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Can an insane person think himself to be so?

Antediluvian

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The common wisdom firmly states no, but I've been debating that recently. So, can a crazy person have some level of insight into their irrationality? Thoughts?
 
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What if one sees no difference between rational and irrational? Or sees everything as irrational, therefore everyone as insane?
 

SLushhYYY

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On acid, I see that as a HUGE possibility.

However, merely daily thinking of oneself as insane, is far different from actually being insane...

Are religious people insane for holding their irrational thoughts?

There's always insane perspectives thrown around in society, we as humans don't follow the straight path of rationality
 

Rikki Riziati

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I would assume a "crazy person" wouldn't be able to define the line between whats rational and irrational. Besides, No one really believes that anything they do is irrational. It's the opinions of others that deem someones thoughts/actions as irrational.
 

Nezumi

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I think first we must decide the definition of insane and then see if that definition can be noticed/observed by the insane person.
 

The Introvert

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I think first we must distinguish the differences between being mentally unstable (ie: some sort of psychological disorder) and being "insane" (ie: you're strange, or do irrational things, what have you).

I'm going to take a (probably) strange stance and argue what I think most others would believe to be untrue; that is, I believe those that are mentally unstable do at various points realize that they have gone off the deep end (excluding the most severe cases), whereas people who are either "strange" or do irrational things, most of the time, do not realize that this is so.

Think about it this way. If you're having mental breakdowns to the point of hearing voices or hallucinating, at some point I would argue that you realize those things should not be happening to you. Unless you are born experiencing these symptoms, would you not recognize that something is out of the ordinary?

There is a fine (and arguably impossible to distinguish) line between understanding that something is not right and acting upon such mental instabilities. I guess the words I am looking for here would be the difference between calm and frenzied. Except in the most extreme cases, I doubt that looking at it retrospectively, mass murderers can say that their actions are justified (ie: rational). Although in the heat of the moment they acted irrationally, they were not using any internal justification for their actions. I am, however, speaking for these people, so this point is probably moot. It is interesting to ponder, however.

Alternatively, if you have grown accustomed to being simply irrational or "strange", how would you know that it is so? I argue that if someone is being irrational objectively, subjectively, they might be making perfect sense. Do you understand what I mean?

I think first we must decide the definition of insane and then see if that definition can be noticed/observed by the insane person.

I tried to get a more detailed explanation than this ^^ :cat:
 

Da Blob

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From a subjective point of view, everyone is always right in their own eyes. This is pretty much a given. Deficiency is a product of viewing one's self from the eyes of Others, an objective point of view.

Those suffering from mental disorders can experience moments of lucidity, when they can entertain an objective POV. However, if that observation consists only of "My life is really, really screwed up", it can be understood why such occasions are avoided.

However, sometimes it is necessary to deal with such as if house training a puppy, stick their noses in the shit of their own making and say "No More!"
 

Nezumi

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However, sometimes it is necessary to deal with such as if house training a puppy, stick their noses in the shit of their own making and say "No More!"

I find that this is a bad metaphor. Doing this to puppies is counterproductive. Dog's live in the moment. When the puppy pooed on the floor, he promptly forgot afterwards at the sight of his favorite toy/person/ect.
Dragging him back and yelling at him for it does nothing because he thinks in now....not 5-10-15 minutes ago. So he's scared that you're mad but has no connection to you being mad about the poo.
 

Da Blob

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I find that this is a bad metaphor. Doing this to puppies is counterproductive. Dog's live in the moment. When the puppy pooed on the floor, he promptly forgot afterwards at the sight of his favorite toy/person/ect.
Dragging him back and yelling at him for it does nothing because he thinks in now....not 5-10-15 minutes ago. So he's scared that you're mad but has no connection to you being mad about the poo.

Hmmm, that is odd, for it has worked for over a dozen puppies or more in my own experience. Oh! I never got mad or yelled at the pups, how can they be expected to know the rules at eight weeks of age?

EDIT: Google seems to be listening in on this conversation, look what I found in gmail when I went to delete the notification of one's message

Potty Train a Puppy Quick - TheDogTrainingSecret.com/Potty - Your Puppy Will Never Pee or Poop Inside. System Works in 6 Days!
 

Nezumi

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Hmmm, that is odd, for it has worked for over a dozen puppies or more in my own experience. Oh! I never got mad or yelled at the pups, how can they be expected to know the rules at eight weeks of age?

I'm not denying that your dogs learned to go outside. lol Most do.
I was just pointing out that the training technique is out of date. It is based on assuming that dogs have the same memory and past recognition that we do. But they don't. And it can result in a dog that is afraid to relieve its self in front of you...even when outside. Or getting into places in the house that they shouldn't in an attempt to hide it. (Which my rescue did do)...Or the best one yet. Eating the evidence. Yummy! :D
I didn't know any of this this either till I was faced with having to repotty train a rescued dog and spent a few days on the internet researching.
 

