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can you define insanity?

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posted on Aug, 10 2006 @ 06:19 PM

Originally posted by thesneakiod
people who take life when they can most certainly avoid doing it, especially
spontaneous acts of murder are unbalanced and mentally unstable.

The above statement applies to a whole lotta people though.

That guy who shot up downtown Seattle a couple weeks ago. Insane or prejudiced?
The gang that pulled a driveby in L.A. last night. Insane or territorial?
Our president. Insane or EXTREMELY cautious?

I think the problem is that everyone has a different level of insane. You are talking about it as a void of compassion and humanity. Under that definition, how can I argue that Ian Huntley is sane? How can a "normal" person lure two girls to their death?

I'm defining insane as a term of law...non compos mentis...irrational, mentally unsound, and a "victim" of one's inability to distinguish right from wrong. By that criteria, Ian Huntley is completely sane because wanting to quiet the second girl shows that he is mentally bearing responsibility for his actions and is attempting to avoid capture. Messed up? Oh yeah. Insane? No.

posted on Aug, 10 2006 @ 07:00 PM
Understanding the outcome of your actions isn't just a result of being sane, ian
huntley may well of been aware of what he was doing, but he was most definitley aware that what he was doing was fundamentaly wrong under any conditions in any civillised country.

He went past that line, like all murderers do. Their urge to kill is so great, they lose
their grip on reality. Thus not being trusted to live in freedom, they have to be locked away from society.

posted on Aug, 11 2006 @ 03:41 PM

Originally posted by thesneakiod
Their urge to kill is so great, they lose their grip on reality.

I would still argue that many murderers don't lose their grip on reality.
Because they will still attempt to evade capture by concealing their crime or fleeing the scene. Those are the actions of someone who is not only accutely aware of reality, but of distinct rules of society which shows an even more intricate "sanity."

posted on Aug, 12 2006 @ 10:51 AM
Well let me put in a view that i have thought about for a good 3 years now.

Insanity cannot be simply said as "Your insane if you..." because it just doesnt work in that fashsion, IMHO. Its alot like Einstiens Wormholes. You cant just say "theres a Wormhole right there" because its just in a different dimesion. A different world.
and yet..
its the same. You Look at things differently like your protirties are rearranged.
i Guess i cant describe what its like.

posted on Aug, 12 2006 @ 07:39 PM

Originally posted by The 2nd Gunman
Insanity cannot be simply said as "Your insane if you..."

I agree with you completely.

The problem arises, however, when an amorphous concept of insanity allows criminals in their completely right mind to escape punishment because their "reality" is not the same as the store owner that they robbed and killed with an icepick.

Criminals use insanity as an excuse, and that is why society needs to have a hard and fast "You're insane if..." criteria. Otherwise judges are using opinions to dole out sentances, and that's trouble.

posted on Dec, 18 2009 @ 09:07 PM
Maslov's hierarchy of needs comes to mind. I regard insanity as an instinctual survival mechanism. Insanity seems to be the outward expression of an overburdened body incapable of homeostasis. The survival mechanism seems to have a first order priority of repairing the body. When this fails, the last line of defense is fight or flight 24/7. Insanity. This explains the link between genius and insanity. Where most people would rather take it easy, the genius must continue on. He is driven internally by his instinctual desire to survive. What great minds fear most is not death, but oblivion. Producing great works, may set one into the history books, or museums of art to be known for eons and escaping this oblivion. It also explains how many genius die early. Their body and mind are unsound, and breaks down at a much faster rate than the norm.

posted on Dec, 18 2009 @ 11:23 PM
A very hard to answer question, ive wondered about it for quite some time.
I think you'll have a hard time defining insanity, people generally have different views on what it is to be insane.

First off i believe murder is a moral issue not a mental one.
For so long society has frowned apon murder because it is generally accepted as 'evil'.

I personally think someone is insane when they lose grip on reality and can no longer function properly in society, like thinking people are feeding off your thoughts or the homeless guy shouting at shadows.
Jeffrey dahmer was insane IMO. From what ive read he killed people because he was lonely, then would talk to his victims corpse' for days.. That to me seems a little too disconnected with reality to be sane.
But saying that, i think he had a job and could function in society, so..

Maybe there is no such thing as insanity, since what a mad man thinks is real, is real, at least to him. Just because the majority of people disagree and think a certain way doesnt make them sane.. Maybe they're insane, and the madman is the only person who is sane..

Hmm.. i think ill just stop now..

Damn you im gona be thinkin about this for ages now. lol.

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