Breakdown of Compassion
Of course, psychological factors are only some of many causes underlying the failure to respond to genocide. But the psychology is important and it has implications for policy that, so far, have not been addressed....[via The Situationist]
The broader message of this psychological explanation is that we cannot trust our quick, natural, intuitions that we rely upon heavily to tell us whether or not some moral transgression is occurring and to motivate us to respond. Rather, our moral intuitions fail us when the number of lives involved becomes large. Indeed, the research shows that the breakdown of compassion can be seen to begin when the number of needy persons goes from 1 to 2!