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  1. #31
    Senior Member swordpath's Avatar
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    If you can murder children in cold-blood, you're beyond just mentally ill... You're diseased to a point of no redemption. This story is terrible.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ignite View Post
    If you can murder children in cold-blood, you're beyond just mentally ill... You're diseased to a point of no redemption. This story is terrible.
    Not necessarily. Most psychological research has shown that on average terrorists do not suffer from mental diseases.

  3. #33
    Senior Member swordpath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Not necessarily. Most psychological research has shown that on average terrorists do not suffer from mental diseases.
    Depending on how you want to define "mental illness." In my diagnosis (heh heh), anyone that can bring them self to pull the trigger on a large group of defenseless people (kids nonetheless) is not mentally/emotionally stable, and quite far from it. He may not be clinically diagnosed as a sociopath or found yelling at inanimate objects while he caresses his pet sock puppet, but his shit surely isn't ticking properly.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ignite View Post
    Depending on how you want to define "mental illness"
    I'm going by the official medical definitions of such.

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Not necessarily. Most psychological research has shown that on average terrorists do not suffer from mental diseases.
    Yes, Peguy is right, terrorists are logical and in touch with reality. But they are only logical and in touch with reality once they have accepted an unreal premise.

  6. #36
    Senior Member swordpath's Avatar
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    Victor's description makes sense.

    How about a "mental disorder" as opposed to mental "illness".

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ignite View Post
    Depending on how you want to define "mental illness." In my diagnosis (heh heh), anyone that can bring them self to pull the trigger on a large group of defenseless people (kids nonetheless) is not mentally/emotionally stable. He may not be clinically diagnosed as a sociopath or found yelling at inanimate objects, but his shit surely isn't ticking properly.
    I agree that this particular individual likely came unhinged (judging by the sheer senselessness of his chosen target), but that doesn't mean your average roadside bomber has. Sometimes people just get to the point where they feel their options are really that limited.

  8. #38
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    A common suggestion is that there must be something wrong with terrorists. Terrorists must be crazy, or suicidal, or psychopaths without moral feelings or feelings for others. Thirty years ago this suggestion was taken very seriously, but thirty years of research has found psychopathology and personality disorder no more likely among terrorists than among non-terrorists from the same background. Interviews with current and former terrorists find few with any disorder found in the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. Comparisons of terrorists with non-terrorists brought up in the same neighborhoods find psychopathogy rates similar and low in both groups.

    Another way to think about this issue is to imagine yourself a terrorist, living an underground existence cut off from all but the few who share your goals. Your life depends on the others in your group. Would you want someone in your group suffering from some kind of psychopathology? Someone who cannot be depended on, someone out of touch with reality? Of course there are occasional lone bombers or lone gunmen who kill for political causes, and such individuals may indeed suffer from some form of psychopathology. But terrorists in groups, especially groups that can organize attacks that are successful, are likely to be within the normal range of personality.

    Indeed terrorism would be a trivial problem if only those with some kind of psychopathology could be terrorists. Rather we have to face the fact that normal people can be terrorists, that we are ourselves capable of terrorist acts under some circumstances.
    This fact is already implied in recognizing that military and police forces are eminently capable of killing non-combatants in terrorism from above. Few suggest that the broad range of military and police involved in such killing must all be abnormal. Since 9/11, there have already been suggestions that the U.S. security forces may need to use torture to get information from suspected terrorists. This is the edge of a slippery slope that can lead to killing non-combatants.
    The Psychology of Terrorism Clark R. McCauley, Professor of Psychology, Bryn Mawr College

  9. #39
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    ^ to quote a dear friend of mine "Kong dies... man is the real monster"

    People like to try to distance themselves from those that commit these kind of acts by claiming they are some how mentally aberrant so as to assure themselves that they could never do such a thing.

    Well if the Stanford prison experiment has shown us anything: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanford_prison_experiment it's that we all are capable of the unthinkable given the right circumstances.

  10. #40
    Senior Member Lex Talionis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ignite View Post
    Depending on how you want to define "mental illness." In my diagnosis (heh heh), anyone that can bring them self to pull the trigger on a large group of defenseless people (kids nonetheless) is not mentally/emotionally stable, and quite far from it. He may not be clinically diagnosed as a sociopath or found yelling at inanimate objects while he caresses his pet sock puppet, but his shit surely isn't ticking properly.
    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    The Psychology of Terrorism Clark R. McCauley, Professor of Psychology, Bryn Mawr College
    The majority of humans are capable of committing murder and even mass atrocities if the psychological and environmental circumstances setting the preconditions for such behaviors are met. I suggest that individuals interested in this read Dave Grossman's On Killing: The Psychological Costs of Learning to Kill in War and Society. Modern militaries attempt to overcome the natural barrier that most people seem to possess with regard to killing other humans, and they accomplish it with tremendous success.

    If we take into consideration the highly potent effects of ideology upon human psychology, then terrorist acts, no matter how heinous, can in fact become possible with staggering efficiency.

    The distinction between sociopaths and "normal" people, then, is not one of capacity, but one of propensity toward acts deemed immoral due to the innate inability to truly harbor empathy in the case of the former.
    "Death is nothing, but to live defeated and inglorious is to die daily."
    —Bonaparte

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