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Mega-facepalm

I am disappointed. Jaclyn Glenn makes an incoherent rant.

Her point: it’s terrible for feminists to take an issue like this [the Elliot Rodger murders] and try to twist it around, and tells everyone to look at the problems for what they are. It’s not misogyny, she says, it’s because Rodger was mentally ill. And then she reads a paragraph from is manifesto that is melodramatic, self-aggrandizing, and totally over-the-top, and announces that it proves that he is mentally ill.

The standards for psychiatric diagnoses have really gone to the dogs, haven’t they?

So a guy writes a 140-page raving rant about how women owe him sex, how he hates them, and how he wants to lock them up in a concentration camp and starve them to death, and it’s not misogyny — it’s just random insanity, completely unconnected to the culture around him. OK. So much for looking at problems for what they are.

She should have stopped there — it would have been just stupid and wrong, but she had to get in one more bit of self-defense of her views that completely contradicted what she just said.

There’s an obvious counter-example: what about people who commit acts of terrorism in the name of god, or mutilate themselves or their children, or immerse themselves in absurd life-styles because their holy book says they must? Are they insane, too?

No, no, says Ms Glenn. People do evil things because of religion, not because they’re insane. Rodger killed people because he was insane, not because of the influence of a misogynistic culture that he joined and that flooded him with constant messages of contempt for women. But when religion floods people with constant messages of extreme lunacy, it must be held accountable. Ideological indoctrination only influences you when it’s something Jaclyn Glenn doesn’t like.

I think she noticed the conflict in her position, though, because she quickly starts making excuses, saying there are big differences between religion and patriarchy: there’s not a rule code-book for men that says they are superior to women, she says. No, there’s not a single specific book — it’s just the whole default attitude. It’s an atmosphere of media bias. It’s a world that says, from the minute they are born, children must conform to gender stereotypes.

But we can now safely ignore everything Jaclyn Glenn says, because she also flings in a bizarre anecdote about how she was raised with a mother who freaked out over bugs, and she blames her upbringing on her phobia about insects. She shouldn’t be blaming her mad fears on her upbringing or her culture — she’s just taking this issue and twisting it around to avoid the unavoidable conclusion: fear of insects is a mental illness. How dare she blame her mother when the answer is so much simpler: there’s something wrong with her brain.

The one good thing about this attitude is that we now get to diagnose everyone with wild, stupid ideas as “mentally ill”. Is there enough room in American asylums to lock up Donald Trump, Cliven Bundy, the Wall Street Journal editorial staff, the entire Catholic hierarchy, those screaming pro-lifers lined up outside Planned Parenthood, and all the Tea Party membership? ‘Cause them folks is obviously crazy.

I’m a little worried, though, that it’s also beginning to look like we’re going to have to lock up a lot of the voices of the atheism movement on the same grounds.

Comments

  1. Jeremy Shaffer says

    I think she noticed the conflict in her position, though, because she quickly starts making excuses, saying there are big differences between religion and patriarchy: “there’s not a rule code-book for men that says they are superior to women”, she says.

    So we can condemn people for accepting and acting on anti-social religious rules and decrees that were most likely born out of preexisting beliefs and agendas, but we should just dismiss people that accept and act on said preexisting beliefs and agenda* as mentally ill?

    *Which have persisted on to today, to a large extent, because they were codified into said religious beliefs.

  2. playonwords says

    WTF was that story about bugs supposed to illustrate? That ER or his parents were scared by a brunette and so ER could only ever want “hot” blondes ever after?

  3. Rey Fox says

    take an issue like this [the Elliot Rodger murders] and try to twist it around

    We twisted it around so hard that it ended up straight again.

    The denial around this is utterly baffling.

  4. says

    “there’s not a rule code-book for men that says they are superior to women”

    True. There are multiple rule code-books for men that say they are superior to women.

  5. theoreticalgrrrl says

    @ #1

    Someone did, although I’m not sure if it was 140 pages long. He called it “My Struggle.”

    Also, if you’ve ever read the Malleus Maleficarum, it’s eerily similar to the charges against women in the manifesto. Does this sound like mental illness?

    All wickedness is but little to the wickedness of a woman. Wherefore S. John Chrysostom says on the text, It is not good to marry (S. Matthew xix): What else is woman but a foe to friendship, an unescapable punishment, a necessary evil, a natural temptation, a desirable calamity, a domestic danger, a delectable detriment, an evil of nature, painted with fair colours! Therefore if it be a sin to divorce her when she ought to be kept, it is indeed a necessary torture; for either we commit adultery by divorcing her, or we must endure daily strife. Cicero in his second book of The Rhetorics says: The many lusts of men lead them into one sin, but the lust of women leads them into all sins; for the root of all woman’s vices is avarice. And Seneca says in his Tragedies: A woman either loves or hates; there is no third grade. And the tears of woman are a deception, for they may spring from true grief, or they may be a snare. When a woman thinks alone, she thinks evil.
    http://www.sacred-texts.com/pag/mm/mm01_06a.htm

  6. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    If I remember correctly, some guy from North Africa by the name of Augustine had a little bit to say about men, women, and their proper relationship.

  7. theoreticalgrrrl says

    I can’t resist. And people talk about feminist “witch hunts.” The first sentence reminds me of what some atheist men are fond of asking:

    Other again have propounded other reasons why there are more superstitious women found than men. And the first is, that they are more credulous; and since the chief aim of the devil is to corrupt faith, therefore he rather attacks them. See Ecclesiasticus xix: He that is quick to believe is light-minded, and shall be diminished.
    The second reason is, that women are naturally more impressionable, and more ready to receive the influence of a disembodied spirit; and that when they use this quality well they are very good, but when they use it ill they are very evil.
    The third reason is that they have slippery tongues, and are unable to conceal from the fellow-women those things which by evil arts they know; and, since they are weak, they find an easy and secret manner of vindicating themselves by witchcraft. See Ecclesiasticus as quoted above: I had rather dwell with a lion and a dragon than to keep house with a wicked woman. All wickedness is but little to the wickedness of a woman. And to this may be added that, as they are very impressionable, they act accordingly.

    And:

    For as regards intellect, or the understanding of spiritual things, they seem to be of a different nature from men; a fact which is vouched for by the logic of the authorities, backed by various examples from the Scriptures. Terence says: Women are intellectually like children. And Lactantius (Institutiones, III): No woman understood philosophy except Temeste. And Proverbs xi, as it were describing a woman, says: As a jewel of gold in a swine’s snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion.

    But the natural reason is that she is more carnal than a man, as is clear from her many carnal abominations. And it should be noted that there was a defect in the formation of the first woman, since she was formed from a bent rib, that is, a rib of the breast, which is bent as it were in a contrary direction to a man. And since through this defect she is an imperfect animal, she always deceives. For Cato says: When a woman weeps she weaves snares. And again: When a woman weeps, she labours to deceive a man. And this is shown by Samson’s wife, who coaxed him to tell her the riddle he had propounded to the Philistines, and told them the answer, and so deceived him. And it is clear in the case of the first woman that she had little faith; for when the serpent asked why they did not eat of every tree in Paradise, she answered: Of every tree, etc. – lest perchance we die. Thereby she showed that she doubted, and had little in the word of God. And all this is indicated by the etymology of the word; for Femina comes from Fe and Minus, since she is ever weaker to hold and preserve the faith. And this as regards faith is of her very nature; although both by grace and nature faith never failed in the Blessed Virgin, even at the time of Christ’s Passion, when it failed in all men.
    Therefore a wicked woman is by her nature quicker to waver in her faith, and consequently quicker to abjure the faith, which is the root of witchcraft.

  8. Rey Fox says

    Oh she’s a Youtube talking head? Well, that’s all I need to know to ignore her forevermore.

  9. facepalm says

    I hope she realizes how wrong she is. A huge part of misogynistic culture comes from religion, but some people think that if you’re an atheist you’re automatically freed of the culture shaped by thousands of years of religious oppression. It’s hard to *think* with bigoted friends like thunderf00t and the “amazing” atheist, though.

  10. gingerbaker says

    Glad to know that the random slaughtering more than a handful of innocent people is not a symptom of mental illness – thanks, PZ! I guess we can all breathe easy now.

    Sigh.

    Yes, it is misogyny. Big time.

    But it is also big time mental illness. Pretty much by definition. You disagree? Grab Marshall McKluhan, then. Let’s see if you can find a licensed psychiatrist who would he happy to state publicly that there is even the slightest scintilla of doubt that Rodger was mentally ill.

    Jesus H. Christ!

    Otherwise, you are still jumping a hyperbolic shark and not helping your public perception (that means the REAL world not found in the comments section at Pharyngula).

  11. Drolfe says

    This video is a lot easier to understand if you recall that generally in order for YouTube atheists to like you and praise you, you have to hate feminism.

    You gotta be chill.

  12. says

    Well, I’ve come to the conclusion that misogyny doesn’t actually exist.
    If it’s somebody who harasses woemn on the net, he’s just a troll. It’s not like he’s killing anybody.
    If it’s somebody who actually kills it’s not misogyny, it’s mental illness.
    Rinse and repeat. Don’t pay attention to the misogyny behind the curtain.

  13. borax says

    @1 Kevin. Perfect summery. When Glenn Cross went out to kill Jews and only managed to kill Christians there was never any doubt about his motivations.

  14. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    gingerbaker:

    The best thing about focusing on the mental illness aspect is that it means that we don’t have to look at any other part of US culture: endemic patriarchalism, gun-worship, the anathematization of seeking psychiatric help, the destruction of the public health (including mental health) infrastructure in the name of profit, entrenched misogyny and privilege, and all the other societal problems which have helped the US lead the world in mass murders. So, by all means, continue to focus almost exclusively on the mental illness. That means we can ignore the rest of the shit.

  15. theoreticalgrrrl says

    So, gingebaker, anyone who commits murder is automatically mentally ill? I mean, they obviously have problems, but to declare someone legally insane is something you need to actually prove. You would have to show the person didn’t know the difference between right and wrong or understand the consequences of their actions. That doesn’t seem to be the case here.

  16. sprocket says

    But it is also big time mental illness. Pretty much by definition. You disagree? Grab Marshall McKluhan, then. Let’s see if you can find a licensed psychiatrist who would he happy to state publicly that there is even the slightest scintilla of doubt that Rodger was mentally ill.

    Interesting. There’s a renown Canadian communication theorist with a similar name.

  17. chigau (違う) says

    also
    gingerbaker
    Do you know what “jump the shark” actually means?

  18. bassmike says

    It so much easier to blame mental illness than the toxic misogyny that the murderer was immersed it. Louis and others gave a compelling argument on a previous thread that mental illness was not the issue. Using mental illness as an excuse is a way of preserving the status quo and avoiding having to take a look at the endemic problems caused by misogyny.

  19. leftwingfox says

    It’s telling that so many people clamouring for “He’s just mentally ill” haven’t actually decided what mental illness he had. “Aspergers” seems to be the dominant diagnosis, despite not actually being a mental illness.

    I mean, sure, if you want to tell me he had Narcissistic Personality Disorder, I think that manifesto and video makes a pretty strong case for that. But that doesn’t explain the fixation on women, nor why so many of his online buddies agree with him.

    http://jezebel.com/lessons-from-a-day-spent-with-the-ucsb-shooters-awful-f-1582884301

  20. Jackie the wacky says

    All wars, all murders, all violence ever is due to mental illness now, gingerbaker?
    These are just the results of mental illness, right?

    http://whenwomenrefuse.tumblr.com/

    Let me guess, you think no sane man rapes women and kids too. That’s how people “know” respectable men with good reputations are never guilty of rape.

    Slavery is so obviously wrong that the entire US at one time must have all been mentally ill, because only people with mental illnesses ever do anything evil, right?

    Neurotypical people never commit outrageous acts. It’s those darn mentally ill folks who make the world so horrible for you, good, decent sane people to live in, amirite?

    Do you ever even stop to think about what you are implying?

  21. borax says

    What scares me about Rodger the most is three fold. By the legal definition (thankstheoreticalgrrrl @20 for that) he was not insane. The second is that he held beliefs that are very common (although he may be more extreme than the average misogynist.) And finally, he had access to guns.

  22. says

    The standards for psychiatric diagnoses have really gone to the dogs, haven’t they?

    From all accounts I’ve heard* (pretty much NPR), the parents have pretty much confirmed there was something going on, and that they had attempted to get him help.

    Now, that doesn’t change much, if anything. There are plenty of people out there with these types of issues, and they aren’t misogynistic and violent by default. He learned those ideas from somewhere, and may very well have surrounded himself in a community that echo’s those sentiments. So at best, IMHO, any issues he had may have exacerbated his hatred, but was not the root-cause of said hatred.

    There’s another side to this story that I think is also important (not to downplay the misogyny), and that’s the stigma associated with mental illness and the reluctance of (especially young) individuals to get help.

    *Hearsay, so I guess I should probably put down my shovel.

  23. theoreticalgrrrl says

    Narcissistic personality disorder? My older sibling suffers from this. He’s not mentally ill, he’s just a self-absorbed asshole.
    Something that people with NPD do frequently, and my sibling does this to me ALL the time, is gas-lighting. They will say something, then deny it emphatically, like five seconds later. Even act outraged and offended that you would DARE accuse them of saying that! Even with emails, he will deny something he wrote even though…I have it in writing!

    He’s manipulative and blames everyone else for his problems. But he’s is not near mentally ill.

    I just realized this feels exactly like that kind of gaslighting…the denial of what Rodgers flat out memorialized in writing about his motive. Anyone with half a brain can see that.
    But, no, how dare you accuse him of the things he actually wrote in plain English.

    Jesus. It’s the same shit.

  24. twas brillig (stevem) says

    Glad to know that the random slaughtering more than a handful of innocent people is not a symptom of mental illness – thanks, PZ! I guess we can all breathe easy now.

    I did not see PZ say such a thing. I think you jumped the shark. PZ is objecting to the Glenn dismissing misogyny and saying it was ONLY insanity. I think we all agree that Elliot was …mentally unstable… but ALSO, misogyny was a major motivating factor. PZ was NOT dismissing Elliot as perfectly sane and ONLY misogynistic. The two are NOT mutually exclusive, and one cannot be dismissed when the other is present also.

  25. Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened says

    No, no, says Ms Glenn. People do evil things because of religion, not because they’re insane. Rodger killed people because he was insane, not because of the influence of a misogynistic culture that he joined and that flooded him with constant messages of contempt for women. But when religion floods people with constant messages of extreme lunacy, it must be held accountable.

    Jesus Christ. That is some dictionary-definition special pleading right there. Fucking wow.

  26. smhll says

    Let me guess, you think no sane man rapes women and kids too. That’s how people “know” respectable men with good reputations are never guilty of rape.

    Ouch, yes. This is a really good point.

  27. Kevin Kehres says

    I’m disagreeing with gingerbaker, but at the same time acknowledging how difficult it is (has been and continues to be) for me to wrap my head around this issue of “normal” versus “mentally unbalanced “.

    Of course (as anyone does), I see myself as “normal”. As such, I would never-ever-ever use violence as a solution to any problem — except if attacked (ie, self-defense).

    And I can’t see how anyone else who is “normal” would act the way Rodger acted (manifesto, video, shooting spree). The person in my head says “something’s not right with that guy’s brain”. It can’t possibly be normal. Otherwise, we’d have hundreds if not thousands of these a day. It’s not “normal” because it’s not typical behavior, even for misogynist fuck-wits.

    I think it’s a failure of terminology. We have no word to describe “not mentally ill with a diagnosable illness but certainly far from what we consider normal”. So we say “deranged”. But “deranged” is reserved for those with a diagnosable mental illness? PZ used the word “disturbed” in his original post on this subject and got push-back almost immediately. But “disturbed” doesn’t equal “diagnosable”, does it?

    It’s not normal. Can’t be. What is it?

    Very frustrating.

  28. says

    @theoreticalgrrrl
    I have a sort of twisted affection for the MM. But only because I secretly love to use it when when some idiot online brings up demon possession. Having TS gives me something of a rhetorical advantage that throws them off of their rhythm at least.

    “Tourette’s syndrome: from demonic possession and psychoanalysis to the discovery of gene.”
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22836463

    These excuses seem to take the same form. “I am disturbed that this thing I don’t like might be a common human behavior. Therefore even though I won’t offer specific evidence tying what I see to X, I will declare it X so I can dismiss it.”
    So despite our really screwed up history full of people at all social levels doing horrible things with and without cultural support, everything from personal disagreement to murderous rampages becomes mental illness, demon possession, or even government brainwashing. The need to excuse right-wing terrorism as other things is probably in the same category.

    It’s all statements of “feelings about X”. Never observations of X and correlations to something inside of mental illness which is a really huge and ill defined category.

    Never mind the fact that if there is a connection, interest groups are allowed to explore that connection. At a basic level even people in these men’s rights groups are allowed to look at hatred against men as a factor as well. It’s just that this particular tactic is meant to take attention away from something else.

  29. says

    @Kevin Kehres:

    (Great name, by the way)

    He was a self-indulgent, entitled cretin, raised in a society devoted to the worship of killing machines, raised to expect an entire sex to bow to his every whim, raised on violence and his own selfish desires.

  30. says

    Close to the end she says “look at these problems for what they are.”

    Which more than doubles the problem. With no specific correlation to a mental illness (and therefore no actual argument) she ignores the proportion of various sorts of other disturbing patterns of behavior. The misogynistic trash’s pathological entitlement, the constant measuring of himself by social status, objects and other shallow things like hairstyle, the pathological selfishness, the polarized and intense reactions to perceived slights, and dripping ubiquitous universalized hatred of women that included men related to women somehow. Wall street alone is a good example of how pathological entitlement and selfishness can come from culture (to say nothing for grandiose god complexes). Why should I believe that any of this needs more than standard issue humanity as an excuse?

  31. says

    You know, one of my kids exhibited some worrisome signs as a teenager. We had the young person make a couple of visits to a psychiatric counselor, just to be on the safe side, and nip any potential problems in the bud. Turns out they were just going through adolescence, facing some difficulties at being uprooted by my peripatetic academic lifestyle, that sort of thing.

    And I will not tell you which of my kids it was, because even getting professional reassurance that they weren’t mentally ill carries a stigma. And that’s just not right.

    Also, my parents were very worried about me when I was a teenager. I was moody and quiet; I spent all my time reading books, rather than going out for athletics; I would sometimes disappear for hours on long walks to nowhere. I wasn’t mentally ill, I just had very different interests from my siblings. Also, living in a cramped house with 5 brothers and sisters drove me crazy, and I had to escape somehow.

  32. robinjohnson says

    “Let’s not tar all misogynists with the same brush, let’s do that to mentally ill people instead!” – everyone, this week.

  33. anteprepro says

    If being melodramatic and ridiculously self-absorbed was itself mental illness, would we not consider most celebrities and politicians inherently mentally ill?

