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Empathy?

Chad

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I am writing this thread because I am worried about my own lack of empathy.

Here are my questions.

What do you think/feel about the 9/11 attacks?

What do you think/feel about the Boston Marathon bombing?

What do you think/feel about the Columbine High School Attack?

What do you think/feel about the Sadie Hawk Elementary school attack?

What do you think/feel about the Syria Civil War?

What do you think/feel about the Arab Springs conflict?

What do you think/feel about the doping of the A-bomb on Japan?

What do you think/feel about repressive dictatorships?

What did you feel after first hearing about events or tragedies?

Do you feel the same way now?

I will give my answers but I first want to see what others have to say about this.

Thanks for you participation.
 

GodOfOrder

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I think a better question is what is the difference between an NT and a sociopath? :D

But really, I was not really effected by almost anything on that list. In fact I recall making a metric shit ton of poorly timed dark jokes following many of the more recent ones. I know it is in poor taste and a still see these things as bad, I just tend to take the laugh at the world approach to things. ;)
 

Brontosaurie

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What do you think/feel about the 9/11 attacks?
nothing
What do you think/feel about the Boston Marathon bombing?
nothing
What do you think/feel about the Columbine High School Attack?
nothing
What do you think/feel about the Sadie Hawk Elementary school attack?
nothing
What do you think/feel about the Syria Civil War?
nothing
What do you think/feel about the Arab Springs conflict?
nothing
What do you think/feel about the doping of the A-bomb on Japan?
nothing
What do you think/feel about repressive dictatorships?
what else is there?
What did you feel after first hearing about events or tragedies?
"fuck yeah"
 

BigApplePi

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My feelings are personal; my thoughts look outside my personal.
What do you think/feel about the 9/11 attacks? I was horrified and frightened because it was so close. Afterward I looked at tall buildings and visualized how easily these symbols of strength could come down. Today I think of these things as anomalies. I had been in the Twin Towers many times and cried when I found all of my friends business acquaintances were killed on the 95th floor. I've met a few people afterward who were personally affected by this. I'm personally affected by not being able to go to monthly meetings in the Twin Towers. What do I think? A small group of determined haters of the U.S. planned this and were able to get away with it.

What do you think/feel about the Boston Marathon bombing? For a short period of time I feel the horror of having my legs blown off just because I was standing there watching. More bad luck if you happen to have been a victim.

What do you think/feel about the Columbine High School Attack? I avoid feeling anything because it's too far away. I think some kids out of control will use available lethal weapons if they can.

What do you think/feel about the Sadie Hawk Elementary school attack? You mean where the small children who were killed by a troubled young man? Good publicity against gun access. The press has made it an awful story. I think of reason and don't want my emotions played upon. Acting on emotion alone is wrong, but I'm biased. One has to not forget governments can be more violent than crazed individuals.

What do you think/feel about the Syria Civil War? I avoid feelings if I can. This is something for rational examination. I don't like the idea one family can stay in power 40 years. It's sad their system disallows them to release power. People have finally decided to fight and go to war against this but some of them will fight any cause that hopes to bring about change. The power arrangement outcome will matter. I think external countries of power should take action to bring this country to both peace and a change of regime.

What do you think/feel about the Arab Springs conflict? A contagion thanks to modern communication. Good news for democracy, but will it become democracy? What countries have participated in this that other Arab countries have not?

What do you think/feel about the doping of the A-bomb on Japan? "Dropping." Not my decision. Too far away. Any look at this is hindsight so I don' t like the question.

What do you think/feel about repressive dictatorships? Don't like any of them because the wishes of large masses of peoples are suppressed. Numbers count.

What did you feel after first hearing about events or tragedies? Heightened awareness. Curiosity and horror sometimes. Boredom if it is repeated by the news too often. Anger at stirring up the public's emotions unless something rational can be done like restricting access to lethal weapons by irresponsible people. One does not give matches to children and say, "Now go play."

Do you feel the same way now? I'm hoping the publicity will quiet down and things will return to the normal killing percentages. I'm waiting for mass murders which will hit closer home and hope that doesn't happen.
You left out the large murder counts in Chicago, but you got the big questions anyway.
 

Chad

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I think a better question is what is the difference between an NT and a sociopath? :D

But really, I was not really effected by almost anything on that list. In fact I recall making a metric shit ton of poorly timed dark jokes following many of the more recent ones. I know it is in poor taste and a still see these things as bad, I just tend to take the laugh at the world approach to things. ;)

This is basically what I wonder.

