Would a society that forced empathy for one another be a utopia or a dystopia? Would forcing people to care for one another, robbing them of the freedom to not be nice, be a bad thing even if it's for the greater good?
i think your answer to this depends on how much you value freedom of choice.
personally, i don't value it enough to not desire a world in which people are kind to one another at all times. how would that change how we conduct ourselves? i'm intrigued in what the results would be, intrigued enough to not care about not having the choice to be rude.
We already do it to an extent. Society requires a degree of empathy, regardless of what complaints you have regarding self-interested individuals.
When you zoom out and actually examine the way people behave, especially regarding politeness, you'll notice we go to surprising lengths not to make others uncomfortable, because it also makes us uncomfortable.
It would be a dystopia if applied onto current humans, as humans have no empathy by design. They are all inherently selfish and thus altruism and empathy cannot exist in the extremes, only in the grey shaded areas of trading the loss of resources by helping others with appeasing your brain and thus not inducing negative chemicals onto yourself.
It would be an utopia if the humans had outgrown the core selfishness, as at this point they would garner pleasure from helping people, thus it would always be a great time to help someone in need, since it'd feel good and you'd lose nothing since your every available resource is first and foremost made available for the rest of your tribe, not you yourself.
Communism is built on these principles. The population has to be forced into it to begin with, as anything else is impossible. No current human would willingly depart with their selfishness, but the theory is that eventually they'd rid themselves of it, help every other man than themselves first. This is why it is purely theoretical and cannot be put into practice, since it is an impossibility for many reasons.
>>1275971 I can atest to this, I see empathy as a weakness. Humanity is inherintly selfish, which is not to say i wish to infuriate you into saying "well we can change". Im sure we can. though to that path will be such immense suffuring and loss histories other atrosities would pale in comparison. Why? Simply this. To impliment this utopia, you stop humanities development. You'd stop being a human, you'd be it only in flesh. You'd be a collective nothing that does not evn dream of changing anything. in your 'Utopia', you doom humanity to be a buch of socially inert, valueless, zombies.
If you'd like a slight vision of this, look to china, they are well on the way to a society devoid of freedom to do bad.
In short, Evil acts make you human. They add the nessisary colour to the rich tapesty of life. Free will is an extention of this. Empathy is a trap to bind you to the weak of the earth so you may never excell. The truest, worse people have figured that out you know, hence why they like this idea for YOU to do. YOU, the prole, the pleb, the commoner, need to practice empathy.
'They' however...well, it never crosses there mind.
>>1275971 Mirror neurons mean that you have a toolkit in your brain that sets you up to learn social behaviors. We've shown that empathy is pretty conditional to development too. The rich and powerful correlate with less empathy, it hardly suits them anyways. The poor and downtrodden feel intense solidarity towards one another.
You might hate seeing your own countrymen killed, but be ambivalent to the dead soldiers of your country's enemies. We've shown actual war and dehumanization to be big factors in how people perceive these things. Ask a Vietnam vet what they think of charlie and you're liable to get some pretty varied answers.
Maybe your father was an alchoholic who raised you to be a sociopath. Maybe he was just a manly hardass, and you show empathy to other people by fixing their cars.
Just do what you want. I like thinking that pain I get in my chest when I see a cat that got ran over is a noble one. But I know I'll squash a roach if I see it later tonight. Shit's mostly arbitrary but that's hardly a reason to abandon it altogether. We're arbitrary by the nature of our selective perception, anyways.
Honestly, I think a society where empathy is enforced would obviously breed a lot of discontent. Though it might make it easier to be an empathetic person in general. What's not to say that learned empathy couldn't address the discontent with forced empathy?
It would be a dystopia if people were forced to, because then people would not be acting truly out altruism and instead would be acting in a way that wouldn't get them thrown in jail. (a selfish desire, though not an unreasonable one) It would be utopian, however, if the culture and practices of the nation were designed in a way to cultivate, encourage, and reward empathy. It is possible to create a system which shapes the culture in this direction, but currently it does not exist.
>>1276247 That's hard to say. A "bad" person might empathise with another "bad" person because a "good" person is doing things that the second "bad" guy doesn't like.
All it takes is for the first "bad" person is to dehumanize the third guy for it to be justifiable to do all sorts of shit in this case. When people are dehumanized, or objectified, empathy becomes less intuitive, and must be forced if you want to practice it.
Think about how badly you've to squash that motherfucker in front of you who's taking half a minute to make a right turn at a dead red light on the way to your daughter's birthday party because you're running late and it'd kill you to see her hurt.
