How does one go about detecting an evil person? How does one distinguish the true sociopath, from the honest person who is simply mistaken or having a bad day? These are the hints which should tip one off to the reality that the person they are dealing with is mired in habits of evil.
As I move through my life, I find that sometimes conflict arises as a natural course of business, from one being mistaken, or a person just having had a bad day. I fail along these lines too and therefore am generous with my accommodation when a person is having a rough go of it. Honest conflict is inevitable. Therefore the savvy executive recognizes this, and hones their skill in working through such strife.
But functioning in this ethical manner with certain people is a complete waste of one’s time. The understandable contributors to conflict are not the reason behind their habitual acrimony. Some people innately lack an ability to engage as equals with those who disagree with them. Fortunately this group constitutes a very minor portion of the population, and as a result they are easy to spot through their habits. Habits which they think have concealed their inner nature, but also which act as kind of essential tell. As a matter of business efficacy it behooves one to be able to quickly spot such negative time-wasters. Accordingly, I block these individuals on social media as soon as I spot them.
Strong people don’t put other people down. They lift them up.~Michael P. Watson, Author
As my readers know, I seldom reference the Bible inside this blog. I view the Bible not as a single religious treatise, but rather a series of thoughts recorded on behalf of diverse sect leaders over the ages. Some authors were sincere; while unfortunately some editors were not entirely sincere. Although I have read the assembly of writings from cover to cover probably six times, I find the collection to not be that dramatically superior to other literary works of men. In fact, I find the Bible to contain critical misrepresentations of true history, poorly vetted sets of philosophy, fabrications about the nature and character of that which resides above humanity and Earth, along with a complete lacking of anything pertaining to true spiritual depth. Bereft of even simple and easy tenets of character, perhaps more suited to a modern culture, now critical in discerning those of good versus questionable motivation.
However there is one verse which I have heeded most of the days of my life, Proverbs 23: 6-7. A verse which pertains to the conduct and habits of an evil person. One who cares about only a single thing on this planet, them self.
6 Do not engage with him who has a selfish intent,Proverbs 23: 6-7 (Modern English Version – Transliterated)
neither seek his approval;
7 for as he thinks in his heart,
so is he.
“Come, let us discuss together” he says to you,
but his heart is not with you.
The eyes of the slanderer sway constantly to and fro, rotating as does a spindle. You should not remain in his presence; his intentions are not honorable, and he should not be allowed to have an effect upon you.The instructions of King Šuruppak to his son, Ziusudra, (ETCSL 5.6.1) ~3600
How does one go about detecting the evil person? What are the symptoms which flag when one is dealing with a toxic personality? How does one distinguish the true sociopath, from the honest person who is simply mistaken or having a bad day? Below is a list of the hints which should tip one off to the reality that the person they are engaging with, regardless of their credential or notoriety, is mired in habitually evil practice. The focus of an evil mind is continually upon others, however not in a good way.