I kind of understand where BAP is going with being so close to some of these events however they really didn't effect me or anyone I care about directly.

The Boston Bombing was only 2 hours away. However I have never been to Boston.

Sometimes I feel like a Sociopath. Like others have mentioned I understand that these tragedies are bad but I don't feel bad about them.

I watch Dexter and I wonder what is different between me and him.

The only thing I different between me and Dexter. I our code.

I have a strong moral code but it just a set of principles I live by. I really don't have a emotional connection to them.

Am I a sociopath. It's not that I don't have emotions but I seem like to have emotions related the things that I think should matter like the death of 1,000's of people. If it doesn't effect directly my emotional response is meh!
 

Cherry Cola

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What do you think/feel about the 9/11 attacks?
nothing
What do you think/feel about the Boston Marathon bombing?
nothing
What do you think/feel about the Columbine High School Attack?
nothing
What do you think/feel about the Sadie Hawk Elementary school attack?
nothing
What do you think/feel about the Syria Civil War?
nothing
What do you think/feel about the Arab Springs conflict?
nothing
What do you think/feel about the doping of the A-bomb on Japan?
nothing
What do you think/feel about repressive dictatorships?
what else is there?
What did you feel after first hearing about events or tragedies?
"fuck yeah"

This. Those events are just symptoms of bigger problems which tend to be traceable to the fact that people are just clever animals.

If I looked at any of them in depth I'd care more. But feeling guilty over the lack of mirror neuron activity when something terrible that you cant relate to at all has happened is pointless, it ain't your fault and it doesn't hurt anybody, and it ain't a sign of a lack of empathy it's the way people work.

Ferris wheel scene in "The Third Man" comes to mind.
 

GodOfOrder

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As they say, Chad, the death of an individual is a tragedy, but the death of many are statistics.
 

Pyropyro

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What do you think/feel about the 9/11 attacks?
Looks like a movie when I first saw it. Me and the guys at school wanted to go out and kick some terrorist ass (Counter Strike was the fad back then). Actually I'm more worried about the global paranoia caused by the attacks.

What do you think/feel about the Boston Marathon bombing?
Those guys were playing GTA in real life. Still, I'm concerned about the deeper issues boiling underneath this event. In hindsight, I'm inspired by the courage of the runners that want to recover despite losing their limbs.

What do you think/feel about the Columbine High School Attack?
That could've been me had I spent brewing on my Ti-Si loop during my younger years and not underwent a spiritual journey.

What do you think/feel about the Sadie Hawk Elementary school attack? (Sandy Hook Elementary School)
As a Kids Church teacher (one of my Fe practicing grounds), I strongly condemn attacks on defenseless children.

What do you think/feel about the Syria Civil War?
Using chemical weapons IS NOT COOL. If you can't fight through brilliant strategy and tactics then how the heck could you rule a country? If wish to fight then at least play by the rules.

What do you think/feel about the Arab Springs conflict?
I'm glad there are still courageous people out there to fight repression. I really hope I could help them somehow but my country needs my help too.

What do you think/feel about the doping of the A-bomb on Japan? (dropping)
Too much glorification of America. You ought to know about the Soviet invasion of Manchuria. Anyways, I believe the atom bomb is the lesser of the evils. More blood could have been shed without it.

What do you think/feel about repressive dictatorships?
I don't like them since they prevent many people from growing on their own.

What did you feel after first hearing about events or tragedies?
Not much since I live in another part of the world. I'm more worried about China eating up our fringe territories.

Do you feel the same way now?
No. I'm more focused on adjusting on the impact caused by these events.
 

Solitaire U.

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9/11: Feel - nothing. Think - I was morbidly impressed that they toppled both. I'd have laid 50/50 odds on them toppling 1 with 4 successfully hijacked airplanes (which was also quite an impressive feat).

Boston Marathon: Feel - nothing. Think - I wasn't impressed at all...amateurs. That said, I did find the idea of, um...'legless marathon runners' to be somewhat amusing in a Special Olympics kind of way.

Columbine Feel - nothing (see the pattern emerging yet?) Think - The documentary footage was quite entertaining, and the movie (Elephant) was excellent as well. We need more loose cannons of the Harris/Klebold caliber.

