It’s not just me, you and everyone we know. Citizens of the world have moral obligations to a wider circle of humanity
Most of us will, no doubt, remember writing a similar extended address as children, following through the logic of this series of ever-larger locations. The last two entries in Dedalus’s list are, obviously, redundant in any real address. Only an alien sending a postcard home from another universe would think to add them. We are all, in some loose sense, ‘citizens of the world’, or at least its inhabitants.
And yet, as adults, we don’t usually think about much outside our immediate surroundings. Typically, it is our nation that defines us geographically, and it is our family, friends, and acquaintances who dominate our social thinking. If we think about the universe, it is from an astronomical or from a religious perspective. We are locally focused, evolved from social apes who went about in small bands. The further away or less visible other people are, the harder it is to worry about them. Even when the television brings news of thousands starving in sub-Saharan Africa, what affects me deeply is the item about a single act of violence in a street nearby.