Sign up FAST! Login

The cold, hard truth about the ice bucket challenge - Quartz


Stashed in: Philanthropy!, Bullies, economics, Ethics, Morals, Jerk Store, Freakonomics, Psychology!, Memes!, Your argument is invalid., Awesome, hmmm..., Ice!, FAIL, Best PandaWhale Posts, ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, Wonka, @samuelljackson

To save this post, select a stash from drop-down menu or type in a new one:

The key problem is funding cannibalism. That $3 million in donations doesn’t appear out of a vacuum. Because people on average are limited in how much they’re willing to donate to good causes, if someone donates $100 to the ALS Association, he or she will likely donate less to other charities.

This isn’t just speculation. Research from my own non-profit, which raises money for the most effective global poverty charities, has found that, for every $1 we raise, 50¢ would have been donated anyway. Given our fundraising model, which asks for commitments much larger than the amount people typically donate, we have reason to think that this is a lower proportion than is typical for fundraising drives. So, because of the $3 million that the ALS Association has received, I’d bet that much more than $1.5 million has been lost by other charities.

A similar phenomenon has been studied in the lab by psychologists. It’s called moral licensing: the idea that doing one good action leads one to compensate by doing fewer good actions in the future. In a recent experiment, participants either selected a product from a selection of mostly “green” items (like an energy-efficient light bulb) or from a selection of mostly conventional items (like a regular light bulb). They were then told to perform a supposedly unrelated task. However, in this second task, the results were self-reported, so the participants had a financial incentive to lie; and they were invited to pay themselves out of an envelope, so they had an opportunity to steal as well.

What happened? People who had previously purchased a green product were significantly more likely to both lie and steal than those who had purchased the conventional product. Their demonstration of ethical behavior subconsciously gave them license to act unethically when the chance arose.

Amazingly, even just saying that you’d do something good can cause the moral self-licensing effect. In another study, half the participants were asked to imagine helping a foreign student who had asked for assistance in understanding a lecture. They subsequently gave significantly less to charity when given the chance to do so than the other half of the participants, who had not been asked to imagine helping another student.

The explanation behind moral licensing is that people are often more concerned about looking good or feeling good rather than doing good. If you “do your bit” by buying an energy-efficient lightbulb, then your status as a good human being is less likely to be called into question if you subsequently steal.

It does seem like bullying to call someone out in public to either do a stunt or look bad. 

Using social media for peer pressure does not seem right. 

ice bucket challenge meme condescending wonka Imgur

bill gates ice bucket challenge meme Imgur

But the problem stated above is the phenomenon called moral licensing: the idea that doing one good action leads one to compensate by doing fewer good actions in the future.

I'm saying that pressuring people to do the ice bucket challenge in and of itself is an ethical bad.

And you're right, on top of that, people who do the challenge are then more likely to go on to do something else unethical, too:

People who had previously purchased a green product were significantly more likely to both lie and steal than those who had purchased the conventional product. Their demonstration of ethical behavior subconsciously gave them license to act unethically when the chance arose.

geez, what a lousy lot we are!  we do one "good" thing and then allow ourselves to be naughty?!

Yes, and with some people it's subconscious!

This explains a lot of human atrocities. Ever study the Vatican's use of indulgences?

no.  uh oh.  will i be scared?

Like Inquisition-level scared.

oh no.  deep breath.  okay, hit me with the truth!

It's what you think it is. People paid money to absolve transgressions.

It sounds too good to be true. Now, for a limited time — the year of St. Paul, to be specific, which ends in June — say a prayer, pop by a designated church and qualify for an indulgence that deducts time from your scorching sojourn in the cleansing fires of purgatory.

Indulgences (no relation here to bubble baths or truffles) have been part of Catholic doctrine since the Crusades. When the Church offered them for sale in the 1500s — call it mercy for money — religious reformer Martin Luther protested.

Source: http://content.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1881152,00.html

wow.

"The essence of plenary indulgences is tricky to nail down. They're granted if you meet specific criteria: go to confession, receive communion, pray for the Pope, visit a particular shrine. How do you know you actually got an indulgence? Faith."

sounds to me like we should be in the pardoning business!

and geege, those crusaders who participated in the inquisition were all granted a get-out-of-purgatory-free card!

Yeah, it seems like the pardoning business is a good way to make money.

The indulgences period of the church is one that they are particularly not proud of.

It's kind of amazing how many bad things are done by those supposedly serving God.

your last point is painfully true.  in the words of geege: don't get me started!

I guess once again we need to be the change we seek, eh?

amen, brother!

Sing with me...

And yet, they've gotten Bill Gates, Aaron Rodgers, and Oprah to do it.

http://pandawhale.com/post/49019/bill-gates-als-ice-bucket-challenge

They're already mega-philanthropists, right?

Well yeah. Which means they're doing the ALS challenge to raise awareness. 

And get publicity for themselves. 

ice bucket challenge meme africa kid so let me get this straight you waste clean water as a challenge to avoid raising money for charity ALS first world problems Imgur Tubmlr

Brace yourselves. The ice bucket challenge memes are coming.

ice bucket challenge meme Samuel l Jackson pulp fiction imgur

ice bucket challenge meme that'd be great office space Lumbergh imgur

$10,000 in benjamins doesn't look like much, does it?  :)

Yeah, what did he have it in $1000 bills?!

I like the Chris Pratt one and the Weird Al one on this page:

http://pandawhale.com/post/49019/bill-gates-als-ice-bucket-challenge

Take the NO ICE BUCKET CHALLENGE:

That’s why I’m proposing what is sure to be an unpopular alternative to the #icebucketchallenge. It’s called the no ice bucket challenge, and it works like this:

  1. Do not fetch a bucket, fill it with ice, or dump it on your head.
  2. Do not film yourself or post anything on social media.
  3. Just donate the damn money, whether to the ALS Association or to some other charity of your choice. And if it’s an organization you really believe in, feel free to politely encourage your friends and family to do the same.

Congratulations! Not only have you contributed to a good cause, but you’ve done your part for the environment by conserving the energy and fresh water required to make and transport large bags of ice.

Be warned, though, the #noicebucketchallenge is not for the faint of heart. It requires real fortitude to give away your hard-earned cash without the promise of receiving piles of Facebook likes in return.

Read more:

http://pandawhale.com/post/49242/take-the-no-ice-bucket-challenge-stop-dumping-ice-on-your-head-just-give-money-you-dont-need-an-ice-bucket-to-donate-to-als-research

So many dumb people.

Video has been removed by the user.  :(

Here's a better compilation of ice bucket challenge fails:

So many dumb people. So many. 

More ice bucket fails:

This is a genre unto itself.

Reddit comments:

http://reddit.com/r/videos/comments/2e7flm/people_are_not_capable_of_dumping_a_bucket_of_ice/

You May Also Like: