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comment by jadedog

    I deleted the Uber app when its CEO exploited the plight of refugees stranded at JFK airport in New York City to make a few more bucks.

Uber didn't do this. Uber didn't break the taxi strike at the airport. Uber had stopped surge pricing to the airport. Some questioned that if Uber had joined the strike, how anyone would get out of the airport that day.

Uber apologized for the miscommunication.

    We’re sorry for any confusion about our earlier tweet — it was not meant to break up any strike,” a spokesperson for Uber said. “We wanted people to know they could use Uber to get to and from JFK at normal prices, especially last night.”

    And, I made a special point of ordering a Starbucks cappuccino for a stranger on the street when its CEO announced that he'll hire 10,000 refugees to work at his stores in the next two years.

Depending on how they do this, it might be discriminatory to hire a group of people over others.

Every day, people make choices about what they purchase and whether and how to get involved in politics. What does his being Jewish have to do with it? It sounds a little self-righteous to imply that only religious people have the heart to help those in need.





am_Unition  ·  1199 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    What does his being Jewish have to do with it? It sounds a little self-righteous to imply that only religious people have the heart to help those in need.

I think the correct answer to your question is centered around a certain historical event that impacted the Jews.

Devac  ·  1199 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    centered around a certain historical event that impacted the Jews.

To be fair, Egypt got the plagues and their gods were just as metal as Old Testament. ;)

On a more serious note, I get that there are certain analogies and strife that Jews experienced isn't a negligible factor. jadedog probably placed more attention to this bit:

    As a believing Jew, God’s word in the Torah tells me to be kind to strangers and I take the Torah to heart. Ideally, people everywhere should know the heart of the stranger. Every one of our hearts should feel the burdens and pain of others. All of us should stand up for the oppressed even if we ourselves haven't had to face insecurity, exclusion or worse.

    However, it seems to be human nature to do the opposite. So many of us close our eyes and pretend we just don’t see the suffering of others. But I simply cannot close my eyes.

That does indeed sound like equating compassion with religion, as "it seems to be human nature to do the opposite". It can be a personal bias. It can be a poor choice of words. But there's also a possibility that belief in God makes people more prone to follow the Torah or other sacred text. I honestly don't see it as being self-righteous, but strongly biased in a certain direction. Being a religious figure can make one just as blind to good coming from non-religious people as to evil committed by the members of their own group. That's how humans work, right? You judge others by your own experience and surroundings, and I'm willing to believe that there was no 'holier than thou' intention… it could be probably wise to acknowledge that people will be on their best behaviour when in front of a Rabbi.

lil, you know what's up. Am I mistaken or out of the line in my assumption?

lil  ·  1199 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Thanks for your thoughtful comments.

    Being a religious figure can make one just as blind to good coming from non-religious people as to evil committed by the members of their own group.
Absolutely right. It takes a very long time to let go of the stories we tell ourselves. That particular author has been fighting for Palestinean rights along with many other people.

As I said to the dog of jade, people will take what they want from a text and interpret it as they need to. You quoted this suggesting that the author was saying that religious people are more compassionate:

    it seems to be human nature to do the opposite.

I don't see any arrogance in that observation. I agree that it is often in the nature of people to fear people who are different from them and target them for exclusion.

There is a lot of evidence too that compassion is part of human nature. And so we are programmed for both love and fear.

My sense is that the author examined his own need to act and saw the origins of his outrage in how he lives daily in the world. Others, based on their own experience and action or lack of action, can explain themselves any way they want to. The Pakistani newspaper solicited this article from this author as an attempt to build greater compassion between diverse groups. Given the comments from the Karachi readers, it seems to have succeeded.

Thank you again for your challenging comments.

jadedog  ·  1198 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    As I said to the dog of jade

Oh. Is this personal?

I was just giving my opinion about an article. I apologize if you felt insulted.

lil  ·  1198 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Not at all. I appreciate your opinions.

Devac  ·  1199 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Just to clarify: I don't see it as arrogance. But it is a statement that could be a result of bias.

Example: I consider myself as a person with problems who tries to be good. People need help, I'm providing it as best as I can if I can. Be it volunteering at a hospital, help with organising local events or science outreach to some schools. It does not come from religion or belief in the god of any kind. You don't need it to be a good person, and it does feel at least slightly like a poor choice of generalisation. Frankly, most people in the hospital where I'm volunteering along are atheists.

Here's the thing, though: I'm aware of committing the same bias as the author. I'm not going to say "atheists are inherently good" because it's true to those eleven. He can have a much larger sample and life experience, but that does not make it anything more than observer's bias. Am I arrogant? I don't think so, at least in this particular case. We have different exposures and that's all.

