To often when we judge the extreme behavior of others, the conclusions drawn are based on faulty assumptions. When someone is labeled with terms such as "Crazy", "Maniacal", "Deranged" etc, by the general public, it is based solely on the perceived mental state of the individual. Their actions, based upon our concept of proper moral behavior, are so outlandish we conclude that they must be mentally ill.
This is an unfortunate line of reasoning, for the Sociopath is basically given an excuse to avoid responsibility for their actions. However, this judgment is not made through proper mental evaluation, BUT HOW IT DIFFERS FROM OUR OWN SET OF MORAL PRINCIPLES. SINCE THE BEHAVIOR SHOCKS US AND FLIES IN THE FACE OF HOW WE EXPECT PEOPLE TO BEHAVE, IT MUST BE MENTAL ILLNESS. THIS IS AN EXAMPLE OF TAKING A PURELY MORAL JUDGMENT AND ASSUMING THAT IT ALSO GIVES AN ACCURATE READING ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH. THIS IS A CONCLUSION WE CANNOT REASONABLY DRAW. MORAL BEHAVIOR AND PSYCHOLOGY ARE TWO DISTINCT AND SEPARATE DISCIPLINES.
You must realize the Sociopath does not feel they are mentally ill, so they do not seek treatment. They are perfectly content with their lifestyle, and see no reason to change it. Ironically, they often feel that it is everyone else who is suffering from a mental malady. Since the Sociopath is not hindered by feelings of guilt and cannot empathize with others, they conclude these traits are personality flaws that can be exploited.(Continued in a future posting.)