Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Empath vs. sociopath morality

A reader sent me this link to a forum as an explanation of the differences between how empaths and sociopaths see morality.
And, well, the thing about human history and nature is that a split morality is *natural* for us. Empathy within the family/tribe, sociopathic-like behavior to oursiders. Like, every tribe calls themselves "the People". What does that make outsiders? Not-people... And then there's the Milgram and Zimbardo experiments, showing how apparently normal people, socialized in modern societies to have unnaturally large "tribes", can still do atrocious things with a bit of social pressure.

The sociopath doesn't care what he does to other people, or just doesn't respond to them as people. Normal people convince themselves other people aren't people, or deserve it, then do their atrocities.
Another participant responds:
Ah! Someone who truly understands basic human nature!

There is a descending scale of human empathy involved. Stronger loyalty to immediate kin, somewhat less so to clan, somewhat less than that to local social clique, and so on. Building large scale societies requires the creation of an abstract cultural structure (morality, religion, hierarchy, mythology), that gives humans some reason to act towards the success of the larger group instead of the smaller. When two abstract cultural structures compete without violent conflict, we call that peace. When they interact with violence and destruction, we call that war. An abstract cultural structure that can longer bind its members to its own survival is said to be corrupt and decadent.

Assigning members of different human groups a lesser moral status is as natural to humans as breathing. Complete extermination of a group happens less often than other kinds of conflict resolution only because it is rarely cost effective. Too much work, or destructive to your own cultural tropes, or because oppression and enslavement is more profitable than extermination.

Whatever we think of GENOCIDE!, it isn't crazy or even irrational to most people who practice it.

Hitler may have had serious emotional issues, but he was not an original thinker. All the terrible things he did were not the product of his imagination. He only collated ideas that had been floating around Germany for generations. He happened to have the imagination and political skill to weld those ideas into a popular governing philosophy, and didn't become clinically insane until he started losing the war and, along with it, his emotional stability and his grip on reality.

35 comments:

  1. Well, both readers are correct in that "the other" needs to be dehumanized in order for an act of extermination to take place.


    In every other aspect they are grossly mistaken. From the unilinear understanding of kinship affiliations/alliances to the eurocentric/hegemonic understanding of society, to the misconception of the term "tribe".


    Also, I'm not a fan of huge generalizations. And yes, I am bored.

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  2. A sociopath is a nation unto himself.
    He is his own kin, his own clan, and his own social cliq. He has allies, and he has enemies. There's nothing too strange about sociopathic behavior. It's the natural human result of a complete lack of socialization. The sociopath is just like me or you, except he represents his own little society of one, as its duly elected president.

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  3. Travis, I agree that allegiance does not necessarily primarily belong to “the smaller group” Eastern culture is proof of that. Look at it from another angle. How do we define who we are? Do we intrinsically know what about us makes us brave, fearful, compassionate, selfish? A runner does not know he is fast until he races. Until that point, he understands only that he runs and at this speed. It is only by comparing his speed to the speed of another that he knows that he is fast. In other words, we define ourselves by our differences and similarities to others. Those with whom we share common ties are the tribe. We see the others most basically as “not us.” How do we define the enemy? Those who would do us harm and do not play by our rules. Who will do us harm? Those who are “not us.”

    Perhaps those who play by other rules do not want to harm us, but how are we to know? They do not play by our rules, remember? Harm to us may not be harming to them. Some see the individual this way. Some use this principle to demonize groups. Others think the entirety of the world should be given the benefit of the doubt by default, then wonder what went wrong when it bites them in the ass.

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  4. anon,
    It's the natural human result of a complete lack of socialization...this implies that sociopathy it is a result of environment which i am not sure is entirely true..sure, it has an impact but this disorder has a genetic/physiological component that has nothing to do with socialization..

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  5. ^ Anonymous doesn't know what he/she is talking about. Lets just leave it at that.

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  6. I'm with Travis. The two writers have little understanding of history and cultural development. The idea that culture is based on myth, religion, and hiearchy is ridiculous as some cultures have gone to the point of outlawing the prior two, and hiearchies in most society change often. The writers are coming from a alienated eurocentric view of culture that comes from a lack of identity. In their view, culture is a constrictive structure that they've freed themsevles of.

