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View Full Version : Beheading suspect begs "Please kill me"


JSUCamel
08-06-2008, 08:25 AM
http://www.cnn.com/2008/CRIME/08/05/canada.bus.stabbing.ap/index.html

Ishara
08-06-2008, 08:47 AM
This is all so awful. He's on suicide watch at the prison and I almost wish they'd just turn the other way...

Clearly he's mentally ill. Clearly he's very, very sick. But that doesn't mitigate - not to me at least - what he did.

Apparently he had other body parts (not the victims) in his bag when he was apprehended. *shudder*

Brita
08-06-2008, 09:23 AM
Apparently he had other body parts (not the victims) in his bag when he was apprehended. *shudder*

I do not wish that the authorities would turn the other way. He does not deserve the easy way out. If he is tormented by what he has done- good! He should be, and he should in no way be able to kill himself to put an end to the misery.

Terez
08-06-2008, 09:27 AM
I am of the opinion that anyone who commits a violent crime is mentally ill, in one way or another.

irerancincpkc
08-06-2008, 09:33 AM
If the man is mentally ill, under no circumstances should he be allowed to kill himself, or be killed. What he did was tragic, and what is going on in his mind may be tragic as well.

Sei'taer
08-06-2008, 09:48 AM
I'm glad it was deemed appropriate for a La Cense beef advertisement to be displayed right next to this story.

"grass is greener, humanely raised, nutrient rich!"

Realnow
08-06-2008, 11:23 AM
I am of the opinion that anyone who commits a violent crime is mentally ill, in one way or another.

You really must have just blurted that out with little thought because I can't see how you really feel that way/

What about someone who slays a rival gang member or shoots someone up to steal their crack? Its not a mental problem to realize that if you shoot this person then A) they can't shoot you and B) you get their drugs, its smart and thats how criminals think.

Most anyway, but this guy seriously IS messed up, which is pretty clear. Its horrible about what he did and he has to pay for it of course, but you can still empathize with this guy who is out of his mind..But the majority of criminals are conscience of their actions and deserve to pay for deciding to commit that crime (in their personal interest). This guy had nothing to gain and I think that kind of reveals his mental state.

Zaela Sedai
08-06-2008, 11:45 AM
So tax dollars should try and rehabilitate him why Spammer? If he kills himself its one less person we have to pay for...its not like he'll ever contribute to society in his mental state nor will he comeout of it. I'm not saying he should be executed.. but

well whatever my point is who cares...harsh but, I really don't give a crap about people like this mentally ill or not.

Ishara
08-06-2008, 12:11 PM
Well first off, it's our tax dollars - not yours. :p

Secondly, no. I don't empathize with this guy. It hasn't been proven that he's mentally ill, it's just an assumption that I (and others) have made to justify this horrific crime.

Even if he is mentally ill, say he's a schizophrenic, that doesn't justify his actions. The mentally ill have to be held accountable for their behaviour just like the rest of us. Just because you have a mental illness does not make it okay to do and get away with behaviour that the rest of us can't. I say this about bi-polar or schizophrenia.

Terez
08-06-2008, 12:16 PM
You really must have just blurted that out with little thought because I can't see how you really feel that way/

What about someone who slays a rival gang member or shoots someone up to steal their crack? Its not a mental problem to realize that if you shoot this person then A) they can't shoot you and B) you get their drugs, its smart and thats how criminals think. It's the justification that was made for it that speaks of a mental illness, to me, and if drugs are involved, I don't see how that negates that there is a mental illness. Granted, that's my own definition of mental illness, but I can't see how it's difficult to understand.

But the majority of criminals are conscience of their actions and deserve to pay for deciding to commit that crime (in their personal interest). There is little difference between keeping a mentally ill person away from society where they can cause harm, and making a criminal "pay".

Zaela Sedai
08-06-2008, 12:56 PM
I didnt realize it was in Canada, my point still stands, lol.

Weird Harold
08-06-2008, 01:00 PM
I am of the opinion that anyone who commits a violent crime is mentally ill, in one way or another.You really must have just blurted that out with little thought because I can't see how you really feel that way/

What about someone who slays a rival gang member or shoots someone up to steal their crack? Its not a mental problem to realize that if you shoot this person then A) they can't shoot you and B) you get their drugs, its smart and thats how criminals think.

Sociopathy -- aka criminal behavior -- is a mental illness.

Even after many years of consideration and discussion, I agree with Terez that anyone who commits a violent crime is mentally ill in some way or another.

JSUCamel
08-06-2008, 01:22 PM
I disagree. There are some violent crimes that are done out of desperation rather than any sort of mental problem.

Terez
08-06-2008, 01:24 PM
I disagree. There are some violent crimes that are done out of desperation rather than any sort of mental problem.
Just because you're desperate doesn't mean that there's no mental illness - desperation could be one of many stress factors contributing to mental ill health.

Brita
08-06-2008, 01:26 PM
caveat: in the following paragraph I am not talking about those with a diagnosed mental disorder, like bi-polar disease, where actual chemical imbalances can be detected and treated.

Really? So we can just psycho-analyze ourselves out of responsibility for anything then. Ah, the wonders of the modern age. If we can shirk responsibility for a violent crime (it's not my fault, I have a mental illness), then I am sure we can shirk responsibility for cheating on our spouse (my parents split when I was 10, I have lingering issues, it's not my fault), robbing a bank (just another branch of sociopathy right? not my fault).

