Re: Evil ? (was: Hypostases (was: Natural Order & Belief)

From: Bruno Marchal <>
Date: Sun, 24 Dec 2006 16:13:33 +0100

Le 23-déc.-06, à 15:01, Stathis Papaioannou a écrit :

> Bruno marchal writes:
>> > Even if it is presented as good for society, the child may accept
>> that > because of feelings of empathy for others.
>> OK. Note that such an "empathy" is hard wired in our biological
>> constitution. Many mammals seems to have it at some degree. Some form
>> of autism are described by pathological loss of that empathy. Perhaps
>> Stathis could say more.
> Autism, psychopathy and psychotic illnesses like schizophrenia can all
> involve a loss of empathy. It is sometimes said that autistic children
> lack a "theory of mind" so that they can see others as being like
> themselves, with a similar view of the world to themselves. As they
> grow up, they realise intellectually that other people are like them
> but it seems that they lack the intuitive grasp of this fact that non-
> -autistic individuals have.
> People with schizophrenia can develop a blunting of affect, which
> perhaps is a different process but can have the same effect. They may
> be able to compare their feelings to when they were well and may say
> things like, "I can longer feel things like I used to, I know I ought
> to feel happy when others around me are happy and sad when something
> sad happens, but I feel nothing, I just register the facts".
> Psychopaths are different again in that they usually have a full range
> of affect, understand that others may suffer as they do, but don't
> care and can't understand why they should care, other than to keep the
> legal authorities happy. Young children are all psychopathic: they
> refrain from behaving badly only because they might get punished. As
> they grow up, they internalise the "good" and "bad" behaviour paterns
> so that they seem to have these characteristics intrinsically.
> Autism and schizophrenia are almost always dysfunctional conditions,
> but intelligent psychopaths often do very well, in business and
> politics for example, because they can lie and manipulate people
> without compunction. In fact, they often seem unusually charming and
> likable when you first meet them, because they have learned to act the
> way that will best serve their selfish purposes. It is conceivable
> that an entire society of psychopaths might be able to function with
> rules of conduct similar to the moral rules that most normal societies
> live by, but arrived at in a practical and dispassionate manner. That
> is, thieves are punished because it is expedient to do so in the same
> way as it is expedient to take an umbrella with you if expecting rain,
> and saying "theft is wrong" is like saying "rain is wrong".

Thanks for the explanations. I am astonished about all children being
psychopathic: I guess you mean very young one?


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Received on Sun Dec 24 2006 - 10:13:56 PST

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