The Confucian philosopher Mengzi believes that ‘extending’ one's kindness facilitates one's moral development and that it is intimately tied to performing morally good actions. Most interpreters have taken Mengzian kindness to be an emotional state, with the extension of kindness to centrally involve feeling kindness towards more people or in a greater number of situations. I argue that kindness cannot do all the theoretical work that Mengzi wants it to do if it is interpreted as an emotion. I submit that (...) Mengzi's notion of extending kindness is best understood as the exercise of a capacity for intelligently performing kind actions. (shrink)
Kindness and its kindred concepts, compassion and empathy, are strongly valued in healthcare. But at the same time, health systems all too often treat people unfairly and cause harm. Is it possible that kindness actually contributes to these unkind outcomes? Here, I argue that, despite its attractive qualities, kindness can pose and perpetuate systemic problems in healthcare. By being discretionary, it can interfere with justice and non-maleficence. It can be problematic for autonomy too. Using the principalist lens allows us to (...) visualise kindness more clearly and to dissect out its key qualities. Ideally, kindness should be not just beneficent but also respectful of the person, fair and non-maleficent. I use examples to illustrate the adverse impacts when kindness runs short on each. Finally, I propose that we can improve on this, by diversifying our approach to inclusion. Outgroups should be more included, as a way to mitigate discrimination wrought by discretionary kindness. But we can do better. Ingroup health professionals too often sit ‘above the fray’. They should also be more included, but now as research subjects, so we can understand together how they benefit from discretionary kindness and deftly make it work for them and theirs. (shrink)
"Cultivating Kindness sheds light on just how children and adolescents are kind, especially in school. Grounded in psychological and educational research on kindness and supported with illustrations capturing the voices of public school students, this book enhances our understanding of kindness. Written with educators in mind, Cultivating Kindness draws from surveys and interviews with over three thousand children and adolescents. Author John-Tyler Binfet shares perspectives on kindness from the very individuals from whom we hope to see kindness embraced. Interwoven among (...) examples from students are findings from peer-reviewed studies on topics exploring the role of joy and stress contagions on fostering or thwarting kindness, the concept of kind discipline, and how to measure kindness in school. This book also includes a kindness checklist to guide educators wishing to implement and foster kindness in their classrooms or schools. In addition to practical scenarios challenging the reader to respond kindly, a repository of kindness resources to support the continued kindness education of readers are also included."--. (shrink)
The figure of the mistress is undoubtedly controversial provoking intense reactions, ranging from fear, to disgust and revulsion, to excitement and titillation, to sadness and perhaps to some, love. The mistress is conventionally depicted as a threat to moral living and someone whose sexuality is 'defective' and 'toxic'. Of course, she is a woman that you would not have as your friend, and certainly not your wife, since her 'ethical sense', if she even has one, is dubious at best. This (...) book subverts these traditional judgements offering an unflinching look at the lived experience of the mistress and recasts her as a potentially loving, free, intimate 'other' woman. Drawing upon feminist philosophy, contemporary sexual ethics and the current cultural moment of #MeToo, Mistress Morality moves beyond a narrative of 'infidelity', conventional judgment, the safeguarding of monogamy and conventional heterosex that permeates our society. It asks what happens when we let go of our insecurities, judgments and moralistic relationship philosophies and opt, instead, for an ethics of kindness. A kindness underpinned by engaging with those deemed 'other' and learning from mistresses, both straight and queer, new ways of thinking about ethics and sex, meaning we have better sex, and can be better to each other. (shrink)