I know what I am saying is a little extreme, but I really despise this trend towards finding an excuse for abomnable behaviour. Do you not think people are making moral decisions when they choose to shoot their wife's lover, or rape a little girl? We just pat them on the head and say "That's OK, it's not your fault- you are suffering from a mental disorder you poor thing. We obviously need to keep you away from society, you little deviant you, for our own safety- but don't beat yourself up over it- it couldn't be helped, you're a sociopath".

~~~ducks the anticipated shitstorm~~~

Terez
08-06-2008, 01:31 PM
Really? So we can just psycho-analyze ourselves out of responsibility for anything then. If you go back and read my posts, you'll see that I suggested no such thing. ;)

Let me rephrase my stance so that it's more clear: my definition of "mental health" does not include the ability to justify violent crime (not counting self defense), no matter what the "reason" behind the justification was.

Brita
08-06-2008, 02:04 PM
My post was actually in response to WH- but it took me so long to compose it you and Camel posted in the meantime.

I know that is not actually what you (and suspect not what WH) mean- but it is a slippery slope when excuses are made. And when I say excuses I mean anything other than saying "You chose to do this,you knew it was wrong and would harm another person, now face the consequences". Period.

If saying all people who commit crimes have a mental illness has any scientific merit (i.e. chemical imbalances in the brain), and thus potential for treatment, then by all means it should be explored. But if it is only a sociology idea used to explain why some people do inhumane things and some don't, then all it does is give criminals an excuse to not feel remorse or guilt. People do criminal things because they choose to, to further some selfish ambition or desire.

Weird Harold
08-06-2008, 02:08 PM
Really? So we can just psycho-analyze ourselves out of responsibility for anything then.

Explanation is NOT equivalent to Absolution.

Whether the dog chewing on your vital organs is rabid or simply hungry, the solution is the same -- put the dog in a place or condition where it can no longer chew on anyone's vital organs.

Terez
08-06-2008, 02:08 PM
My post was actually in response to WH- but it took me so long to compose it you and Camel posted in the meantime.

I know that is not actually what you (and suspect not what WH) mean- but it is a slippery slope when excuses are made. And when I say excuses I mean anything other than saying "You chose to do this,you knew it was wrong and would harm another person, now face the consequences". Period. No one (here) is suggesting that they shouldn't face the consequences, and I don't see how acknowledging the fact that people who commit violent crimes are obviously not mentally healthy amounts to making "excuses". It seems to me that the making of excuses is the problem here, rather than classifying violent criminals as mentally ill.

JSUCamel
08-06-2008, 03:04 PM
Yes, but desperation also does not automatically equal mental illness, either.

Brita
08-06-2008, 03:51 PM
@ T and WH- so you don't believe in rehabilitation then? Or in redemption?

For those who turn their lives around- did their mental illness heal itself spontaneously?

What degree of mental illness is there? Petty thieves have only mild illness, where rapists have a severe illness? Does this illness worsen? abate? can it be cured? is there treatment? Are there exacerbating factors? Are there triggers? Are there gentic links?

I am genuinely interested in this- what research has been done? where can I go to look at the science behind this idea?

Cary Sedai
08-06-2008, 04:47 PM
@ T and WH- so you don't believe in rehabilitation then? Or in redemption?

For those who turn their lives around- did their mental illness heal itself spontaneously?

What degree of mental illness is there? Petty thieves have only mild illness, where rapists have a severe illness? Does this illness worsen? abate? can it be cured? is there treatment? Are there exacerbating factors? Are there triggers? Are there gentic links?

I am genuinely interested in this- what research has been done? where can I go to look at the science behind this idea?


I'd like to say something to the first part: Even if one does believe in rehabilitation and or redemption, it does not erase the past. Those who have been rehabilitated or redeemed, are still responsible for thier actions and should face the consequences.

To the second part, I think Terez said it was her own definition of mental illness...so asking for all that reasearch is a moot point, unless Terez has been writing papers and doing research on the topic in her own free time. Which is very likely. :p

I dont' think anyone here is trying to excuse the persons actions, only trying to find a way to define the reasoning behind the action, so that they can understand. Since it's not possible to really understand (for us, at least I hope none of us can), we use mental illness to put it into some sort of category. Maybe that's wrong of us, but it is what we do as humans to try to understand something we have no point of reference for.

I'm not certain what point your trying to make Brita. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to jump on you or anything. I am just wondering what you read into the previous posts that triggered you to respond in this manner.

No where in any of them did I get the idea that mental illness is an excuse for this violent crime.

In one post, you say mental illness is not an excuse, then in this last one...I'm not sure. Your confusing me. it's almost like you did a 180, but not really. Can you shed some light on it for me?

Cary Sedai
08-06-2008, 05:05 PM
Yes, but desperation also does not automatically equal mental illness, either.

Two questions:

Is the defense for crimes of desperation, temporary insanity?

Is temporary insanity a mental illness?

I don't know the answer to the first, and I'm still rolling the second around in my head.

Crispin's Crispian
08-06-2008, 05:07 PM
In one post, you say mental illness is not an excuse, then in this last one...I'm not sure. Your confusing me. it's almost like you did a 180, but not really. Can you shed some light on it for me?
I think she's pointing out that if violent crime is a result of mental illness, how do criminals turn their lives around (without psychological or psychiatric help)? I'm pretty sure it's rhetorical.

I think part of the problem we all face with this is the definition of "mental illness." Because we have to categorize things to develop systematic and specific treatments, and because we have to have a label for just about everything, "mental illness" has specific connotations.

If I'm really depressed because my dog died, am I mentally ill? If I was raised by gang members who taught me to shoot people for their shoes, am I mentally ill? What's the delineator between mental illness and evil?


For the record, I've never liked the medical model's approach to defining mental illness vis-a-vis chemical imbalances in the brain. Or maybe it's just the idea that we can treat all such illness with medication...

JSUCamel
08-06-2008, 05:08 PM
Just because you're desperate doesn't mean you're insane. I don't buy that at all.

But let's imagine a man who lost his job and has been unable to find one for months, his wife doesn't make enough money, his children are starving, one of his kids is in a car accident and they can't afford the hospital bill... so, in desperation, out of fear for his own welfare, his child's life, what-have-you, he robs a bank during which someone dies, or perhaps he holds up a rich couple, during which they resist and he shoots them.

Is that mental illness?

No, that's desperation. He has no other options.

Cary Sedai
08-06-2008, 05:25 PM
I looked up Temporary Insanity, and didn't find any connectin with desperation. I was just thinking along the lines, that when commiting a desperate act, you suspend logical thinking and in that suspension, you might be able to catorgorize it as temporary insanity. ~shrug~

I probably shouldn't be trying to discuss this, as I fall more in line with Crispy's view, than anywhere else. :o

Brita
08-06-2008, 06:12 PM
I'm not certain what point your trying to make Brita. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to jump on you or anything. I am just wondering what you read into the previous posts that triggered you to respond in this manner.

No where in any of them did I get the idea that mental illness is an excuse for this violent crime.

In one post, you say mental illness is not an excuse, then in this last one...I'm not sure. Your confusing me. it's almost like you did a 180, but not really. Can you shed some light on it for me?

Sure- first I am in a very foul mood today and had a rotten, rotten day- thus some of my unusual hostility- but I do have a reason to my madness:

When you do not diminish a person's choices by saying it is mental illness, then the person has no choice but to face their previous acts or ignore them, as they cannot escape the fact that is was purely a choice they made. Ignoring them often happens, but for those few who dig deep, show true remorse, take the consequences, forgive themselves and move on it is a very powerful act- and humanity at its best. To say criminal acts are due to mental illness not only diminishes the true responsibility that person holds for their decisions, but also downplays the amazing wonder known as remorse and redemption. If a person has a mental illness then who's to say they can help it or ever be redeemed?

tworiverswoman
08-06-2008, 06:14 PM
The Wikipedia article on the word "insanity" is interesting and conforms with a lot of my personal "take" on the word. You can, as was stated in the article on "sanity" be sane and yet have a mental illness, or be INSANE and NOT have a mental illness.

I particularly like this sentence: In English (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_language), the word "sane" derives from the Latin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latin) adjective sanus meaning healthy. The phrase "mens sana in corpore sano (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mens_sana_in_corpore_sano)" is often translated to mean a "healthy mind in a healthy body". From this perspective, insanity can be considered as poor health of the mind, not necessarily of the brain as an organ (although that can affect mental health), but rather refers to defective function of mental processes such as reasoning.

What Terez meant, I think, is that someone who is willing to deviate so dramatically from the societal norm as to commit a violent crime -- specifically in this case, unprovoked murder -- is insane. There is nothing in that remark that JUSTIFIES or absolves the act -- it just fills the human need to categorize it.

I remember, in the book Starship Troopers, Heinlein's character was pondering the hanging of a man who had raped and killed a little girl. He wondered if the man was ill, and therefore not responsible. His thought was "we shoot mad dogs, don't we?" And he went on to wonder, if the man was cured, "how would he be able to live with himself?" The character wasn't able to resolve it, except to say the man wouldn't be able to rape and kill any more little girls, so...

Cary Sedai
08-06-2008, 06:31 PM
Sure- first I am in a very foul mood today and had a rotten, rotten day- thus some of my unusual hostility- but I do have a reason to my madness:

When you do not diminish a person's choices by saying it is mental illness, then the person has no choice but to face their previous acts or ignore them, as they cannot escape the fact that is was purely a choice they made. Ignoring them often happens, but for those few who dig deep, show true remorse, take the consequences, forgive themselves and move on it is a very powerful act- and humanity at its best. To say criminal acts are due to mental illness not only diminishes the true responsibility that person holds for their decisions, but also downplays the amazing wonder known as remorse and redemption. If a person has a mental illness then who's to say they can help it or ever be redeemed?

I personally don't feel that any mental illness is an excuse for any acts you commit. Everyone, regardless of mental healht is responsible for thier actions and the consequences they inccur. I know, I'm harsh, but that is how I feel on the matter.

So, since that's how I feel on the matter, it doesn't bother me to catorgorize criminals as mentally ill. However, your point is taken because our legal systems allow for mental illness to be an excuse, and that is something to get hostile about.

I hope your day gets better, would you like fairy dust, or is there someone I should kick? :)

Crispin's Crispian
08-06-2008, 06:44 PM
I probably shouldn't be trying to discuss this, as I fall more in line with Crispy's view, than anywhere else. :o

Which view is that, and why would it preclude you from discussing it?

Brita
08-06-2008, 06:45 PM
Fairy dust would be wonderful :o Thanks.
However, your point is taken because our legal systems allow for mental illness to be an excuse, and that is something to get hostile about.

Yes, this is partly where this stems from.

I think she's pointing out that if violent crime is a result of mental illness, how do criminals turn their lives around (without psychological or psychiatric help)? I'm pretty sure it's rhetorical.

That too :) And finally, if there is a possibility it is an illness (as WH suggests he has throughly considers possible) then it should be researched. I wasn't just being beligerent with those questions, but making a point that just saying it is an illness creates more questions than answers IMO.

P.S. My hubby had a nice supper waiting for me when I got home- with a full belly and a hug from my kids I am feeling much better.

P.S.S. tru- I like your quote too, very interesting.

Sei'taer
08-06-2008, 07:06 PM
I remember, in the book Starship Troopers, Heinlein's character was pondering the hanging of a man who had raped and killed a little girl. He wondered if the man was ill, and therefore not responsible. His thought was "we shoot mad dogs, don't we?" And he went on to wonder, if the man was cured, "how would he be able to live with himself?" The character wasn't able to resolve it, except to say the man wouldn't be able to rape and kill any more little girls, so...

I should have put that book in the thread about books...I love that book! But I hate that movie!!!

Ishara
08-06-2008, 07:36 PM
Brita, for what it's worth, I agree with you 100%. Just because he may have been mentally ill does not mean that he shouldn't be held accountable for his actions.

My own personal problem is that while I don't believe in an eye for an eye, and I don't believe in the death penalty - I just don't see locking him away in jail for the rest of his natural life as a fair consequence for his actions. (btw, even if he was proven to be mentally ill, our detention facilities for the mentally ill are not pleasant places to be). You know?

Cary Sedai
08-06-2008, 07:37 PM
Which view is that, and why would it preclude you from discussing it?

This one:

For the record, I've never liked the medical model's approach to defining mental illness vis-a-vis chemical imbalances in the brain. Or maybe it's just the idea that we can treat all such illness with medication...

I suppose it doesn't have to be a "view", but that's the word I used... and I was just being cheeky about not discussing this topic. :p

tworiverswoman
08-06-2008, 07:39 PM
ST - I was ambivalent about the movie -- there were parts of it I really liked, and parts that bothered the hell out of me. I found some downloadable comics the other day on WoWIO called "Starship Troopers" which listed MGM in the credits, but didn't mention Robert Heinlein at ALL, which seriously offends me...

Sidetrack: When I read Wikipedia articles, I like to read the "discussion" tab, too -- as there's frequently some FASCINATING conversations there about the data page. When I looked at the "insanity" discussion tab I got a serious case of the giggles, though, due to a LENGTHY, and dead serious, discussion about how to handle re-directed searches for "batsh*t" -- the following quote is just a part of that:
Convention is that apart from proper names, only the first letter of a title is capitalised, so bat shit (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bat_shit) is out of spec, whereas Bat shit (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bat_shit) is a proper article name but is still a redlink. People can type all variations in the search box and I'm not sure how that is normally dealt with. Both Bat shit (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bat_shit) and bat shit (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bat_shit) redirect as Bat Shit (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bat_Shit) does, so that's OK, there is no need to deal with them. But the Bat Shit (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bat_Shit) page needs to be moved to Bat shit (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bat_shit) anyway. I'll do that in a little while after all interested parties have commented. --Rodhullandemu (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Rodhullandemu) (Talk (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Rodhullandemu)) 22:03, 22 January 2008 (UTC) It's even funnier when posted into gchat, because all the hyperlink colors go away...

Weird Harold
08-06-2008, 08:14 PM
@ T and WH- so you don't believe in rehabilitation then? Or in redemption?

I'm not sure about "redemption" -- what could possibly redeem the kind of behavior exhibited on that Greyhound bus?

Rehabilitation is possible -- but I don't believe Rahabilitation is grounds for amelioration or abatememt of a punishment prescribed by law nor do I believe that rehabilitation is very common in the current penal systems anywhere in the "western" world.

For me, the logic is that criminal violence occurs because the normal moral, social, and ethical restraints on violence have failed and they would NOT have failed if the perpetrator was of "sound mind" or "normal."

Whether of "unsound mind" because of a temporary condition (crime of passion) or chronic sociopathy is irrelevant, a person of "sound mind" wouldn't have resorted to violence and/or criminal behavior.

