20140706

Normalizing Mental Illness (satire)

"By foregrounding intrinsic evil (the diagnosis of) psychopathy marginalizes social problems and excuses institutional failures at rehabilitation. We need not understand a criminal's troubled past or environmental influences. We need not reach out a hand to help him along a pathway to redemption. The psychopath is irredeemable, a dangerous outsider who must be contained or banished. Circular in its reasoning, psychopathy is nonetheless alluring in its simplicity." --- Karen Franklin, researcher in ethics of forensic psychology

Though there is intrinsic evil in unsuccessful psychopaths, this is a fallacy because successful sociopaths show that they are not always evil.

If a parent neglects a child for "being evil", then perhaps a psychopathy might be accidentally nurtured. However, not all child sociopaths become serial killers.

Therefore, it is a fallacy to assume a sociopath is evil. Rather, the assumption that what we fear in other people denotes evil is magical thinking.

Perhaps the concept of good and evil needs be rethought without reliance on the magical thinking inherent in attributing it to moral character.

Perhaps mental illness needs to be normalized.

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