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This thread has migrated from a specific example of what appears to be random violence, to a general discussion of sociopathic behavior, especially family related abuse. I'm lucky; my parents weren't perfect, but they were kind, and even though they divorced after fifteen years of marriage, they were kind to us and to one another, and were generally available and helpful if we needed their help. As a result, I think I turned out pretty similar, a bit flawed but a kind, loving person.

Metal, my Dad was also smart and successful, but instead of being cruel, he was aloof and distant. I was raised in a very permissive environment, where my parents decided that it would be best for us children to learn from our mistakes, rather than be overbearing and strict with us. That approach has its own set of problems. I'm not particularly disciplined, and have sabotaged some of my best opportunities in life. I am grateful for your story, and grateful that my parents were kind and honest. I am honest to a fault.

As I said earlier, I'm not sure I believe in the concept of evil, though I believe people can be evil some or all of the time. One thing I rarely hear conservatives discuss is the evil of avarice. These tales of parental abuse are indeed awful, but so is the dishonest person who deceives and cheats to gain financial wealth. It's like that old soul song from when I was a teenager, "Smiling faces, sometimes, pretend to be your friend." Dishonest greed drives me crazy. To me, that is also a cardinal sin.
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