The "unsound condition" can range anywhere from momentary "brain-fart" to chronic and incurable.

It shoul dbe noted that there are sometimes sound, rational reasons for indulging in violence, but seldom for indulging in Criminal Violence

Matoyak
08-06-2008, 09:48 PM
If you kill someone in cold blood, there should be two options, regardless of mental health condition:
Option 1: Life Sentence, no chance of parole.
Option 2: Hang 'em High (sorry pops/taer for borrowing that...it's a popular term where I live)

Because, the fact is...they killed someone in cold blood. Whether they reform or not matters not. (I also believe this for rapists [especially of children rapists], or any extremely radical cold-blooded crime) Deed is done, punishment must be dealt. I for one, mostly believe in Eye For An Eye. Sometimes. Not 100% {maybe not even 50% agree} (for example, the rapist thing...I don't think raping them would be a very good punishment...:eek:), but...for other things, it's a sound plan.

Note, that's for cold-blooded pre-planned murder. Self defense, quick spur-of-the-moment killings, etc. do not fall under this category.

Spur-of-the-moment killings are different in that the person may not have been in their right mind at the moment of the crime. Punishment should still be dealt, no matter the mental state, though the punishment should take that into consideration. Example: John Doe gets fired right as it is revealed that his wife is leaving him for his boss. John Doe just lost most everything he considers dear to him. John Doe stabs boss in eyeball with pencil. John Doe should go to prison, and should be forced to talk with a shrink for a good long while, but (depending on how he did the murder...if he like, hacked his boss apart and drank his blood or something, that's a different story) lifetime/capital punishment might be too much.

Mental Illnesses...well, technically, sociopathy (sp) is a mental illness. As in, it is a case of unsound mind, a "sick" mind, so-to-speak. The best way to deal with this is, punishment for crime first, reform later. (unless the crime was bad enough to warrant lifetime inprisonment or the death penalty...then pretty much reform never, as a person that sick/f*ed up to murder/rape in cold blood has next-to-no chance of reforming (more likely, it would only be temporary, and then a relapse/return of their true colors), and since reform should be done AFTER the main punishment (for the majority of cases...course, you wouldn't want to just release a spur-of-the-moment killer wihtout checking their mental health a lot...hmmm...so...maybe reform during punishment, but punishment must be served in full no matter what?), they won't ever get much of a chance, now would they?

I dunno, sorry about the ramble/rant. Still deciding on some of these matters. If I went off-topic, sorry, lol. Here's hopin' I made sense, lol!

EDIT: P.S. As for self-defense stuff...if it can be proven self-defense, and if they had no cause to provoke attack so they could CLAIM self-defense, then no criminal punishment (obviously). (Course, there's the whole "Shoot once = self defense, shoot twice = murder" and stuff like that and whatnot.) But they should still be forced to undergo counseling, for their good and others. They had to resort to violence to save themselves, and that CAN'T be good for someone's mind, in any way.

Ozymandias
08-06-2008, 09:50 PM
It's the justification that was made for it that speaks of a mental illness, to me, and if drugs are involved, I don't see how that negates that there is a mental illness. Granted, that's my own definition of mental illness, but I can't see how it's difficult to understand.


What if I walk into my home and find my wife being raped at gunpoint? If I crack the guys head open... is that a sign of mental illness?

Davian93
08-06-2008, 10:01 PM
What if I walk into my home and find my wife being raped at gunpoint? If I crack the guys head open... is that a sign of mental illness?


No...that's self defense and not even a crime...hell some places would give you a medal.

Weird Harold
08-06-2008, 10:06 PM
What if I walk into my home and find my wife being raped at gunpoint? If I crack the guys head open... is that a sign of mental illness?
That would NOT be "Criminal Violence" nor would you be a "Violent Crminal" in most jurisdictions.

I wouldn't want to live in any jurisdiction where you would be a criminal for defending your spouse in that situation.

Terez
08-06-2008, 11:23 PM
Guys, I didn't use the word "insanity" for a reason. It's a strictly legal term that implies that the criminal shouldn't be held responsible for his crime, and it has no real psychological meaning.

Desperation doesn't automatically equal mental illness, but choosing to commit a violent crime does rather indicate that the criminal is not mentally healthy, regardless of the reasons they came to that state of mind. Plenty of desperate people don't commit violent crimes, no matter how desperate they are.

Rehabilitation is possible in some cases but I'm not even going to try to really define which cases I think would warrant rehabilitation (rather than throwing away the key).

tworiverswoman
08-07-2008, 01:52 AM
Isn't the phrase for that "justifiable homicide?"

Terez
08-07-2008, 02:09 AM
I don't claim to be an expert on legal terminology. I just know that "insanity" is legally defined something like "incapable of distinguishing between right and wrong", and I would think that "justifiable homicide" would apply to Ozy's scenario more than the insanity scenario, because insanity doesn't really constitute justification.

Weird Harold
08-07-2008, 02:11 AM
Isn't the phrase for that "justifiable homicide?"
EVerywhere but Texas.

In Texas, it's just "He Needed Killin'."

Ishara
08-07-2008, 08:21 AM
My personal fave is: We just can't have you here.

Look, I'm all for rehabilitating the criminal (be they mentally ill or not), where reasonable. This guy hacked another man - a very young man - to pieces. He stabbed him, beheaded him, cut him up and may (or may not) have eaten bits of him in front of bystanders.

Should this guy be rehabilitated? Should we even try to see if he could be? Honestly, I'm leaning towards no. He is not the kind of person that we can afford to have in our society.

Brita
08-07-2008, 08:43 AM
My personal fave is: We just can't have you here.

Look, I'm all for rehabilitating the criminal (be they mentally ill or not), where reasonable. This guy hacked another man - a very young man - to pieces. He stabbed him, beheaded him, cut him up and may (or may not) have eaten bits of him in front of bystanders.

Should this guy be rehabilitated? Should we even try to see if he could be? Honestly, I'm leaning towards no. He is not the kind of person that we can afford to have in our society.

I agree, this guy is a whole different ballgame. The real debate involves more "run of the mill" crimes. Ones we can somewhat....understand (not approve of, just understand the motives, you know?). This guy is completely off the radar map- there is no question in my mind that he is never to be trusted in public again.

Realnow
08-07-2008, 10:50 AM
It's the justification that was made for it that speaks of a mental illness, to me, and if drugs are involved, I don't see how that negates that there is a mental illness. Granted, that's my own definition of mental illness, but I can't see how it's difficult to understand.

There is little difference between keeping a mentally ill person away from society where they can cause harm, and making a criminal "pay".


If we are redefining words to suit ourselves then whats the point even talking about this. You can't have your "own" definition for something that is already clearly defined in fact.

You seem to be taking a rather sheltered and naieve view of the world...Violence is a rather common aspect of humanity and I really cannot understand how you label all violent crime as a result of mental illness.

You need to either check a dictionary on mental illness or read the newspaper and see what criminals are really like. They aren't lunatics running around murdering people for the most part. Its..oh no that gangster has a gun to my face, boom, he is dead, I am safe..

I think someone who shoots someone out of survival is more sane than someone who claims all violent criminals are mentally ill, thats crazy talk.

Mental Illnesses...well, technically, sociopathy (sp) is a mental illness. As in, it is a case of unsound mind, a "sick" mind, so-to-speak. The best way to deal with this is, punishment for crime first, reform later. (unless the crime was bad enough to warrant lifetime inprisonment or the death penalty...then pretty much reform never, as a person that sick/f*ed up to murder/rape in cold blood has next-to-no chance of reforming (more likely, it would only be temporary, and then a relapse/return of their true colors), and since reform should be done AFTER the main punishment (for the majority of cases...course, you wouldn't want to just release a spur-of-the-moment killer wihtout checking their mental health a lot...hmmm...so...maybe reform during punishment, but punishment must be served in full no matter what?), they won't ever get much of a chance, now would they

Because we all know jail is so highly effective at turning criminals into regular citizens. Oh wait, jails are basically a boot camp for felons.

Terez
08-07-2008, 10:58 AM
If we are redefining words to suit ourselves then whats the point even talking about this. You can't have your "own" definition for something that is already clearly defined in fact. From Wikipedia (I know):

The World Health Organization (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Health_Organization) states that there is no one "official" definition of mental health. Cultural differences, subjective assessments, and competing professional theories all affect how "mental health" is defined.
So, clearly not "clearly defined in fact".

You seem to be taking a rather sheltered and naieve view of the world... You seem to be fond of ad hominem attacks...

Violence is a rather common aspect of humanity and I really cannot understand how you label all violent crime as a result of mental illness. I label violent crime as a clear indication of mental illness.

Ishara
08-07-2008, 12:33 PM
Ah, but jail was never meant to rehabilitate people. Nor was it meant to act as a deterrent - execept as a secondary (and clearly ineffective) purpose. Jail is punishment, pure and simple. It's both a means of removing the undesirables from society at large (and putting them all in the same place so that you can keep an eye on them), and retribution for their crimes.

Disclipline is meant to ensure that behaviour is not repeated. Jail doesn't do that.

Realnow
08-07-2008, 03:55 PM
mental illness
–noun
any of the various forms of psychosis or severe neurosis.
(Dictionary.com)

Seems pretty definitive to me, if you want to nitpick instead of addressing my points. I'll nitpick all day, believe you me. Next time try getting the definition of the right term.

I label violent crime as a clear indication of mental illness.

Ok...coughing is a symptom of mono right? So does everyone who coughs have mono? Using that logic you can come to any conclusion you want. Yes its very likely that people who commit violent acts could be mentally ill.

But thats the VAST minority. Do you know how many people fight and attack each other like...every day? So everyone I know pretty much is mentally ill. We have an epidemic of insanity across the world right now, the violence is stemming from pure mental problems and nothing else like poverty, starvation, money, drugs, etc.

Ah, but jail was never meant to rehabilitate people. Nor was it meant to act as a deterrent - execept as a secondary (and clearly ineffective) purpose. Jail is punishment, pure and simple. It's both a means of removing the undesirables from society at large (and putting them all in the same place so that you can keep an eye on them), and retribution for their crimes.

Disclipline is meant to ensure that behaviour is not repeated. Jail doesn't do that.

Sorry but incorrect. If our society was really stupid enough to create jails as a punishment and not as a deterrent, then we should all be shot. That is the most foolish and ineffective method of removing undesirables possible. The cost of keeping these people out of society through isolation is far more of a detriment to regular citizens than rehabilitating is; and obviously if you could deterr criminals altogether that would be truly ideal.

EDIT: Sorry I think I misunderstood your point Ishara, are you saying that jails should be a deterrent but in reality they fail to do so? Because I would have to agree there. I think one of the most well-known f***-ups of the USA is the jail system, am I right?

Gilshalos Sedai
08-07-2008, 03:58 PM
One question:

People who study martial arts are mentally ill? I'm sure Snow and Bryan would be happy to hear that.

Terez
08-07-2008, 04:07 PM
People who study martial arts are mentally ill? I'm sure Snow and Bryan would be happy to hear that. Has either Snow or Bryan committed a violent crime? I'm very confused as to why you brought them up if they have not.

Seems pretty definitive to me, if you want to nitpick instead of addressing my points. Thanks, but I'll trust the World Health Organization's comment on it before dictionary.com.

Ok...coughing is a symptom of mono right? So does everyone who coughs have mono? Using that logic you can come to any conclusion you want. Yes its very likely that people who commit violent acts could be mentally ill.

But thats the VAST minority. Do you know how many people fight and attack each other like...every day? So everyone I know pretty much is mentally ill. We have an epidemic of insanity across the world right now, the violence is stemming from pure mental problems and nothing else like poverty, starvation, money, drugs, etc. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I believe that, if you can justify a violent crime, than you are mentally ill. I don't care if you just picked a fight with someone and cracked their skull. If you did it on purpose, then there is something wrong with you. Whether you are driven by rage, or desperation, or fear, if you decide in your head that it is okay to commit a violent crime, then you are not mentally healthy, because if you were mentally healthy then you wouldn't make that (extremely) bad choice.

I have already told you that this is my definition of mental health. I have already shown that there is no universally accepted definition for mental health. I have made it clear that I am by no means suggesting that these people should not be held accountable crimes. So what is your problem?

Realnow
08-07-2008, 04:17 PM
Thanks, but I'll trust the World Health Organization's comment on it before dictionary.com.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I believe that, if you can justify a violent crime, than you are mentally ill. I don't care if you just picked a fight with someone and cracked their skull. If you did it on purpose, then there is something wrong with you. Whether you are driven by rage, or desperation, or fear, if you decide in your head that it is okay to commit a violent crime, then you are not mentally healthy, because if you were mentally healthy then you wouldn't make that (extremely) bad choice.

I have already told you that this is my definition of mental health. I have already shown that there is no universally accepted definition for mental health. I have made it clear that I am by no means suggesting that these people should not be held accountable crimes. So what is your problem?

Like I said, get the definition for the right word. There is an astronomical difference between mental health, which you had; and mental illness. Read carefully and you'll realize your trusting the WHO on the wrong word. Yes mental health could be any number of things, obviously, but there is no doubt about what mental illness means.

My problem is that you are arguing a truly ridiculous point. If you really believe that, then you are basically saying that a good portion of the population is insane. So..if your right, then most people are crazy (if more people are crazy then not..doesn't that make the "normal" people crazy anyway?)

For you to really have this abhorrence of violence shows more about you than anything. Maybe someone who is so paranoid of violence and downright arrogant in your analysis of it is more warranting of the term mental health.

I don't think doing what it takes to survive as humans have done forever is mentally ill. I hope there are no military or ex-mil people around here, because according to Terez your all bonkers.

You simply can't be the arbiter of what is classified as "wrong" or not. Maybe you can stick to your convoluted moral system, but don't play it off as fact or any kind of scientifically valid point. You believe that willfully committing a violent crime means that there is something wrong with you, feel free to, but you have to understand that just because you think this way its true.

Terez
08-07-2008, 04:26 PM
Like I said, get the definition for the right word. There is an astronomical difference between mental health, which you had; and mental illness. Well, obviously - mental illness is clearly the opposite of mental health. Your dictionary.com entry fails to mention that there are a nice plethora of mental illnesses out there, with a wide variety of definitions for each, which is a big part of why there is no official definition for "mental health".

My problem is that you are arguing a truly ridiculous point. If you really believe that, then you are basically saying that a good portion of the population is insane. Didn't I warn you several posts ago not to confuse my definition of mental illness with "insanity"?

I don't think doing what it takes to survive as humans have done forever is mentally ill. I hope there are no military or ex-mil people around here, because according to Terez your all bonkers. Weird Harold is a retired military officer, and in case you didn't notice, he agrees with me. Also, I really doubt that Weird Harold has ever committed a violent crime, and I'm not sure why you equate military service with violent crime.

