Can a psychopath be “good”?


I know, it’s a weird question and probably some of you are thinking I’ve really lost my mind this time.

But think about it. Psychopaths don’t have a conscience or empathy. Unlike malignant narcissists, they are not trying to get “supply” from others (which causes narcs to treat people like dirt). Psychopaths are free agents. So I was thinking about the possibility that some psychopaths may not choose evil because being evil simply doesn’t interest them. Maybe they just enjoy engaging in positive or beneficial activities instead, not to help others (because they have no empathy) but just because they enjoy those things over doing evil things.

I would like to hear your thoughts about this.


42 thoughts on “Can a psychopath be “good”?

  1. I am not too sure about this one. Psychopaths typically possess no sense of ethics or the rights of other people. I just don’t see how you can do “good” if ethically you have no compass to what that is or care how your actions affect others.

    Liked by 3 people

    • In general I agree. I think the vast majority are ASPD and therefore “antisocial.” But the ethical compass still may not need to exist–if their interests are say, something neutral like cooking or art. These things can bring happiness to others, even though their interest in these things is purely for selfish motives. It reminds me of the old conundrum, “can an Atheist be a good person because they are not trying to please a God”? Of course they can. Belief in God doesn’t guarantee a person will be good, and I know plenty of atheists who are very good people and more “Christian” in their behavior than some actual Christians I know. So is having a moral compass (like having a belief in God) really a necessity in all cases? I just don’t know, but it’s something I was thinking about today.

      Liked by 2 people

      • First of all, I think it is possible to have a moral compass and NOT believe in God just as you can have ethics without religion.

        Even in something benign as cooking, a psychopath would be doing it for themselves. If someone happens to like their efforts it would still not matter to the psychopath.

        So it isn’t so much that the act is good, it is simply the byproduct of that act was not harmful.

        Liked by 3 people

        • Right, exactly. The “goodness” would never be for the sake of being good, but as a byproduct of their interests. If they have no interest in doing evil acts, then their lack of evil would be a byproduct of their lack of interest in it, if that makes any sense.

          Liked by 3 people

  2. Thank Yaweh someone was brave enough to ask this question. As a person brought up by a psychopath, I never knew how ripe this concept was perculating in my soul.

    My father squirted me out. He provided for me. He clothed me , he fed me, he put a roof over my head. These things are so taken for granted . Much less so as we glide into third world status.

    When I ponder upon all the elements of survival my father bestowed upon me, ( gifts, not rights), I then remember all the hundreds of times he made me feel like I’d rather be dead than eat another meal, breath another breath, sleep under a sturdy roof.

    Do they do good? IMHO , only for the deep pleasure of ripping that good apart.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It’s definitely a strange question and no one will probably ever really be able to answer it. I would definitely think they are in the minority and as Vic pointed out, any “goodness” would be for purely selfish motives and therefore a byproduct of their self interest, not for any desire to be a good person.


  3. I think this is incorrect – the idea about psychopaths enjoying doing good. I think severely psychopathic individuals still do want narcissistic supply, of a different kind. Not admiration or mirroring, but rather, the satisfaction of having total control and the ability to get what they want from someone else. This is what you see in some psychopathic people who have partners/girlfriends or who enjoy torturing or hurting others in various ways. These relationships are actually horrifying sources of narcissistic supply in which the psychopath controls, abuses or destroys the other person and takes pleasure in the process. In other words, psychodynamically they still have object relationships, but they only have all-bad/abusive object relationships, and no degree of good object relations as do more narcissistic people. Scary…

    Liked by 3 people

    • You probably are right. I was throwing the question out there anyway, because…well why not? I have strange geeky-ass thoughts at times.


  4. I’m beginning to think my ex was not a Psychopath. I think he cares about how you view him, and I think he definitely searches for supply.

    I think he is a Malignant Somatic combo Cerebral Narcissist. He’s very intelligent..cerebral/somatic. But cares about what people think. But he also enjoys hurting people.. Ego based.

    I don’t believe in this all or nothing theory. I think a high spectrum Malignant Narcissist can be a low spectrum Psychopath and be addicted to supply. I also believe a Somatic Narc could be highly intelligent. I know this is true, because I saw it myself.

    I knew a Sociopath before. He did not care about how you saw him. He did not go after victims for ego supply. He went after victims because he enjoyed watching the pain and suffering of others, but this is sadistic based. A Psychopath is arroused by hurting people.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, exactly. You made some good points here. From what I know now, I do not think your ex would be a psychopath but definitely a malignant narcissist (and they can also be very sadistic and every bit as cruel as an ASPD/psychopath). But their primary motive is obtaining supply, while a true psychopath who is sadistic isn’t trying to get supply but just enjoys making others suffer. Their “supply” might be “control.”

