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Do some people not have empathy?

I don't understand the attitude so many people have that if they can follow a rule easily, then everyone else should be able to. Is this a religious thing? Or a lack of ability to "put yourself in others' shoes"? I see this on here a lot, and even with my own family. It even seems to me that more Christians are like this than any other religion. Is there some teaching in Christianity that says all people are alike, and so, can follow the same rules as everyone else??? Why can't people just accept that there are circumstances they will never experience or understand?

I'm talking about people who think divorce is wrong, C-sections are wrong, abortion is wrong, homosexuality is wrong, etc....and even little things in life that your family or friends do that you disagree with.


Asked by metalcowgirl34 at 10:26 AM on May. 11, 2009 in Religion & Beliefs

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Answers (36)
  • It even seems to me that more Christians are like this than any other religion

    ITA. I see it first hand now and as I was growing up. I can't say every Christian I know isn't empathetic but the huge majority lack the understanding of empathy all together. They don't know it though :). I think it is because they place so much emphasis on what the Bible say about those situations that it clouds their ability to open up their heart to feel what it is like to be in that situation.Also, I have to clarify... it isn't ONLY Christians that lack is the humans in general. I meet and see people all the time that just can't understand that not everyone is just like them or should act like them. I have a hard time dealing with people that are like that because I am very very empathetic to EVERYONE. So sometimes, I have to put myself "in the shoes" of others who don't so I can understand them.


    Answer by hannahwill at 10:42 AM on May. 11, 2009

  • Just an example....when my grandma had her first baby (my uncle), she was in labor for 3 days and he would not move. Back then the nuns at the hospital believed that wanting a C-section meant you wanted an easy way out, so they refused to do it for her. She was near death when another doctor finally stepped in and was appalled she hadn't had a C-section yet. He said she WOULD have died if she hadn' uncle's head was literally too big to come out. So do we want to go back to having laws for things like this just because SOME people find it easy to have babies??? What would the exceptions be? How many people would die because a judge didn't fully understand the situation??? I just think the attitude that personal decisions should be made by other people who aren't involved is wrong.

    Answer by metalcowgirl34 at 10:31 AM on May. 11, 2009

  • I'm with you.....and if one more person tells me that I absolutely must be saved to get into Heaven, no matter how perfect I live..I will go postal.

    Answer by BradenIsMySon at 10:35 AM on May. 11, 2009

  • I think you're right, I think some people don't have empathy and don't recognize that it is okay for others to have opinions which aren't the same. It's very easy for me to sit here and say "I hate prostitutes" but I have never been in a situation where it's either sleep with a man for money or let my kid starve (just an example. I've actually known a few prostitutes and they felt they had no other option).

    Answer by ajguinn at 10:39 AM on May. 11, 2009

  • I agree hannahwill.....I am very empathetic....but it is harder for me to empathize with people like this. And I don't think it's only Christians, but it does seem to be part of Christianity in some way, although there are atheists and other religious people who are the same way. I would say maybe it's conservatives, but then again, there are extreme liberals who think everyone should do as they believe too (extreme PETA members for example, so think everyone should be a vegetarian!)

    Answer by metalcowgirl34 at 10:54 AM on May. 11, 2009

  • I also think, if someone believes their belief or religion or way of life is the ONLY way, then that basically means you have to at some level lack empathy and understanding for the world. Because it prevents the person from allowing room for diversity and difference and realizing there is no one right way. That is JMO though.


    Answer by hannahwill at 10:55 AM on May. 11, 2009

  • You are so right metalcowgirl.

    Answer by hannahwill at 10:57 AM on May. 11, 2009

  • Metalcowgirl are we related? Sounds like what my mom went through with her first delivery.

    I dont know, it boggles my mind at times.

    Answer by Amaranth361 at 11:10 AM on May. 11, 2009

  • LOL Amaranth.....and ya know what's funny? My Grandma IS the kind of person I'm describing. If it's not her way, it's wrong. BUT she is ok with C-sections because she's had one!

    Answer by metalcowgirl34 at 11:16 AM on May. 11, 2009

  • I do think that there are a lot of people in this world that have this strange inability to see beyond the little bubble that is their own lives. I think anything they don't understand or that they aren't personally affected by is of non-importance to them regardless of who may be suffering. It's really sad.

    Answer by KelleyP77 at 11:21 AM on May. 11, 2009