    If killing someone was itself indicative of mental illness, would we not consider gang members and all people who escalate domestic violence into murder as inherently mentally ill?

    If mass murder was itself indicative of mental illness, would we not consider soldiers, violent protestors, and all terrorists as inherently mentally ill?

    It seems like the “must be mentally ill” assumption only applies in certain circumstances, which is interesting. But it IS just an assumption.

  34. says

    The real problem with this position is that it represents a false dilemma:

    One is reprehensible for Reasons.
    One is mentally ill for the same, or perhaps other, Reasons.
    There is no overlap, therefore one is only ever reprehensible (cannot ever be excused) or mentally ill (must always be excused because it makes one not responsible for any aspect of one’s behavior).

    At risk of violating a corollary of Godwin’s Law, I invoke Ted Bundy, Pol Pot, and Stalin as exemplars that it is possible to be both reprehensible and mentally ill. They are coordinate, overlapping, but not exclusive considerations.

  35. liz321 says

    I find it strange that so many commenters are so vehemently sure that Rodgers wasn’t mentally ill or disturbed. It does seem to me that the refusal to even consider that he had mental problems seems too quick and eager.

    It does’t have to be “He was mentally ill” OR “He was a a terrible, hateful misogynist.” It can be both…and it probably was both. His problems could have taken on any particular object of hate that made sense in the context of his personal life. It just so happens that the MRA camp fed into whatever disturbing thought process was going on inside of him and became the fuel for the fire of his hate.

    I think it is likely that if it hadn’t been MRA issues, then his rage could have manifested through some other, equally destructive philosophy.

    Some commenters want to say that blaming mental illness is too easy….that we might as well say that any act of violence is because of mental illness….but they are missing the point.

    There are many different types of violence and motivations for violence. When someone purposely sets out to kill random, unknown people to make a statement, or for some perceived offense which exists only in their own minds….that is a good indicator that their mental processes are not working correctly.

    Saying Rodgers was mentally ill is not giving MRA’s an excuse. It doesn’t take away from the issues of feminism that are at hand. The MRA’s hands are dirty. They pushed Rodgers, nurtured his sickness, and gave it a target.

    We don’t need to refuse to recognize mental illness out of a fear that it will somehow damage the argument that misogyny exists.

  36. says

    @ Kevin Kehres 32

    I think it’s a failure of terminology. We have no word to describe “not mentally ill with a diagnosable illness but certainly far from what we consider normal”. So we say “deranged”. But “deranged” is reserved for those with a diagnosable mental illness? PZ used the word “disturbed” in his original post on this subject and got push-back almost immediately. But “disturbed” doesn’t equal “diagnosable”, does it?

    It is a failure of terminology at one level. We do have lots of specific words for lots of specific ways that one’s ability to interact with reality can be affected within the category of mental illness. And we have lots of words that are so commonly applied that they don’t mean much more than “rare, unpleasant, and unappealing to me” like disturbing.

    But if you look at how these excuses are being used (to distract from relevant connections, deny that interested parties can see if what they care about is connected), and the fact that few using them are actually trying to get specific about how what they see matches to something definable, it shows that even with better words we will be in the same boat. The desire is to take responsibility from the killer, or his social group, or his family culture (if it’s involved or not), his stated reasons for wanting to kill, and the means that he had to easily kill as many as he did. It’s political emotional jockeying for position among other groups. If it was not most people would be trying to present arguments instead of giving feeling statements and trying to attach other groups in a knee-jerk fashion.

    Is it “mental illness” if we discover that culturally learned narcissism (no implications to any above poster’s family, general comment only) and other defined behavioral problems change brain structure and give that feature a name? Learning a new skill changes brain structure. Is it mental illness if such changes are permanent, but were avoidable by choosing a different path in life? I say no because society has a real good reason to assign consequences for bad choices, and to actively criticize others for making similar choices.

    The utility of mental illness is that it says that it’s not really the killer’s fault what happened to him so people attached by the themes in the killer’s writings and videos can feel less threatened that something they care about, or something they share as a flaw, will be targeted by society as a problem. So whatever new words we come up with better be primarily defined by what one can control through one’s choices. The closest I can possibly agree with is applications of words like mental illness that refer to how one was raised as screwing one up permanently. But even then people that use or like such ways of raising children will treat that as an attack so same problem.

  37. says

    OK, #39 and #40: what was his mental illness? Be specific now. It should also be a diagnosable illness that isn’t also held by ten thousand MRAs/PUAs who haven’t murdered anyone.

    If you’re just saying his brain was broken, then you might as well say he had demons.

    Except, you know, even exorcists typically have specific names for the demon they claim to be evicting from someone’s head.

  38. Eric O says

    Thanks for summarizing the video. I saw it last night, watched about forty seconds of it, and promptly closed it.

    I’m not a big fan of the atheists on YouTube. I thought Jaclyn was one of the good ones. Oh well.

    On the bright side, there are still a few who get it:

  39. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Jaws and liz321:

    He may have been mentally ill. That is really not the point (to me, anyway). I have tried (quite unsuccessfully) to point out that if we automatically accept that this whole thing was because he was mentally ill, it means we do not have to take a look at all the different aspects of US society — endemic patriarchalism, gun-worship, the anathematization of seeking psychiatric help, the destruction of the public health (including mental health) infrastructure in the name of profit, entrenched misogyny and privilege — which, most likely, contributed to the mass murder. Instead, we have multiple commenters, and news programs, and radio hosts, and newspaper editorialists, and news writers, who are ready to write him off as deranged, yup, so sad, nothing more to see here, since he was insane, he is completely and totally divorced from society and has nothing to do with us. The reality is that his manifesto espouses ideas that many people I know would embrace. And much of it would be embraced by one of the US’s political parties.

  40. Jackie the wacky says

    I want to know exactly where in the DSM it says of any mental illness, “…symptoms include killing lots of people”.

    Stalin?
    Pol Pot?
    Everywhere there has ever been a genocide?
    Just mental illness.

    The murder of Freedom Riders and the Ohio campus shooting carried out by US soldiers?

    Mental illness.

    Ideas and attitudes can never lead to violence. That’s just science.

    Every bully that ever beat up a kid for being nerdy, effeminate or just annoying him or her?
    Just mentally ill.

    No reason to question the status quo. All we have to do is punch down relentlessly at another minority that is also more often the victim of violence than the perpetrator and all violence done to women has nothing to do with misogyny.

    See how easy that is?

  41. anteprepro says

    liz

    I find it strange that so many commenters are so vehemently sure that Rodgers wasn’t mentally ill or disturbed. It does seem to me that the refusal to even consider that he had mental problems seems too quick and eager.

    Let me illustrate this:

    “I find it strange that so many commenters are so vehemently sure that God doesn’t exist. It does seem to me that the refusal to even consider the possibility that He might exist seems too quick and eager”.

    Null hypothesis. Show us the evidence.

    In addition: No armchair or e-psychiatry. Stop simply assuming that bad behavior is an indication of mental illness. And don’t ignore the influence of culture.

    I don’t think any of these positions are at all unreasonable.

  42. Jackie the wacky says

    “Let’s not tar all misogynists with the same brush, let’s do that to mentally ill people instead!” – everyone, this week.

    Truth

  43. sugarfrosted says

    @24, uh no. Aspergers was a real diagnosis. It still technically is, though it’s classified as a form of “austism spectrum disorder” nowadays. What aspergers is, is a autism without a delay in speech. You can criticize the internet arm chair diagnosis of it without being a mental illness denialist you know, right?

  44. says

    Part of me wishes I could do a video response titled: “Hitler: Anti-semite Vs Madman” – in which I try to completely dismiss Hitler’s vociferous anti-semitism and the culture that gave rise to it, and attempt to convince people that Hitler rounded up Jews and massacred them just because he had mental health problems.

  45. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @gingerbaker

    Glad to know that the random slaughtering more than a handful of innocent people is not a symptom of mental illness – thanks, PZ! I guess we can all breathe easy now.

    Feel free to show me the ICD or DSM entry where this is the case.

    Sigh.

    Yes, it is misogyny. Big time.

    But it is also big time mental illness. Pretty much by definition. You disagree?

    Ah! By definition!

    Therefor you’ll be quick to point out to us which mental illness is diagnosable solely on the basis of being a perpetrator of murder?

    Thanks ever so.

  46. Jackie the wacky says

    anteprepro,
    ..and if all of the world’s dangerous people are mentally ill, how does that suggest that society look at people with mental illnesses?

    It suggests that anyone with a history of mental health issues be treated as a threat.

    These people are using the actions of one bigot to promote a different kind of bigotry.

  47. says

    @ liz321 40

    I find it strange that so many commenters are so vehemently sure that Rodgers wasn’t mentally ill or disturbed. It does seem to me that the refusal to even consider that he had mental problems seems too quick and eager.

    To me it’s because when one is investigating a situation like this one should start with the material and start with the themes most in evidence (privilege, selfishness, egocentricity, misogyny). To add a new theme and assess it’s role requires reason and evidence. So far every claim that I have seen to mental illness has been lacking in substance including the video above.

    Jaclyn Glenn presents a paragraph and says it’s obviously a person who is mentally ill. It’s all feelings about what she sees. Not what she sees and why it’s a mental illness. “How can anyone look at this and say it’s because he was misogynistic, or I think it was because of something else, I don’t think it was so much of a mental illness” is an argument from incredulity. It’s easy to point to the privilege and misogyny and show how it led to his motivations. His views of everyone but himself and the universal hatred of women was ubiquitous and easy to see and therefore a rational place to focus explanations. Especially when explanations of how things he said constitute mental illness are not given beyond vague feeling statements of the same form that you can see from political opponents all the time. Nothing replaces a rational argument.

  48. anteprepro says

    Jackie

    These people are using the actions of one bigot to promote a different kind of bigotry.

    True. And, just like the misogyny, this form of bigotry is so thoroughly entrenched in the culture such that the people propagating it don’t even see why it is problematic. Hell, I didn’t even realize how problematic it was until we started talking about it here, and I have a psychology background. Privilege is a powerful blinder.

  49. liz321 says

    PZ

    I don’t know what his particular mental illness might have been. I’ve read a few psych blogs that venture speculative diagnoses. There is no way that I could know his diagnosis anymore than you could know that he didn’t have one. We are people–laypeople–on the outside of the situation speculating and coming up with a narrative about how and why this terrible thing happened. We don’t have access to his medical and psychiatric records…and neither do most of the talking heads who want to say he was perfectly sane and just an MRA, or the ones who claim this was all only mental illness and had nothing to do with MRA attitudes,

    He was under the care of a therapist for a very long time. His parents were obviously very concerned about him before this ever happened and sent out police for a wellness check…usually parents don’t do that simply because their son is a huge @$$hole. There is enough out there to indicate that this is more than just a case of an MRA jerk. But like I said…those two things aren’t exclusive from one another.

    Even well trained psychiatrists take a lot of time to come up with an accurate diagnosis for someone who is mentally ill. It isn’t like being a medical doctor where you can just order a blood test or do an MRI and all of a sudden you have THE diagnosis. But that doesn’t meant that mental illness isn’t real.

    There is an entire spectrum of what could be labeled “mental illness”. Someone who is a compulsive hoarder could be labeled as mentally ill. Someone who suffers from severe OCD could be labeled as mentally ill…even though they may be perfectly rational in other facets of their lives.

    Just because someone isn’t a drooling, hallucinatory, nonsensical idiot doesn’t mean they aren’t mentally ill.

  50. theoreticalgrrrl says

    @Brony

    I hope nobody ever convinced you, even a little, in the demon-possession nonsense. I can’t imagine how potentially damaging that could be to a child’s sense of self confidence.
    The MM, it’s amazing this was the wisdom of the day in the Middle Ages. Beliefs are very powerful. People believed in witches so strongly that they actually tortured and burned people alive. That wasn’t mental illness, it was what people genuinely believed to be right and just.

    If you believe you have a good reason, that your worldview is righteous, you can justify anything.
    Anything. Like opening fire on innocent people.
    Like beating your daughter or sister to death for marrying a man you didn’t want her to marry. Like gang rape and hanging two young girls to die.
    Spree killings don’t happen every day, but the attitudes and beliefs expressed by Rodger are held by the men who beat their wives or girlfriends behind closed doors, and an average of three women a day are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends just in the U.S. Three a day. That is a lot. Is that the result of mental illness, or of a toxic belief system that justifies it?

  51. Jackie the wacky says

    Just because someone isn’t a drooling, hallucinatory, nonsensical idiot doesn’t mean they aren’t mentally ill.

    Fuck you.

    Privilege is a powerful blinder.

    Amen

  52. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    I don’t know what his particular mental illness might have been. I’ve read a few psych blogs that venture speculative diagnoses. There is no way that I could know his diagnosis anymore than you could know that he didn’t have one. We are people–laypeople–on the outside of the situation speculating and coming up with a narrative about how and why this terrible thing happened. We don’t have access to his medical and psychiatric records…and neither do most of the talking heads who want to say he was perfectly sane and just an MRA, or the ones who claim this was all only mental illness and had nothing to do with MRA attitudes

    I am not at all “resistant” to the idea that he was mentally ill.

    I am “resistant” to the idea that we *know* he was mentally ill because he shot people, QED.

    First you say it’s obvious he’s mentally ill, and now in your latest comment, you say


    I don’t know what his particular mental illness might have been.

    If you can’t find the evidence for conclusively diagnosing him with one (1) mental illness, how can you have any confidence that he was mentally ill?

    If you don’t have any expertise in this area, why are you acting as if your default-to-mental-illness stance is so much more justified than defaulting-to-what-the-evidence-shows stance?

    Moreover:

    Someone who suffers from severe OCD could be labeled as mentally ill…even though they may be perfectly rational in other facets of their lives.

    Exactly. We’re talking about **what drove the killing**. We have mounds of evidence that misogyny drove the killings and horrible assaults. We have no conclusive evidence that Rodger was mentally ill, period. We have **none** for the proposition that his specific mental illness caused the killings and other horrible assaults.

    So when we object to people using “mental illness” to deflect blame *for the killing* from misogyny, saying, “But he saw a therapist,” is no rejoinder at all unless you know for what specific reason that he saw a therapist, that that reason was in fact a mental illness and not a personality disorder or something else, and that that mental illness is capable of causing violence against others, and that the potential causal mechanism was in play in this particular person, Elliot Rodger.

    So show a logical chain where a particular mental illness causes his behavior, or stop excusing the people that are using mental illness as a way to deflect blame from misogyny.

  53. anteprepro says

    liz

    Just because someone isn’t a drooling, hallucinatory, nonsensical idiot doesn’t mean they aren’t mentally ill.

    Oh my god. I just don’t even know how to respond to something like that. It’s ableism, stupidity, or some combination of the two. Perhaps I should be charitable and assume that you are just trying to talk down to PZ by stating the completely and utterly fucking obvious in a way that just happens to accidentally sound offensive? Still makes you quite the dumbfuck though.

    Also: your non-answer to PZ’s question is noted. You are still essentially just using “mental illness did it” as an “explanation” akin to “god did it”. You have no real support for the assumption and it is so broad that “explains” everything while actually explaining nothing.

  54. liz321 says

    @57

    Why? Because that’s what it seems like people want to say: “Well he appears relatively sane..so he must be. He is able to drive and make videos on Youtube…so he must be perfectly mentally healthy and rational.”

    My comment was meant to point out that people only want to recognize mental illness in its most dangerous and scary extremes and not to recognize that people who seem “normal” can be struggling with serious mental issues and problems that can be egged on by outside factors.

  55. liz321 says

    @58 Crip.. I did not say that he was “obviously” mentally ill. You must be referring to someone else’s comment.

  56. anteprepro says

    More specifically, Chronic Interweboform Stupidity with Delusions of Adequacy and an acute case of Dunning-Kruger Syndrome.

    Prognosis: Poor.
    Prescription: 2 mg Lurk Moar, BID ocularly x90 days.

  57. liz321 says

    @ante59….no…I never said “mental illness did it.” I said that we don’t know, that it can’t be ruled out, and that if it was mental illness that doesn’t mean he wasn’t also a misogynist. You aren’t replying to what I actually wrote, but to what you think I wrote.

    And..why do people keep trying to compare this conversation about mental illness to a debate about God? We actually know that mental illness exists and that sometimes severely mentally ill people harm themselves and others for indiscernible reasons. It isn’t comparable to “god did it” arguments where someone posits complete, abstract impossibility as an answer to a real problem.

    That’s just lazy argumentation that doesn’t add to the conversation and is supposed to shut people up by comparing them to believers.

  58. zenlike says

    Shorter liz321: “That person has cancer. I can’t point out which cancer of course, but you cannot prove he didn’t have cancer, therefore, I win.”

    Apparently, the definition of “mentally ill” seems now to have shifted to “someone who doid something bad”. In earlier times, these people were just called “evil”, but “mentally ill” apparently has replaced that stupid term.

  59. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    liz231 @ 60

    Why? Because that’s what it seems like people want to say: “Well he appears relatively sane..so he must be.

    Maybe you’d have better luck if you dealt with what people are actually saying instead of what you imagine they want to say.

    How the fuck many times do people have to say “we’re refraining from speculating about his mental state because all we know for sure is that he visited a therapist” before fuckwits like you stop whining that we’re claiming that he was completely mentally sound?

  60. liz321 says

    @ ante

    Oh gee..you insulted me and hurted my feelings :-(…I’m so sad now. I guess you win all arguments through your incredible wit and wordsmithing.

    I guess I have to assume you must have superior intelligence.

    Whatever shall I do?

  61. anteprepro says

    liz, the reason why god keeps getting brought up is because YOU DON’T ASSUME FACTS NOT IN EVIDENCE.

    Clueless fucking git.

  62. anteprepro says

    Liz, please either clarify and/or apologize for “Just because someone isn’t a drooling, hallucinatory, nonsensical idiot doesn’t mean they aren’t mentally ill.”

  63. liz321 says

    @seven…perhaps you have said that you’re refraining from speculating about his mental health.

    I have no idea.

    But I wasn’t writing about people who have taken that attitude. I was writing about people who refuse to even consider the thought that he might have been mentally ill and who reflexively revile anyone who even remotely mentions it as some kind of MRA sympathizer.

  64. Chaos Engineer says

    But it is also big time mental illness. Pretty much by definition.You disagree? Grab Marshall McKluhan, then. Let’s see if you can find a licensed psychiatrist who would he happy to state publicly that there is even the slightest scintilla of doubt that Rodger was mentally ill.

    What definition of “mentally ill” are we using?

    Would suicide bombers be considered mentally ill under this definition? The reason I ask is that I don’t hear a lot of people defending suicide bombers as being “mentally ill” and not fully responsible for their actions. About the most generous thing I’ve heard is that some of them might be regular folks who fell in with the wrong crowd and got exposed to a lot of misinformation or possibly brainwashed.