      Liked by 1 person

  5. You can easily be a functioning psychopath. They did a study once that basically showed many high end business people are psychopaths. For some things, being a psychopath would even be beneficial.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yes, I have heard of those people too. They don’t commit “crimes” per se, but they usually do engage in unscrupulous, unethical business practices such as cruelly firing people in order to downsize or increase the bottom line, etc. They are self-interested and greedy and won’t hesitate to do unethical things (even if they’re perfectly legal) to their underlings.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. If you define ‘good’ as strictly a matter of outwardly visible behavior, then I’d say yes.

    Of course, given the inward state of such a person, such outwardly presentable behavior is very likely to be a case of “I have fattened you with friendship for the slaughter” (‘Tuwi asonai man’, Peace Child)

    This is, I suspect the bible speaks of making the *inside* clean, as then the outside will follow suit in good time; while in contrast, trying to change a leopard by *spot-removal* will not affect said cat’s hunger for prey in the slightest.

    Liked by 2 people

    • The propensity to act in predatory ways will always be there of course, no matter how “benign” a psychopath may seem on the outside. Like you said, you can bleach a leopard’s spots out, but the new hair growing in will still have spots because it’s in the animal’s genes. But let’s just say the psychopath is a recluse (some are) and hates interacting with people and spends his days painting pictures of predatory animals killing their prey but that’s all he does. Is he still bad?


      • Interesting conversation. Again, I think the answer to your question: Can a Psychopath be “Good?”, depends on one’s philosophical and/or spiritual definition of goodness. Is goodness merely the absence of badness? In my opinion, the opposite is true: Badness is the absence of goodness.

        I think of it this way: Light is not the absence of darkness — rather, darkness is the absence of light.

        What I consider Not Good is that this philosophical question of yours brought on yet another round of Lucky Otter bashing in a certain small segment of the narcissistic abuse blogging community. Pathetic, in my opinion. (((((BIG HUG)))))

        Liked by 1 person

        • lol! Sorry, I had to laugh at that. But it is kind of funny– in a very sad way.
          You know I love *virtual* hugs from you even if I’m not a big fan of real hugs, so here’s one backatcha, ((((Alaina))))

          I absolutely refuse to let a small group of bullies on an ACON blog intimidate me or silence me. They are hoping I read their vitriol knowing it would at least have the intimidating effect, so that’s why I’m deliberately not going over there to look. what’s the point in that? Actually though, it’s been MUCH easier to resist going there than I thought it would be. In the past, I’ve always been a sucker for punishment. Maybe I don’t feel like I *deserve* it anymore. idk.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Lol… yes, virtual hugs are much better than those invasive physical hugs from people you barely know or don’t feel that close to.

            You absolutely do not deserve to be publicly vilified for simply expressing your honest thoughts, questions, and opinions! If anyone doesn’t like your thoughts, questions, and opinions, all they need to do is Stop Reading Your Blog. Anyone who decided months ago that they don’t like your blog and yet they are still reading it is someone who is looking for a fight. Isn’t there a DSM label for someone who is always spoiling for a fight? 😀

            Speaking of DSM labels, last night, shortly after I posted my comment about the ignorance and cruelty of putting a denigrating, stigmatizing “crazy label” on trauma victims, I realized that my comment may have come across as though I were calling YOU “hateful, stupid and abusive” for simply asking if BPD and Complex PTSD are the same thing. So I quickly posted an addendum to my comment, clarifying that I was referring to the narc shrinks/ivory tower DSM gurus who label abuse victims in such a way that the traumatized end up feeling even more traumatized.

            ***Imagine if emergency room doctors labeled stabbing victims or traffic accident victims in such a way that it gave everyone the clear impression that their life-threatening and extremely painful physical injuries were all the result of the victim’s own bad character and mental defects! Hateful, ignorant, and abusive, is what I call it.

            Liked by 2 people

            • Don’t worry, I never thought your comment was offensive.
              I am not going to diagnose that person (I’m not qualified) but her recent behaviors do seem to strongly suggest somewhere on the spectrum of cluster B disorders. have no idea whether narcissism or borderline, not that it matters. I hope one day she can see what she is doing. But whatever, haters gonna hate.
              I agree I think these labels are very damaging, and we really shouldn’t even be using them to “diagnose” others because of the possible stigma, even though I just kind of did that in the last paragraph. Oh well.

              Liked by 2 people

          • Yeah…I agree. I once knew this family that had a kissy hug craise going on. But they were horrible to each other and pathologically envious of their friends.

