Sunday, June 23, 2013

Animal morality?

ABC News reports on a recent book, "The Bonobo and the Atheist," by Frans de Waal, who argues that other primates have at least the building blocks of morality. De Waal suggests that this proves we had inborn morality first, then came up with the idea of religion and god to make sense of those moral inclinations, rather than vice versa.

Those and other human-like characteristics, that have been clearly documented by other researchers as well, at least show they have some grasp of morality. It doesn't mean they are moral -- especially chimps, which can be very violent -- but they have the "basic building blocks" for morality, de Waal argues.

Chimps, he says, "are ready to kill their rivals. They sometimes kill humans, or bite off their face." So he says he is "reluctant to call a chimpanzee a 'moral being.'"

"There is little evidence that other animals judge the appropriateness of actions that do not directly affect themselves," he writes. Yet, "In their behavior, we recognize the same values we pursue ourselves.

"I take these hints of community concern as a sign that the building blocks of morality are older than humanity, and we don't need God to explain how we got to where we are today," he writes.

Is this right? That hints of community concern are the basis for our sense of morality? He says that there are instances of primates feeling guilt or shame:

For example, Lody, a bonobo in the Milwaukee County Zoo, bit the hand -- apparently accidentally -- of a veterinarian who was feeding him vitamin pills.

"Hearing a crunching sound, Lody looked up, seemingly surprised, and released the hand minus a digit," de Waals writes.

Days later the vet revisited the zoo and held up her bandaged left hand. Lody looked at the hand and retreated to a distant corner of the enclosure where he held his head down and wrapped his arms around himself, signs of both grief and guilt.

And here's the amazing part. About 15 years later the vet returned to the zoo and was standing among a crowd of visitors when Lody recognized her and rushed over. He tried to see her left hand, which was hidden behind the railing. The vet lifted up her incomplete hand and Lody looked at it, then at the vet's face, then back at the hand again.

Was he showing shame and grief? Or was it fear of a possible reprisal? The ape at least realized he had done something wrong, de Waal argues, showing the seeds of moral behavior.

The chimp "realized he had done something wrong," but was it a moral judgment of "wrongness"? Or do chimps keep score in their society such that if a chimp does something that another chimp doesn't like, there will be retribution. In other words, does it mean that chimps are moral, or that they hold grudges? I actually think this is a more interesting explanation -- that the urge to punish others for perceived infraction (a sense of justice) is very primitive, such that we share this trait with primates. Interesting how humans have not really modified that impulse much, despite evidence that restorative justice is actually more effective both in terms of victim satisfaction and offender accountability than retributive justice.

The articles mentions other primate behaviors, including displays of deep grief and compassion for each other, but as the article states "[w]hen an ape expresses grief or guilt or compassion he is living out the blueprint for survival in a culture that is becoming more complex, and possibly more dangerous." That is, they are not making judgments of moral right or wrong, they are just acknowledging they exist as one individual in a larger society (like the sociopaths willingness to be a team player). From the examples given, primates do seem to have a system of "values," e.g. they do cleverly use orgies to stop wars, but that seems to be a utilitarian assessment (orgies = good and war = bad), not a moral one.

121 comments:

  1. "w]hen an ape expresses grief or guilt or compassion he is living out the blueprint for survival in a culture that is becoming more complex, and possibly more dangerous."

    This is extremely interesting. I wonder if its anything like the rare times when i lose someone of immense value. Ill shed some tears, involuntarily, as my mind accepts the loss and resigns itself to having to replace or do without, there being no hope for restoring said person.

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  2. Maybe Lody was hoping for another tasty bite.

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  3. Frans de Waal chose to see morality, you chose to see survival. Without irrefutable proof, we view things in the only way we can: how we relate to them, which is according to what we know. If we know compassion, that is how we will relate to something. If we know survival, that is how we will perceive others' innate motives.

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    1. I agree, the problem of animal behavioural analysis is that animals don't tell us their reasons and there is a huge amount of possible interpretations. I still don't see how would it affect us in practice whether the bonobos behave " morally" or not. I still don't know what M.E. considers to be moral. Are the bonobos moral if they show a conduct like the described by human laws?

      Jessi

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    2. jessi you want a spankin'?

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    3. Seeing what appears to be proto-morality in other, less cognitively capable animals, reinforces the idea that our morality evolved, like all our other traits. This means that no, morality doesn't make us special and no, we weren't endowed by a creator with it. This also gives researchers insight into our how own morality may have evolved and how it therefore works today.

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    4. Another way of seeing it is that you need to be more cognitively capable to develop a more evolved morality, one less related to your own individual survival.

      Jessi

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    5. No, that isn't another way of seeing it. Your comment is a non-sequitur. It appears to have no logical relation to mine.

      My comment was in response to this from you: I still don't see how would it affect us in practice whether the bonobos behave " morally" or not. I interpreted that to mean you didn't understand why anybody would study moral behavior in other animal species and why any of that would relate to human moral behavior. Now you know, and knowing is half the battle.

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    6. Birdick, your sentences sounded to me as a personal statement and not related to my question and, since I had already expressed that I question the study interpretations, my comment was actually disconnected from yours and related to the general subject of morality.

      But if it was an answer to how it affect us, I still don’t see it. Many mammals also take care of their young and the creationists don’t find that a prove of our lack of endowment by the creator with a soul. Why should it be different in this case? Actually why not to consider that the care a mammal dedicates to its offsprings is also an expression of morality?

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  4. I wonder if a socio sees animals as more important than people. My socio lost his favourite/prized dog some weeks ago. The dog died from natural causes. On a piece of paper he wrote: "Dog of the year sadly missed." He signed his name to it. What is strange though is whenever a person dies his remark to the bereaved person would be: " Sorry to hear. That's just a part of life." There is no sympathy felt in the words through tone of voice or a gentle touch of compassion. So is the pet more important than the person?

