extropians: Sociopaths (was Re: Reforming Education)

Sociopaths (was Re: Reforming Education)

Zeb Haradon (zharadon@inconnect.com)
Sun, 10 Oct 1999 18:33:21 -0700

>The Standard Diagnostic Nomenclature of the American Psychiatric
>Association includes in its description of "sociopathy" "the inability
>to experience shame or guilt" and "the absence of internalized
>ethical or moral standards of conduct", i.e. conscience, and in
>general "displays an amorphous hostile disregard of society".

I remember looking up the term 'sociopath' in an introductory psychology book and finding a similar defintion. The only significant difference I recall between the definition I read, and the one you cite, is that the one I read claimed that sociopaths disregard traditional ethical and moral standards in favor of morality of their own invention which suits their own needs. It also mentioned an experiment in which a sociopath is given a brief electric shock, and told that in 5 minutes they will recieve another one. Their stress responses were measured during those 5 minutes of waiting, and were found to be much lower then the control group of non-sociopaths. I was somewhat surprised that this is regarded as a form of mental deficiency. I have since aspired to become a sociopath. The only thing I can't figure out is why so many sociopaths lack responsibility, and a respect for the rights of others (i.e. why they often end up becomming mass murderers). As an aspiring sociopath, I haven't had any problem resisting the urge to murder or rob from people. Would any responsible sociopaths like to comment on this?

Zeb Haradon
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