An Attempt to Control ‘Psychopaths’: One Possible Origin of Religion and Why that Attempt Did Not Work Part 7

Before I started his post, I came across his question in Quora:

“Why are we taught the moral values like honesty, trust, respect, ethics, justice etc. when there is no rule of nature. Most of the times criminal gets away after committing crimes (even when they are of inhumane nature) and innocent suffers?”

https://www.quora.com/Why-are-we-taught-the-moral-values-like-honesty-trust-respect-ethics-justice-etc-when-there-is-no-rule-of-nature-Most-of-the-times-criminal-gets-away-after-committing-crimes-even-when-they-are-of-inhumane-nature-and?__filter__=18&__nsrc__=1&__sncid__=7414371518&__snid3__=11155451512

I wrote the following as a reply:

“I would like to give an answer to your question, which from your tone appears to be very personal and, out of respect, requires a serious, if short, answer.

Firstly, is there no rule of nature?  The vast majority of humanity are empathic, that is, to put it glibly, they do care about moral values, as it is in their nature to care. Without empathy, there is no generosity to strangers, no justice, no society and no civilisation. There are humans that have no empathy, being either born that way or being brutalised from experience. The latter people can be brought back to their natural state (perhaps not easily, perhaps never). The former cannot and they could not survive without us empaths; they are parasitic upon us. Unfortunately, they are equipped by their own nature, to turn our empathy against us, to get to positions of political or moral power and so corrupt our moral values, values that have been built on our empathy. They can even rig our political and moral systems.

Depending on the circumstances, it may well be that criminals as you term them (that is, those without empathy) are able to commit their crimes and the innocent do suffer, but as long as persons like you realise that such a situation is the norm, then in the long term, justice will prevail.

I can only hope that you can persuade enough other people to see that justice not only does matter, but can be achieved and become the norm, as it should be.

As to why are we taught moral values, then there are a few answers. One of them is have a common set of values, another is to have values that we can reflect on to see if they are, in some sense the best, and another is to train us in the use of the values, so they can be applied respectfully and effectively.”

[Other replies are available.  Please see site.]

As I stated, the above was a short answer.  I stand by the claim that “[t]he vast majority of humanity are empathic … as it is in their nature to care. Without empathy, there is no generosity to strangers, [no altruism], no justice, no society and no civillisation”.

I had better explore some of what I have claimed.  Empathy, here and throughout all posts, unless stated otherwise, follows the general definition of the ability to identify with or understand another’s (typically a person or a group of persons) situation or feelings and the intellectual identification of the thoughts, feelings, or state of another person.  I do not use the term to project my own feelings to an object, that is, to a never living being.  Once (at least, think) you understand then the next stage is to care, if you don’t already care as a direct part of empathy.  Care can be synonymous with compassion and is the basis of altruism.  Altruism is deliberate benevolence towards others and quite impossible without understanding the needs of others (part of empathy); it has to be to that other’s benefit, perhaps at a loss to one’s self in some fashion.  Justice, will be defined for our purposes as quite simply doing the right thing for each person, as this does no violence to the concept, and that justice needs an entire essay to itself, but does arise from empathy (even if it is now independent from empathy, it still starts from empathy).  Without justice, there is no society, there is perhaps a family bound together by (a mutual) love or a gang bound by fear of the leader and the selfish hope of individual gain.  Without society, then civilisation cannot exist as only an ordered band of people. could co-operate to build such.

I claim that there are two groups who have no empathy.  One broad group would be those whose empathy has been impaired, but who can have their empathy revived or restored “(perhaps not easily, perhaps never)” and, though not naming them as such, psychopaths, who “could not survive without us empaths; they are parasitic upon us”.  When you consider the above paragraph, psychopaths lack the very building block required to have altruism, etc.  I consider here that psychopaths require empathically-normal persons’ (empaths’) altruism to survive, to be allowed to be a part of a society or a civilisation.  As I said they could form gangs or live within a family’s love, but societies are better than families at organisation and are larger.

I have now mentioned love a couple of times and must consider it here.  The love I am talking about is the natural affection felt within families.  This appears in parallel with empathy and again is missing from the psychopath.  It appears to be separate from empathy and may be a rival, so that your family may be placed ahead of strangers, which can be a source of moral conflict.  For example, suppose your brother had killed another person, who now has a grieving family, do you deliver your brother to the authorities for trial and punishment or do you protect him from that fate?  I shall set that aside for now and return to the point in a later post.

“Unfortunately, [psychopaths] are equipped by their own nature, to turn our empathy against us”.  I am here thinking of the most important scientific theory that can be applied outside of science (that is to non-scientific problems), the Darwinian theory of evolution through natural selection (henceforth to referred to as evolution), for the psychopath must have evolved alongside the empath and although devoid of empathy able to understand (analytically) what empathy is and use empathy from empaths to make their way in the world with the most successful of them able “to get to positions of political or moral power”.  From these positions it is possible “to corrupt our moral values …[which] have been built on … empathy”, that is, from a position of authority, they suggest or impose values that will ensure the thriving of (that) psychopath (or without meaning to benefit, them, psychopaths in general). In this way “[t]hey can even rig our political and moral systems”, so that our systems themselves become psychopathic.

Sometimes our systems do not need to be empathic and it may even be to the advantage of society to not be empathic.  Here, by empathic, I mean, obviously, something different from the definition given before, which applies to persons.  Also I talk of systems being psychopathic and how can this be so?  To describe a system as empathic is because it has been set up on the principles of empathy, but there times when, in the interests of justice, that the system serves everyone fairly and not not just because the officers serving the system feel some more sympathy towards one person using the system than another.  This is not to say that this system is psychopathic.

