domenica 25 aprile 2010
domenica 11 aprile 2010
Hence to consider other human beings as superfluous seems to be one condition for which a normal person, an employee like myself, can do atrocities. As I do not regulalry meet, and I suppose I am not unique in that respect, with mankind in general, let’s say I can become a torturer, or I can push somebody who is trying to commit suicide from the bridge, precisely when I take the life of this other person as superfluous.
But, what does it mean not to consider another life as superfluous? Let’s say provisionnaly that it means generally to care for his/her life. Now let’s imagine I want to care for others. Can I care for everybody? If I cannot, how can I choose whose life is less superfluous than another one? By the very fact of choosing, am I not considering someonelse life as superfluous? It seems we are in a cul de sac: we cannot choose our neighbour and we cannot not choose him or her*. From one hand we cannot care for everybody. Universal love does not exist, as we are not God and I’ve already said in my previous post to what terrible things can take our delusion of omnipotence. Indeed, Don Milani**, whose motto was I Care, said: “Actually we can love only a limited number of people, maybe some dozens, maybe hundreds”. To care for somebody means to feel responsible for him/her and to act accordingly (let me add more or less) with this responsibility. Otherwise we do as those singers who cry “I love you” during concerts. Primo Levi says the same things from another angle: “If you had to and could suffer all the pains of the world, you simply couldn’t survive”. And Todorov goes on: “Who is tempted by sanctity risks his /her life. To remain alive, we choose the subject of our compassion by the circumstances, feeling sorry for someone and forgetting others.” A certain degree of indifference is thus necessary, in order to take care of somebody. But how can we select who to care for?
*This cul de sac is just an apparent one. I need it to talk about some interesting cases, but it is actually a misuse of language and thought as it postulates an all theoric universalim and does not take into account those circumstances in which actions are deploied. It's a bit as in my post about oranges and apples. **http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lorenzo_Milani