In his early works, Giorgio Agamben argues that some Auschwitz inmates practised a ‘silent form of resistance’ by shutting themselves off from the world until nothing could harm them. I argue that this conception of ‘bare life’ is both too abstract and too individualistic. Agamben’s idea of bare life’s resistance first neglects the socio-historical context that has produced particular instances of it, effectively barring the investigation into how to avoid future occurrences of sovereign violence. Agamben, second, emphasizes the potential for (...) resistance present in individual bodies shut off from the world without providing guidelines for how these bodies should form a substantive community. I consequently employ Vasily Grossman’s writings on the Shoah to provide an alternative conception of bare life’s resistance in the camps. According to Grossman, resistance lies not in closing oneself off from the world, but in cultivating ineradicable nodes of ‘senseless kindness’ in concrete human interactions. (shrink)
Loving-kindness meditation was first practiced by Buddhists and then developed by clinical psychologist. Previous studies on LKM have mainly focused on the impact of real person-guided meditation on depression, anxiety, and other negative psychology. During the COVID-19 pandemic, this study explored the effect and mechanism of media-guided LKM on the improvement of social presence, mindfulness, spirituality, and subjective wellbeing. From the viewpoint of positive psychology, this study compared the different media effects of animated pedagogical agent -guided LKM and audio-guided LKM. (...) A total of 82 flight attendants were recruited from airlines; then, they were randomly assigned to two groups: APA group and audio group, which both underwent an 8-week LKM training intervention. The aforementioned four main variables were measured pre and post the meditation experiment. The results indicated that both APA-guided meditation and audio-guided meditation significantly improved subjects’ spirituality and SWB. Compared with audio-guided meditation, APA-guided meditation significantly improved the subjects’ spirituality, SWB, and social presence. Audio-guided meditation has no significant effect on social presence. This study highlights APA-guided meditation has a positive effect on spirituality, SWB, and social presence, which may provide individuals with a simple and easy method to improve their mental health. (shrink)
Although there is much interest in the development of prosocial behaviour in young children, and many interventions that attempt to cultivate kindness in children, there is a paucity of research exploring children’s lived experiences of kindness and including their voices. In this study, children’s understanding of kindness is approached through qualitative interviews using puppets. Interviews were conducted with 33 children aged 5-6 years in 3 schools in the United Kingdom. Through thematic analysis, 4 themes were developed: doing things for others, (...) relating with others, rules and values, and kindness affects us. These themes are examined in light of current thinking on prosocial and sociomoral development, and several key insights are highlighted, including types of prosocial behaviour, social connection, kindness-by-omission and defending, in-group bias, universal kindness versus personal safety, self-image, and a desire to improve the condition of society. These findings have implications for future research on prosocial development and for the design of kindness-based interventions, as well as providing an ecologically valid method of inquiry for use with young children. (shrink)
Does cruel behavior towards robots lead to vice, whereas kind behavior does not lead to virtue? This paper presents a critical response to Sparrow’s argument that there is an asymmetry in the way we (should) think about virtue and robots. It discusses how much we should praise virtue as opposed to vice, how virtue relates to practical knowledge and wisdom, how much illusion is needed for it to be a barrier to virtue, the relation between virtue and consequences, the moral (...) relevance of the reality requirement and the different ways one can deal with it, the risk of anthropocentric bias in this discussion, and the underlying epistemological assumptions and political questions. This response is not only relevant to Sparrow’s argument or to robot ethics but also touches upon central issues in virtue ethics. (shrink)
This elegant treatise examines the nature of kindness through the fascinating lenses and contexts of ancient, medieval and contemporary philosophy, natural history, theories of mind, of natural selection, eco-psychology and sociobiology. It challenges the reader to consider the myriad potential consequences of human behavior, examining various iconographic moments from the history of art and science as a precursor to the concept and vital potentials for ecological conversion. Focusing on the fundamental mechanisms of reciprocity among humans, other species, communities and nations, (...) Tobias and Morrison lead readers on a remarkable journey whose itinerary, and the provocative questions explored, seek to affirm a pattern in evolution and in human thought that is emphatically oriented towards benevolence, not