You simply can't be the arbiter of what is classified as "wrong" or not. Maybe you can stick to your convoluted moral system, but don't play it off as fact or any kind of scientifically valid point. You believe that willfully committing a violent crime means that there is something wrong with you, feel free to, but you have to understand that just because you think this way its true.
Why are you making assumptions about my morals? I haven't even said anything about my morals at all. Why are you trying so hard to defend the mental health of violent criminals?

Gilshalos Sedai
08-07-2008, 04:26 PM
Has either Snow or Bryan committed a violent crime? I'm very confused as to why you brought them up if they have not.

I'm just asking a question as the direction of the discussion seems to be moving toward condemnation of all violence as mental illness.

Terez
08-07-2008, 04:31 PM
I'm just asking a question as the direction of the discussion seems to be moving toward condemnation of all violence as mental illness.
Why would you think we were moving toward that though? If violence is in self defense, then obviously there's no problem. If violence is in sparring, then again, obviously no problem. Violent crime, on the other hand, suggests that the person who committed the crime is not mentally healthy. I fail to see why the line isn't very clear.

Gilshalos Sedai
08-07-2008, 04:34 PM
Then I'd like to know, because so far, I haven't read anything clearly defined, why do you define violent crime a symptom of mental illness?

If it's not the violence, which you suggest by your answer above, since violence in itself isn't an illness, then is it the criminal act? The combination?

Terez
08-07-2008, 04:43 PM
Then I'd like to know, because so far, I haven't read anything clearly defined, why do you define violent crime a symptom of mental illness?
Because someone who commits a violent crime is obviously not mentally healthy.

If it's not the violence, which you suggest by your answer above, since violence in itself isn't an illness, then is it the criminal act? The combination?
First of all, violence isn't an illness, but an indicator of mental illness. Second, violence is wrong. This is one of the most universally agreed upon crimes. Sparring does not count because it's a mutually agreed upon activity that's not intended to cause real harm to involved parties. Self defense doesn't count because it is a response to violent crime - there is little you can do in the face of violence other than to use violence yourself. Protecting someone else from violent crime goes with self defense.

Gilshalos Sedai
08-07-2008, 04:59 PM
So... violence is OK, but it's not? That's not really making sense to me, Terez, it's kind of circular argument. I'm honestly not trying to pick a fight here, Terez, just trying to figure out where your reasoning lies. So far, when I summarize your argument, I come up with violence is ok, but then it's not.

So, again, what part is insane, the breaking of the law, or the violence used to break it? Because legally, they're kinda separate, or you wouldn't get charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon while holding up a liquor store, you'd be charged with violent intent or something.

Terez
08-07-2008, 05:02 PM
So... violence is OK, but it's not? That's not really making sense to me, Terez, it's kind of circular argument. I'm honestly not trying to pick a fight here, Terez, just trying to figure out where your reasoning lies. So far, when I summarize your argument, I come up with violence is ok, but then it's not.

So, again, what part is insane, the breaking of the law, or the violence used to break it? Because legally, they're kinda separate, or you wouldn't get charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon while holding up a liquor store, you'd be charged with violent intent or something.
It's very clear now that you're not reading my posts. The distinction between my definition of mental illness and "insanity" is a very important distinction. I have made it abundantly clear that I'm not trying to make legal definitions here. And violence is NOT okay.

Sei'taer
08-07-2008, 05:10 PM
Honestly, I'm leaning towards no. He is not the kind of person that we can afford to have in our society.

~screechy voice~Commmmme my pretty...leeeeean to the dark side...it's nice here...lean over on your high horse a little farther...Leeeeeannnnn my pretty...just a little closssser now...it'll be sssso nice once your here, i promise you...yessss, the right sooooo wants you to join us...you'll have more power than you ever imagined...step asssside from your lily livered mantra...commmmme to usssssss...

Crispin's Crispian
08-07-2008, 05:12 PM
Let me just clarify something...

When we are all talking about "violence", what are we talking about? I really don't see why there is so much confusion about what Terez is saying unless we have some kind of term definition problem.


Main Entry: vi·o·lence
Pronunciation: \ˈvī-lən(t)s, ˈvī-ə-\
Function: noun
Date: 14th century
1 a: exertion of physical force so as to injure or abuse (as in warfare effecting illegal entry into a house)
b: an instance of violent treatment or procedure
2: injury by or as if by distortion, infringement, or profanation : outrage
3 a: intense, turbulent, or furious and often destructive action or force <the violence of the storm>
b: vehement feeling or expression : fervor; also : an instance of such action or feeling
c: a clashing or jarring quality : discordance
4: undue alteration (as of wording or sense in editing a text)

I think we can all agree that only part 1 of the definition applies to what we're talking about.

So, when is it "OK" to commit violence? I think Terez summed it up--self-defense and sparring. I would add sports, in general--though in most cases that's a by-product--because the violence is agreed to by both parties as a means to a competitive end. You might add things like war here, but that's debatable and not really part of this.

So, are we on the same page? Is it ever OK to inflict violence on someone outside of those agreed upon circumstances? No, which is why we have laws against it.

The question then is whether breaking those laws, or the desire to inflict violence on another person outside of those circumstances, is an indication of mental illness.

Gilshalos Sedai
08-07-2008, 05:16 PM
It's very clear now that you're not reading my posts.

You're right, I left the discussion for a while since some people (actually not you this time) were pissing me off. I restarted after the section that made my blood boil.

The distinction between my definition of mental illness and "insanity" is a very important distinction.

All right, I'll reread that one.

I have made it abundantly clear that I'm not trying to make legal definitions here. And violence is NOT okay.

See, that bolded part is what I'm still trying to figure out. Sparring is still violence. It's controlled and directed, but still violence. Martial arts discourage violence, but they're entire purpose is to dissamble your fellow human beings but teaching you the discipline to know best the when and the why. Military action is still violence.


ETA: Cross posted with Muttley. If it's the first one you're talking about, then I'm more in agreement with you. If not, then we still don't agree.

Terez
08-07-2008, 05:29 PM
See, that bolded part is what I'm still trying to figure out. Sparring is still violence. It's controlled and directed, but still violence. Martial arts discourage violence, but they're entire purpose is to dissamble your fellow human beings but teaching you the discipline to know best the when and the why. Military action is still violence.


ETA: Cross posted with Muttley. If it's the first one you're talking about, then I'm more in agreement with you. If not, then we still don't agree. I'm pretty sure I already made my views clear on what sort of violence is acceptable and what sort of violence is not. I know you're at work, though, and probably don't have a lot of time to pay attention to detail.

You might add things like war here, but that's debatable and not really part of this. Right - we could start a whole new thread on that (but it's probably not a good idea for this board). But on that point, I don't think that military service qualifies as violent crime at all. There are things that are done by individual members of the military that definitely qualify as violent crime, but following orders does not qualify.

The question then is whether breaking those laws, or the desire to inflict violence on another person outside of those circumstances, is an indication of mental illness. This is not even important, unless you want to conflate mental illness with "insanity" (which, again, is the legal term used for people who cannot distinguish right from wrong and therefore cannot be held accountable for their crimes).

Crispin's Crispian
08-07-2008, 05:32 PM
This is not even important, unless you want to conflate mental illness with "insanity" (which, again, is the legal term used for people who cannot distinguish right from wrong and therefore cannot be held accountable for their crimes).
If it's not important, why has so much of the thread been devoted to that question?

Terez
08-07-2008, 05:36 PM
Because I've been trying to clear up what I meant about it since I first said it, and because people have been attacking me about it. I made it clear from the beginning that it was a personal definition, but some people decided to make a big deal out of it. *shrug*

Cary Sedai
08-07-2008, 05:36 PM
And violence is NOT okay.

I agree, however, sadly sometimes it is necessary.

Unless protecting yourself, or protecting someone else and matching the violence against you, with a force to match it, is not actually violence...that's twisty. I'll stay with the first sentence.

The world is not perfect.

Purple Dragon
08-07-2008, 05:37 PM
let me just try and get my facts straight here...!

there is apparently people here claiming that anyone commiting VIOLENCE is insane/mentally ill?

then again there are people saying that mentally ill people can't be hend accountable for their actions, on account of them being, well, ill...?

am i correct so far?


~bows~

i am PD, The Purple Dragon... i frequantly claim to be a 2000+ year old 30 foot long dragon with near cosmic powers. i aim to become a milionaire before i'm 30, likes to work more than 60 hours pr. week, would like to never sleep again.

i have claimed to be a god too...

in my younger days i have commited violence.
i have struck a person in anger.
i have pondered violence on others.
less than 10 years ago i tried to commit suiciede.

now...


how insane am i?
how mentally ill?
can i be trusted?
am i accountable for my actions then and now?
am i insane?
was i?

Crispin's Crispian
08-07-2008, 05:55 PM
let me just try and get my facts straight here...!

there is apparently people here claiming that anyone commiting VIOLENCE is insane/mentally ill?

then again there are people saying that mentally ill people can't be hend accountable for their actions, on account of them being, well, ill...?

am i correct so far?

No, you're not. You need to read more closely in both cases, although the first statement is under more contention for some reason than the second.

I don't believe anyone here has said that mentally ill people can't be held accountable for their actions.

The rest of your posts asks questions similar to those others have asked: at what point is a mentally ill person "cured" enough to be rehabilitated, etc.

Weird Harold
08-07-2008, 07:09 PM
My problem is that you are arguing a truly ridiculous point. If you really believe that, then you are basically saying that a good portion of the population is insane. So..if your right, then most people are crazy (if more people are crazy then not..doesn't that make the "normal" people crazy anyway?)

I think you're being willfully ignorant on this point: There is a Differenc ebetween violence in any form and CRIMINAL Violence -- The latter is what we think is de facto evidence of "That boy ain't right in the head."

Terez, I am NOT a retired officer and I resent the implication that I did not work for a living. I am a retired MSgt and that is a much better thing to be than an officer, retired or otherwise. :D

Terez
08-07-2008, 07:16 PM
Well damn, I thought that a sergeant was an officer. :D

Weird Harold
08-07-2008, 07:30 PM
Then I'd like to know, because so far, I haven't read anything clearly defined, why do you define violent crime a symptom of mental illness?

If it's not the violence, which you suggest by your answer above, since violence in itself isn't an illness, then is it the criminal act? The combination?
I can't speak for Terez -- I suspect she has a slightly different logic for her position, but:

Violent Crime is a defacto evidence of mental illness because in order to commit a violent crime, the perpetrator necessarily must place his/her/its desires above the law and society's established limitations -- In other words, it requires some degree of meglomania and/or sociopathy to commit a violent act that is outside the range of violent acts that society will tolerate.

Also, the perpetrator of a violent crime generally does so with the irrational belief that that they can't be caught or punished.

To knowingly commit a violent crime requires a series of irrational assumptions and decisions and irrationality is generally a sign of mental illness -- in violent criminals, a dangerous sign of mental illness.

Weird Harold
08-07-2008, 07:32 PM
Well damn, I thought that a sergeant was an officer. :D
Sergeants are "Non-comissioned officer" -- which means that it didn't take an act of congress to make me a gentleman. :D

tworiverswoman
08-07-2008, 08:18 PM
Terez's original post simply stated her personal belief that anyone who committed a violent crime was mentally ill.

I agree to a limited degree -- I just don't care for the sweeping generalization of the original post. She's made efforts to narrow the field ever since, but various people keep playing with it.


The key point, really, is the phrase "violent CRIME" -- not just "violent ACT." There are many forms of violence which have no criminal intent -- contact sports, for example. (Though I have to say I see no justification nowadays for boxing -- hideous "sport," imo.) Self-defense, police action, etc.

I don't like "mental illness" because there's an implication that the person is both not personally responsible, AND that they can be "healed." It's more that someone who commits a violent crime (let's narrow this further by adding "without provocation or acceptable justification") is missing some crucial aspect of what makes up a socialized human being. A "civilized" person, if you'll forgive me.

RealNow -- the examples you gave on page one sounded to me like classic sociopaths, to be honest. Completely amoral.

Davian93
08-07-2008, 08:22 PM
Terez, I am NOT a retired officer and I resent the implication that I did not work for a living. I am a retired MSgt and that is a much better thing to be than an officer, retired or otherwise. :D


Sir?!? I work for a living, damnit!!!

Birgitte
08-07-2008, 08:31 PM
Terez, I am NOT a retired officer and I resent the implication that I did not work for a living. I am a retired MSgt and that is a much better thing to be than an officer, retired or otherwise.

HA! I've met a few MSGs. That claim that they work for a living is highly suspect. The future MSGs certainly don't, right, Mom?


Err.... on to previously scheduled debate...

JSUCamel
08-07-2008, 08:43 PM
I recently saw the movie Mr. Brooks starring Kevin Costner and Demi Moore. I enjoyed it a lot.

One of the suggestions made in the movie is that true sociopaths can't be cured.. they can only learn to suppress their urges. And even then, all it takes is one little push to hurl them over the edge again.

I think everyone has a voice in their head that urges them to do things they know are wrong. Sometimes the voice wins out, sometimes your good side wins out. I'm not sure if I'm willing to call losing that battle a mental illness.

I don't believe temporary insanity is an excuse for committing violent crimes (which is the point here, not simple violence), nor do I think losing control of your emotions or making a bad decision (even when you know it's wrong) constitutes mental illness either.

Everyone's broken rules before, whether it's speeding, sexual harassment, stealing, assault, arson, piracy...

Does making bad decisions equal mental illness?

I think that's a bad generalization to make.

Yes, this guy in question is obviously mentally ill. But I don't think everyone who commits a violent crime is mentally ill. Stupid, maybe. Careless, reckless, arrogant, bored, angry... but not mentally ill.

Davian93
08-07-2008, 09:13 PM
Mr. Brooks was an awesome movie...I love what happens to Dane Cook...

Very underated Costner performance.

Terez
08-08-2008, 02:04 AM
Terez's original post simply stated her personal belief that anyone who committed a violent crime was mentally ill.

I agree to a limited degree -- I just don't care for the sweeping generalization of the original post. She's made efforts to narrow the field ever since, but various people keep playing with it. I haven't narrowed the field at all - I still believe that anyone who commits a violent crime is mentally ill. My "efforts" since my first post have been in the way of trying to get people to understand what I meant....not to narrow the field.

I don't like "mental illness" because there's an implication that the person is both not personally responsible, AND that they can be "healed." I don't see why this is a problem. There are a great many psychologists that will tell you we have no choices at all, and it's easy to see how they come to that conclusion. I don't see why we should avoid acknowledging the fact that there is something mentally wrong with someone who commits a violent crime, just out of the fear that people are going to try to get away with it. If this happens, then letting them get away with it would be the problem, NOT classifying them as mentally ill.

It's more that someone who commits a violent crime (let's narrow this further by adding "without provocation or acceptable justification") If there were acceptable justification, then it wouldn't be a crime.

The Immortal One
08-08-2008, 03:19 AM
Terez, I am NOT a retired officer and I resent the implication that I did not work for a living. I am a retired MSgt and that is a much better thing to be than an officer, retired or otherwise.

SIR, YES SIR!!! *salute*


(*sniggers*)

tanaww
