Today’s therapy culture has elevated the ability to feel the pain of others into something of a moral absolute.
Since moral precepts define what you should do, making empathy a moral law upends ethics by enjoining us, not to do something, but to feel the right feelings.
Under the rule of empathy, it doesn’t really matter what happens to the poor and disadvantaged in our great nation. What matters is that you feel the correct feelings about the problem. They shield you of all responsibility for the consequences of the policies you have supported.
It’s a lose/lose situation that feels like a win/win.
Recently, presumptive presidential candidate Hillary Clinton– whose husband rode “I feel your pain” to the White House and to no small number of sexual conquests– recently announced that we need to empathize with our enemies.
By the Hillary doctrine, we do not need to defeat our enemies. We do not need to feel their pain. We need to be sensitive to the pain that is causing them to want to kill us.
Like it or not, discussions of empathy quickly degenerate into mindless cant.