Can morality exist without empathy or concern for well-being?

Asked by: jtightlips24
  • If moral realism is true

    For purposes of brevity let us assume as a given that moral realism is true and proceeding thus, we must address the question whether a man can act in accordance with moral truth without empathy or concern for well-being. The definition of "concern for well-being" has an intuitive meaning in everyday speech that further definition is most likely unnecessary, empathy on the other hand seems to be nothing if not that state in which one finds displays of emotion, be they real or illusory to be contagious such that upon observing the display of emotions or facsimiles thereof, one consequently feels that emotion. Thus understood there is no epistemic link between feeling a contagiously acquired emotional state and knowing what the right course of action is, to share in the delight of a sadist is no less an act of empathy than to share in the misery of his victim, thus empathy is irrelevant to the ability to ascertain moral truth. The question remains then whether empathy is necessary to act in accordance with moral truth. I fail to see how this is the case, an engineer may pride himself on ensuring his designs are structurally sound, and in so doing subordinates his designs to truths of the physical world, if asked why he creates his designs as he does he may fairly answer "Because to do otherwise is foolish, for it ignores the standards of nature, specifically the properties of building materials." If moral realism is true then I cannot imagine how it would be intrinsically impossible for a man bereft of empathy and concern for well-being to conduct himself in accordance with moral truth and explain his behavior as follows "Because to do otherwise is foolish, for it ignores the standards of the world's moral order, specifically the truth values of propositions pertaining to morality." If such a man is logically possible, then empathy and concern for well-being are unnecessary for moral standards and moral behavior.

  • It depends on your personal depth on morality

    My personal depth on morality is what is shown in the present reflection of the human race as one being.It doesn't matter if we can comprehend it or not its who we are.So in my mind yes we can exist without empathy or concern for well-being.But present morality will just not have those words in it. Morality mutates if you will just like DNA,turning on and off switches.

  • The Social Contract

    A moral system based on a social contract may be followed by the individuals of a society for purely selfish reasons, without concern for empathy or well-being - aside from each individual's own well-being.

    For example, agreeing to follow the societal rule that "Thou shalt not kill" means that each selfish individual must only give up the next-to-useless right to kill people in return for the extremely beneficial right not to be killed.

    There is no need for each of this hypothetical society's selfish individuals to believe that it is "wrong" to kill, only that it is less beneficial to kill and break a useful rule than not to kill and be protected by a useful rule.

    In reality, moral imperatives do help preserve legal imperatives. However, it is possible to use mutual cooperation to convert individual selfishness into a moral system, for the greater selfish gain of all individuals.

    Indeed, this may be how morality came to be in the first place, out of inherently selfish evolutionary development.

  • But these two things aren't the same

    Empathy has more to do with concern for emotions. But people are more than just emotions. If all you care about is someone's emotions you'll buy the alcoholic more booze. If you care about his well-being you'll convince him to get help.

    Although without empathy but with concern for well-being a person will come off as an arrogant "I know what's best" type that tries to dictate everything.

  • Morality is our guiding light......

    Morals without empathy or concern equals lack of morals......... They are the opposite of one another. Our morals are what guide our day to day decisions; they allow us to make good decisions and the allow us to be aware of bad decisions that may hurt or harm others as well as self. A man without morals, is a man without a conscience.

  • Morality is bases on these things

    Morality is a social construct that has developed because it makes living in a group better for everyone, it probably makes it possible in the first place. But morality only works if you're concerned with well-being, may it be those of other or your own. In order to care for other beings, you need to empathize with them. If you don't care for others, you wouldn't act morally, unless you're afraid of the consequences. But even that requires concern for well-being, even if only for your own. If you don't even care about yourself, you wouldn't be able to develop any moral sense.

  • Morality is wellbeing

    I think that low moral standards can function fine with little empathy. But when people start demanding moral standards without a sense of empathy, there is always tyranny. Then we justify cruel punishment when we decide that someone is wrong if they don't fit our small minded ideals.
    Like in Saudi Arabia, they oppress others just cause they dont follow in their small minded ideals.

Leave a comment...
(Maximum 900 words)
No comments yet.