Greetings dear community --
I have been reading some posts here on this forum and there is something that is bugging me. The definition of a sociopath - correct me if I am wrong - is lack of emotion, conscience and remorse. If so, then how can you know you do not feel emotions? Also, I've noted some referring to emotions as a weakness, and some here have mentioned that they would prefer to have no emotions at all even if given the chance to have them; how exactly did you come to these conclusions? Is it like you would know that smoking sucks without ever trying a cigarette? Or did you have some emotional capability when you were younger? Or something else, such as mere observing?
Having no emotions, how exactly is it you can judge the unknown?
Also, some people such as WhiteWolf have mentioned having no fear. Does that also mean lack of self-preservation? Or is it only things such as having wit in a tight situation? I'm also curious to know whether any of you have ever had an adrenaline rush.
Sincerely, Juso Crampton
From the perspective of one of these individuals, it is very easy to examine yourself and simply see that you lack any emotion. They see everyone else being enslaved and held back by emotions such as remorse or regret, and dub this internal struggle as weakness simply because they do not experience such emotions. These individuals often have a strong sense of self-preservation that is made known in certain situations, such as an attacking drunk neighbor, the subject will quickly analyze the situation and choose a course of action. In such a situation, a biological excitement can be felt but it is not an emotional excitement, it is only the necessary bodily chemicals needed for a exceptional retaliation.
First of all, I love the greeting! What a great way to start a post on these forums, no?
It seems that sociopathy means several different things to different groups, something that I think Daniel Birdick and Dee points out repeatedly so I won't dwell on that too much. How can someone who claims to have never had access to regular emotions know anything about them unless they at one point felt them you ask? I don't know. It may be as you suggest Juso. Maybe they just look around and notice the differences. I imagine it wouldn't be very difficult to spot all these other people referring to emotions and feelings and experiences that seem to be completely absent in your own experience. For instance, you Juso might notice an absence of a strong desire to ritualistically torture animals within yourself. That's one way you would notice that you have a different psychological experience from some, say, a horror novel version of psychopaths. You then ask about people who want to be unemotional. Again, I theorize that many people who say this out of a sense of wanting to be released from emotional suffering. They think they would find relief if they could be cold hearted. They theorize that relationships would be simpler if they could be utterly self centered and ruthless because their experience of relationship may have been very painful.
But who knows? I could totally off base! What do you think Juso?
Emotions are easily observable in others. Their facial expression, tone of voice and actions. The best evidence of this is the wide range and the way people get emotional, unrational, from different things. As you observe people you know which buttons to press to get the desired reaction. This is how i know emotions exist and i know how to fake them to cause others to be sympathetic to my feelings, even if they are not real.
I get a rush out of certain situations, sometimes i get paranoid about certain things. But if a bus came speeding towards me i would not freeze in fear, i would get the adrenaline rush of the situation of impending death, but no the fear associated with it. There isn't a single thing i'm afraid of doing. For example my first skydive. I felt nothing but the adrenaline when i jumped out without a moments hesitaton. No emotional state when i looked out from the plane, nothing.
When I think of desire I think of an emotional kind of “stretching toward”, so to speak, with the belief that satisfaction, pleasure, etc will be experienced once the object of the desire is obtained. To want, to reach for or stretch toward the experience of torturing another living being, believing that it will be satisfying, is what I meant. As for whether this definition of desire is correct or not, well that’s up to us, isn’t it? In any event, I used the torturing animals desire as a way of demonstrating that if, as you say, everyone around you loved to torture animals and you noticed that you did not, you could then come onto an internet forum like this and indicate the difference without having firsthand knowledge of this desire yourself. You may not really know what the experience is like if the capacity for it is absent, but you can know that it is absent when you compare yourself with others, much as a virgin can know he/she has not had sex and can report that difference to others.
I am loyal to my own. You don't have to have a conscience to have a sense of loyalty or honor. I believe a conscience will actually make things such as loyalty more waivering in people.
There is what they want to do and there is what they should do. Often people choose themselves over what is right. Some subject themselves to guilt but refuse to stop the behavior. Honor is a forgotten word.
I believe the analogy of deer in headlights explained it best. We just don't feel fear. It doesn't exist in our world. It scares you that we can be civil without the threat of fear? Imagine if you made one of us... angry. Without fear or consequence... what would stop us. Believe it or not... I am incapable of sustaining a feeling of hatred towards others. You could make me mad today and tomorrow we could be friends again.
Life is to much like a game for me to hold onto negative feelings. I just stop caring. If you can understand that. Without a conscience to stir my emotions and.. do whatever it does that makes you people stay mad for days. I lack that.
So there you have it. Fearless, incapable of sustaining hatred and loyal to my own.
Thank you for replying, Whitewolf!
I think it's more to do with the fact that humans are the most violent beings on the planet. It's our instinct to harm other living things, and enjoy it. For me personally, i dislike violence. I never start fights but once i'm forced into a physical confrontation i have nothing holding me back from just maiming a person to death without hesitation. Luckily i've never fought anyone alone so someone has always stepped in to stop me. Apparently i lose all human facial expressions and just lose myself, which i enjoy. It's the consequences that i aknoweledge i don't like, thus i avoid fighting.
Consequences. My mother would always tell me to think of the consequences before doing something. I just learned not to get caught.
Can't deny what you are. Why try?
I could walk through the valley of the shadow of death and never feel fear. I do not recognize pain as something that could hurt me. Losing to one of them... very unlikely but possible.
Thank you for all the terrific responses, everyone!
I believe I have received the answer to my question; I've another one but I believe it would be a little off-topic to introduce it here. I will create another topic for that later on.
Lastly, to answer your question, Whitewolf: