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  #1  
Old 10-24-2017, 07:21 PM
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Default Empathy


Well lets get to it

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Old 10-24-2017, 07:32 PM
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Dude, this is going to get messy. Lay down some ground rules.
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Old 10-24-2017, 07:33 PM
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Keep it civil. Ladies first.
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Old 10-24-2017, 07:37 PM
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I will start wih a question. There different levels of empathy, how much empathy is too much?
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Old 10-24-2017, 07:47 PM
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Will Graham from Hannibal was so empathetic he couldn't differentiate himself from the serial killers he had to try and understand, is empathy to blame for Stockholm syndrome?
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Old 10-24-2017, 07:53 PM
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Im reminded of a passage from Paradise Lost:

If him by force he can destroy, or worse,
By som false guile pervert; and shall pervert;
For man will heark'n to his glozing lyes,
And easily transgress the sole Command,
Sole pledge of his obedience: So will fall
Hee and his faithless Progenie: Whose fault?
Whose but his own? ingrate, he had of mee
all he could have; I made him just and right,
Sufficient to have stood, though free to fall.

I think the level of empathy must be mitigated by how much control a man has over his actions. A man who forfeits agency isnt a man but an animal but we cant say were all the absolute masters of ourselves or our surroundings. I think empathy begins its taper when man chooses.
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Old 10-24-2017, 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by bluewpc View Post
Im reminded of a passage from Paradise Lost:

If him by force he can destroy, or worse,
By som false guile pervert; and shall pervert;
For man will heark'n to his glozing lyes,
And easily transgress the sole Command,
Sole pledge of his obedience: So will fall
Hee and his faithless Progenie: Whose fault?
Whose but his own? ingrate, he had of mee
all he could have; I made him just and right,
Sufficient to have stood, though free to fall.

I think the level of empathy must be mitigated by how much control a man has over his actions. A man who forfeits agency isnt a man but an animal but we cant say were all the absolute masters of ourselves or our surroundings. I think empathy begins its taper when man chooses.
But even animals empathize. It is a simple thing
empathy, it can be taken from you with a bad enough head injury. Some are born without it - the souless- and it just may be the key to discovering the soul. Empathy transcends borders you can feel it for anyone if you try. If everyone felt empathy and understanding for each other all problems would cease because we would be stuck in a paradoxical loop.
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Old 10-24-2017, 08:04 PM
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Not all problems but social ones.
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Old 10-24-2017, 08:06 PM
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Do you not think humans are animals?
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Old 10-24-2017, 08:09 PM
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I wasnt making a statement on whether or not animals have empathy Im saying that what makes humans human is our ability to choose. If you abdicate your choice you become in a sense subhuman.

I think theres a significant and self-evident difference between humans and animals.

And no I dont think that would solve all problems, not least of all social problems. You yourself posed the question how much empathy is too much? How much empathy can you have for an individual before that empathy harms the individual?
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Old 10-24-2017, 08:20 PM
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Originally Posted by bluewpc View Post
I wasnt making a statement on whether or not animals have empathy Im saying that what makes humans human is our ability to choose. If you abdicate your choice you become in a sense subhuman.

I think theres a significant and self-evident difference between humans and animals.

And no I dont think that would solve all problems, not least of all social problems. You yourself posed the question how much empathy is too much? How much empathy can you have for an individual before that empathy harms the individual?
If you harm someone using empathy is that true empathy? Okay bare with me here.

This is the paradox

In Canada now we are having issues with the removal of statues portraying genocidal maniacs.

If the native Canadians empathized with those who want to keep it up and vice versa no one would care about the statue anymore.

If homophobes said I don't like gays but I understand everyone needs to live their life and gays said hey I get that you don't like my lifestyle and shrugged it off. Would there be social conflict?

