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Hard time empathizing with historical figures

1694 Views 27 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  Ink
I have to write a paper on what small events triggered this historical event. I am having very much trouble trying to put myself in everyones shoes and I'm having a very hard time NOT JUDGING (yeah, I would've done that, yeah that sounds reasonable) and instead just observe. I am wondering if this is something INTPs have special trouble with? I'm only 19 as well, I'm assuming this gets easier with age.
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No I have a fairly easy time putting myself in different situations and seeing what they say. I don't have much patience when people judge events with the benefits of hindsight
My advice would be to stop "empathizing" and instead locate agency at levels other than that of the individual. It will help you suspend judgment and is good historical practice in its own right. And stereotypically, at least, this should be easier for INTPs than others, not harder.

(This is why Marx put history on the path to scientific footing, even if you disagree, for instance, with his teleology.)
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Why do you have to empathize? What's the point of that?
Yeah, I think that's the major problem I have (not just here but life in general), I really have to cut down on that. Forcing it at least.
Domino or butterfly? In other words are you expected to impose linear causality to the nonlinear dynamics of human behavior?

Here's the endgame:

1) More linear controls are needed to prevent these effects. Ultimately a free economy is to blame. Your indoctrination is coming along nicely, you get an A.

2) Shit happens when individual wills clash. Eternal sloppiness is the price of freedom. Your thought process is disturbing, you get an F and a psychiatric evaluation to determine if you're a danger to society.

The most important lesson to be learned from this historic event is this: Never bring rocks to a gun fight.
lol l had to look at this thread.

Psych lingo even managed to work into a history paper, you kids and your DSM.
I don't see how determining why and how something happened has anything to do with empathizing with them.

Just whip out some cold hard psychological analysis.
yeah, like when people criticize the bombing of hiroshima and Nagasaki. In hindsight a lot of people want to point out the atrocity. But honestly, If I were in their shoes after the grueling war and found out there was a bomb that could have ended the war faster and saved the lives of my friends and family, I would have been very angry. very angry indeed.
No I have a fairly easy time putting myself in different situations and seeing what they say. I don't have much patience when people judge events with the benefits of hindsight
What would make your friends and family worth more than the japanese? If everyone would kill in self-defence there would be no people left (sry I had to, my thread, this is the kind of patriotic americans I hate the most).
yeah, like when people criticize the bombing of hiroshima and Nagasaki. In hindsight a lot of people want to point out the atrocity. But honestly, If I were in their shoes after the grueling war and found out there was a bomb that could have ended the war faster and saved the lives of my friends and family, I would have been very angry. very angry indeed.
Right, we killed more people bombing Tokyo with conventional bombs, and we would have continued doing so.. but everybody forgets that.

But virtually any historical event that people rail about makes sense when judged from its own historical context. Not with the 21st century hindsight people judge it from.
yeah, like when people criticize the bombing of hiroshima and Nagasaki. In hindsight a lot of people want to point out the atrocity. But honestly, If I were in their shoes after the grueling war and found out there was a bomb that could have ended the war faster and saved the lives of my friends and family, I would have been very angry. very angry indeed.
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I didnt say it was right, I just said i can empathize with the people of time. But since you asked, I do value people I love over people who are trying to kill me and the people I love. or the people supporting those trying to kill me and my loved ones. its only natural. It isnt as if someone asked me Kill an innocent american or kill an innocent japanese, you have to choose. I would say take me instead. let them both live.

What would make your friends and family worth more than the japanese? If everyone would kill in self-defence there would be no people left (sry I had to, my thread, this is the kind of patriotic americans I hate the most).
Right, we killed more people bombing Tokyo with conventional bombs, and we would have continued doing so.. but everybody forgets that.

But virtually any historical event that people rail about makes sense when judged from its own historical context. Not with the 21st century hindsight people judge it from.
Dan Carlin talked about this in his podcast Common Sense, and I agree. People forget we were already fire bombing the cities. Personally i would rather die in an immediate blast and heat than die burning to death. every inch of my body napalmed (or whatever they were using) Even radiation poisoning doesnt seem as bad compared to a flaming death

but yeah, thats the whole reason i used this example. its a controversial topic that requires empathy. to understand it, you have to put yourself in their shoes. they werent just, "ummm ok lets kill a bunch of japs with one bomb." It was a difficult decision, and the atmosphere of pain, exhaustion, etc was overwhelming. people wanted it over with. and it seemed like the japanese would all fight till their deaths. It isnt like we surprised them. leaflets were dropped over the cities warning people to leave.
There's a world of difference between the ones I care about and everyone else. Not in the grand sense, but the subjective. I prioritize my family and friends over everyone else. I show common courtesy and respect to others, but they aren't priority. An example would be my dog. There is no stranger more important than my dog to me. He's been with us for around five years now, but considered part of the family.

This is excluding patriotism. Whether or not you're "American" has nothing to do with it. Let's say a friend happens to be Japanese, French, Arabic, or Egyptian, I would choose them over some American stranger. A friend is a friend regardless of his or her gender, racial ethnicity, sexual orientation, skin color, nationality, or family upbringing. The whole seperation of importance by political divide or coincidental categorization is non sense. This is not say you can't get along and prosper with others. Just if I had to choose, it wouldn't require any thinking.

The real question is, who's absense would affect you most?
What would make your friends and family worth more than the japanese? If everyone would kill in self-defence there would be no people left (sry I had to, my thread, this is the kind of patriotic americans I hate the most).
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I see your point, but when we're talking about war it's hundreds of thousands of people, not trading a life 1:1. I don't think dropping a nuclear bomb on an innocent city can be justified in any way.
The numbers they were looking at if they didn't drop the bomb, was the loss of well over a million lives on the Allies side during the invasion of Japan, plus who knows how many Japanese. Vs. 100k killed at Hiroshima and 70K at Nagasaki. The argument is the atomic bombs saved lives.

