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View Diary: Science says: GOP doesn't connect with people because the GOP doesn't actually care about people (79 comments)

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  •  What exactly is empathy? (5+ / 0-)

    i think this is the important question, and the point of the original post. many in the GOP lack any kind of empathy, seeing people and situations as obstacles to overcome or raw material to be used, much like a valuable mineral in the earth. those kinds of feelings are, indeed,
    href="http://healthland.time.com/2011/05/30/mind-reading-psychologist-simon-baron-cohen-on-empathy-and-the-science-of-evil/">endemic of various anti-social tendencies /conscience-lack-of#_

    the inability, or refusal to see how actions can effect others, the unwillingness to accept evidence which counters their beliefs, are the hallmarks of a lack of empathy.

    the key is to understand that these people will not help others unless it benefits themselves in some way. it's unfortunate that our congress is littered with these people, but until some sort of brain scanning is possible to weed them out, the best we can do is to begin working with kids and teaching them how to engage with others and hopefully, that will carry on with them to adulthood.

    •  for some reason I screwed up the link (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      smileycreek, Orinoco
    •  It does make me wonder if empathy can be taught. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Orinoco, eparrot

      But it certainly is worth the effort.

      Welcome from the DK Partners & Mentors Team. If you have any questions about how to participate here, you can learn more at the Knowledge Base or from the New Diarists Resources Diaries. Diaries labeled "Open Thread" are also great places to ask. We look forward to your contributions.

      Oh, I used to be disgusted
      Now I try to be amused
      ~~ Elvis Costello

      by smileycreek on Wed Apr 17, 2013 at 12:04:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It really does seem to be linked to (5+ / 0-)

        environment as much as character.

        Part of the problem is that rich people are far more easily able to isolate themselves from people who are not like them than the middle and lower classes are.  It may be a self-perpetuating cycle: in this predatory system, people who put themselves first get further ahead.  This enables them to isolate themselves further, they are confronted with ever fewer unpleasant realities of other people's lives than us regular folks, and thus they have even less reason to develop or practice empathy.  And a whole lot of role models to whom empathy is presumably anathema.

        Here's another study.  I also remember one a few years back that managed to track eye contact: the ultra wealthy had far less eye contact in their interactions with subordinates (to the ueberrich, nearly everyone is a subordinate) throughout the day than the less wealthy.  (Wish I could find that link . . . it's around here somewhere . . .)  Eye contact--seeing others clearly--is a matter of survival for many of us.  But people that rich have no need (and, sometimes at least, no desire) to actually see others.  

        We live, of course, in a system that rewards all the wrong human impulses . . . and spends inordinate amounts of time, money, and energy trying to justify exactly that.

        "If a man loses his reverence for any part of life, he will lose his reverence for all of life." — Albert Schweitzer

        by mozartssister on Wed Apr 17, 2013 at 01:25:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Absolutely that some people unaware. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Orinoco

          For rich people it's sort of a choice. They can have greatly elevated social consciousness because they can take the time to really research the problems. On the other hand, they also have the option to utterly ignore the people around them.

          But I'd imagine not all of them make a conscious choice. Let's face it, there are a lot of poor and  middle class people who lack empathy.

          www.stacysmusings.wordpress.com

          by Magenta on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 04:46:46 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I think it can be taught, (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        smileycreek, Magenta, Orinoco, kamarvt

        because many of us spend our whole lives learning it.  It's interesting that it comes naturally to people.

        I was a narcissistic asshole when i was a teenager.  Strangely enough, so were most other people.

    •  To quote, "empathy may be really about dealing (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Orinoco

      with your own shit..."  I think you nailed it.

      "We refuse to fight in a war started by men who refused to fight in a war." -freewayblogger

      by Bisbonian on Wed Apr 17, 2013 at 01:07:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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