tyranny. Prosociality in all species - making others happy, kind gestures at any and every juncture of life - has, as a discipline of enquiry, enjoyed a social scientific renaissance during the last decade. Can natural selection move rapidly enough to meet that ultimate challenge? Can our species re-evolve in real time, moving from the ideas, to the ideals, to their applied engineering in a real world that is ecologically hemorrhaging? Which all the critical moral and cognitive changes in social communion such new human nature, as the Authors suggest, clearly requires? This groundbreaking work of ecological philosophy, with its roots in ancient Greek thought, represents a radical break with nearly every traditional scientific paradigm, in exploring the intuitive geography and dramatic questions of ourselves - each and every one of us - that will prove crucial to the survival of our species, and all those we co-habit this miraculous planet with. (shrink)
ABSTRACT This paper questions the current construction of a 54 metres statue of Maitreya against a 108 metres stupa in the steppe south of Ulaanbaatar, that will stand at the edge of a new ‘eco-city,’ Maidar City. The Grand Maitreya Project was initiated in 2009 by H. Battulga, businessman and MP. The project aims to be ‘one of the largest Buddhist complex in the world,’ and now is a ‘National project for reviving traditional Buddhist education and culture.’ I propose to (...) use religious and art-historical approaches in order to document the ‘birth’ of a Buddhist project, with a special interest in the long process of conception, fundraising and promotional programme. Relying on recent studies on the entanglement of Buddhism, politics, culture, consumerization and tourism that gave rise to new cultual modalities, and on studies of colossal statues recently built in Asia, this article asks what the GMP tells us about modern Mongolian politics and public religious culture. What are the sources of inspiration and foreign references of the GMP? Is it a religious monument that will benefit from the tourist economy, a tourist attraction, or a unifying, nationalist symbol of 21st-century Mongolia? (shrink)
A new, four-stage approach to the popular Buddhist practice known as loving-kindness meditation, with the aim of finding unconditional love in our own hearts, in our relationships, and in our perception of the world around us. The unconditional love that we all long for--in our own lives and in the world around us--can be awakened effectively with this unique approach to the Tibetan Buddhist practice of loving-kindness meditation. Tulku Thondup gives detailed guidance for meditation, prayers, and visualization in four simple (...) stages that can be practiced in as little as thirty minutes a session. The four-stage format is a brand-new approach being presented for the first time in English, distilled from the author's lifelong study and practice of authentic, traditional teachings. What if we could experience not only our own body, mind, and heart as a boundless source of loving-kindness, but every particle of the world around us as a beautiful realm filled with the blessing energies of the Buddhas and their celestial abodes? The whole environment would become a miraculous display of unconditional love, wisdom, and power, accompanied by the sweet music of holy prayers and inspirational teachings. This is not just a dream or a fantasy but an effective meditation practice that can bring relief from stress, healing to mind and body, healthier relationships, and a positive new outlook on the world around you. Loving-kindness meditations are a highly effective way to generate positive causation, bring true peace and love into our lives, and release ourselves from habitual suffering. When we train ourselves to desire the happiness and well-being of others, with the unconditional love of a mother who cares wholeheartedly for her little ones, we find our whole world pervaded by the positive qualities of joy, peace, and beauty. The training can be compared to sunbathing. As our body absorbs the sun's heat, it becomes warm and gradually emanates that warmth into our surroundings. In the same way, through devotion and trust in the Buddha of Loving-Kindness, we immerse our mind in his unconditional love, which we then radiate to those around us. The Heart of Unconditional Love presents this meditation in a new, four-stage format distilled from the author's lifelong study and practice of authentic, traditional teachings. The meditation can be practiced in as little as thirty minutes a session: In the Outer Buddha Stage, we open our heart with trust and devotion to the Buddha of Loving-Kindness and enjoy his unconditional love. In the Inner Buddha Stage, we experience the Buddha's unconditional love within and for ourselves. In the Universal Buddha Stage, we learn to see, hear, and feel the world around us as a blessed realm of unconditional love. In the Ultimate Buddha Stage, we rest in the awareness of unconditional love free from conceptual thinking. Designed to be accessible to newcomers as well as experienced meditators, this presentation is a brand-new approach to loving-kindness meditation, being published in English for the first time. (shrink)
