Go Back   Bloggingheads Community > Diavlog comments
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Notices

Diavlog comments Post comments about particular diavlogs here.
(Users cannot create new threads.)

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #41  
Old 01-17-2010, 03:05 PM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Southern California
Posts: 5,694
Default Re: Science Saturday: Like Animals

Quote:
Regarding, "I am not going to give even a portion of it to someone less fortunate". I don't believe that this is quite accurate, from their point-of-view.

The problem these kind of people have is that they are not "giving" their money, but their money is being "taken".

To figure out their position on "giving to the less fortunate", I think you'd need to look at charitable giving from these people (instead of something paid through taxation).
You make some good points. I would have chosen a less ambiguous example of sadistic bigotry: opposition to same-sex marriage. That, like racism in the old days, is a more clear-cut example of "turning off" empathy to the outcast group.
__________________
Seek Peace and Pursue it
בקש שלום ורדפהו
Busca la paz y síguela
--Psalm 34:15
Reply With Quote
  #42  
Old 01-17-2010, 03:20 PM
wreaver wreaver is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 96
Default Re: Science Saturday: Like Animals

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ocean View Post
It all depends on how you define fairness.
I wasn't trying to define fairness at all. I was only talking about fairness "drive".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ocean View Post
If understood by your paragraph above, it seems to be a very limited and shortsighted view of fairness.
Please refrain from making Ad Hominem attacks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ocean View Post
You can't define fairness at one discrete point in time. The same person who has to contribute money for someone else's medicine today, may need others to contribute for their own health care tomorrow.
I see you want to get into a discussion about politics, which I really wasn't interested in having. I was more interesting in exploring how people think. But....

Regarding, "You can't define fairness at one discrete point in time." I'm not sure what you are saying here. Can you please rephrase this.
Reply With Quote
  #43  
Old 01-17-2010, 03:25 PM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: eastern sierra
Posts: 5,413
Default Re: Science Saturday: Like Animals

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ocean View Post
Unionized jobs tend to have better benefits. That's what unions are for. Free market doesn't work that well when it comes to benefits.
True. It's a terrible flaw of the system. Voting for healthcare has become so politicized that it has created this kind of circus. A good example is all Republican Senators voting NO to HCR.
Yes, legislators haven't come around to change all that much. They may need more time...
Harkin was referring to the deal which was recently forged between the unions and the White House wherein union members will not be taxed on their "cadillac' health plans (until a certain date far away) but plain old non- union folks who have 'cadillac' plans will be taxed on them much sooner or even right away.

I guess those union guys (and the white house) lack emapathy for non union guys.

And BTW, the Rebublican senators have voted NO because the bills stink to high heaven.
Reply With Quote
  #44  
Old 01-17-2010, 03:40 PM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: eastern sierra
Posts: 5,413
Default Re: Science Saturday: Like Animals

Quote:
Originally Posted by wreaver View Post
Please refrain from making Ad Hominem attacks.
Oh my god, you ain't seen nothin' yet!!!
Reply With Quote
  #45  
Old 01-17-2010, 04:04 PM
Unit Unit is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 1,713
Default Re: Science Saturday: Like Animals

It's fine to make fun of models that, as a first approximation, assume individuals to be self-interested, but be careful about rejecting them altogether. Anyone who would support the Carbon Tax for instance is assuming that people will consume less gas if they have to pay more for it.
Reply With Quote
  #46  
Old 01-17-2010, 06:34 PM
Ocean Ocean is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: US Northeast
Posts: 6,784
Default Re: Science Saturday: Like Animals

Quote:
Originally Posted by badhatharry View Post
Harkin was referring to the deal which was recently forged between the unions and the White House wherein union members will not be taxed on their "cadillac' health plans (until a certain date far away) but plain old non- union folks who have 'cadillac' plans will be taxed on them much sooner or even right away.
Thanks. But I had understood the argument perfectly well from the beginning.

Quote:
I guess those union guys (and the white house) lack empathy for non union guys.
No, that doesn't sound quite right, because non-union guys could organize and become union guys. That's the nature of organized labor.

Quote:
And BTW, the Rebublican senators have voted NO because the bills stink to high heaven.
Of course, that's one of the possibilities but not the only one.
Reply With Quote
  #47  
Old 01-17-2010, 06:44 PM
Ocean Ocean is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: US Northeast
Posts: 6,784
Default Re: Science Saturday: Like Animals

Quote:
Originally Posted by wreaver View Post
I wasn't trying to define fairness at all. I was only talking about fairness "drive".
You can't talk about "fairness drive" if you don't have a definition for fairness.

Quote:
Please refrain from making Ad Hominem attacks.
I criticized the argument about fairness, not you. Why are you talking about "ad hominem"?

Quote:
I see you want to get into a discussion about politics, which I really wasn't interested in having. I was more interesting in exploring how people think. But....
Yes, I also was talking about how people think about fairness.

