Empathy and Rights

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Reply Wed 22 Apr, 2009 08:55 pm
Question:
Does the ability for (or the act of) empathy qualify an entity for rights?


Answers:
I am inclined to say no, because although I (an entity that empathizes) may feel obligations toward others, these feelings of obligation do not require others to treat me likewise.

Perhaps the empirical fact that all humans are physically and genetically similar, within a very small range of variation, creates a social environment that has rights as a matter of fact. Since everyone (or close to everyone, when you consider psychopaths) can and does empathize, the idea that "I should treat others __*__" is an implicit rule of social groups which equates to rights. Therefore, maybe empathy = rights if it is in a social setting, and more than one entity has the ability.

*(I'm not sure what to put in this blank. Maybe: "morally" or "as I would like to be treated" or "as I think they would like to be treated"... I think I like that last one, but I'm not sure still.)

Please give your answers to the question, or critique mine!
 
Dylan phil
 
Reply Thu 23 Apr, 2009 12:11 am
@loudthoughts,
loudthoughts wrote:
Question:
Does the ability for (or the act of) empathy qualify an entity for rights?


Answers:
I am inclined to say no, because although I (an entity that empathizes) may feel obligations toward others, these feelings of obligation do not require others to treat me likewise.

[..]Since everyone (or close to everyone, when you consider psychopaths) can and does empathize, the idea that "I should treat others __*__" is an implicit rule of social groups which equates to rights. Therefore, maybe empathy = rights if it is in a social setting, and more than one entity has the ability.


Hmm, well, I would have to say no. The ability to empathize for an entity should not be a requirement for rights (and I'm not necessarily sure about what you mean by "rights".) The ability to empathize can be grasped by any entity, it just does not mean that they will show it. If the world were to throw out people who do not treat others "_____" (kindly, et cetera) then a good deal of the population would be society outcasts. I can empathize for another entity, but sometimes I do not feel the need to or just don't want to for that specific entity. The truth hurts sometimes, and empathy should not be the blanket to cover it up, nor anything else. (Most intellectuals would be affected by such a ruling.)
 
GoshisDead
 
Reply Sat 2 May, 2009 12:14 am
@loudthoughts,
loudthoughts wrote:
Question:
Does the ability for (or the act of) empathy qualify an entity for rights?

Answers:
I am inclined to say no, because although I (an entity that empathizes) may feel obligations toward others, these feelings of obligation do not require others to treat me likewise.

Perhaps the empirical fact that all humans are physically and genetically similar, within a very small range of variation, creates a social environment that has rights as a matter of fact. Since everyone (or close to everyone, when you consider psychopaths) can and does empathize, the idea that "I should treat others __*__" is an implicit rule of social groups which equates to rights. Therefore, maybe empathy = rights if it is in a social setting, and more than one entity has the ability.

*(I'm not sure what to put in this blank. Maybe: "morally" or "as I would like to be treated" or "as I think they would like to be treated"... I think I like that last one, but I'm not sure still.)

Please give your answers to the question, or critique mine!


No empathy does not mandate rights in any way.

My issue isn't really with any particular thing mandating rights, it is with the idea of natural rights itself. Any right we assume for ourselves or others are granted by someone else, in essence 'rights' cannot reside outside the political (institutionalized and interpsonal) realm. I don't know if you believe in natural/inalienable rights, which your post suggests you do and don't, but the thread topic itself is discussing the conditions for extention of rights. Its a sad worldview but we have the right to nothing. At an absurd level, my next breaths are contingent upon you not standing behind me with a gun and murderous intent.
 
 

 
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