Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Problems and (no?) solutions

A certain type of reader of this blog would find this comment to be incomprehensible, stupid, disingenuous, short-sighted, illogical, immoral, deceitful, offensive, over-simplifying, and dozens of other terrible things:

We do not always have a choice as to whom is part if our life. If a close relative or a co-worker is a sociopath, we may need to make room for them in our life. My point is that if there was better awareness and acceptance of sociopathy, there could be better harmony and less pain, destruction, awkwardness, hiding and running away for both sociopaths and empaths. 

Our society has learned to accept, even embrace most genetic, behavioral, physical and mental differences - people deformed by polio, people of different races, creed and religion, homosexuals, bisexual, transexual, people with down syndrome, autism, amputees, blind people, deaf people, etc. Are the sociopaths so different that they should never be accepted? Is our society too rigid to make allowance for them? 

The trouble is that sociopaths intentionally hurt people, whereas all of these other types don't, right? Or is it that those other types might intentionally hurt people, but they don't do it for sport? Or is it that those other types might intentionally hurt people, but sociopaths are so much more effective at it? Or is it that those other types might intentionally hurt people, but the types of hurts that sociopaths do are worse? Or is it because those other types are not categorically defined by their propensity to hurt people, but sociopaths are?

It's kind of convenient to say that sociopaths do terrible things and aren't at all treatable (where is the proof?). It basically allows society to wash its hands of this particular subset of people while providing a palatable scapegoat for all of the nastiness that normal people get up to but can't quite face in each other (or themselves). The tricky part is that a lot of us live in civilized cultures where for most people with psychological issues like this we try to treat them or accommodate them. But maybe you argue that sociopaths don't need to be accommodated because they thrive, you say. But what happens when you identify them and then take away their ability to thrive? If they are outted are they thriving? If they are imprisoned, are they thriving? Once you take away their ability to thrive, then do you treat them? Accommodate them? Never, because they don't deserve better? They don't seem like victims to me. If anything they are always victimizers. But what happens if one or more of them truly become victims? Collateral damage in the service of a greater cause?

Maybe even if they eventually become victim they still deserve what they get because they decide to be that way? They decided to be born with the genetic predisposition and decided to be raised in a particular way to cause them to be a sociopath? But they would chosen to be that way if they were given the choice over again? Would you choose to be who you are if given choice? How about they didn't choose to be the way they are, but they do choose to do the things they do? As much as we all "decide" to "do" the things that we do? So they should be punished just like an empath would for the same crimes? More harshly? Less harshly?

I'm being sincere. Let's hear people's best solutions, not just the first step, but all the steps that follow until we've reached some sort of equilibrium. (Or ignore the real issues and start the personal attacks, as some of you like to handle these types of posts, even though there is nothing at all personal about this post).

[Also, we all agree that there should still be leper colonies, right? Kind of their fault getting leprosy in the first place, and if any of you got leprosy you would voluntarily ship yourself off to some dungeon to rot so as not to risk infecting anyone else? I think that's how Jesus would us to handle it?]