Schola Affectus: Spotting the Serpents Tail - Tools for Discernment 1

Source: Schola Affectus

Blogger Schola Affectus writes: 'I was fascinated to come across the work of the psychologist Paul Bloom recently. In his book Against Empathy - The Case for Rational Compassion, he challenges the received wisdom about the importance of empathy. The ability to empathise, "to walk a mile in someone else's shoes" is rightly valued.

We also know that all sorts of pathologies come from a lack of empathy, psychopaths - sociopaths etc. When Donald Trump tweets negatively about a particular group or country, we are shocked by his ignorance - he seems to lack any empathy. However, the main and interesting point that Bloom makes is that empathy 'works like a spotlight' i.e. focusing attention on individuals at the expense of the bigger picture. This can lead to the perverse situation in which the suffering of one can matter more than the suffering of a thousand.

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Tags: Schola Affectus, Empathy, Paul Bloom

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