Empathy?
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07-05-2014, 05:32 PM
RE: Empathy?
(07-05-2014 03:27 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  I have heard several atheists here say something that I have never heard said before.

They have said that empathy is something you are either born with or not born with. You either have it by virtue of your physiological makeup or you do not.

There is some research in that area: What is empathy, and can empathy be taught? Not sure I agree with it, the work is dated and fMRIs and neuroscience are changing everything. But not sure it matters. I've seen recent studies that compassion can be learned (think I posted the studies somewhere here, have to dig up the references) which means that if empathy cannot be learned it is not a necessary condition for compassion which is really all the fuck that matters.

(07-05-2014 03:27 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  Now people here have repeatedly said I lack empathy.

If the above is true then it is not something I was born with.

If I was not born with empathy, then why do you all think that I should be blamed and or punished for this lack?

Try faking it. In my experience if I fake it log enough it'll take. Oh, and lack of empathy is no excuse for being a prick. Not being a douchebag can most certainly be learned. Not by all, but by most.

#sigh
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07-05-2014, 05:36 PM
RE: Empathy?
(07-05-2014 05:32 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(07-05-2014 03:27 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  Now people here have repeatedly said I lack empathy.

If the above is true then it is not something I was born with.

If I was not born with empathy, then why do you all think that I should be blamed and or punished for this lack?

Try faking it. In my experience if I fake it log enough it'll take. Oh, and lack of empathy is no excuse for being a prick. Not being a douchebag can most certainly be learned. Not by all, but by most.

Indeed. And self-interest is actually a pretty good proxy. Not that I'd expect otherwise from a social animal like ol' h-sap!

The existence of a criminal justice system already prevents the most egregiously unequal actions, but putting on even a minimal level of civility and reciprocity does wonders for easing interaction - to mutual benefit. That's kind of the definition of community.

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07-05-2014, 05:47 PM
RE: Empathy?
(07-05-2014 05:32 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(07-05-2014 03:27 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  I have heard several atheists here say something that I have never heard said before.

They have said that empathy is something you are either born with or not born with. You either have it by virtue of your physiological makeup or you do not.

There is some research in that area: What is empathy, and can empathy be taught? Not sure I agree with it, the work is dated and fMRIs and neuroscience are changing everything. But not sure it matters. I've seen recent studies that compassion can be learned (think I posted the studies somewhere here, have to dig up the references) which means that if empathy cannot be learned it is not a necessary condition for compassion which is really all the fuck that matters.

(07-05-2014 03:27 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  Now people here have repeatedly said I lack empathy.

If the above is true then it is not something I was born with.

If I was not born with empathy, then why do you all think that I should be blamed and or punished for this lack?

Try faking it. In my experience if I fake it log enough it'll take. Oh, and lack of empathy is no excuse for being a prick. Not being a douchebag can most certainly be learned. Not by all, but by most.

why be empathetic?
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07-05-2014, 05:48 PM
RE: Empathy?
(07-05-2014 04:11 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  
(07-05-2014 04:09 PM)DLJ Wrote:  I'm checking.

I'll wake up the other mods (it's 6 fucking am here) for a team huddle.

Jeremy,
Anything to say?

Still waiting for someone to tell me why people are so angry with me for not using something I was never born with (according to them).
CoolCool

Nobody said that you weren't born with it. I suspect you have it - but for some reason you have blinders over your eyes and cannot apply it to your characters in the OT.

Plus you were incredibly insensitive discussing rape, when you must have seen with both eyes wide open that you triggered some victims. That was totally uncalled for and totally disqualifies you as far as our acceptance of you is concerned.

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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07-05-2014, 05:49 PM
RE: Empathy?
(07-05-2014 05:36 PM)cjlr Wrote:  
(07-05-2014 05:32 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  Try faking it. In my experience if I fake it log enough it'll take. Oh, and lack of empathy is no excuse for being a prick. Not being a douchebag can most certainly be learned. Not by all, but by most.

Indeed. And self-interest is actually a pretty good proxy. Not that I'd expect otherwise from a social animal like ol' h-sap!

The existence of a criminal justice system already prevents the most egregiously unequal actions, but putting on even a minimal level of civility and reciprocity does wonders for easing interaction - to mutual benefit. That's kind of the definition of community.

what obligates me to be civil for the mutual benefit of my community?
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07-05-2014, 05:51 PM
RE: Empathy?
(07-05-2014 05:48 PM)Dom Wrote:  
(07-05-2014 04:11 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  Still waiting for someone to tell me why people are so angry with me for not using something I was never born with (according to them).
CoolCool

Nobody said that you weren't born with it. I suspect you have it - but for some reason you have blinders over your eyes and cannot apply it to your characters in the OT.

