Re: Sociopaths (was Re: Reforming Education)
Sun, 10 Oct 1999 23:44:30 EDT

In a message dated 10/10/99 7:21:57 PM Pacific Daylight Time, writes:

> Somewhat surprisingly -- or perhaps not once you think about
> it -- one of the defining characteristics of sociopaths is
> a lack of play activity in childhood. It is thought that
> without proper play with others as a child they fail to
> learn empathy with others. It may well be that there is a
> developmental stage that children pass through where they
> learn to empathise with others and if they fail to have
> this stage they are unable to learn to treat people as
> other living beings like themselves (as opposed to objects
> to be manipulated).

to follow this path of inquiry a little more, is it not lead-pipe blunt 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 squeamishness 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 a 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 the popular image of a sociopath, is that i really really try to have a long term 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 would 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 with human life? if so, im really curious about how you would do so.

btw, zeb, im diggin your _sociopaths_ post (at the start of this thread),

sayke, v2.3.05