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COVID, Cruelty & Empathy

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President Trump announced that he and Melania tested positive for COVID. His supporters have expressed sympathy and concern for Trump. Most other Americans have followed their moral compass or social norms and have also expressed sympathy and concern—just as they have towards those sickened or killed by the disease. Some critics have pointed out that, like Carter Burke in Aliens, Trump is a victim of his own misdeeds. A few people have rejoiced in Trump’s illness and some hope that he gets extremely sick or even dies. As would be expected, Trump’s supporters (and those who loath the left) are harshly critical of those who are mean to Trump. Bryon York, for example, insisted that people should pray for their leaders and wish them well and noted that those being mean to Trump would regret their words. Ben Shapiro tweeted “Looking forward to all the kind-hearted expressions of sympathy to Trump and Melania from the blue-checkmark Left.” Dan Bongino tweeted ,”This morning is the strongest reminder in a long time about how sick and disgusting the Left is.”Bongino even put in the work of assembling comments and publishing  “Liberal Ghouls React to Trump Coronavirus Diagnosis.” In general terms, many who support Trump or oppose the left are presenting a moral criticism of the alleged cruelty and lack of empathy on the part of the left. What the left should be doing, morally speaking, is expressing sympathy and concern for Trump—otherwise they are acting wrongly. This sort of moral criticism rests on the assumption that people should be empathetic to those who are suffering and thus respond with sympathy and concern. It also rests on the assumption that engaging in cruel comments and mockery of those suffering is morally wrong. I generally agree with those moral assumptions and hence will not dispute them. One obvious question is whether these folks hold to these general principles. There is considerable evidence that many of them do not. Trump is. . .

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News source: A Philosopher's Blog

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