Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Meeting a sociopathic son halfway (part 2)

My response:

I've been thinking about this. First, can I publish this on the blog to see what others would suggest as well?

But I have a few suggestions.
  • It's very important that he trust you. You are essentially asking him to do a childlike abridged 12 step program in which he admits that he is powerless (or at least his power isn't endless) and to trust your judgment instead of his own. To do that, he has to believe 100% that you have his best interests at heart. 
  • To accomplish that (trust), plus provide him some good role models of people who hid their true nature sometimes, I would recommend reading to him books. I know he is old to be read to, but you could read something that is a little beyond his reading level and it would provide both bonding and instruction. One book series that I thought of immediately was Game of Thrones. There is a lot in there about duplicity. Another character I like is Severus Snape from the Harry Potter series, and how sneaky and effective he ends up being.
  • I would recommend involving him in activities in which secrecy and planning ahead are the whole aim, e.g. chess or poker or something similar. 
  • Maybe play mask like games with him, e.g. who can speak in a mock foreign accent at the grocery store the longest. Or pretend to be different people -- you're really tourists, or you're actually spies, or everyone is a pod person and you have avoid their detection by always looking them in the eye and responding directly to their questions, or whatever you decide to do. This will teach him to be creative and to focus on the image he is projecting. 
  • You're already doing this, but incentives are the key. You may like this program: My nephew, who is a lot like your son, responded well to this. I would also, if he isn't already, enroll him in music lessons (I would recommend piano or strings, not an instrument he plays with his mouth, as it is more visual and probably easier for his brain to conceptualize). Pay him money to do his practicing and attending lessons. Learning the pleasure and value of money will be a great motivator for him in life. Music will also give him more of a clue to understanding emotions. It's been a while since I actually read about this, but the way our brain perceives music is related to the way that our brain perceives motion, which is also connected to the way that the brain perceives emotion. The theory goes that this is why the movement and motion of music is translated by our brain into something resembling an emotional response. Even if he is not able to register certain higher level emotional things, usually youngsters are still able to tap into the lower, more primitive emotional level of music. 
Another interesting question that was raised in this discussion was whether sociopathy as a diagnosis becomes a further rationalization to the sociopath of doing more and worse bad behavior. I feel like that is a very common worry that I hear expressed -- outside the sociopathic community. At least the way I experience my disorder, I don't care that much about any sort of justifications to tell myself, moral social or otherwise (now, justifications to tell other people or rationalizations based on my own values are a different story). And I don't look for reasons to believe that I can't control my behavior. When you hear bad people say that they do bad things because they're bad people, I don't think they're giving a justification for their behavior so much as just an explanation. In other words, in their minds they're going to keep doing the bad things not because of a belief that they can't help it but because of a belief that they like to do those things.


  1. It's not gonna work. You can try all that elabrote stuff, and then he gets
    a glimpse of his 9th grade math teacher from behind. He sees how she
    fills out her pants suit. He hangs around after school, follows her into the
    bathroom, and the rest-as they say-is history.

  2. I say dont smother the boy, let him be himself!

    1. "Allowing him to be himself" should not consist of granting him permission to freely indulge his destructive impulses. That boy needs to learn self-control, and be given the tools to facilitate that, including the provision of helpful channels through which to constructively express his sociopathic and antisocial traits. Successes should be rewarded with positive incentives. This should be the primary focus of his upbringing.

    2. Put the little faggot kid in an mma or boxing class so he could get his ass kicked or prove himself a real bad ass against someone who is not his pussy brother.

  3. This is a vent. I probably shouldn't do that here, but whatever. My workload ebbs and flows with the seasons. Right now is a slow time. For me, more idle time generally means more time to get in trouble. Today was one of those days.

    I *really* lost it this afternoon. Someone triggered me by destroying something I worked hard to create, and I freaked out. I screamed a bunch of obscenities, raised my hand to hit the culprit, stopped myself just in time, turned on a heel, stormed into a room before I could do more damage, and slammed the door so hard that I nearly broke it off its hinges- but not without spewing a few more hateful, cutting, vitriolic things in the process.

    That was about 10 minutes ago. I am not angry at all anymore; I am totally over it- but I've left a trail of hurt in my wake.

