| Register  | FAQ  | Search | Login 
It is currently Thu Jul 24, 2014 2:06 am

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 143 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Re: Feeling empathy for "monsters"
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 7:54 pm 
Offline
No-pants hermit 4 lyfe
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 2010 10:22 am
Posts: 3092
Location: BKLN
i don't think an effort toward empathy necessarily implies sadness about anything. it's about trying to understand another person from within that person's experience. you can empathize with a person you hate.

_________________
"rise from the ashes of douchebaggery like a fancy vegan phoenix" - amandabear
"I'm pretty sure the moral of this story is: fork pants." - cq


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Feeling empathy for "monsters"
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 7:54 pm 
Offline
Because Bob Barker Told Me To
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 1:27 pm
Posts: 918
Location: Albany, NY
I think this conversation is getting confused about the difference between empathy and sympathy. I can empathize with a rapist, sure. I can try to put myself in their shoes and see that our society teaches men (and boys) that objectifying, sexualizing, and forcing themselves upon women is okay. I can (however vaguely) understand how someone could get to a point where they could do something that horrific, but I have no qualms about how angry I am about it and how they should pay for what they did. I'd love to live in a society where being able to put myself into that mindset is so outlandish that I couldn't empathize-- but that's not reality.

What I can't do is sympathize with them-- meaning, I don't feel sorry for them or feel like they deserve comfort of any kind.

This thread is about empathy, not sympathy.

_________________
Departure & Arrival: Photoblog
Navigator, Equator: Personal blog
My freelance writing website
Dear Nora: My cat's advice column (really)


Last edited by takecare on Sat Apr 20, 2013 8:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Feeling empathy for "monsters"
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 7:57 pm 
Offline
Not NOT A Furry
User avatar

Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2011 12:12 am
Posts: 498
Location: Eugene, OR
Vantine wrote:
Again, no one started a thread expressing empathy for the Stubenville rapists or the neo-Nazi who shot up a Sikh temple. If this is really empathy we are talking about, it should be expressed about the perpetrators who make us uncomfortable as well. Are you sad for them? Why not say so publicly?


You can't force yourself to feel empathy, you either feel it or you don't.
The original poster just wanted a place to discuss their feelings about this particular event.
To feel empathy for one person doesn't mean you must feel empathy for EVERY person.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Feeling empathy for "monsters"
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 8:03 pm 
Offline
Invented Vegan Meringue
User avatar

Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2012 2:55 pm
Posts: 3708
Location: The land of maple syrup and beavers.
Vantine wrote:
Again, no one started a thread expressing empathy for the Stubenville rapists or the neo-Nazi who shot up a Sikh temple. If this is really empathy we are talking about, it should be expressed about the perpetrators who make us uncomfortable as well. Are you sad for them? Why not say so publicly?


I already mentioned the Steubenville guys and why I don't extend the same thoughts to them. I don't know anything about the temple shooting. But certainly this thread can extend to discussing them if people have thoughts on the matter.

Well said, takecare.

_________________
Anyone for some German Shepherd Pie? - daisychain
Well! Fruit is stupid! These onions taste nothing like fruit! - allularpunk
Dwarf-tossing for God: A Story of Hope - Invictus


Last edited by Moon on Sat Apr 20, 2013 8:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Feeling empathy for "monsters"
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 8:08 pm 
Offline
Invented Vegan Meringue
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 2:18 pm
Posts: 3561
Location: It's hot. All the time.
What makes this one man who used his free will to decide to murder and terrorize invoke empathy when other criminal from arguably worse backgrounds get nothing? Anger? A lot of people who commit crimes are angry. Isolation? I can imagine that as well. I'm trying to understand why this particular person gets sympathetic attention while others get nothing.

It's not about what I feel or what I'm capable of feeling; those sorts of ad hom statements just shut down a discussion. It's about exploring the intellectual inconsistency in picking and choosing which people get this sort of attention and which do not.

