We would usually help ourselves, and those close to us, in exorbitant ways for often-petty ends. Yet we frequently fail in giving small amounts of aid to strangers, especially foreigners, for whom such aid means the difference between life and death. The arguably arbitrary distinction we make between these two groups, then, is not a simple privileging of one over the other: rather, we place magnitudes greater value in those that we care for.
… “moving a person to, or into, and object than it is to move the object to, or into, the person.”
… “changing the speed of a moving object, or changing its rate of motion, then changing the object’s direction of motion.”
… “speeding up an object than slowing down an object.”
… “Taking an object at rest and setting it in motion than to justify taking an object in motion and increasing its speed.”
… “imposing a substantial force on an object than it is to justify allowing a force already present (just about) everywhere, like gravity, to work on the object.”
-- Peter K. Unger. Living high and letting die: our illusion of innocence. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996. pp.101-102