Empathy is what sets human beings apart from all other creatures. Whales may have bigger brains and mosquitoes may be more prolific but no other creatures are able to put themselves in the shoes of others and experience how they might feel. Empathy is basic to effective persuasion.
Neuroscience has proven this to be true in recent years through the use of the fMRI (The functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging technology). Human beings are born, with very rare exceptions, with the mirror neurons in the brain that enable us to experience, at an emotional level, the hopes, fears and emotional reactions of others. That results in caring about the experiences of others and that has profound social and political outcomes. Read the rest of this entry