Kill the Sacred Cows – Psychopathy and Discourse

I’ve seen a lot of individuals that claim to be champions of discourse.  They are willing to challenge the status quo on many issues.  They are willing to listen to unconventional arguments on many subjects.  However, there is an almost universal problem: these same people hold sacred one or more tenets of thought or hold one or more subdemographics as being off limits of criticism.  Usually the reason for such a disconnect is due to a heightened sense of empathy (affective or cognitive) for those groups in question.  For discourse to proceed, nothing must be held sacred and one’s empathy for a group must be selectively turned off in order for progress to be made.  Maybe the masses can be swayed by arguments that pull on heartstrings but Truth cannot.

As this election cycle in the United States heats up, we see many politicians and voters alike falling into such an empathy trap.  Everyone wants a piece of the pie, but no one is willing to make their sacred cows vulnerable.  The environmentalist will not hear any arguments that could lead to the destruction of some fuzzy critter.  The religious find arguments that weaken religious strength to be anathema.  So on and so forth.  All of this results in a hyper-polarized land in which discussion is force fed rather than carefully constructed via action and reaction.

The psychopath is in an interesting position regarding such discourse.  When little is held sacred and empathic bonds are by choice rather than by automatic processes, discourse and the clarification of Truth is an accelerated process.  It’s interesting, however, as the psychopath is subject to such processes by the larger mass.  It is a near-universal truth that psychopaths are also held “sacred” in a sense: nearly everyone believes that we are a scourge and should be isolated.  A quick Google search prefixing the search term with “psychopaths should” reveals an especially bleak climate.  However, I recognize that for proper discourse to be had, that I must consider the possibility that these individuals have arguments with merit.  This does not mean that I will necessarily come to the same conclusion, but I must acknowledge that their voices need be heard.  Just as I must consider their arguments before evaluating them, they should consider mine.  All sacred cows must die.

Ditch those bonds that you hold sacrosanct.  Eliminate the automatic reaction of abhorrence to those you disagree with.  Take the route of the psychopath and think for yourself with your brain rather than your heart.  This is the only way that discourse can proceed and relative truth found.  The cure for a hyper-polarized world is to kill all sacred cows.

Selective Tears
Falling Into Place


  1. Derash says

    Thank you for this one. This puts so much of what I practice into words and I’m glad to hear such thoughts from another person. I like the examples as well.

Leave a Reply