See also: Sign for Empathy
From the SolSeedCreed
Empathy is the identification with and understanding of another's situation, feelings and motives.
Like SelfLove and Wisdom, Empathy is a fundamental attribute of human nature. While SelfLove ultimately motivates all action, Empathy allows us to direct SelfLove toward action that benefits the collective. Empathy allows us to understand and value others --- it is via Empathy that we transcend self. Culture and society spring from Empathy. Without Empathy the deep understanding and trust so necessary for collective action cannot exist. It is Empathy that spurs us to value the needs of others and consider how our actions might impact them.
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Ward pointed out an interesting article in Science that indicates empathy goes at least as deep as new world monkeys. Check out The Perception of Rational, Goal-Directed Action in Nonhuman Primates. I especially appreciated this quote interpreting their results "Thus, action perception must also consist of a mechanism that evaluates action means in relation to goals, and places this analysis into a broader context that entails constraints imposed by the current environmental situation". Basically the monkeys were answering the question, "If I were them, why would I have done what they just did?" 08:42, 25 September 2007 (PDT)
- I just found a very accessible and well written article on empathy. I highly recommend it! 03:13, 18 March 2008 (PDT)
http://thesciencenetwork.org/BeyondBelief/reading/, an excellent reading list
One difficulty (pointed out in the outrospection video above) is to Empathize across space and time (people in the developing world, future generations).