Friday, May 19, 2017

A Disturbing Quote From Ann Althouse's Blog


"Someone with an undersize or underactive amygdala may not be able to feel empathy or refrain from violence."
"For example, many psychopathic adults and callous children do not recognize fear or distress in other people’s faces. Essi Viding, a professor of developmental psychopathology at University College London recalls showing one psychopathic prisoner a series of faces with different expressions. When the prisoner came to a fearful face, he said, 'I don’t know what you call this emotion, but it’s what people look like just before you stab them.'"
The article she links to is disturbing and hopeful.  Some kids (those whose condition is likely environmental such as childhood beatings and sexual abuse) respond well to treatment in a sort of therapeutic prison.

One of the graduates of that program was released and doing pretty well considering his past:
Carl wasn’t exactly in the clear. After two stints at Mendota, he was released just before his 18th birthday, got married, and at age 20 was arrested for beating up a police officer. In prison, he wrote a suicide note, fashioned a makeshift noose, and was put on suicide watch in solitary confinement. While there, he began reading the Bible and fasting, and one day, he says, “something very powerful shifted.” He began to believe in God. Carl acknowledges that his lifestyle falls far short of the Christian ideal. But he still attends church every week, and he credits Mendota with paving the way for his conversion. By the time he was released, in 2003, his marriage had dissolved, and he moved away from Wisconsin, eventually settling in California, where he opened his funeral home.


  1. That is why capital punishment for the act is so important. I do not care why the murderer murdered, the kidnapper kidnapped, etc.

    Send them, as God commanded, to face the true Bar of Justice. It is not humility to think that we know better than God; it is arrogance.

  2. For decades the conventional wisdom (a product of gender feminism, I'll wager) has pushed the idea that rape is all about violence and has nothing to do with sex.* I never bought the notion that the two were mutually exclusive, and I can't imagine how a guy could be physically capable of rape without first being aroused. The amygdala study echoes my longtime belief on the matter as it applies to rape, or any other type of assault.

    (*I'm not sure how feminists apply this to date rape. Temporary amnesia, perhaps.)