Charter for Compassion

Scott Leslie posted a link to Charter for Compassion, and I can’t think of a better thing to support. Compassion is so painfully lacking in the world today. It needs to be universal. We are all connected.


This is something I struggle with as well. I need to try harder. A LOT harder. Compassion is essential. Compassion is active. I can’t imagine leaving my son a world that lacks real compassion.

However, this is not about religion. Religion has nothing to do with compassion. I am an athiest, and see compassion as essential – without being muddied by religious interpretation. Compassion is not righteousness, nor is it divine.

(link to video, in case it borks in RSS)

2 thoughts on “Charter for Compassion”

  1. I agree D’Arcy, this doesn’t have to be about religion, though that may end up being the lens through which many people view it. I know a lot of my friends are atheists; I am glad you were able to understand this as being not just ‘religious’ – that was the spirit in which I shared it. The world needs more compassion. We all do.

  2. I don’t mind the idea of having compassion; I think the Dali Lama has spent much of his life preaching this ideal.

    Kant said:
    This law obliges one to treat humanity – understood as rational agency, and represented through oneself as well as others – as an end in itself rather than (merely) as means to other ends the individual might hold.

    The idea it seems to me to be similar to an end in itself ( The entire capitalist society sees everyone as a means. This has gone as far as spreading to the sexual discourse, and I feel that many young adults feel the same way; and many of them do not mature. Without significant changes to the nature of society, I really doubt that any sort of change is possible. The way that we act towards each other and towards the rest of the world is determined by our medium, and seeing as we don’t determine the medium (as the people who have the money and make the money off of us determine it), we don’t determine the lessons that the medium teaches the majority of society which is open to obeying its message. We can always act on an individual level, but in my observations that does not change much. Ultimately, all such questions of holding such a fundamental philosophy (as being compassionate) are political questions to be decided by society as a whole. As an example, schools are some of the most heartless places that I know. They are not concerned with compassionately educating students, but instead concerned with administering them.

    At this point in my life I have decided that things that we worry about such as this are more or less a lost cause; in many ways most people act either as if they were or they are simply unaware or apathetic. In letting go of hope I have found quite a bit of peace… But then is all not lost? I don’t think so. I think that the world is headed for great change and upheaval and only after we have observed what can happen will we make some changes in the way that we do things (this is Lovelock’s sentiment, and I buy it as a sort of silver lining to the current predicament). I think humans naturally need to see abuse first hand and it needs to be overwhelming in order for them not to stay apathetic.

    Overpopulation will be solved (harshly) by a food crisis and the environment is going to change and for the majority of the world’s poor, they will have only luck to rely on for their survival. In the developed/technological world, we will find technological solutions to our problems and continue in basically the same direction we have.

    I can’t say that I particularly believe in anything either, I think “there is no time, no space, no law; we’re out here on our own,” as Richard Ashcroft said ( However, I don’t think it’s religion that is responsible for anything, other than authority abuse and we see plenty of that from secular governments all the time (American eugenics on supposedly retarded children who were poor come to mind in comparison to Priest abuse, especially of the Native population in Canada – and the government I believe had a role in that as well). I think ultimately it is politics and philosophy, and about the way we want our world to be that determines such questions and then how people use answers to such questions to respond to their environment; often violently. The entire religious debate is vacuous, along with the issues that go with it have been injected into our politics to keep people busy with meaningless issues while not concentrating on things that actually affect their lives and the lives of other people. The way governments do use religion these days is as a tool of control and I think that has to stop much more than people believing in a God or not – it makes no difference, or the difference is arbitrary as you could insert any ideology instead of God with the similar ideals and a completely rational base and get the same outcomes of hatred and violence.

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