Latest theology Q and A (closed)

A post for theological questions on faith, morals, salvation, and matters of Church discipline.

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44 Responses to Latest theology Q and A (closed)

  1. Marco says:

    Can a psychopath be saved? How, if he can’t feel guilt, remorse, and he is incapable of love? Psychopaths have the brain wired differently, so they can’t love, they can’t love even their own children, and they are fully responsible for their actions, when they manipulate others ecc (they are classified as intra species predators https://www.drgeorgesimon.com/predators-among-us-the-psychopaths/ , they have no conscience even though, on a mere intellectual level, they can tell right from wrong) because it’s not like they are delusional, they are in full control of their actions even though their brains are wired differently,

    How can they be saved? Why did God evil and darkness to become STRUCTURALLY enshrined into them, almost making them structurally predisposed to winning against the Holy Ghost?

    • Marco says:

      “How can they be saved? Why did God evil and darkness to become STRUCTURALLY enshrined into them,”

      Why Did God allow, i wanted to write.

    • Ron Conte says:

      I don’t agree. There was a story about a physician and researcher studying the brains of psychopaths, and then separately studying the brains of persons related to one another in his own family. He accidentally discovered that he has the brain of a psychopath. Yet he loves his family and loves his neighbor through his work as a physician. So the type of love that is an infused virtue can be infused in anyone, regardless of their supposed problems with their fallen human nature. And they certainly can distinguish right from wrong, as long as they have the use of free will and reason. So I don’t agree that persons are born unable to be saved, unable to love, unable to have a conscience.

    • Marco says:

      Ron, i’ve never said that all psychopaths are into criminal acts, i’ve said that they cannot feel genuine love towards others. Most of them aren’t criminals, but the same doctor you mentioned said “At the same time, I’m not doing this because I’m suddenly nice, I’m doing it because of pride—because I want to show to everyone and myself that I can pull it off.”

      How can this be compatible with Grace and selfless love?

      “And they certainly can distinguish right from wrong, as long as they have the use of free will and reason.”

      I’ve said it myself that they can distinguish right from wrong, what they can’t do is feeling real empathy and love towards others.

      But they sure have free will, i wrote in my comments, the following words

      “ they are fully responsible for their actions, when they manipulate others ecc (they are classified as intra species predators https://www.drgeorgesimon.com/predators-among-us-the-psychopaths/ , they have no conscience even though, on a mere intellectual level, they can tell right from wrong) because it’s not like they are delusional, they are in full control of their actions even though their brains are wired differently”

      But if they don’t engage in wrong acts it’s not because they love others, but because the consequences for them would be bad and they don’t want to suffer them, or because they can obtain more by acting in a different way.
      https://themindsjournal.com/why-psychopaths-unable-to-love-even-their-own-children/

    • Ron Conte says:

      I don’t agree because the Church teaches that we have souls, not just brains, and we have infused virtue, not just behavior patterns from our brains.

    • Marco says:

      “almost making them structurally predisposed to winning against the Holy Ghost?”

      Sinning against, obviously, not winning, goddamned corrector.

    • Marco says:

      “I don’t agree because the Church teaches that we have souls, not just brains, and we have infused virtue, not just behavior patterns from our brains.”

      For sure Ron, but we still have a huge problem: Grace, according to our doctrine, perfect nature.

      And a psychopath’s nature is simply different, for his brain is wired completely differently.

      God’s Grace acts through us but it still presupposes a normally, “humanly” wired brain to be effective.

      For example, severely handicapped people, who are unable to act freely, are also unable to act virtuously. They are still saved through God’s Grace, because, like little children, they are unable to do evil, but psychopaths are another thing entirely: they are fully responsabile for their actions and, at the same time, they are structurally, because of the way their brain is wired, to really love other people and God. They are essentially predators and they share more characteristics with Satan than with God

      I think they can be saved, but i also think that for them to be saved an EXTRAORDINARY Grace is required. A Grace which heals them from their psychopathy, in other words a Grace that actually cures and heals their brain and their soul.