    Now that I think about it, I’m not sure why the question of whether he was mentally ill or not is important. Is it to help us figure out how to prevent killings in the future? So that if his killing spree was mostly called by mental illness, we should focus on marginalizing mentally ill people until we’re able to “cure” them? And if it was mostly caused by misogyny, we should focus on marginalizing people who spew misinformation, until we’re able to get them to learn something?

    If that’s the question, I’m going to vote that the focus should be on misogyny.

  65. Jackie the wacky says

    “indiscernible reasons”

    Got that y’all? The killer with the 140 page screed about killing women because he hated them had “indiscernible reasons” for committing mass murder.
    I guess we’ll never know why he did it. But since we can never know, let’s chalk it up to mental illness!

    You know who else sometimes harms themselves and others?
    Completely sane people.
    Stop trying to put all the evils of humanity on the shoulders of the mentally ill, you ableist ass.

  66. kagekiri says

    But that doesn’t meant that mental illness isn’t real.

    Who is saying it isn’t real? Who is this strawman?

    There is an entire spectrum of what could be labeled “mental illness”. Someone who is a compulsive hoarder could be labeled as mentally ill. Someone who suffers from severe OCD could be labeled as mentally ill…even though they may be perfectly rational in other facets of their lives.

    Who do you think you’re talking to? Because no one said anything like the opposite point for you to be attempting to rebut them. No one here said it’s all or nothing.

    Just because someone isn’t a drooling, hallucinatory, nonsensical idiot doesn’t mean they aren’t mentally ill.

    We know this. Are you high?

  67. Jackie the wacky says

    Whatever shall I do?

    *raises hand*
    Oo..me! Pick me!

    You can go fuck yourself.

    Liz, you’re the one being insulting and bigoted.

  68. liz321 says

    @ ante

    I thought I did clarify it in an earlier comment. That was meant to point out the idea that people want to think of mental illness as some kind of visible–obvious to anyone–easily labeled as “crazy” thing.

    Mental illness isn’t always easily obvious or discernible to the average person who is just taking a few minutes to think about a person and make a judgment,.

    Mental illness can be mild, and non-interefering with a person’s life or can be completely dangerous and psychotic. And there is a wide spectrum in between those endpoints.

    It seems like people want to insist that it couldn’t be mental illness simply because, other than the obvious bloody rampage he went on, he appeared to “not be crazy”…or what most people internally think of as “not insane.

    My comment wasn’t meant to actually portray people suffering with mental illness in that way but to point how simplistic such a view is.

  69. says

    @ theoreticalgrrrl 56

    I hope nobody ever convinced you, even a little, in the demon-possession nonsense. I can’t imagine how potentially damaging that could be to a child’s sense of self confidence.

    I was diagnosed late (~31) because the stereotype is was largely a person that can’t stop cussing in my world (another bad sign for the public and mental illness perception). So a really hyper and fidgety person got seen as more of normal in a hyper-religious military culture. But there are lots of people out there that really want to believe that demons are responsible and that some ritual will make their brain magically change. No amount of LARPing will fix what science and medicine needs to work on. And even that is controversial because many of us rather like the effects of TS in many respects. The ADHD is another matter.

    Is that the result of mental illness, or of a toxic belief system that justifies it?

    Since you state it globally, both.

    But recognizing which is which and at what proportion is triggering all sorts of toxic group behavior that will only make the solutions harder to find. The biggest problem that I can see here is that when one touches on a sensitive category (defined by personal/social connections) in a persons perceptions, the need to respond, any response, automatically triggers people to get defensive/offensive and assume the worst or the worst/best depending on their relation to the people they are addressing and category of sensitive thing.
    *Sensitivity to all people having the potential to become really screwed up depending on circumstances and choices
    *Sensitivity to universal hatred of women or people that believe really polarized things about women (or any other sex/gender issue) if one feels that they or people in their group are justified in similar things
    *Sensitivity to one’s group containing people with really bad personality characteristics and behaviors that might make one’s group look bad
    So beliefs that all people can be screwed up under the right circumstances, beliefs that men’s rights groups containing really shitty behavior, or any gender group (or any group) as a whole having proportions of bad behavior (or any behavior) automatically trigger offensive and defensive behavior by sensitive parties. Then you see excuses for taking attention from predominant causes, excuses for focusing attention on badly evidenced or minor causes (when no one is saying that these other causes can’t be looked at), excuses for attempts to create moral equivalence through needless connections to similar examples in “on the other persons side”, and the now universally popular “Not all X”.

    I think we need scripts for this.

  70. liz321 says

    @ Jackie…right. I am the one being insulting. The one who really hasn’t insulted anyone..except for maybe poking ante a little…is the one who is insulting.

    Not the person/people who calls others fuckwits and assholes and stupid and tell them to go fuck themselves.

    No. Those commenters are pleasant flowers full of kindness.

    Just because someone disagrees or has an alternative point doesn’t make them insulting.

  71. kagekiri says

    @70 liz321:

    Oh, so you’re talking past us to mental illness denialists….who don’t seem to be here.

    And then getting defensive when people wonder what the fuck you’re going on about, because it’s a tangential argument at best.

    That’s pretty fucking rude on your part.

  72. Jackie the wacky says

    Stop ‘splaining mental illness to us, Liz. We don’t need to be schooled. We are not disagreeing with you because we are ignorant. We’re disagreeing with you because you’re wrong.

    Can I ask you a question?

    You don’t have to answer.

    Are you or have you ever suffered the effects of a mental illness?

    Has it occurred to you that some of the people you are condescending to have/are living with mental illnesses?

    Has it occurred to you how stupid, insulting and shaming you are being to people with illnesses you apparently only know about second hand, through the light perusal of blogs?

  73. theoreticalgrrrl says

    @liz321

    The insanity defense would mean there was proof that the murderer:

    “did not possess ‘substantial capacity either to appreciate the criminality of his conduct or to conform his conduct to the requirements of the law.”
    “The federal insanity defense now requires the defendant to prove, by ‘clear and convincing evidence,’ that ‘at the time of the commission of the acts constituting the offense, the defendant, as a result of a severe mental disease or defect, was unable to appreciate the nature and quality or the wrongfulness of his acts’ (18 U.S.C. § 17). This is generally viewed as a return to the ‘knowing right from wrong’ standard.”
    http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/insanity_defense


  74. Jackie the wacky says

    You are equating evil with mental illness, making comments about “drooling idiots”and you don’t think that’s insulting because…reasons?

  75. says

    @liz321

    You are adding information. That requires justification. If you feel this is not the case why do you believe the assumption of lack of mental illness until evidenced is unjustified?

    I’m tossing out examples but please, what I want are yours.
    Is it because of the intensity?
    The violence?
    The acting out of that violence on that scale?
    The lack of empathy for different groups of people to different extents?
    The ubiquity of misogyny in society?
    The ubiquity of entitlement in society?
    The ubiquity of selfishness in society?
    The rarity of the combination of the bunch? (we would expect this to happen based on statistics?)

    What is it that causes what happened to trigger your mental filter for recognizing mental illness?
    Because a mental filter that allows you to responding to people with “why won’t you consider X” only makes sense if you have information suggesting mental illness. And a mental filter for responding with “there are lots of kind of mental illness and some are really bad” also requires one to know what the bad ones look like.

    This seems like subject sensitivity and not reasoning.

  76. liz321 says

    @ kage…there are plenty of commenters on this thread and others that do seem like mental illness denialists. If that’s not you then don’t be upset by my comments.

    @theoreticalgrrl…there is a difference between being declared legally insane for the purposes of legal proceedings and being mentally ill.

    @Jackie…I have no desire to engage with you because you have done nothing but be insulting and rude and you do nothing other than revert to emotional shaming language meant to intimidate me or others who say things you don’t like. You haven’t conversed with me, so I choose not to converse with you.

  77. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    I am just going to QFMFT ChaosEngineer‘s whole fucking comment.

    What definition of “mentally ill” are we using?

    Would suicide bombers be considered mentally ill under this definition? The reason I ask is that I don’t hear a lot of people defending suicide bombers as being “mentally ill” and not fully responsible for their actions. About the most generous thing I’ve heard is that some of them might be regular folks who fell in with the wrong crowd and got exposed to a lot of misinformation or possibly brainwashed.

    Now that I think about it, I’m not sure why the question of whether he was mentally ill or not is important. Is it to help us figure out how to prevent killings in the future? So that if his killing spree was mostly called by mental illness, we should focus on marginalizing mentally ill people until we’re able to “cure” them? And if it was mostly caused by misogyny, we should focus on marginalizing people who spew misinformation, until we’re able to get them to learn something?

    If that’s the question, I’m going to vote that the focus should be on misogyny.

    I’d really like an answer to this. SO WHAT if he was mentally ill? Why is that important?

  78. liz321 says

    @ Brony…it’s not that I think he could have been simply and angry misogynist. I entered the thread only to add my opinion…as everyone in a comment thread does. I am reacting to the over-reaction of some people to considering that he might be mentally ill. That is all.

    I didn’t enter the thread to write a thesis on mental illness and all its variances and then justify every little thought process and credibility behind my opinion. Unless everyone else in the thread is going to start listing their street creed on the issue and writing lengthy treatises on why their opinion is most valid, then I don’t feel like I have to either.

    I offered an opinion. i replied to some follow-up comments and I don’t feel compelled to jump through multiple commenters hoops just to hear what their opinions are.

    I hear other people’s opinions and don’t demand any jumping through hoops in return or lengthy description of their personal lives and mental filters in order to engage, or to try and make then look bad.

  79. says

    @ kage…there are plenty of commenters on this thread and others that do seem like mental illness denialists. If that’s not you then don’t be upset by my comments.

    Which ones? Point to those comments, it should only take a minute. I have not seen any, I have seen comments that refuse to label someone with a mental illness based on very little actual information, and being especially harsh to those that want to use that label because someone did something “crazy”. I fear you might be reading things into comments that are not there.

    @Jackie…I have no desire to engage with you because you have done nothing but be insulting and rude and you do nothing other than revert to emotional shaming language meant to intimidate me or others who say things you don’t like. You haven’t conversed with me, so I choose not to converse with you.

    You have been rude, very rude. Yet people are still trying to engage with you.

  80. chigau (違う) says

    liz321
    Did you know… that there ….are many …kinds of ….mental illness?
    If ….so, which one… do you think Rodger… had?
    Because ….just saying “mental illness” is … stupid.

  81. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    liz 321

    But I wasn’t writing about people who have taken that attitude. I was writing about people who refuse to even consider the thought that he might have been mentally ill and who reflexively revile anyone who even remotely mentions it as some kind of MRA sympathizer.

    We.

    Do.

    Not.

    Know.

    He.

    Was.

    Mentally.

    Ill.

    When we have some reason to think he was mentally ill, we’ll consider it. Until then, we won’t. Know why? BECAUSE WE DON’T ASSUME FACTS NOT IN EVIDENCE.

    The reason for the suspicion of sympathy with MRAs is because derailing conversations about misogyny with pointless bullshit like this is a common tactic of MRA trolls. Looks like, acts like, quacks like, etc. We’re clean out of benefit of the doubt around here.

  82. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    So what if he was mentally ill? Why is ascertaining whether he was mentally ill or not so very, very important?

  83. liz321 says

    @ seven…there are multiple points of conversation about this situation. Misogyny is only one of them. Mental illness is another. Gun Control is another. Lack of thorough police follow-up during well checks is another.

    Whatever. I just keep repeating myself.

    I gave my opinion and tried to reply to follow-ups.

    There is no point in me continuing to try and defend my opinion or thoughts. If everyone disagrees..then they disagree.

    If everyone wants to continue to insult me or to skew what I am saying so that it fits their predetermined idea of what my opinion means and what it says about me in their minds…go ahead.

  84. says

    liz321,

    Just because someone isn’t a drooling, hallucinatory, nonsensical idiot doesn’t mean they aren’t mentally ill.

    Your ableism, or at best talking down to people, assuming they subscribe to this stereotypical view of mental illness. You have no reason to assume this is what people picture when they are thinking of mental illness. Your willingness to unload the evils of the world on the backs of the mentally ill. We know so little about Rodger and the role mental illness played in this, but you have read some blogs and think it is important.
    Through this entire comment sections you have ignored what others have said. That is pretty damn rude in my books. If you don’t want to clarify, or engage, you should not start replying. Don’t be surprised when people call you out for ignoring and deflectin

  85. kagekiri says

    @84 liz321:

    I’m actually upset because you’re lecturing people who seem to already have a grasp of mental illness, and your weird “let me pretend you’re an imbecile and start with debunking straw-stuff you haven’t said” is patronizing and pretty insulting.

    Try actually citing this mental illness denialism in the thread (copy-pasting is not hard) instead of just talking out into the ether. Because I’m mostly just hearing a weird monologue thrown at people in most of your posts.

    Like when you say :

    It seems like people want to insist that it couldn’t be mental illness simply because, other than the obvious bloody rampage he went on, he appeared to “not be crazy”…or what most people internally think of as “not insane.

    “It seems like people want to say”, and then make a denialist dude for you to argue with? What is that but a fucking strawman? Where is the person actually saying something like this in this thread?

    Stop mind reading us; it’s not working and it’s fucking condescending as hell.

    Or this bullshit:

    Just because someone isn’t a drooling, hallucinatory, nonsensical idiot doesn’t mean they aren’t mentally ill.

    Yeah, you’re debunking a horrible stigma….that no one brought up but you. So yeah, I’m insulted and “upset”. You’re not talking with people right now: you’re ranting at them, and getting upset when they’re upset, saying they’re not in dialogue after spewing your own monologues.

    Stop being so fucking self-centered.

  86. Jackie the wacky says

    Liz,

    Wait, I’m intimidating you and using “emotionally manipulating language”?

    Goddamn, you are one special little cupcake.

    Pretending that you’re going to skip my question because I wasn’t nice enough to you won’t help you look like less of an ignorant, ableist, snot. But you can ignore me, ignore the heinously nasty things you’ve said or implied about people and keep building those straw men if you wanna.

    It won’t change the fact that I’m right about you and your suggestions.

  87. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    liz321 @ 93

    there are multiple points of conversation about this situation. Misogyny is only one of them. Mental illness is another. Gun Control is another. Lack of thorough police follow-up during well checks is another.

    And? Where is your argument going to go once you’ve browbeaten everyone into conceding that he could have been mentally ill? I submit that it has nowhere to because we don’t fucking have any facts to bring to bear on the conversation.

  88. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    liz321,
    It is tempting to look at an unspeakably evil act and attribute it to some single cause. It’s a very human thing to do–X is evil; Y causes X. Therefore if I avoid Y, I won’t experience X. Unfortunately, when you do so, you stigmatize Y, and in many cases, Y would not be a contributing factor at all. That is the case we have here.

    We do not know that Rodgers was mentally ill. Even if he was mentally ill, we have no idea whether said putative illness contributed at all to his evil act. How does it benefit us to posit mental illness as a contributing factor other than to give us an “advanced warning” (probably illusory) of possible danger?

    And by implying that mental illness is a contributing factor to evil, you are further stigmatizing those who suffer from mental illnesses. Take PZ’s advice on the other thread. Substitute demonic possession for mental illness in what you’ve said here. How would your point have been substantively altered?

  89. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    re my 98 last sentence should read “I submit that it has nowhere to go…

  90. PatrickG says

    @ ChaosEngineer,:

    So that if his killing spree was mostly called by mental illness, we should focus on marginalizing mentally ill people until we’re able to “cure” them?

    Absolutely!

    Why, we can force uncomfortable people to take treatments so we don’t have to worry our little heads anymore. From my hometown newspaper’s editorial board, an excellent example of managing to assign all the blame to mental illness, so let’s just start drugging the mentally ill or locking them up.

    Elliot Rodger was receiving treatment for mental illness, according to what is known now about the 22-year-old man who massacred six students in Isla Vista and apparently killed himself on Friday.

    Clearly, whatever care he received was not sufficient.

    Yep. Totally mentally ill. Was receiving treatment, based on some unconfirmed reports that may or may not pan out. Counseling! That means severe mental illness, doesn’t it? Well, obviously, because he was mentally ill. If he’d been cared for better, his mental illness wouldn’t have killed people. Not his fault, totally the mental illness.

    There’s some more in the middle, but it basically argues for involuntary outpatient treatment. Also known as drugging people into “safety” via the order of a court, or confining them to state hospitals if they don’t comply, through California’s ghastly Laura’s Law. We must do it more, apparently!

    In the coming days and months, much will be revealed about Rodger’s warped sense of entitlement, his misogyny and his ability to legally purchase guns. All that may be relevant. But this state and nation must confront the inability or unwillingness to more aggressively treat people who are severely mentally ill.

    Emphasis mine. MAY be relevant? MAY?

    *BLINDING RAGE*

    Full enraging editorial at: http://www.sacbee.com/2014/05/27/6433928/editorial-we-must-confront-our.html

  91. says

    @ liz321 86

    Brony…it’s not that I think he could have been simply and angry misogynist. I entered the thread only to add my opinion…as everyone in a comment thread does. I am reacting to the over-reaction of some people to considering that he might be mentally ill. That is all.

    And they are reacting to your reaction. That is circular but true. No one just adds their opinion, we add opinions for reasons and the act of opinionating has effects. Your opinion also gets to be reacted to. They are also reacting to lots of people that want to bring up mental illness with no reason other than vague impressions about what they see that lack in any attempt to justify with evidence. That is totally justified
    .
    They get to react to your opinion that they are over-reacting when they have experience seeing mental illness used for excuses in all sorts of situation, and they get to ask you why you think they are over-reacting. Even if you are not trying to help the people that are excuse-making, your actions effectively support them and they get to react to that too.

    I didn’t enter the thread to write a thesis on mental illness and all its variances and then justify every little thought process and credibility behind my opinion. Unless everyone else in the thread is going to start listing their street creed on the issue and writing lengthy treatises on why their opinion is most valid, then I don’t feel like I have to either.

    So your whole intent here is literally to tell us to be less sensitive. You still need to be able to justify that if you want it to be more than a feeling. So yeah you actually do need to explain why your experiences are worth more than theirs, and you are effectively saying your experience should be considered. A cred comparison is precisely how this has to play out.

    I offered an opinion. i replied to some follow-up comments and I don’t feel compelled to jump through multiple commenters hoops just to hear what their opinions are.

    No one just offers an opinion. All opinions are given for reasons and have effects on the dynamic of the global conversation. Those are all valid subjects. You don’t have to participate, but it does suggest an inability to provide reason for your opinion.

    I hear other people’s opinions and don’t demand any jumping through hoops in return or lengthy description of their personal lives and mental filters in order to engage, or to try and make then look bad.

    That you don’t ask others to justify your opinions does not require others to refrain from asking you what your justifications are for yours, or require them to refrain from responding to your opinion based on their experience.

  92. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    84
    liz321

    @ kage…there are plenty of commenters on this thread and others that do seem like mental illness denialists. If that’s not you then don’t be upset by my comments.

