Tuesday, February 7, 2017

hot-button "empathy"





[Empathy] is not without its discontents. In his latest book, "Against Empathy," Paul Bloom argues that empathy is actually a very poor moral guide. He compiles evidence from a range of sources to show that empathy can be innumerate, biased, parochial and inconsistent and can push us towards inaction at best and racism and violence at worst.


  1. Dunno, "reasoned compassion,utilitarian cost-benefit calculations" seems to me to open a door to greed over philanthropy. In what world is it right to measure the cost of compassion? Isn't that what's wrong with this world, that we allow wealth while others do without? The argument over personal liberty vs. social responsibility is an old one. But it seems to me that the liberty to deprive others is theft.

  2. Politicians and their operatives love to conflate empathy and morality; but often seem incapable of either.

    In any situation, political or otherwise, the wisest course of action would usually be to

    Define the the problem or set of problems and the issues involved.

    Analyze and Diagnose the problem so that your focus is on the problem, not just its symptoms.

    Develop alternative solutions.

    Evaluate the potential solutions and select the best available.

    Implement the plan.

    Evaluate the results.

    When needed go back to the appropriate step(s) above to improve the plan and / or the implementation of the plan.