I am unconcerned with whether morality is subjective or objective. Ultimately, the only morality that matters is my own and it is fluid insofar as it serves me. However, those that claim to be above the psychopath’s self-serving ways are often rendered crippled by the very question of morality. In today’s foolishly multiculturalist world, in which the sins of many are overlooked in the name of “progress,” we are effectively defining subjective morality to be the rule of the land. After all, it isn’t wrong under today’s politically correct lens so long as it is someone else getting beheaded or child-fucked. I bring all of this up because the political landscape is about to take a turn for the worse in America – meaning less centered – due to the untimely death of a bigoted Supreme Court justice that many (including myself) did not care for. However, I did appreciate the fact that his existence brought a center to a messy nine-judge panel. We need crazies from both sides in the debate for ultimate truth – lord knows the common masses can’t be trusted for this job. So what does this have to do with psychopathy? Everything.
My therapist and I had a lengthy discussion about morality this evening. I’ve been struggling the past few days with knowing where I lie on such a spectrum ranging from ‘pure good’ to ‘pure evil’ after confessing some particularly damning thoughts to her. I’m an ardent intellectual and the knowledge that I could not separate the expectations of society and other pressures from my own internal view of self – which is weak, of course – bothered me quite heavily. Did I care where I lay on the spectrum? Did I not care? Was it better to know or not know? etc. etc.
I look in the mirror and this I see. Hate, apathy, and all in between. You look in the mirror and what do you see? Love, compassion, and all in between. Which one of us is lying?
I gave an interview last weekend on the intersection of Antisocial Personality Disorder and relationships. Part theory, part experience, and part opinion, I hope that I have given pause to those that would rather see all ASPD (and psychopathic) individuals locked away or rendered permanently mute. I take a dual-pronged approach when attempting to win allies from the neurotypical – a word I use to mean not ASPD and not psychopathic – community. I strongly believe in two things: that individual ASPD individuals need not fall to tired stereotypes even if they once did and that the neurotypical is with great hypocrisy when it comes to striking down “bad” behavior. The antisocial can look into the mirror and see hope, while the neurotypical can look into that same mirror and see the darkness of the human condition.
I’ve written several times on the nature of conscience and its absence in the psychopathic mind. While not a diagnostic criterion for confirming psychopathy, a lack of conscience is common in those whom are psychopathic. Whereas the neurotypical will feel some visceral and gut feeling regarding an ethical dilemma, the psychopath tends not to. This is certainly advantageous for the psychopath as she need not stand still while others are paralyzed by the command to satisfy their conscience. However, a lack of conscience should not imply automatic and consistent antisocial behavior. The reason for this is simple: the “good” choice need not be without reward.
People hold empathy for different groups in manners that are unequal. Consider the activist that spends her time fighting for cause X. Those afflicted with X get an unequal share of her empathy and her efforts. Maybe the rest of the groups around her are in a relative deficit, but that does not mean that she need be antagonistic to those that are not aligned with her cause. However, more often than not, we see empathy applied in a manner that grants it to one group while taking it away from another. Consider, rightly or wrongly, the religious freedom bills being passed in many states recently. The lawmakers are empathizing with small business owners while leaving other groups’ fate to hang in the balance. Alternatively, you could think of those championing LG rights as being antagonistic toward the small businesses that would operate more comfortably with more autonomy. It’s all about perspective.