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Omelas is one place which is to let the residents feeling blessed every day. There are without a king and barbarians. But the blessed life in there needs to maintain by a child who is suffering every day. And all of the residents only have two choices after they know the situation of a child. However, Ursula Le Guin’s story “The One Who Walked Away From Omelas” show that the choices from them are most important to affect the result of child and city and it is the conflict between self-interest and sympathy.
In Ursula Le Guin’s story, most of the residents choose to ignore the child to avoid them lose the happiness life but loss the blessed life is not bad in our daily life. Since blessed is non-inevitable of our daily life. Therefore, we will more cherish that of our life. And it will become the power to let us more work hard to obtain the blessing.
Therefore it can let our life to become more interest and meaningful. So that the residents should not worry about the change of the city after saving the child.
In addition, a utilitarian will hurt some people. According to the theory of utilitarianism, the people who are utilitarian, they will think that if the decision can let more people feeling happy and fewer people feeling suffering, then it is the right things to do. However, all of us also have intrinsic value so that we cannot disregard the value of others.
And it is not fair to everyone and according to impartiality, we should give equal treatment with each other during we make any decisions to reduce others suffering by facing the unfair treatment. It just like the story stated that“’I will be good,’ it says. ‘Please let me out. I will be good!’ They never answer.” (para 8, page 3). This show that the people who are a guard to the child is utilitarian, they only focus on the public interest, so they ignore the human rights of the child and let him feeling sad.
Furthermore, help others sometimes can change their destiny and let us feel more happiness. According to compassion, all of the people also will empathy others and know the feeling of them when we see someone who is suffering and it is human nature. Just like the story mention that “They feel anger, outrage, impotence, despite all the explanations. They would like to do something for the child. But there is nothing they can do.”(para 10, page 4). It shows that they will feel upset when they cannot do anything to help the child because they can understand the feeling of the child and feeling self-blame to the child.
Indeed it is a dilemma for the people to make a decision between the city and the child. If it can be consent when they save the child and it will not damage the blessed life in Omelas. They must do it. The story helps us to understand not anything can control by our own and would be win-win. In daily life, everything must need to make a choice, and they are incompetent to change it. But is it right or wrong which is based on our views only.
For example, the case of school bullying in Tuen Mun primary school. One of the 7 years old student bullying from other students. They put the pencil-tip into his ears. But no people help him, because they worry that they will become the next victim after helping him. It damages the student ears seriously. It is similar to the story that the residents worry about helping the child will affect their lives.
And the case of a woman had encountered a traffic accident in Henan. But all of the passersby ignore it and continue to walk. Because they are worried that someone will say that they kill the woman and they worry facing legal liability after helping the woman. As same as the story that they want to help the child but they can’t do that and they are affected by peer pressure. Indeed it will damage our self-interest, and you maybe feel your help is negligible but giving help is very important to someone who is in need. It may change their life to become more promising.
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