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  1. #51
    royal member Rasofy's Avatar
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    Basically, no one is pure good or pure evil - there's a sort of spectrum.
    -----------------

    A man builds. A parasite asks 'Where is my share?'
    A man creates. A parasite says, 'What will the neighbors think?'
    A man invents. A parasite says, 'Watch out, or you might tread on the toes of God... '


    -----------------

  2. #52
    Tier 1 Member LunaLuminosity's Avatar
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    The most notorious do-badders of us are just people like the rest of us, sometimes nice and sometimes make mistakes. (just that their mistakes they take to the most horrific, elaborate, and grandscale levels)

  3. #53
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    What do people think of these articles?

    It states three ingredients for a psycho/sociopath
    1. Inactive orbital cortex
    2. Presence of the monoamine oxidase A gene
    3. Abusive/violent childhood trauma

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...ryId=127888976

    A second more concise question is that if a person is capable of altruism (perhaps another discussion), then that removes the conditions by which a person is to receive compassion, then wouldn't that break-down potential barriers formed by compartmentalizing? So the fewer conditions are set for the receiver of one's compassion, the less compartmentalizing a person is capable of doing?

    This is an hour-long program, but likely worth watching. I haven't watched it yet.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mzUsaXfSQDY
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)

  4. #54
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    i realize my response reeks of Si-Ne bias, but nonetheless:

    Quote Originally Posted by fia View Post
    This is an interesting foundation to this question - the extent to which this can be compartmentalized and the extent to which it falls on a continuum. I would need to see some evidence or psychological theory that could show the possibility for someone to compartmentalize to an extreme degree.
    hmm, i gave you examples recognizable from everyday life... don't those count as evidence (i agree that they aren't proof, but in terms of supporting evidence)?

    either way, i am finding your client (patient? music therapy student? i am still not entirely sure what you do) to be a compelling example:
    Quote Originally Posted by fia View Post
    Her compassion for dogs places a constraint on her harm, because when she is convinced that humans are not dismissing her or attempting to cause her harm, then she can work to respond in a more thoughtful manner.
    1. we see here two aspects - her empathy is circumstantial - it's not an always on status, she can do it when the right conditions apply.
    2. she is capable of the later elements of empathy once she has the information about the experience of another, but she is limited in what information she can gauge from them in the first place.

    actually this brings up an interesting side question that might be related: how well does she do with social cues & subtext in general (not necessarily emotional)?

    Quote Originally Posted by fia View Post
    I have also known individuals who have committed harm for pleasure, and even though they have displayed acts of tenderness and compassion, it has shown internally to be a performance for some other benefit.
    the problem here is the observer: once you introduce psychological feedback into the game (rather than just material gain), you can always find possible ulterior motives for compassionate behaviors when you are looking for one, and on the other side of the coin, if you are looking at someone with good faith, you might not look for an ulterior motive to begin with.

    you can also do the opposite: it's quite possible that the sadist is genuinely compassionate when they act out of compassion, but when they are in the act their need for power over others overwhelm it, meaning the pain isn't the source of the pleasure, but the position it puts them in is - they are still focusing on their reason without including the full implication it has on others.

  5. #55
    resonance entropie's Avatar
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    I always have to think of what would have happened if Hitler helped an old lady over the street. Then prolly the world would have been better and by now we would be the United States of Amerieurope.

    Or worse...
    [URL]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEBvftJUwDw&t=0s[/URL]

  6. #56
    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
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    Ethics are subjective and variable. For example it might be commonly accepted to kill an infestation of rats in a garage, yet it would be considered cruelty to kill a colony of wild cats in another garage.

  7. #57
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Yeah, in the multiverse there's no reality in which Hitler doesnt get his shit messed up if I had that chance.

  8. #58
    Senior Member The Outsider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mane View Post
    its a thought i've been toying with, probably has happened at some point but that's besides the point...

    what does the statement says to you? what meaning would you derive from it?
    That a person referred to as 'Hitler' helped an old lady across the street?
    I don't see a conflict here. In my view moral judgments can only be applied to acts, not people. So if the given scenario was true, I'd say that Hitler did a pretty nice thing.

  9. #59
    Senior Member The Outsider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sprinkles View Post
    Ethics are subjective and variable. For example it might be commonly accepted to kill an infestation of rats in a garage, yet it would be considered cruelty to kill a colony of wild cats in another garage.
    The fact that people's moral judgments are variable and often inconsistent does not necessarily exclude the objectively ethical.