    To the mother of the young sociopath: *teach your child appropriate impulse control, and constructive ways to cope with his anger, before it's too late*. Ignore well-meaning counsel advising you to "not stifle him", or he will grow into a manipulative, explosive adult with emotional deficits and the temperament of an aggressive, entitled child. I am living proof of it. :P

    My mother was permissive with me, and made excuses for my behaviors. She didn't want to "break my spirit" (This is an invalid concern. You can't. Your child will not allow it. The dispassionate application of appropriate discipline is your friend)

    She didn't do me any favors in adopting this approach. By the time I was 14 or 15, she had no control over my behavior whatsoever, and by then, my father was (mercifully) out of the picture- albeit temporarily. I was a bloody nightmare- and I still carry a lot of that baggage around today.

    1. I too was a feral child and it didn't help me either -

    2. The dispassionate application of appropriate discipline is your friend,

      Cross stitch this and hang it on the wall.

    3. That should have been in quotes -

    4. Haha! Yeah. If hanging that on my wall made it any easier to practice what I preach, I would wallpaper it on. XD

    5. I never said it was easy! I KNOW it's not easy!!!

  4. I want to address the following comment:

    "Another interesting question that was raised in this discussion was whether sociopathy as a diagnosis becomes a further rationalization to the sociopath of doing more and worse bad behavior. I feel like that is a very common worry that I hear expressed -- outside the sociopathic community. At least the way I experience my disorder, I don't care that much about any sort of justifications to tell myself, moral social or otherwise (now, justifications to tell other people or rationalizations based on my own values are a different story). And I don't look for reasons to believe that I can't control my behavior. When you hear bad people say that they do bad things because they're bad people, I don't think they're giving a justification for their behavior so much as just an explanation. In other words, in their minds they're going to keep doing the bad things not because of a belief that they can't help it but because of a belief that they like to do those things."

    But "liking to do bad things" *is* a rationalization, if one persists in doing them. I.e: "I keep (insert hurtful behavior here) because I am a sadist and I enjoy it... Because I am sociopathic and that is the way I am wired... Because I don't want to stop, so too bad." Etc. Self-acceptance can be as potent a rationalization and justification as any other.

    I don't consider myself a full-fledged sociopath (that is, to the point of being disordered), but since I have become aware that my personality is oriented this way, it has become easier for the me to simply "give in" because "that is just who I am". Why fight it? That is a rationalization rooted in a desire to avoid taking responsibility for my behavior. I actually didn't need any extra help in that department. :P

    I just don't tell myself stories about how I am justified in doing hurtful and destructive things, because I have no sense of guilt to appease.

    I am a self-aware asshole. I do struggle with impulse control- but I don't always plan to put myself in situations where my weaknesses will be tested. Sometimes I do. I make no excuses for myself. That sometimes means that I don't even try- even when I know that I should. My husband frequently tells me that this is a way of eschewing personal responsibility. But without the motivators of shame and guilt... *shrug*.

  5. I have somewhat the same problem with my daughter. It is difficult to have her around her grandparents because she knows how to manipulate situations to her advantage. She has bashed her head into the wall or thrown herself off the couch, when her grandparents left the room, and cried to her grandmother that I hit her, getting her a couple of nights away from me. She has lied to her grandmother about how I make myself throw up , which I have never done. She seems really good at lying that I don't know if to be impressed or worried. I think she knows that people don't expect a five year old to come up with stories like that so she gets away with a lot of things. I am thinking about trying out the link posted in this blog

  6. Wow! All this working for a living is getting in the way of some really good blogging!!!

    OK - I am feeling the need to wade into the fray here.

    First, to comment on M.E.'s post:

    Yes - trust and respect are key. He needs to see you as the "one to follow." With my Unholy Spawn, being the "Bringer of Fun" is one way of maintaining control and/or respect and/or status. The "Bringer" giveth and the "Bringer" taketh away. He gets that.

    There's been some allusion to hierarchy - here's where I think men and women may be different (in general - there are plenty of exceptions - and not better or worse). There's been not a small amount written on men being more hierarchical versus women being more collaborative (sociologically, anyway).

    You must be the recognized "alpha." My kids doesn't respect his mother (her fault - a failed strategy of NVC/negation techniques - I tried to warn her...). Being around the two of them is alternately hysterical and painful. It's hysterical hearing him run her in circles but then I have to reassert authority - and it's not how I want him relating to women in general.

