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thousands dead in China quake

Natural Disasters China Earthquake 2008

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#21 G1223

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Posted 12 May 2008 - 02:40 PM

We cry tears of regreat at the death of a child in our family because we feel sarrow. crying because someone half a world way got killed because a toilet hit them after falling from a high building not fully constructed seems really too much like the drama queen syndrome.  The desire to somehow share the grief of someone I do not even know because it will let me say "I feel their pain" but having none of the connections like a shared experince has the feel of wanting attention. Becuase you feel their pain. Get real unless it has happened you do not have the connections of having lived that problem.

Deal with a mother dying and her children having to care for their father and having to plan the funeral and dealing with claims and lawsuits from the accident that ended with her death.

That I can relate to. I can feel something real from that becuse it happened to me. I can feel the sadness and fear at having a loved one dealing with cancer. I cannot feel what it is to have cancer but I can relate because both my parents did. And I worried and prayed for them and delt with the situation.

That is what I mean by connection.

The shirnes that pop up with canlde and prayer vigils by people who have no fricking clue to what happened is sick. It is like being hugged by someone saying I feel your pain and doing it to get the attention they feel they deserved because they feel your pain.

That is what this is and it is a lie.
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#22 silverwind

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Posted 12 May 2008 - 03:19 PM

View PostG1223, on May 12 2008, 02:40 PM, said:

We cry tears of regreat at the death of a child in our family because we feel sarrow. crying because someone half a world way got killed because a toilet hit them after falling from a high building not fully constructed seems really too much like the drama queen syndrome.  The desire to somehow share the grief of someone I do not even know because it will let me say "I feel their pain" but having none of the connections like a shared experince has the feel of wanting attention. Becuase you feel their pain. Get real unless it has happened you do not have the connections of having lived that problem.

It's actually a unique trait of humans (though some research shows some Great Apes have the ability too):  the ability to empathize with another being, even though the harm did not happen to you or yours.  And I use the word "ability" deliberately--it isn't about wanting to share their pain, it's about just naturally doing so.

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Deal with a mother dying and her children having to care for their father and having to plan the funeral and dealing with claims and lawsuits from the accident that ended with her death.

That I can relate to. I can feel something real from that becuse it happened to me.

I'm truly sorry you had to go through that.  Perhaps if the people filing claims and lawsuits had had a bit more compassion for another person's pain, no one in your family would have had to deal with that part of it.

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*snip*That is what this is and it is a lie.

I disagree.  People sharing emotion, grief, and horror over something like this is how social norms are learned and developed.  It's a necessary (and fundamental) part of being human.  It is in absolutely no way a lie.

#23 SparkyCola

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Posted 12 May 2008 - 03:50 PM

Thanks G and silverwind.

G - for explaining and expanding on what you meant. I feel I have a much clearer idea of what you're getting at now. However, I still think that venting that frustration on here, where people are NOT being drama queens, and being so utterly callous - well, I don't think that was the right approach, but that's just me.

silverwind  -  for a series of excellent posts.

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#24 Themis

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Posted 12 May 2008 - 07:18 PM

View Postsilverwind, on May 12 2008, 08:19 PM, said:

People sharing emotion, grief, and horror over something like this is how social norms are learned and developed.  It's a necessary (and fundamental) part of being human.  It is in absolutely no way a lie.

What silverwind said.  G, I find your attitude sad.  You are apparently trying to deny being part of the human experience.  Or maybe that's taking part in the human experience.  Maybe you've just had enough troubles of your own that you've walled yourself off - that's the most generous supposition I can make about your attitude.  But you definitely have built a wall.
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#25 Die Walküre

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Posted 12 May 2008 - 08:21 PM

This tragic event could have gone a lot worst if it wasn't for fast, quick telecommunication available these days such cell phones. Given the fact that China is among the top mobile phone users in the world (probably the biggest), is a major factor for the quick response for emergency workers to arrive quickly and spread the news to other effected areas for aftershocks to prevent further casualties. It allow families to keep in touch and rescuers coordinate. Without fast communication or the newly constructed highways and roads, it is possible that a lot more people could have died. But since we're talking about Earth Quakes and not Tsunamis, early detection is extremely difficult.

To support this thesis, before the age of mobile phones and text-messaging, a similar quake have occurred at a 7.8 Richter Scale in Tangshan during 1976 and taken has the lives of 255,000. Given the position of the recent earthquake, this one is not far from the one that occurred in 1976. These people are living near a dangerous mountainous region where the earth moves quite frequently.

