Philosophy, Society

To a degree, are we all sociopaths?

This is not a trick question, but a sincere concern. In a college Humanities class of 1977, I remember a discussion on how humans could digress into apathetic invalids. We sometimes simply don’t care about anything or anybody. I have previously written about one of my teenager experiences where I refused to help an elderly lady off of the ground at the fair after some rambunctious kids pushed her. Not wanting to appear uncool in front of my friends, we simply watched the confused lady laboriously heave back into an upright position, brush herself off and amble away. I will never forgive myself of that lost opportunity to help someone in need.

Do we really live in a world that is more cruel today than in 1977? Or are we just more aware that humans never seem to learn basic lessons of life? Even in the Holy Bible with stories written up to 3,500 years ago we read about our brutality. Are we more compassionate today? The same? Worse off?

Sociopathy (or Antisocial Personality Disorder) affects about 1-4% of us. Not all sociopaths are violent, but they do share the common traits of lacking empathy and remorse, are profoundly selfish, and lack a moral compass.

These days I try to refrain from speaking in absolutes. After all, it is the sunrise and sunset that makes every night and day possible.   None of us can say we are 100% American. Neither are we 100% sane. Even though many of us contain genes of affection, compassion and empathy, there are some of us who lack these genes. It doesn’t make us bad people, it is just how our brains have grown and developed.

In trying to understand the current news of our nation and world, it has been striking for me to see the commentary of our citizens. Our hearts are revealed in our words and text. When we listen carefully, the tone of our words do not lie.

To a degree, are we all sociopaths?

1 thought on “To a degree, are we all sociopaths?”

  1. I think the answer is yes, but the majority of us are aware of it and work to overcome it. There may be a very small number of people who have no sociopathic tendencies, but that is going to be a very small number.

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