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Thread: Possible to falsely be considered psychopath due to philosophical beliefs? And if you act moral without believing in morality as truth, are you then an immoral or moral person?

  1. #1 Possible to falsely be considered psychopath due to philosophical beliefs? And if you act moral without believing in morality as truth, are you then an immoral or moral person? 
    Forum Ph.D. Raziell's Avatar
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    I made a similar thread years ago, but I realized I worded it poorly and inconstructive so I will try again. This is mainly a thread discussing the issue at hand, but also a personal thread if someone wants to help me by giving me some criticism and judgement.

    I probably wouldnt flinch or care much if a car ran into 4 pedestrians killing them just next to me. But that isnt because Im emotionless biologically, but because of my philosophical viewpoint (Existential nihilism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

    I believe existential and moral nihilism to be true, not because I want it too be true - but because since I was little Ive always been a logical thinker that wants to know the truth regardless of how painfull the truth is. That said I dont practice it, because it does not benefit me. So I act morally and altruistic in real life, adhearing and conforming to the moral code of society. As for emotial, I can easily be moved by acts of kindness and feel with other people. However - I also DO believe our existence is insignificant in the big picture, and that we all will die anyway so why get emotional over deaths that has already occured and you have no power over?

    Being a person that values logic over emotion, analyzing and overthinking everything - and with the belief that moral and existential nihilism equals objective truth in the universe we live in - I scored high on psychopathy tests I took (actually closer to sociopath).

    My question is then: Is it possible to be falsely diagnosed a psycopath simply due to philosophical beliefs over biological disposition? I take no pleasure in causing pain, I take no pleasure in taking pain, I take no pleasure in hearing about suffering or death. However I am also not negatively affected emotionally over people dying, not because of biology - but because of my philosophical view on the value of life (or rather lack of it).

    Some things to take into consideration:

    I feel like I have a genuine high empathy (But still overshadowed by pragmatism and logic) but when it comes to symphathy, its all an act.
    I didnt choose nihilism because I want to (Which wolf wins? The one you feed) but because I genuinely believe it to be the purest form of universal truth.
    Like I said, I score high on psycho tests :P And a friend has pointed out to me (half-jesting) that I must have multiple personality disorder, because I can be extremely polarizing when it comes to emotional support and emotional "coldness".
    I perceive morality as a human construct and a societal tool. So I have to ask, if I dont believe in morality - and my true belief is that life has zero value. Am I still considered a moral person by definition if I act morally even if I dont believe in it?


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    Life-Size Nanoputian Flick Montana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raziell View Post
    I probably wouldnt flinch or care much if a car ran into 4 pedestrians killing them just next to me ... because ... I believe existential and moral nihilism to be true
    I don't think applying a philosophical term to a, frankly, frightening reaction to the loss of lives makes said reaction any less frightening.


    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." -Calvin
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    dead is dead
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    One thing, is it means you've had your last conversation with that person.

    I always feel sad for the loss. But that ain't altruism. It's my loss.

    And you could always have/suffer/enjoy survivors guilt. I did. But eventually, I determined that the game wasn't worth the candle.
    Though, some days, the memories wash over me and create waves of emotions. Often a nostalgic melancholy sadness sets in and mellows me out for hours on end.
    I carry memories of all who once meant something to me. And often say thanks(and god bless) for the knowledge, skills, or tools they have left me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Raziell View Post
    I probably wouldnt flinch or care much if a car ran into 4 pedestrians killing them just next to me ... because ... I believe existential and moral nihilism to be true
    I don't think applying a philosophical term to a, frankly, frightening reaction to the loss of lives makes said reaction any less frightening.
    If I live altruistic and act good towards others, never hurt anyone ever in any way. And always try to be helpful and supportive towards others - but feel apathetic if 4 people got killed by a drunk driver - due to logic (as they are already dead, feeling something for these people now serves no benefit) and for philosophical reasons (We will all inevitably die, how can life have value if life is finite?) then the lack of emotion for this loss of life is still frightening in your eyes? Could you elaborate abit?
    A lie is a lie even if everyone believes it. The truth is the truth even if nobody believes it. - David Stevens
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    double post
    A lie is a lie even if everyone believes it. The truth is the truth even if nobody believes it. - David Stevens
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raziell View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Raziell View Post
    I probably wouldnt flinch or care much if a car ran into 4 pedestrians killing them just next to me ... because ... I believe existential and moral nihilism to be true
    I don't think applying a philosophical term to a, frankly, frightening reaction to the loss of lives makes said reaction any less frightening.
    If I live altruistic and act good towards others, never hurt anyone ever in any way. And always try to be helpful and supportive towards others - but feel apathetic if 4 people got killed by a drunk driver - due to logic (as they are already dead, feeling something for these people now serves no benefit) and for philosophical reasons (We will all inevitably die, how can life have value if life is finite?) then the lack of emotion for this loss of life is still frightening in your eyes? Could you elaborate abit?
    Feeling nothing at the loss of another human being (though I cannot say I feel terribly upset if someone I don't know passes) does have an evolutionary purpose. As you said "Feeling something for these people now serves no benefit.", I am afraid that is rather incorrect. If we felt nothing at the passing of relatives/friends, then we would have far less reason to ensure their long-term healthy survival. Example: One of Joe's friends dies, Joe is saddened, Joe decides that he should have been better to said friend prior to his passing. Joe, therefore, treats his remaining friends better.
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    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    There is a strong genetic component to psychopath. But not everyone who has those genes is a psychopath.
    Neuroscientist's research leads to unique discovery: he's a psychopath | Fox News

