Empathy: Does it Lead to Right Action?
A researcher cited by David Brooks says that not only does empathy not usually impel right action, it actually can lead to wrong action. The staff of that agency are no doubt brimming with empathy. My colleague certainly agreed that it would be great to offer as much service to kids in need as possible, just not by breaking the law. She has an internal code of conduct that prevents her feeling of empathy to override her capacity to make moral judgments. It is the latter than allowed her to name the behavior she saw and refuse to participate.