Monday, May 12, 2014

Disgust (part 2)

Morality has always been a bit of a puzzle to me -- puzzling to figure out how I feel about it and puzzling to figure out how other people feel about it and why it has the power to get them to act the way that they do. One thing that I find so fascinating about empaths is how they will often justify what would otherwise be abhorrent behavior because they feel a particular way about something. Like this recent comment:

I believe that most people are good, but at the same time I am deeply and profoundly sickened by the fact that any cruelty that a normal person can justify to their conscience is acceptable to themselves and society. If you feel disgust towards something, you are justified in speaking against it and calling for its destruction, whether it be a person, animal, or object.

To illustrate how strongly disgust might motivate people to act out against the object of disgust, the other main story the This American Life episode from last post tells the story of a man called Gene who lived in a small town. After his fiancĂ©e was brutally murdered by her ex-husband, he seeks solace from her family, only to have them turn against him. Turns out they Googled him and discovered all sorts of disturbing things:

Someone with the user name Calvin asked, does anyone know the last name of Gene, the boyfriend hairstylist? I'm worried, because Gene is making his way down to Florida to meet with Paulette's side of the family. I'm truly fearful that this is not the end of this tragedy.

Someone named Mouth then said, keep that creep away from the children. He is trouble. What would you do if the perv was chasing your grandchildren? Calvin thanked Mouth for the warning.

And then someone who called himself Bugs added, Gene is not a nice guy. He cheated on his first wife. I know Paulette and Gene well, and they were both sickening out in public, kissing all over one another.

It continued on like this. People accused him of every kind of character flaw you could imagine, of getting fired from every job he had, of being a liar, a drunk.

Once the gossip ball started rolling, it didn't stop. People stopped talking to him in his town. He got fired from his job because no one wanted him to serve them. His life in the town was over, so he picked up and moved, but not before he contacted an enterprising lawyer. After over a year of legal battles, the source of the gossip was finally revealed: "they were all the same woman, a woman who had gone to the trouble of making multiple accounts and then having fake conversations between those accounts." Why would she go to all of this trouble? (This is where it becomes really crucial to listen to the show if you get a chance, they have a recording of this woman saying these things):

I don't like the way he looked at the younger girls in staff where we worked together [for three months]. Looking them up and down, lusty look. You know what I'm saying? There's a difference in looking, and there is a difference in (ELONGATING) "looooking."

He's the reason the woman's dead. He is the very reason that woman is dead. He knew how her (EMPHASIS) "husband" was. But yet, he kept doing what he was doing. He'd come in there with her on numerous times. Sit in the corner, and that woman couldn't even eat for him pawing at her, being gross. You know what I'm saying? You don't do stuff like that out in public, for God's sake. People went back and told the ex-husband to get the ex-husband riled up and disturbed enough about it to kill the woman.

And this exchange:

Interviewer: What business is it of yours, though? I mean, it seems like you're making a lot of assumptions.

Woman: Did you not understand or listen to what I said? He brought it upon himself in my opinion.

Interviewer: Are you proud of what you did?

Woman: [SCOFFS] Am I proud of what I did? I'm proud of standing up for what I believe in, for what I know. I'm proud of telling the truth.

Gene ended up getting a legal judgment against for for over $400,000, but he still hasn't seen a penny of it. The good news is that he was able to move back to his hometown -- people had heard about the trial and decided to stop treating him like human trash.

When the book first came out, I was a little surprised at the level of disgust that some people feel towards sociopaths. It wasn't anything as crazy as what people feel for pedophiles, maybe more like what people currently feel towards gay people -- the majority does not, but the ones that do feel pretty strongly about it. I understand why. It seems like an evolutionary advantage to a point, to have extreme group cohesion and oust anybody who doesn't play by the rules. But it has always been a blunt instrument. And the internet plays a funny role in the way people make these sorts of moral judgments:

You could tell somebody something and they'll kind of believe you. But if they see it in writing, they're going to believe it. Once you write it down, it's not gossip anymore. You know, that becomes truth for what people are concerned with.

36 comments:

  1. People = Sociopaths

    ReplyDelete
  2. It's just like the Phillip Seymour Hoffman movie "Doubt" which
    everyone should see.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ``The wind took them all over.``

      Delete
  3. Once you have targeted a person, it is very hard to "un-target" them. Especially if there has been buy-in from others. Empaths are especially good for this. They are like human echo chambers. And don't they love memes! But I recently learned that you can detoxify a situation. Maybe it is the ultimate challenge. It is very fulfilling. Too bad the wretch in this story did not figure that out. Or at the very least resist the urge to inject herself into the story.

    ReplyDelete
  4. People are not disgusted by 'sociopaths' as a category but by certain behaviors. Like this woman was disgusted by a man's womanizing and somehow found it her job to go after him. There is a good chance her father or one of her ex'es had the similar behavior and she had been disgusted by that behavior for a long time.

