Yesterday I saw this about the Norway Mass Killer trial, and all I can say is what the hell?
I don't understand the pervasive idea that someone who commits a truly disgusting, horrific, and awful crime is mentally ill. I think that is a disservice to the mentally ill and a dangerous underestimation of the criminal in question. This man made a conscious decision to intentionally kill every person he saw as a cold blooded example to his government/society. His reasoning? He disagrees with what he thinks is Norway's political direction. So far his lawyers have tried to blame video games (um, dude, I play World of Warcraft and I can honestly say I've never planned mass murder...sorry, but your correlation fails) and various psychoses. I'm no psychiatrist: maybe the dude does have something they can classify. Does that mean he's not capable of understanding that killing teenagers was wrong, and didn't realize that at the time? I don't think so. And to me, that's the definition of evil.
It's fascinating that paranormal horror and serial killer tv/movies/books are so popular when in reality we're determined to ignore that some people just DO BAD THINGS for no reason: we have to assign logic to an illogical act. Because they're lazy. Because they're overachievers. Because they were abused. Because they didn't get enough (or got too much) attention. Because manipulating others unnaturally excites them. Because they get off on pain and death.
Because their pants are too tight. Because today is Friday. How about because they CAN? Because for whatever reason they're missing the basic empathetic capability that allows one person to feel anything for another?
I'm not a religious person. At ALL. I was raised casually as a Lutheran and I'm well read on multiple world religions (I include mythologies in this category, FYI). I'm also not a psychiatrist/psychologist: I've read the basics for research but I'm 100% amateur and hey, I could be 100% wrong on all of this.
All I am is a person who is more shocked by society's willingness to excuse evil than being shocked that a human is capable of doing said evil. I suppose I should feel gratified that this dude in particular considers being locked away and studied in an institution for the rest of his life is worse than prison, but I don't. It feels like an insanity ruling is a cop out: recognize this guy for what he is and have the balls to say it. Evil is evil, whether it's child molesters, serial killers, sexual sadists, etc. There's no excuse for cold, calculating acts causing pain and suffering that can be dismissed as mental illness.
Nature is full of nurturing AND destructive forces. Humans are still a part of nature, even though we try desperately to convince ourselves we're superior, and therefore outside, the natural cycle. There will always be predators among us: grouping predators in with the mentally ill seems wholly unfair to the mentally ill.
UPDATE: As of today the defense argued he's sane and SHOULD BE ACQUITTED. Now, THAT may be some insanity happening right there. Unless Norway's laws are radically different from the US, I'm pretty sure you don't get to shoot an island full of teenagers because you disagree with the country's politics. What the fuck dude...are both sides of this trial on some fancy drugs? I'm moving on to less-depressing things today, since common sense seems to have left that courthouse.