The Definition Of Sanity
  • Right, so I tend to be off in left field most of the time and whatnot and really don't do much worrying or agonizing over anything which gives me plenty of time to think about random, unimportant things! Therefore, being the uber zen-master that I seem to think myself at times, there occasionally comes up an idea or concept that I really can't decide on an answer to! Therefore, I bring my random thinking to youse guys!

    In this case, due to a series of books (The Ringworld Series, by Larry Niven.), I've long wondered about how, exactly, sanity and insanity can be defined. In the book, there was an alien species that was particularly prone to...spastic behavior, to put it lightly. Either way, the one that ended up as a character in the book was considered insane by his race, yet, despite being manic-depressive to a degree, was fairly well-rounded compared to most of them.

    So, that begs the question; was he insane or was he the only sane one?

    There are really many different ways to look at it, from my point of view.

    One could say that society defines sanity; thus, running around in the nude screaming obscenities would be considered insanity, even though, by many standards, it's simply lewd and...well, obscene. In this case, Nessus, the character in question, would be the insane one, since he wasn't 'normal' by the standards of his own society. If society defines sanity, which I really consider it to, personally, then one thing can be perfectly normal at one time and years later be considered a reason for insanity. Then again, that's the way of the world. Times change, right?

    On the other hand, one could say that instead of there being a certain moral/behavioral code that one must follow, insanity would be defined solely in a literal sense. As in; having a mental disorder. Not being right in the head. Chemical inbalance. A complex of some sort. Really, that's what most people would consider the most logical definition, yet in most every case, the word seems to take on the former definition, as defined by society.


    But...yeah. Anyway, just some ramblings. Feel free to voice opinions, throw rotten fruit, anything of the sort!

    --KFH, sick with nothing better to do than ramble.
  • LMAO at the clicky adds above your post as I read it. Are you normal? Bipolar Disorder. Disability income (from being bipolar). :laugh:

    Well thought out KFH. Times do change and definitions with them. What was once considered going insane or senility is often now diagnosed as Alzheimers, an actual medical condition, ie your mental disorder. On the other hand, thinking the world was round went against conventional standards at one time, ie your societal definitions.

    Here's my take on it...
    Someone I know (out of respect shall remain unidentified) likes to put used aluminum cans, mostly of the beer variety, on their picket fence surrounding their property. I would estimate there are over 2000 cans on this fence now. Although they are strategically placed and uniform, some people would consider that insane or senile. But knowing the method to the madness, I call it shrewd. Let me explain.

    They were having problems with people coming onto the property to steal the aluminum cans. Once in the yard, why not steal something else? Things began to disappear along with the cans. Weed eaters, tools etc. would come up missing at the same time the cans would. So, to discourage intrusion, they simply put the cans between the slats on the picket fence that borders the property. If you want to steal the cans, they are right there for the taking and you can use the fence as cover, without coming into the yard.

    This experiment provided several results. It stopped the aluminum thieves from entering the yard and possibly spotting something else "shiny" they wanted to steal. It also sent them a message - "I know you're stealing my cans, you :censored: , here they are." On the other hand, some of the neighbors think they are insane (not to mention tacky) and since the aluminum thievery has seemed to stop, one might wonder why they continue to add cans to the fence? Perhaps it has now become an obsessive masterpiece.

    This one qualifies as "point of view" in my opinion. You can look at it as art or an eyesore. Are they crazy or crazy like a fox? :g: