Resistance also served as part of Thoreau's metaphor comparing the government to a machine: On Civil Disobedience is another common title. The word civil has several definitions. The one that is intended in this case is "relating to citizens and their interrelations with one another or with the state", and so civil disobedience means "disobedience to the state".
My claim is actually the opposite: To empathize with someone is to put yourself in her shoes, to feel her pain. Some researchers also use the term to encompass the more coldblooded process of assessing what other people are thinking, their motivations, their plans, what they believe.
I will follow this convention here, but we should keep in mind that the two are distinct—they emerge from different brain processes; you can have a lot of one and a little of the other—and that most of the discussion of the moral implications of empathy focuses on its emotional side.
Some degree of emotional empathy is bred in the bone. This is not uniquely human: Empathy can occur automatically, even involuntarily. When you think like this—when you choose to broaden your ambit of concern and empathize with the plight of others, whether they are close friends or distant strangers—it becomes harder not to act, harder not to help.
Obama is right about this last part; there is considerable support for what the psychologist C. In general, empathy serves to dissolve the boundaries between one person and another; it is a force against selfishness and indifference. It is easy to see, then, how empathy can be a moral good, and it has many champions.
Most people see the benefits of empathy as too obvious to require justification.
This is a mistake. Most people see the benefits of empathy as akin to the evils of racism: I think this is a mistake. I have argued elsewhere that certain features of empathy make it a poor guide to social policy. Empathy is biased; we are more prone to feel empathy for attractive people and for those who look like us or share our ethnic or national background.
And empathy is narrow; it connects us to particular individuals, real or imagined, but is insensitive to numerical differences and statistical data. If I look at the one, I will. In light of these features, our public decisions will be fairer and more moral once we put empathy aside.
Our policies are improved when we appreciate that a hundred deaths are worse than one, even if we know the name of the one, and when we acknowledge that the life of someone in a faraway country is worth as much as the life a neighbor, even if our emotions pull us in a different direction.
Without empathy, we are better able to grasp the importance of vaccinating children and responding to climate change. These acts impose costs on real people in the here and now for the sake of abstract future benefits, so tackling them may require overriding empathetic responses that favor the comfort and well being of individuals today.The problem of evil is the most serious problem in the world.
It is also the one serious objection to the existence of God. When Saint Thomas Aquinas wrote his great Summa Theologica, he could find only two objections to the existence of God, even though he tried to list at least three objections to.
The largest collection of literature study guides, lesson plans & educational resources for students & teachers. Sep 10, · Against Empathy from Boston Review. Most people see the benefits of empathy as too obvious to require justification.
THE SUBJECT of this Essay is not the so-called Liberty of the Will, so unfortunately opposed to the misnamed doctrine of Philosophical Necessity; but Civil, or Social Liberty: the nature and limits of the power which can be legitimately exercised by society over the individual.
Since several of my previous essays have been linked to Rand’s moral condemnation of Immanuel Kant (), especially her infamous remark that Kant was “the most evil man in mankind’s history” (The Objectivist, Sept.
), I thought I would write a conciliatory essay or two about the moral and political theory of this villainous character whose evil supposedly exceeded that of.
The Problem of Evil - Introduction One of the oldest dilemmas in philosophy is also one of the greatest threats to Christian theology. The problem of evil simultaneously perplexes the world’s greatest minds and yet remains palpably close to the hearts of the most common people.