The Instigator
wierdman
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
bluesteel
Con (against)
Winning
10 Points

We are all InSaNe

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
bluesteel
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/20/2012 Category: Society
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,799 times Debate No: 19968
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (4)
Votes (3)

 

wierdman

Pro

I really want this to be a good and fruitful debate.

Definition: There will be two definitions of insanity used in this round; both equally weighed
Insanity: A scenario when the mind fails to be honest with the individual.
Insanity2: The state of being mentally unstable.

The debate will go in the following order:
Round one: Intro and acceptance
Round two:Main Round/ Opening case
Round three:Rebuttal
Round four:Rebuttal
Round Five:Conclusion

Resolution: Humanity is Insane: We are all insane....Every Single HUMAN IN THIS WORLD!!!

By accepting this debate, you accept the rules as well as the definitions in-placed. Good luck and thank you for accepting.
bluesteel

Con

Thanks wierdman.

==Burden of proof==

It seems obvious that my opponent will try to wield the first (flawed) definition to win this debate based on "the rules." Supposedly I accepted a non-standard and nonsensical definition of insanity by clicking accept.

I'll allow the definition, but it has to at least make grammatical and logical sense first. As the second definition demonstrates, insanity is "the state of" something; it cannot be an isolated instance. For example, when I am dreaming, my mind does not accurately reflect reality. Dreams do not prove people are insane.

Secondly, the definition is logically incoherent. How can a mind be "dishonest" when the mind itself believes that it is accurately reporting events. We can't humanize a biological organ. A schizophrenic's mind does not "lie" to him; it functions as that individual's genes have told it to function.

So to make sense, the definition would need to be "the state of the mind reporting defective information to the individual."

But, by definition, a dichotomy cannot exist without its opposite. Sane/insane, male/female, good/evil - one concept is not coherent without the other. So inherently, insanity cannot exist without sanity. As far as I'm concerned, since this is fundamentally a strange semantics debate, the debate is over right there. But also, I don't understand how wierdman can possibly uphold his BOP under the first definition. To prove that the information one receives is defective (or "dishonest"), he has to agree that there is some frame of comparison that is classified as normal (or "honest"). If there is no honest, there can be no dishonest.

That was all the resolutional analysis I wanted to do before the debate began. I now turn the floor over to wierdman.
Debate Round No. 1
wierdman

Pro

I thank my opponent for accepting this debate and hope for a fruitful one. I also thank my opponent for clarifying the debates definitions.

"But, by definition, a dichotomy cannot exist without its opposite. Sane/insane, male/female, good/evil - one concept is not coherent without the other."

While this rule surely governs much of the English language and all languages at that, it does not apply to this scenario. We look to words such as perfection as an example of words free of any influence by this law. Imperfection is inevitable and as such perfection is a figment of our imagination; however, perfection is a word just as real and useful as word itself. In the same way, the word sane is a REAL word used to counter and compare to the word insanity (I don't know how well I explained this).

Lies:
Insanity is inevitable as everyday we experience things that can only be defined as insanity under both the definitions offered in this round as well as conventional definitions of the word insane. To begin, lets create a little scenario. Under this scenario, you are in a class....You recently finished a test and anxious to get the scores back, as the teacher passes out the scantron. You finally receive your scantron and to your surprise, tragically failed the test. After getting this test, you begin to tell your self that your stupid; repeating this sentence over and over again. How is this insane? Well you know that you are not stupid, yet you continue to lie to yourself. You repeat a single sentence over and over again until you are very much convinced that you ARE stupid. While not exactly like this one, we have all had moments where we lie to ourselves...forcing ourselves to believe this lie formulated in our heads. This can also be tied to the common depression.[1] Certain types of depression, however, Geary contends, may be advantageous. The lethargy and disrupted mental state can help us disengage from unattainable goals.[2]

Mood Swings:
Another form of insanity that we all suffer from is sudden mood swings. A mood swing is simply a noticeable change in one's mood or emotional state. Everybody has mood swings and they are a natural part of most people's lives. We get happy, we get sad. We have a period of feeling on top of the world, and then later in the same day, we feel tired, lethargic and beaten down.[3] We all suffer from this and frankly unable to escape it.. We might feel happy now but in a single minute, this feeling could possibly change.

Pondering the future:
Perhaps the most insane thing that we do is worry about the future. It's almost funny how we can sit in one place and think about a future that can never be determined. We spend so much time thinking about the future that we tend to ignore the present. Only an insane creature would think to ignore what they already have to think about a future that is determined by the present. We spend so much time thinking about the future, that when the future does become present, we start to think about the past that we missed trying to figure out what the future might be.

Competition:
No matter what we say, We all indulge ourselves in competitions even when these com0petitions conflict with what we want as an individual.

The fact is that we are insane. It would be stupid to think that humans are not insane. The question that we should ask ourselves now, is not whether we are insane or not, but how insane are we. Looking back at all the things that I have listed, we find that although present in all human beings, tend to be different for everyone. This is because we all differ in terms of our level of insanity. No one of our age can possibly tell me that they are have not done anything that they classified as insane. This is not bad....it is a part of what we are.....but were all still insane :D

Source:
[1] http://inspacewetrust.com...
[2] http://www.livescience.com...
[3] http://psychcentral.com...
[4] http://www.poemhunter.com...
[5 http://legalienate.blogspot.com...