    On another note. As I read about sociopathy and live the experience of being closely associated with one I have this unanswered question. Is there any middle ground in the association or relationship between an empath and sociopath?

    I kinda broke us with the socio in my life. He refuse to say sorry about the offense done to me. We don't live together but see each on a daily basis. After keeping away from him for many weeks he now brought me a gift and all he said was: "This is for you. It is not much, but...." I took it and said thanks but I have no clue why he would want to give me something after I ignored him for so long. The gift did not changed my attitude I must confess. For a while now I have been struggling to find a middle ground of sort for a more harmonious relationship with him. He is who he is (a socio) and I am who I am (an empath)but where is the common place.



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  5. It is not what the primate "thinks." It is what we humans THINK he thinks.
    We ascribe our own human notions to animal behaviour. We think the world
    revolves around us. We think because we have our own intrests and passions
    so must the animal. That's the reason for "heroic" animal programs like
    "Lassie" and "Flipper" and the "Animal Network" were we tell human type
    tales of the animal's "plight."
    The Lord says that humans have dominion over the beasts of the field.
    It's not that we should be wantinly cruel to the animal, but there should
    never be any doubt as to where the superamacy lies.
    I"m very suspcious of people who go to "apeshit" over the "rights" of
    animals. You will often find they are not very passionate over the
    rights of mere "humans."
    Hitler was a conformed dog lover. The Anthony family give thier pets
    "respectable sendoffs" wrapped and bagged in their backyard. How was
    Caylee sent off?

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  6. "despite evidence that restorative justice is actually more effective"

    Restorative justice is not more effective than retributive justice but complementary. Restoration should be applied as much as possible, though in all cases there will always be damages that are impossible to repair.

    Punishment has an obvious dissuassive effect on people who have never committed a crime. Do you think people would pay taxes if they would just be asked to restore the amount they didn't pay? Do you think people would not steal a car if to bring it back would be the only impact that would have on them?

    Moreover punishment is a conditioning that causes a behavior to occur with less frequency, as behaviourism has shown.

    And let the bonobos live like bonobos...

    Jessi



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    1. I agree with this completely, if it weren't for my knowledge of punishment I would be a much worse person

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  7. The difference between animals and humans is that humans have superior intelligence. Human"s concept of morality is more complex and abstract as humans are the only lifeforms on this planet that are capable of intricate multi-layered thinking. We can at times regress and take actions that are considered animalistic but overall the decisions we make are based on analised thought. Sociopaths and empaths are both the same intelligence wise but when it comes to morality.., well there is only a shallow presence or sonetimes no presence of it at all in sociopaths. The things I do i based primarily on pure self-interest that often does not benefit the non-consenting parties that I involve in my actions. If i want something, I just take it. I have learned to taper this response with more careful and skillfull responses but the underlying purpose is atill the same. Satiate my urges and desires at all costs. I am able to make people do exactly what i want them to do. I am a puppeteer and those who I employ are my puppets. I control their financial destiny. I fufill their needs to survive and in return they fufill my need for control, power, and money. My wife is confused by my actions because I have no problem calling her stupid and weak. This is my animal nature which I cant help.

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    1. If she stays with you even though you call her weak and stupid she probably is and deserves being with someone like you.

      Jessi

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    2. Out of mild curiosity UKan.
      What is it that you get from your wife, to me she doesn't sound worth it. Now I hardly have a first hand perspective here, you simply write about her in such a way that I don't think I would've stayed with the person you describe. She sounds irritating, preaching and weak.

      The weak have definite entertainment value but I tire of them quickly. Again I lack a proper view into your mind and life so I cannot truly judge your wife. So I am curious how she benefits you. Besides the obvious sexual benefit, which can be obtained easily enough from others.

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  8. Jessi the bonoboJune 23, 2013 at 4:25 AM

    I am soo stupid

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    1. I hope you are a teen...

      Jessi

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  9. I'm an empath but after reading the post by Mr. Ukan, I decided my penis is a sociopath. Its a war that I cleverly deal with by having an occasional orgy. Thank you.

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  10. So, the major question is whether the bonobo ran and hid out of fear of retribution, or because it empathized with the person whose finger it bit off.

    My favorite example of empath behavior is when they talk shit about people behind each other's backs. I've never sensed a hint of guilt or remorse from them. If they 'accidentally' speak their mind in front of someone, though, they feel bad and apologize.

    Guilt, remorse, and fear of consequences are all just different words to describe the same thing. Without social ramifications, no behavior is seen as immoral. Emmie has brought up mob mentality, and Mach mentioned a church retreat with people torturing a snake. If there are no consequences, there is no guilt or remorse for the actions being carried out.

    Empathy doesn't make you a moral person, it just makes you an emotional mirror. Likewise, sociopathy does not make someone immoral, it merely makes them more honest to themselves regarding their intentions. Antisocial behavior is separable from sociopathy, and it is antisocial behavior that determines criminal recidivism, not a lack of empathy.

    Everyone has a monster inside them, and pretending that it doesn't exist isn't going to make it go away.

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    1. Weren"t you bragging about never have recieving a speeding ticket and being a uber empath? I also recall you saying that you could convincingly mimic people as part of a very vain and transparent attempt to mold your characteriatics into that of a sociopath. How could someone who is too pansy to speed someone with a monster in them. I remember using people like you by setting them up for the fall. They were emo twats like you who "had a monster in them".

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    2. You're misinterpreting a couple things, Mr. Misanthrope. I speed quite a bit, but I know where cops like to hide. If you keep your eyes open, you won't get caught.

      Everyone has a monster inside them means everyone is capable of doing terrible things, given the right circumstances.

      And lastly, I have high cognitive empathy, which means it's easy for me to understand the thoughts and feelings of others.

