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Empathy, sorely lacking in the world and HERE at ATS.

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posted on Jul, 4 2007 @ 06:01 PM
It's hard to know what's lacking without a definition. Empathy, as described on Onelook:

noun: understanding and entering into another's feelings

"Feelings", "thoughts", "beliefs" they are all interchangable. Now, what's the problem? There are some here either without the ability, or desire, to see what another member is saying, or feeling. Battle lines are drawn. This can be seen in damn near any forum not on BTS. Aliens, 911, Secret Societies, Social Issues or any political forum for that matter.

I've seen the bogus political BS between the lib's and con's here. NO ONE is listening to the other, just conflict. What is gained by that? NOTHING. One side or the other might make some small point and their side CHEERS. "WOOHOO, we won one." What was won? NOTHING. There was no interchange of thought, no gaining of an understanding of each other. Just a continuation of the BS that's being fed to us by the gov't, via the media. What could be gained if we actually listen to what the other member says? Is it a defeat to learn something and change a point of view? Or are we ALL the better for an exchange of thought? Empathy.

This is seen likewise in the Social Issues forum. A LOT of race issues. Again, battlelines are drawn. We try to bludgeon the opposing side because our side is right. STILL no one is listening to the other and NOTHING is gained. Do I know what it's like to be a black person in today's world? No but listening will give me some understanding. Does a black person know what it's like to be a white person in this world? No but if the same tenet is applied some understanding can be gained and we will empathize with each other and we will have some similar grounds to work and discuss from. NOT just battlelines. What does that gain? NOTHING!

The same can be said of the Aliens forum. The believers and the debunkers. Loggerheads. What's gained by not listening? NOTHING. Sure there are hoaxes but there's also those that are new and they might just have a new perspective that will make something make sense. I had extra help trying to make sense of grade 12 Trig, just couldn't get it. About 9 years later I saw a PBS show for kids and it all became clear. A different perspective made it clear. If I had just tuned out thinking that, "Ah crap, it's Trig", I would have learned nothing.

The same can be said of the 911 forum. ANOTHER battlefield where people don't listen and there are line of battle. The same from the last paragraph can be said here. Remember what we're talking about here? EMPATHY. Listening and seeing a different point of view. Is it right? You'll never know if you don't give it a chance.

There's a lot of negativity in this post, "nothing" comes up a lot. Why? Because that is what's happening on the board and it's not good for ATS. This is the challenge to members of one of the finest boards on the Net. Are YOU willing to empathize with a point of view that you didn't consider before? Or wallow in the mire of ignorance? If you are willing to empathize and listen SOMETHING can be gained. We're no longer dealing with "nothing". The board gets stronger, we ALL learn and it's all the better.

Will YOU do it?

posted on Jul, 4 2007 @ 07:11 PM
Great write up and I think you make an excellent point. I see this happening here on the boards as well as in everyday life. And your absolutly right, it really gets us nowhere.

I'm just an ordinary average guy who mostly just reads everything and doesn't post much. But I really do enjoy reading the forums here, so I'm happy. Later on, I have a discussion about it in my own head. Why? I don't know, maybe its because I feel I'm the only one who will listen lol.

[edit on 4-7-2007 by Xanfalcon]

posted on Jul, 4 2007 @ 07:22 PM
I can play nice!

I can have empathy- on every subject except Politics. My mind is dead set and i happen to know i have a very good chance that what i say is correct.

I have empathy for all, i can even understand why some folks live life with blinders on, it hurts to see the truth.

Count me in-

BTW, what brought this on?

I have yet to see anyone change their minds here about anything. It should be called "Stubborns Anonymous"- and its always been the same.
I am right and you are wrong.

I care about everyone and everything but there are some too complacent with things and although they have the "right" to be this way, they get no sympathy from me. I cant give sympathy where i dont beleive its deserved. I simply cant.

posted on Jul, 4 2007 @ 07:29 PM

Originally posted by dgtempe

BTW, what brought this on?

Partisan political BS. This is Independance Day and there are some that want to make political point, not celebrate the greatness that America was. I'd like to see it be the nation that it should be again.

Also in other forums where people are beating themselves up to make a point and not seeing ANYTHING. Don't you see that DG?

