>Subject: Re: Sociopaths (was Re: Reforming Education)
>Date: Sun, 10 Oct 1999 23:44:30 EDT
> to follow this path of inquiry a little more, is it not lead-pipe
>honesty to openly treat people as objects to be manipulated? and how,
>exactly, is 'treating people as other living beings like oneself'
>incompatible with 'treating people as objects to be manipulated'?
> i am not you. my goals revolve around individual evolution; everything
>else, including this conversation, should be a means towards that end. you
>may be similar to me in many ways, but i really should feel no
>when, for example, i say 'i would eat you in order to survive'. quite
>frankly, i expect the same of you.
> however, i dont think many people are capable of handling that kind of
>honesty. i think its fairly obvious that we have built up layers and layers
>of social abstraction to cover up the brute low-level power of our
>motavational code. it could be called insulation, lubricant, necassary, or
>shallow facade... i think that as of right now, its all of the above.
> i think that the main difference between what i am trying to be, and
>popular image of a sociopath, is that i really really try to have a long
>view of the likely results of my actions. for me, murdering people is bad,
>not because of any intrinsic value associated with genetic similarity or
>self-awareness (although, if anything was to have intrinsic value, that
>be on top of my list), but because i stand to gain little and lose much by
>it. The Man would probably kick my ass. it would not be conductive to
>self-preservation and self-improvement...
> are you going to argue that an intrinsic value should be associated
>human life? if so, im really curious about how you would do so.
See my previous post. It is the fact that I and someone else with whom I am having an emotional interaction both choose to live our lives ethically that makes it possible for us to have that kind of relationship. If either of us considers the other to be a predator, then that would be a partial block to emotional visability at the least. If either of us considers ourselves to be a potential predator on the other, then we have to second guess our responses, which defeats the purpose.
The lifeboat situations are largely irrelevant. Yes, if my survival requires eating you, then beware. That, however, is not the normal context at all, and the frank awareness of essential egoism is not at all inconsistent with a lowering of emotional defenses, as in normal society we are assets to each other in many ways.
This - real emotional interaction - is not just a luxury, or a pleasurable experience one can easily dispense with, or something merely inherited culturally or genetically that will disappear when we upload. It is THE method by which we or any consciousness percieve ourselves. The conceptual level of consciousness is inherently capable of infinite self-deception. It is only the grounding in the perceptual that keeps us sane. And it is ONLY through real, uncensored emotional interactions that we directly perceive who we essentially are. Which is why we enjoy so much things like playing with a dog. See Branden's The Psychology of Self-Esteem, or the works of Wilhelm Reich, or Arthur Janov.