Game Our Ways Into Globalization

Video games play a crucial portion in our modern culture. Around 155 million Americans regularly play video games. Scholars have been examining the effects of violent/prosocial video games on people over various age range and reports back on the changes in human behavior caused by the content of the video games they play. While different researchers show both stat that testifies violent video games desensitizes and prosocial games increase empathy in people and stats that demonstrate no particular significance in the relationship between game content and behavior, most of the sources establish prosocial and nonviolent gaming positively correlates with social connectedness and civic engagement, including the more recent reports.

Empathy is crucial in building strong relationships. As our world become more interconnected through a few examples we’ve raised in class including being emerged in similar types of cultures (literature, visual arts, and performance arts), utilizing congruent media platforms (Fox News, Facebook, New York Times) and personal devices (Phones, computers, fax machines), it becomes more and more of a human responsibility to develop fuller empathetic responses for the greater good; from understanding the unspoken parts of one’s communication with others to seeing the world in higher resolution including the suffering humanity from another continent. We learn from multiple examples how the global technology connections can be harmful or helpful for the thrive of humanity depending upon people’s methods and skills to empathize. Now how can we use video games to teach empathy and limit the opposite in our community? What kind of impacts will empathetic growth contribute toward global unity? What does it mean for people if they become better leaders, followers, and more importantly, better friends?

Potential Scholarly Sources:

Greitemeyer, Tobias, Silvia Osswald, and Markus Brauer. “Playing Prosocial Video Games Increases Empathy and Decreases Schadenfreude.” American Psychological Association 796-802 10.6 (2010): n. pag. Web.

Funk, Jeanne B., Heidi Bechtoldt Baldacci, Tracie Pasold, and Jennifer Baumgardner. “Violence Exposure in Real-life, Video Games, Television, Movies, and the Internet: Is There Desensitization?” Journal of Adolescence 39th ser. 27.23 (2004): n. pag. Science Direct. Web.

Anderson, Craig A. “Violent, Nonviolent, and Prosocial Gaming Effects on Teens’ Civic Engagement.” K. Dill (Ed.) The Oxford Handbook of Media Psychology, New York(2014): n. pag. Oxford University Press. Web.

Smith, Nathan J., “Does Video Game Content Matter? An Examination of Two Competing Ideas” (2015). All Theses and Dissertations. Paper 6026.

Scelsa, Valerie L., “The Effect of Aggressive and Prosocial Video Games on Aggressive and Prosocial Behavior”. Senior Theses, Trinity College, Hartford, CT 2014. Trinity College Digital Repository, http://digitalrepository.trincoll.edu/theses/416

Seeing My Own Eyes in Yours

This is a universal question that all of us might have thought about: who actually knows me? Empathy, in common terms, is the understanding of another’s belief, desires, and feelings directly, AKA perspective taking. It is unfortunate that people often experience empathy gap: “an inability to understand each other’s unique perspectives” due to their “misinterpretation of the other party’s actions” (Bohns & Flynn 2). Through this blog sequence, we will explore Morton’s false guidelines for empathy, a Facebook post that received many empathetic responses which altogether made some community impacts, and audience reactions to Harper Lee’s portrayal of Atticus in Go Set a Watchman. Eventually, we can come to the conclusion: although our present skill and readiness to empathize can serve as the key for interpersonal connections, and, in turn, we gain potential to create a social impact, our flaws to fully empathize could sometimes cause misunderstanding and disagreements in communities.

tumblr_n3qxzzwa351suxeeyo1_500Perspective taking can go the wrong directions. Frequent enough, a person is affected with their “concerned about their reputation, self-esteem, and relationships”, which “lead to misinterpretation of the other party’s actions” (Bohns & Flynn 2). We all have individualistic approaches to empathy. The first blog Evaluating Morton’s Pseudo Empathy discusses Morton’s description of pseudo empathy (when we think we know how others felt, but in reality, we only know how we would felt in an imagination induced situation) in his article Empathy for the devil. Morton’s high standard for “accurate empathy” (feeling exactly how the other would feel in the same situation), a standard unrealistically high to achieve. In his article, Morton has provided no example of any non-pseudo, perfectly accurate empathy. “To make judgments about another person’s attitudes and behaviors—an individual will typically draw on her own experience as a starting point and adjust from there. However, these adjustments are often insufficient, which can result in striking social prediction errors” (Bohns & Flynn 7). For example, asking a pair of twins who lived together all their live about how they like the novel Go Set a Watchman (This is like when people looks at the same situation), and it’ll be dubious for them to have the same exact feedbacks about why or why don’t they like the novel (People then interpret the situation differently). Now think about a person who has never read the novel, s/he reads the twins’ feedback (Now the bystander of the situation is inexperienced in a specific circumstance). Would s/he be able to empathize perfectly with either twin just by hearing their feedbacks? That would be unlikely.

After weighing the existence credibility of accurate empathy, the second blog post: Virtual Connections that Can Alter Policies presents a social media uproar triggered by communal empathy, demonstrating the ability of empathy to connect in between people. Even when empathy is not perfect. It starts with an agitated mother who’s daughter Franyo was mistreated by the school authorities wearing a skirt that was later found to fall within the limit of school policy. She decided to post her and her daughter’s experience on Facebook under anger. Facebook shares soon increased exponentially (more than 1K to be exact). In only a day after, the school authorities apologized to Franyo due to the social media pressure. It seems to be a successful counterattack against unfair code enforcements.  Social media is an easily accessible tool for everyone who desires more effective help from others, “not only because the tool can facilitate the efficient matching of helpers and help-seekers on a larger scale … but also because its format allows users to avoid many of the pitfalls of emotional perspective-taking.” (Bohns & Flynn 16). The entire Facebook post’s comment section either shows support or understanding, some even shared their own personal stories to relate with Webster. Facebook offers the 222 commenters a platform to agree, empathize, and share opinions with each other, which also generated the power to change a piece of the community, a portion being the apology Franyo received from her school.

