Ethics/Morality Discussion Thread


#1

The concept of right and wrong depending on the individual can be seen as absolutes or pixelated illusion of “concrete imagery”. This thread is to propose scenarios by which we can analyze logically the limits of what is ethical and explore the spectrum of beliefs regarding specific issues.

Query .1

Psychopaths and sociopaths. Although they are estimated to make up only 1-2% of the human population their influence, especially in the corporate and political world is severely felt; their self-confident, charming and egotisitical personality types often are well displayed in the dictators, crimelords, and business executives (4 times the average). Though often seen as serial killers, only a very small percentage of psychopaths and sociopaths commit wanton acts of violent crime, but the breadth of their brutality and inhumanity are very distinct.

Before reaching the query here are the definitions- Psychopaths are people born with no concept of empathy or any real strong emotional base. Sociopaths also have no true concept of emotions or empathy, but their origins are caused by developmental trauma, either through neglect or severe abuse. Psychopaths/Sociopaths are very self-involved and try to prove superiority, without any consideration for others whatsoever.

So the question is: Would one consider it ethical to screen individuals to test if they are psychopaths?

-Would it be ethical to screen children at an early age to identify possible traits?

-Some businesses have already started psychological screening in order to weed out psychopaths. Do you find this ethical?

The psychological checklist

Spoiler

Factor 1: Personality “Aggressive narcissism”
[LIST]
[]Glibness/superficial charm
[
]Grandiose sense of self-worth
[]Pathological lying
[
]Cunning/manipulative
[]Lack of remorse or guilt
[
]Shallow affect (genuine emotion is short-lived and egocentric)
[]Callousness; lack of empathy
[
]Failure to accept responsibility for own actions
[/LIST]
Factor 2: Case history “Socially deviant lifestyle”.
[LIST]
[]Need for stimulation/proneness to boredom
[
]Parasitic lifestyle
[]Poor behavioral control
[
]Lack of realistic long-term goals
[]Impulsivity
[
]Irresponsibility
[]Juvenile delinquency
[
]Early behavior problems
[]Revocation of conditional release
[/LIST]
Traits not correlated with either factor
[LIST]
[
]Promiscuous sexual behavior
[]Many short-term marital relationships
[
]Criminal versatility
[*]Acquired behavioural sociopathy/sociological conditioning (Item 21: a newly identified trait i.e. a person relying on sociological strategies and tricks to deceive)
[/LIST]

Other queries coming soon…


#2

Is it ethical? - No.
Is it beneficial? - Yes.


#3

So you believe that in the long run labeling individuals as psychopaths would make the few psychopathic individuals from sneaking their way into the economic and social hierarchy and corrupting society on a whole?


#4

Sorry but you said that businesses have started doing psychological screenings in order to weed out psych/sociopaths…

Ummm…won’t these psycho/sociopaths just lie to get through the screening? It seems they would be perfect at it.

I mean, one of the very first traits you listed for a psychopath is the ability to be cunning and manipulative, so…

Is it ethical- Subjective

Is it beneficial- Apparently not


#5

No not really. Psychopaths’ brains have an inability to conceptionalize normal empathic clues hidden in grammar.

[Quote]

True psychopathy affects only about 1% of the general population, but among the prison population it’s 20%. That’s no surprise, since the characteristics of many psychopathic personalities — impulsiveness, moral numbness, indifference to legal and social norms — are just the characteristics likeliest to land you in the clink. Psychopaths know the technical difference between right and wrong — which is one of the reasons their insanity pleas in criminal cases so rarely succeed; they just fail to act on that knowledge.

To see why, two researchers, Elsa Ermer and Kent Kiehl of the University of New Mexico, ran a study with 67 prisoners, some of whom were diagnosed as psychopaths and some of whom weren’t. The investigators had the subjects work out puzzles based on three types of rules: descriptive associations (such as “If a person is from California, then that person will be patient”); social contracts (such as “If you borrow my motorcycle, then you have to wash it”); and precautions (such as “If you work with tuberculosis patients, then you must wear a surgical mask”). The if-then construction in all of the associations may get grammatically clumsy after a while, but it sets up the desired cause-effect relationship clearly. The subjects’ results were then compared to those of the population at large.