    Above and beyond morality there are certain behaviors that are shunned by the society in general, or particular groups, like women.

    ME seems particularly aligned with the group 'sociopaths' and is out to generate acceptance of this group by the general society based on the premise that soicopaths also do good things for the society, while accepting that occasionally they will also do something basically 'unacceptable' by the society. Unacceptable is that, UNACCEPTABLE. Who gives a damn you created 10,000 new jobs when you did something unacceptable. It's the definition of that UNACCEPTABLE that gets tricky. ME must so far not have hit the UNACCEPTABLE or must be not caught. Time will show how she'll develop. One thing for sure, she appears to identify more with sociopaths than women. She knew from the beginning of this blog that if she came out clean with her gender she would not have been taken as seriously. In those times where her gender was secret there would be over 400 posts, mostly coming from females who thought ME was a guy. They seem to have quited down once they also understood that ME was a she.

    Women could use the support of someone with ME's qualifications. I wonder if there is any area of society ME will eventually target for social improvement. Bisexuality has been one of her things she addressed occasionally. That could be closer to her heart than being a woman, and closer to her nature as a sociopath. I wish her luck in her search for service identity. It may be time to go for some niche.

    ReplyDelete
  5. My personal theory is that some sociopathic characters have very strong ties to morality (but they serve themselves as usual, of course); these folks love to get others "to taste their own medicine" so to speak, really enjoying things when say preachers get caught red handed doing smutty shite or when some pompous politician, after having told poor folks for years they should tighten their belts & live frugal, get caught up in scandals portraying them as greedy, amoral swine.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Sounds like Dr. Steve Best (Worst). I let his amoral shit go and go...threatening violence against people, cheating on zillions of women (somehow) at 60 years old, abusing people, making them do his dirty work for them so that he stays out of trouble, hackin in to peoples shit, but damn when I found out he kicks women's asses and breaks their bones I lost it. We all have our limits.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Bottom line. We're all responsible for our own behavior and actions. Sometimes "gossip" is true, and sometimes it isn't. People will eventually discover the "truth" for themselves (about themselves, about others). It's about self-responsibility/self-accountability. Sometimes you have to 'dig pretty deep', to get to the truth. But just because it's 'hidden', doesn't mean it can't/won't be uncovered. The truth usually comes out eventually. It has a strange way of showing itself. Wait long enough and you'll get to it.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Narcissistic individuals have a tough time separating their emotions from reality. Therefore- if they feel something it must be true. Perhaps this is why they feel justified in conducting a smear campaign against someone who "makes" then feel bad. The pattern is- pick a target who reminds you of a past hurt and then project all of your anger onto the target in one giant act of catharsis.
    This provides a huge sense of release and the narcissist feels better because in their internal reality, a score has been settled.

    Maddening... and unfortunately for people who've been the victim of a smear campaign- so twisted and intense that most people wouldn't suspect that it's the person spreading the misinformation that is truly the disordered one.

    This sort of thing happens to a lot of people- not just sociopaths. Anyone who "crosses" a narcissist (and by crosses it doesn't even have to be a deliberate betrayal- sometimes the target's mere existence is enough to trigger bad feelings in the narcissist because the grandiosity gap is triggered) is at risk. Very often, the person who is being targeted has no idea that there is even a problem with the relationship.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just read this. Well said !

      Delete
  9. "Impermanence is a principle of harmony.When we don't
    struggle against it, we are in harmony with reality." --Pema Chodron

    Ahhh, reality. not many folks are willing to face their own realities. They'd rather point
    the finger at another than examine their own life.

    ReplyDelete
  10. We're all flawed. All take responsibility for mine. You take responsibility for your's.

    ReplyDelete
  11. For something so foundational, morality can, strangely, be wilfully blind and intransigent. Almost a cop out at times, when truth (fact) and personal morals (of the moment) conflict, resulting in significant inconvenience. At that point, personal morals override truth - as long as you follow your moral values, the truth is secondary. Morals drive the person on, sometimes to the point of narrow fanaticism. Even when in enforcing their morals they behave unethically. You don't find that reaction with enforcing the truth.

    I suppose there is an ironic advantage from building a "prosthetic" moral compass - you control how it is built, what it is made with, and how it is used from a dispassionate distance.

    ReplyDelete
  12. a thought- in your book, ME, you discuss the art and pleasure of ruining people. Clearly that was what this woman had in mind. It's interesting to me that you are now taking the side of the victim. Is it possible that a growing sense of empathy is motivating you to examine the merits of undertaking an effort like this?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That might be an overextension. It could be that ME is simply balancing and diversifying her topics of discussion, and to reflect on them. Just because she talks about it, doesn't necessarily mean she accepts it on herself. Examination just means you are willing to look at it.

