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Is empathy outdated?
#51

Is empathy outdated?
(01-09-2019, 10:39 AM)Joods Wrote:
(01-08-2019, 08:21 PM)jerryg Wrote: It's very easy to see why empathy got here.  Small groups of people invested in each other make for a happier more productive community.  But what was the world like when that trait evolved?  In the very recent history thanks to the internet, we went from knowing a few people, to being connected to nearly 8 billion.  On top of a bunch of different animal species. 

A dog gets kicked in Madagascar, some lady in Los Angeles hears about it and feels sad.  To me, it seems like it's become impractical.  People have their happiness tied to the well-being of everyone they hear about.  It is easy to understand why everyone is depressed and sad and angry.  Particularly with the way it has been weaponized by the people who control the information distribution.  

I don't have a point.  Was just thinking about how highly regarded empathy is as a trait, when in practice, it seems like we're tying ourselves together so when one of us drowns we all drown.  Which again, might be fine if we were 6 people, but with 7.5 billion, dogs, cats, whales, chickens, polar bears, rhinos, etc.. there's no chance of anyone not drowning.  And maybe it makes the world a little better place to have us all be sad, but if we're all just going to be sad forever regardless of how good the place is, then that doesn't seem like a good tradeoff.

I think you're confusing sympathy with empathy. 

It's one thing to feel sympathetic. Ie: The dog gets kicked and the woman in LA is sad about it. That's not empathy. She's sympathetic to the dogs plight, but she does't really feel sad over it. You can feel sympathetic towards the plight of an animal, but because we cannot step into their actual minds and know what sorts of emotions they have, that's the best we can do. Sure, you can hurt for them and be sad, but again - I believe that's still under the sympathy umbrella.
 
Empathy would have to imply that she can literally put herself in the dog's position and actually feel what he's going through. When a person does this with other people - when they can step inside their shoes and relate to the experience, that's empathy. Oftentimes, Empathy comes through because other's have either been where the victim are (because it's almost always a victim sort of situation) through personal experiences. 

I can empathize with other abuse victims, because I too, was a victim. I now consider myself to be a survivor.

I think it depends on the person.  Because when you hear about chickens in cages, a common complaint is "How would you like it if you were stuck in a cage your whole life."  The person making that argument is empathizing with the chickens.  Now, she's not actually feeling what the chicken is feeling, but she thinks she is.  She's saying "If I were in a cage, that would make me feel bad.  So now I know how the chicken is feeling."  

Which is another interesting aspect of empathy.  I've described it before as someone's ability to make everything about themselves.  By relating every experience in the world to themselves, they become more invested in every experience in the world.  

But if you want to separate sympathy and empathy, that's fine.  pretend I said "Are sympathy and empathy outdated."  I don't think it's too big a deal for an informal discussion.
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#52

Is empathy outdated?
In a way I agree that we've gone entirely too far with the entire aspect of "animals don't have voices, so we need to be their voice".
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#53

Is empathy outdated?
(01-09-2019, 02:58 AM)Chas Wrote:
(01-08-2019, 10:32 PM)jerryg Wrote:
(01-08-2019, 08:38 PM)Yonadav Wrote: We have plenty of cognitive biases that intervene with our empathy. Most of us can shut down our empathy in accordance with our worldview one way or another. So an empathy overload isn't too likely for most people. Arguably, those who refuse to watch the news because of negativity, and always think happy thoughts, and only do happy things, and avoid anything that will make them feel unhappy are training themselves to lack empathy.

Agreed.  But that's sort of my point.  We have to correct empathy on a regular basis because of how flawed it is when applied to this vast of a network.

How is it flawed?  Just because it's at a distance? To strangers?  That empathy can help prevent war and is needed more now than ever.

You definitely don't need empathy to not start wars.  We're seeing that now with Trump.  He's trying to get out of all the wars, because they aren't beneficial to the US.  I'd argue better decisions can be made when you're not being emotional.

But that's not really what I'm talking about.  I'm thinking more on the personal scale. People just aren't as happy as they should be, because they've tied their wellbeing to the wellbeing of too many other people/animals.  Catholic Lady just told us she heard a sad story about a cat, and cried for a while.  We've got this amazing situation we live in, with food/shelter/safety up the wazoo.  At unprecedented levels.  Plenty of time to do whatever we want, and the mental capacity to get a bunch of happiness out of it.  And she's sad because of a cat she heard about.  That's crazy (not her, just that we would be wired in such a way).  We're in the Disney World of existence, and I think a big part of why people can't appreciate it, is empathy not being designed for the modern age.

