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Divisive "Every criminal in the US has a mental disorder"

Major

4 legs good 2 legs bad
V.I.P.
This discussion started in another thread and I wanted to be able to continue it without hijacking that one. My response is directed towards @Dr4gon, but I encourage others to get involved as well.

Dr4gon: Every criminal in the US has a mental disorder.

Major: I really hope you don't honestly believe that.

Dr4gon: Do you honestly believe that people who commit stupid crimes and get serious jail time or killed do NOT have mental issues?
How do you define "stupid crimes?" Originally you said "every criminal," so do you believe that every crime is a stupid one?

Does this apply to breaking stupid laws, such as illegal cohabitation? In Mississippi or Michigan, unwed couples who live together are technically breaking the law and are thus criminals. Do they have a mental disorder?

Does someone who drinks and drives have a mental disorder because of a momentary lapse of judgment while impaired?

What about someone who responsibly partakes in smoking pot on occasion? What about a whistleblower who could be charged with treason? Mental disorder?

Also, why is this limited to only criminals in the US?

I'm just trying to understand your logic here.
 

Hilander

Free Spirit
Staff member
V.I.P.
This is a good question. While I'm no expert in this I think most that commit non violent crimes probably don't have a mental disorder. Like I said most, some obviously do. Then when it comes to violent crimes I think most do have a mental disorder, of course not all. To cold bloodily murder someone I would think you would have to have some kind of mental disorder.

I don't think this is just limited to criminals. There are people that have disorders but never commit crimes. People with problems like won't leave the house, or hoarders.
 

Dr4gon

Registered Member
V.I.P.
Wow! Epic quiz!

How do you define "stupid crimes?"
Massive overhead & low profit... if any.
Breaking into a police officer's house with a 50 pound planter = stupid.
Armed robbery for less than $10 million = stupid.

Originally you said "every criminal," so do you believe that every crime is a stupid one?
Every = every crime I've read about. Nobody can make claims about every crime that happens.

Does this apply to breaking stupid laws, such as illegal cohabitation? In Mississippi or Michigan, unwed couples who live together are technically breaking the law and are thus criminals. Do they have a mental disorder?
Huh? =/
Are they living together to start a family?
Why would anyone want to live with somebody else if they can have their own space?
Please define "cohabitation". I seriously don't get what that's all about.

Does someone who drinks and drives have a mental disorder because of a momentary lapse of judgment while impaired?
Isn't that called a temporary mental disorder?

What about someone who responsibly partakes in smoking pot on occasion?
I don't know very much about recreational drugs but some people say it causes a temporary mental disorder.

What about a whistleblower who could be charged with treason? Mental disorder?
Only if they get caught. Imo, Manning had a mental disorder and now he's in prison. Snowden was intelligent and moved to Russia.

Also, why is this limited to only criminals in the US?
I don't know. Do you?
I've never read about any criminals claiming mental disorders in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Slovakia, or Kazakhstan and those are the only other countries I read media from.
So the US is the only country where I read about criminals claiming to have mental disorders.

I'm just trying to understand your logic here.
It's not a totally "logical" statement. It's only based on what I see in the media.
Cool topic, btw. This thread needs more input.
 
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Major

4 legs good 2 legs bad
V.I.P.
Huh? =/
Are they living together to start a family?
Why would anyone want to live with somebody else if they can have their own space?
Please define "cohabitation". I seriously don't get what that's all about.
Cohabitation literally means an unmarried couple living together. Maybe they're engaged. Maybe they have no plans to get engaged. But they're in a romantic relationship and live together. That's a crime in certain states.

Isn't that called a temporary mental disorder?
I've never heard of it. But if every bad decision is caused by a temporary mental disorder, then every single person on this planet has a mental disorder.

I don't know very much about recreational drugs but some people say it causes a temporary mental disorder.
The decision to use the drug is typically made before using it, therefore the effects of the drug and "temporary mental disorder" are irrelevant to the mental health of the user at the time the decision was made to commit the crime. The "temporary mental disorder" would only seem to come into play regarding decisions made after the crime of recreational drug use was already committed.

Only if they get caught.
So their mental health is determined by either their ability to escape capture or the criminal justice system's decision on whether or not to press charges?

Snowden was intelligent and moved to Russia.
He didn't "move" there. He was stranded there when the US decided to revoke his passport and Russia granted him temporary asylum. He's said he would come back to the US to face charges if he thought he would receive a fair trial. So if he comes back, I assume he would have a mental disorder.

I don't know. Do you?
I've never read about any criminals claiming mental disorders in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Slovakia, or Kazakhstan and those are the only other countries I read media from.
So the US is the only country where I read about criminals claiming to have mental disorders.
No, I don't. You made the claim. Not me.

Not every criminal in the US claims to have a mental disorder, so if that's what you're basing your claim on (that every criminal in the US has a mental disorder), then I would have to seriously question where you get your news from.

