This paper has nothing at all to do with religion. Even though I will examine the Biblical word used for the term ‘evil’ it is only as a reference. If the reader expects to be offended in anyway from the examination of empathy in relation to evil, either get over it (because you won’t be), or go read something else.
Merriam-Webster’s Medical Dictionary defines ’empathy’ as:
1 : the imaginative projection of a subjective state into an object so that the object appears to be infused with it
2 : the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner
Please do not confuse definition ‘1’ with the meaning of the word ’empathy’ as used in this paper. In order for a human being to project anything upon anything not human, anthropomorphism takes over. Anthropomorphism is the imposition of human traits upon non human things and is as nearly close to being a perfect example of idiocy without lunacy, as possible.
The second definition of ’empathy’ is the one we will examine.
For such a small word, ‘evil’ has many different connotations. When used as an adjective, (morally wrong) an adverb, (an evil manner) a noun (the wicked or immoral part of someone or something) or as the idiom (the evil one, the devil.) This paper is interested in the definition of its meaning, not its applications and therefore the noun is used.
Random House Dictionary defines evil:
As a noun:
7. the force in nature that governs and gives rise to wickedness and sin.
8. the wicked or immoral part of someone or something: The evil in his nature has destroyed the good.
9. harm; mischief; misfortune: to wish one evil.
10. anything causing injury or harm: Tobacco is considered by some to be an evil.
11. a harmful aspect, effect, or consequence: the evils of alcohol.
12. a disease, as king’s evil.
In order to understand the root of the word ‘evil’ the Bible defines it as :
The word ‘ra’. Whether as masculine : distress, adversity, injury, wrong or evil (ethical), or feminine : misery, distress, injury, wrong or evil (ethical) its use in modern day speech is mostly attenuated to describe bad things or bad people.
Which comes from the root verb ra’ a’ . Meaning to be displeasing, to be sad, to be injurious, to be wicked, be evil (ethically), to do an injury or hurt, to do evil or wickedly, mischief (participle) and to break, broken (participle), to be broken, be broken in pieces, be broken asunder
University of Cambridge Professor Simon Baron-Cohen defines empathy in two parts — as the drive to identify another person’s thoughts and feelings, and the drive to respond appropriately to those thoughts and feelings.
In relation to the dictionary definition of : “the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner” it melds quite nicely, by adding the element of response, which is tantamount to thinking and doing. The ‘drive’ to identify is the action of understanding, that of being aware of others. The ‘drive’ to respond appropriately is the result of success or failure of understanding.
In July of this year Baron-Cohen will publish a book: “The Science of Evil” (known in Britain as “Zero Degrees of Empathy”.)
“We all have degrees of empathy… but perhaps we are not using it to its full potential,” he explained in an interview with Reuters after delivering a lecture in London.
He says erosion of empathy is an important global issue that affects the health of communities, be they small ones like families, or big ones like nations.
If we all used our ability to empathize more, and recognized its value, he says, conflicts such as the decades of tit-for-tat violence between Palestinians and Israelis could be resolved.
Baron-Cohen is right. But the term ’empathy’ is a subjective descriptor, not a thing unto itself. The main problem with brain research has been this imposition of descriptor upon function.
Citing decades of scientific research, he says there are at least 10 regions of the brain which make up what he calls the “empathy circuit”. When people hurt others, either systematically or fleetingly, parts of that circuit are malfunctioning.
Very respectfully, as I greatly admire this Professor’s work, that assumption is a projection. It is not in the least surprising. It is a normal human trait to use terminology that matches already known similars to describe an unknown. In many cases there is nothing wrong in doing so, but with the brain: what is observed is not caused by what is observed. The words I write are not caused by the writing circuit. The empathy i have for the reaction the good Professor may have to this slight and respectful rebuke is not coming from empathy. It is coming from the brain, resulting in empathy. There is no ’empathy circuit’ in the brain, anymore than there is an evil circuit, or a religion center, or an anger center or any other ‘center’. Empathy is the result of brain function, as are all the rest. When empathy is not engaged (or resulting), it is not a malfunction of a circuit. It is a result of the application (or non application) of the system. The question then must be answered: what is the system that gives rise to empathy (and everything else?)
This is where ‘most’ Psychopathology experts will leave this paper. Artificial intelligence researchers (having long departed the quest to reverse engineer the brain from the bottom up) will mock and ridicule the following: a reflection not on what is to come, but on what is accepted as known.
