Is psychopathic behavior a fancy way of describing evil?

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  1. gmwilliams profile image83
    gmwilliamsposted 2 years ago

    Is psychopathic behavior a fancy way of describing evil?

  2. ptosis profile image74
    ptosisposted 2 years ago

    IDK, but listening to the audiobook "The Confidence Game: Why We Fall for It . . . Every Time" and is said those without any empathy at all for other is about 1/10 for average people but more like 20% for stock market brokers and other people who lie for a living.  She was saying it was perhaps the 'next step' evolution. But I disagree, it is more of the "Dove & Hawks" game theory. There is never a 50/50 population of Hawks and Doves.  Some Hawks act like a Dove to a more aggressive Hawk  but if there is bunch of Doves then some Doves sometimes act like a Hawk.   But basically it ends up mostly Doves with few Hawks, and therefore that why the users abusers and psychopaths are the minority....

  3. lisavollrath profile image95
    lisavollrathposted 2 years ago

    No. Evil is a simplistic way of describing psychopathic behavior.

    1. WordCrafter09 profile image73
      WordCrafter09posted 2 years agoin reply to this

      I would say that evil is also a simplistic way to describe bad/aggressive behavior that results from ignorance and/or from not having been taught better and/or not being strong enough not to listen to the wrong "teachers" (like immature others).

  4. fpherj48 profile image76
    fpherj48posted 2 years ago

    Grace   This is an excellent Question because it's one that is asked quite often.  Although the answer is terribly complex, it's important that it be answered clearly, fully & professionally as humanly possible.  It is neither acceptable nor helpful to the Mental Health community nor the balance of the population for this to remain a mystery or an unaddressed concern.
    Needless to say, any response here in our space provided will be but a simplified explanation that can be expanded upon through research of one's own abilities.

    Try to think about the vast number of times, when discussing perhaps a discovery of an atrocious & bloody scene of mass murder.  People from all walks of life will more than likely respond not only in horror & shock, but by stating that "only a psychopath (mentally ill individual) could be responsible for such atrocities!")  There will be mention of "pure evil," within the ensuing conversations and investigations. 

    Does the term "psychopath," instantly and always lead to a description of "evil?"  The only correct answer to this, Grace, is "Yes" but with distinct exceptions."  At this point those exceptions must be clearly identified & carefully explained.
    Any form of pathology has it's degrees as well as general understanding & levels at which society will base their tolerance upon.  To be specific, please consider for instance a "compulsive liar" aka a "pathological liar."  These individuals although a societal issue and concern, are very rarely responsible for life & death situations.  Certainly these people are far from having homicidal tendencies. 

    Although these are not admired nor respected behaviors, few people would equate this with a term as harsh as "evil." 

    At the very furthest end of the spectrum, take the infamous Ted Bundy or Jeffry Dahmer, known serial murderers of the most extreme nature.  We may ask:  Are these individuals crazy~sick~pure evil~psychotic~?? what?  How exactly do we as stable, rational human beings, come to terms with such human flaws?  Were they BORN with an "evil gene?" OR, were they so deeply & irreversibly traumatized/injured in their youth that a severe mental illness developed and was exacerbated by abuse & neglect?
    I hope this will encourage you to see the enormous picture in these cases that must be examined, measured, compared & understood in order to keep the line in focus between "evil" and psychopathic behavior.

  5. tsmog profile image82
    tsmogposted 2 years ago

    Not always. It depends on definition and social interactions where those definitions are agreed upon. Backing up a moment is evil to my understanding is regard morality and is the absence of good. That can be of an individual, the entity of a group, or the act itself. Naturally there are variables when using evil to define those, thus they have a range.

    As pointed out with the question the label psychopath relates to a behavior of an individual. A psychopath has morals they just don’t care and act having that knowledge. Within the professions of psychology, psychiatry, and sociology there is a detailed list of traits for the personality disorder – psychopath, and its diagnosis. The most common used is lack of remorse and empathy.

    Explanation . . .

    The morals agreed upon by a society are those matters of law, although many may disagree in some cases. For instance morality regard vaccinations are hotly contested while states have laws and there exist no federal law. Or, is the mom that does not allow the child to be vaccinated evil? 

    So, the question becomes if one knows good can they be evil since that means absence of good. In other words the act itself may be deemed evil, but does not always mean it was initiated by an evil person. With the knowledge above alone we can make determinations.

    So, the mom who does not allow her child to be vaccinated could be construed as being evil, does an evil act, and is psychopathic in an odd sense. She is not being moral as defined by state law and acts not allowing the child to be vaccinated without remorse knowing difference between right and wrong. That is until all those other traits are used for a proper diagnosis.

    Footnote: Being psychotic has not any relationship to being a psychopath. In and of itself may be in a large sense only be a state experienced at the time of an act, but in no means determines a psychopath.

  6. RachaelLefler profile image94
    RachaelLeflerposted 2 years ago

    Well, if you define psychopathy as an inability to feel empathy, I would say that evil is the absence of good, and empathy is why we are able to do good/why we have a motivation to do good. So maybe it could be. A psychopathic person is only going to do good for others if it serves their own self-interest, but then again, everyone is at least a little self-interested and conflicted between their own needs and those of others. But I don't think a psychopath need necessarily be evil, they just won't be very good at being good. smile


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