            Hugs…are only good coming from real friends and mates that genuinely love you. And Narcs only give you hugs when your following their rules… And then often they can’t hug at all because of their deep seated fear of intimacy.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Anyone who has endured the machinations of ***preds*** is likely to think large portions of society is composed of people like those same preds (raises hand…)

            When one is judged by much of society as if one were ‘not fully human’ (much as untouchables are regarded in and around India) then one learns to ***avoid*** the majority of people simply because to do otherwise is acutely ***dangerous***.

            Be glad we don’t have ‘Nuremberg Laws’ or ‘Hindutva’ sanctifying Normdom’s instinct-driven prejudices – as then the danger in being an ***outcaste*** (not misspelled!) would be fully as lethal as it is and was elsewhere.

            It’s bad enough as it is.

            In short, that so-called ‘avoidant p.d.’ is a more or less expected ***reaction*** to a world that regards you (and me, and other autists) as ‘defective, subhuman, ritually-polluting, parasites’ – and for those who can, uh, ‘hold jobs, drive, live independently, etc – that list has added to it ‘dangerous, predatory, and criminal’.

            In short, when one is seen as “the manifested evil in nature,” then one must not be seen by anyone – as every Normie is capable of acting **just** like the preds haunting one’s #flashbacks#.

            (yep, I know more than I want to about #flashbacks# and the Normies that infest them. What’s worse is being *executed* in one’s dreams for essentially ‘not being Normal’.)

            Liked by 1 person

  7. Regarding the *pred* who confines himself (as if he took lessons from an autist) and expresses his prey-drive with brush and easel:

    Most people would fall for that sceme – and I might well be among them, unless I somehow was *given* a peek inside of him / her. (Why? Who knows – If you learn, please tell me)

    I suspect this might be why we are told to stop looking at mere appearances, and instead make a correct / accurate assessment.

    Again, it isn’t a matter of behavior, even if Norms constantly ***game*** autist by speaking of such outward matters (and costantly move the goals as if they’d taken lessons from preds – but that’s for another time…)

    Behavior is but skin deep. It’s immanently changeable, dependent upon a host of physiological issues (among others…). You can train an autist to act ‘Normal’ – but that act’s going to fail in due time.

    I imagine maintaining such a cramping and self-destructive act is harder-still for the denizens of Normdom, because they’ve (usually) a much keener and more visceral knowledge of what falling out of the ***dominance hierarchy*** REALLY means.

    This is doubly so if said Norm is a ***pred***. (note: I include cluster-b pds in Normdom, on account of preds having those instincts which define Normalism: 1) instinctual knowledge regarding social reality, i.e that accursed *theory-of-mind* we are said to lack, grrr… and 2) that vast store of unconsciously-active methods intended to achieve ‘dominance, power and control’ over ALL lesser beings…)

    This is one of those things that makes me thank God for helping me via autism.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve heard that the “acting normal” Aspies are required to do to appear neurotypical (I won’t use the term “normal” because we are normal in our own way) has a term–it’s called “cloaking” and it really sucks.
      I have Avoidant PD–and the symptoms can manifest almost exactly as Aspergers does–I am going to write about this soon–but I wonder really how much of my social awkardness and shyness is due to aspergers and how much is due to my avoidant PD. I hate having to cloak though and that’s why I prefer to be alone. It’s SO stressful and exhausting for me.


  8. A psychopath has MORE potential to pursue ethical behavior, on the basis of rational self-interest, than does a more emotional individual; and yet retains the advantage of being able to consider the effectiveness of amoral possibilities also, without cringing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree and will probably write something up about this soon. I’ve been reading up on psychopathy and it is not the same thing as ASPD (antisocial PD) although it’s frequently confused. As long as a person knows the difference between right and wrong(and cognitively, psychopaths do), they can still choose to do the right thing or even benefit others, even if they lack a conscience (which is emotion based). A person with ASPD, on the other hand, is a psychopath who chooses to violate the rights of others. I’m wondering if psychopathy is actually a disorder at all, or a personality variation. True psychopaths are born with a different brain structure and so it’s not necessarily due to abuse, while ASPD usually is. It’s true most psychopaths are probably antisocial as well, but there are cases of people who are not criminals and do not do evil things even though they score high in psychopathic traits.
      A sociopath is always antisocial, and is not based on brain structure or chemistry.

      From what I’ve been finding out in my research, psychopaths have shallow emotions (they don’t feel things deeply), don’t experience worry or fear the way others do, and of course don’t experience guilt or empathy. But they are capable of cognitively knowing what’s right and wrong and many have made good choices and become very successful. (I’m not counting cold as ice CEOs and high level executives who ruin lives “legally” by ruthlessly “downsizing” or firing people either–just because something is legal doesn’t mean it’s prosocial or of benefit to humanity).

