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Sociopathy?

Discussion in 'Church of Satan ( Formerly La' started by ScottySatan, Aug 20, 2013.

  1. ScottySatan

    ScottySatan Well-Known Member

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    I was reminded by a very recent post that I have a certain personality trait that I'd like to ask about.

    When people ask me what Satanism is, my short answer is that it's a religion for atheists who reject the idea of objective morality.

    If you think about this, and include the whole thing about how a Satanist is born and not made, then if you interpret this ideology literally, a Satanist must be a sociopath.

    I am nearly a sociopath. Personality tests consistently place me about 90% down that road. Though I get angry about extreme injustice, and as a father of a toddler, I can't stomach the thought of violence against babies any more. I just don't give a **** about what happens to any of you lot. :D I therefore can't be a total sociopath. I wonder if that means I'm not really a Satanist, or if it means I'm not a Fundamentalist Satanist.

    Are there any sociopathic atheistic Satanists here?
     
  2. Whiterain

    Whiterain Get me off of this planet

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    I'm not in league with 'Satan' but try to practice mutual respect between beliefs and people.

    As a sociopath, I don't think Satanism is for you. Sociopathy isn't a skull, I mean skill, it's a way of life, and even ex girlfriends.

    I kid, Seriously sociopathy isn't really a trait of Satanists I've met. Most of them are posers that could use
    a good lecture. They're really sheep for the real wicked som ******* out ther on the street.

    Go with Christ. This is also a bit problematic with freedom of religion. Parents for instance, let alone
    politicians.

    I mean, what are people immediately going to think about your childrens when they find out you worship
    the unholy Lord, the deceiver.

    Sociopathy as in using the full psychological power of your brain or pathologically organizing a person to be
    murdered?
     
  3. ScottySatan

    ScottySatan Well-Known Member

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    I didn't understand a word of this.
     
  4. Zanuku

    Zanuku Member

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  5. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
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    To clarify something here, are you suggesting Satanism is a religion that is intrinsically sociopathic, or condones and encourages sociopathy?

    In honesty, that was my impression of CoS material in particular when I familiarized myself with it a few years back, but I hesitate to make that statement given sociopathy is... well... it's considered a mental disorder. It doesn't exactly paint the religion or its affiliates in a positive light to equate it with sociopathy, hence me wanting some clarification.
     
  6. Adramelek

    Adramelek Setian
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  7. Whiterain

    Whiterain Get me off of this planet

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    Are you a good sociopath or a bad sociopath? Good sociopaths are usually in military or law enforcement often profiling criminal with bunk psychology mediums.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. ScottySatan

    ScottySatan Well-Known Member

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    I'm not a sociopath, but I'd score pretty high on that clinical personality test. As such, I couldn't tell you that I'm good or bad. I don't follow any of the careers you listed.
     
    #8 ScottySatan, Sep 1, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2013
  9. ScottySatan

    ScottySatan Well-Known Member

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    The second option, definitely not. The first option, kind of.

    I think I need to talk about who is saying what. The word "amoral" is one I use a lot to describe Satanism. It's not commonly used, but you will find it. It's implicitly mentioned constantly. "Sociopath" comes from me alone, and the point of this thread is to examine that.

    A key part in the definition of an atheistic Satanist is that it's a person who doesn't believe in the existence of an objective morality, that it was only present to settle fear. There is no right or wrong. The Satanic Bible lays that argument out pretty well. Therefore, it seems to me that someone who is completely Satanic, should be completely amoral, not making any choices based on right or wrong. Isn't that the main characteristic of a sociopath? I'm asking.
     
  10. nash8

    nash8 Da man, when I walk thru!

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    A sociopath is someone who has no regard for others well-being. So on a certain level I would say that a lot of Western Satanism is sociopathic in base. However if you read that link about "The Sociopath Problem" you will realize that more than half of society would be considered sociopaths according to the clinical diagnoses. The true test of sociopathism is whether it affects your ability to function in normal society, which I would say is not true of most Satanists, at least from what I know.