On to you blue.
bluesteel

Con

Thanks wierdman.

==Definitions==

Wierdman tries to point out that there can be a dichotomy where one of the concepts is unachievable (perfection/imperfection). However, there are two problems with this:

1) Even if perfection is only an abstract concept, it is still a coherent concept in the abstract, whereas "sanity" is not coherent as an abstraction. We can still understand "perfection" even if everything in the world were imperfect. Perfection simply means maximizing all positive traits and minimizing all negative traits. A "perfect fit" would mean that our pants conformed more to our body than the pants we are currently wearing. We can understand this abstract concept when applied in conversation. "I wish I had perfect abs." Sanity is not a coherent concept in the abstract. If we all receive faulty information from our brains and insanity is defined as "receiving faulty information from one's brain," then what does it mean to be sane? Furthermore, this raises philosophical problems, such as: how do we know what correction information is if our brains always corrupt the information. If we see a flower and all our brains lie, is the flower really there?

2) The second problem is that perfection is not solely an abstract concept. A perfect sphere is attainable. So in geometry, the perfect/imperfect dichotomy is a non-abstract dichotomy. Therefore, my opponent has yet to provide an example of a dichotomy in which one of the terms does not exist.

If weirdman fails to prove insanity is a coherent concept without "sanity," then he loses the debate. If we are all insane, that term has no meaning.

==Rebuttal==

R1) "Lying" to ourselves

Wierdman gives a hypothetical example where someone fails a test and then tells himself that he is stupid, even though he isn't. There's a lot of problems with this example:

1) How do we know that this a typical response? In fact, psychologists have long known that people tend to blame their own failings on exogenous circumstances ("that test was hard", "the teacher didn't teach us any of these things") rather than endogenous circumstances ("I'm stupid"). In fact, the concept of "fundamental attribution error" is the tendency of people to explain their own failings exogenously and other people's failings endogenously. If a co-worker fails at a task, people are likely to say, "gosh, he's so stupid," whereas if they themselves fail, they usually conclude that the task was difficult. Yet in regards to others, the difficulty of the task tends not to occur to people. So the scenario wierdman describes doesn't even seem like a typical response.

2) The voice in our heads is not "lying" to us. Sometimes we are stupid. This serves a rational, evolutionary purpose. Scenario A: If a caveman hit on a hot cavewoman, and she completely rejected him, then the little voice in his head says: you're not very attractive; you're not a very desirable mate. As a result, he lowers his standards and hits on the less hot cavewomen. This maximizes his chances of reproduction. If he wrongly believed himself to be a ladies' man and always sought mates that were outside his reach, then he'd fail to reproduce. Scenario B: if a caveman tries to hunt a wolf, gets in a tussle, and loses, then his mind tells him: "you're not strong enough to kill a wolf." This maximizes his survival chances and thus his chances of passing on his genes.

Wierdman even acknowledges this when he says that when we are honest with ourselves, we are able to disengage from unattainable goals.

3) Definitions

How does "lying to ourselves" prove people are "mentally unstable"? Wierdman claims that he is proving his case under both definitions.

Wierdman also fails to show that the mind systematically lies to people, although it may do so in certain situations.

4) Clinical depression

Wierdman mentions clinical depression. How would this make sense as a disorder if there is no "normal" frame of comparison?

R2) Mood swings

As wierdman points out, having a range of emotions is normal. The first problem with his argument is that many changes in emotional state are precipitated by outside events. For example, his own source points out that sudden onsets of lethargy or "down" moods are often caused by plummeting blood sugar. Whenever we eat a meal, this causes our blood sugar to spike, and when it spikes upward, we will have an equally low downward spike a few hours later. Another example: normal depression is caused by exogenous events, such as experiencing a "break up" in a relationship, having a bad day at work, etc. Unexplained, extreme mood swings are categorized as a psychiatric disorder, namely manic depression, in which patients experience "manic" moods characterized by extreme happiness and hyperactivity and depressive moods, characterized by the sudden (and unexplained) onset of depression. Wierdman's own source says, "People who are experiencing a mood swing that's been going on for more than a few weeks and is seriously affecting their friendships, relationship, school work, etc. should consider seeking professional help for the issue." This proves that mood swings are not typical of the average person.

I personally have never experienced a completely unexplained change in mood.

R3) Pondering the future

Wierdman argues we are insane because we sit and think about the future, to the point of ignoring the present. Yet, again, he fails to show that this is typical behavior. Taken to the extreme, this would be a psychological disorder (e.g. the complete inability to consider the present); people with such a disorder would starve to death, while in their dream-state about the future, without outside interference. Yet, not a single case has been reported.

Thinking about the future is what sets us apart from many lower order animals. It allows us to build shelter BEFORE winter sets in. Thinking about the future is a key survival trait. It also lets us consider the consequences of our actions. Antisocial personality disorders are characterized by an inability to consider the future and thus ponder the consequences of one's actions. [1] So, in fact, the opposite of what Wierdman describes is classified as "insane."

R4) Competition

Competition is not insane; we were forced to compete for mates, food, etc. Competition is rational; it's the desire to be the best at something and establish one's place in the social hierarchy. Having a competitive drive is a key survival trait. In addition, Wierdman fails to prove that people routinely participate in competition to the exclusion of their other interests. I've never heard of someone starving to death because he was so intent on beating everyone at basketball.

