Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Quite the Two-Step

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  • Danielle,

    maybe in some circumstances empathy could even make you a better killer

    What a lovely thought.

    Also, this thread has started to make me feel as dumb as a box of hammers. :)

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3653 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Andrew,

    Also, this thread has started to make me feel as dumb as a box of hammers. :)

    Now there's a feeling I can empathise with...

    Hamiltron - City of the F… • Since Nov 2006 • 841 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    What a lovely thought.

    ;-) I'm just bitter-ending against any remnants of an idea that empathy could be a sufficient guide to morality. Straw man anyway I know.

    It is often said that criminals can make excellent cops and vice versa, on account of how much time they spend in each other's minds. So empathy isn't only a force for good.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8451 posts Report Reply

  • Neil Morrison,

    There are a lot of social functions which seem to give low empaths an advantage. I'm thinking warrior types work better that way. But again, whilst having no empathy might be an advantage it also may not be decisive.

    are you familiar with game theory? it's the classic cheaters vs co-operators situation.

    Since Nov 2006 • 932 posts Report Reply

  • daleaway,

    One of the quiet delights of getting more venerable - oh all right, old - is the increasing ease with which one "lives with doubt", as you paraphrased Bertie Russell. Or to move from Bertie to Gertie (and Alice B), to stop looking for the answer and instead mumble "What was the question?" It's all joy.

    Speaking of games, Danielle, with the cicadas calling, is it time the ladies pressed our cricket whites and formed a PAS Women's XI?

    Who else is ready to whip off some bails?

    Since Jul 2007 • 178 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    What's the word for a tail-ender who can't actually bowl or field either? Because I think that's my cricketing position.

    I volunteer to bring out the drinks on the little trolley, though.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3653 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    I think I remember Jim Flynn on the radio pointing out that understanding how people feel and caring about it are two different things. Your clever psychopaths find there is more mileage in manipulating people psychologically rather than physically.

    Also, while I've only just scanned the proceeding of the society to this point, it might help to consider that saying something motivates us to make moral judgements isn't the same as saying that's what they mean in a logical or semantic way. The psychology of ethics is different to the philosophy.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1095 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Also, while I've only just scanned the proceeding of the society to this point, it might help to consider that saying something motivates us to make moral judgements isn't the same as saying that's what they mean in a logical or semantic way. The psychology of ethics is different to the philosophy.

    It's certainly different. But the psychology could be profoundly revealing if you think (as I do) that most ethical philosophy is just a way of rationalizing prejudice, hardly an improvement on just having prejudice in the first place. It's just sophisticated prejudice. 'Constructive' ethical philosophy anyway. Destructive approaches are usually not wrong, they just don't have any answers.

    understanding how people feel and caring about it are two different things.

    For sure, although I think empathy, in the sense of seeing things from another's point of view, is involved in both of them. Unless you insist that empathy means both knowing and caring. But you can still do harm even if you know and care. You might have a silly idea about the right course of action, despite knowing entirely how affected parties feel, and caring a great deal about it.

    I know I'm being pedantic, but I'm trying to make my point that finding a moral principle that tallies with one's own moral intuitions carries no guarantee that it either tallies with everyone else's, or that it works well practically. It may seem hard to imagine how anyone with a strong sense of empathy could commit wrong acts, until you consider how many people in history did indeed seem to, but either through misplacing their empathy, or mishandling events, they committed extremely harmful acts that they could have avoided if they hadn't been following their empathy.

    I'm not saying empathy is bad. Quite the opposite, it's a good thing to have most of the time. I'm just saying it's not enough.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8451 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    Now here's an unexpected opinion from a Sensible Sentencing ancillary:

    Sensible Sentencing Trust Thanks Louise Nicholas

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1095 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Now here's an unexpected opinion from a Sensible Sentencing ancillary:

    Man, that's a badly-written press release ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18827 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Andrew,

    Man, that's a badly-written press release ...

    That's so badly written, it makes some of the badly written comments on PAS look positively NCA-acheived-with-merit-worthy.

    Hamiltron - City of the F… • Since Nov 2006 • 841 posts Report Reply

  • FletcherB,

    It thanks LN for helping expose crimes against police officers?

    WTF

    West Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 794 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Yeah. That could be read as 'exposing crimes that were committed against police officers', or 'her courageous battle against police officers, which exposed abhorrent crimes'. One suspects the second, but media releases that don't make sense shouldn't get picked up.

    What makes Kelly Te Heuheu a 'Sensible Sentencing Trust Maori Crime issues specialist' I wonder. Is that a real job with qualifications, or just a name tag that justifies bagging on Maori criminals?

    Since Nov 2006 • 6165 posts Report Reply

  • Heather Gaye,

    What makes Kelly Te Heuheu a 'Sensible Sentencing Trust Maori Crime issues specialist' I wonder.

    She's a member of SST, a maori, and a criminal?

    Under the western motorwa… • Since Nov 2006 • 523 posts Report Reply

  • Pihama,

    What weirdo post here Heather Gaye and Kyle Matthews. At least this lady Kelly Te Heuheu cares about victims and doing something about it to help and support them. What are you both doing besides moaning SST are voluntary and work for no pay!!

    Auckland • Since Aug 2008 • 1 posts Report Reply

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