--- In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, "sparaig" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> --- In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, Peter <drpetersutphen@> wrote:
> >
> > Sociopaths are far and few inbetween. Superficially
> > people who are narcissistic appear to be sociopathic
> > to the untrained eye. 
> There's also the issue that these defintions are of people so 
pathological that they come to 
> the attention of the DSM-IV committee (or whatever it's called).
> I know people whose behavior, *at times*, fits virtually every
> definition given. OTOH, I've seen those same people apparently 
> having honest feelings, being dedicated to animals and people, etc.
> Does this mean they're not sociopathic, or only that their 
> sociopathy isn't their ONLY mode of existence? I'm enclined to 
> believe the latter since these people *definitely* have a bad rep 
> and well-deserved.

There's also the catch-22 that sociopaths are good
at *faking* honest feelings.  So the layperson,
observing apparently honest feelings but being suspicious
that the person is a sociopath, can just say, Oh, well,
sociopaths are great fakers, so because this person whom
I suspect is a sociopath is exhibiting apparently
honest feelings, the person must just be faking them.
See, I knew he was a sociopath, this proves it!

It doesn't occur to the layperson that if the
suspected sociopath's feelings are in fact genuine,
it means he's *not* a sociopath.

It's like the catch-22 with alcoholics: If somebody
says, I'm not an alcoholic, the layperson is likely
to say, Alcoholics typically deny they're alcoholics,
so this person must be an alcoholic since he's denied
being one.

The layperson doesn't stop to think that people who
are *not* alcoholics will *also* deny being an

These are both variants of what I call the anticult
fallacy, because anticultists have perfected its use.
In that context, it goes like this: Behavior A is
typically found in cults.  This group engages in
Behavior A, therefore it's a cult.

It never seems to occur to the anticultist to ask:
Is Behavior A *unique* to cults?

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