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Do you think that people can be born without a conscience?

In other words, that they are incapable of knowing right from wrong.


Asked by amessageofhope at 1:16 AM on Dec. 26, 2010 in Religious Debate

Level 23 (17,397 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (42)
  • I think there may be some people born without a conscience. Also, people who know the difference between right and wrong, but ignore it or still try to justify their actions to themselves or others. Sociopaths, psychopaths, antisocial personality disorder--all slightly different, but often used interchangeably within psychology. To me, psychopaths are scarier, because they are more organized and manipulative, and are often able to mimic the behavior of conscientious people. You probably wouldn't trust someone who's an obvious sociopath, but you might accidentally trust a psychopath. There is debate whether conscience is an innate trait or something that is learned within psychology too, so some people might believe a person who has no conscience wasn't born that way (they had to learn it) while some think it's an innate trait.

    Answer by pam19 at 9:56 AM on Dec. 26, 2010

  • Being born without a conscience does not make them incapable of knowing right from wrong. It makes them not care if something is right or wrong. Not KNOWING the difference is the legal definition if insanity.

    Answer by Carpy at 8:06 AM on Dec. 26, 2010

  • Yes, it's called a sociopath.

    Answer by NotPanicking at 2:02 AM on Dec. 26, 2010

  • It is possible. I agree w/ Carpy - not knowing the difference is the sign of mental disease or defect. Not caring is the sign of a sociopath. And sociopaths are often very intelligent & justify their lack of morals in a clever way.


    Answer by sweetpotato418 at 8:10 AM on Dec. 26, 2010

  • possible

    Answer by smiley745 at 1:17 AM on Dec. 26, 2010

  • Carp is right on...they know when they are doing wrong they just don't care.

    Answer by tnmomofive at 9:23 AM on Dec. 26, 2010

  • You do have to understand that being born a sociopath does not mean they will not be a productive member of society. I remember a study from my abnormal psych class that said a large percentage of the top executives in business are sociopaths and that's one reason they are so successful.

    Answer by SpiritedWitch at 11:53 AM on Dec. 26, 2010

  • Yep, sociopaths....they certainly exist!

    Answer by samurai_chica at 4:21 PM on Dec. 26, 2010

  • Yes, they are designated sociopaths.

    Answer by SweetLuci at 7:29 PM on Dec. 26, 2010

  • Most definitely but we call them sociopaths or psychopaths and they do know right from wrong...they are clever enough to conceal their intentions, if that is what it takes, as a means to an end. Another way of putting it is "the ends justify the means" exemplified by Saul Alinsky in his book Rules for Radicals and once taught by our President.

    I've watched and listened to many so-called experts attempt to defend these narcissistic sociopaths on the stand and have often thought that their extensive psychological training has turned their minds into excuse factories for any and all behaviors.

    Answer by annabarred at 8:59 PM on Dec. 26, 2010