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Autism and Social Incompetence -- How My Ethics Stand in the Way, As Well

Updated: May 9

A cute boy with Google glasses.

(2023 Note: Now that I compared myself to other autists, I've realized I have Asperger's Syndrome, which can be considered part of ASD, or the Autism Spectrum Disorders. I, however, am no longer sure if I am indeed an autist, even though I was diagnosed with both Asperger's and ASD. Please, take this article with a grain of salt, as I expect you to do, with any of my articles).

Autism, Acceptance, and the Elusive Art of Social Cues 

A big part of philosophy is not only knowing things but also the ability to distinguish between what you know and what you don't know. As such, I've recently come to realize, through conversing with a reader, just how much I lack in social intelligence. It's not something I'm proud of, but neither am I ashamed of it.

After all, it's not my fault I was born with autism. I would desire working on my social skills if I wanted to conform to the norms... but the norms are too faulty a moral conduct, and they refuse accepting those who are inherently different. I refuse to enable such depraved moral code. Instead I want to accept people for what they are and that's exactly what I'll do.

For those who doubt my diagnosis, I'd encourage you to learn more about the spectrum of autism. It's not a single, specific disorder whose symptoms are applicable to all autists. As such, many autists can be very different from one another. My country's former Prime Minister has a daughter who is also on the spectrum, but unlike her, I'm able to communicate both verbally and in writing. It goes to show that some autists can't even communicate verbally. I'm grateful for being able to speak even though I hate it and prefer writing. Whenever I speak I must short myself out of oxygen due to asthma, but I digress.

I used to crave friendships, but that desire withered when someone I once considered a close friend abandoned me, stating that she "didn't want to hurt me." I never quite understood what she meant—I'm certain she wasn't referring to physical violence—but it made me realize that the world perceives me differently. It also made me realize that much of the world refuses to accept the different for who they are, leading to many discriminations from racism, sexism and so on. 

There's something about me that others seem to understand, while I remain in the dark, unable to decipher the unspoken rules of social engagement. As I became more broken a man, I also realized that people are for some reason too afraid to fill me in. Hmm.. cowards. I do not fear suffering, I suffer it through and I refuse to escape. 

Perhaps that's why I've often been left alone in public settings like school or work. To this day, no one has explicitly told me what this elusive "fault" is, and I admit to feeling disappointed by the world's expectation that I should somehow know on my own. It's called a disability for a reason, after all.

And yet it was the same former friend whose last words to me was that I didn't do anything. She was right. In a world where faulty norms reign supreme, my fault was not my deeds but my being. But I refuse to kill myself. For foresaking me they will all pay with the increasing success to my contributions to humaity. Vengeful altruism is what I focus on.

The Unlikable Philosopher: A Quest for Understanding in a World of Disconnection

Even before my desire to grow more solitary, I've been, by and large, very incompetent at social interactions. I see no reason to pretend otherwise. I was ever rarely liked by most people outside of my family. Even my own deceased grandfather, whose face I've forgotten due to partial facial blindness, once called me a "moron," something which led my mother to sever our connection as a child.

I don't know why I am such an unlikeable person, as I've never intended to be, regardless of the point in time. Before I transformed from Tom to Tomasio, I've always strived for approval and appreciation, only to fall short in the eyes of many. This is why philosophizing is the only thing I am proud of, for the best thing I am capable of doing is to repay my debt to this field for saving my life a very long time ago. It's simply because it's my only redeeming quality, I believe. If it weren't for this, I might have sunk into depression, or sadness at best, agreed with Chen that I am irrelevant, and would kill myself off, seeing how much suffering I cause others by my verdict of being.

Why should I expect affection from anyone? It's too unrealistic. No. Getting more authority, while not a good supplement for it, is better than nothing. So it's exactly what I've been doing and going to do.

Most people from my past have vanished. I can't tell what made them decide to do so. Some told me their reasons, while others simply vanished without a word, like the cowardly ghosters they are.

I do not pretend to understand the social mechanism in eyes of the neurotypical, as my social limitations prevent me from doing so, and of that I am aware. I already know, however, that there is no complete justice in this world, and just as I couldn't then, I cannot always get what I want.

Hehehehe. This however shouldn't stop me from trying. For that, the individual must resist his own desires, in the name of his or her ambitions. Persistence, and not passion alone, is what leads a man or woman to their success. And as such, I care not for happiness, in a world whose morality I can influence, and improve. Since I care for this world more than I care for myself, I choose success.

Living with Autism in a Neurotypical World

There's a reason why I'm eligible for government assistance. In my country, people with autism can qualify for a basic income, which, while modest, helps keep a roof over my head.

It's as if myself and the rest of society are speaking different languages, with subtle nuances lost in translation. It could be handled with should we avoid acting on petty emotion and should we keep subtext at a minimum, as if we're reading philosophical texts. Navigating these differences in understanding can be tiring, and it's a significant reason why I've chosen a more solitary life, rarely venturing far from home, where people care for me not.

Despite my diagnosis of autism, I don't believe a group living facility is the right path for me. In a world that doesn't love me and that doesn't care if I be a corpse, due to my double-edged uniqueness, I know that this world is against me. My distress and my pain matters to it not, so it won't hesitate to lock me up and keep me away from working on this site and contributing to... well... to the world. I'm in a love-hate relationship with the world. And I refuse to relent to the fact that it fears me for my eccentric mentality.

As I said, expecting affection from the world is not realistic for me. Why should I realistically expect affection from anyone who won't care if I die? My distress intimidates it, and the opposite of love is fear. The world is too short-sighted to understand the monster it is breweing inside me, with all of its rejections it plants inside of me. I choose to build myself, from them.

I still value my freedom, even if it's expressed in ways that are maladjusted to the anti-sociality-breeding norms.

Philosophy has become a lifeline for me. It's a realm where I can explore ideas and express myself without the same barriers I encounter in social interactions. Sharing my thoughts and experiences publicly through writing helps me feel connected and engaged with the world. It's my way of combating the isolation that autism can sometimes bring.

There are still things I long to understand about my social challenges. Answers to questions like why someone once said I was "unimportant" or why she "didn't want to hurt me" might always remain beyond my immediate grasp, perhaps beyond the reality that they are cowards. But I've learned to embrace the mystery and focus on the aspects of life that bring me fulfillment.

It's not like anyone will care about me or respect me one bit if I don't philosophize. Many of you may be too afraid to admit it. I will not yield to the moral conduct of the cowardly and of those who refuse to accept the different. My grandfather wasn't mourned enough because he was too weird. I can't allow myself to cooperate with a conduct that prefers hedonism over giving the dead the proper respect they deserve. And my gramdmother's legacy as an artist was undermined because she too was too eccentric and irrelevant by the world.

I remember them both and think about them every day and I still respect both of them, for they were the ones who bought me to this life. To redeem them, I will oppose the very norms that discarded them both.

Mr. Nathan Lasher's Feedback:

It isn’t about being autistic or neurotypical. It’s about being you and finding a place where you fit in. If you don’t feel comfortable with the people your in a room with then simply change rooms to one where you find people who do make you feel that way. 
All boils down to herd mentality and finding your right herd. This will help eliminate communication barriers as these people will understand you just the way that you are.


Thank you for reading. I welcome your thoughts and reflections on this journey. Feel free to sign in or log in to Philosocom to share your insights.

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Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

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