Do less intelligent people lack empathy?

A lot's been said about a weak inclination in Filipinos to be courteous and show respect for other peoples' personal spaces. The more common behaviour we observe in Filipinos everyday makes this evident -- in the way we treat our public spaces like dumping grounds for our rubbish, the way we use our roads with an unshakeable feeling of self-importance, the way we find no motivation to excel in even the simplest endeavor.

Beyond our immediate families, there seems to be very little regard for the personal stake other people have in the way we impact our surroundings. We feel no empathy for the greater community within which we belong.

Empathy is a high-order cognitive ability. It evolved out of a need in our ancestors to stay apace with increasingly complex social challenges as the scale of human communities increased.

Is it then possible that the Filipino mind has so far failed to evolve robust enough cognitive capacity to deal with social complexity beyond the tribal scale?


  1. No, we've learned to shut it off to survive. You shouldn't give a rat's ass about anyone else or be considered as "samukan". An ass basically.

  2. Trouble is, the collective effect of 100 million people shutting off empathy eventually bears down on every individual and effectively cancels out any benefit coming out of focusing solely on one's own personal interests.

  3. Yup, no concept of ownership thus, detached.


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