Empathy Movement Magazine
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Empathy Movement Magazine
The latest news about empathy from around the world - CultureOfEmpathy.com
Curated by Edwin Rutsch
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Nice Guys Finish First - By David Brooks - NY TImes

Nice Guys Finish First - By David Brooks  - NY TImes | Empathy Movement Magazine | Scoop.it
Developments in the study of evolution suggest that the survival of the fittest depends as much on cooperation as it does on a competition between self-interests.

These are books about sympathy, empathy, cooperation and collaboration, written by scientists, evolutionary psychologists, neuroscientists and others. It seems there’s been a shift among those who study this ground, yielding a more nuanced, and often gentler picture of our nature.
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The Spirit of Sympathy - NYTimes.com

The Spirit of Sympathy - NYTimes.com | Empathy Movement Magazine | Scoop.it
The use of reconciliation threatens to destroy the humanizing function of the Senate.

Human beings, the philosophers tell us, are social animals. We emerge into the world ready to connect with mom and dad. We go through life jibbering and jabbering with each other, grouping and regrouping. When you get a crowd of people in a room, the problem is not getting them to talk to each other; the problem is getting them to shut up.

To help us in this social world, God, nature and culture have equipped us with a spirit of sympathy. We instinctively feel a tinge of pain when we observe another in pain
DAVID BROOKS
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The Social Animal - New York Times columnist David Brooks

Acclaimed New York Times columnist David Brooks explores new insights into human nature and the forces that shape our choices and actions

1. 98% of experience is unconsciousness
2. emotions is the foundation of reason. it assigns value to experience.
3. not individual creatures but tightly interpenetrated with others
We are primarily social creatures an not rational creatures

This changes our view of politics

Important traits;
1. Mindsite - see into other peoples minds and download what they have to offer. We learn by mimicry.
2. Equipoise - able to see into ones self and correct for bias's
3. Metas - look at environment and see patterns
sympathy - scan a social environment
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Bishop Fulton Sheen on False Compassion(Part II)

Bishop Sheen on False and True Compassion.
[I try to show all different views of compassion and empathy here. Fulton does a good job of articulating this point of view.]
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The limits of feeling someone else's pain

The limits of feeling someone else's pain | Empathy Movement Magazine | Scoop.it
Richard Handler on the tyranny of empathy.

Everywhere I turn these days I see paeans to empathy. Books are being written about its civilizing powers — The Empathic Civilization, Empathy and Democracy, Empathy in a Global World — and conferences and websites are being devoted to the concept as well.

In his bid for the presidency, Barack Obama literally ran his campaign on the value of being emotionally open, telling Americans they had, in fact, an "empathy deficit," which he urged they rectify, first by electing him.

Empathy, of course, is the ability to experience the feelings of another person. Humans do it, so do other mammals, according to many primatologists, including Frans de Waal, author of Our Inner Ape and The Age of Empathy.
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A New Look at the Biology of Cruelty

A New Look at the Biology of Cruelty | Empathy Movement Magazine | Scoop.it
A look at new neurological work by Simon Baron-Cohen and Patricia Churchland.

It's presumably neither ethical nor practical, but supposing that somebody could sequence Osama bin Laden's genome, which genes would you want to examine to try to understand his violent desires?

I put this question to the psychologist Simon Baron-Cohen, the author of a new book called "The Science of Evil" (and a cousin of comedian Sacha Baron Cohen). He replied that there is no evidence that bin Laden's crimes came from his nature, rather than from his experiences, so you might find nothing.
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Paul Ekman talks about the Nature of Empathy and Compassion with Edwin Rutsch

Paul Ekman talks about the Nature of Empathy and Compassion with Edwin Rutsch | Empathy Movement Magazine | Scoop.it
My quest for building a culture of empathy continues with this interview of Paul Ekman. 'He has been considered one of the 100 most eminent psychologists of the twentieth century.'

After asking Paul, 'How can we build a culture of empathy?', he told me,

'The survival of the planet as we know it depends on global compassion...

If I was president, thank god I'm not, I would start a Manhattan Project on global empathy. It has the urgency of the Manhattan Project. It needs the bringing together of the best minds in the world to focus on this issue, because there is an urgency too it. I think Al Gore was right, that time is running out. We can't wait 20 or 40 years to figure out what to do with this problem."
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Obama says Empathy is Source of Morality in Immigration Reform

So, yes, immigration reform is a moral imperative, and so it’s worth seeking greater understanding from our faith. As it is written in the Book of Deuteronomy, “Love ye therefore the stranger: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.” To me, that verse is a call to show empathy to our brothers and our sisters; to try and recognize ourselves in one another...

That sense of connection, that sense of empathy, that moral compass, that conviction of what is right is what led the National Association of Evangelicals to shoot short films to help people grasp the challenges facing immigrants. It’s what led the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to launch a Justice for Immigrants campaign, and the Interfaith Immigration Coalition to advocate across religious lines. It’s what led all the Latino pastors at the Hispanic Prayer Breakfast to come together around reform...