>>1276209 Its not bitterness it just seems to be the way of man. On the contray, i find it exillerating and exciting somewhat, we are complex beings, thinking on plane that the animals do not. you can steal from another simply by words, is that not the flawed but smart fooling the good-natured but simple?
>>1276247 I dont want to sound like one of those autistic people who claim there supior to normal people because they lack emotion, but i do feel a resitance and ability to exploit empathy is far more ignoble than to be a willing slave to it as its emotion.
In fact, it might be more disatrous to show not an ounce of empathy as others will view you cold with no compassion, possibly a sociopath. Fear would grip them, however fear is not great all the time. I mean, if you needed to recive empathy by a former victim, you'd be fucked because they would feel rightly you would not spare them in turn.
So, do token gestures occasionally, you'll feel better for awhile...and if your a sociopath? you' might gain loyalty or something that pays better than being completly merciless.
>>1276304 Perhaps I should have said pessimistic? Doesn't matter, that's an interesting take.
I have mood swings on account of autism, if that makes any difference, they're rather strong if I let them go unchecked. Weirdly enough, it might be an aberrant form where exploitative behavior is adopted to make up for social shortfallings. Shit's complex, that you are right about, and I'm glad for it.
But feelings are just feelings to me. You learn that shit when you're subject to them, or you drown. I'll know when I can choose to be happy, and I know when I'll need to slog through. They don't have to be any one thing other than what feels right, or what I need them to be at the time. Same with empathy, I prefer it. But I don't like coining its use as if it were some infallible parable. I want to be empathetic to other people and avoid exploitation, but you really gotta stick your neck out for it sometimes.
Still, I feel that there's more of a return for them from returning it. And those empathetic narratives can be pretty transparent given the right context. So if you happen to be an average person, that context is likely trivial enough that most people would stand to gain little. That's the thing about socio and psychopaths, most of them burn out and get nothing from their behavior. All you need to do is have your shit together. High functioners make good CEO's sure. But that's the nature of competition. Oddly enough though, I've always felt a certain kinship for them.
So I'm pretty unconcerned. If you, the smart man uses me, I don't feel that you are very smart. Because I work hard for those that don't, you know? If you value who you are as a person, and you're willing to drop somebody for crossing a line, it may as well be their loss. So I guess I more or less abide by the "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me" way of seeing things. But again, it depends.
>>1276304 The thing about socio and psychopathy is that it's effectively a social learning disability. Again, high functioning members of these groups are generally outliers.
They tend to have difficulty building support groups, holding down jobs, and building meaningful relationships. The ones who succeed strike up the balance you talk about. They have enough executive functioning to reign in their excesses and be self-observant enough to learn. A lot of this is guessed because they more or less have trouble learning the exact meaning(look up meaning-blindness if you don't follow) or implications behind actual, cooperative behavior. If they happen to have reduced executive function, they'll be plagued by a myriad of problems from a lack of self control. But it's easy enough for them to see a situation that they can take advantage of, instead. It's a strength and a flaw.
Interestingly enough, I read a lot about them once in the writing of a well educated scandinavian escort. She knew psychology and was smart enough to avoid falling into a lot of the basic emotional traps that they learn to set. It turned out that a lot of her customers were high functioning socio/psychopaths or people with autism because A. they made a lot of disposable income B. they can't hold down a girlfriend, or even keep their family around in some cases, so they C. buy an evening with an escort
And because she was learned, and also talented enough to teach interpersonal shit to people with alien mindsets, she claimed she actually was able to help them. Their facade of a date with an escort was basically roleplay, and they were playing house. She was blunt enough to tell them exactly what they were doing that she didn't like, but allegedly smart enough to frame it in a way that made the implications of their behavior clear. And eventually, with some time, she stopped seeing a few of them. Because they were able to keep relationships down a bit better.It's like special ED for life.
Its intresing you two chaps came to the same conclusion. What ive taken away from both your comments is this:
1. Autistic people are far more flexible compared to sociopaths/psychopaths. where as the 'paths can be more talented at social mimickry, they, like one of you said 'burn themselves out', maintaining there facade until they need to realease themselves...often disatrously.
2.The 'softness' of the autistic, is normal people misenterpriting it. If anything it is calmness, but to a disturbing degree. Placid to the point it is not concius to them, this could be used in good or bad ways.
As this conversation has evolved past the original OP's question, Id like to try raise something, do people on the spectrum desire societies with this sort of uniformaty? I mean, the idea of running a hardline autocracy via feelings feels like the sort of thing drummed up by a highly functioning sort of guy. Completely disregards the more complex 'normal 'human' psche. I dont even hate the idea. In fact im intrested in understanding what that world would look like. (though, not living in it, its sounds like a hell to me but i can see how it would be a heaven for some.)
