Pity isn’t respect

The idea that pity and respect are the same thing is not overtly stated, but it underlies many arguments for equity, also known as equality of outcome. I would like to make the case that while we may pity certain individuals for their unfortunate circumstance, that does not mean that they merit respect. Respect is a currency and when we flood the market, it becomes worthless. Nowadays we often hear that a certain group is victimized and that to help we must respect them.

The whole group.

Indiscriminately.

I’ve been thinking that through and I just don’t think that that particular worldview is robust enough to work in practice. Ex-Nazis were heavily victimized in the U.S. post WW2. Should we respect them?

But “WAIT” you say, “they did terrible things to innocent Jews”

Yes, they decided to identify and murder Jews regardless of their individual merit.

The whole group.

Indiscriminately.

We are looking at the same coin, just different sides of it. The problem is that the world is not a coin, with victims and perpetrators. The truth is that a despicable, awful human being can be a victim as Cain was. A good, wise person can be a perpetrator as many brave soldiers have been. Thus victimhood should not grant privilege or respect.

If you still cling to the victim/perpetrator worldview

Then it’s time for you to grow the hell up

Today

Because if not, you may be responsible

For the tomorrow that never comes

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