Algunas reflexiones interesantes en este artículo en Cato Unbound, sobre la empatía inter-cultural y la antipatía como obstáculo:
And here is the problem with feeling antipathy toward those cartoon protesters, flag burners, and even suicide bombers. It isn’t that pouring lots of sympathy on them would help things. (In some ways it could hurt.) It’s that, because of the way the human mind is built, antipathy can impede comprehension. Hating protesters, flag burners, and even terrorists makes it harder to understand them well enough to keep others from joining their ranks. (...)
[O]ur “understanding” of the motivations of others tends to come with a prepackaged moral judgment. Either we understand their motivation internally, even intimately—relate to them, extend moral imagination to them, and judge their grievances leniently—or we understand their motivation externally and in terms that imply the illegitimacy of their grievances. Pure understanding, uncolored by judgment, is hard to come by.
It might be nice if we could sever this link between comprehension and judgment, if we could understand people’s behavior in more clinical terms—just see things from their point of view without attaching a verdict to their grievances. That might more closely approach the perspective of God and might also, to boot, allow us to better pursue our interests. We could coolly see when we’re in a non-zero-sum relationship with someone, coolly appraise their perspective, and coolly decide to make those changes in our own behavior that could realize non-zero-sumness. But those of us who fail to attain Buddhahood will spend much of our lives locked into a more human perspective: we extend moral imagination to people to the extent that we see win-win possibilities with them.
Una idea en la que he ahondado otras veces (por ejemplo en una entrada sobre musulmanes moderados y musulmanes "verdaderos") es que para persuadir o no alienar a gente que se encuentra posicionada en el margen (que no comparte tu opinión pero que es susceptible de hacerlo) es necesario hilar fino: a menudo no es el agravio sino la percepción de agravio lo que dificulta la convivencia y la mutua comprensión (esto no es menos cierto en las relaciones entre pueblos y culturas que en el contexto de una relación de pareja), y hay que evitar las generalizaciones y la retórica ofensiva o despreciativa.
Antipathy toward radical Muslims you see on TV could lead you to retaliate rhetorically in a broad-brush way and say things offensive to all Muslims. You might, for example, call Islam a “very evil and wicked religion.” This may alienate Muslims who aren’t yet cartoon protesters or flag burners but would be more likely to burn a flag post-alienation. (...)
If one of The Evolution of God’s main premises is correct—if scriptural interpretation is obedient to facts on the ground—then flag burners and cartoon protesters who are acting under the influence of radical religious ideas came under that influence for a reason. Somewhere in the past are facts that account for their interpretation of their faith. And even if that interpretation has become basically unshakable—even if every flag burner and cartoon protester is beyond changing—there would still be virtue in finding out what those facts are. After all, keeping more moderate Muslims from joining the ranks of the exercised would be nice, and knowing what circumstances made the exercised Muslims exercised might aid that task. By the same token, it would be nice to understand why suicide bombers become suicide bombers—not so we could help them become moderates (good luck!), but so we could keep moderates from becoming them.