benefit-analysis that discounts human life. We must also not allow ourselves to be trapped by ideological precepts that encourage inaction when our fellow brothers and sisters of whatever religious, cultural, or ethnic composition are threatened by brutal governments. It is not difficult to consult our hearts to know what is right and what is wrong.
Our lives may be drastically changed for the worse because we have chosen a course of action that diverges from what the majority of the population agrees with based upon some self-centered calculation that leaves them snug and blissfully unaffected. What is important is that during our short stay on this world we unswervingly uphold the moral values that are the foundation of all religions even if we do not consider ourselves religious. For without a basic moral foundation humanity is no better than the robots the cold-hearted corporate executives are creating to replace us.
Letting our heart help guide us into taking decent actions moves us closer to our humanity and further from uncaring mechanization. Embracing a core set of ethics elevates us above the machines, allows us to exercise and energize our soul, the undefinable core essence shared by all sentient beings. Just because the zeitgeist of this era of capitalist society values the elemental sociopath and the soulless mechanoids that will eventually march out of factories does not mean we should mindlessly cleave to this evil for reasons of expediency. Questioning the legitimacy of any culture that worships money over flesh-and-blood living creatures does not make you a deviant but someone with a conscious.
We should never equate human life with profit-and-loss calculations and how we will or will not benefit from an action taken to save others from tyranny and other evils.
Originally those of us from the far-left followed the drumbeat of socialism that was the product of a pure-realist, a man who over the years became disconnected from compassion and understanding - a human robot viewing the world through the lens of calculation. Karl Marx, the father of modern socialist thought was just another fallible human being no better or worse than the rest of us. His journey into absolute computation discounted foundational morality in favor of a cut-and-dry ascetic society.
There is no disputing the fact that Karl Marx was a brilliant visionary but where he went off the rails was in his firm ideological adherence to creating a cold calculating culture that knew no vibrant color or caring for the individual outside of the collective 'hive' of orchestrated worker bees. The unique man or women, you and I who belong to various communities are subsumed by this ideology. We were assimilated into an inflexible community called Socialism interested only in cultural efficiency with little time for spiritual endeavors.
Being human means caring for others regardless of the cost to us personally. This is not to say we totally sacrifice ourselves for others because that would mean each of us would have to transform ourselves into something none of us are: perfectly ethical. Only that if we are to survive we must not only consider how we would or would not personally be affected by our actions. Safely guarding our personal well-being should not always take precedence over doing the right thing like lending a helping hand to those in need. For aren't we all the building blocks of our communities?
Communities are the glue that bonds all of us together, families of humanity contributing to understanding, decency, respect, and all the other cultural touchstones that we associate with goodness.
Communities are important but they should never force us to choose between maintaining the advantages of our group or exercising the basic morality that must be honored by everyone who believes they reside in an enlightened culture. Simply put, individuals are also important and should not be subsumed in associations that disregard them just to enforce an ideology - especially when it benefits only a select few privileged members of organizations, associations, or groups.
Isn't it a balancing act between the needs, rights, and wants of the individual and those of the larger communities the individual is a member of - the maintenance of this equilibrium inside a coherent societal foundation that seeks to guarantee its own continuance? Without communities made up of individuals who are willing to stick their necks out to help others, isolation is all that we can look forward too - a singular existence alone with our thoughts across a vast inhospitable society that does not care whether we live or die.
None of us are perfect, far from it, but we must at least try to follow a basic template of decent behavior like the "Ten Commandments" or another set of beliefs founded in equality, egalitarianism, decency, freedom, and love of thy neighbor - for that is what separates us from our machines. Caring individuals with a genuine interest in assisting others in their time of need are the basis of what we term community spirit. Without this central understanding of what is right and wrong as individuals we just degenerate into a state of callous hatred of anything and anyone that is not systematic, calculating, and cold eventually becoming indistinguishable from the artificially intelligent soulless robots that will faithfully follow the orders of any designated master.