Quote:
Regarding, "You can't define fairness at one discrete point in time." I'm not sure what you are saying here. Can you please rephrase this.
In order to assess fairness, you should look at the balance between giving and receiving over extended periods of time. If you only look at one particular point in time, you may think that someone is (for example) only giving.
Reply With Quote
  #48  
Old 01-17-2010, 06:57 PM
piscivorous piscivorous is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,593
Default Re: Science Saturday: Like Animals

Yes and had the liberal lawmakers included some of the conservative issues in the bill you would see some crossover vote for it's passage. Instead the left has written a bill that approaches HCR strictly from a leftist perspective; so is it any wonder that the right has rejected it out of hand. If you want some conservative support there must be some inclusion of conservative concerns.
The only compromise in this bill is the far left surrendering to the not so far left.
Reply With Quote
  #49  
Old 01-17-2010, 07:00 PM
Ocean Ocean is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: US Northeast
Posts: 6,784
Default Re: Science Saturday: Like Animals

Quote:
Originally Posted by piscivorous View Post
Yes and had the liberal lawmakers included some of the conservative issues in the bill you would see some crossover vote for it's passage. Instead the left has written a bill that approaches HCR strictly from a leftist perspective; so is it any wonder that the right has rejected it out of hand. If you want some conservative support there must be some inclusion of conservative concerns.
The only compromise in this bill is the far left surrendering to the not so far left.
What are the conservative concerns that needed to be addressed to make this bill more palatable and viable in the near future?
Reply With Quote
  #50  
Old 01-17-2010, 07:02 PM
piscivorous piscivorous is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,593
Default Re: Science Saturday: Like Animals

Interstate sales of insurance and tort reform would have brought in a number of centrists.
Reply With Quote
  #51  
Old 01-17-2010, 07:08 PM
Ocean Ocean is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: US Northeast
Posts: 6,784
Default Re: Science Saturday: Like Animals

Quote:
Originally Posted by piscivorous View Post
Interstate sales of insurance and tort reform would have brought in a number of centrists.
Do you know that for a fact or are you just guessing?
Reply With Quote
  #52  
Old 01-17-2010, 07:21 PM
Starwatcher162536 Starwatcher162536 is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 1,658
Default Re: Science Saturday: Like Animals

What exactly is meant by tort reform? Is this just limiting punitive damages, or is there more to it?

Why is interstate sale of insurance so popular with the right? If you allow inter-state insurance sales, then the states will lose almost of all their regulatory power concerning insurance. You are in effect giving the federal gov't all of the regulatory power. It was my understanding that the right typically wants to be more federalist, not less.
__________________
Six Phases of a Project: (1)Enthusiasm (2)Disillusionment (3)Panic (4)Search for the Guilty (5)Punishment of the Innocent (6)Praise and Honors for the Non-Participants
Reply With Quote
  #53  
Old 01-17-2010, 07:23 PM
piscivorous piscivorous is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,593
Default Re: Science Saturday: Like Animals

It's all guess work but it is grounded in reality. Look at the results of the states that have instituted tort reform (medical malpractice) Texas and West Virginia are interesting cases. As far as interstate buying reforms, it has been the desire of many conservative and centrist for a long time. It is not difficult, for a politician to say "I can't support this bill because it contains little or nothing I support" than it is to say "even though this bill would enact a policy(s) that I have been fighting for throughout my political career I must vote no." A one sided bill, that which we are about to receive, will garner a one sided vote, that which is about to occur.
Reply With Quote
  #54  
Old 01-17-2010, 07:55 PM
piscivorous piscivorous is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,593
Default Re: Science Saturday: Like Animals

Quote:
Originally Posted by Starwatcher162536 View Post
What exactly is meant by tort reform? Is this just limiting punitive damages, or is there more to it?...
Punitive damages have a lot to do with it but so does immediacy of relief and lessening of the case loads. For a somewhat biased evaluation of the results of the Texas reforms there is this: TEXAS: Tort Reform Spurs Economic Growth; Aids Access to Healthcare. West Virginia is more anecdotal at this time but this AP article addresses some of the issues Report: Limiting medical lawsuits could save $41B
Quote:
Originally Posted by Starwatcher162536 View Post
... Why is interstate sale of insurance so popular with the right? If you allow inter-state insurance sales, then the states will lose almost of all their regulatory power concerning insurance. You are in effect giving the federal gov't all of the regulatory power. It was my understanding that the right typically wants to be more federalist, not less.
The gain or loss of the ability to regulate would depend somewhat on the nature of the reform passed, but in general I would say that the states would be losing some of their regulatory authority. This is not saying that this loss of regulatory ability, by the states, would directly transfer to the Federal Government, that would largely hinge on the nature of competition allowed. In the broadest reading much of the regulations regarding what must be covered and the bureaucratic requirements of reporting could disappear completely. A more narrowly crafted solution would make the transfer from state to federal regulation more likely , but the current legislation, and it's inevitable "fine tuning" is going to usurp the power of the state regulatory boards anyways and we know that is going to pass directly to the Federal Government.
Reply With Quote
  #55  
Old 01-17-2010, 08:14 PM
JonIrenicus JonIrenicus is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,606
Default Competition and empathy and the boundaries of empathy

One point I wanted to make based off a sense I got from Waal.


