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Thread: Empathy = Morality?

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    Empathy = Morality?

    The concept of empathy came up in a thread about morality. I thought it warranted its own thread.

    One of the most compelling evidences for the Creator is universal morality: Absolute morality, felt in the conscience of every human. Only the Creator could have embedded such a thing.

    Naturalists try to explain this morality by equating it with empathy. A person 'feels' the reaction of another, and chooses to avoid anything that brings them discomfort or grief.

    But this is a flawed redefinition of both morality AND empathy.

    Morality is a deeply felt conviction of right and wrong, that has little effect on the emotions. Reason and introspection are the tools in a moral choice. A moral choice often comes with uneasiness and wrestling with guilt. It is personal and internal, not outward looking.

    Empathy is outward looking, identifying with the other person, their pain, and is based on projection. It is emotional, and varies from person to person. Some individuals are highly empathetic, while others are seemingly indifferent, unaffected by the plight of others.

    A moral choice often contains no empathy, as a factor, but is an internal, personal conflict.

    Empathy can often conflict with a moral choice. Doctors, emts, nurses, law enforcement, judges, prosecutors, scientists, and many other professions must OVERCOME empathy, in order to function properly. A surgeon cannot be gripped with empathy while cutting someone open. A judge (or jury) cannot let the emotion of empathy sway justice. Bleeding heart compassion is an enemy to justice, and undermines its deterrent. Shyster lawyers undermine justice by making emotional appeals, hoping that empathy will pervert justice.

    A moral choice is internal, empathy is external. The former grapples with a personal choice, affecting the individual's conscience and integrity. The latter is a projection of a feeling that someone else has. They are not the same.

    Empathy gets tired. Morality does not. Empathy over someone's suffering can be overwhelming and paralyzing, while a moral choice grapples with the voice of conscience. A doctor or nurse in a crisis may be overwhelmed by human suffering, and their emotions of empathy may be exhausted, but they continue to work and help people, as a moral choice, even if empathy is gone.

    Highly empathetic people can make immoral choices. Seemingly non-empathetic people can hold to a high moral standard. Empathy is not a guarantee of moral fortitude. It is almost irrelevant. Empathy is fickle and unstable. Morality is quiet, thoughtful, and reasonable.

    Empathy is primarily based upon projection.. we 'imagine' what another person feels, based on our own experiences. But that can be flawed. Projections of hate, bigotry, outrage, righteous indignation, and personal affronts are quite often misguided, and are the feelings of the projector, not the projectee. The use of projection, as a tool of division, is common in the political machinations of man. A political ideologue sees his enemy through his own eyes, with fear, hatred, and anger ruling his reasoning processes. That is why political hatred is so irrational. Empathy, not reason, is used to keep the feud alive. A moral choice would reject hatred of a countryman, and choose reason and common ground. But if the emotion of empathy overrides the rational, MORAL choice, the result is conflict and division.

    The progressive left avoids the term, 'morality', but cheers and signals the virtues of empathy at every opportunity. They ache with compassion over illegal immigrants, looters and rioters, sex offenders, psychopaths, and any non or counter productive members of society. But an enemy.. a Christian, patriotic American, small business owner, gun owner, someone who defends his property (Kyle!), are targets of hate, which they project from within themselves. Reason or truth are irrelevant. It is the EMOTION.. the empathy allowed to run wild..that feeds their projections. For this reason, they poo poo any concept of absolute morality, Natural Law, and conscience, preferring the more easily manipulated emotion of 'Empathy!', which they twist and turn for their agenda.

    People ruled by emotion, and specifically, empathy, are highly irrational, and do not display moral courage or fortitude.

    Empathy is not morality. It is not even a cheap substitute. If anything, empathy is at enmity with morality.
    Last edited by usfan; 11-26-2021 at 09:25 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by usfan View Post
    The concept of empathy came up in a thread about morality. I thought it warranted its own thread.

    "Two possibilities exist - either we are alone in the universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying. (Arthur C. Clarke)

    "I do not object to the concept of a deity but I'm baffled by the notion of one that takes attendance" (Amy Farrah Fowler)

    "Tolerance is the last virtue of a dying society." ​(Anon.)

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    ..moral choices do not require empathy. It is not neccessary to be filled with empathy for someone to respond with a moral choice. And people dripping with empathy can choose to violate their owm conscience. Empathy is not tied to morality, but is an emotion of projection. Morality is an introspective, thoughtful choice, often wrestled in the mind with reason. Empathy is an outward, other person projection, that is fickle, gets tired, is easily manipulated, and is a poor moral guide.