Edited by DeltaRomeo, 12 May 2008 - 08:27 PM.

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#26 Captain Jack

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Posted 12 May 2008 - 08:40 PM

Heh, I can see G1223's POV on this, and frankly, as "cold" as many may think he sounds, he's actually partly right here.  Did China cry for the United States when Katrina and Rita hit?  Did China cry when a 7.1 magnitude earthquake hit San Francisco in 1989?  Did China do anything for the US at all?  I don't recall.  Nope, can't think of a thing.  They poison their own people with goods made with lethal amounts of lead in them.  Drown out their own villages that are centuries old.  They even send us toys with lead in them, poisoning our kids, and even baby products and food products have been tainted in the recent past.  Thank you China for f*cking us over.  The only people I have no sympathy for are the bastards who would rather poison others and pollute the environment in order to save money and boost profits.  Get rid of those kinds of people.

However, as for the villagers and people who are just trying to live their lives in peace and not hurting anyone, my deepest sympathies go to them.  Those are the ones who usually suffer the most.  My sympathy and prayers go only to them, the innocent victims in China, not to China as a government and industry.
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#27 Bad Wolf

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Posted 12 May 2008 - 08:47 PM

View PostCaptain Jack, on May 12 2008, 06:40 PM, said:

Did China cry for the United States when Katrina and Rita hit?  Did China cry when a 7.1 magnitude earthquake hit San Francisco in 1989?

So now it's about keeping score?  I'll show you sympathy if I feel like you've done something for me lately?

That's worse than cold.
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#28 Themis

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Posted 12 May 2008 - 08:48 PM

View PostCaptain Jack, on May 13 2008, 01:40 AM, said:

However, as for the villagers and people who are just trying to live their lives in peace and not hurting anyone, my deepest sympathies go to them.  Those are the ones who usually suffer the most.  My sympathy and prayers go only to them, the innocent victims in China, not to China as a government and industry.

I don't think anybody here is advocating sympathy for the Chinese government.  Why would you think otherwise?  And I'm sure the ordinary Chinese who heard about them were sympathetic to victims of natural disasters in the US.

G doesn't seem to think anybody should bother to extend sympathies, deep or otherwise, to the innocent victims either.

It's about the people, not their government, elected or otherwise.
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#29 Captain Jack

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Posted 12 May 2008 - 09:19 PM

View PostBad Wolf, on May 12 2008, 06:47 PM, said:

View PostCaptain Jack, on May 12 2008, 06:40 PM, said:

Did China cry for the United States when Katrina and Rita hit?  Did China cry when a 7.1 magnitude earthquake hit San Francisco in 1989?

So now it's about keeping score?  I'll show you sympathy if I feel like you've done something for me lately?

That's worse than cold.

No, it's about the truth.  No one should ask or demand for sympathy, it should be given freely with no strings attached.  China has never bothered with it.
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#30 Captain Jack

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Posted 12 May 2008 - 09:23 PM

View PostThemis, on May 12 2008, 06:48 PM, said:

View PostCaptain Jack, on May 13 2008, 01:40 AM, said:

However, as for the villagers and people who are just trying to live their lives in peace and not hurting anyone, my deepest sympathies go to them.  Those are the ones who usually suffer the most.  My sympathy and prayers go only to them, the innocent victims in China, not to China as a government and industry.

I don't think anybody here is advocating sympathy for the Chinese government.  Why would you think otherwise?  And I'm sure the ordinary Chinese who heard about them were sympathetic to victims of natural disasters in the US.

I'm not implying that anyone is.  I'm simply giving my reasoning as to how and to whom I give sympathy to.

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G doesn't seem to think anybody should bother to extend sympathies, deep or otherwise, to the innocent victims either.

It's about the people, not their government, elected or otherwise.

Depends on the people, frankly.  If someone spits in your eye repeatedly, and something bad happens to them, will you be as sympathetic?  And only G knows what he thinks.  If one is not sure, then there is always the chance to ask for clarification instead of running on assumptions as to what he "seems" to be thinking.

I suppose it is okay to wildly protest against the Olympics because it is in China.  It's okay to ruin an event that is about the athletes and bringing a world together and making it a political thing.  But when an earthquake hits, it is a different standard?  How odd...

Say what you will, but these are my feelings, and my right to express it.  I made my point.  Disagree, or agree, frankly I really don't care.  Getting into an argument over China isn't worth it.

Edited by Captain Jack, 12 May 2008 - 09:27 PM.

