THE ROAD TO PEACE: An Inspirational Video

Reposted from:

RSA Animate – The Power of Outrospection

I have only one comment on this wonderful video. Introspection is still necessary, but I like the Outrospection (I would call it, “exospection”) concept as an incorporation to the overall empathy message. I think one’s motivations need an occasional house-cleaning.

6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. N℮üґ☼N☮☂℮ṧ
    Nov 21, 2014 @ 15:47:55

    An awesome video. I love the idea of empathy museums.



  2. authorbengarrido
    Dec 01, 2014 @ 23:54:16

    I’d submit that empathy is a very powerful weapon. What do you think?



    • Max T. Furr
      Dec 02, 2014 @ 09:03:06

      I’d submit that empathy is a very powerful weapon. What do you think?

      Thank you for commenting, Ben.

      I certainly agree, but at this point in human psychological and social evolution I think self-interest, xenophobia, and territoriality are stronger. From the subject of your novel, The Blackguard, I am sure that you agree. Your novel sounds interesting and I have put it on my reading list.

      Interesting that your upcoming novel is titled, The Book of Joshua. In my novel, The Empathy Imperative, I have a chapter titled, The Accursed Thing. The scene is set in a trial of Yahweh that takes place in an ethereal courtroom. The proceedings expose society’s cognitive dissonance in its belief that Yahweh was just, merciful, and omnibenevolent. The epilogue is a description of a world where empathy is humanity’s primary motivating force.

      Thanks again for the comment, and I’ll visit your blog.



      • authorbengarrido
        Dec 02, 2014 @ 10:07:57

        I think I agree with what you’re saying about xenophobia and self-interest.

        When I said that empathy is a weapon, I was mostly thinking about the ability to understand one’s enemies. I’ve been reading a lot about a little known but extremely effective Korean Admiral called Yi Sun-shin and one of the things I’ve noticed that makes him so deadly is that he deeply understands the motives, desires and weaknesses of his Japanese enemies. He empathizes with them and then uses that empathy to destroy them.

        In a darker sense of the same thing, Osama bin Laden did a masterful job empathizing with American fears and expectations when he designed 9-11.

        The Empathy Imperative sounds fascinating. Is it available yet? I imagine you had fun playing with that fictional setting.

        The Book of Joshua is my reaction to what I consider a massive, species-wide cop out – ie to describe people like Hitler as monsters. I consider this a cop out because Hitler/Stalin/Mao/Ghengis Khan/whoever could not have done their “evil” deeds without the support of tens of millions of perfectly normal folks. Those perfectly normal folks thought that Mao/Ghengis/Stalin had compelling moral visions and that’s why they followed.

        The monster narrative is also dangerous in the sense it reinformces the comforting and demonstrably false idea that “bad people” are on the only one’s who do bad things and that “I would never …”

        Joshua is my attempt to tear the monster narrative apart. I tried to create a morally nice man who cares about his family, would do anything to support his countrymen and values justice over his life and have him lead a genocide.

        Thanks for this fascinating discussion. I look forward to reading more of your posts.



  3. Max T. Furr
    Dec 04, 2014 @ 23:08:22

    Well Ben, certainly the empathy of which I write is not simply a deep understanding the “enemy”–their motives, desires, and probable actions. That sort of understanding, I agree, is necessary for many things, but advancing peace isn’t one of them. That requires a deeper sense of emotional connection that I call empathy.

    I support the most difficult kind of empathy, that of trying to feel the same, or close to the same emotions toward all others as one would feel toward his/her own children. It is unfortunate that this kind of empathy tends (naturally, I think) to diminish proportionally to the social distance from one’s immediate family.

    It used to be that I was a strong advocate for the death penalty, but now when I see people in prison, I automatically think of their past when they were happy children (if indeed they were). I see them with hopes and dreams that became shattered for any one of many reasons–abuse, poverty, peer pressures, mental deficiencies, etc. I see, too, that if society really cared enough, it could and would eliminate poverty and at least significantly reduce the abuse and insensitivity we now find. It will not happen within the foreseeable future, but if it ever does, it will be because of those who join together as advocates for it.

    The Empathy Imperative is available in digital or paperback from,,, and many other online outlets.

    And yes, it was a real labor of love writing it, and quite fun painting the court scene, especially the part when Eve was questioned on the witness stand, followed by the serpent.

    I knew all the while I was writing that I wanted to depict a world where empathy was our greatest motivation but I wasn’t sure what that world would look like until I reached the epilogue. I’m quite happy with it. I wanted to begin the epilogue with the lyrics of John Lennon’s Imagine,” but found that permission would not be cheap.

    I look forward to reading your Joshua novel. I led off that chapter in my book with the KJV of the order handed down to Joshua by Yahweh–Numbers, 33:50-56–to drive all the inhabitants out and take their land. Yahweh threatened Joshua by telling him, “Moreover it shall come to pass, that [if you do not drive them all out and destroy their culture] I shall do unto you, as I thought to do unto them.

    Great conversation, Ben.



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