What are the roots of empathy and empathic abilities? What about empathy development, the power of empathy, empathy and animals, empathy and the Golden Rule?

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GOLDEN RULE IN
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ISLAM AND THE WEST

ISLAM AND
CHRISTIANITY
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GOLDEN RULE IN
RELIGIONS

ISLAM AND THE WEST

ISLAM AND
CHRISTIANITY
AND OTHER
MAJOR RELIGIONS

 


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GOLDEN RULE IN
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Elsa, brain trainer - always looking with ideas cooking  

What are the roots of empathy and empathic abilities?
What about empathy development,
the power of empathy, empathy and animals,
empathy and the Golden Rule?.

"There is no empathy for outsiders in the Koran."
Vince Lombardo

 

comments on Islam, the West and Empathy

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posted by Vince Lombardo, July 4, 2009:

There is no empathy for outsiders in the Koran. First of all, empathy derives from the Golden Rule: to love your neighbour as yourself ...

Elsa's reply, July 5, 2009:

You start with "empathy derives from the Golden Rule." As far as I've been able to make out, the Golden Rule derives from empathy - which in turn encourages the development of more empathy.

Example. We have a "social worker" cat, Persia (male, by the way). (We live out
in the country, have 9 cats, so a little micro-society.) One of the cats, Madame, is a bit of an outsider. Persia spends a lot of time with her, cuddling her, holding her.

A couple of years ago, we took in a a kitten. (No, we're not nuts. My partner's mother died, leaving a 5 month old kitten, ZonZon.) ZonZon - very exuberant, high-spirited, rambunctious - with a tendency to play attack hundreds of times a day. Every cat made it clear she was not welcome - except Persia (who became Uncle Persia). He would roughhouse with her for hours a day, never hurting her, though she played rough. Even now they play.

My reading of the situation: Persia is a high-empathy cat, with high empathic abilities. So though he has no idea of any Golden Rule, in many ways he lives by it.

****

One of my first experiences of what felt like empathy coming from an animal happened when I was a child. I was crying. Suddenly our dog appeared, came up to me, looked deep into my eyes. It felt so much that he knew what I was feeling and cared. If he had been in the habit of coming up to me like he did, it would have been different - but he wasn't. It came across to me that he had sensed what I was feeling, and had come to comfort.

For me, the roots of empathy come from our innate empathic abilities. If these empathic abilities are not developed, then like many other potential abilities, they are likely to shrivel and die. But if they are nurtured, they flourish.

So the roots of empathy come from our genetic make-up (which comes from evolution - so we can ask how empathy benefits us, as the traits that develop tend to be beneficial to a species).

As for the power of empathy in animals: I was watching a clip on a man attacked and badly injured by a shark - and saved by dolphins. Why did they do this, he was asked. All he could imagine was empathy: they cared and so they intervened to save him.

There is a question that comes to mind: when is empathy development possible? For example, it has been shown that, if a human has no opportunity to learn language in the first few years, that capacity can no longer be developed. Is it the same with empathy? In that case, adults lacking in empathy do not have a good prognosis, in terms of empathy development - which may delight those who want people not to have empathy.

My views in a nutshell: The evidence is that the roots of empathy come from our innate empathic abilities. These do not assure empathy development. If they are encouraged to flourish, then the power of empathy is enough to change the world.

****

I know, by the way, that the Muslim religion, in addition to not valuing empathy for non-Muslims, does not much value animals - and even has animal sacrifice as part of it. For example, for their highly vaued pilgrimage to Mecca, they have to kill a lamb. And it's only recently that Saudi Arabia has stopped wasting those huge quantities of sacrified naimals and started sending the meat to poor people (poor Muslims, of course - unlike Western food banks, available to all).

Vince's reply, July 5, 2009:

Your interesting observation about the nurturing instinct of your pets (nature versus nurture) is well-known ...

Mohammed appears to have been against many things ... He is quoted in the Hadiths as demanding the killing of all dogs ....

For the full comment on Islam beliefs about animals, and on the Golden Rule in religions,
click here
.

smart comments     all comments     return to Empathy Definition

 

Click here to go from the roots of empathy
to Animals and Ethics
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What are the roots of empathy and empathic abilities?
What about empathy development, the power of empathy,
empathy and animals, empathy and the Golden Rule?

 

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blue green idea

ROOTS OF EMPATHY - empathic abilities are innate in humans and many animals
EMPATHY DEVELOPMENT - is essential if empathic abilities are to flourish
EMPATHY AND ANIMALS - we may have empathy for them- they may also have empathy for us
THE POWER OF EMPATHY - core to working against injustice - if we empathize with, if we care

ROOTS OF EMPATHY - these cannot be rooted out permanently, as we are born with empathic abilities

ROOTS OF EMPATHY - these can be rooted out in the individual,if there is no empathy development -
but they cannot be rooted out of the species


blue green idea

The Roots of Empathy

The evidence is that the roots of empathy come from our innate empathic abilities. These do not assure empathy development. If they are encouraged to flourish, then the power of empathy is enough to change the world.

Elsa,
brain trainer
always looking with ideas cooking

July
76, 2009
copyright © Elsa Schieder 2009, 2011, all rights reserved
publishing house - FlufferDuff Impressions 2009, 2011

blue green idea

ROOTS OF EMPATHY - empathic abilities are innate in humans and many animals
EMPATHY DEVELOPMENT - is essential if empathic abilities are to flourish
EMPATHY AND ANIMALS - we may have empathy for them- they may also have empathy for us
THE POWER OF EMPATHY - core to working against injustice - if we empathize with, if we care

ROOTS OF EMPATHY - these cannot be rooted out permanently, as we are born with empathic abilities

ROOTS OF EMPATHY - these can be rooted out in the individual,if there is no empathy development -
but they cannot be rooted out of the species

blue green idea

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