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  #51  
Old 08-12-2019, 05:34 AM
Max S. is online now
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Originally Posted by monstro View Post
And this is the crux of the free will discussion. Only free willers believe that wanting to be good is sufficient to be good. They think sociopaths have a failure of "want" rather than a failure of cognition. Determinists such as myself think this a load of bunk.
You misunderstand me. If a biometric screening test for sociopathy exists, if the existence of such a test is common knowledge, and if such a test is available, those potential sociopaths who want to behave like normal people will seek out the test on their own thus removing any ethical conundrum. You could say they would volunteer for a voluntary test.

Some forms of paranoia will also prevent people from consenting to a biometric test, including the somewhat reasonable paranoia about misuse of their biometric data.

If the only treatment is some horrifying procedure such as a lobotomy, the person might refuse treatment even if they are screened. Alternately if the treatment involves talking to a psychologist, and the patient has a problem talking to people, they might be unable to bring themselves to the office. Or if the psychologist prescribes a regimen (medical or behavioral), and the patient fails to keep the regimen, they may be unable to bring themselves back to face the doctor.

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Um...this is nuts, sorry. I really don't know what you are communicating with this. We shouldn't screen children for mental illness because their mentally ill parents will then rape them? Does that really make sense to you?
No, you have it backwards. The parents are already abusing the kids, that's why the kids become sociopaths. If you ask the parents to send their kids to therapy, the parents of potential sociopaths are already abusing their kids and could get busted if the kids talk to a shrink. Why would abusive parents ever agree to send the kids off to therapy?

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If a bad-ass kid is tormenting the community and his parents refuse to get him tested and possibly treated, why shouldn't the government step in?
If he is "tormenting the community", as in breaking the law, then the government can and should step in. But as I pointed out shortly after, you lose the advantage of a pre-emptive screening because the deed is already done. Unless the kid has a good excuse, he already meets the criteria for sociopathy.

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Schizophrenia and socipathy are not the same thing.
Either psychosis is a subset of sociopathic disorders or (in my opinion) there are not and never will be biometric markers to identify sociopathy, with the possible exception of some future-tech invasive brain scan.

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This argument is so bizarre I don't know what to do with it, other than to remind you that bad parents are always going to exist. Screening tools or not. If parents don't want to get their bad-behaving kids screened, OK.
The point is that bad parents severely undermine the utility of any proposed sociopathy screening.

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If a 13-year kid who is convicted of assault and battery can receive medical treatment to deal with his physical aggression and low empathy, maybe he won't grow up to be a mass shooter.
Don't confuse psychological treatment with medical treatment, and don't confuse the hypothetical existence of a sociopath-test with a sociopath-cure or treatment. In the worst case, we have the test but no cure and inconclusive treatment.

Also, it is possible that a kid's first actionable encounter with law enforcement is after the shooting. There are constitutional limitations to overcome before the government can force the kid to do anything.

~Max
  #52  
Old 08-12-2019, 05:38 AM
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I guess we should cease all research that may lead us to discover why people behave the way they do. Because it is inevitable those discoveries will be misused. It is invitable there will be harmed. It is inevitable no one will be helped. It is inevitable that safeguards against overreach would fail. So let's keep thumping our bibles and praying. That is working so much better than whatever medical science could come up with. Fuck science, amirite?

You wrote this with a sarcastic emoticon, but if said research involves or proposes involuntary changes to a person's mental state, it deserves very high scrutiny.

~Max
  #53  
Old 08-12-2019, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by monstro
...because her doctor will likely have a modicum of intelligence
I understand that part of the populace would be comfortable trusting the wisdom, good intentions, professionalism, etc, of doctors.

When the concern is patient self-determination, I am not among them. They have a spectacularly dismal track record, especially within the subfield of psychiatric medicine.

I agree with Max s.

Last edited by AHunter3; 08-12-2019 at 09:06 AM.
  #54  
Old 08-12-2019, 12:32 PM
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I’m skeptical, largely because I feel I was misdiagnosed with a minor psychiatric disorder and that the misdiagnosis was ultimately damaging to me. My story isn’t a crazy horror story, it’s just run of the mill disturbing.

First, this is going to sound ironic because of my screen name, but I picked my name because it was a play on the title of a cool sci-fi story. It never occurred to me that anyone would take it as anything but a play on words. And I’ve been too lazy to change it.

Anyway, I was once diagnosed with some sort of moderate depressive disorder. I did go to my doctor with depressive symptoms. I saw it as a situational thing. I had a fairy tale romance of 7 years crash and burn and shortly afterwards sister was killed in a horrific accident. I felt I needed a little help for a little while., maybe a few months. Which was what I told my doctor. But I did not, and still do not, feel I was experiencing anything abnormal. I think my reaction was totally normal for the situation.

