Am I Human?

Well, we all know psychopaths are not well liked by most people. But some of our haters take an extra step. Not only are we bad news, we are not even human!

Mark Passio, who has made many videos about psychopaths, is one of those who call us “enemies.” Mr. Passio seems have more rage against what he calls New Age people who deny “the actual condition that lives in their midst.”

First, Passio analyzes the original meaning of the word psychopath. Psyche is the Greek word for mind or soul. In English, the word psyche is used in the same way. Path is related to pathology or “sickness.” So psychopathy means “sickness of the mind” or soul. Somehow, Passio goes from calling us mentally ill to calling us animals.

Let’s pause in listening to Passio and state some home truths. Human beings, otherwise socio-featureknown as homo sapiens, are a species. Wikipedia defines species as “the basic unit of classification and a taxonomic rank, as well as a unit of biodiversity, but it has proven difficult to find a satisfactory definition.” Every species breeds more of it’s kind with other members of the same species. While some experiments have succeeded in breeding an offspring from members of two different species, that offspring is infertile. It is incapable of breeding. Does this definition of a species fit the description of a psychopath? Hell, no!

empathicratsPassio calls us “animals” as if animals are so inferior to human beings. Which species is destroying the earth? Is it dogs? Cats? Apes? Nah. Human beings are the only species destroying the planet. Furthermore, non-human animals are capable of empathy. Tests have demonstrated this. One study gave rats the chance to free other rats from cages and they jumped at that chance. As with humans, empathy is a natural quality of animal species. That can make us even more frightening. Even rats have empathy. But we do not. Woooooo!SCARY!

boxerPassio correctly explains that there are two kinds of psychopathy: primary and secondary. A primary psychopath is born with a specific kind of brain wired differently than that of a “normal” or “neural typical” person. Secondary psychopaths become psychopathic (or sociopathic) as a result of their experiences in their environment. The primary psychopath is born a psychopath (although professionals have agreed not to name someone a psychopath until he or she has attained majority). Does this mean the psychopath’s parents must be psychopaths? If psychopathy were really the name of a separate species, the parents would have to be psychopaths. Without that, psychopaths cannot be a species. It’s as simple as that. Yet Passio attacks anyone who would raise this common-sense denial of his opinion as a specific kind of fool which he labels “new age.” The New Age Movement is a philosophical, spiritual current of thought that really has nothing to do with the definition of psychopathy.

puzzling_peopleAnother “thinker” who believes we are not human is Thomas Sheridan, author of Puzzling People: the labyrinth of the psychopath. His views are very similar to those of Mark Passio. However, although Passio seems to attribute all evil doing to the omni-present psychopath (who only represents about 1%), Sheridan acknowledges evil doings can be the work of people who are not psychopaths at all. He admonishes the reader, “To use the label psychopath is essentially to state that they are not a human being. Such a statement — no matter how much someone may have wronged you — must not be taken lightly.” But Sheridan also claimed that psychopaths wake from sleep in a pool of cold sweat. Weird. I never did nor has any other psychopath I know.

Passio goes so far as to refer to us as being “brain scansdamaged” and “broken.” Strange, how we can be born a certain way but are “brain damaged.” Yet he insists we are in control of every level of society. Primary psychopaths give orders to secondary psychopaths. So I guess this makes us 10% strong. Pretty good for such a small number of people. Sheridan is more realistic. He realizes that psychopaths can live on many different levels depending on the individual. We can be slackers, happy to just have an easy life without having to work. We can be small-time operators. Or we can be very ambitious, seeking the greatest amount of power. If we are so divided into different types of people, how did we get so much control? If we’re really running things, why don’t we shut Passio and Sheridan up? Maybe because they are so amusing.

roberthareIt’s easy to blame psychopaths for the ills of the world. Harder but more accurate to admit that normal human beings are capable of every evil. Robert Hare, known as the godfather of psychopathy, acknowledges the neural difference between psychopaths and NTs (neural typicals). Yet he has said, “Psychopaths are not disordered. They don’t suffer from a deficit. They’re simply different.”

Mark Passio 1About halfway through his video, Passio makes an extraordinary claim. The people who founded the United States of America were fighting psychopathy by coming to this continent and destroying the indigenous population so they could have their “just” society which included slavery. But the “psychopaths” in the story were not the genocidal settlers. They were the soldiers in the British armed forces. These bold enemies of psychopathy, the Americans, fought the “psychopaths” by shooting them. Really? If you have the patience to wade through enough of Passio’s nonsense to get that far, you can hear it for yourself! So shooting the indigenous people who just wanted to live on their own land wasn’t “psychopathic” but fighting the settlers to keep them subject to the British crown was? Passio just lost credibility as a person with any true moral understanding. He has no right to condemn psychopaths. He has proven himself to be, in Nietzsche’s words, “Human. All too human.” Don’t blame me for your own moral failings, human!


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3 thoughts on “Am I Human?

  1. Pingback: Haters | CLUSTER B
  2. Short sighted and greedy fools do more damage in the world than a few psychopaths, although some of the famous examples of the latter have made quite spectacular messes from time to time. As far as trying to define people out of the species is concerned, it is an all too common tactic.

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