Sadie Hawk Elementary: Feel - must I repeat? Think - I'm only vaguely familiar with this event, but I actually frown upon the spilling of prepubescent blood. Teenagers, fine, but kindergarteners simply aren't ripe for killing yet. Thumbs down.

Syria civil war: This is way out of my jurisdiction. I didn't even know they were having one.

Arab Springs: Not familiar with this. Perhaps someday I'll google it.

A-bomb on Japan: Truman's decision to target Hiroshima rather than an uninhabited area of Japan is, I believe, evident of the fact that he was more interested in proving to Stalin how big his cock and balls were than in forcing Japan to surrender. Had he dropped the Fat Man in Tokyo Bay (or thereabouts, close enough to be witnessed on a mass scale but far enough away to avert mass bloodshed) it would have been just as psychologically effective, or perhaps more-so, as it would have sent a strong message to the Japanese people that he was doing everything in his power to avert the killing of innocents.

Nagasaki was totally unnecessary. There I think Truman was again sabre rattling at Stalin. "Hey fucker, if you think we only had one of those bad boys, think again. We gots plenty to party with, and if you fuck with us we'll drop that shit on Moscow too."

But what the hell...MacArthur apparently had a lot of fun occupying and 'restructuring' Japan into the U.S. lapdog it's been ever since.

Repressive Dictatorships: Nuke 'em into parking lots, then build a Walmart in the middle, like little seeds of 'Democracy'. :)

What did you think when first hearing...: You know, I might have cared once upon a time. I might have taken an interest. But I've seen "3 men 1 hammer". I've surfed 'cute' at 99chan. I've watched every serial killer documentary on YouTube, from Albert Fish to The Zodiac Killer. I'm jaded. It's all just of morbid passing interest to me now. I tend to agree with James Maynard Keenan (TOOL); I think that if humanity didn't have access to the vicarious experience these events provide, we'd all be slitting each other's throats on the street, myself included.

I'm that convinced that inhumanity is a synonym of humanity. I feel nothing one way or the other about this realization. It just is. There is good in us, of course, but at the end of the day we're just another species of savages. It's amazing how the addition of thumbs and self-awareness has advanced that savagery to such terrifying proportions.

And no, I don't need a hug, but thanks anyway, Dux.

SU
 

Pizzabeak

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Illuminati.
 

Chad

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Illuminati.

I think you need to elaborate. I am confused why mentioning a secret organization shrouded his mystery is important to this conversation.

I am actually very interested to see how this ties into our Empathy conversation by the way.
 

BigApplePi

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Without Empathy

Since this thread is entitled, "Empathy", I deliberately looked into what emotions or feelings I could dig up in myself. Except for the Twin Towers thing, not much went very deep or lasted very long. I was down to the bombing site soon after it happened. I can tell you the smell. It's something I will never forget. I can smell it now twelve years later.

You guys are right. These events are more or less distant. When I watch the news, these things are almost like a ball game: who is winning or losing and by how much?

That's the way it is with the Syria civil war thing. It doesn't affect me in any visible way, so it's more or less something to think about ... which side am I on and how are the "coaches" playing on either side? One doesn't get much of the "bad guys" coaching POV. That is annoying.

I would like to hear from the killers.

"I thought it would be cool to go out and take out innocent people. Let them know how much I am suffering. No one pays attention to me and now you know how I feel" or

"I am really angry. You don't believe it? Let me show you I'm angry enough to do this" or

"I don't feel anything but I know by playing video games I can kill. Let me liven it up by making it real" or

"I have been wronged. Now I'm going to teach you a lesson. I will show you how it feels when you have been wronged."
 

Smooch

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Why do you think you lack empathy?
 

Hadoblado

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Those events are just symptoms of bigger problems

If you're already aware of the problems, you've already partially processed the ramifications. Empathy and outrage seem like reactions one has when one is unprepared. If you see tragedy coming, you don't need to waste time on post-hoc processing.

That said, I didn't see 9/11 coming as I was young and had no interest in politics at the time. I also didn't give a rat's arse. People die all the time, if I haven't met them, I honestly don't care at all.

I think empathy for people we haven't met is something people think is required of them, but also it justifies their own deeply held belief that they matter on more than a direct social level. If you don't believe other people's lives hold value, then how can you possibly consider your own life of value without making an exception of yourself?

I think a better question is what is the difference between an NT and a sociopath?
This is spot on.
 