In the end, I'm only happy that you enjoyed the post. I hope that you don't feel like I'm arguing with you, as it feels like we are on the same page. I just wanted to clarify my stance.

bioemerl  ·  1199 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Unless this guy is 80 years old, or an expert on the events that lead to the holocaust, all he is doing is screaming "hey, I have an emotional connection that biases me towards a certain viewpoint, please stop taking my views seriously!"

am_Unition  ·  1199 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I don't think you're terribly wrong, but maybe we need to pay more attention when someone says "I feel a certain way, and I'd like to talk to you about it." Sometimes, we just can't help how we feel, and it's therapeutic to know that someone else listened to what you have to say.

After all the emotions are on the table, then we can start constructively attacking logical fallacies and plan a best course of action. In an ideal world.

bioemerl  ·  1199 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I take issue with the implication here, not that someone has an emotional connection and wants to talk about it, but with the idea that the person being Jewish matters in any shape or way on their ability to judge the situation. I am certain the "as a Jewish person" is taken as a pro for their argument, rather than as a con, and as a sign that someone needs to be comforted and brought back to "reality" from their emotions driving their thoughts.

lil  ·  1198 days ago  ·  link  ·  

The Jewishness of the author, and his openhearted acceptance, seemed very meaningful to the Pakistanis (the intended audience) who commented. I was amazed at their comments.

jadedog  ·  1199 days ago  ·  link  ·  

What historical event is that?

Are you saying that the author is analogizing the actions of the US with this historical event?

lil  ·  1199 days ago  ·  link  ·  

jadedog  ·  1198 days ago  ·  link  ·  

That image doesn't load for me. Could you describe the image?

lil  ·  1198 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Thank you for asking me to describe the image.

    Are you saying that the author is analogizing the actions of the US with this historical event?

The historical event is the holocaust. There have been other hate-based genocides. The US Holocaust Museum website says,

    Genocide is often preceded and accompanied by widespread hate speech. The leaders who planned mass killings in the Holocaust, Rwanda, and Srebrenica disseminated ideologies of hatred to spur their followers to act, to cow bystanders into passivity, and to justify their crimes.

The image I posted is called the pyramid of hate and it suggests that a society starts with bias and prejudicial attitudes which can develop into discrimination and perhaps genocide. Here's another version:

http://archive.adl.org/edu_images/p_hate_pyramid.gif

kantos  ·  1198 days ago  ·  link  ·  

My Crusades prof alluded to some theory drawing a line between previous slaughter in Germany and the Holocaust. Will have to get home to edit this comment with its name.

mivasairski  ·  1197 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Yeah, Jadedog, I don't imply that only religious people have the heart to help. In fact, sadly, as I look around this broken world we live in, I see many people who perceive themselves to be religious to also be very bigoted, selfish, negative toward others, etc. Many people who reject religion are quite welcoming, generous, caring, compassionate, etc.

I am speaking as clearly as I can of this one guy who I know -- myself. I am not speaking for anyone else.

jadedog  ·  1197 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Ah, now it's clear why I'm getting so much negative feedback on my thoughts on your article.

I guessed you were related to lil after kanto's comment but by then it was too late to retract my opinion. I wish there were a bit more transparency about the reason for the OP.

I still disagree with your article in several ways, but I'll take my leave since I'm getting the idea that the article wasn't to be debated, but more announced. Congrats on the publication of it.

kantos  ·  1197 days ago  ·  link  ·  

While you've come to the correct conclusion there was some relation, that was a standalone "ah-ha!" moment I wanted to express. On the other hand, feel free to ask in the comments or PM if you're confused in the future. :)

I think miv hit the nail on the head in his response to this comment. Disagreement is an opportunity to reach shared ground, if not a little bit more understanding of eachother. Hubski is just as much a sounding board as you'd like it to be - and civil about it no less!

mivasairski  ·  1197 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Well, Jadedog, thank you for the congrats. I feel very good about it being published and shared with people in Pakistan. There are 88 comments on the Pakistani website; some of them have 100+ likes. The editor told me on the day it was published it was one of the ten most-read pieces in English in Pakistan. So, I do feel good about sharing the perspective expressed in it.

You say you still disagree. The whole purpose of Hubski is to provide a venue for thoughtful discussion, right? So, disagreement is a good thing when we share and explore ideas. I thank you for your comments.

lil  ·  1199 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Thanks for the links about uber and the taxi strike. Very informative.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't see where the author implies that

    only religious people have the heart to help those in need.

The author says "Along with millions of other Americans, I'm doing what I can to resist." Seems to me that he's recognizing all acts of resistance, but saying that his own resistance includes personal feelings of "heartfelt connection with religious people of all kinds" -- notably Muslims.

The author says that aside from being a Jew, his activism comes from being American, "with all the rights and responsibilities of an American citizen. This gives me particular opportunities and, consequently, obligations to act."

It doesn't sound self-righteous to me - but there are many ways to read words.

jadedog  ·  1199 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    It doesn't sound self-righteous to me - but there are many ways to read words.

You're right. We read those words differently.

To me, by his constant bringing it up as one of the reasons for his actions, he implies that his compassion comes from his religion.

For many people, compassion comes from being human.