_________________
A whole lot of access and privilege goes into being sanctimonious pricks J-Dub
Dessert is currently a big bowl of sanctimonious, passive aggressive vegan enduced boak. Fezza
You people are way less funny than Pandacookie. Sucks to be you.-interrobang?!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Feeling empathy for "monsters"
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 8:23 pm 
Offline
Not NOT A Furry
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 27, 2010 1:41 am
Posts: 465
Location: Indiana
Vantine wrote:
What makes this one man who used his free will to decide to murder and terrorize invoke empathy when other criminal from arguably worse backgrounds get nothing? Anger? A lot of people who commit crimes are angry. Isolation? I can imagine that as well. I'm trying to understand why this particular person gets sympathetic attention while others get nothing.

It's not about what I feel or what I'm capable of feeling; those sorts of ad hom statements just shut down a discussion. It's about exploring the intellectual inconsistency in picking and choosing which people get this sort of attention and which do not.



i think it's because he looks like any average college freshman. i think many people compare him to the young men in their lives, and imagine how sad they would be if one of those young men did something like this seemingly out of the blue. that's all i can think of. if this man had a twitter full of him saying ignorant, hateful things, or if he had an unsettling look in pictures, we wouldn't have this thread.

i think this can be a good reminder that people who are likable or seemingly stable are capable of horrible things in specific circumstances.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Feeling empathy for "monsters"
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 8:24 pm 
Offline
No-pants hermit 4 lyfe
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 2010 10:22 am
Posts: 3092
Location: BKLN
the fact that we didn't start threads about anyone else isn't proof that we have never had these thoughts about anyone else. and again, the attention is not necessarily sympathetic. mine is bewildered and a bit desperate, and i don't have to have any positive feelings about these people in order to want to understand exactly how and why they made these choices. i'm willing to try to put myself in their shoes if it will help me sort out what happened here. and i do feel that way whenever someone does a hideous thing that i can't make sense of.

_________________
"rise from the ashes of douchebaggery like a fancy vegan phoenix" - amandabear
"I'm pretty sure the moral of this story is: fork pants." - cq


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Feeling empathy for "monsters"
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 8:29 pm 
Offline
Because Bob Barker Told Me To
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 1:27 pm
Posts: 918
Location: Albany, NY
Also, the subject of this thread was specifically made to be inclusive of the empathy we can feel for ALL "monsters". It was this specific case that made me start it, because I've been brewing on it... but it's certainly not the first time I've felt taboo empathy, and it won't be the last.

_________________
Departure & Arrival: Photoblog
Navigator, Equator: Personal blog
My freelance writing website
Dear Nora: My cat's advice column (really)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Feeling empathy for "monsters"
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 8:31 pm 
Offline
Invented Vegan Meringue
User avatar

Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2012 2:55 pm
Posts: 3708
Location: The land of maple syrup and beavers.
This thread just happened to be posted this time. I don't think people are choosing some people to be empathize with over others. It's just being discussed now because it occurred to the OP that they wanted to discuss it.

_________________
Anyone for some German Shepherd Pie? - daisychain
Well! Fruit is stupid! These onions taste nothing like fruit! - allularpunk
Dwarf-tossing for God: A Story of Hope - Invictus


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Feeling empathy for "monsters"
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 8:40 pm 
Offline
Invented Vegan Meringue
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 2:46 pm
Posts: 4095
Location: 5 mi east of philly
i think people didn't make a thread about empathizing with the steubenville rapists because they had the support of the entire population of the adults in their town. dzhokhar was alone and on his own after his brother died. (also, we don't know the full story yet.)

also, it's less easy to empathize with adults that do bad things because they should know better. (and probably partially another reason why the steubenville situation garners less/no empathy.)