    A veteran emt may see a lot of grisly human suffering. It is quite common for first responders to ..mask.. their feelings of sympathy, empathy, and compassion, so they can think clearly and do their job. That job is what actually helps people, not the agonized groaning over human suffering.

    So the moral choice to help someone is not dependent on the empathy felt. One person may ache with empathy, then walk away. Another may feel nothing, yet choose to help.

    Stealing, lying, murder, and many common violations of human conscience may have some, much, or little empathy for the victims of the moral violation. It really doesn't matter how much empathy one has, but the actions they take. Dramatic expressions of emotion may be good PR stunts, for a politician running for office, but they are not an indicator of moral fortitude.
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    ? No rebuttals? No counter replies? Undefined 2 word rebuttals, with no explanation as to how they apply, or emoticons devoid of empathy, are 'Reason!!'?

    ..only in Progresso World..

    I use the term as naturalists have used it. A projecting emotion that ..restrains.. a person from injuring another. That, they say, is all morality is. It is not a conviction of absolutes, but a feeling of projection.

    'That person would be sad, if i stole their spear/woman/hut/life, and i don't want to make anyone sad, so I'll restrain myself from stealing from them.'

    This is the source of morality? That is what atheistic naturalism teaches, glibly, with no logic, arguments, or progression. Undefined terms are dropped, with no explanation, then nodded at with knowing presumption.

    The naturalist examples of empathy, and the role models they present, have no resemblance to traditional moral values, religious standards (from ANY religious origin), or even psychology. They are just fickle and changing emotions, led by agenda driven ideologues. Those who follow such lunacy abandon reason, science, and common sense, for their mandated beliefs in atheistic naturalism.

    Criminals are lifted up as saints. Good is called evil, and evil, good.

    Whatever 'logical' definition that empathy might have had, has been hijacked by cancel culture Warriors, and Orwellian redefinitions. Empathy, in the religion of atheistic naturalism, exclusively taught in State run Indoctrination centers, is a vague feeling, that evolution instilled in everyone.. except the anti-science deniers, creationists, haters, and Christians who are too stupid to see the enlightened awareness that atheistic naturalism brings. But to the more highly evolved, Reason is useless. They merely feel, through the god of empathy, the lofty worldview of atheistic naturalism. Smug assertions, dropped with knowing glances at their cronies, substitute for logic, science, and observation.

    It is maddening to try to reason in Progresso World. I don't know why I bother.
    Indoctrination is engineered stupidity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by usfan View Post
    The concept of empathy came up in a thread about morality. I thought it warranted its own thread.

    One of the most compelling evidences for the Creator is universal morality: Absolute morality, felt in the conscience of every human. Only the Creator could have embedded such a thing.

    Naturalists try to explain this morality by equating it with empathy. A person 'feels' the reaction of another, and chooses to avoid anything that brings them discomfort or grief.

    But this is a flawed redefinition of both morality AND empathy.

    Morality is a deeply felt conviction of right and wrong, that has little effect on the emotions. Reason and introspection are the tools in a moral choice. A moral choice often comes with uneasiness and wrestling with guilt. It is personal and internal, not outward looking.

    Empathy is outward looking, identifying with the other person, their pain, and is based on projection. It is emotional, and varies from person to person. Some individuals are highly empathetic, while others are seemingly indifferent, unaffected by the plight of others.

    A moral choice often contains no empathy, as a factor, but is an internal, personal conflict.

    Empathy can often conflict with a moral choice. Doctors, emts, nurses, law enforcement, judges, prosecutors, scientists, and many other professions must OVERCOME empathy, in order to function properly. A surgeon cannot be gripped with empathy while cutting someone open. A judge (or jury) cannot let the emotion of empathy sway justice. Bleeding heart compassion is an enemy to justice, and undermines its deterrent. Shyster lawyers undermine justice by making emotional appeals, hoping that empathy will pervert justice.

    A moral choice is internal, empathy is external. The former grapples with a personal choice, affecting the individual's conscience and integrity. The latter is a projection of a feeling that someone else has. They are not the same.

    Empathy gets tired. Morality does not. Empathy over someone's suffering can be overwhelming and paralyzing, while a moral choice grapples with the voice of conscience. A doctor or nurse in a crisis may be overwhelmed by human suffering, and their emotions of empathy may be exhausted, but they continue to work and help people, as a moral choice, even if empathy is gone.

    Highly empathetic people can make immoral choices. Seemingly non-empathetic people can hold to a high moral standard. Empathy is not a guarantee of moral fortitude. It is almost irrelevant. Empathy is fickle and unstable. Morality is quiet, thoughtful, and reasonable.

