Empathy for the dental patient

Barack Obama: “My view of human progress has stayed surprisingly constant throughout my presidency. The world today – with all its pain and all its sorrow – is more just, more democratic, more free, more tolerant, healthier, wealthier, better educated, more connected, more empathetic than ever before. If you didn’t know ahead of time what your social status would be, what your race was, what your gender was, what your sexual orientation was, what country you were living in, and you were asked what moment of human history would you like to be born, then you would choose right now.”

How long then until humanity has become perfectly just, democratic and the rest… become perfectly empathetic? And then, will empathy exist when everything has attained perfection, like Joe Biden’s teeth?

Or do we envisage humanity dying out before it has been perfected? If so, what event will wipe it out – environmental change, nuclear war, asteroids? Is it man or “God” who will bring about man’s perfection – or his death?

This language gives force to causes Obama cares about. He is a good man – empathetic -, but this language seems absurd to me. I wonder why or whether anyone believes it, and wonder whether believing nonsense isn’t bad, like the opium of the people.

Empathy is above the rest. Empathy is the source of all goodness. It is the mercy of God. As such, empathy exists perfectly in all times and all places – like, “right now”.


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