The harmonic community engagement above contrasts with instances described in the third blog post: Disscusing Atticus Without his Sugarcoat. Where Atticus in Watchman disappointed his daughter and many readers due to flaws in empathy. “emotional perspective-taking, requires … two, adjustments. First, an individual must make the same error ridden initial adjustment from “self” to “other” … Second, the individual must make a second adjustment from “self in current emotional state” to “self in a different emotional state,” which can lead to its own set of errors” (Bohns & Flynn 16).

'Can we swap glasses? It might help me see your point of view!'

The glasses might allow the man to make believe that he actually sees from the lady’s POV.

A perspective taker must be able to place themselves in another’s situation entirely while feeling how the other would feel in the exact situation. However, everyone can only see from their own perspective and knowledge, even when they witnessing the same event. In To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, although Jean spent all of her childhood around Atticus, witnessing the court cases and town disagreements Atticus overcome, but fact is, people are “unable to draw upon their prior experiences with seeking help when we are in the position of a potential helper” (Bohns & Flynn 8). Have you felt starvation before? Have you walked pass a possibly ravenous homeless person begging for food without batting an eye? For ones who answers yes for both questions, that is because we can’t even perfectly recall and empathize with our very own experiences. When Uncle Jack yelled: “Jean Louise, have you ever met your father?” (Watchman 271) We know neither did Jean Louise nor some readers have even placed themselves in Atticus’s position. They have always falsely predicted Atticus’ motives. Jean thought she knew her father well since she always sees what he sees, but she didn’t realize that they are different entities – she cannot be thinking what Atticus thinks. For the non-judicial readers, they are misled by seeing solely from Jean’s point of view, resulting in the massive public dissatisfaction with the novel.

Empathy is a complex process. The restrictions (their values, beliefs, desire and lack of knowledge) people carry made it impossible for people to fully feel with another. However, there is no doubt that empathy is essential to the development of humanity. Empathy with more accuracy connects people who are driven by similar motives. Now back to the question: Who “can” really know us? This question has an answer. And I’ll leave it for you to decide after reading the blog sequence.

Works cited:

  • Bohns, Vanessa K., and Francis J. Flynn. “Empathy Gaps Between Helpers and Help-Seekers: Implications for Cooperation.” DigitalCommons (2015):  digitalcommons.ilr.cornell.edu Web.
  • Lee, Harper. Go Set a Watchman. New York: HarperCollins, 2015. Print.
  • To Kill a Mockingbird. Dir. Robert Mulligan. By Horton Foote. Perf. Gregory Peck, Mary Badham, and Phillip Alford. Universal-International, 1962. Web.
  • Morton, Adam, and Peter Goldie. “Empathy for the Devil.” Empathy: Philosophical and Psychological Perspectives. By Amy Coplan. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2011. 318-30. Print
  • Byrd, Caitlin. “Facebook Post about Moultrie Middle School Student’s Skirt Goes Viral, Reignites Dress Code Debate.” Post and Courier. N.p., 23 Sept. 2016. Web.
  • Webster, Suzie. “Suzie Webster’s Facebook Post.” Facebook. N.p., 21 Sept. 2016. Web.

Image References:

  • Ridgley, Bryan. Complex Reality from Observation. Digital image. Tumblr. Www.thesociologicalcinema.com., n.d. Web.  http://thesociologicalcinema.tumblr.com/post/82165907983/reality-can-be-so-complex-that-equally-valid
  • Judd, Phil. Eyewear. Digital image. Amazonaws. Cartoon Stock, n.d. Web. https://www.cartoonstock.com/directory/o/optical.asp

 

Disscusing Atticus Without his Sugarcoat

After Go Set a Watchman(Watchman) written by Harper Lee publish, the crowd uproars with disappointment. Disappointments are raised from the shattered high hopes of people who are searching for “ethical candy”. A few represented negative reviews from Goodreads.Com like: “I wish this book had been left to rot as an old, forgotten manuscript in some long-forgotten warehouse. I want to remember Atticus Finch as a paragon. Sometimes, I want simplicity, and I want bliss in ignorance.”- Khanh (the Grinch), “I almost find it hard to believe that the same person who wrote the literary masterpiece, To Kill a Mockingbird, such a powerful, impactful, and teachable artwork–one of my favorite classic books of all-time–also wrote this mess…“ –Kelly, and “…the fact that the publishing of this book is ethically shady, at best. This book will leave you with a terrible taste in your mouth…  I’ll keep my Atticus the way he was and the way Harper Lee intended.” – Melanie, have earned 980+ likes. Which drives me to wonder if we are still in a society close to the one described in Watchman, if we are the reason why Harper Lee feels reluctant to reveal Go Set a Watchman for so long – we are not ready to ingest what’s under the sugar coat of ethical candies.

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Sarcastic comic pointing out a portion racism in our society.

Let’s say, when an ordinary American read of fascist governments, they might find the information amusing, disturbing, or ugly, but they won’t come to the conclusion that it is poorly written without a logical reason. That is because most modern Americans cannot relate themselves to fascism. Now looking back at Watchman: as a first draft, Watchman might not be as articulated as To Kill a Mockingbird (Mockingbird), nevertheless, it still contains the logistics and engaging tensions of a good story, far from failures. So what would make the crowd so irritated about paying for the book while knowing a logical reason why it lacks the aesthetic of a final draft? Simple, many are offended by a sugarless “Mockingbird”; ideas in Watchman is shocked them. Some would rather remain in their comfortable “The world is perfect for everyone” zone, staying ignorance, instead of realizing that “all (wo)man are created equal” is far from being implemented in this country.

'Run this by 'Legal,' but sprint it by 'Ethics.''

‘Run this by ‘Legal,’ but sprint it by ‘Ethics.”

