Lack Of Empathy

in #life3 years ago

“You don’t need religion to have morals. If you can’t determine right from wrong, then you lack empathy; not religion.” – Steve Maraboli

Yikes! I’m sure there will be a lot of religious people out there that would be seriously offended by that statement. They shouldn’t be though. Religion is a great way to guide us about the difference between right and wrong. What they dictate as right or wrong is open for debate, but the whole, “Thou shall not murder,” thing is a very good example of some really good principles.

I grew up in a religious home. We went to church every Sunday and my father was a Deacon. He would have made a great Pastor. We always used to joke that we wouldn’t have made the perfect family to support that career path. That never bothered him though. He just felt that the teachings made for a good foundation and then we could make our own decision from there.

Empathy! It’s such a great word, isn’t it? I love this word. Not only because it describes me perfectly but because if you can feel like this, then you truly are super in tune with the people that you encounter.

“Empathy is the capacity to understand or feel what another person is experiencing from within their frame of reference.”Source

That’s what this quote is reminding us of. If you’re truly in touch with the people around you, would you ever turn around and do something that would hurt them? Why would you abuse someone who has given you their trust… or someone who has placed their faith in you? You would never be able to hurt them if you felt how much they are devoted to you and how much pain your actions are causing.

I suppose that’s the point I’m trying to get across. Religion gives us a list of rights and wrongs. We are taught that it’s wrong to do this or that. The wrongs are called sins. If you sin and don’t ask for forgiveness then your punishment is an eternity in hell, for example. It’s a far-off consequence that we aren’t going to feel until we die one day. What they don’t emphasize is that our actions can cause harm to another, now!

When we choose to steal, murder, lie or commit adultery we cause another person emotional or physical harm. We hurt them now. Sure, we can ask for forgiveness but that doesn’t fix the pain that we have caused. That’s where that beautiful word comes into the mix again. If you truly understood the type of pain you are causing, would you still go ahead with it?

Would you still willingly hurt them, knowing that your actions are causing them pain? Someone you don’t know would seem like a better target, but is it? One thing that I’ve never been able to understand is why people willingly cause pain in another person’s world. They do this for no other reason than because they need this or that. It’s normally personally motivated and they couldn’t be bothered about what ramifications their actions are going to have.

They need this now and everyone else be damned until they get it. Then they feel bad afterwards. I mean really? You got what you wanted, what you desired. Then you want to turn around and apologize or ask for forgiveness? You already satisfied your selfish desire and now you’re sorry. I don’t get it. If you had taken a moment to think about what consequence your actions would have had right in that moment, would you have chosen differently?

Religion has its place. It’s a great way to guide behavior. Empathy, on the other hand, is a way to encourage better behavior. It opens up a whole new world of how what we do affect those around us. It opens our eyes to the feelings of the person on the other side. Like I said, would you really want to cause harm to another if you truly understood how your actions are hurting them?

Thank you for reading and remember to keep smiling 😊
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Great piece of work. I can't really add anything else however I noticed some interesting comments and perspectives :)

Thanks babes. Yip there really has been some very interesting and thought provoking comments.

Maybe the "suffering in hell" is meant metaphorically because you will feel so much guilt for the pain you caused or regret for not having asked for forgiveness, and some people only realize that when they're older and wiser.

I honestly don't think that anyone should be offended by that quote in the beginning. Sure, you can understand it as in "you don't need religion" but I since there are a lot of people that aren't religious, why shouldn't they have morals? Empathy is a really important part of being human.

Thanks for writing this, it made me think :)

Thank you @tripswithtam. The quote alone got me thinking so I'm glad that it had the same affect on you too. I suppose as we get older we realize more about how what we've done kind of adds up. Interesting way of putting it.

The opening quote caught my eye for this article. That quote makes an incisive point that knowing our personal impact on others can guide us to a happy and contented life.

I totally agree with the point of your article, that empathy is our guide for moral behavior. My moral compass is not a book, although I have found guidance in many books. My my moral compass is my gut and my chest, where I feel fear and guilt.

But I would take this line of reasoning one step further and say that empathy is a skill. Empathy is learned from our parents, caregivers and mentors. It is empathy that allows us to use the foundation skill of all of humanity: cooperation. No empathy, no cooperation.

Your example of how someone can do wrong to acquire that thing they want so dearly, that is due to a lack of skills, one of them being empathy, and another being an inability to articulate a need with the word, "please". Ultimately, challenging behavior in human beings boils down to a lack of skills and capacity to respond adaptively to the demands of the environment.

Great article, and a nice first read first thing in the morning.

Thank you very much @digitalfirehose. Some really good points that you have put across here.

It takes a village to raise a child. ~ African proverb

We learn from what is taught, decipher as we reach an age of decision making, then walk the road of life adjusting as we feel more comfortable with.

Knowing right from wrong is not always 'cut and dried', what is right in the eyes of one may be an abomination to the next.

Very true @joanstewart. It can be subjective with lines that can be blurred in almost each circumstance.

This is such a great piece ma'am. You see, religion has done more harm than good . Religion is a set of Do's and Dont's and tells you that if you don't do this your place is eternal damnation. Religion to me does not nip the problem in the bud, because it fails to emphasize that when we do the wrong things we hurt others. This is where empathy comes in, if you have it then you won't want to do things that hurt others. Thanks for sharing !

