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  1. #1
    Epiphany
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    Default The Pathology of Evil

    In light of the recent tragedy in Connecticut, it raises questions about mental illness and the nature of evil. It would seem that a person who is capable of such a heinous crime would completely lack a conscience or empathy, such as a psychopath. It is a common characteristic of serial killers to torture or kill animals before they move onto human beings, due to their lack of empathy for the suffering of others. Surprisingly, friends of the shooter's family said that he was vegan "for moral reasons" because he believed it was wrong for animals to suffer a violent death to satisfy a person's appetite. How strange that someone can have such empathy for a helpless animal, yet mercilessly murder innocent children.

    It reminds me of a quote attributed to Hitler about how cruel it is to drive at a high speed alongside pedestrians on the road and splash them with puddles.

    How do these extreme contradictions exist within a single mind? What mental condition or personality disorder can account for such a depraved act from an individual who exercised more empathy than the average person, in regards to animal suffering?

  2. #2
    failure to thrive AphroditeGoneAwry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moniker View Post
    In light of the recent tragedy in Connecticut, it raises questions about mental health and the nature of evil. It would seem that a person who is capable of such a heinous crime would completely lack a conscience or empathy, such as a psychopath. It is a common characteristic of serial killers to torture or kill animals before they move onto human beings, due to their lack of empathy for the suffering of others. Surprisingly, friends of the shooter's family said that he was vegan "for moral reasons" because he believed it was wrong for animals to suffer a violent death to satisfy a person's appetite. How strange that someone can have such empathy for a helpless animal, yet mercilessly murder innocent children.

    It reminds me of a quote attributed to Hitler about how cruel it is to drive at a high speed alongside pedestrians on the road and splash them with puddles.

    How do these extreme contradictions exist within a single mind? What mental condition or personality disorder can account for such abberant behavior from an individual who exercised more empathy than the average person, in regards to animal suffering?

    APD. with homicidal motivations d/t severe chronic childhood trauma.
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    Do not resist an evil person, but to him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer also the other. ~Matthew 5:39

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  3. #3
    Senior Member UniqueMixture's Avatar
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    they associate humanity with pain. I think many of these people aren't "born that way," but progressively turn into such a personality over time. If they started out with the capacity for good their empathy and kindness becomes directed to inanimate objects and animals would be my guess. You can see this in a lesser form in how some personality types (not mbti) such as more schizoid prone people tend to prefer the company of animals or isolation in nature to spending time with most other human beings.
    For all that we have done, as a civilization, as individuals, the universe is not stable, and nor is any single thing within it. Stars consume themselves, the universe itself rushes apart, and we ourselves are composed of matter in constant flux. Colonies of cells in temporary alliance, replicating and decaying and housed within, an incandescent cloud of electrical impulses. This is reality, this is self knowledge, and the perception of it will, of course, make you dizzy.

  4. #4
    morose bourgeoisie
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    I dislike the word 'evil'.
    It externalizes the idea, thus making it easier to deny that we are all capable if it given the right (or wrong) circumstances.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Moniker View Post
    In light of the recent tragedy in Connecticut, it raises questions about mental illness and the nature of evil. It would seem that a person who is capable of such a heinous crime would completely lack a conscience or empathy, such as a psychopath. It is a common characteristic of serial killers to torture or kill animals before they move onto human beings, due to their lack of empathy for the suffering of others. Surprisingly, friends of the shooter's family said that he was vegan "for moral reasons" because he believed it was wrong for animals to suffer a violent death to satisfy a person's appetite. How strange that someone can have such empathy for a helpless animal, yet mercilessly murder innocent children.

    It reminds me of a quote attributed to Hitler about how cruel it is to drive at a high speed alongside pedestrians on the road and splash them with puddles.

    How do these extreme contradictions exist within a single mind? What mental condition or personality disorder can account for such a depraved act from an individual who exercised more empathy than the average person, in regards to animal suffering?
    Misanthropy, alienation, necrophilic as opposed to biophilic personality. For a start.