_________________
I solved it for once and for all -- and for everyone -- by intentionally leaving behind some 9-lives burritos... ~Lorelei4mc
supercarrot.com, vegan groupony things, vegan coupons


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Feeling empathy for "monsters"
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 8:44 pm 
Offline
Bathes in Braggs

Joined: Thu Dec 09, 2010 5:28 pm
Posts: 1312
The surviving brother is 19 years old, an adult.

_________________


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Feeling empathy for "monsters"
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 9:03 pm 
Offline
Semen Strong
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 7:10 pm
Posts: 18727
Location: Cliffbar NJ
laurinscki wrote:
Initially, I thought I was feeling empathy for the younger suspect, thinking that he must be feeling scared or alone. Then I realized that logically there is no evidence that he was/is feeling this way. I realized that I, in fact, am unable to empathize with him (or feel what he is feeling). And the fact that I am not more outraged by this young man indicates that I am not empathizing with his victims either. I have decided that whatever I am feeling about him, whether it is sympathy, compassion, or merely intrigue, that it is not what I "should" be feeling. I started to feel this conflict yesterday and was disturbed by it, so I think this thread is useful. I think the fact that he was young and seemingly led astray is the compelling aspect of this. That being said, he made his decision and acted on it, commiting horrible acts of violence.


I think this is brilliant.

If I look at the Indian man who raped a 5 year old girl for 40 hours, including assaulting her with objects, and left her so bruised and damaged that she may not survive, I can think I could understand how growing up in a patriarchal society that devalues women, perhaps being molested himself, being angry at his lot in life, perhaps fired from a job and marginalized from society might make his actions understandable to himself. But I would totally making it up. Because I have no idea what his feelings really are.

_________________
But on a cold winter night, when the wind whispers through the trees and a bright, white moon hangs heavy in the air, you might hear a sad cry like someone thinking he knows what's best for you, and that'll be the white man a-passin' you by. just mumbles


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Feeling empathy for "monsters"
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 9:12 pm 
Offline
Had sex with a vampire that sparkles.
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 6:24 pm
Posts: 5361
Location: BRLA
I felt empathy for the Steubenville rapists. I didn't post it because I'm a human and it doesn't occur to me to post every feeling I have on the ppk. I also didn't realize it was so taboo. But yes, I cried my eyes out for Jane Doe in empathy, as I did many times when hearing stories of those injured in these bombings and the family that lost their child. My heart hurt for them. But empathy can't be measured and isn't finite, so I was able to have it for the perpetrators as well. Not as much and not as strong at all. It doesn't come from trying to come up with reasons or theories about the crime, just seeing someone whose life is forever changed.

I don't know, I thought everyone felt it, but I've visited maximum security prisons and met and talked to confessed, convicted murders and rapists. Some of them will die in there and never see their kids, never know what it's like to live anywhere else or wear anything else or eat anything else. In some point in their lives they caused someone more pain than imaginable, and that's unforgivable so they have to live like that. How can you avoid the empathy and are we supposed to?

_________________
The thing about this thread is, it's dumb. - IJDI


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Feeling empathy for "monsters"
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 9:17 pm 
Offline
***LIES!!!***
User avatar

Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2012 4:10 pm
Posts: 3662
Fee, that's just how I feel.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Feeling empathy for "monsters"
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 9:20 pm 
Offline
Bought a used copy of Natural Harvest
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 6:29 pm
Posts: 6040
Location: Land of Maple and Beavers
Well put, Fee.

_________________
Did you notice the slight feeling of panic at the words "Chicken Basin Street"? Like someone was walking over your grave? Try not to remember. We must never remember. - mumbles
Is this about devilberries and nazifruit again? - footface


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Feeling empathy for "monsters"
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 9:53 pm 
Offline
Invented Vegan Meringue
User avatar

Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2012 2:55 pm
Posts: 3708
Location: The land of maple syrup and beavers.
Yay for Fee.

There's a newish show, The Killer Speaks (I think) on bio or A&E and I've been wanting to watch it. I haven't been able to yet, but the commercials have had me thinking about this sort of thing for a few weeks.

