Kansas Progress Institute

Ad Astra Per Aspera ~ To the Stars Through Difficulties

Sociopath Is Not the Same Thing As Criminal

Posted on August 22, 2016

By David Burress

A sociopath is someone with no conscience.  At least some of them are born that way, basically lacking a facility the rest of us possess. However being a born sociopath does not automatically make you a bad person.  Some born sociopaths learn to live reasonably normal lives, simply because they were successfully trained that way and because they came to understand that non-criminal lives are usually better and happier lives than criminal lives and because they were given the skills to succeed as a non-criminal.

More generally, being a bad person as such is not an innate characteristic.  Rather it is a bad outcome that had lots of interacting causes.

We do need to catch people who repeatedly do seriously bad things and put them in prison. However that is a last resort, and it always shows we collectively have failed that person earlier on.  A good society is one in which this kind of event is very rare.  By that standard, the US is a very poor society.  We put more people in prison than just about anywhere on the planet, and we make less effort to keep them out in the first place than any other industrialized democracy.

You can thank the American right wing, whose agenda sociopathic in itself, for that.  

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