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Empathy - An Old Fashioned Notion Whose Time Has Passed?

Posted by Ponderer 
Re: Empathy - An Old Fashioned Notion Whose Time Has Passed?
February 15, 2015 10:45PM
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Indy!
If the idea wasn't valid - we wouldn't have a word for it, Curt.

Does that mean you think that clairvoyance, telekinesis, and séance are valid ideas because somebody coined those words?
Re: Empathy - An Old Fashioned Notion Whose Time Has Passed?
February 15, 2015 10:52PM
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Sympathy is derived from Greek words meaning with and feeling. Empathy is an ostentatious and presumptuous step beyond.

Only, because your ego is offended by a concept.

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"Build yourselves a wall of ships!" said the Oracle!
Re: Empathy - An Old Fashioned Notion Whose Time Has Passed?
February 15, 2015 11:30PM
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Curt Anderson
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Indy!
If the idea wasn't valid - we wouldn't have a word for it, Curt.

Does that mean you think that clairvoyance, telekinesis, and séance are valid ideas because somebody coined those words?


Yes - they are valid ideas with definitions we all understand.
Re: Empathy - An Old Fashioned Notion Whose Time Has Passed?
February 16, 2015 12:02AM
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Indy!
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Curt Anderson
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Indy!
If the idea wasn't valid - we wouldn't have a word for it, Curt.

Does that mean you think that clairvoyance, telekinesis, and séance are valid ideas because somebody coined those words?


Yes - they are valid ideas with definitions we all understand.

Who are you addressing? Has anybody here said they don't understand the definition of empathy? The notion that people can really be empathetic (as the word is defined) and thus be more than sympathetic is debatable.
Re: Empathy - An Old Fashioned Notion Whose Time Has Passed?
February 16, 2015 02:40AM
Take some MDMA then debate away.

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"Build yourselves a wall of ships!" said the Oracle!
Re: Empathy - An Old Fashioned Notion Whose Time Has Passed?
February 16, 2015 03:33AM
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Kairos
Take some MDMA then debate away.

That's your thing. Only the drug addled and the self-deluded believe they are being "empathetic".
Re: Empathy - An Old Fashioned Notion Whose Time Has Passed?
February 16, 2015 03:52AM
Sympathy is derived from Greek words meaning with and feeling. Empathy is an ostentatious and presumptuous step beyond. - Curt

But it's not presumptuous for you to declare that. eye rolling smiley

Seems to me like you're being defensive.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/16/2015 03:53AM by Hornswoggle.
Re: Empathy - An Old Fashioned Notion Whose Time Has Passed?
February 16, 2015 04:07AM
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Hornswoggle
Sympathy is derived from Greek words meaning with and feeling. Empathy is an ostentatious and presumptuous step beyond. - Curt

But it's not presumptuous for you to declare that. eye rolling smiley

Seems to me like you're being defensive.

Not at all. I just like to keep it real. The person who claims to be empathetic, rather than sympathetic, is saying that they feel as if the other guy's tragedy has happened to them. But we all know that so-called empathetic person really isn't sharing and feeling the other person's pain, otherwise we should feel as bad about their vicarious suffering as we do for the actual victims of tragedy.
Re: Empathy - An Old Fashioned Notion Whose Time Has Passed?
February 16, 2015 04:14AM
I agree that you can never really know what another person is feeling. Anyone claiming to know what another person is feeling is being presumptuous and perhaps ostentatious.

That's not what I've always understood empathy to be, though.

Maybe this is more about semantics - I don't know.
Re: Empathy - An Old Fashioned Notion Whose Time Has Passed?
February 16, 2015 04:43AM
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Hornswoggle
I agree that you can never really know what another person is feeling. Anyone claiming to know what another person is feeling is being presumptuous and perhaps ostentatious.

That's not what I've always understood empathy to be, though.

Maybe this is more about semantics - I don't know.

You are correct. It is essentially about semantics. Most people probably couldn't explain the difference between empathy and sympathy, thus they use the words interchangeably. Being the paragon of humility, I use the humbler word sympathy because I claim no special powers to experience what another person is feeling.
Sam
Re: Empathy - An Old Fashioned Notion Whose Time Has Passed?
February 16, 2015 04:46AM
Re: Empathy - An Old Fashioned Notion Whose Time Has Passed?
February 16, 2015 04:53AM
From Sam's source:
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It may be impossible to be fully empathetic because each individual's reactions, thoughts and feelings to tragedy are going to be unique. Yet the idea of empathy implies a much more active process. Instead of feeling sorry for, you’re sorry with and have clothed yourself in the mantle of someone else’s emotional reactions.