    A true sociopath, which in reality is a psychopath, would not care about the life of his toddler, not would he be likely to have a child in the first place, because he would only be out for his own well-being. For example, if someone gave hime 50 million dollars to kill his child, and gauranteed he would not be punished, he would probably do it. While I would say that satanist's would be "more sociopathic" than general society. It generally does not affect their ability to function in society, and therefore they would not be clinically diagnosed as "sociopathic".
     
  11. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
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    Ah, I think I understand what you're getting at a bit better now. I'd like to point out that there are three basic orientations to moral-based ethical systems in philosophy: objective/universal, subjective/relative, and nihilistic. I'm under the impression that relatively few in my culture hold a hard-line objective/universal model, so rejection of that in of itself wouldn't be a good diagnostic characteristic of Satanism. Moral nihilism, which may lead to amorality, is substantially less common and may indeed be a characteristic of Satanism.

    However, amorality does not necessarily equate to sociopathy because a moral approach to ethics is not the only approach available. Moral-based ethical systems focus on categorizing human behaviors into "right" and "wrong." A second major approach is virtue-based ethics, which focuses on the inherent character or virtues of the person. One can reject the idea of morality and still hold to a system of virtue ethics. What really characterizes sociopathy is a pervasive pattern of disregarding a culture's ethical norms, whether they're grounded in morality or virtue. I'm a moral nihilist, but my virtue ethics pretty much fall in line with my culture's norms. Therefore, I would not be diagnosed as a sociopath. Make sense? The same could be true of any particular Satanist who happens to also be a moral nihilist.

    I think that because our culture is overwhelmingly dominated by moral-based approaches to ethics, we forget about the virtue-based approach. CoS material struck me as a bit more virtue-based, and the virtues it encouraged also struck me as significantly against cultural norms. That's part of why it struck me as encouraging sociopathy: not because it posits moral nihilism, but because it can promote pervasive disregard and violation of the rights of others as commonly granted by my culture. Granted this in part depends on how extreme of an interpretation you take on the lists of principles I've seen, but they can definitely go in that direction from what I notice. I mean, statements like this just have sociopathy written all over them to me:

    Perhaps that some people might use Satanism as a justification of their sociopathy, but I'm not sure if I'm willing to paint a broad brush and say it's intrinsic to the philosophies and they're all like that.
     
  12. ScottySatan

    ScottySatan Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for this! I could always feel a nagging little tug somewhere suggesting that something's wrong with my reasoning, that I'm missing something big in the argument.

    No, your post doesn't make sense to me at all, but I think it's the answer to my question. Could you spell this out as though you were talking to someone who has never heard of virtue or ethics?
     
  13. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
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    Apologies; modeling ethics on virtue is uncommon nowadays, and I probably should have given some examples to begin with.

    The typical approach to ethics in our culture currently is what I usually call moral-based ethics. To use more formal terms from philosophy, this is really a shorthand for two of the three major approaches to normative ethics: deontology and consequentialism. Both of these approaches focus on prescribing/judging right and wrong behavior. The deontologist prescribes it on the basis of duty or law, and the consequentialist by outcomes of the behavior. There are a few important implications of each of these, but I don't think we need to go into those in detail. Just as an example, consequentialism would favor "the ends justify the means" while deontology might not. The Ten Commandments are an example of moral-based ethics, particularly the deontological variety (e.g., "thou shalt not steal").

    Virtue ethics work differently. Instead of sorting behaviors into right and wrong - either by duty/law or consequences - it looks to cultivate character or personality traits. It's something you embody at a deep level and is part of your identity. These are values or ideals you uphold, and your behavior follows from that. Heathen/Northern traditions in contemporary Paganism sometimes hold to a set of virtues, among which are things like courage, steadfastness, fidelity, and hospitality. The idea isn't to prescribe specific behaviors, but cultivate overall character and manner.

    I'm not an expert in all of this; writing this reminds me I've got a book sitting around somewhere on virtue ethics from a Pagan perspective that I started reading and never finished. *laughs* You might want to check out this resource on virtue ethics at the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy if you're interested in learning more.
     