He seemed to come across as thinking competition was sort of an enemy of empathy. I am sure that is true to an extent, but I don't think they are mutually exclusive. So long as the competition is not life and death I suppose.



I have been in competitive situations with both other people and other companies and my empathy did not vanish or diminish if I saw one of them do worse than I or the groups I have worked for do.

But then, my internal sense has never been weighted down with the idea of a zero sum game, that others doing well hurts me (liberal liberal liberal liberal liberal !!!! don't act like you've never heard that spewing from your fellow travelers, don't lie), that others doing poorly makes my life better.


I suppose as resources get more finite, and the consequences of losing out become more serious that competition interferes with empathy to a greater degree, but on balance it's still a net good as it tends to make people/institutions/companies better than they otherwise would be.




On the boundaries of empathy, I wish they went into more detail on what they considered reasonable boundaries for our empathy.


You all remember the way your empathy dropped off a cliff after seeing that footage of the soldiers being dragged through the streets of Somalia?

Was that appropriate?

Mine tends to drop off very quickly when I see people behaving indecently to their fellow man. Of course, if your world view explains away and shifts the causes of that indecency away from the individual and onto circumstance and/or poverty, then it is much easier to extend the empathic umbrella.

Is that reasonable? The boundaries people draw say alot about them I think. where are yours?
Reply With Quote
  #56  
Old 01-17-2010, 08:29 PM
Ocean Ocean is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: US Northeast
Posts: 6,784
Default Re: Competition and empathy and the boundaries of empathy

What they talk about here is a more basic form of competition and empathy. When you are competing you want to win, you want the other to lose, the "other" is your rival, your enemy. In that black and white situation, there is no room for empathy. In order to experience empathy, you have to identify with the other fully. You can't do both at the same time.

Your examples are more elaborated and indirect forms of competition. For example, you can rationally conceive your competition as a game. Playing with others may allow empathy.

In a previous post, I commented on the role of aggression as an impediment for empathy. I think you are talking about something similar in your post.
Reply With Quote
  #57  
Old 01-17-2010, 10:20 PM
JonIrenicus JonIrenicus is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,606
Default Re: Competition and empathy and the boundaries of empathy

Aggression may be part of it, it goes along with things beyond mere competition though.


If you have a sort of like and respect for the one you are competing against, I don't think the competition will lead to a lack of empathy or sympathy for the other losing.


I think for example Goldwater would rather have run and lost against JFK than run and lost against Johnson.


Is there a qualitative difference between wanting to win and wanting another to lose?


It seems to me if you want to win or do well in a competition as opposed to wanting the other to lose or do poorly then empathy can be there in full force.



Take Hillary and Obama during the primary.

For those who wanted Obama to win, but still liked Hillary, they would probably be more empathetic at seeing her sad over the loss compared to people that did not like the woman.


Those people might even be glad to see her sad, delight in her loss. But that was not because of the competition, it was because they did not like Hillary, wanted to see her fall.

This is sloppily written, someone make a better case, but you can sort of see that there is more than mere competition at work here.
Reply With Quote
  #58  
Old 01-17-2010, 10:22 PM
Frans de Waal Frans de Waal is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 7
Default Re: Competition and empathy and the boundaries of empathy

Competition does interfere with empathy, but does not completely kill it. In fact, men and women may be different in this regard. In one neuroscience experiment (in which pain centers in the brain light up when we see another in pain) it was found that women still had some empathy left for an experimenter who had just cheated on them in a game. But not the men: in their case, the pleasure centers in the brain lighted up when they saw a competitior in pain! Were they trying to get even?

But even in men, it is rare that empathy disappears fully. Even during war, when men are expected to kill the enemy and their superiors urge them to do so, most men don't actually fire at the enemy and those who did kill often come back with severe trauma, known as PTSD. This is because it is hard or impossible to suppress all empathy.
Reply With Quote
  #59  
Old 01-17-2010, 10:28 PM
Ocean Ocean is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: US Northeast
Posts: 6,784
Default Re: Competition and empathy and the boundaries of empathy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frans de Waal View Post
Competition does interfere with empathy, but does not completely kill it. In fact, men and women may be different in this regard. In one neuroscience experiment (in which pain centers in the brain light up when we see another in pain) it was found that women still had some empathy left for an experimenter who had just cheated on them in a game. But not the men: in their case, the pleasure centers in the brain lighted up when they saw a competitior in pain! Were they trying to get even?

