Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by mikenostic, Apr 15, 2009.
Whatever you do don't buy them a whip for christmas present.
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Indeed. My wife was a medical social worker for most of her career and she did a long stint on the psych ward. The vast majority of the people who were locked up were there because they couldn't take care of themselves, not because they were a threat to anyone else. Eventually we Americans had to face that fact that if it were us, we'd rather take our chances sleeping under an overpass and begging for food, than being locked up. It's that simple. Especially in Los Angeles, where you can sleep outdoors about 340 nights a year and the citizens are very generous to beggars.
Of course it is not easy to weed out the ones who might be a threat to others. But it's a tenet of American culture that, "it's better to let a hundred guilty men go free than to punish one innocent man in error." If you start persecuting all mentally ill people because a tiny fraction of a percent of them are going to become psychopaths, you'll be doing the exact opposite. You'll be punishing thousands of innocent men in order to avoid letting one guilty man go free.
Sorry, we don't want to live in a country like that. We can't allow people who think that way to achieve some chance of gaining power.
And you're all losing track of the fact that psychopaths kill approximately the same number of people as bees or lighting. Get a damn GRIP!
Sniffy: So Lucysnow what would you have done? I suppose you'd have patted them on the back and given them a jelly bean each for using their imaginations to such great and lasting effect?
No I would not have. If you had read my posts you would glean that its my nature to oust such characters not coddle them. So i would have expelled them if I were a school principle. Now these other allegations about the police etc. Please post a link. I would like to see what you are referring to as far as timeline. You need to back up those allegations. Breaking into a car is one thing and murder is another.
So you are saying that having some 'traits' are the same as being a full blown psychopath? I disagree completely with that. Its simply not the same unless you are interested in genetically engineering all humans in society, what you want to rid people of is choice. Traces of depression in a human being is normal, natural AND A SIGN TO THE INDIVIDUAL THAT SOMETHING WRONG IS AFFECTING THEIR LIFE. Now in clinical depression people feel depressed no matter the nice loving partner they have, no matter how successful in their career and in no way is this mood attributed to anything else. In other words they either cycle in and out of deep depression where they cannot function, cannot get out of bed etc. or they are in a permenant state of depression where they cannot function at all. What you and the scientist in the link are advocating is taking out the depression in everyday life, so for example, if someone is depressed because they hate their work, or their marriage, or because they were or are sexually abused they should simply 'pop a pill'. I disagree with this wholeheartedly. Much of our emotions exist to tell us something about the EXPERIENCE of our lives,the experience of living and these should not be ignored. I am not for lessening the deeper emotions of life, these have to be explored by the individual, these are at times what attaches us to our creative core. There are alcoholics who give up drinking without drugs, AA is full of them. Now for your scenerio of children with psychopathy;
How are you going to assess them? Will it be a normal test each child takes in school? What will you do with them after the fact if they test positive? Meaning, if a child has committed no offense but is tested positively what do you do to convince the parents? What if they think its bollocks? Do you forcibly take them away for treatment? Because you see unless these kids are already problematic enough to need care then you would have to force yourself on civil society to get at them and this is unethical. Now if you are saying that this is treatable I would like to see the data. 'Curing' something is only proven over time. Also if you can't 'treat' other seemingly benign aspects of human behaviour such as lying or procrastination, and the list goes on, or easily foster good habits or ways of thinking, which psychology has not been able to do with 100% success in all individuals, what makes you believe that 'therapy' will work in a fixed character condition? A free society I doubt will ever agree to this degree of intrusiveness especially in their children. Remember the ritalin phase, at one point you had entire classrooms of children on ritalin because it was easier for the school, a kid is too active give him ritalin. Most of those kids did not have ADD. We do not know what the long term affects are on drugging our children and to force socially sanctioned behaviour flies in the face of 'freedom' and 'free will' now if the psychopath is not capable of exercising restraint as it were because of his 'compulsions' then I say if you cannot abort them before birth then you jail them under the law as guidelined. Why? Because there are many compulsions. Paedophiles have compulsions and I say jail them. Or do you suggest we forgive them and say they simply cannot help themselves? You know just because we are pre-disposed to something doesn't mean we will get it or does it mean we cannot control it. I disagree with Newman, they are still assholes. Narcissits generally have the personality type that would warrant that term, Why? Because the term is used for those who's behaviour warrants it and it doesn't matter if they were born assholes or just couldn't care about their behaviour, an asshole is as an asshole behaves. Pretty soon, considering the path you are advocating, everyone will have an excuse for all their flaws and defects. There will be no reason to exercise the difficult task of self-ownership and we will all only have to have a microchip or pill to 'change' behaviour. Basically I think its a pipe dream and if its not that then its a nightmare. A future nightmare for a society that thinks it can eradicate all seemingly negative behaviours. There will be no individual growth nor individual development in such a society as these are borne from our individual obstacles, troubles and suffering. I mean hell, can you imagine a Charles Bukowski who remained 'clean and sober' we wouldn't have had a great work of literature based on his personal experience. Sorry Sniffy I abhore stepfordwives.
You assume society should or life should be clean and pure of strife, trouble and problems even violence and I do not. You're idea exhudes a certain disdain for life and the human condition.
No nothing should be done with them at all unless they do something illegal. I wouldn't marry a sadist and a sadist wouldn't want a woman like me. I react with hostility to controlling and hurtful people. A woman who chooses to remain with a sadist is making a choice; if you still believe in choice Sniffy. I champion those who take life into their own hands, people who follow the sick and perverted are making a choice. I don't believe in 'brainwashing' and I don't believe in shirking personal responsibility. If you are depressed and don't seek help you may well lose your job and your family, there is a choice. If you are an alchoholic who refuses help then fine, drink yourself to death. I don't mind social welfare programs that support these people. I don't believe people should live in the street or anything like that, but it doesn't mean your spouse has to put up with it or your employer, they too have a choice.
By the way, since psychopaths, even as children are basically narcissistic, think they are better than everyone else and lead to believe they are entitled, they are the least likely of any personality group to seek help. This being the case how are you going to treat them?
Also how do you explain the fact that psychopaths CHOOSE thier victims? Ted Bundy never abused his girlfriend, he treated her well like a 'normal' person, he didn't display his sick ways with neighbors and co-workers where he brought out his charm. He chose hitch-hikers and the like as his victims, runaways etc. Now that looks like someone cunning enough to make choices. I mean I always find it interesting that someone will abuse some children and not others where the opportunity to be caught is evident. Why would a psychopath praise those who are above him and treat his underlings like shit? He knows he can gain from those above that's why. And to me that sounds like intelligence at work not innocence. Just because you are hard-wired in a certain direction doesn't make you INNOCENT! One thing we can say about children is that they actually do display innocence. A little girl will pull up her dress in public as well as private because she doesn't know or understand that there is a difference between public and private behaviour, she's simply being spontaneous. Psychopaths are so diabolical that if you rehabilitate them they become worse because it gives them other social cues to do what they do better undetected. But you say its treatable?Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!
Sometime the scientific community can be naive, is there a test for naivete we can do on Sherman?
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Its the enticing song of a so called objective scientifically based fascist society Fragg, that's all Sniff is suggesting. Welcome to 1984 were we will 'rid' you of even the most benign character traits in the hope of forming a utopia of no violence and happy loving 'empathetic' people. HA!
According to the scientists that you were so keen on having me quote it is actually quite easy to spot a psychopath. Nowhere have I or they advocated persecuting mentally ill people. Mentally ill people are already heavily persecuted by your legal system. People don't become psychopaths they are born psychopaths. Therefore if you punish them for behaving in a predisposed way; in a way they are compelled to behave by imprisoning them you are persecuting for something they cannot help but do.
What the scientists are advocating is identifying psychopathy in individuals, much as you might with any other biological or inherited illness, and offering some form of treatment where necessary. What exactly is your problem with that? Are you saying that those with a mental illness who are inclined to do harm in society don't deserve to have their conditions researched like, say, those who pose far less of a risk such as schizophrenics?
If as the leading scientists in the field estimate there are approximately 1% of Americans with psychopathy and that 25% of the US prison populations are made up of psychopaths wouldn't you say that was worthy of some deeper investigation? When you add to that the fact that of those 25% the majority are incarcerated for violent crimes which land on a scale of violence (between 1 to 6) at 4 and above. Then I don't know about you but I see a pattern worthy of investigation. Don't you Fraggle? Lucysnow?