  14. Saint Frankenstein

    Saint Frankenstein Before there was love, there was silence
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    If you take many of the teachings of the Church of Satan to an extreme or at pure face value, I'd say it is sociopathic. There's some pretty unkind, uncompassionate stuff in there and that's the main reason why I rejected it and decided to take an independent approach to it, guided by my own studies.
     
    #14 Saint Frankenstein, Sep 7, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2013
  15. desideraht

    desideraht Hellspawn

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    I've not an idea what sociopathy has to do with Satanism...

    ...All I know is that tonight I realised My ex is a sociopath, which is what allowed him to commit acts of dishonesty and cruelty without a single sliver of remorse or compassion...

    ...And that is the beginning of Me truly letting him go.

    I am by no means a sociopath, though often, I wish I was. A sense of no remorse, committing acts solely self-serving without regret, and the ability to completely swallow emotions or not even feel many of them in the first place, seems like a true gift. Sure, you create a path of destruction around you, and alienate other human beings, but in the process, you maintain your own survival and stability.*

    But alas, I am no sociopath indeed. I am but very compassionate, to the point of having a bleeding heart in many instances. So it is with passion. I wish it were not the case, but it appears to be beyond My control and regardless of My wishes. It is simply part of who I am to care deeply about matters. I do not feel this sort of thing defines a Satanist. In fact, LaVey stated clearly that the Satanist's selfishness does not mean he can never care about or help others. It simply means he will not act against his own well-being and betterment.

    (*Note that by no means does this generalisation accurately reflect the clinical nature of sociopathy)
     
    #15 desideraht, Sep 8, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2013
  16. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    Honest question: is the classification between good and bad sociopaths from one of the posts in the previous page meant to be taken seriously? I truly don't know.

    And specifically for Quintessence (maybe I should have asked somewhere else, but bear with me for a little while please): any ideas on why Virtue Ethics is uncommon these days? It looks so utterly superior to normative ethics (that is what you mean by moral-based Ethics, I assume). Also, any texts you would recommend to me about this subject? I happen to feel that normative Ethics are worse than useless, while consequential ethics are of enormous practical value yet ultimately we are all duty-bound to seek Virtue Ethics. Rings some kind of bell?
     
  17. desideraht

    desideraht Hellspawn

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    It may rest your thoughts a bit to know that I too am confused by the distinction, and think some unwise generalisations may have been made (not to attack anyone directly, I am just criticising the idea of a good form of mental illness).
     
  18. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    Thanks.

    If you will indulge me a bit more, the rationale seems to be that if sociopaths are around anyway (and they certainly are) and it is hard or impossible to truly cure them, one might as well attempt to employ them in roles that benefit from their drives and are at least arguably productive to society. Would that be a fair assessment?

    I can see the point and agree with it to an extent. But I think it is dangerous to just accept sociopathy as one would accept height variation or left-handedness.
     
  19. desideraht

    desideraht Hellspawn

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    That is absolutely a fair assessment! Sociopathy is not curable, but many mental disorders are incurable. It is through coping means and medication that they can be handled. Incurable simply means that it will require treatment for-life to manage. That being said, one could utilise a sociopathic mindset to achieve greatness—after all, the sociopath is impervious to guilt and the mental anguish associated with remorse!

    I particularly enjoy your use of left-handedness as an example in the forum regarding the Left-Hand Path. I find it simply delightful. Aside from my digression, I too am in agreement that it is dangerous for one to accept and embrace sociopathy. Sociopathy is often, however, co-morbid with other disorders. The sociopath may be a very depressed or paranoid individual, and therefore see his sociopathy as a source of strength. It is in this case of self-delusion that the sociopath will attempt to preserve and even flourish his mental affliction.
     
  20. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    I am left-handed myself (not in the religious sense, at least consciously), so I use that as an example of neglected individual trait quite often.

    I'm going off-topic, but it is impressive how willing most people are to simply disregard the existence of lefties, and how that subtly influences us towards avoiding going with the flow and the most travelled path as a matter of course.

    I assume that is one of the reasons why the Left-Handed Path took such a name.
     
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