Re: Our Responsibility to Those in Need

From: William Kitchen (
Date: Sun Jul 29 2001 - 15:50:59 MDT

> Mike Lorrey wrote:
> It always seems to me that those who think the worst of others are
> merely projecting their own darkest fantasies about what 'they would do'
> if free to act, automatically assuming not only that everyone else has
> similar fanatasies, but that they are similarly unable to restrain them in
> virtue. They thus demand the authority and power to restrain others when
> it is they who need the most restraining, especially once they attain any
> power greater than the responsibility of the individual for themselves.

That's likely true in some cases, but is it a reasonable
generalization? Falsely projecting one's own faults on one's
opponent is not uncommon. But it's really just a special case of
a the more general problem of falsely projecting any kind of
negative characteristic on your opponent simply because the straw-
man is easier to fight than the real opponent. This is easiest
to do when there is some element of truth to the accusation. So
easy that even very thoughtful individuals sometimes deceive
themselves and others in this way. Stereotyping an entire group
by pointing out a characteristic exhibited by only a few, or even
worse, a characteristic that merely _might_ be present and hasn't
necessarily been demonstrated at all, is a prime example.

                                        William Kitchen

The future is ours to create.

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