In contrast to a portion of Americans’ opinions, Watchman’s worldview is mostly continuous with Mockingbird. One can identify the coherence between the two novels through subtle indications. At a glance, it might be difficult for the readers like me to comprehend how Atticus changes as he ages, transforming into the racist conformer in Watchman. But evidence in both novels confirms how Atticus might not have become much of a different person. In Mockingbird, Atticus advises Scout to: “climb into his skin and walk around in it.” In order to understand someone. However, when a judicious spectator watches Mockingbird, one would realize that Atticus himself made no effort to understand Tom Robinson’s life. In his ending statement, Atticus made no reference to Tom Robinson’s background: where he lives, how he lives, or what he lives for (Marsh). He even openly states his discrimination between colors: “She did something that in our society is unspeakable: She kissed a black man.” (Mockingbird). Atticus could not and did not accept why a young lady with “color privilege” would be interested in close interactions with an African American. Atticus’ weapon to win the case is not understanding of Tom Robinson, but the jurors, who’re also white. He wavers the jurors into a trap of honor codes: “…an assumption one associates with minds of their caliber, which, gentlemen, we know is in itself a lie I do not have to point out to you. And so a quiet, respectable, humble Negro who had the unmitigated temerity to “feel sorry” for a white woman has had to put his word against two white people’s” (Mockingbird) – guiding the jurors into believing that they would be heroic to “save” someone helpless without their vote.

The reason why readers like me are so surprised to see the Atticus in Watchman is because how the narration by Scout leads readers to identify themselves with her – who used to see Atticus as an idealized moral saint. When Scout finally comes back twenty years later, she learned to pick up more about people’s characters. There, Jean’s mental picture of Atticus becomes fuller. Like what uncle Jack yelled at her: “Jean Louise, have you ever met your father?” (Watchman 271) The “father” here is a realistic, imperfect human being who may not be a perfect moral standard, but indeed a good father. When Jean has trouble identifying between her personal beliefs and Atticus’, she feels betrayal. Until Uncle Jack brings her and the readers to the other part of the story: “He was letting you break your icon one by one…reduce him to the status of a human being.” (Watchman 266). Atticus knows all too well about Jean’s inner “tin god” (the saintly Atticus) (Watchman 268) and strains to allow Jean to realize the flaw of the “tin god” as gradual as possible. When Jean cries: “…despise you and everything you stand for.” (Watchman 253), Atticus accepts the difference in opinions between him and his daughter. Not letting opinions become personal, Atticus replies back to Jean: “Well, I love you.” (Watchman 253). At the end of the caustic yet wall breaking conflict, perhaps not all readers, but Jean finally “met” her father.

 

Work cited:

Lee, Harper. Go Set a Watchman. New York: HarperCollins, 2015. Print.

To Kill a Mockingbird. Dir. Robert Mulligan. By Horton Foote. Perf. Gregory Peck, Mary Badham, and Phillip Alford. Universal-International, 1962. Web.

“Go Set a Watchman Community Reviews.” 2016 Goodreads Inc. N.p., July 2015. Web.

Marsh, Laura. “These Scholars Have Been Pointing Out Atticus Finch’s Racism for Years.” New Republic. N.p., 14 July 2015. Web.

Image References:

Attorneys Applicant. Digital image. Cartoonstock.com. Cartoon Stock, n.d. Web. http://www.alistgator.com/top-10-racist-moments-in-tintin-comics/

Hergé. Tintin Belgium. Digital image. Alistgator.com. N.p., n.d. Webhttp://www.alistgator.com/top-10-racist-moments-in-tintin-comics/

Virtual Connections that can Alter Policies

The article Facebook post about Moultrie Middle School student’s skirt goes viral, reignites dress code debate by Caitlin Byrd describes a social media battle for dignity. Suzie Webster piques after visiting her young sixth-grade daughter Franyo in school to see her school principal Ryan Cumback pulling out a ruler to measure the length of Franyo’s skirt. To Webster, that is sexual harassment. Webster’s rage exacerbates after hearing how her daughter has been personally shamed by her art teacher who believes out loud that she “…looks like you belong in a club…”, (Byrd) although Franyo’s accused “distracting” (Byrd) skirt was later confirmed to be within the school dress code tolerance.

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Franyo in the skirt she wore that day.

With permission from Franyo, Webster writes an 818 word Facebook post responding to the experience, wishing to raise awareness / publicize unfair school dress code enforcements, resulting with near 1.2K shares. The abundance of positive feedbacks recurring on Webster’s post presents empathy from the public, whom may or may not have experienced an occurrence alike, showing the internet’s capability to spread emotions. In fact, all 222 current comments on the post shows support for Wester and Franyo agreeing and expanding on the topics raised. (Webster).

Studies have suggested that empathy can be felt virtually. The internet is not what limits the transportation of emotions. According to the article Found on Facebook: Empathy by Teddy Wayne, empathy have different interpretations. The youth of the younger generation are surveyed to show more tolerance for an uncommon phenomenon, e.g., homosexuality, then the older generation on average. Through exposure to social media, people have opportunities to oversee diverse perspectives and opinions while encountering like minds, thus eventually feeling more connected to a broader community. On Webster’s case, her post “has reignited a conversation about issues of gender equality in Charleston County schools and in schools nationwide.” (Byrd) While “…many of the reactions to her post have been positive”. (Byrd) This demonstrates the public’s inclination to empathize with an online thread. Even if one has never experienced a similar occasion, one would care to imagine on the narrator’s expressions.

 

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Another media post example about unfair dress code enforcement.

