Empathy, or Lack Thereof

I was talking via the net to a friend tonight. She was telling me about her mother. As far as I can gather, her mother is pretty well-off and a widow. She thinks nothing of moving her place of abode from one lush apartment to another. The lady is also 95 years old and, apparently, in reasonable health.

But there is a problem. Her mother has little empathy with anyone else, even her children. Never has had, apparently. She is very much self-centred. She regards her wealth as a lever to get others to do what she wants them to do. Poorer people are minions, and if they are staff in her apartment block, then they are there to be bullied and to be bossed about. My correspondent has reported that staff and other residents have cheered when she finally moves out.

There are a lot of such people, but not a massive number of them. Their ‘lever’ might not be wealth. It might be ‘authority’, ‘profession’, ‘dignity’, ‘knowledge’, or whatever. The important thing is that they have some quality which they can use to their advantage. That advantage might be as simple a thing as gratification, such as ‘winning’ an argument.

It is in our nature to want to succeed. If that were not so, then the human race would never have survived. The semi-concious need to succeed is above animal instinct and it enabled mankind to defeat forces which were much stronger than men, such as animals like lions and tigers. Such animals were much stronger than men, but they were dumb and stupid. They had ’emotional intelligence’, which was no match for ‘rational intelligence’. I use the phrase ’emotional intelligence’ in place of the word ‘instinct’ because I think that we humans still have that level of intellect, which is emotionally based, in our brains. For example, tonight I almost knocked over a cup of tea. After making the tea, I caught the cup with my hand. My reaction was ‘instinctive’ and needed no ‘conscious’ intervention. I reacted immediately, with no conscious thought. I grabbed the cup, and succeeded in grabbing the cup before it fell over. A little tea was spilt, but not much.

What happened in my brain to prompt such a thoughtless reaction? It must have been an emotional reaction. The FEELING of tipping the cup over must have prompted my IMMEDIATE, UNTHINKING reaction. Sometimes, our cat catches a mouse. He carries it to the lawn where it cannot escape. He plays with it. But saying that he plays with it implies conscious thought. The reality is that he is not hungry enough to kill and eat it right away. What he does is all emotional. He does not realise that if he sinks his teeth into it, he will kill it. Only when it ceases to move does he lose interest – unless he is hungry.

I think that Tobacco Control Freaks are similar both to the cat and its mouse, and to the lady’s mother. Those Freaks have gained wealth in various ways. I do not know how they did it, but it is clear that the massive number of tobacco studies could not have been done without massive injections of funding. Who provided the funding? I mean, in detail. Who were the members of whatever committee who decided to throw hundreds of thousands of pounds at a study of smoking in China? Who decided, and who had the power to spend that money on those studies? To do so requires that certain individuals have the power to disburse the money.

In this scenario, the ‘value for money’ can only come from favourable results. As we are aware from the Enstrom and Kabat study of SHS affects, the honest results, which appeared a little at a time, and which were not to the liking of the American Cancer Society, resulted in the withdrawal of funding. Only Big Tobacco was willing to fund the completion of the study. It was better that BT should fund completion of the study than that it should not be completed.

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The lack of Empathy riddles TC. I suppose that most employees just do the job that they are employed to do, and then go home, eat their evening meal and have a glass or two of wine and smoke a couple of cigs before bed. I see such people as going to bed as soon as possible and rising at 5am to go to work. They are Freaks. That is because they are not rising at 5am to do a creative job; they are rising at 5am to do a destructive job. Such an attitude can only come in a war situation. But the ‘war’ is entirely fictitious. It has been created by emotions.

We ought not to be surprised by the lack of empathy. The anti-tobacco Freaks are lacking in empathy because they are not really grown-up, no matter how clever they might be. The majority of successful criminals are very clever. A good burglar will search for the weak points in the places that he intends to burgle. He will very cleverly work out how to enter the property. He will have no ’empathy’ for the distress that his actions will cause.

Such is the position of Tobacco Control. What started out as warnings about the dangers of smoking has morphed into global prohibition, step by step. What I find incredible is that the most advanced countries are leading the way to the prohibition of anything that is pleasurable. Why are there no studies on un-pleasurable things or activities? Where are the studies of Poverty in Afghanistan or Somalia?

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I’m not sure whom I detest more, be it Tobacco Control Freaks or Politicians. I think that you have decide. My thoughts go towards to condemning Politicians for only they can enact laws. Is it not odd that politicians cannot recognise the lack of empathy?

EMPATHY is critically important. The vast majority of Englishmen, Scots, Welshmen and Irishmen instinctively know that adopting an extreme position provokes fights. They back away from extreme positions.

The Smoking Ban was and is an extreme position. All the proponents were deluded – all of them.

