Gryllacrididic Empathy

(This is a continuation from yesterday’s posting)

[Don’t put the creature in your box, it doesn’t want to be there.] Its sort of a moral danger almost to not allow an organism to be what it is.

Empathy is the the ability to co-experience and relate to the thoughts, emotions, or experience of another without feeling sorry for, or pitying, the individual. The challenge in empathy, as ironic as is may sound, is to remain objective.

Mr. Lockwood, had made an intellectual misstep when he thought of the Gryllacridid in the context of his own world. In doing so, he placed certain characteristics and traits onto an organism that were not inherent to that creature at all, but were his own. Imagine, for a moment, what happens if a clinician begins to look at their patients under the same light: is that patient receiving care with the respect of an autonomous being?

The answer, of course, is no; Mr. Lockwood is right, this is a moral danger. And it is a danger that is rooted in a misunderstanding of what many people believe it means to be objective.

The adjective, objective, is defined as “not [being] influenced by personal feelings, interpretations or prejudice.” Thus, to be an empathetic clinician is to step into their patient’s world objectively (leaving one’s own feelings at the door), relating to the patient’s experience, rather than their own. Only then can the clinician treat the patient autonomously, respectfully.

Now I wonder, can motor neurons actually work to undermine the clinicians ability to be objective in the construction of a truly empathetic relationship?


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