I was not given any sort of biological test - I don’t believe one exists, but I was asked a series of questions that sounded like one of those women’s magazine quizzes. And based on that, I was diagnosed with depression. The diagnostic criteria did not seem to take into account the real world factors that had led me to feel the way I did. And my symptoms were lack of concentration, weight loss, inability to sleep. I want to note that I never felt any sort of lack of self-worth or urge to self-harm AT ALL.

So my doctor gave me a prescription for Paxil. She told me I wouldn’t feel anything at first but then I would start to feel gradually better. I took one 10mg pill.
The effect was immediate. It was like a gram of cocaine mixed with a micro dose of LSD, except the high lasted much longer. It was intensely euphoric. I was engaged with everything and everyone. People and things had auras around them. I couldn’t sleep except for a few hours of restless thrashing but I didn’t need to. My neck muscles were as stiff as board and I had electric shooting pains running up my jaw into the side of my neck. But I didn’t much care.
I dutifully reported all this to my doctor who encouraged me not to “give up” and to keep taking the drug. I think she gave me Valium to help me sleep.

But after a few weeks or so all this wore off and I felt worse than ever. So my doctor gave me another brand, which was good for a few weeks of euphoria. Zoloft. Lexapro, Prozac ( that one was intense, it gave me 6 weeks of manic euphoria). Rinse and repeat.

But eventually all the euphoric and manic effects stopped, and the medication did nothing but make me really sleepy all the time. Plus I had a new boyfriend and wanted to reverse that horrible sexual deadening. So I got switched to an SNRI.

That drug immediately turned me into a completed different person. A raging angry person with no capacity for joy or pleasure. I found out what the phrase “see red” really meant, which was something I had never experienced. I threw things and broke them. I yelled and screamed at people. And I got these weird oddly specific violent ideations. Not homicidal, I just wanted to give certain people a solid uppercut punch to their left jaw.

So I immediately stopped it, after my new boyfriend threatened to leave me if I didn’t. Which was about a week after I started taking that drug.

I stopped taking everything. I didn’t see any reason to continue. My grief had faded. I had a new boyfriend. And none of these drugs had worked the way they were supposed to, even though the euphoria was fun while it lasted.

But I got a lot of pushback for that decision, because apparently there was this perception that had a medical disorder that I was refusing to treat.

And even though I only took those drugs for about 6 months and at very low doses, I had a lot of trouble going off them. And the muscle stiffness NEVER went away completely, I still have issues with it almost 20 years later. And I feel I am somewhat more emotionally labile than I was before that 6 month chemistry experiment on my brain. And that week of being angry and violent left me with a lot of psychological debris.

I probably would have resisted taking them in the first place had it not been for the general perception aka “Listening to Prozac” ( this was in the year 2000 ) that they were mild and harmless and could make even normal people better than well.

But, based on my own experience, I cannot agree with the wholesale prescription of these drugs to young children. Or the idea of legally compelling anyone to take them.

Last edited by Ann Hedonia; 08-12-2019 at 12:35 PM.
  #55  
Old 08-12-2019, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
Sociopath Screening
I've seen the Voight-Kampff test in action and it seems effective, though dangerous for the tester. One question is:
You're in a desert walking along in the sand when, all of a sudden, you look down and see a tortoise crawling toward you. You reach down and flip it over onto its back. The tortoise lies there, its belly baking in the hot sun, beating its legs, trying to turn itself over, but it cannot do so without your help. You are not helping. Why?
But seriously, I'm firmly in the Nurture camp and don't believe that a test that could identify sociopathic tendencies could be useful after the age of, oh, ten, when the patient realizes he can game the test, like Rachael does later. Younger if he's smarter, never if he's dumb but carrying a trump card like Leon has. It is my belief--and without science to define it and identify it belief is all we have in this thread--that sociopaths, like everybody else, see that certain behaviors lead to their being rewarded. For sociopaths it's behaviors that the rest of society sees as negative, but he got what he wanted.
  #56  
Old 08-12-2019, 04:33 PM
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Am I a sociopath?https://www.healthyplace.com/psychol...-i-a-sociopath

Problem solved.

Seriously, is sociopathy considered a genetic trait or is it learned behavior, typically from trauma or events experienced by people during formative times of their lives?
  #57  
Old 08-14-2019, 03:14 AM
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Originally Posted by dropzone View Post
I've seen the Voight-Kampff test in action and it seems effective, though dangerous for the tester. One question is:
You're in a desert walking along in the sand when, all of a sudden, you look down and see a tortoise crawling toward you. You reach down and flip it over onto its back. The tortoise lies there, its belly baking in the hot sun, beating its legs, trying to turn itself over, but it cannot do so without your help. You are not helping. Why?
But seriously, I'm firmly in the Nurture camp and don't believe that a test that could identify sociopathic tendencies could be useful after the age of, oh, ten, when the patient realizes he can game the test, like Rachael does later. Younger if he's smarter, never if he's dumb but carrying a trump card like Leon has. It is my belief--and without science to define it and identify it belief is all we have in this thread--that sociopaths, like everybody else, see that certain behaviors lead to their being rewarded. For sociopaths it's behaviors that the rest of society sees as negative, but he got what he wanted.
I disliked the Bladerunner version of that test because it started with "tell me one positive thing about your mother." Now, even most people with terrible mothers could probably think of something positive, but it also wouldn't be that weird to be human and also react with anger at that question. I know there was supposed to be other stuff about cameras seeing pupils, etc (though it would be pretty hard for any camera to see them while someone stood up and moved around the room), but the questions were a hard part of it.

