I rarely have any actual investment in the topics I discuss. Good things happen to bad people at times, and at other times bad things happen to good people. If I’m not the person being affected, or those in my life are not being affected, then I simply cannot care. What ultimately interests me are those processes under which the majorities of the world operate. These can be political majorities, socioeconomic majorities, or even majorities with respect to mental illness. I want to know how they function and what makes them tick. Often these groups can only remain cohesive through an act of mass dissonance. That is, the individual succumbs to the majority by separating their emotional states from their intellectual states. Further, the emotional state is given more credit than the intellectual state to alleviate the existential crisis that would arise from a state free of dissonance. Humanity needs to be less afraid of dissonance and must own it in order to make educated and reasoned choices to the problems man is confronted with. Embrace your pain.
By now, most of us are aware of the tragedy that went down at a club in Orlando this past weekend. I will not rehash the details and I will leave the responsibility of knowing the background to the reader. I am not particularly interested with the tragedy itself – bad things happen to people all the time and one would go insane to give any tragedy more than a modicum of emotion or thought – but I am extremely interested with the response that people have. It interests me to see that people are getting more emotional and invested for people they’ve never known than those that are close to proximity in life. It also interests me to see the emotional responses that drive politics and how two different groups of people can have the same emotions but come up with wildly different knee-jerk solutions. As I’ve said all along, we need to leave our emotions at home when it comes to determining how we are going to live our lives and how we are going to enact policies that effect the lives of others. People are irrational during times of tragedy, but the damage they can cause may be irrevocable.
It is well known that psychopaths lack remorse for their antisocial actions. However, I fail to see why remorse is necessary to the human condition. Remorse is a feeling state. As with all feeling states, it passes. Therefore, many are assigning arbitrary weight to a transient emotion. Those that place value on remorse suggest that it is necessary for the reformation of a person doing bad deeds. However, there are plenty of other incentives for one not to revisit their antisocial ways. Nonetheless, people live and die by their capacity to feel remorse – see sentencing criteria for cases potentially involving the death penalty. A logical mind should be able to “reform” without emotions clouding their judgement. A logical mind has no use for such a self-loathing state.
People want to believe that malice only lives in the heart of the antisocial. The truth is, that whenever two groups exist, malice will find a way into the minds of all. Whether it is heterosexual versus homosexual, transgender against cisgender, or Christian versus Muslim, arbitrary divides will cause hatred to swell within the hearts of anyone. I would be foolish to suggest that the antisocial is a pleasant person, however the very definition of the condition begets an interesting observation. Since the antisocial is opposed to the rights of others, nearly everyone is in their outgroup, and this implies that the antisocial is equal opportunity with their malice. Which would you rather encounter: one who claims to be good and acts otherwise or one that never claimed to be pure to begin with?
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.