    I also try to focus on value neutral "outcomes." For example, rather than saying, "other kids won't like you if you do [insert behavior here]," I try to frame it as, "do you like playing with [name here]? Well, when you do [behavior] see how they go play with other kids? Is that what you want?" And then, if he wants to keep playing, then I offer alternatives. But, I don't try to tell him how he "should" play with other kids (harmful behaviors not withstanding) but rather focus on helping him know what he wants and how to get it constructively - or at least less destructively.

    He, like me, isn't particularly possessed of sadism or blood lust. Unfortunately, I can't offer too much help there -

    I also spend time working on manners - it sounds silly, but I see manners as the "rules of polite society." Understanding how to comport oneself is important for success in life. Again, I frame it in the context of, "what do you want to get out of this?" And then help him get there.

    I guess, what I'm doing is providing him with the executive functions and helping him to learn them if they don't come naturally. That's where my impulse control comes from - looking down the road and asking, "is this what I want?" (doesn't come naturally either...).

    @A: Bummer of a day - hopefully to people who "got sprayed" are able to roll with it.

    1. I have to add that I have a VERY strict rule about tantrums/melt downs/whining/complaining/etc.: he should (and now does when reminded) that getting emotionally pushed out of shape won't help him get what he wants. Rather, it will get him less of whatever he wants. Anger, in particular, will end badly for him.

      It's a process that seems to help keep some of the behavior in check - when he starts in, I always ask, "how does this go for you?" And the answer is "badly." It might take a few reminders, but it works 90% of the time and the rate of "tantrums" with me is low and decreasing.

      It's the sneaky stuff I'm now having to get in front of...

    2. Having just come home from several days away, Jr. also made a number of overtures to "influence my feelings and actions."

      ...where do they learn this stuff?...

    3. Actually, you know, I think it might be learned from neuro-typicals but applied differently (i.e. with more conscious calculation) ;)

    4. I have had conversations with my son and come to realize that his feeding lizards to the dog and such was actually not motivated by sadistic tendencies, nor was his treatment of other children. For example, with the lizards, the dog was chasing them in a playful manner. My son just thought he was expediting the process... Cutting to the chase, so to speak. He didn't enjoy it. He just didn't care, thought the chasing of the lizard was fun and didn't know what to do with it when he caught it so he fed it to the dog, who had been chasing it... To his mind, it simply made sense. The fights with his brother and other children were not sadism either but, rather, a violent response to a perceived injustice most of the time or instrumental violence that served some purpose to him. That has been a great relief to me.

      To those who have suggested a firmer hand, you are correct. I have been holding firmer on rules, regulations, and punishments. It has made a big difference in his behavior. No more sob stories or pouty faces to escape the punishment (or absence of reward).

      We have been having a lot of fun together... And just having someone who is trying to understand him seems as though it has relieved him, like he doesn't have to hide ALL the time. Framing things as games has probably had the biggest effect. "You are an alien sent from another planet to observe humans and today, your objective is..." It takes the tediousness of normal social interaction and makes it something fun and intellectually engaging... With just the hint of deception/conning.

      Everyone's thoughts on being explicit on things that we assume are "givens" has helped as well. I have also worked with him on understanding and mirroring facial expressions and done exercises to help him develop cognitive empathy and be aware of it...

      I have worked on finding decent role models that are interesting to a nearly ten year old boy but also age appropriate... Catwoman, James Bond (Sean Connery), Aladdin (Yeah... Watch it as an adult and analyze his behavior), Snape.... Not all are necessarily psychopaths but they do utilize behavior that is often sneaky or deceptive to achieve goals that are accepted by society with little violence.

      I just wanted to let everyone know I am still here and I am still listening. I just have been busy lately and unable to post much.

  7. After thinking on the kids books that were interesting to me, a couple of authors I came up with are:

    Roald Dahl - his perspectives are brilliant. Not sure I can say much here -

    Dennis Fitzgerald (The Great Brain series - (

    I linked this because I don't think he's as well known. The Great Brain series is interesting because it's all about a kid that gets over on his peers. My 5th grade teacher used to read this to us and I remember thinking, "this guy is awesome!!!"

    Maurice Sendak is, of course, a wonderful read for any kid heading down the path path -

  8. On the back of what A and HLH (and M.E.) have already said: maybe put it to him that there is one person over whom he can always have control - himself. That's true power, to fight yourself and win.