I’m asking you to help us recognize ourselves in one another.
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Barack Obama talks Empathy at 2011 Teachers of the Year Event

For me, one of those people was my fifth-grade teacher, Ms. Mabel Hefty. When I walked into Ms. Hefty’s classroom for the first time, I was a new kid who had been living overseas for a few years, had a funny name nobody could pronounce. But she didn’t let me withdraw into myself. She helped me believe that I had something special to say. She made me feel special.

She reinforced the sense of empathy and thoughtfulness that my mother and my grandparents had tried hard to instill in me -- and that’s a lesson that I still carry with me as President.

Ms. Hefty is no longer with us, but I often think about her and how much of a difference she made in my life. And everybody has got a story like that, about that teacher who made the extra effort to shape our lives in important ways.
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The Empathy Trap: The dangers when the president tries to show empathy.

The Empathy Trap: The dangers when the president tries to show empathy. | Empathy Movement Magazine | Scoop.it
Presidents must show empathy during difficult economic times. It's in the office handbook. There's only so much any one president can do though about the immediate condition of the economy, and he must be careful not to exaggerate his impact.

So he emphasizes that he understands the plight of regular Americans. The problem with empathy, however, is not just that there's never enough of it to go around. It's that by offering it, presidents raise unrealistic expectations of a different sort.
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Osama, Obama, Al Qaeda, America: First they felt no empathy

Osama, Obama, Al Qaeda, America: First they felt no empathy | Empathy Movement Magazine | Scoop.it
However violently Osama bin Laden may have acted, celebrating his death requires the silencing of our own empathy. Empathy is a noble gas. We can’t attach political complexities to it—when we designate one person worthy of empathy, another unworthy—what we’re really doing is switching empathy on or off, heeding it or silencing it.

And what all acts of violence have in common—all acts of violence—is the silencing of empathy. When Obama killed Osama, he first felt no empathy. When Osama attacked the towers, he first felt no empathy. ..

That’s why it makes no sense to me to silence our own empathy to celebrate. Empathy is what we need, more than anything, to cultivate, and we know—too well—what happens when we silence it.
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Evil will not be restrained by pity : The Science of Evil

Evil will not be restrained by pity : The Science of Evil | Empathy Movement Magazine | Scoop.it
No amount of “rebranding” can diminish the horrors of child sacrifice, infant genital mutilation, random acts of disfigurement and amputation or the systematic abduction of children in order to force them into sex slavery and involuntary military service.

Whether we say the perpetrators are “empathy deficient” or “evil,” they have to be stopped and we can’t get sentimental about why they do what they do. Until we get these people under control, culpability is immaterial. A raging fire in the neighborhood isn’t making choices. It’s not responsible. But that doesn’t matter. Savagely destructive forces can’t be allowed to destroy and disfigure the innocent. Period.

img http://bit.ly/mslPOP
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Empathy's Decline University of Michigan - David Brooks

Empathy's Decline University of Michigan - David Brooks | Empathy Movement Magazine | Scoop.it
Nonetheless there is troubling evidence. Scientific American recently reported on research by Sara H. Konrath of the University of Michigan. She looked at surveys in which students were asked to rate their own empathy. She found that self-reported empathy has declined sharply over the past decade. Almost 75 percent of the students today rate themselves as less empathetic than the average student 30 years ago.
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The Empathy Issue - NY Times

The Empathy Issue - NY Times | Empathy Movement Magazine | Scoop.it
The crucial question in evaluating a potential Supreme Court justice, therefore, is not whether she relies on empathy or emotion, but how she does so. First, can she process multiple streams of emotion? Reason is weak and emotions are strong, but emotions can be balanced off each other. Sonia Sotomayor will be a good justice if she can empathize with the many types of people and actions involved in a case, but a bad justice if she can only empathize with one type, one ethnic group or one social class.

Second, does she have a love for the institutions of the law themselves? For some lawyers, the law is not only a bunch of statutes but a code of chivalry. The good judges seem to derive a profound emotional satisfaction from the faithful execution of time-tested precedents and traditions.

It’s not whether judges rely on emotion and empathy, it’s how they educate their sentiments within the discipline of manners and morals, tradition and practice.
David Brooks
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Bishop Fulton Sheen on False Compassion(Part I)

Bishop Sheen on False and True Compassion.
[I try to show all different views of compassion and empathy here. Fulton does a good job of articulating this point of view which is more of the conservative view.]
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Channel your inner chimp and let a little empathy show

Channel your inner chimp and let a little empathy show | Empathy Movement Magazine | Scoop.it
A study published last month in the journal Social Psychology and Personality Science found that someone with a permanent poker face caused by Botox can't mirror a joyful smile or a furrowed brow -and this mimicry, research suggests, is essential to our capacity to empathize with others.

