The psychopath is feared as the person who has no conscience and no remorse.  Some psychopaths make great business people for it is the career that matters to them not who they hurt.  Others are even serial killers.

We need to see psychopaths as mentally and/or developmentally damaged.  That is what we want to believe.

Assuming however that every psychopath is mentally ill is mistaken.

Psychopaths can be rational as psychopaths.

A psychopath can hold that burning a Bible is immoral but hold that murder for God is okay. She can hold that aborting babies of her race is wrong but aborting the children of other races is fine. Is this incoherent? Not necessarily.

Rational psychopaths can think that hitting a child is always wrong even for them and still believe that it is okay to murder women or rob banks and shoot the workers. In this view morality and immorality are not like chalk and cheese. Morality is a collection of individual principles. Immorality is a collection of individual anti-principles. If that is how you see it then you can rationally endorse one moral principle and reject another.  But if you see morality as a collection of rules based on the principle of respect for the person it is not rational to claim that it is wrong to hit your wife and okay to hit her sister.  But if the psychopath believes in God there is a way out.  He can say that hitting her is part of how God uses evil so he is not hitting her to devalue her but to be an instrument in God's plan. 

Also anybody can treat morality as individual rules to cover up their irrationality.  A clever psychopath can avoid psychiatric detection.  Religion routinely does that by saying the sinner is a good person and the sin is the problem as if the good side makes the sin does not matter enough to cause you to fear and punish and even hate the sinner.

Haidt pointed out that you have immorality as in harm and immorality as in impurity.  If you accept that then a psychopath can believe that something sexually impure is immoral but be okay with hurting people.  A killer might never have sex outside marriage and still butcher innocents. This leads many to say that a psychopath can be consistent and rational. 

A psychopath who has no moral perception that killing babies is wrong can hardly morally object if somebody kills his baby.  That would be inconsistent and irrational.  When a psychopath is told that their killing or stealing spree is irrational, they can tell you about philosophers who said that society's morality is dog eat dog anyway and won't admit it.  Many psychopaths can ably point to how moral rules contradict themselves and name thinkers who said that.

A psychopath is seen as having a disorder but it is more complicated than that.  Animals kill without a thought and we are animals.  Moreover, there are traits we all have that may be adding to the psychopath's problem.  Say you do evil.  All evil does more than you realise or intend. What it is not meant to do may even be worse than what it is meant to do. You cannot see the full picture even of your own evil.  Religion says that evil is not a thing or power but just a good that is not good enough. M Scott Peck writes that evil is THE LIE.  So that admits it is not easy to diagnose.  And there is the fact that nobody really knows exactly what to do if a person is conducting themselves in an evil way.  Punishment is too much guesswork.  And people can have big differences.  They can affirm a right to destroy the unborn child or call it murder.  Any diagnosis of evil can't get further than being an opinion.  That causes another evil.  A hospital that has the opinion you have a form of cancer and treats you is abusing you for it is not sure.

The criteria for assessing a psychopath or their behaviour is often cherry-picked.  A pope who does not struggle with a God allowing such terrible things to happen to innocents is a psychopath.  And nobody will admit it.  Endless examples exist and religion and its presence in society gives us more complications than we need to have.  The priest knows that there might be no God to empower forgiving the dangerous person to heal them and the situation yet he generously forgives in the confessional.  The priest is complicit in the danger if there is no God to get involved and help.  The priest who is psychopathic will express it in the guise of divine mercy and redemption.

A psychopath may have a disorder or condition that they would not act on were it not for all the other traits, traits we share with them.  So if a Ripper is a psychopath that does not mean that we can blame it all on their disorder or even mainly on it. 

The psychopath is not the apple in the barrel that should be thrown out as if the barrel itself is not part of the problem.  In fact many of those trying to handle the problem of the psychopath have psychopathic traits themselves.

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