It Is Better to Err on the Side of Compassion

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It Is Better to Err on the Side of Compassion – 28 July 2006

It wasn’t long ago that it was generally accepted as fact that human infants are not aware of pain; some people still believe that. Wishful thinking? When talking with an older person about pain, I happened to mention something about the suffering endured by people of another race in a foreign country. I never expected the comment she made next: that she felt pain more intensely than a person of that other race! It’s as though some people believe that there is a hierarchy of sensitivity to pain; and of course they are always at the top, with “lesser” humans below them, followed by other animals in descending order – probably depending on whether the animals are pets!

In order to justify their abuse of other creatures, some people try to “prove” that certain animal species don’t feel pain – fish and lobsters are two that come to mind. Others try to prove that they do indeed feel pain. Take fish as an example. I don’t understand how anyone can put a hook through a living creature – a worm, for example – in order to fool and take the life of another living creature – a fish. Using such trickery is just plain dishonest and cruel.

When there is even the slightest possibility of pain for another being, I try to live by this rule: It is better to err on the side of compassion and assume that the “other” does indeed feel pain or discomfort. Give others the benefit of the doubt.
 


"Joyful Curmudgeon"
An oxymoron?
No! I see all the beauty of God's creation and I'm joyful.  At the same time, I see all the suffering and corruption going on in the world, and feel called to help expose and end it so that we may have true peace and compassion.

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