There is a sense in which I feel sorry for almost everybody, including the servants of evil and the demonically possessed. That's fine, so long as we are not paralysed by it into avoiding difficult but necessary choices.
But this is just one of those abstract pseudo emotions that we have been trained into by the mass media - like the way we have instant opinions on everything; or that infinite universal abstract altruism that people have so glibly expressed since the middle 1960s.
In his comment, Dr. Charlton highlights the problems inherent in pity, which evil often employs as a manipulative tool. Nearly every stupid evil I can think of that has come to pass in the past four or five decades relied heavily on appealing to pity – in this sense, on compassion. If properly applied under the right circumstances, compassion is a virtue. Nevertheless, if it is improperly applied in the wrong circumstances, it can rank among the worst and most harmful of missteps. Perhaps it even ranks as a sin.
Evil relishes using the virtue of compassion against us. Evil often asks us to open our hearts, to become more lenient, generous, understanding, and accommodating. It offers a display of suffering, misfortune, or injustice and asks us sympathize and commiserate with it. This is an emotionally manipulative appeal to our sense of goodness and benevolence. At the very least, evil demands we be kind and understanding toward it; evil wants use to be nice. But niceness, like pity, is not a virtue. Nonetheless, evil brands as cruel those who refuse to partake in this coerced emotional outpouring.
I have seen this kind of pity referred to as benevolent pity. On its own, I'm sure there is a time and place for it, but it has been grossly exploited in our modern world, to the point of utter absurdity. And an inherent danger lurks in this kind of pity; it leaves one vulnerable to attack and harm, as this short clip from Star Trek The Next Generation demonstrates. In the scene, Guinan confronts Picard about his decision to allow a member of the Borg on board the Enterprise for "humanitarian reasons" :
No, I didn’t mean that kind of pity. Perhaps the pity I feel for Greta Thunberg is of a more contemptuous kind? To a certain point, yes. Pity is basically an expression of sorrow. Benevolent pity is a tender sorrow that sympathizes with the suffering of another. Contemptuous pity is derisive sorrow that scorns the evil or stupidity of another. On the milder side, it is a taunt, a sneer, or a scoff leveled at an adversary or an enemy. A good example of this kind contemptuous pity is a rather memorable scene in an otherwise forgettable movie – Rocky III:
Perhaps my contemptuous pity is of the darker variety – the kind that scorns and despises. The kind that looks down upon. The kind that considers the other unworthy and despicable. Yes, my pity for St. Greta and her climate crisis posse undoubtedly contains traces of this.
But in the end, my pity for Greta Thunberg originates from a much deeper place. It is difficult for me to express what this feeling of pity is and where it stems from. I don’t feel sorry, instead I feel sorrow. Not a sympathetic sorrow; nor a scornful sorrow, but a deep, subtle, and objective sorrow – probably the same kind Dr. Charlton touches upon in his comment above. It is not a pseudo emotion, and it is not certainly not altruistic.
St.Greta is convinced she is on the side of Truth, Beauty, and Goodness, but she isn’t. And, yes, I feel sorrow for anyone and everyone who chooses to walk down the dark path. Nevertheless, I remain vigilant, and I do not let this pity cloud my judgement because when all is said and done, nothing Greta Thunberg and the Establishment are striving for via the manufactured climate crisis is remotely Truthful, Beautiful, or Good.