Far from advocating locking up everyone with mental illness I'm suggesting that you investigate and identify those who are most at risk of commiting violent crimes. You know in a risk assessment style manner.
I feel this is very much getting a grip of something that is difficult rather than sticking my head in the sand and saying 'shit happens'.
But this is exactly what one gets here when trying to tackle difficult issues isn't it? They are called fascists and slippery slope arguments are applied to everything they say.
And that lightening and bees straw man you keep throwing in Fraggle....
Leading scientists estimate that psychopaths make up 25% of the US prison population having committed violent crimes measuring 4 and above
on scale of 1 to 6. Most sexual offenders are psychopaths, for instance, including paedophiles. Don't suppose you have much of a problem locking them up though, eh?
1% of the American population. Aye carumba!
And just in case you are under any illusions as to what damage a psychopath can do I would bear in mind a fairly recent case in the UK. That of Dr Harold Shipman who was convicted of murdering 15 of his patients but probably murdered many, many more over his 'career'.
So you see when armed; these people are very dangerous indeed.
Add up the body counts and you may find yourself worrying a little less about the lightening and the bees.
Well if the desire to murder all 13 of your fellow students is a 'benign trait' in your view then that is indeed what I am advocating.
So this here sciforum site; science or what? :shrug:
I have posted innumerable links and quotes from them in this thread about the columbine incident. I suggest if you want to have an informed discussion you go back through it follow the links and do your own homework just as I did.
You might start by following up on '60 Minutes' which made two programmes about it. Columbine and Columbine II
BTW patterns of behaviour; not isolated acts....
If you could just show me where I assume this? And which particular idea exhudes a certain disdain for life and the human condition?
Anyway, this 'human condition'? What is it exactly, in your view?
Mine is that humans are bipedal mammals with large brains which struggle with life. We just make it up as we go along until we stumble upon patterns that we recognise as potentially significant and then study them as our large brains compel us to do (I mean what else are large brains for?) in the hope that they might mean something. Or not.
The human condition? It's a scream, baby.
The biggest irony of all about this comment is that fascist leaders fit very neatly into the behavioural diagnosis of psychopaths.
Take, for instance, Hitler as a case study. He managed to get himself 'elected' (smell the irony if you will). Once elected he then went about systematically altering the laws until he and his party had supreme control over the government. He took away voting rights from all but those supporting the nazi party and he chose as his commanders others who shared his pathology. He used the most sophisticated marketing techniques and propaganda to bolster his cause and win support as he 'tooled up' the armed forces, created the Hitler Youth and put into motion his plan for the extermination of all undesirables which included all opponents, communists as well as Jews, homosexuals, blacks and disabled people.
Another well-known chappie with the same nefarious traits and behaviours was Napoleon Bonaparte if you should get tired of Hitler as a case study.
The point I'm making is that these people do manage to get themselves 'elected' so it might just be in all our interest to, as I've said previously, know the signs and fully understand what such people are capable of if left unchecked....
They are not always violent, of course. Allen Stanford and Bernard Madoff spring to mind here.....
Hitler was very good with dogs.
I am not speaking of psychopathy but your suggestion that 'trait's should be intevened upon. Traits are not clinically full blown diagnoses of something, yes traits can be benign in the sense that being pre-disposed to something doesn't guarantee it will predominate in someones life, like an alcoholic trait or a nacississm
I'll have to answer the other posts later
So with that last statement I am not to assume you hold the human condition in complete disdain? Anyway the human condition is what it is the good bad and the ugly. Its youth, aging, health and sickness, emotional complexities, failures, triumphs, our misery and joys.
I assumed this the moment we stopped the focus on psychopathy which is quite rare and began delving into depression and alcoholism and removing even benign traits as many of us do have some traits of narcissim and psychopathy. As for 'doing my homework' I have been in this thread from the beginning just like you, if you don't feel the need to re-post the relevant thread to my question I will simply not deal with that particular point. When Oli asked about something which I had already posted a link for I simply posted it again. It was simple really.
