Do you think autistic people are less prone too...

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Arganger
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02 Aug 2018, 11:22 pm

Selective empathy?

Selective empathy is valuing certain animals (Or things) over others.

Like viewing black people as sub human but all other races as worthy or real respect.
Or loving a dog to the point of risking your life on it, but killing every spider you see.

it would explain why many of us get very attached to objects often, or seem to care significantly more about animals than others.


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lostonearth35
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02 Aug 2018, 11:50 pm

I think autistic people can be just as selective with their empathy. There are quite a few people here who love the cute-and-cuddly animals more than humans, but are terrified of spiders, and cockroaches and mosquitoes are almost universally hated. I killed some houseflies this summer. In fact, I've killed many bugs and insects during my life, mostly the biting, stinging little buggers that spread filth, disease, destruction, and are a general nuisance. Can't do that to humans who are the same way, so...

However, I don't like to kill spiders because most of them are harmless (at least in my country), and they eat harmful insects.



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03 Aug 2018, 5:42 am

No, I think I'm probably as selective in empathy as anyone else.

I don't view any one race or class of people as inherently superior or more worthy of respect than another. I tend to view all humans with more than a healthy dose of suspicion.

I understand and get along with the animal kingdom much better, to the point where I have successfully tamed feral animals and can't sleep without a cat and / or dog on the bed. I make a few exceptions though. There's something about spiders that I find deeply unsettling. Nuisance pests and potentially harmful creatures such as wasps and scorpions are on the Terminate With Extreme Prejudice list.

But then again... I love some of the more maligned animals such as snakes, rats, bats, frogs and the like. I'm not sure whether that has anything whatsoever to do with being an Aspie or if it's just an individual personality quirk. Most people are terrified of those animals and I never have completely understood why.


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03 Aug 2018, 6:41 am

I like animals in general, but cats are my favorite.



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03 Aug 2018, 11:59 am

My empathy for humans isn't more than animals, insects and objects. It's the same.

But I get really upset if people kill insects - even things like wasps. If I see somebody kill a wasp but not quite kill it, I get mild panic attacks when seeing the wasp suffering. I imagine the wasp feeling pain and panicking and wondering what has happened to it. Same with flies, or any other insect that everyone hates.

I have a work colleague who has a phobia of moths and crane flies, and she'd kill one the instant she sees one. I love both moths and crane flies, and so I especially hate seeing them get killed. I used to collect moths and crane flies and have them flying about in my room. They seemed to get along with each other (didn't kill or eat each other). But I discovered that hoarding bottom-of-the-food-chain insects in my room attracted spiders, and I hate spiders. I do have a phobia of spiders. So I had to stop collecting cute moths and crane flies. :cry:
One time I saw a spider on my bedroom floor at about 2am when I put the lamp on to go to the bathroom. It was so big that I was afraid to get it out using a glass and a piece of paper, but I didn't want to kill it. I put a glass over it and thought I'd get rid of it in the morning. But then I pictured the spider somehow squeezing it's way out while I was asleep and being somewhere in my room. That's worse. So I had no choice but to kill it. I sprayed hairspray under the glass to weaken the spider, then I lifted the glass and squashed the spider with it, then hit it with a shoe to make sure it was dead. I went to sleep feeling really bad for killing it. I hope it didn't feel pain as I squashed it. :cry:


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04 Aug 2018, 3:03 pm

@Joe90 I would think it died instantly, it seems like a quick death. :heart:

I have tremendous empathy for animals of all kinds. I find a very few creepy and don't like them near me, but they have their life to live and are equal to all other living beings. People laugh at me for not killing bees, mosquitoes or spiders, and saving worms from puddles when it rains.

I am the same with humans when it comes to not differentiate between them, they all have the same value. I try not to hurt them and be kind (not that they always see it that way though...), but I do not have the same connection with other people as I do with animals.



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04 Aug 2018, 3:59 pm

Arganger wrote:
it would explain why many of us get very attached to objects often, or seem to care significantly more about animals than others.

That can be selective empathy too, though. Some autistics may be more sensitive to the pain of animals than that of humans. I don't think this is a bad thing, as long as they treat people respectfully and don't think of any groups of humans as more important than others.


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Arganger
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04 Aug 2018, 5:22 pm

I'm just using this as a general reply to everyone.

First of all, as clarification, I used the word prone for a reason. It is unlikely in my eyes that anyone is truly free from selective empathy, but it does make since for it to take more to develop it in some than others, and as anything when talking about autism, will have many exceptions.

One reason I've been thinking about it, is looking back on my life a little. I don't kill bugs, not even mosquitoes or ticks (I've only ever had one tick that I managed to remove without harming either of us). I blow mosquitoes away from me rather than crush them. In elementary school I was always removing bugs from the class room to keep them safe, and even now will go way out of my way to help an injured bug or animal. It became a popular form of bulling me to catch insects in the classroom and kill them in front of me to make me cry. During that time I would avoid even stepping on grass and would cry if a tree got cut down. And I would get very attached to my pokemon cards and in game pokemon, along with my old burp rags (My lovies)

Then I read an article on why people poison dogs, and it showed how selective empathy worked in that regard (Classifying dogs as pests in their head, and often leaving the area after leaving out poisoned food to remove guilt). And been thinking about ASPD, in regards to the possibility of having a significantly reduced amount of things and people classified as worth empathy, which could explain the ability to switch empathy on and off many describe.

Now, I've been outright looking for it, like arguing online on a snake rescue video a lot of people said as follows, "It is a deadly snake, you should of just killed it so it can't kill anyone" People can some how say this and not realize how illogical such thinking is.

Then I rounded back to my own experience, and of other autistic people whom love animals or objects far more than the average nt, which causes me to wonder this.