Not to get to personal but im a kind of ultra-self determination kinda guy. strong eat the weak ect. but within the confines of the free will. Im sure it sounds like folly to some here but i truly belive thats a way of engineering the next step in mankind whilst retaining a shadow of our past.
>>1276515 They both happen to be me, my bad. Psychology and neurology is something I just tend to sperg about. When shit doesn't make sense, it sort of gives you agency to have some basic understanding of how people's brains work. And I can't exactly say I speak for the whole spectrum. But it's a pleasure to try. It's like venting, and you don't get enough chances to do it with most people.
What I said about Xpathy is a gross generalization, but when people seem to have this base fear about it, even that is somewhat empowering. But because it's humanizing, as far as I'm concerned, to understand flaws. That, I consider empathy, though maybe it's a more active way of doing it than reactive. So I'll put it forward that there might be a distinction between learned and intuitive empathy. But take it with a grain of salt, because it's a layman's guess.
But I think you pretty well nailed it on social mimicry. I see the term facade used both by 'paths describing their experience, and people who ended up victims of their abuse. What I find interesting is that while they're very capable of judging situations and learning social mimicry, their situational judgement seems selective to that. But it's not just mimickry. They clearly have the emotional intelligence to project, observe, and compare their emotional states to others. That is a department the autistic are sorely lacking in.
So it's odd, because one would think that emotional intelligence might lead to empathy. But if that escort is to believed, it may? That's why I wonder if empathy can be a learned behavior as well as an intuitive one.
>>1276515 I'm not sure what you mean as flexible though. Do you mean in a social sense? Because many tend to be incredibly rigid, and prefer to stick to more ritual forms of interaction. Where "mimicry" is what people might describe 'path behavior, a "script" is what people might attribute to the autistic. If you wouldn't mind, I'd love for you to elaborate.
I wonder if the flexibility that you see, may be because you are looking at the spectrum as a monolithic thing. It might be workable that we are flexible in terms of what kinds of individuals we are relative to one another. But flexibility is not something I would use to describe my own behavior. I'm a pretty stiff guy, and pushing to be flexible takes a hell of a lot out of you. when it's not intuitive. But again, you have to work to develop your theory of mind, and you have to work to put yourself in others' shoes if you really want to understand people. Active thought and effort needs to go into it, because your physiology isn't doing it for you. I think the difference here is that some autistic people have an easier time forming support groups. It helps to have help with that. By the nature of empathy, when you are missing something intuitive about it, you need an outside perspective for a sense of scope instead.
As far is softness, it depends. The idea that the autistic do not actually feel empathy is misinformation based on surface-level judgements. The autistic can feel empathy if they have the theory of mind to, but they often don't go so far as to emote it. So it goes unnoticed. I've read what compassionate sorts have to say. They feel a guilt that they can't emote to others a mutual pain, or that they don't understand how to cheer people up. Details like this about autists and 'paths are often glossed over because again, surface level judgement.
>>1276515 The autistic tend to prefer uniformity in general, in the sense of consistency. The dynamic can be incredibly uncomfortable, because they are often very rigid people to live by. Your average social interaction is actually incredibly dynamic, so they tend to cause a lot of undue stress. But a life-skill that's often taught to us so that we can function better, is to establish rules(since we like them so much) that do tend to address some day-do-day things in that authoritative matter. Though it's mostly to mitigate executive function, so in that sense 'paths may benefit from it too.
But yeah, I think autists would thrive in a more reduced, rule based environment. I wonder if history was more kind to us once, rather than this alien, individualistic, and chaotic modern existence.
Anyways, I think what you're talking about is more or less a harsh reality that we've been trying to avoid now as people. Those who prefer to cooperate, will leverage their will over those who would consume them. But it's hard to do that nowadays, community is somewhat on the decline if headlines are to be believed. We exalt the wolf now, not the sheep. But the herd gets less credit for what it does, than it deserves. The level of trust that they put in each other, understanding this reality of this, is nearly insane. But these coalitions manage to build trust on faith alone and turn trust into something less tentative. That is much more difficult than being a lone wolf, though much less so if you just end up born with it. I think again, empathy is necessary somewhere there. And that there's a net good to the people who practice it among each other wholesale, that can't be easily replicated through extortion.