Why do you think everybody, generally speaking, is so unhappy in such amazing times?
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#54

Is empathy outdated?
(01-09-2019, 03:08 PM)Phaedrus Wrote: In a way I agree that we've gone entirely too far with the entire aspect of "animals don't have voices, so we need to be their voice".

Now you've done it. Don't be surprised when PITA contacts you.
Being told you're delusional does not necessarily mean you're mental. 
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#55

Is empathy outdated?
(01-09-2019, 11:15 AM)abaris Wrote:
(01-09-2019, 01:28 AM)Mark Wrote: Apparently what set us apart from the rest of the Homo family is our ability to communicate and cooperate.

Newer research shows that the Neandertals were just as well equipped as we are, just not as strong in number. But nobody denies them the ability to communicate and to cooperate these days.


Harari speculates that Neanderthals may not have developed the capacity for treating fiction as real.  But he also speculates that our language may have been more subtle than that of other hominids making it possible to convey enough information about others in gossip to pass along trust in individuals we hadn't yet met.
"Talk nonsense, but talk your own nonsense, and I'll kiss you for it. To go wrong in one's own way is better than to go right in someone else's. 
F. D.
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#56

Is empathy outdated?
(01-09-2019, 03:22 PM)Mark Wrote:
(01-09-2019, 11:15 AM)abaris Wrote:
(01-09-2019, 01:28 AM)Mark Wrote: Apparently what set us apart from the rest of the Homo family is our ability to communicate and cooperate.

Newer research shows that the Neandertals were just as well equipped as we are, just not as strong in number. But nobody denies them the ability to communicate and to cooperate these days.


Harari speculates that Neanderthals may not have developed the capacity for treating fiction as real.  But he also speculates that our language may have been more subtle than that of other hominids making it possible to convey enough information about others in gossip to pass along trust in individuals we hadn't yet met.

It's always interesting thinking about how there were times before common ideas, like fiction, existed.  We take a lot of what we know for granted.
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#57

Is empathy outdated?
(01-09-2019, 03:27 PM)jerryg Wrote: [quote="Mark" pid='60058' dateline='1547047363']


It's always interesting thinking about how there were times before common ideas, like fiction, existed.  We take a lot of what we know for granted.

Fiction existed from the beginning.

It derived from man's first thought of his origin, imagining it to be something quite beyond what he saw around him. Sadly, it's what led to men seeing gods in nature.
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#58

Is empathy outdated?
I think story tellers are an old thing. Probably just started with embellishing hunting experiences, and passing down knowledge, such as not to eat the red berries because they make you sick. Story tellers realized that they had power....and it all comes from that. Politics, religion, the whole shebang.
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#59

Is empathy outdated?
(01-09-2019, 01:00 AM)tomilay Wrote:
(01-08-2019, 10:21 PM)Catholic_Lady Wrote:
(01-08-2019, 08:36 PM)jerryg Wrote: If you were designing empathy from scratch for the modern world though, would you keep it how it is now?  Everyone at a kids birthday party in Peru is murdered by a local gang. 

Ideally, I think, you just would never hear about it.  I think that's how it was when empathy developed.  Ignorance is bliss and whatnot.  But now that we do hear about it, you will feel deep sadness to no end.  It's just you feeling sad.  A bad result that has no upside in that scenario.  That seems like an unintended consequence, right?  That's what I'm getting at with it being outdated.  It was evolved for a very different social structure.

This is why I believe a creator- a "moral law giver", if you will, exists. Killing an innocent person is objectively bad, regardless of whether or not anyone feels sorry for that person. And we have an innate, and universal understanding of that.

But people have killed and continue to kill "innocent" people.  In the last big genocide in Rwanda, regular people butchered neighbors, colleagues, spouses, parents, friends etc.  Churches proved to be deadliest places to hide with the priests turning over the victims to be killed in one convenient location. The killers were regular folks, not trained killers or even criminal types.  And majority of the Rwandan society considered it good work.  Did they just happen to miss the memo from the "moral law giver"?

