Discussion in 'Human Science' started by skaught, Feb 20, 2011.

  1. birch Valued Senior Member

    as an example of what a sociopath would do, my stepfather for some reason tried to get his mother to think i was the problem. he would make negative inferances behind my back as a child to his mother that i was a difficult child which was not the case at all. this was to excuse his abuse. actually i was obedient and rather shy at the time, he was the opposite and maybe he disliked that as he was aggressive. because of the abuse i was often withdrawn and depressed at the time. she once said to me that she felt sorry for her son to have to come home to look at a depressed child all the time while she waved her cigarette and blew smoke in my face. basically she accused me of the problem. first of all, one can tell that she is not a very wise woman for never questioning why a child might be this way. after she learned years later, she was very sorry for what she said as her eyes were opened so to speak.

    that's the thing about sociopaths, they want people to believe that what 'appears' to be is the truth when appearances aren't always the truth. of course because appearances is the image they hide behind to do their shit.
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2011
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  3. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member

    Yes John, that's possibly right.

    I was interested in some earlier threads that suggested that Sociopaths might have inherent brain differences to the "normal population".

    Criminal psychopaths have for a long time been associated with the coincidence of two factors:
    1: Frontal lobe brain injury through accident.
    2. An abusive childhood.

    I hadn't heard before of these non traumatic brain differences in Sociopaths.
    Possibly they are different illnesses.
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  5. John99 Banned Banned

    I doubt any brain difference would be obvious to show up in scans or be physically apparent in the sociopath, off hand dont remember seeing anything conclusive. I think almost everyone exhibit traits at some time or another that can be viewed as sociopathic. If it becomes a sustained part of a persons personality then it is either a problem or can become worse than just a problem. Otoh, things directed at us are much worse to us then perhaps they actually are, in reality. Nearly everyone has little issue with a persons cruelty directed at another so sociopath is sometimes a matter of if it effects us or not. Sometimes we partake in the sociopaths cruelty...i say cruelty because i think it fits with the sociopath personality.
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  7. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

    It doesn't require a sociopath to make decisions, this is a misnomer. If you want a fair system to make decisions then get a computer to crunch the numbers and output the results, this implies there is no need for a sociopath in any form of hierarchy power model.

    (you might or might not feel guilty about carrying out what the computer tells you to though, just remember it only crunched the numbers and the numbers are what the majority would require. So if the majority was sociopaths, we'd probably end up with another Eugenics program.)

    As for world leaders that were sociopaths:
    Hitler seems to have been one. (Possibly caused by previous military service)
  8. John99 Banned Banned

    So we would say: This person is a "low level sociopath" as he\she only pulls wings of flies, or what would be viewed as equal to that. So if he\she spent the rest of their lives only pulling wings of flies as their sole act of cruelty...this is not normal but the fly could also have ended up flying into fly paper. Sad for the fly but
  9. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    From an anthropological perspective, the sociopath lacks the pack-social instinct that guides human relationships. Like wolves, gorillas, lions, horses, dolphins and many other mammalian species, we have synapses programmed by our DNA to depend on and care for a small group of extended-family members whom we've known intimately since birth. This contrasts with:
    • Solitary hunters or scavengers, who regard others of their species as competitors for scarce resources except in the narrow circumstances of mating and (for females) childrearing, and with
    • Herd-social species, who maintain a minimal level of courtesy with anonymous strangers, band together to fight off predators and protect the young of the herd, and follow the lead cow to new grazing lands.
    • There are other types of socialization but these are the only ones I know much about and I don't even know the proper biologist's names for them.
    Humans have taken pack-socialization to a new level. Unlike the lone wolf or the lone chimpanzee, it's very difficult for a lone human to survive in nature, especially since we've pushed the frontiers of civilization to some incredibly hostile climate zones. But more than that, we have overridden our instinctive behavior with reasoned and learned behavor. We have redefined our "pack" and expanded it to include:
    • First, nearby clans who moved in together at the dawn of the Agricultural Revolution, when economies of scale made larger farms and herds more productive,
    • Second, people we were barely acquainted with in the first large towns, when division of labor made specialized occupations possible,
    • Then, anonymous strangers in cities,
    • Then, people in distant parts of a nation whom we never even met,
    • And now, people on the other side of the planet who are nothing more than abstractions to us.
    We are, effectively, operating as a herd-social species. Unfortunately a few hundred generations of evolution have not been enough to reprogram our instincts, so we are always imposing reasoned and learned behavior over our instinctive behavior. (Unlike dogs, who have had twenty thousand generations to become a distinct subspecies of wolf, and are, ironically, better adapted to civilization than we are.)

