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Is Partial

empathy is not impartial but rather partial.. Has favorites 



 
"I think that Peterson's comments reflect three points about empathy that are as important as they are easy to overlook.
 

1. Empathic reactions arise automatically. True, certain practices might over time alter one's general tendency to empathize. But in any given situation, it seems to me, empathic reactions arise irrespective of one's volitional choice. I do not feel the pain of a woman falling of her bike or a cook cutting his thumb with a knife, because I decide that I to want to and then consciously manufacture it (and neither do you, don't you think?). For this reason, please consider the following:

2. Empathy is not rational. With that I mean, that deciding to act out of the reflexive desire to alleviate someone's suffering can lead to unintended negative effects, if rational consideration does not play a role in the decision process.

3. Empathy is not impartial. We tend to empathize more with people who look like us, or share our opinions and goals, and less with people we consider outgroup-members. This is why the combination between empathic concern and groupthinking is so problematic.

Acting out of the reflexive desire to alleviate someone's suffering, while simultaneously disregarding the suffering one causes someone else, can be the process by which the best intentions lead to the worst outcomes.

One grizzly-mom's 'enemy' is another mom's dead child."
    
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