But even in men, it is rare that empathy disappears fully. Even during war, when men are expected to kill the enemy and their superiors urge them to do so, most men don't actually fire at the enemy and those who did kill often come back with severe trauma, known as PTSD. This is because it is hard or impossible to suppress all empathy.
Thank you for your response!

I wonder whether the difference between men and women has to do with the traditional roles of women raising their young and having to be patient with them in spite of their behavior, and men having to be more ruthless while defending the tribe in war.
Reply With Quote
  #60  
Old 01-17-2010, 10:33 PM
wreaver wreaver is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 96
Default Re: Science Saturday: Like Animals

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ocean View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by wreaver
I wasn't trying to define fairness at all. I was only talking about fairness "drive".
You can't talk about "fairness drive" if you don't have a definition for fairness.
If I understand what you are saying, then I disagree.

Fairness is just the idea that, if something is wrong for me then it is wrong for you. But how people "calculate" what is fair and what isn't fair is varies, and it not universal.

But I don't think this is such a big deal, since I'm willing to explore different concepts of fairness.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ocean View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by wreaver
Regarding, "You can't define fairness at one discrete point in time." I'm not sure what you are saying here. Can you please rephrase this.

In order to assess fairness, you should look at the balance between giving and receiving over extended periods of time. If you only look at one particular point in time, you may think that someone is (for example) only giving.
If I understand what you are saying, then I believe you are missing the key thing people who are against Socialized Medicine think is unfair.

I believe you are trying to make a rebuttal to notions you hear from some people about, "people not carrying their own weight", about "freeloaders", and about "moochers". But this is not what I've observed as the key thing that people who are against Socialized Medicine think is unfair.

The key thing people who are against Socialized Medicine think is unfair is that money is being taken from them.

This point is fundamental to them. (I.e., forced vs voluntary action.)

For example, consider this quote from Thomas Sowell...
Quote:
Liberals love to say things like, "We're just asking everyone to pay their fair share." But government is not about asking. It is about telling. The difference is fundamental. It is the difference between making love and being raped, between working for a living and being a slave. The Internal Revenue service is not asking anybody to do anything. It confiscates your assets and puts you behind bars if you don't pay.
NOTE, I did not include that quote to try to be inflammatory. I included it because I think it does a good job of illustrating their point of view.

If you can understand how they "calculate" fairness, then why they are against Socialized Medicine makes a lot of sense (regardless of whether you share their goals or sentiments).

(Do note though that I'm not trying to convince you to adopt their point of view or how they "calculate" fairness. But only exploring how people think.)
Reply With Quote
  #61  
Old 01-17-2010, 10:34 PM
JonIrenicus JonIrenicus is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,606
Default Re: Competition and empathy and the boundaries of empathy

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonIrenicus View Post
....


Is there a qualitative difference between wanting to win and wanting another to lose?

...
Just to follow up on this question and where it might lead, if you are more moved by wanting someone else or another group to lose, why might that be?


It could be you think they are engaged in foul play, are dishonest, will do harm to others, etc etc.


It is laced with so much more negative potential it is no wonder it might lead to less empathy.



On boundaries again. Remember that guy who tried to kill himself by parking an suv on train tracks, but backed out at the last minute? The train hit the suv as it was travelling backwards, rear car first, and it derailed, killed over 10 people I think.

It ruined the guys life who caused that, or at least made it that much worse.

I think it is a sad thing, he deserves to be punished for his recklessness but I do have some empathy for his torments and what he faces.

Adjust the circumstances a bit and give intention to that act and my empathy stores evaporate. If he did not cause the derailment by accident but did it intentionally, EVERY SCRAP of empathy goes to zero.



And you know what? that is appropriate I think. We all have gradations of empathy and where we draw our lines, but it is a good thing we do not dole that out in equal weights.
Reply With Quote
  #62  
Old 01-17-2010, 10:35 PM
piscivorous piscivorous is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,593
Default Re: Competition and empathy and the boundaries of empathy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frans de Waal View Post
But even in men, it is rare that empathy disappears fully. Even during war, when men are expected to kill the enemy and their superiors urge them to do so, most men don't actually fire at the enemy and those who did kill often come back with severe trauma, known as PTSD. This is because it is hard or impossible to suppress all empathy.
Those are both interesting suppositions. Can you actually supply some research or studies that back them up. From my experience, in a fire fight situation, and the enemy is trying their best to kill you most are shooting back in the direction from which they are receiving incoming. They may be firing blindly, as raising ones head to accurately aim can result in losing it, but that is not the same as "... most men don't actually fire at the enemy ..." I could also use a little better definition of "often" before I can even begin to understand the apparent contradiction that the small percentage of those that do the killing, implying that it is less bothersome to this select few, are the ones often returning with PTSD.
Reply With Quote
  #63  
Old 01-17-2010, 10:58 PM
Ocean Ocean is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: US Northeast
Posts: 6,784
Default Re: Science Saturday: Like Animals

Thank you for expanding. I initially had missed your emphasis on the difference between voluntary and forced action.

