Empathy Movement Magazine
411.1K views | +1 today
Empathy Movement Magazine
The latest news about empathy from around the world - CultureOfEmpathy.com
Curated by Edwin Rutsch
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by Edwin Rutsch
Scoop.it!

The Problem With 'Evil'

The Problem With 'Evil' | Empathy Movement Magazine | Scoop.it
Simon Baron-Cohen, a psychologist at Cambridge, argues that we can do better than the concept of evil as an explanation for cruel behavior.

But it is a profoundly naïve work of moral philosophy, one whose conclusions suggest the natural limitations of Mr. Baron-Cohen's approach. The trouble with taking great issue with "evil," not the thing but the word, is that it misunderstands why such terms exist in the first place. Most people who use the word would agree that malicious actions usually have causes. Evil is something rather separate, having to do with the effects those actions produce, not their causes. The reason that the concept of evil recurs in religious belief is not that it exceeds the bounds of rational consideration. It is that wickedness throws a troubling wrench in any attempt, religious or otherwise, to consider the world systematically. Raymond Zhong
No comment yet.
Scooped by Edwin Rutsch
Scoop.it!

Scientist seeks to banish evil, Empathy is a skill like any other human skill

Scientist seeks to banish evil, Empathy is a skill like any other human skill | Empathy Movement Magazine | Scoop.it
Simon Baron-Cohen has been battling with evil all his life. As a scientist seeking to understand random acts of violence, from street brawls to psychopathic killings to genocide, he has puzzled for decades over what prompts such acts of human cruelty. And he's decided that evil is not good enough.

"I try to keep an open mind. I would never want to say a person is beyond help," he explains. "Empathy is a skill like any other human skill -- and if you get a chance to practice, you can get better at it."

Simon Baron-Cohen: Empathy Expert Page: http://bit.ly/jlHrf7
No comment yet.
Scooped by Edwin Rutsch
Scoop.it!

The End of Evil - American Spectator

The End of Evil - American Spectator | Empathy Movement Magazine | Scoop.it
It is now called empathy deficiency, and it's treatable. In Waterloo, Illinois a man stands accused of strangling to death his wife and two small children.

For an expert witness, the defense could do worse than recruit Simon Baron-Cohen, author of Zero Degrees of Empathy: A New Theory of Human Cruelty. While the casual observer would insist that Chris Coleman is merely evil, Baron-Cohen would contend that the sick videos prove Coleman suffers from a disability, i.e., a severe lack of empathy. Naturally, a man with "eroded empathy" cannot be found guilty of homicide.

Simon Baron-Cohen: Empathy Expert Page: http://bit.ly/jlHrf7
No comment yet.
Scooped by Edwin Rutsch
Scoop.it!

Why Your Embarrassment Causes Me So Much Pain - It's Empathy of Course

Why Your Embarrassment Causes Me So Much Pain - It's Empathy of Course | Empathy Movement Magazine | Scoop.it
Ever find yourself physically cringing as you watch those hopeful contestants on American Idol who have no clue that they can't sing? If so, you're probably a highly empathetic person, according to new study published in the journal PloS One.

In fact, the study finds, the experience of vicarious embarrassment affects the same brain regions that light up when you empathize with someone's physical pain. The study adds to a growing body of literature suggesting that physical and emotional pain are processed in the same brain regions, which is probably why we describe ourselves as "hurt" whether we've just been dumped by a lover or broken a leg.

By Maia Szalavitz: Empathy Expert Page: http://bit.ly/mDhQpl
No comment yet.
Scooped by Edwin Rutsch
Scoop.it!

Simon Baron-Cohen on empathy and evil | Science Weekly podcast

Simon Baron-Cohen on empathy and evil | Science Weekly podcast | Empathy Movement Magazine | Scoop.it
Simon Baron-Cohen talks to Ian Sample about his proposal that we should redefine 'evil' as an absence of empathy, outlined in his book Zero Degrees of Empathy: A New Theory of Human Cruelty.

Simon Baron-Cohen: Empathy Expert Page & Transcripts: http://bit.ly/jlHrf7
No comment yet.
Scooped by Edwin Rutsch
Scoop.it!