    Unlike A, my mother did not make excuses for my behaviour and did seek to establish firm boundaries. What might have helped in addition would have been a positive channel for my temper coming at an earlier age (I was the one who sought it, since my parents never witnessed the worst episodes of temper loss during my childhood): instead I was taught to repress it. That led to two very major explosions and, in the first at least, there could easily have been a fatality. The first explosion was why I went out and sought a 'safe' channel. Because I was still repressing, it didn't fully work. After the second explosion I read a couple of psychology books. The fact that a third was building up after my father died - well, that was when I developed my 'off switch' and started really looking into the origin and mechanics of emotions. Wasn't going to let it happen a third time. So far it hasn't, because I took responsibility for controlling how I feel. I don't repress anymore. I either vent or I just switch it off at source. I think learning that way of dealing with it - learning that I really had such control - a lot earlier would have been very helpful. I can't control what other people think or do, but I can control what I think and do.

    1. One of the things I worked out in therapy is much along he lines of what you said: I can't always control what I feel, but I can control my actions and to some degree my circumstances. Not accepting my feelings and/or fighting them is an huge waste of energy better spent on controlling my impulses. The corollary is: it's OK to have a feeling, you just don't have to act on them,

      The "off switch," in my case, has some interesting properties - one of which is when I switch back on, it can be...a lot to handle. It can either be thought of as a buffer clearing the back up or as suddenly walking into a loud room (or bright room) - it kind of depends on the situation.

      Anyone else have this experience or anything like it with their "off switch?"

    2. I quite often laugh afterwards. And funny things seem funnier; things I don't normally find funny are sometimes amusing. Given the choice, I'll make sure I'm alone before switching back on anyway so that I can let the process happen naturally; if not, I'll probably make a joke.

      Additionally, I don't think I shut off one emotion - I think I reach for the master switch. I'm not aware of feeling anything in that mode: very quiet inside, very calm. So all the little elements cool down and 'reboot' while I'm 'off'. Then my 'default' settings naturally re-assert themselves after electricity is restored. Other than the humour, I would say it's generally calmer than usual.

      When I've switched a person off (i.e. my empathy for them), as opposed to just emotions, I couldn't say - they were excised from my life for a reason, so I've never even tried to switch them back on.

    3. I don't know if this answers your question. "Off switch" does not apply to me that much, especially after I killed my father. When I taught high school, I would look at all the little adolescent "sickies"; some of whom turned out OK, and at least one of which killed her husband a couple of years after graduation. Anyway, once in a while I would look at my classroom of little monsters and say, "I feel like screaming when I look at you. I bet you feel like screaming having to be trapped in a classroom with a stupid teacher like me (not to mention a school full of teachers even more stupid than I am). The classroom door is closed.

      "On the count of three, let's all scream as loud as we can."

      It usually took about three tries to loosen the inhibitions, but by scream three we really let loose.

      Mindi the Murderer is not the best example of my genius as a teacher. As a matter of fact, she was sentenced to life in prison, and then things got interesting when she was released after serving about 40 years, and her brother in law threatened to kill her. Actions have consequences.

      As far as I can guess -- one seldom knows for sure -- a few of my screaming brats turned into decent human beings despite having the parents they did and despite having me as a teacher.

    4. I was tested for senility a couple of weeksago. In five minutes we will leave to get the diagnosis. I will ask the psychologist, "On a scale of 1 to 100, how close am I to being all out whacko senile?"

      Anybody here have an answer they want to offer and save me the time and expense of paying the shrink?

    5. Lol.....Good luck RA.

      My father is 74 got diagnosed 1st stage Alzheimers. But that's been his normal throughout life. Suffered with chronic pain as I do. We just forget stuff. But supposedly it's a Altzheimers for him . Personally take his Italian culture into affect - if the test was in Italian - if he'd be really diagnosed. Who knows. Maybe I'm in denial.

    6. "That's true power, to fight yourself and win."

      Self mastery redeems and elevates all faults.

      There's only the Self to master. Nothing else compares.

      Dispassionate to all opinions, beliefs and ego-bloating, the master of Self follows it own trumpet. At best, this means: I don't give a damn what YOU think. My life force seeks not to harm but create. To foster, nurture All Life. My way.

      Superchick: You're not alone. We're all in denial in some ways. I've never yet met a Jesus, Buddha, etc. etc. And I've been looking. :)

      Found some furry reflections in Nature. Wolves, lynx, bears, etc.