Depending on the social setting, we will either compete or cooperate. Businesses are very careful to cue their employees on when they want them to compete and when they want them to cooperate.

R5) Adjectives vs. adverbs

Wierdman's last point is that we have all done something insane, therefore we are all insane. However, DOING something insane is different from BEING insane. The word takes on a different meaning when it is modifying a person vs. modifying an action. Insanity is characterized by a complete inability to function normally. If a man chases after his lover across a busy street, after they've been in a fight, with cars whizzing by him, he has ACTED insane. However, there is a perfectly rational explanation for his behavior. If a schizophrenic crosses a busy street, with cars whizzing by, because he thinks he's in a movie and "none of this is real," then he IS insane. So there's a huge difference in the word insane when used as an adverb vs. an adjective. Acting insane is not the same as being insane.

[1] http://www.enotes.com...
Debate Round No. 2
wierdman

Pro

Thant you.

Definitions:

Blue's argument that sanity is not a s coherent an abstraction as perfection is ludicrous. In the same way that we can identify or imagine perfection the idea of what is sane is perfectly imaginable. Sanity can be defined as being free of all societal influences as well as personal hindrance. A sane human wold be one free of emotional hindrance and perfectly logical in all actions. To be sane is unattainable to humans, but the ideal or idea of what sanity means is perfectly alive.

A computer can be seen as sane as it is free of social influence,emotional hindrance, metal problems and so fourth.

My opponent makes a good point in stating that humans tend to blame others for their mistakes. In a way, this really does not answer the question. Whether you blame your short comings on others or exaggerate the truth, your mind is still telling you lies. The typical or rather most accurate answer would be to encourage yourself to study harder or actually realize that you did not study as hard as you could have. In both my scenario and my opponents scenario, the mind is still lying to the individual. Blue failed to prove or even argue that lying to yourself does not result to insanity.

I agree that the mind serves as a rational; however the term "Sometimes" still play a major role. The truth is that our mind has lied to us or rather we have lied to ourselves many times. His cavemen scenario is also flaws as who is to say that the caveman is not desirable. it could mean that his approach was foul, primitive, or jst plain off. Rather than identifying this as the real problem, the "little voice n his head"(insanity) lies to him and tries to bring about depression with lies explained by blue in his scenario. If he was indeed "ugly" then his mind should have told hi so as surely he would have seen his reflection in the water a long time ago. Rather than simply telling him the truth, his mind led him to believe that he was in a way desirable whih ones again led to disappointment.

"Scenario B: if a caveman tries to hunt a wolf, gets in a tussle, and loses, then his mind tells him: "you're not strong enough to kill a wolf." This maximizes his survival chances and thus his chances of passing on his genes."

I agree with this scenario because it has nothing to do with sanity....its a matter of instinct...I see no connection between the scenario and this resolution.

"Wierdman even acknowledges this when he says that when we are honest with ourselves, we are able to disengage from unattainable goals." Please note that this only occurs when we are honest with ourselves. The argument here is that we are dihonest with ourselves and as such course unintentional harm.

Clinical depression: Ones again abstract comparison

"The first problem with his argument is that many changes in emotional state are precipitated by outside events."

I agree with this statement; however our inability to control our emotion is what leads to insanity. While they are affected by outside forces, our inability to control the emotions is an internal affairs.

Pondering future: My opponent fails to recognize that while this is not extreme, it is insanity at a much lower level. I mentioned that inanity existed in different levels.

The rest I will post in the comment section due to time :D thank you :D
bluesteel

Con

Thanks for the response Wierdman.

Unfortunately, I'm not going to respond to anything you posted in the comments section. I don't think it's fair to post arguments in comments, whether it's to avoid the character limit or the time limit. Feel free to post these arguments next round.

==Rebuttal==

{{{ Definitions }}}

Wierdman claims sanity is being "free of societal hindrances." I'm not sure what he means by this. People who don't wear clothes and don't obey critical social norms are generally classified as *insane,* not sane.

He claims we can understand sanity as an abstract concept. I challenge him to give one example of a situation in which every human acts insanely, yet we know the sane thing to do. By definition, if we know which actions are "sane," it's because we know which actions are *rational.* If we can use our rationality in any given situation, then we are *not* insane because our frontal cortex can override the baser and more illogical urges of our lizard brains.

His argument about the computer proves my point: we have a rational mind, just like wierdman's computer. Currently, we define insanity as the inability of the rational mind to function properly. If we define insanity as "having a subconscious mind that we don't have complete control over," then yes, we are all technically insane, but the word insane - in this illogical context - merely describes possessing other parts of the brain besides the frontal cortex. If we allow this strange definition of insane, then the word loses all meaning, and we would have no way to describe people whose frontal cortexes aren't working properly.

Thus, weirdman fails to show how we can all be insane, given that the word loses *all* meaning if it merely describes "having a subconscious mind."