My point is that we have an inherent understanding that killing innocent people is an objectively bad thing. Yes, it still happens, as you have demonstrated above. But note that on occasions of mass killing, there still is almost always some sort of excuse for the killing. Either they need to rationalize that the people aren't really innocent, or that they aren't fully human. So it's "okay." But there is still a need to rationalize it, because they know it is wrong to kill innocent humans. It isn't a casual, neutral thing, like making a sandwich or going for a walk in the park. You don't need to rationalize excuses for that. There's a reason why they feel the need to rationalize the killing of other people.
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#60

Is empathy outdated?
(01-09-2019, 02:54 AM)Phaedrus Wrote:
(01-08-2019, 08:33 PM)Yonadav Wrote:
(01-08-2019, 08:24 PM)Dom Wrote: A person who is devoid of all empathy is called a psychopath.

If the world loses empathy, I don't want to be alive.

A person who is devoid of empathy is a sociopath, if I recall correctly. A psychopath is someone who has break from reality.

It's actually the psychopath who is devoid of empathy, while the sociopath still maintains the ability of empathy if s/he wishes to employ it.

I should also add that the psychopath tends to learn to become a good actor whereby he acts/pretends to be normal in front of other people. S/he can pretend to be empathetic.

I thought sociopath and psychopath both lacked empathy. Only difference is the psychopath's condition is more severe and more reckless?
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#61

Is empathy outdated?
(01-09-2019, 05:53 PM)Catholic_Lady Wrote: My point is that we have an inherent understanding that killing innocent people is an objectively bad thing.

Is it?

I wartimes governments and leaders demand innocents to be killed. I tend to think, it's more of a group thing. Normally we extend that group think to encompass all of humanity, but there are times when it becomes group against group. Soldiers are trained to think that way, as you have to know, given the job of your husband.

Also, certain politicians make a living on painting the us vs them picture. Trump, for example, certain polticians and parties in Europe. It's the nature of nationalism to think that the others are less worthy than their own group. Ideologies, even certain brands of religions. All live by putting their own group on a pedestal and looking down on the ones not belonging to that circle.

I think, we aren't exclusive in how we feel about others. We are a social species and need to cooperate to achieve certain goals. Certain animals living in groups aren't that different. Their structures are only less complicated than our overcivilized cultures.
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#62

Is empathy outdated?
(01-09-2019, 06:03 PM)abaris Wrote:
(01-09-2019, 05:53 PM)Catholic_Lady Wrote: My point is that we have an inherent understanding that killing innocent people is an objectively bad thing.

Is it?

I wartimes governments and leaders demand innocents to be killed. I tend to think, it's more of a group thing. Normally we extend that group think to encompass all of humanity, but there are times when it becomes group against group. Soldiers are trained to think that way, as you have to know, given the job of your husband.

Also, certain politicians make a living on painting the us vs them picture. Trump, for example, certain polticians and parties in Europe. It's the nature of nationalism to think that the others are less worthy than their own group. Ideologies, even certain brands of religions. All live by putting their own group on a pedestal and looking down on the ones not belonging to that circle.

I think, we aren't exclusive in how we feel about others. We are a social species and need to cooperate to achieve certain goals. Certain animals living in groups aren't that different. Their structures are only less complicated than our overcivilized cultures.

I would disagree with the bolded. The American military is very careful to only target people they know are "the bad guys" (Isis, etc) and take care not to harm civilians. It doesn't always turn out that way of course, and that is unfortunate. But it is definitely something that is very much emphasized and they do have to try to be careful. It's something you can get in pretty big trouble for.

While I agree with you on Trump being all about himself, I'm sure even he understands that killing innocent people is bad.
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#63

Is empathy outdated?
(01-09-2019, 06:14 PM)Catholic_Lady Wrote: While I agree with you on Trump being all about himself, I'm sure even he understands that killing innocent people is bad.

At one time he said something about shooting someone on main street and still getting elected. Over the top, of course and not a serious consideration, but no, I don't think he cares that much. There are numerous incidents in his past where he made his utter disregard for the wellbeing of others public. Such as a group of youngsters being falsely accused of murdering someone and when they finally got aquitted, he still publicly demanded capital punishment for them.

He's not unique, though. He's just a sociopathic personality. Earlier in this thread there was a discussion over leading figures often falling into that kind of category.

(01-09-2019, 06:14 PM)Catholic_Lady Wrote: I would disagree with the bolded. The American military is very careful to only target people they know are "the bad guys" (Isis, etc) and take care not to harm civilians.