A 2014 study from the University of North Florida designates a correlation between higher Facebook usage and social connection. Data shows that men and women with a Facebook account are about 110% more likely to spot a friend’s usual stress than those without an account (Wayne). Which could translate to how social media is not a greenhouse for narcissism but a network that builds actual interpersonal connections, both virtually and in real life. By the time Webster gets home on another day, her Facebook is filling up with messages from many other moms and students reflecting parallel experiences (Byrd). Personal stories are shared between strangers who might never intersect if without the internet platform. It is then when the post collects strength when public realizes that unfair dress code enforcement are a widespread issue and it must be attended. For the smaller community, Franyo’s art teacher apologized (Byrd), for nationwide, this issue is brought up to a more conscious level that is less likely to be overlooked.

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People comes together and connects through internet

Social media is an easily accessible tool for everyone. It can either build, break, or rewire connections. Depending on its user (who have a choice remain anonymous), the connections can be used to attack, support, or transmit. Webster stood up for what she believes is right, and so did many others scattering around the internet. Eventually, the like minds gathered and form a stronger community, intertwined with personal experiences. Facebook is Webster’s tool to plot social connections which eventually pressured Franyo’s school to apologize and adjust their attitude towards to dress code policy. Relationships built through the internet carries strength, that strength will generate an impact, enough for people to progress and take their position in a broader horizon.

 

Works cited:

Byrd, Caitlin. “Facebook Post about Moultrie Middle School Student’s Skirt Goes Viral, Reignites Dress Code Debate.” Post and Courier. N.p., 23 Sept. 2016. Web.

Wayne, Teddy. “Found on Facebook: Empathy.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 10 Oct. 2015. Web.

Image References:

Franyo’s Skirt. Digital image. Post and Courier. N.p., Sept. 2016. Web. http://www.postandcourier.com/20160923/160929680/facebook-post-about-moultrie-middle-school-students-skirt-goes-viral-reignites-dress-code-debate&source=rss/

Carey Burgess’s Response to Her School’s Unfair Enforcement of Dress Codes. Digital image. N.p., n.d. Web. https://www.buzzfeed.com/stephaniemcneal/a-student-body-president-was-threatened-with-suspension-for?utm_term=.ltO9momNL#.oiG6DKDdQ

Ahlefeidt, Frits. Positive Impact of Social Media. Digital image. WordPress.com. N.p., n.d. Web. https://sites.google.com/site/mediaandselfesteem5/positive-effects-of-media

Evaluating Morton’s Pseudo Empathy

Adam Morton argues people encounters a barrier that restricts them from committing atrocious acts in his article Empathy for the Devil. As moralistic people constantly regulate their own decency, they comprehend the “right” and the “moral”. Their definition of this “right” thing is distinct from what others believe and do. However, humans are limited to internal visualizations and cannot always perfectly correlate with others’ feelings and actions. He argues a person may understand someone’s motivation for an action(why), but that doesn’t suggest the person can also tell “how” did the observed individual decided to perform that specific action over all others. One example is the battered wife who pulls the trigger and kills her husband. It is understandable why a wife would want to escape her abusive relationship, but it is also questionable how she did she overcome her moral to pull her trigger; while she had other options, such as calling the police or move out of the house. The barrier in this example is committing an act of violence, which any non-violent and moral person would question.

Morton also distinguishes the three key conditions required for one to accurately empathize: discover what the barrier was, the person’s attitude towards overcoming the barrier, and “the nature of the emotion or motivation that facilitates the process” (Morton). There are instances when one may have attempted to interpret how another feels, but misidentifies. Morton calls this Pseudo empathy. For example, X, who endeavors to understand the motive behind A’s violent crime, inserted his own experience and emotional responses to resemble A’s cause. Did X closely simulate A’s emotions? Morton didn’t clearly state. However, Morton did suggest one who encompasses Pseudo empathy are tending to believe that they are accurately empathizing. Thus “The result is that we do not think of ourselves as capable of empathy with the performers of atrocious acts, and we do think of ourselves as understanding acts where all we have is a warm empathetic feeling.” (Morton)

In my opinion, Morton’s definition for Pseudo empathy and accurate non-Pseudo empathy conflicts with reality. A 100% accurate empathy is nearly impossible to reach. In the article Empathy, Emotion, Regulation, and Moral, it is explained how the closest people can get to full empathy is when people detach themselves from their natural perspective and look from the eyes of an imaginary impartial spectator (Kauppinen).

'Can we swap glasses? It might help me see your point of view!'

Not only that people are costumed to instinctively refer back to their own “habit and experience they do “so easily and readily, that we scarce sensible that we do it.”(Kauppinen), there are also no two people who share exactly the same passion and experienced. Misinterpretation is natural. Likewise, one can blame another before one identifies the fault due to social conditioning (Kauppinen). Excluding improper empathetic responses resulted from misunderstood, hidden, or modified information, truth-adjusted empathy (simulating being in one’s situation with correct and proper information) may also result in emotions that are not compatible with the original. Yet that does not make it any other objects like sympathy since it “involves no concern for you, or desire to make you feel better” (Kauppinen).

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Ideally, empathy would be a complete simulation of another’s emotional responses to a situation. But this possibility is hindered by limitations on human ability to share backgrounds, beliefs, desire, values, and emotions cognitively. Our own passion and experiences automatically modify all our empathetic responses, leading to an off colored image comparing to the original, more or less. The uncontrollable lack of accuracy in our empathy would make almost all empathetic responses to fall into the category of what Morton defined to be “Pseudo empathy”. People can maximize their imaginative power, and they won’t be able to accomplish the task to make others’ feelings their own. Thus, there is no such object as “accurate empathy”, but only “more” accurate empathy.

