Sometimes courses of action are called for which appear to be barbaric and repulsive to us.

If you can save your evil father or a brilliant doctor from a burning house you have to save your father for the people you know and who look after you and love you most come first because you are most sure of your own existence. You would not be alive except for your father so to respect yourself you have to save him. You are number one! Christians cannot agree for God said in the book of Deuteronomy that parents can have children put to death for being hard to live with.

If your mother is in the house and you love her far better or consider her more valuable to others than your father then you have to save her instead of him.

For similar reasons, you cannot leave your ailing mother’s bedside to help others among whom you would do greater good. So, you can be a good person and support your family instead of starving them to give donations to save starving millions in the Third World.

What if your son is guilty of a crime? Do you turn him in? Not if you can make him pay for it and will keep an eye on him in future. Suppose some mischief has taken place and you do not know who did it. While it is wrong to suspect people of the mischief without much evidence it is a duty to suspect your children and servants for you cannot take risks. It is up to them to settle your mind. People are most dangerous when they are not suspected.