I mean, magic wand? Some drug that makes their empathy instincts kick into overdrive? Or do you severely just punish any non-empathetic behavior? (Presumably at the hands of some protected law enforcement class that is thus enabled to do so.)
In terms of flexibility, I (that is, I who looking in on your mindscape as it were, rather than sharing it, i must stress.) find that'paths have a built in stubborness, prehaps born of selfishness or a form of pride within, as seen with the common narsassim foun in most of them. However, people with autism can have this and more, i belive, as theycan adapt more rationally to scenario. As is said later by yourself, you feel stiff and un-cooprative...to the dullard. With even the slightest attention, we, as in I...lets call us the norms, to coin the phase and save confusion, yes, the norms tend to pick up your signals better and the most inportant thing is it feels genuine, like we feel the effort and weight of it.
The only crime, in your 'softness' is it can be easily exploited. Norms, even those that are not paticularly intelligent, can sense this and should the need arise fool you in a very fundemental way. By this i mean, no mattewr how intelligent the Autist in question, they can be fooled by cheap linguistic trickery, as with tone also.
as to anon 2, i shall make a post specificly for you.
What type of situation would be lost, that you consider is freedomful, if forced empathy were a thing?
You bump into someone, accidentally get mad at them?
I can't think of much that could be missed in terms of value, honestly. However I can see a much greater value in return for forced empathy for all. For example, you're a dollar short, someone lends/gives you the extra dollar. You get in an accident, instead of screaming and yelling, you help each other out. Instead of trying to sue or run away from each other, you reach an empathy state and find a reasonable compensation for the fix.
Empathy is the same mechanism that makes us ignore people's suffering or make us supect people are trying to screw us over, so i don't know how it would help that much. https://aeon.co/essays/do-we-need-a-telepathy-machine-when-we-already-have-empathy
>>1276789 If people work together in empathetic way to build a better life for themselves/others, this would truly be a better society imo. The freedom lost in exchange would be a really small price to pay. No more shitty politicians driven by corruption, no more shitty people acting shitty. People helping each other instead of taking advantage of each other.
If we don't go full hyberbolic on this forced empahy situation, even a 20% boost to empathy in people should be felt on a global scale and personal, if they were administered like a shot.
>>1276798 Good point. We might associate empathy with good things, but it can also mean bad things too.
To be empathetic means to more readily copy the actions/emotions of another. Either by relating them to ourselves or by feeling angry when they feel angry.
The feeling of anger wont go away, but what happens when someone gets angry at another and they're both boosted with higher empathy drug?
Does the person getting angry lose their anger quickly due to them relating to the other person more? Does the second person become MORE angry in response to first one? Does the second person become empathetic and resolve the situation in a positive empathetic and diffuse the situation? If the person A is more receptive, does that work out better?
What variables control the rates of anger/empathy/rationalizations?
>>1276649 Although i can see the prospect of work and social scenarios being more comfy in a society, this would also cause them more fundemental ills. To be clear, in this scenario ive posed, we'll imagine 90-80% of the population of this nation state is autistic. The rest being norms trying to fit in and some 'paths. To this end, problems would arise in highreicy. who or what governs you? distribution would be a main factor. possible disenfancisment and disent by the minority normies, making deliberate errors to undermine you nation. these are just setbacks i think such a place would face.
this part paticularly struck a cord with me. >I think autists would thrive in a more reduced, rule based environment. I wonder if history was more kind to us once, rather than this alien, individualistic, and chaotic modern existence.
Partly because I think it was, but if servitude was found, and those who could bare it, so too would you find your kind amongst the norm masses. I also am sternly convinced some of the greatest minds were Autistic, scholars, monks, philosophers. Which begs the question why servitude ins such a perogative. like you say though, liking to follow rules, be it from a man or god, or simply a vows, fits you so.
I probably fall into your wolf part of your annolrgy. though im a wolf that looks at the sheep and wonders in curiousity of there capability. I see the mass and know it posses more strength than any manipulator, yet it is fractured, divided amongst many. I like this though and see it more as the true chaos that is life. a choas you and yours, rather nobaly, would want to stamp out. yet me and others couldnt live with that. for us, it would be a slow death.
In short, dogma is your kinds friend. Unquestionable. Absolute. I can see the glory in it, sure. Though mine is cowboys and indians if you catch my drift. If we were in space, were the pilot aces that go hither and dither. it makes no sense really but to me it the appeal.
>>1276649 Autists here, I can confirm to a degree. A rule based environment is where autists would thrive, assuming the rules are not unreasonable demands. Always on time, always do xyz in certain order, always etc. This is mainly because I do not understand how to interpret another person's will properly if not given specific instructions. I can extrapolate 3-4 different variants of a single instruction if not extrapolated upon, so I get confused quite often.