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Perhaps tomorrow I’ll get round to other Public Health extreme positions.

 

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6 Responses to “Empathy, or Lack Thereof”

  1. michaeljmcfadden Says:

    Junican, you ask: ” it is clear that the massive number of tobacco studies could not have been done without massive injections of funding. Who provided the funding? I mean, in detail. Who were the members of whatever committee who decided to throw hundreds of thousands of pounds at a study of smoking in China? ”

    I’m not so sure about the UK, or about studies on China, but here in the US the answer is overwhelmingly the 500 to 900 million dollars a year that “Tobacco Control” has received straight from the smokers’ MSA tax robbery. Big Pharma may throw in a hundred million or so more, and Big Charity some tens of millions, but overwhelmingly it’s our tax money.

    Now, a certain amount of that money goes beyond local concerns since the local people in charge of it often aren’t really all that “local” and are quite aware that they need to be looking for the loot to continue ten and twenty years down the line. That awareness results in fundings of studies and activities more on the global stage, getting the UN involved and ensuring that the US is pressured to fund the UN’s antismoking activities as well. Similarly they push their fellows in other countries to pressure their governments for higher taxes on cigs (for the good of the people of course) with (a trick we teach them) a certain percentage slated for antismoking activities and grants within those countries.

    – MJM

    • junican Says:

      I understand that, MJM, about where the funding is coming from. What I am talking about really is who are the people on committees who are distributing funds. As I understand it, States such as California are in such a financial mess that they are using the MSA money to bolster their budgets.
      The reality is that the Tobacco Control Freaks have never really had a sure source of income. They rely entirely upon hand-outs. That is because their ‘charities’ have no members. To me, despite their claims of 70% support, the fact is that they themselves have no public support at all. How much money do you think that ASH would receive in contributions if it asked for public donations?

  2. elenamitchell Says:

    I am never going to understand how France succumbed to this. Given a vote at the time I would have put money on No. Instead of which, Bars without a franchise on Tobacco or Food are closing down in droves. Three Bars within a two minute walk of my house have closed in the last couple of years.
    Yes, I know it’s a lot in a small hamlet, but they all seemed to do okay. Customers would wander from one to the other and get a constitutional as well.
    Nowadays I have to drive if I want a bit of company. This is not a good idea, obviously. So I don’t bother.
    Alcohol Sales have gone up in the local Supermarche 10 Kilometres away, and the nearest recycling bin has to be emptied much more often, but customers aren’t spending nearly as much. So who’s winning?

    • junican Says:

      Everyone in your vicinity is losing. No one is winning. Not even TC is winning. They pretend that they are winning by quoting their ‘successes’, but their successes are actually negatives. LESS smoking, LESS drinking, LESS eating, LESS pleasure.

  3. Smoking Lamp Says:

    Junican, You are right, antismokers have no empathy for smokers. They are convinced by the relentless tobacco control propaganda that smoking is a great hazard and fear being in the presence of smoke. The fact that the fear is the result of manipulation and has been engineered eludes those fueling the current anti tobacco hysteria.

    You correctly mention Kabat and Enstrom’s finding of no risk from second hand smoke, That finding is also seen in the study by Boffetta, et al that was suppressed by the WHO, as well as many others. The public has been deceived and is unaware that the bulk of actual studies refute the propaganda that fuels their fear. Knowledge of these studies is suppressed. Media sites refuse comments that expose tobacco control lies. Comments that differ from the tobacco control view are widely censored. Dissent is discouraged and punished. Funding is withheld (as you noted) from any study that shows a n other-than-desired result and so-called charities subvert democratic process by lobbying with public funds. The lies thus also fuel corruption and provide a means for a tobacco control industry to garner large profit! This they operate with impunity (lack of empathy carried to the extreme).

    Fear (and intoxication with power) is the reason for lack of empathy. The result is an irrational persecution of smokers, a fear of transient exposure to smoke and the proliferation of indoor and outdoor bans that won’t even tolerate separate smoking rooms (even with separate ventilation as witnessed by the current move to remove smoking rooms at the Salt Lake City Airport) because a non-smoker may receive a slight exposure, or even worse have to see people smoking!

    • junican Says:

      Your Salt Lake City Airport example is clearly a punitive action. It has no health validity. I’m surprised that the airport has capitulated. Manchester airport had a total ban at first, but it eventually provided smoking areas which were inside the secure zone, but were still in the open air in cages (!) on balconies and such. I think that they had to do something because of delayed and cancelled flights. It is one thing to know that you have to endure a couple of hours in the airport without a smoke; it is a different thing to have to endure an uncertain period of time. I suspect that the airport was inundated with demands from passengers who had gone through security to be permitted to go back so that they could go outside for a smoke. How could the airport resist such demands? Airports are not prisons.

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