Are Europeans more empathetic than other races?

Discussion in 'Anthropology' started by Pangloss, 30 August 2014.

  1. Pangloss

    Pangloss Senior Member

    I don't think empathy or sympathy is only a white quality, there have been notable times throughout history when non-whites have been moved by the plight of not only other non-white, but of European peoples too. Whether it was the Ottomans or Cherokee sending aid to the starving Irish, or the PLO training provos, Iranians stepping into help their religious brethren in the Arab world, or Afghans going over to fight for the Bosnians et cetera. I would say Rousseau was right here when he stated one of our primal urges was empathy for others, we do not like to others in pain. Sure you can argue that selfish factors played apart, but then we run the risk of European people's being equally selfish e.g. Napoleon III's expeditions in Indochina solely being to open up markets for the French, charity to the third world only to bring them to our geopolitical side and allow us access to resources we lack, and a wishy washy immigration policy solely for cheap, class consciousness lacking labour.

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    Last edited by a moderator: 30 August 2014
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  2. Sindri

    Sindri Guest

    How do you then explain why almost all foreign aid programs (and the aggregate money collected), animal welfare groups, obsession about "sociology" or the so called "humanities" is white from the beginning into the modern age? Remember, whites stopped slavery, while it still exists in Africa and Asia today.

    In genetics it is generally accepted that asians are much more collectivistic, in other words more prone to following orders from leaders, not their internal "moral compass". This means that individual morality and a sense of "shame" from not fulfilling gods plan makes whites more suceptible to moral propaganda, since they actually imagine themselves to BE the starving negro in africa or the killed muslim in the middle east. Even though a negro might seem like a baboon or another species entirely the blonde female will still treat him as exactly equal to everyone else, even though he from all rational viewpoints is not. Other races does not have this degree of imagination and self-delusion.

    I would dare you to find any universalist empathy amongst non-whites on a macro-level; that is empathy directed against everyone, no matter where they come from, what race, religion, how insane or evil they are and so on.

    To clarify, I am not saying other races do not have empathy, only that whites have more of it.
    Last edited by a moderator: 30 August 2014
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  3. Pangloss

    Pangloss Senior Member

    Well, my knowledge of Africa is pretty much non existent, but the Qin dynasty abolished slavery in all forms centuries before the birth of Christ, and the Imperial court went out of its way to prevent the slave trade along its borders. Unfortunately it did return, but from the Ming Dynasty onwards slavery was illegal, and you had plenty of philosophers and poets bemoaning it, but this time the Imperial court really lacked the power and political will to enforce it (all you had to do was hide your slaves when the Imperial eunuch came round and you could get away, or bribe him [towards the latter days of the dynasty they gave up and just turned the bribe into an official tax lol]).

    As for their collectivist nature, I'm always wary about boiling cultural elements down to genetics. Plenty of Chinese philosophical schools advocated thinking for oneself and following principles of you conscience. Most notably, the Mohist school with its principle of 'universal love' - one should adopt an attitude of impartial caring - treat all individuals, regardless of race, class, or sex, equally and with dignity - and from Mozi's writings we find his reasoning is very much based on a rather Rousseaun-esque notion of empathy. Mohism did enjoy the support of one king (I forget which one) during the warring states period (so I don't know if that will suffice as an example). Also, with Daoism we find an emphasis on empathy when it comes to ethical discourse, and also with the Neo-Confucianist school that thrived during the Ming dynasty (part of the ideological backing behind the abolition reforms), which was rooted in a "you wouldn't like that done to you, so don't do it!" (funnily enough, one of the more famous neo-Confucianist philosophers took this to such an extreme he started advocating for the destruction of marriage, the abolition aristocracy, and the Chinese to leave Vietnam alone - in the end they locked him up for being anti-social). I think this collectivist attitude is more a result of Maoism, where not questioning and following orders was the fundamental pre-requisite for survival, rather than an authentic Chinese soul (or perhaps rooted in hierarchal folk religion).

    Also, I would question whether Europeans banning the African slave trade was 100% to do with morality, rather than slavery actively becoming a hindrance to expanding markets and industrialisation (it can help you build up, primitive accumulation and all that jazz, but then it begins to hurt once it has come to fruition).

    I would say our current, almost hysterical empathy, comes from us living a relatively easy life (the typical do goody liberals tend to be rich and have too much time on his or her hands), and then since we have time to contemplate, we start felling a tremendous sense of guilt (muh privilege).
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  4. Olavsson

    Olavsson First Lieutenant Staff Member
    1. Lumine Boreali Gentlemen's Club
    2. Neoplatonism

  5. Sindri

    Sindri Guest

    I have to disagree with most of your post.
    First of all "abolishment of slavery" in one historical time-period of a certain dynasty or even in some persian capitals does not negate the fact that slavery is the norm of human history, not the exception. This means that even though some compassionate individuals with power might abolish slavery for a while it would always return since the will of the strong dominates the morals of the weak. Tzun Zu's act of chopping off the heads of vain chambermaidens to make every other noble-woman become warriors seems to be the standard of the warring states period; expert strategy but little empathy (are they not oposites, honestly?). As I mentioned earlier, it seems well documented by both geneticists and sociologists that asians are more collectivist from nature than europeans; is it not possible that Maoism became popular exactly because of this biological tendency, and not in spite of it? Would really such a dictatorial government be possible if the chinese really were individualists, as you seem to claim?

