The Paradox of Hospitality
- Hospitality is rapidly disappearing in the developed countries, replaced by rules and organization that in theory remove the need for help from local people; but it is used to be widespread in primitive societies and is still prominent in any poor country. They will go out of their way to help a stranger for free.
- Popular beliefs is that the gods or the one God will punish you if you do not offer hospitality to strangers and will reward you in the afterlife if you do.
- The tradition of hospitality seems to defy Darwinism and even tribal interests. There might be a practical reason to be altruistic when it comes to members of the same family or at least of the same group, but what is the benefit of caring for a complete stranger? The stranger is, in general, a competitor, one who belongs to a different group, with different values and motives.