A woman in South Australia who murdered her two-year-old son because she believed he was “possessed by evil spirits” was found “not guilty of his murder due to mental incompetence” and has now been released. I can only assume she no longer believes in evil spirits. The media have conveniently omitted what religion she belongs to.
My question is this: what made her mentally incompetent?
Is it the believing in evil spirits or the murdering of her son?
It can’t be the murder aspect. If you believe in evil spirits and you are convinced that your son is possessed by them, wouldn’t murdering him be a rational response? That would make you competent.
I can only conclude that the court found that the mental incompetence was regarding the believing in evil spirits in the first place. And if believing in evil spirits makes you mentally incompetent, surely believing in good spirits holds equal stead?
Personally I agree – believing in spirits makes you kooky.
I meet people all the time who believe in evil spirits and are walking around in the community.
Not just Christians, either – Hindus, New Agers, Mahayana Buddhists, etc.
Now if all of these people living in society are mentally incompetent – for the same reasons as the woman from South Australia – what is to be done? I’m being serious. What should we do when, say, 80% of the population is defined (by the legal system, no less) as mentally incompetent? Should we mandate psychiatric help for them? I realise that not all of them are dangerous – but some obviously are and as a direct result of this belief in evil spirits.
What about politicians who believe, such as Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey? Should people who are mentally incompetent be allowed to work in politics? Should they allowed to be CEOs of companies? Should they be allowed to be parents?
These questions will keep me up at night.