Empathy Does Not Help Us Make Better Decisions

A new study reveals the lack of importance of empathy in how we make decisions:

Iacoboni and his colleagues hypothesized that people who had greater neural resonance than the other participants while watching the hand-piercing video would also be less likely to choose to silence the baby in the hypothetical dilemma, and that proved to be true. Indeed, people with stronger activity in the inferior frontal cortex, a part of the brain essential for empathy and imitation, were less willing to cause direct harm, such as silencing the baby.

But the researchers found no correlation between people’s brain activity and their willingness to hypothetically harm one person in the interest of the greater good—such as silencing the baby to save more lives. Those decisions are thought to stem from more cognitive, deliberative processes.

The Left tells us that the problem in society is not incompetence or solipsism, but that people are anti-social or cruel, which usually means that they rise above others through competition or are unmoved by the “problem” of inequality. The solution that the Left proposes, as always, is destructive: empathy, or the thought that if we just “felt their pain” we would see why we have to “help” other people rather than let them face the consequences of their choices as in natural selection.

The Leftist “argument from suffering” ignores the role of individuals in their own suffering and how people think when they actually have to make a decision. Instead of using empathy, they use logic, because that is how they survive as individuals. In conversation, however, they use empathy because that is how you make other people like you, and by doing that, the self-interested individual succeeds in a socially-driven society like our own.