    Empathy is primarily based upon projection.. we 'imagine' what another person feels, based on our own experiences. But that can be flawed. Projections of hate, bigotry, outrage, righteous indignation, and personal affronts are quite often misguided, and are the feelings of the projector, not the projectee. The use of projection, as a tool of division, is common in the political machinations of man. A political ideologue sees his enemy through his own eyes, with fear, hatred, and anger ruling his reasoning processes. That is why political hatred is so irrational. Empathy, not reason, is used to keep the feud alive. A moral choice would reject hatred of a countryman, and choose reason and common ground. But if the emotion of empathy overrides the rational, MORAL choice, the result is conflict and division.

    The progressive left avoids the term, 'morality', but cheers and signals the virtues of empathy at every opportunity. They ache with compassion over illegal immigrants, looters and rioters, sex offenders, psychopaths, and any non or counter productive members of society. But an enemy.. a Christian, patriotic American, small business owner, gun owner, someone who defends his property (Kyle!), are targets of hate, which they project from within themselves. Reason or truth are irrelevant. It is the EMOTION.. the empathy allowed to run wild..that feeds their projections. For this reason, they poo poo any concept of absolute morality, Natural Law, and conscience, preferring the more easily manipulated emotion of 'Empathy!', which they twist and turn for their agenda.

    People ruled by emotion, and specifically, empathy, are highly irrational, and do not display moral courage or fortitude.

    Empathy is not morality. It is not even a cheap substitute. If anything, empathy is at enmity with morality.

    Perhaps. However, in real life the two are deeply, inextricably linked. While you probably can practice one without the other it would be rare, IMO.

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    Morality is one of those nebulous words, like "God", no one can really define what it means.

    Empathy is scientific, it's measurable.

    Neuroscience tells us that empathy and morality are not the same. For human beings they're certainly related, because we are social creatures. But, if you take away the part if the brain that handles empathy, there's still morality. It doesn't LOOK the same, because the social elements of it are missing. But the underlying components are still there - what the psychologists call "primitives", like pain, fear, anger...

    Psychopathy is an example - "most" psychopaths still display an underlying morality, a "system" of right and wrong. It's a tad more self-referential, but it's still there.

    I think, that word "morality", needs definition.

    From my perspective as a scientist, words like that need "individuation" - further detail. I mean, how can I say this - my drummer went to drum school, he has a degree in it. To me, "reggae" is a nebulous cloud. I tell him to play reggae, he goes, well what do you want, a one-drop or a three-kick, and I'm like, I don't know, just play reggae.

    People who toss around words like 'morality', that's a nebulous cloud. I don't think anyone really knows what that means. Right and wrong are "by definition" anthropomorphic and anthropocentric. Ask any philosopher or cultural anthropologist.

    Monkeys definitely don't have the same morality we do. Even though, they definitely have a sense of right and wrong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by usfan View Post
    The concept of empathy came up in a thread about morality. I thought it warranted its own thread.

    One of the most compelling evidences for the Creator is universal morality: Absolute morality, felt in the conscience of every human. Only the Creator could have embedded such a thing.

    Naturalists try to explain this morality by equating it with empathy. A person 'feels' the reaction of another, and chooses to avoid anything that brings them discomfort or grief.

    But this is a flawed redefinition of both morality AND empathy.

    Morality is a deeply felt conviction of right and wrong, that has little effect on the emotions. Reason and introspection are the tools in a moral choice. A moral choice often comes with uneasiness and wrestling with guilt. It is personal and internal, not outward looking.

    Empathy is outward looking, identifying with the other person, their pain, and is based on projection. It is emotional, and varies from person to person. Some individuals are highly empathetic, while others are seemingly indifferent, unaffected by the plight of others.

    A moral choice often contains no empathy, as a factor, but is an internal, personal conflict.

    Empathy can often conflict with a moral choice. Doctors, emts, nurses, law enforcement, judges, prosecutors, scientists, and many other professions must OVERCOME empathy, in order to function properly. A surgeon cannot be gripped with empathy while cutting someone open. A judge (or jury) cannot let the emotion of empathy sway justice. Bleeding heart compassion is an enemy to justice, and undermines its deterrent. Shyster lawyers undermine justice by making emotional appeals, hoping that empathy will pervert justice.

    A moral choice is internal, empathy is external. The former grapples with a personal choice, affecting the individual's conscience and integrity. The latter is a projection of a feeling that someone else has. They are not the same.

