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Sentience

September 23, 2020 - Irish Times

The day I stopped killing bees

The day I stopped killing bees
Bee on WindowFile Photo / © Photabulous

There was a bee in the bedroom one morning, buzzing against the triple glazed wall of glass that we call a window, and which allows us view the lake and the mountain as a single canvas; as if we were lying in the open air, in the middle of a field, with the wilderness around us. It’s amazing the amount of glass in modern buildings, which helps people feel like they’re living in the open air.

Of course none of that would have impressed the bee. All he could see was the mountain, and the fat juicy apples hanging from a bough just feet away from where he was having a nervous breakdown; scrambling up and down the glass, without knowing what was blocking his flight.

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“In my work with the defendants (at the Nuremberg Trials 1945-1949) I was searching for the nature of evil and I now think I have come close to defining it. A lack of empathy. It’s the one characteristic that connects all the defendants, a genuine incapacity to feel with their fellow men.
Evil, I think, is the absence of empathy.
Captain G. M. Gilbert
American Military, Chief Psychologist, Nuremberg trials

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