{{{ Lying to yourself }}}

Wierdman says we should stop lying to ourselves if we fail a test and just work harder. When we tell ourselves that our failings were exogenous, we tend to work harder because it seems like we control our own fate. If we think: "that test was hard," "the teacher didn't teach us this," or "I blew off studying, so ... whatever," then it seems like the outcome is in our control. We can remedy the situation by studying harder and studying the textbook rather than the lectures. This is called having a growth mindset. In contrast, people who have extremely low self-esteem have a fixed mindset. They think "I'm stupid, that's why I failed the test." If you're stupid, that's an intrinsic characteristic that you cannot change. Fixed mindset people tend to struggle in life because they blame all their failings on themselves. This isn't good or rational. Exogenous factors do play a role and no one is "stupid"; the brain has an incredible ability to better itself, with hard work. So I don't see how any of this proves we are all insane because 1) it shows that people have very different reactions to failing a test, so I don't understand how wierdman proves anything categorically ("we are ALL insane") and 2) the reaction I described to failing a test is perfectly rational and sane.

{{{ Caveman example }}}

Wierdman says this proves the brain lies to us. If the caveman looked in the water, he should be able to tell he's ugly. However, beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder. As children, before society reacts to our looks, we have no idea how good-looking we are. In addition, societal standards of beauty change over time (e.g. "fat" being beautiful during the Elizabethan era). The reason "hot or not" was invented was so that people could get fair, objective ratings for their looks.

Thus, since we are social creatures, it isn't irrational that we don't know our social value without getting feedback from society. It is social value that affects attracting a mate far more than looks, although looks play a factor in social value (in females more than in males).

This doesn't prove wierdman's point. It proves my point: there's an evolutionary reason for our subconscious mind to help us calibrate our self-worth and social standing.

{{{ Sometimes }}}

Wierdman talks a lot in this round about how we are sometimes fully rational and sometimes irrational. This proves that most of us are sane, since insanity is "the state of being mentally unstable or having your mental faculties lie to you." This means an insane person *never* has moments of clarity or normal functioning. A psychopath *never* experiences a normal range of human emotions. A schizophrenic can *never* distinguish fantasy from reality with absolute certainty.

If we are sometimes rational, then we have the capability of rationality. When we act irrationally, we are *ignoring* our rationality. There's a big difference between getting advice from your rational brain and ignoring it *versus* lacking a rational brain entirely.

{{{ Emotion }}}

If most emotional changes are precipitated by outside events, then it's not irrational to be sad when something sad happens to you. In fact, only sociopaths display atypical responses to events. Very few people let their emotions override their rational brain; if everyone did, then we'd all commit suicide the first time we became sad. But we don't. Only a few people do.

{{{ Pondering the future }}}

Our imagination and ability to plan for the future are key evolutionary traits. They hardly render us insane. If you have a flight tomorrow, it makes sense to back your bag the night before. Only sociopaths have an inability to plan for the future.
Debate Round No. 3
wierdman

Pro

I thank blue for an interesting response.

Here is my argument from the previous round. This was posted in the comment section: "Thinking about the future is what sets us apart from many lower order animals. It allows us to build shelter BEFORE winter sets in. Thinking about the future is a key survival trait."

While I agree with this, there is no denying that we spend an innumerable amount of time pondering about the far future. A future that is not certain to occur. Anticipating the future and preparing for it in the present is one thing, focusing on the future and ignoring the present is another. We have all had those days where we sat down and looked in the future wondering what our future lives might be like. This is insanity as we ignore a time that we know certainly exists and focusing on one that is very uncertain. My opponent describes anti social behaviors as pondering on the consequences of ones actions. This supports my argument in many ways as pondering on the consequences of your actions is still thinking about the future and the past. By focusing on your actions, you have more time to analyze the actions rather than isolate yourself in a world that is both uncertain and non existent.

The competition I described earlier is a whole different thing than what my opponent explains. Competing for resources is rational, however, humanity has evolved competition in such a way that it has become insane. We compete over who can eat the most, hold our breath the longest, have the best things and so fourth. We compete with each other to the extent that we are causing harm to ourselves. Heck we even compete for the sake of being the best without having any need for the prize of winning that competing or any care for the competition at all.

Adjective VS adverb:
My opponent argument is true to some extent. Some extent meaning that we did not just do something insane, we continuously do insane things. When you get drunk, your not an alcoholic...your just drunk. When you continuously over drink, then you become an alcoholic. The same thing with insanity."

REBUTTAL

When I said that that sanity is free of societal hindrance, i also mentioned that it was also free of emotional hindrance. This means that sane people are not pressured to adopt what is said to be "cool" and a sane person is in control of his/her emotion. This means that he/she does not allow emotional flaws to hinder his/her goal. The emotion is not suppressed, it is simply controlled.

With my opponent's challenge, the scenario stated in both my first round and his round under "lying to ourselves" exemplifies the fact that we recognize the truth, yet we choose to lye to ourselves. We are all familiar with the sane path, yet we choose to follow the insane road.

"If we can use our rationality in any given situation, then we are *not* insane because our frontal cortex can override the baser and more illogical urges of our lizard brains."
This argument is flawed in many ways. We know what perfection is, yet no one is able to achieve perfection simply because perfection is unattainable. in the same way, sanity is unattainable(to humans) and as such no matter how much we recognize what is sane and what is not, we can never achieve sanity. Rationality guides us through life picking away a lot of insane actions, yet it is still unable to completely eliminate insanity. Just like we recognize that it is bad to blame others for our mistakes, yet we still blame others for virtually all of our mistakes.

