I am a woman born 1949 and my quest is to find a mindmate
to grow old together as a mutually devoted couple
in a relationship based upon the
egalitarian rational commitment paradigm
bonded by intrinsic commitment
as each other's safe haven and secure basis.

The purpose of this blog is to enable the right man
to recognize us as reciprocal mindmates and
to encourage him to contact me:

The entries directly concerning,
who could be my mindmate,
are mainly at the beginning.
If this is your predominant interest,
I suggest to read this blog in the same order
as it was written, following the numbers.

I am German, therefore my English is sometimes faulty.

Maybe you have stumbled upon this blog not as a potential match.
Please wait a short moment before zapping.

Do you know anybody, who could be my mindmate?
Your neighbour, brother, uncle, cousin, colleague, friend?
If so, please tell him to look at this blog.
While you have no reason to do this for me,
a stranger, maybe you can make someone happy, for whom you care.

Do you have your own webpage or blog,
which someone like my mindmate to be found probably reads?
If so, please mention my quest and add a link to this blog.

Monday, December 24, 2012

628. Theory Of Mind, Empathy, Society And The Media

628.   Theory Of Mind, Empathy, Society And The Media
As told before, I consider not to harm others as the core principle of any acceptable moral and not to be harmed as the core principle of basic human rights.  

To be successful in avoiding to harm others requires more than the acceptance of a moral principle.   It requires also sufficient knowledge of what others experience as harm.   While recognizing visible immediate harm is easy, this is not the case with invisible and delayed harm.

The reliance upon empathy and the working of the mirror neurons is limited to situations, when someone can spontaneously feel with the unlucky person, for example someone, on whose foot a brick has just fallen.   

But when the harm is invisible and caused by complex and abstract cognitive experiences, then empathy is not enough to prevent hurting another person emotionally.   Avoiding emotional and future harm by broken trust, by injustice, by depreciation, by commodification and such requires a mature theory of mind.    
"Theory of mind is the ability to attribute mental states—beliefs, intents, desires, pretending, knowledge, etc.—to oneself and others and to understand that others have beliefs, desires, and intentions that are different from one's own."

While children usually develop a basic theory of mind by innate maturation, the more complex and abstract theory of mind is a learning process enabled and enhanced by experiences of interactions.   

Nobody can know for certain, what behavior causes invisible harm to another person, unless this is based upon acquired information.    This can be achieved by either learning from the reaction and feedback by the harmed person and/or by any observing third party, or by asking the target person's advice before acting and by listening to such advice when proffered.  

It is the fallacy of immature people to deny the existence of anything, that they are ignorant of and to think that it is enough not to do to others, what they would themselves feel hurt by.   
It is also a fallacy to overlook the biological differences between women and men in evaluating the impact of behavior.   

An example.    Some men in the state of sexual dishomeostasis feel an urge to copulate like dogs in the gutter with any haphazard female body without getting attached.   

Those being immature believe women to be like them.  Whenever they mislead women to consent by unjustified expectations of attachment, immature men abuse women's bodies with a clean conscience.  They do not understand attachment and believe women to be stray dogs the same like themselves.  

Men with a mature theory of mind are aware, that women do get attached much more easily and rapidly and how important attachment is for women.   Jerks have no conscience and manipulate women to be used and dumped, they are not deterred by not reciprocating attachment.   Jerks consider women's getting attached as an annoying flaw.
Mature men with morals are able to acknowledge, that not getting attached is their own deficiency.    They are responsible to not make others the victims of their own deficiencies and to accept the obligation of using self-control to abstain from hurting women.  

The development of a mature theory of mind depends upon the society and culture.  

Unfortunately the modern western societies impede and thwart the moral maturation of people.   The influence of the ubiquitous media is the main factor in this.  

Desensitization:   The media are full with realistic representations of the most horrible agonies and atrocities.   But as the human brain had evolved without realistic pictures, it cannot really distinguish between TV and real life.  Watching TV is not very different from people partaking in the spectacle of public hanging and beheading.  
The consumption of the media leads to a desensitization towards suffering.   As a result, a 'mere' emotional betrayal appears as if it were only a trifle compared with the magnitude of the frequently watched atrocities both reported from real life and in the imaginary world of movies.  

Misunderstood tolerance.   Tolerance is important to protect minorities and people with special needs from any avoidable disadvantages.    But if alleged tolerance embraces also the protection of behaviors, which cause harm, it is not tolerance, but irresponsibility and a failure to protect the victims.    

Misrepresentation.   There are many perversities and deviant behaviors, which seem obviously harmful to most people, who would immediately refuse to expose themselves to be thus harmed.    Yet in the uncensored web, nearly every perversity and deviance has its adherent proponents, who propagate it publicly from their subjective distorted view as a minority right and behavior while omitting, denying and trifling the harm to the victims.   

Desensitization, misunderstood tolerance and misrepresentation have an impact not only upon the person behaving unknowingly as a transgressor, but also on the victim and on any other possible source of corrective feedback.  

Victims getting hurt are irritated and confused as to how much their felt outrage is justified.  They are often misguided to attribute their own healthy reaction instead to an own weakness.    They submit and endure instead of protesting, because they are manipulated into.self-doubt as if they were failures lacking to adapt the socially prescribed pseudo-progress.
Acquaintances are not involved enough to suffer as victims, but they often notice behavior as potentially harming to closer relations.   Would they react sincerely and show their true disapproval, this would serve as helpful feedback towards a better theory of mind.    But instead they shrug their shoulders and avoid any conflict.   

Constructive feedback can only be given by people with a mature theory of mind, who are aware of the importance of not hurting others.   People who are immature themselves are less prone to give any feedback and they are even less able to give feedback of supportive value.    What makes role models in the media attractive to the masses is often an expression of immaturity, which is then imitated. .  

Therefore some of those people, who hurt others, never had a chance to reach sufficient maturity to get aware of what they are really doing.