Plus you were incredibly insensitive discussing rape, when you must have seen with both eyes wide open that you triggered some victims. That was totally uncalled for and totally disqualifies you as far as our acceptance of you is concerned.

According to you I have no duty to be sensitive. Being insensitive is neither good or bad, right or wrong. Blameworth or praiseworthy. I would not be more moral for being more sensitive.

According to you. Remember, morality is relative.
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07-05-2014, 05:55 PM
RE: Empathy?
(07-05-2014 05:51 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  
(07-05-2014 05:48 PM)Dom Wrote:  Nobody said that you weren't born with it. I suspect you have it - but for some reason you have blinders over your eyes and cannot apply it to your characters in the OT.

Plus you were incredibly insensitive discussing rape, when you must have seen with both eyes wide open that you triggered some victims. That was totally uncalled for and totally disqualifies you as far as our acceptance of you is concerned.

According to you I have no duty to be sensitive. Being insensitive is neither good or bad, right or wrong. Blameworth or praiseworthy. I would not be more moral for being more sensitive.

According to you. Remember, morality is relative.

There is no duty or obligation. If you want to be a prick, go ahead. People won't want to interact with you and that is that. It's your choice.

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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07-05-2014, 05:56 PM
RE: Empathy?
It is seen that humans cannot help but make moral judgments.

Dom is living proof and so are most of you here.

You all are actually moral realists because the evidence is in how you judge my questions. You think i should be MORE empathetic and MORE sensitive.

The word more is a word used when comparing something. When you use the word, in your mind you have this ideal that you are measuring me by and judge me to have failed to live up to.

We all actually agree which is further proof for moral realism. I agree that people should be empathetic and sensitive to other people.
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07-05-2014, 05:57 PM
RE: Empathy?
Having worked in a junction home (where individuals would be waiting to either enter jail or be coming out and waiting to be integrated back into the community) in which resided people who have murdered, molested and/or raped, I have had some experience viewing and trying to understand this psychology of a lack of empathy or caring- constant or temporary.

It is true that a person can be born with out the capacity to empathize, not unlike being born without sight or other 'disabilities'.

The OP asks,

Quote:then why do you all think that I should be blamed and or punished for this lack?

It should be made clear that one is not blamed or punished for not having empathy (the feeling). The thing one may be punished for are the actions or intent to cause harm to others (violence and crime). Lacking empathy is not beneficial for our species, as a group of social creatures, because if we go around hurting and harming in a 'predator' fashion, we find it to be more of a risk to our survival. Perhaps OP would find value in understanding the evolution of empathy and how it benefit and shaped us. Interestingly, having empathy is actually kind of selfish because it greatly self-serves our quality of life. (You scratch someones back, and they turn and scratch yours where you can't reach- that's helpful).

Jeremy Walker, why are you pointing out the issue of people blaming or punishing a person because of a lack of empathy? Should we care? See how having empathy for your situation can help you? Just like a blind person is given aids and help to navigate, a person with a lack of empathy should be too. Just like a person who is blind is given guidelines to keep them and other's safe, someone who lacks empathy needs them too- to help themselves, and others who are in the society with them. Health and safety are pretty important for every life or there'd be no life.

In short, there are many people who function with a lack of empathy, the ones who are violent and cause harm are the ones who get 'blamed and punished'.
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07-05-2014, 06:03 PM (This post was last modified: 07-05-2014 10:50 PM by LadyJane.)
RE: Empathy?
I would like to add that, as someone who has a tremendous amount of empathy and always have, I have tried hard to imagine what it is like to not have that and how the world would look. I think it is very difficult to explain to someone who lacks empathy why empathy is meaningful, much like it would be difficult to explain to a person who was always blind what it is like to see and why it is beneficial.

This is an interesting read about a neuroscientist who is successful (has friends and co-workers), has a family and is 'fully functioning' yet discovered he lacked the very thing in his life that many base their relationships on- empathy. He happened to discover he was a psychopath, he had the brain map and all the symptoms except the two (luckily) that would have held him back from his success- the violence and crime. He never went that far. Might be worth a look at.
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