If we allow this strange definition of insane, then the word loses all meaning, and we would have no way to describe people whose frontal cortexes aren't working properly.
Ones again this argument is flawed. I stated earlier we are all insane but to different levels. I could have a mind that lies to me every time that I am not pleased, and the guy next door could have a mind urging him to kill. There is a huge difference in our level of insanity. With this said it is very easy to differentiate between people who simply face mild insanity and those who are mentally damaged.

Thus, weirdman fails to show how we can all be insane, given that the word loses *all* meaning if it merely describes "having a subconscious mind."

How does it loss the word all if we are all plagued with the same issues(insanity)?

" When we tell ourselves that our failings were exogenous, we tend to work harder because it seems like we control our own fate. If we think: "that test was hard," "the teacher didn't teach us this," or "I blew off studying, so ... whatever," then it seems like the outcome is in our control."
This supports my argument in every way as it shows that telling the truth and recognizing the problem as to why we fail is often the better option yet this seems to be a problem for us as a race and individual. blue also described an opposite scenario. This opposite scenario exemplifies my point. this individual is INSANE!!! while wallowing in his/her emotion, he/she misses all opportunity to get better. Stupidity is not genetic but a combination of individual work ethic with the environment. If this individual were to recognize that the problem is because he failed to study, and he loves to pass; then next time he will study. He has now associated passing with studying.

Caveman

"It proves my point: there's an evolutionary reason for our subconscious mind to help us calibrate our self-worth and social standing."-------------->If beauty is truly in the eyes of the beholder, then coming to a conclusion over one reaction is InSaNe. If this caveman was to decide to lower his standard, then he will end up with someone he does not like. However, if he were to recognize that beauty is only a small factor in relationships, then he will try to find his strengths and exploit them. True he needed to be rejected to achieve this stage in his life, however the reactions in both of our scenarios are completely opposite. Our subconscious exist to help us determine our self-worth and and exploit this self worth to the fullest length. My opponent failed to acknowledge my "foul approach" argument.

"Wierdman talks a lot in this round about how we are sometimes fully rational and sometimes irrational."
I never made such argument. I meant that we act stupid sometimes during those moments our mind identifies the level of stupidity in our actions. This does not change the fact that we were insane when we performed that action. We were not in sync with our mind and as such behaved irrationality. this is a moment of rationality. My opponent listed some major mental disabilities...once again we must look to the difference in insanity level.

If most emotional changes are precipitated by outside events, then it's not irrational to be sad when something sad happens to you.
I agree with this,; my argument is that we all tend to loose control of our emotions and exaggerate these enmotions to the point where they are no longer under our control.

"Our imagination and ability to plan for the future are key evolutionary traits. They hardly render us insane. If you have a flight tomorrow,

Once again planning is okay its actually required. When you ponder in the future, you spend an enumerate amount of time developing and creating an imaginary world in our mind. We have all sat down and thought about how we will turn out in the future to the point of spending an incredible amount of time thinking about the future while loosing the time needed to develop this future....the present.
bluesteel

Con

Thanks for the response weirdman.

== Rebuttal ==

{{{ Pondering the future }}}

My opponent fails, yet again, to show that normal people sit, for unhealthy amounts of time, and daydream about the future, while ignoring the present. Thinking about the future helps most people *alter* their present so that they can actualize the future that they desire. Pondering future events and paying attention to the present are not mutually exclusive.

And if people spend too much time fantasizing about the future, they are not normal. They would need to take a course on mindfulness and "living in the now."

{{{ Competition }}}

My opponent points out that we compete solely for the purpose of pride. But pride also ties into social standing, which has actual value. A man who wins a number of local competitions has a better chance attracting a mate. On some level, pride is fully rational. But even if it isn't, look to my argument that as long as a person has a properly functioning frontal cortex, that person cannot be classified as insane. Emotions are not "insane."

{{{ Adverb vs. Adjective }}}

My opponent concedes that if you do one insane thing, you are not insane. If you repeatedly do insane things, then you are insane. This proves my point. We sometimes have mood swings, but not *always* (like someone with bipolar disorder). We *sometimes* enter a dream state ("dreaming"), but not *always* (like someone with schizophrenia). And our brain is never turned off: unlike a schizophrenic, we can tell the difference between reality and fantasy. My opponent cites a number of instances in which we give in to our baser urges, but our rational minds are still functioning while we are doing so. We are *choosing* our actions, unlike an insane person who acts completely irrationally.

For example, a "criminally insane" person is defined as someone who cannot distinguish right from wrong. We *sometimes* have difficulty distinguishing right from wrong, but not *always*. And we can distinguish right from wrong when it counts: in regards to murder, rape, etc.

{{{ Emotions }}}

My opponent says, "a sane person is in control of his/her emotion[s]." I agree. However, in control means that the rational brain is functioning alongside emotional states. It does not mean that we can *will* ourselves into our out of certain emotional states. It doesn't make sense for someone to say *be happy* and to suddenly become happy.

And as social creatures, it's perfectly natural that we care about social pressure. But, regardless, some people don't care about peer pressure. My opponent, yet again, fails to prove his claims categorically - that *all* people give in to peer pressure like mindless automatons.

