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Peter Gerdes

  • Postdoc
  • University of Notre Dame
  • 1Followers


Amazingly the above quote describes me extremely well. Of course most people would never peg me as being particularly sympathetic to the suffering of others and I wouldn't have it any other way. Pity, sympathy and compassion are virtues of the head not the heart. Emotions may alert us to the plight of others but they would have us save a puppy or some cute bunnies rather than aid the huddled masses in the third world. Disgustingly those who are most openly emotional about the plight of others are also those who do the greatest harms. Assuaging your own guilt by boycotting sweatshops, opposing globalization or protesting all animal testing without a good reason to believe the (likely) alternatives are better is not sympathy but selfishness. There are many good people on both sides of almost any issue and passion for your cause can be a virtue so forceful disagreement is to be expected. But if you can't step back and coldly justify your position in terms of costs and benefits you're making others suffer just so you can display your apparent concern and that's simply despicable.

Professional experience


University of Notre Dame

August 2001 - Present


Followers (1)

  • Sergey Kulikov

    Sergey KulikovTomskij gosudarstvennyj pedagogiceskij universitet