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The totally arbitrary nature of prioritizing empathy as a human-defining trait

U

UnknownEntity

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If you called people with autism or down syndrome etc. subhuman monsters chances are you would be called out and shamed by society on a collective level.

The same things can be said about people with ASPD/NPD with minimal backlash.

What is it about empathy that is seen as so "human" as opposed to other traits, such that someone who is literally missing chromosomes MUST be referred to as fully human or you are a disgusting bastard yet it is socially acceptable to speak about empathy as if it is the central defining trait of humanity and claim those who lack it are literal subhumans?

The answer is simple, most humans are almost 100% irrational and herd-driven. They don't even see the double/false standard at play and only get so protective over other disabilities because society only just recently decided thats what you should do.
 
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Siegfried

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If you called people with autism or down syndrome etc. subhuman monsters chances are you would be called out and shamed by society on a collective level.

The same things can be said about people with ASPD/NPD with minimal backlash.
Even if we are to accept this premise as true, which is difficult since you provide no evidence, it hardly seems logical to compare disorders that don't inherently cause socially harmful behaviors with those that often do.

A person with down syndrome or some flavor of autism may be limited in many ways but also live in a way that causes no unnecessary harm to anyone else, meanwhile something like antisocial personality disorder is characterized almost exclusively by potentially socially harmful behaviors.

Yes, society as a whole sees with worse eyes disorders that disrupt the social order than those that don't, it's hardly a shocking revelation.


What is it about empathy that is seen as so "human" as opposed to other traits, such that someone who is literally missing chromosomes MUST be referred to as fully human or you are a disgusting bastard yet it is socially acceptable to speak about empathy as if it is the central defining trait of humanity and claim those who lack it are literal subhumans?
Because empathy, what little there is of it to go around, is literally what keeps any society going in any meaningful way. Without it we are reduced to simple animals driven entirely by self serving impulses and that's very much antithetical to the concept of a collaborative society.

Why pay taxes that will help others when you don't regard others as having any inherent value? why then not just steal, lie, manipulate and scam your way through life?

And even then there's a reason why most politicians are CEO are theorized to be sociopathic to one degree or another, because you don't rise to the top by caring about others.

But society as a whole dislikes what it harms it, as is logical, and by extension selfishness, corruption, disregard for the welfare of others are generally seen as harmful traits, why?, because they by definition are harmful to its proper functioning.

The answer is simple, most humans are almost 100% irrational and herd-driven. They don't even see the double/false standard at play and only get so protective over other disabilities because society only just recently decided thats what you should do.
Sounds to me like you're doing some mental gymnastics there.

Certainly humans are very irrational about a lot of things but generally rejecting those that are often incapable of functioning within society without causing undue harm to others is just about the most basically rational thing imaginable.

It's like calling the fact that people would rather not get drenched in acid hypocritical because they like to take showers.
 
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UnknownEntity

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Even if we are to accept this premise as true, which is difficult since you provide no evidence
How do you think the average person would react if you called people with severe autism subhuman and said that social skills are the main defining human trait VS saying that empathy is the most important trait and those who lack it are subhuman?

Yes, society as a whole sees with worse eyes disorders that disrupt the social order than those that don't, it's hardly a shocking revelation.
Sure, that isn't a shocking revelation. It isn't a basis to define what makes someone part of the human species on an actual, biological level though.

Because empathy, what little there is of it to go around, is literally what keeps any society going in any meaningful way. Without it we are reduced to simple animals driven entirely by self serving impulses and that's very much antithetical to the concept of a collaborative society.
Empathy is not what keeps society going any more than the corrupt psychopaths who run everything or the social constructs people are programmed with etc. Also you literally just agreed with 99% of humans that people who lack empathy are "animals" after claiming I have no basis for my post.

It's like calling the fact that people would rather not get drenched in acid hypocritical because they like to take showers.
Actually, the more fitting analogy would be claiming acidic substances aren't real chemicals.
 
T E_90

T E_90

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I think the blame for what you say (prioritizing empathy as the definition of a basic human being) is the prejudice created by the media.
As if those who lack empathy or have less than others,( for one reason or another),
are considered a bad person, monsters, abnormal and capable of anything.
The truth is, that many empathetic people are equally capable of doing things that are exactly the same as those who have none, and sometimes even worse.
I understand that prejudice because I myself am living it, I lack empathy in many aspects, I'm diagnosed with ASPD along with other things, and I could never be myself with others, because if they knew how I am and what I really think, (and they got scared) I would become a pariah.

Living without empathy makes important decisions and everything easier I agree, the problem arises when there are decisions that require the need for feelings that are not present in me, or at least not instinctive.
Acting and masking this is tiring, although everyone knows that many jobs (to name some , surgeon, detective, CEO, politician, lawyer, etc...) require the non-involvement of emotions, the so-called emotional detachment.
But there, nobody says anything, as this is accepted and in any case seeing normal.

The truth is that no one stops to think about the reasons hidden in the background,
why the aforementioned people who lack empathy have, the reasons why they are like that, and that led them to do the things they did (sometimes bad), cause judge and gossiping is a lot more fun right ?
When maybe those who judge them, are the people themselves who have done far worse things and nobody knows.
The same ones who then judge them, to feel better with/about themselves.

I'm not excusing the bad behaviors in any way (or "evil", I hate that term a lot), but using empathy even in that situation isn't convenient for some.
Some of the same people who preach forgiveness, understanding, etc .. then they don't have too much trouble condemning and turning away. So isn't this also a lack of empathy? Does it not make them the same?

What I hate the most though, is reading/hearing the classic phrase that says: < "yes but I too had this and had that in my life, but I didn't do that ..">.
I find it irritating and completely nonsense.
It's like saying: < "But I too took the airplane, but I've never crashed ..">.
We are ALL different ffs, and everyone has different things and reasons in their lives, that could be major for some and small for others.

I'm not going to enter into the topic of autistics, downs, etc ... I know too little about it, and in any case I think I've already ranted out of the question too much.
I apologize and I know that many will disagree with me, it's ok, everyone has their point of view, but I needed to let off steam.
 
MollyBloom

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What I hate the most though, is reading/hearing the classic phrase that says: < "yes but I too had this and had that in my life, but I didn't do that ..">.
I find it irritating and completely nonsense.
It's like saying: < "But I too took the airplane, but I've never crashed ..">.
We are ALL different ffs, and everyone has different things and reasons in their lives, that could be major for some and small for others.
Yes, I agree. I hate this too. This is very toxic and a form of gaslighting. People comparing their situation with mine is also very invalidating, certainly as they wanted to prove how much better they have reacted on something. Some concurrence isn't comparable to similarity. Best to keep these kind of persons out of your life.
 
T E_90

T E_90

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Yes, I agree. I hate this too. This is very toxic and a form of gaslighting. People comparing their situation with mine is also very invalidating, certainly as they wanted to prove how much better they have reacted on something. Some concurrence isn't comparable to similarity. Best to keep these kind of persons out of your life.
Amen to that!
I fully agree with you
 
GretaVon

GretaVon

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The answer is that people are mostly emotionally driven, and their interactions with other people are mutually emotionally based. The realization that a person lacks a fundamental part of normal emotional makeup makes most people recoil from that person as being unable to fulfil the role of a human being according to this majority truth.
 

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