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Glurp
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  Reply # 2106079 11-Oct-2018 09:50
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Don't you have to feel empathy in order to demonstrate consoling behaviour? I don't know. Just asking.

 

I recall documentaries in which African elephants appear to demonstrate mourning for the dead. Would this not require empathy?

 

I am aware of the temptations of anthropomorphism. I do it all the time with my cats. But isn't it at least possible that animals behave the way people do in certain situations because they feel the same things? I doubt cats feel empathy but there is no question that they feel love and sadness and other emotions.

 

 





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  Reply # 2106141 11-Oct-2018 11:36
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Rikkitic:

 

Don't you have to feel empathy in order to demonstrate consoling behaviour? I don't know. Just asking.

 

I recall documentaries in which African elephants appear to demonstrate mourning for the dead. Would this not require empathy?

 

I am aware of the temptations of anthropomorphism. I do it all the time with my cats. But isn't it at least possible that animals behave the way people do in certain situations because they feel the same things? I doubt cats feel empathy but there is no question that they feel love and sadness and other emotions.

 

 

It's possible wild animals experience empathy, I wouldn't rule it out.  But it's hard to tell.

 

To console you have to recognise distress and respond, but I'm not sure that's enough to qualify as empathy.  Empathy means you have to consider the source of distress and what the other individual is feeling, which borders on having a theory of mind. 

 

With pets it's very plausible that they learn to respond to our cues blindly because we reward that response.  After all, we have bred them to be endearing/affectionate. 

 

Love ... I'm not sure.  If you are talking about the abstract  construct of love that people talk about I would say no.  If you are talking about an oxytocin mediated attachment/familiarity, then yes I could see that.

 

 





Mike

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  Reply # 2106147 11-Oct-2018 11:47
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Which loops nicely back to the thread's start. 

 

The main reason why a student union would ban applause would be to show empathy to those people who are distressed by loud noises.

 

If you use the term snowflake for this situation its a statement that you don't give a hoot about the distress of someone in that position - perhaps you think they should 'harden up'.

 

Notice that the story did not include any demands from loud noise sufferers. There were no protest marches, no riots. The ceasing of applause was not demanded by sufferers but was offered by the student union.

 

Does that make loud noise sufferers 'snowflakes' ? I doubt it

 

 

 

 

 

 


Glurp
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  Reply # 2106148 11-Oct-2018 11:55
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My cats love me. I can clearly see it in their eyes. I often sit with one on my lap in front of the fire and stroke it and talk to it. Then it looks up at me languidly and its eyes are full of love. I have no doubt of this whatsoever. Any cat owner will tell you the same. The love is primitive and shallow, and it doesn't take much for the cat to switch its affections, but it is unquestionably real. The cat is fed and doesn't want food. It is comfortable and relaxed and it doesn't want more affection. Those are bonding moments when the cat just looks at you and says I am completely happy and I love you. 

 

 





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  Reply # 2106247 11-Oct-2018 14:03
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Rikkitic:

 

My cats love me. I can clearly see it in their eyes. I often sit with one on my lap in front of the fire and stroke it and talk to it. Then it looks up at me languidly and its eyes are full of love. I have no doubt of this whatsoever. Any cat owner will tell you the same. The love is primitive and shallow, and it doesn't take much for the cat to switch its affections, but it is unquestionably real. The cat is fed and doesn't want food. It is comfortable and relaxed and it doesn't want more affection. Those are bonding moments when the cat just looks at you and says I am completely happy and I love you.

 

 

It depends on your definition of "love" I suppose . I'm a cat person and would say I love my cat, but I don't know that I could ever say he loves me. Cats are hedonistic and creatures of habit and routine. They generally "love" the person who feeds them and pets them the most. They appear to miss people (and other animals) you when they are gone, but I attribute that more to their routine changing - which cats notoriously dislike.


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  Reply # 2106401 11-Oct-2018 16:50
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You have to be really careful with this sort of stuff. Low quality news outlets, particularly those on the right side of the political divide, love to stoke outrage by manufacturing imaginary “offended” people, particularly university students. Ironically the readers of this news get really offended by offended people. You have to look beyond the reporting to the primary facts, which often tell a totally different story.

 

This is a great case in point. Fred99 did an excellent job of debunking the example in your post. The reporting suggested that a University banned clapping and replaced it with "jazz hands" because clapping was too loud and offensive to the students. In actual fact, a student union introduced a new policy encouraging people to use British Sign Language rather than clapping at certain events (specifically events requiring students to vote on things). Using BSL rather than clapping means deaf and disabled students can be involved in these specific events and participate in the democratic process, with no real downside to anybody else. Turns out it’s not about “snowflakes” or anybody getting offended at all. In fact the policy seems perfectly reasonable to me.

 

This happens all the time. Here are some examples. They usually start with a kernel of truth that is distorted out of all proportion, but sometimes they just make stuff up entirely.

 

The whole concept of "safe spaces" and the declining tolerance of free speech in universities is also vastly misreported and not held up by the facts.

 

On that subject: I'd argue that Massey cancelling Brash’s speaking slot is also not a case of young snowflakes getting offended. That was young people getting angry at those who hold intolerant and bigoted views. Something that is hardly new or unwelcome, in my opinion. The decision to disinvite Brash was not made by the students, who I’m sure would have loved the opportunity to raucously engage with (and possibly throw pies at) Brash. It was made by the Vice-Chancellor, because she thought Brash’s views were inconsistent with Massey’s status as a tiriti-led university and felt hosting Brash would be seen as the University endorsing those views. The wisdom of that decision is definitely arguable, as is a university’s responsibility to host controversial speakers, but again this isn’t a “snowflake” situation.

 

Overall I'd argue that there's little evidence that young people today are any more sensitive or offended than any generation before them. I think they're more understanding of minority interests than generations before them. Thirty years ago nobody except the deaf would have understood or cared that deaf students are excluded when you use clapping to hold a vote, but in 2018 they do, and they have done something about it.


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  Reply # 2106420 11-Oct-2018 17:53
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Using BSL rather than clapping means blind students can't be involved in specific events and participate in the democratic process because they can't see what is going on while the room is silent. That is a real downside to them. Turns out they have every right to feel offended and excluded. In fact the policy strikes me as discriminatory and disgusting. I'm glad I'm not blind.

 

 





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  Reply # 2106447 11-Oct-2018 18:42
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Rikkitic:

 

Using BSL rather than clapping means blind students can't be involved in specific events and participate in the democratic process because they can't see what is going on while the room is silent.

 

 

From what little I've seen of sign language use, when someone talks, a BSL speaker does BSL. 

 

 

 

 


Glurp
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  Reply # 2106452 11-Oct-2018 19:05
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That may be, but this branch of the thread seems to be about accommodating people who can't hear applause. I'm just pointing out that the same might apply to people who can't see silent applause. How to avoid excluding both?

 

 





I reject your reality and substitute my own. - Adam Savage
 


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  Reply # 2106527 11-Oct-2018 22:06
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Obviously you need one person to applaud. Unlikely to startle someone when performed at the front of the room.


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