Re: Sociopaths (was Re: Reforming Education)

Robert Owen (
Mon, 11 Oct 1999 01:14:10 -0400

REFERENCE: Subject: Re: Reforming Education

                     Date:  Sun, 10 Oct 1999 16:31:27 -0400
                     From:  Robert Owen <>

Abridged ReplyTo: Clint O'Dell <>

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".

Are you really that uncomfortable with the idea devoting your life, even sacrificing it if necessary, to an Ideal or Purpose whose value and importance vastly exceed your own? wrote:

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

The issue I would like to focus on is why many of us believe that life, human or otherwise, is valuable and how it came to pass that someone can be a member of a group and regard all other members ("human lives") as devoid of the value you attribute to yourself?

Do you really believe a life as a "transhistorical, augmented and superior being" lived in "splendid isolation" would be worth the effort? That now, as you are, your have no need to socialize for its own sake, that your relationship with others is entirely manipulative and exploitative in order to meet you uniquely valuable needs?

If you, Sayke, have no "intrinsic value" this does not prevent you considering your goals, hopes and intentions as having some sort of unique extrinsic value. You were born with the conviction that only what you wanted was worth attention, and utterly shocked to find that your parents had needs too and and could not reliably provide immediate gratification. In fact, they even expected you to tolerate unpleasant bladder pressure so you would not urinate on the living room rug?

I've never understood the moral philsophy of "Solipsism", so your motivation and attitude remain a mystery to me. This post is in no way critical -- it is driven by an intense curiosity about the issues you raise in relation to Extropianism. Is it really true that all of us, despite our denials and rationalizations, are egoists engaged in an EXCLUSIVE and ruthless search for self-aggrandizement?



Robert M. Owen
The Orion Institute
57 W. Morgan Street
Brevard, NC 28712-3659 USA