The Mad/Bad Paradox

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The Mad/Bad Paradox

Postby Daktoria on October 22nd, 2012, 6:23 pm 

Say you're in a room with someone who you don't know is mad or bad. You've deduced that the person either doesn't know right from wrong, or the person does but is deliberately negligent.

You're forced to interact with this person. Isolation is not an option.

How do you go about it without either offense or provocation?
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Re: The Mad/Bad Paradox

Postby Dave_Oblad on October 22nd, 2012, 7:06 pm 

Hi Daktoria,

You haven't given enough detail to allow an accurate response to this. Since I have deduced that the person has done something to make me think that person did something that was wrong, then I have to know how wrong it was and did it pose a threat to anyone.

Did he simply pick his nose in front of me? Did he try to pluck his eyes out. Did he kill someone.

So my response would have to be based on how wrong that persons act was and what kind of specific wrong was committed.

Best to ya,
Dave :^)
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Re: The Mad/Bad Paradox

Postby CanadysPeak on October 22nd, 2012, 7:46 pm 

Daktoria wrote:Say you're in a room with someone who you don't know is mad or bad. You've deduced that the person either doesn't know right from wrong, or the person does but is deliberately negligent.

You're forced to interact with this person. Isolation is not an option.

How do you go about it without either offense or provocation?


Oh, that's easy. I live in a "stand your ground" state, so I shall shoot him several times, citing a reasonable fear for my life. Next paradox, please.
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Re: The Mad/Bad Paradox

Postby NeoTheseus on October 22nd, 2012, 8:47 pm 

Daktoria wrote:Say you're in a room with someone who you don't know is mad or bad. You've deduced that the person either doesn't know right from wrong, or the person does but is deliberately negligent.

You're forced to interact with this person. Isolation is not an option.

How do you go about it without either offense or provocation?


I feel, with my background of dealing with the insane, that it is impossible to coexist with someone who either cannot or will not observe the personal boundaries of others. One can choose to minimize interactions as much as possible, but his rights end where mine begin. After that....IT'S ON!
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Re: The Mad/Bad Paradox

Postby Percarus on October 24th, 2012, 8:22 am 

Humour is the best option... But you would have to be wary so as to not direct the incumbent as target of laughters as it may drive him/her mad. It would be essential to know what makes the other laugh and what can appease such an individual.
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Re: The Mad/Bad Paradox

Postby BadgerJelly on October 24th, 2012, 10:19 am 

I don't believe in madness or badness so ethically it would be unethical for me to attempt to answer it.

If you want I can answer though but you will not like where I go with it most probably or be able to track my thoughts for the same reason you cannot distinguish between madness and badness ... or can you?
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Re: The Mad/Bad Paradox

Postby ALF on October 24th, 2012, 11:32 am 

There is no distinction: bad is mad (once you define both words carefully).

Of course your reaction should vary according to your impression of him being mad mad or bad mad.
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Re: The Mad/Bad Paradox

Postby NeoTheseus on October 24th, 2012, 5:12 pm 

Percarus wrote:Humour is the best option... But you would have to be wary so as to not direct the incumbent as target of laughters as it may drive him/her mad. It would be essential to know what makes the other laugh and what can appease such an individual.


Appeasement by some can be seen as weakness and can actually worsen the problem.
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Re: The Mad/Bad Paradox

Postby Daktoria on October 25th, 2012, 9:39 am 

CanadysPeak wrote:
Daktoria wrote:Say you're in a room with someone who you don't know is mad or bad. You've deduced that the person either doesn't know right from wrong, or the person does but is deliberately negligent.

You're forced to interact with this person. Isolation is not an option.

How do you go about it without either offense or provocation?


Oh, that's easy. I live in a "stand your ground" state, so I shall shoot him several times, citing a reasonable fear for my life. Next paradox, please.


I guess I should add two more parameters.

One, you're weaker than the other person. Self-defense isn't sufficient.

Two, the person approaches you such that you have to respond or be held in suspicion.
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Re: The Mad/Bad Paradox

Postby Daktoria on October 25th, 2012, 9:41 am 

Percarus wrote:Humour is the best option... But you would have to be wary so as to not direct the incumbent as target of laughters as it may drive him/her mad. It would be essential to know what makes the other laugh and what can appease such an individual.


This is what I was thinking, but I'm not good at humor without being self-depreciating.

It rather defeats the point.
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Re: The Mad/Bad Paradox

Postby NeoTheseus on October 25th, 2012, 6:54 pm 

Given these new parameters, if the person is rational, they must be reasoned with. If they are irrational then they must be out-thougt via the utilization of planning & stategy. This may mitigate or overcome brute strength. If this is impossible then the physically superior but irrational being/individual/group must be given tribute or bribed for the sake of peace & existance. Another possibility, but may be worse than death, is to submit to slavery. Otherwise, there is no way to continue existance.
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Re: The Mad/Bad Paradox

Postby CanadysPeak on October 25th, 2012, 7:27 pm 

Daktoria wrote:
CanadysPeak wrote:
Daktoria wrote:Say you're in a room with someone who you don't know is mad or bad. You've deduced that the person either doesn't know right from wrong, or the person does but is deliberately negligent.

You're forced to interact with this person. Isolation is not an option.

How do you go about it without either offense or provocation?