    This explains why people so often behave in "uncivilized" ways. We're constantly quarreling with our Inner Caveman, trying to get him to repress his Stone Age instincts and get along with strangers. Since he's rational he's generally willing to do that in return for the benefits of central heating, cheeseburgers, leisure time, discretionary income, and a much larger assortment of Caveladies to choose from. But occasionally he has a bad day and reverts to Paleolithic behavior.

    The difference with a sociopath is that he doesn't have any social instincts at all. He's just pretending. For him, every day is an exercise in pretending to be one of us so he can share in the bounty provided by our civilization. Like the caveman, he is rational (after all he is a Homo sapiens), so he gets pretty good at this charade. There are probably sociopaths walking among us who have disciplined themselves to be indistinguishable from us, playing their role flawlessly. They may have few friends and no spouse or children, because that level of acting is too difficult, but still they manage to fit in. They probably take from civilization more than they contribute, because they have no conscience, but hey lots of "normal" people don't manage to do any better than that. If the sociopath never commits murder, it's because he's making the same tradeoff as our Inner Caveman: let the other people live and have their own wealth, in order to get along and prosper rather than going to prison. It's a rational decision that even a sociopath can understand.

    But the sociopaths we can identify don't try to fit in, perhaps because they lack the acting talent to pull it off, or perhaps because they are so repulsed by human companionship that they can't stand to let us live happily.

    Whether sociopathy can be a condition that occurs later in life is a question I'll leave to the experts. The young of all mammal species are programmed to be kind to their parents, and often to their siblings--even those who will grow up to be solitary hunters who kill a member of their own species who intrudes on their territory.

    A human born as a sociopath may, therefore, grow up looking and acting normal, and only manifest his true personality as he matures. By this point he's had years of practice being one of us so he has all the skills to pass as one of us.

    If something happens to a normal human--a brain injury, for example--that turns him into a sociopath, I'm not sure how we could distinguish him from one who was born that way. They both have to get along with their parents or they won't survive childhood.
  10. John99 Banned Banned

    What makes you believe\think all sociopaths dont have relationships or cannot have a decent relationship with another person?
  11. quinnsong Valued Senior Member

    Developing the ability to question natural laws made it necessary to create an abstract moral methodology. Without instinctive restrictions on behaviour, humans were able to adopt a self-serving, rather than species-serving, code of conduct; and a system had to be put in place in order to prevent people from taking this attitude too far. There are individuals today who function, to varying degrees, outside of normal cultural restraints. When taken to an extreme, these people are termed sociopathic. Sociopaths are genetically flawed, and do not experience the social emotions (although they generally simulate them, in order to appear normal). The social emotions are the instinctive codes that allow gregarious creatures to form groups, and raise offspring: the innate tendencies that permit humans to share, feel pity, and to experience regret and shame. A person who lacks these natural feelings is entirely self-serving; and has no compassion for others: the pinnacle of sociopathy, is the serial killer. There is also a cultural element at work here; which accounts for the fact that, although the United States accounts for five percent of the human population, it generates eighty-five percent of the world's serial killers. It is quite unlikely that Americans produce such a disproportionate number of psychotic offspring due to a predominant genetic flaw in the country's general population: it is wiser to assume that American culture provides the environment where sociopaths are more apt to act in an extreme manner.