Lastly, psychopaths have an inability to feel emotions, which makes them fully sane under my opponent's definition of insanity. That seems to be completely backwards.

{{{ "Sanity is unattainable, like perfection" }}}

My opponent argues this. He says that we know what is rational (sane) in every given situation, but we often give in to insanity. I think my opponent is trying to re-purpose the word "sane" to mean "Superego" and the word "insane" to mean "Id", in the Freudian sense. We already have words to describe the push-and-pull of rationality and emotion (Id/Superego). There's no reason to re-purpose sanity and insanity to mean exactly the same thing as Freud's terms. Again, insanity means "the state of lacking rational faculties *all the time*." My opponent *agrees* with me here: normal humans don't lose our rationality, even when we give in to our baser urges. So we are not all insane.

{{{ "Insanity is a spectrum" }}}

Weirdman claims that insanity ranges from people being relatively normal to wanting to kill other people. However, using a spectrum instead of a brightline means we lose the precision of language. If someone says to you, as you're moving in to your new home, "the neighbor is insane," you'll never know whether that means, "he's a normal guy," or if it means, "you should keep your children away from him." Autism, for example, is a spectrum disorder, and there's a lot of stigma from saying someone has Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) because people assume that ASD means "autistic" (and imagine the worst possible symptoms), when many children with ASD are high functioning (such as those with mild Asperger's).

So taking a word that has a great deal of meaning ("insane") and morphing it into a spectrum makes the word meaningless. By definition, a spectrum tells you nothing. You need further descriptive details to tell where on the spectrum that person lies. And when the spectrum encompasses *all possible levels of sanity*, as opposed to ADS, which encompasses a range of developmental disorders, then it's truly meaningless.

This is analogous to my opponent redefining "heavy" as "having mass." When you ask me: "is that box heavy; can I lift it," I would respond with weirdman's definition by saying, "yes, it's heavy. It's weight could range from zero to infinite. It's heavy." That's not useful. Weirdman has castrated the word insane and made it descriptively impotent.

{{{ Example: failing a test }}}

Weirdman concedes that some people blame themselves and some people realize that there were exogenous factors for their failure, like not studying. Yet weirdman only considers "blaming oneself" to be "insane." So I don't understand how this proves we are *all* insane, but weirdman asserts that it *does*.

Furthermore, this example turns weirdman's entire case against him. It proves that his conception of "insane" is meaningless. It's just a word that we throw at everything. Fail a test and blame yourself - that's insane. Fail a test and blame the test - that's insane. There is no sanity - under this definition. Everything is insane. Thus, we have a dichotomous term (insane/sane), but we're eliminating the dichotomy if we vote Pro.

This is similar to saying: we are all *a little bit* homosexual; no one scores a zero on the Kinsey scale; we have all at one point recognized or admired the attractiveness of someone of the same gender. Therefore, we are all gay. Yet, if we break down the gay/straight dichotomy, we suddenly live in a world that is more difficult to describe. We no longer have functional words to describe sexual orientation or mental status. And we can't use the word for its social purpose: in the case of "gay," to describe someone who has same sex relations, and in the case of "insane," to describe someone who may be a danger to himself or others.

{{{ Caveman }}}

I don't even know anymore what weirdman's point is.

{{{ Imagination }}}

Wierdman calls pondering the future: "creating an imaginary world in our mind." This is called "imagination." Imagination is what allowed the first of our ancestors to invent tools. A caveman sat somewhere and imagined a new way in which he could use a stick (he could sharpen it and use it to hunt). It's not insane to use your imagination. It's only insane if you can't distinguish between your imagination and the real world.

I leave weirdman with a question: if we define everybody as insane, then what do we call people who have an inability to distinguish right from wrong? What do we call people who have an inability to distinguish fantasy from reality? In a courtroom, will people invoke the "normalcy" defense instead of the "insanity" defense?

Vote Con to protect the meaning of "sanity." And to protect my own sanity...
Debate Round No. 4
wierdman

Pro

Thank you bluesteel for a truly engaging debate.

Rebuttal

My opponent argues that I failed to prove that humans spend hour pondering over the future. This statement remains to be 100% false. I provided multiple scenarios's that we can all relate to, as well as providing explanation to these scenarios. My opponent claims that I provided no prove as to my argument yet he failed to repute any of my scenarios. This can only mean that he accepts these scenarios to be true and as such making an argument that I failed to prove my argument is both false and contradictory. My opponent also mentions that thinking about the future helps alter the present. This argument fails for two reasons: 1. It does not address my argument about the distinction between pondering and thinking/preparing 2. It fails to address the problem itself. The problem occurs when we spend so much time thinking about the future, that we ignore the present. My opponents argument exemplifies the thinking and preparing mentioned in his previous scenario. In this scenario, the future works in hand with the present to better the individuals life.
"And if people spend too much time fantasizing about the future, they are not normal"
EXACTLY! We have all had multiple moments where we fantasize about our future...when we fantasize about that crush of ours....when we fantasize about our birthday present...when we fantasize about our new job experience. It is almost impossible not to fantasize about a future experience that we are excited about.

Competition
"But pride also ties into social standing, which has actual value"
This actually proves my point. It is insane to rank individuals based on whatever abilities they hold above others. This creates inequalities which leads to unfair advantages and so much more conflicts. We literally plunge ourselves into chaos everytime we rank people in our society based on individual abilities.