I propose a reading of The Book of Ruth that takes seriously the pastoral concern for refugees, migrants, and their families that was embodied in the life and teaching of Pope John Paul II.The Book of Ruth models virtues and practices that can help build up a society in solidarity, kindness, and peace. Ruth’s decision to stand beside Naomi demonstrates the value of solidarity in creating a hopeful future for families and communities. Naomi’s role in bringing Ruth and Boaz together (...) shows prudence and a sense of responsibility for shaping the common good. As for Boaz, he is an exemplary model of generosity and kindness. With respect to peacemaking, The Book of Ruth shows how enmity and distrust between nations might be overcome, with God’s help. (shrink)
This paper is a proposal to study the poem Uprzejmość niewidomych by Wisława Szymborska in order to question its apparent non-obviousness. By pointing out aspects which may cause a person to wonder the reader is led to formulating specific questions. Answers to them may be found in the context of all lyrical works by Szymborska. Problems depicted in this poem transgress literal concerns such as the power of poetry and relationships between the poet and readers. The anthropological dimension of the (...) reflections concerning the relations between human consciousness and the world is unveiled. (shrink)
Use this comprehensive framework and developmentally appropriate activities to teach young children compassion, conflict resolution, respect, and other positive, pro-social values as you cultivate a peaceful and supportive learning environment for all children.
Examining the moral sense theories of Francis Hutcheson, David Hume, and Adam Smith from the perspective of the is-ought problem, this essay shows that the moral sense or moral sentiments in those theories alone cannot identify appropriate morals. According to one interpretation, Hume's or Smith's theory is just a description of human nature. In this case, it does not answer the question of how we ought to live. According to another interpretation, it has some normative implications. In this case, it (...) draws normative claims from human nature. Anyway, the sentiments of anger, resentment, vengeance, superiority, sympathy, and benevolence show that drawing norms from human nature is sometimes morally problematic. The changeability of the moral sense and moral sentiments in Hume's and Smith's theories supports this idea. Hutcheson's theory is morally more appropriate because it bases morality on disinterested benevolence. Yet disinterested benevolence is not enough for morality. There are no sentiments the presence of which alone makes any action moral. (shrink)
This chapter contains sections titled: Nature, Nurture, and the Female Serial Killer Introduction Female Nurture and Human Nature: Some Philosophical Background Female Serial Killers: A Typology Of Poets and Monsters: Our Common Nature.
With more than two million members and supporters, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is the world’s largest animal-rights organization, and its founder and president, Ingrid Newkirk, is one of the most well-known and most effective activists in America. She has spearheaded worldwide efforts to improve the treatment of animals in manufacturing, entertainment, and elsewhere. Every day, in laboratories, food factories, and other industries, animals by the millions are subjected to inhumane cruelty. In this accessible guide, Newkirk teaches (...) readers hundreds of simple ways to stop thoughtless animal cruelty and make positive choices. For each topic, Newkirk provides hard facts, personal insight, inspiration, ideas, and resources, including: • How to eat healthfully and compassionately • How to adopt animals rather than support puppy mills • How to make their vote count and change public opinion • How to switch to cruelty-free cosmetics and clothing • How to choose amusements that protect rather than exploit animals. With public concern for the well-being of animals greater than ever—particularly among young people—this timely, practical book offers exciting and easy ways to make a difference. (shrink)
Animal abuse has been an acknowledged problem for centuries, but only within the past few decades has scientific research provided evidence that the maltreatment of animals often overlaps with violence toward people. The perpetrators of such inhumane trea.
