Famous good sociopaths? I don't think you would ever say that a sociopath was "good," per se, the same way you might about Mother Theresa, etc. They're always complicated. They can be good in the fact that they aren't bad... they can also be great, without necessarily being good. Is Dick Cheney bad? What about Julius Caesar? Sociopaths often lust for power, which can put them at odds with the people that they rule, but they can also do a lot of good things like keeping governments stable, or fighting off the invading hordes, or being a spy, or whatever else. Does that make them good? I don't think sociopaths have any sort of urge to do good things, just scratch their power-hungry itch. A lot of sociopaths specifically choose to use their powers for good instead of evil, but they're end game is not doing good, it's power or whatever else the sociopaths is after.
I think that a good analogy would be a corporation. There are a lot of corporations that do things that you like, maybe even good things, but the primary motivation is to make a profit. But just because you are trying to make a profit doesn't mean you can't do it by doing things you like, or that you are good at, or that comport with the way you see the world or want the world to see you. I terrorize bullies. Is that good? I help out friends and neighbors for all sorts of reasons. Actually, coincidentally, one of my readers sent this to me recently -- it deals with the idea of not having the same sort of of emotional connections to your actions as empaths do: "a comprehensive beginner's guide to becoming a sociopath." When I read it, I thought all of the good things were things that I might actually do or have already done. My bad things were different, though -- I guess I just have different tastes. But I see what the point of the exercise is -- divorce your normal emotional reactions from certain behavior. I bet it would work. I bet there a lot of things people would want to be a little sociopathic about, like having no fear if you do a lot of public speaking, or not having an emotional connection to food (I would bet the percentage of obese sociopaths is 1%, for purely genetic reasons). But maybe it is difficult to do, like being a little bit pregnant. A little bit anorexic? Or alcoholic? Or blood thirsy?
Monday, April 1, 2013
How to become a (good?) sociopath
I was recently asked whether there are any famous good sociopaths: