Relationship Between Social Darwinism And Empathy

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A long bearded Charles Darwin strides onto a large stage. He stops in the middle of the stage and turns toward his audience. “How could you do this?” he says to the audience. “My idea was to explain where the origin of life began! Not to taint my research with your ideas of racism and twisted power relationships. You have rearranged my hard-earned research into something that has tainted the name of Darwinism. I had a long battle inside myself for many reasons to come to the realization that I should publish my findings. However, you make me disappointed with my decision.” As Darwin stands on this fictional stage, he speaks to the audience of Social Darwinists; I am defining Social Darwinism as a societal idea that promotes the biological…show more content…
In terms of Darwin, why would he, if he were still breathing, be so upset with the effect his findings have had on Social Darwinism? In this case, perhaps it lies in the bed of empathy; I am defining empathy as a caring and understanding for the feelings of others and having a desire to help other humans. Throughout this paper, to show the linkage between Social Darwinism and empathy and how it depletes interpersonal human feelings toward one another, I will present evidence and reason. In contrast, I will show and demonstrate how empathy is promoted in the social construct of democracy; I am defining democracy as a system of government by the people, focusing on the equal rights of the citizens and the ability for the people to decide who and how their government is ran. Collectively, I will present how Social Darwinism can be promoted through democracy by the depletion of empathy. To demonstrate the linkage between these ideas, I will present examples that have appeared throughout…show more content…
As mentioned before in this paper, Social Darwinism utilizes a dehumanization tactic to promote superiority among races. However, what happens when this tactic mixes with the ideologies of a democracy? You end up with instances such as Plessy vs. Ferguson and the American ⅗ compromise. With these instances of blatant racism, democracy uses an exception to the rule of equal rights when speaking about the African American minority. 1800s America views African Americans as inferior to the Caucasian race, yet still promotes the equal rights ideals. Because these African Americans are the exception to the rule of equal rights because they are “weaker” than the superior race, the pull to feel empathy is depleted. Biology and natural selection has made this “weaker” race less human, and therefore the need to sympathize with inferior individuals is severely
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