We're all sociopaths?

Long ago, I met a man from work and temporarily rented a room in his apartment out of need for housing. I got to know a bit about him.

At work he was fairly friendly, patient, calm. The general things you’d recognize as a stable individual.

When I got to know him better, I found a few things he had a great deal of resentment for. One was magpies, the other was Chinese people.

He would swear to me at how the fundamental problem with the ecology is the Chinese gutting out the oceans by overfishing. He also explained how magpies were unlike other birds. They would eat other birds, they had no sense of respect the way other birds did. And his family were all eager to shoot magpies whenever possible. This man, a soldier on his way to retirement, and perhaps a decades-long work record at his current job, a long-term tenant in his apartment, and going through a casual breakup, didn’t seem like a crazy guy. He certainly wasn’t diagnosed as such. And of course, what he says IS crazy. It is crazy, without a doubt. But I believe at this point you’re compelled to say “well it’s not that he’s crazy. He just has a few hangups which are a bit of a shame.”

From what I understand, the kinds of hatred he exhibits is sociopathy. The belief that there is a specific group or order of some kind which is the cause of most problems, and is really not of good nature, something moreso to be vanquished than aided.

It donned on me that not only is he not alone, a typical stable individual with a lot of hangups about how a specific people or animal is just plain evil . . . he is maybe exhibiting something about human nature we are not always anxious to admit . . . (once again, something I might be attacked for. As it’s something I think is good to expose and many can’t stand).

Isn’t it possible that people demonize things because that is the only way our human minds can make sense of the world? If evil is superfluous, if it is in terms of statistics and probabilities, it becomes to absurd, too scattered, for us to really make judgments about how things ought to be, and it reflects on our personal judgments of how to conduct ourselves in life. When we are able to target a specific group to demonize, this then becomes the Simulacra for all of our hangups. All the jerks at the office, all the bad drivers on the road. All the annoying people in the line-up. If we can just blame it all on a small group, we can get on with our day, keep our mouth shut, and generally behave orderly so that we can get home and keep our paychecque.

This man likely to this day continues to complain about the same things, but also continues to work, to pay taxes . . . to do all the things a typical “sane” person does.

Isn’t it possible that we all have a sociopathic tendency because that is simply how we survive? And our non-mechanistic minds, unable to simply judge the world based on crunched statistical data the way a computer would, is how we cope with the world and how we remain “sane” and rational?

Sociopath or not, all humans seems to be very stupid and insane, including myself.
I think we have such structure to be insane and stupid.
Moreover, ever spinning/swinging material world, from the particles to galaxies, seems to be silly/insane like a tail chasing dog.
I think it’s rooted in the primitive/pure awareness and very basic material structure.

So, I don’t worry about being/becoming “sane”.
I try to think logically and/or rationally, depending on the situation, as I prefer to do so.
But I may decide to do (or not to do) something in pretty illogical manner, too, when I prefer.

Basically, I don’t have much worry/anxiety for how to live because I don’t have problem with being stupid and insane and I understand the life is basically dying and inherently deadly/dangerous, inherited from the nature of awareness and material world, and because I do what I want, which gives certain satisfaction, at the same time. :slight_smile:

As for the tendency for demonizing, I think it’s the way to have the fake peace of mind by focusing on something one can see as absolute evil and by sticking on the focus, the person is creating the rest of area which isn’t demoniac and thus peaceful (at least for his mind).
Also, his mind/emotion is united (by the hate, the common enemy of all his mind/emotion) that it prevents him from being scattered/split and having contradiction within himself.
It’s a silly method, but it may works for some, to some degree.
It’s very similar to (if not exactly the same thing as) US uniting against imaginary enemies. :smiley:
Childish and pretty much racist, but very united.
Many people seem to prefer childish (and/or racist type) unity to living with honest inner conflicts.

Like the above poster, I believe the human race is stupid and insane (i.e. terribly confused). I believe what distiguishes man most from the rest of organic life on earth is her madness.

As far as to whether everyone is a sociopath or not; it all depends on what you mean by that word. Whenever someone wishes eternal punishment or any form of severe torture on somene (like say, Osama Bin Laden), I try and point out that they now have the information available in their experience to know how it’s possible to kill so many people.

If in our minds we turn a human being into an object, it is as easy for us to annihilate that human being as it is for us to annihilate an inanimate object. And it is very easy for us to turn human beings into objects in our minds. We are doing it constantly.

Unfortunately I think that if anyone agreed that “we’re all sociopaths.” they would be ousting themselves. So it seems we’ll probably not ever know the answer to that question.