Barack Obama, Osama Bin Laden, Terrorism and Empathy: Video

Barack Obama talks about empathy and terrorism. ' I'm not somebody that draws a direct line between poverty and fanaticism or nihilism. I'm not interested in making to many excuses for somebody who would see people as such abstractions, with such contempt, that they would be willing to kill 3,000 people and think they're making a political statement.

There are no excuses for that, and that's where my empathy stops. I can't get into that mindset. But what I can understand is that if a child in Pakistan has no prospects, no future, has watched their parents grind out terrible subsistence existence and then the only avenues that they have for not only advancement but some sense of meaning in their lives is a Madras's in which they are drilled with a very narrow fundamentalist brand of Islam. Then translates itself eventually into violent political acts, not always but sometimes. That there is a connection there.

Our foreign policy and our perspective in how to deal with terrorism has to reflect not only the interest in not only stopping the immediate threat of terrorism but also in creating a foreign policy that promotes justice, economic development, the rights of women, and those are all central aspects to dealing with terrorism.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Edwin Rutsch
Scoop.it!

Zero degrees of empathy - it’s the root of all evil

Zero degrees of empathy - it’s the root of all evil | Empathy Movement Magazine | Scoop.it
Now that nobody in their right mind really believes in the goaty old Devil, all hooves and pitchfork, Hitler is our benchmark of evil. Yet we don't know what the word means. It's self-referential. What was Hitler? Evil. What's evil? It's what Hitler was.

Baron-Cohen's "new theory of cruelty" is that there is also a spectrum of empathy, and at the far end of that spectrum, evil - cruelty - lies.
No comment yet.
Scooped by Edwin Rutsch
Scoop.it!

Were You Born Selfish?: An Interview with Frans de Waal

Were You Born Selfish?: An Interview with Frans de Waal | Empathy Movement Magazine | Scoop.it
Both the good and bad in our species come from our primate background, says primatologist Frans de Waal, author of The Age of Empathy.

Richard Dawkins has declared that humans are “nicer than is good for our selfish genes.” Emory University primatologist Frans de Waal argues against this popular picture of evolution as a Hobbesian wilderness of selfishly competing individuals, where life is “nasty, brutish, and short.” De Waal focuses his research on the social behavior of primates, studying questions of culture, altruism, morality, and empathy.

Frans De Waal: Empathy Expert Page: http://bit.ly/jn2OTe
No comment yet.
Scooped by Edwin Rutsch
Scoop.it!

Do you let people walk all over you? is it possible to care too much?

Do you let people walk all over you? is it possible to care too much? | Empathy Movement Magazine | Scoop.it
Many of us care so much about other people that we are neglecting our own needs.

Empathy is roundly seen as a good thing. Frequently, we consider people who lack empathy to be evil — after all, how could someone murder or torture another human being if they had any empathy for their fellow man at all? But is it possible to care too much? To care so much about other people that you actually neglect your own needs?

No comment yet.
Scooped by Edwin Rutsch
Scoop.it!

Empathy Causes Facial Similarity Between Couples to Increase Over Time

Empathy Causes Facial Similarity Between Couples to Increase Over Time | Empathy Movement Magazine | Scoop.it
Would you believe that people who live with each other for 25 years actually develop similar facial features?

People grow to look similar because they are empathising with each other and so copying each other's facial expressions. Over time because of all the empathising they are doing, their faces come to look more similar. For example, if one partner often smiles in a particular way, the other is likely to copy it - so creating similar patterns of wrinkles and furrows on the face.
No comment yet.
Scooped by Edwin Rutsch
Scoop.it!

As a person with borderline personality disorder, apparently I have no empathy.

As a person with borderline personality disorder, apparently I have no empathy. | Empathy Movement Magazine | Scoop.it
I think I'm a pretty empathic person. But how would I know, asks Clare Allan...

There is a certain dark humour in finding such statements in a piece on empathy, but I can't say I'm laughing. I think I'm a pretty empathic person. But how would I know, after all? I know plenty of people with BPD and not one of them fits Baron-Cohen's description. But do I fit it? That's the question. Do I?
No comment yet.
Scooped by Edwin Rutsch
Scoop.it!

May 15, 2011 - International Day of Compassion

May 15, 2011 - International Day of Compassion | Empathy Movement Magazine | Scoop.it
The next day of note promoted by Bloggers Unite is the 1st International Day of Compassion on May 15, 2011.

