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Empathy.

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A skill i would hope most of us have...

 

My question is, can we truly empathise (golden rule style) any position?

This mainly stems off animal ethics, in where you often see radicalists wanting exact same rights for animals/humans and on the other side complete disregard to whether the animal is sentient or not(speaking in terms of consciousness), often disclaiming it's rights and dignities by fiat.

Back to the question, taking a middle ground, can we actually fully or completely empathise another's postion? Aren't we just putting OURSELVES in their shoes? This is mainly regarding animals as we can't think the way they do, we can only imagine how.

 

An analogy: We can empathise a rock, put ourself in it's position, feel pity that it is kicked around all the time. In the end it's just a rock, it has no thought(i think :o), we can't empathise nothing, that would be equivelent to not empathising. Same for an animal, we can't put ourselves in their position. It wouldn't completely work.

 

Some notes:

 

-While scientific evidence is welcome, i would like to keep this more philosophical, because as i am aware, we really don't have a quantative measure for consciousness that we can say is completely accurate. Nor can we truly say what consciousness is ultimately.

 

-I already know of the 'man over animal' thread, i decided to do this because it's a bit more general.

 

-sudo 'keep it civil'

 

-As i have said before,i usually write ramblings, so don't take my words for gospel.

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I think empathy is just another word for "putting yourself in someone else's shoes" so taking empathy beyond our own species is probably a bit of a stretch. While you can sympathize with animals and want them to live good lives without suffering and live like they're supposed to, there is a limit for me. But I think those who live with animals would have a different view. I'm very allergic to most furry animals so I'm sort of limited in how much I can be around them.

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I used to have lots of dogs, and cats... I can tell you that there are varying degrees of animal intelligence as great as human variances.

 

The more intelligent ones I can easily empathize with, due to my personal understanding of their psyche.

Don't insult me. I have trained professionals to do that.

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Most people, including me, think that empathy is there for control.

 

The two main thoughts are:

 

- Empathy is nature's way of keeping our greed to a limit.

 

- Empathy is God's way of... well we all know.

 

I was always fascinated by the question whether empathy is in a conflict with intelligence, what do you think?

"When a son is born, the father will go up to the newborn baby, sword in hand; throwing it down, he says, "I shall not leave you with any property: You have only what you can provide with this weapon."

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Never actually heard the question before, could you explain the basis of such an argument?

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I think the proper term is emotions in general not empathy but empathy can work too?

 

Emotional conflict with intelligence example:

 

Three men stranded on an island, one person is sick two are hungry.

 

What is the right way to act.

 

You have two choices: Give in to emotions, give in to intelligence.

 

In one you share and eat the third person. (Intelligent act)

 

In the other you stay hungry and keep company to the third person willingly to sacrifice your own health. (Empathy Act)

 

If you don't think that's intelligence in this case I can provide another example later.

"When a son is born, the father will go up to the newborn baby, sword in hand; throwing it down, he says, "I shall not leave you with any property: You have only what you can provide with this weapon."

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To me that seems to come down to logic vs ethics. Logic to me prevails, but that does not mean we shouldn't accomodate the ethical side. In this case, you would explain to the sick man that his sacrifice would allow them survive or they will die together. Lots of thoughts going through my head right now, but basically there's a line we have to draw and a risk/reward factor to take in.

 

To answer your question, i think the two can impede each other, but the extreme of the two aren't reasonable options and it depends on the context and general consensus.

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Sometimes I think they conflict though, when two choices arise where it could go one way or the opposite.

A trolley is running out of control down a track. In its path are five people who have been tied to the track by a mad philosopher. Fortunately, you could flip a switch, which will lead the trolley down a different track to safety. Unfortunately, there is a single person tied to that track. Should you flip the switch or do nothing?

"When a son is born, the father will go up to the newborn baby, sword in hand; throwing it down, he says, "I shall not leave you with any property: You have only what you can provide with this weapon."

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I lack empathy; I have asperger Syndrome.

:ugeek:

Has its ups and downs...

At least it's not your fault, just who you are.

Doesn't exactly help when people who don't know it perceive me as a jerk.

And throwing "I have asperger syndrome" around just sounds like a lame excuse. :roll:

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You could try to learn what empathy looks like and maybe try to emulate it (even if you don't have it yourself). Empathy means for you to put yourself in their shoes; if someone was going to act to you how you're going to act to them, how would you respond?

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I lack empathy; I have asperger Syndrome.

:ugeek:

Has its ups and downs...

At least it's not your fault, just who you are.

Doesn't exactly help when people who don't know it perceive me as a jerk.

And throwing "I have asperger syndrome" around just sounds like a lame excuse. :roll:

I understand. But at least it's just a weak form of authism, so you can still function socially.

Game developments at http://nukedprotons.blogspot.com
I also write content at http://www.bagogames.com

Check out my music at http://technomancer.bandcamp.com

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I believe I have very little empathy, actually. I really do feel like I have to fake it most of the time.

 

Other people usually don't believe me when I say this, because among the people I know, I am usually the one people come to to comfort or console them, because I "exude an aura of calmness."

 

But it's not calmness, not really. It's more like... detatchment.

 

I actually had a discussion with my girlfriend about this, in which I said "to be horribly honest, it may seem like I'm being calming and comforting, but what I'm really doing is engaging in the behaviors which I have determined make other people be quiet."

He just kept talking and talking in one long incredibly unbroken sentence moving from topic to topic so that no one had a chance to interrupt it was really quite hypnotic...

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