Magus

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Not to be all edgy and stuff but generally tragedies like 9/11 definitely do not affect me as much as they might a 'normal' person.

I think INTPs as much as we might wish we didn't have emotions we would be lying to ourselves if we thought that they didn't play a huge role in our lives and decision making. We try to dismiss our emotions because we can't control them.

I find my responses (I don't know if this is just a weak Fe thing) emotionally tend to be sporadic. I have at times completely shut down emotionally for months at a time; doing the whole Spock thing, and at others I seem fidgety and want to be more social. Also I've found that I have real difficulty predicting what my emotional response might be to something. For instance, I was relatively upset when my dog died (she meant the world to me) but kept my shit together whereas when my ex GF left me (even though we'd been seeing each other for less than 2 months) I was devastated for ages.

Monkey brain at work I guess.
 

Beat Mango

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These are how a lot of my downward thought spirals begin:

1. Imagine a past or hypothetical future tragedy, possibly even one initiated by myself
2. "Test" to see if I felt empathy
3. If not, start thinking thoughts about how I'm a psychopath, schizoid, monster, etc. Then catastrophise about how people will hate me, ostracise me etc
4. Start thinking ways of pragmatic ways to deal with this horrible predicament I'm in

I imagine Kafka had similar spirals hence writing Metamorphosis
 

Beat Mango

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What do you think/feel about the 9/11 attacks?
- I can't remember

What do you think/feel about the Boston Marathon bombing?
- curiosity perhaps

What do you think/feel about the Columbine High School Attack?
- can't remember

What do you think/feel about the Sadie Hawk Elementary school attack?
- is this the Newtown one? My eyes welled up a bit when I saw photos of the kids

What do you think/feel about the Syria Civil War?
- not much

What do you think/feel about the Arab Springs conflict?
- not much

What do you think/feel about the doping of the A-bomb on Japan?
- a little horrified

What do you think/feel about repressive dictatorships?
- not much

What did you feel after first hearing about events or tragedies?
- generally not much, just another stimulus

Do you feel the same way now?
- it makes me a bit sad thinking about the Newtown kids. There was a similar incident on Australia called the Port Arthur massacre. I remember reading about how the shooter chased a young girl who was hiding behind a tree, and, I can hardly write it, found her and shot her in the head. That still gives me chills. Horrifying
- generally once I stop and think about the incidents, they're kinda horrible. but people die all the time, constantly. I'm very aware of this which may effect my immediate reaction
 

Polaris

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My emotional self feels random anger about these events. Anger that people act upon their emotions and commit these acts in the name of whatever. I understand that violence is often result of long-time oppression and I understand why these things can become so large. I just do not understand why it gets to the point where violence becomes "necessary". There are no winners or losers. Just stupidity. And because of this, I feel anger. Victims are too far removed from me personally to have impact of an empathetic nature. As BAP pointed out; it is when it hits too close to home (friends, family, acquaintances) that it affects one directly. My father died recently, and I still have not understood what happened. I don't know what I feel. I think this could be shock. I am waiting for the realisation.

However, with the awareness of my anger it becomes evident that I too, am capable of violence.

That is the frightening part.

It seems anger transfers through humans like wildfire.

My rational self, however....has chosen somehow not to react to larger events as it knows humanity will never change its ways. Perhaps this is some sort of self-preservation (sanity)...or is that how we became gradually insane?

Too many questions arise.
 

Chad

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My emotional self feels random anger about these events. Anger that people act upon their emotions and commit these acts in the name of whatever. I understand that violence is often result of long-time oppression and I understand why these things can become so large. I just do not understand why it gets to the point where violence becomes "necessary". There are no winners or losers. Just stupidity. And because of this, I feel anger. Victims are too far removed from me personally to have impact of an empathetic nature. As BAP pointed out; it is when it hits too close to home (friends, family, acquaintances) that it affects one directly. My father died recently, and I still have not understood what happened. I don't know what I feel. I think this could be shock. I am waiting for the realisation.

However, with the awareness of my anger it becomes evident that I too, am capable of violence.

That is the frightening part.

It seems anger transfers through humans like wildfire.

My rational self, however....has chosen somehow not to react to larger events as it knows humanity will never change its ways. Perhaps this is some sort of self-preservation (sanity)...or is that how we became gradually insane?

Too many questions arise.

The realization that I am capable of horrific things scars me and its the one reason I gasp so tightly onto my own Code of ethics.