      But if a psychopath remains a psychopath, i really can’t see how he/she can be saved. The words of the doctor you’ve quoted

      “At the same time, I’m not doing this because I’m suddenly nice, I’m doing it because of pride—because I want to show to everyone and myself that I can pull it off.”

      Are the exact antithesis of God’s Grace, are the antithesis of what a man filled with God’s Grace would think.

      As you can see, the doctor is basically using people around them for a sole purpose: ego boosting, cuddling his own pride. He basically views other people as tools and uses the most effective tactic to achieve what he wants from them, even if it means faking sentiments and love (something which psychopaths are very good at).

      Let me quote from here
      https://www.officer.com/investigations/forensics/article/10760169/psychopathy-manipulation-deception-and-evil

      “Psychopathy involves poor emotional intelligence and the genuine lack of conscience.  The psychopath rarely remains attached to anyone or anything.  Their lifestyle is consistently predatory; they feel little or no regret or remorse for their behaviors. Psychopaths do need relationships; however, they view people as barriers to their fundamental needs.  Relationships are easily and frequently eliminated. Others are viewed in terms of how they can be used to increase the psychopath’s self-esteem or simply for stimulation.  Most fundamentally, psychopaths value others in terms of their material value.  They are stalkers, rapists, perpetrators of domestic violence, deviant sexual crimes, and they are the serial killers.  They are also CEOs and some would argue they are politicians.  Psychopaths are unable (or unwilling) to control their impulses or to delay gratification. They use rage to control and manipulate others into submission.  Many of them are sadistic; taking true pleasure in inflicting physical, emotional and financial harm to their victims.  Not all psychopaths are law-breakers. However, all psychopaths do engage in antisocial acts such as lying, manipulation, aggression, and cruelty.”

      And in fact even the aforementioned doctor is highly manipulative and lying, even if he isn’t a murderer.

      As i said, they can be saved (arguing otherwise would be full blown Calvinism, since it would mean that some people are predestined to hell. And in fact, without my belief in catholic doctrine, the existence of psychopaths would seem to me a powerful confirmation of the Calvinistic doctrine on the elects and reprobates), but a miracle is needed. I don’t think that they can be saved through ordinary graces.

      Do you disagree with this as well?

    • Ron Conte says:

      I don’t agree that psychopaths are entirely controlled by genetics (or whatever makes them that way) as if free will plays no role. You are citing secular sources with an entirely secular point of view.

    • Marco says:

      “and, at the same time, they are structurally, because of the way their brain is wired, to really love other people and God. “

      They are structurally unable, because of the way their brain is wired ecc

    • Marco says:

      “I don’t agree that psychopaths are entirely controlled by genetics (or whatever makes them that way) as if free will plays no role. You are citing secular sources with an entirely secular point of view.“

      Free will is always important, but if one’s brain is wired is such a way that he cannot feel love, emotions, attachments ecc he will not be able to love, have genuine feelings ecc.

      Free will plays a part in the sense that they can decide not to act in a bad way, but they simply cannot love men and God unless God makes a miracle.

      What’s secular about it? I just said that for them extraordinary graces are required, i have not said that salvation is methaphisically impossible for them or they don’t have free will.

      They have free will but they simply cannot appreciate love, affections, genuine emotions, selfless altruism ecc just like a blind from birth cannot appreciate colors or the beauty of a natural landscape. It’s not a problem of free will. But, just like a blind from birth, they can be healed by God.

    • Ron Conte says:

      I don’t agree that the wiring of the brain of a psychopath precludes cooperation with grace, the virtue of love, and the ordinary path of salvation. I gave the example of the physician/researcher. Your claim that they can’t love is secular and yet treated as if it were dogmatic.

    • Marco says:

      Ron, just think about homosexuality: homosexual people have the free will which enables them to live saintly, but they simply cannot decide to be attracted by other women, expecially when their homosexuality has been with them since they were born (i’ve already mentioned little children who behave like girls even if they haven’t reached the age of reason yet and they don’t have sexual impulses https://youtu.be/qV8b8hsQups ).

