Idle Speculation

Most if not all ‘sadists’ are merely masochists with a well-honed sense of empathy.

People with a poorly-developed sense of empathy are far less dangerous to others than those with very sensitive sympathies.

If the eyes are sensitive enough, even a little light can blind them.  If someone is highly sensitive to the pain of others, even moderate suffering will cause them to become callous and indifferent out of necessity.  Relatively speaking, the highly aware are far more likely to encounter traumatic levels of pain than those that are poorly aware; thus, they are more likely to be traumatized; thus, they are more likely to develop and implement defensive compensations.

So I speculate.

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6 Responses to “Idle Speculation”

  1. Do sadists like to harm themselves specifically/directly? I don’t know of any evidence that is the case, though it could be.

  2. Good point about how one can become callous. I’m always amazed when I find people who seem to be very empathetic. And then I have to find out what out what is wrong – are they just lying? Stupid? Sheltered?

  3. “Do sadists like to harm themselves specifically/directly?”

    I have no objective evidence on that topic. I do know that recent research has established that ‘psychological’ pain has the same general activation pattern as ‘physical’ pain. The experience of the two is quite similar, I think. Psychological pain is harder to escape from and is ‘worse’ in some ways, which is why people sometimes use physical pain as a release. Something like the neural gate method of pain suppression.

    Sadism involves issues of power and control as well as pain. The recognition that you’ve caused another pain is more complex than a simple recognition of their suffering.

    I’m sorry that I have little hard data to give to you. It’s part of why this was Idle Speculation.

  4. Not quite sure I get it… Masochists with highly developed empathy sometimes inflict pain on others, because it causes them psychological pain (feeding their masochism)?

    You say people with a poorly-developed sense of empathy are far less dangerous to others than those with very sensitive sympathies – but another thing to take into account is that people who are sympathetically sensitive very often are void of any capacity for empathy whatsoever.

    In any case, I wonder in what sense you are using these terms. It would make much more sense to me to say that sadists are sympathetically sensitive, but not at all empathetic. Feelings of sympathy would play into the sadists’ power/control fixations, whereas I can’t really see how empathy would.

  5. “- but another thing to take into account is that people who are sympathetically sensitive very often are void of any capacity for empathy whatsoever.”

    I think we are in violent agreement.

    Now, we must fight with knives!

  6. easy enough to invert. sadists with highly developed empathy let others hurt them because they see no socially acceptable way of hurting others.

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