It's not a totally "logical" statement. It's only based on what I see in the media.
So it's not an actual belief of yours that anyone who breaks the law must have a mental disorder? I guess that's good. Sorry if there was some misunderstanding. Still a fun thread though I hope. Haha
 
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Doc

Trust me, I'm The Doctor.
V.I.P.
...this is much simpler than you two are making it out to be.

Speeding is a crime. It can even get you sent to jail in states like Virginia for speeds that any of us can get to by accident in most modern cars. 81 MPH or 20 over, like 60 in a 40, is a reckless driving charge and time in jail. Even basic speeding tickets are a crime everywhere.

Most people end up with a speeding ticket. 18.2% of Americans have a mental illness in the United States. 20.6% of people in the United States will get a speeding ticket this year. That doesn't even include other violations, like parking, red light running, work zone violations, seatbelts, etc. It is statistically impossible for all criminals to be mentally ill.

And, if math doesn't work for you, here's some logic:
The existence of innocent people in prison for crimes they do not commit completely negates the entire premise of "all criminals are mentally ill." That person is a criminal by all of society's rules until they are possibly, if ever, deemed innocent with a high probability of not being mentally ill since only 18.2% of all Americans are mentally ill.
 

Major

4 legs good 2 legs bad
V.I.P.
18.2% of Americans have a mental illness in the United States. 20.6% of people in the United States will get a speeding ticket this year. That doesn't even include other violations, like parking, red light running, work zone violations, seatbelts, etc. It is statistically impossible for all criminals to be mentally ill.
There's one problem with this argument, and that's that the 18.2% figure only represents what I assume to be people who have been diagnosed with a mental illness. There would presumably be a higher percentage if taking into account people with undiagnosed mental illnesses.
 

Major

4 legs good 2 legs bad
V.I.P.
Then when it comes to violent crimes I think most do have a mental disorder, of course not all. To cold bloodily murder someone I would think you would have to have some kind of mental disorder.
I don't know that I agree with that. I'm certainly not an expert either, but I think there are good people and there are bad people in this world. The bad ones don't necessarily have mental disorders. I believe we're all just products of the environment we grew up in and live in.

It's a matter of morality. Does having a different set of moral principles that fall outside of the societal norm mean that one has a mental disorder? If so, then you could say that a Christian living in Pakistan has a mental disorder.
 

Doc

Trust me, I'm The Doctor.
V.I.P.
You bring up an excellent point with undiagnosed mental illness. That also leads into WHAT can be defined as mental illness. To steal from what you said last night, we could all be deemed to have a mental illness in one way or another if you use a broad definition of the term.
 

Hilander

Free Spirit
Staff member
V.I.P.
I don't know that I agree with that. I'm certainly not an expert either, but I think there are good people and there are bad people in this world. The bad ones don't necessarily have mental disorders. I believe we're all just products of the environment we grew up in and live in.
I agree to be bad you don't necessarily have to have a mental disorder. You can push a good person too far and they can do something bad.

People on the lower end of the "bad" scale most are probably sane just idiots but on the upper end murderers probably do have some form of mental illness. Most though knew what they were doing was wrong. I think even Adam Lanza knew what he did was wrong even though he had mental illness. Been a long time since I read anything about him but it seems he came from a middle class family and it would seem decent parents. However yes I agree upbringing can make a difference. I wonder if bad upbringing could cause mental illness.

It's a matter of morality. Does having a different set of moral principles that fall outside of the societal norm mean that one has a mental disorder? If so, then you could say that a Christian living in Pakistan has a mental disorder.
Only if they chose to live in Pakistan.
 

Major

4 legs good 2 legs bad
V.I.P.
People on the lower end of the "bad" scale most are probably sane just idiots but on the upper end murderers probably do have some form of mental illness. Most though knew what they were doing was wrong. I think even Adam Lanza knew what he did was wrong even though he had mental illness. Been a long time since I read anything about him but it seems he came from a middle class family and it would seem decent parents. However yes I agree upbringing can make a difference. I wonder if bad upbringing could cause mental illness.
I don't know anything about Adam Lanza's background, but even people from good families can develop mental illnesses. It could be genetic, or maybe he was bullied at school or something like that. Being the victim of abuse or going through a traumatic experience can definitely bring on things like depression, bipolar disorder, or maybe even schizophrenia.

I think everyone can agree that serial killers, rapists, child molesters, and probably most mass shooters have some form of mental illness. Those are the types of people who actually take pleasure in having control over their victims and seeing them suffer.

On the other hand, I don't think having a mental disorder is a prerequisite to being a terrorist or a gangster. There's a huge difference between committing crimes for pleasure and committing them for ideological purposes or doing it for a living or for survival.

Kids from poor urban areas, for example, might learn to fend for themselves by joining a street gang and dealing drugs and defending their turf from rival gangs and running from the cops. That's survival for them, a basic human instinct. The mafia and white collar criminals are all financially motivated, driven by greed, another human instinct. Domestic violence might be fueled by anger or vengeance. Again, those are human instincts. So can instinct be considered a mental disorder? Personally, I don't believe so.
 
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