Oh, that's easy. I live in a "stand your ground" state, so I shall shoot him several times, citing a reasonable fear for my life. Next paradox, please.


I guess I should add two more parameters.

One, you're weaker than the other person. Self-defense isn't sufficient.

Two, the person approaches you such that you have to respond or be held in suspicion.


Self defense is always sufficient. I've put down men much larger than I, one armed with a shiv. Read The Onion Fields for an example of what happens when people don't resist. You may die, but you were going to anyway.
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Re: The Mad/Bad Paradox

Postby BadgerJelly on October 26th, 2012, 7:37 am 

Imagine how you are perceived by them.

I would ignore a person like this and maybe slowly start to mimic some of their behavours in the hope of being able to open up some kind of dialogue.

Sticking to some kind of routine too would give predictability to your actions and ease the others anxiety ... the problem then is altering your routine slowly so they can feel comfortable around you.

Basically I'd look for and think of any universal factors in our situation and use them to help us both adapt to the situation.

The more I think about this question the more I think it is really the actual reality of every human situation. The only difference being I do not believe in bad or mad in the sense I believe you have posed.
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Re: The Mad/Bad Paradox

Postby NeoTheseus on October 26th, 2012, 7:59 am 

BadgerJelly wrote:Imagine how you are perceived by them.

I would ignore a person like this and maybe slowly start to mimic some of their behavours in the hope of being able to open up some kind of dialogue.

Sticking to some kind of routine too would give predictability to your actions and ease the others anxiety ... the problem then is altering your routine slowly so they can feel comfortable around you.

Basically I'd look for and think of any universal factors in our situation and use them to help us both adapt to the situation.

The more I think about this question the more I think it is really the actual reality of every human situation. The only difference being I do not believe in bad or mad in the sense I believe you have posed.


I would agree Badger with you if this were a new culture that had some sanity to it. If there is just a lack of ability to communicate, that's one thing.

My understanding of the scenerio was that the person was beyond reason & was unavoidable; how can this behavior be addressed/playcated. If I am wrong in my understanding please enlighten me so that I will no longer stand under my current misunderstanding.
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Re: The Mad/Bad Paradox

Postby BadgerJelly on October 26th, 2012, 3:07 pm 

If they are beyond reason then it is not a question I can even start to try and answer.

If they were so far gone I would either have to ignore them or kill them if they became a threat. If something is living and conscious then I am inclined to believe it can communicate in some form.

Also asking questions is a good one. People tend to prefer to talk then they do listen.
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Re: The Mad/Bad Paradox

Postby neuro on October 29th, 2012, 8:04 am 

I think the only interesting aspect in all this is precisely "they are beyond reason" and still you are forced to interact with them.

One can deny madness and/or badness, Badger, but that doesn't make any difference.

The point is we usually define "mad" a person who "is beyond reason" in that she has an altered perception of reality, so any of our acts/words might be misinterpreted, and we usually define "bad" a person who "is beyond reason" in that she follows her own moral (a-moral, anti-moral) criteria in acting and any of our acts/words won't change her attitude or may even generate unpleasant reactions.

This is, in a sense, the usual condition of a psychiatrist in the face of a psychotic subject. You can't convince her, you can't bring her to reasonableness. Still, you have to interact. Generally, the main point is having them speak (asking questions is ok, but mostly offering stimuli to let them talk), trying and figuring out what are the main features of their cognitive / ethical (mad / bad, respectively) approach, and moving cautiously within the set of rules that this defines (as if you were in a role-game), learning to think and reason their way but still maintaining your roots in reality (mad) and ethics (bad).
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Re: The Mad/Bad Paradox

Postby Daktoria on November 23rd, 2012, 10:29 pm 

neuro wrote:I think the only interesting aspect in all this is precisely "they are beyond reason" and still you are forced to interact with them.

One can deny madness and/or badness, Badger, but that doesn't make any difference.

The point is we usually define "mad" a person who "is beyond reason" in that she has an altered perception of reality, so any of our acts/words might be misinterpreted, and we usually define "bad" a person who "is beyond reason" in that she follows her own moral (a-moral, anti-moral) criteria in acting and any of our acts/words won't change her attitude or may even generate unpleasant reactions.

This is, in a sense, the usual condition of a psychiatrist in the face of a psychotic subject. You can't convince her, you can't bring her to reasonableness. Still, you have to interact. Generally, the main point is having them speak (asking questions is ok, but mostly offering stimuli to let them talk), trying and figuring out what are the main features of their cognitive / ethical (mad / bad, respectively) approach, and moving cautiously within the set of rules that this defines (as if you were in a role-game), learning to think and reason their way but still maintaining your roots in reality (mad) and ethics (bad).


This is what I was asking about.

Now the question is, "What is that set of rules?"
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Re: The Mad/Bad Paradox

Postby patsyseo on November 26th, 2012, 12:33 pm 

The question more specific. I watched the horror of mumbai (not sure this is exact title) on TV. It was a documentary about the only surviving gunman, who was bought for the purpose of commiting suicide and killing others. He was obedient unto death. The interview was conducted at his bed, where he was strapped down, before he was executed for his crime. He admitted that he had followed "Uncle's" instruction and done a horrible thing.
He was unquestionalbe a martyr, a murderer. He was a zealot or madman, depending on your religous beliefs.
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