I would dispute the word "bad guys". While this is mostly true for ISIS etc, the line becomes blurry in a normal confrontation between states. Are their combatants automatically bad guys? I would say no. They're simply soldiers of the other side, often drafted soldiers. They're as innocent as the soldiers of the own side. They're only turned into bad guys through the decision of others, governments, leaders, whatever.
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#64

Is empathy outdated?
(01-09-2019, 05:53 PM)Catholic_Lady Wrote:
(01-09-2019, 01:00 AM)tomilay Wrote:
(01-08-2019, 10:21 PM)Catholic_Lady Wrote: This is why I believe a creator- a "moral law giver", if you will, exists. Killing an innocent person is objectively bad, regardless of whether or not anyone feels sorry for that person. And we have an innate, and universal understanding of that.

But people have killed and continue to kill "innocent" people.  In the last big genocide in Rwanda, regular people butchered neighbors, colleagues, spouses, parents, friends etc.  Churches proved to be deadliest places to hide with the priests turning over the victims to be killed in one convenient location. The killers were regular folks, not trained killers or even criminal types.  And majority of the Rwandan society considered it good work.  Did they just happen to miss the memo from the "moral law giver"?

My point is that we have an inherent understanding that killing innocent people is an objectively bad thing. Yes, it still happens, as you have demonstrated above. But note that on occasions of mass killing, there still is almost always some sort of excuse for the killing. Either they need to rationalize that the people aren't really innocent, or that they aren't fully human. So it's "okay." But there is still a need to rationalize it, because they know it is wrong to kill innocent humans. It isn't a casual, neutral thing, like making a sandwich or going for a walk in the park. You don't need to rationalize excuses for that. There's a reason why they feel the need to rationalize the killing of other people.


You know when I think about something just being wrong, I don't think the concept of objective vs subjective enters into it.  "That's just wrong" isn't the same thing as "that is wrong no matter the reason".  I don't think what motivates the statement that an action is objectively wrong is as basic as what it is trying to convey.
"Talk nonsense, but talk your own nonsense, and I'll kiss you for it. To go wrong in one's own way is better than to go right in someone else's. 
F. D.
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#65

Is empathy outdated?
(01-09-2019, 06:14 PM)Catholic_Lady Wrote:
(01-09-2019, 06:03 PM)abaris Wrote:
(01-09-2019, 05:53 PM)Catholic_Lady Wrote: My point is that we have an inherent understanding that killing innocent people is an objectively bad thing.

Is it?

I wartimes governments and leaders demand innocents to be killed. I tend to think, it's more of a group thing. Normally we extend that group think to encompass all of humanity, but there are times when it becomes group against group. Soldiers are trained to think that way, as you have to know, given the job of your husband.

Also, certain politicians make a living on painting the us vs them picture. Trump, for example, certain polticians and parties in Europe. It's the nature of nationalism to think that the others are less worthy than their own group. Ideologies, even certain brands of religions. All live by putting their own group on a pedestal and looking down on the ones not belonging to that circle.

I think, we aren't exclusive in how we feel about others. We are a social species and need to cooperate to achieve certain goals. Certain animals living in groups aren't that different. Their structures are only less complicated than our overcivilized cultures.

I would disagree with the bolded. The American military is very careful to only target people they know are "the bad guys" (Isis, etc) and take care not to harm civilians. It doesn't always turn out that way of course, and that is unfortunate. But it is definitely something that is very much emphasized and they do have to try to be careful. It's something you can get in pretty big trouble for.

While I agree with you on Trump being all about himself, I'm sure even he understands that killing innocent people is bad.

He is an example of a person without empathy. He knows, he just doesn't care. He was happy to hand our allies, the Kurds, to Erdogan for slaughter until people talked him out of it.
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#66

Is empathy outdated?
(01-09-2019, 06:14 PM)Catholic_Lady Wrote: The American military is very careful to only target people they know are "the bad guys" (Isis, etc) and take care not to harm civilians.

I guess you could say that the military places its trust in the ability of politicians to correctly identify bad guys.  Unfortunately history shows that very often those politicians were far more concerned with power and profit than with the identification of "evil doers".  Is it wrong to kill someone you yourself are not sure is a bad guy?
"Talk nonsense, but talk your own nonsense, and I'll kiss you for it. To go wrong in one's own way is better than to go right in someone else's. 
F. D.
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#67

Is empathy outdated?