To say that a system is psychopathic is to say that the system treats persons as a psychopath would.  Kant had a maxim, often called the ‘Formula of Humanity’: “So act that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, always at the same time as an end, never merely as a means” or more succinctly as treat a person or persons as ends-in-themselves and not merely as means to an end.  In other words respect persons.  A psychopath would not treat persons as other than means, so a psychopathic system will treat persons as means and not ends.

**************************************************************************

Can a belief be forced on a person?

Unfortunately, it can, but only if that person has been prepared or is very young, but anyone who can reflect on their beliefs could change them and therein  lies an issue, what if they cannot?  What if the authority imposing the belief is too strong?  What if the belief comes from God?

Is it ethically right to force a belief on a person?  It can be, in some cases, but we are talking of young children and this forcing can only be done if the values are good, that is, in alignment with empathy, and with the intention of getting the children to reflect on the values imposed and be given as much information as possible about the value and about rival and complementary values.  This should not be attempted on adults as empaths should not be treated as merely means and will have no effect on psychopaths, so in the former case it is unethical, and likely to be ineffective, and in the latter case just ineffective.

*************************************************************************

Although I said previously that judgement would be discussed in this post, I shall leave if ro another time.

Before I started his post, I came across his question in Quora:

“Why are we taught the moral values like honesty, trust, respect, ethics, justice etc. when there is no rule of nature. Most of the times criminal gets away after committing crimes (even when they are of inhumane nature) and innocent suffers?”

https://www.quora.com/Why-are-we-taught-the-moral-values-like-honesty-trust-respect-ethics-justice-etc-when-there-is-no-rule-of-nature-Most-of-the-times-criminal-gets-away-after-committing-crimes-even-when-they-are-of-inhumane-nature-and?__filter__=18&__nsrc__=1&__sncid__=7414371518&__snid3__=11155451512

I wrote the following as a reply:

I would like to give an answer to your question, which from your tone appears to be very personal and, out of respect, requires a serious, if short, answer.

Firstly, is there no rule of nature?  The vast majority of humanity are empathic, that is, to put it glibly, they do care about moral values, as it is in their nature to care. Without empathy, there is no generosity to strangers, no justice, no society and no civilisation. There are humans that have no empathy, being either born that way or being brutalised from experience. The latter people can be brought back to their natural state (perhaps not easily, perhaps never). The former cannot and they could not survive without us empaths; they are parasitic upon us. Unfortunately, they are equipped by their own nature, to turn our empathy against us, to get to positions of political or moral power and so corrupt our moral values, values that have been built on our empathy. They can even rig our political and moral systems.

Depending on the circumstances, it may well be that criminals as you term them (that is, those without empathy) are able to commit their crimes and the innocent do suffer, but as long as persons like you realise that such a situation is the norm, then in the long term, justice will prevail.

I can only hope that you can persuade enough other people to see that justice not only does matter, but can be achieved and become the norm, as it should be.

As to why are we taught moral values, then there are a few answers. One of them is have a common set of values, another is to have values that we can reflect on to see if they are, in some sense the best, and another is to train us in the use of the values, so they can be applied respectfully and effectively.

[Other replies are available.  Please see site.]

As I stated, the above was a short answer.  I stand by the claim that “[t]he vast majority of humanity are empathic … as it is in their nature to care. Without empathy, there is no generosity to strangers, [no altruism], no justice, no society and no civillisation”.

I had better explore some of what I have claimed.  Empathy, here and throughout all posts, unless stated otherwise, follows the general definition of the ability to identify with or understand another’s (typically a person or a group of persons) situation or feelings and the intellectual identification of the thoughts, feelings, or state of another person.  I do not use the term to project my own feelings to an object, that is, to a never living being.  Once (at least, think) you understand then the next stage is to care, if you don’t already care as a direct part of empathy.  Care can be synonymous with compassion and is the basis of altruism.  Altruism is deliberate benevolence towards others and quite impossible without understanding the needs of others (part of empathy); it has to be to that other’s benefit, perhaps at a loss to one’s self in some fashion.  Justice, will be defined for our purposes as quite simply doing the right thing for each person, as this does no violence to the concept, and that justice needs an entire essay to itself, but does arise from empathy (even if it is now independent from empathy, it still starts from empathy).  Without justice, there is no society, there is perhaps a family bound together by (a mutual) love or a gang bound by fear of the leader and the selfish hope of individual gain.  Without society, then civilisation cannot exist as only an ordered band of people. could co-operate to build such.

I claim that there are two groups who have no empathy.  One broad group would be those whose empathy has been impaired, but who can have their empathy revived or restored “(perhaps not easily, perhaps never)” and, though not naming them as such, psychopaths, who “could not survive without us empaths; they are parasitic upon us”.  When you consider the above paragraph, psychopaths lack the very building block required to have altruism, etc.  I consider here that psychopaths require empathically-normal persons’ altruism to survive, to be allowed to be a part of a society or a civilisation.  As I said they could form gangs or live within a family’s love, but societies are better than families at organisation and are larger.

I have now mentioned love a couple of times and must consider it here.  The love I am talking about is the natural affection felt within families.  This appears in parallel with empathy and again is missing from the psychopath.  It appears to be separate from empathy and may be a rival, so that your family may be placed ahead of strangers, which can be a source of moral conflict.  For example, suppose your brother had killed another person, who now has a grieving family, do you deliver your brother to the authorities for trial and punishment or do you protect him from that fate?  I shall set that aside for now and return to the point in a later post.

“Unfortunately, [psychopaths] are equipped by their own nature to turn our empathy against us”

, to get to positions of political or moral power and so corrupt our moral values, values that have been built on our empathy. They can even rig our political and moral systems.”

Can a belief be forced on a person?  Is it ethically right to do so?

judgement

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