there are some personality traits that make you a good person. kindness, selflessness and honesty are the kind of traits that are part of value systems. in some systems, if you're mean you're bad. if you're selfish you're bad. if you're a liar, bad.

there are other good attributes like patience and humour. most people appreciate these things, but few would call you bad for being impatient, and less would call you bad for never being funny. might not be everyone's stroke, but it's not usually a part of an ethics system. im talking about ethical bad, and not aesthetics bad.

my claim is that empathy is not good. certainly not actively bad either, and probably aesthetically good. being unkind is bad because it hurts other people. in most ethics systems, this is bad. there is an easy case that empathy is an extension of this. if you don't understand other people, then you won't know what hurts them, and then you'll hurt them. if you don't empathize, then where's the incentive to be good to them?

the entire reasoning for this claim, is that the above pipeline has too many steps! my other complaint, is that the notion of empathy being good, means that people without it must be bad.

rich capitalists who donate money are often criticized. not enough money, just doing it for the publicity, not actually caring about the cause. the first two, referring to selfishness and dishonesty are bad, but lack of empathy on its own is not a bad. side note that i'm on the fence on selfishness being bad.

this is convenient for a bunch of reasons, for example to serve my utilitarian ideals where many people who donate to poverty or health causes without any kind of empathy. or for people on the autism spectrum who often lack empathy, but it would be a shame and very likely inaccurate to consider them less morally good.

a conclusion for this blurb, is probably not anything you can use to live your life? i find it a helpful model, as i value ethical good and aesthetic good very differently and sometimes with people i like to attribute their traits incorrectly to better serve an misled desire.