I've read stories about how people can slowly change over time form the nicest people in the world to cold hatred mass murders. It doesn't help that I study criminal physiology.

It interesting and scary to realize that the only difference between me and them is a few choices.

This is the most humbling consent I have contemplated so far in my life.

It also helps me not to Judge people. I have to realize that no matter how evil they may seem they are not all the different then me. The only difference between me and Hitler a few choices and a bit of charisma.
 

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What do you think/feel about the 9/11 attacks?

What do you think/feel about the Boston Marathon bombing?

What do you think/feel about the Columbine High School Attack?

What do you think/feel about the Sadie Hawk Elementary school attack?

What do you think/feel about the Syria Civil War?

What do you think/feel about the Arab Springs conflict?

What do you think/feel about the doping of the A-bomb on Japan?

What do you think/feel about repressive dictatorships?

I didn't feel anything in response to any of these because no one I am close with was ever involved.

For the record, all of these seem to have precious little to do with empathy and more to do with conditioned emotional responses to the abstracted suffering of distant masses communicated via a few tired video clips repeated ad nauseum.
 

BigApplePi

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I am writing this thread because I am worried about my own lack of empathy.
I would say not to worry. If it were fiction, one has empathy if one identifies with a character. Just because it is non-fiction doesn't mean you are compelled to recognize it as affecting you.

If it's bad fiction there is no empathy at all. If it's irrelevant reality, so too here.

If one cares to think about it, one can ask to what extent it does affect oneself ... or affect others who do affect oneself ... or affect others who affect others who affect oneself ... or affect others who affect others who affect others who affect oneself.
 
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Wolf18

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I am writing this thread because I am worried about my own lack of empathy.

Here are my questions.

What do you think/feel about the 9/11 attacks?
Think: it was a bad thing. Feel: nothing.

What do you think/feel about the Boston Marathon bombing?
I wonder if the younger one was brought in by his brother. I feel nothing, but I suppose I'm curious.

What do you think/feel about the Columbine High School Attack?
I don't remember it – I was very young. Read a book called "Give a Boy a Gun" that had facts about it.

What do you think/feel about the Sadie Hawk Elementary school attack?
I assume you are referring to "Sandy Hook." I almost lost a friend when I couldn't understand why she was crying, because I didn't understand why she could relate to something that happened to someone I don't know, much less across the Atlantic. The girl refused to talk to me for days.

What do you think/feel about the Syria Civil War?
It's interesting to read about in the news. Don't feel anything.

What do you think/feel about the Arab Springs conflict?
Also interesting to read about. No feelings.

What do you think/feel about the doping of the A-bomb on Japan?
I assumed it was dropped, and not doped. It happened. Feeling bad won't change anything, so I don't.

What do you think/feel about repressive dictatorships?
I think that they exist. It would be better if they didn't. I don't really feel anything.

What did you feel after first hearing about events or tragedies?
See above

Do you feel the same way now?
Why would I feel differently now from then?

Thanks for you participation.
You're welcome.

Nezaros, I think you are right.
Cognisant, there are many "sociopath" schools of thought. Which are you referring to? (read: how do you define "sociopath?)

SW
 

Etheri

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Chad, worry if you lack empathy to those close to you.

Why would I feel bad over a horrible but swift death of... a couple of people in bombings or shootings miles away from me when children die for various reasons in some corner of the earth at all times.

It's not that I don't care about them, it's not that it's not tragic, but I don't see why there's so much more outcry for these rare deaths in our societies, than the so much more common and more easily preventable deaths in other societies. Why are the lives of the rich still worth more than the lives of the poor?

Or perhaps that's just my rationalisation to not do anything, nor care about either. If that's the case, then we might both be sociopaths. Just kidding.
 