That generally conforms with my comments. I add that it not only is impossible, it's certainly unknowable if we experience another person's feelings, misery, etc.
Re: Empathy - An Old Fashioned Notion Whose Time Has Passed?
February 16, 2015 04:56AM
Speaking from my own experience, There's a definite difference between when I'm feeling sympathetic to when I'm feeling -- at least according to how I've always understood the meaning of the term -- empathetic.

Sympathy to me is more cerebral than empathy. Sympathy is feeling sorry for someone who's in emotional pain, but it doesn't get any deeper than that. Empathy, for me, is almost involuntary. I say "almost" only because I suppose that I could shut it off when it happens. When I'm experiencing this, I find myself imagining what they might be going through, which may be accurate or inaccurate. It's not uncommon for me to shed tears for people I don't know. It just happens. It's the way I'm wired. For me, that's empathy.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/16/2015 04:57AM by Hornswoggle.
Re: Empathy - An Old Fashioned Notion Whose Time Has Passed?
February 16, 2015 05:10AM
Hornswoggle,
I have involuntarily shed tears at news events and even non-news events like movies. Clearly, it's emotional. I have teared up over a suffering animal, and I certainly don't pretend to know or share what an animal is thinking or feeling. But since I feel for them rather than with them, I call that emotion sympathy.
Re: Empathy - An Old Fashioned Notion Whose Time Has Passed?
February 16, 2015 05:19AM
Well, I think this is just semantics. For me, the difference is enough that I think a separate word is appropriate... and so does Merriam Webster.
Re: Empathy - An Old Fashioned Notion Whose Time Has Passed?
February 16, 2015 05:30AM
I have involuntarily shed tears at news events and even non-news events like movies. Clearly, it's emotional. I have teared up over a suffering animal, and I certainly don't pretend to know or share what an animal is thinking or feeling. But since I feel for them rather than with them, I call that emotion sympathy. - Curt

Well like I said before, I don't pretend to know what the other person is feeling, but there's a kind of involuntary sort of placement of myself in their shoes sort of thing that happens when I'm experiencing what I call empathy. That's why there's a separate word for it. To me, it's different. Perhaps you don't experience it. I've read that not everyone feels empathy. It doesn't make them bad persons, just wired differently than me.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/16/2015 05:30AM by Hornswoggle.
Re: Empathy - An Old Fashioned Notion Whose Time Has Passed?
February 16, 2015 05:33AM
A lot of activists I've been around strike me as being super-empathetic people. Their empathy seems to out-surpass my own. It's what drives them.

We're all wired soooooo differently. eye popping smiley
Re: Empathy - An Old Fashioned Notion Whose Time Has Passed?
February 16, 2015 06:13AM
There's a difference. If there wasn't - there would be no need for the word. I can point to an event that illustrates it perfectly for me...

The year the Kobe/Shaq/Karl Malone/Gary Payton lost in the Finals. I was glad they got knocked off because they had already won 3 in a row and I felt like they were basically trying to buy the trophy that year. Then I saw Kobe walking off the floor and he was crying his eyes out. I did not feel any sympathy for him at all...

sympathy
1. harmony of or agreement in feeling, as between persons or on the part of one person with respect to another.
2. the harmony of feeling naturally existing between persons of like tastes or opinion or of congenial dispositions.
3. the fact or power of sharing the feelings of another, especially in sorrow or trouble; fellow feeling, compassion, or commiseration.

... My feelings were not the same as his - He was SAD they lost while I was GLAD they lost. We were on opposite ends of the scale so far as our personal feelings in regards to what had just happened. Seeing him broken up and crying did NOT change the way I felt about what had happened - however I did feel empathy for him...

empathy
1. the psychological identification with or vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another.
2. the imaginative ascribing to an object, as a natural object or work of art, feelings or attitudes present in oneself:

I could see how hard he was taking the loss and understood very well how he felt. That is empathy - not sympathy.
Re: Empathy - An Old Fashioned Notion Whose Time Has Passed?
February 16, 2015 06:40AM
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That's your thing. Only the drug addled and the self-deluded believe they are being "empathetic".

Well throw a green triangle on my shoulder and send me to the ovens Herr Curt of the SS.

Since you believe that those who have used drugs shouldn't have their opinions counted you should henceforth cease to post on these boards or be the hypocrite that everyone knows that you are.

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"Build yourselves a wall of ships!" said the Oracle!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/16/2015 07:18AM by Kairos.
Re: Empathy - An Old Fashioned Notion Whose Time Has Passed?
February 16, 2015 07:30AM
Kairos and Indy!
One of you thinks that his schadenfreude watching the NBA finals is an example of being empathetic. The other is so "empathetic" that he thinks that a post deriding to his suggestion to use ecstasy is akin to being in a Nazi concentration camp.

You two aren't empathetic or sympathetic. Just pathetic.
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