Trigger Warning: This post refers to topics of child molestation.
Are people with “evil” thoughts that choose not to act on them truly evil? For that matter, are people with “good” thoughts that choose not to act on them truly good? I suspect that many neurotypicals, with their infinite hypocrisy, would consider the first group evil and the second group good. There is perception among many in this world that thought is equivalent to action regardless of victims or beneficiaries.
The psychopath – and I would love to know if there are counter-examples / how diverse this facet really is – that dreams of blood in the night should not be abhorred so long as he chooses to keep his red fantasies within the realms of the mind. His love of blood is condemned, while the masses enjoying the same bloody scenes through their favorite media are considered ‘a-ok’. It is acceptable – by the will of the mass – for those with a prosocial alignment to enjoy the primal and carnal thoughts that many humans enjoy. However, the neurotypical shows signs of confirmation bias toward those who are psychopathic. They use the psychopath’s love of the same blood red fantasies as post-priori justification for further stigma. “Do as I say, not as I do.”
That said, there are some thoughts that, even if held by the neurotypical, are grounds from excommunication from the social body. Pedophilia immediately comes to mind. No matter whether the pedophile is psychopathic or neurotypical, the larger mass immediately seeks blood – even if the pedophile has never and never will assault a child (or partake in child pornography). By definition, one can have paraphilia and not act on it. It is merely a sexual attraction to the taboo. There are innumerable accounts of pedophiles who desperately want relief from their thoughts via psychotherapy or other sources of help. Rather than receive the help that they need, they are often referred to someone else ad infinitum or, worse, brought to the attention of authorities even though there may be no crime present. Their thoughts dictate their pariah status because society demands, in this case at least, that thought is on equal level with action. Evil thoughts are equivalent to evil action in the mind of the larger mass. Would it not be fairer to judge the human actions of a person and not those human thoughts?
I am a necrophile and I dream of violence on a semi-regular basis. Yet, I’ve never acted on either – because I know that if I value my freedom, I cannot. Am I evil, or am I merely a human – who happens to be psychopathic – who is trying to live authentically without letting their demons rise to the surface? I can dream all I want of my pleasures of being in the vicinity of the freshly dead and of the gratification I could gain from them. Am I trying to make such a fantasy a reality? No. I realize that such action would be punished severely. The same can be said for the violence I commit each night in my head. I have come to accept these facets of myself, but I value my freedom. I do not avoid such behaviors because I believe in morality, however the end result it the same: what is in the realm of the mind stays in the mind and only what is acceptable makes it to the realm of the earth.
Society gravitates toward extremes with their thinking. Matters must be good or evil, right or wrong – with no possibility of being in between. The truth is much murkier. I would argue that those who sin grievously in their minds but resist the call are worth cherishing. They may not be good, but they are not the incurable evil that society argues against. Paraphilia and thoughts of violence and destruction are part of the human condition – a subset of humanity will always be subject to their call. Judge actions, not thoughts – lest the whole world be locked up.