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#31 BklnScott

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Posted 12 May 2008 - 10:08 PM

View PostCaptain Jack, on May 12 2008, 10:19 PM, said:

View PostBad Wolf, on May 12 2008, 06:47 PM, said:

View PostCaptain Jack, on May 12 2008, 06:40 PM, said:

Did China cry for the United States when Katrina and Rita hit?  Did China cry when a 7.1 magnitude earthquake hit San Francisco in 1989?

So now it's about keeping score?  I'll show you sympathy if I feel like you've done something for me lately?

That's worse than cold.

No, it's about the truth.  No one should ask or demand for sympathy, it should be given freely with no strings attached. China has never bothered with it.

Indeed -- So why does it matter if China offered sympathy in the wake of Katrina?  If offering sympathy is the right thing to do, we should do it.  And it is the right thing to do.  

BTW, say what you like about China -- and, certainly, there's plenty to say -- but they did actually give money ($5M), goods, and they offered to send rescue workers.  Which isn't much, of course, but it's not nothing, either.  So to say Beijing didn't offer sympathy is flat out false.

Edited by ScottEVill, 12 May 2008 - 10:09 PM.

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#32 QueenTiye

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Posted 12 May 2008 - 10:46 PM

Pardon me for stunning everyone... but, G1223, according to some studies, is more right than wrong.  

A study I linked to a while back demonstrated that human compassion begins to shrink the more people there are to be compassionate about.  And the threshhold for shrinkage - is 1.  That's right.  If there are more than one person to be compassionate about, we begin to feel a little less, and that goes incrementally down up to a certain threshold where we just don't care.  Our reactions to world events like this are largely about how we SHOULD feel, more than how we do feel (obviously, this is a statistic we're talking - one where most fit, but some don't).  And G's hostility can be read as the exact same process - a sense that nothing can be done, and therefore in place of compassion (the other feeling besides anger that occurs is apathy).  The researchers theorize that our sense of campassion is measured largely by our ability to do something about the situation - the larger the situation is, the less effective our individual ability to respond, and therefore our lessened sensitivity.  That's probably a defense mechanism.

I quoted this bit of research on my website in the "good news" section, because of what it said in the inverse - that our sense of compassion is largely an active one... we feel compassion and we want to DO something to help somebody - obviously we can be more helpful if there is one person to help than if there are two... but also, I'd bet that we feel so much more compassionate  for larger numbers of people f we feel ourselves collectively able to do something.  And even here, G's reaction is reflective (I think) of a reality that creeps up on you the more you pay attention to world events - the world is huge, and hugely messed up, and we, the United States, can't be everywhere to fix it.  That compels a sense of apathy and/or hostility in a mirrored reaction to the compassion that would have been there if we felt the situation was manageable.

That said - I do think there's a distinction between anger and apathy on the one hand, and cheering the death of others on the other.  

QT

Edited by QueenTiye, 12 May 2008 - 10:52 PM.

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#33 Captain Jack

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Posted 12 May 2008 - 11:10 PM

View PostScottEVill, on May 12 2008, 08:08 PM, said:

View PostCaptain Jack, on May 12 2008, 10:19 PM, said:

View PostBad Wolf, on May 12 2008, 06:47 PM, said:

View PostCaptain Jack, on May 12 2008, 06:40 PM, said:

Did China cry for the United States when Katrina and Rita hit?  Did China cry when a 7.1 magnitude earthquake hit San Francisco in 1989?

So now it's about keeping score?  I'll show you sympathy if I feel like you've done something for me lately?

That's worse than cold.

No, it's about the truth.  No one should ask or demand for sympathy, it should be given freely with no strings attached. China has never bothered with it.

Indeed -- So why does it matter if China offered sympathy in the wake of Katrina?  If offering sympathy is the right thing to do, we should do it.  And it is the right thing to do.  

BTW, say what you like about China -- and, certainly, there's plenty to say -- but they did actually give money ($5M), goods, and they offered to send rescue workers.  Which isn't much, of course, but it's not nothing, either.  So to say Beijing didn't offer sympathy is flat out false.

I guess what bothers me most is that it seems the United States is expected, or feels it should.  I agree, it may be the right thing to do, but part of me can not help but think about the lack of appreciation or returns.  Maybe my own personal experience is playing a big part of how I feel.  I go out of my way to help others.  Not because I feel obligated to, but because I feel it is the right thing to do.  But, in return, I'm the one who gets burned.  As for what Cnina gave, that hardly makes up for all the times they don't help anyone.  It is nice to know though.  As I said, I could not think of any.  Doesn't mean there wasnt any.

