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Thursday, 1 December 2011

Anders Breivik - mad or logical?


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M'Naghten_Rules

http://apps.facebook.com/theguardian/commentisfree/2011/jul/29/anders-behring-breivik-norway-madness

A selection of comments:

Mine are the ones in bold.


"Mad" does not mean "morally wrong".

"Mad" means "mistaken as to some fundamental fact", as far as I am concerned.

He clearly thought the end justified the means.

What is insane about carrying your beliefs into action unless there is something wrong with what you believe?

I don't think you need to be a psychiatrist to decide on whether someone is mad. 

I have an easy to remember definition:
"Insanity is when you are mistaken as to some material and fundamental fact and cannot and will not be corrected. It is not when you are just morally wrong."

Abolition of the insanity defense. Insanity is a legal concept involving the courtroom determination that a person is not capable of forming conscious intent and, therefore, cannot be held responsible for an otherwise criminal act. The opinions of experts about the "mental state" of defendants ought to be inadmissible in court, exactly as the opinions of experts about the "religious state" of defendants are inadmissible. No one ought to be excused of lawbreaking or any other offense on the basis of so-called expert opinion rendered by psychiatric or mental health experts. Excusing a person of responsibility for an otherwise criminal act on the basis of inability to form conscious intent is an act of legal mercy masquerading as an act of medical science. Being merciful or merciless toward lawbreakers is a moral and legal matter, unrelated to the actual or alleged expertise of medical and mental health professionals. (Thomas Szasz)

Breivik more or less said "I did it because it is the only language they understand."

And even now they don't get it!


The test should be, of course, whether Breivik wants to take responsibility for his crimes, and it is clear that he does.

Breivik is a terrorist, pure and simple, and should be treated and dealt with as such.

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