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The Rejection of "Insanity"

Updated: May 24

Beyond the social aspect of human nature, we humans are also very systematic, pattern-following beings. This can be evident in the system of norms that the "global village" has created, from basic etiquette to the legitimization and non-legitimization of holding certain opinions and theories about existence.

Those who do not adhere to the system sufficiently to the liking of those who experience the non-adherer will either shame, punish, or condemn them in order to prevent them from being influential enough to shake the pillars of the current, specific social construct in which the instance has taken place.

In contemporary times, while there are indeed some severer punishments in certain parts of the world other than plain shaming, today, with enough counter-support from the construct's followers, literally anyone is in potential of having their reputation entirely wasted down the drain, should someone say or do something which is enough triggering to enrage social constructs, from local communities to nations to the world at large.

Every action you take has the potential to ruin your reputation in the eyes of others, even those who do not know you personally. If your actions are shared widely enough, you could be condemned to the dark, undesired sphere of "insanity," either for the long term or permanently.

While there are cases where such condemnation is justified, such as sexual harassment, or anything else that is against the law of any honest democracy, it can easily be used on the internet as a weapon that is not always justified. This is especially true for those who dare to hold different opinions and theories that are far from the norm of at least one or more communities that consume those contemplations.

This is problematic because it could mark the slow decline of democracy in favor of the tyranny of the majority, where only the majority's voice counts beyond the legitimate form of electing a leading representative. Furthermore, not only could such a form of tyranny replace democratic/pluralistic behavior in many parts of the world through various media, but it could also severely harm the freedom of philosophers, inventors, and any other form of independent thinkers, from being tolerated enough to exist amongst the ideas of the norm, thus condemning said potential minorities to "insane" territory; a territory that can conquer other spheres that were once considered completely legitimate.

This is one of the reasons why I, personally, am quite prudent when it comes to expressing my opinions on medias such as YouTube and Facebook (the latter of which I abandoned due to the terrible toxicity).

While I do comment on YouTube every now and then, I do know that it gives content creators the ability to "pin" comments of any user; a function that can be used to shame the commenter for thinking widely differently from the core beliefs of a certain content creator's subscribers/followers/whatever. This function can be slightly equivalent to the medieval technique of putting heretics in the town square and receiving the voices (and object-throwing) of the townspeople.

You may reasonably think that this is not that bad, which is understandable, as the ability to transfer content is largely within your control. However, the internet is probably the most democratic media created by humankind, and I believe that this state should be preserved within itself, and not be succumbed by the tyranny of the majority, as that could eventually erase, or at least significantly decrease, the intellectual freedom of people both out and within the internet.

Returning to the first claim of this article: we humans are pattern-following species, and that trait has the power to "convert" the eccentric into the "insane" and thus put them away from relevance and from the ability to participate in the world, just like everyone else can and deserves. The territory of the "insane", therefore, should be only limited to those with the power and intent to inflict terror and menace on the world -- the insanity that truly deserves to be considered as such.

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Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

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