Same as lie detector tests. They assume that someone is going to be more stressed when they're lying. However, you're also going to be more stressed when you're talking about something that upsets you, or where you're just not sure.

Monstro - you said to Broomstick "if you don't know what a sociopath is..." But nobody knows. Psychiatrists don't. It will never be possible to do a genetic test for something nobody can agree the definition of. And this thread was started off the back of your hypothetical that we could pre-screen for this.

You're basically assuming we can pre-screen for evil and then, with a huge 10% failure rate, condemn loads of kids to forever be treated as evil. You talk about a failure of imagination, but it's a huge failure of imagination to not think hmm, maybe treating kids as evil might make them give up on being good, or in the best case scenario, lead to them being hugely depressed due to guilt about thins they haven't done yet.

There have sort of been real-world trials with this, too. If you grow up as part of a gangster family or a family with mental health problems you have a much greater chance of getting into trouble. There have been so many longitudinal studies going over this sort of labelling that I don't want to go and seek them out. Because I don't think any reasonable person actually needs to have cites that telling a kid they're bad and always will be makes it more likely that they will be bad.

By labelling children as evil from birth you would, essentially, be making it much more likely that they turn out that way, including some kids who never even had the supposed tendency to begin with. Not a bad SF short story, but a terrible real world.
  #58  
Old 08-14-2019, 03:45 AM
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By labelling children as evil from birth you would, essentially, be making it much more likely that they turn out that way, including some kids who never even had the supposed tendency to begin with. Not a bad SF short story, but a terrible real world.
Ignoring the implausibility, I am compelled to point out that a hypothetical prenatal test would likely result in abortions, not evil adults.

~Max
  #59  
Old 08-14-2019, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by SciFiSam View Post
I disliked the Bladerunner version of that test because it started with "tell me one positive thing about your mother."
Um, it was a movie. Or a novella. Or a novelization. Or another movie, depending. Not intended to be taken seriously. Or it was, Dick being a bit nuts. I didn't intend it seriously, except as a lead into my belief that this discussion is, at best, silly because a reliable test is impossible.
  #60  
Old 08-14-2019, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by SciFiSam View Post
I disliked the Bladerunner version of that test because it started with "tell me one positive thing about your mother." Now, even most people with terrible mothers could probably think of something positive, but it also wouldn't be that weird to be human and also react with anger at that question. I know there was supposed to be other stuff about cameras seeing pupils, etc (though it would be pretty hard for any camera to see them while someone stood up and moved around the room), but the questions were a hard part of it.
The test isn’t designed to elicit specific emotional responses, it’s desgned to provoke an emotional response which it can then gauge for being genuine or manufactured. The idea isn’t, “If this question makes them angry, they’re a replicant,” it’s, “Replicants won’t have genuine emotional responses to this question.” And, of course, there’s reasons why a human might fake an emotional response to a question like that, which is why there’s a lot of questions. A “real” person is going to have genuine emotional responses to most of them. A replicant, in theory, wouldn’t have a genuine emotional response to any of them.

That said, in my headcanon for the movie, the Voight-Kampala test is actually bullshit pseudoscience, like a lie detector.
  #61  
Old 08-14-2019, 09:46 PM
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Um, it was a movie. Or a novella. Or a novelization. Or another movie, depending. Not intended to be taken seriously. Or it was, Dick being a bit nuts. I didn't intend it seriously, except as a lead into my belief that this discussion is, at best, silly because a reliable test is impossible.
Yeah, I know. I was using it the same way.

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The test isn’t designed to elicit specific emotional responses, it’s desgned to provoke an emotional response which it can then gauge for being genuine or manufactured. The idea isn’t, “If this question makes them angry, they’re a replicant,” it’s, “Replicants won’t have genuine emotional responses to this question.” And, of course, there’s reasons why a human might fake an emotional response to a question like that, which is why there’s a lot of questions. A “real” person is going to have genuine emotional responses to most of them. A replicant, in theory, wouldn’t have a genuine emotional response to any of them.

That said, in my headcanon for the movie, the Voight-Kampala test is actually bullshit pseudoscience, like a lie detector.
Yes, they were testing whether the apparent response would match the responses their sensors recorded (esp pupil movement). But the mother question was the second question, so not much of a basis for comparison.
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