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Author Topic: ...Without Guilt  (Read 525 times) Average Rating: 0
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Justin Kissel
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« on: October 30, 2012, 10:58:20 AM »

Regarding people who are mentally ill, and who can commit horrible crimes and not feel guilt about it: how would Orthodox priests approach such a person if they were ministering to them? What if the person can't be "cured" (or whatever), what position does this leave them in?
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« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2012, 11:15:20 AM »

I'm not a specialist, but people who actually feel no guilt ever are psychopaths - that doesn't mean they are serial killers, but they do not feel any empathy at all.

If the priest is able to diagnose that, I think he should help the person to get proper treatment and follow up from doctors.
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« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2012, 11:23:01 AM »

Regarding people who are mentally ill, and who can commit horrible crimes and not feel guilt about it: how would Orthodox priests approach such a person if they were ministering to them? What if the person can't be "cured" (or whatever), what position does this leave them in?

The same way we treat women on their periods...

Woah!
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Justin Kissel
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« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2012, 11:39:15 AM »

I'm not a specialist, but people who actually feel no guilt ever are psychopaths - that doesn't mean they are serial killers, but they do not feel any empathy at all.

If the priest is able to diagnose that, I think he should help the person to get proper treatment and follow up from doctors.

I'm asking, what if treatment fails to work...?
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« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2012, 11:54:06 AM »

Regarding people who are mentally ill, and who can commit horrible crimes and not feel guilt about it: how would Orthodox priests approach such a person if they were ministering to them? What if the person can't be "cured" (or whatever), what position does this leave them in?

The same way we treat women on their periods...

Woah!

Oh for Christ's sake.

What was I thinking with this church?
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« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2012, 12:12:49 PM »

I'm asking, what if treatment fails to work...?

Then, I suppose, he will have to access the seriousness of the condition. Most psycopaths do have "normal" lives, that is, they are not up to physically harm anyone. They just don't feel guilt cheating on people, lying to harm someone they don't like or to grow in the company and so on.

In that case, if the person is seeking help, it must probably be either founded on vested interests (they see no problem in that), and the priest must be on his guard, or they have honest intellectual curiosity which will *never* revert to moral attitudes lest a miracle healing happens and I put the healing of a psychopath right up there with resurrection miracles. So the priest must think on protecting himself and protecting his flock. If it is just intellectual curiosity, the person will simple stop asking after some time and disappear. Maybe the person is just trying to mingle, even if not for a bad cause, but the person *will* hurt other people for a true psychopath simply does not understand other people's pain.

In my opinion, if the person refuses treatment and doesn't go away of his/her own accord, the priest will really have to ponder if he should allow this person to stay in the community.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2012, 12:13:19 PM by Fabio Leite » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2012, 12:17:51 PM »

How to Spot Psychopaths: Speech Patterns Give Them Away
http://www.livescience.com/16585-psychopaths-speech-language.html

Psychopathy in Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychopathy

What Psychopaths Teach Us about How to Succeed
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=what-psychopaths-teach-us-about-how-to-succeed
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« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2012, 12:41:13 PM »

Regarding people who are mentally ill, and who can commit horrible crimes and not feel guilt about it: how would Orthodox priests approach such a person if they were ministering to them? What if the person can't be "cured" (or whatever), what position does this leave them in?

The same way we treat women on their periods...

Woah!

Oh for Christ's sake.

What was I thinking with this church?

I sincerely apologize on behalf of anyone who thinks this is remotely funny.
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« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2012, 01:39:27 PM »

Regarding people who are mentally ill, and who can commit horrible crimes and not feel guilt about it: how would Orthodox priests approach such a person if they were ministering to them? What if the person can't be "cured" (or whatever), what position does this leave them in?

The same way we treat women on their periods...

Woah!

Oh for Christ's sake.

What was I thinking with this church?

Which church are your referring to when you say "this" church?

