In my mind and in many minds, having a conscience, despite its inherent constraints on our wants and desires is preferable to having no conscience. But do we get to choose whether to have a conscience? Some think that we may make choices about everything in life. However, there is growing evidence that being without a conscience may not be a matter of choice; that some are born without a conscience, often called sociopaths. Think about the concept of never being aware of anything but your own desires, not caring about any ramifications of your own actions, never having to be attentive or even being aware of the destruction caused by your negative actions, and finally being unable to feel love.

On the other hand imagine that you have a conscience and for whatever reason you decide not listen to it or abide by it. Your actions, in some of those cases, may evern rise to criminality, maybe even murder. But the difference is that you got to choose and based on your choice, which maybe the result of previous circumstances beyond your control, you decided to do what you want anyway. In this case, regardless of the outcome you will suffer psychic damage, possibly physical and mental health problems and for certain you will suffer from society turning away from you.

Society suffers in both of these situations. In the first case it is estimated that from 1-4% of society is a sociopath and does not have a conscience and therefore lacks empathy to others’ suffering. This is a reality and society needs to plan on implementing measures to address this problem.

The second case is often addressed by the medical and mental health systems and the criminal justice system.

Neither situation is well addressed in our society. Read my and others’ serial murder mysteries and try to figure out in which of these two situations do the perpetrators, you are reading about, fit.

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