I would disagree with the bolded. The American military is very careful to only target people they know are "the bad guys" (Isis, etc) and take care not to harm civilians. It doesn't always turn out that way of course, and that is unfortunate. But it is definitely something that is very much emphasized and they do have to try to be careful. It's something you can get in pretty big trouble for.

[/quote]

I don't think so. It's a calculated risk vs reward when potential noncombatant lives are part of the equation. 

Unfortunate but not objectively wrong?

Edit: reply to CL, not sure what I did wrong with quoting
Being told you're delusional does not necessarily mean you're mental. 
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#68

Is empathy outdated?
(01-09-2019, 07:19 PM)brewerb Wrote: I don't think so. It's a calculated risk vs reward when potential noncombatant lives are part of the equation. 

It starts with the combatants. While I hold little to no empathy for the likes of ISIS, they're not the usual enemy. Usually the combatants are made up bad guys, if it's about states going to war with each other. Made up by some ulterior forces, not the individual soldier. So it's again social group vs social group. Much like the chimp world going to war over some territorial issues.
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#69

Is empathy outdated?
(01-09-2019, 05:53 PM)Catholic_Lady Wrote:
(01-09-2019, 01:00 AM)tomilay Wrote:
(01-08-2019, 10:21 PM)Catholic_Lady Wrote: This is why I believe a creator- a "moral law giver", if you will, exists. Killing an innocent person is objectively bad, regardless of whether or not anyone feels sorry for that person. And we have an innate, and universal understanding of that.

But people have killed and continue to kill "innocent" people.  In the last big genocide in Rwanda, regular people butchered neighbors, colleagues, spouses, parents, friends etc.  Churches proved to be deadliest places to hide with the priests turning over the victims to be killed in one convenient location. The killers were regular folks, not trained killers or even criminal types.  And majority of the Rwandan society considered it good work.  Did they just happen to miss the memo from the "moral law giver"?

My point is that we have an inherent understanding that killing innocent people is an objectively bad thing.  

I have trouble with statements like this. I am not sure that it is true. I want to kill people on a semi-regular basis. I'm fairly normal in this regard. Some people have stronger homicidal tendencies than others, but most do have homicidal tendencies. I don't go around killing people for a variety of reasons. But one of the strongest reasons is probably cultural values. Put me in a culture where human life isn't valued, and it might not be too long before I adapt to the kill or be killed culture. An awful lot of the taboo against killing doesn't arise from empathy.  When we kill, we piss people off and escalate conflict and invite retaliation. And once we start dealing with our problems by killing people, there's just no end to it. 

So I am not convinced that empathy is the big safeguard against killing people that we sometimes imagine it to be. I grew up on a farm and killed livestock all the time. I had taken care of those animals and I cared about their well being right up to the moment that I killed them.  They had sort of been my friends. I felt pain if they felt pain. And yet I slaughtered them just fine when it came time to do so. 

People feel entitled to kill other people all the time. We don't necessarily need a very strong reason to do it.  In England, they used to execute people for vagrancy if they had been charged with it more than one time. Vagrancy was defined as being in a locale that is other than the one you were born in or employed in, and having no means of self sufficiency. In China, they enslave people for practicing fulon gong (a kind of Buddhist spirituality), blood test them, and harvest their organs if they are a match for someone needing an organ transplant.

We are actually naturally disposed toward killing other people. So we don't inherently know that it is wrong.  If we did, we wouldn't have natural homicidal instincts.
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#70

Is empathy outdated?
(01-09-2019, 05:53 PM)Catholic_Lady Wrote:
(01-09-2019, 01:00 AM)tomilay Wrote:
(01-08-2019, 10:21 PM)Catholic_Lady Wrote: This is why I believe a creator- a "moral law giver", if you will, exists. Killing an innocent person is objectively bad, regardless of whether or not anyone feels sorry for that person. And we have an innate, and universal understanding of that.

But people have killed and continue to kill "innocent" people.  In the last big genocide in Rwanda, regular people butchered neighbors, colleagues, spouses, parents, friends etc.  Churches proved to be deadliest places to hide with the priests turning over the victims to be killed in one convenient location. The killers were regular folks, not trained killers or even criminal types.  And majority of the Rwandan society considered it good work.  Did they just happen to miss the memo from the "moral law giver"?