    Can you at least fucking blockquote, dumbass? Seriously, it’s hard enough reading your drivel; I don’t need to add scrolling back and forth trying to figure out what the fuck you’re responding to. That’s also helpful to you, since you can actually respond to what people are saying. Start with identifying the “mental illness denialists” in this thread.
    ==========================================

    Also, instead of normal for non-mentally ill, I though we used neurotypical?

  93. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    liz321:

    I have been treated for depression. I have tried to kill myself. I have severe nightmares from something that the government refuses to actually call PTSD. I also have Aspergers. So, I have one diagnosed mental illness, one undiagnosed mental illness, and one diagnosed developmental disorder. Leaving aside the drooling insults, am I a danger to others because I suffer from mental illnesses?

  94. sparkles says

    “Liz,

    Wait, I’m intimidating you and using “emotionally manipulating language”?

    Goddamn, you are one special little cupcake.”

    Case in point.

    And the hilarious hypocrisy that everyone called Liz123 an “albeist” is also calling her “stupid, dumbfuck” and similiar ableist language. It must just be your privilege to use those words, eh?

    Liz, do yourself a favor and remind yourself there is only one correct opinion ever, and it’s whatever the cult of pharyngula says it is. Dissenting opinions are not only discouraged, they’re disallowed. Because we’re skeptics, and that’s how skepticism works, right?

  95. says

    Liz321

    I find it strange that so many commenters are so vehemently sure that Rodgers wasn’t mentally ill or disturbed. It does seem to me that the refusal to even consider that he had mental problems seems too quick and eager.

    Said nobody at all.
    But by now several people have explained to you that “he was mentally ill and that was causative because he did those horrible things” is a dangerous and quite obviously not well supported hypothesis.

    sugarfrosted

    Aspergers was a real diagnosis. It still technically is, though it’s classified as a form of “austism spectrum disorder” nowadays. What aspergers is, is a autism without a delay in speech. You can criticize the internet arm chair diagnosis of it without being a mental illness denialist you know, right?

    Why on earth should we take somebody serious who does not know the difference between a disability and a mental illness?

  96. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    55
    liz321

    He was under the care of a therapist for a very long time. His parents were obviously very concerned about him before this ever happened and sent out police for a wellness check…usually parents don’t do that simply because their son is a huge @$$hole. There is enough out there to indicate that this is more than just a case of an MRA jerk. But like I said…those two things aren’t exclusive from one another.

    Therapy doesn’t mean mentally ill. Wellness checks don’t mean mentally ill. Doesn’t even mean they suspected mental illness. Maybe they just thought it was emotional issues, like I dunno anger management, and hadn’t heard from him in a while.

    The point is we don’t fucking know so don’t drag us mentally ill people into it. It’s not a valid speculation. It’s like wondering if a woman was raped because how she was dressed. It’s a smokescreen because the first rule of patriarchy is you don’t talk about the patriarchy. That gets you harassed, threatened and often killed.

  97. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Sparkles:

    Liz, do yourself a favor and remind yourself there is only one correct opinion ever, and it’s whatever the cult of pharyngula says it is. Dissenting opinions are not only discouraged, they’re disallowed. Because we’re skeptics, and that’s how skepticism works, right?

    Apparently Sparkles, you fail to understand skepticism. Skepticism requires one to question everything. But anybody who comes here and preaches their gospel of whatever, isn’t doing skepticism, as they aren’t questioning themselves. It’s all presupposition. The topic for several days has been, without an actual diagnosis of mental illness by proper specialist working with Roger, why should we be using the term.Now Sparkles, what are you questioning? And what new evidence to you bring that Roger had a mental illness? If you have nothing, what is the point of your post?

  98. sparkles says

    Jal
    The point is we don’t fucking know so don’t drag us mentally ill people into it. It’s not a valid speculation.

    Lolwut? Are you on drugs? Was he? Because you both act mentally ill.

    Boom, headshot.

  99. kagekiri says

    @105 sparkles:

    Ooooooh, “dissenting opinions are disallowed”?

    Oh wait, you’re dissenting and it’s been allowed. I guess you’re wrong.

  100. says

    liz321 @70:

    I was writing about people who refuse to even consider the thought that he might have been mentally ill and who reflexively revile anyone who even remotely mentions it as some kind of MRA sympathizer.

    Even *if* I were to entertain the thought that Rodger was mentally ill, I’d shoot it down bc I have no expertise in this area. Do you?
    Would a mental health professional diagnose someone they’re never met?
    Would a mental health professional diagnose someone based on a video or email they sent?

  101. Jackie the wacky says

    Sparkles,
    Get banned.

    It isn’t witty that your being an asshole.

    The only thing you are hitting is the walls, with all the poo you’re flinging.

    It is not ableist to point out someone is being stupid or that their conjecture is stupid. “Stupid” is not a diagnosis. It is not ableist or intimidating to call someone “cupcake” or to use “bad words” toward them.

  102. says

    liz321:

    @ Jackie…right. I am the one being insulting. The one who really hasn’t insulted anyone..except for maybe poking ante a little…is the one who is insulting.

    Errr…umm…ah…

    Just because someone isn’t a drooling, hallucinatory, nonsensical idiot doesn’t mean they aren’t mentally ill

    Think for a second…how would someone suffering from a mental illness feel about the above? You just tarred vast swathes of people and described them as drooling, hallucinatory, nonsensical idiots.
    THAT’S INSULTING.

    Fuckwit.

  103. says

    I’ve yet to see anything by sparkles that was worth reading.
    Perhaps comment #105 will be different?

    Case in point.

    And the hilarious hypocrisy that everyone called Liz123 an “albeist” is also calling her “stupid, dumbfuck” and similiar ableist language. It must just be your privilege to use those words, eh?

    Liz, do yourself a favor and remind yourself there is only one correct opinion ever, and it’s whatever the cult of pharyngula says it is. Dissenting opinions are not only discouraged, they’re disallowed. Because we’re skeptics, and that’s how skepticism works, right?

    Nope. That second paragraph is LOL worthy.
    1- None of the commenters here has the power to disallow “dissenting opinions”.
    2- Dissenting opinions are not discouraged. If you actually read posts and the comments section, you’d see dissenting opinions are frequently expressed. I suspect some people are mad that other commenters are critical of their opinions. As if everyone has an opinion, a right to share it, and some sort of immunity from criticism. Poorly reasoned opinions or those lacking evidence (such as liz321′s) should be criticized. Generally speaking the commentariat here supports using evidence to inform your opinion.
    3- Cult of Pharyngula. Snicker. Diddums come up with that all on your own?

    (yes, that last line is mocking sparkles; what can I say? Xe is a Grade A fuckwit.)

  104. says

    My last sentence in #102 should have read,

    “That you don’t ask others to justify their opinions does not require others to refrain from asking you what your justifications are for yours, or require them to refrain from responding to your opinion based on their experience.”

  105. jodyp says

    I feel the need to stop lurking for a moment just to marvel at how some people refuse to believe that aberrant behavior is not automatically indicative of mental illness.

    Maybe a better way to put that is those same people insist that behavior they consider aberrant *is* automatically indicative of mental illness.

    Either way, wtf.

  106. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    Whacky, as it is a derivative of “whacko”, is another ableist slur. You’re quite the charmer. Also…lol b&.

    People can identify themselves as whatever they fucking want to, jackass.

  107. sparkles says

    People can identify themselves as whatever they fucking want to, jackass.

    Your name calling is indicative of the level of rage and tears you’re emitting. It’s ok, I hold your baseless vitriol against you as much as I do christians sreaming about their rights being taken away. Which is to say, I could care less.

    To your point, however, if you identify yourself as Adolf Hitler, people are going to consider you a Nazi. If you identify with an ableist slur, people will consider you an ableist. If you don’t see the correlation, I might suggest you see a psychiatrist. You may have a mental illness.

    tl;dr u mad it funny huehuehue

  108. says

    jodyp:

    I feel the need to stop lurking for a moment just to marvel at how some people refuse to believe that aberrant behavior is not automatically indicative of mental illness.

    I’m not sure why anyone would believe in things for which there is insufficient evidence.

  109. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    You may have a mental illness.

    Look in the mirror troll. Is it funny when expressed toward you, who is engaged is aggressive behavior (trolling is aggressive behavior)? If you don’t find it funny, time to shut the fuck up.

  110. says

    sparkles:

    If you identify with an ableist slur, people will consider you an ableist.

    Uh, *you* might, but a lot of other people will not. Probably bc they understand ableism a helluva lot better than you.

    Ableism

    [...] is a form of discrimination or social prejudice against people with disabilities.

    Jackie has the right to pick a nym as a form of self identification. Doing so is neither discriminatory nor prejudicial toward others. If you’re going to make the claim that it is, you need to provide some evidence aside from your assertion.
    Or you could just flounce.

  111. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    Your name calling is indicative of the level of rage and tears you’re emitting. It’s ok, I hold your baseless vitriol against you as much as I do christians sreaming about their rights being taken away. Which is to say, I could care less.

    To your point, however, if you identify yourself as Adolf Hitler, people are going to consider you a Nazi. If you identify with an ableist slur, people will consider you an ableist. If you don’t see the correlation, I might suggest you see a psychiatrist. You may have a mental illness.

    tl;dr u mad it funny huehuehue

    Self-awareness. You’re doing it wrong.

  112. sparkles says

    Jackie has the right to pick a nym as a form of self identification.

    And people have a right to not be triggered by ableists who are clearly misogynists, as “crazy” is something misogynists call women.
    Just because you’re a woman-hater doesn’t mean you can tell people to STFU.
    huehuehue

  113. says

    Why do some people think coarse words are an indication that a commenter is angry or crying? It’s bizarre.
    Sparkles I think you’re an ignorant asshole. I’ve read several comments from you that bring nothing to the discussion.
    I’m neither angry nor crying.

  114. sparkles says

    Why do some people think coarse words are an indication that a commenter is angry or crying? It’s bizarre.

    You, sir, are, an, idiot.

  115. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    Why do some people think coarse words are an indication that a commenter is angry or crying? It’s bizarre.
    Sparkles I think you’re an ignorant asshole. I’ve read several comments from you that bring nothing to the discussion.
    I’m neither angry nor crying.

    Indeed. Bemused is about where I am right now. When I first made the comment I was…annoyed, I guess, in an eye-roll sort of way.

    Right now, based on the “u mad” and the “huehuehue” I’m reminded strongly of that one guy in every League of Legends (or similar PvP game) match who spends the whole time telling everyone else how bad they are while repeatedly making mistakes which end up costing his team the game.

  116. says

    I firmly agree that Rodger was a misogynist (it’s evident from the first sentence of his manifesto!), but he seems to have developed his misogyny fully on his own, without the support of outside culture. So outside culture cannot be held responsible for Rodger’s murders. The UCSB murders, thus, were “not because of the influence of a misogynistic culture that he joined and that flooded him with constant messages of contempt for women”, because he joined no such culture.

  117. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    The phrase “not even wrong” just sprang to my mind for some reason.

  118. says

    @ Enopoletus Harding 134

    I firmly agree that Rodger was a misogynist (it’s evident from the first sentence of his manifesto!), but he seems to have developed his misogyny fully on his own, without the support of outside culture.

    How do you explain the fact that he ended up among the anti-PUA crowd and used lots of terminology common to people with such communities as well as sharing a lot of their views? Desiring to join a community that includes so many people with terrible views of women requires a cultural complementarity and history of cultural involvement that matters.

  119. Timothy Brannan says

    I like Jaclyn Glenn. I like her videos (but since I am work I tend to only listen to them, not watch).
    Her arguments seemed a little all over the place.
    But here is the deal.

    She is what, still in her 20s? I didn’t know shit in my 20 and I was getting my Ph.D. then.

    I can easily overlook something given her long track record of great videos.

  120. says

    Enopoletus:

    I firmly agree that Rodger was a misogynist (it’s evident from the first sentence of his manifesto!), but he seems to have developed his misogyny fully on his own, without the support of outside culture.

    Elliot Rodger lived in the US, which is a country (one of many) swimming in sexism, toxic masculinity, and misogyny. He did not live in the wilds away from all contact with civilization.

  121. says

    Timothy @138:

    Her arguments seemed a little all over the place.
    But here is the deal.

    She is what, still in her 20s? I didn’t know shit in my 20 and I was getting my Ph.D. then.

    I can easily overlook something given her long track record of great videos.

    I don’t think anyone is saying it’s wrong to like Jacklyn Glenn. The OP, and various comments have expressed criticism or disappointment.
    I do like a lot of her videos, but I’m not going to overlook this one bc she’s said things I like and agree with in the past. Just as her good videos inform my opinion of her, so too does this bad one.

  122. says

    Following up from my #39 above, I see that I was not clear enough.

    My point was that the “excuse because there was (allegedly) mental illness involved” argument that triggered this entire thread does not either explain or excuse, for lack of a better word, human evil. (“Dickishness” doesn’t go far enough.) That is, the entire argument is a non sequitur based on a well-explained and -known logical fallacy.

    Mental illness may sometimes be a factor in behavior. The three particular instances that I cited (Pol Pot, Stalin, and Ted Bundy) all had various, deep-seated aspects of mental illness. That does not excuse — or even come close to explaining — the depths of their respective evils; they made conscious choices to be evil. We don’t know Mr Rodgers’ mental condition… but we can rightly interpret his actions and choices as evil, because the set {evil} is not congruent with the set {mentally ill} (or the subset {mentally ill so seriously that their behavior cannot be controlled}, which almost by definition excludes those not in long-term confinement).

    In short, my explanation was intended as an attack on the very foundations of Ms Glynn’s incoherent rant referenced at the top of this thread. I apparently did not communicate that clearly.

  123. kagekiri says

    @134 Enopoletus Harding:

    The UCSB murders, thus, were “not because of the influence of a misogynistic culture that he joined and that flooded him with constant messages of contempt for women”, because he joined no such culture.

    Wrong.

    Not only do you have no evidence for your claim, but we have direct evidence in his specific case of outside influence, and more generally about misogynistic culture, and how culture affects people’s thoughts, to make your claims just starkly untrue.

    He had ideas from MRAs and PUAs, and was a PUAHate follower.

    Fellow anti-PUA people are praising him and saying he is worthy of copying (aka writing a manifesto, putting it online, and killing people).

    So, yeah, you’re wrong.

    This link is a woman recollecting her time listening in on such a forum after the murder spree, and they’re pretty extra-terrible scumbags, so trigger warning for violent misogyny:
    http://jezebel.com/lessons-from-a-day-spent-with-the-ucsb-shooters-awful-f-1582884301

    Maybe the group is tiny, but this guy wasn’t alone, and those ideas didn’t come from a vacuum.

  124. Val Schuman says

    While I pretty much agree with the points you make, PZ, it would be nice if you turned down the volume on your inner asshole. There are ways of explaining why someone is wrong without calling them stupid at every opportunity.

  125. CJO says

    because he joined no such culture.

    Get bent, dolt. PZ used the verb “joined” carelessly; it’s not an apt term. And of course, as our current dense-as-lead, inveterately incurious, self appointed pedant-in-residence, you absolutely can’t resist it. It’s fucking pedant-nip.

    This is a misogynist culture. *gestures expansively* The whole goddamn thing. We breathe it, you don’t “join” it, you don’t have to. And as a matter of fact, it does seem pretty clear that he was huffing the fumes from some of the most odious vents. But even if he had not, “constant messages of contempt for women” are all around us, all the time, no membership in any “otherness” called for.

  126. says

    I’m not at all surprised. I have seen a video where she calls The Amazing Atheist a friend. That really turned me away from watching any of her videos rather quickly. (I also don’t really recall her arguments in her videos — the few that I’ve seen — being all that impressive. Seems like she gained popularity after going against Ray Comfort.)

    As for this…

    “there’s not a rule code-book for men that says they are superior to women”, she says. No, there’s not a single specific book — it’s just the whole default attitude.

    It’s not like Christians or Muslims, etc, spend much time reading their “rule code-book.” They seem more likely to get their rules from their pastors, imams, etc. So, this isn’t some big difference. Actually, it would seem to me to be pretty negligible.

  127. says

    @148

    Oh, I was going to give an example…forgot when I posted. Christian opposition to abortion. That doesn’t seem to come from the bible at all. I have never seen once a Christian back up their position against abortion with a bible verse. Has anyone here seen such a thing? I wouldn’t be surprised if some do, but the bigger point I’m trying to make here is that it is something largely independent of their “rule code-book.” So…does that mean Christians who are against abortion are therefore mentally ill, per Jaclyn’s logic?

  128. omnicrom says

    I predict Sparkles is quite serious about their desire to get a “Banned from Pharyngula” badge. Good riddance as well. Though my comment is actually towards Jodyp @120

    I feel the need to stop lurking for a moment just to marvel at how some people refuse to believe that aberrant behavior is not automatically indicative of mental illness.

    Okay this? This right here needs definition. What does “aberrant behaviour” mean? Is it killing people? If so then every military and law enforcement branch in the world is gotta be a hotbed of mentally ill people. This bugs me because “Aberrant behavior” is such a broad term that if you define mentally ill as “commits Aberrant behavior” then you run the risk of saying every non-majority opinion is a sign of mental illness. Under the bad “aberrant behavior” definition, well, Atheism? Mental illness. Homosexuality? Mental illness. Voted for a candidate that didn’t win in an election? Mental illness.

    Jodyp, I’m sure your definition of “aberrant behavior” doesn’t intend to dismiss every single minority opinion as a sign of mental illness, but that is what you wrote down.

    Maybe a better way to put that is those same people insist that behavior they consider aberrant *is* automatically indicative of mental illness.

    Which same people? Who says this? What aberrant behavior? What is the context for this?

    Either way, wtf.

    Indeed.

  129. says

    There are ways of explaining why someone is wrong without calling them stupid at every opportunity.

    Look again. I didn’t call anyone stupid, I said their ideas were stupid.

  130. procrastinatorordinaire says

    @147 CJO

    This is a misogynist culture. *gestures expansively* The whole goddamn thing. We breathe it, you don’t “join” it, you don’t have to.

    But isn’t that the problem for many people seeking to explain ER’s actions to themselves? If it was not so pervasive, it would be easier to attribute the cause primarily to misogyny. Like suicide bombing is an accepted modus operandi of Islamists, we could recognize ER’s actions as those of a misogynist.

    If this sort of shooting spree is the result of misogyny, then either misogyny is not as pervasive as we think it is, or the reasons behind ER’s actions were more complex. Eliminating the first possibility, we are left wondering what other factors contributed to his actions.

    FWIW, I don’t believe that he had to be mentally insane to do what he did. That he held extreme misogynistic views is beyond question, and must have been the major factor. Perhaps those, combined with an inflated sense of worth, and an entitlement to react with violence to perceived wrongs, were sufficient.

