over at tim boucher`s site there is a discussion bout empathy going on right now that deserves a read. in it he and others are caught in a dialog with a pre-supposition that we are calling empathy, the feelings we have for the plight of others. there is an assumption that this emotion is a valid one to feel. empathy drives humanitarianism, environmentalism, human rights, recycling programs etc. that have the greater part of humanity doing things, ostensibly for the good of others.
we have assumed a number of thins in this will to empathy that make engage in the variety of activities that we do to make us try to stop horrid feelings we have via this empathy.
we watch t.v., read newspapers and other media about the shit things that people do to each other and we are then asked to help stop those shit things from happening again.
round and round we go.
do the feelings ever go away?
no. there is always another cause to join.
i think we are being manipulated by our good nature into spending time, effort and money just to make ourselves feel better without acctually changing a damned thing.