 

Works cited:

Morton, Adam, and Peter Goldie. “Empathy for the Devil.” Empathy: Philosophical and Psychological Perspectives. By Amy Coplan. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2011. 318-30. Print

Kauppinen, Antti. “Empathy, Emotion Regulation, and Moral Judgment.” For Heidi Maibom(ed.) Empathy and Morality, Oxford University Press. May 13, 2013: Web

Image References:

People See Things Differently. Digital image. Artefacts.com. N.p., n.d. Web. https://lizzyvanwyk.wordpress.com/2014/10/23/what-is-empathy/

Judd, Phil. Swapping Glasses. Digital image. Cartoonstock.com. N.p., n.d. Web.http://www.costaricaspanish.net/page/24/

Formal Assignment 1: A Time to Kill: Empathy that Belies

First, there are crimes, then there are laws. Both the sins and laws are the result of social verdicts. The ever-changing forms of crime cause justice to second the vacillating trait- both of them encompasses high plasticity. Although meant to serve its people, law codes contain a major flaw: it is apathetic and rigid.  Which is why the written laws alone cannot represent justice; unless there’s also contributions of contemporary and appropriate empathy. In order to carry out justice in court, the jurors must present “judicial empathy” (EJL), which stands for extensive, unbiased, and appropriate empathy (empathize with all perspectives but not especially emotionally attached to any). In the movie A time to Kill, the Jurors and movie audiences are influenced by various factors including the commotion outside of the court, the confessions of witnesses, and the performance of the lawyers. All of which infests bias within the jurors, clouding their ability to see from a comprehensive perspective and act as a “judicious spectator”.

As the movie progresses, the jurors are presented with voluminous information for them to debate whether if Carl Lee’s murdering action is justified. They are ordinary citizens who can see nothing deeper than rumors and Carl Lee’s skin before the trial started. The Jurors’ decisions depend chiefly upon how much they sympathize with the words coming from each attorneys’ mouth. Subsequently, they attain Carl Lee’s side of the story far more than the two supremacists’ (Billy Ray Cobb and Pete Willard) (TK), the Jurors are steered to stand with Carl Lee. First, there are hundreds of African Americans yelling outside of the court for Carl Lee to be free. Second, Deputy Dwayne Looney confesses that he cannot blame Carl Lee for his lost leg and believes he would have done what Carl Lee did if he was in the same situation. Third, Carl Lee has the opportunity to make his “victim-impacted statement”, which come to be too much of a luxury for the two men he murdered(ELJ). Carl Lee’s speech rephrases his’s daughter’s desperate calls for a shoulder that came too late give the Jurors an excuse to overlook and eventually forgive his all wrong doings.

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Fourth, Jake’s profound closing statement not only reinforces Carl Lee’s painstaking speech; it also raises the Jurors’ sentiments for Carl Lee’s throbbing pain when he saw what happened to his daughter (TK).

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The redundant “empathetic bias” mounted in the court is triggered by Jake’s speech. When the jurors have to close their eyes and ingest a riveting experience of a little girl being abused, their empathy will arouse effortlessly. The jurors will feel emotionally pressured to stand up for Tonya while losing focus on the actual case – Carl Lee’s killing. Ironically, Jake, who the jurors based upon for their vote, have only heard the story from Carl Lee (JK). While Carl Lee carries a great amount of emotional color as he is telling about the tragic event. When the storyteller himself is affected by emotions and biased, who is really trustworthy on the court?

In contrast, the only emotionally moving event from the supremacists’ side is Billy Ray Cobb’s mother, Cora Mae Cobb’s tears, which appear for only a brief moment(TK).  Dr.Willard Tyrrel Bass’ experience suggests about the insufficiency in information from the rapist’s stories. Comparable to what Jake stated, if the public knows that the victim in Tyrrel’s statutory rape eventually become his current wife , it won’t make Tyrrel’s crime more or less true, but it indeed would alter the public’s ideas about whether if he is actually guilty(TK). In this trial, the jurors lack the essential materials necessary to make a fair judgment. For all who believe that they are able to decipher whether if Carl Lee should be Guilty or not is not acting as a “judicious spectator” (RE) – “whose judgments and responses are intended to provide a paradigm of public rationality. Like what Jake recommended, most jurors have thought with their hearts but little analytics”.

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Similarly, the viewers of the film are restricted to craft fair judgments. Within five minutes into the film, the viewers are riveted by the abusive scene shot through Tonya’s perspective. The viewers see, hears, and eventually cognitively feels the ache and panic Tonya overcome – an incredibly powerful scene that can easily move anyone with humanity. This parallels the viewers to what the Jurors experience when they close their eyes and listen to Jake(TK). After the enthralling scene, the viewers encounter an exceedingly difficult time to ignore the emotional impact initiated by Tonya’s misfortune. The film arrangements in a manner where the viewers could effortlessly take Jake’s perspective as their own since viewers see the film majorly through Jake’s point of view. However, Jake is not a valid candidate for a judicious spectator. He desires fame from winning the case, commiserates Carl Lee by imagining the same tragic occurring upon his treasured daughter, needs to defend his pride as an attorney alone is enough to explain Jake’s morbid obsession with winning the case(TK). He has not witnessed the tragic himself, yet his obsession to prove Carl Lee not guilty builds up blind spots in both himself and the viewers to suitably empathize with every involved character(TK).

Other than relating to Carl Lee in a father’s position, Jake fails to simulate with the larger community- even with his own family. For instance, when his wife and his secretary are receiving severe threats, Jake should consider whether if it’s worth putting his and his comrades’ life on stake for one single case, yet Jake refuses to pause and think of the potential costs. Jake not once regret, even when his own house burns down and his secretary’s husband lie dying in hospital(TK). As viewers are closely identified with Jake as a protagonist, Jake’s oblivious attitude to his surroundings results in the viewer’s failure with comprehensive empathy. Furthermore, by standing with Jake, the adversities that Jake face produces an “empathic feeling of injustice” (EJL) for the viewers. Jake didn’t commit any crime, yet his personal life is threatened by KKK as he fights for Carl Lee’s case. Instinctively, seeing someone “punished for more than he deserves” (EJL), most film audiences’ empathetic anger would lead them to trust the victim and desire the victim to achieve what he/she is struggling for; in this situation – for Carl Lee to win his case.