Antediluvian

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Obviously, a part of the mind would have to be above such irrationality. So, a confluence of rationality and its opposite appears to be a possibility, and needed for the originally presented concept to be viable.
 

Reluctantly

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I would assume a "crazy person" wouldn't be able to define the line between whats rational and irrational. Besides, No one really believes that anything they do is irrational. It's the opinions of others that deem someones thoughts/actions as irrational.

Which one do you think is better/worse?
A "crazy person" defined by not being able to distinguish between what's rational and irrational.
OR
A "sane person" defined by the belief that they can distinguish between what's rational and irrational.

There's more I could say, but I'd rather hear what you have to say first.

Alternatively, if you have grown accustomed to being simply irrational or "strange", how would you know that it is so? I argue that if someone is being irrational objectively, subjectively, they might be making perfect sense. Do you understand what I mean?

Not at all. This sounds vague enough that it could apply to anything, lol.

Obviously, a part of the mind would have to be above such irrationality. So, a confluence of rationality and its opposite appears to be a possibility, and needed for the originally presented concept to be viable.

Can someone be rationally insane?
 

Sorlaize

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More important is whether that insanity is useful

Everyone is technically insane before they can be considered sane. Society is a construct of mutual insanity and the only safety is that we're all held to the same (inherently insane) standard, and this is what we call sanity and intelligence. Our civilization's ecocide is an example which exposes this reality that defining 'sane' requires a point of view to be defined: ours is the society we live in; whereas a species that must survive must stop destroying its environment necessarily-- so we wouldn't call ours sane with the predicament we are in. We, as a society, can't think that big (and/or haven't been able to for a while, it seems).

There *is* no use of the term "sanity" beyond a label. Insane or not is defined by the society we live in, but that isn't particularly interesting in itself to me for further discussion.
 

Antediluvian

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Can someone be rationally insane?

It could be that a rational mind after extreme exposure to negative stimuli, could descend into a state ruled by emotion, but this seems to imply to me a kernel of emotional reactivity to begin with, in an otherwise rational brain.

Or rather, connected to it.
 

Double_V

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The common wisdom firmly states no, but I've been debating that recently. So, can a crazy person have some level of insight into their irrationality? Thoughts?

I watched an interview with Jeffrey Dahmer (and his father) once. It seemed clear to me that he was aware he was insane (common usage of the word "insane" applied).

So, yes, IMO.
 
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I watched an interview with Jeffrey Dahmer (and his father) once. It seemed clear to me that he was aware he was insane (common usage of the word "insane" applied).

So, yes, IMO.
A better example, IMHO (Ted Bundy too):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4u2F1lh6Fc

(This doesn't mean you're going to turn into a serial killer, just to demonstrate cognitive processes).
 

Reluctantly

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It could be that a rational mind after extreme exposure to negative stimuli, could descend into a state ruled by emotion, but this seems to imply to me a kernel of emotional reactivity to begin with, in an otherwise rational brain.

Or rather, connected to it.

Okay, so let's say a Christian decides that being heterosexual is the right way to be and being homosexual is then the wrong way to be; maybe the reason is because homosexuals can't reproduce so it's seen as wrong, who knows, but that's one possibility.

What's interesting is what this Christian chooses to do with that premise. Let's say they apply logic that God, being perfect, wouldn't make people naturally homosexual because it is wrong or a mistake. Logically, this Christian then concludes that gay people choose to be gay, to perverse against nature. Maybe they institute a law that declares homosexuals as insane or criminals.

Problem is, the Christian has to decide what would be right or wrong in order to use their logic. So then is being homosexual a mistake? Well, that really depends. Is this person sane? I wouldn't think so.

Of course, some people might mistake this for ethics, but it's not necessarily the case; for example, the political discussions often amount to pigeonholing a context into political philosophies. By doing this, premises can be formed and logic employed, wherein conclusions are reached. It's the people who believe these conclusions, rather than use them as a suggestion that make me wonder about what it means to be insane.

Does that make sense?
 

Hadoblado

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Yes people who are insane can know it. My Dad is insane, and while it hurts him to admit it (and often he won't), from time to time he will acknowledge the fact. Another example is old people going through the throws of dementia. They often see their ability to acknowledge their disorder as a means of refuting it's onset (if it were only so simple).

It's not that insane people by definition think themselves sane, it's that it bends a rational person's mind to think that someone could believe themselves sane when their actions and thoughts are so contradictory. The known tendency for people to think themselves correct is underestimated.

If you think about it in terms of everyone always believing themselves correct, then the insane believing themselves correct really just illustrates for this perspective.

I'd also note that it is pointless to use 'believing oneself to be sane' as a symptom of insanity is entirely pointless. The only way people can think themselves insane (whether they be sane or not) is if they have very low self efficacy/esteem, or they rationalise insanity as not such a bad thing.
 
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