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Thread: sympathy for the despicable

  1. #51
    .~ *aĉa virino* ~. Array Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by meshou View Post
    I don't know. I think I'd prefer most of the population do the latter-- the first seems to imply we have little power over whether we commit despicable acts, while the latter rejects the actions and the person who takes them as no part of them. No, I think fundamental, society-wide rejection of the despicable is a good thing. No rest for the wicked, says I.
    How could Meshou say such a thing? She isn't human!!
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  2. #52
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    I often feel empathy without feeling any compassion. Compassion for the despicable is rarer for me than empathy. I only feel both empathy and compassion when it really is "there but for the grace of God". Like Andrea Yates. Having dealt with mental illness/dealt with mentally ill people, I could both empathize based on my own experience and feel compassion. But for Saddam Hussein, I had empathy (I know what it's like to be egomaniacal and have a messed up family, etc.) but no compassion. Compassion is for those who are human.

    I do believe some people are more human than others. "Human" is probably not the most precise word, but it captures what I'm saying. So for me, Andrea Yates is fully human and warrants compassion. Whereas Susan Smith was less human and did not deserve what compassion she got. I could empathize with Susan Smith, I felt what she was feeling (desperation, fear of rejection, lust, pressure). But I have no compassion for her.

    As for pity, it's not something I experience very often and when I do, I dismiss it. It feels fake for me to express pity, because I don't really feel it, not deeply. If I did, I feel like I'd do something about it.

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