Exactly @kweenbrand. That's what I was getting at with the above. Thank you very much for your support :)

Bullies don't feel bad after doing a wrong, and they understood the pain or harm of their it is their intention to do so.

They probably don't @immarojas. They understand the pain as a form of power over another. If they truly felt how their actions were harming the other then they wouldn't be so inclined to do it.

Well i wish they can and not be so nasty to other people they felt threatened to..or insecure. The only time that they probably can is when they themselves experience the same thing. Karmic.

They do this for no other reason than because they need this or that.

Sadly enough, I really believe that there are people who need to cause conflict regardless of the consequences. They feed off the disturbance it causes and don't care about the ramifications, no matter how far they might reach.

Thank you for sharing your views on empathy. It is becoming such an underused emotion. Almost like considering how other might feel is no longer 'cool'. It's great to read that there are still people in the world who use it.

Thank you very much @steveblucher. I'm glad that you enjoyed my views on the subject.

I have read essays by mental health professionals that state certain people's brains are not wired for empathy, that they actually lack the mental acuity to imagine themselves in the place of another person. Those are the very people who vote against the rights of other's, such as women, LGBT people, people of other races, people who follow alternative relgions, etc. Those without the capacity for empathy are the very people who actually need religion in their lives to control themselves. The rest of the word can subsist peacefully on their conscience and empathy, instead.

Empathy is a beautiful thing, and I feel sorry for those who are unable to experience it and be guided by it. Their lives must be very hollow and stark. This was a beautiful article you wrote, and I commend you for it, dear lady! Thank you for sharing it with #steemitbloggers 😊

Thank you very much @thekittygirl. Very interesting point of view that you have shared here. I too feel pity for those of us that aren't able to experience empathy. I really liked your view regarding the lack of empathy and therefore religion becomes their moral compass.

I think not everyone is built for empathy. Or at least not in every situation. Some are so consumed by their bitterness, or hatred, that causing pain is actually what they hope for. Knowing it's going to hurt fuels them because they have justified it.
In that case, maybe the idea of right and wrong, and rules and religion has its place.

Sadly I think you are right @kaerpediem. Thank you very much for the support.

Wow! That hits the nail on the head! It totally puts into words what I have been thinking about lately! I also love that word empathy and also connection! I feel like Christianity (also raised Christian) tends to teach you to be selfish - even when they teach you to serve others, it comes with this message of what will happen to you if you do and don’t. Thanks for sharing your thoughts-beautifully put!

Thank you very much for your kind words @wildwanderer.

I know some narcissistic "religious" people who lack empathy. I think there is a connection between empathy and love. How can you say you love someone if you cant empathize with them? The greatest commandment is love.

There definitely is @hezziebees. If you truly love someone, how could you hurt them?

Empathy is one of the things I teach in the work I do. It sometimes gets a bad rap, but you have the right of it! It's super important to have in this world!

That is very interesting @uniwhisp. So happy to hear that it's being incorporated in teaching. Empathy is one of the things people need more of in the world.

What a lovely post! We human are programmed to look at our wellbeing first before we consider somebody else. I've seen so many cases of misbehaviour in business. All of it was driven by money and prestige. People were badly hurt and discouraged. Many of them also left the company. I wonder how people causing such troubles are feeling. Cn they sleep at night? I know I couldn't. But some people have no borders, no empathy... and I don't think that religion has really an impact on that.

I've often wondered how they sleep at night myself @delishtreats. I suppose they use the for the greater good of themselves and the company as a hold as justification. I suppose you also can't have one side without the other. Still sad though.

It's a shame not everyone is capable of having empathy, this would have been a better, peaceful loving world.

Yes it is @joelai. I also agree with that statement.

Excellent post! You're touching on something that has long been one of the mystifying parts of "religion" for me: Those who claim that they are only "good people" because they have the fear of God.

And when questioned, they openly admit that they would probably be pretty shitty individuals if they weren't afraid of "judgment from above."

I find it worrisome because it suggests to me that such an idea as having your own inner moral compass... is not a thing.

I have struggled a great deal with this because I never felt like my sense of "right" and "wrong" came from a book or some kind of doctrine. I actually grew up in a totally NON-religious family... and what I was taught about right and wrong action wasn't based in Christianity or any other religion.

Hey great and sensitive post @jusipassetti. Not sure if you stand with my words. I belive religion teaches us few prinicile to follow and one thing common in all relogious preaching is "never hurt anyone" still the follower never let any chance to hurt other emotionally and sentimentally. If they even stick to the basic teaching of not hurting anyone there is no need of empathy. They quickly stray away from common principle of thwir religion.


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maybe for me to be a good person does not have to choose and differentiate religion, do good as long as we can, religion is the thing that brings us to goodness, but humans often misunderstand and consider different umbrellas to be enemies, I am sure in every religion teach goodness, only humans are hostile to one another because of differences.

you give a good work to open up more human insight about doing good, have a nice day.

Hello @jusipassetti, thank you for sharing this creative work! We just stopped by to say that you've been upvoted by the @creativecrypto magazine. The Creative Crypto is all about art on the blockchain and learning from creatives like you. Looking forward to crossing paths again soon. Steem on!

Thank you very much @creativecrypto. I appreciate the support.

Religion is similar to moral principles. I grew up in an irreligious family, but the consequences of my actions are also "vaccinated" from childhood. Religion and Empathy - this is the easiest way to educate a person, and if before it was almost impossible - then in this age you can live without it.

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