Edit:  QT, that was rather interesting!  And I take some comfort that I'm at least not the only one who thinks G1223 is "more right than wrong" here.

Edited by Captain Jack, 12 May 2008 - 11:12 PM.

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#34 Bad Wolf

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Posted 12 May 2008 - 11:29 PM

View PostScottEVill, on May 12 2008, 08:08 PM, said:

View PostCaptain Jack, on May 12 2008, 10:19 PM, said:

View PostBad Wolf, on May 12 2008, 06:47 PM, said:

View PostCaptain Jack, on May 12 2008, 06:40 PM, said:

Did China cry for the United States when Katrina and Rita hit?  Did China cry when a 7.1 magnitude earthquake hit San Francisco in 1989?

So now it's about keeping score?  I'll show you sympathy if I feel like you've done something for me lately?

That's worse than cold.

No, it's about the truth.  No one should ask or demand for sympathy, it should be given freely with no strings attached. China has never bothered with it.

Indeed -- So why does it matter if China offered sympathy in the wake of Katrina?  If offering sympathy is the right thing to do, we should do it.  And it is the right thing to do.  



Duh.
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#35 scherzo

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Posted 12 May 2008 - 11:46 PM

Quote

BTW, say what you like about China -- and, certainly, there's plenty to say -- but they did actually give money ($5M), goods, and they offered to send rescue workers.
But as usual...not nearly enough soy sauce.  :(

While it's always significantly worse to see someone close to you suffer, I'm easily depressed by awful stories that show up in the news. Particularly when children are involved in some way. I'm pretty sure no one I knew was involved in the Beslan school massacre in Russia, but the details of that story were making me almost physically ill at the time. Evil Commie government aside, I'm very fond of the Chinese I've gotten to know personally, and my best wishes go out to the victims of the disaster.

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#36 G1223

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Posted 13 May 2008 - 12:06 AM

View PostQueenTiye, on May 12 2008, 11:46 PM, said:

Pardon me for stunning everyone... but, G1223, according to some studies, is more right than wrong.  

A study I linked to a while back demonstrated that human compassion begins to shrink the more people there are to be compassionate about.  And the threshhold for shrinkage - is 1.  That's right.  If there are more than one person to be compassionate about, we begin to feel a little less, and that goes incrementally down up to a certain threshold where we just don't care.  Our reactions to world events like this are largely about how we SHOULD feel, more than how we do feel (obviously, this is a statistic we're talking - one where most fit, but some don't).  And G's hostility can be read as the exact same process - a sense that nothing can be done, and therefore in place of compassion (the other feeling besides anger that occurs is apathy).  The researchers theorize that our sense of campassion is measured largely by our ability to do something about the situation - the larger the situation is, the less effective our individual ability to respond, and therefore our lessened sensitivity.  That's probably a defense mechanism.

I quoted this bit of research on my website in the "good news" section, because of what it said in the inverse - that our sense of compassion is largely an active one... we feel compassion and we want to DO something to help somebody - obviously we can be more helpful if there is one person to help than if there are two... but also, I'd bet that we feel so much more compassionate  for larger numbers of people f we feel ourselves collectively able to do something.  And even here, G's reaction is reflective (I think) of a reality that creeps up on you the more you pay attention to world events - the world is huge, and hugely messed up, and we, the United States, can't be everywhere to fix it.  That compels a sense of apathy and/or hostility in a mirrored reaction to the compassion that would have been there if we felt the situation was manageable.

That said - I do think there's a distinction between anger and apathy on the one hand, and cheering the death of others on the other.  

QT



Let me start off with a few points.

First I am sorry those folks are dead and dying. I feel the same grief I do about looking at something I can do nothing about to people I do not know and likely never will. Which not much. I guess that is something I share with Greg House.

I feel that anger I having is at people who refuse to accept that things happen to the faceless mass and nothing we can do will fix it. While they focus on that issue a person here might lose their job and where they live. They might have health issues and we are here. We canshow them the compassion they need. Why even if they are in the UK and I am here in the states? Becuase they are a part of this community. I made an effort to be part of this place.

I am not the nicest person I could be. I watch too much porn and see some women as objects rather than people. But I am among the first to jump to someone's help when they are someone I know in the real world. Or here.

I cannot fix the AIDS problem inAfrica. I can help if someone here has AIDS. I can if they are half a world away take the time to look into issues there and see ifIcan do something to help. If need be send them a gift to block for a few moments the pain of slowly dying. If they are worried I can lend a ear and offer advice.

