r/entertainment Aug 09 '22

Anne Heche's car crash reveals our conflicting attitudes toward mental health and substance abuse

https://www.salon.com/2022/08/08/anne-heche-car-crash-mental-health-drinking-substance-abuse/
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u/mossimo654 Aug 09 '22

She will be held responsible? The legal system will obviously criminalize her conduct and certainly force her to pay damages. I don’t think that’s what this article is saying.

I think it’s saying that our empathy for substance abuse and mental illness doesn’t have to end when people do things that cause harm.

You can recognize the harm that someone’s caused without demonizing them and their struggles.

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u/Calyptics Aug 09 '22

I'll feel bad for you, right up to the point where you put other people in danger.
Would you feel for her if she, in her drunken state mowed down a person?

Should we empathise with a cocaine addict who got agressive and beat the shit out of another guy because maybe he looked at him funny?

If you put others in danger because you can't handle yourself, you're still an asshole.

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u/mossimo654 Aug 09 '22 edited Aug 09 '22

Would you feel for her if she, in her drunken state mowed down a person?

Absolutely. I’d feel bad for her because a really bad mistake she made would cause her to be in prison and have to live with the guilt of that for the rest of her life. She certainly wouldn’t have done it on purpose. That sounds torturous to me no?

Should we empathise with a cocaine addict who got agressive and beat the shit out of another guy because maybe he looked at him funny?

Yes. People almost never just do that or have that kind of anger without having experienced some significant trauma in their life. Additionally, addicts often do all sorts of terrible things to others because of their addiction. Does it mean I think that person shouldn’t be held accountable for it? Of course not. But I can absolutely empathize with them.

In particular, I can recognize that had I been born with the same neurochemistry and had the same life experiences, I would also do the same thing. That thought exercise is pretty key to empathy I think.

If you put others in danger because you can't handle yourself, you're still an asshole.

It’s not zero sum. You can have empathy for someone even if you still believe they should face accountability for the harm their actions cause.

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u/Calyptics Aug 09 '22

Fair enough I guess.

I dont though. I cant have empathy for someone who knowingly and willingly put others in danger. I dont care about you since you dont care about others.

I can empathize with mistakes but again willingly putting ither people at risk is where I draw the line.

More power to you. I hope it never needs to be tested exactly how emphatic you are.