W hat are our feelings when we see the victims of famine and war: the starving child, the distraught mother, the old person whose way of life has been destroyed?
We experience not just one feeling, nor purely a sense of altruistic concern, but other feelings of which we would rather not be conscious. Maybe a little smugness because the same thing has not happened to us. Perhaps even a sense of superiority, crediting ourselves with cleverness because we have protected ourselves against such terrible misery. Such feelings give a pleasant sense of self-confidence and we feel even better as we roll out our prescriptions for solving the world’s problems.