Like many, perhaps most autistic people, I am suspicious of a lot of the work and research that Simon Baron Cohen is involved with, however sometimes he hits the nail right on the head. I recently watched a 2012 TEDx presentation by Cohen and he made some comments regarding empathy and democracy that are surely relevant today. Let me quote starting from 10:35:
10:35 “Empathy is vital for a healthy democracy; it ensures that when we listen to different perspectives, we hear other people’s emotions and we also feel them. Indeed without empathy, democracy would not be possible.”
11:46 “Empathy is our most valuable natural resource for conflict resolution. We could wait for our political leaders to use empathy – and that would be refreshing – but actually we could all use our empathy.”
If I was asked for one word to describe what is lacking in American society and politics at this time, I think I would choose the word empathy.
If you wish to watch Simon Baron Cohen’s presentation in its entirety you can find it on YouTube: The erosion of empathy | Simon Baron Cohen | TEDxHousesofParliament.
10 Nov, 2022 at 11:59 am
Interesting; we have a President in Joe Biden who is the quintessence of empathy.
10 Nov, 2022 at 1:09 pm
He’s something of an exception, don’t you think?
19 Nov, 2022 at 11:19 am
Empathy is a feeling of understanding and caring for the feelings of others. It is the ability to spontaneously experience the feelings of another person, and to share in their emotions. Empathy is key to effective communication and relationships. It can also help us to identify and respond to the needs of others.
Empathy can be developed through experience and education. It is often associated with feelings of compassion, understanding, and warmth. People with high levels of empathy are often considered to be compassionate and caring. They are also good at identifying the needs of others and are often excellent problem-solvers.