They enjoy or are addicted to the loosh derived from witnessing or inflicting pain in others
Their first instinct is to seek symbolism, authority, dominance, final disposition, or control
They are quickly threatened by competence (watch for this discomfort flag when you read a room)
Every act is a manipulation towards an end/nothing is derived from objective neutrality
They conceal their inner nature/put on an identity of virtue (the opposite of ethics)
They will habitually misrepresent what you say, often just to see if you will catch the straw man
They do not actually engage to discuss the topic at hand, their focus quickly and habitually gravitates to you
Every utterance is an attack or a premise to one
Every thought features a weaponized buzzword of some sort
The Narrative is their habitual fortress of correctness, from which they cowardly scorn others
Anyone who disagrees with them fits neatly into buckets of habitual derision
They will obsess over made up quo facto malo offenses their victims have ‘committed’
Everyone they harm is a ‘narcissist’, for saying, doing, or being something without their permission (hint: see: 23 Signs You’re Secretly a Narcissist Masquerading as a Sensitive Introvert)
Their complete absence of any reference to self betrays an enormous conceit
They leave you with an uncomfortable dank feeling
They find joy in making people look or feel stupid, it is a drug they desperately seek
If an observer recounts an observation, they will comment upon the aspect of it which portrays the observer in the most negative light, as opposed to most positive light, or the observation itself
They show no remorse nor respect for boundaries
They find the young and vulnerable, exciting
Their logic is rife with autoaufheben appeal wherein one statement will falsify their next
They are penny wise and pound foolish in all matters of discernment aside from greed
They find entertainment in highlighting other’s errors or insulting them
They don’t take responsibility for nor recall their own actions
Deaths, virtue, justice, science, climate, pandemic, racism, migration, poverty – these are all cudgels as opposed to stemming from a heartfelt mercy
They are ‘non-violent’ as long as they cannot get away with violence
They mock the misfortune of others
Their few friends, don’t really know them and are exactly like them
They are/were once cruel to animals or had ‘psychological issues’
They derive great joy in the authoritative cleverness of a lie, the larger and more intimidating the lie, the better
They fail to associate their poor state in life with their dark habits
They don’t bear an ability to introspect
Aside from memorized pablum, they don’t really get philosophy/ethics
Your disagreement at their condemnation of you, is further evidence of your guilt
Even though they constantly fixate or maintain the focus upon others, everything is in fact about them
It does not matter how accidentally correct they are – if they bear these traits, even the things they are correct about, endure merely as an act they are putting on for your manipulation. They have no interest in truth or fellowship. Do not be fooled, their heart is not with you.
The Ethical Skeptic, “How to Detect an Evil Person”; The Ethical Skeptic, WordPress, 15 Oct 2020; Web, https://theethicalskeptic.com/?p=45779
Lack of empathy is a key one- and maybe the only one we nee to be aware of. As you may know- I have been diagnosed with ADHD, as have most of my friends. The trouble is that that causes a lot of accidental bad behaviour, but I don’t know anyone in my cohort who does not feel remorse for or try to make good these deeds. Yes our behaviour can be chaotic, but we do feel regret and empathy, and seek to make good. If one genuinely feels shame for bad behaviour (lack of love for our fellow beings)… Read more »
It’s no surprise to me that many of these traits are closely associated with the Social Skeptic …
What a nice compilation! Best regards to you!
Thank you for the work you have done. I have depended on it to understand what is happening. I rarely comment but I have learned a great deal from both your Twitter feed and your website so Merry Christmas and thanks again.
Excellent article and website, ES. I have been closely following your unparalleled work on SARS-CoV-2/Covid-19 for the past several months, and I was wondering whether there is any way (email address, etc.) I could contact you other than on Twitter. There is something I would like to share with you, but I do not have a Twitter account – thankfully, the app allows me to view your posts without logging in.
Darmon, you can contact me at email@example.com :-)
Excellent, thank you! I will get in touch soon. ;)
[…] How to Detect an Evil Person […]
Thoughtful post. Unfortunately, the evil-person factors sound like the job description for many self-serving politicians that are also most highlighted by fear-mongering, polarizing media. We desperately need open debates and ranked-choice or approval voting to encourage productive collaborations (not superficial or simplistic) within the rational midsection of the electorate. And to elect people who care more about the common good than themselves.
Brian, aptly put… I had not thought of it in this manner – but these can be translated to become a litmus test for removal from public service. Even and especially non-elected government officials – those who are causing many of our problems even now.
Litmus test. How to establish? Open debates and ranked-choice or approval voting would elect high-quality officials who would ensure removal of evil partisans from non-elected government offices. This feels like a root cause of self-serving, bloated, ineffective US governments at all levels. But not likely to be covered by superficial, self-serving mainstream media. What cause-and-effect metrics could highlight the problem (and opportunity for the common good) in a way that could not be ignored?