08-08-2008, 08:37 AM
One question:

People who study martial arts are mentally ill? I'm sure Snow and Bryan would be happy to hear that.

Hey me too! I want my government money for my "disability"!!!

Ishara
08-08-2008, 08:38 AM
Sei: :p What did King Arthur say? Run away!!!!

Realnow:

I am saying that prison was orginally designed to be a way of taking the "bad" people who had acted against societal norms and removing them so that they couldn't do it again. Putting them all under the same roof was a means of efficiency. Kind of like Australia, without the cool accents.

It was never meant to be a deterrent. I would argue that Western legal systems and the consequences that come out of that system are not driven by a deterrent sysytem. The Eastern/ Middle Eastern system is far better at deterring what we classify as anti-social (as in counter to society) behaviour. So that fact that our Western prisons aren't acting that way isn't surprising.

Even the death penalty is just a further point along the "we just can't have you here" line. Not a deterrent, but rather a protective measure for the greater good.

The fact that our society endorses releasing individuals from prison after a set time has been served doesn't speak to the fact that prisons are meant to be rehabilitative either. It speaks to our Western understanding that punishments must work on a sliding scale. There is little to no effort made to rehabilitate inmates, and in fact, we all know that most prison inmates leave prison with more criminal knowledge than when they entered.

Hopefully that clears things up...

tanaww
08-08-2008, 08:41 AM
how insane am i?
how mentally ill?
can i be trusted?
am i accountable for my actions then and now?
am i insane?
was i?

Dear, you're Danish. The answers are:
Completely,
Very
Not one bit
Absolutely
YES. Again - check your passport. You're Danish.
I'm pretty sure you were born Danish, so yes.

And so ends my pathetic attempt to inject levity into this ludicrous thread. I think I will go use my martial arts training to beat something now so I can have some lovely drugs and a paid vacation. Peace.

Gilshalos Sedai
08-08-2008, 09:02 AM
Frankly, I dislike the term "mentally ill," for someone who does commit a "violent crime." "Not in their right minds," might be more accurate.

Terez
08-08-2008, 09:10 AM
I don't see how "mentally ill" and "not in their right mind" are much different.

Gilshalos Sedai
08-08-2008, 09:12 AM
Matter of degrees, for me. And "temporary insanity" is something entirely different.

Terez
08-08-2008, 09:26 AM
I think that a lot of the problem here (and I'm not talking to Gil, who doesn't seem to be conflating "mental illness" with "insanity" any more) is that people have strong opinions about mental issues being used as excuses, either for crimes or for laziness (such as someone who gets a government check for being mentally ill). And while I understand completely that this is an issue people get upset about, because there are many people out there trying to abuse the system, I don't know that it's all that constructive to ignore the fact that someone who commits a violent crime has mental issues, if for no other reason that we might find ways to prevent these temporary or permanent losses of moral judgment if we can learn more about what causes them. The semantics of the issue aren't really all that important unless you want to use either the term "insanity", which has a specific legal definition relating to crime, or "mentally disabled", which has a specific definition relating to government benefits and protections.

"Not right in the head" honestly works just as good for me as "mentally ill", beyond being less concise - I don't feel that the term "mentally ill" places any significant limitations on degree, but I suppose that's a matter of personal taste.

Realnow
08-08-2008, 09:36 AM
It's very clear now that you're not reading my posts. The distinction between my definition of mental illness and "insanity" is a very important distinction. I have made it abundantly clear that I'm not trying to make legal definitions here. And violence is NOT okay.

Your posts have been like this mostly, nitpicking little details that really I think we are all mature enough to ignore. You are the one getting into legal definitions and in fact you even tried discrediting a dictionary.

What I don't get is why your the arbiter of what is mentally ill and what qualifies as a violent crime. Why is that what society labels as "crime" is more telling of mental illness than "allowed" violence.

So if I go to Iraq and blow the hell out of some people thats fine. Its legal so I am normal and sane, correct? If I legally fight in a boxing match and kill someone, thats fine. But if I get in a fight at a party or something and accidentally break someone's neck that makes me a mentally ill criminal.

Its this flawed and rather narrow-minded logic that makes this so convoluted. I don't think that you are personally qualified to define what is mentally unstable, and as a side note I also don't fully believe in the law's definition of right and wrong all the time either.

So morally, if I have to engage in violence at some point in my life, and I can justify it, I'm fine with that. Just like a soldier is fine with killing people. If you think that makes me insane (zomg insane!! i mean mentally ill, so you don't nitpick over it Terez), thats a pretty radical thing to be saying to people.

I don't see how "mentally ill" and "not in their right mind" are much different.

I don't see how "mentally ill" and "insane" are.

Ishara: Ok that did clear things up a bit, but I would have to beg to differ. I'm under the impression that jail and especially the death penalty are deterrents in modern society. If you asked 100 people if they were less likely to commit a crime with jail time after, then 100 would say yes. If you asked 100 people if they just wanted to "get rid of the criminals" or something, something like 50-70 would probably agree, but not everyone. Thats my opinion anyway.

Also, careful using expressions like "the greater good". Its the sorta thing you hear from a totalitarian communist regime or something, ah ha.

Gilshalos Sedai
08-08-2008, 09:49 AM
If I legally fight in a boxing match and kill someone, thats fine.

Actually, no, they tend to call that negligent homicide or manslaughter.


And technically, using self defense to justify violence is just as much mental gymnastics as justifying stealing from a cash register in a convenience store with a loaded gun, 'because The Man keeps you down,' and, 'You need the money more.'

It's just one we find more socially acceptable.

Splitting hairs? Damned straight, but frankly, I'd rather be 'not in my right mind,' than dead.

Terez
08-08-2008, 10:15 AM
And technically, using self defense to justify violence is just as much mental gymnastics as justifying stealing from a cash register in a convenience store with a loaded gun, 'because The Man keeps you down,' and, 'You need the money more.' There can be a lot of room for interpretation with self defense in some situations, but usually it's pretty cut and dried (unless there are no witnesses).

I don't see how "mentally ill" and "insane" are [much different]. The huge difference here is that "insane" is a legal term that is used to classify someone who cannot distinguish between right and wrong and therefore cannot be held accountable for crimes. "Mentally ill" has no legal meaning, and shouldn't be conflated with the legal term just because its cultural connotations are similar.

So if I go to Iraq and blow the hell out of some people thats fine. Its legal so I am normal and sane, correct? Not necessarily - serving in the military doesn't make a person immune to either insanity or mental illness.

But if I get in a fight at a party or something and accidentally break someone's neck that makes me a mentally ill criminal. I really suggest that you start reading people's posts more carefully:

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I believe that, if you can justify a violent crime, than you are mentally ill. I don't care if you just picked a fight with someone and cracked their skull. If you did it on purpose, then there is something wrong with you. Whether you are driven by rage, or desperation, or fear, if you decide in your head that it is okay to commit a violent crime, then you are not mentally healthy, because if you were mentally healthy then you wouldn't make that (extremely) bad choice.

StrangePackage
08-08-2008, 10:25 AM
"I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I believe that, if you can justify a violent crime, than you are mentally ill. I don't care if you just picked a fight with someone and cracked their skull. If you did it on purpose, then there is something wrong with you. Whether you are driven by rage, or desperation, or fear, if you decide in your head that it is okay to commit a violent crime, then you are not mentally healthy, because if you were mentally healthy then you wouldn't make that (extremely) bad choice."

That's both horribly horribly wrong from a logical standpoint, and from an ethical standpoint as well.

What about a person who, in the face of a horribly oppressive, torturous, vile regime, ignites bombs to assassinate the leaders of that regime and effect social change through that?

It's illegal
It's violent
it's a violent crime that was done on purpose.
Is there something wrong with that person?

Bad decisions are not a sign of mental unhealth. To suggest they are is just, politely put, idiocy.

Gilshalos Sedai
08-08-2008, 10:34 AM
Yes, SP, but that could, by the same mental gymnastics, be called self defense. Just to play Devil's Advocate.

Terez
08-08-2008, 10:37 AM
What about a person who, in the face of a horribly oppressive, torturous, vile regime, ignites bombs to assassinate the leaders of that regime and effect social change through that? As you could have determined from the context of the ground already covered in this thread, that might well be justifiable homicide (since you stated so clearly that the regime was horribly oppressive, torturous, etc.) Pretty risky on the part of the revolutionary, but still potentially justifiable. If the bombs killed innocent people, then not so much.

StrangePackage
08-08-2008, 10:39 AM
Alrighty, fine- what about this-

A man murders your entire family, and leaves your crippled. He's later apprehended by the authorities. At his trial, when he walks by, you spit on him- an assault- and wish him death- communicating threats. Both of them would be illegal.

Are you mentally unstable at that point?

Gilshalos Sedai
08-08-2008, 10:39 AM
If the bombs killed innocent people, then not so much.


You can't really control who wanders into a blast zone, Terez. You can try to make sure no one who shouldn't be there was there in the first place. But what happens when the Molotov Cocktail leaves your hand is a no longer under your control.

StrangePackage
08-08-2008, 10:40 AM
As you could have determined from the context of the ground already covered in this thread, that might well be justifiable homicide (since you stated so clearly that the regime was horribly oppressive, torturous, etc.) Pretty risky on the part of the revolutionary, but still potentially justifiable. If the bombs killed innocent people, then not so much.

Justifiable by whom? The regime is the one that makes the laws, aren't they? Your whole premise is based on the commission of violent crimes, but criminal behavior is a product purely of the laws of the society in which it is conducted. I'm sure the leaders of said regime don't see this action as justifiable- so what then?

Gilshalos Sedai
08-08-2008, 10:42 AM
Well, what about a lesson from history? The beheadings of the royals and nobles of France and Russia was perfectly legal. And violent.

StrangePackage
08-08-2008, 10:47 AM
Well, what about a lesson from history? The beheadings of the royals and nobles of France and Russia was perfectly legal. And violent.

Good point! What about the beheadings of captive nobles- now powerless and unable to exert influence on the lives of the persons they had ruled over who were now their captors- is beheading them justifiable? Is it a sign of something wrong with their captors? If they had been killed attempting capture, would that make it different? Does the erection of a Kangaroo court or a Revolutionary Council to oversee bloodletting make it more or less legal? More or less ethical?

Who is more dangerous to society- a man who snaps and is kills a person in a heat of rage and is charged with manslaughter, or a person who decides and meticulously plans to execute a single person? Why is one punished more than the other?

Terez
08-08-2008, 11:07 AM
A man murders your entire family, and leaves your crippled. He's later apprehended by the authorities. At his trial, when he walks by, you spit on him- an assault- and wish him death- communicating threats. Both of them would be illegal. I never suggested that any illegal act constitutes mental illness. Just violent crime. I could probably think of some other things to add to the list with violent crime that I believe indicate mental illness, but spitting and death threats definitely don't make the list. It's easy enough to tell someone you want to kill them. Actually going through with it is different. And, in this case, if the person had gone through with it (assuming that a crippled person could), then it's edging close to (but not quite reaching) justifiable homicide.

You can't really control who wanders into a blast zone, Terez. I never said that you could - and there's a reason why I said "not so much" rather than "not at all".

Who is more dangerous to society- a man who snaps and is kills a person in a heat of rage and is charged with manslaughter, or a person who decides and meticulously plans to execute a single person? Why is one punished more than the other? The degree of danger to society rather depends on how susceptible the former person is to these snaps of rage, and whether or not the details of the latter scenario indicate an arguably justifiable homicide.

StrangePackage
08-08-2008, 11:08 AM
Just guessing- you've never seen/read A Clockwork Orange, have you?

Crispin's Crispian
08-08-2008, 11:11 AM
Who is more dangerous to society- a man who snaps and is kills a person in a heat of rage and is charged with manslaughter, or a person who decides and meticulously plans to execute a single person? Why is one punished more than the other?

I don't want to step on Terez's toes, but I could see how both of them could be mentally ill, even if the first one is only temporary. Punishment has nothing to do with that, in so far as this discussion has been going. Terez has been trying (unsuccessfully) to separate the legal definition of insanity from her opinion about mental illness and violent behavior.

Why don't we take another tack?

Would you consider a person who attacks and injures or kills another person, without provocation or consent, and not in self-defense, to be mentally healthy?

If a gangster decides to open fire on a group of rival gangsters in revenge, is there a way you can qualify that gangster as "right in the head"?

Realnow
08-08-2008, 11:17 AM
There can be a lot of room for interpretation with self defense in some situations, but usually it's pretty cut and dried (unless there are no witnesses).

The huge difference here is that "insane" is a legal term that is used to classify someone who cannot distinguish between right and wrong and therefore cannot be held accountable for crimes. "Mentally ill" has no legal meaning, and shouldn't be conflated with the legal term just because its cultural connotations are similar.

Like I said, nitpick all you want. They mean the same thing to normal people, we aren't lawyers (i think) here.

Not necessarily - serving in the military doesn't make a person immune to either insanity or mental illness.

Irrelevant, your saying if they shoot their gun they are mentally ill...unless its "justifiable"

I really suggest that you start reading people's posts more carefully:

I suggest you get a in a fight. You realize that you can't "decide" to crack a skull right? Your trying to hurt someone though, obviously. But what if you didn't mean to kill them? Try addressing my argument instead of nitpicking details.


Terez, you seem to almost want to play god. I mean, whose "innocent"? Am I? Are you? Who decides whose innocent and not, the law? What if your country's government is corrupt? Do you see how your subjective analysis of violent crime is totally ineffective in reality? You can't judge someone by what you personally think is right or wrong..

You seem to have a set of moral guidelines that you follow, like if murder is justifiable it doesn't make you mentally ill?

You'd think someone who was mentally ill would be able to justify ANY murder. Or is it just if its justifiable to you specifically, as judge and jury for the world.

Crispin: I don't understand how mental illness has become so linked to violence..in regular every day life, for as long as we have existed there has been violence. Its normal and we have learned to live with it. Every day people hurt other people, not out of hate or anger or even emotion at all, just because.

Would you consider a person who attacks and injures or kills another person, without provocation or consent, and not in self-defense, to be mentally healthy?

A little general, but probably if there was NO provocation. Unfortunately 95% of the time there is, unlike this bus incident.

If a gangster decides to open fire on a group of rival gangsters in revenge, is there a way you can qualify that gangster as "right in the head"?

Yes, most definately would. Even if they were simply scaring them off turf or something, thats obviously justifiable to them. Its like war, they have to shoot first to survive, and thats human nature as well as instinct. Letting yourself lbe defeated is mentally ill in my opinion.

Terez
08-08-2008, 11:20 AM
Just guessing- you've never seen/read A Clockwork Orange, have you? I've seen it. Not sure why exactly you bring it up, though.

I don't want to step on Terez's toes You can step on my toes any time; I don't mind. :D So long as you're nice about it, anyway, which you almost always are...

If a gangster decides to open fire on a group of rival gangsters in revenge, is there a way you can qualify that gangster as "right in the head"? This is a tricky one, because of the amount of pressure that's often involved in joining gangs (join or die, kill this person or die).