I'm tires of having the battlelines drawn here. We're here to deny ignorance but lately it seems like we're wallowing in it. This is about ATS, let's rise about the rest of the tripe, please.

posted on Jul, 4 2007 @ 07:44 PM
I think lots of people have a sour taste in their mouths...I'm one of them.
But that's just temporary.

I too, want this to be and remain the greatest nation on Earth, and it pains me how rapidly things are dissintegrating.

I want to be proud and i want this war to cease. I want those men and women home so that they may live.

I want this great country back, It IS ours, and i claim it. As i type this, i hear the fireworks in town and i am glad today to hear them. We still have our freedom and with the grace of God, we will continue having freedom.

With mixed feelings, i hope for the best.

Viva America!!!!! Viva la Libertad!!!

posted on Jul, 4 2007 @ 07:53 PM
My dear Intrepid...

I see myself in your post.

Scary, but true.

I do shout hoax at a lot of things.
Top of my lungs, I do.

Am I without empathy ?

Nay, I say. Nay.

I empathise with those that are frustrated
with hoaxers flooding the internet.

The same hoaxers that told us the "Bloody
Mary" stories in high school.

I empathise with the new-comers to ATS.

They search and find threads from people
"in touch" with aliens.

Only to be saddened by the fact that these
are dis-illusioned people, seeking some acceptance.

I empathise with those that seek truth in the 9/11

A truth that may never materialize.

I empathise with all ATS'ers that are here.

I want the truth to be told.

Deny Ignorance, Find the Truth.


posted on Jul, 4 2007 @ 07:58 PM
To those of you, who post or roam
And view the topics with such delight
ATS, is but OUR home
Presenting thoughts with much insight

There will of course, be many who
That 'come across' with mal intent
Be careful of your wordings you
Before our empathy is all but spent

Take your time, when posting, friends
See the world through others' eyes
You have it in you to make amends
Together we walk, through the veils of guise

posted on Jul, 4 2007 @ 08:32 PM

Originally posted by intrepid

Will YOU do it?

Nope... You cant make me neither!
Nanny Nanny BOO BOO!


That's what most of it sounds like, a bunch of brats pissing on each other in the schoolyard. I have to agree with the BIG I (Intrepid, for the uninitiated) on this one...

Imagine being a new Member and seeing the utter hostility some have toward the opposing viewpoint.

I have learned that whenever I shut out the opposing point of view I remain an ignorant ass. It tells me my EGO is running my intellect rather than my logical deductive/inductive mind.

The FIRST THING we should do when we have a theory is seek to DISPROVE IT, we should revel in our fellow's breaking down of each part for he is helping us achieve a TRUTH or discard a falsehood.

The people who buy into in the black morass of the political Bravo Sierra of the "Main Stream" Media and the Old Money are TRULY intellectual prisoners. No matter the side of the coin (Lib or Conserve), these people are playing into the divide and concur game that has seen the Old Money's goals achieved time and time again, apparently ignorant that BOTH are ONE and the contrived philosophical conflicts are BOGUS.

This is the realm of the Conspiracy Theorist, those who don't accept what is offered simply because it is what everyone else accepts.

This is the realm of the Critical Thinker, where Logic and Civility are married to an Open Mind and Limitless Possibilities.

To get caught up in the utter WASTE of childish name calling, juvenile personality rather than topical focus and flame wars is declare yourself a MORON.


posted on Jul, 4 2007 @ 08:58 PM
Ok you are right but will this thread make a difference? As an empath for the most part I think not.
I am relatively new here and am walking on egg shells at times so as to be seen but not attacked. I feel like some of the juiice that I have to offer is not squeezed because of that fact.
I do not mind a good confrontation or interesting debate, but I am not an expert in any field, but know quite a bit on a personal level which is what brought me here in the first place.
It is interesting how people can attack you and it serves no purpose to someone like me, I get my feelings hurt and I just walk away to go find a thread where I can be more respected.
You must be a sweet person to bring this to the surface. Thanks for 'your' empathy.

posted on Jul, 4 2007 @ 09:42 PM

Originally posted by intrepid
Will YOU do it?

Yes, I will.

It saddens me that a discussion forum turns into a "battlefield".
I'm sorry that we make those who disagree with us the "enemy".
I don't understand why we can't honor diversity of opinion.
I'm confused when "right" and "wrong" becomes more important than you and me.

