I just finished this book. I found parts of it amusing. For example: in the first chapter, Martha Stout introduces us to an attorney named Joe, who risks his job in order to take care of his dog. As she puts it, "Joe sacrifices a high-stakes desire of his own in favor of an action that no one will witness, a choice that will not enrich him by even one penny. What could possible cause a young, ambitious lawyer to do such a thing?" And then she goes on to say that such a choice is consistent with an act of conscience.
Then, in chapter nine, she goes on to say that conscience was evolutionarily selected for because it helps to preserve (in order of descending importance) the individual, their genes, their species. So... how does wrecking his career in order to take care of a dog do any of that?
This is purely my opinion but Stout is full of shit. Her only objective with that book was to make money off of ignorant peoples fears. I'll take that book with the same kind of consideration as "The lizardmen control the US government!" and other such magnificent masterpieces of informative science.
Would it not be a challenge to try to sell a book on Sociopaths if she had made her premise that sociopaths are just like us??
There is money to be made by emphasizing the differences rather than the similiarities between types of people. Years ago, there was endless beliefs on the dangers of the mentally ill. Once they burned people on the stake for being different. To me this is no difference, people fear what they do not know...and a few bad apples do instill significant fear.
Can the moral sociopath change the stereotype?
Moral sociopath sounds quite silly. Playing by the rules to fit into society and to avoid complications has nothing to do with morality. If there were no consequences for breaking such rules s/he would not abide by them. There is no emotional component to compel the person, no shame or guilt when breaking the rules.
The term sociopath or psychopath was created in order to describe a type of personality structure which is different from the norm. According to what Dr. Robert has written--and I agree with him here--a psychopath is a person who feels no guilt when he does "wrong."
Now "wrong" is the subject of morality in that a moral code or a moral judgment puts certain actions on the "right" side of a fixed line, and "wrong" actions on the other. A psychopath may understand morality intellectuality, may in fact be able to discuss morality in a deep and penetrating way, but that person will not be influenced emotionally by any appeal to morality. This was the chief point which emerged in the fascinating discussion between Daniel Birdick and Doctor Robert some time ago.
Since the doc takes a non-judgmental stance towards human psychology (he believes our personal tendencies come upon us like fate and are not chosen), he offers psychopaths and other out-of-the-mainstream types a forum here for real discussion and open conversation. This has attracted a number of intelligent and well-spoken people to want to contribute here.
There have been, of course, a few trolls and jerks. The worst by far is Adam Anthrojerk. Adam, why not go elsewhere? You are not wanted here, no one here has the slightest respect for you and your foolish ideas, and, frankly, you lack the intelligence to contribute here. You imagine yourself to be someone with intellectual gifts, but that is just wishful thinking. As soon as a few of your ideas were challenged, you regressed to infantile behavior: insults, name calling, etc. A bright guy you are!
You took Hexi's name, but you will never have the brains, wisdom, and understanding of a Hexi, much less a Daniel or Dr. Robert. I suggest a long walk off a short pier as a quick way to end your suffering. Stealing other people's names and spamming the doc's website won't do anything to take away the pain of having to be you (what a drag that must be).