    The main point is that whites are generally more universalist and often times more imaginative in their worldview, hence; the "Church of creativity", which preached that while whites are not the smartest race they are the most creative and thereby the most emphatic because they have the ability to imagine themselves in the shoes of a total foreigner, even though he is nothing like you at all and might want to kill you. "Social realism" is an european genre remember, which has the main goal of humanizing the worst killers, rapists and scum of the earth. Everything is culture according to the modern white mentality, and as long as we "fix it" there will be no more suffering, evil or social realist movies at the Cannes Festival.

    Asians have a much greater sense of empathy than blacks I admit, although much of this seems to come from the indoeuropean/aryan religion of Buddhism and not from their own genes in themselves.

    Europeans banning slavery seems to me to be a continuation of a long line of christian egalitarianists (mostly women) pleading for what they perceived as the downtrodden, just as they do today. Asian women have never had the same status as white women and have therefore not had the same public platform as in the west, which means Asia still resents feminism (luckily).
  6. Pangloss

    Pangloss Senior Member

    I wasn't saying that, I was simply offering a counter point to:

    by pointing out that the abolition of slavery is not something unique to whites, something your post seemed to be implying, rather it is an institution that, like all races practise it, all races can have moral qualms about it.

    And you honestly can't name a vile act on that scale committed in war time by a European nation? Look at the absolutely horrific actions that were committed by the armies of various nations during the Thirty Years War for example, whether it was babies being impaled on spikes, mass rapes, the utter destruction of cities, or the hedonistic torture of German peasants that the Swedish army was fond of doing. It's not like a dungeons and dragons system, ever person, regardless of their race, is capable of great kindness, or great cruelty.

    Well Confucianism won out in the end, and so ties to family and society were elevated to the status akin to that of a religious duty. I have no issue with the fact that Asians are currently, and have been for a while, rather collectivist. I do take issue, however, with this rather crude genetic reductionism as an explanation for it, as, if it was, we would not have seen the variation of behaviour and social order that we do see within Asian societies throughout history.

    Also, let us not forget, that during various stages of European history, we have been rather collectivist, one just has to look at the various incarnations of the Reich, or Prussia to demonstrate this. Funnily enough, allot of this 'yellow peril' collectivist propaganda that we see directed against China is very similar to 19th century French and British characterisations of Prussian society, "the hun is either at your throat or at your feet". Plenty of French scientists published rather pseudo-scientific papers about how it was in the German's nature to follow orders without question, despise individualism, and be unable to think for himself. Also, look at the Nazi characterisation of the Russian.

    My point about Maoism was that you could not open your mouth and speak freely, as those that did often ended up meeting rather grisly fates. This is what I meant by going with the crowd being a survival (the same as in all communist states) method (for example, when I was living in Prague, a lot of people refuse to show how happy they are, and a common response to asking how some one is feeling is usually "shit"/"could be better", as showing happiness is bourgeoisie and anti-egalitarian - communism lingers). Also, the triumph of Maoism in China I would put down more to Mao being a better general, and the fact that he was being subsidised by the Soviet Union, and the fact that the Nationalist army had pretty much all been wiped out fighting the Japanese (whilst the communist forces hid).

    How do you even quantify creativity? And this liberal empathy is a new fangled thing, for most of our history we have been at each other throats, slaughtering each other and committing some of the the most horrific acts against our enemies wives and sisters. Sure, the Shoreditch twat riding around on his fixie bike may have a heart a couple of sizes too big, but I doubt you can say the same for the blood drenched Tercio with a baby on his pike or Landschnekt in the midsts of partaking in a mass rape of Dutch women who's only crime is conceiving the Divine Author in a mildly different manner to that of himself. Or maybe the Voltigeur bayoneting Spanish prisoners for the hell of it.

    For the majority of our history, it was too difficult to even be nice to our European brothers and sisters (we didn't even need to go bongo-bongo land). This politically correct do-goodie empathy is a product of modernity and comfy living.

    I am only aware of social realism as the artistic movement that was the off shoot of Hogarthian genre-genre, which viewed common people as worthy subjects, as opposed to the academies emphasising allegorical-history painting. Nothing about humanising rapists in the work of say, Repin, Hogarth or Benton.

    Perhaps in Western Europe, but the Russians and Poles are quite happy to label certain things irreducibly evil, rather than cultural.

    That really does seem like a cop out.

    Most recent banning (the trans-Atlantic/ chattel slavery in the Americas) was the brainchild of the clergy, at least for Europe, and was spearheaded mostly by religious men (both Pope and religious dissenter), as opposed to women (who else had the education and the time to autistically sit around musing the theological implications of chattel slavery). Women were still pretty much barred from political and philosophical discourse, either by law, or lack of education or interest.
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  7. Saesenthesis

    Saesenthesis Senior Member

    For what it's worth, my own example. For years I lost sleep over women in Islamic countries, what to do, how, when, why is nothing being done about it.

    Then I realized liberals are such foul scum that they are not only doing nothing to help them, but they're working on our destruction as well, by putting us in the same or worse position.
    They're abusing our qualities by turning them them into Achilles' heel.

    Facing Our impending doom and their cynicism my consciousness focus shifted entirely onto our lives and well-being.
    Last edited: 21 September 2014
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