Conflict (social) may be natural, but if you observe it in the political process, online debates, family arguments, or even academia, it so often sends people in a tailspin into the quagmire of absurdity and idiocy. I don't think conflict is that productive, but diplomacy is. Conflict is like doing surgery with a hammer and diplomacy is like a scalpel. However, I find that in a non-social context of idea space examining conflicting theories and data is necessary to progress to more accurate ideas. This does not involve specifically negative feelings, but is neutral and peaceful at least the way I experience it. I have sometimes found this idea of social conflict as a defining feature of T vs F to actually come down to comfort levels with the accepted masculine (anger, pride) vs. feminine (happy, sad) emotions.
Objectivity and empathy are more alike than opposite because they both require the ability to move outside of the singular perspective of ego, and instead focus on a big picture by taking in as much data as possible. The distinction between the two is that objectivity focuses on data that can be quantified, and empathy is experiential, subjective, and less tangible. Most contexts whether it be a specific situation or analyzing a system, involve a range of relevant factors that encompass the objective and subjective and everything inbetween. It is messy to try to create a hard boundary between these and a hard boundary can only be accomplished by viewing reality in a low resolution and then dismissing anything that doesn't fit your category.
When "T" or an "F" gets lost in a sense of ego investment in a singular perspective their thinking becomes more alike than polar opposite, and yet that is also the exact moment they feel most different and enter into conflict. The ironies of this pole are interesting because of this.