Adverb vs. Adjective
"We sometimes have mood swings, but not *always* (like someone with bipolar disorder)." This makes no sense. We are always undergoing mood swings...from the day we wake up till the day we go to sleep.
Criminal: We are all unable to differentiate between right and wrong...always struggling with this dilemma. The difference now is that we know that killing is wrong, but a ill man does not know the difference.
Emotions

My opponent claims that some people do not care about social pressures yet he fails to provide any evidence supporting this argument. My opponent agrees that we are social creatures and as such subjective to peer pressures. Saying that some people do not care about peer pressure is absurd. The problem is not our subjective nature, it's our inability to focus our emotion in a more proper manner. We tend to let our emotion rule our lives constantly overshadowing our behaviors every time we feel pressure.

"Lastly, psychopaths have an inability to feel emotions, which makes them fully sane under my opponent's definition of insanity. That seems to be completely backwards."

This was not my argument. My argument was that sane individuals have the ability to properly channel there emotions. Keeping your emotions locked in is not sane in anyway...its insane.

"{{{ "Sanity is unattainable, like perfection" }}}"
I don't quite understand your argument but i will try to make sense of it. I am not trying to redefine sanity and insanity to mean superego and Id. In my argument, sanity is not simply a state of mind, but a distinction of perfection. It is not limited to a state of mind, but in all physical attributes of our daily lives. Following the definitions presented in the beginning of this debate, all human beings are insane as they are mentally unstable...maybe at different levels but still insane.

{{{ "Insanity is a spectrum" }}}
My opponent argues that using a spectrum disintegrates the precision of the word. My opponent goes on to given an example in which a spectrum brings about issues. If insanity becomes a is seen as the norm, then there will be no need to call someone of mild insanity inane. In the more extreme cases, the word insane will be used to describe the individual as it is not indeed seen as the norm. This does not make the word meaningless as there will still be a clear differentiation between the mildly insane and the critically insane.

Test

i don't even know what to say anymore. I have explained this in my previous rounds.

the question asked by my opponent has been answered in the above arguments.

Thank you and vote pro :D
bluesteel

Con

Thanks for the debate weirdman.

== Rebuttal ==

{{{ Thinking about the future }}}

My opponent claims that all people are insane because they think about the future, and since our brains can only handle one task a time, thus ignore the present.

My opponent continues to have two flaws in his argument:

1. He fails to show that *every* person routinely does this. Remember, he has the burden to show that "we are all insane." But then he says that I "failed to repute [sic] any of [his] scenarios." By definition, a scenario is a hypothetical, individualized situation. It can't prove that a) something happens in the real world and b) that something happens categorically. Supposedly I only need to show one person that does not ignore the present. It wouldn't be hard to do so: mindfulness expert and Zen enthusiast Eckhart Tolle, author of The Power of Now. Zen masters perfect the art of "living in the now" and not dwelling on past or future.

2. Second, if you take anything to the extreme, it becomes a compulsion ("insane"). But in moderation, it is normal. If you eat one carrot a day, you are normal. If you eat 200 carrots a day, you have a compulsion. If you check whether the lights in your home are off once, you are normal. If you have to check 50 times before you can leave, you have OCD. My opponent commits this flaw in reasoning repeatedly: he takes something that would be "crazy" if it were repeated constantly, but then claims a single instance is "insane." Yet, the dose makes the poison. Something that is normal in moderation can be dangerous or crazy taken to an extreme.

{{{ Competition }}}

My opponent claims pride is irrational. Not only have I shown that 1) possessing pride is rational and reasonable and 2) having emotions is not "insane," provided our rationality is still functional, but also, weirdman fails to prove that everyone engages in prideful competition. Pride is listed as one of the deadly sins, which some people avoid religiously. For example, Andrew Murray, author of the book Humility: The Beauty of Holiness, would refuse to engage in prideful competitions. So weirdman fails to prove, categorically, that *all* people 1) engage in competitions, and 2) do so out of pride.

{{{ The definition of criminally insane }}}

In the last round, I argued that normal people can distinguish between right and wrong. The criminally insane cannot. I challenged weirdman to explain how we deal with the legal definition of insanity if we define ourselves as "all insane." Do we eliminate the insanity defense?

Weirdman seems to concede this point, in saying that "The difference now is that we know that killing is wrong, but a ill man does not know the difference." So weirdman concedes that we are not all criminally insane; only some people are. This seems to concede the whole debate.

{{{ Peer pressure }}}

Weirdman still fails to show how giving in to peer pressure is "insane." We are social creatures. We want acceptance. In addition, not everyone believes in submitting to peer pressure. The following book contains stories of people who refused to submit to peer pressure: "The Courage to Be Yourself: True Stories by Teens About Cliques, Conflicts, and Overcoming Peer Pressure." So I, again, fail to see how weirdman proves his claims categorically. The human experience is extremely varied. To prove we are *all* insane, weirdman can't just assert that "X action is insane," he must also prove that *all* people engage in X action. He never even *attempts* to prove this.