That is what I focus on. The people who are part of my world. Even if it's a person I meet at a sci-fi club who is facing losing his aprtment because of a massive car repair. I can drop a few bucks in a jar which feeds a massive aid organizatiopn which then uses the money to buy toner for a copy machine to make more flyers to ask for more money.

Or I can focus on things here and on things I can do something about. I remember when one of folks was depressed and we thought looking to leave this world. I made the effort to find out if that person was getting the support of friend he made here and to ensure that the those close to him went to see him and make he know he was not alone. I prepared to flyout to a unknown place to help if I had been needed or if folks were not close enough to go help. This was while taking care of my father and dealing with a lot of things I did not know I needed to know.

I cannot save the puppy on the roof of a flooded out farmhouse and I am not going to cry when it dies. It is a sad and horrible place and bad things happen and you have to move on.  I see people here having to face the illness of thier child or partner dying. That is real and it is something I can do something about. I do not weep for the people in China becuase I have tears for a friend who has a illness slowly ending his life. Or another friend who loves music and is going deaf.

Yert I see thread after thread about places like Burma and folks getting worked up while letting the stuff here get pushed back for another disaster. they get worked up and try to focus on that crisis. While the ones closer keep simmering.

Burma and China will work these issues out or they wouldn't. I do not care. I do care if someone I know needs shelter. If they are getting proper medical care.  That they have a friend to share the grief of a death or a someone there when they die. Because they are here and real and they matter a hell of alot more than some faceless person in China.

That is why I am angry at folks here wanting to cry about this disaster. Did you see if those asking for prayers here got them? And did you see if those asking for those prayers might need more than prayers? I know I have not as much as I should. I had to come here and ask. I have also let the burden of living my life get in the way of that.

But I did not focus on the folks in Burma or China.

So think about which is more important. I know I have and I have a prayer thread to look at.
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#37 Raina

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Posted 13 May 2008 - 01:20 AM

View PostG1223, on May 13 2008, 01:06 AM, said:

That is why I am angry at folks here wanting to cry about this disaster.
I don't recall anyone here getting quite that emotional about this.

I've gotta say: kudos to you for your last post. Your other posts came off as rather callous, and while I was trying to see things from your angle, it just wasn't working because of the tone of your posts; maybe this was something to do with the fact that my ancestors all came from China, and I probably have some distant relatives still there. But this last post was very well said, and now I do see where you're coming from. :clap:

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#38 SparkyCola

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Posted 13 May 2008 - 07:35 AM

Thank you for that post G, it was excellent. I still disagree that people should have to limit their own compassion. I see the world as my community, in varying degrees. Accordingly, I vary my degree of compassion, but that doesn't mean the lowest ring of compassion is "nothing". As someone mentioned before - we ARE connected to those victims, because we're all human. That's just my point of view. No one is getting worked up about anything, but I'm still allowed to feel sad at the loss of so many people, and bear in mind - they were part of a community too, and that community is going to find it tough to recover from this. That's why they need help from other communities. Saying that you care that people in Africa are dying, doesn't mean you don't care about your close friends too. It doesn't even mean you care equal amounts about Africans dying and your friend with a dodgy finger. I don't have a limit to my compassion - it doesn't just "run out" past a certain point.

I still think you made your point badly to start with, by dancing on the graves of children that yes, you may not know, but they are still children, real people, who haven't hurt you in any way. That's just fundamentally and ethically wrong for a Human being to behave that way.

But once again, thanks for explaining your point of view. Especially in such an honest and open way. I appreciate that. Though I disagree, I'm still going to say respect + 1 for that last post :)

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#39 Godeskian

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Posted 13 May 2008 - 08:53 AM

I can sort of understand where G is coming from. People die every day, and we don't mourn them unless they're people close to us. They die from natural causes and unnatural causes, through malice and accident and random happenstance, and unless we know them, or know someone who did, we don't tend to think about them.

It's only when there's a big disaster, and it's suddenly tens of thousands dying at the same time, from the same cause that we as people become aware of it I think.

As to why I nonetheless sympathise?

The deep pain that is felt at the death of every soul arises from the feeling that there is in every individual something which is inexpressible, peculiar to him alone, and is, therefore, absolutely and irretrievably lost.
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#40 SparkyCola

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Posted 13 May 2008 - 10:50 AM

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The deep pain that is felt at the death of every soul arises from the feeling that there is in every individual something which is inexpressible, peculiar to him alone, and is, therefore, absolutely and irretrievably lost.
- Arthur Schopenhauer

:thumbs-up:

Very well said.

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