StrangePackage
08-08-2008, 11:28 AM
I don't want to step on Terez's toes, but I could see how both of them could be mentally ill, even if the first one is only temporary. Punishment has nothing to do with that, in so far as this discussion has been going. Terez has been trying (unsuccessfully) to separate the legal definition of insanity from her opinion about mental illness and violent behavior.

Why don't we take another tack?

Would you consider a person who attacks and injures or kills another person, without provocation or consent, and not in self-defense, to be mentally healthy?

If a gangster decides to open fire on a group of rival gangsters in revenge, is there a way you can qualify that gangster as "right in the head"?

All this talk of "mental hygiene" is sickening, frankly. It treads perilously close, in my estimation, to a denial of the possibility of exercise of free will and reduces any behavior outside the norm to be a mental defect.

In response to your scenario- what if he mistakenly believed that person to have brutally raped his daughters? What constitutes provocation, in your opinion? Would sufficient provocation limit his culpability?

What about warfare? Is everyone who participates in war mentally unstable?

Mental defect, in my opinion, is a dangerous allegation for deviations from normative behavior. Aside from begging the question about what behavior IS normative, it diminishes both the ideas of free will and personal responsibility, and borders, in principal, on Eugenics.

Terez
08-08-2008, 11:39 AM
Terez, you seem to almost want to play god. What gives you that impression? We all have opinions on things - you've made it quite clear that you're no exception - so why would you think I'm trying to play god?

I mean, whose "innocent"? Am I? Are you? Who decides whose innocent and not, the law? Well, yes the "law" has the power to determine who is guilty and who is innocent, though the "law" might not always be successful at this, since the "law" is written, interpreted, and enforced by humans, who are prone to error.

What if your country's government is corrupt? Do you see how your subjective analysis of violent crime is totally ineffective in reality? I never said that my analysis wasn't subjective, but then, why shouldn't it be? My country's government is corrupt because it is made up of humans - no surprise or great revelation there.

You can't judge someone by what you personally think is right or wrong. Sorry, but I can and do, just as you have been doing with your own posts and opinions. Does it amount to much? Not really - public opinion has a great deal to do with the shaping of the "law" but individuals such as you and I don't make much impact on our own. Individuals such as SP, Sini, Dragon, Dorindha, and Freya (all lawyers, or lawyers-to-be) have a bit more chance at making an impact, but honestly not much more than you or I.

You seem to have a set of moral guidelines that you follow Don't we all? :)

like if murder is justifiable it doesn't make you mentally ill? Committing justifiable homicide doesn't exempt you from being mentally ill, but neither does it indicate you are mentally ill. IMHO, of course.

You'd think someone who was mentally ill would be able to justify ANY murder. This is the point, really. If non-justifiable murder is committed, then the person that committed it made some sort of justification for it that doesn't fit with society's standards of justification. That is what indicates mental illness, IMO.

Or is it just if its justifiable to you specifically, as judge and jury for the world. I never claimed to be any such thing. You must be in awe of my greatness to be so concerned about my opinion on this issue. :D

Terez
08-08-2008, 11:45 AM
All this talk of "mental hygiene" is sickening, frankly. It treads perilously close, in my estimation, to a denial of the possibility of exercise of free will and reduces any behavior outside the norm to be a mental defect. I've already clarified that the issue is only important to me because of the issue of prevention, and I think your fears are unfounded, and though I understand them, I don't think that avoiding the issue of "mental hygiene", as you like to call it, is the answer, because of the issue of prevention. I might argue determinism with you in another thread some time but chances are we actually agree on that - I think the logic behind determinism makes a lot of sense, but I still believe (perhaps in spite of the evidence) that we do have free will, and should be held accountable for our actions.

What about warfare? Is everyone who participates in war mentally unstable? Have you been reading this thread at all?

Crispin's Crispian
08-08-2008, 11:47 AM
This is a tricky one, because of the amount of pressure that's often involved in joining gangs (join or die, kill this person or die).
Is it tricky? By your definitions so far it's not, because the person is obviously unstable or screwed up for wanting to take the life of another person.

But it also goes back to socialization and how this person's morality developed. If the gangster grew up with the idea that it's OK to kill people in revenge, and that the lives of rival gangsters are worthless, her actions are consistent with the moral framework she grew up with. Then again, such socialization doesn't happen in a vacuum, and you can bet your ass said gangster would run from the cops when they chased after her.

The question then is whether she believes what she did was truly wrong, or whether the laws of the greater society are unfair.

StrangePackage
08-08-2008, 11:50 AM
I've already clarified that the issue is only important to me because of the issue of prevention, and I think your fears are unfounded, and though I understand them, I don't think that avoiding the issue of "mental hygiene", as you like to call it, is the answer, because of the issue of prevention. I might argue determinism with you in another thread some time but chances are we actually agree on that - I think the logic behind determinism makes a lot of sense, but I still believe (perhaps in spite of the evidence) that we do have free will, and should be held accountable for our actions.

Have you been reading this thread at all?

You said a whole lot of nothing in that post.

Post something substantive in response to my posts, or don't post at all.

Crispin's Crispian
08-08-2008, 11:53 AM
All this talk of "mental hygiene" is sickening, frankly. It treads perilously close, in my estimation, to a denial of the possibility of exercise of free will and reduces any behavior outside the norm to be a mental defect.

In response to your scenario- what if he mistakenly believed that person to have brutally raped his daughters? What constitutes provocation, in your opinion? Would sufficient provocation limit his culpability?

What about warfare? Is everyone who participates in war mentally unstable?

Mental defect, in my opinion, is a dangerous allegation for deviations from normative behavior. Aside from begging the question about what behavior IS normative, it diminishes both the ideas of free will and personal responsibility, and borders, in principal, on Eugenics.

:confused:

Terez is right--you clearly haven't been reading the thread. No one so far has suggested that "mental illness," as it has been (poorly) defined by the thread, has anything to do with personal responsibility. You're building a straw man.

If you want to discuss culpability and legal definitions, you should start a new thread or new discussion in this one.

So rather than putting words in my mouth and adding additional qualifications to my hypotheticals, can you answer the questions I posed?

Terez
08-08-2008, 11:56 AM
You said a whole lot of nothing in that post.

Post something substantive in response to my posts, or don't post at all. I could say the same of you. Are you just trying to avoid the question I asked you about reading this thread? It's obvious you haven't been paying much attention or you wouldn't have asked the question about warfare. Also, the response I made to the first bit was pretty substantive as far as clarifying my thoughts on the issue, while the content of your posts seems to be nothing more than an attempt to show that details in the justice system are open to a lot of interpretation, which is something that no one on this thread has denied. The only other substantive point you've made has to do with your fear that the classification of "mentally ill" will lead to a deterministic philosophy where no one is held responsible for their actions, and I addressed that as well. What more do you want?

Terez
08-08-2008, 12:03 PM
Is it tricky? By your definitions so far it's not, because the person is obviously unstable or screwed up for wanting to take the life of another person. It's tricky because they might be FORCED into taking another person's life, and the only indication of mental illness there is the one that is bound to result from such a traumatic scenario - mental illness results from the crime, rather than mental illness being the cause of the crime in the first place. Well, that doesn't really apply to your particular scenario, I'll admit (your scenario seems to illustrate the person who joins a gang because they want to lead a life of crime, or because they have been socialized, vacuum or no, to believe that it is okay or normal to commit violent crime, which IMO would be indicative of mental illness with a clear cause), but it does apply to a lot of gang members.

StrangePackage
08-08-2008, 12:09 PM
I put additional qualifications on it because you want to make a blanket statement about some airy definitions of normative behavior, mental defect, ethical behavior, and legal definitions of culpability, roll them all up into the general "mental illness" definition (which hasn't even been defined), and then change the parameters to match your argument when challenged by individual responses to any of the above aspects of your "theory."

Your sophistry is weak.

If you want me to address the points you're making, you have to make consistent points. Define what is Normative behavior. Address the question of mental illness versus "mental illness", and what the two entail. Address which ethical concerns you believe should be considered in every case. Elaborate on what legal standards should apply, and whether or not they recognize and conform to the above ethical standards.

Show some consistency and then, maybe, you'll get answers. You're asking me to provide answers to a question with no framework within which to work.

Every day I work within a system where each of those questions is defined for me. I am not the one making outlandish statements about mental defect being an inherrent prerequisite for a specific class of behavior. As such, I don't feel like I should have to defend my criticism of your flawed theory any more than I have, and nor do you get to frame the debate on your terms without setting those terms out.

JSUCamel
08-08-2008, 12:12 PM
If a person is raised to think that stealing is okay, is that person mentally ill? Or just wrong?

If a person is raised to think rival gangs deserve to die, is that mentally ill? Were all of the Nazis mentally ill? Some sort of mass hallucination or mass insanity? They killed millions of people, violently and with full knowledge that they were doing so. They believed it was okay (hey, just following orders). Is that mental illness? Or is that ignorance or... what is that?

Crispin's Crispian
08-08-2008, 12:32 PM
I put additional qualifications on it because you want to make a blanket statement about some airy definitions of normative behavior, mental defect, ethical behavior, and legal definitions of culpability, roll them all up into the general "mental illness" definition (which hasn't even been defined), and then change the parameters to match your argument when challenged by individual responses to any of the above aspects of your "theory."

Your sophistry is weak.

If you want me to address the points you're making, you have to make consistent points. Define what is Normative behavior. Address the question of mental illness versus "mental illness", and what the two entail. Address which ethical concerns you believe should be considered in every case. Elaborate on what legal standards should apply, and whether or not they recognize and conform to the above ethical standards.

Show some consistency and then, maybe, you'll get answers. You're asking me to provide answers to a question with no framework within which to work.

Every day I work within a system where each of those questions is defined for me. I am not the one making outlandish statements about mental defect being an inherrent prerequisite for a specific class of behavior. As such, I don't feel like I should have to defend my criticism of your flawed theory any more than I have, and nor do you get to frame the debate on your terms without setting those terms out.
Bullshit.

I haven't changed the framework of anything, and I haven't brought up legal culpability as an issue. In fact, I'm trying to move the discussion away from that because it's clouding the picture terribly. You're trying to apply some framework of your own, apparently, that I had nothing to do with. If you think I'm rolling some definitions all together and the changing them, please point that out to me. It hasn't been my intention nor do I think it has happened. I will graciously concede the point, though, if you can show me where it is.

You are right, though--and I pointed this out a long time ago in this discussion--we don't have a good definition of mental illness. This is why I asked the questions I did, because I'm trying to get to the brass tacks of the issue.

Excepting the legal definition of insanity, or what a jury could find, or what a state psychiatrist would say, what do you think about the questions I posed? I'm not asking them rhetorically, so don't get all defensive. I am looking for opinions on the matter.

Gilshalos Sedai
08-08-2008, 12:32 PM
Muttley, I think he was talking to Terez.

Crispin's Crispian
08-08-2008, 12:35 PM
If a person is raised to think that stealing is okay, is that person mentally ill? Or just wrong?

If a person is raised to think rival gangs deserve to die, is that mentally ill? Were all of the Nazis mentally ill? Some sort of mass hallucination or mass insanity? They killed millions of people, violently and with full knowledge that they were doing so. They believed it was okay (hey, just following orders). Is that mental illness? Or is that ignorance or... what is that?
You just had to bring up the Nazis, didn't you? I was hoping no one would get to invoke Godwin's Law.

Terez
08-08-2008, 12:36 PM
I put additional qualifications on it because you want to make a blanket statement about some airy definitions of normative behavior, mental defect, ethical behavior, and legal definitions of culpability, roll them all up into the general "mental illness" definition (which hasn't even been defined), and then change the parameters to match your argument when challenged by individual responses to any of the above aspects of your "theory." I've made it clear several times that there is nothing to do with legal culpability in my definition of mental illness, and I've also made it clear that I have no strict definition of mental illness - just that I believe that violent crime is a fair indication of it. I haven't changed any parameters, because I really haven't attempted to set any parameters other than that one, and it's been thoroughly established that there is a great deal of interpretation involved in classifying violent crime (as if you didn't already know that).

If a person is raised to think that stealing is okay, is that person mentally ill? Or just wrong? Theft does not equal violent crime, but brainwashing is usually a pretty fair indication of mental illness.

Were all of the Nazis mentally ill? This goes along with warfare, in that following orders is a whole different ballgame than choosing to commit a crime on your own. "Following orders" does not necessarily equate to "believing it's okay".

Crispin's Crispian
08-08-2008, 12:36 PM
Muttley, I think he was talking to Terez.
I think he's talking to me, but thinking I'm Terez, which is frankly pretty frightening.

Probably for Terez, too.

Terez
08-08-2008, 12:38 PM
He wasn't even here for that one time I stole your avatar, I don't think. :D

Sinistrum
08-08-2008, 12:41 PM
Given that I've just finished taking the Bar Exam and moving to a new apartment I've tried to stay away from this thread as much as possible. Up until now I haven't had the time or the energy to jump in on this discussion. Now that I have, I find that SP has said pretty much everything I wanted too. What society defines as a crime seems pretty important in how you define the term "violent crime" and thus how some in this thread seem to define mental illness. Crime is a completely arbitrary term and it's definition varies from society to society. What is a crime in one society is not a crime in another (a perfect example being blasphemy or homosexuality in Iran vs. the U.S.). Thus it would logically follow that the definition of violent crime is also arbitrary and dependent upon the surrounding social circumstances. Honor killings, for example, are not crimes in many Middle Eastern countries. Neither is beating your wife. Thus under the definition of violent crime= mental illness, people who commit honor killings and beat their wives in the Middle East are not mentally ill, whereas they most certainly would be mentally ill in U.S under the same definition. The inconsistancy is glaring.

Furthermore, I think the idea that violent behavior derives from mental illness ignores the fundamental weight of human behavioral history. At our core, we are a violent and aggressive species. It is inherent in our dealings with other species. After all, what is a food chain except one long string of non-provoked, violent and aggressive behavior? It is also inherent in our intra-species behavior. Our history is one long causal chain of violence against each other for myriad reasons, most of which don't fit any definition of non-criminal violence being clung too so ardently by some as a tool of distinction. It seems to me that given that history, violence is not a deviation from social or mental norms. It IS the social and mental norm for our species.