  131. says

    “The one good thing about this attitude is that we now get to diagnose everyone with wild, stupid ideas as “mentally ill”. ”

    - I think the writer is forgetting here, that all these other people with wild, stupid ideas DO NOT go about murdering people. There ideas are not against the law and certainly not against humanity.

    Elliot Rodger was not just someone with a wild crazy idea, he was a psychopath with a wild crazy idea. And yes, the misogynist, patriarchical roots in society are to be blamed for this but just as much as the Quran is to be blamed for the jihadist’ and terrorists’ actions.

    Its the interpretation that’s wrong.

  132. says

    Val @143:

    While I pretty much agree with the points you make, PZ, it would be nice if you turned down the volume on your inner asshole. There are ways of explaining why someone is wrong without calling them stupid at every opportunity.

    If PZ is indeed calling anyone stupid at every opportunity, you should be able to point out who it was and show examples. Can you do that?

  133. says

    Sushant:

    Elliot Rodger was not just someone with a wild crazy idea, he was a psychopath with a wild crazy idea. And yes, the misogynist, patriarchical roots in society are to be blamed for this but just as much as the Quran is to be blamed for the jihadist’ and terrorists’ actions.

    Wild, crazy ideas borne out of the misogynist culture in the US.
    Wild, crazy ideas borne out of the racist culture in the US.

    Also, what are your qualifications for concluding the Elliot Rodger was psychopathic? And when did you study him?

  134. CJO says

    @152,

    I don’t have as much time as I would like to respond. But I think your error is in not seeing this extreme outburst as “far right on the curve” where there is a curve. It’s not an isolated data-point way off the chart; neither is it a typical expression of (nevertheless pervasive) misogyny. The chorus of “mental illness” is a function of people wanting to “other” when they see such incredibly cruel actions. They don’t ever want to believe that “someone just like them” could be capable of such acts, and they certainly don’t want to contemplate how much more likely an extreme expression on the part of a more than ordinarily obsessed enthusiast becomes when there’s little social opprobrium attached to “normal” everyday sexist discourse and misogynist attitudes.

  135. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Sushant Gambhir, #153:

    I’m really not understanding you.

    - I think the writer is forgetting here, that all these other people with wild, stupid ideas DO NOT go about murdering people. There ideas are not against the law and certainly not against humanity.

    Are you suggesting that whether your ideas are against the law is diagnostic of mental illness?

    So one person who fantasizes about driving a race car flat out, at night, with no one around, to see how fast it is possible to get across Montana is mentally ill, but another is completely sane who fantasizes about driving a race car in the Indy 500, cutting people off with inches to spare and leaving other drivers skidding out in their wake?

    Seriously, what does the legality of an activity have to do with the illness or sanity of a fantasy?

    Elliot Rodger was not just someone with a wild crazy idea, he was a psychopath with a wild crazy idea.

    And the psychopath diagnosis you got from what evidence?

    the misogynist, patriarchical roots in society are to be blamed for this but just as much as the Quran is to be blamed for the jihadist’ and terrorists’ actions.

    And how much is that?

    Its the interpretation that’s wrong.

    Interpretation of what? How is the interpretation wrong? Are you saying that misogyny and patriarchy are okay, but Rodger just interpreted them wrongly?

    Are you saying that commenters’ thoughts on Rodger are interpreting Rodger wrongly?

    What are we supposed to take away from your comment?

  136. Amphiox says

    A depressed (or whatever) misogynistic bigot can go on a killing spree not because he is depressed, but because he is a misogynistic bigot.

    The question of mental illness is not even relevant at all unless you can say that the mental illness was primarily causative of the killing spree, or else it is no more relevant than the question of whether or not he had heartburn.

    What is the evidence that he had a mental illness that was causative of his killing spree? Crickets.

    What is the evidence that misogyny was causative of his killing spree? An extended YouTube rant wherein he EXPLICITLY described misogynistic motivations for his killing spree.

    Faced with this disparity of evidence, the choice should be obvious.

    N

  137. Amphiox says

    Now let us look at the history of killing sprees. How often do we EVER see a case where mental illness was the PRIMARY cause? Wherever mental illness is involved, it is never acting alone. It is always mental illness AND misogyny, or mental illness AND religious fanaticism, or mental illness AND homophobia, or mental illness AND bigotry, mental illness AND X, and the mental illness is SECONDARY. Imagine if in each of those cases you had a magic wand that could remove EITHER the mental illness OR the X, but not both, before he killing spree. Which of those two would have been more effective at preventing the killing spree? It is almost always the X.

    In the case of Rodgers, the killing was either caused by misogyny, or mental illness AND misogyny, with misogyny being primary and mental illness being secondary.

    Now, given incomplete information and limited time, what makes more sense to focusing most? Mental illness, or misogyny?

  138. says

    Wild, crazy ideas borne out of the misogynist culture in the US.
    Wild, crazy ideas borne out of the racist culture in the US.

    Yes indeed, Ideas borne out of the misogynist culture in the US. Agreed.

    The same culture that houses 318 million other people as well, not all of them do the same things Elliot Rodgers did.

    I’m not saying there is nothing wrong with the culture, there is, it is racist and misogynist but to what extent? I’m sure even the most misogynist and sexist people would not agree with what rodgers did, they won’t go to the extent of taking revenge from humanity, not just women, but HUMANITY, just because they couldn’t get laid.

    Also, what are your qualifications for concluding the Elliot Rodger was psychopathic? And when did you study him?

    Really? Now i have to have qualifications to call a murderer a “murderer” to call, someone who killed people just because he thought they had a better life than him and didn’t deserve it, a psychopath. Really?

    I don’t need qualifications to state the obvious.

    And i’m really not understanding this sympathy towards a psycho murderer where people think “ohh he was a poor boy who was led towards a dark path by this EVIL, MISOGYNIST society without any fault of his own”. Its almost as if you guys think the society deliberately trains people into becoming misogynists. The flaws of the society can not be used as an excuse for murder.

  139. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The same culture that houses 318 million other people as well, not all of them do the same things Elliot Rodgers did.

    Which has nothing to do with mental illness.

    I’m sure even the most misogynist and sexist people would not agree with what rodgers did, they won’t go to the extent of taking revenge from humanity, not just women, but HUMANITY, just because they couldn’t get laid.

    Citation mother fucking needed, as this claim is bullshit without support.

    Now i have to have qualifications to call a murderer a “murderer” to call, someone who killed people just because he thought they had a better life than him and didn’t deserve it, a psychopath. Really?

    No, what are your qualifications to call him a “psycopath”, and without professional credentials, your claim will be dismissed.

    I don’t need qualifications to state the obvious.

    The obvious being what? Citation needed. See where we come from? Your unsupported views aren’t taken seriously. Now, show us the mother fucking evidence from the third party literature….

  140. Al Dente says

    Sushant Gambhir @161

    Really? Now i have to have qualifications to call a murderer a “murderer” to call, someone who killed people just because he thought they had a better life than him and didn’t deserve it, a psychopath. Really?

    Yes really. First, give a definition of psychopathy, show this is a definition recognized by mental health professionals, then show that Roger fits that specific definition. Otherwise you’re talking trash.

  141. CJO says

    Sushant:
    You’re not really understanding. Full stop.

    There is no sympathy. There is context.

  142. says

    @Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden, #158:

    Are you suggesting that whether your ideas are against the law is diagnostic of mental illness?

    So one person who fantasizes about driving a race car flat out, at night, with no one around, to see how fast it is possible to get across Montana is mentally ill, but another is completely sane who fantasizes about driving a race car in the Indy 500, cutting people off with inches to spare and leaving other drivers skidding out in their wake?

    Seriously, what does the legality of an activity have to do with the illness or sanity of a fantasy?

    No, i’m saying murdering people for a petty reason, believing that the others don’t deserve a better life than you and thinking that the entire human race is responsible for you not getting laid, is diagnostic of mental illness.

    the misogynist, patriarchical roots in society are to be blamed for this but just as much as the Quran is to be blamed for the jihadist’ and terrorists’ actions.

    And how much is that?

    Just a little bit.

    Its the interpretation that’s wrong.

    Interpretation of what? How is the interpretation wrong? Are you saying that misogyny and patriarchy are okay, but Rodger just interpreted them wrongly?

    Are you saying that commenters’ thoughts on Rodger are interpreting Rodger wrongly?

    What are we supposed to take away from your comment?

    No, they are not okay. They are society’s flaws. Rodgers took it to a completely different degree and that’s what i mean by “interpretaion”.

    You might see men treating women badly in the society but drawing from that, the conclusion that you are the true alpha male, and that all the women are mad for not accepting you and that all the men are wrong for getting laid while you can’t. That’s fucked up. That’s sick.

  143. says

    Sushant:

    Really? Now i have to have qualifications to call a murderer a “murderer” to call, someone who killed people just because he thought they had a better life than him and didn’t deserve it, a psychopath. Really?

    I wasn’t questioning the labeling of Rodger as a murderer-he was.
    I’m questioning your qualifications for calling him psychopathic. Are you a qualified mental health professional making that determination? If so, is it based on having met Rodger? Or is it based on “reading things online and watching a video”? I don’t know for sure (the preceding 5 words are snark, btw), but I don’t think that’s how qualified mental health professionals diagnose people.

  144. procrastinatorordinaire says

    @157 CJO

    I don’t have as much time as I would like to respond. But I think your error is in not seeing this extreme outburst as “far right on the curve” where there is a curve. The chorus of “mental illness” is a function of people wanting to “other” when they see such incredibly cruel actions.

    I take your point. I was thinking that seeking to other him as other than an extreme misogynist was a tacit admission that his blatant misogyny was actually quite common. It is more probable that these people are arguing that only an ‘abnormal’ person could hold such views.

  145. says

    Sushant:
    Oh, I missed this gem:

    And i’m really not understanding this sympathy towards a psycho murderer where people think “ohh he was a poor boy who was led towards a dark path by this EVIL, MISOGYNIST society without any fault of his own”. Its almost as if you guys think the society deliberately trains people into becoming misogynists. The flaws of the society can not be used as an excuse for murder.

    I’m not expressing sympathy for Elliot in any way, shape, or form. I condemn what he did. Nowhere have I stated otherwise.
    What I have said is that there is insufficient evidence to support the claim that Elliot Rodger suffered from a mental illness. And I’ve expressed doubt that people such as yourself are in any way qualified to make a mental health diagnosis of someone, let alone someone who is dead (and whom you’ve probably never met). On what world is that expressing sympathy for him?
    The decisions he made were his own. He could have chosen *not* to go on a killing spree. I’m sure there are plenty of misogynistic assholes who don’t go around killing people.
    Looking for and attempting to understand the root of this killing spree is most certainly NOT trying to make excuses for his actions.

  146. A. Noyd says

    Amphiox (#159)

    What is the evidence that he had a mental illness that was causative of his killing spree? Crickets.

    Well, you know, mass murder is a thing crazy people do. Rodger engaged in mass murder, so it has to be because he was crazy. This is 100% super-awesome-perfect logic with nothing wrong with it at all, QE fucking D.

    ~*~*~*~*~*~

    Sushant Gambhir (#165)

    You might see men treating women badly in the society but drawing from that, the conclusion that you are the true alpha male, and that all the women are mad for not accepting you and that all the men are wrong for getting laid while you can’t. That’s fucked up. That’s sick.

    That’s the specific foundational belief of an entire subculture, not something Rodger and his lonely boner came up with on his own.

  147. anteprepro says

    Sushant

    Yes indeed, Ideas borne out of the misogynist culture in the US. Agreed.

    The same culture that houses 318 million other people as well, not all of them do the same things Elliot Rodgers did. I’m not saying there is nothing wrong with the culture, there is, it is racist and misogynist but to what extent?

    Amazing. Not every man beats their significant other either. So what? It is clear that misogyny is the major fucking factor in each case, even if not every fucking man in the entire culture behaves in the exact same fashion. How is this really so hard to understand?

  148. says

    @Al Dente, #163

    The dictionary definition- http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/psychopath
    and the scientific definition- http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/what-psychopath-means/?page=1

    Eat both of them up.

    Both fit him perfectly. Inability to establish a meaningful personal realationship (he was a virgin, never had a girlfriend, had never kissed a girl), EXTREME EGOCENTRICITY (ofcourse, he was the true alpha male, he was also GOD), being devoid of guilt, love, empathy (killed peope for having a better life than him). Placing the blame for their actions on others (the human race), inability to inhibit impulses (wanted to kill women because they won’t sleep with him).

    Lemme know if you wanna be spoonfed some more.

  149. says

    @anteprepro, #170:

    Amazing. Not every man beats their significant other either. So what? It is clear that misogyny is the major fucking factor in each case, even if not every fucking man in the entire culture behaves in the exact same fashion. How is this really so hard to understand?

    Yes, it is the “major fucking factor”. I’m just saying its not the sole reason. How fucking hard is that?

  150. anteprepro says

    Sushant at 171:
    First:

    Inability to establish a meaningful personal realationship (he was a virgin, never had a girlfriend, had never kissed a girl)

    Meaningful personal relationship is not exclusively romantic relationships. You fail right out of the gate.

    Second: You are basing all of this diagnosis entirely on reading his manifesto. Even if you were a psychiatrist, you would be a bad one.

  151. anteprepro says

    Sushant

    Yes, it is the “major fucking factor”. I’m just saying its not the sole reason.

    Great. Now explain why the remaining reason must be mental illness.

    With you and everyone else like you, it is just “Mental Illness of the Gaps”. You just assume it. You just outright assume that if someone does something bad and/or unusual, they must have some form of mental illness. Prove it or shut the fuck up and stop contributing to the stigma.

  152. Al Dente says

    Sushant Gambhir @171

    Did you even read the links you gave? Perhaps you missed this part of the SciAm post:

    Nevertheless, most psychopaths are not violent, and most violent people are not psychopaths. In the days following the horrific Virginia Tech shootings of April 16, 2007, many newspaper commentators described the killer, Seung-Hui Cho, as “psychopathic.” Yet Cho exhibited few traits of psychopathy: those who knew him described him as markedly shy, withdrawn and peculiar. [emphasis added]

    There’s the further point that “psychopath” and “psychopathy” are not mentioned in DSM 5.

    Lemme know if you wanna be spoonfed some more.

    Looks like you’re the one who needs to be spoonfed. At least I’m not the one using non-standard terminology and pretending it’s something that mental health professionals use. Better luck next time.

  153. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Sushant:

    Do you have a coherent take on the distinctions between personality disorders and mental illnesses?

    When you say that

    believing that the others don’t deserve a better life than you and thinking that the entire human race is responsible for you not getting laid, is diagnostic of mental illness.

    And of which mental illness would it be diagnostic?

    And do you know anything about the research I’ve discussed previously addressing mass killers?

    Maybe you could read this article and tell me if the psychology of revenge and obliteration might be relevant at all to understanding Isla Vista.

    Further, I look forward to hearing more about how “impulse control” is evidenced by living a very repressed life, unable to talk to peers, especially women peers, except under controlled conditions. Or do you have a specific hypothesis about how peri-mortem behavior is more diagnostic of mental illness than long term patterns of behavior that are interrupted peri-mortem?

  154. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @anteprepro, #174:

    Sushant: Yes, it is the “major fucking factor”. I’m just saying its not the sole reason.

    Great. Now explain why the remaining reason must be mental illness.

    I suspect that evidence and logic, as mediated by culture and common cognitive biases cannot sufficiently account for Sushant’s insistence that the remainder must be explained by mental illness.

    As those known factors, taken together, cannot be the sole reason, it is clear that Sushant is demonically possessed, thus causing this line of commentary.

  155. says

    Sushant @171:
    Ah, a dictionary definition and an article from Scientific American are all one needs to become a mental health professional. Interesting. That’s news to me. I figured there was years of schooling and studying and tests. You know, that kind of stuff. Nice to know how easy it is (you ought to tell anyone wasting their time in college). And heck, you’re even better than the pro’s, bc you can diagnose online *and* you never have to meet the person. Damn, but you’re good.

  156. says

    Wow, everyone here who disagrees with me is wrong because I’m the alpha male, no, the TRUE alpha male and I’m always right and I want to kill everyone of you for not agreeing with me. And then I will be God.

    But I won’t.
    Because, I have a brain, a conscience and I’m not a psychopath.

    But still, fuck you all. :)

  157. anteprepro says

    Oh my Christ, Sushant! He linked to two articles when deciding to lecture about the meaning of “psychopath” but solely relied on the dictionary definition!

    But what does the other, actual article say (bolding mine):

    Yet they are self-centered, dishonest and undependable, and at times they engage in irresponsible behavior for no apparent reason other than the sheer fun of it. Largely devoid of guilt, empathy and love, they have casual and callous interpersonal and romantic relationships. Psychopaths routinely offer excuses for their reckless and often outrageous actions, placing blame on others instead. They rarely learn from their mistakes or benefit from negative feedback, and they have difficulty inhibiting their impulses ….

    The best-established measure of psychopathy, the Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R), developed by University of British Columbia psychologist Robert D. Hare, requires a standardized interview with subjects and an examination of their file records, such as their criminal and educational histories. Analyses of the PCL-R reveal that it comprises at least three overlapping, but separable, constellations of traits: interpersonal deficits (such as grandiosity, arrogance and deceitfulness ), affective deficits (lack of guilt and empathy, for instance), and impulsive and criminal behaviors (including sexual promiscuity and stealing).

    Yeah, you have failed your e-diagnosis pretty damn hard.

  158. anteprepro says

    Shaking my head at 179.

    Way to fail one step further, Sushant. Just illustrating even further that you don’t really know what the fuck you are talking about.

  159. says

    @al Dante, #175:

    Yes, I read it and the lines you pointed out are the very reason I shared the link because I wanted it be known that I’m not basing my conclusion solely on violence.

    You assume too much of me kid.

  160. anteprepro says

    Sushant

    Yes, I read it

    Not very well. But keep pretending you are competent. It’s hilarious.

  161. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    But I won’t.
    Because, I have a brain, a conscience and I’m not a psychopath.

    But still, fuck you all. :)

    Brains means real scientific literature presented, not just your unevidenced views. Now where is your credentials and evidence?

  162. theoreticalgrrrl says

    @Sushant Gambhir

    This is what people are taking issue with:

    @ 125 jodyp wrote, “I feel the need to stop lurking for a moment just to marvel at how some people refuse to believe that aberrant behavior is not automatically indicative of mental illness.”

    and this:
    @15 gingerbaker “Glad to know that the random slaughtering more than a handful of innocent people is not a symptom of mental illness – thanks, PZ! I guess we can all breathe easy now.”

    And your comments such as:
    @164 “No, i’m saying murdering people for a petty reason, believing that the others don’t deserve a better life than you and thinking that the entire human race is responsible for you not getting laid, is diagnostic of mental illness.”

    You and others are concluding that anyone who murders is automatically mentally ill, that only a person with mental illness could possibly commit these kind of crimes. It’s simply not accurate.

    Psychopathy is not the same thing as psychosis.

