Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Word of the Day

Attention right-wing assholes and brain-dead pundits:

Empathy ≠ Sympathy

That is all.


Smitty said...

THANK YOU. This has been making me want to beat my head against a wall. It's not the same thing, people. In fact, it is very different. Perhaps they'd like "apathy" instead of "empathy?"

Mike said...

What's the context here?

Smitty said...

What's the context here?Obama said that he wanted SCOTUS candidates to have, among many other things, empathy.

Greater Wingnuttia has gone off their rockers saying that Obama judicial candidates will have sympathy for law breakers and be swayed by tearful arguments.

Not so much, guys.

steves said...

Yes, those are two very different concepts and you can have one without the other. Critics saying that empathy means that tearful arguments will sway them clearly don't understand the word empathy.

That being said, I wouldn't place empathy (or sympathy) high on the list of what I want on the Supreme Court. Not that I want a heartless bastard, but empathy should be found at the trial court level. By the time it has worked it's way up through the appellate system, the judges should be more concerned with the law, caselaw, and the Constitution mostly.

Mr Furious said...

Yes, apparently empathy means getting bowled over by tear-jerker testimony and undermining the pillars of our democracy.

Rather than the ability of the judge to understand the positions of all parties—not identify with or support, just understand.

steves said...

I think empathy implies more than understanding the positions of both parties, but rather a deeper level of what motivates specific actions, including past events and other factors. Again, important to a trial judge, but not as crucial when it has worked it's way up the appellate ladder.