I have previously described in great detail, in numerous books (The Brain Is A Wonderful Thing for one [long since out of print]) the mechanism of the brain’s system. It is very hard for those trained in what the brain results in, to comprehend that a system is causing it all and even remotely examine the potential of there being one. It is not normal, accepted thought. Joseph Naimo, Ph.D. Murdoch University Western Australia referring to Chapter two of The Brain Is A Wonderful Thing, said, “There is much to like in this article.” Images are removed in the quote below.
Defining, Demonstrating and Detailing Brain Function And Consciousness.
The brain is a wonderful thing. It gives us the ability to see, hear, sense pressure and temperature as well as taste flavors and appreciate smells, remember, recall, evaluate and deceive ourselves that we are doing those things.
Since it is the single source of processing in the body that allows us to experience these wonderful sensations and to be aware of the experience it is also the cause of everything we know, everything we believe and everything we do and say.
This chapter will detail how the brain processes the information it has, what that information is and in so doing clear up a slight misunderstanding of Uncertainty and present a scaled down version of a human brain working on the Internet.
The Brain Is A Wonderful Thing
Perhaps above all others the human brain’s most astonishing achievement is the ability to give its host body the ability to know.
Reading the entire chapter is worth the effort. Reading the book is worth the task. There is one topic the book does not divulge. That we shall do here.
A unique discovery from the same University as Professor Baron-Cohen, some six years ago, resulted in this paragraph:
Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer
in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht
the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a total
mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn
mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe and the
biran fguiers it out aynawy. WOW!
The paragraph is wonderful. The assumption is wrong. The human brain is not reading words. The human brain is reading pulsed samples of wave values of light (frequencies and amplitudes). It is comparing what it ‘sees’ to what it ‘knows’ (pulsed samples of wave values of light in frequency and amplitude variations). It matters only a slight bit if the value is forward, backward or confused. The result will match what is known. Assuming that the brain is reading words instead of letters assumes the brain results in what the brain does, instead of the brain does what it does and results in what it can then assume it has done. It is that assumption that has kept brain studies and therefore the assistance to those suffering from mental disorders in the dark. It all starts with the input.
Research has concentrated on the output. One never reaches a destination without starting at the beginning.
Light, pressure, temperature, sound, odor, flavor are all sampled in pulses and processed by the same organ. How? (Allow me this readily known comparison!) Digital storage can hold sound, images, text and even other ‘senses’ as the storage and processing medium is NOT THE SAME as the input it stores and processes. Data is converted to the system. Yet when brain researchers make the same comparison they fail to recognize the brain’s system.
Empathy is the result of two system functions. Either one can and does effect the degree of empathy. One is variable, the other is not (once a new life exists). The variable version is dealt with in the above mentioned brain book. The non-variable (which is variable before the brain forms) is not and until now, has not been discussed publicly.
About twenty years ago a discovery was made that counts among the greatest ever. The Hubble Telescope displayed the unseen. A dark ‘force’ or ‘thing’, thereby named ‘dark energy’. It comprises the overwhelming majority of the entire Universe. About eighteen years ago that ‘force’ was discovered to exist within every ‘thing’ in the electromagnetic based Universe (the 4% of everything that we see as the visible Universe). A method was devised to release it and measure it. The knowledge of that discovery led to many things. Until very recently it was not divulged. http://neutricity.com is a nice public video demonstration of what it actually is. The rest of the story, has not been told.
The brain is comprised of opposing pairs. Among them:
- Long term and short term memory.
- Dominant and subservient memory.
- Input and output.
- Left and right
- Aural and visual
- Frequency and amplitude
- Odd and even frequency
The latter: odd and even frequency; is the source for one cause of empathy or not. And once set is not changed by therapy.
Things to understand:
1: Brain processing is wave based. It is not digital, nor is it purely chemical.
Every physical thing contains a pilot wave within a range of frequencies for that specific physical thing. The wave in living tissue is complimented by its portability within a functioning brain.
2: Neurons are collective chambers. A neuron is ‘charged’ with the introduction of one wave signal, then ‘fired’ with the introduction of another wave signal.
Neurons are not switches. Transistors are switches yet a transistor was used to model a neuron simply by changing the input and output terminals from switch configuration, to Casimir plate configuration.
3: Neurons perform a mean sum calculation of wave amplitudes.
Merging two waves of the same frequency is an average calculation of their amplitudes. Neurons process amplitudes.
4: Synapses are chemical diodes. They control the direction of flow of the signal.