Pizzabeak

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Well the Illuminati is a term used to describe political behaviour, particularly things like 9/11. I may have spouted that answer prematurely, but upon additional rumination it appears that response could end up being related to empathy.
So amongst certain subcultures the Illuminati (enlightened ones) are able to control events and the information that gets out to the public. They have a large influence in the type of music that gets aired on radios each morning for example. That's the type of brainwashing they find most convenient. Many examples of Illuminati influence can be found by simply having the television on flipping from channel to channel after one example has been spotted, moving on to the next. So when confronted by events such as 9/11 or Sandy Hook shootings, one is relatively skeptical of what is being presented here. When the ideas that the 9/11 attacks weren't as flawlessly executed by terrorists as we were previously under the impression of arise, one is able to look at other events in a similar manner although it may not be necessary. Could I honestly just stop here?
It's about how the existence of an organization that has a long term goal in mind and considers you expendable would make you feel. Feeling somewhat powerless knowing Big Brother is watching might be a testament of some type of empathy, as it is then possible for one to feel closer to others in the same situation. But also, I don't think mass murders are the best places to look for empathy. I'm guessing you gotta see how you feel about the overall well being of other individuals in a variety of settings and situations. Not saying you gotta go all dominant Fe on people, but having some desire to connect with others might be an example of empathy, even if you only manage to consider a bunch of variables while never making a move, then regretting it after it's too late. "It's the thought that counts" could apply, but after a while it'd seem weird and annoying falling under the same spell over and over again...
 

Chad

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Well the Illuminati is a term used to describe political behaviour, particularly things like 9/11. I may have spouted that answer prematurely, but upon additional rumination it appears that response could end up being related to empathy.
So amongst certain subcultures the Illuminati (enlightened ones) are able to control events and the information that gets out to the public. They have a large influence in the type of music that gets aired on radios each morning for example. That's the type of brainwashing they find most convenient. Many examples of Illuminati influence can be found by simply having the television on flipping from channel to channel after one example has been spotted, moving on to the next. So when confronted by events such as 9/11 or Sandy Hook shootings, one is relatively skeptical of what is being presented here. When the ideas that the 9/11 attacks weren't as flawlessly executed by terrorists as we were previously under the impression of arise, one is able to look at other events in a similar manner although it may not be necessary. Could I honestly just stop here?
It's about how the existence of an organization that has a long term goal in mind and considers you expendable would make you feel. Feeling somewhat powerless knowing Big Brother is watching might be a testament of some type of empathy, as it is then possible for one to feel closer to others in the same situation. But also, I don't think mass murders are the best places to look for empathy. I'm guessing you gotta see how you feel about the overall well being of other individuals in a variety of settings and situations. Not saying you gotta go all dominant Fe on people, but having some desire to connect with others might be an example of empathy, even if you only manage to consider a bunch of variables while never making a move, then regretting it after it's too late. "It's the thought that counts" could apply, but after a while it'd seem weird and annoying falling under the same spell over and over again...

Can anyone say "Conspiracy".
 

Pizzabeak

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Well yeah, essentially.

Some aspects of the Illuminati conspiracy or, 'model', are kind of interesting and fun to think about, particularly the Michael Jackson stuff and the "controlling all forms of media" stuff, as well as the more recent Michael Hastings stuff. But the point of it all seems to be to inspire people... Since we're all in it together, for the most part. When faced with all this crap, all the 9/11 shit, it's just might as well try and live good, do some good maybe. Not saying I'm perfect. It's like a consequence of being alive. Kinda forces you to do some empathying, I think. Like all the GMOs they put in the food and stuff.
 

Minicool

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What do you think/feel about the 9/11 attacks?
Conspiracy.
What do you think/feel about the Boston Marathon bombing?
Meh
What do you think/feel about the Columbine High School Attack?
Dumb people donate gun
What do you think/feel about the Sadie Hawk Elementary school attack?
Same.
What do you think/feel about the Syria Civil War?
No hear of it
What do you think/feel about the Arab Springs conflict?
Meh.
What do you think/feel about the doping of the A-bomb on Japan?
Can be a little dangerous.
What do you think/feel about repressive dictatorships?
Just some Entp with power
What did you feel after first hearing about events or tragedies?
Oh that very bad **back to gaming**
 
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What do you think/feel about the 9/11 attacks?
Sucked.

What do you think/feel about the Boston Marathon bombing?
Sucked.

What do you think/feel about the Columbine High School Attack?
Sucked.

What do you think/feel about the Sadie Hawk Elementary school attack?
Sucked.

What do you think/feel about the Syria Civil War?
Sucks.

What do you think/feel about the Arab Springs conflict?
Sucks but I hope it gets better.

What do you think/feel about the doping of the A-bomb on Japan?
Sucked but hopefully reduced greater suffering.

What do you think/feel about repressive dictatorships?
Suck.

What did you feel after first hearing about events or tragedies?
Suck.

Do you feel the same way now?
Yes.
 

