(RNS) — The mass shooting in Las Vegas has become yet another example of human capacity for evil. Almost immediately, people cried for gun control, greater checks on assault weapons and measures to increase hotel security.

But what about calls for increasing levels of empathy in society?

Empathy has long been a core belief of many major religions around the world. The Abrahamic religions, Hinduism and Buddhism all emphasize kindness and compassion.

It’s also an instinct scientists say humans can learn to hone.

Empathy means to understand another person’s thoughts, feelings or state of being. Research also shows that other mammals are

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