      I'd love to meet someone like you, to see what you're really capable of. Unfortunately, your inability to properly spell and use punctuation suggests that you're of low intelligence. If I met you, I'd probably determine quite quickly that you're not worth my time. That's another benefit of cognitive empathy, I can easily detect stupidity :)

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    3. Without social ramifications, no behavior is seen as immoral.

      Yep.

      'Good' and 'evil' will continue to exist as long as most of humanity remains self deceived.

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    4. Spelling and correct use of punctuation cannot be used to measure intelligence. If you were intelligent you would know that.

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    5. "Antisocial behavior is separable from sociopathy" no, by definition.

      Jessi

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    6. No, they are not a measure of intelligence. Good vocabulary, spelling, and grammar do correlate with intelligence, though. Are you really defending him? Can you not see that he is stupid?

      "How could someone who is too pansy to speed someone with a monster in them."

      I understand what he's trying to say, but I also understand that someone with an IQ higher than 90 would be able to say it better.

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    7. Then by definition I am no sociopath, Jessi. I exhibit very little antisocial behavior.

      Glad you were able to clear that up!

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    8. "Without social ramifications, no behavior is seen as immoral."

      Without social ramifications no behavior is seen. Point. But a person can evaluate as immoral also behaviours that affect only himself, like self-destructive behaviours, and which can be unseen.

      Besides that, the immorality of the actions are only of religious concern, society is involved not in the morality but in the damages a behaviour has in other individuals of the society. It is not a question of morality but of the rights of the individuals.

      Jessi

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    9. "you bragging about never have recieving a speeding ticket"

      "I speed quite a bit, but I know where cops like to hide. If you keep your eyes open, you won't get caught."

      "Then by definition I am no sociopath, Jessi. I exhibit very little antisocial behavior."

      I had to smile...

      Andy, from what you have posted in this blog the "little" it is very unlikely...

      Jessi

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    10. Self-destructive behavior by its very nature has consequences, and as such cannot be used to refute my claim that guilt and remorse are emotional responses to actions with negative consequences.

      Morality is secular. Admonition against crimes such as murder, theft, and rape have risen independently in many cultures. They are important for humans to live together in relative peace.

      Damages against individuals that are socially sanctioned are seen as morally correct, or at least neutral. If there were a law that said people who post under the alias 'Jessi' can be smacked at will by any individual, nobody would bat an eye. Well, I would, but that's only because I recognize that many socially acceptable actions are in fact quite despicable. Morality is decided by the majority, just as history is written by the victors. Whoever has the power makes the rules. What is a mob but a local majority in which violence has become socially sanctioned?

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    11. " I speed quite a bit, but I know where cops like to hide. If you keep your eyes open, you won't get caught."

      Look at you trying to prove how sneaky you are. Were you able to sneak past your parents when you stole some cookies from the cookie jar to?

      Assuming that you are actually an empath and not some wannabe case coming here as a 'dirty little secret' you seem like someone who wants to be something they aren't. Why are you trying to portray something you aren't?

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    12. Please tell me how speeding constitutes antisocial behavior. I'm listening.

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    13. Andy, stop trying to skip the question i just asked you. Why are you trying to portray something you aren't?

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    14. I wish you were competent, Misanthrope. It's always good to be torn down by someone with cunning and intelligence. Sometimes I'm tempted to deconstruct my arguments myself! I would do a much better job at it than someone like you.

      Jessi certainly tries, but she's so stubborn that she must always refer to the past rather than try to form an argument in the present. Once she's decided something, that's it. If she were able to let go of her own preconceptions, just for a moment, she might be able to come at me from a different angle and surprise me.

      While she claims not to listen to or understand anything we say, my only hope is that if she finds herself in a situation where she must decide between hurting someone in a socially acceptable manner, or helping someone in a socially unacceptable manner, she'll at least consider the latter. We'll make a better person of you Jessi, even if you refuse to understand it or admit it. When your monster peeks her head out, maybe you will recognize who and what she is.

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    15. Misanthrope, why don't you be a little bit more specific? Tell me what I'm trying to be, why you think I'm trying to portray myself that way, and how exactly I am failing to do so.

      I can get inside peoples' heads well enough, but your statements amount to little more than childish insults. If you have a point, I'm still waiting for you to make it.

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    16. "I can get inside peoples' heads well enough"

      You contradict yourself yet again, and I don't think you even know it. You are a uber empath who speaks of cunning and getting inside of people's heads. Sounds like manipulation to me.

      'Tell me what I'm trying to be, why you think I'm trying to portray myself that way, and how exactly I am failing to do so'

      So why are you trying to be something you aren't? If you need some more specific details, than look at the comments above.

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    17. "Please tell me how speeding constitutes antisocial behavior. I'm listening."

      You place in danger the security of other people, for example. There can be discussions on the best/save/most fair/ecological speed limits, but you live in a society with rules that can be improved but that has some cosensual rules and you don't have especial rights above the others.

      Jessi

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    18. It is not a question of morality but of the rights of the individuals.

      Wrong yet again Messi. Rights don't exist, per se. Sounds nice in theory, but that isn't how it works in reality. In practice, individuals have no more rights than those that are given to them by the powerful and the strong make rights for themselves, so to speak.

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    19. I suppose I can support this with a specific example. The other day, the brother-in-law of one of my friends was hanging out with our group. We were chatting for quite a while, and multiple people remarked that we seemed like brothers that were separated from birth. I don't really know much about him, but I'm able to quickly and completely build a rapport with people.

      I didn't manipulate anyone. Making friends, or at least building an illusion of friendship is almost always beneficial. I can relate to anyone and everyone, provided they aren't completely antagonistic like you and Jessi.

      People that are antagonistic towards me are toys. I will play with you, but I promise I won't break you. Nobody likes playing with broken toys.

