I enjoyed reading recent comments comparing/contrasting how sociopaths think/feel about what they do vs. empaths. Often people cite the sociopath's lack of guilt as a reason for thinking that they are inherently more dangerous than people who are capable of feeling guilt and empathy. The problem with that is that empaths seem perfectly capable of turning off their guilt and empathy when it doesn't suit them, e.g. slavery, Holocaust, any of the thousands of genocides, any of the millions of wars. And as one commenter put it:
I wonder though, now that you have learned that the perfectly normal person can in the proper circumstances not just do worse evil than the sociopath but ENJOY it and rationalize it as a MORAL victory, do you find that MORE horrifying? When I do something evil at least I know it is evil. I don't get emotional satisfaction out of it. It might give me a momentary intellectual thrill. The "normal" person though who has been given societal absolution for the evil? The get enjoyment out of it. They get excited. btw Anon. They=you. Yes you personally. You want to remove me personally from society because I MIGHT cause harm. I have in my lifetime saved well over 50+ lives. I do charity work. I am making the world a better place DESPITE the fact that I get Nothing out of it emotionally. I do it because I follow my moral code. If we were both put in a position where we were released from societal consequences for causing harm to others and told to kill a stranger (like in war) I would be LESS likely than you to do it. Think on that.
So the sociopath never receives the same sort of emotionally driven self-justification for doing bad things, just an intellectual thrill. But people seem to find that thrill more scary than the the ability to blindly follow someone to rape, kill, and maim in the name of some higher good.
The other thing that people find disturbing about the sociopath is that he does good things but not for the "right" reasons:
I do good things, I do them because they are right. I don't do it because it makes me feel good or because it makes me feel morally superior. I do it because I know what I am and I want to be something better.
I believe good and evil to be actions. Seriously, fuck all the moralizing crap, you are what you DO. You have time after time defended empaths who do evil or do nothing (in Tii's example) and reviled anyone who believes socio's are redeemable with an astounding lack of logic. I have no bones with holocaust deniers, to each their own own conspiracy theory. I subscribe to a few myself. I find them a good intellectual exercise. However, I have noticed a particularity about you that I need to address.
Another commenter makes a similar point:
I have witness a kid fall of a train platform, thank God for him it wasn't too fast. Every one around made a commotion and took out there phones and cameras. No one tried to help, even the mother just watched while screaming and crying desperately. Only one to act was yours truly, Mr Sociopath. I jumped down and pushed him back up, not because I was happy to do it, not because I cared what happened to the kid, and not for the glory or gratitude (I care about that less than the kid). I only did so because it would be a shame to die so young, and because I couldn't stand those idiot empaths hypocrisy. The mother barelty noticed me I didnt even get a word of thanks, the other fools just clapped, it got me so upset (the clapping) I had to leave the platform. Next, my neighbor's dobberman onced got out of his yard and terrorized a young couple. The boyfriends ran away leaving his girl, while she stood there paralyzed and crying (a few morz seconds she might have pissed herself). One witness, actually a pretty cool guy and a good neighbor laughed, another ran into her house. Who put himself between the beast and the lovely dame? Yours truly, Mr Sociopath. I calmed it down and dragged it back to its house (fine the girl was hot, and I wanted to show off and earn point but still). Anyways my point is, just because I don't care, or because I am not genuine, or again because I hide my true feelings and intentions (I guess that would count as not being genuine too but the backspace key is to far) doesn't make me evil. If I have chosen to live my life doing good, and helping other for their sake and not mine, since I don't give two flying shit what happens to people, I shouldn't be seen for what I think. If actions speak louder than words, they surely speak louder than a thought that doesn't make a fucking sound. Whoever said it's the thought that count was just a lazy bitch, or incompetent hoe that couldn't or wasn't willing to act as he thought he should.
Many people call me a hypocrite when I tell them how I truly think or feel, because it doesn't align with my words or my action, or because I don't do good for the sake of others but, because I want to buy my way into heaven. But the way I see it Christianity is about sacrifice, so if I put my own thoughts and wants aside to follow a path that leads me to God (even if I only take it so that I don't end up in Hell), my actions should count more than my thoughts. A pedophile might be regarded as sick, and disturbed in our society but, if he resists all his urges and lies about his preferences because that is the "right" thing, shouldn't he be seen for what he does and not what he thinks?
The unifying theme seems to be that sociopaths focus on the actions and the results of those actions, whereas normal people have been socialized to care more about whether someone had a "good" or "bad" intention, presumably because they believe that bad intentions make bad people and you can't really trust bad people no matter what:
[P[eople who feel remorse (e.g. who are not psychopaths) are more likely to refrain from committing further crimes than people who do not. This has been explicitly linked to reduced fear of consequences, the absence of shame and remorse and the resultant relative inability to learn from mistakes.
But is that a question as to the morality or the cost benefit analysis of keeping certain people in prison for longer than other people who may have committed a similar crime?
"In a wider sense, I'm not convinced (lack of) feelings of remorse make a 'morally bad' action any better or worse. To take an extreme example, a murder is a murder is a murder. Whether or not the murderer feels guilty about his or her actions, there's still a dead person and a bunch of people negatively affected by that person's absence and the manner of their 'departure'."
The main problem for the sociopath in accepting the empath's point of view here is that to a sociopath, actions can be controlled to a degree (as long as they are not completely ruled by impulse). Thoughts and feelings cannot, particularly to the extent that someone is asking them to feel a certain way about something that is impossible for the sociopath (guilt, remorse, empathy, etc.) So what do you do if you are a sociopath who cares to be better than how they were made? You make choices to do things that you believe to be right -- without any of the usual positive emotional reinforcement that empaths experience and sometimes against your very nature. And is that any less good than acting based on emotional prompts?
I would like you to notice that some of the sociopaths on this site are trying to live by society's rules, though they do not have the emotional "muscle" to help them do that. They have to use their intellect to do it. Can we also use our intellect to understand them?
And to wrap it up:
I stand by my assertion that you are what you do and what you think or why you do it has no relevance. What I think is smoke and mirrors. Why I save a child or adult is of no relevance. No more than why I hold the door open for the person behind me. It is the right thing to do and I am betting that sociopath that I am I have done more right in this world than you have TJMO.
Does that thought piss you off? For all your hand wringing and moralizing that it is possible that Tii and I have saved more people than you have? That our continued existence benefits society more than your's does? Here is the kicker sweet flower. Most norms do good so they can feel good about themselves, we do because it is the right thing to do. We must fight our very nature to accomplish this task and we do it. Every damn day. For no reward whatsoever. I want you to take that and really think about or feel about it even for a second. Maybe take an hour or two out of your day and meditate on that. Good people do evil things every day. Evil people do good things every day. This is one of things that makes ALL people so damn fascinating to me. Even you my special flower.