      RA; You're too socially/intellectually self aware to be too far gone. Pay the shrink and take crumbles of advice that may prove fruitful.

      Cheer the hell up. You grumpy old fart. Any day above ground is blessed.

      Count your wife's chickens.

    7. LOL ... ;)

    8. @SD: WOW!!! In all situations?!?! I've had the experience of being a first responder to some gnarly stuff. Keeping it together was of the highest priority - for my sake as well as that of others. But, once I was alone - any fear, anger, whatever I felt during the "event" would hit me all at once - it was best to be sitting down. It extends to the physical as well - I don't notice I'm hurt until later -

      @RA: As an undergrad during finals week it was very common to hear someone scream out a window - and by common, I mean 10's of times a day. It was kind of fun, looking back. Good times good times...

      I was the pain in the ass kid that would argue with you just to argue. Or maybe see how far he could push the boundaries and see what he could get away with. You're fellow teachers had me pegged as a trouble maker (I was "tracked" as they say - clustered with the other delinquents).

      I can't say if I've turned out OK - that would depend on who you ask I suppose. I know from a few encounters that people that knew me "back in the day" are surprised that I'm not in jail and are even more surprised when they hear I've gone and edjumacated myself. On the other hand, I can think of more than a few people that might enjoy driving a knife into my black little heart.

      My wish for you is that you can let go of the fear and let yourself appreciate the experience you have left. If we're "lucky," to live long enough, we all get our own version of it - try to find peace and enjoy the ride.

      @Superchick: Cultural bias' are an ongoing topic of debate. My father's first language was Hungarian - at the end, that's what he was able to best communicate in. Sometimes it was more a matter of the "H->E Translator" not working right rather than his core process.

      @Faust: You're starting to sound a little Kipling there - 8D~

    9. @ HLH (Sorry, got no context for the wow - either I'm being thick or lack of sleep is hijacking some neurons :D) The symptoms you describe in the 'aftermath' sound like adrenaline hangover - particularly the deferring of pain.

      "But, once I was alone - any fear, anger, whatever I felt during the "event" would hit me all at once - it was best to be sitting down."
      From the above, it sounds as if you are 'controlling the level' rather than 'switching off at source'. I've never yet been first responder to anything that visceral, so I couldn't tell you how I might deal with it. Having a good memory, I expect I could manage to torture myself after the event quite effectively even if I did switch off. But I think we're misunderstanding each other on what we individually characterize as 'switching off': when I say it, I don't mean that I 'turn down' already high emotion - more that at the first whisper warning of high emotion I shut down the neuro-somatic connection so that my body doesn't produce a reaction that is then reflected as secondary emotions. With no 'reflection' there is no further stimulus to the amygdala and so it also stops firing. That's probably why any small amount of adrenaline that was produced before switching off translates into laughter (and I laugh like a loon sometimes ;) ), and why the laughter doesn't present if I 'reset' naturally - a natural reset takes a couple of hours minimum. I 'switch off' emotion very quickly so it's hard for me to analyse exactly how I'm doing it, or what part of my brain I 'feel' as taking part in the process.

      Not to add to your reading list (so many books, so little time), but if you haven't already read it Antonio Damasio's "Descartes' Error" delves into the neuro-somatic process of emotion. Probably a better explanation than I could ever give.

      LOL @Faust - I don't always win, but my overactive guilt gland means that next time I'll try harder and keep questioning myself ;)

    10. "From the above, it sounds as if you are 'controlling the level' rather than 'switching off at source'."
      I'm going to correct myself (and then shut up, as my brain clearly has turned to mush today): it sounds as if you are 'muting' - the emotions are perhaps there but you are not listening to them while you need to respond unemotionally. So the somatic reaction still takes place but is stored in a 'capacitor' until you un-mute.

      If that didn't make any more sense than the previous reply, I apologize :) Bang on the coffee, SD.

    11. @SD: LOL! No worries! I appreciate your response.

      I gave one example that was a short time interval - yeah, I can also describe that as muting. But, here I was reaching for the easy example - or at least as easy as I can think of.

      In a more pathological context I can do this for weeks or months. I used to think of the "reconnects" as some sort of catharsis...until the "umpteenth" time. The buffer analogy really "feels" the most correct to me.

      However, when faced with conflict/problems/something-to-lean-into I tend to smile and even giggle. I call it my "embracing chaos" response - "I love it, god help me I do!" (I hope I didn't butcher the Patton quote). I know it's not usually healthy,'s intoxicating...