ShameFace

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i cried when i first learned of 911. I have a great deal of empathy but i usually dont show this to the outside world. But I tend to feel horrible when I hear of tragic things happening to people. I used to watch a segment on the news called "wednesdays child" where they would profile some foster kid looking for a family. I would be moved to tears everytime, listening to these kids wishing they could have a family. I think thats what made me cry about 911 as well. Im sure a lot of people that died were probably turds, but I thought of their children who's lives would never be the same. I guess I have a soft spot for kkds.
 

Inappropriate Behavior

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Usually once I've learned the basics of what happened I start to ponder what the backlash will be. By noon on 9/11 for example, I started wondering if the terrorists were going to "win" the war they were amping up. I believed then they might and believe they have now.

I did feel bad for the victims in all those events at the time they happened but I regain my perspective quickly enough. For those events that happened before my time I feel nothing really, I just judge the justifications for them as well as the reactionary events that followed as a result. They are all par for the course as it were.
 

Agent Intellect

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What do you think/feel about the 9/11 attacks?
I remember already being sick of hearing about them the day after they happened.

What do you think/feel about the Boston Marathon bombing?
It was tragic, but there are far worst tragedies happening everyday not only in America, but all around the world. The government loved it because it allowed them to justify further civil rights infringements.

What do you think/feel about the Columbine High School Attack?
It was the beginning of media hype about gun violence and school shootings. On a philosophical level I empathize with the victims and their families, but I really don't know any of them so I never shed a tear or stayed awake thinking about them.

What do you think/feel about the Sadie Hawk Elementary school attack?
Never even heard of it.

What do you think/feel about the Syria Civil War?
My first thought is wishes that America would stay the hell out of it. My reason is because both sides are terrible and our intervention will only bring more enemies and more statist rationalizations for infringing on civil liberties. My second thought is that religious zealots and misogynist bigots brought all this on themselves and I could care less what they do to each other.

What do you think/feel about the Arab Springs conflict?
If it brings them more liberty and increases free trade, I'm all for it. However, I think the theocratic minded will always vie for authoritarianism and that in the long run nothing will change. What they need to do is seek education.

What do you think/feel about the doping of the A-bomb on Japan?
I think it diminishes America's stance on nuclear proliferation, yet their mentality of empire building and exceptionalism will keep them seeing through their own bullshit. I'm philosophically against it, but once again, I can't say I've ever shed a tear or been kept awake by the thought.

What do you think/feel about repressive dictatorships?
They are the single greatest evil in the entire world, yet I've never been bothered to actively oppose one. I'll focus on the one growing around me first.

What did you feel after first hearing about events or tragedies?
More of a philosophical outrage than an emotional one. I often start wondering how it will be portrayed in the media, how the population will react, and how posterity will view it.

Do you feel the same way now?
When it comes to tragedies and horrors, I tend to quickly develop a sick "too soon" sense of humor.
 

Cavallier

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I see a lot of outpouring of sympathy and outrage from people totally unrelated to the crisis every time one of these things happen. I think these sorts of things are unfortunate, potentially forseeable, and ultimately tragic. However I don't get hung up on whether or not I have as many or as deep of "feels" as everybody else. I see most people as trying to "out feel" each other or in some way prove that they are good people by proving that they have major sympathy for the victims of a tragedy.

The worst part is that I think so many of these people use their expression of "grief" as a substitute for actually helping the victims of tragedies. I don't think you can really understand the tragedy unless you were there, were involved in some way, or knew someone who was. However, you can still think it's unfortunate and try to help. Substituting helping with public displays of how bad you feel for the people who suffered a tragedy is lazy and stupid. It doesn't help anybody. It does no good.
 

ShameFace

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I don't think you can really understand the tragedy unless you were there, were involved in some way, or knew someone who was

I think anyone who has ever experienced loss of a loved one or anything tragic in their life can empathisize with people they don't know and who they'll never meet. Thats the way in which we're 'involved'. Its not that you claim to know exactly what they're going through, but that you know what its like to miss someone, know you'll never see someone, etc. This is the very defintion of empathy.
 

Cavallier

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I think anyone who has ever experienced loss of a loved one or anything tragic in their life can empathisize with people they don't know and who they'll never meet. Thats the way in which we're 'involved'. Its not that you claim to know exactly what they're going through, but that you know what its like to miss someone, know you'll never see someone, etc. This is the very defintion of empathy.

