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.
I think we are just arguing semantics here.
According to your view, the difference between an evil person, and an insane person is the way they arrived at that altered perception. an insane person arrived at that via ailment distorting his view of the world, while an evil person arrived at that perception through real world experience and logic, how ever twisted.
In your opinion, is a crazy person, one that has a messed up perception of the world caused by ailment or outside influence?
The line between insane and evil, and crazy is a blurry one.
I dont see as big of a difference between them. They have a world view that falls outside of what we consider normal. No mater how they got there, the effects are the same.
Preventing it from happening, requires you to determine if it is a physical or societal ailment, and act appropriately. If it is a physical ailment, try to find out what that ailment is and treat it. if it is caused by his environment (society) then try to change it to prevent it from happening again.