>>1275394 In a blank slate society, forced altruism, like reparation for hard crime, or public apologies, or even charity, has always historically been more utopian than dystopian. The right wing, ever since it became the "Right wing", has always had socialist tendencies, moreso than the liberals on the left (up until recent times). You're making the assumption that freedom is good. There are cases where freedom isn't good. In a free society, we still have to let ourselves be controlled by other factors. Monopolization, for example, because the company that puts the product together might also want to make the pieces of that product so they can make their product cheaper; walmart, and many others, exist in a corporation to provide good deals for each business partner. People buy wholesale products for their business to sell for retail price. But if monopolization leads to poverty in any such way, it would be the will of the free market, and thus is a product of freedom. I think true freedom doesn't have to be confined to money. Who's free who is a slave to greed?
Some people are born psychopaths, sociopaths; we can't let them exploit the rest of mankind; we can't let anyone exploit the rest of mankind. We either force our morals on people, or they force their decadence and degeneracy.
>>1276830 I would move in to say that the greatest minds were aberrant, but not specifically autistic. It's a worldview that unnecessarily exalts a group of people who are more visible in a contemporary sense, over aberrants who are not. Maybe some of the greatest doctors or surgeons in history have been 'paths. But we see their talent as CEO's and ruthless politicians. And I take issue with the distinction of normals in any sense other than clarification. From my experience, it's a distinction that's incredibly easy to make. And it helps, if you are trying to be introspective. But it suffers the same level of generalization, and it's otherwise only useful to paint yourself as a victim. That's also way too easy to do.
It takes agency away in the very same way those rules do, where agency is a burden, and rules are the release. Authoritarianism is too comfortable, if not because it lifts all but the most arbitrary burdens of responsibility. Which is particularly nice for the autistic, who again, may lack the executive functioning to carry out that responsibility. Any reduction of it is preferable when you are at the very least, able to intuit your own mental limitations as a person. Which autistic people may actually be more comfortable doing than your average person. But intuiting and understanding other people is difficult without rationalization. So the speed of conversation is hell. That's what I meant by the reductionism. But that is lazy. The idea of being something close to a pet makes my heart swell, but that is lazy. The idea of being some thane for a lord is a cozy, romantic one. But it's lazy.
I agree that servitude is unfairly looked down on. And I think that somebody doing something like that on their own volition is actually something that -is- noble. But we're obsessed with the wolf. We think the master has everything to gain, and that the servant has everything to lose. That's also lazy, but so is resigning yourself totally to servitude.
>>1276850 Thanks for chiming in! I really think I feel the same. You get lost in the conditions, the details, the little inconsistencies. And before you know it, they've moved on before you can examine the thought in it's totality. I think most people get around this by having enough of a theory of mind(essentially capacity for empathy) to communicate mostly through signalling, because there's a shared sense of meaning. Which, if you lack, you will have to address with conscious thought. That takes a while, especially without outside perspective.
>>1276918 One thing that people ignore that I think is kind of funny though is the power bottom. This is unrelated to the pet comment, I swear. but If you know anything about BDSM, then you know the power ideally flows up. The responsibility is shared by both partners to be empathetic with each other(in the sense of understanding needs and feelings) in order to lead a relationship that many practitioners find more fulfilling.
This is the only way that servitude can be fair, with that sense of empathy by two people who are rational enough to form a mutually beneficial relationship. In any scenario where a lord is not at the mercy of the deliberations of their serfs, is one where a person takes and gives nothing in return. That is extortion, in my book. And it's why servitude is looked down on. Because we understand in this society that we have let the wolves take the shepherd's place. And that the wolf need not fear our agency, nor does the wolf need to understand our emotions in any sense other than the most exploitative.
But when the sheep have the power to walk away, as I mentioned first; to cut a user out of your life before they can use you twice, is to hold either the shepherd or the wolf to a standard that they must keep. If they don't understand, or rationalize, that this mutualism is the condition of servitude, then they will have no benefits towards servitude.
>>1275394 as someone who had to learn empathy because i don't fucking feel it. i feel like we should all be forced to experience it i have to follow your rules you should have to follow them too asshole i don't get to rape and murder for funzies no matter how much i want to because society expects me to account for the feelings of others or i get put in jail and i don't want that it would be super inconvenient so i forced myself to learn to think like other people and to act the role of a normal person to avoid that shit everyone should be forced to feel empathy
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