Weird Harold
08-08-2008, 12:48 PM
What about a person who, in the face of a horribly oppressive, torturous, vile regime, ignites bombs to assassinate the leaders of that regime and effect social change through that?

It's illegal
It's violent
it's a violent crime that was done on purpose.
Is there something wrong with that person?

If they use indiscriminate bombs without regard to "collateral damage" rather than precisely targeted attacks, then yes, "Them boys ain't right in the head."

Whether they are patriots or terrorists depends on whether they're successful in killing off the oppressors -- but if they're just "killing off the oppressors" without a coherent strategy, then "them boys just ain't right in the head."

For those who ask if violent military action is a sign of mental illness, I'd have to say, "Yes it IS."

To be successful in the military -- especially in "combat arms" -- requires a mind-set or state of mind that is incompatible with the social norms of civilized life. It's the reason so many former military, especially comnbat veterans, have trouble re-integrating with the civilian world after they're discharged. If you aren't slightly crazy to start with, the military will make you that way and combat will insure youstay that way.

Terez
08-08-2008, 12:57 PM
If they use indiscriminate bombs without regard to "collateral damage" rather than precisely targeted attacks, then yes, "Them boys ain't right in the head."

Whether they are patriots or terrorists depends on whether they're successful in killing off the oppressors -- but if they're just "killing off the oppressors" without a coherent strategy, then "them boys just ain't right in the head."

For those who ask if violent military action is a sign of mental illness, I'd have to say, "Yes it IS."

To be successful in the military -- especially in "combat arms" -- requires a mind-set or state of mind that is incompatible with the social norms of civilized life. It's the reason so many former military, especially comnbat veterans, have trouble re-integrating with the civilian world after they're discharged. If you aren't slightly crazy to start with, the military will make you that way and combat will insure youstay that way. I thought about bringing up that point, which RJ expressed so eloquently in his blog (as I'm sure you read):

For Paracelsus, I had two nicknames in ‘Nam. First up was Ganesha, after the Hindu god called the Remover of Obstacles. He’s the one with the elephant head. That one stuck with me, but I gained another that I didn’t like so much. The Iceman. One day, we had what the Aussies called a bit of a brass-up. Just our ship alone, but we caught an NVA battalion crossing a river, and wonder of wonders, we got permission to fire before they finished. The gunner had a round explode in the chamber, jamming his 60, and the fool had left his barrel bag, with spares, back in the revetment. So while he was frantically rummaging under my seat for my barrel bag, it was over to me, young and crazy, standing on the skid, singing something by the Stones at the of my lungs with the mike keyed so the others could listen in, and Lord, Lord, I rode that 60. 3000 rounds, an empty ammo box, and a smoking barrel that I had burned out because I didn’t want to take the time to change. We got ordered out right after I went dry, so the artillery could open up, and of course, the arty took credit for every body recovered, but we could count how many bodies were floating in the river when we pulled out. The next day in the orderly room an officer with a literary bent announced my entrance with “Behold, the Iceman cometh.” For those of you unfamiliar with Eugene O’Neil, the Iceman was Death. I hated that name, but I couldn’t shake it. And, to tell you the truth, by that time maybe it fit. I have, or used to have, a photo of a young man sitting on a log eating C-rations with a pair of chopsticks. There are three dead NVA laid out in a line just beside him. He didn’t kill them. He didn’t chose to sit there because of the bodies. It was just the most convenient place to sit. The bodies don’t bother him. He doesn’t care. They’re just part of the landscape. The young man is glancing at the camera, and you know in one look that you aren’t going to take this guy home to meet your parents. Back in the world, you wouldn’t want him in your neighborhood, because he is cold, cold, cold. I strangled that SOB, drove a stake through his heart, and buried him face down under a crossroad outside Saigon before coming home, because I knew that guy wasn’t made to survive in a civilian environment. I think he’s gone. All of him. I hope so. I much prefer being remembered as Ganesha, the Remover of Obstacles.
I would make the distinction that, if you can consciously do what RJ did before returning to civilian society, then you probably aren't mentally ill.

Ishara
08-08-2008, 01:12 PM
Realnow: Ok that did clear things up a bit, but I would have to beg to differ. I'm under the impression that jail and especially the death penalty are deterrents in modern society. If you asked 100 people if they were less likely to commit a crime with jail time after, then 100 would say yes. If you asked 100 people if they just wanted to "get rid of the criminals" or something, something like 50-70 would probably agree, but not everyone. Thats my opinion anyway.

It might act as a deterrent, but that was never the purpose of incarcerating people. As for your bolded comment above, I think you're wrong. People don't fear the possible. And going to jail is only a possibility for the majority of most crimes. People are afraid of getting caught. Different things.

Realnow
08-08-2008, 01:13 PM
The thing is Terez, are you saying the intent is what defines it as mentally ill? Because there is a huge difference between intent and what really happens.

By using the term "violent crime" it implies that intent isn't really a factor. As if you kill someone in a fight, doesn't matter if you say it was an accident, its still a crime.

So if intent is irrelevant, how can you involve mental health whatsoever? Because its your mental state and your internal thoughts which determine your intent. And we've decided intent is irrelevant by making this a legally bound matter.

Like the bomb example, its OK to do according to Terez, unless "innocent" people are hurt. Now like Strange has said, who decides what is justifiable and whose innocent. obviously not THAT government, but ours can? Its all just so dependent on your personal perspective.

Ishara: True, but the reason you don't want to get caught is the consequences.

Gilshalos Sedai
08-08-2008, 01:19 PM
Ishara: True, but the reason you don't want to get caught is the consequences.


Actually, I don't think that's the case. It's more like public opinion keeps people on the straight and narrow. What will my wife/parents/siblings/boss/neighbor think?

Terez
08-08-2008, 01:19 PM
Realnow, in case you hadn't noticed, I'm no longer responding to your posts, since you do nothing but go out of your way to misinterpret everything I say, and cast my opinions in the worst light you can manage. I gave you a chance, but you've proved over and over that you are a troll. Not to say that I'll never respond to your posts again, but for now, I'm done with you.

Realnow
08-08-2008, 01:33 PM
What gives you that impression? We all have opinions on things - you've made it quite clear that you're no exception - so why would you think I'm trying to play god?

I have opinions yes, and I judge myself and act accordingly. What I meant was you alone aren't qualified to define if someone is mentally ill or not based on one action of theirs.

Well, yes the "law" has the power to determine who is guilty and who is innocent, though the "law" might not always be successful at this, since the "law" is written, interpreted, and enforced by humans, who are prone to error.

But whose law? My point is that your using the legal term "violent crime", which can vary extremely from one country to the next. Its not credible because what is "crime" in one place might not be somewhere else.

I never said that my analysis wasn't subjective, but then, why shouldn't it be? My country's government is corrupt because it is made up of humans - no surprise or great revelation there.

We agree on this =)

Sorry, but I can and do, just as you have been doing with your own posts and opinions. Does it amount to much? Not really - public opinion has a great deal to do with the shaping of the "law" but individuals such as you and I don't make much impact on our own. Individuals such as SP, Sini, Dragon, Dorindha, and Freya (all lawyers, or lawyers-to-be) have a bit more chance at making an impact, but honestly not much more than you or I.

Don't we all? :)

Yes you can make personal judgements about people, of course. But by "judge" I really meant that you aren't legally, morally, anyway qualified to pass final judgement on a person's mental state, not because they have committed a "violent crime". You might think that you know they are mentally ill, but your not able to prove that in any way and you shouldn't speak your opinion as fact.

Committing justifiable homicide doesn't exempt you from being mentally ill, but neither does it indicate you are mentally ill. IMHO, of course.

So why does non-justifiable homicide? Who decides if it was justifiable or not. I mean, where do you draw the line if some violence is ok?

This is the point, really. If non-justifiable murder is committed, then the person that committed it made some sort of justification for it that doesn't fit with society's standards of justification. That is what indicates mental illness, IMO.

So if your standards are different then societies, your mentally ill? So you have 100% faith in the law? Maybe you do, but not every country in the world has just and incorruptible governments, correct? By this way of thinking, mental illness depends on your country's laws and morals, not on any scientific standards.

I never claimed to be any such thing. You must be in awe of my greatness to be so concerned about my opinion on this issue. :D

Caught me ;)

Gilshalos: Yes that would factor into it as well, but for someone raised in criminal culture, a crime-ridden family, etc do you think that will matter as much?

Sinistrum: Great post, you basically elaborated what I have been trying to say, but much more eloquently and concisely.

Terez: apologies for coming off wrong, but you picked apart my posts in the same way. Meant no offense of course, just responding in kind to a heated argument =P. But don't you think that what you said about RJ imples your argument is wrong?

Terez
08-08-2008, 01:40 PM
Terez: apologies for coming off wrong, but you picked apart my posts in the same way.
There's a difference between "picking apart posts" to make points, and going out of your way to misinterpret a person's post, which is what you have been doing, not to mention the ad hominem attacks. There's little in your posts so far to indicate that there is any point in me responding to you. For example, you're still going on about me thinking that I alone am qualified to make judgments on these issues, which I have never even implied. If you were making any sort of effort to understand where I'm coming from, then you wouldn't have to ask most of the questions you're asking.

Realnow
08-08-2008, 01:48 PM
I simply responded to the points you made. If you look, a lot of your points were how I didn't use the proper term for something, and things of that nature. If your going to nitpick like that, how can you complain whatsoever about my points, which you semi-ignored for about half of them.

I understand where you are coming from, and strongly disagree. Your opinion is a negative towards a large number of people and I don't see why I can't refute it.

What I really was asking, so you know now:

1) How do you quantify violent crime and who decides if its justifiable, if countries or societes disagree?
2) What if the law violates your personal morals, do you still stand by it to define what is crime?
3) Where do you draw the line for violence being justifiable? Obviously it is to the person, maybe even the government; but what if the laws in that country aren't up to your standards?

Weird Harold
08-08-2008, 02:06 PM
What I really was asking, so you know now:

1) How do you quantify violent crime and who decides if its justifiable, if countries or societes disagree?
2) What if the law violates your personal morals, do you still stand by it to define what is crime?
3) Where do you draw the line for violence being justifiable? Obviously it is to the person, maybe even the government; but what if the laws in that country aren't up to your standards?

Go back to post number one and actually read this thread: all of those questions have been answered multiple times by multiple people.

StrangePackage
08-08-2008, 02:12 PM
I thought about bringing up that point, which RJ expressed so eloquently in his blog (as I'm sure you read):


I would make the distinction that, if you can consciously do what RJ did before returning to civilian society, then you probably aren't mentally ill.

So you're saying that his desire to strangle, stake, and bury alive a portion of his psyche proves that he was not mentally ill?

Got it.

StrangePackage
08-08-2008, 02:13 PM
Go back to post number one and actually read this thread: all of those questions have been answered multiple times by multiple people.

And yet none of them have been answered consistently.

They've been answered different times, by different people, in different ways, with no real consensus.

Realnow
08-08-2008, 02:25 PM
Yeah...can you get some quotes of answers? And I don't mean the conflicting opinions that the whole thread is full of. I've read every post in the thread and its utterly in disagreement about all of those, which is why i trimmed my point down to 3 questions so it'd be easy.

Weird Harold
08-08-2008, 02:30 PM
And yet none of them have been answered consistently.

They've been answered different times, by different people, in different ways, with no real consensus.
Apparently just not a consensus you agree with.

It's NOT a difficult concept -- anyone who sets themselves about the law of the land to willfully commit a violent act that the law of the land forbids is "Not Right In The Head."

It is the meglomania/sociopahty involved in deciding that the rules of society don't apply, that is indicative of being "not right in the head."

What those rules of society permit or don't permit is irrelevant to the irrational decision that the individual is above or exmpt from society's rules.

Sinistrum
08-08-2008, 02:32 PM
Go back to post number one and actually read this thread: all of those questions have been answered multiple times by multiple people.

Furthermore, they've been answered by personal interpretations of terms without any clear cut definition given behind them to provide an objective platform from which to analyze. Personal meaning for terms such as "crime," "violent crime," "mental illness," or "insanity" don't do anyone else a whole heck of a lot of good when it comes to knowing what you are talking about unless you explain what they mean in that personal context. All we've been given is that some in this debate don't define things such as mental illness or violent crime in conformity with how they are usually refered to in a legal, scientific, or social sense and that these terms are being used interchangably to define each other. So WH, how can we possibly know what to make of the answers you've provided when nobody else is sure what exactly the terms you are using in those answers mean specifically?

Edit due to WH and I cross posting:

It's NOT a difficult concept -- anyone who sets themselves about the law of the land to willfully commit a violent act that the law of the land forbids is "Not Right In The Head."

Okay, then. How does this definition square with the two examples I've provided regarding Honor killings and spousal beating and how they are treated in the Middle East vs. in the U.S.? Is someone who beats their spouse or kills a female member of their family in the U.S. insane and someone who beats their spouse or kills a female member of their family perfectly sane in the Middle East?

Weird Harold
08-08-2008, 02:41 PM
Furthermore, they've been answered by personal interpretations of terms without any clear cut definition given behind them to provide an objective platform from which to analyze.

What's to analyze? The whole argument is over a subjective and personal judgement that those who commit violent crimes "ain't right in the head."

Okay, then. How does this definition square with the two examples I've provided regarding Honor killings and spousal beating and how they are treated in the Middle East vs. in the U.S.? Is someone who beats their spouse or kills a female member of their family in the U.S. insane and someone who beats their spouse or kills a female member of their family perfectly sane in the Middle East?

The issue isn't whether someone is clinically "insane" it's a broad generalization that anyone who goes against social norms -- whatever those are in the context of the time and place in such away as to harm someone else; i.e. commit a violent crime by the laws and mores of the time and place "ain't right in the head."

ETA: as for "honor killings" et al, societies cultures that endorse that kind of counter-productive behavior are probably societies that are collectively "insane."

StrangePackage
08-08-2008, 02:41 PM
Apparently just not a consensus you agree with.

It's NOT a difficult concept -- anyone who sets themselves about the law of the land to willfully commit a violent act that the law of the land forbids is "Not Right In The Head."

It is the meglomania/sociopahty involved in deciding that the rules of society don't apply, that is indicative of being "not right in the head."

What those rules of society permit or don't permit is irrelevant to the irrational decision that the individual is above or exmpt from society's rules.

There is no consensus- if there was, there wouldn't be this discussion.

You say, and I quote you- "anyone who sets themselves about the law of the land to willfully commit a violent act that the law of the land forbids is "Not Right In The Head."

So, by your very definition, anyone engaged in a revolutionary action is not right in the head. Founding fathers? Buncha wackaloons. The people who tried to kill Hitler? Raving maniacs. The Northern Alliance who resisted the Taliban? Babbling psychotics.