_________________
Anyone for some German Shepherd Pie? - daisychain
Well! Fruit is stupid! These onions taste nothing like fruit! - allularpunk
Dwarf-tossing for God: A Story of Hope - Invictus


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Feeling empathy for "monsters"
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 10:52 pm 
Offline
Not NOT A Furry
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 27, 2010 1:41 am
Posts: 465
Location: Indiana
i can feel empathy for someone who has committed a horrific crime being given a disproportionately harsh sentence or suffering in inhumane conditions in prison. that's how i can empathize with "monsters". i acknowledge the effect of trauma on their lives if they've had any, and i acknowledge their disadvantages. i don't, however, empathize with them feeling sad that they lost things in their life as a direct consequence of their crimes. these events didn't just happen to this man. they happened because of him.

i guess the emphasis on feeling empathy for people who commit violent crimes just feels a little too close to the emphasis some people put on forgiveness. it places an unfair burden on the victims to not feel angry or hurt for too long, otherwise it's all their fault for feeling like that. like if only they'd realize that he's just a confused kid, they wouldn't be so upset about the horrific things he did to them.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Feeling empathy for "monsters"
PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 8:09 am 
Offline
Flounceiad 2011
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 8:26 pm
Posts: 5224
Location: A New England
Fee wrote:
I felt empathy for the Steubenville rapists. I didn't post it because I'm a human and it doesn't occur to me to post every feeling I have on the ppk. I also didn't realize it was so taboo. But yes, I cried my eyes out for Jane Doe in empathy, as I did many times when hearing stories of those injured in these bombings and the family that lost their child. My heart hurt for them. But empathy can't be measured and isn't finite, so I was able to have it for the perpetrators as well. Not as much and not as strong at all. It doesn't come from trying to come up with reasons or theories about the crime, just seeing someone whose life is forever changed.

I don't know, I thought everyone felt it, but I've visited maximum security prisons and met and talked to confessed, convicted murders and rapists. Some of them will die in there and never see their kids, never know what it's like to live anywhere else or wear anything else or eat anything else. In some point in their lives they caused someone more pain than imaginable, and that's unforgivable so they have to live like that. How can you avoid the empathy and are we supposed to?
Yes - thank you for putting that so well.

_________________
Nothing is safe from weiners in my neighborhood... ~ crowderpea
I didn't embarrass him by saying anything about wanking ~ 8ball
"SMLOUNCE!" ~ smurfterrobang?!
http://elizaveganpage.blogspot.com


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Feeling empathy for "monsters"
PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 8:19 am 
Offline
Invented Vegan Meringue
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 2:18 pm
Posts: 3561
Location: It's hot. All the time.
After Columbine, there was a lot of talk of how the boys were bullied, had no friends, it was revenge against their tormentors...

That all turned out to be wrong. They had plenty of friends. They dated. It was a deliberate act, planned and executed with the intention of killing as many people as possible. It was a failed bombing turned into an improvised mass shooting.

That's why laurinscki and Tofulish's reminders are important. We know nothing about their motivations or what they are feeling. Projecting emotions onto him doesn't really aid in understanding what happened.

There is also a huge difference between someone who's life is changed because of actions they took, deliberately, and someone who is a victim.

_________________
A whole lot of access and privilege goes into being sanctimonious pricks J-Dub
Dessert is currently a big bowl of sanctimonious, passive aggressive vegan enduced boak. Fezza
You people are way less funny than Pandacookie. Sucks to be you.-interrobang?!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Feeling empathy for "monsters"
PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 8:26 am 
Offline
Invented Vegan Meringue
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 2:46 pm
Posts: 4095
Location: 5 mi east of philly
beforewisdom wrote:
The surviving brother is 19 years old, an adult.

i didn't think i had to qualify it, considering vijita and i had already been talking about the frontal lobe not being fully formed until age 26.

the law doesn't always line up with biology.