That's fine. My point was that public displays of sympathy are worthless if those displays aren't backed up with actual offers of help.
 

ShameFace

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That's fine. My point was that public displays of sympathy are worthless if those displays aren't backed up with actual offers of help.

true. Although sometimes there isnt always something that can be done to help. Like if a child loses a parent in the 911 attacks. What I find repugnant is when people say shit like their 'prayers go out to the victims" of such and such event.
 

Publius

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What do you think/feel about the 9/11 attacks?
When it happened, my friend called me and said 'turn on the news!' I saw a building burning, nothing more. Those are on the news all the time. I was pretty nonplussed. Then, I was only 12 years old.

What do you think/feel about the Boston Marathon bombing?
Again, I am more 'annoyed' about it than anything else. Excessive media coverage. Dozens of countries on the earth ruled by tyranny with people being oppressed and starving every minute of the day, by a regime of terror. Three people die in a bombing? Yeah, it's sad. But nothing new or especially deserving of attention or gush.

What do you think/feel about the Columbine High School Attack?
This was a little before my time. A couple sad and lonely kids with no social skills (INTPs? lol) take it out on the real world because the real world isn't as much fun as playing Quake.

What do you think/feel about the Sadie Hawk Elementary school attack?
Same applies. Again the media coverage distorts this and they all blend into one.

What do you think/feel about the Syria Civil War?
Just another terrible regime trying to oppress its people, same old story. I hate it and I feel for the Syrians but feel very detached from it.

What do you think/feel about the Arab Springs conflict?
Initial good feelings, then utter detachment.

What do you think/feel about the doping of the A-bomb on Japan?
Grim and terrible in a metaphysical sense.

What do you think/feel about repressive dictatorships?
Loathing but apathy.

What did you feel after first hearing about events or tragedies?
I generally get annoyed because of the media coverage. There is nothing less interesting than what everyone is talking about.

Do you feel the same way now?
Yes, we tend to move on pretty quick. Can anyone name the Sandy Hook killer without googling it? I bet nope.
 

GigglyGoo

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I am writing this thread because I am worried about my own lack of empathy.

If you are, I wonder why you're measuring your 'empathy' levels with news worthy events. Isn't it easier to relate to events/incidents closer to home? I think being able to relate to a neighbour who.. got shot is more likely than a number of people dying/getting hurt on such such a day.
 

Rome96

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People die everyday, it's sad but an inevitability of life. I feel sorry for the people that were affected by these events but I can't say that I go around feeling bad because they happened. These are just the things that are put into focus by the media, these types of things happen every day all around the world. If that makes me apathetic, then so be it.
 

doncarlzone

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I think it is important differentiate between intellectual empathy and our mirror neurons being active.

Although I do not feel much empathy, I do think that my intellectual empathy is rather advanced. Our morals are constantly changing decade after decade, so the only way to be morally ahead of our time is to use our intellect because we are not going to feel what is not felt today.

We may sometimes disappoint close friends when we don't show enough empathy for irrational behavior but we can also sometimes intellectually empathize with behavior most people have yet to comprehend.
 

Nezaros

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When I see a homeless man in the street, I think, "Huh, that sucks for him." If he tries to get a handout I just say something along the lines of not having change. That's about the extent of my empathy for people I don't know. When I heard about Sandy Hook and the Aurora shootings last year (I live fairly close to Aurora, by the way) it was still just, "Wow, that really sucks for those people." Same goes for natural disasters. Not that I'm totally indifferent to peoples' suffering, but if it doesn't affect me or anyone I know personally I don't see any reason to get worked up about it. I can't really do anything about it, and there are plenty of people, both affected and not by the issue at hand, who are more than willing to give a crap. I have my own shit to worry about, it makes no difference to me that some kids died. They were going to eventually.

Within my family and friends, however, is a different story. The last major incident happened when I was too young to really remember (grandmother dying) so I can't quite give a firsthand explanation of my feelings on the matter. But even though they happened a long time ago I can empathize with my family members over deaths and illnesses. One in particular saddens me quite a bit, and that happened before I was born. And, though none of my friends have witnessed anything quite awful in the time I've known them I know I'd try to console them as best I could. Or at least feel bad about it.

But as I said, if I can't do anything about it, it's probably not high on my list of cares. Even with the people I do care about I know that there's no sense in giving it more attention than is helpful. So, again, empathy is overrated. Let the Feelers of society worry about that crap.
 
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