Empathetic Atheists

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Empathetic Atheists

We are compassionate humanists that empathize with the plight of other human beings. It helps define our struggle against authoritarian regimes, religious, government, and corporate abuses, and all acts of violence and aggression toward the innocent and socially weak. 

Members: 4
Latest Activity: Nov 18

Discussion Forum

How Much Empathy Is Too Much (For The Circumstances)?

Started by Tom Sarbeck. Last reply by Tom Sarbeck Jan 13. 5 Replies

Consider the following:Before you try to change others, think of how hard it is to change yourself.I saw those words in a recent email and remembered an exchange I had many years ago.I was about…Continue

Tags: change, passive, aggressive, compassion, empathy

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Comment by Joan Denoo on November 18, 2019 at 3:10am

The advantage of searching the internet for research is that one can do it at a computer. No long trips needed. Admittedly, the most recent research is not available, however, there are plenty of sources to be discovered that are valuable. Looking at gender-typing:  

Bem, S. L. (1998). An unconventional family. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
Bem, S. L. (1993). The lenses of gender: Transforming the debate on sexual inequality. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
Bem, S. L. (1981). Bem sex-role inventory professional manual. Palo Alto, Calif.: Consulting Psychologists Press.
Bem, S. L. (1981). Gender schema theory: A cognitive account of sex typing. Psychological Review, 88, 354- 364.
Bem, S. L. (1974). The measurement of psychological androgyny. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 42, 155-162.
Bem, S. L., & Bem, D. J. (1973). Does sex-biased job advertising "aid and abet" sex discrimination? Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 3, 6-18.

Broverman, Broverman, Clarkson, Rosenkrantz & Vogel. (1970). Professional clinicians were asked to describe a mentally healthy man, woman, and adult sex unspecified by using a series of sex-stereotypic adjectives. Their study concluded that a double standard of mental health existed for men and women.

Comment by Tom Sarbeck on November 17, 2019 at 11:13pm

Thanks, Joan. I don’t know how to find such information, and if I knew how I would have a three-hour one way commute to a university where I could find grad student research.

In a memoir class I read of my time at SF Sex Information when I spoke by phone with boys in puberty who were “victims of” their testosterone-caused aggression and with girls who were learning how much if any submission they were okay with. Women in the class started reading of the aggression and violence of male partners.

It’s like homo sapiens are victims of Ma and Pa Nature and have free will only after conversations about hormones.

Comment by Joan Denoo on November 17, 2019 at 10:11pm

Tom, I know of no testosterone tests on the inmates in my classes; there may have been. Some of my students were sentenced by a judge to my anger management classes, usually because of violence against wives, girlfriends, and roommates. 

A study on: 

"Testosterone, crime, and misbehavior among 692 male prison inmates

"Abstract
Testosterone, crime, and prison behavior were examined among 692 adult male prison inmates. Testosterone was measured from saliva samples, and behavior was coded from prison system records. Inmates who had committed personal crimes of sex and violence had higher testosterone levels than inmates who had committed property crimes of burglary, theft, and drugs. Inmates with higher testosterone levels also violated more rules in prison, especially rules involving overt confrontation. The findings indicate differences between low and high testosterone individuals in the amount and pattern of their misbehavior."

~ Authors: James M. Dabbs, Timothy S. Carr, Robert L. Frady, Jasmin K. Riad
Publication: Personality and Individual Differences
Publisher: Elsevier
Date: May 1995
Copyright © 1995 Published by Elsevier Ltd.

https://doi.org/10.1016/0191-8869(94)00177-TGet rights and content

Comment by Tom Sarbeck on November 17, 2019 at 5:06pm

Looking for info on the effects of too much testosterone, I did a search on "varying amounts of testosterone in men".

The effects include aggression. Have incarcerated men been tested for the amounts they have, relative to unincarcerated men?

Comment by Joan Denoo on November 17, 2019 at 2:55pm

When I asked abusers why they dominated, tried to control, and used instrumental behavior to gain control, they most often said that it was the nature works. 

When I asked these same abusers if human beings and animals, who have consciousness might feel and think empathically, their answers were often scorn of my idea. 

Is it not possible that human beings are capable of imagining more civil, thoughtful (I mean full of thought) ways to interact with others? This notion of dominion throws humans away from ideas of equality. Freedom implies an individual has certain rights and those rights can and should be enumerated.   

Comment by Joan Denoo on November 17, 2019 at 2:46pm

I don't know the answer to the "when" question; however, empathy began with the birth of babies to mothers who nursed them, cared for them, trained them, and protected them. Perhaps these mothers may have even grieved when one of their offspring was injured or died. 

Comment by Andrea Quinn on April 7, 2019 at 3:38pm

I love this group!

I sometimes just feel like crying when I see what's going on in the world, so one way I insulate myself is to limit my news intake to about 1/2 hour on NPR on the way to work.

And this group is a nice go-to activity for those times.

Comment by Tom Sarbeck on January 8, 2019 at 12:38am

So far as we know, the many forms of life on planet Earth have a common ancestor, blue-green algae, aka cyanobacteria and pond scum. In their “communities” the big and strong engulfed (ate) the small and weak.

For eons natural selection did its thing.

When and how did empathy arise?

 

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