    “Inability to establish a meaningful personal realationship …. EXTREME EGOCENTRICITY… being devoid of guilt, love, empathy… Placing the blame for their actions on others … inability to inhibit impulses.”

    These are also indicative of narcissism, which is not a mental illness. Everything you’ve described there could apply to a few of my family members who do not suffer from mental illness, they’re just callous selfish assholes.

    I, on the other hand, suffer from panic disorder and have been diagnosed with PTSD by a qualified psychiatrist.

    So what you and gingerbaker and jodyp and others are saying is the only type of people capable of going on a spree killing are people like me. You’re saying spree killings are diagnostic of mental illness.

    @brony
    Thanks for your thoughtful and thought-provoking comments at #76

  163. says

    Okay, everyone.
    It’s starting to bother me that some jackass killed six people for no reason and I’m here arguing whether or not he was a psychopath.

    I think he was.
    You think he wasn’t. OKAY, Fine.

    I don’t wanna waste any more of my energy on this since everyone here agrees that what he did was EXTREMELY moronic, wrong and condemnable.

    I’d leave it at that.

  164. throwaway says

    Let me see how I can explain the reason mental illness is irrelevant…

    Everyone starts off with a blank canvas. Some of us have more or less paint diversity than others so there are things some can paint which others have difficulty with. Some of us also have more varied brushes and tools with which to paint. But we still choose what to paint despite those tools and paints. What is painted is still a choice – there is not a set path for each schizophrenic or manic episode that leads to the same exact painting. Environment, which in this case would be toxic MRA and PUA communities, helped to delineate what this asshole painted, with or without a full variety of brushes and colors, i.e. not the presence or absence of mental illness. Got it?

  165. says

    Sushant:

    Wow, everyone here who disagrees with me is wrong because I’m the alpha male, no, the TRUE alpha male and I’m always right and I want to kill everyone of you for not agreeing with me. And then I will be God.

    But I won’t.
    Because, I have a brain, a conscience and I’m not a psychopath.

    But still, fuck you all. :)

    This doesn’t make one ounce of sense.
    What is so difficult to understand about the following:
    •Unless you’re a mental health professional, you’re not qualified to make a diagnosis of anyone. Psychopathy is not a condition that a lay person gets to diagnose anyone with.
    • If you *are* a mental health professional, how are you making a diagnosis of someone you haven’t met? Shouldn’t you, you know, *meet them*?

    Seriously, why can you not grasp what I’m saying?
    Are there any other fields that you pontificate on without being qualified? Or are you Omni Qualified Guy?

  166. anteprepro says

    Someone else’s mental health diagnoses are, like, just an opinion, man. *tokes*

  167. says

    Sushant:

    Okay, everyone.
    It’s starting to bother me that some jackass killed six people for no reason and I’m here arguing whether or not he was a psychopath.

    I think he was.
    You think he wasn’t. OKAY, Fine.

    Do you go around diagnosing dead people online all the time?
    And all I wanted to know was how you are qualified to make that statement. Yes, you need to be qualified. You don’t know the first thing about how to diagnose the mental state of others, and yet here you are doing that very thing. God but you’re an arrogant fucker.

  168. says

    @ theoreticalgrrrl 186

    No problem! I’m just whispering in the crowds. Isn’t that what demons are supposed to do ;)

  169. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    I think it’s irrelevant because we have no good scientific evidence of a significant increase in violence from mental illnesses other than substance abuse disorders and a specific subset of a specific subtype of schizophrenia. A few other disorders have some, but not great, evidence of increases in violence.*

    On the other hand, there is research that misogyny and willingness to harm are correlated. And we have good evidence of misogyny in this particular case. “there must be something more, so… mental illness” is exactly the reasoning that PZ decried in the Demonic Possession thread.

    I’m not at all resistant to the idea that mental illness existed in Rodger. I just have no idea what it would have been, and I’m not much better off just adding in the fact that he shot a bunch of people and then himself. I can’t use that to narrow things any more than to the standard pseudo commander killer type. But I can’t be certain he fits even that, and if he does, that merely says that such killers have rates of common mental illnesses above the background in the gen pop. But the mental illnesses involved are still ones that millions of others have (the most common noted was depression) and even then, the pseudo commandos were unlikely to have severe symptoms.

    So it’s not relevant because we have no evidence of any specific illness that could cause the shooting, and the best template of which I’m aware that is used to analyze shootings like this one suggests that mental illness is no factor in the majority of these killers and not a large factor in the rest, with the specific diagnoses most likely being ones that don’t, in fact, correlate to increases in violence.

    So it’s not relevant because it’s been investigated and found to be not fucking relevant. If there’s actual evidence particular to this case, that would be much better than a “shooter template”, but so far all we’ve got are people saying, “there must have been something going on for him beyond the sexism that is common among tens of millions of men: I wouldn’t shoot anyone.”

    Sure. I agree. And thank you for being someone who wouldn’t shoot anyone. But this is a classic argument from ignorance, and like the arguments from ignorance deploring evolutionary theory, this one isn’t even one that argues about an area of human ignorance, but from an area of personal ignorance of facts and research that are known to many of the people in the relevant field of expertise.

    It’s tiresome to keep hearing that one person’s ignorance should be more persuasive than the research of a field of smart, focussed academics.

    *I’m not remembering all the research that I should, but it’s possible that bipolar (1) with psychosis (mania attached psychosis subtype) has an identifiable subset of persons where mania & delusion combine to produce an increase in violence, but most delusions in BP(1)w/P are not likely to feed into violence (e.g. “I can totally pick up a few overtime hours and pay off the extra credit card bill, it’ll be fine!”; “everyone loves me!”; etc.), and those that are depression-attached rather than mania-attached are not likely to be dangerous to others either. Again, IIRC

  170. says

    @Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!, #191:

    God but you’re an arrogant fucker.

    Well, I never gave it much though but maybe, I am.
    But, then again, you’re not qualified to make that diagnosis and have no evidence and you’re doing it all based on a few lines I wrote on the internet, so, shut the fuck up man.

    #192:

    Haha, calm your tits man, I’m still here.

  171. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Haha, calm your tits man,

    Oh, delightful.

  172. anteprepro says

    And now comes to the blatant trollling. Sushant might need to be banned for their own good, before they reach Terminal Inanity.

  173. neuroguy says

    This “debate” is as nonsensical as racists of old arguing whether you needed 1/4 or 1/8 of black ancestry in order to be really “black”. Mental illness, like race, is merely a social construct. Yeah, sure, various “mental illnesses” correlate with differences in brain structure, or function, or metabolism, or topology; just as race correlates with differences in genotype. So what? We didn’t arrive at “mental illness” or “race” based on objective things like brain structure or genotype; we arrived at them based on things we deemed important at the time.

    I’m not impressed by the “argument to expertise” advanced by some posters. I’m not a mental health professional. Yet I can look up the DSM and find out whether or not someone meets the highly socially constructed “criteria” for mental illness (let me remind everyone here, even as late as the 1960s homosexuality was in the DSM as a “disorder”). I also don’t have a Ph.D. in math. Yet I am able to tell if someone makes a mistake on a differentiation or integration (or addition or multiplication).

    You want to argue that someone who believes space aliens are about to invade the earth, or that the zombie apocalypse is imminent, or that he is the second coming of Napoleon, or Jesus Christ, is “mentally ill”; while someone who believes Allah will reward him with 72 virgins for blowing up buildings with himself inside, or someone who believes that women (or Jews, or African-Americans, or Asians, or whomever) are evil and the cause of all his sufferings and should be killed is not: fine, be my guest. Just don’t pretend that your decision to classify which delusions are the result of “mental illness” and which are not is the result of anything more than your preference. It is not based on anything objective whatsoever.

  174. Al Dente says

    Whether or not Rodger was mentally ill is actually a moot point. If he was there’s nothing we can do about it at this point. However the misogynist culture which nurtured his hatred of women can be examined, can be analyzed, and hopefully can be curtailed.

    I’m made angry by the MRAs and other misogyny apologizers saying: “The only thing driving Rodger was his mental illness.” That’s bullshit! He was a flat-out misogynist. He saw women as things, not people. He talked about killing all women because they weren’t meeting his expectations to be compliant sex objects. Who told him that women weren’t even sub-human? The patriarchal culture did. Women were objects because they are continually objectified. Women are lesser than men because the patriarchal culture continually says so. That’s what has to be dealt with. Rodger’s possible mental illness is a red herring. The misogynist, patriarchal culture is real.

  175. neuroguy says

    @200:

    I don’t get it either. Let’s assume, arguendo, that Rodger was mentally ill. Are these “misogyny apologizers” really going to say with a straight face that, well, if all this drives a sane person to kill, THEN there’s a problem; but if it just drives a mentally ill person to kill, well, that’s OK, ’cause…

  176. says

    Sushant:

    But, then again, you’re not qualified to make that diagnosis and have no evidence and you’re doing it all based on a few lines I wrote on the internet, so, shut the fuck up man.

    There is a difference between saying “Person X is arrogant based on the words xe writes” and “Person X has a mental illness based on the words xe writes”.

    In the U.S. and Canada one must first attain the degree of M.D. or D.O., followed by practice as a psychiatric resident for another four years (five years in Canada). This extended period involves comprehensive training in psychiatric diagnosis, psychopharmacology, medical care issues, and psychotherapies. All accredited psychiatry residencies in the United States require proficiency in cognitive-behavioral, brief, psychodynamic, and supportive psychotherapies. Psychiatry residents are required to complete at least four post-graduate months of internal medicine or pediatrics, plus a minimum of two months of neurology during their first year of residency, referred to as an “internship”.[3] After completing their training, psychiatrists are eligible to take a specialty board examination to become board-certified.[3] The total amount of time required to complete educational and training requirements in the field of psychiatry in the United States is 12 years after high school. Subspecialists in child and adolescent psychiatry are required to complete a two-year fellowship program, the first year of which can run concurrently with the fourth year of the general psychiatry residency program. This adds one to two years of training.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychiatrist

    Your continued insistence that Elliot Rodger suffered from a mental illness despite a lack of evidence combined with the lack of qualifications on your part is arrogance.

    Your ‘gotcha’ fails.

  177. says

    @neuroguy, #199;

    Thank you for your awesome inputs. I’m specifically thankful and glad about the “argument to expertise” point that you made. You inspire me.

    @Al Dente, #200:

    I’m glad someone pointed out that whether or not Rodgers was mentally-ill is a point and all the argument around it is in vain. I’m in total agreement with your post.

  178. Amphiox says

    I’m not impressed by the “argument to expertise” advanced by some posters. I’m not a mental health professional. Yet I can look up the DSM and find out whether or not someone meets the highly socially constructed “criteria” for mental illness (let me remind everyone here, even as late as the 1960s homosexuality was in the DSM as a “disorder”). I also don’t have a Ph.D. in math. Yet I am able to tell if someone makes a mistake on a differentiation or integration (or addition or multiplication).

    No you can’t. Not without conducting a full and proper psychiatric evaluation of the person, which requires that you actually obtain a proper psychiatric, medical and physical exam, which requires that you actually meet and interview the person, in person, in real time. You most certainly cannot do so simply by trying to match up the DSM criteria with some report of the person’s behavior obtained online.

    Diagnosing mental illness is a lot more complex than just solving some calculus problem.

    By the way, did you know that certain cases of frontal meningioma patients will fulfill, point for point, every single DSM criteria for major depression? But these people do NOT have the mental illness of major depression. They have a brain tumor, and require a brain scan to diagnose it.

    That is just one of many examples of the pitfalls of trying to make a psychiatric diagnosis without properly examining the person, in person.

  179. Amphiox says

    But, then again, you’re not qualified to make that diagnosis and have no evidence and you’re doing it all based on a few lines I wrote on the internet, so, shut the fuck up man.

    On the other hand, arrogant fuckerhood is NOT a mental illness, and is even easier to determine than solving basic addition, and most human beings are fully capable of said determination from a single blog comment, with only a minimum of training.

  180. says

    Why is it that I always get the feeling that the people who would write off what Rodgers did as a result of mental illness (without a shred of evidence that he was mentally ill at all), would be the same ones to decry him being found not guilty in a court because of a finding of insanity (had he been arrested and tried and actually diagnosed with a mental illness that rendered him not responsible for his actions)?

    And i’m really not understanding this sympathy towards a psycho murderer where people think “ohh he was a poor boy who was led towards a dark path by this EVIL, MISOGYNIST society without any fault of his own”. Its almost as if you guys think the society deliberately trains people into becoming misogynists. The flaws of the society can not be used as an excuse for murder.

    Right. This kind of thing is why.

    Let me explain something to you, Sushant.@#161

    Mental illness is an excuse for homicide–when it is the cause. If someone is in a delusional state and runs someone over with their car as a result, that’s pretty much the same as if someone has a stroke while driving and runs someone over with their car. It’s not their responsibility, morally or legally. And yeah, we should feel sympathy for them.

    On the other hand, if a person is not mentally ill or a mental illness they have is not a causal factor in a homicide, then we determine they are responsible for a crime. We want to look at societal factors so we can mitigate the instances of responsible, sane people doing evil things. The more society encourages attitudes that result in violence against women and condones that violence when it does happen, the greater the number of legally sane people who will commit violence against women.

  181. says

    *I left out the other alternative. If someone commits a crime and their mental illness is a contributory factor–say they have depression which makes them especially susceptible to love bombing, they convert to a fundamentalist religion and the leader convinces them to run someone over (say a doctor who performs abortions) with their car, it still makes sense not to derail the conversation about fundamentalism and terrorism with the red herring over whether this particular person’s depression might have been a factor in their own personal involvement in the crime.

    Rodgers, in this view, is not just an individual, he’s a representative of society’s condition.

  182. says

    OH FFS
    Nobody, to my knowledge, has claimed that humans behave like chemicals: in you pour misogyny, out comes shooting spree.
    Many other aspects have been identified: racism, his self-hatred due to being only half-white and ideas that still he was better than “full Asians”. Gun culture (and its links with toxic masculinity). Class.
    Nobody has fucking denied that.
    What women and their allies have done is to say: We need to have a conversation about misogyny. But nonono we can’t have that. We must talk about mental illness 24/7. Let’s make sure that nobody ever gets to discuss misogyny because we make sure that they are always busy talking about mental illness. And if that doesn’t work we’re going to send death threats to the woman who created #YesAllWomen.
    And I have a pretty good idea why that is. Because discussing racism, toxic masculinity and gun culture as contributing factors still requires taking a look at the Self, while discussing mental illness allows to anchor the discourse firmly in the Other category.
    As I said before, about as easy as “god did it”

  183. Don'tWantNo (ShortShortMan) says

    Regarding Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop! @ 123, Omnicrom @ 150, theoreticalgrrrl @ 186:

    You are all making generally valid points, but you are doing something of an injustice to jodyp in the process. I figured someone would step in and point it out, but apparently I get to be that pedant.

    I agree that the post you are responding to could use an editor for clarity, and if jodyp wants to come back and say, “I meant to say something narrow-minded and stupid! It was only grammatical error that caused my writing to actually be a critique of something narrow-minded and stupid!”, then I will concede the point. But until then, the proper reading of the post is in fact as a criticism of the very ideas you are opposing. (Same team, same team!)

    Clarity suffers from a surfeit of negatives. Perhaps if we cancel out exactly two of them, it will be easier to read?

    @ 120 jodyp wrote, “I feel the need to stop lurking for a moment just to marvel at how some people refuse to believe that aberrant behavior is not automatically indicative of mental illness.

    Maybe a better way to put that is those same people insist that behavior they consider aberrant *is* automatically indicative of mental illness.”

  184. Nick Gotts says

    You want to argue that someone who believes space aliens are about to invade the earth, or that the zombie apocalypse is imminent, or that he is the second coming of Napoleon, or Jesus Christ, is “mentally ill”; while someone who believes Allah will reward him with 72 virgins for blowing up buildings with himself inside, or someone who believes that women (or Jews, or African-Americans, or Asians, or whomever) are evil and the cause of all his sufferings and should be killed is not: fine, be my guest. Just don’t pretend that your decision to classify which delusions are the result of “mental illness” and which are not is the result of anything more than your preference. It is not based on anything objective whatsoever. – neuroguy@199

    Blithering nonsense. The existence or non-existence of powerful socio-cultural structures and processes inculcating and reinforcing a particular belief-system is an objective fact – although it can be a matter of degree. Such structures and processes definitely do exist with regard to racism, antisemitism, misogyny and Islamist jihadi extremism. They definitely do not exist with regard to a zombie apocalypse, or particular individuals identifying themselves as Napoleon or Jesus Christ. Invasion by space aliens is an intermediate case: there are and have been a number of cults and movements claiming that this has happened, or is happening, but they remain marginal andor incohate belief systems.

  185. carlie says

    throwaway at 188, that was a great analogy. Mind if I save it to use in the future?

  186. Jeremy Shaffer says

    I’m not impressed by the “argument to expertise” advanced by some posters. I’m not a mental health professional. Yet I can look up the DSM and find out whether or not someone meets the highly socially constructed “criteria” for mental illness (let me remind everyone here, even as late as the 1960s homosexuality was in the DSM as a “disorder”).

    Yes and I could look up on WebMD to see what some aliment I am experiencing could be but I’d still need to get my ass to an actual medical doctor for a proper diagnosis if I want to get any kind of real treatment. This is especially so when, as someone else pointed out, that symptoms are not necessarily exclusive. Almost any set of symptoms could easily indicate a number of conditions ranging from minor to severe and assuming that you, a non-expert, could tell the difference is a very dangerous viewpoint to adopt. In fact this exact attitude has largely contributed to recent outbreaks of very preventable diseases, such as measles and pertussis, and the resulting deaths due to the unexperienced presuming that the medical profession is similar to assembling a coffee table they ordered from IKEA in terms of expertise.

  187. says

    Sushant Gambhir #171
    RE: Psychopathy

    It’s important to point out that psychopathy is a personality trait. It’s not something you can diagnose from one act, however horrible. This one instance is not sufficient to diagnose him as a psychopath, no matter how well it might fit the bill, and jumping to such a conclusion is irresponsible. Lack of empathy in specific instances; lack of romantic relationships; poor impulse control; these qualities are all exhibited at one time or another by non-psychopaths.

    So, we’re back to asking you to back up your conclusion.

    #187

    I think he was.
    You think he wasn’t. OKAY, Fine.

    No. You think he was. We’re smart enough to admit we don’t know. He might have been, but we don’t have sufficient information to reach such a conclusion.

    Admitting the limitations of your evidence and not jumping to unfounded conclusions is pretty much skepticism 101. Why is this suddenly news to people?

  188. neuroguy says

    @208:

    …which requires that you actually meet and interview the person, in person, in real time. You most certainly cannot do so simply by trying to match up the DSM criteria with some report of the person’s behavior obtained online.

