Some thoughts on idiot compassion.
“A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii[c] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’”
Was this idiot compassion?
The Samaritan was not Buddhist
That doesn’t seem to follow the article. The Samaritan devoted his time and his wealth to helping an injured person. The article says that real compassion reduces suffering–that seems to apply in this case.
The Samaritan didn’t rob some passing merchant to procure funds to aid the injured man. The Samaritan didn’t set up a government bureaucracy to tax commerce to set up an Aid for Distressed Travellers program. Either of those would seem to fit much more the idiot compassion idea outlined in the article.
My point exactly. If DCGuy had taken the time to read the article, he would have seen that the author specifically called out “…the distinction between real compassion and “idiot compassion.” Real compassion, “skillful” compassion, leads to actions that reduce suffering; idiot compassion leads to actions that make you feel better but don’t reduce suffering.”
The Samaritan exhibited real compassion, to answer his rhetorical question.
Low-quality trolls we have around here these days.
I have to agree. That was pretty weak. A better example of “idiot compassion” would be that someone passes a law requiring anyone who travels on a road to provide such generous aid to travelers who claim to be in need. The only people who would travel on such a road willingly are the clueless, the various sorts who prey on such, and perhaps a few government inspectors.
dcguy, I wonder where the error in your thinking lies. Did you just read the phrase, “idiot compassion” and assume you knew what that meant? Or do you not understand the distinction between voluntary and mandatory actions? Or between helpful and harmful actions?
Uh huh. Buddhism and Unix are a lot alike – so fragmented that you can barely identify the core concepts anymore.
Sometime I’d like to look into Multics to see just how much simpler Unix is.
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