No Conscience … The Advantage of the Psychopath

The fact that psychopaths lack empathy is cause of great concern to, and persecution by, many.  Too many equate empathy with humanity, when in reality the human condition encompasses those with and without empathy.  However, I believe the psychopath’s lack of conscience disturbs the neurotypical far more than any other trait the psychopath may possess.  The neurotypical believes that they are guided by a gut feeling that dictates whether they should choose a prosocial or antisocial action when presented with a task at hand.  The psychopath does not have this consideration and it allows him to break free and move forward while many neurotypicals are paralyzed.

I don’t understand why this distinction matters to the neurotypical.  The congruence between a lack of conscience and evil is false.  Neurotypicals often find ways to ignore their conscience anyway.  For instance, all it takes is for NTs to break free of their moral compass is a larger cause to justify the act.  Whether they commit great sin in the name of religion, racism, or any other name, they find ways to shut down the processes they believe keeps them on the straight and narrow.  This hypocrisy is never noted when they point fingers at the psychopath.

That aside, the lack of a conscience provides a great advantage for the psychopath.  She can remained governed by logic while others are governed by gut.  She can find the easiest and most productive way to achieve a task, without considering the effects her actions have on another.  Do you want to align yourself with someone who will falter or with someone that will get the job done?  Combined with her lack of empathy, she can remain rigid and focused while others succumb to moral quandary or the overwhelming emotions brought on by their empathy.

This lack of conscience means that there are no gray areas.  There are options that assist the task at hand and those that hinder the task at hand.  The psychopath is free to choose those actions which result in the greatest reward, regardless of the consequences to be felt by others.

Ultimately, a lack of conscience is the psychopath’s greatest advantage over the neurotypical.  Yes, the neurotypical can find ways to sabotage their own conscience, but they are not automatically, and at all times, without a complete concern for others.  The neurotypical is trapped in an unwinnable game at times, having to choose between self-benefit or self-detriment: focusing on others or the self.  Meanwhile, the psychopath is only limited by her abilities, not the invisible chains of conscience.

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Comments

  1. NT says

    “Too many equate empathy with humanity, when in reality the human condition encompasses those with and without empathy.”

    Sad, but true.

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