      Someone at a forum I post on said a typical pro-social psychopath would be someone who bounces around all the time, has a high energy level as if they’re always jacked up on Red Bull and never worries about anything and isn’t afraid of anything. They’re risk takers and always ready to dive into new projects and don’t worry about what you might think. They tend to be outgoing and likeable and because their emotions are so shallow, they don’t experience much depression or anxiety and as a result seem to always be in a good mood. You would never think of them as a psychopath but they are. True psychopathy may not be a pathology at all but a personality type.

      Malignant narcissists, on the other hand, are always bad. It’s because they have very deep emotions but all those emotions are turned inward, toward themselves. They use and abuse others to bolster their ego. They have no empathy but their emotions are actually very strong and most are probably HSPs who “went bad.” (I wrote a post about this too). Malignant narcissists are basically high spectrum NPD with antisocial (ASPD) traits.

      A true psychopath (not a sociopath) does not need “supply” because their worldview isn’t ego-based and their decision making process isn’t based on their emotions (as it is for a narcissist), but based on reason and “whatever works.”


      • I think a person can be high on the spectrum with MNPD and also have levels of Psychopathy. Some of them are Malignant and some not. I believe everyone is different and the DSMs are general ways to measure characteristics of a person. Its hard to put someone in a specific label.


  9. Emotions, when the entirety of life is a matter of ‘achieving (absolute) control over reality -and, by extension, all that reality consists of – are ***mostly*** superfluous.

    The reason I say mostly is that ‘the taste of ‘figurative’ blood on one’s toungue – the intoxication of power (Orwell) can be a potent and lasting form of intrinsic reward – a form of reward that in generated apart from others, and is enjoyed in private.

    (the sole sources I have of that reward are making things that truly work well, and perhaps doing the will of God. Neither source of reward endures, and both are quite weak as well. Perhaps this is why so few things are attractive to me?)

    Society, taken in the mass, worships and adores both power and those having the same. It hates, excrecates, and reviles those without power – and names them as evil and worse. In this way, humanity names itself Narcissistic and psychopathic (and those of us unable to war for godhood are subhuman and worse…)


  10. As I force myself to read some of this discussion, it occurs to me that the word “good” is a judgement on the part of NTs of psychopaths. The criteria for “good” strikes me as the extent we are “good” for you folks. Damned narcissistic, if you ask me. Who are y’all to pass judgement on us? Good and evil are subjective to the egos of the people using these terms. I’m not good or evil. I just AM.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I do not think you are at all evil. And I’m not passing judgment on you at all. Remember I wrote this several months ago too and it’s just a theory, not a fact. There are good and evil behaviors, but very, very few people are wholly good or evil. We are all a mixed bag.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I’m glad to hear that. In the past, you said, “sometimes they can be caught when their mask is momentarily down (usually when they’ve been called out–or caught), and it’s here when we see the emptiness and evil inside them.” Of course, some people may be evil, whatever that means. But it’s not just a property of psychopaths.
        I like what you said here: “Someone at a forum I post on said a typical pro-social psychopath would be someone who bounces around all the time, has a high energy level as if they’re always jacked up on Red Bull and never worries about anything and isn’t afraid of anything. They’re risk takers and always ready to dive into new projects and don’t worry about what you might think. They tend to be outgoing and likeable and because their emotions are so shallow, they don’t experience much depression or anxiety and as a result seem to always be in a good mood. You would never think of them as a psychopath but they are. True psychopathy may not be a pathology at all but a personality type.” Robert Hare even said this last. The pro-social psychopath you describe sounds very much like James Fallon.
        I have decided to make my thoughts on this into a blog of my own. It will be out soon.
        Thanks for being such a frequent inspiration!

        Liked by 1 person

  11. I wrote a song about this called, The Devils Son. Everyone thinks its about Evil, but the song meaning is about the indifferences between the ideology of good and evil and how organized religion poloraizes it. And the song is about me being angry over the fact that this ideology has idealized, devalued and discarded women. Its also about the angry I feel over this.

    Yes, nowve666. Its ignorant to call a Psychopath Evil. Its just plain dumb.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I’m glad its liked here. This blog, you and everyone on here has been an inspiration to me.

    It should be on youtube in few weeks. I’m going out to PA for a Devils Son photoshoot for the slide show. Monday I am going into the studio to make some decisions on the final sounds production. I think you’d find the digital mastering process very interesting. Every track s recorded and stored on wave files. I did my own background vocals and we threw in a little keyboards.

    A few weeks …


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