The group who object to socialized medicine think that they don't have an obligation to contribute to the health care of the entire group. Therefore they would resent being forced by tax to pay more and they would think that it is unfair.

Do they think that it is fair for them to pay any kind of tax at all? What criteria is being used to make a certain tax fair and another one unfair?

I can see that the fair/unfair duality is being used if that was the point you were trying to make. I was more interested in how they would go about deciding what's fair.
Reply With Quote
  #64  
Old 01-17-2010, 11:00 PM
TwinSwords TwinSwords is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Heartland Conservative
Posts: 4,933
Default Re: Competition and empathy and the boundaries of empathy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frans de Waal View Post
In one neuroscience experiment (in which pain centers in the brain light up when we see another in pain) it was found that women still had some empathy left for an experimenter who had just cheated on them in a game. But not the men: in their case, the pleasure centers in the brain lighted up when they saw a competitior in pain! Were they trying to get even?
A disturbing finding, to be sure. Can you clarify what you mean by "competitor in pain?" I assume you mean some kind of emotional distress, rather than actual physical pain, such as e.g., the (supposed) physical pain that test subjects in the famous Milgram experiment were exposed to.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Frans de Waal View Post
But even in men, it is rare that empathy disappears fully. Even during war, when men are expected to kill the enemy and their superiors urge them to do so, most men don't actually fire at the enemy and those who did kill often come back with severe trauma, known as PTSD. This is because it is hard or impossible to suppress all empathy.
Is this still true? I know that studies of WW2 done by S.L.A. Marshall showed that only about 15%-25% of soldiers would actually fire their weapon at the enemy when given the opportunity. But my understanding is that "improved" training methods since that time have increased that figure to somewhere in the neighborhood of 75%-80% (not sure of the precise numbers).

Last edited by TwinSwords; 01-17-2010 at 11:29 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #65  
Old 01-17-2010, 11:31 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Not Real America, according to St. Sa®ah
Posts: 21,798
Default Re: Competition and empathy and the boundaries of empathy

(Replying pretty much only to the subject line)

In what was a fairly unusual occurrence for me, I watched the entire Jets-Chargers game this afternoon. I was caught up in it, and happy for the Jets, but I am pretty much the sort of fan Roger Angell thinks we should be.

The thing that has stayed with me, though, is the deep feelings I have for Nate Kaeding [1]. Poor guy.

I have long been aware that I do not particularly enjoy winning in athletic competition, except when I'm on the underdog side, going against a bunch of trash-talkers. This lack of a killer instinct inhibited me all of my jock life and led directly to my early retirement from serious competition. [2]

==========

[1] Nate Kaeding is the placekicker for the Chargers. Right before his first field goal attempt, from 30-some-odd yards out, the announcers mentioned that he had made something like 40 straight field goals from inside the 40. He hooked it wide left.

He also missed his second one, though this was a 57-yarder -- probably just outside his range.

Prior to his third attempt, the on-screen graphic read:

Quote:
Nate Kaeding has never missed three field goals in any one game.
And ... you guessed it.

P.S. The Jets won by 3.

==========

[2] Along, possibly, with my grievous lack of speed, strength, endurance, and hand-eye coordination.
__________________
Brendan
Reply With Quote
  #66  
Old 01-18-2010, 12:50 AM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Southern California
Posts: 5,694
Default Re: Competition and empathy and the boundaries of empathy

Quote:
This lack of a killer instinct inhibited me all of my jock life and led directly to my early retirement from serious competition.
If you want to see raw, cut-throat competition fueled by ruthlessness, hatred, rage and envy, you ought to switch channels from the NFL to the Golden Globes.

Plus, you get the added thrill of seeing women wearing three gazillion dollars worth of jewelry fake-weep over the plight of Haitians. Brought to you by Target.
__________________
Seek Peace and Pursue it
בקש שלום ורדפהו
Busca la paz y síguela
--Psalm 34:15
Reply With Quote
  #67  
Old 01-18-2010, 12:51 AM
look look is offline
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 2,886
Default Re: Competition and empathy and the boundaries of empathy

Quote:
Along, possibly, with my grievous lack of speed, strength, endurance, and hand-eye coordination.
But did you ever run to the wrong goal during flag football?

I'm highly empathetic to the players in college and high school sports. I think, 'he'll be re-living that for a long time.'
Reply With Quote
  #68  
Old 01-18-2010, 01:01 AM
wreaver wreaver is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 96
Default Re: Science Saturday: Like Animals

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ocean View Post
The group who object to socialized medicine think that they don't have an obligation to contribute to the health care of the entire group. Therefore they would resent being forced by tax to pay more and they would think that it is unfair.

