Saving the World‎ > ‎

1.1 What Went Wrong?

Some say capitalism but forget what capitalism replaced: feudalism.  Others say Christianity is to blame, forgetting the vast destruction wrought today and in history around the world by adherents of other faiths.  Some say our destruction is upon us because we have abandoned the principles and law of the LORD Almighty.  Some say the problem is Empire -- the concept and practice of conquest and power.

Regardless of what you believe, I think it is quite plain that our problems would be solved if we as a species would think beyond our selfish desires.  If we would think about the plights of others, put ourselves in their shoes, and perhaps even work to help them.

There's a word for this.

Empathy.

Science tells us something very interesting about empathy.  When you give someone power, their ability to empathize is turned off.  You can see it on an fMRI.  This applies to power dynamics in politics, romance, business, or any other human interaction.  By giving someone power, you remove their ability to empathize with other people, their family, other people's families, children, animals, our environment: all gone.

This is what went wrong.  By giving someone power, we remove the one ability that is absolutely fundamental to creating a loving, caring, supportive culture.

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