Would you say "power" tends to be the antithesis of "empathy" ? It is based on hierarchical "status" which puts boundaries around the exercise of empathy.
Hi Fresco - Heirarchial power is only one form of power.
At its heart there are two forms of power :
- Individual power : including physical, mental, and skill based power
- Social power : social power is your power to influence others influence.
The two can of course, overlap - for much (though not all) of our social power finds it's foundation in our individual power (though social power is still more than that)
For the most part, 'rights' exist in the social realm.
Within social power, there is formal/heirachial power, there is expert power, there is financial power, there is charismatic power, there is physiological power, group power etc
Heirachial power I would think, lends itself to paradigms that 'may' affect empathy - but you can be in charge of subordinates and care for them, and view things from their angle while still leading with vision and focus.
Charismatic power can occur in the presence of deep empathy (but does not have, for of course, it is much more than just empathy)
When the bible (divine power) grants man domain over all other life (possibly including woman !) this can be seen removing empathy from its application to animals
Well, if we were to argue God based empathy for animals - I would point out that none of us enjoy seeing animals in pain - most of would wince (empathy) and feel sorry for the animal (sympathy)...and the only kids who enjoy torturing animals seem to have a decent chance of growing up to become serial killers.
Why don't we eat our pet dogs?