Social Science - Other

Why do People Convert to Deviant Perspectives

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"Why do People Convert to Deviant Perspectives"
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Conversion to perspectives that are considered "deviant" requires some description of "deviance". When many Catholics who preceded Martin Luther protested the sale of religious indulgences, wars broke out, people were tortured and put to death, and it took centuries for a reform movement to gain the support of those who had the power to support and protect it.

It was considered a "deviant perspective" to challenge anything that emanated from Rome during those times, because the Pope was believed to be the divine emmissary with supreme power to influence both secular and religious matters. Alternately, the Pope's tendency to involve the church in secular matters was considered to be deviant. The sales of indulgences was the last straw, and was considered to be the ultimate deviance in perspective for many who left the Catholic church, never to return.

The first road to deviance in religious and personal perspective is corruption. An individual who is corrupted has developed the ability to tune out anything that discourages whatever activity it is that the individual wants to do. Other mechanisms include declaring anyone who informally challenges the behavior or actions, to be the enemy, rather than the source of truth about what is right and wrong. Other mechanisms include denying the moral and legal authority of others, who clearly are the actual moral and legal authorities, to arrest or punish the individual for taking the action.

Actually, such individuals are increasingly being diagnosed with personality and social adjustment disorders; as sociopaths or psychopaths. Con artists, thieves, rapists, child molesters, shoplifters, severely addicted substance abusers, abusive people, and sadists are examples of people who were once considered to be merely "deviant" in their perspectives. Now, they are being found to suffer from profound mental disorders.

In other areas, gays and lesbians, previously considered to be sexual deviants, are now accepted as quite normal individuals who have equal rights in our society. Extremist religious factions, once considered to be at the moral core of many societies are now being considered to have deviant religious perspectives, based on increasing propensity for violence and desire to gain social control over all.

As a result, there are waxing and waning schools of thought on what constitutes deviance from the norm in any perspective. With advancement in identifying and classifying mental, physiological, and social disorders, much of what was considered "eccentric" or "deviant" has becomes defined as illness.

However, in the past, many behaviors, attitudes, and perspectives that were well within the norm were wrongly defined as "illness" in order to exert some form of social control or engineering.

The second major road to deviance in religious and personal perspective lies in some tension between where the person is and where the person desires to be. When the only appealing source of resolution of that tension happens to be a deviant source, then the individual is considered to be taking a deviant path in resolving emotional and religious tension. This is the internal mechanism that makes individuals highly vulnerable to recruitment by cults, gangs, abusive lovers, and other social entities that isolate and take control over the person, replacing normal perspectives and beliefs with deviant ones.

As a result, when asking why people take deviant perspectives, the mechanisms of personal tension and resolution, personal corruption, and illness play major and complex roles in the process.

More about this author: Elizabeth M Young

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