      Delete
    2. very true, Bob- that's why I asked her. I didn't want to make that assumption. I am sure she already considered the irony of posting from the victim's perspective- just wondered if she was identifying with the victim here.

      Delete
  13. Sometimes it makes sense to listen to emotion, and other times it doesn't.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I could be wrong. Maybe we should always be listening to emotion.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Anyways I'm glad that happiness is a choice now.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Poor geney. All that mob mentality that cost him his job, and leave town. Good to see he took legal action upon himself. So he likes the tits, and cheated on his first wife. Many people have committed adultery and are still contributing civil members of society. Then the family take it upon themselves and start believing unreliable sources on the internet.(defaming the man's character and name. In the name of disgust). Good ol' Google for ya. Gossip destroys like fire. Its not the flaws in people I have a problem with - we all falter - its the gossip that destroys. Not very fair, nor justified, and very low in my opinion. I hope that women got justice of some kind.
    Meat pie anyone? 6 are in the oven cooking and bubbling.. yumzy! Mammas on a roll.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Replies
    1. Yup. In cases like these, that twat of a women needs the law to punish her for her inhumane actions. She was the source for wrecking his reputation. I frown upon stuff like that.

      Delete
  18. The Jobs-movie is far better than good. Illuminating. And it puzzles me that some hollow individuals do not see themselves. Question: what would make the average psychopath/Scorpio fuming with uncontrollable, frenzied lava-rage? Answer: having somebody like themselves ring their doorbell and start "playing" them. Added question: AND EMPATHS ARE SUPPOSED TO REACT DIFFERENTLY, WITH GENTLE UNDERSTANDING..???

    ReplyDelete
  19. "Morality has always been a bit of a puzzle to me -- puzzling to figure out how I feel about it and puzzling to figure out how other people feel about it and why it has the power to get them to act the way that they do."

    A conscience really is a little voice inside your head telling you to do what you feel is right. People trust it and follow it because they derive their self-worth from it. Following your conscience makes you feel like a good person, and ignoring it makes you feel like a bad person. If you can convince people that you've done what you felt was right, they'll empathize with you, and any punishment you receive for wrongdoing will be lessened. They will look to their own conscience and feel understanding. It's a shared property that allows them to connect their goodness to yours.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Socios know wrong from right. That´s why they don´t end up in bedlam when dirt hits the fan, even though they have used super-glue to mount their curtains. Scorps perhaps could teach socios many things about morals? Like that they have a strong moral sense, it just affects them as individuals the same way it affects an alligator. They take full responsibility for their actions, it "was not somebody else that made them do it". They just see things from a 1% biker gang-perspective. They have morals: their morals. Psychos seem child-like in comparison..

      Delete
    2. Are you serious Erik? I always thought that was just a type of anthropromorphism? Are you saying the proverbial angel/demon on your shoulder is actually real, in a way? Aren't you over-embellishing? Or are you somehow being sarcastic?

      Delete
    3. I always figured a conscience was a form of doubt or other negative resistance that triggers when certain personalized values were violated. A more developed form of a self-protective instinct - an adaptation for modern humans as a group safety net. Something a lot more vague and basic?

      Now I'm left more perplexed. Some feedback would be appreciated by others to affirm, or disagree, with Erik's statement. Or at least, some sort of elaboration? I'm not sure how to process that.

      Delete
    4. A conscience must be something a person can converse with, though probably in an emotional language. Let's say a person observes or imagines some act. The conscience returns an output of 'good' or 'bad'. People trust their conscience as if it is an objective measure of morality. Because they derive their self-esteem from having a conscience, the conscience is believed to have innate qualities of goodness. Furthermore, a conscience is believed to be essential for goodness to exist within a person.

      So, lacking a conscience requires you to be a bad, immoral person. You cannot be good without a conscience. Period.

      Nevermind the fact that a conscienceless person can reach the logical conclusion that prosocial behavior is in many cases a more effective means of achieving one's ends. Because the action is born of pragmatism in the absence of conscience, even good actions are perceived as selfish and bad.

      Sound familiar?

      Delete
    5. It sounds like the criticism argued against "prosocial" sociopaths. That despite prosocial actions, the actions are not valid. It is also interesting when you noted it as being perceived as an objective measure of morality, in that it is an ironic facet - it is not objective, since morals are based on personal and societal values instead of observable fact. Because morality is not a fact, but a psychological construct made of perceptions.

      For example, the perception of a prosocial act being selfless is somehow important. It seems like an act of willful ignorance - to act selflessly is to selfishly follow your conscience. To fulfill a compulsion - your compulsion.