I don't blame Hitler for his rise I blame those who didn't question his position. We are all responsible for the leaders we elect, and since Germany was and is a democracy I blame the massess not one man whether he be a psycho or not. The same way I have little sympathy for those who live with and tolerate the sadist whom they obviously feel they benefit from in one way or another. I am all for knowing the signs and have never disagreed with you on that, I think we should know the signs for many things.
Not all serial killers or murderous dictators of psychopaths. A person isn't necessarily a psychopath just because they are ruthless, greedy, or compulsively kill people. Such a person certainly might be a psychopath, but they aren't necessarily.
One of the main symptoms of psychopathy is inability to plan and execute long-term life goals, irresponsibility, and unwillingness to complete long-term projects or obligations even when it would be in the psychopath's own best interests to do so. To put it bluntly, psychopaths are usually losers. They can't generally work hard enough on something for long enough to actually accomplish something with their lives. They are constantly in search of new things to do and new ways to amuse themselves, and get bored very easily. It is unlikely, for example, that Dr Harold Shipman was a psychopath, because it is unlikely that a psychopath would have the self-discipline and long-term planning ability to successfully complete medical school.
It seems unlikely to me that Hitler was a psychopath, because he appeared to have a very genuine dedication to achieving power and worked toward it steadily for many years. He was clearly able to execute long-term plans. Of course this doesn't mean that he wasn't insane; but I doubt that he was a psychopath. The same goes for Stalin. I'm not really familiar enough with the lives of Pol Pot or Mao, but I would want to see some evidence that they were psychopaths before I would be willing to believe it, because most psychopaths wouldn't have the dedication necessary to rise to national power. They would toy with the idea, perhaps start to make an attempt, and them get bored and do something else.
If that doesn't prove malice aforethought and that something should and could have been done I don't know what does. :shrug:
Are you after a prize?
Life is just is what it is; a scream, baby to which the only appropriate resonse is when it is happening to you is to laugh. If we can't laugh about it from time to time it just isn't worth being human; laughing being a uniquely human trait which probably evolved to help relieve the stress of being human.....
And when we're not laughing we try our best to relieve what little we can of the suffering and perhaps try to learn something from the rest.
Hard to discern disdain in my postion.
But regarding disdain, I might add that the only examples of such have come from the direction of Fragglerocker and Lucysnow.....
Psychopaths are very good at planning but not necessarily at 'life-planning'. They can be quite meticulous or at least very grandiose. Indeed the very grandiosity is often what leads to failure. If you think about Hitler and Napolean in particular (the former was a great admirer of the latter) it was the overblown and expansive nature of their plans that ultimately brought them down. Because psychopaths can be very charismatic they recruit others to their 'cause' who then go about putting the plans into effect. If you think about it Hitler actually lasted only 15 years from his entrance into German politics, rapid rise and downfall. Not a long-time in politics.
I think what happens is that psychopaths become obsessive about something in particular and then go about acting on the objects of their obsession. There's a lot of action justification going on too. Lots of 'They deserve to die because they are.....'. Such patterns of behaviour are observable and predicatable according to those who have studied the pathology.
Harold Shipman was threatened with exposure and investigation on a number of occasions but managed to 'charm' his way out. He had a drug problem and was nearly struck off at one point. I understand that his wife was instrumental in keeping the 'lid' on many of his misdemeaners and some of his early colleagues certainly 'covered' for him.
Both these interesting:
Actually I guess a better way of putting it would be to say that they're bad at sticking to something that takes any sort of extended effort to accomplish, because they get bored so easily. Hence my doubt about a psychopath being able to finish medical school.
I have never heard of obsessiveness being a characteristic of psychopathy. In fact I would suspect that most psychopaths wouldn't have the attention span necessary to be good at being obsessive with something; they would likely get bored and move on to something else. They're usually very impulsive and fickle.
My main point was simply that one should remember that a person isn't necessarily a psychopath just because they're a ruthless dictator or serial killer. They certainly could be a psychopath, but they might not be. People can and do have obsessive compulsions that drive them to kill or seek power that aren't related to psychopathy. So if you want to try to list well-known people who were psychpaths as part of an argument that psychopaths need to be kept on a leash, you have to do better than just listing prominent killers or dictators.
Separate names with a comma.