  9. Not just sociopaths switch on and off.

    When I 'check out' it's usually from anger and if I feel it's 'justified' then I stay switched off. That person will never exist in my life again, no matter what. It's very much a logical decision: I can't afford to invest time and energy into users and abusers. It's not about wanting to hurt them; it's about maintaining sanity. Sometimes, if the person was especially bright, interesting and funny, I grieve the lost friendship, Most often, however, I simply cease thinking about them and move on. But I wasn't always like this: It took many encounters with assholes before I could finally learn to shrug them off.

    Learning to switch off is a great skill, attuned to the ability to detach from a sinking ship. And it sure beats drowning in negative emotions.

    1. A: You are surely intelligent to listen to. I had an extremely explosive temper until my late teens, and many of the characteristics of a sociopath. but I also prayed to God, and eventually He Guided me to Islam. My Fear and Love of Allah changed my whole personality and life.

    2. Whatever. You pray to your God, I'll pray to mine.

      Allah sucks.

    3. I've read the Qu'ran and studied the Hadith extensively. Mohammed consummated his marriage to a child. He commanded his followers to behead people who q with him. Mohammed was a false prophet if there ever was one.

      "Religion of peace", my ass.

      Save your taqiyya for someone else. :P

    4. Anon: When I pray to Anything, it's that Life will prevail. Life is precious. I'm in favor of microbes, actually. The soil cannot produce without them.

      That's utilitarian, sensible and if you think about it, pro-life for all species.

      Just saying.

      I've studied the Quran.

      Some stuff resonates. Much does not. Women are degraded . . . what can I say? The prophet could have benefited from taking to heart his wife's many complaints.

    5. LOLS .... ;)

    6. "When I 'check out' it's usually from anger and if I feel it's 'justified' then I stay switched off. That person will never exist in my life again, no matter what."

      That sounds, to me, like a "pathic process." I mean, I relate - there are whole "killing fields" of people that are "dead to me" A few people have even seen it coming.

      As an Agnostic, I don't pray. I think I recall hearing that it's a Shinto tradition to show gratitude or appreciation for the plants and animals that have given their live so one can live - that's about as close as I get.

      I sometimes - surfing at sunset was one of these times - feel connected to something...I had to paddle out past the breakers and be all by myself to get there,'s a peaceful feeling.

      I never bothered studying the Quran - I'm sure it' beautiful and full of wisdom and all that. But...I'm heathen scum, what's the use? XD~

  10. Have you actually asked your son WHY he did what he did in each occasion? Was he bored / did he think the other person deserved it / did he enjoy it? I'm sure understanding the motives would help forming a dialogue.

    And anyway I would try to find ways to communicate with him. My father was never interested in what anyone else thought. The only way was his way and he is still the same – that is the reason I never listened to him and then dropped him out of my life for good.

    Something – that has already been mentioned – is respect. He needs to respect you and you need to keep your word. Always. Again my father was an alcoholic and he promised loads of things but never kept his word.

    Us people with strong sociopathic tendencies need a lot of stimulus – both mental and physical. If he is a clever one then he probably would enjoy conversations. Don't judge him, be open-minded. You can look at anything from different angles. And don't just state things like "you are not allowed to do that" because many rules just don't make sense even to an adult. You need to explain and be rational and reasonable. Admit it if you don't know something.

    One thing that has really helped me is boxing. Perhaps you could find a really respectable trainer for him – someone with authority and someone he looks up to. Boxing will force him to concentrate and defend himself. It will also really tire him out.

    One more thing: love. Do you show him love? Despite possibly being a sociopath he is not a thing. He is your son. If you can love him, show it in any way you can.

  11. A: There is only One God :), It seems like you are seeking for true meaning, since you been reading ahadeeth, and the Quraan. I dont practice taqiyya, it sounds like you may have ended up reading something fom an outcast sect which call themselves muslims, maybe shia? Anyway, Allaah gave us free will, to believe or not to believe. Thats also why so much oppression and chaos is seen in this life, because people disblieve and choose to practise their own evil desires, instead of heading the words and commands of their Lord. HLHaller: Yes, it is indeed beautiful and full of light and wisdom. Here is one verse: “O My slaves who have transgressed against themselves (by committing evil deeds and sins)! Despair not of the Mercy of God: verily, God forgives all sins. Truly He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Quran 39:53)

    1. I don't often discuss my beliefs, here. My faith is something personal to me. You claim to be a Muslim who used to be a sociopath. I used to think that I was a Christian who was once a sociopath- until I understood that sociopathy is a personality orientation that does not just disappear. Faith can moderate one's conduct and help a person to re-orient their life goals, but the shape of one's character in the flesh does not change.

