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Empathy

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Leon On about 6 hours ago




San Diego, California
#1New Post! Mar 04, 2019 @ 22:30:49
Is empathy selfless or selfish?
bob_the_fisherman On about 2 hours ago
Anatidaephobic





, Angola
#2New Post! Mar 04, 2019 @ 23:09:47
@Leon Said

Is empathy selfless or selfish?


Either, or both depending on the circumstances and our values.

For example I have helped screwed up kiddies for years because it makes me feel good and I've also learned a lot from it. I was able to continue re-evaluating my own screwed up past and come to terms with it better by listening to and helping kids from often similar circumstances and experiences, and through providing them new perspectives or possible solutions. In this sense there was an element of gain to me that I am aware of - is that selfish, or just a collateral benefit?

If you see a house fire and run in risking your life, or join the army or something similar, it could be selfless if you genuinely ignore the risk to yourself in the attempt to save others. But it could also be a pride thing as the person may do it in the hope of accolades and rewards later

I suspect true selflessness is rarer than we like to think, and it's certainly rarer in ourselves than we probably think
gakINGKONG On about 2 hours ago




Misawa, Japan
#3New Post! Mar 05, 2019 @ 01:03:26
I keep thinking about the evil Lion "Scar" from Lion King mulling over the future of the mouse he's about to eat. Life's not fair.

I suppose I could say a prayer and shed a tear for the animals I eat.

So, empathy doesn't say if that person is selfish or not.
Erimitus On about 5 hours ago




The mind of God, Antarctica
#4New Post! Mar 05, 2019 @ 02:04:17
Empathy

Understanding how another person feels is neither selfish nor unselfish.

Volitional actions based on understanding are almost always selfish in some way.

Sympathy and compassion are learned responses. With the exception of parents for their children all volitional actions are selfish.
Erimitus On about 5 hours ago




The mind of God, Antarctica
#5New Post! Mar 05, 2019 @ 02:29:21
@Erimitus Said

Empathy

Understanding how another person feels is neither selfish nor unselfish.

Volitional actions based on understanding are almost always selfish in some way.

Sympathy and compassion are learned responses. With the exception of parents for their children all volitional actions are selfish.



MY Bad. I was thinking of altruism not empathy. With empathy understanding another is neither selfish or unselfish. It is how the knowledge is used that makes it selfish or unselfish.

altruism is unselfish, egoism is selfish - a balance may be the best approach

what I was suggesting is that acts of altruism are motivated by egotistical gains and hence selfish.
Wh
Leon On about 6 hours ago




San Diego, California
#6New Post! Mar 05, 2019 @ 03:49:54
@Erimitus Said



Sympathy and compassion are learned responses. With the exception of parents for their children all volitional actions are selfish.


Can you explain further? Thanks!
Cpat92 On about 8 hours ago
It's all or nothing





Lauderhill, Florida
#7New Post! Mar 05, 2019 @ 05:54:34
@Leon Said

Is empathy selfless or selfish?



I don't think it would be considered selfish. Empathy allows one to understand and feel for a issue on may have, due to the relatability.
Erimitus On about 5 hours ago




The mind of God, Antarctica
#8New Post! Mar 05, 2019 @ 12:47:45
Sympathy and compassion are learned responses. With the exception of parents for their children all volitional actions are selfish.


Past experiences have an influence on thoughts in the present.

Parents, siblings, peers, teachers etc. all contribute to the formation of a personality.

Broken homes, childhood trauma, lack of parenting in the past influence the thoughts that a person uses to make decisions in the present.

Responses have been conditioned.

All volitional actions are learned and contribute to both the emotional and physical care and feeding of the actor.

note: WE (or at least I) come to conclusions based on reasoning. Often I (maybe not anyone else but I) remember the conclusion but not the premises that supported it. The above is the most cogent response to your question I could come up without more careful consideration.
Eaglebauer On March 23, 2019
FOSSOR SAPIENS

Moderator




Saint Louis, Missouri
#9New Post! Mar 05, 2019 @ 13:09:41
Immediately selfless but ultimately selfish.
Eaglebauer On March 23, 2019
FOSSOR SAPIENS

Moderator




Saint Louis, Missouri
#10New Post! Mar 05, 2019 @ 13:10:39
@Erimitus Said

Sympathy and compassion are learned responses. With the exception of parents for their children all volitional actions are selfish.


