April 6, 2013 § 48 Comments
There is all the difference in the world between pity and contempt. The former expresses caritas for someone who suffers from a disadvantage or is lower in the social hierarchy. The latter treats someone as an outcast from civilized company. There are times and places for both; but the time and place for the latter obtains only when the person has brought it upon himself.
Parents of illegitimate children have brought it upon themselves. The children themselves have not. To express contempt rather than pity for the latter is, itself, contemptible.
Egalitarian modernity struggles with the difference between pity and contempt, because to be “in” society at all just is to be equal. To egalitarian modernity anyone who isn’t an equal isn’t anyone at all. He is worse than contemptible: he is subhuman.