Empathy And Relativity

Globalization has changed all the dynamics of the world. The politics of a nation cannot be seen from a parochial lense, for every other thing which happens globally affects it , in this or the other way.We don’t live in silos’s no matter how big a loner we are. On a broader ground we all are affected by what happens globally.Transport and then technology has revolutionized the world of information. We live in shared world of incidents, events jubilations and sorrows.Forgive me for not mentioning accidents.Transport first made the connectivity easy and accessable and then ever evolving Information and technology revolution actually plugged us into one loop.We share hope and sorrows with each other.The era is of ever evolving enlightenment where technology is enlightening us to the new vistas of happenings.How do we relate ourselves to the world is a subjective-if not positive sciences- decision.Social media has emerged as a powerful tool.A tool which has provided us with a platform onto which we can not only express and assume significance but listen and understand the world equally as well.It has its perils no doubt and we have all seen how it is being used as a tool by the propagandist organisations to fulfill their vested interest and in this way , it has become very hard for us to maintain neutrality in observing and understanding events in their full context. This forces us to look for relativity.

Without going into the multimillion dynamics of relativity as phenomenon , I would like to concentrate on the very effect of it on empathy.I think that the most easiest way to understand any concept is either by example or case study. This brings to us a more event by event but an evolved continuum.of thought.I would like to focus on the recent international acts of terror and our relative empathy shown–in terms of ethics why is it questionable?

A day before Paris attacks, suicide bombers killed more then 50 in beirut, lebanon. A few days back Russian plane which first thought to be crashed in Sinai , Egypt but later asserted to be bombed by the various intelligence agencies, killed all people on board.All 224 people.And then happened Paris more then 129 dead and many injured , fighting for life.Paris attacks happened much like our Bombay attacks. Yes in the same fashion , like Bombay has become a fashion in the world of terrorism.In all these attacks all equally valuable lives were massacred brutally.The common thread between all these attacks was Islamic state in Iraq and Levant (ISIL or ISIS) or “Daesh”–once a small offshoot of Al-quaeda — Jabhat an-Nuṣrah li-Ahli ash-Shām. The group has a $2bn  empire spread over Syria, Libya and Iraq. Taking the responsibility of the attacks the group swared for more of this type attacks at various parts of the world–Also confirmed by CIA Chief.Whole world mourned the Paris attack.It should.We ought to support humanity wherever possible.Its our Dharma indeed.Not religion of-corse.We supported people of paris in their fight against terror. The whole world united in this fight against terror against innocent lives.From Obama, China to G-20 , every leader and every country supported France.The empathy shown by the people of the world is remarkable.Technology unites us all in  tough times.But do u think we are equally emphatic in our fight against terror? DO you think we are equally assertive in expressing our support against terrorism? DO u thing we are equally empathic to other victims of terror at the various other parts of the world including the one’s i mentioned above? DO u think we are moved more by the global consensus and less by our own conscience? DO u think it is also a lack of information and vigor with which a cause is taken which affects our decision making capability , whether what to support and what to not? Is our empathy relative? Or we are selective in our outrage–a motive enforced upon dissenters now day’s in India.

A friend kold me up.We discussed current scenario on phone.He told me he got bullied by some right wingers for asking a simple question to Mr Mark Zuckerberg.The question was of ethics.WHere is my flag of beirut and Russia Mr Zuckerberg.A valid point from the lense of ethics. Yes I can judge.”Ethics deals with standard by which we judge human actions”.From the ethical point of view life of each and every  individual is important whether he be French or Russian or lebanon.Since Daesh was involved in all of these terror incidents , then it becomes another argument. Also to add , all attacks of terror must be denounced strongly in the same fashion.We ought to equate all incidents of terror and must strongly raise our voice against it.Zukerberg did it in one case and avoided in the other and since being a public personality, it’s his duty to show his dissent equally for other as well.We also cannot argue that he lacked information.Such an idea to relate ourselves to one society or people of one country and neglecting others , who too are equally being targeted shows a lack of ethics in orientation of our empathy.It reminds me of Orwell’s classic, Änimal Farm”in which he argues “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” Those who killed in beirut and Sina were humans too.Victor hugo once argued –““Being good is easy, what is difficult is being just.”

It can be argued that i m in a hurry to judge as  seneca said…“Auditur et altera pars. (The other side shall be heard as well.)”.It’s a fair point.But there must come arguments from the other side , not personal attcks. We forget often that our opinion must be supported by arguments–facts ofcorse.We must have a context to talk about and reasons to form an opinion.To put a motive onto someone before understanding the gravity and depth of the argument is actually like killing the debate.It’s more of a generation of inherent fear , fear of being criticised, fear of being revealed, fear of being rightly understood, fear of some incapacity to comprehend the thought.It is complete lack of empathy–often inculcated by poor reasoning and relating our self to one ideology.Or in terms of Amartya sen, it’s like embracing identity as violence.My friend complained me.It was genuine complaint, because alleging someone to be a sympathizer for merely questioning ur reasons , only bigot’s do that or its a quality inherited by despots.George orwell once said , “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”It is his right as a democratic citizen to question, to put into public discourse what people ignore to hear or do not want to hear. There shud be some empathy on the part of reader to give space for the arguments to reveal the context and horizon of the thought or else he is jeopardizing Free thought.We must inculcate a just practice of empathy. We must show respect and sincerity in our arguments.Ethics tells us that every argument must be listened to before being judged.Every argument must be judged on the basis of systematic standards of reason.Only an independent listener can have a proper understanding of what a writer wants to convey.Being prejudiced by the relative identity will only jeopardize our discretion.Empathy must be just not relative.Orwell once argued, ““The choice for mankind lies between freedom and happiness and for the great bulk of mankind, happiness is better.” It all depends upon our preferences and values.

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