A frozen face begets frozen feelings.
This got us thinking about empathy. We can't afford to forfeit it for taut skin. It takes about 40 muscles to frown -and we'd like to preserve every one of them.

Cambridge University psychologist Simon Baron-Cohen writes that empathy is already in short supply in this warring world.

img http://bit.ly/jpbbCV
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Exploring Empathy: Simon Baron-Cohen, Gwen Adshead, Julian Baggini, Val McDermid: podcast

Exploring Empathy: Simon Baron-Cohen, Gwen Adshead, Julian Baggini, Val McDermid: podcast | Empathy Movement Magazine | Scoop.it
Andrew Marr explores how far empathy, or the lack of it, can explain cruelty. Simon Baron-Cohen proposes turning the focus away from evil and says we should understand human behaviour by studying the 'empathy circuit' in the brain.

Gwen Adshead, a forensic psychotherapist at Broadmoor Hospital and the crime writer Val McDermid question whether this would help in their line of work, and the philosopher Julian Baggini tries to pin down what we mean when we talk about the self.

Simon Baron-Cohen: Empathy Expert Page: http://bit.ly/jlHrf7
with transcripts of this show.
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The Empathy Symbol: a symbol for today

The Empathy Symbol: a symbol for today | Empathy Movement Magazine | Scoop.it
The Empathy Symbol stands for reaching out to the “other” and then opening up to truly understand each other. Use the empathy symbol to indicate your support for a world in which we all can get along.
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Chris Hedges: Demonizing Empathy

What happens when we decide empathy is a bad thing? Chris Hedges says that empathy is key and we have forgotten its importance--and that's why we're a dying nation.
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Obama calls for 'widespread movement' for immigration reform

Obama calls for 'widespread movement' for immigration reform | Empathy Movement Magazine | Scoop.it
President Barack Obama continued his push for immigration reform Thursday, calling the need for change an economic, security and moral imperative both for "millions of people who live in the shadows" and for the country as a whole.

This is a subject that can "expose our raw feelings," Obama told an audience at the National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast. But we need to "show empathy to our brothers and sisters and try to recognize ourselves in one another."
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World Truth Today: Modern science is psychopathic in its applications

World Truth Today: Modern science is psychopathic in its applications | Empathy Movement Magazine | Scoop.it
Like most conventional scientists, Hawking believes that human beings are not conscious beings. Thus, we are incapable of empathy; incapable of love,pain, suffering or making our own decisions based on free will.

This utter lack of recognition of the value of consciousness in living beings is the core principle of evil upon which most of modern science is built. It is the lack of empathy itself that gives rise to great evil.

Interestingly, this is precisely the conclusion of a member of the scientific community– Cambridge University psychology professor Simon Baron-Cohen, who has written a new book in which he concludes that evil originates with a failure of empathy. He explains that psychopaths have “zero degrees of empathy,” meaning they do not recognize nor value the thoughts and feelings of others.
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Botox Patients Worse at Recognizing Emotion - Effects Empathy: Wall Street Journal

Botox Patients Worse at Recognizing Emotion - Effects Empathy: Wall Street Journal | Empathy Movement Magazine | Scoop.it
Botox patients don't just have trouble expressing emotions with their faces: They have trouble recognizing how others are feeling.

Physical mirroring heightens empathy and understanding: Without always realizing it, we widen our eyes when our conversational partners express surprise and crease our brows when they’re worried.
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STUDY: Embodied Emotion Perception: Amplifying and Dampening Facial Feedback Modulates Emotion Perception Accuracy

STUDY: Embodied Emotion Perception: Amplifying and Dampening Facial Feedback Modulates Emotion Perception Accuracy | Empathy Movement Magazine | Scoop.it
How do we recognize the emotions other people are feeling? One source of information may be facial feedback signals generated when we automatically mimic the expressions displayed on others’ faces.

Supporting this “embodied emotion perception,” dampening and amplifying facial feedback signals, respectively, impaired and improved people’s ability to read others’ facial emotions...

Accordingly, when the skin was made resistant to underlying muscle contractions via a restricting gel, emotion perception improved, and did so only for emotion judgments that theoretically could benefit from facial feedback.
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New Zealand Conservative: Redefining evil - it's just a lack of empathy

New Zealand Conservative: Redefining evil - it's just a lack of empathy | Empathy Movement Magazine | Scoop.it
So those who are going to be attracted to the idea that evil is just lack of empathy, are probably those that will be the most insensitive to God. An inability to even call evil what it is, something that we do freely because we want to, not because we don't know how the other person feels, is a huge lie that many will want to believe.

Just as they want to believe that God doesn't exist, or that they get reincarnated or absorbed into the oneness when they die, or even that they cease to be when they draw their last breath. It's all a lie that leads to torment for eternity if people don't turn towards God. Which is really the end that we were made for.

God made us for Himself, to spend eternity in Heaven with Him. He just wants us to want to be there. Redefining evil is just another way of thwarting that, and thwarting God.

img http://bit.ly/laOxJ8


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