Those are excellent questions.
Yes, when does self-gratification tip the scale from self-preservation into a callous disregard for the value of others. I don’t know.
All those I knew well who were like this had experienced catastrophic levels of trauma and over time let it twist them into a hardened empty shell of a person.
Is there a genetic preposition? Some speculate yes. I don’t know.
But these people somehow arrived at two key conclusions:
1. The world was a dangerous game with actual winners and losers. They planned to be on the winning side, no matter the cost. All interactions were understood from this paradigm. No one was trusted.
2. Their right to pleasure exceeded the rights of others. People became tools and consumable goods.
I’m a Christian, although I tried to present this from a secular perspective. I do believe in a personified evil. Lets, for a moment, assume, he’s real. Lucifer was one of the highest angels. It was recorded he was in charge of worshipping God, but decided he was a like god and sought worship for himself. It was then he was cast out of heaven. Whether he’s real or a myth. He is all about the self. There’s no sacrifice for another. He will do anything to succeed which is why he’s called the Father of lies.
When the self is elevated above the rights of others, we will commit unspeakable acts. Those that I referred to in the articles have done terrible atrocities in the pursuit of their self. Illegal and grosteque things. They were terrify people yet appears attractive and seductive.
Evil doesn’t jump out of the corner and scream, “Boo!” It walks among us. It looks like us, talks like us, and act like us. But these people are not like us. They are a serious threat to us. All of these individuals I knew have brutally attacked and sexually assaulted others.
In my opinion, evil exists. Unfortunately…