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Old 08-07-2019, 05:18 PM
you with the face is offline
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Laurel, MD
Posts: 12,570
Originally Posted by begbert2 View Post
There's a huge difference between not knowing right from wrong and being incapable of freely choosing between options based on your blue and orange morality. I mean, you say it yourself - it's not knowing right from wrong - it's a knowledge and awareness issue.
To be clear, “not knowing right from wrong” isn’t any educated person’s definition of insanity, but its a common enough view that to claim never encountering it defies belief.

And really, you’re still defying it by parsing the word “know” literally. If insanity was thought to be a simple lack of knowledge, we’d be committing the mentally ill to schools rather than hospitals. Calling it a “knowledge and awareness issue” is so obviously wrong that it’s borderline offensive. Someone who eats a bullet after being tormented with suicidal ideation is not just ignorant or misinformed; their brain is producing pathological thought patterns that are beyond their control, driving them to do harm to themselves.

The crazy people you're talking about just aren't cognitively capable of comprehending and incorporating an understanding of objective reality into their decision-making process.
Some of them are. Depressed people who commit suicde often rationally know killing themselves is bad. The person who is unable to resist the impulse to grab and stab also might know this is bad. Where things breakdown is not their comprehension of reality; it’s their ability to regulate their behavior. The mental checks and balances that keep normal people in line are faulty in the mental ill.

Whether a subject is worthy of discussion is a value judgement, and I don't agree with you. Discussing free will is fun.
So what deeper insights are obtainable from a discussion about free will if we start with the premise that that everyone from the mental ill, hostage victims, two year olds, and Jane Doe miscelllanious person on the street, all exercise free will? What is there really to talk about if we’re not supposed to see important differences in the kind of choices available to these people based on the limitations of their mind?

Mm-hmm. I'm already talking to a few people with odd definitions of free will in this very thread. Am I to be disturbed by a summary that implies somebody else is trying (explicitly!) to redefine the term to mean something different?
Not at all. You’re supposed to merely see how insular and unread it looks to say you’ve never heard it argued the mentally ill are deficient in free will. It’s like saying you never heard of California.