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  7. ukan? why did you choose to come back?

    is it because all the people you hate have left?

    --SO SAYS SUPPER MAN! EAT MY BEEF STICK HOES!

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  8. hitler ate big hairy donkey dicks.

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  9. oh and please don't think i am uncivilized because i said that, i am just in a big hair donkey dick type of mood today. enough said...

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  10. Uh, doesn't seem to be about "the differences between how empaths vs. sociopaths see morality."

    Just kinda seems like they are both agreeing that empaths need to justify things that, apparently, sociopaths do without justification or explanation.

    Sociopaths practice random atrocities. We've, like, got a system.

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  11. Seems strange for sociopaths to want/need a place to talk to other sociopaths. Also seems strange for a sociopath to care whether other people who share some of their character traits/opinions have been given a name yet.

    Obviously it's true that some of us are less tied down by strong moral ideas than others. To me this feature seems more like one of many options you can pick up because you have either low or high intelligence. i.e. You either see past silly moralities as being something akin to supserstitions, or are too dumb to worry about repercussions.

    Seems to me that some people are wolves, some are dogs and some are sheep. No more, no less.

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    Replies
    1. Well done on that last line mate

      Delete
  12. THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A HUMAN BEING AND A SOCIOPATH IS JUST THAT. A HUMAN BEING POSSESSES ALL THE EMOTIONS,ANGER,FEAR,HAPPINESS,SADNESS,LOVE,HATRED,(EMOTIONAL)PAIN.UNLIKE A SOCIOPATH THAT ONLY FEELS (PHYSICAL)PAIN,ANGER,AND THATS ABOUT IT.SO SAD FOR THESE CREATURES,TO NOT EXPERIENCE EVERYTHING THAT MAKES US HUMAN,TO ONLY BE ABLE TO MIMIC WHAT THEY SEE.THAT IS WHY PEOPLE WARN OTHERS OF THESE CREATURES,YOU CANT LIVE IN A SOCIETY WITH THESE CREATURES WHO CARE NOTHING FOR ANYONE,NOT EVEN THERE OWN KIDS.YOU SEE IT EVERYDAY ON THE NEWS WITH THESE CREATURES ,MURDERING THERE OWN CHILDREN SO THEY CAN HAVE FREEDOM,OR WHAT EVER THERE EXCUSE IS.THAT IS WHY WE DONT NEED THESE THINGS HANGING AROUND US,WE DONT WANT OUR KIDS THAT WE LOVE TO DISAPPEAR,OR TO BE SHOT IN A DRIVE BY.BECAUSE HUMAN BEINGS DONT DO THAT,WE ONLY USE VIOLENCE IN SELF DEFENSE TO PROTECT OUR OWN ..

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    Replies
    1. Using all CAPS is a crime against humanity.

      Delete
    2. I care strongly for my kid, Less so for my wife, little for my parents and almost none for the rest of the world. I have no want or need to do a drive by nor abduct others, i just wantto live life and i have a very shallow pool of emotions to pull from. I have no strong set of beliefs or empathy for others, i have no remorse for lying to get my way and my way is usually selfish. That being said i don't hurt others for sport not do i revel in their pain.i am just indifferent. That makes me different but not bad. Like all people sometimes i am cold and disagreeable, sometimes i am warm and affectionate. All people are, the difference is i usually have an agenda as opposed to some uncontrolled urge. Does that not make me, at least in some way, more in control of impulsive behavior. Or should i say is it not better to have impulsive behavior with a purpose?

      Samieal

      Delete
  13. @ Anonymous: We CAN love. and when we do love, it's the most amazing thing on this earth. When we love, are loved one feels treasured and protected while embraced. We make them feel more alive than any empath ever could. We are like chameleons, so we can blend in to any crowd and turn into anyone that our loved one wants us to be. We can be "The perfect one" because we are so analytical and observe what our treasured one desires. But with an empath couple they fight, and regret, and beg for a second chance to TRY and be like us by "changing" yet it never happens and the relationship falls apart. But unlike you empaths, we can get over love much faster. You guys will be in a stupid depression trying to get over it and we'll just move on like nothing happened, although we DO love. And honestly Mr. know-it-all empath, would you seriously like to suffer in emotional pain, or be empty and move on. I'm happy the way I am because emotions blind you from reality. I don't fathom why you people like getting blinded from pointless emotion. At least WE are productive.

