Do we have empathy for people with low intelligence

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The academic Twitter community has for months been thrilled to announce a new profile called Just say in mice, which links to news of new (medical) breakthroughs while commentary always says two words – KILLERS. Here’s what it looks like:

Scientists have discovered a new way of destroying cancer cells … IN DEATH.

Revolutionary: Scientists have discovered a part that can slow down aging! (TO THE HEADS)

Scientists have accidentally discovered a cure for obesity … IN HEADS

The owner of the profile, scientist James Heathers, said he came up with the idea because he was perplexed by the way most media report on scientific research, and in particular the preliminary ones done on animals. He thinks his posts on Twitter are the easiest way to change this situation. With over 68,000 followers, James has succeeded in encouraging scholars and laymen to read the news more closely, and some media have even agreed to add these benchmarks.

Although mice are often used as a model for human disease, little is known that only every tenth drug that works in mice is approved for humans. Why is it important to emphasize that the findings are based on mice rather than humans? Although mice are often used as a model for human disease, it is little known that only every tenth drug that works in mice is approved for humans. If something annoys the researchers is the inclusion of an alarm over preclinical animal studies while the question remains whether that drug or treatment can be used in humans at all (and more often than not). There are similarities but also big, unexpected differences between the mouse and the human brain, which is why mice are a bad predictor of how people will react.

What will happen when the treatment that has been successful in mice is quickly applied to humans, also shows the fictional work of Daniel Keys “Flowers for Algernon.” Algernon is a laboratory guinea pig whose intelligence has been boosted by an experimental procedure. Charlie Gordon has phenylketonuria, a genetic disorder that leads to progressive mental retardation, and is the first person to go through the same procedure, first successful, until Algernon begins to behave strangely and eventually die. Through Charlie’s accounts we track his progress, cognitive and emotional development, memories, relationships with loved ones, and then fate like Alzernon’s.

Daniel Keys (who otherwise majored in psychology) received the inspiration for this novel while working as a professor at a school for children with developmental disorders. When a student returned to school after a long absence, Keyes noticed a regression – he no longer knew how to read: “I lost everything … My heart was literally broken.” Hence the empathy for diversity, or as the New York Times reviews the 1966 book:

“The message is obvious: We have to respect life, to respect each other, to be gentle towards those who were not as fortunate as we are.”

Does the book really teach us to respect diversity and develop empathy? Does the book really teach us to respect diversity and develop empathy? At the very beginning, Keyes makes the reader sympathize with the mentally retarded Charlie, and as we approach the end, the loss of high intelligence is tantamount to death, a complete disaster that neither he nor any of his close men can reconciled. The last sentence in the report resembles a farewell message from someone dying: “Goodbye Miss Kniian and Dr. Strauss and all …”.

When the “new” operated Charlie realizes that his artificially induced condition is temporary and returns to “factory settings”, he decides to visit the State House and Warren School, where he will later be housed. About that experience, he writes in his report:

“While driving back to town, I didn’t know what to think. I am overwhelmed by a cold and gray feeling – a sense of peace with fate. There was no talk of rehab that these people would one day bring them back to the world. No one talked about hope. There was an atmosphere of living death – or worse, as if the proteges had never been fully alive and conscious. Dangerous souls from the beginning, doomed to glow in time and space every day. “

For Charlie, reverting to pre-surgery is tantamount to completely erasing everything that he has created, so the reader begins to experience old Charlie as a villain threatening the hero.

Although the novel opposes Dr. Nemur for treating him as his own personal monster he inspired, it seems that Charlie himself does not believe that he was a human being before the experiment. He is unable to relate the boy of his memories to his present existence. When recalling his previous life, he speaks for himself in a third person, emphasizing that he is only a watcher of other people’s memories, not a participant. All he remembers belongs to someone else, someone who is silent and observant, and his sexual relationship with neighbor Jay. The old Haas speaks of another person hiding somewhere deep inside him, interfering when he does not have to wait to get out and take the lead (“Little Charlie Gordon looks at me through the window – wait. No, not just that again.” ).

Kiz assures us that mental retardation deprives man of any positive experiences in life. Kiz assures us that mental retardation deprives man of any positive experiences in life. The prejudice she promotes through the image of “good” Dr. Strauss is that most people with average intellectual functioning lack motivation, care and a will to learn: “But most people like him are unpleasant and uncooperative; they are usually blunt and apathetic and it is difficult to reach them. “

Charlie has mild mental retardation and is again portrayed as an eternal child who is unable to recognize the violence he is exposed to. He thinks his bakery colleagues who abuse him are his friends and he feels ashamed even when his IQ rises. Children like Charlie have been shown to be unable to experience rejection, pain, and loneliness.

high intelligence impedes him in his daily functioning, especially in his dealings with other people. Interestingly, even Charlie’s character is not free from prejudice, so high intelligence prevents him from functioning in his daily life, especially in his dealings with other people.

“The more intelligent you are, the more problems you’ll have. Your intellectual growth will exceed your emotional growth. “

His exaggerated ingenuity guarantees him social inadequacy. It is reminiscent of a saboteur, someone with a stereotypical diagnosis of Asperger’s who, because of the overwhelming amount of knowledge, cannot talk to people. Even prominent professors flee before completing the monologue (“they always found excuses to get out, for fear of discovering the limitations of their knowledge”).

Alice at one point reminds him that he had previously had warmth, openness, kindness that made everyone happy and wanted everyone to be close to him. And now, he says, with his intelligence and knowledge, differences have emerged in the negative direction. That would mean that Charlie became a genius, but necessarily self-centered and cold, because reason and emotions are necessarily opposites.

Finally, a tragic fate awaits both man and mouse: Algernon dies due to the consequences of surgery, while Charlie dies symbolically, returning to his former intellectual level. It is true, however, that Charlie has not found his happiness at any one time, and stereotypes and prejudices have not circumvented him either before or after the operation.

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