Friday, October 14, 2016


This joke of a presidential election has inspired a lot of discussion about empathy. One side emphasizes that empathy is an important trait for people to have, and that people on the other side don't have it. And since the people on the other side lack empathy, we should be free to dehumanize them. Link. Link. Link.

Whatever. People gonna vote the way they gonna vote and it's an irrelevant exercise of powerless protest anyway. What interests us is this discussion of empathy.

Let's take this logic about "empathy makes you good" to it's conclusions. Shouldn't we be able to make, like, a test that can tell how much someone empathizes? And, those who can't empathize, should be neutralized from causing more harm - and if they respond to the threat of neutralization violently, then they will need to be dispatched violently too, right? They're a threat to us, as their violent rebellion shows!

What if we made a movie about that?

Sweet, they already did and it's a bona fide classic.

In case you missed the message of Blade Runner, it's that judging people even by their capacity for empathy, can be dehumanizing and violent. Go watch Rutger Hauer again.

Never spend words making an argument on Facebook when Philip K. Dick and Ridley Scott already did the work for you.

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