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  14. "Normal people convince themselves other people aren't people, or deserve it, then do their atrocities."

    Yes. You've understood it, there's nothing to add! ^^


    "another participant responds:
    Ah! Someone who truly understands basic human nature!"

    And what he writes further is also spot on. You've made an insightful blog indeed!

    It's rare to not feel the need for adding a single word, but how great when it finally happens! - Hence this is not meant as an addition or even a comment, it's merely a word of praise.


    ... And isn't it "funny" that those who do observe this actually pretty simple and obvious truth, and who decide to communicate it, to put forth the basic statement, it is they that are being written off as Sociopaths.

    Zhawq.

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  15. 11111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111
    ST

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    Replies
    1. "Thanks again Sociopaths, you're doing God's work :)"

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    2. god is dead long live the sociopath

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    3. I am not dead I am on vacation. But your name is now on my karmic wheel.

      Delete
  16. "Empathy within the family/tribe"

    Except psychopaths are NOT emapaths with the family/tribe or anywhere else. They are abusive towards their partners and abusive towards their children. They are bored by family life and constantly on the lookout for diversion elsewhere. The psychopath has zero understanding of what is it to be kind to another person.

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    Replies
    1. Thats wrong.
      Where the hell did you get that "info"?

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    2. In what way do you think it is wrong? It's based on observation at close quarters.

      Delete
  17. I'll get you, I'll get all of you if that's the
    last thing I ever do!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I want to kill you, and all people like you...

      Suck my dick and tell me what it tastes like.

      Taste the rainbow bitch!... Oops.. I ruined the surprise...

      Delete
    2. Didn't think anyone would be that into ol' Gargamel.

      Delete
  18. This reminds me of the argument Christians make when they try to devalue a person who is an Atheist. They like to use the argument that, well if you don't believe in God, how can you know that it's wrong to murder someone? Because all it takes is a little intelligence to see the merit in good deeds.

    Just because you don't have the same guiding principle as someone else, doesn't mean you can't make appropriate choices if you're smart enough to know the difference between what is helpful and what will send you to jail.

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  19. I am an atheist you was raised Catholic. A man I know, said it was rare to find morals like mine in someone who is not religious.


    Neither make act on what is right, but you can know the difference.

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    Replies
    1. You, my friend... Are clinically retarded!

      Delete
  20. The difference is that sociopaths commit atrocities and crimes against others for selfish reasons. Empaths must be manipulated by fear and anger to behave in an anti-social manner. Usually they are manipulated by a sociopath that wants to use them to get something they want. Think about the Malleus Maleficarum as one example. Normal humans have been blind to spaths throughout human history and so spaths have been free to manipulate them at will. Those days are coming to a close, science has unmasked them, and so we see here in this forum a desperate attempt to justify being a totally selfish predator upon society. Productive eh? Maybe in producing hell on earth. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malleus_Maleficarum

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  21. empaths aren't stupid if anything they are more intelligent, higher beings. sociopaths are a remenant of our evolution, lower beings who will eventually be bred out.

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  22. I have been doing a lot of research on sociopaths lately as I safely jumped a sinking ship of a relationship with a sociopath. In the reading I have done the general impression is that sociopaths are these superhuman people who's lack of emotion are akin to Superman's strength or Professor X's clairvoyance. Here is my perspective. A sociopath needs a job. A sociopath needs a home. A sociopath needs social interaction, etc. etc. etc. I have observed a sort of autofanboyism among sociopaths on this website and the general impression that a sociopath is Fort Knox. Therefore, an empath while being a big gushy pile of emotion is human subject to what some may see as the sociopaths cat nip; when they are completely dominated and utterly broken and tossed aside by the ubersociopath like a wet nap. However, some people, some "empaths" are just as likely to snap the opposite direction. Houses burn, social circles can be crushed, and jobs lost. Push anyone too far and self preservation kicks in. I am an empath, however I will simply say the only reason that man lives is because he looks better in orange than I do. He was lucky. I'm not a killer, but someday he may come across someone who is. So allow me to offer you sociopaths some friendly advise. Don't get too caught up in your own cleverness. When you push someone too far, crazy is nothing more than crazy.

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