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    20. "I didn't manipulate anyone. Making friends, or at least building an illusion of friendship"

      Haha this making me laugh. You don't manipulate people yet you try to build and illusion of friendship. An illusion is not real, and it is a form of manipulation, since the only purpose of creating an illusion would be to deceive and move someone to your will. Please tell me you are not being serious right now.

      "People that are antagonistic towards me are toys. I will play with you, but I promise I won't break you."

      Between this statement and the constant references to intelligence I can tell you have low self-esteem.

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    21. hey andy i think you are badass. you run lots of red lights.

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    22. I don't run red lights, that's stupid and dangerous. I drive fast because I'm confident I can do it safely and without getting caught (so far).

      I'll admit, Misanthrope, that if English is not your primary language then I may have misjudged your intelligence. Still, you fail to say anything interesting or worthwhile. Antagonism for its own sake is very boring, isn't it? Maybe you're a teen or something. Why don't you go ask your mom for a handjob, it might help you calm down.

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    23. Andy you need to stop avoiding the question. You are trying to avoid the question by defending yourself and you also posted that crap asking me to break the question into more specific tidbits for you acting as if you didnt understand what i was asking. It is a simple question that you known how to answer and requires no firther dissection.

      Why are you trying to portray yourself as something you are not?

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    24. Birdick, "In practice, individuals have no more rights than those that are given to them by the powerful and the strong make rights for themselves, so to speak."

      The individuals have equal rights, another thing is that the powerful and strong decide they have more and try to take them away from the others.

      Jessi

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    25. So, you are basically agreeing with Birdick. Or am I misunderstanding something?

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    26. "but I promise I won't break you. Nobody likes playing with broken toys."

      That's why sociopaths discard them at that point...

      Jessi

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    27. andy is just a wannabe sociopath

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    28. @Misanthrope "Haha this making me laugh. You don't manipulate people yet you try to build and illusion of friendship"

      Glad you see how off they are with their logic. Maybe you are not that bad...

      Jessi

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    29. Andy, this sentence of Misanthrope "You contradict yourself yet again, and I don't think you even know it." summarizes what I see here in 90% of the speech most of you expose (I take out Birdick from the group, I disagree with him but respect that he doesn't insult logic). So it is not a preconception from the past, I refresh it everyday, I just don't see the point of discussing them, so I tiptoe on most of them.

      Jessi

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    30. Bessi, rights are a social fiction, like money, power and morality. They don’t exist unless we all say they do and act accordingly. Pull out your history books or read some news websites and try to see past your ideological blinders while doing so. Take notice of events as they actually occurred and ignore what you think should have happened. My point should then become clear. There is a world of difference between what should happen and what actually does happen.

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    31. "So, you are basically agreeing with Birdick. Or am I misunderstanding something?"

      He thinks rights does not exist, I think they do and we all have the same. That is the "incurable" side of the sociopaths, even if they are shown they are not better than the rest and lose their sense of grandiosity, even if someone helps them improve their twisted logic which might be a mixture of being too self-centered and too ignorant, even if all that is solved, they will still don't respect others, like any average asshole (also an empathic one) does.


      Jessi

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    32. Nessi, think of it this way. Random person X can defy your supposed “right” to exist any time they like. What Mrs. X cannot do, however, is defy gravity. Can you see the difference between rights and gravity?

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    33. Birdick, rights are the result of an animal especie with consciousness, which is able to look farther than which tasteful prey he is going to catch today. An especie who is able of observing and understanding the world in ways that the beasts that follow the law of the stronger you praise will never be able to apprehend.

      Jessi

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    34. Jessi James, can you see the difference between rights and gravity?

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    35. "Andy, this sentence of Misanthrope "You contradict yourself yet again, and I don't think you even know it." summarizes what I see here in 90% of the speech most of you expose "

      Jessi sees it also. I bet if I told you how transparent you were you would give me another made up story of how charming you are, and than when I call you out on it you will say that you weren't trying to be charming at all, that you don't have it in you because you are such a nice person(who deliberately violates the speed limit and deludes himself into thinking he is clever).

      I am still waiting for you to answer the question. Why are you trying to be something you aren't?

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    36. Rights and gravity. They occupy different branches of philosophy.

      Jessi

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    37. @Misanthrope, Andy is so contradictory that it is difficult to know when, and I am sure he does sometimes, says something that is what he really thinks. But one of the multiple possibilities, that he has expressed himself too, is that he is gotten so used at manipulating, cunning, creating false illusions, that he doesn't even know who he really is.

      Jessi

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    38. So, Birdick, that is the origin of your nihilism? You come to this world, they show you a couple of formulas discovered by others and you say: 'waw! I want everything to be as concise as this and if it is not it's bullshit'?

      Jessi

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    39. I like to come here to talk about ideas, which is very difficult when everything devolves into personal attacks. I thought it would add something to my posts if I put in some of my personal experiences. I see now that was unwise. Why is it that you only ever want to talk about people, and not ideas?

      It's very frustrating to have such a different worldview from you people. I expect that people should be capable of change, because I am. You insist that nobody is capable of change, because you are not. You'll no longer have a name to distract you from my comments, should I decide to make any more.

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    40. Andy got angry....

      Jessi

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    41. " Why is it that you only ever want to talk about people, and not ideas?"

      I just wanted you to answer one question about yourself, which you unskillfully avoided and additionally made yourself look worse by contradicting yourself even more. You should have answered the question dude.

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    42. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    43. Jessi the Body Ventura, I'll answer your question about the origin of my nihilism if you answer my question. Can you acknowledge the difference between rights and gravity? If you allow yourself to go there, you may find something far more liberating at the end. The truth shall set you free.

      I'm an avid reader, a lover of books and of knowledge. But there is a world of difference, a universe of difference, between what books and philosophy say should happen, and what actually does happen, day in and day out. I don't hate to break it to ya, but reality doesn't give one flying fuck about your shoulds and shouldnts.