This is supposed to be a place where we can all express ourselves. Agree to disagree. And be friends. Even when we don't agree.

Thanks, Intrepid for bringing this up.

posted on Jul, 5 2007 @ 12:30 AM
To be fair mods may not have the option of simply ignoring posts that don't contributing anything towards ATS purpose or ignoring an thread all together. The same old and sometimes artificial debates do continually pop up particularly when it comes to Iraq. But remember much of the manufactured BS comes undone even you ignore it.

For the record if you want quality political debate check out the Conservative forum on AP. Djohnsto77 has done an good job as FSME.

[edit on 5-7-2007 by xpert11]

posted on Jul, 5 2007 @ 12:40 AM

Originally posted by intrepid
noun: understanding and entering into another's feelings

"Feelings", "thoughts", "beliefs" they are all interchangable.

Personally, I don't think those terms are interchangeable at all - isn't a 'thought' based upon a 'belief' while a 'feeling' is a result of an emotion, or intuition or something of that nature ? I figure anyway, please correct me if I'm wrong

Empathy, though, presupposes understanding - and I think it is that, preciseley, that is lacking today, IMHO.

[edit on 5-7-2007 by effinlunatic]

posted on Jul, 5 2007 @ 12:54 AM
Well, I wouldn't say that ATS is lacking in empathy...Just before I found your thread here, Intrepid, I'd just finished posting over here. On page 3, I was expressing how I've always voted:

Originally posted by MidnightDStroyer
Don't listen to the polls, don't listen to the media-hype over any single candidate, don't just pull the "party lever" & don't even listen to me either!...Dig for the facts, dig for the truth that sits behind every candidate, then listen to your reasoning & your instincts. Let's try to make Common Sense appear a bit more "common" among the population!

Correct me if I'm wrong, but by telling others that they should make up their own minds without taking any regard to polls, media-hype, etc. doesn't that show some empathy on my part?

Even when I start posting emotional responses, I still do my best to at least "keep it civil." As a truly good politician might put it, "My record speaks for itself."

But I understand where you're coming from...I feel the same way about the concept of Chivalry. For quite a number of years, some people have been surprised to see a complete stranger performing random act of kindness (such as opening doors & such). I've usually explained that, "Chivalry isn't really dead, it's just lying in a coma somewhere."

From what I see in the world around me (ATS included), I've also noted some examples of extreme empathy...I think that's the root behind some of the more emotionally charged threads here.

Originally posted by dgtempe
I can have empathy- on every subject except Politics. My mind is dead set and i happen to know i have a very good chance that what i say is correct.

I'm the same way...As my quote from above shows, I know that Bi-partisan politics has only caused trouble for the USA, so I practice Anti-partisan politics!

Originally posted by Springer
I have learned that whenever I shut out the opposing point of view I remain an ignorant ass. It tells me my EGO is running my intellect rather than my logical deductive/inductive mind.

Sad to say though, no one can ever entirely shove their egos out of the way...It's part-n-parcel of how the human mind functions. If anything, I think my ID gets in the way more often than my Ego, though...

Originally posted by Springer
To get caught up in the utter WASTE of childish name calling, juvenile personality rather than topical focus and flame wars is declare yourself a MORON.

Is it just me or does that statement use hypocracy against itself? Maybe you should have used the [sarcasm] tag on that statement too?

posted on Jul, 5 2007 @ 01:14 AM

The Duckster
To those of you, who post or roam
And view the topics with such delight
ATS, is but OUR home
Presenting thoughts with much insight

There will of course, be many who
That 'come across' with mal intent
Be careful of your wordings you
Before our empathy is all but spent

I have been a 'visitor' here for a very long time (insert correct # of years here:roll
, and have just recently started posting. I understand if some people read what I write and/or don't read it because I'm considered new by my 'stats'. SHish, I expect people to! bUT lately people seemed a lot more reved up about, overly emotionally attached to 'their cause', whatever it may be. I've never seen it like this before, and it makes me sad because this place is 'my home' like Duckster said. I come here because it is by our difference of opinion and openess to debate our views that we as people can truly learn. All too often lately, I've found people calling names first, waiting for reaction, and repeat without any good evidence behind their 'bullying' words - Good People appear to take the bait, believing in their advisarys' credibility as a 'true ATS' member in search for 'the truth', and end up wasting time, effort and energy defending something other than the relevant issue. Is it just me?

