Terms like “empathy” an “human rights” are frequently used as an argument for utilitarian structures and ideological hegemony. It exemplifies the relativism and superficiality of our time. You don’t feel natural love for the living in your heart of hearts, when you say that “all humans are equal”. Rather the contrary.
This is why highly empathetic people, regardless of whether they claim belief in equality, would sooner spend thousands on their cat than on a starving village in a distant country. Empathy is what one feels for felt living beings that one relates to. It is impossible to feel true empathy for some anonymous person you’ve never met. To your mind, it’s a mere concept.The desire to help unknown strangers is a completely different phenomenon, which is rooted in values and self-image. This can indeed be an urge and a means to do good, but it is not empathy.
The theory that all humans are equal, yet above the rest of nature, is representative of the psychopathic personality type, because only they can truly feel that way.Compared to the empathetic human, the non-empathetic human (aka sociopath and psychopath) is more inclined to send money to anonymous sufferers than to spend it on their sick father. Psychopaths truly do live by the idea that all humans are equally worthy, or unworthy, and in reality the psychopath does not necessarily do or intend to do any harm. One example is James Fallon, a professor of psychiatry.You can read about him here
He’s a psychopath, yet a highly functional member of society, and a family man. In his words, his children are no more important than his neighbour’s kids. To a person with an empathy impairment, family has no more meaning than the concept of potential unknown people somewhere else.The empathetic person feels strongly for their own, for those they know, for those they depend upon and those who depend upon them, for those they owe gratitude. To empathetically healthy people, one’s own child is highest priority.
“Since you cannot do good to all, you are to pay special attention to those who, by the accidents of time, or place, or circumstances, are brought into closer connection with you.”-Saint Augustine
This egalitarian ideological device that “all humans are equal” is fundamentally antisocial and narcissistic. One look at the situation with the politics and media in the west world today seems to confirm that antisocial and narcissistic beliefs define and constrain the current zeitgeist.The general mentality of our generation seems to revolve around a masochistic self-loathing, oikophobia and an Orwellian self-censoring tendency.You spit on those who do you good, while you give to those who spit on you.
It’s all so destructive, but some say it’s justified by a good cause. Can’t you see that this “good cause” really doesn’t make anything better?
Modern altruism is the opposite of what it claims to be. It shows no path to a nicer or brighter world, instead it squanders and abuses what took thousands of years of civilization (and oceans of blood, sweat and tears) to create.It does not build, it tears down. Its nature is destruction, fear and envy.Instead of producing, it endlessly consumes, devours what’s been created by a sane world order that relies on natural conduct, independence and soulful presence.
It’s sad. Very, very sad.
Related podcast I had open in one of my tabs: http://www.samharris.org/podcast/item/the-virtues-of-cold-blood
When you only care about those around you, wouldn’t you have no problem fucking anonymous people over in order to help your own kin? I think there can be some selfishness in this type of altruism, in the form of looking out solely for me and mine, which justifies fucking over anonymous strangers or social fabric in order to do so.
Only caring about your family and friends is self-centered and selfish in its own way, and not the optimal way to go about things. I’m not saying the other way is good either, but you did a pretty good job in explaining that.