My point is that we have an inherent understanding that killing innocent people is an objectively bad thing. Yes, it still happens, as you have demonstrated above. But note that on occasions of mass killing, there still is almost always some sort of excuse for the killing. Either they need to rationalize that the people aren't really innocent, or that they aren't fully human. So it's "okay." But there is still a need to rationalize it, because they know it is wrong to kill innocent humans. It isn't a casual, neutral thing, like making a sandwich or going for a walk in the park. You don't need to rationalize excuses for that. There's a reason why they feel the need to rationalize the killing of other people.

I understand you to be saying that if a justification is required to do something nasty to someone else, then it means empathy comes from God.  How do you make such a leap of logic?  

To me, the justification part speaks to expectations of the larger society.  That empathy is learned from our environment.  It's not an inherent thing.  That is why in some societies, killing a foreigner or outsider is no big deal.  The empathy is reserved for members of the in group.
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#71

Is empathy outdated?
(01-09-2019, 06:14 PM)Catholic_Lady Wrote:
(01-09-2019, 06:03 PM)abaris Wrote:
(01-09-2019, 05:53 PM)Catholic_Lady Wrote: My point is that we have an inherent understanding that killing innocent people is an objectively bad thing.

Is it?

I wartimes governments and leaders demand innocents to be killed. I tend to think, it's more of a group thing. Normally we extend that group think to encompass all of humanity, but there are times when it becomes group against group. Soldiers are trained to think that way, as you have to know, given the job of your husband.

Also, certain politicians make a living on painting the us vs them picture. Trump, for example, certain polticians and parties in Europe. It's the nature of nationalism to think that the others are less worthy than their own group. Ideologies, even certain brands of religions. All live by putting their own group on a pedestal and looking down on the ones not belonging to that circle.

I think, we aren't exclusive in how we feel about others. We are a social species and need to cooperate to achieve certain goals. Certain animals living in groups aren't that different. Their structures are only less complicated than our overcivilized cultures.

I would disagree with the bolded. The American military is very careful to only target people they know are "the bad guys" (Isis, etc) and take care not to harm civilians. It doesn't always turn out that way of course, and that is unfortunate. But it is definitely something that is very much emphasized and they do have to try to be careful. It's something you can get in pretty big trouble for.

While I agree with you on Trump being all about himself, I'm sure even he understands that killing innocent people is bad.

[bolding mine]

It isn't true historically speaking and one can argue against it even now.

There are also recent controversies like white phosphorus use or not so recent massacres.
The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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#72

Is empathy outdated?
(01-08-2019, 10:39 PM)jerryg Wrote:
(01-08-2019, 10:22 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote: Well, I can feel empathy for a stranger, even enough to pull over and help them fix their car, or donate to a charity because of an ad, and at the same time not die when my help isn't enough. I think there's a middle ground here, where we can feel empathy and act upon it, but still not get wound up inside it so much that we ourselves face an existential crisis when our help isn't enough. This strikes me as a bit of false dichotomy, realistically.

For me, it's about understanding the limits of my control. If I can help fix a situation, I'l try to do so, but I'm not going to tie my own self-worth to a successful outcome when I know that there are factors beyond my control. I'll help where I can, and not beat myself up when my help isn't enough.

Agreed to the first half.  But I'm not talking about self-worth or obligation.  I'm just talking about the emotional response to others suffering, when we live in a time where technology has made other people's suffering a constant in our lives.

Well, I think we all have the capacity for empathetic burnout, especially when it rubs up against our own powerlessness to changes things half-a-world away. It's why we have terms like "hard-bitten" to describe people who have been exposed and inured to the suffering of others, at least on a temporary basis; or why we've invented mordant humor, in order to gain emotional space from the distresses of others or even ourselves.

Whether or not it's obsolete, it's in the genetic deck for most folks, so it's something we'll have to deal with all the same, I imagine.
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#73

Is empathy outdated?
(01-09-2019, 02:16 PM)SYZ Wrote:
(01-09-2019, 04:30 AM)JesseB Wrote: Psychopaths are most commonly found in the top 1% on the planet, the most powerful people. Frankly as distasteful as it may be to some, they do have a role to play in this world, and the world would likely suffer without them...

Distasteful definitely.  And also true...

"In a study published by the journal Psychology, Crime and Law, Belinda Board and Katarina Fritzon tested 39
senior managers and chief executives from leading British businesses. They compared the results to the same
tests on patients at Broadmoor special hospital, where people who have been convicted of serious crimes are
incarcerated. On certain indicators of psychopathy, the bosse's scores either matched or exceeded those of
the patients.