A “Judicious spectator” (RE) not only would realize there is a lack of information, he/she would also pull back and think in a bigger picture: “What would happen if Carl Lee wins his case?”, “Who else did Carl Lee harm when he murdered the men?” The fact is, Carl Lee set his own family at stake when he decided to commit the murder, knowingly. He knows they are incapable of supporting themselves, and he knows he might die. He begged/manipulated Jake to save him because he is ready to murder, but not ready to accept the consequence. He is not a follower of justice himself, despite his verbal pity for his victims’ parents(TK). Carl Lee would also be responsible the image he projects for his two growing boys. Carl Lee, as a role model for his two boys to look up to, used violence as the resort to attain the “justice” in his mind. When he is announced “innocent” (TK), what would the two young boys consider to be “right” or “just”? These are just a few examples of where. The audiences might be “too empathetic” to think about a bigger picture. For example, people seems to disregard that a Deputy Dwayne Looney lost his a leg because of Carl Lee(TK). Not that it is any worse than losing the ability to bore children, but the film seems to amplify the damage of Tonya’s infertility and brushes over that a deputy lost both a leg and a living.   Not to mention that Carl Lee plea for being not guilty due to insanity, was artificial. There is no lawful Justice involved. The case was won solely with Jake’s vivid persuasion skills.

In A Time to Kill, although Carl Lee’s case seems to be justice’s advocate in terms that the jurors look past skin color to make their decision– the viewers and the jurors don’t have enough information to judge whether if justice is served. The audiences of Jake have removed themselves from the position of a judicious spectator. Few have thought for Billy Ray Cobb and Pete Willard or hear from their perspective. Without hearing them out, no one can justify the current resolution. The distracting factors lead the viewers and the jurors on with prejudice, yet they mistake their prejudice as justice. The film’s purpose was not to declare who is right or wrong but to vitalize that no side is impeccable. It comes to a perfect circle: Billy Ray Cobb and Pete Willard spits at the African Americans in the beginning of the film, and the African American protestors spit at the KKK at the end of the film; KKK sets Jake’s house on fire in the beginning and the Klan’s leader was burned to death in the end(TK). A judicious spectator would not have empathized any less with the later.

 

Works Cited:

“A Time to Kill,” Dir. Joel Schumacher. Perf. Sandra Bullock, Samuel L. Jackson, Matthew McConaughey, Kevin Spacey, Brenda Fricker, Oliver Platt. 1996.http://digitalcampus.swankmp.net/rochester274683/watch?token=6b856fd35ec9027d47a2ccbe87d8e5843937de4304f92e7d4c5743a463e11163.

Hoffman, Martin L. “Empathy, Justice, and Law.” https://learn.rochester.edu/bbcswebdav/pid-727601-dt-content-rid-1890782_1/courses/wrt105.2016fall.41376/hoffman_empathyjusticelaw.pdf.

Nussbaum, Matha. “Rational Emotions.” https://learn.rochester.edu/bbcswebdav/pid-731489-dt-content-rid 1904680_1/courses/wrt105.2016fall.41376/nussbaum_rationalemotions.pdf.

Formal Assignment 1

First, there are sins, then there are laws. Sin regenerates with flexible appearances, as justice seconds the trait. Although meant to serve its people, law codes contain a major flaw: it is apathetic and rigid, nothing human.  Which is why the written laws alone cannot represent justice unless there’s also an input of contemporary and appropriate empathy. The definition of justice is ever changing. In order to carry out justice in court, the jurors must present “judicial empathy” (EJL), which stands for comprehensive, unbiased, and appropriate (empathize with all perspectives but not especially emotionally attached to any) empathy. In the movie A time to Kill, the Jurors are influenced by various factors including the commotion outside of the court, the words of witnesses, and the performance of the lawyers. All of which infests bias within the jurors, harming their ability to see from every possible perspective and act as a “judicious spectator”.

As the movie progresses, the jurors are presented with voluminous information for them to debate whether if Carl Lee’s killing is justified. They are ordinary citizens, who can see nothing deeper than rumors and Carl Lee’s skin before the trial started. While the viewer sees a bit more through his responses to his daughter’s tragic. Both the viewers of and the jurors in the movie are attaining Carl Lee’s side of the story far more than seeing the two supremacists’ (Nicky Katt and Doug Hutchison) (TK).  Moreover, the Jurors’ decisions depends chiefly upon how much they sympathize with the words coming from each attorneys’ mouth, and perhaps feel more empathy of one of the sides. Leaving the trial’s audiences to be more likely to stand with Carl Lee. First, there are hundreds of African Americans yelling outside of the court for Carl Lee to be free. Second, Deputy Dwayne Looney confesses that he cannot blame Carl Lee for his lost leg and believes he would have done what Carl Lee did if he was at the same situation. Third, Jake’s profound closing statement allow the Jurors to feel what Carl Lee was feeling when he saw what happened to his daughter (TK).%e5%b1%8f%e5%b9%95%e6%88%aa%e5%9b%be-2016-09-25-16-46-01

There are barely any stories from the supremacists’ side except for Billy Ray Cobb’s mother Cora Mae Cobb’s tears, which only had a brief appearance comparing to any other witnesses’ speech defending for Carl Lee’s actions (TK).  The also hint about the insufficiency in both stories by inputting Dr.Willard Tyrrel Bass’ experience. Where he was convicted statutory rape, where the victim become his current wife (TK). Both the viewer and jurors lack the essential information necessary to make a fair judgment. For all who believe that they are able to decipher whether if Carl Lee should be Guilty or not is not acting as a “judicious spectator” (RE) – “whose judgments and responses are intended to provide a paradigm of public rationality. Like what Jake recommended, most jurors have thought with their hearts but little analytics.%e5%b1%8f%e5%b9%95%e6%88%aa%e5%9b%be-2016-09-26-13-17-39