Do they think that it is fair for them to pay any kind of tax at all? What criteria is being used to make a certain tax fair and another one unfair?
My observation is that it varies. But there does seem to be some structure to it. For example, my impression (and note I'm painting things with some pretty broad strokes here) is....

Libertarians consider taxation to be tantamount to theft. And will see anything done though taxation as unfair and even an act of harm. (I.e., libertarians are against any and all forms of taxation.)

The "small government" types, like classical liberals and minarchists, still see taxation as tantamount to theft and even an act of harm, but see (a small and limited) government as a necessary evil. They believe certain things that they consider necessary can only be done by (a small and limited) government. And they have a list of things that they consider it necessary for. Anything outside of this list they'll reject, and consider it unfair and even harmful, and outside the bounds of the role of government.

Constitutionalists see an instance of taxation as OK only if the constitution gives authority for it. If the constitution does not give authority for some tax, then they see if as unfair. Also note, that constitutionalists do not believe in a "living" constitution. To them the constitution is immutable and not open to interpretation.

"Religious conservatives" are heavily influenced by classical liberal ideas, although in the form of neoclassical economics. And you get similar results to "small government" types with regard to economic issues (but not social issues). I.e., there are some things which taxation is OK, else it is unfair.

Neocons also seem heavily influenced by classical liberal ideas too, although also in the form of neoclassical economics. I.e., there are some things which taxation is OK, else it is unfair.

(But again note, I've painted things with broad strokes. And I'm not meaning this as necessarily being a comprehensive list. These are just groups I've noticed. Also just because I (try to) understand their various views, doesn't mean I endorse them. Nor do I think all these views are even logically sound. Although some seem logically sound. Although that doesn't mean I necessarily share their goals or sentiments.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ocean View Post
I can see that the fair/unfair duality is being used if that was the point you were trying to make. I was more interested in how they would go about deciding what's fair.
First I want to point out that the people who are against Socialized Medicine are not a homogeneous group. Although there are some similarities between them. (But I think some of them would be horrified to be conflated with the other groups. For example, libertarians are as horrified by neocons as they are with progressives.)

But I think one good place to start is noticing that fairness tends to be much more about actions, with them, than about outcomes, starting points, or possessions.

I think I can illustrate this with an example.

Imagine you are driving your car down the highway. Then 2 scary looking guys come chasing after you and force to stop on the side of the road. They demand you get out of your car. (Which you comply with.) And after a short conversation between you and them, with some yelling and growling on their part, they decide they're going to take your car. And take it.

With just that information, most people would say, that's horrible. Most people would say, they are thieves.

Now what if I told you the guys who took car were cops?

Libertarians would say, it doesn't matter, it's still theft.

"Small government" types would say, cops are a necessary evil, so as long as he did something within the bounds of their list of necessary evils, then it is OK. (Else it is just theft)

Constitutionalists would say it is OK only if the constitution gives the cop authority to do what he did. (Else it is just theft.)

"Religious conservatives" would say since he is a cop he has authority, and that overrides any sense of fairness or harm.

And neocons would also say since he is a cop he has authority, and that overrides any sense of fairness or harm.

The thing to note here is that all their ideas of fairness are similar (with respect to property anyways), but some of them believe in some notions of authority (which can override notions of fairness). (And for the ones that have some notion of authority, where that authority comes from seems to vary.)

(Let me stress again that these different groups' notions of fairness are similar with respect to property. If you consider other things, like say gay marriage, you'll see these different groups going against each other.)


If you are looking for a rule to calculate this concept of fairness that would encompass all these different groups, off the top of my head, I think you could probably do it with...

#1: It is not unfair for me to do to another that which that other has done to me.

#2: I have some list of things I consider wrong.

#3: With some (but not all) certain things can override notions of fairness.

(NOTE, I'm not completely sure these are an accurate set of rules to capture their concept of fairness. But it's what I came up with off the top of my head.)

So, for example, having money taken from you is unfair because if you took money away from someone else, then it would be theft and you would go to jail for it.

If you dig into each of those philosophies, you'll see the specifics of rule #2 and rule #3. (An interesting endeavor, but much to much for me to write in this reply.)
Reply With Quote
  #69  
Old 01-18-2010, 01:09 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Not Real America, according to St. Sa®ah
Posts: 21,798
Default Re: Competition and empathy and the boundaries of empathy

Quote:
Originally Posted by look View Post
But did you ever run to the wrong goal during flag football?
Oh ... ouch. No, never did that, thanks almost certainly to a grand total of maybe fifteen minutes ever spent playing flag football. (Also, I'm sure any of my teammates would have been able to catch me.)

