Mr. Birdick gets analyzed by "Dr. Robert" and responds:
Number one, I’ve never actually copped to being a "psychopath". I might score high on the PCL-R, but not high enough to warrant that particular “diagnosis”. I believe that there is a meaningful difference between psychopaths and sociopaths.
Second, whether I can "fathom" other people’s suffering is an irrelevant red herring. My feeling sorrowful or righteously angry when I hear about someone else’s pain does not change things for that person -- it would not change the reality of the man in the picture or make the Iraq war and all of its associated consequences disappear. Dr. Robert’s regret, his remorse, his compassion may mean the world to him but it means nothing at all to the man in the picture.
Third, I still believe that Dr. Robert’s photo placement was manipulative to the degree that it was deliberately designed, by his own admission, to induce emotions in other people in order to prove a point. He was trying to prove himself and to his faithful readers that he was right and the father wrong. Dr. Robert was acting in a self-serving, manipulative fashion. His expression of moral horror served only one purpose -- his.
Fourth, for someone as eager to paint me as arrogantly certain of my superiority, Dr. Robert comes off as awfully... superior, to the point of being downright condescending. Doesn’t the deliberate use of terms like “limitation” and later “deficiency” imply that? Dr. Robert likes to think of himself as a compassionate, liberal and open minded soul, but who is also in fact more judgmental and moralistic than he cares to let on, even to himself. And I caught the misspelling of my name. Quite a class act our Dr. Robert, isn’t he?
Finally, I love it when so called empathic people tell me what I do and do not believe without bothering to ask me. He completely misrepresents my thoughts on those who practice the healing arts. The people that I believe are “foolish, sentimental, and weak” are those that allow others to run roughshod over them; to destroy what they’ve spent a lifetime building; or to allow any system of ethics to dictate, a priori, the decisions that must be made in real time because of their adherence to morality or principles.
It’s too bad Dr. Robert decided that he needed to prove his mettle as a compassionate, liberal healer (how much better he is than the poor, deluded ‘psychopath’), by writing in such an obvious and overtly manipulative fashion. I’d say he was far more concerned with demonstrating his so called great compassion than he was in answering Brian Lippman’s question. Then again, moral hypocrisy, especially the unconscious kind, is so typical for the conscience bound.