    It is possible you have inherited a genetic tendency which, rather than making you a psychopath, has just made you a little less sympathetic, and you then rationalise this through your philosophy. Cause vs effect.
    Without wishing to overstate my case, everything in the observable universe definitely has its origins in Northamptonshire -- Alan Moore
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raziell View Post
    lack of emotion for this loss of life is still frightening in your eyes? Could you elaborate abit?
    I suppose it depends upon the situation. I'm not sure I understand this correctly. I, after a period of time, no longer feel shocked or saddened by death. It is a part of life.

    However, the way you spoke of it, it sounded as though if you were a bystander to an horrific car crash, you would simply shrug your shoulders and move on. That would be a very abnormal and frightening reaction for me to witness. You claim to be a follower of nihilism, but would such a follower act altruistically toward others at any point? My understanding of nihilism is not that you simply remain less affected by death, but rather that you see little value in life.

    Basically, I find that "philosophical" viewpoint to be a bit disturbing, but I'm confused as to whether you're a true nihilist or just don't care that much about strangers.

    To be fair, thousands die around us all day and we have very little reaction to it. To witness it first hand, however, is a different thing.
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    Morality has no objective truth, it is subjective to living creatures, an extension of the the will to survive brought about through evolution. I, being a living creature, am thus compelled to survive, and thus compelled to be moral, unless I am a mutant, in which case I can fly, regenerate super fast, melt metal with my mind, and have no capacity for empathy. Or whatever super powers I got because my mother ate irradiated pacific fish.
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    but feel apathetic if 4 people got killed by a drunk driver - due to logic (as they are already dead, feeling something for these people now serves no benefit) and for philosophical reasons (We will all inevitably die, how can life have value if life is finite?) then the lack of emotion for this loss of life is still frightening in your eyes? Could you elaborate abit?
    But you said you were right next to them when it happened. So surely your first response would be to see if there was anyone alive and injured whom you could help. You'd at least call 000 or 911 or whatever the emergency service number is in your area. Apart from anything else, you'd certainly get a jolt from the adrenaline in your own body.

    And when we're sad at someone's death, we don't need to know them. If you really did witness an accident like this, what do you think the effect would be on all the parents, children, wives, husbands, lovers, brothers and sisters of these people, let alone their other relatives and friends and workmates and neighbours? You might even know some of those people - these ripples tend to go a long way. When we go to a funeral, we do it as much, or more, for the other mourners as for the person who has died.

    And this is a bit of circular reasoning how can life have value if life is finite? How can anything of any kind have any meaning or value apart from the values we place on them? Everything we personally know is finite. Everything. The Taj Mahal may last several thousand years, our solar system may last tens of billions of years, but they're both finite. The universe might be infinite, but nothing within the universe is permanent.

    Deciding up front that nothing has value unless it's both permanent and infinite is a value judgement in itself. It's a choice that leaves a person with no further choices. If nothing has any value, then you can't ascribe different values to the things, the people or the activities around you. You can't decide whether you do or don't like a shirt or a food or a job or a person or a sports team or a hobby or a film more than any other is ascribing comparative value - which isn't supposed to be possible if nothing has any value. You can't make any choices at all.

    Nihilism is OK as a kind of brain exercise. But anyone who thinks they live by it is kidding themselves.
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    You see, I believe that existence is completely meaningless, that nothing I do will be more than fading ripples in a pond. I could kill myself right now, I could run about beheading people's dogs until they catch me running naked covered in blood with a katana flailing in my hands, and none of it would matter. So why don't I? Because my conscious understanding of the universe does not have absolute control over my body. There are much more ancient forces at work in my body that say "Why not just enjoy life, be peaceful, and help others to enjoy life as much as possible. Eventually you'll be gone, and that will have mattered just as much. Plus, we have cookies."

    Well... I do like cookies...

    Furthermore life is precious because it is short. Eternal life is like eternal sunrises. Sunrises and sunsets are not beautiful solely because they "are", they are ephemeral, fleeting, and that makes them special. Everything gets old. You can have too much of ANYTHING. Moderation in all things, including life.
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    If you think you can't do anything meaningful with your life, then you're just not trying hard enough. There are people out there who have shaped humanity for better or for worse. You may think you're a drop in the ocean, but that's only because you accept being nothing more.