    Empathy gets tired. Morality does not. Empathy over someone's suffering can be overwhelming and paralyzing, while a moral choice grapples with the voice of conscience. A doctor or nurse in a crisis may be overwhelmed by human suffering, and their emotions of empathy may be exhausted, but they continue to work and help people, as a moral choice, even if empathy is gone.

    Highly empathetic people can make immoral choices. Seemingly non-empathetic people can hold to a high moral standard. Empathy is not a guarantee of moral fortitude. It is almost irrelevant. Empathy is fickle and unstable. Morality is quiet, thoughtful, and reasonable.

    Empathy is primarily based upon projection.. we 'imagine' what another person feels, based on our own experiences. But that can be flawed. Projections of hate, bigotry, outrage, righteous indignation, and personal affronts are quite often misguided, and are the feelings of the projector, not the projectee. The use of projection, as a tool of division, is common in the political machinations of man. A political ideologue sees his enemy through his own eyes, with fear, hatred, and anger ruling his reasoning processes. That is why political hatred is so irrational. Empathy, not reason, is used to keep the feud alive. A moral choice would reject hatred of a countryman, and choose reason and common ground. But if the emotion of empathy overrides the rational, MORAL choice, the result is conflict and division.

    The progressive left avoids the term, 'morality', but cheers and signals the virtues of empathy at every opportunity. They ache with compassion over illegal immigrants, looters and rioters, sex offenders, psychopaths, and any non or counter productive members of society. But an enemy.. a Christian, patriotic American, small business owner, gun owner, someone who defends his property (Kyle!), are targets of hate, which they project from within themselves. Reason or truth are irrelevant. It is the EMOTION.. the empathy allowed to run wild..that feeds their projections. For this reason, they poo poo any concept of absolute morality, Natural Law, and conscience, preferring the more easily manipulated emotion of 'Empathy!', which they twist and turn for their agenda.

    People ruled by emotion, and specifically, empathy, are highly irrational, and do not display moral courage or fortitude.

    Empathy is not morality. It is not even a cheap substitute. If anything, empathy is at enmity with morality.
    I do not agree with you. It appears to me you must lack empathy . That's not a joke. I simply found your presentation very one sided
    "you are the music, I'm just the band "

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    Quote Originally Posted by usfan View Post
    ? No rebuttals? No counter replies? Undefined 2 word rebuttals, with no explanation as to how they apply, or emoticons devoid of empathy, are 'Reason!!'?

    ..only in Progresso World..

    I use the term as naturalists have used it. A projecting emotion that ..restrains.. a person from injuring another. That, they say, is all morality is. It is not a conviction of absolutes, but a feeling of projection.

    'That person would be sad, if i stole their spear/woman/hut/life, and i don't want to make anyone sad, so I'll restrain myself from stealing from them.'

    This is the source of morality? That is what atheistic naturalism teaches, glibly, with no logic, arguments, or progression. Undefined terms are dropped, with no explanation, then nodded at with knowing presumption.

    The naturalist examples of empathy, and the role models they present, have no resemblance to traditional moral values, religious standards (from ANY religious origin), or even psychology. They are just fickle and changing emotions, led by agenda driven ideologues. Those who follow such lunacy abandon reason, science, and common sense, for their mandated beliefs in atheistic naturalism.

    Criminals are lifted up as saints. Good is called evil, and evil, good.

    Whatever 'logical' definition that empathy might have had, has been hijacked by cancel culture Warriors, and Orwellian redefinitions. Empathy, in the religion of atheistic naturalism, exclusively taught in State run Indoctrination centers, is a vague feeling, that evolution instilled in everyone.. except the anti-science deniers, creationists, haters, and Christians who are too stupid to see the enlightened awareness that atheistic naturalism brings. But to the more highly evolved, Reason is useless. They merely feel, through the god of empathy, the lofty worldview of atheistic naturalism. Smug assertions, dropped with knowing glances at their cronies, substitute for logic, science, and observation.

    It is maddening to try to reason in Progresso World. I don't know why I bother.
    BTW. You equate "empathy" with "projecting" as an absolute . That's simply not factual, imo
    "you are the music, I'm just the band "

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    Quote Originally Posted by Catfucious View Post
    I do not agree with you. It appears to me you must lack empathy . That's not a joke. I simply found your presentation very one sided
    Heh heh - well, usfan is making a point. It's a good point, I think - I mean we see it around us even today, just turn on the news. People can be fooled by empathy, overwhelmed by it... I think usfan is quite correct in that it's an "emotion" of some sort (or at least closely related, let's say a complex emotion). And, people handle their emotions differently, some people don't even "like" their own feelings. For people like that, maybe a rigid (external) system is valuable.

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