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    44. Haha Andy reminds me of that transgendered prostitute dave who claimed to be an aesexual sociopath who conned people out of money by having sex with them.

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    45. Daniel birdick has no idea what he is talking about....

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    46. Why the ad hominem attacks on Andy? Overkill...

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    47. @Misanthrope
      I think it would be helpful if you specified what andy is trying to be. We all know that he is an overweight nerd with low self esteem who was bullied in school and never got over it. He has certain sociopathic traits and flips back and forth between stating/implying he is a socio and isn't.

      He has also steadily changed the flavor and content of his posts and the persona he is displaying for us, likely because he wants to fit in with Mach, who he appears to admire at least somewhat.

      However, I see very little overall contradiction in him. He has remained essentially true to his core persona since he started posting and has yet to surprise me.

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    48. Birdick, can you acknowledge the similarities between rights and gravity? If you allow yourself to go there, you may find something far more liberating at the end. The truth shall set you free.
      “But there is a world of difference, a universe of difference, between what books and philosophy say should happen”

      This is the worse answer you have given me so far. So you are nihilist because you consider books to say what it should happen? What kind of books do you read? Science-fiction?

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    49. "Andy reminds me of that [...]"

      Really, people (in general, because these type of sentences are common here), you should be aware of your companies. You are meeting very strange people and I wonder how they describe you too.

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    50. Alright Anserine (aka Brainless Jess), you win. I cannot possibly outwit someone who is as convincingly witless as you present yourself here.

      It's a hollow victory though. You were fooled by someone you claim is a sociopath. You will be fooled again. You are not strong or clever. You are weak. You aren't a survivor of a sociopath; you are just another victim of your own self deception. You had to label him a sociopath because you can't bare to face the fact that in reality, you are not what you think you are.

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    51. @Khan, “However, I see very little overall contradiction in him.”

      He boasts on how prosocial he is, repeats as a filler “I am harmless” but at the same time when accused of being a pansy he needs to prove how he is not following the law but too smart to be caught, or states how nice he is too others by faking a friendship. Maybe he thinks he is doing a good job by not being a criminal considering he sees people as garbage, so he pats himself for it, but he still has a screwed logic when he talks about it.

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    52. Birdick, you have no argumentations left?

      The obsession here with "fooling" reminds me of those gags they place on the plane where people are fooled. Do you see those people as weak or stupid? I approached a person with niceness and trust, and the person chose to lie to me. There is nothing stupid or weak in doing so, nor anything clever in faking a self you are not. I labeled him as socipath because he showed the socipath's characteristic behaviours. It's just the way it is.

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    53. Have you ever considered that you are so annoying you could drive an empath to behave like a sociopath?

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    54. anon, in my real life I don't interact with people I don't like, which I believe to be good for both sides. You are free not to read me if you find me annoying, I am not "driving you" anywhere you don't choose to go.

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    55. BJ, rational arguments are for grownups. And no, he probably wasn't a sociopath. You were just a fool. You have difficulty accepting that huh? Is it because you think you're special? Do you really think you are smart and that the only possible explanation for your being duped by your boyfriend is that he is in fact a fiendish sociopath? You aren't special. You are just another faceless, run of the mill victim seeking to blame a personality disorder instead of taking responsibility for your life.

      I bet he was in some way your first, wasn't he?

      Btw, have checked out Love Fraud? That website sounds right up your alley.

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    56. "rational arguments are for grownups"

      uuuh...

      "And no, he probably wasn't a sociopath. You were just a fool. You have difficulty accepting that huh?"

      As I said, to fool someone who is willing to trust and be nice is easy. The person who fools doesn't need to be a sociopath, obviously. But in this particular case, he, who was never my boyfriend, is not just somebody who fools, he has also the other sociopath traits, and that's why I am convinced he is one. Why is it that difficult for you to accept that? A priori I don't think that being fooled by a sociopath or a non sociopath makes anyone more or less special or more or less stupid.

      In some way he was my first, yes, he was my first sociopath ;)

      Btw, have checked out Love Fraud?

      Yes, I have. It is a good page for socipath awareness, but the comments are more like some in the line of post-traumatic group therapy.

      I understand that you don't believe in "sociopaths" as most times are portrayed here, like almost a different especie. So maybe from that it comes your reservation at labeling someone as a "socipath". But there has been a consensus about clusters of symptoms and a common language for labeling them. As such I use it.


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    57. @Birdick, you ask me to think about rights and gravity today, I ask you to think about rights and gravity in the Paleolithic. You don’t seem to understand that knowledge comes from the study of general and fundamental problems. Those problems can be divided, studied independently; there might be apparent bigger advances in some fields, but that doesn’t diminish the importance of the unanswered questions. You have the cognitive bias of thinking that the fields of expertise where some answer have been formulated and validated are more important that the answers you ignore. Even if those validated answers carry information that has a minor effect in your existence. Congratulations, you can take a plane, get a heart bypass and whatsapp your friends, but you still have no fucking clue about what life is for, it is not surprising that you feel like a king of reason and understanding. You have no clue about almost anything and the little knowledge you have is because other people found it, you are definitely the greatest. It is normal that you treat others with little respect, you worth so much more. "Rational arguments are for grownups" yes, and maybe you will never reach that point.

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    58. Oh and btw, I'm guessing that 5:49AM wasn't you BJ. Or if it was you, then it took you long enough to get to the "other ways of knowing" gambit.

      But it's another red herring in any event and thus unimportant. What is important is, do you have Asperger's? This might explain why you are convinced your boyfriend is a sociopath when in fact, you may have just missed signals that would be obvious to others. It would also explain your inability to appreciate analogies and metaphors, your tendency to take everything literally, your blindness to nuance, your clear lack of life experience and imagination, your intractable black and white thinking, etc.