    I'm more of a glass half full kind of guy.
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    I read up to the nihilism part, then I didn't bother reading any more of the OP. Nihilism is bollocks, if it's bollocks it doesn't matter, is untrue and of no consequence.
    Not to mention that bothering to post anything at all is contrary to being nihilistic. Hell, the stupid is burning so badly that I think I threw up a little in my mouth.
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    In opposition to the existence is inherently meaningless mindset, there was a quote from the movie Gladiator which really inspired me: "What we do in life, echoes in eternity."
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    Life-Size Nanoputian Flick Montana's Avatar
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    Given the philosophy of nihilism, it's pointless to even define nihilism.
    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." -Calvin
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  17. #16  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raziell View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Raziell View Post
    I probably wouldnt flinch or care much if a car ran into 4 pedestrians killing them just next to me ... because ... I believe existential and moral nihilism to be true
    I don't think applying a philosophical term to a, frankly, frightening reaction to the loss of lives makes said reaction any less frightening.
    If I live altruistic and act good towards others, never hurt anyone ever in any way. And always try to be helpful and supportive towards others - but feel apathetic if 4 people got killed by a drunk driver - due to logic (as they are already dead, feeling something for these people now serves no benefit) and for philosophical reasons (We will all inevitably die, how can life have value if life is finite?) then the lack of emotion for this loss of life is still frightening in your eyes? Could you elaborate abit?
    A genuine psychopath could also consciously choose to act in a moral way. There's nothing stopping them. It just requires logical effort to figure out and apply the rules of the particular moral system they want to live by.


    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    but feel apathetic if 4 people got killed by a drunk driver - due to logic (as they are already dead, feeling something for these people now serves no benefit) and for philosophical reasons (We will all inevitably die, how can life have value if life is finite?) then the lack of emotion for this loss of life is still frightening in your eyes? Could you elaborate abit?
    But you said you were right next to them when it happened. So surely your first response would be to see if there was anyone alive and injured whom you could help. You'd at least call 000 or 911 or whatever the emergency service number is in your area. Apart from anything else, you'd certainly get a jolt from the adrenaline in your own body.
    To be honest, my first response would be: "did that really just happen?"

    After the disbelief, then maybe I'd feel some concern and empathy for them. It also depends on whether I know them. If they're friends of mine I would be upset. If not, then it would be like when you drive by an accident on the freeway. You may look out of curiosity, but you know it's someone else's problem. You still call an ambulance, just to be polite, of course. That's just common courtesy.

    I think people imagine themselves to be much more benevolent than they would be if they actually faced that situation. Most of the time we end up being apathetic in real life. Just like when there was that massacre in Rwanda. If you had friends or family in Rwanda you would worry about them. If not, then it's just another interesting news story.
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    I think people imagine themselves to be much more benevolent than they would be if they actually faced that situation.
    In fact, it's got little to do with benevolence. What really matters is if you're alone or if there are other people. On your own, you'll do what you can. Twenty other people there? You'll all just stand around waiting for a signal to do something.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    What really matters is if you're alone or if there are other people. On your own, you'll do what you can. Twenty other people there? You'll all just stand around waiting for a signal to do something.
    This reminds me of a day at work, where I was in the middle of working, and couldn't stay at the scene, but this happened: A girl tripped on a set of double cement stairs, falling from the top, down onto the sidewalk, flat on her face. You could hear the impact, it was hard. She wasn't drunk, or pushed, she simply tripped. I took a moment to get a good look at her. She wasn't conscious. There were about 20 or so people standing around, one of them was checking on her, others were asking questions. None of them were calling an ambulance. So as I went back about my job, that's exactly what I did. I couldn't believe that no one else in the entire crowd had called 911 yet, that was clearly a case of serious head trauma, concussion.
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    Many people believe morals don't exist.

    for that matter, people today are simply less rigid in how they think and perceive the world. it is as is, as anything goes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    Given the philosophy of nihilism, it's pointless to even define nihilism.
    Ha..so true.I have zero background in philosophy...just the sciences. My naive take on it.All rather simple.

    We evolved in a clan and limited extended clan structure. 'Feelings' ( morals, etc.)are very tangible...involving individual relationships..a brother, uncle, tribal leader, etc. If we came across another unrelated clan then a moral person is no less moral eating unrelated babies depending on the situation. Morality is socio-biologic.

    In the Real world today we recognize the need for social glue. We 'try' to be empathetic, etc. We are intelligent and know this is a necessity for cohesion. We indoctrinate each other into some extended brotherhood of society, nation, world, etc. We 'want' it to be true. The reality, however, is that we only relate at a visceral level to our immediate clan. Just about every mother in the world would be more torn up by the loss of her own baby, sister, grandma, husband, etc. than 10 million people killied in some disaster tomorrow in India.

    Anyways, the larger society needs an almost false guilt complex at a macro level to instil commonality. Everyone stop and remember the war dead or the victims of an earthquake in Haiti. We all understand the need for concern but it isn't an instinctive emotional one as when a family member has an issue.
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