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David Galvan
Fri, Oct 18, 2013, 10:51am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S7: Repentance

Great review!

One point I'll add:
The idea of Iko's lack of conscience being a physiological trait that predisposed him to violence is not so "sci-fi" as we might originally think. I think it may be relatable beyond the idea of those who are "mentally ill".

From what I have heard/read about the psychology of "psychopaths", the distinguishing feature of a psychopath is that they do not feel empathy. That is, they cannot emotionally understand how their actions hurting other people really feel to those people. The idea that this lack of empathy may be linked to a neurological condition (or even a genetic trait) where a certain part of their brain is not active is within the realm of scientific plausibility. I saw this Voyager episode as exploring that possibility. (You might argue that a "psychopath" is someone classified as "mentally ill", but I think that is currently a gray area. Maybe in the future the psychological diagnosis of a lack of empathy will indeed be classified as "mentally ill".)

Anyway, I thought it was a very thought-provoking episode. Glad they made it!
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