    Its not difficult to become attached to animals, not much emotional or social intelligence or affect regulation required for that.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by UniqueMixture View Post
    they associate humanity with pain. I think many of these people aren't "born that way," but progressively turn into such a personality over time. If they started out with the capacity for good their empathy and kindness becomes directed to inanimate objects and animals would be my guess. You can see this in a lesser form in how some personality types (not mbti) such as more schizoid prone people tend to prefer the company of animals or isolation in nature to spending time with most other human beings.
    Necrophilic as opposed to biophilic personalities prefer dead or inanimate objects to living ones, especially indominitable forms of life like people.

    While loving animals could be biophilic it usually isnt if its simply a matter than animals can be easily dominated or controlled or are not taxing in the way that normal social interaction has become or is for that individual.

    Hitler was a vegan, the fact that paranoia about being poisoned and prefering uncooked food not withstanding, he also had pet which he valued as much as Eva Braun if his giving it his cyanide capsules is anything to go by, the statement about refraining from splashing pedestrians while motoring could be common courtesy but it could be that common courtesy is a flag of convenience for the controlling mentality Hitler was more well known for.

    Neitsche (spelling) had Zarathustra talk about this in Thus Spake Zarathustra when he said that some individuals in their promotion of virtue have transformed the promotion of virtue into their personal vice, there are very few people around whose motives are that inscrutable when you think about it.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moniker View Post
    Surprisingly, friends of the shooter's family said that he was vegan "for moral reasons" because he believed it was wrong for animals to suffer a violent death to satisfy a person's appetite. How strange that someone can have such empathy for a helpless animal, yet mercilessly murder innocent children.
    I don't find it that bizarre at all. Any "moral reason" is a detached rule not necessarily based in empathy (which is like "attached emotions/connection") but morals (which are rules that can be detached from emotions and empathy).

    And animals don't necessarily have control/influence in our lives to stymie/frustrate us, whereas people do; they also tend (depending on the animal) to reflect back our own emotions or to offer unconditional love; I remember when my dad was fighting with my mom all the time, instead of working things out with her, he used to just go outside and commiserate with the dog because the dog just liked the attention, etc. He just used the dog to make him happy, because he didn't want to invest in his marriage. There's a range of behavior here that can show up, despite the "unholy triad" of bedwetting, animal killing, and firestarting that has been foisted on the public as the major signs of a psychopath in development.
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  8. #8
    failure to thrive AphroditeGoneAwry's Avatar
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    For some reason, those extreme villains, have no motivation to instill a check on their behavior, but find pleasure (their only pleasure?) in unleashing it an any way that makes sense to them. Trying to understand their rationale will never work, because their rationale is irrational, based upon whatever they have to work with from their dysfunctional lives. If they are not insane when they commit their first acts of cruelty, they probably will be once they've let go of themselves and exercise no restraint whatsoever.
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    Do not resist an evil person, but to him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer also the other. ~Matthew 5:39

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  9. #9
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    animals are more accepting than people and sincere with their affections. i believe that was one key reason why he was vegan. i believe that he must have felt alienated, they said he was an awkward individual, with no support other than his mom. he had no one to tap him on his shoulder that was close, to tell him when he was taking it too far.

    why did he go after the children? was it because he would make the parents suffer?did he view them as his tormentors? was he angry at how easy of a life everyone else has it and things were more suited to them than him?

    i hate these things. i always end up with unanswered questions
    "I'm not in this world to live up to your expectations and you're not in this world to live up to mine. "
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  10. #10
    garbage
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    First thought:
    Quote Originally Posted by UniqueMixture View Post
    I think many of these people aren't "born that way," but progressively turn into such a personality over time.
    Quote Originally Posted by Stanton Moore View Post
    thus making it easier to deny that we are all capable if it given the right (or wrong) circumstances.
    Zimbardo covers this one pretty well.

    While a few bad apples might spoil the barrel (filled with good fruit/people), a vinegar barrel will always transform sweet cucumbers into sour pickles—regardless of the best intentions, resilience, and genetic nature of the cucumbers. So does it make more sense to spend resources to identify, isolate, and destroy bad apples or to understand how vinegar works? —Phillip Zimbardo

    See also: this

    --

    Second thought: We can try to make sense of the two opposing viewpoints that a person holds--we can weave a thread that reconciles them and ties them together. But, usually, the most straightforward way to make sense of the fact that someone holds such disparate viewpoints is to acknowledge that people simply do not make sense.
    Last edited by garbage; 12-17-2012 at 06:41 PM. Reason: 'usually'

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