WEDNESDAY, MAY 28, 2014
Predator? No, Just a Psychopath.
Predators, as I see it, are not the same as psychopaths. Psychopaths have a defective and more or less untrainable empathetic function. Predators on the other hand can read their victims empathetically to their own advantage. They see no moral problem in dealing with their instinctive needs as predators - just as other humans generally see no problem with the necessity of killing animals to eat.
Psychopaths however just don’t see moral rules as understandable. They learn to mimic the expected behaviors, but don’t feel, either fully or at all, the emotionally learned responses that otherwise would govern that morality.
And so we have some psychopaths that are born without the emotional capacity to read the signals that humans (among other animals) in a cooperative setting have evolved to send each other instructively. And even if there are some psychopaths that can learn to read the signs, they will lack the capacity to be concerned with the implied instructions. Essentially, these psychopaths prefer to use deceptive strategies, not understanding the “mechanics” of attaining trust. Predators however do understand the importance of trust, and very often will form such trusting bonds with potential prey in an environment where the need for predatory strategies has been suspended; where their instinctive strategies, however, will still be there to depend on if circumstances change.