I spent a few minutes trying to think of some equally inglorious moments from my career in uniform. All I'm able to visualize are some black squares that are hard to focus on, but I think they say, "Naw, you really don't want to open this door."
__________________
Brendan
Reply With Quote
  #70  
Old 01-18-2010, 01:15 AM
Ken Davis Ken Davis is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Western Appalachia
Posts: 193
Default Re: Competition and empathy and the boundaries of empathy

Quote:
Originally Posted by piscivorous View Post
Those are both interesting suppositions. Can you actually supply some research or studies that back them up. From my experience, in a fire fight situation, and the enemy is trying their best to kill you most are shooting back in the direction from which they are receiving incoming. They may be firing blindly, as raising ones head to accurately aim can result in losing it, but that is not the same as "... most men don't actually fire at the enemy ..." I could also use a little better definition of "often" before I can even begin to understand the apparent contradiction that the small percentage of those that do the killing, implying that it is less bothersome to this select few, are the ones often returning with PTSD.
In his book On Killing, Lt. Col. Dave Grossman discusses this phenomenon in some depth.

Last edited by Ken Davis; 01-18-2010 at 01:18 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #71  
Old 01-18-2010, 09:15 AM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: eastern sierra
Posts: 5,413
Default Re: Competition and empathy and the boundaries of empathy

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonIrenicus View Post
One point I wanted to make based off a sense I got from Waal.
He seemed to come across as thinking competition was sort of an enemy of empathy. I am sure that is true to an extent, but I don't think they are mutually exclusive. So long as the competition is not life and death I suppose.
I got that sense about de Waal, also. It is indeed a value judgement to say that empathy is better than competition. It would seem that both are valuable aspects of our personalities.
Ironically, I saw de Waal on The Human Spark last night on PBS. He says that it has been his life's work to highlight the similarities between chimps and humans. However in that program it was pointed out that chimps really only have empathy for members of their group, whilst humans can broaden the scope of individuals they are interested in.

Just a couple of other thoughts that ran through my head during the diavlog...Jeff Skilling was also a big fan of Atlas Shrugged (in fact I am wondering if that's really the book they were talking about instead of the selfish gene). However I don't think you can draw a line between that novel and what happened at Enron. I don't think the good kind of competition I like includes cheating the way Enron cheated. Competition does not mean win at all costs, but rather competition at its best means to work effectively and efficiently and ethically.

And Tony Robbins (whom I don't like) uses and teaches that mirroring technique to his students.
Reply With Quote
  #72  
Old 01-18-2010, 09:22 AM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: eastern sierra
Posts: 5,413
Default Re: Competition and empathy and the boundaries of empathy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frans de Waal View Post
Competition does interfere with empathy, but does not completely kill it.....
So this is all very good and interesting research, but still does not point to the conclusion that empathy is better than competition as some here seem to be saying. Besides that, even if empathy is better, it seems that it is unlikely that human nature will substantively change, so let's just recognize our nature and do the best we can always taking our nature into consideration.
Reply With Quote
  #73  
Old 01-18-2010, 09:31 AM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: eastern sierra
Posts: 5,413
Default Re: Competition and empathy and the boundaries of empathy

[QUOTE=bjkeefe;146887
Nate Kaeding is the placekicker for the Chargers. Right before his first field goal attempt, from 30-some-odd yards out, the announcers mentioned that he had made something like 40 straight field goals from inside the 40. He hooked it wide left.
[/QUOTE]

I was watching, too, primarily because I lived in San Diego for 22 years before moving the the end of civilization. We have been disappointed year after year by the Chargers. But this time was especially disappointing because they didn't even look like they were trying. Consequently I had no empathy for them at all.

(maybe next year????)
Reply With Quote
  #74  
Old 01-18-2010, 09:53 AM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: eastern sierra
Posts: 5,413
Default Re: Science Saturday: Like Animals

Quote:
Originally Posted by wreaver View Post
If I understand what you are saying, then I believe you are missing the key thing people who are against Socialized Medicine think is unfair.

For example, consider this quote from Thomas Sowell...

(Do note though that I'm not trying to convince you to adopt their point of view or how they "calculate" fairness. But only exploring how people think.)
Good job of laying out the conservative view. Thomas Sowell is perhaps its best and most articulate proponent.

It is interesting that this, historically, has been the most publicly debated competition between the conservative and liberal view. I don't think, based on what I have seen, that either side will resoundingly win, but the exercise has been fascinating and valuable.
I guess I wish that the Sowells of the world would be more visible. The conservative view is so unpalatable to some that I think his reasoned analysis would make more of an impression than, say, the Fox News bunch. But we live in a free society where anyone with a microphone gets heard.
Reply With Quote
  #75  
Old 01-18-2010, 10:05 AM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: eastern sierra
Posts: 5,413
Default Re: Science Saturday: Like Animals

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ocean View Post
Thanks. But I had understood the argument perfectly well from the beginning.
Well, from your response you didn't seem to and still don't. Your opinion that free markets don't provide benefits but unions do has nothing to do with the deal which was made between Washington and the unions, unless what you mean is that if you are in bed with Washington bureaucrats you stand to have more goodies in your stocking.
I will agree with that, but I don't think that's exactly what you were saying.

