Lacking Empathy

EmptyEmpathy

I still get asked to explain how the Christian variant of the Golden Rule discourages empathy, even though I wrote this before. That’s fine, I can elaborate if need be. My last prompting was from an anti-gay Christian going by the name of Barb who couldn’t fathom how the CGR discouraged empathy.

The Christian variant says “do unto others as YOU would want done onto YOU.” That’s all well and good if the others you encounter share your opinion of what’s good. For instance, if you’d like a burger if you were hungry and you encountered someone who was hungry and who happened to like burgers, then it would be kind to give them a burger, but what if they didn’t care for burgers? What if they were Vegan? They then could be insulted by your gift (especially if say they were Vegan for religious reasons), and you’d be puzzled as to why. You might even be insulted or angry that your gift was rejected.

Now that’s a very basic example, and one which (I would hope) would get sorted out pretty quickly based on basic human empathy (not the CGR, mind you), but what about something more complicated like laws which prohibit the sale of adult materials? In such a case, you might deem the material evil and thus would naturally not want that material in stores. Others might not share your opinion of such material being evil though, and would want access to them, but to allow others access would require personal empathy again, like in the burger example, for the CGR makes no account for it. Instead, it encourages you to do for others what you’d want done for you, and if you would want someone to protect you from such material then it would seem logical that they’d similarly appreciate being so protected. This then promotes actions which, believed to be beneficial, are actually impositions upon others. Clear examples of this would be Blue Laws, bans on sales of alcohol and sex toys, and it’s what fuels attempts to ban reproductive rights as well as equal rights for gays.

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17 Responses to “Lacking Empathy”

  1. Hahaha, that's true alright. Wow, so the CGR does create a lot of problems when put into practice, and indeed it is put into practice as well. I can also see how, well, I want my cock sucked but that doesn't mean I want to suck other peoples cocks. The CGR doesn't allow for this kind of selfishness, it only allows for sharing, it's the hippie equivalent of the Jewish "an eye for an eye" rule. However, that's why the Christians spend so much time telling people to not want stuff for themselves that they wouldn't want to give to other people.

    At any rate, each person is different and they each have their own unique desires. Perhaps the CGR is why Christian marriages don't work out either. Nobody can find an exact double of themselves, and if they could then they'd be gay twins.

  2. No no, the CGR inadvertently does cause selfishness, but the Christian is unaware that they're being selfish because of the lack of empathy. For instance, they would see leading a Christian prayer before a council meeting or before class at school to be a wonderful thing that they would enjoy, so they institute it but since they lack empathy, they're incapable of seeing how non-Christians wouldn't find it to be wonderful. In fact, non-Christians would see it as an imposition and when they'd complain, the Christian would be confused because why would anyone object to something that's wonderful? From there, it's not a stretch for the Christian to conclude that the non-Christians must then be crazy or evil to object to something so wonderful. <div style="display:block;margin:6px 0 0"><a class="a2a_dd" href="http://www.addtoany.com/share_save"><img src="http://static.addtoany.com/buttons/share_save_171_16.png&quot; width="171" height="16" border="0" alt="Share/Save/Bookmark">

  3. Unfortunately, the CGR isn't really about treating others well, it's about demanding that everyone follows your rules. In a debate, I asked a Christian how they justified trying to force their religion on others in relation to the CGR: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" and they said "If I wasn't a Christian, then I'd certainly want Christians to show me the error of my ways!"

    These people are clueless.

  4. Yup, that about sums it up.

  5. Well, the CGR also disallows, say, if you need to fire somebody from a job or if you need to defend yourself in a fight by fighting back.

  6. Well, the CGR also disallows, say, if you need to fire somebody from a job….

    You'd think so, but I can assure you that at least one Christian organization in the USA has little difficulty firing employees it considers expendable. <div style="margin: 6px 0pt 0pt; display: block;"><a class="a2a_dd" href="http://www.addtoany.com/share_save"><img src="http://static.addtoany.com/buttons/share_save_171_16.png&quot; alt="Share/Save/Bookmark" border="0" width="171" height="16">

  7. Well, the CGR also disallows, say, if you need to fire somebody from a job….

    You'd think so, but I can assure you that at least one Christian organization in the USA has little difficulty firing employees it considers expendable.

  8. For instance, if you’d like a burger if you were hungry and you encountered someone who was hungry and who happened to like burgers, then it would be kind to give them a burger, but what if they didn’t care for burgers? What if they were Vegan?

    That prompted a funny visual, of PhillyChief deciding to not give a homeless guy a burger because he might be Vegan and wouldn't want to offend him.

  9. I don't think so as far as the self defense point. If someone is attacking you, you could fight back, and fight back vigorously. Why? Well if you accept the idea that you treat others as you would want to be treated and that attacking people is wrong, then you'd hope that if you were ever to attack someone, that you'd be shown the error of your ways; therefore, fighting back is showing the attacker the error of his ways.

    Now that seems all well and good, but the same logic then could prompt you to fight gay marriage because believing homosexuality is wrong, you'd do what you could to fight it from achieving any kind of equality with heterosexuality in hopes of showing them the error of their ways. That's how all this shit starts. It's a combo of believing they have the absolute authority on what's right and wrong, and then saving others from engaging in what's wrong. From such a position, mutual respect and coexistence with anyone not of the same mind is virtually impossible

  10. There is no clever sentence that can cover moral behavior.

  11. How about 'don't be a douchebag'? ;)

    Seriously though, I'm not sure if you can cover any subject with just one sentence, can you?

  12. Only douchery. :D

  13. Do not be waste money, unless it's your own, or cause unecessary collateral damage, unless you own that property.

  14. George Carlin had it right when he got it down to two commandments, plus on addendum.

    1. Thou shalt always be honest and faithful to the provider of thy nookie.

    2. Thou shalt try real hard not to kill anyone, unless of course they pray to a different invisible man than you.

    Addition: Thou shalt keep thy religion to thyself.

  15. The Barb you mentioned was banned by PZ Myers from Pharyngula for being a troll.

  16. I didn't know he banned people

  17. Apathy is the most important element for the every human being. He can consider as a serious concern. He would like to perform with full of attention. He will be the calling of the same purposes.

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