The guest today is a self-professed sociopath who believes that the more self-aware you are, the less you emotions you feel. He claims that almost everyone with an IQ over 140 will have symptoms of an antisocial disorder like sociopathy. Sociopaths are superior because they have greater awareness of their emotions. Psychopaths are inferior because they are slaves to their emotions. A psychopath’s emotions are defined by violence and destruction. That is how they achieve ecstasy.
There is a difference between being unable to feel something and simply not finding it useful. Generals in wartime have somehow recalibrated their emotions to justify the killing of soldiers. People who think they rely entirely on reason to dictate their actions fail to see the reason behind their most powerful emotions. Reason only matters when you’ve defined a goal. Change your goal and the validity of your actions changes too.
Emotions are not social constructs. They are not imaginary, counterproductive, or unimportant. What matters is how we calibrate them to external events. Just because we can be conditioned to believe something does not necessarily mean that thing is wrong. Just because something is a social construct, doesn’t mean it isn’t effective or important. Morality is just how well you understand the rules of engagement of the society you happen to be participating in.
Maturity requires us to understand the larger, long-term impact of our actions, like a toddler learns object permanence as it develops. It requires admitting that your life is more than how easy it is for you to experience pleasure. It is the impact you have on your environment and the people around you.
The logical outcome of empathy is intertwining your concept of happiness with that of another person. Sometimes only great trauma can bring us to the point of breakthrough to rapid personal evolution.
What would have to happen for you to bring empathy into your life as a valuable tool?
Do you feel genuinely happy for other people in any context?
Are you afraid to adopt all possible emotional tools into your toolbox?