_________________
I solved it for once and for all -- and for everyone -- by intentionally leaving behind some 9-lives burritos... ~Lorelei4mc
supercarrot.com, vegan groupony things, vegan coupons


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Feeling empathy for "monsters"
PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 8:57 am 
Offline
Bought a used copy of Natural Harvest
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 6:29 pm
Posts: 6040
Location: Land of Maple and Beavers
For what it's worth, at age 19 (or even 25, for that matter) I felt like an adult who was fully developed, but looking back I was just a kid.

_________________
Did you notice the slight feeling of panic at the words "Chicken Basin Street"? Like someone was walking over your grave? Try not to remember. We must never remember. - mumbles
Is this about devilberries and nazifruit again? - footface


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Feeling empathy for "monsters"
PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 9:01 am 
Offline
Semen Strong
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 7:10 pm
Posts: 18727
Location: Cliffbar NJ
The Indian man who raped a 5 year old girl for 40 hours and left her for dead was only 24.

http://metro.co.uk/2013/04/21/girl-of-f ... a-3660556/

_________________
But on a cold winter night, when the wind whispers through the trees and a bright, white moon hangs heavy in the air, you might hear a sad cry like someone thinking he knows what's best for you, and that'll be the white man a-passin' you by. just mumbles


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Feeling empathy for "monsters"
PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 9:55 am 
Offline
Heart of Vegan Marshmallow
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 1:50 pm
Posts: 3063
Location: The Bene
It seems a little like people on both sides of this discussion are trying to talk others out of feeling however they're feeling. Can't we just accept that some people feel empathy in situations like this and others don't, and neither should be made to feel bad about what are essentially feelings?

I just finished reading Zero Degrees of Empathy by Simon Baron Cohen, and it's worth a read both in coming to understand what causes the lack of empathy in people that makes them capable of atrocities, and in trying to come to terms with how to deal with perpetrators. He comes down on the side of having empathy (again, NOT sympathy, forgiveness or excusing them their crimes) for even those responsible for the most horrendous atrocities. But I'm not sure we truly have a choice in when or for whom we'll feel empathy, and I'm not sure it's worth trying to talk people out of their feelings.

_________________
Ain't no guarantees in life, and nothing that comes out of my vagina can change that. - Erika Soyf*cker

I'd rather have a cupcake and a matte stomach. - Desdemona


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Feeling empathy for "monsters"
PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 10:24 am 
Offline
Dislikes Rick Santorum
User avatar

Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 11:51 am
Posts: 5045
Location: United States of New England
lepelaar wrote:
It seems a little like people on both sides of this discussion are trying to talk others out of feeling however they're feeling. Can't we just accept that some people feel empathy in situations like this and others don't, and neither should be made to feel bad about what are essentially feelings?



i think this is a really good point.
some of us felt empathy for this kid or other criminals and some of us didnt. i dont think either side is wrong.
none of us are claiming he shouldnt be prosecuted to the full extent of the law or what he did isnt a horribly heinous act of violence that none of us can even remotely understand perpetrating.

we're just having different reactions to a horrible crime(s)

_________________
Lisa's CSA Blog 2014


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Feeling empathy for "monsters"
PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 10:47 am 
Offline
Bathes in Braggs
User avatar

Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2012 4:07 pm
Posts: 1308
Location: Berlin
I don't see how acting "according to law" is relevant when it comes to compassion.

I don't believe people are free in their choices in life, but it doesn't mean I always feel compassion. Compassion to me is not morally relevant at all, so I don't think anyone should feel bad for feeling it towards anyone, even when they committed horrible crimes and brought upon huge tragedies.

_________________
http://www.veganinberlin.com
"Money ain't got no owners, only spenders." - Omar


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 143 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group
Template made by DEVPPL/ThatBigForum and fancied up by What Cheer