There is redundant “empathetic bias” mounted in the court, which is triggered by Jake’s speech ever so similar to a “victim-impacted statement” (EJL). When the jurors have to close their eyes and ingest a riveting experience of a little girl being abused, their empathy will arouse easily. The jurors will feel emotionally pressured to stand up for the Tonya, while losing focus on the actual case – the murder. Sarcastically, Jake, who the jurors based upon for their vote, have only heard the story from Carl Lee (JK). While Carl Lee carries a great amount of emotional color as he is telling about the tragic event. When Jake himself is affected by emotions and biased, who is really trustworthy on the court? Even the viewers only see the film majority from Jake’s point of view, which is not the primary document anymore. Meanwhile, the adversities that Jake, his family and his friends face are producing an “empathic feeling of injustice” (EJL) for the viewers. Jake didn’t commit any crime, yet his personal life is threatened by KKK as he fights for Carl Lee’s case. Instinctively, seeing someone “punished for more than he deserves” (EJL), most film audiences’ empathetic anger would lead them to trust the victim and desire the victim to achieve what he/she is struggling for; in this situation – for Carl Lee to win his case.

A “Judicious spectator” (RE) not only would realize there is a lack of information, he/she would also pull back and think in a bigger picture: “What would happen if Carl Lee wins his case?”, “Who else did Carl Lee harm when he murdered the men?” The fact is, Carl Lee set his own family at stake when he decided to commit the murder, knowingly. He knows they are incapable of supporting themselves, and he knows he might die. He begged/manipulated Jake to save him because he is ready to murder, but not ready to accept the consequence. He is not a follower of justice himself, despite his verbal pity for his victims’ parents(TK). Carl Lee would also be responsible the image he projects for his two growing boys. Carl Lee, as a role model for his two boys to look up to, used violence as the resort to attain the “justice” in his mind. When he is announced “innocent” (TK), what would the two young boys consider to be “right” or “just”? These are just a few examples of where. The jurors might be “too empathetic” to think about a bigger picture. Not to mention that Carl Lee plea for not guilty because he was “insane”, which can’t be proven.

In the film A Time to Kill, although Carl Lee’s case seems to be justice’s advocate in terms that the jurors look pass race to make their decision, any shuffle in perspective would suggest that the case is not black and white – the viewers don’t have enough information to judge whether if justice is served, or if empathy is placed in the appropriate place. Not many thought of Nicky Katt and Doug Hutchison’s parents or hear from their perspective. Without hearing them out, no one can name the resolution justice. The amount of distracting factors leads the jurors on to prejudice while concerning that they are definitely for justice. The film didn’t exist for its audience to say who is right or who is wrong, it is there to say no one is perfectly right. It comes to a perfect circle: Nicky Katt and Doug Hutchison spits at the African Americans in the beginning of the film, and the African American protestors spit at the KKK at the end of the film.

 

Works Cited:

“A Time to Kill,” Dir. Joel Schumacher. Perf. Sandra Bullock, Samuel L. Jackson, Matthew McConaughey, Kevin Spacey, Brenda Fricker, Oliver Platt. 1996.http://digitalcampus.swankmp.net/rochester274683/watch?token=6b856fd35ec9027d47a2ccbe87d8e5843937de4304f92e7d4c5743a463e11163.

Hoffman, Martin L. “Empathy, Justice, and Law.” https://learn.rochester.edu/bbcswebdav/pid-727601-dt-content-rid-1890782_1/courses/wrt105.2016fall.41376/hoffman_empathyjusticelaw.pdf.

Nussbaum, Matha. “Rational Emotions.” https://learn.rochester.edu/bbcswebdav/pid-731489-dt-content-rid-1904680_1/courses/wrt105.2016fall.41376/nussbaum_rationalemotions.pdf.

Blog Assignment 3: Empathy, Real or Apparent

Within five minutes, the film A Time to Kill has framed the severity of racism during the 1980’s. Filmmakers uncover how some white Americans would leave with twisted contentment after roaming recklessly within the territory of defenseless African Americans, ripping them away from their property, personal value, and dignity. A girl is brutally treated, and two men who beat her drives away in laughers. While showing the occurrence of the tragic, filmmakers adeptly invokes the audience’s real cognitive and emotional empathy.

The intro of the film is valuable to the film in terms that it immediately grabs the audience’s attention, shows the two opposing standpoints, and describes a brutal tradition in the South during the 1980’s.  In order to gear the audience’s empathy towards the African Americans, filmmakers present various conflicts between the two White intruders and the African American community, with the African Americans quietly bears all of the disrespect and the two White men getting more tyrannical each conflict.  The filmmakers also purposely ignore mentioning the names of the men to keep them under-distinguished, while Tonya well characterized, to enable the viewers to be more readily sympathize with Tonya.

First, we see two boorish young men yells into a peaceful African American neighborhood and disturbs it as if it is an abandoned playground. They throw beer bottles at random strangers, spits at them, and makes a mess in their convenient stores. This leaves the audience in disgust of the two white Americans and pity for the African Americans who didn’t even lift a finger to defend themselves. Which gears the audience’s favor towards the African American community right away, and serve as a stepping stone for the audience’s elevated sympathetic response for the ten years old Tonya’s tragic.

Due to the constant foreshadow, the viewer’s heart starts to clench when Tonya walks in the woods with her groceries, alone. As she makes a kind gesture of stepping to the side to allow the car of the two White men to pass by. The viewers are likely to distinguish her as a kind yet vulnerable individual and desires to protect her from the two nameless White men coming up right behind. Within expectation, not a minute have passed when Tonya’s heart-piercing scream fills up the audience’s ears. Not only the filmmakers push the event to occur in a sudden, the event also takes the perspective of the young Tonya. The viewers are to observe exactly what thrusts into Tonya’s fearful eyes. The cam shakes, details such as the rustling rope, stiff fingertips, and cries for daddy places the viewer in physical and emotional sync with Tonya, wishing to be the daddy she’s crying for, resist with Tonya and take her away from the torture hurriedly. Soon, Tonya fell silent, the audiences can only hear her being dragged across the dirt. “What happened? Is she still alive?” Not being able to see Tonya’s face throughout the scene allows the views to exercise their imagination to maximum capacity, inserting their own face and pain to fulfill the image for Tonya. Thus taking Tonya’s perspective and peril personally.

