Would you feel somebody's pain for them?

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    Sep 20, 2010 3:40 AM GMT
    We all know we can be very considerate. Many of us wouldn't hesitate to give others money, clothes, and shelter if they truly needed it. But let us take it a step further.

    I frequently hear people tell family members and lovers that if they could feel their pain instead, they would. It is the stuff of romances; loves wrapped around each other, hearts beating as one, eternal promises of grace and faithfulness. But is it mere lip service?

    Take a few moments, and truly think about it. Self-preservation is a strong instinct. Fear and pain are innate responses that the body automatically prepares for without voluntary thought. People do die for others. Self-sacrifice is a common act where people sacrifice happiness/jobs/time. There are also uncommon act of bravery you hear about on the news: the soldier who jumped on the grenade to protect his group mates, people jumping in rivers to save fallen children, people running in burning buildings, the loyalists who will die for a group, etc.

    But these things happen during moments of epiphanies when adrenaline rushes and the mind has incredible power over physiology. Death is quick. And pain is long term. It is deep in the body and dominates every other feeling.

    We like to think of ourselves as high functioning. But pain reflexes originate in the spine, where no amount of cerebral cortex can convince you otherwise. If it was possible, would you do it?
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    Sep 20, 2010 3:45 AM GMT
    Having lived a full life.. I think I would do it. I know beyond a shadow of doubt, that I would donate organs.. and there are those in this world that I think enough of that I would endure their pain, if at all possible.
    I must admit, however, that if I were 30 or 40 years younger, I might think the same way.
    Interesting topic, Carmine.
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    Sep 20, 2010 3:45 AM GMT
    Sorry, but pain reflex don't original from the spine. They originate from the cerebral cortex. Pain receptors originate from your peripheral nervous system though. Our high functioning does and can override pain, though you are right. That is more of a basic physiological aspect of us.

    No, I wouldn't really sacrifice much at this point. I'm so consumed in helping myself find a job that I could care less about people. Though I did give a homeless black guy with Glaucoma a dollar the other day. We totally bonded when we talked about pot. Good times.
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    Sep 20, 2010 4:14 AM GMT
    Does donating your bone marrow to a stranger count? Actually, despite this being over 20 years ago when the protocols were different the pain didn't live up to the hype.
  • commoncoll

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    Sep 20, 2010 4:26 AM GMT
    JAKEBENSON saidSorry, but pain reflex don't original from the spine. They originate from the cerebral cortex. Pain receptors originate from your peripheral nervous system though. Our high functioning does and can override pain, though you are right. That is more of a basic physiological aspect of us.

    No, I wouldn't really sacrifice much at this point. I'm so consumed in helping myself find a job that I could care less about people. Though I did give a homeless black guy with Glaucoma a dollar the other day. We totally bonded when we talked about pot. Good times.

    I thought reflexes did originate from the dorsal column. So a reflex like me flinching my hand away when I burn it can be overpowered by my cerebral cortex. So that if I want to let it burn, it can burn away?
    I would like to think that I would be willing to take away my son's pain. I hurt when he hurts, but I don't know.
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    Sep 20, 2010 4:31 AM GMT

    Well, it's unlikely for me to ever quote something (ugh) biblical but here, this:
    "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." which includes a deeply loved one.
    I think the intent has huge merit, even though the flesh may be more hesitant to endure another's pain. I also think that rush of adrenaline is what it would take to endure such a thing, which is why the desire is voiced when it is.
    I wonder; a person could very well sustain the impact of another's pain while surging with adrenaline, yes?

    -Doug
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    Sep 20, 2010 4:39 AM GMT
    short and sweet, Yes, in a hartbeat
  • safety43_mma1...

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    Sep 20, 2010 6:03 AM GMT
    i would do that for someone really special or my friends. i have gone through alot in the last 2 years with funerals and loosing loved ones so i would in a heart beat so they dont feel what i have felt.
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    Sep 20, 2010 8:25 AM GMT
    of course I would....if they were special to me or even nice, otherwise they can basically suck it. I have enough personal pain I dont need to take on another's pain.
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    Sep 21, 2010 2:54 AM GMT
    Since most that responded are willing to take others' pain, what if that pain was chronic when no adrenaline is present to inhibit the deep white throbbing? Like arthritis, broken bones, an infection, migraines? Would you still be willing to do it even if it left you unable to live your life fully?

    Another silly, hypothetical question: would it be unethical not to share others' pain if you had the ability to do so?

    Note: I am referring to pain resulting from physiologically diagnosable causes.
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    Sep 21, 2010 2:57 AM GMT
    I read the post and replies and all I can say is... I feel your pain.....
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    Sep 21, 2010 2:58 AM GMT
    If by pain you mean ass then yes, I would definitely. icon_lol.gif

    To answer this question seriously I think I would try. I try to live life putting myself in other people's shoes.
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    Sep 21, 2010 3:56 AM GMT
    I personally have a lot more admiration of a person who is willing to suffer through pain in order to relief someone who is in more pain than his own. If someone sacrificed or put their life on hold for me I will not not hesitate to help them in their time of need.

    Willing to feel pain for those who have shared and felt one's pain is not a question of how it will effect us, but an obligation and the ethical thing to do.


    Leandro ♥
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    Sep 21, 2010 4:12 AM GMT
    If with my life I could take away the pain of the world, I would.

    But be careful what you pray for...you just might get it.
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    Sep 23, 2010 12:17 AM GMT
    chronic or acute, for someone I loved.....anyday of the week, It never bothered me to be in pain, hurt, feel broken and dead inside, I know I"m strong, and I know it will go away, but it hurts like hell to see someone you love in pain, It's my calling in life to try to take away others pain, if I could just wave my hand, and make their pian mine, yeah I would, I'd have to, everytime
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    Sep 23, 2010 2:57 AM GMT
    carmineastoria said

    Another silly, hypothetical question: would it be unethical not to share others' pain if you had the ability to do so?

    What an interesting question! It would certainly put a new definition to masochism. I'm assuming if it worked like other emotions, you wouldn't be able to control it. Everyone would share everyone else's pain. Think about the crime rate! Cures for diseases would increase exponentially. So many effects of that. Since pain you said is a psychological issue, we would be able to empathize with others. Not just pain, but fear, hunger, happiness, depression, every emotion. Could you live privately?

    If I could share anybody's pain, it would have to be my children. My parents lived painful lives until their end. I would gladly have taken their pain to ease them and to help them be at peace.
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    Sep 23, 2010 3:27 AM GMT
    This is easy. For brief intercessions I would gladly take someone's pain. I have a very high tolerance.