Does anyone on this forum actually officially represent "this" church?
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Justin Kissel
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« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2012, 11:10:21 PM »

Unfortunately things are not always so cut and dry. It is possible for someone to feel guilt in some areas/actions, and not in others; it's not necessarily an all-or-nothing thing.
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« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2012, 11:33:38 PM »

Any thoughts from priests? Like let's say someone has homicidal thoughts and feels no guilt about them. The person knows they should feel guilt, and they know the thoughts are immoral, but they feel no more guilt about the feelings than they would stepping on an ant. Can such a person be given absolution in confession, for example? If they could never, through working on it and therapy and meds and whatever, come to the point where they genuinely felt guilt for that, would they basically be excluded from the Church for life? What would that mean for their eternal salvation?
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« Reply #11 on: October 31, 2012, 12:37:12 PM »

If they could never, through working on it and therapy and meds and whatever, come to the point where they genuinely felt guilt for that

Guilt meds?
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Justin Kissel
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« Reply #12 on: October 31, 2012, 12:56:41 PM »

If they could never, through working on it and therapy and meds and whatever, come to the point where they genuinely felt guilt for that

Guilt meds?

Obviously...
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« Reply #13 on: October 31, 2012, 01:07:51 PM »

Any thoughts from priests? Like let's say someone has homicidal thoughts and feels no guilt about them. The person knows they should feel guilt, and they know the thoughts are immoral, but they feel no more guilt about the feelings than they would stepping on an ant. Can such a person be given absolution in confession, for example? If they could never, through working on it and therapy and meds and whatever, come to the point where they genuinely felt guilt for that, would they basically be excluded from the Church for life? What would that mean for their eternal salvation?

Well, if the person does not have a condition and does not repent from a sin in any degree, that pretty much is the requirement for damnation.
Even in that case, it might happen the person does not repent because:

1) the person honestly can't see how that is a sin;
2) the person has given up fighting that particular sin, because after many failures the weight of guilt became unbearable;
3) the person understands it is a sin, never puts up a fight, does not intend to and quite enjoy it.


Of these, I think the prayer for forgiveness for sins conscious and unconscious, committed in word, deed or thought covers 1 and 2. (3) on the other hand is outright committment to sin.
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« Reply #14 on: October 31, 2012, 02:44:09 PM »

Any thoughts from priests? Like let's say someone has homicidal thoughts and feels no guilt about them. The person knows they should feel guilt, and they know the thoughts are immoral, but they feel no more guilt about the feelings than they would stepping on an ant. Can such a person be given absolution in confession, for example? If they could never, through working on it and therapy and meds and whatever, come to the point where they genuinely felt guilt for that, would they basically be excluded from the Church for life? What would that mean for their eternal salvation?

I think knowing and acknowledging something is wrong is the key, and then not doing it.  Different people have different levels of emotional response to various stimulations diluted by their amount of rationalization.  One man may feel immense guilt for looking at softcore porn while another feels none having firebombed a city.  I think the complete inability to "know" guilt would probably be a sign of demonic possession.  I think very few people out there really don't know that something is wrong, they just rationalize it away.
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« Reply #15 on: October 31, 2012, 03:08:04 PM »

One of my wake-up calls from adolescence to adult life happened when a friend told me a conversation he had with his father.

His father had (probably still has) a high position in the police force. Still, he had properties far beyond what the average salary for his job could afford. Also, he frequently beated his mother and cheated on her. After she got the divorce, he resumed his life as a womanizer and even hit on one of our female friends (then probably 15 - 17, can't quite remember our ages exactly). This friend tried several times to talk to his father about this behavior until one day the father replied: "Son, stopped trying to teach what is right and what is wrong. I know the difference. And I want what is wrong."

Any thoughts from priests? Like let's say someone has homicidal thoughts and feels no guilt about them. The person knows they should feel guilt, and they know the thoughts are immoral, but they feel no more guilt about the feelings than they would stepping on an ant. Can such a person be given absolution in confession, for example? If they could never, through working on it and therapy and meds and whatever, come to the point where they genuinely felt guilt for that, would they basically be excluded from the Church for life? What would that mean for their eternal salvation?

I think knowing and acknowledging something is wrong is the key, and then not doing it.  Different people have different levels of emotional response to various stimulations diluted by their amount of rationalization.  One man may feel immense guilt for looking at softcore porn while another feels none having firebombed a city.  I think the complete inability to "know" guilt would probably be a sign of demonic possession.  I think very few people out there really don't know that something is wrong, they just rationalize it away.
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