Mindboggling- Mind blogger?

A different way to think.All I learned about mind,memory,intelligence and self improvement.

The Pathology behind a criminal mind.

Posted by jobinmartin on August 25, 2010

How do criminals and saints evolve?If you cannot blame a person  for his misdeeds  or praise a person for his accomplishments what is the point in living a life?These were some of the questions which perplexed my mind for quite a long time.“No one is born as a criminal or as a saint”,this is a proverb which has been repeated over ages. Does this  have any meaning, if it has a meaning how can we deduce the outcome from this sentence?

Now I have got the answer to this question, and it is really interesting.To understand more of this complex phenomenon we have to go through some simple reasoning.

Difference between a smoker and non smoker

Do you know the difference between a smoker and a non smoker? The difference between them started from the common dilemma they had. The common point connecting them is that at some point in their life, they faced the same dilemma, Should I smoke?.Those who decided to go with their desire became smokers and others non smokers.Non smokers can be of two types, either they  had a very strong will or they were having a really indecisive mind.Their indecisive mind would have prolonged their desire to smoke from time to time, and they could never muster the courage to indulge in smoking, for the fear of being caught red handed.The decisions of smokers would have been affected by a lot of external factors like friend circle and state of mind.Many chain smokers would have been smoke haters if they had escaped that fateful moment, the day of first puff! Once they took the first puff, the big wall which separated them from the wretched smokers had crumbled. Now the greatest barrier which held this man from smoking had been broken,his inhibition has blown away.Once the barrier has been overcome there is no looking back.The first few days would be filled with fear and guilt but soon it will disappear.

The story of the smoker holds true for every other vice in life.If you ask a chronic alcoholic, he will talk about his first drink.Ask a person who indulges in multiple sexual relationships, he will talk about his first encounter and represent it as his stepping stone to success.

If you ask a smoker who quit,”How did you manage to quit smoking?” He will say that his courage to withhold his first puff held him for so long.Had he taken the first puff, his motivating factor would have disappeared and he would have fell into his old vice again.

The Principle of reward and punishment

The principle of all this lies in the reward -punishment system which controls  of our actions.When your actions are rewarded you are most likely to do it again,whereas if you are punished, you are less likely to perform this act.

How one becomes a criminal.

When you are about to indulge in an act which is widely perceived to be a taboo,conversation within your mind goes like this:

” This is a very bad act, I shouldn’t perform it.”

” Why shouldn’t I, most of my friends and a lot of others do it.”

“I shouldn’t do this because I have some moral values.”

This inner conversation may go on for a few hours or may stretch  even to several days.Suddenly you gather all your courage to beat your conscience and do the act.You fell guilty and miserable for a few hours.Eventually the guilt wanes, and when your next chance to perform the forbidden act comes, the inhibition will be much less.After a few days you will be performing this activity daily and can feel normal.This is how criminal minds work, they all faced the dilemma, their inhibition is now gone, they live the life which is  normal in their own perspective.When they see blood or when they rape, they see it as a system which rewards them for their act.

Now consider a scenario, when you were caught red handed in your first act itself.The chances of you performing the act again will be much less, unless you are a very stubborn person.If this punishment happens the earlier, the better.As time goes by the role of punishment in reversing the act declines.Like a child who fears the cane of his teacher,every man fears the long arm of the law. As the child grows up his fear for the cane declines and eventually disappear,same in the case of a criminal facing the law for the first time and the tenth time!This is the role punishment has in our day today lives.

How to live a successful life in your own standards.

So if you are a person having clear ideals,you can lead a life you wanted to live by holding back your desire, don’t break the barrier you set for yourself.Remember this a person who is having a bad habit for quite a long time, he may not have any guilt. He or she  sees the act as quite normal,just like a prostitute who lost her inhibition after quite a long time of indulgence, they may invite you.So keep your virginity in matters you consider as a taboo. This is how you can lead a successful life in your own standards!

P.S Indeed there are born criminals, having defects in their chromosomes, highly aggressive people. But those anomalies are only a few in millions.This post is all about choices we made in our life.


9 Responses to “The Pathology behind a criminal mind.”

  1. Jane said

    An insightful post! Quite amusing examples you’ve given.

  2. Arka said

    The lines between reward and punishment are rather fine, and what comprises a reward to one can be a punishment to another (referring to the old phrase that says one man’s bread is another man’s poison).

    The question of nature vs nurture would also play a part, don’t you think?

    • Arka, you have got a real point there.For an example,if an attention seeker is punished by making him stand on a desk in front of the whole class,he is likely to do it again, whereas most other children would never dare to do the same act.
      The situation at home and the peers they associate with will play a great role in moulding a persons character.

      • Arka said

        If it’s a question of the home situation, then how do you explain the so-called black sheep in many well-established, non-controversial families? These families stick to private schools, move around in high calories social circles (by that I mean the cream de la cream of society) and don’t do anything that tarnish their lineage in any way. Yet, these families have aberrant children that do exactly the opposite of the very environment they were nurtured in. And they didn’t exhibit the darker side of their nature either.

        So the question is, is it as simple as a reward-punishment mechanism, or nature-nurture upbringings, or is it something deeper, something far more fundamental?

  3. Arka, in some cases it is just a chromosomal anomaly( Most severe psychopaths),in some other cases the family situation and peers pressure and in some other cases idiopathic…

  4. Randomly surfed onto your blog browsing philosophy-tagged posts.

    Most of your article is sound, but it downplays the degree to which most people do NOT actively weigh up risk vs reward in depth. The internal “conversation” is barely more than a fleeting instant. If more people DID weigh up risks vs reward, the crime rate would be a lot lower.

    Most initial criminal acts are impulsive, precisely because they are initially usually very petty. People don’t generally start out committing murder, for instance. To extend your smoking analogy a bit further, if you consider how most people started smoking, it is not a conscious active decision, it grows out of an initial impulsive act, and then a small habit.

    Anyway, I do agree that once the habit is ingrained, the pattern can deepen over time due to crime becoming a way of life (and one that, if you’re emotionally prepared to live within that moral framework, isn’t actually all that detrimental to the criminal).

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