I found this recent comment on an old post. It raised an interesting question of whether sociopaths can ever be "pro-social" despite being clinically labeled antisocial. The reader explains it thusly:
I don't fit the textbook description of "antisocial personality disorder". That's because there appear to be two types of sociopaths... intelligent ones and stupid ones. The stupid ones break the law (and get caught), lie (and get caught), hurt people (and get caught), and therefore have relationship problems, etc - and get the psychiatric label. Intelligent ones, on the other hand, become politicians, businessmen, etc. At least I assume they do, because not being stupid, they don't get labeled with a psychiatric disorder.This is not the first time I have heard of a pro-social sociopath fitting almost exactly this description, even apart from my own self. But there is also another very simple explanation for this that keeps everything people think they know about sociopaths -- just categorically exclude all of these people from the definition. If you otherwise fit all of the diagnostic criteria for being a sociopath, but have ever done something good in your life that didn't immediately benefit you and only you, we'll call you a social-apath. No?
So with my definitions, I'm an "intelligent" sociopath. I don't have problems with drugs, I don't commit crimes, I don't take pleasure in hurting people, and I don't typically have relationship problems. I do have a complete lack of empathy. But I consider that an advantage, most of the time.
Do I know the difference between right and wrong, and do I want to be good? Sure. One catches more flies with honey than with vinegar. A peaceful and orderly world is a more comfortable world for me to live in. So do I avoid breaking the law because it's "right"? No, I avoid breaking the law because it makes sense. I suppose if I weren't gifted with the ability to make a lot of money in a profession doing what I like, I might try and profit by crime. But with my profession, I'd have to really hit the criminal jackpot to make it worth a life of crime.
When you're bad to people, they're bad back to you. I'm no Christian, but "do unto others as you would want them to do unto you" works.
So to any other sociopaths out there reading this... don't be an idiot.