A lot of conflict comes from the fact that everyone gets offended when people don't like them. What if we just empathized with people who don't like us or who are not like us without letting it affect who we are. If you empathize with someone and I mean truly empathize you shouldn't be able to go through with harming them.
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Old 10-24-2017, 08:25 PM
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This is a world that can't exist ever it is pure fantasy
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Old 10-24-2017, 08:25 PM
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I think what Blue is saying (please excuse me for putting words in your mouth) is that it becomes increasingly hard to be empathetic toward someone who chooses their lot. When, for instance, a person chooses to gamble their money at a casino instead of paying rent week after week and they get booted from their house, it's harder to empathise with them than it would be if a person was laid off due to downsizing and got booted because they couldn't find work in time to pay rent.
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Old 10-24-2017, 08:27 PM
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If people were conditioned to feel pure empathy would they gamble their money away?
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Old 10-24-2017, 08:28 PM
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@eri thats more or less what Im saying.

@L&L I dont have to empathize with someone to treat them decently. Ill give an example. I keep a house up in Baltimore. My next door neighbors are drug addicts. Nothing too hard just pills. I can sit down and share a beer with them, talk all night, and have no sympathy for the situation theyre in because theyve created it for themselves. I can pity them for the choices they have made but thats not empathy. If tomorrow their house burns down I would never forgive myself if I didnt offer to help them out but I still would not empathize with them.

Can I ask what your definition of empathy is?
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Old 10-24-2017, 08:29 PM
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People who kidnap and kill children feel no empathy for the child or their parents... unless you can feel empathy and not care. Is that possible?
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Old 10-24-2017, 08:31 PM
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Yes. Theres two excellent books Id recommend on that very topic. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky and Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

I mean havent you ever done something you knew in your heart you shouldnt do but couldnt stop yourself?
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Old 10-24-2017, 08:32 PM
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Empathy is taking on someone elses feelings and relating to it to the point you feel connected with them and care for them even if you have not gone through what they have or even know them.
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Old 10-24-2017, 08:34 PM
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You hear someones kid died and you feel like you lost your child as well and you feel this urge to help them because that's what you would want them to do for u.
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Old 10-24-2017, 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by bluewpc View Post
Yes. Theres two excellent books Id recommend on that very topic. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky and Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

I mean havent you ever done something you knew in your heart you shouldnt do but couldnt stop yourself?
True. Damn.
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Old 10-24-2017, 08:37 PM
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I can't read books on truecrime; it messes me up. All I can do is fantasy.
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Old 10-24-2017, 08:41 PM
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I guess I dont believe in that. I dont think any one person can do that. I think its absolutely impossible. Ok. You hear some kid died but you cant feel like its your child. Would you go to this kid's funeral? What about the next kid and the next and the next and the next billion?

I mean you accused me of lacking empathy but Ive studied the absolute horror of reality most of my life and I dont think its something the human soul can encompass or bear. It drives you to suicide to be honest. I dont know any other way to put but your outlook is naive. I mean reality has tragedy built into it. Were all going to die everyone youve ever loved is going to die and some of them horribly. There are practical limits to what man can do and Im sorry if Im coming off strong on you but until youve tried you dont know. I was a volunteer EMT for two years. Ive volunteered at food kitchens but there is no stemming the tide. Life is like a vast infinitely deep hemorrhage of lives and if you cant accept that you will inevitably make it worse. And Im not advocating a retreat into hedonism or nihilism but I am saying that you have to have an understanding of people and history before you can make a real judgment on anything.

Edit: Also those books arent true crime theyre fiction. But for god's sake if you cant read about the world how do you expect to change it?

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Old 10-24-2017, 11:16 PM
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Originally Posted by eripiomundus View Post
I think what Blue is saying (please excuse me for putting words in your mouth) is that it becomes increasingly hard to be empathetic toward someone who chooses their lot. When, for instance, a person chooses to gamble their money at a casino instead of paying rent week after week and they get booted from their house, it's harder to empathise with them than it would be if a person was laid off due to downsizing and got booted because they couldn't find work in time to pay rent.
ah, but isn’t a gambler/addict to quote you from the gender thread suffering from a different form of “biologically explicable phenomenon” which is to suggest that the addict struggles to help themselves.

Isn’t the empathy required here in the form of recognition of that struggle and lack of choice.
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Old 10-25-2017, 12:48 AM
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Originally Posted by anna View Post
ah, but isn’t a gambler/addict to quote you from the gender thread suffering from a different form of “biologically explicable phenomenon” which is to suggest that the addict struggles to help themselves.