: The topic of organ transplantation is examined from the perspective of three authors: Robert Bellah, Jeremy Rifkin, and Margaret Jane Radin. Introduced by reflections on the development of the justification of organ transplantation within the Roman Catholic community and the various themes raised by the historical study in Richard Titmuss's The Gift Relationship, the paper examines how and in what ways the possible commodification of organs will affect our society and the impacts this may have on the supply of (...) organs. (shrink)
While fairness is often mentioned as a determinant of ultimatum bargaining behavior, few data sets are available that can test theories that incorporate fairness considerations. This paper tests the reciprocal kindness theory in Rabin (1993 Incorporating fairness into game theory and economics, The American Economic Review 83: 1281-1302) as an application to the one-period ultimatum bargaining game. We report on data from 100 ultimatum games that vary the financial stakes of the game from 1 to 15. Responder behavior is strongly (...) in support of the kindness theory and proposer behavior weakly in support of it. Offer percentages and past offers influence behavior the most, whereas the size of the pie has a marginally significant effect on offer percentages. The data is more in support of reciprocal kindness than alternative theories of equal-split or learning behavior, although the data also weakly support a minimum percentage threshold hypothesis. As a whole, our results together with existing studies suggest that, for smaller stakes games, fairness considerations dominate monetary considerations. This has implications for more complicated naturally occurring bargaining environments in which the financial stakes can vary widely. (shrink)
To omit the word kindness in medical practice and journals, in favour of fashionable notions such as "care" and "skills", is not in patients' interests. Health professionals may come to the view that natural kindness (the same as that found in the world outside medicine), because it is absent by name in medical skills courses' or other official edicts, is somehow unscientific and unworthy of their attention. As lay-people know, it is an essential adjunct to all medical management, sometimes the (...) only one required, and by no means always a time-taking matter. And so its use by name in journals, and its actual use in practice, is here recommended. It is a supreme medical ally. (shrink)
Meditation. Sogyal Rinpoche. Rider, London 1994. 90 pp.. £6.99. Metta. Loving kindness in Buddhism. Khun Sujin Boriharnwanaket. Translated from the original Thai by Nina von Gorkom. Triple Gem Press, London 1995. 120 pp. £7.95.
This paper argues that it is morally wrong for the affluent not to contribute money or time to famine relief. It begins by endorsing an important methodological line of objection against the most prominent philosophical advocate of this claim, Peter Singer. This objection attacks his strategy of invoking a principle the acceptability of which is apparently based upon its conformity with "intuitive" moral judgements in order to defend a strongly counterintuitive conclusion. However, what follows is an argument for that counterintuitive (...) conclusion which claims to circumvent the methodological objection, and moreover without having to resort to a justificational ethical theory. How can this be done? Merely by appealing, it is maintained, to the simple practical considerations which are characteristic of the virtues of kindness and justice. Accordingly, an account of those virtues, outlining the structure of the practical reasoning of their possessors, occupies a central place in the argument. The paper displays the resources for normative argument of a "virtue ethics;" but it claims also that its conclusion cannot be escaped by the adherents of any plausible moral outlook. And this yields a further conclusion. All moral outlooks, and not only those which equate the moral point of view with the impartial point of view, face a "problem of demandingness" - for it seems to be a corollary of the argument that if one is to be living a life which is not immoral, one is precluded from pursuing practically any source of personal satisfaction. (shrink)
In ‘Virtue and Character’ A. D. M. Walker claims that kindness and justice are incompatible in certain important ways and that a person can be kind or just without possessing the other virtue. Walker argues that virtues must lead to ‘effective and intelligent action’ and that a virtue ceases to exist if ‘it leads to violation of the minimal requirements of any other virtue’. On this view kindness and justice function independently to produce effective action. Kindness requires a direct caring (...) for the individual in particular circumstances, while justice involves a commitment to impartiality that abstracts from an individual's situation. Walker argues that, as long as the minimal requirements of other virtues are met, one can be kind without weighing considerations of justice. He cites with approval kind behaviour which human beings learn as young children. Such behaviour may be a deeply engrained personality trait, and the individual passing through different situations in life may have no need to consider questions of justice. ‘He will merely need to be able to recognize and respond to certain types of considerations as overriding the values promoted by kindness’. (shrink)