      Delete
    59. I eat asparagus, not sure if it counts... And now, something relevant to say?

      Delete
    60. Google Asperger's BJ. It might turn out to be enlightening for you.

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    61. I use and appreciate analogies and metaphors when there is a good understanding with someone. Unfortunately I have seen too many times here how analogies and metaphors serve to be ambiguous and to divert the discussion point.

      5:49 was me, so please explain in a concise and explicit way the "other ways of knowing" gambit. With some people you have to go down to the literally level.

      I am not going to discuss with you if that guy was a sociopath or not, you don't know him, I know him. And though it appears to you very unlikely that he had the sociopath's characteristics, he had them.

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    62. Nope. You have to forge your own path to understanding. And just in case that wasn't clear, doing your own answer finding will help you internalize those answers better than me giving you more debating points to totally miss. Google "other ways of knowing" and find out for yourself. Also Google Asperger's.

      And yes, the only thing interesting you have left to say is why you think your boyfriend was a sociopath. What were his exact behaviors? Spell it out, why don't ya. Unless of course, deep down you're afraid that I may be right about your misunderstanding...

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    63. Birdick, I am not going to give details about the guy, but when I suspected he could be one I checked his past. Reached to one of his ex and verified some professional information he had given. He is a clear case.

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    64. If you think I was talking about "other ways of knowing" read it again.

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    65. Do you see what I mean BJ? I have to spell it out for you because you take everything very literally. No, I am not asking for his name, address, country of origin, etc. It is possible for you tell the story and include specific behaviors which lead you to believe he was a sociopath while simultaneously hiding all the relavant details of his legal identity. Then again, if I'm right, this may in fact not be possible for you.

      Let me take a further guess. Did you think he felt more for you than he really did? Did you tell yourself that he would pierce your bubble of isolation (metaphor) only to find out that he didn't really give a damn about you? Or you here trying to figure out how you could have been so wrong about him and jumping to the conclusion that he must have been a sociopath rather than looking at the possibility that you are not as smart or as insightful as you think you are?

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    66. You've done a Google search. Good. Now look at that phrase on a site like Rational Wiki, etc. Then stop for a moment and think about why I would equate your comments at 5:49AM with the "other ways of knowing" argument.

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    67. He was a sociopath by the book. Once I suspected it, I took the the time to investigate him and I clicked them all. Google for the specific behaviour of a sociopath if you don't know about them.

      "Did you think he felt more for you than he really did?"

      He pretended to feel something for me. It is not about "I think he felt" people communicate these things.

      "Did you tell yourself that he would pierce your bubble of isolation (metaphor) only to find out that he didn't really give a damn about you?"

      No, because that is not my character. I don't search for anyone to pierce any bubble of isolation, I reach to people I like. He didn't give a damn about me, of course.

      "Or you here trying to figure out how you could have been so wrong about him"

      I am going to begin to think that you are too stupid to understand it. I was not wrong about him. He pretended to be someone he was not. He didn't just pretended to feel something for me. He played the role of a guy he was not. And knowing me a little, you should be able to have a glimpse at which behaviour someone should adopt to make me believe he is my soul-mate.

      The only think I felt is that he used too many cliches and that made me suspect from the beginning something could be off.

      "why I would equate your comments at 5:49AM with the "other ways of knowing" argument."

      Because you mix up what you ignore with "other ways of knowing". So while I talk about philosophy in the broad-spectrum you think about esoterics.






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    68. To be more specific, he miserably failed the "I am just like you" phase.

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    69. Time for a little "tough love" BJ.

      Your would be soul mate isn’t the source of your pain. He’s not responsible for your heartbreak. I know you want to believe that. You cling to it like a fundamentalist clings to her dogma for dear life. And you remain here, commenting at this website, with the hope of bolstering your rationalization of his lack of feelings for you. You have a need to prove your superiority over your would be boyfriend and over all the other people in your life that didn’t and don’t give a damn about you. In fact, I bet there were a series of people who one by one proved that they didn’t care about you. I bet you keep wondering why you end up on the losing end, don’t you? And the more rejection you feel, the more you arm yourself with your faux righteousness and delusions of strength.

      You wanted it. You earned it. You need to be rejected, perhaps even emotionally abused. Being the victim allows you to maintain your logic proof beliefs about you being the reasonable, good hearted innocent while he and everyone else who doesn’t fit neatly into your tiny little conceptual boxes are bad, wicked, sociopaths. It couldn’t possibly be that you’re rigid, frigid, dull, and unattractive, could it? No, it had to be because he is an evil sociopath and you his unsuspecting victim. Of course he wasn't just like you! You are a loser, by your own choice.

      You say you don’t want children and maybe that’s partly true. The other part is that you don’t want kids because no one wants to have kids with you. You have to sex first and… well… I’m guessing you don’t get many takers, do you?

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    70. Hey Birdick, you've got me readin rationalwiki and I've come across the Barnum effect. It makes use of the natural tendency of people to assign detail and specific meaning to generalized statements. When I look at most personality disorders, this kicks in pretty fiercely.

      Does that make me totally fucked up, does it make psychiatric diagnoses total bullshit, or both?

      Delete
    71. “Your would be soul mate isn’t the source of your pain.”

      Yes, he is.

      “He’s not responsible for your heartbreak.”

      No, he is not.

      Heartbreak is something else, in my opinion. He is responsible for the fraud. He is responsible of the pain related to the fraud. Heartbreak is when you love someone and the person doesn’t love you back or similar, which I would definitely not apply it here.

