on liberals’ favorite conservative …

Certain types of proud conservatives make fun of David Brooks as every liberal's favorite conservative.  I don't know if I represent "every liberal," but I do have to say that he is, indeed, one of my favorite conservatives.  Whether I agree with him or not, I almost always feel like I've learned something or gained something after I've read is column. It also doesn't hurt that he can participate in really great discourse with people that have differing opinions on issues without getting strident and shrill.  It isn't a quality that I, personally, possess in spades, but it is one that I very much like and admire in other people.

clipped from www.nytimes.com

The Empathy Issue

Published: May 28, 2009
clipped from www.nytimes.com

The Empathy Issue

The American legal system is based on a useful falsehood. It’s based on the falsehood that this is a nation of laws, not men; that in rendering decisions, disembodied, objective judges are able to put aside emotion and unruly passion and issue opinions on the basis of pure reason.

Most people know this is untrue. In reality, decisions are made by imperfect minds in ambiguous circumstances.

People without emotions cannot make sensible decisions because they don’t know how much anything is worth. People without social emotions like empathy are not objective decision-makers. They are sociopaths who sometimes end up on death row.

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