As a theologian, I find personality disorders fascinating. I was especially intrigued by psychopathy after discovering that most societies view psychopaths as evil.
While studying the Bible, I came across Mark 7:20-23 where Jesus condemned the sins that psychopaths commit and said that they arise from evil hearts.
This got me thinking, and I decided to conduct more research to find out whether psychopaths are evil or mentally ill. I spent two months reading books like Snakes in Suits: When psychopaths go to work by Robert Hare.
I even consulted my mentor, who is a clergy member and psychologist, to learn more about what the Bible says about psychopathy. Interestingly enough, during an online forum last week, the topic of psychopathy came up.
One of the members asked whether psychopaths are mentally ill or simply bad people. Another member was curious to find out whether psychopaths are born or made.
Having done a lot of research on this topic, I was happy to share all my findings with the group. After the productive discussion, I decided to write this article to share my knowledge on the topic and answer the common question that many people have.
So, are psychopaths evil?
Since the Bible does not clearly state whether psychopaths are evil, there are contrasting opinions on this. Most Christians suggest that psychopaths are evil since some commit evil acts like murder and theft, which is against God’s word (Mark 7:20-23). On the other hand, some people argue that psychopaths are not necessarily evil since parts of their brains are underdeveloped and are, therefore, mentally ill.
In this article, I invite you to join me as we delve into the topic of psychopathy. Keep reading to discover what makes psychopaths evil, if psychopathy is a mental illness, whether psychopaths know what they are doing, and much more!
Is psychopathy a mental illness?
There is no agreement as to what psychopathy is. While some people speculate that it is a personality disorder, others suggest that it is a mental illness.
Though psychopathy is not viewed as an official clinical diagnosis, a psychopath is considered to have antisocial personality disorder (ASPD).
A certain psychologist from the University of Mexico suggested that a psychopath has less gray matter in the paralimbic system of their brain.
That is why most experts believe that the brain of a psychopath is wired differently from that of other humans.
What makes a psychopath evil?
People have contradicting opinions on whether psychopathy is evil or not. While some suggest that psychopaths are evil, some imply that they are not evil since they are mentally ill.
Those who speculate that psychopaths are evil argue that they cause a lot of harm to society and can, therefore, not be considered to be good.
They believe psychopaths are evil since they do not show compassion to their victims and manipulate others without feeling guilty.
Most Christians also believe psychopaths are evil since their behavior is among the severest spiritual and moral effects of a man’s fall into sin.
They speculate that even Jesus describes the sins that psychopaths commit as arising from evil hearts in Mark 7:20-23.
However, some believe that psychopaths are not necessarily evil since not all are criminals. They further argue that psychopathy is simply a disease.
Do psychopaths know what they are doing?
Most experts believe that psychopaths know what they are doing, but because of their diminished capacity for empathy, they do not care about the consequences of their actions.
They argue that when a psychopath commits a crime, they are not weighed down by things such as sadness or remorse.
According to some people, psychopaths realize what they are doing is wrong, which is why they tend to be sneaky in the way they commit evil against others.
However, the entitlement and arrogance in psychopaths is what is believed to make them feel that they can go against ethics and morals without feeling any guilt.
Experts argue that though psychopaths know what they are doing, they have deficits in how they process emotions. They further speculate that psychopaths do not fear social stigmatization or punishment for their actions and don’t feel the need to meet societal expectations.
Can a psychopath stop being one?
Most people believe a psychopath cannot stop being one since there is no cure for this condition. According to most people, psychopaths cannot stop being one, even if they undergo talk therapy.
Some people suggest that though psychopathy has no cure, it can be controlled. For instance, they argue that psychopaths in prison can be managed with reward-based treatment, like giving them access to video games or their favorite food for good behavior.
On the other hand, Christians believe that anyone, including a psychopath, can change. They argue that God can rescue and restore even the most corrupt heart to righteousness (Ephesians 4:24)
Are psychopaths born or made?
Most experts believe that psychopathy is mainly an inherited or genetic condition. They further argue that psychopaths are born since parts of their brain, which are responsible for impulse control and emotional regulation, are underdeveloped.
That is why most experts suggest that psychopaths are born. Additionally, some believe certain environmental factors can increase the risk for psychopathy, such as birth complications, high-stress levels, or smoking during pregnancy.
Are all psychopaths narcissists?
According to most people, not all psychopaths are narcissists. They argue that psychopaths are born while the childhood environment shapes narcissists.
People argue that while both psychopaths and narcissists lack empathy, most narcissists believe that they are unique and should only associate with high-status people.
People imply that this characteristic is not common in some psychopaths.
People further argue that not all psychopaths are narcissists because some psychopaths often participate in crimes and fraud schemes while narcissists occupy their minds with fantasies of power and unlimited success.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.