      You say you're a completely different person?

      Are you still charming? Have you begun to feel deep seated emotions like shame, guilt and remorse? Do you ever struggle with irritability, harshness, a very short fuse, explosive anger, etc? Are you sometimes impulsive, rash, or overly defensive? Have you become less of a thrill-seeker? Do you lie? Have you started to experience your feelings more powerfully... Emotions that are deep, long-lasting, and consistent, instead of fleeting, superficial, and light?

      Have your depraved, dark fantasies disappeared? Entirely? Has your pervasive boredom and desire for certain kinds of stimulation diminished?

      If you can honestly say that you no longer experience any of these things, then I contend you never had very many sociopathic traits in the first place.

      Do you still sin?

      I do not like to preach because I am a terrible Christian. I am not religious. I don't even go to church. But I do accept by faith that Christ is the Son of God, and not merely a prophet, as the Qu'ran teaches. I don't live up to God's standards, and never will on this side of eternity. That is where grace comes in: unmerited love on the basis of faith in the only One who did, which is counted as righteousness.

      I am not one of those people for whom being moral is a natural imperative. If I had to earn my acceptance before God, I would only be deemed fit to spend an eternity in hell. Even my *best* works are as filthy rags before a Holy God. So I choose to trust in the one faith that teaches that grace trumps karma.

      That is my only hope, and I will not be shaken.

      Good luck, Muslim.

  12. @Anonymous Muslim,

    You claim that Islam is a "religion of peace", and that the Qu'ran offers mankind a more pure and faithful account of God's character. Let us examine that premise, shall we?

    An objective and comparative reading of the New Testament juxtaposed with the Qu'ran & Hadith, accounting for context, together with the fact that Islam does not allow for a separation of religion and state, more readily predispose it towards a violent exegesis than Christianity. You cannot compare Islam to the Jewish OT, which was written thousands of years prior to it, and which did not claim to be the latest, greatest, and most authoritative revelation of God. Even from a purely humanistic perspective, one might extrapolate that the Qu'ran lends itself to violent extremism more readily, at least in part because Mohammed was a warrior, while Jesus was an outspoken pacifist teacher, healer and rabbi, who met the criteria for the historically prophesied Messiah.

    Both Islam and Christianity had access to the Old Testament. Both Jesus and Mohammed claimed authority in its interpretation. Contrast the way in which they interpreted the text. Jesus never commanded his disciples to kill anyone. He taught his followers love, forgiveness and tolerance. He spoke out against injustice and hypocrisy, preached peace, and allowed Himself to be crucified so as to mercifully take upon Himself the sins of mankind. Yet as witnessed by the Surahs and Hadith, Mohammed was brutal. He beheaded hundreds of people. He had many wives, including a child bride of 9. Moreover, he held himself to a different standard than his followers, to the point of making rules to enshrine his exceptionality. Jesus washed the feet of his disciples. Mohammed chopped body parts off of infidels- which the Qu'ran defines as anyone who will not submit to his rule.

    Quran (5:33) - "The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His messenger and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this world, and in the hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement"

    Quran (8:12) - "I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them"

    And from the Hadith..:

    Bukhari (52:177) - Allah's Apostle said, "The Hour will not be established until you fight with the Jews, and the stone behind which a Jew will be hiding will say. "O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him"

    1. Before you launch into a tirade about the Crusades, remember that Christians are taught to emulate Jesus, not Sampson, or any other OT warrior. (I do believe that God used the more "sociopathic" personalities in leadership and in order to accomplish many deeds, but that is a tangent for another discussion, altogether.)

      Muslims are taught to model themselves after Mohammed. These are the two founders of the faiths that are *based* upon the OT. With that in mind, please compare and contrast the founder of Islam to the progenitor of Christianity, its historical contemporary:

      Did Mohammed have many wives?

      Did Mohammed marry and have sex with a 9 year old girl?

      Did Mohammed command and perform many executions?

      Did Mohammed explicitly command his followers to slay all infidels?

