The Golden Rule, ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,’ is at the heart of all religions. Why then the NY Times on a tear about empathy? First, there is David Brook’s article “The Limits of Empathy,” followed three days later by Natalie Angier’s “The Pathological Altruist Gives Till Someone Hurts.”
Brooks is bothered by the “empathy craze,” where rows of bookshelves are filled with empathy this and empathy titles. Angier, meanwhile, points out that empathy’s close cousin altruism can lead to self-righteous and harmful behavior.
This empathy backlash reminds me of the assault against self-esteem that flared several years ago and still has some targeting it as a source of contemporary malaise. …
by Arthur Dobrin