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Empathy leads to hedonism

 
 
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Sep, 2010 11:59 pm
@parados,
We are empathic with the emotion and not with its "colour"...
0 Replies
 
RealEyes
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 Sep, 2010 11:13 pm
@Ubuntu,
Ubuntu wrote:
It's a misconception that 'hedonism' is just a selfish lust for sensual, physically based pleasures. If I'm not mistaken, the early hedonists made no distinction between pleasure and happiness


I think you're confusing hedonism with epicureanism.
RealEyes
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 Sep, 2010 11:25 pm
@Ubuntu,
Ubuntu wrote:
We're also angry with the victimizers because we've logically analyzed their behavior as wrong (not to mention that we seem them as a threat to our well-being, since they'd probably behave the same way towards us)


Not everyone is going to have those feelings; consider Stockholm's.

Quote:
revenge would become obsolete since our concern would be the suffering of the victim and not punishing the victimizer, since we'd have empathy for the victimizer as well.


I think you misunderstand empathy. It sounds more like you're talking about sympathy.

Quote:
Why do we *care* whether or not a country is economically prosperous? The desire for a certain end result is emotional, not logical. We use logic to achieve our goals but our goals are emotionally based.


I'm not going to make claims about how all decisions are made, but I will argue that you can derive a decision by emotion, instinct, or intellect. It doesn't have to be exclusively emotional.
0 Replies
 
failures art
 
  1  
Reply Sun 26 Sep, 2010 07:33 pm
I agree that empathy is something that is often felt for some and not others, but isn't a measure of empathetic person their ability not to just understand extreme emotion, but to also be able to understand diverse emotion? In other words, if someone is getting more empathetic, I have a hard time understanding why they would become more exclusive in who they felt empathy with.

On the other end, if the degree of hedonistic behavior became increasingly more pronounced, wouldn't that limit the people a person could empathize with? They would only be able to empathize with similarly hedonistic people.

Perhaps your usage of empathy is too narrow.

A
R
T
0 Replies
 
north
 
  1  
Reply Sun 26 Sep, 2010 08:22 pm
@Ubuntu,
Ubuntu wrote:

Empathy is an emotional response to the (perceived) emotions of other sentient beings. To empathize with someone is to identify with their emotional state of mind, to feel what they feel. However, when you empathize with someone, it is their actual emotions that you identify with and not necessarily the attitude that they have towards the object of their emotion (example : if you have two brothers whom you love unconditionally but one hates the other as a result of his having hurt him in the past, you can empathize with your brother's stress without sharing the same attitude toward the object of his anger- your other brother whom you also love).

Hedonism is the idea that happiness and suffering are the only things that sentient beings really value and disvalue, we don't intuitively realize this because we're hardwired to associate the objects of our emotions with our emotions. The fact that we have mixed emotions and positive attitudes towards negative experiences and vice versa doesn't negate this. People would choose not to enter Nozick's virtual reality machine not because they value the truth but because the *idea* of living a lie is distressing to them. We don't always make decisions that effectively serve our interests (pursuing pleasure, avoiding stress) but we do make decisions based on a desire to experience pleasure and an aversion to stress.

If we were to make ethical decisions based on empathy alone, then our only concern would be the feelings of those that we feel empathy for. If their emotional well being was all that mattered to us, then we would judge an action as good or bad only on the basis that it increased happiness/minimized stress or increased stress/deprived someone of happiness. In a world without feelings, nothing would 'matter' since nobody could be positively or negatively affected by something. For this reason, happiness/freedom from suffering alone (and not preference, autonomy, knowledge etc.) should be the objective of ethics.


once we think that what your suggesting is true , it is then that we become less Human
0 Replies
 
Razzleg
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 Sep, 2010 06:02 pm
@RealEyes,
RealEyes wrote:

Ubuntu wrote:
It's a misconception that 'hedonism' is just a selfish lust for sensual, physically based pleasures. If I'm not mistaken, the early hedonists made no distinction between pleasure and happiness


I think you're confusing hedonism with epicureanism.


Epicurus was both a psychological and an ethical hedonist, which is to say that he thought of pleasure as both the natural and the right goal of human beings. He made qualifications about what constituted pleasure; however he did not identify pleasure with happiness but with the absence of pain.
0 Replies
 
 

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