Part of Uriel's COR Curriculum, Empathy is a subject pioneered by Doctor Edith Stein who was martyred in a gas chamber after years of a productive and prolific philosophical career.
A student to Edmund Husserl, a mathematics expert and the father of modern phenomenology, she abandoned her Jewish faith as a young girl and become an atheist but was eventally convinced of the existence of a personal God by the writings of the Spanish mystic Teresa of Avila.
Husserl admitted she would have had the position which she sought at the University had she been a man.
Stein was baptized as a Catholic and followed Avila into the carmel and was executed as an ethnic Jew by agents of Adolf Hitler while trying to flee beyond the reach of the Gestapo.
(As a matter of fact her arrest was part of a vendetta against the Dutch church, since the Catholic bishops had roundly denounced Hitler the prior Sunday in the pulpits of all masses.
This is an example of how vicious and bloodthirsty the reaction to truth can sometimes be -the skandalon, the stumbling block- and explains why the pope decided to be quiet after that rather than be responsible for more bloodshed than was already going on.)
To properly understand empathy and how one might be "educated to empathize" with other human beings, empathy should be considered in the larger context of Phenomenology as a response to ideology.
A word on blame, vendetta and mental malaise. Perhaps the opposite of Empathy is vendetta or the Blame game.
The "blame game" is common in the mental health profession-its always somebody's fault but never mine.
IN addition to confessing the sins of others as if they were her own, in confessionals, and in large auditoria, the leopard did so to shrinks.
The leopard was often bullied to the point of death by those who were mentally disabled, because she herself was not mandated to take medicine, and even offered to take the medicine to share in the plight of those who had to do so.
One day she asked a shrink-a woman which is an important detail0- if she might be classfied as disabled herself to stop this sort of bullying and collect some freebies into the bargain. After all she said I have a lot of trauma.
More than anyone I've ever seen , the shrink admitted. I dont understand why you are not disabled, but you are not.
But the disabled tag would never fly, you are mentally healthier than I am. You are the most empathetic and yet somehow the healthiest person Ive ever seen in terms of psychological sturdiness.
Then why dont you pay me money to talk to me? the leopard queried, to which the shrink merely laughed.
This seems to be not only the opposite of empathy, but the opposite of mental health--rather than admit we all have the wound of lack of love so we can heal it, we tend to pass the blame on to someone else.
We all share the guilt of exile but the opposite of empathy is to blame others for this--in fact who knows? If Adam had acknowledged his guilt up front, maybe he would have stayed in heaven--maybe heaven is just the place where everything is real.