    What makes American society conducive to excesses of unnatural behaviour? A number of factors contribute toward making the United States unique among nations. First and foremost, is the fact that the Western world, and Americans in particular, consume most of the world's resources; while representing a small fraction of the overall population. This signifies that the culture is materialistic: that it demands more resources than it requires (the absurdly high obesity rate is a good example of this). A materialistic attitude is fundamentally, a self-serving disposition; which is placing one's own desires over the needs of the species. To desire a house larger than you require, while others need simple shelter; to desire so much food that it negatively impacts on your health, while others die of starvation; to desire extraneous luxuries, while others lack the basic requirements for survival: all this represents a selfish and materialistic way of life. The "hyper-consumerism" that drives Western society reinforces sociopathic behaviour: the baseline is that much closer to the extreme.

    Another contributing factor is the predominance of Christianity in U.S. culture; specifically, two concepts that have developed in the religion: original sin, and absolution. Original sin, or "sins of the father", contends that all humans are inherently guilty of the sins committed by Adam and Eve: in other words, everyone is evil from birth. Some forms of Christianity no longer support this viewpoint; and some others claim that accepting Yeshua Ben Joseph (Jesus) as a god, or god-like entity, will earn you forgiveness for your inborn transgressions. The various books of the Judeo-Christian Bible are contradictory on the subject, which has led to the differences in doctrine. Instilling this concept into children is poor judgment at best; doing this to children with sociopathic tendencies is validating that their antisocial thoughts are a normal human attribute. Absolution, or being forgiven for one's evil actions, is a good concept in principle: it provides the opportunity for people to change their negative behaviour, and receive an ultimate reward for doing so. Unfortunately, some individuals use this concept for self-serving purposes: committing antisocial acts, with the belief that they can be absolved of any responsibility for such behaviour.

    People must be accountable for their own actions: instinctive emotions (guilt, etc.) are present to reinforce this accountability. To take complete responsibility for one's mistakes, is to learn from them, and hopefully, not repeat them. Projecting your own shortcomings onto people or events in your past, or onto society in general, is simply avoiding the innate feelings that make you uncomfortable. Ultimately, it is you who performs an evil action; and you who decides whether the evil actions of others are going to control you: the final moral decision is yours, and yours alone.

    Copyright 1998 B.W.Holmes - all rights reserved (unless noted otherwise). Quotes from ancient literary works do not carry a copyright
  12. Me-Ki-Gal Banned Banned

    You might want to read Ted Kazinskies Manifesto.
  13. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Their relationships tend to be dysfunctional, manipulative, or downright abusive. With the opposite sex they tend to be promiscuous. On the job they tend to perform poorly and ignore safety. They lie, steal, break laws, are cruel to animals, can't control their temper, and show no remorse or empathy.

    They may very well enter into relationships coldly in order to manipulate the other person for their own ulterior motives, or simply for self-gratification. But how could a person with most of those traits be said to have a "decent" relationship?
  14. Me-Ki-Gal Banned Banned

    That sounds like the average American ending in divorce
  15. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

    Strange, I would have thought that the average American ended in death.
  16. Me-Ki-Gal Banned Banned

    I heard recently that more murders in America are committed by woman killing there husband. I wonder if that is a true statistic ?
  17. birch Valued Senior Member

    it is known now that psychopaths are usually born. that may have been the past knowledge but it is known now that it is hereditary.
  18. quinnsong Valued Senior Member

    What is your point? Although, now that u recommended it, I shall!
  19. birch Valued Senior Member

    just to clarify, a lot of these characteristics is generally true especially the coldness, ulterior motives and manipulation, the rest just depends on the person's interest. not all sociopaths are going to be interested in cruelty to animals. it all depends on what a sociopaths particular interests lie at. it just may not be their thing and though they may enter relationships to manipulate others or are controlling, they can care for someone of their choosing. a sociopath could care for their child, for instance because it is theirs but this caring is more out of narcissism that the kid is 'theirs' so passing on their genes so will take care of it and be unabusive. after all, narcissists think they are of more value than others.

