why is selective empathy wrong when everybody is?

is there anybody who has absolute empathy? i doubt. it’s degrees, no???

Reported for forum change.

When everybody is what?

I reserve my empathy only for those with working shift keys.

Did this start in the Pit or is one of the mods having that kind of a day?

It started in the Pit.

Q: Are you trying to establish a foothold and/or justification for zero empathy?

Moved to… I dunno, GD?

Like it’s not coming right back…

Hey. Hey. Show a little empathy, willya?

A little, sure. But not total.

People who need people are the luckiest people of all.

Survival is based on selective empathy. Reward those who are useful to your own existence, Ignore those who are irrelevant and punish those who are a threat. In a nutshell that is how empathy works.

True unconditional empathy only comes from philosophy or religion.

Unless they can’t use a shift key, in which case fuck them all.

That’s kind of exactly wrong.

em·pa·thy
ˈempəTHē
noun
the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.

No its not wrong. How much empathy do you have for your child? They are essential to the survival of your genes. How much empathy do you have for a bacteria or an ant on the other side of the planet? They are useless to your survival. How much empathy do you have for someone who murders your children? They are a threat to your survival.

None of the examples you have given are based off of the feelings of the other person. They are all entirely built on a first-person perspective, which is the exact opposite of empathy: apathy.

Heck, it’s possible to form empathic bonds with people who are threats to your survival. Battered women and Stockholm Syndrome sufferers do that all the time, no?

That said, automatic empathy with and for all other lifeforms, or even just all other humans, strikes me as improbable. The protagonist of Ender’s Game supposedly had it, and the book struck me as interesting albeit highly improbable.

I can understand not having empathy for rapists and child molesters and murderers, but, not having empathy for homeless people or illegal aliens is a bit baffling.

I think, however, empathy and compassion is a trait some people simply have more of than others do, still, we could all work harder to have a bit more of it.

Conversely, having too much empathy can impact your life. There is more suffering in the world than you will ever be able to fix.

I know just how you feel.