A very quick thought which doesn’t change the basic gist of yesterday’s post.
There’s a lot of online activism which encourages people to support good causes which don’t directly affect them. I don’t just mean things like donating money to people in distant, famine-struck lands, but causes which affect only a subset of our fellows, and so aren’t really on our radar so much.
One obvious example is the effort to provoke men to take an interest in issues that primarily affect women, such as abortion, female genital mutilation, or domestic violence.
A common piece of rhetoric employed to this end is: What if it happened to someone you know, or your daughter, or your sister, or your mother? What if the victim of some atrocity you’re currently unaware of was someone close to you?
You should care, because it could be your daughter.
While the conditional clause may technically be true, the reasoning is problematic. The fact that your daughter could be the victim of something horrible isn’t the reason you should want to stop horrible things.
The reason you should want to stop horrible things, is that the way you feel when you imagine horrible things happening to your daughter, is the way you should feel about horrible things happening to anyone.