    well, this is not true. yes, they can be married and have children. they would most likely marry another sociopath and that marriage would last. sociopaths can be social butterflies and be very connected. they "want" access to people and be included. sociopaths don't want to be the person who is a loner or stand out individually on the fringe, they very much are interested in whatever is considered the most respectable or traditional so people can think they are good or look up to them with respect. their sense of individuality is not in artistic or cultural expression etc but that they are above the law and can do anything they want which of course they would never tell anyone. sociopaths usually hold very traditional values or authoritarian values (because they are power hungry) while in private are actually the most amoral or immoral (ends justify the means). it appeals to them because it is usually the least democratic and sociopaths truly believe in oppression of those they think are lesser. they want control over others. very few people have really true friends anyways but a lot of social connections, it is the same with a sociopath but they also can have closer friends. it's just that they will be friends with people more like them, other sociopaths or other cold people etc.
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2011
  20. chimpkin C'mon, get happy! Registered Senior Member

    Fraggle, this struck me, oddly enough, as kind of what a sociopath is.

    Only it's a bit more insidious than that...they use the human pack instinct against the rest of us, because they don't have it.

    And from viewing my sociopath ex-boyfriend? they enjoy doing it. It's great fun...or as I put it after I broke up with him...
    "He just sits there in his little house like a plotting, malignant toad!"
    (Well, he did)

    ...I have actually returned random stranger's wallets, cellphones, money, keys, etc, meanwhile getting vicarious joy at their relief in having their things back.
    I really am weird, aren't I?

    ...And I suppose that sort of high empathy level for other people made me a perfect target for The Toad to mooch money off of...because I worried for him, so of course he was able to get me to give him money...:facepalm:

    I'm sure he's mooching money off of some other woman now...

    Life is a sexually transmitted disease, 100% fatality rate.

    BTW, just because the brains of some psychopaths/sociopaths (again, that problem with the terminology) do seem to actually be structurally different...this doesn't totally imply immutability. I know that in other disorders appropriate medication prevents brain structural changes: the caving-out that goes on with depression and bipolar, or the general loss in density of gray matter that occurs in schizophrenia.
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2011
  21. birch Valued Senior Member

    that's their mark. they often are most attracted to the most innocent, giving etc not to nurture them but to use them for their benefit.

    as for interpersonal relationships, since we live in a time where men can't force women to be with them or at least not as much as in the past, these types of sociopaths get with other sociopaths and have long-lasting relationships while they predate on their marks.

    a good example is the dugan girl, that sociopath and his wife were in complicity. they are the same type of people, maybe not exactly in their methods, but in spirit or internal basic values system.

    sociopaths do find other sociopaths to have relationships with. it's easy as there are a lot of bad people (secretly) out there.

    i am not convinced that antisocial behavior is just due to some brain structure problems. that's like saying a tiger has a disorder for killing it's prey or a parasite is crazy for destroying it's host.

    it's rational to them because they get what they want out of it. the simple truth is that some people are just more cruel than others and some people are more conscientious. we can say that someone who doesn't have a conscience or doesn't exercise conscience has some physical problem but in nature selfishness rules. people who are more cruel just may be more undeveloped in their brain or have not had to develop empathy. sometimes people have to be forced to develop empathy by backlash. if one hasn't experienced it, they are more apt to continue selfishly.

    how this is evident is no one is cruel for no reason, even if it's not what we consider a legitimate reason. their cruelty has a purpose, even if it feeds a cruel sense of competition etc.
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2011
  22. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    These statistics are about fifteen years old, but they suggest that women kill their husbands at about the same rate than men kill their wives. They do it differently (e.g., poison, which may pass as a heart attack) or even hire someone else (which will not be counted as a murder by a wife), so they are less likely to show up in the figures.

    While I was surfing for this I spotted a line in an article asserting that pregnant wives are disproportionately represented in these statistics. Blame it all on hormones?

