Labels and violence. Az shooting vs political/religious violence.
First off, to all reading this, no matter their belief, it is always sad to see violence affect society.
This post IS NOT about the problem with evil, so lets keep that a separate issue.
The more I observe life, the more I understand simple human psychology. Life is about resources, be it actual material resources such as food and housing, or mental resources such as support of loved ones and or power. When we have content in having those things to our own perception of what we think we need, we are less likely to act out in violence.
What bothers me, although there are differences between cases of mass violence, the core is the same. Lashing out at others by an individual, or in mass, is a reaction to a real threat or delusion.
Bin Ladin, for example, used his religion, in reality, to get even with his own family who rejected him when he offered to be a military leader. His own narcissism and gap in what he felt he needed lead him to do what he did. By lashing out at Christians and the west, he was creating the very tension and distrust of his family to fill his own selfish desire to have power over others, which he could not get through civil means.
In the case of this individual in AZ, we see the same thing. Here is an oddball who was rejected by the military and rejected by his college, and was isolated in this process with no support to help him deal with his problems.
In both cases, the point that is missed, is that the DELUSION is there, regardless of the mental degree of difference between the two.
The simple logic, even if it comes down to medication, if people have the resources and support in life they need and the self introspection to realize that even when we don't have the resources we think we need, we are less likely to act out in violence.
So while mental illness is considered different than political and or religious violence, the core is the same in the delusion that our resources have been threatened. Combine that with narcissism and mental illness, and this is what happens.
IN BOTH cases delusion leads to violence. One may be more understandable because of mental defect, but both are caused by the perception that we lack power and control and seek it.
I think this is what humanity misses in dealing with political issues and on the individual level, be it gang violence, or mental illness.
It is the simple evolutionary trait of seeking out resources and lashing out when we cant find them.
Some would call delusion a form of mental defect. I do think that it isn't as much a mental defect as much as it is an evolutionary side affect just like mental illness is. Having a delusion doesn't mean all of you are missing all of your marbles, it just means you have beer goggles on. Whereas if you are flat out bat shit insane and believe that your dog is telling you to kill people, that would be the marbles missing.
Delusion isn't the marbles missing, but narcissism combined with the evolutionary side affect of not knowing how to arrange the marbles to insure quality control of logic. Delusion is merely the product of using bad logic. It doesn't mean your marbles are missing, it merely means you are not arranging them in logical order.
Simply put, fantasy is natural and happens. It is a normal coping mechanism, but we as a species fail to see the difference between reality and a placebo. We fail to see that while a placebo might give us comfort, we still project our own placebos on outsiders.
I think by recognizing this evolutionary side affect, it can help us cope with BOTH mental illness and global religious/political violence.
Dawkins aptly in "The God Delusion" describes the violent reaction of a alpha male bird taken out on a subordinate bird trying to offer the alpha male help.
I don't know that we should put delusion in the mental illness category when both delusion and mental illness are a byproduct of our evolution. Both are natural (meaning they occur at different ratios and degrees, in a given population).
I only see mental illness as Delusion on steroids where the battery cables are wired backwards. Whereas a mere placebo is something humans have always used to flock to like minded people. It is the false perception that if it feeds me and gives me protection, it must not only be good for me, but all others as well.
I think mass delusion leads to things like theocracies and dictatorships, so in that context delusion IS dangerous. But since evolution is not about perfection and we have always been tribal, I think being able to recognize the ability to refrain from projecting our placebos on others, we can better cope without resorting to violence.
I am not saying I am right in this being that I am not a psychologist or neurologist. I am simply saying that in both the case of Bin Ladin, whom we would not call legally insane, but legally a criminal, still has the same thing in common with this lone nutcase who shot the congresswoman.
So why is it we separate the two? Is it wrong to separate the two? Am I right in making the connection between the two, but wrong in calling them different? Is it merely degree of mental illness?
Keep this in mind because believers will call atheism a form of mental illness too. I am not saying they are right. But even if Stalin was an atheist, the problem would be the delusion projected on others, not the atheism itself. The same can be said with religion. Most people today in the west have awareness and empathy for outsiders and will refrain from violence even if they hate what the other is claiming.
To the mental health experts here, where am I right and where am I wrong? We are talking about the similarities in mass violence vs individual violence and their differences. What do they have in common and where are they different?
"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37