Without that direction control, a charged neuron, once fired would not transmit the amplitude result to the right pathway, making senses mixed.
5: All brain functions are timed in pulses, different frequency pulses for different functions.
The timing process of the brain is the most efficient use of frequency. It is one of division of a base rate. A closer examination of that process is presented below.
6: Through pulses, multiple functions are processed through the same neuron channels.
A neuron is not a dedicated X-Y memory coordinate. It is a processor that does not lie dormant while waiting for the next dedicated pathway value to reach it. Since amplitude charges are dissipated with each ‘firing’, pathways are maintained with the utmost of efficiency.
The ‘base rate’ example used below is one frequency of humans.
The ratio differences are caused by division rates of the base frequency…
Base Frequency: 35,721hz causes pulse at 1hz Delta (0.1 to 3 Hz)
Input Frequency: 35,721hz / 2 = 17,860.50 hz causes pulse at 2hz but is blended by the Long-Term processing rate in distributed clusters so as to generate a very slightly higher harmonic. Theta (4-8 Hz)
Output Frequency: 35,721hz / 10 = 3,572.10 hz causes pulse at 10hz Alpha (8-12 Hz)
Long-Term Frequency: 35,721hz / 60 = 595.35 hz causes pulse (30 average oer half second) at a wide genetically controlled range of frequencies within the Gamma range.
Short-Term Frequency: 35,721hz / 1800 = 19.845hz causes pulse (900 per half second) at a wide genetically controlled range of frequencies within the far upper reaches of Gamma.
Clustered distributed near-rate firing sequences can cause harmonic results and are listed in the Beta (low, mid and high range) wave type.
Clustered distributed firing rate sequences can cause harmonic results from the abundance of both long-term and short-term memory neuron pathways so as to result in a singular closer range observed in Gamma presence.
And that brings us to the issue of odd and even frequencies.
The distinction between a waveform having even harmonics versus no even harmonics resides in the difference between a triangle waveshape and a sawtooth waveshape. That difference is symmetry above and below the horizontal centerline of the wave. A waveform that is symmetrical above and below its centerline (the shape on both sides mirror each other precisely) will contain no even-numbered harmonics.
Square waves, triangle waves, and pure sine waves all exhibit this symmetry, and all are devoid of even harmonics. Waveforms like the trumpet tone, the accordion tone, and the sawtooth wave are unsymmetrical around their centerlines and therefore do contain even harmonics.
Why is this harmonic rule-of-thumb an important rule to know? It can help us comprehend the relationship between harmonics in AC circuits and specific circuit components. Since most sources of sine-wave distortion in AC power circuits tend to be symmetrical, even-numbered harmonics are rarely seen in those applications. This is good to know if you’re a power system designer and are planning ahead for harmonic reduction: you only have to concern yourself with mitigating the odd harmonic frequencies, even harmonics being practically nonexistent. Also, if you happen to measure even harmonics in an AC circuit with a spectrum analyzer or frequency meter, you know that something in that circuit must be unsymmetrically distorting the sine-wave voltage or current, and that clue may be helpful in locating the source of a problem (look for components or conditions more likely to distort one half-cycle of the AC waveform more than the other).
Imagine the brain’s frequencies in the same light. What are the ramifications in brain function if the waves within the brain are even? They interfere with each other. They cancel each other out. They reduce amplitudes resulting in mismatched comparisons to input, resulting in the INABILITY of empathy. The INABILITY of compassion. The INABILITY of remorse. The INABILITY to discern the consequences of actions. A brain running in an EVEN frequency is a life on a collision course with logic.
Even frequencies in the brain BREAK the process which results in mindless mischief.
There is nothing a Psychopathology expert can do for that person. But there is a great deal that can be done regarding the other cause for the lack of empathy.
Professor Simon Baron-Cohen has a deep reason (as do I) to understand what causes humans to be so harmful to each other.
“He says erosion of empathy is an important global issue that affects the health of communities, be they small ones like families, or big ones like nations.”
And he is right. There is nothing that can be done for those who’s frequencies are even. Should a person find out that is the case, I can only imagine the awakening. But for those who’s frequencies are odd, the research and help of people like Professor Baron-Cohen will go a long way to developing protocols and treatments if they can just learn how the brain actually does what it does.
Then, we could share a world of far less fights at McDonald’s and far fewer radicalized terrorists. Try it yourself. Calculate 35,721. Then calculate 36,006. See the difference.
If the reader has a likewise interest in helping humanity and the human condition I strongly recommend ordering The Science of Evil.