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04 Aug 2018, 7:21 pm

Oh, yes, trees. I have always loved trees and as a child "made friends" with specific trees. I sobbed when one of my friends got cut down.

Part of it may be cultural as well. There are some cultures in which certain animals are demonized. There are a very few where all life--and sometimes inanimate objects such as rocks--is seen as equal to human life.

There's one such place in India, and I don't remember the name of the town, where you can see this in action. During a particularly bad drought a king cobra comes into the village looking desperately for water. King cobras are among the most venomous (and, incidentally, intelligent) species of snake on earth and people regularly die from their bites in India. But rather than killing it, the people in this village very carefully offer the cobra a drink from a bottle of water, which it gratefully accepts.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=-n9tx4fXzRY


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Arganger
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04 Aug 2018, 7:38 pm

Serpentine wrote:
Oh, yes, trees. I have always loved trees and as a child "made friends" with specific trees. I sobbed when one of my friends got cut down.

Part of it may be cultural as well. There are some cultures in which certain animals are demonized. There are a very few where all life--and sometimes inanimate objects such as rocks--is seen as equal to human life.

There's one such place in India, and I don't remember the name of the town, where you can see this in action. During a particularly bad drought a king cobra comes into the village looking desperately for water. King cobras are among the most venomous (and, incidentally, intelligent) species of snake on earth and people regularly die from their bites in India. But rather than killing it, the people in this village very carefully offer the cobra a drink from a bottle of water, which it gratefully accepts.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=-n9tx4fXzRY


That is an amazing video


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04 Aug 2018, 8:28 pm

I doubt it. I am certainly prone to selective empathy. I don't even understand not valuing them differently. I would risk my life to save my pets, and I kill flies easy peasy when they come indoors, other bugs too. I would risk myself to save my family, but I certainly wouldn't for a stranger.

I definitely have more empathy for animals. I can even have it for bugs at times when they're not close to me or in hindsight.


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05 Aug 2018, 4:13 am

I don't kill spiders, and am upset when other people kill spiders, but I do understand why people would risk their life for a pet and also kill spiders. People form emotional attachments to their pets, but they probably feel no attachment to a random spider which appears in their house. Furthermore, spiders can be harmful to people (if provoked), and many people are afraid of them, so it is logical that a person might kill a spider if they believe it could be a threat to them or their family etc.


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lostonearth35
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06 Aug 2018, 12:38 am

I remember once when I was in junior high I was attempting to socialize with a group of girls and then they saw a spider and one of them stamped on and killed it. When I expressed my disapproval they all just laughed at me and made a few stupid remarks.

So the lesson here is that when in you are in junior high, do not have independent thoughts. The school probably even secretly had an alarm button for such things. :roll:



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06 Aug 2018, 5:44 pm

I feel empathy for all creatures and feel like it's just as wrong to deliberately kill, say, a fly as it is to deliberately kill a human. I always catch insects and spiders and let them go outside instead of squishing them (even the occasional wasp we get in the house - I saved a plastic cup with a lid from a restaurant and use that to catch them). I stop and move worms off of the sidewalk so they won't dehydrate and die, and also move anything slow-moving off the sidewalk so it won't get stepped on (faster-moving things like spiders I figure can get out of the way themselves). I had a leopard gecko as a pet, and I hated having to feed her mealworms because I felt bad for them (but I had to do it because leopard geckos are exclusively insectivores). I would absolutely have a snake of some sort as a pet if I wouldn't have to feed it rodents - I love the feel of having a snake wrap itself around my arm. My very first pets besides fish were a pair of mice. I also love holding giant millipedes - I really like the feel of their legs, and the rippling motion along them when they walk is hypnotic. I considered getting one of those as a pet, too, but they're actually a lot of work to keep. I'm quite possibly going to be getting a bearded dragon sometime in the not-too-distant future, if I ever actually get the old fishtank I'm planning to repurpose for its housing cleaned :oops: Regarding humans, I tend to keep myself closed off because otherwise I have too much empathy for others, even feeling their emotions as if they were my own.

Wow, that ended up being far longer than I'd intended :oops: Essentially, I can't speak for anyone but myself, but my empathy certainly isn't selective at all.


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Arganger
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06 Aug 2018, 6:59 pm

dragonsanddemons wrote:
I feel empathy for all creatures and feel like it's just as wrong to deliberately kill, say, a fly as it is to deliberately kill a human. I always catch insects and spiders and let them go outside instead of squishing them (even the occasional wasp we get in the house - I saved a plastic cup with a lid from a restaurant and use that to catch them). I stop and move worms off of the sidewalk so they won't dehydrate and die, and also move anything slow-moving off the sidewalk so it won't get stepped on (faster-moving things like spiders I figure can get out of the way themselves). I had a leopard gecko as a pet, and I hated having to feed her mealworms because I felt bad for them (but I had to do it because leopard geckos are exclusively insectivores). I would absolutely have a snake of some sort as a pet if I wouldn't have to feed it rodents - I love the feel of having a snake wrap itself around my arm. My very first pets besides fish were a pair of mice. I also love holding giant millipedes - I really like the feel of their legs, and the rippling motion along them when they walk is hypnotic. I considered getting one of those as a pet, too, but they're actually a lot of work to keep. I'm quite possibly going to be getting a bearded dragon sometime in the not-too-distant future, if I ever actually get the old fishtank I'm planning to repurpose for its housing cleaned :oops: Regarding humans, I tend to keep myself closed off because otherwise I have too much empathy for others, even feeling their emotions as if they were my own.

Wow, that ended up being far longer than I'd intended :oops: Essentially, I can't speak for anyone but myself, but my empathy certainly isn't selective at all.


Would an iguana be a good idea? They are herbivores and lizards.


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