The point I'm making, and that you're missing, is that you assume that any violation of laws is, in and of itself, an indication of mental instability simply because it is the law of the land.

The law of the land is simply that- the law of the land. It is not necessarily ethical. It is not necessarily moral. It is not necessarily a measurement of sanity. Violating the laws of the land does not make one "Not right in the head" any more than does following them.

It's not always a megalomaniacal or sociopathic decision that the rules of society don't apply to someone- sometimes it's a normative judgment call that the laws and rules of society are simply wrong, and because they are wrong, they cannot apply. It's the "Appeal to Heaven" that Locke wrote about. It's the underlying foundation of much of Western democratic society.

Realnow
08-08-2008, 02:43 PM
WH, I fail to comprehend how we can scientifically determine a person's mental health through purely legal analysis. Its simply not possible.

The laws of any given country are not put in place with mental health in mind, and they aren't designed to quantify it. I feel bad that you've been so impressed upon by society and governments' standards that you are applying them where they don't even have any meaning.

Regardless of if you agree with a given countries laws or not, they still can be completely different depending on where you are, hence you would have to redefine mental illness depending on where you are as well.

Weird Harold
08-08-2008, 03:03 PM
WH, I fail to comprehend how we can scientifically determine a person's mental health through purely legal analysis. Its simply not possible.


There is no consensus- if there was, there wouldn't be this discussion.

There is a consensus among those who recognise a broad subjective generalization with no legal or scientific force.

We're NOT talking about a clinical diagnosis or a legal definition -- as Terez and I have both repeatedly said -- but about a subjective judgement that going against the codified wishes of the Tribe in a way that causes harm to others requires a state of mind desctribable as "not right in the head" or "mentally ill"

As for rebels, if they win, they're obviously not demented in any way but if they lose they're raving madmen.

However, IMHO, fomenting rebellion requires a degree of arrogance, bordering on clinical meglomania, that is incompatible with the needs of a stable society

StrangePackage
08-08-2008, 03:08 PM
As for rebels, if they win, they're obviously not demented in any way but if they lose they're raving madmen.



So it's your contention that the people who tried to assassinate Hitler, because they failed, were wrong to do it and were, in fact, "not right in the head"?

Sinistrum
08-08-2008, 03:12 PM
The whole argument is over a subjective and personal judgement that those who commit violent crimes "ain't right in the head."

Yes I'm well aware of the genesis of the argument. I get the violent crime=ain't right in the head portion totally. What I don't get is how you define violent crime and how you define "ain't right in the head" aside from defining each with the other. To put it in mathematical terms, you've given me the equation x=y but are not telling me or anyone else what x and y stand for. Then when people fill in those meanings with common legal, scientific, or social vernacular of x and y, you then state that those definitions don't apply because x and y have a personal meaning to you, which you have failed to provide. The below is a perfect example.

The issue isn't whether someone is clinically "insane" it's a broad generalization that anyone who goes against social norms -- whatever those are in the context of the time and place in such away as to harm someone else; i.e. commit a violent crime by the laws and mores of the time and place "ain't right in the head."

And I was with you up until this point on your definition of insanity and it not being a clinical term which is why I asked the questions I did regarding honor killings and wife beating to get a fuller grasp on it. But then you respond with this.

ETA: as for "honor killings" et al, societies cultures that endorse that kind of counter-productive behavior are probably societies that are collectively "insane."

Which completely contradicts your earlier definition. In the first instance you claim that your personal definition of insanity encompasses deviating from socially accepted norms of behavior and that what those norms are depend on the context of the behavior. You then go on to say, however, that certain behavior is insane no matter the context. In the same post you define insanity based upon social and legal context and then completely disregard that same definition when presented with behaviors that you personal disagree with but would be considered sane via the your own definition in certain contexts. Can you see why I'm confused by your argument?

Terez
08-08-2008, 03:16 PM
So it's your contention that the people who tried to assassinate Hitler, because they failed, were wrong to do it and were, in fact, "not right in the head"?
Bad form there, not to comprehend such a beautifully sarcastic statement. :)

StrangePackage
08-08-2008, 03:21 PM
Bad form there, not to comprehend such a beautifully sarcastic statement. :)

Given how ironic you and WH have been unintentionally, I just took it as par for the course.

Besides, if he's being sarcastic, he's undermining his own position.

Either way works for me.

Weird Harold
08-08-2008, 03:33 PM
So it's your contention that the people who tried to assassinate Hitler, because they failed, were wrong to do it and were, in fact, "not right in the head"?
Yep. If they were "right in the head" they would have succeeded. :D

Sin, I don't hve time to explain although if you think about it, we're discussing something on the level of the "I know it when I see it" definition of obscenity.

StrangePackage
08-08-2008, 03:35 PM
Yep. If they were "right in the head" they would have succeeded. :D


Just like Bugs Bunny and the Gremlins used to say- Germans iz ze CRAZIEST peoplez.

Sinistrum
08-08-2008, 03:53 PM
Sin, I don't hve time to explain although if you think about it, we're discussing something on the level of the "I know it when I see it" definition of obscenity.

I sort of figured as much. I never was a big fan of Justice Stewart's famous quote in Roth because it wasn't very helpful in articulating the arguments behind the case. Likewise it doesn't really help me here in this instance in either understanding your point of view or evaluating its merit. So much of communication is based upon a common consensus of what language means. If you take a word and use it outside of the common consensus, that word becomes meaningless to everyone else around you unless you can explain the different meaning. Since you can't really give me a concrete definition of what insanity or criminality mean to you, personally, I can't really argue either for or against what you are saying because I have no idea what you're talking about. I can however say, that if you use both terms in their common meaning, that I disagree whole heartedly that violent criminal behavior is indicative of mental illness or insanity.

Weird Harold
08-08-2008, 06:45 PM
What I don't get is how you define violent crime and how you define "ain't right in the head" aside from defining each with the other. ...

Can you see why I'm confused by your argument?

No, I really don't see why you're confused, except you're reading far too much into a generalization.

Let me put it this way: Anyone who thinks and acts like the rest of the world revolves around them AND believes they are exempt from laws/rules/social conventions AND does so in a way that could logically be expected to incite fear and reprisals from the general populace isn't playing in the same reality as everyone else.

Terez
08-08-2008, 06:53 PM
No, I really don't see why you're confused, except you're reading far too much into a generalization. It's a bit old after well over 100 posts, isn't it?

The Immortal One
08-09-2008, 09:15 AM
Well I have to say that I, personally, believe that anyone who thinks in a way very different to ME is "not right in the head" simply because I see myself as "normal".

Whether I really am "normal" or not is anybody's guess.

Otherwise I'm not going to give my opinion about mental health because I would have to constantly re-evaluate my opinion in each specific circumstance. "Judge each case on it's own merit."

Realnow
08-10-2008, 02:20 PM
There is a consensus among those who recognise a broad subjective generalization with no legal or scientific force.

We're NOT talking about a clinical diagnosis or a legal definition -- as Terez and I have both repeatedly said -- but about a subjective judgement that going against the codified wishes of the Tribe in a way that causes harm to others requires a state of mind desctribable as "not right in the head" or "mentally ill"

As for rebels, if they win, they're obviously not demented in any way but if they lose they're raving madmen.

However, IMHO, fomenting rebellion requires a degree of arrogance, bordering on clinical meglomania, that is incompatible with the needs of a stable society

WH by any chance are you a politician or soldier or some sort of government affiliated person? Because your points here are actually very scary to me.

If a government is corrupt, in yours eyes if they maintain control they are the sane ones, while the rebels are mentally unstable for seeking out basic human rights.

Then if the rebels succeed, and they are in power; the roles reverse? So basically you adhere to "whoever wins the war writes the history" way of thinking? And throw away all logic, reason, ethics, and morals in the process.

Maybe you should work for the Chinese government and then you can really work your totalitarian schemes.

Weird Harold
08-10-2008, 02:51 PM
WH by any chance are you a politician or soldier or some sort of government affiliated person?

It's no secret that I'm a retired USAF MSgt and Vietnam Vet. It should also be no surprise that I hold non-convetnional opinions -- the username Weird Harold, shoul dhave given you a clue.

The only reason my opinions ae scary to you is that you blow them all out of proportion. Winners get to write history and that means they get to choose the distinctions between "Glorious Patriot" and "Raving Lunatic" therein.

Realnow
08-10-2008, 10:15 PM
It's no secret that I'm a retired USAF MSgt and Vietnam Vet. It should also be no surprise that I hold non-convetnional opinions -- the username Weird Harold, shoul dhave given you a clue.

The only reason my opinions ae scary to you is that you blow them all out of proportion. Winners get to write history and that means they get to choose the distinctions between "Glorious Patriot" and "Raving Lunatic" therein.

Blow your views out of proportion? Why don't you address my points instead of getting defensive.

I frankly am just disturbed by the notion of a Big Brother style government controlling people's lives. And while of course I do not actually believe you would feel that is a good way of living; it is still frightening to be ruled completely by a government.

If anyone trusts their government 100%, they have been brainwashed, plain and simple. If you think just because a ruling body is in power, it is morally and ethically correct, then you are truly naive.

Clearly there are nations with inhumane treatment of their citizens and unethical laws that do little to protect their citizens. In fact, they can often do the opposite. And even in first world countries there are inequalities and ludicrous laws that personally I do not behold myself too. Simply because I have my own opinion and I do not agree with my government, that doesn't make me insane. Its called free speech and its the way democracy works.

I realize there is a difference between free speech or expressing your beliefs and actually breaking a law. But given certain circumstances and situations it is entirely possible to full out, sanely, break the law on purpose and still be morally sound.

Weird Harold
08-11-2008, 01:49 AM
Blow your views out of proportion? Why don't you address my points instead of getting defensive.

Because your points have absolutely ntihing to do with the simple concept that people who violate the law of the land in a violent manner, "ain't right in the head IMO.

However, I will just add that it is possible to be a nonconformist and reformer to oppose unjust laws without resorting to violence.

Realnow
08-11-2008, 09:35 PM
Because your points have absolutely ntihing to do with the simple concept that people who violate the law of the land in a violent manner, "ain't right in the head IMO.

I'm glad you say IMO, but if you don't want anyone to disagree with said opinion then feel free to not post it. As I will disagree with something I feel to be very wrong.

What I don't understand is where you draw the line at whats sane or not. So violently breaking the law isn't, and according to what you wrote above it is also insane to break any law of the land.

So people who think that say, smoking marijuana is something that should be legal, and therefore they go ahead and toke up; are insane? Well you may very well think so but there are millions of people who would be very offended if you said so to their face.

People are clearly NOT insane and clearly in their right mind break the law every day. What about crimes of passion? What about someone with a very good reason, atleast personally, to break the law?

You seem to put the law above all else, when IMO its people that matter more, and the government ISN't always right.

However, I will just add that it is possible to be a nonconformist and reformer to oppose unjust laws without resorting to violence.

Obviously I concurr with that, as I said here:

I realize there is a difference between free speech or expressing your beliefs and actually breaking a law.

My point is that you are saying..the people in China who protest illegally aren't right in the head. This is simply a very pro-government and anti-free speech sentiment.

Frenzy
08-12-2008, 01:43 AM
My point is that you are saying..the people in China who protest illegally aren't right in the head. This is simply a very pro-government and anti-free speech sentiment.
No, he's saying that people who use violence to protest, or for anything else, aren't right in the head. He's saying that proactive violence goes against the rules of society and therefor aren't right in the head.

at least i think that's what he's saying.

Weird Harold
08-12-2008, 03:44 AM
No, he's saying that people who use violence to protest, or for anything else, aren't right in the head. He's saying that proactive violence goes against the rules of society and therefor aren't right in the head.

at least i think that's what he's saying.
Close Enough.

I said it explictly earlier in this thread that it is a matter of someone putting their opinions and/or desires above the law and the natural rights of their fellow citizens. It requires a good deal of arrogance at minimum and an almost certain touch of sociopathy or meglomania.

Gilshalos Sedai
08-12-2008, 08:44 AM
ie, the IRA vs. the American Civil Rights movement.

Davian93
08-12-2008, 08:46 AM
ie, the IRA vs. the American Civil Rights movement.


Yes...one was a rational and peaceful Irish nationalist group...the other was just wacky. ;)






















Please don't take seriously...it was a joke.

StrangePackage
08-12-2008, 08:58 AM
Close Enough.

I said it explictly earlier in this thread that it is a matter of someone putting their opinions and/or desires above the law and the natural rights of their fellow citizens. It requires a good deal of arrogance at minimum and an almost certain touch of sociopathy or meglomania.

What if the govenment is violating the natural rights of its citizenry? Where did these "natural rights" come from? First time I've seen you discuss them in this thread. Can a citizen act against governmental encroachment on their natural rights? Can they use violence to defend them without being accused of lunacy? Doesn't the idea of natural rights allude to a moral authority above that of the government or the simple community?

Weird Harold
08-12-2008, 12:24 PM
What if ...?

I'm not teaching a catechism class, you're not Geroge CArlin and I really couldn't carel ess if God can create a stone even He couldn't move.

StrangePackage
08-12-2008, 12:46 PM
I'm not teaching a catechism class, you're not Geroge CArlin and I really couldn't carel ess if God can create a stone even He couldn't move.

It's a very weak position that can't stand up to a few simple questions- especially when those questions are meant to elicit clarification and are not critical in and of themselves.

Weird Harold
08-12-2008, 01:14 PM
It's a very weak position that can't stand up to a few simple questions- especially when those questions are meant to elicit clarification and are not critical in and of themselves.
Of course it's a weak, unsupportable position because it is a personal, subjective, "redneck" generalization that can't possible stand up to absurdist scenarios and legal or scientific semantic nit-picking.

It's really a very simple concept -- every culture has a similar expression such as "He must be crazy if..." to describe the non-conformists and oddballs. I just happen to believe that when violence and rule-breaking combine such experessions start to become literal truth instead of simple cliches.

Realnow
08-19-2008, 07:06 PM
Of course it's a weak, unsupportable position because it is a personal, subjective, "redneck" generalization that can't possible stand up to absurdist scenarios and legal or scientific semantic nit-picking.

It's really a very simple concept -- every culture has a similar expression such as "He must be crazy if..." to describe the non-conformists and oddballs. I just happen to believe that when violence and rule-breaking combine such experessions start to become literal truth instead of simple cliches.

Or maybe you just mentioned several items that were previously not part of our conversation at all, and SP, like myself had no clue what you were talking about,

You can't make so extremely general statements without backing them up at all, and with no explanation of its relevance to our topic.