posted on Jul, 5 2007 @ 01:39 AM
Real Quick-
Went to a BBQ today with a close friend and her extended family. There was another Mom there that was, in my opinion, treating her child unfairly in a couple different instances, that it got to me. Now, take into account my knowledge that there have been bad domestic issues going on with her and her husband, and the fact that her other child is in a somewhat 'split-family' custody situation. Now, I have EMPATHY for her because my daughter is in a similarly crummy 'split-family' situation, and there are many times I want to flip out and neglect or become agitated with others (including my daughter) because of the 'ex', BUT i dont.
So, I am able to understand this womans fagile emotional state long enough to bite my tongue because of my EMPATHY. But, do I, have I or will I ever be able to sympathize with her? NO!
The point of my story is that we need to start by empathizing with our fellow man(woman) on the very basic levels first (we are all human, we have all experienced pain and made awful decisions). And if you can truly recognize that you yourself had established this common EMPATHY toward another person, only then are you really able to prove a point to anyone, including yourself. If not, then you're just speaking to hear yourself and using knowledge as a dagger to stab enemies, who are in fact merely poor beggers looking to drink from your knowledge.
Is that what you claim to be your final thesis of the use of knowledge and undersatnding? Shish, you just killed your best audience!
Sorry for the rambling, and off topic. I felt compelled, edit if necissary

posted on Jul, 5 2007 @ 02:35 AM
tO INTREPID . . . et. al.

I concur . . . with feeling . . . comment . . . and . . .

1. Empathy is not often taught in our ME-FIRST-LAST-AND-ONLY world.

2. The major seemingly rising/winning value orientations do not place much currency on empathy.

3. Family systems--which are under deliberate destructive attack around the world and particularly in the Western world--are under such stress and disintegration that empathy modeling and teaching drop off the priority list, even there.

4. Empathy is not currently even often raised--much less praised and lauded overtly in the majority of the media presentations and entertainment presentations.

5. The OPPOSITE OF EMPATHY--GRATUITOUS VIOLENCE, BLOOD, GORE, LEWDNESS etc. are held up as paragon foci of interest and attention. And the masses drink at such forbidden cups greedily.

6. Even the top flight religious leaders who would, in times past, have modeled, advocated and pushed empathy . . . are no more. And their proponents are under assault in the public square as at no other time in recorded history on such a world wide scale. Where is a Gandi? Mother Theresa? Billy Graham, even, is in health decline. Oh, I know, the MAN OF PEACE is coming . . . to wage war with peace and control the world in a tyrannical global government. But I'm not talking about imposters. Where are the authentic models of true empathy--sacrificial, servant-hearted--Christ-like empathy that dies on a cross even for His enemies--forgiving THEM in the process. He's coming again, too . . . but there will be more death and violence, first--hardly more empathy in most regions and situations.

7. Selfishness, greed, arrogance, ego-glorification, insecurity, stubbornness, compulsions to win at all costs--are all glorified, exalted, rewarded, encouraged . . . and the opposite of EMPATHY--INDEED--HOSTILE TO, DEADLY TO EMPATHY.

8. UNDERSTANDING, PATIENCE, WISDOM, HUMILITY, KINDNESS--PRECURSORS of EMPATHY are also avoided, not taught, trashed, ridiculed, shredded, mangled, lacking in our cultures around the world in this era.

9. FATHERS and FATHERING are particularly lacking, missing, shredded, out-of-commission--drunk, stoned, exhausted, drained, empty. . . in our era . . . not even there, rarely there AND ABLE to teach and model UNDERSTANDING, PATIENCE, WISDOM, HUMILITY, KINDNESS, EMPATHY.

10. Employees, colleagues, family members, associates are rarely rewarded for their empathy . . . at least not routinely and not in lastingly substantive ways. Greed is rewarded. Aggressiveness is rewarded. Clever conquest gaining Arrogance is rewarded. Put-downs are rewarded.

And, I suspect, that within 3-7 posts, this post will be argued with vigorously, rebelled against indignantly vs empathisized with . . . unless this sentence discourages such--which is doubtful.

Therefore what? Great question. Challenging question. Challenging issue.

