Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Christianity and Sociopaths

A common claim about serious Christians is that they are uneducated or stupid. The correct response to that is that the less educated tend to identify more fully with their country’s dominant ideology than the more educated. That is because they’ve had one influence instead of a variety of influences, and they will believe what they believe much more thoroughly.

In America, where the dominant religion is Christianity, the less educated will therefore be more likely to be serious Christians. Similarly in the Soviet Union, where the dominant ideology was Communism, the less educated were more likely to be Communist hardliners. Thus in 1996 the less educated voters in Russia voted for Communist hardliner Gennady Zyuganov, who was a complete pig.

The reason for what we see is not that Christianity is for stupid people. The reason is the same as what we see with Russia and Communism. The less educated, having had one influence instead of a variety of influences, will be more steeped in their embrace of the dominant ideology than the more educated. That was the case with Russia and Communism; it also is the case with America and Christianity.

Indeed, in the present social climate, Christianity is a force for freedom. When psychology manufactures hysterias claiming that “sociopaths” are evil and can only be evil whatever they do, Christianity has the rightful response. Christianity says that anyone can choose to act rightfully; and that possessing one or another condition – real or imagined – does not damn one for life.

I have never been diagnosed as a sociopath. I am however against witch hunts and persecution campaigns, and that is what we see here. This is the case whether or not they affect me personally. When one or another group in the civilization is being targeted for extinction, it takes someone who cares about such things as life and liberty to stand in the way of such a campaign.

One positive direction toward that effect I found in a church in Virginia, where the preacher said that we must be “dangerous people for God.” For over two decades we have been breathing manure gases about this that and the other being dangerous individuals. This has especially affected the people who thought in original ways – meaning, the people of the kind that are responsible for greatest contributions. This has effectively vitiated the constitutional intent for life and liberty. It also resulted in reduced competitiveness. Christianity gives back life and liberty to a population that has been robbed of both.

Many identify Christianity with sheepish conformity. Yet we see conformity pressures everywhere, including in Communism, feminism and Eastern religion. An ideology that equates non-conformism with sociopathy and narcissism is more viciously conformist than is Christianity. An ideology that states that anyone can choose to act rightfully is far more affirming of liberty than is an ideology that says that some people are evil and can only be evil whatever they do. It does not damn people; it offers redemption. And that makes it far more liberty-affirming than personality psychology or Third Wave feminism.

The idea that some people are incurably evil is in violation of most basic rationality. If people choose their actions then anyone can choose to act rightfully; and if some people cannot do that then their actions are not a choice. Christianity gives back to people choice – the choice of which personality psychology has robbed them. And that makes it a force for liberty – as well as a far more progressive ideology than the fascist entities that have taken over the movements that once held the promise of liberty and progress.

In 1990s, after the Soviet Union fell, a large section of the population joined the mafia. This included all sorts of people who otherwise would have never considered a criminal lifestyle. Under Putin, as conditions improved, many of these people went legit and continue as contributing citizens.

According to the concept of the criminal personality – “sociopaths” – these people are all incurably evil. And yet they have been able to leave behind their criminal pasts.

When I wrote on the Internet that some teenagers broke into my place and stole my wallet, someone said that they were a danger to society. Now this person was a conservative. Conservatives believe – in the words of Margaret Thatcher – that there is no such thing as society, only individuals. According to conservatives, talk of society is Communism or an attempt at tyranny or a theft. So how can conservatives be credible when they describe such-and-such as a danger to society?

The idea of someone being a danger to society is a Communist concept. It does not belong in conservatism, and it does not belong in the free world. In case of the Russians, here were millions of people whom such a person would describe as being a danger to society, who now are perfectly good citizens. The correct response is that anyone can be dangerous. The further response is that anyone – dangerous or not – can do the right thing.


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