{{{ Emotions }}}

My opponent's entire case comes down to arguing that the emotions we feel render us insane. Mood swings - insane. Pride - insane. Desire for social acceptance - insane. Yet weirdman himself admits, "sane individuals have the ability to properly channel there [sic] emotions." So he admits that sane people exist and can properly channel their emotions into healthy outcomes. So it is true that some people have an inability to control their emotional responses. These people have no impulse control, however, which is recognized as a psychiatric disorder. The ability to control how we respond to our emotional state is what makes us sane. We don't all murder our lovers in response to finding out we have been cheated on. We wouldn't all jump off a cliff just because our friends told us to do so. The dose makes the poison. A complete inability to overcome pride or the desire for social acceptance *would* be insane, but few people have such a complete inability.

Weirdman also drops the analysis that he is merely redefining "sane" to mean Superego and "insane" to mean "Id." His definition of "insane" is the emotional side of our brains and his definition of "sanity" is the idealized super-rational response. This is precisely what Freud meant by Id and Superego. The Id is our emotions, pulling us in one direction, and the Superego is our pure rationality, pulling us in the other. We don't need redundant nomenclature. Thus, you vote Con to uphold the current meaning of insanity and sanity.

{{{ Insanity is a spectrum }}}

My argument was that making insanity into a spectrum means calling someone (like your weird neighbor) "insane" becomes meaningless. We won't know where on the spectrum that person falls, if most normal people are also classified as insane. Wierdman claims that we should keep calling "critically" insane people "insane" and not call "mildly" insane people anything. So basically, weirdman is arguing that when we *use* the word insane in conversation, we should understand the term to mean that we are *not* all insane. We should use Con's definition of insanity in everyday conversation. But for the purposes of voting on this debate, *and voting only*, you should uphold Pro's definition. This makes no sense. Why would the judge vote for a definition that Pro himself would not endorse in everyday speech. Pro's entire advocacy breaks down when he is not willing to apply his nomenclature to the real world. He is conceding that defining all of us as insane would be problematic and would eliminate any meaning from the word "insane."

This is akin to a Pro side arguing, "we should all donate 100% of our earnings to charity." Con says, "okay, go ahead." Pro says, "no thanks." This is called a performative contradiction. If Pro is not willing to endorse his own advocacy, in the real world, then the advocacy is too extreme.

== Voting Issues ==

1. Criminally insane people are insane, whereas normal people can tell right from wrong. Vote Con to uphold this legal distinction. Voting Pro abolishes this distinction.

2. Having a properly functioning frontal cortex = sane. Having a malfunctioning one = insane. Pro never answers this. We can have emotions alongside a fully-functional rational mind, meaning we can have something that would render us insane, absent a fully rational mind. But with a fully rational mind, we are not insane.

3. Everyday usage. This clearly goes to Con.

4. Burden of proof. Pro fails to prove any of claims categorically. He fails to show that his "scenarios" apply to all people, all the time. And he fails to show that something that is normal in moderation should be defined as "insane," instead of only defining as insane that same behavior, but only if taken to the extreme.

Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 5
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by wierdman 4 years ago
wierdman
"Thinking about the future is what sets us apart from many lower order animals. It allows us to build shelter BEFORE winter sets in. Thinking about the future is a key survival trait."

While I agree with this, there is no denying that we spend an innumerable amount of time pondering about the far future. A future that is not certain to occur. Anticipating the future and preparing for it in the present is one thing, focusing on the future and ignoring the present is another. We have all had those days where we sat down and looked in the future wondering what our future lives might be like. This is insanity as we ignore a time that we know certainly exists and focusing on one that is very uncertain. My opponent describes anti social behaviors as pondering on the consequences of ones actions. This supports my argument in many ways as pondering on the consequences of your actions is still thinking about the future and the past. By focusing on your actions, you have more time to analyze the actions rather than isolate yourself in a world that is both uncertain and non existent.

The competition I described earlier is a whole different thing than what my opponent explains. Competing for resources is rational, however, humanity has evolved competition in such a way that it has become insane. We compete over who can eat the most, hold our breath the longest, have the best things and so fourth. We compete with each other to the extent that we are causing harm to ourselves. Heck we even compete for the sake of being the best without having any need for the prize of winning that competing or any care for the competition at all.

Adjective VS adverb:
My opponent argument is true to some extent. Some extent meaning that we did not just do something insane, we continuously do insane things. When you get drunk, your not an alcoholic...your just drunk. When you continuously over drink, then you become an alcoholic. The same thing with insanity.
Posted by tulle 4 years ago
tulle
What the heck :/ I remember commenting on this debate, the resolution was about trans fats in schools. What the heck :/ lol anyway, favourited.
Posted by nonentity 5 years ago
nonentity
How many times are you going to do the same debate :/
Posted by Ore_Ele 5 years ago
Ore_Ele
Please don't do double negatives for debates. Rather than taking con to "Transfats should not be banned...", do pro to "transfats should be banned..."
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by tulle 4 years ago
tulle
wierdmanbluesteelTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: I don't have all my notes with me so my RFD will be in the comments later. Arguments to Con because Pro had a very high burden to prove, making an absolute statement.
Vote Placed by InVinoVeritas 4 years ago
InVinoVeritas
wierdmanbluesteelTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Extreme statements like Pro's get knocked down hard.
Vote Placed by Stephen_Hawkins 4 years ago
Stephen_Hawkins
wierdmanbluesteelTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: I'll do a longer RFD if needed