In fact, on these criteria, they beat even the subset of patients who had been diagnosed with psychopathic
personality disorders.

The psychopathic traits on which the bosses scored so highly, Board and Fritzon point out, closely resemble the
characteristics that companies look for. Those who have these traits often possess great skill in flattering and
manipulating powerful people. Egocentricity, a strong sense of entitlement, a readiness to exploit others and a
lack of empathy and conscience are also unlikely to damage their prospects in many corporations."

Board B & Fritzon K, Disordered personalities at work, Psychology, Crime & Law, 11:1, 17-32.

This profile of psychopathy is matched almost exactly by Trump.  The point is proven.      Grim

I think it's worth noting as well that you don't need empathy to be a "moral" or upstanding citizen, or even for that matter a generally "good" person. Of those bosses many if not most of whom people think are good people, despite being psychopaths. 

Without empathy there's a simple logic based reason for not being a scumbag. In fact ethics is generally preferable to "morality" as morality is highly subjective based on empathy and is overly emotional by nature and thus rather irrational and frankly often severely wrong. Ethics are also highly subjective, however they tend to be based more on logical analysis of why one should hold to those ethics (though not in all cases, sometimes it's just someone doing as they've been told).

I would even be willing to suggest that overly empathetic people have committed murder more often, and more massive(number of victims) and even more gruesome than the whole of psychopathy combined. The thing about empathetic people is they are very in tune with feelings which can be extremely volatile. You know what they say, kick a dog often enough and sooner or later it's gonna bite you. Those feelings can turn to deep hatred when consistently rejected. Everyone likes to pretend most murders are committed by psychopaths, when the opposite is true. Most murders are commuted by people with too much emotion and not enough self control. Psychopaths are the opposite. Most never kill anyone (outside of a board room meeting where they decide it's cheaper to let people die than fix the problem). The ones that do are not the norm for the condition. 

Of course that is my personal opinion.
The universe doesn't give a fuck about you. Don't cry though, at least I do.
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#74

Is empathy outdated?
(01-09-2019, 03:00 PM)jerryg Wrote: I think it depends on the person.  Because when you hear about chickens in cages, a common complaint is "How would you like it if you were stuck in a cage your whole life."  The person making that argument is empathizing with the chickens.  Now, she's not actually feeling what the chicken is feeling, but she thinks she is.  She's saying "If I were in a cage, that would make me feel bad.  So now I know how the chicken is feeling."  

Which is another interesting aspect of empathy.  I've described it before as someone's ability to make everything about themselves.  By relating every experience in the world to themselves, they become more invested in every experience in the world.  

But if you want to separate sympathy and empathy, that's fine.  pretend I said "Are sympathy and empathy outdated."  I don't think it's too big a deal for an informal discussion.

When you start a thread discussing empathy how you feel it's outdated, then you cite an example, it's very important to have facts straight. In this case, you would be incorrect in the example you give, according to dictionary.com which states the following: 

Quote:How are empathy and sympathy  the same?
The terms empathy and sympathy are often confused and with good reason. Both of the words deal with the relationship a person has to the feelings and experiences of another person. So, let’s explore the differences between these terms and how they are most commonly used.
Both sympathy and empathy have roots in the Greek term páthos meaning “suffering, feeling.”
What is sympathy?
Sympathy is the older of the two terms. It entered English in the mid-1500s with a very broad meaning of “agreement or harmony in qualities between things or people.” Since then, the term has come to be used in a more specific way. Nowadays, sympathy is largely used to convey commiseration, pity, or feelings of sorrow for someone else who is experiencing misfortune. This sense is often seen in the category of greeting cards labeled “sympathy” that specialize in messages of support and sorrow for others in a time of need. You feel bad for them … but you don’t know what it is like to be in their shoes.
Consider the following examples:
“I’ve always liked Saturn. But I also have some sympathy for Pluto because I heard it’s been downgraded from a planet, and I think it should remain a planet. Once you’ve given something planetary status it’s kind of mean to take it away.” – Jared Leto
“Pity may represent little more than the impersonal concern which prompts the mailing of a check, but true sympathy is the personal concern which demands the giving of one’s soul.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