    Another issue that affects the statistics is that a woman is more likely to be acquitted by a jury than a man. In the current era it would be politically correct to let her go free if she claims she was abused, even if the evidence supporting the assertion is weak. It's a sad fact that husbands are abused and they get little sympathy--or even credibility--but their numbers are tiny compared to abused women.
    It's not that they take it up as a hobby. But if they happen to encounter somebody's dog or cat they're likely to casually kick it out of the way, or worse. They have no empathy for members of their own species so they're hardly going to feel any more conscientious about our companion animals.
    I find no evidence to indicate that sociopaths have a very high rate of parenthood. Of course since they're more sexually active than the rest of us (no hangups, no consideration for the feelings of the partner, no respect for monogamy--if they get horny they just go find somebody to fuck) and since there are plenty of people so low on self esteem that they'd be content to have a relationship with a cold-blooded abuser, obviously some of them do reproduce. But what little I've been able to find on this particular aspect of sociopathy indicated that male sociopaths are wretched fathers.

    Our species is unusual among the apes in that both parents participate in childrearing. We have to, since childhood lasts so much longer than in any other species. But one of the ways evolution accommodates this is by freeing human females from the estrus cycle that dictates the times when females of most other species are physically capable of copulation. Women can have sex all through their long pregnancy and lactation, and for the rest of their lives they're not limited to a certain few days in which they're capable of it, leaving their mates to look around for another partner the rest of the time.

    But a sociopath has no sense of monogamy. So this extraordinary biology that we share with chimpanzees, dolphins, and a handful of other species is not going to have a strong attraction to him, when he can just go out and pick up someone else, leaving the wife home to deal with the diapers, toilet training, PTA meetings, etc.
    This is interesting. Can you give us a reference on that?
    Excuse me??? Are you speaking from experience? I don't have a huge number of "true friends" but I do have several. I still have close friends from high school, more than fifty years ago.
  23. birch Valued Senior Member

    yes, i am speaking from personal experience. my stepfather which is a sociopath had two marriages and three children. it's true that his relationships with them were often strained but there was not so much abuse towards them as they were upset he was fighting or abusive with their mothers etc. but these women were not weak either so it's not completely an issue of them being a victim. thier marriages was not a case of perpetrator/victim though sometimes those extremes do happen. they "chose" this person for the characteristics he has because they are the same in the general sense. they have the same type of authoritarian values, the same type of humor, religion etc otherwise, why would they? they weren't forced to and their marriages were not set up nor were even trying to leave. someone constantly trying to leave but unable to is more indicative of a victim. i find him despicable and can't understand the attraction physically or mentally but that's them. the divorce he had wasn't from a victim trying to escape their tormentor scenario. it was other issues with some issues of abuse. after all, these women are not soft or very feminine female types either. those are they types that are their mark or would more readily see as victims. a sociopathic narcissist usually is very authoritarian with others and there are females that are of similar values that which they would generally get along. these women were equal partners to him, not victims though his temper or cruelty could be turned on them sometimes. from the outside looking in, there is nothing remarkable that makes him stand out of the population.

    whether he cheated on them also doesn't make him stand out of the population because many men cheat. men can cheat and still stay in a marriage. but he was a cold, cruel person who enjoyed inflicting constant pain. it's true that he had problems in jobs with other people and constantly moved around but he does have friends and associates that are similar to him through the church and just finding people like him. you are also painting women as a complete victim when they choose to stay in an abusive relationship. sometimes they are but the ones who stay and especially those who are in complicity are also sociopaths. sociopaths can marry other sociopaths, not just their victims.

    as for the dog-kicking, that is not true. that would depend on the type of sociopath who enjoys inflicting pain on animals. not all sociopaths are going to do that as that may not be their interest. there are sociopaths who have an overinflated grandiose sense of self which they are not bothered by anything they see as no competition or that grovels for them. his mark was other people, not animals. i never said that sociopaths necessarily have any real empathy for animals or what have you, but lack of empathy does not constitute a proactive desire to target animals either. that's the point i'm making. that may be different depending on the sociopath as they are all different individuals.

    as for 'true friends', i never said that most people have none but that 'true friends' are rare vs more associates and fair weather friends. that seems to be the case for most people.

    yes, i do know a lot about this subject as i said before that living with them as well as the types of people they are closest to and keep as long-term friendships (other sociopaths) brings you into contact with more others and thus you have a breadth of experience and insight to draw upon. sociopaths are all individuals with some key traits in common but they will not be all exactly alike.
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2011

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