Isn’t the empathy required here in the form of recognition of that struggle and lack of choice.
I was thinking along the same lines even as I wrote it, which is why I refrained from calling the gambler an "addict", but in the end I was trying to clarify Bluewpc's point for L&L, and it doesn't reflect my actual thoughts on the matter.
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Old 10-25-2017, 03:45 AM
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Originally Posted by bluewpc View Post
I guess I dont believe in that. I dont think any one person can do that. I think its absolutely impossible. Ok. You hear some kid died but you cant feel like its your child. Would you go to this kid's funeral? What about the next kid and the next and the next and the next billion?

I mean you accused me of lacking empathy but Ive studied the absolute horror of reality most of my life and I dont think its something the human soul can encompass or bear. It drives you to suicide to be honest. I dont know any other way to put but your outlook is naive. I mean reality has tragedy built into it. Were all going to die everyone youve ever loved is going to die and some of them horribly. There are practical limits to what man can do and Im sorry if Im coming off strong on you but until youve tried you dont know. I was a volunteer EMT for two years. Ive volunteered at food kitchens but there is no stemming the tide. Life is like a vast infinitely deep hemorrhage of lives and if you cant accept that you will inevitably make it worse. And Im not advocating a retreat into hedonism or nihilism but I am saying that you have to have an understanding of people and history before you can make a real judgment on anything.

Edit: Also those books arent true crime theyre fiction. But for god's sake if you cant read about the world how do you expect to change it?
It is just a new personality flaw, I just had a baby certain things have gone from interesting to terrifying.

So what i am gathering is without self control empathy is nothing I think empathy and pity are different things and we may be mixing them up here.
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Old 10-25-2017, 03:49 AM
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Originally Posted by bluewpc View Post
Yes. Theres two excellent books Id recommend on that very topic. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky and Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

I mean havent you ever done something you knew in your heart you shouldnt do but couldnt stop yourself?
I own Lolita but can't find the right time to read it.

Yes I have and I wasn't feeling empathy for other people when i did it. Guilt yes but not enpathy otherwise I wouldn't have done it. Empthy takes a lot of thought when bad decisions can take mere seconds.
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Old 10-25-2017, 04:04 AM
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I went full circle, I do not think if you feel empathy for someone you can hurt them. If humans were cinditioned for empathy the way we were wired for survival I do think it would stop a lot of social issues. I think you can ignore guilt and do something terrible to someone or even have pity and hurt someone, but hurt someone you understand has the right to life and happiness? I don't see it. You can want to kill someone but empathy would prevent you. You can want to kill a killer via corporal punishment but empathy would prevent you. Killers have no empathy at the moment of the deed.

If you empathized with a serial rapist and told them so while they were doing it, there is a good chance they would stop. If you empathized with a rapist it wouldn't damage you as badly afterwards. Forgiveness is one hell of a weapon.

I actually heard of a lady pretendig to like intercourse with her assailant and he left her alone. That is not me giving advice people do not bite my head off, this is all the ramblings of someone curious about human behavior.
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Old 10-25-2017, 11:09 AM
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How about this... One of the most dangerous feelings known to man. 😊

Communism is based on it, killed everyone.

Statism is based on it, kills everyone.

Regime change is based on it, kills everyone.

And so on... History is filled with supposedly well meaning intellectuals who so love the masses they'll do anything for the 'greater good'.
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Old 10-25-2017, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Loser&Loner View Post
Empathy is taking on someone elses feelings and relating to it to the point you feel connected with them and care for them even if you have not gone through what they have or even know them.
Well, that's pretty close in my book.

But the other side of the coin is that you have to admit it when the experience is so far outside of what you can really understand and appreciate that you just have to throw up your hands and say -- I don't get it.

That's a form of empathy too -- and it also may be an indication that it's a good time to keep your mouth shut.
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Old 10-25-2017, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnConstantine View Post
How about this... One of the most dangerous feelings known to man. 😊

Communism is based on it, killed everyone.

Statism is based on it, kills everyone.

Regime change is based on it, kills everyone.

And so on... History is filled with supposedly well meaning intellectuals who so love the masses they'll do anything for the 'greater good'.
Thinking that you know what's best for everyone and empathy are not the same thing.
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