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Old November 12th, 2012, 10:27 AM   #1

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Pity


One of the things that springs to my mind when thinking about the heavy drugs issue, is that I'm inclined to generally not feel pity for people who destroyed thier lives with them. However, I usually tend to feel pity for troubled people who have mental issues like anorexia and such.

So what's the deal with pity? When and how do you feel it? For which type of person on which type of situation? What's the difference between situation A and situation B, both regarding people in trouble, that makes you feel pity in A and not in B?

Edit: Ugh, I've now realized that pity in english tends to mainly mean a sense of compassion due to superiority. That's not what I meant, I'm only talking about "kind" pity.
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Old November 12th, 2012, 10:55 AM   #2

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Pity of itself never helped anyone but when it is accompanied by positive action it can become a force for good. What I mean by this is when we see children starving in the Third World and our sense of pity drives us to help by contributing to charitable organisations like Save The Children, or volounteering to help directly then pity becomes a powerful motivational force. William Wilberforce used this emotion to help emancipate the slaves by direct political action and there are plenty other examples of this kind. As to who deserves pity I believe this is down to individual choice.
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Old November 12th, 2012, 04:34 PM   #3

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If I have ever felt the emotion of pity for others, it has come about because they are victims of circumstances beyond their control, and there but for "the grace of god go I"
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Old November 12th, 2012, 04:48 PM   #4

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If a person decides to destroy him/herself, it is sad for their family. If a person is taken advantage of, I do feel for them. Nobody likes to be pitied, so showing support is more helpful.
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Old November 12th, 2012, 05:38 PM   #5

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Maybe what you are feeling is empathy, rather than pity? Empathy does not imply moral superiority. We all fail to live up to our ideals. It's what we all have in common.
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Old November 12th, 2012, 06:04 PM   #6

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Yeah empathy.
Feeling for the situation of another person. And it doesn't have to be "Pity". It can be Joy and Love for them too.

It's not a bad thing. It's human.
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Old November 12th, 2012, 06:23 PM   #7

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I do watch a lot of people that have fallen on their bad luck without no fault of their own those sorts of things do happen.
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Old November 12th, 2012, 09:18 PM   #8

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For those who have never had a chance, such as a kid working just to live in poverty I have pity. Where I can do something I do it but I do not dwell on problems out of my control.
About mid way through life I became a teacher and concentrated on difficult kids. I was not a bleeding heart but felt my skills might, at times, head off a life of disaster. What annoyed me most were those teachers who felt the glow of feeling good. To me they were there for their own benefit.
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Old November 12th, 2012, 09:22 PM   #9

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Quote:
Originally Posted by viking View Post
For those who have never had a chance, such as a kid working just to live in poverty I have pity. Where I can do something I do it but I do not dwell on problems out of my control.
About mid way through life I became a teacher and concentrated on difficult kids. I was not a bleeding heart but felt my skills might, at times, head off a life of disaster. What annoyed me most were those teachers who felt the glow of feeling good. To me they were there for their own benefit.
Could it be that they merely enjoyed their jobs and their lives? Still, dedicating yourself to your students is admirable.
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Old November 13th, 2012, 12:47 AM   #10

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Von Ranke View Post
Pity of itself never helped anyone but when it is accompanied by positive action it can become a force for good. What I mean by this is when we see children starving in the Third World and our sense of pity drives us to help by contributing to charitable organisations like Save The Children, or volounteering to help directly then pity becomes a powerful motivational force. William Wilberforce used this emotion to help emancipate the slaves by direct political action and there are plenty other examples of this kind. As to who deserves pity I believe this is down to individual choice.
Quote:
Originally Posted by unclefred View Post
Maybe what you are feeling is empathy, rather than pity? Empathy does not imply moral superiority. We all fail to live up to our ideals. It's what we all have in common.
I agree with you guys.

I guess our own lives and cicrcumstances around us affect who we empathize with the most and who we don't.
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