Tonya’s tragic not only play the role of setting initiative for the future plots, it also remains behind the viewer’s thoughts throughout the rest of the movie desiring justice to be served for Tonya. It can be said that the viewer’s empathy with Tonya is not only real but also sets the cornerstone for all future empathetic responses that viewers will fell for the discrimination experiences that African Americans carry, while justifying internally for any resistances that African Americans enact.

Works Cited:

A Time to Kill. Dir. Joel Schumacher. Perf. Sandra Bullock, Samuel L. Jackson, Matthew McConaughey, Kevin Spacey, Brenda Fricker, Oliver Platt. 1996. DVD.

 

 

Blog Assignment 2: Atticus’ Closing Argument Rewrite

Gentleman, we have witnessed one strange case. However, no unusualness should escape the laws lying beneath justice, nor under the name of god. Basing upon reliable evidence and logic that all of us are witnessing, Tom Robinson have no ability nor intent to rape Miss Mayella. He is wronged by the unpolished story crafted by Mr. Ewell and Miss Mayella. A story guilty of ridicule inconsistencies. Mr. Ewell and Miss Mayella may have forgotten about all of the critical eyes laying on them right around this room, watching with upright, scrutinizing for all but the truth.

Under multiple occasions, the testimonies of the two witnesses defied logic. First of all, Mr. Ewell did not call for a doctor when he saw the terrific wounds on his daughter, meanwhile, there is no proof about when or where exactly did the wounds embedded. This is uncommon for any caring father. Meanwhile, considering the medical evidence supporting that the wound on Miss Mayella’s right eye is likely to be stricken by a left hand, Tom Robinson’s handicapped left arm are an indication that there are other unusual causes for the injury. Some may think, what if Tom Robinson had thought of a way to generate this resulted wound? Well, an uneducated man imprudent enough to run his arm through a simple machine like a cotton gin wouldn’t possibly be clever enough to alter professional medical reports or even think fast enough before his action took place.

Judging from another point of view, Miss Mayella’s testimonies are undependable due to her struggles and self-contradictions as she faces the question if Tom Robinson had beaten up her face. Miss Mayella have disregarded our bible when she speaks on this court. She has betrayed the purpose of a trial: to be fair and just. She lied to place a flinch and harmless citizen’s life at stake- for her, and only her own selfish need to earn the peace of mind after her restless guilt of attempting a helplessly black man. All direct and indirect evidence leading to one single solution: Poor Tom Robinson is innocent.

“Actions speak louder than words, but not nearly as often.” Day by day, Tom Robinson has only portrayed himself as an obedient, hardworking, and reverent individual who barely raises his head when he’s talked to. All he did on August 21st was following Miss Mayella’s order to reach for a box on top of a Chiffarobe before any incidents occur. Even Miss Mayella herself stated the fact that Tom Robinson is constantly helping with her choirs. A weak, rustic man like Tom Robinson have no possible motive to ever assault a healthy, young white lady but to demonstrate full reverence to her.

Dear Gentlemen, this is our duty- to follow for nothing but the tangible evidence. This case is crystal clear in terms of who’s the truly innocuous victim. Mr. Ewell and Miss Mayella’s insensitive lie filled with loopholes will not carry them far. A great opportunity is laying in front of us, as the holders of justice, to demonstrate to our audience, regardless of race, that integrity is the only trait that holds until the end, within a court. None can move our passion searching for truth and justifying our constitution.

Works Cited:

To Kill a Mockingbird. Dir. Robert Mulligan. By Horton Foote. Perf. Gregory Peck, Mary Badham, and Phillip Alford. Universal-International, 1962. Online. Netflix. Web. 12 Sept. 2016.

Blog Assignment 1: “Empathy, Justice, and the Law” by Martin L. Hoffman

Martin L. Hoffman’s “Empathy, Justice, and the Law” discusses the role of empathy in the legal dimension. Hoffman describes how empathy is necessary for a humane community. However, Hoffman also notices that empathy should only take a portion of importance in making an effective legal decision. Hoffman supports his reasoning by guiding his readers from definitions of empathy and various empathic responses to cases of when empathy played a part in altering laws and how empathetic bias can be inappropriate for the legal system.

Under Hoffman’s writing, empathy can be a double sided blade. It is constantly utilized to affect jurors’ and judges’ final decision. For example, in Brown v.  Board of Education, narratives of colored students were utilized to trigger the jurors’ empathetic response. After that, some justices recognize the harm of segregation within young colored students and starts to openly support desegregation. Here Hoffman describes a scenario where justices take the perspective of the victim before considering their decision. On the other hand, Hoffman also gave examples of when empathetic political decision can be ridiculing. Empathy can be “fragile” to bias. Media can easily lead the public’s compassion and the direction of empathetic response. Hoffman brings about the case where a British nanny was bringing to the severe sentence after the child that she was taking care of got shaken to death. This sentence was soon reduced by the judge after the media shifted the public’s empathy from the baby’s parents to the nanny. The emotional tide of people is what’s leading this case from one extreme end to another, showing the power of biased empathy.

Hoffman focused his essay around “justice”- when victims get what they deserve and criminals are punished to the right extent. Although Hoffman takes empathy as on essential entity, he does not believe that it always leads to the fairest result. Empathy will always need logic and reasons to back up.

Works Cited:

Hoffman, Martin L. “Empathy, Justice, and the Law.” Empathy Philosophical and Psychological Perspectives (2011): 230-254