      “the hope of bolstering your rationalization of his lack of feelings for you”

      I see you still don’t get it. If I love someone I care if the person has feelings for me, but even if he is a loving person and does not have feelings for me I don’t rationalize his lack of feelings for me. Some people love us and some don’t, that’s all, the same phenomena happens with me towards other people. That’s life. I can assume not to love and not to be loved. And I don’t relate anybody’s worth to the fact a concrete person loves them or not. I haven’t loved people that were really worthy, I just didn’t feel love, and I don’t think they should feel inferior in any sense. I apply the same thing towards myself.

      “In fact, I bet there were a series of people who one by one proved that they didn’t care about you. I bet you keep wondering why you end up on the losing end, don’t you? And the more rejection you feel, the more you arm yourself with your faux righteousness and delusions of strength.”

      You will thoroughly lose that bet. But this is how you see people that are righteous? That the rejection brought them to the righteous side? Why would that be? My experience showed me completely the opposite, people that were rejected either grow in hate and developed a rage that substitutes real strength or try to be superficially compliant with others wishes in order not to be rejected anymore, but they don’t tend to be righteous at all in either case.

      “You wanted it. You earned it. You need to be rejected, perhaps even emotionally abused. Being the victim allows you to maintain your logic proof beliefs about you being the reasonable”

      Your logic is so sick. To be rejected in love proves nothing, neither about you, nor about the other one. And to be a victim of an emotional abuse or of whatever other type of abuse, proves only ONE thing: that there was a villain who executed an evil action. The action just defines the one who perpetrates it. A person is neither better nor worse for being a victim of any abuse.

      “It couldn’t possibly be that you’re rigid, frigid, dull, and unattractive, could it?”
      “You say you don’t want children and maybe that’s partly true. The other part is that you don’t want kids because no one wants to have kids with you.”


      I wonder if you write this to know if I am nice-looking. Because frankly, I am a woman, there is nothing easier for a woman than to get laid, and even to have kids. I can’t believe you don’t know plenty of rigid, frigid, dull and unattractive women who became mothers.

      Delete
    72. Hmmm. Interesting. Your last set of comments actually wasn’t too bad BJ. Except for the part about your would be boyfriend being responsible for your pain.

      That’s why I keep interacting with you. Every so often you’ll say something that doesn’t make you sound completely immune to both reason and nuance. Even the “other ways of knowing” rhetoric wasn’t that bad. Just common and short sighted.

      Ok then, carry on.

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    73. Birdick and Jessi would make a cute couple and Andy has avoidant personality disorder, I think.

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    74. "Your last set of comments actually wasn’t too bad BJ"

      I can't say the same about your answer about the origin of your nihilism but probably there is none besides a generalized lack on interest.

      "Except for the part about your would be boyfriend being responsible for your pain. "

      Of course he is responsible of my pain, and for making me lose my time too. So, according to you why is he not responsible for my pain?



      Delete
    75. I’m not sincerely reasoning with you at this point. The comments prior to the 9:25 ones were me shotgunning, throwing shit at a wall and seeing if anything stuck. (I really didn’t share anything about the origin of my nihilism.) You deflected well. Although you do have some interesting things to say from time to time, there’s an impenetrable wall that blocks your comprehension. It’s either a developmental issue (hence my theory that you may be on the autism spectrum) or your ideology thoroughly clouds your mind. Or both. Either way, you’ve taught me that honest debate with you is a waste of time.

      But to be fair, I don’t care to go there anymore either, with you or anybody else here. Now if you’d caught me a few years ago, I would have debated you, point by point by point. Read some of the older threads. But that kind of thing just isn’t interesting to me anymore.

      The personal is more interesting. Potentially anyway. Who is Jessi really? Again, I’m not literally asking for your name or any other specific identifying information. I’m more interested in your story, beyond the “sociopath hurt me” one.

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    76. Well, then I guess we have no common interests. You think an honest debate with me is a waste of time and I am not interested in talking about myself. Not even to the point of making a deal.

      Maybe you find funny your shotgunning, but I never saw the point of them. My sociopath also used to do some mild ones and I thought of them as a very cheap method to get information. Till I saw his darker side I also thought he had some developmental issue in the autism spectrum. I thought I could help him with it.

      Delete
  11. No mere animal can raise as high or fall as low as a human being.
    Therefore I say that human beings are NOT animals!
    Didn't M.E. say that one day Mormons would be allowed to make planets?
    I don't know why this prividlege should be accorded to only Mormons and
    to white male Mormons to boot. It says in scripture: "Ye are Gods, you
    children of the most high." Do I have to segmentize myself into one
    exclusive religious denomonition to be accorded this prividlege?
    I live outside the N.Y.C. metropolitan area. I'm coming in contact with
    more and more Mormon missionaries. It appears that the Morman Church is
    attempting to shake it's "White Bread" image. The area I live in is
    mostly Hispanic. My neighbours across the street are Latino/Mormon.
    It's amusing to see these "pristine" white teenagers coming down to
    help move tree limbs whenever big storm hits. Mormons collect everyone's
    names and store them in a big underground volt in Utah. Do they think
    they are performing some service? I heard that blacks were only allowed
    to become Pastors in 1979. Donnie and Marie Osmond went on T.V. and
    said the L.D.S. church was NOT racist. The Church leader then claimed
    to have a revelation from God and let blacks become pastors. Can blacks
    make planets? Can black men married to white women make planets?
    The Mormons claim that Christ preached to the Indians in America. A blond
    haired blue-eyed Christ. They could have a point.
    In the book "Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee," some Indians went into the
    forest, spoke with Christ and were instructed on how to perform a "Ghost
    Dance." If they did this Ghost Dance all their dead would be returned to
    them, the whites would vanish and the Happy Hunting Ground would return.
    When the soldiers began firing on them at the Pine Ridge reservation
    the priests said, "Keep doing the Ghost Dance! The bullets will go right
    through you!"





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  12. you mean she cannot understand why it is you don't think in advance before you say something or edit yourself so you don't hurt her feelings, feelings you know she has (because you can read her and you are more intelligent than a chimp)?