      Does Jesus make special provisions which permit rape and adultery?

      Does Jesus tell ok to lie to promote harmony, war, or a political agenda?

      Did Jesus command anyone to behead, crucify or injure their enemies, or the enemies of Christianity?

      Islam seeks to implement a global caliphate and world-wide Sharia. Any Muslim even remotely familiar with Islamic eschatology will readily confess this. The one who denies it believes he is justified in lying on account of Taqiyya, in order to promote peace and harmony, and so as to advance an Islamic political agenda. But do not forget that it is the Muslim's sacred responsibility to engage in Jihad so as to promote Islam! In fact, Mohammed taught that the one victorious faction of Islam will be the one that most *literally* applies his teachings.

      Islam is not a peaceful religion, whether one is a "moderate" Sunni (Isis is Sunni too, you know) or a fundamentalist Shia.

      Mohammed was a charlatan; a false prophet who, like many before and after him, used the auspices of religion to further his ambitious political goals. Granted, he was more successful than many, but that doesn't make him any more Godly than disgraced Mormon leader Warren Jeffs, or Alexander VI, the Borgia Pope. :P

  13. A, Im not trying to shake you in any way. I used to study Christianity as a teenager, because I used to search for the meaning of life, and I couldn't believe Jesus was the son of God, because I didn't believe God to be a human, or like us. How can a human create a human, and the whole universe and so on.? So, I used to always believe in one God, and prayed often for forgiveness for the many sins I did. I prayed 6 years before being Guided to become a Muslim. I was highly critical when I started reading the Quran, but eventually found all my answers there. So in the age of 21 with plenty of wealth, freedom, car, good looks, I gave all that up, for my faith. I would never had done that, if it wasn't true faith. Islam reginizes that all humans are sinners, but we're obligated to strive against the evil in ourselves, and if/when we fall in sin, we know that we have to seek forgiveness and we will be forgiven. So yes I do fight against myself on a daily basis, against thrill seeking, against evil thoughts, boredom, and so on. But my faith changed me a lot.

    1. I had an extremely vivid experience in my early twenties in which I encountered Jesus. I still remember every detail of that dream as though it happened yesterday.

      He told me that "my heart was blocked and that I was in danger of dying"- but He blew directly into my solar plexus.... and this tingling feeling came over my entire body. He said... "You will be ok, now."

      I asked Him if I was about to have a heart attack because at the time, I didn't understand that He was referring to spiritual death. I didn't get it. It is only in retrospect that His words made sense. I was one hell of a character back then. I was extremely cruel and lacked any impulse control whatsoever. In short, I was a train-wreck.

      My conduct improved somewhat after that, but I still have a shit ton of unresolved baggage. What *did* change - permanently - was my perspective on faith.

      I am still not religious, but I do believe in God. I couldn't help but believe in Him after that. It was an amazing, wholly undeserved experience- and it was granted to me by Jesus, not Mohammed.

  14. About the hadeeth and what you quoted from the Quran, I will come back with an answer, when time for it, have patience with me a little. :) one quickly note though: taking quranic verses and ahadeeth out of context, is something that many haters have done, in order to mislead people from Allah's Path, or some may just do it because they lack the wider understanding and picture of the religion. I will give a good example later.

    1. I have read most of the Qu'ran and almost all of the Hadith, so my objections to Islam are not based upon cherry-picking Surahs out of context. The entire Qu'ran is convoluted, and logically inconsistent.

      You claim to have trouble accepting Jesus as the "Son of God"- and yet, you have no trouble accepting the existence of Mohammed riding off on a flying horse (Buraq) during his "Night Journey" to Jerusalem. Just as the "Wailing Wall" is not evidence of a Jewish Temple - it was just a convenient place for your supposed prophet to tie his horse. Muslims are constantly "revising" history and re-framing archaeological evidence to suit their proselytizing agenda.

      Muslims maintain that the Bible is "polluted", but the fact of the matter is that we have more extant copies of the New Testament than any other historical manuscript, and it is more accurately transcribed than any other. But don't take my word for it. Study the manuscript evidence for yourself. Common Islamic objections to the validity and faithfulness of the Bible are easily debunked by the application of a modicum of critical thinking.

      You can respond however you want, and take as much time as you need in order to do so, but let me warn you in advance that you will merely be wasting it, because I would literally rather have my head crudely chopped off with a machete than convert to your false God, and his "religion of peace".

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