But when we define people, who DO have morals, as psychopaths, when at the same time one of the defining traits of psychopathy is the absence of morals, we have a problem.
So where does this occur? Well Dr. Robert Hare, f.ex., states that some secondary psychopaths can have morals pretty much as committed and deep as everybody else, the difference lies in what morals they adhere to, or rather: Who’s morals they adhere to!
It seems this would mean that if your feelings of commitment and loyalty, your sense of identity in terms of what group (or society) you belong to, are every bit as strong as everybody else’s but aren’t applied to the majority of society, to mainstream society, then you may be a psychopath (if the other traits are present in you)!
Where do I stand in this regard? … In a way I stand with the classical psychopath because I don’t adhere to morals, at least not in the way that I think morals is right and good just for being morals.
What I do adhere to is ethics.
Ethics is in many ways the opposite of morals. But they also have a much stronger behavioral potential. With ethics you can never be convinced killing Jews is good and right just because it’s morally right in that society in that historical era. Depending on the kind of ethics you adhere to they can make you stand on your view of what is right even in the face of being condemned to life in prison or being given a death penalty. I don’t believe psychopaths would find such a a way of thinking meaningful – as I’ve said before, psychopaths don’t operate with ‘Meaning’ in the same way that the rest of us do.
I must say that I do agree with Robert Hare when he says that psychopathy is in part neurological, but there MUST be the presence of a certain type of behavior in order for someone to be diagnosed a psychopath.
So … The fact is that I do encompass both of these parts, even excessively so. …So how is it that I still do not see myself as a psychopath, even with so much ‘evidence’ to the contrary? – This brings me to the heart of the matter, I believe: No matter how complete a system is, there are exceptions. And I think that not only am I one of those, I think there may be a lot of exceptions out there, exceptions that are much easier to point out then myself because most of them haven’t even committed crimes.
My claim is related to the claim of those who say: “Not all psychopaths are psychopaths, you know!” … While that is not exactly what I say, it does have a connection, for I say: Not all who fits the description outwardly are in fact what they may seem! … Like I’ve said earlier I believe it has to do with how the individual think.
Here is how I think:
I am not selfish in that I don’t care what happens to the world around me. I care a lot!! And I want to do what is in my power to help thing go in the direction that is better rather than worse.
My definition of ‘good’ is what helps our species survive along with the rest of the planet … along with the rest of planet, because I believe we’re best off if we can ensure some kind of harmony.
However, harmony for me is not ‘no death’ and ‘no illness’, etc.. I think everything has it’s place and every action it’s time. Whether it is good or bad depends on how it impacts life as such, the life of our species first, but most definitely life of the rest of all that exists next. Since the two are almost interchangeable, that statement is actually rhetorical.
I try to see things from the larger perspective, and from the larger perspective thinking only about your own immediate gratification without consideration for anything else, big or small, is either a sign of stupidity and lacking in intellectual capacity, or it is: Psychopathy.
The one most defining factor is ‘to care’ or “caring’. I think the repeated notion of ‘self gratification’ stems from a lack of care, basically a lack of care even for the individuals themselves. Is it possible to only care about yourself, when one’s own survival and wellbeing obviously in various ways depends upon the same for one’s surroundings?
Maybe it’s true what some researchers think: That the psychopath is in a permanent state of infantile unawareness of others than themselves. But there’s the question about instincts, because there are in every living being inherited instincts that determine our further evolution. In that sense it may very well be that the psychopath is neurotically impaired. But if so, it only helps to further my claim that I’m not myself a psychopath.
I don’t think we can afford to only view the psychopathy issue from our current cultural viewpoint – and that’s what I think Robert Hare is doing, sadly.
I believe I am, with the above text, very clearly showing that I am not … cannot be … a psychopath!