    That's not animal nature, Ukan. That's being irresponsible and purposefully careless with you belongings.

    You say those things to hurt her for some result. There isn't anything confusing about going after what you want, which is getting a rise out of her.

    After all this time she is confused about this? Really? Because if she is she's a fucking idiot.

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    Replies
    1. ^^that is supposed to be under ukan's post

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    2. Its funny you say she is part of my belongings, implying that I own her. You shouldnt be telling me how to handle my posessions. I handle them the way i want to. If i want to throw my chair I do it. Its not irresponsible if I rip a page out of an old book because it is my property.


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    3. well i guess if you break your favorite chair, you wont have a comfy seat anymore.


      No, you own her. This blog tells all over the place how a sociopath owns their people.

      But now that I think about it, do you honestly think that sociopaths are the only people who view their people as "their people"

      When you break your things you chance losing them and that's irresponsible to your self. You want to shit all over your things then it must mean you don't feel you ought to have them. I'm not even going to say what i think that is, but i'm sure you get the gist.

      I will tell you anything however i like. -You should take care of your possessions. You think people are so replaceable, and they are, but no one person is the same. You will miss her when she is gone. Just who the fuck else do you think would put up with you ?

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    4. When Kany first came on, I hated her but I grew to like her a great deal. I hope Ukan treats her right because he is not gonna get another quality person that fast.

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    5. word to ya mutha monica

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    6. I'm not sure that Ukan is interested in the "quality" of a person and therefore doesn't agonize about the loss because as the saying goes, there's a sucker born every minute. If his needs are met, they are interchangeable, minus the labor costs of socializing/abusing them to suit your ends...

      Unless Ukan suffers some sort of personal crisis that forces him to face the downside of his existential aloneness, he is unlikely to consider that he should treat the people in his life differently. Why should he? It seems to be working for him.

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    7. I like the people I have chosen to surround myself with, that's why I've surrounded myself with them. But one of my favorites just moved quite a distance and all that matters to me is that I get their hours at my work now.

      People are replaceable, all people. Some are more entertaining then others but I have yet to meet someone that I feel I would morn their loss.

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    8. "I have yet to meet someone that I feel I would morn their loss"

      It sounds sad to me, but you make it sound as something to be almost proud of. Would you like that to ever happen?

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    9. I think you have yet to meet someone you felt was deserving and unflinching enough to risk full revelation of who you are. Why risk being vulnerable like that if a person's judgment or fear will lead to abandonment?
      What would be interesting is if you met someone who looked into your soul and didn't walk away, but saw the latent beauty. Game changing? Maybe.

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    10. I didnt know a sociopath would fear abandonment ever, even if that would occur. I thought they would have regret abt losing a person like that but move on to another they could seduce and accept them,

      One would have to b very careful not to reveal their fear. They wouldd need to be as unflinching as they are, they would need to b teflon and let the shit roll off their back, and they, themselves would need to be strong enough to risk being abandooned. Once a person devotes themself they have to be the kindvto say oh well cest la vie .

      They would have to have similar ambivalence about forming attachments. What kind of sociopath would b remotely interested in having a relationship with a person ambivalent about whether they took off? Doesnt their narcicism require unflinching attachment to them?

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    11. *Another who they would seduce eho would be just as accepting, rather

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    12. When I suggest the motivation of avoiding abandonment, I'm not implying that emotional neediness surrounds a sociopathic aversion to losing a chosen attachment. Abandonment fears in pop culture tend to be associated with borderline/histrionic individuals who are motivated similarly to the character Glenn Close plays in Fatal Attraction. In that framework, the increasingly psychotic efforts to avoid abandonment seem to be rooted in childhood loss and emotional neediness. That's not what I am talking about here.

      My sense is that sociopaths have a "colder" aversion to abandonment. Abandonment in its most basic terms is the experience of being the one left holding the bag/the one who cared more. Sociopaths are able to extract resources and then efficiently extract themselves from relationships once the effort of resource extraction exceeds the value of a resource. They always have the upper hand.

      I highly doubt that a sociopath sits around and cries about why they got dumped. Instead, I think that they resent the fact they had personal resources still invested that were instrumental in some sort of attachment relationship that effectively are lost through the experience of abandonment. Abandonment = losing. Abandoning = winning.

      The more a sociopath allows themselves to invest personal resources (time, reputation, money) in an attachment relationship, the more they stand to lose if the other party walks out. Perhaps this is the main reason intimacy is so threatening and false selves are how the sociopath typically relates to the world. The ultimate "resource" anyone has is their own will, for it is the seat of power and meaningful action within the individual. If an individual observes and rejects a sociopath, the experience is quite traumatic because the sociopath becomes the "played", rather than the "player". It's the ultimate insult.

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    13. Something like that happened to me with my ex. I was quite shocked when she left me and rather distressed at the destruction of a persona I had been building for 5 and a half years. It took me an entire two days to get over it, which is a long time for me. But I managed to use my "grief" to get a week off work and then get my parents to pay for me to come to India for a month with them so it worked out.

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    14. thank you for explaining that Machempath.

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    15. you are flaunting your ability to discard easily.

      you dont have a desire to get lost in someone? It is my fantasy to get swept up without thinking of losing.

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    16. i dont know how to do that. I feel i flirt with killing my heart.

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    17. I don't know how to get swept up in someone, that sort of emotion is foreign to me. I've observed it in others but it isn't present in myself

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  13. Is this Misanthrope the old Misanthrope?

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  14. Anon 3:33AM.

    A Socio is mainly selfish. He comes first so I doubt that any middle ground can be established.

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  15. I told my friend to come here and learn about sociopathy and she heard "YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT THAT MEANS SHUT UP " and she got scared and logged off. And then the other day i got the beaver narrator voice guy from a previous post.

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