    Right, but only because online reports of an individual’s behavior are unreliable, and at the end of the day it’s still a matter of matching up the DSM criteria. I could invent my own “mental illness” called lattephilia: that of drinking five Starbucks lattes per day. Sure, OK, I can’t rely on some internet report that so-and-so drinks five lattes, I actually need to see him do it for this “diagnosis” to be based on reliable information and accurate, but so what? The only reason for this “diagnosis” in the first place is because I’ve decided this behavior is ‘abnormal”.

    Diagnosing mental illness is a lot more complex than just solving some calculus problem.

    That assumes there’s actually something to “diagnose”. In standard medicine, a diagnosis means finding an etiology which causes the symptoms (e.g. congestive heart failure). In psychiatry, it simply means a definition based on a conglomeration of symptoms. A psychiatric diagnosis does not give any extra information than was there before; it is simply a categorization. Calling someone who drinks five lattes per day a “lattephilic” doesn’t provide any extra information.

    By the way, did you know that certain cases of frontal meningioma patients will fulfill, point for point, every single DSM criteria for major depression? But these people do NOT have the mental illness of major depression. They have a brain tumor, and require a brain scan to diagnose it.

    And do you realize that the only reason for this is how major depression is defined. Such and such symptoms are major depression, unless they arise from a brain tumor. That is only an ad hoc matter of categorization.

    At long last, however, the field is finally moving, slowly but surely, towards etiologic diagnoses, using biomarkers and endophenotypes. With an etiologic diagnosis of abnormal brain circuitry or chemistry, or whatever, then I will take the field as seriously as standard medicine.

    @214:

    The existence or non-existence of powerful socio-cultural structures and processes inculcating and reinforcing a particular belief-system is an objective fact – although it can be a matter of degree.

    So you are saying that delusions are not mental illness if there are structures reinforcing them, but otherwise they are? And you expect me to think this is nothing more than just ad hoc?

    @216:

    Almost any set of symptoms could easily indicate a number of conditions ranging from minor to severe and assuming that you, a non-expert, could tell the difference is a very dangerous viewpoint to adopt.

    But that’s just it. Psychiatric “diagnoses” don’t indicate a number of conditions. They are just categorizations of symptoms.

  189. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @neuroguy, #218:

    So you are saying that delusions are not mental illness if there are structures reinforcing them, but otherwise they are? And you expect me to think this is nothing more than just ad hoc?

    No. Delusions are not a mental illness in and of themselves. Ever. With or without social reinforcement. Go read.

  190. neuroguy says

    @212:

    What women and their allies have done is to say: We need to have a conversation about misogyny.

    OK, then, let’s have it. It’s self-evident that cultural misogyny exists and was a big factor in the spree shooting. Where do we go from here?

  191. neuroguy says

    And lest anything think I’m talking out of my ass, my criticisms have been made by many in the field of psychiatry itself.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3188773/

    It is theoretically apparent that patients currently receiving a diagnosis of “major depression” include those who will develop bipolar disorder in later life. However, those patients cannot be identified just by clinical interviews. Only after the neurobiological basis of bipolar disorder is discovered and an in vivo identification of such neurobiological signature becomes feasible, it will be possible to reliably diagnose potential bipolar disorder in depressive patients. If we make a bipolar spectrum disorder diagnosis based solely on clinical interview, false positive cannot be avoided.

    To further refine psychiatric diagnosis, the only way is to establish a new disease classification based on the neurobiological features of each mental disorder.

    We psychiatrists should be aware that we cannot identify “diseases” only by interviews. What we are doing now is just like trying to diagnose diabetes mellitus without measuring blood sugar.

    Medicine is fundamentally based on pathology. Psychiatry should also be based on pathology rather than psychology.

  192. says

    Neuroguy:

    It’s self-evident that cultural misogyny exists

    Is it? If it were so evident, why do people deny it, every day? If it were so evident [as a bad thing], why are people embracing it and advocating a complete comeback of patriarchal values? This could go on and on.

    Modern societies rest on a foundation of misogyny. (If you’re up for some reading, I suggest Misogyny: The World’s Oldest Prejudice by Jack Holland, to get a good grasp of the basics.) Current majority religions rest on a foundation of misogyny.

    Men who are feeling the loss of power and control embrace misogyny. They often head for corners of the net where one can soak in misogyny. (You can get the basics here: http://wehuntedthemammoth.com/2014/05/25/for-new-readers-an-intro-to-the-mens-rights-movement-and-the-new-misogyny/) The toxicity of such places is double-edged, as the habitués are ready to pounce on one another, making pronouncements of “loser” and “beta-male”, and so forth. As far as homosocial gatherings go, it’s a very nasty one.

    There’s a cost to everyone in misogyny, and to say fighting it is an uphill battle is one hell of an understatement. It’s damn difficult to discuss it, when every other person is busy making out that it’s not so bad, really.

  193. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @neuroguy, 221:

    Of course people within the field have been looking for more reliable evidences of organic disfunction and better understanding of etiology, and thus treatment. They’ve been talking about that since William fucking James.

    But if you notice what you actually quoted:

    It is theoretically apparent that patients currently receiving a diagnosis of “major depression” include those who will develop bipolar disorder in later life. However, those patients cannot be identified just by clinical interviews.

    Yes. Right now future disease cannot be predicted by clinical interviews. Future Alzheimer’s also cannot be predicted by clinical interviews, blood work, or allele testing. That doesn’t mean Alzheimer’s isn’t a real fucking disease.

    Only after the neurobiological basis of bipolar disorder is discovered and an in vivo identification of such neurobiological signature becomes feasible, it will be possible to reliably diagnose potential bipolar disorder in depressive patients.

    Yep. And reliable diagnosis of latent/potential pancreatic cancer does not become feasible until there is a feasible mechanism for in vivo identification of a pre-cancer biological signal.

    What is controversial about this? What about this makes pancreatic cancer an “unreal” diagnosis just because it can’t be predicted.

    If we make a bipolar spectrum disorder diagnosis based solely on clinical interview, false positive cannot be avoided.

    Remember that we’re talking about diagnosing a bipolar disorder **before it develops** from clinical interviews with someone presenting only with depression.

    Just like if we diagnose future pancreatic cancer based solely on clinical interviews asking questions of, say, family history, false positives cannot be avoided.
    ============
    Look, you have the same, valid concern as anyone wishing for good treatments for mental illness, but you’re ignoring the actual science and the actual writings of the people who are expert in this area to put your own spin on things.

    You have determined that diseases **don’t exist** and are merely arbitrary clusters of symptoms because you, personally, don’t know in sufficient detail a biological etiological mechanism.

    Just like malaria didn’t exist until Plasmodium falciparum‘s DNA sequence was published in 2002.

    Don’t do that. You really sound like a crank when you do that.

  194. Jeremy Shaffer says

    But that’s just it. Psychiatric “diagnoses” don’t indicate a number of conditions. They are just categorizations of symptoms.

    I’m not entirely sure you understood what I was saying. Many conditions, whether physical or mental, share symptoms, even entire sets of them. However, it requires a level of expertise to determine what they mean that few people have. Just as a patient complaining of a sore throat and fatigue could mean they just have a cold or something much more serious, someone with poor impulse control and lack of empathy could indicate they are a psychopath but it could be something altogether different.

    At any rate, as much as what you say above may be, simply having access to a DSM in no way means that any Joe Schmoe can accurately assess another’s mental health. You can be as unimpressed with expertise as much as you like but that hardly means your opinion as a result of your ability to look something up in a manual is on par with that of someone who has years of education, training and experience.

  195. says

    neuroguy:

    But that’s just it. Psychiatric “diagnoses” don’t indicate a number of conditions. They are just categorizations of symptoms [sic].

    I don’t think people are getting this. Maybe this will help:

    In his 2013 book Cracked, James Davies quotes from a 2010 interview DSM-III taskforce chair Robert Spitzer did with Daniel Carlat in which they discuss diagnostic criteria:

    Carlat: How did you decide on five criteria as being your minimum threshold for depression?

    Spitzer: It was just a consensus. We would ask clinicians and researchers, “How many symptoms do you think patients ought to have before you would give them the diagnosis of depression,” and we came up with the arbitrary number of five.

    Carlat: But why did you choose five and not four? Or why didn’t you choose six?

    Spitzer: Because four just seemed like not enough. And six seemed like too much. [Spitzer smiled mischievously]…

    Spitzer says that they did some field trials of the criteria sets, but those can’t establish a number of criteria scientifically because, as he acknowledges, “we don’t understand the neurobiology of depression.”

    After discussing how diagnostic reliability using these criteria has been and remains extremely low (which is to be expected given that the disorders and diagnostic criteria are shit they made up) (this is discussed in depth in Mad Science), Davies reasonably points out – as several of us have – that even if reliability were high it wouldn’t equal validity. Interviewing DSM-III taskforce chair Robert Spitzer, Davies tries to understand the scientific basis on which mental illness rests:

    …“So presumably,” I asked, “these disorders had been discovered in a biological sense? That’s why they were included, right?”

    “No, not at all,” Spitzer said matter-of-factly.

    “There are only a handful of mental disorders in the DSM known to have a clear biological cause. These are known as the organic disorders [like epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, and Huntington’s disease. These are few and far between.”

    “So, let me get this clear,” I pressed, “there are no discovered biological causes for many of the remaining mental disorders in the DSM?”

    “Not for many, for any! No biological markers have been identified.”

    …[I]f the findings of biology did not help the Taskforce to determine what disorders to include in the DSM-III, then what on earth did?

    “I guess our general principle,” answered Spitzer candidly, “was that if a large enough number of clinicians felt that a diagnostic concept was important in their work, then we were likely to add it as a new category. That was essentially it. It became a question of how much consensus there was to recognize and include a particular disorder.”

    …What sprang to mind at Spitzer’s revelation was the point I made in the previous chapter about agreement not constituting proof. If a group of respected theologians all agree that God exists, this does not prove that God exists. All it proves is that these theologians believe it. So in what sense is psychiatric agreement different? Why, when a committee of psychiatrists agree that a collection of behaviors and feelings point to the existence of a mental disorder, should the rest of us accept they’ve got it right?

    As I’ve mentioned before, and as I’ve quoted in my first link above, similar admissions to Spitzer’s have been made by the taskforce chairs of DSMs IV and 5. When Thomas Insel said last year that NIMH would no longer be using DSM diagnoses for research purposes because it’s scientifically invalid, David Kupfer acknowledged that psychiatric diagnoses lacked scientific validity. This is not science. They’re experts on “mental illness” the same way theologians are experts on God.

  196. says

    Perhaps some quotations from Mad Science will help. To be absolutely clear: The leaders of psychiatry, the people who wrote the DSMs, are not contesting these statements. In fact, they’re acknowledging their truth. (Some are so desperate to distance themselves from the chemical imbalance myth specifically that they’re claiming psychiatry never said it.)

    The jig is up. “Mental illnesses” are not scientific-medical diagnoses. It’s not a matter of fuzziness around the edges or of sufficient expertise in diagnosis. It’s not science, and they’ve admitted it. Despite this, people will continue to believe because they’ve been convinced by a vast propaganda machine for decades.

  197. neuroguy says

    @219:

    I did read. It’s arbitrary – and your psychologist acquaintance admitted that APA didn’t have a diagnosis for “culturally acceptable” delusions because in so doing it would lose the trust of the larger community. If this isn’t Exhibit A that “mental illness” in the context of delusions is only a social construct, then what is?

    @222:

    Is it? If it were so evident, why do people deny it, every day? If it were so evident [as a bad thing], why are people embracing it and advocating a complete comeback of patriarchal values?

    Very good questions, and certainly a legitimate basis to start a conversation. Why do people fervently believe in delusions? The human brain confabulates and constructs a meta-narrative, because it basically is lazy and relies upon heuristics, and because it has evolved for survival and reproduction primarily, and not comprehension of truth. We have only evolved the capability for higher math as an accident, as it were. Convincing people that their delusions are actually such is an uphill battle, as you point out. Also, the brain is not so neatly distinguished between “cognition” and “emotion”; cognition influences emotion, and emotion influences cognition. Generally, in my experience, people hate most what they fear the most, and so somehow there is this idea that women = threat.

    @223:

    Look, you have the same, valid concern as anyone wishing for good treatments for mental illness, but you’re ignoring the actual science and the actual writings of the people who are expert in this area to put your own spin on things.

    Um… I just quoted the “actual writings” of an “expert in this area”. Let me repeat:

    What we are doing now is just like trying to diagnose diabetes mellitus without measuring blood sugar.

    That is an extremely severe indictment. Now, of course, you may claim I am “quote-mining” like creationists but this quote is not out of context. Moreover, the argument stands on its own.

    You have determined that diseases **don’t exist** and are merely arbitrary clusters of symptoms because you, personally, don’t know in sufficient detail a biological etiological mechanism.

    Nice strawman. I’m saying diseases are not arbitrary clusters of symptoms, not that they don’t exist. There has to be some reason why you classify some cluster of symptoms as a disease, and this can’t be done without some knowledge of an etiological mechanism.

  198. says

    So you are saying that delusions are not mental illness if there are structures reinforcing them, but otherwise they are?

    no, he’s saying if it’s a belief that is part of socially constructed reality, it’s not a delusion. Only if it’s a)not true, and b)not part of a socially constructed reality, and c)hindering social functioning is a belief classified (AKA socially constructed) as a delusion.

    Now here’s the thing: people here have been saying from the start that “he’s mentally ill” is a red herring. You’re not telling anyone anything new. So don’t bother going down that road.

    Here’s another thing: given your previous attempt at discussion of “where do we go from here”, I don’t think anyone is interested in having that conversation with you. We don’t want a repeat of the “people have a right to sex” convo.

  199. says

    fuck. blockquotefail. oh well, it’s readable (the second blockquote is supposed to be my response).

    anyway.

    to everyone else: what neuroguy is ineptly trying to explain is the following problem with “mental illness”: all we know about psychological conditions are the end-symptoms. In that sense, “depression” is an illness the way “jaundice” was an illness before we knew anything about it other than it makes people go yellowish.

    Now, “jaundice” is actually a symptom. What we have when we observe jaundice is a liver that’s malfunctioning (the ultimate cause, for the purposes of this explanation), which makes bilirubin accumulate in the blood (the proximate cause, for the purposes of this explanation), which makes you turn yellow (the symptom). For “depression” we only have symptoms. We not only don’t have a clue about a possible ultimate cause, we don’t even have much in the way of a clue about a proximate cause. The serotonin-deficiency story was a stab at a proximate cause, but that worked a bit like discovering ibuprofen helps with arthritis, so arthritis is an isobutylphenylpropanoic acid deficiency (and it’s increasingly turning out to just not be true). So “depression” is a list of symptoms; and because we don’t even have a proximate cause, we’re grouping symptoms by correlation and similarity rather than by some relationship that hint at one underlying disease.

    So “depression” as a “disease” is purely constructed. Which is not the same as saying the symptoms aren’t something that people really experience, or that they aren’t often impairing people’s ability to function well in a given social context, or that there aren’t methods of alleviating the symptoms. Just that defining what is or isn’t a mental illness is a slippery game and no one wins.

  200. says

    Another example of this slipperiness: I’m a nightowl; or, I have Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder. They both describe the same thing, and the latter definition is only more useful than the former because it’s easier for people to accept when I try to explain my sleeping hours as not just me being juvenile and wanting to stay up late for shits and giggles.

  201. neuroguy says

    @229:

    (Me) So you are saying that delusions are not mental illness if there are structures reinforcing them, but otherwise they are?

    (You) no, he’s saying if it’s a belief that is part of socially constructed reality, it’s not a delusion. Only if it’s a)not true, and b)not part of a socially constructed reality, and c)hindering social functioning is a belief classified (AKA socially constructed) as a delusion.

    So, No True Delusion is a part of socially constructed reality. Gotcha. Isn’t playing word games fun?

    Now here’s the thing: people here have been saying from the start that “he’s mentally ill” is a red herring. You’re not telling anyone anything new. So don’t bother going down that road.

    So there’s something wrong with ME saying “he’s mentally ill is a red herring” but not with anyone else? Seriously, fuck off.

    Here’s another thing: given your previous attempt at discussion of “where do we go from here”, I don’t think anyone is interested in having that conversation with you. We don’t want a repeat of the “people have a right to sex” convo.

    All right, for emphasis FUCK OFF, ASSHOLE. Who the fuck do you think you are? You may decide you don’t want to have a conservation with me, and that’s your right; but everyone else can make up their own mind, and if you don’t like it, or you don’t like where the conservation goes, too fucking bad.

  202. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    There has to be some reason why you classify some cluster of symptoms as a disease, and this can’t be done without some knowledge of an etiological mechanism.

    And I’m saying that would mean no one could classify any cluster of symptoms as malaria or bubonic plague until some arbitrary microscopy accident or DNA sequencing experiment or whatever is your “sufficient knowledge of etiology to classify as a disease” line.

    The fact is we know quite a bit about biological manifestations of bipolar, depression, schizophrenia, and a number of other mental illnesses specifically because people clustered symptoms after acquiring observations, then went about testing hypotheses about whether the symptoms were related and how.

    You don’t find out the etiology until you already have the fucking symptoms clustered as a disease. Otherwise, it would be impossible to do research.

    Ebers Papyrus’ Author/Hippocrates/Galen/Charles Louis Alphonse Laveran/ Carlos Finlay/ Ronald Ross: “I know what causes malaria!”
    Everyone else: What causes what?

    Get it?

    Your insistence that etiology is insufficiently detailed for symptoms to even be clustered as diseases is entirely belied by the state of research.

    Your concern that the etiologies of mental illnesses are insufficiently detailed to cure them with a single pill or genetic vector is being addressed by current research.

    Why not either join the research or stop being dismissive of the state of knowledge of those who do?

  203. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @neuroguy:

    Oh, I forgot:

    Me: you’re ignoring the actual science and the actual writings of the people who are expert in this area to put your own spin on things.

    neuroguy: Um… I just quoted the “actual writings” of an “expert in this area”

    I think I know a way to put an end to this quote war:

    Otto West: Apes don’t read philosophy.
    Wanda: Yes they do, Otto. They just don’t understand it.

  204. says

    So, No True Delusion is a part of socially constructed reality. Gotcha. Isn’t playing word games fun?

    oh honeycakes, I’m so sorry you chose to talk about the social construction of things without understanding what that actually means.

    So there’s something wrong with ME saying “he’s mentally ill is a red herring” but not with anyone else? Seriously, fuck off.

    telling it TO people who’ve already been saying it, as if it’s a reprimand of their actions, is condescending bullshit. go figure.
    Also, you want me to fuck off, you gonna have to make me.

    FUCK OFF, ASSHOLE.

    nope.

    Who the fuck do you think you are?

    someone who has seen that conversation and knows the people who post here well enough to make that judgment. Part of the group referred to as “people commenting here”, hence “we”. And as it happens, I can say with a large degree of certainty that no one who participated in that conversation wants a repeat of it.

