That is one thing I find disconcerting about society. If you do something out of the ordinary, they automatically assume you are mentally defective. That there was some direct physical cause for it. They ignore the possibility that the education system, and society at large may have helped cause it. Or caused it outright.
Your idea that the thing called sanity is a feature that is inherent in a properly functioning, and undamaged mind .. is inherently flawed.
Sanity is a relative term. It just means that that a person does, or does not view the world in a way that we would consider nominal or acceptable. That world view (insanity) does not have to be caused by drugs or physical ailment. It can, and often does happen in people that have no mental ailment or drug abuse problems.
It is just the way they have learned to view the world. It makes more logical sense to them than our world view. To them, we are the ones that are insane.
The reason they think their world view makes more logical sense is because the way they was educated and raised lends its self to that way of thinking more than our way of thinking.
When you enter the world of education and thinking he was entering, then the relative terms insane and crazy are just considered societal constructs that are based on arbitrary, relative standards, and current societal norms. A quite limited and inflexible way of viewing the world. He, by necessity of his research would have already let his bounds of thinking reach far beyond that limited way of viewing the world.
To embrace the less constrained way of viewing the world and reject the more constrained view of the world we would consider as sane may make him insane in our view, but he arrived at that insane view of the world by pure logic. Logic based upon what he knew and was taught by the world around him.
In my opinion, the education system, and his mentors are just as responsible for his killing as he is. They are the ones that taught him enough to set him on the roller coaster ride without enough knowledge to handle the results. As the old term goes He knows just enough to be dangerous.
Once again, I differ with my esteemed Fellow Freeper.
I have run mental health facilities and have had over 200 mental patients in the Army unit that I commanded. Psychiatric outpatients were assigned to my company while they were being processed out of the Army.
I have also been a civilian hospital administrator. In addition, I have had in-laws and other relatives who were certifiably insane.
1. Many people have minor neuroses, e.g., obsessive-compulsive disorder, and they function just fine. In fact, some behaviors, e.g., ADHD, may have aided our survival at some point in our history. Also note the accomplishments of some people who were severely bipolar.
2. The difference between neurotic and insane is that insane people cannot function. They cannot live without assistance. They don’t have a different view of reality; they cannot perceive reality.
For example, one of my former engineer colleagues began thinking that everything that people said to him was in code. He wrote down what people said and tried to decipher it using algorithms.
He also thought that everyone with the letter K in their name wanted to kill him. Is that an opinion that he developed or is that a severe mental malfunction? Luckily, his family got him on meds to treat his paranoid schizophrenia before he killed anybody.
3. Almost all mental illness is driven by pathology. I have seen people damage their brains with inhalant abuse, bad drugs, etc.
I have also seen people go insane after viral illness. There is ample evidence that Borna virus, carried by domestic cats, causes schizophrenia and other mental illness. The recent research implicating a protozoan parasite from cats is another good example of pathology.
4. A psychiatrist friend, who often served as an expert witness in criminal trials, once told me, “The truly insane are normally harmless. An insane person will try to kill you with a carrot instead of a gun. 99% of the people claiming the insanity defense are simply evil bastards.”
5. My experience is why I question whether Holmes is the actual shooter. He seems to be incompetent and insane, not evil.
I don’t think university profs convinced him that evil is just another world view.