This day is in honour of Dr. Patch Adams. Bloggers Unite would like this to become a UN sanctioned day and have sent a petition to Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon.
No comment yet.
Scooped by Edwin Rutsch
Scoop.it!

The Death of American Empathy? « Chase Wilson Education

The Death of American Empathy? « Chase Wilson Education | Empathy Movement Magazine | Scoop.it
So how do we revive Empathy in America? It shouldn’t be difficult. Almost each and every one of us enter this world full of it, ready to give and accept love and not to “think” about what’s best for us as individuals.

Seeing ourselves in others and vice versa isn’t a burden or a version of community service — it’s a gift we give others and a reward we receive. Fixing this problem starts with a reminder — when you hurt another you are actually hurting yourself. If we could all see the greater whole and not just the individual goal — then empathy won’t only survive but it will flourish…
No comment yet.
Scooped by Edwin Rutsch
Scoop.it!

Living Compassion in Community with the Dalai Lama Center

Ric Matthews and Jannet Ann Nordemann speak at the Vancover, BC, Canada, Dalai Lama Centre event "Living Compassion in Community"
No comment yet.
Scooped by Edwin Rutsch
Scoop.it!

Scientist seeks to banish evil, boost empathy

Scientist seeks to banish evil, boost empathy | Empathy Movement Magazine | Scoop.it
Simon Baron Cohen says evil can be understood as a lack of empathy, a condition that can be measured and is susceptible to treatment.

Psychopaths have 'zero degrees of empathy'
A Jewish upbringing peppered with tales about the horrors of the Nazis' treatment of Jews and other minorities was early motivation for Baron Cohen to seek to deconstruct human cruelty.

He cites times when his father told him how the Nazis turned Jews into lampshades, or into bars of soap, and a tale about the mother of a family friend whose hands had been severed by Nazi scientists who switched them around and sewed them back on again so that her thumbs were on the outside...

His proposal is that evil be understood as a lack of empathy - a condition he argues can be measured and monitored and is susceptible to education and treatment.

Simon Baron-Cohen: Empathy Expert Page: http://bit.ly/jlHrf7
No comment yet.
Scooped by Edwin Rutsch
Scoop.it!

Psychology Relativism - There Is No Evil, Just A Gap In Empathy

Psychology Relativism - There Is No Evil, Just A Gap In Empathy | Empathy Movement Magazine | Scoop.it
Evil, he (Simon Baron-Cohen) believes, can instead be fixed by education - yes, everyone can be rehabilitated - if evil acts are recognized as a lack of empathy. So a child rapist-murderer needs to be understood better, basically. He gets a little fuzzy, believing the world needs more empathy and if we had it, that minor issue between Arabs and Israelis would go away. You'd think they'd have plenty of empathy since both have been kicked out of their homes at various times.
No comment yet.
Scooped by Edwin Rutsch
Scoop.it!

Scientist seeks to banish evil | Reuters

Scientist seeks to banish evil | Reuters | Empathy Movement Magazine | Scoop.it
As a scientist seeking to understand random acts of violence, from street brawls to psychopathic killings to genocide, he has puzzled for decades over what prompts such acts of human cruelty. And he's decided that evil is not good enough.

"I'm not satisfied with the term 'evil'," says the Cambridge University psychology and psychiatry professor, one of the world's top experts in autism and developmental psychopathology.

Simon Baron-Cohen: Empathy Expert Page: http://bit.ly/jlHrf7

Image Good vr. Evil - Temptation of Christ
Source http://bit.ly/jktNNp
No comment yet.
Scooped by Edwin Rutsch
Scoop.it!

Barack Obama, Osama Bin Laden, '9-11 Terrorists Attack Caused by Lack of Empathy'

With the killing of Osama Bin Laden, here are a few words by Barack Obama about empathy and the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

"We must also engage, however, in the more difficult task of understanding the sources of such madness. The essence of this tragedy, it seems to me, derives from a fundamental absence of empathy on the part of the attackers: an inability to imagine, or connect with, the humanity and suffering of others. Such a failure of empathy, such numbness to the pain of a child or the desperation of a parent, is not innate; nor, history tells us, is it unique to a particular culture, religion, or ethnicity.
No comment yet.
Scooped by Edwin Rutsch
Scoop.it!