  205. says

    Jadehawk:

    I can say with a large degree of certainty that no one who participated in that conversation wants a repeat of it.

    Confirmed.

  206. chigau (違う) says

    I can say with a large degree of certainty that no one who participated in that conversation wants a repeat of it.

    Aye.

  207. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    but everyone else can make up their own mind, and if you don’t like it, or you don’t like where the conservation goes, too fucking bad.

    That conversation, and others as stupid from you, are dead. Your attitude needs to fuck off.

  208. Amphiox says

    But that’s just it. Psychiatric “diagnoses” don’t indicate a number of conditions. They are just categorizations of symptoms [sic].

    “just”??!!

    Kindly take your trivialization of a serious issue and stuff it.

    Categorization a of symptoms are the foundation of ALL medicine. Without them treatment is not possible. Call them syndromes or call them diagnoses, it matters not. They are IMPORTANT.

    In medicine we do not have the luxury of waiting for complete information. People are suffering and need treatment NOW. If the collection of symptoms that we call depression, whether we choose to label it a syndrome or a diagnosis, allows in their identification the initiation of helpful treatment, which it does, however incomplete and imperfect such treatment may be, and that treatment HELPS, however incomplete that help might be, then identifying the cluster DOES provide useful additional information that provides real world benefit.

    Real, suffering people in the real imperfect world do not have the luxury of waiting for your bio markers. They need help NOW.

  209. says

    The fact is we know quite a bit about biological manifestations of bipolar, depression, schizophrenia, and a number of other mental illnesses specifically because people clustered symptoms after acquiring observations, then went about testing hypotheses about whether the symptoms were related and how.

    Apparently my posts are invisible to some people, and apparently I actually put this link in another comment thread, but I’ll keep at it. More quotes:

    “[T]he field has…failed to identify a single neurobiological phenotypic marker or gene that is useful in making a diagnosis of a major psychiatric disorder or for predicting response to psychopharmacological treatment.” – Michael First, Editor, DSM-IV

    “[N]ot even one biological test is ready for inclusion in the criteria sets for DSM‐V.” – Allen Frances, Chair of DSM-IV Task Force

    “The molecular and cellular underpinnings of psychiatric disorders [are] unknown;…psychiatric diagnoses seem arbitrary and lack objective tests; and there are no validated biomarkers with which to judge the success of clinical trials.” – Steven Hyman, former Director of NIMH (1996-2001)

    “The weakness [of the DSM] is its lack of validity. Unlike…definitions of ischemic heart disease, lymphoma, or AIDS, the DSM diagnoses are based on a consensus about clusters of clinical symptoms, not any objective laboratory measure.” – Thomas Insel, Director of NIMH, 2013 (explaining why NIMH would no longer be using the DSM diagnoses)

    “We’ve been telling patients for several decades that we are waiting for biomarkers.* We’re still waiting.” – David Kupfer, Chair of DSM-5 Task Force, 2013

    (Sources are provided in my link just above.)

    A few quotes from Mad Science:

    “This was the Kraepelinian goal: to discover biological markers (hopefully causal) to confirm the existence of the diseases in those in whom diseases were hypothesized to exist and the inexistence of such markers in others.

    This hasn’t happened. There are no known biological markers for any category.” (KL 4255)

    “Despite heroic or, depending on who is doing the judging, desperate and enormously expensive research efforts over many decades, no genes or reliable pathophysiology that maps schizophrenia or any other ‘mental disease’ has been found.” (KL 1036)

    Describing a set of behaviors and labeling them as pathological symptoms never establishes the validity of an illness.” (KL 4133)

    DSM offers behavioral diagnostic criteria as if they confirm the existence of a valid disorder, when the criteria merely describe what is claimed a priori to be an illness. Descriptive diagnosis is a tautology that distracts observers from recognizing that DSM offers no indicators that establish the validity of any psychiatric illness, although they may typically point to distresses, worries, or misbehaviors.” (KL 4133)

    Psychiatric researchers “who have committed their careers to developing this biological understanding… state flatly that nothing biological has been reliably associated with any DSM diagnosis that aids to make the diagnosis or to predict how someone will respond to drug treatment. There are no biomarkers for psychiatric disorders – no biological signs that can be used reliably to measure the presence, change, improvement, or worsening of the condition that one might deem ‘pathological’. To be sure, every month, investigators propose new biological measures in the literature as candidate biomarkers, but none survives for long. (KL 6248)

    ***

    If the collection of symptoms that we call depression, whether we choose to label it a syndrome or a diagnosis, allows in their identification the initiation of helpful treatment, which it does,

    Sigh. One more time, here are some reading recommendations:

    Robert Whitaker, Mad in America and Anatomy of an Epidemic; James Davies, Cracked; Marcia Angell, “The Epidemic of Mental Illness: Why?”, “The Illusions of Psychiatry,” and “‘The Illusions of Psychiatry’: An Exchange” (all available free online); Joanna Moncrieff, The Myth of the Chemical Cure and The Bitterest Pills; Irving Kirsch, The Emperor’s New Drugs; Stuart Kirk, Tomi Gomery, and David Cohen, Mad Science; Gary Greenberg, The Book of Woe (I can’t speak to the quality of this one); Brett Deacon, “The Biomedical Model of Mental Disorder: A Critical Analysis of its Tenets, Consequences, and Effects on Psychotherapy Research” (available free online); Jonathan Leo and Jeffrey Lacasse, “Serotonin and Depression: A Disconnect between the Advertisements and the Scientific Literature” (available free online); Ethan Watters, Crazy Like Us.

    * This is of course a lie. They’ve been leading people to believe that they’d found biomarkers, which provided the bases for their diagnoses and drugs. That’s why so many people continue to believe it.

  210. says

    Kindly take your trivialization of a serious issue and stuff it.

    You know what? You stuff it and I don’t care what kind of asshole neuroguy is. These bogus labels are stigmatizing. People are being harmed and killed by psychiatric drugs on an immense scale. People are being forced to take them. They’re being given to children, including toddlers, based on the claims of people in the pay of drug companies. Psychiatric pseudoscience is a huge social justice issue.

  211. says

    One fake disease I had most believed in is “schizophrenia.” People like Nancy Andreasen had led the public to believe that this was a progressive disease causing brain shrinkage over time and that “antipsychotics” arrested this shrinkage. Turns out the shrinkage is caused by the drugs. It also turns out the drugs’ effectiveness has been, let’s say, exaggerated, and they’re dangerous and deadly in a variety of ways (Peter Gøtzsche has estimated that Zyprexa alone has killed about 200,000 people). There are also other, effective, approaches to these problems, like the Open Dialogue program, which are becoming increasingly better known (in the US, Vermont has taken the lead); but research and funding for such programs has been minimal, while millions have been wasted on biopsychiatric pseudoscience.

    But really, those against whom people should vent their anger are the ones exposing the lies rather than the liars who’ve destroyed lives and caused deaths while raking in the cash and basking in the prestige. That makes perfect sense.

  212. says

    Dawkins likes Jaclyn Glenn’s video. He says she talks sense faster than most of us can think, and calls her ever rational.

    Well, he would know, as one of the Great Thinkers of the World.

  213. says

    Ophelia @ 246:

    I am repulsed.

    Aye, me too. You were right on point, saying Glenn talked faster than she could think. I dearly wish Dawkins would shut the fuck up about sexism/misogyny/feminism. He’s become the definition of you aren’t helping.

  214. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I dearly wish Dawkins would shut the fuck up about sexism/misogyny/feminism. He’s become the definition of you aren’t helping.

    I gave up listening to Dawkins on feminism after elevatorgate, considering him a prima facie example of Heinlein’s “well meaning fool” on that subject.

  215. says

    Nerd @ 249, I stopped then too. Unfortunately, it hasn’t stopped Dawkins from saying stupid shit on a regular basis, and there are a lot of people who do listen to him, which makes it all the worse.

  216. Steve LaBonne says

    I don’t think there’s anything well-meaning about Dawkins’s misogyny. Foolish, certainly.

  217. Corvus Whiteneck says

    Interesting that someone who fancies himself so rational, so reason- and evidence-based as Dawkins would applaud an amateur, armchair psychiatrist making a so-vague-as-to-be-meaningless diagnosis based on youtube videos and one writing sample. One of the most fundamental things about psychiatry — arguably more basic than any knowledge of psychopharmacology, diagnostic criteria, epidemiology — is EXAMINING THE PATIENT, in person, yourself. Which AFAIK nobody publicly proclaiming that Elliot Rodger was mentally ill actually did.

  218. Amphiox says

    SC @242;

    Where in my post did I even mention drugs? Or imply that treatment only consisted of drugs? Why have you so blatantly and dishonestly misrepresented what I plainly posted?

  219. says

    SC @242;

    Where in my post did I even mention drugs? Or imply that treatment only consisted of drugs? Why have you so blatantly and dishonestly misrepresented what I plainly posted?

    You wrote:

    If the collection of symptoms that we call depression, whether we choose to label it a syndrome or a diagnosis, allows in their identification the initiation of helpful treatment, which it does, however incomplete and imperfect such treatment may be, and that treatment HELPS, however incomplete that help might be, then identifying the cluster DOES provide useful additional information that provides real world benefit.

    What I’m trying to explain are, well, several things. First, as you should well know, that these “diagnoses” are not now and have never been presented to anyone as just useful ideas, shorthand to categorize people’s problems/experiences/behaviors which everyone understands are invented. They have always been claimed, as they have throughout this thread, to name real biological disorders, which they do not.

    Their value is ideological and economic. Getting the public to believe these are illnesses has always been central to the agenda of the drug companies and psychiatry itself. If people understood how these labels came about, that they’re not based on science, they would stop seeing psychiatry as a branch of science-based medicine but as a field of charlatans and drug pushers. They would wonder on what basis the drugs are actually supposed to work, and why they were being told they need to stay on them long term. If you read some of the materials I suggested, you would see how deeply connected the labels are to the rise (including the coercive use) of psychiatric drugs and the corresponding decline of other interventions. And the drugs are not effective in any way we generally understand medications to be effective (which is to be expected of drugs used to treat nonexistent disorders with no real mechanism of action), and carry great risks, as described in the works I’ve recommended.

    As I discussed in my post about Mad Science, these fictitious labels are useless, and indeed harmful, for research (as Insel was forced to admit last year) and make a mockery of epidemiology. Invalid (and unreliable) labels serve no purpose in clinical practice other than making insurance claims (which could of course happen without them) and “matching” people to drugs. They don’t provide any “useful additional information.” There’s no reason someone couldn’t be helped through therapy or other interventions without applying a bogus label to them, and it serves no useful clinical purpose to apply such a label. (And it’s a strange experience to see people on a science blog asserting that even if these diagnoses are scientifically invalid they’re still useful – no one here would ever say that about a diagnosis of chakra imbalance or demonic possession.)

    In fact, there have long been movements in mental health professions to get away from the labels. Most recently, in an issue of Research on Social Work Practice discussed here (and which can be read following the link there), Jeffrey Lacasse – citing research showing that the overwhelming majority of social workers would stop using DSM diagnoses if they didn’t have to for administrative purposes – has suggested some options, including “the use of DSM-5 Z-codes (e.g., ‘Phase of life problem’, ‘’Relationship distress with spouse or intimate partner’; APA, 2013, pp. 895–896) in lieu of psychiatric diagnoses.” Many psychologists also recognize these labels as useless and harmful in their actual clinical work. The difficulty in getting rid of them isn’t due to their clinical usefulness but to the fact that they’re used in billing and government programs.

    In addition to providing the pretext for invasive and often seriously damaging treatment, these bogus labels have other negative psychological and social effects. A number of studies using a variety of methods (comparative, historical, survey) have found them to be stigmatizing, in terms of both social stigma and self-stigma. Socially, the labels often become attached to people in various ways, a form of pseudomedical libel that can have a detrimental impact on people’s opportunities, careers (see: lawyers), and participation in the public realm. Self-stigma, connected to believing there’s something wrong in your brain, can also negatively affect people’s prospects for dealing with their problems, which is a negative clinical factor.

    They’re also depoliticizing: falsely locating the roots of psychological problems in the individual, “whether we choose to label it a syndrome or a diagnosis,” takes us away from the social and political world and from calls for interventions there. The labels are also not politically neutral. When disorders are defined not on the basis of science but through consensus of a self-appointed experts, their biases and prejudices are bound to come into play (and they do, as described in Cracked and Christopher Lane’s Shyness; feminists especially should be interested in Paula Caplan’s DSM experience), as are the biases of the people making the “diagnoses” on the ground.

    If people want to try to make a case for the usefulness of fictitious labels, they’re welcome to try. But first they should acknowledge that they are trying to argue for using fictitious labels and recognize how these labels have been used and whose purposes they’ve served. They also need to stop attacking people for pointing out that the labels are fictitious.

  220. says

    If the collection of symptoms

    I wish people would stop referring to “symptoms.” It just helps to perpetuate the lie. These are experiences, problems, behaviors, emotions. They’re not symptoms, because these aren’t illnesses.

    ***

    An illustration: In this post I link to some others discussing psychiatrists who themselves know chemical imbalances are a myth but who admit to lying to their patients about them (or supporting those who tell patients this) in order to make them more comfortable about taking drugs. In a reasonable world, this would be recognized as grossly unethical – as is the behavior of journalists who knowingly support the lie – and as serving not people experiencing problems but the status of psychiatry and drug-company profits. No one who supports science and truthfulness should promote or accept dishonesty in scientific or medical practice of any kind or for any reason.

  221. says

    An exact repeat of the conversation where neuroguy indicated that he agrees with the MRA/PUA theory about “hypergamy” and insists that people have “a right to sexual contact” but fails to think through the logical consequences of that belief or even accurately understand what labeling something a “right” entails would be horrible. An elaboration, wherein neuroguy recognizes his own misogyny, apologizes, and promises to stop spreading misogynist myths–now THAT would be okay.

  222. Val Schuman says

    PZ writes:

    Look again. I didn’t call anyone stupid, I said their ideas were stupid.

    But look at your style of addressing her position:

    - The standards for psychiatric diagnoses have really gone to the dogs, haven’t they?
    - So much for looking at problems for what they are
    - She should have stopped there — it would have been just stupid and wrong
    - No, no, says Ms Glenn
    - Ideological indoctrination only influences you when it’s something Jaclyn Glenn doesn’t like
    - she quickly starts making excuses
    - But we can now safely ignore everything Jaclyn Glenn says

    So yes, while not directly calling her stupid, the way you talk about a well intentioned person without our ranks shows you to be a drama loving asshole. As I’ve said: I agree with what you’re saying. But what I’m trying to bring across is that Jaclyn works hard to educate people about atheism. But she’s obviously not perfect and sometimes her ideas are wrong (surprise!). I think it would be a lot better for everyone if you politely explained your disagreements with people like her, instead of bashing them in an immature rant.

  223. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    Dawkins likes Jaclyn Glenn’s video. He says she talks sense faster than most of us can think, and calls her ever rational.

    Someone could make a video of themselves screaming gibberish at a picture of Rebecca Watson and Dogekins would reply, “Wow, much rational. So skeptic.”

  224. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Val Schuman, #257:

    she’s obviously not perfect and sometimes her ideas are wrong (surprise!). I think it would be a lot better for everyone if you politely explained your disagreements with people like her, instead of bashing them in an immature rant.

    You’re not from around here, are you?

  225. says

    Val Schuman:

    So yes, while not directly calling her stupid, the way you talk about a well intentioned person without our ranks shows you to be a drama loving asshole

    PZ offered criticism of Jacklyn Glenn’s video and the views she expressed therein. That he did it in a way *you* personally don’t approve of is a problem for you to deal with. “Drama loving asshole”? Yeah, you either don’t read many of his posts or you have a bias against his blogging style for some reason. Either way, you’ve not shown PZ to be a “drama loving asshole”, nor have you shown that he failed to “properly” criticize Jacklyn Glenn (and what is your point about “without our ranks”).

  226. says

    Val Schuman:

    There are ways of explaining why someone is wrong without calling them stupid at every opportunity.

    So yes, while not directly calling her stupid, the way you talk about a well intentioned person without our ranks shows you to be a drama loving asshole

    These two statements are not the same thing.
    The first is flat out wrong and you haven’t shown evidence for the second.

    Where will you move the goalpost to next?

  227. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    So yes, while not directly calling her stupid, the way you talk about a well intentioned person without our ranks shows you to be a drama loving asshole.

    Says the person who is apparently here for no other purpose than to stir shit…

  228. says

    aaaah always so many points awarded to those whose opinions betray the female condition. always. penn gillete & richard dawkins are always willing to head-pat females who reinforce their misogyny.

  229. says

    But what I’m trying to bring across is that Jaclyn works hard to educate people about atheism.

    Gah! I really don’t fucking care at all! Educating people about atheism while being an ignorant, bigoted twit is WORSE than not educating people about atheism at all!

    We’re supposed to pat her on the head and say nice things when she’s spouting nonsense, just because she worked out that gods don’t exist? Fuck that noise. Fuck that tribalistic bullshit.

  230. says

    But, but, but SallyStrange, doesn’t that lead to divisiveness in the community? Shouldn’t we all work together, even if some people have odious views about women, or LGBTQI people? Isn’t it more important that we all remain under the big tent together? Surely it’s no big deal if marginalized groups like PoC and LGBTQI people continue to have their interests ignored and even treated as if they’re invisible, thus unimportant. And really, women dealing with harassment and the threat of physical violence or sexual assault? Pshaw. All that matters is that godless skeptical people continue to fight against the evils of religious belief (but never fear, we won’t turn a critical eye to the injustices that religious beliefs help bolster, like homophobia, sexism, transphobia, or racism)…right?

    Does anyone have a spare snark tag?

  231. says

    Jaclyn Glenn has a new video out which consists entirely of a snarky notpology. She takes specific exception to my summary, “It’s not misogyny, she says, it’s because Rodger was mentally ill”, because in her video she acknowledges his misogyny. Except, if you watch this video, it’s more like she was saying that he was misogynist, but. Go ahead, watch the video around the 3 minute mark where she says don’t try to downplay his mental illness to give more credit to misogyny.

    On her new video, she also gets very sarcastic about the fact that I disagree with her…apparently, it’s hypocritical for a feminist to every disagree with a woman, because in the twisted version of feminism in her head, it’s all about worshipping Goddess Woman as Perfection.

  232. says

    PZ:

    because in the twisted version of feminism in her head, it’s all about worshipping Goddess Woman as Perfection.

    Ugh. No, women aren’t perfect. They aren’t goddesses. And if you get up on a pedestal, someone’s bound to look up your skirt (so to speak).

  233. harmonyalexandria says

    Jackie isn’t a feminist, nor is she particularly bright, she’s a medical school drop out, just like her mummy’s basement MRA following are university drop outs. The atheist movement in general needs more female voices, Jackie is Richard Dawkin’s Karen Straughan(A voice for men’s shrill).