In general, the non-psychopathic prisoners — like the non-prisoners — performed best on the social contract questions, appearing to bring to bear what ethicists and anthropologists refer to as a sort of “moral grammar” that’s encoded into humans at birth. The psychopatic criminals, on the other hand, did as well as everyone else on the descriptive rules, but worse on both social contracts and precautionary rules — precisely what you’d expect for people who are indifferent to notions of right and wrong, as well as to the penalties that may befall them if they violate those norms.
“Psychopaths don’t understand cheating in the normal way,” says Ermer. They may also fail to understand “when they can avoid negative consequences of a risk by taking a precaution.”

Read more: http://healthland.time.com/2010/11/04/why-you-shouldnt-make-a-contract-with-a-psychopath/#ixzz1kgmOXj4p

[/Quote]


#6

Ah, I see.


#7

I can see this thread turning into something horrible.


#8

Labels…thats all it is. People always want to bitch about if your not successful its your fault stop whining. And when someone does something about his/her situation in the most asshole way possible and profits from it now motherfuckers want to cry crocodile tears. The business world did this to themselves. If psychos/socios have taken over is because the system and the world allowed it with their winner takes all, and loser eats shit fuck em attitude.

Society, in general, blows shit off proportion. Ol’------faggot ass Benton Quest lets make everything a lil bit more decent twinkle toes having yuppies. No offense.

P.S.-Im not a big fan of the “It is what It Is” quote. Thats bullshit.

It is what it aint.

[media=youtube]zuHqt24q0Bk[/media]


#9

I once urinated through someone’s letter box and pushed a pooh under the handle of my neighbours car handle. Is this in any way normal?


#10

I remember hearing once some study on prison inmates identified as sociopaths that therapy on them was largely ineffective and showed evidence that it gave them opportunity to improve their deception (no source, this was a while ago). Food for thought.

I would imagine those screenings are built in a way that they don’t fall apart just from a dishonest subject.


#11

pretty sure I am a Psychopath :eek:


#12

I have NPD but I’m not a fucking psychopath. If anything it makes me a better worker than most people would be.


#13

I find the query itself ridiculous no offense WS. Just asking such a question is the breeding ground for Gattaca to became a reality. And while I’m aware in these philosophical issues the moral/ethical foundations on which we as individuals make our opinions are open to the highest levels of scrutiny, let’s ignore that for a second because it should be a given that discriminating interviewees based on mental disability is unethical. Besides, discriminating based on mental disabilities is already explicitly unconstitutional so I’m curious WS which companies are doing this? I don’t think any company would be dumb enough to handicap themselves 10-0 in the courtroom. protecting profits, capital, and anything of monetary value is what made so many companies toptier to begin with.

It’s sad how so many on SRK and the internet in general try so hard to appear to be psychopaths as if that’s how they score cool points and respect from others and that to admit to being any less than an implausibly cold stock protagonist in a generic action film equates to being inferior somehow.

If you don’t mind WS I’d like to change the subject toward an infinitely more ambiguous topic: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trolley_problem

What’s interesting is that more often then not people’s answers to the problems in the link seem to contradict each other, which I would interpret to mean that most people think that whether the individual or whole matters more depends on the specific scenario that presents such a choice. I’d like to see what WS and SRK’s other reasonable members’ answers are to these situations.

Shoutouts to Charisma, the film that best asks, answers, and explores the dichotomy between pitting the individual against the greater whole. WS I really think you should watch it as it pertains to this thread and could be fun to debate.


#14

well, what is a sociopath, psychotic individual. Who gets to make that decision and or come up with the definitions.

