Here a good question I found in the comments section of a previous post. ‘Fjord’ asks us the question:
This may sound crazy, but from a philosophical point-of-view, is it possible that you or I may be mentally retarded and not know it? unfortunately many kids are picket on for their disability, but sometimes it’s so severe (i.e. forcing them to do degrading things for ‘humor’) they don’t understand what’s wrong with them. Sure you can say things like “I did well in school”, but many people with mental impairments have done well in school or in the workplace and even in social settings. Is that a legitimate philosophical question?
Answer: Actually, asking that question and giving it consideration says alot about your healthy mental state.There are so many different conditions, many of which are hardly apparent unless you know the symtoms, such as with Asperger Syndrome and others, causing things that may be subtle, like not being able to process irony or sarcasm for example. The percentage of people who have a condition or disorder is very high, depending upon the latest trends in diagnosis and what is in the current DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) which changes over time. And if you look at history people generally believe pretty wacky things, until new ways of thinking come along…like The Flat Earth or The Big Bang…pretty ignorant silly, but sane at the time, stuff. Here are just a couple of resources you can look into related to your question.In the classic movie “Catch 22″, if you realize you are crazy then you are sane enough :-).So, just look around at some crazy seeming people in “normal” jobs and life situations, like GW Bush for example. There is a great deal of merit to what you are getting at. In some ways, as a comedy team called “Firesign Theatre” once said “We are all Bozos on this bus”.Carry on.statistics: http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/mentalhealth/chapter2/sec2_1.htmldisorders: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/asperger/detail_asperger.htm