But maybe it was.....
Reply With Quote
  #76  
Old 01-18-2010, 11:12 AM
Frans de Waal Frans de Waal is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 7
Default Re: Competition and empathy and the boundaries of empathy

Quote:
Originally Posted by piscivorous View Post
Those are both interesting suppositions. Can you actually supply some research or studies that back them up ...
My book cites David Grossman (On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society. New York: Back Bay), who provides data on the reluctance of men to kill during wars. During World War II, only 1 out of every 5 American soldiers actually fired at the enemy. One officer reported that "squad leaders and platoon sergeants had to move up and down the firing line kicking men to get them to fire. We felt like we were doing good to get two or three men out of a squad to fire." Similarly, it has been calculated that during the Vietnam War American soldiers fired over 50,000 bullets for every enemy soldier killed. Most bullets must have been fired into the air.

I have no independent ways to verify these stats, but do believe that except in self-defense, killing is not something soldiers like to do, and the reason is human empathy. Grossman's book is most enlightening in this regard. To me it means that we, humans, are capable of suppressing empathy for others, but never completely ... except, that is, for a small percentage of humans (estimated at 1-2%) known as psychopaths. It is interesting that Grossman claims that very few men do the vast majority of killing during a war. I'd like to know how these men differ from the others.
Reply With Quote
  #77  
Old 01-18-2010, 11:12 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Not Real America, according to St. Sa®ah
Posts: 21,798
Default Re: Competition and empathy and the boundaries of empathy

Quote:
Originally Posted by badhatharry View Post
I was watching, too, primarily because I lived in San Diego for 22 years before moving the the end of civilization. We have been disappointed year after year by the Chargers. But this time was especially disappointing because they didn't even look like they were trying. Consequently I had no empathy for them at all.
I do know that emotion. More by observation than personally, though -- the classic case was moving to New England after growing up in NY and watching Red Sox fans with somewhat of an anthropologist's remove. The Yuh, they found another way to lose ... same old Sawx dismissals always struck me as a coping mechanism more than anything else, but I do agree that there weren't a whole lot of displays of empathy.

As far as yesterday's game goes, though, I didn't think the Chargers looked like they stopped trying. It looked more like the Jets' defense had a really good game, and on offense, the Jets' coach had a rare showing among NFL coaches of not panicking and patiently sticking to his game plan.
__________________
Brendan
Reply With Quote
  #78  
Old 01-18-2010, 11:25 AM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: eastern sierra
Posts: 5,413
Default Re: Competition and empathy and the boundaries of empathy

Quote:
Originally Posted by bjkeefe View Post
As far as yesterday's game goes, though, I didn't think the Chargers looked like they stopped trying. It looked more like the Jets' defense had a really good game, and on offense, the Jets' coach had a rare showing among NFL coaches of not panicking and patiently sticking to his game plan.
My analysis is that the Chargers came to the game with too much confidence and not enough fire in the belly (which Sanchez definitely had). Rivers and the team had great stats going into the game and it was my impression they thought this game was only a minor hurdle on their way to the SuperBowl.

Dangerous to think that, I guess.
Reply With Quote
  #79  
Old 01-18-2010, 11:28 AM
Frans de Waal Frans de Waal is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 7
Default Re: Competition and empathy and the boundaries of empathy

In answer to your question about sex differences ...

There is a growing consensus among researchers of empathy that it must have started with maternal care. This would explain the role of oxytocin (if we spray oxytocin into the nostrils of humans we get more trust and empathy), which is a hormone involved in lactation, parturition, and mother-child bonding. This also would explain the known sex differences, which appear already on day one: human newborns cry when they hear other babies cry (a form of emotional contagion), and girl babies do this more easily than boy babies.

There must have been great selection pressure on females paying attention to the emotions of their offspring, their needs, their distress. So, sex differences are entirely to be expected and are by no means just a product of culture and education. In fact, a recent literature review found the same sex difference in a wide range of human cultures.

There are a few indications for the same sex difference in empathy in primates and rodents. The Age of Empathy discusses this evidence, but I must say that the main goal for the moment is to see how empathy works and how it compares across species, and that sex differences are secondary to this. After all, males are not devoid of empathy, and so the sex difference is a matter of degree.
Reply With Quote
  #80  
Old 01-18-2010, 12:51 PM
SkepticDoc SkepticDoc is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Argleton
Posts: 1,168
Default Re: Competition and empathy and the boundaries of empathy

Dear Professor, thank you for spending time in the forum!

Your diavlog has been one of the best in a long time, like the MasterCard commercial predicates, the discussion is truly priceless...

Thank you again.
Reply With Quote
 


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:48 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.