It Is Better to Err on the Side of Compassion
Blog - Joyful
Curmudgeon - Blog
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.
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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