Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Orthodox sociopathy (part 2)


I've never had a strong religious background growing up. I was baptized at the age of 13, however it wasn't my choice. I would like to think that the first thing I did after the baptism was jerk off to gay porn would kinda invalidate that. I've never liked how in Christianity how the masses pick and choose which portions of the Bible they'll follow. Take the gay issue for example. Most people conveniently forget that the laws of Leviticus are for the Jews to follow. Yet even though everyone eats lobster and shaves their facial hair, they go hating on the gays. And in my Orthodox community, everyone seems to follow the rabbi's opinion. Never mind the fact that he's just as prone to keeping up with community standards as everyone else. The verse "Thou shall not lay with a man as you would a woman. It is an abomination" is the most condemning arguement against homosexuality. Nevermind the fact that I take the "as you would a woman" part to mean that a) God allows us to sex up other men as long as I don't do him as a woman and b) everyone seems to forget that part. My rabbi has a different opinion on that. He thinks it's ok to lay down with another guy, so long as there is no sex. Nevermind the fact that to lay with is a biblical euphemism. I much prefer the Karaite movement, they rely more on their individual interpretation than a rabbi's. However, in order for my conversion to be universally accepted, I have to go the Orthodox route.

One thing I didn't really touch upon when I was being wordy though were my thoughts on the nature of God. I've never really believed in God until my stepfather's death, and as I mentioned, it was only because I felt cheated out of a victory. Before that, and after that, I always acknowledged the existence of forces outside of my control or influence. So when I told people I believed in God, what I wasn't telling them was what exactly I believed in.

One thing I do have problems with is when people ask me why I want to convert. I find that all I can do is give them a canned response. Something like my love of Judaism, I love the sense of community, I want my (future) kids to grow up with others who'll share their beliefs. I know that I don't have to convert in order to have my part in the world to come. I don't have to convert for my children to be Jewish or even to have a Jewish wife (though marrying outside the clan in frowned upon). Perhaps my goal is to successfully assimilate? I don't know, but I'm having fun doing it, touching the lives of others, and being the prosocial sociopath.


  1. So you do actually believe in god. Fascinating.

    My father has what some would call sociopathic-esque tendencies. He is also a practicing pastor, of the fundie persuasion. He believes in what he preaches. My theory about that was that he saw the emptiness inside himself (he told me that once) and fought against it by taking up the Xtian faith. Fervently. He can't allow himself to doubt for one millisecond. The moment that happens, the game is over and he will find, to his horror, the emptiness still there, waiting for him.

    Perhaps I was wrong. Or at the very least, maybe my theorizing was one sided because of my own atheism. Maybe he, like this reader, wanted a moral compass of some sort. That is a desire I don't understand, but my mantra has apparently become "to each his own". So long as it doesn't get in my way, who cares really.

  2. He's two-steps away from being the "prosocial" religious tyrant sociopath. Just wait and see, once the boredom sets in.

  3. Is it me or is sociopathy so boring?


  4. Aspie, are you trolling?


    I somewhat agree. This post wasn't extremely insightful or interesting, as per (sometimes) usual on this site.

    The sociopath(?) in this article sounds emotionally indignant towards the hatred of gays from the church. This doesn't add up to me. Is he just stating things "like they are" or is he actually irritated/upset about the circumstance? I honestly think it's the latter, but I don't know for certain.

    Also, am I the only one who picked up on this..?

  5. This is off topic, but the comments seem to be the only place I can write this.

    I came across this definition on a video today. It's called the
    'uncanny valley'.

    Here's the description on wikipedia about what it is, "Mori's hypothesis states that as a robot is made more humanlike in its appearance and motion, the emotional response from a human being to the robot will become increasingly positive and empathic, until a point is reached beyond which the response quickly becomes that of strong revulsion. However, as the appearance and motion continue to become less distinguishable from a human being, the emotional response becomes positive once more and approaches human-to-human empathy levels."

    It says it has to do with empathy, so would sociopaths not be affected by animation or robots that are human like but still have a non human quality?

    Here is where I saw the term.


    It's an animated person. A lot of the comments seem to think it's freaky or creepy. Do sociopaths get creeped out by things like this?

  6. Religion has always had an assimilatory dimension that can serve the purposes of those who otherwise wouldn't fit. One of my favorite stories about religious persecution involves a prominent Rabbi in Spain during the Reconquista. Commanded by a raving mob to become a Christian or die, he converted... and eventually became the bishop of his community.

    It's not really about whether one belief is right or wrong. It's about joining a big club which many people will assume you are a good person simply for being a part of.

  7. Baptised at 13? You have some unresolved semantic issues. You have too much free time and few real problems.

  8. Nice, a sociopath bent on becoming Jewish.

    ... I wonder why?


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