  10. #60
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mane View Post
    hmm, i gave you examples recognizable from everyday life... don't those count as evidence (i agree that they aren't proof, but in terms of supporting evidence)?
    They do count as evidence, but to address the examples of Jeffrey Dahmer loving his dog and helping a wounded bird, those example alone speak to someone who is clearly an animal lover. Combined with an obsession to bring home dead animals and dissect them, leaving their bodies to rot in the basement, etc. suggests a plausibly different context. Still those two fact alone suggest someone fascinated with animals and how their bodies work. This could be an neuro-atypical person who could become an excellent veterinarian and who genuinely loves animals, but is just psychologically a bit *off*. Combine that with someone who also murders and eats people, it doesn't seem outlandish to question the motivation and the experience of the helpfulness towards animals.

    I have been thinking about this discussion and considering the compartmentalism of many animals like my pitbull who has pure love and innocence, but also dog aggression. We humans are also animals, so it is plausible that we can compartmentalize to a more extreme degree when we function out of instinct. Even with my pitbull, there is some degree of coherency in his behavior when he is in the context of his pack, and a second set of consistency when in an instinctual, aggression based mode. To what extent does the ability to think abstractly increase our ability for overall cohesion of behavior and thought? I'm not certain, but there certainly are striking examples of compartmentalism in people's behavior and thinking.

    So, I agree with you moreso than I did initially. I still hesitate to embrace the idea that serial killers and tyrants have compartments of pure compassion. Humans also have an ability to perform, to have artificial behaviors that do not represent their internal feelings and motivations.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mane View Post
    either way, i am finding your client (patient? music therapy student? i am still not entirely sure what you do) to be a compelling example:

    1. we see here two aspects - her empathy is circumstantial - it's not an always on status, she can do it when the right conditions apply.
    2. she is capable of the later elements of empathy once she has the information about the experience of another, but she is limited in what information she can gauge from them in the first place.

    actually this brings up an interesting side question that might be related: how well does she do with social cues & subtext in general (not necessarily emotional)?
    I teach music, have studied special ed, and am given all the special needs students at my school, so it is close to music therapy, but a little different. She is an interesting person, and yes, her empathy is circumstantial and a good example of compartmentalism. Her relationship to social cues and subtext is complex. She makes self-destructive choices in her conflict behavior, so she is not in control of it to her own benefit. She has areas of extreme obliviousness, but when she rakes someone over the coals, she can target and push buttons that hit home psychologically to the person, so there is some type of awareness. I withhold absolute conclusions and still observe. I have worked with her for about three years and in that time she has gone through 2-3 counselors, 2 piano teachers, several handymen, and more guitar teachers than I can keep track of counting. With most people tension builds up until there is a blow-out and she is kicked out of a studio. She does insult me and tension could mount, but because I work with her song-writing and have glimpsed her genuineness of spirit, so I *like* her. I still feel there is some kind of deep coherency to her world-view even though her behavior is compartmentalized. Because of this I believe there are ways to help her recover when she is being verbally abusive - there are ways to trigger and recontextualize things so that she comes back to a place of better reason. It feels like the inconsistency is the result of fragmented perception and fleeting interaction. When the whole picture is seen, it becomes more consistent. I can't prove it, and I can certainly be mistaken, but I lean towards that. Of course I could be molded by confirmation bias, and so continue to observe.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mane View Post
    the problem here is the observer: once you introduce psychological feedback into the game (rather than just material gain), you can always find possible ulterior motives for compassionate behaviors when you are looking for one, and on the other side of the coin, if you are looking at someone with good faith, you might not look for an ulterior motive to begin with.

    you can also do the opposite: it's quite possible that the sadist is genuinely compassionate when they act out of compassion, but when they are in the act their need for power over others overwhelm it, meaning the pain isn't the source of the pleasure, but the position it puts them in is - they are still focusing on their reason without including the full implication it has on others.
    Yes this is true and has been recently on my mind. There is a problem with making any assumptions about internal motivation because it cannot be measured or proven. There is abundant evidence of behaviors being inconsistent in people, and mental compartmentalism can also be demonstrated. Whether or not there is some type of underlying cohesion that explains these inconsistencies is not something I would know how to prove, but it is a hypothesis that is not without some reason. In observation of people, I don't think it should be taken off the table as a possibility.
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)

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