What is empathy?
Empathy entered English a few centuries after sympathy—in the late 1800s—with a somewhat technical and now obsolete meaning from the field of psychology.
Unlike sympathyempathy has come to be used in a more broad way than it was when it was first introduced; the term is now most often used to refer to the capacity or ability to imagine oneself in the situation of another, experiencing the emotions, ideas, or opinions of that person.
Consider the following examples:
“As you get older you have more respect and empathy for your parents. Now I have a great relationship with both of them.” – Hugh Jackman
“I’ve always thought of acting as more of an exercise in empathy, which is not to be confused with sympathy. You’re trying to get inside a certain emotional reality or motivational reality and try to figure out what that’s about so you can represent it.” -Edward Norton

To sum it all up ...
The differences between the most commonly used meanings of these two terms is:
  • sympathy is feeling compassion, sorrow, or pity for the hardships that another person encounters

  • empathy is putting yourself in the shoes of another, which is why actors often talk about it.
      On ignore: Shitty people not deserving of my time or attention.
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#75

Is empathy outdated?
(01-09-2019, 10:49 PM)Joods Wrote:
(01-09-2019, 03:00 PM)jerryg Wrote: I think it depends on the person.  Because when you hear about chickens in cages, a common complaint is "How would you like it if you were stuck in a cage your whole life."  The person making that argument is empathizing with the chickens.  Now, she's not actually feeling what the chicken is feeling, but she thinks she is.  She's saying "If I were in a cage, that would make me feel bad.  So now I know how the chicken is feeling."  

Which is another interesting aspect of empathy.  I've described it before as someone's ability to make everything about themselves.  By relating every experience in the world to themselves, they become more invested in every experience in the world.  

But if you want to separate sympathy and empathy, that's fine.  pretend I said "Are sympathy and empathy outdated."  I don't think it's too big a deal for an informal discussion.

When you start a thread discussing empathy how you feel it's outdated, then you cite an example, it's very important to have facts straight. In this case, you would be incorrect in the example you give, according to dictionary.com which states the following: 

Quote:How are empathy and sympathy  the same?
The terms empathy and sympathy are often confused and with good reason. Both of the words deal with the relationship a person has to the feelings and experiences of another person. So, let’s explore the differences between these terms and how they are most commonly used.
Both sympathy and empathy have roots in the Greek term páthos meaning “suffering, feeling.”
What is sympathy?
Sympathy is the older of the two terms. It entered English in the mid-1500s with a very broad meaning of “agreement or harmony in qualities between things or people.” Since then, the term has come to be used in a more specific way. Nowadays, sympathy is largely used to convey commiseration, pity, or feelings of sorrow for someone else who is experiencing misfortune. This sense is often seen in the category of greeting cards labeled “sympathy” that specialize in messages of support and sorrow for others in a time of need. You feel bad for them … but you don’t know what it is like to be in their shoes.
Consider the following examples:
“I’ve always liked Saturn. But I also have some sympathy for Pluto because I heard it’s been downgraded from a planet, and I think it should remain a planet. Once you’ve given something planetary status it’s kind of mean to take it away.” – Jared Leto
“Pity may represent little more than the impersonal concern which prompts the mailing of a check, but true sympathy is the personal concern which demands the giving of one’s soul.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

What is empathy?
Empathy entered English a few centuries after sympathy—in the late 1800s—with a somewhat technical and now obsolete meaning from the field of psychology.
Unlike sympathyempathy has come to be used in a more broad way than it was when it was first introduced; the term is now most often used to refer to the capacity or ability to imagine oneself in the situation of another, experiencing the emotions, ideas, or opinions of that person.
Consider the following examples:
“As you get older you have more respect and empathy for your parents. Now I have a great relationship with both of them.” – Hugh Jackman
“I’ve always thought of acting as more of an exercise in empathy, which is not to be confused with sympathy. You’re trying to get inside a certain emotional reality or motivational reality and try to figure out what that’s about so you can represent it.” -Edward Norton

To sum it all up ...
The differences between the most commonly used meanings of these two terms is:
  • sympathy is feeling compassion, sorrow, or pity for the hardships that another person encounters

  • empathy is putting yourself in the shoes of another, which is why actors often talk about it.

While being aware of what you say, I tend to be lazy and as a result often use the two as if they were synonymous. They are not, I'm just lazy.

Potentially others have conflated the two as well, possibly for similar reasons.
The universe doesn't give a fuck about you. Don't cry though, at least I do.
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