Past experiences have an influence on thoughts in the present.

Parents, siblings, peers, teachers etc. all contribute to the formation of a personality.

Broken homes, childhood trauma, lack of parenting in the past influence the thoughts that a person uses to make decisions in the present.

Responses have been conditioned.

All volitional actions are learned and contribute to both the emotional and physical care and feeding of the actor.

note: WE (or at least I) come to conclusions based on reasoning. Often I (maybe not anyone else but I) remember the conclusion but not the premises that supported it. The above is the most cogent response to your question I could come up without more careful consideration.


Actually, I'd argue that parents acting on behalf of or in protection of their children are also acting selfishly.
Erimitus On about 5 hours ago




The mind of God, Antarctica
#11New Post! Mar 05, 2019 @ 13:56:26
@Eaglebauer Said

Actually, I'd argue that parents acting on behalf of or in protection of their children are also acting selfishly.




Hmmm Your reasoning please
Eaglebauer On March 23, 2019
FOSSOR SAPIENS

Moderator




Saint Louis, Missouri
#12New Post! Mar 05, 2019 @ 14:43:25
@Erimitus Said

Actually, I'd argue that parents acting on behalf of or in protection of their children are also acting selfishly.

Hmmm YOur reasoning please



Every action we take is to produce something we want. If I lay down my life to save one of my children, it is because the end result is something that I want.

There are also arguments that altruism in terms of one's own children are based on a biological instinct to preserve our own genes and propagate them in the world. To make sure that "I" live on in my descendants.

Placing the needs of one person above your own may seem selfless, but why are you doing it? Is virtue for the sake of itself possible, or are those who do things like that doing it for the feeling of virtuousness that it gives them? I'd argue that in the end, they are producing a result that they want, whether it's that feeling of virtue or for someone else to be safe or happy. I like giving things to my family because I genuinely enjoy seeing them happy. Is it their happiness or my enjoyment that is the real reasoning behind it?

I'm not saying any of this is a bad thing. I think it's a human thing.
Erimitus On about 5 hours ago




The mind of God, Antarctica
#13New Post! Mar 05, 2019 @ 17:43:16
@Eaglebauer Said

Every action we take is to produce something we want. If I lay down my life to save one of my children, it is because the end result is something that I want.

There are also arguments that altruism in terms of one's own children are based on a biological instinct to preserve our own genes and propagate them in the world. To make sure that "I" live on in my descendants.

Placing the needs of one person above your own may seem selfless, but why are you doing it? Is virtue for the sake of itself possible, or are those who do things like that doing it for the feeling of virtuousness that it gives them? I'd argue that in the end, they are producing a result that they want, whether it's that feeling of virtue or for someone else to be safe or happy. I like giving things to my family because I genuinely enjoy seeing them happy. Is it their happiness or my enjoyment that is the real reasoning behind it?

I'm not saying any of this is a bad thing. I think it's a human thing.


Well said, thank you
Electric_Banana On March 22, 2019




, New Zealand
#14New Post! Mar 09, 2019 @ 19:20:53
I can't think of any words or actions enacted, even if self defamatory or self-destructive, which are not simultaneously selfish as well.

Empathy is a bit...different in the sense that it is making the effort to understand another

Most people, whether or not we understand them, isn't going to benefit us

Say I pass by a mendicant talking to themselves on the street and it is only me and him (so no others around to impress); he notices and attempts to engage me in brief conversation however his words and expressions are jumbled via a troubled mind, inberiation or both.

Most wouldn't find it self-gratifying or ego-applauding to take the time to try and understand the vagabond and offer them reassurance that someone gives a crap. In fact most conservative types would find it a foolish waste of time which might open a can of worms.

And so I think there are some otherwise selfish people who will try and understand everyone without agenda but most offering empathy do so for the selfish reason of attempting to rid themselves of sympathy, like trying to scratch an itch, which is an uncomfortable emotion.
white_swan53 On about 15 hours ago




n/a, New Mexico
#15New Post! Mar 10, 2019 @ 16:55:57
Empathy is how one person feels that has walked a mile in the same shoes as the the person they feel Empathy for.
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