top of page

Why Mercy Is Usually Impractical

Updated: Mar 1

Mercy is a form of sympathy, or a variant of it, used to show someone weaker or more unfortunate than you that you sympathize with him or her.

Often, the merciful person has the power to punish the merciful person, such as a judge or a fighter in a duel. Thus, mercy can be seen as the opposite of punishment, or at least a redeeming alternative to it.

In certain video games, showing mercy is a feature. In some Mortal Kombat games, for example, instead of killing your opponent, you can show mercy to them.

This, in return, will give them a chance at winning. From what I managed to gather, it can also be used to humiliate your opponent, given that you can defeat them once more.

Some people want to be shown mercy, and some people do not. I think it's okay to choose either way, given that it's a personal preference. Likewise, I have no desire to be shown mercy due to my disabilities. Being shown mercy, for me, is not only a bit arrogant, but also not necessary.

I have nothing to do with your mercy, should you give it to me, and thus, I see no reason to desire it. I want to be seen as equal, and the one who seeks mercy is usually not equal.

Since I do not recall ever showing mercy to anyone, I guess you can call me a merciless man. It does not mean that I am cruel or ruthless. It's just that I don't see any reason to show mercy myself. I just prefer to sympathize generally without choosing this condescending variant.

Does compassion always come through mercy? Of course not. It can come through empathy as well, and in empathy, you essentially understand the other person as if you were them.

Assuming that mercy is always a form of sympathy, there isn't necessarily equal ground between the two parties when one is merciful towards the other.

My fatigue made me physically weak, to the point that sitting is as challenging as going for a long walk. I know that because I used to go on extremely long walks that would last for a few hours. Should you be merciful towards me, please understand that doing so will not restore my physical strength.

In fact, you would mostly appear as if you were superior to me, and I don't like arrogance. I am aware that I've been seen as arrogant myself, but it was almost always unintentional since I began being a public writer.

Why not choose a more egalitarian form of sympathy? None of us has to condescend, even if we may feel like it. I was told some unfortunate things by people throughout my life, but instead of showing pity, I just felt sad for them and for the things they went through.

My deceased grandmother had a difficult life. She was born in a South American country that used to be a dictatorship and was also "vanishing" people (Argentina). I'm glad she left because she could've vanished too.

I heard from my mother that we still have family there, and I know in general that Argentina is a poor country financially. I do not pity them, but I do send my sympathies to them and to anyone else that may suffer due to external circumstances that are beyond their control. They are not beneath me, and vice versa, so I see no reason to be pitiful.

The point of this article is to try and prove to you that pity might as well be underserved most of the time. It can also make some people see their condition as worse than it actually is.

I don't know if I'll ever be able to work, but it's almost certain that I will not know poverty and that I will not be homeless, thanks to welfare. Even when I grew up in a poor neighborhood, I never went to sleep hungry. Also, it's not like showing mercy will ease my fatigue.

I also don't expect mercy from anyone. Being understood properly does not require pity. I know that it's not exactly a purely-kind world out there and that psychopaths exist, given that some people are unable to feel empathy for anyone.

I wish humanity as a whole would be far more egalitarian than it already is, or, in other words, equal in its treatment of its members.

I have begged for mercy only a few times in my life, and it was usually when I didn't like myself. I have no desire to return to these days, which were filled with immense bias towards negativity. In general, I wish to reduce my biases in an attempt to see the world more clearly and more rationally.

If I ever want to receive mercy, then it might be in extremely unlikely situations, in situations where mercy will actually mean something in a practical sense. From a physical attacker, from a judge, and so on. Receiving mercy in situations where it has no practical implication, while I'm not desperate, does not really help.

That's my philosophy regarding mercy. Remember that even disabled people can be strong in spirit, which I believe I am. I've been living in a relatively ascetic manner for pretty much all of my life.

I'm probably a fourth generation of people who lived in a relatively minimal way, even though I can live a more spoiled life. Even though I'm still sensitive, it appears that this lifestyle has greatly aided me in becoming mentally stronger.

So, please, do not pity me for my condition. I'm sure others will expect the same of you. Thanks for your reading time.

23 views0 comments

Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

צילום מסך 2023-11-02 202752.png
bottom of page