Is Empathy a Bad Thing?

Sounds like a dumb question. But hold on. Last week an article from The Atlantic showed up in my Facebook newsfeed. It linked to a video by Paul Bloom from Yale called “Against Empathy.” Rather than empathy, Bloom argues for “effective altruism” – a rational assessment of the big picture.


He begins provocatively by saying that “empathy is fundamentally from a moral standpoint a bad thing. It makes the world worse.” Bloom claims that empathy blinds us to the long-term consequences of our actions. For example, many people care more about a baby stuck in a well than they do about global warming.


by Dave DuBay