      Or at least that is what it looks like from the outside. It presents an odd paradox - is it "better" to have a conscience, yet hesitate and not do the "good act" out of reservation/reluctance, or not have a conscience, but to do the "good act" out of mutual benefit? Because it looks like if it is the former - if that is the consensus - then it seems like a double-standard, since no matter how potent a conscience, you still have not "done the good act". You have not "done good". And to say that all of those with a conscience do the good act (and therefore, the former choice is invalid) would be a falsehood, since plenty of people with a conscience do not do the good act. They may think of it, they may feel guilty or regret not doing it, but they still have not performed the action. As a benign example, how many people with consciences have never volunteered? Or as a more powerful example, how many people with consciences have allowed innocent people down the street remain homeless?

      Delete
    6. Clearly you understand what it means to have a conscience.

      This is applicable to the pedophilia example where the therapist was disgusted by the person who had pedophilic urges but didn't act on them.

      The fact that his conscience allowed him to desire sexual encounters with children and not be disgusted by them indicated to the therapist that he had a 'sick conscience', prompting her to be disgusted by him.

      We live in a world where people are not judged by their action or inaction, but rather their motivation for action or inaction. It doesn't matter what you do, all anybody cares about is why you do it. But anyways, I shamelessly lifted this from wikipedia, which illustrates why consciences suck.

      Jeremy Bentham noted that: "fanaticism never sleeps ... it is never stopped by conscience; for it has pressed conscience into its service." Hannah Arendt in her study of the "trial" of Adolf Eichmann in Jerusalem, notes that the accused, as with almost all his fellow Germans, had lost track of his conscience to the point where they hardly remembered it; this wasn't caused by familiarity with atrocities or by psychologically redirecting any resultant natural pity to themselves for having to bear such an unpleasant duty, so much as by the fact that anyone whose conscience did develop doubts could see no one who shared them: "Eichmann did not need to close his ears to the voice of conscience ... not because he had none, but because his conscience spoke with a "respectable voice", with the voice of the respectable society around him".

      Delete
    7. I do now, thank you for elaborating. The only question I have left on the subject is why it is so coveted. My guess would be because few people with consciences understand how and why it works (and doesn't work). It seems too unreliable, inflexible, and invalid to weigh decisions from.

      Delete
  20. So I found something interesting,

    "Is there a God beside me? Yea, there is no God; I know not any." -Jesus (Isaiah 44:8)

    Jesus is admitting there is "no one but me". Couldn't we all admit this?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Some folks disapprove of "emotional blackmailers" having done grand deeds (faked dying for others sins & then "posted the invoice") nobody asked for..

      Delete
  21. This freedom in employment makes you have a more relaxed and flexible outlook on life. The decisions are fluid and simple.jobs

    ReplyDelete
  22. Considering that overwhelming feeling/s lead to a lack of them, it drives people to do things they'd otherwise find repugnant. Such is the circle of empathy and limitless justifications.

    ReplyDelete

  23. How To Stop A Divorce And Save Your Marriage?(Dr.Brave).


    Hello to every one out here, am here to share the unexpected miracle that happened to me three days ago, My name is Jeffrey Dowling,i live in TEXAS,USA.and I`m happily married to a lovely and caring wife,with two kids A very big problem occurred in my family seven months ago,between me and my wife so terrible that she took the case to court for a divorce she said that she never wanted to stay with me again,and that she did not love me anymore So she packed out of my house and made me and my children passed through severe pain. I tried all my possible means to get her back,after much begging,but all to no avail and she confirmed it that she has made her decision,and she never wanted to see me again. So on one evening,as i was coming back from work,i met an old friend of mine who asked of my wife So i explained every thing to her,so she told me that the only way i can get my wife back,is to visit a spell caster,because it has really worked for her too So i never believed in spell,but i had no other choice,than to follow her advice. Then she gave me the email address of the spell caster whom she visited.(bravespellcaster@gmail.com}, So the next morning,i sent a mail to the address she gave to me,and the spell caster assured me that i will get my wife back the next day what an amazing statement!! I never believed,so he spoke with me,and told me everything that i need to do. Then the next morning, So surprisingly, my wife who did not call me for the past seven {7}months,gave me a call to inform me that she was coming back So Amazing!! So that was how she came back that same day,with lots of love and joy,and she apologized for her mistake,and for the pain she caused me and my children. Then from that day,our relationship was now stronger than how it were before,by the help of a spell caster . So, i will advice you out there to kindly email this wonderful man {bravespellcaster@gmail.com},i f you are in any condition like this,or you have any problem related to "bringing your ex back. So thanks to Dr Brave for bringing back my wife,and brought great joy to my family once again.{bravespellcaster@gmail.com}, Thanks..

    ReplyDelete

Comments on posts over 14 days are SPAM filtered and may not show up right away or at all.

Join Amazon Prime - Watch Over 40,000 Movies

.

Comments are unmoderated. Blog owner is not responsible for third party content. By leaving comments on the blog, commenters give license to the blog owner to reprint attributed comments in any form.