      A psychopath is in a similar, albeit much worse, situation, because while the homosexual has “only” the problem that he has attraction towards other males, he still can love selflessly and be in the state of Grace if he doesn’t performs homosexual acts or he isn’t fully culpable. The problem of the psychopath is much deeper and much , much worse, because he/she simply cannot feel love and compassion for anybody, and as has been observed, they are full blown intra species predators.

      I really don’t see how saying that they can be saved only through extraordinary graces is farfetched or “secular” in the slightest.

    • Ron Conte says:

      I don’t agree with your claims about psychopaths. Please do not post these claims again.

    • Marco says:

      @Ron

      Answer only one question, please.

      You said

      “I gave the example of the physician/researcher”

      But you didn’t show him acting humanely or in a loving manner. As i said, many of them don’t act criminally because of bad consequences, not because they are seeking good.

      I mean, he even said it himself (the doctor you mentioned)

      “At the same time, I’m not doing this because I’m suddenly nice, I’m doing it because of pride—because I want to show to everyone and myself that I can pull it off.”

      With these words he basically admitted that he is doing everything because of pride, not because he loves his nearest. From the fact that many psychopaths don’t act criminally you are inferring that they are good and they can love and feel emotions without God fixing their problems first, but i hope you will forgive me if i think that your assumption is not based on facts.

      I think you are being a little biased towards this argument, so i’ll just leave it at that.

    • Paul M. says:

      It seems to me that love is knowing what is the right thing to do and doing it (at least to one’s ability). All this talk from Marco about psychopaths not being able to “feel” empathy is irrelevant if a person, infused by supernatural grace, can overcome their lack of empathy by choosing to act for another’s good.

      Secondly, I am saddened that I had to read an-all-too-casual use of our Lord’s name, even with a “small g”, while reading the comments. I am battling to keep the term out of my head now. Such is the power of suggestion to a dull mind like mine.

    • Marco says:

      @Paul

      “It seems to me that love is knowing what is the right thing to do and doing it (at least to one’s ability).”

      Love is doing what is the right thing to do, yes, but if you consider other humans as inferior and you don’t give two hoots about them how can you considered to be loving? Not harming someone or doing the right thing to do just because you know that the consequences would not be pleasant if you act otherwise, or if you do that for pride like the aforementioned doctor, how can you say that you love?

      “psychopaths not being able to “feel” empathy is irrelevant if a person, infused by supernatural grace, can overcome their lack of empathy by choosing to act for another’s good.”

      But here is the thing: i’ve never said that a psychopath cannot love in the absolute sense, i’ve said that he/she needs to be healed from his psychopathy first. And who can do that, if not the Lord himself?

      Yeah, supernatural grace can overcome their lack of empathy, i just said that they need a very powerful Grace, more than neurothipicals.

      Here https://www.quora.com/How-do-psychopaths-and-sociopaths-feel-towards-their-children/answer/Aaron-John-Smith , a psychopath answers and explains that he wouldn’t love his children and here
      https://www.quora.com/Do-psychopaths-love-their-children/answer/Dustin-Cameron-4 another psychopath with children explains that he doesn’t love them.

      Sure, God’s Grace can overcome their defect, but if their defect is overcome they wouldn’t be psychopath anymore. A psychopath who genuinely LOVES another person is not a psychopath anymore. Claiming that a psychopath can really love while still remaining psychopath is tantamount to claiming that a blind from birth can see while still remaining blind. They are mutually exclusive conditions.

    • Marco says:

      @Paul

      Sociopathy on the other hand is different, in that a sociopath is made, not born. Sociopaths can become like that because of abuses and difficult upbringing, hence they can be cured in a “secular” way, even though it is extremely rare and difficult.

      But psychopathy is not something you acquire, if you are a psychopath you are born a psychopath. That’s why for them every kind of human cure doesn’t work and they need to be cured directly by God. Original sin simply messed with them much more than what is common.

    • Ron Conte says:

      No more comments on psychopaths, please.

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