If people really want to go and implement such a screening test, it would have to be by people who are completely objective. And by definition, what I mean is. How many of the tratis does an individual have to have as to be diagnosed with being a psychotic/sociopath individual. So in a weird taste of irony, people who are more empathetic, or people who Orochi and GRAH consider to be socio/psycho, would be the ones to administer the test to ensure quality control.

Suppose people like them are the ones to administer the “test”, and they are the ones to also decide if said individual is a sociopath/psychotic. On this thread Orochi already stated that SRK like to act like psychotic individuals, like its the cool thing to do, simply because inviduals approve and are fine with bullies dying and muggers getting shot, as does GRAH, who has made it clear that those same people are not right because we supposedly celebrate the death of other individuals and are being completely irrational.

Im sure, and also sure that some of you would agree, that the people administering these exams would be people like Orochi or GRAH. People who are more sympathetic to individuals. Say one segment of the test is the topic of the recent mugging thread. If that is the case, I believe its safe to assume that many who are supposedly cheering for the death of said individual would fail the test. And rightfully so, but only rightfully because the definition where made up by people who are perhaps too sympathetic. Under their defintions our rationalization, which isn’t cheering, but rather an act of approving the death of such scum for their actions, has no place in normal society, nor do normal rational human beings think like that.

what they fail to see is that, we are not cheering, but rather, approving that this individual did deserve to die, because their reckless actions, whether they be motivated by Greed, Entertainment, or Desperation, have put the life of a random individual who shouldn’t have been put in such a situation at severe risk. By playing with another persons life, this person deserves to die in the event that he did because said victim could have died. You don’t have the right to play with others lives, and any and all consequences instigated by said incident are completely justified, even if you happen to die.

Of course if people who are to empathetic to people are to come up with definitions and guidlines, this could and would create a new set of guidelines. People, for example like Pterodactyl would be diagnosed as mentally inept, completely devoid of any rational thought and completely delusional. Of course this is the biggest what if in this post.

So I apologize if this sounds rambled, as it feels difficult to keep this structured. and of course this could all be bullshit, and this is just me rationalizing a deeper problem, this however also extends to those on the other side of the spectrum.


#15

Why would a sociopath attempt to corrupt society? A sociopath may lack emotion, but most of his/her behavior is self-centered. A sociopath will only attempt to manipulate/deceive when it is beneficial to them.

Sociopaths harm people when it is beneficial to them, and help when it is beneficial to them…

I’m sure most sociopaths will emulate what is considered good to society in order to look ‘good’ to people, which increases his feeling of self-worth…

A sociopath may not understand emotions, but they have the ability to imitate them. A sociopath still has the ability to watch how other people react in certain situations, and act accordingly.

Also finding out who is a sociopath/psychopath is difficult because they can act like ‘normal’ people, there is no reliable test that will help weed out any sociopath with half a brain imo.

Not all sociopaths are not inherently harmful, so why are people trying to weed them out? The parasitic sociopath personality is probably the most detrimental to society as a whole, because they rely on manipulation exclusively in order to ‘coast’ through life. A self-centered sociopath may be focused only on self-gain, but they use both manipulation/charisma, and hard work in order to become successful. Money=power and to exert as much power as possible, they will want money to exert influence over society.

More people probably share more in common than the narcissist than they would like to admit. I’m sure that all people have narcissistic tendencies.


#16

“The ethical man knows he shouldn’t cheat on his wife, whereas the moral man actually wouldn’t.”

Probably my favorite quote from NCIS.


#17

I’m afraid to take one of these tests and find out that I’m a Replicant.

Err… psychopath. Let’s go with that.


#18

… Was Steve Jobs a psycho/sociopath?

I’d imagine that fear is probably indicative of you having nothing to worry about.


#19

That’s a relief.

Now I’m going to take over the world and rule it dispassionately with an iron fist, to celebrate the relief I feel.


#20

Incorrect.

The reflective, rational man knows it is wrong.

The ethical man is the subset of the above who would not do it.

The moral man would gangbang ten year olds, kill them, and eat them, were it culturally normative in his society.