Behaviorism would indicate that rewarding empathy would increase it's frequency. And punishing it's opposites would also likely increase it's frequency to some degree.

Is that done on ATS? Not greatly; not frequently--to my awareness.

It's one thing to logically shred a weak, inferior argument, proposition, position--even with passion based on facts and experience.

It's another thing to--out of blind, rigid, arrogant bias--trash a position, perspective, argument, poster. But that happens a lot and is even often praised and rewarded hereon.

Sometimes it seems like a very narrow gestalt is expected and glorified hereon. And Empathy is not part of that gestalt UNLESS the positions at the core of that gestalt are agreed with. That's rather sad. Often enough, it's infuriating. Needlessly infuriating colleagues, associates, is not usually perceived as empathy. It's also not a good route to foster empathy.

posted on Jul, 5 2007 @ 05:15 AM
Empathy. If only.

Its not happening anymore.

We live in a "you're with us or against us" world of dangerous soundbytes that are presented as "facts" where people are dehumanised and desensitised to the reality.

The curse of the internet is that anyone with a PC and an agenda can make themselves heard, and in most cases its at someone elses expense.

Its very very hard to make a point on ATS at the moment without being shouted down and drowned out.

Its putting me off posting because I know that the noise to signal ratio is off kilter, and that if I try to provide balance, or a simple "we're all human and no one is better than the other" view point it will get drowned in accusations, spite and potential personal rivalry.

posted on Jul, 5 2007 @ 06:13 AM

Originally posted by neformore

We live in a "you're with us or against us" world of dangerous soundbytes that are presented as "facts" where people are dehumanised and desensitised to the reality.

That's really the key. Having said that, i would never insult anyone here and i do have empathy for my fellow posters.

posted on Jul, 5 2007 @ 07:18 AM
To dgtempe

. . . I hear you saying . . . that


Originally posted by neformore

We live in a "you're with us or against us" world of dangerous soundbytes that are presented as "facts" where people are dehumanised and desensitised to the reality.

Firmly and accurately describes reality for you hereon and perhaps in larger spheres of earthbound realities.

To wit . . .

1. That brief soundbytes are dangerously presented as facts--when, actually, soundbytes are grossly inadequate summaries of large and complex, often convoluted issues, situations, realities . . . which soundbytes can only seriously distort in their briefness. Is this an accurate representation of your perspective on that much?

2. That such reducing of vast complexities ends up dehumanizing individuals and groups . . . perhaps by slicing off significant factors which must be considered for a robust accurate understanding . . . of the individuals and/or groups . . . but which are omitted in such brief soundbytes . . . resulting in artificial stick-figures instead of the complexity of real people in vastly even more complex group interactions and even MORE complexity of intergroup interactions. Is this an accurate representation of your perspective on that facet of the statement?

3. That thusly desentized by such terse summaries . . . individuals and maybe groups then begin to relate to one another in brutal stick-figure fashion instead of warmer, more balanced and more robust human exchanges full of robust understanding and robust grace, space and permission to be respected as diverse individuals and groups different from one's self and one's group but still valued as highly. Does this accurately represent your perspective on that part of the statement?

4. The above is a bit clinical and sterile, to me. I would like to also note . . . that I think there's a lot of truth to statements 1-3.

5. And, that it's a sad commentary on our times and the . . . modules of thought, reality, functions that we have unavoidably been and have allowed ourselves to be squeezed into.

6. I don't detect in any of the above--very articulate suggestion(s) for viable solution(s). Perhaps you'd be willing to offer some.

7. I doubt we could have an emphatic global impact on the world at large of very great intensity or encompassing improvement. However, waves branch out in ruther and further reaches. Who knows. But we should be able to have some constructive impact on ATS. I'm a bit skeptical that such WILL occur--at least for very long and very broadly . . . . but it's worth an earnest try, in my humble opinion.

posted on Jul, 5 2007 @ 07:30 AM

Originally posted by intrepid
Partisan political BS.

You're correct. The partisan bickering is so all-consuming that at times it even amazes me. This morning I looked at what I thought would be an interesting thread. FOX News July 4th UFO coverage. "Cool!" I thought. "I wonder if this is a UFO sighting or an expert talking about new information?" What I found in the thread, however, was just political bickering about how only stupid people listen to FOX news. And this is in the UFO forum.


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