Chris Hedges Speaks on Osama bin Laden’s Death - if we had built on that empathy,

Chris Hedges Speaks on Osama bin Laden’s Death - if we had built on that empathy, | Empathy Movement Magazine | Scoop.it
So I was in the Middle East in the days after 9/11. And we had garnered the empathy of not only most of the world, but the Muslim world who were appalled at what had been done in the name of their religion.

And the tragedy was that if we had the courage to be vulnerable, if we had built on that empathy, we would be far safer and more secure today than we are.
No comment yet.
Scooped by Edwin Rutsch
Scoop.it!

Sam Richards - A Radical Experiment in Empathy - Walking in the shoes of Iraqis.

Sam Richards is a sociologist and award-winning teacher who has been inspiring undergraduate students at Penn State since 1990.
No comment yet.
Scooped by Edwin Rutsch
Scoop.it!

An empathy gap so big, you could march an army through it

An empathy gap so big, you could march an army through it | Empathy Movement Magazine | Scoop.it
Evolutionarily, it would make great sense for a warring, social species such as ours to feel the most empathy for those most closely related to us, and the most enmity for those most genetically distant. But the dominant theme across the broad sweep of history—and in billions of individual lives—is the gradual expansion of the in-group.

From family to clan, clan to tribe, tribe to nation and on … horrifying exceptions notwithstanding, it is readily apparent that our empathy can cross the boundaries of genetic and geographical connection, of race, of gender, and even of species.
No comment yet.
Scooped by Edwin Rutsch
Scoop.it!

The Appleton Compassion Project

The Appleton Compassion Project | Empathy Movement Magazine | Scoop.it
“The Appleton Compassion Project” is a community art project involving 10,436 Appleton Area School District K-12 art students. In Fall 2010, participating students received a 6-inch-by-6-inch art panel to draw or paint their idea of compassion.

The inspiration behind the project came from Richard Davidson, PhD — a University of Wisconsin-Madison brain researcher who has found that those who practice compassion have measurably healthier brains. What’s more, Davidson’s research shows that compassion can be learned, and should be practiced, as a skill. “A little more joy might be within everyone’s reach,” says Davidson.
No comment yet.
Scooped by Edwin Rutsch
Scoop.it!

Mindfulness Meditation Training Changes Brain Structure In 8 Weeks » The Behavioral Medicine Report

Mindfulness Meditation Training Changes Brain Structure In 8 Weeks » The Behavioral Medicine Report | Empathy Movement Magazine | Scoop.it
Participating in an 8-week mindfulness meditation program appears to make measurable changes in brain regions associated with memory, sense of self, empathy and stress.

In a study that will appear in the January 30 issue of Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, a team led by Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) researchers report the results of their study, the first to document meditation-produced changes over time in the brain’s grey matter. Check the end of this report for a download link to the original, full-text journal article.
No comment yet.
Scooped by Edwin Rutsch
Scoop.it!

Local, national groups offer experiences in empathy

Local, national groups offer experiences in empathy | Empathy Movement Magazine | Scoop.it
The teens participated in a poverty simulation as part of a week of service learning in Boise that also had them volunteer at homeless shelters and build a safety gate at a preschool.

Simulations like this are one way that service groups and welfare agencies in Idaho and across the nation raise awareness about the issues their clients face while increasing empathy among employees, volunteers and donors.

But in an economy where so many are seeking services, it is even more important for those who can give or serve to have that empathy.
No comment yet.
Scooped by Edwin Rutsch
Scoop.it!

Are Women More Emotionally Intelligent Than Men? | Dan Goleman

Are Women More Emotionally Intelligent Than Men? | Dan Goleman | Empathy Movement Magazine | Scoop.it
some measures suggest women are on average better than men at some forms of empathy, and men do better than women when it comes to managing distressing emotions. Whenever you talk about such gender differences in behavior, your are referring to two different Bell Curves, one for men and one for women, that largely overlap.

What this means is that any given man might be as good or better as any woman at empathy, and a woman as good as or better than a specific man at handling upsets.

Let's look at empathy. There are three kinds: cognitive empathy, being able to know how the other person sees things; emotional empathy, feeling what the other person feels; and empathic concern, or sympathy -being ready to help someone in need.

Dan Goleman - Empathy Expert Page: http://bit.ly/jc7Dam
No comment yet.