It's similar to the argument that if you knew terrorists hijacked a plane full of civilians and were planning to crash it into something, is shooting the plane down justifiable? Some would say no, I would say yes.
I see your point, but when we're talking about war it's hundreds of thousands of people, not trading a life 1:1. I don't think dropping a nuclear bomb on an innocent city can be justified in any way.
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Probably because we belong in a completely different era, as compared to theirs. Therefore our worldview and opinions are going to be very different from theirs.

As for putting yourself in others' shoes, I think that it's difficult for anyone who's not naturally inclined to empathise. I don't think it's exclusive to INTPs. It might get easier with age, though.
that's right. Hundreds of thousands of soldiers that we love, or hundreds of thousands of people we don't know and are trying to kill us. You have to realize that we were already fire bombing what you call "innocent cities" and that is horrid. Read eye-witness accounts of those who experienced fire-bombing. Watching their loved ones become human torches. Trying to escape as the road beneath you becomes liquid magma tar, effectively holding you until nearby fires from buildings could reach you and kill you, or you just slowly die from the terrible heat.

You call these cities innocent. They were just as innocent as american cities during the war. Even though Americans at home didn't have a gun in their hands, they were supporting the war effort through the production of ammunitions, vehicles, and other supplies. The same was going on in these cities. And the mentality that they had, had we reached the point of invasion, these "innocent people" probably would have become terrorist to the invading forces. Just like in Vietnam and Iraq. Crashing airplanes and strapping bombs to themselves.

I truly believe, had I seen the horrors that they had seen. Had I watched as many of my comrades killed and known the lengths the Japanese were willing to go to before they surrendered, then I would have believed the bombs would have saved 1.25 million American and UK lives (as well as whatever number of Japanese), and would have chosen to kill no more 400 thousand of the enemy. (depending on how many who had injuries and were made homeless ended up dieing.

it is easy to sit in our comfortable homes. IN our comfortable aircondition. In our chairs on computers and judge these people. but they were fighting to defend the freedom, they had seen the realities that we can never imagine. And went off of the information they had available to do, wherever you agree or not, what probably most (if not all) of the american population would have agreed was the right thing to do.

I'm not trying to convince you that the dropping of the bombs was the right thing to do, I'm just trying to get you to empathize and not judge our great grandparents and great great grandparents. See it from their perspective.
I see your point, but when we're talking about war it's hundreds of thousands of people, not trading a life 1:1. I don't think dropping a nuclear bomb on an innocent city can be justified in any way.
The people in the plane are going to die anyway. Shoot it down over the least populated area as possible. That's the best you can do. It sucks being stuck between a rock and a hard place, but do the best with what you got.
It's similar to the argument that if you knew terrorists hijacked a plane full of civilians and were planning to crash it into something, is shooting the plane down justifiable? Some would say no, I would say yes.
yeah. i would been like those people in the airplane flight 93 on 9/11 that crashed. i would have fought. what a tragic day...
The people in the plane are going to die anyway. Shoot it down over the least populated area as possible. That's the best you can do. It sucks being stuck between a rock and a hard place, but do the best with what you got.
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People just don't like directly choosing who dies and who doesn't ("Playing God") even though calculating the number of future probable deaths may return results saying you might as well. In this case, do many thousands die in Hiroshima and Nagasaki? or do thousands die on the battlefield? People would rather have "random chance" and "co-incidents" of "uncontrollable" events occur. Diffusion of responsibility is a powerful psychological phenomenon. No one wants to hold the burden.

Constant self questioning ensues.... What if? What if it could have turned out differently? What if my measure wasn't necessary? You can't experimentally play out life like a video game. If your series of actions don't work out, you can't restart to the last checkpoint and try something different. This adds to the avoidance of taking extreme action with consequences that would create guilt.
that's right. Hundreds of thousands of soldiers that we love, or hundreds of thousands of people we don't know and are trying to kill us. You have to realize that we were already fire bombing what you call "innocent cities" and that is horrid. Read eye-witness accounts of those who experienced fire-bombing. Watching their loved ones become human torches. Trying to escape as the road beneath you becomes liquid magma tar, effectively holding you until nearby fires from buildings could reach you and kill you, or you just slowly die from the terrible heat.

You call these cities innocent. They were just as innocent as american cities during the war. Even though Americans at home didn't have a gun in their hands, they were supporting the war effort through the production of ammunitions, vehicles, and other supplies. The same was going on in these cities. And the mentality that they had, had we reached the point of invasion, these "innocent people" probably would have become terrorist to the invading forces. Just like in Vietnam and Iraq. Crashing airplanes and strapping bombs to themselves.

I truly believe, had I seen the horrors that they had seen. Had I watched as many of my comrades killed and known the lengths the Japanese were willing to go to before they surrendered, then I would have believed the bombs would have saved 1.25 million American and UK lives (as well as whatever number of Japanese), and would have chosen to kill no more 400 thousand of the enemy. (depending on how many who had injuries and were made homeless ended up dieing.

it is easy to sit in our comfortable homes. IN our comfortable aircondition. In our chairs on computers and judge these people. but they were fighting to defend the freedom, they had seen the realities that we can never imagine. And went off of the information they had available to do, wherever you agree or not, what probably most (if not all) of the american population would have agreed was the right thing to do.

I'm not trying to convince you that the dropping of the bombs was the right thing to do, I'm just trying to get you to empathize and not judge our great grandparents and great great grandparents. See it from their perspective.
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